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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?

In the middle-ages, wars were fought in the name of Christianity. Does Christianity prescribe war? I see Islam as having three things that make it different from Christanity. Firstly, it's founder was a political leader involved in tribal-warfare, so speeches by him, goading men to actual battle and killing can be used to support the viewpoint that he advocated murder outside the context of war. Secondly, Islam has not had the equivalent of the Protestant revolution. Finally, people who were historically Christian re-discovered the Romans and Greeks and brought back rational philosophy, while people who were historically Islamic did not.
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In the middle-ages, wars were fought in the name of Christianity. Does Christianity prescribe war?

I'm not certain. Does it? If it does, then obviously wars can be fought in the name of Christianity.

If Christianity does not prescribe war, then how can wars be fought in the name of Christianity? What is it about Christianity, or any religion, that makes it possible to fight wars in its name?

Is there something about faith as an epistemology that gives rise to war, not war in self-defense, but war initiated?

I see Islam as having three things that make it different from Christanity. Firstly, it's founder was a political leader involved in tribal-warfare, so speeches by him, goading men to actual battle and killing can be used to support the viewpoint that he advocated murder outside the context of war. Secondly, Islam has not had the equivalent of the Protestant revolution. Finally, people who were historically Christian re-discovered the Romans and Greeks and brought back rational philosophy, while people who were historically Islamic did not.

Yes, I agree. There's also the render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and render unto God that which is God's. Christianity, for the time being, has been neutered politically.

Though not all religious people, individuals, seek to force their religion on others, religions, unrestrained, lead to just that, of necessity. If faith is in, reason is out, on principle. If I "know" what is the good, by faith, rejecting any requirement that my knowledge be rational, then there is no reason not to initiate force against others, forcing them to be good by my belief. Religious people, individuals, as it were, are carriers of a deadly ideology which, if turned loose, will lead to a totalitarian, religious state.

There may be good people who are Christian to a degree, but they are not good by virtue of being Christian.

Disagree?

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Where does the info about "delaying" come from?

Sasha

I do not know. Perhaps you could ask him in a comment to his article: "Obama, Osama And Operation Infinite Sacrifice," and post his reply here (or let us know if and when he replies).

He also said, in that article:

"The CIA and Pentagon gave Mr. Obama a specific raid plan last August, yet he dithered and remained reluctant to take military action. In time it’ll likely be revealed that Mr. Obama gave the go-ahead only because he feared leaks would reveal him to be weak and appeasing.

Of course, Barack Obama isn’t the only U.S. president who hoped to give bin Laden a pass. Only a few months after Sept. 11 President Bush learned that bin Laden had been cornered in Tora Bora (Afghanistan), yet he wasn’t captured or killed because the U.S. military was too distant. Why? Mr. Bush and Pentagon officials didn’t want to convey U.S. assertiveness or offend the dissident group, Northern Alliance, and so decided to have U.S. soldiers and equipment move in the wake of the group’s slow-moving cavalcade of donkeys."

Edit: With a Google search for "CIA and Pentagon gave Mr. Obama a specific raid plan last August," I found, among others, this NPR story, "CIA Used Satellites To Prep For Bin Laden Raid":

"It was last August when the CIA first homed in on the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where Osama bin Laden was ultimately found and killed. In the months leading up to that raid, the CIA and Pentagon used an array of surveillance technology and imagery to learn more about that compound and who might be inside."

Edit: Another (The Times of India): "CIA spied on Osama hideout from nearby safe house":

"Extensive surveillance of Osama bin Laden's hideout from a nearby CIA safe house in Abbottabad led to his killing in a Navy Seal operation, US officials said, a revelation likely to further embarrass Pakistan's spy agency and strain ties.

The US officials, quoted by the Washington Post, said the safe house was the base for intelligence gathering that began after bin Laden's compound was discovered last August, and which was so exhaustive the CIA asked Congress to reallocate tens of millions of dollars to fund it."

