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Official Islam Thread!

post #1 of 119
Thread Starter 
Some of you may have been following the discussion with Fellows and Camp David and others in the Christianity thread were we discussed posting some threads about various religions - well, welcome to the Islam one!

First a few things - not rules because there aren't any but more an outline of the spirit of the thread. Basically the idea is to post and discuss around the following:
  1. Things that are surprising or not widely known about the faith
  2. Things that are happening that help foster unity and progression
  3. General positive stuff!!

That doesn't mean that this is a promotion of Islam or the other threads I hope people will start will be promotions of a given religion either but more that it is for discussion in a positive way.

I know I've been very negative in the past about Christianity in particular and also atheism but I don't want to do that any more which is one of the reasons I agreed to make this thread -and why I hope I'll be able to be positive in the sister-threads if there are any.

So hopefully we can all find something good and have a positive environment here - Let's all try and respect that, if anyone really wants an argument or to post the negative aspects we all know are out in the world then let's 'take it outside' and do it in a specific thread for that!! I probably won't join in though.

So..enough preamble - I was thinking of posting some elements of common ground between Islam (or more specifically the Middle East) and the West where there are many influences on each other which we don't always realize but I think that can wait till later because while compiling that list I noticed quite a few interesting articles about the growing inter-faith initiatives and moderate Islamic voices coming to the fore.

I really think that now there is a growing renaissance in this 'inter-faith' area - I don't like the term but there is not another one as yes. The Cordoba Initiative in NYC would be an example but there are many, many such things happening.

I noticed this article and video about Pakistanis in NYC voicing the real Pakistan.

These guys in the video are actually Sufis which are the third major sect of Islam along with Sunnis and Shi'i but they are inclusive and tolerant so they could be either Sunni or Shi'i or neither. Sometimes they are even Christians and their doctrinal position is more like Christianity than traditional Islam, they revere Jesus a lot more also.

I don't really want to talk too much about Sufism but those interested can find out I think. This is just to introduce the thread and get it rolling.

I hope people will participate with either questions, ideas they have, discussion of others' contributions or contributions of their own of positive developments in the world or in Islam.

I also hope and encourage other people with interest and knowledge to post their own 'official religion X' threads - we should have as many as poss; Buddhism, Judaism, Atheism - whatever...hopefully we can develop a more positive spirit than the traditional one we kind of got stuck in when discussing each other's beliefs!!
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #2 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Some of you may have been following....

Wonderful thread! Thanks for starting this!

I watched your linked video footage of the Pakistani Sufis in NYC and it inspired me and reminded me of something. Many times the "good" is harder to find be it in the media or in our hearts. Thanks BBC for this particular story. I am inspired by such a thread, such an initial story within this thread, and the prospects for greater co-operation and understanding among all.

We all have become accustomed to being cynical and desensitized to good when we have witnessed so much bad. If we allow bad events to wall off our heart and harden our heart we miss out on the abundant good and we live in the realm of "everything is extreme bad".

It is a call and a challenge to us all to start to choose to see less bad and to choose to see more good. If we do embark on this mission with passion and an open heart we can turn loss and hurt into gain and joy.

Not just for our lives but for generations to come.

Thank you for this thread,

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
Reply
post #3 of 119
Is it true all the Muslims hid all the dinosaurs and unicorns? I wanted to pet a dinosaur and ride a unicorn!

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #4 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Is it true all the Muslims hid all the dinosaurs and unicorns? I wanted to pet a dinosaur and ride a unicorn!

Actually the idea of the Unicorn does seem to stem from Islamic sources, you're right. In Islamic lore the creature was called Karkadann and it seems that the iconic animal of the West was drawn from these original Islamic sources.

This is exactly the sort of common ground I was thinking of posting about earlier. I will post some more shortly.

Incidentally, one of the greatest explorers ever, Ibn Batuta (the father of anthropology) felt that the rhinoceros was such a beast when he first encountered one.

I'll post some more common parallels in a bit.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #5 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Actually the idea of the Unicorn does seem to stem from Islamic sources, you're right. In Islamic lore the creature was called Karkadann and it seems that the iconic animal of the West was drawn from these original Islamic sources.

This is exactly the sort of common ground I was thinking of posting about earlier. I will post some more shortly.

Incidentally, one of the greatest explorers ever, Ibn Batuta (the father of anthropology) felt that the rhinoceros was such a beast when he first encountered one.

I'll post some more common parallels in a bit.

So they DID HIDE THEM!

Have you ever noticed that the roofs on mosques are extra tall?

To me, it looks exactly like how you would have to build a building to hide a dinosaur inside. Look at all the headroom in there. Clearly it isn't humans that need the neck space and there are plenty of giraffes around so it can't be for them. Why did muslims steal all the dinosaurs?

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #6 of 119
Thread Starter 
I was thinking that it is very odd that Islam and the Middle East are seen as so 'removed' and opposite of the West when really much of the contemporary Western society is derived from common sources.

For example, our whole numerical system is the Arabic number system. Literally the same. It replaced the Roman numerals and introduced the number ) which the West did not have at that time.

Similarly many English words are literal Arabic or Persian words: traffic, cheque, magazine, tariff, tabby, filly, algebra, troubadour - these are all literal Arabic words.

Likewise an orange (the fruit) is taken directly from the Persian name for the fruit 'na rang' which means 'no sorrow'.

Alcohol, probably the West's iconic drink, was actually distilled for the first time by Jabir al-Hayyan al-Sufi who is regarded as the 'father of Chemistry' and he has a moon-crater named after him... his Latinized name is Geber.

Actually he indirectly gave us another English word; 'gibberish' because his writing were so difficult to understand they seemed like nonsense - thus the word Geber-ish.

