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Old 06-11-2002, 07:18 PM   #31
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O dear, I have a lot of free time on my hands at the moment.... Usually I don't... But anyways, Anthony, I just read your reply..... I really like your answer...... This would be a funny article to read if it wasn't so freacken popular and influential...
I Haven't read Satanic Versus , I've only read about it..... But, you are right, I should read b4 I judge.....

Off to the library I go ....
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Old 06-12-2002, 12:58 AM   #32
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But during Europe's Dark Ages, weren't the Islamic territories at the forefront of science and culture? Just wondering what sort of drastic change could occur in ther mentality.:question:
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Old 06-12-2002, 02:22 AM   #33
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i think in a lot of ways, Islam is going through it's dark ages right now. hopefully it will progress past this point, just like chrisitianity did. then we'll see televangelist Mulla's LOL!
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Old 06-12-2002, 09:35 AM   #34
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I think one thing is certain....Amna has a lot of poise and a lot of calss in handling this topic



I know that if Hindu Extremists were at the forefront of the news...I would be hard pressd to handle the issue as well as she has.
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Old 06-14-2002, 12:57 AM   #35
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Amna,

I have a LOt to say to you about your recent posts. I could actually write a book! But i am very tired tonight so i am going to have to keep it down to one post.

1) Yes, there is a lot wrong with your definition of extremists. Sorry that I couldnt think of a better way to say it to you.

There is a huge difference in the activities and motivations of extremists and the activities and motivations of the people you were describing. Extremists believe what everyone in their religion believes to some degree but they take it to an extreme extent. The Taliban were extremists. Christian monks who used to hurt their bodies to be more spiritual were extremists, Hindus who think that India should be Hindu only are extremists etc. etc.

The people you describe are criminals and con men. There is a huge difference between these people and someone who follows a religion to its extremes. The priests and the televangelists have their own benefit, not the benefit of their religion, as their primary and ultimate goal. Period. They put on a mask to make money off of poor people or in order to get access to helpless young boys. These people care not at all for their religion. Extremists care way too much about their religion, so much that they lose sight of all reason and sense.

So, by the correct definition of religious extremists, the abusing priests fail the definition and bin loopy passes with flying colors.

And to answer your other question as quickly as I can. (Yawn!)

Yes, I have done my research. Extremists both in my own religion and in the religions of others have always been a concern for me. I first researched Christian extremism and fundamentalism because their behavior at one time was an obstacle in my path of faith. So I have been watching them and learning about them for something like 14 yrs. I have also watched the con men who have figured out that if they get on the tv and pray then little old ladies will send them their SS checks. I have also watched and learned all about the healthy expression of my religion, the majority of my faith that just somehow isnt very news worthy.

As for Islam, I began studying it in 1993 when I met my first Muslim friend and his family. I have read the writings of Islamic experts, studied western converts, debated an imam in a mosque once and I am a member of a moderate Islamic BBS online for almost 1 yr now. I listen very carefully and I check my facts BEFORE I form my opinions.

As for the rest of my credentials I am 32 and so I have 32 yrs of life experience with an emphasis on the study of other cultures and religions. I once thought that I was destined to be an anthropologist. I have travelled a little more than most people my age and i have always kept current with world news and political issues. So I know quite a bit about whats good and bad about the major issues affecting our world today even if it doesn't directly impact the US.

So I may not be able to call myself an expert. I don't have any letters behind my name. Yet. But you can bet that I am well informed!

I'll return this weekend (I hope!) to comment in depth on the answers that you gave me the other day.
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Old 06-14-2002, 01:20 AM   #36
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Arun V,

I am sure you would be just as poised if you were defending the only religion you've ever known. Especially if those disagreeing with you made sure to disagree with respect.

BTW, I would love to ask you some questions about Hinduism sometime since there is much still that I don't understand. I have read the Bhagavad Gita (excuse the spelling) and I have picked up enough about your religion's basic beliefs to know that there is much more to it than Westerners commonly assume. But I don't kid myself that I know as much as I could know.

I would especially like to know where these Hindu only people come from. Violence is certainly not something that I typically associate with Hinduism, the religion of Ghandi, the Gita and of vegetarians!
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Old 06-15-2002, 11:59 PM   #37
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To all,

Here at last is my reply to Amna's post earlier this week explaining her faith. There are several things I would like to say about it because I think that it will help in any serious discussion of the points raised by the article that started this whole thread.

Remember the article everyone? Believe it or not, I have been trying all along to get back to it. I hope that you'll see before long that all this preliminary stuff was for a good reason mainly because if anyone is going to discuss criticisms of another religion they should know a little more about the religion first. Right? And it is my belief that what most people think they know about Islam is often wrong.

