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question for Muslim worshippers? ? Help me defend, educate ...? - Page 3

post #41 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by BethSLP View Post
Is this Umar the same as Umayr bin 'Adiy l-Khatmi? Because in the story I just posted, he killed a woman and her unborn child because she questioned Muhammed in a poem.

I don't know if its the same guy because the spelling is a bit different.

Also, want to say that I'm wondering if I should leave this thread be since I've pretty much said my piece. I'm interested in all your replies, but I feel kind of yucky every time I post because while I don't know you mamas in real life I'm guessing you are very similar in belief to my dear Palestinian friend who I respect deeply. I don't mention all these things to call you out or anything, but merely because of what I stated before about how I feel its important that these stories are brought to light as I feel it impacts our world today. But not because I want to make anyone feel insulted or hurt about their beliefs. Its a fine line to walk. I'm just fairly convinced that regardless, criticism of one's faith is usually taken as hurtful. Does that make sense? Not sure how to keep it from being that.

XOXO
B
Dear Beth,

First of all, thank you for your sensitivity. You are right, it is a fine line, and I wont tell you that it does not stir up some emotion when the things you love seem to be attacked. At the same time i am happy that you voice you concern and ask questions- I just ask that you do so with an open mind and with the intention of understanding. At some point we must agree to disagree, but for now, I do want to give you an honest answer to the questions you ask and the concerns that you have.

I think that too many times as Muslims we feel like we need to apologize for our beliefs. There are some things in Islam that one could look at and say "that is not peaceful"... and especially when taken out of context. The US called for Saddam Hussein to be hung- that is not "peaceful", but nobody objects to it because we see the whole picture and we see the way he oppressed his people. Nobody mourns the death of Hitler- despite the fact that murder is not "peaceful", he himself was not a peaceful man, and society as a whole was better without him. I dont know that these are the best examples, but the point that i am trying to make is that things need to be taken in context.

Like I said before, nowhere in Islamic history did the Muslims ever run around just killing people because they were non-Muslim. It was never understood this way. The places in the Qu'ran that talk about the killing of infedels is refering to a very specific group of people who were not killed because they were non-Muslim, but they were brutalizing, torturing, beating, burning and oppressing the Muslims. I believe that the Muslims who are viewed as terrorists are not trying to irraticate all non-Muslims from the face of the Earth, but rather to fight against what they believe is unjust foriegn policy. Islam does not allow the killing of women, children and non-combatants, so obviously the acts of 9-11 were not condoned by Islam. As a matter of fact, when the Muslims went to fight in one of the most major battles (the battle of Badr), the prophet even forbade them from tromping over the ant hills.

I do want to acknowledge something that i am sure you will disagree with...
Islam does teach that under Islamic rule, there are 3 choices:
1.to accept Islam
2.to remain practicing your OWN non-Islamic faith, but pay a tax to the government (called jiziyah)
3.combat

I will point out that the jiziyah is LESS than what the Muslims are required to pay of Zakat (manditory charity).

Also, in reading your previous posts, I see you have had some expirience with what many mistake as "Muslim" culture. The fact is that there is NOWHERE in Islamic text that condone "honor killings"... the fact that this is practiced in some parts of the world where Muslims reside only attests to the fact that many Muslims are iggnorant of their own religion. Islam does consider adultery to be a crime punishable by death under the condition that there were 4 witnesses to the act. This is because of the tradgic effects adultery had on children and familys so the death penalty for such act is suppossed to act as a deterant.

The cases you mentioned that the girls were killed because they did not want to marry the person the parents arranged, is exact OPPOSITE of what Islam teaches. Women in Islam have the right to refuse marriage to anyone and for any reason. A marriage without the consent of the girl is considered to be an invalid marriage. In fact, this is one of the practices that Islam abolished (the giving away of women to whoever the parents wanted). Islam required that the permission of the women be given. The fact that the practice of honor killings are done is aweful but has nothing to do with Islam just because it is done by Muslims.

Also, you said something about men throwing you out of a place because you were a woman. Please read about the time of the prophet Muhammad and you will not find a time that a women was ever thrown out or disrespected in this way. In fact, women would often come and ask questions, make complaints, etc. They were free members of society. The solution to these problems is not to steer people away from Islam, but rather to educate Muslim who are tainted by their own non-Islamic cultures, on their own religion.

You mentioned that the area in which you lived was full of Turkish women who would lift their sons to look outside but they themselves were not allowed to. Again, nowhere will you find this in islamic doctrine. Women were allowed to go about their lives freely. I have never met a Muslim, of any sort, who was not allowed to go outside , much less look out her window. Seems absurd.

You asked if Umar and Umayr were the same people- no they are not. I am talking about a man by the name of Umar bin al-Khattab. But the point of the story was to demonstrate that what many think of as an oppresive wife beating religion is not that at all.

You also asked if men were stronger than women, why would he beat her lightly?... i do not believe that a "strong" man would! Which is why the prophet Muhammad and his companions never beat their wives. Please produce for me ONE story in which the prophet or his companions ever beat their wives. it never happened.

