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Fundamentalist or traditionalist?

Reader comment on item: Liberals and Conservatives Debate Fundamentalist Islam

Submitted by Sam Nelson (United States), Apr 29, 2002

I realise this reponse is far past the date of this article, but recent events only make the discussion more relevant.

In my humble opinion, Daniel Pipes is creating too easy a division between Left and Right, positions which have become about as relevant as East and West. Yes, the twain do meet. While it is blindingly obvious that the world doesn't boil down into such simple categories, why do they persist in our politics and media?

So where does one draw the line between an Islamic fundamentalist and a traditionalist? Does this distinction only occur when the person of organisation in question dares defy the "national interest' of the United States, something increasingly defined by a smaller and smaller pool of "special interests".

Whether of not an organisation plots a terrorist act seems to be a better definition for designating a terrorist rather than such an ill-defined phrase such as 'fundamentalism'.
The irony is that open-ended and simplistic designations, like 'fundamentalism', tend only to create a great deal of confusion.

Cheers,
Sam Nelson
Western Australia

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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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