Edited by Trebor
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"Videos of OBL in Pakistan released by U.S. military"

Edit: "Special Report: Videotapes obtained during the raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout released by the Pentagon revealed images of the al Qaeda leader preparing his video messages and watching himself on television." [videos do not have audio]

Edit: "Bin Laden videos released by Obama administration" Washington Post National:

'The Obama administration released a collection of videos Saturday of Osama bin Laden that were seized at the compound where he was killed, part of a vast collection of data that U.S. intelligence officials said show that bin Laden remained highly active in directing the terrorist group.

The trove of data shows that “this compound in Abbottabad was an active command and control center for al-Qaeda’s top leader,” a senior U.S. intelligence official said in a briefing at the Pentagon. “It is clear . . . that he was not just a strategic thinker for the group. He was active in operational planning and in driving tactical decisions.”'

"US Releases Five Bin Laden Videos from His Pakistani Hideout" Voice of America:

"U.S. Navy Seals killed the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. in a predawn raid last Monday on bin Laden's mansion in the garrison town of Abbottabad. Before leaving, the commandos seized what U.S. officials described Saturday as the largest terrorism data collection ever."

Edited by Trebor
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. Only a few months after Sept. 11 President Bush learned that bin Laden had been cornered in Tora Bora (Afghanistan), yet he wasn’t captured or killed because the U.S. military was too distant. Why? Mr. Bush and Pentagon officials didn’t want to convey U.S. assertiveness or offend the dissident group, Northern Alliance, and so decided to have U.S. soldiers and equipment move in the wake of the group’s slow-moving cavalcade of donkeys."

http://www.amazon.com/Kill-Bin-Laden-Commanders-Account/dp/0312384394

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Edit: Was bin Laden a leader in accord with Islam?

According to some interpretations, yes. This is ibn Warraq's view. There are many Muslim clerics, however, who would disagree. Neither you nor I are in a position to call them wrong. Once again, we are left with the conclusion that Islam is as Islam does, according to the interpretation of each person practicing it.

I was confused on this point too, but after reading Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden I came to the conclusion that bin Laden was absolutely acting in accord with Islam. He knew more about Islam than any Imam, cited references in the Quran and the hadiths for every violent action he took, and given the premise he was operating on (that Mohammed was a super-natural figure and that the Quran, etc, accurately tell how one should live) his reasoning was consistent.

"Moderate" clerics ignore the violent parts of the Quran, and often cite common-sense type guidance than sourcing from their holy books. Also remember that, unlike Christianity, there is a means of deconflicting contradictory passages in Islam: that which is written later is authoritative. The later verses are the more intolerant and violent. Osama bin Laden might very well be the most consistent muslim that ever lived.

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"Moderate" clerics ignore the violent parts of the Quran, and often cite common-sense type guidance than sourcing from their holy books. ... ...
From my reading, the moderates do not ignore such passages at all. Rather, they interpret them in the context in which they were supposed to have been spoken. For instance, before going to war, Mohammed might have told his followers to find the infidels and slay them violently. The moderates would interpret this in the context of a leader going to war. This is actually a more objective way to interpret the text.
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He knew more about Islam than any Imam

The later verses are the more intolerant and violent.

This is a very bold claim, and would require quite a bit a large amount of evidence to substantiate. You are correct on that the later verses are more intolerant and violent however.

that which is written later is authoritative.

It has been mentioned before in this thread that this is not a hard and fast rule. Some Islamic groups completely reject this even.

Osama bin Laden might very well be the most consistent muslim that ever lived.

I think you will find that quite a large number of Muslims would be absolutely livid about this statement. There are 2 main sects and like 72 various denominations within the religion, their interpretations on all manner of things vary, just as is the case with Christianity, the difference between Christianity and Islam has already been elaborated on earlier in this thread, so I won't get into that.

Edited by CapitalistSwine
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Trebor, you are taking things said out of context, nitpicking every word I use while ignoring the obvious meaning in what I've said, and (most annoyingly of all) asking me to elaborate on every statement that I make in the same manner of a child asking why the sky is blue. You must be a lawyer, because few people will nitpick to that degree in normal conversation. It would take me at least an hour to answer your latest objections to my post and, frankly, I'm not willing to devote that amount of time to it.

