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To Imran

Reader comment on item: Anti-Muslim Racism?
in response to reader comment: No tolerance for the intolerant

Submitted by Bob (United States), Feb 18, 2006 at 18:51

Your efforts to explain, communicate and correct those of us who are suspicious of Islam are admirable and thoughtful.

I have read most of your comments carefully, including your suggestion to read the Quran on the website you suggested. I understand the difficulties of reading a document written in a different language centuries ago, and the idea of taking things out of context. I also respect your painstaking efforts to defend your religion.

But here comes the 'however': Perhaps there's a problem with a religion where anyone can claim to be an authority and interpreter and manage to lead so many, many people down a road of hatred. Unfortunately, that seems to be what has happened in so much of the Muslim world. And in researching several of Ayesha's verses in the Quran you recommended, despite the fact that there are many, many good and 'charitable' parts of the Quran, even in these translations, her points are there.

References to 'people of the scriptures' must be Jews and Christians. These divisive statements in your holy book CANNOT be explained away. If such phrases exit in any other religion's book we'd feel the same. They are there and, if recited by Muslims daily, if they understand what they are saying, just reinforces the message of intolerance and hate - that is preached by whoever claims to be a Muslim cleric or Imam.

I personally feel that most religions are based on some oral tradition that was at some point written down and got mixed up with mumbo-jumbo and superstition. It is a good and wonderful thing I think that this country is based on freedom of religion - and freedom from religion. Many of the religions have, I believe, come about, despite claims of 'divine revelation,' because some wise people saw a need for laws to fix a social contract so people could get along together in whatever size world there was at the time. But it remains obvious that what Sidda and Ayesha have said in their comments is undeniable. Countries run by religious leaders are inherently going to be discriminatory against those who are not from that religion.

There were Jewish communities in middle-eastern countries, Syria, Libya and many others who were persecuted terribly and had to become refugees. Islam seems, in this day and age, to be the one religion that aims for theocracy, and whose most vocal spokespeople preach death to the US and Israel and to our way of life in the west. It's as though they want to bring back the times of the crusades and win the battle this time. I find orthodox Judaism and most Christian sects to be 'mumbo-jumbo' where leaders preach a tradition though they do help people. It's clear that a strong faith - despite the arbitrary rules and picture of reality most organized religions teach - can help a person get through life's trials.

I find Buddhism to be one that has least reliance on scripture and seems based on a very pure kind of compassion without all the other 'hypnotic' repetition of prayers. It seems the parable of the Tower of Babel might be what we're living through today. I hope we're lucky and wise enough collectively to survive. If there were a wise, all-powerful, compassionate God, as most religions teach, why has He let so much evil occur? Any attempts by defenders of any faith to explain are useless, futile and obviously 'non-divine' explanations made up by men trying to propagate their institutions.

Unfortunately western democracies have been attacked by new-style, treacherous enemies using all of the high-tech means available and any holes in security systems that were never designed, nor did not evolve with such tactics in mind. Unfortunately the dedication of the 'Islamo-fascist' groups, as they are called, to our destruction is likely to lead to a level of violence and death the likes of which we have never seen nor can imagine. I cannot see any way for our free world to proceed but to root them out and destroy them while trying to educate others who might join them through Muslim allies we think we can trust... and trust as you can see is very difficult. What might help would be to have some of the wealthier, more prosperous Muslim communities in the world take a strong, leading role in sending out a different message and changing the education we hear is given in the madrasses. The messages in the Quran we have discussed don't, I don't think, help.
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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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