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Essentialism

Reader comment on item: Foreword: Why Islam's Reformers are Vitally Important
in response to reader comment: Reforming Islam? Mission impossible

Submitted by ECAW (United Kingdom), Jul 21, 2017 at 00:40

I wish Dr Pipes would expand on his views on essentialism since all I have seen is a one line reference to the "essentialist trap" and this response.

I think I can understand the idea of an essentialist trap in which meanings are too rigidly fixed but on the other hand I see the non-essentialist wasteland where anything can mean anything. Should we not be explicit about which ideas (in the context of Islam, doctrines) we think are negotiable and which are non-negotiable?

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:

By essentialism, I mean the mistake that we change but others do not. To take a small example: Women's fashion in the West constantly changes but elsewhere is immutable.

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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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