Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Moderate Muslims

There's a viral video of Ben Affleck sticking up for Muslims. As I said to a friend, isn't Affleck better known for his girlfriends than his movies? Actors are paid to be pretty, emote, and memorize someone else's words. They aren't paid to be informed or smart–which shows. To be fair, Affleck was never much of an actor–unlike his boyhood buddy, Matt Damon. He's an aging pretty boy. So I guess his excuse is that when you're a washed up, third-tier movie star who was never much of an actor in the first place, you moonlight as a pundit.

There are lots of ignorant defenders who think the jihadis represents an "extreme" interpretation of Islam. Of course, if you know anything about Muslim history and historical theology, the jihadis are actually mainstream. 

But there are also defenders who cast this as a fairness issue. It's unfair to tar every Muslim with the broad brush of the jihadis. That's not fair to the moderates. 

Well, what about that? 

i) To begin with, "moderate Muslim" is a matter of degree. It's my observation that when the conversation turns to Israel, "moderate Muslims" are rhetorically indistinguishable from the jihadis. 

ii) But let's bracket that for now. Yes there are moderate Muslims, but it's hard to know the percentages. In the Muslim world itself, the moderates maintain a low profile. Keep your head down or lose it. 

Now, in once sense you can't blame them. They naturally fear the consequences if they stick their neck out–literally. 

But by the same token, that underscores the dominance of the "fundamentalists." Moderate Muslims are irrelevant to public policy. They have no effective voice in setting public policy. It's the hardliners who make the rules.  

iii) And that isn't confined to the Muslim world. We see the same dynamic wherever Muslim immigrants become established in a new community. Even though they are in the minority, they begin to demand special rights. Demand accommodation. Insist that non-Muslims don't have the right to offend Muslim sensibilities. They collude with the local authorities to oppress and persecute non-Muslims. 

Even though Muslim immigrants presumably include a percentage of moderates, and even though the moderates don't face the same reprisal for bucking the party line, they still observe a code of silence and let the "fundamentalists" call the shots. Why should I make allowance for the moderates when the moderates let the "fundamentalists" call the shots?

I don't care what the moderates think, I care what they do. If they do nothing, nothing to counter the militants, while the militants dictate social policy, then they're complicit. They go along to get along with the militants. Although they can plead extenuating circumstances in the Muslim world, immigrants don't have the same excuse. Their passivity enables the militants to triumph. 

Unfortunately, we have "fair-minded" Americans who will make excuses for Muslims until it's too late. 

No comments:

Post a Comment