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John Kerry keeps calling the Islamic State 'apostates.' vs. Islamists

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

Submitted by Robert (United States), Feb 3, 2016 at 10:05

Dear Daniel Pipes,

I generally agree with all your views. However, I still have not succeeded in convincing you
that you should not use the word "Islamist" when the word "Muslim" is sufficient.

By your logic on this, I pose the following counterexample: ...

The only way you can properly call other Believers in the Prophet Muhammad
is by becoming a Believer yourself.

Since - as far as I know - you are not a Muslim, haven't converted to Islam - you are therefore an outsider of that religion. Therefore, ISIS are Muslims, and Islam is your adversary. You can only properly say that you support certain Muslims and oppose other Muslims. You cannot properly label other Muslims as Islamist; doing so is hypocritical at best.

Only another Muslim can say who isn't Muslim. And since you haven't become one yourself, it is condescending as well to stoop to the level of judging the religion of another.

The fact is that Islam is in a crisis - not unlike Christianity was during the Reformation. It would be much better to call yourself an Islamophobe - that you fear Islam under the banner of ISIS. Why shouldn't we "fear" Islam when it produced ISIS?

As a non-Muslim scholar of Islam, you can only point out the form which some parts of Islam have take in the 21st Century. I do not see the "honesty" of a "religious outside" labeling a portion of Islam as "ideological" and therefore not "true." You might just as well call the "Haredi" Jews of Israel not true Jews (but first you have to convert out of Judaism).

As the Christian world has discovered, under the leadership of the Papacy, Religion is the Realm of Belief - not of Reason. That distinction has been accepted in the secular West as well.

So, if there are 30,000 armed Muslims in Iraq-Syria, the "state" of "Islam", who are you to say that they are merely Islamists, while you yourself aren't remain an Unbeliever - in the Prophet Muhammad?

It would be much better, in my view, if you simply accepted the designation of Islamophobe and thereafter pointed your finger at ISIS as justification for fear of Islam.

I live in the real world. Therefore, I say to all Muslims that the way to end Islamophobia is by putting an end to ISIS. It is for Muslims to put their house in order; and until they do, they do not have the basis to complain that they are being treated unfairly by the West. I certainly am capable of treating "good" Western standard Muslims fairly - those who oppose beheading, or stoning, for example. And I'm not really "frightened" by ISIS - I'm rather more disgusted that in the 21st century Islam has produced the phenomena of ISIS.

Calling certain Muslims "Apostates" is the same as calling them Islamists; unless one becomes a Muslim, one has no ground to assert that someone else is an outsider of ISLAM. Therefore, everyone who "submits" to ISIS is also a Muslim; no less so than a Christian Fundamentalist, or Unitarian, is a Christian, as they all believe in Jesus Christ; similarly, every Jew, from Orthodox to Reform, etc., is a Jew to every Jew.

"John Kerry keeps calling the Islamic State 'apostates.' Maybe he should stop." By Adam Taylor

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/02/03/john-kerry-keeps-calling-the-islamic-state-apostates-maybe-he-should-stop/

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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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