## "Terrorism has no religion." Why don't Moderate Muslims restrain their Radical counterparts?

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There is a perspective, pretty popular in both mid-East and Western worlds, which says that the majority of Muslims do not share the radical views

Provided this is true, why don't we see calls for peace from Muslim priests and other leaders of the public opinion?

Many other religions have also suffered from radicalism, but authorities and the Churches have effectively eliminated it. I would specifically stress on positive role of priests.

What prevents Muslim society, officials, and priests to restrain the Radical Islamists?

# A rather long rationale

Only a small amount of Radical Islamists (probably 10-15%) seem to be responsible for a majority of terrorist acts. This makes the public opinion into thinking that Islam by itself is an aggressive religion.

The Moderate Islamists argue that Terrorism has NO religion.

Christian society has suffered from Christian radicalism and Christian terrorism as well, check Ku Klux Klan for example.

Not all Christians shared the ideas of the KKK or supported its terrorist activity. Finally, the Moderate Christians took control over their radical counterparts: any terrorist activity was prosecuted, while moderate factions of KKK even received legal support in defense of their First Amendment rights to hold public rallies, parades, and marches.

There same applied to Buddhism.

Now, to the question.

Why don't Moderate Muslims, who allegedly make the 85-90% majority, who have all necessary instruments and influence, take control over their radical counterparts?

Can we find any Imam (a Muslim Priest) or another public opinion leader who would come up and say: "hey, there will be no 72 virgins for anyone who commit terrorist acts"?

Can we see cases when e.g. Iranian authorities accuse and imprison someone of their own faction for terrorist activity?

If this happens, why don't we see this on top news in the media associated with Muslim countries, like Al Jazeera?

If this didn't happen, how could a thoughtful person tell Radical Islamism from Any Islamism?

P.S. I think this question does not differentiate denominations of Islam, but if I would completely accept answers that may suggest different approaches regarding different denominations.

1You are asking why ordinary people don't restrain murderous fanatics whose only association with them is claiming that their interpretation of Islam is wrong. – user – 2018-02-20T11:59:55.920

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– Sam I am says Reinstate Monica – 2015-11-17T23:26:12.237

37Probably because most Muslims, like anyone else who is reasonable and moderate, want nothing to do with radicals. Back in the 1960's/70's the average American college student didn't have anything to do with the Weather Underground, or in fact know anyone who was involved with it, even though the Weather Underground was founded by a group of college students. They were still active when I was in college but I didn't know anything about them - and yet I was a college student, in America, at the same time - but that didn't make me a terrorist. Superficial similarities don't make people identical. – Bob Jarvis - Reinstate Monica – 2015-11-18T03:09:50.363

61Only a small amount of Radical Islamists (probably 10-15%) seem to be responsible for a majority of terrorist acts. - the number is significantly lower than 10-15%. It's more in the order of 0.01% – Jon Story – 2015-11-18T13:53:36.053

5Maybe there are even less 'modere' Muslim as we might think, at least from a western point of view. Isn't problematic that the sometimes called secular Syria and even the modern Tunisa with it's new constitution (from 2013/14!) requires it's president to be muslim (just have a look at article 1(!) and 74(!) and Tunisa has a Jewish minority since antiquity). Could you imagine a western nation (with a constitution that was ratified after 2000 -- the uk codified constitution that dates back to the magna carta doesn't count) to have similar requiments? I guess I don't have to mention saudia ar;) – None – 2015-11-18T20:44:26.407

42I disagree with the fundamental premise of this question, or at least its targeting of Muslims specifically. It would be equally valid to ask "why don't moderate Christians restrain the IRA", or "why didn't moderate anarchists restrain the Unabomber", or "why didn't moderate Germans restrain the Nazi party", etc.. The answer being a mix of "to a large extent they do try to restrain radical elements when possible" and "being a member of a large, generic group (like 'all Muslims') does not give you any special power or influence over other individuals in that group". – aroth – 2015-11-19T05:17:33.370

Again, try to avoid long discussion in the comments section. If your comment doesn't address something with the question or if your comment is just a rehash of some other person's comment or answer, It will be deleted. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica – 2015-11-19T20:25:41.143

