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An Understanding of Islam?

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

Submitted by Amy (United States), Aug 14, 2002 at 21:13

I read your article "Islam's Future" in the New York Post & feel obliged to say thank you for your attempt to portray Islam in a more moderate tone than one has been accustomed to hear since the tragic events of 9/11. I however disagree with the notion that ‘the religion must adapt to modern mores'.

Many in response to your article "The evil is not Islam", whether or not they agree to this ‘modernization' process, speak of the more moderate western civilization where values must be embraced by the ‘less moderate' Islamic civilization; values I must add that were never embraced by Christian Faith! Allow me if you may to use my own example; it is a fact, and I am sure many will agree, that sex outside the boundaries of marriage is and always was a sin or, more moderately said, an act denounced by the teachings of the Church. I would hate to imagine what the attempt would be on the behalf of our much respected western culture in this case to ‘modernize' the Church!

How do you improvise modernizing the sacred faith without changing it, and how can changing a religion be done without changing the sacred teachings of God?? I have never heard of the attempt to modernize Christianity or Judaism and their sacred teachings. A teaching of a religion cannot under any circumstance be changed Mr. Pipes. Practices degrading humanity that are based on laws created by man however can be. This is where a differentiation must be made. Islam has never, under any circumstance, advocated the degradation of females as opposed to males. On the contrary, it is Islam that states that women are complimentary beings to men not the Turkish authorities. It is in the first Chapter in the Holy Quran that many teachings on the tolerance and co-existence between man and woman is stated in elaboration.

It is my opinion that you and many of your readers have jumped from one extremity to another. In your article "Islam's Future" you gave several examples of the Turkish religious authorities that ‘on the distinctly modern basis that men and women are equal and complimentary beings', decided that women would be permitted to pray side by side to men. Turkey of all countries should be the last choice for anyone to use as an advocate of civilization and freedom. Is it not in Turkey where a female member of congress was so boldly dismissed because of the headscarf she chose to wear. Some act of modernity!

On the other hand, one of your readers speaks of slavery and deprivation of women's rights to live freely: women living under the rule of men not given the right to choose who they marry or the right to go out as they please. I would really like to know where these people get their information. As an American Muslim woman living in the United States with many friends all over the Islamic world, it saddens me to see that there are still people out there who don't know what they are talking about and yet still insist on speaking out! Another bold reader went so far as to say that the prophet and messenger of God Muhammad ‘looked upon his son's wife naked and so had to marry her'. It is my pleasurable duty to inform one so grave that the dear prophet did not have a son. What surprises me more is your claim Mr. Pipes, that ‘Americans have acquired an impressive knowledge of Islam'. I hate to be the one to break the news to you but most of your readers don't have a clue what they are talking about. Their declarations are nothing but so… nothing more.
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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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