What is the problem with Islam?

Discussion in 'Islam' started by BigJoeNobody, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    I apologize, I never saw your post, I will look into your question, and try to give an educated response as I'm not familiar with Indonesian political issues, only US and Europe usually get attention here. But hopefully I will get some time soon, and again I apologize for the delay, I just received a notice today
     
  2. kkc2354

    kkc2354 New Member

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    Hi BJN, as events unfolded. Ahok lost his reelection, only obtained 42% vote. His Muslim opponent, 58%. If we take out roughly 12% on non Muslim voters that were most likely to vote for Ahok. This means, 30% of total Jakarta population who are Muslim chose Ahok, out of assumed total of 88% (30%+58%). Which means, out of the Muslim-only population of Jakarta, 66% did not want a non-Muslim leader. Regardless of the extraordinary benefits Ahok already made to their lives and regardless of the unrealistic promises, and alleged corruption and sex scandals involving the other Muslim candidate (Governor and Deputy Governor).
    It seems to me, in practice, yes there are significant number of moderate Muslims, say 34%, that trully practice out the peace of Islam. These people usually believes the Quran must be read in context. E.g. some of the more extreme scriptures are made during wartimes. But 66% of the other moderate Muslims, if in doubt, would rather follow the literal Quran as the literal word of God.
    In Ahok's blasphemy case, the prosecutor asked for 2yrs probation, largely because they could not prove it was blasphemy. Unusually the panel of judges (4 Muslim and 1 Hindu) believes it was blasphemy and sentenced Ahok 2yrs jail, instead of probation, effective immediately. Coincidentally 3 of the Muslim judges received promotion afterwards.
    I know life is not always fair. But this case makes me thinks, if in doubt, 66% of moderate Muslims would practice the literal translation of Quran, rather than considering the context. And although the other 34% of brave Muslims chose Ahok. In democracy, majority number wins.
     
  3. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    Hi!
    I'm not Muslim myself but very interested in the situation in Jakarta. But I did find it hard to follow what you actually ask or state in your two posts.
    In your last post there seemed to be a focus on literalism, you also seem surprised that a large portion of Muslims take the Quran literally and seem to imply a criticism towards them for being literalists. Is that right?

    I feel there are a lot of assumptions that needs to be unpacked in your posts, like:
    Is it not possible that those hypothetical 66% didn't feel that have gained any extraordinary benefits, that the other candidates promises weren't unrealistic and that the allegations of corruption and sex scandals wasn't credible?
     
  4. Amica2

    Amica2 Member

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    Good thread. I do not have time to go over every single reply, but here is my hypothesis: there is no problem with Islam, but there is a problem with many Muslims and their leadership.
    Islam is really summed up in the Qur'an. When one reads the Noble Qur'an and makes an effort to understand it, and considers the time and place when it was revealed, the religion of Islam feels simple, straight forward: you believe in One God, you pray to Him directly, you ensure cleanliness in every aspect of your life (spiritual and physical), you give charity, you live community oriented, you follow set of laws that are meant to make the life easier for the whole community (do not kill, do not steal, do not make false witness, etc), you eat clean food, you stay away from idolatry, focus on piety, have respect for environment, all living creatures and humanity, you cherish the diversity of humanity and its choices, you are not forced to believe nor should you force anyone else, you tell the truth, you do not cheat people, you defend yourself and the weak if you must, you do not start hostilities or aggression, you have responsibilities in your role. Simple! This is how many non-Muslims convert to Islam: they get Qur'an, read it, understand the necessary teachings and they want to become Muslim.

    However...

