Written by Eliana Benador
Daniel Pipes once again delivered yesterday one of his masterful articles in his laudable search for a solution in the conflict initiated by Muslims and their belief, Islam.
It is worrisome that a scholar as revered and respected as Pipes is worldwide, seems to find “the only solution” in giving a carte blanche to moderate Muslims. Sadly, well-meaning people around the world will take this opinion seriously, and extreme radical Muslims and their supporters could also rely on it.
By publicly sending his unconditional olive branch to so-called moderate Muslims, Mr. Pipes is also needlessly arming the left with an argument which they will no doubt use to promote their cause. What is worse, by doing so, Mr. Pipes is weakening the position of those who rightfully worry about the fate of civilian populations who continue been victims of attacks in times of peace. Some Muslims who on the surface seem what he considers “moderate” prepare terrorist attacks against civilians in the comfort of their "regular" lives.
Among the moderate Muslims mentioned by Mr. Pipes, are Wafa Sultan, an atheist, Aayan Hirsi Ali, who escaped her native Somalia to survive, just as many other examples of true Muslims escapees, fleeing their countries of origin. In doing so, all those potential revolutionary seeds go wasted, but, as Pipes conceded, even Sultan and Hirsi Ali, argue that Islam is the problem.
We would be remiss if we did not mention other “moderates”. They are the seemingly moderate Muslims. They study in the best universities in the world, Harvard, Oxford, Yale, Columbia, and so on. They master the rules of politeness and protocol. In public, they wear costly designer suits, and go back to their traditional clothes when at home. Many of them surely excel camouflaging their true interests and goals “for the advancement of Islam in the world.” After all, taqiyya is omnipresent in the lives of Muslims. These Muslims have infiltrated the highest places, from think-tanks to television channels, from the Administration to hospitals and the senate, and more. Think-tanks are among the most vulnerable spots, given that their existence and survival depend on which new number they can pull to keep their donors in times of a faltering economy.
The Koran orders Muslims to kill infidels -or non-Muslims- via Jihad, which they do using terrorism. Mr. Pipes does not provide any information of orders to the contrary in the Koran, but, he explains that Mohammed was rather a “plain Muslim” and not an Islamist. Indeed, just as Karl Marx was a plain citizen and not a Marxist. We get that.
A forgotten element in that article is the “human side.” Every scholarly approach should understand the value of family in Islam. This key element runs deep inside the everyday life of over a billion Muslims on the planet. In Egypt, they particularly chose the name “Muslim Brotherhood”. Family, parents, sisters, grandparents, and above all, it is safe to say, Muslim men consider themselves brothers, in religion and action. Compared with contemporary Western societies, with ever dysfunctional and disappearing families, the contrast with the Muslim world family nucleus is crushing. Their family system of unity and solidarity and it is one of their most powerful elements.
The fact that Islamism only dates back to the 1920s is irrelevant. It could have happened sooner or later, but the Koran sets its seeds, its concept, its description, its requirements and its demands.
Mr. Pipes advocates the cause of moderate Islam failing to give a description of a “moderate” Muslim. He gives only one indication, that they “lack Islamists’ near-hegemonic power.”
He adds: “Major dissonance began around 1800, when Muslims unexpectedly lost wars, markets and cultural leadership to Western Europeans. It continues today, as Muslims bunch toward the bottom of nearly every index of achievement. “ And he is right in the sense that the large number of masses are trailing at the bottom of the scale, but, there is a blossoming Muslim leadership worldwide that are part of the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and others. That thriving elite has access to key people who support them, suffice to mention presidents Obama, Hollande in France and others. The key point here is not only the sophisticated education this group receive, but it is also the successful implantation throughout the world of Islamic finance which they support and which is of course ruled by Sharia law.
Pipes writes: “Indeed, Islamism represents the transformation of Islamic faith into a political ideology. Islamism accurately indicates an Islamic-flavored version of radical utopianism, an -ism like other -isms, comparable to fascism and communism.” In other words, Islamism is the practical application of Islam as orders the Koran. Islamism may be another -ism, albeit one that gives very precise orders to kill infidels and how-to-do it.
The West missed its opportunity to establish order with the Muslim world and their “moderates”. Top financial and economic leaders should have demanded from the onset some pre-conditions to making business with the Muslim world: stop terrorism and your plans for world domination.
Mr. Pipes responds to his own question “How do you propose to defeat Islamism?” by giving his seal of guarantee to moderate Muslims. Meanwhile, Mr. Pipes may find the left as offering imprecise replies “unworthy of serious discussion,” but he does not give us any indication either on how we can recognize and consider a Muslim as “moderate”. And his lack of mentioning the sharia-given right of Muslims to distort the truth in order to advance the cause of Islam is remarkable.
One thing is for sure: if there exist “moderate” Muslims, their role must be inside the Muslim world. Instead of preaching in the West they should be among their own, convincing and rallying them.
Another point that Mr. Pipes proves, is that in order to survive, “moderate” Muslims must leave their countries. Yet, such a religious, ideological reform could partly be prepared abroad, but factual reform must come from inside. Their true Muslim moderates must lead and organize their revolutions in their own countries. The West, which has no comprehension, understanding and absolutely no sensitivity towards their culture, should leave Muslims’ problems for them to sort it out. They do not need any Western patronizing. That is how civilizations mature.
Mr. Pipes’s fervent wish to participate in a Muslim reform is worthy of praise, but utopian, to say the least. After decades of hard work, his savvy, experience and good will, unfortunately, he has not influenced actual or real transformation in the Muslim world.
We cannot forget to mention that some Muslims are impersonating “moderates” and are the West Trojan horses. They are suave and present a mild version of a “democratic” Islam and they seek to fraternize with us, when we all know that Islam’s hierarchy is the antithesis of democracy.
It will be interesting to see how will Muslims categorize Mr. Pipes in the light of his friendly positions.
While the West top priority should remain to defend civilian populations from massacres in times of peace, the big question is what will the majority of "moderate" Muslims do when Islam calls?
Goodwill Ambassador Eliana Benador is a national and international global strategist and the former CEO and founder of Benador Associates.