Horus
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One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 6:25 am

Due to the recent wave of anti-Islamic/Arab threads on the forum (by the usual suspects), I just wanted to post this thread about an American man, Charles Vincent, who converted to Islam. Now the article is long so it will take time to read and those who are genuinely interested in understanding Islam rather than blindly attack it based on bias and stereotypical views will find this interesting as it raises various issues and misconceptions about Islam, Muslims and Arabs.

As the fastest growing religion in the world in terms of converts I think its about time people reserved their judgement just until they understand the basics of this religion which has over 1.3 billion followers.

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/laweekly/20041203/lo_laweekly/58939

All feedback/questions are welcome and please keep it civil.

Horus

EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
 
Logan22L
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 7:00 am

I can imagine that it is difficult for many of us Americans to differentiate between the true Muslim faith and the perverters of that faith who embrace terrorism. I am not particularly religious; however, I believe I am quite spiritual, in that I study religions, and have thought long and hard about my role in life and in the afterlife.

I have only read a bit of Qu'ran, but I found it to be somewhat similar in structure to the Bible. In a way, the translation I looked at was more comprehensible than the Bibles I've read. Anyway, I find it difficult to adhere to one particular religion, as the concept of "ours is the right one" is completely absurd in my eyes.

I do respect this man's right to believe what he wants, and I hope that as a Nation, America can respect the difference between ethnicity, religion, and terrorism.

Logan
"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."
 
Horus
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 7:07 am

Thanks for your input Logan.

It's true, I think all sides need to drop there bias views against one another. And let me just add that I didn't post this thread to put down any other religion but I just thought the article was very good in highlighting several issues about Islam.

I think every person should be free to believe in what s/he thinks is best in their mind and heart but that should not infringe on others.

Horus

EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
 
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solnabo
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 7:10 am

Can someone tell me why Nation Of Islam only have a afro-americans perish??

Is it still so? Saw Malcolm X yesterday so that´s why I´m curius Big grin

Thx

Micke//SE
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L.1011
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 7:26 am

For the record, Islam is not the fastest growing religion in the world. On a percentage basis, it's WAY back, as is Christianity. The fastest growing religion is Wicca (white witchcraft), the membership of which doubles every 30 months. Close behind are the Freethinking faiths (Agnosticism, Deism, Universalism, Unitarianism, etc) and then Atheism.
 
Falcon84
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:05 am

Interesting read, Horus, but what is the point to this post?

I honestly don't see a reason why you posted this.

If it's to show that not every Muslim is a nutjob like OBL or Al-Zaquari, most of us with any shred of intelligence know that.

What was your reason for posting? I read what you said above, but I don't see a over-riding reason.
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BA
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:44 am

Falcon84,

If you read his thread. You would know why he posted it.

Horus,

Good post. I don't have time to read the article right now as I am on campus and have finals to study for, but I bookmarked it and will read it later.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
Falcon84
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:47 am

I read it, BA. I read the whole article. I just don't see an over-riding reason. Sue me over it, but I just don't understand the reason.
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mdsh00
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:55 am

Of course there are converts to Islam in the West. Unfortunately some of them become extremists too. Some examples are John Walker Lindh, and recently someone in SoCal (forgot his name) who began making videotaped terrorist threats about attacking Los Angeles. A good article but I find the last part a bit unsettling:

When I asked Vincent what he thought about al-Yaqoubis statement, he answered, with a touch of defiance, that he felt just fine about it. "I do wish the American troops would be defeated," he told me, adding, "Im a Muslim first, and I just live in this country." (If he could find a bumper sticker that read "AGAINST THE TROOPS," he said, hed put it on his cab.) And were he ever to find himself in the Middle East, lets say Iraq, would he fight against American soldiers? "If there was a jihad," he replied evenly, "I dont see how I could not join in."
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Horus
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:57 am

Solnabo, to be honest I really know very little information about this group so I can't help you there.

L.1011, I was referring to numbers rather than percentage. BTW, are those you mentioned cults or religions (don't mean to offend anyone, just interested to know)?

