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Source: (consider it) Thread: The origin of Islamic extremism
Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
People are talking as though 'Islamic extremism' was one thing.

Excellent point. Extremism comes in all shapes and sizes - some harmful, some beneficial, most unremarkable.

Nothing is "one thing". Every person is a unique individual. We generalize only to try to get our minds around perceived commonalities.

--------------------
"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:

After all, look at all the shiny things that Westerners have.
And the freedom! Don't forget the freedom.

Poor Muslims living under theocracies are actually bloody lucky that we are prepared to share with them our Western middle-class experience of how boring prosperity and freedom actually are, and how incapable of producing the true happiness which their quaint, simple and colorful lives offer.
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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Poor Muslims living under theocracies are actually bloody lucky that we are prepared to share with them our Western middle-class experience of how boring prosperity and freedom actually are, and how incapable of producing the true happiness which their quaint, simple and colorful lives offer.

Forewarned is forearmed. I wonder why no one has made pamphlets to send.

--------------------
"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Some universities also offer courses for Christian ministers, but they're also not compulsory. A lot of Christian ministers have little, or no, formal training. So, it's not just a mark of Islamic extremism.

Indeed. I certainly wasn't arguing that any religious group should be obliged to train its clergy in a way that outsiders deem acceptable.

Some sociologists argue that too much academic training in the clergy can become detrimental to church life and vitality, but that's a topic for another another thread.

quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
People are talking as though 'Islamic extremism' was one thing. To my mind, there's a difference between 'Let's blow up the West' extremism and 'Lock up your women' extremism, although any individual extremist may participate in both.

I agree that 'extremism' is a term that can cover almost anything. I'm assuming that the OP was using the term to mean some kind of terrorism, or perhaps support from terrorism.

If it simply means a strict adherence to religious beliefs and practices, then of course there are Christians who are also very strict - although studies seem to show that Christians generally feel less bound to adhere to particular practices or to hold certain (orthodox) beliefs. Islam is often described as a 'way of life', whereas Christianity is commonly seen as having a more subtle function.

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Islam is becoming the dominant religious belief system in the old West too. There's no sign of it's decline in Europe anywhere and it will be far more effective at proselytizing than Christianity. You can only marry in. The availability of alcohol, female nudity, gambling, tobacco, dogs, representational art in Leicester doesn't affect The Ahmeds At Number 7 for 3 generations at all in their devotions.

What's to understand?

Nonsense.

Junior Ahmed's cousin in Toronto is off to the Dawn Foundation in Toronto, which the the Toronto School of Theology's effort to create an imam program. (It is a public university after all).

The Dawn Foundation runs a nice, middle of the road Canadian-sensitive and aware program, it is NOT those koran thumpers from Saudi Arabia.

That's nice dear. New West. Doesn't happen here.
Yeah. I mean, you'd struggle to think of a major cosmopolitan English city which recently elected a Muslim mayor who had voted for gay marriage when he was an MP. That would never happen.
Apples and chalk mate.
Gnomic as always. Care to explain why?

--------------------
How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Alienation, yes. Young men who feel they have no stake in society, nothing to lose.

I often wonder if simply giving them a stake in society - something to lose - would dramatically reduce the number who are willing to blow themselves up

Channeling the energies of young males in non-destructive directions is an issue for all human societies. In the pre-civilised state for which we evolved, young males had considerable status as the warriors of the tribe. If we don't need warriors, what's the route to status for young men ?

Western society hasn't entirely solved the problem, but found a partial solution in:
- football
- romance
- a standing army engaged in "police actions" abroad.

Islamic/Arabic culture (and I don't know exactly where the religious ends and the other begins) offers instead the prospect of being a martyr for the faith.

Anyone can find things to be angry about. Television brings us 24-hour coverage of the wrongs (by our lights) that other countries commit.

But whilst a common form of Christianity teaches us to be meek and mild nice people who don't display anger, Islam teaches that infidels are a legitimate target for anger.

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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quetzalcoatl
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My local imam doesn't seem to preach about anger; he seems to go on about Islam being a religion of peace. I guess he's 'not a true Muslim' (along the lines of the Scotsman fallacy).

--------------------
the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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lilBuddha
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Originally posted by Russ,

quote:
But whilst a common form of Christianity teaches us to be meek and mild nice people who don't display anger, Islam teaches that infidels are a legitimate target for anger.

This, given its history, is a greater condemnation of Christianity than Islam.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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quetzalcoatl
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So when Christians were burning people - for about a 1000 years, I think - this wasn't anger, but a purer form of love. Hot, hotter, hottest, is God's love.

--------------------
the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
So when Christians were burning people - for about a 1000 years, I think - this wasn't anger, but a purer form of love. Hot, hotter, hottest, is God's love.

Yes. Only by burning them alive would they be prepared to burn forever in the afterlife.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Steve Langton
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Originally posted by Russ,

quote:
But whilst a common form of Christianity teaches us to be meek and mild nice people who don't display anger, Islam teaches that infidels are a legitimate target for anger.

This, given its history, is a greater condemnation of Christianity than Islam.
As I recall it's not so much that we don't display anger - some things we should be angry about if we love and care;it's that we carry on the fight 'not with physical weapons' as Paul put it, and that we keep a watch on our anger so that we don't 'lose it' in various harmful ways.

Ignore the Scotsman - in this kind of discussion that pseudo-argument is being inappropriately applied.

