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Reader comment on item: Will Europe Resist Islamization?
in response to reader comment: K.H. Ahmed: Ijtihad is the way forward for Islam

Submitted by K.H. Ahmed (United States), May 26, 2008 at 09:53

Good to hear from you and sorry for the delay in response to your commentary. I have had an interesting little dialogue with Mr. Pipes regarding his article on "Obama's Muslim Childhood" - I'll give him credit for responding and being involved in the site.

As to yours; You stated: "What you have said comes close to Muslim claims of Islam being pure and actions by Muslims who do not understand the religion polluting it."

True believers always think their religion is pure - divinely inspired no matter how often it conflicts with itself - the difficulty is as you say getting the prepondrance of people to winnow out these ideas in a rationale fashion; which is as you say a function of education - This is a reason that here in the states I support public education as opposed to Religious education. It is one of the reasons this country has handled religious diversity as well as it has - that however is under great stress today from our own Christian fundamentalist. It also greatly distresses me that many of the mosques like Catholic churches have their own private schools - it is a dangerous precedent that the public allows for "Godly" reasons.

As to Mansoor

If Allah, God, Shiva talk to Mansoor they have my sympathies.

"Correct me if I am mistaken, but only believers in Allah (whatever sins they have committed) get to paradise after a purificatory spell in hell."

Actually everybody gets out: Allah most compassionatem Most Merciful, etc. etc. I've always kind of interpreted that section as if you end up in hell etc. you will figure out you're on the wrong side and beg for forgiveness. Kind of like the Christian Devil vs. God story the Devil knows he's going to lose but fights anyhow - not very bright.

"If you have been to any Wahabi/Deobandi madrassa you will realize what I am trying to say and sadly the graduates from these are the ones who are the opinion leaders among Muslims."

No I haven't and would probably get run out on a rail. As to whether they are the opinion makers - of this I am not sure. I sit here in the US and am exposed to more of the academics and writers who while there are radicals among them, seem to be outnumbered by moderate writers. The middle east with all of the difficult issues involved, ranging from economics to Palestine is a different picture. With all the issues the tendency is towards simplicity and religion - it is why my own countries foreign policy disturbs me it lacks subtlety and recognition of the areas problems, especially for its youth.

"Islam as a religion is as violent as the religions it claims descent from"

Here if I am reading you correctly we have to disagree. I don't see it as any more violent than any other Western monotheistic religion. It seems to me that in all of these divinely inspired relgions we are stuck with this violent seed of "perfection" Christians go on about their peaceful religion - but it has historically been as violent as any other "inspired" religion that I know of. It seems to me religions that really say they really aren't sure what God is up to - tend to be more moderate in their nature. The religions that come from your part of the world tend to reflect more on self than what the other guy is doing - but again I am expressing knowledge from studying here in the west and temples etc. established for the education of westerners. Perhaps even Zen and Hindu are marketed to the culture that they are being exposed too.

"Angry words would have been tolerable. But curses and abuse?? (apes, deaf, dumb, najees etc)"

I too always found the use of these types of curses in a religious text kind of odd out of place. But upon further review it is of the common tongue of both the Arab and the Jew for this type of reductionism of the "other" to animal form. Most rational people would think - "that's a strange way for a God to talk" but if I'm trying to talk to the average guy on the camel - I guess you talk his language.

The issue to me Plato is how do people such as yourself and myself further the conversation as it relates to this great debate regarding Islam. You and I can agree that this Wahabbist movement in Islam is dangerous and wrong but I am unsure as to how we give others a greater understanding of it. I read the posts here and their hostile language towards Islam and fear that through these broad generalizations people are missing their true enemy and missing an opportunity for Muslim allies. I would be much more comfortable if all of this angst, anger, polemics and educating were aimed at the real source of the problem and not just at the word, Islam.




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