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Thread: Introduction to Islam

  1. #226

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    Quote Originally Posted by skyhawk View Post
    why does Iran et al kill people who leave Islam for other religions ? Why do you guys stone women ?
    This thread is about mainstream Islam, i.e. the Islam practiced by about 90% of the world's Muslims, called Sunni Islam. I cannot answer for countries that deviate from the mainstream, such as Iran (revolutionary Shiah Islam) or Saudi Arabia (extremist Wahhabi Islam). For more information on the ideological divisions, see my post "4. Diversity: Doctrinal and Ideological Divisions".

    There have been cases of Muslims framing Christians in Pakistan of insulting the Koran or "He who shall not be named"
    There is only one such case that has made headlines recently. But if it is your understanding that some Pakistani groups are extreme, even bigoted and dishonest in the name of Islam, then you are correct. While Pakistan is regarded as a majority mainstream Muslim country, socio-economic and political circumstances have predisposed this region to tribalism and extremism. The end result is that there are significant numbers of ideological deviations from mainstream Islam (and to a lesser extent, Hinduism) in this region, particularly Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Iran. USA-led wars of aggression and other Western neo-colonial escapades in this region and elsewhere have been a major catalyst in the growth and spread of these extremist deviations.

    Did "He who shall not be named" sanction "Holy" killing- killing for what is right ?
    While the majority of adherents to whatever religion/philosophy are inspired to live up to the highest human ideals that it prescribes, steering clear from the social inimicalities that it proscribes, some twist it to suit their egos and materialistic pursuits in the guise of "Holy" killing.

    i Think Christianity is better because CHRISTIAN countries allow Muslim to practice their religion freely but Muslim countries persecute Christians.
    This varies from country to country, with some European countries having taken on an overt Islamophobic stance.

    Sorry i cant read the Koran because i see the situation on the ground. Boko Haram , Al shabab , Taliban , Al qaeda. The killing of the US ambassador in Libya by Muslims. the Killing of SA citizens in Afghanistan by Muslims.
    The most recent and widely respected study by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre on the ideological divisions in Islam puts the extremists at about 3% of the the total Muslim world population, and the actual violent extremists at much less than that. Anyway, no-one is forcing you to read the Quran or widen your horizons.

  2. #227

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatspinZA View Post
    Isn't stoning a pretty harsh punishment? Aren't you supposed to be judged by your God when you pass on, not by your 'peers'?
    Stoning is severe, and the scholars understand it to be positioned chiefly as a deterrent, especially relevant in the pre-modern context. For this reason, of the over 50 Muslim countries in the world, only seven still have laws mentioning stoning, but only 2 of these still officially implement it. These two countries are not part of mainstream Islam; Iran is largely revolutionary Shi'ah, and Saudi Arabia is ruled according to the Wahhabi system ruthlessly imposed by dictators from the Saud family after which the country has been named. No other Muslim nation officially implements it.
    Last edited by wayfarer; 01-12-2012 at 06:56 PM.

  3. #228

    Default Apostasy and Blasphemy in Islam: 1 of 3

    Main > Q&A > Apostasy and Blasphemy in Islam: 1 | 2 | 3


    Quote Originally Posted by skyhawk View Post
    i need clarification on apostasy and its punishment
    In the early days of Islam, apostasy was associated with treason. The Shariah in that context supported a decisive stance against those who joined the ranks of its wartime enemies, divulging its secrets, and often taking up arms against the Muslim comminity. It was not unusual for countries at that time to sentence to death those individuals who committed treason. Likewise, it was treasonous apostasy that was condemned in the Shariah. Early communities were highly polarised and conflictual, and it was not unexpected that in some cases the lines between apostasy and "treasonous" apostasy became blurred (and this did happen during classical times).

    However, mainstream scholars point out that there are numerous instances of even Prophet Muhammad himself having cordial association with people who apostated from Islam. That is why, for example, the majority of scholars so strongly opposed the Shiah fatwa calling for the killing of Salman Rushdie.

    The world's leading mainstream Islamic scholarly institutions have strongly and unambiguously voiced the view that apostasy is not to be punished under Shariah. There is no Quranic view to support punishment for apostasy under Shariah, as Quranic verses referring to apostasy mention only punishment by God in the next life.

