With the Reaping of the Harvest of the Arab Summer Comes a Sowing of Real Spring for Islam

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As the bitter harvest of the “Arab Summer” is brought in there are signs that the seeds of a true Arab/Muslim “Spring” may already be sown.

Things are getting… interesting, Virginia; all is not as the talking heads (as opposed to Talking Heads, a Punk group in the 70’s – 80’s of truly original musical genius) would have us believe. It seems that not only have the people of Egypt tossed out the cleric-backed Morsi, they are turning a deaf ear to their imams’ efforts to “twist the population’s religious arm” to support the Muslim Brotherhood’s political influence.

Muslim Brotherhood’s bid to scapegoat Christians failing, say Egyptians

By Lisa Daftari

As their nation descends into violent chaos, Egyptians are increasingly blaming the Muslim Brotherhood, despite attempts by the Islamist group to scapegoat Christians and the military, according to several sources …

The Muslim Brotherhood has lost all sympathy with their points due to their violence,” said a Long Island, N.Y., Egyptian-American [visiting] in a Cairo suburb…”

The man, a Coptic Christian who asked that his name not be used until he and his family are safely back in the U.S…. arrived in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis last weekend, just days after Muslim Brotherhood supporters began clashing violently with security forces. Since then, nightly curfews, angry mobs and closed roads that cut off supplies to restaurants and groceries have made his homeland unrecognizable… The violence began when, more than a month after the military stripped President Mohammad Morsi of power and took him into custody, authorities cleared camps of protesters in Cairo.

Take note that it was only after a full month, when the camps of core protesters themselves were dispersed, was there any violence from the citizenry; they had rejoiced in the streets, and on TV during that month. This would lead one to believe that the violence is coming from a small (in relation to the population as a whole) core of Brotherhood supporters and will crumble swiftly unless given life-support by massive foreign intervention of some sort; both weapons/cannon-fodder smuggling and ‘sanctuary‘ in some nearby sovereign area come to mind.

That action prompted a violent uprising in which more than 1,000 people have been killed. Morsi, who(m) critics said had put the nation on a path toward Islamist rule, is now facing accusations of conspiring with Hamas to escape from prison during the 2011 uprising and complicity in the killing and torture of protesters outside his Cairo palace in December.

…Christian and Muslim … are solidly behind the military, which has been criticized by the west for its decisive crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

I am Muslim and I am against terrorism and I support the revolution [which ousted Morsi] and I support all the decisions of the Egyptian army forces,” …  “We love Egypt so much and we hope the foreign countries stop misunderstanding about us and the situation now in Egypt.”

The fact is that in Egypt, like in Iran the actual people of Egypt overwhelmingly prefer a more “enlightened” version of Islam despite being dominated, and often hoodwinked, by a “tiny minority of radicals“; I am referring to the Imams not terrorists, who are just the ‘useful idiots‘ the Imams use to steal power.

Even at mosques, the tide seems to be turning against the Muslim Brotherhood, according to one man who spoke from Cairo.

They gather around mosques, from five to 100 of them, to show they are important and the goal is to go and cut off the roads and rally to get more supporters,” he said.

Sometimes during Friday prayers, the sheikh wants to push people to support the Muslim Brotherhood, but modern Muslims are dominant and not deceived anymore with fake words that defending the Muslim Brotherhood is defending Islam,” he said.

One former jihadist and Salafist cleric who spoke to Mid-East Christian News said the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to focus anger against the nation’s Christian minority, which did not support Morsi, but was hardly alone in that stance.

The Brotherhood lost everything, politically and economically,” Osama el-Quossi told MCN. “They lost the citizens’ sympathy, so they used religion to gain support of ordinary people.

Methinks, Virginia that when yo add in the polls showing the vast lack of support for groups like CAIR and MPAC amongst the deen it looks like the clergy of Islam might be facing a “stockholder” revolt that will replace all the “board-members” with Imams who actually share the same reality that Muslims-as-people live with every day, and enjoy.

In sum; While Pakistan and Afghanistan are cultures long used to ongoing sectarian strife other nations like Turkey, Egypt and most of the more Eastern Muslim countries are seeing mostly problems fomented by power/money from outside their own borders and ethnic/religious groups. I want to make note though that Egypt’s record under Mubarak in its treatment of the Copts (the original Egyptian culture before the forced Arab cultural assimilation introduced by the invasion of Islam).

In fact, it seems that if President Obama had supported the grassroots revolt in Iran a couple years ago, and not thrown his weight behind the Muslim Brotherhood after Mubarak was ousted, we might already have seen a real Arab Spring; I have high hopes for the next 12 months though; the ‘Black Hats‘ (Imams) are starting to realize that the “townsfolk” (deen) all hate them, even if the ‘White Hats‘ (secularists) can be jerks themselves often enough. I can see their point; far preferable is the religious nut who is a total pain in the neck when compared to someone who wants to cut off your head.

To the Muslim world; Good Luck with your Enlightenment and Reformation, I promise you, it will be interesting.

