Islam

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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mikenz66
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Re: Islam

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:31 pm

In answer to various questions, most of the Islamic people I know are students who came here quite recently. As with most people I interact with, I don't recall talking to them specifically about homosexuality or women's rights.

I have talked about things that were more relevant to the situation, such as what they feel they can do in various social settings. For example, the Saudi, and perhaps some other middle eastern students, will not come to gatherings where alcohol is being served. And women have to be accompanied by men from their families. Whereas I have a number of single female Malaysian students who don't need to be accompanied...

Mike

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Re: Islam

Postby Individual » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:31 am

mikenz66 wrote:In answer to various questions, most of the Islamic people I know are students who came here quite recently. As with most people I interact with, I don't recall talking to them specifically about homosexuality or women's rights.

I have talked about things that were more relevant to the situation, such as what they feel they can do in various social settings. For example, the Saudi, and perhaps some other middle eastern students, will not come to gatherings where alcohol is being served. And women have to be accompanied by men from their families. Whereas I have a number of single female Malaysian students who don't need to be accompanied...

Mike

There isn't really an opportunity to ask the difficult questions...

ex:
"By the way, as a Muslim, what's your opinion of gay people?"
"I've heard Muslims are allowed to beat their wives. Do you beat your wife?"
"Is your wife OK with wearing a burka and not being able to go outside or talk to anybody on her own?"

etc..
The best things in life aren't things.

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christopher:::
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Re: Islam

Postby christopher::: » Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:19 am

Individual wrote:There isn't really an opportunity to ask the difficult questions...

ex:
"By the way, as a Muslim, what's your opinion of gay people?"
"I've heard Muslims are allowed to beat their wives. Do you beat your wife?"
"Is your wife OK with wearing a burka and not being able to go outside or talk to anybody on her own?"

etc..


Wow. You would ask such questions of someone?

Walk this world with peace, kindness, compassion, and equanimity in your heart. That's what the Buddha taught. If you do so you'll find many others in our world, of different faiths, will meet you on common ground.

But as soon as you put the dharma to the side, "self" and "other" looms large. That's samsara spinning, and its not the "other" who's doing it either...

Tend your own mind, that's our task.

Otherwise...

:toilet:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Islam

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:27 am

Individual wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:"Is your wife OK with wearing a burka and not being able to go outside or talk to anybody on her own?"

The two Malaysian women in the class I currently teach just wear scarves. They aren't married, and I think they live in a student flat. Obviously they go out on their own.

Mike

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Re: Islam

Postby Senex » Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:21 am

christopher::: wrote:
Individual wrote:There isn't really an opportunity to ask the difficult questions...

ex:
"By the way, as a Muslim, what's your opinion of gay people?"
"I've heard Muslims are allowed to beat their wives. Do you beat your wife?"
"Is your wife OK with wearing a burka and not being able to go outside or talk to anybody on her own?"

etc..


Wow. You would ask such questions of someone?

Walk this world with peace, kindness, compassion, and equanimity in your heart. That's what the Buddha taught. If you do so you'll find many others in our world, of different faiths, will meet you on common ground.

But as soon as you put the dharma to the side, "self" and "other" looms large. That's samsara spinning, and its not the "other" who's doing it either...

Tend your own mind, that's our task.

Otherwise...

:toilet:


I think you misunderstood his post.
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 » Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:40 am

christopher::: wrote:
Individual wrote:There isn't really an opportunity to ask the difficult questions...

ex:
"By the way, as a Muslim, what's your opinion of gay people?"
"I've heard Muslims are allowed to beat their wives. Do you beat your wife?"
"Is your wife OK with wearing a burka and not being able to go outside or talk to anybody on her own?"

etc..


Wow. You would ask such questions of someone?

Walk this world with peace, kindness, compassion, and equanimity in your heart. That's what the Buddha taught. If you do so you'll find many others in our world, of different faiths, will meet you on common ground.

But as soon as you put the dharma to the side, "self" and "other" looms large. That's samsara spinning, and its not the "other" who's doing it either...

Tend your own mind, that's our task.

Otherwise...

:toilet:


Hi Christopher:::

That's very neat and tidy, except that the institution of Islam is creating the conditions that have resulted in the murder of 4000 gay men at the hands of the government of Iran over the last 20 years and it appears to be escalating. The institution of Islam has created the conditions that have resulted in the brutal murder of at least 75 gay men in Iraq within the last couple of years. The number of gay men that are imprisoned for many years or life, or that are flogged to within inches of death in countries that are heavily influenced by Islam is huge and uncountable because of a screen of secrecy. What gay people know is that if a hard bright light isn't shown on this behavior it grows until it gets out of hand and starts spreading like wild fire. Next thing ya know we're heading for the gas chambers en masse again. Or the torture chamber again. Or burned at the stake again. You're welcome to turn a blind eye, but imo attempting to justify it with the Dharma is at best, misguided. Yes, someone needs to be directly asking these questions, with clarity and kindness.