As I've pointed out previously, much of the problem here is that Islam was consciously set up by Muhammad to be a 'state religion' and therefore Muhammad himself saw it as proper to practice war/persecution to set up his Islamic state, to defend it, and to expand it. And that approach is heavily supported in the Quran.

It is true that Muhammad voices aspirations of peace, I think he even thought at first that he would achieve his goals in the Arab state by peaceable means. But once he opted for war 'with physical weapons' and used warfare to take over Mecca and set up his Islamic state, he built into the faith an inherent contradiction which cannot easily be resolved by anyone trying to be faithful to Muslim fundamental teaching.

I suspect Muhammad would have been worried by much of the conduct of the modern 'IS' - but had he been a true prophet he would have realised that such things would follow from his contradictory teaching and acts.

Christianity was set up differently by Jesus and the NT portrays it in a very different and at least on the Christian side peaceable relationship to the surrounding non-Christian state. The subsequent growth of 'Christian states' and their bad consequences is not part of original Christianity but an alien imposition by C4 Roman Emperors. (Not to mention that the history of that form of Christianity is a good demonstration of why Jesus set up something different!!)

Islamic extremism originates from Muhammad's twin errors of founding a 'religious state' and (more or less inevitably) using war and other coercive means on behalf of his faith as a result. Ultimately the only way to deal with it is to point out this error in the faith and persuade people to leave Islam for a truer faith. For some Christians they will only be able to take that option AFTER they have rooted out the 'state church' error from their Christianity.

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quetzalcoatl
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I don't see why the Scotsman fallacy is inappropriate. My Muslim neighbours and friends are very peaceful people. So does this mean that they are bad Muslims, or in terms of the Scotsman fallacy, 'not true Muslims'? I guess that IS would agree.

--------------------
the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Islam is becoming the dominant religious belief system in the old West too. There's no sign of it's decline in Europe anywhere and it will be far more effective at proselytizing than Christianity. You can only marry in. The availability of alcohol, female nudity, gambling, tobacco, dogs, representational art in Leicester doesn't affect The Ahmeds At Number 7 for 3 generations at all in their devotions.

What's to understand?

Nonsense.

Junior Ahmed's cousin in Toronto is off to the Dawn Foundation in Toronto, which the the Toronto School of Theology's effort to create an imam program. (It is a public university after all).

The Dawn Foundation runs a nice, middle of the road Canadian-sensitive and aware program, it is NOT those koran thumpers from Saudi Arabia.

That's nice dear. New West. Doesn't happen here.
Yeah. I mean, you'd struggle to think of a major cosmopolitan English city which recently elected a Muslim mayor who had voted for gay marriage when he was an MP. That would never happen.
Apples and chalk mate.
Gnomic as always. Care to explain why?
You understood exactly what I meant I believe: it's a false comparison between cultures. We have Sadiq Khan, Canada has 'The Dawn Foundation ... a nice, middle of the road Canadian-sensitive and aware program, it is NOT those koran thumpers from Saudi Arabia.'. The biggest mosque in liberal Muslim Keith Vaz' Leicester is Salafist. My excellent devout Sunni neighbour denies that the mosque is Sunni, denouncing them, literally, as extremists. He goes to a Majlis. I have received nothing but neighbourly politeness from the traditionally garbed Muslim lads in the neighbourhood and men going to prayers at the Salafist mosque. I encounter occasional lone liberal Muslims, 1:100 if that. My Kurd barber is one, extremely outspoken and secular with me, critical of his culture and the one he has to swim in here, in which I thankfully established he has to be extremely discreet. I can think of three others I've met, including a Bangladeshi who regards the Hajj as a con and one who nearly became my step-son-in-law.

I look forward to the widow Zubaida plying me with multiple large containers of Asian food for the greater Eid, Al-Adha, starting tomorrow. I shall wear my keffiyeh with pride when I go the the celebrations.

I don't fear for my safety, despite a demented Somali trying to take it from me, but I do for the local Ahmadiyya shopkeeper.

I encounter Islam as a very broad church. Do you know any Muslims?

--------------------
Love wins

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Steve Langton
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by quetzalcoatl;
quote:
I don't see why the Scotsman fallacy is inappropriate.
In previous threads I found the Scotsman fallacy being used inappropriately. My point is that in a religion which has developed over time and shows variation of belief and/or practice there is a genuine need to look at the developments and try to decide which are legitimate developments and which are perhaps going down the wrong track - that is, which are the 'real' form of the faith, and which are a false form of it. This is a very different kind of issue to the kind of prejudice the Scotsman fallacy represents; it needs serious discussion which unfortunately can be derailed by thoughtless references to the 'true Scotsman' line of thought.

Just because someone uses phrases like 'real Christianity' or 'true Islam' does not mean he is guilty of the 'no true Scotsman' fallacy; it can mean that he is trying to have a genuine and necessary argument/discussion on which of rival versions of a faith is objectively the true or original version.

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quetzalcoatl
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The Scotsman fallacy is about purity or essentialism. Thus IS, and other militants, use it about some other Muslims - they are not true Muslims, therefore deserve punishment.

Bizarrely enough, you do find some Westerners also using it, in order to prove that Islam is inherently violent. Well, my Muslim neigbours and friends are not violent - are they therefore not true Muslims?

