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Latitudinarian
07-07-2010, 07:03 PM
As-Salamu Alaykum,

Feel free to respond with your own salaams but be forewarned I am not a Muslim and, as such, I respect that there are some who would prefer to avoid salutations with my likes. With that out of the way, let me say that, regardless of religious differences, there are certainly some very important beliefs that we do share and that is why I am posting here.

To start, I'm neither a polytheist, a Jew, a Christian, a Zoroastrian, a Buddhist nor an atheist. I do believe that there is one and only one God but you might call me a deist since I don't believe in revelation, prescribed worship and the supernatural. Beyond the ethereal realm, we may share more practical similarities, namely our value systems.

I am a traditionalist when it comes to values and I see that the modern world has eroded much of traditional values via the pursuit of money and the power it offers. While I accept that people should be rewarded for their labors, extreme materialism has become like a virus. When material wealth is the primary motivator of institutions, corporations and governments alike, the effects are far-reaching. Such mantras drive many government domestic and foreign policies, corporate greed, job out-sourcing and corruption.

At the individual level, people are influenced by corporate-sponsored consumerism via the media. You've got to buy the latest gadgets, games, cars and fashionable clothes and, not sometime in the future, but right now! In many circles, status is determined by the kinds of cars you drive, the size of your house, the shininess of your jewelry, the number on your paycheck or the shops you frequent. You're ostracized for not keeping up with the Joneses. It seems to me that such a culture strives to create discontent and encourages promiscuity. People are made to feel inadequate and then are sold on the belief that they can purchase their well-being. Carnal thoughts and behaviour as well as the push to act spontaneously lead to immodesty, adultery and divorce. There are many motivators behind this but ultimately it comes back to the bottom line, money.

There is no grand conspiracy; this is all out in the open. Money is what is valued, and therefore money is what motivates. If it were to disappear, some other material entity would take it's place. Acknowledging that, perhaps part of the solution is for consumers to overtly identify where moral values are being compromised, publicly condemn it and eventually hurt sponsor revenue. We certainly have the power to do this with the internet - we are no longer completely subject to corporate controlled media like television and we all have the power to help reshape and champion moral integrity. I believe a culture shift is possible within a democracy that would benefit Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

My question for the forum is what are your views on culture shift towards higher values? Do you see this from only a Islamic point of view or is there room for an outlook that extends beyond religion?
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syed_z
07-07-2010, 09:30 PM
Islam is also A Culture itself... its Islamic Culture... since a Muslim is supposed to see and view everything under the Light of Islam... we Muslims make Quran (Holy Book) and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (Sunnah) as the Source for all guidance.... whether for Individual life or Collective way of life...

Because for us Supreme Guidance is Quran and Sunnah....

Now regarding all that you said... Quran is a Miracle for all times i.e not only was it applicable 1400 years ago and since that time up til now.... But it will always be applicable in every time before the end of the world... as it is a Book of Guidance! and mankind depends on Guidance for him to be guided....


so ALL that you mentioned is Materialism and Allah in Quran very well informs us to be on Guard against all types of Materialism...


(18:07) Behold We have willed that the beauty on earth be a means by which We put men to a test (showing ) which of them are best in Conduct!


The beauty being spread around the world, so called beauty with Materialism, is basically a form of Trap... which only those will save them who would need whatever is sufficient for themselves and their families and do not go for excess...
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Latitudinarian
07-08-2010, 01:08 PM
I understand that Islam is a culture in and of itself. While there are some aspects of Islamic practice that IMO are quite draconian. My assumption is that it's harsh penal nature is driven by utilitarianism - that is that the greater good can be achieved by whatever unpleasant means where necessary. With a background in Western sensibilities, such approaches do not appeal on the surface but I wonder if perhaps there is virtuous merit in this approach. Certainly, I agree with the guarding against all types of materialism.
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syed_z
07-08-2010, 04:43 PM
While there are some aspects of Islamic practice that IMO are quite draconian. My assumption is that it's harsh penal nature is driven by utilitarianism - that is that the greater good can be achieved by whatever unpleasant means where necessary. With a background in Western sensibilities, such approaches do not appeal on the surface but I wonder if perhaps there is virtuous merit in this approach. Certainly, I agree with the guarding against all types of materialism.

In Islam the goal of Muslims individually or collectively is to Earn God's pleasure and NOT their own pleasures... God does allow us to use our physical bodies and our earthly life for our own pleasures as well, but AS LONG as they are done within limits prescribed by Allah (swt)/God Al Mighty, like Marriage, raising Children, earning legal money, being friendly making friends and doing good deeds..... so Utilitarianism... a theory or 'Ism' which comes from Your European Secular Culture is no where near teachings of Islam.... so if you have any Questions on Islam feel free to ask ..so you can understand more and not from biased Media sources...


