‘Moderate Islam’: Impotent, irrelevant? (Guest Voice)
CHULA VISTA, California –Cultivating moderate Muslim voices is a mighty challenge—especially given the paucity of moderate Muslims in Western societies. John Kerry recently spoke a dinner honoring Shaarik Zafar’s inclusion into the Department of Homeland Security as a senior adviser. Here are some of the salient points that Kerry made in his speech:[icopyright one button toolbar]
• Let me be really clear as a starting point for today’s conversation: The real face of Islam is not what we saw yesterday, when the world bore witness again to the unfathomable brutality of ISIL terrorist murderers, when we saw Steven Sotloff, an American journalist who left home in Florida in order to tell the story of brave people in the Middle East – we saw him brutally taken from us in an act of medieval savagery by a coward hiding behind a mask.
• The real face of Islam is a peaceful religion based on the dignity of all human beings. It’s one where Muslim communities are leading the fight against poverty. It’s one where Muslim communities are providing basic healthcare and emergency assistance on the front lines of some of our most devastating humanitarian crises. And it is one where Muslim communities are advocating for universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the most basic freedom to practice one’s faith openly and freely. America’s faith communities, including American Muslims, are sources of strength for all of us. They’re an essential part of our national fabric, and we are committed to deepening our partnerships with them.
• Confronting climate change is, in the long run, one of the greatest challenges that we face, and you can see this duty or responsibility laid down in scriptures, clearly, beginning in Genesis. And Muslim-majority countries are among the most vulnerable. Our response to this challenge ought to be rooted in a sense of stewardship of Earth. And for me and for many of us here today, that responsibility comes from God. 
Moderate Islam is a loose construction of Islamic law, which ignores certain portions of it for the sake of modernity. The Prime Minister of Turkey seems to take umbrage with the term, “moderate Islam” and had these bold words to say, “These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.”
One would suspect that Erdogan would probably consider the Islam of organizations such as CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) and its Western apologists as disingenuous.
So, this takes us to the substantive question we must ask regarding John Kerry’s speech: Is ISIS the real face of Islam?
Let us consider the facts: ISIS claims to have to anywhere between 80-100,000 people willing to fight for its beliefs. Their numbers could very easily grow exponentially in the next several years with their slick and sophisticated marketing. This is not a small cadre of thugs, it is part of a global jihad dedicated to conquering the Western world.
ISIS is seeking new fighters from Europe, Africa, North and South America and Asia to help expand their caliphate. This poses a far more serious threat than global warming and climate change.
The vast numbers of people behind ISIS practice their Islamic faith very seriously. Following in the footsteps of Mohammed, they grow their beards, shave their mustaches, pray five times a day, and show a willingness to die for their religion. To any one of us with a modicum of common sense, the ISIS followers behave like pious Muslims. Across the Middle Eastern world and Africa, groups like ISIS, al Qaeda, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab in Somalia, the Taliban all bear the same Islamic label.
Making believe that Islam is a peaceful religion is an illusion. If Islam has so many “moderates” why are they so impotent in stopping the spread of the radical global Jihad movement?
To use a philosophical analogy, the skeptic Epicurus once asked:
• Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
So, I must ask similar questions regarding “Moderate Islam.”
• Is Moderate Islam willing to prevent religious fanaticism perpetuated in its name, but is not able? Then Moderate Islam is impotent. If Moderate Islam is both able and willing to do something to prevent evil deeds that is perpetuated in its name, then why are such acts of atrocity still continuing to occur on a daily basis everywhere in the civilized world? If Moderate Islam is neither able or willing to combat the fanaticism of the global Jihadists, then why call them “Moderate Islam”?
The civilized world is appalled and dismayed by the Islamic countries that have done so little to prevent such a dangerous menace from growing.
Whenever they behead the kufar (non-believers), whether in the Middle East, London, or wherever, they are merely following the example of what Islam’s prophet Muhammad did to a Jewish tribe called Bani Quraiza mentioned in the Quaran Sura 47:4. There he stated, “‘When you meet the unbelievers and fight, smite their necks.’” Such are the decrees of Allah. This is what we are hearing in countries such as Norway, Denmark, and other European countries that have historically never had much of an interest in Middle Eastern affairs and its problems.
Yes, by the testimony of the Quran, ISIS behaves likes good Muslims—whether the moderates like what they are doing or not. Muhammad would be proud.
ISIS is not the only threat posed by Jihadist Islam. Iran and Hezbollah are just as dangerous—even now, as they aspire to make nuclear weapons along with a delivery system to threaten mainland America and Europe.
One of President Obama’s senior advisors to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a man named Muhammad Elibiary, who is an admirer of the Islamic teachings of Ayatollah Khomeini. Elibiary was invited as a guest speaker at a December 2004 conference in Dallas, titled “A Tribute to the Great Islamic Visionary,” which was held in honor of the late Ayatollah Khomeini. If Elibiary really opposed this Jihadist madman, why would he speak at conference honoring Khomeini’s legacy? Why would our President put such a man in such a position of power as a senior advisor in the DHS? Could it be that somebody is spiking the “Moderate Islam” community Kool-Aid for gullible Westerners?
Like Erdogan, the admirers of Khomeini categorically rejected the notion of Islam as a religion of peace. Khomeini made these words emphatically clear in his speeches:
• Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those who say this are witless. Islam says: ‘Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter their armies’. . . Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to paradise, which can be opened only for holy warriors! There are hundreds of other [Koranic] psalms and hadiths urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.’” 
While there are doctrinal differences between the Sunni and the Shiites, the one common thread that unites all global Jihadists is their goal to conquer the Western world.
Unfortunately, there are practically no “Moderate” Islamic leaders who are willing to do anything to stop the radicals from completely commandeering their religion.
Mr. Kerry, global warming is not the problem we ought to be concerned about at this present moment in history. We need to stop deluding ourselves of the obvious truth: Jihadist Islam is not a small cadre of fanatics. Its forces are legion and we must come up with a viable strategy to combat it, defeat it, and ultimately eradicate this religious plague from the earth.
 Elibary has often praised the late Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb, whose ideas have define the modern jihadist movement – especially his call for violent jihad and for the purification of Islam from the forces of unbelief. See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2014/06/obamas-dhs-senior-dhs-adviser-mohamed-elibiary-inevitable-caliphate-returns.html/#sthash.BpIKSvx4.dpuf
 Ibn Waraq, Why I am not a Muslim (New York: Prometheus Books, 1995), pp. 12-13.
Rabbi Samuel is spiritual leader of Temple Beth Shalom in Chula Vista. He may be contacted via [email protected] This article has been republished from San Diego Jewish World, which is a member of the San Diego Online News Association.
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