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reply to Hannibal

Reader comment on item: Anti-Muslim Racism?
in response to reader comment: In Reply to Abdul Rahman Reijerink

Submitted by Abdul Rahman Reijerink (Australia), Jun 4, 2006 at 07:28

Great cognomen Hannibal!

One of my favourite generals of all time.

A few points to clarify. I get the impression that you are an athiest from your reply, is this a fair assessment? I used to be one (for at least fifteen years), an anarchist (anti-facist I might have thought) at that. As an aside did you know that a great Muslim scholar (bit of a misogynist, but then most people were back then... even today come to think about it) Al Ghazali, stated that their were three types of non-believers, and he believed at least two of them were people of paradise... food for thought.

I don't really see myself adapting the message of Islam to contemporary thought, merely recognising that as a Universal text, it must speak to me within the context I come from (see books by Wadud, Barlas, and that "stealth Islamist" El Fadl, esp Barlas). Any attempt to impose the interpretations of people bound by the (serious) limitations of their own times on me will lead to the abberant behaviour you seem to object to (and that frankly I do too)ex: any ideas that are out of touch with avante garde modern thought, note not just modernism (which too many Muslims like Catholics are still struggling with). Ideas about liberty and anything touching on it.

I say the primary purpose of guidance from God/Gad(southern us accent)/Allah is to liberate human beings, spiritually (from attachment to illusions like immortality/denial of death through wealth or deeds or pleasure), mentally(exhortations to learn and think criticaly, not just follow the ways of your ancestors... a message directed at polytheists in the Qur'an so it is missed by many Muslims who do the same thing with practising their faith robotically), physically and politically (the archetype of an evil ruler was the male pharoah, who ruled absolutely and saw himself as a god. The archetype in the Qur'an of a good leader was the woman identifed in translation as the Queen of Sheba who although a monarch consulted with her people)

How do you reconcile the banning of a thought/belief system, with anything but oppression? For instance, I happen to think that racists and a whole range of other intolerant belief systems/ideologies are dangerous (including facism and neo-conservative thinking... well even all current expressions of "democracy" too). However, I don't believe in banning them, for several reasons, one of my favourite being that the more these people talk the stupider they seem... like that fool of a holocaust denier (what is his name again.. English chap, david something, ah yes Irving), many academics wanted to ban his books, I say let him publish, so the dangerous and frankly dumb ideas can be refuted. Or the cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), let them publish them if they have no sense of shame (and some of them seemed rather innocuous or just ignorant), I am more concerned about the behaviour of muslims in the way they opposed them (I suspect that their outrage was merely sublimated anger at something else, like endemic warfare, poverty, government oppression etc... ) and this issue provided a "legitimate" outlet for them. The Prophet Muhammad (SAWS)never dealt with those who slandered him in this way... he returned evil with good, like when someone used to throw rubbish in his path everyday, when the rubbish was not there he went to visit them to enquire why, as he suspected they were sick, so he wished them well... not the image of the Prophet that often gets bandied about... an image the rioters would do well to remember. I digress.

Interestingly, I am at a loss as how to respond to much of what you have said. All I can assert is that my religion liberates minds instead of closing them, regardless of how religion is (mis)used as a tool of social control. We are commended to learn from the world around us, to think for ourselves, not just consume "fox" rubbish (oh the shame that that man was born in my country... I'm glad he had to renounce his citizenship to get US citizenship... a quirk of our laws back then). Whether we do or not has little to do with the one who tells us to think for ourselves.

Why do you reject that we should unite to oppose evil. Call it what you will, they are the common enemy. Even if you consider religion dangerous you cannot class people like myself with those deluded humanity hating lunatics. you oppose people like me with debate, people like that with force as they are so close minded that debate is useless except for a minority and the less committed (police style over military pref). united we stand divided we fall. (hmm.... united like facses, he he he).

What others think of the status of the Qur'an is irrelevant to me, except that I think a proper reading of it would benefit all mankind, but then, as Ali (RA), cousin of the Prophet of God and fourth caliph after his death said... (more or less) "if i lost my camel, i could find it in the Qur'an"... this is to do with authoritarian interpretations of the text, which is where the reader usurps the authority of the author and imposes their own meaning on the text. Interpretations like this are often "authoritarian" politically as well (like with the current "official" translation that is coming out of Saudi... my wife said she would never have married me if she knew that I liked it... which I did after a simple reading of it, because its prose was clear... just the "meaning" that stank).

There is no argument for the existance of God that will satisfy a non-believer set against belief ( I should know!) after all it is about FAITH. Yet for all the calm supposed objectivity that convinced athiests muster, many fail to recognise that the (in my mind religious) belief that God does not exist has no objective proof. failure to proove God does not disproove either, and quite frankly the insistence (as knowledge rather than conviction) that God does not exist is unscientific, and should be laughed off. Yes I could be wrong, maybe God does not exist, but so what, it is not unscientific to believe that this being does exist. In my view maintaining that God is defintely not real is a bit like claiming that the Earth is flat.

I think that maybe you are the slave of a false god, unless you give up your conviction that God defintiely does not exist. Doubt is far more rational.

I enjoyed your response greatly, and look forward to reading your posts elsewhere. Sorry mine is a bit (or a lot) clumsy, lacking in concision, unfocused.

Abdul Rahman (Lackey of the most Merciful)

Submitting....

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