I hate how we in America like to stress the importance of faith, but at the same time like to stress the importance of moderation, religious moderation. The two seem contradictory to me. How can you embrace faith strongly and be moderate at the same time? Are these ideas stressed by the same parties or different ones? It seems to me like they are coming from the same source.
I remember during the Bush era especially the emphasis put on our nation to keeps its faith strong and secure. Then they urge the Islamic world to move towards moderation. What I really get from this message is the urge to embrace the Christian faith. What the right wingers and conservatives really want is for all the people of the world to embrace Christianity, but they can't come out and say it like that because it might offend Jews, Muslims and Hindus. So, instead they spew out this debatable message to embrace faith while urging some towards moderation. What they want is people to embrace Christian faith, while people of other faiths should embrace moderation. I agree that Muslims should move towards moderation, as I think all people of faith should. I'd go a step further and urge all people of faith to move towards Atheism, in a calm and timely manner.
This issue of moderation is another thing. What does it mean to be a moderate? It plainly means that one must disregard all the beliefs of their faith that seem outdated and don't make sense anymore. For example a moderate Muslim, might look at the prohibition against alcohol and say, "Ok I'll scrape that." He might look at rules forbidding sex before marriage, the mandatory praying of 5 times a day, the rule to distrust Christians and Jews, the allowance of slavery and the subjugation of women and say, "Ok OK I'll scrape those too." And voila! Now we have the modern Muslim, compatible with Western culture, able to live amongst infidels without conflict. Or do we?
Whenever a Muslim is accused of being or having ties to, right wing Islamic fundamentalists, there's always that inevitable defense of the claims that they are very moderate and harbor no extremest beliefs at all. So, then the accused must now put on this show about how they're actually very westernized and not one of those types of Muslims, who takes their faith literally. So if taking ones faith literally means being an enemy to the West, or an enemy to freedom, then why is faith a good thing? Why must we keep this silly parade going on about faith being a good thing? When will the world realize that less faith is a good thing, not more? The whole world is never going to embrace your faith, you Muslims and Christians. And even if it did it wouldn't make the world a better place at all. Just look at how Sunnis and Shiites and Catholics and Protestants alike have been hating and killing each other for hundreds of years, all while praying to the same God. More faith is not a good thing and it is my duty to spread this word.