Qasim Rashid on Muslims condemning violence


One of the more popular criticisms of Muslims that can be found within the atheist community takes the following form:

Sure, not all Muslims commit acts of violence; however, they do not speak out against it, because they know that the violent actors are adhering to the true nature of the religion.

The latter half is omitted as often as it is included, but the subtext of “moderate Muslims don’t speak out against violence committed in the name of Islam” does not really permit many interpretations beyond that conclusion. It is seemingly predicated on a belief that a plain-text reading of the Qur’an leads to the clear conclusion that violence against non-believers is permitted.

Never mind, of course, that the opposite is true.

Similarly untrue is the assertion that moderate Muslims do not speak out against terrorism, as Qasim Rashid explains:

But why do our brains shut down when the slightest indication exists that the culprit might maybe possibly be Muslim? No sooner did the Boston tragedy occur — and even before the slightest indication emerged regarding who perpetrated the attack — but I received dozens of emails and messages asking why “moderate Muslims” aren’t condemning the attack?

This was my initial reaction to such demands for condemnation.

Muslims condemned 9/11, we condemned 7/7, we condemned the Fort Hood tragedy, we condemned the underwear bomber, we condemned the Times Square bomber, and now yet again we find ourselves condemning the Boston Bombers on the mere suspicion that they were “motivated by Islam.”

And this is why I am unsure if people hear Muslims when Muslims declare — in response to every violent act or attempt at violence — that Islam condemns all forms of religious violence and terrorism. Because even after condemning the Boston bombers, I receive messages that the condemnation wasn’t “loud enough” or “clear enough” or passionate enough.” ” In other words, all they heard from me was blah blah blah blah blah.

The frustration that Rashid expreses is, to my eye, similar to the one I feel whenever I am compelled to defend ‘black culture’ against all manner of purported ills: a glorification of violence; a casual approval of misogyny; a fetish for poverty and welfare spongery. Left out of these assertions is the fact that black people are regular and vocal critics of these very things (indeed, in many cases they (we) use the language of the oppressor in condemning our own). Also left out is the fact that blackness and ‘black culture’ are no more responsible than whiteness or ‘white culture’ are for the exact same types of behaviours when done by white people – when done by whites, the majority finds classist language to separate themselves from the ‘white trash’.

Similarly, as Rashid notes, Muslims are frequent critics of violence that comes from ostensible members of their community. The reason for the apparent lack of condemnation is not, as some assert, that Islam is violent and moderate Muslims secretly approve, but that members of non-Muslim groups simply haven’t been listening.

None of this is to say that moderate religious groups don’t shoulder their own share of the blame when it comes to religious extremism; only that we should be seriously suspicious of anyone who makes the claim that moderate Muslims are particularly guilty, especially with counter-evidence piled all ’round us.

Like this article? Follow me on Twitter!

Comments

  1. CaitieCat says

    Further, as happened in the recent Toronto arrests, the people turning in the radicals are in fact their own co-congregants. In the arrests in Toronto, it was the mens’ imam who had called the police.

    CAIR puts out a press release and talks to any media who will listen, every time there’s an attack involving Muslims. They’ve been doing so for years and years, but they’re almost never talked about in this respect, especially when people are complaining “well, where are the moderates condemning this?” – because the answer is, “all around you, if you’d only look, instead of taking the MSM’s word for it that it’s not happening.”

  2. great1american1satan says

    I’m hella tired of these lies. I could buy them before, because yes, I’m not plugged into much media, and to the extent I am, sources are ignoring the supposedly absent condemnation completely. Moderate and even progressive muslim organizations exist, of course.

    Note the difference in their condemnations of violence as opposed to that vile scumbag Hamza Tzortis’s nondemnation of the Woolwich murder. Essentially, he said the murders were against islam only because they were illegal. So, I guess, if we were in a country where murdering the infidel was legal, they were just dandy.