    See also: To the angry young Muslims...
    Last edited by wayfarer; 17-02-2016 at 07:49 PM. Reason: formatting

  4. #229

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    Quote Originally Posted by grantza View Post
    wayfarer - you earlier refer to islam being the world's fastest abrahamic tradition. this is as a result of unprecedented birth rates in the middle east, second only to sub-saharan africa - not as a result of previous infidels now flocking to islam. unfortunately, the literacy (lack thereof) rate seems to correspond with the birth rate.
    I previously stated:

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    I invite you explore this thread... I put it to you that it will be both an informative and enlightening experience. It may even give you a newfound appreciation of the world's fastest growing Abrahamic Tradition.
    Permit me to clarify a point by rephrasing the bolded part:

    - It may even give you a newfound appreciation of the religion that Guinness World Records (2003, p102) states that more people convert to each year than the other Abrahamic traditions. -

    ("In the period 1990-2000, approximately 12.5 million MORE people CONVERTED to Islam than to Christianity” - Guinness World Records 2003, pg 102.

  5. #230
    Ulysses Everett McGill OrbitalDawn's Avatar
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    wayfarer, what's the mainstream Islamic view of blasphemy, particularly from within Islam, and by non-Muslims? I ask this, because that video that circulated a while back certainly created a stir-up, calls for censorship, calls for the death of the makers etc. And this was in virtually every country that has a Muslim population, not just third world crapholes.
    "Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese."

  6. #231

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    Quote Originally Posted by OrbitalDawn View Post
    wayfarer, what's the mainstream Islamic view of blasphemy, particularly from within Islam, and by non-Muslims? I ask this, because that video that circulated a while back certainly created a stir-up, calls for censorship, calls for the death of the makers etc. And this was in virtually every country that has a Muslim population, not just third world crapholes.
    Thank you for your question. I created a another PD thread where I dealt with this matter in detail. Note that your assertion about how widespread the extreme reactions by Muslims were is entirely false. Those radical protests took place in a very small number of countries. In SA for example (as in most countries with Muslim populations), the national Muslim representative scholarly bodies loudly condemned such reactionary outbursts and violence.

    Check my detailed post on this matter.

  7. #232
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    the use of (pbuh) after mention of the prophet.
    it has always to me seemed almost disrespectfull to abbreviate "peace be upon him".
    i equate it to a "legal loophole" having being found so now "we dont have to write the whole damn thing out every time"

    what are is the actual requirement & from where did it originate ?
    Last edited by Grant; 01-12-2012 at 10:07 PM.

  8. #233
    Ulysses Everett McGill OrbitalDawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    Thank you for your question. I created a another PD thread where I dealt with this matter in detail. Note that your assertion about how widespread the extreme reactions by Muslims were is entirely false. Those radical protests took place in a very small number of countries. In SA for example (as in most countries with Muslim populations), the national Muslim representative scholarly bodies loudly condemned such reactionary outbursts and violence.
    I meant public reaction to the video was widespread, not necessarily the extreme ones (calling for death etc.) The calls for censorship was definitely widespread. Even the peaceful protests or reactions (in media) that didn't call for violence, implicitly called for censorship. Airing disapproval or disagreement is fine, but calling for it to be banned because it offends religious sensibilities is not fine. Equating the mocking of a religion to racism or antisemitism is also misguided. Religion is a belief system, not an inherent trait that one is born with. It's ideology and ideas, not an unchangeable physical reality.

    Thanks for the link, I did read it, but my question with regards to blasphemy is more a general one, not necessarily just relating to that incident. Blasphemy laws exist in many majority Muslim countries, and are on the cards in many others. There seems to be a widespread immaturity in this regard among Muslims. Look at pretty much any of the threads on this forum that Muslim members partake in regarding the issue and they freak out completely. There seems to be a genuine inability to appreciate that not everyone shares the Islamic belief, and are thus not bound by the non-blasphemy rules. By the way, what's Sharia's view of blasphemy, regarding punishment or admonition?
    "Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese."

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    wayfarer you are doing a good and job and i think you are patient and tolerant.

    If SA had like 80% Muslims would they call for a Islamic state like what is/ has happened in Indonesia ? because i think Muslims in SA are "docile" because they are very few.

    You say stoning takes place in Iran and Saudi Arabia but Malaysia still flog people especially women.

  10. #235

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    Quote Originally Posted by OrbitalDawn View Post
    I meant public reaction to the video was widespread, not necessarily the extreme ones (calling for death etc.) The calls for censorship was definitely widespread. Even the peaceful protests or reactions (in media) that didn't call for violence, implicitly called for censorship. Airing disapproval or disagreement is fine, but calling for it to be banned because it offends religious sensibilities is not fine.
    Many countries have laws limiting the freedom of speech, such as legislation against crimin injuria, libel, slander, hatespeech against certain groups, homophobia - even holocaust denial. While hatespeech against Islam does offend, what is being opposed is hatespeech with the intent to insult or incite violence/discrimination against a particular religious group (as with other groups), specifically when this intent is unambiguous, or can be shown in a court of law. This does not mean that there cannot be an intellectual criticism of Islam or the Prophet, as there has always been this space even in classical times, and often also during the very life time of Prophet Muhammad.