    You get to Muslims, boy do you get slammed with limitations and variety of interpretations of how you are to live your Islam! The more East you go, the worse it gets! If you are a woman, they you are really s!@#$%% (excuse my French!). See, Muslims split into 4 major sects: Sunnis, Shias, Sufis and Khawarij. Each of the major four sects has subsects that may have similarities, but some of them are so far out there that what they teach and practices is not Islam at all (like Alawite and Druze sects). The Muslims have invented 8 different schools of thought, split between major sects. Each sects claims to be true Islam. Each sects incorporates non-Islamic practices too. Some sects practice "honor" killings and child marriages which have no basis in Islam. The more East one goes, the more confusion about Hadiths which actually make up the most of the Sharia Law. See, Muslim sects use different Hadith traditions that actually support the governments more so than actual Islamic teachings. There are 11 canonical Hadith books split between the sects. The more one pays attention to Hadiths, the more one realizes that a lot of Hadith teachings are actually of Old Testament origin that anyone would cringe about just having a thought about the OT violent teachings. Except, that many Hadiths teach about the Jewish boogie man, the "most evil man" kind on Earth that is out there to "get you." Also, the more East you go, the more you cannot express your opinion and you are not allowed to interpret the Qur'an or Hadiths for yourself. You may get jailed for minor offenses (e.g. not wearing a hijab or being late for formal prayer at the mosque). Muslims invented morality police too: a modern phenomenon that has not existed even in Muhammad's pbuh time. You can get killed if you change your mind about Islam in some Muslim nations like Saudi Arabia or Egypt! In fact, Saudi Arabia will not even allow non-Muslims to live in the country and if you are a Shia Muslim then you must hide that fact or else you die! Horrific! If you are a woman, then there is a plethora of things you cannot do in some Muslim majority nations, like: you cannot become ruler of the country, you cannot leave your house without a male family member, you must get permission to visit your relatives, you are restricted professionally, black is your color to wear when going outside, you will get stoned if someone accuses you of adultery, etc. Music is greatly disliked by thousands and alcohol is absolutely forbidden. Hashish is ok with some like the Taliban or Sufis. If you choose to not adhere to the traditional religious wardrobe, you may be considered a prostitute or an "easy" woman. When it is time for prayer everything stops and you must pray too. If you are a non-Muslim during the Ramadan, you are expected to not eat and drink in public. The more East you go if you are a non-Muslim, you may be restricted in terms of basic freedoms of what you are allowed to do. If you are gay, better stay away from Muslims of the East. And if you are a dog, then prepare to be killed on mass or mistreated for you are an "animal of the devil."


    Phew... :'( okay. Compare the two, and tell me, what is Islam? Which one would you choose? Why? Which one do you think God actually wanted for you, for He says in the Qur'an: "Allah desires ease for you; He does not desire difficulty for you" (Surat al-Baqara: 185) and "We did not send down the Qur'an to you to make you miserable, but only as a reminder for those who have fear" (Surah Ta Ha: 2-3).

    I was listening to a hafiz the other day, and he mentioned a hadith teaching that basically says that if people are oppressive, do not hold on to the Rope of Allah SWT, then Allah SWT sends them an oppressor to rule over them. Makes one wonder why Allah SWT allowed Muslims of the East to become stagnant, attacked from all countries of the world and killed on mass? Why Allah SWT allowed Muslims elsewhere to be scattered, weak in faith, forgetful? Why?!

    I think because we have forgotten our true Islam. We have beaten the true Islam almost to death. We have carved it up so much, that it is unrecognizable. But it is still alive, for Allah's SWT Light can never be extinguished. If we only paid attention.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  5. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    I'm really not sure what you are asking, and as much as I'd like to know all the issues in the world, this one seems a bit far from me as I have no idea what is going on in Jakarta.

    I will take a slight exception to some of the things you've mentioned though.

    1. Why do you consider Literal and within context separate? Every scholar I have ever listened to has used context in explaining the literal. As a general rule, Muslims take the Quran to be true, both literally and figuratively (I'm thinking that you meant figuratively when you keep saying with context).

    2. Am I wrong in assuming you see one option as a clear right choice and the other as a clear wrong? If this is for a general election, and in a democracy the "other candidate" won, then it was the will of the people. I know of 2 elections recently where popular vote didn't win, but in the end the verdict was accepted. ie Trump becoming president in US and Erdogan essentially becoming Sultan of Turkey. Both have very clear arguments that the elections weren't fair, but they went through anyway. But it sounds like you are just upset that one candidate won. Please clarify if I am wrong.
     
