Moderate Wake-Up Call

Moderate Muslims around the world are no doubt attempting to distance themselves from the actions of radical, violent Muslims Friday night in Paris.  The mantra remains much the same as in the aftermath of other religious violence.  That’s not Islam.  The jihadists have misappropriated the Muslim faith.  Islam is a religion of peace.  The Qu’ran does not condone such actions.  The mantra is understandable, wanting to justify your religious beliefs without condoning the acts of others who claim adherence to the same God, the same prophet, the same sacred text.  I believe that many if not most Muslims don’t condone such violence, and that many of them believe that such actions are contrary to their religious history, sacred text, and the memory of their prophet.

But these moderate Muslims need to wake up.

It is against the Qu’ran for one Muslim to kill another.  Sura 4:93 states that a Muslim who kills another Muslim is destined eternally for hell and punishment.  That’s a pretty stiff penalty for killing a brother or sister in the faith, one that devout Muslims everywhere no doubt take to heart.  So how is it that Muslims regularly kill one another?  More to the point, how is it that the killers Friday night in Paris could indiscriminately detonate bombs and fire into crowds?  Shouldn’t they first determine whether or not anyone nearby is Muslim, and exclude them from the violence soas to protect their own immortal souls?  Of course.

Unless, of course, they are convinced that the other Muslims they are killing are not really Muslim, and that the people going to the soccer game, or having dinner out, or taking in a rock concert are not really Muslim.  Unless the Qu’ran states in some way that such people are not truly Muslim, and can therefore be treated as either apostates or unbelievers, subject to the same treatment as any non-Muslim.

This is why moderate Muslims need to wake up.  This is why ‘radical’ Islam is growing so powerful.  There is no debate.  No scholarly exchange of ideas.  There is not a live and let live mentality or an esprit de corps between different Muslims practicing Islam differently.  It is not possible, it is not necessary, and it is fundamentally not permitted by the Qu’ran as well as the life of Mohammed (Sunnah).  As a moderate Muslim you might wish to argue that this is inappropriate, but you should probably double-check your sacred text first (presuming you’ve read it, which many Muslims have not because they cannot read Arabic – the only legitimate language of the Qu’ran according to Islamist tradition).  You should probably make sure your imam really knows what he’s talking about when he assures you that ISIS are not true Muslims and are not truly reading the Qu’ran properly or interpreting the hadiths faithfully.  How you’re going to do that without reading your own text I’m not sure.  Now would be a good time to start figuring that out.

Everyone is aghast at ISIS’ methodology and confused as to what it does and why.  ISIS is not.  It intends – with the  re-establishment of a caliphate – to rally all Muslims to it.  It expects nothing less and will tolerate nothing less than complete allegiance.  Those who would like to remain moderate or Western or any other variance of Muslim from ISIS are going to be in for a rude shock should ISIS ever come to power in your area.  You will not be welcomed as brothers and sisters.  You will be commanded to give allegiance to the caliph and to even the most brutal aspects of the Qu’ran (such as the enslaving of non-Muslims, decapitation, Sharia law, etc.).  Assuming you haven’t been killed first for your weak and heretical moderateness, you will either accept what you are told or you will be killed or enslaved yourself,  your wife and children enslaved as the spoils of war as the captor is rightfully entitled by the Qu’ran.

Moderate Muslims need to recognize that they are not viewed as Muslim by these ‘extremists’.  You will not be spared.  If you engage in the pleasures and activities of life that are against the Qu’ran and specific schools of interpretation you will be subject to the punishments for such things.  A really good article on this issue can be found here.  I encourage everyone to read it – Muslim and non-Muslim.  Maybe it will demonstrate more clearly who ISIS is and what ISIS wants.  Maybe it will encourage moderate Muslims to dig in and begin the hard work of disassociating not merely themselves, but their sacred text from these very literal interpretations.  I suspect that what they’ll find when they begin this process is they can’t.  The text says what it says.  It does not condition what it says to a certain time and a certain place, but states these things as standing commandments for all time, all places.  ISIS is not twisting the Qu’ran but is returning to the practical, literal understanding that was originally intended and which guided Islam through its first decades.  It is the moderates who have determined that some passages are no longer advisable or necessary.  It is they who have more effectively twisted the Qu’ran.

That might be all well and good.  Until ISIS comes to town.

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