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A Question

Reader comment on item: Was Barack Obama a Muslim?
in response to reader comment: Apostasy as utilitarian pretext for Islamic fundamentalists

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Dec 28, 2007 at 10:05

to: Tom Marzullo

Here's a question I have wanted to ask someone with credentials like these: Do you think that at some time we will have to have a debate in the West, indeed a worldwide debate, whether Islam is a religion that causes an addiction to violence in too many of its adherents? I deliberately choose to frame the issue as a question rather than as a conclusion or accusation.

So far all 'mainstream' political discussion of Islam treats Islamic extremism - jihad - as an aberration to an otherwise peaceful religion, a religion that is taken to be a 'sister faith' to Judaism and Christianity. There seems to be a rigid taboo to questioning whether Islam may in fact not be a basically peaceful religion.

Otherwise put, do we have the ominous situation where most people of the Muslim faith who are decent, nonviolent people, who have the ordinary goals of life, are ..... not good Muslims, whereas those who engage in, support, and call for violence are very dangerous to the peace and order of the world, but ...... are good Muslims? If so, that's a pretty serious double-bind for the decent, nonviolent sort of Muslim, who are, presumably. the great majority of the population.

What is your professional opinion?

Ron Thompson


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