Islam

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Islam

Postby Ben » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:19 pm

Hi Jechbi
Jechbi wrote: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.
:anjali:


So do I!

Dear members,
Posts that dispariage another religion will be removed without warning and repeat offenders disciplined.
In posting on this subject, I ask you to keep in mind the words of Emporor Ashoka:

Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, honors both ascetics and the householders of all religions, and he honors them with gifts and honors of various kinds.[22] But Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, does not value gifts and honors as much as he values this -- that there should be growth in the essentials of all religions.[23] Growth in essentials can be done in different ways, but all of them have as their root restraint in speech, that is, not praising one's own religion, or condemning the religion of others without good cause. And if there is cause for criticism, it should be done in a mild way. But it is better to honor other religions for this reason. By so doing, one's own religion benefits, and so do other religions, while doing otherwise harms one's own religion and the religions of others. Whoever praises his own religion, due to excessive devotion, and condemns others with the thought "Let me glorify my own religion," only harms his own religion. Therefore contact (between religions) is good.[24] One should listen to and respect the doctrines professed by others. Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, desires that all should be well-learned in the good doctrines of other religions.

Those who are content with their own religion should be told this: Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, does not value gifts and honors as much as he values that there should be growth in the essentials of all religions. And to this end many are working -- Dhamma Mahamatras, Mahamatras in charge of the women's quarters, officers in charge of outlying areas, and other such officers. And the fruit of this is that one's own religion grows and the Dhamma is illuminated also.

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Islam

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:42 pm

Greetings,

King Asoka was cool. 8-)

Thanks Ben.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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Re: Islam

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:58 pm

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: Islam

Postby pink_trike » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:29 pm

What Asoka says if very valuable and skillful advise. However, it should also be noted that religion as we know it today is very different than it was during his reign. We live in a declining time full of corruption and worldly obsessions - a time when even religion turns sour. Turning a blind eye to the negative effects of religion as it is now understood, institutionalized, and exploited shouldn't be ignored. Asoka asks that we don't compare in order to elevate our own religion, and that any needed critical analysis of religions should be done respectfully and presumably, honestly. The idea that all religions are good and above criticism is a classic case of idiot compassion (ineffective, unskillful) and denial.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

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Re: Islam

Postby Senex » Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:16 am

Chris wrote:
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,
Chris





I do believe that most Muslims really are great human beings, I only meant the handful who do take things to the extreme. Sorry if my initial post was at all pig-headed, I do want to become more knowledgeable on the subject as there is a lot of paranoia going on about Islam which I would like to get past of. I'm here to learn!
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?

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Re: Islam

Postby Ben » Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:10 am

Hi Pink

pink_trike wrote:What Asoka says if very valuable and skillful advise. However, it should also be noted that religion as we know it today is very different than it was during his reign. We live in a declining time full of corruption and worldly obsessions - a time when even religion turns sour. Turning a blind eye to the negative effects of religion as it is now understood, institutionalized, and exploited shouldn't be ignored. Asoka asks that we don't compare in order to elevate our own religion, and that any needed critical analysis of religions should be done respectfully and presumably, honestly. The idea that all religions are good and above criticism is a classic case of idiot compassion (ineffective, unskillful) and denial.


I'm not quoting Ashoka so that we can engage in idiot compassion. I highlight Ashoka's remarks to remind people of not only the importance of developing tolerance but also the gold standard of encouraging those of other religions to engage fully all that is beautiful, profound and remarkable with their practices.

I think in any discussion of another religion we do so honestly and respectfully and not through the prism of our own prejudices and ignorance.

I want to make it clear that although Dhamma Wheel is a venue for the discussion of the Theravada (and a variety of other non-Theravada specific subjects) by all those who are interested - Dhamma Wheel is not a ghetto for Theravadins (or non-Theravadins) to express sectarian remarks. This is something that some members in the past have had problems with, believing that membership to Dhamma Wheel or association as 'Theravadin' gave them free licence to dispariage the Mahayana or Vajrayana or other religions.

I am happy for other religions to be discussed but sectarianism isn't tolerated.
Kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Islam

Postby Mawkish1983 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:40 am

Rock on :) I'm glad you're watching this thread Ben et al.
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Re: Islam

Postby Individual » Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:53 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

King Asoka was cool. 8-)

Thanks Ben.

Metta,
Retro. :)

To a point... Within reason.

