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Meaning of the Word, Radical

Reader comment on item: The Vatican Confronts Islam

Submitted by Walter Manchur (Canada), Jul 5, 2006 at 14:52

Dr. Pipes,

I am seeking your assistance in understanding the word "Radical", as it applies to Islam. In your post of July 5, 2006, you title your article, "The Vatican Confronts Islam". Please note that the Vatican is not confronting "Radical Islam", but Islam. However, in your other articles you consistently refer to "Radical Islam", thus by implication, at least according to my understanding, violence or intolerance as perpetrated by, "Radical Islam" and not by Islam.

The dictionary defines "radical" as follows:

1. Arising from or going to a root or source, basic

2. Departing markedly from the usual or customary

3. Favoring or effecting fundamental or revolutionary changes in current practices, conditions, or institutions, and seeking to overthrow the social order

So when you use the phrase, "Radical Islam", do you mean:

1. Islam as practiced by Muhammad and his followers, thus returning to the root or source or basic practice;
2. Islam that is departing markedly from the usual or customary;
3. Islam favoring fundamental or revolutionary changes in current practices, conditions and institutions;
4. Some other meaning;

Thus by defining "Radical", you will increase our understanding and appreciation for your articles.

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:

Yes, "The Vatican Confronts Radical Islam" would be a more accurate title.

I have grappled with the issues you raise here at "Islam and Islamism - Faith and Ideology/".

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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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