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Rita Datta's liberal naivette

Reader comment on item: In Mideast, Bet on a Strong Horse
in response to reader comment: Need religious pluralism

Submitted by Gopal (United States), Jan 27, 2011 at 01:26

Dear Dr Pipes: Your reader Rita Datta who wrote from India, displayed the naivette that is so prevalent in the liberal and leftist thought. Datta argues for the religious pluralism and her statements appear to be deceivingly good at their face value. But thoughts like hers need to be corrected before they create false impressions.

No one who lives in a modern non-Islamic country will argue against religious pluralism. The constitutions of most of European and non-Islamic countries elsewhere are based on separation of church and state as a fundamental value. Even socially, critical investigation into the nature of the divine is encouraged in Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Jewish religions and in the ancient Greek thought. On the other hand, Islamic doctrines are not subject to critical evaluation. Separation of church and state is not even a desired value in the Islamic countries. So there is no denying that we need religion pluralism -- we just need more of it in the Islamic societies. And that is what the fight is all about: every Islamic nation argues why church should be integrated with the state and every modern democracy demands that it should not be.

Datta's many other statements need correction:

-- The literal meaning of the word 'gentile' is a non-Jew. There is nothing negative about it.

-- There is no comparison between Israel's action against Palestinians and Hitler's atrocities on the Jews. The former is a fight for survival of a few million people against a billion and the latter was an effort to exterminate an entire race (did Datta ever read a history book; she claims to be a teacher.).

-- Caste system is indeed a shameful blemish on the Hindu society. It was an arbitrary way to divide the society and it indeed has justification in the theory of reincarnation. But no one in the current Hindu society defends it as an indelible and unalterable truth from God. And in any case, no amounts of faults of one religion should balance the faults of another.

-- Datta compares the current Jihadist tendencies among Islamic terrorists with the faults present in the Christian societies in the middle ages. Then it should be fair to say that Islamic thought is several centuries behind the Christian thought. I rest my case.

Submitting....

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