In that approach which you speak of, in which if Muslims use unpleasant means, then they are not true Muslims and are definitely NOT following Islam, as Islam means Peace and so it emphasizes on Promoting Peace.... with others not just words in actions... and NOT Lip Service of peace, as usually comes from Washington and London and Jerusalem, just to look good infront of the World and on Media that "hey we're all for peace"... while go spread corruption every where in the World.. ..so definitely there is no merit in no 'virtuous' merit in such way...


Since you are against Materialism... then you should be knowing im sure that it comes from the West... and it is Western Secular Civilization which is promoting such stuff to make every one around the World more Materialists.... and so be on guard from Materialism...
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Latitudinarian
07-08-2010, 05:34 PM
Syed, I appreciate your detailed response. I personally don't base my morality on Holy books, but I think there is agreeable rationale behind the limits prescribed by your religion. Modesty, chastity, healthy marriage and child-rearing, honesty and integrity in life and in business, sincere friendship and altruistic acts are all qualities I admire and try to the best of my abilities to uphold. I'm not consumed by the judgment of God here, I just see these values as being key to a happy life.

Regarding the Utilitarianism, I'm referring to Sharia punishments. I'm not sure how correct an interpretation of your Prophet's message such types of jurisprudence hold but it seems to me that punishments like stoning and hand severing are a little extreme. However, I wonder if such extremes have merit in there long-term dissuasion from the committal of immoral acts. Correct me if I'm wrong about this understanding of Sharia.

As for Materialism, I see a large part of this coming out of the West simply because the West has control over much of the media and industry and therefore corporations in the West have the most to gain from the promotion of consumerism. At the same time, Materialism has always existed in all cultures to a varying extent. My Muslim friends have often said that, despite the religious warnings of Materialism, embedded some Muslim cultures resides a contest of wealth flaunting between different families.
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syed_z
07-08-2010, 07:23 PM
Regarding the Utilitarianism, I'm referring to Sharia punishments. I'm not sure how correct an interpretation of your Prophet's message such types of jurisprudence hold but it seems to me that punishments like stoning and hand severing are a little extreme. However, I wonder if such extremes have merit in there long-term dissuasion from the committal of immoral acts. Correct me if I'm wrong about this understanding of Sharia.
well if you just read it or hear it by word of mouth then it DOES seem like a severe Punishment, and it sounds Cruel.... but if you read in the Context that how Islam teaches and explains about such Punishment it makes clear that... whenever a Westerner Hears about Shariah Law, they have this mindset, and it is a fact that Media has created such a mind set, that Shariah is a Harsh Law, Shariah is Very Strict and rather than providing Justice it provides Injustice.... the Ordinary Westerner thinks according to what Media tells and then forms a mind set just like yours, for which Media is to be blamed and therefore i advise you to study and read about Islam to get right knowledge..... a question to you .... How could a Western Media, who is not Muslim and does not have knowledge on Islam be able to say that Shariah Law is dangerous ? and How does Western leaders who have not at all knowledge of Islam can say that Shariah is Harsh ? You have to be a Muslim 1st, and then have knowledge of Quran and Sunnah to know what is right and what is wrong.... giving your viewpoints just because you OWN the stage , doesn't mean your right!

So this is how western Opinion is created in the Western World... but there are many Smart Westerners who don't fall for Media Propaganda...

any ways... so i'll try explaining 2 points Stoning and Severing Hands...

Severing Hands...



1st of all in Islam spiritual and physical, both needs are to be taken care of in a True Islamic Society, as Physical is connected to Spiritual and if there is no providing security and well being of physical then it cannot be a True Islamic Society, and every one cannot enjoy security and well being and no spiritual progress. A True Islamic society is where every one is given justice and if some class is more privileged than others, while others have to suffer then there cannot be happiness.

In an Islamic Society where a class of people are able to do whatever they want and another class, or majority of people suffer because of their uneven distribution of wealth, then poverty begins to breed crime. Poverty can be a big hindrance towards spiritual progress. Such a society where a rich class can exploit the ones below them, is bound to suffer , have increased rate of crime, and definitely move away from God consciousness. It was this because of which Muhammad (Saw) said...

"Poverty may well turn in to a denial of the truth (kufr)."

