Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Where have all the moderates (Islam) gone?

Sometimes, an Islamophobe like myself wonders whether there truly is such a thing as a moderate Muslim.
And then I read a news story about Islam Online and feel vindicated in my beliefs.
The vindication isn't that there aren't any moderate Muslims but the fear that the radicals aka conservative Muslims appear to be growing in influence.
In brief here are the main points:
1.The widely read and influential Islamic news website Islam Online was on the brink of collapse yesterday after a mass walkout and strike in its Cairo-based newsroom. 

2.One, Fathi Abu Hattab, said that the new directors of the site had been interfering in editorial decision-making, seeking to alter its moderate tone and diversity of content. 

3.The website was established in 2000 under the guidance of the prominent Qatar-based Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi. It has built a reputation for covering a diverse array of issues in English and Arabic, including advice columns that homosexuality and pornography addiction. The site is also known for employing non-Muslims and openly secular staffers.

We know that the money that finances Islamic schools and other propaganda such as Islam Online  is sourced from Saudi Arabia or in this case Qatar. There is a bias towards conservative Islam and this agenda is pushed vigorously (eg they give grants to any University  that will appoint Saudi approved academics). The radical Islamic message is funded by oil or the profits derived from oil.

If there is a moderate Islamic culture, and no doubt there is, it is gradually being stifled, suppressed or sidelined in favor of the more religious (read conservative/radical/fundamentalist) form of Islam.This news story is evidence of that.
This is a serious problem because there is no equivalent source of such magnanimous funds to equal or rival the funds from Saudi Arabia to support moderate Islam.
I think that for those of us (us being westerners) who believe there is a common ground for mediation and accomodation of Islamic values within western culture (because of the existence of moderate Muslims), your optimism is doomed.

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beamish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beamish said...

Ever check out ask the imam?

Lots of "enlightening" answers there, re: how fucked up of a religion Islam is.

The search engine alone is a trek through the minds of the sociopathic.

Lexcen said...

I know there are many fanatical web sites that advocate jihad but how many moderate sites can you find? I didn't know about Islam Online until the news story attracted my attention.

beamish said...

A moderate Muslim is one that hasn't blown themselves up yet.