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For an example of Muslim leaders speaking out against terrorism, check out the Open letter to al-Baghdadi

– Dawood ibn Kareem – 2016-03-28T09:59:52.127

2The OP has not defined what radical Islam is. If it is preparedness to use violence due to religious reasons- then you are talking at least 20% of Muslims. – user2617804 – 2016-08-22T09:38:37.490

4Does that fact that OP does not pay attention to or notice moderate calls for peace, or condemnations of radicalism, mean that they don't occur? That seems to be the pretext here. – PoloHoleSet – 2016-11-29T20:47:56.240

1The whole history of civilisation is of people doing exactly that. If you live in non-interesting times, it's working. – RedSonja – 2016-12-01T13:59:04.553

1In the US we have some radical Christians and other groups with some troubled and very destructive views. We don't do anything to control them. Hollywood likes to make fun of them but (i can only guess) that emboldens them. There are no outreach programs, no public service announcements, no pamphlets in schools. Not even an after school special on not shooting up the local planned parenthood. I walked into a very rural restaurant once and they were selling copies of Hitler's "Mein Kampf" out of a big box. A lot of Americans did not come home from that war. – Beo – 2017-05-29T19:11:29.100

@PV22, I have expanded it further in the question, but in simple terms, I understand "responsible" = "they who do" + "they who support". – bytebuster – 2017-06-08T22:17:07.527

@bytebuster I appreciate your response, but I am still unclear. Are you saying 10-15% of all Muslims are radical (the other 85-90% are moderate) or that of the entire subgroup, "radical Muslims" (excludes all moderates from this subgroup) 10-15% of that subgroup go on to commit terrorist acts? As an analogy, "You have 100 balls, 10 are red, 1 is a red baseball." Are you saying 10% of all balls are red, or 10% of red balls are baseballs?" – PV22 – 2017-06-09T03:29:07.430

@PV22, there is a difference between "go on to commit" and "responsible for". Probably, here's where the misunderstanding comes from. Also, the intention of this post was to say that there is a "small" number of radicals comparing to a "big" number of others. I did not have intention to claim a specific number in a question. One can change it to 0.0000001% (one billionth) and make my question sound "why a billion people can't restrain a single person?" – bytebuster – 2017-06-09T14:08:28.717

Thank you for the clarification. I think I understand the significance of what you are saying. – PV22 – 2017-06-09T14:10:24.057

This reminds me of telling a girl she shouldn't be dating a drug addict and needs to do better. The attacks leveraged against me for the comment were viscous and held me responsible for his entire life, but the point being dedication and attachment trump reason for a lot of people and though many do call for peace or condemn attacks it will never get through to those that believe they are virtuous, attached, ignorant, or locked into a point of view. – SCFi – 2017-08-03T16:00:53.160

I’m so confused. How is the “moderate” (by which I assume you mean, “not organized to kill people” as opposed to “not hating black people, Jews, and all other non-white and non-Christian people”) KKK receiving (justified) legal support for their right to speech and assembly in any way an example of moderate Christians restraining the KKK? It’s an example of moderate individuals of various religions (though the ACLU was founded by Jews, it has members of all faiths) not restraining the KKK. – Obie 2.0 – 2017-08-22T03:04:38.893

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You say these things don't happen when they do. Case in point, the notorious Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (9/11 mastermind and behind Daniel Pearl's execution) who WAS jailed in Egypt early in his life, had to flee Bosnia when intelligence had pinpointed him, and was finally captured and turned over to the US by Pakistan. In other words, he was targeted by Muslim countries.

Further, the number of Muslim clerics who have advocated for peace is huge - from the Grand Mufti Talip Atalay of Cyprus to Jordan's top cleric, to the Nairobi Muslim Cleric's Peace Caravan to Iraq's Ali al-Sistani issuing a fatwa last year calling for "Citizens to defend the country, its people, the honor of its citizens, and its sacred places," against the Islamic State of Iraq.

For local police/intelligence operations capturing radical elements, the list is long. Recent examples have happened in Yemen, UAE, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia for example.

The only thing that doesn't happen? It doesn't get reported on enough. On that you are correct.

