Islamic fundamentalism: separating the good from the bad

May 15, 2011

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MANY REMARKS have been made recently about the importance of separating Osama bin Laden’s twisted fundamental Islamic ideologies from those of the milder mainstream, the latter of which would include “the true peaceful teachings of Islam, such as no compulsion in religion as well as loyalty to one’s homeland,’’ as Nasir Ahmad put in his May 8 letter “Muslim-Americans urged to fight terrorism.’’

I agree with this call for separation. However, if Islam as we discuss it is to mean anything, it might include faith in Allah, with varying levels of reverence to the Koran (and Hadith) as revealed in fundamental texts.

I invite anyone to use the Internet to browse these texts, and to see how they spell out punishment for non-believers. The text, in similar fashion to the Bible, is dripping with inclination toward violence, despite distinctly valuable prose that may lay beside it.

This would seem to require a revolution in religion that separates the pluralistic and just from supernatural and barbarous fundamental texts.

To quote author Sam Harris: “The only problem with Islamic fundamentalism are the fundamentals of Islam.’’

Stuart Johnson