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AL-BAQARA (THE COW) 106

Nothing of our revelation (even a single verse) do we abrogate or cause be forgotten, but we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things?

An "interpretation" that ignores this would be no more Islamic than an "interpretation" of the Quran claiming that one ought to pray to Baal Peor.

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Once again, we are left with the conclusion that Islam is as Islam does, according to the interpretation of each person practicing it.

You are left to that conclusion, not we.

http://www.prlog.org/11469927-islam-bin-laden-must-answer-to-god-for-killing-so-many-innocent-people.html

Apparently the author of this piece shows that Islam is not a religion that supports bin Laden or terrorism if we use the standard that "Islam is as Islam does, according to the interpretation of each person practicing it.".

Using that standard does not make sense.

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... ... A Muslim cleric who decided that Muhammad is not to be depicted and sought justice through murder is a Muslim acting consistently. Those are the ones that matter, the consistent ones. The radical ones. ... ...
(emphasis added)

What do you mean when you say "those are the ones that matter"? Do you mean, those are the ones to be worried about, because they are the ones seeking us harm, unlike muslims who are more moderate? That is to say: those are the ones who matter to us... i.e., the ones we have to watch and act against.

Or do you mean something more? For instance, do you mean they are the ones that matter because they determine what their nations are going to do, that they determine the future political ideology, that they eventually act to change the views of the more moderate ones? If the latter, I don't understand the basis for this claim. As a principle, it would imply that Galileo's christian detractors had more impact on history than Galileo did.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Bosch Fawstin: " I was born into a Muslim family and, while my parents were not devout, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and a rejection of all those outside of our own kind was the norm in my upbringing. Only after 9/11 did I read the Koran and study Islam and its jihad. I needed to know firsthand whether Islam sanctioned the atrocity and I found that it did -- that however insane the act seemed to the civilized world, Islam gave the 9/11 Muslim mass murderers a moral sanction for their evil act. We are still so far removed from the realization that Islam’s heroes are its jihadists, from Mohammad to Osama bin Laden." "Art Against Jihad: An Interview with Bosch Fawstin Creator of The Infidel and Pigman" by Mark Da Cunha, February 28, 2011

Mr. Fawstin's essays on Islam on his blog:

A World Where the Bad Guy Won

Moderate Makeover

Muslims vs Jihad?

American Islam?

Muslim Roulette

Islam vs Peace

Calling Islam "Islam"

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There's "Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World" by Ayn Rand:

"In this sweeping talk on the impact of philosophy throughout history, Ayn Rand explains why mysticism is altruism’s precondition, and why dictatorship is its product. (This is an oral presentation, at Purdue University, of her published article of the same title, found in Philosophy: Who Needs It)"

And there's "Why Should One Act on Principle?" by Leonard Peikoff (on one's "Registered User" page at the Ayn Rand Institute)

And, Ed Cline:

Between Caesar, God and Allah

The Self-Defenseless West

The Dhimmis Awaken: Multiculturalism and Islam vs. Western Civilization and Freedom

And there's "Fitzgerald: “Islam Is Not Monolithic” and Divisions Within the Camp of Islam" at Jihad Watch.

As Miss Rand said:

"Faith and force . . . are corollaries: every period of history dominated by mysticism, was a period of statism, of dictatorship, of tyranny." "Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World"

And:

"When a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law—men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims—then money becomes its creators’ avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they’ve passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. “The Meaning of Money,” For the New Intellectual, 92." [bold mine]

When the irrational is the standard, the most irrational wins over the lesser irrational. When it's "deuces wild," the man holding the most deuces wins.

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Trebor, the fact that you can find people espousing these opinions does not support your argument, as no one denies they exist. What I am saying is that it is useless to use the monolithic grouping "Islam" as the proper name for violent ideologies, because there are other ideologies under that same heading that are peaceful. I am also saying that you (and everyone else) are incapable of reconciling Islam into a single ideology, because its scriptures can be used to justify a number of mutually exclusive ideas.

