69 million page views

First, we must reform our own attitudes...

Reader comment on item: Ban Islam?
in response to reader comment: Reform won't work

Submitted by g.woodworth (United States), Sep 24, 2007 at 03:27

Justin says: "Ultimately, we need to eradicate Islam through exposure. Islam is so flawed [that] it cannot thrive in the light of day. If we take a firm stand that reasoned criticism of Islam is to be encouraged and protected, no matter how violent the response from Muslims, we will eliminate it."

I agree wholeheartedly with this comment, Unremitting and merciless public exposure to the light is the answer to cure this infection.

But the next problem is the violence and terror which Islam does not hesitate to employ against its critics -- both those outside and within. This seems to be a very effective silencer and it puts Islam in a unique category among religions. We do not (at least nowadays) expect religions to practice or condone murder. We have even governments and prime ministers reduced to apologizing for such a silly thing as a mere cartoon, much less for any really deep and serious criticism of Islam. Other religions will stand by and allow criticism of themselves -- however bitterly they may resent it, but they do not resort to public calls for murder of the critic. Where others would prefer to fight back with argument and logic, Islam does not tolerate criticism, and does not shrink from employing violence to silence it. Historically, this has worked for them very well.

Contrary to the (almost wishful) saying, "Violence will get you nowhere", the sad fact is that violence will get you almost everywhere. Islam has learned this lesson well and its expansion is living proof of it. Historically speaking, there is almost no movement or important transformation in the world that was not achieved without the accompaniment of some violence.

That is an unfortunate fact which after the event many of them would prefer to forget and pretend that the change came about through the public will. The spread of Christianity across Europe is one example. And ... when I was visiting at a university in Morocco, it was explained to me that in the early days of Islam, the people heard of the wonderful new religion to the East and sent for wise men to come and teach it to them. That was not the version I had learned about in school.

Apparently they never heard of conquest by the sword -- although their own ancestors were subjected to it! And I have recently learned (on the Internet) that there was an intense armed resistance among North Africans that went on for decades before they were finally overcome and subjugated. Surely there would have been no need for armed struggle against "wise men" who were merely invited teachers!

Therefore, we will need brave and resolute leaders who will be willing to stand up to militant Islam, offer no concessions, and make extremely clear that its violence and threats WILL NOT BE TOLERATED and will be met with the severest opposition. Even so, fanatics who are convinced they are doing God's work will not be very much concerned about temporal punishment. But the spineless "leaders" the West has put forth in country after country thus far, those who visit mosques to talk appeasement and prattle on about the "religion of peace" (even hours after the latest atrocity) will be quite useless in meeting this challenge. So the first step must be a change in our own attitudes.


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".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2024 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)