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Old 06-08-2002, 09:52 PM   #16
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Let me make this clear



This article is not meant to be offensive


I just thought that it provided an interesting glimpse as to how far BOTH cultures have to go to understand each other


I do agree with certain points in that article...and I am appalled by some of the inaccuracies.
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Old 06-08-2002, 10:30 PM   #17
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Arun,

The only comment I directed towards you, but more correctly to everyone, was the one where I simply asked people to remember that there was someone here who is Muslim and I suggested that a biased article of this sort should come with correct information included in consideration of that fact. I did read your post and I saw your disclaimer and never once thought of you as being against all Muslims.

But the article you posted made no distinction between extremists and regular Muslims. It's target was Islam. Period. And the rest of my post was directed at the article writer and his errors about Islam.

I am sorry if you thought I was talking about you. But in my defense, since I didn't at any point use your name as the object of my criticism I just assumed that you would assume my respect for you and your right to post freely. I'll try to be more clear in the future.

Can we talk about the original post now? I think the issues it raises are really interesting.
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Old 06-08-2002, 10:37 PM   #18
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O great, my computer acted up... I actually had a really long reply to this... But, I'm now going to cut it short.
1. This article was a tarnished view of the culture of Islam.
2. He mixed the culture of fundemenstalism with views on the actual religion.
3. Rushdie doesn't deserve to die. But, he had written false and offenisve views on Prophet Muhammed. He has ONLY built more of a miscommunication b/w the Muslim World and the West.
4. The hijab (head covering) is a form of right not opression. My sister has started wearing it, and she now feels that people treat her as an equal and not as a (sex) object.
5. Since when does America think that the best thing for the M.E is the influence of Western culture. Don't get me wrong, I love America..... The US has a very hypocratic system. Also, my Arab friends say that when they look at AMerica, they see alot of opression. They feel that the women in America are judged more by their beauty. They also feel that porn and sexual based media is opression towards the human race. In general, we are dealing with two different cultures here. We should first learn to have respect and understanding towards eachother.
6.If you want to have an honest and truthful view of Islamic culture, take it from someone who has studied, read the Quran, and lived in the culture. This article adds to the mass propoganda held against Muslims. Arun, not everyone has thoroughly studied and understood the religion and culure... and if they read articles like this, it would only build up their ignorence.

Yes, I find this article offensive. I am an American Muslim, I have seen the views of both worlds..... And let me tell you, b/w the two their is a growing miscommunictation ..... Before we critisize, we should educate and respect eachother. Articles like this are filled with such anger and misunderstanding. America is doing the same thing as what the ME is doing to us. We generalize eachother. When America pictures Islam, they see Osma Bin Landen. When the ME views the West they see Rushdie....... We need to learn to overcome these generalizations.......I have so much to say..... but I can't say it all .

THIS ARTICLE IS LAME
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Old 06-08-2002, 10:59 PM   #19
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Whiteflag:

I agree with your second post! Except that there are SOME fundamentalist Christians who want to force everyone else to live like them.

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Old 06-09-2002, 01:19 AM   #20
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U2bama,

You said

[q]I agree with your second post! Except that there are SOME fundamentalist Christians who want to force everyone else to live like them[/q]

I would have to disagree with that last part just a littleif i may. I do agree that there are some people like the ones you describe but they are really much more rare than we tend to think. The true advocates of forcing everyone to live like them are true fringe dwellers in Christian culture. What most often happens IMO is that we confuse someone who thinks that we should all live a certain way and exresses it forcefully with someone who really would like to force everyone to live like them.

So I'm going to stick to my guns here. The majority of even the most vocal Christian fundamentalists would never advocate forcing everyone to live like them.

There is a sizable grey area though when these fundamentalists become involved in politics and take political office. One the one hand they usually remain adamantly against any breach of church and state on many issues, but on others, take abortion for instance, they feel morally compelled due to their religious convictions to stop what they sincerely believe to be murder. People who are pro-choice then tend to view these attempts as an example of someone who is religious attempting to force their religious beliefs on others. But I think that pro-life Christians are the victims in this case of their being so vocal about their faith and I think that willingness to be so vocal is the real root cause of the perception that fundamentalists want to force everyone else to live in a Christian world. Would someone else less vocal, but who is, say, opposed to the death penalty due to religious conviction be accused of the same thing if they were to take political office and work to overturn the death penalty? Probably not.