  3. Daniel Schealler says

    It’s a side effect of the condemnation of violence by Muslims not being publicized.

    Partly because they are Muslims, and also partly because it’s less sensationalistic.

    I used to believe that moderate muslims were too silent until I stumbled on some of the counter-evidence. Now I’m just annoyed that western media doesn’t give the Muslim groups condemning violence a giant-ass megaphone to get their message out there, all the better to help undermine and marginalize the position of the extremists.

  4. says

    Have terrorists been condemning peaceful practice of Islam? I can’t specifically recall them saying anythign like that, so I must assume they support peace.

  5. Azuma Hazuki says

    Muslims who condemn violence against infidels are good people, but bad Muslims. This is the salient point. I have read the Qur’an (not in the original Arabic obviously), and the passages directing one to make war on non-Muslims, cut off their hands and opposite feet, and force them to pay tribute (Jizya).

    And the Muslim insistence that the book was completely and perfectly narrated as a coherent whole from the mouth of Gabriel only makes it harder for the moderates to hold their position (variant MSS in Sana’a aside…). They must essentially slap not only Muhammed but Gabriel in the face when they say “No actually it doesn’t mean what it plainly and clearly says.”

    Sorry, but there’s no way out of this: you can be a good human being or a good Muslim, but not both.

  6. atheist says

    @Azuma Hazuki – May 31, 2013 at 7:21 am (UTC 0)

    Muslims who condemn violence against infidels are good people, but bad Muslims. This is the salient point. I have read the Qur’an (not in the original Arabic obviously), and the passages directing one to make war on non-Muslims, cut off their hands and opposite feet, and force them to pay tribute (Jizya).

    The problem is that this argument applies to Christianity as well. The Bible contains passages that are just as terrifying, for instance Deuteronomy 20:10-17, which directs Israelites to enslave certain peoples, but to utterly destroy others. Or, Leviticus 20:13, which states that men who engage in homosexuality should be put to death. Based on this, Christians who fail to exterminate gay men, or fail to either exterminate or enslave other tribes, are bad Christians. Do you really want to make that argument?

  7. says

    The difference, perhaps, is that Christians are able to say “But Jesus overturned all that hateful Old Testament stuff”. The Bible is huge and ambiguous enough that they can make a plausible case for that position, even while other Christians are able to make a plausible case for continuing with the fire and brimstone. The Quran doesn’t to my knowledge* offer a similar plausible get-out – and also it explicitly claims to be the literal word of God in a way that the Bible doesn’t. So it’s at least plausible that Muslims have a harder task on their hands if they want to live lives of peaceful co-operation while not explicitly repudiating their holy texts. Luckily, most of them seem to manage.

    *I haven’t read it all, but I’ve skimmed random chapters, and while it sometimes talks about love and peace, what it mostly seems to do is go on and on and on about how much God hates unbelievers and how they’re in for a ‘painful doom’ in Hell. I hope the expression ‘a painful doom’ sounds as silly in Arabic as it does in English, but I don’t know.

  8. says

    Though, in addition to the above, it’s also true that Judaism has none of the New Testament, and yet you very rarely see terrorism in the name of Judaism – but I suspect that the difference is that centuries of being a despised minority in pretty much every country its adherents have lived have forced Judaism to find a way of being as unobtrusive as possible, including investing huge amounts of intellectual capital into reinterpreting the heck out of the violent parts of the holy texts, whereas centuries of political dominance in most of the Middle East and surrounding areas have meant that Islam has not had anything like the same incentives to moderate its position.

  9. Trophy says

    Again, a non-muslim who has never lived in a muslim country or in a muslim culture tries to explain Islam to us ex-muslims. How educating. Stick to what you know best, and don’t be a mouthpiece of Islamic liars just because you want to feel warm and fuzzy about your “open-mindedness” and acceptance of other cultures.

    Let’s see:

    “Top Ten Ways Islamic Law Forbids Terrorism”

    The article is completely dishonest.

