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Old 06-24-2006, 03:16 PM   #61
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Originally posted by verte76
but any and all religions are legal. Women have equal rights with men. Hell, they've even had a female head of state, something we Americans can't say.
Thank your for this information Verte. Hopefully it is the a sign of the future for all countries that are not currently in such a state. We can only pray and hope, right?
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Old 06-24-2006, 05:18 PM   #62
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[B]Jesus - Life was dedicated to Love
Mohammed - Life was consumed by war

Given that you pride yourself on being 'well versed' on the Bible, it's interesting that you have ignored Jesus's quote about coming to bring a sword to the world.

That said I agree with your statement that Islam is the essence of intolerance.
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:31 PM   #63
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Huh? Islam being the essence of intolerance? Hardly. Take a look at this link about a Muslim who could have invented the Coexist campaign.

http://www.mevlana.net/
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Old 06-24-2006, 07:28 PM   #64
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Yes for people of the book, he is hardly the rule in the history of Islam - which is really quite a brilliant meme for Arab culture.
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Old 06-24-2006, 08:14 PM   #65
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Originally posted by verte76
Huh? Islam being the essence of intolerance? Hardly. Take a look at this link about a Muslim who could have invented the Coexist campaign.

http://www.mevlana.net/
Interesting link. Is he Sufi? I have always been a bit fascinated by Sufi Muslims. Gnosticism in general still fascinates me. Unfortunately, they have been on the receiving end of a few genocides...
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Old 06-24-2006, 09:16 PM   #66
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The terms "Arab" and "Muslim" are hardly synonymous. The Turks are not Arabs. The Iranians are not Arabs. The Pakistanis are not Arabs. Additionally only 18% of the world's Muslims live in what is loosely considered the Middle East. So let's not get confused about this.
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Old 06-24-2006, 09:20 PM   #67
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Interesting link. Is he Sufi? I have always been a bit fascinated by Sufi Muslims. Gnosticism in general still fascinates me. Unfortunately, they have been on the receiving end of a few genocides...
Yes, Mevlana was Sufi. Everyone, Muslim, Jew, Christian, and yes, atheist alike was always welcome at his place. I've been to his mausoleum and plan on making the journey again.
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:23 AM   #68
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I'm bumping this up with some trepidation, because I'd really rather not see its discussion topic continued at all at this point. But, this thread has touched a deep nerve with a couple folks in ways I don't think the people who upset them really intended, and I feel like I need to address that here.

(Please note, the posters quoted below are NOT synonymous with the parties referred to above--I just chose these quotes because they're as good a segueway as any into what I wanted to say.)
Quote:
Originally posted by AEON
Man...where are all the critics of the Quran? I mean, if you post something from the Bible - within minutes you receive a half dozen attacks about the Scripture.
AEON I understand your frustration. There are certainly a lot of contentious, highly charged debates relating to Christian(s)/-ity in here, and while most stay substantial, if heated, I think we can all acknowledge that they sometimes descend into petty recriminations and preachiness (not necessarily the religious variety). When that happens it can really cut deep on all sides, and I think the damage done is often more across-the-board than most of us realize. I will do my best to call out the most obvious wrongs when they happen (though I see I did manage to miss a snipe or two I should've caught in this thread, for which I apologize)--but, ultimately, there's only so much I can do to regulate the kind of deep-seated conflicts at work here.

I hope we can all try a little harder to not lose sight of the underlying camaraderie and mutual respect that makes our discussions here worth coming back for. I don't want to get all preachy about this, but please, guys--keep in mind that at the end of the day, whatever evil it is that you see fundamentalist politicians/opportunistic oppositionists/savage media pundits/etc. wreaking in the world around you, the poster you're debating with right now is NOT the enemy incarnate; they're just a friend, a colleague of sorts or at the very least, simply an opportunity to learn something, who checks in here for pretty much the same reasons and with pretty much the same hopes that you do. (And if you need a little inspiration to revive your flagging enthusiasm, maybe check out Irvine's wonderful "...change the world..." thread.)

Now...that said, and to return to AEON's quote...while I don't object as a moderator to the approach you took in this thread, AEON (i.e., it certainly breaks no forum rules), I have to say I do question whether it could ever work as a way to promote the sort of discussion you--or A_Wanderer, for that matter--probably intended. Not just for reasons I'll discuss below in response to nb's comment, but also because it occurred to me in reading through your Koran posts that if I came in here and saw someone tossing down a similar gauntlet, only from the Old Testament--collecting all the most violent, or xenophobic, or virulently sexist posts, which I'll freely acknowledge would be easy enough to do...then frankly, I think I would just shrink back, click out, and slink quietly away, concluding that here is someone who already has their mind so made up--and is probably, in truth, giving voice to the underlying judgment of enough others in here--that there's nothing I could really say that wouldn't come off as rote apologetics of the lamest sort.

