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View Poll Results: Should mosques be allowed to have a minarette?
Yes 73 52.90%
No 43 31.16%
I don't care 18 13.04%
What a minarette? 4 2.90%
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  #381  
Old 10.10.2009, 18:08
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Re: Mosques with or without Minaret?

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...At its core, Islam is a recipe for peaceful (salaam) living. When it is applied to a society, it is a tool for managing that society. A tool can be used for good purposes, or bad purposes. Politically, it can also be used as a weapon....

The application of Islam in a pluralistic and democratic society may not necessarily follow the same pattern as state Islam. But, for sure, it is a community based application, and not individual based.

I'd be glad to hear examples of others ways Islam is applied positively in pluralistic and democratic societies.
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...that stuff will be there for a long time regardless of how civilised our culture is...
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... If the kids in Northern Ireland did not go to segregated Catholic and Protestant schools the conflict would have been much easier to avoid. If the little kids in Afghanistan did not go to madrasas to be indoctrinated by hate spewing illiterate mullahs, they wouldn't have turned into Talibans.
Let us not forget what religion provided in darker days to those let down by their rulers: a spiritual element, an independent authority, power, identity... the list goes on.

Look at medieval European history: getting the Pope onside was everything. Considering the tumultuous trials of governance in those various nation states, the Pope's (divine) authority was a perennial challenge.

Once society settled over the centuries - became healthier, weathier and less fearful - the power of the Clergy waned. We're left in the slightly bizarre - IMHO - position of living better than anyone before us, in a safer world with riches beyond out grandparents' dreams, and we're worried about a few minarets.

When will we grow up?
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  #382  
Old 10.10.2009, 18:16
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Re: Mosques with or without Minaret?

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The hospitals and charities I would keep of course. But not the religious schools, thank you. If the kids in Northern Ireland did not go to segregated Catholic and Protestant schools the conflict would have been much easier to avoid. If the little kids in Afghanistan did not go to madrasas to be indoctrinated by hate spewing illiterate mullahs, they wouldn't have turned into Talibans.

There is more than one vein in the radicalization of Islam. Wahhabism, which is about 300 years old, sought to cleanse Islam of Sufi influences. The Talibans do not come from a Wahhabi perspective. They practice things the Wahhabis would like to get rid of. The jist of the Taliban ideology is the resistance to modernization, particularly western influences.

I think the radicalization of Islam has more to do with reaction to Western influences on their lives than simple indoctrination. The mullahs pick and choose scripture to forment hate against western influences. They can't really do this in a vacuum, without real points they can attribute to the West. At the root of all this is economic poverty. They see the west as sucking up their wealth and resources. Now, any honest ideas why they would think that way?


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Agreed. Many good things came out of organized religion, as well as many bad ones. But I think it is sort of redundant in the modern age.

Hey, if Henry did it...we should at least try it, no? Of course I wouldn't recommend his methods

That's typical western folly to think that they can just go anywhere and rearrange something to their liking. It is exactly these kinds of attitudes that radical Islam point to as the threat to them and humanity.
  #383  
Old 10.10.2009, 18:17
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Re: Mosques with or without Minaret?

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The original word, "ekklesia", simply meant a gathering of christians.
Funny it's used in [the LXX translation of] Exodus then.
But I suppose that's neither here nor there... I'm not that interested in definition-by-etymology (a pet peeve of mine, actually. ) More interested in how the term is used now - for the purpose, as I said above, of finding the proper Islamic parallel to one of the current usages of church.

Likewise, ummah could be the Arabic word for "garden party" for all I care - if that's the word Muslims use today to denote the human-organization-otherwise-known-as-Islam, as distinct from the religious-philosophy-known-as-Islam.
  #384  
Old 10.10.2009, 18:32
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Re: Mosques with or without Minaret?

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Let us not forget what religion provided in darker days to those let down by their rulers: a spiritual element, an independent authority, power, identity... the list goes on.

Look at medieval European history: getting the Pope onside was everything. Considering the tumultuous trials of governance in those various nation states, the Pope's (divine) authority was a perennial challenge.
Mind you, overcoming this did not happen painlessly. It took devote believers, particularly the Reformists, to overcome the Pope.



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Once society settled over the centuries - became healthier, weathier and less fearful - the power of the Clergy waned. We're left in the slightly bizarre - IMHO - position of living better than anyone before us, in a safer world with riches beyond out grandparents' dreams, and we're worried about a few minarets.

