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Was Islamic militancy indeed not present in the 1960s?

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Submitted by Prashant (United States), Jul 27, 2022 at 04:26

Dear Dr Pipes, in the above essay you seem to suggest that Koran cannot be blamed for Islamic terrorism because though the Koran existed in the 1960s, Islamic terrorism did not. In a very strict sense you are right: an instruction cannot cause any harm until it is followed and implemented. So, as a piece of written text, Koran is harmless. But we should not exonerate the Koran so easily.

1960s are just 13 years after when Muslims created a Muslim-only enclave for themselves inside India. In that process they killed hundreds of thousands of people. 1960s are also just 12 years after the time when six Islamic nations attacked Israel. Both these actions were surely motivated by the violent Islamic doctrines. 1960s were also only 10 or fewer years prior when Pakistan unleashed the world's worst fratricidal war on its Bengali population leading to the creation of Bangladesh. Pakistani generals who killed innocent Bengali citizens of that country were only adhering to the Islamic tendency of franchised violence. And, let us not forget, just three years after the 60s ended, PLO attacked Jewish athletes during the Munich Olympics. The Munich attack was Islam 101 for the entire world.

In my judgment, Islamic mayhem continued in different parts of the world continuously from the 7th century till the 18th or 19th century when European colonialism fully contained it. The Islamic golden age is believed to have continued from the 8th to the 14th centuries. Did Muslim stop killing non-Muslims during that Golden age? Did they discover peace during that time? Let us examine the history.

In their golden age, Muslims did not discover peace for themselves. They just transferred the theatre of war to different nations. In the 7th century they brutalized Zoroastrians of Iran and attacked Buddhists of Afghanistan. Just a little after that they started to work on Sindh and the Punjab. By the 11th century they were brutalizing Hindu kingdoms deep inside India. In 1026, Muslims attacked the Somnath Temple in India. The Islamic version of the Geneva Convention was never invented!

The example of Muhammad Ghori comes to mind. By the early 12th century, Afghanistan had fully become a violent Islamic franchise. While the golden age was going on in Baghdad, Ghori, an Afghan, was brutalizing Delhi. He created the Slave dynasty in India. Ghori was a devout Sunni Muslim. Slave dynasty took Islam to as deep as Bengal in the east. It was the 12th century now. Golden age of Islam was still on. In Baghdad. As we can see, throughout the Islamic golden age in Baghdad, civilizations were being brutalized in the name of Koran elsewhere.

I believe that Islamic golden age came to an end as Europe started to gain strength. In 1498 Vasco da Gama reached India by the sea route. By this time Columbus had already found the new world. European powers unintentionally saved Asia from Islam. That was a very happy side effect of colonialism. Muslims never discovered peace because Koran was God's last word for all time to come. Peace could not have been invented by Islam. Inventing peace will require a rewriting of Quran. That will require a new prophet and a new book but both of them have been made impossible by Koran, Muhammad and Allah..

Islam remained subdued till the middle of the 20th century. As European powers vacated the colonized lands, Islam started to raise its violent head again. It did not still discover peace or non-violence. By this time the world was a different place. UNO was formed. New nations were formed. Democracies, communism, modern militaries, nuclear bombs and many other modern inventions made the Islamic methods old and inapplicable. It was not any more possible to send a brutal army to simple minded nations and destroy them. Terrorism was the only way in which franchised violence could be conducted. This was the only method left for Muslims. They took about 25 years to adopt and adapt this method for their use. In 1972 they struck in Munich.

Koran has been the guiding force for Muslims for the last 14 centuries. Even Muslims will not deny it. European colonialism stopped the Islamic aggression for five centuries. It is back again with the same goal as before: Islamization of the world. The goal is intact. The methods are slightly outdated but new methods have been developed by the Muslims. The war and violence is still on. The Koranic doctrines are still the guiding force. Q5-33 still says exactly in the year 2022 what it said in year 722 and I quote verbatim:

Q5:33 "Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and spread mischief in the land is death, crucifixion, cutting off their hands and feet on opposite sides, or exile from the land. This ╦╣penalty╦║ is a disgrace for them in this world, and they will suffer a tremendous punishment in the Hereafter."

In this message, I discussed only the Eastern theatre of Islamic war on non-Muslims. Western theatre must have followed a similar pattern. In the West, church gained strength and crusades presented a better challenge to Islam than anything in the East did. But the goals and the methods of Muslims were identical in the west to what they were in the East. East or West, Islam is the same religion and Koran is the same book.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

I don't think you characterized my view in this article correctly, and therefore go on to argue against a point I did not make. Please note what I did write:

An unchanging holy scripture cannot account for change over time. If the Koran causes terrorism, then how does one explain the 1960s, when militant Islamic violence barely existed? The Koran was the same text then as now. More broadly, over a period of 14 centuries, Muslims have been inspired by the Koran to act in ways aggressive and passive, pious and not, tolerant and not. Logic demands that one look elsewhere than an immutable text to account for such shifts.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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