The institutions of hospitals and Universities were first developed in the Islamic world - the Western academic mortar-board hat is actually a direct borrowing from this time and the first University at al-Azhar in Cairo (970 CE) - the boards are flat because the Qur'an was rested on the top on graduation of the students to symbolize that it was above the human's learning...

Many scholars are also arguing that aspects of the Western legal system are derived in part from Sharia law. Apparently even the 12 member jury may derive from an eastern source.

BBC Article

Even in Science the fields of algebra, chemistry, geology, spherical trigonometry were developed and transmitted to the West from Eastern sources.

So in a way it is puzzling that Islam and Muslims should be seen as 'other' - the West and the East have far more in common than elements of division.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #7 of 119
Excellent idea/thread. I, too, try to focus on the positive. Yes, I'm guilty of focusing on the negative and chiming in with satirical comments here in PO. I regret it. I'll redouble my efforts to contribute meaningful, positive content and ignore the trolls and the negativity.

Now in regards to the topic, I wanted to share some insights into how people of my faith (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - commonly called "Mormons") relate to and interact with those of the Muslim faith. I hope you find the following articles enlightening:

A Latter-day Saint Perspective on Muhammad

A Life among Muslims

Islam and Mormonism—A Comparison

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #8 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Some of you may have been following the discussion...

THANKS FOR STARTING THIS THREAD...comments in due course once I review...
post #9 of 119
I'd like to know WHY they believe what they do. What leads them to believe in these things? Why can they look at mythology from, say, the ancient greeks, and readily surmise that they are merely invented stories, but they defensively portray their own stories as "gospel truth".

I'm also trying not to attack here, but to honestly understand WHY people actually believe these things.
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #10 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

I'd like to know WHY they believe what they do. What leads them to believe in these things? Why can they look at mythology from, say, the ancient greeks, and readily surmise that they are merely invented stories, but they defensively portray their own stories as "gospel truth".

I'm also trying not to attack here, but to honestly understand WHY people actually believe these things.

I appreciate that - it's definitely a very important question and a key one.

I think there are several reasons and they probably apply across the board to all belief-systems. These are the reasons I can think of - feel free to add more:

1) Family tradition. Some Muslims (and other faiths no doubt) believe what they do because they were brought up believing it. That is to say there is such a thing in the East as the 'family religion' - sometimes these families have been of their specific faith for hundreds of years or longer.

Some people can trace their lineage to Muhammad himself (about a million people?) and so I guess that's a lot of history to carry around.

2) Cultural tradition - same as family I suppose but on a wider societal scale. Maybe an extension of the first but not necessarily.

3) Result of Individual Search or choice. I am guessing this is the one you maybe had in mind and it is the most interesting imo.

What is that makes someone attracted to a set of ideas? From my pov, a philosophy or belief is actually an answer to certain questions an individual might have.

The answer depends on the question. Someone who for example had experienced an abusive childhood full of hate might be attracted to a Church where people are very loving and caring and God is portrayed in that way.

Violent individuals who want a 'legitimate' outlet for their anger and violence might be attracted to an extremist ideology and so on.

I kind of see it in the sense that we all have a 'hole' in our lives and we try to find something that is the same shape. So the argument is not really about the thing that people believe imo but rather about the shape of the lack they have, or feel they have (maybe some people do not feel any lack even) and what caused this.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #11 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Excellent idea/thread. I, too, try to focus on the positive. Yes, I'm guilty of focusing on the negative and chiming in with satirical comments here in PO. I regret it. I'll redouble my efforts to contribute meaningful, positive content and ignore the trolls and the negativity.

Now in regards to the topic, I wanted to share some insights into how people of my faith (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - commonly called "Mormons") relate to and interact with those of the Muslim faith. I hope you find the following articles enlightening:

A Latter-day Saint Perspective on Muhammad

A Life among Muslims

Islam and MormonismA Comparison

Thanks for posting Jazzguru....very interesting articles...I read the first one and skimmed the second...will read deeper after posting.

I wanted to say one thing about this "Last Prophet' issue that came up. I don't actually think it matters. God cannot be limited in any way in Islamic belief so it is not really possible to say what God would or wouldn't do. He is not 'stuck in stasis' but dynamic. If He decided to change His mind and send another Prophet He could. It is not possible to say HE could never do this as this would be to limit God.

Actually there is a hadith (traditionally a saying of Muhammad) to this exact effect though I can't remember or find it. Basically it says that at the end times a new religious book and law will be sent down and the Muslims will find it very hard to accept and will not do so.

Do you know of Sir Richard Burton the explorer? First Westerner to visit Mecca....allegedly a Muslim but disguised as one on that trip. Anyway, he also visited Brigham Young in Utah and wrote a book The City of the Saints which is fascinating reading.

Article about Burton in Utah.

I'll give the other articles a read...
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #12 of 119
Thread Starter 
I thought I'd say a bit more about the Sufis following on from the Pakistani musicians vid above. Many people don't know so much about this group because Sunnis and Shi'is are seen as the main groups in Islam but actually Sufis can be either. Historically their origins are contemporary with Muhammad but some even claim their beliefs predate Islam and are traceable to Jesus.

They place much more emphasis on music, writing and art - and some of the most famous poets and writers have been Sufis; Saadi, Omar Khayyam, Hafez, Rumi.

