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Pope says Islam can’t reform
Posted by: mcq on Wednesday, January 11, 2006

You may remember, in the last week or so, we talked about the necessity of moderate Islam taking back the religion from radicals and how that probably wouldn't be successful (given the different elements of the Muslim community's necessary in such an endeavor, such as women)without a reformation.

In a little noted interview, Pope Benedict XVI says a reformation can't happen:
Now Pope Benedict XVI has let it be known that he does not believe Islam can reform. This we learn from the transcript of a January 5 US radio interview with one of Benedict's students and friends, Father Joseph Fessio, SJ, the provost of Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida, posted on the Asia Times Online forum by a sharp-eyed reader. For the pope to refute the fundamental premise of US policy is news of inestimable strategic importance, yet a Google News scan reveals that not a single media outlet has taken notice of what Fessio told interviewer Hugh Hewitt last week. No matter: still and small as Benedict's voice might be, it carries further than earthquake and whirlwind.
The transcript is available, but a summary is as follows:
The main presentation by this Father Christian Troll was very interesting. He based it on a Pakistani Muslim scholar [named] Rashan, who was at the University of Chicago for many years, and Rashan's position was Islam can enter into dialogue with modernity, but only if it radically reinterprets the Koran, and takes the specific legislation of the Koran, like cutting off your hand if you're a thief, or being able to have four wives, or whatever, and takes the principles behind those specific pieces of legislation for the 7th century of Arabia, and now applies them, and modifies them, for a new society [in] which women are now respected for their full dignity, where democracy's important, religious freedom's important, and so on. And if Islam does that, then it will be able to enter into real dialogue and live together with other religions and other kinds of cultures.

And immediately the holy father, in his beautiful calm but clear way, said, well, there's a fundamental problem with that because, he said, in the Islamic tradition, God has given His word to Mohammed, but it's an eternal word. It's not Mohammed's word. It's there for eternity the way it is. There's no possibility of adapting it or interpreting it, whereas in Christianity, and Judaism, the dynamism's completely different, that God has worked through his creatures . And so it is not just the word of God, it's the word of Isaiah, not just the word of God, but the word of Mark. He's used his human creatures, and inspired them to speak his word to the world, and therefore by establishing a church in which he gives authority to his followers to carry on the tradition and interpret it, there's an inner logic to the Christian Bible, which permits it and requires it to be adapted and applied to new situations.

The interviewer then asked Fessio, "And so the pope is a pessimist about that changing, because it would require a radical reinterpretation of what the Koran is?" Fessio replied, "Yeah, which is it's impossible, because it's against the very nature of the Koran, as it's understood by Muslims."
OK other than the fact that I found the name "Father Christian Troll" to be funny given the discussion on the internet, let's move on to the serious stuff.

Now, whether you're religious or not, this is an important point. Christianity and Judaism allow for an interpretation of the Bible because it is believed to be God's word through the interpretation of prophets, where as the Koran is believed to be God's word as transcribed literally by Mohammed.

So how does one change that?

Well, of course, you can't, if you believe God to be infallible and you believe the Koran to be his literal word. So, per the Pope, there is really no ability or mechanism built in the religion of Islam to address modernity or the changing role of women, etc. There is no mechanism which allows reform. Essentially what the Pope is saying is that Islam is a 7th century religion which will forever be a 7th century religion and perhaps the best we can hope for is a moderation. But certainly not a reformation.

Seems to me this is a very important point of foreign policy which must be addressed and our approach to Islam modified.

What does it mean? We go to Iran for the answer:
Islam was founded as a theocracy, such that the Western innovation of church-state separation remains alien to its culture. Is it possible for Islam to reform? A negative answer implies that Ahmadinejad's January 5 call for world domination falls within the Islamic mainstream. He told an audience of religious students, "We must believe in the fact that Islam is not confined to geographical borders, ethnic groups and nations. It's a universal ideology that leads the world to justice. We don't shy away from declaring that Islam is ready to rule the world. We must prepare ourselves to rule the world." The previous day, the London Guardian leaked a European intelligence report detailing Iran's efforts to acquire technology required to build nuclear weapons. A very few writers, including this one, have rejected the possibility of Islamic reformation, to the stony contempt of universally accepted opinion.
I have to admit that perhaps I hoped more for a reformation than really considered the reality of such a proposition. Obviously a reformation would be welcome if it allowed the moderate side of Islam to regain control of the religion and steer it to a much more moderate and peacful course. What is being said here is that can't happen and, given the nature of the religion, what we hear coming out of Iran and from the extremists may unfortunately be Islam's "modern" face.
 
