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Educated Opinions On: Islam in the West


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Unfortunately this conversations seems to have gone some what in to the direction of Christianity is greater than Islam. While I agree that today Muslims appear to be the most represssive of the major religions I view that as a superficial bit of information if the point is a comparison of cultures. There is no place on earth Christians have not split blood. Groups of people who were culturally Christian killed natives in the Americans, Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. No group has killed more or oppressed more than Christians. One might minimize my point by saying that all my examples are hundreds of years old but segregation in the States just end in the 1960's, Apartheid in Africa ended in the 1980's, China got control of lands back in the 1990's, and the Christian western world still profits off of sweat shops all across Asia and South America today.

I understand that nothing I have mentioned was or is being done by Christian organizations. Rather just people who happen to be Christian. Often by a matter of culture more so than practice. I think the same argument could be made about groups in the middle east. Are Palestinians a Muslim organization or a group of people who are Muslim? Besides as a matter of philosophy things like manifest destiny sure seem religious in nature to me.

I am not saying Christians are worse than Muslims. I am saying the comparison is pointless. People kill each other over control of: land, technology, food, oil, each other, and so on. If not in the name of God than in the name of something else. Religion is a symptom, not the the disease itself.

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I am SlavicWolf... I simply forgot passsword to my old account so I had to create a new one after a not posting for a long time.


I would say there is no difference between non-practicing Christians and non-practicing Muslims except in one thing - Christians are peaceful to the degree that they follow the teachings of Christ. Muslims are peaceful to the degree that they disregard the teachings of Muhammad.


My argument would be fallacious if Muslims were allowed to pick & choose bits of their religion according to their personal taste - but the contract between man and Allah does not permit such a thing. In fact, it makes it illegal. It's like law - you can't enslave other people, at the same time claiming that you are a follower of US Constitution as it conflicts with both the Consitiution (13th amendment anyone?) and other legal documents that are in accordance with it.



Moderator Note

SFN has a strict no-duplicate-accounts rule. If you had problems logging in, contacting staff should have been your first point of call. Given your history as SlavicWolf, both accounts are hereby banned.

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I think it is not religion that is the problem. It is people who are able to believe that they know what is true when they do not. This approach is encouraged in some religious schools and confused with faith, and it is also common characteristic of critics of religion, but not all religion takes this anti-intellectual approach. In the end I'd say the problem is with dogmatism on all sides, and not with religion per se.


I must say, though, that while I believe that the Islam of the Sufi's is a true doctrine, and while I could hardly be a more sympathetic interpreter of the book, I find much of the Quran distasteful. There is a serious clash of cultures going on in my head. I try to like it, but the language is very difficult. For the same reason I find the Old Testament difficult. We have to appreciate the context in which these texts were written, however, which for many of us might as well be another planet.


As for the current violence in Islamic countries, it could be argued that it is mostly caused by Christians. I wouldn't want to have that argument, (definitely not), but it could be argued. And then, when a religious fundamentalist like Tony Blair is prominently involved in the relevant political processes in Islamic countries it does not fill one with hope. I blame him personally for most of the current violence and chaos, and thus would accuse Christians of causing at least as much of the recent troubles as Muslims.


As to the OP, I think the best hope for Islam in the West is that scientists and rational philosophers start to study religion more carefully in order to sort the wheat from the chaff on behalf of the rest of us. The current blanket dismissal leads to a lack of scholarship, is not getting us anywhere and works against any meaningful dialogue.


It seems very impressive that this thread did not immediately descend into chaos.

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