Is Islam actually peaceful?

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by juantoo3, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Re: rules

    Yes, I find it quite disturbing, that a religion that says it is for tolerance and peace, only does so when required. A Muslim is free to practice their faith in virtually every western country, even those countries considered Christian. Muslims are generally free to worship, hold jobs, earn and save money, get healthcare, go to school, and come and go pretty much as they please. They are only asked to behave themselves, just like everybody else is expected to behave themselves.

    Yet, in countries where Islam is the norm, and Sharia is the law of the land, all other religions are persecuted. Islam, in its purest form, is very intolerant of other faiths. I find this sad. We hear their more liberal clerics living in the west where Muslims are expected to behave, telling us that Islam is a peaceful and tolerant faith, and they quote us chapter and verse to support what they tell us. Then we see what really goes on in countries where Sharia is the law of the land. It is exactly the opposite of what these well meaning clerics have been telling us.

    And Islam wonders why nobody else will trust it, that nobody else believes what they say? Actions speak louder than words. The actions of Muslims speak louder than any verses they may quote, or any lies that are told. Ah, but these are not the actions of all Muslims...true, yet how many "average, common, everyday Muslims" cheered when the buildings burned in New York? Ah, but aren't Christians guilty also of saying one thing and doing another...to which I say, who has greater freedom: the Christian in a Muslim nation, or the Muslim in a Christian nation?

    Saying, and doing, are two different things. When Christians and Muslims both figure this out, the world will be better off. As long as there are those who cheer for the suffering of others, there will be troubles in the world.

    The saddest part to the whole story, is that Islam does know how to co-exist. When Europe was in the deepest depths of the Dark Ages, shrouded in superstition and ignorance, Islam kept learning and science alive. When the Enlightenment finally dawned in Europe, it was in no small part because of Islam that reason and logic returned. Places like Toledo, where Islamic communities offered cosmopolitan opportunities for trade and education and discovery, were the envy of their day, and a safe haven for any who sought refuge. Where has this Islam gone?
     
  2. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Sorry, but this was such a heartfelt and interesting post that I had to split it off from the Rules thread and give it a new thread. :)
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Re: rules

    Maybe the same place Christianity went in the dark ages...We must remember it was only a few hundred years ago people fled Europe due to religious persecution. Seems to me the ebb and flow, that swing of the pendulum affects us all.

    And like ettiquette, a system that allows one who makes the rules to look down there noses at those who don't follow them...this thing called enlightenment is similar. Once we finally decide to get on the band wagon we like to deride those that aren't.
     
  4. cavalier

    cavalier New Member

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    You racist (moderator edit)

    There was only one bit of sense in that ridiculous post, the line, "..these are not the actions of all muslims." You're damn right they're not, so how dare you suggest and insinuate that they are?

    Have you ever met or spoken to any muslims? I have a number of good muslim friends back in the UK who were appalled by the 9/11 incident and other the other acts of terrorism around the world. Friends who also do not agree with everything done in the name of Sharia.

    You mention Christianity, well what about The Spanish Inquisition, the burning of "witches", the troubles in Northern Ireland, etc. As Christians, are we responsible for all of these actions?

    I have no doubt that there will be many muslim members of this site who will be rightly apalled by what you have written. This is not representative of all muslims, and I think you owe some people a very large apology.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2006
  5. cavalier

    cavalier New Member

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    This is a public message to Brian.

    I don't think this thread show be allowed to remain on the site as it violates the code of conduct.

    I quote,

    "CR does not support direct attacks on any faith"

    "general tolerance and mutual respect of some degree is required, and especially the acceptance that other people can hold differing views."

    I think juantoo's post asserts that Muslims are all of one mind.
     
  6. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste cavalier,

    umm.. you just quoted juan as saying:

    "..these are not the actions of all muslims."

    ipso facto, this statement of yours:

    "I think juantoo's post asserts that Muslims are all of one mind."

    is incorrect, at least according to what he has posted.

    moreover, Islam and Muslims are not the same thing. one of those is a term to describe a follower of a specific religious paradigm the other is the religious paradigm itself.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  7. cavalier

    cavalier New Member

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    Though juan does make this statement, what he goes on to say suggests that he considers this fact to be an irrelevance.

    For goodness sake, please don't overlook the point I'm making because of my choice of words.
     
  8. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Cavalier, what Juantoo3 counters is claims (such as the Rules thread) that Islam is happy to co-exist with other religions - yet in Muslim countries other religions can be set up for persecution.

    He points out rightly that Muslims in Christian countries are given all the same freedoms of Christians, yet the reverse is not seen to be true.

    Why is that racist?
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    When I was young we were told to never discuss religion or politics. Now to me it is really all that is worth discussing. However, it is a tricky subject.