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It’s been commented on several times that the Islamic world looks forward to the 15th century. So, perhaps viewing it from this angle will help your overall perspective. If you were a citizen of 14th century Spain, let’s say... would you have been able to envision such a seperation between Rome and Madrid?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
I hope he’s wrong. I don’t want us to have to kill 1.5 billion people. I’m optimistic we won’t have to.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
This isn’t a bolt from the blue—it’s been obvious to anyone who considered the question but it’s incomplete. The question that confronts Islam is how important is the literal truth of the Qu’ran to the practicers of Islam? Despite best efforts actual historical evidence, little by little, is demonstrating that the Qu’ran, like the Bible, developed and evolved over time.

That kind of evidence has been caustic to those who believe that the Qu’ran is the literal word of God—that idea precludes the alternative notion that the Qu’ran (again, like the Bible) is the word of God mediated by His human ministers.

BTW what you’re looking for in Islam is not a reformation: the reformation is well under way, like the Protest Reformation it’s a conservative reformation, and it’s Salafism. What you’re looking for is the Englightenment which had very different roots than the Reformation.
 
Written By: Dave Schuler
URL: http://www.theglitteringeye.com
I hope he’s wrong.

Unless there’s someone out there in the Muslim world ready to claim that the Koran is not the literal word of God, I’m not sure how he can be wrong.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
The only way for Islam to reform itself is if that 800-year-old Imam climbs out of that well in Qom, and tells Muslims everywhere that they are full of shit.
 
Written By: Ramen Noodles
URL: http://
Can a classically liberal West (I don’t much care if we die out if we can’t be classically liberal, I think have a good shot) coexist with an Islam that takes every word in the Quran to be the literal word of God and a commandment to them?


Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Perhaps it is not my place to argue with Pope Benedict but:
And immediately the holy father, in his beautiful calm but clear way, said, well, there’s a fundamental problem with that because, he said, in the Islamic tradition, God has given His word to Mohammed, but it’s an eternal word. It’s not Mohammed’s word. It’s there for eternity the way it is. There’s no possibility of adapting it or interpreting it, whereas in Christianity, and Judaism, the dynamism’s completely different, that God has worked through his creatures.
And this differs from Old and New Testaments how exactly? How many times to we see "The Lord spoke unto Moses saying, ’Speak to the children of Israel and say to them...’". Moses’s word was God’s word and "it’s an eternal word"! Ergo, Christians and Jews have the same fundamental textual problem as Muslims. Nevertheless, the former have dealt with the problem but not the latter. With all due respect I think the Pontiff’s distinction is fitful at best.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
Ah, the perils of people trying to live their lives according to the diaries of old dead guys.
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
The only way for Islam to reform itself is if that 800-year-old Imam climbs out of that well in Qom, and tells Muslims everywhere that they are full of shit.
He’s 1100 years old you moron! Don’t you know anything?
 
Written By: Ramen Noodles
URL: http://
Wasn’t there an earlier Pope who insisted that the Roman Catholic Church would never be reformed? Maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t but a big chunk of Christians are no longer members. Of course, in the process, bloody wars raged for almost a century.

Also, the current Pope seems to ignore the fact that there are large numbers of Christians who believe that the Bible is the literally word of God in the same manner as preached in Islam. They too are called fundamentalists.

We have to remember that Christianity and Islam are both locked in a competitive struggle - the Pope knows that so his view of the competition may be colored by that struggle.

That said, there is a strong and growing movement in Islam to assert domininion over the whole world. Their energy resources and growing population provide the basis for making that assertion felt.

The future will see that their oil and gas resources will grow even more valuable for a number of years ahead but are a wasting asset where their population growth will overwhelm their resources. In other words, they will peak in a few years then retreat in misery.

The West’s defense is to start making the move to energy sources NOT controlled by Islamic countries. Rationally, that means a huge move to nuclear power as the "alternative" energy sources are so unproductive as investments that they hurt more than they help.
 
Written By: Whitehall
URL: http://
It is time to admit it
Dr.Tawfik Hamid (author of The Roots of Jihad)
www.thamid.com

I am a medical doctor and I live now in a western country.

I was born a Muslim and lived all my life as a follower of Islam.

After all the barbaric terrorist attacks committed by my fellow Muslims all over the globe, I feel a responsibility as a Muslim and as a human being to speak out and tell the truth in order to protect the world - and Muslims as well - from a coming catastrophe: a war between the civilizations.

