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Iran Needs A Rebirth Of The Islamic Golden Age

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I speak of Iran specifically because it is by far the most powerful regime committed to the destruction of Western values and were the regime to reform significantly in the right direction, the power-base of the Middle East and Islamic terrorism would swiftly fail.

One of the key problems with Iran currently is that it believes its current ideology is necessary in order stay 'true to Islam', which is the cornerstone of the Islamic world. However historically there was a period from the 8th to the 13th century known as the Islamic Golden Age, whereby the Middle East managed to harmonise Islam with (comparatively) liberal traditions.

Holy books are often riddled with contradictions. The Koran is no exception to this. Whilst there are plenty of parts to justify the kind of regime Iran has now, there are also parts which are relatively peaceful, and it these that the scholars of the Islamic Golden Age chose to follow, in much the same way as most modern Western Christians only follow the relatively liberal parts of the Bible.

I think the most rational approach one can take, besides advocating military intervention, towards Iran and the Islamic world is to encourage them to rediscover the Golden Age of Islam. This solves their problem of Islam needing to be a cornerstone of their society and is also great for the West because it means an end to terrorism.

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Islam closed the door to Greek philosophy and much of the sciences. The foreign sciences are viewed as being an endangerment of their faith.

The west's main encouragement is brought about by example. How we live and think is a existential concretization and refutation of what they say they believe.

Rational approaches only work when dealing with a rational people. A people who deny reason, cannot be conquered by it. When a people abandon reason, they open the door to physical force as the only alternative and the inevitable consequence.

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Holy books are often riddled with contradictions. The Koran is no exception to this. Whilst there are plenty of parts to justify the kind of regime Iran has now, there are also parts which are relatively peaceful, and it these that the scholars of the Islamic Golden Age chose to follow, in much the same way as most modern Western Christians only follow the relatively liberal parts of the Bible.
There is more modern precedent too. If one goes back to the time before WW-II, the elites of many non-Western countries were schooled in Western intellectual traditions. Many such elites would grow up knowing just as much of Keats and Plato as they did of their own scripture. Post WW-II (and post independence) there has been a slow move away from that. I don;t know enough, but I suspect a major immediate factor is the growing statism, and -- with it -- rulers who use nationalism and religion the way other dictators used socialism. If one looks at Islamic scholarship before WW-II, one will find voices that were trying to show that Islam could work side by side with rationality (much like the Christians did). For instance, you will find Muslim scholars of the period who were arguing that Jihad did not mean violent action, or that certain commands in the Koran were directed as responses to particular events and cannot be used as general rules absent such event, and so on.

With Islam in particular, it has not helped that the middle-east country with the most oil was also one of the least civilized, and with an elite that had not been brought up being educated by British rulers.

Edited by softwareNerd
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  • 2 weeks later...

Holy books are often riddled with contradictions. The Koran is no exception to this.

The fundies have a simple way of resolving the Koran's contradictions: they regard the doctrines Mohammed wrote chronologically later (i.e. "the Sword Verses") as the true word of Allah and anything before is dismissed as "the Satanic Verses".

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The fundies have a simple way of resolving the Koran's contradictions: they regard the doctrines Mohammed wrote chronologically later (i.e. "the Sword Verses") as the true word of Allah and anything before is dismissed as "the Satanic Verses".

I believe you are mistaken. Firstly, fundamentalist interpretation of the Qur'an can very and can actually be quite complicated. Some however take that chronological route yes. However "The Satanic Verses" of which you are referring to has to do with this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Satanic_Verses

Edited by CapitalistSwine
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