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reality check

Reader comment on item: Prominent Non-Muslims Decide What Islam Is and Is Not

Submitted by Charles Martel (United States), Nov 10, 2014 at 14:43

I write the following comments with a preface noting the great respect in which I hold Dr. Daniel Pipes. He, more than most, has long demonstrated the courage of his convictions by devoting his life's work to articulating the threat posed by what he describes as 'radical Islam'.

....however.

I cannot help but join thinkers such as Geert Wilders and Robert Spencer in taking issue with Dr. Pipes on one key facet of his platform. Specifically, Dr. Pipes avers that the problem is radical Islam - and thus the solution, moderate Islam. Dr. Pipes goes on to hypothesize that Islam has, particularly in the past fifty years, changed for the worse, and thus, may in the future change for the better. For reasons that will be obvious to any observer of recent events, this seems to me little better than wishful thinking.

Perhaps Islam may in five hundred or one thousand years evolve into a kind of reformation such as occurred in Judaism or Christianity. But I doubt it. According to all mainstream schools of Islamic thought, the Qur'an is the literal word of God. It cannot be changed.

Moreover, by suggesting that the peaceful verses may once again hold sway, Dr. Pipes displays a cynicism unworthy of someone so knowledgable of the subject matter. The concept of abrogation does completely away with any notion that Meccan peaceful verses will ever trump the later violent passages.

Perhaps most importantly, Dr. Pipes fails to recognize the most salient fact. That is, the only reason Islam was less threatening in the 19th and 20th Century was that it was weak. In times past when Islam was strong it was incredibly forceful, brutal and dark. Too many examples bear this out for anyone to seriously debate the veracity of the statement "Islam is darker and more dangerous when it is strong".

Like Dr. Pipes, I wish with all my heart that the answer to violent Islam was moderate Islam. Unfortunately however, moderate Islam appears no more tangible than Santa Claus, unicorns or finding a Democratic politician in possession of a shred of common sense.

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".

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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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