We've had this conversation before so I won't go into it deeper. :smile:
Last edited by pink_trike on Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Clear Light is Union
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Re: Islam

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:50 am

Hi Pink
What is this 'institution of islam' that you are refering to?
Kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Islam

Postby clw_uk » Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:36 am

Ben wrote:Hi Pink
What is this 'institution of islam' that you are refering to?
Kind regards

Ben




Not to answer for him but I can think of one of the top of my head, the wahhabism of saudi arabia
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

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Re: Islam

Postby clw_uk » Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:38 am

mikenz66 wrote:In answer to various questions, most of the Islamic people I know are students who came here quite recently. As with most people I interact with, I don't recall talking to them specifically about homosexuality or women's rights.

I have talked about things that were more relevant to the situation, such as what they feel they can do in various social settings. For example, the Saudi, and perhaps some other middle eastern students, will not come to gatherings where alcohol is being served. And women have to be accompanied by men from their families. Whereas I have a number of single female Malaysian students who don't need to be accompanied...

Mike




So you dont actually know that their version of Islam is a peaceful and moderate one then, which you seemed to imply in an earlier post of yours
Last edited by clw_uk on Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Islam

Postby clw_uk » Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:41 am

Or womens' rights...

Does anyone here think that Hirsi Ali is simply a bigot?



I wouldny say she was. She found a certain measure of freedom in the west away from tibal/theocratic opression. She gets labelled as one because she Criticises Islam, valid criticism I might add


Like I said, check out her book "Infidel" its a good read


metta
Last edited by clw_uk on Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Islam

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:55 am

clw_uk wrote:So you dont actually know that there version of Islam is a peaceful and moderate one then, which you seemed to imply in an earlier post of yours

No, I said that all of the Islamic people I know are peaceful. I'm going by actions.

Mike

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Re: Islam

Postby christopher::: » Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:00 am

pink_trike wrote:
Hi Christopher:::

That's very neat and tidy, except that the institution of Islam is creating the conditions that have resulted in the murder of 4000 gay men at the hands of the government over the last 20 years and it appears to be escalating. The institution of Islam has created the conditions that have resulted in the brutal murder of at least 75 gay men in Iraq within the last couple of years. The number of gay men that are imprisoned for many years or life, or that are flogged to within inches of death in countries that are heavily influenced by Islam is huge and uncountable because of a screen of secrecy. What gay people know is that if a hard bright light isn't shown on this behavior it grows until it gets out of hand and starts spreading like wild fire...



Hi Pink,

The horrible things that have been done in recent times by people in positions of power should not be swept under a rug. No way. I wasn't suggesting that. The issue i was raising is how do you communicate one-to-one with fellow human beings of the Islamic faith, the vast majority of whom look to their faith for guidance on how to be good people, live peaceful lives.

A glance at human history shows that people who crave control and power will co-opt whatever religion they have in order to rationalize and provide cover for terrible things. Christian leaders who support militarism have done that for centuries. In nations like Japan, even Buddhism was subverted.

When dealing with those institutions, sure, one should be critical. I was just surprised at questions put forth that i thought (perhaps incorrectly) were being presented as things to ask Muslims we may meet in our daily life.

I've had extended contact with four people of the Muslim faith. Two I got to know very well- one a college psychology professor, the other a student in one of my classes. It amazed me how unique, compassionate and open-minded they were as individuals. I learned a lot about the danger of stereotypes, from both of them.

One of the four, another student, felt hostility toward me. It was in the early 1990s, right after the Gulf war. He was Indonesian, and one day he asked me, trembling, "Why is your country always attacking Muslim nations? America has attacked Lebanon, Lybia and now Iraq. What have we Muslims ever done to Americans?" He was shaking with anger. I had no answer for him.

If you construct a chart with deaths of Muslims from the weapons of Westerners (including Israel) on one side, Westerners & Israelis killed by Muslims on the other, its way off balance.

The mistreatment of Gays in Muslim nations should be protested against, as should the killing of Muslims by Western (and Israeli) militaries, as should the violence done by Muslim extremists, aka "terrorists". It's all horrific and wrong.

I just question pointing fingers of blame at any one "religion" as being the primary cause. If you want to move forward its better i think to dig deeper.

And seek common ground.

"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Islam

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:22 am

christopher::: wrote:
The mistreatment of Gays in Muslim nations should be protested against,


"Mistreatment" is a rather weak word for what PT has described.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Islam

Postby christopher::: » Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:34 am

tiltbillings wrote:
christopher::: wrote:
The mistreatment of Gays in Muslim nations should be protested against,


"Mistreatment" is a rather weak word for what PT has described.


True.

