Western Concepts: Are they Compatible with Islam??

Discussion in 'Politics and Society' started by DrumR, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. DrumR

    DrumR Well-Known Member

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    Secularism: Politics and Society;
    Western Concepts, Are they Compatible with Islam??

    A thread was initiated entitled:
    "Is Islam compatible with Western concepts of freedom"

    A query was raised that was quite the opposite of the original thread. I had thought that someone would have seen the obvious and would have started such a thread based upon that query.

    I had noted that after many pages of comments had been written that such a thread had not been created and so here one is.
    I put these questions to the Islamic readership in particular the following questions:

    In general:
    Are Western Concepts such as individual freedoms, freedom of religious choice, and many as yet unnamed freedoms, to be considered as compatible with with the Teachings as found in the Koran and/or other Teachings of Islam?

    If a Western Concept is found in agreement with the teachings of Islam, why would that be so?
    I.e. :
    What aspect of which particular Basic and/or Revealed teaching(s) of Islam is indicated.


    If a Western Concept is found in agreement with the Koran, why would that be so?
    I.e. :
    What aspect of which particular Basic and/or Revealed teaching(s) of the Koran is indicated.

    If a Western Concept is found to be in agreement with the Koran but is found to be in conflict with one or more of the other Teachings of Islam, how is this to be dealt with?

    ===

    Please be kind enough to indicate the particular Western Concept under your consideration of posting before engaging in an analysis of it.

    To Readers and would-be respondents:
    Please construct you queries, observations, and analysis from the above indicated view point.
    bearing in mind that the issues presented herein may be considered as volatile enough that one should exercise considerable restraint prior to posting.

    Please remember that there is another thread, as mentioned in the opening statement of this message, whose main thrust is opposite to this one and should one find oneself more in agreement with that particular direction of discussion, please consider posting one's comments there.


    TNX DrumR
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I would say there is a fundamental incompatibility with Islam, and that is that the philosophy of the West, which comes from the same root as does the philosophy of Islam — indeed, we received large parts of it from Islam, having been lost in the drift between East and West — is curently shaped by Relativism, whereas Islam is founded on the idea of an Absolute.

    As a Catholic, I would say generally the same applies. The philosophy of the West, as it currently stands, is incompatible with Christianity, except those denominations which choose to defer the secular philosophical viewpoint.

    The Western notion of 'freedom', for example, when one considers the degree of anti-religious sentiment in self-styled liberal quarters, soon reveals itself to mean 'freedom to think as I think you should think'

    Secularism is, in many aspects, as rabid as any fundamentalism. I think this should be born in mind before any critical review of Islam.

    Just an aside.

    Thomas
     
  3. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    (First of all, great questions, and an impressive reply by Thomas. I think that the best way to answer the question is to examine what the Islamic Legal System really is)




    What is Islamic Sharia?



    For anyone who wants to know more about Sharia Law, I will post a very brief (and very surprising) summary. Islamic Law, is actually secular in nature, which very few people realize. The links I provide are to a lecture delivered on the subject by a respected scholar of Islam. The first thing which should be remembered is that whatever is being applied in countries like Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan under the Taliban etc. is NOT Sharia Law at all. The first thing I will post, is actually discussed in the last part, but is most surprising: - No law can be passed which forces a person to follow religious commandments. Because religious commandments are not rationalizable. - So you can not force someone to fast, or pray etc. Now, for a little more detail:



    Part 1: is very stretched out, but deals mainly with the objective of Islamic Law. The main thesis is this: Any law, which is outside the bounds of mercy, and does not serve to bring a benefit to society is not compatible with Sharia.

    (Skip the first minute, as it is in Arabic)
    Dr. Mokhtar Maghraoui - MaqassuDul Sheerah Part 1



    In Part 2: There are 5 Universals in Islamic Sharia.
    Any legislation which violates any of these is outside Sharia:
    Also, these laws are universal, for men and women.

    1) The Right of Religion - For example, a piece of legislation which says that someone does not have the right to believe in God. Or you do not have the right to perform prayer, etc.

