I read, almost daily, many articles from western journalists and opinion makers, some Muslims as well, with a garden variety of titles like “Where are the Moderate Muslims?” or “Why Muslims Do Not Stand-up to Speak Against Violence of Other Muslims?”, etc..
The arguments used have one central topic: If moderate Muslims speak out, then maybe we can change the course of history.
Well, I am sorry to tell you that all those who call for moderate Muslims to speak out live in a dream world. If you think we will make a difference, you are mistaken. Today, we are the Jews of 1939 Germany or the Armenians of 1915. Not only do we not have the power to influence but we do not have any centralized command and control with real powers, a geography, or even adequate resources to make a difference.
For moderates to be really effective, it’s not enough to speak out. For every 1,000 words we utter, from a western base (In-country moderate Muslims are persecuted), we are helping recruit 1,000 extremists to dilute our message through violence. We need a geography that would entitle us to the same powers the extremists control. Iraq could have been that geography but Syria and Iran destroyed all our hopes and Secretary Rice convinced Bush not to act upon their terror, which is the gravest blunder of the 21st century. So, we are now the aimless Jews in the desert. But in my humble opinion, Syria is the best place from which to launch Moderate Renaissance Islam. It’s got the people, the history, the geography, and the disposition with its own population of pious but non-violent Muslims to change Islam for the better. Instead, it is occupied by a minority whose allegiance will always be to Iran. Go figure.
To succeed, we also need a strong financial base that would come with the geography. Standing alone today, we are powerless to make any difference that would really help. We are not only the enemies of the extremists but also the enemy of the Arab dictators who see us as their alternative, the enemy of foreign powers who have built accommodating economic positions with the dictators, and we are sidelined by the west except when it calls on us to speak out. As if our words really make a difference.
Most of the petro-dollars in the region are either consumed by weapons to defend the Arab dictators, Palestinian violence, or prostitutes and drugs. Have you ever heard of support by an Arab dictator to moderate Muslims? Saudi Princes funded 9/11. Most Arab dictators will support the Muslim Brotherhood enough to show that the alternative is not the moderates but the extremists. In the US, they fund ADC, whose sole mission is to regurgitate what dictators brainwash our people with: Palestinians and more Palestinians, until Israel is freed. But they never actually carry-on with freeing Israel. It’s a farce. Arab dictators are like a Ferris Wheel powered by the earth magnetic field. Perpetual and aimless. Dizzying beauty but no purpose and no productivity except to keep turning. Just like all Arabs are today.
For these reasons, we should not speak out. Unless there is enough momentum behind us to actually make a difference when we do. Because today, our words echo only when the west decides to really help and not stand by Arab dictators, who are mostly violent, like Assad, or empty-headed like al-Thani of Qatar or the al-Saud of Saudi Arabia.
Another reason we should not speak out is as long as we are asked to speak out without any REAL support, all we are doing is battling alongside with you when we should be engaging the extremists on our own. For us to do that effectively, we need our own geography, a platform with diplomatic powers to engage them on our soil by erecting our own Renaissance Islam that would diminish their powers. Assad can fight extremism with violence but he can never fight them with ideas, nor can you.
So don’t ask us to speak out. Get serious first.