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Goa ahead, defend Islam
January 15, 2007
1:46 pm
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"Let us imagine a situation where some armed men attacked a group of women to rob and rape them. The women who have witnessed and experienced this crime not only have no right to bear witness, but if they pluck up enough courage to testify, they will be punished with 80 lashes – the punishment for accusation (qazf)."

http://www.iran-bulletin.org/p.....shmnt.html

January 15, 2007
1:49 pm
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"The Islamic punishments have encouraged a culture of violence against women, especially within the family and has spilled into violence against children. This has been commented upon by many within the country [5]. The fact that men receive a lighter punishment if they commit a violence against women undoubtedly encourages such violence. We saw how women could be killed with impunity during alleged adultery. Stoning to death for adultery, although technically admissible for both sexes, has also been carried out mainly against women.
Perhaps the increasing suicide rates of women is a window to the despair. A number of psychiatrists working in Iran have commented on this [6]."

January 15, 2007
1:51 pm
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"The Islamic Penal Laws are contrary to the International Declaration to Remove Discrimination Against Women and the International Declaration of Human Rights. "

January 15, 2007
1:55 pm
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The statement that Islam teaches respect for women is trickery. Even if words can be found in the Quran to support such a statement, numerous current events upon events upon events in numerous Islamic countries concerning women show that the statement is not in practice.

this kind of trickery abounds in cults. It is part of the driving force behind them.

It is a lie behind a veil.

free

January 15, 2007
2:05 pm
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Guest, Free,

I grow tired of the badgering and disrespect.

I have told you intimate things about myself. I have offerred fairly detailed explanations, using both poetic language and also essay. You can either simply accept that I tell you the truth, or you can continue to do as you have, and act as you think that I am crazy and also a liar.

In that case, there is no point in attempting conversation.

All meaningful human interaction begins with respect.

It's bad enough that you start out not only mocking but condemning mocking something that billions of people hold sacred.

But for you to blow me off after I have opened up to you is just...ug.

January 15, 2007
2:10 pm
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WD, we dont think you're crazy. Here's what you said about yourself:

"I am an ignorant, lazy, greedy, wretched coward."

Be careful of what you say. Everything can and will be used...

January 15, 2007
2:28 pm
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wd stop that victim stuff. It's manipulative and I don't like being manipulated. I did not call you a liar. I mean no disrespect or bashing towards you. You stated that Islam teaches respect towards women. Yeah, millions of people believe that. There was a time when millions of people believed the world was flat.

But it's not true. I cited numerous incidences and sites showing what's done to women under Islamic Law, and it's anything but respect.

I'm sorry if this hurts you deeply, I truly am. I can relate to that as there was a time I had to face the truths and realities of a religion that I had embraced. Yes it can be shattering.

The original intent of this thread was to see if somebody could show me some fallacies in the beliefs about islam that I have recently developed.

It was never about you wd. You're making it that way, and that's very manipulative on your part.

This brings us back to the fact that Islamic law does NOT show respect for women. It does not show equality, it is not just. It is oppressive, humiliating, discriminatory, and just plain barbaric towards women.

free

January 15, 2007
2:47 pm
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Free,

Like I said, I am fully capable of criticizing Islam. Heck, I can criticize anything.

The flaws in modern Islamic culture are well known and well publicized. You beat a dead horse. Who are you trying to convince here? Do you think that the western readers of this forum need to have their xenophobia cranked up just a notch more?

Are you trying to convert Muslims ...to something else? Wouldn't a Muslim forum be a better place to do that work? You want to ban thew religion? What? What is your mission?

Just like the Flaws in American culture are well-known and well publicized--for example we are about the bloodthirstiest people on the planet these days, if you go by body count. We can tear that apart too, and if we believe Jesus' advice about removing the plank from one's own eye first, then maybe it makes sense to start there.

But maybe America, even with our national culture of greed, and superficiality, even with our uniquely enormous thirst for blood, is not all bad--what do you think?

It is easy to tear things apart. It takes more work to try to understand the fullness of a thing--to allow that something has good and bad aspects.

You asked for a defense--not of Islamic law, but of Islam.

My defense was--If you think I am a decent, thoughtful person, then maybe you ought to think twice about trashing anything that helps me be this way.

That's the idea I would like you to respond to.

January 15, 2007
3:17 pm
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wd, i do think those good things about you. and if you told me that neo-nazism or the KKK helped to make you that way, I'd take the same position.

This is not trashing Islam wd.

It's uncovering the truth.

I don't have a "mission." I guess if I did, then it would be as I stated, I'm looking for fallacies in the premises that have led me to believe that Islam is an evil cult of epic proportion and it's followers are sheep with no independent thought (for the most part, you're excluded obviously).

Yes, the original request was to defend Islam.

