The Ultimate Islam Thread

Discussion in 'Four Corners' started by millersnose, Jul 26, 2016.

  1. gUt

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    Islamic communities contain 'tsunamis of atheism' that are being suppressed, says leading ex-Muslim

    Documentary exposes 'silent challenges' facing those who abandon their Muslim faith

    Thousands of ex-Muslims in Britain are living in fear of violent revenge for abandoning the Islamic faith while others are afraid to admit they no longer believe, a support group for ex-Muslims has said.

    Maryam Namazie, founder of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, described a “tsunami of atheism” in Muslim communities and urged that more needs to be done to recognise the dangers often faced by those who choose to renounce their faith.

    Speaking ahead of the release of Exposure, an ITV documentary that explores the lives of ex-Muslims faced with abuse and discrimination, Ms Namazie told The Independent: “There is a large group of people who are not seen and heard. Many young people living in Britain have left Islam and are facing huge ostracisation and isolation from their communities as a result.

    “They’re very often silenced or they’re living closeted lives. They’re still acting as Muslims, still wearing the veil and still going to the mosque, but they’re really atheist.”

    Ms Namazie, an Iranian-born activist and ex-Muslim herself, described the “silent challenges” faced by people born into Muslim families who decide they do not believe, and warned that the number of Muslims converting to atheism is growing.

    “It’s a hidden challenge for people here in Britain. It’s framed in this context of identity politics, racism and any criticism means you’re racist. But we are minorities within minorities and we have a right to speak and live our lives the way we want the same as anybody else,” she said.

    “There’s a tsunami of atheism in Muslim communities across the globe and in Britain. It’s a time bomb that can’t be seen but is exploding. There needs to be more recognition so people get the support they need.”

    Exposure, which will be be aired on 13 October, reveals the dangers ex-Muslims face after they renounce their faith, with many at risk of suicide or self-harm as well as physical and psychological abuse from family members.

    The film features the work done by the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, both in the UK and abroad. One ex-Muslim, Sadia, whose brother killed himself, tells the documentary-makers his death was partly due to the fact that he felt sidelined and misunderstood by his community all his life - one reason being his atheism.

    She says: “I feel like when you leave Islam, your intelligence gets attacked. They make you feel like you’re stupid for making such a decision, which he felt like his entire life. Leaving Islam, becoming an ex-Muslim, all of a sudden you feel like you’re dirty, and you become unimportant within the community.”

    Ms Namazie told The Independent the problem is exacerbated by the transnational Islamist movement, which has heightened tensions within Muslim communities, and warned distinctions must be made between leading Muslims and leaders of the Islamic movement operating within the UK.

    She said: "There are international links with what’s happening here. Ex-Muslims are being killed in Bangladesh, then you’ve got Islamists here threatening Bangladeshi bloggers who have fled to Britain.

    “We also need to recognise that many religious leaders in this country are not representative of the Muslim community but really representative of the Islamist movement that is encouraging this discrimination against ex-Muslims."

    The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, established in 2007, has grown in recent years. Last year it launched a Twitter campaign ahead of Human Rights Day under the hashtag #ExMuslimBecause, which went viral in 24 hours, with 120,000 people from 65 countries using it to express their experiences.

    The amazingly brave Ex-Muslims behind our #ExMuslimBecause posters - 3 #ExMuslimBecause pic.twitter.com/qSxvmr92O4

    — Rayhana Sultan (@rayhana) November 21, 2015
    The organisation works with around 30 cases a week and has supported tens and thousands of people needing help and support in the nine years since it began.

    Ms Namazie added: “There are many cases where ex-Muslims have gone to the police and not received any support at all because the problems aren’t taken seriously. We’re hoping this film will help people begin to see the complexity of the issue and the need for ex-Muslims to be treated like everyone else.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...lent-revenge-tsunami-of-atheism-a7344661.html
     
  2. Snoop

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    People who take an interest in the spirituality of the Middle East have known this for ages. Take the Islamic 'foot off the neck of the people' so to speak and you'll find many are either just cultural Muslims or agnostic/atheists. It's not too dissimilar to Christianity in the USA a few decades ago before it became socially 'OK' to not be a Christian. The major difference of course being that according to Shariah Law apostasy is punishable.
     
