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Brad
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0 posted 10-16-2002 11:03 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Is radical Islam blowing Islam up?

Again and again, we must commit ourselves to the Jeffersonian idea, "It does me no injury that my neighbor believes in twenty Gods or no God." Bali is a symbol of diversity in this world and we must commit to that diversity. Ironically, this means we must commit to ideas that have begun in the West and nowhere else. Ethnocentric or not, I see no other choice.

My heart goes out to Australians, Indonesians, and all people who have been directly injured in yet one more tragedy of . . . of stupidity.




[This message has been edited by Brad (10-16-2002 11:06 PM).]

jbouder
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1 posted 10-17-2002 07:01 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Brad:

Probably a combination of radical and mainstream Islam.  Radical Islam for committing the horrible acts and mainstream for failing to offer a loud and unambiguous polemic.

I agree that protecting individual freedoms and encouraging diversity are of utmost importance.  The bombers and their conspirators should be hunted down and brought to justice.

Jim
hush
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2 posted 10-17-2002 09:19 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

'Ironically, this means we must commit to ideas that have begun in the West and nowhere else.'

Maybe you could explain this a little better? I can't exactly say I understand why you made this statement...
Stephanos
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3 posted 10-17-2002 11:42 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad,

Are you suggesting that radical or violent tendencies in Islam have soley developed in the west?  I may be wrong but I have heard that Mohammed himself was a warrior and promulgated killing for the spread of religion.  But I am not sufficiently studied in this subject to say so with authority.  If you have some references that support what you have said, I would like to take a look.  Or have I totally misunderstood what you are saying?  

Another thing,

When you say, "Again and again, we must commit ourselves to the Jeffersonian idea, "It does me no injury that my neighbor believes in twenty Gods or no God.", and also, "we must commit to ideas that have begun in the West and nowhere else. Ethnocentric or not, I see no other choice", I would like to ask upon what basis should we accept such a proposition unconditionally?  As you know, I believe that certain ideologies and philosophies can and should be rejected as wrong or mistaken.  You seem to be suggesting that we should commit to the acceptance of all ideas unconditionally, based on the concept that there is nothing above us (or between us if you prefer) to arbitrate our ideas and practices and judge them as valid or invalid.  But my question is,  what is the justification of a mandatory devotion to allowing everything in culture?


(I am not saying that I am for war, that could be a whole other thread).  But murderous tendencies whether they are couched in a religion, in communities or in individuals should not be tolerated or allowed.  And any philosophy which espouses violence in this way should be called "wrong".


Stephen

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (10-17-2002 11:45 AM).]

jbouder
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4 posted 10-17-2002 01:12 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Stephanos:

quote:
I would like to ask upon what basis should we accept such a proposition unconditionally?  ... You seem to be suggesting that we should commit to the acceptance of all ideas unconditionally, based on the concept that there is nothing above us (or between us if you prefer) to arbitrate our ideas and practices and judge them as valid or invalid.  But my question is,  what is the justification of a mandatory devotion to allowing everything in culture?


I would have to ask you who would determine for us which world views are valid and which are not?  Theologians? Philosophers?  Politicians?  I think Jefferson would have answered that it is the right of each individual to make those determinations his or herself and our responsibility to respect that right, even if the view flies in the face of reason.  It is not so much a question of acceptance, but rather one of tolerance.

That is not to say that you ought not take your beliefs to the marketplace and help others arive at the same truths you have ... but again, the choice to accept or reject what you espouse must remain theirs and theirs alone.

Ironically, the same western world that exacerbated eastern and western tensions by way of the Crusades would eventually evolve to become the champion of individual freedom.  For the past several decades, the west has made tremendous strides in recognizing the rights of individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity or disability.

Brad, I think this is what you were getting at.  Please correct me if I misunderstood.

Jim
Stephanos
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5 posted 10-17-2002 02:02 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Jim,

Attempting to bring ultimate conclusions to pass ourselves by way of "intolerance",  and strongly speaking against erroneous philosophies and actions are two different things.  What I am having trouble with is a world view which says that no one can possibly have the insight to know if something is actually right or wrong... and then say that it is wrong to speak against that which is in truth, wrong.  

I am for peace and social tolerance as well.  But that shouldn't mean anything goes.

LoveBug
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6 posted 10-17-2002 04:46 PM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

You know... if someone went into a supermarket down the street and blew themselves up in the name of the Catholic Church, the Pope and every priest and cardinal would strongly condemn it. The same goes for Protestant, Jewish, and those of almost every other faith. I just cannot understand how Islamic leaders are just sitting back and letting this happen if Islam is really the "peaceful" religion that everyone is trying to make it out to be.

Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us.

Brad
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7 posted 10-18-2002 12:25 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Jim,

Yes.

