'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

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'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#1  Postby jez9999 » Apr 02, 2011 11:24 pm

The way I see it, a 'moderate Muslim' is generally someone who doesn't obey everything in the Quran, whether or not they say they do.

They are therefore not a Muslim; they are an apostate, and Islam is pretty strict on that.

I therefore suggest we replace the term 'moderate Muslim' with 'pseudo-Muslim' wherever we see it. There's no halfway house. You're either a Muslim, or a pseudo-Muslim. Not my fault, blame the Quran. But don't try bullshitting me that you can believe part of it, ignore the rest, and claim it's the perfect word of God that you follow every part of.

Thoughts?
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#2  Postby Mormech » Apr 03, 2011 12:39 am

Eh, your term may be more accurate, but the common person will have a better understanding of the "moderate Muslim" phrase because the phrase "moderate Christian" has been bandied about for quite awhile now. I agree that there's technically no such thing as a "moderate" religious believer - one either believes their holy book or does not - but too many people want to feel better about themselves by embracing a religion half-heartedly, and they tend to like the "moderate" label because it lets them self-identify with a religion even if they reject the religion's fundamental tenets. It's like all the American Catholics who don't believe anything the Catholic church teaches, yet still identify as "Catholic" on surveys.
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#3  Postby Zwaarddijk » Apr 03, 2011 12:50 am

etymological fallacy, jez. look it up.
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#4  Postby SkyMutt » Apr 03, 2011 12:59 am

jez9999 wrote:The way I see it, a 'moderate Muslim' is generally someone who doesn't obey everything in the Quran, whether or not they say they do.

That sounds about right.

jez9999 wrote:They are therefore not a Muslim; they are an apostate, and Islam is pretty strict on that.

By whose edict? Does a Jew have to follow all 613 of the laws laid down in their holy book to be Jewish? Does a Christian have to "love the Lord God with all [their] heart, and with all [their] soul, and with all [their] mind" (not to mention all the other stuff enjoined by the Bible) to be Christian ?

jez9999 wrote:I therefore suggest we replace the term 'moderate Muslim' with 'pseudo-Muslim' wherever we see it. There's no halfway house. You're either a Muslim, or a pseudo-Muslim. Not my fault, blame the Quran. But don't try bullshitting me that you can believe part of it, ignore the rest, and claim it's the perfect word of God that you follow every part of.

Thoughts?


This sounds like some kind of reverse of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy, and an attempt to tar all of Islam with the same brush as radical fundamentalist Islam. As such, I would reject it.
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#5  Postby jez9999 » Apr 03, 2011 7:52 am

SkyMutt wrote:
jez9999 wrote:They are therefore not a Muslim; they are an apostate, and Islam is pretty strict on that.

By whose edict? Does a Jew have to follow all 613 of the laws laid down in their holy book to be Jewish? Does a Christian have to "love the Lord God with all [their] heart, and with all [their] soul, and with all [their] mind" (not to mention all the other stuff enjoined by the Bible) to be Christian ?

The Quran's? You quote some other religions which aren't relevant because they have a long history of constant questioning and/or rejections of parts of their holy texts, which Islam does not.

Find one pseudo-Muslim who doesn't say they accept all of the Quran as God's perfect word... you'll struggle. If they were actually saying they could cherrypick it like Christians do the Bible, then we'd be getting somewhere.
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#6  Postby Zwaarddijk » Apr 03, 2011 8:14 am

jez9999 wrote:
SkyMutt wrote:
jez9999 wrote:They are therefore not a Muslim; they are an apostate, and Islam is pretty strict on that.

By whose edict? Does a Jew have to follow all 613 of the laws laid down in their holy book to be Jewish? Does a Christian have to "love the Lord God with all [their] heart, and with all [their] soul, and with all [their] mind" (not to mention all the other stuff enjoined by the Bible) to be Christian ?

The Quran's? You quote some other religions which aren't relevant because they have a long history of constant questioning and/or rejections of parts of their holy texts, which Islam does not.

Find one pseudo-Muslim who doesn't say they accept all of the Quran as God's perfect word... you'll struggle. If they were actually saying they could cherrypick it like Christians do the Bible, then we'd be getting somewhere.


there's a huge bunch of shi'a movements that reject parts of the quran to various extents. E.g. the nusayiria, isma'iliyah,musta'liyyah, nizariyyah, qarmatiyyah (some of which are extinct). sufi movements: at the very least bektashiyyah. (there's also some movements in India whose names I don't find right now, and in africa iirc?)
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#7  Postby SkyMutt » Apr 03, 2011 5:43 pm

jez9999 wrote:
SkyMutt wrote:By whose edict?