  6. kkc2354

    kkc2354 New Member

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    Hi A Cup of Tea,
    In my first post, I wanted to find out BJN's belief, which I think reflects the correct moderate Muslim's belief, on the Almaidah verse 5:51, roughly translated: do not have non Muslim as your leader/allies.
    I expected that he would agree that this is in the context of war. Which implies it is not blasphemous to Quran, to have non Muslim as leader/ally in non war conditions. So Ahok is not guilty of blasphemy. And in practice, especially in the workplace, there are non Muslim leaders in Indonesia, Muslims worked for Pizza Huts, KFC, Apple, etc.
    In the months that passed, I see the answer to my own question. That if in doubt, the majority of moderate Muslim would prefer to follow the literal translation of Quran. Rather than risking themselves not following the Quran. That's my second post.

    I was very surprised that the 66% of Jakarta's Muslim did not choose Ahok, based on Ahok's phenomenal track record (2yrs as Jakarta's deputy governor under Jokowi, and 2.5yrs as governor when Jokowi became Indonesia's President). That no other previous governors could come close to achieving. Before the blasphemy case, a survey indicated 75% of Jakartans are satisfied with Ahok's performance. Which roughly implies 75% of voters would reelect him. Ahok's achievements:
    1. Ahok fights corruption in Jakarta's government and showed what can be achieved with all that money, if there is no corruption. In large and small scale.with the same budget as his predecessors, roughly US$7 billion.
    2. Ahok (and Jokowi) introduced Medicare card. Any Jakartans can get free medical treatment at medical centres and public hospital's 3rd class rooms. May be they will be in a room of 6 patients but in some hospital's, the equipments are international standard.
    3. Ahok (and Jokowi) introduced Education card. Poor students can purchase school needs with the card. No parents need to pawn their belonging to buy new uniform or shoes or bags. If the student is thrifty, at the end of the year, they could have enough credit to buy laptop. To avoid corruption or misappropriation, this card is only valid for electronic transaction, no cash out. Ahok distributed this card to 700,000 students. Note that the other candidate promised their education card will allow cash transaction.
    4. Ahok significantly reduced Jakarta's flood problem. For a capital city, Jakarta had a big problem with flood, which could go 3m high, above people's roofs, and lasted for 2-4 weeks. Creating safety, health and economic problem for Jakartans. In his short term in office, Ahok reduced 220 flood points to 80 points, flood only goes to ankle or knee high, and in 3hrs max it will clear. In the past 50yrs, previous Governors could not reduce this problem, and it only got worse.
    5. In order to solve the flood problem. Ahok sent heavy machineries to dig out Ciliwung river from 5m wide (due to illegal slum houses built on top of rubbish piles in the riverbanks, picture this in your mind, kids playing near polluted stagnant water everyday), to the river's natural 30m wide (now flowing with clear water, concrete walkway either side, with flower pots, perfect for after work stroll). In doing this, Ahok had to forcibly relocate a lot of slum people to government subsidised public apartments (rusunawa) for US$15-45 a month (avg income US$300 a month). On top of that, these relocated illegal dwellers receive various benefits. Such as new modern apartment unit Integrated with public transport. With subsidised water and electricity. Maintenance and security fee included. With own doctor, nurse and midwife. 20,000 units is targeted to be built by end of 2017. And 50,000 planned for the following year. Not a bad trade-off I think, from the shanty huts on top of rubbish piles where they used to live.
    6. Ahok built 188 public playgrounds (RPTRA) in 2.5 years in office.
    Public playground virtually never existed before in Indonesia. Yes, there are the main public parks here and there, but they are basically large grassy areas. These playgrounds have basketball courts, slides, swings, lactation room, some have air conditioned arts and crafts room, library. And all was built with musholas for Muslims to pray. That is the extent of Ahok's concern to his Muslim Jakartans.
    Kalijodo RPTRA is the latest iconic RPTRA built, it has international standard skate park.
    7. Ahok dares to close massive prostitution centres that even hard-line Muslims in Indonesia doesn't dare to speak out against. Due to ties to high ranking politicians, business men and gang leaders.
    The most prominent one is Kalijodo RPTRA, where he turned 15,000 m2 of drugs and prostitution den into Jakarta's first international class public playground. Comparable to Merlion park in Singapore. Fully funded by CSR fund (Corporate Social Responsibilty), from one of Jakarta's top developer company. I.e. zero fund from Jakarta's budget. Makes people wonder how did the previous governors used all the CSR fund.
    8. Ahok built an effective and integrated Busway system. Before, the buses were made in China and would caught on fire, now they are air-conditioned Scania buses (Swedish bus, best in the world), with security camera particularly for women's safety in taking public transport, and extra suspension to lower the bus to allow access for disabled on wheel chairs.
    9. Ahok built/completed a lot of massive infrastructure projects. Within months. Whereas his predecessors would undertake a small number of projects, some project would have taken longer than 5 years, cost a lot more, and no guarantee of completion. Ahok's legacy are:
    The iconic Semanggi flyover. Also Built with CSR fund.
    Ahok commenced Jakarta/Indonesia's first ever light rail system, to be completed in roughly 2 years, for 2018 Asian games. Costing US$2 billion.
    Ahok commenced Jakarta/Indonesia's first ever High speed rail system, due in 2019. Costing US$5 billion.
    10. Ahok built 2 grand mosques in Jakarta. And many smaller mosques and musholas.
    11. Ahok sent 3000 mosque caretakers to visit Mecca to help fulfil their umroh/hajj requirement, as the fifth pillar of Islam. In comparison, previous governors sent 40-50 marbots a year.
    12. Ahok was born in Chinese Christian family but studied at Muslim school and raised in a Muslim family who really practiced out the peace of Islam, encouraging the values of diversity, they even paid for Ahok's university fees. There are track records of how Ahok's treatment and respect on Islamic teachings and values, even better than the average Muslims in Indonesia. When Ahok was taken to court for blasphemy, his Muslim family rallied behind Ahok. In contrast, his political opponent (deputy governor candidate), a Muslim man raised by Chinese family. Who at 47 years amassed personal assets worth of US$1.9 million, was summoned over claims of land embezzlement by his own step family. And
    His main political rival for the governor position also has allegations for corruption. Such as spending US$11 million for a 3 days book fair in Frankfurt. And over budgeting by US$2.3 billion during his tenure as education minister, before getting sacked by President Jokowi.
    13. And many many more legacies that are just as groundbreaking but too long to write. E.g. Qlue app and e-budgetting to ensure accountability of every public servants in Jakarta.
    14. There are rumours the 47yrs old deputy governor candidate was involved with a number of women. It implies a track record of behaviour. But never investigated by police.

