Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
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23-05-2012, 04:15 AM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(20-05-2012 10:37 PM)ShirubaDangan Wrote:  I posted this video before but want your view.

I watched the video and it was interesting. Thank you for posting that, ShirubaDangan. But, after watching the video, I was just wondering how they actually conducted such a poll and then arrive at that figure. I don't really know how many Muslims they interviewed nor how they even carried out the polling process. I mean, this could very well be based on some estimate or a by asking a small handful of people as compared to the millions of Muslims living there.

Secondly, it also depends on what type of questions were asked to the Muslims and the way they were asked. For example, if you asked a Muslim, "Should it be allowed for people to insult your faith in the UK?", then of course, they are likely to say "No." But, if you then take that "No" and register it as being "against free speech," then that is just wrong, in my opinion, and it seems that you're trying to extract answers which only serve to reinforce your own stereotypes. Also, I suspect that almost an equal number of Christians would poll the same if they were asked about insulting their religion.

(20-05-2012 10:37 PM)ShirubaDangan Wrote:  What is your stance on freedom of speech?

Well, Shiruba, I think that free speech is a gray area. By nature, the implications of free speech are relative, and there are already limits on free speech. There are many people who hold their religious convictions above their race and that’s one of the common things that people overlook oftentimes. A black Christian, for example, may feel more offended by insults against his religion than being insulted for his color. I might be wrong, but I think that if you asked non-Muslim Britains whether or not they think people should have the right to insult others (including insulting Muslims, Jews, homosexuals, the homeless, the disabled, ethnic minorities, etc.) then I think that the majority would be against it. They might say "I agree with free speech, BUT..." and add a clause like that for not insulting certain groups of people.

Also, some people may define "free speech" in different ways. To some, it may mean the right to express opinions, the right to criticise others, or the right to insult others, or something else. In my opinion, I think that there is really no such thing as a complete "freedom of speech" aside from being a vague political slogan. The problem is simply where you put those limits.

That being said, even though I do not believe that there is absolute freedom of speech (nor do I support it), I do believe that there should be freedom of speech to criticize and I don't think that Islam or any other religion for that matter should be off bounds when discussing freedom of speech and I say that as Muslim myself. Therefore, just as we have the right to criticize any other religion or atheism, non-Muslims should have the same rights to criticize our own religion as well.

(20-05-2012 10:37 PM)ShirubaDangan Wrote:  It seems an overwhelming majority of Muslims are against freedom of speech if it mocks their religion.

Yeah, I think so, but then again, I think that many other people in the UK are against absolute freedom of speech anyway. Also, I can understand why the majority of Muslims are against free speech if it mocks their religion, because Islam or Muslims in the UK tend to get attacked on a daily basis either verbally, online, or through the media patronizing them. That's why Muslims simply do not want non-Muslims having a license to insult/mock their faith simply by standing behind "free speech" as a protection.

(20-05-2012 10:37 PM)ShirubaDangan Wrote:  While I believe there should be respect for religion I also believe people should have the right to say whatever they want. Denying them that simple right leads to a world of those who control and censor others which I am extremely against.

I am against censoring things as well and especially petty things like drawing a cartoon of Muhammad even though I find that very impolite.

However, it seems that a majority of all UK citizens, including most non-Muslims, do not support free speech as defined in a literal sense (i.e. anyone allowed to say anything about anything in any way they want). If they did, then the UK law would allow for it, but it doesn't, and according to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, freedom is speech is already subject to certain restrictions that are in accordance with law and that the restrictions are necessary, as it says:

"The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary." - Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights

(20-05-2012 10:37 PM)ShirubaDangan Wrote:  I may not agree with someone's point of view but they have the right to say it. I will not persecute them, kill them, or punish them for what they want to say freely.

I have the same view. I don't want to kill nor punish anyone unless it is something very serious (like harrassment, for example). But, simple disagreements are not one of them.

(20-05-2012 10:37 PM)ShirubaDangan Wrote:  Even the Westboro Baptist church is defended by this and although I believe they are insanely unintelligent that doesn't mean they don't have the right to say what they wish. It also gives me the right to openly say that they are completely insane.

