Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

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The Cicada
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Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by The Cicada » Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:07 pm

I think some of my previous comments regarding the plain content of the Islamic scriptures might have given some individuals the wrong impression—that I somehow dislike Muslims as people.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I've met many Muslims in Dallas Texas, and many of these individuals were some of the nicest people I have ever met. Most of them seemed to think I was also someone with ancestry from a Muslim country because of my appearance and behavior. Generally, the men were very sensible and enjoyed a sense of camaraderie while the demeanor of most of the women was, for lack of a better description, deeply comforting.

So I would like to step out in defense of Muslims in one area that I routinely see attacked: Their treatment of women. I think Westerners, conservatives and liberals, left and right, have an unjustified prejudice against the cultural norms of Muslims regarding women.

Why is this, and what can we do to change this?

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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by Soma999 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:57 pm

Islam is vast, and there can be no generalisation. If you take Sufis for exemple, and see what wrote Lex Hixon for exemple, you see Islam in all it's light, beautiful, deep, and embracing many universal truth. Such sufis are really open and very easily can creates bridge with many tradition, and far from being closed, they are really open. They cause no problem. They enrich the world by their presence.

The problem is that there is a kind of islam which is very different, which takes the scriptures very literaly, and aim at subjugating other people and culture and spread their law by force.

And what is the problem ? Arabia Saudita paid millions to finance the spreading of this kind of islam everywhere. So it developped bcause it was well fed, for years.

this kind of islam if strongly attached to culture and politics. From such islam spreads many problems. And if you are not with them, you are against them.

So, it depends which kind of islam we are talking about. But unfortunatly, it seems a political islam is spreading, and that's not gonna be fun...

Still, take away the politics, the cultural, keep the spiritual and let true spiritual guide teach about it, and you have a pure jewel.

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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by Grigoris » Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:03 pm

Soma999 wrote:Islam is vast, and there can be no generalisation. If you take Sufis for exemple, and see what wrote Lex Hixon for exemple, you see Islam in all it's light, beautiful, deep, and embracing many universal truth. Such sufis are really open and very easily can creates bridge with many tradition, and far from being closed, they are really open. They cause no problem. They enrich the world by their presence.
Yes, that is definitely the western romanticised view of Sufism. You may want to check out these articles for a slightly more realistic appraisal.
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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by Mantrik » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:18 pm

The Cicada wrote:I think some of my previous comments regarding the plain content of the Islamic scriptures might have given some individuals the wrong impression—that I somehow dislike Muslims as people.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I've met many Muslims in Dallas Texas, and many of these individuals were some of the nicest people I have ever met. Most of them seemed to think I was also someone with ancestry from a Muslim country because of my appearance and behavior. Generally, the men were very sensible and enjoyed a sense of camaraderie while the demeanor of most of the women was, for lack of a better description, deeply comforting.

So I would like to step out in defense of Muslims in one area that I routinely see attacked: Their treatment of women. I think Westerners, conservatives and liberals, left and right, have an unjustified prejudice against the cultural norms of Muslims regarding women.

Why is this, and what can we do to change this?
In this life we all have to make decisions using incomplete and imperfect information. We receive that information into a mind which already has experiences and information which will lead to prejudice. Prejudice is pre-judgement; we all do it and it is neither inherently negative or positive. Then we have our ongoing life experience, including exposure to ast-moving media and our conclusions can change frequently.

We can change things in several ways. We can't change past experiences but we can inform ourselves better through more information and more experience.

So one person may have many life experiences of well-educated Muslim women who are happy and fulfilled, and integrated into UK society in such a way that they are hardly noticeable, as they are close to the social norms.
Someone else may spend some months as a white western girl in a Muslim inner city area where she sees Muslim women beaten and verbally abused, their movements restricted and who can only move around with male relatives at all times. She may experience being spat on and and groped by Muslim men on street corners, know of rapes and which taxi firms to avoid, know of child sex slavery etc.

Those two people will have views on Muslim treatment of women which are worlds apart, yet be in the same family.

So, above all else, if we want people to regard Muslim behaviour differently, whilst their information must be different, above all else their experience of Muslims must be different. And that is partly in the hands of the Muslims themselves.
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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by Grigoris » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:31 pm

Mantrik wrote:We can change things in several ways. We can't change past experiences but we can inform ourselves better through more information and more experience.