In regards to "obidience"- this is not in regards to the husbands wishes, but rather in regards to religious teachings. As Muslim women, we are not required to "obey" our husbands every command, but we are required to obey and submit to the teachings of islam (which includes prayer, fasting, giving charity, etc.) The husband is the head of the home and it is responsibility to see that the family is in the best spiritual condition. No, it does not mean beat her if she does not pray, etc... i am just pointing out that this "obidience" is often misunderstood as obidience to the husbands every wish and this is not the case.

I had a friend- non Muslim- she had a rough life. She got married and had a son. For some reason, she resented this child and would often say to his face how much she hated him. Her husband was an extremely patient man and loved her and his son very much but he hated the way she acted towards the boy. He tried everything to get her to change her attitude, counsling, whatever... nothing worked. One day in a big fight he grabbed her arm very hard and spoke right in her face. he told her never to mistreat the son again. She herself told me this is what changed her. I dont know why... but this is what I think of when I hear this verse in Qu'ran. Islamically, it is not allowed to hit ANYONE in the face and it is not allowed to ever leave a mark on a person. In my opinion, if you dont leave a mark its not really a "beating"... this is the only thing I think of to understand what it might be talking about, but again, not something that was ever practiced by Muhammad or his companions, or by any Muslim i have ever known - and our group of friends are very religious and conservative.

You asked if a Muslim can choose a life other than complete obedience and dependency. The answer is 1. she is not required to be completely obedient
and 2. she is free to do as she wishes in regards to work and education. The first wife of Muhammad was a business women and as a matter of fact HE worked for HER. Aisha was an Islamic scholar. Fatima was a mother and teacher. Muslim women are encouraged to be educated as we see by the examples of the women in the time of Muhammad, but their money is theirs and they are not required to use it for their own necessities. If they choose to, that is also their decision.

There are MANYYYY beautiful stories about the prophet and his wives and his kindness towards non-Muslims. I will gather them and post them in the next day. We named our son Muhammad because when I first started reading about the prophet i fell in love with his character. I hoped my son would have the same character as him. I am excited to share these stories with you so stay tuned

I am sure i missed a question somewhere, so let me know and I will answer it. My little one is sleeping and it is 1:30am here so i must go now.

For what it is worth, we are very practicing Muslims with strong beliefs. You may not agree with all of them, and we may not agree with all of yours, but we are a good family, we love each other, I have a great hubby who is my best friend in the world, and son who we both love to pieces... my hubby and i are BOTH educated. We have the same every day challenges as everyone else... and it make me sad that so many people label our family because my husband looks like some of the "bad guys" you see on TV with his long beard and me with my head scarf. I am just so tired of having to prove to people that I am NOT oppressed and that i CHOOSE this way of live and LOVE IT! I feel like if someone were to spend one day in my shoes, they would see that I am quite happy, my hubby is soft hearted and our friends are good people. Islam IS the fastest growing religion in the world, and I know that people would not be running to a religion that oppressed women and encouraged the killing of innocent people... I give people more credit than that! Dont you think that if so many people are becoming Muslim but you still view it as oppressive, that maybe YOU are missing something? Just a thought.

Goodnight!!
post #42 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by BethSLP View Post
Most of all I have deep concerns about what I perceive to be an attack on religious freedom, freedom of speech, etc. in the Western world. In Europe, the situation is particularly bad. When I was in Amsterdam in 2000, the neighborhood I stayed in was largely populated by Turkish immigrants. In those neighborhoods, women were clearly second class citizens. I walked into a business and was greeted harshly by a room full of men who told me I was not allowed to step inside because I was a woman and I had to go to a window outside to make my purchase. I saw women holding their baby boys up to the window to look out, but they themselves were not allowed to look out onto the street. More than anything, I have grave concerns about how people in the free world out of a motivation to be politically correct and religiously "tolerant" are giving away the freedoms of the western world. In Berlin last year in the span of 6 months, there were something like 5 honor killings. One case was a woman who wanted to stay in Berlin rather than return to her country and marry a cousin who was arranged for her. Because of this, she brought shame to her family (I assume this was construed as a "lewd act") and the family arranged for the youngest son to shoot her in the head at a bus stop. They usually choose the youngest son because he will get the lightest sentence. On top of this, the government in Berlin assigned HALF of the usual murder sentence because honor killings are a "part of their culture." This is a terrible human rights issue IMO. As Bill Mahrer says "Don't become so tolerant, that you tolerate intolerance."
Okay, jumping in as the Turkish Muslim contingent here. I just have to point out that what you're referring to above is certainly *NOT* part of Turkish culture, not a part of Turkish Muslim culture, and is strictly tribal, aka pre-Islamic. "Second class citizen" standing and honor killings are *NOT* in any way, shape, or form Turkish. (Interestingly enough, those perpetrators who are identified in media as being "Turkish" are usually actually Kurdish, with a long *long* history of tribal "issues.") Turkish women in Turkiye are free to do just about anything they want (except to attend school with a headscarf). We can drive, vote, inherit property, sue for divorce, enter any place we like freely, and just about any other freedom that you have in the US. The examples you see of Turkish immigrants in another country cannot be extrapolated to the entire population. Those who immigrate as "guest workers" have always been marginalized and treated poorly and may try to keep their families from assimilating to prevent them from "losing their culture." Do not look to this as an example of my culture.

