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aadil77
06-24-2012, 11:41 PM
This article is hilarious



Jewish lessons for Islam

Op-ed: As Jews did before, Muslims must engage religious customs in dialogue with progressive ideas

Rafael Castro
Published: 06.21.12, 10:55 / Israel Opinion


Traditional Judaism and Islam share many traits: Both are monotheistic, inspired by prophecy, and incorporate extensive religious jurisprudence. Both the Torah and the Koran call for homosexuals, adulterers and polytheists to be killed. On the other hand, in both books appeals to righteousness, justice and charity predominate.
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Nonetheless the gap between Jews and Muslims is wider than ever: Jews have built a flourishing state in the Middle East; Muslims populate some of the poorest, most corrupt and strife-ridden countries in the world. Jewish minorities in the West are prosperous and successfully integrated; In Europe, Muslims are often poor, alienated and angry.


Jews contribute a disproportionate percentage of Nobel prize-winners and philanthropists; Muslims contribute a disproportionate number of tyrants and terrorists. Last but not least, Jewish education flourishes with a rich variety of courses engaging Judaism with the latest developments in ethics, literature, and philosophy. Muslim education is for the most part based on rote memorization of the Koran and ideas that haven't changed for centuries.


What accounts for this gap? Some claim that Judaism since thousands of years values learning and critical thinking. This opinion may be factually true, yet is incomplete. It does not explain why ultra-orthodox Jews, despite their sophisticated Talmudic disquisitions, have contributed relatively little to the outside world. The great Jewish contributions to culture, science and politics over the last 150 years have come from secular, reform, conservative or modern orthodox quarters - viewed as heretical by traditional Jewry.


The challenge for the Muslim World in the 21st Century will be to set out on the path that Judaism began with emancipation in the early 19th Century. That is, to engage religious scriptures and traditions in a dialogue with the humanities and social sciences.


Battle for Islam’s future

Muslims need to wage the same battle against obscurantism that the leaders of the Jewish enlightenment pursued - in order to rescue their religion from intellectual irrelevance. Jewish leaders in the 19th Century realized that Judaism had to be repackaged, rebranded and remarketed as soon as Europe's secular schools and universities started welcoming Jews. Indeed, had Judaism not reformulated itself in Western Europe and America 150 years ago, it is plausible that there would nowadays be millions of apostate Jews.


The battle for Islam's future can only be won by presenting Muslims with the same challenge. If the West invested a fraction of the amounts spent in Iraq and Afghanistan to provide Muslim countries with the resources and knowhow needed to teach humanities, critical thinking and modern research methodologies in schools and universities, Muslim youngsters would acquire essential cultural and intellectual tools. This would make them less vulnerable to jihadist rhetoric and inane slogans such as "The Koran is our Constitution."


Muslim preachers would thus be forced to revise their sermons. This revision would be timid at first, but could - in the long-run- catalyze authentic reform movements in Islam that preach equality for women and non-Muslims, the abolition of capital punishment and a thorough reformulation of jihad as an instrument of non-violent resistance.


Is this unthinkable? In today’s Islam probably. However, had we asked the most progressive rabbi a century ago whether there would be hundreds of female rabbis in 2012, he would have laughed. If in a few decades, ulemas in Egypt, Turkey or Pakistan when asked about female imams smile, we can be confident that Muslims will contribute as much to the common weal in the 21st Century as Jews did during the 20th Century.


Rafael Castro is a political analyst based in Berlin who holds degrees from Yale and from Hebrew University.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7...244846,00.html
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Aprender
06-25-2012, 12:03 AM
This is a problem. And it is a problem that has also plagued the African American community in the United States. The problem with being "accepted" is that it really means integration into a secular society. And that also means changing a part of the religion to make it "conform" with modern standards.

