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Ivan/sacred belief
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 - 10:28 pm:   

The future of Islam - where to begin?


isl-qura.gif180px-Star_and_Crescent.svg.png
(interactive) The Quraish flag, and Holy Crescent and Star of Islam

Mohammed was believed to have said: "Whoever changes his religion, kill him." (Sahid Bukhari, Book 84:57; Dealing with Apostates). But is this true to what Allah told Mohammed? There is no such reference in the Quran.*

The purpose of this discussion on the future of Islam, as a continuation of two previous discussions, What do 'Extremists' believe in? and My shield your bullet (now closed), is to examine what paths future Islam may take, as a speculation of what these paths may be, to realign itself more closely with modern belief systems, and in particular with modern understandings of what are our human rights and freedoms. This is not to belittle anyone's personal belief in Islam, since any such belief is a sacred thing between them and their God, but to examine with some reasonable perspective of what needs to be changed in the built up mythology of what is being now called "Islam" as opposed to what is the real intent of a "religion of peace" meant to be for humankind. This is between the myth Islam and the real Islam. If the religion is to shed its present image of an extension of Arab imperialism and conquest, or Jihad, and become more accepted world wide as a true faith between man, and woman, and God, then certain conditions of the faith will need to be met. What are these? This is where we begin.


If it was Mohammed's (Ubu'l Kassim's) intent to forge a faith that was relevant to its day, in particular a faith that needed to be defended physically by force against warring tribes that would topple it, then many passages of the Quran, which to our eyes today appear coercive and unnecessary, may be justifiable as from a historical perspective, that Mohammed wanted to defend his faith then; therefore, he advocated Jihad. However, today such an attack on his religion is no longer tenable, since no one attack's another's belief system unless it proves itself hostile to others; in effect, if it attacks us and our freedom based way of life. Then the Jihad is deemed an aggressive act against our civilization, our belief systems, and as such it ceases qualifying as a religion, but becomes a coercive cult. This is what the Extremists of Islam have made it into today, where the world sees Islam within a negative light of hostility, aggressions against our forms of government and our human rights, the call for destruction of Israel, suicide bombings, all committed in the name of Islam. This is wrong, because such coercive activities may not, I repeat, may never be called upon in the name of any religion, and certainly not in the name of God. This is a most important point, that no religion may be used to divide humanity into a camp of war on one hand, and a camp of 'believers' on the other hand, because such division goes against every human effort to bring humanity together into a planetary whole, rather than tear it apart. So what may have been relevant to Mohammed's days is no longer relevant today. We are not warring tribes, we aspire to unify the planet into a higher consciousness of humanity, and bring together all peoples of the world into a universal family of peace. This is our goal, and not Mohammed's goal, for today's world, because he lived 14 centuries ago in a very different world to today's modern societies. Put that into perspective, that we are looking at this not from a 7th century, but from the 21st century.

If it was Mohammed's intent to follow in the traditions of the Abrahamic faiths, Judaism and Christianity, then it is imperative that his story for those faiths be correct and truthful. To portray either Jews or Christians as lesser than Muslims then betrays a supremacist ideology that is inherently contrary to today's universal acceptance of all humanity as one. We have moved away from tribalism and into a world of individual human rights, of legally protected personal agreements, and sheltered legally from coercions, so that the responsibility of our freedoms falls not on some master plan, but on each and everyone of us individually. This is the freedom that has evolved from the Abrahamic faiths, and a freedom that has spread to other parts of the world; whereby it is enjoyed as much by the Buddhist as by the Hindu, or Jain, or Zoroastraim, or Baha'i, or Yazidi, or Mormons, or any other faith; as much as it is enjoyed by the Judeo-Christian world (which became anti-slavery, "let my people go"), or secular world. Each and everyone of us, man, woman, and child, is protected by law from being trespassed against their agreement, provided they do not trespass on the agreements, or rights, of another, by our modern laws of freedom. This demands a tremendous responsibility for all of us, including Muslims, that has evolved over the past five centuries into what is the modern world. Islam is not exempt from this requirement. And if Mohammed's original intent was to align himself with the prophethood traditions of the Abrahamic faiths, then his historical figure and modern interpretations of his person must be made to conform to those evolved traits that characterize a free humanity of today. We are a free people because of our Christian heritage, even if it had been formalized today into secular laws, that protect the value of each individual. Each one of us is precious as a valued human being before God. This must be the alignment of future Islam, that it closer approximates those same values of the sanctity of the individual, not as a subject of a religious rule, but as a subject before God universally. If it was Mohammed's intent to be more like Judaism and Christianity, where love of a human being was equal to love for God, then this is where Islam must go in its intent.

The rule of law, on what all modern societies are built up upon, is equally universal for all human beings, regardless of their religious beliefs. Each person is free to believe as they will, provided their belief does not trespass on the beliefs of others, same rule as for our freedoms. This is called religious freedom, and all modern humans accept this as a given. For any sect or religious order to disobey this demand for religious freedom then brands it errant, and a cult religion not equal to those of the rest of the world. Rule of law demands that we obey such human agreed upon laws as we had constructed over time, with precedence and judicial process, so that all can benefit from its protection equally, regardless of gender or religious affiliation. This means men and women are equal before the law. For Mohammed's laws to be in line with modern equality and freedom of belief, these specific tenets of his teachings must be reexamined, especially as it applies to women, and interpreted for a modern world. Each one of us may believe as we will, it is between us and God, but no one is allowed to be coercive to others, nor to be coerced by others, which is against the sanctity before God of each individual. Even an atheist is free to believe in his or her non-belief, but they may not be coerced to believe as others believe, even if it offends some that they do not believe in God. That is their personal faith, their risk in this life or the next, and for God to judge, not man. What is universal is that an equitable law serves all human beings equally, to protect them from crimes against their person, as well as protect them from crimes against their conscience, and to bring together humanity into a master plan of human agreements that shelter each person from coercions, from deceit, and from injustices against them, by law. There is no room for any other law than this, meaning there is no room for any religiously ordained laws, such as Sharia, when the laws of freedom protecting our individual right is true and just. We obey the law equally because it is equal for all humanity, that our freedoms and human rights are protected by law.

I propose, therefore, that all future examinations of Islam fall into these three principles:
1. Mohammed's teachings are placed in context of the time in which they were written.

2. Mohammed's intent to follow in the traditions of the prophethood of Abrahamic faiths means to realign those traditions more closely to those of Judaism and Christianity.

3. Mohammed's teachings must conform to the rule of law for a free humanity, universally.

This may not apply to the Hadiths, which are a compilation of traditions attributed to Mohammed, though not necessarily spoken by him. They are separate from this examination. But it does apply to all those sayings attributed to Mohammed directly in the Quran, such as those listed in the verses presented by Muslims against Sharia, whereby offensive verses, those offensive to our modern sensibilities, be reexamined in the light of the present world of freedom and human rights. Any contrary ideologies that disregard our human rights and freedoms are therefore no longer religious beliefs but a force of control and power. Once a religion is politicized, it ceases to be a religion, and becomes a rival political force, which cannot be condoned in a rule of law. Our democratic systems of constitutional government by law, equality, and respect for the individual, may not be abrogated by anyone's belief ideology which counters this system of government. We do not have room to allow for any cults desiring to power over individuals, both in their bodies and minds, with rules and regulations only they believe in, allegedly from their god, but which do not share the common human principles on which our modern freedoms are based. Any belief system that coerces anyone into submission to their particular version of what their god told them is not acceptable in today's modern world. Future Islam must conform to this principle specifically, if it is not to be deemed a coercive power cult. So whatever is in the Hadiths, or Sira, that is a matter of historical record and not applicable to today's society. But whatever is written in the Quran, as a fundamental basis for an extension of the prophethood of Abrahamic faiths, then must of necessity be reexamined within the light of our modern values, if it is to be accepted as valid for our time. Faith is a personal thing, not political, and between a human being and God.

Where did we go wrong as a humanity in Islam? I believe the error originates with the first Caliphs. If what Jack Wheeler says is correct, in his the Myth of Mecca, then that must be the starting point. What did the first Caliphs wish to achieve in their compilation of their Quran? In the earlier examination of Quranic writings, it was shown that some aspects were added later to lend legitimacy to Arab conquests, as Wheeler and other scholars pointed out. There was a need to hold together a newly conquered empire made up of diverse peoples and cultures, as well as religions, so that one unifying concept was implemented to validate such conquests. It worked well for 1400 years, but it is no longer a valid reason to hold society together today. We are not a conquered people, universally, but a free people, universally, and that freedom validating each and every one of us as a free agent before God must now be upheld. If Mohammed ever said anything to harm another human being, as the Caliphs claimed, then such rulings must be reexamined in the modern light of today. We cannot accept validating any such rulings that are inherently hostile to others. So if he really did say "Anyone who changes his religion (of Islam) kill him," this is no longer a valid ruling. We start here, that there may be no "death for apostasy" for anyone of any religious persuasion, anywhere on the planet. Each one of us has a right to believe in God as we will, because it is truly between us and God, and no man may put this asunder.


Let us approach this project, and it is truly a major world wide project for humanity for the whole century, to find the truths within Islam, those which truly make it a "religion of peace", and find fault where there is fault in how the first Caliphs put together an ideology of conquest and political power to control its empire. We may not allow religion to be blasphemed into a political mechanism for controlling individuals, free individuals, into any submission to such controlling powers. Let us start here, that we have a right, a right to question, a right to criticize responsibly where criticism is due, and a right to challenge all those who would stop this right. Religion is between us and God, a spiritual journey to uncover the secrets of the universe and our place in it, and none may abrogate that right with their specific interpretation of what we are to believe, to power over us. Our belief is sacred. We owe this to Mohammed, as a Prophet of God, that our belief is sacred. There is only one God. He is both the universe and in our heart. But this truth can only be when as human beings we are free.

We are all souls traveling together in this world, and we must not give into mass hysteria. No soul may abgrogate another, and though it will be a long journey, let us begin here. But in the end, the world will be a better place for it.

220px-FirstSurahKoran.jpg
The first Surah in the Quran

Ivan

*(There may be debate over this, some claim Q2:217 and 4:89 hints Mohammed did condone killing apostates; also some controversy whether he ordered killings in the Kaaba sanctuary, which was supposed to be safe haven from violence even for apostates and 'infidels'.)
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Ivan/your soul
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 - 12:26 am:   

Weak Willed Souls, and Strong Souls.

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We are not all strong willed, but some of us have timid souls, and feel protected in the arms of the strong. For one man to stand on top of a mountain and look at all he can see, and for him that is him, that is the world into which he lives and from which he gains strength, of conviction and will. While for another, to stand on top of a mountain is frightening, he may not feel he belongs there, or have a fear of falling, and all that he sees is uncertain and only reinforces his fears. There are people who are not strong willed, but weak willed right down to their very souls, who tremble at the might of all existence, and feel comfort, even safety, in the care of others. But even the most timid soul, if given enough support of a group, will gain strength and fight as if he were a strong willed man. Though his survival chances may be slim, he will for that moment become brave. Such weak willed men will find comfort in the company of many, to join with with others rather than stand alone. And such a person is easily manipulated by those who are strong.

Some people need support of others, in a group, or in some philosophy that empowers them as members of a cause, or some guru who will dictate for them their lives. We have all known such men, and women, who do not stand alone, who do not have an inner conviction of their being, but gain the strength they otherwise do not have by the being of others. In fact, this may adequately describe the bulk of humanity, that we are easily led, and only a few rise to leadership, whose will is strong enough to know how to keep a steady hand on the tiller when all seems in turmoil, or lost. We who are strong do not give up easily, and persevere in the face of hardships, and more often than not also help others who cannot. Ours is to give guiding vision, to show strength where all about us fear in weakness, and to embolden their souls to the challenges of life, rather than cower in defeat. These are the Joan of Arc type people, who though physically weak will plunge into battle and face mortal dangers. But they are not the same people who will plunge in because everyone around them do so. They are the ones who lead, because their souls are strong.

