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As intolerant as jihadists?

Reader comment on item: In Mideast, Bet on a Strong Horse
in response to reader comment: Rita Datta's liberal naivette

Submitted by Rita Datta, India (India), Feb 6, 2011 at 10:12

Tch, tch, Gopal. You were so provoked by my comments that you resorted to personal remarks. ("did Datta ever read a history book; she claims to be a teacher".) However I don't mind you calling me naïve. Because, know what, I'm in fantastic company, starting with one Gautama who preached that people should follow the middle path in order to check desire. How stupid is that in today's consumerist society? Imagine Jesus telling his followers to turn the other cheek when one is slapped! The prophet of Islam tried to socialize the Arabs through the concept of the umma and the practice of zakt. And the Bhakti preachers of India had the message of mercy for all creatures and brotherhood among men. Scientists and explorers were no less impractical. Would Galileo have stared at the stars for hours if he had been very practical-minded? No, he would have been inventing gee-gaws to earn quick money. Or think of Columbus taking a Western route through uncharted waters to come to the East. Practical considerations would lead you to Social Darwinianism, with the old, the sick and disabled simply exterminated because they had no contribution to make to society!

Now for the points you made. Critical investigation into the nature of the divine, WAS NOT, I'm afraid, encouraged in Judaism and Christianity. Religious wars between Protestants and Catholics raged for more than a century before the Peace of Westphalia in mid 17th century. Would that be deemed the middle ages? As Dr Pipes will know, religious persecution of minorities was a way of life. And this was only an intra-Christian conflict. As for the way Jews were treated, even though they were a very small minority. Nothing need be said about it since you are aware of it already. Some right-wing WASPs though insist it wasn't SIX million Hitler exterminated, but ONLY (!!) FIVE million or maybe even a million or so less!!!! Daily abuse at the hands of Christians can be glimpsed in Merchant of Venice, particularly, in Shylock's "Many a time and oft…."

But then the Jews thought themselves God's chosen people. Let me inform you that Gentile (or non-Jew) was something of a Kafir. And I quote from a site you can access:

"To begin with, every Gentile child, so soon as born, was to be regarded as unclean. Those [Gentiles] who actually worshipped mountains, hills, bushes, etc, idolaters, should be cut down with the sword. But as it was impossible to exterminate heathenism, Rabbinic legislation kept certain definite objects in view, which may be summarized:

  • To prevent Jews from being inadvertently led into idolatry
  • To avoid all participation in idolatry
  • Not to do anything which might aid the heathen in their worship; and, beyond all this...
  • Not to give pleasure, or even help, to heathens. The latter involved a most dangerous principle, capable of almost indefinite application by fanaticism." (http://www.realtime.net/~wdoud/topics/jewsheathen.html)

The parable of the Good Samaritan tries to combat this attitude.

By the way, there was NO separation of Church and State in Christian countries till after the Reformation. Even now school prayers can become an emotive issue in the States.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam come from the same tradition. The Judeo-Christian weltanschauung is partly shared by the Muslims too. Historical circumstances have brought about great changes in the Jews and the Christians. The churning that is going on among the Muslims reminds me of the upheavals Christendom faced in the 16th /17th centuries, which isn't exactly the medieval age. If this is happening in Islam now that's not surprising because it is the youngest of all the religions. And let's not forget that Hindusim came to be reformed ONLY IN THE 19th century. Rammmohun Roy who was eventually able to get the Company govt to ban SATI and Vidysagar who campaigned for widow marriage faced great and concerted obstacles and abuse from the conservatives.

Now for the comparison between the Israeli and the Nazi states. Please understand that what I said was a manner of speaking. But remember, Hitler didn't herd the Jews into concentration camps from day 1. He began with hate speeches, went on to different kinds of discrimination on coming to power and THEN began deporting them to concentration camps. Isn't it strange that the price of Christian atrocities against Jews had to be borne by the Arabs of Isreal? How nicely Britain promised Arabs independence from Turkey while planning out a Jewish state! And please read Jewish Israeli author Susan Nathan's Other Side of Israel to understand the policy that the state has been following towards the Arabs in Israel.