Yes, I agree that the Westboro Baptist Church should have the right to say what they want.

But, unfortunately, their actions are one of the examples which show that people have time and time again throughout history shown themselves to be incapable of having the right to free speech without using it to incite hatred and violence against people who are different. With rights come responsibilities, and the sad thing is that humanity as a whole has shown itself to be incapable of using free speech responsibly.

(20-05-2012 10:37 PM)ShirubaDangan Wrote:  Just because you don't like what people say doesn't mean you have the right to quiet them.

I agree with that as well. Personally, I prefer to respect people's religious views (or whatever veiws they have), and try not to insult them, even though I may not like what they say. I think that freedom of speech comes with a lot or responsibilities, but I don't think that curtailing freedom of speech is the best way forward. We should sit down and discuss with people who hold different views because most of it is probably based on certain misconceptions and stereotypes.

(20-05-2012 10:37 PM)ShirubaDangan Wrote:  I find it a bit humorous that some radical Muslims protest freedom of speech and yet if freedom of speech didn't exist they might have never been able to protest or reveal their views at all.

Yeah, I agree, pretty ironic how they're using free speech to denounce free speech.

On the other hand, I think that the irony exists on the other side as well, because I know that there are accusations about Muslims in the British press that would be considered libelous had they been directed at any other group. A lot of Brits are apparently fine with this, seeing as the UK is a democracy, and if 51% of the people wanted less restrictions on speech, or more evenly enforced restrictions, then I don't think it would be difficult to make that happen. So, that's why I don't think it is fair to draw a distinction between British Muslims and the rest of the people in the country when it comes to free speech.

(20-05-2012 10:37 PM)ShirubaDangan Wrote:  I'm not saying your a radical or extremist in any way but I want to know if there is any way in which Islam and freedom of speech can coexist. Can they?

Yes. In my opinion, Islam encourages debates, dialogues, and even the right to express criticism, be it a Muslim or non-Muslim.

I didn't come across any Quranic verses nor hadiths that instruct us to threaten or start protesting just because someone insulted our religion or drew a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad. Insulting religion in a way as to incite violence and anger is certainly a bad thing. However, I think that Muslims should not get so offensive about it because doing so will just escalate the problems and they will hurt themselves even more. Yes, protest by all means, but do not call for people to get beheaded in the placards we saw when the cartoons were published. After all, there is a right way of going about things and a wrong way, and that kind of a protest falls into the latter category.

(20-05-2012 10:37 PM)ShirubaDangan Wrote:  If not than you must know this will only cause unrest and may lead to a war in our future which no side can we.

That is likely, but I hope that doesn't happen. On a more positive note, however, I think that the majority of people in the UK respect religious sensitivities and I think we need to build on that and try to foster better relations with people of all religions and with people with no relgion as well.

(20-05-2012 10:37 PM)ShirubaDangan Wrote:  What do you believe will happen then? Moderate Muslims here seem to be just as American as anybody I've seen in the states but in Europe it seems to be a bit more chaotic.

I agree with you that many of the Muslims in Europe seem to be a bit more chaotic. I don't know why. But, according to what I've been reading so far, it seems that some of the British Muslims tend to live in their own segregated communities, and they have these certain isolated areas which make the non-Muslims feel a little bit like foreigners in their own country. I think that the reason for the living in such segregated communities may be caused by incidents of racist victimization of incoming Asian and/or Muslim families in the UK. I don't know if this is true, but that's a possible explanation. Therefore, if that is true, then I think it's quite possible that the division between Muslims and non-Muslims in the UK is mainly influenced by racial views and not by religious views.

There may be a few schools, mosques, clubs, etc. which preach an 'extreme' form of Islam, and while most Muslims do not agree with this small minority, it seems as if their views are spreading further and further and affecting the country more negatively. But, the question is, how can we stop this from happening? Ban all the faith schools and mosques in the UK? No, but I think it would be a better thing to monitor the kids, especially the Muslim ones, to have a better influence as they are growing up so that there aren't radicalized and so that they become a good British citizen.