I think that fundamentalists have every right to try and over turn abortion. It isn't any more wrong for them to do so than it is for any other politician or advocate of some cause to follow their conscience. I don't think it amounts to forcing their beliefs on others especially when they are working within the system which is as much under our control (if we want it to be) as it is in theirs.
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Old 06-09-2002, 02:11 AM   #21
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Sorry guys. I am feeling really vocal tonight. Must be my looooooong absence from this board.....


Amna,

What you said about really learning about each other before we criticize is a really big thing with me. I am a big believer in cutting through the crap and the stereotypes. How can anyone win an argument if they base that argument on false issues and misinformation? How can one side respect the other when the other side so clearly disrespects the others intelligence?

In the debate between Islam and The West this is something that both sides do. They define the argument in terms that are most favorable to them and just succeed in convincing those who are already convinced.

Take for instance one example that you mentioned. The "debate" about whether wearing hijab is oppressive or not. The West says that hijab is oppressive and Muslims say that hijab is voluntary and beneficial. What happens? Nothing. The Western argument convinces Westerners and the Muslim argument convinces Muslims.

In such terms the debate about hijab is really a non starter. How can a Westerner argue that something done voluntarily is oppressive, especially when it is clear to Muslims that there is nothing in Western tradition that excludes women from choosing to cover their hair? (Nuns do. The Amish do etc etc. ) And how can Muslims argue that it is always voluntary when it is clear to Westerners that every Islamic regime makes it mandatory and pretty much the only places where women don't feel cultural pressure to wear it is where Muslims aren't in majority.

If we are going to argue with each other instead of at each other we need to frame the debate on real issues.

For instance. What is the real reason behind hijab in the first place? Amna said it in her post. Muslim women who choose it do so because they believe that men will respect them for their inner qualities instead of their outside beauty. And this belief is based on two ideas upon which most of Islamic thinking about society are based. 1) Women aren't as forceful as men and so they need a separate sphere and extra protection to enjoy full equality and 2) Men cannot control their lusts.

When this is understood then the real difference is clear. Westerners believe that women's personalities are strong enough to be their primary impression upon others and we believe that men can control themselves enough to aprereciate a woman for her inner qualities over her outer beauty. In our culture to think otherwise is a real disservice to the strength of character of both women and men.

To me this is how we could really get somewhere in our arguments and in the process learn about more about each other and more about ourselves too.
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Old 06-09-2002, 07:39 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Amna
O great, my computer acted up... I actually had a really long reply to this... But, I'm now going to cut it short.
1. This article was a tarnished view of the culture of Islam.
2. He mixed the culture of fundemenstalism with views on the actual religion.
3. Rushdie doesn't deserve to die. But, he had written false and offenisve views on Prophet Muhammed. He has ONLY built more of a miscommunication b/w the Muslim World and the West.
4. The hijab (head covering) is a form of right not opression. My sister has started wearing it, and she now feels that people treat her as an equal and not as a (sex) object.
5. Since when does America think that the best thing for the M.E is the influence of Western culture. Don't get me wrong, I love America..... The US has a very hypocratic system. Also, my Arab friends say that when they look at AMerica, they see alot of opression. They feel that the women in America are judged more by their beauty. They also feel that porn and sexual based media is opression towards the human race. In general, we are dealing with two different cultures here. We should first learn to have respect and understanding towards eachother.
6.If you want to have an honest and truthful view of Islamic culture, take it from someone who has studied, read the Quran, and lived in the culture. This article adds to the mass propoganda held against Muslims. Arun, not everyone has thoroughly studied and understood the religion and culure... and if they read articles like this, it would only build up their ignorence.

Yes, I find this article offensive. I am an American Muslim, I have seen the views of both worlds..... And let me tell you, b/w the two their is a growing miscommunictation ..... Before we critisize, we should educate and respect eachother. Articles like this are filled with such anger and misunderstanding. America is doing the same thing as what the ME is doing to us. We generalize eachother. When America pictures Islam, they see Osma Bin Landen. When the ME views the West they see Rushdie....... We need to learn to overcome these generalizations.......I have so much to say..... but I can't say it all .

