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Counter-Ideology A Key Weapon

Reader comment on item: Two Weaknesses Could Undo the Islamist Movement

Submitted by Dave (United States), Jan 4, 2016 at 15:04

According to Raymond Ibrahim, a Coptic Christian scholar, a major factor in the rise of Islamism has been the greater availability and accessibility of Islamic doctrine in modern times. The increase in literacy and the widespread availability of the sacred texts have had an effect somewht analogous to the rise of Protestantism, when the printing press made Bibles accessible and the Catholic Church's role as sole doctrinal arbiter was questioned. The result has been a popular increase in Islamic doctrinal literalism, which has resulted in a clamor for pure Sharia and many of the other ills inherent in a narrow ideology.

One weakness in this striving for doctrinal purity has been its lack of pragmatic benefit. Clearly, Islamism has tended to fracture society, unless unity is achieved through repression. It's simply too inhumane and violent to be of any use for social cohesion or even basic happiness.

An antidote to Islamism is to take a page from its success and offer an accessible counter-ideology. The West has much to be proud of, like the US Constitution, our legal rights, the battles for tolerance we have won, our cohesive political structures, and so on. These attributes should be concisely presented as a blueprint for an ideal society and widely disseminated. The differences with Sharia should be emphasized. Let the people read something more than the usual sacred texts - the more the merrier.

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