My concerns over Islam come from the very texts of Islam itself.
Don’t be. All Scriptures, regardless of the religion, are subject to the understanding and interpretation of its own scholars. There is a very long tradition of critical thinking inside of Islam (itjihad) which has been pushed to the side, on and off, for some centuries; and most recently by the Wahab and Qutb branches of Islam, in favor of literalistic interpretation.
This too will pass.
If you’ve been watching the events as they occur in Saudi Arabia over the last month, you see the beginnings of a government AND religious reformation process. The corruption in the government is starting to get cleaned out; the news is reporting on the financial corruption, but it’s all tied in with what is essentially an unholy alliance between the government and the fundamentalist clerics. bin Salman is essentially ending the unspoken arrangement where the fundy clerics agreed to look the other way vis a vis governmental corruption and the sexual and alcoholic exploits of the ruling class IF they were funded and permitted to export their fundy version of the religion BY the ruling class.
Now, this is not an abandonment of religion — — far from it. But what bin Salman envisions is the creation of an modern, incredible economic giant in Saudi and the Gulf States, and then saying “see what Islam enables” rather than pushing out a fundamentalist denomination.
I would be a fool to NOT be concerned by an ideology that teaches people to lie to others who don’t believe as they do; to subjugate such non-believers, and/or to outright murder them.
Good examples. The “it’s OK to lie” idea is, in traditional Islamic practice, restricted to the notion that it’s OK to lie if the result would be your persecution on account of your religion. So, if you have a gun in your hand and I know you’re going to kill me if I say I’m Muslim, I can lie. Period. That’s it.
What’s happened is that the terror ideologies have taken that idea and expanded it far beyond Quranic principles, basically deciding that it’s OK to lie to anyone who is not a believer it if helps you achieve your aims. That’s heretical, in my view and that of others.
In the second case, the “kill them where you find them” verses are SPECIFIC to the Mecca/Medina adventure during the time of the Prophet. This is no different than the charge given to Joshua, where he was told by God to kill all the “ites” living in the Promised Land. He was not given a blanket authorization to use war to expand Judaism beyond those boundaries.
I would be a fool to not be concerned about an ideology that believes it has the right to rule the world under a 7th century legal system that oppresses and harms women, children, and anyone who doesn’t “toe the mark” of those beliefs. This is what I look at.
Well, why is it OK that Hasidic Jews and the Amish (and any “plain” society, for that matter) live in their own communities? Both of those religions in practice are sex-oppressive and all those other things you mention. But in the US, we have a long tradition of looking the other way as long as they don’t bother anyone or break any *actual* laws (speaking of things like child abuse, which is why Warren Jeffs ended up in jail).
It SOUNDS like — — correct me if I’m wrong — that you’re up in arms about Sharia, although there is no Sharia community practicing Sharia law in the US (of which I am aware), but you’re OK with Hasidic Jews and the Amish, of which there are HUNDREDS of practicing communities? And there’s a LOT more
I have read many of your posts and respect you as a person, and your positions. But you really aren’t typical of Muslims in America, or anywhere else, for that matter, even according to a very dear friend of mine who was raised in that system too.
If you’re born here and educated here alongside Americans, I’m more typical than you think. The problem today is that most adult Muslims were not only NOT born here, they were born in societies with what we would define as 13th century thinking.
The 1st generation isn’t going to change. They never do, be they Muslim, Greek, Italian, Irish, whatever. They congregate together and legitimize one another.
But here’s one tidbit to keep in mind: I am not a convert per se (my background is complicated) but I CHOSE Islam. Rationally. There are reasons for that which, in my view, make the Sharia debate look like a small tree in a very large forest of religion.