This idea is not novel with me: as my friend Malgorzata noted, it’s been suggested by several people, including here by Caleb Powell. The premises of the idea are these:
- There are lots of Muslims who cast themselves, or are cast by others, in the role of liberals, progressives, or “Islamic reformers.”
- Some of these Muslims get death threats from more extremist Muslims, while others don’t
- Extremist Muslims threaten death only to those “progressive” Muslims whom they see as impeding their program of Islamism
- Those “progressive” Muslims who don’t get threats are, I think, those whom Islamic extremists perceive as advancing or enabling their program—either by whitewashing Islam to squelch criticism, or by pretending to be progressive and pro-democracy when they really have another agenda.
- Therefore, if you want to discern whether a “liberal” Muslim is truly progressive, see whether he or she gets death threats from other Muslims.
Now I’m just throwing this out for your consideration, and have thought about it for just a short time, but I’ve made a little list. Two lists, actually. The first are those “reformers’ who do get threats from Muslims, and the second comprises The Unthreatened. The lists are below, and I’ve had a bit of help from some friends in the know. I am responsible for any inaccuracies, of course (for example, some people on the second list may have gotten some threats).
Two caveats. The threats must be from Muslims, not from other people. Linda Sarsour, for example, says she gets threats all the time—but they’re not from Muslims. Second, the people on the list must be practicing Muslims, or say that they are. Ex-Muslims—people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ali Rizvi, Sarah Haider, Faisal Al Mutar, and Maryam Namazie—all get death threats because they’re apostates, and apostasy is a capital crime in Islam.
By the way, some of the people on the first list require police protection. I’ve put links (most from Wikipedia) to all of them so you can read about them.
So, the lists:
Muslim reformers who often get threats from other Muslims (i.e., people to pay attention to):
Muslim reformers who don’t often get threats from other Muslims (people to be wary of):
Caleb Powell’s “Who’s Who in Islam“, which was my very first link above, also gives a list of groups that, he believes, promote a regressive agenda—either deliberately or as a byproduct of their actions. I don’t know all of these, but the ones I recognize seem to be properly placed. Again, this is not my list, but it’s worth perusing. The links are also Powell’s:
Groups/Media/etc.– 5Pillarz, BDS, Brandeis, CAGE, CAIR, Electronic Intifada, Goldsmiths Feminists, French Collective Against Islamophobia,Greens, Hope not Hate, Iceland, LSESU Palestine Society, MPAC UK, National Women’s Studies Association,NUS, Rights Watch (UK), Six PEN Authors, Southern Poverty Law Center, University of Warwick, Yale Muslim Student Association,