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Why Islam Can't Reform

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Zardnaar, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    This is a spin off from the Ask A Muslim thread.

    Note I am atheist/agnostic in terms of religion with a slight preference to the pre christian pagan gods of Europe in terms of belief. Odin and Thor are a little silly but so is Jesus stuck on a cross so go figure.

    Throughout the years Islam like most organised religions has done some fairly bad things to people and in this respect it is no different to the Christian faith, Aztec faith, or the old gods of imperial Rome.

    Humans do bad things to each other and tend to justify it via religion. I find it bizarre that someone would think what the ancients 2000 years ago wrote down (or 1400 years ago in Arabia) matter but hey that is IMHO.

    So Christianity reformed and there are no longer things like Crusades or the Spanish inquisition. Those things however were not integral to the Christian faith and you can make some good arguments they were in fact violating the Christian faith with their actions.

    Most people should not have to many problem with the 10 commandments as a moral code, the rest of the bible is mostly a selection of guidelines, parables, history and morality. Jesus was the son of god and a prophet or at least a religious figure if one does not believe in the supernatural/divine.

    So was Mohammed. Mohammed was also a political leader, a general and a warlord. The 4 caliphs after him (the "good" Caliphs) all died violent deaths. During his lifetime and for the 1st 100 (or even 1000 years after him Islam spread by the sword invading pre Islamic Arabia and then the Christian lands and Zoroastrian Persia. Christianity also spread by the sword but it came later and not from the religions founder its an important distinction.

    The 1st few years of the Christian faith was often persecuted and had no political power or armies until around 312 AD. Jesus did not kill anyone, indirectly kill anyone or lead troops into battle. So if one wants to emulate Jesus you are not really hurting anyone. What ISIS is getting up to in Iraq is not that different to what the Muslims got up to in the 7th century and as late as the 18th/19th century in terms of slave raids for example or one can look up what happened to Mistra in the Greek Independence war.

    Note Europeans did not behave themselves in the 19th century either but for the most part Imperialism lacked a religious component. Its why India is still mainly Hindu/Muslim etc as missionaries went there but the British never imposed Christianity on them en masse.

    Even a moderate Muslim is not going to be comfortable for example letting their daughter marry a non muslim while their son can marry a Christian, Jew and sometimes others (it depends). Liberal Muslims do exist but for the most part they do not go to mosque and in essence they are non practising so their families may not care who their kids marry so they may not be Muslim anymore just like a non practising Catholic probably doesn't care what the churches teachings are.

    Sharia law was also practised in Muslim lands and in parts of Europe they ruled until they were booted out by the Iberians/Hapsburgs etc. Christian lands the Muslims invaded in the 1st place. One could make an argument that the Crusades were a counter attack as all of North Africa and most of the middle east was Christian before the Islamic expansion. As late as the 17th Century the Ottomans (the last Caliphate) laid siege to Vienna which is well inside Europe and far from the Middle East. Islamic slave raids continued well into the 19th century I recommend reading about the US marine corp and the Barbary Pirates.

    One also can not reform Islam because to many things in it are commandments and integral to the faith as a Muslim would understand it, To reform would be like asking a Christian church to reform and stop believing in Jesus. If it came from Mohammed its more or less sacrosanct. It is the nature of religions to fragment but Islam is explicit about the death penalty for blasphemers for example so if you contradict Mohammed you are a blasphemer and in some Islamic nations you can get the death penalty for that. Hell you can get the death penalty for converting to Christianity. A reformed Islam might be less prone to violence but it would still have elements antithetical to western values such as women's rights.

    Its literally right there in the Koran in black and white. The Koran for example has guidelines on how to treat slaves which in effect condones slavery from Mohammed himself. The easiest way to kill another Muslim is to declare that they are blasphemers (this is what ISIS is doing), and this means the normal rules in the Koran do not apply. A lot of moderate/liberal Sunni I have met also do not consider the Shia to be Muslims although they may not believe they should be put to death. The main Christian denominations generally acknowledge the others are at least christian (Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox) and Jesus did not teach that people should be put to death.
     
