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Passions in Poetry

Why We Should Use the Word "Jihad" Correctly

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Essorant
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0 posted 04-28-2013 05:32 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I would encourage people to listen to the below lecture on terrorism by Hamza Andreas Tzortzis.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCyX7YMjuLY


We hear the terms "terrorism" and "jihad" together in the news quite a bit and journalists and consumers of media seem to give into terrorists' extreme abuse of the word instead of using it according to the legitimate definition and context of it in Islam, or leave it as if the actions of terrorists speak for it themselves.  This is exactly what shouldn't be done though.  When extremist individuals and groups resort to extremism and try to justify it by calling it jihad, we should not give into them and let them determine how the word is used and how we understand this religious concept.  It treats them as if they have authority.  

It is important to look at a legitimate, reliable source to understand what jihad actually is and other things about Islam.  The same is true about any other inspiring way of life or system of beliefs.  The last thing we should allow are terrorists to be treated as the authorities or representatives because they show up in the news more than the millions of people that do good things and don't abuse the concept of "jihad" which is part of their religion.   Just as we wouldn't present extremism commited in the name of justice as something that should get to represent what "justice" is supposed to be, nor should we treat it as if it is what "jihad" is supposed to be - a legitimate extension of justice and legitimate struggle or fight for justice.  

Jihad isn't terrorism and isn't meant to justify terrorism, and isn't used by the majority of anyone involved in Islam as terrorism.    If we give into the abuser's way of using the term, and use it that way as well, then we are part of the abuse, giving into terrorists and letting them define it for us instead of the true meaning and intention of the concept by those that don't abuse it.


[This message has been edited by Essorant (04-30-2013 01:58 PM).]

Brad
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1 posted 05-11-2013 09:03 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad


quote:
Jihad isn't terrorism and isn't meant to justify terrorism, and isn't used by the majority of anyone involved in Islam as terrorism.    If we give into the abuser's way of using the term, and use it that way as well, then we are part of the abuse, giving into terrorists and letting them define it for us instead of the true meaning and intention of the concept by those that don't abuse it.


I haven't watched the video.  But you haven't explained what you got out of it.  Do we also misunderstand the term "fatwa"?

Essorant
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2 posted 05-11-2013 04:28 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Yes, I think the word "fatwa" is misunderstood in a similar way.   For example, what is the first fatwa that comes to mind when you say/hear/think "fatwa"?   Is that fatwa representative of most kinds of fatawa and what most -millions of - Muslims would suppport?  If not, why is that the one that comes to mind?
Brad
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3 posted 05-14-2013 05:35 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
For example, what is the first fatwa that comes to mind when you say/hear/think "fatwa"?


Salman Rushdie

Essorant
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4 posted 05-15-2013 12:18 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Do you see what I was getting at in my last comment?  

Surely when you think of getting advice from a doctor, the first thing that comes to mind is not a worst example that some radical doctor issued twenty years ago or so, something and from someone that most people wouldn't give the time of day.  Most people probably wouldn't seek a doctor's advice if that was the "lens" they thought of "advice from a doctor" through or expected.

You should look at kinds of fatwa that are more normal and regular for a better understanding.  Here are two site with some (and there are many other sites like these)

http://www.askimam.org/  
http://www.ali-gomaa.com/?page=fatwas

A fatwa is simply judgement/advice from an expert in the ways of Islam.  As in any other sphere of life, not all experts give good advice, some give horrible advice.   But the good still far outweighs the bad for most people, otherwise it wouldn't have such an important and respected place.  Hopefully, you will find a more normal and respectable fatwa to bring to mind when you think of "fatwa" rather than something from Iran and from someone as radical as Khomeini was.

Brad
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5 posted 05-16-2013 05:52 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I see where you're going, but I'm not attacking Islam as a whole (well, I can do that but in a different context).  Of course, there are many Muslims who are kind and generous and would not consider killing others. I have friends like that.

And yet, the idea that we misunderstand these words because we aren't looking at the proper examples strikes me absurd. What you should be saying is that the people who act and do these extreme acts misunderstand the terms "jihad" and "fatwa" and whatever else you want to mention.

I can get on board with that.  

We are affected by what most affects us so it seems that you're choosing the wrong target. It's not us who needs education, it's the extremists.

