Why is being a Muslim a bad thing?

Re: Why is being a Muslim a bad thing?

Postby Mother Theresa » 27 Aug 2008, 18:40

urodacus wrote:apart from the CHRONICLES one, those are all Old testament, so aren't they part of Jewish and Muslim canon as well as Christian?

how many apostates and unbelievers have YOU stoned lately? anyone, anyone? seems a bit harsh, and not something I think most modern followers of any faith take to heart. hope not, anyway.


I agree those bible passages seem a bit harsh and I agree that most modern followers probably disagree with those portions of the bible. I wasn't suggesting otherwise.

The OP states that he dislikes Islam, "in its classical form" and he admits its harsh distinction between believers and non-believers is "like all successful religions." Which is why I was only confirming his point and giving examples of where Christianity draws the same harsh distinction that he claims Islam does.

Not adding anything new, I guess, but just illustrating the OP's point about all successful religions (Christianity anyway) making a harsh distinction between believers and non-believers.
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Re: Why is being a Muslim a bad thing?

Postby Gao Bohan » 28 Aug 2008, 11:55

Mother Theresa wrote:The OP states that he dislikes Islam, "in its classical form" and he admits its harsh distinction between believers and non-believers is "like all successful religions." Which is why I was only confirming his point and giving examples of where Christianity draws the same harsh distinction that he claims Islam does.

Not adding anything new, I guess, but just illustrating the OP's point about all successful religions (Christianity anyway) making a harsh distinction between believers and non-believers.


Absolutely. The divisiveness that religion fosters between believers and unbelievers is my main criticism of religion in general. Locally, I see more of that behavior from the Southern Baptists than I do the Muslims. But then, the Baptists have the demographic advantage here.

I think that the religious differences tend to become more acute when there are other tensions between religiously diverse ethnic groups. I think that's uniformly true, even of "inclusive" religions like Buddhism. Anti-Muslim sentiment is strong among Buddhists in southern Thailand these days. But that's due to the Muslim attacks against Buddhists, not theological disagreements. Regardless, I don't think there's any doubt that Muslims are more likely to come into conflict with non-believing host societies than other religous groups.

Regarding Jaboney's assertion that integration is as much the responsibility of the host society as it is the migrant society, well, I disagree. As long as we live in a world divided into hundreds of nation-states, immigration will remain a privilege rather than a right. I think it's reasonable for societies to set certain conditions to that privilege, chief among them the expectation that permanent migrants will integrate peacefully. Europeans who want to stem the tide of Muslim integration aren't evil; they just don't want to see more migration of a religious group that isn't fitting in.

As for why Muslims aren't integrating well in Europe but are in North America, I think Jaboney has already answered his own question - the US and Canada have higher standards for immigration. They're looking for professionals, not hordes of working class Turks and Berbers. And yet, working class East Asians integrate far better in Europe and elsewhere than do Muslim groups. Maybe that's because they have a stronger work ethic and don't allow themselves to stay unemployed for long. But I don't think it's a coincidence that some migrant groups can integrate anywhere and others cannot.

One of my biggest problems with Islam is the violent reactions its adherents display against any criticism. A Dutch film maker was murdered because he produced an 11-minute film criticizing the treatment of women in Islam. Danish cartoonists were forced to go into hiding because they drew unflattering cartoons of Muhammad. More disturbing than the actual events was the overwhelming support that Muslims demonstrated for the murderers. European Muslims staged mass protests against the cartoonists, and Danish embassies were attacked abroad. Several people were murdered during the protests, including a nun. I don't think that Islam and democracy mix particularly well.
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Re: Why is being a Muslim a bad thing?

Postby nemesis » 28 Aug 2008, 20:01

Ignorance is the main reason for this sort of hatred. But you already know that.

If someone leads a healthy life and is kind and observes religious holidays, what are the odds that they'll make the front page? On the other hand, blow up a subway train in the name of any cause and you'll give it (and yourself) a whole lot of fame and notoriety, regardless of how well you actually represent the views, values or goals of the cause.

Unfortunately, there are fundamentalists calling themselves Muslims who seem determined to re-invent the Crusades of many years ago, but with much bigger weapons, much larger populations to destroy, and more media coverage. It's not the religion that people oppose, but the extremism that they see as a threat to their own lives.

IMHO, fundamentalists are dangerous, no matter what their religion.

That's my two cents, in any case.
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Re: Why is being a Muslim a bad thing?

