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It's all "religious", by someone's definition

Reader comment on item: Terrorism Defies Definition
in response to reader comment: I agree...it's not a religion

Submitted by Michael S. (United States), Nov 29, 2014 at 18:51

HI, Donevan

Interesting remarks. You said,

"I'slam does not comport with "Religion" as I and others understand the term. While there are prayers, customs, and dogma, "Religion" to my mind is a "Re-linking" to the deity, whatever that may be."

In this "Information Age", we seem to be continually engaged in "wordfare". The Gaza war: Was it a war? or genocide? The Gaza blockade busters: Were they committing an act of war? or the victims of piracy? Those two examples of wordfare happen to have deep and deadly legal implications I wonder if your re-classifying Islam as.. what? A political ideology? ...also has deadly implications. I'm just wondering. For practical purposed, Islam will continue to be considered a "religion", benefitting from all the legal perks that go with that label, as long as supporters of this viewpoint are in power -- and I dare say, they are in power and will continue to be in power until Messiah comes.

It's difficult to define religions. My son-in-law is Chinese and Christian. He says his Chinese business contacts are "Buddhist"; but not "religious", mainly because they don't have any dietary prohibitions. He did mention the grave-sweeping custom, which nearly all Chinese practice once a year (including my son-in-law and his family), as one of the few common forms of religious expression. I toured China myself, and found things much this way. My daughter, in fact, says most of their business friends are "Moneyists".

To my son-in-law, at least, Muslims are very religious because they religiously follow dietary laws. In his eyes, Jews fall into a similar category. What one eats, after all, is a vital part of one's daily life. One can profess to believe anything about God; but if those beliefs don't manifest in everyday reality, such as at the dinner table, what weight do they have?

You obviously look at these matters from a different perspective altogether. You said,

"In I'slam the notion is to "Submit" to the diety. In my discussions with adherents to I'slam, an encounter with "The god" is not to be wished. Hence the 'communion', or desire to become one with the deity is truncated, therefore no "Re-linking" is possible."

I understand what you are saying; but to speak simply, hardly anyone in the world is actuaully concerned about "re-linking with the deity"; and this doesn't figure into their definition of religion I have known some people who have said they wanted to "get closer to God". Two of them were Jews; and the solution their rabbis gave them was identical: "Wear tefillin".

I have read accounts of some Muslim suicide bombers, who had similar desires. The advice their mentors gave them, of course, was to becom "shahids", or suicide-murderers. That may sound less "religious" than wearing tefillin; but in dealing with problems connected with eternal life or death, it actually is somewhat logical: Get close to God? Make a blood sacrifice -- preferably with someone else's blood; but one's own will do in a pinch. That kind of thinking is as old as the hills; it's even in the Bible, though I will emphasise the fact that neither I nor the Bible advocates suicide-murder.

Some people think they will please God, by eating kosher -- or hallal -- or vegetarian. Others think the key is wearing tsitsit, tefillin, crucifixes, etc. does the trick; or lighting candles, or self-immolation, or blowing up others. It's all "religious", by someone's definition.


