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Islam Is A Failure


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Islam has never produced social and economic goods. Oh yes people will point to the golden age of 1000 AD and Arab hegemony. More realistically the Arabs took over more advanced cultures and left them alone. The money was too good to tamper with the conquered states. Now the Arab/Islamic world is a mess. GDP of all Muslim states in the Near East is still less than Spain's. Discrimination, hate, death, Fatwa's, no outside news or book reading, ignorance, crime, unemployment, anger, attitude all from this monolithic construct that forces people to believe in spiritual nonsense.

How do we get these people into the modern age ?

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and christianity is just plain stupid. some guy comes and says "I'm the son of god" does a few magic tricks, and poof, 2 billion followers.

its not how feasable or good any religion is. the followers of a religion beleive it is the right religion, and thats about it.

and if anoyne thinks my shot at christianty "crossed the line" I dare you to prove that Craig's shot at Islam did not.

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Craig & Pellaken,

I don't appreciate the tone of either of your posts. While I am not a Muslim, i know plenty of Muslims who are well educated, and are people of deep faith, who hate those who have politicized their religion.

and Pelly, I believe your shot at Christianity was partially meant to demonstrate your outrage at Craig's post, in case it is actually the way you feel about it (and you said yourself you have rejected Christianity) , let me remind you that Jesus didn't "just come along" His coming was referred to and predicted all the way through the Old Testament from Genesis through to Malachi, and it happened exactly as the prophets foretold.

Did a few tricks, did he? Who else since then has raised people , including Himself from the dead?

Poof! 2 billion followers? Puhleese! the numbers were very small in the early church, largely because Christians were persecuted by both the Hebrew authorities, and the Roman ones , who (listening Craig? ) thought they needed to get with the modern world.

Now, another statement of fact: Christianity was persecuted until Emperor Constatine had his "revelation"and unfortuantely (good intention, bad result) mandated that all in the empire were to become Christians. It is very clear from the scriptures that to follow Christ is a choice that must be freely made, and often at great cost . While we have seen many people fall away from the Church, in reality they were probably bnever really Christian to begin with. Now the Church is experienceing Phenomenal growth at this time: spurred by those who embrace the faith voluntarily! We have really returned to days similar to the early church, where believers are spat on , reviled or outright persecuted to the point of death.

As to the decline of Islamic culture, it reaklly was made clear when after the sacking of Alexandria, Sultan Omar gathered upn 750 000 volumes from the Alexandria library and said "if they do not conform to the Koran, they are dangerous. If they do conform to the Koran, they are redundant. Therefore , burn them all"

That had nothing whatsoever to do with Islam itself, but with government enforcing ITS version on the people.

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Pellaken,

I'm not going to respond to your anti-Christian diatribe because it's off-topic. Perhaps you could start another thread.

Regarding Islam:

What disturbs me most about this religion is the encouragements to violence found in its texts and the willingness of Muslim clergy and leaders to embrace it. Muhammad himself was a warrior, as well as a preacher of war, who was wounded in battle in Medina in the year 625. Islam also divides the world into Dar el-Islam, or the House of Submission, and Dar el-Harb, or the House of War. What this means is that those who have "submitted" to Allah must be aided and helped, but those who do not may be forcibly converted or put to the sword. "O you who believe, fight the unbelievers who are near to you." - Koran 9:125.

However, there is also the issue of clerical corruption in the religion. For example, Muhammad specifically forbade all those in the Muslim community, the umma, to fight each other, and yet since the Shi'ite/Sunni schism there have been countless intra-Islamic wars. The Koran forbids this, and even goes so far as to say that a Muslim must help his less fortunate brothers wherever he can. So it can also be argued that Muslim clergy are corrupting this religion and making it more violent than it needs to be, even against the word of the Prophet. This is compounded by, as Neal has said, Muslim secular leaders bending the religion as a means of coercion towards their subjects.

There have been and are many civilised and non-violent Muslims. In the West there are many Muslims who lead perfectly peaceable lives, but while one can account for this by saying that in a stable and peaceful environment Islam is not a harmful religion, however, one can also argue that the non-violence of these Muslims is due to cultural assimilation. I truthfully don't know the answer to this one.