By the way, Shiruba, I remember that you posted some more comments earlier in this thread which I haven't replied to yet. But, I will surely post a reply to them once I have put my thoughts together. Thank you for being patient. In the meantime, you can ask me other questions and/or debate the points that I made in this post. I certainly appreciate your contributions even if I disagree with you.
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23-05-2012, 04:26 AM (This post was last modified: 23-05-2012 06:06 PM by Internet Mullah.)
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(21-05-2012 04:32 PM)Crusher Wrote:  Same question I've asked in the "ask a theist" thread. I assume you don't flollow all the rules in the quran like fight unbelievers. Do you think the guys who made the quran had in mind that you can choose what rules to follow from the quran and what not to follow or do you think those people made the quran so people had to follow it by the letter.

No, because a complete understanding can only be achieved by understanding the whole issue as presented in all the verses and chapters and not by looking at only a part of the Quran (or a single verse). There may be different interpretations amongst Muslims, but we do not skip or reject anything from the Quran. We believe in the entire Quran because we believe that the everything contained in the book came directly from God. So, we do not reject anything from the Quran.

(21-05-2012 04:32 PM)Crusher Wrote:  In short, do you think cherrypicking from the quran is approved by allah, muhammed and the original writers?

Again, the answer is no, because even the Quran itself has warned us against cherry-picking the book, as it says:

"... Then is it only a part of the Book that you believe in, and do you reject the rest? But what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life? And on the Day of Judgment, they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty, for God is not unmindful of what you do." (2:85)

(21-05-2012 04:32 PM)Crusher Wrote:  Also, do you think fundamentalist muslims are more prone to do violent acts than more modern muslims. If so, doesn't that mean the fundamentals of Islam are dangerous?

Crusher, I'm not sure in what context you're using the word "fundamentalist," but I'm pretty sure that fundamentalist Muslims are not necessarily more prone to violent acts. It is the extremist Muslims who are the main threat. After all, there is a difference between "Extremist Muslims" and "Fundamentalist Muslims." I don't think that they are the same thing. A moderate Muslim can be considered a "fundamentalist" as well in the sense that he tries to adhere to the rules of Islam as much as possible.

Also, even if fundamentalist Muslims are more prone to violence, this doesn't mean that the fundamentals of Islam are dangerous. "Fundatmentalist Muslims" doesn't equal to "fundamentals of Islam."

The fundamentals of Islam are known as the "5 pillars of Islam," which are: Faith (i.e. belief that there is only One God and that Muhammad is the messenger of God); the five daily prayers (salaat); charity (zakaat); fasting in the month of Ramadan; and a pilgrimage to Mecca called "Hajj" (which is not compulsory, but recommended). These are the fundamentals of Islam, and all Muslims are supposed to perform these five basic things, and we can perform them in our own way without hurting or bothering anyone else.
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23-05-2012, 04:48 AM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
alright internet mullah, I think I have a question for you. Do you personally believe there is a chance that your god does not exist? However small a chance feel free to speak of it. Disbelief in a god might be a sin in your religion, but surely calculating the probability of the existence of your god is not.
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23-05-2012, 05:18 AM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
I have been doing some interesting research into the effects of brainwashing on the neural processes in the brain. Your brain makes connections based on things you tell it, and the more you tell it these things, the stronger these connections become. When you think of something, it becomes so easy for your brain to make the connection you trained it to make, that it starts to feel "right" and "knowable". For example, it makes sense to you because you have repeated it so many times, that your brain finds the connection easy. This is why CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) is successful for people with distorted thought processes. It allows them to break these connections and form new, healthy, ones. The connections can also be broken using Electroshock therapy or drug therapy, making it easier for a brainwashed individual to change their thought processes.



Bearing all this in mind, have you considered the possibility that you might be brainwashed?