    2) The Right of the Self - Anything which violates the physical body, torture, unnecessary capital punishment, unnecessary abortion etc. (I am not fully sure about abortion, I read once somewhere else abortion was allowed up until the 3rd month I think. This issue is confusing in every legal system I think)

    3) The Right of Reason - The rights to Education. Everyone in Sharia has the right to seek education. Men, Women, girls and boys. To prohibit anyone from their right to seek knowledge is outside Sharia Law. Also, the preservation of the intellect is also part of this, meaning that drugs and intoxicants are not allowed in Islam because they inhibit the mental faculties.

    4) The Right to Progeny - Any legislation which restricts the right to have children, or to adopt children. Homosexuality is disallowed because (I was surprised by this at first) but the scholar makes a good case that anything which could contribute to a drop in population replacement levels in the long term is against Sharia Law.

    5) The Right of Property - So Marxism is not compatible with Sharia Law. Also, this applies not just to men, but to women as well. Islam was the first religion to grant these rights to women, fourteen centuries ago.


    Dr. Mokhtar Maghraoui - MaqassuDul Sheerah Part 1 - Google Video


    Part 3: Priorities in formulating Legislation.

    Questions dealing with Privacy, preservation of Life, freedom of speech etc. Also, the question of utility, measuring the benefit and harm produced by any legislation. In this case, the law should favor the legislation which produces the most benefit for the most amount of people. The scholar stresses that this process requires very detailed research and analysis. He complains that this is not done nearly enough in Fiqh research (Islamic Jurisprudence). He stresses that the methods of Islamic systematic approach of legal analysics is very unique and powerful, but is not used to full affect. Islamic systematic reasoning reduces the problems of speculative reasoning if properly applied.

    Dr. Mokhtar Maghraoui - MaqassuDul Sheerah Part 1 - Google Video



    Part 4: Conclusion


    Stresses that any legal verdict and its consequences must be rationalizable, i.e. based in reason. Basically, what this means is that the law itself has to be logically sound, and the effects that any verdict produces will have to be measurable.

    Most importantly: What this means is that no law can be passed which forces a person to follow religious commandments. Because religious commandments are not rationalizable. This, is especially amazing the scholar points out considering this view is fourteen centuries old!

    What this means is, (and I will restate this) that in effect, Islamic Law, is actually secular in nature.

    Dr. Mokhtar Maghraoui - MaqassuDul Sheerah Part 1 - Google Video
     
  4. DrumR

    DrumR Well-Known Member

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    I thank both of you, Thomas and c0de, for your shedding some light on this issue; Thomas for getting to the pith of the philosophical root, and to cOde for the brief overview of Shareeha <1> and especially for the link that has been posted.

    I had followed the link that has been provided, thank you, and can truly state that I am most favorably impressed by what I have both seen and heard. This lecture brings with it a new meaning, and that expanded definition fostered a deeper insight, to the opening of the many versus in the Koran:

    For the above preface, if I am correct in my reasoning, is more than mere mouthing to be parroted but is in itself a duality of concepts that, in light of the lecture, appears to be intimately suffused within Islamic Law.

    Additionally, the Good Doctor had openly commented upon the wide spread ignorance of Islamic Law, within the spectrum and social strata of Islam as well as without. Yet this does lead one to wonder if, at first glance, the in-compatibility between the Systems under discussion here are strictly from the philosophical base differences rather than from the afore mentioned ignorances?


    <1> "Shareeha" In listening to the lecturer I did note the extra syllable.
    <2> Thomas Cleary, The Essential Koran. Translations differ - your mileage may vary.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2008
  5. GlorytoGod

    GlorytoGod There is a River

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    there is also the unpleasant side of sharia law,

    Hudud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

     
  6. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    @ DrumR
    + Glory


    Good Mourning :)


    DrumR


    The perfect question.

    Now that we have somewhat of a deeper understanding of the issue, we are actually recognizing that this is what we should really be asking. In my opinion, questions such as this do spring from our ignorance. As Thomas said, we must first understand that the materialistic freedoms are incompatible with not just Islamic thought, but also Christian thought. I will point out that by definition, all materialistic systems are incompatible (in the philosophic sense) with all spiritual based systems.