The great Muslim empires of the Ottomans and the Arabs were driven by conquest and one can note that the decline of both began when their armies became over-extended and conquest became more difficult. The social cohesion of the Ottoman empire in particular was problematic. The civilisation of these empires could have been mere cultural seepage from the Byzantines, and what is more, it may have been a facade upon a violent culture made worse by its warlike rulers.

What to do about it is the great question. The violent and evil Aztec religion was forcibly destroyed by the conquistadores, but clearly this is a morally reprehensible solution. One can hope for an Islamic Reformation, but who knows when or if that might happen?

Clearly, the corrupt Islamic clerics and leaders have got to go. In theory, the Koran allows that those outside the umma who do not seek to breach the peace can be left alone without attempts to convert or attack them. It also praises charity and mutual support between Muslims, an idea conducive to social harmony and prosperity. Material prosperity, too, is not abhorred by Muslims and Muhammad himself preached that Muslims should seek to accumulate wealth and use it properly for the collective good. A Muslim Reformation would hopefully stress these more tolerant and peaceable aspects of Islam, rather than the warlike aspects as previous clergy and leaders have done. Hopefully we will then see a prosperous and truly civilised Muslim society that will be content to attend to its internal affairs and prosperity.

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Guest Black Dog

Religious extermism of any stripe is nothing more than a convienient means for those who seek temporal power to manipulate the ignorant into doing their bidding.

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Guest Guest_Moderate Centrist

Exactly right Black Dog. Extremism is the problem. Christianity is as blood soaked as any other religion if not more so.

Take Northern Ireland for example. Two Christian sects battling it out. And they're not debating bible passages but rather the issue centres around access to resources, jobs, housing and education.

Although the west is based on Christian principles these are rarely practiced or believed my a large part of the population. Just take a look at our materialist, self centred pop culture.

Craig - I think we have to clarify that the majority of Islamic people are non violent.

The problems we're seeing are very complex and I believe go way beyond religion to encompass other issues.

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my post was purly to prove a point.

you belive what you do. islamic followers think that the word of Muhammed is the correct version of who god is. followers of christ, think that Jesus was the son of god. Followers of the Jewish faith, are still waiting for thier Jesus to come along. etc...

I respect all religions, and its about time we ALL started doing the same. just because I disagree with you dosent mean that I have the right to bash your belif system

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to respond to, and hence correct, my previous post:

"and christianity is just plain stupid."

no its not. its a belif system, that I just disagree with

"some guy comes and says "I'm the son of god" does a few magic tricks..."

or in the words of a christain

a virgin is born to mary, who is the son of god. he comes to earth to die for our sins, and preformes miricles while here

"...and poof, 2 billion followers."

poof, taking 2000 years.

I do respect all religions, and apoligise to anyone who took offence to this post

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since i grew up in the muslim community and mosques i probably know more about the reality of islam then most people.

HUGO's quote of one line of the Koran is very telling, not even discussing the violence the bible is filled with.

all biblical text has stories of violence and conversion and such. its no wonder after all the crusades and conquests.

the poverty of the region is really what is the problem here and it really is a function of geography.

if the muslim world was located in modern europe it would be full of middle class moderate people. it is no coincidence that prosperity, as seen in the US, is linked to declining religious zeal. middle class people with healty kids and stable jobs dont become religous extremists (or political extremeists for that matter)

poverty will cause the abuse of any system of belief. from ethic cleansing to holy wars.

to look for inherant inequalities in different religions is to ignore the obvious stressors of everyday humanity.

SirRiff

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most of you know my religions stance.

what you DONT know is that a few years ago, I looked at each religion, and wondered if I should join any. Christianity placed last (no offence)

I did not know enough about hinduisim or buddasim to make a decision. Judasim did have merit, but was like Christianity Light in my opinion. Islam was the only religion I could fully respect. I know quite a bit about it.

first of all, Islam has its problems. the way the quran is written allows for violence. Then again, the bible is no text of peace either. just as the bible is based on the jewish religion plus modern thinking (IMHO) the islamic religion is based on the christian religion plus modern thinking (IMHO) At the time, Arabia was very violent, and the religion needed to be violent to survive. That it has done, Islam is the fastest growing religion on earth (though that's somewhat of a false statement)

Why is islam growing to fast? simple. its based in poor countries where populations are exploding. if you wanted to talk about conversions alone, then voodo or wicca would probably the worlds fastest growing religion, but in terms of children being brought up Muslim, then by far, it is Islam.