    We must remember that discrimination is in the eye of the beholder. When one is at the other end of the stick it is only they that can truly say how much something hurts...and we regularly tread on sensitive ground.

    Yaqinud Din, we as outsiders to Islam are very interested in knowing exactly what is going on in our world and how it is going to affect us. The rift between radical Muslims who decide to become terrorists...uh terrorizes us. The internal rifts between sects in Islam causes us consternation as well. We'd like to learn more not only for our benefit, but for the benefit of the world as a whole.

    I, Brian, you have to admit that your decision to create another thread could have been a little more amicably done, and the title not been so pointed. When was the last time you beat your wife? (that is an example, the question itself contains a hidden statement, an implied truth)

    123, while technically you didn't start the thread, again we (as I am regularly guilty of this) need to choose our words and state our case cleanly. I agree that there are some good points made and questions worthy of discussion. But if one can't get beyond other grizzle no one ever finds the meat.

    Cavalier, your point is well taken, however it obviously isn't racist as Islam is not a race. And if we can rephrase so as to incite discussion rather than everyone going to their corners to take defensive positions...we may be able to get somewhere.
     
  10. aburaees

    aburaees Member

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    A lot of Muslims make no secret of the fact that in Islam there is a time for peace AND a time for war.

    In the earliest days of Islam, when Muhammad and very few Muslims converts were in Mecca, the non-Muslim Meccans were very much in the majority. It would have been senseless not to try and establish peaceful relations with them. The Meccans needed to be assured that this new Islam was not a threat to their ancient customs, hence "there shall be no compulsion in religion". This is exactly how I see most Muslims living in the West.

    Muhammad and the early Muslims went to Medina, where people were more receptive of Islam and consequently Muslim numbers grew. Muslims were increasingly more able to show themselves a force to be reckoned with, eventually Mecca was conquered without a fight due to the might of the emerging Muslim community.

    Has anyone read the Hadith about Muhammad's letter to Heraclius of Byzantine?

    The non-Muslim neighbours of the emerging Muslim powers were given an opportunity to embrace Islam, the rest is history as Heraclius' domain including Jerusalem and Syria, and the rest of Byzantine was later conquered by Muslims as revealed in the Qur'an.

    For non-Muslims living in Muslim lands they can only guarantee saftey by either:
    1. Becoming a Muslim; or
    2. Paying the Jizyah



    .
     
  11. cavalier

    cavalier New Member

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    You are quite right and, given the nature of what I was writing, it would have been better if I'd have thought out my response a little better. I don't know what the word is to describe a stereotypical view of people from a particular religious group.

    I think you are also right Wil that part, perhaps even most, of the problem lies with how the thread was set up and titled.

    I have read and re-read the post in the light of what you, and also Vaj have written. With these things in mind, I'm not sure that juantoo deserved all the of the vitriol of my first post, and to that extent I would apologize.

    There is one line in particular though, which still really troubles me. "...how many "average, common, everyday Muslims" cheered when the buildings burned in New York?" No doubt some did, along with a good number of non-muslims. How many though did not cheer? How many were appalled by what was going on? I really feel that questions like the juan asked put many innocent and peace-loving muslims in a position where they have to defend themselves against such accusations.

    Earlier, I mentioned my muslim friends in the UK. They are tired of hearing comments about terrorism, or enduring suspicious looks from people when they travel by plane or train. Comments like the one juan made, and thread titles like this cannot help.
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    In the US that is called a protection racket. I am making an observation here. Surely there is a less obtrusive way to convert folks to Islam?
     
  13. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    that's what worries me at the moment. i am not keen on dhimmi status at all. nor am i keen on muslim claims that the Torah is corrupt and therefore that they are following the correct religion and i am not - not much difference between that and "accept jesus or you're going to hell". in fact, both have little to choose for me in terms of the political consequences resulting usually in the historical choice of conversion or death.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  14. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    I agree the title is probably not the best - I considered a couple of options, and figured this was the least offensive - and by keeping it on the Abrahamic boards, rather than the Islam board, it would be less in any Muslim's face who didn't want to address it.

    I agree there's an awful lot of misconception about Islam since 9/11, and it doesn't surprise me at all that Muslims are sick of being tarred with that brush - popular reports have it that this is precisely the taunt that prompted Zinedine Zidane - of Algerian and Muslim descent - to turn and headbut another player in the football World Cup, in front of hundreds of millions of viewers.

    An issue I'd like to see addressed, though, is that I have a lot of difficulty seeing Muslims on CR comment or even criticse any aspect of the modern Muslim world.