THIS ARTICLE IS LAME

Thanks for the feedback Amna. I was really hoping you' shed some light on this.


I just wanted thoughts on this article. I feel that if someone doesn't REFUTE the article or at least comment on it...it's more dangereous than leaving it out in the open.

This article is quite popular actually, I've heard it referenced more than once and hence did a web search and found it.

Another point that upon rereading bothers me is that it makes no reference to muslims in the united states...who live and love democracy.
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Old 06-09-2002, 06:40 PM   #23
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"In Islam, those who insult Allah or the Prophet are subject to the death penalty. "


This is another quote that has no proof of truth. This is where it is dangerous to discuss fundedmentalism, mixing its fundemntalist goals with the actual religion. Anyways, In some of the hadiths, there are stories of how the Prophet helped his neigbors, neighbors that cursed him. There was a woman who threw trash at him everyday; one day she fell ill, and the Prophet helped her, because know one else did.
No where in the Quran does it state that we kill anyone who curses the prophet or Allah :S. Fundemntalists mold relgion into what they desire..... They don't follow the actual relgion , but a relgion that they have created for their own benefits.

-Hey Arun, haven't talked to u in the longest time... Hope all is well...
-Whiteflag, you have interesting views......

Peace,
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Old 06-09-2002, 07:13 PM   #24
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This is by far the most ridiculous, offensive and tremendously dense article I have almost ever read in my entire life of reading articles. This idiotic fool has a ph.D? Oh man... I am wonderfully hopeful for the future, not to mention confidant, if this clueless moron can get a doctorate, then anyone can.

How can a man make such rash and sweeping generalisations, and leave them there on the page as if they were testimony? I wouldn't know how to begin in even CRITICISING this article constructively and appropriately, I am much too angered by every singe sentence this cretin uses in putting his pathetic and qutie frankly, dangerous views to light.

That the Arab world lacks individuality? Proper culture? Identity? Give the man an airplane ticket to a SINGLE Arab country that is NOT of a fundamentalist nature and let him stay there for a while, like the fifteen years I've spent living in the Middle East, and he can come back with his intellect caught between his stupidity and prejeduice. That the Arab world needs to 'catch up' with the Western world? Oh, the arrogance. The arrogance that blinds him, and anyone like-minded, from what is proper reason; the acceptance of the fact that if ANY peace is to be had from such conflicts inherent in our civilisation, we must stop talking and thinking of 'catching up', and recognise the equality which we are all suipposed to 'serve'.

The man's article is not only filled with an offensive presence of prejeduiced ignorance, but it is filled with countless of inaccurate and simply FALSE statements, the man proves he is as ignorant as he is dense.

"In Islam, those who insult Allah or the Prophet are subject to the death penalty. " What a stupid and absolutely ridiculous statement. If it were not for the fact that this man is regarded intelligent and his opinion is respected, I would find this article funny and most certainly laughable, but this man is influencing people to think like him, and that is a very dangerous thought.

This man is an oaf. A pitiable, ignorant and absolutely pathetic oaf, and he serves no purpose other than to slander a religion that when, lika ANY other religion, is put to proper practice, serves its purpose well.

Having said that, I have nothing against Salman Rushdie. I think the man a genius and I disagree with Amna respectfully on her comment that what he said was offensive; it was not. Mr. Rushdie's SATANIC VERSES was incredible, though that is my opinion. Rushdie never deliberately and openly slandered or made Islam or the Prophet trivial, Amna, he used it as part of the story and his reactions and interpretations to it were his and not derogatory in the slightest. Did you ever read The Satanic Verses for yourself? I recommend you do. Any 'good' muslim should, I feel. Not only will you find that the idiots who condemned him to death were wrong, but you will find the book most enjoyable, if you enjoy that sort of thing.

What is needed here is BALANCE, not attacking and criticising what is ignorant to us. A man criticising religion is as pointless as someone criticising the worth of literature - they do not acknowledege each other's values and realities.

This man should be deprived of his doctorate and be sent to an Islamic country for a while. Let him come back and see if he writes such drivel again.

Ant.
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Old 06-09-2002, 08:31 PM   #25
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Amna,

Your illustration shows that Mohammed was kind to some lady who insulted him. But what did he do with his real enemies when he gave them a chance and they didn't recognize him as prophet or surrender to live under his rule? What did he do to traitors?

