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The Myth of the ‘Moderate Muslim’


The problem is the misunderstanding the definition of Muslim. A Muslim is the one who does the deeds instructed by Quran. The Western Medias and the political correctness have divided Muslims into two categories: Radical Muslims and Moderate Muslims, because they are paid by interest groups like Oil and Banks Cartels to do that. However in reality, there is no such group as Moderate Muslims but they are the ones who have followed the path they inherited from their parents. These groups never showed interest to open their Quran to see what is really written in there. Over time the habit of this lack of interest of theirs to open the book has turned into a superstitious fear of doing so. The extent of their knowledge about Quran and Islam has sufficed to what has been transferred to them by the parenthood and what they hear from religious leaders. Their only contact with Quran comes along when they need to pray, in which they hold the closed book with their both washed hands while bowing and kissing the tome, a sign of respect for the book, proceeded by expressing their prayers.

So when we hear about the term “Moderated Muslims”, we have to realize that these passive groups are naive about Islam and have no clue what really Islam is all about, their concepts of Islam do not go beyond the impression “Islam is a religion of peace” their parents have had from Islam. For this reason I don’t call them Muslims at all, they are some group who unknowingly lost in whatever they are blindly pursuing as Islam. They and Their parents never did open the Quran to get its real message!

Therefore, when we talk about Muslims, we actually talk about those who believe in Islam by really making time to read and follow the instructions given in Quran. These groups know that there are 164 Jihad Verses in the Quran, because they have reviewed the Quran. They know that there were 3 stages during the evolution of Islam, stage one in Mecca, in which there was no retaliation, stage two in Medina that were along with defensive fighting, and stage three after conquering Mecca that were associated with the offensive war commanded to kill the pagans and humble, the Christians and Jews. In this last stage of Quran evolution, aggressive Jihad against all unbelievers is commanded and since this is the final teaching of the Quran regarding Jihad, it is what is still in force today. This last stage of developmental process of Islam is exactly the Quran Instruction the Muslims, allegedly radical, are pursuing today as part of their Jihad against infidels. In short there are no Moderate Islam and Radical Islam; there is just one Islam, which is Radical. [DID]


After winning four pivotal presidential primaries on April 26, Hillary Clinton drew a line between “hard working, terror-hating Muslims” and (Muslim) terrorists.

In front of a raucous audience of supporters in Philadelphia, Clinton – the presumptive presidential candidate for the Democratic Party – only made mention of Muslims in relation to terrorism, and reaffirmed the mythic “good versus bad” Muslim paradigm.

Muslim Americans were either “terror-hating” or terrorists, slotted into one of these two caricatured categories with no space in between, or existential affiliation beyond.

Video Clip: UpFront – Muslim Americans and US liberal values

The ‘good Muslim’Within the broader context of counter-radicalization policing, whereby local law enforcement monitor Muslim spaces through electronic surveillance and the seeding of informants, Clinton’s rhetoric presented Muslim Americans with an already familiar, yet never more threatening, ultimatum: choose the moderate brand of “terror-hating” Muslim identity sanctioned by the state, or be branded with the suspicion that invites its scrutiny, surveillance, and civil liberties infractions.

Much ink, many film reels, and an infinite number of news headlines have focused on bad Muslims.

From terrorists to dictators, foreign transgressors to fabricated threats, Muslim identity is marred by almost every imaginable negative stereotype and menacing trope. Representations of good Muslims, in every medium, are few and far between.

Indeed, the hegemony of the evil or “bad Muslim” has entirely eclipsed illustrations of “good Muslims”, and in instances where the latter are the subject of focus, are engaged in stifling terrorist acts, or stopping radicalization.

Like the ‘bad Muslim’, the identity of ‘good Muslims’ is inextricably tied to terrorism.

Like the “bad Muslim”, the identity of “good Muslims” is inextricably tied to terrorism.

Both characterisations are rooted in that common baseline, which gives rise to linear caricatures that overshadow representations of “good Muslims” as Olympians or scholars, victims of gruesome violence and even mayors of world-class cities.

Societal understandings of “good Muslims” are just as narrow as its conception of the “bad Muslim” terrorist.

The state’s framing, particularly as it heavily invests into and expands its counter-radicalisation anti-terror programme, doesn’t seek to dismantle this good versus bad Muslim binary – but is doubling down on it.

