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Tolerant Islam speaks out





paul_indo
Quote:

Jakarta Globe
June 22, 2010

Ulma Haryanto, Zaky Pawas & Made Arya Kencana

FPI Vows More Pressure on Bekasi to Follow Islamic Principles

Aday after the Bekasi government sealed another Protestant church because of constant pressure from hard-line groups, the Islamic Defenders Front said on Tuesday that it would insist that the city issue policies in line with its view of Islam.

The Jakarta suburb is increasingly becoming a religious battleground as hard-line Islamists claim that Christian zealots have targeted the community.

On Sunday, as a conservative Islamic congress discussed a plan to bring Bekasi more in line with its interpretation of Islam, city officials sealed the HKBP (Batak Christian Protestant Church) Pondok Timur Indah church in Mustika Jaya subdistrict.

“The congress officially set down 32 points of recommendation that it will forward to the Bekasi city administration to strengthen Islamic values. We are going to announce the final version of those recommendations this Sunday and issue them,” Abdul Qodir Aka, an official from the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), told the Jakarta Globe.

“One of the two primary recommendations is that we want the administration to work toward a Bekasi that is in line with Islam’s principles. The other one is that the local administration must avoid making policies that will hurt the Muslims of Bekasi.”

The administration pulled down the “Tiga Mojang,” or Three Girls, statue on Saturday. The statue at the Harapan Indah residential complex was dismantled after demonstrations by hard-line pressure groups that deemed the sculpture at odds with conservative Muslim views, despite its artistic merit in the eyes of many.

Abdul said the Islamic c ongress in Bekasi was held after a number of Islamic organizations — including the FPI and the Bekasi Islamic Missionary Council (DDI Bekasi) — made it known to Bekasi Mayor Mochtar Mohammad that more demonstrations would target his office if the congress was not allowed.

He said that on June 13, Mochtar signed an agreement with FPI Bekasi frontman Mur­hali Barda on behalf of hard-line groups that contained four primary points, one being that the “Tiga Mojang” statue must be removed as soon as possible and that the HKBP Pondok Timur Indah church must be sealed.

Bekasi administration spokesman Endang Suharyadi acknowledged that closing the church was part of the June 13 demands.

“But we acted on it because the congregants held prayers in a place where they were not supposed to. So the demands [of the Islamic organizations] had a legal basis,” Endang said.

HKBP Pondok Timur Indah members have been worshipping in a house at Mustika Jaya since 2004, after their request to build a church was ignored by the local administration. The congregation’s 1,500 members have since been meeting in private houses.

Bekasi secretary Tjandra Utama Efendi said: “We’ve warned them [members] over and over but they never listened. We also offered them a hall at the Bekasi Social Agency.”

The Rev. Gomar Gultom of the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) on Tuesday demanded that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono act on the intimidation and threats suffered by certain religious groups.

“Last month there were text messages that went around calling all Bekasi Muslims to gather strength because Bekasi has been besieged by churches,” he said.

“Those are baseless accusations. If churches have increased in number, it is normal, because the population is growing, not because of Christianization.”

In his keynote speech at the Islamic congress on Sunday, FPI leader Habib Rizieq said Christianization in Bekasi had been conducted in a number of ways, including “through social and humanitarian services, medical and free education, scholarships and employment, hypnosis and impregnation, and construction of illegal churches.”

Rista Iwanti, 35, a housewife who lives at the Harapan Indah complex where the statue was taken down, said she had never heard of the supposed “Christianization of Bekasi.”

“I never experienced anything like that here. I never think bad of people, especially when it comes to faith and religions. To me faith is a private thing.”

Iwan Dwi Setiawan, 39, a machine-shop owner, said: “Even in Islam we have ‘for me it is my religion and your religion is for you.’ I think the government should be more assertive toward certain groups. Like the ‘Tiga Mojang’ statue, most people I know feel it’s a shame that it was removed.”

Fredy Yanto, operational director of the Harapan Indah developer, PT Hasanah Damai Putra, said the statue was currently “resting” at its office until the company decided what to do with the now-famous artwork.

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika denied reports that he wanted to buy the statue.



I am becoming so tired of this "SHIT".

i HEAR EVERYWHERE HOW iSLAM IS A PEaceful toleranrt religion, but I never see it.

It is time for you peaceful tolerant muslims to stand up and be counted.
rallys and protests against this sort of behaviour might actually demonstrate your words.
jwellsy
Maybe Anjem Choudary will cheer you up a bit Wink
At least his honesty is refreshing.
http://sfcmac.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/leading-islamic-cleric-islam-does-not-mean-peace/
paul_indo
He is absolutely correct which is why I have stated previously on these forums that Islam is incompatible with the modern world. It is a religion of submission and domination and all true muslims know that.

My comment that the moderates should act is actually implying that they don't because they know their words are empty rhetoric.
Bikerman
A bit of critical thinking would not go amis - that is perhaps the worst piece of reporting I have ever seen.
a) Choudray didn't once say that he favoured violence or Jihad. It was a classic stich-up. He was asked to comment on what the terrorists might say to justify their acts.
b) He is not alone in calling for Sharia law. Many muslims would like to settle disputes between themselves using Sharia. We actually allow one group to do this already - Jews. British Jews have their own rhabinnical courts which handle matters of dispute between jews.
c) The end of the interview was absolutely outrageous. The reporter said that the only difference between Choudray and 'more moderate Muslims' is that Choudray is honest. That is simply unbelievable nonsense and I'm actually shocked to see that on a major network. I might have believed that Fox might show it....but CNN?

Seriously, if that is the standard of US news reporting then it is terrifying...the reporters are completely clueless, lack any trace of journalistic integrity and offer bigotted opinion as 'news'....

I know quite a bit about Choudray. He is an unsavoury character and I have no intentions of defending him. If you are going to accuse him of something, however, then you should at least make sure that he actually SAID IT.

PS - the notion that 'moderate' muslims have not condemned 9/11 is just an invention, and you appear to have bought it hook line and sinker.
http://www.islamicity.com/articles/Articles.asp?ref=AM0109-335
http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Islam/2008/09/American-Muslims-Denouncing-Terrorism.aspx
http://www.themodernreligion.com/terror/wtc-distortion.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/5111092.stm
http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/news/news.php?article=1062
(I could provide you with links to hundreds of articles if you really like - just about every major Muslim community has condemned the 9/11 attrocity).

If you want marches and demos there have been those as well - in many countries. I'm not sure that if I were a Muslim in the US that I would want to march - particularly if this sort of newscoverage is widespread as it appears to be.....

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100419/158650735.html
http://www.ww4report.com/node/6489
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NYzs8IjxhY
http://dawudwalid.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/muslim-nigerian-leaders-rally-against-terrorism/

You might like to reflect on how many Catholics have been marching in protest at Paedophilia....I know of one protest, in Ireland. So clearly, by this logic, all catholics are paedophiles. I wonder why CNN didn't run THAT as a lead story?
deanhills
paul_indo wrote:
It is time for you peaceful tolerant muslims to stand up and be counted.
rallys and protests against this sort of behaviour might actually demonstrate your words.
If they did do that paul_indo, they won't be peaceful and tolerant any longer however, would they? Smile
HalfBloodPrince
paul_indo wrote:
I am becoming so tired of this "SHIT".

i HEAR EVERYWHERE HOW iSLAM IS A PEaceful toleranrt religion, but I never see it.