Postby Screaming Jesus » 28 Aug 2008, 21:44

Sam Francis pointed out that nobody fears fundamentalist Jainism--because the "fundamentals" of that religion are stuff like, not hurting insects, as opposed to certain other religions which, you know...
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Re: Why is being a Muslim a bad thing?

Postby Jaboney » 28 Aug 2008, 21:52

Screaming Jesus wrote:Sam Francis pointed out that nobody fears fundamentalist Jainism--because the "fundamentals" of that religion are stuff like, not hurting insects, as opposed to certain other religions which, you know...

And yet fundamentalist Douhkabors -- who are also committed pacifists -- embarked on a decades long bombing and arson campaign in BC. It's that kind of unbending mentality that causes most such problems, regardless of sect.
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Re: Why is being a Muslim a bad thing?

Postby Gao Bohan » 29 Aug 2008, 09:14

Screaming Jesus wrote:Sam Francis pointed out that nobody fears fundamentalist Jainism--because the "fundamentals" of that religion are stuff like, not hurting insects, as opposed to certain other religions which, you know...


Sam Harris wrote that, not Sam Francis (whoever that is).

I think that discussions of "fundamentalism" usually miss the point. I think that religion is important to most people, but religious differences are wholly unimportant until some other tension arises between ethnic groups. Religion provides a transient means to unity, but only given a religious difference. Otherwise it is moot, as between Sunni Arabs and Kurds.

I think one of the reasons that Islam has been so successful is the powerful martial element that Muhammad embedded into his teachings. Muslims need not feel any guilt at using violence to defend Islam or to impose Muslim will against non-Muslim neighbors -- all of these things are in line with Muhammad's teachings. Thus Muslims find themselves easily led to conflict with non-Muslims all over the world. The exception to this is when Muslims are in the overwhelming minority or majority. Either they are too weak to use force or they are too strong to need to.
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Re: Why is being a Muslim a bad thing?

Postby Jaboney » 29 Aug 2008, 09:51

Gao Bohan wrote:I think that discussions of "fundamentalism" usually miss the point. I think that religion is important to most people, but religious differences are wholly unimportant until some other tension arises between ethnic groups. Religion provides a transient means to unity, but only given a religious difference.
Mmm... no. Where there are other irritants, religious tensions have a multipler effect, but too often for fundamentalists, difference itself is a source of tension.

And the idea that religion provides only a transient means to unity, only against a background of difference... where do you get that? I don't know whether to attribute it to a general hostility to religion, or mere ignorance of community formation and dynamics. Not aiming to give offense here, Gao Bohan, but that's a puerile notion.
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Re: Why is being a Muslim a bad thing?

Postby Gao Bohan » 29 Aug 2008, 11:38

Jaboney wrote:Mmm... no. Where there are other irritants, religious tensions have a multipler effect, but too often for fundamentalists, difference itself is a source of tension.


You're probably right. There are always religious zealots, but I think they only tend to gain popularity when other "irritants" as you call them arise. And I don't think this just applies to interreligous warfare; I think the Muslim Brotherhood gained ground in Egypt not because millions of Egyptians suddenly felt religious, but because the government is widely viewed as corrupt and ineffective. The promise of "purity" offered by the fundamentalists became more attractive.

And the idea that religion provides only a transient means to unity, only against a background of difference... where do you get that? I don't know whether to attribute it to a general hostility to religion, or mere ignorance of community formation and dynamics. Not aiming to give offense here, Gao Bohan, but that's a puerile notion.


I thought it was obvious, but I only meant within the context of interreligious warfare. Of course religion is a unifying element within societies, irrespective of external conflicts, but I doubt that most "jihadists" are fighting out of religious convinction. For example, I think that Palestinians kill Jews not because of some ancient religious rivalry, but because the Jews have taken over their land. And yet Palestinians cast their struggle in a religious light.

I don't think we're really disagreeing here. I don't deny that fundamentalism can be problematic, just that it is rarely the primary cause of conflict between religious groups. But in any case, I think we're getting off topic.

To answer the OP's original question, I don't think there's anything "bad" about being a Muslim. I just don't think that the Islamic world at large is ready to be integrated with the West. I think that stemming the tide of Muslim immigration, particularly to Europe, is an unfortunate necessity for the time being.
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Re: Why is being a Muslim a bad thing?

Postby Jaboney » 29 Aug 2008, 11:53

I disagree with your conclusion on the need to stem immigration, but other than that, fair enough.
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Re: Why is being a Muslim a bad thing?

Postby Drunkard » 04 Apr 2012, 08:52

Moderator edit: This was a useless and inflammatory post. Please don't do it again.
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