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Sam Harris: Yes, it is a war with Islam

Prerna flagged an alarming poll on Tuesday showing that publics in four Muslim countries overwhelmingly believe that the United States aims to weaken Islam. Yesterday I discovered that atheist author Sam Harris, never one to shy away from controversial arguments, had weighed in several years ago to say, "yes indeedy." It is time we admitted ...

Prerna flagged an alarming poll on Tuesday showing that publics in four Muslim countries overwhelmingly believe that the United States aims to weaken Islam.

Yesterday I discovered that atheist author Sam Harris, never one to shy away from controversial arguments, had weighed in several years ago to say, "yes indeedy."

It is time we admitted that we are not at war with "terrorism." We are at war with Islam. This is not to say that we are at war with all Muslims, but we are absolutely at war with the vision of life that is prescribed to all Muslims in the Koran. The only reason Muslim fundamentalism is a threat to us is because the fundamentals of Islam are a threat to us. Every American should read the Koran and discover the relentlessness with which non-Muslims are vilified in its pages. The idea that Islam is a "peaceful religion hijacked by extremists" is a dangerous fantasy — and it is now a particularly dangerous fantasy for Muslims to indulge.I agree that one can find plenty of problematic material in the Koran, and yet, only recently has this religion that is over a thousand years old become such a problem. What's changed? Saudi money has tipped the scales in favor of a more intolerant strain of Islam, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has festered, and rapid urbanization in Arab countries has brought rural migrants into contact with aspects of Western culture that they reject. What do you think? 

Prerna flagged an alarming poll on Tuesday showing that publics in four Muslim countries overwhelmingly believe that the United States aims to weaken Islam.

Yesterday I discovered that atheist author Sam Harris, never one to shy away from controversial arguments, had weighed in several years ago to say, "yes indeedy."

It is time we admitted that we are not at war with "terrorism." We are at war with Islam. This is not to say that we are at war with all Muslims, but we are absolutely at war with the vision of life that is prescribed to all Muslims in the Koran. The only reason Muslim fundamentalism is a threat to us is because the fundamentals of Islam are a threat to us. Every American should read the Koran and discover the relentlessness with which non-Muslims are vilified in its pages. The idea that Islam is a "peaceful religion hijacked by extremists" is a dangerous fantasy — and it is now a particularly dangerous fantasy for Muslims to indulge.

I agree that one can find plenty of problematic material in the Koran, and yet, only recently has this religion that is over a thousand years old become such a problem. What's changed? Saudi money has tipped the scales in favor of a more intolerant strain of Islam, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has festered, and rapid urbanization in Arab countries has brought rural migrants into contact with aspects of Western culture that they reject. What do you think? 

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