You close your comments by stating that Islamic thought is several centuries behind Christian thought. It seems you believe in steady progression which I do not. Technologically, yes there's been steady progress. But in the realm of thought and social practice, not really. For example, the status of Rig Vedic women did not improve but declined in the Later Vedic Age. Another example: not only was Arybhatta's amazing attainment NOT matched by those who came after him, superstitions about crossing the seas only encouraged insularity in Indian thought and society. And again, Akbar's liberalism was reversed by Aurangzeb. So passing simplistic judgments on the "progress" of different cultures in different ages isn't accurate.

It seems to me some of the contributors display as much intolerance towards Islam as the Osama bin Ladens display towards other religions.

I'm sorry if this seems too much like a lecture. But you know what teachers—especially History teachers—are like. :-)

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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Reader comments (108) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1Islam's social contracts are amazingly nefarious [119 words]PrashantMay 12, 2013 10:33205945
1The violence and cruelty of Arabs often perplexes Westerners. [698 words]s.p. attriMar 5, 2010 03:58169704
2The islamist true intention [321 words]Kiel HesselmannMar 9, 2010 15:20169704
One more comment [114 words]Kiel HesselmannMar 10, 2010 16:24169704
Rejoinder to Kiel Hesselmann [1148 words]s.p. attriMar 15, 2010 05:42169704
Acomplices to ... Islam [332 words]s.p. attriMar 16, 2010 04:38169704
Phoney-Liberalism & concomitant Dhimmitude [274 words]s.p. attriMar 19, 2010 04:22169704
High Noon in the Middle East [242 words]Kiel HesselmannMar 20, 2010 15:26169704
MEMORANDUM TO U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE [2916 words]s.p. attriMar 21, 2010 04:24169704
Ideology of Islam [890 words]s.p. attriMar 22, 2010 01:36169704
1THE ESSENCE OF QURAN [2085 words]s.p. attriMar 23, 2010 21:24169704
Respense to Reader's comment [142 words]s.p. attriMar 24, 2010 20:04169704
NO JIHAD, NO ISLAM [611 words]spattriMar 28, 2010 01:58169704
Slaughter of 500 Kafir-Christians of Nigeria [461 words]spattriApr 11, 2010 04:03169704
Response to s.p. attri [324 words]A MuslimApr 29, 2010 05:42169704
New Age Islam [484 words]surinder97May 7, 2010 04:29169704
submitted by a muslim [23 words]surinder97May 7, 2010 04:33169704
a muslim,please wake up from ur delusion [114 words]ananyaJul 3, 2010 01:07169704
Need religious pluralism [306 words]Rita DattaJan 26, 2011 00:26169704
New Age Islam [1018 words]surinder97Jan 27, 2011 01:11169704
1Rita Datta's liberal naivette [382 words]GopalJan 27, 2011 01:26169704
As intolerant as jihadists? [922 words]Rita Datta, IndiaFeb 6, 2011 10:12169704
Mohammad, the last prophet [272 words]surinder97Apr 5, 2011 00:20169704
Violence in Islam, but ... [292 words]CengizMay 11, 2013 04:14169704
The difference you are not seeing [154 words]stanley bMay 11, 2013 16:33169704
THE ESSENCE OF QURAN [964 words]s.p. attriMay 16, 2013 02:34169704
What the kafir should know about ISLAM!!! [82 words]AHMED ABDULGANIUJun 27, 2013 16:02169704
Mohammad, the last prophet [299 words]s.p.attriJun 29, 2013 02:05169704
I agree with you but I have addition [115 words]Sohel Ahmed BahjatFeb 21, 2010 07:03169239