So the Legislation to create a Islamic Society which will be at harmony within it self has to be provided Following...every man woman and child


1. Should have enough to eat and wear
2. An adequate Home.
3. Equal opportunities and facilities for education.
4. Free medical care in health and sickness.
5. A resultant of these rights is the right to productive work and make profit while of working age and of good health, and a provision (by the community or state) of adequate nourishment, shelter etc in cases of disability resulting from illness, widowhood, enforced unemployment, old age, or under age.

The whole Scheme to provide such a Social Security System, is laid down in the injunctions of Sunnah and Verses of Quran.... and 2nd Caliph Umar (r.a) who succeeded Prophet Muhammad (saw) after his death, brought this legislation in to action and so his Rule is considered the Most Just since the inception of Islam in Arabia.


It is against Such a Just Social Security System, that is any one tries to Steal after all the ameneties are available for the Benefit of all citizens of the Islamic Society, or is led by "temptation" to steal and the person steals at the expense of other members of the society, then the Punishment is to be enforced! But if the Social Security is not provided in the full sense of the word, in the society then the person might be tempted to steal and therefore a punishment of such sort cannot be enforced rather lider forms of punishment will be enforced.

A good example is also during the time of Caliph Umar (r.a) there was a time when Famine occurred and the punishment of Cutting the hands was waived off.


So in short cutting off of hands is only applicable in a fully functioning Social Security Scheme and NOT otherwise!

This should be taught by the Western Media before maligning such Punishment ! ... how many people do you see in Iran or Saudi Arabia, whose hands are cut off ? You have to go yourself there and witness and not rely on BBC and CNN bro! they lie!


And about stoning... its is not in the Quran however, we have Traditions in the Prophet's teachings in which he did give Punishment for stoning to death. That was done to a married woman who already was married, and had committed fornication, and so stoning to death is for ONLY those married persons who commit fornication while they are married. Also the lady to whom punishment was given, was guilty and came herself and wanted to get punishment, because she was satisfied that if she would get punishment Allah (swt) would forgive her, and because she confessed infront of every one, the Prophet had no choice but to give her, and she willingly accepted it, as that is the Punishment for married couples!

In order to put a stop to such crime which can lead to other forms of immorality in the society like Prostitution and making money for sex, there is a prescribed punishment, HOWEVER even that is NOT to be given unless all the rights are provided in the Society under a Perfect Social Security Scheme. Because may be a lady had to commit in case of Poverty (not the lady to whom punishment was given was punished for such crime) ? So its not just like how you hear in the Western Media...



So if you would like to i can explain flogging which is to be given to those, men and women who are UNmarried... and that is also done to prevent immorality in the society, which can prevail if this punishment is waived. A good example is the abortion that 14-16 and 17 years old get in to in Europe and North America as soon as they enter high School. One after another abortion and the exploitation of young minds is leading towards the moral collapse in Western Society....so illegal sexual intercourse leads a society towards decadence!




As for Materialism, I see a large part of this coming out of the West simply because the West has control over much of the media and industry and therefore corporations in the West have the most to gain from the promotion of consumerism. At the same time, Materialism has always existed in all cultures to a varying extent. My Muslim friends have often said that, despite the religious warnings of Materialism, embedded some Muslim cultures resides a contest of wealth flaunting between different families.
I do agree with you regarding Muslims also falling for Materialism and trying to flaunt and show off, which is against Islam and teachings of Quran, and so they should refrain and if they don't then they will definitely be responsible for their actions. Every Muslim is NOT guided and follows Islam perfectly, just like how every Christian does not TRULY follow teachings of Jesus (peace be upon him)...


well do ask if you have more Questions :)
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Latitudinarian
07-08-2010, 10:48 PM
How could a Western Media, who is not Muslim and does not have knowledge on Islam be able to say that Shariah Law is dangerous ? and How does Western leaders who have not at all knowledge of Islam can say that Shariah is Harsh ?
Thank you for candidly elaborating on Shariah law. I presume that those of the Western media who do report on Shariah law have at least read some of the literature concerning Islamic law. Also it's not like there aren't loads of Muslims that are part of the Western media (although FOX may be an exception). Journalists do stand by a basic code of ethics:

Tony Burman, former editor-in-chief of CBC News
"Every news organization has only it's credibility and reputation to rely on"
In theory, if ever an attempt to intentionally distribute misinformation was uncovered, the reputation of the news organization would be in shambles and hence it's potential revenue stream. So if a reporter states something as fact that is clearly wrong, you should make a point of writing to the editor or finding some other way to publish and make known the error that was made.

