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Thread: Straus on Islamic Terrorism

  1. #11
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    It just took a bit of waiting for my point to be proven -- yet again we have a soldier of Allah proclaiming "God is greatest" while attempting murder. This is uniquely an Islamic phenomena in our modern world.

    Please link me to similar wide-scale incidents involving similar individuals, carrying out similar acts, whilst yelling "God is greatest".
    That is easy --- People fight for all sorts of causes...while I (and R Pape---see video link) disagree that Allah hu-akbar is uniquely linked to murder or even murder by Muslims, People who fight for a cause or for a multiplicity of causes, do express such sentiments verbally.
    ....but first...lets get some things corrected....

    All hu -akbar is simply an expression used many times in various circumstances....see "Takbir"---
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takbir
    "The Takbīr (تَكْبِير), also transliterated Tekbir or Takbeer, is the term for the Arabic phrase Allāhu akbar (الله أكبر), usually translated as "God is [the] greatest".[1][2] It is a common Islamic Arabic expression, used in various contexts by Muslims; in formal prayer, in the call for prayer (adhān),[3] as an informal expression of faith, in times of distress, or to express resolute determination or defiance."

    here is where the words Allh hu-akbar are sung in a Church in the U.S.

  2. #12
    tWebber
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    There are many Arabic expression in praise of God and Allahu akbar is just one among many that everyday Muslims---even non-Arabic speakers use in their daily lives....
    some examples---
    Bismillah---In the name of God
    Subanallah---Glory to God
    Alhamdolillah---Praise to God
    Mashallah ---Thanks to God
    Inshallah---If God wills
    Jazak-allahu Khairan---God rewards you (Thankyou)
    Allahu Alam/Alim---God knows best

    Some of these expressions are used by Arab Christians as well (such as Alhamdolillah)

    All these expressions of praise are used in stressful/traumatic situations (as well as everyday life)----and this video of the white helmets of Syria are an example
    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/...150421487.html

    Note:---the video is controversial as some accuse it of being propaganda---but here I am using it only to show that allahu akbar and other expressions are used even when doing good....

  3. #13
    tWebber
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    The American civil war is a Good example of how soldiers, generals, politicians and Christian theologians thought "God was on their side" (chosen people):--

    http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/...fo/cwsouth.htm

    It’s abundantly clear, as recent scholarship has demonstrated that religion stood at the center of the Civil War for both sides. Both North and South looked to God for meaning, and each side believed—with equal fervor and certitude—that God was on its side. Many ministers, generals, leaders, and editors went so far as to proclaim that God had ordained the war and would determine its length, its damages, and its outcome. The victor would show, in other words, whose side God really supported. New England political and religious leaders had long proclaimed themselves God’s “chosen people.” With the start of the Civil War, southerners laid claim to the title and, through speech, print, and ritual actions, proceeded to “prove” their claim.

    Original Handwritten Document For the South, this “chosen” status not only presumed ultimate victory in what would turn out to be a long and bloody conflict, but also put God’s imprimatur on the Confederate national identity. In fact, the South claimed to be a uniquely Christian nation. The new Confederate Constitution, adopted on February 8, 1861, and ratified on March 11, 1861, officially declared its Christian identity, “invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God.” Southern leaders chose as their national motto Deo Vindice (“God will avenge”). Confederate President Jefferson Davis proclaimed that the time had come “to recognize our dependence upon God … [and] supplicate his merciful protection.” This national acknowledgment of religious dependence, as the South frequently pointed out during the war in both the religious and the secular press, stood in stark contrast to the “godless” government of the North that ignored God in its constitution and put secular concerns above the sacred duties of Christian service and the divine commission.

    On June 13, 1861, President Davis declared the Confederacy’s first national fast. National fast days had long been quintessentially northern. Before the Civil War, the South had assiduously avoided both politics in the pulpit and the “jeremiad” (the language of religious devotion and lament, named for the biblical book of Jeremiah) from the secular rostrum. In the teeth of conflict, however, the South discovered a religious rhetoric that could interpret God’s involvement with the Confederate cause and define the role of the Christian churches in the Confederate nation. This language of Christian nationhood dissolved the barrier between religious and secular speech in the South, and set the stage for a moral battle that declared a declined spirituality in the North, a region—according to southern voices—now run by infidels and fanatics under a godless government.


