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Inmportant Debate to Have

Reader comment on item: The Middle East Forum Debates Moderate Islam

Submitted by Boston Tea Party (United States), Mar 30, 2014 at 10:35

First of all, I have a great deal of respect for both Dr. Pipes and Mr. Ibrahim, and I agree this is an important debate to have. When it comes to combating Islamism and standing up for liberal values, we need all kinds of alliances.

That being said, I have to lean more towards Mr. Ibrahim's position. I'm just getting a bit too much of the postmodern, relativist side from Dr.Pipes. When he says "Nothing human is fixed," I chafe a bit. While it is true in a literal sense, in a practical sense (particularly in line with modern Multiculturalism) this statement encourages the popular line of thinking that "nothing means anything," and pretty much "any ideology or movement can be 'reformed' into anything else." This seems dubious to me. Could Nazism be 'reformed' into benevolent pacifism? I think history has shown us many ideologies that could NOT be reformed, but could only be fought. Is it possible that Islam could liberalize?

Yes, it's theoretically possible---but I think we on the other side of the fence have to be VERY clear that it must come from within Islam, and we should ONLY judge its success on what we actually see, not what we would LIKE to believe. So yes, I hold out that the internal liberalization of Islam is a theortical possibility, but at the present NO western treasure or blood should be invested, and no strategies devised that ASSUME without evidence that this liberalization is actually happening or is going to happen soon.

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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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