Friday, July 29, 2005

The "closeted moderates"

Nadz, an Arab-American blogger writes about the growing number of Arab moderates in the middle east:

I'd call them "closeted moderates". While the Islamists and the anti-American nationalists scream at the top of their lungs in coffee shops and on TV, these are the people who secretly roll their eyes. While others spin conspiracy theories, they nod quietly. When the Islamists talk about how we need more religion in public life, they keep their mouths shut to avoid offending the easily offended. Their opinions, I'm sure, are diverse, but they have one thing in common - they're fed up with the crap we keep telling ourselves, and want to have an honest discussion about our problems.

The question is, how many closeted moderates are there? How many people are secular? How many don't buy the "blame-America" rhetoric we're fed daily? It's hard to say, because no one speaks up.

Now from reading her post, its clear the Nadz was talking about Arabs in the Middle East. But what's depressing is that many Arabs in North America and Europe suffer from the same problem.

Other than Irshad Manji, Salim Mansur, Amir Tahiri and a few others, barely anyone in the community has the guts to stand up to the fundamentalists among us here. Arab student associations do nothing but criticize Israel and the United States, without ever mentioning the human-right abuses and dictatorships that are rampant in our own homelands. Muslims leaders over here are too busy crying out "RACIST!" and "RACIAL PROFILING" at the government to crack down on the radical imams who day in and day out spew anti-Semitic and those who praise the Islamist fighters in Afghanistan and Iraq.

To even move away and start criticizing the current status-quo would risk accusations of "You've been brainwashed by the Zionist media!" and "CIA agent!!". All in all your reputation gets shattered among the community gossip, and your family members get marked for ridicule.

The Islamists among us here, feed upon this. The feed upon the ignorance, the gullibility, the closed-mindedness, the lack of internal dissent to spread their filth.

Which is why those on the outside of the Arab and Muslim communities must keep the pressure on them to condemn terrorism and the middle-eastern mentality. And not be intimidated by cries of "bigotry" and "racism" from them and their leftist apologists (who only need them for greater political power).

To sit back and do nothing, only accelerates the self-destructive attitude of Middle Easterners both in the West and in the Arab World. And worse of all, fuels in the ongoing clash of civilizations between the two worlds. As experienced in Europe already.


At Friday, 02 September, 2005, Blogger Aliya said...

Interesting. But the question is - who is a moderate? Who fits the profile of a moderate? Can a woman in a veil be a moderate? Or does she have to be anti-veil to fit the criteria? Is moderation a mind set or a way of life? Is Irshad Manji really moderate, or is she extreme in the extent of her 'troubles with Islam' - and milking the whole progressive Islam popular talk for all its worth? The question is: who defines moderate, and who fits the criteria?

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