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A voice of reason.

Reader comment on item: Where's the Muslim Debate?

Submitted by Graham Spence (United Kingdom), May 23, 2003 at 06:09

Over the past two years, I have expended an enormous amount of time and energy getting to grips with Islam, with each new piece of information, opinion and discovery leading me to feel that within Islam there was no voice of reason. Occasionally, very occasionally I have come accross single Muslim voices expounding reason, logic and humanity, and each of these people have one thing in common: they do not look to the Koran for the source of their morality.

Personally, I have always been dubious about the merits of good deeds done in part payment for eternal salvation. The concept of gaining entry to heaven by a series of "Jesus Points" or "Mohammed Points" had for me always reduced God to little more than an acceptor of Green Shield Stamps: collect 5000 stamps, and go to purgatory, colect 50,000 and its wine, self re-sealing virgins and honey from here to eternity: in the process, morality is reduced to little more than a Wall Mart Loyalty Card.

I have always placed those who do good deeds for no other reason than "it was the only corect thing to" do above anyone who does the same act so that God won't get angry with them, or to build up their credit in the Eternal Paradise Mall and Leisure Centre. Those amongst us who fit the "Right Reason" category have certain things in common. They all end up saying " I only did what anyone else would do in the same circumstances" and, despite all the evidence to the contrary, actually beleive this.

The second thing they have in common is their humanity. It shines through their words, whether written or spoken, and the same is true of their actions. Nelson Mandella does not quote his motives from religious texts; the same was true of Schweitzer, Cassals, and Ghandi. Mr. Haqqani in his words, albeit in a smaller way shows similar lack of need. In short, what makes these people stand out is that it is their their love of humanity that drives them, not an adherence to any doctrine, and if this pleases their God, then that is a nice bonus.

From his few brief words in this article, it is possible for me to know that he is, quite simply a good man. The fact that he is a Muslim then becomes irrelevant. This is what our religious leaders should be aiming at. Good deeds, good sense and reason, not because your God demands it, but simply because anything else is not even considered as a possibility.

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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Reader comments (33) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
yeah [5 words]terryJun 5, 2010 07:02173873
Hussain Haqqani [116 words]M Saleem ChaudhryMay 1, 2008 22:54127400
The Real Daniel Pipes [69 words]James J. Lynch, Jr.Jun 25, 2003 11:149740
1Daniel Pipes appointment to the U.S. Institute of Peace [226 words]Carol CassadyJun 6, 2003 02:179407
Silent Islam [78 words]Gene BehlJun 4, 2003 17:599391
Arab nations insular world view breeds mistrust and hatred [135 words]Joan ArchibaJun 3, 2003 23:169365
Can there ever be reasoned debate? [66 words]S.C.PandaMay 28, 2003 02:089264
Too much tolerance? [145 words]Sylvia SydneyMay 27, 2003 08:219252
A fine commentary. [15 words]Gary NewmanMay 26, 2003 07:279241
Where's Daniel Pipes in the Muslim Debate? [167 words]Wahid BoctorMay 25, 2003 17:149233
You are correct [11 words]Carole WrightMay 25, 2003 10:279231
Islam Highjacked! [210 words]John W. McGinleyMay 25, 2003 09:459229
Well done [49 words]Maria SliwaMay 24, 2003 23:079227
1Go, Dan, GO! [141 words]Sir Daniel M.J.TobinMay 24, 2003 14:539222
Segmentation of communities/socities [201 words]M Saleem ChaudhryMay 5, 2008 19:159222
Gratitude [222 words]Bill BonnesarMay 24, 2003 13:559221
I agree 100% [43 words]Muhammad SiddiquiMay 24, 2003 11:539220
An Opinion Poll Of The Beliefs Of Muslim Leaders [220 words]Joel BenjaminMay 24, 2003 10:199218
Haqqini [33 words]Joan BernsteinMay 23, 2003 20:239213
It should only happen... [166 words]Gerald KreadenMay 23, 2003 19:549212
Approve the Pipes Appointment [22 words]Elizabeth S. MarksMay 23, 2003 19:379211
WE AGREE [14 words]BEN DIRECTORMay 23, 2003 16:209209
The Muslim Debate???? [41 words]Bob BucknerMay 23, 2003 14:119207
Reply to Mr. Haqqani: Thank-you [204 words]john mcginleyMay 23, 2003 13:489206
Debate? [181 words]Edmund JamesMay 23, 2003 10:319203
where's the muslim debate? [130 words]artMay 23, 2003 09:259202
A voice of reason. [423 words]Graham SpenceMay 23, 2003 06:099199
The Institute for Peace [243 words]Arlinda DeAngelisMay 22, 2003 22:539190
Hurrah for Mr Haqqani [117 words]Bruce L. MurrayMay 22, 2003 22:429189
I support Daniel Pipes' appointment to the USIP... [33 words]Dave RichardsMay 22, 2003 20:449186
If not Pipes Then Who [73 words]Paul RinderleMay 22, 2003 20:339185
Kudos! [20 words]Ben PluniMay 22, 2003 16:299182
Hear--hear! [180 words]Robert G. DesmondMay 22, 2003 15:329181

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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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