What is the difference here, between weak willed souls and the strong? The first is clarity, to immediately sense right from wrong, or truth from falsehood. The strong see this without second thought, and take executive action. The weak will hesitate, backtrack, doubt and then doubt again, until they are frozen into inaction. These latter ones are the slaves, while those who take action are the masters. In the old world, before human freedom was understood, most people were slaves, with only a few citizens who mastered over them. The challenge to humanity over the past few hundred years was to liberate that inner slavery, so that all are masters of our own destiny, equally. And this has proven a most daunting task, because many today still resist this idea, and find more comfort in not having to take responsibility, either for their own destiny or that of others, and will more easily submit to someone more masterful than themselves. We are still at that stage of human evolution, where individual strength, that standing atop a mountain and feeling that you are all you perceive, and that it all is all of you, that inner sense of power and destiny because of Who you are is something still alien to us. Very few feel that, and will defend that feeling to the death. Most will submit, and allow others to dictate their destiny for them, because they themselves feel unworthy in their souls. Mostly, we are humble in the presence of power, rather than emboldened by it to lead, we are led.

What does this have to do with the future of Islam? The tragedy of this human condition, that of submission to others, is that we are often emboldened by the wrong things. We may be deceived into thinking we are great, when we are ordinary, or we may be influenced by drugs to have that sensation, or we are swayed by arguments that appear right, but in fact these arguments are false and designed only to deceive us. Falsity or secrecy are powerful arguments for swaying the weak, because they do not have the inner strength to challenge it. Rather, they feel emboldened by lies, and like cattle led to slaughter, they accept their evil fate as it had been determined for them by others. Weak souls cannot stand up to this, so they join into the hysteria, such as a mob stirred up by demagoguery, so they feel empowered in their weakness without thinking. But where does this take us? Into mad ventures, often self destructive actions, that in the end only served the purpose of those who manipulated us for their own gain. But the empowerment of the mob is false, more like strength gained in a pack, or tribe, rather than the strength to stand alone and challenge the truth, to question, to analyze, to reason, and to come to a personal acceptance that this is right. No, the mob will not let you do that, because you are to chant whatever they are chanting, or repeat unthinkingly what they repeat, until your ability to reason and question, and conclude, is erased from your mind. Then you are no longer your own person, but theirs. So what does this have to do with future Islam?

We are not all gifted with immediate understanding and clarity of vision. For most of us, this is hard work, but it can be learned. Your value as an individual human being, man or woman, is unique. There is no one else in the universe like you. You have all of existence behind you, supporting you, which had brought you from birth to the present, and beyond birth in your parents, and their parents, going back to the beginning of time. Do you understand how powerful you are by just living? This is the miracle of all life, that we stand on two legs before all creation and declare that we are, Who we are, to all existence around us. Once you become conscious of this, no one can ever again take it away from you. You have a right to be Who you are, because all of existence had decreed this for you. Some will call it God, others the Universe of all interrelated infinity, but that person who is standing here is You. You are it, and there is never any need to cower before your greatness, except to accept it in all humility, that you are here. You are alive because of all existence has given you this gift, and you must not squander this gift. Be Who you are, and be aware, intimately conscious at every level of your being, as a human person who has earned the right to be master of your fate, though it will come at immense personal responsibity. This is Who you are, and no one may take that away from you, because it is your gift from God to be Who you are as a valued human being. Cherish this.

In a world which still strives to keep slavery alive, such a cherishing being as yourself is not encouraged, but rather is beaten into submission to those who power over you. Do not let them. They are just people like you, and have no power over you unless you give it to them. Do not be timid, be strong, because you have a right to this. You have a right to question, to challenge, to think, to reason things out, to have boundaries others are not allowed to cross, and to be in your most inner self that person, that dream, that is the real you. And if someone else tries to tell you that "God said you must be like this, or do this, or think this way" be wary, because they are reaching down into your soul, and may take it away from you. Man or woman, you have a right to be Who you are as an individual, because this is how God made you, a free human being, from the very beginning of time. And only now, so much later, that we are finally awaking to this, that we are important as individual human beings, that we have rights, and that no one may take this away from us. This is the power of freedom, which comes with immense responsibility, because now you must also grant this freedom to others. We may not enslave one another, but must embolden and empower one another with this freedom of being. And then, and only then, are you truly doing God's will. Why? Because now you are true to how He made you.

Now back to the first image. When you stand on top of a mountain and look all around you, that is your pinnacle of existence. All you see is you, and all you are is out there all around as far as the eye can see and beyond. You are your existence, completely, right down to every atom of your body and mind. Do not be timid in your soul, because this is you! You have a right to be that soul, and no one may take that right away from you, though they will try. Do not let them. There is no reward beyond this life other than you make it yourself, in your being, in your actions and thoughts, in your humility before God, and in your self awareness and respect for your being as well as the being of every other human being on the planet. Believe this, because this is the most powerful soul you will ever have, the one you have now. Do not squander it by giving it up easily to others, because they do not, and cannot, know for you Who you are. You are a gift from God, from the moment you were born until the time you die, it is all from God. And it is Yours, and yours alone. No one else can ever step into your body for you. So why ever let another sway you against your will? It makes no sense to allow this. You must be strong inside yourself, in your soul, and stand up on two legs like a human, and say "I am who I am", and believe in this. Then no one else can ever take that away from you.

So what does this have to do with future Islam? Submission. You must submit to God, to being Who God made you, and never ever let that be taken away from you. In all humility before all Creation, your body, your mind, your soul, is a creation of the most powerful intellect and spiritual Being anyone can ever imagine, full of emotion and love, and at times passions, even hates, that empower your being Who you are. You are allowed to be that being, or more, you are demanded to be that being in the fullness of your life, because that is why you are here, and why God created you. Your soul is infinite, and it may not be trampled by anyone in this world, for whatever purpose, to make you feel undeserving of being You. You have a right to be Who you are, from the depth of an infinite universe that made you, and from the depth of God who gave you the living essence you feel inside yourself, because you are. "I am" is the most powerful essence of God, but it can only be if you let every other being, especially human being, have the same right to be. Future Islam must recognize the power of the individual as a free human being in God, not as a member of a tribe, not participant in some group tribe mentality, but as an individual, a free individual, who says "I am Who I am" and believes it. There is the power of God in you. And anyone who challenges this, or wants to take it away, or to sway with false arguments, you have a right to challenge them back. Only in submission to God can you be truly a good Muslim, and that means in submission to the acceptance that Who you are in God is the most precious gift from God any of us can ever receive. And that will make you strong as a soul. No one may ever take that away from you again, because it is between you and God. A true submission to God in your heart as a free human being, that is the future of Islam. All else is technicalities.

Can we do this? Can each and every one of us feel empowered, not by tribe or mob, but in our very being in God? Not as slaves but free. There is no Devil. Use your reason. What is the Devil? It is the evil we do each other, and thus ourselves! These are myths, of hell and evil spirits, belonging to ancient superstitious times. Instead, you are entitled to love, not evil, and no less than love, from God and for each other. I believe Mohammed wanted no less from us, that there is no timidity of the human soul, but strength. There is no rage here, no madness, only a calm inner strength, to not do evil things. That I believe is the real Islam. It is our soul's submission to God, only, and not to man, because we are not timid slave, but we are the free.


Ivan
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Ivan/selfishness
Posted on Tuesday, December 04, 2007 - 09:38 am:   

The future of Selfishness.

Plato-raphael.jpg (interactive) Plato

It will require much more than a few words, but the future of our inner being's desires matched up against the universal Being that created in us our desires, matched up against the same desires created by the same Being and inner being in others, in every other living human being; all will define Selfishness. We are all selfish and at the same time are not selfish, and anyone who uses this selfishness to overpower others is giving Selfishness power, while the same person using selfishness to help others is taking power away from Selfishness. Is it the same 'selfishness' to desire freedom as it is to desire to enslave another?

The future of Islam will be defined by how in the future is defined for them the term Selfishness. Is it to be 'subdued' into submission, or is it to be recognized as a desire in us from God? How to manage that, if from God, to not coerce others? Selfishness both empowers and subdues the self, as well as subdue into submission the self in others, and enslave the self to others. Which is more powerful, the Self that helps, or the Self that subdues? Or is the Self to be free, or to be enslaved, to any creed, involuntarily? These are the future questions of Islam.

It cannot be defined here in a few words, but this will be the future of a philosophical, modern Islam, for the 21st century and beyond, as a belief between man and woman, and God; all of whom are Selfish in their own way.

Ivan
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Ivan/human slaves
Posted on Wednesday, December 05, 2007 - 06:33 pm:   

Slavery and the future of Islam.

140px-HaremPool.jpg140px-Geromeslavemarket.jpg (interactive)
Islamic slave market, selling women for the harem


The second hardest issue, after death for apostasy, in Islam of the future is the issue of human slavery.

Though largely banned from most Muslim countries, at least in principles of law, it is still condoned in principles of Sharia law, in clear violation of our universal human rights. (see linked images above for more text) Rather than enslave, future Islam is to elevate the human being, with beauty, with understanding, with a self worth, with a freedom of thought and conscience, and with art celebrating all the beautiful and wondrous things that is a human being, both man and woman. There is no slavery in future Islam, only the richness of a great humanity humbled before God, in all of its freedoms that God gave us, to become Who we are, at our very best. Women are not chatel, not 'what the right hand possesses', not sex slaves, but are beautiful beings of love and gentle humanity, to be honored and respected at all levels of existence, even those we still cannot understand because we are not yet ready. Worship the beauty of a human being, as a free being, because then you are seeing into the mind of God.

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Boy slave in Zanzibar market, c. 1890

How will this issue be addressed? Will it be addressed? There is no room in today's modern world of human rights for slavery, in any corner of the globe, not even in African republics like Chad, Mali, Niger. Slavery must be rooted out from the 'selfishness' of the human soul universally, as the most oppressive tyranny of one human being against another. Slavery is pure coercion, with no redemption.

Ivan
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Ivan/true submission
Posted on Wednesday, December 05, 2007 - 10:40 pm:   

Submission. 140px-Bilal.jpeg The True Muslim

True submission to God is to be totally true to yourself, to Who you are in God.

Be honestly truly true to yourself, and in turn true to others, and in turn be true to all whom you love, and all who love you, and then you are in total submission to God (Allah) in every fiber of your being. Dream your true self in submission to your true Self, only as the truth. All else, that is mere technicalities, or history.

True submission to God is to be true to yourself, and believe in the spirit of God, your Who, who is in you.

180px-Quran_cover.jpg (interactive)

The essence of this religion (Islam) is peaceful submission to the Lord of the worlds:

‘Yes, but whoever submits his face (himself) to Allah (i.e. follow Allah’s Religion) and he is a good-doer, then his reward is with the Lord, on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.’

(Surat-al-Baqarah (2), ayah 112)

‘When his Lord said to him, "Submit (ie. Be a Muslim)!" He said, "I have submitted myself to the Lord of the worlds."’

(Surat-al-Baqarah (2), ayah 131)

* * * * *

Submission to God, the truest Who in You (from God), is the highest good for humanity, from humanity, in each human being of the planet. He or she is then a free human being.
Then in this Truth there is peace.


Ivan
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ananimas
Posted on Saturday, December 08, 2007 - 11:53 am:   

Islam’s Silent Moderates
By AYAAN HIRSI ALI

Published: December 7, 2007 (New York Times Op-Ed)

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/07/opinion/07ali.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogi n

" The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication, flog each of them with 100 stripes: Let no compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. (Koran 24:2)"

Ms. Ali says: "But take a look at the verse above: more compelling even than the order to flog adulterers is the command that the believer show no compassion. It is this order to choose Allah above his sense of conscience and compassion that imprisons the Muslim in a mindset that is archaic and extreme.