Hush and Stephan,

Because it doesn't matter where the idea of liberalism comes from, we must stand by what we believe in because we believe in it. Anything less is to be subject to an untenable cultural relativism. This sounds strange only if you take what I'm saying out of context. If you think this is yet another universal idea, it's not. It's mine (in the fact that I hold it, not that I created it). I take responsibility for it. Liberalism is the belief that social tolerance is a worthy goal in and of itself. I need no other foundation than that I believe it. What I have to do next is convince others that it is a good idea to hold. Fortunately, most people already hold it as well.

Lovebug,

The history of the Catholic Church shows otherwise (and it is the same for all other religions). The reason the Pope and others protest today is the influence of Liberalism, not their religiosity. If you haven't heard Islamic governments and leaders condemning these attacks, you haven't been listening. Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world.

But it is precisely where your post leads that concerns me. To some extent, I think many are being inevitably pushed into your position. I don't know how to stop it.    
Stephanos
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8 posted 10-18-2002 09:36 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad,

Your assertion that all religious "protest" is done out of liberalism and not religious convictions is questionable to me.  


Also, I am aware of the failures of all religions to live up to their creed (this is no standard upon which to base the truth of their creed one way or another), but don't rule out the possibility of error or aggressive tendencies couched within creeds themselves... in this case the creed is to be criticized and rejected... in the former case the followers of creeds are to be criticized for not following their foundational tenets accurately.  I am not saying Islam credally encourages violence, nor am I saying it does'nt.  But I have heard that it does.  And I plan to look.  Anyone know where I can get an english translation of the Koran?


As to the idea of liberalism being yours and others' who espouse it, I recognize that.  It's just that the persuasion of those who deny universals, is usually as if universal.  I've noticed this in every area, from morality and ethics, to politics...  I just think it reveals something of themselves they are not seeing.  

Brad
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9 posted 10-18-2002 02:12 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Just go down to your friendly neighborhood mosque and ask. They give them out for free. I have a copy (quite nicely produced, I think). On the other hand, the first thing you'll notice is that the quality of the translation, literarily speaking, leaves much to be desired. For many of us, we are intuitively comparing it to, say, the King James version of the Bible and that is, justifiably, one of the world's great pieces of literature. They just need to better translators.

The second thing to be weary of is the context you are reading the text in. The Koran can be read as an intrinsically violent text, but so can the Bible. Reread Dueteronomy, for example, with this question in the back of your head, "Is Christianity an intrinsically violent religion?"

Third, there is a difference between believing universals are out there waiting to be discovered on some metaphysical, transcendent plane, and believing that liberalism is the best political philosophy we've come up with so far.  I do not believe that it is inevitable that the world will become liberal, I just think that it should.  
Denise
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10 posted 10-18-2002 02:55 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Here is a good link for translations, Stephan.

http://www.islamicinterlink.com/subject/qurantrans.html

[This message has been edited by Denise (10-18-2002 02:59 PM).]

Denise
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11 posted 10-18-2002 11:11 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Here is an interesting history of the Crusades, what they were, what precipitated them, etc. Although I have posted the entire section due to the copyright stipulation at the bottom, I have bolded the section that is relevent to this thread. I believe that it clarifies the basic difference between Islam and other religions or religious systems. I don't see that much has changed over the centuries regarding the ideology that political control of the world is the goal of the Faithful of Islam. I believe that they mistakenly believe that this is their mandate from Allah. I think that explains why all the terrorism currently going on in countries all over the globe is being perpetrated by adherents of Islam. I don't believe that "radical" Islam is destroying Islam. I believe that Islam's basic ideology of world political control is the problem, and they have not changed their stripes since their beginnings. Yes, there are moderate Muslims (mostly westernized Muslims who are considered infidels by the Faithful) who occasionally speak out against the atrocities committed by the "radicals", but by and large, there is a deafening silence from the Muslim world, as LoveBug stated.

You can check out the link below this chapter to read additional chapters.

I also think that anyone seriously interested in understanding current world affairs should read the Koran.


ORB Online Encyclopedia
Crusades
Political and Military Background
Paul Crawford

To begin to answer the question, "What were the Crusades?" one must first consider the history of Europe and the Middle East in the millenium before 1095.

Beginning in the first century A.D., the religion known as Christianity arose in Palestine and spread rapidly throughout the Roman Empire. By the end of the fourth century, the Roman Empire had become officially and primarily Christian, as a result of peaceful missionary activity from within society (later church, or canon, law in fact forbade forced conversions). Jerusalem, Palestine and Syria, all within the boundaries of the Roman Empire, became predominantly Christian (the Jewish population of Jerusalem had been largely dispersed by pagan Roman authorities following the Jewish anti-Roman revolts of A.D. 66-70 and 132-135, and few Jews remained in the area).