--------------------
the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Steve Langton
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by quetzalcoatl;
quote:
The Scotsman fallacy is about purity or essentialism.
As I read it the 'true Scotsman fallacy' is about getting yourself out of an embarrassment which starts with the prejudiced statement "No Scotsman..." and then finds that actually some ethnic Scots do do whatever it is. This is a rather different situation to asking whether, say, Mormonism or Anabaptism (or possibly something else) is the 'true' form of Christianity.

As regards Islam's 'inherent violence' I think the point is as I stated it - that Muhammad built into the religion conflicting aspirations to peace on the one hand and a religious state with the wars etc. to defend/expand it on the other hand.

Had Muhammad personally in his lifetime remained clearly peaceable throughout, then a situation might have developed akin to that in Christianity where the war and violence was brought in later and could be fairly straightforwardly argued to not be the true or original teaching. But it is hard to argue against the 'inherent violence' when the warfare, the persecution of dissenters, and the 'religious state' in the first place clearly goes back to the founding prophet and to what he gave out as the supposed Word of God.

I think Muhammad intended that Islamic warfare etc should be on lines similar to the Western concept of 'Just War'. I've studied that enough to realise that in reality that can be a very 'slippery' concept, and we have a millennium-and-a-half of the false 'state religion' form of Christianity, from Constantine/Theodosius down to the likes of Ian Paisley, to show how easy it is even in the name of Jesus to justify all kinds of horrors as supposedly 'Just War'. Christians are supposed to follow Jesus' and Paul's teaching that the warfare of the faith is without physical weapons.

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lilBuddha
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Steve L,

Your post in rely to me merely furthers my point. If Chriatianity is about Peace and Islam violence, then Christians have fucked up more. And for the vast majority of their existence. You also ignore the OT. And, unless Christians completely repudiate the OT, you need to interpret. You know, like the peaceful Muslims do.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Martin60
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lilBuddha, exactly, Islam was born of Christianity's catastrophic institutionalized failure.

--------------------
Love wins

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Islam is becoming the dominant religious belief system in the old West too. There's no sign of it's decline in Europe anywhere and it will be far more effective at proselytizing than Christianity. You can only marry in. The availability of alcohol, female nudity, gambling, tobacco, dogs, representational art in Leicester doesn't affect The Ahmeds At Number 7 for 3 generations at all in their devotions.

What's to understand?

Nonsense.

Junior Ahmed's cousin in Toronto is off to the Dawn Foundation in Toronto, which the the Toronto School of Theology's effort to create an imam program. (It is a public university after all).

The Dawn Foundation runs a nice, middle of the road Canadian-sensitive and aware program, it is NOT those koran thumpers from Saudi Arabia.

That's nice dear. New West. Doesn't happen here.
Yeah. I mean, you'd struggle to think of a major cosmopolitan English city which recently elected a Muslim mayor who had voted for gay marriage when he was an MP. That would never happen.
Apples and chalk mate.
Gnomic as always. Care to explain why?
You understood exactly what I meant I believe: it's a false comparison between cultures. We have Sadiq Khan, Canada has 'The Dawn Foundation ... a nice, middle of the road Canadian-sensitive and aware program, it is NOT those koran thumpers from Saudi Arabia.'. The biggest mosque in liberal Muslim Keith Vaz' Leicester is Salafist. My excellent devout Sunni neighbour denies that the mosque is Sunni, denouncing them, literally, as extremists. He goes to a Majlis. I have received nothing but neighbourly politeness from the traditionally garbed Muslim lads in the neighbourhood and men going to prayers at the Salafist mosque. I encounter occasional lone liberal Muslims, 1:100 if that. My Kurd barber is one, extremely outspoken and secular with me, critical of his culture and the one he has to swim in here, in which I thankfully established he has to be extremely discreet. I can think of three others I've met, including a Bangladeshi who regards the Hajj as a con and one who nearly became my step-son-in-law.

I look forward to the widow Zubaida plying me with multiple large containers of Asian food for the greater Eid, Al-Adha, starting tomorrow. I shall wear my keffiyeh with pride when I go the the celebrations.

I don't fear for my safety, despite a demented Somali trying to take it from me, but I do for the local Ahmadiyya shopkeeper.

I encounter Islam as a very broad church. Do you know any Muslims?

Ironically, in the leafy shires the two who immediately spring to mind are married to Christians. Probably not representative. The plural of anecdote, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I agree with you about the broad church thing. So I'm not convinced that 3rd generation Muslims hold the same views as 1st generation Muslims. There's an ongoing debate with some Muslims reacting against western society and some being influenced by it. How that ends I don't know but Muslim liberality, such as it is, is as much a relevant datum as Muslim illiberality.

Oh, and don't ever claim that I am pretending to misunderstand you. When I think you are wrong, as you often are [Razz] I'll say as much without dancing around the issue. [Big Grin]

--------------------
How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan: I'm not convinced that 3rd generation Muslims hold the same views as 1st generation Muslims.
In fact, some research suggests that younger British Muslims are often more religiously radical than their parents.

The ones who earn enough to move to the leafy shires and mix largely with non-Muslims are obviously reflecting a different development. They may also come from a different ethnic and cultural background. (Some groups have a tendency to be more secular, or to develop a secular identity, more quickly than others.) In any case, since they live and mix in a very different environment from the people we're mostly discussing on this thread, they're not present to influence the others.