So one person may have many life experiences of well-educated Muslim women who are happy and fulfilled, and integrated into UK society in such a way that they are hardly noticeable, as they are close to the social norms.
Someone else may spend some months as a white western girl in a Muslim inner city area where she sees Muslim women beaten and verbally abused, their movements restricted and who can only move around with male relatives at all times. She may experience being spat on and and groped by Muslim men on street corners, know of rapes and which taxi firms to avoid, know of child sex slavery etc.

Those two people will have views on Muslim treatment of women which are worlds apart, yet be in the same family.

So, above all else, if we want people to regard Muslim behaviour differently, whilst their information must be different, above all else their experience of Muslims must be different. And that is partly in the hands of the Muslims themselves.
While this is true, currently it seems fashionable to focus only on the objectionable and positive qualities of Muslims. One could replace the word "Muslim" in these statements with any social or religious group and it would still make perfect sense (and be applicable), but here we are, thread after thread, article after article, video after video, talking about Muslims instead of looking at our own rank behaviour.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by Mantrik » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:52 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Mantrik wrote:We can change things in several ways. We can't change past experiences but we can inform ourselves better through more information and more experience.

So one person may have many life experiences of well-educated Muslim women who are happy and fulfilled, and integrated into UK society in such a way that they are hardly noticeable, as they are close to the social norms.
Someone else may spend some months as a white western girl in a Muslim inner city area where she sees Muslim women beaten and verbally abused, their movements restricted and who can only move around with male relatives at all times. She may experience being spat on and and groped by Muslim men on street corners, know of rapes and which taxi firms to avoid, know of child sex slavery etc.

Those two people will have views on Muslim treatment of women which are worlds apart, yet be in the same family.

So, above all else, if we want people to regard Muslim behaviour differently, whilst their information must be different, above all else their experience of Muslims must be different. And that is partly in the hands of the Muslims themselves.
While this is true, currently it seems fashionable to focus only on the objectionable and positive qualities of Muslims. One could replace the word "Muslim" in these statements with any social or religious group and it would still make perfect sense (and be applicable), but here we are, thread after thread, article after article, video after video, talking about Muslims instead of looking at our own rank behaviour.

Yes, as I commented on one of the other threads, the process giving a very narrow view of Islam in order to demonise Muslims is the same as that used to give a narrow view of Islam to radicalise terrorists into that narrow mindset.
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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by Sherab » Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:05 am

Steven Weinberg famously said "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." Rather harsh, but there is truth in it.

People with strong good values when following a religion, can and do interpret the religion in a good way and avoid taking any bad part literally through carefully crafted interpretation. And yes, the good and bad parts could produce cognitive dissonance, but the human mind is deceptive and will happily keep you sane.

"Bad" people on the other hand can use the good portion of the religion as a cover while they exploit the bad parts, and craft the interpretation of the bad parts as "good".

I think this is particularly so with Islam. There are many competing interpretations of Islam and unfortunately, the most virulent ones are taking centre stage currently. But to say some interpretations are true whilst others are perversion of the truth is to deny the reality that the interpretations are rooted in the same source.

Despite the many competing interpretations, many share common doctrines, such as the penalty for apostasy is death, (Does this mean that there is no compulsion to accept Islam but once you accepted it, you can leave only on the pain of death?), that the testimony of a woman is only half in value compared to the testimony of man, etc.

So what to make of moderate Muslims who subscribed to a harsher form of Islam? Usually they are ignorant of the harsher interpretations (because these are kept from them by their religious teachers) or they chose to ignore or reinterpret them.

What of fundamentally inclined Muslims who subscribed to a more moderate form of Islam? It would not be difficult for them to switch schools and still remain within the Islamic community.

As for Sufism, there are disagreement among scholars. Some say that it is the mystical school of Islam. Some say that Sufism predates Islam. A few would argue that it is a deviant form of Islam.

In the end, it is underlying teachings of a religion that is important and how easily the teachings can be interpreted one way or another. With Islam unfortunately, it is not difficult to interpret a more venomous version based on the its history and the life of the founder, prophet Muhammed. Coupled that with the "poverty, insecurity and hunger in many traditionally-Islamic nations, creating stresses which are being cynically reframed as religious persecution" (quoted from Kim O'Hara), it is not surprising that the virulent form of Islam has taken centre stage. Without addressing the underlying ideology, there is always the danger that the virulent venomous form of Islam can rear its ugly head at any time, once the conditions are ripe.