If moderate Muslims believe there should be no compassion shown to the girl from Qatif, then what exactly makes them so moderate?"

Yes indeed, why are they called "moderate"?

Where is the future of Islam headed?
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Le Chef
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2007 - 12:00 pm:   

C**

Freedom wins, NOT slavery.

photo_05.jpg

Not the religion, but the power politics.
Warfare is power, and to win 'hearts and minds' of Islam
is to win on that battlefield wedged between reason and spirituality,
in their masjids and madrassas. Bring the fight to them,
not only in Iraq or Afghanistan, but there.

225px-300-_Leonidas_fighting_Persian_soldiers.jpg

Stand united against 'slavery on bended knee', against tyranny.
The free mind is far more powerful than mindless slaves of submission.

Submission to God only, never men. In your soul you are free.


Le C*hef
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Ivan/Da'wah
Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2007 - 01:01 pm:   

Reverse 'Da'wah' - a secular understanding of 'engagement' in future Islam.


muhammadcourt.jpg (interactive)
Frieze on wall at Supreme Court, Mohammad holding book and sword.

Da'wah referenced in Encyclopedia is described as:

quote:

In the religious sense, the da'wa is the invitation, addressed to men by God and the prophets, to believe in the true religion, Islam, as claimed by Muslims. The religion of all the prophets is Islam, and each prophet has his dawah (see also Prophets of Islam). In some cases, Dawah can also be seen as preaching to non-muslims to convert to Islam.
...
Dawah, from the Islamic perspective, is a general act of informing others about Islam and increasing understanding of it by carrying it, living it, and making it available to others through positive and engaging means. It is not the mere act of telling someone about Islam, although dialogue, discussion, presentations are a part of dawah. It is the steady engagement of living the message, exemplifying the behaviors and providing answers and material when necessary..



So the "invitation" to Islam is to be understood as more than merely giving information. Rather, it means a steady preaching or 'engagement of the living message' to bring non-muslims into the fold of believing in Islam as the 'true religion', as revealed by Mohammad, the last prophet and messenger of Allah.

In a historical sense, Islam taught that Da'wah was necessary as an invitation to 'convert' (or 'revert') to Islam before engaging with war to subdue the infidels to Mohammad's religion. (The Sahih Muslim Hadith indicates that a Da'wa is the first of three "courses of action" to be undertaken in attempting to avoid war with polytheistic enemies. - ibid) This creates the historical effect that if such an invitation is refused, the just cause of war is now established for conquest of non-muslims with all ramifications of war, death, destruction, booty, taking hostages and slaves, women concubinage, etc., as practiced through the centuries of Islamic conquests from the 7th century to the present. Such Da'wah proselytizing has been accepted by Muslims wherever they encountered non-believers with enough force to carry out their 'engagement', which had made it an aggressive faith, as opposed to one merely dedicated to helping humanity reach a higher understanding, a higher awareness of its place in the universe, or 'God' for their personal redemption. Most religions have this latter interpretation of their beliefs, not to threaten but to teach of their faith. However, as such, Da'wah is not dedicated to a personal belief, but to a 'group belief' which demands to engage in conversion by force if an 'invitation' to Islam is rejected. In effect, the end result is that Da'wah becomes a political action for a specific way of belief, to obey the Quran and its extension the Sharia, even if such belief is rejected or inapplicable, which then (in the Muslim mind) validates use of force if the invitation fails. Whether or not a Muslim is aware of this consequence, historically proven, implications of Da'wah in its present form is they of necessity engage in a political sense the use of force beyond mere teaching, or proselytizing, which oversteps the boundaries of religion by stepping into the arena of the use of force. This makes it no longer a religion but an aggressive political 'group belief' system. If Islam of the future is to be on par with all the other world religions, in a non-political sense, how to do that in a 'reverse Da'wah' for Muslim believers of the faith?

Overstepping the boundaries of a personal religion, or belief, is then a de-facto form of political coercion against the other person to whom Da'wah is being presented. In the referenced page on Prophets of Islam there were many predecessors to Mohammad's final revelation (124,000 in all!) who taught humanity, but all are considered subordinate to his last message. Or as it says:

quote:

Prophets of Islam are male human beings who are regarded by Muslims to be prophets chosen by God. The term for prophet in Islam is nabi (pl. anbiyaa). All prophets are Muslims, they were just different in the sharia that they taught to their nation, but that they all preached the same message; to believe that there is only one God, not to commit idol-worship, and to follow the word of God, not to commit sin, etc, and that they all came to preach Islam and to warn of the coming of the final prophet and messenger of God; the prophet Muhammad.
...
Habib u'l A'zam, Imam u'l Anbiya Sayyidina Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah,(53 B.H-11 A.H; 571-632 AD) is the last prophet in Islam ("seal of the Prophets"). Idolatry of any of the prophets should be avoided, as their messages from God hold the most weight. His father's name was 'Abdullah ibn 'AbdulMuttalib and his mother's name was Amina bint Wahb az-Zuhriyya. Muhammad is considered the most perfect creation by God. Born in Makkah in 53 B.H (571 AD), Muhammad spent the first part of his life as a well-travelled merchant. He would often spend his time in the mountains surrounding Makkah in prayer contemplating the situation with the city. At the age of forty, during one of those trips to the mountain, Muhammad began to, despite his illiteracy, receive and recite verses from God which today make up the Qur'an. He quickly spread the message he was receiving, converting a few others in the city, including his wife. He is the last (seal) of the prophets with a message to all humanity. When oppression became intolerable for his followers, Muhammad first asked his fellow Muslims to migrate to Medina and later himself migrated to Medina away from the oppressors in Makkah. Muhammad served not just as a prophet, but as a military leader who helped defeat the Makkans in 624 during the Battle of Badr. He continued to lead the Muslims as Islam spread across the Arabian Peninsula. He performed the first hajj in 629 and established Islam as it is still practiced by Muslims today. Others continued Muhammad's legacy after his death in 632, having been given the position of caliph (or successor) to Muhammad. The Five Pillars were established after Muhammad's death.



So there appears a clear distinction between Mohammad's teachings of the Medina period, when he revealed himself as the messenger of Allah, and the later Makkah period after Battle of Badr, when Muslims defeated the Makkans and Mohammad became a military leader; which in effect marks the distinction between a proselytizing Da'wah period and the later 'engagement' period. Mohammad's successors after his death then collected and formalized these sayings and events into the Quran and Five Pillars of Islam, with subsequent hadiths and siras. However, as the "coming of the final prophet and messenger of God; the prophet Muhammad," became formalized in an absolute truth of Islam, with his being "the last (seal) of the prophets with a message for all humanity", which in effect closed the book on this religion as a total self-contained system of belief. However, can this reasonably be acceptable as a 'final truth' for all of humanity, or is this explicit only for Muslim believers? How will future Islam interpret this final (seal) message, if it is not to overstep the boundaries of religion as a personal faith, and not a politicized 'group faith', for all future generations of humanity?

Throughout history, and pre-history, humanity has had its teachers. To declare that one's teachings are final (from 'God') and sealed for all time is an incredible claim for anyone to make, implying God's messages for humanity are now over, with none ever to come again. Clearly this is an unreasonable condition to place on all future humanity, which of necessity further implies that what was dictated into the Quran (as assembled subsequent to Mohammad's death by the caliphs) is to define for all time how humanity is to understand the universe and our lives in it. This is an absurd condition to prescribe for all future human beings of the planet, and though as Muslims one is obligated to believe this final (seal) message for all time, it does not in any conceivable way apply to a future humanity exploring and understanding our universe, and our place in it, without violating the freedom of such a personal search for each human being. Therefore, if the future Islam is not to coerce all humanity to one particular doctrine of what (allegedly) God said to one of his prophets, of which there were obviously many, it is obligatory to understand this final (seal) of the prophets as applying to Muslims ONLY, and not to humanity at large. Anything other than a self-contained faith for 'Muslims only' becomes untenable as a world religion, and coercive to all who do not subscribe to its particular Da'wah, of necessity.

What Muslims choose to believe in their own hearts and minds regarding their prophet is entirely self-contained within their holy scriptures of the Quran and hadiths, but it is in no way self contained within a larger universe and future of humanity to come. This cannot be so, as now understood by Muslims, unless their prophet Mohammad's teachings in fact rule the whole universe and our lives in it, rather than the reality which is in fact reverse, that the universe rules all of existence and our lives in it. What humanity through the ages (from the first teachers or prophets) strives to achieve is a deeper understanding, with our ideas and feelings, our actions and choices in life, our future dreams, as to what is our place in existence; and no single one prophet may ever 'close the book' on this if humanity is to exercise its freedom of exploration and belief. To have any one prophet claim his is the final (seal) word on the matter is to then exclude by shutting out of all reality and the universe, and our place in it, from further inquiry into the nature of things as they exist, and as we live this existence. So there is a matter of priority here: Is the word of a prophet unchangeable for humanity as we learn more of our existence in the universe, for all time into the future? Or is the experience humanity undergoes into the future subject to further and greater understanding, and changes, for all time to come? Can any one man, prophet or messenger, ever claim that his words are to be unchanging and obeyed for all time to come? This is a dilemma for future Islam, because as a self-contained belief system, the answer is clearly that they must obey their prophet, in this case their final (seal) Mohammad; but as an open ended system of inquiry into the nature of future human existence, and of all reality, all life, there are no boundaries on the future of such understandings. To place boundaries then closes off further research and thought into the nature of existence, and our place in it, which cuts off our freedoms to enslave us into a particular ideology sealed for all time to come. This is clearly unacceptable for a free humanity of the future, since it of necessity politicizes by force and punishing coercions, how we are to think and be for all time. Such strictures may apply to the true believers of Mohammad's teachings, as a self-contained system of belief, but it may not, cannot, be applied to humanity at large without coercing us into an unacceptable restriction on our freedoms. Personal belief cannot be politicized into a 'goup belief' by force or otherwise without violating our rights to belief, and freedom to be in submission to our beliefs in God and the universe. Religion to be valid can only be a personal faith, and never a 'group think' politicized faith, regardless of what any prophet had claimed to be the final word.

It may be true for believers of Islam that "Muhammad is considered the most perfect creation by God", but humanity as a whole has made great strides in understanding of natural phenomena, and social interactions, since the 7th century in ways unforeseen by Mohammad, and in ways that were impossible for him to predict. His world was defined by a very limited understanding of the universe and our place in it, compared to later achievements of human kind, whereby both scientific and social understandings were still primitive by today's standards. Social interactions were still defined by a master-slave relationship back then, as opposed to a sense of human equality today; slavery today has been universally abolished. Mohammad's revelations may have had significant impact on the Arab world of his day, but it may not apply equally to the planet wide understandings and norms of today, for example, such as our technological achievements of science and medicine, or our social equality achievements regardless of race or gender. We toady are not the Arabs of the 7th century, and the norms of that long ago time no longer hold traction in a space age world where rather than splitting the moon in two, or making it stand still (as Mohammad claimed), we had landed men on the moon. We today enjoy a new and fresh outlook on the world and universe, and our place in it, and all of life, unknown to that ancient world. Personal religious freedom, freedom of conscience, protection of human rights by law, are all modern achievements as powerful in today's reality as our scientific achievements, all of which define our modern civilization. So to seal for all time with a word how humanity is to live and be for all time is not only untenable, but is in fact prejudicial for all future humanity forcing us back into an ancient belief system no longer applicable to today's modern world. However, that said, it still remains a personal choice, as to whomever chooses to believe Mohammad was the final (seal) of the prophets, and such a belief is between the individual and God, and not man.

