Washington D.C., Apr 13, 2011 / 04:15 am
Updated April 13, 2011 at 11:13 a.m. MST. Corrects previous description of Malik as a Maronite Catholic.
Habib Malik, a Lebanese Roman Catholic scholar and human rights advocate, recently warned Western countries to be on their guard against radical Islamic forces that present themselves as political “moderates” in countries such as Libya and Egypt.
“Another fallacy is rearing its head again, and we saw this prior to 9/11,” said Malik in a March 31 address at Washington, D.C.'s Westminster Institute. “It's now coming back into the discourse, unfortunately, in Washington: this very wrong and dangerous idea that 'there are moderate fundamentalists and there are radical fundamentalists, and maybe we can talk to the moderate fundamentalists and wean them away from it.'”
“This is garbage, and nonsense,” said Malik, author of the 2010 book “Islamism and the Future of the Christians of the Middle East,” as he described the notion of “moderate” Islamic radicalism as a fantasy entertained by the West. “It doesn't exist. There is no such thing. What appears to be moderate can, in an instant, flip and change.”
“When you're thousands of miles away, in a place like Washington, you give this armchair analysis that generates policy, about 'moderate' and 'radical' fundamentalists. This eventually translates itself very adversely, on the scene over there. It affects whole communities of Christians on the ground.”