Guy DeWhitney on Government by Heretics Crusaders

My ideal of government:
Un-self-consciously, individual humans that are raised to feel a profound duty to protect all aspects of seldom/individuality that neither “picks someone’s pocket nor breaks someone’s leg” and a profound respect for the notion that we are all one and what goes around not only comes around, it DIRECTLY affects us; i.e. “successful” assholery damages a psyche’s ability to make ‘good’ choices in the future.Guy DeWhitneys Heretics Crusade

Theocratic Reformation from Judaism to Islam – Christians 4: Jews 5: Muslims: 0

jesusgunnedOk, we can all agree that Pat Robertson was a dork of stellar magnitude, and the Phelps Family are supernovae in that particular area called theocracy.

 That said, before we submerge a crucifix in urine let’s give the Abrahamic tree a second look, and examine the fruit it has borne.

The Jews never had a drive to spread over the Earth. Their scriptures taught them that certain lands were given them by God; so they took them, enough said, this was 6,000 years ago after all. But after that they lost any territorial ambitions. But, the Persians and Romans proceeded to push them this way and that; being rather fanatical, they pushed back. After the destruction of the 2nd Temple and the Judean Diaspora the centuries have seen Judaism become a religion withdrawn into itself. Having lost the arrogance of the Temple but retained the Love of God and intellectual tradition they became a creative yeast in their host cultures.

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The Jews never expected to take over the world; at most they expected, and some maybe still expect that the world will join them. Not by the sword, but by the Love of God. One of the best aspects of the Jewish religion is its focus on the Love of God and a Love for God in each moment of a person’s life.

But along came Jayzus!

Things started out ok, Yesuah merely echoed and extended the teachings and philosophy of Hillel. It expanded organically and gently; converting mostly people otherwise considered “unworthy” of membership in one of the more respectable religions, then into the idle upper-class (often by way of religiously adventurous wives discontent with being the ornament on a rich man’s arm.

 But then Paul and Constantine came to deal the Judaic Chrestians, and then, later, the mild original “Greek”, a double death-blow of politicization.

St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre

St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre

After several centuries of defending themselves from the fanatically imperialistic Islam Christianity began to model all sorts of the worst of the Islamic “innovations” in religion and took on an expansionist, aggressive attitude of its own.

But, it is inherent in a religion mostly based on the teachings of Jesus that every now and then people would remember what their religion was supposed to be about. Christianity may have done much more good during those periods than it did evil during its more cognitively-dissonant times.

Since the Enlightenment the swings of the pendulum between arrogant fanaticism on one hand, and humble servitude to God on the other seem to have gotten gentler. Christianity also seem centered more and more toward the liberal side of the equation; i.e. Fred Phelps, not Qaradawi.

Christianity may one day even manage to have more people who follow it for the right reasons than fools-in-lambs-clothing who use religion in unhealthy ways, or merely for social reasons.

Christianity has a core in its teachings and scripture that is there for all to see; one of Love. It today can be, and always has been, a potentially dangerous religion (I.e. Fred Phelps, Torquemada) but is not inherently so by the structure and teachings of its chief scriptures.

I do think that, despite the quantum jump that The Enlightenment enabled in society’s evolution, Christianity has shown a definite tendency to speed humanity’s growth due to the focus of many of the faithful being on Jesus’ ministry rather than the “died for your sins” part.

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Now, about Islam.

tolerantislamIslam teaches much about peace and love. There are verses equal to any in the other Abrahamic writings. I will not comment here about those who feel it was the work of someone passingly familiar with both religions. But Pat Robertson did get one thing right; Islamic theology IS inherently aggressive.

The Islamic scriptures consist of three parts:

The Qur’an, the Sunnah –basically a biography of Mohammed’s life, and the ahadith – stories about Mohammed from people who knew him. If you read it all it is clear that there can only be peace when everyone has submitted to Allah.

Even the most fanatical religion tends to mellow over the years; people are basically families, people who want to live and work and laugh and have the space to find God before they die. Even individuals attracted to a “religious” life for evil reasons can be shocked to learn that Love of God and Love BY God can blossom in their hearts; that is the core of any religion.signe

Islam unfortunately is working uphill in the all so human battle against hubris while trying to find truth. But, by having such an aggressive set scriptures; by having so much to draw from that feeds the darker hungers of man, Islam will, I believe spend more time orbiting around radical aggression before submitting finally to that peace and love that is God, is Allah.

Islam is inherently dedicated by its self-declared scriptural doctrine to naturally one day  rule the world by TAKING control of it and forcing Dar al-Harb(‘House of War’) (Non-Muslim controlled regions) into Dar al-Islam(‘House of Islam); then all people will be free, in the Islamic view, to “choose” the “right” religion.

Sadly, it is not hard to justify all sorts of atrocities on infidels (non-Muslims) with the Qur’an; by contrast there are very few Samaritans or Philistines around for Jews or Christians to use their scripture as an excuse to start a pogrom against.

