Moderate Islam - the Discussions Islamophobes Want You to Believe Do Not Exist
There is a criticism that exists, claiming moderate Islam does not do due diligence in relation to exploring, expressing, and endorsing moderate tones on big cultural issues such as discrimination, terrorism, dogma, and racism.
I tend to find this is not true - that the claims stem more from a lack of interest in Islamic, Arabic, Persian or Asian affairs. Seeing no discussion is not the same thing as an absence of discussion.
I find these cultures replete with varied and difficult discussions on these topics, and I find them often. Islam is a large, diverse, complicated religion, with a billion adherents that spans the entire breadth of world cultures and ideals.
So, in an effort to disabuse the record of this fallacy, I will be aggregating poignant and profound examples of said discussion:
It is, of course, prevalent in Arab societies, but rarely acknowledged and addressed. Discrimination is part and parcel of this region, with many practicing it unknowingly due to a lack of understanding and education. This is expressed in the way Arabs of various hues view other clans, cities, sects and religions. We have inherited many prejudices from the past, with some proudly considering the most racist poems and sayings as an asset. The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination has issued a report on racism in Arab countries showing it affects citizens and foreigners.
The way we view others speaks more about ourselves. It reflects our level of civilization and human development. Citizens of poor nations, according to a study involving 80 countries conducted by the World Values Survey organization, were found to have higher racist tendencies. The issue doesn’t use poverty as a cause of intolerance, but links it to educational levels and lack of cultural sophistication.
Many Arab Muslims like to categorize people, even with Islam banning the practice quite explicitly ages ago. People should remember the hadith that says: “An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, or a non-Arab over an Arab. Also, a white has no superiority over a black or a black over a white, except in piety.”
Mohammed Fahad Al Harthi is the editor of Arab News, a Saudi funded media group, and has been a vocal critic of terrorism :
… a commentary written on the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks by Rasheed Abu Alsamh published in Arab News:
First, we must stop denying that any of the hijackers were Saudis or even Arab. We must also stop saying that the September 11 attacks were a CIA-Zionist plot to make the Arabs and Islam look bad. That is utter nonsense. We must be mature and responsible enough to admit that these sick minds that hatched and perpetrated these dastardly attacks, were, sadly, a product of a twisted viewpoint of our society and our religion…We must stop the hatred being taught to our children in schools.