In last few decades one name has become authority on Islamic study and Middle Eastern issues and almost unavoidable for experts on this subject whether they like him or not and this name is none other than president of Middle East forum Dr Daniel Pipes. He is not facing the criticism from his critics only who find themselves happy to term him Islamophobe but he is also being criticized by those also who suppose to support him.
In the decade of 1980’s when he came out with his famous book “In The path of God” before the world it moved a large section of people with his prophecy on Islamism and its growing stature with consequences for global politics and dynamics , but most of the scholars dismissed him as alarmist . In the 90’s I was too young to understand the gravity of the book and its inferences and in that period of time the political atmosphere in India as well as in other parts of the world particularly in Middle East created lot of buzz around me on this book. The same decade was the period of social and political upheaval in India too where the issues which had been discussed in the book become the pivot to this upheaval. The question of religious Fundamentalism and competitive communalism found the central figure in social and political arena and the whole atmosphere get charged with religious intolerance and competitive fundamentalism which redefined the Indian political arithmetic. Being the spectator and keen watcher of developments of those days I could recall how young generation of that era defined their priorities in reading the books of Dr Daniel Pipes.
Since the decade of 1980’s when the book of Dr Daniel Pipes “ In the Path of God” was released to this date in 21st century almost everything changed in a manner which was beyond imagination as the very beginning of 21st century brought before us the crisis about which we were warned time and again in the whole decade of 1980’s and 1990’s from Dr Daniel Pipes . First time we become curious about Dr Daniel pipes in later 90’s when several renowned columnist mentioned him about his forewarning about the growing threat of Islamist fundamentalism but it was the curiosity to read him as he has been discussed more often between opinion shapers and nothing beyond that but once 9/11 happened the whole world recognized who Dr Daniel Pipes is? The most of the media in US lamented if we have heard him before we would have been able to avert this tragic incident to happen. It created an impact in our minds and those who were exposed to this new subject of Islamic politics and Middle Eastern issues ran behind the writings of Dr Daniel Pipes.
Several decades have passed when he first warned the world about the looming threat of Islamism and he defined the whole Phenomenon but whole debate on this issue is still confused and biased. I am deliberately using the word confused because most of the scholars or activists take this whole issue as a war of civilization and most of them seem more convinced with the theory of Samuael Huttington and under the influence of this theory either they create fear psychosis for others or want to live under it with apprehension of return of the days of crusade and Jihad.
Even more dangerous part in this whole debate is its biased nature who wants this debate to use for their political purpose to escalate the situation in more dangerous periphery with unimaginable consequences without having any mechanism to arrest or control the consequences.
Beyond these two confuse and biased views we have with us one other view which needs to be listen and heard and that view is of Dr Daniel Pipes who from the very beginning says that radical Islam is the problem and Moderate Islam is the solution.
The whole issue of Islamist terrorism which is abetted and motivated by religious fundamentalism needs to be handled delicately with full sensitivity. The faith and belief system of the people of the more than one billion people on this earth cannot be declared as the source of problem because doing so we are not going to solve any problem on the contrary we are landing ourselves in the trap of our enemy.
There are two problems with Muslims across the world which needs to be cared of. The lack of division between their geo political problems and religious problems has stitched both of them together and their religious leadership takes every challenge before Muslims as challenge before their faith and they opt for religious solution to political problems.
Like other people in the world Muslims too facing several problems which have nothing to do with their faith and none of the solution of these problems lies in their faith but they clubbed them together which creates more sense of insecurity in themselves which provides ample opportunity to their religious leadership to exploit this sense of insecurity among Muslims to make more them regressive and backward looking in the search of their solutions, which create more complications for the society rather than solving their problems.
I am fully agree with Dr Daniel Pipes that Moderate Islam needs to be evolved and to fasten this process it is also important to accelerate the process to delink their faith with their geo political problems . I have found that Muslims are very much insecure for their faith as they think their faith has been targeted even problems for others come from their side.
This process is not easy to start and in initiating and accelerating the process the theory of Dr Daniel Pipes “Radical Islam is the problem and Moderate Islam is the solution” could prove to be the torch bearer. It is time to differentiate between those people who want to exploit this whole debate for their political purpose and escalate the situation to polarize the opinion which make things even worse without any solution to the problem, and those who are sincere to solve this whole problem. In my opinion those who are confused and define it as clash of civilization but they are honest in their approach to understand the whole problem needs to be enlightened with the ideas of Dr Daniel Pipes but those who are biased and not ready to listen any argument because they are more interested to mess up the whole debate and complicate things for their political purpose , needs to separated from this whole debate as they have no formula to reach to the solution and simply making it war of faiths which is dangerous for the humanity as hatred can never be the cure for hatred, it can be cured only by finding the ultimate solution.