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Author Topic: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?  (Read 12863 times)

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Offline SheoldredTopic starter

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #250 on: October 05, 2014, 08:30:53 PM »
Quote
It's an entirely accurate term. It's not a majority. It's not a plurality. It's a minority - but it's a large one.

It is? Sorry then. I still find it amusing for some reason though. I've always assumed that when speaking of 'minorities' we're talking about 1-20% of the population. 39-40% is very close to half.

It seems like it would be more appropriate to say 'a moderate portion' or something among those lines. But English isn't my native language and neither is English included in my major studies so I wouldnt' be qualified to make any strong claims.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 08:36:33 PM by Sheoldred »

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #251 on: October 05, 2014, 08:54:00 PM »
That particular quote from Pew was referencing the empirical number (percentage) of interviewees espousing violence as a 'substantial minority.'  It was not referring to any ethnic group, or religious group, as 'substantial minority.'

If referring to people though, it is worth mentioning that the term 'minority' is used very loosely (largely because its use is only partially due to population demographics).  There are many areas of the United States, for example, which are "majority minority," meaning that white Americans are demographically in the minority, though not directly considered as a minority.  One can argue that even when white Americans become a numerical minority on a national level, that the term "minority" will still tend to refer to other racial groups.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 08:56:33 PM by Valthazar »

Offline consortium11

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #252 on: October 05, 2014, 09:26:39 PM »
The problem is, the lady has read the Quran and actually *can* cite verses, websites etc...

I'd refer you to Fred Phelps, he of "God hates Fags" fame and a truly horrible human being. But, however wrong you thought he was (and he was very, very, very wrong) he had excellent bible knowledge and could reference everything he said by referring to the Bible.

Pretty much all holy books have some pretty horrible stuff in them... the Bible, Quran and hadiths certainly do. The only real difference is that there are seemingly less Christians following the more horrible bits of the Bible and in a position to enforce them... but I'd argue that's more do to geo-political/socio-economic/historical factors than something inherent to the religion itself.

Well, Hungary was under mostly Ottoman rule between 1541 and 1699. Southern and central Hungary were annexed by the Ottoman Empire, Northern Hungary kept by the Habsburgs, and Eastern Hungary ( the Principality of Transylvania ) was ... weird.

In the part where the Ottoman Empire ruled directly (the so-called Pashalik of Buda) there was a significant (and growing) percentage of Muslims (although statistics are understandably difficult to find). Partly that was due to an influx of Muslim settlers from elsewhere in the empire (roughly 80,000 which comprised about 10% of the population) but the Ottoman Empire, while allowing Christianity, made Christians second class citizens and almost all education took place in religious maktab's which meant there were economic reasons to convert.

Just to add to your answer one could also look to Spain and Portugal; under the Umayyad Caliphate and it's successors in Al-Andalus ("Muslim Iberia") a similar system to the later Ottomans was in place with non-Muslims being second class citizens but being granted religious protection and freedom of religion. The concept of "La Convivencia" comes from then; the idea that Christians, Jews and Muslims all lived freely and with no pressure to convert, although it should be noted that there's some historical dispute about how much this actually happened. What we do know is this; that period was considered the "golden age" of Jewish culture in Spain and when the fundamentalist Almohad Caliphate came in and did start to forcibly convert or kill non-Muslims (and in a chilling precursor to 20th century genocides required new converts to wear identifying clothing) it was to the other Muslim caliphates that non-Muslims fled.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #253 on: October 06, 2014, 12:23:18 PM »
Pretty much all holy books have some pretty horrible stuff in them... the Bible, Quran and hadiths certainly do. The only real difference is that there are seemingly less Christians following the more horrible bits of the Bible and in a position to enforce them... but I'd argue that's more do to geo-political/socio-economic/historical factors than something inherent to the religion itself.

That's an interestingly broad sweep of the brush.  Given the (geographic) range of both religions one would assume that they have both been subject to a wide range of "geo-political/socio-economic/historical factors" in any modern incarnation.  Realistically, it seems to me that for that to be true you must be talking about the religions when they were relatively young - not as diverse and easier to shape.  The base of the tree not the branches, 2nd Century ish Rome and 7th Century ish Arabia.  Or am I misunderstanding?

Also - Greece.  In the towering pile of "countries conquered by Islam which are not now predominantly Muslim"

Offline Steampunkette

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #254 on: October 06, 2014, 06:37:26 PM »
Yes. Islam is a religion of Peace.

