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Possible Implications

Reader comment on item: How Terrorism Obstructs Radical Islam

Submitted by David Aronin (United States), Aug 26, 2005 at 16:31

Dr Pipes,
This is absolutely true, and has potentially deep implications. First, will the association of a major faith as the direct motivation behind such widespread violence and cruelty come eventually to tarnish the image of faith in general. So far this doesn't seem to have been very much the case, and - as in most circumstances of crisis and danger - the opposite effect has been more evident - even in Europe where more has been said favourably about the uniting and sustaining effects of a common Christian heritage then is usual - and even from some committed secularists. But, in the longer term this attitude may very well emerge - as it did at the tail-end of the religious wars in Europe - in the Enlightenment and beyond - making first strong appearance with the French Revolution, and then becoming institutionalized in Marxism, "Scientism," Logical Positivism and various other intellectual strains.

The other question is that either - in a counter-factual analysis of the circumstances as they are - in which it is posited that the current threat did not emerge (or did so in a weaker form) - or at some point if and when it is brought under control - will it be possible for us in the West to accept a form of active Islam which seeks - as does some forms of Christianity and Judaism, to obtain its Triumphalist ends entirely through peaceful means: missionary work, education, institution building and participation in the democratic political process.

Thank you for your continued good work,

David Aronin
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