Views determine motivation. Motivation determine action. Views are therefore very important. That is why Buddhism placed great store on having the right view. With right views, one will be rightly guided and not otherwise. The prevalence of certain views with a certain society will determine the culture of that society. Clash of culture is really a clash of views. Respecting a culture does nothing to prevent a clash of cultures if the view of one culture is that it is within its god given right to dominate another culture. And the only civilized way to resolve this is through open discussion of the conflicting views.

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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by boda » Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:19 am

Sherab wrote:Steven Weinberg famously said "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." Rather harsh, but there is truth in it.
Good people don't do evil things. Ignorant people with a herd mentality can be easily lead to do evil things.

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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:33 am

Sherab wrote:Steven Weinberg famously said "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." Rather harsh, but there is truth in it.

People with strong good values when following a religion, can and do interpret the religion in a good way and avoid taking any bad part literally through carefully crafted interpretation. And yes, the good and bad parts could produce cognitive dissonance, but the human mind is deceptive and will happily keep you sane.

"Bad" people on the other hand can use the good portion of the religion as a cover while they exploit the bad parts, and craft the interpretation of the bad parts as "good".

I think this is particularly so with Islam. There are many competing interpretations of Islam and unfortunately, the most virulent ones are taking centre stage currently. But to say some interpretations are true whilst others are perversion of the truth is to deny the reality that the interpretations are rooted in the same source.

Despite the many competing interpretations, many share common doctrines, such as the penalty for apostasy is death, (Does this mean that there is no compulsion to accept Islam but once you accepted it, you can leave only on the pain of death?), that the testimony of a woman is only half in value compared to the testimony of man, etc.

So what to make of moderate Muslims who subscribed to a harsher form of Islam? Usually they are ignorant of the harsher interpretations (because these are kept from them by their religious teachers) or they chose to ignore or reinterpret them.

What of fundamentally inclined Muslims who subscribed to a more moderate form of Islam? It would not be difficult for them to switch schools and still remain within the Islamic community.

As for Sufism, there are disagreement among scholars. Some say that it is the mystical school of Islam. Some say that Sufism predates Islam. A few would argue that it is a deviant form of Islam.

In the end, it is underlying teachings of a religion that is important and how easily the teachings can be interpreted one way or another. With Islam unfortunately, it is not difficult to interpret a more venomous version based on the its history and the life of the founder, prophet Muhammed. Coupled that with the "poverty, insecurity and hunger in many traditionally-Islamic nations, creating stresses which are being cynically reframed as religious persecution" (quoted from Kim O'Hara), it is not surprising that the virulent form of Islam has taken centre stage. Without addressing the underlying ideology, there is always the danger that the virulent venomous form of Islam can rear its ugly head at any time, once the conditions are ripe.

Views determine motivation. Motivation determine action. Views are therefore very important. That is why Buddhism placed great store on having the right view. With right views, one will be rightly guided and not otherwise. The prevalence of certain views with a certain society will determine the culture of that society. Clash of culture is really a clash of views. Respecting a culture does nothing to prevent a clash of cultures if the view of one culture is that it is within its god given right to dominate another culture. And the only civilized way to resolve this is through open discussion of the conflicting views.

This is a good, thoughtful post, I think it makes a lot of excellent points.

That said, I tend to disagree that many people act on religious motives at all, be they fundamentalists or moderates of any religion. In my experience, there are simply very few authentically "religious" or "spiritual" people out there. It's my (entirely anecdotal of course) observation that most people who want to do a certain thing due to life situation, social conditioning etc. are going to do it, and might use religion as justification after the fact. For instance, it is no coincidence that so many of the recent terrorist perpetrators have had extensive, and often violent criminal records.

Because I see the world this way, I tend to put less emphasis on the importance of ideology in the actions of most people.I simply don't think that many people act primarily on their ideology, or even have an ideology to speak of that informs actions. They tend to use it as more of an explanation or framework for what they are already doing. That is not to say there are not certain instances (again recent terror attacks could be a decent example, and there are historical examples where ideology has been heavily weaponized) where ideology can push people over the edge- it certainly can, and this is one place where I agree that aspects of Islam are particularly suited to radicalize young men prone to violence.

