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Dr. Pipes's Less Than Holistic Analyses on Islamists

Reader comment on item: Counting Islamists

Submitted by Singha (India), Oct 12, 2008 at 00:11

Dr. Pipes has ignored the radicalisation of muslims in Indian Subcontinent. Indian subcontinent houses over half a billion muslims.

  • India's impact on islam and terrorism has been studied far less than what it deserves. Islam was spread in South East Asia by Indian muslims and not Arabs.
  • Indian subcontinent is one place where islam and muslims have had maximum experience getting exposed to democracy and shaping it.

I am mentioning here some of India's experiences so that right conclusions can be drawn about islam. This is especially important since the west especially europe is facing a situation of increased muslim population.

Muslims entered India as Jehadi terrorists 1000 years ago. Lack of organised resistance towards islam resulted in muslim settlements that gradually expanded throughout India. Hindus unlike in Iran never ever gave up resisting islamic imperialism. Using twin tools of Jizia and Jehad, muslims indeed converted large number of natives. The organized Hindu efforts such as forming a military brotherhood of common people in Punjab - Sikh Khalsa to take on Islam were successful in halting and reversing islam's march in Indian subcontinent.

There were efforts at syncretising islam with tolerant religious ethos of Hinduism. Hindu threshold levels of intolerance towards other ideologies have historically been far higher than the levels in the church and the mosque. Last of these efforts to moderate islam was made by Gandhi who placated muslims no end. In a lincolnist situation of civil war when muslims wanted to break the union, Gandhi opted for a placatory approach. Gandhi failed and India was split.

Certain axiomatic truths emerge from Indian experience on the proportion of muslims that would stand for islam and literalist koran.(These lessons can be validated from the experiences in Spain, Kemalist Turkey, Russian Expansion in Central Asia and Chinese experience in East Turkistan. I would also like to mention that I have serious servations with Dr. Pipes on using the word "islamists" which I believe undermines the challenge of islamic terror. I have referred to these in my other comments):

  • Islam has been tamed only by exercising of superior force.
  • Most muslims believe in literal koran and seerah and of mohummad as the ideal person. This is also islam's totalitarian expectation. A literalist ipsofacto is a fundamentalist.
  • Muslims especially when they are minority usually like to consolidate themselves as a vote bank, negotiate using the power of their votebank, and support those that stand for backward islamic values including shariah rather than progressive secular ones. Most times short sighted politicians sell the nation's interests and progress short for islamic vote bank and term in office.

So while Dr. Pipes's analyses may seriously underestimate the numbers of islamists, his observation that the number of fanatic muslims is more than number of fascists and communists put together is correct. And I wish to add that the capabilty of fanatic muslims and islam to shape the world is far more than what is currently understood by policy makers and leaders.

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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