• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

The Muslims in the Middle

donsutherland1

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
11,691
Reaction score
9,981
Location
New York
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
In today's edition of The New York Times, William Dalrymple, author of Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India (Alfred A. Knopf: 2009) writes on the current uproar about the proposed construction of an Islamic cultural center a few blocks from Ground Zero in Manhattan. He warns that viewing all Muslims through a monolithic lens of radicalism could have the unintended consequence of weakening possible relationships with moderate Muslims.

He explained:

The problem with such claims [arguments being made against the proposed Mosque] goes far beyond the fate of a mosque in downtown Manhattan. They show a dangerously inadequate understanding of the many divisions, complexities and nuances within the Islamic world — a failure that hugely hampers Western efforts to fight violent Islamic extremism and to reconcile Americans with peaceful adherents of the world’s second-largest religion...

While the West remains blind to the divisions and distinctions within Islam, the challenge posed by the Sufi vision of the faith is not lost on the extremists. This was shown most violently on July 2, when the Pakistani Taliban organized a double-suicide bombing of the Data Darbar, the largest Sufi shrine in Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city. The attack took place on a Thursday night, when the shrine was at its busiest; 42 people were killed and 175 were injured.


At the same time, he provides a link to a seminal paper published by the Rand Corporation entitled Building Moderate Muslim Networks (2007). Among other things, the paper gets into the nuances that are ignored in overgeneralized, often high-pitched claims that amount to notions that all or most of Islam/Muslims are radical, "true" Muslims are not moderate, etc., and debunks the ill-informed monolithic perspective. It even provides an example of a Fatwa issued against Osama Bin Laden by the Islamic Commission of Spain that declares, in part, "That Islam rejects terrorism in all its manifestations, being the death or damage to innocent human beings or to their properties" and that "those who commit terrorist acts violate Koranic teachings and thus turn apostates who have left Islam."
 
Last edited:

Gardener

free market communist
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 5, 2005
Messages
26,661
Reaction score
15,927
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
In today's edition of The New York Times, William Dalrymple, author of Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India (Alfred A. Knopf: 2009) writes on the current uproar about the proposed construction of an Islamic cultural center a few blocks from Ground Zero in Manhattan. He warns that viewing all Muslims through a monolithic lens of radicalism could have the unintended consequence of weakening possible relationships with moderate Muslims.

He explained:

The problem with such claims [arguments being made against the proposed Mosque] goes far beyond the fate of a mosque in downtown Manhattan. They show a dangerously inadequate understanding of the many divisions, complexities and nuances within the Islamic world — a failure that hugely hampers Western efforts to fight violent Islamic extremism and to reconcile Americans with peaceful adherents of the world’s second-largest religion...

While the West remains blind to the divisions and distinctions within Islam, the challenge posed by the Sufi vision of the faith is not lost on the extremists. This was shown most violently on July 2, when the Pakistani Taliban organized a double-suicide bombing of the Data Darbar, the largest Sufi shrine in Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city. The attack took place on a Thursday night, when the shrine was at its busiest; 42 people were killed and 175 were injured.


At the same time, he provides a link to a seminal paper published by the Rand Corporation entitled Building Moderate Muslim Networks (2007). Among other things, the paper gets into the nuances that are ignored in overgeneralized, often high-pitched claims that amount to notions that all or most of Islam/Muslims are radical, "true" Muslims are not moderate, etc., and debunks the ill-informed monolithic perspective. It even provides an example of a Fatwa issued against Osama Bin Laden by the Islamic Commission of Spain that declares, in part, "That Islam rejects terrorism in all its manifestations, being the death or damage to innocent human beings or to their properties" and that "those who commit terrorist acts violate Koranic teachings and thus turn apostates who have left Islam."
As far as I see it, while there are certainly those who do view Islam through that "monolithic lens of radicalism", there is an even greater number who react to comments directed at the radicals as IF they were directed at all Muslims. Take the building of this "cultural center" for instance. The Imam in question harbors views typical to the Wahhabists, blames the targets of terrorism instead of terrorists, wishes to implement sharia law, and is acting in a fashion entirely consistent with an established pattern among Islamic supremacists of building large monuments over the ashes of their defeated enemies. Despite this, and despite the fact other TRULY moderate Muslims have denounced the building of this, ummmmm, "cultural center", the reaction to any who dare point out the nature of this mosque is often to ridicule them with charges that THEY are the ones indulging in this broad brushed attack.

Who is really indulging in the broad brush, though -- those who are concerned with fundamentalist Islam and direct their comments at such, or those who know nothing about the issue at all, but like to appear politically correct so indulge in apologia for the fundamentalism under the misapprehension they are somehow defending all Muslims? I see FAR more of this tendency than I do the sort of lumping together referenced by the article.
 
