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Is Islam really the religion of peace their followers claim it to be?


Alan McDougall
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What literal interpretations of other religious texts are you talking about? I can't speak of Hindu or Buddhist texts but regarding the Bible... there is such a difference that the Bible generally progresses from violence to peace - Old Testament is violent (although that violence is still bound by historical context), the New Testament is much more peaceful . The Quran progresses in exactly opposite direction - the so called peaceful verses all come from the earliest part of the book, written when Muhammad had no army, so he needed to be peaceful in order to survive (by the way, Hitler also taught about peace when he didn't have a strong army). However, he changed his stance right after attaining enough power to do so. In the end all these peaceful verses drown in the overwhelming barrage or violence and hatred, presented in the later, Medinan chapters. And there is no evidence in the Quran or Sunna that these violent verses must apply only to some specific place and time. If they were, would Muhammad's successors* (who knew him personally and who are considered the best Muslims in history right after him) have declared a war on Arab tribes who decided to leave Islam? Would they have conquered Persia and half of Byzantine Empire in just 20 years after Muhammad's death?

 

*I'm talking about his immideate successors - Abu Bakr, Umar Ibn Al Khattab, Uthman Ibn Affan and Ali Ibn Abi Talib - so called "rightly guided caliphs"

Edited by SlavicWolf
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What literal interpretations of other religious texts are you talking about?

 

It's been pointed out in this thread that Jesus told his followers he wasn't here to change anything in the Bible, and that they were all still subject to the 600+ laws in the Torah. If you interpret any of those laws literally, you could be stoned or exiled for wearing a cotton/polyester shirt, or for not marrying your brother's wife if he dies, and you might also get to keep the virgins after you kill all the males and non-virgins in that family you beat in court.

 

So that's common ground to all the Abrahamics. Please don't bring it up again. Literal, modern interpretation of vague, ancient texts is BAD, can we agree on that? It's UNTRUSTWORTHY. And it doesn't show that the religion is bad, it just shows it can be interpreted that way.

 

The Hitler thing is a slippery slope argument. It may be valid but it can be fallacious, and often is.

 

I also dislike arguments that point to the actions of religious founders from several centuries ago and try to conflate them with modern interpretation. When I read about the current Pope's interpretation of doctrine, I certainly don't expect the Spanish Inquisition (well, no one does, historically). Why would I assume that modern Islamic countries would declare war on another country that tried to move away from Islam?

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But the vast majority of Christians have never interpreted the Jewish laws as their own. For example, Torah bans pork, mixing meat and milk and hundreds of other things. But only a tiny minority of Christians follow these laws, the rest are far less strict.. All Christian theologians, including all Church fathers didn't follow them either.

 

Meanwhile, I suggest you read some of the debates of Ali Sina: http://www.faithfreedom.org/debates.htm

He is an Iranian former Muslim, residing in Canada. He has debated with many Islamic scholars, including world class ones such as Grand Ayatollah Montazeri and Javed Ahmad Ghamidi. A sure fire way to find out what some clerics think and what are Ali's counterarguments.

Edited by SlavicWolf
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"From these verses, we see that forcibly enslaving people, and trading in slaves, are against Christian teachings."

No we can't.

"Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves."

 

" teachings show that women and men are equal in God's sight."

Did you ever read the bit about Eve?

and so on.

A plague on both their houses; they are both deeply evil.

 

Those are the teaching of the Old Testament or Hebrew bible the Tanakh, Christianity is supposed to be a new covenant between God and man.

 

It's been pointed out in this thread that Jesus told his followers he wasn't here to change anything in the Bible, and that they were all still subject to the 600+ laws in the Torah. If you interpret any of those laws literally, you could be stoned or exiled for wearing a cotton/polyester shirt, or for not marrying your brother's wife if he dies, and you might also get to keep the virgins after you kill all the males and non-virgins in that family you beat in court.

 

So that's common ground to all the Abrahamics. Please don't bring it up again. Literal, modern interpretation of vague, ancient texts is BAD, can we agree on that? It's UNTRUSTWORTHY. And it doesn't show that the religion is bad, it just shows it can be interpreted that way.

 

The Hitler thing is a slippery slope argument. It may be valid but it can be fallacious, and often is.