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What do you mean when you say "those are the ones that matter"? Do you mean, those are the ones to be worried about, because they are the ones seeking us harm, unlike muslims who are more moderate? That is to say: those are the ones who matter to us... i.e., the ones we have to watch and act against.

Or do you mean something more? For instance, do you mean they are the ones that matter because they determine what their nations are going to do, that they determine the future political ideology, that they eventually act to change the views of the more moderate ones? If the latter, I don't understand the basis for this claim. As a principle, it would imply that Galileo's christian detractors had more impact on history than Galileo did.

My point was that in Islam there are both radicals and moderates. In a compromise between the two, the radical Muslims have everything to gain and nothing

to lose when moderate Muslims are following "Islam; the peaceful religion".

In regards to your example of Galileo, he was able to achieve much while living partially destroyed, under the initiation of force by religious clerics.

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I'm glad he's dead but it's ideas we need to defeat not individuals. But hopefully his death will at least demoralise his followers.

He was probably held up as a sign of US weakness, since he was still alive after so long. But now he is gone they may start to fear us a little more, and there's nothing wrong with inspiring a little fear in your enemies.

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Your first statement is wildly untrue. The Bible is littered with verses that forbid killing, taking vengeance, etc. The whole point is, Christianity (and Islam) is not an integrated philosophy, but a religion based on a text that contradicts itself. The Christian who chooses one side of the contradicting passages is no more or less consistent than the Christian who chooses the other. Certainly, the Christian in your example is more radical than the other, but it is simply ignorant to claim that he violates no Biblical scripture when he "takes the next step."

Even though Christianity and Islam are not integrated, in that contradictions exist by following a religion to guide your life, the radical followers

do not remain passive. A radical of religion picks and chooses, and in doing so they can act consistent up until a point, and it is logical that they do

so. As an example, if a radical follower goes on faith that a fetus has rights granted by God, and a fetus is then aborted,then it is logical that the follower

thinks this is murder,then it is consistent and logical that they may then seek justice on Dr.Tiller. Several contradictions occurred regardless if the radical

chose to remain passive or initiate force.

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Here is what you said:

Aren't the inconsistent followers that notice the contradictions the ones that don't matter in that they can practice in "peace", but it is the few that are willing

to die for consistency that make the difference that you read on the "headline news".

The point that I and others are making is that neither the violent extremists nor the tolerant, peace-loving members of any religion are fully consistent. And whether one interpretation or the other is considered "more consistent" or "the true interpretation" seems to be primarily a function of the particular period of history. Right now, we might be tempted to say that violent Muslims and pacifistic Christians are more consistently following their respective faiths, but that is a function only of the predominant (debatable) viewpoints among those religions today, rather than some objective, fail-safe interpretation of the religious texts.

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You, The Wrath, have said:

If you want to claim that bin Laden and his ilk were following the "true" version of Islam, it's up to you to use the Quran and various other Islamic sources to show why.

"It is impossible to be a fully consistent Christian, because faithfully following (or at least believing in) parts of the Christian religion necessarily mean that you ignore or fail to follow others. The same is true of Islam. If you choose to follow the violent parts of the Quran, you are ignoring other parts that preach peace." [bold mine]

When bin Laden points to "slay them wherever ye find them," a whirling Dervish in Turkey might point to "there is no compulsion in religion."

I never said Islam is a religion of piece. That's western liberal hogwash. I just reject the notion that you can say "Islam," as such, is a violent ideology--because the word "Islam" does not name a single ideology but, rather, dozens of competing and mutually-exclusive ideologies that all claim to be the correct interpretation of the religion revealed by Muhammad.

Questions:

1. Is there a true (I'm not certain why you used the scare quotes, "true." Care to explain?) version of Islam, or not?

In my own words, you've said:

There is one ideology called Islam with contradictions, which would make it the true though contradictory Islam. "If you choose to follow the violent parts of the Quran, you are ignoring other parts that preach peace." Contradictions such as: "slay them wherever ye find them" versus "there is no compulsion in religion."