When will we grow up?

There are quite a number of examples on this thread of posters dumping on people who are not comfortable with Islam. I see attempts at painting dissenters as with a chip on their shoulder, hate-mongers, fearful, unenlightened or what have you. I'm not so sure it is useful to simply try to shut up dissenters of the issue. I think it is valid to express concern about something one doesn't understand. To simply ask a person in such a position to turn off their minds is fruitless. I don't see anything wrong with someone venting their concerns about it.
  #385  
Old 10.10.2009, 18:44
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Re: Mosques with or without Minaret?

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Ummah is the Arabic word for "community" or nation".
Yes: Used in the context of the community of believers, it has a similar meaning to 'church' as many Christians would use the term.
  #386  
Old 10.10.2009, 18:46
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That's typical western folly to think that they can just go anywhere and rearrange something to their liking. It is exactly these kinds of attitudes that radical Islam point to as the threat to them and humanity.
Exactly: They're just annoyed that we're top dog now, instead of them.

500 years ago it was a different story completely.

Some people are just poor losers...
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  #387  
Old 10.10.2009, 18:48
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Re: Mosques with or without Minaret?

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...There are quite a number of examples on this thread of posters dumping on people who are not comfortable with Islam...
Hmm, earlier you wrote: "I'd be glad to hear examples of others ways Islam is applied positively in pluralistic and democratic societies." I may be misunderstanding your point, but this seems slightly uncomfortable.

It is valid people express concerns about something they don't understand, but the political stance of those promoting this prohibition referendum reeks of hypocrisy and simmering racism: they have excellent form. I'd really rather it didn't turn into "What good is Religion?", at the expense of this topical issue.

If people lived a little more according to the values they profess to carry and a little less by banging the drum of their respective tribe, perhaps we'd all have a better world.
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  #388  
Old 10.10.2009, 18:53
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Re: Mosques with or without Minaret?

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Maybe I'll move back there after all, then...

oh so you're in fact a Brit execrating his own country ? Je commence à comprendre.
  #389  
Old 10.10.2009, 18:57
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Re: Mosques with or without Minaret?

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Je commence à comprendre.
English Forum?
  #390  
Old 10.10.2009, 18:58
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Re: Mosques with or without Minaret?

Google Translate says: I begin to understand
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  #391  
Old 10.10.2009, 19:00
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Google Translate says: I begin to understand
Cheers.

I wish I did.
  #392  
Old 10.10.2009, 19:10
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Re: Mosques with or without Minaret?

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Hmm, earlier you wrote: "I'd be glad to hear examples of others ways Islam is applied positively in pluralistic and democratic societies." I may be misunderstanding your point, but this seems slightly uncomfortable.

It is valid people express concerns about something they don't understand, but the political stance of those promoting this prohibition referendum reeks of hypocrisy and simmering racism: they have excellent form. I'd really rather it didn't turn into "What good is Religion?", at the expense of this topical issue.

If people lived a little more according to the values they profess to carry and a little less by banging the drum of their respective tribe, perhaps we'd all have a better world.

Right, it's the SVP and right-wing parties who are behind the initiative to ban Minarets. The majority of Christian parties and organization are against the ban.

Nevertheless, there have been a lot of anti-Islamist propaganda lately. Because of it, there are a lot of misunderstanding of the culture and religion. It doesn't really help to suppress people's questions and doubts about Islam. I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to bring them out in the open. The best antidote to disinformation is correction and education.
  #393  
Old 10.10.2009, 19:12
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Re: Mosques with or without Minaret?

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Hey, if Henry did it...we should at least try it, no? Of course I wouldn't recommend his methods
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That's typical western folly to think that they can just go anywhere and rearrange something to their liking. It is exactly these kinds of attitudes that radical Islam point to as the threat to them and humanity.
How did you conclude from my message above that I, "the bad West" want to go somewhere and arrange things to my liking? Honestly, I do not see the connection. In case you did not know Henry got rid of the Catholic church in his own country, and by saying that we should try it I mean that we should try to get rid of religion in our own society. Did you really think that I want to go and do that somewhere in Pakistan? It wouldn't work that way, enlightenment has to come from within.
  #394  
Old 10.10.2009, 19:14
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Re: Mosques with or without Minaret?