I have to admit that our current Islamic teaching creates violence and hatred toward non-Muslims, and it is we Muslims who are the ones who need to change.

Even now we still accept polygamy, the beating of women by men and the killing of those who convert from Islam to other religions.

We have never taken a clear and strong stand against slavery or war (jihad) as a way of spreading our religion and subjugating others.

We ask others to respect our religion - while at the same time loudly curse non-Muslims (in Arabic) in Friday prayers in the mosque.

What message do we convey to our children when we call the Jews “descendants of pigs and monkeys”? Is this a message of love and peace, or a message of hate? I have been to churches and synagogues where people pray for the welfare of Muslims - while we preach hatred of Christians and Jews and curse them as infidels.

We reflexively defend Prophet Mohammed when someone accuses him of having been a pedophile – yet remain proud that our tradition teaches that he was more than 50 when he married Aisha, a seven year-old girl.

It is sad for me to admit that many, if not most of us, rejoiced on September 11th and after many other terror attacks too.

Muslims may denounce such attacks in order to look good in the media, but off-camera we condone Islamic terrorists and sympathize with their deeds. Our ‘distinguished’ religious authorities have yet to issue a fatwa or other religious statement declaring Bin Laden an apostate - but Rushdie was so condemned, according to Islam’s Shari’a law, to be killed for writing a book critical of Islam.

Muslims have demonstrated in France to stop the ban on school girls wearing the hejab (head scarf) – but never with such passion and in such numbers against terrorist murder.

Our absolute silence against the terrorists only encourages them to continue with their evil deeds.

We Muslims need to stop blaming our problems on others or on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In all honesty, Israel is the only light of democracy, civilization, and human rights in the whole Middle East.

We kicked the Jews out of Arab countries, with no compensation or mercy, in order to make them Judenrein (the Nazi word meaning “Jew-free”) - while Israel is home to more than a million Arabs who as citizens enjoy human rights as human beings. In Israel, Muslim women cannot legally be beaten by men, and anyone can change his/her belief system with no fear of being killed in the name of Islam’s laws regarding apostasy.

I agree the Palestinians suffer, but they suffer because of their corrupt leaders and not because of Israel.

Rare is the Arab who leaves Israel to go and live in the Arab world. On the other hand, thousands of Palestinians work in Israel among the ’enemy’. If Israel treated Arabs so badly, as some people claim, surely this would not happen.

We Muslims need to admit our problems and face them. Only then can we deal with them and start a new era of living in harmony with all human mankind.

The time has come to stop our hypocrisy and say openly: ‘We Muslims have to change’.

 
Written By: Tawfik Hamid
URL: http://www.thamid.com
It is time to admit it
Dr.Tawfik Hamid (author of The Roots of Jihad)
www.thamid.com

I am a medical doctor and I live now in a western country.

I was born a Muslim and lived all my life as a follower of Islam.

After all the barbaric terrorist attacks committed by my fellow Muslims all over the globe, I feel a responsibility as a Muslim and as a human being to speak out and tell the truth in order to protect the world - and Muslims as well - from a coming catastrophe: a war between the civilizations.

I have to admit that our current Islamic teaching creates violence and hatred toward non-Muslims, and it is we Muslims who are the ones who need to change.

Even now we still accept polygamy, the beating of women by men and the killing of those who convert from Islam to other religions.

We have never taken a clear and strong stand against slavery or war (jihad) as a way of spreading our religion and subjugating others.

We ask others to respect our religion - while at the same time loudly curse non-Muslims (in Arabic) in Friday prayers in the mosque.

What message do we convey to our children when we call the Jews “descendants of pigs and monkeys”? Is this a message of love and peace, or a message of hate? I have been to churches and synagogues where people pray for the welfare of Muslims - while we preach hatred of Christians and Jews and curse them as infidels.

We reflexively defend Prophet Mohammed when someone accuses him of having been a pedophile – yet remain proud that our tradition teaches that he was more than 50 when he married Aisha, a seven year-old girl.

It is sad for me to admit that many, if not most of us, rejoiced on September 11th and after many other terror attacks too.

Muslims may denounce such attacks in order to look good in the media, but off-camera we condone Islamic terrorists and sympathize with their deeds. Our ‘distinguished’ religious authorities have yet to issue a fatwa or other religious statement declaring Bin Laden an apostate - but Rushdie was so condemned, according to Islam’s Shari’a law, to be killed for writing a book critical of Islam.

