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Islam and the Middle East

Harper
Posts: 374
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7/23/2015 12:34:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
The Issues
The issues we see today in the Middle East are not merely the effect of 20th/21st century exploitation by European powers, on the contrary, the seeds of chaos were sown deep in their history. Ever since Al-Ghazali's publication of "The Incoherence of the Philosophers" and the proceeding collective conversion of the Islamic empire to an Ash'ari/occasionalist worldview, we have been experiencing a war against scientific and rational thought in the Middle East that lives on to this day.

The organized religious fundamentalism that we see in the Middle East today is hard to get rid of as it was established by the prophet Muhammad and is at the very core of Islam itself. The caliphate set up a societal framework for religious law that stifled thought and action deviant from Islamic tradition, and is a direct cause for groups like the Taliban or ISIS. Even though both of the groups I mentioned hardly follow the religion correctly, the attitude of "faith over reason" is well supported by Islamic orthodoxy.

Muh Golden Age
One may argue that religion was not the issue because they once had a 300 year Golden Age, but keep in mind that it took place under comparatively liberal conditions, back under the Abbasid caliphate, during which they adopted a rationalist or Mutazili worldview. Mutazilism was very different from the worldview that eventually prevailed in Islamic society in that it called on the individual to use reason to interpret the Islamic texts and to contemplate God; even back then it was contrary to the prevailing theology, and is still considered heretical.

The Solution
The solution to this issue is evasive: we want to encourage secular government, but the Islamic faith cannot be separated from its politics. We want to encourage reason, but Islamic orthodoxy has yet to reconcile the two, and it doesn't look it it will any time soon, given that Islam by its very nature does not allow for much theological or philosophical wiggle room. Then we think, "Perhaps we can modernize Islam, so that it can become more compatible with the 21st century and the followers will not see a conflict between faith and reason." Not so. Again, Islam is fiercely protective of its religious traditions. Everything-- from the caliphate to the encouragement of the memorization of the Quran to the nature of Islamic scholarship to the way children are brought up-- makes it so that traditional Islam is solidly embedded in the Muslim mind. You can't make them simply forget about the political or ultraconservative nature of their religion, because Islam is not a religion that permits revision. Revision is a grave sin and can get you killed in Islamic theocracies. And even in countries that are not theocracies, a majority Muslim society will see you as nothing more than the human embodiment of Satan.

So Islam cannot be modernized. It cannot be compromised with. It cannot change with respect to its gravest issues. It is incompatible with scientific thought and the secular way of life. It is the number one cause of religious fundamentalism and savagery in the world today. The only possible solution is for Middle Eastern individuals to either undergo conversion to a faith that has been modernized or get rid of religious thought entirely.

How do we achieve this?
Obviously it will take a very long time and it should not be coercive. I think the best strategy should be to first encourage public science television targeted to the average Arab. In the same way those living in the West have Carl Sagan or Bill Nye, we need someone to spread a love of science by making it relatable and entertaining. Hopefully, in doing so, we will consequently spread a love of scientific and rational thought without making it look like we're trying to impose Western culture (science is for everyone!). Rational thought has the interesting tendency to make people more reasonable and open to other ways of thinking and could start to make these people question their religion, and hopefully, leave it behind. If religion is necessary for the average individual, then perhaps other or new religions could replace it.
Harper
Posts: 374
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7/23/2015 2:16:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/23/2015 12:34:07 AM, Harper wrote:
The Issues
The issues we see today in the Middle East are not merely the effect of 20th/21st century exploitation by European powers, on the contrary, the seeds of chaos were sown deep in their history. Ever since Al-Ghazali's publication of "The Incoherence of the Philosophers" and the proceeding collective conversion of the Islamic empire to an Ash'ari/occasionalist worldview, we have been experiencing a war against scientific and rational thought in the Middle East that lives on to this day.

The organized religious fundamentalism that we see in the Middle East today is hard to get rid of as it was established by the prophet Muhammad and is at the very core of Islam itself. The caliphate set up a societal framework for religious law that stifled thought and action deviant from Islamic tradition, and is a direct cause for groups like the Taliban or ISIS. Even though both of the groups I mentioned hardly follow the religion correctly, the attitude of "faith over reason" is well supported by Islamic orthodoxy.