    However, with regards to your question, it is important to draw the distinction between philosophy and practice. Two systems might be inherently incompatible philosophically, but can run side by side in the real world. Islamic Shareeah for example, as already pointed out, is a secular system of guidelines because it deals with the material world.

    As far as I understand the issue, it really does not matter what political arrangement or form of judiciary you have controlling society. What matters is the spiritual state of the people who are living in it. No system is "fool proof". If the people who are in the control room have their moral compasses skewed, then the ship is that much more likely to run into an iceberg. For example, in a Western democracy, if the majority of people are purely materialistic, then the end result will probably be a constant state of war to keep the Military-Industrial complex afloat. As Socrates points out in Plato's Republic, there is no way to avoid this outcome if society is geared towards acquiring materialistic pleasures.

    On the other hand, it is possible that in an Eastern style dictatorship, if the dictator is benevolent, then he will guide his people well and look out for their interests. So you can have a vicious system, with a benign result, and a benevolent system with a vicious result. But this is usually not how it works out because people everywhere, are the same. Materialism has always controlled human hearts, and there is no reason to think it will not continue to do so. But that is another discussion altogether.




    Glory

    This applies across the board in a real Islamic system of Shareeh. Just because the ultimate punishment for something might be stoning, or cutting of the limbs, does not mean that this is the punishment which should always be inflicted on the criminal, like it was in Afganistan under the Taliban. As it has already been stated, the foundation of Shareeah is Mercy.

    The other problem with current Islamic judicial systems is their reliance on the testimony of anyone against anyone. In the Quran, a person who is known to have commited a sin (any sin, ever, in his entire life) his testimony is not to be accepted. But today, the person who is being accused of Rape, its his own testimony and that of his friends is considered adequete. This is the sad state of affairs in Muslim countries today.
     
  7. DrumR

    DrumR Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for both the favor of a reply and for posting the wiki material and its link "GlorytoGod."

    Punishments and Deterrents are the unpleasant side concerning the transgressions of the societal and/or communal spiritual path common to very many cultures. I believe, and am of the opinion that other right-minded individuals do as well, that the need for the application of such a sorrowful expression and test of both compassion and mercy is a most difficult burden to be born. Yet the types of punishments and the lines of reasoning, other than that of Mercy and Compassion, as to which form is applicable to which is, to me, beyond the current scope of this discussion while it is in its initial phase. Perhaps at a later point in time...?


    Thank you for the favor of a reply and Good what-ever-time-cycle-of-day-where-you-abide to you, c0de.
    Whew! (wipes fore head)
    I had agonized considerably over my reply, after the fact, hoping that I had not "jumped the gun," so to speak, in broaching a most obvious, to the Western mind, glaring inconsistency between theory and practice. Yet, as regards to the theory aspect, we had not progressed past the "Introduction to the Concepts of Islamic Law" let alone to the more advanced topics of Islamic Law, the Koran, and their interaction. I must admit that my impatience had got the better of me, please accept my apologies. I shall promise you that it shall not happen again - 'til the next time.:D

    Quite so, c0de. So shall we then agree to skip "Materialism" from consideration for the purposes of this discussion thread?
    Alas, the legal criteria also appears to be slipping somewhat within the confines of my own nation's legal system as well. But then, being aware of the problem is one of the first steps towards setting it right. Yes?

    Pardon me if I skip ahead to comment upon "Part 4 Conclusion" of Shareeha that was previously posted.
    I find it most interesting that English Law and American Law hold a similar concept to this, in that, the basis of a foundation in reason is to be preferred.
    If indeed this can be shown to be the case, then I would offer up that; the incompatibility of Western Ideals of law with relation to the Shareeha of Islam does not stem from this particular point as found in the above conclusion.

    Your thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2008
  8. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Sudan militiamen face amputations
    Where in the west would this happen? And remember this was a "show trial" staged by the Sudanese leadership to impress upon UNHCR that they were doing something about their hired arab mercenaries. They did this to try and make themselves look good, such is the mentality of Islam inspired/excused totalitarianism. This is not an isolated occurrence, it is a common sentence handed out by the sharia courts set up by the Islamist Khartoum government. The refugee camps are full of such double amputees.

    tao
     
  9. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    @ DrumR



    Hello DrumR

    Defintely, I think all major schools of thought accept that legislation and legal verdicts have to be based in rationality. This much, there is agreement on. Which is a good thing, because most people I bet (including myself at one time) believed that Shareeah was actually religious law, and was non-rationalizable.

