Wednesday, 31 March 2010

What is a Moderate Muslim? [by FreedomFry]

- by FreedomFry

I think we're talking past each other. 'Muslim' can mean many different things. Some define it as only those who 'submit' completely to the teachings of Islam. If they do not attempt to follow the orthodox teachings of the religion to the letter, then technically they are not Muslims, they are apostates and are not covered under the term 'Muslims.' Under this definition, the vast majority of the people claiming to be Muslims in the world are apostates. Obviously the people covered under this very exclusive term will all be 'radical,' because they will be obliged to follow the example of Muhammed, the 'perfect man,' and to believe that the Koran--containing much vile filth--is also perfect.

However 'Muslim' can also be used to refer to anyone who identifies as such. This includes people such as Faisal from BMSD, who I met in London on the 31st, who are attempting to start an Islamic 'reformation' that adapts doctrine to be compatible free, secular society. It also covers the vast array of self-described Muslims who are part of the Muslim religious community, may attend prayers, and essentially use Islam as something of a jumping-off-point for their spiritual life, but are not orthodox and do not accept or try to implement many, if not most, of the teachings. That describes me, except with Judaism. I would guess that that covers our very own Morgana, but I can't speak for her on that.

It also can refer to people who don't really give a toss about spirituality or doctrine but still culturally identify as Muslims. I'm sure most of us have friends like this, or at least acquaintances.

In a slightly tricky position are those who fit in the first category but are in denial about what the religion actually teaches.

But the point is, if we're going to be talking about Muslims, we have to be clear about what we mean. I use the word to describe all people who identify as Muslims.

ow you (FreedomFry) say "MODERATE is not a synonym for MAJORITY or MAINSTREAM".

So what is the ruling on homosexuality?

As I pointed out, surveys show that virtually 100% of British muslims believe homosexual acts are morally unacceptable, and 61% believe homosexuality should be illegal. Are muslims who think that way extremists or moderates? Or (in other words) are muslims who think that way welcome in the EDL?

If they are extremists, then the EDL is opposed to the MAJORITY and MAINSTREAM of muslims. If they are moderates, then the EDL wants to welcome and build bridges with homophobic bigots.

So which is it?

Again, I am making no claim that moderate Muslims are anything close to the majority of Muslims. However, as has been stated on here, I think acceptance of homosexuality is a bad measurement to use, because being hostile to it puts you not with the majority but certainly in the standard range of western attitudes. However, many of the other statistics, if accurate, do show that what we would call moderates--that is, Muslims who want to live in a way that is compatible with British society and its values--may be a minority of Muslims in the UK, it may not. When it comes to Islam in many parts of the world, I would say that moderates are definitely on the fringe of what is otherwise a radical mainstream.

But above all I'd ask people to define their terms before going any further.

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