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  2. Berzerker

    Berzerker Chieftain

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    Jesus offered advice on how to treat slaves

    the 1st bans religious freedom

    but I'd agree reforming Islam will require a greater departure from their scriptures...it was written by a warlord
     
  3. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    Only applies to Christians and Jews though.

    Slavery was legal when Jesus was around and the early Christians were vocal about opposing it and lead to its demise in the late Roman empire. The Christians were also vocal about abolishing it completely in the 19th century and it functionally died out in most of Europe hundreds of years before.

    You had Sharia law slave states as late as the 18th century. The USA had slaves in the 19th century but you had a clear line between church and state.
     
  4. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    So you're not actually atheist, then, just... sorta. Sometimes. And you think there's nothing wrong with the first five of the ten commandments.

    Since atheists don't believe in or worship anything, I am having trouble digesting all these contradictions in your post.
     
  5. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    I don't believe in the supernatural or the divine but if I did I feel more drawn to the pre Christian religions of Europe. I'm not going to worship Sol Invictus, Thor, Odin or Zeus anytime soon but if I was going to pray to a deity I would look to them before the Christian churches.
     
  6. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    I know from experience this isn't true and is far to generalising to have any kind of truth to it.

    And I take it you haven't read the Bible? Or the Koran for that matter.
     
    JollyRoger and Lexicus like this.
  7. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    I did say there were liberal Muslims who don't care but they are violating the tenets of their own faith and/or do not care. I have been on the turps with Saudis for example but that is over here not in Saudi Arabia.

    Turkey is one of the few Muslim majority countries where you can legally marry a Muslim women if you are non Muslim.
     
  8. Bugfatty300

    Bugfatty300 Buddha Squirrel

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    Me too, in my case I feel drawn to that religion that has those temples covered with sexy naked women. Every other religion doesn't seem to hold my interest.
     
  9. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    You still here with the same picture lol.

    I think that was Hinduism. At one of my jobs we suplied some Hindus with stuff for a festival of light IIRC.
     
  10. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    Yeah, you did. But I did say that from experience I can tell you that's not true.

    Like the Bible, the Koran is pick and mix. You can find support for almost any standoint on those matters. There are verses that are harsh towards women, verses that tell Muslims to treat women as equals, and those that put women above men for instance. There's a verse that tells Muslims to be kind to those of other faiths, and one that says to fight those of other faiths.

    As with Christianity this leaves the religious to determine their morality outside of their faith, and then find support for that morality in their holy book, whatever that morality may be,

    edit: Afterthought.

    Us Westerners can be all moral high ground on for instance the treatment of women, but this ignores that women's rights are a fairly new occurrence in our Western civilisation, plus there's still a lot of inequality in our own neck of the woods so I'm not sure we should be throwing rocks in our glass house.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  11. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    Its also on small things like I went to the local Mosque here as they had a mosque open day. They had a screened off area for the women and men. One of the professors was a Muslim from Afghanistan who fled the Taliban, my Muslim friend who does attend mosque is from Jordan (via Palestine) and they are not raving ISIS type nutjobs but they still attend a mosque that segregates the sexes

    I would rather have them as neighbours because they are not gonna get drunk and throw beer bottles over the fence. They are not bad people or anything interesting to talk to and our family doesn't care if their kids play with ours. They are over here though because they are safer in the secular west than their own countries.

    As I said even the moderate Muslims are still going to do things that are anathema to liberal western values.

    Moderator Action: This last sentence is a blanket negative statement about a group of people. These are not allowed under the forum rules. FP
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2017
  12. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Chieftain

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    I give up. What 'Ask A Muslim thread?' I don't see any. All I see is the Islamophobic thread based upon a false stereotype.
     
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  13. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    I'll inform my mosque going neighbour from across the street he's doing Islam wrong.
     
