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Response to Sofa

Reader comment on item: Barack Obama's Muslim Childhood
in response to reader comment: What Exactly Does the Shadaha Entail? Christian or Jewish Taqiyya? Please Be More Specific.

Submitted by K.H. Ahmed (United States), May 23, 2008 at 09:25

I am pleased you wrote the second comment - For one thing I had to go back and re-read what I wrote you - If you took my remarks to mean you as "dirt mongering" I sincerely apologize - I was referring to what has come to pass as politics in this country. I don't know whether you are old enough to remember the McCarthy era in this country- but in terms of Islam we are very close to it again. I agree completely with the idea that the Wahabbi version of Islam is extremely dangerous - it is dangerous to the Arab world and to the Arabs. It is mired in questionable Hadith, it leads to cultural stagnation and failure of civilization for the Arabs. However, these gross generalizations of Islam disturb me - the pick out the Sura form of argument, or the pick out the historical moment in time and then just generalize across the board.

I have known to many Muslims from Pakistan, India, Turkey, Indonesia, Africa to accept these grand conspiracy theories on the entire Muslim world. Let us be concerned with Al-Quida and other radical groups - but when we start dragging in everything with Muslim association we are on dangerous grounds in terms of our own freedoms and academic integrity.

One little example: in the article it is stated Obama has a name "only a muslim" can have and it is just not true. Both the names Barak and Hussein are Arabic and of Aramaic origin - in fact Barak is rooted in Baruk a jewish name and Hussein which has about 4 to 5 different spellings, regretfully the aramaic root at the moment escapes me. My point is if people wish to question the Muslim question that's fine - but why throw in things that aren't true.

As to the "Testimony of Faith" it can be as you say as short as one line or it can be much longer depending upon the Imam of the Mosque in question and to what sect of Islam one belongs too. One has to be of consensual age usually about 13 for the testimony to be valid. Naturally young children are taught it and regurgitate just like any good Christian. But for it to truly be valid one must be of a mature age.

As to "Taqiyaa" and Christian and Jewish versions please note I don't quote Sura's to discuss Islam very often and when I discuss other religions I seldom do either - I find too often they are taken out of context to defend undefendable positions or to attack someones faith. so I tend to stick with the historical record or cultural actions of the people - Thomas Aquinas probably comes to mind first as expressing the ethical equivalancy of Taqiyaa.

Again we are speaking about the translation of an Arabic word that was used in an historical context and to be fully understood the historical context has to be understood. It is why even among Muslims the intrepetations of specific passages are disagreed upon - there is no Pope in Islam to make these final definitions each Imam, each individual has the right to determine meaning themselves.

Another real quick example would be the Jewish conversions during the Inquisition these were later determined by the Rabbis to be invalid because of the imminent danger of the believers. Taqiyaa as was taught to me could only be under the fear of death - these other things that you mention relate to a very specific historical time.

Anyhow, again from what I have seen of your postings - I don't have any negative opinions about you or what you write - I in fact have a problem with the author of the original article for reaching too far on certain points that the author had to have known was at best a stretch. I do have a problem with Muslims on this site who mis-use, mis-quote and bring disgrace upon their religion as much as I do with others who just as I said quote Suras out of context or past associations of others.

Academic criticism is one thing, a discussion, show the facts as wrong - but let us keep the Sura's and Bible quotes and all of that trash out of it - it serves no purpose and is open to far too much interpretation.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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