Between a rock and a hard place?

At Spirit21 Shelina is reflecting on what she calls the “double whammy” faced by moderate Muslims:

This is the dilemma that faces Muslims when responding to the constant onslaught from the media and from politics. The Muslim community needs to make changes and be critical of itself. But the extreme Muslim views have painted this into a black and white choice – support Muslims and be with the Muslim cause, or be against it. To criticise, to challenge is to find yourself (or so they have Muslims believe) attacking your own values. And when Muslims turn to look at Bush, Blair and their allies and counterparts, they only re-inforce the same message: you are with us or against us.

In a characteristically interesting post which manages to cover the execution of Saddam, the Dispatches programme: “undercover mosque,” and the debate on the veil, she also finds time to make some very insightful points about what it is to be human.

All human beings, including Muslims, even at the height of emotion and pressure are required to show courage that underpins moral intelligence in making the right choices. A Muslim is duty bound to uphold the right course of action no matter what voices whisper on either side, no matter who the voices are from or what they say, or of the emotions welling up inside. (…) It takes insight and courage to be able to create a voice that asks questions, that challenges and that uses moral judgement to discern what the truth is, what is the right course of action.

We should not immediately recoil and reject the words from one side without careful analysis: we should not run to defend those who claim to hold the truth without exercising discernment. We must reclaim for ourselves the right to discern the truth and then identify who that is.

Whether you agree with her on all the ins and outs of every issue or not, hers is a voice that both needs to be heard, and one which raises questions which are not given nearly enough reflection elsewhere in the blogosphere or even in the media in general.

So, even though moderated comments are a pain and require patience, please forgive me if I direct you to her place rather than open the comments here.