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Row over Danish cartoons depicting Muhammad with bomb

Religion Islam Cartoons of Muhammad

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#221 Schmokie_Dragon

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 03:09 PM

Well this thread died.

Some more info:

When the Islamic clerics in Danemark got wind of the cartoons, they wrote a 40+ page dossier on the incident and included a number of other images, with no declared source. These images were things like a photo of a man with a pigs head, with Muhammad on his t-shirt. All the images were much worse than the cartoons, and some believe they were photoshopped by the clerics to exaggerate the situation. Apparently they felt that the cartoons on their own would not cause enough of a stir. Apparently that is why the Islamic countries have been going mad, because of the other images the clerics included in the dossier.
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#222 BklnScott

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 04:11 PM

Right, and apparently the most incendiary of the images were NEVER published... and the vast majority of people rioting think they were.

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#223 QueenTiye

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 04:58 PM

I've made the case over and over that much of the trouble in the Islamic world is political leaders using religion to rile the masses....

It might be helpful to remember that Islamic countries do not have a "secular" tradition (and don't want one) that makes them distrustful of religion in the hands of government.  WE have that here, and so when some political figure starts having religious aspirations we think about removing them from office, and when religious folks start having political aspirations, we ask them tough questions about separating religion and politics.   Our religious sensibilities go on alarm if the government gets too close to religious determinism, and we actively fight the theocratic elements in our culture.

If you want a reason to be concerned about Islam - there's the source.  It isn't the religion itself - its its ability to be used by governments to manipulate people because a clearcut division between civic and religious authority hasn't been had yet.  I'm not sure there's a way to put such a division into the Faith - but I AM sure that there is a way to keep people from theocratizing an Islamic state.  

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#224 QueenTiye

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 10:31 AM

Here's an article, reprinted entirely, from an Islamic scholar:

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Clash of the Uncivilized: Insights on the Cartoon Controversy
By Imam Zaid Shakir


As the crisis that has emerged in the aftermath of the publication of the infamous cartoons that claim to depict the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God upon him, escalates, we would do well by stepping back and attempting to analyze the situation as dispassionately as possible. By doing so, as Muslims, we can hopefully formulate a more productive and meaningful response, and avoid being exploited by either side in the ongoing conflict. Saying this, I do not mean to imply that Muslims are not justifiably angry over the caricatures. However, I would agree with those who argue that responses that involve wild outbreaks of frenzied violence are inappropriate, and they only affirm what the cartoonist is trying to imply. Namely, that Islam is a religion that encourages obscurantist violence and terrorism.

The current crisis shows the extent we Muslims are vulnerable to media manipulation, superficial shows of piety, and counterproductive one-upmanship militancy. If we start with the issue of media manipulation, it is clear that Western and Eastern media outlets played a large role in stirring up Muslim, and now Western sentiments. When the crisis initially broke in September, it was barely a blip on the media radar. Few outside of Denmark even knew of the cartoons. The Danish Muslim community, appropriately, by and large ignored the story. [1] It was only after a campaign undertaken by a delegation of Danish Muslim community activists to stimulate greater interest in the issue that the crisis reached the proportions we are currently witnessing. These activists traveled throughout the Muslim East trying to draw attention to the issue. When the issue was popularized by Iqra and other Arab satellite channels, and the cartoons were reprinted by several European papers, the crisis deepened. In light of that reality, it would be hard to deny the role the media has played in sparking and now perpetuating the crisis.

A question we must ask is if these cartoons, which are an example of hundreds of other anti-Islamic slights occurring daily in Europe and America, were not brought to the attention of Muslims by the media, would we be undergoing the current brouhaha? - Clearly not. That being the case, what does this say about our strategic vision? What does this say about our level of political maturity? And what does it say about our ability to engage in meaningful proactive work? The answers to these questions are obvious. We get angry about Israeli troops breaking the bones of Palestinian children, as long as it is in the media. When it disappears from our television screens, our interest vanishes with it. We raise millions of dollars for those affected by the Tsunami, as long as the images of death and destruction are beamed into our homes by the media. However, when the coverage shifts to other issues, the donations dry up. As for those crises that do not make the news in a big way, such as the ongoing famines in Mali, Niger, and the Horn of Africa, we are hardly stirred to action.

