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Brad Thor in Defense of Pamela Geller: Islam Needs More Direct Challenges, Not Less

You – the world’s moderate Muslims - know who the fundamentalists are, where their mosques and madrassas are. If you truly seek peace, only you can bring it about.

Photo: Shutterstock

One of the best articles I have ever read about how political correctness has completely caved to fundamentalist Islam is "Losing Our Spines to Save Our Necks" by Sam Harris. I was reminded of this article in the wake of all the criticism Pamela Geller, rather than the Muslim terrorists shot dead outside her event in Garland, Texas last Sunday, has received this week.

What I have found particularly galling is the torrent of “She has a right to free speech, but…” coming not just from the left, but also from the right.

Critics – including most of the media - claim that what Geller did was provocative. They never stop to note, as Harris put it, “The point is not (and will never be) that some free person spoke, or wrote, or illustrated in such a manner as to inflame the Muslim community. The point is that only [emphasis added] the Muslim community is combustible in this way.”

Photo: Shutterstock Photo: Shutterstock 

Harris goes on to say, “Muslims appear to be far more concerned about perceived slights to their religion than about the atrocities committed daily in its name.”

This goes to the heart of  Geller’s event in Garland and what I see not as a provocation, but as a challenge.

Unlike Judaism and Christianity, Islam has not undergone reformation. While the majority of Islam’s adherents operate beyond a seventh century interpretation of Muslim doctrine, millions do not.

It has long been my assertion, particularly in the absence of any Islamic reformation, that those who are “technically” perverting the Muslim faith are not the fundamentalists, but rather the moderates. This is a reality successfully leveraged by fundamentalists to both silence, and sadly, woo otherwise peaceful Muslims to their cause. Simply put, moderates don’t have a contextual leg to stand on when confronted by their fundamentalist co-religionists. This is why what Geller is doing is so important.

Non-Muslims cannot bring about the much-needed Islamic reformation, only moderate Muslims can do that. But they’re not out in the streets rallying and marching against the fundamentalists and jihad. Why not? Because they’re terrified - and rightly so.

Islamic fundamentalists murder people for being gay; they murder children for going to school; they murder men and women for having an affair; they murdered a filmmaker for exposing Muslim domestic violence; and they routinely murder people for leaving Islam. It is highly likely that they will attempt to murder anyone trying to reform Islam.

[sharequote align="center"]It is highly likely that radical Muslims will attempt to murder anyone trying to reform Islam.[/sharequote]

But despite a litany of barbarism, the West refuses to intellectually confront the ideology fueling Islamic supremacy and its attendant acts of horror. Worse still, the West has carved out a protected space in the public square that indemnifies the Islamic faith from having to answer for the barbarism committed daily in its name. We have been so hobbled by political correctness, that even face-to-face with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks we were more concerned with not offending peaceful Muslims than in calling out their passive complicity in their co-religionists' actions. This must end.

It must end before there is another Garland, another Fort Hood, another July 7, 2005 or another Sept. 11, 2001. We must challenge the Islamic faith and Muslims worldwide to be worthy of their standing in the 21st century. If yours is truly a religion of peace, then prove it. Reform the Muslim faith so that those who would do violence in the name of Islam are the ones who no longer have any leg to stand on.

You – the world’s moderate Muslims - know who the fundamentalists are, where their mosques and madrassas are. Drive them from your midst. Refuse to fund their jihadism. Refuse to afford them a place at your table or any semblance of honor in your nations. It is a task only you are capable of. If you truly seek peace, only you can bring it about.

Now, will pointing this out pique moderate Muslims? Perhaps, but that can no longer be our primary concern. The inability of Islam to police its own is one of the gravest problems facing the world today. Change is hard, it can also be deadly for those committed to that change, but the time has long since passed for good Muslim men and women to stand up and say, “Not in my name. Not any longer.”

And it is only by publicly and unrelentingly challenging Islam that the door to reform will begin to open. But if Pamela Geller, a free woman in a free nation, cannot openly challenge Islam, how can we ever expect moderate Muslims in their countries to do so?

Brad Thor is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of "CODE OF CONDUCT." Visit his website. Follow him on Twitter: @BradThor. And on Facebook.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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