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Farid, partly right

Reader comment on item: Anti-Muslim Racism?
in response to reader comment: ...people!!

Submitted by eduardo odraude (United States), Mar 14, 2006 at 03:37

Farid, much of what you say seems correct. But one thing you understate. Even societies full of the people you grew up with -- the non-terrorist, moderate Muslims -- seem not to be very free societies. They are almost all dictatorships of one kind or another, to one degree or another.

Around the world, majority-Muslim societies don't really allow freedom of religion. There is significant social pressure and legal and economic discrimination against non-muslims throughout the Muslim world. Secularism is quite weak in the Muslim world, and so state power tends to be aligned with Muslims and against non-Muslims.

Put that together with the Koran's emphasis on jihad and on eventually taking over the whole world, and you can see why many non-Muslims do not think your distinction between Islamists and Islam is very reassuring. After all, terrorism is not the only way to establish Muslim domination and oppression of others. "Moderates" can dominate through majority rule, without ever doing terrorism.

So people are not just overreacting out of fear. They are reacting proportionately to the fact that Islam itself currently has a significant totalitarian political component that shows little respect for dissent or for the individual as an individual. It is natural to be up in arms if someone is threatening you with slavery.
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