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Old 11-13-2009, 05:12 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseketeer View Post
Those who do get indoctrinated into extremist behaviour seem to do so out of a real sense of desperation, hatred and despair, being whipped up into a frenzy against those they are told are responsible for all their ills.
Exactly. Just like Germany in the 1930's and 40's. Thanks for speaking so clearly on the subject.
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:13 AM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 6,941,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseketeer View Post
Which version of Islam ? There are as many as there are of Christianity .... Sacred scriptures all over the world are still being fought over by various groups all with their own little political and social agenda.

Islam is not the enemy, only those who somehow interpret it in so many different ways. Same with the Bible which read in a certain way implies that slavery and rape is still OK in certain circumstances.

Every single Muslim I know is moderate. I have travelled extensively across the Middle East and the Arab world and on balance have noticed a lot less violent , selfish and thoughtless behaviour.

My main problem would lie with the position of women and this seem to stem more from a socio-cultural construct than a religious one.

The Qur'han used to be a religion of Scholars .

I also think one of the main issue if of socio-economic power. Let us not forget that our own record in the West for tolerance towards Homosexuals, other Races, and Women hardly bears scrutiny until very recently ( even now reading some posters I feel we have a long way to go). Not simply because of Religion but because of our Social so called "moral" boundaries.

What has helped us in the West towards social progress and towards a more equal society has not just been an evolution towards a more secular society but I strongly feel economic improvements.

Freedom, equality and fraternity are all wonderful concepts but when you are still having to struggle daily for your daily bread and to keep your kids alive it can seem a great luxury .

I suspect if we truly want all those "backward" Nations which cause us so many sleepless nights , the way to it is not bombing their villages and invading their countries or smugly telling them they live in the Dark Ages but to instead improve their economic situation .


Wealth brings stability. So does Education for all and the prospects of a better life.

We gave the vote to Black people in the 60s, Slavery in the West disappeared only almost within living memory, as a man you used to be able to rape your wife with impunity until fairly recently , and a woman could be commited simply for failing to produce an heir. All this in our wonderful civilised West.

Aboriginals in Australia were until the 60s still considered "Flora". Not even Fauna. The monsters who thought these policies relevent were very nicely heeled British/Australian administrators who are still alive and some them still quite young.

I am not afraid of Islam. I am afraid of ill educated, poverty ridden people who are being manipulated by others with a socio-political agenda of their own.

Islam itself as dictated by the Qur'han seem no more dangerous per se than the Bible. How people interpret certain passages is what counts.

I know quite a few Islamic Scholars ( we have an excellent centre for Islamic Studies in Oxford) as well as intelligent, educated Muslims and ALL are moderate people, as are most Christians. A few loonies are giving the whole religion a bad name.

To be honest in my opinion we would do a lot better combatting fundamentalism with money and facilities than with bombs. Some problems with have created with our own greed, imperialistic attitudes to Natural resources and problems like Palestine... Let's not even begin that subject. Problems created by us the wonderful West.

Political stability tend to come with wealth. Our own foreign policies have exacerbated a lot of the issues and none of us want to take responsibility. Finger pointing is not going to be terribly helpful .


Iran for example in the 80s was doing quite nicely and moving in the right direction. All this has been undone in simply 2 decades.

I don't see Islam as the enemy, I see poverty, ignorance, and Western foreign policies which lead to politicaly and socially destructive events as the enemy.

Fanaticism tends to spring from despair, and extreme anger as well as a sense of not belonging. How we deal with that will be the difference between progress or decay...

The very vast majority of Muslims are people just like us who only want to live in Peace with those they love, who want to feed their kids and wish for a better life. They love, they laugh, they grieve. People whose only crime is not to be like us in every way.

Those who do get indoctrinated into extremist behaviour seem to do so out of a real sense of desperation, hatred and despair, being whipped up into a frenzy against those they are told are responsible for all their ills.

Lest we forget that our own record on human rights for example has not always been the very best there could be.... and still isn't.

Ma'am, this was an extremely intelligent and informative post! I agree wholeheartedly. I have to ask, however, if there was no Koran or Bible, where would such radicals in either camp find [divine] justification for their acts?

EDITED: to correct gender title.

Last edited by InsaneInDaMembrane; 11-13-2009 at 07:28 AM..
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,098,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
Sir, this was an extremely intelligent and informative post! I agree wholeheartedly. I have to ask, however, if there was no Koran or Bible, where would such radicals in either camp find [divine] justification for their acts?
I'm a Lady by the way !