BA, it's an interesting read. There was a programme on t.v a few months back called, "Muslims in Texas" which followed 2 men and 2 women in Texas who converted to Islam. None were previously religious but once they began reading about Islam they were convinced of its teachings and converted. They continued by saying how the vast majority of people in their community (and family) accepted them without a problem.

Horus

EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
 
Falcon84
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:58 am

I read that, and really didn't want to comment, lest Horus say I was being mean to him, but if he really feels that way, he can go to Afghanistan and live with the Taliban. He'd feel right at home there. He feels that way, he should have his citizenship stripped.

And therein lies my problem with Isalm today: it's become a faith that seems to draw strength from conflict with anything Western, and that's why they have the image problem they have today.
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commander_rabb
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:36 am

it's become a faith that seems to draw strength from conflict with anything Western, and that's why they have the image problem they have today.

A perfect statement. And it is causing hatred and bigotry towards them because of it and that's not good.

They have a long way to go to prove themselves as do we, the non-Muslims of the world regarding how we perceive people and threat them. Lumping a large group of people together just because a few radical extremists want to blow themselves up to be with virgins is not a good thing to do. But where is the huge cry from the Islamic world over this to say that what these few are doing is an affront to Islam and all Muslims. All I hear are whispers and no loud outcry. I wish the good God loving Muslims would be more vocal in their outrage.

 
Marco
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:38 am

Even if Islam is the fastest growing religion (which I doubt), there are bigger fish to fry. Quantity is no subsitute for quality. What I find provocative about Arabs is that they're always finding "Christian" or "Jewish" converts - as if they're trying to re-assure themselves in their faith.

If he has found comfort in Islam, good for him, however alot of Muslims use such cases to validate the superiority of their religion. This is also from personal experience living in Islamic countries and even interacting with Muslims in Canada.

http://answering-islam.org.uk

Here's the webpage of a convert from Islam. Enjoy  Smile
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bahadir
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:08 am

Another pissing match.. Fastest growing, mine is longer than yours.. Who gives a rat's ass.. The fact of the matter is , all three religions are based on the same fundamentals of doing people good, not cheating , etc.

I think us humans are turning them into reasons to discriminate and kill people. To me a self declared reverand of US is the same as a mullah of ABC mosque or Rabii XYZ who calls for killing of others..

My 0.04 YTLs  Smile
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yyz717
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 1:20 pm

Western conversions to Islam actually speaks far more to the openness of Western (ie. Christian & secular) societies than any increase in interest in Islam.

A bigger issues is why don't Muslim nations allow freedom of religion to the degree that Western nations do. If there was no discrimination against Christians in the Muslim world, along with democracy and a free press, I'm sure you would see many Christian converts from Islam.

The facts about Islam remain as follows:
1. Most Muslims are living under dictatorships.
2. Muslims represent 19% of the world's population yet generate only 6% of the world's wealth (4% if you exclude oil exports).

Hence, Islam remains a religion (for most adherents) of poverty and few human rights.
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Logan22L
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 1:34 pm

Falcon: I think Horus posted the link/thread to indicate that there are valid reasons to be a Muslim, and even some Americans embrace that faith. In other words, they are not all terroists. At least, that was my take, and the gist of my earlier post.

Commander_Robb: I am glad to hear you say what you have said. As a liberal (yes, I embrace that term), I have not agreed with much of what you've said in the past, but your statement essentially regarding the need of all people of all religions to better understand what things are really all about as opposed to only recognizing the extremists in any of these factions is right on the numbers.  Big thumbs up

Logan
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vafi88
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 2:28 pm

it's become a faith that seems to draw strength from conflict with anything Western, and that's why they have the image problem they have today.

So true!

America never was against the Middle east, and still isn't (eventhough our current government thinks democracy is right and what everyone else has is wrong) yet your countries continually burn American flags and hate anyone from, or siding with the western civilization - specifically - America.

