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Do you know what Islam means?

User Thread
 30yrs • M •
Black_Barook_KT is new to Captain Cynic and has less than 15 posts. New members have certain restrictions and must fill in CAPTCHAs to use various parts of the site.
Do you know what Islam means?
Hi everyone, I was wandering if anyone knew anything about Islam or do they just believe what they see on T.V.? I'm asking this, because I am a Muslim and I've read the threads here about Islam, or anything of the like. And I was disturbed of what people think of Islam. Thanks in advance, for any replies.

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"Rose are Red, Vilots are Blue, I'm going to burn your Rose and Vilotes that's what I'm gona do"
 36yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Wyote is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
how about you tell us what Islam is.

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"A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge. - Thomas Carlyle"
 34yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Astarte is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
All religions can do that to people, hell even Buddhism and Baha'i can become violent and nonsensical for all I've seen.

If you want to study Islam without the influence of culture and extremists assholes, I suggest you just pick up a copy of the Qu'ran with an English translation (Pickthall's a good English translation), and just read it. Keep in mind, you must have read the Bible and Torah before because the script assumes you know the general stories and ideas..it just clarifies and dictates different ideas.

PBS has a wonderful documentary on Islam a couple years ago, check out their website (pbs.org) and see if you can find a copy of the DVD. I strongly recommend watching it, it's a historic/objective look at Islam without any bias or bullshit.

Man, serving tables makes me wanna swear too much in inappropriate forums.

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"Milk, almonds and pistachios."
 49yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Xris is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Islam is based up the principles set out in the Five Pillars:

1.Only Allah is God and Muhammad is his prophet.
2. All Muslims must partake of the 5 daily prayers.
3. All Muslims must tithe.
4. All Muslims most observe Ramadan and are forbidden from eating, drinking and having sex from dawn to dusk.
5. All Muslims must make at least once in their life a pilgrimage to Mecca.

Jihad, or Holy War, is also an essential tenet of Islam and many Muslims call it the 6th Pillar.

As anyone can see Islam is absolutely nothing like Christianity as the former is a strict works religion and the latter denies the redemptive value of works. However, in Islam, Jesus is considered one of the greatest of all prophets - the prophet of miracles and the prophet that will return on Judgment Day. In many ways, Islam reminds me of Mormonism or at least how Mormonism could look like in a thousand years.

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 33yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
What I find hilarious about organised religion is that they all claim to be different from the other ones. They all have theological differences, but they're irrelevent, much like the differences between Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism are so trivial.

What really differentiates religion are the people who practice it, it is people who are intolerant not the religion itself. Intolerant Christians are just as bloodthirsty as intolerant Muslims. Christianity has been used as an excuse to opress women, just as Islam is currently used.

Same damn thing in practice.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 30yrs • M •
Black_Barook_KT is new to Captain Cynic and has less than 15 posts. New members have certain restrictions and must fill in CAPTCHAs to use various parts of the site.
'What I find hilarious about organized religion is that they all claim to be different from the other ones.'

Dear Angelfire, you are wrong to think that Islam claims to be different from other religions (Christianity and Judaism) we believe in the same prophets as them, we all worship the same God; the only deference is that we (Muslims) view God as the only one, while Christianizes view him as three, and as for Jewish I have no clue.

'Intolerant Christians are just as bloodthirsty as intolerant Muslims. Christianity has been used as an excuse to oppress women, just as Islam is currently used.'

Neither Islam, Christianity nor Judaism encourages bloodthirstiness, nor do they use verse from their holy books to oppress woman, these horrible deeds are done by foul, ignorant and racist people. Never juded an entire religion by the acts of one person.

As for Decius, Islam does not preach alienation of different faiths, but it encourages kindness and hospitality towards them, so that if after time they would become Muslims.

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"Rose are Red, Vilots are Blue, I'm going to burn your Rose and Vilotes that's what I'm gona do"
 33yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Christianity has only very recently become a peaceful religion. 100 years ago it was used as the excuse to conquer and exploit black Africans. All of Christendom was for almost 2000 years under despotic Kings who earned their legitimacy from the priests and God. The successive crusades against Muslims, Pagans and Eastern Christians were all done in the name of God.

All religions claim to be different from the others, they have common points and they are in fact very similar, but they claim to be different. This pseudo-difference is the reason for religious conflicts in Iraq today, Pakistan or even Northern Ireland.

You can also find atheists who have done evil things without God, communists come to mind. However, I don't preach atheism. I preach secularism, that is, don't believe in anything too hard.

There is nothing wrong with Islam or Christianity per se, its only when believe in them too hard that they become dangerous.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
[  Edited by Angelfire at   ]
 34yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Astarte is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
The Five Pillars aren't that simple.
Just because "Muhammad is His prophet" doesn't mean he's the only one, as someone else mentioned earlier, nor does prophecy make him similar to Jesus in the sense of being some sort of super-human begin.