Clash of radicalizations

For Muslim Americans, demonstrations of good citizenship are tied to terrorism. Namely, condemning any and every act that involves a Muslim culprit. Apologising for the actions of a deviant, distant view. And routinely on deaf ears, collective statements against the savage acts of savage actors such as ISIL (also known as ISIS).

Muslim Americans are riddled with the assignment of collective guilt that obliges them to disavow or apologise for entirely unrelated actors, or completely unconnected actions.

The popular “good” or “moderate Muslim” construct, now aggressively pushed forward by the state, and the “clash of civilizations” worldview more evident in US President Barack Obama’s recent rhetoric, forces Muslim Americans to choose a side.

Unfortunately, there are only two sides, and selecting the wrong side leaves one vulnerable to identification as a bad Muslim, followed by the surveillance and state violence attendant with that classification.

The counter-radicalization policing model, which I dub the “new PATRIOT ACT“, is founded itself upon a radical baseline. Namely, that the prospect of becoming a terrorist only rises from Islam, and no other ideology.

Terrorism is not only conflated with Islam, but exclusively tied to it and nothing else. This problematic tenet, which forms the very foundation of counter-radicalisation policing, informs how the FBI, local law enforcement, and Muslim American interlocutors and informants advance counter-radicalisation programming.

The latter, Muslim Americans themselves, fill the role of the “terror hating Muslims”, fully invested in performing the state’s narrow conception of what it means to be a good Muslim.

Not only those who conform their religious practice with western, liberal sensibilities, but perhaps more importantly within the American context, facilitate the surveillance’s state reach into private Muslim American geographies in the name of preventing radicalisation.

The ‘progressive Muslim informant’

These moderate Muslims, for the state, are the quintessential Muslim model minority.

Little is known about counter-radicalization policing outside government institutions and grass-roots Muslim discourses.

Hillary Clinton participates in a Homeland Security Roundtable with Muslim and community leaders at the University of Southern California [EPA]

The state has capitalised on grassroots ignorance, and opponents have thus far been ineffective with educating Muslim Americans at the grassroots level about the range of free exercise, free speech and privacy threats posed by the programme.

The urgency to inform communities, particularly indigent and working-class Muslim American spaces where counter-radicalisation is disproportionately deployed, is especially pressing.

Yet, disentangling Islam from radicalization is perpetually complicated by the state, and more so, the growing front who embrace the moderate Muslim mantle.

A front that has expanded under a Democratic White House, expedited by an outwardly progressive administration that enables Muslim liberals or democrats to engage in a fashion impossible under a Republican White House.

Therefore, while expansion of the surveillance state under Obama is reality-politik,his party affiliation and racial identity broadens the net of who can serve as a native informant, and specifically, the “progressive Muslim informant” or counter-radicalisation proponent.

Fringe voices

Indeed, Muslim American engagement with former president George W Bush was limited to fringe voices from the right or “establishment scholars”, who traded academic objectivity for influence with the establishment. The vast majority of Muslim Americans, while Bush was in office, distanced themselves from these native informants.

This paradigm hasn’t changed under Obama. But the surveillance structures that stand atop have expanded, and the explicit derision of Islam expressed by Bush, and perfected by Donald Trump, are sugar-coated with tolerant language, Ramadan dinners, and belated mosque visits.

Smitten, Muslim Americans from the left and centre rushed to Obama’s aide, and stood by him as he quietly broadened and deepened surveillance of Muslim Americans, and coupled US PATRIOT with counter-radicalisation.

These Muslim moderates, who are functionally wed to the notion that extremism is exclusive to Islam and radicalisation limited to Muslim actors, are the “terror-hating” Muslim Americans Hillary Clinton called out to on April 26.

A manoeuvring rank and file, inside and outside of government, who are further embedding the very “good versus bad” Muslim binary that has long plagued Muslims in America, and diminished their citizenship and how Muslim identity is seen and understood.

Being moderate, in the expanding witch hunt for Muslim radicals, has never been so bad.


Khaled A Beydoun

Khaled A Beydoun is an assistant professor of law at the Barry University Dwayne O Andreas School of Law.

Source: Al Jazeera


May 24, 2016


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