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How do you defeat an enemy whose primary occupation is war.

Reader comment on item: A Palestinian Defeat is Good for All

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Apr 7, 2017 at 21:17

Dear Dr Pipes,

I read your blog entitled 'A Palestinian Defeat is Good for All'. It is a good thought but it probably is not achievable until there is a fundamental shift in the Islamic mindset. I may be wrong but I will say what I have in my mind. Islam claims to be a religion of peace but the talk of peace, where it truly matters, is fundamentally missing in the Islamic thought and expression. Let me cite some examples.

Kashmir is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan. Kashmir is a Muslim majority region of India and Pakistan is an Islamic nation. What is important is that you will never hear a Pakistani government statement about India in which Kashmir is not the primary precondition for peace. The message is very loud and clear. There can be no friendship between India and Pakistan until Kashmir issue is resolved. Pakistan's position is somewhat justified but that is not how human beings resolve the issues. Let us attempt to draw some parallels: Falkland Islands is a cause of dispute between the UK and Argentina for decades. But neither Argentina nor UK is insisting that there would be no peace unless that issue is resolved. Islamic politics allows a war to continue indefinitely until the issue is resolved in Islam's favor.

This has been true throughout history. What is true today was also true in yester-centuries. Our friendly Islamic aggressor, Muhammad Ghauri from Afghanistan, it is said, launched thirteen campaigns against Indian kings in the 12th and 13th centuries. No part of India was an Islamic land at that time and Ghauri had no business being there. It is said that he was defeated 12 times but one time had to be the last. And when Muslim invaders of the past won, they destroyed. When Ghauri was defeated in 1191, he was let go alive. When he won in 1192, he was quick to capture and kill his opponent. Kings of the past fought; that is hardly the issue. But besides war what else was in the mind of this invader? Was he interested in science, arts, spirituality, and prosperity for his subject? How much? How much is the current ISIS chief interested in these creative pursuits?
Are Palestinians primarily interested in Islam or in prosperity and growth?

As soon as Islamic revolution in Iran was over and Shah of Iran disposed, Islamic Republic of Iran declared Israel to be the enemy of Islam. The common sense demands that not every enemy of Islam should be an enemy of Iran because, for example, every enemy of Christianity does not automatically become an enemy of the UK. But with this kind of declarations can we conceive the idea of peace between Iran and Israel until Israel is indeed pushed into the ocean?

The wars that Muslims are involved in will end only if there is a fundamental shift in the dominant Islamic thinking. If Palestinian people want to create a democratic nation where all people are respected and treated equally, it will get much easier to find a solution. But --I need to be corrected if I am wrong-- Palestinian people want nothing but an Islamic state. So fundamentally, Palestinian state will be in conflict with everyone for ever. The same argument applies verbatim for Kashmir. Can there ever be a Kashmir that is democratic and secular? So the Kashmiri war will also continue as long as there is no Islamic victory. Such is the evidence from history.

Muslim people need to realize that God may be important and the exact way and form in which you pray to God may also be important, but human love, peace and prosperity are important too. It is more important that Kashmiri and Palestinian children get education and their families get prosperity than every piece of land where Islam puts its feet on becomes Islamic. When this becomes the dominant Muslim view, wars in which Muslims are involved will come to an end.


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