MUSLIMS MUST STOP USING $ AS RESERVE CURRENCY [108 words]syed mohammad aliApr 4, 2010 16:20169239
1To Syed Mohammad Ali [89 words]Sohel Ahmed BahjatApr 5, 2010 08:33169239
send back israel to its orginal boundaries prior to 1967 [66 words]syed mohammad aliFeb 20, 2010 11:31169212
the borders of 42 [73 words]mythFeb 22, 2010 13:55169212
Before 67 means 1920 San Remo borders ? [23 words]TrumpeldorFeb 23, 2010 06:08169212
All will be like it was before 1967? Great! [260 words]JeffFeb 23, 2010 13:04169212
well [97 words]Odd AtheistMar 1, 2010 14:25169212
Violence is not only an Arab way of policy [88 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Debanjan BanerjeeFeb 19, 2010 23:31169187
A reply to Dr. Pipes [238 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Debanjan BanerjeeFeb 20, 2010 22:56169187
Our dear Deb are al-masriyuun wa al-amazigh samiyuun? Let me help you they are not [354 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 21, 2010 13:28169187
More answers to DNM [226 words]Debanjan BanerjeeFeb 24, 2010 11:12169187
A response to Dr. Pipes [162 words]Debanjan BanerjeeFeb 25, 2010 23:23169187
The terror groups [145 words]Joe Six-PackFeb 26, 2010 11:50169187
Our dear Deb and the islamic comedy goes on and on! Read and laugh and where is the popcorn? [668 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 27, 2010 07:33169187
Our dear Deb and Islamic hypocricy [442 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 27, 2010 08:22169187
My reply to Joe Six-Pack [139 words]Debanjan BanerjeeFeb 28, 2010 01:05169187
More responses to Mr. DNM [219 words]Debanjan BanerjeeFeb 28, 2010 01:19169187
My response to DNM [75 words]Debanjan BanerjeeFeb 28, 2010 01:38169187
Our dear Deb and the islamic comedy goes on and on! Read and laugh and where is the popcorn? part deux [652 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 28, 2010 13:51169187
Our dear Deb and in memory of the victims of the 9/11 atrocity may they all rest in peace [399 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 28, 2010 14:05169187
Our dear Deb and the word is; Shame [142 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 28, 2010 17:18169187
More answers to Mr. DNM [192 words]Debanjan BanerjeeMar 3, 2010 03:41169187
My answer to DNM [76 words]Debanjan BanerjeeMar 3, 2010 03:50169187
Our dear Deb [293 words]dhimmi no moreMar 3, 2010 19:51169187
1Our dear Deb and the islamic comedy goes on and on! Read and laugh and where is the popcorn? part trois [296 words]dhimmi no moreMar 3, 2010 20:01169187
Invitation for Dhimmi no more [26 words]KbKMar 4, 2010 07:24169187
1From another usual western hypocrite [541 words]JeffMar 4, 2010 16:42169187
Thank you KbK [20 words]dhimmi no moreMar 5, 2010 15:49169187
Answer to Mr. Jeff [525 words]Debanjan BanerjeeMar 6, 2010 04:56169187
1My reply to Debanjan Banerjee [407 words]Kurt BaskingMar 7, 2010 02:01169187
1To Mr. Banerjee [703 words]JeffMar 8, 2010 16:44169187
jeff In Iraq, American troops are withdrawing on schedule, and not a single American company is involved in Iraqi oil. [255 words]SYED MOHAMMAD ALIApr 1, 2010 13:42169187
Not quite, Syed [306 words]JeffApr 12, 2010 16:25169187
fear and protection [111 words]mythFeb 18, 2010 15:01169129
Between the strong horse and the dragon [109 words]Howard E. CookFeb 18, 2010 11:33169118
Only the Horse of Him Upon Whom Israel Should be Trusting is Going to Win [506 words]M. ToveyFeb 17, 2010 16:11169074
Warped Society [162 words]BAFeb 17, 2010 13:33169064