Another previously-discussed issue that I want to clarify is the term "obedient." I haven't seen anyone yet point out that the obedience is to God, not to the husband. A husband is not allowed to "punish" (for lack of a better word) because she is disobedient to him, but rather if she is disobedient to God/Allah. For extreme example, if she should suddenly start to worship idols, *that* would be disobedience, not if she decided to make something for dinner that he didn't like. And the first step is to talk to her about the error of her ways, the second is to shun her bed (not sleep with her, no sex, because Muslim women have the right to sexual satisfaction, this would be a hardship for her), the third is to involve the family, and the fourth would be to "beat" her, but again this word is translated badly.

A note on translation vs. interpretation. If I say, "Te amo," anyone who understands a little bit of Spanish would know that means "I love you." That's the translation. But what is the interpretation? Do I mean that I love you as a lover? As a friend? As a daughter? As a fellow human being? If you come to my house, I will invite you in and say, "Hoş geldin!" Now the literal translation of this would be "nice you came," but the interpretation would be "welcome." Just because a word is tranlated, doesn't mean that it is interpreted properly. There are words that mean more than one thing, and when they are translated into another language into a word that also means more than one thing, then you have a huge open door for misunderstandings.
post #43 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuslimMama View Post
Dont you think that if so many people are becoming Muslim but you still view it as oppressive, that maybe YOU are missing something?
post #44 of 84
muslimmama,

1. many of you are mentioning these stories as specific to certain times and places, which is fine. however the nice stories are also specific to certain places and times. to my understanding, things that came later in Koran contradict earlier stories. later in the Koran is when Mohammed was gaining more and more power, and the stories become more and more aggressive.

2. if women are able to consent or decline marriage, do we consider age 6 to be an age of consent? Aisha was 6 years old when Mohammed married her. The marriage was consumated when she was 9 years old.

3. Aisha was an Islamic scholar, however Mohammed died when she was 18 and he forbade her to remarry. So perhaps this is why she became an Islamic scholar?

4. No one has explained the story about Mohammed asking Umar to kill Marwan for criticizing him in a poem. Her and her unborn child. This is extreme violence. How can it be explained?

5. According to my reading, in the wars where women and children were not killed, they were taken as prizes and slaves in those wars.

Please understand that I don't doubt your sincere love of your faith which was the reason for my previous post about withdrawing from this thread. As I stated before, I know many muslims who are non-violent peaceful people. But I still maintain these violent stories exist and the the basis from which a lot of worldwide struggle and abuse of women is occurring right now.

XOXO
B
post #45 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by BethSLP View Post
muslimmama,

1. many of you are mentioning these stories as specific to certain times and places, which is fine. however the nice stories are also specific to certain places and times. to my understanding, things that came later in Koran contradict earlier stories. later in the Koran is when Mohammed was gaining more and more power, and the stories become more and more aggressive.

2. if women are able to consent or decline marriage, do we consider age 6 to be an age of consent? Aisha was 6 years old when Mohammed married her. The marriage was consumated when she was 9 years old.

3. Aisha was an Islamic scholar, however Mohammed died when she was 18 and he forbade her to remarry. So perhaps this is why she became an Islamic scholar?

4. No one has explained the story about Mohammed asking Umar to kill Marwan for criticizing him in a poem. Her and her unborn child. This is extreme violence. How can it be explained?

5. According to my reading, in the wars where women and children were not killed, they were taken as prizes and slaves in those wars.

Please understand that I don't doubt your sincere love of your faith which was the reason for my previous post about withdrawing from this thread. As I stated before, I know many muslims who are non-violent peaceful people. But I still maintain these violent stories exist and the the basis from which a lot of worldwide struggle and abuse of women is occurring right now.

XOXO
B
Beth,

1. That is incorrect. What you are referring to are verses of abrogation. Peaceful verses were not abrogated by non peaceful verses as you have implied. Like i have said many times, the verses of what you would call "aggression" were directed to a specific group of people who, again like i have stated many times, were people who abused and tortured the Muslims. It is untrue that Muhammad gained more and more power thus becoming more and more aggressive. What IS true is that as Islam spread, and more and more people embraced the faith (many of whom were slaves and women who, because of embracing Islam, were tortured or abandoned by their husbands), the growing Muslim population became more of a threat to the way of life and economic situation of the idol worshipers of Makkah, thus increasing their violence against the Muslims and thus creating a need for the Muslims to fight against them in order to end the oppression against their people.

2.Yes, Aisha married the prophet at the age of 6 and consummated it at the age of 9. In Islam, a woman must not be given in marriage until she reaches the age of menstruation- so obviously Aisha was at that age by the time she was 9. Keep in mind that NOBODY at that time, Muslim or non-Muslim, objected to that marriage as marrying at that age was customary. Also, keep in mind that until not so long ago, the average age for marriage in the US was 13. In fact, one of the early American presidents had a wife who was either 12 or 13.

What amazes me is that people so often object to early marriage but say nothing about the MANY single, teenage mothers in America. A friend of mine has a cousin who just had a baby... she is 14 and has a boyfriend who is 18. Of course, neither one of them are finished with school and she and the baby are happily living on welfare.

