69 million page views

Moderate Mahomet

Reader comment on item: Turkey, Closest to Leading the Middle East
in response to reader comment: A moderate Islam in Turkey? I don't see it

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Jan 25, 2013 at 04:59

Ron Thompson wrote:

> I agree strongly with the first two sentences. I agree strongly with the next sentence until I reach the last word, 'Islamists'.<

I also feel uncomfortable seeing it. I guess this term is Dr. Pipes' modest tribute to political correctness.

> And then I'm completely baffled by the last sentence, which has long seemed to be the Achilles heel in Dr Pipes thinking. I can only put my confusion and bafflement as follows: What does moderate Communism mean? <

Sharing your bafflement I can't agree with your analogy. Wasn't Gorbachov a moderate communist in your eyes ? Do you find what the Afghan communists were doing (land reform, fighting illiteracy, equal rights for women, abolishing shariah etc.) "extremist" compared to America's anti-communist darlings' actions like Hekmatyar or the Taliban ?

> What does moderate Fascism mean?<

Maybe Franco's reconstruction of Spain after the civil war or Mussolini's first years in power?

> Is there such a thing as moderate antiSemitism? <

Good question!!! But I am afraid that some Jews might be tempted to think that Ataturk was a moderate anti-Semite remembering how he praised Jews when he needed them and how he persecuted, expropriated and expelled them when he stood no longer in need of them and seeing how obstinately the Turkish-Israeli "friendship" -just like everything else relating to Turkey - is justified with quotes of and references to Ataturk.

> If modern Islam wants to go back to the seventh century, and Mohammed was, in modern terms, an anti Semite, then please tell me, what exactly does a 'moderate' Islam look like?<

Dr. Pipes' unforgettable definition of this dream Islam is

"Islam that is modern, moderate, democratic, humane, liberal, and good neighborly. One that is respectful of women, homosexuals, atheists, whoever else. One that grants non-Muslims equal rights with Muslims."

If you have never seen or heard of such Islam, don't worry. To the best of my knowledge nobody has either.

I once asked Dr. Pipes if in his opinion Mahomet was a moderate Moslem. He answered :

" Not to be facetious, but I am far from convinced that such a person even existed, much less do we have credible information about his life.

The key is what Muslims make of Muhammad, not what he did or did not do. And that is very malleable. Note this quote from Hasan Hanafi, professor of philosophy at the University of Cairo: the Koran "is a supermarket, where one takes what one wants and leaves what one doesn't want" (http://www.dailystaregypt.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=3234)."

I understood this to mean that we have to forget Mahomet as we know him from Mahometan sources, re-manufacture, re-pack and re-advertise him as "modern, moderate, democratic, humane, liberal, and good neighborly... respectful of women, homosexuals, atheists, whoever else...grant(ing) non-Muslims equal rights with Muslims" and hope Moslems will buy our product in the bazaar of Islamic ideas despite the known rigid monopoly fully controlling this bazaar.

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 Moderate Mahomet by Ianus

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: © 1968-2022 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.)