In our minds and hearts, to not revert back to an ancient, and in many ways primitive, mindset, it is mandatory that we have the right to a personal belief unfettered by any 'group think' politicized demands of any one particular doctrine of belief. If it is the intent of modern Muslims to do Da'wah to the rest of humanity, it must be done with this understanding, that any 'engagement' can only be done voluntarily and without coercions to obey the Quran or its extension the Sharia. So this is a major hurdle for future Islam: How do you factor into the Islamic faith the past centuries of achievements by human progress in both the sciences and social developments, whereby humanity is ruled by the scientific truths of the natural universe, and by the social agreements, which by constitutional (secular) laws protect our natural human rights? If Islam is to evolve beyond a 'self-contained' belief system into one that embraces all of humanity's future achievements, including those of the past centuries, then how can it reverse Da'wah beyond the final (seal) mindset, to become open ended for all time to come? Which holds primacy for the future of humanity, a self-contained and closed (sealed) system of belief, or one which is open ended with equality for all human beings of the planet, not as a politicized faith, but one intimately personal? Our human freedoms present and future will demand an answer to this question, which is a "reverse Da'wah" for all religions of humanity to come. And then, and only then, as a freely chosen faith, can a future Islam be non-coercive as truly a 'religion of peace.'

Respectfully, in search of truth, for all human faiths,

Ivan
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Ivan/apostasy
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 12:11 pm:   

A "Crisis of Interpretation" in future Islam?

Here is an interesting Washington Post article about jurisprudence in Islamic interpretation of the 'death for apostasy' clause practiced by some clerics of the Ulema, which interferes with the universal notion of religious freedom. If this freedom is practiced on a personal level, then the 'no compulsion in religion' clause rules, but if it interferes with the public good of an Islamic community, then it becomes an affront, or violence against the community. Hence, there is a dilemma as to what future Islam will do with regards to religious freedom, which is a freedom of belief desired universally in the modern world, as opposed to the strictures of keeping individuals from leaving the faith of Islam, which to some is an act of 'violence' against Islam. Here is part of the dilemma, written by Abdulaziz A. Sachedina, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virgina:


quote:

When a tradition that once taught respect for even the dignity of an animal becomes the source of legal opinion that justifies suicide bombing of innocent bystanders, then it is time to reexamine the moral directives of the Qur'an and the teachings of the Prophet who is reported to have said: "I was commissioned to complete the noble virtues [in humanity]." One of the fundamental noble virtues that the Prophet came to teach was the dignity of human person as human.
...
The Qur’an deals not only with individual religious freedom, but also with the creation of a just social order. Under certain conditions the Qur’an gives the state, as the representative of society, the power to control "discord on earth," a general state of lawlessness created by taking up arms against the established Islamic order. The eradication of corruption on earth, taken in the light of the Qur’anic principle of instituting good and preventing evil, is a basic moral duty to protect the well-being of the community. In the Islamic polity, where religion is not divorced from the public agenda, leaving adherents of competing doctrines free to pursue their beliefs engenders an inherent tension between religious communities that has to be resolved through state regulation.
...
Although the Qur’anic respect for the founders of the other Abrahamic religions created a relatively more tolerant attitude among Muslims, the policies of discrimination against the millets in the Muslim world remained in force because the Shari‘a never accepted the equality of believers and non-believers. Contrary to the pluralistic spirit of the Qur’an, Muslim jurists encouraged a state-sponsored institutionalization of the inferiority of non-Muslims, including the monotheist ahl al-dhimma, as necessary for the well-being of the Muslim public order. For legal scholars, unbelievers had willfully spurned the offer of Islam. Hence, their inferiority was not imposed but freely chosen.

It was precisely this kind of evaluation of the religious "other" that led to the contemptuous attitude towards non-Muslim minorities in Muslim societies. But this negative attitude, arising from the spirit of enforced uniformity in the community, also extended to fellow believers who failed to meet the criteria of pure faith, unsullied by the accretions and innovations that the ultrapious believed had corrupted the authentic Islam of the Prophet and his companions. The pious restoration of the faith meant intolerance toward individual freedom of conscience and hence the removal of the cornerstone of Qur’anic pluralism. "Heresy" (ilhad, that is, questioning the orthodox doctrinal position) and "apostasy" (irtidad, that is, changing one's socio-religious affiliation) were promulgated as punishable crimes in the Shari‘a. Given the Qur’an's endorsement of pluralism and individual autonomy and agency in matters of faith, one must wonder whether the Muslim penal code's provisions on apostasy lead to an enforced religiosity that runs counter to the letter and spirit of the Qur’an.



So is 'apostasy' a religious or civil offense in Islam? How will future Islam address this Koran sura?

quote:

The punishment of those who fight against God and His Messenger, and hasten to do corruption, creating discord on earth: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off, or they shall be banished from the land. This is degradation for them in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty chastisement, except for those who repent before you lay your hands on them. (K. 5:33-34)




Read it all (link above), with interesting commentaries at bottom of link. What happens to Sharia?

Ivan
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ananimas
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 11:06 pm:   

Separation of church and state, or Sharia and government? The two must be separate, or the oppression of personal belief runs into conflict with rule of public belief. Which law rules? Personal belief or public?

When personal religious belief rules, public belief is displaced by one person's belief. Punishment can only be applied by law of public belief, if it is to reflect the will of the people, or else it becomes tyranny of one individual against the rights of others. Personal belief must be subordinate, even if it is religious belief. Freedom of the individual cannot be protected by personal belief, but it can be protected by social public belief in the laws of the state, by constitutional law. The community cannot be ruled by a personal belief, if religious freedom is to be observed. Therefore, a pious person may rule their own lives by personal belief, but never dominate others. That domination is allowed only by the rule of the state, where such rule protects the individual's freedom to believe whatever their religion.

To eradicate corruption is thus a social belief, not a personal belief, except where the person's moral beliefs apply to their individual actions. The real question is whether one's belief is aligned with the public good or not. If yes, then rule by public law applies; if not, then rule by individuals applies. But rule by individuals is dictatorship. So it must be rule by public law, and never by individual belief. Religion can never rule without corrupting individual belief.

The rule of God is therefore a personal rule, but never a social one. Therefore Sharia can never rule that which is an individual's belief. Mohammed's rule can only apply to individuals, never to matters of state, which is a public belief, and it can apply to personal matter ONLY if the individual accepts it as a moral belief. In conclusion, personal religious belief and social laws of state can never mix. For this reason alone, there must be separation of church and state, or for Muslims the separation of Sharia and constitutional laws of state, which guarantees the right of personal belief.

Why does future Islam have difficulty seeing this truth? Matters of the soul, which is personal belief, can never be ruled by matters of state, or else it becomes oppressive to the individual soul in their personal belief. They must forever remain separate.

"Apostasy" is a personal state, never a matter of state, even for Islam. What a person believes can never be public, if freedom of belief is upheld. Therefore, Sharia is against personal belief.
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Ivan
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 12:17 am:   


quote:

"Apostasy" is a personal state, never a matter of state, even for Islam. What a person believes can never be public, if freedom of belief is upheld. Therefore, Sharia is against personal belief.



You are right Ananimas, because the conflict between personal and public belief goes down to the heart of what it means to 'believe' in the first place. How can a 'public belief' ever dominate what is in a person's heart to believe? The public can never enter that heart of belief without of necessity trespassing on that person's soul, thus stepping into their heart of belief. But that belief can only come from an individual, not from a public rule of beliefs, if it is not to be oppressive to our personal beliefs. No matter what it is we choose to believe, if perhaps some of it fantastical and mythological, it is always personal. Only a person can believe such things, not a public mind, because a collective belief does not exist in the person, unless that person accepts it. That is what it means to have 'freedom of belief', that each person accepts or rejects any collective belief system.

So I agree, that future Islam must make that distinction. Individuals believe, but the public rule of belief trespasses on the right of the individual to believe. In effect, for a collective belief to be imposed by force, meaning with punishments, on any individual to believe is then tyranny over that individual mind. Sharia may only apply to a particular sect of belief, in future Islam, but never to the public good at large, which is the domain of social laws and not any one person's law for everyone else. That is how we preserve freedom of belief as incorruptible for everyone equally.

This is really quite simple: Believe as you will, but submit to the public good of constitutional law for everyone, both man and woman equally, without forcing any one particular religious belief on anyone. This is the US Constitutional law, as enshrined in our First Amendment, and why we have a 'separation of church and state.' Future Islam must comply with this, universally, wherever it exists, to obey the law of state, and not Sharia. Wasn't this the problem with Communism, that it tried to impose a 'collective ideology' on the individual? It could not work, and succeeded only in oppressing the individual!

Did anyone wonder why Communism had no religion allowed? It was because it was 'the religion' of the collective, for all! It allowed for no competition, or else any other belief system, like Sharia, or any politicized religion, would be competing for the right to rule the hearts and mind of its individuals. This cannot be without creating conflict within society. So Sharia to rule in conflict with our constitutional laws is, in effect, destabilizing society, which of necessity contradicts the purpose of Sharia, which allegedly is to bring stability to society. How about that! Rule of law must dominate, as an independent third party, in order to insure social stability, if human freedom is preserved.

Or, to reduce it down to its simplest principle: Collective ideology can only apply where it protects the individual from collective ideology. All else, no matter from what source, even if allegedly from God, is otherwise oppressive to humankind. Freedom means we are not oppressed by any ideology, but instead are preserved from it, by law.

Ivan
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ananimas
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 12:00 pm:   

Islam 202

In Islam 101, http://jihadwatch.org/islam101/ , Greg Davis spells out the specifics of what is 'old' Islam. In Islam 202 there should be equivalent specifics of the 'new' Islam.

Special focus should be on undoing those elements of the Islamic faith that had crept into its tenets of controlling the individual, his/her personal beliefs, coercing with force and punishments if they believe differently from the collective, and the dissembling of Sharia as a form of religious government hostile to our freedoms, especially as state law contradicting separation of religion and state. True 'submission' can only be to God/Allah in one's personal beliefs, but never any submission to religious laws that rule the individual through the collective social laws, as per above.

"The rule of God is therefore a personal rule, but never a social one. Therefore Sharia can never rule that which is an individual's belief. Mohammed's rule can only apply to individuals, never to matters of state, which is a public belief, and it can apply to personal matter ONLY if the individual accepts it as a moral belief. In conclusion, personal religious belief and social laws of state can never mix. For this reason alone, there must be separation of church and state, or for Muslims the separation of Sharia and constitutional laws of state, which guarantees the right of personal belief."

Examples of the "process of elimination" Islam 202 must undergo:

1) Jizya tax = protection tax, confiscatory and discriminatory

2) Taqiyya = religious deception, lying to non-believers in Islam

3) Dhimmitude = discrimination, social inequality and intimidation

4) Women = half worth of men, discriminatory gender inequality

5) Sharia = draconian punishments, competition with social state laws

If and when Islam 202 can address these five main issues, and undo the damage done to Islamic society, and encroachments into secular society, then there is a 'future' for Islam to become a world religion, rather than a large scale world cult.

6) Jihad = state of confrontation and war with all non-believers, whether Muslim or secular

This last one is the greatest challenge to Islam of all. If it is to become a modern world religion, and NOT a world cult, it must condemn Jihad as a primitively invasive ideology. Our social and religious freedoms require a non-confrontational dialogue with all people of the world who are treated with equal respect, and not discriminatory 'old' Islam values. Islam cannot 'war' on everyone in the world and expect equal respect as enjoyed by all the other world religions.

7) Death for apostasy = pure intimidation, control of personal belief with death threats

This requires no explanation. Unless future Islam eliminates these seven tenets of its social controls over individual belief in God/Allah, it then remains a closed circle of coercion against the universal human rights and freedom of individuals. Unless it removes these controlling factors, it can never become un-politicized into a world faith, but remains a supremacist world domination-cult religion. Old Islam 101 must give way to a new Islam 202, if it is to have a future on this planet.

A clear response to these issues from the Ulema, without deceitful language (self serving clerics and imams of Islam to maintain their power over individual beliefs), is what the world wants to hear, if future Islam is to exist equally to all religions of the 21st century, and not a world cult. The world is waiting.

Ananimas
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Ivan
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 04:50 pm:   


quote:

The world is waiting.