    ...and....

    http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/...fo/cwnorth.htm

    In short, the churches contributed to the radicalizing of the Northern war effort. Believing that God was using the conflict to establish the kingdom of God on earth and that there had to be a reason for the military reverses the Federal armies were experiencing, churches made what had started as a war for the preservation of the Union into a war of liberation.

    "Without the evolution of the churches' opinions, . . .
    it is unlikely that the president could have proceeded as he did."

    In this respect, their transformation of opinion paralleled a similar change in the war aims of the Lincoln administration. In 1861 the president declared that his sole purpose was to preserve the Union. By the fall of 1862, he announced his intention to free, on the first day of 1863, slaves in those areas still in rebellion against the government. In 1864 Lincoln stood for reelection on a platform calling for a constitutional amendment everywhere within the United States. Without the evolution of the churches' opinions that served as both support and goad to Lincoln's own transformation, it is unlikely that the president could have proceeded as he did.

    On at least three occasions, President Lincoln proclaimed public fast days when he urged Americans to go to their houses of worship, to confess their sins humbly to the Almighty, and to ask God's blessing. These and other less formally designated times of confession provided opportunities for ministers to express the conviction that the war was a baptism of blood.


    On the fact that both sides claimed they were the chosen of God and that God was on their side---Abrahm Lincoln reflected thus---
    Washington, D.C.
    September, 1862

    The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God's purpose is something different from the purpose of either party -- and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect His purpose. I am almost ready to say that this is probably true -- that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. By his mere great power, on the minds of the now contestants, He could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest. Yet the contest began. And, having begun He could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds.

  4. #14
    tWebber
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    These various links above establish that "religion" is not the cause of war---but religious involvement (in rhetoric and rituals) provides "comfort" in stressful/traumatic circumstances. This is the case regardless of the human actions being "good"(humanitarian), bad, or ordinary (everyday life).

  5. #15
    tWebber
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    Notice that your example from 1862 falls into the category of religious men engaging in violence. The Islamic issue is of a different sort. The Islamic issue is in the category of religious men engaging in violence because their holy book told them to. Often times, radicalized-fundamentalist Muslims are motivated to commit acts of murder because the Quran says so, because Muhammad instructed us, because Allah commands it. The Quran, Muhammad, and Allah serve as fundamental motivating factors to carry out violence. This is religious violence. Yelling the Takbir is done in this context. These Muslim fundamentalists often have their minds totally submerged in the Quran. That is a dangerous predicament and devout Muslims often need much guidance to turn away from the clear teachings of the Quran that encourage violence against the Kafir. Many of them spurn this guidance and regard it as compromise. The video you previously linked to a while ago demonstrated this fact -- These are devout Muslim men and women who end up committing, encouraging, or celebrating murder because Muhammad, because Allah, because the Quran said so. The Charlie Hebdo incident was committed by devout Muslim men who enlisted themselves in service of Allah, for the purpose of avenging the honor of their prophet Muhammad. Their prophet taught them to behave like that. The global Islamic community is utterly divided on whether the slaying of Charlie Hebdo for example, was justified. There are disturbing systemic issues within the global Muslim community and the world is constantly reminded of this reality every single time a self-proclaimed soldier of Allah commits murder -- it's only a matter of time before more religiously-motivated violence is carried out on innocent civilians. This is the dark side of Islam. Not the dark side of Muslims. But the dark side of Islam. It is a religion in desperate need of rigorous reformation or the world will continue to suffer the wrath of what countless consider themselves to be: the true believers.

    Where can such wide-spread parallels be seen in modern day religions? Killing because Jesus commanded them to? Killing because Krishna commanded them to?
    Last edited by Scrawly; 02-05-2017 at 06:18 PM.

