After having come across a letter at the American Perspective I was reminded of a debate I had seen occur between Robert Spencer and Peter Kreeft. Peter Kreeft and Robert Spencer debated on the subject of whether or not the only good Muslim is a bad Muslim. A former Muslim has written a letter on why he/she is a recovering Muslim. One line particularly stuck out to me, “But a good Muslim, by our standards is a bad Muslim by Islamic standards.” I agree with this assessment. Can Muslims follow Sharia Law and be what we would call a good Muslim?
Here is the letter from Bosch Fawstin:
My name is Bosch and I’m a recovering Muslim.
That is, if Muslims don’t kill me for leaving Islam, which it requires them to do. That’s just one of the reasons I’ve been writing and drawing against Islam and its Jihad for a number of years now. But fortunately for us, Islam hasn’t been able to make every Muslim its slave, just as Nazism wasn’t able to turn every German into a Nazi. So there is Islam and there are Muslims. Muslims who take Islam seriously are at war with us and Muslims who don’t aren’t.
But that doesn’t mean we should consider these reluctant Muslims allies against Jihad. I’ve been around Muslims my entire life and most of them truly don’t care about Islam. The problem I have with many of these essentially non-Muslim Muslims, especially in the middle of this war being waged on us by their more consistent co-religionists, is that they give the enemy cover. They force us to play a game of Muslim Roulette since we can’t tell which Muslim is going to blow himself up until he does. And their indifference about the evil being committed in the name of their religion is a big reason why their reputation is where it is.
So while I understand that most Muslims are not at war with us, they’ve proven in their silence and inaction against jihad that they’re not on our side either, and there’s nothing we can say or do to change that. We just have to finally accept it and stop expecting them to come around, while doing our best to kill those who are trying to kill us.
Another problem with Muslims who aren’t very Muslim is that they lead some among us to conclude that they must be practicing a more enlightened form of Islam. They’re not. They’re “practicing” life in non-Muslim countries, where they are free to live as they choose. But their “Islam” is not the Islam. There’s no separate ideology apart from Islam that’s being practiced by these Muslims in name only, there’s no such thing as “Western Islam”.
Non-observant Muslims are not our problem, but neither are they the solution to our problem. Our problem is Islam and its most consistent practitioners. There is nothing in Islam that stays the hand of Muslims who want to kill non-Muslims. If an individual Muslim is personally peaceful, it’s not because of Islam, it’s because of his individual choice, which is why I often say that your average Muslim is morally superior to Mohammad, to their own religion. The very rare Muslim who helps us against Jihad is acting against his religion, but that doesn’t stop some among us from thinking that his existence somehow means that he represents more than himself.
The only reason we’re talking about Islam is because it doesn’t mean peace. Islam wasn’t hijacked by a “small minority of extremists” on 9/11, it was hijacked by a very small minority of moderates whose embarrassment in being associated with such an immoderate religion leads them to engage in moderate truth telling about it, proving their irrelevance as allies.
In addition to these politically active moderates, when you see well-assimilated Muslims in the West, you’re not seeing Islam in action, you’re seeing individuals living up to the old adage, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. They’re essentially post-Islamic Muslims who have rejected Islamic values and have embraced Western ones. But since the process of their assimilation was implicit – as it happened naturally by their exposure to Western, i.e., pro-life, values – both Muslims and non-Muslims alike prefer to generously give Islam some credit for it. But a good Muslim, by our standards is a bad Muslim by Islamic standards. Objectively good human beings, who identify themselves as Muslim, give Islam a good face, one far better then it deserves. This only gives us a false impression about what it is we’re facing, with just another excuse not to face it. And this leads to our acceptance into our culture of stealth jihadists who have figured out how to say what we want to hear, while they scheme behind the scenes to further Islamize the West.
In the name of distinguishing the enemy from Muslims who mean us no harm, far too many Western commentators have avoided using the name “Islam” for the enemy’s ideology, and instead have decided to create their very own terms for the threat we’re facing, terms that are alien to the enemy.
Terms such as: Islamic Fundamentalism. Islamic Extremism. Totalitarian Islam. Islamofascism. Islamonazism. Political Islam. Bin Ladenism. Radical Islam. Militant Islam. Islamism. Jihadism.
We didn’t use terms such as “Radical Nazism”, “Extremist Shinto” and “Militant Communism” in the past. “Militant Islam”, Political Islam”, etc., are redundant terms. Our pretending otherwise has proven disastrous. Thousands of American lives, both civilian and military, have been sacrificed because of policies predicated on the myth that “Islam means peace.” We didn’t try to reform Shinto or Nazism during World War II; the major changes in those cultures took place only after we thoroughly de-militarized them.
And it’s no accident that Western analysts of Islam who are most informed about Islam are also most critical of it, while those least informed are least critical. But then there are those who, in their study of Islam, have become so enamored with their subject that, instead of sticking to what Islam is, they often write about what it isn’t, what they hope it might be. They seem preoccupied with doing their part to save Islam from those who have allegedly corrupted it.
There is more here.
Below I have posted the debate between Peter Kreeft and Robert Specter. I highly recommend you take the time to listen to the debate. The introductions and debate start at about the 6 minute mark. There is a question and answer session at the end.