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Author Topic: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?  (Read 12870 times)

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Offline Avis habilis

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #50 on: September 08, 2014, 01:41:44 PM »
The British navy caned sailors until 1967.

Offline Beorning

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #51 on: September 08, 2014, 01:47:06 PM »
Carry out campaigns of anti-Muslim ethnic cleansing in the Central African Republic  Nigeria, among other countries.

And they do this because they believe that it's their Christian duty to kill non-believers? I don't think so.

Meanwhile, I think that in a few Muslim countries I'd risk death by simply admitting that I'm an atheist... Not because people in these countries are scape-goating atheists, but because they genuinely believe it's God's will to kill non-believers.

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #52 on: September 08, 2014, 01:48:25 PM »
The British navy caned sailors until 1967.

The point of my post was not to highlight the caning.  Rather, I wanted to highlight the sociocultural influence of Muslims in many cultures (as I indicated in the other thread with the Muslim Council of Britain and the Association of Muslim Schools), to integrate their personal religious beliefs into the criminal and legal code.

If case after case demonstrates that societies dominated by Islam are leading to a loss of civil rights, we should be increasingly concerned about recent attempts by Muslims to subvert Western institutions into their religious doctrine.

Offline SheoldredTopic starter

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #53 on: September 08, 2014, 01:56:35 PM »
Quote
Also, I disagree with the notion that all the awful happenings in relation to Islam happen because of poverty etc. From what I know, there are Europeans fighting for ISIS - are they victims of poverty, too? Also, I've talked to some Polish converts to Islam - people who definitely weren't impoverished. And they *shared* some of values of radical Islam, like their belief that law should be dictated by religion. I'll repeat: these are the ideas of Polish-born people, who grew up in reasonable living conditions and in a democratic society! Ideas these people got because of converting to Islam!

Here's another example of that.

And to be frank, I've actually had a very old childhood friend of mine do something similar. We used to play together as kids until my family moved to another town and hers moved to Sweden. Then about a few years ago, she met some Muslim guy on the internet, fell in love for an inexplicable reason, and moved in with him somewhere in Algeria. And now she's not allowed to talk to her family anymore because they're not Muslims.

Offline consortium11

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #54 on: September 08, 2014, 02:51:14 PM »
The "they're not really Muslims" vs "no true Scotsman" fallacy strikes me as somewhat interesting.

On the face of it, it's a classic no true Scotsman; people point out the things members of a group do, the defence is that they're not really members of that group.

But personally I think it's a little more complicated then that.

The no true Scotsman example works because, setting aside immigration, changing citizenship and the like, one is born a Scotsman, cannot stop being one until they die and there is no "test" or "requirements" to be a Scotsman.

But religion isn't like that...

Pretty much all religions (I suspect it's actually all but I'm leaving myself some wiggle room) do come with a series of required beliefs to be a member of that religion; the most obvious example for most is a belief in the relevant God (or gods). And many likewise come with a set of behavior standards that one is meant to at least aspire to and attempt to follow. If someone doesn't believe in the God in question and doesn't believe in or attempt to follow the behavior standards proscribed in the religion, can they (or we) really say they follow or believe that religion? I don't believe in the Christian God and I don't directly follow the 10 Commandments (although many match my morality)... if I were to say I was a Christian I think someone would actually be in a strong position to argue that I wasn't a true Christian.

But again it's not that simple.

Almost all religions have different interpretations and different sects/denominations. Catholic and Protestant, Sunni and Shiite etc etc. The Archbishop of Canterbury (the head of the protestant Anglican Communion) and the Pope (the head of Catholic Church) have vastly different views on many areas when it comes to religion, theology and standards... yet outside of the radicals within each denomination I doubt many would say they weren't true Christians. A simple difference in doctrine does not strike me as a strong enough reason to claim someone is not a "true" follower of a wider religion.

And so onto ISIS and other Islamic extremist/fundamentalist groups.

Are they really Muslims?

I don't think it can be denied. Their take on Islam may not be the majority view, it may not be a representative view and it may not be a view that anyone likes... but it is still Islam, albeit a twisted version. To me the Westboro Baptist Church are Christians, just as ISIS are Muslims.

