Fascinating and troubling discourse

Discussion in 'Islam' started by Cino, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    ... apparently, ever and again there are people, politicians even, who mouth some weird ridiculous idea that "Islam is not a religion".

    Religious Studies podcast episode about this:

    https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/when-islam-is-not-a-religion/

    Contains the argument that this idea should be acknowledged for the dangerous potential it has, not dismissed as the krazies of individual bigots (sorry for using that word, the podcast actually has a good point about not using it).
     
  2. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    What? I don't have the patience for podcasts, but it sounds interesting. Could you elaborate on how Islam wouldn't be a religion?
     
  3. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    It's only a shortish interview with a lawyer who specializes in religious equality cases. Worth listening to!

    Apparently, there are a few countries where certain political currents are using the argument "... not a religion but a political ideology", and it's starting to become a narrative, but not being noticed as a coherent strategy, because it sounds so silly. Much easier to attribute it to a few outliers.

    Apparently, there's even a think tank that read all the scriptures and categorized verses into "religious" and "political" and came up with the ridiculous result that islam is only 16% religion. The religious studies interviewer's reaction alone is worth the listen.

    Also, courts and judges are increasingly being asked to define religion, and while there are legal definitions, these cases are often argued in a philosophical, rather than legal, manner.

    Really, good podcast by academic researchers of religion.
     
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  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I'd think the Jews would win that battle, they gotta herd of commandments, Leviticus and the Talmud to stand on.
     
  5. AlanT

    AlanT New Member

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    Would you agree that it is not just a religion?
    It seems to incorporate a legal system.
    It seems to want to run a state.
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    As in Judaism or Christianity don't?

    Lol
     
  7. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    I don't think there can be political ideology without political actors.

    Critique of Islamist ideology should be directed at the Islamist activists.

    Out of curiosity: do you think ideas (like islamist ideology) matter more than circumstances like the distribution of material wealth or power?
     
  8. OrtaYol

    OrtaYol Active Member

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    I've never understood this accusation. Religion tends to outline certain ethics/morals to follow. If enough people adhere to these ethics within a nation then that nations politics and laws are naturally going to be influenced. This applies to any religion.
     
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  9. Amica2

    Amica2 Member

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    Islam collectively is as much a political ideology as would be religion like Judaism because both teach set of laws that pertain to the matters of daily life and the state. This is because first Jewish and Muslim nations emerged in a time when the communities needed leadership. It happened so that the first statesmen in each community were God's prophets, hence the states were theocracies. While majority of the world has left theocratic rule behind, some Muslims nations have not. But just because the states refuse to separate mosque and the government, doesn't mean Islam is an ideology. Even majority of the laws on the state level deal with religious dos and don'ts. By stripping Islam of religious status the islamophobes seek to feed the anti-Islam propaganda, hoping to eventually outlaw it, like it happened to Uyghurs in China.
    What they fear is the aspect of Islam which calls for defense of Islam's right to exist and Muslims are obligated to fight for it. This is not to be confused with extremists' attempt to force Islam on others. Seeking freedom of practice is different from committing agression against others who don't want to practice it. But Islam never propagated control over whole Earth forcefully, there's no Islam's political parties, no active Muslim overtaking of governments. People for most part just want to live.
     
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  10. Amica2

    Amica2 Member

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    The "Islam is ideology not religion " has been an ongoing theme among the Evangelical Christians and Islamophobia movement. They have even reached up to the Trump administration, when former member of the team, Flynn, spoke for Act For America hate association and called Islam "cancer " of the world ideology rather than religion. We must understand that Islamophobia is a multi million dollars industry and all those advocating such hate are on the same payroll. Remember when Bush announced after 9/11 that a battle for minds and hearts is about to begin? That's what this is: Muslims are to be killed on mass, robbed, converted, hated, alienated, called a threat. The only way to finally succeed is to convince the world that Islam is an ideology. If they accomplish such, then they will get a green light to outlaw it world wide. And being outlawed, any person practising Islam will be an enemy of the world.
    Islam as a religion doesn't seek to rule a state. Rather, it rules Muslim people's lives where it establishes rules about family life, social norms and expectations, etc. If a majority Muslim nation wants to be ruled by its laws, then that's their rights. Also, Islam gives rights to non Muslims should Islam be a state religion. Now, Islam doesn't demand to be a state religion. It can coexist with others as we have seen around the world.
    But what enemies of Arabs, and hence Muslims, hate most is that Muslims are required to defend themselves, their home, their religion, their people. And it's a common sense rule: you attack me, I will fight you back.
    Also, majority Muslims remain to be the only religious group following the Old World code of ethics and moral principles. The New World Order is about relaxed social rules, accepting what used to be rejected (homosexuality, bisexuality, gnostici religious concepts, abandonment of rigid religious practices, lose family and social rules, etc.).
    Christianity and Judaism have long been knocked down on their knees. Other religious communities already have "acceptable " social norms, so the last front is the battle against Islam.
    But, this is not Islam's first or last battle for its existence. God says in the Qur'an that His Light (Islam) will never be extinguished. And so it shall be.
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, you have to look at the background narrative.

    The reverse of this was the time when Buddhism was positively promoted as 'a philosophy, not a religion', because it is atheistic, but primarily because a philosophy was an easier sell to a western audience.
     
  12. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Western Buddhism was primarily received by fairly well-to-do middle class people, whose political agenda tended to be conservative, in the sense of preserving a system that worked for them. As political actors, they were not interested in promoting political or social change (beyond getting Buddhism socially accepted).

    Islam in the West has a broader social spectrum of adherents, not just middle class, who include social and political activists.
    I think it is these actors whose work is visible, who provoke reactions like the one under discussion in this thread, and that they don't operate in a clean-room environment, but within social, economic, and political parameters which influence them probably a lot more than matters of religious doctrine.
     

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