Take African Americans for example. The Harlem reinassiance was one time where there was this type of intellectual battle between African American thinkers and scholars and another side seeped in ignorance, anger and idle play. There was a dichotomy that existed between the arts and the pursuit of education. If you ask anyone today what is "black" culture in America you're going to get a lot of answers about sports stars and music. African American men are disproportianately behind bars and African American women even put harsh chemicals in their hair to alter the make up of it to resemble that of Caucasian women in America because natural African American hair is seen as "dirty, savage and unclean". To save face, the black church used to be a pillar of the community but with scandals, mega churches and funds being misused, many within the black community choose not to even attend these religious services anymore and have embraced secularism which they are free to do so but it is alarming when so many lack the knowledge about where they come from. They care more about the latest fashion, hip hop songs and whatever sports game that came on. Many African American Christian and even non-Christan women go so far as to spend up to $1,000 on weaves that Hindu women have sacrifice to their gods in temples because they've been taught that black is ugly and wrong and success means to try and not to be who you as much as you can.

While I agree with this article that Muslims aren't doing enough in terms of Islamic education, which also is the reason why there are too many "sects" out there with deviant beliefs, I don't think that we as Muslims should have to change any part of the religion just to be "accepted" by mainstream society because as we know mainstream society goes against a lot of our beliefs. If we allow this to happen, then you will see more people apostatizing from Islam because the society that we live in now tends to belittle religion as a whole.

To call the Quran being an inane slogan to live by is also offensive. Just because other groups have given away a part of their religion or lost their own cultural identities does not mean that Muslims need to do the same. Islam is already complete. We just need to do better to live by it and in my opinion that starts with better Islamic education options.

Indeed, brother. That article is quite hilarious.
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Aprender
06-25-2012, 12:08 AM
So, what did the Muslims do for the Jews?

The JC Essay




By David J Wasserstein, May 24, 2012
Follow The JC on Twitter



Islam saved Jewry. This is an unpopular, discomforting claim in the modern world. But it is a historical truth. The argument for it is double. First, in 570 CE, when the Prophet Mohammad was born, the Jews and Judaism were on the way to oblivion. And second, the coming of Islam saved them, providing a new context in which they not only survived, but flourished, laying foundations for subsequent Jewish cultural prosperity - also in Christendom - through the medieval period into the modern world.


By the fourth century, Christianity had become the dominant religion in the Roman empire. One aspect of this success was opposition to rival faiths, including Judaism, along with massive conversion of members of such faiths, sometimes by force, to Christianity. Much of our testimony about Jewish existence in the Roman empire from this time on consists of accounts of conversions.


Great and permanent reductions in numbers through conversion, between the fourth and the seventh centuries, brought with them a gradual but relentless whittling away of the status, rights, social and economic existence, and religious and cultural life of Jews all over the Roman empire.
A long series of enactments deprived Jewish people of their rights as citizens, prevented them from fulfilling their religious obligations, and excluded them from the society of their fellows.


Had Islam not come along, Jewry in the west would have declined to disappearance and Jewry in the east would have become just another oriental cult

This went along with the centuries-long military and political struggle with Persia. As a tiny element in the Christian world, the Jews should not have been affected much by this broad, political issue. Yet it affected them critically, because the Persian empire at this time included Babylon - now Iraq - at the time home to the world's greatest concentration of Jews.


Here also were the greatest centres of Jewish intellectual life. The most important single work of Jewish cultural creativity in over 3,000 years, apart from the Bible itself - the Talmud - came into being in Babylon. The struggle between Persia and Byzantium, in our period, led increasingly to a separation between Jews under Byzantine, Christian rule and Jews under Persian rule.


Beyond all this, the Jews who lived under Christian rule seemed to have lost the knowledge of their own culturally specific languages - Hebrew and Aramaic - and to have taken on the use of Latin or Greek or other non-Jewish, local, languages. This in turn must have meant that they also lost access to the central literary works of Jewish culture - the Torah, Mishnah, poetry, midrash, even liturgy.


The loss of the unifying force represented by language - and of the associated literature - was a major step towards assimilation and disappearance. In these circumstances, with contact with the one place where Jewish cultural life continued to prosper - Babylon - cut off by conflict with Persia, Jewish life in the Christian world of late antiquity was not simply a pale shadow of what it had been three or four centuries earlier. It was doomed.


