UI – Part 375 – Secular Muslims – Moderate Muslims
Living in a pluralistic society is common in free nations. Christians live side-by-side with Jews, atheists, gays, blacks, Muslims and many other persuasions. Talk of religion, politics, race and sex, a few other items, are generally off limits. Conversations may lack the depth of an intellectual pursuit more focused on what is for dinner, the weather, a favorite athlete, sport, new song, or hollywood star. If interested in another’s faith or political leaning it takes courage to ask, and more often learned from third parties. We are curious, but probably more accepting of the person if we do not know. It is difficult to disguise color, but then, too, upon meeting people we tend to evaluate based upon dress, demeanor and speech. First impressions are often altered when a new person is better known, sometimes by their actions as on the tennis court or golf course exposing a gracious, self-centered or irrational sort.
In the locker room when people of like mind gather political correctness often comes to a close and words said, jokes told, and side comments made can be derisive in an effort to be funny or candid. Groans are more the response than true laughter. Some may be uncomfortable, but few speak out. The words said may be personal, racist, political, and even truthful. People may question whether the spokesperson truly believes what they say, or what is said is just to get a reaction. Then there are real conversations on matters of importance or concern.
When plural mixes are separated, or segregated, the worst may evolve from the closed group that otherwise would be muted when in the company of others. Leaders must appeal to the whole of the plurality in their methods and their rule making. It is the common good that must be the focus, and that is the objective of secular governance.
A reason to avoid the structure and legal system of a religion (theocracy) becoming the rule of law for governance at local, state and the federal level is to avoid a singular focus. It thus makes the effort to separate church (worship centers) and state, even going so far, too far too often, by precluding anything religious on public property or displayed where it may disturb another. That is an extreme and has occurred recently as a result of sensitivities allowed to cry out and stir reaction from the media. Improperly informed or aware persons of authority, biased and opinionated, make wrong decisions that can be offensive by restricting freedoms, of speech and religion. Most are Constitutionally challenged. Legal suits have been quite successful when the victim is crying wolf, too touchy and forgetting free speech is a benefit to all who live where freedom reigns. By being a victim they make others victims with little regard for their feelings.
The Islamic World
With over 1.5 billion Muslims in the world this religion has brought awareness to its system of belief, its ideology and its foundations, principally the Quran and the Messenger, Muhammad. We have experienced terrorist actions first hand at 911, in London on 7/7, in Spain, Paris, Australia, San Bernardino and many other places. Many have since realized such barbaric attacks were also made in the name of Allah before 911 to military barracks, naval ships, and even the world trade center. But until 911 Al Qaeda was an unknown. This awareness was not caused by those we refer to as moderate Muslims, but the more fundamental, the Islamists, the radical, the political and the orthodox. The latter group is not the majority, but represent 15-20% (a wild guess, many feel is low) or 300 million. They appear to be concentrated in the Middle East, in Arab Muslim dominions, but have spread and made their message clear and their goals known – a world All for Allah with all of civilization living under Sharia or Islamic Law.
Al Qaeda has companion organizations known today as ISIS (Obama prefers ISIL), the Taliban, AQAP, AQIM, Boko Haram and more. They are ardent followers of the Quran and Muhammad and they are compelled to commit Jihad to accomplish the goal of a worldwide Caliphate. The violent acts they perform, the fear and terror they cause, are commanded by Allah, the model is Muhammad. These are devout Muslims. They do not believe in secular government, only a theocracy. All people are to be ruled by Islam.
From the article Modern Diplomacy, David Bukay writes, “The main objective of Islam is to implement Allah’s divinely ordained religion on Universe in its entirety. It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated; to impose its belief system on all the nations, not to be imposed upon religiously; and to extend its power to the entire planet, not to be governed by infidels.” (See ‘further reading’ below)
Secularism is defined in the Webster dictionary as: “A system of doctrines and practices that rejects any form of religious faith and worship” or “The belief that religion and ecclesiastical affairs should not enter into the function of the state especially into public education.”
A Problem For Moderate Muslims
If the objective of Islam is a complete civilization under Sharia Law how can there be a secular Muslim? There are Muslim majority countries with a secular government. Examples are Indonesia and Tunisia. However they tend to lean towards Islam by declaring Islam as a State Religion, thus tainting the goal, or definition, of secularism. That would be like America declaring any form of Christianity, those that follow Christ as their example, Catholic or Protestant, as the State Religion. The Roman Catholic Church was once the State Religion of the United Kingdom. The Lutheran Church the State Religion of Germany.
