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Thread: Should We Blame Islam?

  1. #1
    plazul
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    Should We Blame Islam?

    Today the editor of the Washingtom Times issued a mild admonishment to President Bush for calling Islam, "a religion of peace." He said before we do that Islam must, "look and sound like a religion of peace."

    Looking back on the violent history of Christianity might be helpful in gaining some perspective on what's happening to Islam. It would be easy to characterize the Christian Crusaders and the Conqistators as terrorists and the Spanish Inquisition under the Spanish crown was truly a reign of terror for heretics and Jews. Indeed, there are many other historical examples of what could be described as Christian terrorism but most Christians believe that the foundation of their their faith is peace and love.

    Christianity and Islam are both "religions of peace" that provide a moral justification for violence and "just war." And as I see it, the root of all terrorism is the tension between Islam and Christianity and nationalism is just the catalyst for that tension to explode into a cultural war that will divide the world for the rest of this century.

    I never thought I could say such a thing, but maybe the war against terrorism should really be a war against religion.

  2. #2
    Catnip, Stat! anastrophe's Avatar
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    Re: Should We Blame Islam?

    Quote Originally Posted by plazul
    I never thought I could say such a thing, but maybe the war against terrorism should really be a war against religion.
    i hope that's just a poorly phrased thought. i'm hoping you mean that it appears that the war on terrorism may really be a war against religion - not that you are suggesting that it should be a war against religion.

  3. #3
    Supporting Member xlt66's Avatar
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    Re: Should We Blame Islam?

    You cannot base today's actions on mankind's misdeeds in the distant past. I do not remember the last time I saw a elementary school curriculum that included lessons on hating Islamists and memorizing passages out of the Bible that encouraged the killing of Muslims. Have you? I am unfamiliar with any Christian catechisms that glorify death more than life. I am not aware of any teachings of "obligation and faith" that requires its believers to turn their society/state/nation into the Christian faith by any means necessary.

    This is 2004, not the 1400's. The Muslim leaders are the ones who have not evolved since the days of the Crusades. Don't lump me in with them.


    Quote Originally Posted by plazul
    Today the editor of the Washingtom Times issued a mild admonishment to President Bush for calling Islam, "a religion of peace." He said before we do that Islam must, "look and sound like a religion of peace."

    Looking back on the violent history of Christianity might be helpful in gaining some perspective on what's happening to Islam. It would be easy to characterize the Christian Crusaders and the Conqistators as terrorists and the Spanish Inquisition under the Spanish crown was truly a reign of terror for heretics and Jews. Indeed, there are many other historical examples of what could be described as Christian terrorism but most Christians believe that the foundation of their their faith is peace and love.

    Christianity and Islam are both "religions of peace" that provide a moral justification for violence and "just war." And as I see it, the root of all terrorism is the tension between Islam and Christianity and nationalism is just the catalyst for that tension to explode into a cultural war that will divide the world for the rest of this century.

    I never thought I could say such a thing, but maybe the war against terrorism should really be a war against religion.

  4. #4
    plazul
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    Re: Should We Blame Islam?

    Quote Originally Posted by xlt66
    You cannot base today's actions on mankind's misdeeds in the distant past. I do not remember the last time I saw a elementary school curriculum that included lessons on hating Islamists and memorizing passages out of the Bible that encouraged the killing of Muslims. Have you? I am unfamiliar with any Christian catechisms that glorify death more than life. I am not aware of any teachings of "obligation and faith" that requires its believers to turn their society/state/nation into the Christian faith by any means necessary.

    This is 2004, not the 1400's. The Muslim leaders are the ones who have not evolved since the days of the Crusades. Don't lump me in with them.
    I didn't lump you into anything but I reserve the right to do so if I choose. I minored in religious studies in college buddy and I know a little bit about history too so if you want to take me on on the subject of Christian superiority, make my day. If you're too thick to get the editorial spin of my remarks tough. Why don't you ask our Irish friends what's been happening over there thanks to sectarian politics.

    As far as I'm concerned the rabid religious right in this country is just slightly more civilized than the Taliban and they are very busy orchestrating their own holy propaganda war against Islam.

    When I lamented that we ought to declare war on religion I was expressing a sentiment felt by many free thinkers who see religion as more of a bane to humankind than a blessing. And please spare me the vapid BS about Christian teachings. The devil can quote scripture to further his own devices and he does it every day in this country through his hate mongering religious broadcasting mouth pieces.

    When are people like you going to look past you're own preogatives and see how the non Christian world views the holier than thou hegemony of the Judeo-Christian superpower?

    I've tried to get people to pull in their horns and stop demonizing Muslims who have historically been just as victimized by religion as Christians. But it's a lost cause.