  6. #16
    tWebber
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    "Killing because Jesus commanded them to? "

    The Western Military (U.S. in particular) are an example--- (How is it you do not know this stuff?---do you not follow World news at all? please expand your news consumption diet)

    The Crusader culture of the U.S. military
    Here is a website that celebrates such ugliness
    http://www.barenakedislam.com/2013/1...-u-s-military/

    and an article
    http://www.worldbulletin.net/haber/1...he-us-military

    and here an article of how the U.S. military weapons are inscribed with BIBLE VERSES
    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/us-mil...ory?id=9575794

    (and to be fair---the U.K. military also had problems of this type)
    In case you are unaware---The "Crusades" were a HOLY WAR by the Christian Church....

    and here is news about a controversy about Christian soldiers trying to convert Iraqi and Afghani (sometimes at gunpoint)
    https://www.democracynow.org/2009/5/...stian_military

    ISIS is simply a mirror image of the U.S. culture....except ISIS is fringe---but in the U.S. this culture seems to be mainstream....(even President Trump and his people represents this kind of culture...)

  7. #17
    tWebber
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    Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) and other Muslim Generals and their conduct in war....

    First, lets start with the Conduct of (Western)"Christians" during the Crusades and the contrast it with the Muslim General Salahuddin Al Ayubi (A man admired even by his enemies such as Richard the Lionheart)

    https://www.christianhistoryinstitut...ule/crusaders/

    The Crusades were, or at least they seem from a modern perspective, a nightmarish atrocity and one of the worst crimes ever committed in the name of Christ.
    The First Crusade was a great success in taking Jerusalem, Antioch and other biblical cities. But the barbaric violence with which it was done was simply horrific. It was not too long before the cities started falling back into Muslim hands. Many more Crusades followed, but they achieved less and less. Ultimately the Crusades achieved little more than demonstrating what a gulf there is between the teachings of Jesus and the actions of his followers.
    This account is by Raymond d’Aguiliers,
    Now that our men had possession of the walls and towers, we saw some wonderful sights. Some of our men — actually the more merciful ones — cut off the heads of their enemies. Others shot them with arrows, so that they fell from the towers. Others tortured them longer by casting them into the flames. Piles of heads, hands, and feet were to be seen in the streets of the city. One had to pick one’s way over the bodies of men and horses. But these were small matters compared to what happened at the Temple of Solomon. You would not believe it if I told you. Suffice to say that in the Temple and porch of Solomon men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins. Indeed, it was a just and splendid judgment of God that this place should be filled with the blood of the unbelievers, since it had suffered so long from their blasphemies. The city was filled with corpses and blood.

    ---The Crusaders murdered everyone, Christians, Muslims, Jews...everyone in Jerusalem. It was a massacre...

    Here is an account of the conduct of Salauddin al Ayubi the Muslim General who allowed his enemies to leave Jerusalem.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saladin
    Capture of Jerusalem
    Saladin had captured almost every Crusader city. Saladin preferred to take Jerusalem without bloodshed and offered generous terms, but those inside refused to leave their holy city, vowing to destroy it in a fight to the death rather than see it handed over peacefully. Jerusalem capitulated to his forces on Friday, 2 October 1187, after a siege. When the siege had started, Saladin was unwilling[citation needed] to promise terms of quarter to the Frankish inhabitants of Jerusalem. Balian of Ibelin threatened to kill every Muslim hostage, estimated at 5,000, and to destroy Islam's holy shrines of the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque if such quarter were not provided. Saladin consulted his council and the terms were accepted. The agreement was read out through the streets of Jerusalem so that everyone might within forty days provide for himself and pay to Saladin the agreed tribute for his freedom.[97] An unusually low ransom for the times (around $50 today) was to be paid for each Frank in the city, whether man, woman, or child, but Saladin, against the wishes of his treasurers, allowed many families who could not afford the ransom to leave.[98][99] Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem organised and contributed to a collection that paid the ransoms for about 18,000 of the poorer citizens, leaving another 15,000 to be enslaved. Saladin's brother al-Adil "asked Saladin for a thousand of them for his own use and then released them on the spot." Most of the foot soldiers were sold into slavery.[100] Upon the capture of Jerusalem, Saladin summoned the Jews and permitted them to resettle in the city.[101] In particular, the residents of Ashkelon, a large Jewish settlement, responded to his request.[102]


    Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) and war
    The Quran lays down some rules of war---that it should be for a "just cause" which it specifies as against oppression. It should be defensive, the non-combatants and resources of the earth not to be harmed, Prisoners of war to be treated humanely, War should be ended as soon as possible....etc...
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...s-of-war0.html

    Prophet Muhammad is history’s first major figure to condemn collateral damage in word and deed. His advanced rules of war established 1400 years ago a yet unmatched humanitarian standard. And herein lies the solution to modern conflict. The Qur’an first describes when fighting is permitted:

    Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged… Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is God’ — And if God did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down temples and churches and synagogues and mosques... (22:40-41).

    Thus, the permission—not commandment—to fight is defensive. And that fighting protects temples, churches, synagogues, and mosques—which is to say, universal religious freedom.
    While critics and extremist groups both love to cite Qur’anic excerpts like “kill them where ye find them,” they ignore that such verses clearly refer to treatment of those who would violently persecute Christians, Jews, or any person because of his faith. Indeed, Muhammad commanded the following uncompromising rules of war:
    O people! I charge you with ten rules; learn them well…for your guidance in the battlefield! Do not commit treachery, or deviate from the right path. You must not mutilate dead bodies. Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man. Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy's flock, save for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.


    The advise to not transgress limits is given in Surah 2 verse 190
    Fight in the cause of God those who fight you
    But do not transgress limits
    For God does not love the transgressors.

    This stance (of self defense) is clarified in Surah 22 verse 39
    To those against whom war is made, permission is given to fight because they have been wronged---and certainly God is most powerful for their aid.

    This concept is further elaborated in the Quran in Surah 60 verses 7, 8, 9.

    7. It may be that God will establish friendship between you and those whom you hold as enemies for God is most powerful and God is most forgiving and merciful.
    8. God forbids you not from those who fight you not for your faith or drive you from your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God loves those who are just
    9. God only forbids you with regards to those who fight you and drive you out of your homes, and support others in driving you out of your homes, from turning to them. It is such as turn to them that do wrong.

    The Quran does not advise a half-hearted participation in war---rather that it must be fought well and with speed so as to come to a conclusion as soon as possible (thus sparing lives) and so that peace may be procured
    Surah 8 verse 61.
    But if the enemy incline towards peace, you also incline towards peace and trust in God for he is the one that hears and knows all things.

    This is not just in the Quran but also displayed in the conduct of Prophet (pbuh)
    The Hijra is the start of the Muslim calender and it commemorates the migration of the persecuted Meccan Muslims to the city of Yathrib renamed Medina.
    When such a large influx of refugees come in---it is bound to cause tensions, So the Prophet established a system of mentorship in which the Ansar (mentors of Medina) helped the Meccan Muslim refugees (Muhajirun) by hosting them in their homes. This way the two communities became family and learned each others customs and ways of accommodation for each other.
    The Prophet then proceeded to establish peace treaties with the surrounding communities to further reduce tensions and promote harmony.
    This situation did not please the Meccans who attacked...but after several battles a peace treaty was made between the Meccans and the Prophet (pbuh) ---the treaty of Hudaibiya
    Although this peace treaty was broken by the Meccans forcing the Medinans into battle, upon the surrender of the Meccans the battle ended without bloodshed and the Prophet proclaimed an amnesty.

    Contrast this with the bloody Western wars of the 20th century!! (...or any other century)

  8. #18
    tWebber
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    Siam, this response will be short and sweet because I'll be away from tweb for a while.

    1) The articles you linked to do not substantiate "killing because Jesus commands it". Read the verses inscribed on the weapons and you will learn that this is a case of a religious man engaging in war. This is not a case of a war being waged because his religion obligates and inspires him to engage in war. Indeed, the American military is not mobilized under the auspices and dictates of a certain interpretation of the bible. The American military is not waging war "because Jesus commands and demands it". The same cannot be said of a significant portion of Islam's global population who believe it is their divine prerogative to slay the infidel and/or subject them to Sharia, either peacefully or forcefully.