    Equating the mocking of a religion to racism or antisemitism is also misguided.
    As per definition, Semites include Hebrews (Jews), Arabs and some other peoples. However, in the context in which it is used, anti-Semitism refers exclusively to discrimination against Jewish groups or people from Jewish extraction because of their traditions, culture or heritage. So equating discrimination or insult against religion (such as Islam) is precisely comparable to anti-Semitism. Note that the person of Prophet Muhammad is indeed a significant icon/symbol of Muslim heritage.

    Religion is a belief system, not an inherent trait that one is born with. It's ideology and ideas, not an unchangeable physical reality.
    Innate human conditions are part of what is considered sacrosanct in modern societies, but it is important to note that people's belief systems are generally held to be more significant to their identities than immutable constructs such as race, ethnicity, gender, etc. Once again, the position is not that of being opposed to intellectual criticism of beliefs, but of being opposed to the intent to cause insult/harm/incitement.

    Thanks for the link, I did read it, but my question with regards to blasphemy is more a general one, not necessarily just relating to that incident. Blasphemy laws exist in many majority Muslim countries, and are on the cards in many others. There seems to be a widespread immaturity in this regard among Muslims. Look at pretty much any of the threads on this forum that Muslim members partake in regarding the issue and they freak out completely. There seems to be a genuine inability to appreciate that not everyone shares the Islamic belief, and are thus not bound by the non-blasphemy rules.
    Blasphemy laws in many Muslim countries have either been removed or are not implemented. In most cases where it still is implemented, it is used by dictators to silence political critics (sometimes the vocal opposition to corrupt rulers are also secularists, who are often "guilty" of blasphemy, and authorities feel more "justified" in arresting dissidents under blasphemy laws). Sociological research also suggests that particularly middle-eastern Muslim societies (under corrupt dictators) often overreact to secular and Christian attacks on Islam as these Muslim societies are already frustrated at their dictators' submission and loyalty to foreign Western (secular and Christian) powers in derogation of their own people.

    Blasphemy is a matter of intellectual discussion rather than of physical punishment. Islam's most important texts (Quran and Hadith) do not prescribe punishment for blasphemy, and while it does form part of the law in some states, there is no precedent for punishing blasphemy in prophetic times.

    By the way, what's Sharia's view of blasphemy, regarding punishment or admonition?
    The Shariah of which time and place? Shariah is an organic system for deriving law, that has both fixed and mutable components, evolving components, and therefore differs from time to time and place to place. See the links in the next post to see my posts on Shariah.

    In summary, view of most mainstream Islamic jurists is that blasphemy, in and of itself, is not a crime, but that when it can be shown that it amounts to hatespeech with the intent to insult and incite to harm, it should be penalised.

  11. #236

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    Quote Originally Posted by skyhawk View Post
    If SA had like 80% Muslims would they call for a Islamic state like what is/ has happened in Indonesia ?
    Do you know that an Islamic system for running a state is that of a civil state, and that it is not run by religious scholars, but scholars are consulted? Anyway, this question has previously been addressed in these forums. See my posts on this matter:


    because i think Muslims in SA are "docile" because they are very few.
    In the late 90's, visiting foreign Islamic scholars made comments to the effect that SA had the most active Muslim minority group in the world. SA Muslims are not docile and have never been, but they are mainstream and moderate. The overwhelming majority of SA Muslims are representative of the global mainstream Muslim community. I have interacted with critics of Islam who reside in many regions in the world, where Muslims are the majority or the minority. And what these critics often say is that the Muslims where they live are relatively moderate/docile/progressive, "not like the rest of them". I then ask them, "If you have generally had positive personal experiences with Muslims, how do you know that "the rest of them" are any different?" The answer I invariably get is: "Fox/CNN/Daily-mail/Hollywood/etc. tells me so."

    You say stoning takes place in Iran and Saudi Arabia but Malaysia still flog people especially women.
    This is true. Malaysia has come under pressure, both locally and internationally regarding this practice, and prominent Muslim scholars, such as Tariq Ramadan, have called for a moratorium on such practices. However, it is a complex matter, with some arguing that flogging is more humane than to subject offenders to lengthy jail sentences where inmates are influenced into a criminogenic lifestyle in overcrowded, physically violent, sexually violent, under-funded prisons.

  12. #237
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    Thank you for your response.

    What do Muslims think of Christians in general ? what is your opinion/view/perception.
    are we misguided ? what are the "plus" and "minuses" of Christianity in your view ?

