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Bad Comparison

Reader comment on item: Winston Churchill Compares "Mein Kampf" to the Koran

Submitted by Alex (United States), Feb 22, 2008 at 16:09

I agree with Dr. Pipes on the problematic nature of a comparison of the Koran with Mein Kampf, mainly for reasons of historicity--whereas the Koran is a premodern document that integrates previous themes of the two other great monotheistic traditions into a new imperial and spiritual whole,

Mein Kampf was a modern ideological tract that was, indeed, "turgid, verbose, shapeless, but pregnant with its message." If one wished to say the same about the Koran, then one must also refer similarly to the Torah and the Bible. This is not to say that there are not some fundamentally morally problematic facets of Islam, even in the premodern era.

I actually think that Islamists, like Sayyid Qutb--whose book, Milestones, is the most piercingly insightful modern ideological tract I have ever read--are much better writers than were those whose worked inspired European and Asian totalitarianisms, perhaps because of the place of explicit law and the preeminent role of cleric-scholars (ulema) that has somehow continued into Islamic modernity. Maybe German also has a greater quality of hinting at realities through lengthy descriptions than does Classical Arabic.

Submitting....

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