Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Is ''Moderate Islam'' an Oxymoron ? Part 1
At a time when terrorism committed in the name of Islam is rampant, we are continuously being assured -- especially by three major institutions that play a dominant role in forming the Western mindset, namely, mainstream media, academia, and government -- that the sort of Isla embraced by ''radicals, ''jihadists'', and so forth has nothing to do with ''real'' Islam. ''True'' Islam, so the narrative goes, is intrinsically free of anything ''bad.'' It's the nut-jobs who hijack it for their own agenda that are to blame.
More specifically, we are told that there exists a ''moderate'' Islam and an ''extremist'' Islam - the former good and true, embraced by a Muslim majority, the latter a perverse sacrilege practiced by an exploitive minority. Bu what do these duel adjectives - ''moderate'' and ''extremist'' - ultimately mean in the context of Islam? Are they both equal and viable alternatives insofar as to how Islam is understood? This last question is particularly important, since Islam is first and foremost a religious way of life centered around the words of a deity (Allah) and his prophet (Muhammad) - the significance of which is admittedly unappreciated by secular societies.
Both terms - ''moderate'' and ''extremist'' - have to do with degree, or less mathematically, zeal: how much, or to what extent, a thing is practiced or implemented. As Webster's puts it, ''moderate'' means ''observing reasonable limits''; ''extremist'' means ''going to great or exaggerated lengths.'' It's a question, then of doing either too much or too little.
The problem, however, is that mainstream Islam offers a crystal-clear way of life, albeit, a 700 AD way of life, based on the teachings of the Koran and Hadith - the former, containing what purports to be the sacred words of Allah, the latter, the example (or sunna, hence ''Sunnis'') of his prophet, also known as the most ''perfect man'' (al-insan al-kamil). Indeed, based on these two primary sources and according to normative Islamic teaching, all human actions fall into five categories: forbidden actions, discouraged actions, neutral actions, recommended actions, and obligatory actions.
In this context, how does a believer go about ''moderating'' what the deity (the Angel Gabrielle actually) and his spokesman have commanded? One can either try to observe Islam's commandments or ignore them: and more or less is not Islam - a word which means ''submit'' (to the laws, or Sharia, of Allah). The REAL question, then, is what do Allah and his prophet command Muslims to do? Are radicals ''exaggerating'' their orders? Or are moderate Muslims simply ''observing reasonable limits'' - a euphemism for negligence - when it comes to fulfilling their commandments?
In our highly secularized era, where we are told that religious truths are flexible or simply non-existent, and that any and all interpretations are valid, the all-important question of ''What does Islam command?'' loses all relance. Hence why the modern West is incapable of understanding Islam. Indeed, only recently, a Kenyan mosque leader said that the Westgate massacre, where Islamic scumbags slaughtered some 67 people, ''was justified as per the Koran, as per the religion of Islam, Westgate was 100% justified.'' Then he made it crystal clear, when he said: ''Radical Islam is a creation of people who do not believe in Islam. We don't have radical Islam, we don't have moderates, we don't have extremists. Islam is one religion following the Koran and the Sunna.''
Going by this insightful revelation and having read the mish-mash of chapters and verses in the Koran twice, I have been warning, through my blog postings for the past 4 years, that Islam is not a faith based on any Judeo-Christian love and forgiveness principle. It's hateful! Consider this one example: Allah commands Muslims to ''Fight (not Love) those among the People of the Book (meaning Jews and Christians) who do not believe in Allah nor the Last Day, nor forbid what Allah and his Messenger have forbidden, nor embrace the religion of truth (i.e. Islam), until they pay the jizya (tribute) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.'' [Koran 9:29].
The Way I See It.....how can one interpret this verse to mean anything other than what it plainly says? Wherein lies the ambiguity, the room for interpretation? Of course there are other teachings and allusions in the Koran that by necessity lend themselves over to the fine arts of interpretation, or ijtihad. But surely the commands of Koran 9:29 are completely straightforward.....be afraid my Western brothers and sisters, be very afraid!