Furthermore, we go on living our lives oblivious to the ongoing abuse of Islam and our Prophet, peace and blessing of God upon him, until it becomes a major media event. At that point based on urgings issued by parties, the origins of their dubious agendas unknown to us, we are expected to drop everything and hastily rush into the fray. In many instances, our ill-conceived actions only make the situation worse.

Sometimes, those actions may constitute superficial shows of piety emanating from the mob hysteria underlying them. In the mob we are empowered, and find it easy to confront our opponents, defy the rule of law, behave with wanton abandon, or engage in other acts which under the proper circumstances we may view as supporting Islam. In terms of more constructive mass actions, such as emerging into the streets by the tens of thousands to protest the brutal, authoritarian regimes that make a mockery of the prophetic ideals of justice, mutual consultation, and service to the oppressed and downtrodden of society, we come up terribly short. Similarly, there are no credible grassroots efforts towards forming effective anti-defamation organizations to bring constructive legal action against transgressing organizations and individuals, on a fulltime, proactive basis. As individuals, we find it difficult to support the Prophet, peace and blessings of God upon him, by adorning ourselves with his lofty character traits, or reviving His Sunnah in our daily lives.

On the other hand, as mentioned above, it is all too easy to get swept up into the mob hysteria generated by the crowd, and then engage in outrageous actions that only affirm the offensive claims of the transgressing cartoonist. It is as if we are saying, “We’ll show the Kafirs our Prophet, peace upon him was no terrorist! We’ll defame the symbols of their religion [2] burn their embassies, murder their unsuspecting innocents, and behead the bloody cartoonist if we get our hands on him.” [3]

This brings us to my third point, that of counterproductive, one-upmanship militancy. It is during these crises that all Muslims are supposed to drop everything and join the latest “Jihad” fad. Those of us who urge restraint are mocked as not being militant enough, or ridiculed as cowards who are afraid to “stand up to the real enemies of Islam.” No differences in understanding, interpretation, or strategy are allowed, because there is only one correct approach, the one stumbled upon with the aid of modern, sensationalizing media.

Such a reactive, haphazard approach is counterproductive for a number of reasons. First of all, it destroys the basis for proactive work based on the existence of a strategic vision. As long as the enemies of Islam know that they can mobilize the Muslims to chase after an unimaginable number of distracting issues, divide our ranks by those issues, and diffuse our energies through their debate and the pursuit of their resolution, they will possess a trump card that will affect our ability to unite and work more effectively towards creating and implementing an agenda capable of effecting meaningful change in our circumstance. It also blinds us to the underlying agenda that reckless spontaneous action might be unwittingly serving.

For example, it is interesting that these events have come to a head in the immediate aftermath of the stunning landslide victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections. That victory has rekindled, both in the East and the West, the debate around the implications of supporting democratization in the Muslim world when the biggest winners will be Islamic parties and movements. There are secularists in both the West and the Muslim world who advocate ending the democratizing experiment on that basis. However, they know that denying the democratic will of the Muslim peoples cannot be done without the support of the masses of people in Europe and America. These masses, especially in Britain and America, are increasingly wary of their governments’ nefarious agenda for the Middle East. However, the frightening images of crazed crowds rampaging, looting, and burning provides a powerful justification for the extreme, repressive policies being advocated by the far right for dealing with Islam and Muslims, both domestically, and internationally. Democracy in the Muslim world, they argue, will bring the advocates of mob rule to power.

If brutal draconian measures, such as those employed to end the democratization process in Algeria in the early 1990s, are employed elsewhere, the Western public will be psychologically prepared to accept those measures, because of the fear that has been created around the “Islamic” alternative. That fear can not only be used to justify denying the democratic will of the Muslim peoples, it can also be used to justify denying their legitimate strategic ambitions. A recent editorial in the Jerusalem Post links the fanaticism of the cartoon protests to the lawful nuclear ambitions of Iran. It states, “If anyone wants to appreciate why the West views with such suspicion the weapons programs of Muslim states such as Iran, they need look no further than the intolerance Muslim regimes exhibit to these cartoons, and what this portends.”

This crisis has also occurred in the immediate aftermath of the appearance of the latest “Bin Laden” tape, intensified warnings of an imminent major terrorist attack in the West, something "on the scale of 9/11," and it coincides with the escape of the alleged mastermind of the attack on the USS Cole from a Yemeni jail. The fear associated with the latter two events, combined with the images of hysterical protesters, work to create a climate that can support unprecedented measures if another major terrorist attack were to occur in the near future –whoever the perpetrators may be.

