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Why Geert Wilders is Right and Dr. Pipes Wrong on Islam

Reader comment on item: Talking Freely about the Enemy

Submitted by Singha (India), Mar 10, 2009 at 23:47

The changes in the interpretations of compulsion and jehad in islam were made to further the interests of islam, not from the perspective of accepting as valid other beliefs. I elaborate on this below. There is the argument by some based on false understanding that variants of islam such as sufi islam are peaceful and moderate. In the early centuries of islam, as muslims converted non muslims to their faith, some neo converts to islam, carried forth their native beliefs.

These beliefs, considered as innovations, at best have been tolerated for the sake of islamic imperialist agenda, Muslim orthodoxy has historically maintained these innovations as false beliefs to be detested and if necessary removed through force. Spirit of the islam (quran and sunna - from life of mohummad) are in agreement with orthodox position. Sufis in Indian subcontinent, converted Hindus to islam by using the argument -"Hey, Look we have similar beliefs. If you enter the islamic brotherhood you will get other worldly benefits too". (Other benefits typically included escape from jiziya and connections to the class that controlled levers of power). The orthodoxy always maintained that while sufi beliefs corrupted by native Indian beliefs are wrong, they are serving as a benefit to islam, by bringing Hindu kaffirs to islam's fold. Later on these neo converts can be coached in orthodoxy.

Sufi silsilas are of course careful not to deny mohummad's message (koran) or shariah. Repraisals are nasty against islamic sects like Ahmedis that cross the line on this issue. Christians were able to evolve and sustain a non fanatical (physically non violent) paradigm because jesus never indulged in military missions. Islam's prophet as we know is credited with waging wars and beheading people. Geert Wilders therefore has a point when he says it is difficult to change islam into a system where muslims would be willing to accept non muslim beliefs as valid ones equal to islamic beliefs. The only known case where efforts to islam made considerable progress was in Turkey, where mustafa kemal overhauled islam by using coercive powers of the state - banning the burqa, eliminating use of arabic script, enforcing separation of state and religion et. al. Kemal is also believed to have loaded a ship with mullah orthodoxy and sunk them in the sea. To summarize, force will be necessary to secularize Muslim nations.

Reformation is not going to come from within. Aid based models that Obama is pursuing in Af-Pak are recipes for failures. In the nations under Western control, Islam should be undermined. Secular constitution should have been provided in Iraq and Afghanistan. Constitution should have included the right to freedom of speech including right to criticize mohummad and quran without fear and with fervor. Guaranteed freedom of speech including the right to criticize religion, should remain key policy objective in countries like Saudi Arabia. The discourse suggested by scholars like Dr. Pipes that in some way one should perceive muslims and islamists as two different entities ends up hurting forces that stand for free values; No useful purpose is served by creating a distinction between Islam (dealing with religion) and Islamism (dealing with politics). Such thinking is in fact harmful for the reasons highlighted below.

While some may think that this semantic approach of separating islam and islamism, gives people including muslims the opening to attack islam, it also obfuscates and in a way makes islam, an imperialistic totalitarian belief system, look nice suggesting as if islamism is something different and is the sole problem. This type of scholastic discourse has provided islamofascists, opportunity to camouflage their intentions under the cloak of moderate behavior and further islamist interests.

In Islam, Duniya (Material World) and Din (Religion) can not be decoupled. Most islamic fascists under the sky including the Saudis, bin Talal, musharraf et. al have been able to expoit this semantic perception of difference between muslims and islamists very well, positioning themselves as moderates taking on islamists in a mock fight, winking at islamists and at a fundamental level, contributing to boost the damage making capabilities of islamists and furthering islam's fascist interests.

This is the reason why those that understand islam and free values believe that there is a single fascist enemy called islam and that moderate islam kind of semantic non existent concoctions will not help in facing the islamofascist challenge. So the solution is, if necessary,using force, we have to create an environment where muslims must get exposed to valid alternate options such as - not believing islam and believing other faiths that appeal to intellect. That is the solution rather than failed vacuous constructs like "moderate islam" ... or the "islam is peace" naiveté articulated by most politicians that have an eye on muslim vote bank or oil.

Free world should fight an mind war along with minimal military involvement and validate the success of the suggested approach by periodical survey and review of the incidents of terror attacks, reduction in muslim population proportion etc. If the above approach does not work, in helping light up civilised values among muslim societies by a definite cut off date (say 20-30 years, one generation), the choice for free world will be to occupy the islamic world, outlaw islam, and impose alternate options. During the last 2 centuries free world has missed many windows to defang Islam. Taking on Islam is going to be the fight of the century; and it involves using all the tools under our arsenal. There are no easy options. The Islamists are extremely capable and underestimating their threat or wishing them away will be most idiotic.

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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