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Religion is a product like any other - people buy it if they like it

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran
in response to reader comment: Why do people convert to Islam?

Submitted by Luis Goncalves (United States), Aug 29, 2010 at 11:48

Religions are like consumer products. The real reason for the growth of islamism is that the Islamic religion as it is being sold by the Imams, is touching a larger sector of the population then Christianity. It is s simple marketing equation: People like the package, they 'buy' it.

What are the product functions that make Islamism attractive at this juncture? Could it be the promise of a man controlled world that is being lost in the western world? could it be the promise of a better distribution of wealth, or access to 'wealth' in the after life? could it be the widespread deterioration of morals? I don't know the answers, but I suspect that these could constitute some of the reasons because they can be viewed by an outsider as a direct result of a 'bad' christina leadership.

Your comments clearly show your bias towards Christianity, so I will add that if Christians feel threaten by the grow if islamism, they should do what a good business does: analyze the reasons why their product is not being both, and the competitor's is now preferred.

Although I am a spiritual person, I think that all religions of the world have done more harm to human kind than good once they abandoned the inspirational message and transformed into an institution - a church. All 'Churches' served a great purpose at some point of our evolution as a species, but like all products, some become obsolete with time - like the catholic church sect that no longer inspires or provides thought leadership. Would you buy a 1980 cellular phone when you can buy an iPhone?

Both Christianity and Islamism are very agressive in their recruiting - very missionary. And both religions are very fragmented in their teachings, with some groups in both sects very extreme in their view of the world. While Hinduism, Taoist, Buddhist, and a few other are non missionary (read, they don't invest in marketing) and don't profess to be the only path to salvation (read Enlightnment and other such concepts), Islam and Christianity profess that their teachings are the only path to heaven. In essence, they are fierce competitors for consumers to maintain their hegemony.

As far as value, as I said, religions only provide perceived value, just like amny of the consumer products we all buy. And as long as people perceive Islam as the superior product (in whatever nuance, color, or accent), they will buy it.

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".

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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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