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Golden Age

Reader comment on item: Daniel Pipes fights the worldwide threat of Islamism - from Malibu
in response to reader comment: Response to Mr. Edward Harper

Submitted by Edward Halper (United States), Mar 9, 2007 at 17:44

Thank you, Faqi, for your carefully considered comments. There is a really wonderful tradition of Islamic philosophy in the middle ages. That is what I was referring to as Islam's golden age. It was inspired by Greek philosophy and some of the figures studied with Christians in Syria. There was a lot of cross fertilization. (Ghazzali called himself a theologian, but he was a philosopher, and a very interesting one.) Sadly, it ended, and these thinkers are not read today by most Muslims and, indeed, not even considered to be Muslims. But the tradition remains as a token of Islam could become. Indeed, given the opportunities that are available to Muslims today, especially those who live in the west, it is likely the current Islamists are dedicated to insuring that the development of Islamic scholars not happen. I think this is their raison d'etre.

There was a very good article on the taxi drivers in the Minneapolis Star. It was the sort of investigative reporting that we should see more of. It turned out that most of the Muslim cabbies were pretty indifferent. They were being cowed by the leaders, and the latter were "negotiating" on their behalf with the airport authorities. It was a very good example of what happens when we look for moderates and end up reinforcing repressive relationships among Muslim immigrants.

I have been following the Florida conference of Muslim moderates. It has been condemned by those who claim to be moderate, but are not. The bright side is that it is taking place. I hope it is a positive beginning.

In sum, I don't think we disagree about the current state of the Muslim community. I'm hopeful, though, that Muslim-Muslim oppression in the the west can be undermined by their desire to take advantage of what the west has to offer--freedom, knowledge, and prosperity.

Submitting....

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