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That extreme solution not necessary yet, and perhaps never if .....

Reader comment on item: "You can't fight Islamism with ideas coming out of Europe"
in response to reader comment: Better to pay the piper

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Dec 16, 2010 at 12:48

I agree with you that the crisis between Islam and the West (and the rest of the world) continues to build, and is unlikely to fade away. But the point of suggesting that we have at least a few leaders willing to stand up to the religion itself, and not join the smarmy evasion that extremist Islam is not the "real" Islam, is to avoid a huge conventional war, or worse.

The whole point of holding Islam itself responsible for so many despicable behaviors (see below) is to stop sending the message to "good" (violent) Moslems that we DON'T hold your religion responsible for what you do (a message of weakness), and to suggest to "bad" (peaceful) Moslems that perhaps you need to look for a different value system, one consistent with your personal values rather than contradictory to them.

I recently saw news (ignored in the US?) that because of cartoons by a Swedish cartoonist in 2007 deemed offensive to Islam, a cleric in the Middle East offered $100,000 for his death, and $150,000 if his head were sent to the cleric. 3 years later, he's still at daily risk. I hold Islam responsible for this, not just the cleric.

Yesterday, 38 people (Moslems) were killed in Iran by a suicide bomber. We should have daily news of this pattern of genocidal behavior inspired by Islam not only against Israelis, Europeans, and Americans, but against Moslems as well - Moslem civilians who have died by the thousands in the name of Islam.

By removing the irrational taboo against criticizing Islam itself, we could spark a huge discussion on what's wrong with Islam on a wide array of issues that other faiths and other political systems can deal with without suicide bombings, and often enough without violence of any kind. Indeed, we might even have a discussion whether or not this is the central and unfixable problem of Islam, this profound failure to adjust the MEANS used to deal with problems, conflicts, and differing interest and views with anything other than violence.

Is this all that Islam has to offer not only to the world, but to its own peoples? VIOLENCE? And the closer we get to the center of the Islamic World in the Middle East, the more violence is glorified, and either practiced or menacingly simmering just below the surface?

Paradoxically, if we discuss whether this is so, I believe we have a much better chance of defusing this dysfunctional religion without some awful Armageddon down the road than if we go one pretending that there's nothing wrong with the religion, only with some tiny extremist fringe. We need to get over the absurd situation that we can freely and fundamentally criticze so many systems that work more or less well, such as democracy, capitalism, cultural diversity, and religious and sexual pluralism, but, OH, we must never ask and publicly discuss whether there is something wrong at the core of the world's least tolerant and most violent religion.

Unshackling our minds on this topic may be by far our best chance of avoiding further wars. And, as I've suggested before, we may find we have all kinds of secret allies behind the Islamic Iron Curtain.

Ron Thompson

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