January 10, 2011

Moderate Extremists

Using words like “tolerance” or “moderation” in conjunction with Islam (see below), can be somewhat confusing. For example, does anyone know the definition of a “moderate" Muslim? We don't and we suspect that most Americans don’t either, and if those who came up with these terms don’t know their meanings, then who does?!

Is a “moderate” Muslim one who does not blow him/herself up? Or maybe one who refrains from decapitating “infidel” heads or engaging in “honor killings”? What about those who are apathetic or support these barbaric acts perpetrated in the name of their religion, but don’t have the stomach to carry them out themselves?

In the Muslim world, labels like “moderate” or “extremist” do not exist. They are a Western construct used by the politically-correct to avoid criticizing religion. But wishing something were true doesn't make it so, just as using labels like “moderate” or “tolerant” for intolerant religions and their intolerant followers doesn't make them so.

As to whether Islam is a tolerant or peaceful religion: To date, reality has shown otherwise, but if moderates or others believe that to be a gross misperception, then the onus is on them (not us) to prove it.

New York Post  |  January 10, 2011

Intolerant Islam

Last week's murder of Punjabi Gov. Salman Taseer is being described as a setback for moderates in Pakistan.

"Politician's Death a Blow to Tolerance" read one headline. Another said the killer represented the "enemy within."

That's way too optimistic.

Fact is, "tolerance" in Pakistan now seems beyond reasonable hope. The Islamists aren't an enemy of the state - they virtually are the state.

Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, Taseer's bodyguard, said he killed the man he was hired to protect because Taseer opposed Pakistan's blasphemy laws.

Under those laws, a Pakistani court sentenced a poor Christian woman, Asia Bibi, to death. Her crime? Defending her faith from Muslim workers who refused her offer of water because of her religion - and then having the nerve to be raped, she says, by those who disliked her arguments.

Taseer sympathized with Bibi and pushed to roll back the blasphemy laws - which have been used primarily to persecute minority faiths and enforce a fundamentalist version of Islam.

Qadri thought he was doing his nation a favor, and boasted of his deed: "Salman Taseer is a blasphemer," he said, "and this is the punishment for a blasphemer."

But in Pakistan, Qadri isn't some rare Islamist militant; much of the country sympathizes with him.

A rowdy crowd "slapped him on the back and kissed him," the Arab News reported. Lawyers showered him with rose petals. And a respected group of more than 500 preachers and scholars warned against sympathizing with Taseer.

"The supporter [of blasphemy] is as guilty as one who committed blasphemy," the group said. It advised folks to learn "a lesson from the exemplary death" of Taseer.

Qadri's job as a bodyguard, moreover, points up the Islamic militants' death grip on the government: Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI, has deep ties to the Taliban, for example, and Islamabad has been unwilling to conduct a major, sustained campaign to rid the country of its associated clans - making US efforts in Afghanistan near impossible.

Taseer's death was no setback for tolerance, but, rather, evidence that moderation has little hope in Pakistan. The West denies that ugly truth at its peril.

Original article here.


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