    Like I said, nothing brings out the devil in people like religious tensions. "Muslim leaders are the ones who have not evolved since the days of the Crusades." Bilge. Muslims were charting the stars, doing advanced mathematics, creating magnificent buildings, and writing great literature, to name a few things, when your ignorant, uneducated, and superstitious ancestors were living like animals, and with animals, in filthy mud huts. See the thread on the 1500s for a look at how they lived.

  5. #5
    Lunaverde
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    Re: Should We Blame Islam?

    It seems to me both Christianity and Islam have proved themselves over the centuries to be religions of violence, far more than religions of peace. What concerns me is why these religions, particularly the violent, arrogant, aggressive aspects, appeal to so many people? This is a real problem the world needs to address. Do we blame the religions, or do we blame the violent followers?

    Naturally, there are many many Christians and Islamics who are not violent or arrogant or abusive. However, it drives me crazy to hear decent Christians (um, I actually don't know any Moslims at present, so I can't comment there) ignore or brush off the serious problems their religion has caused. If one points out the brutalities of the Inquisition, or the Crusades, or Ireland, a good Christian nearly always will say, with horror, "Those weren't REAL Christians!" And that's the end of the discussion. Problem is, they were and are REAL Christians and REAL Moslims who committed and continue to commit atrocities in the name of their religions. This problem needs to be addressed by all decent, non-violent Moslims and Christians. Both the Bible and the Koran are full of exhortations to violence. It does humanity no good at all to simply dismiss these obvious difficulties and to keep on denying and ignoring them.

    Again, is it religion itself which is the problem, or some tendency in certain people? Mormonism is another religion that tends to be very violent. What is going on here, and what can we do about it? Religion is clearly here to stay, so how can we channel that tendency towards violence into something less harmful?

  6. #6
    Supporting Member xlt66's Avatar
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    Re: Should We Blame Islam?

    Quote Originally Posted by plazul
    I didn't lump you into anything but I reserve the right to do so if I choose. I minored in religious studies in college buddy and I know a little bit about history too so if you want to take me on on the subject of Christian superiority, make my day.
    Make your day? I'm taking this as a joke, right? Minored in Religious Studies in college? Were you the guy back with his hand up all the time? Did you get an A+ on your "The Judeo-Christian Tradition Is Evil" paper? Were you impressed that you got to sample all the religions of the world? I'll be impressed when you can show me a Masters of Divinity Degree. Until then, you have much less formal training than I do.

    If you're too thick to get the editorial spin of my remarks tough. Why don't you ask our Irish friends what's been happening over there thanks to sectarian politics.
    You've made my point. That is a political conflict.


    As far as I'm concerned the rabid religious right in this country is just slightly more civilized than the Taliban and they are very busy orchestrating their own holy propaganda war against Islam.
    Are you denying what I said in the post above? Do you understand what is being taught in the Muslim schools? Have you ever read the Qur'an?


    Like I said, nothing brings out the devil in people like religious tensions. "Muslim leaders are the ones who have not evolved since the days of the Crusades." Bilge. Muslims were charting the stars, doing advanced mathematics, creating magnificent buildings, and writing great literature, to name a few things, when your ignorant, uneducated, and superstitious ancestors were living like animals, and with animals, in filthy mud huts. See the thread on the 1500s for a look at how they lived.
    You've made my point again. WHAT have the Muslims contributed to society since 1100 A.D.? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Why is that? What happened to their short lived "Age or Reason?" I'll let you think about that. Could it have been the rise of Islam as we know it today? I don't consider that evolution. They are stuck in their practices from the 12th Century. To pass off their archaic social and religious beliefs as completely normal is ridiculous. To treat women and children as they do is barbaric. To argue that we are the evil ones is ridiculous. To even mention that we are only slightly more civilized than the Taliban tells me you are reacting rather than thinking.

  7. #7
    Supporting Member xlt66's Avatar
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    Re: Should We Blame Islam?

    Welcome to our discussion!

    I'm curious about your comment about Mormonism. Why do you feel that way?


    Quote Originally Posted by Lunaverde
    It seems to me both Christianity and Islam have proved themselves over the centuries to be religions of violence, far more than religions of peace. What concerns me is why these religions, particularly the violent, arrogant, aggressive aspects, appeal to so many people? This is a real problem the world needs to address. Do we blame the religions, or do we blame the violent followers?

    Naturally, there are many many Christians and Islamics who are not violent or arrogant or abusive. However, it drives me crazy to hear decent Christians (um, I actually don't know any Moslims at present, so I can't comment there) ignore or brush off the serious problems their religion has caused. If one points out the brutalities of the Inquisition, or the Crusades, or Ireland, a good Christian nearly always will say, with horror, "Those weren't REAL Christians!" And that's the end of the discussion. Problem is, they were and are REAL Christians and REAL Moslims who committed and continue to commit atrocities in the name of their religions. This problem needs to be addressed by all decent, non-violent Moslims and Christians. Both the Bible and the Koran are full of exhortations to violence. It does humanity no good at all to simply dismiss these obvious difficulties and to keep on denying and ignoring them.