In addition to the setbacks on the psychological front, the current crisis indicates just how bad we are losing in the Jihad of ideas. It is not without significance that the ultimate objective of Jihad is linked to ideas. The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God upon him, was asked about a man who fought to display his bravery, another who fought out of fealty to his tribe, and a third who fought to show off. Which had fought in the Way of God? He replied, peace and blessings of God upon him, “The one who fought to make the Word of God uppermost has fought in the Way of God.”[4] Is the nature of the current campaign working to make the Word of God uppermost? Every Muslim needs to ask that question.

As Muslims, we are carrying the Word of God in an increasingly secular, militarized, and alienated world. What it means to carry that word is not an unknowable abstraction. We carry it by following the concrete example of our Noble Messenger Muhammad, peace and blessings of God upon him. In carrying the word, he endured unimaginable abuses and he persevered through them because he was inspired by a grand vision. That vision was to see his people saved by the life-giving, life-affirming message of Islam. No greater illustration of this can be given than the story of his expulsion from the city of Ta’if, after the arrogant leaders of that town unleashed the fools, slaves, and children against him.

In the aftermath of that onslaught, the Prophet, peace and blessings of God upon him, humbly raised his hands towards the sky and prayed:

O, God! Unto you alone do I plead my lack of strength, the paucity of my efforts, and my humiliation before the people. O, the Most Merciful of all! You are the Lord of the oppressed, you are my Lord. Unto who have you dispatched me? To a distant host who receives me repugnantly? Or to an enemy you have authorized over my affair? If you are not angry with me, I care not. It is only your goodness I seek to be covered with. I seek refuge with the Light of your Face, through which the darkness is illuminated and all the affairs of the world and hereafter are rectified, that you do not cast your anger down on me, nor cause your wrath to settle upon me. There is neither strength, nor power but with You. [5]

Two significant events are then related after this prayer was uttered by the Prophet, peace and blessing of God upon him. First of all, when presented with an offer by the Angels that God crush the city of Ta’if, the Prophet, peace and blessings of God upon him, refused saying that perhaps from the offspring of the offending hosts, there would emerge those who would worship God. This incident is well known. A lesser known incident associated with the journey to Ta’if occurred when the Prophet, peace and blessings of God upon him, was preparing to reenter Mecca, in the company of his companion Zaid bin Haritha. Zaid asked, “How can you reenter their presence when they have expelled you?” The Prophet, peace and blessings of God upon him, replied, “O, Zaid! God is bringing about through these events you have witnessed a great opening. God is most capable of assisting His religion, and manifesting the truth of His prophet.”

One of the most disturbing aspects of the current campaign to “Assist the Prophet,” for many converts, like this writer, is the implicit assumption that there is no da’wah work being undertaken here in the West, and no one is currently, or will in the future enter Islam in these lands. Therefore, it does not matter what transpires in the Muslim East. Muslims can behave in the most barbaric fashion, murder, plunder, pillage, brutalize and kidnap civilians, desecrate the symbols of other religions, trample on their honor, discard their values and mores, and massacre their fellow Muslims. If any of that undermines the works of Muslims in these Western lands, it does not matter. If it places a barrier between the Western people and Islam, when many of those people are in the most desperate need of Islam, it does not matter. If our Prophet, peace and blessings of God upon him, had responded to those who abused him in Ta’if with similar disregard, none of the generations of Muslims who have come from the descendants of those transgressors would have seen the light of day.

These campaigns of desperation also implicitly display a lack of confidence in God’s ability to protect his religion and defend the honor of His Prophet, peace and blessings of God upon him. We should do what we can do within lawful limits, and then we depute the affair to God. When we despair of help from God and find ourselves with limited strategic resources, we sometimes press forward with the most desperate tactics imaginable, taking little time to assess the compatibility of those tactics with Islamic teachings, or their long-term implications for the cause of Islam, especially in the West.

There are certainly more constructive and productive ways to defend the honor of the Prophet, peace and blessings of God upon him. Why are we calling for a “Day of Outrage” when our Prophet has instructed us repeatedly not to become angry? There are surely times when we should become angry for the sake of God. However, under the current circumstances, are anger and outrage appropriate responses? Why not a “Day of Familiarization,” where we teach people who the Prophet was and what he really represents, peace and blessings of God upon him? Why not a “Day of Sunnah,” where we all vow to revive a Sunnah we have allowed to slip away from our religious life. Such a day could also include the Sunnah of showing concern for ones neighbors? We could visit them and tell them about Islam and our beloved Prophet, peace and blessings of God upon him.

