Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Why don't moderate Muslims condemn extremism?

Have you ever asked yourself this question?  I know I have many times.
In the face of unbelievable atrocities, there is silence from the majority of Muslims. Do they wish to be associated with ISIS, or Jihad John (, or the two recent acts of violence in Canada?

Why the silence? Apart from a few brave voices, there are not many who speak out against this violence.

Perhaps this article will shed some light on the issue.

The question is, however: Can Muslim leaders (whoever might qualify as a Muslim “leader” in a religion with no central authority) really make this condemnation without endangering both their own lives and the integrity of the Qur’an itself? Many writers have pointed out that the relative silence of Muslim leaders before such scenes of persecution and terror is not primarily because they too are not sometimes horrified. The reason is theological. They know that the Qur’an does not condemn violence in the pursuit of its religion. It sometimes approves it; it sometimes disapproves it.
Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that Muslim leaders did “condemn” such violence. On what grounds would they do so? This question involves the integrity of the Qur’an, the bedrock of the religion. A Pakistani Christian couple was recently murdered for supposedly burning two of its pages. If the leaders condemned religiously motivated violence on the grounds of reason, however, that itself would imply the existence of some authority higher than the Qur’an. That would undermine all those many passages in the Qur’an that contradict each other and make the book seem incoherent. That concern is why Muslim philosophers devised a system that could maintain that both sides of a contradictory can be true. Generally, when one passage in the Qur’an is contradicted by another, the one later in time takes precedence. But both passages are retained. 
It is only when Muslims examine the Koran with reason that they will discover it doesn`t stand up to the test of truth. Unfortunately the majority of Muslims don`t read the Koran in such a way and they continue to uphold these contradictions.

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