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  14. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Moderator

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    Moderator Action: These threads don't usually have a great life expectancy. I'm happy to keep this one open for now, but please be advised that it is being watched. Blanket negative statements about any group of people are against the forum rules. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes:

     
  15. MilesGregarius

    MilesGregarius Half-baked Renegade

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    One thing I've learned since the start of the War on Terror is that no practicing Muslim ever knows a tenth as much about their own religious doctrines than random Islamophobes on the internet.
     
  16. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    The reason why these threads never go anywhere is that it's part of the "Politically Correct Profession of Faith" to always defend the position that all religions are the same (as in just as bad or just as good). Of course this is completely idiotic and plain nonsensical; it is the same as saying that all political ideologies are the same (liberals = communists = nazis and etc). But that's the PC position.

    So before we can get anywhere the PC brigade would need to concede that in theory it is possible that Islam is more problematic than other major religions. They would need to appreciate that maybe the fact that Mohammed was a conquering warlord who had people massacred while Jesus was a peacenik had an impact on how these two religions evolved over time.

    If we can't even agree on the theoretical possibility that one religion is more problematic (for modern societies) than other(s), then we're just wasting our time. Let them live in denial and watch as Le Pen, Wilders, Petry, Orban and co. take over the West one bit at a time. Doubt it? Majority of Europeans want a Muslim ban far more radical than Trump's.
     
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  17. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    So quote one of these and discuss them instead of hiding behind vagueries and strawmen.

    Nice rant, now please read the thread title.

    Notice anything?
     
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  18. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    Yes, Zardnaar is making the case that Islam can't (or probably won't) reform. My point is that if people don't even accept the premise that it is possible that Islam is more problematic than other major religions, he's wasting his time.

    I wasn't even thinking of any posts here (or anywhere) in particular, just making a general observation based on dozens of similar threads. Before starting to make a case, we should agree on the possibility that Islam (or any other religion) could be more problematic than other religions. If we can't agree, so long and goodbye.

    But your post was a clear example of this attitude. You say:

    Ignoring Zardnaar's points about the radically different contexts in which Islam and Christianity appeared, and the radically different biographies of Jesus and Mohammed. I'm in entire agreement about the Holy Books themselves; they're often contradictory and people can pick and choose what they like and what they don't (and people do just that, in all faiths). But the examples set forth by the founders of those religions are not contradictory, nor open to that much discussion. As described by Islamic sources themselves, Mohammed was a warlord, a conqueror who routinely used violence to further his political and religious goals. He had entire cities / tribes massacred for standing on his way. This is the man who for Muslims is the ultimate example of a holy life, of Earthly perfection. It is thus naturally very hard to argue in an Islamic framework against political and religious violence. How to argue that massacres are always wrong if Mohammed himself massacred people? Another point is that while Jesus was completely uninterested in secular power, Mohammed was ruler and prophet. There is no "render unto Caesar" in Islam, because Mohammed was Caesar and Jesus combined.

    Now in my opinion the above is evidence that there are huge differences between the possibilities of reform and separation of Church and State in Christian and Muslim countries.
     
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  19. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    Can't reform. Not probably won't.

    I didn't talk about that premise since it's not the presented premise.

    My point was a counter to Zardnaar's claim that the contents of the Koran prevent a change.

    I did indeed ignore the context in which both religions are formed, because I responded to the claim: "I did say there were liberal Muslims who don't care but they are violating the tenets of their own faith and/or do not care." they are violating the tenets of their own faith, only if you limit yourself to parts of the Koran and ignore others.

    So how's my post a clear example?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  20. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    I agree that "can't reform" is an exaggeration. I was not saying I agree entirely (or at all) with the OP, I was saying that much before making a case that Islam can't (or probably won't) reform, it is unfortunately necessary to make the entirely obvious case that it is possible that Islam is harder to reform than Christianity was.

    Sure. My original post was not a reply to you, it was a reply to the OP.

    Because you draw the equivalency between Christianity and Islam that simply does no exist. They are different religions, founded in very different contexts by radically different men. There's no reason whatsoever to believe that both are just as easy to reform or just as compatible with modern societies.
     

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