It is time for you peaceful tolerant muslims to stand up and be counted.
rallys and protests against this sort of behaviour might actually demonstrate your words.

I was going to actually respond to your post, ya know, about this "SHIT", how not all iSLAM(new Apple product?)ists are in"toleranrt", but Bikerman handled that pretty well ^_^
liljp617
deanhills wrote:
paul_indo wrote:
It is time for you peaceful tolerant muslims to stand up and be counted.
rallys and protests against this sort of behaviour might actually demonstrate your words.
If they did do that paul_indo, they won't be peaceful and tolerant any longer however, would they? Smile


Why is that?
Bikerman
OK - we've has two uses of s**t already. I'm not going to censor it, because I think this is one of those words which has genuine utility - sometimes it does seem to be a very apposite noun/adjective.
It is, however, offensive to many, and whilst that does not rule it out, i would say that unless there is a good jutification for using it then I would ask posters not to. Be mindful that some readers are very young and although, of course, they will almost certainly have come across much worse, I think an over use of shock words is actually counter-productive to the point being made, a bad habit to acquire - sometimes even disabling - and at the same time damaging to the force of the word itself - so that we have to reach for a stronger one.

So this is not me having 'a go' at the posters who have used it to date, simply a request to consider carefully whether it is justified in making a point...

ie the Moderator is simply pleading for moderation Smile
paul_indo
the latest update

Quote:
Muslim Groups Talk War Over ‘Christianization’

In a move that could add to already simmering religious tensions in Bekasi, a new group calling itself the Bekasi Islamic Presidium is planning a roadshow aimed at persuading every mosque in the city to prepare for the possibility of “war” against “Christianization.”

The group, consisting of nine members representing different Islamic organizations in the city, was formed on Sunday, the last day of the Bekasi Islamic Congress at Al Azhar Mosque that was convened to address the so-called Christianization problem.

Among its recommendations is the formation of Islamic militant groups, or laskar, within each mosque and the drafting of Shariah-based policies by the Bekasi administration.

“All Muslims should unite and be on guard because … the Christians are up to something,” Mur­hali Barda, head of the Bekasi chapter of the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), told the Jakarta Globe.

“Apparently they want to test our patience. We are planning to invite them for a dialogue to determine what they really want. If talks fail, this might mean war,” he warned.

Murhali claimed that a certain Christian foundation had been relentlessly baptizing groups of people in the city, which has seen a number of religious conflicts in recent months.

“The last one was on Wednesday. A number of buses were seen dropping off people, some wearing jilbabs, at a house in Kemang Pratama district in Bekasi. When our people interrogated the security guard, he said they came from Jakarta and were there to be baptized,” he said.

However, Bekasi Police Chief Sr. Comr Imam Sugianto denied there had been a mass baptism. “All of them were students and they were at that house for recreation. They all went there for a swim,” he said.

Abdul Qadir Aka, secretary general of the proselytization board at FPI Bekasi, said the militant groups were important.

“When the need arrives we will have units that can be mobilized,” he said. “We cannot just depend on the FPI. We have hundreds and even thousands of mosques in Bekasi. Imagine what we can do together.”

The units, he said, would also serve as “morality police” targeting activities such as drinking alcohol, prostitution, casual sex and gambling, all forbidden in Islam.

Saleh Mangara Sitompul, the secretary of the presidium and also a member of the Bekasi branch of Muhammadiyah, Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organization, said: “Their task is to prevent and guard Bekasi Muslims [against vice], and as a communication and coordination forum to elect a trustworthy leader” for Bekasi Muslims.

But Abdul stressed that the units would not be armed. “The only thing close to a weapon that we have are the poles on our banners,” he said, laughing.

“Unless necessary,” he added in a more serious tone. “But then there already are armed units” in the national Army.

The group also says it will forward to the Bekasi administration several policy recommendations that are compliant with Sha­riah law. “We hope that the recommendations to the government can serve as a guide for them so that there will be no religious defamation or interreligious conflicts,” Saleh said.

Bekasi administration spokesman Endang Suharyandi said: “As long as it does not violate any regulations,” the municipality will support the implementation of the Sharia-based policies and carry out the congress’s recommendations.

Organizers claim the Islamic congress was attended by almost 2,000 Bekasi Muslims representing various Islamic organizations.


the Christians are up to something God I love that bit.

Based on news from Bekasi over the last year or so their trying not to get beaten up by marauding FPI thugs, and trying to worship on sundays but of course that is definitely suspicious behaviour especially if their god actually answered, that could be a problem.

What is wrong with these people, why do they feel so threatened if their god is great?

Seems to be they aren't so sure about that.

To talk about the Christianisation of Bekasi is as absurd. Christians in Indonesia have been persecuted and prevented from building churches and schools increasingly over the past few years and Bekasi is one of the worst perpetrators of this intoloerance and religious terrorism.

It's just a tactic to justify their arrogant, ignorant behaviour.
Bikerman
Once again I think you might benefit from applying the universal prinsipal.
Consider the situation in the US where things are reveresed. Do you think it is reasonable for national newsreaders to announce that all muslims are trying to take over America? It is exactly the same argument being made, and I agree - it is ridiculous - IN BOTH CASES.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
It is, however, offensive to many, and whilst that does not rule it out, i would say that unless there is a good jutification for using it then I would ask posters not to.
Thanks Bikerman, this was right on. Now and then the word has a place, but yesterday when I was posting it just did not go down right.
paul_indo
It is a little different in that America has had thousands killed by Islamic terrorists, Bekasi has had no one injured by Christian terrorists. The other difference is that this is purely an internal conflict, they are claiming Christianisation by Indonesian Christians not by foreigners.

also in todays paper, and don't forget these journalists are nearly all muslims, this is not biased Christian reporting.

Quote:
‘Call to Arms’ the Latest Chapter in City’s Simmering Religious Tensions

A new move by hard-line Islamic groups in Bekasi to push for the creation of Islamic militant units to fight the “Christianization problem” and serve as morality police is just the latest in a string of incidents highlighting the increasing religious tension in the city just east of Jakarta.

On June 19, the 17-meter “Tiga Mojang” statue at the Haparan Indah housing complex was dismantled because “it does not posses a permit.” But it followed protests by about 1,000 members from 60 hard-line Islamic organizations.

A day later, the first day of the Bekasi Islamic Congress, the Pondok Timur Indah Church was shut down “because the congregation held prayers in a place where they were not supposed to.”

In May, St. Bellarminus, a Catholic school in Bekasi, was attacked by a group of people offended by a student blog that displayed the school’s name and posted pictures and writing reportedly defaming Islam.

