The news is full of moderate Muslims and Christians, as well as backtracking radicals, deploring the assignment of harm by Boko Haram to Islam. “That’s not Islam. That’s not my Islam.” That would be fine but what is Islam? They insist they know yet whenever any attribute is assigned to Islam some group somewhere says that’s not Islam. I’d really like to know what we’re talking about when we talk about Islam. Otherwise it’s just a ramshackle collection of sects and cults that just do as they please and call it Islam–Islam cannot even define itself other than banal and incoherent generalities meaning anything to anyone.
How many people, sects and countries, have to avow their abusive acts as religiously-based righteousness before moderates accept their religion is a problem, too easy to distort?
Catholicism isn’t much better as even the Vatican has said they have such loose control over their leaders and members they couldn’t have possibly done much better dealing with their flagrant sexual abuse issues, much less the many other abuses that no doubt occur, which we don’t even hear about since pedophilia is such sensational news and such caustic abuse. I mean laundering funds, pyramid schemes of donations, and just banal casual abuse typical from those having too much power. The new pope apologizes but also says he has no real power. How can he apologize unless he had some say in it? Just more hand wringing, pointless prayer, and verbal appeal.
These moderates of all abrahamic religious ilk and most others bluster but do little. They will send a few people, make a few threats, and go on with their own business. There’s no money in Nigeria, no one really cares. The best thing that will come of it will be a good movie like the genocide in Rwanda inspired. Christian evangelicals will flock to Nigeria hoping to convert many sure that their religion is superior to Islam replacing outright abuse with hidden abuse as Christians are so want to do.
If the moderates deplore the extremists and fundamentalists so greatly why do they not control their members?
Seems like the point of a religion is to make people and the world better. From what I can see, what is evidenced, it allows renegades and petty dictators free reign under an umbrella of goodness and spiritual law. It has no means of policing itself. God or Allah certainly hasn’t shown up to help.
What will the moderate Islamics and Muslims do to stop the violence of their self-avowed members?
They can’t ostracize them as everyone must be a Muslim. Apostasy is worse than the worst infraction–death before apostasy. And leaving the group means there is no control whatsoever. They can’t seem to fight this as they fall all over themselves accommodating them thinking that tolerance of their abuse is righteous because peace is what they want and peace means ignoring violence but for exhortations. All of these religions need a new modern prophet, a new modern bible or koran, a new word of law that actually does good, is coherent. A canon of sacred text that isn’t so damned contradictory and vile that one can do anything and find literal and figurative support.
They have no interest in policing others because then they wold have to police themselves and that would be a criticism of Islam, other Muslims without authority–Christianity, the same. While the Hadith and local law are certainly used to allow near any deviation they are not used to stop near any deviation. The koran will be battered about in translation errors. The violence will continue. The moderates will pray and talk to the media and like pissing into the wind it will only make them look more stupid and ineffectual.
Jim Newman, bright and well www.frontiersofreason.com