Last edited:

donsutherland1

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
11,691
Reaction score
9,981
Location
New York
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
As far as I see it, while there are certainly those who do view Islam through that "monolithic lens of radicalism", there is an even greater number who react to comments directed at the radicals as IF they were directed at all Muslims. Take the building of this "cultural center" for instance. The Imam in question harbors views typical to the Wahhabists, blames the targets of terrorism instead of terrorists, wishes to implement sharia law, and is acting in a fashion entirely consistent with an established pattern among Islamic supremacists of building large monuments over the ashes of their defeated enemies.
I'm certainly not going to broad brush some of the concerns raised with respect to the Imam's background/views, sensitivity to the emotions of others, etc. However, I will note that there is an appropriate law in place that bars individuals/insitutions from providing material support to terrorist organizations and that law was recently upheld in a U.S. Supreme Court decision. Should that threshold be crossed, those responsible can and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
 

tlmorg02

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
3,347
Reaction score
1,078
Location
Louisville, Ky
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Liberal
I certainly think that strong feelings over the building of this cultural center are to be expected. As I have stated in other threads, I cannot imagine the US being keen on the Japanese immigrants building a Shinto Temple in Hawaii in the years following the attacks on Pearl Habor. Never the less, I must agree with the article that there is a certain danger in not clarifying the opposition to the building and giving the appearance that the US is anti-Islam. Such a misunderstanding will be far more costly than the emotional strife such a cultural center will cause.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 16, 2010
Messages
214
Reaction score
56
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
We understand the nuanced differences in Islam. Not every Muslim is a terrorist. But 99% of all terrorists are devout, fantatical, anti-Semitic Islamist radicals.

The objective still remains: why would we reward bigotry, hatred, racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia in establishing a radicalized center for Muslims, two blocks from the World Trade Center?
 

Laila

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
10,100
Reaction score
2,990
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
I feel so sorry for Sufi Muslims in Muslim majority countries. They are getting it in the neck by every sect in Islam and are being slowly eradicated.
 

digsbe

Truth will set you free
Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
May 13, 2009
Messages
20,222
Reaction score
14,219
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
I feel so sorry for Sufi Muslims in Muslim majority countries. They are getting it in the neck by every sect in Islam and are being slowly eradicated.
I know several Muslims here in the states who fled their country because of the laws of other sects encroaching in the government. My Iranian babysitter fled (I believe) because of the Ayatollah and their Muslim theology.
 

Laila

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
10,100
Reaction score
2,990
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
I know several Muslims here in the states who fled their country because of the laws of other sects encroaching in the government. My Iranian babysitter fled (I believe) because of the Ayatollah and their Muslim theology.
Don't blame Sufi's for leaving.
Many Muslims hate them for some reason.
 

Orion

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
8,083
Reaction score
3,918
Location
Canada
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Moderate Muslims... I wish the media would give them the spotlight more often. People are so painfully ignorant of how much good work is being done.
 

Objective Voice

DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
11,190
Reaction score
3,950
Location
Huntsville, AL (USA)
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
I've been doing alittle research trying to find some background info about both the man that is Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf and issues surrounding his faith beyond what I already know about Islam from my personal studies. The following is from an op-ed piece from the Atlantic Journal entitled, "'Ground Zero' Imam: 'I Am a Jew, I Have Always Been One'" (link herein):

We are here to assert the Islamic conviction of the moral equivalency of our Abrahamic faiths. If to be a Jew means to say with all one's heart, mind and soul Shma` Yisrael, Adonai Elohenu Adonai Ahad; hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One, not only today I am a Jew, I have always been one, Mr. Pearl.

If to be a Christian is to love the Lord our God with all of my heart, mind and soul, and to love for my fellow human being what I love for myself, then not only am I a Christian, but I have always been one Mr. Pearl.

And I am here to inform you, with the full authority of the Quranic texts and the practice of the Prophet Muhammad, that to say La ilaha illallah Muhammadun rasulullah is no different.

It expresses the same theological and ethical principles and values.
Does the above sound like a man who wants anything but peace between Christians, Jews and Muslims? I know actions speaks louder than words, but doesn't the fact that he is attempting to build a "community center" help demostrate his sincerity as far as religious tolerence is concerned? Just asking questions here, folks...
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2010
Messages
214
Reaction score
56
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
'dawa' is a central tenet of Islam that calls for "everything to be Islam / Islam to be everything" which restricts egalitarianism to Islam. Many Muslims reject 'dawa' interpretations because of the exploitation of jihad thousands of Imam's have used to back terrorism. However, how Islam deals with 'dawa' within its theological centers may be the future of Islam both as a religion and as "everything."
 

iangb

Lurker
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 20, 2009
Messages
2,927
Reaction score
2,112
Location
Birmingham, UK
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
'dawa' is a central tenet of Islam that calls for "everything to be Islam / Islam to be everything" which restricts egalitarianism to Islam. Many Muslims reject 'dawa' interpretations because of the exploitation of jihad thousands of Imam's have used to back terrorism. However, how Islam deals with 'dawa' within its theological centers may be the future of Islam both as a religion and as "everything."
Reminds me of the first commandment.

Thou shalt have no other God before Me.
 
Top Bottom