And you have said:

Islam is not a single ideology, but dozens, each competing with the others, each mutually exclusive, and all of them claiming to be the correct interpretation of the religion revealed by Muhammad. ("...the word "Islam" does not name a single ideology but, rather, dozens of competing and mutually-exclusive ideologies that all claim to be the correct interpretation of the religion revealed by Muhammad.")

2. Is there one contradictory ideology called Islam, or are there dozens of ideologies, each called Islam, each competing and mutually exclusive, and each claiming to be the correct interpretation of the religion revealed by Muhammed?

3. Do you reject the idea of abrogation, "mansukh," wherein the later verses in the Quran render the earlier ones invalid even though the earlier ones remain?

For example:

"Let there be no compulsion in religion; truth stands out clearly from error" (Sura 2.256)

abrogated by

"Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush" (Sura 9.5)

4. Lastly, is it your view that some religions are true and good?

Edited by Trebor
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My point was that in Islam there are both radicals and moderates. In a compromise between the two, the radical Muslims have everything to gain and nothing to lose ...
Sure. I agree. The moderates should not compromise nor make excuses for the extreme muslims. It is not in their interest. In fact, being moderate is not in their interest...they would be best served by becoming extremely rational instead.

Still, to me, both "matter". The extreme Islamists matter because they are the ones who're planning harm to my values: they matter the way a serial murderer in my neighborhood matters. However, the mixed-premise muslims matter too, the way all the other average people in the neighborhood matter to me. And, over the longer term, the mixed-premise muslims might well win the day. And, further, the mixed-premise muslims matter because many of their compromise with the extreme muslims is what gives the latter potency.

In regards to your example of Galileo, he was able to achieve much while living partially destroyed, under the initiation of force by religious clerics.
Yes, of course. I would never claim that evil people "do not matter". I was just pointing out that good people and people of mixed premises matter too. So, in the Galileo example, I'd say the Medici family mattered a great deal.

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1. Is there a true (I'm not certain why you used the scare quotes, "true." Care to explain?) version of Islam, or not?

No, for the simple reason that it is impossible to simultaneously follow everything set down in the Quran, without engaging in linguistic acrobatics of the sort that religious apologists are known for.

And I didn't mean that to be scare quotes. I meant it to emphasize that I don't think there can be any such thing as the "true" version of a contradictory doctrine. If I write a holy book that says "The only way to get into heaven is to be a complete pacifist" and then later say "The only way to get into heaven is to kill all the infidels," there's no way to find an authoritative interpretation of the proper way to get into heaven. That's obviously a lot more black-and-white than a text like the Quran, but I think it illustrates my point.

In my own words, you've said:

There is one ideology called Islam with contradictions, which would make it the true though contradictory Islam. "If you choose to follow the violent parts of the Quran, you are ignoring other parts that preach peace." Contradictions such as: "slay them wherever ye find them" versus "there is no compulsion in religion."

And you have said:

Islam is not a single ideology, but dozens, each competing with the others, each mutually exclusive, and all of them claiming to be the correct interpretation of the religion revealed by Muhammad. ("...the word "Islam" does not name a single ideology but, rather, dozens of competing and mutually-exclusive ideologies that all claim to be the correct interpretation of the religion revealed by Muhammad.")

2. Is there one contradictory ideology called Islam, or are there dozens of ideologies, each called Islam, each competing and mutually exclusive, and each claiming to be the correct interpretation of the religion revealed by Muhammed?

This is all pretty accurate to what I'm saying. I don't think Islam can be called "an ideology," given the vast disagreement by people who call themselves Muslims. There are certain unifying ideas that are present among all people who call themselves Muslims, but the way these ideas impact their daily lives and are put into practice (or not) in the government varies widely.

3. Do you reject the idea of abrogation, "mansukh," wherein the later verses in the Quran render the earlier ones invalid even though the earlier ones remain?

For example:

"Let there be no compulsion in religion; truth stands out clearly from error" (Sura 2.256)

abrogated by

"Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush" (Sura 9.5)

I don't have an opinion on the doctrine of abbrogation. Like other Islamic doctrines, there are suras that can be used to support or refute the idea that God abbrogates previous "revelations."

