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another response to Pamela Geller

Reader comment on item: Why Chris Christie Will Never Be President of the United States
in response to reader comment: More on Geller and Spencer

Submitted by lucretius (Poland), Sep 10, 2011 at 13:03

Pamela Geller wrote another article about Rick Perry, the Aga Khan and the Texas school curriculum here:
http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/09/the_real_perryaga_khan_curriculum_is_bad_for_children.html

I tried to post a comment but in spite of two attempts in 24 hours, it has not appeared. I am not sure if it has been rejected for some reason or has not appeared due to some technical problems but since it seems unlikely that it will appear there I am posting it here.

The question that Pamela Geller never answers is this: what does a Muslim have to do to be considered moderate and acceptable to Ms. Geller? Is it enough if he abandons the concept of jihad as war against infidels, allows equal rights to women, accepts that people have the right to leave any religion including Islam and that murdering homosexuals is wrong? Or, is this not enough and he must also agree that Muhammad was a pedophile and a murderer and that his own religion is evil and degrading? If he does so, can he still remain a Muslim? Does Ms. Geller believe that there is any way that someone can be a Muslim and a friend and ally of the West?

The fact is, that very little is actually known about the historical Muhammad (as is about Jesus Christ). There are some things in the Koran and there are the hadith - stories about Muhammad's actions and saying whose truthfulness is highly disputable, at least by the standards of Western historians. A modern, moderate Muslim can on perfectly valid grounds, reject the bloodthirsty ones as false and choose others that he believes correctly reflect the character of the Prophet. In the same way, although there are bloodthirsty sounding passages in the Koran, they are all subject to interpretation. The kind of interpretation a Muslim chooses, shows what kind of a Muslim he is. It is in our interest that there should be more moderate Muslims and fewer extreme ones. The Aga Khan is one of those who are helping to achieve this aim.

Ms. Geller likes to use history to back her case against Islam. However, her history is highly selective. She never mentions that fact that for much of their history Christian states punished apostasy by death just as the Muslims did. Muslims and Jews were expelled from Spain after the reconquest. In medieval Christian states, pagans (who were neither Jews nor Muslims), were given only the choice of conversion or death. Has Ms. Geller ever heard about the so called "Northern crusades"? Doe she know why the original Prussians became extinct?
Has she heard about the conquest of Mexico or Peru? In what way were these different from what the Muslims did?

I agree that all aspects of Islamic history should be taught just as all aspects of Christian history should be, including the things above. But if they are taught they should be taught side by side.

That does not mean that I view Judaism, Christianity and Islam in exactly the same light . It is a historical fact that Islam arose as a religion of conquest, to be spread by the sword, and Muhammad was not just a law giver and religious leader but a warrior and a conquerer. This was most certainly not true of Christ, or even Moses (though it was much more true of his successor Joshua). But the fact is that for much of history, the actual behaviour of Christians towards other religions was not better and often worse than that of Muslims. The really important difference is that Christianity has been greatly reformed since the Middle Ages (largely due to the enlightenment and the Reformation) while Islam in most of the world remains stuck in its medieval form, or has, in some ways, even regressed. The difference between anti-Islamists and people who think like Ms. Geller, is that the former wish to help those Muslims, like the Aga Khan, who wish to reform Islam so that it can become compatible with Western liberal values, while the latter seem to believe that an all out war against all Muslims is the only realistic solution to the problem of Islamism.

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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