In February, members of the hard-line Islam Defenders Front (FPI) forcibly closed the Galilea Church in Bekasi, alleging that the congregation had been trying to convert Muslims.

But this latest plan, announced on Sunday at the conclusion of the Islamic congress, could be one step too far, pluralism advocates warned.

“The call to ‘enforce’ a certain group against the other could provoke the disintegration of the community and cause useless political tension,” said Syafi’i Anwar, the executive director of the International Center for Islam and Pluralism.

Speaking on behalf of the Wahid Institute, Yenny Wahid demanded the government be more assertive toward hard-line religious groups.

“Anarchism on behalf of religion is increasing, and the government seems to fear any group that uses Islam,” she said.

“We do not want to be like Afghanistan under the Taliban.”

Rev. Palti Panjaitan of the HKBP Filadelfia congregation in Bekasi, which has been refused a permit to build a church, agreed, saying that recently members of “several groups have become freer to do whatever they want.”

“The current situation makes me want to separate myself from Indonesia,” he said.

Yenny theorized that support from government officials could be fueling the situation.

The Bekasi Islamic Congress, for instance, was held after Islamic organizations including the FPI and the Bekasi Islamic Missionary Council (DDI Bekasi) had warned Bekasi Mayor Mochtar Mohammad of more demonstrations targeted at his administration should the congress not be allowed.

“I wonder why a lot of officials are so cowed by the intimidation from these Islamic groups,” Yenny said.

On the other hand, Palti surmised that the people of Bekasi, just outside the capital, had seen an increasing number of migrants in the past few years and perhaps were not ready to deal with them.

“We heard rumors of people saying that our church was an effort of Christianization,” he said. “That’s why they pressure the government to never issue us a building permit for our church.”

Palti said his church was strictly for Batak Protestants as they used the Batak dialect in their services.

Regardless of the reason, both Syafi’i and Yenny say the situation in Bekasi should not be tolerated.

“Shariah in Islam ensures justice and fairness for all,” Syafi’i said. “Rahmatulillalamin , not rahmatulilislam [Blessings to all, not blessings to Islam],” he said, quoting a verse from the Koran.

Indonesia is a pluralistic country, so enforcing Shariah law would violate the Pancasila and 1945 Constitution, he added.

Yenny said the Indonesian state was one based on the supremacy of the law.

“This country does not punish those who would change their religion,” she said. “In fact, the freedom to worship is enshrined in the 1945 Constitution.”


Civil war may not be far away.

On June 19, the 17-meter “Tiga Mojang” statue at the Haparan Indah housing complex was dismantled because “it does not posses a permit.” But it followed protests by about 1,000 members from 60 hard-line Islamic organizations.

A day later, the first day of the Bekasi Islamic Congress, the Pondok Timur Indah Church was shut down “because the congregation held prayers in a place where they were not supposed to.”

In May, St. Bellarminus, a Catholic school in Bekasi, was attacked by a group of people offended by a student blog that displayed the school’s name and posted pictures and writing reportedly defaming Islam.

In February, members of the hard-line Islam Defenders Front (FPI) forcibly closed the Galilea Church in Bekasi, alleging that the congregation had been trying to convert Muslims.

Rev. Palti Panjaitan of the HKBP Filadelfia congregation in Bekasi, which has been refused a permit to build a church, agreed, saying that recently members of “several groups have become freer to do whatever they want.”

I guess this is what they mean by the Christianisation of bekasi.
coolclay
Indonesia is in a very sad state indeed. To allow a small number of individuals that have amassed themselves into groups (IDF etc.), push the government around like that, harassing, and attacking Christians is just horrific.


Quote:
"A day later, the first day of the Bekasi Islamic Congress, the Pondok Timur Indah Church was shut down “because the congregation held prayers in a place where they were not supposed to.”
How dare they pray where they are not allowed too.!

I have heard so much about the persecution in Indonesia through friends who lived there for 10 years, but it's still boggles my mind. It's such a travesty to see so much hate and deception in such a beautiful country.
It's a sad day when you can only pray in certain locations, and must keep your religion secret.

If only true Muslims would stand up against the extremists, like the Christians have stood up against extremists here in the US.

Extremists all have the same goal in mind, and thats to spread hatred, fear, and pain in the name of religion to make themselves feel more "righteous" .
HalfBloodPrince
paul_indo wrote:
It is a little different in that America has had thousands killed by Islamic terrorists...

Correct, America has had thousands killed by Islamic terrorists. 19 to be exact. What about all the blacks killed by KKK white supremacists ~50 years ago? Does that make all white people supremacists? Or the hundreds of thousands (millions maybe) of Muslims killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan killed by Earth's protagonist, Mr. White Man Cool
Bikerman
paul_indo wrote:
It is a little different in that America has had thousands killed by Islamic terrorists, Bekasi has had no one injured by Christian terrorists. The other difference is that this is purely an internal conflict, they are claiming Christianisation by Indonesian Christians not by foreigners.

also in todays paper, and don't forget these journalists are nearly all muslims, this is not biased Christian reporting.
But you haven't been talking just about your local conflict, you generalised it to american muslims and muslims the world-over which is wrong.

PS - you might like to think about how many muslims the US/UK have killed...I think it is a little more than a couple of thousand.....and please don't say they were all islamic terrorists because that is silly and offensive. Many have been babies, young children, the infirm/elderly. Ask an Iraqi. Ask an Afghani.

I am against ALL theocracies so I symathise with the position your country finds itself in. It sounds to me like Islam is actually just a focussing point - a way to divide the sides easily, a bit like catholicism and protestantism in Northern Ireland.

coolclay wrote:
If only true Muslims would stand up against the extremists, like the Christians have stood up against extremists here in the US.
Did you actually watch the news article cited earlier in this thread? Tell me again how Americans are standing up to Christian bigots...I didn't quite get it...and CNN certainly didn't...

or watch this one and tell me about religious tolerance:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brBqkmzN4js
Aside from the incredibly low intelligence displayed,* the only description that fits is 'incredible bigotry'. If they ever manage to find an atheist doing something REALLY bad then I have little doubt that the cry will go up for beatings and violence of all sorts...

*No, I really mean it. Here we tend to have newsreaders who are pretty bright, who have seen some of the world, and who don't tend to spout garbage. They are not perfect of course, but these Americans (in both the CNN and Fox reports) are morons. I'm surprised they can actually read their notes.
paul_indo
Bikerman wrote
Quote:
But you haven't been talking just about your local conflict, you generalised it to american muslims and muslims the world-over which is wrong.


I think if you check my posts you'll find I was merely responding to your reference to the situation in America.
Bikerman wrote
Quote:
Consider the situation in the US


I have been posting exclusively on the Indonesian situation.

I would argue though that news readers claiming Islam is trying to take over is also a little different to people being chased out of their place of worship with sticks and rocks.

Even if both are wrong one is using words the other violence.

