Islam : A religion of peace?


 

When it comes to IslamI have my own idea about it.  What little I really understand about it

 

Islam
Islam (Photo credit: rogiro)

 

comes from a combination of information from a “Religions of the World” class I had at Manatee Junior College and what I was briefed on while in the service, and, finally, what I have read about it over the years.

 

None of this really makes me an expert but, like every other A hole out there, I have an opinion.  That said, I am going to tell you what my opinion is.  I am not going to expound on and authoritative lecture but, I will give you my perception of Islam.

 

From my understanding the Qur’an is based on a number of books from what we call the Bible.  So the religion should be similar to ours?  I would think so but, then I remember that we also have a large number of religions based on the same book.  The Talmud, the Jewish Bible, has some of the same books but not all of them.  Then we have a number of denominations such as the Catholics, the Protestant, Presbyterian, Lutheran,  the Jehovah Witnesses(JWs), the Latter Day Saints, and others.

 

The differences seem to come from the various interpretations of the text and what it means.  Some of these groups still have a prohibition about PORK.  Some of them will tell you that evil people go to Hell when they die, and at least one says there is NO HELL and then when we die we will lay,unknowing and unaware, in the ground until the day of resurrections come.

 

I do not know who is right.  All I know is that 1. religion is a personal thing and 2 the United States, and I am an American, has freedom of religion so, there is a certain amount of understanding, and tolerance, that should be extended to other religions.

 

We are supposed to respect other people’s religions.  In the past, while the western nations were maturing, this has not always been true.  As the organized religions expanded through Europe they often would declare that NON Christian religions were Satan worshipers.

 

In one 200 year period there were a number of Crusades into the Middle East that attempted to gain control of the Holy Land from the Muslims, who at one time had spread as far west as North Africa and Spain.

 

So what does this have to do with Islam and tolerance?  Well, you can’t have much tolerance of other religions when you refer to practitioners of other religions as “infidels”, and command your followers to kill them.  That seems rather straightforward.

 

Another thing that seems rather straightforward, at least to me, is the Islamic call to kill people who make fun of them, or write books, think Salman Rushdie and the Satanic Verses.  Then again there is that recently done movie : Innocence of Mohammed.  It is a poorly done movie that is poorly dubbed, in an effort to keep the actors from understanding what the aim of the movies really was.  Why else would he change it from Desert Warrior, as well as the setting?

 

So the question about Islam is this : Is it really a peaceful and tolerant religion, or are the so called radicals really the mainstream? 

 

I understand that there are fruitcakes in any group, such as the Pastor in Florida who burned copies of the Qur’an.  Maybe it is just a book to him and maybe he would not get excited if someone were to burn HIS Bible.  Then again, when the shoe is on the other foot, it doesn’t make blisters on yours.

 

You can TALK about other religions all you want but, the real proof is in what you DO.  Threatening people with death because they don’t agree with you is considered, by civilized countries, to be bad form.  That could be a cultural thing that they might grow out of once there is a respect for human life, and it is hard to see a respect for human life from people who strap on bombs and target  women and children.   

 

 

 

 

Peacfull? I wonder.


I recently read an article by Tony Blair, the ex-Prime Minister of the UK, where he pointed out that out of 22 conflicts going on in the world , all but one of them involved Muslims.

It is easy to point to this kind of article and say, “no, they are not a peaceful religion”, or look at the Qur’an and see where they are supposed to be tolerant of other religions. Much like the Christian Bible.

What is needed to be done is to look at what they do. Like Forrest Gump said, “stupid is as stupid does”, and the same goes here. It does not matter what you say if, you do not do what you say.

I would love to think that it is just the radicals who a responsible for the violence. The problem is in that statement by Tony Blair…

Do not just look at the middle east, look around the world and see the attacks on other cultures, or even their own, and it is hard to think that they are indeed peaceful.

I remember a time when in the Irish had a war going on between the Catholics and Protestants, they made peace eventually, and I have not heard of a resurgence of hate, but could you use that to say that either the Protestants, or Catholics, were a violent people? Some might.

The real question is.. is that conduct wide spread? Does it only happen in a limited area, such as the middle east, or is it global? It is global… and takes place in Africa, obviously the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and even in the Pacific Rim countries.. Does that make Islam a dangerous religion? Yes!

Are there radicals in Islam? Yes. Are there moderates who prefer peach? Oh, yes.

When 911 happened, how many of the moderates came out of the Mosques and said how horrible it was that 3,000 people were killed. Did any of the go on the airwaves to talk about who evil this act was? Did you see any of them? No, we saw on the news broadcast happy crowds rejoicing at the deaths suffered by the “Great Satan“.

I recently saw a video, I can’t remember his name, about a man who pointed out some of the similarity between Christianity and Islam, and then pointed out that the main difference was that Christian populations were better at assimilating into the host countries.

You can look back at the Crusades, 7 or 8 of them in a 200 year period, or the eradication of other European religions as the church spread across Europe and said tat Christians were evil. What you should keep in mind is that they got over it. Islam started 570-632 A.D, and has yet to learn the tolerance that the Christians display.

Christians have practice for thousands of years so, maybe there is a chance that Islam will mature into the kind of religion they say they are now.