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Author Topic: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?  (Read 12864 times)

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Online Oniya

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #150 on: September 11, 2014, 11:47:01 AM »
Even though America started with the 'separation of church and state' clause, we have to remember that to the Founding Fathers, the 'existing religions' that they had to deal with were a few dozen flavors of Judeo-Christianity, and choosing not to give any one of them the national stamp of approval wasn't really a big stretch.  Native and African religions were looked on with mostly bemused condescension (we must educate these 'savages'), and there were few dealings with what is now the Middle East (the Barbary corsairs being about the only thing that makes the history books.)

Many of the existing legal systems (in fact, I can't think of a counter-example) had their origins in religious law - if only because many of the things that are listed in religious law are detrimental to societies in general (Murder, theft, fraud, etc.)  Of course, there are a lot of things proscribed in religious law that aren't detrimental to societies in general (cotton-poly blends, bacon cheeseburgers, and 97% of the sexual restrictions.)  Some of these are more suited to societies where population control is very important (nomadic tribes in particular) or where technological developments are limited (such as many of the dietary and health restrictions).

Obviously, the world as a whole is moving beyond that.  It's just not all moving at the same speed.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #151 on: September 11, 2014, 01:20:01 PM »
I think the founding fathers were very much aware of Islam, as is noticed in some of the earliest treaties that were written by the newly formed US.

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims]; and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries"
- Treaty of Tripoli

Offline Kythia

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #152 on: September 11, 2014, 01:23:09 PM »
Errr, you know that was about the Barbary pirates that Oniya mentions, right?  It does say it in the article you link.

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #153 on: September 11, 2014, 01:32:43 PM »
Yeah, I wasn't disagreeing with her.  I wanted to provide the quote, because from that, I think it's clear that Adams certainly was aware of Islam as a religion, which I did not interpret to be insignificant.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #154 on: September 11, 2014, 03:18:14 PM »
  What I mean is that for the most part, the western nations don't have religious laws dictating what is and is not allowed. The basis for the laws might have started out on a religious basis, but it has moved on and even the western nations that have state religions, that religion does not, as far as I know, have the authority to to dictate to the government what should and should not happen; or rule as the government, inserting religious law as law for the nation. The church isn't the nation's judges or lawmakers.

 The laws of the western nations are, for the most part, applied fairly to everyone (or are supposed to be). Fairness and equality under the law I believe it is termed. No one group or religion is supposed to be favored over any other one. But wherever I see news and mention of many Islamic neighborhoods on the news, it often mentions that those areas are trying to get sharia law put in as the secular law of their area. The implication is that they want to remover the secular law that applies to everyone equally, and replace it with Islamic law which is not fair in application.  Everything I have heard is that sharia law favors muslims over everyone else, and it's that unfairness under the law that irks me. Why are they trying to remove laws that treat everyone equally and impartially for their own laws which don't treat everyone fair or equally.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #155 on: September 11, 2014, 07:48:34 PM »
  What I mean is that for the most part, the western nations don't have religious laws dictating what is and is not allowed. The basis for the laws might have started out on a religious basis, but it has moved on and even the western nations that have state religions, that religion does not, as far as I know, have the authority to to dictate to the government what should and should not happen; or rule as the government, inserting religious law as law for the nation. The church isn't the nation's judges or lawmakers.
Iceland, Denmark, Germany, Greece, and Poland all still have jail time for blasphemy. Armenia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Scotland, England, and of course the Vatican are all European nations which are officially Christian. A number of other European nations have legally-mandated special privileges for certain stripes of Christianity. Canada gives state funds to religious schools - and in some places offers no secular alternative. Seven states in the US ban atheists from public office, one bans them from testifying in court, and they're officially not permitted in the air force.

Religion has way more influence on law in western nations than you would believe. It shouldn't, but it does.

