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Islamism's comparison with Nazism is not entirely correct

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

Submitted by Rajeev (United States), Aug 29, 2010 at 22:11

Dear Dr Pipes: People often compare Islamism with nazism and communism. However these comparisons fall short on three different yet important measures.

First, by no stretch of imagination Islamism is as bad as nazism. Hardly anything good can be said about Nazism but, its tatalitarian nature notwithstanding, Islam does preach many good things.

Second, and more important, measure is the length of time for which Islamism has existed. As bad as Nazism was, it existed for not more than fifty years in all its shapes and forms. And it did not work under the umbrella of a religion. On the other hand, Islamism (defined as the exploitation of the religion by political forces and silence of the adherents of the religion while this exploitation is going on) has existed for hundreds of years.

Third, while Nazism existed in a very small part of the world, Islamism is a worldwide phenomenon.

While the comparision between Islamism and Nazism is true in certain respects, due to the above differences, Islamism is a different kind of foe than Nazims and needs a different kind of methods to counter it.


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