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Modernity or Barbarism


For Muslim Who Says Violence Destroys Islam, Violent Threats
Three weeks ago, Dr. Wafa Sultan was a largely unknown Syrian-American psychiatrist living outside Los Angeles, nursing a deep anger and despair about her fellow Muslims.

Today, thanks to an unusually blunt and provocative interview on Al Jazeera television on Feb. 21, she is an international sensation, hailed as a fresh voice of reason by some, and by others as a heretic and infidel who deserves to die.


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Comments

oh boy, cant wait to hear the backlash and 'fatwas' against her life now...

I applaud her position and her conviction to say this on an Arab channel, stating her positions calmly and rationally.

But she is doing her whole family a major disservice.... How is she going to feel when her parents/husband/children are killed by the people she's talking to?

Thanks, this is my first time seeing this video. What a remarkable woman, not only for her statements about Islam, but about fundamentalism all over the world. It really is a clash between new & old, smart & stupid, past & future. There are plenty of people here in America who, while not as extremist as some fundamentalist Muslims, are just as backward.

The guy who said the woman is a heretic and he has no reason to listen, reminded me very much of his Christian counterparts among the religious right.

Thank god for secular humanists.

I mean, ah, well, you know.

She's brilliant. Very clear, logical, irrefutable points. She might as well be debating with a brick wall though.

She'll get through to some.

She disses backward-thinking fundamentalists everywhere.

W.O.W. What a brilliant woman. And it would be a WOMAN making those points to the Muslim world. I hope that she gets police protection, because she, and her family, are going to need it. She said everything that this spiritually-minded liberal feminist/humanist would say, if she had the bully pulpit.

Hip hip hooray for this woman's focus, and courage.

Hip hip hooray for the tv station that aired that piece (I am almost as impressed with that, really)

And Hip hip hooray for humanity, which produces such moments.

I love the "...not a muslim, not a jew, but a secular human being..." line.

superb. It usually takes a women to make the necessary waves. Her facts were undisputable, typically the one-minded buffoon she was debating was shot down in flames, so he resorts to waving the arms and name calling. Childish, ignorant and profoundly misguided. This women should not be harmed, if she is, then you will truly see the nature of these fundamental cavemen.

"Her facts were undisputable"

I disagree. She has implied that Islam has been dangerous and backward for 14 centuries. But that is not the case. The fact of the matter is that extremism and unjust violence by Muslims for the most part is a modern phenomenon, and unheard of in traditional Islam.

She also is implying that there was no room in Islam for understanding and living in peace with non-Muslims. That is also wrong. Go to your own local Mosques, speak to your own Muslim neighbors. Look at organizations like Zaytuna, CAIR, ISNA, ICNA, MAS, and all they are trying to do.

Having one-sided views on any issue is being very naive and dangerous to any discussion of providing a solution to the problems we face in the world. To say that there are no good Muslims, or that Islam is inherently violent, and wrong is counterproductive, regardless of your own personal views or beliefs.

I don't think she implied that Islam has been dangerous and backward for 14 centuries. Speaking of radical islam today she said it has a mentality that belongs to the middle ages. Nor do I believe she said there was no room in Islam for understanding and living in peace. She said that there are many muslims who choose violence to living in peace. That there are many that interpret the Quran to condone violence against non-believers. I've tried to get a muslim to answer the question of how the Quran views atheists. Are there any quotations you can offer from the Quran that are respectful of atheists?

It's good to see the backlash from within the Arab and Muslim (not the same) communities picking up steam. For more like this, check out Irshad Manji's debate with the Angry Arab on Democracy Now!. (Her book is also very good.)

"Brother, you can believe in stones, as long as you don't throw them at me" ... "other people's beliefs are not your concern"

She starts off by criticising the fact that the Koran calls for violence against non-believers (amongst criticism of other "middle-age" beliefs). The nature of the belief is inherently problematic for her (meaning its very existence creates the ethical difficulty), and so she rejects it completely (and justifiably). After all, there is no benign way to believe that people who do not follow Islam should be the victims of violence.

What I don't understand, then, is how she could go on and say of the other guest that he ought not do the same - that he ought not criticise the beliefs of others. Perhaps she meant to say that if he were to criticise the beliefs of others, he should to have some evidence or other rationale for doing so - something more substantive than faith (which contains no substance whatever). But, to her detriment, she did not say this. Who knows - perhaps the translation is off.