I think at the end of the day when a group is talking about the same God, the same prophets and the same writings even if their interpretation of such writings and which to place emphasis on is radically different to others, they are part of that religion and thus it's a no true Scotsman fallacy to try to say they aren't.




Onto the wider point.

Is Islam a religion of peace?

No.

But what religions are?

If you show me any religion which has been established for a significant amount of time and has a significant amount of followers, I'm pretty sure I can show you pretty serious violence related to it. I think we're all aware of this violent history of Christianity but to give a starker example, Buddhism is stereotypically the most peace-loving and "hippyish" of all religions... yet there's a history of violence there and, somewhat ironically considering what has been said elsewhere in this thread, it has largely been Buddhist Monks in parts of Asia who have fueled a Buddhist vs Islam conflict which has turned violent.

When this topic comes up the comparison that is frequently made is between Christianity and Islam (as it has been here), with the basic position seeming to be a debate pointing out that Christianity has a bloody history itself but countering that point with the idea that Christianity had largely reformed to the extent that it's no used as a justification for violence these days.

I'm somewhat cautious of looking at events... both historical and modern... and always slapping religion as the main or only cause. The conflict in Northern Ireland could be written as a straight fight between Catholic Republicans vs Protestant Unionists but that would ignore the centuries of other issues that were at the heart of that conflict. One could point to the various Yugoslav Wars as a conflict between Muslims, Catholics and various Orthodox Churches... but that would miss the vast ethnic and national concerns. One could point to the various pre-Napoleonic conflicts in Europe as a battle between Protestantism and Catholicism... but that would miss the other issues. There is pretty much always a large geo-political element to any such conflict with religion being an easy answer, explanation and justification for it.

But does that mean religion should be absolved of responsibility? I don't think so. Religion may not be the sole cause or even necessarily a major one of such conflicts but it was a cause; anything that says that you are undoubtedly moral and right while the others are evil is going to cause issues.

To turn to Islam, is it the most violent of the major religions in the modern world? I suspect the answer is yes; one can obviously find examples of violence in other religions but for the moment unfortunately Islam is the religion most guilty of this.

But is it inherent to Islam?

My posts are long-winded to begin with and to go into all the factors that tie into such things and that form of Islam would take longer than even I dare go on. One can look to the geo-political events, one can look to tribal identities, one can look to how historical customs and traditions have been integrated into supposed Islamic thought (to give a simple example of that from what I understand female genital mutiliation doesn't have its routes in Islamic theory but in tribal culture... but over the years the two became melded together to the extent that some... again from what I understand mainly African Muslims... believe it's a religious requirement), one can look at a whole host of things.

I'll simplify by looking at one.

Christianity was a truly brutal religion that had brutal things done in its name. For every objectionable passage from an Islamic Holy Text we can supply one from the Bible. For every historical Islamic act of violence or aggression we can supply a Christian one. Even today for every radical fundamentalist Muslim preaching death to unbelievers on the internet we can likely find a Christian equivalent.

But the difference is the power each holds.

Christianity went through the reformation and the renaissance, both of which moved power away from the non-secular to the secular. Political and moral authority started to be separated from Christianity while things that run counter to the Church's teachings were no longer widely viewed as heretical things worthy of punishment. There are degrees of this of course; in Europe the Church and State are largely separated in reality if not technically even in heavily religious countries while the US (despite being technically seperated) has a more powerful Christian influence depending on where one lives and in Africa there is still some deeply unpleasant fundamentalist power.

Islam hasn't really had the same thing.

Why is another huge question worthy of a thread of its own... my quick view would be a combination of the Crusades, Mongol Invasion and collapse of the Ottoman Empire... but the effect is that Islam all too often stands in the same position that Christianity did 500 years ago. Then if one were to insult Christianity there would be violence... now there may be complaints, boycots and the like but little violence. Insult Islam and well... riots and murders aren't exactly unexpected.

And I guess that's my view.

There's nothing inherent about Islam that makes it more violent or "worse" than other religions, notably Christianity. It's just not as far along in its development... and unfortunately it's growing pains are rather violent.

Offline SheoldredTopic starter

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #55 on: September 08, 2014, 03:49:08 PM »
Quote
There's nothing inherent about Islam that makes it more violent or "worse" than other religions, notably Christianity. It's just not as far along in its development... and unfortunately it's growing pains are rather violent.

