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June 29, 2017 12:59 pm

Where Are the Moderate Muslims?

avatar by Michael L. Wise

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The cover of a Koran. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Many people claim that Islam is a religion of peace. And we all know that many Muslims are peace-loving, productive members of society, who don’t want Shariah law to take precedence over secular law.

But, unfortunately, in recent years, these “moderate” Muslims have taken a back-seat to organizations led by strict Wahhabis, Salafi jihadists, Shia ayatollahs and leaders of terror groups that want to topple the West, impose Sharia law on the world and establish an Islamic caliphate.

The world of Islam is in the midst of a violent storm, which has its roots in Islam’s 7th century violent expansion from Mecca to the Middle East, northern Africa to Spain, southern France to the gates of Vienna, and to central India and western China. Internal Muslim violence goes back almost 1,400 years — to the battle for succession after Muhammad’s death. The growth and spread of Islam is one of the bloodiest chronicles in world history.

Today, Muslims are slaughtering each other and their neighbors in 50 countries around the world. Shiites are massacring Sunnis. Turks are killing Kurds. ISIS is beheading Yazidis and killing Bedouins, and the Muslim Brotherhood is blowing up Coptic churches. Civil wars have flared-up in Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Kashmir, Sudan, South Sudan, Turkey, Mali, Chad, Algeria, Morocco, Bahrain and Egypt. Suicide bombers are committing atrocities in Syria, Pakistan, India, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Bangladesh and all over the world.

Boko Haram in Nigeria and groups in southern Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia are rioting or attempting to overthrow regimes. The stability of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States is always in question. “Lone-wolf” Muslim terrorists are active in the US, Canada, Britain, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Russia and Scandinavian countries. One of the most violent, untold massacres in human history is the millions of Hindus murdered by Muslims in India over the past millennia. The Hindus have not forgotten.

Many of today’s 50 Muslim countries deny the most fundamental rights to minorities, women, non-Muslims and LGBT communities. Yet the UN and other international bodies, countries and NGOs ignore all of these crimes, and continue to make apologies for people who are committing these grave offenses in the name of Islam. In contrast, Israel — a tiny country of 8.6 million people, where the 20% minority Muslim population has full civil and religious rights — is continuously condemned by the UN and other international organizations as a violent and racist state.

To many Muslims — especially radical Islamists — Jewish sovereignty in any part of the Holy Land is a red line that cannot be crossed. The mere existence of a Jewish State in the Middle East is totally unacceptable to their Islamic doctrine. As a consequence, Jews in Israel have been subjected to violence, murder and destruction. And until that doctrine undergoes reformation, the “religion of peace” will view the Jewish state as an unacceptable intruder in the Middle East.

This is the true heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was very prescient to demand that any peace agreement include the formal recognition of Israel as a Jewish state — because violence and war by internal and external Muslim terrorist organizations and by neighboring Muslim countries have remained an inescapable barrier to a final status peace agreement.

Israel has no choice but to protect its existence as the Jewish homeland, against all those who wish to destroy it. Genuine peace can only come after hostility from Islamists ends. Violence, incitement and anti-Jewish diatribes preached by Muslim and Palestinian leaders must stop.

Ultimately, the transition of Islam to a true religion of peace will end conflicts in Muslim societies, the Middle East and elsewhere. Shias and Sunnis will stop killing each other, and civil wars will end. ISIS will be defeated. And the Muslim world and local Arab leaders will formally accept the reality of the Jewish state of Israel.

We can hope that — in the near future — the influence of global communications, the internet and social networks can help trigger a 21st century Islamic reformation. In past centuries and millennia, Islam’s elder brethren — Judaism and Christianity — underwent significant reforms that helped lay the foundation of the modern world. The time has now come for Islam to become a genuine religion of peace.

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