What I am opposed to is the use of violence and the discrimination against a minority group which has caused no harm to anyone.
I object to Islam because I believe it encourages this type of action. I have nothing against most muslims because I don't believe they even realise the inherent violence of Islam which goes right back th Mohammad and his attacks on caravans and on Mecca. It is these teachings I oppose, unfortunately they are true Islamic teachings from Mohammad.

http://sfcmac.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/leading-islamic-cleric-islam-does-not-mean-peace/

Some Christians may be intolerant and bigoted but they are clearly acting against the teachings of Jesus. I therefore have no problem with Christianity, but with the bigoted Christians. There are, fortunately, few of them in Indonesia though.

I myself have no religion but I believe in the right of others to practice their beliefs as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others.

Bikerman wrote
Quote:
PS - you might like to think about how many muslims the US/UK have killed...I think it is a little more than a couple of thousand.....and please don't say they were all islamic terrorists because that is silly and offensive. Many have been babies, young children, the infirm/elderly. Ask an Iraqi. Ask an Afghani.


I would be surprised if more have not been killed by terrorist bombs in mosques and market places in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Who are these terrorists and what is their goal?

Bikerman wrote
Quote:
or watch this one and tell me about religious tolerance:


Amusing in her mindless call to "defend" christianity" but she is not threatening violence. I have to laugh that she fears christianity may dissappear, now that's strong faith.

Does it really compare to this though?

Quote:
Indonesian Islamists Eye Proselytizing Christians

Jakarta Globe
July 04, 2010

A banner with a picture of a young, bespectacled Christian man is draped in front of a mosque, a fiery noose around his neck and the words, "This man deserves the death penalty!"

Churches are shut down. And an Islamic youth militia held its first day of training.

Though the events all occurred less than nine miles (15 kilometers) from Jakarta, making headlines in newspapers and dominating chats on social networking sites such as Facebook, they’ve sparked little public debate in the halls of power.

"I really see this as a threat to democracy," said Arbi Sanit, a political analyst, noting leaders never like to say anything that can be perceived as "un-Islamic," because they depend heavily on the support of Muslim parties in parliament.

"Being popular is more important to them than punishing those who are clearly breaking the law," Sanit said.


My final point today is that why is this so often turned into a Christian - Islam battle?
Who has committed the worst crimes. I am not defending Christianity or any other religion.

The fact is that no matter what has happened anywhere in the past or other countries does not justify this behaviour by any group here in Indonesia at the present time. I believe that, unfortunately, Islamic teachings are causing this stiuation.

Maybe as bikerman suggested it would be good if this thread could be kept to the issues in Indonesia.
Bikerman
Quote:
I object to Islam because I believe it encourages this type of action. I have nothing against most muslims because I don't believe they even realise the inherent violence of Islam which goes right back th Mohammad and his attacks on caravans and on Mecca. It is these teachings I oppose, unfortunately they are true Islamic teachings from Mohammad.

You are still generalising, and wrongly.
The notion that Islam as a religion is in someway more based on violence than Christianity just doesn't hold up. The Old Testament is one of the nastiest, most violent scriptural works that I know about. The Quran also contains some passages which seem to condone, even demand, violence. Most people quote one or two passages as if that were the end of the debate, but I can quote tens of passages from the OT which say similar or worse.

Do you want examples of Christians threatening violence? Nothing easier:
http://adultthought.ucsd.edu/Culture_War/The_American_Taliban.html

The argument that any Christian who is a bigot is not really a true Christian is a fallacy of the No True Scotsman variety and not worth further comment.
paul_indo
Generalising is perfectly valid at times.
eg. Most mechanics are good at fixing cars.
Ah but some fix trucks.
That does not invalidate the first generalisation does it?

Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus who very clearly preached and practiced non violence. His teachings do not allow an eye for an eye or any of that old testament rubbish.

Islam is based on the teachings of Mohammad who preached and practiced violence at convenient times in his career, as even any muslim who knows his religion will admit.

If some Christians have not followed Jesus teaching then you can not blame the teaching but the individuals and as I said this is not about what the Christians did in some part of the world it is about the influence of Islamic teachings and behaviour of muslims in Indonesia today.

Christianity and it's adherents behaviour does not have any bearing on an assesment of Islam.

Quote:
Bikerman wrote

Quote:

Do you want examples of Christians threatening violence? Nothing easier:


This is called a misdirection as it is not related to the actual issue of Islam.

I would be happy to discuss Christianity's failings in another thread, this one is about Islam.

Quote:
Bikerman wrote

Quote:
The argument that any Christian who is a bigot is not really a true Christian is a fallacy of the No True Scotsman variety and not worth further comment.


I would say that you are not applying this logic correctly as There is nothing implicit in being a Sotsman that would make any difference to how one behaves therefore there is no basis for judging unscottish behaviour

Being a Christian however requires following Christs teaching and therefore anything not in line with that teaching is unchristian behaviour.

As I have already stated though this is not about Christians, Atheists, Jews or Hindus, it's about Islam so maybe we should stick to the point.
Bikerman
paul_indo wrote:
Generalising is perfectly valid at times.
eg. Most mechanics are good at fixing cars.
Ah but some fix trucks.
That does not invalidate the first generalisation does it?

When the generalisation goes:
Group A have done X
Group A belong to larger group Z
Therefore Group Z support X

then yes, it IS an invalid generalisation.
Quote:
Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus who very clearly preached and practiced non violence. His teachings do not allow an eye for an eye or any of that old testament rubbish.
Wrong. Jesus is quite clear about the OT (Torah).
Quote:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished."

btw Jesus didn't 'very clearly' do anything, since we cannot be sure he even existed.
Quote:
Islam is based on the teachings of Mohammad who preached and practiced violence at convenient times in his career, as even any muslim who knows his religion will admit.
Islam is based on Christianity. Do you know what the word Islam means? Look it up.
(Actually, more accurately, Islam and Christianity are both Abrahamic religions based on Judaism).
Quote:
If some Christians have not followed Jesus teaching then you can not blame the teaching but the individuals and as I said this is not about what the Christians did in some part of the world it is about the influence of Islamic teachings and behaviour of muslims in Indonesia today.
And yet you keep making generalisations. Mohammad was a man of his time. If you want to compare his sayings with sayings from leading Christians at the time then it makes the Christians look bad, not Mohammad. Try reading the works of the Popes of those times...the INFALLIBLE heads of the Catholic church. Ever read 'Malleus Maleficarum' - now THERE is a work of violence...
Quote:
Christianity and it's adherents behaviour does not have any bearing on an assesment of Islam.
They do when dual-standards are being used, as here.
Quote:
Being a Christian however requires following Christs teaching and therefore anything not in line with that teaching is unchristian behaviour.
Says you. Others say different. It is entirely possible to interpret the New Testament in a huge variety of ways - and over the centuries it has been used to justify all sorts of barbarity. You are in no position to tell others whether they are christian or unchristian.
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As I have already stated though this is not about Christians, Atheists, Jews or Hindus, it's about Islam so maybe we should stick to the point.
Stop generalising about Islam and I'll happily leave it.
paul_indo
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I object to Islam because I believe it encourages this type of action. I have nothing against most muslims because I don't believe they even realise the inherent violence of Islam which goes right back th Mohammad and his attacks on caravans and on Mecca. It is these teachings I oppose, unfortunately they are true Islamic teachings from Mohammad.