Now before you go on about the Usuma Bin Laden's in the world, look at the Middle Class muslims. most of them live in the 1st world (France, The USA etc..) and they are, for the most part, NOT terrioists. now, I may not be the best person to talk about the issue of islamic terroisim. I once went on a 45 minute rant on it, which made my teacher respond "my god, you are the islamic hitler, arent you?" I have MAJOR issues with Islamic Terrorisim. I belive I once said, shortly after 9-11 "Nuke Mecca" while I regret saying that, at the time, you bet I was mad. but we must look at WHY they are terrorist.

simple

they are VERY religious, and the american culture is, in reality, destroying their religion. not america, the american government, or even americans. the american culture, of being lazy, then turning around and giving EVERYTHING up to get what you want. this view is shared by 90% of americans 50% of canadians, and about 2 other people on earth. but it is destroying the Islamic religion, which is based on tradition. Catholosisim, as it used to be, no longer exists in north america for the most part. like Islam, the Roman Catholic religion is based on tradition, and today, that tradition just dosent exist. Spain, France, and Italy still have these traditional churches, but they are dieing out quickly.

some numbers. very educated guesstimates

Christians: 2 billion

Muslims: 1.1 Billion

Roman Catholics: 900 million

Sunni Muslims: 800 million

Protestants: 700 million

these numbers have changed in the past 10 years. 10 years ago, there were 100 million more people that defined themself as "catholic" and 200 million less that defined themself as "muslim" chances are, that when I die, there will be more Muslims on earth then Christians.

now, lets go back to the core issue. islam has not made people rich. is it susposed to? I dident think religion was an economic theory. also, islam has not helped out society. I disagree, Islamic countries are, per capita, the most giving countries to charity.

"Discrimination, hate, death, Fatwa's, no outside news or book reading, ignorance, crime, unemployment, anger, attitude all from this monolithic construct that forces people to believe in spiritual nonsense"

this could have been said 700 years ago about Christianty. Remember, Islam is 700 years younger then Christianity.

"the Arabs took over more advanced cultures and left them alone. "

The Ottomans did that, but the Ottomans were never very religions.

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Islam is a hyper dictatorial religion. Centralised control, only ONE way to live, ONE book to believe, ONE prophet to follow, ONE belief that is superior to all others and a view of the world that is male anthorpomorphic [females need not apply], and disdains other cultures. Christianity and the Bible are totally different. The Bible is for eg. a collection of stories, parables and histories, that often conflict with each other. I am not religious and disdain the church, but i can see the value of having a 'flexible' spirituality in which there is debate about the meaning of the doctrine. This is entirely healthy. In Islam there is less flexibility in interpretation [only about the real blood lines of the true Prophet], and less curiousity in trying to resolve complex intellectual questions about the Trinity for instance, or the meaning of the 'Son' of God [how can a God be his own Son?]. This type of intellectual ferment is indicative of a culture that is content to debate and understand and not merely follow [witness the Reformation, Luther, Erasmus and the Counter Reformation replete unfortunately with the horror of the 30 years War].

There is plenty of written testimony that from about 900 AD onwards the Christians were far more interested in the Arabs than vice versa. Arab chronicles rarely mention the 'Franks' except to state that they have abundant slave material. The Christians traded, traveled and warred against the Arabs and were quite fascinated by many aspects of their society [though not by their religion, neither side apparently had much interest in understanding the other's religious doctrine]. The Christians for all their mistakes, travails and atrocities, were more willing to change, innovate and get ahead then the Arabs, who never really took seriously the incipient threat from the 'Franks'. If they had spent some time understanding the Europeans maybe they would not have fallen so far behind especially post 1683 and their defeat at Vienna.

Islam by its construction expects obedience, and does not elevate curiousity, experimentation or technology creation. It is a contained world - the outside world is inferior and therefore of little interest. Such a society can only attain a certain level before rot and corruption sets in. As I said previously and it holds today, any country or empire that has access to easy resources, and easy trade money will inevitably fail, if its political system is 'Oriental' ie. despotic or centralised and based upon nepotism and fear as opposed to talent and freedom.