I realize this may sound very hypocritical in light of what you've just pointed out about Christianity threads. And in some ways it probably is. But may I just suggest that in a social sense, this hypothetical would be quite different in that--so far as I know--I am really the only frequent Jewish poster in here. I would not have the confidence of knowing that there at least a couple people I could count on to substantially back me up--or maybe even more likely, lol, transform it into a ferocious factional debate between Jews who disagree completely with each other about the "correct" Jewish interpretations of various things. Can you understand how the latter is different from feeling totally alone? It at least affirms the fundamental awareness and social legitimacy of what you "belong" to in a way that being the token apologist cannot.

I'm not claiming that everyone would react in this way. If some outspoken Muslim, or Jew, or bona fide expert on either has more psychological stamina than I do, and really thrives on such a challenge--well, more power to them. But I think most would not, and that concerns me, because while I don't think anyone deserves kid-gloves treatment around here, I do want everyone to at least feel like they needn't fear being nailed alone to the wall and maybe even humiliated in front of everybody. You never know who might be reading what you say.
Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
It is not unusual for a thread on Islam to get a quick, unrelated interjection on Christianity "for balance".
I took a couple minutes to trace the trajectory of the discussion in this thread, and I have to disagree with you--if you meant to suggest that that's what happened here (and if not, see below). What I saw was first iron horse, then AEON, interjecting unfavorable comparisons of Islam to Christianity into the thread, followed by critical responses from posters who disagreed with either this approach, or the claims made about Christianity, or both. I agree that what resulted was neither pretty nor (with some notable exceptions) particularly productive, but I can't agree that "for balance-ing"--at least in the sense I think you meant that--was what provoked the spats here.

Or perhaps the point you're making was simply that AEON's strategy was no worse than someone tossing in a caustic aside about Christians in a similarly-themed thread. If so, I agree to a point, and while it would be overzealous of me to go after every "quick interjection," I can certainly promise to watch for out-and-out derailments along those lines in the future. (Actually, I'm pretty sure I have closed at least one thread for this precise reason at some point...but, my apologies if I've missed some others.) And again, I would appeal to everyone to practice a little more self-restraint in this regard--it really is just not that difficult to avoid taking potshots; even if someone else started it, you can always just politely call them on that, rather than returning fire. "Do unto others..."

I think AEON would agree, though, that what he was going for here was something considerably more systematic than that. And I've already addressed that issue above.

------------------------------------------------------------------

So...anyways...I really am tempted to just lock this one up--but, in case anyone else wants to offer their own post-mortem perspective (constructive and polite suggestions only, please), I think I may just leave it open for now. (And I'm sorry for inviting further digressions, A_W...but, I'm afraid this one was already terminally derailed anyhow.)


~ Peace All...
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:30 AM   #69
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God will be trump for those who seek God. The state, ideal, cause or other belief will be trump for those who put that first in their lives.



and the fact that 90% or so of people on the planet believe in God should make it clear that God, for most people, will trump the state, and the fact that states tend to have earthly, more practical goals -- economic or military success, perhaps, not salvation and eternity.

Quote:
I understand your feeling that religion is unique. I'd ask, is religion unique as a motivator, or is it only unique for the negative motivations?

it's a unique motivator -- it's potential for apocalyptic destruction is matched by it's potential for near infinite kindness.
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Old 06-26-2006, 01:22 PM   #70
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Now...that said, and to return to AEON's quote...while I don't object as a moderator to the approach you took in this thread, AEON (i.e., it certainly breaks no forum rules), I have to say I do question whether it could ever work as a way to promote the sort of discussion you--or A_Wanderer, for that matter--probably intended. Not just for reasons I'll discuss below in response to nb's comment, but also because it occurred to me in reading through your Koran posts that if I came in here and saw someone tossing down a similar gauntlet, only from the Old Testament--collecting all the most violent, or xenophobic, or virulently sexist posts, which I'll freely acknowledge would be easy enough to do...then frankly, I think I would just shrink back, click out, and slink quietly away, concluding that here is someone who already has their mind so made up--and is probably, in truth, giving voice to the underlying judgment of enough others in here--that there's nothing I could really say that wouldn't come off as rote apologetics of the lamest sort.
Believe me, I know which OT passages fit the bill - I once e-mailed a list of about 40 such items to a pastor and demanded an answer. That answer is outside the bounds of this discussion but I did touch on it in another thread. Basically, he did challenge me to find a NT equivalent. If I could not, then it was something set forth in a particular place and time (ceremonial laws, protecting the actual nation of Israel...etc - that is a very huge generalization I know, and I could go on further but I will stay on the point). However, I do understand your point that someone posting such things probably already has their mind made up. And yes, I probably do - but I can be convinced to change it in the same way my mind was changed by a pastor regarding the more troubling OT passages.

