Extremist Muslim Moderates and Moderate Muslim Extremists

koran-peaceLike a band that only knows one song, politicians only know one response to Islamic terrorism. They wall off that vast majority of Muslims who did not actually come down to Woolwich and hack at a soldier with a machete and did not fly two planes into the World Trade Center from those who actually did. The hackers and pilots are extremists. The couch potatoes watching at home and cheering them on are moderates.

That might be fine if we were discussing a gas station robbery in Cleveland. But to Muslims, Jihad isn’t an act of violence; it’s an act of faith.

Islamic terrorism isn’t a crime. It’s a form of religious warfare that goes back all the way to its founding. Islam sanctifies crime and violence as acts of worship and that is why its acts of terror do not occur in isolation. It is never the act of a single madman, because its intents and ambitions are communal.

When a Muslim kills a Non-Muslim for the religious reasons of Jihad, whether he is a lone wolf or a member of a large cell, the act cannot be divorced from its goals for the larger Islamic community. No Muslim terrorist is an island. His terrorism is a communal activity that takes place within the context of an Islamic manifest destiny. He does not kill for himself. He takes the lives of others and offers his own life in the name of a historical idea of theocracy and supremacy.

The distinction between action and inaction is meaningless. It’s the distinctions between active support, passive support and direct opposition that matter. Those Muslims who support both the ends and the means of Muslim terrorism are active supporters. Those who support the ends of Islamic theocracy, but not the means of Islamic terrorism, can be labeled passive supporters. And the tiny minority of secular extremists who oppose both the ends and the means are the direct opposition.

The majority of Muslims can at best be described as moderate extremists, while a tiny minority can be complimented for being extremist moderates. And the existence of that minority is often as hard to verify as the presence of Bigfoot in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. Some people claim to have seen one, but the sightings never amount to anything tangible.

While not all Muslims support every act of terror, nearly all Muslims support some acts of terror. They define acts that they disapprove of as terrorism and acts that they approve of as resistance which makes the formal condemnations of terrorism by Muslim groups completely meaningless. Each condemnation only applies to a specific case. And that’s even if you take the condemnations at face value.

After September 11, National Geographic interviewed a moderate “Islamic scholar” for his response to the attacks. “No religion would condone this,” he said, “Islam does not approve of this. There is no way that the people who did this could be Muslim, and if they claim to be Muslim, then they have perverted their religion.”

The scholar was Anwar Al-Awlaki, who had ties to the 9/11 hijackers and was an Al Qaeda leader.

Even if applying the term “moderate” to any mainstream Muslim leader ever made any sense, it became meaningless once the ranks of moderates grew to include the Muslim Brotherhood, Anwar Al-Awlaki and any Muslim who was not at the moment engaged in chopping off someone’s head. And once he was done sawing away and washed his hands of the blood, then he too could be considered a moderate.

Of the two Muslim countries most frequently presented as moderate examples, Turkey and Indonesia, both have committed genocide against non-Muslim minorities in the last hundred years.

Around the time of the Arab Spring, reporters began describing the Muslim Brotherhood, which had a long history of terrorism and whose writings call for genocide, as moderate. The Free Syrian Army, which is dominated by the Brotherhood, is constantly described as both “moderate” and “secular”. But Hamas, which is the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza, is described as militant, rather than moderate.

There is no actual standard for what makes a Muslim group moderate. The sobriquet is a form of approval granted by Western elites to Muslim groups and figures that most people would conventionally associate with terrorism.

Muslims that might conceivably be described as moderate rarely are. It would be redundant to do so. It’s invariably Muslims with a long record of public statements in support of terrorism and associations with terrorist groups that are described that way.

When a Muslim figure is described as moderate, it’s meant to be an alibi. You might think him extreme, but the media has preemptively stepped in and labeled him a moderate. That’s how it worked for Anwar Al-Awlaki. That’s how it still works for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Muslims describe acts of terror selectively as terrorism or resistance based on whether or not they support them. Similarly Western elites describe Muslim terrorist groups as moderates or extremists based on whether or not they support them.

When the New York Times and the Washington Post describe the Muslim Brotherhood as moderate, it’s no different than telling the police that your cousin was with you all night when he was actually carrying out a series of gruesome murders. It’s not a supportable claim; it’s an alibi that doesn’t hold up under even the slightest scrutiny.

