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Source: (consider it) Thread: Islam and violence
Green Mario
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Leo clearly any text needs interpreting whether the bible, the Quran or a post on SOF. I am not sure I understand the point you are making though.
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IngoB

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quote:
Originally posted by IconiumBound:
I may have missed in this ond unresolved thread any mention of Islamic Wahabism or Salifist motives that contribute to the terrorism. These two strands would seem t be at the core of the trouble, Wahabi or Salifi

That was an interesting website. It certainly showed me that I know surprisingly little about Islam at a "theological and practical" level. (Well, in retrospect that's not surprising at all, but I was considering myself to be more informed than I am.)

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

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Spawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Spawn:
Okay, Eutychus, I just mean that we shouldn't regard each other as enemies because of our differences. And also that the more we get to know each other the more we realise both how different we are and how much we have in common.

Thanks for the clarification. Does that apply right across the board - to the terrorists too?

(Seeing as how I'm a prison chaplain, meeting terrorists, or at least potential terrorists, is not as unlikely as you might think...)

Is there anyone I should regard as my enemy? Should I regard anyone or any ideology I might believe to be "inherently violent" as my enemy?

Or is regarding any individual (including individuals espousing potentially violent ideologies) as "inherently violent" the first step towards regarding them as our enemy? And thus an inherently wrong move?

(These are not rhetorical questions, by the way).

No-one is your enemy - though they might take a different view. But you can guess from what I've said about my admittedly limited experience that I have no problem with talking to Islamists. There are others, I am sure, on the Ship who have more recent experience with Islamists and even terrorists. They can be quite everyday. The way that the killer of Lee Rigby talked to camera as his bloody hands caressed his machete illustrated the banality and ordinariness of evil. It's not elsewhere, it is next to us.

[ 14. January 2015, 15:13: Message edited by: Spawn ]

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Spawn:
the banality and ordinariness of evil. It's not elsewhere, it is next to us.

Yup, crouching at the door of each and every one of us, from inside our hearts.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Green Mario:
Leo clearly any text needs interpreting whether the bible, the Quran or a post on SOF. I am not sure I understand the point you are making though.

As the person who posted that verse first, let me address this (again).

On the parallel(ish) thread, Kaplan Corday (presumably trying to stave off a welter of violent verses from the OT) threw down the challenge
quote:
Show me one verse from the NT which endorses violence on the part of Christians to defend, promote or extend their religion.
Matthew 10:34, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword", sprang to my mind this morning.

Now I could probably explain my way out of that without any help from Kaplan Corday, but I think it's safe to assume that a competent Muslim scholar could do just the same with any similar Qur'an surah apparently endosring violence.

The point is that Christians and Muslims alike have reinterpreted their sacred texts and managed to adopt non-violent stances in doing so, so pointing at apparently violence-promoting surahs to prove that Islam is inherently violent is not proof enough.

(I have already contended that ongoing reinterpretation of Scripture on many matters has been legitimized by historic Christian practice and is indeed legitimized by the canon itself.

It's not clear to me as to what proportion of Muslims think similar reinterpretation of the Qu'ran is legitimate, or what scope the Qu'ran itself grants for that; to make matters more complex, the Qu'ran does not occupy the same place in Muslim thought as the Bible does for Christians).

[edited for clarity]

[ 14. January 2015, 15:50: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by Green Mario:
Leo clearly any text needs interpreting whether the bible, the Quran or a post on SOF. I am not sure I understand the point you are making though.

It might be similar to one I tried to make upthread, that any text needs interpreting ...

That might sound like an obvious point to make, but the way you cited the 'I come not to bring peace but a sword' could imply that you thought that the interpretation that you put on that - Christ saying that persecution was inevitable - was somehow axiomatic or intrinsic within the text itself.

That's how it sounded to me, at any rate, but I'd be happy to stand corrected.

The point I was trying to make is that however we interpret that verse, we are interpreting that verse.

We are making some kind of hermeneutical judgement based on a whole range of factors.

We aren't just coming across a line of text and thinking, 'Right, that settles it ... there's only one possible interpretation possible ...'

Whilst I'm not suggesting that this particular verse can stand in isolation as a proof-text for religious violence on the part of Christians - I would certainly suggest that it is capable of more and different interpretations to the one you offered.

The issue then, becomes how we arrive at the 'correct' interpretation or even decide what it means.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
The issue then, becomes how we arrive at the 'correct' interpretation or even decide what it means.

Decide what the verse means, or decide what the phrase "correct interpretation" means?

