I Digress – The Question of Moderate Islam


Sources used to construct what follows are those mentioned in Part I, The Al Qaeda Reader (AQR), by Raymond Ibrahim, 2007, and Interpreting the Qur’an, by Abdullah Saeed, 2006. The Reader provides translations of writings by Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri on numerous subjects. Their perspectives are very helpful and fascinating, if you care to read it.

This is a good spot to digress for a moment from Islam 101 and Lying to clarify something non-Muslims often question: Is moderate Islam truly Islam? My position regarding this is no, it is not. I have two primary reasons for my conclusion.

First, the Islam lived by true Islamic societies whole-heartedly rejects Westernized, or moderate, Islam. To them, moderate Islam yields (subjugates) itself to democracies, which are viewed as man’s form of government. Man’s rules are created and overseen by the people, who are blind, subjugated, ignorant, etc. Man and his rules are considered sovereign (so sharia is not) in moderate Islam; thus, true Islamists view moderate Islam as man deifying himself above Allah. Anyone willfully practicing this form of Islam is an apostate at best, and likely deserving of death. (AQR 31f, 88f, 99f, 122f, 130f)

Muslims yielding to a Western government is a slap in the face to Allah’s supremacy and sharia (Allah’s rule). This judgment also applies to those Middle Eastern countries courting favors with the West. Western oriented Muslims are enemies of true Islam and targets of jihad. (My basic definition for the word “jihad” is the struggle against all that is not according to Allah). (AQR 121f)

While my comments above refer to the Al Qaeda Reader only, the writings there are heavily supported with direct quotes from the Koran, as well as Seyyid Qutb. The Islam represented there is the globalist, fundamentalist Islam which threatens the world.

My second reason for asserting that Moderate Islam is not true Islam is more difficult to explain, yet I will try. Islam, like all religions, has a source of authority for its beliefs and practices.  For all Islam, this is the Koran. Moderate Muslims do appeal to the Koran for their views, but their views conflict with those of Fundamental Islam. Moderate Islam must reinterpret the Koran to maintain the book as its authority.

Works I have read and considered by so called moderate Muslim scholars reveals this is a very hazardous task. The reasoning behind new methods of interpretation and reinterpretations are full of postulations and “If – Then” conditions. The Fundamentalist Islamist has the more straightforward and natural approach to interpreting the Koran; that is, the historical formation and spread of Islam from Mohammad and the first community of believers from Medina, to Mecca, and to the World. To me, there can be only one expression of Islam, and the moderate interpretation is not it.

End of I Digress.

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