Very strong statement, Animas, really on target. It reminds me of so many things others had written, though some believe it is impossible to reform. I am of the 'historicity' camp myself, that though it appears impossible now, history will prove it wrong.

Please see my religious historicity post earlier. How can 101 'historicity' become 202 'modernity' in Islam? Great synopsis and reduction down to what needs to be done. Will they do it?
... The world is waiting, indeed.

Ivan
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Ivan/Israel
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 11:57 am:   

What about the Arab-Israeli conflict, in future Islam?


200px-1947-UN-Partition-Plan-1949-Armistice-Comparison.png (interactive)
1947-UN-Partition-Plan-1949-Armistice-Comparison

In the web page on Palestinian Identity it says:

quote:

"The Arab-Israeli conflict is so replete with lies, fictions, myths and half-truths that one might write a book just enumerating them. The hard facts that used to be common knowledge at the beginning of the twentieth century are today completely distorted and obfuscated. One of these myths pertains to the "struggle" of the "Palestinian people" for self-determination. The common misconception in this case is that Israel "owes" the Palestinian Arabs a state. Therefore the terrorist activity of the Arabs is to a certain extent excusable, since they are "fighting for their rights." However, nothing can be more remote from the truth. In reality, any land to which the Palestinian Arabs can claim any rights is already held by other Arabs. And the "struggle for self-determination against Israel" is simply a way for the Arabs to murder and maim more Jews.

The point of this discussion is not to prove or to disprove the existence of the so-called "Palestinian people." For our purposes it is sufficient to know that Palestinian identity did not exist before World War I, as convincingly demonstrated Professor of history Rashid Khalidi, himself a Palestinian Arab. He admits that "Palestinian identity" was the last garb that the Arabs of Palestine tried on when all other possibilities where exhausted. It was shared "by a relatively restricted stratum, and among them as well as among the rural and illiterate majority of the population, the new sense of Palestinian identity competed and overlapped with Ottomanism and Arabism, as well as older religious, local and family loyalties" (1).

The term "Palestinian entity" was introduced by the Arabs for the first time at the Arab League meetings in 1959. However, it was not recognized by the world and was not even mentioned in UN Resolution 242 after the Six-Day War. Moreover, the confusions associated with it became obvious during the voting for UN General Assembly resolution of November 5, 1970. "Among the aspects of this resolution, which split the United Nations and indeed the Arab world itself and marshaled the support of only 57 out of 127 UN members, was the reference to 'the Palestinians' as 'an indispensable element' of a Middle East Settlement" (2).

All this points to the fact that at the time of the distribution of formerly-Turkish territories, which encompassed the whole area of the Near and Middle East there was no distinctive "Palestinian people." Julius Stone wrote in 1970 a must-read paper entitled "Self-determination and the Palestinian Arabs." His arguments are so clear and convincing that it is most effective simply to quote him in abundance. He explains that "it twists and parodies both history and justice to present the Palestine issue as a struggle between the Jews of the world on the one hand, and the Arabs of Palestine on the other, in which the Jews seized the major share" (2)." -by Boris Shusteff - FREEMAN CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES
...



How is one to understand a confrontational situation of a tiny Israeli nation set inside a vast sea of Arabian nations, all of whom are hostile to Israeli existence? Is this really a "struggle between the Jews of the world on the one hand, and the Arabs of Palestine on the other"? Or is there a deeper agenda by the Arab world, the total elimination of the State of Israel because it is a Jewish (secular) state residing within what Muslims had come to accept on the precepts of religious Islamic grounds that no other 'infidel' state could ever exist in their Dar-al-Islam (house of submission), so it must be confronted for all time as Dar-al-Harb (house of war) until they reclaim what they believe, per their religious orthodoxy, as to be a permanent land for Allah's believers?

If future Islam is to make progress in the world, it must address this state of perpetual hostility to the existence of a non-Muslim state in the Dar-al-Islam conquered territories, which Israel represents for their belief system. If four decades of 'dialogue' between Israel and the Arab states has left the place no more peaceful, but rather the opposite with a steady attack on Israelis with rocket attacks and suicide bombings against civilians, how can anyone hope the condition will change in the future? If future Islam is to mean Peace, then there must be some resolution, other than Israel's destruction, which can eventually remove the perpetual 'state of war' between parties as it exists today. Perhaps if this conflict can be resolved peacefully, the great wall Israel is building to keep out hostile Arabs from its secured territory can finally be removed. The end result would be a free and economically viable Palestinian Arab state, which can take its place among all the other socially viable states of the world. But if not, then the enduring hostilities of a small nation surrounded by much larger, both demographically and in territory, of hostile Arab states around it will never cease to endanger their peaceful existence. Is that world doomed to a perpetual state of war, or Dar-al-Harb, into an endless future, so only armed conflict can resolve the issue, where one side is totally beaten into submission, or destruction? If so, then it is in God's hands, and not up to men and women to resolve it through any meaningful discussion, but through use of force.

There are no simple solutions, and for Israel to give up its territories to those who will use it strategically to continue their attacks is not a meaningful solution. Rather, it is an invitation for more war. For now Israel has the upper hand, though a very small state in terms of land and population, with military superiority to its hostile Arab neighbors. The only other solution is to mediate the perpetual stance of hostility, which cannot be done while the Muslim world will not accept any other religious or secular state within its conquered lands, with a change in attitudes. These Islamic conquests go back fourteen centuries, lands that were once predominantly Christian from northern Africa and southern Europe to the Asian lands, Hindu and Buddhist, of India to Indonesia, which are now predominantly Muslim. On what justification can such conquests be acceptable to a world of peaceful solutions if a reverse conquest, such as the 1967 war, is not validated? Should all the conquered lands then revert back to their original religious borders? This is obviously unrealistic, so another modern solution must be found. For Arab states to accept this fact, that Israel won its right to exist by force of arms, since it was attacked and won, they must change their religion's tenets that once a land is conquered by Muslims, or Muslim Arabs, it can never revert back to original owners. The Jews were in Palestine since the days of Moses, long before Mohammed revealed his religion of demands for Allah. Can these demands now change, after fourteen centuries, to make room for a more ecumenical existence in the world, where both Arabs and Jews, or Muslims and all other beliefs, can coexist peacefully together? Not if Israel is not allowed to exist. For the present, this state of affairs represents the clearest demarkation of conflict between the Islamic world and the rest of human society, most of which is peaceful except where Islam is trying to reassert its power over the people through Jihad. Such conflicts are world wide, from Africa to Asia, and now to some extent into Europe and America, so the burden of proof of peaceful intentions fall not on the world, nor Israel, but of necessity on the Islamic world that it wants to live up to its claim, as a 'religion of peace.'

If Israel is ever to progress beyond its current place as the Gates of Thermopylae, as mentioned in the commentary on "Fitzgerald: Bush, a "Palestinian" state, and "Palestinian" propaganda" (read it all), it must find a durable solution to its existence vis-a-vis the Palestinian Arabs state, as well as all its hostile Arab and Muslim neighbors, both adjacent to its borders and beyond. But other than a successful armed conflict, where it is victorious, how will they ever convince the Jihad mindset that they have a right of existence? The answer lies with future Islam, that they must at some point come to terms with the modern world, that they cannot impose their religious beliefs on any other state, or peoples, in the 21st century, or ever again. A perpetual state of Dar-al-Harb cannot be allowed to exist anywhere, not even in Jerusalem. But that is either for future Islam to come to accept, or else it is forced to remain in God's hands, by right of military combat. Victory on this front can be easily accomplished, but it is not the best solution. Rather, it is better for modern humanity to call the situation in the Middle East and all of Dar-al-Islam for what it is, that it is an atavistic conflict going back on religious principles to the early 7th century. Such a solution needs to address that primal conflict at the core, if future Islam is to be treated with equal respect as all other religions of the world. Israel is merely the most concentrated focal point of this conflict, and its future existence will be historic test of whether or not humanity has progressed forward in the 21st century, or regressed backwards to the 7th. Future Islam rests on this, that it teaches and practices tolerance and peace, and not war.


Ivan
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Ivan/Mohideen
Posted on Saturday, February 09, 2008 - 11:07 am:   

Not all in Islam teach intolerance and war against the infidels. Here is an article brought to our attention by Mohideen Ibramsha. In his words, "Please visit the link and read the full article. It quotes the Holy Quran profusely showing that the death penalty for apostacy is not part of Islam, and argues that jihad is for defensive purposes only."

Tolerant Islam: Love For All, Respect For All And Equal Faith In All by By Qazi | Jihad Unspun

From the article:

quote:

There is a very general and very deep-rooted misconception that the Holy Qur’an preaches intolerance, and that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) preached his faith with the sword in one hand and the Holy Qur’an in the other. Misrepresentation could go no further. The basic principle of Islam, a faith in all the Prophets of the world, is enough to give the lie to this allegation.

The great and liberal mind that preached not only love and respect for the founders of the great religions of the world, but much more than that-faith in them-could not shrink down to the narrowness of intolerance for those very religions. Tolerance is not in fact the word that can sufficiently indicate the breadth of the attitude of Islam to other religions. It preaches equal love for all, equal respect for all, and equal faith in all.

Again, intolerance could not be ascribed to a book which excludes compulsion from the sphere of religion altogether. “Let there be no compulsion in religion,” (2:256), it lays down in the clearest words. In fact, the Holy Qur’an is full of statements showing that belief in thisor that religion is a person’s own concern, and that he is given the choice to adopt one way or another: that if he accepts truth, it is for his own good and that if he sticks to error, it is to his own detriment.

Given below are a few of these quotations:

“We showed him the Way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will).” (76:3)

“...The Truth is from your Lord: let him who will, believe, and let him who will, reject (it)...” (18:29)

“Now have come to you, from your Lord, proofs (to open your eyes): If any will see, it will be for (the good of) his own soul; if any will be blind, it will be to his own (harm)...” (6:104)
...


Please read it all. Thanks Mohideen. Let us hope and pray this indeed is the future of Islam, as a religion of love and peace, so all religions and peoples of the world can live with respect and kindness for one another.

Ivan
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ananimas
Posted on Saturday, February 09, 2008 - 09:51 pm:   

Egyptian court allows for conversion back from Islam
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7237152.stm

"An Egyptian court has ruled that 12 Christians who converted to Islam and then reverted to Christianity can have their faith officially recognised.

The decision overturns a lower court ruling by a lower court, which said the state need not recognise conversions from Islam because of a religious ban.

This is a case that has tested Egypt's tolerance of conversions from Islam.

A lawyer for the 12 Coptic Christians described the case as a victory for human rights and freedom of religion."


Freedom of religion in future Islam is key. This Egyptian ruling is a small step in taking back from repressive Islamic orthodoxy and jihadists the right to one's personal religion.
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Ivan/M-brotherhood
Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 12:23 pm:   

The Muslim Brotherhood's Conquest of Europea by Lorenzo Vidino

This is a follow up on the earlier "Social radical Islamism" post.

From the article:

quote:

But the Middle East is only one part of the Muslim world. Europe has become an incubator for Islamist thought and political development. Since the early 1960s, Muslim Brotherhood members and sympathizers have moved to Europe and slowly but steadily established a wide and well-organized network of mosques, charities, and Islamic organizations. Unlike the larger Islamic community, the Muslim Brotherhood's ultimate goal may not be simply "to help Muslims be the best citizens they can be," but rather to extend Islamic law throughout Europe and the United States.[2]

Four decades of teaching and cultivation have paid off. The student refugees who migrated from the Middle East forty years ago and their descendants now lead organizations that represent the local Muslim communities in their engagement with Europe's political elite. Funded by generous contributors from the Persian Gulf, they preside over a centralized network that spans nearly every European country.

