What Should We Call the Two Kinds of Muslims?


When we speak about Muslims, I think most of us try to make the distinction between those Muslims who follow core Islamic teachings on the one hand, and those who call themselves Muslims but who ignore a great deal of the basic principles of Islam.

I've often had to clarify myself when someone takes offense at something I say by making this distinction: "I'm criticizing Islamic doctrine. If someone doesn't follow the doctrine, then I am not criticizing them."

I have tried various words and phrases to make this distinction in my speech, so instead of saying "Muslims believe X," for example, I will say, "Islamic supremacists believe X." It bypasses one of my listener's most obvious objection to what I'm saying.

Others are doing this too, and I see "true believers" being called Jihadis, Jihadists, Islamists, militant Muslims, Mujahedeen, Islamofascists, fundamentalists, extremists, insurgents, and the ridiculously meaningless term, "radical Muslims" (which is almost as bad as the phrase "war on terror"). I just read an article by Mohamed Akram and he used the phrase "observant Muslim." I thought that was pretty good. But I think two of the best are Brigitte Gabriel's phrase, "practicing Muslims" and Vijay Kumar's "literal Muslims." Actually, Kumar uses the term "literal Islam," but I like that word "literal." Bill Warner's use of the phrase "political Islam" is good too.

This topic is newsworthy these days as Obama's administration has tried to avoid using any language in their national security organizations that might imply a religious motivation to Muslims who kill non-Muslims in the name of Islam. Their newly-released National Security Strategy came up with a term we can add to our list. The report referred to practicing Muslims by using the clumsy and misleading term, "al-Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates."

The nomenclature for Muslims who don't really follow the teachings is sparse. "Moderate Muslims?" That's pretty much worthless. How about "mainstream Muslims?" That's a meaningless phrase unless you don't know anything about Islam, at which time it becomes mistakenly meaningful. Some have used the oxymoronic term, "secular Muslims." Of course, Muslims themselves use the term "apostates."

I've experimented with a couple of names for this category of Muslims. For instance, JRMs (Jihad Rejecting Muslims) isn't bad. But my favorite is MINOs (Muslim in Name Only). The MINOs themselves might not like it, but it's clear enough for our purposes.

My vote is "practicing Muslims" for the devout ones and MINOs for the non-devout. What do you think? Leave your vote (or additional nomenclature) in the comments or email them to me and I'll post them for you (anonymously if you like): citizenwarriorgeneral@gmail.com. Tell us which phrases you like to use and why you think they are better than the others.


Anonymous 1:35 PM  

Thanks! I was searching for a fitting term just a minute ago!

Surind Raj 2:32 PM  

Your reasoning is sound. I vote for your names "Practicing Muslims" and "MINOs"

Anonymous 4:29 PM  

Just saw that and thought it might be interesting for you!


Citizen Warrior 8:10 PM  

I followed that link and this study is interesting. I've read many like it, and it's true. Here's a quote:

"In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger."

That's one of the reasons I recommend we not talk to people in terms of conservative versus liberal. It sets up the mind to be unable to learn anything.

The truth is, most people you talk to know absolutely nothing about Islam, and if you can get into the conversation in such a way that this can be acknowledged early on, people are perfectly capable of learning new facts. This difficult part is changing someone's mind while they are in a state of resistance or when they think they already know.

Citizen Warrior 8:37 PM  

Along those lines, I recommend a really good book on basic human relations: How to Win Friends and Influence People. It was written something like seventy-five years ago, but the same principles apply today.

I particularly recommend all citizen warriors read the fourth section of that book, entitled, How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment. This skill is a key element in our ability to change minds. Luckily, it is also a skill that will benefit us in other ways too. It's well worth the time spent improving that skill.

Citizen Warrior 11:42 AM  

Someone else wrote in with this:

I vote for practicing Muslims, because I think it's accurate. If they are practicing the teachings of the Quran, then they are a danger to us. If they aren't practicing Mohammud's teachings, then they are Muslims in name only. So, practicing Muslims and MINO get my vote.

