Islam: Peace or Plague?


#1

Hello,

I read through the posts on the subject of the pope “kissing” the Qur’an and saw some interresting comments on the subject of Islam. And I have one question: has anyone here ever studied it?

I’m hearing comments all over the board like the now famous Bush PR of “Islam is a religion of Peace” and the opposite end of “Islam calls for the murder of infidels”. So, I’m wondering how people on this board arrived at their particular oppinions on the subject.

Have you read the Qur’an?
Do you interract with other Muslims?
Have you taken a comparative religion course?
Do you base your oppinion on current events?
Do you let the media or politicians give you a “synopsis” of what to think on the subject?

Thanks!


#2

Rather than take up a great deal of space answering this question, I’ll just refer you to Catholic Answers and a track called “Endless Jihad” that makes all the points I would. Here is the link.

catholic.com/library/endless_jihad.asp


#3

my :twocents: :

Have you read the Qur’an? partially
Do you interract with other Muslims? yes
Have you taken a comparative religion course? no
Do you base your oppinion on current events? partially
Do you let the media or politicians give you a “synopsis” of what to think on the subject? no way, never (regardless of the subject)

The Quran contains a lot wisdom, a lot of rubbish, and one can justify almost anything with it, just like some other religious books I have heard of…


#4

The religion is a plague

I let a Muslim woman off the street use the work phone yesterday…even closed her car door for her when she was in…I have no problem jiving my feelings for that relgion and treating people with respect.


#5

My attitude towards Muslims comes from living in their communities for two years in Indonesia and working with them here in the US. I also take my cue from Catholic writings that encourage us to look for the commonalities in other religions and understand them, without converting to them. I have not formally studied them since a comparative religion course I took in college 20 years ago, before I became Catholic.


#6

Hello, and thanks for your replies. I have to say I am very impressed at the answers here.

Apologia,

Thanks for the link. But if I had wanted resources or websites I would have asked for them. I was looking for an intelligent conversation on the subject.

AnAtheist,

Good points. And to be honest, ones which I would like to have expected from an atheist (not an insult, I swear : ) Meaning, you have done your homework and thinking critically on the matter. I will agree with you that the bible can itself easily be taken out of context, and has been for hundreds of years now. But the one fact remains: Jesus, who we Christians believe is God, never calls for the destruction or murder of anyone. Let alone those who do not believe.

As for the Qur’an containing wisdom, I’d have to agree there. The Qur’an plagerizes the Torah in great detail. But it’s Christology is completely errant and an obvious attempt at reconciling the Nestorian and Gnostic sects with the teachings of the Torah and Arab folklore. So, this wisdom you refer to is in effect a half-truth. Meaning, if I say, “the earth is a planet…”, then this is truth and wisdom. but if I then add, “…which is pulled around the universe by a giant intergalactic tortoise” that wisdom becomes pretty meaningless. Such is the case with the Qur’an.

Faithful and Charles,

I agree with your posts entirely. While I believe Islam is a plague, we must always follow the example of Christ and separate the people from the belief system, just as He did with the Samaritans and Gentiles.

I have and continue to read the Qur’an pretty much for the same reasons I listen to Michael Moor and Rush Limbaugh: to understand the mindset of the people who follow them. And as abhorrent as the religion is, it does not exclude me from having Muslim friends (and even family members, unfortunately).

A quick antecdote: a man I respect very much, Bishop Macram Gassis of Sudan (now exiled) told me once how he went to Rome to ask the Pope for aid due to the persecution of Chrisitans in Sudan. The pope said, “the two greatest threats to the church are communism and fundamentalist Islam. And the latter far outweighs the former”.