Rumi actually is apparently the world's best-selling poet over the last few years and I think this is probably due to his inclusive nature. This is a typical example of his poetry:

Quote:
I tried to find Him on the Christian cross, but He was not there;
I went to the Temple of the Hindus and to the old pagodas but I could not find a trace of Him anywhere.
I searched on the mountains and in the valleys but neither in the heights nor in the depths was I able to find Him.
I went to the Kaaba in Mecca, but He was not there either.
I questioned the scholars and philosophers but He was beyond their understanding.
I then looked into my heart and it was there where He dwelled that I saw Him:

He was nowhere else to be found.

And he is writing this in the 12th century - this gives some idea of the tolerance of Islam in past times. He could say that he searched for God in idol houses (Hindu temples) and that God was not in the Ka'aba - and yet he was still able to freely say such things and still be regarded as one of the greatest Muslim poets.

Another favourite poet of mine is Rabia al-Adawiyya who is very interesting as she was a female Master (Sufis have a teacher-disciple organization which is very like Zen Buddhism - some say Zen is a derivation from Sufi sources, they are very similar in some ways) with Male disciples and lived in the 8th century.

One of her sayings/poems is:

Quote:
I love God: I have no time left In which to hate the devil.

How long will you keep pounding on an open door begging for someone to open it?

Sufis can be any religion - here is an article about a Jewish Sufi and there is evidence that St Francis may also have held similar beliefs.

Certainly they make no distinction between religions as this Sufi & Christian shrine shows.

I like the explanation of Inayat Khan about what Sufism:

Quote:
Sufism cannot be called deism, for the Sufi does not consider God as an entity separate from oneself. Neither can it be called pantheism, because the Sufi not only sees the immanence of God in nature, but also realizes God’s Essence in the infinite... The Sufi is not an atheist, for the Sufi denies neither God nor God’s Messengers.

To the question, "Are you a Christian?", "Are you a Muslim?", "Are you a Jew?", the Sufi’s answer would be ‘yes’ rather than ‘no’, for the Sufi opposes no religion but sympathizes with all. In fact Sufism cannot be called a religion, for it does not impose either belief or principle upon anyone, considering that each individual soul has its own principles best suited for it, and a belief which changes with each grade of evolution.

Sufism is not an intellectual philosophy, because it does not depend merely upon cold reasoning, but develops a devotional tendency in one. Sufism cannot be called occultism, for the Sufi does not give any importance to the investigation of phenomena; seeing the brevity of life, a Sufi deems that a worthless pursuit: the Sufi’s aim is God alone.

If anybody asks you, "What is Sufism? What religion is it?", you may answer, "Sufism is the religion of the heart, the religion in which the most important thing is to seek God in the heart of mankind."

But actually I didn't want to talk about Sufism but rather Islam - sorry...I got carried away!!
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #13 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Thanks for posting Jazzguru....very interesting articles...I read the first one and skimmed the second...will read deeper after posting.

I wanted to say one thing about this "Last Prophet' issue that came up. I don't actually think it matters. God cannot be limited in any way in Islamic belief so it is not really possible to say what God would or wouldn't do. He is not 'stuck in stasis' but dynamic. If He decided to change His mind and send another Prophet He could. It is not possible to say HE could never do this as this would be to limit God.

Actually there is a hadith (traditionally a saying of Muhammad) to this exact effect though I can't remember or find it. Basically it says that at the end times a new religious book and law will be sent down and the Muslims will find it very hard to accept and will not do so.

Do you know of Sir Richard Burton the explorer? First Westerner to visit Mecca....allegedly a Muslim but disguised as one on that trip. Anyway, he also visited Brigham Young in Utah and wrote a book The City of the Saints which is fascinating reading.

Article about Burton in Utah.

I'll give the other articles a read...

Thanks, seg!

I did not know about that hadith - very interesting!

And yes, I've been reading the biography of Porter Rockwell (quite an interesting character in the history of my church and the western United States) and Burton actually wrote a brief sketch of Porter Rockwell during his visit. I haven't read "The City of the Saints", but I've added it to my list.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #14 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Thanks, seg!

I did not know about that hadith - very interesting!

And yes, I've been reading the biography of Porter Rockwell (quite an interesting character in the history of my church and the western United States) and Burton actually wrote a brief sketch of Porter Rockwell during his visit. I haven't read "The City of the Saints", but I've added it to my list.

I'll try and dig it out....

Burton was amazing, spoke almost 40 languages including dialects. There's some really funny bits in the City of the Saints, he had a real sense of humour and Brigham Young comes across as an amazing individual.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #15 of 119
Thread Starter 
I'd like to post something about Islam as it originally was which is very important I think. Hopefully more people will comment!

In early Islam there was a concept called ijtihad - briefly, this was a doctrine that referred to the process of arriving at judgements through one's reason, intellect and logic.

It stemmed from the following theological basis:

God created everything.
Therefore He created humans with the ability to reason and think.
Therefore if one is sincerely searching for God through reason and logic then you will find Him.

It is irrelevant whether this reasoning is true - I am more interested in its effect which was one of tolerance.

For example: it meant that in Islamic societies the benchmark was not what someone believed but whether they were sincerely searching for God.

If they believed something odd but were sincere then ok, eventually reason would lead them to God. IF they used reason. Which they did.

Which is one of the reasons why we know of many other beliefs of the time such as Buddhism and Greek philosophy through Islamic sources.

Of course this could not be allowed to continue and when Clerics wanted to consolidate their power in Sunni Islam they outlawed it (an irrational act itself) though in Shi'ism it is still a factor.

One person who is campaigning for the restoration of ijtihad is Irshad Manji - she is very interesting. A hardcore feminist Muslim who regularly promotes tolerance and debate with atheists and who - of course - is under threat of death.