Whether in Egypt or in London, there is no requirement that these moderate groups actually stop supporting acts of terror, only that they stop embarrassing the Western politicians and journalists providing them with an alibi by actually carrying them out. For Western elites, Islamic acts of terror are not an outrage, but an inconvenience, that upsets the public and makes it harder to push forward on the larger agenda of integrating the Muslim world into the modern world through immigration and democratization.

Anwar Al-Awlaki was considered moderate because he was willing to stand in front of the cameras and say the right things after September 11, even though he was involved in the attacks of September 11.

The Muslim Brotherhood is considered moderate because it’s willing to say the right things, even while its thugs burn down churches and terrorize the opposition.

The moderate Muslim prized by Western elites is not an opponent of violence. If that were the qualification then many of the Western elites, who support and supported leftist terrorists, wouldn’t qualify. It’s a willingness to maintain the illusion that a united world under international law is possible.

A month after September 11, the New York Times described Anwar Al-Awlaki as “a new generation of Muslim leader capable of merging East and West”. That is the soulless calculation behind the moderate brand. It isn’t given to those Muslims who eschew violence, but to those Muslims who support the union of east and west. And they don’t look too closely at the fine print to determine whether this united world will run under international law or the manifest destiny of Islam.

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  • richard sherman

    The moderate Muslim is a fantasy in Daniel Pipes mind……sort of like the Tooth Fairy.

    • gee59

      Not just in his mind – the facts speak for themselves. Islam is an extremist cult, based on fascism

    • Defcon 4

      Pipes has been compromised — whether by threats or bribes or both no one will probably ever know.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "Pipes has been compromised — whether by threats or bribes or both no one will probably ever know."

        I think it's clever words and wishful thinking, but not quite delusion. He's hoping that it (true moderation, reform) could happen. He doesn't know that much about any religion so he doesn't quite know how hopeless it is. Or he ignores the hopelessness in the belief that history does not have to repeat itself. Maybe he gets it but this is how he reaches people who might otherwise hear "hate" before they hear his important history lessons.

        He's otherwise an excellent historian. He's on our team, but as a niche player. That's my take.

  • Marty

    islam is a violent totalitarian ideology. It has been since it first appeared 1400 years ago. No country ever voluntarily converted to islam. It encourages. Muslims to "slay and be slain.". Like communism and fascism, it can't be appeased and it must be destroyed.

    • thomas_h

      What exactly do you mean by "destroyed"?
      Who will do the destroying and how?

      • gee59

        Outlawed and punished for being a war crime.

        All of humanity must rise up against it

        • thomas.h

          "Outlawed and punished for being a war crime."

          Hm… Could you please identify one, ONE, government in the entire non-moslem world prepared to even consider the idea of outlawing (whatever you mean by outlawing) islam for being a war crime? Really, how would they square it with muzzling the criticism of Islam with "hate speech " laws, harassment of organizations objecting the islamization of the West and jailing of persons who demand stop for moslem immigration to the West? How can you dream of "outlawing and punishing" islam for "being a war crime" if the rulers of the west deny there is a war in the first place?
          How can you fantasize that a government who sends police to handcuff and arrest a 85 year old woman for saying to moslems "why don't you go back to your country" can possibly even consider outlawing islam?

          You advise "all of humanity" to "rise up against" islam. Well, thank you for this comprehensive and detailed plan. We are awaiting further instructions.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "How can you fantasize that a government who sends police to handcuff and arrest a 85 year old woman for saying to moslems "why don't you go back to your country" can possibly even consider outlawing islam?"

            Obviously there are plans that need to be made. It's not insane at all, if the plans are drawn up rationally. There is no way any "Islamic" government would outlaw itself. We don't have to eradicate it from the entire world. We go after the worst "failed state" and or "terror state" offenders first, and the rest will fall in line. If not, carry on until they do.

            It might take a few years or a few decades. I think it could have been done by now but we can't live lives backwards. Unless of course you're counting 0'Bama. We can't productively live our lives in reverse, I'll put it that way.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "What exactly do you mean by "destroyed"?
        Who will do the destroying and how?"

        The Japanese model. We should have done this in Iraq and Afghanistan already but we were too busy fighting off leftist rebels. If we had, the others would have likely already leaned the most important lessons and we'd be done by now.

