Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Islam’s apologists completely miss the point.

What the apologists seem to miss, however, is that, even if their watered-down, made-to-accord-with-the-West version of Islam is more authentic, that doesn’t really change a thing. Repudiating the validity of “literalist” interpretations of the Koran is totally beside the point. The issue isn’t which “version” of Islam is “correct.” The issue is that there are Muslims who have interpreted, do interpret, and always will interpret the mandates of Islam literally. As long as the Koran contains a plenitude of verses commanding Muslims to be in a perpetual state of war with non-Muslims (e.g., Koran 9:5, 9:29, 9:123), to “strike terror into the hearts of infidels” and “to strike their heads off” (Koran 8:60 and 47:4), all with assurances that “Allah has purchased the lives and possessions of the Believers in exchange for paradise: they fight in his cause, slaying and being slain” (9:111) — there will always be those faithful (Ramadan’s “minority of literalists”) who take these words for what they plainly mean.

Thus, even if we were to agree with Ramadan that the vast majority of Muslims are “moderates” and that, say, only a mere 20 percent of Muslims are “literalists,” that simply means that some 200 million Muslims in the world today are dedicated enemies of the infidel West. At any rate, when it comes to instilling terror, numbers are of no significance. It took only 19 to wreak great havoc and destruction on American soil on 9/11. It won’t take much more to duplicate that horrific day. This is precisely why, to use Ramadan’s own words, “we are obsessed by the few [radical Muslims] and not seeing the many [moderate Muslims].” That most Muslims are good, law-abiding citizens and that only a mere minority of the umma, say, 200 million, are hell-bent on destroying the West — how is that supposed to be any comfort to us? - Raymond Ibrahim

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