So it is with her first sentiment that I agree, not the one which follows (as well as contradicts) it.

All in all, a very bold, refreshing thing to hear indeed, especially in Arabic. She's definitely a heroic example considering the circumstances. I wonder how many guests (if any) say similar things on Al Jazeera?

In response to Norm: Yes. I do.

First off, Islam is all about God. The word "Islam" means 'submission' (to God). We believe the Quran to be the word of God! So not believing in God is very hard for Muslims to grasp, and completely contrary to what Muslims believe. Especially, since everything that we live for should be to please God.

Having said that, you asked for a quote from the Quran about athiests. Here is one that comes to my mind. (Mind you, I am just a student, and dont claim to be a scholar of Islam, and by no means do i have the entire quran memorized, let alone understand traditional arabic):

Linguistic note: The arabic word i use for athiest, kafir, is also the word that many choose to translate as disbeliever, or infidel. Literally it comes from the arabic word, to conceal or cover up. So a kafir is literally one who conceals the truth (that there is a God). So I guess, to deny, or to conceal or cover up the exisetence of The Truth (God), could be a proper use of the word kafir? Again it would be best to consult an Arabic linguist for the proper definition. And for a better analysis of the word 'kafir', i highly recommend you read this article: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/EL13Df03.html

However, i really dont know if kafir can be properly attributed to an atheist. However, this is the chapter of the quran that came to my mind.

Surah (Chapter) 109: The Athiests (or Disbelievers) 1. Say: "Oh Atheists, 2. I dont serve* what you serve* 3. And you dont serve* what I serve* 4. And I wont serve* what you serve* 5. And you wont serve* what I serve*. 6. you have your Way, and I have my way"

    • the word for serve, could also be translated as 'worship', or 'be a slave to'

So basically, regardless of whether or not kafir is an adequate translation for atheist, This chapter of the Quran (Chapter 109) is pretty clear about Muslims and "Kafirs" having different views and ways of lives, and basically says: "to each his own". That is the view I stand by. I have nothing but respect for many of my friends, colleagues, and professors who are atheists, and they respect me for being a Muslim and serving God. And we respect each other regardless of how pointless and backward they feel my beliefs are, and how bad i feel for them for not believing in something that I belive is so important and obvious. :).

"Mankind is but one single community" (The Quran, 2:213 and 10:19).

As far as Irshad Manji goes, she has no scholarship or traditional education in the Islamic studies, (Quran, etc.) If anything shes giving her view from a sociological point of view. To equate her words with that of Islamic teachings, and what Islam says, is like asking a Pre-Med in college for medical advice.

She is wonderful - not for taking a stand against Islam, but for taking a stand against backward thinking (which is characteristic of all religions) and for promoting world unity and the exchange of new ideas. No religion is right, for they promote their agenda over others, and take harmful action against those who do not comply. What we need is a new age of human unity. She has my vote. Goddamn, what a woman.

I applaud her courage, but she reminds me of the phrase "fanatacism of a convert".

In her (translated) words: "We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people."

"Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them."

Thus maintaining the stereotype that it is only Muslims who commit such actions. We continue to keep a blind spot to Zionist groups like the Haganah, Irgun, and Stern Gang in the 30's and 40's, Christian groups like the FARC, IRA, and Ulster Unionists, and Lebanese Phalangists, or Timothy McVeigh, who everyone seems to have forgotten about. We should not fail to mention athiest grousp like the Tamil Tigers.

I recommend Robert Pape's study of 315 suicide attacks between 1983 and 2003, involving 462 attackers. Of the 384 he had data for, 57 percent came from secular groups, notably the Tamil Tigers, I forget if the Red Brigade was Christian or Atheist. Also, in the Lebanese Civil War, apparently close to 70% were Christian.

Yes, Islamic nations have work to do on this, but listening to her, I felt more like I was listening to a guest for Fox validating American stereotypes. "They are evil and we are good." Perhaps the main difference is that "modernity" and "civilization" does not have to sacrifice its people in suicide attacks to perform in its slaughter, it can sit comfortably back and let drones and planes do most of it from a distance. Jews may not destroy churches, but how many mosques have we blown up?

