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thanks and then some

Reader comment on item: Islam vs. Islamism (article)

Submitted by john w. mcginley (United States), May 14, 2013 at 07:59

Thank you for the historical background, especially with respect to the situation in Islam from1800. I was already familiar with some of these developments and unfamiliar, until now, with the other developments.

I have made the distinction -- to use your vocabulary -- between Islam and Islamism often in public correspondence and in the classes I teach. In particular I regret the nexus of imprecisions with regard to "jihad." The Prophet maintained that there is are two aspects to "jihad." (a word which is properly translated as "struggle"). First there is the "Greater Jihad." For the Prophet this was the more important mandate which requires the believer to align one's spirit and soul with the Will of Allah and to live in accordance with the Will of Allah. Such does not occur without a great "struggle" for one's entire life.

Then there is the "Lesser Jihad." This is the external "struggle" to defend the rights and privileges of all Muslims (most especially the right to worship according to the mandates of the Quran). From time to time this defense involves military action and the spilling of blood. It is defensive in nature and this "Lesser Jihad" is necessary but not the heart and soul of Islam. The heart and soul of Islam in the "Greater Jihad."

As with Judaism and Christianity, Islam has had times when it violated the founding principles of its religion. Your analysis of "Islamism" since about 1800 is very helpful. To all three religions I counsel a "return" to each religion's most spiritual and foundational principles. ALL THREE religions have the duty and responsibility to engage in a "Lesser Jihad ." This entails engaging in defensive actions, militarily and otherwise, to protect the lives of each religion's adherents and to protect the right to worship God according to the mandates of each religion's Sacred Writings.

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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