  3. Bandwagon

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    If not being a christian was at some point not socially OK, then how does that manifest it's self in society without punishment?

    Obviously there must be a stigma attached to that which has ramifications no?

    Now I'm not equating that to being put to death for apostasy, clearly that is very different, however it,s also just as clear that there was ( and likely still is ) consequences involved here that can be seen as punishment.
     
  4. Snoop

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    Yes, true. Some Christians would consider you an outcast and perhaps then withdraw socially from you entirely. But there was never a law that you had to do this nor, as you point out, is being considered a social outcast at the same level of punishment as being imprisoned, beat up or killed.
     
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  5. gUt

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    "never" Snoop? Historically, all over the world being an atheist was a capital crime at different times and places.

    Most Western societies have managed to tame Christianity and lessen its grip on the minds and hearts of the population, to the immense benefit of civilisation. Same thing needs to happen with Islam in the places where it's ascendant. It's a worry that the opposite seems to be happening in some places eg Malaysia and Indonesia.
     
  6. Snoop

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    The context I was speaking of was the US in the late 20th century.
     
  7. Snoop

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    When Nietzsche declared God to be dead in the 19th century he also predicted that the 20th century would be the bloodiest century yet. He wasn't wrong was he. You see, when you remove the foundation the house falls. That's fine you may say. Let it fall and we'll build on a new foundation. So the Nazis, Fascists and Marxists put the State at the foundation and built on top of that and the body count was too much for us to even conceive or even count with any degree of certainty. We just know it was at least in the tens of millions. Cultural Marxists has been chipping away at the foundation for decades too and what are the results? The Sexual Revolution gave us rampant STDs including AIDS and a dramatic increase in fatherless kids, most of whom are on the fast track to prison or the grave. Now we've got 3rd-wave Feminism and flat out biology deniers. But worst of all, you've got no solid foundation yourself to combat this. It's quite surprising to me that many libertarian atheists are agreeing with Christians on many of these issues but as Jordan Peterson has pointed out they don't have a rational foundation to do so. While you may never adhere to any sort of Christian belief I suggest you may want to hold onto much of the Christian foundations that gave us Western society.
     
  8. age.s

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    I've watched a lot of Peterson, including (the first few episodes of) his exploration of the biblical stories. It's fascinating stuff and it certainly helped me (best described as an agnostic/atheist) appreciate Christianity in a different light. I'm probably one of those "libertarian atheists" he talks about.

    It makes sense that a collection of several thousand year old stories read better when interpreted philosophically rather than literally and I can see value for society in the way he characterises them. There are timeless lessons, applicable to humanity across millennia. Religion has had no small role in encoding the wisdom that laid the groundwork for the greatest known civilisation on the planet (and the insanely affluent lives we can enjoy). I agree with him when he says we shouldn't just throw that away because we aren't capable of stopping ourselves from interpreting it as a literal document. I can also see how the lack of a shared set of values has left a vacuum that contributes to many of the worst of today's excesses (those that you mention).

    My problem with Peterson (and I say this as a fan) is that he only really tells half the story. The other half of religion's story is the dogma and repression. The way it's been used to force people to do the bidding of others. You see it most clearly in Islam at the moment but Christianity has of course had an enormous history of the same conduct. You might argue that the "misuse" of religion has been down to the fallibility of man, but I don't find that excuse any better than the Islam apologist who argues the Wahhabists are twisting Islam into something it's not. The fact it's capable of being used to enforce dogma is a big big problem.

    I think if religion found a way of divorcing itself from the elements that lend itself to repression and societal control while not laying any claims to literal truth you'd find people like the heathens in this thread much more open to it. Peterson is good at it. The mainstream church could learn a lot from him.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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  9. Snoop

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    I watched the first few episodes as well and I too, even as a type of Biblical literalist, found his talks fascinating from a psychological point of view. Obviously I disagree entirely with his opinion on how the Bible should be approached yet I can see some profound truth in some of what he says even if I disagree with his methodology.

