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November 27, 2004

In search of the 'Moderate Muslims' - Review of Interview with Sheik: Moderate U.S. Muslims have become 'the silent majority"

Topics: National News

A Hyscience reader emailed us an article as background to what is now becoming a series of articles on the Kissimmee Christian Academy saga. The Detroit press article subsequently instigated this post.

Much is said about Islamic fundamentalism and it's agenda of violent jihad. All too often we see The  furtherance of radical Wahabi agendas being hidden behind a facade of "interfaith outreach." But not all Muslims have a hidden agenda of violent jihad, or the exercise of "Da' wah (reaching out through religious preaching to those not of the faith - attempting to convert them, through lying if necessary)." It seems that there are in fact some moderate Muslims, and an October 11, 2001 interview with Detroit News editorial writer Diane Katz we can learn some of the reasons that we hear so little from the true Islamic moderates:

In a speech to the U.S. State Department more than two years ago, Sheik Muhammad Hisham Kabbani warned that Islamic extremists posed a security threat to America. Six of the leading Arab-American groups denounced him at the time. Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, Sheik Kabbani, who heads the Fenton-based Islamic Supreme Council of America, has urged American Muslims to stand firm against Islamic extremism. The following are edited excerpts from an interview with Detroit News editorial writer Diane Katz:
Where were you on Sept. 11 when you heard about the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., and what was your reaction?
   A. I was at home. My wife woke me and told me to come quickly because one of our members who works on Wall Street was on the phone. She was hysterical. I tried to calm her down. At the same time, my wife turned on the TV, and we saw the other plane hit (the World Trade Center). Immediately, I prayed to God that this attack would be minimized in its casualties.
   Q. Did you immediately suspect these were acts of terrorism?
   A. I didn't think it was an accident -- especially when the second plane hit. And especially when there had been reports 10 days before the attack ... all over the Middle East that they were going to hit hard on American soil and on the banks and the U.S. economy.
   Q. You warned in a speech to the State Department in January 1999 that extremism posed a threat to U.S. national security. You were excoriated by other Arab-American groups for saying that.
   A. As someone who has visited lots of countries and seen many wars in the Middle East, and coming from a very well-known family in Lebanon with a lot of roots in politics and religious affairs, I can know from sources around the world when there is something being prepared. And when we hear speeches antagonistic to America, you can put all these together. Moderate Muslims and peace-loving Muslims felt we had to say something. But there is a minority that is not like that. And we don't have the microphone as they have.
   Q. Why do they have the microphone and you don't?
   A. Peaceful Muslims, moderate Muslims, do not interfere in the politics or foreign policy of the United States. We want to pray. We are not interested in speeches. But the activists are very clever. They use the mosques and Islamic centers to gain credibility for themselves. And that's where it begins to create a problem.
   Q. So the pulpits are being hijacked for political purposes?
   A. Yes, that is correct. They are using the name of Islam for their own benefit and interest. But it is not in the principles of Islam to attack and terrorize people. Prophet Mohammed never declared war against anyone. The way (activists) present things is dangerous. It is not the real Islamic way. It is a mistake to mix our religious teachings, our freedom of religion, with politics or foreign policy.
   Q. Is this part of a plan to establish a U.S. network for political groups overseas?
   A. I don't know that. I know they are strong. They have a huge network, and they work together. These opposition groups didn't find a space in their own countries because Middle East governments didn't allow them. So many of their leaders ran away and began to establish themselves around the world. And some of them came to the United States to establish this radical ideology. And they have grown because they have money, and they begin to take over. Many of our moderate people become the silent majority.   

After reading the entire article, one can believe that there are probably many moderate Muslims that just aren't speaking out, it just isn't their agenda - their agenda is spiritual, not political. Much of the criticism of Islam has been that it can be described as more of a political system than a theology.  Not wanting to beat a dead horse too often, but again the issue is agenda. Their is even a name for  one of the mechanisms for the furtherance of that agenda and that name is Da' wah.

MilitanIslamMonitor.Org writes that Da' wah in North America begins with the packaging" Muslims are called upon to be evangelical and the practice of Da' wah underlines that philosophy. It means reaching out through religious preaching to those not of the faith - attempting to convert them. The devout are supposed to spend at least two hours every week engaged in such activity. Compared to Muslims, most fundamentalist Christians are pikers in that regard. This "packaging" concept really is a marketing ploy and if truth in advertising were applied to the above statement - which was taken directly from the from the Islamic Foundation of South Florida website - it should be rephrased - "Da' wah in North America begins with lying."     Source...

We plan to look at other moderate Muslims in future posts by discussing the differing agendas of the moderates and extremists, and learning more about how one can distinquish between moderates and fundamentalist Islamists.   Numerous readers have emailed us to say that they welcome interfaith cooperation with Muslims, but the issues of hidden agendas(our word use not theirs) and attempting to convert with the intent to deceive non-Muslims in order to "take-over" American society prevents serious dialogue and ferments distrust of Muslims. We also intend to follow the Kissimmee Christian School story closely since it serves as a model for discussion and helping other communities to be aware of the potential problems all communities  are having to deal with both now and in the future.

Posted by Hyscience at November 27, 2004 12:09 PM

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