Had Islam not come along, the conflict with Persia would have continued. The separation between western Judaism, that of Christendom, and Babylonian Judaism, that of Mesopotamia, would have intensified. Jewry in the west would have declined to disappearance in many areas. And Jewry in the east would have become just another oriental cult.


But this was all prevented by the rise of Islam. The Islamic conquests of the seventh century changed the world, and did so with dramatic, wide-ranging and permanent effect for the Jews.


Within a century of the death of Mohammad, in 632, Muslim armies had conquered almost the whole of the world where Jews lived, from Spain eastward across North Africa and the Middle East as far as the eastern frontier of Iran and beyond. Almost all the Jews in the world were now ruled by Islam. This new situation transformed Jewish existence. Their fortunes changed in legal, demographic, social, religious, political, geographical, economic, linguistic and cultural terms - all for the better.


First, things improved politically. Almost everywhere in Christendom where Jews had lived now formed part of the same political space as Babylon - Cordoba and Basra lay in the same political world. The old frontier between the vital centre in Babylonia and the Jews of the Mediterranean basin was swept away, forever.


Political change was partnered by change in the legal status of the Jewish population: although it is not always clear what happened during the Muslim conquests, one thing is certain. The result of the conquests was, by and large, to make the Jews second-class citizens.


This should not be misunderstood: to be a second-class citizen was a far better thing to be than not to be a citizen at all. For most of these Jews, second-class citizenship represented a major advance. In Visigothic Spain, for example, shortly before the Muslim conquest in 711, the Jews had seen their children removed from them and forcibly converted to Christianity and had themselves been enslaved.


In the developing Islamic societies of the classical and medieval periods, being a Jew meant belonging to a category defined under law, enjoying certain rights and protections, alongside various obligations. These rights and protections were not as extensive or as generous as those enjoyed by Muslims, and the obligations were greater but, for the first few centuries, the Muslims themselves were a minority, and the practical differences were not all that great.
Along with legal near-equality came social and economic equality. Jews were not confined to ghettos, either literally or in terms of economic activity. The societies of Islam were, in effect, open societies. In religious terms, too, Jews enjoyed virtually full freedom. They might not build many new synagogues - in theory - and they might not make too public their profession of their faith, but there was no really significant restriction on the practice of their religion. Along with internal legal autonomy, they also enjoyed formal representation, through leaders of their own, before the authorities of the state. Imperfect and often not quite as rosy as this might sound, it was at least the broad norm.


The political unity brought by the new Islamic world-empire did not last, but it created a vast Islamic world civilisation, similar to the older Christian civilisation that it replaced. Within this huge area, Jews lived and enjoyed broadly similar status and rights everywhere. They could move around, maintain contacts, and develop their identity as Jews. A great new expansion of trade from the ninth century onwards brought the Spanish Jews - like the Muslims - into touch with the Jews and the Muslims even of India.


A ll this was encouraged by a further, critical development. Huge numbers of people in the new world of Islam adopted the language of the Muslim Arabs. Arabic gradually became the principal language of this vast area, excluding almost all the rest: Greek and Syriac, Aramaic and Coptic and Latin all died out, replaced by Arabic. Persian, too, went into a long retreat, to reappear later heavily influenced by Arabic.


The Jews moved over to Arabic very rapidly. By the early 10th century, only 300 years after the conquests, Sa'adya Gaon was translating the Bible into Arabic. Bible translation is a massive task - it is not undertaken unless there is a need for it. By about the year 900, the Jews had largely abandoned other languages and taken on Arabic.