    I think the major difference between Islamic Shareeah and Western Legal systems is the paternalistic attitude that is taken by Shareeah. Specifically, with regards to the priorities of the Rights being protected. Islamic Shareeah for example will ban Alcahol and intoxicants, because of the negative affects that intoxicants produce for society in general. While Western systems might give priority to the personal choices freedoms of the individual. But that is just one example.

    The 5 universal principles of the Shareeah represent the unalieanable rights which Shareeah holds dear. If we examine these principles in a "big picture" sort of way, it is obvious that Shareeah is intent on protecting the over-arching stability of society. While Western Legal systems, as we know, are geared towards maximizing personal freedoms and liberties. So in the end, the two end up being mutually exclusive, even though they are both perfectly rational systems.



    Well, I am afraid that my use of the net is already in the "addiction" phase. :) So I hop on whenever I have time.


    Not at all, like I said, you asked the perfect question. The sooner one gets to the heart of the matter, the better.


    Even if we do, I hope we get to discuss it eventually. It is a topic everyone loves ranting about.


    Yes, but looking at the state of affairs in my home country of Pakistan for example, I do not see much hope for any improvement in the judicial state of affairs at this point. The whole system is rotten from the inside out. But then again, it is already a given that Islamic Shareeah is not being applied in any Muslim country to begin with.
     
  10. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    No political nor religious ideal is actually practised anywhere and nor will it ever be. Islamic law is practised in many countries however. And in each case there are fundamental liberties that the west holds dear that Islam criminalises. And there are punishments that are barbaric and cruel. At each turn you like to assert that "they are not really muslims" or "this is not really Islamic law" or some other such apologetic. But you are wrong. Islam and Islamic law are what is practised, not what is idealised in some fairytale version of it.

    tao
     
  11. farhan

    farhan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to DrumR for starting this thread, & also to Thomas & c0de for slowly evolving this thread in the right direction. I will address with a few concepts here, that IMO are more important than others. And some issues raised by Neti & Salt in the parallel thread, as that thread has gone wacky, the only way it was destined to go.

    Of course the first question is why sharia exists in the first place, which has been answered by Dr. Mokhtar Maghraoui.

    The term Islamic state is usually seen synonymous to a theocracy, & the concept of theocracy is understood in the background of Christian states. I will deal with the social differences between Christianity & Islam later on. In principle, there is no christian styled theocracy in Islam (nor in christianity), neither is there any place for a hereditary monarchy. Quran says that all issues among Muslims shall be dealt according to divine law, by consensus. So anybody's DNA or social stature cant be used as an argument.

    The Islamic state can be seen being formed in Medina. Although Quran doesn't speak of a state, it does give laws & asks them to be implemented by some organization of muslims. That organization doesn't necessarily have to be a state, but it cant be no-state either. A group of muslims, when start living together will have to deal with one another according to some principles that are accepted by all. Not everybody would accept law of Hammurabi, Byzantines or Sassanids. The only thing that will be accepted by all will be the Islamic principles. Islamic law gives a whole set of rights & responsibilities for every person. Husband, wife, parent, sibling, employer, employee etc. If one looks deeper into subtler meanings of Quran, it also tells why a particular law exists in the first place.

    The first thing thats going to happen among "muslims living together" is that they will marry. Who will decide the mechanics of this relationship? Who will decide the rights of either side? Who will enforce these rights? Some contemporary laws will say that if a person divorces his wife, he will give her half of his possessions. What's the rationale & intended/expected result of this law? How is it not oppression? Nobody talks about that, which is on of the reasons why muslims want their lives to be ruled by Sharia, even in non-muslim countries. Because they see Sharia much more wise & fair compared to man made laws.

