In more ancient cultures, names were significant. They were much more than usually likable monikers attached to people, places, or things.
Recently, names have grown appendages. We are no longer Americans. We are [insert modifier here]-Americans. We are no longer Christians. We are Pentecostal, Charismatic, Evangelical, Mainline, Independent, Bible-believing, Non-denominational, [insert your favorite here] Christians.
While some of this may be useful in limited contexts, it tends to water down or qualify what initially needed little if any qualification. I am fairly sure that in God’s eyes, you either are or are not a Christian. You have new life in Jesus Christ or you do not. To put it in the biblical vernacular, you are a sheep or a goat, on the way to heaven or hell.
So it is not surprising that people in the Islamic world are beginning to react to being referred to by apologetic pundits, wanting to distinguish between Islamists who want to kill us and the rest of Islam, as “moderate” Islam. Recently, the Prime Minister of Turkey had this to say about those dancing around the “religion of peace” issue in an attempt to separate the jihadists from the rest of Islam.
PM Erdogan: The Term “Moderate Islam” Is Ugly And Offensive; There Is No Moderate Islam; Islam Is Islam
Speaking at Kanal D TV’s Arena program, PM Erdogan commented on the term “moderate Islam”, often used in the West to describe AKP and said, “These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.” Source: Milliyet, Turkey, August 21, 2007 Memri Turkish Media Blog
So much for that canard. Hopefully we can lay that fabrication to rest and realize that Islam as a religion does not coexist. It has not been hijacked. While some of its members, like many in all forms of endeavor, are not the “true believers” and therefore do not seek non-Muslims harm while being genuinely friendly, as a whole, Islam only bides its time in any given situation until it is strong enough to conquer all outside of itself.
So, what’s in a name. More than we give credit to, sometimes much more.
See also What’s in a Name? Part II: