As applied to individuals, absolutely not. Those of us who know individual Muslims will testify to that all day long. Our Muslim friends and colleagues are no different than our other associates, and we find it difficult to hear blanket statements categorizing all Muslims as open or closet jihadis. Condemn all Muslims that way, and you do more to condemn yourself.
And that’s one of the reasons for all the distortions we encounter: our values make us uncomfortable condemning any religion or large group of people because of their adherence to it. But our existential struggle is not about individuals.
The disingenuous and politically-motivated use of the phrase “moderate Muslim” without regard to reality leads us to make deadly decisions; deadly not just for jihad’s immediate victims but ultimately for us as well. Case in point: Bangladesh. [New English Review] Read more