 

I also dislike arguments that point to the actions of religious founders from several centuries ago and try to conflate them with modern interpretation. When I read about the current Pope's interpretation of doctrine, I certainly don't expect the Spanish Inquisition (well, no one does, historically). Why would I assume that modern Islamic countries would declare war on another country that tried to move away from Islam?

 

Yes! Jesus respected the laws of the Hebrew Scripture because he was a Jew, but according to Christian Doctrine he took all those laws and punishment for breaking them onto his own self on the cross, by dying as a perfect sacrifice to free humanity from the power of the law and ultimately free humanity from eternal death. This is what Christians believe about their prophet Jesus, that he was a man of peace , love and forgiveness.

 

I am not saying Muhammad, did not have these attributes also , but they are harder to find in the Qur'an, than in the New Testament.

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Those are the teaching of the Old Testament or Hebrew bible the Tanakh, Christianity is supposed to be a new covenant between God and man.

 

 

That's not what the New Testament says.

it says rhat Christ said

"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

He explicitly says there that the laws stay the same doesn't he?

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- It must result in at least one fatality

- The target were civilians

- It must have been {committed explictly for religious reasons (no ordinary crimes)}

If we make one small alteration in vocabulary, well indicated by the Islamic terrorism/freedom fighting/resistance to oppression incidents listed,

 

this: {justified explicitly on religious grounds and reasoning}

 

then

 

we can start counting the terroristic events of the entire US counter-efforts against "communism" in South America, Africa, Indonesia, and SE Asia;

 

we can include much of the more horrible stuff associated with the Iraq War (explicitly described as part of a "crusade" by the fundamentalist Christian President of the US)

 

and so forth. Never mind the Christian underpinnings of the Holocaust (perpetrators supported and justified by high level Christian clergy), the explicitly Christian justifications of slavery and Jim Crow enforcement in the US, much of the terrorism committed against homosexual people in several regions - - it's a very, very long list of very ugly atrocities.

 

The project is vain, of course. Whether Christianity is a religion of peace or not is not really relevant to the thread. But there's no boot in trying to make Islam look bad by comparing it to other monotheistic fundamentalisms - there's no argument there at all.

 

 

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!

Moderator Note

http://www.answering-islam.org/Silas/founders.htm

Perhaps we should compare the saying of the two prophets that started Islam and Christianity and make up our own minds on who preached peace and who did not! "If you claim to be a Christians you should never, ever sprout hatred and spite, because this is opposite of what Jesus preached during his life"

(Those are my comments above Alan McDougall)


http://www.answering-islam.org/Silas/founders.htm

JESUS/ MUHAMMAD?


A COMPARISON OF THE FOUNDERS
OF THE WORLD'S TWO LARGEST RELIGIONS

by Silas

INTRODUCTION



Jesus founded Christianity, Muhammad founded Islam. These are the two largest religions in the world with about 1.8 billion and 1.1 billion members respectively. Without a doubt, these men have affected humanity in a powerful way. As religious leaders they laid down many principles to live by.

Both religions have much in common, but differ strongly in other aspects. What were the founders' characters like? How do they compare with each other? What does the Bible and the Quran say about Jesus? What did their teachings and actions induce their followers to do? This article answers these questions by comparing and contrasting some of their actions and teachings.

NOTE: I will use the Bible, usually the New International Version (NIV)[1] as the source for Jesus' words and actions. I will quote from the Quran, usually N.J. Dawood's translation [2], and the Hadiths of Bukhari [3] and Muslim [4], the "Life of Muhammad" [5], which is a translation done by A. Guillaume of Ibn Ishaq's "Sirat Rasulallah", the "History" of Tabari [6], and the Sunan of Abu Dawud [7]. Generally, the Hadiths of Bukhari and Muslim are the sayings and deeds of Muhammad, and are recognized as the most authentic by Islamic scholarship. Ibn Ishaq's "Sirat Rasulallah" is recognized as the best extent biography of Muhammad, and Tabari's "History" is the best historical account of Muhammad and the early Islamic community available.

SOME OF THEIR LAST WORDS

JESUS: "Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." Luke 23:34. (said while dying on the cross at Calvary after being betrayed and sentenced to die for no legitimate reason).


