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more distinctions in the islamic spectrum, more tactics needed

Reader comment on item: Islam vs. Islamism (article)

Submitted by myth (Germany), May 14, 2013 at 05:15

First, I identify four different groups of islamists. Some islamists operate locally in majority muslim countries. Some fight jihad in 50:50 muslim countries like Nigeria. Some operate internationally. A fourth group lives among muslim immigrant communities in the West and operates in the host country. I believe, the West needs one specific tactic for each group.

As for the majority muslim countries the only practical solution is working with the moderate muslims. The reason is those countries are not easily accessible from the outside. On the inside the sheer numbers of the muslim population makes this group the only one to work with. That includes working with un-democratic elites, sometimes dictators. I do not see how a one-size-fits-all solution which would fit Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, Egypt.

Would any support of moderates would stop the violence Nigeria?

The US often assassinates international islamists when they are identified as terrorists. Do moderates willingly supply valuable information to identify? I cannot say for I have no access this information. As for the non-violent but very international islamists, Tariq Ramadan seems to continue his campaign unchallenged. Moderate muslims are in no position to contain his efforts.

What about the islamists inside western societies, operating in a particular country? Can we work with the moderates here? We could, if we were to see a third group in the middle. That third group are muslim families who resort to domestic violence with a strong islamic background. Those families act out Sharia principles but have no political ambition. Honour killings happen out of private motives but are justified by means of islamic belief. Ayaan Hirsi-Ali describes how this process of domestic radicalization evolves over years.

This middle group of families in the process of radicalization is crucial. Its position is in the middle of the islamic spectrum, between the moderates and the islamists. The West fails to protect the victims inside those families. This protection is necessary to the safety of moderate muslims were they to confront the islamists.

Melanie Phillips describes in her book "Londonistan" how Britain accepted islamist immigrants who were regarded as too extreme in their muslim majority countries of origin. The West must reverse this process of importing islamists. Deportation is an ugly word, but here it is.

The immigrant mix in Britain reveals another option. If one is to fight islamists in the Pakistani community, is it really wise to cooperate with moderate muslims? Would it not be wiser to cooperate with immigrants that have the same cultural access but no religious loyalty, say Sikhs or Hindus?

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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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