  
Essorant
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6 posted 05-17-2013 04:20 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I don't think it is absurd to point out going by extremely bad examples leads to misunderstanding and misgeneralization based on those examples. It is more extreme than just the actions of the extremists.   When people exploit an extremist's examples of a "jihad" or "fatwa", think of them first when speaking of the concept or the practice of it, and treat them as "poster child" for it then they are letting extremists basically define this or that concept or practice for them.   And that is a shame because this puts a diabolical twist on things that are supposed to be so positive in Islam and are believed in and practiced in a positive way by the greatest majority.  It is not far from mentally joining and assisting the extremists by presenting Islam as in an extremist way.  From the point of propoganda and spreading misunderstanding, there is not much difference from people in the West exploiting and going by an extremist example to present these things and a group of terrorists teaching by the example and radicalizing people.  They both feed the fire.

Brad
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7 posted 05-17-2013 07:54 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
From the point of propaganda and spreading misunderstanding, there is not much difference from people in the West exploiting and going by an extremist example to present these things and a group of terrorists teaching by the example and radicalizing people.


Intriguing. I can agree with that in a certain context.  My only caveat is that religious doctrines are, by definition, unstable as they have no real reference point.  How do you convince someone of the rightness of a "good" interpretation?
Essorant
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8 posted 05-21-2013 02:36 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
My only caveat is that religious doctrines are, by definition, unstable as they have no real reference point.  How do you convince someone of the rightness of a "good" interpretation?


I won't try to speak for other systems.  I have learned a lot about Islam in the past few years and now have a lot more faith in it than other systems.   One of the reasons is that I find it does have very strong and stationary "reference points" and doesn't let itself become assimilated into self-centered secular liberalism and the moral free for all that has come upon much of the world today.   It is markedly more strict and self-preserving than other religions and systems; it needs to be if it is going to continue to be itself as a comprhensive way of life, but one that takes part in all spheres of humanity instead of being forced into the closet.   Different opinions can be shared by Muslims about aspects of their religion, but opinions need to be strongly supported by the sources and the community in general in order achieve any level of respect or authority.   The moral and legal commitments are set out by the three main sources: The Qur'an, The Hadith, and the Shari'ah.  If something isn't unambigously supported by these sources, then it will not be supported by the community in general, and if something is not supported by the sources and the community in general, then it has no legitimate standing in Islam at all.   This prevents  Islam from being something subjective that people can make whatever they wish of or moral free for all in the name and belief of God, because it is so thoroughly source-and-community based.

That is how Islam has very strong and steadfast "reference points" for determing good practices.  

But a similar principle is used in other practices, including non-religious ones.    Anyone could come up with his or her own notion or approach for what is "good dentistry", but that doesn't mean we recognize everything as good dentistry and that everything will be given moral or legal permission as being included in dentistry.   If you know of a dentist that used a chainsaw and hammers, either doing so against the law, or because his country or community doesn't have morals or laws against it, would that be what you go by, generalize, or think of first when you think of "dentistry"?  Or if your country for some reason lacked much dentistry but you could still read widely about it and learn about dentistry in the world, instead of going by how dentistry is practiced in most places, or in the most advanced places, by most dentists, will you still go by tjat worst-case scenaria of someone using a chainsaw and hammers, instead of the most common-case or far better-case scenarios of dentistry praticed with far less dangerous tools?   Surely not.

Usually it doesn't take much to know a horrible example is a horrible example of something, whether you are looking at a religious practice or medical practice and that it shouldn't be used as an example to generalize it by.   But bias and media can exploit a bad example so excessively that it soon becomes a blindfold to the immensely larger truth.
  
Brad
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9 posted 05-22-2013 01:54 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
I won't try to speak for other systems


Ess, that sounds like a cop out. When you "speak for" something you always already "speak against" something. Remember that some of the these extremists also run countries.

Any fuller understanding of Islam must include views that you might disagree with just as a Christians must deal with Jewish pogroms in Europe and "secular liberals"(your term) have to deal with the Great Terror during the French Revolution.

I'm not saying your wrong, I'm just saying that you shouldn't back away from the implications of your claim.  


  
Essorant
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10 posted 06-02-2013 06:10 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

You stated that religious doctrines are by definition unstable and have no real "reference point".  That was the context I was speaking in when I said I didn't want to "speak for" all religions or systems of beliefs and try to paint them all as fitting or not fitting into that generalization.  