I encourage you to study the relationship Muhammad had with Aisha. It was one of love, respect, friendship and maturity.

3.All the wives of Muhammad were forbidden to marry after his death, but NO this is not why she became a scholar. She was ALREADY considered an Islamic scholar by the time she was 18.

4.I have not explained the story because I have never heard this particular story. I would be happy to read it and look into it if you could provide me with the reference.

5.In ALL battles that were fought by the Muslims women and children were forbidden from being killed or harmed. And yes, in some of these battles the women were taken as booty of war- in which case many of them married Muslims (willingly, not by force) or were kept as servants (with respect and right to be cared for, enjoy kind treatment, not overworked, etc.) They were NOT forced to become Muslim but many of them, when seeing the behavior and kindness of the Muslims, did embrace Islam.

Again, something that amazes me is that people object to THIS, but not of the brutal treatment of Muslim women and children at the hands of US and UN workers. You live in Houston. Come here to Dallas and I will introduce you to an Iraqi refugee woman who has 3 children- from 3 different men- all UN workers and all as a result of RAPE! And yet you can tell me that ISLAM is the cause of the violence against women?! Please explain to me how so many MUSLIM women are then the victims of NON MUSLIM's violence? Is, perhaps, the western media's readiness to point attention to the crimes of the Muslims, a ploy to divert attention from their OWN crime?

The reason women and children were taken as booty of war, was because many of their husbands and male members of their family were killed in battle and the women and children were left uncared for. By marrying these women or taking them as "servants", they were provided for and not left destitute. I am sure many of the Iraqi and Afghani women would love if the US extended them the same curtosy- but if you look at what is happening first hand, it is a far cry! Young Iraqi girls are being ganged raped by soldiers- never ONCE will you find such violence against women in the history of Islam!

And you talk about one women and her unborn child being murdered?! What about the many Muslim women in Gujrat who had their unborn children cut from their stomachs? or the Muslim children who had their mothers raped in front of them? or their parents brutally killed and tortured in front of their eyes? Not at the hands of Muslims- at the hand of NON- Muslims!

Your own Madiline Albright, when asked about the 500,000 CHILDREN who were killed in "collatral damage", she said "it is a small price to pay!" Now please explain this to the mothers of those children- explain to them what makes the life of one American more valuable than one Muslim child's life! And how again do you blame Islam for the violence against women and children when so many of the crimes against women and children are being committed by non-Muslims!?

So I would argue- Islam is NOT the cause for the problems we see in society today and the injustices we see towards people- Islam is the SOLUTION to those problems.

Take Care,
Faiza
post #46 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuslimMama View Post
So I would argue- Islam is NOT the cause for the problems we see in society today and the injustices we see towards people- Islam is the ANSWER to those problems.


Very well said MuslimMama.
post #47 of 84
I have really appreciated this conversation! It's amazing that such a sensitive topic can be discussed in such a respectful way, and I am learning a lot. I just wanted to say one thing, since BethSLP made some comparisons between Christianity and Islam. I believe you are not defending Christianity per se, since you said you are Buddhist, however you do seem to be saying that Christianity is more peaceful since all of the "bad stuff" happens in the Old Testament and not in the New Testament. Well I wanted to point out that you can't divorce the two in Christianity because the New Testament makes it very clear that the God of the OT is the same God as the NT. So even though Jesus preached a more peaceful message, you are still stuck with the theological problem of how His "peaceful" Father could have ordered and abetted the slaughter of so many innocents in the OT.

So the issues that you are raising about verses in the Quran very much exist in the Bible as well, because you can't separate the OT from the NT. As far as I can see, all three of the great monotheistic religions struggle with verses and stories that are problematic to our modern sensibilities. Personally I chalk it up to the fact that all three were born out of violent tribal cultures, so some of that had to creep in. But the overall message of each is one of peace, of transcending the violence from which they were born.

To the OP, I'd recommend reading Karen Hughes' The History of God. She shows how pretty much all of the world religions have gone through stages moving away from tribalism towards universalism. Because of this, all of them contain some factions that believe they are the One True Religion and other factions that believe there are multiple paths to God. So you could probably find a spiritual home in any of them, you would just need to find the right faction.

Smokering: we've been through this before on other threads so I know we will agree to disagree, but I wanted to point out to other posters that it is not illogical to say that things that may appear to be contradictions can actually be simply a product of our limited understanding. Quantum mechanics gives us a clear example of this in the fact that light sometimes appears to act like a wave and other times appears to act like a particle. Logically it can't be both a wave and a particle, so I expect your answer would be to say it must be one or the other. Problem is, countless experiments show that it really acts as both. So it is actually more logical to say that it must be neither; it is something else which we have not been able to grasp yet that sometimes appears to be a wave and sometimes a particle. That same logic can apply to God. Now, I know that you cannot accept this because you believe the Bible to be the revealed literal word of God; however for those of us who do not (probably the OP is in that category), it is a rational position to take.
post #48 of 84
I kinda figured you'd bring up that people were married at 12 and 13 regularly in the Bible. However, 6 is HALF of the age of 12. 9 is still quite a bit younger than 12. Regardless, to my knowledge the bride AND groom were that age. I am seriously creeped out by an adult man choosing a 6 yr old bride and then sleeping with her at age 9. That sounds like pedophilia regardless of era.