The laws of the western nations are, for the most part, applied fairly to everyone (or are supposed to be). Fairness and equality under the law I believe it is termed. No one group or religion is supposed to be favored over any other one. But wherever I see news and mention of many Islamic neighborhoods on the news, it often mentions that those areas are trying to get sharia law put in as the secular law of their area. The implication is that they want to remover the secular law that applies to everyone equally, and replace it with Islamic law which is not fair in application.  Everything I have heard is that sharia law favors muslims over everyone else, and it's that unfairness under the law that irks me. Why are they trying to remove laws that treat everyone equally and impartially for their own laws which don't treat everyone fair or equally.
This is wrong, but still not unique to Islam. Take a look at some of the links I posted earlier, and think for ten seconds about Republican and especially tea-party policy in the US. Muslims are hardly unique in wanting special privileges and legal enshrinement of their religion.

Offline Cheka Man

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #156 on: September 11, 2014, 09:24:09 PM »
Are all Muslims terrorists? Hell no. Are most Muslims terrorists? Of course not, but it does seem that most terrorists are Muslims. Muhammad if he were alive today and a US citizen would either be on death row, in prison, or at least wanted by law enforcement. Maybe he would be one of those sovereign citizens who drive around with handmade number plates and don't believe in most laws.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #157 on: September 11, 2014, 10:29:35 PM »
Iceland, Denmark, Germany, Greece, and Poland all still have jail time for blasphemy. Armenia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Scotland, England, and of course the Vatican are all European nations which are officially Christian. A number of other European nations have legally-mandated special privileges for certain stripes of Christianity. Canada gives state funds to religious schools - and in some places offers no secular alternative. Seven states in the US ban atheists from public office, one bans them from testifying in court, and they're officially not permitted in the air force.

Religion has way more influence on law in western nations than you would believe. It shouldn't, but it does.
This is wrong, but still not unique to Islam. Take a look at some of the links I posted earlier, and think for ten seconds about Republican and especially tea-party policy in the US. Muslims are hardly unique in wanting special privileges and legal enshrinement of their religion.

 Somehow I doubt those blasphemy laws are rigorously enforced, otherwise there's be a lot more mention of them in the news. I can see and understand some of the special privileges you mention, here in the US, there's tax exemptions for recognized churches among things. But as far as I know, in none of the western nations are the churches, the religions themselves, setting and dictating the laws. The power of governance and making and enforcing of laws is kept separate from and out of the hands of the churches/religions.

 I disagree with it when right wing religious fanatics try that sort of crap.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #158 on: September 11, 2014, 10:42:13 PM »
But as far as I know, in none of the western nations are the churches, the religions themselves, setting and dictating the laws. The power of governance and making and enforcing of laws is kept separate from and out of the hands of the churches/religions.

Aside from the Vatican which obviously sits apart from this conversation a little, again not so much.  Here in the UK we have the Lords Spiritual for example.  Now, I don't actually object to the Lords Spiritual for reasons that are likely too boring to be put in this thread and even if not are certainly wildly off topic.  But the fact remains that a number of our legislators are not only members of the Church, which I guess is fine, but are specifically there because making our legislation is an ex officio perk of their Church rank, which many object to.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #159 on: September 11, 2014, 10:53:55 PM »
Aside from the Vatican which obviously sits apart from this conversation a little, again not so much.  Here in the UK we have the Lords Spiritual for example.  Now, I don't actually object to the Lords Spiritual for reasons that are likely too boring to be put in this thread and even if not are certainly wildly off topic.  But the fact remains that a number of our legislators are not only members of the Church, which I guess is fine, but are specifically there because making our legislation is an ex officio perk of their Church rank, which many object to.

There's also the currently-active blasphemy cases in Greece and Poland, or the US Air Force example I cited. ("You must, by law, swear to God" seems to cover religions dictating law to me.)

