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Religious Preaching vs. Secular Tolerance

Reader comment on item: Turkey's Erdoğan Gambles and Loses
in response to reader comment: Reason and belief

Submitted by Robert (United States), Apr 15, 2016 at 11:04

Dear Thomas Hennigan,

I think you missed my point. And I believe that you do not fully appreciate
the wisdom of our Founding Fathers
when they embodied the Separation of State and Church
in our constitution.
It was precisely because every Christian "minion"
had its own Church that our constitution prohibited
the government from engaging in any practice
which would give a preference to any particular Church.

I think you fail to appreciate the Secular vs. Religious distinction.
I certainly would love it
if in your preaching you were able to convert
anyone of the 1,6 billion Muslims of the world to Christianity.
Good luck om that difficult task!

You also probably (in my opinion)
are not fully aware of the liberalization of Islam within the Ottoman Empire.
You should read more deeply into the writings on Daniel Pipes on that.
And, incidentally, Wahhabism is about 300 years old
- it isn't a contemporary Muslim movement, as ISIS is.

I substantially do not oppose your learned opinions,
especially the scholarly scrutiny of religious texts.
However, you fail to distinguish between matters of Faith vs. Matters of Reason;
when you subject Islam to your Christian views of it,
you are preaching and hoping to convert your listeners to Christianity.
That is not what a scholar like Daniel Pipes does.
He rather looks at the History of Islam
and finds that it had a very tolerant past (relatively speaking, and compared to Christianity).
He also speculates, in a secular capacity
that Muslims are capable of reforming their religion.
You, on the other hand, are projecting your own religious impressions
unto the classical texts, and writings, of Islam.

The German Protestant, Martin Luther, rejected the Italian Roman Catholicism
on the grounds that the Bible did not support the practices under the Papacy.
But remember that Luther was a Christian, not a Jew or Muslim.
Yet you are not a Muslim
and proceed to analyze the teachings of Islam.
Good luck in your challenging effort.

Another point is that from a secular point of view
one can restrict practices without engaging in a religious debate.
For example, Roman Catholics oppose a woman's individual and private choice
to terminate a pregnancy. It's as if the Pope, always a man,
has universal control of every woman's genitals
and is the Father of every unborn child.

In summary, we should focus on secular Human Rights
independently from explicit religious beliefs.
But that does not mean
that one should not fear
a huge number of Muslims flooding Europe
before Islam has accomplished it Islamic reform.
Islamophobia today is justified.
These days, preferring any religion to Islam seems justified.
But not by us (you and me, as non-Muslims)
interpreting the meaning of the Sacred Texts of Islam.
Muslims are the ones who must reform their religion.

But if you insist on engaging in converting Muslims to Christianity,
I suggest you first create a refuge for them
when Fatwahs are issued
to have them privately killed,
as is currently the case in Begladesh and Pakistan.

Here is just one Daniel Pipes source for you to consider:

"Muslims in the West: Can Conflict Be Averted?"
by Daniel Pipes and Khalid Durán
United States Institute of Peace
August 1993

http://www.danielpipes.org/232/muslims-in-the-west-can-conflict-be-averted

Submitting....

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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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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