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compulsion

Reader comment on item: [The Issue of Compulsion in Religion:] Islam is What Its Followers Make of It

Submitted by Bruce (Canada), Mar 2, 2012 at 13:28

My understanding of compulsion is something outside myself forcing me to follow under threat to body or soul. My job as a muslim is then to recognize what is outside of myself and what is inside. There is no intermediary between me and God. The purpose of Islam is to help me recognize God. If any regulating body tells me how to behave there is an element of compulsion. If under threat to my soul I am to behave in a particular way, this is compulsion. If I see the benefit or reward in an afterlife, my behavior is manifesting as spiritual materialism. This is a form of compulsion. If I don't behave I will be punished in hell, if this then that, this sounds like a threat.

A muslim in the true sense of the word is one whose actions seek to penetrate the veil of duality. Only through compassion can I conquer compulsion. I do not have the right to tell anyone how to behave, if I do I am putting myself between them and God. In Islam there is no intermediary and anyone who puts themselves in a position of authority should recognize their plight.

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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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