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Questions for Dr. Pipes on the future of the world

Reader comment on item: Distinguishing between Islam and Islamism

Submitted by Pro-Israeli Democrat (United States), Oct 28, 2006 at 08:53

I consider Daniel Pipes to be a much better scholar of Islam and Islamic history than Robert Spencer for a number of reasons. Among them is the "poltically incorrect" Spencer's stance against some messed-up Italian radicals displaying a picture of Oriana Fallaci's decapitation. Unpleasant, yes, but it is protected as freedom of speech. Spencer is not so politically incorrect after all.

Having supported Denmark in '06, I feel it is best to be politically incorrect on all counts. Spencer is simply "politically conservative" and not "politically incorrect." In Pipes' blogs, he also stands up for feminists and homosexuals in Muslim countries [I think university professors SHOULD focus on gay rights in Muslim countries]. Robert Spencer [perhaps due to his religious orientation] does not do thus. A tip for "Campus Watch": Spotlight the persecution of gays in Iran, Sudan, and Libya and how it is NOT being taught in universities. This will give Campus Watch support beyond its base [which is mostly conservative by coincidence].

Pipes also makes a careful distinction between Islam and Islamism. The latter seems, to me, to be a very "20th century" phenomenom, and a cross between Marxism-Leninism than it is to Islam. I believe, though, that Saudi influence in the Islamic World is undue, because of the Wahhabi menace. And yes, I, unlike Pipes, consider the regime Islamist [though not always in lifestyle with the princes gambling and having massive orgies on the Riviera]. Believing strongly in tawhid [the oneness of God] is central to Orthodox Islam. It's also central to Wahhabism, but Wahhabism, especially in its stance on dhimmis [dhimmitude is another issue in of itself], are NOT Orthodox Muslims. That, though, does not mean that the Arab/Islamic worlds are not due for a change of media. They also have to take responsibility rather than blaming everyone except themselves.

I will not [and cannot] call Islam "a religion of peace." For many, this is due largely to the headlines, and understandably. My view is different, though I am no fan of political correctness [and I am best described as "liberal," which should prove that "political correctness" and "political conservatism" are two completely different things]. I simply don't think that the term "religion of peace" can be applied to any religion. IIf a religion has even a single violent or radical order, it is no longer a religion of peace.

If you look at online blogs, you will be able to see that Christian radicalism in this country is growing exponentially, perhaps in part due to Islamic radicalism. I ALSO THINK WE SHOULD NOTE JUST HOW SIMILAR THE BIBLE AND QURAN REALLY ARE. The trouble with Islam may not lie solely in the Quran...it all goes back to the Old Testament. Some people [INCLUDING PEOPLE ON THIS SITE] seem to think that the Bible is a suitable replacement for the US Constiution. And they are very committed and in-your-face about it. They also equate being pro-life with being patriotic. This is really quite frightening. Frankly, I wish religion did not exist. We are already divided by "black," "white," "asian," and "arab." Why be divided by religious designation, either.

I feel as if my fears have been further confirmed by watching Richard Dawkins' "The Root of all Evil" from start to finish. You can find it on You Tube, by the way. The unfortunate thing is that there are plenty of people [both Christian and Muslim] who want us to go back to the Holy Land and live off dates! I would like to ask Dr. Pipes the following: What is the future for secularists like myself not only in America, but throughout the globe? I worry that I will one day have my head hacked off for being "too moderate" or "not religious enough." Will there be a new series of holy wars [we are not talking about Iraq or Afghanistan here] between Christians and Muslims? Above all: has civilization [in you're opinion] come so far that there is nowhere to go but down [and back to the stone age]?

Submitting....

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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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