The Quran's? You quote some other religions which aren't relevant because they have a long history of constant questioning and/or rejections of parts of their holy texts, which Islam does not.

Find one pseudo-Muslim who doesn't say they accept all of the Quran as God's perfect word... you'll struggle.

No, it's actually not hard at all to find Muslims who take a similar attitude toward the Quran as certain liberal Christians take toward the Bible. Your pejorative term "pseudo-Muslim" is irrelevant, and exposes your prejudice.

jez9999 wrote:If they were actually saying they could cherrypick it like Christians do the Bible, then we'd be getting somewhere.

You seem to have a very simplistic understanding of Islam, and again, you want to equate the whole with a part (fundamentalists). It's not a monolith of faith, despite what fundamentalist Muslims proclaim. Perhaps reading this page, which gives some of the history of varieties of Islam might help you understand why your assertions regarding the nature of Islam in the modern world are unfounded. A small section of the linked page that addresses the misconceptions you seem to be laboring under:

Cultural Muslims

Cultural Muslims are Muslim in the sense that many westerners are Christian: they know more about the religion they profess to be than any other. In genuine Christianity, one is not a Christian if they have not given over their life to Christ. However, a person can be a Muslim as long as they say the right things, and do not get too out of line. As a matter of fact, in Austin I heard of an atheist who was also a Muslim. He did not believe Allah was real, but thought that Islam was a lifestyle he wanted to have.

Liberal Muslims

Modern, liberal Muslims differ from cultural Muslims in that liberal Muslims can be very serious about their religion. They are not trying to lie when they say Islam is a religion of peace; they sincerely believe that. This is in spite of the way the majority of the Muslim world has been throughout the ages. They are not ignorant of what has gone on, but believe that most of the Muslim world is filled with ill-educated people that have only a caricature of true Islam. On the other hand, conservative Muslims deplore modernists who bow Islam before the modern world. What they are ignorant of, or have rationalized away, is that the source of Islam, Mohammed himself, was a violent person who led raids on caravans, ordered assassinations, and commanded his followers to kill pagans and fight Christians and Jews.

Liberal Muslims say that conservatives are in the minority; conservatives say that liberals are in the minority. Some newspaper articles about protests and schools in Muslim lands indicate that there are substantial numbers of both conservatives and liberals. Yes, the conservative Muslims says that non-Muslims are to be killed (with some protection for Jews and Christians living in Muslim lands who pay an extra tax for being non-Muslim). All of the "reasonable" arguments of liberal Muslims and non-Muslims will not sway them, because Mohammed was clear on this.


As you can see, Muslims who do not hold to violent jihad exist (in great numbers), and do not consider themselves "pseudo-Muslims." You seem to seek to alienate liberal Muslims by saying that they aren't true Muslims. In that you are in agreement with radical fundamentalist Muslims, but that doesn't mean you, or they, are correct.
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#8  Postby cherries » Apr 03, 2011 6:08 pm

:popcorn:
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This is because most books on witchcraft were written by men."
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#9  Postby jez9999 » Apr 03, 2011 9:06 pm

SkyMutt wrote:As you can see, Muslims who do not hold to violent jihad exist (in great numbers), and do not consider themselves "pseudo-Muslims." You seem to seek to alienate liberal Muslims by saying that they aren't true Muslims. In that you are in agreement with radical fundamentalist Muslims, but that doesn't mean you, or they, are correct.

It's not just violent jihad that they have to reject though, is it?

How about equality for women, equality for unbelievers, equality for gays, equality for Jews, rejection of capital punishment, rejection of indoctrination, rejection of domestic violence, acceptance of free speech, acceptance of scientific freedom, an open mind of what food people eat, an open mind on what consentual sex they have, and a general acceptance of a changing moral zeitgeist?

Find me a Muslim who abides by all those and I'll find you a Muslim who goes against most of the Quran. I think the most appropriate term for such a person, given that they call themselves a Muslim, is a pseudo-Muslim. :)
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#10  Postby DaveD » Apr 03, 2011 9:09 pm

...and the same argument must therefore apply to the bible.