Just like Christianity.

Doesn't mean people won't fight wars and murder the fuck out of people using it as a rationale, no matter how incompatible that rationale is with the religion in question.

The rest of the debate is Islamophobia and Racism.

Glad I could help!

Offline SheoldredTopic starter

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #255 on: October 07, 2014, 02:03:57 AM »
Yes. Islam is a religion of Peace.

Just like Christianity.

Doesn't mean people won't fight wars and murder the fuck out of people using it as a rationale, no matter how incompatible that rationale is with the religion in question.

The rest of the debate is Islamophobia and Racism.

Glad I could help!

I don't agree that either of them is standing for peace. As Sam Harris said in his book, the reasons why so many Christians and Muslims are peaceful are due to the secular notions they follow, rather than the ones that tell them to do the opposite in their ancient books. And since levels of education and secularism tend to be lower in Muslim-dominated countries, you see them following their book more literally, resulting in far more violence compared to what Christians are doing today.

Islamophobia? Just maybe. But where's the racism?  ???

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #256 on: October 07, 2014, 06:22:49 AM »
As most (not all) followers of Islam are of a Middle Eastern ethnicity, there is a certain amount of racism that can be factored into it.  Possibly on both sides.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #257 on: October 07, 2014, 10:45:05 AM »
It comes down to what forces are encouraged in the area. Look over the last.. oh 8 decades in the region.

Who has gotten the money and gear from folks in the area?

Looking at various groups that turned into ISIS:
-Rich elements throughout the Gulf Region sponsored them for a variety reasons throughout the region. The nations these people came from include Jordan, Saudia Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar among others. I'm talking about direct sponsorship and the cultivation of radically extreme schools that built the outlook of ISIS.
-Governments in the Region. At one time or another they (in one previous incarnation or as a separate group) have been sponsored by governments in the area. Saddam hired on several of the leaders as part of his military back in the day, as well as paying some to oppress groups in the region like the Kurds.
-Expedience. The West has been particularly cold in this approach. We sponsored Saddam for decades because he was 'anti-red' and assisted in the overthrow of governments in the region. Fun note.. we assisted in the coup of a lawful (and stable) government in the region because they nationalized their assets (the oil, after asking REPEATEDLY for a fairer share). We helped overthrow a stable moderate government in Iran in the 50s that directly led to the oppression of the natives for nearly two decades that was so harsh in some areas that the current government was considered a LESSER evil by some locals. Yeah the Shah of Iran was a lovely man. Most folks don't consider what happened in the 70s.. much less the 50s and 60s in Iran as being a reason to hate the US now.

For decades everyone with influence has used radical and violent men for the game of states in the region.

Is it truly any surprise that eventually the bandits try to build their own country?

Offline Hemingway

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #258 on: October 07, 2014, 12:11:01 PM »
As most (not all) followers of Islam are of a Middle Eastern ethnicity, there is a certain amount of racism that can be factored into it.  Possibly on both sides.

Most muslims are not from the Middle East. Only about 300 million are from the Middle East, according to the same Pew survey that was brought up earlier in this thread. The overwhelming majority are in south and south-east Asia ( Indonesia and India together have more muslims than does the entire Middle East ). Granted, south Asia includes some countries we typically think of as being in the Middle East ( Pakistan, Afghanistan ), but they're not.

Now, this of course doesn't mean that racism or some form of xenophobia directed at vaguely Middle Eastern-looking people doesn't affect peoples' view of islam. It does mean that one should be careful of such assumptions, however.

The idea that the general attitudes of some people against islam can be explained as racism, has never really made much sense to me. It makes about as much sense as saying anyone who vocally criticizes christians is racist against ... well, most of the world's ethnic groups, really. It can be a factor, and it very obviously is with some people. But that doesn't mean that a debate like this one is somehow illegitimate - or that anyone who disagrees with the idea that islam is a 'religion of peace' ( as I've said before, the term doesn't really make much sense to me ) are somehow racist.

EDIT: I should mention that not all of this was directed at you, Oniya.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2014, 12:13:51 PM by Hemingway »

Offline consortium11

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #259 on: October 07, 2014, 12:49:43 PM »
As most (not all) followers of Islam are of a Middle Eastern ethnicity, there is a certain amount of racism that can be factored into it.  Possibly on both sides.

Nowhere near.