Muslims have demonstrated in France to stop the ban on school girls wearing the hejab (head scarf) – but never with such passion and in such numbers against terrorist murder.

Our absolute silence against the terrorists only encourages them to continue with their evil deeds.

We Muslims need to stop blaming our problems on others or on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In all honesty, Israel is the only light of democracy, civilization, and human rights in the whole Middle East.

We kicked the Jews out of Arab countries, with no compensation or mercy, in order to make them Judenrein (the Nazi word meaning “Jew-free”) - while Israel is home to more than a million Arabs who as citizens enjoy human rights as human beings. In Israel, Muslim women cannot legally be beaten by men, and anyone can change his/her belief system with no fear of being killed in the name of Islam’s laws regarding apostasy.

I agree the Palestinians suffer, but they suffer because of their corrupt leaders and not because of Israel.

Rare is the Arab who leaves Israel to go and live in the Arab world. On the other hand, thousands of Palestinians work in Israel among the ’enemy’. If Israel treated Arabs so badly, as some people claim, surely this would not happen.

We Muslims need to admit our problems and face them. Only then can we deal with them and start a new era of living in harmony with all human mankind.

The time has come to stop our hypocrisy and say openly: ‘We Muslims have to change’.

 
Written By: Tawfik Hamid
URL: http://www.thamid.com
Mosess word was Gods word and "its an eternal word"! Ergo, Christians and Jews have the same fundamental textual problem as Muslims. Nevertheless, the former have dealt with the problem but not the latter.

It is obvious that the author has little knowledge of Judaism. A Jew is taught to think. God gave man a brain to choose and determine his own destiny, and a set of ’rules’ to be able to accomplish that end.
How many civilisations have come and gone, and still the Jews are there, contributing to civilisation in numbers far outranking ANY other, religious or secular.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Well let the Koran defend itself. It needs to be read and understood what its trying to say before anyone can comment on it. As far as the crazy people who call themselves ’defenders of islam’ I think we should ignore them.
This is an intriguing website http://www.islam-guide.com/
 
Written By: passerby
URL: http://
God gave man a brain to choose and determine his own destiny, and a set of ’rules’ to be able to accomplish that end.
Yes, indeed. God places the choice between "life and death" and "good and evil" before us and exhorts us to "choose life". Clearly that involves substantial input on the part of the individual and makes him a partner with God in realizing that end.

Nevertheless, this does not answer the question of what is the ultimate source of the "set of ’rules’" Pope Benedict XVI asserts that Biblical religious laws and beliefs result from a sort of partnership between God and the men (and women) of biblical and post-biblical theological renown (the prophets, judges, sages, disciples, apostles, etc.). However, this assertion is seemingly contradicted by the text’s making the words coming out of the prophets’ mouths the word of God. The entire Bible, from start to finish, is replete with this very motif; enough so, IMHO, to render this discussion moot as there is really no distinction between God and prophet with respect to the "word".

So, how can the Pontiff make such a distinction with Islam? Our prophets are no more or less "partners" with God than Muhammad which is central to the Pontiff’s argument. So, if the western faiths have been able to adopt more of a "partnership" approach, despite the seeming textual difficulty, why is it impossible for Muslims?

I sense a hefty dose of occidento-centric chauvanism emanating from the Vatican rather than real philosophical or theological inquiry.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
Tom-I love Allah(swt),the Prophet(saw) and Islam.
You are right you are going to have to kill 1.5 billion muslims.This "is" the end of the world.wake up and smell the napalm.After years of injustice and oppression,the muslim world is waking up to the tryanny of democracy.

Your days are limited,as a failed society.Look at the level of hiv,homosexuality,adultery,porn-filth,transvestism,std’s,depression,self-harm and suicide,drug addiction,alcoholism.Look at your birth-rate-that is the key to your future global defeat.

Please free feel to pass on my details to the CIA/FBI etc etc...........I fear Allah(swt) and no man.
Let Islam reign for aeons of histroy-as the final revealed truth to man.
 
Written By: Dr Mansoor Hussain
URL: http://
this does not answer the question of what is the ultimate source of the "set of ’rules’"
Catholic theology teaches that there are Divine Traditions not contained in Holy Scripture. In other words, while the Bible contains the Word of God, it is not the only source of Truth. Pope Benedict was accurately explaining his understanding of Christianity. There has been an enormous amount of philosophical exploration into Tradition and Living Magisterium within the Catholic Church and you can be sure that Pope Benedict has a clear understanding of it. As to his understanding of Islam, there is probably much more room for doubt. So if you were to criticize his analysis, you should probably do it from the standpoint of what Islam teaches rather than what Christianity (at least from a Catholic perspective) teaches.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Dr Mansoor Hussain wrote:

"You are right you are going to have to kill 1.5 billion muslims."

