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Premises

Reader comment on item: "A Corrective to the Pipes Worldview"?

Submitted by Brooks Imperial (United States), Aug 29, 2005 at 12:40

First, I think this whole business exists on sliding scales such that it only makes sense to keep the spotlight on the extreme end of the cult. Apparently, all adherents share to some unknowable degree an amount of the extreme jihadi content. Perhaps the range is from (understanding Islam + rejection of violent jihad) --> (practice of Islam + rejection of violent jihad) --> (practice of violent jihad), and all sorts of intermediate compositions.

Secondly, I assume that virtually all of the people in this continuum possess a self-image they see as moral. They all view themselves as correct in the context of society.

Above this subjective mindset an objective reality and an objective language exists under which all human action can be understood. Here the various sects sort out into varying degrees of moral behavior relative to each other. Comparijng that ranking to the first, we see correlations between the degrees of accepted violence, of linguistic separation from objective reality, of self-referential moralization, and of lower objective morality.

So you keep your eye on the objective ball and deal with vociferous defenses from within the cult as what they really are; self-referential justifications. I question how productive it is to engage the substance of cult language because it seems you end up legitimizing the cult construct to some degree through mere engagement, and you end up losing time because the discourse can only proceed to another artificial, or cult-subjective construct. And these folks are nothing if not energetic.

So I would challenge your Muslim critics to make themselves relevant to objective morality rather than continuing to expect objective morality to come 'round to their way of thinking. After all, the subjective cult mindset is primarily their problem and only consequentially the problem of third parties caught in the crossfire. Why should those outside of the religion keep enabling the cult discussion by continuing to engage on its subjective terms? Looking at it another way, can peaceful coexistence with a cult be achieved by acknowledging the legitimacy of it? I doubt it.

Sincerely Yours,
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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