    The second thing they will do is trade. Again, according to what principles this exchange of commodities will occur. There are many ways of earning money where selfish people de-link profit from the production or economic progress of the society, which is in itself an oppression. The most important example is usury, where the lender is indifferent to the progress of the enterprise. He wants more money at all cost. Gambling is another example where money is lost & earned based on a coincidence, and there is no economic activity going on behind it. We also have prostitution, which among other things, is an injustice to that man's wife, his household, & all other women who dont want to sell themselves.

    So, muslims will eventually get together, & by concensus select a man (or a group) who will enforce justice & holistic benefits. This man will obviously be the most pious, wise & trustworthy of all. That man btw is not an emperor, he is more like an elder endowed with power, the father of the tribe. And so, an Islamic state emerges.

    _____________________________________________

    As far as notion of Church & state is concerned, there are some important facts to be understood here. Firstly this notion is a product of a Christian secular mindset, nothing to do with Islam. Unlessl westerners & westernized people didn't start there ideological colonization, it was not a problem for muslims. One has to realize that Christianity & Islam are societaly very different form one another. Christianity in principle has nothing to do with state or its social structure. There is absolutely no law that can be considered "Christian law". Constantine converted Christianity (to what he wanted it to be), then he converted to Christianity, & then he used his "new *Christian monarch* powers" to impose "His christian laws" upon people. So in reality a Christian state is a Caesarian state, since it's always the will of Caesar that becomes the law. God never interferes with a Christian state, they only use his stamp.

    Islam does have divine laws/principles, that people abide by even in the absence of an Islamic state. Most of these principles cant be implemented by the state, like state cant force somebody to pray. The part of principles that can become state law are essentially secular. And there is no separation between these laws & a common muslim. So in reality, power lies in the hands of people, not "the mosque". Mosque itself is nothing more than a building, it doesn't have any church powers. Unlike a Christian setting, in an Islamic state, the ruler doesn’t have the right to invent laws. He is subservient to the law just like the rest of people. There are instances in Islamic history when rulers were brought to court by common men. If the ruler doesn’t abide by the law, then the state isn’t Islamic.

    There are two baisc concepts, Shura & Ijma. Shura is decision by consultation, & Ijma is by consensus. Its difficult to differentiate the principles of all three of them, but I think consensus is more ideal & because of that, less pragmatic than Democracy. 51%'s rule will be called democracy, but not ijma. For ijma, all parties will have to come down a little bit & agree on some common grounds. For democracy, lobby & win. Ijma needs a lot of emotional/spiritual conditioning, concepts that are looked down upon now a days. If this emotional/spiritual conditioning is allowed in a democratic state, it too will evolve into an ijma driven state. But when we are forced to see democracy as an end, not a mean, then that evolution is unlikely to happen.

    The are some minor difference between Shura & Democracy. In democratic theory people rule, so they can decide anything. For example they can legalize prostitution if its good for economy. In Islamic system they cant do it, since true sovereignty resides neither in the ruler nor in government nor in a statistical majority; it belongs to God. What belongs to man is viceregency, the literal meaning of the word Caliph. As Dr. Moukhtar in his lecture said, man is supposed to align his will to the will of God, so he cant make a law against the divine will. But abiding by the limits set by God, all new laws will be made & all people will be ruled by consultation & consensus, according to rationale & material sciences. That's what contemporary scholars usually call theo-democracy or theocentric democracy.

    So democracy isn't incompatible with Islam. The real questions is, what kind of democracy? And are the contemporary democratic system really democratic? We have got a two party dictatorship in US (third guy never wins, ask Ron Paul) , how is it more democratic than one party dictatorship of China? I am not talking about individual freedoms right now, just the system in principle. Can a person who doesnt have a few million dollars run for elections? The people who are funding these million dollar campaigns, wont they ask for "dividend" once that guy becomes president? This is so obvious after the current economic upheavel, where profits were privitised & loses got nationalized. Did anybody ask the people? Do people even know what is the right choice? Marx knew this was inevitable, Americans still dont get it. A free democracy will always get changed into a plutocracy. Even the ancient wise greeks knew it as a matter of fact.

    There is a quote attributed to Umar (2nd caliph), "If you wish to rule, you are unfit". Lots of wisdom there.

    ________________________________________________

    Two points were raised by Salt, first was the comparsion of Christianity & Islam (that I have answered), second was secularism. The two points about secularism were:

    1. Secularism is somehow inherently good (better than a religious state)
    2. A religion based state will become a "state for those people".