However, those people are *not* "average Joes" in my view, and as such, IMO the deep rigors of ideology or theology that might influence a small minority simply have little effect on most religious adherents, who are in fact "average joes", and have the life concerns that go with being average Joes, in whatever culture they live.

So, when I see people posting violent stuff from the Koran or Hadiths expecting me to be amazed, I am fairly nonplussed, as I already know this stuff exists, but I believe that violent political Islam is just that - a particular form which is in it's ascendancy for a number of reasons, but which can only effect people already vulnerbale to such messages. To me this is common sense, so when I see posts which seem to implicate random Muslims (even if their ideology is noxious to us) as some kind of fifth column....
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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by The Cicada » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:08 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote: That said, I tend to disagree that many people act on religious motives at all, be they fundamentalists or moderates of any religion. In my experience, there are simply very few authentically "religious" or "spiritual" people out there. It's my (entirely anecdotal of course) observation that most people who want to do a certain thing due to life situation, social conditioning etc. are going to do it, and might use religion as justification after the fact. For instance, it is no coincidence that so many of the recent terrorist perpetrators have had extensive, and often violent criminal records.

Because I see the world this way, I tend to put less emphasis on the importance of ideology in the actions of most people.I simply don't think that many people act primarily on their ideology, or even have an ideology to speak of that informs actions. They tend to use it as more of an explanation or framework for what they are already doing. That is not to say there are not certain instances (again recent terror attacks could be a decent example, and there are historical examples where ideology has been heavily weaponized) where ideology can push people over the edge- it certainly can, and this is one place where I agree that aspects of Islam are particularly suited to radicalize young men prone to violence.

However, those people are *not* "average Joes" in my view, and as such, IMO the deep rigors of ideology or theology that might influence a small minority simply have little effect on most religious adherents, who are in fact "average joes", and have the life concerns that go with being average Joes, in whatever culture they live.
That's an interesting perspective, and it brings to mind Edward O. Wilson's theory of gene-culture coevolution.

However, a disproportionate amount of terror attacks committed around the world are done in the name of Islam by radical Muslims. I know you couldn't be implying that the ethnic groups that comprise the majority of Islamic adherents are somehow genetically dispositioned to act violently, so I'm a bit curious as to how you explain the global phenomenon of Islamic terrorism. Are their parents spanking too much?

Like I said, in my own anecdotal experience, the mores of the Muslims I met were a beautiful thing. The word "wholesome" would even fit, as corny as it sounds.

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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by Jyotish » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:27 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sherab wrote:Steven Weinberg famously said "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." Rather harsh, but there is truth in it.

People with strong good values when following a religion, can and do interpret the religion in a good way and avoid taking any bad part literally through carefully crafted interpretation. And yes, the good and bad parts could produce cognitive dissonance, but the human mind is deceptive and will happily keep you sane.

"Bad" people on the other hand can use the good portion of the religion as a cover while they exploit the bad parts, and craft the interpretation of the bad parts as "good".

I think this is particularly so with Islam. There are many competing interpretations of Islam and unfortunately, the most virulent ones are taking centre stage currently. But to say some interpretations are true whilst others are perversion of the truth is to deny the reality that the interpretations are rooted in the same source.

Despite the many competing interpretations, many share common doctrines, such as the penalty for apostasy is death, (Does this mean that there is no compulsion to accept Islam but once you accepted it, you can leave only on the pain of death?), that the testimony of a woman is only half in value compared to the testimony of man, etc.

So what to make of moderate Muslims who subscribed to a harsher form of Islam? Usually they are ignorant of the harsher interpretations (because these are kept from them by their religious teachers) or they chose to ignore or reinterpret them.

What of fundamentally inclined Muslims who subscribed to a more moderate form of Islam? It would not be difficult for them to switch schools and still remain within the Islamic community.

As for Sufism, there are disagreement among scholars. Some say that it is the mystical school of Islam. Some say that Sufism predates Islam. A few would argue that it is a deviant form of Islam.