Whatever we do, as Muslims in the West, we may be approaching the day when we will have to "go it alone." If our coreligionists in the East cannot respect the fact that we are trying to accomplish things here in the West, and that their oftentimes ill-considered actions undermine that work in many instances, then it will be hard for us to consider them allies. How can one be an ally when he fails to consult you concerning actions whose negative consequences you will suffer? No one from the Muslim east consults us before launching these campaigns. No one seeks to find out as to how their actions are going to affect our lives and families. The confused incompetence of the Muslim countries around the issue of moon-sighting, a situation that has painful consequences for Muslims here in America is bad enough, the added pressure generated by these reoccurring crises is becoming unbearable for many.

We have a generation of Muslim children here who have to go to schools where most of them are small minorities facing severe peer pressure. During these crises they do not have the luxury of losing themselves in a frenzied mob. Their faith is challenged and many decide to simply stop identifying with Islam. Is that what they deserve? If they are largely lost to Islam, what is the future of our religion here? We have obedient, pious Hijab wearing women, who out of necessity must work, usually in places where they are the only Muslims. Should their safety, dignity, and honor be jeopardized by the actions of Muslims halfway around the world?

I reiterate that I am not saying these cartoons, and other denigrations of our religion and our Prophet, peace and blessings of God upon him, should be totally ignored. Imam Shafi’i stated that anyone who is angered and does not respond; he is a jackass. However, our responses should be weighed on the basis of a strategic calculus we construct. Their timing should be determined by that calculus, not by media sensationalizing. They should be undertaken in consultation with those who will be directly affected by the responses they generate. And their long-range implications should be deeply considered.
In conclusion, one should not see the ongoing crisis as a clash of civilizations. Phenomena as deep and complex as civilizations cannot be thrown into conflict overnight by media-driven campaigns. A clash of civilizations would also involve the overwhelming majority of people identified by a particular civilizational nexus. The current crisis is the result of a regrettable incident that has been exploited by an uncivilized minority of provocateurs both in the West and the East to advance their conflicting agendas. As long as that exploitation continues, the crisis could aptly be called the clash of the uncivilized.

[1] We say appropriately because the measured response of the Danish Muslim community killed the story. Certainly part of the defense of the Prophet’s honor is to keep these images out of the media. The initial response of the Danish Muslims did just that.

[2] The Danish flag prominently displays a cross, the symbol of Christianity. Hence, every time a Danish flag is burned or trampled on, the symbol of Christianity is desecrated. A similar transgression against Islam would occur if the Saudi flag, which contains the Name of Allah, and the declaration of Tawhid La ilaha illa Allah were burned or trampled. The question here is has the entirety of Christendom transgressed against the Muslim people in a way to justify an attack on the symbol of their faith?

[3] Protestors in Britain this past Friday threatened suicide bombing attacks in European cities, and the beheading of the offending cartoonists. Insightfully, the British Muslim youth protesting wearing a mock suicide bomber’s vest turned out to be a convicted heroin and crack dealer, out on parole. It is a lot easier to mobilize the Muslim youth for the anti-cartoon Jihad than to deal with the rising rates of incarceration, mental illness, failing schools, dysfunctional homes, and the drug addition and alcoholism that are ravaging the British Muslim community.

[4] Al-Bukhari, no. 7458, and Muslim, no. 1904.

[5] This prayer and the incident precipitating it are related in the various books of Prophetic biography, both ancient and modern. It is quoted here from Dr. Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-Buti, Fiqh as-Sirah (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 2001/1422), pp. 150-151.
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Edited by QueenTiye, 16 February 2006 - 01:16 PM.

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#225 BklnScott

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 11:16 AM

From this week's Time magazine:

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In late January an imam at the Grand Mosque of Mecca declared that "he who vilifies [the Prophet] should be killed."

Priests inciting their followers to go out and KILL the unbelievers--yeah, this is a faith that should be met with tolerance and understanding rather than demands for reform.

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#226 QueenTiye

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 11:31 AM

The longstanding corruption of those who control access to the Kaba notwithstanding - supporting the reformist movements of Islam (or rather, the other sects that don't act like this) instead of vilifying the entire faith is probably a good idea...

