Islam

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Islam

Postby Senex » Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:12 am

Islam is a HUGE force in the world today, for better or for worse, and for the most part it is associated with fear and jihad. I would like to know what your personal thoughts are of Islam.

Personally i believe that Islam is one of the greatest tragedies of the world. It has so much potential to be a driving force of good in this world if it wasn't misinterpreted by so many psycho-fanatical, power-hungry nut jobs. I am by no means an expert, however I do plan on buying a Koran so I can become more learned on the subject since it is so huge and well... in your face at the moment. Violence will never be appeased by violence. Only through compassion and understanding, as well as the removal of ignorance can we even begin to work through a problem that has caused so much bloodshed and terror.

SO

What do you think of Islam?
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Re: Islam

Postby pink_trike » Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:36 am

Like most religions, it has devolved over the centuries from being a far-reaching brilliant body of astronomy and mathematics voiced in allegorical format with instructions for living an integral "way of life" consistent with the "movement of the heavens" - into a fundamentalist, literalistic social code controlled by a powerful elite intent on preserving their power.
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Re: Islam

Postby Senex » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:16 am

Shame it couldn't have kept it's "enlightened" state huh.
Words exist because of meaning; once you've gotten the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can have a word with him?

Zhuangzi, chapter 26
(B. Watson, The Complete Works of Chuang-tzu, 302)
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Re: Islam

Postby pink_trike » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:44 am

Senex wrote:Shame it couldn't have kept it's "enlightened" state huh.

Every conditioned thing rises and falls. Why wish for the impossible? Islam was just a container of The Law. The Law is indestructible...containers come and go.
Vision is Mind
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Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

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---

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Re: Islam

Postby Fede » Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:20 am

I think it's a subversive organisation with hidden agendas masquerading as an organisation designed to make you think it has global health and welfare at heart.

Oh, and they've also spelt it backwards....

Sneaky, huh?

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Re: Islam

Postby cooran » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:25 am

Senex wrote:Islam is a HUGE force in the world today, for better or for worse, and for the most part it is associated with fear and jihad. I would like to know what your personal thoughts are of Islam.

Personally i believe that Islam is one of the greatest tragedies of the world. It has so much potential to be a driving force of good in this world if it wasn't misinterpreted by so many psycho-fanatical, power-hungry nut jobs. I am by no means an expert, however I do plan on buying a Koran so I can become more learned on the subject since it is so huge and well... in your face at the moment. Violence will never be appeased by violence. Only through compassion and understanding, as well as the removal of ignorance can we even begin to work through a problem that has caused so much bloodshed and terror.

SO

What do you think of Islam?


I know a lot of Muslims. They are among the most peaceful and compassionate beings I have had the privilege to come across. Most Muslims are peaceful and caring.
Why not actually try and meet some in your area, get to know them as ordinary neighbours and everyday people rather than seeing them through the stories and labels from the media, and find out how uninformed your evident prejudices are?

karuna,
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Re: Islam

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:21 pm

Hello All,

My wife's family is Muslim and I, too, at one time converted to Islam for reasons of which I am non too proud (i.e., for the sake of marriage). Nonetheless, despite the fact that I am a committed and practicing Buddhist who observes the 5 precepts and renews my refuges every morning I am obliged to observe Ramadhan and other Islamic rituals simply because of my desire to both keep the peace and honor a commitment I made at an earlier time in my life. So, I have a complicated and at some times troubled relationship with Islam but in all of my years of intimately interacting with and being an ostensible part of a Muslim community I have never encountered the supposedly stereotypical "Islamo-fascist" attitude which seems to predominate in media coverage. Of course, there are whackos here and there and I've met them but most sensible people see them as such and keep them at a polite distance. By and large, Muslims upholding the 5 pillars of Islam are leading exemplary lives free from intoxicants and devoted to peace and harmony. I believe there is a hadith that states that there is to be no compulsion in religion but Muslims should attract others to their faith through their pleasing behavior and charity. If anyone really wants to learn about Islam visit your local mosque (masjid) and take it from there as any Q'uran is liable to be simply to dense in terms of allegory to be of any real use. Anyway, this is just my personal take but I offer it you all in a spirit of peace.

Metta,

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Re: Islam

Postby fivebells » Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:19 pm

It's important to keep in mind that violence is baked into the foundations of Islam.(*) Of course, many (perhaps most) significant human institutions are marred in this way. The United States in particular comes to mind. But to regard it as fundamentally a "religion of peace" would be willful ignorance. There are foundational concepts in Islam which are explicitly favorable to hostility and destruction, and as long as people hanker to express violence, there will be Muslims who justify their hostility in terms of these concepts. To characterize these concepts as corruptions of any earlier, more peaceful form of Islam would be historically inaccurate.

I don't think Islam per se is the problem, though, any more than I would think that the Declaration of Independence underlies contemporary US violence. Jihadists usually have quite legitimate political grievances, which can be expressed in strictly secular terms. The religious imagery is simply a rallying point. For anyone who wants to know what these grievances look like, I highly recommend Stern's Terror in the name of God: why religious militants kill. She went and actually talked to these guys, and figured out what makes them tick. How I wish the chickenhawks which have brought the US to its knees in the name of fighting "islamofascism" had half the guts it must have taken for her to do that.

(*) Edit: Jechbi points out below that this is not a trustworthy source. Here's the corresponding Wikipedia page.
Last edited by fivebells on Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Islam

Postby Jechbi » Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:19 pm

Chris wrote:... rather than seeing them through the stories and labels from the media ...

And of course media reports are not uniformly biased either. In our local newspaper (and many others, I'm sure) there have been stories that portray Muslims as part of the local community, as our neighbors. For some it can be as tempting to engage in journalist bashing as it might be for others to engage in Muslim bashing. But I'm guessing we all recognize here that this is not a black-and-white world, and that all these human beings deserve our respectful consideration.