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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Reader comments (53) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
An Agreed Definition [72 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Freddy TerraneanApr 4, 2016 17:27228712
2Definitions of Terrorism in the U.S. Code [413 words]LudvikusJan 17, 2015 00:51220437
Define [19 words]AlbertEDec 15, 2014 19:35219789
the abstract or the actual islamist terrorist [16 words]mythNov 17, 2014 05:39219336
The name of the "game" is Zionism [823 words]Richard MartensNov 14, 2014 14:37219307
The wellfare state result: mass terrorism [60 words]PermReaderNov 12, 2014 10:54219285
3Terrorism is not an ideology [176 words]saraNov 3, 2014 21:09219150
You are correct: Terrorism is not an ideology; and we're not convincingly at war with it. [373 words]Michael S.Nov 9, 2014 09:22219150
1Terrorism is in the eye of the beholder [158 words]saraNov 16, 2014 18:39219150
War on Flying [408 words]Michael S.Nov 17, 2014 15:07219150
Muslim Brotherhood threat [153 words]saraNov 20, 2014 21:29219150
1It takes all kinds [295 words]Michael S.Nov 21, 2014 15:18219150
Muslim divisions [571 words]Michael S.Nov 26, 2014 05:09219150
Terrorism [133 words]donevanNov 2, 2014 14:42219127
1It's Personal [546 words]Michael S.Nov 25, 2014 11:23219127
1I agree...it's not a religion [181 words]donevanNov 27, 2014 14:40219127
It's all "religious", by someone's definition [573 words]Michael S.Nov 29, 2014 18:51219127
Not a 'Religion" [184 words]donevanDec 1, 2014 22:10219127
Defining "Religion" [209 words]Michael SDec 4, 2014 12:28219127
Terror May Have Religious Connection; But Never a Righteous One [388 words]M. ToveyDec 4, 2014 17:20219127
I Agree......I think I do [119 words]DONEVANDec 8, 2014 10:02219127
Religion and Terrorism...... [117 words]donevanDec 8, 2014 10:21219127
How to become a heretic [1033 words]Michael S.Dec 9, 2014 12:21219127
Hereticism Can Be Avoided By Holdng to the Spirit of Scripture [538 words]M. ToveyDec 11, 2014 14:10219127
Murder From Supremacist Motives [65 words]DaveOct 31, 2014 19:14219088
1Still puzzled after 13 years. [120 words]JD WillOct 31, 2014 09:58219068
An endless war.... [151 words]donevanNov 3, 2014 22:17219068
Why did the lame duck cross the road? [919 words]Michael S.Oct 29, 2014 14:43219039
Someone Tell the Duck to Duck - It's Dark Out On That Roadmap to Peace. [324 words]M. ToveyOct 31, 2014 18:22219039
Be afraid! Be very afraid! [875 words]Michael S.Nov 3, 2014 10:01219039
Terrorism is in the Eye of the Beholder [26 words]Barry BlackOct 28, 2014 09:36219010
Koran sponsored crimes [64 words]PermReaderOct 27, 2014 12:19218990
what about "a state actor attacking civilian targets to spread fear for some putative political goal" ? [25 words]servet cevikOct 27, 2014 08:04218987
4What can we learn from the terrorist attack in Ottawa [219 words]dhimmi no moreOct 27, 2014 07:18218985
terrorism is a Monster with many face [26 words]myselfOct 27, 2014 06:47218984
1"TERRORISM" IS THE CRIME OF "EXTORTION" [41 words]Uncle VladdiOct 26, 2014 20:55218980
Let's Define Terrorism Better [379 words]Richard H. ShulmanOct 26, 2014 20:31218979
Définitions Of TERROR, TERRORISM and TERRORIST [161 words]JACQUES HADIDAOct 26, 2014 18:02218977
Its the purpose...not the degree of violence [167 words]gerNov 3, 2014 11:12218977
Don't Forget the Media's Role [156 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
AlexOct 26, 2014 16:50218973
1common sense [49 words]Charles MartelOct 26, 2014 16:02218972
Freud summed it up. [80 words]Andrew HOct 26, 2014 13:32218967
That Explains It [50 words]Barry BlackOct 26, 2014 10:19218964
1The Winslow Plan [367 words]TL WinslowOct 26, 2014 10:13218963
1terrorism [25 words]Jan LapterOct 26, 2014 09:37218960
Yes, "Terrorism" is already known as the crime of "Extortion." [13 words]Uncle VladdiOct 27, 2014 21:36218960
terrorism [11 words]Jan LapterOct 28, 2014 04:37218960
"Terrorist inmates" are subject to many extra restrictions - I would add: many extra benefits if members of ROP [16 words]MarkOct 26, 2014 09:28218958
Terrorism is a tactic in the War [90 words]Ralph C Whaley MDOct 26, 2014 09:27218957
Maybe there is a reason terrorism defies definition [179 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
S. KleinOct 26, 2014 09:01218956
What's wrong with the definition provided? [36 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Eric GoodmanOct 26, 2014 06:59218950
Pst! "Terrorism" isn't limited to "non-state actors." [27 words]Uncle VladdiOct 27, 2014 21:33218950
What's wrong with the definition provided? (Defining vs. criteria of application) [133 words]Daniel D. NovotnyOct 29, 2014 09:26218950

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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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