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The Editors | 02.08.08

Culture

Reaching Out to Moderate Muslims is Smart

Joshua Muravchik, Commentary [Read the Article]

“Daniel Pipes has suggested that ‘mak[ing] a distinction between the mainstream Islamists and the fringe ones [is] like making a distinction between mainstream Nazis and fringe Nazis. They’re all Nazis, they’re all the enemy.’ Is this the case? Suppose that, to continue Pipes’s analogy, there had been Nazis who clearly rejected violence, as some who call themselves Islamists have done. Would they not have been meaningfully distinguishable from Hitler’s crew? An anathema so sweeping as Pipes’s can lead to classifying individuals or groups wrongly, or overlooking important transformations in attitude… [R]adical Islamism is a fragile and perishable ideology, and, unless we surrender, there is little possibility that it will triumph. The only question is how much damage it will do before it implodes… anyone who can help us to forestall the worst is worth our trouble to cultivate.”

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TOPICS:    gwot | islam
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