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respectful disagreement with Dr. Pipes

Reader comment on item: What Antidote to Radical Islam?

Submitted by Charles Martel (United States), Mar 7, 2015 at 14:04

Dr. Pipes, to his credit, reports key points from an article from Hürriyet Daily News, written by Mr. Yetkin. My first comment is register surprise that in today's Erdogon-riven Turkey that an Islam-critical article such as written by Yetkin could be published at all. In reviewing Mr. Yetkin's piece, Dr. Pipes goes on to note the etymological distinctions between secularism and atheism. As a concluding thought, Dr. Pipes posits that "...[m]oderate Islam offers the main solution to radical Islam.".

Here, I find reason to part paths with Dr. Pipes, for the following reasons. First and foremost, as many have observed, while many branches exist, there is ultimately but one Islam. This is validated by several key governing principles, including the core documents, i.e. the Qur'an, hadith and surat. Moreover, all four schools of Islamic Sunni jurisprudence come down hard upon questions such as rights for women, apostasy, and so on. Mainstream Shia doctrines are based, if anything, upon even more barbaric precepts. In sum, and as Recep Erdogon himself observed, "there is no such thing as moderate Islam. Islam is Islam".

It must also be pointed out that the two main sources of Islamist radicals arise from recent converts and those coming from "moderate" Muslim backgrounds. In the second instance, it has almost become cliche' for the parents of a radical -- such as for example, Jihad John, to convey disgust, disbelief and dismay at the violent turn their son has taken. The troubling pattern would seem to put paid to the notion of moderate Islam offering any kind of immunizing protection against radical Islam.

The unfortunate reality is that so-called moderate Muslims are not on particularly solid footing to engage in eschatological debate with their radical co-religionists. I concur with Mr. Erdogon. There is but one Islam. And unfortunately, it is, down to its bones deeply and irredeemably "radical".

Submitting....

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