There are certainly groups of people who would not fall under Asoka's argument, like the kinds of Muslims who carried out 9/11. While they don't reflect Islam as a whole, their specific form of violently intolerant Islam should not be honored.

Religions don't tend to become popular without some attractive, noble qualities about them. So every religion is honorable in some sense, but it's still best for people to be honest about the flaws of their own religion and of others. Because if we're all non-critical of eachother because we want a good reputation, then that'd be like a politician or businessman who avoids stepping on any toes merely for his own selfish interest. "I won't criticize Islam, so people won't criticize Buddhism". But what if one or BOTH are actually DESERVING of criticism?

The best thing to do is to sometimes speak the truth even when it is critical of another religion or another person. Without criticism of any kind, religious problems can never be addressed. But I guess you could say that it's possible to "honor" a religion while still being critical of it.
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Islam

Postby Individual » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:01 am

Senex wrote:I do believe that most Muslims really are great human beings, I only meant the handful who do take things to the extreme. Sorry if my initial post was at all pig-headed, I do want to become more knowledgeable on the subject as there is a lot of paranoia going on about Islam which I would like to get past of. I'm here to learn!

I think they have some great qualities, being very hospitable, recognizing the importance of family, a sense of loyalty, a sense of honor not found in the west, but in the Middle East, they are extremely backwards and this is somewhat reflected among Muslim immigrants. I remember a while ago there was a survey asking British Muslims whether they thought the London subway bombings were justified and a large minority said yes. They were the minority, but still, it was a disturbingly large minority, large enough to make it reasonable for people to be worried about religious tensions arising from Muslim immigration. In France, of course, the riots were partially sparked because of this... Partially because the French government and French people engaged in religious discrimination, but also because many Muslim immigrants are unfortunately extremists.

To demonstrate this, by the way, there's quite a bit of footage from Middle Eastern media broadcasts here:
http://www.memritv.org/

From all different countries...
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Re: Islam

Postby cooran » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:42 am

Hello all,

Let's not have broad sweeping statements about Muslims in other countries in past years.
Let's talk about your own experience with Muslims in your community.

I have known Muslim friends whole families.
I have been invited to Muslim wedding celebrations.
I have had many meals in their homes.
I know an Iman - brother of one of my friends, who works tirelessly to institute a school system in Australia along the lines of the Catholic School System, so the young do not have to go overseas for an education and be influenced by those unknown to their parents and local communities.

If you don't have any friendships and long lasting contact with individual Muslims, their families and their local community - well, then ... your opinions gained from the internet or news "reports" means nothing much at all.

metta and karuna,
Chris
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Re: Islam

Postby Sanghamitta » Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:05 am

I think its sad day if our view of a whole diverse group is conditioned by fear engendered by the right-wing press, who in turn are following military agendas which centre around oil and other natural resources. It a matter to be regretted if students of the Buddhadhamma allow themselves to be influenced by irrational fear of their Muslim neighbours.
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Re: Islam

Postby Individual » Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:07 am

Chris wrote:If you don't have any friendships and long lasting contact with individual Muslims, their families and their local community - well, then ... your opinions gained from the internet or news "reports" means nothing much at all.

Don't have any Muslim friends, but was once friends with a Persian family of Baha'is, which had to flee Iran after the Islamic revolution, because of religious persecution.
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Islam

Postby Ben » Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:08 am

Well said, Chris!

When Quinn was young, he attended family-based day care with a young muslim family in the inner suburbs of Melbourne. Ali was a Libian with an Aussie wife who converted and they had three young kids, two boys and a girl. They were ultra-orthodox which meant that I couldn't speak to Ali's wife, Sharon, or their three year-old-daughter who insisted on holding my hand anyway when their kids came over to play with ours.
they were extremely generous and cared for my children as though they were their own.
If people just spent some time getting to know muslims in their community they would realise that they aren't any different to ourselves.
Kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Islam

Postby clw_uk » Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:35 pm

Let's not have broad sweeping statements about Muslims in other countries in past years.


No lets not make broad statements but lets not simply forget the horrors


Let's talk about your own experience with Muslims in your community.


Some are polite and some are rude, some are capitalist and some are workers, many are homophobic some are not

If you don't have any friendships and long lasting contact with individual Muslims, their families and their local community - well, then ... your opinions gained from the internet or news "reports" means nothing much at all.