        Any time a government fails to control their jihadis, we analyze each case with the same metrics we used to decide on war with Iraq and Afghanistan. The PA and Hamas must go, the MB never would have emerged from the prison cells they so richly deserve and so forth.

        In contrast with my recommendations, we've gone backwards rapidly since 2009. Jihadis see allah scaring us in to submission. We've actively encouraged jihad. I say "we" but I really mean leftists, and RINOs who accept Saudi funding and "policy suggestions" that go with that funding.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    ALL we need to know is that there is NO moderate Islam, none at all. Therefore, if one adheres to ALL its tenets, then by definition one sanctions terror. As such, being a "moderate" Islamist is like being half pregnant. It ain't gonna happen.
    So, the west has to suck it up and admit as much – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/08/21/repeat-until-
    Once understood, then actions plans can be drawn up, but not until then.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • Kamran

    Once again the nonsense of Jihad and Islamic terrorism is being spouted by people too ignorant to understand reality.

    The argument of Islam is terrorism and forced conversion can be disseminated pretty quickly.

    Islam conquered many nations as did other empires. The big difference is that the people converted, or didn't as per their choosing. India was under Islamic rule, its population today is 80% Hindu and was during Islamic rule. The muslims in the subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) are people of those regions, not arabs, not turks. Ethnically Indian, their faith is Islam, and even then divided into many different sects. Even today, in Islamic countries, there are many non muslims, non being forcibly converted. In fact, there is no 100% islamic country, every one has some adherents from other or no faith.

    The Quran's often quoted "kill and be killed for the sake of Allah until none remain" is convinent for those who can only remember one sentence.

    2:191 Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Some converted by choice. Most did not. Many were converted by force. Many others converted because their inferior status under Islamic Supremacist rule left them with few options for escaping Islamic oppression.

      There are quite a few Islamic countries where non-Muslims are present only as slave labor with few rights, e.g. Saudi Arabia

    • kaz

      nice work, kamran. your post is so opaque that it is difficult to discern what you are advocating. there are some telling clues, however (otherwise known as flagrant lies). "the big difference is that the people converted, or didnt, as per their choosing". pure taqiyya. no morally upright person would voluntarily convert to a religion of hatred, crime, perversion, and violence. islam is a natural for murders, robbers, pedophiles, and other degenerates. other people must be forced, and islam has never been reluctant to force their evil upon anyone in its power. "even today…………none being forcibly converted. in fact, there is no 100% islamic country….." more taqiyya. provide the name and address of one saudi citizen that is not a muslim, please. you cant. the fact that some islamic hellholes have a remnant of ungenocided infidels indicates only that islam is patient, and does not insist on killing everyone at once. enslaving, robbing, humiliating, taxing, preying upon, and raping their infidel minorities for a long time before giving them the final solution is just fine with islam.

    • Pontotoc Bill

      Kamran, I hope y ou realise that we understand you are LYING to promote Islam.

      Islam is a murderous, criminal enterprise that was given to MooHammEd by Lucifer. Therefore, Islam is a demonic religion that will lead to the death and eternal damnation of those who follow it.

    • http://twitter.com/Agha_Memnun @Agha_Memnun

      "Islam conquered many nations as did other empires."

      So, Islam is Imperialistic. Islam institutionalizes جهاد الطلب‎, the systemic conquest of all the lands of the kuffar, from the nearest to the next nearest, and onwards, by the Khilafah until all people are either Muslims or Dhimmis. Thanks for the confirmation.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "So, Islam is Imperialistic. "

        Exactly, And totalitarian, and unchangeable. That's a warning everyone needs to hear.

    • Mary Sue

      Um Saudi Arabia is 99.99~ (repeating 9)% Muslim. Pretty much 100%.

      That's great but what's a transgression in this context? Did you know that the Quran does NOT consider "non-Muslims" to be innocent? Heck, some real nut jobs think the wrong kind of Muslim (shia or sunni or heck, Sufi) are not "innocent"…

      Forcible conversions are happening in Egypt, Africa, and Pakistan.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Islam conquered many nations as did other empires."

      Islam conquered many nations as did other totalitarian empires. The problem is that they want to keep spreading their totalitarian religion in 2013 and onward. That's a problem we can't tolerate.

      "2:191 Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors."

      And who are the transgressors? Those who violate the US constitution? I don't think so. It's those who resist sharia.