    Islam’s holy book forbids coercing people into adopting any religion. They have to willingly choose it.

    Yeah, the holy book has an ayat “La Ikraha feddin” which means there is no compulsion in religion. Isn’t it lovely? Well, except that that was when Muhammad and the Muslims were in minority and before their conquest of Mecca (as the story goes). Once they held the power, this was overturned. Later Suras overrule the earlier “merciful” ones. That’s why sects such as Bahaiis are persecuted. Atheists too. Because there is compulsion in religion. The holybook does in fact coerce people into accepting Islam. Where do you think the centuries of Islamic expansionism come from?

    And that’s also a nice parallel with the current situation. At the beginning of Islam, Muslims were the minority and the prophet of Islam made up a whole bunch of Suras that deal with tolerance, peace, and compassion. Similarly, in the West, Muslims are the minority, and they churn out article and article about Islam being the religion of peace.

    Later on, when Muhmmad took power, he issued different suras. The later Khalifs took on the mantle of Islamic expanision. Similarly, when Islamists take power, they forget their original messages of “Islam being a religion of peace”. That’s what happened to my country. That’s what is going to happen to Egypt, if the Islamists manage to hold onto power. Anyways, you carry on to be a mouthpiece for an ugly immoral ideology.

    Terrorism is above all murder. Murder is strictly forbidden in the Qur’an.

    Death is murder except when it is capital punishment. Except when the Islamic state murders people for petty crimes. Except in times of battle which has happened very frequently since Islam has emerged. Except when a Fatwa is issued declaring such murder necessary.

    If the motive for terrorism is religious, it is impermissible in Islamic law. It is forbidden to attempt to impose Islam on other people

    Haaaahaaaa haaaa haaaa! Surely you cannot be so ignorant of the history pre-enlightenment Europe and Middle-east, can you? How the hell do you think Islamic architecture found its way, to I dunno, Granada, Spain?

    Islamic law forbids aggressive warfare … The Quran chapter “The Cow,” 2:190, says, “Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! God loveth not aggressors.”

    Sounds nice on paper but not in practice. Typically, it goes like this: “Lo, non-believers! Abandon your disbelief and worship Allah for he is merciful and just!” “What’s your response? No? Well, then I guess I’ll have to fight you. I did my Islamic duty of compassion but you rejected the truth. Only swords can settle it now.” This is how this “Islamic compassion” has played out throughout history.

    Terrorism or hirabah is forbidden in Islamic law, which groups it with brigandage, highway robbery and extortion rackets– any illicit use of fear and coercion in public spaces for money or power.

    Funny how the Prophet himself did plenty of highway robbery to fund his campaign before attacking Mecca (or so the story goes).

    Sneak attacks are forbidden. Muslim commanders must give the enemy fair warning that war is imminent. The Prophet Muhammad at one point gave 4 months notice.

    Amazing how many lies one can fit into one article. Sneak attacks are forbidden, except when sneak attacks give you an edge that you need. Except when are you the Prophet of Islam and you want to take over Mecca. In which case, it’s okay. Because end justifies the means in Islam.

    “moderate Muslims don’t speak out against violence committed in the name of Islam” does not really permit many interpretations beyond that conclusion. It is seemingly predicated on a belief that a plain-text reading of the Qur’an leads to the clear conclusion that violence against non-believers is permitted.

    Never mind, of course, that the opposite is true.

    The claim has never been that the “moderate Muslim” never speak out against violence. The claim is that it’s so much easier to rally the “moderate Muslims” in a demonstration against Israel, insulting/drawing the Prophet, etc. than to condemn the violence. I really appreciate Qasim Rashid’s condemnation of these attacks but in general, it is *very* difficult to get such statements out of “moderate” Muslims. I know, because I fucking lived with “moderate” muslims for decades. Ask them about Hamas or Hezbollah’s use of indiscrimate attacks against Israeli civilians and you’ll receive not a condemnation but a rant on how US also attacks civilians, how Israel is evil, etc. etc. So yeah, “moderate” muslims in general are nowhere near as vocal as their condemnation of attacks, at least when compared to other issues.