Not really, this is a discussion more about Islam and less about Muslims. I would say that unless you have actually read the Koran and Hadith then your opinions wont carry much weight

Muslims that have adopted western values of human rights and freedom are nice, however the problem is in the Ideology itself. The text of the koran is pretty much a plagiarism of the Old and New testament so many of the barbaric "moral" codes and truths are carried over into Islam. Since the books contain poison they will always influence people to act violently, this mixed with the teaching of non-thinking via "Faith" is the central problem


I suppose the main question is, as i said earlier, who best represents what Islam was is? The violent theocrats or the more enlightened Muslims?

metta
Last edited by clw_uk on Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Islam

Postby clw_uk » Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:36 pm

They were ultra-orthodox which meant that I couldn't speak to Ali's wife, Sharon, or their three year-old-daughter who insisted on holding my hand anyway when their kids came over to play with ours.



Do you find this moral?
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Islam

Postby Jechbi » Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:15 pm

clw_uk wrote:I would say that unless you have actually read the Koran and Hadith then your opinions wont carry much weight

Two points:
1) For the sake of discussion, let's assume everyone's opinions carry some weight here, even if we personally don't think that they do. Let's give folks the benefit of the doubt.
2) Reading source texts is not a thorough way to evaluate a religion, since religions manifest as social phenomena and texts are interepreted very differently. What might appear to you to be the obvious interpretation of a particular text could very well be anathema to a living, breathing Muslim. You see this a lot with anti-Christians pulling out passages of the Bible to show that God is violent and hateful, for example. These texts contain storytelling, tradition, etc., and if you don't understand the context, both historic as well as modern, as well as the discussions and even apologetics associated with the passages in question, then you may not be judging the religion from an objective point of view.

fwiw
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Re: Islam

Postby fivebells » Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:44 pm

Conversely, you see a lot of Christians using those same violent, hateful images to justify violent, hateful behavior. Same thing with Islam.
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Re: Islam

Postby Jechbi » Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:51 pm

A lot? That might be overstating it.

You do, however, see a lot of Christians and Muslims engaging in humanitarian efforts, being good neighbors, helping others, and otherwise using their faith as a basis for loving actions.
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Re: Islam

Postby clw_uk » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:19 pm

Greetings Comrade



Two points:
1) For the sake of discussion, let's assume everyone's opinions carry some weight here, even if we personally don't think that they do. Let's give folks the benefit of the doubt.


I think thats a good idea :)


2) Reading source texts is not a thorough way to evaluate a religion, since religions manifest as social phenomena and texts are interepreted very differently. What might appear to you to be the obvious interpretation of a particular text could very well be anathema to a living, breathing Muslim. You see this a lot with anti-Christians pulling out passages of the Bible to show that God is violent and hateful, for example. These texts contain storytelling, tradition, etc., and if you don't understand the context, both historic as well as modern, as well as the discussions and even apologetics associated with the passages in question, then you may not be judging the religion from an objective point of view.


See the problem I have is this. What kind of other meaning could the line "kill apostates" or "kill homosexuals" mean other than what it says. You either have to concede that either said religion is partly man-made, completely man-made or that God is capricious, changing what is moral one moment to immoral the next

Now I would argue that if you claim to be a true believer, then you have to believe that it is the unchangeable word of God (even more so for Islam since it claims its revelation is pure and uncontaminated) in which case you believe that you should kill apostates and you should kill homosexuals. If you take the side of "moderate" muslim then I would argue it is because your being influenced by the enlightenment and so modern ethics and rational thinking which makes you then go back and rub out the bits that no longer are accepted by society (by ignoring them or giving them "context"). Going back to what I said earlier, I would say this is very good but I would also say that your not being true to the real/original intent/meaning of the ideology

Lets also build on this a bit. The moderate muslims you see and hear about are overwhelmingly from Western Societies where the Enlightenment took place. Now by contrast in the middle east, which didnt go through an Enlightenment like the west did, they are few in numner or non-existent and this is where you get the vast majority of murderous fanatics


Id also like to add that the idea that "killing homosexuals" etc is somehow ok just because it was in the past seems to me to be a strange idea. Lets not forget that around the time these awful books were being composed by, ignorant and bigoted men, there were already people in the world preaching things far more moral, Buddha, Confucius as well as some of the Greeks


fwiw


Ive always meant to ask, what does this acronym stand for?

metta
Last edited by clw_uk on Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Islam

Postby Senex » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:22 pm

I went to a Catholic school myself and am glad my parents did get me to go because their overall "deliverance of knowledge" (drawing a blank for better words) is much better than the standard of a public school. Don't even have to be Christian to attend.
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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