Oh, since we all have perspectives that we come from, I should mention that this is the perspective of an agnostic who views Islam the same way I view Christianity and Judaism. They are beautiful faiths that have been perverted by the worst of their followers.

I will also grant that I do understand her perspective. Having seen her professor gunned down in front of her in college (different article on the subject) does justify her point of view. However, that does not make it correct.

Well said ErnestoM. We need to stop oversimplifying and deducing everything down to simple reductionist ideas. People are complex and influenced by a wide plethora of factors.

hahmed,

Thanks for that. I read that not as respect for atheism, but as bare tolerance. The live and let live attitude I share. But just like I don't respect belief based on faith since I view faith as accepting without evidence. I certainly can understand that a believer in Islam wouldn't respect non-belief while being willing to tolerate it. The problem is when the terms respect and tolerance are used interchangeably.

"The problem is when the terms respect and tolerance are used interchangeably."

Norm,

I wonder how much of that comes from our culture's sloppiness with language. When I was student teaching in the early 90's, I was pretty taken aback by how upset students were over being "disrespected".

The general sentiment was that respect from others was automatic and not something to be earned.

Maybe they are right and I am wrong, but the word respect definately had a different meaning to them that to me.

This speech is most illustrative of how Al JaZeera is more open than many mainstream western news sources.

Many pacifict, feminist Muslim make similar critiques all the time and they are smart enough to ALSO indict the Bush administration for their same, short-sighted demands for violence. It seems bold but really just plays straight into racist ideas of muslims as all violent people. In fact, the Bush admin would love to use this video in their new wave of PR.

This video reinforces the stereotypes of Muslims as evil, irrational fanatics. (see Juan Cole's recent posting on the rise in American hatred against Muslims.-http://www.juancole.com/) And since when is it the case that "a jew has never bombed a church?" uh, General Sharon?!

Please, be more critical folks...condemning Muslim violence is good and necessary (and done by many sharp Muslims regularly, though rarely publicized), but really, the US is doing plenty of state sponsored killing of its own (especially in great number these days).

I think she did an amazing job of getting really important points across. I do agree that she generalized too much though to make some of those points.

The person who is studying the Quran -what about the line she is talking about that encourages the followers to use force? I realize that can be an emphasis from a fanatical interpretation - as the Bible has those who emphasize the good and the tolerance and those who emphasize the exact opposite. But, of course, ALL religious fundmentalism doesn't bode well for a woman - and a lot of older religions aren't too female friendly either. And, any philosophy that insists on over the half the population to be less than the other half - that is barbaric.

I loved how she talked of the value of knowledge and science and adding something positive to humankind. Perhaps she could talk to our President.

Kudos to Dr. Sultan. While I don't agree with everything she said (didn't 3 college students recently burn down churches in Alabama? and only as a prank that got out of hand), she had many important points that should spark more high level debate internationally.

Most importantly, we - leaders through the common folk - do need to realize that all this violence has a way of producing more violence, very much like Medieval-era western-civ wars. While much of warfare is rooted in wealth, including land rights, never underestimate the exploitation of religious zeal to spawn drastic action. While I personally am not religious, I do know that those involved in faith often turn to religious teachings to keep or regain peace. This is the common ground we need to meet on, then develop some plans of action.

There is a group that is taking actions on a small but effective scale: Peace by Peace(or izit Piece by Peace? someone who knows the spelling can chime in). I heard about these women of various faiths on an NPR program this past weekend. Their common ground is relation to those killed or maimed by violent actions in the Middle East. Slow going as their progress is, it is at least progress. There is plenty of room for likeminded organizations.

All that being said, for joelion, sure, Wafa Sultan is taking a safety risk for her family; so have others who toook important stands throughout history. Martin Luther King comes to mind, as do "Mahatma" Ghandi and Susan B. Anthony. There need to more people willing to take a stand for the betterment of society as they see it; controversy and dissent are usually part of the deal. This is more of a service for one's kin than silence and fear. Pass it on.