    2) The crusades: A historical artifact. Not a manifestation of a systemic problem within Christendom. From your article: "Ultimately the Crusades achieved little more than demonstrating what a gulf there is between the teachings of Jesus and the actions of his followers." Again, no modern day Christian's read the bible and gather momentum to wage war because Jesus commands it. No modern day Christian's read the bible and has their hatred for unbelievers grow to the point where killing them is desirable and worthy of celebration. No modern day groups formulate and rally around certain deadly and toxic interpretations of the bible. No serious modern day discussions are being held in Christendom to determine whether toxic and deadly interpretations are correct, justifiable, etc. Modern day belief has transcended such. Can the same be said for Islam?

    3) Muhammad: Was he an exemplary human being despite being a "man of his times"? This is hotly debated and some of his actions as recorded in the authentic Hadiths are disturbing and not easily explained away. I do not have time to get into this and do not desire to link to a video or article because this topic is beyond the purview of the thread.

    Anyway, as always, good discussing matters with you siam.

    God bless.

  9. #19
    tWebber
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    Inshallah may we be able to continue our conversation at a later date.....

    1) It is not my stance that religion inspires murder---this is your position. It is also the position of your own Western thinkers and philosophers that Christianity is "uniquely evil" ---you may not agree with this---but others seem to argue for it......in any case---since I am not a Christian (or a Westerner) I need not take a position on it one way or the other as far as Christianity is concerned...either argument is fine with me....

    2) Again that may be your position---but there may be others who would argue that if simply saying Allahuakbar indicates that religion inspires murder---then, so much more so, when soldiers carry bibles and have verses engraved on their weapons.
    As to Christianity not taking notice of the toxicity of the rhetoric and behavior of some of their fellow Christians who are violent and hate-filled---(examples given previously) that is perhaps a weakness of Christian ethics and values. The lack of Christian response to those who demonize Muslims and others is an indication of the state of moral bankruptcy of Christianity...?.....On the other hand---Muslims ---both ordinary people and scholars---have been active in dealing with the toxicity of ISIS.

    3) The Prophet(pbuh) was a human being and thus his greatness was naturally constrained by the limitations of being human. There is no debate about this---at least within (mainstream) Islam. He is an example of how to implement the wisdom of the Quran and as Muslims it is good to have such a mentor and Guide. That does not dispel the responsibility of every Muslim to make the effort to understand the wisdom of the Quran in our era and circumstances and to strive to implement it within our own unique lives as best we can.

    Personally, I do not agree that religion inspires murder/homicide--I do agree that religions are used as justification for bad actions---but that is not the same as "being inspired"/being the cause. The reason for this is human nature. We are "inspired" by selfishness to take action---whether that action is good, bad, neutral---the essence of our motivations is inherently selfish. However, religions are altruistic and so can inspire towards altruism/selflessness, but excessive selflessness can lead to suicide (martyr ?). That is why Suicide is not permissible in Islam. (Neither is murder). These 2 aspects of human nature have to be balanced---excess in selfishness or selflessness leads to harm.

    But there is something that perhaps religion does inspire/cause in human beings?---Beauty. Tangible beauty such as art, architecture, literature, poetry, music...etc are all enhanced by the aspect of altruism promoted by religion......Intangible beauty such as inner spirituality, building of one's character, the promotion of balance, harmony, tranquility, peace...etc.

    One example of this is Rumi----who is much loved in the West....
    “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
    and rightdoing there is a field.
    I'll meet you there.

    When the soul lies down in that grass
    the world is too full to talk about.”
    ― Jalaluddin Rumi

    or the Taj Mahal or Allhambra
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zHkAowMKrU

    ...art....
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJbf55VJr2I

    song ....(has allahuakbar in it....)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAuxu_9iQ9M


    Allahu Alim, in the end, it is God who knows best what our inner motivations are and will be our last Judge.

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