For those interested here is her Project Ijtihad

Quote:
Ijtihad (pronounced “ij-tee-had”) is Islam’s own tradition of independent thinking. In the early centuries of Islam, thanks to the spirit of ijtihad, 135 schools of thought thrived. Inspired by ijtihad, Muslims gave the world inventions from the astrolabe to the university. So much of what we consider "western" pop culture came from Muslims: the guitar, mocha coffee, even the ultra-Spanish expression "Ole!" (which has its root in the Arabic word for God, "Allah").

Project Ijtihad is a charitable initiative to promote the spirit of Ijtihad, Islam’s own tradition of critical thinking, debate and dissent. We support a positive vision of Islam that embraces diversity of choices, expression and spirituality. To achieve this, Project Ijtihad will help build the world’s most inclusive network of reform-minded Muslims and non-Muslim allies.

This is lightly tangential but there is a growing underground of reform in Islam and it is being led entirely by women.

You don't hear about it because the Islamic Orthodox do not want it to have the oxygen of publicity and Western male hegemony is not too fond of reporting it either but it is massive and when reform comes it will come from here.

Even now there are many, many cases of women petitioning to lead the prayers in the mosque and in some cases (Canada for example) succeeding.

Change is happening and when it comes it will be fast.

Check out her site she's interesting.

And check this video on Islamic Punk - yes, it does exist!
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #16 of 119
Seg, a really interesting thread, thankyou for it. I've been too busy of late to spend much time here at all, but will find some to explore more some of your posts here over the coming weeks.

Very interesting above post too. It would make perfect sense that an outward looking society would be inventive.

Thought I'd share this brief NYTimes piece. - http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...indows.html?hp

(I'm on my iphone, with a slow internet connection staying in a hut with a large glass front overlooking an expansive and beautiful Scottish rural view for the next few weeks as I continue work on a new photography project).
"Islam is as dangerous in a man as rabies in a dog"~ Sir Winston Churchill. We are nurturing a nightmare that will haunt our children, and kill theirs.
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"Islam is as dangerous in a man as rabies in a dog"~ Sir Winston Churchill. We are nurturing a nightmare that will haunt our children, and kill theirs.
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post #17 of 119
This seems the ideal place to ask a relevant question... perhaps someone familiar with the Islamic faith can answer... what's the deal with Muslims and their endearment to Virgins? Are they so bad at the skill of love making they need virgins rather than skilled female partners? Also, in reference to demeaning covering of the face of women, in reference to the Hijab, why does The Qur'an enforce modesty on just the women and not the man too?
post #18 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

Seg, a really interesting thread, thankyou for it. I've been too busy of late to spend much time here at all, but will find some to explore more some of your posts here over the coming weeks.

Very interesting above post too. It would make perfect sense that an outward looking society would be inventive.

Thought I'd share this brief NYTimes piece. - http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...indows.html?hp

(I'm on my iphone, with a slow internet connection staying in a hut with a large glass front overlooking an expansive and beautiful Scottish rural view for the next few weeks as I continue work on a new photography project).

Wow, thanks Handson..that looks like a great series...I love Orhan Pamuk don't you?!
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #19 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camp David View Post

This seems the ideal place to ask a relevant question... perhaps someone familiar with the Islamic faith can answer... what's the deal with Muslims and their endearment to Virgins? Are they so bad at the skill of love making they need virgins rather than skilled female partners? Also, in reference to demeaning covering of the face of women, in reference to the Hijab, why does The Qur'an enforce modesty on just the women and not the man too?

Good questions.

Re virgins I suppose it depends on the examples of this virgin-interest you are focussing on.

The most common reference I suppose people latch on to is the '72 virgins' but this number is nowhere mentioned in the Qur'an and the term 'virgin' is even disputed.

The actual word that is used and often translated as virgin is hur but I do not think this is universally accepted.... 'dark eyed maiden' is another translation but you get the idea.

But basically it is true that the Islamic conception of paradise does involve a lot of sensual activity such as sex and wine-drinking. This is because in Islam these things are not sins or wrong. They may be forbidden but that I think is more like the idea of 'going on a diet' (ie in this life - it is kind of an extended Ramadan) - after the diet and you have lost 10 kilos you can have your chocolate cake.

As to virgins themselves I believe there are three factors at work:

1) The Qur'an uses them as a symbol of purity in the life to come. This draws on the cultural framework of the Middle East which has always had this virgin-fixation, it is exactly the same in the Bible btw as it springs from the same area.

2) The Qur'an accepts and states the virgin-birth of Jesus and Mary is a revered figure therein. I believe some respect comes from this.

3) As you observe, some men - and this is a world-wide phenomena - are obsessed with virgins so as to avoid comparisons as to their lame skills in the art of love and also because of jealousy issues. Personally I prefer vastly experienced and older women myself but whatever...this is a universal phenomena btw and applies equally throughout the West and East.

Re face coverings; the Qur'an does not, as you seem to think, forbid this. Let's look at terms and the facts.

ḥijāb: refers to a head covering. Can also mean style of dress. Word means 'cover' or 'curtain'

niqāb:refers to a face-veil - this word means 'mask'. Some people use burqa for this.

So what does the Qur'an say? Actually it uses the word specifically as a curtain - in relation to this matter - and refers specifically and only to the curtain that was used to cover the door to the rooms of Muhammad's wives and through which visitors would speak to them.

Quote:
The term hijab or veil is not used in the Qur'an to refer to an article of clothing for women or men, rather it refers to a spatial curtain that divides or provides privacy. The Qur'an instructs the male believers (Muslims) to talk to wives of Prophet Muhammad behind a hijab.

This hijab was the responsibility of the men and not the wives of Prophet Muhammad. However, in later Muslim societies this instruction, specific to the wives of Prophet Muhammad, was generalized, leading to the segregation of the Muslim men and women.

