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Catching Up With Himself?

Reader comment on item: "You can't fight Islamism with ideas coming out of Europe"

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Dec 1, 2010 at 14:59

I strongly agree with almost all of Dr Pipes ideas on how to combat what he calls "Islamism"

One significant disagreement I have is with his statement that "no general 'Muslim Problem' exists (in the United Sates)" to which I would add the word ... YET. I say this reluctantly, and while acknowledging that the first tip on the young Muslim who was just thwarted in Oregon, came from within the Muslim community.

Unless one assumes, as I do not, that all the radicals are born without a conscience, I believe that it is the core teachings of Islam that are turning thousands of them into psychopaths willing and eager to kill civilians, indeed preferably civilians. My understanding of the history of Islam and the personality of Mohammed suggests that totalitarianism comes naturally to the religion, and that the twentieth century expression of it was a logical development and not contradictory to the many earlier centuries of its history. the core evidence for this conclusion lies in the age-old islamic intolerance of free speech, free thinking, democracy, equal rights for women, other religions, homosexuals, and the right to live a secular life in peace, not to mention the right to leave Islam, and to utter thoughts deemed blasphemous by the pious. All of this seems thoroughly alien to the spirit of Islam, and most of it is on the lawbooks and part of Sharia in all majority-Muslim countries.

Therefore I believe an eventual existential crisis is coming that all Muslims will eventually have to face. Islam may not be UTTERLY changeless, as Dr Pipes seems to say, but I believe its core ideas will not allow it to be changed enough or in a way that will permit it to become both peaceful and strong. It will either remain strong and violently aggressive, or become weak and broken and so mistakenly look peaceful, as it did for the two or three centuries or so after deep decay overtook the Ottoman Empire. The nature of Islam was thus misleading and mistaken while the West was 'taking off".

Therefore I agree with Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders. And I applaud the faster rising curve of "anti-Islamism' that Pipes discusses, although I think it is better understood as "anti-Islam."

Indeed, I think Dr Pipes' initial premise about the difference between "Islamism" and the supposedly real or latent Islam is inconsistent with all his own ideas that follow. But I have considerable confidence that Daniel Pipes will eventually, as it were, catch up with himself. Ron Thompson

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