There are very few brave people in Islam
November 6, 2017 at 2:26 am #6003
If it is true that proportionally very few muslims are terrorists; then the majority are not. Then how is it that the majority of muslims are cowed into submission by a very few?
And it seems that the majority of muslims are afraid to speak their minds. Let me explain why.
The answer is simple; the islamic faith cannot tolerate dissent and it cannot tolerate a diversity of opinion. It is for most muslims unthinkable to question their church and its dogma.
Even the mildest of observations will bring upon a muslim criticism; probably social sanctions and possibly death.
So speaking out against the atrocities perpetuated in the name of islam is very difficult for a muslim.
Take the case of Dominica Biscotta. Her son became attracted to extreme views and started to act on those plans. Recently he was sentenced on terrorist charges. When she noticed her son adopting extreme religious views she approached her islamic community and got nowhere.
In reference to her failure to get any help from the Muslim community regarding her son she said and I quote ‘I want the Muslim community to stand up.’
And this is where non-muslims can help. Rather than naively group thinking muslims to a place of victim-hood we can support those muslims who are themselves victims of the ideology.November 6, 2017 at 6:53 am #6008
“There are very few brave people in Islam”
– it’s a big accusation to accuse someone of cowardice, particularly when it’s them, and not you, who faces being shot or hacked to death for saying the wrong thing.
I think it’s pointless to assume that Muslims are especially cowardly, for not standing up to get literally shot down, and that’s why Islam is such a mess. It’s safer to assume that Muslims are the same mixture of human beings as everyone else, who find themselves born into a situation, like all of us.
I understand that Dominica Biscotta couldn’t get help from the Muslim community regarding her son. This shows up one of the fundamental systemic reasons why Islam can cause harm – the shame culture. Not only is there a shame culture, where the community matters more than individuals, but religion does a fine job of turning up the shame level to 1000%, backed up by the ultimate shame of being sent to hell for all eternity. That’s a second systemic weakness when it comes to making human beings prosper. There’s also the historical fact that Islam was paranoid and militaristic right from the start, defining itself in opposition to Christianity and its alien culture. Another factor as pointed out in Sunday School is the non-separation of church and state. There are probably a number of other fundamental, historical, situational reasons why Islam can be problematic for human happiness.
It seems that the problems include a lack of free speech, a lack of women’s rights, and terrorism.
“we can support those muslims who are themselves victims of the ideology.”
– how do you propose we do this, in actual concrete terms? I think the question of what anyone can do about it does not have easy answers, and there must be a multitude of ways working together in order to change anything. The sad part is that the Muslim world is packed full of talent which the world, and themselves, are missing out on.November 6, 2017 at 10:45 pm #6010
the islamic faith cannot tolerate dissent and it cannot tolerate a diversity of opinion. It is for most muslims unthinkable to question their church and its dogma.
No. In Turkey, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Kazakhstan, Tunisia there is a notable level of secularism and in some of these a high level of equality and religious freedom. It is waning in Turkey but it is growing ever more secularised in Albania and Bosnia. They question judicial interpretation of muslim law and openly oppose laws informed from the Koran that are opressive or cruel. Even in more conservative countries like Morroco and Oman there are progressive forces slowly secularising the country where people and politicians campagn for more humanist laws and less religious control. What you are probably refering to are countries under a repressive religious regime (Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia). The religiously repressive regimes almost all got power through a non-religious conflict and once in power applied their austere cruel religious absolutism to everyone. It is VERY difficult to openly question them without having your house burnt down, being arrested or being targeted with violence. Just as is the case in North Korea. Do you hear people calling North Koreans cowards for not saying anything?
In the United States many muslims openly show their support for victims of terrorism, denounce repressive regimes, support liberal policies and an end to harsh punishment.
There is nothing about Islam that makes it more rife for abuse. Christianity, Judaism have both succeeded spectacularly when it was their turn. And even Bhuddists are currently very repressive in Myanmar and Sri Lanka at the moment.
To say, in general, you cannot question Islam is factually incorrect. To call out Islam in particular as a religion not to be questioned shows a lack of knowledge of religions in general and to call those in highly authoritarian repressive states as cowards for not speaking out…is obscene.
November 7, 2017 at 2:15 am #6013
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by Davis.
Brave is a subjective description, and culture specific.November 7, 2017 at 7:23 am #6018
It is not helpful of indeed accurate to suggest that neither I nor the community in general do not face a threat from extreme muslim violence. And even if it were; that would not render my opinion any less valid.
Your likely risk of attack from a muslim extremist depends in part on your geographic location but mostly on whether you agree to submit to islam. If you doubt this then perhaps you should attempt to publish a cartoon depicting mohammed. Or try being gay in Indonesia. Or an atheist in Pakistan. Or wearing a short dress in Iran.
It is also not correct to conclude that some muslim majority countries are tolerant of diversity and criticism. There is simply no factual basis which can sustain this assertion. From the Philippines to London and from Europe to America to criticise islam is to risk being censored and to risk your very life.
For muslims who wish to openly discuss or criticise their religion there are few options. What they need is open and highly visible support that they can express their views and that they will be protected from repercussions in doing so.
November 7, 2017 at 1:41 pm #6020
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by David Boots.
“From the Philippines to London and from Europe to America to criticise islam is to risk being censored and to risk your very life.”
– you could say this is one of the problems it has. Why is Islam like this? I’m sure there are many reasons. One is that problem faced by all religions: to express dissent sounds like it is going against God.
“What they need is open and highly visible support that they can express their views and that they will be protected from repercussions in doing so.”
– I think this is what we need to do. But what concrete form it could take is a good question, that we don’t know the answer to yet. One thing we can stop doing is bending over backwards to appease jihadis on the grounds of being anti-Islamophobia.November 7, 2017 at 8:57 pm #6026
On the BBC they just showed Louis Theroux’s documentary on Scientology, which is excellent. (It’s run by a flat-out psychopath/narcissist.) He makes the point that each religion has its own systemic tendencies towards its own specific “crimes”, “abuses”, or “the logical conclusion of certain rules and beliefs”.November 7, 2017 at 10:25 pm #6027
The topic title doesn’t make sense to me, unless by “brave people” you mean people who’d rather die than conform to the religion they grew up into. It reminds me of Bush’s comment about the 911 hijackers being “cowards”. Perhaps they were fools, but not cowards. In any case, that’s my minor nitpick in semantics. I agree with your last paragraph the most:
And this is where non-muslims can help. Rather than naively group thinking muslims to a place of victim-hood we can support those muslims who are themselves victims of the ideology.
I think we should be raising the examples of Muslim majority countries who seem to be the best at religious tolerance, and secularism without prohibiting religious freedom. Here’s an interesting article in that regard:November 8, 2017 at 9:36 am #6029
If you ask me, the first thing we need to do is “make friends” with the idea of Islam, since if the oppressive parts are stripped out, it can be really good, and we can’t expect Muslims to change if the rest of the world doesn’t like or understand them.
This comes down to the age old problem of humanising people in other groups: realising that they are living breathing people very much like ourselves in most respects, and we all have to share a planet. The quickest way for this to happen is to meet people or listen to them tell their story.November 19, 2017 at 9:49 am #6195
Unfortunately most westerners introduction to islam is through terrorism. If you meet and know individuals then you can get a perspective and hopefully retain that perspective.
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