History of Muslim Religion. Islam Religion of Peace? What are Islam basic beliefs about Islamic peace, Islamic jihad. Wanted: facts about the Muslim religion.
|HOME IDEA EMPORIUM IDEA 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 * 6 * 7 * 8 * 9 * 10 * 11 * 12 * 13 * 14 * 15 * 16 * STUPID OPINION * HOW TO THINK|
- FULL MENU -
AN INNER VOICE,
Steps & Stages
Western Blocks -
The Muslim Religion -
The Role of
An Ongoing Barrier
What Do I Want? -
The Rottweiler Pope,
History of Muslim Religion. Islam Religion of Peace?
History of Muslim Religion, History of Islam. Islam Religion of Peace?
WESTERN TOLERANCE and ISLAM
Is Islam a Religion of Peace? -
I start with: I'm not concerned with what the Muslim religion really is or isn't. I'm concerned with ACTIONS, with what is happening. By their fruits shall you know them, are the words that come into mind. Another way of saying it is, actions speak louder than words.
Still, it's worth looking at Muslim religious texts.
I know that, over and over I've heard that Islam is a religion of peace - with no quotes given to back up the assertion. On the other hand, I've heard many Muslims quote the Koran to show it's not a religion of peace.
I don't care to research the Koran (or any other religious text). So - until such time as I've been provided with texts establishing that, at root, Islam is a religion of peace - I will pass along links to sites which provide backing from Muslim religious texts, especially the Koran / Quran, that indicate it is not. Among other things, it's texts of this sort that the current Catholic pope was referring to when he made a speech quoting some long ago Catholic who claimed the Muslim religion is not one of peace. (Muslim response included the murder of a nun and the demand for an apology - from the pope, not from the Muslims who had murdered the nun.)
As for myself, once again, I believe that actions speak louder than words - and I keep hearing of Muslim violence (of course, neither committed nor approved of by many Muslims). Still, stories stay in my mind - like the case of a CARE worker in Iraq murdered by Muslim captors after she had spent more than 30 years helping poor Muslims in Iraq. Her Muslim husband was on the air begging for her safety. There was no Muslim worldwide protest of her murder. Thousands of imams did not raise their voices against her murder. The outrage, once again, was saved for a small Danish cartoon.
Most of all, if the Muslim religion is a religion of peace why are hundreds of millions of Muslims not out on the streets protesting loudly against the violence committed by a minority of Muslims.
I keep coming back to the imams - and their power. In terms of ACTIONS speaking louder than words, look at the sequence of actions, as with the protests against the Danish cartoon. The first action: a very rigid imam from Denmark brought the cartoons to the Middle East. Throughout, the protests were fueled by the words of imams, the urgings of imams - with the listeners obediently listening and protesting as they were told to do.
In other words, the Muslim religion, as widely practiced (which may or may not be the way it's supposed to be), is a religion of top-down control, of instilled obedience to authority - not to a pope but to religious texts and to imams. And one only has to turn to Western research to see how dangerous a characteristic obedience to authority is - some researchers have concluded it is the single most dangerous characteristic, the one most likely to lead ordinary people to acts to extraordinary evil. Further, the West is certainly not immune to obedience to authority: in one study, 90% of American college students showed such obedience to authority that they were willing to kill (the killing was not actual). (For more information on this, Fred Katz' Ordinary People and Extraordinary Evil is a fabulous resource.)
So, is Islam a religion of peace?
The sources show that the Muslim religion - large parts of it, anyway - isn't a religion of peace - not a big surprise, I'm sure.
But then, why doesn't Islam just blast it out: we don't believe in peace. We want conquest, death to the infidels, etc.
First, some Muslims do send out this message loud and clear.
Here are my guesses. One, for many Muslims it is a region of peace. They don't believe in using violent means. They may even be the brunt of violence. They don't care to convert non-Muslims by whatever means, including violence. They truly deeply want to live in peace, and interpret their religion as being a religion of peace. (I've been told that one can, for instance, understand the term jihad to mean different things.)
Also, maybe many of those who say Islam is a religion of peace believe it - but, to at least some of these people, what the statement really means is: if you do everything we believe Islam requires of you, if you believe everything we believe you must believe, if you follow all the rules we are sure you are supposed to follow, if you interpret everything the way we interpret things, then it's a religion of peace. In other words, if Muslims don't always act peacefully, it's your fault, you deserve it for not being a Muslim or our kind of Muslim, the only right kind.
Then, for those Muslims for whom the Muslim religion is not a religion of peace, but who assert it is, here are some further guesses. At the present moment in world history, the assertion that the goal is converting everyone to one's religion wouldn't go over well. It would be poor PR to say that, and especially to say that violent means are acceptable, including against Muslims who don't have quite the same interpretation of things. In other words, for these people, it's expedient to claim Islam is a religion of peace.
To stay with those who make the claim motivated by expedience, Islam does not currently have the coercive power to force its religion on the whole world, and Muslims are allowed to practice their religion openly throughout the West. (The situation is not perfect, but massively better than for non-Muslims and non-dominant Muslims in most Islamic countries.) There could, be fear of repression, among Muslims who do not see their religion as a religion of peace, if there were openness about ultimate goals and about the violent means considered acceptable to reach that end. An advantage to not being open - to be, in effect, consciously a wolf in sheep's clothing - is that one is widely treated as a sheep, undangerous. (In not being open about their beliefs, such Muslims are quite unlike the very different, entirely non-violent Jehovah's Witnesses, who would like to convert the whole world, and say it openly).
Then, to return to the many Muslims who do believe in a religion of piece - I don't hear many of them distancing themselves loud and clear from those who believe in, for instance, jihad, asserting these people have misread the old texts. Perhaps these Muslims claim their religion is a religion of peace because - in addition to their personally being for peace - they're afraid of speaking out. Also they may wish Islam were a religion of peace and/or they may not want to look at aspects of their religion. Al Gore would call these aspects An Inconvenient Truth. (An inconvenient truth - his term for global warming, where the evidence has long been widely dismissed by those who do not want to acknowledge it.).
Is Islam a religion of peace? Another answer comes from the changes that have occurred within Christianity over the past century.
I have seen how enormously the Christian religion has changed over the past century, from a very fear-based, obey-or-you-will-go-to-hell religion - to one where major branches of it are love-centered. The original texts have not changed. Many parts of the religion have. So in a way the original texts are not of major importance. What matters much more is prevalent social beliefs, which color and alter or make irrelevant the old texts.
However, most strands of Islam are against such a radical move away from the old texts - and there seems much less lovingness in those old texts than in many other religious texts, giving less space to reinterpret what is there in a more loving way.
Something else stays vital tough. Muslim moderates.
Muslim moderates: is there anything they should be doing, could be doing (aside from just being moderate)?
That question is at least as important as uncovering the true nature of Islam.
CLICK HERE FOR MY THINKING ON ...
posted by Vince Lombardo, July 5, 2009:
History of Muslim Religion. Religion of Peace? Check: