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Public Challenge for Dr.Pipes

Reader comment on item: Bolstering Moderate Muslims

Submitted by Noah Wilk (United States), Apr 29, 2007 at 14:08

Dr. Pipes,

I have in the past repeatedly asked you to prove to me (and to those who agree with me) that there is a significant, moderate, reform-minded movement within Islam. All the evidence we see (the various low-attendance summits, the lack of any progress, etc) shows that in reality, there is no such thing as a moderate movement in Islam, nor is there likely to ever be one.

What we are seeing are aberrations. Random, unique events where a small handful (literally, usually less than one one-hundred thousanth of one percent of all Muslims)gather to complain about violence. There are exceptions to every rule, but those few exceptions do not invalidate the truth about the majority.

So how do you justify claiming that there is a moderate movement in Islam that we should support? How can you even say such a thing when we see what the "moderate" Muslims in Detroit are doing to that poor afflicted city? It's one thing to support something that is real, that is significant, that is true. But supporting some "moderate movement" in Islam is akin to believing in the Tooth Faerie. It's just a fantasy.

I have in the past asked you more than a few times to address this in detail. You have not. You pointed to your bibliography of "moderate" Muslims, but they amount to less than one one-hundred thousanth of one percent of all Muslims, perhaps just one millionth of one percent. You seem to be confusing aberrations and exceptions to the rule with an actual movement, but those two things are not synonymous.

So once again I ask you to show us where this moderate movement is. Explain to us why, with over 2 million Muslims living in America, the Muslim community cannot summon up even a hundred Muslims to stand for reform. Why even here in America can the Muslim community not mobilize even one ten-thousanth of one percent of their members to reform Islam?

Can you answer this?


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Daniel Pipes replies:

If you want significant numbers of moderate Muslims, look at Pakistan and Turkey in recent days, where 100,000s of Muslims demonstrated on the streets against Islamism.

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