Islam fits the bill. It is a religion that the ancient Greeks living in the time of tyrannos or the first tyrants would have recognised quite easily. A state religion, a set of concrete rules and limitations on freedom and trade and innovation, all to ensure that the society is not corrupted.

Well that is what the Communists attempted in Russia as well. Their religion was socialism. A variant of tyrannos.

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Muslims belive Allah is god. why must you insalt their religion?

Islam is 1300 years old. When Christiantiy was 1300 years old, it had the same iron-sided belif system. may I remind you that in the year 1200 we had our own Jihad against the muslims. we called it the crusaded. the whole point was to kill as many muslims as possible.

IF you are going to insult islam, you MUST also insult christianity, because both are equally as good, and, if you beleive, equally as evil.

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Flawed moral relativism. Not that you should necessarily infer anything into the current debate, but it is a fallacy that all religions are "equally good". It simply isn't so.

Take as an example Aztec religion. Before Cortes and his conquistadores arrived it was estimated that upwards of 60,000 people were being sacrificed to the Aztec gods, per year, in Tenochtitlan alone. The Aztecs went to war with stone clubs and aimed to take enemies alive in order to sacrifice them. The sacrificial method was agonising and involved the victim's chest being torn open and the still-beating heart removed. Priests would also wear the flayed skins of the victims as part of the ceremony. Some went to the sacrifices willingly, however, others did not, especially the prisoners from neighbouring lands.

Now... do you think that this religion is the moral equal of Christianity or even Islam?

Oh, and for the record, the concept behind the Crusades was not to "kill as many Muslims as possible." Were it that, they would surely have invaded the entire Islamic world. The aim was to reclaim the Holy Land from the Arabs who had invaded it in the 8th Century. It's often cited as a religious war, but in actual fact it was a territorial war with a sprinkling of religious ideology.

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Craig said,

"...Centralised control, only ONE way to live, ONE book to believe, ONE prophet to follow, ONE belief that is superior to all others and a view of the world that is male anthorpomorphic [females need not apply], and disdains other cultures"

Craig although your post was about Islam you've just described the beliefs and principles of the Christian Faith, specifically the Catholic Church.

Therefore your rants against Islam are really rants against religion, which is fine. However to portray Islam as more backward than any other religion is silly.

They're all the same and the majority of practioners are non-violent.

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Flawed moral relativism. Not that you should necessarily infer anything into the current debate, but it is a fallacy that all religions are "equally good". It simply isn't so.

Take as an example Aztec religion. Before Cortes and his conquistadores arrived it was estimated that upwards of 60,000 people were being sacrificed to the Aztec gods, per year, in Tenochtitlan alone. The Aztecs went to war with stone clubs and aimed to take enemies alive in order to sacrifice them. The sacrificial method was agonising and involved the victim's chest being torn open and the still-beating heart removed. Priests would also wear the flayed skins of the victims as part of the ceremony. Some went to the sacrifices willingly, however, others did not, especially the prisoners from neighbouring lands.

Now... do you think that this religion is the moral equal of Christianity or even Islam?

Oh, and for the record, the concept behind the Crusades was not to "kill as many Muslims as possible." Were it that, they would surely have invaded the entire Islamic world. The aim was to reclaim the Holy Land from the Arabs who had invaded it in the 8th Century. It's often cited as a religious war, but in actual fact it was a territorial war with a sprinkling of religious ideology.

it dosent matter how good or bad it is, so long as you beleive it'll get you to heaven. I will not argue for or against any religion, as I dont know which one is the right one. Islam is a religion, and therefore, must be respected.

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I'm not really interested in this discussion but all religions are NOT all the same. That is an extremely naive viewpoint, in my opinion. Wicca, Satanism, Judaism, Christianity, Muslim, Buddhism, Raelian cult... etc. etc. All the same??! Not likely. Some ARE *better* than others too.

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You're entitled to that opinion but if you ask a Muslim, Jew, or Christian you are not likely to find that viewpoint supported and generally firm believers understand the distinct differences better than others. :)

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Hi Rhonda,

Well I went to Church every Sunday for over twenty years and alot of what the church told us seems to be pretty similar to what other religions tell their faithful. They all believe in one God and that their religion is the best.

Sure there's a few differences but once you cut through the fluff it's the same thing - belief in after life, prophets, one God and so on.