Muh Golden Age
One may argue that religion was not the issue because they once had a 300 year Golden Age, but keep in mind that it took place under comparatively liberal conditions, back under the Abbasid caliphate, during which they adopted a rationalist or Mutazili worldview. Mutazilism was very different from the worldview that eventually prevailed in Islamic society in that it called on the individual to use reason to interpret the Islamic texts and to contemplate God; even back then it was contrary to the prevailing theology, and is still considered heretical.

The Solution
The solution to this issue is evasive: we want to encourage secular government, but the Islamic faith cannot be separated from its politics. We want to encourage reason, but Islamic orthodoxy has yet to reconcile the two, and it doesn't look it it will any time soon, given that Islam by its very nature does not allow for much theological or philosophical wiggle room. Then we think, "Perhaps we can modernize Islam, so that it can become more compatible with the 21st century and the followers will not see a conflict between faith and reason." Not so. Again, Islam is fiercely protective of its religious traditions. Everything-- from the caliphate to the encouragement of the memorization of the Quran to the nature of Islamic scholarship to the way children are brought up-- makes it so that traditional Islam is solidly embedded in the Muslim mind. You can't make them simply forget about the political or ultraconservative nature of their religion, because Islam is not a religion that permits revision. Revision is a grave sin and can get you killed in Islamic theocracies. And even in countries that are not theocracies, a majority Muslim society will see you as nothing more than the human embodiment of Satan. So one must thus remove the influence Islamic orthodoxy and fundamentalism has on people.

Obviously it will take a very long time and it should not be coercive. I think the best strategy should be to first encourage public science television targeted to the average Arab. In the same way those living in the West have Carl Sagan or Bill Nye, we need someone to spread a love of science by making it relatable and entertaining. Hopefully, in doing so, we will consequently spread a love of scientific and rational thought without making it look like we're trying to impose Western culture (science is for everyone!). Rational thought has the interesting tendency to make people more reasonable and open to other ways of thinking. This will hopefully moderate the people, removing the influence of religious zealots and extremist organisations.

I shouldn't post late at night.
Yassine
Posts: 2,617
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7/23/2015 1:57:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/23/2015 12:34:07 AM, Harper wrote:

- Sorry to be blunt, but this post is too stupid to even deserve a reply. Laughably ridiculous! Maybe, before you can advise Muslims, you should educate yourself first. I had a head-ache just reading through this fantastic tail of ignorance.

The Issues
The issues we see today in the Middle East are not merely the effect of 20th/21st century exploitation by European powers, on the contrary, the seeds of chaos were sown deep in their history. Ever since Al-Ghazali's publication of "The Incoherence of the Philosophers" and the proceeding collective conversion of the Islamic empire to an Ash'ari/occasionalist worldview, we have been experiencing a war against scientific and rational thought in the Middle East that lives on to this day.

- Is this a joke?!!! You must be utterly & completely clueless of what you're talking about. "The Incoherence of the Philosophers" was a critique of greek metaphysics & epistemology, not a treaty against science. It very much resembles Hume's "Enquiry" & Kant's "Critique de la Raison Pure". Al-Ghazali's treaties contain much of the ideas perpetrated by these two, such as the incoherence of infinitism & the contingency of causality...

- On the other hand, al-Ghazali was pretty much for science. He himself studied mathematics, astronomy, natural sciences & medicine by his own testimony, & even wrote letters in chemistry, medicine & astronomy, & criticised his contemporary jurists for not studying medicine.

The organized religious fundamentalism that we see in the Middle East today is hard to get rid of as it was established by the prophet Muhammad and is at the very core of Islam itself.

- If you mean by "fundamentalism" Orthodox Islam, then of course it was established by the Prophet.

- If you mean Salafism, then that's just a NEW political movement dressed in orthodoxy claims, while in truth it has very little to do with Orthodoxy.

The caliphate set up a societal framework for religious law that stifled thought and action deviant from Islamic tradition, and is a direct cause for groups like the Taliban or ISIS.

- Where did you get that from?! Seriously, get educated, please!

Even though both of the groups I mentioned hardly follow the religion correctly, the attitude of "faith over reason" is well supported by Islamic orthodoxy.

- That was never the case, not for Sunni Islam, not for any other sect of Islam, with the exception of some extreme minorities no one has heard of, such as Akhbaria, Duruz...