From the best study we have roughly 20% of Muslims live in the Middle East and North Africa but while immigration and the like means that more than 20% of Muslims world-wide will be of Middle Eastern descent that won't push it anywhere near to being a majority. Roughly 60% of Muslims live in South and South-East Asia (primarily in Indonesia, India and Bangladesh) and 15% in sub-Saharan Africa. There are roughly five times more Muslims in Indonesia alone than in the whole of Europe.

While location isn't a direct guide to ethnicity, unless a vast, vast, vast number of the South and South-East Asian Muslims are of a Middle-Eastern ancestry (and for an example, 95% of Indonesians are of native Indonesian ancestry) then far less than a majority of Muslims are going to have an ethnic connection to the Middle East.

Edit: Just to add, even if you move the countries that the study lists as South and South-East Asia/Asia-Pacific but that we we are more likely to think of as Middle-Eastern (notably Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan) that would still only put the Middle East and North Africa at roughly 35-40% (and if we took away North Africa that would subtract around 10% from it).
« Last Edit: October 07, 2014, 01:16:07 PM by consortium11 »

Offline Steampunkette

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #260 on: October 07, 2014, 12:56:07 PM »
It's great that you guys know that most Muslims aren't middle eastern. It REALLY is.

But you're also acting like white people, primarily in Europe, Australia, and above all the US, are any less racist towards people from south and southeast Asia.

We are culturally biased against anyone who doesn't fit into a narrow band of socially acceptable whiteness and utilize institutionalized violence against them.

For Japanese and Chinese people our racism tends to be "well meaning" exoticism, but it's still really damaging and destructive. Outside of that it's pretty much all nasty and violent racism.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #261 on: October 07, 2014, 01:04:00 PM »
We are culturally biased against anyone who doesn't fit into a narrow band of socially acceptable whiteness and utilize institutionalized violence against them.

Discussions like this thread are fair, in my opinion, since there are valid points on either side.  The philosophy of multiculturalism is increasingly coming under scrutiny in many Western countries (or at the very least, what is the "ideal" degree of multiculturalism).

There was recently a thread in this sub-forum regarding the issue of grooming of young girls in the UK by predominantly Muslim men (and the corresponding reluctance of UK police to take action due to fears of being seen as racist).  While racism is never a good thing, blanket accusations only silence important conversations.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #262 on: October 07, 2014, 01:16:05 PM »
But you're also acting like white people, primarily in Europe, Australia, and above all the US, are any less racist towards people from south and southeast Asia.

No, I made an explicit point of mentioning that the same attitudes probably exist toward anyone who looks even remotely Middle Eastern, which would include people from large parts of south and south-east Asia. That is, to the degree that the attitudes discussed in this thread are a product of racism. Because while part of it can certainly be attributed to racism, to say that it's all racism is to imply that there can be no legitimate criticism of islam - or for that matter of any set of beliefs or other doctrines.

When you claim that we ( in the loosest sense possible ) are equally racist against everyone, well, I'm not just going to take your word for it. These attitudes against the 'Middle Eastern' muslims ( as elaborated upon above ) I'll take your word for, because they're in the news, they're in my Facebook feed, and so on. For the rest, some evidence would be in order.

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #263 on: October 07, 2014, 01:23:21 PM »
I do stand corrected - however, if you ask John Q. Public to pick 'the Muslim' or 'the Islamic' person out of a racially diverse lineup with no visible indicators of religious affiliation, I'd be willing to wager that the person picked will be non-Caucasian, with a significantly similar appearance to the population of the Middle East.  It may be a misconception, but it's a very prevalent misconception.

I certainly don't mean to imply that racism isn't the only factor - I was only pointing out 'where it was'.

Offline ladia2287

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #264 on: October 09, 2014, 05:05:57 PM »
Quote
Thank you for the clarification. I'm just trying to say that Muhammad could get away with a bit more than your average Muslim. And since he prayed for his own uncle it just struck me as a slight case of nepotism.

But what is the moral lesson behind his marriage with Aisha? Iirc, she was six years old when he married her, and nine when he consummated the marriage. And according to the Quran only two consenting adults can marry.

