The question has been asked, "Where are the moderate Muslims?" The assumption has been granted that there are moderate Muslims. And I am sure that there are, just not enough to make any meaningful inroads toward moderating Islam. Those who are not part of Islam have been fearful of speaking out against the violence perpetrated on the world by radical Islamists, the fear among members of the faith that may have some moderation of that faith, is even more ubiquitous.
In 1988 when Bin Laden and Zawahiri formed the terrorist network known as Al Qaeda, they did so with the intention, in their estimation, to reform Islam back to its roots of jihad. They felt that the Muslim world had become corrupted by Westerners and had lost their fire for Islamic dominance through violent battle with those they considered infidels. At that time there were three groups with the radical beliefs of Bin Laden and Zawahiri, today there are 49. They have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in radicalizing much of Islam in less than a generation.
Not only has the radical ideology of Al Qaeda's founders taken up residence deep in the tissue of the Islamic body, but it has extinguished the fire in others to resist it. President Obama recently stated that it is ultimately the job of people in the Middle East to reject terrorism. But this assessment is made in the vacuum of denial, completely ignoring the fact that terrorists have infiltrated most societies in the world. The peculiar institution of terrorism is inherent in the Muslim religion. There is no other major religion in the world today which supports the violent spread of their faith, and death to those who do not accept it.
The case is made in the Quran for the violent conversion of infidels and death to those who are Muslims and leave the faith. The passages pointed to by the apologists for radical Islam as proof of the religion's peaceful nature are earlier in the text. Muslim scholars state that the holy text was revealed to Mohammad in sections throughout his life and that the later, and much more violent portions, supersede the earlier passages. It is this purer form of Islam (because it came to Mohammad in later visions) that the jihadists are not only trying to spread to non-believers, but to those in their own faith whom they have determined have turned away from the true practice their religion.
Some have tried to make the case that the Judeo Christian scriptures have violence as part of their text, with regular mention in the Old Testament of stoning sinners. This is true, however, there are no instances in modernity of Jews or Christians engaging in a world-wide campaign of stoning those not of their faith. And the soft bigotry of low expectations by the Left practiced against radical Islam is evident in their defense of not only their turning of a blind eye to Islam's treatment of women and homosexuals, but their exculpation of beheadings and other murderous acts as responses to bad behavior by the West.
So where are the moderate Muslims? They are all around us, silent to the sins of their more radical brethren. Their silence speaks volumes and lends its laconism to the cause of terrorism through its tacit support.