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Reader Robert's message re political Islam

Reader comment on item: Trump's Saudi Speech: Pretty Good
in response to reader comment: Political Islam, the House of Saud, the Al ash-Sheikh "Family," & Jamal Khassoggie.

Submitted by Prashant, Oct 21, 2018 at 16:35

Dear Dr Pipes, Your reader Robert wrote an informative letter entitled "Political Islam, the House of Saud, the Al ash-Sheikh "Family," & Jamal Khashoggi" about political Islam. I thank Robert for informing us about Khashoggi's sometimes contradictory writings where he some times supported the liberal causes in Saudi Arabia and at other times he seemed to have supported the Islamic violence. Though I liked Robert's opinion in this message I will take exception to his fact that he found some evidence of separation of "Mosque and State" in Saudi Arabia. Just because the current leader of the House of Saud has shown some liberal inclinations, it is far fetched to think that there is any separation of religion and state in Saudi Arabia. As long as a country carries the name of a religion in its name, it cannot have separation of church and state.

I also disagree with Robert when he says "... Unfortunately, countries cannot be judged by American, or Western standards of conduct". The rate at which world is becoming a global village, we cannot grant any benefit of doubt to Islamic theocracies to maintain their theocratic status for even a day. In our times huge caravans of people can move across continents and pose a threat to even the strongest nations and societies (like USA and Germany). We cannot allow one day of leeway to the Islamic nations. Islamic nations should have become secular democracies yesterday not tomorrow because Yezidis were raped and killed yesterday!

I also do not agree that (the so called) western democratic standards should be called 'western' any more. They have now been accepted by many countries (like India) and to some extent they have been known to the world much before west invented them (for example, the Hindu concept of 'Sarva Dharma Sama Bhava', meaning, all religions lead to the same destination). When we demand secular democracy in Islamic nations we are not imposing western standards on them. We are just demanding common human courtesies from them.

I know that Robert was not implying that Saudi Arabia has any high standards of democracy. I am just insisting that democracy and freedom is long overdue in the Islamic world and small signs in support of democracy in Islamic countries are just just small signs.


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