I may be mistaken, but I do believe that at the time the definition of an 'adult' was someone who had reached puberty, and many girls do reach puberty at the age of 6 or 7. The definition of 'consent' was also not what we consider it to be today. Even Europe had child-brides in the 7th century AD

There is a story that Mohammed asked one of his daughters if she had any misgivings about a marriage he was trying to arrange for her. She did not respond, and Mohammed reportedly interpreted this to mean that she would submit if it was the will of Allah. This has been interpreted by a number of Muslims I know to mean that not openly protesting against a potential marriage is granting consent for it.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #265 on: October 09, 2014, 05:54:55 PM »
I may be mistaken, but I do believe that at the time the definition of an 'adult' was someone who had reached puberty, and many girls do reach puberty at the age of 6 or 7. The definition of 'consent' was also not what we consider it to be today. Even Europe had child-brides in the 7th century AD

The earlier ages of puberty these days is an effect of modern times.

Judging Muhammad as a person as being a product of his time is one thing. People who believe he was holy and right in his actions are another.

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #266 on: October 09, 2014, 06:23:22 PM »
I may be mistaken, but I do believe that at the time the definition of an 'adult' was someone who had reached puberty, and many girls do reach puberty at the age of 6 or 7. The definition of 'consent' was also not what we consider it to be today. Even Europe had child-brides in the 7th century AD

There is a story that Mohammed asked one of his daughters if she had any misgivings about a marriage he was trying to arrange for her. She did not respond, and Mohammed reportedly interpreted this to mean that she would submit if it was the will of Allah. This has been interpreted by a number of Muslims I know to mean that not openly protesting against a potential marriage is granting consent for it.

'Many'?  According to recent numbers, fewer than 10% of girls in the U.S. have had their menarche (first menstrual cycle) before the age of 11.  The current median age of the onset of menstruation is 12.43 years of age, which has declined from somewhere around 14-15 in the 1840s  (source)  Also, child-brides were typically for the purpose of cementing political alliances, not for immediate procreation.

Offline ladia2287

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #267 on: October 10, 2014, 03:56:33 AM »
'Many'?  According to recent numbers, fewer than 10% of girls in the U.S. have had their menarche (first menstrual cycle) before the age of 11.  The current median age of the onset of menstruation is 12.43 years of age, which has declined from somewhere around 14-15 in the 1840s  (source)  Also, child-brides were typically for the purpose of cementing political alliances, not for immediate procreation.

I was referring to puberty in general, not just menstruation. Initial signs of puberty can and does show at as young as 6 years of age. To my knowledge, menstruation is in many cases one of the last things to occur.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #268 on: October 10, 2014, 04:36:36 AM »
I was referring to puberty in general, not just menstruation. Initial signs of puberty can and does show at as young as 6 years of age. To my knowledge, menstruation is in many cases one of the last things to occur.

6 years of age is extremely young for the start of puberty in Muhammad's time.  Puberty starting so early is a recent phenomenon, and even today, puberty in girls starts around 7-8 years of age.  In 1860, for example, the average age of the onset of puberty was 16.6 years of age (referring to the first signs of breast development).

We can respect today's Muslims and the religion Islam, while still condemning these historical descriptions based on today's shared values.

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #269 on: October 10, 2014, 06:21:08 AM »
'Breast development' is somewhat unreliable, due to the increase in recent years in childhood obesity. 

Offline alextaylor

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #270 on: October 10, 2014, 06:53:37 AM »
Has the original post question actually been answered because it looks like the topic derailed and was 'deflected' from the first page.

I'd like to take a shot at the whole question but not gonna put a lot of effort because my answer will likely be buried. Anyone curious can PM me if you want to get into a Islamic/religious debate; I did my share of Islamic history studies.

For context, the Quran was not released as a single scripture from front to back. It was released in several parts orally and written down by different people over different periods before they were cross checked and unified into a book after Muhammad's death. It's not chronological... the first sura is at the end of the book and so on.

At the time, there was a lot of warfare. Muhammad was attacked, nearly assassinated, driven from his home city. He established a city-state, was under continuous raids, attacks, sieges. Eventually he fought back, set up truces and alliances, was betrayed several times, and only got security by conquering the Arabian peninsula. Even then, the Romans and Persians worried about its sudden massive growth (very similar to how Iran, Israel, USA, Russia worry about ISIS now). There were some skirmishes between the Romans, Persians, initial Muslims which led to full fledged battles and conquest.

It's a bit odd to say that they conquered in self-defense, but in this case offense was the best defense. They treated the people they conquered fairly well though, otherwise there would've been a lot of uprisings.

-------------

There wasn't even a name for the state/country that Muhammad established. It was just called the Muslim State, had a solid black flag. Abu Bakr, its second leader, was given the title of "Leader of the Believers", not exactly "Caliph" as people often say. A lot of the terminology used today (Rashidun, Abassid, etc) is used to differentiate the different 'mandates' of their leaders but it was initially nameless.