    I don't believe any Muslim on CR has ever started a thread lamenting the atrocities in Iraq between Sunni and Shi'a; the fighting between Fatah and Hamas; the state of some Muslim countries as little more than playgrounds for corrupt dictators; and similar.

    Perhaps we simply don't have a large enough Muslim membership to facilitate such discussions, but the impression given is that there's a general feeling of trying to avoid any critical comments on any aspect of the modern Islamic word, in case it's seen as "unMuslim".

    This is certainly in contrast to the Christianity board, where Christians have no problems criticising aspects of the modern Christian world where they are seen to be against the spirit and/or letter of Christian faith.

    That's why I thought juantoo3's post was worth starting as a new thread - to invite a more open discussion about problems within Islam by Muslims, away from more general eulogising of its benefits.

    2c.
     
  15. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Cavalier,

    i'm not ignoring your point, it is my view that your point is misdirected.

    as Wil rightly pointed out, Islam is not a race. in point of fact, modern anthropology has done away with the term "race" altogether as we are, in fact, all of the human race. the term they use now is "ethnicity". that said, i didn't see Juans comments as being ethinicaly motivated in the least.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  16. cyberpi

    cyberpi Interfaith Forums

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    Re: rules

    Good! What, would you prefer pre-emption? When do you prescribe intolerance... never? Should a civilian or police, who will claim they are for tolerance and peace, turn a blind eye when a crime is committed? Should they judge and pre-empt their neighbors? Or should they only be intolerant when it is just?

    False. Islam means submission to the will of God (swt). That is a choice for the individual to make, not society. In truth whoever persecutes to drive people towards Allah (swt) drives them further away. Whoever persecutes demands submission to them rather than to Allah (swt). People who think the majority opinion defines Islam are the ones who are wrong, and leave you with the perception otherwise. Islam is as much for you as it is for anyone else.

    Are you asking for action or debate? Voicing a word is an action. Replace the word Islam with 'God' (swt) and review your sentence. People may have added to the meaning but then they are in the wrong. Replace the word Muslim with 'One who submits to the will of God'.

    A famous person in the last century said:
    Should I judge the teaching of Jesus Christ (pbuh) by him? Should I associate Christianity with him and his 'nation'?

    Who defined the nation? God (swt)? The disciples who followed Christ were Muslim, so... some definitions to some words have clearly altered in scope. Maybe people like that famous person above were a cause of that?

    Yes, judging and condemning are two different things.

    ... as long as people lie to each other there will be suffering.
    ... as long as people do not place faith in each other there will be suffering.

    Again, replace the word Islam with God (swt). He is as present today as he was back then. Be careful with words.
     
  17. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Re: rules

    Wow, I don't recall a time since I have been here that my comments have drawn such fire!

    Let me say, I have always admired Islam as a beautiful religion of truth and logic. I admire that. What I see in practice though, is that Muslims often turn that truth and logic on other religions, in an attempt to undermine them. These same Muslims however, for whatever reason known by them, refuse to turn their own truth and logic to look at themselves. Any who do so, Muslim or not, immediately have their character and motivations called into question. They are called infidels, or worse. Often they are threatened with their lives. Rushdie comes to mind. And the cartoons of Mohammed.

    Now, I find this disturbing. My response was in reply to a young person who claimed no former Muslims who converted to Christianity were under threat of death for converting. To which I brought forward a number of quotes to show the recent episode involving Abdul Rahman. In those quotes are people of power, a judge and an Imam, in a Sharia country (specifically Afghanistan) stating explicitly that if this man were to be freed to go home, the Imam would incite his followers to kill him, and the judge would if allowed to put this man on trial, level a death penalty. Both quoted Mohammed as their reasons why. This is found in the "rules" thread.

    These are not "average, everyday" guys on the street saying this, these are people who hold power and influence the masses, telling the world Mohammed calls for the execution of any non-Muslims.

    This is not an isolated incident. It is well known that Christian missionaries are not welcome in Muslim countries. And not just Christians, Jews take their lives into their hands to travel through a Muslim country, let alone try to live. And what of the ancient Buddhist carvings on the mountain in Afghanistan that were destroyed simply because they were not Islamic inspired. These were national treasures!

    Yes, I reacted emotionally to a deliberate challenge to my faith. So I deliberately challenge Muslims to answer, by looking at themselves. We know Muslims are capable of looking with logic and reason at others. They refuse to look at themselves! When any other looks at them openly, such as I dare to do, they are castigated. Indeed, I cannot help but wonder if someone somewhere would love nothing more than to put me on their "hit list" because I dared speak the truth!

    If Christians are Muslims, why are they persecuted in Sharia nations by law, for no more crime than being Christian? Muslims are not persecuted in Christian nations, certainly not by law. A former Christian who converts to Islam is not threatened with his very life for doing so, or called heretic or infidel by the state. The law in Christian nations does not threaten those who convert with their lives! The priests and preachers and rabbis do not "… call on the people to pull him to pieces."

