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response to Amin Riaz's "realm of the ridiculous"

Reader comment on item: Islam, Israel and Insurgents
in response to reader comment: Realm of the Ridiculous

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Aug 30, 2011 at 11:51

Dear Dr Pipes:

Amin Riaz made a serious response to my earlier note "No ligetimacy in Islamists war". His tone is serious and so I will respond:

Amin wonders if we condone the killing of 100000 civilians in the Iraq war. We fired our last president because we did not like that war. And, the truth of the matter is that the situation in Iraq is far better now than it was four years ago. Situation has gone worse in Afghanistan but some will argue that situation there will be equally bad even if US is not preset there. I would like US to be out of Afghanistan and I will very much like that Taleban is also out of Afghanistan.

The point is that in the US a president was fired and another installed without as much as a water gun fired. If the Islamic countries can show that kind of maturity, no foreign power will dare enter those countries. Nor would they need to.

Amin agreed with me that the power to start a violent action should not be given to an individual acting alone. But Amin said that it was difficult to control and monitor. No society can control an individual's bad actions until they have already occurred. But a society can certainly vehemently 1) oppose those actions when they have occurred and 2) severely reprimand those who encourage those actions. Among Islamic leadership the opposition to violent actions of terrorists is miniscule (compare, for example, with the protests against Vietnam War that occurred in the US; just one of many examples). Similarly, I hear violent rhetoric from lot more Islamic leaders than others (Just monitor the statements of the Irani president). I think Palestinian violence can be controlled if, say, delegations after delegations of Muslims from around the world go and plead for non-violence. And, yes, that will also control the Israeli violence.

Amin found my suggestion that 100,000 Muslims of London should hold a candle light vigil opposing violence. Taken, literally, the suggestion is ridiculous. But, if even a small group of Muslims in London and elsewhere, assemble at any public place to assert that, at least for that short moment, peace was more important than Islam –should they ever be in conflict-- a lot good will come and a lot of credibility for Islam will be earned.

Amin mentions Dr Tahir Ul Qadri as someone who condemned terrorism. Thanks for reporting about him. Media may or may not report about him. Social media will. If Dr Qadri is severely against terrorism, he must be admired. We need to continue this dialog in the entire planet until violence and its causes leaves the Islamic world.

Amin blames the Wahabi school of Islam for violence. I do not know enough about that school. But other Muslim sects should distance themselves from Wahabis. And they should distance themselves from regimes like Ahmadinejad who wants to throw Israel into the ocean.

Finally, Amin wonders why my heart does not go to 3000 Muslims who got killed in Gujarat five or six years ago. Or to those who were killed in 'Shock and Awe'. Who says that it does not? Indian media is loaded with people who are constantly making sure that the Gujarat violence does not go out of public's mind. 'Shock and Awe' was a bad name. Air strikes against military/terrorist targets should be disallowed even when those targets are hiding among civilians and harbored by them (though it may often be difficult to distinguish between civilians and soldiers/terrorists).

Submitting....

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