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Moderates Divorcing From Extremism

Willows
Posts: 2,031
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8/7/2016 4:52:32 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
Is it right for moderate or mainstream religious groups to disassociate themselves from extreme groups?
We hear of mainstream Muslims saying that Muslim extremists committing acts of terrorism are not true Islamists and have nothing to do with them.
We hear the same with mainstream Christians decrying the Westboro Baptists or Ku Klux Klan and having nothing to do with them.

But in each case, their morals and principals are taken from the same scriptures and pray to the same God.

So why shouldn't mainstream Islamists or Christians be held accountable for the behaviour of their more radical subscribers?
Bennett91
Posts: 4,194
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8/7/2016 6:51:40 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/7/2016 4:52:32 AM, Willows wrote:
Is it right for moderate or mainstream religious groups to disassociate themselves from extreme groups?
We hear of mainstream Muslims saying that Muslim extremists committing acts of terrorism are not true Islamists and have nothing to do with them.
We hear the same with mainstream Christians decrying the Westboro Baptists or Ku Klux Klan and having nothing to do with them.

But in each case, their morals and principals are taken from the same scriptures and pray to the same God.

So why shouldn't mainstream Islamists or Christians be held accountable for the behaviour of their more radical subscribers?

Simply put, no. Punishing people for the crimes of others is wrong. We too reject the violent actions of infamous atheists (yes I know Stalin and Mao weren't motivated by atheism but that doesn't stop Christian accusations). Also there is an element of general hypocrisy among Christians in general, they can say the KKK or WBC doesn't represent them because they have thier own interpretation of the religion - while condemning ISIS as the pinnacle of Islam when they themselves have no stake in it. The morals of extremists may be taken from the same verses but interpretation is key to understanding sectarianism. Some interpretations are more acceptable than others obviously.

Also as an aside in term of politics and religion, Islamism is distinct from the religion Islam. Islamism has a political agenda as well as religious, so there's a difference between a Muslim and an Islamist. All Islamists are Muslim, but not all Muslims are Islamist.
Willows
Posts: 2,031
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8/7/2016 7:32:27 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/7/2016 6:51:40 AM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 8/7/2016 4:52:32 AM, Willows wrote:
Is it right for moderate or mainstream religious groups to disassociate themselves from extreme groups?
We hear of mainstream Muslims saying that Muslim extremists committing acts of terrorism are not true Islamists and have nothing to do with them.
We hear the same with mainstream Christians decrying the Westboro Baptists or Ku Klux Klan and having nothing to do with them.

But in each case, their morals and principals are taken from the same scriptures and pray to the same God.

So why shouldn't mainstream Islamists or Christians be held accountable for the behaviour of their more radical subscribers?

Simply put, no. Punishing people for the crimes of others is wrong. We too reject the violent actions of infamous atheists (yes I know Stalin and Mao weren't motivated by atheism but that doesn't stop Christian accusations). Also there is an element of general hypocrisy among Christians in general, they can say the KKK or WBC doesn't represent them because they have thier own interpretation of the religion - while condemning ISIS as the pinnacle of Islam when they themselves have no stake in it. The morals of extremists may be taken from the same verses but interpretation is key to understanding sectarianism. Some interpretations are more acceptable than others obviously.

Also as an aside in term of politics and religion, Islamism is distinct from the religion Islam. Islamism has a political agenda as well as religious, so there's a difference between a Muslim and an Islamist. All Islamists are Muslim, but not all Muslims are Islamist.

I take your point on semantics there.
I also accept that interpretations can vary and indeed they do even within the divisions. My point is, that is the nature of each religion; to use scriptures that are completely anecdotal, disjointed and ambiguous as the basis of their belief.
Therefore I think it is a bit rich to draw a line at some particular point and stay that "they are not one of us" any more than saying that a convicted felon (in the US) is not American.
I am not suggesting that any moderate should take the blame for what extremists do but I do say even in their weakest form, these religions are viewed by most non-believers as radical and there is much commonality from one end of the scale to the other.
You are just playing with semantics by trying to cut off one faction in order to make yours look better especially since even at a moderate level these faiths have a pretty poor human rights record.
Bennett91
Posts: 4,194
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8/7/2016 7:43:55 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/7/2016 7:32:27 AM, Willows wrote:
At 8/7/2016 6:51:40 AM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 8/7/2016 4:52:32 AM, Willows wrote:
Is it right for moderate or mainstream religious groups to disassociate themselves from extreme groups?
We hear of mainstream Muslims saying that Muslim extremists committing acts of terrorism are not true Islamists and have nothing to do with them.
We hear the same with mainstream Christians decrying the Westboro Baptists or Ku Klux Klan and having nothing to do with them.

