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Radical Islam as Its Own Antidote

Reader comment on item: Radical Islam as Its Own Antidote[, Argues Reuel Gerecht]

Submitted by Illuminati (United States), Jun 23, 2005 at 10:47

I enjoy reading your posts and believe you are one of the most knowledgeable people in the West about Islam. However, I'm not sure your hopes in "moderate" Islam is going to work. Although I'm not as knowledgeable about Islam as you, I have spent considerable time reading Islamic sites. So far it appears the most moderate Muslims are about where Europe was 500 years ago.

For instance a site I recently visited which was supposed to be "moderate" had a discussion about the events of 9-11. Some of the writers had the usual statements about it was sad so many people died but then they turned to discuss the positive side of the event. The event had drawn people's attention to Islam and they had additional opportunities to spread their religion among Westerners. In fact one soon received the impression they thought it was a positive event since it was working out in favor of Islam. No one seemed the least bit concerned that it is immoral to support the slaughter of over 3000 innocent people to propagate the religion. If it was good for Islam, then it was overall a positive event. If you have any information that even the most "moderate" Muslims actually abhor what happened then I'd be interested in your information. This is just one example. I could name others.

From my own study, I believe Islamic thought is very fragile and the best approach it to attack them where it hurts, philosophically. If we in the west would publicly promote the contradictions and philosophical weakness of their positions it would probably enable those who are more open minded to move into a genuine moderate position rather than to the pseudo-moderate position many now take. I believe the reason Muslim society suppresses dissident opinions is because they realize just how fragile their ideology really is. The more we talk about Islam as a formidable foe and discuss them as if they were important players, the more it strengthens them. If we pointed out just how absurd many of their beliefs really are, and made light of them, the weaker they would be. By spending his entire presidency preoccupied with the war on terror, I believe George Bush has inadvertently elevated the Islamists in the eyes of their compatriots.
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