    I will deal them very briefly

    Secularism to be exact is a mean, not an ideal. The state escapes from religion because of what & for what? Nothing ever happened to any muslim Galileo. Christian period is seen as dark ages, islamic period is seen as golden age, it tells a lot. Secularism is a mean to achieve some ideals that are usually labeled "freedom". So you take the choice from state, & give it to an individual. This too is a mean to achieve something. What this individual wants? Is he driven by anything other than greed, fear, peer pressure etc .... big questions. Secularism in itself is a variable, that cant be compared to Islamic constants.

    Islamic system doesn't necessarily have to become a "state for muslims". No system is fool proof btw, including a secular state. US has almost equal Jewish & Muslim population. And not all jews are zionists. How many zionists are there in the congress? Compare that to Muslims &/or Christians. How many times you see a non-zionist-jew on the media? Doen main stream US media covers third party candidates? How many Turks/Ciscaucasians are there in Russian govt, or North Africans in French govt? You are getting in a secular setting exactly what you were afraid of in a religious setting.
     
  12. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    @ Farhan
    + Tao


    Good Mourning.




    Farhan

    Welcome to the discussion.

    For this reason, I believe that it is fine to talk about Islamic Law as a theoretical model for the state, but I simply do not think that it can ever be applied in the real world. The obvious reason for this is because it is just too utopian. But the real reason why it is "too Utopian" is because no top-down approach can bring lasting change or benefit for society.

    When the Prophet ordered the ban on Alcohol in Medina, the streets flowed with dumped out wine, every drop of alcohol was spilled into the gutters. Everyone obeyed instantaneously. But we usually forget that this ban was not instituted a day after the coming of the Prophet. God took care of the "emotional/spiritual conditioning" of his servants beforehand. This is the exact opposite of a top-down approach (ironic isn't it? Even God, the Absolute Ruler does not apply his laws in a authoritarian fashion). So God has this finesse, and we apparently do not. Many Mullahs today believe that if you institute Shareeah, the rest of society will just fall into place. What will actually end up happening however is the corruption of Shareeah. I think Saltmeister has a good point in saying that the real reason why Religion should be kept separate from the State is because the State will always run on a corrupt foundation, and if you mix Religion with it, then the blame will inevitably fall on Religion. So to preserve the dignity of Religion, you should keep it far away form the state. Personally, I fully agree with this sentiment.

    The quote by Caliph Umar (ra) is very relevant here. At the end of the day, it is the narcissists who end up in these positions of authority, because the real leaders are out doing actual work. Look at Edhi for example, he was offered the Prime Ministership of Pakistan, he refused and said he could be more productive leading his NGO then as a PM. He was right.


    Unfortunately, the mosque has become a very similar institution to the Church. Examples: If Muslims actually forget that a fatwa given by a Mullah technically has no legal significance, and start to see it as some sort of a divine legislation, then we have our own priestly class, like the Jews and Christians before us; If the Mosque today is involved in politics, like it is in many Muslim countries, then many Muslims are granting Pope-like authority to its leaders (which are often unified under a political party like entity, which is probably totalitarian in nature); If Muslims today are averse to reading the Quran but instead rely on the Mosque to tell them what it says, then we are in the same paternalistic church-type system of Christianity.







    Tao


    I did try to find an argument within this passage of yours that deals with the points already made against this opinion... But I couldn't.
     
  13. DrumR

    DrumR Well-Known Member

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    Thank for joining into the conversation of this thread Tao_EQUUS.


    To better answer your initial question perhaps the injection of a bit of old sarcastic humor plus a change in the first word of your query may serve somewhat. First I shall present the humor in the form of a question-answer pair.

    Q. How does a Forester "shake hands" with a poacher?
    A. With a string.

    The word change I propose to apply to your query is from where to when so that it now reads: When in the west would this happen?

    Taken together we can point to a when amputation was practiced as a punishment in the West, in the Medieval Period, and the where, in this particular case, was Merry Old England. This is not to say that such "barbaric" behavior is endemic to England exclusively for parallels may be found in other European nations of that and/or earlier time periods. One should not construe that this example of single amputation is in any way to be equated with the double amputation sentence that is to be received by the convicted militia men as mentioned in the BBC article.