Wiki

So the covering I think is a misunderstanding - or shall we say it is a LITERAL understanding (our friends the literalists again!) and is misapplied. Or perhaps re-appiled to oppress women. But it is not Qur'anic.

In fact no-where in the Qur'an is this mentioned except in reference to Muhammad's wives and likewise the same thing applies to male/female segregation.

In a parellel stream, the face-mask type of veiling is a pre-Islamic custom that was adopted from Syrian and Persian cultures because of the tribal traditions of it. It is not Islamic in any form. Actual head-scarves are a Christian tradition btw and were adopted from there and fed into the misunderstandings above

Btw, the recent resurgence in these face-veils (as opposed to head-scarves) is exclusively a Salafist or Wahabi phenomena. You will not see them in any country (apart from a tribal area of Iran) where they do not signify this influence.

This also brings up a free-speech issue too which is interesting. As you know they are now banned in France and Belgium and Spain is considering a ban too. These bans are always referenced to some form of 'freedom' - presumably the freedom of the woman? Doesn't make much sense.

Be a good debate - how can a free society maintain it's claim to being one if it enforces what you can or cannot wear in the street?

Personally I do not agree with either niqabs or hijabs but that does not mean I don't think people have a right to wear them if they choose.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #20 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Good questions.

Thanks for your answers... a few comments:

Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

1) The Qur'an uses them as a symbol of purity in the life to come. This draws on the cultural framework of the Middle East which has always had this virgin-fixation, it is exactly the same in the Bible btw as it springs from the same area.

2) The Qur'an accepts and states the virgin-birth of Jesus and Mary is a revered figure therein. I believe some respect comes from this.

3) As you observe, some men - and this is a world-wide phenomena - are obsessed with virgins so as to avoid comparisons as to their lame skills in the art of love and also because of jealousy issues. Personally I prefer vastly experienced and older women myself but whatever...this is a universal phenomena btw and applies equally throughout the West and East.

I have my own thoughts here; since the Muslim is unclean and unshaven it may be they prefer untrained virgins to make a contrast upon themselves; a woman who has experience would laugh upon them methinks... Just a personal observation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Re face coverings; the Qur'an does not, as you seem to think, forbid this. Let's look at terms and the facts.... how can a free society maintain it's claim to being one if it enforces what you can or cannot wear in the street? Personally I do not agree with either niqabs or hijabs but that does not mean I don't think people have a right to wear them if they choose.

That's just the point... the face covering is mandated in Muslim societies... I am against such subjection of women as mandated in Sharia Law... it is a crime that the freedom of the west must triumph over... their demeaning treatment of women needs be the cause of war against us and them...should you need an example here the cover of this week's Time magazine provides it. Rise up against the subjection of women as mandated in Sharia Law within Islam.
post #21 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camp David View Post

I have my own thoughts here; since the Muslim is unclean

Umm.....ok.....difficult to see this as anything other than a quasi-racist remark. Not going to comment on it.

But in general re cleanliness: I think probably washing 5 times a day as a rule might rule this out .

Actually Islamic societies had in-house plumbing and a network of thousands of bath-houses while the rest of Europe was suffering from the plague because they didn't.

Quote:
and unshaven it may be they prefer untrained virgins to make a contrast upon themselves; a woman who has experience would laugh upon them methinks... Just a personal observation.

Personal observation? You've been laughed at in this way?

I think you view Islam through a Christian moral feature too much. Sex is fun in Islam and not dirty at all....you can have 4 wives as you know and they can be as experienced or not as you like.

But again...this is a borderline dodgy comment of yours and doesn't need too much consideration.

Quote:
That's just the point... the face covering is mandated in Muslim societies...

Wahabi and Salafi. You have not been listening. Or reading.

I will accept they are 'Islamic Societies when you can demonstrate how a 200 year old doctrine can constitute Islam when Islam is 1500 years old and says the opposite.

It's like saying David Koresh is more Christian than the Pope. Actually...maybe he was ...but I digress.

Quote:
I am against such subjection of women as mandated in Sharia Law...

It does not come from Sharia law.... again...if people answer you in depth then you should have the respect to read it and rebuff what they say if you choose but not carry on regardless ignoring it.

Quote:
it is a crime that the freedom of the west must triumph over...

Under which statutes is it a crime?

Quote:
their demeaning treatment of women needs be the cause of war against us and them...

Ok...think we're done here.......

Anyone with a more rational take on this?
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #22 of 119
It appears that you believe people have hijacked the religion and do terrible things in its name, but that the religion itself is not responsible. If Camp David were willing to admit that abortion doctor murderers represent Christianity as a whole, he'd be interanlly consistent.

Though, modern Islam as practiced in many, many countries is pretty fucked up. You know, however, that I believe the same to be true for Christianity.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #23 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

It appears that you believe people have hijacked the religion and do terrible things in its name, but that the religion itself is not responsible. If Camp David were willing to admit that abortion doctor murderers represent Christianity as a whole, he'd be interanlly consistent.

Though, modern Islam as practiced in many, many countries is pretty fucked up. You know, however, that I believe the same to be true for Christianity.

The problem with this view there is that there is essentially no dogma in Islam. Ie, the believer is free to believe - more or less - what he chooses.

This is not the case with Christianity. If one decides to worship the devil for example then one is no longer a Christian. However, Islam could accommodate such a thing - see the Yezidis for example.

So we are not comparing like with like. So let's just talk about Islam here.

The reason for this is because every Muslim can define the religion for himself - though most people don't....but they COULD. Of course there will be highly conservative reactionary elements and they will seek to exert power - this is what humans do. One can see it everywhere though perhaps atheists can only see it in religion.

