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Reza Aslan refuses to speak out for Islamic "moderation," says bin Laden's version of Islam is valid
by Robert Spencer
In this revealing video clip, interview Cameron Kash presses noted "moderate" Muslim Reza Aslan on why there is no visible and organized movement of moderate Muslims working against the jihadist understanding of Islam. Aslan, arrogant as ever, first trots out the tired line that those who think that peaceful Muslims aren't speaking out against jihadists and Islamic supremacists just aren't paying attention, dismissing those who think otherwise as "stupid." Kash, however, to his credit, won't be placated by nonsense, and presses him further.
Late in the clip Aslan clearly starts folding under a line of questioning that was far harder than the usual fawning he gets from interviewers, even though Kash is unflaggingly respectful and supportive. He says that because there is no central authority in Islam, no one can say that Osama bin Laden's version of the religion is invalid, or that he is not a Muslim. This is actually true as far as it goes: there is no central authority in Islam. But in reality, the practice of takfir, or declaring that some individual or group has so deviated from the faith that it can no longer be called Muslim, is a time-honored principle of Islamic theology; that Aslan will not employ it against those Muslims who believe the way bin Laden did is revealing.
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