    I think it makes sense to read the stories in the manner in which they were intended to be read. Now Peterson likes to read the Bible from a Jungian point of view but I just can't see how you can think that the original authors intended for their writings to be read from a psychological point of view. In this he is being a little bit postmodern.

    A whole plethora of ideologies, religious and non-religious, have been dogmatically enforced upon a population throughout the history of the world. The question with respect to Christianity is does it teach this. This is where I do find a distinct and non-trivial difference between Christianity and Islam that you seem to disregard. The instruction to Christians is to preach the Gospel to all the world. The instruction to Muslims is to bring the whole world under the rule of Islam, the global Caliphate. Now the methodology to achieve this differs amongst Muslims but the end goal is the same.

    When white Baptists in the South were subjugating black Americans what did Martin Luther King do? He appealed to them to be more Christian, not less.

    As for 'heathens' being open or not to Christianity, it makes no sense to change the message in order to 'win' someone over because what I have won them too is not what I am called to win them to. While I think there is a lot you can learn from Peterson my message won't change:

    There is a God, we have each personally rebelled against him, but by His grace and through faith in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we can be reconciled to Him so that our joy may be complete and His glory be magnified.
     
  10. age.s

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    I don't think it's postmodern at all. A postmodernist take would be to say there are thousands of (or more) ways that these texts could be interpreted (which would be true) and thus there's no correct way to do so (which would not be true). The take Peterson has is that the reason these stories survived (or were propagated) over thousands of years is because they spoke to certain universal truths of human psychology, hence the Jungian explanation. We don't really have the tools to say whether that's equivocally true or not, but it strikes me as true enough that I'm willing to accept that it could help fill the void humanity has been afflicted by in the last century.

    None of this in any way infringes on the question of whether the Bible is literally true or not though.

    I agree. I think the "but Christianity" reflex defense of Islam is extremely disingenuous, usually displayed by people who have a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of religion, let alone the core differences between the two.

    The extent to which that's down to Islam being inoculated against the modernizing forces of liberalism or Christanity being the philosophical well from which liberalism sprung from is hard to say. I'm inclined to believe it's a bit of both.

    I guess if I could say one thing it's that "preach the Gospel" has regularly taken the form of "enforce the Gospel" throughout history. It's great that that's not currently happening in the west, but I think it's wrong to think it's incapable of taking that form again in the future.

    This is a bit "no true scotsman". How is that any more attributable to Christianity than the justification for hanging "witches"?

    While we'll not find agreement on the specifics of that belief, I'm not someone who'd mock or in any other way look to persecute it. We'll all die one day at which point we'll end up reconciling our beliefs with the reality of where we've ended up. Or maybe before then if your perspective ends up being true.

    My only point would be that humans have a knack for providing themselves the tools they need to survive and prosper on this plane of existence. If one of those tools is a universal ideology similar to the one Peterson describes then my view is it'll probably end up happening. The Church ignores that at it's peril.
     
  11. gUt

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    I disagree with just about everything in this post. Society has evolved despite the millstone of Christianity, not because of it.

    Rationality, reason, science and compassion are our best hopes, not your arbitrarily chosen religion.
     
  12. Snoop

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    Society always evolves. Even Islamic societies evolve albeit at a much slower rate and within stricter confines. So the statement that society has evolved is not groundbreaking at all.

    Your assertion was that it has evolved for the better when it evolved beyond, or cast off, its Christian roots. Now I pointed out quite a few results of the last century when Christianity was cast off. Either you think they weren't a filling of the void or had nothing to do with replacing Christianity of that they were for the betterment of society. Without any actual rebuttal other than I disagree we're left starring blankly at each other with a stunted conversation. So by all means please expand on exactly what you disagree with exactly and why.

    I also find it interesting that you put your hope in rationality, reason, science and compassion for without Christianity these things do not exist. All atheistic world views pretty much contain within them naturalistic evolution from which you cannot derive rational beings from (see the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism). This in turn undermines the scientific endeavour too but for science it is even worse since science depends on an ordered, structured and rationally discoverable universe that seems unlikely under naturalism (see David Wood v Michael Shermer), What you are left with is hoping in compassion despite there being no foundational basis for humans to act compassionately with the rest of society. I mean if there is anyone arbitrarily choosing things it's you.

