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Old 09-22-2006, 10:53 PM   #1
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On The Appeal of Islam

An interesting article on conversion to Islam
Quote:
ith an ethical code that coalesced in the 7th century, Islam is today an avenue for men to exercise even the most exaggerated forms of manliness. Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who despised organized religions due to their emasculating effects and who preached the need for man to be transformed into an amoral “superman,” professed some admiration for Islam, describing it as “masculine” and “affirmative.”

Nonetheless, traditional masculinity is not the sole domain of Islam; historically almost every civilization has lived in accordance to “masculine-centric” norms. Gender-neutral societies are historic aberrations. It is not unreasonable, then, to surmise that disaffected young men living in a postmodern West, who feel that they do not fit into a “gender-neutral” world, turn to a religion which honors traditional masculinity.

John Walker Lindh especially seems to fit this category. A main factor that precipitated his conversion to Islam was his teenage discovery that his father was a homosexual — an event that, by all accounts, traumatized and alienated Lindh. Islam’s strong masculine ideals and condemnation of homosexuality undoubtedly baited young Lindh, who after discovering his father had moved in with another man, converted to Islam at age 16.

The main reason, of course, that Islam possesses what are seen as masculine virtues, has to do with the fact that its essence is trapped in the 7th century — “when men were men,” for good or ill. That is the “golden era” of Islam, when the Muslim prophet Muhammad, the paragon of all Islamic virtue, whom Sunnis are exhorted to emulate in every possible way, walked the earth, sword in hand, accepting no insult, and conquering his infidel neighbors.

But just as traditional masculine virtues are upheld in Islamic culture, so too do traditionally masculine vices abound. Honor, courage, as well as patriarchic ethics, can easily morph into foolish pride (e.g. “honor killings”), disregard for life (e.g. suicide-bombings), as well as sexism and misogyny.
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Truly faith is built on the word of man.
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:42 AM   #2
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Interesting... There is a trend in Christianity to try and inject masculinity back into the religion after decades of emasculation because of myths consistently depicting Jesus as more feminine.

That somehow, you can't be masculine and be humble, caring and sensitive.
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Old 09-23-2006, 02:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by MadelynIris
Interesting... There is a trend in Christianity to try and inject masculinity back into the religion after decades of emasculation because of myths consistently depicting Jesus as more feminine.

That somehow, you can't be masculine and be humble, caring and sensitive.
Maybe the myths of what masculinity is are what needed to be changed.
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Old 09-23-2006, 03:27 PM   #4
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Yeah, redefine masculinity.
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Old 09-23-2006, 06:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by MadelynIris
Interesting... There is a trend in Christianity to try and inject masculinity back into the religion after decades of emasculation because of myths consistently depicting Jesus as more feminine.

That somehow, you can't be masculine and be humble, caring and sensitive.
If masculinity is defined by controlling and belitting others, then I want nothing to do with it. And it isn't a "myth" that Jesus was more feminine anymore than it is a myth that Jesus was more masculine. The zealous voices that cried for blood and vengeance were condemned by Jesus, so I'd hardly say that he was a warrior that many people wish he was.

But truthfully, I've never understood traditional gender roles. I find them to be completely foreign to me, and I laugh when I see people try and force them onto others. If people are comfortable in their own skin, that should be all that matters.

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Old 09-23-2006, 06:57 PM   #6
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Hmmm, well in the US female converts to Islam outnumber males by 4 to 1, according to Time; similar trends pertain in Britain as well, which would appear to create problems for this speculation. Also Raymond Ibrahim, the author of this article, is a Library of Congress linguist who built his reputation collecting and translating al-Qaeda literature for that institution, which likely gives his interpretation of Islam a...certain slant. Plus, as he himself notes, all 6 of the converts he cites as examples are/were either terrorists or alleged terrorists; 5 of them already had criminal records (Reid, Padilla, Lindsay, Azzam, Abdullah--though I'm taking Ibrahim's word on that last one, as I can't find confirmation of it); 4 of them (Reid, Padilla, Lindsay, Abdullah) already fit the "alienated minority" label; Lindh, prior to his father's coming out, had a long history of antisocial behavior, as well as a bizarre obsession with posing as a radical black separatist online; and Azzam was a decidely troubled teenager from a decidely unusual background who cut himself off from his parents at 15 and assaulted his own imam. And, unsurprisingly given these backgrounds, all 6 of them were attracted to (or converted by) extremists--most of them men themselves now on watch lists, for unrelated reasons--early in their lives as Muslims. So I hardly think they make for a very representative portrait of Muslim converts. Anyhow, the idea that people in general convert to Islam because they're suffering from some sort of psychosocial deficit is presumptuous and silly, and Ibrahim's assessment that Westerners live in "neutered societies" is likewise an eyebrow-raiser.
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Old 09-24-2006, 12:44 AM   #7
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When Islam was being introduced in the 7th century, I would think any social commentators at the time would've been hard pressed to call it "appealing to masculinity." Arabian society was already uber male dominated...there was no need for a religion that would provide an avenue for men to feel more manly. In fact, traditional males would've been horrified and downright threatened with what Mohammed was promoting as the word of God. Islam (the Koran) introduced sweeping new rights for women...i know, it seems hard to believe...but it did; property rights, employment rights, rights to divorce, political rights, sexual rights (yes, even sexual rights)...stuff the Western civilizations really didn't get into for hundreds of years to come. The new Koranic rights would have surely threatened the traditional hyper-patriarchical social structures, where women were deemed worthless, and female infanticide was all the rage.

