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Response to Plato

Reader comment on item: Will Europe Resist Islamization?
in response to reader comment: Ahmed: How to move away from religion when Islam forces itself on us? Read about the Jaipur bombings two days ago.

Submitted by K.H. Ahmed (United States), May 19, 2008 at 16:45

Plato,

Let me say that I understand what you are saying but believe that you start from a false premise. However, let me answer a few of the issues that you raised.

First, as to a plea for a sympathetic understanding of Islam I don't believe any religion needs to be defended they are what they are – they are ideas about what the world and the universe represent – how these religions are put into effect is not the fault of the religion but the fault of the people.

As to Mansoor, I may not be able to forgive you for the fact that you have forced me to read what he has written – it barely deserves recognition, never mind a response – the man doesn't worship his God, he worships his religion and in so doing disrespects both – but keep an eye for the future and I will look to an opportune moment to write a response to Mansoor and perhaps that will give you a better idea of my positions. But it is asking a lot of me to read that stuff.

You state <> and you list 3 Surahs as proof of the Koran's guilt. However, you ignore the historical context in which these surahs were written – much of what is written in the Koran is written in relationship to the events of the time. They were not meant as a constant means of action in the future – many of the verses relating to Jihad were written in the spiritual context not in the physical context.

The God of Islam is no more violent than the God of Christianity they are in fact one in the same – in fact within the Islamic viewpoint God is in some respects less vengeful as in Islam everybody eventually gets to Paradise. But enough of the mythical Implications of Allah's favors.

I am well aware of the conflict with Islam within your own country and know some of its historical underpinnings, although not as much as I possibly should – but this must to some degree color your viewpoint of the religion. The Islam that you quote is not the Islam that I was taught – the meanings of the Sura's that you quote were presented to me in different lights.

The Islam that I was taught spoke to the equality of men and women – it spoke to the rights of women when Europe was in the dark ages – does that mean it is not mis-represented today, of course not – its fundamental tenants have been twisted by both its proponents and its opponents. When was the last time you saw a Sufi wrap dynamite around himself, how about an alawite, a Bahai(while not a sect of Islam it views the Koran as Holy inspired).

My point should be obvious Islam as presented by the Wahabbis sect is indeed aggressive and violent, but Islam by itself and in its nature is not. It is the presentation by the believers of a particular group that give it this appearance.

You state that the prophet converted the Arabs to an imperialistic race; this is not historically accurate – the early Muslims did indeed struggle with the empires that surrounded them but they were far less imperialistic than the Eastern Empire they faced from Constantinople.

After the death of the prophet and Abu Bakr – there was indeed an explosive expansion of the Arabs and the religion but from a historical viewpoint I don't find that very surprising nor do I find it any different than the many expansions of peoples throughout history. Keep in mind I am a Turk my own ancestors were expansionary and did it all in the name of Allah – but the historical truth is the Turk only adopted the religion because it came in handy.

While through the ages people accept and believe in it, its introduction to Turkey is fairly well historically established as an aside for Turkish rule and need to move the caliphate. If you have not I would suggest you read Karen Armstrong's book on Islam – it is one of the better ones written by a westerner. She does an excellent job of relating sura to historical time frames.

A couple of other things I would point out; Ignoring Christian propaganda, (and remember here I am not a rabid defender of Islam), during the rule of the caliphates there was little conflict between Jew and Muslim, in fact they were safer in the Arab areas of the world then they were anywhere else.

The angry words that one hears towards the Jews in one part of the Koran is offset by the kind words that are in other parts; again these all relate to historical moments. Are we talking Medina and the struggles there or are we talking Mecca – when it speaks to Christians are we in Abyssinia or Constantinople. It appears to me Gods feelings towards those people depended upon the current situation – but then again God was always that way about the Philistines too – Again I say keep Religion in its place if we are to overcome the difficulties in the Muslim world it must be done in a manner that they can recognize, while it may be harder it will be more productive.

I will take you one step further and say we ignore Wahabbis at our peril – we insult and ignore the moderate Muslim's at our and their peril. Watch for Mansoor if you see something I miss that you wish me to respond to let me know – I don't' get on site all the time. It would be far better to draw the Mansoors of the world into a forum for discussion - then to allow them to wander around in their ignorance of their own faith.

Regards,

Ahmed

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