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Reader comment on item: Shoeless George Bush
in response to reader comment: Who are we at war with?

Submitted by Chris G. (United States), Jul 26, 2007 at 15:08

There were a lot more factors involved then Russian defeat of Turkey. A big reason for the modernization of Turkey was that they saw themselves as hopelessly behind the West intellectually and economically. They thus set out on a venture to change that...however in the midst of all that they also lost their empire during WWI.

The radical Islamists in Turkey have used that rationale in proving that Allah punished the Ottoman Empire for trying to act like Kafr (non-believers). From my experience living in the Middle East, humiliating a Muslim is the absolute best way to make them your eternal enemy.

As for Pipes' vision of moderate Muslims, humiliating them and constantly telling them that their religion is inherently evil does not match with his vision of millions of moderate Muslims happily marching through the streets. Islam is Islam. You can gently over time move towards a non-literal form of religion where things are interpreted based on historic context or we can seek to wipe it out.

In the case of the latter, you must convince the American public of that. That will not happen short of another several 9/11-type attacks that kills many thousands of Americans or a single WMD attack. That will be the only thing that will have the American public screaming to nuke the Middle East. That is what will be required because unless we're willing to 100% as a nation commit to global war requiring millions of soldiers, then we simply do not have the manpower or financial ability to carry out such a war. Modern war is VERY expensive as we are realizing in the Middle East. All that technology comes at a cost. Thus nuclear weapons and other WMD's begin to look very tempting to use.

That my friend, is the only way you'll be able to rid the world of Islam. Otherwise, we have to figure out how to encourage them to modernize. Areas like the UAE are doing a fine job and welcome foreigners. Turkey, even with now an Islamic government, shows no signs of going Jihad on us. I'm also not aware of any Muslim country in the world that practices dhimmitude. The closest would be a few of the Arab states on the Arabian peninsula who limit where those of other faiths can worship as well as several Muslim countries that don't allow proselytizing.

Aside from that, how many Muslim nations in the world can be truly called "Dar al-Islam"??? Saudi Arabia comes the closest but even most Muslims don't regard it as a true Islamic state as either they think its waaay too extreme or not extreme enough. Iran? Nope…they have been tainted by aspects of Western governmental structures and Marxism with their laws being a mixture of shariat and secular laws.
Most of these Islamists screaming for shariat don't even know what a nation in "dar-al-Islam" would look like. I ran across a good article worth reading here about that:
http://www.khilafah.com/kcom/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=225

Finally, probably the best hope for a reformation of the Islamic faith resides within the traditions of Tasawwuf (Sufism) which tend to have a vastly more tolerant view of non-believers in Islam. If we spent more time encouraging their interpretations of Islam and less time attacking their faith and trying to humiliate them, I think we would be vastly more successful.

From a psychological perspective humiliation creates long lasting counter-responses and effects that we will be paying for far into the future. As a human being do you feel more loving towards someone you hate after they've have humiliated you? How about someone you love? How do you tend to feel after you've been bullied and put down for a long time? Muslims are not sub-humans. They are human beings with the same basic psychology as any other human being.

True culture modifies this somewhat, but not those kinds of basic characteristics that make us human. If you don't believe me find the most liberal Muslim you can find and start insulting his religion and see how he behaves. I almost guarantee you that the Muslim will begin to question his own beliefs and will begin to look more closely at the Wahhabi belief which emphasizes pride in being a Muslim and the superiority of Islam over all other people.

Now…if they are a true Sufi, they will instantly recognize this feeling in their heart as part of their "nafs" or basic animalistic human emotions that they must wage Jihad against within their hearts. This type of superb self-control and self-analysis is part of what makes Sufism generally much more tolerant then other Islamic sects and much more compatible with Western ideologies and cultures. The emphasis is much more focused on the spiritualism within Islam with the dogma generally limited to the essentials of Islam. Issues of shariat and Jihad are generally interpreted in a much more liberal fashion rather then a puritanical one.

Most importantly Sufism is not something that is necessarily bidah (innovation) but that actually has very deep roots that extend to Sunah and the beginnings of Islam.

Also interesting is the role of feminist Muslims within the history of Sufism. I highly recommend reading about Rabia Al-Basri often simply known as Rabia. She is a prominent Sufi saint who is attributed to founding important doctrines within Tasawwuf and with inspiring a long line of female Sufi mystics.

Read up on Sufism and you will see why this aspect of Islam has a lot of hope for transforming Islam into a beautiful religion capable of easily co-existing with the Western world.

Chris G.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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