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A confusion in standards

Reader comment on item: Palestinians Attack Their Supporters

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Apr 17, 2011 at 04:53

Dear Dr Pipes:

In your article "Palestinian Murder Their Supporters" you described the depravity of what is going on in Palestinian society. A reader of yours pointed out that the situation in the Palestinian society is matched by that in the Pakistani society. In fact, the entire Islamic world exhibit examples of bizarre violence (Muslims killing Muslims and Muslims killing non-muslims). But I think these behavior patterns can be explained fully by what is preached in Islamic contexts.

Most religions of the world (in fact all of them other than Islam) try to define secular, universal and symmetric standards of behavior and use religion and spirituality as a way to bring people to those standards and make them adhere to them. Unfortunately, Islam defines the same standards but allows them to be violated for the sake of Allah and Islam. For example, while Islamic scriptures mention Allah's forgiveness hundreds of times, they do not mention that Muslims should also practice forgiveness ---even when they are being attacked by non-muslims---. This part of Islamic doctrine allows Muslims to forsake forgiveness when Islam is under attack. In fact, it allows them to resort to deception and mercilessness (the verse of the sword).

Thus, while good ethics are preached to Muslims in abundance, fully justified and righteous exceptions to them are allowed when Allah and Islam are under attack. This explains why on the one hand Muslims tirelessly preach their religion as the best in the world but on the other completely bizzarre acts of violence occur in the Islamic world regularly. Each person has the authority to decide when Allah is under attack (mobs can decide it all the more easily) and so good standards of conduct can be easily violated by any one and every one and any time and every time. If Islamic theologists and intelligentsia can state in no uncertain terms that a wrong action is wrong even when Islam and Allah is under attack, the depravity that you described can be controlled.

Submitting....

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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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