#7

I vote plague. If Christians or Jews had crashed planes into buildings in Cairo, blownup Saudi ships, blownup bus loads of people by becoming human bombs in Palastine, slaughtered hundres of thousands of Sudanise Muslims, and cut of the heads of captives in Iraq can you imagine what they would be doing? I form my opinion of them and all other people by their actions, not their words. Wake up Christians! Islam hates us and wants to destroy us. :mad:


#8

Lance,

An interesting sidenote on Sudan: you’re probably aware that therre has been a genocidal war being waged by the Muslim Arab north against the black Christians and animists of the south since the late 80’s. So far, the death toll comes in around 2 million. That’s 2,000,000 people. But it wasn’t until just recently when the Muslims began attacking OTHER Muslims in Darfur when the UN decided to step in. The same thing happened in Iugoslavia/Bosnia/Kosovo.

Conicidence?


#9

[quote=Lance]I vote plague. If Christians or Jews had crashed planes into buildings in Cairo, blownup Saudi ships, blownup bus loads of people by becoming human bombs in Palastine, slaughtered hundres of thousands of Sudanise Muslims, and cut of the heads of captives in Iraq can you imagine what they would be doing? I form my opinion of them and all other people by their actions, not their words. Wake up Christians! Islam hates us and wants to destroy us. :mad:
[/quote]

I think Christians were the main participants in WWII in Europe. Both sides were Christian cultures. There is no real need to list atrocities from that time. Is Christianity a plague based on the actions of the Germans, Austrians, Italians, and Russians? Those were actions, not words.

The Islamists are the enemy. They are primarily Arab and Pakistani. There are one billion Muslims. There are 250 million Arabs and 160 million Pakistanis.

The hostility of some Christians to other religions should not divert us from the real danger by insisting that people who do not comply with Christianity are a threat to us.


#10

Ken,

When you say Christians were “participants” in World War II, I’m assuming you are counging the millions of Christians who died under Nazi persecution, correct? To say or even imply that Nazis are Christian is grossly innacurate since Pius XII himself condemned Nazism and its racist policies as clearly being against the tenets of the faith. This was basically a no-brianer. If the Nazis commited geocide in the name of the one true church, then you’d have a case.

Those Muslims who commit terror are indeed doing so in the name of Islam. They can pick up the Qur’an and point to the exact passage where Allah calls them to do so. There are entire Surahs (chapters) devoted to how Muslims are called to wage war and triumph over unbelievers, and exactly what they can and can’t do with them afterwards.

As for simply blaming Arabs and/or Pakistanis is both dangerous and racist. Because of recent events in the US, it’s a common PR tactic under the current administration to say, “Oh, it’s just a few bad apples within Islam responsible for everything.” Wrong. How many terrorist acts have been commited against Christians in Indonesia? Remember the bombings of the churches/Cathecral in Jakarta as recently as last year? Did you know Muslims are waging a war of genocide against the small population of the Mulukkas (Spice Islands)? Did you know the Indonesian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiya, responsible for the terorist bombing in Bali 2 years ago which killed over 200 people, is also exporting their terror campaigns via other Muslim groups, specifically in the Philipines?

I’m using the Indonesia example to combat your assumption about this wayward group of Arabs and Pakistanis. I could continue and name many more Muslim terrorist groups spanning Muslims throughout Africa, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kossova, Afghanistan, Iran, Kashmir, Bengladesh etc. None of which are either Arab nor Pakistani.

So, ask yourself this: why are there so many Islamic terrorist organizations throughout the world? Why do so many people commit these acts in the name of Islam?


#11

[quote=Salvo]Lance,

An interesting sidenote on Sudan: you’re probably aware that therre has been a genocidal war being waged by the Muslim Arab north against the black Christians and animists of the south since the late 80’s. So far, the death toll comes in around 2 million. That’s 2,000,000 people. But it wasn’t until just recently when the Muslims began attacking OTHER Muslims in Darfur when the UN decided to step in. The same thing happened in Iugoslavia/Bosnia/Kosovo.

Conicidence?
[/quote]

There was a short piece on the abc news tonite about Sudan and the suffering and starvation there. It mentioned a few words about a war, but never mentioned the Muslims vs the Christians. That’s abc for you.


