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Please define "radical Islam"

Reader comment on item: The End of Treason

Submitted by Ray Sarlin (Australia), Aug 17, 2005 at 01:44

... I would like to know the definition of "radical Islam".

Believe it or not, I was very clear on who was or who was not the enemy in Vietnam, primarily because my Infantry companies primarily worked in the mountains in a "free-fire zone". Distinctions tend to flee when under fire.

As a Christian, secularists tend to view me as a "radical Christian," irrespective whether my views are radical or not. After all, what's so radical about believing in God? I mean, one either does or doesn't; one is a monotheist (Christian, Jew or Muslim), polytheist, atheist, agnostic or "doesn't care" (I'm sure there are other categories as well, such as secular humanist, etc.).

But back to my point, what defines a follower of "radical Islam"? Actions or words or thoughts or beliefs? Belief in the concept of a world-wide Caliphate? At what point does a Muslim become a radical? Where is the line in the sand (arggh, bad pun)?

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Daniel Pipes replies:

Radical Islam, as I explain more fully at "Islam and Islamism - Faith and Ideology," http://www.danielpipes.org/article/366, "has three main features: a devotion to the sacred law, a rejection of Western influences, and the transformation of faith into ideology."


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