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Nuance is the only hope

Reader comment on item: Once considered anti-Islam, senior scholar says he's now in the middle

Submitted by John W. McGinley (United States), Aug 18, 2010 at 16:45

On the one hand there are the blind ideologues -- VERY prominent in the Obama Administration -- who ardently deny that Muslim terrorists who do there diabolical work PRECISELY IN THE NAME OF ISLAM have nothing to do with Islam as a religion. In point of fact there is a very strong yihadist strain in that religion which historically promotes military and terroristic means for the promulgation of the religion. This is a simple fact. Those blind ideologues are guilty of culpable ignorance.

On the other hand it is indisputable that, arguably, the vast majority of practicing Muslims condemn this terroristic strain in Islam. They use the word 'jihad' in a very holy and beneficial sense. Those who condemn Islam as a whole by virtue of this militarisitc/terroristic strain in a realtively small minoirty of Muslims are are just as blind as those blind edeologues so prominent in the Obama Administration. On the other hand, those who are not Muslims would welcome strong and sustained voices from this Muslim majority in the service of condemning, without equivocation, the horrible agenda of the Islamist terrorists.

Judaism and, even moreso, Christianity, has had this militarisitc/terroristic strain in its religions. By and large this strain has largely disappeared. But the historical record -- again, especially in the far more salient case of Christianity -- should be acknowledged by Jews and Crhistians. Without that, the condemnation of this prominent stain in Islam is hollow. It should also be noted that non-Abrahamic religions -- Hinduism comes to mind -- have and often do instantiate this cancer within their respective religions.

Professor Pipes, especially after 9/11, offered a strong, intelligent AND NUANCED condemnation of the Islamist agendum. Over the years other voices leave both intelligence and nuance at the gate with their wholesale and stupid condemnation of Islam as a whole. This is tragic.

A personal note. JEWISH Scripture, I maintain, makes it clear that the children of Ishmael are to have a destiny which, in a most positive manner, is to be intimately interwoven with the children of Isaac. (Please note that I do not include Christianity in this claim.) That time is probably closer than most understand at the present time. In the meantime Israel -- the People, the Nation, the Religion (and most of this falls upon Israel the Nation) -- must keep its powder dry. In actual practice this means that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weaponry.

My somewhat idiosyncratic claim concerning Israel and Islam is delineated in my books.


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