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Reader comment on item: Bolstering Moderate Muslims
in response to reader comment: words have power...

Submitted by Abu Nuwas (Saudi Arabia), Apr 20, 2007 at 11:42

Thanks to "Donvan" for his comments on my posting. However, I don't really follow his argument.

Is it that we shouldn't use "Muslim" terms to describe Muslims and their religion because by doing so we "advance the cause of the followers of Muhammad"? If this is "Donvan's" case, I totally disagree with it. In fact, I don't see how anyone could agree with it.

What, for example, would we use for the term "Islam"? Should we instead say: "That religion that was founded in the Arabian peninsula in the 7th century"? Or what about the name "Muhammad"? Should we instead say: "That purported prophet that was born in Mecca, was husband to Khadija, was a merchant by trade and founded the religion that swept across the Middle East during the 7th-8th centurries"? This is not deconstruction - this is absurdity (which in many peoples' minds is pretty much the same thing).

What I do advocate is using the usual and customary English spellings (until recently) for many of these terms. Thus MUHAMMAD (a spelling "Donvan" uses) should really be spelt MOHAMMED (or better MOHAMED) and MUSLIM (another term "Donvan" uses) should really be spelt MOSLEM.

These spellings were in use for centuries until politically correct thinking reared it's mindless head and pretty much banned their usage as "insensitive" - another laughable absurdity.

After all, if you're going to be "forced" to use the spelling MUSLIM because it is "closer" to the how Muslims actually pronounce the word, then we should really not use the plural MUSLIMS because in Arabic, you don't make the plural by adding an "S" at the end of the word. We should, of course, use the term "MUSLIMEEN" because that is what the proper plural is.......and so on ad absurdum.

(By the same logic, we should be banned from calling the capital of Egypt CAIRO, because the proper term is really AL-QAHIRA and if we don't want to "hurt" Egyptian feelings, that's the term we should use. In fact, we really should not even be allowed call the country EGYPT.....a term no Arabic speaker uses. We should call it its proper Arabic name which is MASR"......and so on ad ridiculum.)

As far as "Donvan's" comment: "Muhammed was so far as we know, was an actual person..." Anyone aspiring to more than a vague familiarity with current Western literature on Islamic history, especially of the more scholarly kind, should really become au courant with the works of Patricia Crone and Co., a literature that has been around since the mid 1970s......that is, for more than 30 years now.



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