I think human nature is extremely adept at finding excuse for all sorts of atrocities. We seem to have an infinite propensity to " excuse" our own evils from little white lies to full blown genocide simply by trying to "rationalise" it in our greedy, selfish and self interested little minds.

We even seem to be able to march to other people's drums simply because actually thinking about certain issues is far more uncomfortable than actually pulling a trigger or firing a rocket launcher...

Scriptures provide a written manual so to speak , depending on the interpretation but I fear humans need no instructions to chose the wrong path.

Religion is simply an excuse in my opinion. One in a myriad . It never ceases to amaze me how incredibly ingenious we can become at the destruction of others ( and our own natural environment). If we put as much energy into medical and straight scientific research as we do into military developments I suspect we would have cure for anything from cancers to the common cold by now....

The only thing which can save us IMO is our innate ability to empathise with fellow human beings and to embrace our shared humanity. But until the over-ride mechanism on our rationality , and compassion is disabled I suspect we will carry on quite happily hurting each other in the pursuit of our own interests . Call me a cynic .
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:01 AM
 
Location: New York City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseketeer View Post
I'm a Lady by the way !

I think human nature is extremely adept at finding excuse for all sorts of atrocities. We seem to have an infinite propensity to " excuse" our own evils from little white lies to full blown genocide simply by trying to "rationalise" it in our greedy, selfish and self interested little minds.

We even seem to be able to march to other people's drums simply because actually thinking about certain issues is far more uncomfortable than actually pulling a trigger or firing a rocket launcher...

Scriptures provide a written manual so to speak , depending on the interpretation but I fear humans need no instructions to chose the wrong path.

Religion is simply an excuse in my opinion. One in a myriad . It never ceases to amaze me how incredibly ingenious we can become at the destruction of others ( and our own natural environment). If we put as much energy into medical and straight scientific research as we do into military developments I suspect we would have cure for anything from cancers to the common cold by now....

The only thing which can save us IMO is our innate ability to empathise with fellow human beings and to embrace our shared humanity. But until the over-ride mechanism on our rationality , and compassion is disabled I suspect we will carry on quite happily hurting each other in the pursuit of our own interests . Call me a cynic .
I'm sorry. I went back and edited my response. Forgive me.

Again, I agree with you. I expected such an answer. Religion, in my estimation, is simply an outgrowth of the human imagination to find need, excuse, justification, purpose. It seems as though when man wants to find reasons to exploit, enslave, massacre, oppress and/or subjugate others, they invent religion or find excuses in religion that is already in existence.

I think of the early Israelites who (if the biblical account has some semblance of truth), found it necessary to paint [propaganda] the native Canaanites as evil, child sacrificing demons whom their god wanted eliminated. The book of Joshua makes no bones about this, making mention of making sure every last, living Canaanite was killed by [alleged] order of the lord. In modern times, there are even some Christians, at a loss to explain these atrocious actions by ancient "men of god" who make the ridiculous claims that the Canaanites were actually the children of demons (nephilims - human-demon mix) and were not really humans at all (sounds familiar).

I also recall John Hyrcanus of the Jewish Hasmonean Dynasty marching into the Arabian Peninsula and forcing Judaism on the Idumean populace which may have unwittingly set the stage for the creation of Islam over 1,000 years later. Talk about chickens coming home to roost. I'm sure e felt he also had divine sanction.

NOTE: Land grabbing and the accompanying atrocities in "the name of god" was not unique the ancient Israelites/Jews. Others did their fair share in the name of their gods.

Then came the rise of Christianity and we all know that did not spread without it share of bloodshed and mayhem in the "name of god/Jesus."

Then there is Islam which was in no small way spread by bloodshed in the "name of god."

Of course the destruction of the native civilizations of the Americas, African slavery, the continental African partitions and all sorts of other madness found some excuse in religion or some wrinkle in it. Sad indeed.
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,098,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
I'm sorry. I went back and edited my response. Forgive me.

Again, I agree with you. I expected such an answer. Religion, in my estimation, is simply an outgrowth of the human imagination to find need, excuse, justification, purpose. It seems as though when man wants to find reasons to exploit, enslave, massacre, oppress and/or subjugate others, they invent religion or find excuses in religion that is already in existence.