In the end, it is underlying teachings of a religion that is important and how easily the teachings can be interpreted one way or another. With Islam unfortunately, it is not difficult to interpret a more venomous version based on the its history and the life of the founder, prophet Muhammed. Coupled that with the "poverty, insecurity and hunger in many traditionally-Islamic nations, creating stresses which are being cynically reframed as religious persecution" (quoted from Kim O'Hara), it is not surprising that the virulent form of Islam has taken centre stage. Without addressing the underlying ideology, there is always the danger that the virulent venomous form of Islam can rear its ugly head at any time, once the conditions are ripe.

Views determine motivation. Motivation determine action. Views are therefore very important. That is why Buddhism placed great store on having the right view. With right views, one will be rightly guided and not otherwise. The prevalence of certain views with a certain society will determine the culture of that society. Clash of culture is really a clash of views. Respecting a culture does nothing to prevent a clash of cultures if the view of one culture is that it is within its god given right to dominate another culture. And the only civilized way to resolve this is through open discussion of the conflicting views.

This is a good, thoughtful post, I think it makes a lot of excellent points.

That said, I tend to disagree that many people act on religious motives at all, be they fundamentalists or moderates of any religion. In my experience, there are simply very few authentically "religious" or "spiritual" people out there. It's my (entirely anecdotal of course) observation that most people who want to do a certain thing due to life situation, social conditioning etc. are going to do it, and might use religion as justification after the fact. For instance, it is no coincidence that so many of the recent terrorist perpetrators have had extensive, and often violent criminal records.

Because I see the world this way, I tend to put less emphasis on the importance of ideology in the actions of most people.I simply don't think that many people act primarily on their ideology, or even have an ideology to speak of that informs actions. They tend to use it as more of an explanation or framework for what they are already doing. That is not to say there are not certain instances (again recent terror attacks could be a decent example, and there are historical examples where ideology has been heavily weaponized) where ideology can push people over the edge- it certainly can, and this is one place where I agree that aspects of Islam are particularly suited to radicalize young men prone to violence.

However, those people are *not* "average Joes" in my view, and as such, IMO the deep rigors of ideology or theology that might influence a small minority simply have little effect on most religious adherents, who are in fact "average joes", and have the life concerns that go with being average Joes, in whatever culture they live.

So, when I see people posting violent stuff from the Koran or Hadiths expecting me to be amazed, I am fairly nonplussed, as I already know this stuff exists, but I believe that violent political Islam is just that - a particular form which is in it's ascendancy for a number of reasons, but which can only effect people already vulnerbale to such messages. To me this is common sense, so when I see posts which seem to implicate random Muslims (even if their ideology is noxious to us) as some kind of fifth column....

And therefore given sherab's point on view you don't think it is a problem that muslims consider Quran and hadith and prophet to be holy? How many Christians read Bible today or go to church to listen to priests? How many Christians really do prayers? How many Christians really respect popes. But their values and beliefs are formed by scientific development Hinduism buddhism new age good stories about Jesus Christ etc and therefore have inclusive views.

Compare that to how many muslims go to mosques to listen to imams and respect imams? How many muslims are religious in that they agree on fundamental requirements of being a Muslim like believing that prophet Muhammed is the last messenger of god etc. How many muslims are seriously religious in that they pray four five times a day?

People will dismiss what I am pointing out as anecdotal evidences while using their own anecdotal evidemces. But the truth is some anecdotal evidences are closer to reality while others are not.

It is a simple truth that belief determines actions. Someone who strongly believes (not just ar a superficial conscious level) in Karma regarding say consequences of killing won't kill even animals.

We all have klesas. Our strength of belief in Karma for example will help us not act on them. Someone who really strong believes in Karma will be able to catch themselves for right speech whereas others like me who has not practiced much and therefore doesn't still totally believe in it at a deeper level won't.

People who have been fed to believe in holiness of Quran and prophet and Islam since childhood what happens to them when klesas come? There are easy arguments there is precedence. Question again is how many Muslims are religious as JD has asked.

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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by Jyotish » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:32 am

regarding how the thread was started, there is more cost of acting on one's holy beliefs in the West. Legal punishment to social rejection for behaviors that would be considered fine in other places.

