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Is Islam another form of colonialism? Of course, it is.

Reader comment on item: Muhammad Ali's "Beautiful Soul"
in response to reader comment: Is Islam another form of colonialism?

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Jun 11, 2016 at 19:14

Dear Dr Pipes, your reader Jasmin from the UK asked a very intelligent question. She asked if Islam is another form of colonialism. In short the answer is: very definitely so. But a longer answer is needed to convince. The fact of the matter is tat Islam is worse than colonialism. People should not misunderstand me. If Islam were to be carried to different lands by monks wearing white, saffron, or green robes and if it were to be practiced solemnly in the privacy of people's hearts and homes, it wont be colonialist. But in its current historic form, it is worse than colonialism.

Take the examples of British colonialism in India. British came to India in peace but eventually used force to serve their political and economic interests. Even though church followed the early colonizers, it came as a separate entity only marginally intertwined with political and economic forces. For examples, there is hardly any evidence that British destroyed any temples or mosques in India. Luckily the British eventually left India. The Islamic attacks on India happened a few centuries earlier but every negative aspect of colonialism was present in Islamic attacks as well. Muslim attackers also served their economic and political interests. And, they served their religious interests. They spread their religion by allurement and force and, probably, by peaceful conversions. And they destroyed hundreds of temples.

The point is that Islamic attacks in India and elsewhere had every negative aspect of colonialism and then some! I see no reason why our world should not treat Islamic reach to different nations as anything other than colonialism (specially when establishment of Sharia guided rule is a declared goal).

When politics is mixed with religion more harm is caused to religion than to politics. Islam has gotten a bad name because of its politics. Unfortunately, no one can do anything about it. It is exactly what is prescribed in the book. Islam will do a huge favor to itself if it draws a firewall between matters of spirituality and matters of polity. If that involves deviating somewhat from the path of the Prophet, so be it.

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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