The problem with all religious texts is that they are all interpreted. Who is to say that one interpretation is better than another. That is not to say that there aren't better and worse interpretations, but when prayer is part of the process of coming to an understanding and not a rational approach one can always say well my interpretation was arrived at through prayer. It comes down to my prayer is better than yours. The fact that there are million of muslims who have read the Quran and think it supports violence is a big problem. And yes the United States and Israel are guilty of numerous atrocities. Two wrongs don't make a right.

As many have said, I think it's great that she said these things even if her generalizations did carry a bit too far with regards to the bombings.

Hypocrisy at its clearest. It's so interesting to see an Atheist blame GW Bush when he generalizes : "You're either with us or against us". Then the webmaster posts up this clip where he says, "some will view her as a fresh voice of reason and others will want her death". Interesting...so if I fall in neither category, my opinion doesn't count? I'm muslim and i'm moderate and I couldnt believe it when AL QAEDA blew up the buddhist statues and I'm not the type to blow things up. But I also couldn't believe it when this woman condemned all of Islam of the past 14 Centuries for being backward (while we know that most of the great institutes of learning existed in the Muslim world until about 1100). She is the very definition of extreme. She would condemn all just like Al Qaeda would condemn all. Fresh voice of reason? She just called me barbaric. Maybe the webmaster just needs to see more of the world himself, maybe travel around a bit and expose himself to real muslim people, not the ones he sees on TV...does that criticism sound familiar?

allin 25 writes, "webmaster posts up this clip where he says, "some will view her as a fresh voice of reason and others will want her death"." Those are her words, you've attributed to me, and further you've taken them out of context. Are your comprehension skills really that poor?

She didn't condemn all of Islam for the past 14 centuries she said, speaking of those that use violence, that they had a middle ages mentality.

@ernestoM:

'Christian groups like the FARC, IRA, and Ulster Unionists'

Just to clarify, the above is a fallacy. All republican and loyalist terrorist organisations in Ireland are largely secular nowadays. Many members of the civil war era IRB were Protestant, and nowadays one could say that the organisations are more about organised crime and general illegality than any sort of religious strife.

Norm aka webmaster,

I would suggest examing the evidence before replying next time.

These are the words written immediately above the video "Today, thanks to an unusually blunt and provocative interview on Al Jazeera television on Feb. 21, she is an international sensation, hailed as a fresh voice of reason by some, and by others as a heretic and infidel who deserves to die."

Your telling me those are her words? They sound alot like a 3rd party describing what one would expect to see in the video that follows. Who knows? Maybe you didnt write it, maybe she really does speak like that...I also suggest reassessing your title for the post which describes her as a "Muslim" because her transcript reads, "I am not a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew. I am a secular human being. I do not believe in the supernatural, but I respect others' right to believe in it." Norm, just b/c she is Arab does not mean she's Muslim.

And throughout, she mentions "muslims" not extremists or al qaeda as having torn down the statues and carried out these bombings.
And no, she does not condemn "only those who use violence". As an American Muslim, this video on a website i had previosly thought of as 'liberal or independent' would not have provoked my ire had it not been for her extremely generalized attacks against All Muslims Throughout History and your apparent high regard for its content.

From her transcript, "The Muslims are the ones who began the clash of civilizations. The Prophet of Islam said: "I was ordered to fight the people until they believe in Allah and His Messenger." When the Muslims divided the people into Muslims and non-Muslims, and called to fight the others until they believe in what they themselves believe, they started this clash, and began this war."

She is speaking of a war that has been going on since 600AD. I think it would have been instructive and contextually appropriate for you to make mention of the fact that when she was a student, radicals stormed into her university and murdered her professor in front of her class. This would do a great deal in helping your readers understand where her extreme views are coming from.

The words in the video are a translation of her words. The link and words in the blockquote are from a NY Times article about her speech. Did you even bother to click on the link? Do you know what a link is? Maybe you should examine the evidence before providing more confirmation that you don't know what you're talking about.

Oh really?? I hadn't realized that the words in the video were a translation of her words. Englighten me with more from your vast stores of knowledge, great Cut n' Paste activist. Get real, you couldnt answer any of the criticisms and your juvenile, 'Do you know what a link is?' only provides further evidence that I shouldnt have bothered arguing with someone who mustve scored a failing grade on the apgar scale...my apologies...i didn't know.

