Wednesday, July 19, 2017

In search of moderate Muslims

There are many, many Muslims, but the Muslims that you know must be very different from the Muslims where I lived in the Middle East and many here in the U.S. who deny the right of Muslims to reject Islam, who deny everyone to criticize Muhammad, who defend horrific verses in the Quran which they claim is inerrant and eternal.
I've only known two Muslims who reject the terrible passages of the Quran, who reject Islamic war, who reject the inequality of women, etc. The one I worked with in education, but she was a very liberal nominal Muslim. The other who invited me to her Muslim wedding, and I went, was a new convert to Islam. She married a Muslim from the Middle East, even though she was a feminist.
One Muslim scholar I dialogued with who has a PhD from an American university in Islamic studies seemed tolerant, that is until I told him about the prisoner of conscience I was writing for, a Pakistani mother who criticized Muhammad and now has been in prison for 5 years, sentenced to be executed!!
Then the Islamic scholar became very intolerant, said no one is allowed to criticize Muhammad.
And I do know of the very small Muslim Reform Movement which rejects Islamic war, supports freedom of religion, speech, etc.
Are the Muslims you know in Canada orthodox Muslims?
I keep being told that there are lots of tolerant peacemaking Muslims, but I've not read their works on the Internet, didn't meet them in the Middle East when I lived there, etc.
I've talked with kind, friendly Muslim leaders, BUT even a very warm-hearted Muslim doctor here refuses to condemn HAMAS:-(

Thanks for replying. I agree that Islam is "diverse." Read any history of the many different movements within Islam, and ones learns how many of them are very opposed to each other such as Shia versus Sunni and both of them against more recent sects such as Ahmadiyyas and Baha'is (the latter so different it is usually considered a different religion), etc.
But I've learned the hard way--that at least in the Muslim books I've read, and the Muslims I've encountered--that almost all of them DON'T subscribe to freedom of religion!
Nearly all of them don't reject Muhammad's beheading at least 500 Jewish men and selling their women and children into slavery, etc.
I thought Bahai was different until I attended a Bahai study here for months and discovered that these 'moderates' actually believe some of the same horrific views as orthodox Muslims.
And here at the local mosque where I attended lectures, I was appalled to find that the main speaker, a college professor, doesn't believe in freedom of religion!! I spoke with him afterward and went away very depressed.
This Muslim leader is a Canadian Muslim who moved down here to teach at a prestigious California university.
Maybe some where there are very diverse Muslims, but where are they?
Re-read the findings of Pew Research.

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