January 25, 2013

The Dilemma of Moderates:
Muslims and Social Conservatives

Caution: the analogies in this post should not be taken too far.

Where are the moderate Mulsims?, it's sometimes asked. My guess is that some of them tacitly support the extremists but may not want to admit it, perhaps even to themselves. My guess is that some of them are bullied or worse into silence.

How to support moderate Muslims, especially the latter group, against extremists? A multicultural policy is unlikely to achieve this because it is inclined to accept the extremists as "authentic". What would Genghis do? He'd make the moderates more frightened of him than of the extremists; as it were, Your god has sent me to exact vengeance for the blasphemers you harbor. It's an unpalatable recourse, but I can't say that it will never come to that.

Something on a far more modest scale may be going on in US politics. I suspect that some social conservatives are open to compromises regarding abortion but they are being intimidated into silence by thuggish religious kooks. This may be coming from the top: just as the GOP establishment would rather control a minority party than share power in a governing coalition, the socon leadership might rather control their faction than do the same.

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