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We need to put aside political correctness and discuss Islam

Reader comment on item: How the West Could Lose

Submitted by Dennis Graves (United States), Sep 11, 2007 at 15:22

Steeped in a politically correct culture that will not allow anyone to say anything negative about a religion, Americans (and Europeans) at every level evidently fail to understand that the root of our problems indeed may be Islam. To state the obvious, the 9/11 highjackers and those who have perpetrated so many other atrocities are not Lutherans or members of the Loyal Order of Woodchucks. That the common thread is the religion of Islam ought to prompt a thoughtful, careful and public analysis of whether critical principles of the Religion are fundamentally inconsistent with modern Western society.

Although the Administration apparently is on a quest to bring Western-style democracy to Iraq and the Middle East, my reading of the Qu'ran and observation of current affairs leads me to seriously question whether Islam can accommodate the modern political principles of democracy and separation of church and state that are central to Western democracy and civilization. Indeed, it appears to me that we may be fighting a losing battle in the Middle East precisely because we fundamentally fail to understand Islam.

While similar questions could be raised about 16th century Catholicism, the Grand Inquisitor did not have the Bomb, and the Church over several centuries has evolved into a relatively benign institution, largely because it has been able to accommodate the modern trend towards separation of church and state. Unfortunately, a central tenet of Islam is that there can be no separation of church and state -- Islamic principles must govern both and, as well-demonstrated by the Islamic Republic of Iran, government must be subordinated to the Religion.

Since we needed the cooperation of Islamic countries (eg, Pakistan) in the wake of 9/11, I understand how the Administration may have erred on the side of whitewashing Islam. However, sufficient time has passed that it is time to put aside political correctness and publicly discuss the elephant in the corner: we should discuss the role of Islam in 9/11 and subsequent events and consider whether Islam inherently is irreconcilable with modern Western values and institutions.

Despite all that has happened, I am dismayed that our leaders fail to engage in thoughtful public discussion of the Religion of Islam.

Submitting....

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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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