I guess I look at it as a "forest for the trees" sort of thing.

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I disagree. There are substantial differences between Christ. and Islam.

See above one of my posts.

The main difference lies in interpretation. Islam is strict, there is one Koran, one interpretation and one stricture. Sunnis and Shias disagree on very few points - mostly related to who was the bloodline of the prophet.

Christ. is different. It is a confusing and contradictory mix of history, myth, parables and story telling. In this vein people can argue about interpretation and indulge in intellectual debates about the meaning of the word, of God, of being a Son of God and a God at the same time, about the Trinity and so on.

Islam has no such debate. It is sterile. Worse if you are a non-believer you are beneath contempt. Christians at least have an interest in other sects and religions. Islam does not.

That creates a very poor and dry intellectually bereft culture. Christianity was not worse nor better than Islam in many ways ie. in war, demagoguery and so on. Its main benefit was this:

It created a power that opposed the State.

Separation of State and Religion is fundamental to freedom. I don't support the Church but I am not blind to its importance.

It is a fundamental part of liberal constitutionalism.

Islam has no such construction and that is why it has failed, and failed I will add - MISERABLY.

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Islam has no such debate. It is sterile. Worse if you are a non-believer you are beneath contempt. Christians at least have an interest in other sects and religions. Islam does not.

you cant be serious,

look at the inquisition, where tens of thousands, or maybe even hundreds of thousands were killed for just questioning the church. witches were burned at the stake, scientists like galileo were labelled heritics and treated with harshly.

if your history doesnt go back past your birth, then yes islam is worse. if your history includeds the european dark ages, then no, islam is not any more strict then christianity. both have been abused for needless violence.

poverty will all all sorts of violent controlling powers to take hold.

just too many damn people with too much time to get all crazy

SirRiff

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Craig,

The problem is not necessarily Islam per se, but interpretation and abuse. The way I see it, Islam today is much like Christianity in the Middle Ages, with the original message being twisted and abused for worldly power.

Islam, while appearing simple, is actually very subtle and complex. Fierce debate has raged amongst Islamic theologians and philosophers on many issues, for example, the problematic issue of pre-determinism as it relates to the "goodness" of Allah. Many different opinions are held on this subject, many different answers have been posited.

There are also the many sects of Islam, apart from the Shi'i and Sunni sects resulting from arguments over the succession of the Caliphate, for instance the Sufi sect, an attempt to return to fundamental Islam that has actually become the most un-Islamic of all the sects, and which borders on actual polytheism.

Islam also has the potential to be peaceable. Muslims recognise the Old Testament and the New as sacred texts, and also recognise all Judeo-Christian prophets from Moses to Jesus as being messengers of God, of which Mohammed was merely the last in a line. Mohammed himself confirmed this in his writings. Muslims accept the Old Testament story of the sons of Abraham as their origin, and therefore at least potentially can accept Jews and Christians as brothers - provided they follow their scriptures, and not what the mullahs tell them!

Furthermore, the Koran also allows that non-believers can be lived alongside of and tolerated so long as they make no attempt to breach the peace. For example, as long as Israel does not begin any wars, its existence can and should be peacefully tolerated by Muslims - according to scripture.

A reformation of Islam along the lines of the teachings of Mohammed Abduh, Mohammed Iqbal or Sayyid Ahmad Khan would solve a lot of the problems of this religion. The groundwork has already been laid by Muslim theologians for a reformation. All it needs is to gain momentum.

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Hi Craig,

Well traditionally if you're a member of the Catholic Church there is no interpretation either. The Catholic Church was always Hierarchical and discouraged any dissent.

The mass used to be read in Latin and the congregation was often told not to read the bible. And the message was clear - Either you accept the faith or you go straight to hell.

I can't speak to the other Christian denominations but the beliefs of the Catholic Church are are anything but open to interpretation.

In that respect there's little difference with Islam - only that we have separation of Church and State and many Arab countries don't.

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Mod,

you are speaking of the way things were before Vatican II. Now the RCC URGES its adherents to read their Bibles, daily. This should be done in light of the catechism.

The mass being said in latin (it was only the Eucharist. The liturgy of the word was always in the local language) was not a problem for most people.

One thing baout which there can be no differing interpretation, is the view that the Eucharist becomes the actual flsh and blood of Christ.

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