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Moderate Islam doesn't exist but no harm in being optimistic

Reader comment on item: Moderate Islam: Western Ally or Western Myth?

Submitted by Amitabh Tripathi (India), Jan 12, 2010 at 03:52

For a long time I have been in dilemma on this debate of moderate Islam vs Radical Islam. Particularly when this debate was initiated by Dr Daniel Pipes whose words can not be dissmissed without giving a serious hearing. There is clear distinction between two school of thoughts on this issue one which believe that Islam itself is a problem and there is no possibility of a moderate stream within Islam. I personally feel the same way but Dr Daniel Pipes has agitated my thoughts to think from his persepective. For this reason I had to read his book " In the Path of God" again and in that reading I realised that Dr Pipes has come to this conclusion not because of any political correctness but he has arguments behind that and those arguments has weight and reson to accept them to some extent.

The whole concept of moderate Islam is based on future development on the projection of a world where prgamatism and freedom will require for values which would be more inclusive and cohesive and in this process there will be only option eiether lag behind in development or change yourself according to the time as happened in last few centuries in global politics.

In his book " In The Path of God" he has presented some irrefutable arguments how Islam had to change itself from its classical rigidity to accomodate others customs and traditions to make it pragmatic. Dr Pipes also believes that concpet of secularism will confine religion to only personal belief and it will evolve itself towards more spirituality rather than institutional effort to gain the power and become centre of power. His optimism has some valid reson to believe as since rennassaince the entire world gradually adopted the path of secularism and tried to keep religion away from state. In this process religion has become subject of personal belief and paith more than ever and call for more freedom and personal liberty in some way will guide the religion to play the role of spiritual upliftment for a person rather than an institution to play a role in state to make it relevent.

These arguments prove two things very prominently that Dr Daniel Pipes has not evolved the theory of radical Islam vs moderate Islam as an argument for political correctness and second thing as an historian there are ample scope to believe in his arguments and give a chance to his optimism.

Dr Daniel Pipes himself has said several times that he don't hope the evolution of moderate Islam all of sudden. In my personal belief moderate Islam is the process of radical change within Islam. In all its history Islam has been able to survive for two reasons, First, it has created a aura of its prophet Mohammad around it which people of others faiths were unable to break and invariably they accepted the legitimacy of Mohammad rahter than Allah.Second reason for Islam's survival was its ideology of Jihad which is still very much there.

On one hand For last five centuries when world tried to evolve a new world order where intellectualism, interprenureship and freedom will prevail on the other Islam outrightly rejected this world order and was able to intact its mohammdian legacy with medieval institutions and customs with lot of conspiracy theories to creat fear psycosis among its followers by portraying the modern phenomenon as a creation of Satan and Jews.

Jihad along with unbrekable faith create a perception for others that it would be better not to touch these people. If world want to evolve moderate Islam it has to defeat the myth of invincibility of its prophet.


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