I personally don't have a problem with Islam, or any other religion - but there sure aren't many who are speaking out for peace and moderation, and are instead leaving the talking to fanatics - which is why there's a stereotype that every Muslim is a terrorist.
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ly7e7
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 6:23 pm

Disclaimer:
In this post I do not intend to compare the entire Moslem population (or religion) to the person in the article. Or at least I hope that I can do that.


From the article:
"Why shouldn't you listen to music?" I asked.

"Because it takes up valuable space in my mind, space I need for the entire Koran rather than Michael Jackson's Beat It or something nonsensical like that. These things are not going to benefit me in the hereafter, they will only be held against me."


Frank Zappa, Joe's Garage:

"Eventually it was discovered
That God
Did not want us to be
All the same

This was
Bad News
For the Governments of The World
As it seemed contrary
To the doctrine of
Portion Controlled Servings

Mankind must be made more uniformly
If
The Future
Was going to work

Various ways were sought
To bind us all together
But, alas
Same-ness was unenforceable

It was about this time
That someone
Came up with the idea of
Total Criminalization

Based on the principle that
If we were All crooks
We could at last be uniform
To some degree
In the eyes of
The Law

Shrewdly our legislators calculated
That most people were
Too lazy to perfom a
Real Crime
So new laws were manufactured
Making it possible for anyone
To violate them any time of the day or night,
And
Once we had all broken some kind of law
We'd all be in the same big happy club
Right up there with the President,
The most exalted industrialists,
And the clerical big shots
Of all your favorite religions

Total Criminalization
Was the greatest idea of its time
And was vastly popular
Except with those people
Who didn't want to be crooks or outlaws,

So, of course, they had to be
Tricked Into It . . .
Which is one of the reasons why
Music
Was eventually made
Illegal."
2 things are endless: ignorance and space
 
gkirk
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 7:42 pm

Falcon: I think Horus posted the link/thread to indicate that there are valid reasons to be a Muslim, and even some Americans embrace that faith. In other words, they are not all terroists. At least, that was my take, and the gist of my earlier post.

Anyone with half a brain knows that not all Muslims are terrorists, just a very small minority.
What people want though, is large Muslim groups to speak out against these terrorist attacks by those muslims in the minority. Until they do, people will continue to think thta a very large majority of Muslims are terrorists. It's sad but true.
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pilotaydin
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:02 pm

im a muslim, and there are muslim terrorists.....im sorry but I'm muslim for myself, i don't think i need to be the target of ignorant grouping, because i didnt speak up... How many of us normal muslims that live a perfectly western life here have access to terrorists? Shall i go to iraq and afghanistan and walk up to them with a Quran and ask them to please stop because my western friends are generalizing....come on....
Like i have said before...the politics of the WEST are being fought by the Ideals of a small group of a religion...there you have it...both politics and religion.... it's a large circle...circles have no corners...which means there is no way to come to a point of ending or beginning...this has been going on for centuries, it has picked up lately, and will die down soon and so goes on life...

putting economics and religion together can't work when trying to generate a statistic, because not everyone is religious and shouldn't fall into a category so that some conclusion can be made... Also, there will be no solution to this stuff, because difference of opinion exists...and there are so many people and so many permutations of issues, that it is childish and stupid to even try and debate this whole muslim vs christian and islam vs the free world thing... so i suggest everyone that is modern/civilized get along and drop isms and groupings...
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
galaxy5
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:53 pm

so are you implying that we should all convert to Islam?
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slider
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Fri Dec 10, 2004 3:16 am

putting economics and religion together can't work when trying to generate a statistic, because not everyone is religious and shouldn't fall into a category so that some conclusion can be made...

Yes and no. I would agree that the generalization may not seem fair, but when you study the socioeconomic and religious/political landscape of Islamic countries today, most notably the ones in the Middle East, you can't deny the link.