Muh Golden Age
One may argue that religion was not the issue because they once had a 300 year Golden Age, but keep in mind that it took place under comparatively liberal conditions, back under the Abbasid caliphate, during which they adopted a rationalist or Mutazili worldview. Mutazilism was very different from the worldview that eventually prevailed in Islamic society in that it called on the individual to use reason to interpret the Islamic texts and to contemplate God; even back then it was contrary to the prevailing theology, and is still considered heretical.

- Your ignorance is showing here, humongously.

1. The Mu'tazila appeared within the Golden Age, they weren't in its emergence. & they only ruled for about 40 years! THAT'S IT! 40 FREAKING YEARS! You westerners are so convoluted in your own ignorance, sometimes, you say things so dumb that no matter how sophisticated you try to be, it won't help you recover from it. Plus, the only thing they were good at was the oppression of their opposition. Their rule was one of the worst periods in the History of Islamic Caliphate, referred to as the period of Mihna, the least tolerant period during the entire Abbasid rule.

2. The Mu'tazila were ALWAYS a minority, even in their prime. Thus, they haven't contributed as much to the world of science. MOST muslim scholars in all fields of knowledge - save life sciences - were Sunnis NOT Mu'tazila (including, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Tufayl, Ibn Baja, Ibn an-Nafis, Ibn Shatir, al-Biruni, az-Zahrawi. . . ). Specifically, the majority, after the 5th Hijri century were Ash'aris, such as:
> Abu Mansur al-Baghdadi, jurist, mathematician.
> The scientist polymath, Ibn al-Haytham.
> Ibn an-Nafees, the jurist physician & Ash'ari theologian.
> The philosopher, astronomer, physician, mathematician, logician, jurist, exegetist, linguist, historian & theologian Fakhr ad-Deen ar-Razi (d. 606H, 100 years after al-Ghazali's death). One of the Four Pillars of the Ash'ari School (i.e. its founders) including the first founder al-Ash'ari, al-Ghazali & al-Juwayni.
> His student al-Abhari, astronomer & philosopher.
> His teacher, the polymath Majd ad-Deen al-Jily.
> Ibn Khaldun, jurist, philosopher, economist, diplomat & historian.
> Ibn 'Arabi...
> Ibn 'Abideen...
> ad-Duwani...
> Abu Ishaq' ash-Shirazi...
> Ibn Sab'eed...
. . . a very long list.

=> The only field in which, as far as I know, Sunnis are outnumbered in is life sciences ; particularly, zoology. The majority of the names I know are indeed either Mu'tazila or Shi'a (which are also Mu'tazila).

3. Beside scientific knowledge, the Ash'aris dominated every other field just as much. Obviously, they were the overwhelming majority, in the Abbasid Era, the Mamluk Era & the Ottoman Era. The official school of the The Ottoman Empire was Ash'aria.

4. The Golden Age didn't last for only 300 years!!!! It spanned until the late 16th/17th century. Ibn Shatir, one of the greatest Arab astronomers died late 14th century. Ibn al-Banna' al-Murrakushi, an Ash'ari mathematician & astronomer, also died in 14th century. Another Ash'ari mathematician, al-Qalsadi died late 15th century. . . etc.

=> Correct your beliefs please. Mu'tazila weren't as great as you made them to be, nor have they contributed to Islamic Knowledge as much. They are probably related to "Science" in the West because of Dar al-Hikma, the University in which al-Mamun, the Mu'tazili Caliph, gathered scientist from allover the World, & in which much of the Greek works were brought & translated. But the thing is, Dar al-Hikma (The House of Wisdom) was not built by al-Mamun, it was in fact built by his father Harun ar-Rashid, the most successful & most powerful Caliph of the Abbasid dynasty, who was also Sunni. It was Harun ar-Rashid who opened, & for the first time, all boarders of the Islamic Empire, & initiated the translation of the Greek & Hindu books.

The Solution
The solution to this issue is evasive: we want to encourage secular government, but the Islamic faith cannot be separated from its politics. We want to encourage reason, but Islamic orthodoxy has yet to reconcile the two, and it doesn't look it it will any time soon, given that Islam by its very nature does not allow for much theological or philosophical wiggle room.

- Please get educated before you speak. You are embarrassing yourself beyond belief, it's pitiful. If you're really eager to help Muslims, get to know them first. Your stance is as irrational as this alleged "orthodoxy" you speak of, if not worse ; & your ignorance is mortifying. Horrible, terrible ignorance!

