Just Like Us! Really?

No, but of course not. Because “us” doesn’t believe that murder and mayhem are ever justifiable. Because “us” doesn’t believe in radical, oppressive and violent methods to promote our religion and/or cultural and political idealogy. Because “us” doesn’t believe in waging cultural and/or violent forms of rebellion on the whole world in order to advance our culture and replace the constitutions and way of life of other sovereign nations. Because “us” believes in freedom and fair treatment for all including those who are different from us and with whom we disagree. Because “us” doesn’t believe that homosexuals deserve to be persecuted, tortured and put to death. Because “us” believes it is cruel, barbaric and uncivilized to castrate the sexual organs of little girls (so-called “circumcision” performed on 5 and 6 year old girls to “keep them chaste”). Because “us” doesn’t believe it is lawful or even human for husbands to punish, humiliate, shun and then beat their wives into submission. Because “us” believes that the body of a woman is a temple, that it is sacred and beautiful, and not a “piece of meat”, “a temptation for men to sin”, and that neither the arms nor hair of a woman need be covered in order to constitute “modesty”. Because “us” believes that human beings were created in the image of a Higher Being, created to love and to be loved, and that this Higher Being (by whatever name “us” shall call Him/Her) is all loving, all merciful, all-forgiving and intimately concerned with our happiness and well-being. No, they are NOT like us.

Just Like Us! Really?  (Full article. Excerpts below.)
by Robert Satloff

Who Speaks for Islam? is written by John L. Esposito, founding director of Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, and Dalia Mogahed, executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies. As the authors state at the outset, the book’s goal is to “democratize the debate” about a potential clash between Western and Muslim civilizations by shedding light on the “actual views of everyday Muslims”–especially the “silenced majority” whose views Esposito and Mogahed argue are lost in the din about terrorism, extremism, and Islamofascism.


The real debate about the “clash of civilizations” is about whether a determined element of radical Muslims could, like the Bolsheviks, take control of their societies and lead them into conflict with the West. The question often revolves around a disputed data point: Of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims, how many are radicals?


The book draws on a mammoth, six-year effort to poll and interview tens of thousands of Muslims in more than 35 countries with Muslim majorities or substantial minorities. The polling sample, Esposito and Mogahed claim, represents “more than 90 percent of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims.” To back up the claim, the book bears the name of the gold-standard of American polling firms, Gallup.


With remarkable exactitude, they argue: “If the 7 percent (91 million) of the politically radicalized continue to feel politically dominated, occupied and disrespected, the West will have little, if any, chance of changing their minds.” There is no need to worry about the 93 percent because, as Esposito and Mogahed have already argued, they are just like us.


The not-so-hidden purpose of this book is to blur any difference between average Muslims around the world and average Americans, and the authors rise to the occasion at every turn. Take the very definition of “Islam.” From Karen Armstrong to Bernard Lewis–and that’s a pretty broad range–virtually every scholar of note (and many who aren’t) has translated the term “Islam” as “submission to God.” But “submission” evidently sounds off-putting to the American ear, so Esposito and Mogahed offer a different, more melodious translation–“a strong commitment to God”–that has a ring to it of everything but accuracy.


Twice, for example, they cite as convincing evidence for their argument poll data from “the ten most populous majority Muslim countries,” which they then list as including Jordan and Lebanon, tiny states that don’t even rank in the top 25 of Muslim majority countries. Twice they say their 10 specially polled countries collectively comprise 80 percent of the world Muslim population; in fact, the figure is barely 60 percent.


Mogahed publicly admitted they knew certain people weren’t moderates but they still termed them so. She and Esposito cooked the books and dumbed down the text. Apparently, by the authors’ own test, there are not 91 million radicals in Muslim societies but almost twice that number. They must have shrieked in horror to find their original estimate on the high side of assessments made by scholars, such as Daniel Pipes, whom Esposito routinely denounces as Islamophobes.


And then there is the more fundamental fraud of using the 9/11 question as the measure of “who is a radical.” Amazing as it sounds, according to Esposito and Mogahed, the proper term for a Muslim who hates America, wants to impose Sharia law, supports suicide bombing, and opposes equal rights for women but does not “completely” justify 9/11 is .  .  . “moderate.”

Remember, the Koran permits Muslims to “lie and deceive” but only if it serves the cause of Islam and is for the purpose of deceiving unbelievers.  

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