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The nature of fundalmental religious belief

Reader comment on item: Will Europe Resist Islamization?

Submitted by Steve Arnold (United States), Apr 4, 2008 at 02:27

Mr. Pipes,

What you and so many others who attempt to separate the so called "radicals" from the "moderates" seem to ignore is the very real nature of religious belief. Those Muslims who are willing to kill themselves and as many "unbelievers" as they can are not radicals. They are simply true believers of their faith, doing what they believe their prophet has commanded them. They are crazy radicals only in the eyes of those in the West who are either atheistic, agnostic, or so called Christians who have become lackadaisical in their beliefs.

People who have no real religious conviction will never be able to understand those who do. The real radicals are the so called religious leaders who convince these followers to become martyrs rather than blowing themselves up.

Not long ago I read a statement by a scholar of Islam other than yourself who was addressing the issue of "moderate" Muslims, particularly here in the United States. I can't remember his name and I can't quote him directly, but his point was that moderate Muslims were moderate only because they did not fully understand the teachings of Muhammed. If they truly believed that Muhammed was the voice of God and was himself infallible, there is no way they could regard non Muslims with a "moderate" view. Magdi Allam made this very clear with the quote you have cited. He clearly understands the violent nature of the religion and its founder. For you as an expert on Islam to be able to seemingly ignore the violent life of Muhammed and the resultant behavior of millions of his followers hundreds of years later clearly illustrates that you have no real understanding of fundamental religious belief.

Islam will prevail in the West unless we are willing to take off our rose colored glasses and acknowledge the fact that there are millions of devout Muslims who don't want to "just get along together" with non believers.


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Daniel Pipes replies:

"moderate Muslims were moderate only because they did not fully understand the teachings of Muhammed."

This implies that Muslims are somehow programmed, in contrast to the freedom of decision taken by adherents of other faiths. I reject that, believe that Muslims can be as diverse in their attitudes as others.

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