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Hassan Radwan’s response to Robert Spencer

This is the cross post of a comment by Hassan Radwan of the Council of Ex-Muslims

My name is Hassan and I am an Ex-Muslim and an Executive member of the Council of Ex-Muslims. I congratulate Maryam for making a clear distinction between our stand against the Islamists on the one hand and your position and that of Pam Geller and groups like SIOE/A on the other.

I find it amusing how you throw “Anti-Semite” at her much like some Muslims throw “Islamophobe” at anyone who dares criticise Islam, simply because she criticised Israel’s tactics during the invasion of Gaza. It seems you have the attitude of anyone criticising Israel’s political and military policies is an anti-semite. Just as some Muslims have the attitude that anyone criticising Islam hates Muslims.

But worse than this your saying that moderates have “no truck” with extremists. I was Muslim most of my life, (I am 52) and my family and friends are Muslim and to imply that I never had – nor Muslims in general have – any problem with people who massacre innocent civilians or behead innocent people is deeply offensive to me. Do you also think the Synagogues and Jews Baruch Goldstein prayed with had “No truck” with him massacring 29 worshippers at a Mosque in Hebron? I suspect not. I guess guilt by association only applies to Muslims – right?

Unlike you, Maryam and CEMB don’t lump all Muslims (or any religious believers) in one boat, nor do we see Islam as a single homogenous entity. We were Muslims and we know about Islam and Muslims very well and have a much better understanding of the issues we face than you. Although we don’t believe in Islam, we have no problem with Muslims who wish to follow their own interpretations of Islam so long as they are peaceful and do not try to impose their beliefs on others. Just as we have no problem with those of other faiths who follow it peacefully.

We are only against the Islamists and harsh, literalist and violent interpretations of Islam and those who seek to impose it on others.

Contrary to what you may think there is no such thing as “True Islam”. There are many different traditions and interpretations and many personal versions of Islam that differ from Muslim to Muslim.

Of course every Muslim will tell you there is a “True Islam” and it just so happens to be the version they follow. But it is obvious they would say that since they are compelled to preserve the integrity of a religion they believe is revealed by God. But those of us who do not believe that Islam was the carefully planned work of an Omniscient and Omnipotent Creator, but the rather less carefully planned work of the human mind, are under no obligation to defend it’s integrity and consistency against all reason, when it is obvious that Muslims have very differing interpretations.

Even when one looks solely at the basic sources – the Qur’an and Hadith – it is clear that what Muhammad himself did and said varied at different points of his lifetime and according to the circumstances and each group is selective in how they interpret them. Nor is Abrogation – that you love to bring as evidence of the harsh verses superseding the peaceful one – as simple and straightforward as you make it out to be.

Anyone with the slightest knowledge of abrogation will know it creates more anomalies than it solves, and today huge numbers of Muslims reject the idea completely – as I did when I was a Muslim.

Regardless of how you or I wish to define Islam – it is not up to us but those who call themselves Muslims. I would no more impose my view that Christianity clearly considers homosexuality a sin, on a Christian who does not regard it as a sin – than I would impose my view that the Qur’an clearly allows a man to hit his wife on a Muslim who interprets; “Hit” as; “Leave her alone” – regardless of how absurd I may think those views to be.

We stand against Political Islam and the Islamists who hold harsh and violent views and who have a political agenda to impose Islam and Islamic Laws on others.

I agree that until the Islamists are defeated, it is extremely difficult for ordinary Muslims to live their lives according to their own ‘personal Islam’, and this is one reason we fight this battle, for all humanity – including Muslims themselves – who are the greatest victims of the Islamists.

I find it perverse that people like you want to convince everyone – including Muslims – that moderate forms of Islam are wrong and that the true version is the terrorists’ version and that Muslims that appear moderate are just practising “Taqiyyah”.

Of course I realise it is because you need to justify your agenda towards Muslims in general. To convince the public that ordinary Muslims are in league with the terrorists, they cannot be trusted and harsh and restrictive measures must be imposed on them all.

Even though you say you are against violence against Muslims it is clear from the sorts of people you attract and quote you, that your words have given great encouragement to those who do want to justify violence and aggression against ordinary Muslims.

You need to look closely at yourself and the the consequences of some of the things you say and the sorts of people supporting you – if you truly care about humanity.

UPDATE

Hassan wrote the piece as a comment pretty quickly, and – as commenters below have pointed out – misused the phrase “no truck”. Spencer’s point was as follows:

“What I am saying in the quote is that the “extremists” are not one sect and the “moderates” another, such that they go to different mosques and have no truck with one another. In fact, they are all mixed up together, as numerous jihad plots in the US show — the jihadist turns out to have attended a local mosque, which quickly disavows him. This is simply a fact. What exactly is either false or racist about that?”

Hassan was challenging Spencer’s suggestion that extremists and moderates were “all mixed up together” because they might attend the same institutions.

We’d agree with that  – for example, there are a lot of rotters at the East London Mosque, who are active on the Mosque committee. It most certainly doesn’t mean that the thousands of people who attend that large and rather beautiful institution are all Jamaat-e-Islami activists.

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