MUHAMMAD: "May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of the prophets." Bukhari, Vol. 1, #427 [Muhammad had been poisoned years earlier by a Jewish woman whose husband was killed by the Muslims and the poison had slowly worked its effect. He said this while dying in the arms of his wife Aisha].

COMMENT by Author

As I've studied both of these men's lives, I find that the above comparison details some of the strongest character differences. Here are their dying words, words that will mark the end of their lives. Christ asks God to forgive His enemies, while Muhammad utters a bitter curse against those who rejected his assertion of prophethood. Wouldn't it have been more appropriate for Muhammad to ask Allah to guide the Christians and Jews while he was dying?

SLAVERY

JESUS: had no slaves. Jesus taught to do to others as you would have them do to you. Jesus had no slaves, and it is apparent from His teachings that He would not have slaves. He freed men, not enslaved them. No one wants to be enslaved against their will.

Further, Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1:8-10,

"We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers..."

From these verses, we see that forcibly enslaving people, and trading in slaves, are against Christian teachings.

MUHAMMAD: was a slaver. He owned and sold many slaves, both male and female. He said Allah allowed him and his Muslim followers to have sex with their female slaves when the men wanted to. Reference the Quran, Sura (chapters) 33:50, 52, 23:5, and 70:30. Slaves are considered "booty" for Muslims when taken in raids, thus they are Muslim's property. Muhammad felt proud and conceited enough to enslave thousands of people.


The great Islamic historian Tabari wrote regarding Muhammad's sexual intercourse with his slave Mariyah; "he had intercourse with her by virtue of her being his property." [Tabari, Volume 39, page 194].


Muhammad made slaves out of the people he raided and fought against. Most notable were the women and children survivors of Muhammad's massacre of the 800 males (young teens and up) of the Jewish Banu Quraydhah, Sura 33:26. The Sirat Rasulallah - the earliest biography of Muhammad, gives much more detail on pages 461 and on. Shortly after massacring the Jewish males Ibn Ishaq wrote on page 466:

"Then the apostle divided the property, wives, and children of the Banu Qurayza among the Muslims, and he made known on that day the shares of horse and men, and took out the fifth", (Muhammad and his family got one fifth of all the spoils of war). . . Then the apostle sent Sa'd . . . with some of the captive women of Banu Qurayza to Najd and he sold them for horses and weapons."

Bukhari also documents Muhammad owning many slaves - vol. 5, # 541 & vol. 7, # 344. Muhammad had Negro, Arab, Egyptian, male, female, Jewish, Christian, and pagan Arab slaves.

Muhammad also allowed slaves to be harshly beaten. When his wife was being examined as to whether or not she committed adultery, Muhammad's son in law, Ali, brutally beat Aisha's slave in front of Muhammad, in order to insure that she tell the truth about Aisha. Here is the quote from Ibn Ishaq's "Sirat Rasulallah", translated as "The Life of Muhammad", by A. Guillaume, (page 496):

"So the apostle called Burayra (Aisha's slave) to ask her, and Ali got up and gave her a violent beating saying, "Tell the apostle the truth,"....

Muhammad did not stop Ali from beating the slave.

Muhammad also allowed newly captured female slaves to be used for sex. From the Hadith of Sahih Muslim vol. 2, #3371


Abu Sirma said to Abu Said al Khudri: "O Abu Said, did you hear Allah's messenger mentioning about al-azl (coitus interruptus)?" He said, "Yes", and added: "We went out with Allah's messenger on the expedition to the Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing azl" (withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid conception). But we said: "We are doing an act whereas Allah's messenger is amongst us; why not ask him?" So we asked Allah's messenger and he said: "It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born".
And vol. 3, #3432


Abu Said al-Khudri reported that at the Battle of Hunain Allah's messenger sent an army to Autas and encountered the enemy and fought with them. Having overcome them and taken them captives, the Companions of Allah's messenger seemed to refrain from having intercourse with captive women because of their husbands being polytheists. Then Allah, Most High, sent down regarding that: "And women already married, except those whom your right hands possess (Quran - 4:24), (i.e. they were lawful for them when their Idda (menstrual) period came to an end).

COMMENT

Jesus' teachings would preclude people from forcibly enslaving people. "Do to others as you would have them do to you" - Luke 6:31. On the other hand, Muhammad and his soldiers went out and attacked many people and forced them into slavery.

