Overcoming the chaos of religious diversity

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Baha'i Warrior
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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:03 pm

Excellent, excellent post yet again...

Let's see. Obviously there is a lot of financial gain for mother's letting their sons detonate themselves. Their families get a lot in return.

I don't agree with some of the stuff, especially the theory of the pent-up libido which is relieved through suicide. A lot of these guys get intoxicated before they blow themselves up—it's in the news. Because no one with a sound mind could do such atrocities. Always, as in the past, when people had to kill others, and they weren't used to it, they'd drink alcohol or use some illicit drug to numb themselves, then kill. (By the way, a lot of these jihadis in the days prior to setting themselves aflame are given their intoxicating drinks and service quite a few virgins...)

Also, women are so devalued in the culture that a good number of the men don't have any problems raping women (men are usually not punished for fornication/adultry, whereas if the women do these things, they are usually set aflame by their own brothers—hence "honor killings"). (I heard some extreme cases, such as among the lower class in Iran, that the mothers sometimes even encourage their sons to rape women because "they deserve it." That is how bad it is, the women themselves believe that they are not anything compared to men.) There was a news story a few months ago where these thugs kidnapped a women, violated her, then gave her back to her family...and guess what this Muslim family did when they gave her back? They "honor killed" her. Not exactly my idea of a non-dysfunctional family, desensitized by certain violent ideologies...

I agree with one of the causes being ignorant women, more specifically ignorant mothers. Any group who suppresses their women are really suppressing themselves. Their mothers can't teach them anything, so their sons grow up, turning to their Mullahs—and are trained to kill... helpless victims.

I share your disgust, Richard. Besides, since when did His Holiness Muhammad order His followers to kill women and children? If anyone was killed, it was the men—not helpless women and children. And now what? They've turned on themselves! They're blowing themselves up! Now there's religious togetherness for you, when you most need it. At least we don't have to worry one iota about Islam succeeding with their "jihad"; they're too busy icing themselves.

So if God was behind their "jihad," then they'd have succeeded by now, at least to a large extent. But they aren't, and if anything, it seems like God has unleashed His jihad upon Islam, as it can plainly be seen that they are destroying themselves and causing the whole world start to turn against them. They can cut a few heads off and film it on a cheap 8 mm (the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey, anyone?), but I guess they forget that they are not going to scare a nation who has a few nice atomic bombs in store, and who could easily make 300,000+ martyrs in a matter of seconds if it wanted to. "Jihad" only worked when everyone had swords and when the great number of Muslims were united. Too bad for them, they are no where near united and now swords have been updated to warheads, which are pointing at them.

Richard wrote:Indeed, this just came to my attention within the last hour and I must think that, anyone who does not see it as a problem, is in some way a part of the problem. And can anyone tell me this is not an awesome and pathetic world problem??? I hope so, but I think not.

And to add to that, it is truly disturbing that the Muslims who aren't terrorists aren't distancing themselves from the terrorists. No significant minority of Muslims whatsoever are protesting and getting violent over the matter, like they did with the Muhammad caricatures. Well, as the old adage goes, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the jihad.

Take care Richard, and praise God that He has given you more insight than most.

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Postby brettz9 » Sat Nov 18, 2006 2:55 am

an anyone tell me this is not an awesome and pathetic world problem??? I hope so, but I think not.

Although we as Baha'is do not of course believe with the characterization being an inherent fault of Islam itself (nor the large over-simplification of the U.N.), yes, of course any Bahá'í would agree with you about religious violence being a terrible problem. Bahá'ís are still the target of such violence, and even if we weren't, I'm not sure at all why you would get the impression that we wouldn't consider violence against our fellow human beings, in whatever name, an awesome and pathetic problem. (I don't say that with any hostility, by the way, I'd just like to know what some may be saying here that could give you the impression that we'd be anything less than adamant against religious violence.)

Bahá'u'lláh wrote that the law of holy war had been blotted out from the Book. If you read His important Tablets--as collected in "Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh" available at this website, you will see how frequently Bahá'u'lláh sought to impress upon His followers of the need for peace and development of character over even a defensive jihad--as God's law had changed to even forbid self-defense in the context of organized religious warfare.

