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Two Points of Dissent

Reader comment on item: "The Battle against Islamism Has Not Yet Started"

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Jul 31, 2016 at 14:44

While I agree with most of Daniel Pipes' remarks in this interview, there are two comments from which I must dissent.

In one paragraph, he says, "the battle against Islamism hasn't started", yet a few words later says he thinks Islamism "peaked in 2012-13". If the latter is true, then perhaps the former is not much of a problem?

More importantly, I'm struck by his (bleak) comment that "no civilization or religion stays permanently down". Not only is this a depressing thought, but it seems massively contradicted by History.

Numerous classical and pre-classiacl civilizations and religions have died. Sumerian, Ancient Egyptian, Hittite, Assyrian, Babylonian, Ancient Persian and other civilizations, and their religions, have all died. No one should know this better than a member of the Jewish faith, which of all the cultural components and peoples of the Classical world, has alone survived and thrived into present times.

Classical Greek civilization died, although to the great benefit of mankind and especially the West, its spirit was resurrected a thousand years later in another land, 15th century Italy, and spread, however unevenly, over much of Europe.
Rome, the most successful and widespread civilization of Classical times, truly died.

Polytheism, the religion in numerous forms throughout the cultures and civilizations of most of the ancient world, died, although it did survive, after an interlude of Buddhism, in India.

In fact, it seems terribly significant that Islam, the last of the major (by numbers) monotheistic religions, was born in the very heart of the Dark Ages. If Islam hadn't been born at the very low point of Middle Eastern and Western history, perhaps it would not have been so characterized by intolerance, hatred, and violence. Indeed, more likely it would not have been successfully born at all, and would not have survived to become a plague not only to much of the world, but to its own peoples, in our times.

Once it is realized, or remembered, that civilizations and religions can and do die, we are in a quite different and more hopeful world. We must then consider, that while our own civilization could in theory die, it is also true that an alien and supremacist creed and civilization, like Islam, could also die, or be overthrown, either from within or without.

Since the world is filled with evidence that Islam is incapable of bringing any genuine peace to its own lands except when it's in a state of profound stagnation, and is a force of de-stabiulization and violence wherever its believers appear in significant numbers, it seems vitally important to remember that civilizations and religions can and do die - even a civilization that claims over a billion and a half adherents.

incidentally, that is a number hard to test since in every majority-Muslim nation it is a capital crime to voice dissent or doubt about the repect-worthiness of the religion, or to reveal that you might want to leave it. So if we can ever escape the crippling taboo against criticizing Islam, whose essence is the very antithesis of the Multicultural belief system which seems to be the main barrier against criticizing it (what irony!), and also the idea that no religion ever dies, then remarkable possibilities open up.

One of the most remarkable is to consider that if enough people engage in an all-out fair-minded, fact- and logic-based intellectual attack on the tenets of Islam, that assault and critique (although I personally doubt it) might provide the impetus for a true reform of the religion by its non-totalitarian-minded adherents. In other words, resistance to Islam by non-Muslims that is only timid and 'reform'-based may have no impact toward reform whereas an all-out assault on its commandments of intolerance, hatred, and violence might.

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".

Daniel Pipes replies:

  1. One could argue that Soviet Communism peaked in the 1930s but the battle did not begin until after 1945. Similar here.
  2. I meant by "civilization" the really big units that Huntington referred to, like China, India, Islamdom, the West.

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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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