  10. says

    Jesus clearly told slaves to obey their masters so you can be a decent human being and not be a racist slaver or you can a good Christian.

    Why this obsession with some atheists of trying to hold the religious to the absolute text of their books regardless of whether they are fundamentalists or not. Even if they are fundamentalists they don’t follow the letter of their books more often than not. Ok so that can be pointed out as hypocrisy but it is *universal* across *all* religions so singling out Islam for this treatment whenever there is a terrorist attack seems mighty fishy to me. Saying they are not “good” Muslims if they don’t agree with killing people is unhelpful hyperbole drawn from atheists cherry picking bits of the Koran that clearly many Muslims do not interpret literally or reject wholesale.

    I don’t see many people blaming all Catholics for their Popes hateful obsession with sex and the subsequent deaths of 100’s of thousands of people from HIV/AIDS in developing countries. Any Catholic not condemning this is clearly a psychopath who delights in the painful death of AIDs victims. This is far worse than Islamist terrorist attacks in both amount of death and it being the head of the church that rubber stamped it. Not some outlying extremist Catholics.

  11. Trophy says

    Ok so that can be pointed out as hypocrisy but it is *universal* across *all* religions so singling out Islam for this treatment whenever there is a terrorist attack seems mighty fishy to me.

    If you want to criticize someone’s post, you better read it first. So, I’ll repeat what “Azuma Hazuki” has already said, one more time:

    Islam is unique among religions because:
    The majority of the Muslims believe it is literal truth, and the word-by-word acount of what was revealed to Muhammad, without a single omission, without a single (even minor) alteration.

    Rejecting this is grounds for branding you an apostate.

  12. says

    @Trophy, I didn’t address Azuma’s post directly but now you bring it up…. How is that unique? Fundamentalists of all cloth are *supposed* to literally believe all sorts of shit in all sorts of books. They manage the cognitive dissonance quite nicely it seems. I don’t see what makes Muslims *different* … ?

  13. atheist says

    @Trophy – May 31, 2013 at 4:59 pm (UTC 0)

    The majority of the Muslims believe it is literal truth, and the word-by-word acount of what was revealed to Muhammad, without a single omission, without a single (even minor) alteration.

    And yet, according to a recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, majorities of Muslims in the US and UK believe that life is better for women than in their ancestral homes, and are also very concerned about religious extremism. These two attitudes of US and UK Muslims suggest that when Muslims live in a nation with a strong secular tradition, they accept secular ideals. Either US/UK Muslims are all “bad Muslims”, or more likely they change their mind, much like Catholics did, when moving from a nation with a theocratic government to a secular one. The evidence does not support your contention.

  14. Trophy says

    @atheist

    [A]ccording to a recent study … when Muslims live in a nation with a strong secular tradition, they accept secular ideals.

    Yes that is true.

    Either US/UK Muslims are all “bad Muslims”, or more likely they change their mind, much like Catholics did, when moving from a nation with a theocratic government to a secular one.

    First, Muslim who live in US/UK a drop in a bucket compared to the overall population of Muslims. They cannot be the focus of discussion when discussing Islam.
    Second, yes they do change their mind but still many of them maintain that not only Quran is literally true, but it was also dictated in Arabic to Muhmmad, and has survived unchaged. This is agian different from the Christian view of Bible.
    Third, most Muslims do not read Quran and actually the majority of Muslims do not speak Arabic and cannot read Quran.
    I’m not sure what the hell do you mean by “evidence does not support your contention”. You offer no evidence to counter the claim that the majority of Muslims believe Quran as it is was dicated in Arabic to Muhammand and has not changed at all.