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Spawn:

As for Lil' Buddha look at your posts about the 'Christian West' and the sentence in which you directly compared 'extremist Islam' with 'Christianity'.

I've explained my intent, if you wish to ignore this, there is nothing I can do further.
quote:
Originally posted by Spawn:

I was using qualifying words to indicate that the problem of religious belief and violence was related only to a subset. I should not have to explain that.

It's a bit like saying you are only condemning bad black people. You are still putting an emphasis on black.
What I am saying is that it isn't really a religious thing. If Mohammed had instead spread Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism or one of the many 'heretical" sects of Christianity, the result would have been the same. Except you would now be decrying the "radical" members of one of them instead of Islam.
Liopleurodon here and ToujoursDan here, have very good explanations of the why of this.

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quetzalcoatl
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lilBuddha

Interesting point there about bad black people, as very right-wing people have sometimes said that black men are intrinsically violent and/or criminal.

One interesting thing about this is the leap from a statistic, say, that more black men are arrested than white men for assault (proportionately), to some kind of 'intrinsic' explanation.

In fact, you can hear this sort of stuff in Europe now, that we are letting in criminal dregs from the third world, and we should stop them. I suppose it is quite a seductive message to some people.

I keep trying to grasp the shift in logic that goes on here, I think it is from 'accident' (or contingency) to essence; also from correlation to causation, of course.

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Spawn
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It's a bit like saying you are only condemning bad black people. You are still putting an emphasis on black.
What I am saying is that it isn't really a religious thing. If Mohammed had instead spread Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism or one of the many 'heretical" sects of Christianity, the result would have been the same. Except you would now be decrying the "radical" members of one of them instead of Islam.
Liopleurodon here and ToujoursDan here, have very good explanations of the why of this.

One of the worst and most inflaming analogies you could have come up with. Belief and religious belonging is not the same as ethnicity. To suggest that it is would mean that we'd never be able to make any sort of value judgements about bad religion. I deplore the Westboro baptists and believe their version pf Christianity is extremist and evil. Am I guilty of hate speech for saying so?

What you are saying makes no sense at all.

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orfeo

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People treat religious belonging like ethnicity all the time. Whether it's Breivik and his 'cultural Christians' or the assumption that a Muslim has to have a darker shade of skin. People identify themselves as Christian or Catholic or whatever on the basis of the family they were born into, not on the basis of actually setting foot in a church on a regular basis.

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Spawn
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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
People treat religious belonging like ethnicity all the time. Whether it's Breivik and his 'cultural Christians' or the assumption that a Muslim has to have a darker shade of skin. People identify themselves as Christian or Catholic or whatever on the basis of the family they were born into, not on the basis of actually setting foot in a church on a regular basis.

So now you're saying that Dawkins is not just anti-faith but racist to boot. I think I've heard just about evry possible excuse presented for the view that Islamism has nothing to do with Islamist terrorism. And now the racist card is played. Godwin here we come.
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orfeo

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The other point to make, Spawn, is one that's been made a lot of times in various ways, which is there is all the difference in the world between criticising an entire religion, criticising the 'bad' elements of a religion, and criticising specific people or organisations.

If you talk about Westboro Baptist Church, you are talking about Westboro Baptists. If you launch into a criticism of ISIS or Hizb ut-Tahrir, then its something that the average Muslim can join you in doing.

It's specific.

This has been expressed in various ways. Demas has throughout this thread talked about there being various 'Islams' and the impossibility of making any meaningful statement about 'Islam'. And I think the problem with talking about 'Islamists' is that you end up just expressing the idea that you're only criticising 'Islamist Islam' without explaining what that is, beyond it being the particular variety of Islam that you don't like.

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Green Mario
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I don't think the sword quote from Matthew 10:34 is that difficult to interpret or that the interpretation is highly contested because

1) of the context, Jesus is talking about not being afraid of people who want to kill you just before, and just afterwards about being prepared to pick up your cross and not clinging to your life. All of this speaks of being on the receiving end of persecution rather than meting it out.

2) The parallel passage in Luke refers to division in the family with no mention of a sword.

3) Overarching this is the context of Jesus' life - he isn't ever recorded as picking up the sword against anyone and when Peter cut off the ear of someone coming to arrest him he healed the guy. He explained to Pilate why his disciples didn't fight to protect him.

4) There is also the rest of his teaching to refer to where he talks about those "living by the sword dieing by the sword" and "not to resist the evil person but turn the other cheek".

5) There is also the evidence from Acts and the Letters about how the early Christian's understood Jesus in terms of none of them referring to taking up arms against those who were persecuting.

