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three major positions vis-à-vis Islam

Reader comment on item: Radical Islam creates terrorism

Submitted by Peter Chew (United States), Mar 24, 2016 at 12:31

I would submit that there is a position (one to which I hold) that is a hybrid of your #2 and #3. Namely, that Islam itself is the problem, but because only 15% or so of Muslims interpret Islam in a very literal way, 85% of Muslims don't pose an immediate threat - at any given time.

This differs from the Donald Trump formulation in that he does not appear to acknowledge the difference between the 15% and the 85% - he wants to keep them all out of the USA. He also doesn't seem to distinguish between "Islam" and "Muslims".

It differs from your formulation because it highlights a problem with your statement "Only anti-Islamist Muslims can defeat this [extremist, violent] form of Islam". In common, I think, with Islamists, I understand Islam to be what Mohammed practiced and preached, primarily as encapsulated in the Quran - as distinct, for example, from what Jesus practiced and preached as encapsulated in the Bible. If indeed the violent type of Islam derives naturally from the Quran, then anti-Islamist Muslims will NEVER be able to prevail. Yes, there is always a distribution of interpretations at any given time, but I'd argue the center of gravity of the Quran and the example of Mohammed will always pull a constant 15% towards the Islamist interpretation. This is something inherent to Islam itself.

If I am right, then the only way to defeat Islamism will be to defeat Islam itself, with its violent center of gravity, and replace it with something that has a more benign center of gravity. I submit that that "something" is Judaeo-Christianity - which, in fact acknowledges that our battle is primarily spiritual, again pointing to the problem being with Islam itself!

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".

Daniel Pipes replies:

Religion, like all human activities, changes over time. Islamists wish to return to period over a thousand years back, a fantasy that obviously cannot be fulfilled.

Rather than work for the equally implausible goal of "defeating Islam itself," I suggest something attainable, namely, to help Muslims move their faith in a better direction.

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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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