    Even a brief search shows how strong this belief is among muslims that they do not even consider the possibility that Quran might have grammatical errors.

    The following kind of reasoning is *extremely* common among Islamic circles, even among the moderates.

    http://www.answering-christianity.com/quran/grammar2.htm

    The article (Newton’s) is a flimsy argument that can be summarized as several false hypotheses as follows:

    Every prophet’s prophethood is attested to by divine miracles. [what were Noah’s miracles that were evident while his ummah still lived? how about Isaac’s? Jacob’s? Lot’s?]
    The Qur’an is God’s only miracle confirming the prophethood of Mohammad (saas). [also not true which has been addressed in many other articles]
    It’s miracle lies in that it is gramatically perfect.
    [another misconception–it is a miracle (even a literary one) in many other senses, including the fact that it doesn’t contradict itself [As does the Bible] <> <> (surat al-nisaa’) as well as the fact that it was revealed to Mohammad, (asws) who was illiterate
    There are grammatical errors in the Qur’an. [followed by a list of supposed grammatical errors that are either: – errors due to ignorance of the Arabic language and/or Qur’an – correctly used grammatical exceptions or (accepted but) irregular style that had a precedence of use among the Arabs]
    Thus, it is either not divine and/or it has been changed, as have the rest of the books of the Jews and Christains. [this hypothesis fails since it is based on the previous one, which fails also.]

    A claim that is very commonly repeated among Islamic scholars is that Quran is a miracle because it is such a perfect book that its existence cannot be explained in any way other than divine origin. That shows how literal is Islamic view of Quran.

  15. great1american1satan says

    The claim has never been that the “moderate Muslim” never speak out against violence. The claim is that it’s so much easier to rally the “moderate Muslims” in a demonstration against Israel, insulting/drawing the Prophet, etc. than to condemn the violence

    There’s a fair number of reasonable statements in your post, and the second sentence here might even be true of some people, but the first one is grade A horseshit. That might never have been the claim for you, but that is the exact claim I’ve read countless times on the internet. Don’t over-represent yourself there.

  16. great1american1satan says

    Second, yes they do change their mind but still many of them maintain that not only Quran is literally true, but it was also dictated in Arabic to Muhmmad, and has survived unchaged. This is agian different from the Christian view of Bible.

    Again, this might be half true. But I’ve heard a moslem say “it’s a metaphor” and I have heard multiple dumb shitting christians say the babble is the immutable exact words of god, no matter how little sense that makes. You’re probably closer to right about islam than you are about xtianity, as it is practiced in the USA.

  17. Patrick Spens says

    How is that unique? Fundamentalists of all cloth are *supposed* to literally believe all sorts of shit in all sorts of books. They manage the cognitive dissonance quite nicely it seems. I don’t see what makes Muslims *different* … ?

    You are misunderstanding what Trophy’s saying. It is not Islamic fundamentalists that belive in Koranic literalism. It is a doctrine of all major Islamic schools of thought, that the Koran (in Arabic) is the revealed and unchanging word of God. All Sunni schools accept this, all Shia branches accept this, most Sufi branches accept this (although Sufis can get a lot more mystical about their understanding of the Koran, but by this point we are talking about a tiny, tiny fraction of all muslims).

    The Christian belief that the Bible is the inerrant word of God is both relatively recent (in the last several hundred years) and certainly not held by the majority of all Christians. The belief that the Koran is the inerrant word of God is as old as the Koran and is held as doctrine by the vast majority of all Muslims. The relationship of Christians to the Bible or Jews to the Tanakh is not the same as the relationship that Muslims have to the Koran*

    *This does not mean that non-Muslim theocracy is somehow not a problem or that Muslims who say they are against violence/theocracy are lying. People are complicated, and their relationship to their religion often is as well.

