Even though I wasn't expecting a huge turnout at the Free Muslims Against Terrorism rally, I was still disappointed- only two to three dozen people turned up. So among the supposed masses of moderate Muslims only two to three dozen decided to show the world their opposition to Islamic terrorism. I think that says a great deal.
Perhaps this is just the start of something bigger but I really cannot see how the basic teachings of Islam can be moderated. Christianity is often cited as causing many wars, bloodshed, etc but the basic teaching of Jesus is one of forgiveness, of turning the other cheek. According to Christ it will be the "meek that shall inherit the Earth".
The Koran on the other hand has no such basis in peace- despite what Muslim leaders might tell the media. In fact, the message of the Koran seems totally in opposition to a modern, free society. Take these quotes from the Koran-
Qur’an 9:29 “Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission.”
Qur’an 8:39 “Fight them until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah.”
Qur’an 9:5 “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”
Now, the problem with modernising Islam is that these passages, and others proclaiming the inherent goodness of jihad, of fighting for Allah, cannot simply be ignored- this is the holy word of God for Muslims and they cannot pick and choose what they want. Just look at the deaths caused by rumours of a Koran being flushed down a toilet- this is a book which is taken deadly seriously. How exactly can Islam be moderate or modern when the message contained within it is anything but?