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Islam -- We must view it as an ideology, not simply a religion

Reader comment on item: Denying [Islamist] Terrorism

Submitted by David S. Jacob (United States), Feb 9, 2005 at 20:42

First, let me compliment you and Dr. Spencer on raising this issue, that the law enforcement community in the Western world in general tends to whitewash egregrious violence committed in the name of Islam, such as the 13 incidents you cite in your article. I prefer to treat these as crimes against humanity, because their sole motive for maiming and killing are based on what their victims believe, think and say; and not what they have done.

The problem, as I see it, is that we in the West tend to view Islam purely as a religion, which of course in one narrow aspect it is. But because of this perception and our general tolerance of all religions, we tend to shy away from appearing bigoted to adherents of Isalm when such crimes are committed in its name.

What we must come to grips with is that Islam is also an ideology, the same as other competing ideologies, e.g. democracy, communism, fascism, socialism, Nazism, etc. More importantly, as an ideology, Islam is totally incompatible with and specifcally subersive to our values on many facets, politically, socially and economically. It is virulently aggressive, violent, vengeful and intolerant of non-Muslims.

As long as we Western citizens in general and our law enforcement authorities in particular perceive Islam in purely religious terms and grants it respect under the first amendment of the US Constitution, we will have a difficult time thinking of it as a subversive ideology. The challenge for our law enforcement community, as a first step, is to change its collective attitude as I have prescribed, i.e. segregate religion from ideology.
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