It seems a popular refrain from progressive or “liberal” Muslims that there is a civil war within Islam fighting for its future direction; one group comprised of the progressives wants to modernize Islam without necessarily Westernizing it while the other group frequently talks about imperialist visions of restoring a caliphate centered on the Middle East and Islam established in every country.
Presumably, this civil war is only barely being constrained by the kings and otherwise near-tyrannical heads of state in the Middle Eastern countries (and Pakistan) who keep any dissent or non-orthodox thought as tightly controlled as they can.
My question is, if the militant fundamentalist Muslims are fighting against both their controlling leaders and the progressive Muslims, who are the progressive Muslims fighting? Are they even fighting at all? It seems like, at best, they’ve always been a minority and only seem to pop up in any substantial sense after a terrorist attack to jump up and down shouting that not all Muslims are terrorists. Good point, but it seems like the progressive Muslims aren’t even trying to fight the fundamentalists with ideas or guns (bombs, etc.).
If only one side is actually doing anything, doesn’t that automatically mean that the other side is destined to lose?