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"moderate" Islam vs AlQaeda - who has the bigger delta vs. historical Islam?

Reader comment on item: More on the Term "Islamic Fascists"
in response to reader comment: What is the historical thrust of Islam? Is that a benchmark to determine what is "normative" for Islam?

Submitted by Stephen (United States), Aug 20, 2006 at 14:04

Dear Daniel:

Thanks for the link to the book. In your review, you state:

"During his years in power, the prophet engaged in an average of nine military campaigns a year, or one every five to six weeks; thus did jihad help define Islam from its very dawn. Conquering and humiliating non-Muslims was a main feature of the prophet's jihad."

Do not this and other such statements, even in your review, support the notion of an instrinsic hostile thrust of Islam, at least historically? And while we all hope for a moderate version of Islam to become and remain ascendant, does not this hoped for version constitute a more radical change of Islam vis a vis its historical impact than does AlQaeda?

If yes, the sooner we address it, the better, if only to understand terms and definitions. Take "peace", for example, which it seems is not understood the same way. Peace to a westerner means "the absense of war" or "the cessation of hostilities." If I understand Islamic writers correctly, peace in Islam means "that which exists in the dar al Islam, in the lands under Islamic rule." Hence, to achieve peace, all lands must be in the dar al Islam, and anything which advances this goal, in particular jihad, is an exercise in peace.

Stephen Keeler

Submitting....

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:

Islam has historically been an imperialistic religion. My argument is that what Islam has been need not define what it will be. Religions and cultures change.

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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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