Aside from the last two posts, I'd say this has been a really enlightening exchange between all us of. (ErnestonM in particular) I got a lot of of it especially once I got past the initial congratulatory postings...thanks!

BTW, Norm, you are doing a good job, just take it down a beat and try not to go into attack mode immediately upon hearing any criticism.

I have an interesting read about the problems with belief if you guys want. I recommend you guys to read this!

"We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people."

Well, except for all the murders by settlers in the occupied territories, we haven't.

tyson,

On taking it down a beat. I will not tolerate comments that misquote another's comments, or attribute another's statements to a commenter. When the error is pointed out one would be wise to acknowledge it.

I disagree with her, but I support freedom of speech to show opinion as long as it's not offensive to others ...

'Christian groups like the FARC, IRA, and Ulster Unionists'

no one ever said that Christianity is a terrorist religion, although some Christian groups are considered as terrorist groups. When she said that muslims kill ppl, and burn embassys etc, she didnt say they were muslim groups, she said muslims(which is not true) because those muslim groups do not represent Islam itself. those muslims who think that non-believers should be killed, arn't true muslims, because Islam PROHIBITS THE KILLING OF ANY HUMAN BEING, unless under very very strict conditions that even barely occur. so what she said was also extreme, but on the other side of the spectrum.

Who determines who represents a religion be it Christianity, Islam, or Judaism. Certainly there are millions of muslims who believe killing someone who insults their prophet is supported by their religion. Who decides that they don't represent Islam. Is there an official spokesman for Islam apart from the many who interpret the Quran in different ways. That's the problem isn't it?

That's the main problem these days. since countries were separated, and ruled by governments not by religion. Although i am pretty sure that there are people out there who are worthy of being the people who represent their religion according to Quran, (only 1)Bible, and other sky books.

I am a new comer to this site. I read some of your comments and decided not to proceed with the rest, my impression is your knowledge about Islam is based on what you heard and read from documents other than the only true source, Quran, Hadith, Sira. To know the truth about Islam pls read the Quran then Hadith.The rest are only interpretations and you will always find very different opinions. Or go to www.faithfreedom.org.

It takes tremendous courage for a woman to speak up against what is being done against them in Arab countries. To view one who has had the courage to do so click below.

http://switch5.castup.net/frames/20041020MemriTVPopup/video_480x360.asp?ai=214&ar=978wmv&ak=null

Referral: http://www.primechoice.com/philosophy/jihadpages/women.htm

My personal opinion is you either a Muslim or non-Muslim. All Muslim follow whatever written in the Quran ( the supposely words from their god ), Hadith etc, when someone mention he or she is a moderate Muslim, can I interpret that a moderate Muslim means when Quran allow a muslim man to marry 5 wifes, he just married 2, or punisment for apostasy is death, moderate means jail instead of death ? Sound funny . . .

Why debate about what is the exact word she said, that the translation was wrong, etc . . . . . come on , the message is very clear...... Islam is NOT a religion of peace. When I see a mosque, I see trojan horse. I know.

"When I see a mosque, I see trojan horse. I know."

I hope you extend your observation to churches as Christianity is also not a religion of peace as both Islam and Christianity were born in an age of violence amidst prosecution. And both shares the antiquated brutality of the times such as Christians are to be killed for working on Sabbath. More here:

http://houseoflabor.tpmcafe.com/node/29175

Jesus and Jihad 17 July 2004 By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

www.nytimes.com/2004/07/17/opinion/17KRIS.html?n=Top%2fOpinion%2fEditorials%20and%20Op%2dEd%2fOp%2dEd%2fColumnists