Selfish and de-religionizing ideologies (such as atheism, secularism, liberalism, individualism and capitalism) are what have little stability and lack a "real reference point" when it comes to a core belief-system and morality.   They put the individual's subjectivity first and focus on competing with other individuals for quantitative material success instead of uniting and being a strong cohesive community and having a shared belief-system and morality with others.    The crime-rates, the populations of addiction-sick and depression-sick people, sexual looseness/promiscuity, divorce, broken famiiles and general detachment and confusion in countries like the US and Canada show what happens when people put de-religionizing ideologies above strong religious belief-systems.
Brad
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11 posted 06-04-2013 06:15 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

No doubt intended to be provocative.

Where do you want to live?  The Europe of 1600 or before, Canada today, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Iran?

What if you were a woman?
Huan Yi
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12 posted 06-05-2013 08:23 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


It doesn't matter
how we understand it
It's how others who have died
killing others understand it
that matters . . .


.
Essorant
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13 posted 06-06-2013 05:38 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
Where do you want to live?  The Europe of 1600 or before, Canada today, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Iran?




If I could move anywhere, I think it would be to the United Arab Emirates.   It is one of the best devoloped countries in the world and is not ashamed to have Islam as an official/main religion.  It has strict laws against things like drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling and therefore those things aren't given the chance to take root and become overwhelming and destructive on any large-scale among people.  This establishes a society that can be religiously and morally much more united, stronger as families, and physically and mentally much healthier.   That doesn't mean it doesn't have any serious problems of its own, of course.   But it seems to have far less social and political problems than the US and Canada, and has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.     This is because a strong belief system - Islam - creates a strong faith and moral safety-net for humanity.  

Where would you want to live (if you could move anywhere)?


quote:
What if you were a woman?

http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session3/AE/UPR_UAE_ANNEX3_E.pdf
 
Essorant
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14 posted 06-06-2013 02:21 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
It doesn't matter
how we understand it
It's how others who have died
killing others understand it
that matters . . .


Yes it does matter.   You can't understand something correctly if you let those that abuse it and abuse it to extremes set the terms of how it is understood.
Brad
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15 posted 06-08-2013 09:44 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Ess,

you miss the point.

What I think is wrong is that you are not thinking about people who disagree with you.

You are not asking, anymore, why people should believe.

You are saying that you should believe.

Do you want to take on the Koran here?

I can do that.
Essorant
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16 posted 06-11-2013 01:47 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Brad,

quote:
You are not asking, anymore, why people should believe.

You are saying that you should believe.

  
I don't think I said that.  But it wouldn't be inappropriate to say you should  believe in God and his guidance.  You are suggesting the natural position of a human is neutral and that any bond or belief we have in God wasn't there to begin with and needs to be created by convincing ourselves into it.  But that is somewhat the  opposite of how it is perceived in Islam.  To Muslims, Islam doesn't come from force  (i.e by the sword or by intellectual force to make one(self) believe.)  It comes from  being at peace with God and humanity's fitrah (the natural inclination to submit to God  Almighty.).    This is true in family bonds as well.  You seek and love your mother  naturally/instinctively first, and then as you grow up you articulate reasons  relative to more complicated experiences and feelings. Reasons come after, not  before.  No matter what experiences you experience, saying you should love and  respect your mother and her guidance is almost always appropriate. The same is true,  but always appropriate, in respect to believing in God almighty and his guidance.  

From Islam's point of view we need to return to our natural bond (the fitrah) of  belief and our need for guidance, which was given in its most final and complete form through Muhammad.  Without guidance that we can all share and hold above  ourselves, when we go by only our own devices we become the slaves to our egos, peer pressures, materialism, confusion, addictions, depression, division  and general destructiveness.  Perhaps you have heard a message like this so often that it seems like a religious cliche.   But what part of the human condition, especially in the world today, doesn't bear this truth out?  

quote:
I can do that.


I don't think you can take on the Qur'an if you don't believe in it.   It would be like trying to take on marriage even though you don't believe in it or wish to commit to it,  or trying to use a torch but refusing to include the fire.
Brad
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17 posted 06-29-2013 10:23 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

My apologies.  I can do it but I can't do it now.

I do think you have made a mistake.  A fundamental mistake to be sure.

Stop believing in magick, Ess.  You are better than that.
Essorant
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18 posted 06-30-2013 09:16 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Brad,

I already have a judgement that weighs things from an experience of different levels of disbelief and doubts that I have had at different times.   This only helps me overcome them because I am the more aware and know how positive the direction of belief is in firm contrast to them.  

quote:
Stop believing in magick, Ess


I have every instinct and reason to believe in God's magic.   You do too, therefore you should quit disbelieving in it.  

