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December 30, 2005



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The trouble with the Wahid editorial is that it shows him to be either duplicitous or ignorant of the true teaching and history of Islam. Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch has a very good reply. The trouble is, there is *no* "Islamic" approach to fighting militant Islam. Islam is militant through & through and has been so since the beginning.
The burden of proof of the true nature of Islam is not on the Jihadis- they have more than enough warrant for their approach. It lies rather with people like Wahid & Steven Schwartz, and unfortunately they simply do not have the documents on their side.

Kate Wright

I regret to add, but must declare that Dr. Kirkpatrick's 1986 essay prevails.

There is a difference between being inclusivistic, as opposed to promoting pluralism. Ideas matter. Demographics rule.

The path is lit for those who can see.


Reforming Islam is wishful thinking. Am I to believe that today's Islam have been hijacked by fanatics. I don't think so. How can 880 million people allow 120 million people to hijack their faith? The answer is that their faith have never been hijacked. Radical Islam is mainstream and liberal Islam is the very tiny minority.

Irshad Manji, author of The Trouble with Islam, stated to The Hindu News:

"Every critique of contemporary Islam that is written by a Muslim emphasises that the faith has been hijacked. This argument absolves mainstream Muslims of responsibility for our silence. The language of hijacking suggests that Islam itself is a plane cruising to some human rights haven, and were it not for those nasty 19 terrorists on September 11, 2001, Islam would have reached its wondrous destination. But we know this is not true. The passivity of even moderate Muslims allows heinous human rights violations to occur in the name of Islam. What is "ground-breaking," then, is that I am turning the mirror on the mainstream and not just on the radical fringe.

The trouble with Islam today is that literalism has gone mainstream. We Muslims, even in the West, are raised to believe that because the Quran comes after the Torah and the Bible, it is the final and therefore perfect manifesto of God's will. This supremacy complex is dangerous because it inhibits the moderates from asking hard questions about what happens when faith becomes dogma." (The Hindu Nov, 8 2005)

Although she is one voice, however many muslims agree with her and they say so in their comments on her site, http://www.muslim-refusenik.com. Interestingly, one thing that I find disturbing in Irshad's forum is that a lot of her supporters are very afraid and reluctant to go public with their support. They are afraid of Muslim retaliation.

Again, Radical Islam is mainstream.

shareef muhammad

You on this site who dispute the non-militant nature of Islam, claim that your views are supported by history and scripture and then quote those who voice opinions to your liking would not fair well in a debate about the subject with informed people. The historical fact of the matter is that Muhammad (pbuh) and his followers endured persecution by his country men for thirteen years without lifting a finger in self-defense. Their response to this aggression was not violence but escape. They eventually fled to the neighboring country of Medina where his persecuters followed him with an army to kill him. Only then in self-defense did the first Muslim act of violence take place. Secondly when he conquered Mecca he demonstrated uncanny restraint and pardoned his persecutors. Thirdly the jihad that expanded beyond the borders of Arabia was a "preemptive strike" against the threatening Byzantine power. Lastly the Quran clearly forbids the indescriminate killing of unbelievers specifying that they must be combatants. The ahadith illustrates this with examples. To put it bluntly there is simply no religious justification for terrorism and anyone who says so is either a liar, is ignorant, or a little of both.

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