If the latest in the "Left Behind" series of evangelical thrillers is to be believed, Jesus will return to Earth, gather non-Christians to his left and toss them into everlasting fire: "Jesus merely raised one hand a few inches and a yawning chasm opened in the earth, stretching far and wide enough to swallow all of them. They tumbled in, howling and screeching, but their wailing was soon quashed and all was silent when the earth closed itself again." These are the best-selling novels for adults in the United States, and they have sold more than 60 million copies worldwide. The latest is "Glorious Appearing," which has Jesus returning to Earth to wipe all non-Christians from the planet. It's disconcerting to find ethnic cleansing celebrated as the height of piety. If a Muslim were to write an Islamic version of "Glorious Appearing" and publish it in Saudi Arabia, jubilantly describing a massacre of millions of non-Muslims by God, we would have a fit. We have quite properly linked the fundamentalist religious tracts of Islam with the intolerance they nurture, and it's time to remove the motes from our own eyes. In "Glorious Appearing," Jesus merely speaks and the bodies of the enemy are ripped open. Christians have to drive carefully to avoid "hitting splayed and filleted bodies of men and women and horses." "The riders not thrown," the novel continues, "leaped from their horses and tried to control them with the reins, but even as they struggled, their own flesh dissolved, their eyes melted and their tongues disintegrated. . . . Seconds later the same plague afflicted the horses, their flesh and eyes and tongues melting away, leaving grotesque skeletons standing, before they, too, rattled to the pavement." One might have thought that Jesus would be more of an animal lover. These scenes also raise an eschatological problem: Could devout fundamentalists really enjoy paradise as their friends, relatives and neighbors were heaved into hell? As my Times colleague David Kirkpatrick noted in an article, this portrayal of a bloody Second Coming reflects a shift in American portrayals of Jesus, from a gentle Mister Rogers figure to a martial messiah presiding over a sea of blood. Militant Christianity rises to confront Militant Islam. This matters in the real world, in the same way that fundamentalist Islamic tracts in Saudi Arabia do. Each form of fundamentalism creates a stark moral division between decent, pious types like oneself — and infidels headed for hell. No, I don't think the readers of "Glorious Appearing" will ram planes into buildings. But we did imprison thousands of Muslims here and abroad after 9/11, and ordinary Americans joined in the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in part because of a lack of empathy for the prisoners. It's harder to feel empathy for such people if we regard them as infidels and expect Jesus to dissolve their tongues and eyes any day now. I had reservations about writing this column because I don't want to mock anyone's religious beliefs, and millions of Americans think "Glorious Appearing" describes God's will. Yet ultimately I think it's a mistake to treat religion as a taboo, either in this country or in Saudi Arabia. I often write about religion precisely because faith has a vast impact on society. Since I've praised the work that evangelicals do in the third world (Christian aid groups are being particularly helpful in Sudan, at a time when most of the world has done nothing about the genocide there), I also feel a responsibility to protest intolerance at home. Should we really give intolerance a pass if it is rooted in religious faith? Many American Christians once read the Bible to mean that African-Americans were cursed as descendants of Noah's son Ham, and were intended by God to be enslaved. In the 19th century, millions of Americans sincerely accepted this Biblical justification for slavery as God's word — but surely it would have been wrong to defer to such racist nonsense simply because speaking out could have been perceived as denigrating some people's religious faith. People have the right to believe in a racist God, or a God who throws millions of nonevangelicals into hell. I don't think we should ban books that say that. But we should be embarrassed when our best-selling books gleefully celebrate religious intolerance and violence against infidels. That's not what America stands for, and I doubt that it's what God stands for.

" When I see a mosque, I see Trojan Horse. I Know. . . . I hope you extent your observation to churches as Christianity is also not a religion of peace as both Islam & Christianity were born . . . . . . . " The atrocities were carried out by those who were " Christians" in name only, namely the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition.The Bible did not encourage atrocities but Koran does, and true muslims follow the teaching of Koran since Mo's time till today. That's the different. Let me quote some of the verses of Koran : - 8:12 WE will cast terror into the hearts of non-muslims. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every findertip of them. 3:28 Let not the Muslim take for friends or helpers the non-muslim. 8:65 Rouse the Muslim to fight against the non-muslim. 9:5 Then fight and slay the non-muslim wherever ye find them. 9:14 Fight the non-muslim, and God will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame. 9:23 O ye the Muslim take not for protectors your fathers and your brothers if they love non-muslim. 9:28 O ye the Muslim ! Truly the non-muslim are unclean. 9:123 O ye Muslim ! Fight the non-muslim who gird yoy about, and let them find firmness in you. 47:4 Therefore, when ye meet the non-muslim, smite at ther necks; at length. Mohammed's disciples killed for faith; Christ's disciples were killed for their faith (Acts 12:2:2 ) Mohammed and his fellow warriors murdered thousands ; Christ murdered none but saved many (John 12:48) Mohammed was swift to shed blood (Romans 3:15-17); Christ shed his own blood for the salvation of many ( Ephesians 1:7)

Mo claimed that he was made victotious through terror. And we seen many incidences of beheading to crate terror in Iraq, Pakistan, Southern Phillipines, Southern Thailand, Indonesia etc.