There's a ton of good research/writing out there on the subject of "women's rights in Islam/Koran"...Google will give you a bunch, but i won't bother listing them.

Of course, modern Islamic countries/societies have hardly retained the spirit of the original vision of Islam. But, methinks, that has more to do with traditional "masculine-centric" norms perpetuated by male-dominated civilizations throughout history, than the appeal of Islam as a "manly" religion.

On the issue of women's rights, there's some hope for oppressed women in Islamic countries that the true spirit of Islam and the Koran can make positive change happen:

http://www.washtimes.com/world/20041...0541-8931r.htm

As an ex-Moslem, i kind of feel strange about providing information about Islam...it can seem like i'm defending the religion, when, really, i'd like to see more of a balanced approach here at FYM, instead of the emotional, and negative, one sidedness that's always posted [of course, Yolland does a great job of providing much-needed context on Islamic, and other, topics]. As has been stated before, wish there were other Moslems on FYM who could speak for the religion. There IS a spirit of gender equality in the Koran, but, for me personally, it's obviously not enough. The deal breaker, among others, for me has always been the anti-homosexuality. It would be so for any set of beliefs/religions that spout such hate. As A_Wanderer says, it just provides more evidence that this stuff is only "the word of man."
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Old 09-24-2006, 03:42 AM   #8
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Thank you Judah for that post!!!
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Old 09-24-2006, 03:33 PM   #9
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Yeah, thanks for the post. You've done some good explanation on this topic when it's coming up, including some good commentary on Islam and violence (they only use it in self-defense).
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Old 09-24-2006, 04:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
Yeah, thanks for the post. You've done some good explanation on this topic when it's coming up, including some good commentary on Islam and violence (they only use it in self-defense).
Jihad
Dhimmitude
Caliphate

Self-defense? Maybe I'm missin' something.
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Old 09-24-2006, 07:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
Yeah, thanks for the post. You've done some good explanation on this topic when it's coming up, including some good commentary on Islam and violence (they only use it in self-defense).
In the perverted manner that the unbeliever always has it coming this may be true but I hardly think that the spreading of the religion across large swaths of the planet matches this statement. There is no Abrahamic religion of peace and these mental viruses shouldn't be given the time of day.
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Old 09-24-2006, 07:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
In the perverted manner that the unbeliever always has it coming this may be true but I hardly think that the spreading of the religion across large swaths of the planet matches this statement. There is no Abrahamic religion of peace and these mental viruses shouldn't be given the time of day.
You've got a point, I must admit. There are the horrible stories about Charlemagne putting Saxons to the sword if they refused to convert to Christianity as well as aggressive politics on the part of Muslims who sought converts. This aggression was in the form of taxes that were imposed on non-Muslims who were under their rule.
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Old 09-24-2006, 07:46 PM   #13
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Originally posted by INDY500


Jihad
Dhimmitude
Caliphate

Self-defense? Maybe I'm missin' something.
Jihad is really just a personal struggle against sin. I admit to not being familiar with the second term, and the caliphate, what a messy deal that ended up being, with rivals each claiming to be the one true caliph when in fact there were three of these claimants.
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Old 09-24-2006, 09:44 PM   #14
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Dhimmitude can be defined as the state of inferiority of non-Muslims under Islam.
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...dhimmitude operates exclusively within the sphere of jihad. Contrary to common belief, jihad is not limited to holy war conducted militarily; it encompasses all strategies, including peaceful means, aimed at the unification of all religions within Islamic dogma. Further, as a juridical-theological construction, jihad determines all aspects of relations between the Umma — the Islamic community — and non-Muslims. According to the classical interpretation, these are classified in one of three categories: enemies, reconciled, and subjected/dhimmitude.

In our times dhimmis are found among the residues of indigenous populations of countries that were Islamized during a millenium of Muslim conquests: Christians, Hindus, and a scattering of Jews and Zoroastrians. Christians would seem to be the most familiar group, closer to Westerners by proximity, culture, religion, and subject to the same status under Islam as the Jews, the other ahl al-Khitab, "people of the Book" — the Bible.

According to Islamic dogma, Islam encompasses Judaism and Christianity, both of which are falsified posterior expressions of the first and fundamental religion, which is Islam. All the characters of the Bible, from Adam to Abraham, Moses to David, the Hebrew prophets, Mary, Jesus, and the apostles, were Muslim prophets who preached Islam, and it is only in their quality as Muslims that they are recognized and respected. They belong to the Koran, not to the Bible. From this viewpoint the bond between Judaism and Christianity is a falsification, because the filiation of Christianity is Islamic, not Judaic. Christianity descends from Islam, the first religion of all humanity (din al-fitra). Christianity is a falsified expression of Islam, and belongs to Islam.
All of which leaves me feeling pretty pessimistic about CoExist.
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Old 09-24-2006, 09:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by INDY500
Dhimmitude can be defined as the state of inferiority of non-Muslims under Islam.


All of which leaves me feeling pretty pessimistic about CoExist.
Oh because Christians don't do this...Please. We have people in here telling others they aren't saved or their religion is false all the time. And let's not forget how badly they want to create second class citizens out of homosexuals.

Sounds like a state of inferiority to me.



Here's a mirror, some of you could really use it...
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