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#227 G1223

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 11:54 AM

View Post_ph, on Feb 16 2006, 11:16 AM, said:

From this week's Time magazine:

Quote

In late January an imam at the Grand Mosque of Mecca declared that "he who vilifies [the Prophet] should be killed."

Priests inciting their followers to go out and KILL the unbelievers--yeah, this is a faith that should be met with tolerance and understanding rather than demands for reform.


And yet you are wanting to use diplomatic methods to try and keep them from having the bomb. You actually think the diplospeak is going to achieve anything?
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#228 BklnScott

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 12:20 PM

When the Pope issues bigoted pronouncements, I condemn Catholicism.  I don't pretend that well-meaning but microscopic organizations like Voice of the Faithful have any chance whatsoever of affecting change for the better.    

This is the Islamic equivalent, only the Imams of Mecca are calling for their faithful to put the nonbelievers to death, and the people are obeying, by the MILLIONS.  Even moderate Muslims are anti-semitic, mysoginistic, and homophobic--and they often support the actions of the radicals.  

That same Time magazine article I quoted above presents a self-described moderate, tolerant, educated Egyptian youth who, while attempting to explain why the protests have turned violent, admitted that "if the Danish Prime Minister were here, I would kill him myself."  

How... moderate of him.  (And also, what a non-sequiter.  What the hell did the Danish Prime Minister have to do with the decision to publish these cartoons?)

It seems to me that a huge, mainstream swath of Muslims believe it's entirely kosher (so to speak) for their religious leaders to order up violence on nonbelievers.  Sorry--it's just not, and I don't see a way to bridge that gap.  Either they jettison that belief or a global clash of civilizations (on a much larger scale than we have today) becomes inevitable.        

And, I dunno about anyone else, but if that happens, I say WE win.  



View PostG1223, on Feb 16 2006, 11:54 AM, said:

View Post_ph, on Feb 16 2006, 11:16 AM, said:

From this week's Time magazine:

Quote

In late January an imam at the Grand Mosque of Mecca declared that "he who vilifies [the Prophet] should be killed."

Priests inciting their followers to go out and KILL the unbelievers--yeah, this is a faith that should be met with tolerance and understanding rather than demands for reform.


And yet you are wanting to use diplomatic methods to try and keep them from having the bomb. You actually think the diplospeak is going to achieve anything?

First of all, the Imams of Mecca are SAUDI, not Iranian.  Second, and for the umpeenth time, I say to you: nuclear deterrence works.  If not, we'd all be dead.  Iran wants nukes to get a seat at the table, not to DESTROY the table.  

Third: even Bush has admitted there is NO good military option here.  We'd literally have to wipe Iran off the map to prevent them getting nukes, and we're not about to do that because, whether you realize it or not, to do so would only make the situation worse, and--perhaps more importantly--it would make us bigger villains than they are.

Edited by _ph, 16 February 2006 - 12:21 PM.

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#229 MuseZack

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 12:24 PM

View Post_ph, on Feb 16 2006, 05:16 PM, said:

When the Pope issues bigoted pronouncements, I condemn Catholicism.  I don't pretend that well-meaning but microscopic organizations like Voice of the Faithful have any chance whatsoever of affecting change for the better.    

This is the Islamic equivalent, only the Imams of Mecca are calling for their faithful to put the nonbelievers to death, and the people are obeying, by the MILLIONS.  Even moderate Muslims are anti-semitic, mysoginistic, and homophobic--and they often support the actions of the radicals.

ph, the problem with this analogy is that the Muslim world doesn't have a Pope, only a bunch of imams leading various institutions and movements with varying levels of credibility.  That's not to deny that a lot of these religious leaders are retrogade and hostile to the west, but the Islamic world is incredibly heterogenous.
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#230 QueenTiye

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 12:26 PM

There is no Islamic equivalent to the Pope.

The Imams of Mecca are propped by our allies in Saudi Arabia, and can control things because of it.  But an Imam in one place is no greater than an Imam in another place.

I agree with you that currently the majority of Muslims seem to abide by fundamentalist philosophies, and therefore are susceptable to these kinds of manipulations. But that doesn't change the fact that the religion itself is not the pronouncements of any one Imam. For that matter, the Pope, while having a much stronger claim to speak for all of Catholicism than any Imam ever will - does not, as I understand it from Catholics who have posted here, get to change the religion at whim.  His pronouncements are not "the Faith."  AND STILL - there is no functional equivalent in Islam.