Teenage mothers in this country are IMO a sad byproduct of an uptight Christian culture that preaches abstinence and gives young people no education about their bodies or access to birth control.

I do not think its a good thing that teenage mothers get pregnant and raise children when they are still children themselves. But I think two teenagers having sex is a far cry from a grown man choosing a 6 yr old wife. That was weird even back then when people were both around the age of 12. What does a grown man want with a 6 yr old? And regardless, how is that an age of consent?? I have a hard time believing that this was completely normal in that time.

As for TurkishKate's insights, I fully understand your point about these tribal people and how someone born in a modern city in Turkey is not this way. However, I guess my concern is that these books were written in tribal times. There were many wars going on in the Koran and Mohammed is the war lord. Jesus was not during the time of war. So there aren't any stories of him ordering murders etc. The only story I'm aware of is him going into the temple and overturning some tables. And he willingly turned himself in afterward. I say this because I agree it is a book written in tribal times, but the direction given to followers of Islam is that Mohammed was perfect and that we should live like him and these tribal ideas are being applied to modern times...hence the whole issue.

I abhor what our soldiers have done with the atrocities they have committed. Where is the religious doctrine that directs them to do this? There isn't one. Again, I know from your explanations that the Koran is only talking about specific people and specific times. It is however A LOT more plausible to me that when you open it and read it and it says to kill the people who are non-believers, thats what it means. I just can't fault anyone who wants to be a devout muslim who reads that for being "misguided." To hear most of my muslim friends explain it, you'd have to be a complete moron to not understand Islam is a religion of peace. Like these people are reaching for some straw somewhere buring in the Koran. I open the book, and its ALL through it. So this is a huge problem Islam is facing IMO. Its more likely to be misinpreted than not in my view.

Also, I disagree that the reason this is the fastest growing religion is because its so highly attractive to people once they meet the teachings. In reality, the population is exploding (intentionally) in Muslim countries. Just as the Catholics have brochures say "Go forth and create disciples," many muslims are advised to have a lot of children. Its the reason the Catholics and Muslims have shut down any attempt by the WHO to talk about the problem of population control worldwide. They want no talks of birth control and prefer to grow their ranks. I very much believe this. Esp. in places like Palestine and the Turkish immigrants that are living in Europe now. Like a PP poster said, they don't intergrate because they want to preserve their culture. Having a ton of kids is another way to do so.

Further, there are just as many who accept Islam because you have no choice in those countries. And like any religion, if you are raised the way and esp. if you are threatened with hell if you turn your back on it (just like fundamentalist christians), you often stay.

Again, I firmly believe there are happy converts to Islam who have a good life. I don't think any of you are miserable or slaves. I believe you. And I'm sincere in wishing you all the happiness with that. I just think its unfair to say that these threatening scriptures in Islam do not exist or that these issues in the world have nothing to do with a tribal doctrine of desert wars that incite violence. If you take the good and it gives you peace, fine. But I think its hard to deny its there.

I also referenced that story about the poets. Here is the reference again. Ibid 676.

In reference to the God in the OT being the same as the NT, sure this is true. I'm not Christian so you won't find me defending it as perfect by any means. But my point is that most Christians follow the NT. They focus on Jesus and what he taught. And like I said before he was not constantly at war, hence the huge difference in the books.

I only compare Christianity to Islam because the U.S. is by and large the religion of the U.S. and also very common in Europe. So when I am talking about the West and the issues with Islam, it seemed to make sense. I see no point in going into Buddhism because its so vastly different and not really relevant since its a minority in the U.S. Further, I do find Christianity as a whole to be more peaceful, and certainly as its practiced (focusing on the NT teachings which most do). I would guess if there was only the OT, Christians may be doing a lot of the same stuff many Muslims are doing today based on the book. Only a guess. The few wackos that we allow to name gay teletubbies seem to loooove the OT

XOXO
B
post #49 of 84
Quote:
Smokering: we've been through this before on other threads so I know we will agree to disagree, but I wanted to point out to other posters that it is not illogical to say that things that may appear to be contradictions can actually be simply a product of our limited understanding. Quantum mechanics gives us a clear example of this in the fact that light sometimes appears to act like a wave and other times appears to act like a particle. Logically it can't be both a wave and a particle, so I expect your answer would be to say it must be one or the other. Problem is, countless experiments show that it really acts as both. So it is actually more logical to say that it must be neither; it is something else which we have not been able to grasp yet that sometimes appears to be a wave and sometimes a particle. That same logic can apply to God. Now, I know that you cannot accept this because you believe the Bible to be the revealed literal word of God; however for those of us who do not (probably the OP is in that category), it is a rational position to take.
Saying light acts as both a wave and a particle is perfectly logical, as is saying it may be something other than but encompassing the properties of both waves and particles. That doesn't change the fact that by the laws of logic, it cannot be both a particle (A) and a wave (by definition, non-A) at the same time and in the same sense; in other words, it cannot break the law of non-contradiction. Logical laws take precedence over scientific data; if the one contradicts the other, it is the latter (or our interpretation of the latter) which is at fault, since logic is necessarily basic.

