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Islam is incompatible with eastern culture as well.

Reader comment on item: The Danger Within: Militant Islam in America [and Its Dreams of Domination]
in response to reader comment: Islam is incompatible with Western civilization

Submitted by Prashant, Oct 1, 2017 at 19:53

Dear Dr Pipes, your reader Rory Gorey stated that Islam is incompatible with Western Culture. Rory Gorey did not explain which parts of western culture that he finds Islam to be incompatible with but I presume if we ask Mr Rory to explain he will say that Islam lacks respect for democracy, respect for individual rights, respect for free will, and respect for people's right to follow the faith that they want to follow. I agree with Mr Rory but I will go beyond and will say that Islam is also incompatible with the eastern culture (which I roughly translate as Indo-Chinese-Hindu-Buddhist way of thinking).

First fundamental principle of eastern thought is to give more emphasis on Karma (actions) and less to the exact form of worship. The assumption here is that the supreme God will take care of your mistakes in worship if your deeds are good. Islam is all about micromanagement of how/when one worships.

It follows from the previous paragraph that eastern culture is also more tolerant to all religions. To a Hindu, for example, going to a Sikh Gurudwara, a Buddhist or Jain temple, a secular Yoga-retreat, and to even a Church or Synagogue are all the same and serve the same purpose. I have heard that the attitude of the Japanese people about worship is about the same. Islam is about as far from this view as can be.

In historic India since time immemorial, priest only played an advisory role. It was routine for a King to follow multiple religions throughout his life. The famous king Chandragupta Maurya who fought with Greek general Seleucus of Alexander's army on India's border with (pre-Islamic) Persia, lived as a Hindu/Buddist north Indian king but toward the end of his life relinquished his throne and died as Jain monk in southern India. This kind of catholic liberal attitude is unimaginable in the Islamic context.

Due to its unyielding stubborn attitude toward God and worship, Islam, indeed, is incompatible with both eastern and western thoughts. It is compatible with its own thought.


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