From modern, moderate Morocco comes yet another example of why we don't see more sincere Muslim reformers. Ahmed Assid said: "To call [upon people] to follow Islam by the use of violence and constraint is an act of terrorism." For that, he has been condemned, declared a non-Muslim, and threatened with death.
Now wait a minute. We're constantly told that the overwhelming majority of Muslims condemn violence and terror and abhor the violence done in Islam's name. So why isn't Ahmed Assid celebrated as a hero, instead of fearing for his life?
Tiny Minority of Extremists Update: Morocco: Comments About Islam Spark Firestorm," by Mohamed Saadouni for Magharebia, May 7 (thanks to Twostellas):
Casablanca — Moroccan activist Ahmed Assid has unleashed a torrent of criticism, including a takfir fatwa from a leading salafist preacher, for making controversial comments about Islam.
During a three-day seminar at the 10th national congress of the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH) in Rabat, which ended on April 21st, Assid suggested that religious school textbooks lured youths to violence.
To call [upon people] to follow Islam by the use of violence and constraint is an act of terrorism," he said.
Assid should be sued for insulting the prophet and ridiculing Islam, salafist preacher Sheikh Mohammed Fizazi said during a lecture at Ibn Tofail University in Kenitra.
Yet the strongest reaction came from Sheikh Hassan Kettani, who accused Assid of kufr. In describing him as a "criminal" and "enemy of God", Kettani issued a call for "silencing his voice".
In a statement posted on Facebook, Kettani said that Assid had "crossed all lines in provoking Moroccans in particular and the ummah of Islam in general by deliberately insulting and desecrating each and every one of their sanctities".
"In his impudence, he [Assid] went as far as to claim that the Quran contains no eloquence, ridiculing and underestimating the language of Quran," Kettani's statement went on.
By this Kettani apparently means that the Qur'an teaches violence, and so Assid is ridiculing the Qur'an by rejecting violence.
Assid later defended his comments.
"The thing that attracts attention is the violent, uncivilised nature of this campaign that lacks the simplest values of dialogue and right to different opinions, and thus seeks to consolidate a culture that we don't need here in Morocco, that is the culture of confiscation, of trial, incitement and threats, et cetera," Assid told Magharebia.
"These are very negative matters that we as viable forces believing in democracy have to fight," he said. "There will always be differences, but we nevertheless must continue to engage in dialogue, debates and rapprochement,"
He said his words at the AMDH seminar were distorted and taken out of context.
"The words of anyone may not be construed so as to destroy him and incite others against him in such a serious manner," Assid said. " We have to refute arguments with arguments, which is the best option for the Moroccan experience."...
Refute arguments with arguments? I have never known an Islamic supremacist to do that. From Reza Aslan to Omid Safi to Haroon Moghul to Caner K. Dagli and all the rest of them, Islamic supremacists content themselves with smearing and insulting those whom they fear and hate. They never deal with pro-freedom advocates' arguments.