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You've touched to the core of the issue

Reader comment on item: A Democratic Islam?
in response to reader comment: A complex issue

Submitted by Bob Jenks (United States), Apr 18, 2008 at 10:38

Mr. Amitabh Tripathi,

Your commentary has touched to the core of the issue:

Can the Islamic faith be pressured into evolving into a moderate Islam that truly tolerates ideologies, faiths, and political systems different than those permitted under Sharia law?

Ataturk certainly did it in Turkey, although that secular government did it by throwing out the Caliphate and currently keeps its power through the armed force of its army, currently under very considerable pressure. One of my Turkish neighbors returned from their annual vacation to their homeland and quietly remarked on her return "They are beginning to cover." (That was, to me, a very significant indicator of a changing situation.)

You are certainly quite correct when you state that in the last three years we have not seen any substantial evolution of moderate Islam as a movement in any part of the world.

Yet I would quite agree with Dr. Pipes that Radical Islam is demonstrably the problem and moderate Islam is indeed the solution.

Great movements always start as minority of one. And I have personally seen those minorities starting, in the past three years, from thoughtful, dedicated individuals. Let me give one example. One of my recent outstanding students confided that he withdrew from his Muslim faith because he finally saw, and could not accept, the full implications of Sharia law. In a continuing dialogue with this student, he is advising me, a Christian, how to bring Muslims into inter-faith seminars in my parish. In so doing, he has re-stated his affirmation to the basic tenets of Islam and his determination to help bring his love of the Qu'ran into the modern world. This is just one example of how I believe a powerful movement is beginning, but I have seen other examples.

So, I am hopeful.

You are quite right that non-Muslims need to become very aware of the situation, very informed, and recognize that "information is the keyword". (I recommend four books which provide well-researched sources of information, noted in my web site http://bobjenks.com/terrorism.htm .)

Thank you again for your commentary. Bob Jenks

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