2 readers online now  |  69 million page views

A query on literalism and on politics in Islam

Reader comment on item: [The Issue of Compulsion in Religion:] Islam is What Its Followers Make of It

Submitted by John Clements (United Kingdom), Sep 29, 2004 at 19:34

I came to this article looking for information about two particular aspects of Islam which I have been led to believe are part of its mainstream, even central to it. I wonder if Mr. Pipes or others would like to offer their thoughts and/or point me toward expert sources?

The two ideas are literalism and the subsuming of politics by religion.

E.g. would you say this this statement is true?

"Two facts about Islam should be kept in mind when trying to understand its relationship with religious fanatic terrorists and other Islamists. The first fact is that Islam is a political religion. All religions probably aspired initially to provide the rules for all aspects of life but Islam still has that at its core - sharia law demonstates this amply. The second fact is that there is no branch of Islam that questions the idea that the Koran contains everything that is true about the world."

Or, this one?

"the fundamental premise of Islam - as in premodern Christianity - lies in the unity of God and the world, so that divine writ covers every aspect of existence. Unlike the New Testament, however, the scope of the Koran's injunctions to the individual spreads over every dimension of life. Islam is a total way of life incorporating habits and practices that do not directly relate to worship but nevertheless demonstrate virtue. In order that the Muslim may effectively practise this way of life, Islam requires a political order that guarantees it. Islam, from its outset, has involved the exercise of power."
(this last is taken from an article in Prospect Magazine by Anshuman A Mondal)

Who are the experts on this? Are there two sides to it or is it generally agreed one way or the other?

Many thanks!
Submitting....

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".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to A query on literalism and on politics in Islam by John Clements

Email me if someone replies to my comment

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".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)