Nowadays, centralized media is losing a grip on society because of grassroots media enabled by internet technologies like blogs, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. In this new model, there's less accountability for irreputable sources and mountains of conflicting information but at least the content is not all determined by corporations standing to shape fashions, commentary and make a buck.

Regarding your explanation of stoning and hand severing, distinguishing economically challenged contexts with thriving contexts puts things in a more palatable light. While I share many of the moral ideas purported by Islam, like modesty, I'm not a supporter of having state-enforced punishments for lesser sins, like immodest dress. Perhaps my views differ because I am more of a Kantian than a Utilitarian; that is, I believe a great end does not justify a base means. One thing I've heard is that non-Muslims have lessor rights and have to pay more taxes than Muslims; that strikes me as unfair but perhaps you can correct what I've heard about that.
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syed_z
07-09-2010, 04:02 PM
I presume that those of the Western media who do report on Shariah law have at least read some of the literature concerning Islamic law. Also it's not like there aren't loads of Muslims that are part of the Western media (although FOX may be an exception). Journalists do stand by a basic code of ethics:
In theory, if ever an attempt to intentionally distribute misinformation was uncovered, the reputation of the news organization would be in shambles and hence it's potential revenue stream. So if a reporter states something as fact that is clearly wrong, you should make a point of writing to the editor or finding some other way to publish and make known the error that was made.

Using words like Islamic Fundamentalist and words Like Islamic Terrorism ... is enough proof of Media trying to distort the Image of Islam and present it to Its Western Viewers...

When Islam Forbids Terrorism ... then why doesn't Media make it clear... that Terrorism Is opposite of Islamic Values.... if teenagers who do not have much knowledge or even adults living in the West who have no knowledge, specially about Islam, are used to hearing words from CNN and BBC like .... Islamic Terrorism... they would naturally begin to think that Terrorism is supported by Islam and therefore it is actually Islamic!

I am surprised that you living in the West never heard of such terms or never have noticed such blunders.... such words can cause much hate for those who are Muslims whether living in the West or abroad...

The Good News is....that Just Because Media kept using Words like... Islamic Terrorism.... in Germany almost 4000 people accepted Islam, around 2006 and 2007 because they actually went and researched in to Islam whether one of its Fundamentals Was Terrorism or not ..... and guess what... many after researching came to know How Beautiful Islam teachings are... and therefore ended up accepting Islam... i guess thanks to the Media haan ? :)


So the Media has this habit of trying to make it sound like one of the Fundamentals of Islam is Terrorism and therefore Terrorism done by Muslims is Islamic Terrorism, and so all Muslims who follow Islam purely are Islamic Fundamentalists....therefore showing to the World that Muslims who follow Fundamentals of Islam, which is obviously a good thing to do, are evil persons...


You should ask yourself why doesn't the Same Media BBC or CNN or other Western Media outlets talk about Irish Republic Army, a Rebel group in Ireland, which comprises of Christian Population as Christian Terrorism..... or why arent those Terrorist called Christian Fundamentalists ?


also why arent the Basque Rebels in Spain called Christian Terrorists... why dont Media use the Word Christian Fundamentalists for them ??


Why hasn't Media in North America and Europe ever used the Word Hindu Extremism for LTTE Tamil Tigers Group , which has been fighting for over 25 years with Sri Lankan Government ?


If Osama Bin Laden is called Islamic Terrorist.... why isn't Bush called Christian Terrorist ? Since Bush killed a lot more people than Osama bin Laden, in Afghanistan and Iraq AND by Arming Israel to kill Muslims in Palestine and Lebanon.


and so this should make it Crystal Clear, that Media in the West, is Discriminatory against Islam and Muslims about which you Western Folks need to know the Truth and should not fall for such Deceptions of the Media....
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syed_z
07-09-2010, 04:20 PM
Regarding your explanation of stoning and hand severing, distinguishing economically challenged contexts with thriving contexts puts things in a more palatable light. While I share many of the moral ideas purported by Islam, like modesty, I'm not a supporter of having state-enforced punishments for lesser sins, like immodest dress. Perhaps my views differ because I am more of a Kantian than a Utilitarian; that is, I believe a great end does not justify a base means. One thing I've heard is that non-Muslims have lessor rights and have to pay more taxes than Muslims; that strikes me as unfair but perhaps you can correct what I've heard about that.