    Islam can play nice, and co-exist with others. It is evident in places where Islam is not the dominant political player. In these instances, Islam must play nice to survive. At the same time, they are guests. I do not see that same hospitality extended to others who *live* in Sharia nations by law and custom (with rare, conditional exceptions, like oil workers in Saudi, who live in segregated compounds), (tourists do not count, everybody fleeces them). One need only look at Darfur to see what it is I am getting at. Do Muslims deny this as well?

    If all of the people of the book are Muslims, then Sharia Muslims spend a considerable amount of time teaching "killing the whole of mankind." Denial of this is not truth, and is not logical. Casting doubt upon me personally does not do away with this truth or this logic.

    I cannot, and *do not*, paint all Muslims with one brush. I hold each to their own actions, just as I do anybody else. When the dominant attitude among a given people is hatred towards any not like them, persecuting for following the same G-d by a different path, culturally discriminating and acting prejudicially complete with lynching, something is not right. Are we in the west to believe that whole Sharia nations are misinterpreting Islam? What if Islam became the dominant faith in America, and Sharia became the law of the land (as I am sure the hope of many Muslims is a world of Sharia)? Would Christians and Jews, and Buddhists and Hindis, and Native Americans, and any others, become subject to death for their beliefs?

    Or, are we in the west to just lay idly by and believe everything we are told because someone, however well intended, tells us something that contradicts what we see?

    Shifting the subject onto Christianity is to avoid the subject at hand in this thread. There are plenty of threads dealing with the conflicts in Christianity. Why is it so difficult to discuss with Muslims the conflicts in Islam?

    I do apologize, if somehow my comments are taken as prejudicial towards the whole of Islam. I do not apologize for speaking truth. G-d demands it of me, as G-d does of others as well. Including Muslims.
     
  18. Zaakir

    Zaakir part of the ummah

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    not being a muslim for long, the thing i find the greatest about it, is the love and sincerity dedicated to Allah (s.w.t) whether or not some muslims maybe intolerant or not, only Allah (s.w.t) can deicide and judge them.i personally disagree with a lot of the things going on as do all of the muslim people i know,but what can we do especially when were getting called terrorists aswell.most of these actions that occur that i dont agree with, are happening in the east, maybe it is because of an ignorance, maybe a wrong learning?but i think it is unjust to call all muslims, when compared to the number of our religion, there will be literally a handfull that carry out such actions
     
  19. aburaees

    aburaees Member

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    Re: rules

    Unfortunately, those who insist on the execution of apostates draw their support from the second most authentic book in Sunni Islam. The Hadiths of Sahih Al-Bukhari.

    Most Sunni Muslims wouldn't question the authenticity of these Hadith collections, but at the same time are unaware of it's contents.
    Salafi Muslims do not question the authenticity of Sahih Al-Bukhari.
    Shias however, do not revere these Hadith collections as Sunnis do, because they consider the nature of some of these Hadiths to be unislamic.

    The following Hadiths are used in support of executing apostates:

    1. Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 260:
    2. Bukhari Volume 9, Book 83, Number 17:
    3. Bukhari Volume 6, Book 61, Number 577:

    Shiite Muslims reject the authenticity of Sahih Al-Bukhari, often because they consider some of the Hadiths to be ridiculous, and because much of the collections is traced back to Aisha (who was an enemy of the Shias) and Abu Hurairah (who was allegedly flogged for fabricating Hadiths).

    A lot of liberal Muslims in the West will reject such Hadiths, amongst others that they find unacceptable. But the majority view of the Muslim scholars at Al-Azhar and Medina, is that Sahih Al-Bukhari ONLY contains Sahih (Righteous) Hadiths.

    Also Muslims who follow the views of Rashid Khalaf reject ALL Hadiths, they believe that Muhammad ONLY came with the Qur'an, and everything outside of the Qur'an is likely to be fabrication.



    .
     
  20. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Zaakir!
    Absolutely agreed! I have been very careful not to call anybody a terrorist. I have deliberately avoided that subject. Angry young men exist in every modern culture. I do not in any way think of Muslims as terrorists.

    What I have been trying to get at deals more with the fundamental disconnect between what we are told by peaceful, well-meaning Muslims in the west, and what we see as cultural norms in places like Afghanistan, Saudi, Yemen, Iran. Places that are culturally Islamic, places where Islam is the norm and Sharia is the law of the land.

    I would not think to call these nations terrorist. That is not the purpose behind my posts. I am simply wondering why Sharia nations have such a strict cultural prejudice against other faiths?
     

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