Islam & the Mystery of the “True” Liberal (Guest Post from Khwaja Khusro Tariq)

Meet “Moderate” Muslim and “True” Liberal…

Or MM & TL, for short!

***

MM: Look, I don’t believe terrorists represent Islam, there are many things they do that contradict the Quran and Sunnah.

TL: No, you’re a “cherry picker”, accept that they’re following the “true” version of your religion.

MM: I don’t think terrorists are well grounded in faith. Both a 2008 study by the MI5 Behavioral Science Unit and a study published last month by the Center to Combat Terrorism at West Point say this. The typical profile is a religious illiterate or Johnny-come-lately. Both studies also conclude that greater knowledge of religion and a strong religious identity protect against “radicalization”.

TL: You’re an apologist. Meanwhile Abu Bakr Baghdadi is a PhD in Islamic Studies. It was on CNN you know.

MM: I condemn terrorism and refuse to give it the legitimacy of religiosity.

TL: Pathetic. Voldemort effect. If you can’t say their actions are grounded in Islam you’ll never do anything about it. Like Obama.

MM: I condemn sectarianism. I condemn Takfirism. I condemn LGBT persecution.

TL: Meanwhile you follow the same faith that is used to motivate all those things.

MM: But I’m trying to take my faith back from extremists and pretenders.

TL: You can start by accepting that the problem is Islam.

MM: What if I don’t think so, do I have a right to an opinion?

TL: Not this one, we have to draw the line somewhere.

MM: How does this work though, I’m intrigued. If everyone accepts Islam is the source of the problem what happens next.

TL: Er… Ummm… Well an honest, uh, conversation about terrorism you know.

And, well the moderates and progressives will actually have the space they need to change things in the Muslim world.

And, umm… Well…

Ummm, we can actually make policies based on the, well, facts.

MM: Well we’re fighting wars, working on “deradicalization”, monitoring people known to have extremist views and droning left, right and center. How would it change things?

TL: Just, you know, honesty and…and shit. The progressives, the true progressive Muslims can actually be heard.

MM: You mean the cherry pickers and the apologists?

TL: No, the ones that follow a secularized, sanitized “cultural” Islam. Free from superstitious ideas and sky daddys.

MM: That doesn’t sound like Islam, or any religious faith. Sounds like a subscription to Scientific American. How about promoting democracy and secular democracy, not propping up and funding kings and dictators?

TL: No, its, well, no, its just that, well damnit religion is bad. I don’t like it! And I like Islam least of all. And I’m right.

MM: I think I’ll stick with the regressive liberals.

TL: Crickets, that’s all I hear. Where are all the moderate Muslims?

(Guest Post from Khwaja Khusro Tariq)

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