One picture that fails to get painted when secularists consider this phenomenon, however, is the infinitude of cases where a belief in rewards of the afterlife leads to positively strong behavior. Although it is apparently disputed now (my bet due to secularist revisionism), the Protestant "work ethic" (based in such a belief) was largely credited by historians for inspiring the development of Europe--and no doubt other countries that had similar beliefs.

As with most arguments, there are serious flaws in most sides of this argument--although, as with arguments, this is not to say that the fault is proportionate. It should go without saying that such violence is despicable and never warranted. It should go without saying that poor treatment of women will destabilize society (include where women are openly as well as covertly treated as sex objects). Islamic fundamentalism is indeed like a cancer, and trying to rationalize it is like rationalizing allowing a cancer to grow inside of one's body.

On the other hand, if these so-called expert pundits who confidently answer these questions would reflect just a litle bit, they might consider that their own attitude to the religion is not helping the situation. They are like over-zealous oncologists who are willing to overdose the patient with excessive chemotherapy in the one-sided view that doing otherwise is compromising with the cancer. Just because an organ is infected does not mean that the organ was originally useless. And while indeed, with many cancers, excising the tumor (as with using physical force to confront terror), is quite necessary, it is not sufficient. People do need immune-boosting therapies as well as the "tough" kinds of therapy. They need spiritual knowledge. And they will not get this (i.e., allow it into their heads) by sustaining broadstrokes aimed at the good, pure religion that was Islam.

What does hold some promise in the long run--they might well consider--is a Faith born in such an environment, which has demonstrated the ability to unify its peoples with those formerly of other Faiths, which explicitly, emphatically, and repeatedly renounces all violence in the name of religion, and yet which unapologetically speaks positively about its parent Faith.

take care,

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Postby FruccalFrilia » Sat Nov 18, 2006 3:43 pm

I have met Muslims who were very disciplined people and
had a firm belief in racial equality because of their beliefs.

(Disclaimer:I do not necessarily support all the views, actions, or beliefs of the Islamic youth renaissance)

Many Muslims believe that the west is trying to destroy their culture and are reaffirmed by more recent wars and a study of the crusades and colonialism. Many westerners believe that Islam is trying to destroy them as evidenced by more recent attacks as well as a study of past wars. Western democracies do have certain ideals that Muslim countries would benefit from. But many Muslims feel threatened by the materialism and lax morals in the west. Westerners are also alienated by the inequality of women and theocratic governments of many Muslim countries. The situation is quite depressing.
In an attempt to protect each of their own practices. Both societies have generally turned away from true spiritual values. Perhaps that is the real and main conflict. The values of both societies tend to no longer inspire peoples hearts let alone solve the practical problems of this world. Many westerners are not inspired by religios hatred, ill treatment of women, and certain restrictions. Muslims are not inspired by promiscuity, lack of sacredness, and other dead end philosophies.
These are of course generalizations that focus on the negative qualities. it seems that both sides are hungering for the same thing(a spiritual society both practical and inspiring) but are distracted by each other.Thanks for the nice posts from all of you.

Inscribed on the prophet's sword:
Forgive him who wrongs you; join him who cuts you off;
do good to him who does evil to you;
and speak the truth even if it be against yourself.

-Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad
(peace and blessings upon him)
Translated by Kabir Helminski

The heart of a Muslim:
(Disclaimer applies)

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Postby brettz9 » Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:11 am

Well, Richard, you have brought some helpful insights to this forum. We ought to thank you for reminding us all to be more imbued with the spirit. That is, no doubt, the fundamental thing.

Argos, thank you very much for the very insightful synopsis of the back-and-forth between the West and the largely Muslim nations. Extremes tend also to justify the other; extreme irreverence provokes extreme fanaticism, while extreme fanaticism provokes self-justification for more irreverence and insubordination.

As far as the Western end of it, as the song by "Cake" goes...

How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?

Excess ain't rebellion.
You're drinking what they're selling.
Your self-destruction doesn't hurt them.
Your chaos won't convert them.
They're so happy to rebuild it.
You'll never really kill it.

(I know it is talking more about the futility of using materialistic excess against corporate or conformity, but in this situation too, as with religious fanaticism (and other man-made ideologies including communism), is a kind of materialism--being fought with the methods of materialism, and provoking further materialism and self-justification by the other extreme.)

take care,

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