EDIT: As to your question "how could a thoughtful person tell Radical Islamism from Any Islamism?" that one is easy. Radicals wear their militancy openly, all you need to do is listen to them. Its no different from how to spot a racist, or a militant Christian calling for the world to bend to their beliefs. Its really not hard to engage people if you put forth the effort.

Lets also not forget that legal power often means nothing if you can't enforce it. ISIS flowed into northern Iraq well armed and facing a shattered and largely disarmed citizenry, and it is near impossible to arrest the guy with the bigger gun when you don't have one. The people who are being effective against them in that region? Well armed Kurds with coalition support

And while it may be hoped that the calls for peace from noted clerics might be all that is needed, unfortunately there is even more of a sectarian divide in the middle east than their was in northern ireland, and the IRA wasn't about to listen to the Archbishop of Canterbury either. Priests can help, absolutely, but in such an environment they can often only reach their own followers and maybe not even then due to illiteracy and isolation in many regions.

The radicals have their radical clerics, and they are the problem - not the moderate ones. Look what happened when Arafat renounced terrorism: The radicals marginalized him and the Israelis barricaded him in a compound thus limiting his ability to work for peace when was what we have to hope for: radicals laying down arms.

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Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.

– Sam I am says Reinstate Monica – 2015-11-19T20:05:02.990

18Agree. Even here in Malaysia, we're at least reminded almost on weekly basis during our weekly Friday congregation/prayer the falseness of the isis believe, not to be involved with them and report any militant activity. – imin – 2015-11-20T09:41:02.147

8Arafat called for a "march of a million martyrs on Jerusalem" right when he was "barricaded". that's hardly renouncing terrorism but is in fact, sticking with it and calling for it, encouraging it and supporting it (he also funded it then, as documents later revealed). every public square in PLO-controlled areas is called after some "martyr" or other. You can as well claim that Hitler was a warrior for peace, based on his rhetoric and the torch-lit marches which were in fact "for peace", in the late 30s. (yes, this is a legitimate comparison of taking a leader's rhetoric at face value). – Genli Ai – 2017-05-09T05:12:19.723

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Evidently, they do. There are a lot of Muslim countries who combat terrorism. I think Muslim governments are even more concerned with terrorism than anybody else and take very hard-line measures.

Islamist terrorists routinely get imprisoned and executed. Moreover, the most of the "grassroots" popular revolutions in the majority-Muslim countries (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, Albania) throughout XX century had secular, anti-Islamist character.

But what can a country do if the Islamists are supported from abroad? The West had supported Islamist rebels in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Egypt and destroyed Iraqi state.

19Sorry, but „evidently“ without any evidence is a bit pointless. Care to make prooflinks for „There is a lot“, „more concerned than anybody else“, „routinely get“, „had anti-islamist character“, „The West had supported islamist“, and „destroyed Iraqi state“? I don't suggest you removing unproven claims, because in this case the only remnant from your answer would be «I think but what a country can do». – bytebuster – 2015-11-16T17:24:20.590

And also, there are different factions within Islam that do not necessarily support one another (sunni-shiite are the two with which the West is most familiar). But the governments and services of most of the "stable states" in the Middle East are run by religious moderates. In some cases they might be politically repressive (Egypt, Syria) but not necessarily religiously so. – Dave Kanter – 2015-11-16T19:25:40.463

@bytebuster Please see my comment below for evidence. – None – 2015-11-18T17:22:30.967

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I mostly agree with Michael Broughton answer but I would to add an spin about the relationship between the Arab world and the West.

To begin with, at one moment or the other, most of the Muslim countries have recently been Western colonies or protectorates (the most significance exceptions, Turkey and Persia -now Iran- also were under heavily hit). After their (sometimes bloody) independence, the West (including Israel) has been either:

• A post-colonial power who deposed / imposed regimes at its wish, and supported friendly governments no matter how tyrannical or corrupt they became (Suez crisis, Mubarak, Rezah Pahlevi -last Shah of Persia-).

We welcomed democracy in Argelia, but when the FIS won the elections, we looked the other way when the army staged a coup and started a civil war.

We welcomed democracy in Egypt, but when the Islamist won the elections, we looked the other way when the army (heavily subsidized by the USA) staged a coup and ended the democracy with a blood bath.