The change of language in its turn brought the Jews into direct contact with broader cultural developments. The result from the 10th century on was a striking pairing of two cultures. The Jews of the Islamic world developed an entirely new culture, which differed from their culture before Islam in terms of language, cultural forms, influences, and uses. Instead of being concerned primarily with religion, the new Jewish culture of the Islamic world, like that of its neighbours, mixed the religious and the secular to a high degree. The contrast, both with the past and with medieval Christian Europe, was enormous.
Like their neighbours, these Jews wrote in Arabic in part, and in a Jewish form of that language. The use of Arabic brought them close to the Arabs. But the use of a specific Jewish form of that language maintained the barriers between Jew and Muslim. The subjects that Jews wrote about, and the literary forms in which they wrote about them, were largely new ones, borrowed from the Muslims and developed in tandem with developments in Arabic Islam.


Also at this time, Hebrew was revived as a language of high literature, parallel to the use among the Muslims of a high form of Arabic for similar purposes.

Along with its use for poetry and artistic prose, secular writing of all forms in Hebrew and in (Judeo-)Arabic came into being, some of it of high quality.

Much of the greatest poetry in Hebrew written since the Bible comes from this period. Sa'adya Gaon, Solomon Ibn Gabirol, Ibn Ezra (Moses and Abraham), Maimonides, Yehuda Halevi, Yehudah al-Harizi, Samuel ha-Nagid, and many more - all of these names, well known today, belong in the first rank of Jewish literary and cultural endeavour.


W here did these Jews produce all this? When did they and their neighbours achieve this symbiosis, this mode of living together? The Jews did it in a number of centres of excellence. The most outstanding of these was Islamic Spain, where there was a true Jewish Golden Age, alongside a wave of cultural achievement among the Muslim population. The Spanish case illustrates a more general pattern, too.


What happened in Islamic Spain - waves of Jewish cultural prosperity paralleling waves of cultural prosperity among the Muslims - exemplifies a larger pattern in Arab Islam. In Baghdad, between the ninth and the twelfth centuries; in Qayrawan (in north Africa), between the ninth and the 11th centuries; in Cairo, between the 10th and the 12th centuries, and elsewhere, the rise and fall of cultural centres of Islam tended to be reflected in the rise and fall of Jewish cultural activity in the same places.


This was not coincidence, and nor was it the product of particularly enlightened liberal patronage by Muslim rulers. It was the product of a number of deeper features of these societies, social and cultural, legal and economic, linguistic and political, which together enabled and indeed encouraged the Jews of the Islamic world to create a novel sub-culture within the high civilisation of the time.


This did not last for ever; the period of culturally successful symbiosis between Jew and Arab Muslim in the middle ages came to a close by about 1300. In reality, it had reached this point even earlier, with the overall relative decline in the importance and vitality of Arabic culture, both in relation to western European cultures and in relation to other cultural forms within Islam itself; Persian and Turkish.


Jewish cultural prosperity in the middle ages operated in large part as a function of Muslim, Arabic cultural (and to some degree political) prosperity: when Muslim Arabic culture thrived, so did that of the Jews; when Muslim Arabic culture declined, so did that of the Jews.
In the case of the Jews, however, the cultural capital thus created also served as the seed-bed of further growth elsewhere - in Christian Spain and in the Christian world more generally.


The Islamic world was not the only source of inspiration for the Jewish cultural revival that came later in Christian Europe, but it certainly was a major contributor to that development. Its significance cannot be overestimated.


David J Wasserstein is the Eugene Greener Jr Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University. This article is adapted from last week's Jordan Lectures in Comparative Religion at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-deb...uslims-do-jews
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Abz2000
06-25-2012, 12:29 AM
lol, that guy makes me laugh at best,

Originally Posted by aadil77
Nonetheless the gap between Jews and Muslims is wider than ever: Jews have built a flourishing state in the Middle East; Muslims populate some of the poorest, most corrupt and strife-ridden countries in the world. Jewish minorities in the West are prosperous and successfully integrated; In Europe, Muslims are often poor, alienated and angry.
while zionism controls US banking and government, it get's all the aid required to build on stolen land - plus some more.
and the Muslim countries are controlled either by zionist and u.s corrupt puppets, or are punished with sanctions.

