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Aren't Islamists true Muslims according to the Koran?

Reader comment on item: [President Bush and] Naming the Enemy

Submitted by William Karkow (United States), Aug 29, 2004 at 20:10

Dear Mr. Pipes,
If an unbiased reader were to study the Koran, what conclusions would he draw regarding his duties to his god? As a sample, the following passages are quoted;

Surah 2:191 "Fight for the sake of God those that fight against you, but do not attack them first. God does not love the aggressors. Slay them wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places from which they drove you. Idolatry is more grievous than bloodshed. But do not fight them within the precincts of the Holy Mosque unless they attack you there; if they attack you put them to the sword. Thus shall the unbelievers be rewarded: but if they mend their ways, know that God is forgiving and merciful. Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God's religion reigns supreme."

Surah 5:16 "Unbelievers are those who declare: ‘God is the Messiah, the son of Mary.' Say: ‘Who could prevent God, if He so willed, from destroying the Messiah, the son of Mary, his mother, and all the people of the earth?'"

Surah 47:5 "When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly. Then grant them their freedom or take ransom from them, until War shall lay down her burdens. Thus shall you do. Had God willed, He could Himself have punished them; but He has ordained it thus that He might test you, the one by the other. As for those who are slain in the cause of God, He will not allow their works to perish. He will vouchsafe them guidance and ennoble their state; He will admit them to the paradise He has made known to them. Believers, if you help God, God will help you and make you strong."

At least 2 pages of similar verses can be collected from the Koran. Is it reasonable to maintain that Islamists are some sort of extreme lunatic fringe? Rather, is it not reasonable to conclude after reading the Koran that Islamists are trying to be true to the Koran to the best of their ability? In the marketplace of ideas, it seems best to study the founding documents before assigning one or another group as most true to their cause. It would seem to this reader that all who are interested in the relationship between Islam and terrorism should read the Koran for themselves and judge. Who exactly is the true Muslim? Has the public noticed how little discussion is held publicly over the meaning of specific verses contained in the Koran, as opposed to summary glosses with little specific content or explaining ability?

Respectfully yours,
One who has read the entire book and believes the Koran, not just Islamists, defines jihad as including the physical destruction of anyone who rejects Islam.

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".

Submitting....

Daniel Pipes replies:

I agree that the Islamists are not a lunatic fringe but heirs to an important and ancient tradition of Islam - and even allude to this in the article you are commenting on.

DP

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Reader comments (28) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1do muslims and islamists follow a different doctrine? [93 words]XavierNov 4, 2005 06:4227769
Aren't Islamists true Muslims according to the Koran? [467 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
William KarkowAug 29, 2004 20:1016574
Must expose the brutality [104 words]S.C.PandaAug 25, 2004 06:1616485
"Does President Bush Really Get It Yet?" [262 words]Ms Judy KeckAug 24, 2004 21:1516475
Ideological war [65 words]D. ConnellAug 24, 2004 09:1916468
Islamo-fascism [61 words]Prof. Victor DanushevskyAug 23, 2004 22:3616465
Identifying Enemies of Democracy [16 words]John Randall PeacherAug 23, 2004 04:0816463
U.N. Role [54 words]F. WexAug 22, 2004 17:4716462
Fellow travellers [242 words]David and Valerea ThomasAug 21, 2004 00:0316451
Another related enemy [117 words]John P ReynoldsAug 20, 2004 22:1416450
Where are they? [45 words]Frank van DeventerAug 20, 2004 17:3316449
Words [147 words]William StenwickAug 20, 2004 13:5116448
The Awakenig [139 words]R MckeeAug 20, 2004 12:0816447
ISLAMISTS [76 words]jaime eisenAug 20, 2004 08:3916445
It's About Time [180 words]Carl BossieuxAug 19, 2004 13:3416434
Very nice article [53 words]BernardzAug 18, 2004 02:4116414
Huntington was right the first time! [197 words]Mike LallatinAug 17, 2004 20:5316409
The truth of Islamic Fascism [526 words]Arlinda DeAngelisAug 17, 2004 19:4816407
Murderers [36 words]F.B.WexelbaumAug 17, 2004 14:5916402
Naming the Enemy [219 words]Geoff GAug 17, 2004 12:4416401
The Term Islamist - Is It the Issue? [172 words]Ira KatzAug 17, 2004 12:1416397
Defining the enemy [289 words]Allen WeingartenAug 17, 2004 12:0916395
Political correctness is tying our hands [68 words]SaeelAug 17, 2004 11:1916392
What's in a "Name!" [214 words]M RothchildAug 17, 2004 09:3816390
Religion is antithetical to life as a human. [72 words]Ralph C. Whaley MDAug 17, 2004 08:3516387
Importance of your work [91 words]Flora SteinmanAug 17, 2004 07:5216386
1Not extremists and not fringe [83 words]Moshe DarAug 17, 2004 05:1816385
Has Bush got the name right? [253 words]Anthony ChaseAug 17, 2004 05:0316384

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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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