What about the “Moderate” Muslims?

In episode 153 “Islam: Take 2,” Dan and I asked the question, “Are there moderate Muslims?” In order to make the point that the teachings of Islam itself are extreme—death penalty for adultery and homosexuality—we played the following video:

One of the things that stood out to me while watching the video is how hard it would be as a Muslim to disagree with the speaker’s position. On what legitimately Muslim grounds could you make your case that a woman who commits adultery shouldn’t be stoned?

The following video from the BBC did shed some light on this question:

What do you think? Is Islam unique in its threat to liberal western values?

6 thoughts on “What about the “Moderate” Muslims?

  1. My main thing is, and always has been, if you have to constantly be reinterpreting and changing the tenants of your religion – why follow it?! Christianity is doing this all the time. I guess what I”m saying is that everyone who is religious should be a fundamentalist zealot, otherwise, what’s the point? If you disagree with some facets of your religion, pick and choose what to be inspired by and what to ignore, or take a “moderate” view, why are you religious at all?

    It seems like an all or nothing proposition. You either align yourself with this thing, this institution, as it is, or you don’t. I just see it as another way for the masses to wassle in ambiguity while they get the comfort of their faith without having to deal with the icky parts.

    I, for one, do not believe you can truly be a moderate Muslim. Even if you behave moderately in your own life, you are upholding and giving support to an atrocious institution of misogyny and violence.

  2. You couldn’t get that many people to agree to anything so quickly at a skeptics conference. I’m kind of proud of that actually.

    This does illustrate the interesting contrast between what religious people do and believe in some cut off part of their world view.

    @Nichole. I would agree with you and believe that these moderate Muslims are indeed giving cover for violence and excessive reactions from others.

      • Those books are based upon the Old Testament, the collection of earliest books in the Judeo-Christian Bible. Historically, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all part of what’s known as the “Abrahamic religions” being that they’re based on the mythical story of Abraham, told within the Old Testament.

        Judaism follows only the Old Testament which include laws about stoning. Islam and Christianity developed later, and have their own books based upon the time and culture it was written in. So, stoning to death is a Jewish law, later transferred to Islam and Christianity as well.

  3. I’ve noticed that some videos concerning Islam that aren’t flattering get hit with copyright infringements.
    The video mentioned in the above article is titled “What Normal Muslims Think But Europe Fails to Understand”. I don’t know if they are “normal Muslims”, probably not for North America. But they most certainly are in some countries.
    Here is a copy:

    The gist of the video is, in a hall full of Muslims (at an Islam.net conference), the speaker says they are all just normal Muslims and they are not extremist at all. He then proceeds to point out that the proper punishment for adultery according to Islam is stoning. That this was stated by Muhammad. He asks how many in the hall agree, and they almost all raise their hands in agreement.

    I write this only a few days after a young woman was arrested in Saudi Arabia for tweeting a picture of her uncovered face in an outdoor location. Many in Saudi Arabia have called for her death. For showing her face in a public place.

    Jerry Coyne points out the inanity of liberal news sites celebrating vacuous “firsts” of Muslim women in Western countries wearing burkinis or hijabs, while Muslim women in many Muslim countries are fighting for the freedom to dress as they want without being arrested, killed, imprisoned or beaten.

    Clearly there are people in these countries who want freedom from extreme religious laws, but equally as clear is there are more than enough fanatics in the country who want the status quo to continue.

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