Sigh...!
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2diorgeN
Posts: 1
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7/26/2015 11:23:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/23/2015 12:34:07 AM, Harper wrote:
The Issues
The issues we see today in the Middle East are not merely the effect of 20th/21st century exploitation by European powers, on the contrary, the seeds of chaos were sown deep in their history. Ever since Al-Ghazali's publication of "The Incoherence of the Philosophers" and the proceeding collective conversion of the Islamic empire to an Ash'ari/occasionalist worldview, we have been experiencing a war against scientific and rational thought in the Middle East that lives on to this day.

The organized religious fundamentalism that we see in the Middle East today is hard to get rid of as it was established by the prophet Muhammad and is at the very core of Islam itself. The caliphate set up a societal framework for religious law that stifled thought and action deviant from Islamic tradition, and is a direct cause for groups like the Taliban or ISIS. Even though both of the groups I mentioned hardly follow the religion correctly, the attitude of "faith over reason" is well supported by Islamic orthodoxy.

Muh Golden Age
One may argue that religion was not the issue because they once had a 300 year Golden Age, but keep in mind that it took place under comparatively liberal conditions, back under the Abbasid caliphate, during which they adopted a rationalist or Mutazili worldview. Mutazilism was very different from the worldview that eventually prevailed in Islamic society in that it called on the individual to use reason to interpret the Islamic texts and to contemplate God; even back then it was contrary to the prevailing theology, and is still considered heretical.

The Solution
The solution to this issue is evasive: we want to encourage secular government, but the Islamic faith cannot be separated from its politics. We want to encourage reason, but Islamic orthodoxy has yet to reconcile the two, and it doesn't look it it will any time soon, given that Islam by its very nature does not allow for much theological or philosophical wiggle room. Then we think, "Perhaps we can modernize Islam, so that it can become more compatible with the 21st century and the followers will not see a conflict between faith and reason." Not so. Again, Islam is fiercely protective of its religious traditions. Everything-- from the caliphate to the encouragement of the memorization of the Quran to the nature of Islamic scholarship to the way children are brought up-- makes it so that traditional Islam is solidly embedded in the Muslim mind. You can't make them simply forget about the political or ultraconservative nature of their religion, because Islam is not a religion that permits revision. Revision is a grave sin and can get you killed in Islamic theocracies. And even in countries that are not theocracies, a majority Muslim society will see you as nothing more than the human embodiment of Satan.

So Islam cannot be modernized. It cannot be compromised with. It cannot change with respect to its gravest issues. It is incompatible with scientific thought and the secular way of life. It is the number one cause of religious fundamentalism and savagery in the world today. The only possible solution is for Middle Eastern individuals to either undergo conversion to a faith that has been modernized or get rid of religious thought entirely.

How do we achieve this?
Obviously it will take a very long time and it should not be coercive. I think the best strategy should be to first encourage public science television targeted to the average Arab. In the same way those living in the West have Carl Sagan or Bill Nye, we need someone to spread a love of science by making it relatable and entertaining. Hopefully, in doing so, we will consequently spread a love of scientific and rational thought without making it look like we're trying to impose Western culture (science is for everyone!). Rational thought has the interesting tendency to make people more reasonable and open to other ways of thinking and could start to make these people question their religion, and hopefully, leave it behind. If religion is necessary for the average individual, then perhaps other or new religions could replace it.

the main issues in the middle east are caused by israelite jews
ecco
Posts: 180
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7/26/2015 10:21:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/23/2015 12:34:07 AM, Harper wrote:
The Issues

The organized religious fundamentalism that we see in the Middle East today is hard to get rid of

The organized religious fundamentalism that we see in America today is hard to get rid of

Obviously it will take a very long time ... the best strategy should be to first encourage public science television targeted to the average Arab. Hopefully, in doing so, we will consequently spread a love of scientific and rational thought.

Obviously it will take a very long time ... the best strategy should be to first encourage public science television targeted to the average American. Hopefully, in doing so, we will consequently spread a love of scientific and rational thought.

Well, it isn't working here, we still have Creationists railing about the evils of evolution.

Do you really believe that anyone can spread "a love of scientific and rational thought" to people who murder and throw acid in the faces of girls trying to get an education?
Think