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Guest Column

Terrorism and The Reformation of Islam
By Michael Moffitt
Jan 21, 2015 - 8:05:04 AM

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Our President refuses to speak of radical Islamic terrorism. He seems concerned over hurting feelings and blaming millions of peace loving Muslims for the brutality of the few. These are valid concerns, but to say radical terrorism is not an Islamic problem is to evade its solution.

The popular assertion that Muslim terrorists are fewer than 2% of all Islam is irrelevant. The soldiers in any war are always a small percent of the citizenry. Citizens and their leaders fund the soldiers in the war of terror. The soldier's actions in the name of Islam are tolerated. Narrowing our focus to the number of terrorists does not excuse their financiers, their leaders, their facilitators or those in the citizenry who tolerate them.

Christianity was once cruel and corrupt. Most Christians were not cruel. The teachings of Christ were not corrupt. The Christian Reformation was a rebellion against the power of The Church. It was only complete when Christian governments recognized they could not have domain over the thoughts and beliefs of their people. The Law of the Realm that once governed our beliefs has evolved to its proper role of governing only our behavior toward each other.

There are signs that leaders of Islamic countries are coming to realize the threat to their existence from radical Islam. Across the Middle East and North Africa many are fighting back at ISIS, Boko Haram and other descendants of Al Qaeda. Mahmoud Abbas and several powerful sheiks joined Europeans in Paris to condemn the carnage at Charlie Hebdo. These leaders understand they are at war with radical Islam. They cannot help noticing the proud assertions of credit for carnage in their countries and abroad by radical Islamist organizations.

They do not yet seem to understand that like the Christian Reformation, in its own time a war against terror, the war on radical Islamic terrorism can only be won when Islamic clerics no longer believe they can control secular governments. As long as there are Islamic States, and as long as the goal of Islam is Islamic control of states, Islam will be complicit in radical Islamic terrorism and that terrorism will not be defeated.

In our minds, lets ask every imam and ayatollah two questions.

First, will they remind the faithful that the prophet Mohammed respected earlier prophets including Moses and Jesus? How can this teaching be reconciled with teachings of hatred and murder of those who follow teachings of those respected prophets? Why have we not heard Islamic teachers, the imams and ayatollahs emulate that respect? How can any Islamic clergy tolerate the promise of a place in heaven for such unholy deeds?

We have heard the preaching of understanding and tolerance, but who has spoken like John Calvin or Martin Luther about intolerance of unholy acts in the name of religion. Perhaps in this week of our holiday honoring Martin Luther King, it is especially appropriate to celebrate intolerance of unholy acts that corrupt the whole of a society or a religion.

The second question for imams and ayatollahs is, "Do you seek enforcement of Islamic Law by an Islamic State? This question is at the core of Islamic theology, and the answer it teaches is clearly YES! So long as Islamic clerics have power over states, those states will be cruel and intolerant toward those who do not accept their dogma and their power.

When we hear Islamic clerics testify that religion is a matter between every man and woman and his or her God, that it is a relationship to be guided by clerics, not mandated by governments, we will know the Islamic Reformation is complete.

President Obama is correct. We are not at war with Islamic people. We are at war for Islamic people and against those who would falsely claim authority from Allah to steal their freedom as well as our own. We must not be so naive to believe that the soldiers in the war of terror are not encouraged and financed by a corrupt power structure falsely claiming the authority of Allah. We know this because we know the parallel history of the Christian Reformation!

There will be an inflection point sometime in the next decade, a point of realization driving uncontrollable change. There will be the moment when the great mass of Muslims come together and realize the necessity for an Islamic Reformation. This moment will perhaps be in response to acts no more horrific than those recently witnessed in Paris or Peshawar, but the inflection point will recall all the earlier moments of terror and the necessity for secular law to protect all people. The message driving the realization will be articulated by powerful voices on the world stage. These must be Muslim voices calling for respect for the prophet Mohammed and his message and scorn for those who presume to be God's personal rule makers, messengers and enforcers. We should hope that these voices are heard soon, for they will herald The Islamic Reformation and the end of radical Islam.

Michael Moffitt
Author of Granddad's Dictionary: Reflections on Life in America"

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by Michael Moffitt
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Most of our discussions of tax rates and tax fairness lack fundamental honesty because they ignore what people actually pay and why. Consider three married couples, each supported by one income earner. All three earn $60,000 in a year and after exemptions and deductions have taxable income of $50,000. The first, an entrepreneur or self-employed earner pays $15,791 in federal taxes or an effective rate of 26.3%. The second, an employee whose ...

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by Michael Moffitt
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How can we be surprised that the President plans to continue a unilateral program that has met with so much success and so few consequences? How can a "reasonable" Congress object to expanding this prosecutorial discretion regarding citizens born in this country? How could we be so cruel as to separate these child citizens from their illegal biological parents? This "red flag" may be in defiance of the Constitution, but Republicans are already painted into a corner, hardly able to slow or stop practices already in place. What they must do is to not allow the "red flag" of executive action divert us from the real danger of a neglected border and a failure to identify and track millions of anonymous illegals already among us.

Michael Moffitt is the author of Granddad's Dictionary: Reflections on Life in America. In addition to being an author and grandfather, Michael Moffitt has been an inventor, entrepreneur and community leader. He received a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

Rather than accepting partisan stances, Moffitt encourages Americans to reflect on how they can come together as "We the People" to make real change happen. He believes that by coming together and looking to history and the values of our Founding Fathers, we can revitalize our nation.

I want to make a real difference in the way people think about the relationship between morality and politics and the need to focus on "We the People" versus the government and what it needs to do for me. "Granddad's" reflections is meant to inspire younger generations of Americans to think independently and rationally about events and trends in their country. I encourage readers to investigate current events and policies and come to their own conclusions through rational discussion and independent thinking, rather than letting others think for them.

"Granddad's Dictionary: Reflections on Life in America"
by Michael Moffitt
ISBN: 978-1-4908-2916-6 (sc)
978-1-4908-2917-3 (hc)
WestBow Press
Published April 7, 2014
170 pages
Softcover: $12
Hardcover: $23


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