Question: what exactly is the difference between a moderate Muslim and a radical Muslim? Where is the fine line that separates them?
Answer: Absolutely. The determining criteria is the belief in Islamic supremacy. Radical Muslims believe in Islamic supremacy, which makes them religiously obligated to wage Jihad for world domination, using both terrorism and gradual subversion of host societies. Moderate Muslims consider their religion a private matter and believe in religious equality.
This response almost begs this question: Question
: What are some of the dangers presented by Islamic religious texts? If you are a Muslim, then how can you reject these texts and remain a faithful Musilm?
Answer:Most of the dangers are presented by passages based on the Islamic supremacy doctrine. The Koran contains verses that command us to subjugate or murder non-Muslims in order to create Islamic rule. On the other hand, the Koran teaches preciousness of human life. How can a logical person believe that those diametrically opposed concepts came from the same source? How could Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate be the source of "kill [infidels] them wherever you find them"? The only logical explanation is that the Koran has been corrupted over the centuries, and all we want to do is to revert it as close as possible to the original.
As much as I dislike Sharia and radical Islam, I struggle to see how this move can be considered theologically acceptable. It contradicts the heart of the idea that God revealed his pre-existent book to Mohammed. It also contradicts the Islamic gospel that it is only when the world submits to its creator, on the terms of Islam, that there can be peace. That hardly seems like "a private, non-political religion."
The interviewer asks great questions and makes astute observations. Here is his/her response to the Moderate Muslim's comparison of his desire for reform with the reformations that have taken place in Christianity:
Interviewer: I very much appreciate your position and your goals are truly admirable. I would just like to say that the Christian reformation and the potential Islamic reformation are different. Christians easily abandoned the Inquisition because the Inquisition was un-Christian and had no foundation in Christian texts. The key is that when Christians have behaved in aggressive or intolerant ways, their acts were not based on Christian teachings; their acts were un-Christian. But the same cannot be said for Muslims when they engage in aggression and intolerance, since such behavior is a fulfillment of their theological mandates. All the schools of Islamic jurisprudence teach that it is part of the responsibility of the umma to subjugate the non-Muslim world through jihad.
Update: I've sinced discovered that they have their own blog, at Muslims Against Sharia.
But in any case, it is all of our great hope that Muslims such as yourself can succeed in the reformation you wish to engender in Islam.