#12

I’ve come to understand Islam as just a particularly nasty and vicious form the the Arian hereasy

Remember the Church’s statement on Islam said only:

841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day."330

844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:

Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair.333

Obviously doctrines that call for Muslims to “kill the unbeliever wherever you find him” fall in theerror and are a result of deception by the evil one.

Ken,
Islam and Christianity have nothing in common besides the points above, perhaps you should educate yourself before spewing your anti-Christian bile.
Nazis were actually secular humanists and occultists as was nearly every other tyranny of the 20th century. The common nonsense that is regurgitated about religion causing so many wars is refuted in the thread Athiesm Kills .
Christianity has always been content to co-exist with Muslims, the Crusades were defensive wars in reaction to decades of attacks against Christendom and genocide against Christians in the Middle East - sound familiar? Islam has not been content to co-exist with *us *or any other rival faith.


#13

I am not too articulate with words but I’ll throw in my two cents on the issue. I’ve interacted with a few Muslims during the past few years and have never had a bad expirience with them. But one thing I should point out, all of the Muslims I have interacted with have been somewhat well off financially (at least well off enough to attend college).

When looking at WHY Muslims seem to be responsible for such heinous acts like the Sept 11 attacks we should pay attention to WHERE they are from and WHAT the environment is like. In general its not the oil rich, aristocracy thats out there blowing up buildings, its the poor, lower classes. These people live in an envrionment where there is little hope of escaping poverty even though a select few manage to become extremely rich. So who is there to blame? Thats where people like Osama bin Laden come into play, they point the finger at Israel and the US and say that Jews and Westerners are responsible for all thats wrong in the Middle East. They offer foreign scapegoats to problems that are often the fault of their own governemens.

Islam comes into play in that its the rallying point people like Osama bin Laden can rally the people of the Middle East around. If you’;ve seen Lawrence of Arabia you know that there are strong divisions among Arabs and that present day boundries don’t reflect unified cultural groups. Islam and poverty are the two things that make the Middle East, Indonesia, Pakistan, etc so dangerous. Poverty leads to discontent and Islam is used as a rallying cry. So in the end OBL and other terrorist “leaders” bring a popular message: “Join me and we can destroy America and Israel and make our lives better. And if we die in the process eternal paradise is ours.”

Reading over what I wrote its not as clear as I’d like it to be, but I’d be interested to see if anyone sees where I am coming from. Islam itself isn’t a plague but all too often people like OBL jump in and make it one.


#14

#15

Ryan,

Hello. I’m affraid Kevin is right here. Unfortunately the master-minds behind Al-Qaeda as well as other Muslim terrorist groups are from the elite of their societies. But you are correct, the vast majority of Muslims in the world are illiterate and uneducated. What this means is that they are indeed highly suscebtible to manipulation and coercion by those with access to communication. And in many cases, the only avenues of education are through the madrassah sistem. And all they learn is the Qur’an, hatred of the Infidels and the West.

You are correct in one aspect. The Palestinian suicide bombers that you hear about in Israel (note: ALL MUSLIMS. There has never been a Christian Palestinian suicide bomber) for the most part come from very poor families, who get paid upwards towards $30,000 for blowing themself up.

2 years ago when I was in Bethlehem, I saw the posters around the city of the suicide bombers. They’re like collectibles or pop idols. And while I would never in ANY way condone their tactics, after being around the Israelis and seeing how they treat people there, I can definitely see the desperation and reasons behind the actions of the Palestinians.


#16

An excellent article on the myth of ‘religious wars’.

jesusradicals.com/library/cavanaugh/Wars_of_Religion.html


#17

If the Nazis commited geocide in the name of the one true church, then you’d have a case.

Those Muslims who commit terror are indeed doing so in the name of Islam. They can pick up the Qur’an and point to the exact passage where Allah calls them to do so. There are entire Surahs (chapters) devoted to how Muslims are called to wage war and triumph over unbelievers, and exactly what they can and can’t do with them afterwards.

So, ask yourself this: why are there so many Islamic terrorist organizations throughout the world? Why do so many people commit these acts in the name of Islam?

