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Is Islam a religion?

Reader comment on item: "The Battle against Islamism Has Not Yet Started"
in response to reader comment: Is Islam a Religion?

Submitted by Prashant, Dec 4, 2016 at 19:53

Dear Dr Pipes, I agree with you that Islam's position regarding apostasy does not, by itself, does not disqualify it from being a religion. But Islam violates two other very important qualities of religions that I will outline below:

1. Less emphasis on forgiveness: I think that many Islamic injunctions follow 'tit for tat' (or worse) as a guiding philosophy. For example, if a kuffar wages a war against Islam or Allah, his recommended punishment is
A ruthless death. I would like to see more room for forgiveness in the Islamic doctrine.

2. Obligation of the state to advance the religion: In Islamic literature and scriptures the followers of Islam collectively are also presented as custodians of the state. Their responsibility to protect and advance the state and religion individually and collectively is deeply mixed up in all possible ways. This approach automatically puts a non-muslim ward of the state at a disadvantage and it also makes Islam look more of a political movement and less of a religion.

This is an objective and polite criticism. I am sure that in the coming decades a reforming


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