    One may find other examples of harsh punishment, such as public "Drawing and Quartering." that have been practiced by the Western nations in its past that would be considered as barbaric to the West of today, but fortunately for those of us who live "here" the Western nations have evolved their societies beyond those primitive beginnings.

    These factors of time and societal evolution are, I believe, of great importance to the general discussion of the in-compatibilities of the Western Ideals with Islam and will be seen to be more applicable at a later stage of this examination rather than here at such an early stage of the discussion's development.

    As many through out the world should know, "Show Trials" have certain aims and objectives beyond that of mere "Blind Justice." In those cases should the objective be that of conviction then the basic tacts of mercy and/or of strict compliance of the law is that which is to be demonstrated to the particular audience in mind. In this case of the Sudanese militia men one should see that to show the world at large the justice of Islam was one of the objectives and also in showing to the world that it could prosecute its own peoples and, as some might say here in the USA, "throw the book at 'em."

    The Western outrage, that has been expressed by some, may be seen as exceeding and being contrary to that reaction which many of the Islamic world should reasonably expect from other "civilized and law abiding" peoples. The Western reaction appears to be fueled not by the legal process itself in the finding of the accused guilty, not by the verdict of guilt that has been passed down, not by the intent "to prosecute the fullest possible extent of the law;" but by the actual sentence as prescribed by that law in its fullness. It is clearly to the sentence itself that the considerable Western objection is being raised. Here we see no "pats on the back" for the genuine effort expended, however that it may have been but a Trial for Show, and the West presents to the Islamic world, without fully realizing that it has done so, another enigma based upon the lack of clear communications.

    That Islamic Law has been administered to many offenders appears to be lost when one views the plight of the offenders that have been sentenced in isolation of the actual legal process itself. All too many people do not ask if "the sentence fits the crime?" they mistakenly ask instead, "is this really a Just Law?"; again the mis-communication of ideas.

    Do I personally agree with the sentence to be administered to those found guilty by and of their internal legal system? No, but that is as it should be considering the societal norms of where and when I was "raised." Is that applied sentence of amputation in accord of the ideals of compassion and mercy of Shareeha? One may be lead to believe so but I do not "personally" know this as a certainty and it is one of the many particulars I had hoped to discover as the topic of this thread progresses and expands.

    However, without a firm foundation of the concepts involved fully established this thread may then devolve into a comparison of apples to oranges where mis-communication is more the rule rather than the exception.
     
  14. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    @ DrumR




    It is important to remember that when God said in the Quran that the limit of punishment for a crime like theft is the amputation of the hand, it was actually meant to be a limitation. Up till that point, if a person was caught stealing, he was liable to be executed if the victim was deemed influential enough. The Quran commands us to limit punishment of certain criminal acts. And even then, it does not say that everyone who commits theft should have their hand cut off, but only those who are addicted to theft. Even then, it does not force this verdict.

    Its application today in countries like Saudi Arabia, or Sudan or Afganistan under the Taliban, has a lot more to do with the motivation of the state to instil fear of themselves in the public, rather then the fear of God.
     
  15. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    DrumR,

    Official protest from the UN and other countries and NGOs like Amnesty International did not limit themselves to disgust for the punishment. Indeed the main noises made were about the process of trial where legal representation is denied or deliberately thwarted. In Saudi, Iran, Sudan and several other countries the sharia courts ignore all international conventions on what is a fair trial. To call them courts at all gives them a legitimacy they do not deserve. They are nothing but rubber stamping committees for the ruling elites.