And in this case, it is a religion that has been twisted to demand subservience, denies women civil rights, and doesn't allow for entrepreneuship. Moreover, the educational system is horrid....there are fewer books translated in the Middle East than anywhere else on the planet. In this case, I would say that the spectre of Islam is very much an integral part of the economic fortunes of the nations/regions that are Islamic.
 
tbar220
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Fri Dec 10, 2004 3:25 am

Pilotaydin makes an interesting point. Take for example, Americans who voted for Kerry. Should they go out and apologize to the world for what Bush is doing?
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L.1011
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Fri Dec 10, 2004 5:10 am

Horus, no offense taken.

None are cults.

Wicca http://www.religioustolerance.org/witchcra.htm

Unitarian Universalism http://www.religioustolerance.org/u-u.htm

Atheism, Agnosticism, Humanism http://www.religioustolerance.org/at_ag_hu.htm

Deism http://www.religioustolerance.org/deism.htm

Universism http://www.religioustolerance.org/universism.htm

And if you want to gauge the credibility of the site, here is the page on Islam.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/islam.htm
 
pilotaydin
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Fri Dec 10, 2004 5:37 am

this is interesting and also unfortunate that religion has become the back scractcher of politics and social life and social life has taken advantage of religion and interpretation..... many people interpret religion and then transfigure it to fit their religion and way of life... hence we have a lot of people thinking that in islam women have no rights..no, it is people who have their own interpretation of islam that claim this...according to the holy books, there aren't any demands that women be restricted from driving and working as they are in some muslim nations.

Figures and stats are a means to try and analyse something. However, i do not feel that religion should be analysed, because it is something that has been passed down from our history, from times we havent been alive for...
I find it brutaly sad that Western means christian and free, and muslim means constricted... Western to me should be a way of life. I am 100% convinced that i live the same life here in Turkey as i did in the usa... why isn't my lifestly western? because i am not christian...mixing religion into freedom is not good, although it seems that muslim nations aren't free, this doesn't mean that proper islam is not free. Must be noted that the difference between a person'a religion shouldn't be mixed into saying islam is not free because a gov chooses to manipulate it...
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
iakobos
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Fri Dec 10, 2004 6:46 am

IMO there is no paradox here Pilotaydin, when the precepts of a religion are enshrined in a "book" of other ages, unavailable for interrogation / critic / update and adaptation (except the freedom of interpretation when the authorities see fit), teached "as is" and politically used as a convenient philosophy for the masses, the result cannot lead to the advancement (modernity) of a society.
(this is not specific to Islam of course)

I sense and understand your interrogations.

The only way out is to fence the field, and leave spirituality where it belongs (nowadays): the individual.
Once it is no longer an instrument of power, religion can evolve.

Sidenote: despite pressure (though not very heavy), the new EU constitution does not contains any reference to Christianity.
 
pilotaydin
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Fri Dec 10, 2004 6:58 am

Iakabos i agree with you, i do wish that less emphasis be put on religion and more onto getting along, i have always been an advocate of travelling starting at the age of 5 for a person and learning about cultures....

ironically, schools stop teaching where real life begins..... and people must travel and make friends from different cultures to get along. For example,

yyz717, if a muslim that hadn't travelled or been anywhere else read his posts, they would hate him and get personal. But i have travelled and i have tons of canadian friends, and when we drink, everything is allright lol, so i think he is entittled to his opinion, i would never judge his personality by one or two of his opinions, regardless of their intensity....education...SELF education.
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
iakobos
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Fri Dec 10, 2004 7:16 am

Same here, been travelling for the last 5 decades (yes), lived in 7 countries and been in 62 to this date. It gives some perspective to everything down here...

Any religion is fine with me as long as it cares exclusively to the spirituality of individuals, preaches respect for everyone on an equal basis and laments the loss of life, any life.
 
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yyz717
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RE: One Convert To Islam

Fri Dec 10, 2004 7:20 am

I find it brutaly sad that Western means christian and free, and muslim means constricted...

I agree, but that seems to be the reality of our world.

Instead of anti-Western hatred, perhaps Muslim peoples and countries should do more intro-spection and become the prosperous democracies that they so envy in the West.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.

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