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Treating Muhammad as a mere mortal

Reader comment on item: Is Radical Islam in Decline?
in response to reader comment: Islamic reformation?

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Sep 20, 2016 at 08:19

Dear Dr Pipes,

Your reader Fragonard asked if some form of Islamic reformation is possible? He suggested that for it to occur Islamic leadership has to start considering Muhammad as a person corrupted by power. Fragonard also drew a parallel between Muhammad's situation and the Jewish stories of David and Solomon. In responding to Fragonard you said that treating Muhammad as a mere mortal is possible in theory but is difficult because over the centuries Muhammad has been converted to a demigod.

I am far more optimistic. Luckily, in about 25 years a human generation changes. And, generation changes not in quantum of 25 years but continuously. Every single day humanity changes a little bit.

I think the inflection point when Islam starts changing for the better must have either already arrived or will arrive soon. I can point to many things that indicate that the inflection point has arrived or arrive soon. I will mention a few:

1. The number of apologists-for-Islam is growing at an exponential rate: Why should that be a great news? Simply because the presence of apologists indicates the presence of blame. More and more are now questioning the Islamic political and social practices. As a result more and more people have to come up with (false) explanations to defend those practices. If we can keep all apologists busy, we will be doing our job right. Isn't it?

2. Muslim leaders are now forced to take sensible positions: Most of the non-Islamic world today is free and democratic. Any Muslim of prominence today has to either state that those democratic values are wrong (and resultantly expose himself to more scrutiny) or has to pay some lip service to those values. When Muslims pay lip service to the democratic values they are also forced to decry the selfish Islamic principles contradictory to those good values. This phenomenon is evident in every country of the world but most prominently it is evident in India where a sizable Islamic population is exposed to hugely democratic and very free Hindu mindset. Muslim leaders in India are forced to acknowledge every day that democracy and freedom is good.

3. Muslim minds are everyday exposed to Islamic contradictions: This point follows directly from 2. When a Muslim leader pays lip service to a good democratic principle, his (Muslim) audience does not know whether he is speaking the truth or just paying lip service. So while the euphemists and apologists of the world invent terms like 'radicalization' of the Muslim youth, the fact is that millions of Muslim youths are getting 'deradicalized' every single day. When you hear a leader say the right thing even as a lip service, you do not know whether to believe him or believe otherwise.

4. There is a relentless attack on Islamic hypocrisy on the social media: If you read the comments section of almost any newspaper in the world, you will find people writing against Islamic hypocrisy. Social media provides a forum to people worldwide to expose Islamic contradictions. These days, if you are a Muslim who can read, you cannot avoid reading that your faith is continuously being questioned by others. Sooner or later, Muslims will realize that it is more expensive to defend a wrong principle than just letting it go.

(In this light, it is almost mandatory for all non-Muslims to expose Islamic hypocrisy at every available forum).

5. There are endless opportunities to read and educate yourself: With the availability of omni-present media, it is impossible for even the most closed minded person to isolate himself/herself from the outside influences. Muslims are getting educated every day. They are getting deradicalized.

6. People are standing up: In all countries of the world the Islamic apologists are losing in elections and those who are standing up against apologists are winning. Democracies in France, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, India, Russia, and even USA are now supporting candidates that are refusing to apologize for Islamic selfishness.

Due to these and such factors, we can all be optimistic that end of fundamentalist Islam is not too far in time.

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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