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To Z

Reader comment on item: Sudden Jihad Syndrome (in North Carolina)
in response to reader comment: nice job

Submitted by Jeff (United States), Jun 8, 2006 at 21:04

Dear Z,

I really don't think the West had its beginnings in violence and injustice, at least, not any more than any other part of the world. Actually, many European settlers and Native Americans got along fine, despite what is highlighted in history books. The vast majority of Native American deaths after the arrival of Europeans was caused by bacterial and viral diseases the Europeans unwittingly brought with them, to which the Native Americans had no previous exposure and little resistance. I'm not excusing the violence (among both peoples, or among Native American tribes themselves prior to and after the arrival of Europeans) or the injustice, but it's not exactly unique in history. How was Islam brought to Iran and India? By peaceful missionaries? Or brutal armies?

Q: how much freedom do you want? A: Well, for starters, I like my freedom of religion. My government stays out of my religious life. We have something we call "separation of church and state" in the USA. It's in our Constitution. Right, we don't spend any government money to build mosques. And we have never, and do not now, spend any government money to build churches. You're quite wrong about that. That would be unimaginable to us, not to mention illegal. (Though the city of Boston did give land away at way below market value to the Islamic Society of Boston, to build a mosque. Churches and synagogues never get bargains like that.) I could freely convert to Islam if I wanted to, and my government would not notice or care. In fact, millions of Muslims attend mosques regularly and safely in the USA. So much for the war on Islam.

Q: are you really so arrogant that you wish to forget about your Lord and instead submit to the pleasures of the world? A: No, I have no such wish.

Q: can you , out of scratch, make a living breathing human being? A: No, I cannot imagine such a thing, nor have I ever met anyone who could.

Thank you for the point you made concerning the governments that "call themselves Islamic." Those governments are perhaps comparable to the old Soviet Union, which could talk very prettily about equality, a classless society, economic justice, etc., but was in fact a brutal dictatorship that kept all the wealth and power concentrated in a small group of elites. When a small number of people take all the power and think they're smart enouth to know how much freedom other human beings are entitled to, or, as you say, they are against the arrogance of giving people freedom that they are not entitled to, things seem to end up on the same dreary plane, regardless of whatever philosophy those so-called leaders claim to follow.

However, as an outsider, who claims to know nothing about Islam, how am I to know that the governments you allude to are in fact not Islamic? The leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for example, say they're Islamic. And they're imams. They're ayatullahs. They're Islamic scholars. They've spent their lives studying Islam. I think the imams of Saudi Arabia would say the same. So, whom should I believe, you or them? Who's right? And how can you blame anyone for figuring the guys with the religious titles, years of study, years spent teaching at Islamic universities, know what they're talking about when they say they understand Islam and they run an Islamic republic?

I can't speak for Slash, but he's not alone if he's tiring of people who endure the hardships of emigration, then, having voted with their feet for life in the West, proceed to heap scorn, hatred and vitriol on the people of the country that welcomed them. If I move to a different culture, I'll live with the culture I voluntarily entered, or, if I can't bear it, leave. I won't demand that everyone there change now that I'm there. I won't march in their streets wearing a suicide bomb belt and loudly threaten and glorify the murder of my hosts. That seems like simple etiquette to me, but, judging by the streets of London after those cartoons, (none of which came from the UK) thousands of Muslims disagree with me on that.

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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