Instead, why don't you defend your view that Islam is a total state ideology by showing why moderate interpretations are objectively wrong and the UBLite interpretation is the "true" version of Islam? Call Islam what you will: umbrella ideology, religion, philosophy, Albuquerque, etc. At least acknowledge that there exist many Muslim sects which do not interpret their **insert proper term here** as being totalitarian and aggressively militaristic. If you're willing to acknowledge that, then you're on very shaky ground to make any blanket statements about whether Islam is a peaceful or warlike **insert proper term here.**

Edited by The Wrath
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Osama bin Laden might very well be the most consistent muslim that ever lived.

I think you will find that quite a large number of Muslims would be absolutely livid about this statement. There are 2 main sects and like 72 various denominations within the religion, their interpretations on all manner of things vary, just as is the case with Christianity, the difference between Christianity and Islam has already been elaborated on earlier in this thread, so I won't get into that.

I don't care if they would be livid about it. I have worked with and am friends with many "moderate" Muslims, and I am glad they are inconsisent, but if they were following the Quran's guidance to "fight and slay the pagan's wherever you find them" we would not be friends. My definition of a Muslim is someone who "submits" to Allah through their adherance to the Quran and Hadith, but there are certainly people who call themselves Muslims but only follow their religion to a lesser degree.

I was exagerating a bit when I said UBL is the most consistent Muslim ever. Timur, who converted hundreds of thousands to Islam by the sword during campaigns that spread rape, slaughter, and atrocities throughout the known world during the 14th century was more consistent. I remember reading that he conquered whole cities and then built walls out of the victims, living and dead.

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I don't care if they would be livid about it. I have worked with and am friends with many "moderate" Muslims, and I am glad they are inconsisent, but if they were following the Quran's guidance to "fight and slay the pagan's wherever you find them" we would not be friends. My definition of a Muslim is someone who "submits" to Allah through their adherance to the Quran and Hadith, but there are certainly people who call themselves Muslims but only follow their religion to a lesser degree.

And you have a scholarly knowledge of Islam that allows you to make this judgement, I'm sure.

Wait, no you don't. But there are plenty of Muslim clerics who are indeed experts on Islam, and even they can't agree. When experts can't agree on what the supposedly authoritative source of Islamic law recommends, it seems a reasonable conclusion that it recommends irreconcilable doctrines and that one interpretation is not necessarily better or "more true" than any other.

Indeed, your friends are not following the "slay them wherever ye find them" passage* and are instead following the contradictory "there is no compulsion in religion" passage.

*This passage in the Quran exists in the context of war, a fact oft ignored by people fond of quoting it. The notion that this means "go around the world and slaughter non-Muslims who aren't bothering you" is pretty much held only by Western conservatives with an "I don't know much about Islam but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night" approach to talking about Islam. Obviously, people like UBL consider themselves to be at war with the entire West, but the reasoning for that is of a different strain. Once it's been established that they are at war, only then does the "slay them wherever ye find them" passage take effect.

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No, and that's exactly the point. Someone without such a knowledge is hardly fit to be making blanket statements like "Islam is an inherently totalitarian ideology." As it happens, I am not even making the opposite claim. I am pointing out that actual Islamic experts disagree widely, and that a cursory examination of the Quran shows it to be a contradictory document from which no consistent "true" version can be extracted.

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All religions because of their reliance on revelation in epistemology are inevitably led to intrinsicism in ethics and authoritarianism in politics. God revealed what is good, and the good can be achieved by forcing people to conform to that good.

The consistent muslims are the ones consistent with the epistemology of revelation.

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I do not know. Perhaps you could ask him ... and post his reply here (or let us know if and when he replies).

No comment (yet?) from Mr. Salsman about his assertion "President Obama deserves ... disdain for delaying the operation for so long".

Sasha

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I am pointing out that actual Islamic experts disagree widely, and that a cursory examination of the Quran shows it to be a contradictory document from which no consistent "true" version can be extracted.

But the fact that actual Islamic experts disagree widely doesn't necessarily mean that they are all wrong. A "cursory" examination of the document is not sufficient to determine there is no "true" version to be extracted, scholarly knowledge may well be needed to understand whether or not it was "truly" contradictory. Cursory examinations typically miss lots of context.

