Muslims and the War Between Two Americas
by Abid Ullah Jan
(Wednesday 06 April 2005)
"The promotion of "moderate" Muslims is part of this extremist
tendency sweeping the United States. To demystify the myth
of "moderate" Muslims and Islam, we need to understand the ongoing
war between two Americas."
Did you ever think, who frequently use the terms "moderate" Muslims
and "moderate" Islam? "But this has nothing to do with the war
between two Americas," someone might argue.
These terms and the war between two Americas seem un-related. But it
is time we understand that these terms are the product of the
extremist trends sweeping the United States these days.
The inventors, promoters, subscribers and supporters of these terms
together constitute just a fraction of all the Muslims and non-
This vocal and influential minority justifies its words and deed with
the attractive slogan of fighting extremism in the Muslim World.
However, in fact, this minority is the product of extremism in the US
itself. To demystify the myth of "moderate" Muslims and Islam, we
need to understand the ongoing war between two Americas : First,
there is the America which lives by the great ideals of justice.
Second, there is the America which has succumbed to self-interest
groups. The promotion of "moderate" Muslims is part of this extremist
tendency sweeping the United States . Fighting extremism in the
Muslims world is a perfect ruse to justify and further consolidate
the extremist America .
For the extremist America of self-interest groups, there are many
voices in the United States, including Daniel Pipes and other such
neoconservatives, who are using any means necessary to sacrifice the
well-being of the United States for the promotion of the State of
These individuals would never regard any Muslim as a moderate, unless
he or she publicly supports the state of Israel . Look at their track
record. All other factors are irrelevant.
The distinction between "moderate" and "radical" is not one that is
defined by their adherence to Islam but how much they are a threat to
the interest of the extremist America and Israel . For example, a
devout man who is fervent in all his personal rituals but do not have
any participation in the political affairs of his oppressed nation
would be a "moderate."
In contrast even a half or non-practicing Muslim with zeal to voice
his opposition to the direct and indirect occupation of his people
and land would be classified as a radical. In the current political
context, a "moderate" is one who is passive like the devout man or
active (like the neo-mods of Islam) who openly promotes the US
agenda, using Islamic interpretation or the so-called `Ijtihâd' as a
cover. This to most Muslims is like a see-through dress!
Hence the distinction is not one of academic but purely political,
driven by ulterior motive and sustained by Islamophobia. The phobia
can be judged from the fact that even legal activities of Muslims,
labeled as Islamists, are now presented as a "challenge" and,
hence, unacceptable and threat. The extreme of hatred is evident from
first dubbing Muslims as "Islamists" and then equating them with
Nazis. This extremism goes on to consider Islam as an evil and
calling Mohammed (PBUH) a terrorist.
Another manifestation of this extremism lies in leading news papers
like the New York Times' attempts at making its readers believe: "Red
Menace is Gone, But Here is Islam," and Los Angeles Times making
the public read: "Islam's outdated domination theology" needs to be
defeated to "give peace a chance."
This extremist trend considers extremist as moderation. For example
if someone decided to suspend the Hudud (penal code), he
becomes "moderate" and "enlightened" in the view of Islamophobes
(best described by the term anti-Islam, fanatical Nazis). In fact,
such a Muslims is not a moderate but an extremist.
Those who support these Muslim extremists are Nazi ¾ a suitable title
for them since Nazism evolved in European culture and non-Muslims
practiced it. Nazism, fascism, communism, etc are totally alien to
ISLAM. They are Nazi by their open double standards and intolerance
of others, this is why they have an election with party and one
single agenda then calls it democracy!
To the contrary, so-called extremism in the Muslim world is not the
result of Muslims' faith or baseless invention of "extremists." It is
a function of the oppressed and dispossessed for lack of a central
authority to control and channel the energies of these people into
productive activities. It is naive to suggest that a few ill-
informed "moderate" INDIVIDIUALS or puppet regimes, such as that of
dictator Musharraf, can emulate the abilities of an entire central
authority, i.e. the Islamic State.
The "moderates" who are confused in their thoughts get further
confused about their identity when when argument from some leading
self-proclaimed "moderates" is rejected as "reformist apologetic"
and the others are called "Radical." To the contrary, those who
are shunned even by the self-proclaimed "moderates," are presented by
the American extremist as a "practicing Muslim."
In fact, these highly praised "practicing" Muslims believe that "an
uncritical acceptance of the Koran as the final manifesto of God" is
one of the "disturbing cornerstones of Islam."
It is ironic that these "moderate" and "practicing" Muslims like
Irshad Manji turn around and call other self-proclaimed "moderates"
as "so-called moderates" and equate them with "fundamentalists" for
sharing a "sense of spiritual supremacy" with
Two opposing factors clear this confusion. The first is the clear
commands for Muslims to be moderate by default. Being moderate is
a prerequisite. It is not an identity label for a specific kind of
Muslims. Accordingly, the most perfect moderates are those who most
seriously live by the Qur'an and Sunnah. Accordingly, Muslims cannot
be part time or partial Muslims to be moderate by virtue of rejecting
part of the Qur'an and accepting part of it (Al-Qur'an 2:85).
