Dear Moderate Muslim,
I am sure this open letter will never reach you for the simple reason that you don’t exist.
And yet I write so maybe my fellow Hindus can understand the myth of the 'moderate Muslim' and never be fooled by apologists.
Moderate Muslim is the figment of the secular Hindu’s imagination. This secular Hindu is a useful idiot and who is unable to understand the nature of radical Islam. I am told that moderate Muslims are the real guardians of Islam. The thing is: I can’t find them.
I have looked for years. And I am not alone. The search for the moderate Muslim is the search for El Dorado. Everyone talks about it. Everyone swears by it. Everyone thinks all problems in the world will be solved when he is found. But no one has ever found a moderate Muslim.
The moderate Muslim remains a mirage; a daydream; the wishful thinking of the non-Muslim who refuses to accept that fundamentalism lies at the very heart of Islam. Moderation requires a commitment to change, and not sticking to fundamentals.
Moderation can’t be claimed by just semantics. It requires that the extremists are opposed more urgently than the ‘others’. Moderation demands that the views of the ‘others’ are tolerated & accepted. Moderation asks that racist, genocidal & xenophobic views are condemned.
Moderation requires tolerance & permanent changes in fundamentalist ideology. Moderation demands an acceptance of the ‘other’. But, you my imaginary ‘moderate Muslim’ have done no such thing. And I will show you how. Let us start with the fundamentals.
The Shahada declares: “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his Messenger.” A Muslim declares that the non-Muslim God or gods are demons, devils and figments of his imagination. The extremist, as well as the moderate Muslim holds this intolerance exclusivist view.
My dear moderate Muslim, moderation would require that you reject the Shahadah; or that you would change it to accommodate other gods. That “there can more than one path to truth” has to be accepted. But the moderate Muslim also believes that all other paths lead to Hell.
Moderation requires basic human rights extended to all, regardless of religion, creed and ethnicity. But non-Muslims are denied all basic human rights. Ethics in Islam is only for Muslims. This is what the extremist Muslim believes. Moderate Muslim also believes the same.
Moderation would require that you do not consider women as inferior to men; fight for their right to reject burqa; let them go to mosque; and not consider them properties of men. The fact that you do not do any such thing shows that you are not moderate.
Moderation would require equality before law. The Islamic law dictates that testimony of the non-Muslim does not hold; & that the testimony of a woman is only half as worthy as that of a man. This is the stuff of extremism. But no moderates have spoken against it.
Moderation would require that you accept secular law superior to religious law. But you only accept and demand the Islamic law called Shariat. This is not the stuff of moderation. This is stuff of extreme radicalization.
Moderation would require that art is given a free hand; that the artist, within limits is permitted to create human as well as animal figures as he wishes to. The fact that you also consider this wrong shows that you are no different from the extremist Muslim.
Moderation would require that you would accept the testimony of science as a way of knowing. The fact that you still stick to the dogmas propagated in the Quran instead of accepting the testimony of science shows that you are no different from the extremist Muslim.
Moderation would require acceptance that direct contact with divinity is possible and that there can be more than one messenger for God. But you think this is impossibility just like an extremist Muslim shows that you are a figment of the imagination of a useful idiot.
Your Holy Book contains some violent verses about non-Muslims in which Muslims are exhorted to kill non-Muslims wherever they are found. Moderation would require that you reject at least these verses. The fact that you don’t do that once again shows your non-existence.
Moderation would require that Muslims are allowed to leave Islam; that they are allowed to follow other gods if they wish so. The fact that you consider this a crime punishable by death shows that there is no difference between you and the extremist Muslim.
For you may not be the terrorist, my dear moderate Muslim, but you didn’t want the kaffir to live either. You weren’t the terrorist, but you think that Kaffirs have to convert to Islam. You may not be the terrorist, but you think that being a non-Muslim is a sin in itself.
You were not the terrorist who gang-raped pagan Yazidi women in Iraq, but you always maintained that the worth of a non-Muslim life is always less than a Muslim life. You don’t shoot women to death for teaching their kids, but you also think that burqa is the home for them.
You weren’t the one who engaged in the Noakhali massacre of Hindus, or the Moplah riots, but you also accepted the two-nation theory, you also accepted that it is impossible for Muslims to live under the rule of Hindus, in a secular country.
You are not the one who kills Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh but you are the one who accepts that the only way Hindus can survive in an Islamic country is to live like second class citizens who do not even get to cremate their dead.
You were not the terrorist who killed the apostates of Islam in Bangladesh, Pakistan and many other countries, but you also think that it is legal to kill apostates. You do not throw gays from the rooftops in Iraq but you also think that sodomy should be punishable by death.
You were not the terrorist who gang-raped & sawed in half the body of Girija Tickoo, while she was still alive, in Kashmir, but you supported ethnic cleansing of Hindus that was going on. You also believed that Kashmir is only for Muslims and that Hindu lives do not matter.
You were not the terrorist who beheaded a poor Hindu tailor who did not even commit any blasphemy. Someone had commented from his ID to support Nupur. But you also maintain that ‘Gustakhe Rasool ki ek hi saza, Sar tan se juda, sar tan se juda.’
While the extremist Muslim gets into the field and accomplishes all the goals discussed above, you, my moderate Muslim, help and facilitate him in civil society, by creating a movement conducive to his goals.
You help him by silencing the dissent among the Hindus, those Hindus who really see radical Islam for what he is. You are the smokescreen that the Islamic terrorist uses to kill non-Muslims in their sleep wherever they are found.
You are the diversion that the Islamic terrorist uses. You are the Shaheen Bagh that makes possible a 26/11. You are the Zubair who incites a Gos Muhammad. You are the Rana Ayyub that makes it possible for common Muslims to kill Kamlesh Tiwari.
So no, you weren’t the Islamic terrorist. But you were the culture that built him. You were the bullet in his AK-47. You were the bomb that he threw. You were the dagger that he wielded to cut the head of Kanhaiya Lal.