Where are all the moderate Muslims?

Is our faith so fragile that it wavers every time someone from another faith, ideology, mind-set voices an opinion?

Bisma Tirmizi January 08, 2015
History tells us a story about a woman who used to throw garbage out every morning as the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) passed by her house.

This was the woman’s practice every morning, the Prophet (pbuh) did not reprimand her neither did he change his route. And then one day, the woman did not appear, the Prophet (pbuh), worried to see the woman missing, knocked on her door and inquired about the woman’s wellbeing. The woman was so overwhelmed by his kindness that it is believed that she converted to Islam.

That was the greatness and humanity of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); this is a story that we tell our children when they are impressionable, the question being why? Let me answer the question myself; so they would understand goodness, tolerance, patience and kindness, the four cornerstones of humanity and Islam.

A Prophet (pbuh) who was known for his gentle ways, a Prophet (pbuh) who was known for his kindness, a Prophet (pbuh) who was known not to judge others, a Prophet (pbuh) who we hold in the greatest reverence and esteem, would he approve of the ugly way we live our lives? So full of hate and ready to judge at any given opportunity, ready to shed blood and pull out a sword to avenge any opinion other than our own.

Whoever made the defenders of Islam blood-thirsty barbaric killers? I think it is time the moderates take Islam back from the fanatics, who apparently love the smell of blood. Funnily, tragically or ironically, the mantra of the fanatics seems to be a verse written by the Europeans, it wasn’t right then and it is certainly the most hideous thing now;
Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman,

Be he live, or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.

The Englishman in the verse can be interpreted as anyone who speaks a language other than that of the fanatics; all minorities in Pakistan, moderate women, men and children, the French or anyone else who dares to disagree.

Our Islam is peaceful, our faith is strong enough where it can handle other opinions without having the urge to draw blood. The Islam I know taught me that killing is wrong, the Islam I know taught me that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) lived an exemplary life, the Islam I know says that his practices and mannerism were gentle, the Islam I know teaches me that his ways of imparting lessons were wise, his persona commanded respect, he was the greatest human being and that was his miracle. And my logic tells me that killing of children and journalists is not any kind of Islam, it is savagery, plain and simple.

Keeping the above reality in mind, how is it that the fanatics assume that the Prophet (pbuh) would condone bloodshed in his name? Should that not be considered blasphemy? How is killing French journalists defending the Prophet (pbuh)? How is killing of children in Peshawar defending Allah?

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) does not need defending, he does not need us to avenge him, he is much above that. It is reported that is what the murderers said as they massacred the French journalists.

Is the hard-liners’ faith so fragile that just because someone says or does something other than their belief system, they need to obliterate him? Why are the gatekeepers of Islam in Saudi Arabia not condemning such insane violence, why does the West never hold them accountable for supporting this fanatic brand of Islam? Why?

Fanatic ‘Islam’ has handicapped the real Muslims of the world; we are a population of over 1.2 billion Muslims who believe in actual Islam, a softer Islam, and we have been silenced. Are we not the real defenders of Islam, the majority? Should we not band together and take our faith back? Why are the moderate Muslims not taking offence to the fanatics twisting our faith, how is it that the fanatics have the guns and we have the pens? Is the pen not mightier than the sword?

Who are we?

What is our Islam, what is our Islamic philosophy, is our faith so fragile that it wavers every time someone from another belief system, faith, ideology, mind-set voices an opinion? Do we need a pound of flesh with a whole lot of blood each time someone utters, writes, or draws something that is other than what we think is right?

For the gun trotter, let me assure you that killing someone for an opinion is a sign of weakness. For the moderates, our faith is being hijacked, it is time we take offence and become the real ambassadors and defenders of Islam.

It is time to take Islam back.
Bisma Tirmizi

The author is a seasoned journalist by profession who has authored ‘Feast With A Taste Of Amir Khusro', published by Rupa Publications, and co-authored Companion to Pakistani Cuisine published by Oxford University Press. 

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


نائلہ | 9 years ago | Reply "does not look like it"- you just proved me correct :) Unless you check out what it actually is, you wont know.
نائلہ | 9 years ago | Reply All religions are God made. You don't believe it? Good for you and your clan. Meet you on the day we all will be raised to face Him. Toodles.
LS | 9 years ago So you think God had time to make all these religions (there are multitude of them)? God Wrote the book of religions for different parts of the world in their language that man made? God would give contradictory accounts on same topics in different religions? To me "Inspiration from God" does not equal "Being from god" because its just a way to put people into submission and stop any discussion on it. I don't like to bind my world in narrow confines of "Clan", "Regional identity" or "Nationality". I believe in Humanity, Spirituality and God but devoid of religion. God is one and same for all human beings sans religions, people call god with different names but there is NO religion specific god. Those who indulge in my religion is the best religion kind of discussion depress me. Those who think think Religion is something that needs to be imposed on others flabbergast me, those who think faith is bigger than Humanity annoy me. And No, I don't want to meet anyone when I am with God, if I am with god (because, I don't think I am good enough to be with god yet or my soul is pure enough to be with god yet). My Karma will decide when I will be with God, but based on what I know, its going to take very long, many births to reach there.
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