But in each case, their morals and principals are taken from the same scriptures and pray to the same God.

So why shouldn't mainstream Islamists or Christians be held accountable for the behaviour of their more radical subscribers?

Simply put, no. Punishing people for the crimes of others is wrong. We too reject the violent actions of infamous atheists (yes I know Stalin and Mao weren't motivated by atheism but that doesn't stop Christian accusations). Also there is an element of general hypocrisy among Christians in general, they can say the KKK or WBC doesn't represent them because they have thier own interpretation of the religion - while condemning ISIS as the pinnacle of Islam when they themselves have no stake in it. The morals of extremists may be taken from the same verses but interpretation is key to understanding sectarianism. Some interpretations are more acceptable than others obviously.

Also as an aside in term of politics and religion, Islamism is distinct from the religion Islam. Islamism has a political agenda as well as religious, so there's a difference between a Muslim and an Islamist. All Islamists are Muslim, but not all Muslims are Islamist.

I also accept that interpretations can vary and indeed they do even within the divisions. My point is, that is the nature of each religion; to use scriptures that are completely anecdotal, disjointed and ambiguous as the basis of their belief.

Therefore I think it is a bit rich to draw a line at some particular point and stay that "they are not one of us" any more than saying that a convicted felon (in the US) is not American.

This what sectarianism is though, Catholics are not protestant or Mormon or JW but they're all christian. They all can denounce each other but they're all still christian, it's best not to lump them all together.

I am not suggesting that any moderate should take the blame for what extremists do but I do say even in their weakest form, these religions are viewed by most non-believers as radical and there is much commonality from one end of the scale to the other.

What they do different makes much difference to 3rd party observers. Again similar is Islam and Islamism, Muslims are fine neighbors, but when they cross the line into Islamism then there's a problem.

You are just playing with semantics by trying to cut off one faction in order to make yours look better especially since even at a moderate level these faiths have a pretty poor human rights record.

I don't have a faction. I'm simply saying it makes more sense to understand the differences in theologies and not blame the actions of people on others who don't hold the specific problematic views.. Also it's not really semantics if there's a discernible difference, calling it semantics may be a sign you don't care about the sectarian nature of religion or why it's important.
Willows
Posts: 2,031
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8/7/2016 8:13:59 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/7/2016 7:43:55 AM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 8/7/2016 7:32:27 AM, Willows wrote:
At 8/7/2016 6:51:40 AM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 8/7/2016 4:52:32 AM, Willows wrote:
Is it right for moderate or mainstream religious groups to disassociate themselves from extreme groups?
We hear of mainstream Muslims saying that Muslim extremists committing acts of terrorism are not true Islamists and have nothing to do with them.
We hear the same with mainstream Christians decrying the Westboro Baptists or Ku Klux Klan and having nothing to do with them.

But in each case, their morals and principals are taken from the same scriptures and pray to the same God.

So why shouldn't mainstream Islamists or Christians be held accountable for the behaviour of their more radical subscribers?

Simply put, no. Punishing people for the crimes of others is wrong. We too reject the violent actions of infamous atheists (yes I know Stalin and Mao weren't motivated by atheism but that doesn't stop Christian accusations). Also there is an element of general hypocrisy among Christians in general, they can say the KKK or WBC doesn't represent them because they have thier own interpretation of the religion - while condemning ISIS as the pinnacle of Islam when they themselves have no stake in it. The morals of extremists may be taken from the same verses but interpretation is key to understanding sectarianism. Some interpretations are more acceptable than others obviously.

Also as an aside in term of politics and religion, Islamism is distinct from the religion Islam. Islamism has a political agenda as well as religious, so there's a difference between a Muslim and an Islamist. All Islamists are Muslim, but not all Muslims are Islamist.

I also accept that interpretations can vary and indeed they do even within the divisions. My point is, that is the nature of each religion; to use scriptures that are completely anecdotal, disjointed and ambiguous as the basis of their belief.

Therefore I think it is a bit rich to draw a line at some particular point and stay that "they are not one of us" any more than saying that a convicted felon (in the US) is not American.

This what sectarianism is though, Catholics are not protestant or Mormon or JW but they're all christian. They all can denounce each other but they're all still christian, it's best not to lump them all together.

I am not suggesting that any moderate should take the blame for what extremists do but I do say even in their weakest form, these religions are viewed by most non-believers as radical and there is much commonality from one end of the scale to the other.

What they do different makes much difference to 3rd party observers. Again similar is Islam and Islamism, Muslims are fine neighbors, but when they cross the line into Islamism then there's a problem.

