[Homestead] Moderate Muslims exist, likely to disappear in the gathering storm

Daniel Van; Kelley daniel-kelley at cox.net
Wed Sep 8 17:05:22 EDT 2004


Muslims should read their Koran and not be so quick to lose hope for their
Islam of tolerance, inclusiveness, commerce, science and the arts, as
Nassrine Azimi seems to be doing.

As it was then, it is now:

Koran (9:11) - "For it is written that a son of Arabia would awaken a
fearsome Eagle. The wrath of the Eagle would be felt throughout the
lands of Allah and lo, while some of the people trembled in despair
still more rejoiced; for the wrath of the Eagle cleansed the lands of
Allah; and there was peace."

The American Eagle is upon the Great Seal of the United States of America
for all to see.  It is on the back of every dollar for all to see.  America
brings to the willing the opportunity to bring back the "timeless beauty and
humanity in Islam" that Muslims, like Nassrine Azimi, now claim they desire
restored.

Best Regards

Daniel Van; Kelley

-----Original Message-----
From: homestead-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:homestead-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Tvoivozhd
Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2004 12:13 PM
To: homestead at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [Homestead] Moderate Muslims exist,likely to disappear in the
gathering storm


When you poke a hornets nest like the Jihadist massacre did in a Russian
school, the normal reaction is to eliminate the Jihadists by whatever
means necessary.  The last time this sort of thing happened in Russia,
Stalin on 22 Feb., 1944 pulled armed forces from the German front to
deport 600,000 Chechens, Ingush and other Muslims to Central Asia---one
quarter of them were dead within five years and the dispirited remainder
ceased fighting the Russians. A crushing blow, no voice of sweet reason
or a tit-for-tat forever-war.




Sufi science, tolerance of 8th to 13th Century vanished in present-day
Islamic virulence.  The unremitting attacks by Jihadists on the West
will be met---if moderate Islamist won't or can't do it, the weapons of
the West certainly will be brought to bear on pro-Jihadist and
anti-Jihadist alike.

I do not believe a moderate Muslim (reat that a sceptical Muslim, not a
True Believer), has the chance of a snowball in hell of reversing the
tide of war commenced by Saudi financing of Wah-habi hatred for the past
thirty years.  Inside Saudi Arabia you have 1,500,000 young males
educated exclusively as Imams, where they cannot and will not be
employed.  The odds of five thousand House of Saud princely leeches
dying in the near future iare excellent.  The U.S. had better crank up
the renewable energy machine fast while some financial resources exist
to fund a transition from oil.  Where are the Manhattan Project planners
among the Republicrats?



      The International Herald Tribune

Beslan massacre: The anguish of a faithful Muslim
Nassrine Azimi IHT
Wednesday, September 08, 2004

HIROSHIMA, Japan Many people around the world, Muslims among them,
turned away in shock from their newspapers and televisions, like me sick
to their stomach, as the hostage-taking in Beslan, Russia, reached its
grisly climax.

Even in the litany of terrorist attacks we are now resigned to expect
daily, the premeditated seizure of a school and the slaughter of
innocent children in a sleepy Russian town by Chechen, Arab and other
Muslim terrorists defies imagination. To think that men and women
actually gathered, maybe months in advance, to plan such evil is
incomprehensible; that it was done in the name of Islam is crushing.

I, too, am a Muslim. Like many other Muslims (and Christians, Jews,
Buddhists and people of different faiths trying to cope with our modern
age), I try to accept my religious identity on my own terms and am
adamant that there be no place for politicized or even institutionalized
Islam in my spiritual life. Let me promptly add that this impatience
with radicalism in my faith extends equally to other religions, whether
Christianity or Judaism.

My religion actually takes a rather secondary place to my spirituality.
I am primarily concerned, through my faith, to find answers to those
questions that have preoccupied humans from times immemorial: Who am I?
Where do I come from? Where do I go from here? And, most importantly -
how should I conduct a true and purposeful existence?

Still, I consider myself a Muslim. I grew up with the privilege of
tolerant parents who, while creating a Muslim home for us, allowed my
siblings and me to attend Christian and Jewish schools. I opted to keep
my Islamic identity for at least two reasons. Firstly, there is much
about Islam's rituals that I find elevating (there is of course also
much about it that I simply find irrelevant to life in general and to my
life in particular, like the segregation of women). I deeply cherish the
month of Ramadan, for example - something holy, truly cleansing,
permeates this period of the year when from dawn to dusk we commit to
not eat, drink, steal, curse or otherwise misbehave. I also like Islam's
sense of community and self-discipline (before these qualities were
debased and deformed by Al Qaeda and the like).

Secondly, I feel a need to provide some continuity. Let me explain. Most
of my family, including my devout parents, having observed first hand
the brutality, ignorance and corruption that accompanied Khomeini's
Islamic revolution in Iran, came to doubt Islam altogether. My father,
at one time the most practicing among us, became so disillusioned with
Islam that to his dying day he never again called himself a Muslim.

I sometimes feel that in a generation or two, the tolerant, humane and
all-embracing Islam I knew will have all but disappeared. In its place,
Osama bin Laden's version of Islam could well win the day. I feel that
having been born a Muslim I should try and uphold something of the
gentler culture I knew. Maybe it is too late.

Cycles of violence are, of course, perpetrated and repeated over great
expanses of time - some of the seeds of Sept. 11, 2001 may well have
been sown in 1953, when the United States and Britain conspired to
topple Mossadegh, the democratically elected nationalist leader of Iran,
thus paving the way for virulent Islamic movements that later engulfed
Iran and other parts of the Middle East. Seeds for the calamity in
Beslan may have been sown with the invasion of Afghanistan by Soviet
forces in 1979, and by the atrocities committed by Russian forces in
Chechnya.

Most extremisms arise when people don't know where to turn: the gross
vulgarities that pass for freedom in many Western democracies may have
irredeemably frightened many moderate Muslim societies into the arms of
more dogmatic, nonsecular movements. Still, Muslim countries must start
questioning why so many of their sons and daughters go about claiming an
Islamic inspiration for murderous acts. Who are those who perpetrated
the Beslan tragedy in the name of Islam and where, pray, are Muslim
politicians and commentators to condemn, unequivocally, their cruelty?

Muslims have already spent too much time blaming others for their woes.
However justified, it is time to stop. Could it be that we have become
more driven to begrudge others their present glories than to retrieve
the glories of our own past? Where, I ask my fellow Muslims, do we turn
when so many atrocities are committed daily under the banner of our faith?

I continue to believe that at its heart, as in other great faiths, there
is a kernel of timeless beauty and humanity in Islam. To whoever would
listen - there are fewer and fewer of them - I keep talking of the real
Islam: the Islam of the esoteric Sufi tradition, the Islam of the Golden
Age of knowledge and commerce, from the 8th to the 13th centuries, the
Islam of tolerance, inclusiveness, science and the arts.

Today, watching the dead children of Beslan and the unbearable suffering
of their parents, even to my own ears these claims are starting to sound
hollow.

Nassrine Azimi is director of the Hiroshima Office for Asia and the
Pacific, United Nations Institute for Training and Research. This is a
personal comment.













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