    In summary, in such a short time, Ahok's unprecedented legacy as non Muslim governor is the realization of the concept of Public Servant. He fulfilled his oath to serve the public from before they are born, until after they died, regardless of race or religion. Which shows in his achievements above, as well as in developing a culture of honesty and accountability among public servants. (For fun: There is a saying, every Jakartans had orgasm each time Ahok yelled : Sack him!. Such was the extent of corruption in every level of Public service in Jakarta. )
    Ahok shows a very positive bias towards Islam, being indebted to his loving Muslim step family.
    Before the blasphemy case, Ahok electability was 75-80%. Which then dropped to 20% before bouncing back to 48%.

    Yes, I had high hopes for the idea of: moderate Muslims who practice the peace of Islam are the majority. But now I know they are most likely the minority.
    Considering Ahok's case. A normal person, would reemploy a CEO with such a consistent and productive track record. Which was agreed by the 34% of moderate Muslims in Jakarta.
    But repeatedly Almaidah 5:51 had been successfully used by the political elites to sway the votes of the 66% Muslims for their own gain.
    This confirmed my suspicion that it is not hard to sway Muslims to the literal translation of the Quran. Perhaps including the more violent verses.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
  7. kkc2354

    kkc2354 New Member

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    Hi BJN,
    Thanks for the reply.
    Sorry I didn't want to offend. I think my post #186 above may indirectly answer your two questions.
    But going back to my original question, what is your view/interpretation of Almaidah 5:51 roughly translated: do not have non Muslim as your leader/allies?
     
