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comment on Professor Pipes' reply to my comment

Reader comment on item: Was Barack Obama a Muslim?
in response to reader comment: "Muslims do not see practice as key."???

Submitted by John Philips (Japan), Sep 16, 2008 at 21:19

Sorry I didn't post this as soon as I wrote it:

The earliest Muslims in West Africa seem to have been Khawarij from North Africa and there is a Khariji substrate. Syncretism is everywhere not just Islam (think about Christmas/Saturnalia) and one mu'alim's bid'a is another mu'allim's 'urf. The struggle against syncretism went on, of course, but eventually centered on the point I was talking about: What actions are incompatible with Islamic monotheism? Failure to pray, or to practice other essentials of Islam, implies unbelief, or worse, hypocrisy. Struggle against hypocrites (munafiqun) is more necessary than struggle against forthright pagans. But everything pre-Islamic is not incompatible with Islam, or the star and crescent wouldn't have become a symbol of Islam. It was the pre-Christian symbol of the Ethiopian Empire based in Axum.

As a non-Muslim I take no position on which Muslims are the true Muslims, or whether Islam as practiced in West Africa, Saudi Arabia or Indonesia is most orthodox. I leave that problem to the Muslims themselves.

Submitting....

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