In the seventh century A.D., the religion known as Islam arose in the Arabian peninsula. Like Christianity, Islam officially condemned forced conversions. But unlike Christianity, Islam instructed its followers to ensure that the world was under the political control of the Faithful. Hence Islam's political domination could be, and was, spread by the sword.

Carried on the backs of Arab cavalry, Islam burst out of Arabia and quickly took control of the Middle East. Byzantium and Persia, the two powers in the area, were exhausted by prolonged conflict with each other. Persia was completely defeated and absorbed into the Islamic world. The Middle Eastern armies of the Christian Byzantine Empire were defeated and annihilated in 636, and Jerusalem fell in 638. Through the rest of the seventh century, Arab armies advanced inexorably northwards and westwards.

By the early eighth century Arab forces had reached the Straits of Gibraltar, and in 711 they crossed into European Spain and shattered the armies of the Christian Visigoths. By 712 they had reached the center of the Iberian Peninsula, and by the 730s they were raiding deep into the heart of France, where Charles Martel met and defeated their most ambitious raid near Tours around 732. This was to prove their high water mark in the West.

For the next 300 years Christians and Muslims engaged in a protracted struggle, including the siege of Constantinople by the Arabs in 717-18, and the seizure of Sicily and other Mediterranean islands in the ninth century by the Muslims. In the tenth century the Byzantines made some limited gains along the periphery of the now-shrunken Empire, but did not retake Jerusalem.

In the middle of the eleventh century the Arabs were displaced as leaders of Islam by the Turks, who converted to Islam even as they conquered the Arabs. The Turks disrupted the area's political and social structures and created considerable hardships for Western pilgrims. Up till now most Arab rulers of the area had been fairly tolerant of Christian interest in the Holy Places (one notable exception was the "Mad" Caliph Hakim at the beginning of the eleventh century, who destroyed churches and persecuted Jews and Christians). By the second half of the eleventh century, most pilgrims were going to the Holy Land only in large, armed bands, groups who look in retrospect very like crusade rehearsals.

The Turks also posed a new threat to the Byzantines. In 1071 the Turks met and crushed the Byzantine army at the Battle of Manzikert, near Armenia. As a result the entire heartland of the Empire, in Asia Minor, lay open and defenseless, and the Turks soon established themselves as far west as Nicaea, just across the Bosphorus from Constantinople. In the same year the Normans in southern Italy, led by Robert Guiscard, defeated the Byzantines at Bari and drove them off the Italian mainland.

The Imperial Byzantine crown was briefly contested following Manzikert and Bari; the successful claimant was Alexius Comnenus, a capable soldier and a clever diplomat. Perceiving that the Empire was deprived of its primary recruiting grounds and breadbasket, he sent out desperate calls for help to the West, particularly to the pope. Gregory VII briefly considered leading an expedition eastwards himself in support of the Byzantines. However, he was too preoccupied both by the Investiture Controversy with the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, and by the growth of Norman power under Robert Guiscard in southern Italy, to respond in any meaningful way.

Alexius continued to appeal to the West, however, and in the spring of 1095 Pope Urban II allowed Byzantine delegates to address the Council of Piacenza, and he gave his sanction to those nobles who were inclined to respond. He then proceeded into France, attending to various church business. By November he was in Clermont, and it was here that he gave a speech which caught the imagination of the West.

It is hard to know exactly what Urban had in mind when he called for expeditions to the East. We have various texts of his speech; none agree exactly, but it seems unlikely that Urban envisaged waves of Frankish peasants travelling to Jerusalem. Alexius had called for large contingents of mercenaries, particularly Normans, to come and take service in the Byzantine Army. Urban probably had something a little more elaborate than that in mind--among other things, he probably hoped that an expedition to the East, carried out under papal leadership and comprised of noblemen from across western Europe, would boost his position in the ongoing Investiture Controversy with the Holy Roman Empire.


Introduction
Military and Political Background
The First Crusade
Crusades and the Counter-Crusades
The Later Crusades
Additional Background
Crusading Vows & Privileges
Legacy


Copyright (C) 1997, Paul Crawford. This file may be copied on the condition that the entire contents,including the header and this copyright notice, remain intact.
http://orb.rhodes.edu/encyclop/religion/crusades/Crusade_Back.html

Brad
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12 posted 10-20-2002 10:48 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Really?

Tim
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13 posted 10-20-2002 12:51 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Advocating manifest destiny?
the rest of Jefferson's quote is "It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
Local Rebel
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14 posted 10-20-2002 01:54 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Is the Catholic church giving us a glimpse of how it condemns violence by protecting priests who abuse children?