    C0de,

    A technique not limited to Islam but certainly exemplified in the famous 'example' Muhammad set when he executed in cold blood the 600+ captive Jews. And this is the problem with having a warlord as a spiritual leader. It sets up from the outset an immutable excuse for every tyrant that comes along to adopt Islam as a weapon of choice. Now you can believe in god or allah or the flying spahgetti monster as a persoanl belief system and it can be harmless. But when it demands political exclusiveness it becomes intolerable fascism because it derives its mandate not from what serves the people but what serves the ruling elites. Islam is dangerous because Mohammad was a warlord, and for every 'peaceable and just' quote from the koran, (which can be fairly interpreted as political maneuverings and are in fact abrogated later anyway), there are others that give sanction to barbarism. I do not give a damn about what some might call the Ideal of Islam, it has not and never will exist. In the west we fought for centuries to shed off the absolute tyrany of the Papacy and to bring the elites under the power of the masses through democracy. Islam has not even taken the first tentative steps in that direction, it is and will remain a top down tyranical system because its core, the Koran, is in itself just that.


    tao
     
  16. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    @ Tao


    Good Mourning



    This issue has already been dealt with:

    "You do realize that the verdict to execute them came from a Jew right?..." http://www.interfaith.org/forum/is-islam-compatible-with-western-9411-11.html Post #153


    It seems like you nullified your own original objection. That is exactly what I said in my last post: It has nothing to do with Islam.


    How can Islam require "political exclusiveness"? It is the Muslims who require political exclusiveness for their own political interests. I will give you an example of a system of beliefs that does require political exclusiveness, Communism. Last I checked, atheism is a built in feature of this system.


    The rest of your post, like this statement is based in opinion and not fact.
     
  17. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    This may be your chosen explanation of events but it is far from "dealt with" in your rendering of it. Certainly it is not the opinion of Osama Bin Laden, the current spiritual leader of the Islamic world. It is not the opinion of Hamass nor of Iran. And nor is it the opinion of hundreds of preachers singing their hatred of Jews from the Orwellian loudspeakers situated on mosques across the muslim world.




    It has everything to do with Islam. Just as a man would find it difficult to behead a man without some sharp edged steel it is difficult to control a populations minds without some equally effective weapon. Islam is such a weapon and was designed to be so. In this it is unique. Other religions have been hijacked to be that, only Islam was purposefully designed.


    I am sure you are 'bright' enough to figure it out.


    lol, and what is yours? Consider for a moment that we are both correct. We put your opinion on Islam and mine on opposite trays of the scales of judgement. The question is whether Islam does or not benefit the whole of the people. Your never realised ideal of Islam to my mind does not serve humanity, and my factual appraisal of Islams long history of bloodshed is not in humanities interest. This is where I come from. I could not give a flying fig about ideals. I do care about injustice. And Islam is nothing but a tool for those who thrive on injustice. Its that simple. If Stalinist/Maoist communism existed I would condemn it equally. And I condemn the Papacy, western corporate fascism, Russia and China's totalitairianism and any other system than subjugates the masses through tyranny for the prosperity of a corrupt elite equally. But this discussion is about Islam.


    tao
     
  18. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    @ Tao



    It is not my "chosen explanation"... it is a historical fact.
    Ponder on these words Tao. The rest will fall into place.
     
  19. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Fact. lol. You say fact and we all have to bow down before your infinite wisdom. LMFAO!!

    Muhammad went to Medina after his EXPULSION from Mecca, for being a lying, cheating upstart wannabe of the absolutely intolerable variety. In Medina, with an at the time predominately Jewish and unmilitarised rule, he settled with his HIRED group of mercenaries paid for by the rich widow who despised him but was forced to become his wife. There he sought to teach a new version of the Torah as revealed to him during his epileptic visions. They, the Jews of Medina, were told that he was the last word from god. The Jews said "F**K you you psycopathic upstart. So he commanded his mercenary army to sew plots and to wage war upon the unmilitarised Jews. He commanded that every one of his followers should kill at least 2 Jews. He bribed, coerced and terrified some Jews into supporting him. Then he began to wage real war on them. After capturing some 600 (according to Jewish historians and 900 according to Islamic), and having them rendered helpless he beheaded them in cold blood. These ARE FACTS. And you can try to repaint them any way you like but I get all this from MUSLIM sites, NOT anti-muslim sites. Muslims have one story for us westerners/non-muslims, and another for themselves. And this is the crux of things.


    tao
     
  20. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I thought it had something to do with the fact that he threatened the Meccans financially. They had a vested interest in providing a polytheist tourist attraction for the many visiting pilgrims.
     

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