Let me repeat this line once again. A statement I have made a hundred times.
We are not paying the greater price in the struggle against global Radicalism and Fundamentalism.
Moderate Muslims are paying the greatest human cost under terrorism, radicalism, and fundamentalism in every country on earth.
Radicals see moderate Muslims as people requiring conversion to clearer thinking and understanding. Moderates are compromised Muslims, not true Muslims, not following the True Islam.
This human cost was (Still is) being paid by half the Muslim population, in over half the country, under the AQIM occupation (Al-Qaeda) of Mali, West Africa. Local, peaceful Muslims who treat non-Muslims of other faiths with a laissez-faire attitude, and not so strict with hijab on women, were treated as bad, inadequate, fallen, or failed Muslims for not adopting the more rigid fundamentalist stances. They were punished for it as a result. Their Women were (are) beaten, people killed for not siding, unmarried young couples stoned to death; Buried in the sand to the neck and killed by stoning.
I have already shared several stories of murdered imams. Murdered for refusing to preach violent and abusive radical doctrines.
I wrote about the mosque of men who got up and walked out of a mosque in Timbuktu, when radicals arrived in the city and stood up to speak to the assembly on a Friday. When the radicals arrived to take the place of their speaking imam the men walked out in silent protest, not giving them the AQIM the satisfaction of a listening ear. Keep in mind this arriving group of radicals had AK47s. Leaving was a serious risk.
Yet admittedly, somedo side with the radicals, take up the call, and end up helping and hiding the radical elements working into their community and country, a few even releasing their sons and daughters to help it. This makes it almost impossible to root radicalism out. A divided community cannot easily stand without a cost, because it could now divide neighbors, and even blood family.
Moderates get marginalized by their own Muslim community wherever they encounter communities who think a laissez-faire attitude is a compromised Muslim faith. I see it in Canada too. Watch twitter, we have prominent Laissez-Faire Canadian Muslims, who are viciously attacked, and most ostracized by various Muslim communities for it. Why? Because they dare to speak up when they see intolerance, abuse, racism or authoritarianism within their faith communities. (Like Catholics who refuse to talk about the sex scandals, and irritated by those who insist on exposing it) They pay, wherever they go. Western media shuns and runs away from such voices. “There is nothing to see here” seems to be the attitude at times. Moderates have a hard roe to hoe, and receive little help in the west.
In the USA, women like Linda Sarsour’s (1) attacks on moderates like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, with one Sarsour tweet even implying it was too bad Ayaan didn’t had her whole vagina cut off. Sarsour knowing full well Ayaan would have been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) as a girl. The insult implying she was not “purified” enough in Sarsour’s Islamic view. To this day i am baffled how Sarsour is idolized in the west. She is no Laissez-Faire moderate. She says Hijab is a woman choice. Iranian women know better. It is more often forced on them by patriarchy, shaming, LAW, family, and community pressure, than a free choice. It is present to young girls as the “Faithful” choice.
Laissez- faire: a philosophy or practice characterized by a usually deliberate abstention from direction or interference especially with individual freedom of choice and action.
In Canada I think of people like Canadian Pakistani Tarek Fatah who exposes extremism within his faith whenever and wherever he sees it around the world. Yet people like Fatah are marginalized by western media. Nothing to see here.
I find that many leftest Canadians are very racist against Muslims. They think Muslims are ignorant, uneducated, beastly animals unable to control their instincts and emotions. They suggest that Muslims lack the moral, intellectual, or moral restraint of a modern enlightened people elsewhere. We can’t expect Muslims to not bomb a press room when those journalist wrote about Islam or the prophet. We can’t expect Muslims to measure up to the same laissez-faire attitude we hold everyone else has on the planet. No, we have to tiptoe around their overly sensitive sensibilities. We certainly can’t expect Muslims to act with civility, or kindness in such circumstances. They are incapable of acting like the rest of civil society, their communities are not as developed. So we have to do the work for them, by silencing the voices that inflame them. We whities have to look out for them Poor little folks!
That is racism. Believing Muslim people or communities are not able to achieve and practice the same level of tolerance and civility we expect from everyone else in this modern world. As if Muslims have not lived laissez-faire in many places successfully for decades, even centuries already. Muslims are living in peace in many communities around the word. Mali is an example of that. The radicals hated this about Mali.
