From: Greg Burch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>... I've run out of time this morning, but I leave to further >discussion
>the question of how prevalant the more militant and >totalitarian forms of
>Islamism may be. My "gut guess" is that there >is something like 10-20% of
>the Islamic world that have become utterly >radicalized, a population of
>some 100-200 million people.
I think the main troubling thing about Islam, of whatever stripe, is the
clear rejection of the separation of church and state. Just about every
Muslim will tell you that Islam does not distinguish between private and
public life. It is indisputably the goal of Islam for the whole of society
to function according to the teachings of Muhammad.
I also believe that *all* Muslims will agree that they are enjoined to fight
with whatever means they have at their disposal to throw off any attempts to
hinder the practice of their religion. I think the only point about which
you and I, Greg, may disagree is the extent to which Islam allows conversion
of mere unbelievers by force. You seem to have concluded that Islam
enjoins, or at least permits, conversion of "infidels" at the edge of the
sword. My inquiry has led me to believe that, among all but the most
radical sects, focible conversion is not sanctioned by Islamic canon.
The difficulty though is that, in a religion which has as an explicit goal
the running of the whole of society according to religious canon, it is
difficult to draw the line between mere "infidels" and religious
"persecutors." If we are members of the same society and your religion
compels you to work toward making our government an Islamic theocracy, any
attempt by me to foster a secular government are directly opposed to your
expression of your religious impulses. If I am an Egyptian who is in favor
of a secular democratic government, am I merely an "infidel" or am I in fact
"persecuting" my fellow citizens whose religion compels them to try to bring
about a "truly Islamic" society? If I am "persecuting" then, clearly,
Islamic doctrine authorized jihad.
So I think the main problem is the difficulty of drawing the line between
persecution and mere unbelief.
"I'm a seeker too. But my dreams aren't like yours. I can't help thinking
that somewhere in the universe there has to be something better than man.
Has to be." -- George Taylor _Planet of the Apes_ (1968)
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:16 MDT