I think of the early Israelites who (if the biblical account has some semblance of truth), found it necessary to paint [propaganda] the native Canaanites as evil, child sacrificing demons whom their god wanted eliminated. The book of Joshua makes no bones about this, making mention of making sure every last, living Canaanite was killed by [alleged] order of the lord. In modern times, there are even some Christians, at a loss to explain these atrocious actions by ancient "men of god" who make the ridiculous claims that the Canaanites were actually the children of demons (nephilims - human-demon mix) and were not really humans at all (sounds familiar).

I also recall John Hyrcanus of the Jewish Hasmonean Dynasty marching into the Arabian Peninsula and forcing Judaism on the Idumean populace which may have unwittingly set the stage for the creation of Islam over 1,000 years later. Talk about chickens coming home to roost. I'm sure e felt he also had divine sanction.

NOTE: Land grabbing and the accompanying atrocities in "the name of god" was not unique the ancient Israelites/Jews. Others did their fair share in the name of their gods.

Then came the rise of Christianity and we all know that did not spread without it share of bloodshed and mayhem in the "name of god/Jesus."

Then there is Islam which was in no small way spread by bloodshed in the "name of god."

Of course the destruction of the native civilizations of the Americas, African slavery, the continental African partitions and all sorts of other madness found some excuse in religion or some wrinkle in it. Sad indeed.
No need to apologise about the "Sir". I felt like Peppermint Patty for a minute there , as a Snoopy Fan I am sure there are worse things to be called !

And I agree. We are our own worse enemies and still the worst predator on this planet. Not only do we murder, maim and torture, but we steal other people's land, rape our own natural environment and more murders are commited in the name of commerce than in the name of terrorism. By far.


We enslave and exploit people ( including children and elderly people) economically, simply so we can buy cheap sneakers and food, and multinational corporations are responsible for far, far, far more suffering and deaths than Al Qaeda. Yet we do nothing about one and concentrate on the other which in many ways seems illogical...

Pharmaceutical companies are responsible for the deaths of millions but never mind because they are doing it in the name of money, our universal God. Some lives are worth more than others. A small Vietnamese child working in a sweat-shop is not worth as much as a white American/Brit/Dane, Frenchman etc... Our lives are worth more because... well ... because we say so. Period. After all why would I want to pay a decent price for my clothes when I can simply exploit someone whose face I will never see and whose life I will never experience... How can anyone in the third world even suggest they should be paid a living wage if it is going to inconvenience me.

Christmas is around the corner and fine speeches and sentiments will be made all over the West about a time of love and sharing when it is a time for greed and for waste. Which costs lives, millions of them. But millions of worthless dispensable lives ... It makes me very angry. Angry at myself also for often playing the same game as everyone else. Everytime each one of us shops we become an accomplice to the deaths and suffering of millions of people. And yet terrorism is seen as the biggest danger to our society because of course OUR lives could be affected...

In the end our Religion is ultimately our own selfish interests. We worship what is best for us and the bottom line is always looking after number one.

I fear Religion extremists as I fear ANY extremists and I also accept that all of us are potentially prone to doing the wrong thing on an extreme scale.
One only has to look at civil wars to see that we can even turn on our neighbours, brothers and friends because at the end of the day whatever is best for us works best for us....

I do believe we have the ability to make the right choices but I am not sure we are often willing to do so...
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:27 AM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 6,941,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseketeer View Post
No need to apologise about the "Sir". I felt like Peppermint Patty for a minute there , as a Snoopy Fan I am sure there are worse things to be called !

And I agree. We are our own worse enemies and still the worst predator on this planet. Not only do we murder, maim and torture, but we steal other people's land, rape our own natural environment and more murders are commited in the name of commerce than in the name of terrorism. By far.


We enslave and exploit people ( including children and elderly people) economically, simply so we can buy cheap sneakers and food, and multinational corporations are responsible for far, far, far more suffering and deaths than Al Qaeda. Yet we do nothing about one and concentrate on the other which in many ways seems illogical...

Pharmaceutical companies are responsible for the deaths of millions but never mind because they are doing it in the name of money, our universal God.

In the end our Religion is ultimately our own selfish interests. We worship what is best for us and the bottom line is always looking after number one.

I fear Religion extremists as I fear ANY extremists and I also accept that all of us are potentially prone to doing the wrong thing on an extreme scale.
One only has to look at civil wars to see that we can even turn on our neighbours, brothers and friends because at the end of the day whatever is best for us works best for us....

I do believe we have the ability to make the right choices but I am not sure we are often willing to do so...

Again, I agree with you! Much of what we see today is nothing more than "chickens coming home to roost" which reminds me....