• A convenient scapegoat for the failures for the Arab leaders -who mostly were dictatorship were more sensible voices would not be heard-. Do you criticize the government corruption? You are a Western / Israeli agent.

So, either deserving it or not, there is an important part of the population that sees the West as part of the powers that make their live miserable. And, in the middle of thousands or tens of thousands who shout "Death to the USA" as a way to vent out their anger and then go home, it is way harder to spot the one who actually plans to commit terrorist acts.

And of course, all of the people who want to kill (and which in the West would usually end making the news as "shootout in a school for random motives") suddenly have a "socially sanctioned" reason to do so, and sooner and later can find others to help coordinate the attacks.

Mind you, the situation is far from new. It already happened in the 60s-70s, but then the world divide was Capitalism vs Communism, and lots of small leftist terrorist groups did operate. What is new is that religious terrorists are way more dangerous due to the their disregard for their own lives.

TL;DR: To make moderate Muslims more effective against radical Muslims, it would be good to convince moderate Muslims that the West is not against Muslims in general and moderate Muslims in particular; due to a long series of "misunderstandings" (some caused by the West, some others not) it may be not as crystal-clear to some moderate Muslims as it is for most Westerners.

The radical Islamists that got power in Egypt didn't win in any meaningful sense. If you could have held a vote of confidence immediately after the election, it would have failed. – Joshua – 2015-11-16T21:20:57.380

2@Josua Except in the legal sense, which is the only meaningful in a State of Law (think of Pres. of the USA who did lost the popular vote but were elected). That said, I agree that when Egypt coup happened Morsi's actions were troublesome (to say it very softly), but the coup itself (basically, Hosmi Mubarak II) only worsened the situation. It would have been better with the military just failling to defend the government, or at least waiting until Morsi term had expired. – SJuan76 – 2015-11-16T21:37:33.343

The election was a failure going into the runoff, with the two opposing radicals, having together captured less than 25% of the total going into it, but the judges who started the election either would not or could not call the thing off. Neither of those two could win because the result could not stand. You can't have a democracy with the backing of no more than 15% of the people. Morsi being kicked out was not avoidable. – Joshua – 2015-11-16T21:41:48.120

– SJuan76 – 2015-11-16T21:48:28.733

Ok so I misremembered. They took nearly 25% each, not total. Either way it's still doomed. The runoff elections are trash as neither of those two could come even close. – Joshua – 2015-11-16T21:55:20.240

«the West… that make their live miserable» — exactly, while the real factor that is more likely to make someone's life miserable is unwillingness to work and the pride of not having a job… – bytebuster – 2015-11-16T22:47:54.057

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@bytebuster So your point is that everybody who lives in a poor country is lazy? That bad education, political instability, no access to capital, missing infrastructures and corrupt regimes are just "small handicaps"? Maybe you should ask that as a different question to get an enlightening answer, because with those standards these children (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_labour_in_Bangladesh) should be making more that someone who just wastes his time in the internet...

– SJuan76 – 2015-11-16T23:09:43.947

@SJuan76 please don't attribute to me something I haven't said. What I did say is, when other things being equal, some cultures encourage working hard, while other don't. P.S. I live in a country where the average monthly income is barely \$100. – bytebuster – 2015-11-16T23:48:33.810

9@bytebuster No, that's not what you said. You explicitly said "unwillingness to work". If that's not a longer way to say "lazy", what is it? – user2338816 – 2015-11-17T12:14:38.213

@user2338816 please don't translate my English to English. :-) I said that «the factor that is more likely to… is unwillingness to work». I never said, «XXX is lazy.» If someone takes it addressed to them, I condole with those who were affected by the factor I mentioned. – bytebuster – 2015-11-18T13:00:09.477

1Adding to the TLDR: it would also make them more effective if they were able to remove some of the doctrines inherent to Islam from it, e.g. jihad, criminalizing blasphemy/apostasy and other free speech matters, eternal torture in hell, martyrdom in jihad being a sure-fire way to paradise, and related doctrines. And that's just touching catastrophic problems. – G. Bach – 2017-08-07T21:54:12.977

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Would you piss off a crazy nutcase neighbor with guns who have other crazier neighbors with even more and bigger guns?