These organizations represent themselves as mainstream, even as they continue to embrace the Brotherhood's radical views and maintain links to terrorists. With moderate rhetoric and well-spoken German, Dutch, and French, they have gained acceptance among European governments and media alike. Politicians across the political spectrum rush to engage them whenever an issue involving Muslims arises or, more parochially, when they seek the vote of the burgeoning Muslim community.

But, speaking Arabic or Turkish before their fellows Muslims, they drop their facade and embrace radicalism. While their representatives speak about interfaith dialogue and integration on television, their mosques preach hate and warn worshippers about the evils of Western society. While they publicly condemn the murder of commuters in Madrid and school children in Russia, they continue to raise money for Hamas and other terrorist organizations. Europeans, eager to create a dialogue with their increasingly disaffected Muslim minority, overlook this duplicity. The case is particularly visible in Germany, which retains a place of key importance in Europe, not only because of its location at the heart of Europe, but also because it played host to the first major wave of Muslim Brotherhood immigrants and is host to the best-organized Brotherhood presence. The German government's reaction is also instructive if only to show the dangers of accepting Muslim Brotherhood rhetoric at face value, without looking at the broader scope of its activities.
...
The Muslim Brotherhood's ample funds and organization have contributed to their success in Europe. But their acceptance into mainstream society and their unchallenged rise to power would not have been possible had European elites been more vigilant, valued substance over rhetoric, and understood the motivations of those financing and building these Islamist organizations. Why have Europeans been so naïve? Bassam Tibi, a German professor of Syrian descent and an expert on Islam in Europe, thinks that Europeans—and Germans in particular—fear the accusation of racism.[78] Radicals in sheep's clothing have learned that they can silence almost everybody with the accusation of xenophobia. Any criticism of Muslim Brotherhood-linked organizations is followed by outcries of racism and anti-Muslim persecution. Journalists who are not frightened by these appellatives are swamped with baseless and unsuccessful but expensive lawsuits. ...



If this is true, then we are witnessing the tyranny of the 'oil money' weapon being used against European countries, which is a substantial obstacle to future integration of modern Islam into western civilizational values.

Read it all, and more on this here: http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/019907.php for followup discussions.
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ananimas
Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 11:21 am:   

Allah is not the God of the Bible

"Muslims believe that there is no other God besides Allah and that he is the God of the universe.... (DELETED)
_______________________________________________________________________

POST deleted by Humancafe editors -

Regrets but proselytizing is not allowed here.
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Humancafe/Re delete
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 08:12 am:   

Post deleted for 'proselytizing'.

Sorry Ananimas, but your above post was against the 'common law' rule of Humancafe forums. There had been such posts by others deleted in the past for the same reason, that no one may claim their religion superior to anyone else's, which infringes on our common right to religious freedom.

Everyone is entitled to the right to "think" their faith is superior, as a matter of personal faith, but no one has the right to claim this for anyone else without violating their right to a personal belief. If someone claims theirs is the "true" God, then they are proselytizing to others with the claim that the other's belief in God is wrong, which is insupportable in a free society. No one may have a monopoly on what is God, and for some to claim that their God of the Judeo-Christian bible is the "true" God, they are as guilty of religious supremacy as the Islamists who claim their Allah is the true God.

Each human being has a right to belief in God as they see fit to believe. Therefore, we cannot allow for anyone to claim that their God is the "one true God" as opposed to anyone else's God, which is a clear violation of our freedom to believe in God. We hope you understand, without taking this as a personal criticism, since your idea are welcome here, but as a matter of forum policy.

Editors, Humancafe
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Ivan/'new' Islam
Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - 10:05 am:   

Is 'reform' coming to Islam?

_44452132_irankoran_b203_afp.jpg
Turkey in radical revision of Islamic texts

BBC News:

quote:

The country's powerful Department of Religious Affairs has commissioned a team of theologians at Ankara University to carry out a fundamental revision of the Hadith, the second most sacred text in Islam after the Koran.

The Hadith is a collection of thousands of sayings reputed to come from the Prophet Muhammad.

As such, it is the principal guide for Muslims in interpreting the Koran and the source of the vast majority of Islamic law, or Sharia.
...
It says that a significant number of the sayings were never uttered by Muhammad, and even some that were need now to be reinterpreted.


This is a development that bears watching, especially as it will affect women. More ominous is whether or not Islam's 'Reformation' can reach the natural conclusion of 'separation of mosque and state' to encourage development of free society and human rights as recognized universally by the rest of the world. Modernization may not come so easily to Islam, but this revisiting the Hadiths, and ultimately the Quran, are necessary first steps.

quote:

'New Islam'

According to Fadi Hakura, an expert on Turkey from Chatham House in London, Turkey is doing nothing less than recreating Islam - changing it from a religion whose rules must be obeyed, to one designed to serve the needs of people in a modern secular democracy.

He says that to achieve it, the state is fashioning a new Islam.

"This is kind of akin to the Christian Reformation," he says.

"Not exactly the same, but if you think, it's changing the theological foundations of [the] religion. "


A future Islam may indeed be a 'new Islam', or is this still premature to call?

Ivan
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Ivan/lawful Islam
Posted on Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - 06:49 pm:   

Is 'Lawful' Islam lawful, or is it a threat to our democratic way of life?

This is lifted from Dhimmi Watch: Fitzgerald - The Great Undoing

Introduction: The Threat of Lawful Islamism

quote:

Lawful Islamists advance their cause through lobbying politicians, intimidating the media, threatening international boycotts, making predatory use of the legal system, advancing novel legislation, influencing the contents of school textbooks, and in other ways exploiting the freedoms of an open society. They advance their agenda in incremental steps, each of which in itself is minor but in the aggregate point to fundamental changes in society. Here is a sampling of such steps taken by non-Muslims to accommodate Islamists:

Sell land at discount prices for building mosques or other Islamic institutions.
Ban Hindus and Jews from a jury hearing a criminal case against an Islamist in Great Britain.
Allow a prisoner the unheard-of right to avoid strip-searches in New York State.
Let students in public (i.e., taxpayer-funded) schools use empty classrooms for prayers in New Jersey.
Permit public schools and public airwaves to be used to convert non-Muslims.
Recognize polygamous marriages for tax purposes in the United Kingdom.
Set aside women-only bathing at a municipal swimming pool in France or use taxpayer funds for Muslim women-only swimming times in Washington State.
Arrange for women-only classes at a taxpayer-supported university.
Blame women for being the victims of rape by Muslim men in Norway.
Develop a special hijab for female Muslim employees of a leading home furnishing company, sporting the corporate logo.
Ban the use of piggybanks—the symbol of frugality—in their advertising by two major British banks.
Establish panels, councils, or advisory boards uniquely for Muslims.
Authorize Muslim-only neighborhoods or events.
Apply the "Rushdie rules" – accepting Islamist intimidation and silencing critics of Islam.
Punish anti-Islamic views through the application of criminal charges, as has occurred to critics of Islam in Australia and Canada.
Prohibit families from sending pork or pork by-products or "Any matter containing religious materials contrary to Islamic faith" to U.S. military personnel serving in the Middle East.
Require that female American soldiers in Saudi Arabia wear U.S. government-issued abayas.
Perhaps most alarming is how the Islamists currently dominate the Muslim political scene in every Western society, without exception. They control the mosques, publish the weeklies, host the Internet sites, run the schools, write the op-eds, appear on talk shows, engage in ecumenical activities, and enjoy access to politicians

Posted by: ericthekuffar

Is there merit to granting 'special priviledge' to these demands? Future Islam will need to address these demands from orthodoxy, and adjust to the norms of a modern society, if it is to become a meaningful religion in the 21st century.

Ivan
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Go Sultan
Posted on Saturday, March 08, 2008 - 12:08 am:   

t_wafa.jpg (click image for video)

Wafa Sultan: "But if Islam were not the way it is, those cartoons would never have appeared. They did not appear out of the blue, and the cartoonist did not dig them out of his imagination."

See it all, and hear.
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Ivan/Saudi church
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 - 09:27 am:   

.. Vatican..condemns..death..for..apostasy..

No, we'll never see this news ticker item, not in today's moral equivalence age, not even from the seat of christendom for breaking tabu. But we are seeing a headline that has nearly the same impact, for breaking tabu of only one religion allowed in Saudi Arabia.

Vatican-Saudi talks on churches

_44494011_church_afp203b.jpg
First church inaugurated in Qatar (BBC link)

quote:

The Vatican is holding talks with Saudi Arabia on building the first church in the kingdom, where some 1.5m Christians are not allowed to worship publicly.
...
Christians complain that rules are not clear and that the Saudi religious authorities, who enforce the kingdom's conservative brand of Islam, Wahhabism, sometimes crack down on legitimate congregations.

The authorities cite a tradition of the Prophet Muhammad that only Islam can be practised in the Arabian Peninsula.



Open up world, and lighten up. For any people to claim they worship the same universal God, there is no one place on Earth restricted from universal worship of God, no matter what religion, no matter who said so. We are all one planet Earth.

Here is a related artice: Iran Parliament debates 'death for apostasy' for anyone born into Islam.

..Read..it..all.. ...tick tick tick...
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Fitna/ananimas
Posted on Thursday, March 27, 2008 - 08:30 pm:   

Fitna

13668199.jpg (image link)
Discussion on Fitna: here, with link to video (if the image does not activate, millions of hits makes it slow), a must see.

Contrast it with Prayer for Freedom.

Religion of peace?

How will future Islam address the violence of the Quran?
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Ivan/Fitna
Posted on Friday, March 28, 2008 - 10:16 pm:   

Why would they condemn it?

_44522067__44502483_wilders_ap203b.jpg
Geert Wilders, critical of Islam's Quranic violent texts

UN chief condemns anti-Islam film


quote:

Several Muslim countries have also condemned the film, a 15-minute polemic by the far-right MP Geert Wilder, which was posted online on Thursday.

Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran and Bangladesh were among those to protest.

The film sets verses from the Koran against a background of violent images from terror attacks.



If the short clip "Fitna" is factual, why the complaints? There seems to be a pattern of ignoring Islamic clips portraying their brutality, but condemning clips that show the same brutality, but not made for Islamic consumption but Western consumption. Why the double standard, especially since the West is under attack by Islamic Jihad? Note the complainers are those who reject our freedoms, especially freedom of speech and of religion. So why would anyone listen to them? Since when is Iran's mullah driven support for world Jihad a voice of reason?

There is an implied message here: if it is quoted by non-Muslims from the violent portion of the Quran, then it is said to be "out of context". The same holds true for films which portray the violent aspects of Islamism. So what can it mean? There is only one way to put it into "context" rationally: if the violence is to further the cause of Islam's call for world domination, then it is "within context", but if violence, especially Islamic violence, is shown to be against our natural human rights, and freedoms, then it is "out of context". Did anybody catch this? It means that for Muslim consumption, violence against our freedoms is within the Koranic context, but violence against those who perpetrate this violence against our freedoms is out of context. How odd! And indeed what a strange double standard, not to mention illogical, unless one accepts the Islamic point of view that Islam must dominate and not be dominated. This is wrong, and it must be addressed by future Islam.

Koranic, or Hadithic, calls to violence cannot be within context ever. They are always "out of context" because they abrogate our natural rights to freedom. Only within the supremacist domination context of Islam will such violence, such as dictated within the holy texts, be "within context" for Muslims, but never allowed for non-Muslims. This makes us the "enemies" of Islam no matter what we do to defend ourselves against their violence, and now understood as a Koranically mandated violence, as Fitna shows. We must be very clear on this double-standard Islamic logic where it is out of context for us, always, when we mention the violent parts of their holy texts, but always within context for them only. In effect, they have excluded us from any dialogue with this inherent double standard. It cannot be allowed, and they must be made to answer for this, or Islam can have no future.

It is wrong for the UN chief to condemn this film because it is the first true statement of Islam's "out of context" double standard against our natural freedoms. It is not us who should be on the defensive, but those who in the name of Islam commit atrocities against us. And the politics of Iraq or Israel or Afghanistan has nothing to do with this. We were attacked, and it is within the context of the holy texts to dominate us. Their supremacist domination ideology must be banned.