I think the interpretation is pretty clear. If there is another plausible interpretation thought there is such diversity of thought on the SOF site I am sure someone will offer it shortly!

What you are saying though gives a clear role to Islamic theologians. They should be loudly and clearly explaining why the verses in the Quran and sayings in the Hadith that Islamic terrorists take to support their actions, and which a large percentage of Muslims throughout the world (62% in Pakistan, 80% in Egypt per the survey quoted in the Washington Post) believe mean that people who change their religion from Islam should die; have been wrongly interpreted by others in the Islamic community. BTW this support for the death penalty for leaving Islamic is not an academic thing only rearing its head in surveys - Pakistan has relative freedom of religion in terms of laws and certainly no death penalty for apostasy but many people who convert from Islam still have to fear for their lives, particularly due to the risk from their own family.

No I don't think Muslim community leaders need to decry every act of terrorism. No I obviously don't expect Muslims that I work with or socialize to say that they disapprove of this terrorist act or that terrorist act.

However I think Islamic theologians and preachers have a duty to explain how and why verses that have been misinterpreted as supporting or encouraging violence in the Quran or Hadith have been misinterpreted and to provide credible explanations for the correct interpretation. I am not convinced this is necessarily as easy as with the saying of Jesus that you have quoted given the different contexts (Jesus was a rabbi who lived peacefully and was crucified; Mohammad was a military leader, not just a military leader, but he was a military leader) but if these verses or sayings have been misinterpreted or taken out of context they have a duty to ensure correct understanding and interpretation.

At the moment I believe that most Muslim people are peaceful and non-violent despite the teachings of many forms of Islam rather than because of the teachings of Islam but I am not closed to hearing other interpretations.

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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Spawn:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
People treat religious belonging like ethnicity all the time. Whether it's Breivik and his 'cultural Christians' or the assumption that a Muslim has to have a darker shade of skin. People identify themselves as Christian or Catholic or whatever on the basis of the family they were born into, not on the basis of actually setting foot in a church on a regular basis.

So now you're saying that Dawkins is not just anti-faith but racist to boot. I think I've heard just about evry possible excuse presented for the view that Islamism has nothing to do with Islamist terrorism. And now the racist card is played. Godwin here we come.
I've got no idea how that came from what I'm writing. I was just pointing out to you that this is how people think of it. The fact that you can think of these things at a purely intellectual/theological level, divorced from any cultural or historical context, and treat a "Christian" as meaning a very specific thing about beliefs, is perfectly fine. I'm just saying that you can't expect this is how the world around you always treats it.

I would refer you, though, to my other comment, which is that the beliefs you're being 'very specific' about aren't really that specific, and that talking about Islamists really does just end up being about 'bad Muslims' unless you get some more specificity into exactly who you are talking about.

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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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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Green Mario:
I think the interpretation is pretty clear. If there is another plausible interpretation thought there is such diversity of thought on the SOF site I am sure someone will offer it shortly!

You think the interpretation is pretty clear because that's the only interpretation you've been presented with. It's not about whether anyone on this site finds an interpretation 'plausible' The simple fact is that people HAVE pointed to that verse as a call to arms. It's irrelevant whether or not every single person on the Ship thinks that such an interpretation is a load of rubbish.

I pointed to the exact same verse when the challenged was originally laid down. Why? Because it's so obvious that someone could interpret the verse that way if they wanted to. You and I can agree all we like that this would involve removing the verse from the wider context of Jesus' teaching, and it doesn't stop someone else preaching a sermon that emphasises Jesus talking about division and conflict.

[ 14. January 2015, 21:02: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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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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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Green Mario:
What you are saying though gives a clear role to Islamic theologians. They should be loudly and clearly explaining why the verses in the Quran and sayings in the Hadith that Islamic terrorists take to support their actions, and which a large percentage of Muslims throughout the world (62% in Pakistan, 80% in Egypt per the survey quoted in the Washington Post) believe mean that people who change their religion from Islam should die; have been wrongly interpreted by others in the Islamic community.

This is exactly what they do. When it comes to terrorism it's reported in our media.

Although I do wonder why you think you, rather than other Muslims, would be the primary audience.

Secular people constantly say that Christians need to repudiate the inferior status of women. That Christians need to stop being homophobic. Usually, this is expressed as if there are no Christians already doing exactly that.

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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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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Green Mario:
I don't think the sword quote from Matthew 10:34 is that difficult to interpret or that the interpretation is highly contested because

[long piece of explanation]

I think the interpretation is pretty clear.

