One of the Good Muslim Groups
By: Warner Todd Huston
The clash of civilizations is in full swing between Islam and the Democratic west and one of the things that many on the anti-jihadi side of the argument are wont to say, those who use the term Islamofascism commonly, is that there aren’t any “moderate” Muslim groups out there. In truth, for the most part they are correct in the assertion that there are not many Muslims who oppose the Jihadists, Islamofascists and Wahhabist extremists in Islam (called Takfiris in the Mid East). It appears thus far that most Muslims are at least tacit supporters of the aims, if not the tactics, of the most radical Islamists. The “purity” that the most radical Muslims seek is an appealing feature even for the most peace loving Muslim. To put it in a broader context, what religious person of any faith could oppose a drive for the pure religion? Couple the ideals of purifying their religion with the general tendency of Islam towards collectivism and subservience of the individual to the group and you get an awful lot of Muslims reticent to criticize other Muslims even when they are blowing up innocents, stoning people, and chopping off heads. For far too many Muslims, the violence of the jihadis is “understandable.”
This all too common tacit approval through silence and a base level of “understanding” where the radicals are coming from evinced by the average Muslim leads to a misconception in the west as to whether or not there is such a thing as a “good” Muslim, one that will stand up against the evil of the Wahhabists and bin Laddenists of their kin. While westerners are correct that the Muslim who will stand up against the evil of Islamism is far and few between, they are not correct to say that there aren’t any Muslim groups who oppose the radicals and here I would like to showcase one that is, indeed, stepping up to the plate to protest those who would murder and destroy in the name of Muhammad’s religion.
The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Schwartz wrote a piece last week about Al-Baqee.org who’s tag line is “A Cry for Justice,” their call to action, “Stop the atrocities against the Ahlul-bayt(as) and their followers!” and “Shi’a and Sunni Muslims Against Wahhabi Extremism.” Here is a group that stands foursquare against Takfiri terrorism.
What spurred their activism is the constant destruction of thousand years old religious sites throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by ruling officials steeped in Wahhabi extremism as well as the oppression of minority sects or those Muslims who do not hold the reins of power in the Kingdom and elsewhere. It is an ethnic cleansing as complete as any that the west got all excited about in Bosnia, but one that doesn’t get much play in the west. To be sure, this is Al-Baqee’s chief fight against the Takfiri influence on Islam, terrorism against the west taking more of a back seat. Still, they do not mince words on any of the atrocities that the Takfiris commit.
Sadly, few westerners are aware of it, but the Saudi government has been systematically destroying Islamic shrines, Mosques, graveyards and holy sites of minority sects for many years now. Leveling graveyards and building government buildings upon the grounds and destroying ancient, holy buildings is a deliberate plan set in place by the Saudi government to eliminate any vestige of opposing religious voices. This sort of destruction has also featured in other parts of the region when extremists take charge. The destruction of the Golden Dome of the Askariya shrine in Iraq and the Bamiyan Buddha Statues in Afghanistan are other examples of this sort of destruction of Holy sites by Islamist extremists and it is this sort of terrorism that Al-Baqee.org has organized to combat.
This October, Al-Baqee supporters gathered to protest in front of the Saudi Embassy in Washington D.C. They came together to protest the newest Saudi outrage, a fatwa against Shia holy sites in Iraq. As Schwartz reports, “Their demonstration at the Saudi embassy was inspired by a report in the Saudi daily al-Watan (The Nation) in late July that Wahhabi clerics had issued fatwas calling for attacks on Shia holy sites at Karbala and Najaf in Iraq. If these sites were attacked, coalition soldiers as well as innocent Iraqis would almost certainly be killed in the chaotic aftermath.”
The Al-Baqee group also sees a direct link between the current crop of radical Islamists with fascism and Nazism. One of the Al-Baqee handouts defines Wahhabism as, “a radical doctrine that is a dangerous and violent threat to Americans and non-Americans, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.” And on their website, you can download a.pdf file that directly calls Saudi clerics that have issued these fatwas evil.
Al-Baqee is definitely one of the “good” Muslim groups. These folks have taken the best of the idea of religious tolerance from western tradition and are applying it to protect their own and in so doing have learned of the value of religious tolerance. A group such as this should be highlighted by those fighting against Islamofascism from the western side to serve as an example that all Muslims arenÂ¹t necessarily Â³themÂ² and they should be encouraged in their efforts.