Sunday, November 22, 2015

What is the moderate Muslim?

The moderate Muslim to a non Muslim like me is a moving target because no Muslim see himself as extremist and so they end up accusing each other who practice it differently as extreme, either conservatively or liberally.

I am quite irritated with this issue but I feel I have to spend some time on it after I saw this from an American friend.

The following from LiveLeak supposedly exposed to us non Muslims how a whole congregation of Muslims saw themselves as moderate. To me that is hardly moderate! This was in America.

To non Muslims, as long as Muslims set themselves apart from the broader society they cannot be regarded as moderate as we superficially understand them and prefer to accept them. Socially it is going to get harder and harder to accommodate this version of Islam.

Then I saw and grudgingly spent an hour watching Dr. Bilal Philips explained in Malaysia who is the moderate Muslim. His background is Salafism but he is against the likes of ISIS, Boko Haram etc., but before that I went to familiarize myself with Winston Churchill first hand observation and opinion of Muslim society as he experienced for himself when he was in the Middle East as a young soldier. See the following links (Snopes, The Federalist papers, Wikpedia)

To save time when I return to this post in future, the following words of Churchill is worth recording,

Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.

And enduring Dr. Bilal Philips for an hour indeed helped me to understand a little why Churchill had felt that way.

Here in Singapore I have utmost respect for my Muslim friends but with little understanding of their religion. The quickest way I can access Islam is through my own grasp of Christianity. Among the Christians there are also those who preach a return to the early church as well, i.e., similar to Salafism call to return to the original Islam of 1,400 years ago.

I get a bad feeling that the Salafist juggernaut is almost impossible to resist. How I wish we could put them in a bubble to try and fail just for them to learn it doesn't work. Similarly Christian preachers trying to return the churches to the early Christians era is also an unworkable idea.

Finally when I did quick check on Bilal Philips, I don't think ICA would admit him into Singapore. He styled himself as a moderate Muslim because all good Muslims believe a true Muslim by definition must be moderate! Until a Muslim terrorist begin to attack you, it is hard to tell if such is a true Muslim. Until they had tried and failed in at least an attempted terrorist act, it is hard to identify and watch them.

Update: Nov 24 9:00am

It wasn't that long ago I came across polls suggesting that the majority of Malay Muslims in Malaysia rank religion ahead of bread and butter issues. This morning my daughter alerted me to the Pew Research findings: 1 in 10 Malaysians thought well of Daesh.

Imans like Dr. Bilal Philips whilst not supporting Daesh, Boko Haram or Al Qaeda nevertheless prepare enough Muslims to be more easily influenced by extremist and violent interpretations of Islam.

Now I understand the extremist ideology better. Wahhabism came and told nominal Muslims that they were believing and practicing Islam wrong. Many of the Muslims they reached knew next to nothing of the Quran. As such they were easy pickings. If they were already well taught it would have been different. Wahhabi ideas will immediately faced challenge. Now you want to teach them other interpretations of the faith, it is going to be very hard.


  1. Mega churches lies have its roots in religious white lies. Watch the video link provided and get a better understanding of what Singapore has imported(presumably published this year - we all learn from the west, never from the highly regulated east, don't we?)

    Unfortunately, in my humble opinion, we will never get an unbiased and unadulterated truth from religious people so be wise(I know I am asking too much of 70% sheep people) and be enlightened(try to look at the facts). At the end, the subject is still a "pot calling the kettle black". A classic religious battle between the conservative good folks who keep you in "sins consciousness"( subservient to religious power) and those who saw the damages and impediments of old theology and created a progressive and indulgent gospel through mixing positive/possibility/pragmatic thinking with old theology - call it civil implosion.

    The CHC saga has revealed that the gov is really not in control. Mega Churches/Churches generally subsist because of their charitable arms etc etc. But there are also influential people in power who think being cordial with a chosen race is the right way.

    But I think we are living too much in ...false/fool's paradise. No? Our leaders like to humour the people by removing spots from the leopard(she was in the news recently). They think they can contain and domesticate the leopard without its spots.

    Follow the below link of a typical sheep people. The author starts with...

    Dear editor,

    I cannot say that I am without sin and I am definitely in a position where I am personally in need of God's grace and mercy.

    See more at:

    An attempt to remove spots from a beast? You decide but I have my doubts lol

  2. Btw, the title to the link is...Mega Churches New World Order exposed. Rick Warren, author of the world wide best selling book "a purposeful life", was invited to world forum discussion etc.

    We have our own rising stars in the religious world too lol