Friday, November 28, 2008

The "Religion of Peace"....

The Religion of Peace:

"Don't judge the Muslims that you know by Islam and don't judge Islam by the Muslims that you know."

... Islam is an ideology. No ideology is above critique, particularly one that explicitly seeks political and social dominance over every person on the planet.

Muslims are individuals. We passionately believe that no Muslim should be harmed, harassed, stereotyped or treated any differently anywhere in the world solely on account of their status as a Muslim.

Islam is not simply a belief about God. It is a word that means Submission. Islam is a set of rules that establish a social hierarchy in which Muslims submit to Allah, women submit to men and all non-Muslims submit to Islamic rule.

Since we don't live in a Muslim country (where censorship, intimidation and brute force are shamelessly employed to protect Islam from logical deconstruction), we are still free to openly exercise our right to debate the merits of the Islamic value system against Western Liberalism.

Are men really superior to women as the Qur'an says? Are women intellectually inferior as Muhammad taught? Does propagating material (the Qur'an) that openly curses people of other religions amidst random calls to violence really improve the health of our societies? Is it right to keep women as sex slaves, merely because the Qur'an explicitly allows it in multiple places? Should atheists and homosexuals have to choose between the noose and an outward profession of faith in Allah?

Yes, there are Muslims who take issue with these aspects of Islamic theology, but it doesn't change what Islam is. Don't confuse the ideology with the individual. Don't draw conclusions about Islam based on the Muslims that you know, be they terrorists or humanitarians. Islam must be understood on the basis of what it is, as presented by the Qur'an the Hadith and Sira (biography of Muhammad).

By the same token, don't draw conclusions about the Muslims in your life based on the true nature of Islam. Like any other group, not all Muslims think alike.

... Most Muslims (even devout ones) have only a superficial understanding of their religion. Most never made the choice to be Muslim, so (as with all religion) there are widely varying degrees of seriousness with which they may take their faith.

The Muslims that you know are not terrorists. More than likely their interests in life are similar to yours and they have the same ambitions for their children. They should neither be shunned, mistreated nor disrespected merely because of their religion. Their property should not be abused, and neither should copies of their sacred book be vandalized.

Pre-judging an individual by their group identity (or presumed group identity) is not only unethical, it is blatantly irrational, since group identity reveals nothing about them. Every individual should be judged only on the basis of their own words and deeds.

Don't judge Islam by the Muslims that you know, and don't judge the Muslims that you know by Islam.

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