In Islam it does not matter that reformist Imams do not support something. In fact it is literally forbidden in Islam to use your ‘conscience’ as a guide in a religious dilemma; the only proper way to get an answer is to ask the proper authority, and then submit to the “truth.”

In Christianity, the violent books and verses are all somewhat shielded by being in the OT and considered to be superseded by the Love of Jesus when any conflict occurs. Islam does not have a NT to mellow its hard edges, though it does recognize the concept of abrogation (what a prophet says later is ‘rock’ to the ‘scissors’ of any earlier pronouncements or doctrines).

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This makes “insulting” Islam dangerous at times in the modern world of high tech, and horrific weapons that you can make in your garage.

Solutions

butcherinnameofislamI mostly find it sad that the bulk of Muslims are not more vocal about denouncing their radical Brethren in both the private and the public arena. It is every person in the world’s duty to restrain the fundies of all aggressive religions until they grow up. Until a religion’s devout – highest clergy to clueless souls just born in it – recognize to their core’s that it is ok to DIE because of your religion but, that it is NEVER anything but evil to use religion as an excuse to KILL, that religion should be watched, and kept on a leash in polite company.

Islam has yet to show that it can stay grown up. They are younger though, lets give them time…but, keep the rolled up newspaper ready to smack their noses if they sh*t on the rug. We have too many permanent stains from Christianity and its messes; AND the Islam’s’ earlier messes. Of course Christianity STILL pees on the floor now and then. We just have to be patient and rub their noses PROMPTLY in their messes; but, we don’t have to worry about them eating the neighbor’s cat anymore.

I am not too PC to call a club a club (well, I can’t say spade anymore can I?); religion can be very wonderful but, people need to get over their BS and realize that the basic code of ethics that most religions have can also be formulated by simple common sense and an understanding of psychology and social dynamics. Go read a little about Neuro-Linguistic Programming and such. Real secular morality is what the world needs, not the Fascist pretend kind, only then can religion truly flourish; when we get over all this bickering on who is actually the only ones in touch with the “ONLY source of Morality™”; which they cannot even prove exists.

Faith is the problem; submission to something you do not feel yourself is the problem. Beliefs have reasons, sometimes bad ones but, reasons that can be ‘reasoned with’; faith has no reason therefore the most reasonable argument does no good, your head still rolls on the floor.

Have faith in Jesus of Mohammed; I will Believe in Bugs Bunny!bugslastsupper1

Tariq Ramadan: the liberals’ favourite Muslim

The post-modernist Muslim is worryingly short on ideas and tailors his message to different audiences, says Andrew Anthony

Plenty know who Ramadan is, but few know what he actually stands for

The grandson of Hassan al Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ramadan is a senior research fellow at St Anthony’s College, Oxford, and president of the think tank European Muslim Network.

As such, he is often spoken of as a leading Muslim intellectual, a reformist who is able to move between the academic circuit, the clerical establishment (he’s been an ardent defender of the reactionary Sunni scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi) and the wider Muslim population with equal felicity.

But so far the size of his reputation comfortably outstrips the strength of his ideas. There are plenty of people who know who Ramadan is, but far fewer who know what he actually stands for.

And of those that do think they know, some believe that Ramadan tailors his message to different audiences – secular and Muslim – to such an extent that it amounts to deception.

In one case he argues for a modernised Islam, in the other for an Islamised modernity. The French journalist Caroline Fourest set out to expose these alleged inconsistencies and wrote a book entitled Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan.

Reading Ramadan’s latest book, Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation (OUP, £16.99), does little to clear up the issue. In essence it’s an argument for a less literalist approach to Islamic texts, but also for upholding the primacy of these texts.

This, in many ways, is the job that’s confronted Christian theologians since the Enlightenment, and one need only look at the moral contortions that the Church of England regularly performs to see the problems of reconciling the ‘word of God’ with modern-day reality.

But better the muddle that anti-literalism entails than the inflexible certainties of religious doctrine. That is also Islam’s best hope, and Ramadan may have a role to play in realising it – he certainly has a gift for muddled thought.

One of Ramadan’s chapter headings is ‘The Growing Complexity of the Real’, and it serves the dual purpose of not only alerting the reader to an ontological challenge, but also to the more daunting challenge of Ramadan’s writing style.

A sample: “In the Universe, then, one can find definitive elements beyond the changing (natural laws and physical principles – as-sunan al-kawniyyah) as well as definitive elements at the core of the changing (the constants of history – sunan Allah), exactly in the same as there exist definitive transhistorical rules within the revealed text (belief and practice)…”

If you say so, Tariq.

Perhaps Ramadan’s most famous, or infamous, statement was his call for a moratorium‘ on stoning adulterers and the like to death. He refused to denounce the practice (his brother even wrote a defence of the punishment) because it was sharia law, but instead argued that a moratorium would allow for more reasoned debate.

… To his liberal critics, it showed an unwillingness to confront barbarity. What it really pointed to was Ramadan’s determination to do just enough to stay in with both Islamic traditionalists and secular sympathisers. But to what end, however, it remains worryingly hard to say.