Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Thought for today: Could Islam survive without the police state?

Discuss.

13 Comments:

Anonymous ray b said...

My Islamic friends and fellow Americans in Detroit (let alone NYC, Chicago, and Wash. D.C.) say it survives quite well in a free USA.

So, yes, Islam will survive without a police state.

2/07/2006 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Bohemian Like You said...

A small minority of followers in a free country of billions is hardly convincing.

2/07/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Ray, does your last line in your previous comment indicate a bit of optimism about Iraq? I don't want to misinterpret you.

Islam is so strange from the point of view of a Westerner and a Christian. Granted, my perspective is limited and it's been heavily influenced by the events of the past five years. I'd stop short of saying that it couldn't survive without a police state... but I have to wonder if the mindset that leads middle eastern nations to establish totalitarian governments is a product of Islam. Specifically, a product of what I perceive to be Islam's intolerance of everything else. I'm not saying that is IS... I don't know... but it does cross my mind.

2/07/2006 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger MT said...

I think you nailed it Darrell...the mindset is a product of their intolerance. Mohammed tolerated Jews and Christians only if they paid tribute and accepted 2nd class status. Personally, I don't think Islam would survive in any meaningful way w/o the police state...within a few generations I think Christianity would eventually take hold and Islam would devolve into an extremist-only, militant organization.

2/07/2006 07:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Whitman said...

I'm going to say that Islam would survive without a police state. It promotes a different atmosphere and attitude than Islam in a free country though. And some would say that Muslims in America are less representative of true Islam and follow the religion less strickly. They ignore the parts of the Qur'an that are a less PC.

Christians tend to thrive best when they are persecuted. You only have to look at Christianity in Egypt or China to see that. Is Islam the same?

2/07/2006 11:46:00 PM  
Blogger Chief RZ said...

Probably not to the degree that we see it in the "arab" countries. In the US, a person created "black" Muslims. I heard he was surprised when he finally visited Mecca to see so many people that did not have dark skin.
In some of these countries, they kill Christians. You can read about this in a good book about two heroic girls: Heather and Dawn.

2/08/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous ray b said...

Whitman said... "They ignore the parts of the Qur'an that are a less PC."

That's true for Christians too aint it? Many Christians from a variety of denominations ignore the wacky parts of the Bible...

As for the bohemian, yes, not many muslims in the U.S. -- no more than 2 million it looks like. But like people of faith around the globe, they are diverse in their backgrounds and what they believe..

Ethnic origins of Muslims in the U.S.:
According to the "Faith Communities Today" report, the ethnic origins of regular participants in U.S. mosques are as follows: South Asian (Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, Afghani) = 33 %
African-America = 30 %
Arab = 25 %
Sub-Saharan African = 3.4 %
European (Bosnian, Tartar, Kosovar, etc.) = 2.1 %
White American = 1.6 %
Southeast Asian ( Malaysian, Indonesian, Filipino) = 1.3 %
Caribbean = 1.2 %
Turkish = 1.1 %
Iranian = 0.7 %
Hispanic/Latino = 0.6 %

2/08/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with MT, without the police state to "support" it (and keep Christianity out) Islam would crumble.

2/08/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Anonymous ronald reagan said...

Lets hope all religions crumble!

2/08/2006 03:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If all religions crumble there is no moral law. Without moral law society crumbles. Good idea...I see you put a lot of thought in to it.

2/08/2006 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger MT said...

Isn't the real question whether or not we can all survive without Cameron Diaz?

2/08/2006 09:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Elias said...

"That's true for Christians too aint it? Many Christians from a variety of denominations ignore the wacky parts of the Bible..."

Well, the problem there is actually that people aren't focusing on the most important parts. What is truly important to Christians would be the New Testament and the Prophets. These spread a message of peace and do not contradict each other. The other books contain important things, but when David favors war and Christ favors peace, Christ takes precedence. Also, the Bible, unlike the Koran, is a collection of works by many different inspired men. The Koran was composed as one work, therefore, its author(s) intended every bit to be considered. The Biblical authors were from different points in history and a myriad of different outlooks. The Koran is a totally different type of book from our Blessed Anthology.

2/08/2006 11:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Whitman said...

Ray B said...
"That's true for Christians too aint it? Many Christians from a variety of denominations ignore the wacky parts of the Bible..."

Sadly true... And I won't defend people who ignore the harder parts to believe either. Let's unpack this a little bit. The "wacky" parts of the Bible that Christians tend to ignore are those dealing with sin (particulary sin we wish not to confront or that we wish to engage in). Conservative Christians try not to ignore those sections of the Bible.

The specific thing we are talking about here is violence though. Here is the difference in Christianity and Islam with regards to this issue when we don't ignore anything. Islam has an open mandate for violence. They are commanded to Jihad against the infadels and kill Christians.

Sura 5:33-34 says, "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land IS ONLY THIS, that they should be murdered OR crucified OR their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides OR they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement, Except those who repent before you have them in your power; so know that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."

The Old Testament of the Bible does have instances where people are commanded to kill. But it is always in a specific context, for a specific time, with very specific directions. There is no open mandate for violence. You might argue then that some of the commands in Leviticus and Deuteronomy regarding punishments for sin are open mandates for violent behavior. If you are Jewish and do not take Christ into account then perhaps.

In the New Testament, Jesus uses those commands to show that we all deserve death. And if you are in doubt and don't think you have broken commands worthy of death then he says, if you have broken one commandment then you have broken them all. He says, if you have even looked at a woman lustfully then you have committed adultry in your heart. If you have ever cursed your neighbor then you have murdered him in your heart. Then he says, This is my body broken for you, this is my blood poured out for you. And he goes to his death on the cross. We deserve death, he pays our price. That's huge. In light of that, we provide grace and mercy to others because we have been shown much grace and mercy. Christianity understood literally and in proper context does not promote violence. Islam understood literally and in the proper context commands extemism and violence.

2/09/2006 11:16:00 AM  

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