You're making my point for me. You need a whole wodge of interpretation to explain that verse.
quote:
What you are saying though gives a clear role to Islamic theologians. They should be loudly and clearly explaining why the verses in the Quran and sayings in the Hadith that Islamic terrorists take to support their actions (...) have been wrongly interpreted by others in the Islamic community.
With this I agree, but to do so they need a platform. Moderates don't attract airtime the way lunatics do, and Muslims in the West are working from a position in which they don't have the institutional connections moderate Christianity has - even the non-conformists ride the wave of the historic churches in this respect.
quote:
At the moment I believe that most Muslim people are peaceful and non-violent despite the teachings of many forms of Islam rather than because of the teachings of Islam but I am not closed to hearing other interpretations.
I honestly don't know, but I think the best way forward is to wake up, really wake up, to the fact that our societies are pluralistic (instead of hiding that reality in, say, the banlieues) and make space for those other interpretations to emerge, in the hope that they do.

A Muslim fellow prison chaplain agrees with me and is seeking my advice as to how they could, and I've been scratching my head for a while about what Jesus would advise him to do.

[ 14. January 2015, 21:13: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Spawn:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It's a bit like saying you are only condemning bad black people. You are still putting an emphasis on black.
What I am saying is that it isn't really a religious thing. If Mohammed had instead spread Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism or one of the many 'heretical" sects of Christianity, the result would have been the same. Except you would now be decrying the "radical" members of one of them instead of Islam.
Liopleurodon here and ToujoursDan here, have very good explanations of the why of this.

One of the worst and most inflaming analogies you could have come up with. Belief and religious belonging is not the same as ethnicity. To suggest that it is would mean that we'd never be able to make any sort of value judgements about bad religion. I deplore the Westboro baptists and believe their version pf Christianity is extremist and evil. Am I guilty of hate speech for saying so?

What you are saying makes no sense at all.

Page out of the Godfrey Bloom School of Debate handbook? Your retort avoids the main point quite nicely whilst twisting intent and attacking.
Your Westboro comparison; would you say they are radical Christians? Would you say that Christianity is partly at fault for their behaviour?

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Hallellou, hallellou

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Green Mario
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To be fair Eutychus the explanation of the interpretation for that verse was only long because there was so much evidence. If you are contesting the interpretation then please provide a different one; if you are saying its impossible to reach the correct interpretation then I would disagree; if you are just saying that a short verse or saying can't be understood in isolation from its context and can only be properly understood in context and considering the person who said it then I totally agree with you.

I also agree with you that moderate Muslims should be given more of a platform and I am surprised how little of what is written about news stories that involve Islam in the major newspapers in the UK (particularly in terms of opinion pieces rather than reportage) is actually written by Muslims.

When I have heard Muslims discussing these topics all I have tended to hear is counter verses/sayings so the equivalent of me saying "Jesus also said those who live by the sword will die by the sword" (usually "there is no compulsion in religion" or "someone who kills one man kills all of humanity") rather than any attempt to actually put the problematic sayings or verses in any kind of context that might limit their applicability.

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Spawn
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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
I would refer you, though, to my other comment, which is that the beliefs you're being 'very specific' about aren't really that specific, and that talking about Islamists really does just end up being about 'bad Muslims' unless you get some more specificity into exactly who you are talking about.

I've gone with BBC usage which is 'Islamist' to make clear that I'm not referring to Islamic in general, in association with the term terrorist and thereafter occasionally using Islamist as shorthand. Otherwise, I've also used qualifiers to
Islamist like extremists and radical or radicalised. I've also used the names of organisations like ISIL and Al-Qaeda.

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lilBuddha
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Green Mario,

Did you read the link IconiumBound placed a few posts back?

Not as fun as listening down at the pub, but perhaps more informative.

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Hallellou, hallellou

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Green Mario:
if you are just saying that a short verse or saying can't be understood in isolation from its context and can only be properly understood in context and considering the person who said it then I totally agree with you.

[tick]
quote:
I also agree with you that moderate Muslims should be given more of a platform and I am surprised how little of what is written about news stories that involve Islam in the major newspapers in the UK (particularly in terms of opinion pieces rather than reportage) is actually written by Muslims.
I think I've supplied some reasons why. Terrorism and stereotyping sells more papers [Frown] .

And notwithstanding the lengthy recent debate here on the Ship on anabaptists and the evils of Constantinianism, established churches have given Christianity massive institutions that are now part of the cultural landscape that Muslims simply don't have.

