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The onus of identifying Islamists must fall on no one else but Muslims.

Reader comment on item: Foreword: Why Islam's Reformers are Vitally Important
in response to reader comment: Islamism vs. Islam

Submitted by Prashant, Aug 6, 2017 at 23:27

Dear Dr Pipes,

Your statement that Islam and Islamism are two different things is tautologically true because, after all, every scripture is subject to human interpretation and no two interpretations of the same written text can be identical. So any one can draw an arbitrary vague line and call one side Islamist and the other good-Muslims.

Believe it or not, Muslims are the worst exploiter of this vague and tautological distinction. Every time a Muslim resorts to a terrorist act you can hear many Muslims say that the terrorists are not true Muslims and, thus, they free themselves of all responsibility. In effect, they say that the terrorists are Islamists and true Muslims are not Islamists.

I think this difference is moot. We never say that the people who adhere to the caste system are untrue Hindus or Hindu-ists (whatever that term may mean). Similarly, we do not say that Christian crusaders were untrue Christians.

Since I have said that your statement is a tautology, I must admit that there are Islamists and Muslims. No doubt about that. But the onus of distinguishing between Islamists and Muslims must fall on Muslims and not on anyone else. At this time, until they commit crimes and murders to win independence, terrorists are called bad Muslims or Islamists but when they successfully create a 99% Islamic majority country (from where every non-Muslim has been forced to emigrate), they are called good brothers of the Ummah. No virtue in that!


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