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Thread: Islam And Its Intractable Link To Extremism And Terrorism

  1. #1
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    Islam And Its Intractable Link To Extremism And Terrorism

    In Interview, Top Indonesian Muslim Scholar Says Stop Pretending That Orthodox Islam and Violence Aren't Linked

    September 8, 2017

    Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, has a constitution that recognizes other major religions, and practices a syncretic form of Islam that draws on not just the faith’s tenets but local spiritual and cultural traditions. As a result, the nation has long been a voice of, and for, moderation in the Islamic world.

    Yet Indonesia is not without its radical elements. Though most are on the fringe, they can add up to a significant number given Indonesia’s 260-million population. In the early 2000s, the country was terrorized by Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), a homegrown extremist organization allied with al-Qaeda. JI’s deadliest attack was the 2002 Bali bombing that killed 202 people. While JI has been neutralized, ISIS has claimed responsibility for recent, smaller terrorist incidents in the country and has inspired some Indonesians to fight in Syria — Indonesians who could pose a threat when they return home. The country has also seen the rise of hate groups that preach intolerance and violence against local religious and ethnic minorities, which include Shia and Ahmadiya Muslims.

    Among Indonesia’s most influential Islamic leaders is Yahya Cholil Staquf, 51,advocates a modern, moderate Islam. He is general secretary of the Nahdlatul Ulama, which, with about 50 million members, is the country’s biggest Muslim organization. Yahya. This interview, notable for Yahya’s candor, was first published on Aug. 19 in German in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Here are excerpts translated from the original Bahasa Indonesia into English.

    Western politicians should stop pretending that extremism and terrorism have nothing to do with Islam. There is a clear relationship between fundamentalism, terrorism, and the basic assumptions of Islamic orthodoxy. So long as we lack consensus regarding this matter, we cannot gain victory over fundamentalist violence within Islam.

    Radical Islamic movements are nothing new. They’ve appeared again and again throughout our own history in Indonesia. The West must stop ascribing any and all discussion of these issues to “Islamophobia.” Or do people want to accuse me — an Islamic scholar — of being an Islamophobe too?

    The relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims, the relationship of Muslims with the state, and Muslims’ relationship to the prevailing legal system wherever they live … Within the classical tradition, the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is assumed to be one of segregation and enmity.

    Perhaps there were reasons for this during the Middle Ages, when the tenets of Islamic orthodoxy were established, but in today’s world such a doctrine is unreasonable. To the extent that Muslims adhere to this view of Islam, it renders them incapable of living harmoniously and peacefully within the multi-cultural, multi-religious societies of the 21st century.

    A Western politician would likely be accused of racism for saying what you just said.

    I’m not saying that Islam is the only factor causing Muslim minorities in the West to lead a segregated existence, often isolated from society as a whole. There may be other factors on the part of the host nations, such as racism, which exists everywhere in the world. But traditional Islam — which fosters an attitude of segregation and enmity toward non-Muslims — is an important factor.

    And Muslims and the state?

    Within the Islamic tradition, the state is a single, universal entity that unites all Muslims under the rule of one man who leads them in opposition to, and conflict with, the non-Muslim world.

    So the call by radicals to establish a caliphate, including by ISIS, is not un-Islamic?

    No, it is not. [ISIS’s] goal of establishing a global caliphate stands squarely within the orthodox Islamic tradition. But we live in a world of nation-states. Any attempt to create a unified Islamic state in the 21st century can only lead to chaos and violence. Many Muslims assume there is an established and immutable set of Islamic laws, which are often described as shariah. This assumption is in line with Islamic tradition, but it of course leads to serious conflict with the legal system that exists in secular nation-states.

    Any [fundamentalist] view of Islam positing the traditional norms of Islamic jurisprudence as absolute [should] be rejected out of hand as false. State laws [should] have precedence.

    Too many Muslims view civilization, and the peaceful co-existence of people of different faiths, as something they must combat. Many Europeans can sense this attitude among Muslims.

    There’s a growing dissatisfaction in the West with respect to Muslim minorities, a growing fear of Islam. In this sense, some Western friends of mine are “Islamophobic.” They’re afraid of Islam. To be honest, I understand their fear … The West cannot force Muslims to adopt a moderate interpretation of Islam. But Western politicians should stop telling us that fundamentalism and violence have nothing to do with traditional Islam. That is simply wrong.

    Over the past 50 years, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have spent massively to promote their ultra-conservative version of Islam worldwide. After allowing this to go unchallenged for so many decades, the West must finally exert decisive pressure upon the Saudis to cease this behavior. I admire Western, especially European, politicians. Their thoughts are so wonderfully humanitarian. But we live in a time when you have to think and act realistically.

    The last time I was in Brussels I witnessed some Arab, perhaps North African, youth insult and harass a group of policemen. My Belgian friends remarked that such behavior has become an almost everyday occurrence in their country. Why do you allow such behavior? What kind if impression does that make? Europe, and Germany in particular, are accepting massive numbers of refugees. Don’t misunderstand me: of course you cannot close your eyes to those in need. But the fact remains that you’re taking in millions of refugees about whom you know virtually nothing, except that they come from extremely problematic regions of the world.

