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Reforming the unreformable

Reader comment on item: Is Turkey's Government Starting a Muslim Reformation?
in response to reader comment: Turkey should advance further along the lines indicated below

Submitted by The Grand Infidel of Kaffiristan (Australia), May 27, 2008 at 07:23

"However, when one takes into account the varied circumstances and situations in which the Quran was revealed, it is rather truer to say that the Holy Book contains both historical/political verses and scripturally significant ones. It is thus best treated as part-scripture and part-history.Once one begins to view the Quran in this light, many of the difficulties posed by Islam's medieval human and social value-system disappear – difficulties arising specifically from verses that prescribe: a) cruel forms of punishment; b) unequal treatment of women; c) outdated gender-insensitive rules of inheritance; and d) the waging of 'jihad' in the sense of holy war against 'kafirs' or non-Believers."

Sounds like you see the need for reform. Watch out though, Mansoor might slit you throat or 'crush the skulls' of those holding these sorts of attitudes. You're on the right track - but where do you start ?

What do we do about some of these rather bothersome sayings whh the Westerners will point out ?

" People, no prophet or apostle will come after me, and no new faith will be born. "

8.55, 9.5, 95.5, 9.111 Infidels are worst beasts and lowest creatures and must be killed wherever they are found.

Tabari VII:97 "The morning after the murder of Ashraf, the Prophet declared, 'Kill any Jew who falls under your power.'"

Tabari VIII:38 "The Messenger of Allah commanded that all of the Jewish men and boys who had reached puberty should be beheaded.

Tabari VIII:141 "The battle cry of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah that night was: 'Kill! Kill! Kill!'"

Tabari IX:69 "Killing disbelievers is a small matter to us."

Ishaq:550 "The Muslims met them with their swords. They cut through many arms and skulls. Only confused cries and groans could be heard over our battle roars and snarling."
3.152 You slew them by His permission.

33.26 A part [of them] ye slew, and a part ye made captives; (Every male of Quraiza tribe, above the age of 13 were killed, others were made captives)

008.017 : It is not ye who slew them; it was Allah:

8.67 It hath not been [granted] unto any prophet, that he should possess captives, until he had made a great slaughter [of the infidels] in the earth.

4.34 When a wife misbehaves scourge her.

2.223 Your wives are a tilth for you to be cultivated in any way desired.

I find this problematic - what stays and what goes ? Who is supposed to meet with agreement on what is left in and out? All the Sunni mullahs are not going to agree with the Shia who are not going to agree with Wahabis who are not going to agree with the Sufis etc etcArabs will still have to wangle a way to have the upper hand - how are they going to manage that? Which bits about the Jews are going to be left out - how will Hamas and Iran and half of Lebanon ever agree with that?

Who will they have to blame for all their problems?

It's too hard !

A far simpler solution would be just to trash it and start again.

After all - at some point in our existence - we will ALL have to give up EVERYTHING we thought we ever knew. In our existence there are, as Dionald Rumsfeld so classically put it: "There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know."

Why not admit we don't REALLY know - and we're just scared little folk spinning around in a vast and mysterious universe who don't even know OURSELVES. So how can we expect or tell anyone else what they should believe or think???

Why not make it a big break and try something a bit more profound?

Why patch up something that has passed it's use by date (which was 800AD if they'd read the packet more closely) . Why chop down the tree with a spoon?

Start with a new approach with teachings and beliefs that actually promote growth in the individual's sense of self and self-responsibility and an awakening into greater personal self-awareness - because ALL problems stem from a lack of awareness (awakeness). How can we be truly aware when we spend our time are fantasizing about irrelevancies eg. about what some Arab (who had no miracles or great qualities of self-command attributed to him - unlike all the founders of other religions) , did 14 centures ago?

Let's face it - it doesn't work. But maybe you can tell us which particular Muslim society is the prime exemplar of the teachings of the Koran. If we can look and find a modern Muslim society that is :

-competent economically,

-progressive scientifically,

-progressive educationally

-progressive socially

-encourages discovery in all fields of art and human endeavour

-allows total freedom of religious belief or the freedom to develop their own spirituality in the way the individual sees fit.

-treats ALL members of society including women and gays equally under civil laws (civil in the sense of humane and respecting the right to life (and limb)

-allows all members of it's society to do and say and think whatever they want (and meet with the legal consequences when that behaviour transgresses those fair and just and humane laws already mentioned.)

-has certain unwritten rules such as frowning on marriage of close relatives

-codifies in law the rights of innocent girls not to have their genitals mutilated or be sexually exploited by 50+ year old men etc.

Please direct us to present examples of the Muslim philosophy/belief system that allows this to happen.

If you cannot - and I know you cannot - then the system is just another theory - another 'ism' - like communism. It's Mohammedism. Nice and lofty in parts with lots of flowery symbolism and ideas heavily borrowed from pre-existing beliefs . Lots of people spent lifetimes trying to make it work and forcing other people to believe it . Looks great on paper - but eventually ends up in the trashbin of history

If you look at the criteria I've listed above - you'll see that the EU for example approaches and manages to implement most of these goals. So do most western countries - Australia, Canada, New Zealand , US and other countries which are basically based on Judeo-Christian ethics. The same countries I might add people from Asia and the Middle east are flocking to - due to the very fact that we have implemented the above list. Even Russia is working toward these goals - albeit slowly.

However , there has to be a caveat. and that is this: We will not aid and abet systems of belief to arise up in or midst that actively work against the achieving and maintenance of the aforementioned goals.

One of the many troubles with Mohammedism is - it's basically an Arab religion and a medieval one at that. A lot of the tenets are absurd. Our fantasy writers come up with more impressive and coherent works that we read as children's novels with more powerful underlying moral themes , eg. JRR Tolkien 'Lord of the Rings' , CS Lewis' Narnia Chronicles etc etc

The difference is, as adults, we don't really believe the back of a wardrobe can lead to an enchanted snow-filled magical land. Much like Muslims should totally dismiss the fantasy of Mohammed's last ride at night on the flying white donkey from Mecca to Jerusalem (?) - on which many Muslims base their belief in their right to the Jewish capital.

Bottom line is Westerners aren 't buying it and never will. It's boring, irrelevant , stultifying to the human spirit i and does not offer the freedoms other religions allow.

Jesus gives us 'know the Truth and the Truth will set you free' , 'love thy neighbour as thyself", 'the Kingdom of Heaven is within you';

Buddha gives us "To overcoming wrong understanding, practice attentiveness; go for an attentive mind all the way, for Great Awareness is the boon to aim at. Dwelling with attentive mind for proper understanding, that is Right Attentiveness. Three things accompany and follow right understanding, namely: right understanding, right effort, and right attentiveness." ; "Fruits of what is done out of greed, anger and delusion can be experienced when they ripen."

No, Westerners need something practical - something that works and can be seen to be working. . We're too busy making advances in medicine, growing food for the world, developing new technologies and systems in every science and area of pursuit, putting robot vehicles on Mars etc etc , to spend the time facing Mecca five times a day - and actually going there? Just aint going to happen for us.

Submitting....

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