With modern day weapons, voicing your opinion on poorly protected/enforced areas with political differences comes with a high risk of becoming a fatality. It only takes two guys with machine guns to render a church packed with people into bloodstains on the floor.

Noble thoughts all come to naught when you stare into the barrel of a gun.

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@JSON, I think N. Cross's argument is that moderates don't attempt de-radicalisation interventions because they are afraid they would be met with violent retribution. N. Cross cites no evidence for this argument, but it seems plausible that there are some specific moderate people to whom it applies: e.g. those who live in close proximity to violent, armed extremists. (This happens in e.g. parts of Afghanistan, IIUC.) However, as my answer shows, in other circumstances, moderates do, in fact, frequently attempt to discourage extremism.

– None – 2018-02-21T19:43:53.747

21871: a bunch of KKK members with rifles among unarmed peasants; 2015: a bunch of al-Qaeda members with machine guns among peasants who have "only" Kalashnikovs. Both situations seem to be similar, aren't they? – bytebuster – 2015-11-18T11:49:28.727

5@bytebuster there are some similarities, that does not make the situations "similar". I have similarities with David Beckham, but we're certainly not similar. – Jon Story – 2015-11-18T13:56:23.243

1I really don't get your rationale. Guns have little to do with this, and wouldn't pose an issue if they did. Many of the large sects that the OP is referring to is backed by military powers such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, and most western nations are willing to project enormous power to protect their Muslim communities when they present a strong or even forceful opposition to extremists. – JSON – 2017-06-09T23:07:01.430

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majority of Muslims do not share the radical views

I challenge your assumption. There are enough surveys and studies that show that a majority of muslims does share views that we in the west would consider radical, including the rule of Sharia, the dominance of Islam over other faiths or the direct interpretation of the Koran, Hadith and whatever the name of the third collection was.

These people may not directly support terrorism, but they support enough of the foundation of those radicals and their views to not be in open conflict. Instead of being polar opposites, the "moderate" muslims view the terrorists as like-minded people who sometimes go a bit too far.

Please note that according to Islam, lying and tricking Kufirs (Unbelievers) is perfectly acceptable if it supports Islam. In other words, pretending on western TV or meetings with the western governments that you are moderate and opposing the radicals while in fact doing no such thing is an absolutely ethical, even required (it protects Islam) way of acting.

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I want to add another point that especially stopping terrorism is nearly impossible for a moderate majority because of the extremely low incident rate.

Think about it: How would you stop an Anders Behring Breivik beforehand? Could it be attributed to a failure of moderate Christians to stop him? How should they have done it? How impressed will a Klansman be if the Pope condemns his behavior?

Terrorism has the same problem as criminal behavior in general: Even a massive condemnation of the moderate majority will not eradicate it completely. And the more so if terror is planned in another country and carried out by people who are not even part of the local community.

Another issue is that there is no leader of the religion Islam as a whole. (Actually, al Bagdadhi claimed to be the new caliph, but this was renounced practically everywhere outside ISIS.) So there is no central authority that could speak for the Muslim world, and it is easy to ignore those that do not fit into one's own definition of Islam. ISIS effectively claimed that any Muslim outside ISIS was an infidel if not accepting al Bagdadhi as caliph, thereby "protecting" their supporters from other opinions by declaring them heretical.

The effectiveness of the moderate majority in the face of radicalism is strongly overestimated when it comes to the prevention of extreme events. Extremists don't need a majority supporting them.

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Why don't Moderate Muslims, who allegedly make the 85-90% majority, who have all necessary instruments and influence, take control over their radical counterparts?

10-15 % is a lot of people, and they can make a lot of trouble. Especially in some countries, where the percentage is higher; they are not uniformally spread. Especially if the central state has a low control or influence in some regions (Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Irak, Syria, Nigeria, Mali, ...).

That said, the percentage of radicals depends on the definition of radical you have (see later). If it is people ready to take arms, it is lower than 10-15%. If you add wahhabis and salafis, it gets higher. If you add people with islamist convictions, it gets still higher.

Can we find any Imam (a Muslim Priest) or another public opinion leader who would come up and say: "hey, there will be no 72 virgins for anyone who commit terrorist acts"?