Again i think you have misunderstood Islam, about punishment for immoral activities, might sound base to you, but in reality they are not, rather they are a blessing as it keeps a society in Balance makes sure that immodest dressing which can lead towards exploitation of women and make them look like just a BODY or object just to have sex with, in the eyes of men....then such Penal code if can make men respect women and keep the Honor of Women, is a Blessing......i think you dont see it that way is may be because you have not understood much about Islam... and so since your in the process of knowing... i recommend keep reading and Asking... and please DO NOT trust Media to get info on Islam or Muslims in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan etc!


About Your Question about Non Muslims in an Islamic Society, i had posted a post explaining their Rights and their Role Under an Islamic Government (Not to be Misunderstood under a Secular Muslim Government)..... this Brother also thought that Muslims treat Non Muslims as Inferiors under an Islamic Establishment..to which i posted and explained....



Since you pointed out earlier that Shariah is Discriminatory! Let us find out What Islam gives as rights to the Non Muslims Living Under an Islamic State... as you said Islam and Muslims did not Grant them Equal Rights, for which again you DID NOT provide any proof...Inferior Beings you said!

Ok so lets see... Zakah is the Tax levied on Muslims as they are Muslim Citizens living in an Islamic State. Jizyah is a tax levied on Non Muslims for their participation as citizens in an Islamic State. Now Jizyah is not a fixed rate in Quran but the traditions mention it and Guess what, the Jizyah is supposed to be LESSER than Zakah according to all the available traditions of the Prophet. So a Non Muslim pays less for being a Citizen, while a Muslim Pays more ?

In addition to the Protection provided to their property, family, and their religious rights be given, they are NOT supposed to serve in the Military, as in an Islamic State every Muslim needs to be in the Military, if they are called for to serve. .... Just to give an example of USA one of the Democracy Champions, forces High School Children to sign for Military, regardless of their Religious Beliefs and if they don't go when called they are PUT INSIDE JAIL! This is something i've witnessed, that is signing with the Military when i went to High School when i lived in USA.... so not to forget this!!

Exempted from Jizyah

All are exempted from this Tax .... 1. all women, 2. males who have not yet reached full maturity c. old men d. all sick and crippled men e. Priests and Monks

IN Addition IF they would like to volunteer for military, those on whom the tax is supposed to be levied, even they are EXEMPTED from the payment of it!


Please Provide me ONE example of A Democratic Western Secular States which give such Rights! Priests and Monks being exempted ? And you called the Non Muslim Citizens under Islamic States Run on Islamic Ideology, as Inferior ?


An Islamic State is run on an Islamic Ideology guided by Quran and Sunnah, this is the Basis of Law of the Land. The Non Muslims CAN even get administrative posts and posts in many services of the State.... BUT not Key Posts, as the Islamic State needs to be run on an Islamic Ideology and the figures sitting on those key posts, are the only ones allowed to influence any change and for that they HAVE to be Muslims...


So you called Non Muslim living Under an Islamic State as Inferior... i guess i would say you should look the Example of Islamic Iran... which has Jews as Members of Parliament.....
well this should answer your question regarding Non Muslims ... any one with clear mind trying to understand the above , should see it as being Fair...

So do ask questions if you have... take care!
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Latitudinarian
07-10-2010, 06:17 PM
Originally Posted by syed_z
Using words like Islamic Fundamentalist and words Like Islamic Terrorism ... is enough proof of Media trying to distort the Image of Islam and present it to Its Western Viewers...

Facts are the content that news organization reputations hinge on but then there is also the less regulated commentary designed to make sense of the facts. When it comes to spin, I'm right with you as far as there being distorted images. Terms like Islamic fundamentalist can be somewhat misleading since that term originated from an American Protestant movement. That said, in the West, it has come to mean extremely pious Muslim which, in contrast to more secular Muslims, is a fair distinction.

As for terrorism, I've come to think of it to mean the intentional targeting of civilians, in some cases justified by the different beliefs of the victims. In a war conflict, I don't consider it terrorism if one side seeks to attack a military target but unintentionally causes civilian deaths. Such mistakes should be avoided and condemned but I'd still distinguish it from terrorism in that the intent is different. Suicide bombings that target civilians, such as attacks on the Shiites of Iraq, would be the typical example of a terrorist act as I've come to know it. On the other hand, an attack on a US army barracks would not be considered terrorism since the target is strictly a military one.

Back to the media topic, it seems there has been an unfortunate polarization between Muslims from non-Muslims propagated by some Western media outlets. I live in Canada where our media is pretty fair and objective when it comes to this stuff - it's not uncommon for a Canadian news organization to have a practicing Muslim as an anchor man. US organizations, like FOX news, tend to have a fairly Christian bias. For example, some outlets lead us to believe that many Muslims would desire to impose Sharia law in place of our democratic systems if they had the chance. Things like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, equality and secular government are cherished by most Westerners and any suggestion to displace such things will inevitably be met with hostility.

