One of the topics that continues to stifle the campaign for Islamic awareness comes in the format of certain thinkers of the western world to continually characterize adherents to the Islamic faith as either moderate or conservative, which is itself an oxymoron within the Islamic context, as well as the primal fact that the basis for this premise is based on liberal thought. Islam cannot truly be identified from a warped basis. Indeed, the contending argument is summed up by a liberal agnostic with the following speech
Off course, you are obligated to say this, I understand but there are different interpretations right? I mean you can’t deny that.. so if you can admit that then can you say there is only one right way to interpretate Islam or more? If it is one.. then you have the right one correct? and would it lean more to the moderate or conservative interpretation?
This right here is a fallacy of reason when considering the Islamic reality.
The flaw of this theory is exposed when taking into consideration that our thought process is understood in the prism of western ideological divides or the western political outlook.
You see, we Muslims, in the view of our religion is that we “conserve” our religion. That is why we are conservative in a sense. LIKEWISE, due to the fact that we conserve our traditions, that makes US the moderates. WHY? because our very traditions (the very things we conserve) are INHERENTLY moderate. They are not extreme, rather our traditions puts everything in its proper place. Justice, entails putting things in its proper place and injustice and oppression is when we do not put things in its proper place or what demands to be there. So an example of this is when an action is performed that violates the sanctity of the society or the life of others. There is a saying “harsh actions demand harsh reactions”. In Islam, it is oppression for someone to murder another and then not receive the proper punishment. This is called injustice, and we see the various facets of these injustices performed in western systems which is why there is a tremendous amount of social ills due to the injustice of their legal system which inevitably produces these types of social ills and the inherent behavioral response to these ills.
You see, our religion, in totality is justice, patience, and ease. That includes killing the apostate, stoning the adulterer, cutting the hand of the thief, all of that is the “moderate way’ in Islam
A way that either EXCEEDS the limits stated in our thought or UNDERMINES and does not fulfill these limits is in reality the “extremist” position.
In other words, modernist and progressives are extremists criminals and those who promote this extremism as “moderate” are even worse extremist and criminals in the view of those who have reason.
In short, the practice of Islam is the middle moderate way, and those who abrogate its ordainments have fallen into extremism opposing the moderate way. Likewise those who exceed the Islamic boundaries are likewise extremist who have opposed the middle and moderate way of Islam
That is all because Islam, in the route we have received it from our ancestors, is the criterion for proper thought, belief, and the speed of life suitable for the human civilization for every era of our existence plain and simple. Deviation outside of this middle way is extremism in either laxity or extremism in excessiveness.
So when you judge this middle way (Islam) based under the pretext of western thought, which has extremism in laxity for the most part and as well extremism in over excessiveness in other aspects, it becomes improper to identify people who are Muslims as being “moderate” or “conservative” under the western ideological thought pattern or political orientative framework.
In simple speak, when a westerner calls the practicing Muslim an extremist, it is only because the one who has made this decision is himself an extremist in one way or the other. He is either too liberal (which will hurt and impede on the progress of humanity) or he is too excessive (which will likewise hurt and impede on the progress of humanity) simply because progress for humanity can ONLY happen in the path of Islam. There is no progress in the path of injustice and oppression and we understand that every way of life and thought in opposition to Islam is an injustice and a degradation to the human intellect.
So in essence, Islam demands its adherents to be conservative, which is to conserve their traditions passed on down to them by their ancestors (salafu-saalih) which they have received from Prophet Muhammad (alaihi salatu salam). And this conservatism inherently entails moderation or simply the “moderate” way. And those who espouse the upholding of these Islamic ordainments and thought processes as “extreme” can only come from one who is himself extreme which usually come from the route of extreme liberalist thought and its adherents.