Here’s the funny thing. I really don’t want such thing to happen, even by 1/1000th. But Moslems generally keep on acting like it can’t happen no matter how hard they push, and the entirety of human history stands athwart that presumption. That outcome is certainly within our capabilities.

The implications are clear.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Doc - evidence suggests your golden boy flying bombers spent a fair amount of time partaking in a few of the delights of our various depravities before they winged their way to hell, sorry...to Allah on 9/11. So much for being good lads and sticking with the literal Word of God they were so keen on.

As to your imminent take over...
Get a grip son, if we wanted the problem solved by having all of you go to discover (the unpleasant way) if the writings are literal "Word of God" we’d be on the way to doing it. Count your blessings, we obviously don’t (at least not yet....)

On our side of the religious equation there’s plenty of people roving around who live in the modern world and still maintain it only started about 6000 years ago (or whatever the Biblilcal count indicates), that the Bible is literal, and that everything it says should be taken at face value (no allegory here!!!)
Yet they manage to exist in the 21st century.
Solve the unemployment and wealth inequity problems in some Middle Eastern
countries and they’ll start coming around to our way of thinking, and
they’ll manage to reconcile the Book with the modern world.

And Doc, you obviously think the Turks, as but one modern Islamic example, think the same way you do. Obviously, they don’t. You people are so busy fighting tribal wars you’ll never have to be reckoned with as a military force except through terrorism, which is precisely why you use it.
 
Written By: Looker
URL: http://
Oh, and you might want to ask the Chinese what they think of your impending world domination too....
 
Written By: Looker
URL: http://
Book, you’re mixing up your Muslims. Recheck the authors.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Solve the unemployment and wealth inequity problems in some Middle Eastern
countries and they’ll start coming around to our way of thinking
I’m not to sure about this one. Sometimes conflict doesn’t always come down to class warfare. Rich, educated Nazis still hate jews.

I honestly believe it may be a testement to christianity as a superior opiate for the masses, when the worst that happens amongst fundamentalist christians is a desire for creationism taught in schools and merely not wanting the government to recoginize gay marrige.
 
Written By: Ramen_noodles
URL: http://
What’s the unemployment rate in Egypt these days...as an example?
People sitting around on their haunches doing nothing have a tendency to think maybe blowing crap up might better their lot in life, or the life of their wife and kiddies anyway. Plus they have more time to spend thinking about blowing crap up because they aren’t busy doing something else like trying to hold down a job escorting infidels around the multi-god(less) heathen monuments built by the Pharaohs.

I swear half the problems in the world are caused by people who have made a
damn good life off of blowing civilians up, or convincing others to do it, or planning for others to do it and don’t know what else to do with themselves to make a decent living in a REAL job.
Nice to be supported in your chosen terrorist lifestyle while collective twits
(IRA supporters for example) supply you with funds that they earned with
the sweat of their brow because you promised to re-unite their nation,
or in the case of clowns in the Middle East, promised to crush the filthy
Jews and smite the satan worshipping infidels (Christian word, that last bit,
by the way...)
 
Written By: Looker
URL: http://
JWG,
Catholic theology teaches that there are Divine Traditions not contained in Holy Scripture. In other words, while the Bible contains the Word of God, it is not the only source of Truth.
Guess what? Islam also contains a set of "Divine Traditions" called the "Hadeeth" that are external to the Qur’an and transmitted orally. Understandably, that also containst a certain element of "broken telephone" syndrome through which the wisdoms are filtered through the generations. There is considerable varying debate within the different Muslim communities over which Hadeeth are authoritative; hence the split between Sunni, Shia and Sufi denominations. Nevertheless, there is a great and long extra-textual tradition in Islam that is analogous to that found in Christianity and has even spawned multiple schools of thought: Sunni, Shia, Sufi, e.g. Even this tracks the emergence of Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant faiths in Christendom.

So there is still a parallel between the two great religions. The suggestion that Islam is devoid of human inquiry and philosophical is simply wrong and is a strawman. I maintain that the Pontiff’s assertions are simply not sustainable.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
What were the Crusaders on? Not a whole lot of turn-the-other-cheek way back when.
I would argue that It is clear according to Christian scripture that those acts were un-christ like and therefore a form of blasphemy. In becoming more tolerant of others and promoting peace, the vatican has come full-circle in recent times to endorse the original principles of christianity.

