Moderate Muslims: Yes they do exist

I’m looking at you, The Five on Fox News, today.  I could spend several paragraphs complaining about the general presentation of Muslims in the media, the general laziness involved in all of this etc etc.  Instead after briefly indulging myself with that useless gripe I’m going to get right to the point.  Today on the The Five Bob Beckel, and this sentiment was shared by the others on the show, demanded that moderate Muslims, if there are any moderates, stand up and do something about the crazies (they also did the stupid thing where all Christians are one community and all Muslims are one community and everyone is responsible for actions by anyone in their religious community).  To read something on the complete idiocy of this idea read this piece by Kamran Pasha http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kamran-pasha/the-big-lie-about-muslim_b_188991.html

Back to the specific point, Bob there are moderate Muslims everywhere.  You should go to Mosque sometime.  Not only are there moderates everywhere but people we presume crazy, Iran, are anti-terror.  For example the 2003 offer sent to the Bush administration by the Khatami government through the Swiss government where Iran offered essentially everything we wanted in exchange for cooperation against terrorists.  Read Trita Parsi’s “Treacherous Alliance” for a full script of the offer or you could probably just google it.  After 9/11 Iran filled a massive soccer stadium for a candlelit vigil to mourn our dead.

Now this is not specifically responding to your criticism just yet.  Lets look at Palestine.  These are people where a decent number hate us (I would argue for good reason but that’s besides the point here).  Many celebrated 9/11 (not cool).  There is no way there are moderates there.  Unless you were to watch the documentary film “5 Broken Cameras” which shows a peaceful protest against Israeli incursions and aggression through the eyes of the Palestinian people.  It is a common criticism that the Palestinians never attempt peaceful measures to get what they want, I think it was Greg who said these people only understand violence (an ignorant critique often used throughout history by one group to describe their enemies- both Israel and Palestine describe each other that way, the Lakota people felt that way around the time of Little Big Horn about us, common attitude among colonial powers for those they ruled.  Condescending, stupid, and dehumanizing).  However, this idea does not hold up against the evidence.  Palestine has a long history of peaceful protest.  In 1967, they held a general strike to protest against the introduction of new Israeli textbooks into Palestinian schools.  The Israeli response to quote the article I am currently paraphrasing:

“it issued military orders categorizing all forms of resistance as insurgency – including protests and political meetings, raising flags or other national symbols, publishing or distributing articles or pictures with political connotations, and even singing or listening to nationalist songs.”

The Second Intifada began as a peaceful protest.  Israeli’s security forces response was to try and agitate the Palestinians into turning it violent so they could score a decisive victory and the end of the rebellion.  In recent years leaders of peaceful protest movements are arrested and held in Israeli prison under charges of incitement.  Its amazing they aren’t all terrorists if this is the way peaceful protest is met.  Read full article here http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/23/israel-palestinian-peace-movement

And the list goes on from Libyans rioting against extremists upon the death of Ambassador Stevens.  Here is a protest by Muslims in India http://www.marcgopin.com/2008/12/10/millions-of-indian-muslims-protest-terrorism-surrender-holiday-spirit-media-silent/

Here’s a fairly prominent Muslim organization with the sole purpose of promoting peace http://www.muslimsforpeace.org/

Here’s a website with more links to examples of Muslims standing against terrorism than you could even imagine http://www.muhajabah.com/otherscondemn.php

I found all of this armed with only google and a lack of prejudice.  It was an interesting topic to bring up on your show, but next time instead of asking a question and then come to your own conclusion with violent and aggressive rhetoric actually do some research and have a real answer and a real productive discussion.

You all also mentioned that there is a lot of violence against Christians right now in the region.  In chaos people target people who are different from them.  We saw this in the Balkans in the 90s.  Its a common theme throughout history and its tragic.  After all Muslims are made up of people, good and bad.  They have the misfortune of residing in primarily unstable and struggling parts of the world where any sort of radicalism would be able to find followers.  It was after all Christian Europe that produced the Nazis, the aftermath of the Paris Commune, and centuries long oppression of Ireland.  However, like most people the vast majority are good and are capable of amazing things like this http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/01/08/137913/thousands-muslims-human-shields/?mobile=nc

And what have you done about the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda?  They’re as representative of Christianity and a reflection on you as Muslim terrorists are representative of Islam and a reflection on all Muslims.

And at risk of running on for far too long.  I think Christopher Titus put it best when he said in one of his stand ups that you should be nice to the Muslim guy in the neighborhood.  He’s probably the most likely to able to tell if someone is a terrorist.  About 40% of all Al-qaeda related plots in the United States that have been broken up were thanks to help from Muslim American communities.  Frankly I can’t remember the last time I even came close to helping stop a terrorist attack.

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