I think you have a somewhat polarised views. I am sure that you know there is no single “correct” Islam. The Islam my neighbour believes in is a different one from the Muslim down the road from us both, and again different from the model you have in your mind. Now your model may be closer to how Muhammad envisioned it, but religions evolve so what many Muslims believe is most likely nothing like that at all.
Yes my views are polarized. Anything else would be folly. How can one compare Buddhism or any religion with a demonic creed like Islam? We must not lump all beliefs together and pass one verdict on all of them. Communism, Nazism, and democracy are all different polities. Are all the same? Can we lump them together as political systems and pass one judgment on all of them? All religions are not alike. You can argue that all of them are false. Even that is not true. There are elements in all faiths that are absolute truth. The Golden Rule that is at the core of all religions, except Islam, is an absolute truth. Religions have something good, something bad and something ugly. In my opinion they are superfluous. Man can find the good on his own. We don’t need any religion to tell us raping and looting and murdering are bad. Even if a religion like Islam says they are good and encourages its followers to commit these crimes to those who do not submit, we still know they are bad.
However, some people want to have faith in something. As long as their faith is not a threat to me, I have no problem with it. We humans are different and have different needs. I am perfectly comfortable not to believe in anything and not to invoke an imaginary god when in trouble. In fact I feel much better knowing the solution of my problems is in my own hands and not in the hands of an unpredictable phantasm. If I can do something about them I will do them otherwise I resign and move on. For some people this is a dreadful scenario.
There is only one Islam and that is the Islam of Muhammad. It is detailed in the Quran and his biography. Muslims have different takes on their faith. Some practice it more than others. But there is only one Islam.
Any object or subject can be perceived differently by different people. It depends on the observers’ perspective. The fact that several people describe the same thing differently does not mean they are looking at different things. The argument that Islam is not one because Muslims interpret it differently is a fallacy. It is not rational. I am sure different people have different opinions about you and will describe you differently. Does this mean they are describing different people?
I am attacking the Islam of Muhammad – the only real Islam. I don’t know your neighbors and I am not interested in how they interpret their religion. Faith is personal. I am not attacking their faith. I am attacking a religion that is violent and evil. If their Islam is not like that they don’t have to fear me.
Now this is really a no brainer. Yet, I hear it all the time. So let me give you one example that any child can understand. Let us say there is a dog in the neighborhood with rabies that is running around biting everyone. I grab my gun and go after him. Someone stops me and says my dog is docile and friendly. That bad dog is not my dog. I say, fine, then there is no reason to worry. I love friendly dogs. Now let go of my collar so I can deal with this dangerous animal. Then this person starts attacking me and says I must not harm his dog. Doesn’t that prove that his “friendly dog” and that vicious dog are one and the same?
Muslims constantly tell us the Islam they practice is not violent. Great! I am not against any peaceful religion. But when they attack me and try to stop me when I criticize the violent Islam, it is clear they are lying. Their religion is violent and they know it.
There are bad teachings in most religions. Hindus had sati. But it is abandoned. In the Old Testament, you can find stoning the adulterers. But the Jews have abandoned it, at least since 2000 years ago. The story John 8 that says the Jews brought an adulteress to Jesus asking what they should do with her makes it clear that they were no longer practicing stoning. They did not bring this adulteress to Jesus to ask his opinion. They were the teachers of the law and the Pharisees. They did not care about Jesus’s opinion. To them he was an impostor. John 8:6 says “They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.” What was the trap? They thought is Jesus says follow the law, they will show that he is a heartless ruthless man and if he says let her go, they will accuse him of breaking the law, which he had said, he is not about to change.
Other religions can evolve, but Islam cannot because it is prohibited to change it in any way. Any innovation (bid’a) is regarded as kufr. For Islam to “evolve” you have to throw away 70% of the Quran. The other 30% is just asininity. How can you do that when it clearly says you can’t pick and choose?
When I see your text about Islam it seethes with vileness, but when I see you talk about Jesus it is all peace and love. You obviously ignore the inquisition, the crusades, and what is happening in Africa today where the popular acceptance of the supernatural via belief in Jesus is the cause of children being burned with acid or starved to death, accused of being witches.
Jesus, was not a vile man. His teachings are good. Why should I defile a good man? I don’t believe in the divinity of Jesus. I see him as a man. But that does not mean I am going to throw all fairness away and vilify a good man.
The Inquisition or any bad thing Christians did or do has nothing to do with Jesus. He did not instigate those things.
He said he who lives by the sword will perish by it.
He said forgive people’s sins so yours can be forgiven.
He said remove the beam in your own eyes before finding the speck in the eyes of your neighbor.
He said throw the stone if you have not sinned.
He said you were told not to commit adultery, I tell you not to think about it for he who thinks about sin commits it in his heart.
I could make a modern psychological argument based on quantum physics to show this teaching is not just allegorical. It is very real. But I don’t want to digress. You can find no justification for the crimes perpetrated by the Christians in the teachings of Jesus.
