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Tempered Optimism

Reader comment on item: My Optimism about the New Arab Revolt

Submitted by Arn Hatfield (Canada), Mar 1, 2011 at 15:25

I appreciate Mr. Pipes' tempered optimism with respect to the current and unprecedented crises in the Middle East. On a purely human level one would hope that the majority of the oppressed peoples in this region could successfully throw off the shackles of tyranny, in whatever form it manifests itself.

Regardless of how many tyrannies are overthrown however, the primary tyranny, which is the all pervasive tyranny of fundamentalist conservative ideology of Islam, remains a constant. Whether this ideology is mainstream Sunni or Shia, the fact still remains that both interpretations are supremacist in their foundations and rigidly adhere to the doctrine that there can be no peace until Islam and the imposition of Shariah law reigns supreme over the entire Muslim world and eventually over the entire planet. Obviously as long as this doctrine remains predominant in any mainstream interpretation of Islam, there can ultimately be no reconciliation to modernism, freedom and human rights as we in the secular democratic West understand these irreplaceable conditions of civilized society.

In Muslim majority countries where Islam is pervasive therefore, one might deny Islamism as did Hosni Mubarak in Egypt for thirty years, but only by imposing another form of tyranny, with the second class citizenship and persecution of religious minorities remaining a constant. Other manifestations of this undeniable and unavoidable condition exist in Saudi Arabia under a tyrannical monarchy, in Iran under a tyrannical theocracy, in Syria under a fascist secular tyrant, in the Sudan under a genocidal monster, in Pakistan under an alleged but fragile democracy that still tolerates the persecution and slaughter of Christians, Ahmadis and Hindus etc and until recently under the rapidly diminishing control of the despotic madman Khadafy in Libya. The list goes on.

Thus, in the majority Muslim world, we see that regardless of how tyranny manifests itself, it remains a constant. Furthermore, it will continue to remain a constant until the all pervasive and conditioning effect of the tyrannical aspects of Islam have been nullified. This will only be achieved by the dramatic reformation of Islam itself to the extent that its adherents reject the supremacist aspects of their creed and become responsible and respectful players in the world community of faith and ideologies. Until this reformation becomes a widespread reality, tyranny and the persecution of religious minorities will remain a continuing reality in the Muslim world regardless of how many regime changes and so-called popular protests. Tyranny in the Muslim world began with Islam and it must end with a major reformation of Islam.

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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".

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