Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 280SE 280CE 560SEL
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Islam and the west: incompatible?
Following the bombings in London, I decided to edjumacate myself on Islam by doing the usual random walk across the web. I read the quran about twenty years ago when I shared a student flat with some Muslims, and it left little impression on me, except that feeling one gets from the OT (that's old testament,guys) that it's full of gibberish. At the time, I put this down to my own shortcomings.
Back to the present: I found out a few interesting things; first, I didn't know much about Islam before, but don't much like what I see now. Critics of Islam, Islamic apostates in particular, highlight all the violent material in the Quran; the Prophet took part in sixty or seventy battles, and personally ordered the deaths of hundreds of Jews (by beheading). Islam was spead at the point of a sword. He also took a six year old wife and consummated the marriage at the age of nine (he was in his fifties). This violence is very much in contrast to Jesus's 'love your enemies' message. The same apostates also point out that the penalty for leaving Islam is death, which is very troubling for our concept of freedom. Because Muslims see the Quran as the literal word of Allah, it is not negotiable - so when the Quran says 'kill apostates', apparently it has to be done. Salman Rushdie springs to mind.
The impression I get, despite what muslims say in response to these charges (it is out of context, Islam is a peaceful religion, 'there is no compulsion in religion', etc) is that Islam is incompatible with democracy and Western civilisation. As far as democracy is concerned, one argument I have seen a few times is that 'man' should not make laws, but should be following God's laws as revealed in the Quran - democracy is at best superfluous.
I've visited and spent quite some time at several pro-Islamic sites too, and it is remarkable that some muslims living in the US, for example, find it acceptable to be slippery apologists for osmaBL, 9/11, Madrid, London etc while benefiting from the freedoms they get here. They give me the impression that their allegiance is to other muslims first, and their fellow citizens second, and indeed this seems to be enshrined in the Quran too. A substantial proportion of muslims in the west seem to want to remove our freedoms, free-speech in particular, with the eventual goal of introducing Sharia law. This, it seems to me, is particularly worrying.
Cut to the chase: Is terrorism anything to do with the nature of Islam, or is it down to a few bad apples?