PUNISHING SINNERS WHO WERE WILLING TO REPENT

JESUS

From John 8:2-11

At dawn He (Jesus) appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap in order to have a basis to accuse Him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one sir", she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

MUHAMMAD

From the Hadith of Abu Dawud, #4428

"Buraidah said: "A woman of Ghamid came to the Prophet and said: "I have committed fornication", He said: "Go back". She returned and on the next day she came to him again, and said: "Perhaps you want to send me back as you did to Maiz b. Malik. I swear by Allah, I am pregnant." He said to her: "Go back". She then returned and came to him the next day. He said to her: "Go back until you give birth to the child." She then returned. When she gave birth to the child she brought the child to him, and said: "Here it is! I have given birth to it." He said: "Go back, and suckle him until you wean him." When she had weaned him, she brought him to him with something in his hand which he was eating.

The boy was then given to a certain man of the Muslims and he (the prophet) commanded regarding her. So a pit was dug for her, and he gave orders about her and she was stoned to death. Khalid was one of those who were throwing stones at her. He threw a stone at her. When a drop of blood fell on his cheek, he abused her. The prophet said to him: "Gently, Khalid. By Him in Whose hand my soul is, she has repented to such an extent that if one who wrongfully takes an extra tax were to repent to a like extent, he would be forgiven". Then giving command regarding her, prayed over her and she was buried.""

COMMENT

Here is a stark contrast between the two men. When Jesus dealt with the adulterous woman, He did not condemn her. He commanded her to go and sin no more. He gave her a chance for redemption – the very model of mercy.

How many people have started out down the wrong street, but years later were able to turn their lives around? Not only in that, but they have been able to help others turn their lives around as well? Jesus offered this chance to the woman. Under the law, the Jews could have stoned the woman to death, but Christ's love and compassion was much greater.


Muhammad’s approach was much different. At first, he tried to dismiss the adulterous woman. She confessed her sin to him, but he refused to hear her and deal with it. Instead, he told her to go back. This occurred three times. Three times Muhammad ran from dealing with the situation. Finally, after the women's consistent confession, Muhammad was forced to confront her sin. He allowed her to give birth, suckle and then wean the child, which could have taken 1 to 3 years. Then she returned and Muhammad had her killed.

This woman not only confessed, but she repented. She was a good mother to her child and she was a responsible member of her community. Couldn't Muhammad have forgiven her as he had so many other types of sinners? Muhammad allowed many others off for the sins they committed. Even people who had killed his family members were forgiven if they confessed he was a prophet of God and there was only one God. But Muhammad was unable to deal compassionately with the woman. He couldn't see beyond his nose. He couldn't see that she had turned her life around, properly raised her child, and was doing the right thing. Muhammad's shortsightedness caused her death.

Muhammad did not even deal with it after Judaic law. In Moses' law, the adulterer was to be stoned to death. Muhammad did not do so, he gave the woman several years to live. Even if you take into account the respite to give birth to a child, Muhammad waited until the woman weaned the child. Surely there were other women who could have nursed the child. Muhammad simply dealt with the situation as best, (or not best) as he could; Muhammad made up his own rules as he went along.

WAR - TREATMENT OF ADVERSARIES

JESUS: In Luke 9:54, 55 Jesus rebuked His disciples when they wanted to destroy a town that rejected Him. Also, in Luke 22:52, Jesus' disciples started to fight against those that came to arrest Jesus, He stopped them, and healed a man injured in the fight.

MUHAMMAD: told his followers to aggressively make war on non-Muslims: 9:5, 29. Sura 9 was one of the last Suras given by Muhammad. Initially, when Muhammad's group was weak, he ordered his followers to try to get along with other people. After the Muslims became powerful, he ordered them to spread Islam by force. Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman continued his wars of aggression. A few of Muhammad’s actions include:

The massacre of approximately 800 Jewish male captives: (noted in Sura 33:26).

He ordered the execution of 10 people when he took Mecca. Three of these people were slave girls who had previously made fun of Muhammad. Refer to "The Life of Muhammad", pages 551 and 552.

He attacked the Jewish city of Khaibar where he took one of the Jewish leaders and tortured him to force him to tell where some buried money was. After the man refused to talk, and was near death, Muhammad ordered that his head be cut off. Refer to

"The Life of Muhammad", page 515.