Famous British Muslims are a special case. The influence of Sadiq Khan will be interesting to follow, since the vast majority of British Muslims, like him, are of Pakistani heritage.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Poor Muslims living under theocracies are actually bloody lucky that we are prepared to share with them our Western middle-class experience of how boring prosperity and freedom actually are, and how incapable of producing the true happiness which their quaint, simple and colorful lives offer.

Forewarned is forearmed. I wonder why no one has made pamphlets to send.
Great idea.

They need to be alerted to the fact that any yearnings for prosperity and freedom which they might experience represent a pernicious "false consciousness" induced by CIA/Mossad propaganda.

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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:

After all, look at all the shiny things that Westerners have.
And the freedom! Don't forget the freedom.

Poor Muslims living under theocracies are actually bloody lucky that we are prepared to share with them our Western middle-class experience of how boring prosperity and freedom actually are, and how incapable of producing the true happiness which their quaint, simple and colorful lives offer.
Sigh. I supposed I asked for that false dichotomy.

What I'm actually trying to target is the behaviour sometimes exhibited that material goods and individual "freedom" are the be-all and end-all, a kind of trump card and therefore the kind of thing no-one could possibly say no to.

I'm not against either of those things. What I am against is constantly telling everybody that they can't possibly be happy unless they maximise those things. That's exactly what advertising companies do, and the whole point is to put us on a never-ending quest to acquire more and more things and more and more personal autonomy on utterly trivial things.

--------------------
Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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mdijon
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Since Iran was used as an example earlier it's worth reflecting that one of the West's most significant interventions was to overthrow a democratically elected Iranian President, colluding with and putting the murderous and torturing Shah Reza in power until the revolution. Another significant intervention was to arm Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war, and provide satellite imagery to allow Iraq to target chemical weapons on Iranian troops and significant targets in Iranian territory.

It's interesting that we sometimes find ourselves as struggling to communicate the benefits of Western freedom and democracy to Muslims, it might be our illustrative actions that deserves greatest attention in this communication gulf.

--------------------
mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by quetzalcoatl;
quote:
The Scotsman fallacy is about purity or essentialism.
As I read it the 'true Scotsman fallacy' is about getting yourself out of an embarrassment which starts with the prejudiced statement "No Scotsman..." and then finds that actually some ethnic Scots do do whatever it is.
Actually it's about artificially defining your categories to deliberately exclude cases which disprove whatever point is being made. For instance, despite the fact that Sadiq Khan and Keith Ellison claim to be Muslims, some will argue that they can't really be Muslims because they haven't tried to establish a religious government or engaged in the violence which is inherent in their faith (as helpfully pointed out by non-Muslims who know better than they do). In other words, all Muslims are violent theocrats because anyone who isn't a violent theocrat cannot, by definition, be a Muslim. They don't count or are a "special case".

quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Poor Muslims living under theocracies are actually bloody lucky that we are prepared to share with them our Western middle-class experience of how boring prosperity and freedom actually are, and how incapable of producing the true happiness which their quaint, simple and colorful lives offer.

Unleash the freedom bombs! So generous!

And I understand that some Iraqis were a bit miffed at this generous sharing of Western technology. No pleasing some people, I guess.

--------------------
Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Steve Langton
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quote:
originally by Croesos;
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
[qb] by quetzalcoatl;
quote:
The Scotsman fallacy is about purity or essentialism.
As I read it the 'true Scotsman fallacy' is about getting yourself out of an embarrassment which starts with the prejudiced statement "No Scotsman..." and then finds that actually some ethnic Scots do do whatever it is.

Actually it's about artificially defining your categories to deliberately exclude cases which disprove whatever point is being made. For instance, despite the fact that Sadiq Khan and Keith Ellison claim to be Muslims, some will argue that they can't really be Muslims because they haven't tried to establish a religious government or engaged in the violence which is inherent in their faith (as helpfully pointed out by non-Muslims who know better than they do). In other words, all Muslims are violent theocrats because anyone who isn't a violent theocrat cannot, by definition, be a Muslim. They don't count or are a "special case".
Steve Langton's response ;
(having slightly slipped in applying the UBB while editing out Croesos' comments on someone else's post)
Agreed; but the key phrase there is "artificially defining your categories". What I've been objecting to is applying the Scotsman fallacy in the situation where there is not so much an 'artificial defining of categories' but a real case of there being variant views of/within the religion and a serious need to examine both sides and determine where the truth might be.

I understand the sarcasm registered in your comment about "...as helpfully pointed out by non-Muslims who know better than they (the Muslims) do...." But the problem here is precisely that the Muslims are disagreeing among themselves about who is a true Muslim, and because it's affecting us outsiders we need - and have a totally valid reason and 'locus standi' in the matter - to examine the situation and discuss it and try to determine what the truth is. In that situation bringing in the 'true Scotsman fallacy' is wildly inappropriate - the situation is not about artificially defined categories, but a very real dispute even in Islam about what is 'true Islam'.

And I should point out that I'm NOT saying "all Muslims are violent theocrats because anyone who isn't a violent theocrat cannot, by definition, be a Muslim". To me, the question of who is a 'true Muslim' is verging on irrelevant because the fundamental problem is that Islam is as a whole false anyway. As I pointed out, it contains from the very beginning, from Muhammad himself and the book that he claimed to be God's word, the conflicted ideas which Muslims themselves have conspicuously failed to reconcile.

