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Judge Islam by the common world standards and not by Islamic standards

Reader comment on item: Why Would Anyone Want to Blow Up Times Square?

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Feb 19, 2017 at 15:51

Dear Dr Pipes,

The non-Muslim world needs to start judging Islamic societies and people by the common-world standards and not by the Islamic standards. Islamic standards, first, set the bar too low and, second, are self-serving. Consider the case of massive killing of Sufi Muslims at a shrine in Pakistan on or around Feb 16, 2016 (report from NPR is here: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/16/515598245/suicide-bomber-kills-at-least-70-people-at-sufi-shrine-in-pakistan). For no understandable reason (can their be an understandable reason for this kind of bestiality?) someone blew 70 people away in a suicide bombing. But the story continues. It was reported that next day Pakistani Army killed 100 terrorists in retaliation (reported by BBC here: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-39001703). It was not clear where Pakistani army killed the 'terrorists'. Were they in Afghanistan or Pakistan? If the Pakistani army knew that these people were 'terrorists', how come no action was taken against them before hand. If not, how could the army determine their guilt so quickly.

This leads me to the my main point. In the above episode, you cannot pick which of the two sides is better. In fact, both sides reflect the worst of what humanity has to offer. But following these incidences, what should normally happen did not happen. The Islamic theologists and intellectuals did not speak up against it. They did not start a self-reflection for the causes of this kind of events in the Islamic world. Sufis of Pakistan and the world did not start a movement to break away from the main stream Islam that purportedly might be killing them. No one questioned Pakistani establishment for the legitimacy of its action to kill 100 people 'somewhere' in the region.

None of these things happened because our world looks at Islam by Islam's eyes. We have come to believe that it is normal that people will be periodically killed for no rhyme or reason. We have also come to believe that the Islamic rulers will routinely sentence and kill dozens or hundreds of people to die to serve some sort of justice. We have also come to believe that in spite or all these it will be OK that Islam does not separate church from state. And, Islam remains the best religion of the world.
This must stop. Every human being needs to question each of the above assumptions about and many others. And this needs to be done every day.

How will the world react if South African army goes on an expedition and kills 100 people in South Africa or Rhodesia at will? How about Indian army taking a similar expedition into Nepal. Or US army taking a similar enterprise in Mexico. We have to treat what happens in any of the Islamic nations in the same way as we will treat a similar incidence in other countries. And we should hold Islam responsible for all the mayhem until Islam provides us enough evidence not to do so. In your blog above, you said that when large-scale violence by a Muslim takes place, jihadist intent must be assumed. I extend that argument further: Islamic doctrines should be questioned for any mass scale killing amongst or by the Muslims. If we do so, Muslim societies will feel the obligation to remove their shortcomings and bring order to their world. Otherwise they will keep expanding unquestioned.


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