4. Lastly, is it your view that some religions are true and good?

Short answer: Not just no, but hell no.

Long answer: I think that religion served a useful purpose in the distant past and, in its most primitive stages, was even a noble attempt by our species to look for answers in an otherwise incomprehensible world. But somewhere around the transition from loosely-bound chiefdoms into more centralized city states, I think it lost its utility and became a parasite on the back of civilization that we have still not managed to throw off. Some religions are more of a plague than others. At present, Islam is undoubtedly the gravest threat (at least, among religions) to humanity as a whole--not just because of the wars that are fought in its name, but because it is keeping large swaths of the earth mired in economic squalor.

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I don't think Islam can be called "an ideology," given the vast disagreement by people who call themselves Muslims. There are certain unifying ideas that are present among all people who call themselves Muslims, but the way these ideas impact their daily lives and are put into practice (or not) in the government varies widely.

It's difficult to make sense of what you say. First you say that Islam is dozens of ideologies or perhaps a single, contradictory ideology (I'm still unsure which, but it now seems irrelevant because) now you say that you don't think it can be called an ideology at all.

A few more questions, if you will:

1. Given that you're now saying that Islam is not an ideology, but a religion, what is the distinction you are making between an ideology and a religion?

2. What are the certain "unifying ideas that are present among all people who call themselves Muslims"?

You say: "Some religions are more of a plague than others. At present, Islam is undoubtedly the gravest threat (at least, among religions) to humanity as a whole--not just because of the wars that are fought in its name, but because it is keeping large swaths of the earth mired in economic squalor."

3. Since you yourself use the word "Islam" and say that "Islam is undoubtedly the gravest threat (at least, among religions) to humanity as a whole," what are you talking about when you use the word, Islam, as you just did?

4. Given whatever it is you mean by Islam, the religion, why do you say that Islam is "the gravest threat (at least, among religions) to humanity as a whole" at the present time?

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"Obama, Osama And Operation Infinite Sacrifice" by Richard Salsman, May 6, 2011

Begins with:

"President Obama deserves a modicum of praise for finally allowing a team of U.S. Navy Seals to kill mass-murderer and al Qaeda kingpin Osama bin Laden last weekend, but only disdain for delaying the operation for so long, and harsh condemnation for extolling “extraordinary sacrifice” at his Ground Zero visit. Like his feckless predecessor, Mr. Obama deserves the lowest grade for continuing to appease political-militant Islam, as evidenced by the tender care and deep respect he bestowed on bin Laden during the burial at sea."

Ends:

"In 2001 the official name given by the Pentagon to the undeclared “war” in Afghanistan was “Operation Infinite Justice,” which was later changed to “Operation Enduring Freedom.” Yet it has become the longest un-won war in U.S. history, an operation of infinite sacrifice and of enduring violations of our civil liberties. The killing of bin Laden doesn’t end this injustice, and in fact Obama’s pro-Muslim handling of the corpse and post-mortem photos perpetuates it."

Good article by Mr. Salsman

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Sorry it took so long to respond.

Having said that, I don't think what I'm saying is that complicated. You said Islam was a total state ideology. I disputed that by pointing out that not all people who believe in Islam think it needs to rule every facet of civil life.

What are the ideas that unite all Muslims, regardless of differing interpretations? I'm no Islamic scholar, but I would start with the belief that "there is no god but God and Mohammad is his prophet." As with Christianity, if you get much more specific than that, people will start to disagree. Whatever these unifying ideas are, the idea that Islam should control the government and every facet of civil life isn't one of them.

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You said Islam was a total state ideology. I disputed that by pointing out that not all people who believe in Islam think it needs to rule every facet of civil life.

So Islam means whatever any particular Muslim or group of Muslims believe it to mean, but it is not a total state ideology.

You have said as well:

"Well, hold on a second. I never said Islam is a religion of piece. That's western liberal hogwash. I just reject the notion that you can say "Islam," as such, is a violent ideology--because the word "Islam" does not name a single ideology but, rather, dozens of competing and mutually-exclusive ideologies that all claim to be the correct interpretation of the religion revealed by Muhammad."

