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Reader comment on item: Civil War in Iraq?
in response to reader comment: It will take longer than most think it will.

Submitted by Sidda (United States), Mar 1, 2006 at 19:30

Amir, try to understand what we are all trying to do. I'll take a safe guess and say that before 9/11 most Americans had not even given Islam a second thought. It was just another religion in the world. I know that was the case with me. Since then, we have been trying to make sense out of what we see happening in the Islamic world. We have been reading the Quran and hadiths, books about Islam, pouring over websites about Islam. This is not an easy thing to do in addition to all life's obligations, i.e., jobs, families, etc. Unlike Dr. Pipes, most of us here do not do this for a living.

There is a strong case to be made that the so called radicals find in the Quran and hadiths and in Islamic jurisdiction justification for their actions. The imams quote all the verses in their fiery sermons. Nobody has a problem with a Muslim who just wants to observe the five pillars of Islam and quietly practice a personal religion. But, we do have a problem with huge swaths of people in countries from Indonesia to Pakistan to Iran to the Middle East who think it is their duty to wage jihad until Islam covers the earth and all infidels are converted or subjugated. That may be the "political" Islam that you speak of, but it is a real threat to our way of life and our well-being.

So, when someone says, "maybe Islam itself is the problem" it is not meant as an insult; we are just trying to understand what is going on, to try to make sense of it. We have to ask questions and seek answers.

I've said it before and I will say it again--trying to convince us that Islam is a religion of peace is fine, but in the final analysis it doesn't really matter whether we think it is or not. The ones who need convincing are the millions of Muslims who think Osama bin Laden is a peach of a guy and follow his ideology.
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