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Does Islam encourage violence more than others?

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Chris OConnor

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Does Islam encourage violence more than others?

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Generally speaking, do you think the Islamic religion encourages violence more than other religions around the world, about the same amount, or less than other religions around the world? Results (total votes = 10):More&nbsp4 / 40.0%&nbsp Same&nbsp3 / 30.0%&nbsp Less&nbsp2 / 20.0%&nbsp Unsure&nbsp1 / 10.0%&nbsp 
MadArchitect

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Re: Does Islam encourage violence more than others?

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I went with "unsure". There are several reasons for this.First, you have to think about what you mean by "encourages more violence". Violence we can take to be fairly self-explanatory, but it's about the only term there that is.When we talk about "more", we could be talking about more acts or more people. I'm not really in a position to say whether or not it encourages more people to act violently. Are there more Islamic fighters than Christian? That's hard to say, and the news isn't very enlightening. News outlets seem to report more Islamic violence, but that emphasis could be due to any number of factors, not least of all the fact that we have so many political ties with the region where Islam is the dominant religion. Another way to look at it is, how many Muslims are violent and how many are not? And I'm not sure there's any way to estimate that. It's all fine and well to make a blanket statement, but isn't it more honest to say that we just don't know?Are there more violent acts perpetrated by Muslims? Again, I don't know. Compare the number of people killed by Muslims in the last decade, say, to the number killed by Serbs, by African warlords, by first world nations at war. We pay a great deal of attention to the violence of Muslims, but at the same time we've made a habit of not really paying attention to other acts of violence until they're far in the rear-view mirror. And even taking the total number of violent acts perpetrated by Muslims, we have to assume that at least some proportion of those acts are not the direct result of Islamic doctrine, any more than the violent acts perpetrated by Christians are Biblically-informed, or that the violent acts of Americans are encouraged by the Constitution. Some are, some are not, and the only way to determine which are which are to rely on the claims of those who perpetrate the violence.That, for starters.
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Sacred and normative texts

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Generally speaking, do you think the Islamic religion encourages violence more than other religions around the world, about the same amount, or less than other religions around the world?If we reduce the question to the encouragement of violence through sacred, normative texts we can compare the Quran, Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Talmud, Hadith, Lotus Sutra, Tibetan Book of the Dead, Upanisads, Bhagvad Gita, Analects of Confucius, Tao Te Ching, Homer's Illiad/Odyssey...and locate where violence is encouraged, rewarded, demanded, made sacred and holy etc..Then we might want to distinguish between the goals and objectives of the violence. For instance, is the violence utilized by Kings and Princes to smash rebellious peasants; or is it violence utilized by revolutionary Slaves against Pharaohs and Ceasars? Does the deity (or his emissaries) employ violence indiscriminately, or with pedagogical intent, to enforce justice, to protect the weak, without reason or moral merit?We should also locate the conflict within the text between demands for non-violence and mandates for violence. Are there times in the text where peace, mercy and reconcilliation have clear priority; likewise, where in the text is war, punishment and vengeance given prominence? Then, we need to examine the traditional ways of interpreting these texts: their meaning, application, and implication throughout history. How have Muslims traditionally read these violent texts? Have different traditions within Islam interpreted these texts differently?Another important element involves outside forces and their impact upon reading/interpreting the Quran. Are certain verses highlighted and interpretations given precedence when a community is under attack? Does the immediate threat of outside forces make some interpretations easier to defend than others?
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Sacred and normative texts

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I'd love to hear more from the person that answered "less."
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LanDroid

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Re: Sacred and normative texts

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I voted more. Although the Bible certainly encourages a lot of violence, Judeo-Christian ethics have been tempered by several hundred years of influence by humanist/secular ethics. Much of the Muslim world has not had this influence, like Christians of the 14th century.
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Sacred and normative texts

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So true.
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Dissident Heart

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Re: Sacred and normative texts

