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Reader comment on item: Finding Moderate Muslims - More Questions
in response to reader comment: Purposes?

Submitted by JoeRu (United States), Oct 8, 2008 at 09:42

Your comments, while in theory legit (the idea of imposing our ideas on another culture), seem to themselves be on shaky ground. To wit:

On Item 1, comparing Copts to resident aliens. Rather, compare them to Native Americans - a minority that exists not from immigration but who has lived in the country for a rather long time. While it is unlikely that a Native American would ever be President, any American who denies them the right to seek such an office is wrong and has demonstrated his anti-democratic bias.

On item 2, separating sexes for education, sure the USA had separate gendered enducation until a generation and a half ago. But the country no longer has it. Many institutions do - particularly religious ones - but so what? The public school system is integrated, most universities are integrated, and the trend is to keep them integrated. Saudi Arabia can allow spearate gender schooling for those who wish it, but the state sponsored schools should be integrated - as we know, separate but equal generally is not.

On item 3, public dress and alcohol and gambling, just because we had something in this country 50 years ago does not make it right. (Similar to the above issue). But I will acknowledge that every society has its own standards of propriety - beaches in Europe tend to be a little freer than those in the US, I hear, for example, and I am all for public indecency laws remaining as you say, on the books.

On item 8, again, just because women did not hold high public office in this country until the mid 1900's does not mean that they should not. Don't disparage the purpose of promoting equality behind the screen of "what would they do with it anyway" - similar to what you said about the Copts. And yes, indeed, allowing such a possibility may help the "public order" in Arab countries - if more women gain high posts, there would be more regulations protecting women and girls (from things including honor killings, forced marriages, sex trade etc.)

And on item 10, obviously the line about the Napoleonic Code was not to imply that this Code is the ultimate in legal rulings, but rather to pointedly ask if there need be a religious law imposed on a society that works well with a secular law. (One may ask about replacing the US Constitution, similarly, and indeed, some Islamists propose exactly that.) While there may be imperfections in secular law, there is at least an attempt at equality and the ability to change when the times demand it. Religious law often does not have these capabilities, and from what I know about the Sharia specifically, these two aspects are lacking.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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