  • Sky Soldier

    In “Audacity of Hope” Barack Obama writes: “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” The quote comes from page 261 of the paperback edition of “The Audacity of Hope.

    • Mary Sue

      Well, the word used isn't Muslims, but the context of the sentence does convey that sentiment. Pakistanis and Arabs would be the ones stood with, is about the same. The speechwriter that wrote that book intended the reader to come away with the idea that if American suddenly decided to start rounding up Muslims and putting them in internment camps like the Japanese in World War 2, Obama would oppose that.

      But we all know that means that Obama will not side with western values vs. sharia.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "Well, the word used isn't Muslims, but the context of the sentence does convey that sentiment. Pakistanis and Arabs would be the ones stood with, is about the same. The speechwriter that wrote that book intended the reader to come away with the idea that if American suddenly decided to start rounding up Muslims and putting them in internment camps like the Japanese in World War 2, Obama would oppose that."

        That's true, But in the context of history it's still inappropriate and something he's never addressed today as POTUS. He's actually lived as if the more cynical reading is correct so it's natural to accept its meaning that way. It's up to 0'Bama to clarify things but we know that won't happen. He can't even go there. Just as he can't even begin to explain Frank Marshall Davis and what he wrote about their relationship. The truth is actually uglier than we have heard so he has to keep his mouth shut.

        • Mary Sue

          he probably doesn't even remember that his speechwriter wrote that. Plus I think the bong haze of his youth fried his brain cells.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "he probably doesn't even remember that his speechwriter wrote that. Plus I think the bong haze of his youth fried his brain cells."

            The words were prophetic whoever wrote them.

          • kaz

            its obama's book, and he has never repudiated the stand with muslims claim. not that a discerning person would believe him if he did. it really does not matter who actually wrote it, obama's stamp of non-disapproval and historical events validate the claim. in truth, no matter which way the wind blows, dear leader stands with the muslims.

  • Phil from NZ

    Greenfield should have mentioned “Taqiyya” in this article.

    Extremist Muslims posing as moderates are just practising “Taqiyya”, that is all.

    • Huck Folder

      "There is ONLY ONE islam!" T.Erdogan

      Turdogan for short.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    The blurry line between terrorists and their tacit supporters.

    Let me clear it up for most of you:

    In actuality, Muslims aren't terrorists. They are jihadists instead, as jihad is holy fighting in the cause of Allah for the establishment of Islam, and may consist of anything that is beneficial to the supremacy of Islam. Jihad is also the highest pillar of Islam and a holy obligation incumbent upon all Muslims. Therefore, all Muslims are jihadists in one form or another, either of the violent variety, as in the Boston Marathon Bombers, or of the non-violent variety as in the millions of Muslims that have migrated here to the West for the long-term strategic purpose of Islamization. Indeed, in the history of the world can anyone cite just one example of a population of Muslim migrants actually assimilating and integrating anywhere outside the Islamic world?

    Moreover, as long as the world continues to conflate what is really jihad as being terrorism, the world will continue to remain blind and oblivious to the jihad that is manifesting right under their noses. Here's another hint: Terrorism isn't holy fighting in the cause of Allah for the establishment of Islam and terrorists like Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, and the Unabomber didn't perpetrate their violent acts of terror in the cause of Allah. Furthermore, in stark contrast to jihad, terrorism is always only violent. While jihad, on the other hand, is both violent and non-violent, but astronomically far more non-violent relative to violent. Yet because of mass misinformation, the world is transfixed only on preventing terrorism, while utterly oblivious to the stealth and deceptive non-violent jihad that is manifesting right under their noses.

    Additionally, in reality there are no extremist Muslims, radical Muslims, and Islamists. Only mainstream orthodox Muslims instead, as again jihad is a fundamental holy obligation incumbent upon all Muslims, and any Muslim that doesn't fulfill his or her obligation to wage jihad in one form or another is a blasphemous apostate that per the texts and tenets of Islam must be executed.

    Anyway, the continual evolution of Daniel Greenfield's definitions with respect to Islam and Muslims is entertaining and fun to observe to say the least. However, he still can't quite figure it out yet. Thus, he still conflates what is really jihad as being terrorism, and that in the long-term is a very fatal mistake.

  • Americano

    Let's compare:

    Islam says not to befriend Christians and Jews because they are enemies, allows violence against anyone who does not submit, encourages people to behead their enemies, allows for men to beat their wives and children, encourages pedophilia, rape, other acts of violence.

