1 readers online now  |  69 million page views

The Radical Muslim will stab you today, the Moderate, Tommorow.

Reader comment on item: What Antidote to Radical Islam?

Submitted by Robert (United States), Apr 16, 2016 at 10:19

Dear Daniel Pipes,

I've just Murat Yetkin's article you've linked us to.
I find his succinct overview of western Muslim (Turkey-based) history excellent.
And I don't think you paid as careful attention to his loaded words
which I know you have the full capacity to understand.
Although he is obviously aligned with the secular tradition of Kemalism
and twice quotes that party's current head
as a Turk he is well-suited to give us a view from a historical Muslim perspective.

My interpretation of what he says
is that it is no use for us to look for Muslim moderates
because Islam is a fundamentally political Religion, unlike Christianity
- "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and unto God what's God's."

Is a religiously inclined Muslim wishes to moderate his or her religious views
let that remain a private concern.

The distinction you make, regarding "agnosticism or atheism," is interesting,
but I not persuaded of its relevance. I know, for example, that to a Roman Catholic,
that a Jew, or Muslim, is a million times better than an Atheist.
But Secularism means, for a Kemalist, tolerating Atheists too.

It is ironic, though, that Ataturk's Turkey
has receded into an Erdo─čan Islamist Republic.
Perhaps Murat Yetkin advocates a "Dialectical" return to Secularism for Turkey.
I know that you find this Hegelian and Marxist D word distasteful;
but think of English and French history;
after beheading their King, the British had their Glorious Revolution in 1688
with a return of a restoration of their Monarchy;
similar events happened in France after the fall of Napoleon
all the way up to the Fourth Republic and the leadership Charles de Gaulle.

So I give great weight to the Turkish view of Secularism.

However, each Arab country in the Middle East
has obviously no choice but to struggle through
its own "glorious" non-Turkish history.
Consider the Pharaoh of Egypt, The Persian Empire,
the Muslim Arab Empire centered in Bagdad (now Iraq), the Abbasid Caliphate and the Islamic Golden Age;and the Muslim Arab Empire centered in Damascus (now Syria), the Umayyad Caliphate.

As I recall, in one posting you, Daniel Pipes, include Nationalism among the disparaged "-isms" of Ideology. But in my view, the Modern State after the Industrial Revolution
is bound to create a patriotic mythology involving its own past
and the role of its subjects or citizens
in that glorious context.

It turns out that Nationalism hasn't been studied much in a scholarly fashion
until it was well on its way under the banners of fascism;
among the earliest text books is a 1937 imprint,
"Essays on Nationalism" by Carlton J. H. Hayes, Historian, Columbia University,
a book I happen to own. It is a book, however, that leads one to the question
of what is it to be Turkish ? And that brings up the issue of being Kurdish.
And through current events we know
that neither Moderate Islam nor Secularism
will solve that problem for Turkey.

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".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to The Radical Muslim will stab you today, the Moderate, Tommorow. by Robert

Email me if someone replies to my comment

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".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)