COMMENT

No one would envision Jesus ordering the execution of slave girls for mocking him years earlier. He brought a better message and a better way of life. No one would imagine Jesus having a man tortured to reveal buried money. His life was free of greed.

Muhammad could be a very brutal man. Does killing a few slave girls for mocking him seem justified?. Is having them killed for that justified? Does it seem rational or sensible? Does torturing a man just to get money portray the type of man society should follow, obey, and emulate?

WOMEN & MARRIAGE

JESUS: was not married. He healed women, forgave women, and encouraged women. The New Testament teaches that husbands should love their wives and not be harsh with them: Col. 3:19, Eph. 5:25, that men and women are equal in Christ - Gal 3:28, that they should be treated with respect - 1 Pet 3:7.

MUHAMMAD: commanded his male followers to beat their disobedient wives. He gave men the right to beat their wives who persistently disobeyed them.

Sura 4:34 "As those you fear may be rebellious admonish, banish them to their couches, and beat them."

The above verse was revealed in connection with a woman who complained to Muhammad that her husband slapped her on the face, which was still marked by the slap. At first Muhammad said to her "Get even with him", but then added 'Wait until I think about it". Later on the above verse was revealed, and Muhammad added, 'We (He and the woman) wanted one thing, Allah wanted another.

The Hadith also said much about women:

Muhammad said that women are generally so evil, that they will make up the majority of people in to hell. Continuing with Bukhari,

Vol. 1, #301: "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women). They [women] asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands."
Bukhari Vol. 1, #28: "The Prophet said, "I was shown the Hell-fire and the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful." It was asked, "Do they disbelieve in Allah?" (or are they ungrateful to Allah?), he replied, "They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good done to them...."

Sahih Muslim says they are the minority in Paradise:

Volume 4, #6600: "Imran Husain reported that Allah's messenger said: Amongst the inmates of Paradise the women would form a minority."

By putting these two Hadith together, we find that Muhammad said that women were the minority in Paradise, and the majority in hell. Therefore it is not a statistical ratio due to the possibility that there are more women than men. Muhammad viewed women as more sinful than men. And the reason more women are in hell is because the women were ungrateful to their husbands!

Muhammad also declared that women are less intelligent than men:

Bukhari, Volume 1, #301:
".
Then he (Muhammad) passed by the women and said, "O women, give alms as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." they asked, "Why is it so O Allah's messenger?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's messenger, what is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence....."

COMMENT

Christ's teachings show that women and men are equal in God's sight. "There is neither male nor female in Christ". Socially, Christ dealt with them according to the Father's mercy.

Muhammad positioned females as in between slave and free. Even today in Islamic countries women are regulated to being second class and controlled by the males. This is because of where Muhammad placed them in his teachings.

PRAYER

JESUS: taught His disciples to pray simply, and from the heart. God listens to the heart, not the outward form:
Matt: 6:5-13: "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words..."

Jesus taught that true prayer was an expression of relationship and communication with a heavenly Father.

MUHAMMAD: taught formalized prayer ritual: (quotes are from Bukhari, Vol. 1)
488 - passing in front of a praying person annuls his prayer
489 - it's a sin to pass in front of someone while they're praying
660 - don't raise from prayer before the Imam {Muslim cleric leading the formal, ritualized prayers), or God will turn your face into a donkey's face
685 - if the prayer rows (of men) aren't straight, God will alter your faces
690 - if the prayer rows aren't straight, the prayer is not good
717 - if you look up during prayer, you'll lose your eyesight
759 - if you don't perform the bowing perfectly, your prayers are not accepted

These men were quite different. Both have left their marks upon the world. Christians follow Christ, Muslims follow Muhammad. Both claimed to have been from God, but their teachings and actions contradict each other.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
[1] The New International Study Bible, pub. by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.
[2] The Quran, translated by N.J. Dawood, pub. by Penguin Books, London, England.
[3] "Sahih Al-Bukhari" - "The Translation of the Meanings of Sahih Al-Bukhari", translated by Dr. M Khan, pub. by Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India.
[4] "Sahih Muslim", translated into English by A. Siddiqi, pub. by International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
[5] "Sirat Rasulallah" - "The Life of the Prophet of God", translated as "The Life of Muhammad" by A. Guillaume, pub. by Oxford University Press, London, England.
[6] "The History of Tabari", published by SUNY, Albany, New York, USA.
[7] "Sunan of Abu Dawud", published by Al-Madina Publications, New Delhi, India.