Once this power is grabbed many people will follow these 'leaders' of course.. Again, a human proclivity, not a particularly religious one..... happens in politics and fashion all the time.

So I don't think anyone has 'hijacked' the religion as such - I don't believe this is possible for the reason I gave: everyone can define their own.

It's like democracy more than anything else - if you want to believe something you are free to do it. You can believe in the KKK or George Bush. Or Obama or the Green Party. It's ALL democracy even though the constituent parts may conflict.

I think OBL is wrong. I think the Wahabis are psychopathic sickos (though unlike you, I do not put this down to religion but rather perhaps lack of it...certainly a lack of spirituality) but they have not 'hijacked' - they are interpreting their own way.

I disagree with them and their interpretation is less than 250 years old and MUhammad would have disagreed but they are entitled to it.

That's why Islam is not merely a religion but also an apparatus of State in a way many other religions are not.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #24 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Anyone with a more rational take on this?

I think horrible, evil things have been done in the name of religion, but that it does not make religion evil in and of itself.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #25 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

I think horrible, evil things have been done in the name of religion, but that it does not make religion evil in and of itself.

Exactly....religion is a remedy for a cancer.

Perhaps it only cures 1 - 5%. Maybe less. Who knows?

What I do know is that it is insane to point to the doctor as the actual cause because the disease is incurable. Who knows...tomorrow it may not be.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #26 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

The problem with this view there is that there is essentially no dogma in Islam. Ie, the believer is free to believe - more or less - what he chooses.

This is not the case with Christianity. If one decides to worship the devil for example then one is no longer a Christian. However, Islam could accommodate such a thing - see the Yezidis for example.

So we are not comparing like with like. So let's just talk about Islam here.

The reason for this is because every Muslim can define the religion for himself - though most people don't....but they COULD. Of course there will be highly conservative reactionary elements and they will seek to exert power - this is what humans do. One can see it everywhere though perhaps atheists can only see it in religion.

Once this power is grabbed many people will follow these 'leaders' of course.. Again, a human proclivity, not a particularly religious one..... happens in politics and fashion all the time.

So I don't think anyone has 'hijacked' the religion as such - I don't believe this is possible for the reason I gave: everyone can define their own.

It's like democracy more than anything else - if you want to believe something you are free to do it. You can believe in the KKK or George Bush. Or Obama or the Green Party. It's ALL democracy even though the constituent parts may conflict.

I think OBL is wrong. I think the Wahabis are psychopathic sickos (though unlike you, I do not put this down to religion but rather perhaps lack of it...certainly a lack of spirituality) but they have not 'hijacked' - they are interpreting their own way.

I disagree with them and their interpretation is less than 250 years old and MUhammad would have disagreed but they are entitled to it.

That's why Islam is not merely a religion but also an apparatus of State in a way many other religions are not.

I feel like you are trying to have it both ways here. You are saying anyone can define Islam how they want but those with bad definitions can't be considered representative of Islam. If Islam allows in its framework to hold the Wahabi mentality, does that not reflect poorly on a religion that would allow that?

I would rather you make a stand and say that the Wahabis are not Muslims.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #27 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

I feel like you are trying to have it both ways here. You are saying anyone can define Islam how they want but those with bad definitions can't be considered representative of Islam. If Islam allows in its framework to hold the Wahabi mentality, does that not reflect poorly on a religion that would allow that?

They can't be representative historically as they are roughly 200 years old as a doctrine and the only reason they have prominence is Saudi oil money. If it were not for the coincidence of the discovery of oil (and the British promoting them as a buffer previously) then they would be merely another desert sect no-one had heard of like the Yezidis.

Also their doctrines are the opposite of what Islam has been traditionally been for 1500 years.

If they last for the next 2000 years say and for that time are beliefs of the vast majority of Muslims then they WILL be representative and Muhammad and the original community will be the 'unrepresentative' grouping.

It is not unusual or unexpected I think. Muhammad even specifically predicted it would happen.

Quote:
I would rather you make a stand and say that the Wahabis are not Muslims.

I can't say that though because being a Muslim requires one thing and one thing only. To proclaim one believes the shahada.

Ie to make the following statement:

There is no God.

Except God.

Muhammad was a Prophet of God.


If you believe that you are a Muslim - all other stuff like how to pray, how many times, women, even drinking - it all is doctrinal wrangling.

You could even be an atheist and be a Muslim if one accepted this - there are some but is rare for reasons of oppression from extremists -as the word 'Allah' that appears twice in the statement does not represent a proper name like Jehovah but a concept and has even been translated as 'truth' or 'reality'.

So it would be 'there is no reality except the one reality'. Depends how you read it.

So, no it does not reflect poorly on Islam that it allows it any more than the fact anyone can espouse their views freely in the US reflects badly on the US.

In both cases it is a good and advanced thing.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #28 of 119
Thread Starter 
To get back on track with something related to BR's posts above and also an indication of tolerance and pluralism...

One of my favourite philosophers, Islamic, spiritual or secular, is Ibn Arabi - a Spanish Muslim who lived from 1165 1240 Common Era.

He was a renowned thinker and wrote over 800 works - many still to be translated - of philosophy, spirituality and poetry.

Here is one of his poems:

Quote:
My heart has adopted every shape;
it has become a pasture for a gazelles, and a convent for Christian monks.
A temple for idols, and a pilgrim's Ka'ba,
The tables of a Torah, and the pages of a Koran.
I follow the religion of Love;
wherever Love's camels turn, there Love is my religion and faith.

The thing is that he faced nor issues or censures for saying this - very few medieval Muslims did though to say such a thing today in Saudi for example, may well be unwise.