He was just a messenger who relayed the Quran to the people at the time. Like if you happened to stumble across God and God says, "Look, go tell people to stop fucking around and listen to what I have to say." In the contemporary sense, of course.

Prayers are five a day, yet kindness unto others is a priority - according to a hadith (these are accounts of what Muhammad said, they are also considered a source of clarifying the intent of the Quran), doing one good act is worth forty prayers.

It's all relative and figurative, honestly. People who follow any religion literally need to check themselves into a mental health clinic. Humans are by nature more readily understanding of a "theme" or "idea" in the form of a story, they are also capable of taking things so literally they miss the entire point of the entire story.

I don't read stuff like the Da Vinci Code or watch movies like American Beauty and come out saying, "That story was like, totally cool, since Langdon did this and that" or "I'm never going to become a real estate agent, I swear!" Then go on to try and become some sort of professing guru of anthropology or preach hatred of real estate. Think instead, "What did Brown intend to show with that story?" or "What was the purpose of setting up a family like this one?"

The Qu'ran also mentions, "In all of this there are messages indeed for a people who use their reason."

So use reason, not blind faith.

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"Milk, almonds and pistachios."
 49yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Xris is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Let's simplify this and define religion: religions is a paradigm which attempts to explain the meaning of life and the way one can reach heaven or nirvana.

To suggest that religions are basically the same thing is no different from saying that all economic systems are basically the same thing since they deal with money. DT - do you really believe there is no difference between communism and capitalism?

Christianity is a sect of the Jewish religion which has been around for over 4000 years. Christianity did not only recently become a peaceful religion - to say that ignores the history of its first 900 years. Buddhism is not a religion and Hinduism is hardly pacifist - look at how it enslaved large portions of its own practicising populace. The great difference between the Christian paradigm and all other religious paradigms is that Christianity teaches that earthly works have no eternal redemptive value. From a philosophical perspective - this is huge.

Islam may recognize many of the same Biblical prophets however they rarely take them at their words. For example, Christ claims to be the last prophet and Muslims clearly don't believe that. Nor does Christianity worship three Gods - Christianity, being a Jewish sect, believes in only One God. Furthermore Allah is not the same God as YHWH. The attributes that Islam associates with Allah are extremely different than the attributes associated with Jehovah.

I have rarely read such ignorant thoughts regarding religion. It's obvious a lot of you are arguing from emotion and your personal prejudices than from any scholarly perspective. I recommend a World's Religion class.

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 33yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Oh yes, philosophically religions are very different.

However, religions are all the same in what they do. They all can be used as an excuse to opress women. They all can be used as a reason to kill infidels and pagans. They all can be used as a reason to tax (tithe). They all can be used as an excuse for dictatorship (Divine right and Caliphate).

Different religions stress different things, but really it doesn't matter all that much in practice. Religions when not practiced in secular fashion are in fact almost indistinguishable from ideoloies in their effects. Communism, fascism and religion all call for one to BELIEVE really and trully in one's cause.

Liberal democracy stands out as the exception, because, by definition, it stands for checks in balances. It stands for not believing in anything too hard. The religions and ideologies when practised in a manner which is too certain, too sure and absolutist are all the same: xenophobic, intolerant and dangerous.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 49yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Xris is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Anything can be used to promote evil. Yes I admit religion may be the most powerful tool to aid those implementing evil. It allows the despotic to claim a divine right to do their harm.

However I would argue that far more good has come from Christianity than any other paradigm the world has known. I don't believe that modern liberal democracy could have ever achieved its existence had it not been for the foundation first built by Christianity. Just look at a globe and look at where all the most prosperous and free people live and they are almost exclusively in nations with Christian foundations. Furthermore, Protestant nations appear to do better than Catholic and Orthodox. Lets also not ignore the role Christianity played in promoting equal rights for women and the abolition of slavery.

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 33yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I will answer this in due time with a long post as to why most WASP nations are rich and others are not.

And it has nothing to do with God.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 33yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
" Lets also not ignore the role Christianity played in promoting equal rights for women and the abolition of slavery."
God condones slavery in the Old Testament, and Christianity has been the NUMBER ONE justification for treating women as minors throughout the ages. It was always church doctrine that women are inferior to men, like children, and have a duty towards men.

Part I: Why Eurasian countries conquered the rest of the World

The key factor was geography and biology. There are many many more plants that can be used to farm and animals that can be tamed in Eurasia than in the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa or Australia. This meant that soon many different parts of Eurasia (Egypt/Mesopotamia/China) were inventing farming. Differences in plants meant that there was only 1 or 2 areas of real farming in the Americas (Central America and the Andes), few areas in Africa and no areas at all in Australia.