Citizen Warrior 11:53 AM  

Someone else wrote in:

No choice. No Muslim is liberal, moderate, or consevative.

The Koran is the only major religion that is "...from Allah's mouth, to your ear." Every word of the Koran is a direct recitation (Koran) of the original Koran, in Allah's seventh heaven. Eternal, perfect, unchangeable. Any Moslem who ignores any word or sentence of the Koran sins against Allah. Any Moslem who interprets, or changes, any part of the Koran is not a Moslem. Any Moslem who declares any part of the Koran as only pertaining to the 7th century, and not eternally, unalterably true, is guilty of apostasy.

You either accept every word and sentence as eternally, unalterably true and pertinent, or you are an apostate. One does not want to know the eternally, unalterably, mandated punishment for apostasy. It makes a suicide bombing look like a bleeding heart punishment.

Citizen Warrior 1:45 PM  

Another reader said:

I think MINO's is a great name. If I am correct, true Muslims from the Middle Eastern countries believe that you must read the Koran in Arabic in order to be a real Muslim....I may be wrong since I am just learning about this "Ideology" but I thought I read it somewhere. If it is true, then any American can be a Muslim in name only anyway.

Citizen Warrior 1:49 PM  

Another reader wrote:

I like your MINOs term -- parallels RINO which is well-established. As to "practising Muslim", that's good and meaningful, but I have been using Jihadist mostly. Formerly, I used fundamentalist Islamist (or Muslim).

I'm wondering if it's important to always use the same terms as long as they are clear? Well, we should restrict ourselves to terms that will be clear to typical foggy unaroused Americans. MINO probably doesn't fit that criteria. But we can use it when talking to one another, just as we use RINO when talking to fellow conservatives.

I'll be interested in seeing how others vote on this.

Citizen Warrior 3:07 PM  

Here's another:

I know the idea you have is great, but, a muslem is a muslem is a muslem.

Citizen Warrior 3:10 PM  

Here's another:

I really like the acronym MINOs. On the other hand, I would prefer "Orthodox Muslim", aka "OM", I suggest "orthodox" is a more accurate description of attachement to an ideology, than is the term "practicing," i.e. MINOs could be deemed to be practicing.

Allow me to congratulate you for your valiant efforts to educate the ignorant infidels on the miserable future their children will inherit, should the OMs succeed in their Allah-given goal of subjecting the world to the illusions and political interests of a mad and vicious pervert.

Citizen Warrior 3:11 PM  

That's a good one: Orthodox. Most people in the West would immediately understand what you mean by that.

Citizen Warrior 12:32 PM  

Another reader sent this in:

It's all confusing to me, giving a name to a group that has a base line of thought, TO LIE when you think it helps ones position and advances Islam in it's many forms. NAACP sees all "Tea party" people as racist's, what it all comes down to is that labels may, or may not clearly identify a group, depending on the individuals in it, but a doctrine that teaches it's OK to lie, sucks in my opinion and is not trust worthy in ALL its forms.
"The truth will set you free", think about it, and keep telling the truth as it presents itself. Christ was called many things even to this day, his true followers walk in love in all its forms.

Citizen Warrior 12:40 PM  

Another reader sent this in:

I don't prefer any name so to speak. If they follow the Quran, they are Muslim. I am totally opposed to their movement here in the states. I don't trust the majority of them. I've studied and researched their beliefs and their attitudes towards America and our way of life.

In my studies and research I have just discovered a Mosque between Lake City Fla. and Live Oak Fla. It seems they are everywhere. If we don't wake up soon all this is gonna come back as a "nightmare."

I spent several years working in the Intelligence gathering field, and I know how these people think and how their religion motivates them towards jihad. Every American should just sit down and read the Quran, and actually study it. These people are our enemy. What else is it gonna take for this country to realize letting all these people into our country is dangerous. This includes Mexican nationals. The American citizen is becoming the minority rather than the majority.

