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RELIGIOUS "REFORM"

Reader comment on item: Islam's Future [Can Be Modern]

Submitted by yaakov macales (Israel), Aug 13, 2002 at 14:59

Dear Dr Pipes,

I am a big fan of yours, but I ...disagree with identifying religious reform with a general cultural change in Islam's aggressive attitudes to non-believers. I am an Orthodox (i.e. religiously observant) Jew. You attribute the fact that some Turkish Islamic religious authorities now allowing men and women to pray together in the mosque with "progress" and a more pacific attitude of Islam in general. Jewish law as observed by Jewish law does not permit men and women to sit together in the synagogue during services and yet Jews are traditionally pretty peaceful people in spite of this (as you see things).

Devotion to religious principles such as dietary laws or having a day of rest or other such "legalistic" religious practices does not make people violent. Intolerant fanaticism is the problem, not religious observance. Nazisim and Communism were atheistic philosophies and yet they both developed genocidal policies. Therefore, the fact that some Islamic religious authorities are willing to change "ritual practices" does not mean that militant Islam is going to disappear nor does it mean that those who practice religions with practices that go against what you consider to be "progressive" ideas such as supposed "equality of the genders" makes people violent fanatics.

Thanks,
Y.M.
Submitting....

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