Of course, there are some who appreciate Islamic messages so much that they elect to convert. In my opinion this is a good thing because those Muslims with a Western background understand Western sensibilities and hence are able to help bridge the ideological gaps that exist between the cultures. In a lot of cases, it is these converts who end up championing Islam as a religion of peace compatible with enlightenment values, providing an alternate perspective to some of the views that come out of the mainstream media.

Back in the 80's, I remember the conflict in Ireland was big news on television. We heard about the Catholics fighting with the Protestants much like we hear about the Shias fighting the Sunnis now. I don't recall the use of the term fundamentalist but then that word was only added to the Oxford dictionary at the end of that decade. The conflict in northern Ireland has subsided significantly since that time so we don't hear so much about it these days. As for Basque terrorists, my surface understanding is that their agenda is a political one that actually supports pluralism and democracy so the term 'Catholic' terrorists is less meaningful in that context. Regarding other terrorist groups, like the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka I'm not aware of how much the religious ideology plays into their mantras.

While I was never a Bush supporter, I would not call him a terrorist in the same way I would a character like Osama Bin Laden. I'd say irresponsible, reckless, callous, exploitative and perhaps even homicidal. You might say Bush's admin committed manslaughter in that mass collateral damage was to be expected in any unnecessary war. If that admin knew how to avoid civilian deaths then they would have, not just because of it's moral implications but because civilian deaths are bad PR and have the effect of diminishing home and international support. Bin Laden is called a terrorist because his intention was the murder of civilians.
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Latitudinarian
07-10-2010, 06:57 PM
Originally Posted by syed_z
Again i think you have misunderstood Islam, about punishment for immoral activities, might sound base to you, but in reality they are not, rather they are a blessing as it keeps a society in Balance
I'm not saying that the punishments aren't blessings in their keeping a society in balance. Quite the contrary, I'm actually suggesting that you may be right. Such an approach is to be considered Utilitarian because it is more concerned with achieving it's blessed ends, societal balance and contentment, than it is with lessor harms that come about via it's prescribed enforcements. There are many supporters of John Stuart Mill's philosophy since it appears to be pretty logical.

If you had to sacrifice one person in order to save many, would you do it? There are a lot of people who would say 'yes' on the basis that the lives of many are worth more than the life of one. Others would say that it is immoral because doing something harmful for the sake of something good is nevertheless wrong. Immanuel Kant defined the categorical imperative in his disagreement with Utilitarianism.

Originally Posted by Kant

Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end.
I don't have a lot of time to respond right now to the rest. For the discussions on modesty, I hope to have a bit of time to start a separate thread on the matter - it's a very interesting and extensive topic in itself. I think it may also be good to bring this discussion of Sharia into a separate thread so, when I have a chance, I'll start a new post with what you've mentioned here.
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syed_z
07-11-2010, 12:49 PM
As for terrorism, I've come to think of it to mean the intentional targeting of civilians, in some cases justified by the different beliefs of the victims. In a war conflict, I don't consider it terrorism if one side seeks to attack a military target but unintentionally causes civilian deaths. Such mistakes should be avoided and condemned but I'd still distinguish it from terrorism in that the intent is different. Suicide bombings that target civilians, such as attacks on the Shiites of Iraq, would be the typical example of a terrorist act as I've come to know it. On the other hand, an attack on a US army barracks would not be considered terrorism since the target is strictly a military one.
completely agree with you on that.... and yes targeting Shias or Shias targeting Sunnis or any Muslim Non Muslim targeting others, specially innocent human beings is terrorism..... but when those who fight to liberate themselves from occupational, and if civilian casualties do happen... they should also make sure that there aren't any casualties and make sure to try their best to avoid civilian casualties.... but when there is figthing going on and bullets fly, then casualties do happen as you said....


For example, some outlets lead us to believe that many Muslims would desire to impose Sharia law in place of our democratic systems if they had the chance. Things like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, equality and secular government are cherished by most Westerners and any suggestion to displace such things will inevitably be met with hostility.
definitely i agree with you on that.... 1st of All Shariah can ONLY be applied where a country has a Muslim majority ... as Shariah is part of our Belief in Islam... any attempts to imposing Shariah in a Non Muslim land is something which even Islam prohibits and which cannot take place either... because Islam is clear on the Matter of Islamic Way of life when Quran says..