What were Mohammed's last words?

It is clear from my study of Islam, that Mohammed could be kind, decent and merciful on the one hand, and on the other he commanded that people be slaughtered. How he would handle a situation changed according to the situation.

This example of Mohammed is to me the biggest problem of Muslim extremists. Fundamentalists aren't following some law in the Koran or the hadith when they say to kill those who insult Mohammed or Islam. I believe the real problem is that they are doing what all Muslims are supposed to do. Follow the example of Mohammed and act according to the situation to defend the peace of Islamic society. Isn't this the highest priority of Muslims? In this case, these fundamentalists believe that it is best for Muslim society not to have this kind of speech that will cause confusion and discord among Muslims. Other Muslims may disagree with them but many more agree that to silence or punish speech against Islam is good to keep society peaceful. So many countries where the laws are written to protect Islam have these laws.

These country's also have laws that make public speech about other religons illegal for the same reason; to protect Muslims from the attacks of other religions to convert them. And the Taliban didn't send women to their homes because they hate women but because they believe that this was the best thing to protect them from rape in crisis times.

I have been told by many Muslims that the Koran does not have all the laws for all the times specifically. Rather, Muslims are given all the guidance they need to handle new situations by reading it and following the example of Mohammed in making decisions about how to run an orderly and peaceful Muslim society.

So no, there is no law in the Koran which says to kill someone who insults Mohammed. But protecting Islamic society from discord is a principle strongly supported by the Koran. So is the idea that things like killing and censorship are not wrong in themselves, but they can be good or bad depending on the situation. Good if they protect Muslims in hard times. Bad only if times are good.

The scary thing about fundamentalists like bin loopy is not that they know that they are doing evil but they do it anyway. These people ae really scary to me because they completely believe they are good Muslims in a bad situation up against a power much stronger than them which is in a Crusade to wipe out Islam.

From there it is just a step to justifying evening the odds at any cost to save Islam from sure destruction. These men are sure that God will reward them for all of their sacrifices for Islam.
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Old 06-09-2002, 09:42 PM   #26
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Hmm.

Whiteflag, if what you say is true, then the vast majority of people around the world who identify themselves as Muslims are practicing a slightly ecumenical version of Islam that recognizes the right of followers of other religions to live.
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Old 06-10-2002, 12:32 AM   #27
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Speedracer,

No I didn't say that. Even fundamentalist Muslims don't generally view the presence of other religions as an automatic threat. What I am saying is that Islam will get along with others as long as conditions are favorable to it. As soon as any real threat is perceived, some devout faction of Muslims will always react by cracking down and taking extreme measures to defend Islam. And all they have to do is look to the example of Mohammed and what he did in the name of defending Islam.

My point is that there is a huge wide open gateway in Islam that provides all the encouragement angry frustrated fundamentalist Muslims need to repress others and wage war against innocents. They don't need some specific verse telling them to do so. And just because the majority of Muslims are good folks and don't take this same route doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

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Old 06-11-2002, 01:06 AM   #28
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I really hate to reply when the last post was my own but I really feel this discussion hasnt even begun to get really good yet. And so here goes trying to get it moving again.


Amna,

I am sorry to keep picking on you, but you're the only one here with a Muslim perspective on things. I don't have anything against you.

What did you mean when you said that my views were interesting? Did you mean that in a good way or a bad way? Just kinda curious about it

And would you agree with this statement?

Noone who truly knows and understands Islam can dislike it. So anyone who has a real beef with Islam's teachings cannot possibly have taken the time to study it or else they are just blind bigots.

If you don't agree then why? And if you don't agree with it, do you think that many other Muslims do agree with it?

And one more question.

Would you agree with the statement.

Man is essentially good and all he needs to do is practice Islam in order to keep from evil. Therefore if a man strictly observes the laws of Islam, he cannot do anything really evil and if a man does what is evil he can't possibly be an Muslim who tries hard to obey the law.

I know it seems like a lot. But if you could just answer as best you can it will help get the discussion of the article going again by providing the correct Muslim point of view. I know it may not look like it, but I think these questions to you do have a connection to some of the misunderstandings between the two cultures.

