1 readers online now  |  69 million page views

About the Americans' Ignorance of Islam

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

Submitted by Amir Snaizadeh (Canada), Aug 14, 2002 at 08:42

Contrary to Dr. Pipes' praise about his readers' knowledge of Islam, the current "impressive knowledge of Islam" among Americans is merely acquired from a shallow campaign against Islam on the American newspapers and TV. Very few of these critiques have read Muslim texts or talked to Muslim scholars about their understanding of their faith. This is anything but "informed antagonism".

Take the subject of abrogation as example. Dr. Pipes was impressed by his readers' "erudite critiques" in this regard. However if they had bothered to ask any Muslim scholar about the subject, a different story would have been told. It is true that a few koranic verses were abrogated, such as "Never pray while drunk" after alcohol was banned altogether for Muslims. What Dr. Pipes call "the milder verses in Koran" has never been abrogated.

On the other hand, almost every Muslim scholar believes that the verses that orders Muslims to fight pagans, in particular, the whole Sura 9, were specifically restricted to the pagans of Mecca in Muhammad's time. Not even Bin Laden himself has ever used those verses to justify his attacks on non-muslims.

It is also worth noting that most of Muslim sects do not allow Jihad as an individual crusade. For the followers of Shia sect, agressive Jihad is not allowed at all until their Messiah reappears; they are only allowed to defend when attacked. For Sunni sects, teh order should come from the ruler of Muslim countries, or Khalifa as they call. In that sense islam is clearly not even as violent as Christianity, where the Popes ordered numerous agressive campaigns against "infidels" throughout the history.
Submitting....

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".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to About the Americans' Ignorance of Islam by Amir Snaizadeh

Email me if someone replies to my comment

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".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2021 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.)