(2:256) There is no compulsion and coercion in regard to religion.




Because faith is a matter of acceptance from the Heart and so it cannot be forced on some one...and it is this reason for Muslim Religious tolerance in Islamic Societies for the past 14 Centuries that Muslims never forced Islam on any Non Muslims living under their protection because God forbids it clearly.... and so imposing a Shariah Law in a Non Muslim majority Land is definitely out of question..... BUT what the media does is, that it portrays that Islam and Muslims who follow Islam purely, whom they refer to as Fundamentalist Muslims, in their lives are such people who would take the step to come to Europe Conquer Europe and force every one to accept Islam and take away everything.....and in this way the War on Terror becomes justified in the eyes of many Westerners, which is totally opposite of what Islam teaches and contrary to history in which Muslims ruled over Non Muslims for Hundreds of years and never imposed Islam on any Non Muslim....good example is Spain and India... the Hindu Population is still the majority even though Muslims ruled for almost 1000 years... In Spain Christians are Majority even though Muslims ruled for 800 years


Of course, there are some who appreciate Islamic messages so much that they elect to convert. In my opinion this is a good thing because those Muslims with a Western background understand Western sensibilities and hence are able to help bridge the ideological gaps that exist between the cultures. In a lot of cases, it is these converts who end up championing Islam as a religion of peace compatible with enlightenment values, providing an alternate perspective to some of the views that come out of the mainstream media.
i know many Western Muslims who have serviced Islam more than those Muslims who were born Muslims. True.



Since your a Canadian, and i know that in Canada people are much different that in US because USA the media hype against Muslims is much as compared to other Western Countries, also could be because USA is playing a direct role in all the Wars overseas.... also Canadian metropolitan cities have communities from different cultures, in large numbers, and Canadian people get along very well with them , rather i remember that Canada protested a lot against War in Iraq and also many Canadians are against the serving of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan......

You might say Bush's admin committed manslaughter in that mass collateral damage was to be expected in any unnecessary war. If that admin knew how to avoid civilian deaths then they would have, not just because of it's moral implications but because civilian deaths are bad PR and have the effect of diminishing home and international support. Bin Laden is called a terrorist because his intention was the murder of civilians.
See the Media specially does not high light many news which are told in the Middle east by local tv channels of Muslim countries.... they go unreported in the West... and i can give you an example of a hidden camp bucca... which was being operated in Iraq under the supervision of US army... and it was recently shut down... most of the suicide bombers coming inside Iraq and blowing themselves in different cities , usually came from that Camp...




US-run prisons in Iraq 'trained militants'
Tue, 15 Dec 2009 15:55:38 GMT
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Camp Bucca prison center was shut down in September 2009.


The US government has suffered another major blow as a new report has revealed that the US-run prisons in Iraq have turned into militant-training centers.

According to an AFP report, several former inmates of the US prisons in Iraq have revealed that the prisons have turned into training centers for radical elements.

Extremists at the US-run prison Camp Bucca near the southern port city of Umm Qasr, which was shut down this fall, were allowed to give training courses to inmates on how to use explosives and how to become suicide bombers, the report said.

Two attacks on the buildings of Iraq's foreign and finance ministries on August 19 were carried out by two former prisoners of Camp Bucca.

Adel Jasim Mohammed, a former inmate at Camp Bucca who spent four years there without ever facing charges, was quoted by the Aljazeera English satellite television channel as saying that the "US officials did nothing to stop radicals from indoctrinating young detainees at the camp."

The US military denies that moderates have been radicalized in the camp, which held thousands of Iraqis since it was opened in 2003 and shut down in September 2009.

"When we came up with a model of detainee housing in which we separated individuals by tens — and they had no other access to anybody else — they became tremendously frustrated," said General David Quantock, the deputy commanding general of detainee operations for the Multi-National Force in Iraq.

It is estimated that about 100,000 Iraqis were in US custody in Camp Bucca between 2003 and 2009.


google the article heading, many news papers across Middle East posted that...





@ Latitudinarian...

Brother... the Shias and the Sunnis never fought each other under Sadaam... rather they were together and when Iraq Iran war happened the Shia Majority in Iraq fought against Shias in Iran under a Sunni Saddaaam, then how come so much blood shed took place after the Occupation by USA among them ? .... the Shia and Sunni discord was created in order for Iraq to become weak.... and therefore many suicide bombers hitting Shia Mosques were coming from US run bases and were indoctrinated by extreme ideology, through paid agents... you have you choice to disagree... but there is much to all , that you and many Western people like you are not aware of, rather you people are kept in the dark because your governments are under control of an Elite......

might want to check this link out...

http://www.islamicboard.com/general/...henticity.html


also... Scandals like Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq or Bagram Base in Afghanistan, shows that... is it really the intention of USA and Allies to not kill civilians ? or not to harm them ?

