It is one thing to stand against the excesses of Islam and to level well deserved criticism. And it fair to say that there are sects of triumphalist Islam with which we are at war. They include Wahhabi / Salafi Islam, Deobandi Islam, and Khomeinist Shia'ism. For lack of a better term, I will refer to them as the Islamists.
It is another thing entirely to lump all of Islam under a single banner with the Islamists. It is like lumping all of Christianity under the banner of a single sect. But finding the dividing line is not easy - and indeed, the line is deliberately muddled by many Islamist organizations such as CAIR and MCB operating freely in the West. When those who would alter and evolve their religion stand up to be counted, such as Zhudi Jasser, they are most vehemently attacked by Muslim organizations in the West. But what is worse is that they are largely ignored by the MSM.
Thus, when I stumble upon organizations clearly decicated to a vision of Islam contra to that of Islamists, I try to point them out and urge my readers, few though they may be, to fully suport them. And such, it would appear, is the Center for Islamic Pluralism, which includes on its website a weekly "Wahhabi Watch." And for example, here is a recent column by CIP's Canadian Director Salim Mansur, "Middle East Indebted to Bush," that appeared in the Toronto Sun on January 12, 2008:
. . . When Bush stepped into the Oval Office -- a long time ago now it seems on that cold January morning in 2001 -- the Arab-Muslim world was furthest from his mind as it was from the minds of most Americans.
But the malignancy of the Middle East, ignored by the West and the previous occupants of the White House, would strike New York City, bringing the Arab-Muslim world's politics of fanatical hate, deep-seated resentment and a mountain of grievances to the shores of the United States.
The Arabs had squandered the 20th century just as they slept through much of the previous four centuries, while the West created a whole new world of science and democracy.
The independence won for the Arabs from the rule of the Ottoman Turks by Britain and France at the end of the First World War eventually became a cruel mockery with a people -- despite the resources and goodwill available -- incapable of lifting themselves up from the broken ruins of their tribal culture.
This is the root cause of Arab failure, and instead of embracing the modern world by reforming its culture the Arab political class has indulged in blaming others, most particularly Jews and Israel.
George Bush could have remained indifferent to the Arab-Muslim world's malignancy, mouthing pieties as members of the ever fashionable lib-left political class in the West endlessly does, while watching the Arabs sink deeper into the political squalor of their making.
Instead, Bush struck directly at the most rotten core of the Middle East -- Iraq, the land of two rivers, choked to death by the vilest of Arab tyrants in recent memory, Saddam Hussein -- to give the Arabs an opportunity one more time to make a better future.
Regime change in Baghdad has brought a new Iraq to emerge with American support despite the fanatical opposition of the most backward tribal warriors of the Arab-Muslim world. Iraqis -- Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds -- now bear responsibility that comes with freedom to write a new history for Arabs as, for instance, the far more populous and ethnically diverse people of India are doing.
The Arab leaders greeting Bush remain frozen in their hypocrisy, unable to say publicly what they will say privately, being relieved in knowing the United States remains committed to maintaining order and security in the Persian Gulf region.
But free Iraq looms large in the capitals of the Arab states, and if Iraqis keep progressing in freedom their example will be an irresistible attraction for the Arab-Muslim world spread between the Atlantic and the Persian Gulf.
A democratic Iraq is George Bush's formidable legacy, and the Arabs will be talking about him long after his contemporary critics bite the dust and are forgotten.
Read the entire article here. And do take a look at the CIP and consider giving them your support. Other sites to keep an eye on include:
American Islamic Forum For Democracy
Muslims Against Sharia
American Islamic Congress
The Islamic Supreme Council of America
Hatred in the Name of Allah
And if you know of any others that I should be listing, please let me know either in the comments to this post or by e-mail.