You are still generalising, and wrongly.


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When the generalisation goes:
Group A have done X
Group A belong to larger group Z
Therefore Group Z support X
then yes, it IS an invalid generalisation.


I don't see any reference to them supporting group X because they are part of it.

You first accused me of generalisation by including American and other muslims and yet it was you who brought them into this discussin?

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Wrong. Jesus is quite clear about the OT (Torah).
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"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished."


Are you therefor saying that Christianity includes the penalties and rituals of the Torah?
Stonings, sacrificeing animals etc?

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btw Jesus didn't 'very clearly' do anything, since we cannot be sure he even existed.


But he was clear about the Torah, right?
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Wrong. Jesus is quite clear about the OT (Torah).


The institution of christianity is based on the teachings of what Jesus is believed to have said and done. whether he existed or not the teachings and the church are still here.

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Islam is based on Christianity. Do you know what the word Islam means? Look it up.
(Actually, more accurately, Islam and Christianity are both Abrahamic religions based on Judaism).


The Arabic term 'islam means "submission" and itself comes from the term 'aslama, which means "to surrender, resign oneself." In Islam, the fundamental duty of each Muslim is to submit to Allah (Arabic for "the God") and whatever Allah wants of them. A person who follows Islam is called a Muslim, and this means "one who surrenders to God."

Islam is based on the Koran and Allahs will revealed to Mohammad.
He included teachings from both Jewish and Christian beliefs among others, such as the Arab holy month and the holy black stone. Jesus is believed to have been a prophet.
Muslims look to Mohammad as an example of how to live.

From Islamfortoday.com
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The true Muslim believes, as a result of article two, in all the scriptures and revelations of God. They were the guiding light which the messengers received to show their respective peoples the Right Path of God. In the Qur’an a special reference is made to the books of Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus. But long before the revelation of the Qur’an to Muhammad some of those books and revelations had been lost or corrupted, others forgotten, neglected, or concealed. The only authentic and complete book of God in existence today is the Qur’an. In principle, the Muslim believes in the previous books and revelations. But where are their complete and original versions? They could be still at the bottom of the Dead Sea, and there may be more Scrolls to be discovered. Or perhaps more information about them will become available when the Christian and Jewish archaeologists reveal to the public the complete original findings of their continued excavations in the Holy Land. For the Muslim, there is no problem of that kind. The Qur’an is in his hand complete and authentic. Nothing of it is missing and no more of it is expected. Its authenticity is beyond doubt, and no serious scholar or thinker has ventured to question its genuineness. The Qur’an was made so by God Who revealed it and made it incumbent upon Himself to protect it against interpolation and corruption of all kinds. Thus it is given to the Muslims as the standard or criterion by which all the other books are judged. So whatever agrees with the Qur’an is accepted as Divine truth, and whatever differs from the Qur’an is either rejected or suspended. God says: 'Verily We have, without doubt, sent down the Qur’an, and We will assuredly guard it’ (15: 9; cf. 2:75- 79; 5: 1 3-14, 41, 45, 47; 6:91 ; 41:43).


From barghouti.com
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Islam is derived from the Arabic root "Salema": peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense, Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law.

Everything and every phenomenon in the world other than man is administered totally by God-made laws, ie. they are obedient to God and submissive to his laws, they are in the State of Islam. Man possesses the qualities of intelligence and choice, thus he is invited to submit to the good will of God and obey His law, ie, become a Muslim.



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If some Christians have not followed Jesus teaching then you can not blame the teaching but the individuals and as I said this is not about what the Christians did in some part of the world it is about the influence of Islamic teachings and behaviour of muslims in Indonesia today.
And yet you keep making generalisations.


What generalisation has caught your attention here?

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Christianity and it's adherents behaviour does not have any bearing on an assesment of Islam.
They do when dual-standards are being used, as here.


False logic again
a assesment of one set of beliefs has no bearing on the assesment of another set of beliefs.
as I said we can argue christianity somewhere else if you like.
I do not believe either religion so I would enjoy investigating the errors of Christianity also.

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Being a Christian however requires following Christs teaching and therefore anything not in line with that teaching is unchristian behaviour.
Says you. Others say different.


Well could you please define a christian for me so we know who we are talking about.
One of the crucial points of argument after all is agreed definitions.

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# relating to or characteristic of Christianity; "Christian rites"
# a religious person who believes Jesus is the Christ and who is a member of a Christian denomination
# following the teachings or manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus Christ

Says Princeton University

Oxford dictionary: Christian - believing or following the religion of Christ
Is that correct?

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As I have already stated though this is not about Christians, Atheists, Jews or Hindus, it's about Islam so maybe we should stick to the point.
Stop generalising about Islam and I'll happily leave it.


You seem to be generalising about my arguements, please identify specific generalisations.
Bikerman
paul_indo wrote:
I don't see any reference to them supporting group X because they are part of it.
You first accused me of generalisation by including American and other muslims and yet it was you who brought them into this discussin?
It certainly was NOT.
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He is absolutely correct which is why I have stated previously on these forums that Islam is incompatible with the modern world. It is a religion of submission and domination and all true muslims know that.

That is from your second posting. I call it a generalisation.
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Are you therefor saying that Christianity includes the penalties and rituals of the Torah?
Stonings, sacrificeing animals etc?
Christianity includes whatever the particular believer or sect wish to include.
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btw Jesus didn't 'very clearly' do anything, since we cannot be sure he even existed.
But he was clear about the Torah, right?
IF you believe the bible then yes, he was quite clear.
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The institution of christianity is based on the teachings of what Jesus is believed to have said and done. whether he existed or not the teachings and the church are still here.
Which Church? The early Gnostics? The Roman Catholic? The Protestant? The Eastern Orthodox? They are all very different, all believe very different things about Jesus and all have very different interpretations of the bible and other scriptural materials.
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The Arabic term 'islam means "submission" and itself comes from the term 'aslama, which means "to surrender, resign oneself." In Islam, the fundamental duty of each Muslim is to submit to Allah (Arabic for "the God") and whatever Allah wants of them. A person who follows Islam is called a Muslim, and this means "one who surrenders to God."
Good. Now, how is that different from Christianity? A good Christian is one who surrenders to God. In both Catholic and Protestant theology the first main principle of "surrender" within the religion is "Dying to Self", or the "emptying of self" to allow Christ to live through the believer.
It is effectively the same.
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What generalisation has caught your attention here?

1. i HEAR EVERYWHERE HOW iSLAM IS A PEaceful toleranrt religion, but I never see it.
2. ....these forums that Islam is incompatible with the modern world.
3. I object to Islam...

