IS THE MUSLIM in question an orthodox Muslim or a heterodox Muslim? And which teachings does the Muslim reject? These are vital questions for Muslims who wish to live in a non-Muslim country, and these are vital questions to know for non-Muslim countries when deciding who to allow to immigrate, to build mosques within our borders, to get jobs in government security, to join the military, etc.
How can non-Muslims discriminate between those who follow Islam's prime directive, and those who have rejected it?
An organization called Former Muslims United has come up with one good possibility: A Muslim can sign the Freedom Pledge.
The 878-word Freedom Pledge outlines the principles of Islamic law under which apostates from Islam are subject to the death penalty. It notes that the four schools of Sunni Islam — Hanafi, Miliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali — “unanimously agree that a former Muslim male, also known as an apostate, must be executed” and that a woman, at best must be “imprisoned or beaten five times a day until she repents or dies” and at worst, like men executed outright. It then goes on to cite 1978 and 1989 religious rulings — from the Fatwa Council at Al Azhar University, the closest Muslim equivalent to the Vatican, and the Mufti of Lebanon, each, respectively consigning a renegade Muslim to death if they “do not repent.” Perhaps “a misunderstanding on his part may have taken place, and there would thus be an opportunity to rectify it,” intones the Mufti. But he must do so within three days, or die.
By signing the Freedom Pledge, a Muslim promises to “renounce, repudiate and oppose any physical intimidation, or worldly and corporal punishment, of apostates from Islam, in whatever way that punishment may be determined or carried out by myself or any other Muslim including the family of the apostate, community, Mosque leaders, Shariah court or judge, and Muslim government or regime.”
Only two of the 111 Muslim leaders in 50 U.S. Muslim organizations to whom FMU sent the Freedom Pledge actually signed it. Those two heroes are Zuhdi Jasser (American Islamic Forum for Democracy) and Dr. Ali Alyami (Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia).
The results of the FMU Freedom Pledge — to date sent to 163 American Muslim leaders at 50 organizations — show that less than 1.3% of American Muslim leaders are actually moderate.
Read more about this: Peace, Tolerance and Religious Freedom? No Way.
Tawfik Hamid proposes the following test in his article, ABC's Test for Radical Islam. He writes:
The time has come to define Radical Islam. Please ask your local mosque, Islamic Shool, and Islamic organization to clearly, unambiguously and publically denounce the following concepts:
Beating women and stoning them to death for adultery.
Calling Jews pigs and monkeys.
Declaring war on Non Muslims to spread Islam after offering Non Muslims three options - subjugate to Islam, pay Jizia (a humiliating tax), or be killed.
Enslavement of Other Human Beings.
Fighting and killing Jews before the "End of Days".
Gay Discrimination and Hostility.
A true moderate person or organization must be able to immediately denounce the above concepts and stand publicly and unambiguously against them.
The Muslim world can not expect the world to consider Islam peaceful as long as they teach and promote such tenets.
A clear stand is needed from leading Islamic Scholars all over the world against such teachings.
Another simple test, which should be added to all others, is that Muslim men must shake hands with a non-Muslim woman before being allowed to immigrate into a free country.
From a story entitled France denies citizenship to Muslim man:
A Moroccan man who refused to shake hands with a French female official and whose wife wears the full Islamic veil has been denied French citizenship, the immigration ministry said Friday.
The man, who has been living in France since 1999 and married a French woman in 2004, failed to "assimilate into French society" and displayed a "discriminatory attitude toward women," said the ministry.
He "refused to shake the hand of a female official whom he met at the state prefecture because it was 'against his religion'", said a statement.
The man's wife wore the full veil and only agreed to uncover herself in a room where no men would be present, the statement added.
The decision was announced a few days before the National Assembly is to vote on a bill banning the full-face Islamic veil as part of what the government has described as an effort to assert French values.
THE FOLLOWING is an excerpt from What is Moderate Islam? by Reuel Marc Gerecht:
So what might be an American definition of a “moderate Muslim?” Perhaps the following two entries would be a good place to start.
1. A believer who unqualifiedly rejects terrorism against anyone. This is America’s Eleventh Commandment. If a Muslim cannot renounce terrorism against Israelis, that person should not be allowed to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero. Testing for unacceptable deviancy isn’t hard. Just borrow from the former al-Qa’ida philosopher, Abd al-Qadir bin Abd al-Aziz, aka “Dr. Fadl,” who sees Palestinian suicide bombers as destined for hell. Thus: “Do you, Feisal Abd ar-Rauf, believe that Allah damns eternally Palestinian suicide bombers?” “Do you believe that rockets launched at Israeli towns by Hamas and Hizbollah are acts of terrorism, which will bring down upon the perpetrators Allah’s wrath?” Mr. Rauf’s answers ought to be short.
2. A believer who embraces the doctrine of “neo-ijtihad,” which holds that Muslims today are not chained to the Qur’anic interpretations and legal decisions accepted centuries ago as canonical. Specifically, a “moderate Muslim American” is someone who unqualifiedly renounces the applicability of the Sharia, the Holy Law, in American society. The “Americanization of Islam” here means that the traditional Muslim understanding of orthodoxy as orthopraxy (it’s not what you believe in your heart—that is between you and God—but how you act, i.e., apply the Sharia, in the public square that matters) is null and void. Thus, women may veil or not veil as they please; a woman’s testimony is equal to a man’s; polygyny is verboten; marriage to a menstruating child is an abomination; accepted corporal punishments—amputations and stonings—are immoral; apostasy reflects bad judgment but isn’t criminal; and Jews and Christians should spiritually no longer be viewed as dhimmis, a properly subordinate species who really don’t deserve the same social status and legal rights as Muslims. Jewish and Christian power in America and Europe isn’t an offense against the divinely-sanctioned natural order; it’s just the product of a long, difficult, and tortuous evolution. The Sharia is a lengthy and complicated corpus that developed over centuries and often constrained the worst instincts of despots. A “moderate Muslim American” would see it in much the same way that a faithful “moderate Jewish American” views the Old Testament and the Talmud: documents of a certain time that contain considerable “divine” wisdom (as well as much looniness) and many imperatives for a good, healthy life.
I thought this was interesting. It's called the Ground Zero Declaration. It states certain basic American principles, and asks the promoters of the Ground Zero mosque to sign it. Since the American principles are incompatible with some aspects of basic Islamic doctrine, the question is, which principles will the "moderate Muslims" involved choose? Here is some of the text of the declaration:
The Ground Zero Declaration Affirmations
As citizens of the United States of America, we hold these truths to be self-evident:
* that all men and women are created equal
* that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights
* that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
In particular, we believe in:
1. Freedom of Religion
Freedom of conscience is an inalienable right for all Americans, as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. No person or group, religious or secular, has any right to impose religious beliefs on anyone else. American citizens are entirely free to choose and practice (or not practice) whatever religion they believe is best as long as they uphold the right of others to do the same.
2. Equal Protection
Men and women have equal status under the Law, entitled to protection from harm, even from family members who may think it is unacceptable to leave a religion, convert, or date and marry someone of another religion.
3. Human Dignity
All human beings have equal dignity, and thus must not be subject to slavery, ethnic, racial, or religious discrimination, or cruel and unusual punishment.
4. Peaceful Assembly and Free Speech
Everyone has the right to meet with others of like mind to share ideas, even those contrary to majority views. However, this carries the shared responsibility to allow others to safely express ideas we may disagree with and strongly object to.
In particular, we must always be free to criticize religions and religious choices in a responsible manner. This is essential precisely because we respect religion as a serious intellectual matter, deserving of thoughtful consideration and informed debate.
Read the whole declaration.