As I have stated for what seems like an eternity, if not for the sheer numbers of Muslims in the world, the entire debate about anti-social Islam would be entirely different.
Stop Playing “Let’s Pretend” about Islam
THURSDAY, MARCH 9, 2017
It’s disappointing that Lt. General William Mc Master, President Trump’s new National Security Advisor, has said that the Islamic State is “un-Islamic.” He also insists that organizations like ISIS “cynically use a perverted interpretation of religion to incite hatred and justify horrific cruelty against innocents.” In short, the General seems to think that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam.
This kind of thinking prevailed under the Obama administration. And during those eight years, the Islamic threat grew by leaps and bounds. It would be a shame if a key person in the new national security team perpetuated such simplistic views of Islamic terrorism.
Many Church leaders have views not much different. For the last four years, we’ve been treated to a litany of ecclesiastical pronouncements that there is a solid wall of separation between Islam and violence.
Some people seem actually to believe this counter-factual nonsense. Others probably see it as a good strategy – a way to strengthen “moderate Islam.” The strategists are fond of saying that criticism of Islam itself will drive the moderates into the radical camp. From this point of view, the only way to promote positive change in Islam is to praise it, and hope that a self-fulfilling prophecy is set in motion.
But it’s not a good strategy. In fact, it gives the upper hand to the radicals. Here’s why. If everyone from national security advisors to the pope says that Islam fine as is, then there is no incentive to change. If there’s no problem with Islam – only with extreme splinter (“un-Islamic”) groups, you undercut Muslim reformers. It’s difficult enough being a moderate Muslim; it’s downright dangerous to be a Muslim reformer. Why should the reformers stick their necks out if they get no reinforcement from prominent non-Muslims? And why should other Muslims listen to them if everything is fine the way it is? This strategy turns Muslims away from the moderates and reformers and towards the imams.
More here H/T: Christine Brim