Regarding Islam, don't forget the Sufi approach. There are nuances in any religion as broad and diverse as Islam. I'd be reluctant to oversimplify.

Not that there don't seem to be certain cultural tendancies afixed to Islam is some areas. Turkey is an interesting case in point. There's an ongoing effort to maintain a secular government there, and to be accepted as part of Europe. Not a black-and-white issue.
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Re: Islam

Postby Individual » Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:20 pm

Senex wrote:Islam is a HUGE force in the world today, for better or for worse, and for the most part it is associated with fear and jihad. I would like to know what your personal thoughts are of Islam.

Personally i believe that Islam is one of the greatest tragedies of the world. It has so much potential to be a driving force of good in this world if it wasn't misinterpreted by so many psycho-fanatical, power-hungry nut jobs. I am by no means an expert, however I do plan on buying a Koran so I can become more learned on the subject since it is so huge and well... in your face at the moment. Violence will never be appeased by violence. Only through compassion and understanding, as well as the removal of ignorance can we even begin to work through a problem that has caused so much bloodshed and terror.

SO

What do you think of Islam?

I think that the Middle East is backwards with regards to social freedom, particularly religious freedom and womens' rights. You could trace this back to the roots of Islam, but it's largely just bigots which do that, as you could do the same with Christianity. And as with Christianity, Muslims are diverse and there is the capacity for change. Although Muslims in places like Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan are quite radical and extreme, Muslims in western countries are pretty normal and there's nothing that makes the religion better or worse than others.
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Re: Islam

Postby Jechbi » Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:34 pm

fivebells wrote:It's important to keep in mind that violence is baked into the foundations of Islam.
This might not be the best source of information. From here:
The purpose of WikiIslam is to help Muslims leave Islam.

On a side note, we had a thread here a few months ago about Christianity that was made invisible because it became so divisive. That thread had a mix of very insightful posts as well as some offensive ones, but the whole thing went down the tubes because folks couldn't keep the discussion productive. I hope the same fate doesn't await this thread.
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Uncover, then, what is concealed,
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Re: Islam

Postby fivebells » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:18 pm

Thanks for pointing that out, Jechbi. That was careless of me. Here is a more authoritative source.
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Re: Islam

Postby clw_uk » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:26 pm

It carries many of the same faults that Christianity and Judaism had (and still does to some degree). That of superstition and irrationality. It does have some good aspetcs, from memory I think it does a lot for orphans. However it still preaches, in the Korn and Hadith, that homosexuals should be killed, women arent as equal as men and inequality in regards to "people of the book" i.e. Christianity and Jews (you could count other religions as well) as well as stoning and lashes for adulterers


As for the founder of this religion, i dont really see what is all that moral about him. We all know about the fact that he slept with a nine year old girl and if he was alive today he would be regarded as a pedophile. He also engaged in a lot of wars during his life, in many ways he comes across as just a politician and a genral


So as I said, it does have some good points but I dont think that means we can just gloss over the brutal aspects of it. If Islam was abandoned tomorow I wouldnt really shed a tear


I must say I think its good we are having this discussion, seems that the genral consensus in our time is to keep quiet about Islam, probably due to the fact that when one criticise it they get labelled a "racist", as if an attack on an ideology was the same as a racist attack on a "race".


metta
Last edited by clw_uk on Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Islam

Postby clw_uk » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:42 pm

I think that the Middle East is backwards with regards to social freedom, particularly religious freedom and womens' rights. You could trace this back to the roots of Islam, but it's largely just bigots which do that




I agree in part here. Islam does have some form of tolerant attitude to other religions, although not an Egalitarian attitude. However the undermining of womens rights and certain social freedoms does find quite a bit of warrant in the Korn and Hadith itself


metta
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Re: Islam

Postby clw_uk » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:46 pm

I don't think Islam per se is the problem, though, any more than I would think that the Declaration of Independence underlies contemporary US violence




Im not usualy one to defend America but there is quite a bit of difference here. You cannot find any warrant for injustice, murder or brutality in The Declaration of Independence, in Islam you can via its central books and the actions of its founder



metta
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Re: Islam

Postby clw_uk » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:49 pm

Personally i believe that Islam is one of the greatest tragedies of the world. It has so much potential to be a driving force of good in this world if it wasn't misinterpreted by so many psycho-fanatical, power-hungry nut jobs



Thats the real question though isnt it, are they misinterpreting the Koran/hadith or are they holding true to it. Based on my reading of the texts of Islam, as well as the history of it, they seem to interpreting it correctly




metta
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Re: Islam

Postby fivebells » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:01 pm

clw_uk wrote:Im not usualy one to defend America but there is quite a bit of difference here. You cannot find any warrant for injustice, murder or brutality in The Declaration of Independence, in Islam you can via its central books and the actions of its founder


They went to war to obtain independence. That is a guarantee of violence, murder and brutality.
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Re: Islam

Postby clw_uk » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:04 pm

fivebells wrote:
clw_uk wrote:Im not usualy one to defend America but there is quite a bit of difference here. You cannot find any warrant for injustice, murder or brutality in The Declaration of Independence, in Islam you can via its central books and the actions of its founder


They went to war to obtain independence. That is a guarantee of violence, murder and brutality.



They went to war yes, but there is no warrant for muder, brutality etc in the declaration
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Re: Islam

Postby fivebells » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:08 pm

It makes no difference that it's not in the documents. There is a warrant to war, because the country is founded on war, and was strengthened through war. War is generally celebrated as glorious over here.
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Re: Islam

Postby fivebells » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:12 pm

(Hell, it's in the national anthem.)
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