The conclusion, with which I agree...
I think that so long as the main theology of Islam, which is Ash'arism, posits a God of pure will and power, it will not be able to get out of the grip of violence and the religious justification for it. So long as it can't, one has to say that Islamism is a true interpretation of Islam insofar as Islam is not able to resist it. And I don't mean resist by force of arms, but theologically. Islam currently does not have sufficient antibodies, and Western medicine has nothing to offer—because the problem is fundamentally religious.
The State Department's new Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy, Rick Stengel, said in a recent speech that
There is no battle of ideas with ISIL. ISIL is bereft of ideas, they're bankrupt of ideas. It's not an organization that is animated by ideas. It's a criminal, savage, barbaric organization.
This is hugely mistaken. It's giving up while sounding tough. Once again, Islam gets a free pass. It is not enough for the West to call these people barbarians. Recall that Adolph Hitler exclaimed, "We are barbarians. We want to be barbarians. It is an honorable title." Calling him a barbarian was useless. In the Nazi case, it was the ideology that made barbarism honorable that had to be attacked in a war of ideas.
With ISIS, we must object not only to their barbaric acts but to the Quranic principles that inspire and justify them.It is time to stop the whitewashing and call them out on it. Doing so would be the single most effective thing we could do to help reformers in the Muslim world—and to help ourselves, as well. Otherwise, our exculpatory reflex will keep us in denial and enable the very forces in Islam that are against reform.
Read the rest of this thoughtful and well informed article here
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