69 million page views

There is a big difference between Islam and Islamism

Reader comment on item: Americans Wake Up to Islamism
in response to reader comment: Moderate Muslims?

Submitted by Jayelle Farmer (Morocco), Sep 9, 2010 at 15:34

@Kate >Moderate Muslims would not, by definition, follow Islam or sharia law; both are counter to the Constitution of the U.S. If you find a moderate Muslim they are still searching for a mosque to attend as none exist for true "moderate Muslims". With all respect, most of your comments are incorrect and may only be best described as uninformed opinion. I say this with the greatest respect to you and do not say this to cause offense or to be antagonistic. We need to educate ourselves on the difference between Islam and Islamism and help to educate others too. Mr. Pipes has written an excellent article on this subject here: http://www.danielpipes.org/954/distinguishing-between-islam-and-islamism This is an important subject and thus I respond to your comments below: >Moderate Muslims would not, by definition, follow Islam or sharia law That's what "moderate" Muslims do - they follow Islam, which is their religion. It is very important that we realise that most Muslims regard Islam as their identity, and not just as a collection of doctrinal beliefs. The governments of Muslim countries also regard their citizens as Muslims, and freedom of religion, as we know it in the West does not exist for their own Muslim nationals. It is therefore illegal for a Muslim in a Muslim country to change their religion. I might not like this idea any more than the next person, but it is their country, and they can govern their country as they choose. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam

For the majority of Muslims, Islam is their religion by birth, just as many American Christians might regard themselves as Christians by birth. The main criteria for "by definition" with respect to a "moderate Muslim" is in that they follow the teachings of the Koran but do not follow or promote political anti-democratic (Islamist) activity outside of their daily religious practices. Such anti-democratic activity has now become known as "Islamism". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamism With regards to moderate Muslims following Sharia law, they would only do so if they lived in a country where Sharia law is practised as part of the political system. In this respect, they would have no choice but to comply with the law of the land. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia#Modern_perspectives_on_Sharia

>both are counter to the Constitution of the U.S. Islam is not counter to the US Constitution at all. The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" Thus, all individuals in the USA are free to follow their own religion. Americans need to respect this, and not get all freaked-out at other people following their own religion. There are millions of people in the US following their own religion. You name it, they follow it. Maybe most people follow the Christian religion?.

To understand freedom of religion in the USA is to thus be an American patriot, respecting the Constitution, in this respect. For someone to say that Islam is counter to the US Constitution is totally incorrect. The person saying this is only usually expressing their disagreement with Islam as a religion, and should recognise their attitude as such, without any kind of inference to the US Constitution. Sharia law, on the other hand, IS counter to the US Constitution as it is a totalitarian, all-encompassing political system that places its own teachings above any and every man-made law and does not respect national or international constitutions and laws. Their overall, general agenda has become known as "Islamism." The US Constitution preamble states that it (the Constitution) was established "for the United States of America". It was not established for other countries. Other countries establish their own system of government, which is correct. If other countries wish to institute Sharia law, then that is up to them. Countries who do this may then only interact within the international community on the basis of international laws and protocols that govern those laws, mostly, but not exclusively, through the United Nations, sometimes through bi-lateral or multi-lateral agreements. >If you find a moderate Muslim they are still searching for a mosque to attend Muslims are searching for no such thing.

This is a Christian "church" concept that has been mistakenly introduced into this thread. Islam, and by extension, Muslims, do not place total emphasis on their worshipping in a prescribed building. It is just as easy for them to pray at home or in a community building. Yes, community need and funds withstanding, they will build a mosque for their worship, but in the absence of such, they adapt. Like any other religion, they would prefer to worship in a prescribed building, called a mosque, but their mindset is not absolute in this respect. >as none exist for true "moderate Muslims". "None" as a word, is an absolute and thus a strong word to use, unless the context of use is true. Below is a list of mosques that exist in the United States. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mosques_in_the_United_States I say again: we need to educate ourselves on the difference between Islam and Islamism. Until and unless we do, we can only be best described as a part of the hysterical "mob law" that seems to be growing in the USA. Mob law occurs through true ignorance, racism and/or discrimination. History in the USA shows a pattern in this respect. The Ku Klux Klan operated in this way against black people. It took a Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement in the '60's to counter it. Maybe America will soon be witnessing a Muslim version of MLK. I truly hope so, for all of our sakes.

Jayelle Farmer Sept 9th, 2010


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".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2023 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)