Islam Vs. Islamism: A Case for Wishful Thinkers
A rebuttal to Daniel Pipes' Washington Times op-ed on the question of "moderate Islam."
May 18, 2013 - 1:01 pm
“Our killer question is ‘How do you propose to defeat Islamism?’ Those who make all Islam their enemy not only succumb to a simplistic and essentialist illusion but they lack any mechanism to defeat it.”
This is what historian and Middle East analyst Daniel Pipes asks in his recent Washington Times article.
To support his argument, Pipes makes an unsubstantiated claim that a majority of Muslims are moderate and that Islamism is only,
supported by 10-15 percent of Muslims…
So how and why did he come up with such numbers? Pipes uses different studies and surveys about which he himself confesses: “These ambiguous and contradictory percentages lead to no clear, specific count of Islamists.” Why then use such statistics? It is only to serve the major argument he made in my first paragraph.
And there are more “confessions.” Pipes writes: “Out of a quantitative mish-mash, I suggested just three days after 9/11 that some 10-15 percent of Muslims are determined Islamists.” This is in itself contradictory and is even absolutely nonsense mathematically as he clearly admits. To further support this conservative number, Pipes adds:
Indonesian survey and election results led R. William Liddle and Saiful Mujani in 2003 to conclude that the number of Islamists “is no more than 15 percent of the total Indonesian Muslim population.”
He did this while he ignored his other statement:
In contrast, a 2008 survey of 8,000 Indonesian Muslims by Roy Morgan Research found 40 percent of Indonesians favoring hadd criminal punishments (such as cutting off the hands of thieves) and 52 percent favoring some form of Islamic legal code.
So here we have 52% of Indonesians are extremists, not 15%.