------------------------------------------------------------------------

 



Believe it or not, you don't get to just say whatever you want and get away with it in the religion forum. While the evidential standards are laxed, the critical thinking standards are not. Quote mining is still not allowed, and the copy/pasta of the above quoted post is one giant exercise of picking cherries. Furthermore, do not, under any circumstances make posts of giant copy/pastes again. You've been warned before.

Now one might wonder why I said it was cherry picking, so I'll play the same game. Let's talk about peace. Playing fast and loose with quotation to prove a predetermined point like the article you copied, we can say Jesus said the exact opposite of Christianity being a religion of peace!

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."-Matthew 10:34

Even more, your post came after modnotes saying to stop turning the thread into a Christianity vs Islam thread.

So:
1) Do not do a huge copy/paste again.
2) Keep to the intellectual standards of the site.
3) EVERYBODY stay on topic or the thread will be closed.
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I take the moderators warning on the chin and accept it as valid and will not repeat my error again!

 

However, the thread is about Islam, whether it can be said to be a religion of peace and we need the word of the Prophet Mohammed to establish this, because 1.2 billion people follow his teaching as reflected in the Qur'an.

 

During the last decade most of civil unrest appeared to have come from countries that are predominantly Muslim, the Arab Spring is an example, Syria is another. 9/11 was a disaster perpetrated by Islamic "radical fundamental extremists" not the average Muslim who are mostly good people , I repeat!

 

I will avoid comparing Islam to any other religion, but the question of the who?, why? in relation to the actual true "source and cause" of "present day violence and civil unrest" in the world remains unanswered, in a logical calm and objective manner by the forum members, in my opinion!

 

Maybe we should list the reasons, like some of mine below.

 

1) Dislike of Western Civilization and values. (Logical or illogical)?

2) Conversion of all peoples to Islam as a duty of every Muslim?

3) Create a Islamic world theocracy?

?

?

Add your own please to the list!

Edited by Alan McDougall
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It is hard to decide whether an ideology X is peaceful without comparing it to others. Every ideology/country/anyhing may be peaceful compared to something else. USA is a peaceful, pacifist country compared to Nazi Germany but a true warmonger when compared to Switzerland. So the "peacefulness" is not that obvious IMHO.

 

When it comes to religions - it is ahrd to decide which ones are peaceful without engaging in the study of it's books and theological treaties - and it takes months ad many of them are truly monumental.

Edited by SlavicWolf
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During the last decade most of civil unrest appeared to have come from countries that are predominantly Muslim, the Arab Spring is an example, Syria is another.

 

 

And in other decades civil unrest has come from countries who were predominantly other religions. Not a lot of Muslims in the history books regarding the US or French revolutions, for example.

 

This whole thread seems to be premised on selection bias, special pleading and no true scotsmen (and I'm not the first to note this)

 

9/11 was a disaster perpetrated by Islamic "radical fundamental extremists" not the average Muslim who are mostly good people , I repeat!

What is your point here? Are we looking at the violent actions of a few extremists, or the non-violent actions of the vast majority?

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And in other decades civil unrest has come from countries who were predominantly other religions. Not a lot of Muslims in the history books regarding the US or French revolutions, for example.

 

This whole thread seems to be premised on selection bias, special pleading and no true scotsmen (and I'm not the first to note this)

 

What is your point here? Are we looking at the violent actions of a few extremists, or the non-violent actions of the vast majority?

 

Again I repeat the thread is about civil unrest and violence in the last few decades, not the ancient history. Your comment saying that the whole thread seems to be premised on selection bias , special pleading and no true Scotsmen makes no sense, please elaborate?.

 

Moderator imatfaal warned us all not to compare Islam to any other religion and here you are doing it again albeit in past times?

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Again I repeat the thread is about civil unrest and violence in the last few decades, not the ancient history. Your comment saying that the whole thread seems to be premised on selection bias , special pleading and no true Scotsmen makes no sense, please elaborate?.