I'm suggesting that the claim you are making is equally uninformed as SkyTrooper's if the standard for an accurate judgment is scholarly knowledge.

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I resent that someone has to have a "scholarly knowledge" of something, before making judgments. Especially if your standard of a proper evaluation of Islam, is that muslims clerics disagree. Muslim clerics are not trustworthy as an authority on Islam, because they will go out of their way to reconcile what it says in the Qu'ran, to what they want Islam to be portrayed as.

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I resent that someone has to have a "scholarly knowledge" of something, before making judgments. Especially if your standard of a proper evaluation of Islam, is that muslims clerics disagree. Muslim clerics are not trustworthy as an authority on Islam, because they will go out of their way to reconcile what it says in the Qu'ran, to what they want Islam to be portrayed as.

Do you believe that they do in fact agree, but some choose to disguise the truth while the others are honest? That’s a hell of a conspiracy theory.

How about an illustration, something I presume will be a bit closer to home. I assume you’re an atheist. In the context of Christian theology, do you achieve salvation by faith alone, or is faith without works not sufficient? This is a conflict within the text of the New Testament, St. Paul vs. St. James. How do you, a nonbeliever, decide? And if some nut case cites St. James as his reason for bombing an abortion clinic, and the Pope cites St. Paul for why he shouldn’t have done that, how do you decide which one is the consistent Christian?

If you take the time to study it, you’ll find that Islam has about as many theological schools of thought as Christianity. And no Pope, for better and for worse.

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Do you believe that they do in fact agree, but some choose to disguise the truth while the others are honest? That’s a hell of a conspiracy theory.

How do you conclude this from what I posted?

How about an illustration, something I presume will be a bit closer to home. I assume you’re an atheist. In the context of Christian theology, do you achieve salvation by faith alone, or is faith without works not sufficient? This is a conflict within the text of the New Testament, St. Paul vs. St. James. How do you, a nonbeliever, decide? And if some nut case cites St. James as his reason for bombing an abortion clinic, and the Pope cites St. Paul for why he shouldn’t have done that, how do you decide which one is the consistent Christian?

How do you?

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How do you conclude this from what I posted?

I asked a question, I didn’t draw a conclusion. You claim Muslim clerics can’t be trusted because they endeavor to reconcile their scriptures with “what they want Islam to be portrayed as”. This, instead of studying and then to the best of their abilities, determining what Islam teaches, then applying it to the modern world. FWIW I don’t doubt for a moment that there are some who are as dishonest as can be.

How do you?

Serious answer: I don’t. Sarcastic answer, included because I think it’s illustrative: Martin Luther and his doctrine of grace, which is essentially the Pauline view, was not honest theology. He picked his side because the Jamesian view, the true Christian way (says me), could be used to justify the sale of indulgences, and he just hate hate hated that. He got buggered by an indulgence peddling Dominican around 1500, and swore to avenge himself on the whole world (this is one of those Vatican library secrets, but even Dan Brown won’t touch it).

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And you have a scholarly knowledge of Islam that allows you to make this judgement, I'm sure.

Wait, no you don't.

I've read the Quran, taken classes on Middle East Studies, read a compilation including every statement made by Osama bin Laden, and lived for over a year in Iraq. Your appeal to authority is specious.

The oft quoted "sword verse" is just what came to mind. Here are some more examples of the Quran inciting violence: Cruetly in the Quran, Intolerance in the Quran.

Also, if you can judge a religion by the actions of it's followers: List of pre-2001 Islamist Attacks.

Not that other religions are neccesarily better, but at least Christianity has been emasculated by a Reformation and the Enlightenment.

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Someone without such a knowledge is hardly fit to be making blanket statements like "Islam is an inherently totalitarian ideology."

... also (and I'm sure this point has already been made) Islam is known by everyone to be based on faith. Faith and Force were proven by Ayn Rand to be inseperable corallary's. Bin Laden is only the most recent manifistation of this. Once the fact that faith leads to violence is accepted, no specific knowledge of Islam is needed for me to state that UBL is a consistent Muslim for slaughtering thousands of innocents.

Edited by SkyTrooper
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