Those ideas are
1)Yes an aspiration to peace and I think an original belief on Muhammad's part that he would be able to attain his goals peaceably; but also, and undermining that aspiration
2) that Islam should be a state religion, and
3) that it can be appropriate to use warfare with real weapons in the name of Islam and on behalf of the Islamic state, and
4) that it can be appropriate to persecute even to death the 'heretics' who disagree with the prophet.

Those ideas demonstrably go back to the foundation of Islam, to the actions as well as the teaching of Muhammad and are clearly conflicted and contradictory ideas. And further, they are clearly a backwards step from the different peaceable way set up by Jesus, clearly showing that Muhammad was a false prophet in claiming to 'improve' Christianity.

In this case there are NO 'true Muslims' (and so no valid application of the Scotsman stuff) - just people dealing in different ways with the confused and conflicted ideas Muhammad left behind him. And the only true resolution is to recognise Islam as a false religion and abandon it - staying within Islam can only keep the tension of those conflicting ideas going.

Had Muhammad and the Quran expressed ONLY the peaceable version there would be a different situation; unfortunately the Islamic state, the warfare, and the persecuting dissent bits do go back to Muhammad and the Quran and have effectively equal authority with the 'peace' bits; indeed arguably just by existing and conflicting with the aspiration to peace, have in a way almost slightly more authority.

Two minor points - remind me, Croesos, what your basic standpoint is; Christian, atheist, what? And I note the Ship is thanking me for actually using the preview function because only about six Shipmates do use it. Maybe more of you should use it.....

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
And I should point out that I'm NOT saying "all Muslims are violent theocrats because anyone who isn't a violent theocrat cannot, by definition, be a Muslim". To me, the question of who is a 'true Muslim' is verging on irrelevant because the fundamental problem is that Islam is as a whole false anyway. . . .

. . . In this case there are NO 'true Muslims' (and so no valid application of the Scotsman stuff) - just people dealing in different ways with the confused and conflicted ideas Muhammad left behind him.

And just like that, problem solved! There's no such thing as "Islamic extremism", so we don't need to worry about its alleged origins.

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Two minor points - remind me, Croesos, what your basic standpoint is; Christian, atheist, what? And I note the Ship is thanking me for actually using the preview function because only about six Shipmates do use it. Maybe more of you should use it.....

I think my profile says "Atheist", but maybe you could use your previewing skills to check that for me. It's been a while.

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Steve Langton
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by Croesos;
quote:
And just like that, problem solved! There's no such thing as "Islamic extremism", so we don't need to worry about its alleged origins.
Are you being obtuse and illogical on purpose?? Of course there is Islam and there is 'Islamic extremism' and it's going to take a lot of sorting out. And in case you hadn't noticed, what I've been posting is of direct relevance to understanding the origins of the extremism and how it might be better (and less violently) combated.

Sorry, should have thought of checking your profile; partly the absent-minded-professory side of Asperger at work, partly I don't think I'd ever thought of checking anybody's profile - if I can do it I'll have to remember it in future. Thanks.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
To me, the question of who is a 'true Muslim' is verging on irrelevant because the fundamental problem is that Islam is as a whole false anyway.

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Are you being obtuse and illogical on purpose?? Of course there is Islam and there is 'Islamic extremism' and it's going to take a lot of sorting out. And in case you hadn't noticed, what I've been posting is of direct relevance to understanding the origins of the extremism and how it might be better (and less violently) combated.

So your posts are "of direct relevance" to a "question . . . verging on irrelevant"? And it's going to take a lot to sort out this irrelevancy? [Confused]

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Steve Langton
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# 17601

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
To me, the question of who is a 'true Muslim' is verging on irrelevant because the fundamental problem is that Islam is as a whole false anyway.

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Are you being obtuse and illogical on purpose?? Of course there is Islam and there is 'Islamic extremism' and it's going to take a lot of sorting out. And in case you hadn't noticed, what I've been posting is of direct relevance to understanding the origins of the extremism and how it might be better (and less violently) combated.

So your posts are "of direct relevance" to a "question . . . verging on irrelevant"? And it's going to take a lot to sort out this irrelevancy? [Confused]

[Confused] [Confused] [Confused] [Confused] me too!!!!

It may take longer to sort out your illogicality here than to sort out the problems relating to Islam....

The question which 'verges on irrelevancy' is NOT the issue of the origins of Islamic extremism, or indeed other questions about the rather obvious reality of Islam existing. The question which 'verges on irrelevancy' is the artificial 'true Scotsman' type question about there being 'true Islam'. There is little point asking who is a 'true Muslim' when as I say, Islam is false and founded on a deep contradiction. Different Muslims in different situations respond to that contradiction in different ways and with different emphases.

Many in the West, sharing Western prosperity and seeing the value of our up-till-now pluralism, have emphasised the peace side. Muslims in other countries with all kinds of problems have sought the answer in jihad and in fighting back against the West and its colonialism and exploitation and the arrogance of our politicians like Bush and Blair. I suspect that many of those go further than Muhammad might have approved; but by choosing the 'Islamic state' option and the necessary war he laid the foundations of the extremism himself.

The 'true Muslim' business is 'verging on irrelevant'. Recognising the falsity of Islam and the internal conflictedness of its teaching is very relevant to sorting out the problems Muhammad left behind him and the effect they are having on our lives now.