Now tell jerome he must be a pseudo-Christian.
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#11  Postby porcupine » Apr 03, 2011 10:47 pm

jez9999 wrote:The way I see it, a 'moderate Muslim' is generally someone who doesn't obey everything in the Quran, whether or not they say they do.

They are therefore not a Muslim; they are an apostate, and Islam is pretty strict on that.

I therefore suggest we replace the term 'moderate Muslim' with 'pseudo-Muslim' wherever we see it. There's no halfway house. You're either a Muslim, or a pseudo-Muslim. Not my fault, blame the Quran. But don't try bullshitting me that you can believe part of it, ignore the rest, and claim it's the perfect word of God that you follow every part of.

Thoughts?


Hi all, long time lurker, first post.

No offence meant to jez, but add a few dark mutterings about what should happen to such 'pseudo-Muslims' and the above could have been written by any Islamist fanatic. Not, may I hasten to add, that am I calling jez any kind of fanatic. :smile:

Islam will only become fit for the civilized world when it's followers learn to ignore much of their canon. This, by and large is what Christians have had to do. In past times they too were just as intolerant and barbaric towards those they regarded as not 'true believers,' not to mention sharing all the usual irrational and cruel traits,like misogyny and many more.In fact many Christians still think this way, but fortunately they now have little power to act on them.

As an atheist I can only wish that more and more of them abandon the sinister fairy tale lock stock and barrel, but in the meantime lets hope for more pseudo-Muslims,in fact the more pseudo the better.

Regards.
Last edited by porcupine on Apr 04, 2011 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#12  Postby Beatsong » Apr 04, 2011 1:02 am

jez9999 wrote:The way I see it, a 'moderate Muslim' is generally someone who doesn't obey everything in the Quran, whether or not they say they do...

Thoughts?


That's not my understanding.

It seems to me that most people use the term more to describe that persons actions towards others, and in particular the fact that they don't attempt to impose their Islam upon others. A moderate muslim is one who doesn't commit or support terrorist or violent extremist acts, campaign for punishment of gays etc. Who is able to live in a pluralistic society accepting that not everybody follows the same religion as them.

How that person deals with the problems and contradictions in their holy book is their own business. As long as they don't get in the way of my life, I don't feel the controlling need to design a box for them so I can gloat that they don't fit it properly, as you seem to.
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#13  Postby SkyMutt » Apr 04, 2011 3:30 am

jez9999 wrote:...Find me a Muslim who abides by all those and I'll find you a Muslim who goes against most of the Quran. I think the most appropriate term for such a person, given that they call themselves a Muslim, is a pseudo-Muslim. :)

You may think that is the most appropriate term, but what does using such a term achieve? What is your motive for rejecting such terms as "moderate," "cultural" and "liberal"? There are Muslims who are actively striving against those of their own faith who would use violence to further their ends. (One relatively recent example.) What good might be brought about by calling such people "pseudo-Muslims"?
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#14  Postby MattHunX » Apr 04, 2011 11:05 am

Beatsong wrote:
jez9999 wrote:The way I see it, a 'moderate Muslim' is generally someone who doesn't obey everything in the Quran, whether or not they say they do...

Thoughts?


That's not my understanding.

It seems to me that most people use the term more to describe that persons actions towards others, and in particular the fact that they don't attempt to impose their Islam upon others. A moderate muslim is one who doesn't commit or support terrorist or violent extremist acts, campaign for punishment of gays etc. Who is able to live in a pluralistic society accepting that not everybody follows the same religion as them.

How that person deals with the problems and contradictions in their holy book is their own business. As long as they don't get in the way of my life, I don't feel the controlling need to design a box for them so I can gloat that they don't fit it properly, as you seem to.


It is fortunate that most religious people of any faith are what we can classify as moderates. Religions are not completely static in their values and instructions. They were created by man, from man's perception of the world and other people, and as such, just like man, religions, too, evolve over time. For example, many now accept evolution and don't have an issue with homosexuals...etc.

If the majority weren't moderates, and if religions didn't have room to shift goal-posts and change, then societal development would have been far slower if not impossible.

Still, moderates, as peaceful, moral, accepting, tolerant and non-violent as they are, they still perpetuate the religion. And even if they don't instill a mistrust of science and preach against others, in the next generation there are bound to be individuals, who, for one reason or another, will be more fundamentalist in what they take away from their religion, especially if they are indoctrinated in childhood, and even more so if there are out-dated, bigoted, narrow-minded views about the world and the people in it and violence at its core.