That's one long post. I agree with most of it except this. Quantitatively Quran seems to contain the most violence and hatred towards the unbelievers, which includes Jews and Christians. More than Buddhist teachings, and possibly more than the Torah too. That makes it 'worse' in my eyes, as an ideology and a religion.

That begs the question though... why is it so easy to pick a verse from the Quran and make it seem so violent, in case we go with the premise that all of them were written in self-defense? Why would a holy text that is supposedly a divinely inspired document, perfection itself, be so easily misinterpreted? If it was truly inspired by the divine, wouldn't it be airtight even if you took some things out of context?


Offline Kythia

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #56 on: September 08, 2014, 03:52:04 PM »
That's one long post. I agree with most of it except this. Quantitatively Quran seems to contain the most violence and hatred towards the unbelievers, which includes Jews and Christians.

I'm interested to see your stats.  Linky please.

Offline Beorning

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #57 on: September 08, 2014, 04:03:46 PM »
Consortium, you've written a very interesting post, but there's one thing I really can't agree with:

Even today for every radical fundamentalist Muslim preaching death to unbelievers on the internet we can likely find a Christian equivalent.

Come on. I've talked about religion on the Internet for years. I've met some very radical Christians... still, I have never met anyone who would say that non-Christians need to be killed. Or that, say, quitting Christianity should be punishable by death. Meanwhile, there are whole countries out there with just that kind of laws regarding Muslims that commit apostasy.

Offline SheoldredTopic starter

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #58 on: September 08, 2014, 04:09:38 PM »
I'm interested to see your stats.  Linky please.

Dr Bill Warner brings it out in one of his videos. Probably the one I linked earlier. Whether you believe him or not is up to you. Having glanced at the Quran myself what he sees seems fairly probable until I see some other expert presents better statistics.

Offline Shjade

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #59 on: September 08, 2014, 04:11:32 PM »
Please refrain from sticking words in other people's mouths.

Fair enough, sorry about that, Qt.

Sure thing, Christianity isn't a better religion than Islam. Both are not religions of peace. Christianity does not have a pretty past either.

There is the separation of church and state for Christian majority countries. No such thing exist for Islamic ones. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

That sounds more like an issue with the governments of said countries, not their religions. Yes?

Offline Retribution

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #60 on: September 08, 2014, 04:15:52 PM »
Hmmm, post seems to have vanished. I do not have a dog in this fight but just to answer Consortium I would say the Mormons have a history of being persecuted as opposed to being the oppressors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Mormonism

Offline Beorning

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #61 on: September 08, 2014, 04:19:09 PM »
That sounds more like an issue with the governments of said countries, not their religions. Yes?

Actually, no. It's not that the government in these countries merge state and religion - it seems to be other way around. As I said, I've met converts to Islam who grew up in my country - and they stated openly that they believed that the law, ideally, should be shaped by Islamic beliefs.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #62 on: September 08, 2014, 06:19:04 PM »
I have found that people 'newly converted' to a variety of ways of thinking tend to be quite vocal about singing the praises of their new thought processes. 

Online Qt

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #63 on: September 08, 2014, 06:38:09 PM »
Fair enough, sorry about that, Qt.

That sounds more like an issue with the governments of said countries, not their religions. Yes?

Their laws are heavily from the Quran... so Islam is definitely a huge factor.

Stop defending Islam's ugly side, or attempt to mention Christianity to downplay it, both religions are pretty violent, it doesn't help.

Or of course you could be like Formless who tries to use his own definition of Islam and define groups such as ISIS as "not Islam." Well, they are called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, I don't see him having the power to make their change their name.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #64 on: September 08, 2014, 06:41:52 PM »
I agree that this certainly part of the equation for overt violence.  However, even relatively developed Muslim countries such as Malaysia have oppressive legal systems, featuring archaic punishments such as Sharia Caning.  The Malaysian government, as a result of its Islamic influence, has even incorporated caning into its criminal law.
Which could never happen in a non-Islamic nation, right?

That's the thing - I have yet to see a single accusation levelled against Islam, here or elsewhere, that isn't just as true of other groups. But Islam keeps getting singled out. I wonder why?

Stop defending Islam's ugly side, or attempt to mention Christianity to downplay it, both religions are pretty violent, it doesn't help.
It's not a matter of downplaying anything. These things are ugly. So why is it we're only calling out certain people who do it?