As far as I'm concerned, my thinking has moved from "should be given" to "how, from near or far, can I give it".
quote:
When I have heard Muslims discussing these topics all I have tended to hear is counter verses/sayings
Step off this board and I fear you will find that in most other places, this is about exactly the level of debate in Christianity, particularly its more vocal bits.

[more x-posting]

[ 14. January 2015, 21:41: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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orfeo

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# 13878

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Well, I suppose using the term "Islamist" with "terrorist" at least establishes we're talking about the kind of terrorist that spouts stuff about Islam rather than the kind that spouts stuff about a free Ireland.

I think it's much better when we talk about organisations. It's perhaps interesting to think about the way in which Western countries go about declaring an organisation to be a terrorist organisation, because it does involve pointing and being specific. There are cases on the borderline where there isn't universal agreement. For example, Hamas is sometimes banned in its entirety, sometimes only its military wing is banned (I believe that's the case here), and sometimes it isn't banned at all.

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Spawn
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# 4867

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Page out of the Godfrey Bloom School of Debate handbook? Your retort avoids the main point quite nicely whilst twisting intent and attacking.
Your Westboro comparison; would you say they are radical Christians? Would you say that Christianity is partly at fault for their behaviour?

Bollocks, your analogy between faith and ethnicity is nonsensical and now you are not even trying to defend it.

The term, in the case of Westboro is probably fundamentalist rather than radical. And of course their version of Christianity is partly to blame for their behaviour though there will undoubtedly be other cultural factors in the mix.

[ 14. January 2015, 21:46: Message edited by: Spawn ]

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Spawn
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# 4867

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Well, I suppose using the term "Islamist" with "terrorist" at least establishes we're talking about the kind of terrorist that spouts stuff about Islam rather than the kind that spouts stuff about a free Ireland.

I think it's much better when we talk about organisations. It's perhaps interesting to think about the way in which Western countries go about declaring an organisation to be a terrorist organisation, because it does involve pointing and being specific. There are cases on the borderline where there isn't universal agreement. For example, Hamas is sometimes banned in its entirety, sometimes only its military wing is banned (I believe that's the case here), and sometimes it isn't banned at all.

I have some sympathy with the notion that even the term Islamist (because it contains the word Islam) plays into the hands of those proposing a clash of civilisations. But it is rather unfair to suggest that my use of the term is derogatory towards Islam in any way (it is widespread usage by organisations like the BBC in the UK). If we were limited to reference to organisations alone we could never talk commonly about militancy which is to be found all over the world and which has common roots in a political-religious philosophy arising out of Wahabi and Salafi schools of thought.
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Evangeline
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# 7002

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quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:
quote:
Originally posted by Evangeline:
The point you seem to miss is that what people define as the very worst crime/s and how they believe these should be punished tells you a lot about their value system, their attitudes towards human life, their propensity towards violence and their respect for/understanding of or definition of human rights.

Are the Chinese inherently a very violent race? There are 55 capital offences in China.
No, I never made any claim about anyone being inherently violent. The Chinese justice system tells me a lot about their value system. I do certainly see a lot of claims that China commits a lot of human rights violations. so yes as a society the fact they have 55 capital offences tells me that their values system is different from that which exists in my country and that the fact they execute people for 55 offences tells me that their justice system has a strong strand of violence as a means of maintaining law and order.
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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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Spawn,
First, it is not my comparison. But it is one I think makes sense. But, you brand it nonsensical without offering an explanation why. So I am horrible for not defending a position against a counter which has not been made?

But what is ethnicity?
quote:
An ethnic group or ethnicity is a socially-defined category of people who identify with each other based on common ancestral, social, cultural or national experience.
I chose to emphasise socially-defined and cultural. Why? Because religion is culture to some people. And, should you read and attempt to understand the argument put forth by ToujoursDan, you might see why it would be to some Muslims.

And again you avoid. Regarding Westboro, forget "their brand'. Is Christianity to blame for their antics?

--------------------
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Spawn
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# 4867

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Spawn,
First, it is not my comparison. But it is one I think makes sense. But, you brand it nonsensical without offering an explanation why. So I am horrible for not defending a position against a counter which has not been made?

But what is ethnicity?
quote:
An ethnic group or ethnicity is a socially-defined category of people who identify with each other based on common ancestral, social, cultural or national experience.
I chose to emphasise socially-defined and cultural. Why? Because religion is culture to some people. And, should you read and attempt to understand the argument put forth by ToujoursDan, you might see why it would be to some Muslims.

And again you avoid. Regarding Westboro, forget "their brand'. Is Christianity to blame for their antics?

I don't think you have read my posts. Tell me where i have said that Islam is to blame for terrorism? I haven't. So why should I say that Christianity is to blame for Westboro's fundamentalism!
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lilBuddha
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Here, here, here and here. You do qualify with -ists, isms, and "radicals". But that still puts the burden on the noun those are modifying.
I read your posts as putting a burden on Islam for containing that which might be used to justify violence.
It is my contention that it is the nature of people that is the root problem and the behaviour of nations which has contributed to the violence associated with Islam. Not the nature of a particular religion.

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Martin60
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# 368

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It's asymmetric. Christianity IS to blame. Islam ISN'T.

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Love wins

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Demas
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# 24

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is my contention that it is the nature of people that is the root problem and the behaviour of nations which has contributed to the violence associated with Islam. Not the nature of a particular religion.

Do you think that any religious belief (or non-religious belief for that matter) ever causes people to act differently than they otherwise might have if they did not have that religious belief?

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They did not appear very religious; that is, they were not melancholy; and I therefore suspected they had not much piety - Life of Rev John Murray

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Evangeline
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# 7002

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Evangeline:
Orfeo I understand the difference between rule of law and anarchy but c'mon mate that's not what was being discussed and you know it.

I was replying to a post of yours that referred to the law of the land. Why would I "know" that wasn't the relevant topic?

And why do you think I was talking about anarchy? I wasn't. I never mentioned the word. I was talking about values. I was talking about pretty much the same thing as Alan was after me, about the fact that it's far too easy for us to regard a whole bunch of things as 'obvious' and just be mystified when someone else doesn't share those 'obvious' things.

And your response actually reflects that exact point: your "huge concern" that other people don't share your same values as to which crimes are the worst. Well, sorry, but welcome to the planet. It's actually always been like this. You'll find a lot of isn't actually European Judeo-Christian and never was. You're just aware of it now, which is what you get for living in the 21st century where the connections are far stronger than they were before and we're exposed more to people who aren't in our 'club'.

Frankly, I spent a hell of a lot of time on that post, so for you to basically suggest that I was knowingly avoiding the topic at hand is not nice to hear.

1. You talked about people taking the law into their own hands as opposed to the rule of law. Taking the law into your own hands is close enough to anarchy for me to use 1 word instead of several.

2. I never disputed that people have different ideas about what constitutes the worst crime, what is concerning is how as a society we live together in one society where people have such wildly differing ideas. You might dismiss that concern but it sure seems to worry a whole load of other people. There's a lot of debate about the fact Charlie Hebdo would be fall foul of the law in Australia and is that a good or bad thing. Should we risk offending people on the basis of their race, colour or nationhood and to what extent in order to protect the value of free speech. I am fully aware that Saudi Arabia sits a very long way from France on this issue. What I find concerning is how we reconcile those 2 points of view and a myriad in between within MY SOCIETY. Surely you can see that, that's quite different from expecting everyone to agree with what I view as the worst crime.

3.I am genuinely interested in your views as, at times you seem to be saying that there is no such thing as good or evil, it's all in the eye of the beholder. When pushed you admit to having certain beliefs but your preferences re justice are no more worthy or worth defending than anybody else's. I do find that challenging.

I'm going to invoke Godwins law (hey if Allan Creswell got away with it on another thread, I'm going to)-what Hitler did was legal in Germany-so we should all just relax about the Holocaust and recognise that living in a connected world means we shouldn't be surprised that some people's values differ from our own. So the Germans believe they must execute a lot of people-well I might say that's horrible, but hey, that's life on the planet.

Why does anybody bother with the UN Human Rights Commission (of which I'm ot a fan as it happens), war crimes commissions (I mean if the people act within whatever law is happening at the time then that is fine) and Amnesty International. They would seem to be stupid organisations who at great expense, are just totally denying real life in today's world. These organisations seem to think you can define a "worst crime"-are they wasting their time? are they just imposing their narrow view of what's right on people who have, and are entitled to have an entirely different view?

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Spawn
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# 4867

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Here, here, here and here. You do qualify with -ists, isms, and "radicals". But that still puts the burden on the noun those are modifying.
I read your posts as putting a burden on Islam for containing that which might be used to justify violence.
It is my contention that it is the nature of people that is the root problem and the behaviour of nations which has contributed to the violence associated with Islam. Not the nature of a particular religion.

In my judgement, none of the posts which you linked to put the burden for terrorism on Islam in general. In fact I find it unbelievable that you think they do. I'll leave it to others to decide.
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lilBuddha
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Again the qualifications, you say "in general".
Again that criticises Islam.
Why do I care? Because it does not help solve anything if we place blame on labels and ignore causes.

Not that I am majorly optimistic.

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Hallellou, hallellou

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Evangeline
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# 7002

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Again the qualifications, you say "in general".
Again that criticises Islam.
Why do I care? Because it does not help solve anything if we place blame on labels and ignore causes.

Not that I am majorly optimistic.

Certain elements or strands/interpretations of Islam shouldn't be off limits to discussion as a cause. No religion or ideology should be beyond criticism.

I've read a lot of books and journals that lay the blame for a lot of problems in the third world on "Christian missionaries". I don't say that that's blaming a label and not a cause-it is definitely a fact the Christian missionaries caused problems most places they went and I think most Christians own that history. I also believe that the manner in which Westboro Baptist operates is linked with Christianity-there's a link but it's not the be all and end all of why they act the way they do. There are other factors involved.

Where I do draw the line is saying all Christians are like Westboro Baptists or missionaries. In the same way I don't say nor do I see anyone saying Islam and all Muslims are to blame for terrrorism conducted by those claiming to do so on behalf of Islam or that the dislocation and wars in the middle east are solely to do with religion (altho some atheists would assert that).

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
You do qualify with -ists, isms, and "radicals".

Islamist and Islamism are technical terms for the particular movements within Islam that believe in restoring a single non-secular government over all Muslim territory. If there were such a thing as 'Christendomism' it would be the equivalent.

It is not I agree a helpful term to use, in that it does imply that it's merely committed Islam; whereas not all Muslims care, and many would oppose it (most governments in Muslim countries are against it). But it is the term in common use.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Spawn:
If we were limited to reference to organisations alone we could never talk commonly about militancy which is to be found all over the world and which has common roots in a political-religious philosophy arising out of Wahabi and Salafi schools of thought.

True. And indeed, somewhere early on in this conversation I expressed my joy at the idea that people would actually talk about Wahhabism or Salafism rather than just about 'Islam'.

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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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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
I expressed my joy at the idea that people would actually talk about Wahhabism or Salafism rather than just about 'Islam'.

This is definitely better. But still has the potential to miss the the why or address the causes.
The most radical cleric would have no effect if the conditions were not ripe.
WWII. Hitler was the trigger, but anyone thinking he is the sole cause is a poor student of history.
And that, IMO, is what we do with violence connected to Islam. We point a finger at the spark whilst ignoring who helped pile the fuel.

--------------------
I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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Green Mario wrote:

However I think Islamic theologians and preachers have a duty to explain how and why verses that have been misinterpreted as supporting or encouraging violence in the Quran or Hadith have been misinterpreted and to provide credible explanations for the correct interpretation. I am not convinced this is necessarily as easy as with the saying of Jesus that you have quoted given the different contexts (Jesus was a rabbi who lived peacefully and was crucified; Mohammad was a military leader, not just a military leader, but he was a military leader) but if these verses or sayings have been misinterpreted or taken out of context they have a duty to ensure correct understanding and interpretation.

It's a worthy idea; however, if you believe, as I do, that jihadi violence is not caused by religion, it won't work. Well, it's still worth trying, as with other measures, such as helping families stop their kids going over there.

But all these suggestions as to what imams or the Muslim community should be saying in the way of counter-interpretation - they all hinge on the idea that the violence has religious foundations. I don't think it does.

This doesn't mean that there are no counter-measures available, however, that is another issue.

--------------------
I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Evangeline:
2. I never disputed that people have different ideas about what constitutes the worst crime, what is concerning is how as a society we live together in one society where people have such wildly differing ideas. You might dismiss that concern but it sure seems to worry a whole load of other people. There's a lot of debate about the fact Charlie Hebdo would be fall foul of the law in Australia and is that a good or bad thing. Should we risk offending people on the basis of their race, colour or nationhood and to what extent in order to protect the value of free speech. I am fully aware that Saudi Arabia sits a very long way from France on this issue. What I find concerning is how we reconcile those 2 points of view and a myriad in between within MY SOCIETY. Surely you can see that, that's quite different from expecting everyone to agree with what I view as the worst crime.

Part of how we resolve it is by saying that it's completely unacceptable to resolve a conflict by views by gunning people down in their office.

Which is a rather key point. We don't actually stop people from believing that it's highly offensive or heinous to depict Mohamed or to say certain things about Islam. What we do is tell people they're not allowed to respond to the offence by killing.