  18. great1american1satan says

    Also, just as you lived with moderate moslems for decades doesn’t mean you can’t have prejudices against them that aren’t 100% accurate and may be harmful to your relationships with them. Lots of people live with black people their whole lives and still manage to be racist turds.

    “Look, every time I’ve been mugged it was a black guy, every crime in my neighborhood is black guys…” It might look very reasonable, as it could be based on facts for the person in that situation. But it isn’t completely accurate and it’s a horrible way to look at other people.

    You’re making the assertion islam is unique in the “exact words” department, and I can tell you with certainty it fucking isn’t. I’ve lived with fundie christians my whole life… Of course, all I’m demonstrating with this line of argument is that moderate moslems are equivalent to fundie Xtians, which isn’t very generous.

    If what you say is true, then I’ll say moderate moslem religious beliefs are more extreme than moderate christians, as they currently stand (a lot can change in a short time, given prosperity and peace). But beliefs about literal this and that are pretty far from actual practices. Most of the moslems I knew at my last job drink alcohol immoderately. Somehow, they didn’t seem very afraid of hell, which is literally what they should have been! It’s almost as if maintaining cognitive dissonance with a smile is prerequisite to following any religion…

  19. says

    It’s almost as if maintaining cognitive dissonance with a smile is prerequisite to following any religion…

    Yup! Any argument against Islam or Muslims that requires people in the religion to not behave like every other human being on the planet at the very least borders on bigotry. Othering of Muslims as somehow not able to reason their way around the unreasonable religion they live with is bullshit. Everyone else manages it so its an extraordinary claim that they somehow cannot.

  20. atheist says

    @Trophy – May 31, 2013 at 7:40 pm (UTC 0)

    A claim that is very commonly repeated among Islamic scholars is that Quran is a miracle because it is such a perfect book that its existence cannot be explained in any way other than divine origin. That shows how literal is Islamic view of Quran.

    Perhaps… to me this just sounds like a claim made by millions of followers of every religion, that their Holy Book is perfect.

  21. Patrick Spens says

    Perhaps… to me this just sounds like a claim made by millions of followers of every religion, that their Holy Book is perfect.

    Given that a substantial portion of the world’s believers do not have a central holy book, your statement is obviously false. If you are talking just about other Abrahamic religions, only about 10 percent of Jews believe that the Tanakh is divine revelation. For Christians it’s a bit harder to get accurate numbers who believes the bible to be infallible (mostly because Protestantism is such an organizational mess) but a generous estimate of how many Christians believe the bible to be the divine word of God is 25 – 30 percent.

    If that seems low to you, I’d point out that a) North American has a really high percentage of Evangelical and other Protestant denominations, and b) for whatever reason, christians who believe that the bible is inerrant tend towards being really vocal.

  22. atheist says

    @Patrick Spens – May 31, 2013 at 11:43 pm (UTC 0)

    If that seems low to you, I’d point out that a) North American has a really high percentage of Evangelical and other Protestant denominations, and b) for whatever reason, christians who believe that the bible is inerrant tend towards being really vocal.

    OK. I admit that I have not examined the statements of major schools of Islamic thought, in detail. My impression was that the same situation of a vocal minority claiming inerrancy, obtains with Islam. Do moderate Muslims also claim their Koran is inerrant?

  23. atheist says

    @Patrick Spens – May 31, 2013 at 11:43 pm (UTC 0)

    The reason I ask this is that logically, if moderate Muslims claim Koranic inerrancy, then it is a mystery how they can remain moderate. In exactly the same way, if Christians believe that the bible is inerrant, then they cannot be moderate Christians. Even if they believe that the death of Christ cleared away the laws of the Old Testament, as some Evangelicals say, then they still would have to adhere to the gentler but still very conservative statements of Paul, believing for instance that homosexuality is a sin, and that women must remain subservient to men. I don’t know enough about the Koran, but suspect that despite the claims of perfection, there are probably contradictions within that book as well. But someone knowledgeable about the Koran would have to make the determination on that.