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    Time for Catholics to Reconsider Islam and the “Prophet” Muhammad?

    William Kilpatrick
    September 8, 2016

    Ironically, one reason that many Catholics take an optimistic view of Islam is also the chief reason for doubting that there can be any reconciliation with Islam. Some Catholics make much of the fact that Jesus is mentioned in the Koran and is honored by Muslims as a great prophet. This respect for Jesus, they assume, is a guarantee that Islam cannot be too far away from the truth. But the fact that Jesus is included in Islamic tradition is a two-edged sword.

    Six hundred years after Paul, Muhammad came along and started preaching a different Jesus—a very different Jesus. If anything, the Muslim Jesus is an anti-Jesus; he directly contradicts the claims of the Jesus of the Gospels. In the Koran, Allah addresses the “people of the Book” (Christians) and warns them to speak the truth about God: “The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was no more than God’s apostle…So believe in God and His apostles and do not say ‘Three’ [‘Trinity’ in some translations]…God forbid that he should have a son!” (4: 171).

    That’s a flat denial of the Trinity and a rejection of the Fatherhood of God and the Sonship of Jesus. In other places, Allah denies the Incarnation and the Crucifixion. It’s not as though these are peripheral teachings of the Church whose denial can be overlooked for the sake of fellowship. These beliefs are the foundation of the Faith.

    Muslims hold that Muhammad did not write the Koran, but merely recited what Allah had told him. Thus, there are two contradictory revelations. In one, God tells us that He is a Trinity and that Jesus is the Son of the Father. In the other “revelation,” Allah says he is not a Trinity and he curses those who say that Jesus is the Son of God.

    Not much wiggle-room there. This is not a misunderstanding that can be papered over with dialogue and happy talk about shared respect for Jesus. It’s not the same Jesus. And, unless you want to dispense with the laws of logic, it’s not the same God.

    In Islam, Muhammad is referred to simply as the Prophet. But what kind of prophet was he? Here’s a hint. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warns his listeners to “beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Mt. 7:15). Does Muhammad qualify as a false prophet? It would seem so. He proclaims that God is not a Trinity and that Jesus is neither divine nor a savior. He rejects almost all of the central Christian teachings.

    Fortunately, there are signs that the Church’s Pollyannaish view of Islam may be in for a revision. The Church’s Islam policy is coming under increasing scrutiny. Up until a year or two ago, Catholic journalists tended to avoid the subject of Islam except to report on terrorist attacks or on the Pope’s meetings with imams. As for news analysis, most writers simply echoed the Vatican’s semi-official narrative that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. More recently, however, Catholic columnists have begun to question that narrative. More and more Catholic writers and intellectuals are taking a closer, more clear-eyed look at the Church’s relationship with Islam.

  3. #3
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    Are God and Allah the same? Consider the facts-

    Dan Calic
    FEBRUARY 24, 2013

    Many people think we all pray to the same god. This suggests the homogenization of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as who God and Allah are. There are those who say Allah translated is another word for God. I am not prepared to argue this point. However, to suggest Allah actually is synonymous with the God of the Bible is another matter entirely.

    Judaism and Christianity share much in common. For example, both Christians and Jews believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Yet, some Jews think Judaism has more in common with Islam than with Christianity. Why? Allah is a singular deity, and not part of a triune, therefore they view both religions as monotheistic. This is a naively oversimplified view.

    When one looks into the theology of the three religions there are clear distinctions which do not support the ‘same god’ view. For example, a foundational tenet which is shared by Judaism and Christianity is the Ten Commandments. The first commandment says “I am the Lord your God.” Commandment #2 says “you are to have no other gods before me.” In contrast, the Shadahah [Islamic statement of faith] says “There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger.” If “God” and “Allah” are one and the same why does Islam identify him distinctly, and say his [only] messenger is Mohammed, rather than including Moses or Jesus?

    The dissimilarities become clearer as reflected in these quotes from the Quran-

    “Allah turned Sabbath breaking Jews into apes” [2:65-66]

    “Jews and Christians believe in idols and false deities.” [4:51]

    “Jews and Christians are evil-livers.” [5:59]

    “Don’t take Jews or Christians for friends. If you do Allah will consider you to be one of them.” [5:51]

    To those who say God and Allah are the same, by virtue of the aforementioned quotes from the Quran does it make sense that Jews and Christians should worship a god who curses them? Another quote from the Quran which Christians should pay special attention to is “no son did Allah beget” [23:91] Given this, one has to wonder why any Jew or Christian would suggest we all pray to the same god.

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    So I feel compelled to ask you Albany, what do you think of the dems in this country suggesting Jews should give back Israel so they can be relocated in Nevada?

    What did you think of Trump acknowledging Israel's capital?

  5. #5
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    Mazel tov!


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