While as an atheist you can afford to snipe at both parties, for Christians a very important part of combating Islam will be recognising that certain late (C4 CE) additions to Christianity are not legitimate developments of the original teaching but actually contradict Jesus' and the apostles' teaching and have had bad consequences. Those false doctrines are essentially similar to the faults/contradictions I pointed out in Islam, that is, the state religion and violence in the name thereof. Christians who uphold those doctrines, even if in somewhat attenuated forms these days, are a problem in opposing Islamic extremism because they are too close to the faults of Islam themselves, and simultaneously provoke the Muslim extremists and justify the Islamic version of their faulty ideas.

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quetzalcoatl
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The Scotsman fallacy doesn't assert that there is a true Scotsman, or in fact, true Islam, but is a critique of that.

The classic example at the moment occurs when Muslims talk about peaceful Islam, and critics say that that's not true Islam. Ironically, this includes both terrorist groups such as IS, and Western Islamophobes.

[ 12. September 2016, 19:49: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]

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mr cheesy
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I see. So the fact that Islam is so obviously wrong is so clear to Steve Langton that this means he doesn't really need to determine which are the True Muslims, because it is all fake, y'see? But he does anyway. And, wadderyouknow, the only person in a position to tell who is, in fact, a true Muslim is the aforementioned Steve Langton.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by Croesos;
quote:
And just like that, problem solved! There's no such thing as "Islamic extremism", so we don't need to worry about its alleged origins.
Are you being obtuse and illogical on purpose?? Of course there is Islam and there is 'Islamic extremism' and it's going to take a lot of sorting out.
I don't know. One is characterised by praying five times a day, attending mosque on Fridays, not drinking alcohol or eating pork, fasting for a month each year and going on a Hajj. The other, in addition to these, is part of the largest active terrorist organisation.

How is that difficult to sort out? Applied intelligence is needed, not critiques of this faith against that.

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chris stiles
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Didn't we have this discussion in another thread a few months back?
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Zogwarg
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Some French Muslim Scholar had a very interesting perspective after the nice attacks.

As others have pointed in this thread, or indeed at large, those who act out as terrorist aren't exactly 'devout'.

His point was basically turning around redemption. Like the wide popular support is theorized to have come from Pope Urban's promise of "of rewards in heaven, where remission of sins was offered to any who might die in the undertaking"; the engagement of young western Muslims might be a warped way of trying to make amends with their life.

His message in particular was calling for the muslim community not to reject those who are 'unfit'. To not give them no way back in the community, but through extremist gates (If the extremists are the only ones who will open them the door)

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Unleash the freedom bombs!

You're preaching to the choir.

I opposed the Iraq War for a number of reasons, including the absence of evidence that Saddam Hussein had been involved in 9/11, or possessed WMD.

Also, like some other leaders of repulsive regimes (Mubarak, Qaddafi, Assad), Hussein was Muslim but not Islamist, and therefore constituted some sort of bulwark against greater evils such as ISIS.

Believe it or not, it is possible to oppose the Iraq War and simultaneously oppose the trivialisation of many Muslims' desire for freedom by those who have enjoyed the luxury of being able to take it for granted all their lives.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
Didn't we have this discussion in another thread a few months back?

Yes, and it polarised on the "Are Muslims inherently terrorists?" question then too. I'm not sure there's much else too be said.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Zogwarg:
To not give them no way back in the community, but through extremist gates (If the extremists are the only ones who will open them the door)

(Trying to untangle the negatives...) You mean that salafist mosques, say, could be a point of entry for violent extremists into a gradually less and less violent muslim community?

[ 12. September 2016, 21:08: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Steve Langton
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# 17601

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I see. So the fact that Islam is so obviously wrong is so clear to Steve Langton that this means he doesn't really need to determine which are the True Muslims, because it is all fake, y'see? But he does anyway. And, wadderyouknow, the only person in a position to tell who is, in fact, a true Muslim is the aforementioned Steve Langton.

Actually I've been desperately trying to get away from the 'true Muslim' thing because it is indeed an irrelevant and distracting argument. The fact remains, however, that right back to Muhammad and the Quran Islam teaches the idea of an Islamic state, a kind of state Muhammad was willing to use war to establish and actually did use war to establish. Therefore Muslims are likely to believe that an Islamic state is an Allah-ordained goal to try and establish, and that war is a legitimate way to do it.

Islam does have teaching about peace; it also has that other conflicting teaching which undermines the peace aspiration. Being rude about me will not change that fact; ignoring that fact could get a lot of people killed.

Do you really believe Islam is 'true'? Oh BTW my word was not 'fake' because I believe Muhammad was at least sincere however misguided; but he was misguided and Islam is a false/untrue religion.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Of course there is Islam and there is 'Islamic extremism' and it's going to take a lot of sorting out.

As has been observed, I think you are taking us on a wild goose chase here.

I think a much better distinction is one between religious practice and violent extremism.

This has a number of advantages.

It gets around fruitless debates on the consistency or otherwise of Islam or any other religion.

It avoids the nastiest forms of identity politics.

It has a tangible, measurable component - violence.

It recognises that not all forms of extremism are, on the face of it, religious.

I think Islamic terrorism is just a convenient hook on which much violent extremism is currently being hung. Violent extremism and its causes - not least populist politics of any stripe - would be a more constructive and less confusing target to tackle than whatever "Islamic extremism" might mean.