The second factor was the difficulties of communication caused by geography. The Americas and Africa are on a North/South axis. Due to dramatic climate changes when one moves over the continent, it is almost impossible to spread agricultural plants or animals around (an example would be, the Aztecs invented the wheel, but they never could get some Llamas from the Andes). On the other hand, Eurasia is on a East/West axis, this meant that when Egypt invented farming, it was easily transferred to Europe, when China invented farming it was easily transferred to south-west Asia. This also meant technology spread far far more easily in Eurasia than in Africa or the Americas.

The result of this was that Eurasia's population is HUGE. Apart from Black Africans and the few native Americans left, almost everyone is either Eurasian or descended from Eurasians. Big Eurasian populations meant cramped cities and periodically, plagues would wipe us out. The result was that we aquired a certain resistance to plague-style diseases (while still being subject to tropical diseases).

Hence, when Spagnards arrived in central America, what happened? They had steel armour and swords and more importantly, they wiped out the natives by coughing on them. Like rats they killed (it is estimated) 95% of the Natives with typhus, smallpox and cholera. When Europeans went to Africa, diseases didn't work because the tropical climate was very hostile to whites, hence the conquest of that continent was far more difficult and only lasted some 100 years (whereas descendants of Eurasians still rule the Americas).

Part II: Why Europe?

It is far more difficult why it was the European part of Eurasia which did the conquering, and not say, China. China certainly could have, in the late 14th Century China had a massive fleet of huge ships which went around discovering south Asia and east Africa. China, at the whim of the Emperors, decided to abandon all such exploration attempts (IE, China was too unified!). In Europe, division meant that a man like Columbus could go see many different rulers for the money to explore (Genoese and other Italians rejected him before the Spagniards agreed).

I would argue that Europe's explorations changed the economic culture. Prior to that, much of it was based on zero-sum assumptions. IE, it was thought that to be rich you had to make your enemy poorer. This wasn't terribly productive, it meant nations were constantly trying to land-grab and plunder. With colonization came an investment mentality which changed the way people thought about becoming wealthy.

However, there is still much debate between historians as to why it had to be Europe.

Part III: Why not Christianity?

Can it really be argued that Christianity is the cause for the West's huge success in conquering and dominating other cultures? If that were the case, one would expect that Western dominance would arise would be constant after the rise of Christianity. That was not the case.

A mere 100 years after the official adoption of Christianity in the western Roman Empire, the millenia old empire died. In the Orthodox Eastern Roman Empire, things fared better. Soon after, the Arab muslims made their rise taking much of Anatolia, Sicily and Iberia. Islam seems to have strengthened the Arabs immensely, not so for the Christian Romans.

Important to note that during these days of Islamic strength Europe was the backward rump of Eurasia. We had nothing to contribute to the world, mathematics and science were dominated by Islamic countries. Meanwhile, the Pope found that the only way to stop Christians from killing each other was to encourage them to rampage across the Holy Land. Thus we have the Crusades, a succession of senseless and failed wars against Muslims, Jews and Eastern Christians. Saladin, in the hope of appeasing the barbarians, gave Jerusalem to the Christians. He took it back after the Christians tried exterminating/evicting all the Jews and Muslims from the city (gee, what modern day situation does that remind me of).

Europe only became important in the 16th century when the age of exploration began and Europeans discovered the world. This was in part caused by the intellectual revolution of the renaissance. This was largely a rediscovery of the West's rational pre-Christian Roman and Greek thought.

In short, Christianity does not seem to have brought any strength to the West. Christianity coincided with the Fall of Rome, but I don't think it was a real factor. The rise of Arab civilization from a peripheral people in desert-peninsula to the 300 million souls we have today coincided with the rise of Islam. The rise of the West meanwhile was related to a rediscovery of pre-Christian thought. I think this shows that either Christianity is unrelated to the West's strength, or alternatively, that whenever Christianity is strong, we are weak (see middle ages, Spain following the Inquisition, or the 30 years war).

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
[  Edited by Angelfire at   ]
 30yrs • M •
Black_Barook_KT is new to Captain Cynic and has less than 15 posts. New members have certain restrictions and must fill in CAPTCHAs to use various parts of the site.
Dear Angle fire:

I don't see how religion can be compared to capitalism or communism or Allah knows what. And I can not stress this point enough
•Do not, DO NOT, judge a culture or a religion because of some ignorant people.

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"Rose are Red, Vilots are Blue, I'm going to burn your Rose and Vilotes that's what I'm gona do"
 33yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Some ignorant people? In the 1500s all of Christendom (except perhaps Ragusa, Venice and Genoa) were under despotic tyranical kings who derived their legitimacy from the Church. This is not a minority, this is every single government and every single Church of Christendom.

The barbaric crusades against Islam were done not by minorities but by all the big Kingdom of Europe, Germany, France and England.

There are simply times when people believe too hard. And it doesn't matter if you believe too hard in Islam, Christianity, Communism or Nationalism, believing too hard in anything is dangerous.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
Do you know what Islam means?
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