Yes, of course we can. To add to the examples of the other answer, the king of Morroco said it, and is an influential man. However:

1. You are talking about religion. People usually need more than that to change their minds.

2. In some places, you cannot criticise religion too much. It is heavily condemned as blasphemy in some countries. Blasphemy includes finding faults in god or in the prophet, which limits the argumentation you can have.

3. Some countries actually have laws that support the "society model" promoted by radical groups (such as Boko Haram, the Taliban, ISIS, ...), and use them*. Check out the fate of atheists, apostates, "blasphemators", gay people, "adulterers", ... in the muslim-majority countries or part of Nigeria (the strictest being Saudi Arabia).

4. Some TV stations or individuals promote these ideas. Check out MEMRI (research and translation institute), they have good samples. They also have a good sample of religious criticism.

*Some countries have laws without using them. See for instance laws about cutting the hands of theives in Jordania.

Can we see cases when e.g. Iranian authorities accuse and imprison someone of their own faction for terrorist activity?

This is not really related unrelated, Iran is in open war against ISIS, but allied to the Hezbollah. It depends on who they consider to be a "terrorist" (recall that there is no generally recognized definition).

You have plenty of imprisonment of people from "the other factions", though, other answers cover it well.

How could a thoughtful person tell Radical Islamism from Any Islamism?

Islamism is by definition a political doctrine which aims at organizing the society according to the teachings of Islam. The non-consensual part of this among the various islamists is what islam teaches.

Radicality is relative. You probably don't see Abraham Lincoln as a radical anti-slaver. Slavers did.

If you find a law proposed by an islamic party/rebel group to be completely unacceptable (like allowing marital rape, condemning adultery, authorising genital mutilation, death penalty for apostasy/blasphemy/homosexuality, ...), then they are radicals with respect to you. And you are facing a large percentage of radicals.

If the only thing you find unacceptable is a bombing in your country, and otherwise they can do whatever they want, then you only have to face a very small group of radicals.

One reason that religious arguments are not greatly effective is that the radicals are as well-equipped for a religious debate as the moderate who seeks to persuade them. While is is true that there are passages in the Qur'an that command tolerance as well as violence, there is nothing to indicate which passage prevails when they conflict. Therefore everyone feels justified in doing what they would have done anyway. – EvilSnack – 2020-02-27T13:29:06.367

-1

Religion is irrational, this means that the attempts of moderates to restrain their radical counterparts (and this does happen in Islam) is not going to be very effective. As Steven Weinberg points out here, the argument made against extremists ends up invoking a moral sense to argue that the religious ideas of the extremists are wrong, when the whole point of religion is that it should be the other way around. So, to the extremists such arguments do not make sense.

The threat posed by extremists to society therefore ultimately derives from our tolerance of religion in general. If you allow irrational ideas to become an acceptable part of modern society, then you should not surprised if that leads to problems. As Victor Stenger has pointed out:

Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.

We need to also consider here that interpretations of religious texts that lead to extremist ideas are not all that far fetched. The Old Testament unambiguously describes a God who is advocating people to commit war crimes and even acts of genocide:

“When you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it. And if it responds to you peaceably and it opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall do forced labor for you and shall serve you. But if it makes no peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. And when the LORD your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all its males to the sword, but the women and the little ones, the livestock, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as plunder for yourselves. And you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the LORD your God has given you. Thus you shall do to all the cities that are very far from you, which are not cities of the nations here.

But in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall devote them to complete destruction,a the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the LORD your God has commanded, that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods, and so you sin against the LORD your God.

1@CountIblis It is irrational to assume that a society could eliminate irrationality. And it is irrational to believe that oneself is rational. There are many studies that show that we are not rational, that we filter information according to our believes, that we only remember things that we can connect to emotionally, etc. If you eliminate religion, you get people clinging to pseudo-religions, esoterics, conspiration theories, etc. It was tried, in the former Soviet Union, to no avail. – Thern – 2018-02-20T09:27:47.900

A) An idea/belief doesn't have to be real to motivate people. The question isn't what is true/scientific/rational/etc, but when/if followers of a specific belief should be expected to resist extremists who claim similar beliefs B) not all extremists are motivated by religious beliefs, and not all groups which claim a religious agenda are truly motivated by religion – JSON – 2017-06-09T23:20:47.760

3@JSON But society by tolerating religion is creating the room for this problem to arise. Society allows for people to stick to irrational beliefs, and then it's not going to be possible in practice for followers of a belief to stop extremists. – Count Iblis – 2017-08-03T13:57:02.257

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In Europe, the demand for moderate Muslims to speak-out against radical Islamists is brought up mostly by right-wing politicians. Thus, I consider this matter as some form of what-aboutism. Feel free to respectfully disagree.