Whether religiosity or liberalism is a motive human beings will ACT in thier own (percieved) best interest.  It is Darwinism folks.
Tim
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15 posted 10-20-2002 02:48 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Does it make a difference if the basis of belief justifying Manifest Destiny is traditional religion, or liberalism?  Does is matter if the spread of the belief is accomplished by migration or force; or by the overwhelming tide of mass communication and shrinking of the globe.  I am not quite sure of the relevance to the point of bringing in the Catholic Church other to interject cynicism into the discussion.  People do act in their own best interests. A significant portion of society believes it is in their own best interest to attempt to live moral lives and make sacrifices for the betterment of the whole. Some folks don't.
Local Rebel
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16 posted 10-20-2002 03:05 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Because Tim, Lovebug said

quote:

You know... if someone went into a supermarket down the street and blew themselves up in the name of the Catholic Church, the Pope and every priest and cardinal would strongly condemn it. The same goes for Protestant, Jewish, and those of almost every other faith. I just cannot understand how Islamic leaders are just sitting back and letting this happen if Islam is really the "peaceful" religion that everyone is trying to make it out to be.


I don't see moderate Islam's reaction to be any different from the Catholic Church's reaction to pedophile priests.

And yes, some of us percieve cynicism to be in our own best interests too.  If Jeffersonian ideas are to prevail though -- it will be because they are the fittest.
Stephanos
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17 posted 10-20-2002 07:06 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Social Darwinism ...suggests to me that tenets of one area of study (natural science for example) can be missapplied to other areas of study (such as sociology and psychology and ethics).


From a Darwinian standpoint ... if you take it to mean that the universe proceeds of it's own accord... I see know reason why even survival would be a preferred goal.  How should one configuration of atoms be preferrable to another?  I don't think it's proper for those who hold this view of origins, to apply it to every area of life, especially the motives of others.  Is it really self promotion that is behind every deed religious or irreligious, good or bad, criminal or benevolent?  I cannot accept that assertion.  To me it is a leap of faith far beyond any held by religions.


The deeds of professing Christians Muslims or Atheists are to be judged for what they are and what results they have.  Even Jesus said that we know a tree "by it's fruit".  


Brad,

I agree with you that verses of "sacred" record can me misinterpreted and taken out of context by those who follow it, and by those who are against it.  In that way I think it necessary to analyze a body of teachings by looking at the whole, evaluating each part in the light of what the entirety gives.  Taking the scriptures in Deuteronomy out of context might give some the idea that God advocates and desires human violence to be an answer to unrighteous deeds.  But after reading the
Bible cover to cover it is obvious that this would not be accurate.

Brad
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18 posted 10-20-2002 11:27 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

The problem with Social Darwinism is that it doesn't say anything. Whatever survives is fit and whatever is fit survives. I don't see how that really helps intentional agents decide what to do. As far as migration and/or violence are concerned, it seems odd that you left out discussion as still another means. Perhaps because Liberalism wins so easily?

I found this discussion of Bush's foreign policy shift to be interesting:
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/issue_novdec_2002/gaddis.html


quote:
U.S. hegemony is also acceptable because it's linked with certain values that all states and cultures--if not all terrorists and tyrants--share. As the NSS puts it: "No people on earth yearn to be oppressed, aspire to servitude, or eagerly await the midnight knock of the secret police." It's this association of power with universal principles, Bush argues, that will cause other great powers to go along with whatever the United States has to do to preempt terrorists and tyrants, even if it does so alone. For, as was the case through most of the Cold War, there's something worse out there than American hegemony.


I differ on the vocabulary of course, but do believe that most people do not yearn to be oppressed.   

[This message has been edited by Brad (10-21-2002 12:09 AM).]

Local Rebel
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19 posted 12-07-2002 12:14 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Good point Brad -- but -- there is a good portion of the population (of the world) that also don't yearn to be responsible for themselves.

And really -- there is nothing to be learned from history?  hmmmm... you might want to rethink that oh learned one.

Stephanos -- since I'm not here to argue evolution I'll just make my point from your book -- Adam fell -- Cain killed Abel -- people are evil and selfish.   They will cover their arse and the powerful protect the powerful.

Surely we can agree on that.
Brad
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20 posted 12-07-2002 05:23 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

There is nothing to be learned from history?

Where did I say that?
Local Rebel
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21 posted 12-07-2002 07:39 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

This thread is creating havoc on my computer Brad -- don't know why -- if you want to discuss it further start a new one please or just e-mail me.

No... you didn't say that in so many words -- but to say we can't predict what an organism or organisation will do by looking at the will to survive is tacitly ignoring all historical data on the subject.  It is like saying we can't learn what the future will be by looking to the past.  We may not know specifically how each agent will act -- but we can know generally it will be in it's own (perceived) best interest.

That's not to say there areen't individual acts of sacrifice and heroism -- but aren't those for the survival of the greater of a society or culture?  It can tell us a lot.

For instance -- people may sacrifice their own life by flying a plane into a ship during WWII or into a building in 2001 if they think their organisation/culture will benefit.
 
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