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Kimberley    9/22/2003 8:56:01 PM
Whats your opinion on this article. (Just for arguments sake ;)
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Panther    RE:(no subject)   9/23/2003 5:18:11 AM
Don't know anything about karen armstrong or her creditials other than the 9 religious books( as quoted in the article). Sure she has the basic feel of the muslim people, But what drives them to hate, kill, and irrational behavior so attributed to their extremist nutcases. Otherwise i think it's all just another media ploy.
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SGTObvious    This author overlooks alot.   9/23/2003 12:07:00 PM
Tons. She's pretty much an apologist. I could rip up any number of points in that article- to name but two: 1. Muslims and Jews both preached that you should treat strangers in your land as you treat your own. False. Clearly. Jews have no equivalent to "dhimmis". Jews and Christians do not consider portions of their land "too Holy" for infidels to walk on. There is not a Synagogue or Church out there that would prevent a muslim from entering. Except maybe, these days, for reasons of security. 2. Islam does not preach violence. False. Numerous islamic clerics have preached violence, and none of these clerics have been considered heretics or apostates. On the other hand, if an islamic cleric preaches the equality of women, he is rapidly condemned, and punished for heresy or apostasy.
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SGTObvious    As an example, one of many:   9/23/2003 12:13:49 PM
Hassan Yusefi Eshkevari, Iranian cleric, in prison after being tried for apostasy, for questioning the legitmacy of dress codes. Clerics in prison for praising terrorism: quite a few, BUT, none of these on charges of Apostasy. Conclusion- questioning a dress code conflicts with Islam and therefore merits an apostasy trial. Supporting terror and calling for Jihad against the west does not conflict with Islam, and therefore while it may result in a SECULAR trial, it will not produce an apostasy trial.
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Kimberley    RE:As an example, one of many:   9/23/2003 12:25:58 PM
I have a couple of Muslim friends who say that these extremist nutcases aren't tried for Apostasty is b/c they are interpreting the Quran in an extreme way and not in its true sense. I was reading the other day how Muslims and Christians lived in peace with each other for quite a while in Jerusalem. ANyway I think SGTObvious has a point, mainstream followers of Islam dont have the power to question these radical clerics. Maybe it wasn't the fault of Islam, maybe its due to illiteracy and a lack of cultural dynamism in regions where islam is prevalent (ie Afghanistan, Northern Pakistan, Iran, Iraq etc.) I really don't think Islam would be the only religion where this occurs though. Look at the Church at the time of Copernicus. Wasn't he condemned to death for his theories which went against what the church stated? I think this occurs in all religions where there is poverty and illiteracy.
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SGTObvious    RE:As an example, one of many:   9/23/2003 1:53:57 PM
Kimberly, you are thinking of Galilleo, but yes, Catholicism went through a "dark period". So did Judaism- the bible recounts God's supposed instructions to the Israelites to commit what we would today regard as conquest and war crimes, when they reached Canaan. The problem is, Islam has not gotten past its dark age. No Catholic Bishop today would think that an appropriate punishment for a Catholic who denied his religion would be Death. Yet, this is exactly what Islam teaches. In my view, Islam needs an excuse to avoid the danger of theocracy. All theocracy is bad because it vests in fallible humans the power to enforce their fallible views- yet it teaches them that their view is infallible. An excuse is what allows a religion to get past the inevitable contradictions that occur when the "Holy Books" contain instructions that do not seem justifued under modern ethics. To the Jews, the great excuse is really "that was all back then, the rules were different". Jwes do not call for a religious theocracy today even though their bible clearly outlines the powers and duties of the priestly class. "Not today". The Excuse of Christianity is summed up in the famous "render unto Caeser" line. This frees Christianity from the burden or danger of worldy power, and in this light, the abuses of the medieval church, which all involved the abuse of worldy power, are clearly Un-Christian. But, Islam has no such excuse. If a muslim says, "the Quran says that all worldy power should be vested in our religious leaders" there is no line, verse, or accepted interpretation available to contradict. A muslim can contradict using secular argument, but not by faith, and so there is no philosophical counter to the power of the theocracy. What Islam needs, then, is a powerful, compelling, acceptable, Islamic argument explaining how and why Islam should not seek worldly power, only spiritual power. Ask your Muslim friends to come up with something along these lines and islam, in some form may be salvagable. The truth is, despite Jewish habit of conserving acient traditions, Judaism today is not the Judaism of the bible- there is no powerful class of priests exercising worldy authority, although the bible mandates this. Yet, Jews seem content to be Jewish without a theocracy. Can Islam do the same? Render unto your constitutionally empowered representative government...
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timon_phocas    RE:KKK and Christianity    9/23/2003 2:05:55 PM
The Ku Klux Klan was a direct outgrowth of American Protestant Christianity. It was not American Protestant Christianity itself, it just grew out of it. American Protestant Christianity was guilty only in so far as it failed to vigorously condemn the activities of the KKK. IN thew 1960's it united with the Black churches to condemn the KKK. It took a century for us to do so, however, to our everlasting shame. The jihadists have come out of Islam, they are not necesarily Islam itself. Mainstream Islam is guilty in so far as it fails to vigorously condemn the activities of the jihadist terrorists. So far, like American Protestant Christianity in the century before the 1960's, very few Islamic leaders have condemned the jihadist terrorists. A point of difference between Islam and Christianity is that "Christian" racial terrorists had to ignore the Bible to carry out their activities. Jihad is in the very fabric of Islam. Jihad was conceived as war against unbelievers, and carried out as war for centuries. It was only as Islamic rule reached its farthest extents that jihad was reinterpreted as an internal struggle against unrightessness.
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appleciderus    Wishful thinking   9/23/2003 2:38:31 PM
I wish I could share the optimism. IMHO, the only thing that could prevent the inevitable (nuclear) war between islamic and non-islamic cultures is an internal struggle, a “reformation”, a “civil war”, that shakes islam to it’s foundation. The foundation of islam is theocratic infallibility proclaiming jihad. Whether the change comes from within or without, islam must change for there to be peace in the world. Why? Islam as known today cannot live at peace with its neighbors.
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American Kafir    RE:(no subject)   9/23/2003 5:10:04 PM
>Whats your opinion on this article. (Just for arguments sake ;)< When printed on #10 bond paper and folded to resemble a stealth bomber, it can ignite fuel-soaked charcoal in a barbecue pit if lit on fire first. Other than that, it has little practicality for explaining Islam's 14 century-old definition and application of the term "jihad" to anyone truly interested in understanding it.
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Thomas    RE:(no subject)   9/24/2003 3:28:45 AM
I'm thinking of the situation in the roman empire before the church meeting in Nicea. Christianity was just one candidate for a unifying religion in the Empire - actually not the largest - we are now up for election once again, but considering the opposition we should have a fair chance.
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