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Landroid: Judeo-Christian ethics have been tempered by several hundred years of influence by humanist/secular ethics.I'm not sure what you mean by "Judeo-Christian ethics". Do you mean those ethics that identify sacred value and worth in each human being created in the image of God? If this is the case, Islam shares the same. Do you mean those ethics that demand justice for the poor, the widow and orphan, confronting the wealthy and powerful to curb their greed and relinquish their hunger for power? Likewise, Islam shares these too. Don't forget the ethics of environmental stewardship where humans are seen as tenants and stewards of God's creation- not its owner, but guests of God. Islam also shares these. There are also ethics that expect each human do his fair share of labor, be compensated accordingly, and that scales for market be kept free of deceit. There is also an ethic of constant self-examination, critique and life-long learning: a passion for knowledge that continues until death. Islam shares this too. There are many qualifications shaping how these ethics find actual implementation, in much the same way as I described the interpretation of Biblical and Quranic texts is hardly a universal, monolithic enterprise.I think a crucial component to this discussion is the fact that Islam, Christianity and Judaism have never lived apart from each other; they have always been in constant contact and interaction. This has led to mutual transformation and shared development: in violent and peaceful behaviors. Likewise, the secular worldviews birthed in the European Enlightenment have never been without contact, interaction and mutual transformation with Christianity, Judaism and to a lesser extent, Islam. The ethics of universal human rights cannot be understood outside of their roots in the religious faith that all humans are created in the image of the same God. Still, perhaps someone can point out where Islam endured the bloody terror of two World Wars waged across a secular/Christian European continent that devastated the lives of hundreds of millions of people, life forms, and trillions of dollars of property and ecological damage? Are there parallels in Islam to Stalin's gulags, Hitler's concentration camps, Truman's atomic bombs? Maybe someone can explain how the largest military force in world history (also the planet's largest seller and consumer of violent weaponry) belonging to a Secular/Christian USA; along with its tens of thousands of nuclear bombs and other weapons of mass destruction; its millions of domestic violent crimes and hand-gun deaths...has it's twin in Islam?
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Re: Sacred and normative texts

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No, I'm referring to such Judeo-Christian ethics as slavery, stoning to death for numerous infractions, genocide in the name of God, the subjugation of women, the torture of heretics, and so on. Yes, I recognize Islam shares these values, but Christianity has moved away from many of them after contact with humanist values.
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Re: Sacred and normative texts

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DHFirst of all having and using are different things all together, furthermore scale is not an issue it is the ideals we are discussing here. The basic western philosophy is to fight in self defense only. No, it is not always followed, but it remains the most common justification for violence in our society. Islam on the other hand has not embraced the civil liberties that the west has. Islam advocates killing the non-Muslims, abuses the human rights of the minorities and women. Islam expanded by Jihad (holy war) and forced its way by killing the non-believers and the dissidents. Apostasy in Islam is the biggest crime, punishable by death. Furthermore the hero of the Quran is a nasty scandalous sicko as well, and yet millions of Muslims look at him as their prophet and an example of a good Muslim.Here is a glimpse of Muhammad's character; Muhammad lived a less than holy life. His lust for sex, his affairs with his maids and slave girls, his pedophilic relationship with Aisha a 9-year-old child at the age of 53, his killing sprees, his massacre and the genocide of the Jews, his slave making and trading, his assassination of his opponents, his raids and lootings of the merchant caravans, his burning of the palm plantations, his destroying the water wells, his cursing and invoking evil on his enemies and his revenge on his captured prisoners of war disqualify him as a decent human being let alone the messenger of GodMuhammad was a fundamentalist himself therefore fundamentalism cannot be separated from true Islam. Islam, which means submission, demands from its followers to submit their wills and thoughts to Muhammad and his Allah.The Quran tells Muslims to kill the disbelievers wherever they find them (Q. 2:191), to murder them and treat them harshly (Q. 9:123), slay them (Q. 9:5), fight with them, (Q. 8: 65 ) even if they are Christians and Jews, humiliate them and impose on them a penalty tax (Q. 9: 29). Quran takes away the freedom of belief from all humanity and tell clearly that no other religion except Islam is accepted (Q. 3: 85). It relegates those who disbelieve in Quran to hell (Q. 5:10), calls them najis (filthy, untouchable, impure) (Q. 9: 2 . It orders its followers to fight the unbelievers until no other religion except Islam is left (Q. 2: 193). As for women the book of Allah says that they are inferior to men and their husbands have the right to scourge them if they are found disobedient (Q. 4:34). It teaches that women will go to hell if they are disobedient to their husbands (Q. 66:10). It maintains that men have an advantage over the women (Q. 2:22 . It not only denies the women's equal right to their inheritance (Q. 4:11-12), it also regards them as imbeciles and decrees that their witness is not admissible in the court (Q. 2:282). Now these ideas put down in writing, are not exclusive to the Islamic faith, but the fact that the Muslims have not adopted a more civil attitude due to humanists' ideals is important here. It is the equivalent to the Christian religion holding the power and ideals it had during the Spanish inquisition, only in modern times. Of course there are moderate Muslims just as there are moderate Christians, I think the ratios are vastly different however.The difference is obvious (to me anyway) the Islamic religion still embraces the violent, teachings of their holy book, and its views are often placed above or into law. Our society helps curb these religious attitudes and keep them from circumventing our rights and laws. Later Edited by: Frank 013 at: 3/4/06 1:07 am
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Re: Sacred and normative texts

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Lan
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