  8. Amica2

    Amica2 Member

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    The verse is of political nature, setting a basic guideline for Muslim majority nation. Would UK want a Muslim queen? The Brits would freak out! Just like in the U.S. people freak out at a possibility that Obama was a Muslim, and some in the U.S., like Ben Carson, has come out to say that a Muslim could never be president. So, why this is so? It may have nothing to do with hate/islamophobia, but rather the fact that a Muslim president would not agree with the current international politics and goals of the country (e.g. stealing Muslim oil fields). So, in the Qur'an God wanted Muslims to lead themselves if they are majority to secure their political interests. Imagine if they allowed a khalifa to be a pagan Arab. What would happen? Kaba would once again be decorated with pagan idols and Muslims would not be able to pray there. Islam would not be a state religion at the time, etc.

    Would this rule apply today? It seems that Westerners indirectly are following the same rule, but would not allow any Muslim nation that does not serve Western interests to do the same. For example, Egypt democratically elected a conservative president, but the U.S. ensured that he is jailed and in his place installed to power Sisi. And Sisi is a puppet and does not serve Muslims in terms of unifying Muslim communities. Anyone who does not agree with Sissi, he jails and brands them terrorists. So, there you go....
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Lol the primary reason to say Obama was Muslim, or foreign born was because they were bigoted racist asses and didn't want a black president (or Muslim....but.they knew they would get more support.saying Muslim instead of outright saying they didn't want a darkie in office...since they've now realized they get in trouble saying that in public)
     
  10. kkc2354

    kkc2354 New Member

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    Hi Amica2, in Principle, does Almaidah 5:51 applies to the top Political leader only or to all layers of political governance? As there are some non Muslim political leaders below President Jokowi. Such as his Energy & mining minister, other ministers, some army generals, other governors and mayors, high ranking politicians, etc. Did Jokowi and the Muslim public below these non Muslim leaders committed sin by electing these leaders into office?
    And if it's not a sin to elect non Muslim political leaders below the top political leader, are Muslims compelled to choose Muslim candidates who have track record of incompetence and corruption, instead of non Muslim candidate with unprecedented excellent track record of serving the public?
     
  11. Amica2

    Amica2 Member

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    Not sure. It depends who makes the decisions. Considering that from a religious stand point a Muslim majority nation would to have a state religion: how fair would it be to ask a non Muslim to rule by Islam?
    Since the world is more secular, I think the state religion system is outdated. But how do we ensure majority Muslims still abide by Qur'an command? Simple: checks and balances, & a government body to oversee the government.
    I think it is possible for Muslims to follow what God wants without mistreating non Muslims.
     
  12. kkc2354

    kkc2354 New Member

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    Hi Amica2, could you please explain more on: depends who makes the decision? Did you mean Almaidah 5:51 applies to every level of government, if Islam is the state religion. And its not mandatory if Islam is not state religion?
     
  13. Amica2

    Amica2 Member

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    I am not sure, really. Provided I am not a scholar, I do think that it could apply to all levels of government if it is structured in such a way that it affects the state affairs.
    I think from religious perspective Muslim nation is to have state religion Islam but that entails rights of non Muslims in accordance to Islam.However, many states have failed in that respect. Not only do non Muslims have no right to the highest position in the government, but they are not given rights by some states. Which in itself violates Islamic teaching.
     
  14. Amica2

    Amica2 Member

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    If the rule of law is Islam, then non Muslims are guaranteed rights. However, through out the history the rule of law placed Islam in second spot and people's rights have been abused.
     
  15. Amica2

    Amica2 Member

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    Honestly, I don't think God would be offended by a secular society so long as such society stands by the laws common to all people: don't kill, don't steal, don't lie, etc.
     
