Ok, most of you already know that the Tundra Tabloids does not use the term “moderate” in describing a certain Muslim, and most certainly not in describing Islam, any way, shape or form of it. The TT prefers however, when running into a more modern leaning Muslim, to refer to him or her as a “modernist”. The reason being is that the term “moderate” has lost its meaning due to many of the Mohamed’s, Mahmoud’s and Marwan’s who don the moderate label, having been found to later on to hold some very non-moderate views.
Here’s a case of a Muslim who holds modernist views but, as Rubin points out, has very little hope in selling them to the people where it matters most, in the Middle East. Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti will be just written off as a Western tool, because, lets face it, whether he’s “modernist or moderate”, any such concepts that do not line up with traditional Islamic understandings, will be greeted with suspicion at best with contempt. KGS
NOTE: Even within the US, where one would think, if modernist Islam has a chance of flourishing it would be there, sees one Muslim organization after the other being commandeered by Muslim Brotherhood operatives. To date, save for a few lone voices, there aren’t any notable Muslim leaders daring to speak out against these MB run orgs, like CAIR, MSA, ISNA etc..
A Moderate Muslim Shows the Strengths and Weaknesses of That Approach
By Barry Rubin
Here’s a really interesting op-ed piece on al-Jazeera by a moderate Muslim with some useful ideas. But it also shows the weaknesses of that standpoint.
Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti (his transliteration, not mine) was born in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, so he isn’t strictly speaking a mainstream Arab. But his resume is perfect for discussing these topics: a certificate for memorizing the whole Koran and a BA in Islamic law. He’s been a teacher of Islam in Yemen and spent two years teaching at Islamic centers in Washington DC, Virginia, and California before becoming head of an Islamic center in Texas.
But that is, of course, also the problem, He has lived in the United States for 11 years, clearly is fluent in English, and has read widely in Western political writing. So he isn’t typical of those clerics and experts on Islam living in Muslim-majority states functioning almost completely in Arabic or other non-Western languages.
Thus, his background shows why it’s hard to become a moderate Muslim unless you spend a lot of time in the West (and not even necessarily then). In addition, his argument shows how moderate Muslims have to twist history a bit to make their case. The problem is not necessarily that they are fooling Westerners (they aren’t if they are sincere moderates) but, regardless of their good intentions, they can’t fool fellow Muslims.