Or, you know... what Zack said. :)

QT

Edited by QueenTiye, 16 February 2006 - 12:28 PM.

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#231 Shalamar

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 12:33 PM

QT, the guidelines say no posting articles in their entireity. Please reduce it to 50% and provide a link to the article.
The three most important R's
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#232 QueenTiye

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 12:41 PM

Um... the article in question comes with a specific authorization TO reprint in its entirety provided copyright notice is offered....

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#233 BklnScott

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 12:43 PM

View PostMuseZack, on Feb 16 2006, 12:24 PM, said:

ph, the problem with this analogy is that the Muslim world doesn't have a Pope, only a bunch of imams leading various institutions and movements with varying levels of credibility.


View PostQueenTiye, on Feb 16 2006, 12:26 PM, said:

There is no Islamic equivalent to the Pope.

The Imams of Mecca are propped by our allies in Saudi Arabia, and can control things because of it.  But an Imam in one place is no greater than an Imam in another place.

I've been working on the assumption that the Imams of Mecca hold more sway.  Is this not the case?      

Quote

I agree with you that currently the majority of Muslims seem to abide by fundamentalist philosophies, and therefore are susceptable to these kinds of manipulations. But that doesn't change the fact that the religion itself is not the pronouncements of any one Imam. For that matter, the Pope, while having a much stronger claim to speak for all of Catholicism than any Imam ever will - does not, as I understand it from Catholics who have posted here, get to change the religion at whim.  His pronouncements are not "the Faith."  AND STILL - there is no functional equivalent in Islam.

This starts to move toward the "is the religion what's in the text or the way people practice?" question and I'm firmly of the opinion that it's the latter.  

Besides, what does it matter if there is no functional equivalent of the pope in Islam?  A large number of their religious leaders think it's just peachy to instruct their flocks to go riot, maim and kill the infidels.  The ones who DON'T do that don't seem to be having much luck at organizing against the ones who DO.  (Maybe they're not trying hard enough--like moderate evangelicals vis a vis the extremists of their faith).  

That leaves us, in the end, with the same situation.  No?

Edited by _ph, 16 February 2006 - 12:43 PM.

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#234 Shalamar

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 12:58 PM

QT -

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the article in question comes with a specific authorization TO reprint in its entirety provided copyright notice is offered....

My apologies if you had the copyright notice in your post - I must have missed it - that being the case( specific authorization) - please feel free to repost the entire article.
The three most important R's
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#235 QueenTiye

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 01:01 PM

My participation in this thread has been exclusively to defend the Faith of Islam from the smears of both its fundamentalist adherents and those who would like to assert that that particular interpretation of the Faith is the Faith.  People have gone from calling things "fundamentalism" to calling it "Islam" as if there is no other possible expression - and have actively voiced the opinion that the religion is inherently responsible for the behavior of the fundamentalists, and that Prophet Muhammad Himself is to blame, as He was a conqueror.  I have to disagree strenuously with these positions. Such positions are part of why we can't dialogue with anyone in the Faith of Islam - we smear everyone with the same brush - and that forces people who ordinarily would be against one another to have to team up against the outside threat.

No - the Imams of Mecca do not hold more sway, though they would like to.  The sense in which they hold more sway is that the control access to the Kaba.  But if they suddenly started denying major groups of adherents access, they'd be in big trouble.  Access to the Kaba means they get rich.  That counts for something.  But theologically - no, they have no more sway than any other Islamic scholar.  

And yes, I agree that the end result is the same.  But if Pat Robertson gets his followers out to do things you don't politically like, that doesn't make Pat Robertson the arbiter of the Faith of Christianity.  That just makes him persuasive to a group of Christians - in his case, a large group.  

QT

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#236 QueenTiye

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 01:21 PM

View PostShalamar, on Feb 16 2006, 12:58 PM, said:

QT -

Quote

the article in question comes with a specific authorization TO reprint in its entirety provided copyright notice is offered....

My apologies if you had the copyright notice in your post - I must have missed it - that being the case( specific authorization) - please feel free to repost the entire article.

Thanks, Shalamar! - I've restored the article.

