I've known a number of "normal"/Americanized Muslims in my life. In college I was pretty good friends with this Iranian dude. The thing is the children of Muslim immigrants, or the third generation really stops being Muslim because being Muslim is a real pain the ass... Ramadan is just brutal, and who honestly has time to pray 7 times a day? It's like I'm Jewish but I would go nuts if I had to follow every rule in Leviticus. If I was around before there was a Reform branch of Judaism, I would simply be a "bad Jew." And in fact Orthodox and Hassidic Jews would still consider me a "bad Jew" and I would probably get an earful from one if they would even talk to me. Fortunately the vast majority of Jews aren't part of the Orthodoxy, so they don't get to shape the religion.
So I think the problem with Islam is that "moderate Islam" doesn't exist as a concept within the religion. "Moderate Islam" means "most of my family is Muslim, so when I see my parents I pretend I don't drink or have pre-marital sex or watch corrupting TV shows, but in reality I'm just like every other normal American." But such people aren't really a part of Islam, and they aren't part of the religious discussion, and don't have a seat at the table when it comes to theological dogma.
What you are left with is a religion that only has a radical branch. Anyone who is not part of that radical branch, isn't really part of the religion.
I suppose Islam needs a charismatic reformer, but he would probably get stabbed 17 times after his first public appearance.
Exactly! A lot of people confuse people who identify as Muslim with those who are Muslim. There's a big difference. There are no moderate Muslims; only moderate people who identify as Muslim but don't follow Islam correctly.
This is far fetched but do you think that maybe just maybe by allowing the looting yesterday and giving them room to destroy that the mayor may have emboldened them to have another day of um protest....