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Is Islamic Totalitarianism such a new thing?

Reader comment on item: How to End Terrorism:

Submitted by Joel S. (United States), Dec 5, 2006 at 09:49

Mr. Pipes,

I'm not so certain that your assertion of Islamic totalitarianism as a new phenomenon began in the 1920's. Surely Islamic terrorist actions became far more common and widespread beginning at that time, but is it not possible that the totalitarianism is part of the essence of Islam? Perhaps it was only the creation of the obscene petro-wealth along with the total corruption of Arab leaders that manifested these actions.

Is not the Koranic view of two-worlds (Dar al-Islam vs Dar al-Harb) at the crux of totalitarian thinking? Does not the essence of Islam teach that the whole world must come under Islamic rule and that Muslims are in a state of war (ie: Jihad) until that happens? Is it not "possible" that the only thing that changed beginning in the 1920's is not Islamic thinking, but rather there ability to act on it? With the limitless resources of petro-wealth, these nations now have the means to act out the fundamental teachings of their faith.

If this is the case, what Muslim would speak out against the Koran, and to what motivation? If this is the case, the non-Muslim world's ONLY recourse is to somehow remove the "means" for them to act out on what has been the core of their beliefs for 1400 years. Eliminating the petro-dollars that fund and enable these actions is the only way to stop Islamic totalitarian behavior.


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