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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:53 am

Sherab wrote:Without addressing the underlying ideology, there is always the danger that the virulent venomous form of Islam can rear its ugly head at any time, once the conditions are ripe.
.
Frankly, living as I do in the US, I am more concerned about the venomous form of Christianity that is entrenched in some parts of this country. I am not worried about Islam in the least. Fundamentalist Christians on the other hand...they have wrecked more havoc on the planet these days than all of ISIS put together.
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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by Jyotish » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:53 am

Soma999 wrote:
The problem is that there is a kind of islam which is very different, which takes the scriptures very literaly, and aim at subjugating other people and culture and spread their law by force.

And what is the problem ? Arabia Saudita paid millions to finance the spreading of this kind of islam everywhere. So it developped bcause it was well fed, for years.

this kind of islam if strongly attached to culture and politics. From such islam spreads many problems. And if you are not with them, you are against them.
.

Ya right. And Saudi had funded muslims to destroy nalanda and odantapuri and bikramshika and also Saudi had funded msulisms to kill millions in India back then. And Saudi must have funded Muslims to destroy Hindu (modern collective term for Indian Dharmic traditions back then ) temples other pagans and African tribes. Saudi must also have funded Prophet Muhammed to do the same right?

What kind of scriptures are those that if you take them literally you are easily allowed to go ahead and subjugate?

Unless prophet Muhammed's biography is changed unless the scripture is renewed or unless one becomes Muslim merely for name sake one can imagine what problems can arise. Too funny we still have to imagine given all the evidences in the face of history.

It would not be a problem of people called themselves muslims or called Quran or prophet holy but carried around beliefs that are non violent inclusive etc as JD has said how most people are not really religious. When it comes to buddha Dharmic when one is really religious one becomes dalai lama one becomes the great karmapa one becomes the great milarepa.

When one becomes really religious in Hindu dharma by reading up anish ads and Gita and practicing sadhanas one becomes shankaracarya one becomes Sri Sri ravishankar one becomes Ramana maharishi and Patanjali and charak.


But when one becomes really religious in Islam one becomes you know who!

This is a simple difference and hopefully the thread won't be locked again for my anecdotal evidences.

Question again is how many people are really religious? But is it that simple. After all one could be drinking alcohol and partying and therefor be non religious within Islam but when it comes to subjugation, behavior towards non believers one could be religious.
Even when drinking alcohol one could be drinking alcohol while feeling guilty because it goes against texts that one has been fed since childhood to consider holy. When the klesa related to drinking arises there is no justification in one's holy text and therefor one feels guilty. If one were not religious one wouldn't feel guilty. So when klesa to subjugate arises there's an easy justification.

Perhaps then question is what one considers holy. Whether one considers Quran holier than constitution, than rumi. Whether one considers prophet holier than any other human being. And what one makes out of these.

I'm sure the question can be clarified further as there are more logical and well read people here than me.

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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by Jyotish » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:59 am

Malcolm wrote:
Sherab wrote:Without addressing the underlying ideology, there is always the danger that the virulent venomous form of Islam can rear its ugly head at any time, once the conditions are ripe.
.
Frankly, living as I do in the US, I am more concerned about the venomous form of Christianity that is entrenched in some parts of this country. I am not worried about Islam in the least. Fundamentalist Christians on the other hand...they have wrecked more havoc on the planet these days than all of ISIS put together.
Ya where I live the kind of ideology Christians feed is scary. It would be absurd to have holy war starting in Nepal 25 years from now or may be even earlier.

Thank "God" I grew up as a Hindu watching mahabharsta and considering Krishna and shiva and aghoras and buddha as holy beings.

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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by Sherab » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:50 am

Malcolm wrote:Frankly, living as I do in the US, I am more concerned about the venomous form of Christianity that is entrenched in some parts of this country. I am not worried about Islam in the least. Fundamentalist Christians on the other hand...they have wrecked more havoc on the planet these days than all of ISIS put together.
Yes, the violent form of Christianity is over ... for the time being. It has learned from its history and relied more on a softer, stealthier approach. When it re-gathers its strength (numbers and finances) sufficiently, it moves to influence public policies and legislations.

I too am concerned about the more intolerant form of Christianity that is taking hold in the US. What happens in the US can and do influence other parts of the world. I don't live in the US but I do sense the growing influence of the brand of US Christianity on the society that I am in and on government policies.