So if anyone wants to posit a reasonable theory by which God can be A (unary) and not-A (a trinity) at the same time and in the same sense, they must either do away with the law of non-contradiction, which is impossible, or engage in some reasoning I'd very much like to see! Claiming that God transcends logic is absurd, as a) that would mean he transcends logic and doesn't transcend logic at the same time and in the same sense, otherwise the law of non-contradiction would apply, and b) if God did transcend logic, the concept of such a God would be completely incoherent to us and thus unarguable. Plus a few other problems.
post #50 of 84
It is clear that you have not read my previous posts clearly and you are not coming from a point of trying to understand Islam the way the majority, if not all Muslims, understand it.

I have never denied any verse of Qu'ran, rather I have tried to give you a clear background and history. I would disagree that any Muslim has misinterpreted these verses, but rather, it is my opinion that the western media has used verses of the Qu'ran out of the context (the context of which is very well known to Muslims throughout the world) in order to lie to people and make the west think that Islam is a religion of violence and intollerance, and to divert peoples attention off of their own attrocities. Once again, i do not believe (whether right or wrong) that the actions of the "terrorists" are being done to rid the world of all non-Muslims, but rather it is a fight against US foreign policy of which is disturbing and corrupt to many living outside the United States- and many living within it! I do not condone (nor does my religion condone) the killing of innocent people, but I think more attention needs to be given to the reasons behind it and we need to stop letting the non-Muslims interpret the verses of Qu'ran for us or give some false idea that the majority of Muslims are confussed. We are not- I assure you!

Please re-read my previous posts.
post #51 of 84
Quote:
I only compare Christianity to Islam because the U.S. is by and large the religion of the U.S. and also very common in Europe. So when I am talking about the West and the issues with Islam, it seemed to make sense. I see no point in going into Buddhism because its so vastly different and not really relevant since its a minority in the U.S. Further, I do find Christianity as a whole to be more peaceful, and certainly as its practiced (focusing on the NT teachings which most do). I would guess if there was only the OT, Christians may be doing a lot of the same stuff many Muslims are doing today based on the book. Only a guess. The few wackos that we allow to name gay teletubbies seem to loooove the OT
I respectfully disagree with your assertion that the reason modern-day Islam is struggling with extremists much more than modern-day Christians is because the Quran is more violent in its nature. Because:

1. Historically, there have been periods of time (think the dark ages in Europe) when the situation was reversed: Islam was the shining light of education and civilization while the European Christians were slaughtering each other in the most barbaric ways imaginable. If your assertion that the Quran by its nature incites more violence than the Bible, how could that be?

2. You arrive at this conclusion by basically divorcing the OT from the NT, which cannot be done in Christianity. Both messages are integral to the Christian message, and Christians study the OT just as much as the NT (at least I did as a child). While it is true that modern day Christians focus more on the peaceful message of Jesus than the wrath of the OT Yahweh, the question that needs to be asked is "why"? And why are so many Muslims today choosing to focus on the more tribal elements in the Quran rather than its message of peace?

I would answer that question by saying it has everything to do with the current cultural/political/social environment of the two religions. I believe that universally people tend towards extremism when they are feeling desperate and marginalized, and tend towards peace when they are feeling stable and comfortable. Christianity is largely the religion of developed wealthy countries where the number of desperate marginalized people is relatively low. Islam is largely the religion of developing countries where the number of desperate marginalized people is much higher (yes I know many of the middle eastern islamic countries are very wealthy, but only recently so, and their numbers are offset by the many Islamic countries in Africa, Middle East and Asia which are still quite poor). When the situation was reversed in the Dark Ages -- i.e. the Islamic Empire was wealthy and stable while Europe was falling apart -- the religious situation similarly reversed with more extremism on the part of the Christians.

Personally, I have no doubt at all that if the US were to fall on really bad times of rampant poverty and strife that you would see a resurgence of Christian extremism.
post #52 of 84
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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
Saying light acts as both a wave and a particle is perfectly logical, as is saying it may be something other than but encompassing the properties of both waves and particles. That doesn't change the fact that by the laws of logic, it cannot be both a particle (A) and a wave (by definition, non-A) at the same time and in the same sense; in other words, it cannot break the law of non-contradiction. Logical laws take precedence over scientific data; if the one contradicts the other, it is the latter (or our interpretation of the latter) which is at fault, since logic is necessarily basic.