These statements are general - they apply to Islam, not to indonesian muslims specifically. Hence generalisation.
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False logic again
a assesment of one set of beliefs has no bearing on the assesment of another set of beliefs.
as I said we can argue christianity somewhere else if you like.
I do not believe either religion so I would enjoy investigating the errors of Christianity also.
I was not assessing either - I was pointing out that your comments about Islam could also be applied to Christianity. Since we know that many Christians don't commit attrocities, and I know many muslims who also don't commit attrocities then I was pointing out that generalising the actions of some to a whole religion is unhelpful and not logically correct.
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Well could you please define a christian for me so we know who we are talking about.
One of the crucial points of argument after all is agreed definitions.
Well, there is the problem. I said that YOU have no right, so why would I think that I had such a right?
There are many definitions. Here are a few:
a) Anyone baptised in a Christian ceremony (Catholics hold to this).
b) Anyone who believes in the LITERAL truth of both the old testament and the new. (Creationists believe this - whether of the 7 Day Adventist persuasion or otherwise)
c) Anyone who models their life on the biblical Christ. (Some protestant churches - such as the Baptists)
and so on...there are probably another dozen or so variations. We once had a thread running in R&P forum asking, simply, what is a Christian. It was never resolved.
The OED definition, like all dictionary definitions, is reasonable if you have to have a one sentence answer, but so general that it actually means very little.
paul_indo

Bikerman wrote:

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Once again I think you might benefit from applying the universal prinsipal.
Consider the situation in the US where things are reveresed. Do you think it is reasonable for national newsreaders to announce that all muslims are trying to take over America? It is exactly the same argument being made, and I agree - it is ridiculous - IN BOTH CASES.


I beg your pardon? This is the first reference to the US, America in this thread.

Bold is by me.

If a Christian cannot be defined then it is a meaningless term and cannot be used in any argument anyway.

In the real world this is where generalisations have to be used to even discuss so called christians and many other things. The most prevelant common beliefs would have to be compared with the teachings and either accepted or rejected.

If we cannot define Christianityor Islam in an mutually understood fashion then there is no basis for discussion on either. That is how critical thinking works. The definitions may be modified over time to become more accurate as errors and weaknesses are found and may even be agreed on as only useful for the purposes of the discussion due to the assumptions which may need to be made but without at least working towards agreement on these definitions this discussion is a complete waste of time.
Bikerman
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You first accused me of generalisation by including American and other muslims and yet it was you who brought them into this discussion?


I'm a bit surprised you pursue this since I thought it was obvious that you had indeed included American and other muslims in your first couple of postings - by talking about Islam, and Muslims as follows ..(yet again)
Your first posting
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i HEAR EVERYWHERE HOW iSLAM IS A PEaceful toleranrt religion, but I never see it.
Everywhere....I presume the US and other parts of the world qualify? Which is, of course, why I brought them in.....

Your second posting:
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He is absolutely correct which is why I have stated previously on these forums that Islam is incompatible with the modern world.

I presume you are happy to include Muslims in the US and other countries in 'the modern world'? Indeed your statement is so generalised that it DEMANDS examples of muslims in other parts of the world, simply to put some scope on it.
If you had, as you said, concentrated on Indonesia then the issue would not have arisen.

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If a Christian cannot be defined then it is a meaningless term and cannot be used in any argument anyway.
Fallacious reasoning. Nothing can be uniquely objectively described. Nothing at all. You may describe something one way, and I another. We could agree to accept a mutual definition for, say, a pen, but we would have different mental images. The notion that you have to define something to talk about it is clearly unsustainable since it would require a level of philosophical precision that isn't available in this universe.* I see no problem with my original stance - if someone says they are a Christian then it is not your prerogative to nay-say it, and you should accept the label.*

* and don't disappoint me by coming back with some standard unit or measurement because a modicum of thought should show you why there is no quantity that can be objectively defined in such a way that all observers would agree both on the definition and on examples of that definition. Relativity gives us most of the material for a formal proof of that...

OK - I see you have changed the previous posting...that will get confusing after a while...but to answer the changed version - yes, we need an understanding of what is meant by concepts in order to sensibly discuss them. That doesn't mean a definition - since most definitions are arbitrary to some extent. I provided a perfectly good starting point - if someone says they are Christian then why not start with that? You don't seem to have any problem deciding that the Indonesians causing the grief are muslims. Do you know that they all qualify? Have you asked them if they all pass some test, or are you happy to take it at face value?
paul_indo
Sorry I was still adding a couple of points before I saw your reply posted.

I never said someone wasn't a christian,I defined unchristian behaviour as that not in accordance with Jesus life and teachings. Christians can do unchristian things sometimes obviously.

Islam, as an ideology, I still consider incompatible with modern democratic secular beliefs.
I believe you will find no reference to muslims being evil or anything like that in my posts, I am concerned with the religion and it's ideology not individual Muslims. I believe this ideology is what leads to the current strife here.

If that is a generalisation I'm sorry. Maybe it is more acurate to say that it is incompatible because of some of it's beliefs, but in religion if you pick only the partsa you like that would seem to rather undermine the claim that God is Omnianything.

You have convinced me that I am not practiced at putting my ideas down as clearly as yourself but you seem to have given no evidence at all as to the actual compatibility of Islamic ideology with the modern world.

But I guess you will say that it is not possible because we cannot define Islamic ideology or something and that to me appears to be a cop out which makes assesment of any ideology impossible and that is simply not realistic.

Forgive me but your arguments seem to run along the line that we can't know we exist so maybe we don't. I'm still trying to work out where your logic leads.
Bikerman
paul_indo wrote:
You have convinced me that I am not practiced at putting my ideas down as clearly as yourself but you seem to have given no evidence at all as to the actual compatibility of Islamic ideology with the modern world.
No, but since I made no assertion in that regard I didn't think it would be useful to further sidetrack discussion...as it happens I am quite sure that islamism is not compatable with democracy, but I don't see that muslims would all wish to have the full 'Islamist' hit - where the civil, judicial, political and education systems are all under religious control. I am very much against any sort of theocracy and have often written attacks on muslim theocracies in the middle east.
In terms of muslims living peacefully in the 'modern world' then the usual example would be Turkey which is just about democratic and very much Muslim...that is not to say Turkey is a role model - it isn't - but it does perhaps indicate that it is possible...
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But I guess you will say that it is not possible because we cannot define Islamic ideology or something and that to me appears to be a cop out which makes assesment of any ideology impossible and that is simply not realistic.
It isn't a cop out.
Take Catholicism - I can give you catholic doctrine iin detail - I know most and have access to what I don't know. No problem, because the Catholic church is the ultimate in Hierarchical religion - the guy at the top is the boss, no debate, no appeal. When the Pope decides on a matter of doctrine then it is decided, and if it is done 'in communion' with the Church (in other words if he talks to his Cardinals and does things through the right channels) then his pronouncement is not only how it will be, it is infallible by decree.
Islam is completely opposite. There is no 'boss' or 'head'. There isn't even a normal clerical hierarchy with priests and bishops etc. Therefore nobody and anybody can pronounce on Islam and in theory nobody has any more 'weight' than anyone else - it is up to each muslim to decide if what they hear fits with what they understand of the Quran.
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Forgive me but your arguments seem to run along the line that we can't know we exist so maybe we don't. I'm still trying to work out where your logic leads.
It doesn't have to lead to anything. I did not set out to make a particular point, merely to challenge what I see as an unsupportable generalisation..
paul_indo
You are right, I am also sure that the majority of muslims don't want "the full hit" but that would be generalising wouldn't it? Smile

Turkey is a good example of moving in the right direction I think , and so "was" Indonesia untill the last few years. I am worried that this tolerant melding of the Islam with modern thinking is under threat though.