If and when the violent form of Islam is beaten back, it too will learn its lesson and will probably adopt the strategies used by the Christians. In this regard, the need for education, open conversation and debate will never be diminished.

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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:04 am

However, a disproportionate amount of terror attacks committed around the world are done in the name of Islam by radical Muslims. I know you couldn't be implying that the ethnic groups that comprise the majority of Islamic adherents are somehow genetically dispositioned to act violently, so I'm a bit curious as to how you explain the global phenomenon of Islamic terrorism. Are their parents spanking too much?
I don't really understand this question. There is not some satisfying, reductionist answer to a question like this. At least not if you want to be intellectually honest about the question. One interesting thing to think about is Colonialism and it's link to Wahhabism, and the House of Saud...there are perceived grievances here against "The West" that go back a ways, and aren't exactly only about what's in the Koran and Hadiths.

Militants willing to engage in such things are a small minority, so while this small minority is influenced enough by ideology and circumstances to go out and do the awful stuff they do, for a wide variety of reasons... most Muslims quite clearly are not.

If that weren't the case, the body count would be exponentially higher than it is.

Now, I don't doubt many Muslims hold beliefs I'd personally find despicable, but this is not the same thing. Repeatedly in this conversation however, the two are conflated, not necessarily by you.
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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by Grigoris » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:45 am

It's Not Islam That Drives Young Europeans to Jihad, France's Top Terrorism Expert Explains
Olivier Roy, one of France’s top experts on Islamic terrorism, tells Haaretz how assailants like Salman Abedi in Manchester turn into 'new radicals' who crave death.

ANKARA - Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a Manchester pop concert this week, started life advantageously enough: to parents who had fled Gadhafi’s Libya for a new life in Britain. But actually it was that kind of dislocation that would send him off kilter two decades later, says Olivier Roy, one of France’s top experts on Islamic terrorism.

“An estimated 60 percent of those who espouse violent jihadism in Europe are second-generation Muslims who have lost their connection with their country of origin and have failed to integrate into Western societies,” Roy says.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by Anonymous X » Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:04 am

Grigoris wrote:It's Not Islam That Drives Young Europeans to Jihad, France's Top Terrorism Expert Explains
Olivier Roy, one of France’s top experts on Islamic terrorism, tells Haaretz how assailants like Salman Abedi in Manchester turn into 'new radicals' who crave death.

ANKARA - Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a Manchester pop concert this week, started life advantageously enough: to parents who had fled Gadhafi’s Libya for a new life in Britain. But actually it was that kind of dislocation that would send him off kilter two decades later, says Olivier Roy, one of France’s top experts on Islamic terrorism.

“An estimated 60 percent of those who espouse violent jihadism in Europe are second-generation Muslims who have lost their connection with their country of origin and have failed to integrate into Western societies,” Roy says.
It would stand to reason that there should be some accountability for this failure to integrate into their particular society. Probably, a lot of the obstacles are created by their adopted western society. I also came from immigrant grandparents who made sure my parents adapted to their new surroundings. The difficulty is from the others in the society who look at you differently and don't want to associate with you. Either you push past this limited view or become angry, fearful, and alienated. It isn't easy in any case. The 'other' is always looked upon with suspicion. Western societies need to examine their own views about immigrants and the way they are treated. France will be a good testing ground for either the failure or success of Islamic immigration. So far, it has failed miserably. The UK also looks like they are on the way to failure in this area.

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Re: Respect for the cultural differences of Western Muslims

Post by Grigoris » Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:22 am

My personal experience, as the child of migrants, mirror this particular reality and I was a member of a European and Christian (albeit Eastern) social group. Migrating (people continuously mistakenly refer to me as "returning" to Greece and I have to point out that I personally was not from here) to my parent's homeland has not changed this feeling of disconnection. In the colonies I was considered a Greek and in Greece I am called an "Australian".

So I can imagine the degree of dissociation felt by these guys.

To give you a better idea: I chose the road of radicalisation when I hit my late-teens and yet even the so-called "radicals" (that came mainly from WASP or Irish Catholic backgrounds) could not handle the degree of contempt that I had for oppressive structures, mainly because (for themselves) they knew that if they dropped the ripped jeans and political badges they could fit straight back into society, but I knew that I would always be a "wog".
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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