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Moderate Islam means Valuing Secularism

Reader comment on item: Will Europe Resist Islamization?

Submitted by Coyote_Ugly (Canada), Apr 4, 2008 at 02:11

Unlike Allam and Wilders, I do distinguish between Islam and Islamism, but I believe it imperative that their ideas get a fair hearing, without vituperation or punishment. An honest debate over Islam must take place.

Dr. Pipes always make the case that moderate Islam is the solution. This however, is becoming an ever more difficult case to make, in the light of ahadith and the quran itselve.

To follow Mohammed faithfully is apparently to follow in the path of the Islamists themselves. In terms of schools of Islamic thought, in terms of the tribal exclusivism inherent in the Islamic division of the whole world now into believer and unbeliever, and in terms of the direction that the most deidicated Moslems themselves are taking their religion, Fitna seem to be more faithful to the inherent message of Islam than any moderate version of Islam may lay claim to.

Islamic civilization at various times and places certainly has not taken the hard turn to Islamism that the religion is now trending to, but perhaps that has nothing to do with the religious text themselves. As long as the text themselves are not followed, but Islam is mainly a pledge of allegiance to group unity, Islam has the potential for pluralism.

This however, would not be a moderate form of Islam, but a redidication of Islam to outer form only, and a devaluing of the actual texts. It would be defining Islam not in terms of the life of Mohammed, or the words of the Koran, but in terms of the needs of society itself.

This may have been easier in the illiterate past than it is in the higly literate present, or future. As long as people are reading the Quran, and defining it more by its message than its poetry and sound, then Islamists have the upper hand.

In terms of Europe's future, tolerance of Islam is only possible to the extent that Moslems thenselves agree to place themselves within the pluralistic values of a society. Tolerance is only possible when there is mutual agreement that all systems value pluralism itself.

There is some grassroots understanding of what is needed, and the marginalized Catholic Church too provides some leadership. European power however is not normally a grassroots phenomena. if the governing authorities themselves do not make a firm stand for the secular values that define their society, then the Islamist will be the ones that will fill in the values for an increasingly Islamic Europe.

Europe has a lot to offer. It is time to assert its values, lest the vaccum be filled with the Quranic message of dominance and intolerance.


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