QT

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#237 BklnScott

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 01:51 PM

View PostQueenTiye, on Feb 16 2006, 01:01 PM, said:

My participation in this thread has been exclusively to defend the Faith of Islam from the smears of both its fundamentalist adherents and those who would like to assert that that particular interpretation of the Faith is the Faith.  People have gone from calling things "fundamentalism" to calling it "Islam" as if there is no other possible expression - and have actively voiced the opinion that the religion is inherently responsible for the behavior of the fundamentalists, and that Prophet Muhammad Himself is to blame, as He was a conqueror.  I have to disagree strenuously with these positions.

Such positions are part of why we can't dialogue with anyone in the Faith of Islam - we smear everyone with the same brush - and that forces people who ordinarily would be against one another to have to team up against the outside threat.

I'd argue that we can't dialogue with anyone in the Faith of Islam for a bunch of reasons (not one of which is that it's an inherently evil or violent religion), but one of the big ones would be because the vast majority of its adherents are mysoginistic, homophobic anti-semites.  Call me crazy, but that doesn't work for me.      

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No - the Imams of Mecca do not hold more sway, though they would like to.  The sense in which they hold more sway is that the control access to the Kaba.  But if they suddenly started denying major groups of adherents access, they'd be in big trouble.  Access to the Kaba means they get rich.  That counts for something.  But theologically - no, they have no more sway than any other Islamic scholar.

Again, this sounds to me like the typical discrepency between what's on paper and how it actually works in the real world.  The novelist John Anderson argued that ideas were only pure in the instant they were conceived--and thereafter were inevitably corrupted by exposure to the human mind.  He called this "the grosteques."  This is similar, IMO.          

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And yes, I agree that the end result is the same.  But if Pat Robertson gets his followers out to do things you don't politically like, that doesn't make Pat Robertson the arbiter of the Faith of Christianity.  That just makes him persuasive to a group of Christians - in his case, a large group.  

QT

You may remember that I've argued with Cheile and others that, in my view, mainstream Christians have a responsibility to deal with the likes of Pat Robertson and his followers, lest the bad apples sour the bunch.  I would argue the same is true with Muslims.

Edited by _ph, 16 February 2006 - 01:53 PM.

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There isn't enough mommy in the world to further a cause like yours!

#238 QueenTiye

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 02:01 PM

Well, we agree to disagree. :)  My point still stands.  Mainstream Christians are actually the majority of the faith - there is a reason why Pat Robertson, who does not represent the mainstream, still can be convincing on a number of points.

And your opinions on what constitutes homophobia and mysogyny notwithstanding (I'm leaving out the anti-semitism one mostly because I know what you mean by it and don't think that's in dispute - the word usage being completely wrong, notwithstanding. Can't we just say anti-Jewishism or something?), the issue at heart is violence.  Is violence justified against women by Islam? Is violence justified against people who do are not Muslim in Islam? Does Islam support the violent uprisings we've seen as an appropriate response to the denigration of the Prophet in some published pictures?  Etc. My answer is no, though there are some interpretations of Islam that answer YES.  

But it takes understanding religion in general to understand why recognizing the distinction I'm making is important.  

QT

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#239 veganmom

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 02:16 PM

View Post_ph, on Feb 16 2006, 05:20 PM, said:

When the Pope issues bigoted pronouncements, I condemn Catholicism.

You know, it's been hundreds of years since the Pope said, "Go kill people unless they convert."

:D

It's about power, not religion. It was for Popes back in the day, and it is for Imams now.


View PostQueenTiye, on Feb 16 2006, 07:01 PM, said:

I'm leaving out the anti-semitism one mostly because I know what you mean by it and don't think that's in dispute - the word usage being completely wrong, notwithstanding. Can't we just say anti-Jewishism or something
QT

And, sorry for the DUH moment  :blush: , QT, but can you clarify "antisemitism" vs. "antiJewishism?" My DUH moment, not yours. I could look it up, but I like your opinions better!!! Does it have to do with anti-Zionism?

And how many different words do we have to have to define hatred of a particular people? It's like Eskimos and snow.  :crazy:

NOT NOT saying you're not right to make the distinction. Just being dumb.

#240 Cardie

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 02:48 PM

^^Although "antisemitism" has long been the accepted term for those who are prejudiced against Jews, Arabs (but not all Muslims) are just as much Semites as were the original Hebrews who lived in the biblical land of Israel.  Given how much non-Semitic DNA has drifted into the contemporary Jewish gene pool, the whole reference to antisemitism ought to be retired, but it hasn't been.

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