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Western liberalism and Muslims

Reader comment on item: Will Europe Resist Islamization?

Submitted by Safraz (United States), Apr 3, 2008 at 11:46

To address Europe and the Muslim immigration into Europe, one does not need to freak out at the mosques or the modes of dress now prevalent in European cities. What needs to be done is to make Western style liberal democracy paramount. Those proud of their European culture and heritage should be vocal about it.

But Wilders is a different story - his film was just pure hate and there is a line crossed from being proud of your own culture, and denigrating another. Absolutely, the Muslim speakers in the clips he presents should be condemned - but to make it appear with his film as if this hate is endemic in all Muslims or even in most Muslims - is just hate speech. Indeed, his film could have very well been made by Al Qaeda, in that his juvenile modes of interpreting the Koran completely out of context is just backwards and ignores 1300 years of Islamic judicial interpretaion and religous development

Furthermore, the protests around the world by Muslims beause of various alleged insults against Islam is too easily conflated with Islam or even Islamism itself that we miss out on the big picture. It's really a problem endemic in the culture of much of the third world, where Western style liberal democracies for the most part are non-existent or are not as engrained in the culture as it is has been in America over some 200 years. So the culture is not used to such concepts such as freedom of expression, freedom of the press etc. It just takes time. For instance, Hindus in India protest and riot at similar alleged insults to their religion - a recent incident being this last Valentines Day. Of course, that's not as "sexy" as an Muslim riot, so you didn't hear much about it.

On the other hand, how many religious riots do you see in Turkey? The difference is between Western liberalism (e.g Turkey, France), and the third world where western liberalism is non-existent, or very new and people are just getting used to it (e.g. the Arab world, Africa, South Asia). To frame it in terms of religion - rather than in historical political culture - just misses the point.

Finally, thousands of Muslims riot for various reasons. There are 1.2 Billion - BILLION - Muslims on the planet. One cannot judge an entire religion, by the actions of a tiny minority. Unfortunately, many do just that - and flat out wilfully ignore the many condemnations of such riots by ordinary Muslims around the world.

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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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