Violence and Mainstream Islam

Andrew G. Bostom
Against the backdrop of 20,651 jihadist attacks since 9/11/2001, and the hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Dhaka, Bengladesh (hat tip Jihad Watch) on the march this past week, demanding the execution of "atheist bloggers" for "blaspheming" Islam, I was re-reading V.S. Naipaul's second brilliant travelogue account of Asian Islamdom, circa 1995, Beyond Belief. Naipaul's five month 1995 journey included sojourns in Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia, supposedly more "moderate," overall, than Arab Islamdom. Beyond Belief contains this simple, elegant description by a secular Pakistani journalist, i.e., a private apostate, who found mainstream Islamic violence unacceptable. Identified only as "Salman," he proffered this explanation about the roots of traditionalist, mainstream Islamic violence -- which must be considered when applying the term "moderate" to mainstream votaries of Islam: ...[T]he idea of jihad, holy war...was a special Muslim idea. He [Salman] explained it like...(Read Full Post)

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