Offline Beorning

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #160 on: September 12, 2014, 11:24:17 AM »
To clarify the issue of blasphemy laws in Poland: they aren't exactly blasphemy laws, but laws against desecrating religious symbols and places, as well as against the poorly-defined situation of someone "offending religious feelings". These laws aren't necessarily very tyrannical in their core idea (note that they don't specify that they protect only the Christian religion), but the problem with them is that they are quite vague. So, there were cases when they were, IMHO, abused and became a kind of de facto blasphemy laws... Also, it's true that, in practice, they are used solely against people who offend the Christians - I haven't heard of any case of people being prosecuted for offending other faiths.

Still, I'd like to point out that the punishments stemming from those laws aren't very severe. In the most famous case, the artist Dorota Nieznalska was sentenced to community service (because of her controversial "penis on the cross" sculpture). On the other hand, Nergal from Behemoth is a subject of prosecution for his stunt of tearing the Bible on stage, but the case has been going on for a few years now. Personally, I kind of doubt that he could get any serious sentence, if any...

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #161 on: September 12, 2014, 11:42:21 AM »
I might be alone here, but personally, I feel pretty uncomfortable with the state having jail time on its list of options for dealing with somebody who says the wrong thing about a religion. Or any other options, really.

Nonetheless, my point in bringing it up was simply to dispute the assertion that western nations don't have religion mucking about in their laws. That's hardly a uniquely Islamic concept.

Offline Beorning

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #162 on: September 12, 2014, 12:07:22 PM »
Yeah, but note that the Western nations are moving away from it. Meanwhile, the concept remains strong among Muslims.

Also, there really have been centuries since Christians put people to death because of religion. Meanwhile, in some Islamic countries, you can get sentenced to death just for stopping believing in Islam...

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #163 on: September 12, 2014, 12:31:04 PM »
Yeah, but note that the Western nations are moving away from it. Meanwhile, the concept remains strong among Muslims.

Also, there really have been centuries since Christians put people to death because of religion. Meanwhile, in some Islamic countries, you can get sentenced to death just for stopping believing in Islam...
Moving away... except the US, which is moving toward it. Or England, which recently made a very specific decision to continue the ban on royal heirs marrying Catholics because it might screw with their state religion. (EDIT: This is wrong; see below.) Further, there are lots of nations that aren't Islamic where there's great enthusiasm for blasphemy law. India springs to mind, for one.

As for the time since Christians last killed someone because of religion... you're off by an order of magnitude. Try ten years at most. States might not execute people because of religion, but Christians certainly do, and they call for the death penalty for nonbelievers all the damn time.

EDIT: My point here, really, being that the overwhelming majority of charges levelled against Islam aren't unique to Islam - and the one charge that I can see that is unique, state-sponsored execution of heretics and apostates, is unique to a region that has been plagued with violence and bloodshed - often at non-Islamic or western hands. Given this, it's pretty ridiculous to say that Islam is inherently violent, or that this round of bloodshed can be laid solely at the feet of Islam.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 01:50:44 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #164 on: September 12, 2014, 12:59:46 PM »
Or England, which recently made a very specific decision to continue the ban on royal heirs marrying Catholics because it might screw with their state religion.

Not that it detracts from your point - one I agree with - at all, but I think you're mistaken here.  Wikipedia does as well, but it's possible your "very recently" makes your information more up to date than mine and wikipedia's.  Got a cite?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #165 on: September 12, 2014, 01:50:20 PM »
Not that it detracts from your point - one I agree with - at all, but I think you're mistaken here.  Wikipedia does as well, but it's possible your "very recently" makes your information more up to date than mine and wikipedia's.  Got a cite?
...huh, last I heard, they were keeping that in. I stand corrected. This is what I get for not double-checking details.

Offline Dashenka

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #166 on: September 29, 2014, 12:38:42 PM »
Christianity isn't a religion of peace either. But Christianity isn't dictating the laws of countries at the moment like Islam is in some of the Arabic countries.

That's a rather bold and false statement. A lot of countries are led by Christianity. It's even in the motto of the USA.