About a year ago at Columbia University in New York City, I had the privilege of watching a pre-screening of a documentary titled, The End of Poverty?. It was quite disturbing. I met the film's director (Philippe Diaz) and young producer (Matthew Stillman). While I know today we often see the symptoms and make much of them, this film goes a way to explain the causes, some of which you have touched upon.

The film is opening to the public starting in New York City TONIGHT before moving to other American cities in the coming months. I wish you can see it. You can see a trailer here and the website link follows:


YouTube - The End of Poverty? New HD Trailer

The End Of Poverty
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,098,960 times
Reputation: 19922
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
Again, I agree with you! Much of what we see today is nothing more than "chickens coming home to roost" which reminds me....

About a year ago at Columbia University in New York City, I had the privilege of watching a pre-screening of a documentary titled, The End of Poverty?. It was quite disturbing. I met the film's director (Philippe Diaz) and young producer (Matthew Stillman). While I know today we often see the symptoms and make much of them, this film goes a way to explain the causes, some of which you have touched upon.

The film is opening to the public starting in New York City TONIGHT before moving to other American cities in the coming months. I wish you can see it. You can see a trailer here and the website link follows:


YouTube - The End of Poverty? New HD Trailer

The End Of Poverty
I think it came to Oxford but I missed it as I was away. I will have a look for it though.
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Old 11-13-2009, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseketeer View Post
Ideas are as damaging as bombs. The result might be less "obvious" for a while and take longer but the end result is exactly the same. Hatred, bigotry and intolerance kill people and destroy lives. Ideas is what we should be afraid of.

Anti-Homosexual feelings for example leads to social ostracisation, bullying, discrimination ( some of it physical as well as verbal and psychological) and in some cases suicide or self harm.

Anti-Abortion movements lead to unwanted births, and child abuse/neglect which will have a deeply felt effect on many children , who will in turn grow up into inadequate adults some of which will turn their anger and sense of inadequacy into violence, murder, rape etc...

Thoughts turn into action , and actions all have consequences. One does not have to strap a bomb to their chest in a busy market place to destroy countless lives.

Violence come in many shapes and forms all of them repugnant and I feel we ought to take a hateful ideology like some so called Christians espouse as harmful as the violence we observe on the News in the Middle East.

All are destructive to life, freedom , liberty and the pursuit of happiness and in many cases mental and psychological violence will turn into maiming and blood letting as well.

We must fight ideas as well as bombers. In fact I do not believe we can fight bombers with bombs . Nobody can fight an idea with a bomb. In fact the more we bomb the stronger and more extremist ,more ingrained the idea becomes...

One must go back to the drawing board and fight ideas with ideas.

Someone I dearly loved was killed in the 1983 bombing in Beyrouth by a young suicide bomber so I am not saying this glibly. I felt no hatred towards that person , all I could feel beside my terrible grief, pain and anger was a great sadness.

The sadness that someone so young with so much potential had chosen to take that route. I pondered for years trying to understand what could lead to such despair and hatred for humanity. And to this day though I still do not truly understand I know that whatever caused this terrible atrocity could not have been stopped because if not her then someone else , even somewhere else perhaps would have committed the same deed for similar reasons.

Our only hope is to try and understand and then act by trying to end whatever reasons were responsible for such an act of utter violence and senseless murder.

An idea in someone's head will never be defeated with a gun. That much I learnt. Especially when death means nothing to some people who are willing to die and be maimed for their "cause".

In the West we live in fear for our physical bodies on a daily basis and physical violence, illness and death are the worst we can imagine. How can we fight people who feel no such fears ? There has to be a better solution.

Until we realise that I firmly believe we will all be mired in endless wars against an invisible foe. It is like fighting air.
Beautiful post, great ideas. Sadly, it's true.
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Old 11-13-2009, 10:10 PM
 
Location: San José, CA
3,334 posts, read 5,831,681 times
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Originally Posted by Fred314X View Post
Trusting a religion and trusting its adherents are two completely different things. I don't have anything against any religion (except when it tries to convert me). But some of the followers of some of those religions...I don't believe I trust them at all.
Why would you trust any strangers that you don't know? I don't see that your semantics really make a difference in my answer. I don't trust anyone I don't know? And trust them to do what? Everytime you see a woman in a hijab, do you believe she's strapped with C4? Not really sure what you mean.
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:32 PM
 
40,489 posts, read 27,019,478 times
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To the OP . . . No . . . and I say Mooseketeer for President!! Why aren't these wonderful people in government?
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