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In case you did not know Henry got rid of the Catholic church in his own country, and by saying that we should try it I mean that we should try to get rid of religion in our own society.
... and replace it with the Church of England?
  #395  
Old 10.10.2009, 19:15
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Re: Mosques with or without Minaret?

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Right, it's the SVP and right-wing parties who are behind the initiative to ban Minarets. The majority of Christian parties and organization are against the ban.

Nevertheless, there have been a lot of anti-Islamist propaganda lately. Because of it, there are a lot of misunderstanding of the culture and religion. It doesn't really help to suppress people's questions and doubts about Islam. I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to bring them out in the open. The best antidote to disinformation is correction and education.
I fully agree and don't see much suppression of expression, unlike the proponants of the referendum. The playing field isn't flat though, and you can build a spire and the Mayor will attend and cut the ribbon. It isn't Minarets we need worry about.
  #396  
Old 10.10.2009, 19:19
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Re: Mosques with or without Minaret?

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How did you conclude from my message above that I, "the bad West" want to go somewhere and arrange things to my liking? Honestly, I do not see the connection. In case you did not know Henry got rid of the Catholic church in his own country, and by saying that we should try it I mean that we should try to get rid of religion in our own society. Did you really think that I want to go and do that somewhere in Pakistan? It wouldn't work that way, enlightenment has to come from within.
Pakistan.... Albania.... or even Aargau for that matter. These calls for social engineering and manipulation are silly. They don't really work, and they never really have. It's a delusion that anybody is in control of anything.
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Old 10.10.2009, 19:25
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The best antidote to disinformation is correction and education.
True - to a point. One must always consider the source of the correction and education, and any agenda they might have.

And you can never be sure of the outcome of that correction and education.

I've read the Koran, I've researched the history of Islam (especially the Ottoman Empire), I've spoken to Muslims (I once got horribly drunk with a Sufi in Istanbul, but that's worth a whole thread of its own...), I've visited mosques and cultural centres. I wouldn't exactly describe myself as uninformed.

But I still think Islam's a load of old bollocks. Quite a lot of Muslims hold opinions that I consider to be utterly loathsome and out of step with the aspirations of the modern liberal democracy. I don't like the fact that many (perhaps most) Muslims considered me to be worthless scum when I was an atheist - and only a little bit better now that I am not. I don't like the fact that many modern Muslims hate Jews with a passion that is incomprehensible to the average modern Englishman.

I consider Islam to be a throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater misinterpretation of Christianity, a kind of iconoclastic Orthodox heresy that took random bits and bobs of misunderstood local traditions and cobbled them together into something else completely. I would not, under any circumstances, wish to live in an Islamic theocratic state, given that there are many much better alternatives available (500 years ago, no. Now that we have parliamentary democracy, yes).

I consider Muslims to be utterly wrong about pretty much anything they wish to opine.

But they have a right to be wrong. They have a right to insist that God has no son. They have a right to worship in the direction of a black rock. They have a right to assemble freely and submit themselves to God. They have a right to read the Koran and teach their children their ways and their beliefs. They have a right to wear clothes in which they feel modest and comfortable. They have a right to build mosques and minarets on land they have purchased, and for which they have obtained the appropriate permits.

The fact that Islam isn't something I want for myself or my family doesn't mean that I cannot respect Muslims for being human beings, as fallible and confused and afraid and arrogant and stupid and frustrated and hopeful as the rest of us.

Let them believe what they want. Let them build their minarets.

It's no skin off our noses, is it?
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  #398  
Old 10.10.2009, 19:28
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In case you did not know Henry got rid of the Catholic church in his own country.
A small detail: Henry VIII maintained the Catholic church in England.

He merely disposed of the 'Roman' bit of it.

  #399  
Old 10.10.2009, 19:35
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Re: Mosques with or without Minaret?

Islam the religion and Islam the political power move into countries together.

Evidence around the world points to Muslims largely not integrating into countries they move to but rather remaining as a culturally and politically distinct and self aware group.

Once their numbers are significant enough they then have historically pushed to change the society to be in the mould of Islam.

I don't want to live in a society in the mould of Islam.



Do you?



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Old 10.10.2009, 19:37
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Evidence around the world points to Muslims largely not integrating into countries they move to but rather remaining as a culturally and politically distinct and self aware group.

Once their numbers are significant enough they then have historically pushed to change the society to be in the mould of Islam.
A bit like the British, then?
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