I'm not saying that the punishments aren't blessings in their keeping a society in balance. Quite the contrary, I'm actually suggesting that you may be right. Such an approach is to be considered Utilitarian because it is more concerned with achieving it's blessed ends, societal balance and contentment, than it is with lessor harms that come about via it's prescribed enforcements. There are many supporters of John Stuart Mill's philosophy since it appears to be pretty logical.

If you had to sacrifice one person in order to save many, would you do it? There are a lot of people who would say 'yes' on the basis that the lives of many are worth more than the life of one. Others would say that it is immoral because doing something harmful for the sake of something good is nevertheless wrong. Immanuel Kant defined the categorical imperative in his disagreement with Utilitarianism.
I completely agree with the fact that doing something Harmful for the sake of something good is never the less wrong... you know why ? Because Quran says so...

there was this Brother on this Board who asked about Quotations from the Quran regarding Terrorism or does Quran answer Terrorism... to which i responded...

(6:151) ...and do NOT take any Human being's life - (the life)which God has declared to to be sacred - otherwise than (in pursuit of) justice: this has He enjoined upon you so that you might use your reason!


Quran clearly forbids to take any Human being's life either Muslim or Non Muslim, unless it be for punishing some one legally or to killing in a just - that is defensive - war, or to individual legitimate defence. ... other than this It is strictly Prohibited to take any ones live whether Muslim or Non Muslim, rather it is One of the greatest sins in Islam.... so people killed by acts of Terrorism, is not something sanctioned by Quran or Prophet's Teachings (Sunnah)

Rather... Quran says...


(5:32) ...If any one slays a human being unless it be (in punishment) for murder or for spreading corruption on Earth - it shall be as though he had slain all mankind! where as if any one saved a Life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind!



Again Allah (Swt) /God has ephasized clearly that whosoever kills other than it be to maintain Justice or to stop Corruption on land, it is such a big crime, that their killing an innocent person is equivalent to killing of all mankind.... this is how much emphasis has been put on prohibition of killing any innocent person....

..rather Islam does not only strictly prohibit killing of any innocent person..... rather it goes another step and encourages the SAVING of lives.... and Allah (Swt) makes clear that saving of life is just like one has saved all mankind... just like how Killing is a great thing to do saving is as great, rather even more greater....


so the above should make it clear... that Islam is not only against killing, rather it is all for maintaining Justice AND saving Mankind and promoting Peace with every one....
About Islam, please do ask questions... if youd like to you can open a thread, i can join you there... feel free ....thanks for your time :)
Reply

Latitudinarian
07-12-2010, 08:28 PM
Syed, your comments about the Muslims ruling India are quite interesting. Another area for my history lessons, it had never occurred to me that the Mughal Empire was not ruled by Sharia law. As for Spain, I thought that, when the Islamic Empire ruled, most converted to Islam but when the Christians recaptured the land, they converted back to Christianity.

I don't think of Americans as being all that different from Canadians but then again, most of the Americans I've associated with are democrats living in northern urban centers. Despite it being a nationalist melting pot, the States have a multitude of subcultures, some more nutty than others. As you mention, Canada contrasts this with it's cultural mosaic model; we get exposed to many different cultures in their unveiled, unsilenced glory and here it's not tantamount to treason to criticize national foreign policies.

See the Media specially does not high light many news which are told in the Middle east by local tv channels of Muslim countries.... they go unreported in the West... and i can give you an example of a hidden camp bucca... which was being operated in Iraq under the supervision of US army... and it was recently shut down... most of the suicide bombers coming inside Iraq and blowing themselves in different cities , usually came from that Camp...
I heart-fully agree with you on this. The media may not lie but it does choose what to air and omit, sometimes driven by political, financial and cultural biases. For this reason, I find myself searching around the Internet for reputable World news and commentary.

Brother... the Shias and the Sunnis never fought each other under Sadaam... rather they were together and when Iraq Iran war happened the Shia Majority in Iraq fought against Shias in Iran under a Sunni Saddaaam
Under Sadaam, the Shias and Sunnis didn't fight each because they were living in a police state. While I know a couple Sunni Iraqis who say that the relationship between Shias and Sunnis was harmonious under Sadaam, I know many more Shia Iraqis who have differing opinions, given their suffering under the regime.
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