You are just playing with semantics by trying to cut off one faction in order to make yours look better especially since even at a moderate level these faiths have a pretty poor human rights record.

I don't have a faction. I'm simply saying it makes more sense to understand the differences in theologies and not blame the actions of people on others who don't hold the specific problematic views.. Also it's not really semantics if there's a discernible difference, calling it semantics may be a sign you don't care about the sectarian nature of religion or why it's important.

I think I do understand the relevance of the sectarian nature of religion, maybe not the importance though. I see also that whilst religion can provide comfort and guidance it can also be "used" as an excuse for harbouring negative human traits such as elitism, homophobia, racism and sexism. In a sense, making them acceptable to subscribers because "it is the churches view and I go along with it".
Bennett91
Posts: 4,194
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8/7/2016 8:22:53 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/7/2016 8:13:59 AM, Willows wrote:

I think I do understand the relevance of the sectarian nature of religion, maybe not the importance though. I see also that whilst religion can provide comfort and guidance it can also be "used" as an excuse for harbouring negative human traits such as elitism, homophobia, racism and sexism. In a sense, making them acceptable to subscribers because "it is the churches view and I go along with it".

The importance comes about in practical matters. When dealing with ISIS it helps if we don't harass Shia's for the actions of Sunni's. You can recruit various rival sects against each other too. Although the US kind of did this in the the middle east and that didn't turn out so well ... it's important to learn more about the sects before you act lol. Also another example is moderates could help you find extremists and arrest them.

The religion as an excuse for evil is also important, we must obviously denounce those acts. If we're kind to moderates it may even open an avenue for them to de-convert. The best representative for any ideology is a nice welcoming person.

Although I'll admit when it comes to Islam in particular even so called moderates hold extreme views, almost sympathetic to ISIS types. It's important that you hate the sin, not the sinner. Or in other words criticize the ideas not the person, then others may feel it easier to transition from religion when it's not so attached to their identity. But I'm rambling.
Willows
Posts: 2,031
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8/7/2016 8:54:18 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/7/2016 8:22:53 AM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 8/7/2016 8:13:59 AM, Willows wrote:

I think I do understand the relevance of the sectarian nature of religion, maybe not the importance though. I see also that whilst religion can provide comfort and guidance it can also be "used" as an excuse for harbouring negative human traits such as elitism, homophobia, racism and sexism. In a sense, making them acceptable to subscribers because "it is the churches view and I go along with it".

The importance comes about in practical matters. When dealing with ISIS it helps if we don't harass Shia's for the actions of Sunni's. You can recruit various rival sects against each other too. Although the US kind of did this in the the middle east and that didn't turn out so well ... it's important to learn more about the sects before you act lol. Also another example is moderates could help you find extremists and arrest them.

The religion as an excuse for evil is also important, we must obviously denounce those acts. If we're kind to moderates it may even open an avenue for them to de-convert. The best representative for any ideology is a nice welcoming person.

Although I'll admit when it comes to Islam in particular even so called moderates hold extreme views, almost sympathetic to ISIS types. It's important that you hate the sin, not the sinner. Or in other words criticize the ideas not the person, then others may feel it easier to transition from religion when it's not so attached to their identity. But I'm rambling.

Not at all, I agree. I live in Australia and we are in the same boat as other western democracies dealing with radicalisation. ISIS knows exactly where to fish for conscripts and young, healthy-minded Muslims are being groomed as we speak.
Omniverse
Posts: 973
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8/7/2016 9:02:01 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/7/2016 4:52:32 AM, Willows wrote:
Is it right for moderate or mainstream religious groups to disassociate themselves from extreme groups?
We hear of mainstream Muslims saying that Muslim extremists committing acts of terrorism are not true Islamists and have nothing to do with them.
We hear the same with mainstream Christians decrying the Westboro Baptists or Ku Klux Klan and having nothing to do with them.

But in each case, their morals and principals are taken from the same scriptures and pray to the same God.

So why shouldn't mainstream Islamists or Christians be held accountable for the behaviour of their more radical subscribers?

Why?
Because the moderates are not responsible for how the so-called extremists act. The extremists are.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,566
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8/7/2016 12:43:10 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/7/2016 4:52:32 AM, Willows wrote:
Is it right for moderate or mainstream religious groups to disassociate themselves from extreme groups?
We hear of mainstream Muslims saying that Muslim extremists committing acts of terrorism are not true Islamists and have nothing to do with them.

I guess the question to ask is if extreme Muslims were always extreme Muslims, or were they at one time moderate/mainstream Muslims? If they were, what made them extreme? Islam or something else?