 

Moderator imatfaal warned us all not to compare Islam to any other religion and here you are doing it again albeit in past times?

 

The selection bias and special pleading is restricting actions to the last few decades. It assumes that all the involved societies are at exactly the same stage of political maturity and secularization, which is patently absurd. It's not like a revolution against a monarchy or dictator is an Islamic thing, it's that the western (non-Islamic) world already threw off their monarchical or dictatorial structures. It's not a fair assessment.

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When it comes to religions - it is ahrd to decide which ones are peaceful without engaging in the study of it's books and theological treaties - and it takes months ad many of them are truly monumental.

This was going to be my comment. Probably have been studies like this comparing the Abrahamic religions, but probably varied results. I know very little about Islam and have to admit I bought into the idea that its worse than the others, but seems to me if they had a reformation and adopted a secular government, they could dance around thier book like others do.

 

We shouldn't expect a religion, especially a large one to be peaceful though. If a religion actually preached peace and was effective, those people would have been taken out long ago.

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You cannot make Islam compatible with secularism. The religion is rigid like a fossil, the only way to change it would be to change or denounce a part of it's scriptures and that is an impossible task. Many have tried and failed miserably - there has never been any tradition of secularism in Islam, it's prophet preferred a theocracy to a secular state.

 

IMHO the only true reformer of Islam was Bahá'u'lláh. He realized that reforming Islam was a pipe dream, so he declared himself a new prophet, the Promised One mentioned in the Quran.

Edited by SlavicWolf
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You cannot make Islam compatible with secularism. The religion is rigid like a fossil, the only way to change it would be to change or denounce a part of it's scriptures and that is an impossible task. Many have tried and failed miserably - there has never been any tradition of secularism in Islam, it's prophet preferred a theocracy to a secular state.

 

 

As there are a great many Muslims who are going through these very steps of meshing their religious world with the secular one and aren't blowing stuff up, you'll excuse me if I think this is utter bollocks.

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Personally, I haven't been trying to compare Islam with Christianity. I bring up other religions only to show that the criteria being used to judge Islam is not exclusive to it, and is therefore suspect. You can't say one is violent because its holy book says violent things without applying that to all.

 

The Bible has a lot more violent verses in it, but it's a much bigger document, The Quran has more violence for its size, but so what? I distrust that as a good metric, especially since Islam was formed when the Christian church was preaching peace with swords from horseback. I can see how open violence would seem more honest to early Muslims.

 

So far, one side of this discussion seems to be focused on the literal interpretation of religious text and the actions of a fanatical splinter minority to support the allegation that Islam is inherently a violent religion. But reality shows that the majority of Muslims aren't like the rabid zealots we see helping media agendas. How is this evidence countered? So far, it's been claimed that no true Muslim would do anything other than follow the Quran literally, And that Muslims everywhere could follow a Hitler-like leader who used Islamic doctrine to unite disparate believers (the much feared jihad). Both are fallacious arguments, it's been shown to be so, yet the arguments persist, indicating that some proselytizing is going on here.

 

Can we drop the fallacies along with the copy/paste ranting? This could be an awesome discussion but we have to be willing to drop the dogma and talk about real life, not simply push our opinions on others with no thought of critical reasoning other than to win a debate. There's no proof involved here, just evidence to support or refute our claims, so can we focus on that and stop trying to prove something?

 

This Pew study indicates that most Muslims don't support extremism in the name of Islam. It shows the vast majority of Muslims in Pakistan, Germany and the US feel that suicide bombing of civilians is NEVER justified to defend Islam from it's detractors. I feel the only explanation I can trust at this point is that Islam has the potential, like any other ideology, to be used violently if its followers adopt a literal translation of its sacred documents. I don't see the majority doing this, so I can't trust an explanation that the religion itself is inherently violent.

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You cannot make Islam compatible with secularism. The religion is rigid like a fossil, the only way to change it would be to change or denounce a part of it's scriptures and that is an impossible task. Many have tried and failed miserably - there has never been any tradition of secularism in Islam, it's prophet preferred a theocracy to a secular state.

 

IMHO the only true reformer of Islam was Bahá'u'lláh. He realized that reforming Islam was a pipe dream, so he declared himself a new prophet, the Promised One mentioned in the Quran.