"What I am saying is that it is useless to use the monolithic grouping "Islam" as the proper name for violent ideologies, because there are other ideologies under that same heading that are peaceful. I am also saying that you (and everyone else) are incapable of reconciling Islam into a single ideology, because its scriptures can be used to justify a number of mutually exclusive ideas."

"...it is impossible to simultaneously follow everything set down in the Quran, without engaging in linguistic acrobatics of the sort that religious apologists are known for."

"I don't think Islam can be called "an ideology," given the vast disagreement by people who call themselves Muslims. There are certain unifying ideas that are present among all people who call themselves Muslims, but the way these ideas impact their daily lives and are put into practice (or not) in the government varies widely."

"At present, Islam is undoubtedly the gravest threat (at least, among religions) to humanity as a whole--not just because of the wars that are fought in its name, but because it is keeping large swaths of the earth mired in economic squalor." [bold mine]

1. How can Islam be a threat? You say that it is a threat. Why is it a threat?

2. What in the nature of Islam gives rise to it being a threat?

You say that beyond the belief that "there is no god but God and Mohammad is his prophet," as with Christianity, "if you get much more specific than that, people will start to disagree."

And: "Whatever these unifying ideas are, the idea that Islam should control the government and every facet of civil life isn't one of them."

Islam, you say, is not a religion of peace or of violent ideologies; it's a religion which, beyond a few generalities which unite all Muslims, means whatever any particular Muslims or group of Muslims believe it to mean. But whatever else Islam is, it is not a totalitarian or "total state" ideology.

3. How can wars be fought in the name of Islam if Islam does not prescribe war? You say that wars are fought in the name of Islam.

4. How can Islam keep large swaths of the earth mired in economic squalor? You say it does.

You said: "I don't think there can be any such thing as the "true" version of a contradictory doctrine. If I write a holy book that says "The only way to get into heaven is to be a complete pacifist" and then later say "The only way to get into heaven is to kill all the infidels," there's no way to find an authoritative interpretation of the proper way to get into heaven. That's obviously a lot more black-and-white than a text like the Quran, but I think it illustrates my point."

Let say then, following your example, that you are "God" and that you have written a holy book with those contradictory statements on the requirement for getting into heaven: "be a complete pacifist" or "kill all the infidels" (not be a complete pacifist).

Now I, as a believer in you, my God, and your holy book as your word, your book of commandments for me to obey (or do you not recognize that religious, holy books issue commandments?), have a problem.

Do your contradictory commandments cancel each other out as though nothing was commanded? If so, if you've given no commandments with respect to being a pacifist or killing the infidels, then killing the infidels is certainly not forbidden (nor is turning the other cheek and permitting myself to be murdered if I choose to be a sacrificial martyr). If my God has not proscribed something, surely it is my choice. Either choice is blessed, sanctioned.

However, contradictory as they are, you have actually said something, two somethings, each of which contradicts the other. As you, dear God, say: "there's no way to find an authoritative interpretation of the proper way to get into heaven."

I cannot be both a total pacifist and kill the infidels; I have to make a choice. You, God, have given me contradictory commandments, and I have to choose one. Is one more valid than the other? No. It's optional; it's my call, my choice. If I want to kill the infidels, I have no reason to believe that you are definitely against my doing so. If I want to be a pacifist, I have no reason to believe that you are definitely against my doing so.

And that is why I said previously that it's optional, and you, dear God, have sanctioned either course of action I take.

Edit: clarity

Edited by Trebor
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The Wrath, I have another question to ask you.

You have said that there are no good religions. (When I asked "is it your view that some religions are true and good?," you replied, "Short answer: Not just no, but hell no.")

You have also said that Islam is not a total state or totalitarian religion (ideology?)

Islam, though not good, is not so bad that it is a totalitarian religion, if I can correctly state your view on Islam.

My question: What is required for an ideology to be totalitarian?

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