My understanding is that as the Qu'ran is written in Arabic, which is still a living language, and that the Qu'ran is considered the actual word of Allah, it was a requirement that most of the preaching and learning be done in that language. Probably the best thing to happen to Christianity is the widespread acceptance of translated bibles - since the original is written in several long-dead languages. It allows us to be sceptical over exact wordings, and to seek the overall meaning or the lessons behind the words, rather than the message of a particular passage.
Prayers from the Qur'An are done in Arabic. Sermons are done in local lingo. Prayers that are not from the Sura' in the Qur'an are done in the local lingo. There's a discussion in the National Council of Ulamas here about whether or not to allow prayers from the Qur'An to be done in local lingo.
I think we both agree that redical Islam is a dasterdly entity that has and will turn good people to the worst of mischief, and that thier number is far greater than the "small minority" that we often hear quoted.
They're small, I dare say very small, but very very vocal, and growing... You don't need large numbers to be heard, you just need to hit the right buttons (like in their case, the detonator button) to be heard globally.
But your scholarship and patient explanation of the parts of Islam that I have challenged and you have responded to have not fallen on deaf ears. I can's say that I've changed my mind - I still have some very serious and fundemental problems with Islam itself. But your posts have convinced me to perhaps take a step back and give Islam a bit more benefit of the doubt that I may have given before.
The aim of what I write is not to change people's minds. I'm just saying that it's not all violent, bloody and gore (not Al) in the meaning because it all depends on how one translate it in word and meaning. The very serious and fundamental problems is that Islam is a loose structure but one where it has been open to what I call, "unqualified instruction".
A step back can be good, good or bad, it's up to you. I just want people to know more about the different facets of Islam, not just the ones we hear in the media.
I still feel that we are headed for a major conflict between Islam and the rest of the world. When I made this post, I had become convinced that the cause was Islam itself. Perhaps I was wrong in this, and that it is more a problem of misinterpretation. But I would still feel that Islam is too damned easy to misinterpret, with passages that seem to be pretty damned agressive, and the fact that Mohammed himself was a warrior, not a peacemaker.
The major conflict is the threat at the moment and it is what those whackos want! However, it has already happened... that is between those whackos vs the rest of the world (moderate Muslims included)... but "the rest of the world" is vulnerable as it is disunited in understanding, vision and mission... there's no need to get fuzzed up and cuddly with each other, but a little more understanding can go a looooooong waaaay.... You bring the guns and choppers, we stand our ground on our principles and resist them infiltrating our minds, and let those whackoes stay outside enjoy hiding in their caves in their own little whacked up world.
If we cannot agree, then at least we utilize the differences to fight a common enemy through different ways we go about things... (this is why the "you're either with us or against us" policy was IMHO a total disaster).
The ease of interpretation is due to the Qur'An being written in old Arabic (like Olde English vs Modern English)... just like old literature, sometimes it's not easy to understand the true meaning, and sometimes, the simple conversion to the modern version bears no resemblance to an academic conversion to today's language. I find the passages no more violent than passages from 1000 - 1600 regarding the manner it was written in. What doesn't help is the way the paragraphs are made, which makes it too easy for someone to take separate paragraphs to turn the meaning around. The Qur'An is written not only as a holy book, but also a book of Poems... hence, require thinking to understand it.
When I was young, I was told by my religious teacher, that to read to Qur'An, you need a calm and open mind. It is like a book of Poems, but not a novel. If you're mind's not up to it, it can be confusing and frustrating, and worse, misunderstood. At that age (7-12), I didn't comprehend the meaning of that he said. It was only I went to England for high school, and read some of the old English literature that I can appreciate what he said years before!
Hence, this makes it MUCH EASIER for smart and/or rich people, to use Islam and the Qur'An to go and do nasty things... and look at where they succeed? Areas of poor education!
If you want to look at the contrast, since you're in the US (let's see if it's the same as the UK in this case...) go and see the moslem immigrant coming from a poor background or country, and compare him/her to one from an educated background, and then compare those two to a recent (non-arabic/african/south asian, ie: most likely caucasian) convert... and see the differences...
Again, look at where the death fatwas for Salman Rushdie came from... "the usual suspects"...
