Social Question

DominicX's avatar

Do moderates have a duty to denounce extremists?

Asked by DominicX (28762points) August 16th, 2014

Every time I hear people complain about extremist Muslims, there’s always a comment that says “why aren’t the moderate Muslims denouncing them? Why aren’t they speaking out? Why are they so silent?!”

Do you think the moderates of a group should denounce the extremists of a group? Should they make sure to distance themselves from them?

Would hearing a moderate Muslim denounce extremism “do anything” for you?

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18 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Up here in Canada the moderate Muslims have spoken out against the extremists, and have distanced themselves from them.
Maybe not as much as they should but they have.
I think it is a good thing, because in my opinion the general public are morons, because when some one says muslim they automatically think OMG terrorist,which couldn’t be further from the truth for a real muslim who only wants to be left alone and practice their religion .

zenvelo's avatar

Do moderate Catholics have a duty to denounce Rick Santorum? Do moderate Jews have a duty to denounce the ultra orthodox?

I guess I’d say yes. We should all speak Truth to power.

longgone's avatar

“Duty”...I’d say no. All theists would have to be distancing themselves from their religions’ extremists pretty much every day.

Glancing over the title, I was certain this would be another question about the Mods and their horribleness.~

CWOTUS's avatar

It’s a pleasant fantasy to think that it’s even possible in the places where it matters whether that is done or not. In Germany in the 1930s, for example, before the blitzkrieg had started, and even before Hitler had officially come to power, it was near suicidal to speak out against him. Yes, it was done – and the people who did that were exterminated, often before many people outside of Germany even knew who they were, and with little obvious effect on subsequent events. Their ends were (fortunately for them, at least) generally quick, but almost invariably violent.

That seems to be the way of things in the Middle East these days outside of Israel. Whatever opinion one has about Israel’s motivations and actions and politics, it generally doesn’t assassinate its internal critics. That is precisely what Hamas, ISIS and other military and quasi-military “organizations” do in Gaza, Syria and Iraq.

Between those bookends to my own life, the in-between conflicts of Korea, Cuba, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Rwanda – you name the hot spot – “speaking truth to power” doesn’t seem to stop the power from doing whatever it wants to do, namely, dispatching those who dare to disagree openly.

And the USA, despite what its harshest critics say is not attempting to build political empire, and hasn’t since the early 1900s. (The Spanish-American war was probably begun and prosecuted with that specific goal in mind, and did have some of that effect, as the USA took over nations and territories in the Caribbean and in the Pacific Ocean – you should look up “Philippine insurgency” sometime for some eye-opening and forgotten history. But we seem to have moved past that, generally. And while we do make some ridiculous attempts to “export democracy” from time to time, we don’t as a rule attempt to wipe out all opposition, either internal or external.)

ibstubro's avatar

There are plenty of moderate Muslim voices in the mix right now.

Each has to balance input vs. extermination by a ruling party.

flutherother's avatar

I would disagree. In a democracy moderates have a duty to tolerate extremists.

cazzie's avatar

Apathy looks a lot like being moderate.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Moderates need to speak out against extremists wherever applicable.

elbanditoroso's avatar

You and I cannot impose an obligation on someone else. Therefore I disagree with @ARE_you_kidding_me and @zenvelo .

Do I wish moderates would denounce extremists? Yes – extremists of all types are dangerous. But I cannot morally force someone to feel an obligation. They have to take it on themselves.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

We can denounce anything we want. There is no “forcing” involved.

Jaxk's avatar

It’s difficult to come to any real conclusion when we’re using subjective definitive. How extreme does the group need to be and how close to center is moderate. Al Qaeda has denounced ISIS. Does that fit the bill? Al Qaeda would then be the moderate denouncing ISIS as too extreme.

Do the moderates need to specify who is too extreme for them or can they just denounce extremists? If I just denounce ‘extremists’ you have no idea who I consider an extremist. Back to that subjectivity thing. Can I just denounce ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Muslim Brotherhood, Boko Haram or do I need to designate all that apply?

Jaxk's avatar

Sorry S/B – subjective definitions.

CWOTUS's avatar

@Jaxk, I suspect that first you need to be part of some group (a group smaller than “all of humankind”, that is) that embraces some of the same aims and antecedents as the “extremists” to be denounced. Ergo, moderate Germans could have denounced Hitler, whereas when British, Russian and American people did it – no matter how “moderate” they were or considered themselves to be – the denouncement was considered a form of attack from “outsiders”.

In that way, you and I as non-Muslims can’t credibly denounce the groups that you’ve mentioned (in a way that will be accepted by most Muslims), because (I presume in your case) we’re not of that geographical area, not of that faith, and not even of a Semitic race.

KNOWITALL's avatar

NO. As a theist I shouldn’t have to defend myself or my beliefs, same with Muslims, Jews, etc…

chewhorse's avatar

Most likely moderate Muslims realize that extremists are in a minute minority and getting upset over the few often enrages the many because it gives the few more fire to spew their stupidity.. Look at America and you can see this happening on a daily basis. If it wasn’t for those who aren’t extreme who continually argue with those who are, the only thing the extremists could do then is argue amongst themselves. We read forums and think there are so many nim nods and extremists in the nation that we’re totally surrounded and must fight back but if you paid attention to the actual number of posters then you would realize that there aren’t so many after all, their just louder and more insolent.. and yes, by taking into account the number of forums on the net it too would give you false impressions.. Take all the sports in America both pro and amateur for instance, there are two and sometimes three full teams in each club and there are many many clubs but if you stood them up shoulder to shoulder you would realize there really isn’t that many compared to the rest of us who don’t play sports. You can determine this by the teams verses the spectators in any game.This is why in the final analysis we defeat their extremism because as voters we out number them considerably but we should always be aware of the Nazi effect where a few idiots clumped together and gave the impression that there were many and because of others misconception, soon there WERE many.

Jaxk's avatar


That was meant as the Generic “I” rather than me specifically.

zenzen's avatar

They are afraid to.

rojo's avatar

I do not think duty is the right word here.

I think they have an obligation to denounce those who push or exaggerate their beliefs to the extreme. They need to show those who do not hold their particular belief system that those in the extreme position do not represent the majority of the given belief.

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