You made a statement that Islam teaches respect for women and uh, that was pretty far-fetched, Ya gotta admit wd. I'm sure there are some good things about Islam, as there are good things about nazism and the KKK, but respect for women- not under Islamic Law.

If Islamic law applied to blacks or mexicans, I suspect this country would take some pretty serious issue with it. But we don't, kuz it applies to women.

free

January 15, 2007
4:06 pm
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WD,

I'm sorry, but these last five or so years, all the terrorist attacks I've heard about have been led by militant Islamists. I keep hearing that they don't represent mainstream Muslims; however, I also almost never hear moderate Muslims speaking up against these terrorist acts. I knew a woman who was married to a Muslim who wanted to treat her like dirt, but she wouldn't stand for it so he behaved himself to some degree. I know a woman who used to be married to a Muslim, and he treated her like dirt.

Sorry, but until I start seeing examples of peace-loving Muslims who treat their women with respect, I won't believe that they really exist. The differences in cultures is the main reason I believe Christianity teaches people to be better than Islam does.

Seeker

January 15, 2007
6:53 pm
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Hi SeekerW,

Well, I hear lots of Muslims speak out against terrorists--they call refer to them as "so-called" Muslims, just like I refer to GW Bush as a "so-called" Christian.

"Christians" are not a homogeneous group--there is no one "Christianity."

Some "Christians" consider every other group of Christians to be not Christians at all--and they may or may not be correct.

It is the same with "Muslims" and with "Islam."

You can't don't lump billions of people into one negative little mold--haven't you heard? That's called bigotry.

Like I said, Free, I am the last person who needs to be "informed" about the short-comings of Islamic culture, or Western culture for that matter. But I am not about trashing entire civilizations.

If you talk to someone like guest--he believes that religion itself is ridiculous, a symptom of mental illness, or downright evil at its root. I take his point, but I don't take his extremism.

The way towards peace is not by wholesale condemnation of people's most sacred beliefs--and that is what you are doing.

Here is a sincere suggestion, Free.

You can just rant about the horrors of Islam to a small group of (mostly) Westerners who have already been fed a steady diet of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim propaganda.

OR

Why don't you take your "Islam is Evil" routine to a political forum or to a religious forum--someplace where you might actually encounter some actual Muslims and see how they feel about it? You could actually ASK a Muslim man how he feels about women. You could actually ASK a Muslim woman how she is being treated and whether she feels respected.

You could actually speak to Muslim religious scholars (rather than mere students of comparative religion and spiritual seekers like myself who obviously have no credibility with you...because we're liars or something) and ASK them how their religion speaks to them of human rights and human dignity.

Free, doesn't intellectual honesty call for seeking out people and viewpoints from all sides? Doesn't it call for gathering some information FIRSTHAND?

January 15, 2007
7:01 pm
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Here's the only things you need to know or disprove about Islam and terrorism:

1) Mohammed was a violent man.

2) Terrorists idolize Mohammed.

WD: Can you try to prove (1) wrong?

January 15, 2007
7:02 pm
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Seekerw.

You said to WD:

"I'm sorry, but these last five or so years, all the terrorist attacks I've heard about have been led by militant Islamists."

I'm sorry too. I didn't know Bush was a "militant Islamists." I thought that he was a "militant" Christian.

Funny that - how could I have got that bit so wrong, I wonder? Perhaps I'm a bit 'thick'.

Or maybe my understanding of what the word terrorism means is lacking.

Does it mean a terrorist is someone who creates terror in civilian and/or military persons of all ages and genders? Bush seems to me to fit this description.

Does it mean that when someone who does this, rises in power above a certain level he is no longer a terrorist? In other words does might make right? Or does it depend upon what side your on, whether you are defined as a 'terrorist' or a 'freedom fighter' by those in power?

Was George Washington a terrorist?????? The British government might have thought so at the time. But modern American history books don't seem to use that word in describing George Washington. Funny that?

Perhaps you and WD can straighten me out on the exact and precise meaning of this word 'terrorist'?

January 15, 2007
7:15 pm
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Hey WD: How did Islam teach you to respect women? Are you going to continue saying stuff without being expected to defend it?

January 15, 2007
7:18 pm
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That sounded like a gobbledy-gook rant wd. why does this upset you so?

free

January 15, 2007
7:43 pm
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For Chrissakes, Free,

When I see somebody promoting falsehood, ignorance and hate, it bothers me. When I see someone with a closed mind, it bothers me.

When I bear witness and I am discounted, it bothers me.

Have you ever spoken to a person about a subject that you know a lot about--and the person you are speaking to tries to impress you with their knowledge of the subject--even though it is plain to you that they know doodly? Annoying, isn't it?

And it is more annoying when they have studied *just enough* to be dangerous.