Excellent points. The only trouble spots in the world, that I can think of, that do not involve Muslims are Nort Korea and Tiawan.


#18

[quote=Salvo]Ken,

When you say Christians were “participants” in World War II, I’m assuming you are counging the millions of Christians who died under Nazi persecution, correct? To say or even imply that Nazis are Christian is grossly innacurate since Pius XII himself condemned Nazism and its racist policies as clearly being against the tenets of the faith. This was basically a no-brianer. If the Nazis commited geocide in the name of the one true church, then you’d have a case.

Those Muslims who commit terror are indeed doing so in the name of Islam. They can pick up the Qur’an and point to the exact passage where Allah calls them to do so. There are entire Surahs (chapters) devoted to how Muslims are called to wage war and triumph over unbelievers, and exactly what they can and can’t do with them afterwards.

As for simply blaming Arabs and/or Pakistanis is both dangerous and racist. Because of recent events in the US, it’s a common PR tactic under the current administration to say, “Oh, it’s just a few bad apples within Islam responsible for everything.” Wrong. How many terrorist acts have been commited against Christians in Indonesia? Remember the bombings of the churches/Cathecral in Jakarta as recently as last year? Did you know Muslims are waging a war of genocide against the small population of the Mulukkas (Spice Islands)? Did you know the Indonesian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiya, responsible for the terorist bombing in Bali 2 years ago which killed over 200 people, is also exporting their terror campaigns via other Muslim groups, specifically in the Philipines?

I’m using the Indonesia example to combat your assumption about this wayward group of Arabs and Pakistanis. I could continue and name many more Muslim terrorist groups spanning Muslims throughout Africa, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kossova, Afghanistan, Iran, Kashmir, Bengladesh etc. None of which are either Arab nor Pakistani.

So, ask yourself this: why are there so many Islamic terrorist organizations throughout the world? Why do so many people commit these acts in the name of Islam?

[/quote]

Europe was the bastion of Christian culture. It destroyed itself. What the pope said isn’t important. It’s simple. Christian societies and cultures killed millions. They killed Christians, and they killed Jews. And the attitudes that led to the Holocaust grew and thrived in a Christian continent. Note the apology by the current pope.

Christians will say that people from their culture who commit atrocities are not really Christians and do not represent Christianity. Then they will say that the acts of any Muslim represent all Muslims.

This does not mean that Christian cultures are any worse than other cultures. It just means they are no better.


#19

Uh, I’d like to ask another question. Since they are acting in the name of God (Allah) then why is God allowing it?

Let’s go back to the old Testament. Those of you with more Biblical knowledge may help pinpoint the exact context/book, but this is something I remember:

The Isrealites were supposed to be following God and worshipping him, but were disobedient and continued to be so. I believe that God sent a prophet to try to correct the matter yet when they continued to be disobedient he sent the enemy force to overcome them. They were so sure that they were in God’s graces in the Promised Land that they apparently didn’t feel the need to be obedient anymore. The (Assyrians?) conquered the Isrealites by God’s own will and blessing, in spite of the fact that they were idolaters.

Could this be what is happening to Christianity now? We are divided, we are secularized…and we are not following God’s commands in spite of the abundant teaching. We are questioning authority and we are, just like the Isrealites of the OT worshipping other “gods” in various forms.

I believe that terrorism at the hands of the Islamic Extremists are by God’s will, and we are going to lose because God may very well be on their side in order to punish our sins and bring us back to him.

Please, someone…can you direct me to the right story? I’m thinking it’s part of Exodus, but is it rather Deuteronomy? Am I way off?


#20

[quote=JCPhoenix].

I believe that terrorism at the hands of the Islamic Extremists are by God’s will, and we are going to lose because God may very well be on their side in order to punish our sins and bring us back to him.

Please, someone…can you direct me to the right story? I’m thinking it’s part of Exodus, but is it rather Deuteronomy? Am I way off?
[/quote]

Please tell me you don’t really believe God is behind these terrorist. As long as we have nukes they will not win. We may lose by destroying the world but they won’t win.


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