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I have a question re: your second question in your March 29 talk: "Radical Islam and the War on Terror"

Reader comment on item: Recruiting Soldiers Against Radical Islam

Submitted by Bob Jenks (United States), Apr 2, 2007 at 14:17

Mr. Pipes, you repeated a refrain throughout the night on March 29: "Defeat radical Islam, strengthen moderate Islam."

My question to you sir, is: "How indeed can we strengthen moderate Islam if the moderates won't even talk with us?"

I am a communicant at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. My men's group has determined there is a need to hold a three-session Adult Forum for our parish on "Jihadism". I have been chosen to be the facilitator (this area has been a personal study focus of mine for some three years or so). The first session will be an educational one since most of our parishioners need a basic course on Islam. The second session will introduce Radical Islam.

I have been trying, without any success whatsoever, to invite Imams from local mosques and spokesmen from the local Muslim society to dialogue in a question and answer third session on the basic question: "How do we address the sensitive issue of Jihadism as seen by, and responded to (or not responded to) by the moderate Muslims in our communities?"

Most of my colleagues and friends (especially my Jewish friends) believe it is because the Muslim community is intimidated, is afraid to dialogue and speak out.

Do you believe this is the case? If not, how would you evaluate the situation?

Your concluding remarks in your chapter "Jihad and the Professors" in your book "Militant Islam Reaches America" infer that moderate Muslims who dare to dissent fall under enormous censure.

My basic question again is: " How indeed can we strengthen moderate Islam if the moderates won't even talk with us?"

Yours very truly,

Bob Jenks jenksr@adelphia.net

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:

"How indeed can we strengthen moderate Islam if the moderates won't even talk with us?"

Good question. Some replies:

-- This reluctance can point to your would-be interlocutors not being moderate.

-- Some strengthening efforts must be indirect. I will be writing shortly on a study, Building Moderate Muslim Networks, that looks in detail at this precise matter.

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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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