The problem with Islam is that the real first crusade ( The caliph Omar’s conquest of jerusalem in the late 7th century) was totally congruent with islamic theology and in fact ordered by Mohammad himself ("let there be not two religions in the middle east" were his last words!). Conquest and subjugation and torture and persecution ect... are part of the original philosophy and history of Mohammad’s Islam.

To become tolerant of others and promote peace through harmony (rather than peace by destroying all your enemies) is not an original Islamic tenet, and for Islamic society to move in that direction would be distancing the Muslim world from the original teachings of the prophet.
 
Written By: Ramen Noodles
URL: http://
Dr Mansoor Hussain
You are right you are going to have to kill 1.5 billion muslims.
I’d rather not, but if push ever REALLY comes to shove, you know damn well that we can do that. But we probably won’t have to.
This "is" the end of the world.wake up and smell the napalm.
Western militaries, and for that matter Russian and Chinese and Indian militaries, have GOT napalm, and have got aircraft with which to deliver it, and unlike your islamo-supremicist savages, we’ve got the technology and infrastructure to produce more aircraft and more napalm. Are you managing to not notice that the most technologically and economically advanced Muslim nations, Turkey for instance, are also the most secular / least theocratic in their regimes? Do you think that’s coincidence? It’s not. Fundamentalism is the problem. It retards your technological AND economic progress.
Here’s an analogy: Geronimo’s Apaches, stone-age savages (using 19th-century weapons), did about as well against a 19th-century industrial military as I expect your technologically-parasitic Islamo-medieval savages to perform against a 21st-century military. And so far, they haven’t been worth crap. Case in point, the humiliating defeats of Iraqi armies of 1991 and of 2003. Instructive point: How many of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi tanks and aircraft were actually built in Iraq by Arabs? Zero. So if you are hoping to compensate with fanatacism what you grossly lack in technology and industrial base, be advised: It didn’t work for the Japanese empire, and unlike you folks, they could at least build their own airplanes and ships. Are you hoping terrorism will give you enough of an edge to pull down western civ? Well it didn’t work for Geronimo’s Apaches and it won’t work for you either.
After years of injustice and oppression,the muslim world is waking up to the tryanny of democracy.
Yeah yeah boo hoo the "tyranny of democracy." You’ve got a more attractive form of tyranny to offer? No, you haven’t. And you won’t.
 
Written By: Stoop Davy Dave
URL: http://
Islamic society as a competitor for Western Civ? Sure thing ...
 
Written By: Stoop Davy Dave
URL: http://
hey! Where’d my link go?
 
Written By: Stoop Davy Dave
URL: http://


http://www.optusnet.com.au/news/story/abc/20060113/07/international/1546730.inp

One of these has got to work ... I think.
 
Written By: Stoop Davy Dave
URL: http://
I would argue that It is clear according to Christian scripture that those acts were un-christ like and therefore a form of blasphemy. In becoming more tolerant of others and promoting peace, the vatican has come full-circle in recent times to endorse the original principles of christianity.
Precisely.

I would further point out that part of the reason for the change was that they were forced into the change by the remainder of the western culture. So far, Muslims have never been forced to change... Comparatively, there hasn’t been enough Islamic cultural force brought to bear to result in reform, as there was with the Judeo-Christian west.

My point here is that this reform we’re talking about, is a two step process.

  • Being forced into the situation of having to change


  • Having the baseline lessons within the tennants of the religion to do so.


  • I wonder if this isn’t a case of the adherents of the religion not really understanding what it’s about. I hope so, because it’s certainly the easier answer.

    I’m going to leap off the deep-end here, and explore some of it’s depth.

    Understand, please; I’m not sure I have a precise conclusion, here, but I do see some points going unmentioned in this dscussion... so I’ll bring them up in the hopes of stirring some chatter about them.

    Understand too; I still take the question of Islam’s ability to do so within the bounds of the religion an open question.

    But, if we use the advance of Christianity as a guide for prediction, perhaps there is hope, yet. As I indicated my first response, that was an open question for Christianity as well.

    In that, Christianity, at least, had the advantage insofar as Christ taught us to give to Caesar that which is his and to God, that which is God’s, that we are in the world but not of it. There, it seems to me, is something that I simply don’t see among Muslims. I readily admit that may be possibly due to a lack in my understanding of Islam, but I don’t see it, none the less. But there again comes the idea that back in the fourteenth century nobody figured Christianity would change, either.