"But the point is, find somebody to love. Everything else is overrated." - HouseofCantor
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23-05-2012, 02:42 PM (This post was last modified: 23-05-2012 02:46 PM by Internet Mullah.)
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(23-05-2012 04:48 AM)TheArcticSage Wrote:  alright internet mullah, I think I have a question for you. Do you personally believe there is a chance that your god does not exist? However small a chance feel free to speak of it. Disbelief in a god might be a sin in your religion, but surely calculating the probability of the existence of your god is not.

Yes, TheArcticSage, I do think that there is a small chance that God does not exist. I mean, I don't actually know whether or not He really exists. You don't know that either. Nobody knows. That's why I can't be 100% certain about His existence. But, still, I think that the probability that He doesn't exist is very small. According to my own estimation, I think that there is about a mere 3 percent chance that He doesn't exist, and this means that I strongly believe in His existence.

(23-05-2012 05:18 AM)Smooshmonster Wrote:  Bearing all this in mind, have you considered the possibility that you might be brainwashed?

Yes, Smooshmonster, I did consider the possibility that I might be brainwashed.
But, honestly, I do not think that brainwashing is the reason for my belief. Actually, I can't really tell if I'm brainwashed because I truly believe in Islam.

(23-05-2012 02:55 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Sorry internet mullah, this is too funny

That's okay, Mark. I have seen many other cartoons like that and they don't offend me. Cartoons are nothing but cartoons.
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23-05-2012, 03:50 PM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(23-05-2012 02:42 PM)Internet Mullah Wrote:  
(23-05-2012 04:48 AM)TheArcticSage Wrote:  alright internet mullah, I think I have a question for you. Do you personally believe there is a chance that your god does not exist? However small a chance feel free to speak of it. Disbelief in a god might be a sin in your religion, but surely calculating the probability of the existence of your god is not.
Yes, TheArcticSage, I do think that there is a small chance that God does not exist. I mean, I don't actually know whether or not He really exists. You don't know that either. Nobody knows. That's why I can't be 100% certain about His existence. But, still, I think that the probability that He doesn't exist is very small. According to my own estimation, I think that there is about a mere 3 percent chance that He doesn't exist, and this means that I strongly believe in His existence.
Well at least you're being open minded about it and honest, both of which are good signs. Many atheists believe there is a small chance that a god may exist as well, however, there are also many atheists that don't give it a chance at all. Some of us are more open minded than others >.>
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23-05-2012, 03:53 PM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
Thanks for answering honestly!

I studied Islam in college as part of a "Comparative Religion" Course. It was slightly biased however. It was claimed that Islam draws inspiration from Christianity, and that Mohammed had a Christian friend/mentor/foster parent or something. is there any truth in that claim? What do Muslims think about that?

"But the point is, find somebody to love. Everything else is overrated." - HouseofCantor
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23-05-2012, 04:00 PM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(23-05-2012 04:11 AM)Internet Mullah Wrote:  
(19-05-2012 06:16 PM)Dom Wrote:  I still have not heard a reply to why the punishments have to be so incredibly cruel.


Actually, Dom, I have already explained several times that the main reason for this is because the punishments serve as an effective deterrence against crimes.

The important thing is that Islam never prescribes punishment haphazardly nor does it execute these without due consideration, and the few death punishments inflicted for the most serious offences have very strict 'definition elements' which makes their application very rare in practice and yet they have been instrumental in the past and at present in greatly reducing the number of crimes whereas these things are seriously affecting Western societies. Similarly, adultery has caused an unlimited chain of birth of illegitimate children in the Western countries. Being fatherless children, these illegitimate children have developed like a cancer in the Western society.

In regards to adultery in Islam, if a person transgresses the limits beyond all bounds of decency to commit adultery in 'public', then Islam provides a severe punishment that acts as a strong 'deterrent' to others in order to protect the society from future occurences of the same thing. The punishment has an effect of preventing individuals from committing the same crime in the future and it serves a stern warning to others. That's why the number of cases of adultery and fornication in countries where the Sharia is established are significantly low compared to many Western countries.

For fornication between unmarried couples, the penalty is 100 lashes, and for adultery between married couples, the penalty is stoning to death.

