Daniel Pipes is wrong in his assessment of Islam

By Ted Belman

Daniel Pipes attempts to distinguish “Radical Islam” from Islam by separating the good (religion) from the bad (ideology). It reminds me of the reference made by Pope Benedict in his lecture, Faith, Reason and the University, to a statement by a fourteenth century Byzantine Emperor,

    “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

Thus if you made the separation that Pipes suggests, Islam becomes Judaism.

View from the Right has a great analysis Daniel Pipes – The problem and the solution.

When Daniel Pipes was speaking at Ken Livingstone’s conference, Radical Islam v Civilization, in London, he said,

    [..] But today it’s a third, a third totalitarian movement, a third barbarian movement, namely that of radical Islam. It is an extremist utopian version of Islam. I am not speaking of Islam the religion, I am speaking of a very unusual and modern reading of Islam. It has inflicted misery (as I mentioned Algeria and Darfur, before), there is suicide terrorism, tyrannical and brutal governments, there is the oppression of women, and non-Muslims. [..]

    It is not, again, Islam the religion, it is radical Islam, the ideology.

    Let us focus on three aspects of it. The essence of radical Islam is the complete adherence to the Shari’a, to the law of Islam. And it is extending the Shari‘a into areas that never existed before. [Is this not Islam rather than radical Islam?]

    Second, it is based very deeply on a clash of civilizations ideology. It divides the world into two parts, the moral and the immoral, the good and the bad. Here is one quote from a British-based Islamist by the name of Abdullah el-Faisal, who was convicted and is now in jail. “There are two religions in the world today – the right one and the wrong one. Islam versus the rest of the world.” You don’t get a more basic clash-of-civilization orientation than that. There is a hatred of the outside world, of the non-Muslim world, and the West in particular. There is the intent to reject as much as possible of outside influence.

    The third feature is that this is totalitarian in nature. It turns Islam from a personal faith into an ideology, into an ism. [But it is.] It is the transformation of a personal faith into a system for ordering power and wealth. Radical Islam derives from Islam but is an anti-modern, millenarian, misanthropic, misogynist, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, triumphalist, jihadistic, terroristic, and suicidal version of it. It is Islamic-flavored totalitarianism.

    Like fascism and communism, radical Islam is a compelling way of seeing the world in a way that can absorb an intelligent person – to show him or her a whole new way of seeing life. It is radically utopian and takes the mundane qualities of everyday life and turns them into something grand and glistening.

    There is an attempt to take over states. There is the use of the state for coercive purposes, and an attempt to dominate all of life, every aspect of it. It is an aggression against neighbors, and finally it is a cosmic confrontation with the West. As Tony Blair put it in August of 2006, “We are fighting a war, but not just against terrorism but about how the world should govern itself in the early 21st century, about global values.”

Pipes is a great guy and is doing a great job fighting the radicals, this argument notwithstanding.

February 1, 2007 | 3 Comments »

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3 Comments / 3 Comments

  1. Ted

    Vital position you have taken up there on Daniel Pipes.

    As said he does very good analyses on lots of issues, but it is because of that that he is so dangerous. That has always been the case.

    These “little” issues always turn out in the end to be the real biggies.

    Lenin at the turn of the century had what seemed like a small difference on the issue of party membership. Especially with Plekhanov and I think Martov.

    Lenin insisted that a member is in political agreement and is active. Martov just said be in political agreement…

    But when 1917 rolled along the Martov wing was stationary, could not move. The Bolsheviks took the power. (M Simon would say it was a putsch but thats par for the course with M)

    So with this issue.

    Not a small issue. It is the issue. It is actually the link between Pipes and Bush Jnr. Also the link with all this bullshit of teaching the Iraqis to be democrats !!!

    Well done!

  2. Correct. And in the same way that some of us didn’t feel comfortable criticizing Spielberg for his delusional Munich movie, because Spielberg’s done good stuff, some of us feel uncomfortable criticizing Pipes’ normative-Islam-is-benign view because as noted, he, too, does good stuff. Hoping Pipes will reevaluate his position.

  3. You are right, Ted. Consensus and middle ground are the DMZ where one gets shot by both sides. Yeshua said in Rev 3:15-16, I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Consensus is that middle ground. As long as a Muslim reads and holds to the Koran which instructs them to kill Jews and Christians, they cannot be trusted. A Muslim revival only causes them to be Jihadi murderous terrorists.

    “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant…The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth,” – Omar Ahmad, Co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). President & CEO of Silicon Expert Technologies, he is a Palestinian who grew up in a refugee camp in Jordan.

    The most duplicitous include the American Muslim Council and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, both Washington-based and portraying themselves as in favor of “civil rights” and “dialogue” but in fact dedicated to an ideology of violence, the suppression of true freedom of speech, and discrimination against women. These groups also defend and support militant Islamic terrorist groups.

    Specifically, the American Muslim Council helped raise defense funds for Hamas terrorist leader Musa Abu Marzook; defended Omar Abdel Rahman, the militant cleric who organized the World Trade Center bombing; portrayed Iran and the Sudan as “moderate” regimes with good human-rights records; and headquartered Anwar Haddam, a leader of Algeria’s Islamic Salvation Front (known as FIS), a fundamentalist group that has carried out horrific executions of (among others) Algerian women who refuse to wear a veil.

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has branches around the country, was created by the Islamic Association for Palestine, a group that ***former FBI official Oliver Revell has labelled a Hamas front.11*** CAIR attacks those who expose militant Islam as “defaming Islam.” As such, it hopes to import the “Salman Rushdie rules” to intimidate opponents, though instead of proclaiming fatwas, it claims that their writings lead to “hate crimes” against Muslims. Toward this end, CAIR fabricates acts of anti-Muslim bias. For example, they claim both the arrest of Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzook and the conviction of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman as acts of “anti-Muslim” persecution. CAIR is Hamas with a K Street address in Washington. But a terrorist in a suit remains a terrorist. Get Ready for Twenty World Trade Center Bombings (An interview with Steve Emerson in 1997)
    11 The New Republic, June 12, 1995.

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