  13. #238
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    Many countries have laws limiting the freedom of speech, such as legislation against crimin injuria, libel, slander, hatespeech against certain groups, homophobia - even holocaust denial. While hatespeech against Islam does offend, what is being opposed is hatespeech with the intent to insult or incite violence/discrimination against a particular religious group (as with other groups), specifically when this intent is unambiguous, or can be shown in a court of law. This does not mean that there cannot be an intellectual criticism of Islam or the Prophet, as there has always been this space even in classical times, and often also during the very life time of Prophet Muhammad.
    Hate speech, homophobia and defamation are directed at actual people, not beliefs. You aren't allowed to incite violence against actual people. The only people actually moved to violence over the video, books or cartoons are the Muslims (even if it's the minority) who refuse to accept that all beliefs are ridiculed at some point. I think you addressed the issue of the video quite well in that other thread, but it still seems childish to me that so many Muslims react that way. Jesus, Joseph Smith and pretty much all other religions/religious figures get mocked on a daily basis, and often in way worse means than Muhammad, yet you don't get this global reactionary response.

    As per definition, Semites include Hebrews (Jews), Arabs and some other peoples. However, in the context in which it is used, anti-Semitism refers exclusively to discrimination against Jewish groups or people from Jewish extraction because of their traditions, culture or heritage. So equating discrimination or insult against religion (such as Islam) is precisely comparable to anti-Semitism. Note that the person of Prophet Muhammad is indeed a significant icon/symbol of Muslim heritage.
    There are different kinds of anti-semitism. Racial, religious, cultural etc. Jews are a bit of an exception, though, given their ethno-religious nature. Violence and hatred spewed against the Jewish people themselves is digusting, as would violence and hatred spewed against Arab people be. Criticism and ridiculing of their beliefs is not the same thing, though, as it's not focused on the people themselves, but abstract concepts and ideas. Jews also tend to not kick up a huge fuss if people are critical of Judaism, much like most Christians nowadays. Why is Islam not able to come of age in this regard, so to speak? The constant need for Islamic scholars to issue fatwas or speak out against the violence committed in the name of Islam tells me there's something really wrong.

    Innate human conditions are part of what is considered sacrosanct in modern societies, but it is important to note that people's belief systems are generally held to be more significant to their identities than immutable constructs such as race, ethnicity, gender, etc. Once again, the position is not that of being opposed to intellectual criticism of beliefs, but of being opposed to the intent to cause insult/harm/incitement.
    I'm sorry, but in my view it's just silly to hold belief systems as more important than unchangeable traits. Ideas are to be prodded, poked and criticised. Sometimes it may even be necessary to ridicule and deride (think Nazism/Fascism). Sometimes this takes a crude form, and is often rude, but to me it shows not only immaturity, but insecurity when someone feels the need to get violent over the opinions of others, depending on what those opinions are of course. Mocking Muhammad and Islam doesn't actually cause anyone any harm, except the feelings of people who take their beliefs way too seriously. If Muhammad was able to rise above it, why are so many of his followers unable to?

    Blasphemy laws in many Muslim countries have either been removed or are not implemented. In most cases where it still is implemented, it is used by dictators to silence political critics (sometimes the vocal opposition to corrupt rulers are also secularists, who are often "guilty" of blasphemy, and authorities feel more "justified" in arresting dissidents under blasphemy laws). Sociological research also suggests that particularly middle-eastern Muslim societies (under corrupt dictators) often overreact to secular and Christian attacks on Islam as these Muslim societies are already frustrated at their dictators' submission and loyalty to foreign Western (secular and Christian) powers in derogation of their own people.

    Blasphemy is a matter of intellectual discussion rather than of physical punishment. Islam's most important texts (Quran and Hadith) do not prescribe punishment for blasphemy, and while it does form part of the law in some states, there is no precedent for punishing blasphemy in prophetic times.
    I have to point out how convenient it is that nothing wrong ever done by Muslims, or in the name of Islam is the fault of the religion itself. It's always socio-economic or political conditions that's to blame. The 9/11 hijackers were pretty much all highly educated men, engineers mostly. They religiously (literally) read the Quran, as did their handlers. It's all they read, and studied, and somehow they were able to square their deeds with what the book said. Now, I'd agree that they were surely outside the mainstream of Islam, but still, a book that's open to interpretation without any form of verification made it possible for them to do these deeds, believing full-well that they did it with Allah's blessing. All that one can really say in rebuttal is that "most scholars disagreed with their positions", or "Muslims scholars have spoken out against it". Yet this doesn't stop these actions from taking place, again and again, all over the world.

    As always, I appreciate the response.
    "Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese."

  14. #239
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    (pbuh)

    with reference to the above and my earlier question, at what point did it become acceptable to use this abbreviation as opposed to writing the full meaning of it.
    and where did the saying originate ?

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    @OrbitalDawn I have find anyone who believes the official 9/11 story has trouble with logic.
    Last edited by Mineer; 04-12-2012 at 07:45 AM.
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