Adventus

"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Friday, January 09, 2015

Not all that is Islamic is Islam


There are so many threads being woven into a tapestry of narrative about the shootings in Paris.  Here is another that should be considered before the picture is decided upon:

"On the Islamic principle of justice and law, libel, even if this is proven to be libel, it's not a capital crime," he told host Michaela Pereira. "So on every single count, from justice, law to ethics, these terrorists have acted outside the aegis of Islam."
....
"What they're doing is categorically un-Islamic. They are jihadists and as experts have told us, all acts of terrorism are politically motivated. This is about advancing their political agenda," he added.

Azhar Usman, an American comedian and Muslim, offered similar sentiments.

"I think it's almost disingenuous to say these guys are upset about some cartoons," he told CNN. "These guys are jihadists. They're motivated by political gripes."
There are a lot of comments out there about how "evil" Islam is, how Muslims are responsible for this crime, how this proves religion to be the root of all evil, etc., etc., etc.  There has actually been a lot of condemnation of the attacks in Paris by Muslim leaders and Muslim organizations.  And as for depictions of Mohammed:

[M]uch has been written about Islam's prohibition against physical representations of the prophet of Islam. In fact, the Muslim world abounds with magnificent images of Mohammed. (In general, Shiites and Sufis tend to be more flexible on this point than Sunnis). In some, the prophet's face is obscured by a pillar of fire that rises from beneath his chin in a veil of flames. In others, he is unveiled and glorious, a golden nimbus hovering over his head. While some Muslims object to these well-known and widely distributed depictions, there has never been any large-scale furor over them for the simple reason that although they depict the prophet, they do so in a positive light.
Further:

The Quran does call for condemnation of speech and actions that insult Allah, his prophets, and their relatives, but it also specifically warns against violence as a form of retaliation:

"Repel evil with whatever is better; there is chance that evil may bellow down, if you repel evil with evil, the conflict flares up and both sides will dig in their heels."

The Quran also specifically states that “there shall be no compulsion in the religion.” And there is a whole Quranic chapter calling for the tolerance of different faiths.
Or you can listen to Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins.  I've seen several comments about intolerance in "Muslim countries."  Seldom do the commenters provide the names of the countries where these acts occur, especially where non-Muslims are executed (a frequent claim).  I doubt they could list all the Muslim dominant populations in the world by country, much less identify any country outside of Saudi Arabia with official policies regarding the treatment of non-Muslims or punishment of "blasphemy."  The murderers in Paris were not state actors; they were apparently trained by Al Qaeda, a group about as Muslim as a gang of Christian white supremacists are.

At this point, I'm looking for whatever rational thought I can find.

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