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"..... cudgeled to Democracy"?

Reader comment on item: Better Dictators than Elected Islamists

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Dec 11, 2012 at 18:15

This phrase "cudgeled to Democracy" would seem to capture the dilemma of Dr Pipes' finding himself double-binded in trying to choose between unelected secular dictators and (one-time) elections for Islamists.

Here's another way to look at the problem the Muslim world faces, especially in its broad 'heartland' from Morocco to Pakistan. What if the basic cause of unelected autocrats and elected intolerant (by definition) Iislamists is exactly the same? Namely, Islam itself, which is hyperintolerant both theologically and politically.

I wonder when it's going to dawn on people who have national security responsibilities or interests that sooner or later every Muslim with decent human instincts will have to face an existential crisis – either you can live in a civilized manner as a Good Person (but a Bad Muslim), or you must live with and condone all kinds of indiscriminate violence in the mad pursuit of taking over the world under an all-powerful Caliphate. That is, being a Bad Person in order to be a Good Muslim.

I guess that's still too much of a stretch for most people to even consider. I certainly don't expect the Muslims to take over the world, but I do expect the pain and violence and killing occurring in so many Muslim countries, and elsewhere through intimidation and terrorism, is going to keep increasing if we don't take a stand and speak to this worldwide existential crisis all Good people who happen to be Muslims will eventually have to face.

As another example, besides what's going on in Egypt, , consider a Washington Post story two days ago about what's going on in the larger-than-Texas area of northern Mali. Buried deep in the long story are these quotes from the military leader of the Mali Islamists, after declaring that the people of the United States are "against Islam" and that "Hurricane Sandy was a punishment from God";

"If the western countries send troops, that will be fine …. If they don't come here, one day we willattack them. If we cannot do this in our time, our sons and the next generation will attack the West."

I wonder how outlooks and viewpoints would change if it is recognized that this fellow is a Good Muslim and thinking exactly as Mohammed would approve. Perhaps someday, hopefully soon, we'll be able to consider that his goal may be crazy, but like innumerable others throughout the Muslim world and the large immigrant Muslim communities in Western nations, not only is he absolutely serious, but his thoughts and motives come straight from the heart and essence of Islam.

Ron Thompson

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