Anyways, I was fortunate enough to study the Christian reformation in Europe... looking at how the Catholic church operated in those days, and the fact that everything religious was done in Latin, and how "one should not question the word of a man of God", and the requirement to be absolutely obedient to the word of God (spewed out through the mouths of the "Men of God", who a lot of the times fail to see that they're mere humans and are therefore imperfect), we see similar problems in how people understood religion and how some were misguided. Half a millenium later, the same problem is hitting Islam.
Christianity today enjoys being available in languages that are still alive, and available in the modern language as well as the old language. Islam has only began to so within the last century. In terms of secular understanding of religion, we are still half a millenium behind, but we're catching up, but the way things are, don't expect us to catch up the half a millenia within a year or two... a decade would be a crazy pace!
PS: Welcome to my RU list
Thanks, I hope OBL
will have heart failure knowing that ! LOL!
What gets our goat is how easily one particular segment of human society will take any excuse to gather in the streets and rage on about wanting to kill people. It's pretty unique.
When there are civil strife, or civil disturbances in Indonesia, it's been drawn on religious lines. Here, we see that it's not always Muslims starting the fight or be on the rage on about wanting to kill people, Christians do that too. But when we see which regions in Indonesia this happens in, it becomes blatantly obvious that it's a cultural and social background that gets on the rage... religion becomes the sides they "happen to be in"... sometimes it really is like a riot caused by fans of competing sports teams!
They gather in the streets because that's the best way they have to get their message out. Extremist Americans do their hateful spewing on the internet. I can't for the life of my why people of any faith spend so much time bitching about other people instead of working to better their own lives. Everyone's engaged in a blame game of putting responsibility for his own troubles on someone else, and nowhere is this more prevalent than in American politics.
Well mate, sentiments shares... and guess what, the blame game (especially in politics) is a global phenomenon!
Western societies are stabilized primarily by their nonreligious culture and by their successful economies, not by christianity.
And wherever you may be, stable and progressive cultures of all religions as well as segments of societies of various religions are backed by the same factors... and that is possible without abandoning religion, as long as people puts a balance between what is good for the present life and what is good for the afterlife.
How many times have you heard the phrase "Nuke Mecca", "Bomb them back to the stone age", and other similar phrases?
Bet you haven't heard Muslims saying "Nuke Saudi Arabia but protect Mecca and Medina" have you? LOL! There's quite a few who has that sentiment.
There's a joke here on the problems of religion...
Wish: "Islam would be such a nice religion if Mecca wasn't in Saudi Arabia."
Reality: "Hey, if there aren't any Arabs or if the middle east don't exist, then religion wouldn't exist! Poor God! He tried through Abraham, then Jesus, then Mohammed... and I think after that He gave up solving the Middle East!"
Ok lets say ummm middle eastern. But I will bet my paycheck that he is muslim.
If he is Middle Eastern and has no "headgear"... well, he could be a Muslim, a Jew, a Christian, or even... an Atheist! LOL
How about the average Lebanese... Christian? Muslim? How do you know by just the look?
Then what about African Muslims... and then err... how about African Jews? Do they look any different?
How about a caucasian Muslims (converts included)? Does he/she look any different because he's Muslim?
The Chinese has all sorts... Muslims, Christians, Confucians, Buddhists, and God knows what else.
How about Indonesians? There's only an 85% chance of being a Muslim... but then, with economic distribution having a more equal if not inverted composition... the average Indonesian tourist you see in the US/Europe is more likely to be a non-Muslim.
Seriously, how do you know? You can see a girl in a skimpy tank top and she could be Muslim... Heck, my wife wears that sometimes! Oh hell! One of my ex gf's a Catholic, was more conservative in her dress that the only people she'd peeve off with her dress code was the Wahabis !
Seriously, how exactly does a Muslim look?
Jafa39 & Baroque,
LOL ! That NZ
/ Aussie thing with the AQIS nitpicking combs really gave me a laugh!
But I'm sorry, the problem I have with NZ
is not the Maoris or the influx of immigrants, but the bloody accents!
Me being the Pohmie boy spent the first 24hrs in NZ
not understanding a word anyone was saying! Even a true blue thick Aussie accent from the deepest hinterland of blokes and sheilas sounded like angels singing for those 24 hours!