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Steve Langton
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by Sioni Sais;
quote:
I don't know. One is characterised by praying five times a day, attending mosque on Fridays, not drinking alcohol or eating pork, fasting for a month each year and going on a Hajj. The other, in addition to these, is part of the largest active terrorist organisation. How is that difficult to sort out? Applied intelligence is needed, not critiques of this faith against that.
I wasn't actually contrasting 'Islam' and 'Islamic extremism' - I was just pointing out, in reaction to a rather illogical misinterpretation by Croesos of an earlier post from me, that Islam is a real thing, and Islamic extremism is a real thing. Croesos in turn was apparently busier trying to 'twit' me than to actually answer serious questions.

Would someone mind explaining to me - instead of just without explanation insisting I'm wrong - why you all think I'm wrong in reporting the historic FACT, confirmed by many sources including the Quran itself and the introduction to what was until recently the most popular English translation of the Quran (Pickthall's) - that Muhammad set up an Islamic state, taught such a thing as an ideal, and both taught and actually fought a war to establish such a state. And that since that is the foundation teaching of Islam and the example of Islam's revered prophet, we would be at least foolish to disregard that in our attempts to understand Islam.

My point in contrasting the two faiths is that, contrary to something mr cheesy tried to insist on in probably the thread chris stiles refers to, Christianity and Islam are considerably related, since Islam claims to follow on from the Judeo-Christian tradition and regards Jesus, under the name Isa, as one of Islam's prophets - while, putting it mildly, getting Jesus wrong in all kinds of ways.

One of the ways Islam gets Jesus wrong is that where Muhammad set up that Islamic state, Jesus set up his 'Kingdom' in a very different way which, if trusted and followed, is emphatically peaceable on the Christian side, involving such ideas as that

"Jesus' kingdom is not of this world"

"Our warfare is not with physical weapons"

That Christians are to live as 'resident aliens' - citizens of the kingdom of God living peaceably among their un- and other-believing neighbours

That Christians far from fighting for their faith and bossing everyone else around, are NOT to be 'allotriepiskopoi' (managers/bossyboots in other peoples' affairs...

And many more. All of which Muhammad essentially rejected when defining the Islamic relationship to the world, in favour of bringing back the ideas of a religious state and war on its behalf....

And I think it is reasonable to point out that whereas original from Jesus' mouth Christianity does reject the Christian state idea, in Islam the Islamic state idea is built in (it is not simply that "Islam is 'inherently violent'" so much as that in whatever religion, the religious state idea is ultimately coercive. Even Buddhists have fought wars for 'Buddhist states').

Christianity has not (contrary to a misrepresentation I once saw by a real expert on peace and religion by name of Nick Griffin) become more peaceful over the years due to the nice influences of the world upon it. It has become peaceable by the re-asserting of its original teaching against the false ideas imposed by the Roman Empire 400 years after Jesus. Islam doesn't easily have that option, precisely because Muhammad started it off by rejecting that part of the Christian way and doing the Islamic state and warfare thing himself personally, and leaving a claimed 'word of God' which supported him in that. Islam going peaceful pretty much involves logically deciding that Muhammad was a false prophet - a proposition which will obviously be popular among Muslims....

And note that I'm not denying that there are other important factors in the Islamic extremism business - like Western attitudes, the effects of our colonialism in Muslim states, the bad example of the descendants of the Roman imperial church and of the crusaders,to name but a few.

Note also - just in case you missed earlier statements in this thread - that I'm NOT denying Islam's/Muhammad's aspirations to peace; but I am pointing out that those aspirations are severely compromised by those other aspects of Muhammad's teaching and example.

Now please, how about seriously explaining why I'm supposed to be so wrong....??

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Steve Langton
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Just in case it isn't clear -
My post there is not a response to the one above it from Eutychus; I spent some considerable time writing it and after posting it found that while I was composing it, Eutychus had posted his effort.

On a quick reading, I think Eutychus is confusing things considerably.... Sorry, but what about just for one the obvious question about 'religious practice' including the violence of 'holy war'?

Sure extremism has other roots, including for some English nationalism. And for many Muslims, it seems Arab nationalism. Nationalism combined with the teaching of a religious state is a toxic combination.

And BTW my critique is much wider than just Islam....

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:

Note also - just in case you missed earlier statements in this thread - that I'm NOT denying Islam's/Muhammad's aspirations to peace; but I am pointing out that those aspirations are severely compromised by those other aspects of Muhammad's teaching and example.

Now please, how about seriously explaining why I'm supposed to be so wrong....??

Floggers of Deceased Equines often point to Jesus saying he wasn't changing the OT. That means all the nasty and violent things God is written to have commissioned are still on and Christianity is not a religion of peace.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
On a quick reading, I think Eutychus is confusing things considerably.... Sorry, but what about just for one the obvious question about 'religious practice' including the violence of 'holy war'?

The obvious answer is that you prosecute violent extremism regardless of religious practice, and leave alone religious practice that isn't violent.

Whereas the current trend is to conflate a certain kind of religious practice with violent extremism, which seems to me to do little good except to the vote share of far-right parties.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
...for Christians a very important part of combating Islam will be recognising that certain late (C4 CE) additions to Christianity are not legitimate developments of the original teaching but actually contradict Jesus' and the apostles' teaching and have had bad consequences. Those false doctrines are essentially similar to the faults/contradictions I pointed out in Islam, that is, the state religion and violence in the name thereof.