"Kafir" in many of those verses don't translate directly into disbelievers. There were basically a few sides, the Muslims, the Abrahamic allies, and the disbelievers. It didn't mean disbeliever in the sense of someone in Japan who did not believe in Allah; it meant your typical Arabian polytheist who wished Muhammad dead. It was a cover all term for "your enemies" since 100% of the believers were allies of Muhammad and so were many of the Jews/Christians in Arabia.

It was a theology. Muslims owned and governed their lands. Non-Muslims were pretty much non-citizens who paid tribute in the form of Jizya in return for protection, exemption from wars, and the use of Muslim facilities. Apostasy was punished by death because it was like becoming a citizen to dodge tax and then repealing citizenship - it was a form of treachery, which was punished by death.

It's hard to explain because back then there was little notion of nationalism. Nationalism was replaced with religion. Wars were common so they switched lords often, much like how an employee today serves different bosses. But few switched their God(s). And to switch to one and then switch back was treachery.

If I'm wrong here, correct me, because I'm pulling in a lot of things from memory, can't really be bothered to cross check with Wikipedia or whatever.

--------

So no, it's not a religion of peace. It's not a religion of violence either.

It's more like be nice to people who are of different religions, treat them as guests but not as family. But if they mess with you, harass you then give you some BS, punish them.

To counter the quoted verses, there's Sura 109, one of the major ones, which boils down to "To me is my religion and to you is yours." You could also look historically at how non-Muslims were treated - they gave refuge to the Jews during a time when Europe hated Jews.

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #271 on: October 10, 2014, 09:51:07 AM »
So no, it's not a religion of peace. It's not a religion of violence either.


That is the thing in a nutshell (and the only real answer in my oppinion) which can be said about this.... as well as pretty much almost anything really. The same can be said about any religion, any group/ faction. Any political opinion.

That's life/humans in a nutshell. We aren't really good, but we aren't all bad either.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 09:52:59 AM by Lustful Bride »

Offline Lithos

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #272 on: October 10, 2014, 01:30:14 PM »
Neither of the big monotheistic religions, be it Islam or Christianity are religions of peace by nature. When there is only one deity, there is also things needed to be done to who happen to worship something else and do not convert out of free will. They are just religions, and do not seem to claim to be anything else.

For Islam, we could use practices against blasphemers:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_blasphemy

For christianity, Deuteronomy 13 is classical example:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+13&version=KJV

Both of these religions are real danger, when somebody with blind faith in their scripture converts to them. Majority of people tend to be more reasonable and think with their own brain too, though.




Offline SheoldredTopic starter

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #273 on: October 10, 2014, 02:10:15 PM »
That is the thing in a nutshell (and the only real answer in my oppinion) which can be said about this.... as well as pretty much almost anything really. The same can be said about any religion, any group/ faction. Any political opinion.

That's life/humans in a nutshell. We aren't really good, but we aren't all bad either.

Maybe if the Quran didn't have violent verses we'd not be speaking of this and it would actually be considered a peaceful religion worldwide.

It is very possible to conceive a holy(or not) text that can leave little room to interpretation about its message to the followers. At least in terms of adversity towards other groups. Quran leaves a mixed message, so you have apologists that cry about Islamophobes quoting things out of context, which comes back to my argument if the Quran is a 'perfect' book and the unalterable word of God then no matter whether you take things out of context or not they should sound squeaky clean but that's just me.

I still think all of this could have been avoided by dividing the book into two, a historical account of what allegedly happened, and the religious texts that talk about handling the religious side of things and tolerance towards others.

But what really upsets me is when I'm told by these so-called experts who know Arabic and have been studying studying Islam for decades that the Quran is compatible with Science while other religions are not. What about the concept of Hell, for example?

They believe that the Big Bang and embryology were already written in the Quran. So it took 10 years of studying Islam theology to come to such conclusions which I think are completely erroneous, so what credibility could they possibly have with atheists?

Offline Lithos

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #274 on: October 10, 2014, 02:49:16 PM »
Islam killed the science focused arabic culture, what we have left of it are names of the stars, number system and algebra (both the name and majority of content). Unlike science in Europe after over thousand years, it seems to never have managed to shake the religion off, either. No matter if it is Islam or something else, when religion comes to picture reason leaves.