Moderate and Radical Islam in Western Society
When faced with displays of Islamic extremism, the apologists claim the real problem is a misunderstanding of Islam, which they assure us, is a religion of peace and tolerance.
Extremists have been 'radicalized' and do not represent mainstream Muslim society. Who are the fanatics radicalized by? There appears to be no shortage of religious leaders providing this type of guidance, and strangely, even when this takes place in North America, the moderates always seem totally unaware of what is going on. Do mosques really have such good security, or is this just willful blindness?
Canadian security forces have recently uncovered another homegrown terrorist plot. Was absolutely no one in the Muslim community aware that these people were up to something? Nobody exists in a vacuum. These people would have attended their mosque several times a day, and must have had some interaction with others. If they didn't, that alone should have drawn attention to them. In addition to planning to set off bombs, they were raising funds for al-Qaeda. Were they only soliciting money from fellow terrorists? As, hopefully, there aren't that many of them in our midst, some approach must have been made to a wider community, and yet (they claim) no one suspected what this cash was for.
The only time the moderate elements speak out is after the fact, and only then to denounce those who blame the entire Muslim community for the actions of a few. Condemnation of the radicals is usually absent. Mistrust of Islam, they claim, is the real problem and, the radicals are merely over-zealous jihadists, angered by our involvement in wars in Islamic nations. In other words, if we get blown up, it is our own fault.
The apologists can't always expect to hide behind this type of rhetoric. Constantly pointing the finger at others will neither stop the radicals, nor foster tolerance and understanding. Muslim society is largely closed to outsiders, and those best placed to prevent radicalization are living within that community. Loyalty to religion is fine, but loyalty to country, and society as a whole is also part of life in a democratic society.
Does a large segment of our population distrust Islam? Clearly the answer is yes, and the solution to this problem is in the hands of those claiming to be moderates, wishing nothing more than to live in harmony with their non-Muslim neighbors. The radicals are a small minority, and true terrorists smaller still. The majority must prevail, and speak out, not against the society in which they live, but against the radicals hiding among them.