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Agree with Dr. Pipes

Reader comment on item: Islam and Democracy - Much Hard Work Needed

Submitted by Imad Al-Sukkari (Canada), Feb 8, 2011 at 15:49

I wanted to take this opportunity and offer a rebuttal to the nay-sayers of Dr. Pipes' premise on the possible compatibility of Islam and democracy. Many of those who disagree with Dr. Pipes tend to point the religion's troubled history, discarding the periods whereby the Abbassids for example produced a continuum of knowledge particularly in the areas of Mathematics, Geometry, Philosophy and Fine Arts, or for example the creation of a number of financial practices that are entrenched within the capitalist ethos. One has to separate between Islam as a 'religion' which is entirely based on the mainstream interpretation of the holy texts and Islam as 'practice'. Often enough, the two tend to be juxtaposed to produce a rather complex and blurry image of what 'Islam' is.

From a social constructivist point of view, Islam as Dr. Pipes pointed out, is what people make of it, its meanings, definitions and interpretations change by day and changes from person to person. As demonstrated by this article, there has been attempts to re-interpret the Koran and the Hadiths http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7264903.stm . Thinkers and scholars of Islam who don't necessarily get exposure due to their progressive nature of their views have provided new ways to re-think Islam, some want to revive the tradition philosophic mysticism (Sufism), others want to re-negotiate the room allowed by the religion to allow for democratic values to flourish and a majority reject 'Sharia' but tend to fall back to it because there are no viable alternatives to the military dictatorships and kleptocracies that are spread throughout the region.

Submitting....

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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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