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October 04, 2006

Comments

EB Christen

I enjoyed the balanced analysis of fundamentalism across religions. Islam is not the 'enemy' that Harris seems to think though. The enemy is fundamentalism across the board, as you rightly conclude. It would be a great thing if all the 'liberals' and 'secularists' could voice themselves more strongly without resorting to the passionate, froth at the mouth screaming that these others always resort to and really make their voice heard in the world again. But whether it is the President of the USA or the President of Iran, reason has been placed on the back burner and the logic of power and the passion of religiosity (as opposed to genuine spiritualism) make dangerous bed fellows. As it is on the international level, so it is locally here in the Bahamas. To allow the increasing influence of the 'church' into politics here would be disastrous. Lawyers make bad enough politicians as it is, priests and pastors - truly frightening.

doug

I just watched "Obsession - Radical Islam's War Against The West"

Everyone on the planet must watch this.

If I had ultimate power over the country I'd implement manditory public education days. For 1 random hour on 1 random day of every week all tv, cable, satellite, radio, even internet will be forced to show the same thing. The first thing I'd show would be this movie. I'd probably show it 2 weeks in a row.

Then I'd show 20/20's Stupid In America (if the usa is dumb and our kids arent on their level, God help us)

http://www.obsessionthemovie.com/

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5862460287603221198&q=obsession

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Stossel/story?id=1500338

bahamianworldcitizen

Following EBC's comment...Islam is a religion of peace. There is no doubt that extremism and fundamentalism is alive today, but I think it is a mistake to make the direct link with the Qur'an and the religion. Fundamentalism exists among followers of all of the Ibraheemic faiths.

This article begins with an excerpt from sura al Imraan or the Family of Imraan. This sura reflects on the battle of Badr and Uhud and calls upon Muslims to remain constant in faith, pray for guidance and maintain hope in the future. The translation you provided was probably written as an abridged version by Lewis or another western scholar. The following is a translation, directly from the Arabic:

'If a wound hath touched you,
Be sure a similar wound hath touched others.
Such days (of varying fortunes)
We give to men and men
By turns: that God (Allah)may know
Those that believe,
And that He make take
To Himself from your ranks
Martyr witnesses (to Truth).
And God (Allah) loveth not
Those that do wrong.' 3:140

This ayat refers to the battle of Uhud fought in 625 between the Muslims of Madina and the non-believers Makkans. There were many casualties in this battle and many setbacks. This sura describes the stages of the battle and describes those who fought in the battle in terms of their strength of faith in the oneness of God (Allah). It is a shame that this ayat has been mistranslated and misinterpreted to fuel hatred, evil and misunderstanding.

Sura al Imraan ends with a hopeful message for all those who believe in God-- Christian, Muslim and Jew:

'And there are, certainly,
Among the People of the Book (Jews and Christians),
Those who believe in God (Allah),
In the revelation to you,
And in the revelation to you,
Bowing in humility to God (Allah):
They will not sell
the Signs of God (Allah)
For a miserable gain!
For them is a reward
With their Lord,
And God (Allah) is swift in account.
O ye who believe!
Perservere in patience
And constancy; vie
in such perseverance;
Strengthen each other;
And fear God (Allah);
That ye may prosper (in faith). 3:199-200.

As an aside, this article was posted during the holy month of Ramadan, the month when the Qur'an was revealed and the month where Muslims fast. The feast at the end of Ramadan (called Eid ul fitr) will be on the 22nd or 23rd of this month and is a good opportunity for non-Muslims to get together with Muslims and learn about Islam. Perhaps yourself or one of your readers might wish to take up this opportunity.

larry smith

I could care less about the military campaigns reflected in that verse. They only reinforce the fact that Mohammed was a military leader.

I could care less about Islamic rituals and observances. They are meaningless in the context of this discussion.

What about Muslims standing up publicly and forcefully against the crimes that are being committed in the name of Allah?

What is Islam doing to proclaim itself as a religion of peace?

EB Christen

@Larry
I think bahamianworldcitizen's selection of that passage was intended to prove a valid point. It is this particular passage that is often cited as justification for jihad and martyrdom among fundamentalists. By showing that the passage is misinterpreted, bahamianworldcitizen is trying to demonstrate that it is fundamentalist men and not Islam or the Qu'ran itself that has given rise to Islamic fundamentalism. Given the context of the conversation, it is a truly valid point. You likewise make a valid point in asking what Islam is doing to proclaim itself as a religion of peace, but then, western media does a pretty poor job of showing groups that are opposed to fundamentalism. Just because FOX and CNN don't show these groups, doesn't mean they don't exist. The goal of the west must be to strengthen the voices of these groups - thus far, they have done a very poor job and most of their actions have only served to strengthen the more radical segments of the societies.

larry smith

Next week's column will present a review of this issue taken from a variety of Internet sources.

muhammad

hi i am watching your web and injoing i am modren islamic schoolar i am writing a book . i want joint one of your seminar i can spend my own money .without any body help .when you inviting me?

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