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Declare Victory and bring back our kids: Not be scared of "shariyaa"

Reader comment on item: The Roots of Iraq's Rebellion

Submitted by Moin Ansari: AMERICAN JEWISH MUSLIM ALLIANCE (United States), Apr 15, 2004 at 11:41

Dr. Pipes:

We fully and wholeheartedly support your advice that "occupying forces quickly to leave Iraqi cities and then, when feasible, to leave Iraq as a whole". We support America declaring victory in Iraq and bringing our young children home and out of harm's way. One more American dead is one too many. The United Nations with large contingents of Pakistani, Bangladeshi troops or an army made up of the Organization of Islamic Conferences (OIC) could bring Iraq back to some sort of political stability that precludes it becoming a breeding ground for terrorists. We can then continue our efforts to bring democracy to Iraq and the Middle East through education and coercion.

Your historical analysis was eloquent, though there were major exceptions to the European "avoidance" of Muslim lands. The British took over almost all Ottoman provinces "countries" of the Middle East; the Spanish tried to control "Maghreb" in West Africa; the British controlled Nigeria; the Dutch tried to hold on to Indonesia; the Spanish eliminated Islam from the Philippines (which used to be 96% Muslim); the French tired to keep Algeria as part of France, and India (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh), though it was not a Muslim country but it had a very large Muslim population, was of course the jewel in the crown of the British Empire. The Muslim propensity to seek to live under "shariya" law could be as innocuous as Jews wishing to follow their dietary laws, and observing Sabbath. Living in any country, Muslims can say their prayers, give "zakat" (alms), go for pilgrimage and be good to their fellow human beings. Without over romanticizing the 800 year period, you clearly have previously said that given that this was medieval time, the era of Muslim rule (711-1492) was the "Golden Age of Jewry" where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in relative harmony in Al-Andulusia for about 800 years under Muslim rule. Other than brief periods, there was peace and tolerance. During this period Hasdai Shaprut, a Jew was prime minister and chief of the armed forces for 30 years; During the same period Samuel Nigrid, a Jew was also vazier (Prime minister). One of the greatest Jews of all time Moses Maimonides (Musa Ibn Maymun) who eventually became the prince of Jews and was the personal physician of Sultan Saladdin wrote all his books in Arabic (except one).There was nothing to be afraid of "shariya" for the non-Muslims. We should not be afraid of the "shariya" today. If the "shariya" means destroying peace, tolerance, or imposing ones religion or ones idea on others, it is not "shariya" it is bigoted totalitarianism and this has nothing to do with Islam or the "shariyaa".

The problem arises when one group tries to impose its ideas on others. It is when the Patriot Act or the "shariyaa" or Jewish Law, or Christian fundamentalism, or Hooto/Tootsi governments, or Sinhalese rule, or Tamil laws in Gujrat or imposition of Hindu "Rajha Rama" is wrongly implemented or is implemented by bigots and bad people, it is then that we should be concerned about the bad implementation by bad people. In some cases the official Middle Eastern interpretation of Islam is wrong in its implementation in many countries. In many third world countries good laws are used to create bigotry. This is wrong. In our own land the wonderful Bible was used to justify slavery. The bad people and the bad laws were over ridden by good people and good laws. In many Muslim countries the rights of women, Jews, minorities, other Arabs, and non-Arab Muslims are not protected.

The treatment of Jews in many Muslim countries is atrocious today, but it was not always so. Jews could only live in Muslim countries for many centuries after the Spanish inquisition. What changed? The religion was the same. The Muslims changed. The rights of non-royal Muslims, or minority Muslims are not protected in many Muslim lands. This is wrong and has to be corrected thorough education and the correct interpretation of Islam, not through demonization of a particular religion which only creates more enemies. Even though Bin Laden and others have put us backwards in many ways, things on the whole are improving. Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and some of the smaller Gulf Emirates are moving towards democracy and this constitutes more than 80% of the Muslim population. Even the Saudis and the Libyans are moving in the right direction.

We support your article and the thesis, since it reverberates with what the founding fathers our great country told us to do "convert enemies into friends." 2 million Muslims died for America and the West in destroying the USSR in the 80s. Pakistanis and the Arabs who thought of America in funding a just war against the evil empire (USSR) gave their lives for America and the West. We need to quickly adopt policies to expropriate these lost souls so that they work with us not against us. This is the way to bring peace to the region.

In your book "Militant Islam" (should have been "Militant zealots"), you have rightly defined the root causes of the problem as pride and ego. Until and unless we look at the real root causes of the problems, and solve them on a case by case basis, we will always be in trouble. Bring peace by "converting enemies into friends" not creating more enemies.

God Bless You and God Bless America



Best Regards,

Moin Ansari

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moin@ajma.org
AMERICAN JEWISH MUSLIM ALLIANCE:
Dialogue between the physical & spiritual "progeny" of Abraham
AJMA is an IRS registered 503(c) 3 non profit organization Tax ID 20-0111384.
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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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