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March 03, 2003

Islam-Peace or Submission?

Frontpage Magazine has a symposium on the nature of Islam up. Two of the participants that sound the call for those who caution that Islam is not a religion of peace, Robert Spencer & Ibn Warraq, have books (see here and here) that I have read-that if not balanced, present a view of Islam that is more well studied than the screeds that one sees coming out of the Christian Right (and a reality check on the soft-tinted stuff that Karen Armstrong throws out there). The two Muslims tend to be a little out of control in my opinion-especially the CAIR representative [1]. They remind me of Creationists and Blank Slaters in their debating style. They should have found some moderate or liberal Muslim. Of course, I will be the first to assert that the big problem in the the Ummah is that when the reactionaries and revisionists of the fundamentalist stripe unsheath the knives and ready for battle, the "moderate majority" goes into hiding and cowers before their righteous wrath.

As an atheist who supports the cause of the West, I have no great urge to "Reform Islam" and wouldn't shed the tear if the faith of the prophet sunk into oblivion as it immolated itself in its own glory of backwardness. Nonetheless, 1 billion people will not disappear. We have to deal with them. More thoughts later....

[1] Spencer and Warraq make assertions that can be debated, but the two Muslim representatives, especially the CAIR member, tend to assert utter idiocy. For instance, he repeats the moronic canard that non-Muslims lived under the umbrella of Islamic tolerance and that explains why there remain so many to this day in the Middle East. Actually, dhimmis were suffered their existance because of their past numerical preponderance, and they were subjected to second class treatment and repeated pogroms (explaining why American Lebanese tend to be Christian-they left the Levant to escape persecution and experience genuine religious freedom).

Posted by razib at 10:14 PM