I am a member of AFIO-American federation of Intelligence Officers and several months ago I attended a seminar about when the Polish Government declared Marshal Law. I am not saying our country is headed that way, at least not in my lifetime, but I do think at the rate we are going the government will control a big majority of our personal affairs. For an example, now in the state of Florida, in order to get your Driver Lic renewed, you must have a Birth Certificate and proof that you have worked in your profession for over a year, and it dosen't matter if you are are an Amercan citzen. This applies to everyone. So go figure. What has caused this?

Thank you for all the hard work you guys do. If I can be of any help at all I would be more than happy to do so. Just drop me an email.

Anonymous 6:47 AM  

I think "Muslim" is appropriate. A Muslim is defined as a follower of Islam. Hypocrite is a more appropriate term who claim to believe something but do another. It's not a politically correct term of course, but since when did political correctness help anybody.

Citizen Warrior 5:17 PM  

Another reader sent this one in:

In Malaysia, we have many "In Name Only". If my estimation is right, about 70%. If you are born a Malay, you are automatically a Muslim, no choice.

Surprisingly, we have intellectuals who are "Hard-core". But of course this group also consists ordinary non-intellectuals.

The problem is: these "Muslims in Name Only" do not condemn what the "Hard-core Muslims" are saying or doing. I understand in majority Muslim countries they are afraid for their lives. But what about in Muslim minority countries of Europe, US, Canada or even Australia? I don't know, or do they?

Here in Malaysia we are lucky because we are not like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt or any other Middle Eastern countries. This I think is because the Muslim percentage is not like 80 or 90% and above. We have quite a mixture of other races. As mentioned in earlier mails, the Malays constituted 60-65%, Chinese about 20-25%, Indians 15%, The indigenous people are mostly Christians - could be 3%.

Unknown 10:17 PM  

I have tried to answer this same question for several years. I have settled on the use of Mohammed's war flag, al-raya as a symbol we can all speak out against. As al-Qaeda's flag it is illegal, and EVERY where in cyberspace that we find the Black Flag...we find outspoken, and frequently violent examples of Islamic Empire building. One of a few related terms I have been using is "Black Flag jihadists". http://tinyurl.com/23p46qw

Citizen Warrior 10:33 PM  

Black flag jihadists. That's pretty good. I like that.

I was just listening to Robert Spencer doing a question and answer and someone said he was reading something by a Muslim and the distinction between Islam and Islamism didn't seem to exist. Spencer said the Muslim world doesn't make that distinction.

It's all Islam.

In another talk, he said something that cracked everyone up. He said, "It shouldn't surprise us that Muslims believe in Islam."

Citizen Warrior 10:51 PM  

Here's another way of dividing Muslims into two categories: Long-range jihadists versus hot-headed jihadists.

Anonymous 10:45 AM  

Koranic Muslims, Rumi Muslims

Citizen Warrior 1:00 AM  

Someone just emailed us this comment:

Hello Citizen Warrior,

Let me start by saying that I salute you for the excellent work you are doing, educating non-Muslims about the true nature of Islam.

Thanks to the efforts of people like you, non-Muslims will not buy into the rhetoric about " the religion of peace ", regardless of where that rhetoric comes from.

I find it useful to categorize Muslims into the following categories:

1) The Rabid Muslims: these are folks who have been infected by the jihadist virus and have developed a virulent form of the disease. There is no known cure for this disease, even though the Saudis claim that they have found ways to rehabilitate such folks.

2) The Susceptible Muslims: these are folks who have not yet been infected by the jihadist virus, but have a weakened immune system and could easily develop a virulent form of the disease if sufficiently exposed to the virus. Some form of immunization could preveent these folks from developing a virulent form of the disease. The challenge is to find an immunization process which would be effective.

3) The Immune Muslims: these are folks who have seen the light, through bitter personal experience of the inhumanity of Islam and are completely immune to the virus ( e.g. Wafa Sultan - author of "A God who Hates").

This way of categorizing Muslims is useful in formulating strategies which are appropriare to each category.

Hope this is of some help in your work.

Best wishes,

Intellectual Samurai

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