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Reader comment on item: My Views of Islam and Islamism

Submitted by Larry (United States), Dec 8, 2013 at 19:08

I would like to hear Dr. Pipes comment on the early history of Islam. My sense is that Islam was conceived as a religion of the sword and was, to a great extent, nurtured in its formative years to support the needs of a militaristic, conquering people. The canonical texts and acts of the formative generations of Islam play very nicely into the hands of contemporary thugs who have a faith well-suited to their supremacist tendencies. In turn, that faith serves to drive their urge to dominate.

This is in marked contrast to Christianity, which for over two centuries, was a religion of the catacombs. That history, coupled with Christianity's mission to save men's souls for eternity, served to temper the ugly tendencies that manifest themselves when any system gains absolute power.

To the extent my analysis is correct, any form of moderate Islam is unstable, always in danger of reverting to the character of its early years as an intolerant, enslaving faith. If that is true, what options does that leave what I might call the civilized world today?


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Daniel Pipes replies:

Whatever the early history of Islam, that does not tell us how the religion will evolve in the future.

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