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Using western/American verbiage to glorify/defend Islam

Reader comment on item: Assessing Obama's Mosque Speech on Islam

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Feb 8, 2016 at 21:37

Dear Dr Pipes,

the best way to describe President Obama's speech in the Baltimore mosque would be that he used the American/western terminology to glorify/defend Islam while ignoring the fact that the true Islamic world has nothing to do with the sentiments expressed by that terminology. Do words like 'serving honorably in the armed forces', 'freedom', 'homeland security' even make sense in the current context of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt and the like? These terms can apply to the Islamic context but for that application, Islamic context will have to shift significantly. It is hard to believe that just because someone migrates to the West, their context and way of thinking changes overnight.

You have commented on President Obama's speech and responded to many of his points. You did not have to work that hard. It is obvious that Mr Obama was trying to convince himself that his words were true. President Obama is a wise man and he could not be so naïve as to believe in what he said.

At one point in your article you said that the establishment mentality is not to connect Islam with violence. I think no one should connect Islam with violence because that charge is so easily refutable. First, there are millions of Muslims who have never committed an act of violence against any one. Second, violence can easily be justified (e.g. Palestinian violence is due to poverty). And, third, anyone who commits an act of violence can be segmented as 'untrue' Muslim. I think much smaller charges are more sustainable. How about we associate Islam with some other things:

1. Islam does not believe in separation in church and state (we know of no Islamic majority nation where Muslims do not get special protection from the state).

2. Islam does not believe in democracy (no Islamic majority nation is a genuine democracy).

3. Islam does not believe in freedom of thought (we do not know of any Islamic nation that has categorically and constitutionally made apostasy legal)

4. Islam does not believe in secularism (the 'there-is-no-compulsion-in-religion' rhetoric is well and good but most of the Muslim majority nations are also constitutionally Islamic nations, resultantly making everyone else second class citizens).

I do not want to pick on anyone but these charges are more serious than the charge that Islam has a deep association with violence. Some will argue that violence is a direct consequence of the above four lesser charges.

Submitting....

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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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