Offline Formless

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #65 on: September 08, 2014, 07:04:26 PM »
Their laws are heavily from the Quran... so Islam is definitely a huge factor.

Stop defending Islam's ugly side, or attempt to mention Christianity to downplay it, both religions are pretty violent, it doesn't help.

Or of course you could be like Formless who tries to use his own definition of Islam and define groups such as ISIS as "not Islam." Well, they are called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, I don't see him having the power to make their change their name.

I chose to bow out of this thread. So I ask not to include me in this discussion anymore.

Offline Shjade

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #66 on: September 08, 2014, 10:35:16 PM »
Stop defending Islam's ugly side

I will stop defending Islam's ugly side as soon as

1 - I start defending it (which I haven't, making it very hard to stop)

2 - the topic becomes "does Islam have an ugly side?" as opposed to "is Islam really a religion of peace?"

If you look for it, any group - religious or otherwise - is going to have an ugly side, some of them uglier and larger than others. That there is ugliness in a group does not mean the group should be defined by that ugliness.

Or to put it in your terms: stop identifying Islam as its ugly side.

Offline Dice

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #67 on: September 08, 2014, 11:36:10 PM »
Nothing that has existed for any amount of time will have a spotless record. To turn away from Religion for a bit, there are companies that, in the pursuit of profit, have done horrid things. The longer a company has been around, the more likely it is that somewhere in the past they have dumped there waste in India, abused workers in Asia or just done something horrid at home. (James Hardie with Asbestos comes to mind here at home.) Many places still do unsavoury things now in the drive to gain more capital and do not pay much more than lip service to those with the power to pull them into line. Hell even the US government has a very chequered history. The older something is...

Saying that someone would defend the good points and the bad points of an institution is both a fair point and a foolish one. It is fair because we see this in places like the Mobile market, where brand loyalty can blind people almost as much as any religious institution can. With people blindly buying the same thing over and over, repeating over and over the same mistakes and drives. Humans are creatures of habit. We will do things like this. But the argument can break down when you fail to look at something without first looking at your own personal bias. It is easy to say "X is bad, Y is a lot more civilised" when you sweep years of shit that Y has done under the rug and say "Well we are not like that any more" or you fail to look at the benefit that X has to offer. It is a failed argument. Here is what we have been, here is what we can be again.

I am happy to defend Islam, I am an Atheist that owns more religious texts than some large libraries (and no Richard Dawkins books.) I read to understand. Something like Islam is having a large impact on the world, I want to understand it. To that end I also feel like I should defend it when it is needed. Islam is no more or less harmful to this planet than any other religion that indoctrinates youth and teaches them to view the world though view points of plain right and wrong. To be honest there is more shit in the bible to pull and laugh at than there is the Quran, if only because one of those two is bigger and was written by more people with a wider set of views. This is not a pissing contest, its just the way of things.

The real danger is in my view twofold. The first is not reading the text you wish to defend or condemn. I am sure I can pull in and out of context a whole bunch of quotes from Moby Dick and make it seam like the worst book ever written. I could twist it, warp it and make you (if you had never read it) agree with every view I have on it. I could make you think "Oh why would anyone ever want to read that" until you read it and found it to be in fact, nothing like what I had made out.
The second is the people who follow these text do not read them and others. If all you have ever known about the Bible is what small amount of it you have been read out in church, then you see a very stile view of a crazy book. That is the same for the Quran. If you let someone else read it for you, decide what it means and teach you, then you are at their mercy in belief systems. Even if you read the whole book while paying attention to only a handful of chosen lines, the effect is the same.

To my final comment, my personal views of Islamic nations is that they are about 150 years behind Christian ones in the terms of rights and civility of government. But I would argue that at the hight and dying embers of the Papal States many parallels can be drawn. In time things will work themselves out, we just happen to live in a world that has move on, while they are still dealing with that "Papal State" stage of their growth and evolution. I mean if someone from today had of looked back to some of the things we did not two hundred years ago...