The second factor is in total contrast to what the Qur'an says the
Muslims should be. This factor is the insistence on the part of the
American extremists, the standard-setters for "moderates" that strong
belief in the totality of the Qur'an makes Muslims "Islamists,"
and "extremists." Accordingly, the most partial believers of the
Qur'an become the most perfect "moderates" because promoters
of "moderate" Muslims believe they "are absolutely at war with the
vision of life that is prescribed to all Muslims in the Koran."
"Moderates" are thus required to totally reject parts of the Qur'an,
such as rejection of the clear commands about inheritance (Al-Qur'an
4:11-14, 4:33, 4:176), court testimony (Al-Qur'an 2:282) and even
Riba (Al-Qur'an 2:275-76, 278-79; 3:130; 4:161; 30:39). The extremist
Americans publicly say that "the fundamentals of Islam are a threat
to us." The covert Islamophobes (read anti-Islam Nazis) keep this
little secret to themselves for the sake of diplomacy. It clearly
shows that the extremists do not want the "moderates" they support to
follow fundamentals of Islam.
The above examples lead us to see the self-proclaimed "moderates" in
the following forms:
I. Benighted opportunists, the neo-mods of Islam, who exploit
Islamophobes' agenda to their advantage. These include dictator
Musharraf in the circle of dictators to others in journalism,
academia and politics.
II. Secular Muslims, who have successfully reconciled themselves to
relegating Islam to a private affair and leaving the public affairs
to the state to conduct without being informed by any revelatory law
(i.e. the Shari'ah). Most of these had no problem at all in embracing
III. The rejectionists: Those who are close to atheists in rejecting
the major aspects of Islam in the name of moderation.
The so-called "moderates" have mostly misunderstood Islam. Their
version of Islam involves an ill-conceived and un-Islamic mixture of
worshipping activities, rebellion against the sovereignty of Allah,
acceptance of western transactional laws, godless standards of
freedom, transactional conventions (not allowed under the Shari'ah)
and attempts at reducing Islam to yet another church (Mosque)
Due to elite Islamophobes' public denial of their fear of the rise of
Islam, the "moderates" are in a difficult position:
a. if they express their love for Islam or reject any standard or
moderation set by Islamophobes, they thus become suspect, resulting
in boycotting them like Tariq Ramadan, despite their claiming at the
top of their voice that they are "moderate" and they want a
moratorium on Hadud laws.
b. If they do not express their love for Islam and or do not work for
its cause, they are unlikely to receive much credence in the Muslim
The new standards for "moderation" are making their lives even more
difficult because rejecting part of the Qur'an throws them out of
Islam right away, let alone their dreams of ruling the Muslim world.
But at the same time, there are yet more serious opportunist Muslims
who are ready to accept even those pre-conditions that demand them to
reject parts of the Qur'an.
Thus the struggle between the America of ideals and the extremist
America is making life hard for Muslims all over the world. Non-
Muslims are not immune to the wind they are sowing. For global peace
and security, it is imperative that both Muslims and non-Muslims
understand the extremist face of America and the minority of
extremist that is driving the world to a crisis of unprecedented
. Jim Lobe, ""Anti-Islamist" Crusader Plants New Seeds," Inter
Press Service News Agency, February 25, 2005 . URL:
. Daniel Pipes quoted in editorial of Washington Times, July 02,
. Some Christian leaders, including the Reverend Franklin Graham,
who gave the invocation at Bush's inauguration, have denounced Islam
as an "evil" religion.
. Associate Press, "Falwell Calls Muhammad a Terrorist," October
4, 2002 , See http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/04/national/04F
. New York Times, January 21, 1996 .
. Yossi Klein Halevi, "Islam's Outdated Domination Theology," Los
Angeles Times, December 4, 2002 .
. Pipes, Daniel, "The Rock Star and the Mullah, Debate: Democracy
and Islam," a PBS debate between Daniel Pipes and Muqtedir Khan.
. Kamran Bokari strives to prove himself as a "moderate" Muslim.
Also see his write ups: `Is Democracy Kufr?' & ?What is Moderate
Islam & Who Are Moderate Muslims?' published in the December and
March 2004 issues of Q-News, respectively. However, he is not spared.
See. Denial Pipes, The US Institute of Peace Stumbles." New York Sun,
March 23, 2004 . http://www.danielpipes.org/article/1659
. Irshad Manji, is promoted as the torch bearer of "moderate"
Islam. Daniel Pipes called her a "Practicing Muslim" in
his "[Moderate] Voices of Islam," New York Post, September 23, 2003 .
. See, publisher's note on Irshad Manji's latest book, "The
Trouble with Islam."
. Ibid. Publisher note.
. Being a Muslim, one has to be moderate. See
http://icssa.org/moderate.html for details.
Also See: Sahih Bokhari, Vol 3, Book 40, Hadith # 550; Vol 4, Book
55, Hadith # 629; Vol 7, Book 70, Hadith # 577; Vol 8, Book 76,
Hadith # 470, 471 and 474 and Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Hadith Number
. Qur'an also gives example of those who had accepted the
revealed books in parts ( 5:13 -14)
. For example, see the preconditions for passing the test of
moderation that demand rejection of the Qur'anic view about court
testimony of a man and woman and their share in the inheritance.
Another pre-condition for "moderates" is to agree to "scholarly
inquiry into the origins of Islam."
. Sam Harris, "Mired in the religious war," Washington Times,
December 02, 2004 . http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20041201-090801-
by courtesy & © 2005 Abid Ullah Jan
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