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Different Paths

Reader comment on item: [Pew Poll on] How Muslims Think

Submitted by Pro-Israeli Democrat (United States), Jun 29, 2006 at 09:32

I had seen this survey a few days before, in the New York Times. I was saddened but, then again, I was not surprised. I think that Muslims are long overdue for a process of self-examination. Maybe that is why I admire Irshad Manji so much and believe that her book, The Trouble With Islam Today should be read by everyone, both Muslim and non-Muslim.

The Muslims that I have known are lovely people; Egyptians, Pakistanis, Afghans, and several Palestinians. Thus, it takes various forms of media to show me the real crisis that is going on in the Muslim world. To be frank, Muslims need more Irshad Manjis. I have said so in at least one previous entry. With that, I can see that in this day and age, the Shiites (Irshad is one) seem to be on a better path than many Sunni. And I don't know why, for in the early 1980s, it was the Shiites (sparked by the Iranian Revolution) who were considered "the face" of Islamic terrorism. Yet, I find that the loudest self-criticism of Islam by Muslims comes from Shiites.

A few months ago, I was watching a sermon by a Shiite Imam (of Iraqi origin) named Hassan al-Qazwini from Detroit, in which he said "the real enemy of Islam comes from within." He was right. But why? Is it because the doors of ijtihad, which were closed to Sunni scholars over 700 years ago, remain open to Shiites? In an interview, Mr. Pipes (whom I respect greatly) expressed discontent over the "ingratitude of the Iraqis" to the United States. I disagree with him (and I did not support the 2003 invasion, either, for strategic reasons) and would like to point out that Iraq's Shiite Population (not including Moqtada Al-Sadr and the Mahdi Army) has been of incredible value to the troops there. Especially under the leadership of Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani. He is holding that country together by a thread. Without him, Iraq (which I feel is headed for disaster as it is) would be in a far worse state. American military power, great as it is, is at this point obsolete without their help. And what of Iranian clerics Yusuf Saanei and Mohsen Kadivar? Both are among the strongest advocates of reform within Islam, and Saanei has issued fatwas against suicide bombing and Iran's efforts to acquire nukes. Kadivar,

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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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