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Koran misquoted? and nature of Islam

Reader comment on item: Bush Declares War on Radical Islam

Submitted by Jonathan David Carson (United States), Oct 11, 2005 at 13:23

Many claim that the President misquoted the Koran. Do you agree? If he did, that is a very bad sign, implying that he is getting his information about Islam from reckless and dishonest apologists.

I have trouble with your definition of the problem as radical Islam instead of Islam per se. The question is why some Muslims actively oppose us and why others either dissent from the radicals or do nothing. Obviously, it is better that Muslims dissent from the radicals or do nothing, so we could say that the problem is radical Islam, but that seems to be a tautology. The problem is that we are under attack and the radicals are the ones attacking us. We should ask instead what the difference is between those who attack us and those who do not. Why can't we say that those who attack us take their faith more seriously than those who do not? Why can't we think of "moderate" Islam as a falling away from Islam?

One mode of reply might be to say that to hold Muslims to the texts and traditions that support attacks on infidels is to be guilty of "essentialism," saying that there is no such thing as a abstract essence of Islam, but only Islam as it is actually practiced; hence, Muslims who do not attack us can't be "falling away" from Islam. They are practicing Islam as it actually exists or a form of Islam as it actually exists. But that is again a tautology because it rules out by definition the possibility of falling away from Islam. People fall away from Judaism and Christianity. How can it be impossible to fall away from Islam?...
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