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Did I ever say that Islam Was NOT spread by conquests? This is about Faith, not Politcs/History.

Reader comment on item: The Evil Isn't Islam
in response to reader comment: reply to the 'real' muslim Shahriar

Submitted by Shahriar (United States), Oct 9, 2007 at 21:57

Dear AS; I have done some reading about the spread of Islam, and I do come from South Asia like yourself, so yes, Hinduism is in my blood --and I am PROUD of that! In Islamic practice, cultural ties do not impinge on religious practice -Islam is after all meant for all mankind (you need not even change your name after converting!).

If you speak to many Muslims in India I am sure that you will find that I am not alone in the view of the universality of this faith. The concept of believing of One omnipotent who does not have any family, whose scripture confirms the revelations of every previous prophet (in the Abrahamic religions), and which offers a direct/personal relationship with God is appealing, rational, and natural. I am not lying to you when I tell you that of all faith systems in South-Asia,

I have the greatest respect for Hinduism. It is the oldest, has a very developed philisophy, and to be frank, Indian culture and arts will be inconcievable without it. However, you are falling into the same pattern of blame/hate/victim mentality as other people in this forum. Do you have justifiable grievances? Of course you do! Is it with Islam? It should not be. Reread your own comment. Have you noticed how the atrocities you have mentioned are cited in the context of "look at what muslims have done...." ? Can Mulsims be bad and un-Islamic? They often are, and they will continue to be for the rest of history! That is the Nature Of Man in God's creation.

True, pious muslims would not think of doing the things you had said! The Quran's philosophy, you may shocked to find, is not one of hate, segregation, and murder. As has been the case, the spoiled apples of this bunch will defame the rest of us (and this will continue for as long as mankind exists). The one thing that you did mention which was faith-related was that there is much violence/hate in the Quran.

I am sorry to say this, but like the others who have not done their homework (both muslim apologists and non-muslim Islamophobes), you are focusing on the parts of verses which happen to be the morbid fascination of the West seeking to understand why radicals are acting violently in parts of the world. To shed light on this, consider a (very blasphemous) situation: YOU (personally) are God. You give human beings free will -- so you will let them choose their own destinies in this world and the hereafter.

Throughout time, you send down revelations to every part of the world to MANY prophets, to see if man in their natural state will heed your Message. Every prophet was persecuted against, punished and/or killed. Some people have lost your original revelations and recreated them, others have started worshiping your Messenger as their God! You send down a revelation to a prophet who lives in a very barbaric/violent part of the world and exhort that it be perserved, word-for-word. You are all-knowing, so you know that despite their disunity, the Arabs will unite with this message if the language is poetic enough, so that illeterate Arabs can memorize it.

You also know that the newly-forming group of followers to your calling --which preaches brotherhood of man/woman, equality, justice, wisdom, and peace-- will be WIPED OUT by belligerent opponents in this violent society. My question to you: What would YOU do in such a scenario? You are all wise, you want to help the believers but not force them to your will (you are God after all, you can make everyone in the world believe you if you wanted, but that defeats the purpose of making Human Souls).

You will, I hope, send down rules of engagement and limitiations in fighting for your believers against those who violently aggress against them and who break threatises with them. You will also, I should think, exhort the Prophet's comrades to join the fight, not stay back in their homes. THIS is what happened in Islam, if you actually STUDY the history/context of the Quran (sorry, reading the Quran by itself is not sufficient). The suras that frame defensive fighting use very guarded language -- just simply writing verses and screaming in hysterical anger "Look at what the Quran says!" -either as an Islamic Terrorist or an Islamophobe- does not do justice to the larger message of peace and brotherhood behind it. How funny that Terrorists and Islam-bashers make the SAME mistake in their hatred!

Quietly inherent in your comment is the assumption that conquests are bad. But let's ask ourselves, need they be necesessarily? I for one am very happy about the largest imperial expansion under the guise of religious conquest that world history has ever seen (and do not even think to dispute this one!). Christian diminion over the world ("with operations in logistic arms, marketing arm and finance arm and off course the miliatry arm" -- I am sorry, AS, but Muslims in the last four centuries have been too disposessed and disorganized to be as efficient as the Christians) has brought necessary advancments to the Modern Age with its Reformations and separation of church and state. Have not the Britsh Imperialists brought much progress to India?

Which brings me to my next point. If you claim that Muslims have brought ONLY havoc and chaos to their conquest of South-Asia, then you are deceiving yourself. Remember the caste system and Saathi? Islam gave people who were figuratively "untouchable" some social mobility. And you may not agree, but Mulsims had also made contributions to dance, literature, music and other arts. So if not for Islam, who is your grievance toward? Radical Muslims and Islamists (most of them, you will find from the lower and disgrunted middle-classes).

Are they motivated from the Quran? No. They are motivated by greed and by hopelessness from being disposessed -- feelings out of which anger and violence towards the ruling forces naturally erupt. Let's not forget that Christian fundamentalists were violent during the time of the Muslim empire. Muslims today, as Daniel Pipes so acutely observed, may be going through the "worst period in our entire history."

AS, you cannot tell me of a regrettable tragedy that Muslims have caused in India that I do not already know -- I have studied these things. But the Muslims you and everyone else talks about these days are the "disenfranchised Muslims" (the Radical Muslims and Islamists) who are not really Muslims and do not follow Islam. My argument is simply this: there is Politics/History and there is Faith/Theology. You argue about the former (quite justifiably), but blame the latter. I am trying to be objective. However, AS, you cannot read your own comment and honestly claim that traces of hate and bias was completely absent from it. Show it to someone honest and he/she will tell you this.


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