No bad on anyone, of course, because it is a very misunderstood religion.

In answer to my question to Amna if she thought that anyone who really understood Islam would automatically love it, Amna said...

Quote:
I'll start off by saying, if people truly understood Islam, that would have total respect and even love for it.
This answer is in agreement with the views of all the Muslims I have ever talked to. In fact all of Amna's answers to my questions have shown me that she personally is a very good representative of a typical Muslim which is the best kind of person to discuss the religion with.

That's why I asked my questions of you, Amna, and why I will continue to ask you questions. I mean how else are people to understand your religion better and know that i am not just making stuff up or getting everything wrong about Islam??

You girl can keep this discussion true and honest if you are willing So keep your answers (and responses) coming ok?

And if everyone will stick with me here, you'll all see why I asked her the above question in particular.

Just one more piece of preliminary business though.

Quote:
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......
Actually Amna, no Muslim expert I have ever talked to has said anything different from what you said. The only difference is that their argument might be in more sophisticated language but they are saying the exact same thing as you. You didn't leave anything out that they would have put into a basic explaination of Islam. And don't forget that sometimes it is the most simple answer that makes the most difference. I have found a great problem with Muslims that they are always saying that they can't explain it good and they are always refering me to experts who don't tell me anything new! As a Muslim believer you are more than qualified to be our expert on this forum.


Ok. Why did I ask that question in particular? Its because it is very good at highlighting the Muslim mindset about Islam. And for me the answer is the root of all the problems non-Muslims and Muslims alike have in having a truly productive dialogue about Islam and the problems between it and The West.

One thing that I have learned from everyone I have talked to both non-Muslims and Muslims is that Muslims are remarkably unified in their beliefs so that there is not that much difference between the views of a simple Muslim and a sophisticated one regarding Islam. And it is true in this case. With very few exceptions every Muslim from the greatest intellectual to the simplest believer is convinced that to understand Islam is to love Islam. This same uniformity is not found in Christianity, for just one example. For one thing swinging between doubt and belief is pretty common among Christians but there is also a great divide between the simple and the great since many of our intellectuals seem to struggle with more doubts than the masses do. For proof of this I have just two words: Jesus Seminar

So trust me on this. Islam is unique among the religions for the degree of unquestioned confidence that it's believers have in it.

One direct consequence of this mindset is that it is quite naturally used by Muslims to decide whether a person knows what they are talking about when it comes to Islam. I have found it to be true that unless you are a Muslim, no Muslim will believe that you have anything constructive to say to them since they figure that if you knew anything about Islam then you would also know how perfect it is and become a Muslim. It is quite outside of their imagination that there could be a non-Muslim expert on Islam or that someone who criticizes it could also respect it. And so even if a non-Muslim has studied the faith their entire life their opinions tend to be seen by Muslims as quaintly ignorant. And if that same person has something critical to say about it then the Muslim view tends to be that the person can't possibly respect Islam.

I believe this way of thinking about Islam, that its perfection is beyond question, results in Muslims being practically immune to any outside criticism

But it also prevents a truly constructive dialouge within Islam as well mainly because to hold Islam to blame for anything is impossible for a Muslim who believes that it is perfect beyond any question. But also because Muslim critics of Islam are thought to have no respect for Islam at best and are thought to be heretics at worst for even suggesting that Islam needs to be reformed.

But more on that in a minute.

Before I go on, I want to ask Amna if she agrees with me so far that most Muslims would agree with these statements

1) If a non-Muslim really knew the facts about Islam, they would realize how perfect it is and they would immediatley convert.

2)It is quite impossible for there to be such a thing as a non-Muslim expert on Islam.

3) No one who critcizes Islam can also have respect for it.

4) Since Islam is perfect, it is impossible that it is to blame for anything bad thing done by a Muslim in its name.
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Old 06-16-2002, 07:15 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by whiteflag
Arun V,

I am sure you would be just as poised if you were defending the only religion you've ever known. Especially if those disagreeing with you made sure to disagree with respect.

BTW, I would love to ask you some questions about Hinduism sometime since there is much still that I don't understand. I have read the Bhagavad Gita (excuse the spelling) and I have picked up enough about your religion's basic beliefs to know that there is much more to it than Westerners commonly assume. But I don't kid myself that I know as much as I could know.

I would especially like to know where these Hindu only people come from. Violence is certainly not something that I typically associate with Hinduism, the religion of Ghandi, the Gita and of vegetarians!

drop me a line...arun@interference.com
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Old 06-17-2002, 01:03 AM   #39
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Arun,

I will drop a line as soon as I can. Thanks.


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