I have often said that Islam flourishes on the back of the ‘moderate Muslims' than the extremists like the Taliban and ISIS. Yes, the Taliban and ISIS are more visible and attract large-scale condemnation from both the West and moderate Muslims but we need to honestly look into these moderate Muslims. What do they actually believe in?
Australia elected its first female Muslim senator Mehreen Faruqi who proudly boasted about her being a "brown, feminist Muslim woman". Everything in this claim was correct except for the feminist part. Have you ever heard of a black-loving white supremacist or a Jew-loving subscriber of Mein Kampf? I have not. If you are either of the above two things than there is a major contradiction in your beliefs. Islam and the Quran support wife beatings (Quran 4:34), taking of females as sex slaves (Quran 4:24), unfair distribution of inheritance (Quran 4:11) and believes women are mentally inferior to men (2:282). You can either believe in the Quran being absolutely correct or you can be a feminist. You cannot have it both ways. Dr Mehreen Faruqi calls herself a Muslim feminist who believes in the Quran, a revelation of the creator of the universe and consequently believes everything in it is correct. So, if everything in the Quran is correct and you are a feminist then it means you are new kind of a feminist, a woman beating kind of a feminist. Can the Western feminists accept this new definition of feminism? If not, then why do you make people like Mehreen Faruqi or Linda Sarsur your champions?
Dr Mehreen Farqui was a face of a Western moderate Muslim. There is another kind of a moderate Muslim, an Eastern moderate Muslim. An Eastern Moderate Muslim is someone who portrays himself/herself as a progressive, modern 21st-century individual. Most Western readers wouldn't know about the people like Hamza Ali Abbasi or Rabi Pirzada, both highly successful Pakistani singers and actors and are both poster boy and girl of ‘moderate' Muslims. In the wake of the Dutch Muhammad cartoon saga, a lot of Muslims came forward in showing their disgust over the cartoons, which is fine as I also think drawing cartoons of Muhammad in the name of stirring up Muslims is probably not a good enough cause. But that's not where these moderate Muslims stop. Some went as far as openly asking for the death of the cartoonists and the organisers of this contest. Rabi Pirzada tweeted this:
"The sketch makers must be hanged." It didn't say they "should" be hanged, it didn't say they should be prosecuted, it said they MUST be hanged. This is an open incitement to violence coming from non-hijab Western-clothes wearing, singing and acting moderate Muslim. Like senator Mehreen Faruqi she might also call herself a feminist, liberal Muslim. It is important to note that I am not equating Senator Faruqi with Rabi Pirzada on the issue of blasphemy but I am comparing her with Pirzada on the claims of being moderate feminist Muslims. Senator Faruqi probably doesn't believe that blasphemers should be killed anyway as the Quran is a little vague on the issue of blasphemy (5:33 and 33:57-61) however it is explicit in the hadiths.
I will not take these moderate Muslims seriously until they come out and condemn the Quran for its misogynistic, homophobic, violent verses that result in violent values. The common criticism I get from my Australian audience is that "oh but she is just a moderate Muslim like I am a moderate Catholic". There is a clear difference between a moderate Muslim and a moderate Christian. A moderate Christian does not believe that the words in the Bible are set in stone. The Bible is viewed by the moderate Christians as a divinely inspired book hence it could have some flaws in it while the moderate Muslims believe that the Quran is a divine book (not inspired) which has absolutely no flaws in it. This is why it is an unfair comparison and should never be used in defence of the moderate Muslims. Yes, you might find occasional Bible thumping ‘moderate' Catholics but you would rightfully be questioning their ‘moderate Catholic' claim. Christianity actually allows you to be moderate because you can question the Bible, the courtesy isn't extended in Islam.
So when the next time a Muslim tells you that he/she is a moderate Muslim, ask them if they believe that the Quran is an absolutely perfect book? They are going to say yes and when they do, ask them about the wife bashing (4:34) and sex slavery (4:24) verses.