Even then, the stoning punishment is not prescribed for the mere commission of adultery, but other definition elements of the crime has to be satisfied: Only that kind of adultery is punishable by stoning which is committed intentionally by a free person who is both mature and sane, the accused must be committed to a marriage and has had intercourse with his lawful spouse, and the act of adultery must be attested by four honest, reliable, and trustworthy witnesses who must have all seen the act of penetration and all four witnesses must be 'unanimous' in every stage of the act including the exact details. If the statement of one witness is contradictory to the others, then all four witnesses will be given a punishment of 80 lashes for their slander.

(19-05-2012 06:16 PM)Dom Wrote:  It is what hurts Muslims the most in the eyes of the rest of the world, and it deserves some thought from you.


I did think about it and maybe I thought about it more than you think I did. It's only that you guys do not understand the philosophy behind these punishments.

Murder, theft, adultery, or any other crime committed by a Muslim, if he knows the extent of the negative consequences for himself that his crime will cause, he will think a thousand times before committing it. Awareness of the punishment will, in two ways, cause the criminal to abstain from committing the crime. The criminal who has already been subject to the punishment will most likely not return to the crime again. As for the rest of society, their awareness of the harshness and the effects of the punishment will keep them from falling into the same crime. Ultimately, the object of all penal systems is to punish the offender and protect society from reoccurrence of the crime by doing so. Punishment serves as an educational purpose as well as a form of crime deterrent and prevention. And the system of punishment used must aim to achieve this goal.

From the Western point of view, it seems to suggest that the Islamic laws are all about lashing, stoning, and mutilating. This is the picture of the Shariah that the West wants to portray, or perhaps misundertandingly wants to portray, but actually that is far from the truth. The Shariah is not merely a system of law that is meant to punish criminals, but a comprehensive code of behavior that embraces both a Muslim's private and public activities and it has a wider application than any secular system of law since it claims to regulate many other aspects our lives which include our duties to God, to our neighbor, and to ourselves.



Thank you for answering.

The philosopy behind it can be whatever it wants to be, I am not arguing your social norms, you have a right to form whatever social norms you feel are right for your society.

I think you just do not understand the horror the mere thought of stoning evokes. A crowd of people with stones, throwing them and breaking one bone after another causing excruciating pain, laughing while they do it...

This is such unspeakably cruel punishment, it is not necessary to do this to prevent further occurrances, people are not so very evil that only the most incredible agony will keep them from committing an act.

I simply cannot understand how any human being can do this to another human being. There must be something missing, some basic human decency and compassion.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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24-05-2012, 01:44 AM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(23-05-2012 02:42 PM)Internet Mullah Wrote:  
(23-05-2012 04:48 AM)TheArcticSage Wrote:  alright internet mullah, I think I have a question for you. Do you personally believe there is a chance that your god does not exist? However small a chance feel free to speak of it. Disbelief in a god might be a sin in your religion, but surely calculating the probability of the existence of your god is not.

Yes, TheArcticSage, I do think that there is a small chance that God does not exist. I mean, I don't actually know whether or not He really exists. You don't know that either. Nobody knows. That's why I can't be 100% certain about His existence. But, still, I think that the probability that He doesn't exist is very small. According to my own estimation, I think that there is about a mere 3 percent chance that He doesn't exist, and this means that I strongly believe in His existence.

(23-05-2012 05:18 AM)Smooshmonster Wrote:  Bearing all this in mind, have you considered the possibility that you might be brainwashed?

Yes, Smooshmonster, I did consider the possibility that I might be brainwashed.
But, honestly, I do not think that brainwashing is the reason for my belief. Actually, I can't really tell if I'm brainwashed because I truly believe in Islam.

(23-05-2012 02:55 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Sorry internet mullah, this is too funny

That's okay, Mark. I have seen many other cartoons like that and they don't offend me. Cartoons are nothing but cartoons.
Re "That's okay, Mark. I have seen many other cartoons like that and they don't offend me. Cartoons are nothing but cartoons."


Ok...good.....then what do you think of this one? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2xqNwG6nqM
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24-05-2012, 08:21 AM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
Is this how you picked your religion?

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