Ivan
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ananimas
Posted on Saturday, March 29, 2008 - 01:12 am:   

Magdi Allam's statement regarding his conversion from Islam to Catholicism.

http://www.zenit.org/rssenglish-22151

He is a courageous, very fine man who now understands freedom.
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Ivan/future Turkey
Posted on Monday, March 31, 2008 - 09:53 am:   

Watch this space: Turkey

Turkey's staunch secularists want to ban the AK party for having an Islamic agenda.

_44525711_scarf_afp226bo.jpg
BBC: Headscarf debate in Turkey

Turkey court considers party ban


quote:

Turkey's constitutional court has decided unanimously that it can hear a case aimed at closing down the country's governing AK Party.
The chief prosecutor earlier filed a petition calling for the party to be closed for "anti-secular activities".
He also wants dozens of its members, including the prime minister and president, to be banned from politics.



This is a development Europe and the world will be watching. Which way Turkey? Towards a more secularized democratic society working to ensure human freedoms, or towards theocracy and Sharia law to make all bow in submission? Watch this space... for direction of future Turkey.

Ivan
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Ivan/freedom of speech
Posted on Monday, March 31, 2008 - 10:00 pm:   

The Fitna Firestorm, and Freedom of Speech.


Fitna_hh_3.jpg (interactive)
Fitna the film (caution -disturbing mature material), insightful or inciteful?

26 Islamic countries condemned Fitna and call for its ban. Many from non-Islamic countries also criticized it, from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith. The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, where Geert Wilders produced Fitna, Jan Peter Balkenende, also condemned its violence as "false linkage with Islam". But these are strange times we live in, because the "violence" portrayed in associations with violent passages of the Quran are performed not by non-Muslims, and the vitriol coming from the film is not by non-Muslims, but done and spoken by their own. Rather than condemning what these so-called Muslims are doing in their violent acts of Jihad, and hate speeches, which are condemnable by any reasonable standards of civilization, the condemnation and calls for banning are against the mirror image of what they are doing and saying, which is all that Fitna does. It holds up a mirror to these extremely violent and bilious Muslims who claim to be acting upon their faith. Should the bans and condemnations not be directed at them instead?

Strange times that the film where no dialogue is present except that of the Islamics, and no images shown except those crimes in which Islamics are involved, and no scriptural text is exhibited except those found in the Quran, and yet the condemnation is not on the subject shown but on the author and medium. How did "freedom of speech" become so twisted backwards to blame the medium and the author rather than the violence and hatred Fitna shows? Why are they not banning the imams and jihadists responsible for the violence and hatred in the film? Where is the linkage with freedom of speech by preachers of hate? The imams in Fitna had their say, vitriolic and bilious speech, and someone reported it on film. Is the hatred coming from the material shown in the film, or the film itself? How is a true to facts reporting of such hatred to be hatred itself? Do not shoot the messenger! Geert Wilders, for whatever the reason, has simply reported what is true, and if this offends, then go for the source of the truth and not for the reporter. This is not what Wilders said or did... he did not make it up, he did not use stand in actors or write the script... he reported on what they did and said themselves! It is simply the unvarnished, and un-whitewasted truth. Why the objections? Fitna is simply a playback to themselves. Where are the 26 Islamic countries condemnations against their own?

In Spencer's article he asks:
"Whatever happened to 'Give me liberty, or give me death?'"
Where is the courage to stand up to the violence and hatred portrayed in defense of our liberties? One of our most fundamental liberties, the one that grants meaning to all the others, is a "freedom of speech". The right to speak one's own mind is also enshrined in the freedom of the press to report accurately and truthfully. Fitna is a report and nothing else. If this offends, then let them who criticize turn their attention to what is offensive in the content of the report, but not on the report itself. Our freedom to speak freely cannot be abrogated by complaints that what the film shows is offensive. Of course it is offensive, because this is what they did, and there is no excuse for what they did on either grounds of humanity or religion. The speeches of hate recorded is what they said. And there is no excuse for such hatreds under any "freedom of speech" liberties. Why are not those who condemn and call for banning Fitna not addressing those who are portrayed in the playback of their hateful and violent actions? It makes no sense on any reasonable level, nor humanist level, nor religious level, to allow for such hatreds and violence to exist. Our "freedom of speech" must be protected from their hate and violence at any cost, even to fight for such liberties to the death. This is what the Western world must do, and not condemn the film playback of hatred, but condemn the real actors portrayed. The 'strawman' argument that we of the West are also responsible for atrocities against Muslims does not change anything in what Muslims are doing in the name of their religion, such as the vile actions and speeches shown. Fitna is a mirror held up to what Muslims have done themselves, to themselves, to help us understand what they had become. Let this speak for itself. And if there is complaint, direct it at the Muslims responsible and not the reporter. Let the unhindered truth speak for itself.

As Magdi Cristiano Allam had said: "Dear friends, let us go forward on the way of truth, of life and of freedom with my best wishes for every success and good thing." Peace.

Ivan
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truth
Posted on Sunday, April 06, 2008 - 07:53 pm:   

Heaven or hell on Earth?

There is only one way to bring the Heaven of the Father on Earth, through truthfulness in all human agreements. Anything short of such truth is deceit which feeds coercions and bring hell on Earth instead. This is not a religious idea, though as a secular idea it also conforms to religious ideals of bringing Heaven on Earth.

truth
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why they abandon Islam
Posted on Monday, April 07, 2008 - 03:57 am:   

Six million Muslims leave Islam annually and those numbers will grow. Former believers will be as unforgiving as former smokers to their own. This is what happens when Islam opposed believers of other faiths, they exposed themselves to criticism, and this criticism is beginning to hurt. If they kept their faith private like other religions this would not have happened. But they opened Jihad, so now they must pay the price. The numbers are still low because of their fear of the death for apostasy clause. But once the rout starts, there will be no stopping it.

Jihad killed Islam.
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witness
Posted on Wednesday, April 09, 2008 - 08:06 pm:   

How will future Islam address these ahadith?

Posted on Jihadwatch: Spencer: Fitna: The Carrot and the Stick
http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/020618.php#comments

PMK said

quote:

Why should a religion need the state to defend its beliefs, as opposed to its people, from the words, as opposed to the deeds, of others? Surely beliefs that run so deep and are so personal are able to withstand the musings of others.



Of course Mohammad was the first Muslim to be unable to withstand the musings of others. Mohammad, the Perfect Example for All Time, was the first Muslim to come up with "a battle plan" to defend Islam "from political cartoonists and bigots". And surprisingly enough, his "battle plan" didn't involve a thoughtful, well-informed debate to clear up the misunderstandings of how Islam is actually a tolerant Religion of Peace. When poets and songwriters and cripples said things that Mohammad didn't like, he didn't "turn the other cheek". He didn't reason with them. He didn't try to understand their point of view. He had another way to deal with them. Over 500 years after the death of Jesus, Allah had revealed the correct way to deal with critics: Hunt them down and kill them.

Bukhari:V4B52N270 “Allah’s Messenger said, ‘Who is ready to kill Ashraf? He has said injurious things about Allah and His Apostle.’ Maslama got up saying, ‘Would you like me to kill him?’ The Prophet proclaimed, ‘Yes.’ Maslama said, ‘Then allow me to lie so that I will be able to deceive him.’ Muhammad said, ‘You may do so.’”
Ishaq:551 “Another victim was Huwayrith. He used to insult Muhammad in Mecca. Huwayrith was put to death by Ali.”
Ishaq:597 “When the Apostle returned to Medina after his raid on Ta’if, word spread that he had killed some of the men who had satirized and insulted him. The poets who were left spread in all directions.”
Ishaq:676 “‘You obey a stranger who encourages you to murder for booty. You are greedy men. Is there no honor among you?’ Upon hearing those lines Muhammad said, ‘Will no one rid me of this woman?’ Umayr, a zealous Muslim, decided to execute the Prophet’s wishes. That very night he crept into the writer’s home while she lay sleeping surrounded by her young children. There was one at her breast. Umayr removed the suckling babe and then plunged his sword into the poet. The next morning in the mosque, Muhammad, who was aware of the assassination, said, ‘You have helped Allah and His Apostle.’ Umayr said. ‘She had five sons; should I feel guilty?’ ‘No,’ the Prophet answered. ‘Killing her was as meaningless as two goats butting heads.’”
Tabari VII:112/Ishaq:372 “When a blind Jew became aware of the presence of the Messenger and the Muslims he rose and threw dust in their faces, saying, ‘Even if you are a prophet, I will not allow you into my garden!’ I was told that he took a handful of dirt and said, ‘If only I knew that I would not hit anyone else, Muhammad, I would throw it in your face.’ Sa’d rushed in and hit him on the head with his bow and split the Jew’s head open.”
Tabari VIII:179/Ishaq:550 “Among those who Muhammad ordered killed was Abdallah bin Khatal. The Messenger ordered him to be slain because while he was a Muslim, Muhammad had sent him to collect the zakat tax with an Ansar and a slave of his.... His girls used to sing a satire about Muhammad so the Prophet ordered that they should be killed along with Abdullah. He was killed by Sa’id and Abu Barzah. The two shared in his blood. One of the singing girls was killed quickly but the other fled. So Umar caused his horse to trample the one who fled, killing her.”

Posted by: special_guest at April 9, 2008 5:09 PM
**********************************************

How did Muhammad handle criticism? With dialogue and understanding? With compassion and love?

No. He killed them. Allah's will is to kill.

Witness what what they do, because it is as their 'perfect man' did in the ahadith, to kill them.
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Ivan/closure on relativism
Posted on Thursday, April 10, 2008 - 10:22 pm:   

Closure on the un-developing world and Islam.

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Hamas militants in Gaza


There is a pattern evolving from the first post on this thread to the last one on the Hadiths that shows a clear challenge for the future of Islam and the so-called developing world. There is nothing progressive about the call to kill one's opponent because one disagrees with the other's ideas, or statements, or alleged insults. If the Hadiths, by example of Mohammed's life call for such killing, then it is a throwback to more atavistic times when the potentate of lore, or warlord of today, executes his displeasure by simply killing anyone who displeases him, or in any way mocks him. This is a grievous error in social interactions, and certainly such violent coercion cannot be condoned even under the most lenient values of cultural pluralism. There is no virtue in killing over a disagreement, nor is it conducive towards a progressing society, whether in the modern world or developing world, and rather the opposite effect is seen, that it leads to an un-developing world. Or as one author said regarding value pluralism: "Value-pluralism differs from value-relativism in that pluralism accepts limits to differences, such as when vital human needs are violated." We can accept all social values in a pluralistic society, but not in a relativistic way but one which is firmly rooted in the fundamental rights of individual human beings to be free of slavery, free of racial bigotry, and free to express their own thoughts and mind without fear of punishments or retribution. This is what freedom means, to speak freely, and to obey the greatest law of all, to allow for the same treatment in reciprocal action for all those who desire freedom. None of us may ever be violated in our rights to those freedoms, if we are not slaves, but free.

In the first post above I wrote, upon reflection, though at the time the words were not yet clear to me:
"I propose, therefore, that all future examinations of Islam fall into these three principles:
1. Mohammed's teachings are placed in context of the time in which they were written.

2. Mohammed's intent to follow in the traditions of the prophethood of Abrahamic faiths means to realign those traditions more closely to those of Judaism and Christianity.