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There is no 'boss' or 'head'. There isn't even a normal clerical hierarchy with priests and bishops etc.

In theory that is true but in reality there seem to be Imams, Ulemas, Ayotollahs etc who act in the manner of leaders, maybe because many followers don't speak or read arabic, except in the middle east, and are therefore not considered learned in the Koran or Hadith.
Many mosques have a leader and they tend to be considered as "wise men".
It is true that anyone can issue a fatwa but some people's fatwas are given more weight than others.

One of the biggest complaints I have heard from western muslim converts here is that if they try to discuss Islam they are not allowed to question any of the teaching but told that "this" is the correct interpretation.

Maybe we have different expectations from a discussion/argument such as this. I guess I do tend to be looking for an outcome. That you will convince me of some things and maybe I also you but that eventually we may achieve a better understanding of the situation.

Maybe I am being presumptuous but it seems we are closer to understanding each others views and that must be a good thing?

You have certainly shown me that it is not only the position that is important but the manner in which it is presented. Thanks for that.
deanhills
paul_indo wrote:
Quote:
There is no 'boss' or 'head'. There isn't even a normal clerical hierarchy with priests and bishops etc.

In theory that is true but in reality there seem to be Imams, Ulemas, Ayotollahs etc who act in the manner of leaders, maybe because many followers don't speak or read arabic, except in the middle east, and are therefore not considered learned in the Koran or Hadith.
Many mosques have a leader and they tend to be considered as "wise men".
It is true that anyone can issue a fatwa but some people's fatwas are given more weight than others.
Quite a number of women, privately maintain that the limitations of movement that are set on them originate from those "wise men" that paul_indo mentioned, not from Islam. I have to agree with paul_indo, there is a clerical hierarchy, the "wise men" who are the boss. Women for example would never discuss their limitations in public, that would just be totally taboo.
Bikerman
paul_indo wrote:
You are right, I am also sure that the majority of muslims don't want "the full hit" but that would be generalising wouldn't it? Smile
No - if you say 'the majority' or 'the minority' or 'some' then you are not generalising. I could be WRONG but not because of generalising. As it happens I think 'majority' is the correct word. We have about 15 million muslims in the UK and it represents a pretty handy cross section of countries. Obviously many are from former colonies (Pakistan and pre-partition India) but we have a good number from other countries - Bangladesh, the middle east, Afghanistan, Iran etc. OK - not a scientifically accurate sample, but a good first approximation. My experience is that there is indeed a lot of anger at the west - much of it justified. Extreme militant islamism is certainly present - particularly amongst the 15-24 year old males, as one might expect. But it is a very small minitory - we are talking in the hundreds, maybe possibly small thousands. Out of 15 million that is pretty tiny and certainly a minority.
The most populous muslim countries are yours (Indonesia) and Pakistan - similar number of muslims I think - around 200 million or so? After that is Bangladesh and then a fairly big 'drop' to Turkey and other middle-east states.

So, yes, I said majority and I'm happy with that...
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Turkey is a good example of moving in the right direction I think , and so "was" Indonesia untill the last few years. I am worried that this tolerant melding of the Islam with modern thinking is under threat though.
Possibly in Indonesia. Possibly in Pakistan too. Now that, I agree, is a big problem since a good number of the world's muslims live in those 2 states alone. I don't know enough about Indonesia to comment much - I do know a bit about Pakistan. The problem there is that Muslims have seen, close up, western behaviour in the region and it isn't pretty.Generations of UK and then US abuse, meddling and power games. Huge numbers of deaths - a million in iran-iraq war alone, cold-war manipulation of the neighbour - afghanistan, and then the real straw to break any camel's back - Palestine.
So it isn't as if these people were irrational in their hatreds - much of it is deserved.
The whole thing could be made into a minor issue, instead of a major headache, if the Israel-Palestine problem could be resolved. Unfortunately that is not going to happen in the foreseeable future....

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In theory that is true but in reality there seem to be Imams, Ulemas, Ayotollahs etc who act in the manner of leaders, maybe because many followers don't speak or read arabic, except in the middle east, and are therefore not considered learned in the Koran or Hadith.
Many mosques have a leader and they tend to be considered as "wise men".
It is true that anyone can issue a fatwa but some people's fatwas are given more weight than others.
True - and it depends very much on the 'brand' of Islam. Wahhabbi are the fundamentalists - Saudi Arabian, where most of the terrorists come from or are financed from. They are like the Christian Taliban I referenced earlier - totally fundamentalist, totally unwilling to budge or accomodate other points of view.
Then you have Shia and Sunni (about 15% and 85% respectively). Shia muslims are much more 'hierarchical' because of their history (they believed that Mohammad should have handed on to his brother Ali). They are basically royalists to the sunni republicans - they believe in a hierarchy with the prophet at the top and they venerate their immams as almost divine - Sunni's generally don't.
Now here I AM generalising, but consciously, to draw a broad picture, which I believe is reasonably accurate. Like all humans, of course, muslims will have preferences for one over another and no doubt many sunni muslims do indeed follow one immam and take his word for things. I see the difference as similar to protestant/catholics. Protestants generally don't go for the hierarchy with one person atop the throne - catholics absolutely do. That doesn't mean that there are no people who protestants regard as 'special' of course.....

I agree that a better understanding is to be hoped for - and I will certainly listen about Indonesia since I have little knowledge - I know they are mostly Sunni with some Sufi and Shia, and I seem to recall something about Javanese muslims being particularly looked up to - but I can't remember much more.

I hope I have done more than highlight the importance of presentation, but if that is the only thing then that is OK too - the main thing is to think things through and try to avoid tempting short-cuts which normally involve classing people as 'them and us'. My experience is that most (and I mean MOST) of the people I have met are so similar to each other and to myself, in terms of outlook, goals, etc that it is actually quite surprising.....
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
I hope I have done more than highlight the importance of presentation, but if that is the only thing then that is OK too - the main thing is to think things through and try to avoid tempting short-cuts which normally involve classing people as 'them and us'. My experience is that most (and I mean MOST) of the people I have met are so similar to each other and to myself, in terms of outlook, goals, etc that it is actually quite surprising.....
Great posting Bikerman. I particularly like your last observation on how much similar we all are. Stereotyping people along "them and us" lines is probably one of the greatest causes of intolerance of our differences. If we can all start with how much the same we are, perhaps those differences could be dimmed a tad? Smile
SonLight
Bikerman wrote:
Once again I think you might benefit from applying the universal prinsipal.
Consider the situation in the US where things are reveresed. Do you think it is reasonable for national newsreaders to announce that all muslims are trying to take over America? It is exactly the same argument being made, and I agree - it is ridiculous - IN BOTH CASES.


