Is Islam a More Radical Religion?

Kaveh Mousavi in The Proud Atheist:

If you define moderate as “not-Taliban” or “not-Al-Qaeda,” then yes, most Muslims are moderate. If you have a broader definition which is “not-terrorist,” then yeah, most Muslims are not terrorists. If you consider moderate “not-actively-violent,” then OK. But let me tell you, your standard bar is pretty low.

The geographical context is also important here. I don’t know anything about Western Muslims. They might be as moderate as the majority of Western Jews and Christians. I don’t know. I’m talking about people I know and have lived with.

The point is, if you define moderate the same way you define it in your own culture, then the vast majority of (Eastern) Muslims are extremists. You normally define moderate based on tolerance, acceptance, their view towards freedom of speech and religion, their commitment to the separation of church (mosque) and state, and their dosage of sexism and homophobia. We would sorely fail at every criterion on this list. That stinks, but it’s true.

In order to make this concrete for you, imagine a radical Christian. Would you consider Rick Santorum radical enough? OK. Now, what if he had the exact same beliefs but he was a Muslim? Then, he would be a moderate. Radically moderate (if that makes sense), he would be called an atheist even.

Do you think he was a homophobe because he compared homosexuality to bestiality? Well, at least he doesn’t believe that gays deserve to be hanged.

More here.