    As a Christian (which I did not arbitrarily choose as you well know from my various reasons given in numerous threads) I have a reason for believing that our mind is rational and can reason and that the universe is ordered and truths about it can be discovered and that we should be compassionate. Everything you desire society to be based on only makes sense under Christianity which is no fluke since that is where these ideas arose from in our society.
     
  13. Snoop

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    That's why I said it is a little bit postmodern in that I think he is reading the text in a manner that the author did not intend.

    I'm not going to argue that people have acted in an evil manner in the name of Christianity. I do think we have much more dangerous ideologies and religions that we should be concerned about with respect to people's freedoms.

    King was appealing to his fellow Christians that there is, as Paul says in Galatians, no racial divide.

    When I listen to Peterson and what he thinks individuals in society need to do for themselves and thus for the betterment of society I can't help but think that becoming a Christian would actually be the best way to achieve what he wants.
     
  14. gUt

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    Rationality, science, reason and compassion only exist because of Christianity? There is literally no arguing with that.

    Also my third c**k is 45 meters long and tastes of chocolate.

    Snoop I respect your mind and your posts but you ascribe things to your arbitrarily chosen religion that are just so far beyond the realms of reasoned discussion as to be almost as impossible as the truth claims of Christianity itself. Just like you make untestable and frankly laughable claims about the limits of science and what naturalistic processes do and do not produce.

    Fascism is a product of Christianity. Hitler was a Christian. Marxism and all other big ideologies have more in common with religions than with free thinking, scepticism and rationality.

    We do not derive our morality from religion. Religions are granted their morality by the societies that invent them. Hence it’s ok for women to speak in church these days.

    I’m on my phone and as time goes on I find myself less and less inclined to do the point by point refutation thing.
     
  15. Snoop

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    Rationality and reason have to be underpinned by something. You cannot reason that reason is reasonable without making a circular argument. So there has to be something else to appeal to in order to argue that reason is reasonable, that rationality is rational. Again, I encourage you and others to watch the debate between David Wood and Michael Shermer.



    Again, you accuse me of having an arbitrary religious belief yet your hope is in things that you have arbitrarily chosen since they do not naturally emerge from your naturalistic worldview. But rationality, science, reason and compassion do naturally emerge from a Christian worldview.

    Ok. I'll back up my above claims.

    Rationality and reason naturally emerge from Christianity since Christianity teaches that were are made in the image of God and that God is rational and commands us to use reason. Science naturally emerges from Christianity since it teaches that God can be known through the natural world therefore requiring the workings of the natural world to be described in a rational and comprehensible fashion. Compassion naturally emerges from Christianity since God is compassionate and we are made in his image. I really don't see how you can argue against these. What you can argue I suppose is whether Christianity is true or not but what naturally emerges from the Christian worldview seems rather obvious to me.

    Even if Hitler were a Christian it does not then naturally follow that Christianity produces Fascism. As is often pointed out, many Christians have acted in ways contrary to Christianity. But in reality Hitler was an adherence of Positive Christianity which is to say, not a Christian at all but a Nationalist. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_Christianity

    How to implement Maxism. Step 1, get rid of religion because it is the opiate of the people. But you then say Marxism is just like a religion. This kind on nonsense if just parroting Dawkins an co. Marxist back then and neo-Marxists today all think they a free thinking, rational skeptics.

    You should do a bit more looking into the history of the morals and laws of Western society and where they came from.
     
  16. 2_Smoking_Guns

    2_Smoking_Guns First Grade

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    civil society predates the Abrahamic religions.... your last point is moot....
     
  17. age.s

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    Hitler can't really be considered a Christian. He regularly talked about how much he hated the ideology. He referenced it occasionally but criticised it much more frequently. "Incompatible with National Socialism" is what he called it.

    Islam on the other hand...

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Adolf_Hitler

     
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  18. 2_Smoking_Guns

    2_Smoking_Guns First Grade

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    the "distinguished Arab figures" consisted of Islamic fanatics with an equal disdain for Jews as himself....
     
  19. age.s

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    Yeah pretty much.
     
  20. Snoop

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    Why the quotation marks around distinguished Arab figures?
     

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