Agreed, the reporting is bad on both sides. The important difference is that while Christians are worried about Islamic activism, some Muslims are violently suppressing the Christians in areas where the Muslims are in the majority.

I did hear one Christian suggest that Muslim women should not be allowed to wear Burkas in certain places, such as banks, because it prevents them from being identified. My argument was that they could only use it as a way to rob banks, but would not care about being identified if they were setting off a bomb, so there is no justification for such a restriction on their freedom. I would agree to such a restriction if if could be demonstrated that it was necessary, for example if twenty bank robbers used a burka as a disguise or if there were evidence that burkas were likely to be used as disguises to aid in killing people in some way. I would be very sad for the innocent Muslims whose rights would be limited by such actions, though.
Bikerman
Well, that particular issue has been aired before and personally I found it a difficult one. I came (and come) down against any such ban, but only just. The Hijab is, in my own opinion, used as a tool of oppression by Muslims against some. Not every Muslim woman wishes to wear one, but the pressure from friends, family and in some countries the law, means that they are coerced into wearing one. We then have the rights of those individuals to be free(er) from coercion vs the rights of women generally to wear what they like, within decency laws.
As I said, I came down, after a lot of thought, on not banning it from such places. I would certainly ban it in my own workplace (school/college) and I would uphold the right of an employer to insist it not be worn in customer-facing jobs, jobs working with younger children and jobs with a high level of interpersonal contact (social worker, for example). I believe it is inappropriate in those circumstances and that the rights of the client/child trump the rights of the woman to wear what she likes. I don't even see this as controversial (but I know it is for many) since very few of us can dress as we choose for work. Many jobs have a dress code, and why should one particular religious garment be different from any other....

@Paul,
I think you might find the following article worth a read, in light of our discussion..
http://www.resetdoc.org/story/00000000929
paul_indo
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I know they are mostly Sunni with some Sufi and Shia


That's pretty much right with a tiny minority of Ahmadiyah who are persecuted worse than the Christians for being heretical muslims. Even the government persecutes them in it's enforcement of the law.

Unfortunately the Wahhabbi form of Islam is being strongly pushed by a number of groups (like the FPI) and even a surprising number of local community and village level imams. It appears that they have been pouring in finance to build ashrams and mosques but information is scarce as they seem to wish to keep it on the quiet, not surprising really. When you consider that within 1 square kilometer in Jakarta there are usually 4 or more mosques that's a lot of people to push the message, not that I'm saying that they all do, it's still a minority now but growing rapidly. There is obviously a large difference though even within the more fundamentalist imams as to how far to go.

I wouldn't say so much that the Javanese muslims are looked up to, it's rather that they consider themselves to be above the other ethnic groups within Indonesia. This goes for Javanese in general though not just muslims.
Javanese are actually not very well liked in many parts of Indonesia particularly West Irian (Papua), and even Bali. This is because they are percieved to bleed of the resources from the outlying regions and feed nothing back into them, and that perception is pretty much correct.

I agree that the us and them attitude is unhealthy, it's sometimes a little hard to resist when you have to deal with this stuff close up on a daily basis but that is what the minority troublemakers want, to increase the us and them mentality so that they can convince the majority to join them.
Bikerman
paul_indo wrote:
I agree that the us and them attitude is unhealthy, it's sometimes a little hard to resist when you have to deal with this stuff close up on a daily basis but that is what the minority troublemakers want, to increase the us and them mentality so that they can convince the majority to join them.
BINGO! That is exactly right!
Terrorism is predicated on fear - it is the only way that a small force can influence a mass population, and ultimately achieve their goals. What always annoys me is the routine attempt to portray terrorists as mad or cowardly. When you start with a lie then it is a good bet that you have nothing worth listening to. Most politicians do it, and it is dangerous. Firstly it treats the electorate as simpletons who are not capable of hearing the truth. Secondly it builds an expectation that terrorists are basically nut-cases and that leads to massively underestimating them - 'us and them' in action. Thirdly it simply re-enforces the terrorists claim that western governments lie routinely to their populations.

The truth is that terrorism works. Governments know that - which is why they use it themselves often enough (but, of course, the Americans, and other states, define terrorism in a specific way which means that states cannot, by definition, commit acts of terrorism - handy!).
When Bush launched operation 'shock and awe' then you know exactly what they were aiming for - terror. Terror immobilises the population and turns a potential resistant organised fiorce into gibbering and irrational morons. It also, of course, encourages the population to pressure politicians to make it stop - which is the name of the game.

If we are truthful and face up to the fact that terrorism is an effective tactic, then we can also be rational about it and not over-react. That is the single best way to combat terrorism - do not be terrorised. Unfortunately western countries are almost designed to spread terror and I think that much of it is due to the way that politicians routinely treat the electorate as though they are small children who need to be protected from the truth. Treat people like children and they become childlike - and who lies awake at night in bed, scared of the bogeyman? Not generally adults...
The fact is that terrorism is constantly misreported and over-blown. I'm not saying there is no risk, but I am saying that there is no substantial risk to most people - obviously I do not intend that to apply in your case where there appears to be quite a serious risk of violence.
The mere mention of a bomb threat is enough to panic millions into behaving differently - suddenly planes are half-empty, holiday resorts are empty, people start looking at any stranger closely - and so on. The rational response is to say 'hah' and get on with your life.
{Obviously if there is a specific threat to a specific target, or good reason to suspect one, then it would be sensible to avoid that particular target for a while, but that is not normally how it works.)
We (in the UK) actually got pretty good at it for a while. The IRA bombing campaigns meant that politicians were constantly talking about the subject, and eventually there was an attitude of sense - the politicians talked to the population like adults - said yes, there is a risk, here is the best estimate we can make of the risk, and now get on with your life. Because it was so common, people didn't panic (or those that did very quickly got nervous exhaustion) and we had, for a couple of years, the inspiring example of a government treating the populace as adults and the populace behaving like adults....

The information on Indonesia is fairly much what I'd absorbed, thanks for that.
The Java thing is interesting. Is there a historical reason for this air of superiority ?
paul_indo
Ever since independence Indonesia has been ruled from Jakarta basicaly by the Javanese, there is some representation from other areas but as Java has 80% of the population even with democracy the deck is stacked.

They have basicaly exploited the outer areas for their resources and used the money to develope Java, particularly Jakarta and ignore the needs of the people in these resource rich areas.

Many of these outlying areas fought the dutch for independence and had no intention of trading one outside ruler for another. But that is a simplified version of what happened. So now some of these areas are not happy, especially when some of their cultural identity is threatened by islamic styled laws.
Oh and I should point out that military oppression has been a major tool of the government in keeping these people in line so that does not help much, especially as the troops are usually sent from Java.
You may remember the international furore over troop actions in Aceh and former East Timor, now Timor Leste.

I will create a new thread "Free Papua" with an example from Kakarta Globe today because I don't think it belongs in this thread.
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