    Again, is it religion itself which is the problem, or some tendency in certain people? Mormonism is another religion that tends to be very violent. What is going on here, and what can we do about it? Religion is clearly here to stay, so how can we channel that tendency towards violence into something less harmful?

  8. #8
    Lunaverde
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    Re: Should We Blame Islam?

    Hmmm, perhaps launching into a discussion of Mormonism should be a new thread! But the short answer to why I feel it is another violent religion is that I've read some history of the Mormon church. An excellent, excellent book on the subject is "Under The Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer. Another good book is "The Mountain Meadows Massacre" by Juanita Brooks. There are any number of good histories of the Mormon church, all will give you a picture of the violence that runs through that religion, from founding to the present day.

    I do know a number of Mormons, and they are good people, but that doesn't negate the violent tendencies of the church. It's interesting to me why some religions tend more toward violence than others. You just don't find Buddhists killing each other or killing their neighbors throughout the centuries, the way you see it in Islam, Christianity, Mormonism....So what is going on here? What is says to me is that some religions need to be watched carefully, as they tend toward violence. Blame it on the religion itself, or on the followers? -- I'm not sure. Much more research is clearly required.

  9. #9
    plazul
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    Re: Should We Blame Islam?

    Quote Originally Posted by xlt66
    Make your day? I'm taking this as a joke, right? Minored in Religious Studies in college? Were you the guy back with his hand up all the time? Did you get an A+ on your "The Judeo-Christian Tradition Is Evil" paper? Were you impressed that you got to sample all the religions of the world? I'll be impressed when you can show me a Masters of Divinity Degree. Until then, you have much less formal training than I do.



    You've made my point. That is a political conflict.




    Are you denying what I said in the post above? Do you understand what is being taught in the Muslim schools? Have you ever read the Qur'an?






    You've made my point again. WHAT have the Muslims contributed to society since 1100 A.D.? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Why is that? What happened to their short lived "Age or Reason?" I'll let you think about that. Could it have been the rise of Islam as we know it today? I don't consider that evolution. They are stuck in their practices from the 12th Century. To pass off their archaic social and religious beliefs as completely normal is ridiculous. To treat women and children as they do is barbaric. To argue that we are the evil ones is ridiculous. To even mention that we are only slightly more civilized than the Taliban tells me you are reacting rather than thinking.
    Masters of Divinity Degree, huh? Jerry Falwell has one and a PHD and I think his pal Pat Robertson also has a graduate degree. Are they friends of yours? You seem to have much in common. At least I had the good sense to be a CPA and leave the religiosity to pompous preachers of hate like you and your ilk. I did the minor in RS because I was flogged with Christian guilt every Sunday by a psychotic Christian pastor and I wanted to understand the mindset of the Christian theologian, never mind comparative religion. Which goes to your question about Muslim contributions after 1100. Ever heard of the Moors and a little Spanish town called Cordoba? They were there from 800 AD through 1600 AD and created one of the most brilliant societies in Europe. At least that's what I Googled up. There was too much material on Arab contributions to civilization to choose from. Pick your own gems if you like.

    But every civilization has its dark and shining ages. Anyway, if my post seemed strident (make my day) it's because your bigoted remark about Muslims sort of set me off and reminded me of the bilge about Islam that they spew on the Christian Broadcasting network. Lots of Masters of Divinity types over there.

    So, if you want to use your graduate degree to take the moral high ground, go for it.

    BTW, what was the title of your thesis? I'm thinking something like, Understanding the Christian Libido.

  10. #10
    Catnip, Stat! anastrophe's Avatar
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    Re: Should We Blame Islam?

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    Quote Originally Posted by plazul
    I know a little bit about history too
    very little, apparently.

    Like I said, nothing brings out the devil in people like religious tensions. "Muslim leaders are the ones who have not evolved since the days of the Crusades." Bilge. Muslims were charting the stars, doing advanced mathematics, creating magnificent buildings, and writing great literature, to name a few things, when your ignorant, uneducated, and superstitious ancestors were living like animals, and with animals, in filthy mud huts. See the thread on the 1500s for a look at how they lived.
    um. first off, the thread on the 1500's has already been shown to be poppycock. that post of how life was is internet myth. so, strike one.

    secondly, your grasp of history is deeply flawed. you are conflating 'peoples of the middle and near east' with 'muslims', which is ridiculous in the extreme. Islam did not even exist before 550 A.D. The chaldean babylonians, the assyrians, and the persians were the ones charting the stars, doing advanced mathematics, creating magnificent buildings, and writing great literature - in 600 B.C.

    so you were only off by a thousand years or so. no big deal. sheesh.
    Last edited by anastrophe; 09-09-2004 at 07:33 PM. Reason: typo

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