So if anyone wants to posit a reasonable theory by which God can be A (unary) and not-A (a trinity) at the same time and in the same sense, they must either do away with the law of non-contradiction, which is impossible, or engage in some reasoning I'd very much like to see! Claiming that God transcends logic is absurd, as a) that would mean he transcends logic and doesn't transcend logic at the same time and in the same sense, otherwise the law of non-contradiction would apply, and b) if God did transcend logic, the concept of such a God would be completely incoherent to us and thus unarguable. Plus a few other problems.
I don't need to do away with the law of non-contradiction, I simply can say that God is something other unary and trinity that encompasses properties of both. Particles and waves are just as incompatible with each other as unary and trinity are. So if light can be something "other" that has properties of both (or more precisely, appears to our understanding to have properties of both), there is no logical reason why you can't apply the same reasoning to God.
post #53 of 84
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Originally Posted by MuslimMama View Post
So I would argue- Islam is NOT the cause for the problems we see in society today and the injustices we see towards people- Islam is the SOLUTION to those problems.
It is not that simple. Islam as interpreted by someone like you might be a solution. Islam as interpreted by many other Muslims would only cause more conflict and injustice in the world.

Similarly, if I were to say that Christianity is the solution to all the world's problems, most people would point out that Christianity has been used to justify horrible injustices and acts of violence over the years. I could probably not get away with dismissing anything bad that has happened in the name of Christianity as a "misinterpretation." Spanish Inquisition? Those people were not really Christian. Slavery? No, true Christianity is against that. Beating up gay people? Nothing to do with us, Christianity is anti-violence. So in the end, it turns out that Christianity teaches only good things, and nothing bad has ever been committed by a Christian - that is, a real Christian who follows the real Christian teachings. All the negative things associated with the religion were done by a handful of misguided cultists, and had nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity. Can you see anyone buying that argument?
post #54 of 84
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I don't need to do away with the law of non-contradiction, I simply can say that God is something other unary and trinity that encompasses properties of both. Particles and waves are just as incompatible with each other as unary and trinity are. So if light can be something "other" that has properties of both (or more precisely, appears to our understanding to have properties of both), there is no logical reason why you can't apply the same reasoning to God.
Positing a new definition for light that is neither a wave nor particle but appears to have properties of both would be incoherent if you said that this new 'wavicle' possessed contradictory properties at the same time and in the same sense. Similarly, you could not claim that God is indivisbly One and One-in-Three at the same time and in the same sense. You could, I suppose, claim that God has properties with manifest themselves at different times and/or in different senses as indivisible Oneness and One-in-Threeness; but you'd have to actually argue it, not just assert that it's theoretically possible to be argued. I don't see how such an argument would be formulated, but I'd be happy to look at any you could posit.

mamabadger: I do believe Christianity teaches only good things, because I take Christianity as my moral compass - therefore, anything genuinely Christian is good by definition. It is also certainly true that phenomenological Christianity has included people, deeds and teachings that are not didactically Christian (ie, not truly taught by the Bible). The fact that there is vast disagreement on what constitutes didactic Christianity is for the purposes of argument irrelevant; as is the fact that didactic Christians often fail to live up to Biblical standards. I don't see why the same arguments do not apply to Islam, which believes (AFAIK) in objective truth. If you want to say Islam's teachings are immoral, you must look at the correct teachings of Islam, and measure them against another objective moral standard.

Now I have no idea if the interpretations given by the Muslim women on this thread are the correct interpretations of Islamic teaching, but I don't think it's epistemically impossible to determine with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Hermeneutical and linguistic principles would apply to the text, just as with Christian interpretation.

In other words: didactic Christianity and didactic Islam exist, and it is illogical to condemn the didactic religion on the grounds of the phenomenological religion. If the teaching "Be nice to birds" was used to persecute fish for thousands of years, that would not necessarily mean that the original teaching was evil, or that the fish persecution (whether done by true bird-believers or false bird-believers) was a valid logical consequence of the teaching.
post #55 of 84
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Originally Posted by Thao View Post
I believe that universally people tend towards extremism when they are feeling desperate and marginalized, and tend towards peace when they are feeling stable and comfortable.
Oh jeez. It always comes back to this. And now for the first time, I see relevance in comparing Islam to Buddhism. If this is the case, why have the Tibetan people not taken to suicide bombing?

There have been many successful non-violent struggles on behalf of "desperate, marginalized" people.

My Palestinian friend is an emotional wreck over what is happening in Gaza right now and concerned about family etc. My heart goes out to him. He and I have talked numerous times and he's taken me to art exhibits etc. done by Palenstinians in the U.S. and they all have the same theme. Which is that Israel has bombs, all we have is rocks. Therefore, "terrorism" is our only way of fighting back. I'll say right now I'm not pleased with what i consider to be an excessive use of force, our unequivocal support of Israel without question, and an imbalance of media that we see. I know the story from the mouth of a Palestinian and the reports from his family (so I'm not totally misled by the one-sided media). HOWEVER, I CANNOT understand why the "little guy" would fire rockets into a cease fire zone knowing full well that Israel is likely to do EXACTLY what they are doing now. Its hard to garner world wide sympathy when doing these acts of violence. And even if I had no concern for the people of Israel at all, well, it just doesnt make ANY sense for the well being of the people.

Tibet is only once example. Gandhi and his non-violent movement is another. There are many. And there's a common thread to both of the ones I just mentioned. the people were students of a peaceful religion that did not reward violence in heaven. Honestly, I fail to see how given the quotes I've posted here and the way suicide bombings are happening (with these reasons being explicitly stated as their reason) that we are supposed to think it has zero connection to the Koran itself.