Another one, about God:

Quote:
It is He who is revealed in every face, sought in every sign, gazed upon by every eye, worshipped in every object of worship, and pursued in the unseen and the visible. Not a single one of His creatures can fail to find Him in its primordial and original nature.

And again...

Quote:
When my Beloved appears,
With what eye do I see Him?

With His eye, not with mine,
For none sees Him except Himself.

Interesting aspect here: the symbolism of Persian poetry often revolves around topics one might not expect.

In Omar Khayyam for example, Wine is often used as a stand-in for spiritual experiences. Which might seem odd or even blasphemous but there it is.

Also a stand-in for God is often 'the Beloved' or a lover, usually a beautiful male. In fact there is a strong homo-erotic element in much of the symbolism..... something which traditionally has not been viewed as 'wrong' or blasphemous.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #29 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camp David View Post

I have my own thoughts here; since the Muslim is unclean and unshaven it may be they prefer untrained virgins to make a contrast upon themselves; a woman who has experience would laugh upon them methinks... Just a personal observation.

Wow. Are people allowed to write this sort of thing on these forums these days?

The funny thing is that these are exactly the same kind of lies that hicks from rural Iran or Pakistan or Indonesia believe about Christians: they're unclean, they don't wash, they don't clean their hands after they've been to the toilet. That kind of thing.

As for the virgins.

How would you feel if I went to the Christian thread and asked "Why are Christians so obsessed with death and torture? They wear an instrument of torture around their neck. They go to temple and bow down to a huge gallows hanging at the end of the building. Their Prophet is pictured covered in blood, and His God abandoned him to a painful death and they praise that God for his wisdom. Christianity's a hypocritical death cult! Are Christians animals?"

You'd be right to be pissed off. You'd be right to say "This is a positive thread! And you don't understand the symbols!"

And maybe you'd whine a bit, and maybe you'd report me.

And maybe now you should kind of apologise to Segovius, who is sincere, and knowledgeable, and clearly started this thread in good faith, and far more tolerant and generally nicer than me.
post #30 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camp David View Post

This seems the ideal place to ask a relevant question... perhaps someone familiar with the Islamic faith can answer... what's the deal with Muslims and their endearment to Virgins? Are they so bad at the skill of love making they need virgins rather than skilled female partners? Also, in reference to demeaning covering of the face of women, in reference to the Hijab, why does The Qur'an enforce modesty on just the women and not the man too?

Why do you even ask? It's exactly the same as in christianity and judaism: God made the order that people should have only sex within marriage and not before and not besides... so following from that order young people looking to marry for the first time are ideally virgins, both male and female.

The Quran specifically calls those who have sex before marriage or besides marriage adulterers, and that adulterers should only be able to marry adulterers..

About clothing, there is no quranic order to cover the face of women, but there is one where the prophet is called to tell his wifes and the other believing women and their daughters (so it's not like segovious portrayed it only an order regarding the prophet's wifes) to put something over themselves to signify that they are believing women and not to be harassed for sexual reasons.

It's though not specified exactly what shape and form that covering has, but there is a hadith where the prophet supposedly says that women should cover everything except their face and hands.


Nightcrawler
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post #31 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Wow, thanks Handson..that looks like a great series...I love Orhan Pamuk don't you?!

I'd never heard of him. I asked my Mum (who used to teach English literature at Edinburgh University) about him and she said he's been a really important "voice" for that area.

I've since googled him and seen he has a new book called "Museum Of Innocence" which I'll get.
"Islam is as dangerous in a man as rabies in a dog"~ Sir Winston Churchill. We are nurturing a nightmare that will haunt our children, and kill theirs.
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"Islam is as dangerous in a man as rabies in a dog"~ Sir Winston Churchill. We are nurturing a nightmare that will haunt our children, and kill theirs.
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post #32 of 119
One of the issues I have against religion is that the practicing zealots do not follow the tenants of their faith. In the name of their religion wars have been fought throughout time.

We don't have to recall the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the conquest of the new world and subjugation of the native population in the name of the "Church", the conflict in Ireland, the whole situation in the Middle East (not just Israel vs the Palestinians, but Shiite vs Sunni).......and on and on.

It is apparent part of the problem also lies with the unwillingness to understand the faith of others. Many of the comments here are based upon a lack of knowledge and ignorance of the people who are making the comments. I fear that the hatred of the Islamic faith in this country is being fueled by the likes of the following

http://www.examiner.com/x-44332-Colu...-the-Koran-Day

We do not need this hatred here. Segovius started this thread, hopefully to further the understandings is Islam. We should take the time to try to understand it and practice the tenants of your own faith.
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #33 of 119
FineTunes, see my response to your post in the Christian thread.

Also, I understand where you're coming from, but I don't think it is fair to dwell on the deplorable acts people have done in the name of religion and ignore the wonderful, good things people have also done in the name of religion.

I believe most faithful religious folks do try to peacefully make the world a better place.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #34 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

I believe most faithful religious folks do try to peacefully make the world a better place.

We can only hope that people of all faiths and non-faiths will work for the better world, but history, current events comments here seem to indicate otherwise.
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #35 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

One of the issues I have against religion is that the practicing zealots do not follow the tenants of their faith. In the name of their religion wars have been fought throughout time.

We don't have to recall the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the conquest of the new world and subjugation of the native population in the name of the "Church", the conflict in Ireland, the whole situation in the Middle East (not just Israel vs the Palestinians, but Shiite vs Sunni).......and on and on.