3. Mohammed's teachings must conform to the rule of law for a free humanity, universally."
These words are more clear now, months later, that a new Islam must address its inherent violence towards itself, its people, as well as towards the outside world. We all must conform to the rule of law for a free humanity if we are not to regress back to a primitive barbarism. The tragedy of Africa today, including some parts of the Middle East such as Gaza, is that rather than finding ways to push humanity forward, it is being pulled backwards. This is not an ethnocentric point of view of the Western world, as opposed to a cultural relativistic point of view where our ideas are formed within the context of our dominant culture; but rather, this is a statement of real fact, that some cultures cannot move ahead in a very real way. The economic and social upheavals that come of barbaric primitivism cannot be reversed if the culture of such barbarism is allowed to flourish on equal footing with the cultures that allows for progressive gains of its members. There is no virtue in mass starvation, mass disease, or mass killings and genocide; or repression of women, or homosexuals, or killings of those who do not believe as you do. Regardless of what Hadiths say, there is no virtue in such vile human coercive behaviors. It is destructive, and all society suffers for it. So rather than calling it by the charitable term "developing world", which implies giving them more aid, it is a case of an "un-developing" world turning back to barbarism and social failure. Money will not help here, and the semantics must be very clear that we are not helping them by saying they are "developing", when in fact they are regressing into a more primitive world of 'might is right'. Then the rights of the individual means nothing within a feudal society of warlords, their henchmen, and those who suffer beneath their tyrannies. Zimbabwe is the clearest case in Africa of a society gone bad, and terribly backwards, where even basic food has become a scarce commodity. Though there it was government sanctioned along racial lines, and the White farmers were thrown off their land, the reality is that through mismanagement of government and economy, their world fell into chaos, so that millions suffer. In Gaza a similar event is unfolding, where every overture by the world powers, and Israel, towards a free and independent Palestinian state going back to Yasser Arafat, had been sabotaged with self inflicted wounds on the grounds of religion and its Jihad. It is not a matter of state, nor of borders, but of pure hatred of Israel, and Judaism as a culture, that self destroys prospects for an Arab state next to Israel. This is absurd, and the consequences of this self inflicted damage is social unrest, barbaric internal wars, and ultimate failure as a state. There is no cultural relativism for a culture that is so filled with hate and animosity towards another that it self destructs. There is no virtue in self destruction. Somalia is another failed state. Poverty in war torn regions is the norm, and there should be no encouragement, nor aid given, to those who will self destruct into abject poverty. They are their own worst enemies.

We cannot allow for any cultural relativism to influence our semantics into giving more and more aid to those who are suicidal in their intentions and actions. Cultural pluralism will at least identify where there is error, that human rights are being violated. But relativism can make no such distinction, and therefore it not only obfuscates the problem but adds to it. The problems of social failure must be addressed internally, by their own people, and not be directed externally on the alleged wrongs and criticisms of others. We of the modern world do not kill those who criticize us, no matter what some prophet said many centuries ago, or did in response to his critics, per the Hadiths. We today work out our differences differently, allow for other opinions to exist, but at the same time must be exactly clear where violations of our rights are not to be tolerated, and such violations must be fought against. Our freedoms are not up for negotiations, and if our use of language and semantics give the false impression, in our trying to be understanding and compassionate to others less fortunate, it must nevertheless be made perfectly clear that our boundaries of such semantics will not be trespassed by anyone. We must not give any false hope that it could ever be otherwise. We will not give up our freedoms. And this is not a Western ethnocentric cultural point of view. It is fact.

Our societies work and are productive because we observe this fact, that our rights are not to be violated by anyone. On the contrary, our constitutional governments of the "developed world" are there to ensure that those rights are not violated. This is what makes us successful, why we are envied, but it is not what the unsuccessful societies understand about us. They think that our success is somehow tied into their failures. This is totally wrong, and regressive thinking. The reason the "un-developing" world is regressing is exactly because they failed in honoring their human rights. There is no discussion on this, it is fact. Give the people a chance to live under a governmental system, whether or not democratic (Zimbawe is a 'democracy'), that ensures their basic human rights, and watch them flourish. Witness what happened to the captive states of the former Soviet Union, like Poland, Czech Republic, East Germany, Estonia, Latvia, and these are growing states; but those still mired in persecution are failing states. Ukraine and Russia are still in limbo, because they have not yet implemented basic human rights. Parts of former Yugoslavia remain mired in religious wars, where Jihad is making its inroads into Kosovo and Bosnia. There is no progress when regressive cultural norms take hold, and instead we get devolution towards violence and social failure, where poverty becomes rife. Pakistan is another failing state. Afghanistan is trying to lift itself, but regressive cultural tendencies keep holding it back. Iraq is still an unknown quantity, because there are those within society who want to progress, while others by the nature of their religious beliefs will hold it back. Which will win? We do not know yet. The fallout economics then become a function of those cultural beliefs. Will society be successful, with its population enjoying the fruits of their labor and productivity? Or will it fall backwards and devolve into violence and chaos? What is happening in Haiti? When basic human rights are violated, society fails. It is that simple. And when religious norms dictate for those basic human rights to be violated, the society will fail as surely. This is a fact.

The internal structure of the future of society is dictated by how they see themselves. Are the people conscious of their rights? Do they have a vision for their future that is based on freedom and success rather than violence and poverty? What will happen to Iran, for example, where a change out of Sharia government can give them hope? Or Turkey, or Indonesia, Malaysia? There is no way to influence these visions except by example. But if example does not suffice, then there is no way to "nation build" where the people themselves, such as in Gaza, are self destructive and filled with self loathing to the point of self-destructive violence. We cannot help them, and to give them more money and aid becomes counter-productive. We are hurting them more by encouraging their self destructive behaviors. This aid should stop. As far as future Islam is concerned, such as the Hadiths mentioned earlier, that is their own internal affair. If they want to progress and leave behind their un-developing world, they must address it themselves honestly and realistically. Why should some ancient religious beliefs manage today's world affairs? What did those ancient clerics who wrote down the scriptures know what we today do not know? Virtually nothing. They came from an ancient superstitious world based on slavery and master, where the local warlord or chief, or king, was the brutal master over all. There is no gain to be had under such a repressive tyrannical system, and their societies, as we see in much of Africa (who do not have oil in the ground to bail them out as does the Mid East or Saudi Arabia) a falling backwards towards tribal barbarism. Uganda, Rowanda, and now Niger, Mauritania, Sudan, Somalia, even Kenya as the hope of Africa, are all falling backwards. They cannot be bailed out by oil alone, and their social productivity, no matter how simple or primitive, simply fails to provide for basic needs. Wealth is not only not evident in their societies, except in the hands of a few warlords, but is unachievable. They have no rights, so rather than being treated as human beings, they are slaves of their lords. Change that. That is the job of future Islam where it has the influence to do so. Otherwise, they will continue to fall further backwards, and at some point aid from the more successful countries of the West, even China, will cease.

What future Islam does within itself, to change the readings of the Hadiths and eliminate those calls for violence, or killing, and to redirect the meanings of the Quran, especially those violent and coercive passages, placed in their historical context, is to bring Islam from its base poverty into a successful future world. There will be no Sharia law in any part of the West, this is a given. But if Islam in the future does not address its internal inherent weaknesses, those that strip their people of their freedoms, they as common humanity of our world are entitled to, then the future is bleak. Aid cannot help them. To move forward, the scholars and leaders of Islam must find a way to bring into their world the same successes enjoyed by the Free World. We are all one planet, and there is no room for a primitive ideology breeding poverty and violence to live side by side with a progressive ideology which in fact brings prosperity and advancements to its people. There is no choice here. Either choose to make your people free, or suffer in abject failure. It is their choice as free human beings of planet Earth. Either war and failure, or peace and prosperity, it is their choice. And God has nothing to do with it.


Ivan

[Note: Because this discussion has run its course, we of Humancafe will bring it to a close. The path ahead is clear now. Either it goes the way of primitiveness, and un-development towards a failed society; or it goes the way of human rights, and development towards a successful society. We cannot influence events, since those must come from the people themselves. All we can do is to close this discussion on a day that symbolizes our tax dollars going into an un-developing world, which is counter productive. Hence, this thread will close on April 15th, tax day. Let us hope for the best.]
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challenge to Islam
Posted on Sunday, April 13, 2008 - 02:00 am:   

Challenge to the BBC, and Islam -- read all the commentary.

http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/020655.php

This is something everyone must read. We have no equality of religion when it comes to Islam.

Future Islam might never achieve such equality, but one can hope.
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Islam phobia?
Posted on Sunday, April 13, 2008 - 08:24 pm:   

Islam phobia?

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I give you Robert Spencer, 21 minute video, click on image.
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Analysis
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 - 09:10 pm:   

Analysis: If Islam is not a religion, then what is it?

Conquest Model of Islamic Terrorism by Moorthy Muthuswamy

First play the victim card.


quote:

Wearing the mantle of a victim has its advantages, including the ability to camouflage aggression as a form of self-defense.
 
However, the dynamics of Muslim-non-Muslim interaction in the developing world tells an entirely different story. Far more aggressive tactics have been employed by Muslims against much weaker opponents, be it in Darfur against black Africans or against brown unbelievers in South Asia. Here too terrorism is employed, but only as part and parcel of a multi-front religious war of conquest (called jihad).



By what other name Islam, victim or aggressor?


quote:

That a conquest-based ideology should use religion in its framework should be no surprise. Religion provides enduring and powerful legitimacy, inspires followers and helps impose the will of a civilization on unsuspecting alien populations.
 ......

The conquest model is a much more inclusive and nuanced one, where terror is just one of the many tools for achieving objectives. It also explains why the Muslim population in Europe is fast growing, angry and is disfranchised (through self-infliction) – to deliberately create conditions conducive to Europe's demographic conquest by the Muslims. The religion model of Islam also fails here, as it would have likely predicted that the transplanted Muslims would avail themselves of the opportunities like the Hindus in Britain and participate in its national aspirations.



Then segregate out of the community into which they had migrated. Start making your demands, and blame all on political events initiated by the West. Then play the victim card again, and make more demands.


quote:

It is not the intention here to claim that the conquest model of Islamic terrorism is an all-encompassing one. Yet, this model is far more successful in explaining the dynamics of Islamic conflicts and societal outlook of Muslims – including the contemporary ones – than the religion model.
 
In the context of the conquest model, the Western approach to the war on terror would indeed be very different. For instance, the notion of introducing democracy in Muslim nations such as Iraq or Afghanistan without weakening Islamic ideological hold on the population will be considered flawed. Islamic religious institutions in the West will be seen as instruments of conquest of unbelievers and a repressive element in the life of Muslim citizens (these institutions are now protected under the religion model on the grounds of religious freedom). A Muslim minority’s drive to segregate themselves through special treatments will be seen as the first step toward creating their own exclusive place and eventually their own land – a form of conquest.



Fait accompli, once they are here, the religion model can be dropped of its camouflage, and the real Jihad begins in earnest for conquest. Religion, or something else?


Analysis of the Jihad strategy for domination of the predominantly Christianized West is perhaps best exemplified in Rome, which has the largest mosque in Western Europe, and where the Vatican resides.


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In Rome's main mosque, one Imam is calling for Jihad


quote:

"O Allah, grant victory to the Islamic fighters in Palestine, Chechnya, and elsewhere in the world! O Allah, destroy the homes of the enemies of Islam! O Allah, help us to annihilate the enemies of Islam! O Allah, make firm everywhere the voice of the nation of Islam!"



Where is Christendom's main cathedral in Mecca?

Has the 'religion' cloak already been dropped in the West, in Rome?

If not a religion, then what?


Also see, JW: Robert Spencer: Do Catholics and Muslims worship the same God?

... and Robert Spencer: The Necessity of Anti-Sharia Laws

Build it and they will come: Number of mosques in U.S. nearly double since 9/11

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humancafe
Posted on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - 12:01 am:   

Thread on Future Islam is now closed.

There is no right or wrong way to proceed, but it must come from within, with generosity, good will, and reasonable intellect, all gifts of the Will of God, for all humanity universally. This is Who we are.

Islam like all world religions must find its own way in the heart, as the only way to peace.

God works in mysterious ways, so let future Islam surprise us. But it will not come at the price of our human rights.

Video on religion and reason: Reza Aslan vs Sam Harris debate YouTube

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