The original post was a story about intolerance. At least that was how I read it. My point is, and still is, that the Quran actually teaches extreme intolerance. Yes, Christianity does teach us to spread the Word and make disciples of all the nations, which can be seen as a form of intolerance – but nowhere in the NT are we commanded to do this violently. We are to love people to Christ, not scare them to Him. (Not a tactic everyone uses I agree, but that is a failure of Christians, not the NT)

I do agree, however, that the posts from the Quran I made are probably not productive – and perhaps my intentions were not pure. I am still praying about that. But I still wish someone could put them into context for me. I would like to be wrong about them, especially considering I have a seven-year-old daughter that I want to have equal access to an educated life and a 13 month old son I want to experience the same religious freedom I have had.
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Old 06-26-2006, 01:48 PM   #71
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But I still wish someone could put them into context for me.
Perhaps we would all benefit from that perspective but if there are any Muslim U2 fans, they (understandably) don't hang around here.

Maybe mainstream Muslims disobey those violent aspects of the Quran the way Christians who support war disobey the peaceful aspects of the NT.

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Old 06-26-2006, 01:58 PM   #72
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Maybe mainstream Muslims disobey those violent aspects of the Quran the way Christians who support war disobey the peaceful aspects of the NT.

So, according to this logic - the only way to have peace between Muslims and Christians if for Muslims to ignore their Scripture and for Christians to actually obey theirs.

Oddly enough, I suspect you are right.
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Old 06-26-2006, 02:17 PM   #73
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^ wow.
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Old 06-26-2006, 02:19 PM   #74
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My point is, and still is, that the Quran actually teaches extreme intolerance.
More than conservative Christianity?

Quote:
Originally posted by AliEnvy


Perhaps we would all benefit from that perspective but if there are any Muslim U2 fans, they (understandably) don't hang around here.
Well there are a few but their visits are sporadic, understandibly so given threads like this.
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Old 06-26-2006, 03:48 PM   #75
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it's a unique motivator -- it's potential for apocalyptic destruction is matched by it's potential for near infinite kindness.
Irvine, I believe you've convinced me on this point. I know we argued about it a few threads back. I started really thinking about it, and you are right--there is an inherent danger in religion. I guess, I took that to mean that religion is inherently evil (a sentiment I imagine that some posters agree with) which is why I fought back so vigorously then.

But I see what you're saying. Anyone who claims
access to Absolute Truth, has the potential to do great harm. One had better hope that Asolute Truth is Love otherwise we've got a problem.

I guess where I end up is that religion is neither inherently good or inherently bad (though there are inherently helpful and dangerous things about it). It just is. Those of us who are believers have to decide whether our practice of faith is good, whether it lives up to love.

This is a quote by one of the founders of my denomination, a woman named Ellen White. I don't agree with her on everything she ever said or wrote but I do believe this:

"Religion, like all things else, was a matter of authority. The people were expected to believe and practice as their superiors directed. The right of man as man to think and act for himself was wholly unrecognized. Christ was establishing a kingdom on different principles. He called men not to authority but to service, the strong to bear the infirmities of the weak. Power, position, talent, education, placed their possessor under a greater obligation to serve his fellows. . . .In matters of conscience the soul must be left untrammeled. No one is to control another's mind, to judge another, or prescribe his duty. God gives every soul freedom to think, and to follow his own convictions."

Obviously Christianity has done a terrible job of living up to these ideals. Every time religion becomes a "matter of authority" (which is so easy to do when you believe that you have elite access to Ultimate Absolute Truth) religion has become a horror in this world.

As to where this thread has gone. It is absolutely wrong, wrong, and wrong to seek to stop "the spread of Islam" especially by military means (note the this is distinct from stopping the spread of violent terrorists motivated by their views of Islam. We must oppose violence and the killing of innocents regardless of what the "motivating beliefs" for it are). The analogy of Nazism and Islam does not add up. The Nazis made it clear what their beliefs were. There was no "majority" of Nazis saying "Oh no, that business of the Aryan superrace and anti-Semitism is not what we're about. That's just a misreading of Mein Kampf and taking it out of context." The FACT is that the MAJORITY of Muslims insist that the radical interpretations of Islam such as practiced by the terrorists is wrong. I think we need to accept the majority interpretation of Islam at face value.

ANY time we start saying that a particular group of people, a particular belief system, MUST be stopped at all costs we are treading on very, very dangerous ground.
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