So to summarize the true Christians are the pacifist anabaptists (a tiny proportion of all Christians) and the true Muslims are the Wahhabi terrorists (a tiny proportion of all Muslims). Therefore true Christians are peaceful and true Muslims are violent terrorists.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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mr cheesy
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Steve, the problem is that you don't seem to allow people to behave in ways that you think their sacred texts shouldn't allow them to behave.

It might seem logical to believe that reading the Torah, the Koran or the Mahabharata would inevitably lead to violence, and yet there are obvious examples of people who embraced those texts and were pacifist.

I don't understand how Gandhi got pacifism from the Gita, but how can I argue that he didn't when he said that he did?

And please stop using Aspergers as an excuse; this has nothing to do with you being Apsie and everything to do with the fact that you refuse to accept what other religious people say about themselves simply because you don't understand them.

It's boring pal. I'd no more want to hear your opinions on Islam than hear you describe how you think microbiologists are incorrect in their taxonomic descriptions of yeasts. Because, frankly, it is boring to hear you mouth off about things that you don't understand.

Some intelligent Muslims read the Koran and see it pointing them to peace. You don't have to like that, but it is a fact.

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mr cheesy
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And anyway, even if it was possible to show without question that Islam was a fake (which is impossible, but anyway) and it was possible to show without question that Islam was by definition only interested in state-building and violence (which is also fairly obviously impossible, but anyway) - why would you want to do that when a massive proportion of Muslims clearly believe in a warped version of their fake religion which means that they work hard, pay taxes, pray at the mosque and live in peace?

What's your problem here? You think they're suddenly going to wake up and realise one day that this peaceful religion they've been following all this time is actually only real if they go Wahabbi?

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
true Christians are peaceful and true Muslims are violent terrorists.

It could be argued that that is, mutatis mutandis, a not unreasonable summary.

There is not a single verse in the NT which requires or condones the use of violence to protect or propagate Christianity.

There are, on the contrary, both a considerable number of verses in the Koran which support religious violence, and a substantial body of exegesis prioritising them.

There are no doubt some Muslims who genuinely believe that the Koran does not support religious violence under any circumstances, but they are a minority.

The majority do not practise what they believe their religion requires for a number of reasons - laziness, cowardice, ambition for comfortable prosperity, or sheer human decency.

In other words, they are good people not because they are "really" non-Muslims (the true Scotsman fallacy), but because they are bad Muslims.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:


There are no doubt some Muslims who genuinely believe that the Koran does not support religious violence under any circumstances, but they are a minority.

I dare say that there are very few of any religion who wouldn't support religious violence under any circumstances but it is clearly wrong to believe that only a minority of Muslims believe that they should be fighting a jihad including the killing of innocent people.

One does not have to believe that violence is always wrong under any circumstances to not be a terrorist blowing up a plane. Obviously.

quote:
The majority do not practise what they believe their religion requires for a number of reasons - laziness, cowardice, ambition for comfortable prosperity, or sheer human decency.
Well it is certainly true that there are many different individual Muslims with a good deal of different opinions about their religion. Obviously.

But to then make the connection that those who do not do religious violence do not do it because they are lazy or otherwise deficient.. well that's just plain wrong. You need to go and talk to a few more Muslims.

quote:
In other words, they are good people not because they are "really" non-Muslims (the true Scotsman fallacy), but because they are bad Muslims.
Bullshit. A Muslim is not "bad" just because they don't behave in the way that you've ordained they should behave. Because you're not the arbiter of how they should behave to be true to their religion.

I mean, really.

--------------------
arse

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Steve Langton
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by Kaplan Corday;

quote:
In other words, they are good people not because they are "really" non-Muslims (the true Scotsman fallacy), but because they are bad Muslims.
Please shoot that Scotsman and get him out of the argument (which will not entail any violence because he isn't real in the first place)!!!!

As I'm getting fed up of explaining, the Scotsman is simply irrelevant to real world arguments where a religion has developed in different ways and there is a very real and practical non-fallacious need to check out the variants and work out which are legitimate developments and which are mistaken.

No, the 'good people' in Islam are not 'bad Muslims'. The problem is as I outlined it - Islam contains conflicted and contradictory ideas and people resolve that tension in various ways, emphasising one aspect or the other of the contradiction. You find a similar tension among 'Constantinian' Christians who attempt to reconcile Jesus' teaching of peaceable 'resident alien' living with the other ideas of 'Christian states' and the warfare and internal legal coercion necessary to such a state.

The difference, which should answer some of the surrounding points as well, is that in Christianity those ideas are a late alien import imposed on Christianity some 350 years after Jesus; so it is possible to go back beyond those bad ideas to a better original Christianity as taught in the NT. In Islam, Muhammad by his actions and through the Quran built that contradiction into Islam from its very beginning and provides no remotely easy way to resolve it.

(And as I pointed out, because Muhammad makes Jesus - or a rather dubious version of him - part of the Islamic faith, Christians are fully entitled to examine and query Islam's truth-claims)

mr cheesy - please explain why I should accept that kind of scorn from someone who once asked on another thread "What is the relevance of 'state Islam' to IS?" A clue - what does IS stand for...?

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Steve Langton
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by Eutychus;
quote:
The obvious answer is that you prosecute violent extremism regardless of religious practice, and leave alone religious practice that isn't violent.
That is a good secular answer for a pluralist state. It's pretty useless in helping us to understand where the violence came from and how we can prevent it arising to begin with. And one of the lacks in your whole response there is any significant distinctively Christian view....
Posts: 2149 | From: Stockport UK | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged



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