Although, I will agree I would have a tendency to be more open to the idea of suicide bombing myself if my life was completely awful on earth and virgins awaited in heaven.

XOXO
B
post #56 of 84
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Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post
It is not that simple. Islam as interpreted by someone like you might be a solution. Islam as interpreted by many other Muslims would only cause more conflict and injustice in the world.
Who? Where are these "many other Muslims?" Have you seen Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think? The research done by the Gallup Organization proves what a *billion* Muslims *really* think and just how many of us are "moderates," rather than the reactionary few who are assumed to be the vocal majority by western media and the people who are persuaded by those media. The truth of the matter is that those who are more likely to lean towards violence do so, not from a religious perspective, but from a political perspective.
post #57 of 84
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You could, I suppose, claim that God has properties with manifest themselves at different times and/or in different senses as indivisible Oneness and One-in-Threeness; but you'd have to actually argue it, not just assert that it's theoretically possible to be argued. I don't see how such an argument would be formulated, but I'd be happy to look at any you could posit.
Yes, that is essentially what I am saying, that God is something "other" than trinity and unary (or immanent and incarnate, or any other contradiction you care to posit) and this "other" can appear to humans to be one or the other. There's really not much else to argue about it, since I am not trying to define what the "other" is; I don't know what it is and don't really think human beings *can* know what it is. I am simply saying that such a position does not defy the laws of logic.

I don't really want to get into worldviews here because we have discussed that ad nauseum previously and it is OT.
post #58 of 84
Well Beth,

I for one am NOT going to stand by and "peacefully protest" when someone barges into my home, tears the nails out of my child in front of my face, beats and abuses my husband, rapes me in front of my children, sells my virgin daughter for $50 a pop to whatever person wants to take a go at some "fresh meat". I will NOT stand and "peacefully protest" against mass genocide of innocent people, when men (Buddhist soldiers) go into a town in Burma and give the people 4 hours to evacuate or else be burned along with their homes, forcing them to run into the mountains leaving behind young children and elderly parents to be tortured and abused by these soldiers who want their land.

I would have been front and center in the FIGHT against Hitler, Saddam, and any other person who oppressed, brutalized and murdered innocent people. I would have been front and center in the FIGHT to free the African American slaves. I APPLAUD the man who shot Hitler and I applaud any person who is willing to put his own life on the line to defend what is right! I say that the person who allows another to come into his house and abuse his family is a coward and this type of behavior calls for ACTION- not passive or "peaceful" protest!

Islam IS a religion of peace- it is also a religion of justice. And when injustices are done- we FIGHT to establish that peace!
post #59 of 84
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Originally Posted by BethSLP View Post
Oh jeez. It always comes back to this. And now for the first time, I see relevance in comparing Islam to Buddhism. If this is the case, why have the Tibetan people not taken to suicide bombing?

There have been many successful non-violent struggles on behalf of "desperate, marginalized" people.

Tibet is only once example. Gandhi and his non-violent movement is another. There are many. And there's a common thread to both of the ones I just mentioned. the people were students of a peaceful religion that did not reward violence in heaven. Honestly, I fail to see how given the quotes I've posted here and the way suicide bombings are happening (with these reasons being explicitly stated as their reason) that we are supposed to think it has zero connection to the Koran itself.
I think you are extrapolating what I wrote to mean something other than what I actually meant. I wasn't talking about all religions, only Christianity and Islam since you made the comparison. Also I didn't say that desperate, marginalized people will always respond with violence, or that religious beliefs play no part at all in their decisions. I said that desperate, marginalized people will have more of a *tendency* towards extremism. Surely we can agree on that? And that the Bible (the whole Bible, OT included) and the Quran are similar in that they both contain a lot of peaceful stuff and some stuff that can incite people to be violent or oppress women or gays etc. Personally I think that both can be equally exploited to incite violence when the social conditions are ripe, and I think history has proved that. But at this particular moment in our history, the social conditions in the Muslim world are more conducive to extremism than in the Christian world.

Since you brought Buddhism into it, I absolutely agree with you that Buddhism tends to be a more peaceful religion, and it is precisely for that reason that I converted from Christianity to Buddhism . I agree that the Dalai Llama and his teaching is one reason why Tibetans aren't committing suicide bombings. Religion definitely plays a part in choices societies make. But I just don't see enough of a difference between the Bible and the Quran to account for the difference in numbers of extremists.

Hinduism has always been puzzling to me; as far as religions go, it has had a bloody history even to the present day with the massacres in India. And the doctrine of castes has led to disgusting injustices, not to mention how much women are devalued. Hardly a "peaceful" religion! TBH I have a lot more trouble with Hinduism than I do with Islam. And yet, as you point out, Ghandi was Hindu. So I think it goes to show that the interplay between religion and society is very complicated. To say that Muslims are blowing themselves up primarily because of some verses in the Quran is just way too simplistic for me.
post #60 of 84
Thao: Out of interest, is this the official Buddhist position? I disagree with your reasoning, but as you say it is OT, so I'll just point out that while it is logically necessary to posit a 'wavicle', it is not logically necessary to posit a triune-unary God (although it may be necessary for your worldview). I would be very interested to see such an attempt, but that can be for another thread and another time.
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