Rise of the anti-Islamist Muslims

Rise of the anti-Islamist Muslims

Anti-Islamist Muslims not only exist; in the two years since 9/11, they have increasingly found their voice. They are a varied lot who share neither a single approach nor one agenda. Some are pious, some not, and others are freethinkers or atheists. Some are conservative, others liberal. They share only a hostility to the Wahhabi, Khomeini, and other forms of militant Islam.

The weak standing of anti-Islamist Muslims has two major implications.

For them to be heard over the Islamist din requires help from the outside — celebration by governments, grants from foundations, recognition by the media, and attention from the academy.

Those same institutions must shun the now-dominant militant Islamic establishment. Moderates have a chance to be heard when Islamists are repudiated.

Promoting anti-Islamists and weakening Islamists is crucial if a moderate and modern form of Islam is to emerge in the West.

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