By Andrew Atkin:
If I was a Moderate Muslim, then what would I do to combat all these Islamophobes and Neo-Nazi's who call me unkind names?
Well for start, I wouldn't worry about them. They are not my real enemy. My real enemies are the fundamentalist Islamist's that share my faith. The fundamentalists perform terrorists activities, practice sharia law when they can, and push for the Islamification of the entire world via Jihad.
The fundamentalists would be threatening to ruin my moderate reputation via toxic association. They're making non-Muslim's nervous about all Muslims. Naturally, if I was a moderate Muslim I wouldn't want non-Muslims to feel that way about me, especially if I'm living in a non-Muslim host country.
So what would I do? First I would join up with non-Muslims and do everything I can to explain, to them, the difference between people like me and extremists. And I would do it respectfully. Of course it's a bit silly to call people Islamophobes and racists after what extremist Islam has done, and is still doing today. And name-calling would never help my cause. That's no way to get people on my side.
In clarifying the difference, I would clearly define my moderate religious position. I would take the Qur'an and remove all the parts within that book that I believe are a perversion of 'true' Islam. I would also condemn the evil aspects of Muhammad's life that, to my mind, must be a false representation of history and therefore my faith.
Of course, I cannot be a moderate Muslim and simultaneously consider the brutal and totalitarian directives within the Qur'an to be Allah's truth. If I did, then I would be an extremist - not a moderate. A moderate can only believe in the Qur'an as it stands today selectively, so again I would extract all the corruption from the original book and call my edited version "The true Qur'an".
My version would be a pure statement of the beliefs of a moderate Islamist, and there would be no ambiguity. This is what a religious book should be like. If you want people to know the truth that you believe in, then you shouldn't mix words with how it is expressed. And I wouldn't.
In conjunction with this, I would study extremism and extremists on the psycho-social level. I would need to. Extremists are my enemy as they want me converted or dead, so I would have to put in place measures to defend moderate Islam from them. I would need to understand my enemy to work against them.
Further, I would insist that all mosques are carefully monitored, along with other precautionary measures, to defend against any corrupting influence from extremist elements that might get in. And naturally I would want to take the opportunity to prove my innocence to my wider society, so as to protect the reputation of my faith.
A genuine moderate has nothing to hide, and would never wish to become an enemy of the non-Muslim world. A moderate only wants to do good things, and their beliefs are consistent with western human rights.
But most importantly of all, as I must stress, I would transparently draw a definitive line between the moderates and the extremists. There would be no confusion. I would explain the differences explicitly. Again I would not want to be confused with the extremists. I would see it as my duty to protect moderate Islam and also to explain my faith to my host country, out of respect for my host country, and like everyone else I would believe that I have a duty to fight extremism and the pervasive threat of extremism. Because extremism is real - not phobic.
Now this is where I have a concern with the moderates. I have to say their behaviour is not entirely consistent with who they claim to be. Where is THEIR Qur'an, or do they endorse the whole original thing? If so, then, like many studious people have claimed, there is no moderate Islam - only Islam. And if these (so called) moderates are not prepared to define their religious faith in explicit terms that we can all understand, and also take serious action against the forces of extremism, then they can't complain when people look at them with suspicion. If they're going to be conspicuous by their silence--which may be interpreted as passive endorsement--then they deserve the suspicion they might recieve.
Realistically though, most moderates are probably just ignorant. They don't understand their holy book because they've only read a part of it. But again that is not good enough. They need to get off their butts and clarify where, exactly, they are at, and what exactly they believe. Otherwise the western world will continue to give them that concerning suspicion that is both understandable and justified.
In a nutshell, the moderates need to join the rest of us in maturely answering the question:
"What action should we take to be sure there is no Islamic radicalisation process occurring or potentially occurring within our society?"
The author has already given his best attempt at answering that specific question: