12-19-07, 11:40 AM #281
12-19-07, 11:51 AM #282
12-19-07, 12:05 PM #283
Is the extreme diversity you talk about primarily due to a lack of any central authority? Or is there another cause?
12-19-07, 12:11 PM #284
The story of bin Laden is an interesting one. He was influenced by Ibn Tamiya, a thinker who broke the mould of Islam from the traditional thought.
For starters, Ibn Taymiya rejected the traditionalist view (still extant) on the "triple divorce" - which allowed a Muslim man to divorce a woman in one sitting by thrice-repeating "I divorce you." He further rejected the traditionalist opinion which maintained (and still does) that the testimony of two women was equal to that of one man, instead arguing that the Quran mandated equality in testimony. Finally, really stepping on traditionalist power, he concluded that ignoring the "consensus" of jurists was neither an act of disbelief nor a grave sin, as so many traditionalists insisted.
One would imagine that today Ibn Taymiya be lauded for his freethinking and celebrated as a feminist. Instead, he is linked to Osama Bin Laden. This has to do with the fact that his intellectual independence also led him to contradict traditionalists on the issue of rebellion against Muslim leaders, which opened the door to jihadist ideas (when a Muslim believes that he does not need the state to authorize taking life).
Fast-forwarding a few hundred years, the modern jihadist movement found that it could rely on Ibn Taymiya's permission to rebel against the hypocrite kings to legitimise its own armed rebellions - and terrorism - against dictators like Mubarak, Musharraf and the Saudi royal family. These attacks soon broadened to include attacks against the dictators' western allies. Traditionalists take the chaos unleashed by jihadists as proof that Ibn Taymiya was misguided. They argue that had the jihadists stuck to the traditional rules on how to deal with an unjust leader - with patient perseverance - jihadism would have never become a problem. It is for this reason that traditionalists argue that jihadism is a hijacking of Islam, while jihadists, linking back to Ibn Taymiya, argue that their actions are islamically justified. Whether you believe the jihadists' claim or not will depend on your willingness to entertain innovation and reform in Islam.
This leads to an important conclusion. Extremists, being dissenters to Islamic traditionalism, are not merely a reaction to external pressures like western foreign policy (which they are), but also a reaction to the traditionalist response (or lack of response) to internal problems as well. Ibn Taymiya would not have led attacks against the hypocrite kings had the traditionalists of that time spoken up against them. Bin Laden hates not just the West, but the Saudi royal family and the clerics who prop it up by not criticising it. Sayyid Qutb did not just villify people in the US, he castigated the village of his childhood as well. Extremism is not just an irrational conflagration; it is rational, though misguided, dissent.
If you're interested in this topic, you can read the entire article here:
Unfortunately, their philosophy appeals to those young men and women, who are tired of living under despotic governments and also tired of western intervention.
12-19-07, 12:21 PM #285
It isn't really a question of Wahhabis or Salafis or, really, even "Qutbis". It's more about the continuation of the old laws about persecuting and oppressing religious minorities. It would be impossible to say that this is a new phenomenon; one might argue that there's been a revival, but how would it be differentiated from any other variation in general tolerance or intolerance in those societies?
12-19-07, 12:25 PM #286
Or, to continue in light of Sam's links, the problem isn't so much that Taymiya no longer thinks that he must refer to the relevant islamic authority for the permission to take a life, but rather what the relevant islamic authority thinks one ought to take a life for.
As always, the problem is deeper than the solution.
12-19-07, 12:36 PM #287
So I take it you are a "traditionalist" as Ali Eteraz describes in his articles? Do you generally agree with his comments on Islamic reform? Would it be valuable for me to read all 7 of his articles?
12-19-07, 12:39 PM #288
12-19-07, 12:57 PM #289
12-19-07, 03:18 PM #290
My question was: Do you agree that Islam is the not the best choice of beleif for everyone in the world for what ever reasons.
Also, surely you agree to this Kadark?
12-19-07, 04:14 PM #291
Doesn't it seem more plausible that the need for a canon was due to people changing parts here and there?
I beleive I have read that Uthman had all the Qur'an collected and destroyed when he had his particular version canonized?
I'm surprised you didn't consider that? One would think it was the most obvious choice?
To the people who had their heads cut off I'm sure it's a question that was very relevant to them.
Also, I said Buddhism in this last question - not atheism. Lastly, I didn't say anything guaranteed happiness, hell a lobotomy may "guarantee" happiness.
I said which is better: A Muslim who is unhappy or an ex-Muslim that converted to Buddhism and is now very happy?
It's a pretty simple and straightforward question,
12-19-07, 04:20 PM #292
Basically we get someone similar to SAM, perhaps someone who supports homosexual female Imams (I think the Chinese are in favor of this) and promote them and many of their liberal ideas. Re-interpret the Qur'an to mean there should be a secular government and a pluralistic society.
Done, problem solved.
12-19-07, 04:26 PM #293
12-19-07, 04:40 PM #294
I'm not asking that question Kadark, you keep reading my question and then answering your own question. THIS is the exact reason why I usually just ask for a yes or no and then explain.
Here to be as clear as possible:
Which is better:
(a) A Muslim who is unhappy or
(b) an ex-Muslim that converted to Buddhism and is now very happy?
A or B?
Anyone ever meet one of those Americans that comes to live in a foreign country and constantly tells you how mush "better America is". And you know, in their head they really think this is the case.
Scientology is the best choice for everyone in the world if they want it to be. If you refuse to relinquish uneducated preconceived notions on what the religion is, then it will never work out.
Can you see how the above statement in absolutley no way answered the above question?
12-19-07, 04:55 PM #295
Try to imagine if the following was a revelation from God to a band of neo-monotheists entering Africa 2000 years ago:
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Say, "O you stupid Niggers who worship tree, rocks, wind and water.
"I do not worship what you worship.
"Nor do you worship what I worship.
"Nor will I ever worship what you worship.
"Nor will you ever worship what I worship.
"To you is your religion, and to me is my religion."
"Which is a better situation to be in?" one African asked. Me who is happy to worship and live with nature or you who has come here to call me a Nigger?
"Look Nigger" came the reply, aren't you proud to be a Nigger? Our belief is the best choice for everyone in the world."
OK, you want to know what my beleif is.
All people should have equal respect for all other peoples beliefs and ideas and cultures - with this one qualifier. The farther one deviates from the spirit of this statement the less "value" they are accorded. That is, it's fine to say: To each there own. But this should be said within the context of: you know, you may actually be right or I may be right or both or maybe we're both wrong. You see this is called respect. What's disrespectful is to say: Hey Nigger, you can beleive whatever the f*ck you want to beleive, but as far as I'm concerned you're wrong if it ain't' what I'm believing.
As I've said We're all atheists for most Gods. I'm atheist for you one God as well. But you know, you may be right and I might be wrong, Or maybe I'm right and you're wrong OR maybe we're both wrong and the Shinto were right.
12-19-07, 04:59 PM #296
Considering that most Muslims live in societies identified more by culture than religion (Chinese, Indonesian, Pakistani, Indian, etc), the appeal for a Western system of society is very limited. On the other hand, the traditionalist approach, which was followed by the Ottomans (e.g. the most severe sentence they passed against adultery/homosexuality was a fine, because the Quran demands four witnesses and traditionalists will not be satisfied with less; four witnesses for a sexual act make it impossible to be proved in practice) is likely to appeal across the board, since it will be derived from the Quran. It worked excellently for the Ottomans and is a good basis to start with.
As such the appeal to traditionalists eases the restrictions on society and their cooperation makes it easier to access a larger section of population (since tradition appeals to Muslims, as being closer to the values espoused in the Quran).
I'm not certain a central authority is a good idea, there are too may Muslims for it to be practical or even plausible, I don't believe any central authority could represent all Muslims and it would just lead to a lot of time wasted over unneccessary deliberation. But having a Council (of several representative associations) might not be a bad idea, with voting rights and representation of all sects.
Would it be valuable for me to read all 7 of his articles?
Last edited by S.A.M.; 12-19-07 at 08:47 PM.
12-19-07, 08:34 PM #297
Michael, I'm not even going to bother with you. I've posted loads of text, answering your same question at least a dozen times. If my answer doesn't satisfy you, then I guess that's too bad.
Seriously now, this is getting really boring and repetitive. If you're not going to say anything new, then I urge you to say nothing at all.
12-19-07, 08:36 PM #298
I just ignore him when he gets tedious, he has a tendency to get pedantically boring when he does not get an answer he likes.
12-19-07, 08:39 PM #299
Good advice. I think what I admire most about Michael is his determination. I mean, look at the length of those posts!
12-19-07, 08:44 PM #300
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