    Christianity teaches that you are to love your enemies, pray for those that persecute you, forgive those that trespass against you, turn the other cheek (figuratively, not literally—you can defend yourself), vengence belongs to God only, violence is not encouraged.

    Hmmm. Yet Islam is called a Religion of Peace while Christianity is dragged through the mud and accused of all kinds of atrocities (not to say it hasn't been done in the name of it in the past) that it hasn't committed, is called intolerant and bigoted.
    It's okay to offend Christians and Jews, but not Muslims. Yeah.
    By the way—Chrisitanity is intolerant? Do you know what happens to gays in Islam? They lose their heads.

  • Michael Petek

    Michael Olumide Adebolajo committed an act of murder and sedition. He swore 'by almighty Allah' never to stop fighting us. He declared that he was forced by the Qur'an to kill Lee Rigby. Michael Olumide Adebolajo is guilty of blasphemy.

    As a servant of our Lord Jesus Christ I declare that the curse of God is upon Michael Olumide Adebolajo and he is disowned by God on the Day of Judgement. Accursed is anyone who contradicts this declaration save in the forgivensss of sins, and if anyone does not concur with it, the Lord will call him to account.

  • Chuck

    "There may be moderate Muslims, but there is no moderate Islam."

    For extra credit who said that (or similar) and with what first-hand knowledge?

    Until a majority of western people realize the truth of that statement, we're doomed to dhimmitude.

    I, for one, refuse to submit. They can "byte me".

  • Ralph

    On 9/11 pretty the Muslim immigrants in my neighborhood were CELEBRATING.

    That day I couldn't get into work in the city. I have an old friend who worked in one of the towers and I couldn't get in touch with her or her husband (luckily she had already quit that job, which I didn't know at the time).

    So I walked around the neighborhood and saw those Middle-Class-Seemingly-Tame-Moderate-Muslims that the bubble-dwelling libs keep scolding us to leave alone: Laughing. Firing up their loud music. Babbling excitedly in whatever tongue is native to them (Arabic, Urdu etc.). Even having an impromptu Barbeque (on a Tuesday). In one case I passed a small group of young men talking (in whatever). One of them spread his arms (vertically, like a building) and then clapped his hands together. They all burst out laughing.

    All this taking place while I was walking around thinking my friend was dead.

    Keep talking about reaching the phantasmagoric Moderate Muslim and dialoguing with him. You do that, with your friends at those cocktail parties and coffee klatches. Spin tales among yourselves about how it's all because of our Mid-East policies and how the Moderate Muslim would just put a stop to all this violence if we supported him and weren't so racist towards him. The rest of us know better and will do what we can to protect ourselves from your infantile foolishness.

    • Ralph

      First sentence should read "…pretty much all the Muslim…".

  • truth

    islam is pure evil. some muslims may be ok (most aren,t but some may be) judge islam by what islam is, and that is hatred for all non muslims. they will never stop killing

  • 11bravo

    Erdogan of Turkey said that.

  • TeamInfidel

    First, for “moderate” or “not-muslim-enough” Muslims to pretend these kinds of serious issues don’t exist, trying to whitewash them, or deflect the blame on a single non-MUSLIM bomber will only hurt the Muslim community as a whole. Innocent people all over the world should not suffer needlessly as a result because people stick their heads in the sand while claiming that Islam is a religion of “peace”, HA!!

    And here’s a WARNING to you MUSLIMS out there: Like it or not, if the sick behavior of your “true” Islam behavior is not handled internally by you people who call themselves Muslim, us people on the outside who are the target of Islamic terror will blame the wider community of ISLAM and WE will be forced to FIX and DEFEND from your cult idealogy – that’s human nature, whether you like it or not.

    This is WHY we need to come to understand and then boldly condemn the enemy: Islam. The terrorists haven’t corrupted their religion, Islam has corrupted them. The religion of “surrender and submission” cannot survive an open and honest discussion of its convoluted and foolish scriptures, its sexually perverted and pedophile terrorist prophet, or its deceitful and demented god.

    When Western leaders become unified and resolute in their hostility to Islam’s violent and ungodly beginnings, Muslims will flee the religion because they will be horrified by its endorsement of terrorism, mass murder, slave trading, plunder, kidnapping, and rape.