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Reply from a fellow Professor with PhD

Reader comment on item: Hamza Yusuf Fails My "Test"
in response to reader comment: What Exactly Does This Test Measure?

Submitted by archimedes2 (Canada), Apr 16, 2007 at 13:48

Hi UCBPS (if I may call you that). Good thing you waved around your credentials, as there would have been no way to tell how emminently qualified you were to judge Pipes' test if you hadn't. You criticize the test on the basis that its questions are points of contention within Islam.

Well, this shows two things: First, Pipes is very well aware of issues relating to the islamist/jihadist agenda within the Islamic world. And, why not -- after all he also holds a PhD in a related field, so he must inhabit the intellectual stratosphere along with mental giants like you and me. (/irony)

Second, Pipes understands what, apparently, your academic credentials and prestigious position has failed to teach you: that *IF* there is a distinction between dangerously radical and/or violent muslims and muslims who stand opposed to them, one can *ONLY* discriminate between them by drawing along lines that are points of contention within the Islamic world. You see, Pipes is not looking for a distinction between those *falsely* identified as muslims, who are evil, violent men, and *true* muslims, who are peaceful and well-meaning toward unbelievers. There are many non-muslim extremists, but they are a different kettle of fish, and quite irrelevant to the question.

Pipes is looking for a way to make a distintion between two hypothetical groups of people, both of whom can only be identified as muslims, but some of whom are terrorists or follow a radical Islamist agenda, and others of whom are prepared to live tolerantly and peacefully in a pluralistic society. As you well know, it is extremely difficult to make this distinction, particularly for a westerner unaccustomed to Islamist doublespeak, and partly so because instead of labouring to make it easier to discriminate between the malignant and benign varieties, most muslims and their non-muslim apologists in the west prefer to spend their efforts attacking anyone who tries to clarify the distinction. I wonder: is it because you yourself see no distintion?

Why is it, whenever Pipes or Spencer, or whoever, comes to town and says "we're not against all muslims, but we clearly condemn radical Islamists and Islamic terrorists", muslims and left-wing moonbats come out of the woodwork and call them "Islamophobes". I have come to the conclusion that this is not because these experts are "islamophobes" (whatever that means) but because these particular muslims and left-wing moonbats themselves make no distinction between Islamists and terrorists, on the one hand, and the general population of muslims, on the other.

So, if presenting all muslims as terrorists and Islamist extremists is "Islamophobia", then -- I argue that it is these muslims and left-wing moonbats who refuse to make this critical distinction within the world of islam (for which a small, shouted-down moderate muslim minority is fighting) who are the true Islamophobes.

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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