What an insult to Muslims, especially moderate Laissez-Faire Muslims. I find it hard to take even as a person who lived in Muslim communities. I have received Muslim families welcome, hospitality, kindness, generosity, and love. In fact, when I was the most sick in Mali one time, it was my Muslim taxi driver who helped me in my hour of deepest need, not the Christian doctor I called (who refused to see me and was overtly annoyed someone had given me his number, and wanted to know who it was. I apologized and hung up). Muslims live at peace every day, I have seen the good at work. But I have seen the evil too! Don’t you dare deny me the ability to speak about that evil too (Though I have told almost none of those stories, not even recorded them in my personal journal. There are some things that are just too horrific to share and they will go to my grave). But I will tell you quickly how kind I have been treated by Muslim friends and neighbors in a 90% Muslim country over a seven year period. I have heard the conversations of Muslims from the inside of families.
Around the world, moderate and reform Muslims are paying the price for standing up. They are given little voice in western media, and certainly not given a voice from within the west, when living in the west. Where are the Muslim reform groups in Canada? When are they asked to speak at anything? Ask a moderate Muslim about it, they will tell you. Don’t take my word for it.
Therefore, as a result of our western narcissism we have opened the Muslim community to the common quip,
“Well, where are all the Muslims decrying …… (inset any atrocity)”
I share these stories so that we understand that there is a struggle within the house of Islam. And we are too often silencing the debate. In Canada there is no debate, anything and everything is Islamophobia. Nothing to see here. When, anyone who wipes the shit out of their eyes sees the struggle. Honestly, I don’t believe for a second anyone in the west does not see the struggle Islam has with radical elements. They see it. It is fear. We are afraid to ask questions, because, questioning costs! So we just stay away. And moderates keep getting killed world wide as a result.
After all, the first Muslim vs. Muslim war broke out within a year of Prophet Muhammad’s death when one section of the community was declared ‘apostates’ by the Caliph and the ‘War of Apostasy’ led to thousands being killed over an issue of religious taxes. The war continues within Islams sects to this day.
This is what our fear and silence costs, we hang moderates out to dry alone, and they suffer, and sometimes, die.
Here is a story from Algeria. The price a moderate Laissez-Faire Muslim family had to pay.
““Oh my God, oh my God,” the wizened Muslim woman in front of me says, looking skyward. “Ya rabi, ya rabi.” During Algeria’s dark decade, Fatma Bisikri’s husband, an Arabic teacher, went to do the grocery shopping in Ben Achour, the poorest area of Blida where they lived. He was stabbed and then shot to death by two masked terrorists. I think Fatma, now seventy-one, is finished with her story when she tells of running through the streets without her shoes to find her husband. But this is only the first chapter. Two years later, someone pounded on her door at night. She did not want her daughter to open the door, but her daughter did. Three or four armed men in the recognizable “uniform” of the fundamentalist armed groups—baggy seroual under a long qamis—pushed their way in. “I do not want to talk about this,” Fatma tells me in her small, strained voice. Then she keeps talking. I am grateful for the presence of my friend Lalia. There is too much grief to absorb alone here at the office of Djazairouna, the Association of Families of Victims of Islamist Terrorism. When Fatma Bisikri continues telling us her history, Lalia begins to cry. “Smhana, smhana.” “Forgive us, forgive us.” Fatma says the armed men dragged six of her nine children, aged thirteen to thirty, from the house. She held onto the legs of one fighter, sliding along, until he kicked her to the ground. Then she ran out after them, screaming: “Give me back my children.” The fundamentalists put a knife to her throat. “What are you looking for?” one barked. Even her maternal instincts could not overcome the fear they knew how to provoke. She retreated into the house. Not a single neighbor came out to help. There had recently been eleven killings in a home nearby. Terror had become mundane. At first light, in a torrential rain, Fatma Bisikri went to look for her six children. All too soon, she found them. The fundamentalists had cut their throats and dumped their bodies in a oued, a nearby riverbed. The smallest details are what make a crime against humanity all too personal. They are what finally make Fatma Bisikri sob. Not long before that macabre night, one of her young sons had been crying that they had lost their father and did not have new clothes for the Eid holiday, as other children did. His older sister, a teacher, managed to buy him new pants. He was wearing them when he was murdered. Why did this happen? Later, someone suggested to Fatma that it was because her daughter refused to stop teaching despite being ordered to do so by the local fundamentalists in their crusade against education. Or it could have been because people in the area had previously given succor to the terrorists, thinking they were fighting for religion, but then stopped helping them due to the jihadists’ local atrocities. None of these theories can answer the big why, or ease this mother’s continuing agony. After the murders, Fatma applied for a new place to live to get away from the mouth of hell her home now seemed to be. However, she has never been given other housing. So Fatma Bisikri remains alone in the same location with the view of the oued where she found her children’s bodies. She wants to sleep in a different place, but she has nothing. “Andi walou.””
– Karima Bennoune. Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here.
(1)Linda Sarsour @lsarsour “Brigitte Gabriel: Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She’s asking 4m a$$$ whippin’. I wish l could take their vaginas away- they don‘t deserve to be women.” (Comment was later deleted)