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Is it me, or is this manifesto as pointless as a broken pencil?
I think the manifesto is great. It's to-the-point and cites pretty well from the Koran, as far as I can tell since I'm not Muslim. I just wish more people in America and Europe would sincerely listen to this. I find it strange that "Westerners" are complaining about moderate Muslims not speaking out, because they certainly have been, it's just that the media hasn't paid enough attention to moderate Muslims and, I think, intentionally focused on the few extremist violent Muslims to make all Muslims appear hostile and belligerent to "the West."
Lara,You put your finger on the problem: it's not that there hasn't been "moderate" Muslims speaking; it's that they are ignored. So when suddenly two people no one ever heard of emerge with a "manifesto" and are given press attention, I just get suspcious, especially if there isn't anything new, creative, or orginal in what they are saying.
Amal,don't you think the word 'moderate muslim' is down right patronizing? Whenever I hear it (even when I'm referred to so), I cringe, I feel someone is trying to give me a 'certificate' of moderation. It also creates a dichotomy of moderate vs. extremist, totally denying a person the sense of individualism, that, ironically is precisely what is being systematically crushed in the arab countries.What of arab Marxists? What of muslims-by-ID only? What of socialist muslims? What of Radical-Leftist muslims (are they also moderate?) What of Neo-Liberal muslims? Are non-religious muslims moderate by definition? The 'manifesto' (and I'm not totally opposed to manifestos) is simplistic, patronizing, and arrogant. Superficial, nay superfluous describes it best
I agree that there are problems with the "moderate Muslim" label especially when it is used (as often is the case) by the western establishment. It really means to them "muslims who are pro US." For less politicized Americans, it means "Muslims who are not frothing at the mouth". Recently, some Muslims try to distinguish themselves from the more conservative Muslim groups by calling themselves "progressive Muslims." This is not a label imposed on them by others; it's more self-fashioned as a way to highlight their agenda and identity, something there is a need for. But would it include everybody who is not Ben Laden? Of course, not.
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