People make the choices, not books. People warp words, not books. A book can not lie, a book can not hate, a book can not kill. What can is the words either placed into a book by a human being, or the misapprehension of those words by another. In the end though, the book can not think for itself, so we best do the thinking. If you are not questioning what you are told, seeking out other idea's and views, then that book, treat it as the living word of a comforting imaginary friend for all I care, because if your going to read one passage in one book and live your whole life of that, regardless of the book in question, well you where never going to be anything other than someone else's puppet in the first place.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #68 on: September 09, 2014, 01:56:10 AM »
Come on. I've talked about religion on the Internet for years. I've met some very radical Christians... still, I have never met anyone who would say that non-Christians need to be killed. Or that, say, quitting Christianity should be punishable by death.

I would recommend looking into Christianity in Africa if you'd like to learn more about these sorts of atrocities being committed by Christians. The Lord's Republican Army is one such organization.


Online DarkAngel111

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #69 on: September 09, 2014, 02:03:50 AM »
For those who said Christian Radicals are never Violent... Follow the link
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_terrorism#India

Look into the murder of Doctor Gearge Tiller, Who was threatened by many muslims but was finally killed by a christian Anti-Abortion Extremist group....

How do you justify being against abortion? What if it was done on a rape victim?.

If there are no Radical Christian groups that are Militants, Who then is *The Army Of God*?

Edit: Added two more Examples.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2014, 02:12:03 AM by DarkAngel111 »

Offline Caehlim

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #70 on: September 09, 2014, 04:00:31 AM »
Just to clarify, I'm not in any way saying that therefore Christianity is bad. I'm just making clear that identifying bad behaviour from certain members of a group and generalizing it to the group at large carries the risk of unfair prejudice.

Online DarkAngel111

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #71 on: September 09, 2014, 04:04:01 AM »
Just to clarify, I'm not in any way saying that therefore Christianity is bad. I'm just making clear that identifying bad behaviour from certain members of a group and generalizing it to the group at large carries the risk of unfair prejudice.

Would like to Second that.
Merely mentioning those Examples because of what Certain people do does not taint the religion. :) Should go both ways.

Online Qt

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #72 on: September 09, 2014, 05:17:36 AM »
I would recommend looking into Christianity in Africa if you'd like to learn more about these sorts of atrocities being committed by Christians. The Lord's Republican Army is one such organization.


For those who said Christian Radicals are never Violent... Follow the link
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_terrorism#India

Look into the murder of Doctor Gearge Tiller, Who was threatened by many muslims but was finally killed by a christian Anti-Abortion Extremist group....

How do you justify being against abortion? What if it was done on a rape victim?.

If there are no Radical Christian groups that are Militants, Who then is *The Army Of God*?

Edit: Added two more Examples.

Exactly what I've been saying, Christianity isn't peaceful either.

Both Christianity and Islam are not peaceful religions.

It still surprises me how people could some how say that the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" Organization... is not Islam.

It's true they are extremists, it's true they are a minority. But you, the majority is what is enabling them to hide behind the guise of Religion. You lack the power to bring them to stop them but you do have the power of enabling them to continue operating the under the guise of this "peaceful religion" while killing people.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #73 on: September 09, 2014, 05:22:22 AM »
Can't quote cos I'm on my phone, but this is aimed at QTs last point. That is precisely what Formless has been saying. Deny them the umbrella and legitimacy of being called Muslims

Offline Caehlim

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #74 on: September 09, 2014, 05:30:51 AM »
Exactly what I've been saying, Christianity isn't peaceful either.

I'm not aware of any religious group, or atheism as a whole for that matter that could legitimately claim not to possess any members with violent characteristics or people who have committed violent actions that they themselves attribute to their faith or lack thereof.

Quote
It still surprises me how people could some how say that the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" Organization... is not Islam.

Possibly this is a typo on your part, I'm not sure. However... it's not Islam. This is just set theory here. Islam, in this context would refer to the religion as a whole. While the smaller set of ISIS potentially shows some overlap, I've yet to see any evidence that the two sets are equivalent and interchangeable.

Quote
It's true they are extremists, it's true they are a minority. But you, the majority is what is enabling them to hide behind the guise of Religion. You lack the power to bring them to stop them but you do have the power of enabling them to continue operating the under the guise of this "peaceful religion" while killing people.

I'm not sure how emphasizing that people should be judged under their own merits and held responsible for their own actions enables people to continue operating under false pretenses while committing murder.