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Militant Islam and Christianity

Reader comment on item: Militant Islam Is Put In Class With Communism, Fascism

Submitted by Irfan Khawaja (United States), Aug 26, 2002 at 16:58

IBD asks Dr. Pipes whether the political efforts of Muslim groups are similar to that of Christian conservatives. Dr. Pipes answers "there is no similarity whatsover. They are unrelated phenomena." He is wrong on both counts.

As to similarity, both the Christians and the Muslims have the same ultimate goal. They *both* want to impose their views on everyone else. Anti-abortion terrorism is one obvious manifestation of the violent version of militant Christian fundamentalism. It can hardly be described as an attempt to "practice their religion their way" and "work entirely through the system." Dr. Pipes's comments minimize the seriousness of the threat that abortion workers face on a daily basis--and have faced for decades.

Not all Christian activism is violent, of course. Consider the "intelligent design" crusade. The explicit aim here is to subvert the teaching of biology in the public schools and replace science with theology. Is there any fundamental (so to speak) difference between what has recently happened in Kansas and what Dr. Pipes accuses the non-violent Islamists of wanting to achieve? Same agenda, different theology. Again, Dr. Pipes's comments wave this away as though there were no threat. But it is the Christian activists who have actually met with political success, not the Muslim ones. No Muslim group is anywhere near achieving the kind of success that the Christian activists have achieved on intelligent design.

As to the actual relatedness of the two movements, Dr. Pipes seems unaware of the fact that many Islamists are in fact conservative Republicans, and have consciously taken the Christian fundamentalists as their role models. He also fails to mention that certain sectors of the Republican Party --Grover Norquist's comes to mind-- have tried to put together coalitions of Islamists and Christian fundamentalists with varying degrees of success. So the two movements are hardly "unrelated."

None of this should surprise anyone who has read both St. Augustine and Syed Qutb -- or Pat Robertson and Abul Ala Mawdudi. It's well and good to compare Islamism with secular totalitarianism, but let's not forget that its explicit inspiration comes from Abrahamanic scripture -- something it has in common with Christianity.

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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Reader comments (53) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Militant Islam and poverty [166 words]AyashaApr 10, 2007 18:5488988
islam will soon go extinct in my zone please do something [86 words]hamza ali chubaMay 5, 2006 19:1044923
Middle East [44 words]Clifford IshiiAug 5, 2005 02:0424374
middle east [66 words]joeJul 10, 2006 11:0024374
1Similarities between Islam and Christianity? [329 words]Dean FreemanJul 23, 2005 18:0423738
Similarities between Islam and Christianity [94 words]sharmake warsameAug 15, 2008 23:4423738
wow! [6 words]kelseyNov 25, 2008 13:3423738
ignorance [44 words]shaySep 2, 2012 09:1623738
London Attacks [39 words]Clifford IshiiJul 7, 2005 14:3823178
Biblical Christianity [103 words]Clifford IshiiJun 23, 2005 21:1122838
Radical Islam [58 words]Clifford IshiiMay 15, 2005 17:4922112
Peaceful Islam? [63 words]Clifford IshiiApr 27, 2005 18:0421864
Islam is Fascist, it is not a religion [273 words]Craig ReadApr 20, 2005 15:4321742
Militant Biblical Christianity [15 words]Clifford IshiiMar 9, 2005 17:4920932
We Must return to a "Crusade" Doctrine,and not Just to a "Just War" Doctrine. [209 words]Mark KerezmanMar 11, 2006 09:1220932
2More religion not the answer [97 words]Brian F.Jan 23, 2005 11:0619817
Fundamentalist Christianity and Al Qaeda [53 words]Clifford IshiiMay 25, 2004 17:4815358
a fundamentalist Christian [135 words]S.H. KangJul 18, 2007 01:1815358
there are extremists for every religion and not just for Islam [11 words]A.A.AJan 4, 2004 14:0513090
Timothy Mcviegh [33 words]Timothy E. VislockyJul 9, 2006 15:2013090
Timothy Mcviegh was a Pantheist [17 words]Alan SmitheySep 22, 2006 12:3513090
equal justice [24 words]flyer55May 6, 2009 08:4713090
Right Wing use of Religion in the West [577 words]David O ReillyApr 17, 2003 07:578420
Chris Hedges [50 words]Andy PhillipsFeb 5, 2007 15:428420
Conservative Christianity [79 words]C IshiiApr 16, 2003 01:238384
Hmmmm?! [447 words]True Seeker of knowledgeFeb 27, 2003 16:036963
to clear things up (Hmmmm) from a Disciple of Christ [2558 words]SozoSep 4, 2006 13:446963
Catholic views on the Bible [212 words]Randy AtlantaDec 30, 2006 03:566963
Is a whale a fish or a gorilla a monkey? [268 words]RMcGuinnessDec 11, 2002 20:194541
great [10 words]sierraApr 17, 2008 10:144541
Moderate Muslims [162 words]Wylie GreeneDec 10, 2002 18:444512
The goal of militant Islam [109 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
JamilOct 8, 2002 20:022964
Islam [152 words]H R ThomasAug 30, 2002 17:302222
Kudos to Dan Pipes [52 words]John T UrbanAug 28, 2002 09:482171
Militant Islam is more dangerous [182 words]YelenaAug 27, 2002 16:182146
It didn't start in 1990 [118 words]Timothy E. VislockyAug 27, 2002 12:552131
Militancy across religious lines, not social [222 words]Mark Eric SteinAug 27, 2002 10:082123
Stay the course! [40 words]Dixon PorterAug 27, 2002 08:402121
Islam vs. Militant Islam [726 words]Alim JavidAug 27, 2002 08:092120
Comparison to other religions? [36 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
George ValdshteinAug 27, 2002 05:362119
Militant Islam in Indonesia [462 words]Eddy SuwondoAug 27, 2002 03:242116
Irfan Khawaja - I respectfully disagree [365 words]FreeManAug 26, 2002 22:102112
An International Threat [276 words]MaryAug 26, 2002 21:072111
Islam needs to grow up [142 words]JoeFeb 5, 2006 16:542111
Conservative Christians also want to impose their viewpoints on others [508 words]E ZuckerAug 26, 2002 21:022110
1Radical Islam May Be More Dangerous than Fascism and Communism! [122 words]Gary VinebergAug 26, 2002 20:442109
There is no such thing as an extermist Muslim, the religion itself is extreme [37 words]colJan 19, 2008 21:142109
Prescient and Wise [46 words]Harold & Selma SamuelsAug 26, 2002 19:172107
Militant Islam and Christianity [355 words]Irfan KhawajaAug 26, 2002 16:582104
Right on track [22 words]Common AmericanAug 26, 2002 16:302103
As much a threat as communism was [111 words]Rudy EllisAug 26, 2002 14:002102
Does the interpretation become the religion? [45 words]Paul KaplanAug 26, 2002 13:282101
Interpretation of Islam [139 words]A. AhmedAug 26, 2002 12:012100

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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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