    It is also true that a personal understanding of the tenants of the religion are necessary for that kind of reform to occur.

    (I understand that I’m playing fast and loose with dates and events in the following;. My point is as regards the general trend.)

    Consider the state of the church in Martin Luther’s day, and before. Most of the people of that day you call themselves Christian really didn’t understand the religion they claimed as their own. That’s because the majority of them couldn’t read, and were therefore utterly dependent on what the priest told them the book said. I’m willing to bet that’s the case in Islam... who steadfastly refuses for example to education it’s women.

    Along comes Luther with his printing press, who teaches them how to read the Bible for themselves, and gain the needed understanding of it... who tells them that a personal relationship with God is necessary, and with that personal understanding comes the reform of tolerance, which over hundreds more years becomes the chruch we know today.

    In light of this, I would suggest to you a trend.

    Here in western society, people tend to be better educated than they are in everyday Iraq, or even Egypt and Turkey, for example. This results i vastly different perceptions of everything in the world, including religion. They tend to read more, for one thing, having the ability. While I am sure that the western civilization tends to breed more placid people particularly in regards to spiritual matters, because of cultural influence alone, I would also suggest that the violence we see inherent with Islam is directly connected to the education level and therefore the understanding of that religion by its adherents.

    Muslims we see here in the west are at least somewhat more peaceful than what we’ve been seeing in the MiddleEast. Is this a result of their having a better understanding of the religion, I wonder?

    Comments?
     
    Written By: Bithead
    URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
    Christianity and Judaism have been debased to the point where we worship Santa in late December
    No, Book... wrong as usual. that’s not Christianity or Judaism. That, is secularism.
    as the ADL sues to remove anything Christian from our public commons.
    Do you not know the difference between the ACLU and the ADL? Or is it that your anti- Semitism so rampant these days that you can’t see the difference through all the froth you generate?


     
    Written By: Bithead
    URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
    Like everything has been rosey and we all worshiped the same
    God, the same way, loved our neighbors, etc before (dramatic wicked music)
    HOLLYWOOD (sneer sneer sneer, evil laughter).

    Debased? Does that mean they were based at some point? Would that be before we co-opted the winter solstice to become Christmas?

    Technologically we’re no slouch on the globe, so we’ve harmonized science with continuing belief in God. Look around, stats say 89% of us in the US believe in a God.
    But I love it when we are told "ve are members of decadent hooligan vestern kulture that is soon to fall beneath (choose one or more Soviet Heel, NAZI power, Muslim Jihad)"

    Do go on.

     
    Written By: looker
    URL: http://
    Muslims we see here in the west are at least somewhat more peaceful than what we’ve been seeing in the MiddleEast. Is this a result of their having a better understanding of the religion, I wonder?
    I would argue that Muslims here have adapted their religion to their own peaceful and tolerant values rather than the other way around. I see that you admit that you do not have a good understanding of traditional islamic teachings. I’m not saying that I’m an expert, but after 9/11 I wanted to know what all this Allah/infidel crap was all about; why terrorism and hatered for Isreal is always claimed to be Koranic duty by the self-proclaimed mujahadeen.

    Throughot history there have been conquistadors who take over land by military force and subjugate the peoples therein. The idea is that if you defeat everyone who is different than you, then you will achieve permanent peace thruogh a unified culture. from Ghengis khan to Adolf Hitler, this has always been the foundation of fascism. Some of these tyrants have even been deified (such as Alexander the great and the Emperor of Japan under shintoism). One of them claimed to be the prophet of God. His name was Mohammad.

    Look up "Banu Quraiza", "Pact of Omar" (Omar was Mohammad’s apprentice), and sura 9:29 from the koran to get a taste of what I mean.

    Your right about how Christ himself advocated a separation between church and state. To Mohammad, the church was the state; an "empire of faith" as even the liberal PBS network referred to Islam in a recent whitewashed documentary.
     
    Written By: Ramen Noodles
    URL: http://
    Isn’t that the guy with one eye and a hook for an arm? Why is it that the more crazy the terrorist, the more they look like pirates?
     
    Written By: Ramen Noodles
    URL: http://
    Why can’t we all just get along...
     
    Written By: Ed
    URL: http://
    An interesting point that has been missing from the debate: It wasn’t a Danish cartoonist who first strapped a bomb to Mohommad’s turban. This happens every time somebody blows himself and others up in the name of the Prophet. All that the cartoon did was to depict the desecration of his name that is already done on a regular basis, by people who claim to be Moslems.
     