The Inquisition and the Crusades were influences of Islam on the Catholic Church. The Church started to copycat Jihad and Mihnah because of their successes. Cultures influence each other. Even today, the secular and liberal western culture is influenced by the repressive Islamic culture. We punish people who speak the truth against Islam. This insanity is not because of secularism. It is the blasphemy law seeping in our secular laws. If Geert wilders is prosecuted, or if Andrew Ryan in UK goes to jail because he burned the Quran, we can’t blame secularism for it. Western secularism is becoming Islamized. The same happened to the Church. It became Islamized.
What Christians do in Africa is also not the fault of Jesus. These practices are animism not Christianity. They are practiced by the Christians in the name of Jesus, but they are not the teachings of Jesus. They are remnants of animism lingering in the psyche of the Africans.
Remember, it was Christianity that invented the most disgusting lie ever told by man. The threat of eternal burning in hell, one of the key tools Muhammad exploited. It is also the promise of Jesus to return that enables countless people around the world to con people into joining cults, where children and women are sexually exploited and others financially.
The belief in hell and heaven is an ancient belief. No one knows who invented this lie. It could have been originated from Zoroastrianism and Jews learned it from Persians. However, this belief was not promulgated by Jesus. Jesus did not threaten people with hellfire. It was Paul, the zealot apostle who interjected his own understanding into his new-found faith.
It is also true that countless people have been conned and continue to be conned by charlatans like Muhammad et al who exploit the belief of returning messiahs. However, this belief is also ancient. When people are oppressed and victimized they invent messiahs. It gives them hope. Today, our lives are relatively safer. We don’t experience so much injustice as our ancestors did. Therefore, messiahs have become superfluous. We can liberate ourselves and don’t need to wait for messiahs.
I understand you disliking Islam, I dislike it too. I’m not keen on what appears to be an emotional hatred of it, but that’s entirely up to you. When you seethe hatred for Muhammad and Islam and then talk (erroneously in my opinion) about Jesus being all sweetness and light it just doesn’t come across well at all, which is why I suspected you were a Christian.
It is intellectually dishonest to equate Jesus with Muhammad. Did Jesus raid people? Did he massacre, rape, and rob anyone? Did he instigate murder or encourage assassination? Did he have sex with children? Did he sleep with women after massacring their tribe and torturing to death their husband?
You have thrown out your belief in God. Congratulations. But have you also thrown out your sense of fairness? In what ways Jesus can be compared to Muhammad? Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that the stories about Jesus are true. I am not talking about his alleged miracles. I am talking about his teachings and the examples that he set. Analyze him as a man. Are there any two people more diametrically opposed to each other than Muhammad and Jesus?
I can’t be a Christian because I can’t believe in a god that intervenes in human affairs. In fact if such a god existed, considering that the foundation of this world is based on injustice, he must be a cynical and cruel god, unworthy of worship. I am a vegan because I can’t bear the thought of taking the life of a lovely animal just so I can eat. And yes I love animals more than I love some humans. There is no wickedness in animals. And yet this God has designed the world in such a way that the sustenance of many species should depend on destroying the lives of other creatures. His cynicism and cruelty is so despicable that he endows these creatures that are to be food to others with feelings so when a calf is devoured by a predator her mother suffers and grieves. Of course the wretched prey has to suffer excruciating pain too. How disgusting! How a creator with such a low ethics can be worthy of praise?
I am not talking about God. I am talking about Jesus as a man. Find me something evil in Jesus’ teachings or his life if you can and I will denounce that thing. We can’t throw away honesty and fairness just because we reject God.
Muhammad was quite different. There is no crime that he did not commit. His teachings are all evil. There is nothing good that he said or did.
When Christians do evil, it is because they deviate from what Jesus taught. When Muslims do good deeds, it is because they disobey their prophet. When they follow him they become evil. A good Christian becomes Mother Theresa. A Good Hindu becomes Gandhi. A good Buddhist becomes Dalai Lama. A good Muslim becomes Khomeini.
The reason I don’t promote atheism is because I don’t see atheism making people better. I see atheists are just as fanatical as religionists and often lack fairness. To them atheism is another religion. They hate and disparage other faiths. Many atheists maligned Palin and supported the criminal Obama because she believes in God whereas he is only a fraud. This reminds me of the hypocrisy of Pharisees who preferred a crook like Barabbas to Jesus. It is amazing how fanaticism can blind people.
To me, atheism is a philosophy. I am an atheist because I can’t convince myself that there is a god or any intelligent being running this world. I know I could have done a better job if I had the same powers that are attributed to God. Yes there is intelligence in the universe that is reflected in all beings including atoms. But there is no intelligent being running the universe.
The main difference between me and other atheists is that for me beliefs are secondary. Deeds count, not beliefs. Beliefs change. They can change with the same ease of changing a shirt. I do that all the time. Every day, I learn a new thing and adjust my belief slightly. In the course of years my beliefs are changed radically. I call it evolution of belief.
What I look in people is their humanity. I look at their sense of justice, fairness, compassion, kindness, and empathy. Intellectualism challenges my mind, but what make me cry are simple acts of kindness. I want to promote goodness. I could not care less about beliefs.