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I passed the test!

Reader comment on item: [Finding Moderate Muslims:] Do you believe in modernity?

Submitted by Hamid Ahmed (United States), Jun 18, 2005 at 09:45

I am an orthodox, practicing Muslim American and I passed Dr. Pipes' test with flying colors. Though I disagree that jihad is simply a form of warfare, I felt the rest of the questions were ones that every Muslim should ask themselves. I see Jihad as precisely the process of self evaluation and internal struggle that represents the ideal in Muslim character.

I am deeply saddend at times when I read how some give Saudi Wahhabism or literalist traditionalism a virtual monopoly on Islamic interpretation, implying that moderate Muslims "don't know their own religion." Islam represents for me a force that brings peace and meaning to my life through prayer and community. I believe that there is, as the Qur'an says, "no compulsion in religion", and I also aknowledge that the Islamic experience is diverse, both today, and historically.

The Bible's old Testament, particularly Deuteronomy, contains some verses that, if followed literaly, would lead to nothing but bloodshed and tyranny. "Even the devil can quote scripture for his purpose," and as a Muslim, I find it necessary to "seek justice, even if be against [my] own brother.."

Imam Ali once called on Muslims not to let non-Muslims excel them in living true Islam. I believe that this phenomenon has occured in many parts of the West and I believe that being an American, interacting with the pious of other faiths, has made me a stronger Muslim.
Many Salaams,
Hamid
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