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On Muslim Theology

Reader comment on item: The Roots of Iraq's Rebellion

Submitted by Fay Voshell (United States), Apr 15, 2004 at 08:47

Dr. Pipes,

Your outline of the historical difficulties the West has encountered when it has attempted to interface with Islam is spot on.

I think there has been a deep reluctance on the part of the West to tackle the very sensitive issue as to whether or not Islam is inherently a fundamentalist (absolute literalist) faith--which I believe it is. The Muslim faith in not only inextricably interwined with politics, but tends to be utterly unyielding in its theological interpretations. Only a few Muslims, such as the Sufi mystics, have been able to escape the tendencies toward literalism and the perceived mandate to apply that literalism to the world around them.

Time and again so-called moderate Muslims have been urged to come forth and to protest the excesses of those who claim to be the authentic spokespersons for the faith. Scarcely any moderates have appeared, leading one to the inevitable conclusion that a moderate Muslim voice simply doesn't exist. What, then, is that lack of moderation attributable to?

It is attributable, I believe, to the nature of Islam itself.

Some honest theologian ought to tackle the politically correct notion of the Muslim faith being at heart a religion of peace, with Muslim literalists being the exception rather than the rule.

It would make interesting reading.


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