I had originally written as a comment to Rob's post:
It's not that Muslims are "losing our voice," per se; it's that you have an extremely gullible non-Muslim populace that's so ignorant about the subject of Islam that: (1) they can't tell which voices are authentic and which voices are not, and (2) they won't accept anything that doesn't pander to their prejudices. The con men, either going under a "progressive" Muslim banner or out-and-out declaring themselves to be apostates, gladly sell their souls for a miserable price. The shame of it all is that this sort of problem has arisen when the masses have lost their ability to think critically. In the meantime, there are plenty of Muslims, individually and collectively, who do speak out and try to mitigate the damage. But until the ignorant masses begin to make an effort to open their minds and seek real understanding about Islam, they will remain the greater fools.
Since I wrote that, back on April 25th, I've actually been rather angry at a number of groups of people and this blog post (and others, insha'allah, in the future) are going to be addressed to them. People claim to like straight talk and this is what I'm going to do, provide some straight talk about Islam. I intend to be blunt, and if you don't like it, too bad. But I do hope that this bluntness will be enough to get it through your skull that Islam and Muslims aren't what you think they are or want them to be, and that most of what you think you know are nothing but lies in the first place.
So, to start off, let's get back to Rob's post:
You're being lied to. If you're a non-Muslim and think that the only "moderate" Muslim voices are the likes of Irshad Manji, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Tarek Fatah, Ed Hussein, Wafa Sultan or any other "progressive" Muslim or apostate, then you're a greater fool than I thought. Let me clue you in: these people do not speak for Muslims. They have zero credibility among the Muslim community. These people do not understand Islam and cannot accept Islam as it is. What they want is Islam Lite. Chrislam. Call it whatever you will, it's not ISLAM. It's religion according to their own nafs, their own ego, which is exactly what many people do when they create their own cafeteria religion, picking and choosing what they like and rejecting anything that doesn't fit into their own preconceived notions. If you want to follow your own cafeteria religion, fine, be my guest. But don't expect Muslims to do the same. Which leads to me to my next point.
Islam will never go through a "reformation." Islam doesn't need a reformation. Islam is perfect. Frankly, I don't care what non-Muslims or the "progressive" Muslims and apostates think about Islam. We practice Islam as it is meant to be practiced, not as how non-Muslims or "progressive" Muslims think it should be practiced. Don't like it? Too bad. Think Islam needs to be reformed? Too bad. Until you know and understand Islam as well as we do, we're not going to pay any attention to your criticisms or calls for "reform." Just like the progressives and apostates, you don't have any credibility among us either. You'll impress us more if you try to learn about Islam from an unbiased source. And by the time you get to the point where we think you're knowledgeable enough, you'll probably be agreeing that Islam doesn't need "reforming" as well, insha'allah.
We're not going away. We're not going home to our own countries. For many of us, we are in our own country. Nor can you stick your heads in the sand and pretend that Muslim countries don't exist by stopping all trade and contact with them, as some wingnuts have suggested. Muslims make up 20% of the world's population, and we'll keep on growing, insha'allah. We're not trying to take over the world, as many idiots claim, but we will if non-Muslims don't have babies. That's not our fault; it's yours. We're going to continue having babies whether you like it or not, insha'allah. So deal with us! Get rational, rub those brain cells of yours together, and accept a society with Muslims and Islam in it. If you can't, then you're just a bunch of cowards.
To be continued, insha'allah.
Update: I've put this blog post onto Daily Kos, where it created a mild stir among the people there, primarily due to the fact that the blunt tone of this post made some people upset (and perhaps rightfully so; Kossacks tend to be more sympathetic to Islam than at other websites, so they may have felt that I was attacking them, which was not my intent). However, the good news is that this blog post generated 46 comments there (so far), so you may want to see what the others had to say.
Update #2 (May 22): If you haven't read Marc Manley's post, The Trouble with Muslim Pundits Today, in which he went to a talk by Irshad Manji at the University of Pennsylvania, you should click on that link right now. I've written two comments there as well, but I thought the content of the second one bears repeating here. Manji, Ayaan, and the others whom I criticized in the first section ("You're being lied to"), strike me as being exactly whom the Qur'an talks about in the following ayat:
“To the Hypocrites give the glad tidings that there is for them (but) a grievous penalty;- Yea, to those who take for friends unbelievers rather than believers: is it honor they seek among them? Nay,- all honor is with God.” (4:138-9)
Manji and the others like her criticize Islam not because they have "'the love and desire for the best for her community' that marks genuine reformers," as Dawud noted in his comment (#9), but because they have other, less noble motivations (to put it charitably). They are not so concerned with the Muslim community (except to denigrate it), but to suck up to the non-Muslims, whom they think they will receive "honor" from for being the non-Muslims' useful fool. Truly, all honor is with Allah (swt), and let the liars answer to Him, insha'allah.