It is apparent part of the problem also lies with the unwillingness to understand the faith of others. Many of the comments here are based upon a lack of knowledge and ignorance of the people who are making the comments. I fear that the hatred of the Islamic faith in this country is being fueled by the likes of the following


Wars and violence have only secondarily to do with religion, first and foremost economic and political interests are the cause for wars, religion gets then used as a bonding-instrument to get the support of the masses.

If there were no religion another bonding instrument would be used be it race (<-colonialism-time up to second ww), capitalism, communism (<-coldwar-times) or when nothing works anymore the alltimes favourite: civilisation against barbarism (<- greek empire, roman empire, and lately US-empire under the slogans of "freedom", "democracy", "war on terror").

Every sort of systemic difference can be used to create fear and as Yoda so wisely said "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."

Nightcrawler
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post #36 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

We can only hope that people of all faiths and non-faiths will work for the better world, but history, current events comments here seem to indicate otherwise.

That was one of the points of these threads FineTunes - this and the Christian one - there are very many really positive things happening out there....far more than ever before.

We just don't get to hear about them. I don't think there's any agenda to prevent this as such - it's more that 'good news' is not News.

But it's out there and it's happening and if we can avoid focussing on the bad things and celebrate the good positive things then it will accelerate the process!!
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #37 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post


Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

We can only hope that people of all faiths and non-faiths will work for the better world, but history, current events comments here seem to indicate otherwise.

That was one of the points of these threads FineTunes - this and the Christian one - there are very many really positive things happening out there....far more than ever before.

We just don't get to hear about them. I don't think there's any agenda to prevent this as such - it's more that 'good news' is not News.

But it's out there and it's happening and if we can avoid focussing on the bad things and celebrate the good positive things then it will accelerate the process!!

But you have to admit that there's a lot of unfounded hatred out there directed at those who are Christian, Muslim, Jews, etc. If you have any doubts, look at the issue in NY.

Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

But it's out there and it's happening and if we can avoid focussing on the bad things and celebrate the good positive things then it will accelerate the process!!

Agreed, we can only hope that this will prevail in the long run.

Thanks for your thread.
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #38 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightcrawler View Post

Wars and violence have only secondarily to do with religion, first and foremost economic and political interests are the cause for wars, religion gets then used as a bonding-instrument to get the support of the masses.

This was not the premise of my statement. Not all wars or act of violence are the result of religion--you do not have to be an astute history professor to know this. The acts of violence in Rwanda and the Congo are based upon tribal differences. The Futbol War of 1969 came after escalating tensions between El Salvador and Honduras weren't resolved and started after a futbol (soccer in US) game between the two countries.

But you have to admit the the conflicts in the Middle East between Muslim and Israel, and between the various Muslim sects, in Northern Ireland, between Muslims and Christians in Indonesia, the hatred and distrust of Muslims in the US are religious base hatred.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightcrawler View Post

Every sort of systemic difference can be used to create fear and as Yoda so wisely said "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."
Nightcrawler

Correct--religion being one of them. But hope that the wiser ones will prevail.
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #39 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


But you have to admit the the conflicts in the Middle East between Muslim and Israel, and between the various Muslim sects, in Northern Ireland, between Muslims and Christians in Indonesia, the hatred and distrust of Muslims in the US are religious base hatred.

I'm not talking about violence in general but wars in specific, off course violence can have also other reasons than political or economic reasons, but wars more often than not has economic and poltical reasons behind it. The reason is off course that wars cost a lot of money and ressources and so they are started mostly if there is something to be won politically and economically.

Look at Ireland, it might seem a conflict between catholics and protestants but that is only the surface, it is in fact an independence-fight againt the british empire that is not anymore, it's very much a political conflict, that merely found finally a religious reason to ignite the support of the masses (the rapid secularization of the british empire.)

Similar it is with Israel and the palestinians, just like with the Ireland-conflict religion gets injected by both sides as it helps to gain support but essentially it is a political conflict over arable land, over water and control of the middle-east with Israel being a spearhead of the western world in the area.



Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

Correct--religion being one of them. But hope that the wiser ones will prevail.

I'm not so sure that wiser people are harmless. The difference between the unwise and wise is not that the one starts a war and the other not, the difference is that the wise one starts a war when the chances of winning it and gaining a real advantage are very good.

Nightcrawler
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post #40 of 119
Your thoughts on Hawking:


Quote:
Did creation need a creator? British physicist and mathematician Stephen Hawking says no, arguing in his new book that there need not be a God behind the creation of the universe.

challenges Isaac Newton's theory God must have been involved in creation because our solar system couldn't have come out of chaos simply through nature.

In his best-selling 1988 book A Brief History of Time, Hawking appeared to accept the possibility of a creator, saying the discovery of a complete theory would "be the ultimate triumph of human reason for then we should know the mind of God."

"Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing," the excerpt says. "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to ... set the Universe going."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...090201368.html

Clay Farris NaffScience Writer, Editor, Broadcaster, and Blogger

Quote:
Hawking was far from the first scientist to declare that it is unnecessary to invoke a supernatural creator to explain the Universe. Way back in 1783 Pierre-Simon LaPlace improved on Newton's gravitation mechanics and eliminated the requirement of an occasional supernatural shove to keep the planets in orbit. Years later, when Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte asked LaPlace why he had not mentioned the Creator in his treatise, the scientist coolly replied, "I had no need of that hypothesis."

....authentic faith does not depend on traditional creation stories. "Faith" is a vague term, but I suggest it has two essential characteristics: it is a belief that ultimately some good will come of it all, and while its components may be reshaped by evidence it is a belief that transcends the evidence. In short, people who feel that such and such scientific claim must be false or their whole religious belief system will collapse don't really have faith. They have a membership in a particular ideology.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/clay-n..._b_705773.html
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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