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The premise of this article is wrong

Reader comment on item: How Islamic Are Muslims?

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Aug 22, 2014 at 01:12

Dear Dr Pipes: Sheherazade S. Rehman and Hossein Askari's essay is the same veiled advertisement of Islam that muslims so often present to us. First of all, a religon should not be defined by the 'good' principles that it preaches because what is universal good is common to all religions. A religion must be defined by what is wrong and different in it. The right criticism of Hinduism, for example, is not that it preaches universal good (sarve bhavantu sukhinah); the right criticism of Hinduism --and, thus, its room for improvement-- is that it allowed caste system to exist for thousands of years. By the same token, Islam should not be judged by 5:32 which in isolation may appear good. Islam needs to be judged by 5:33 and 5:34 which take away everything that 5:32 yields.

Rehman and Askari first define a very convenient notion of Islamicity (read advertisement) and then conclude that many very peaceful and prosperous western countries like Denmark, New Zealand, Finland and Iceland are more "islamic" than many Islamic countries. Rehman and Askari are using a reverse logic: if these nice countries are so Islamic then Islam must be so good. But if they do an objective study these european countries will be even more Christian or Hindu than they are Islamic. Did Rehman and Askari use "a relaxed view of God" a measure of Islamicity? They did not because though it is essential for peaceful coexistence of humans, a relaxed view of God is not one of Islam's plus points. Nor did the authors use tolerance and forgiveness is a measure of Islamicity. If tolerance and forgiveness had been an Islamic virtue, Muslims around the world by now would have found a way to accept Israel.

Rehman and Aksari's paper is nothing but a veiled advertisement of Islam.

Submitting....

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