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Response to the election of Hamas

Reader comment on item: Pretending Not to Profile Muslims

Submitted by Mark Silverberg (United States), Jan 31, 2006 at 14:33

Dear Dr. Pipes:

Although we have never met, I have read your works for many years and quoted you extensively in my recent book on Saudi Arabia: "The Quartermasters of Terror."

I have just completed a lengthy article for the Ariel Center dealing with the difficulties of transposing democratic processes upon tribal societies, but I was particularly impressed with your comments concerning the Hamas election.

I agree with your January 26th editorial in the National Post that: "It's not Islam or some cultural factor that accounts for this difference; rather, it is the fact that ideological enemies in the Middle East have not yet been defeated."

Based upon our experiences during the American Civil War (where the South gave up its dream of a separate Confederacy based on slavery) and later World War II (where we recognized that the only way to end the gas chambers, the Hitler Youth and cult of Aryan supremacy was to vanquish Nazism), I long ago came to the conclusion that enemies such as those whom we are now confronting must be (as Hanson has often stated) "bludgeoned into submission" to the point where they accept the futility of continuing the struggle and recognize that they cannot go on being what they had been prior to being vanquished.

I have written several articles to this effect, but I know that some of my readers consider me a "fanatic" in not recognizing that there are other ways to convince this enemy to change its ways.

It seems to me that the Western world must vanquish these Islamists if only to prove to their followers that this is not the way of Allah. I fear that if we continue to encourage terrorism by rewarding or appeasing it, we will only bring on the "clash of civilizations" that these Islamists seek.

If I am wrong in this belief, I would appreciate knowing from you. Your opinion is one that matters to me.

With best wishes,

Mark Silverberg, Executive Director
Jewish Federation of Northeastwern Pennsylvania
601 Jefferson Avenue
Scranton, PA 18510

(o) 570-961-2300 (ext. 1)
(c) 570-335-2787
(w) www.marksilverberg.com
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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".

Daniel Pipes replies:

"Bludgeoned into submission" is one way of putting it; I prefer the formulation that they "taste the bitterness of defeat," but we are referring to roughly the same thing.

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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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