  24. Trophy says

    @Atheist:

    The reason I ask this is that logically, if moderate Muslims claim Koranic inerrancy, then it is a mystery how they can remain moderate.

    Three things:
    1) First, not all the violent Sharia laws are in Quran. E.g., killing apostates and stoning are not mentioned in Quran.
    2) Average muslim does not read much of Quran.
    3) The Islamic clerics have maintained that the average muslim cannot understand the “deep and very layered” meaning of Quran and thus they have to depend on the clerics for interpretations and guidance.

  25. atheist says

    @Patrick Spens – May 31, 2013 at 11:43 pm (UTC 0)

    Finally, although many Christians claim the Bible is perfect and infallible, their actions tend to cast doubt on this professed belief. You can’t entirely blame them, because living by the Bible – even just by the New Testament – would be difficult in practice. I can’t prove it, but suspect that the same is true of Muslims and the Koran. Even if they claim that the Koran is a perfect recipe for living, their actions suggest otherwise.

    This perception of mine is the reason that I consider discussions about the contents of Holy Books, (The Koran, The Bible), and people’s claims about the contents of Holy Books, to be interesting but secondary. I am much more interested in evidence of how Christians, Muslims and Buddhists actually act, or polls of what they believe, than I am in finding scriptual evidence. You might call this “postmodernism” or “arrogance” as “Rebekah the Wily Jew” likes to. But consider: American Catholics mostly support women’s rights to abortion, despite the fact that their religious leaders strictly forbid this procedure. As someone said earlier, most religious types are good at handling cognitive dissonance. Maybe this is my arrogant postmodern worldview, but I’m generally less interested in what religious people profess, and more interested in how they act.

  26. atheist says

    @Trophy – June 1, 2013 at 2:51 pm (UTC 0)

    Three things:
    1) First, not all the violent Sharia laws are in Quran. E.g., killing apostates and stoning are not mentioned in Quran.
    2) Average muslim does not read much of Quran.
    3) The Islamic clerics have maintained that the average muslim cannot understand the “deep and very layered” meaning of Quran and thus they have to depend on the clerics for interpretations and guidance.

    That’s all fine, but it merely causes me to ask why you’re so worried about what is written in the Koran, then, if most Muslims don’t even read it?

  27. Trophy says

    That’s all fine, but it merely causes me to ask why you’re so worried about what is written in the Koran, then, if most Muslims don’t even read it?

    You are moving goalposts.

    The first discussion was on why Islam is different. You were given reasons why Islam is very different from Christianity and why it is difficult to reform.

    And second, the answer for your question is really obvious. A lot of moderate muslims become conservative or fundamentalists by just reading and learning more about Islam because the belief that Quran is literal and unchanged and that such and such Hadith books (there is most wiggle room in Hadith books but a lot of the moderates accept many of the Hadith books) are authentic have already paved most of the way to conservatism.

    I’m not saying any moderate muslim who begins to read Quran and Hadith will become a fundie. The point is that it is much more difficult to reconsile the modern notions of human right with this religion. For example, I’ve asked my moderate muslim friends about the Surah in Quran where it says it is permissiable for a husband to beat his wife if the wife is repeatedly disobedient (the Surah incidently is called “Women”) and their response was to make up reasons why the beating is not supposed to be harsh or how there are so many other Hadith about treating ones wife (or wives) fairly and blah blah blah. They are not wife-beaters but if someone wants to be wife-beater, he would easily find the support in Quran.

  28. atheist says

    @Trophy – June 2, 2013 at 1:00 pm (UTC 0)

    … You were given reasons why Islam is very different from Christianity and why it is difficult to reform.

    … A lot of moderate muslims become conservative or fundamentalists by just reading and learning more about Islam because the belief that Quran is literal and unchanged and that such and such Hadith books (there is most wiggle room in Hadith books but a lot of the moderates accept many of the Hadith books) are authentic have already paved most of the way to conservatism.