We hear the same with mainstream Christians decrying the Westboro Baptists or Ku Klux Klan and having nothing to do with them.

But in each case, their morals and principals are taken from the same scriptures and pray to the same God.

So why shouldn't mainstream Islamists or Christians be held accountable for the behaviour of their more radical subscribers?
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Willows
Posts: 2,031
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8/7/2016 2:44:55 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/7/2016 12:43:10 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 8/7/2016 4:52:32 AM, Willows wrote:

I guess the question to ask is if extreme Muslims were always extreme Muslims, or were they at one time moderate/mainstream Muslims? If they were, what made them extreme? Islam or something else?

Whether a Muslim has always been extreme or became radicalised (by Islam or something else) it is still the faith that he/she uses to harbour his/her views and actions.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,566
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8/7/2016 2:55:09 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/7/2016 2:44:55 PM, Willows wrote:
At 8/7/2016 12:43:10 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 8/7/2016 4:52:32 AM, Willows wrote:

I guess the question to ask is if extreme Muslims were always extreme Muslims, or were they at one time moderate/mainstream Muslims? If they were, what made them extreme? Islam or something else?

Whether a Muslim has always been extreme or became radicalised (by Islam or something else) it is still the faith that he/she uses to harbour his/her views and actions.

And, that's where the problem lies, the vehement argument you'll receive from moderate Muslims who will state emphatically it has nothing to do with the faith.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
missmedic
Posts: 385
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8/7/2016 3:00:35 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/7/2016 4:52:32 AM, Willows wrote:
Is it right for moderate or mainstream religious groups to disassociate themselves from extreme groups?
We hear of mainstream Muslims saying that Muslim extremists committing acts of terrorism are not true Islamists and have nothing to do with them.
We hear the same with mainstream Christians decrying the Westboro Baptists or Ku Klux Klan and having nothing to do with them.

But in each case, their morals and principals are taken from the same scriptures and pray to the same God.

So why shouldn't mainstream Islamists or Christians be held accountable for the behaviour of their more radical subscribers?

When the main stream moderates demand respect for religious belief, they empower all religious believers. You see the gods of the bible and Quran are not moderates.
Willows
Posts: 2,031
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8/7/2016 3:14:06 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/7/2016 3:00:35 PM, missmedic wrote:
At 8/7/2016 4:52:32 AM, Willows wrote:
Is it right for moderate or mainstream religious groups to disassociate themselves from extreme groups?
We hear of mainstream Muslims saying that Muslim extremists committing acts of terrorism are not true Islamists and have nothing to do with them.
We hear the same with mainstream Christians decrying the Westboro Baptists or Ku Klux Klan and having nothing to do with them.

But in each case, their morals and principals are taken from the same scriptures and pray to the same God.

So why shouldn't mainstream Islamists or Christians be held accountable for the behaviour of their more radical subscribers?

When the main stream moderates demand respect for religious belief, they empower all religious believers. You see the gods of the bible and Quran are not moderates.

What so-called moderates do not (choose to) realise is that their belief is radical at any level.
As an atheist I tolerate religion, however I have not the least bit of respect for it.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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8/7/2016 10:26:14 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/7/2016 4:52:32 AM, Willows wrote:
Is it right for moderate or mainstream religious groups to disassociate themselves from extreme groups?
Of course it's right, Willows. Nobody of good will can condone murder, terrorised populations, the collapse of law and order, and the social divisions this causes. Moreover, many victims of religious terrorism (in general, most victims of religious terrorism) are of the same faith as the terrorists.

The question is whether denouncing bad behaviour while denying doctrinal responsibility is adequate.

I don't think it is. Religious doctrine may not create terrorism, but certain doctrines demand and legitimise it. Just as racial hate speech demands and legitimises racial violence, so doctrines of religious hate and contempt demand and legitimise religious militance.

in each case, their morals and principals are taken from the same scriptures and pray to the same God.
To be clear, cherished monotheistic doctrines declare that the sole purpose of life is to support an apocalyptic war between good and evil, with absolute good being located solely and entirely within one's own faith. It's utterly disingenuous to pretend that this doctrine is not founded on hate and contempt, and that it does not legitimise genocidal militance.

So why shouldn't mainstream Islamists or Christians be held accountable for the behaviour of their more radical subscribers?
Accountable how? I think people can be held accountable for the doctrines they teach and uphold: they can be held accountable socially, politically, intellectually and legally for their ideas and implications; but should that entail accountability for specific plans enacted in fulfillment of those doctrines, of which they were unaware, and which many would denounce, oppose and report if they were aware?