One example would be the folks who claim that science basically proves that evolution is impossible. They produce this document and that quote--piles and piles of them--but they perversely, miss every important point.

That is frustrating--to be utterly unheard and unresponded to except with scorn and ridicule is frustrating.

Gobbeltygook, eh? Let me try to put it more simply.

Free:

When we go speaking in strong terms as you have been, about something which we know very little, it is called:

"talking out of one's ass."

Until you try to see both sides of things and until you actually go talk to some Muslims, and are able to actually speak about the issue from several viewpoints, you will be not be a well-informed person regarding this issue that seems to mean so much to you.

Do I have to draw you a picture?

January 15, 2007
7:48 pm
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guest,

People have spoken to you before about your roughness, your demandingness, your imperial, bossy attitude, and your verbally abusive behavior.

Until you can tone that down, I'm not going to have much of anything to say to you. I am feeling rather offended by you right now.

One sign of respect would be to actually try to reflect back what I have said, rather than make me "say" something I didn't say and then demand I prove it.

It doesn't really matter though--as long as you take the very idea of religion or even spirituality to be ridiculous, then there is no way I am going to be able to explain deeper subjects to you. You have to walk before you can run.

January 15, 2007
7:55 pm
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WD

I didnt put any words into your mouth. You said Islam taught you to respect women and I asked you how.

Here are some more nice quotes from Islam regarding women:

-------------

Sahih Bukhari Volume 001, Book 009, Number 490

Narrated 'Aisha: The things which annul the prayers were mentioned before me. They said, "Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman (if they pass in front of the praying people)." I said, "You have made us (i.e. women) dogs. I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in my bed between him and the Qibla. Whenever I was in need of something, I would slip away. for I disliked to face him."

-------------

There you go. The peaceful wise prophet of Islam put women, dogs and donkeys in the same category. Is this funny or sad or both?

January 15, 2007
8:14 pm
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No guest, that's not what I said.

Please refer to my earlier discussions of estotericism.

Which should mean zip to someone who thinks that the very idea of spirit is ridiculous.

I am happy to teach people the steps that led me to where I am today--including my misteps.

But spirituality is an intimate and tender thing--not a trained dog that does tricks on a stage in front of a hostile audience.

January 15, 2007
8:55 pm
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free,

You’ve said: “Matteo, it's pretty evident that when you and I post on the same thread, buttons get pushed. I'm sorry you've animosity towards me, but that doesn't make me want to pad what I think about Islam.” I’ve read my posts over and over and I cannot understand where your impression about my animosity towards you came from. If you have an animosity towards me, please speak for yourself only.

I’ve never said that by discussing Islam, instead of much closer to the Western World Christianity, the rules were broken. When I referred to talking about Christianity first, I’ve made analogy to SC’s advise to look into our backyards first – I was suggesting that perhaps that rule is useful not only on support threads; I didn’t complain about not getting support here either.

If you read my post, you will know that neither Islam nor Christianity is my religion, therefore I can’t feel attacked by your or anyone else’s posts attacking a religion, neither I’ve ever said that I feel attacked.

However, I feel that by creating this thread your intention was an attack on Islam. The title is suggesting that: “Go ahead, defend”; we usually defend against attacks, don’t we?

WD talks about intellectual honesty and I don’t see it on your or guest’s part. You want people to defend what you believe is not true and no matter what would be or was said to you, you just ignore or dismiss it. You are claiming subjectivity but you are biased. Biased is actually a gross understatement because you are simply convinced that what you are thinking is the truth. You’ve said: “I've been studying Islam for some time now, and have come to a belief that it is an evil cult of epic proportion.” You “have come to belief”, meaning you don’t want to be convinced, you already “know” it.

I think WD made clear distinction between Islam and Islamic Laws and I don’t have to repeat it. I believe that Islam, just like Christianity or any other religion has many valuable things to offer. The trick is to pick them up and use them to our own and others’ benefits, not turn away from them and condemn them because its teachings were twisted and misused - and I really wonder how it benefits you or anyone else not to see it.

You’ve said that you’ve studied Islam. How did you study Islam? Do you have Muslim friends or maybe family, did you talk to them, did you go to their houses and see what life style they lead? Did you talk to Sunni and Shia Muslims? Did you see the differences between them and the array of beliefs and behaviours among them? Did you? Or did you study Islam through Western propaganda or “scholarly” debates posted on Internet? Did you actually sit down with Koran in your hands and read it?

If you did, then I am sorry, but it is beyond my comprehension how can you say that “Islam is an evil cult of epic proportion and followers are sheep with no independent thought”, and I am positive that no amount of convincing arguments otherwise will change your mind.

Sorry, but this is not a debate, this is a witch-hunt. The question though is: What do you want to achieve?