Islam is a religion of peace. Everybody who says different, in my always humble opinion, doesn't know a thing or two about the real islam.

Online Silk

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #167 on: September 29, 2014, 01:11:54 PM »
That's a rather bold and false statement. A lot of countries are led by Christianity. It's even in the motto of the USA.

Islam is a religion of peace. Everybody who says different, in my always humble opinion, doesn't know a thing or two about the real islam.

But isn't that just what they say about your belief in Islam too? It's the same argument from a lot of feminists too "They're not "Real" Feminists." Yet, thats what those not "real" feminists say about the other feminists.

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #168 on: September 29, 2014, 01:19:37 PM »
As a note, the motto of 'In God We Trust' was adopted in 1956, during the height of McCarthyism.  Prior to that it was 'E pluribus unum', or 'From many, one.'

Offline Dashenka

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #169 on: September 29, 2014, 02:03:56 PM »
But isn't that just what they say about your belief in Islam too? It's the same argument from a lot of feminists too "They're not "Real" Feminists." Yet, thats what those not "real" feminists say about the other feminists.

Perhaps.

The muslims I know, are very peaceful people. Yes there are bad ones but you got bad people in every religion. When a muslim does something terrible like kill somebody it's in the news for weeks, in this case adding to a worldwide trend of anti islam but when a catholic priest molests a young boy it's two days of outrage and then utter silence. Ukraine was front page news for weeks, now ISIS came along and a lot of people forgot what Ukraine even is about.

It's the same with many things. There is a general perception of something and a lot of people blindly follow that perception fed by what they hear and see on the television or from friends or anything. This anti islam thing has been going on for a few years and I believe that it's not helping the world ahead. We should come closer as a world, not further apart.


Tak bylo, tak yest' i tak budet vsegda (Thus it was, thus it is and thus it always will be)


So to answer the original question, I think every religion is in the essence a religion of peace.

And then something else.. I know a lot of you don't but people around me, when they speak of Muslims, they mean the middle eastern countries. The country with the largest population of muslims, is Indonesia, which to my best knowledge isn't in the news a lot for terrible things 'done by the islam'. The countries where these terrible things happen all have one thing in common. I leave it in the middle what that is, but I guess we all know.

Who's really at fault? The muslims? Or the people hating the muslims? :)

Offline Caehlim

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #170 on: September 29, 2014, 03:35:17 PM »
The country with the largest population of muslims, is Indonesia, which to my best knowledge isn't in the news a lot for terrible things 'done by the islam'.

I've been largely steering clear of this thread more recently, but just in regards to this point.

Unfortunately there was a lot of focus on that in Australian media related to the Bali Bombing of 2002. Also similar mentions regarding Australia's support for the independence of East Timor.

This isn't to say that these articles were any less jingoistic or based on wild sweeping generalizations and prejudice, but I suspect it's more related to the political relevance of these countries or their natural resources at times than anything to do with religion or race. YMMV of course.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #171 on: September 29, 2014, 05:13:45 PM »
Indonesia's treatment of non-Muslims has made the news in the US here, as well. Mostly regarding the lopsided effect of their blasphemy laws and of course East Timor.

Offline Dashenka

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #172 on: September 29, 2014, 05:23:01 PM »
Okay I take my statement back then. I personally never hear a lot of bad things about Indonesia.

Offline Sabby

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #173 on: September 29, 2014, 05:27:09 PM »
That's a rather bold and false statement. A lot of countries are led by Christianity. It's even in the motto of the USA.

Islam is a religion of peace. Everybody who says different, in my always humble opinion, doesn't know a thing or two about the real islam.

Maybe you could provide what you consider to be real Islam. Which doctrines do you hold as true, and how do you determine which are true?

Offline Dashenka

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #174 on: September 29, 2014, 05:29:52 PM »
Maybe you could provide what you consider to be real Islam. Which doctrines do you hold as true, and how do you determine which are true?

Islam according to the Qoran. Not according to ISIS or other extremist groups.