A devout or convicted Christian is to live for God, a life purposed by God, to do the ‘good’ because they truly believe in the saving grace of the Lord. Yet they separate their lives from acting in an oversight role, leaving that to their leaders and to God. It is an individual action to live according to Biblical standards. The Bible does not call for a theocracy, even though it suggests the best government would have Jesus at its head.
A devout or convicted Muslim must follow Scripture or be a heretic. By not seeking to live under the banner of Islam, under Sharia Law, the moderate is being less than true to their avowed religion. And Sharia Law is not to be used in part, but in its entirety. Muslims cannot pick and choose. Most Muslims then do not adhere to, or ignore, the facts, the truth of Islam. Are they apathetic?
Most of us prefer the moderate. They are good, kind and caring. They love their families and can live in plural societies. But are they living a lie? Muslims are to ‘submit’ to Allah and the Messenger. Are they followers if they are not committing Jihad to advance Islam and have all the world and its people become Muslims? Are they less touchy or sensitive to criticism? Does C.A.I.R. or the Muslim Brotherhood not represent them when these organizations to protect the interests of Muslims cry ‘persecution’ when Islam is questioned? Are they indifferent?
Javed Ahmad writes, “Secular Muslims are those who believe in Islam but do not practice the religion; and this is the bottom line definition. Islam teaches full obedience to Allah by following His rule and orders while secularism teaches rule by manmade laws ignoring the divine laws. Therefore, secularism is opposite to Islam. Following a secular lifestyle would mean going against Islam.” (From: ‘The risks of being a secular Muslim.’ You can access the entire article below.)
Secular and Surreptitious
The moderate Muslims tend to live where Islam is either not in the majority or in the hinterlands of such majority nations with limited access to study and complete devotion as students or scholars of Islam. They are born in the culture and grow up to live as their heart tells them, not as the Quran and Muhammad tell them, except to the extent they hear things from their Imams. They attend mosques seldom and rarely pray 5 times a day. The 5 Pillars of Islam are not mandatory in their daily life. Many have heard that Islam is a religion of peace, without the whole story or the limitations imposed by this statement. They fit the mold of being a good person without being religious. To be good is to respect others, to be fair and trustworthy. Many simply do not care to be devout, thus they are apathetic to Islam, and more interested in temporal things. They prefer the modern life, music, TV, movies, independent thinking and acting, and companionship of their choosing, not of their parents. Or they simply work to survive.
Remaining a Muslim can be a challenge when they realize they are considered by the fundamentalist, the scholars of the schools of Islam, Sunni or Shia schools, heretics. They are not Islam enough as defined by the Quran and subject to severe chastisement. When they realize this, pressured by their peers, their community, if less than diverse, and decide to learn more they won’t be surprised when they discover the Islamists are right. They are hypocrites and need to make a decision. They represent large numbers that can be readily organized to continue as soldiers for Muhammad once they have properly committed, which is their obligation. Sura 9.29 says so. So one day they may be the good neighbor, but the next day they become radicalized and commit violent jihad for the cause.
Moderates Leading a New Islam
For those that know they are not true followers of the Quran and Muhammad, what can they do. Forming a new Islam is just not possible. The civil war between the current and the new Islam would be a continuation of the many differences in thought today among Islamic factions as to ‘True Islam.’ They use modern weapons to settle their disputes, trying to prove who is the more ‘superior.’ The common thread of the truth is Sura 9. It is the last and abrogates just about anything that can possibly be considered peaceful by a Muslim with respect to non-Muslims or heretics. (Read in the Quran, Sura 9.5 and 9.29 alone, and realize the Holy War, the use of offensive and defensive violent acts, is a duty for all Muslims to commit to eliminate all non-Muslims and heretics,)
Moderate Muslims, Secular Muslims, as Non-Muslims
One can only conclude a moderate, or a secular Muslim, is not a true Muslim, not a fundamentalist, an Islamist or a radical. They are non-Muslim, as in not a Muslim. The only way to be one is to radicalize, and that many will not do. So the question becomes how to deal with the ‘shame’ that has been driven into their conscious if they say they are no longer Muslim or do not believe in Islam. They need counseling. They may need to pursue a different path. consider the Bible, the Torah, even become an atheist. But they can no longer be a Muslim, except either as a closet non-Muslim or an apostate. Do they have the courage to admit the truth of who they really are and what they really believe? We can only pray for them.
4. Modern Diplomacy, by David Bukay, Jan. 24, 2016.
5. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, by Nabeel Qureshi
Grace and Peace