 

This statement also betrays quite a state of ignorance on that matter. There has been a tradition of secularism in Islam (see Ira Lapidus: A history of Islamic societies), dating back to the 10th century. There have been conflicts between secular (state) and religious entities, but both were somewhat more intermeshed (IIRC) than their Christian equivalents as they were not as rigidly and hierarchically organized.

 

In modern Times Turkey is the most obvious example for a mostly secular Islamic state. Interestingly the secular wing is considered more authoritarian, whereas the Islamic faction tends to be more liberal and seeks to reform Islam e.g. to reduce misogyny http://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/feb/27/turkey.islam. This pretty much refutes the premise given in the quote.

 

One issue is that in many countries the modernization was conducted within a much shorter period of time as compared to many Western countries. Oftentimes secularism was connected to authoritarian Dictatorships which bolstered religious counter-movement. In short things are embedded in historical settings in highly complicated ways and blanket statements (or even worse, projections based on these) are almost inevitably wrong.

Edited by CharonY
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@Phi for All

Oh man... Again you're confusing apples with oranges. You are confusing Muslims with people who are Muslims only in name. I know "Muslims" who wouldn't even think of stoning an adulterer to death. Does it mean that such a punishment is not a part of Islam? Not, it is perfectly justified in hadith literature and all mainstream interpretations of sharia.

 

As Ayaan Hirsi Ali put it - most self-declared Muslims choose how much of their religion they want to follow. However, this is not a true Islam. A true Muslim must approve all laws set by Muhamad, as they were established by the perfect man to be practiced for all times.

 

In Islamic law there is a procedure known as takfir. This is a process in which a self-declared Muslim is declared an unbeliever and the (if he does not repent), he is executed for hindering the implementation of sharia. One of the reasons of declaring a someone an unbeliever is "forbidding what is halal and permitting what is haram". it means that if, for example, some Muslim says that drinking alcohol is OK, then he must be executed if he doesn't change his stance. Why? Because he made permitted what Allah had declared as forbidden (haram). if someone says that it is not permitted to execute an adulterer, then he would be killed too. Why? Because he forbade a thing that Allah had made permitted (halal) or even mandatory.

 

This is not all my own imagination. I'm just quoting rules of sharia law. once I got more time, I'll provide sources from some books about Islamic jurisprudence.

 

In modern Times Turkey is the most obvious example for a mostly secular Islamic state. Interestingly the secular wing is considered more authoritarian, whereas the Islamic faction tends to be more liberal and seeks to reform Islam e.g. to reduce misogyny http://www.theguardi...27/turkey.islam. This pretty much refutes the premise given in the quote.

You forgot to mention that Turkey owns it's secularism only to a brutal, ruthless military dictatorship, lasting for decades (one could be exxecuted even for wearing a fez)

 

No country can be secular and islamic at the same time. When it is islamc, it cannot be secular. When it's secular, it cannot be Islamic. Even more. It must be fiercely anti-islamic if it wants to survive.

Edited by SlavicWolf
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@iNow:

My reasoning is not fallacious. Maybe I'll explain this on a less provocative example.

 

Every country has it's own legal system which determines what you can do and what you can't - in other words, what does it mean to be a law abiding citizen. In this case, is everyone who claims to be a law abiding person actually one? Is a person who claims to be law abiding but constantly drives under the influence, beats his wife and engages in illegal smuggling of drugs actually "law abiding"? You may claim that he is because not everyone adheres to a literal interpretation of penal code. They may, for example, interpret it metaphorically. If everyone could make his own interpretation of what does it mean to obey law, there would be no crimes and prisons would be empty.

 

But they aren't. That's because people as citizens don't have the right to create their own law. it's the judiciary system that decides what laws people must follow. Every person who claims to be a law obeying citizen must adhere to these rules because that's the requirement made by those who created them. They also decide how they should be interpreted. You cannot smuggle drugs and be innocent at the same time unless you aren't a human which is impossible.

 

That's exactly the flaw in your reasoning - all your assumptions are based on a faulty promise that people actually have the right to decide who is a Muslim and who is not while in fact they don't. All requirements were decided about 1400 years ago. if they weren't, there would be no such thing as takfir in Islamic law (google it if you want to learn more)

Edited by SlavicWolf
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