    I’m not saying any moderate muslim who begins to read Quran and Hadith will become a fundie. The point is that it is much more difficult to reconsile the modern notions of human right with this religion.

    OK, I admit that I have not made any comprehensive study of Islam. Perhaps its nature really is radically different from that of its sister religions Christianity and Judaism. Perhaps this difference really makes it harder to fit into that cluster of societies we call The West, with its ideal of Secularism, and its uneasy ethnic alliances.

    Leaving aside the religious scholarship discussion for a moment, what about the political argument that in a society engaged in an open-ended “War on Terrorism”, where “Terrorism” is defined as “Islamic Violence”, Secularists have little to gain by attacking the religion of such a vilified, marginal group as Western Muslims. And, further, that Secularists have something to lose by aligning ourselves with powerful Western groups that consider themselves in a Civilization War against Islam. At times, it seems to me that Secularists fail to grasp either that this is the reality of Western Secularism, or, lack an appreciation of the gravity of this reality.

  29. says

    That’s not a moved goalpost. Islam exists only as practiced, not as some theoretical construct. The Koran is only as relevant to Islam as Muslims make it, which is quite different from how important they claim it is.

  30. Aasiyah says

    @ Ace , I’m tryna figure out if ur muslim after making such an illiterate statement ? Do u live in ª muslim community or muslim country ? For the life of me °̩ cnt understand how the Quraan *hence correct spelling please* is not as important to us muslims as we claim it to be. Then surely u ignorant of our five time prayer ª day. We don not stand and postrate to our god singing R & B songs..We have to read verses of our quraan in arabic even tho it is not in our mother tongue, and in the sequence that the quraan is written in. With every thing we do there is prayer, when we sneeze and upon greeting , when entering the toilet or even looking into ª mirror .Seriously what is ª muslim without ª quraan ? He wudnt be ª muslim coz how wud be able to communicate with god ? This constant slender of Islam is now seriously becoming annoying..Everyone seems to know so much bt Islam yet their discussions and criticism’s is hilarious and what makes it so ironic is the confidence they have when trying to make ª point. When suicide bombers till 20 people yes it was the muslims even tho it cudve been ª critic to a religion they didn’t agree with so they decided to blow them up to smitherins, and even tho the bomber doesn’t have ª blood vessel to identify ,let’s just assume that the god we pray to whispered kill kill kill, dnt worry bt the quraan I’ve revealed to the last prophet. So this is my opinion on y 90% of people suffers from islamophobia (whatever that even means). Our quraan tells us of the sign’s of judgement day and most of what is written is already happening. The cuming of the beast is already into play where the illuminate and their one world order has already converted every religion into what they want them to be. Fashion , music , sex and the pipe piper is already blowing flute with the billions of followers oblivious to what is abt to arrive. Unfortunately the only religion that cannot be altered or change into their so call westernisation is the muslims. Our Quraan speaks of the past the present and the future which has not been altered in 1400 years so the only way to rid the muslims is create war amongst the religions , sending an army into ª country and killing families by the billions having ª justification to it all, coz hey america can do no wrong. Like sheep every person mimic’s of what they’ve seen on t.v loosing their own initiative to think for themselves. I dnt disregard the fact that yes muslim suicide bombers do exist and yes they have killed innocent families which is against what our religion teaches. But ne person who had watched their family killed or held their 4 year old child while dying of ª hand grenade or ª bullet in the back looses their soul and will to live, ur media does not show u this but it does exist and I’ve seen it .So revengefully °̩ wud hurt the people who had taken what god has gvn me. God has filled our soul’s with an emotion to feel and to hurt. Still °̩ dnt want to justify their acts. We damn to hell for taking another life as god has given life and he may only take it. Before chorusing what so many millions are now singing educate urself on our religion. °̩ wud never make ª statement to something I’m so clueless about.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>