As other answers have noted, there are examples of moderates speaking-out against the extremists (this is actually independent of religion), and there are examples when moderates did not speak-out.

First of all, you can not speak-out against all extremists. Second, you are in no way responsible for the actions of others, just because they claim to share some of your beliefs. In the case of religiously motivated terror, I strongly suspect that terrorist actions can never be justified by the religious belief system. It is only single passages, or half-sentences that terrorists use to justify their actions.

To finish my 5 cents, let me pose a counter-question:

Since you are a human, what actions have you take to moderate or even restrain the actions of your extremist, human counterparts?

-2

The questions seem to presume that moderate muslims don't do enough and somehow that's why the radicals are doing terrors. I think I should add a different reason behind the abundance of terror among "radical" muslims.

Let's ask a slightly different question.

1. Why can't moderate westerners restrain their fellow citizens from "voting"? Or what about something similar.
2. Why can't moderate white supremacist restrain their radical ones from slamming cars to demonstrators?

Well, let's put it this way. Say you want your government to be aligned to your interests more. What do you do? You vote.

Make sense right?

What else you do?

You speak. You try to convince your fellow citizens that it's toward their best interests too to legalize/criminalize drugs, to raise/lower tax.

Great.

Normal behavior.

We want government to side with us.

Say you live in one of those muslim countries. What do you do to achieve the same thing?

Can you vote in Arab?

Can you speak your mind in Arab what you disagree with?

No. So you do something else.

What?

Terror....

In islamic countries, if you want your interests are done, you do it by terrorizing people.

I mean duh...

It's like voting you know.

Perhaps, a better question would be, why don't moderate muslims encourage their radical counterparts to use ballots instead of bullets. Hmm... Kind of a bit complex right? We know they can't just "do that". Not really up to them.

Let's see another question.

Why can't moderate north korean do more to restrain Kim Jong Il? The answer with muslims should roughly be the same.

1. The radical is in power
2. The "moderate" have limited freedom of speech and quite well indoctrinated too. Typical moderate muslims believe that government should restrict freedom of speech to protect religious ideas. http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-30814993 What counts as "radical" in the west is quite a moderate stances among muslims.

I should add another factor. 3. Radical ideas "benefit" moderates that many moderates sort of "like it". Pan islamization, where the states actively discriminate against non muslims, may sounds great even among moderates

It's the same answer to the question, why don't moderate white supremacist restrain their radical ones?

Well, the moderate white supremacist may not kill people in the name of their ideology. However, they want privilege for themselves.

They want government to actively discriminate against their out group in favor of their in group.

The "moderate" muslims are similar. They may not blow them self up or kill Charlies Hebbo. However, they want government to protect their religions from blasphemy.

And why do they want to protect their religions from blasphemy? Back to question 1. They are used to live in countries with anti blasphemy laws.

I can't say I like the way this answer is written. Still, what seems to be its fundamental point - that political disenfranchisement increases the likelihood of violent extremism - is an interesting one, and hard to definitively falsify. – None – 2018-02-21T16:59:02.883

Another theory is if a person is too far fetched from reality, too stubborn, then everyone would "lie" to that person. The person will be even more stubborn and far fetched, more angry, and it'll be dealed with more lies. But doesn't that how live works? Many religious people, especially muslims, are so faithful to their religions they don't see how corruption works, how politic works, how biz works. A way to "get to them" is to lie to them. So that's what every body do. Honest talk don't work. – user4951 – 2018-02-22T15:45:37.157

3"To explain why we exist? We got science for that." Science has no interest into that "why", its interest lay into "how". – Federico – 2017-08-03T11:53:29.727