Balladeer
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19 posted 06-30-2013 10:47 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Interesting comment...using reason to believe in magic. There are those who would say that, to believe in God's magic, one needs to suspend reason and go on faith.
Essorant
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20 posted 07-01-2013 04:49 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I think we do have an original/natural sense of belief that can act independent of reasoning, but I would argue that once we do believe in something faithfully and committedly, it is almost inevitable to contemplate on it and rationalize about it, to develop to the best of our abilities an extent of understanding and reasoning, which can extend in a lot of  directions.  And in order to communicate and defend our belief in any depth we need to articulate it using reason.

In truth, if you truly do believe in something, how could you keep yourself away from reasoning about it?   Is there anything that you believe in, that you don't also reason about?

[This message has been edited by Essorant (07-01-2013 11:50 AM).]

Balladeer
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21 posted 07-02-2013 01:00 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

" but I would argue that once we do believe in something faithfully and committedly, it is almost inevitable to contemplate on it and rationalize about it, to develop to the best of our abilities an extent of understanding and reasoning"

So you are saying there that the belief comes first and the contemplation and reasoning comes afterward. How do you believe in something faithfully without having used reason to arrive there? What litmus test do you use for achieving that belief, if not thought and reason?
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22 posted 07-02-2013 01:06 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

"In truth, if you truly do believe in something, how could you keep yourself away from reasoning about it?"

My question would be..how do you truly believe in something by not reasoning about it first?

"Is there anything that you believe in, that you don't also reason about?"

No, there is nothing I believe in that I did not reason about first.

Juju
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23 posted 07-07-2013 06:36 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

My Opinion.

A lot of evil has been done, in the name of righteousness. Unfortunately as human beings we are absolutely bias to our point of reference. This is why pride is considered to be one of the most deadly of the sins.

Whether you call these individuals terrorists, savages or rebels. Understand that in their point of reference they are freedom fighters. They call their atrocious acts against humanity, glorious, and they do it in the act of jihad. Whether the point of view of other Muslims are different doesn't change the fact that is how the terrorist view it.

These acts of terrorism are war tactics to bully individuals to conform to their point of reference. Before modern technology and transportation: war acts and war crimes was the best way to convert one nation to another nations interests.  

Meanwhile those within the borders would take the lies and deny any blood was on their hands. Some even believe it is a necessary evil. Think of Germany in WW2, where neighboring communities to concentration camps had no idea what was going on (cause the smell or burning flesh is so easy to hide).  

Taking attention away from this, is only aiding these individuals in their acts of violence. Its like those who fight over whether or not Hitler was a socialist when the guy frequently called himself one (why also for the next 40 years no one wanted to admit they were socialists).
     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazism_and_socialism

Because some individuals observe these terrorists conducting acts of evil and then observe the terrorists calling their attacks Jihad, can you blame people for calling them Jihadists? Point of reference...  

There is a difference between ignorance and malice. Ignorance isn't always a bad thing malice is. Therefore the two should be treated differently.      

However it is good to not be ignorant and call them what they are: terrorists.  

As for that whole Islam having a stronger footing, I'm not touching that with a ten foot pole.

Juju

-Juju

-"So you found a girl
Who thinks really deep thoughts
What's so amazing about really deep thoughts " Silent all these Years, Tori Amos

Essorant
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24 posted 07-10-2013 04:32 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Balladeer,

quote:
How do you believe in something faithfully without having used reason to arrive there?


In your earlier comment in the thread you implied that belief/faith is not always accompanied with reasoning:

quote:
There are those who would say that, to believe in God's magic, one needs to suspend reason and go on faith.



Think of our natural senses and family bonds.  We don't reason in order to see something with our eyes, but see something and then reason about it to try to develop better understanding.  We don't reason ourselves into loving our parents, we naturally/instinctually love them, and then as we grow up we articulate reasons relative to more complicated experiences and feelings   The same is true about the sense of belief and its natural inclinations.  We have a natural sense and "fitrah" to our belief that isn't dependent on reason, but uses reason because it is part of being intellegent, rational, civilized beings.  Imagine if we were able to experience all these things, but were limited only to being able to grunt in response!   Reason allows us to understand and express things in a much more meaningful way.  
 
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