You might say that this does nothing to prevent a person who's prepared to die in the course of handing out punishment, but that's actually true of any and every rule. A law that sets out a consequence is only effective against someone that actually fears the consequence.

quote:
Why does anybody bother with the UN Human Rights Commission (of which I'm ot a fan as it happens), war crimes commissions (I mean if the people act within whatever law is happening at the time then that is fine) and Amnesty International. They would seem to be stupid organisations who at great expense, are just totally denying real life in today's world. These organisations seem to think you can define a "worst crime"-are they wasting their time? are they just imposing their narrow view of what's right on people who have, and are entitled to have an entirely different view?
Whether they are wasting their time depends on what you think it is they're trying to do. Are they trying to enforce rules, or are they trying to change minds?

There's a difference between hard, enforceable laws and the 'soft law' of the weight of opinion and pressure to conform.

There's a subtle but important difference between saying that people are entitled to a different view, and saying that we don't care whether they have a different view. A message board like this one really only functions because people care enough about different views to challenge them in some way. Occasionally someone raises a point of view on a topic and Shipmates collectively go "meh, we don't really give a shit" and either the thread dies or it turns into a series of jokes and puns.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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I perhaps should add that the whole question of enforcement of 'international law' is a big, fundamental problem with it.

Within a country you have a constitution and a whole system that sets up who has power and how they can use it, and that includes saying who has authority to punish the citizens of the country.

Between countries, you don't have that, or it's nebulous, or it's only there because a country has agreed to it being there and if they pull away later the other countries can't do much more legally than wag a scolding finger. It's a very different environment. My international law lecturer was fond of saying that international law is simply "what States do". It's a law if countries act like it's a law.

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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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mousethief

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# 953

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Countries enforce international law on each other by trade sanctions and war. Did I miss one?

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orfeo

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# 13878

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No, that's pretty much it. But it's often darn hard to pin down exactly what the rule was that got broken and where it's written down. See: weapons of mass destruction versus regime change because Saddam is nasty.

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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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Eutychus
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# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
But all these suggestions as to what imams or the Muslim community should be saying in the way of counter-interpretation - they all hinge on the idea that the violence has religious foundations.

Not necessarily. Rather, they include the idea that religious enthusiasm in the wrong hands can be exploited to achieve political ends through acts of violence.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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itsarumdo
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# 18174

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as can nationalist enthusiasm - as can the sheer energy and fearlessness of youth.

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"Iti sapis potanda tinone" Lycophron

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itsarumdo
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# 18174

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quote:
Originally posted by Demas:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is my contention that it is the nature of people that is the root problem and the behaviour of nations which has contributed to the violence associated with Islam. Not the nature of a particular religion.

Do you think that any religious belief (or non-religious belief for that matter) ever causes people to act differently than they otherwise might have if they did not have that religious belief?
Belief affects all behaviour - but what is called religious belief does not necessarily go deep enough in each individual to be classified as Belief in the sense I am using here.

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"Iti sapis potanda tinone" Lycophron

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
You do qualify with -ists, isms, and "radicals".

Islamist and Islamism are technical terms for the particular movements within Islam that believe in restoring a single non-secular government over all Muslim territory. If there were such a thing as 'Christendomism' it would be the equivalent.

It is not I agree a helpful term to use, in that it does imply that it's merely committed Islam; whereas not all Muslims care, and many would oppose it (most governments in Muslim countries are against it). But it is the term in common use.

It's also not a particularly useful term as it would cover a range of options on at least two points. One, how this single non-secular government should be achieved - ranging from peaceful methods of convincing individual muslims to vote for parties in their countries supporting such an aim, to armed revolution. A second issue would be the extent of such a government and how to achieve that, ranging from just the territory of historic caliphate to a global ambition seeking to convert all nations to Islam and join that government.

Within those spectra there is space (whether or not those spaces are occupied by actual people) for totally non-violent Islamists, for Islamists who would consider it inappropriate to act outside their own nations, as well as those who would advocate violence in non-muslim nations.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
as can nationalist enthusiasm - as can the sheer energy and fearlessness of youth.

Indeed. But much as special measures were taken within the world of football in the UK to combat hooliganism, something could be done in the world of Islam.

These are pragmatic approaches that do not seek to decide whether football, or Islam, are inherently violent, merely to address the problem in the appropriate forum.

[ 15. January 2015, 07:13: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
No, that's pretty much it. But it's often darn hard to pin down exactly what the rule was that got broken and where it's written down. See: weapons of mass destruction versus regime change because Saddam is nasty.

...versus Saddam tried to kill the president's dad; and the president, who has major father issues anyway, comes into office determined to get rid of Saddam--no matter what.

So sometimes international politics are personal.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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