January 15, 2007
9:11 pm
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WD

Alright here's what you said: "The Heart of Islam helps me to respect women". Scroll up.

What was it in Islam that helped you to respect women?

January 15, 2007
9:15 pm
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Matteo,

How much do you know about the teachings of Islam?

"because its teachings were twisted and misused - and I really wonder how it benefits you or anyone else not to see it."

Quran 4:34 asks men to Beat up their wives if they disobey them. Can you explain how this teaching of Islam can be "twisted and misused" ?

I bet you a million dollars, no one told you about the dark side of Islam at the time you were almost about to convert to Islam.

January 15, 2007
9:24 pm
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Matteo and wd- I've supported my statements with references and it just sparks fits. If you feel I've alterior motives or whatever so be it. This site offers a challenge and I'd love to see it taken and won. Enough said on that. Once again, here is the challenge:

The challenge is:

Disprove my accusations against Muhammad.

I accuse Muhammad of being:

a rapist a pedophile (had sex with a child) an assassin a mass murderer a ruthless torturer a terrorist (I have been made victorious through terror) a lecher a misogynist a narcissist a thief and plunderer a cult leader a mentally deranged (was paranoid, heard voices, hallucinated of seeing jinns, Satan and angels, used to think he had sex with his wives when he did not, suffered from depression and had suicidal tendencies).

Muslims often ask: "Who will judge whether or not an attempt to disprove your accusations against Muhammad and Islam, was successful?"

My debates with Muslims are published for the world to see. Read them. Do you think anyone of my opponents had a wining argument?

All they said can be summarized as:

a- Denial of the authenticity of the Islamic sources that report the stories of crimes of Muhammad (example: debate with Edip Yukssel, the head of the Submitters)

b- Moral relativism and situational ethics, i.e. “In those days, pedophilia, assassination, rape, theft, massacre and lying, were common practice, so Muhammad is innocent because he did what everyone else did.” Muslims even go as far as to question the legitimacy of the Golden Rule to claim we do not have any bases to condemn Muhammad. In other words evil can be good and vice versa (example: debate with Yamin Zakaria)

Here's the site:
http://www.faithfreedom.org/ch.....llenge.htm

Good luck!

free

January 15, 2007
11:36 pm
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guest_guest,

How much do I know about the teachings of Islam? How condescending that question is meant to be? Much more than you think that I do, that’s for sure.

“I bet you a million dollars, no one told you about the dark side of Islam at the time you were almost about to convert to Islam.” I’m pretty sure you don’t have a million dollars to bet in the first place, and you would loose it. First of all I am not always indiscriminately listening to what I am told, but aside from that don’t forget that I was raised in Catholic family, in Catholic country where hatred towards Muslims and Islam was ingrained, almost genetic and definitively historically justified. No other religions’ dark sides were exposed to me more than the dark side of Islam; our history books and our literature is full of examples of what was caused by the followers of Islam, and no other religion (and its followers) is hated more than Islam in the country where I was born, not even Judaism.

January 15, 2007
11:39 pm
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guest_guest,

“Quran 4:34 asks men to Beat up their wives if they disobey them. Can you explain how this teaching of Islam can be "twisted and misused" ?”

Quran, S. 4:34

Men are the protectors

And maintainers of women,

Because Allah has given

The one more (strength)

Than the other, and because

They support them

From their means.

Therefore the righteous women

Are devoutly obedient, and guard

In (the husband’s) absence

What Allah would have them guard.

As to those women

On whose part ye fear

Disloyalty and ill-conduct,

Admonish them (first),

(Next), refuse to share their beds,

(And last) beat them (lightly);

But if they return to obedience,

Seek not against them

Means (of annoyance);

For Allah is Most High,

Great (above you all).

Quran, S.4:35

If ye fear a breach

Between them twain,

Appoint (two) arbiters,

One from his family,

And the other from hers;

If they seek to set things aright,

Allah will cause

Their reconciliation:

For Allah hath full knowledge,

And is acquainted

With all things.

Those above Suras are guiding through marital or family dispute. “Slight physical correction” is according to scholars inadvisable though permissible, and by no means should be cruel; if all the steps fail, then family meeting is advisable which might lead to reconciliation or separation and divorce, so actually there is nowhere asking men to “Beat up their wives.”

How that teaching can be twisted and misused?

Well, guest_guest, you may either read those verses and you might try all those steps, where slight physical punishment might be literally a slap on the wrist or just a gesture – only once! and then proceed to further steps of resolving your differences by asking your relatives to help you, eventually have a three month separation period, (longer if she is pregnant or just had a baby) and divorce her, if you still cannot get along - or you can go ahead and abuse your wife till the rest of your lives, if this is what you believe the above verses are telling you to do.

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