In response to my post on the Air Tran Flight 297 debacle, Dave Price at Dean’s World complains:

I worry that even liberal Muslims like yourself are more concerned with defending your faith than acknowledging its problems and reforming it.

Shouldn’t liberal Muslims be sympathetic, if not having these fantasies themselves (preferably distinguishing fantasy from reality a bit better than this guy)? We’re on the same side here, right?

Lets be absolutely clear here.

Liberal muslims are sympathetic indeed to the very simple idea that there are illiberal muslims out there who do bad things, and they keep claiming that it’s in the name of the faith. But we are NOT concerned with defending our faith. We are concerned with defending the West, not Islam. Specifically, those ideals of the West which are the reason we came here and immigrated here. Those ideals are the ones under siege when a liar like Tedd Petruna can find a willing and credulous audience.

You want liberal muslims to “reform” Islam. NO. Theres nothing – NOTHING – to reform. I follow my faith and I am as good a citizen as you or anyone else. over one BILLION muslims are like me. The number of muslims who kill other people in the name of faith is a tiny fraction, and about equal in numbers to the number of Christians who murder people every day in America. Those Christians might kill people for economic reasons instead of self-declared religious ones; fine, then will we now demand that “liberal capitalists’ reform capitalism? Nonsense, and irrelevant.

Ultimately what matters is what people DO – and when I tell you that I am a good citizen partly because that is part of what MY faith tells me to do – to be a good example, to live humbly, to be a source of succor and comfort to my community, regardless of their creed – why do you dismiss me? The life choices I make are informed by my interpretation of faith; the violent actions of the extremists are informed by their interpretations of faith. Yet MY kind outnumber theirs by hundreds of thousands to one.

What you really mean by “reform your faith” is to be more protestant – water it down, make it a culture instead of a creed, stop wearing funny hats and trim our beards and stop with the ncessant praying and not be so serious about God all the time. Thats what you really want. You want us to be salad bar muslims, but look at Switzerland where the muslims already are like that – and they get a minaret ban. Meanwhile, the hard core jihadi is going to look at my abandoning my principles (to appease your precious feelings) and conclude what, exactly? That he’s wrong, because so great a muslim as Aziz Poonawalla and his ilk have renounced prayer and now drink alcohol and eat pepperoni?

Islam is eternal. It will always be greater than what any one muslim or non-muslim makes it out to be in the narrow confines of their heart. To demand that I reform it is like asking me to change the course of the Nile. And yet, boats on the nile don’t just passively follow the river’s course – they can navigate it in any direction. So too with muslims. Most go along the current, but some go upstream.

If you demand that *I* change MY Islam, then you’re a fool. And a tool, playing right into Osama bin Laden’s hands.

I will never compromise my faith nor my identity as an American patriot. I’m sorry for you if you think these grand, noble concepts are so puny in your eyes as to conflict.

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