  16. kkc2354

    kkc2354 New Member

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    Hi Amica2, thanks for your honesty and open mind. I sensed, as a Muslim, you prefer the literal translation, that it could apply to all levels of government. But you are practical enough to notice that in secular society, God created non-Muslims with talents to serve at leadership positions.
    The correct answer, I believe is: not sure.
    Muslim scholars are still arguing on the exact meaning & application of Almaidah 5:51.
    Which made this verse open for misuse. In the case of Ahok, I see quite clearly:
    1. It was used by corrupt political elite (by default, Being in Indonesia, these group of people are in majority, Muslim) to put Ahok in Jail, to serve their own interests.
    2. But even more shocking to me, this verse was believed, literally: do not have non-Muslim leader/ally, by the 66% of moderate Muslim population (inclusive of the educated, non-educated, professionals, blue collar,etc). Which resulted in Ahok not getting reelected; in preference to another Muslim candidate with very questionable track record.

    My problem with Islam, as events unfolded in Indonesia, is that there are a number of verses, which are critical issues, but (some) are not clearly explained in the Quran and hadiths and can be easily misused to adversely affect the livelihood of non-Muslims. I used to think, misuse is usually done by the minority group, but this case is the turning point that made me think, misuse can also be done by the majority of the Muslim population, and even more alarming, it is part of their 'religious obligation'.

    I do hope that Muslims can confront this issue, for the betterment of Islam. But looking back at the golden age of Islam, I think, Its probably not getting better.

    Amica2, I see your views are quite liberal/progressive. No offense intended, just voicing my personal opinion.

    Would be interesting to see if BJN would add his thoughts into this.
     
  17. bhaktajan

    bhaktajan Active Member

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    In the same way CNN never called Bill Clinton a whore-monger?
     
  18. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    Before I go into your exchange, let me start by saying sorry for not answering sooner, I was busy and didn't (and still don't) have time to research the situation. I'd like to point out the nitpicky things of your last post before moving to the real meat.



    I struggle with the term "Golden Age" in any context. It assumes things were best at a certain point in time, usually not considering all aspects. I would say there are many aspects that are by far better.

    Your problem with Islam, or your problem with how Muslims in a country reacted to a certain situation?

    You are assuming here that all Muslims are scholars or even that scholars know how to interpret 100% of the issues. I can tell you that the average Muslim isn't going to look that deeply into the meanings, and judging by politics in the other parts of the world, I really don't understand how you associate their voting choice being along the lines of religious preference to be a strange or questionable thing. The US republicans still can't seem to get over the false claim that Obama was Muslim, and even after his terms are over still reject acknowledging his legitimacy.

    For a second stop and think, when was the last time you heard of a perfect human? People use good information to the detriment of others all the time. This isn't unique to Islam... If they were to interpret based on the teachings of Islam, you wouldn't be here complaining, rather you would probably be praising. But again, politics and religions are rarely in sync.

    in these terms again, you are assuming that the candidate who won is the wrong candidate, and anyone who voted that way had to have been doing so solely for the Aya you mentioned, However, this isn't necessarily true. Many might simply vote for him due to religious ties, others might be hoping someone who claims to share the same faith will protect their rights better, while others might just be voting as politics goes for the guy they think is best (be it your choice or not). I simply cannot claim as you do, nor can I analyze the situation the same. If it is a Quranic, then it is a Religious obligation, I will not differ with them in the idea. While I may differ with the interpretation, If that is the way they interpret it, I cannot say they did anything "wrong".

    OK, so I'll get into what I think is your main point.

    The interpretation I think is that it applies to war time. When Muslims are being fought against by Christian and Jewish people. It's main purpose (IMO) is to inform the Muslims who were in fear from fighting the superior numbers not to join the enemy in fear.

    From a broader perspective (remembering that the Quran is multifaceted and many Aya have several teachings even with the same words) I believe that it does apply to at least the Highest level of government. In an Islamic Majority society, a non-Islamic leader just doesn't make sense as the point of a leader is to cater to the needs and wants of its citizenry. A feat not easily achievable by someone who doesn't agree with the vision of the Majority.

    Please remember these are just my layman's interpretations and words, I am by far not a scholar.
     
    A Cup Of Tea likes this.
  19. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I think its important to note that voters are more than than one thing, they aren't just Muslims or Christians, right wing or left wing. And that we should perhaps be careful in drawing to many conclusions on the group as a whole. For more on this: intersectionality.
     

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