Clifford D May wrote in Townhall In 1956, Nikita Khrushchev addressed a closed session of the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party. For nearly four hours, he spoke about the unspeakable: the crimes of his predecessor, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Though listeners were warned not to reveal what was said, and the speech would not be published for 32 years, word leaked out. The most widely told story, probably apocryphal, had it that as Khrushchev was detailing the mass arrests, torture and executions carried out within the Gulag, someone in the audience shouted: “And what were you doing then?” “Who said that?” Khrushchev demanded. No one made a sound. “I want to know who said that!” he repeated, slamming a fist on the lectern. The audience was silent, trembling in fear. “That's right,” Khrushchev said finally. “That's exactly what I was doing.”
Trembling in fear. That is a very good point. I suspect that is why the Moderate Muslims are not speaking out. But they should, because their faith is being hijacked. Early Christians were persecuted for their faith, and many died as Martyrs, but they persisted in defending their beliefs, and so should the Moderate Muslims, because their faith in particular offers a major reward for Martyrs who die in support of Islam, and I guarantee them that this is what Allah was talking about, and not guys that blow themselves up or set off IEDs, just to kill a few innocents. In fact the Quran specifically says what will happen to those idiots: Surat an-Nisa,093 (Quran 4.93) says "If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein (For ever): And the wrath and the curse of Allah are upon him, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for him."Where are all the Muslim moderates? Where are those who oppose terrorism, religious wars, hatred and intolerance? Where are those who think it crazy to attempt to recreate the 8th century in the 21st century? Where are those who want not to destroy the Free World but to join it? They are out there, I suspect; in larger numbers than we might be led to believe. But if most are silent and fearful of speaking out, can you blame them? The vast majority of Arabs and Muslims live in countries ruled by illiberal and oppressive regimes.
But if Moderate Muslims here in the US, and in Europe, would speak up, the word would get back to those oppressed Muslims. They might not overturn their regimes immediately, but they would hear the truth. That is better than just hearing lies.And in the few relatively free countries – Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia – there is no protection from the long arm of Militant Islamism. Indeed, even in Europe it can be dangerous to challenge religious fascism.
But it can be even more dangerous NOT to challenge it.And last year, Shaker Elsayed, leader of Dar al-Hijrah, one of the largest mosques in the U.S., told American Muslims: "The call to reform Islam is an alien call."
I hope he was deported, and if not, that he will be deported.Muslims who dissent from this orthodoxy have received precious little support from anyone.
We should all praise them, and do our best to spread their word.As far back as 1989, Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini called for the murder of British author Salman Rushdie. Such a frontal attack on freedom of speech should have prompted Western governments to send Iranian diplomats packing. Instead, Rushdie went into hiding while most Western intellectuals persuaded themselves this quarrel was none of their business. Since that time, and perhaps partly as a consequence, Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was murdered for making a movie some Muslims found insulting. Danish journalists who dared publish cartoons satirizing the radicalization of Islam have been threatened. Such formerly-courageous publications as The New York Times declined to publish the cartoons, claiming – unconvincingly -- that they had not been intimidated; they were merely demonstrating sensitivity.
They were sensitive to having their editors killed and their building burned down..... If we in the West ever want to have allies in Arab and Muslim countries, we'll need to start supporting moderates -- and stop empowering their oppressors.
Amen to that.Most immediately, it would be useful if American ambassadors in Muslim countries would welcome dissidents to their offices as they do cabinet ministers.
And maybe helped some of them get asylmn in our country, where they could speak out.And perhaps Columbia University President Lee Bollinger – whose “primary teaching and scholarly interests are focused on free speech and First Amendment issues” -- might recognize how his institution has been compromised and at least express concern.
And maybe even Yale could send their Taliban student to Gitmo, and let a Moderate Muslim take his place