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How to defeat a culture? One potential answer

Reader comment on item: Israel's Partial Victory
in response to reader comment: How do you defeat a culture?

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Nov 19, 2022 at 01:40

Dear Dr Pipes,

Reader Dave asked the very pertinent question about how to defeat a culture. Our challenge s to defeat a culture that seems to be doing everything wrong but whose followers are deeply committed to it. Recently, correspondents on this message board have been asking this or similar questions on many different threads. No one would know the perfect answer to this question but the good news is that there is no entirely wrong answer to this question. The only wrong answer would be to change the Islamic culture by using Islam-like methods of coercion, violence and force.

The formidable and unimpregnable structure that Islam presents to us is sustained by some very wrong foundations. Selfish and unsymmetric rules of marriage in Islam, mistreatment of women, coercive conversions to Islam, the laws against blasphemy, the absence of democracy, mistreatment of minorities, love for violence, and unsympathetic treatment of other religions are all methods used by Islam to expand itself. The God-given oil wealth has helped Islam further during the last one century. But for this oil wealth the entire Islamic world would have been nothing but an enlarged Somalia.

I think to defeat this culture we have to create holes in it. And, I am not talking about introducing bad things of non-Muslim cultures to create these holes; I am talking about introducing to Islam what is good in our cultures. Before Muslims are Muslims, they are humans. What is true of all humans must also be true of Muslims also. Humans like freedom. They like to speak and think freely. They like to reason. Every time we force a Muslim to think with an open mind, we weaken the stronghold of Islam and Mullahs on the Islamic mind. And, the more people start thinking freely, the weaker the objectionable and stubborn Islamic culture will get. We do not have to convert all two billion Muslims to other religions. We just have to make freethinkers of ten percent of them. These 10-percent will become our agents of change inside the Islamic fortress.

It will take a lot of confidence on our part. We will need to know very well where we are right vis-à-vis Islam and believe in it firmly. Then we have to challenge Islam every where it is wrong. Is stubborn and murderous monotheism good? Is confining women in black clothes on hot days good? Is it good for a woman to become a second, third or fourth wife? Is absence of freedom any good? Is it right for politics to interfere in religion? Or is it right for religion to mess with politics? If democracy is good for all countries why it is not good for the Muslim nations? If Israel stands on occupied lands, how come the entire Islamic world is not occupied by Muslims. Is it sustainable that millions of Muslims to congregate for prayers in big crowded cities? Can religion mostly be practiced in privacy or its ostentation is necessary?

Let us ask these questions over and over again and let us answer them over and over again. Nine of ten Muslim will pay no attention to these ideas. The tenth is whom we need and will get.


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