Solution? [26 words]Bobby's BrainFeb 17, 2010 08:25169049
The Arab Mind revisited [164 words]UgriFeb 17, 2010 02:49169036
Against the Strong Horses [166 words]Jay1Feb 17, 2010 00:45169032
Oh no! [109 words]SusanFeb 16, 2010 23:39169031
Parallel Universe of Muslims/islam [161 words]JaladhiFeb 19, 2010 11:00169031
All Muslims have the same "violent and cruel" streak - it's not just the Arab behavior!!! [106 words]JaladhiFeb 16, 2010 21:14169026
What Palestinian? [146 words]yuval Brandstetter MDFeb 16, 2010 13:26169002
disagree: Therefore there are no Palestinians, only Arabs [147 words]mythFeb 18, 2010 14:32169002
The Palestinian hoax [272 words]yuval Brandstetter MDFeb 21, 2010 15:17169002
why Israel and why not Palestine [472 words]mythFeb 22, 2010 14:27169002
Not All Horses are Arabian [272 words]M. ToveyFeb 23, 2010 19:41169002
claim and reality in the "Lebensraum" concept [121 words]mythFeb 25, 2010 10:36169002
The Reality is That Israel's Right to Possess the Land Cannot be Lost in a Horse Race [654 words]M. ToveyFeb 26, 2010 11:51169002
Walid Jumblatt suggestion- way to empower moderate Islam and erradicate Radical Islam. [248 words]YnnatchkahFeb 16, 2010 12:57169000
Strong Horse - weak Horse [140 words]Kiel HesselmannFeb 22, 2010 12:34169000
maybe Israel is the stronger horse [31 words]mythFeb 23, 2010 15:48169000
Thank you. [7 words]ynnatchkahFeb 24, 2010 01:03169000
"Contempt for weakness" [77 words]Kiel HesselmannFeb 26, 2010 17:21169000
Who WOULDN'T Back The Stronger Horse? Who Indeed? [65 words]Adina Kutnicki, IsraelFeb 16, 2010 12:26168994
Smith's prism [67 words]Howard E. CookFeb 16, 2010 11:15168988
Four [13 words]Doug CorriganFeb 16, 2010 12:15168988
I could´nt agree more [54 words]Lars NielsenFeb 16, 2010 09:53168986
Kudos--Lars & M. Tovey [63 words]Godfrey deBouillonFeb 18, 2010 13:58168986
Sick, sick, SICK! [146 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Godfrey deBouillonFeb 16, 2010 09:52168985
Thanks & let's roll! [88 words]Godfrey deBouillonFeb 18, 2010 13:51168985
The Sickness of Islam [239 words]Arlinda DeAngelisFeb 19, 2010 16:42168985
Thanks [103 words]Godfrey deBouillonFeb 20, 2010 09:37168985
How to Beat a Strong Horse [61 words]Yale ZussmanFeb 16, 2010 09:18168984
Make Them an Offer [328 words]Arlinda DeAngelisFeb 16, 2010 16:11168984
Go Arlinda!! [119 words]Godfrey deBouillonFeb 18, 2010 14:11168984
Israel must always be the strong horse just to live ! ..Feb.2010 [145 words]Phil GreendFeb 16, 2010 08:30168983
Israel must not commit to target killings in the world [49 words]Julie S.Feb 17, 2010 13:32168983
How absurd can you get [110 words]JonFeb 19, 2010 05:14168983
Target killings [148 words]JeffFeb 19, 2010 12:30168983
Julie S's moral cowardice [237 words]xmanFeb 22, 2010 14:24168983
Bingo [15 words]Simon NéhméFeb 16, 2010 07:19168980
the missing ingredient [164 words]rwFeb 16, 2010 04:42168973
they are different!!! [123 words]solemnmanFeb 16, 2010 04:20168972
Violence the Only Way in Tribal Cultures [235 words]Robin HenryFeb 16, 2010 03:49168971
The Strong Horse [159 words]Paul la DemainFeb 16, 2010 03:49168970
Bought and paid for [55 words]Warren BeagleFeb 16, 2010 12:12168970
strong horse paradigm- ride-em cowboy! [189 words]Martin H. KatchenFeb 16, 2010 02:28168965

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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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