Granted, with the easy access to information these days, less and less people will have a problem educating themselves. Naturally, some will only seek information already conforming to their preconceived notions and prejudices and many will still be biased, but many more can learn not to do that.
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#15  Postby lordshipmayhem » Apr 04, 2011 1:02 pm

SkyMutt wrote:Does a Jew have to follow all 613 of the laws laid down in their holy book to be Jewish?

No. "Jewish" doesn't just refer to the Hebrew religion. The same word is used to refer to the ethnic group. Some atheists are Jewish.

Does a Christian have to "love the Lord God with all [their] heart, and with all [their] soul, and with all [their] mind" (not to mention all the other stuff enjoined by the Bible) to be Christian ?

Yes. "Christian" doesn't refer to an ethnic group at all. It just refers to a system of belief. There are Arab Christians, black Christians, Slavic Christians, (etc. etc.)
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#16  Postby pennypitstop » Apr 05, 2011 11:52 am

I worked with a load of people that labeled themselves Muslims. Nice bunch actually. However just as in Christianity some people take their brand of faith more seriously and my work colleagues demonstrated this twist in faith by regularly going out on Friday nights and get shit faced.
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#17  Postby HAJiME » Apr 05, 2011 12:00 pm

I hate the way that Muslims and Christians are treated differently when it comes to this.

Most "christians", if muslim, would be defined as "moderate muslims". None of them are religious. They may believe in God, and have cultural habits in their respective religions, but none of them are religious.

I think then you have ACTUAL religious people.

And then you have the scary ones who are just... absurd in their literal thinking and views.

The groups get smaller as you go down that list.
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#18  Postby MattHunX » Apr 05, 2011 2:07 pm

HAJiME wrote:I hate the way that Muslims and Christians are treated differently when it comes to this.

Most "christians", if muslim, would be defined as "moderate muslims". None of them are religious. They may believe in God, and have cultural habits in their respective religions, but none of them are religious.

I think then you have ACTUAL religious people.

And then you have the scary ones who are just... absurd in their literal thinking and views.

The groups get smaller as you go down that list.

Fortunately.
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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#19  Postby stijndeloose » Apr 07, 2011 11:29 am


!
GENERAL MODNOTE
Thread moved from General Theism to Islam.

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Re: 'Moderate Muslim'? Can we get rid of the term?

#20  Postby metacristi » Apr 07, 2011 6:30 pm

jez9999 wrote:The way I see it, a 'moderate Muslim' is generally someone who doesn't obey everything in the Quran, whether or not they say they do.

They are therefore not a Muslim; they are an apostate, and Islam is pretty strict on that.

I therefore suggest we replace the term 'moderate Muslim' with 'pseudo-Muslim' wherever we see it. There's no halfway house. You're either a Muslim, or a pseudo-Muslim. Not my fault, blame the Quran. But don't try bullshitting me that you can believe part of it, ignore the rest, and claim it's the perfect word of God that you follow every part of.

Thoughts?



Frankly speaking I cannot see how can one be ‘moderate’ (in the western acceptation of this term) whilst still working within a traditionalist framework (centred around the view that the whole qur’an is the true word of allah). Moreover I'd say that a crucial condition for moderation is an open recognition that even large parts of sharia are obsolete, not applicable today (sharia out of public life; although valid in a past historical context), opening the way for full secularism.

Apart from a handful of intellectuals I do not know of others who to advocate this view…Not too many people for who to replace the label 'moderate Muslim' with 'pseudo-Muslim' :) (in truth many ‘progressives’ of islam are far from the Christian moderates; I would label them ‘passive carriers of the same dogmatic islam of the last 1400 years, always ready to become very aggressive again’).

But there are nonetheless some interesting attempts to reform islam (having some real justification, whilst remaining within a traditionalist framework) which deserve attention for, if accepted by a majority of muslims, they could indeed made islam much more desirable (offering also some guarantees that a return to the orthodox islam is difficult).

I have primarily in mind Ghamidi’s interpretation of islam*; frankly I think that his approach has enough problems of justification (I find the orthodox islam more natural) and when looking from a non-muslim perspective it fall short of offering moderation in the western acceptation (no real recognition of the indefensible errors of the past although the political part of islam is indeed downgraded): a much better idea is to cease to see the qur’an as the eternal and exact word of allah and to find capacity to think way beyond tradition (including advocating the view that the label 'islam' can be accepted even if non trivial reforms are made).


*http://www.al-mawrid.org/index.php
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