But more important than that, it will help me to understand Islam a bit better I hope that you don't think I hate Muslims and Islam becuz I don't!
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Old 06-11-2002, 02:31 PM   #29
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I'm really sorry that I haven't replied, i'm off and on the computer b/c things keep on coming up. Anyways, Whiteflag, I think you make a lot of good points. You put things in a interesting perspective.
I have to say, I'm no expert in my own religion... I'm still a practicing Muslim.... But, I'll give you points on things that I am much familiar on.....
I'll start off by saying, if people truly understood Islam, that would have total respect and even love for it.
The month of Ramadan was the time that Prophet Muhammed became the Prophet... He started off as a merchant, who was illiterate. But when the time came for the revelation of the Quran, the Prophet would reveal it to the people. This book would hold , verse by verse,the ways of living a peaceful life... The verses (surahs) are sooo sacred.... Their has been a recent study that gathered all of the copies of the Quran here and in the M.E, and not one word, not one punctuation, differed from the other. So, this prooves how accurate and how sacred the Quran is....
Anyways, the Prophet was a very pious man... Stories are written about how people were soo charmed by the Prophet... he was very charismatic. He was also known for being very simple... he treated his wives as equals, sometimes they would try to tease and publicly humiliate him, yet he always kept his cool... The reason why polygamy was practiced was b/c , women often became widowed when their husbends went off to war. It was also, a strategy for the Prophet in spreading the religion.... The rules in Islam work to build equal rights between man and women... Men and women have different rights, but when it comes together, it works out, and it measures out. Some people feel women have more rights within the religion of islam.. but man and woman, like i said, have different rights, and it does measure out in the end.
Islam (surrender, submission) brought so much relief and order to communities that were once curropted.
The Prophet had much respect for the ahul Qitab "people of the book" (Bible, Torah).... Though some people didn't believe that Muhammed was a Prophet, many did. The people who did, found peace .
The Prophet never wanted violence. However, certain people wanted to destroy (literally kill) the Muslim population... As a result, they waged war against the Prophet.... The Prophet was very strategice, and usually dug trenches around Medina (Holy place) to keep the agressors away.
i could babble on forever, but, I'll try to keep this simple..... In all, the Prophet won the hearts of many.... The message was spread and it was practiced....
Today, we find people of all religions who are frusturated with the fast pace modern society.... They find themselves being opressed by the modern industry... Thus, it gives them more of an excuse to use the religion, in an inappropriate manner, as an excuse and as a way to fight the modern industry or economy....
The use of war is only used when the Muslim people are literally being threatened and killed because of their faith and religion... I t was practiced when the Prophet and Imams were in power. However, the rule of the thumb is to defend yourselves, and accept threats from agressors untill you reach nearly 20 years of the threats....
Islam is a faith that practices moderation, acceptance, and hope. Yet, some people, just like in any other faith, goes to extremes.

Islam has given me hope... I pray, I fast, and i practice, and this gives me hope and patience with life.... Whenever I stop praying, or learning, I find myself being confused, frusturated and edgy with life...... Islam has given me something to believe in, and it makes sense... i probably don't make sense to all of you, but, I can't explain everything that I have learned in nearly 21 years all in this forum......

I'm really sorry if all my thoughts are scattered, and some of this doesn't make sense.... But my point is, Islam is a very beautiful and sacred faith... With all that has gone on, Islam has been labled as something its not.......

Ugh, I hope this all made sense... :S

I'll try again later, if this doesn't make sense......

Peace,
Amna


Btw: Whiteflag, I love your response for the view on the Hostages who were killed in the Phillipines.......

O, and sorry for all the grammer and spelling errors...
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Old 06-11-2002, 07:10 PM   #30
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Whiteflag, I have a question for you..... Have you done the research in finding out about Chrisian fundemantalism. Do you know for sure that some countries don't have certain extremist groups?
Also, this is not such a big deal..... But, I don't know what religion these preachers followed.... But, they would usually go on tv, pretending they are giving the miracle of life to people in exchange for money..... Would you consider that fundamentalism.... Because in my view, wether it be fundamentalism or extremism, when you use relgion or abuse it just for the sake of your self being, then that will make you a fundamentalist or extremist..... I guess the definition itself could also be debated.... Because I could then go on to say that the Catholic Church's convicted priests, could be extremeists also..... whatever.... So, thats my question to you whiteflag.....

peace out
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