Originally Posted by aadil77
Jews contribute a disproportionate percentage of Nobel prize-winners and philanthropists; Muslims contribute a disproportionate number of tyrants and terrorists. Last but not least, Jewish education flourishes with a rich variety of courses engaging Judaism with the latest developments in ethics, literature, and philosophy. Muslim education is for the most part based on rote memorization of the Koran and ideas that haven't changed for centuries.
yeah, they make the nobel prizes along with the media glorification of war criminals and murderers like obama (who gets a nobel peace prize lol) and then hand them to themselves, and the literature he speaks of is in actuality conditioning to move them away from their faith,
while Muslim education is NOT for the most part based on rote memorization of the Quran, and the "ideas" that "haven't changed for centuries" are basic values which don't change, instructions such as "don't marry your mother" - a concept that they'll probably cast to the wind soon like they did with glorification of sodomy.



Originally Posted by aadil77
What accounts for this gap? Some claim that Judaism since thousands of years values learning and critical thinking. This opinion may be factually true, yet is incomplete. It does not explain why ultra-orthodox Jews, despite their sophisticated Talmudic disquisitions, have contributed relatively little to the outside world. The great Jewish contributions to culture, science and politics over the last 150 years have come from secular, reform, conservative or modern orthodox quarters - viewed as heretical by traditional Jewry.
the ultra-orthodox jews have realized that zionism is not a biblical organization and is actually pushing concepts such as prostitution and sodomy - in the Holy Land!!!.
and the zionist system, which survives off interest - is unsustainable and is on the verge of collapse, while people from all walks of life are coming towards islamic banking.



Originally Posted by aadil77
The challenge for the Muslim World in the 21st Century will be to set out on the path that Judaism began with emancipation in the early 19th Century. That is, to engage religious scriptures and traditions in a dialogue with the humanities and social sciences.
ummm, he means the challenge for the Muslim world is to become Infidel. lol
Originally Posted by aadil77
Muslims need to wage the same battle against obscurantism that the leaders of the Jewish enlightenment pursued - in order to rescue their religion from intellectual irrelevance. Jewish leaders in the 19th Century realized that Judaism had to be repackaged, rebranded and remarketed as soon as Europe's secular schools and universities started welcoming Jews. Indeed, had Judaism not reformulated itself in Western Europe and America 150 years ago, it is plausible that there would nowadays be millions of apostate Jews.
jews by name he means, jews that are not jews, here's what the bible says about those:

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie;
behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
Revelation 3:9




Originally Posted by aadil77
The battle for Islam's future can only be won by presenting Muslims with the same challenge. If the West invested a fraction of the amounts spent in Iraq and Afghanistan to provide Muslim countries with the resources and knowhow needed to teach humanities, critical thinking and modern research methodologies in schools and universities, Muslim youngsters would acquire essential cultural and intellectual tools. This would make them less vulnerable to jihadist rhetoric and inane slogans such as "The Koran is our Constitution."
critical thinking... it's because they're thinking critically now that they are waking up to the western media deception, and are actually rising up from their slumber.

Originally Posted by aadil77
Muslim preachers would thus be forced to revise their sermons. This revision would be timid at first, but could - in the long-run- catalyze authentic reform movements in Islam that preach equality for women and non-Muslims, the abolition of capital punishment and a thorough reformulation of jihad as an instrument of non-violent resistance.
any "preacher" who you can "force" to deceive his congregation would be a hypocrite, and it seems the west has a good relationship with liars, deceivers and hypocrites. and non-violent resistance to violent illegal invasions is funny at best.

Originally Posted by aadil77
Is this unthinkable? In today’s Islam probably. However, had we asked the most progressive rabbi a century ago whether there would be hundreds of female rabbis in 2012, he would have laughed. If in a few decades, ulemas in Egypt, Turkey or Pakistan when asked about female imams smile, we can be confident that Muslims will contribute as much to the common weal in the 21st Century as Jews did during the 20th Century.
ummm, female imams have existed since the very beginning, and continue to exist, and have their womens' gatherings and teach and lead the sermons, it's just that we're not savages and are not in the habit of staring at our sisters in the mosque or standing behind them when they prostrate.

this guy should work for fox news
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