The persecution & killing of gay men, persecution of fellow human beings, wherever its happening, is wrong, and should be protested against...
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Islam

Postby pink_trike » Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:45 am

christopher::: wrote:
I was just surprised at questions put forth that i thought (perhaps incorrectly) were being presented as things to ask Muslims we may meet in our daily life.



Your post is well said.

I think asking these questions of Muslims we meet in our daily lives is really the only meaningful way or place to ask them. It is only through direct contact, friend to friend, that religious bigotry begins to dissolve. And as I mentioned, there is an effective way to ask them...with clarity and kindness. Imo, the Dharma equips us very well to ask difficult questions about injustice, inequality, and all the other horrors of the world - in a way that minimizes the likelihood of a dogmatic, abstract reaction disconnected from the heart of reality.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Re: Islam

Postby Individual » Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:57 pm

christopher::: wrote:
Individual wrote:There isn't really an opportunity to ask the difficult questions...

ex:
"By the way, as a Muslim, what's your opinion of gay people?"
"I've heard Muslims are allowed to beat their wives. Do you beat your wife?"
"Is your wife OK with wearing a burka and not being able to go outside or talk to anybody on her own?"

etc..


Wow. You would ask such questions of someone?

No. I mean it's awkward to ask questions involving Muslim controversies, so any experience with Muslim friends or neighbors will tend to be misleadingly rosy.

Of course nobody would ask those types of questions. That was my point.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

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Re: Islam

Postby pink_trike » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:05 pm

Individual wrote:
christopher::: wrote:
Individual wrote:There isn't really an opportunity to ask the difficult questions...

ex:
"By the way, as a Muslim, what's your opinion of gay people?"
"I've heard Muslims are allowed to beat their wives. Do you beat your wife?"
"Is your wife OK with wearing a burka and not being able to go outside or talk to anybody on her own?"

etc..


Wow. You would ask such questions of someone?

No. I mean it's awkward to ask questions involving Muslim controversies, so any experience with Muslim friends or neighbors will tend to be misleadingly rosy.

Of course nobody would ask those types of questions. That was my point.


Well, not _nobody_. I have several Muslim friends and have had maybe a dozen more over the years. I've asked those kinds of questions to all of them...and they've asked equally difficult questions of me as an American. Direct dialogue is important and rewarding. It breaks us out of our bubbles.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Re: Islam

Postby Individual » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:01 am

pink_trike wrote:
Individual wrote:No. I mean it's awkward to ask questions involving Muslim controversies, so any experience with Muslim friends or neighbors will tend to be misleadingly rosy.

Of course nobody would ask those types of questions. That was my point.


Well, not _nobody_. I have several Muslim friends and have had maybe a dozen more over the years. I've asked those kinds of questions to all of them...and they've asked equally difficult questions of me as an American. Direct dialogue is important and rewarding. It breaks us out of our bubbles.

They're young, right? In situations like that, if you know students and you're the same age, it might be OK. You're also likely to get a more honest answer than you would from a cleric.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

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Re: Islam

Postby pink_trike » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:25 am

Individual wrote:
pink_trike wrote:
Individual wrote:No. I mean it's awkward to ask questions involving Muslim controversies, so any experience with Muslim friends or neighbors will tend to be misleadingly rosy.

Of course nobody would ask those types of questions. That was my point.


Well, not _nobody_. I have several Muslim friends and have had maybe a dozen more over the years. I've asked those kinds of questions to all of them...and they've asked equally difficult questions of me as an American. Direct dialogue is important and rewarding. It breaks us out of our bubbles.

They're young, right? In situations like that, if you know students and you're the same age, it might be OK. You're also likely to get a more honest answer than you would from a cleric.

I'm 56 and my Muslim friends now range from 30-60. I've had Muslim friends for 3 decades, so over the years it has ranged from 20s-60s. But, I've lived in very multicultural places and have socialized mostly in academic/art bubbles where open discourse about these kinds of issues is more likely. Though this doesn't mean we easily found common ground. In some cases, that was hard earned. Personally, if I'm going to be friends with someone I like to know if their religious fantasies include believing I should be stoned, hanged, or whipped so I jump right in with the questions - call me naive but I think we'll be better friends if we can get past that. :tongue:
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Re: Islam

Postby christopher::: » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:10 am

I think we each have our own style of communication. If you ask questions with metta and a nonjudgmental attitude, i agree that much can be discussed. I tend to be more comfortable asking "what to you think about x?" then "what would you do in situation x or have you ever done x?"...

In my case, i tend to be more challenging of people who share my background then those from different worlds. Thus i will raise thorny issues or ask difficult questions at times of fellow Americans, Buddhists and those of Jewish background. For those who come from different cultures I think a foundation of mutual trust and respect should be laid before difficult issues are raised.

Again, just the approach i'm most comfortable with.

:smile:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009


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