I would never claim to be a moderate Muslim, because I adhere to the doctrine of Islam fully and completely or at least I thought I did. Either one of two things is true I am in fact a moderate or even worse a secular Muslim or every one else is just crazy.
Muslims can't vote, Muslim can vote. Muslims can't listen to music, Muslims can listen to music, Muslim men and women can't even look at each other, Muslim men and women can engage in conversation. I could go on and on, the funny thing is that you don't realize how different, different groups in the Muslim community can be until you meet face to face. When your around Muslims who are just like you of course you think your right and normal but when you come in contact with the other group its as if you've each been living in alternate universes.
Case and point I know drinking, gambling, sexual intercourse (outside of marriage) is forbidden in Islam. I know that believing in one God, praying five times a day, dressing modestly are mandatory. I've never worried much about the grey areas like music, or whether I can make dua after pray or if wearing makeup is haram.
But there is an alternative universe where the grey are is of utmost concern. Their are many Muslims who live their lives in this universe where every action is superbly analyzed and crucified.
Here's a sample argument between the so-called crazies and the "moderates": Music is haram. Why is music haram? Music is haram because it can change your mood. Huh?, OK maybe but so what if it good music, islamic music. Well then you can end up liking music more then Quran. Huh, what alright fine you win one for The crazies.
Sample two: The Bida argument. Bida is of course innovation to which the Prophet (PBUH) said "The best of the speech is embodied in the Book of Allah, and the best of the guidance is the guidance given by Muhammad. And the most evil affairs are their innovations; and every innovation is error (bukhari muslim 4.1885)." No argument from me. So the crazies go on to say for instance making dua after salat is bida because the prophet never made dua after salat. Wait a minute, bida to make dua after salat? Okay if you say the prophet didn't after salat fine I accept that, no one should ever add on any element to salat. But what if everyday after I made fajr I went out to get a cup of coffee is this bida, the salat has ended. But of course the crazies just repeat bida, bida, bida. And again they win.
Uh Oh, I'm starting to see a pattern. Final example, Voting is haram. Voting, haram. Yes voting is haram because all the Muslim needs is Quran and sunnah to live their life. OK sure, but which mayor will better help my city clean up its streets? Well voting is haram because America kills Muslims. Well Muslims kill Muslims. Well uhhhh.........voting is haram period. Well I'm voting. I call this a draw.
But whats the point though I do apologize for calling them crazy, they always wins the argument because the make you feel bad about yourself and their louder and they made the argument points and backup information before the conversation even began, and besides they might be right. Yes I said it, here's a little "moderate" Muslim secret, we're always afraid were wrong so we're willing to listen. We don't know beyond the shadow of a doubt that music is okay, but we also aren't convinced that all music is haram. Especially since I've been Muslim all my life, listened to music all my life and its never led me in to drink alcohol a gang, in to a fight, in to fornication. Heck one of my favorite songs use to be a song by Snopp Dogg about getting high and I've never smoked a joint or a cigarette. So the arguments just doesn't play out. Though I am still not willing to say music is halal either.
The truth is I don't want to be a secular/ moderate Muslims who think Muslim, Christians and Jews are all the same and we should all just hug. I don't want to be a Muslim who hugs her males friends or eats McDonald's, or curses and bares her cleavage. Secretly I admire the crazies, so much so I may just think of another name for them. I admire them because they are constantly striving for perfection. I don't admire that they are constantly looking for a fight and unwilling to even listen to another argument. There is and Islam that is sound and unarguable. But there are those grey areas where not every difference of opinion is an innovation. There's a place where every Muslim comes with the best intention and deserves credit for trying and forgiveness if they go astray.