‘Moderate’ Islamists: Garbage and Nonsense

Catholic News Agency (CNA) has printed an article today with an ominous warning to Christians and western democracies regarding the ‘moderate’ Muslims and Islamic forces in Libya and Egypt that Lebanese Maronite Catholic scholar and human rights advocate, Habib Malik, warns is false:

Another fallacy is rearing its head again, and we saw this prior to 9/11,” said Malik in a March 31 address at Washington, D.C.’s Westminster Institute. “It’s now coming back into the discourse, unfortunately, in Washington: this very wrong and dangerous idea that ‘there are moderate fundamentalists and there are radical fundamentalists, and maybe we can talk to the moderate fundamentalists and wean them away from it.  This is garbage, and nonsense.  It doesn’t exist.  There is no such thing.  What appears to be moderate can, in an instant, flip and change.

Last year, Mr. Malik wrote a book titled, “Islamism and the Future of the Christians of the Middle East” where he describes the concept of  ‘moderate’ Islamic radicalism as a fantasy entertained by the West.

When you’re thousands of miles away, in a place like Washington, you give this armchair analysis that generates policy, about ‘moderate’ and ‘radical’ fundamentalists.  This eventually translates itself very adversely, on the scene over there.  It affects whole communities of Christians on the ground.

He’s waving a large red flag, as he sees the vacuum being created by the various Arab revolutions we’re seeing now may be replaced with similarly repressive Islam based regimes not friendly to the USA or to Christians:

You can topple a dictator in a reasonably short period of time. But to build democracy, that’s a generational project – especially in a region where the rule of law has been absent, and the importance of the individual as a citizen is missing.  I’m not pouring cold water on the aspirations of the youth, I’m simply giving myself, and us, a reality check.  Don’t expect democracy in Egypt and Tunisia next week, or six months from now.  It’s going to take time.   And the more time it takes, the more possibility there is of other forms of repression – whether Islamist, or regime-style – hijacking the whole show.  Christians are concerned, and they have every reason to be.”

To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

The fact is that the democracy they eventually will have in the Arab countries will indeed be based on Islam, and probably traditional Islam.  This isn’t good for western democracies nor non-Islam faiths.  How this will be addressed by our representative governments will be interesting, at the very least, to observe.  Chances are high that US soldiers and Christian citizens will continue give life and limb for a democratic effort in the Mideast without much success in return.  Seems the Reagan adage to ‘trust but verify’ going forward will be ever critical to long term diplomatic relations.

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One Response to ‘Moderate’ Islamists: Garbage and Nonsense

  1. Pingback: GCIS INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING: Middle East expert warns against illusion of ‘moderate’ Islamists (via GCIS Briefing Room) « YOU DECIDE

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