In an important article for FrontPage Magazine, “recovered” Muslim Bosch Fawstin acknowledges that “Muslims who take Islam seriously are at war with us and Muslims who don’t aren’t. But,” he continues, “that doesn’t mean we should consider these reluctant Muslims allies against Jihad…they give the enemy cover..indifferen[t] about the evil being committed in the name of their religion…prov[ing] in their silence and inaction against jihad that they are not on our side either.” Whether they know it or not, or whether they are merely indifferent to the activities of the “radical” wing of the religion they profess, or whether some — a very few — are doctrinally committed to the reinterpretation of the canonical literature, “moderates” in their adherence to traditional dogma or even in their obliviousness to the axioms of Islamic orthodoxy are the sine qua non for the perpetuation of Islam as understood and pursued by those who would subjugate the liberal West to their totalitarian creed. And the latter’s understanding of the faith is correct, as David Hayden methodically shows in his masterful Muhammad and the Birth of Islamic Supremacism, a must-read for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Islam is jihad. There is nothing moderate about it.
We might say, metaphorically, that “moderate” Muslims resemble the innocent and unwitting carriers of a deadly virus. They have not deliberately caused the epidemic of Jihaditis from which millions of their fellows suffer, but they allow it to spread unchecked if they do not recognize the affliction and seek appropriate treatment. For Islam itself is the pretext and warrant for both overt violence against and covert subversion of Western cultural and institutional life, and there is no Islam without the sustaining habitat provided by the moderates. It is in this sense that moderation is complicit with extremism, the former supplying the empirical ground in which the latter can take root. The one is dependent on the other for its viability, substance, and effect. Put plainly, there is no jihadi violence (al-Qaeda, etc.) or internal sabotage (Muslim Brotherhood) without Islam, and there is no Islam without the enveloping milieu afforded by the vast community of believers, nominal or otherwise. “The nature of the problem,” writes British lawyer Gavin Boby, who directs the Law and Freedom Foundation, “may be doctrine rather than people, but the harsh fact is that doctrines are sustained by people” (personal communication). The logic is unassailable; regrettably, “moderate” Muslims are impervious to it.
There is a temptation to regard “moderate” Muslims of a special stamp — namely those whom Fawstin calls the “very rare Muslim[s] who help us against Jihad” — as contemporary Mu’tazilites and heroes of a reforming faith, who see themselves as allies of the democratic West. The Mu’tazilites were the eighth-and-ninth century sect thought to have struggled for the primacy of reason, freedom of the will, and the value of the individual, and their legacy has been revived by certain Islamic philosophers. The Iranian scholarly dissident Abdolkarim Soroush, for example, who has been called the Martin Luther of …read more