Christianity were responsible for the slaughters and desctruction in the Inquisitions and the 200-year era of the Crusades.

It iss a lie to claim that:

"The atrocities were carried out by those who were " Christians" in name only, namely the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition."

The Pope called for the Crusades against the Muslims. This is a historcial fact while the Inquisitions had the support of the the royal family, church clergy, the nobility and the masses.

while NONE of the Muslim leaders called for beheadings or bombings to be done in the name of the Propeht, who made ti forbidden to kill innocent children and women and that a Muslim that commits suicide

The Bible DOES ncourage atrocities, violence and brutalities such as justifying slavery of Negros in United States.

when one reads the Bible (all of it, not just passages selected by preachers) it is clear that the God of Abraham condones slavery. Exodus 21: 20-21 states: “And if a man beats his male or female servant with a rod, so that he dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished. Notwithstanding, if he remains alive a day or two, he shall not be punished; for he is his property.” Passages condoning slavery are abundant: (1 Peter 2: 18, Collosians 3:22-25, Titus 2:9-10, Ephesians 6:5-8) Furthermore, many characters portrayed as beacons of virtue and goodness had slaves including Abraham himself. The basic rights that women fought for (and we now take for granted) are trampled on in the Bible. 1 Timothy 2: 11 says: “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” Many more passages condone the subjugation of women (Ephesians 5:22-24, 1 Corinthians 14:34-36, 1 Peter 3:1). The modern idea of tolerant pluralism is also not accepted in the Bible. 2 Chronicles 15:13 says: “Whosoever would not seek the LORD god of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.” Deuteronomy 13:6-10 is even more personal and barbaric saying: “If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son…entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods,…kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death…” When most people think of God they think of unconditional love and impeccable morality. But of course that’s because preachers usually don’t tell stories like the one in 2 Kings 2: 23 24. It reads: “And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood and tare forty and two children of them.”

http://houseoflabor.tpmcafe.com/node/29175

My position stands in that both Islam and Christianity was born in a time of turmoil and does possess violent tendencies, which leads to intolerance and violence on the part of tis believers. This is history.

But what about the future? Compare the scriptual literalim embedded in Islam and Christianity, their historical contexts with other religions and you see something striking i.e. both are backward looking. It's as if the greatest things haev been done in the past and the role of human beings today is to glorify the past...

In modern times, some of us may need to look at a forward looking religion.

“The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. The religion which based on experience, which refuses dogmatic. If there's any religion that would cope the scientific needs it will be Buddhism....”

Albert Einstein

Yeah, Kes, you're right about the way the Bible tramples on women. The first time that I read the Bible, I thought to myself, fuck that shit, and never looked back. I can understand a man wanting to being a xtian, what with the women being commanded to be submissive to them. But I never could understand a woman buying into that crap. :/

Hi Jo, Ann, I totally agree. The strange thing about Christianity (which i include Catholicism) and Islam is that they seem to foster the view that the only good woman is a virgin, stays one and does not tempt men to sin.

Utter bullshit. Men will be tempted to sin no matter what clothese you wear.

The best way to address this is to develop a harsh penal code targeting guys, when it comes to sex crimes.

Kes, I think that the Bible and the Qu'ran make people feel guilty about their sexuality. And then after making the men feel guilty about, it gives the men an out. Just blame it on the women for wearing the wrong clothing.

Do you think the rules will ever change so that the Pope could ever be a woman? Of course not. Will there ever be a female imam? Of course not.

Will the United States ever vote for a woman for president? Of course not.

Well, the one thing I like about Singapore's government is that it is secular. We had one conservative president who turned out to like cross-dressing i.e guy wearing lady clothes as well as 2 secular atheist Presidents.

I agree with your sentiments on the sexuality and I have to say that the Church is the last place to go for a proper sex education.

As for woman in religion and politics, look how long it took Mother Theresa to have her work in india recognised by the Pope in Rome. As for a female president in office, you never know : >

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