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D'accord

Reader comment on item: A Democratic Islam?
in response to reader comment: Diverse schools

Submitted by Jared (United States), Apr 28, 2008 at 07:54

I basically agree with you.

A premise of my original post, In 6 centuries, maybe, was that with a centralized structure, a hierarchical priesthood, it took the Catholic Churh 6 centuries to democratize, using Pipes timeline. In that period we have seen the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation, and the formation of national churches such as the Church of England, which was done for political reasons. I believe none of this could have been done, in that time frame, without the hierarchical structure of the Roman Catholic Church.

Since Islam does not have that structure, I believe it will take longer to have the equivalent of an Islamic Reformation because it cannot not be dictated (the antithesis of democracy) from the top down, an Enlightenment, if you would, from the top down, since there is no top to Islam other than the Koran and Shiri'a.

Islam is already at war with itself, Sunni vs. Shi'a vs. Wahabbi. Black Muslims do not fit the traditional pattern in my mind because I believe that the movement was not intrinsically a branching of Islamic theology but rather a political movement centered on rejecting the white man's church as a symbol of racism. The Christian variant is black liberation theology. This is why Farrakhan and Wright are closely linked although they come at the issue from differing theological platforms.

We are now full circle to Pipes' original issue - Can Islam be democratized? Pipes wrote it could, if Islam opened up Shiri'a to debate and modernization, This implies the equivalent somewhere down the road of landmarks such as the Reformation, Counter-Reformation and Vatican II. PIpes thinks Islamic democratization can be done, but did not put a timeframe on it. I believe you and I are less sanguine about it occurring, if it occurs at all.

You believe even if Islam restructures, the jihadist threat will not vanish. I agree that, as long as there are Muslims who are "unreformed", particularly Wahabbis, and who believe that Islam and the Caliphate are destined to conquer dar al harb and reign supreme, the West will be at war.

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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