    Written By: Bob
    URL: http://
    Wow! this thread is so amazing not!I know that my little muslim response will be scoffed at as it will not contain all the current buzz words and latest conspiracies. But I as Muslim wasn’t happy at all about 911, and truly mourned the lost of Americans. I truly love all people and pray for the best for mankind. I love America with all its good and bad ways and history. I would not rather live anywhere else.

    However I do not agree with the Pope’s statements. Partly because the Catholic Church since it’s inception could never really agree on what exactly their doctrine is and not to mention that the reformation of the Church basically rewrote God’s word supposedly for the betterment of man in understanding his Lord. At one time or another they couldn’t seem to figure out what role Jesus played in the salvation of man’s soul. Oh wait scratch that statement they did get together and voted to decide if Jesus is Divine or not. That’s strange why would God need mortal men to rewrite what salvation is or should I say pick and chose the routes to salvation and condemn all others even if that meant condemening what God actually said. I am sure you all know the Bible is open for changes as it ok to change God’s word because hey religion should be like a buffet you only take what you like or in this case make up what you like to believe and practice and teach to others. What about the violent Crusades well lets not go there.

    There fanics in every relgion. Islam doesn’t need a reformation and from what I can see reformation for the Christians and Jews has indeed put more money in their pockets by selling their belivers tickets to hell by changing God’s law, making what is sinful now salvation and teaching that hypocrisy is ok as long as you donate and pay your way to heaven which now can be paid for with the technological advancements by man with cash, check, money order, visa, master card, american express but not discover. What needs a reformation is how Islam is perceived not just by the masses but by Muslims themselves. WE Muslims need to unite and seperate all these culture based traditions and practices and rural beliefs from the real Islam. But while I am waiting on that to happen I will watch this blog,Cnn,MTV and continue to pray for the world peace especially in Africa and understanding while all the hypocrites of religion, and all the supreme know-it-alls fight over worthless pieces of green or whatever your country’s currency’s color paper. Bottom line if Muslims lived in Japan,China or Korea where there isn’t anything but fish and rice fields instead of Africa, Russia, Turkey, Saudia this thread would be nonexsistent as oil and all the other natrual resources found in Muslim contries would have already been pilfered alot cheaper and without all the hype advertisement/brainwashing by the media and the govermentt. Wow I managed to use a couple of buzz words after all.
     
    Written By: western muslimah
    URL: http://
    Everyone who knows and believes in Allah(God), knows that Allah(God) is the Beginning and the End. The Quran does not need to be reformed. . . Islam does not need to be reformed. Allah tells us exactly how to live our lives in order to become successful in the Hereafter.

    Although this is forbidden in the bible. The bible has been reformed to many times to count

    Revelation 22:18-19
    I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

    It’s Unfortunate
     
    Written By: 1islam4life
    URL: http://
    Revelation 22:18-19
    I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

    It’s Unfortunate


    Written By: 1islam4life

    Well 1islam4life in that quote you kindly took out of the new testament, I have one quick question? If anyone adds anything to them, God will add the plages. Which came first Islam or the New Testament? Put down the Quran it is added text that doesn’t need to be there! Please read that line many times and let it sink in. Thanks
     
    Written By: hello
    URL: http://
    Holy christmas.......the islamic world has no tolerance whatsoever...........this should not be a world event here. Heaven fobid you should draw a cartoon of Muhammad or mention a conversation that took place in the 14th century. Meanwhile islamic extremists slit peoples throats and place the video on the interenet, kill innocent people all over the world and call it the work of Muhammad, all this without a mention of the inhumanity from muslim leaders. This will always be the same until the muslim world realizes it’s 2006 and maybe move their beliefs up a century or two into ahhhhh....maybe the 16th century.


    Java
     
    Written By: Java
    URL: http://
    All who are concerned; please CLEARLY understand the following...

    Catholicism is NOT the whole of Christianity. There are millions upon millions upon millions of devout Christians on this planet who believe that the Pope is no more than a simple human as themselves, with no ’special’ connection to the Almighty.

    This is to say that there is a vast multitude of Christians who are free in their beliefs to ignore the Pope and anything he has to proclaim. We are not bound by the dictates of the Papacy, but by the teachings of the Word.

    Just as Islam has extremists, so does Christianity. Most non-Catholic Christians — and many Catholics, as well — are not responding to the inflammatory rhetoric of this Pope.
     
    Written By: DI
    URL: http://

     
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