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Debates Forum

  1. 16 Jan '15 00:16
    I hear all this talk about how these supposed Islamic Terrorists are not Muslims and that they are trying to hijack the religion?

    Who gets to decide that the terrorists and those who support them are not Muslims? They believe they are Muslims. Generally people get to call themselves whatever they want to call themselves.

    Who has the right to define what is Islamic and what is not?
  2. 16 Jan '15 01:41
    Originally posted by Eladar
    I hear all this talk about how these supposed Islamic Terrorists are not Muslims and that they are trying to hijack the religion?

    Who gets to decide that the terrorists and those who support them are not Muslims? They believe they are Muslims. Generally people get to call themselves whatever they want to call themselves.

    Who has the right to define what is Islamic and what is not?
    "Only I will decide who's a Jew."
    --Karl Lueger (1844-1910, a mayor of Vienna)
    (This quotation has been apparently misattributed to Hermann Goering.)

    While he was known for his populist anti-Semitic rhetoric in public, Karl
    Lueger seemed to maintain lasting friendships with many individual Jews.
  3. 16 Jan '15 02:20
    Originally posted by Eladar
    I hear all this talk about how these supposed Islamic Terrorists are not Muslims and that they are trying to hijack the religion?

    Who gets to decide that the terrorists and those who support them are not Muslims? They believe they are Muslims. Generally people get to call themselves whatever they want to call themselves.

    Who has the right to define what is Islamic and what is not?
    Political leaders have two choices. They can say that Islam is the problem, thus declaring war on billions around the globe in one breath, or they can say that violence that comes as a result of Islam has nothing to do with Islam. If nothing else, it helps defuse the hostilities a bit and buys them some more time.
  4. 16 Jan '15 06:31
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Generally people get to call themselves whatever they want to call themselves.
    Agreed. Now if only you could remind yourself of this every once in a while...
  5. 16 Jan '15 08:06
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Who has the right to define what is Islamic and what is not?
    I would say that if you claim to believe in and follow a specific religion, and your actions can be squared with the teachings of said religion, then you get to say you're a member of said religion. This is how we get to call Hitler a roman catholic, and both terrorist and non-terrorist muslims muslims. Religion is like that. It can be bent to fit any political agenda.
  6. 16 Jan '15 08:16
    Originally posted by C Hess
    I would say that if you claim to believe in and follow a specific religion, and your actions can be squared with the teachings of said religion, then you get to say you're a member of said religion. This is how we get to call Hitler a roman catholic, and both terrorist and non-terrorist muslims muslims. Religion is like that. It can be bent to fit any political agenda.
    Sorry, I should say that abrahamistic religion is like that. My bad.
  7. 16 Jan '15 09:25 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by C Hess
    I would say that if you claim to believe in and follow a specific religion, and your actions can be squared with the teachings of said religion, then you get to say you're a member of said religion. This is how we get to call Hitler a roman catholic, and both terrorist and non-terrorist muslims muslims. Religion is like that. It can be bent to fit any political agenda.
    didn't see your second post when i posted the first version of this reply. nothing to reply now.
  8. 16 Jan '15 09:30
    Originally posted by Eladar
    I hear all this talk about how these supposed Islamic Terrorists are not Muslims and that they are trying to hijack the religion?

    Who gets to decide that the terrorists and those who support them are not Muslims? They believe they are Muslims. Generally people get to call themselves whatever they want to call themselves.

    Who has the right to define what is Islamic and what is not?
    so let's not prance around the bush.


    you're saying that because terrorists call themselves muslims they belong to the same group as non-terrorists?

    is that true for serial killers who call themselves christians? what should be done about christians then?

    some individuals caused huge property damage after a footbal match. those individuals call themselves Liverpool fans. What should be done about liverpool fans then?
  9. 16 Jan '15 10:24
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    didn't see your second post when i posted the first version of this reply. nothing to reply now.
    Yes, I've mostly engaged in discussions on abrahamistic religions, so I tend to forget that there's a whole lot of different religions out there that are more self-consistent, and therefore doesn't lend themselves so easily to political bias. I'm sure the three big religions have this flexibility to thank for their popularity, though. I fear that this whole "what does our scripture mean to you"-mentality has released a can of worms that will forever escape the grasp of simple reason (if I may be so dramatic).
  10. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    16 Jan '15 11:16
    Originally posted by Eladar
    I hear all this talk about how these supposed Islamic Terrorists are not Muslims and that they are trying to hijack the religion?

    Who gets to decide that the terrorists and those who support them are not Muslims? They believe they are Muslims. Generally people get to call themselves whatever they want to call themselves.

    Who has the right to define what is Islamic and what is not?
    One thing you would do well to examine is the existence of "sects" and "cults" associated with or derived from any and all of the major religions, and not just Abrahamic ones either.
    The English sociologist Roy Wallis[9] argues that a sect is characterized by “epistemological authoritarianism”: sects possess some authoritative locus for the legitimate attribution of heresy. According to Wallis, “sects lay a claim to possess unique and privileged access to the truth or salvation and “their committed adherents typically regard all those outside the confines of the collectivity as 'in error'”. He contrasts this with a cult that he described as characterized by “epistemological individualism” by which he means that “the cult has no clear locus of final authority beyond the individual member.”
    In the case of Chérif Kouachi (one of the Paris killers) we know that he was actually radicalised by a curious and quite young (20 year old) preacher who was operating very much outside of the mainstream teachings of his religion.
    It seemed at the time that Benyettou, the young guru figure by whom Kouachi was enthralled, used methods similar to those of a sect.

    “He made him feel important, he listened to him, recognised him as an individual … Chérif Kouachi was fragile, looking for a family … he didn’t have a family he could turn to for support.”

    At that point, the young Kouachi, known as Abou Issen in the group, didn’t seem structured in his thinking. “He couldn’t differentiate between Islam and Catholicism” and wasn’t well educated, said the source.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/12/-sp-charlie-hebdo-attackers-kids-france-radicalised-paris

    Strange sects and weird cults are a problem in all the religions. To decide in an authoritative way that they are or are not members of the parent religion, it helps to have a defined authority such as the Pope for Roman Catholics. In Hinduism, sects tend to be focused on following a specific leader or guru. In Islam, there is a complex social process at work by which the relative status of teachers can be determined but there is no longer a definitive Caliphate let alone Pope figure. In Christianity, there are and always have been countless separate groups claiming adherents and seeking recognition. That, for example, is what drove the Emperor Constantine to convene and preside over the first Council of Nicea. In Judaism at the time of Jesus we know there were quite a number of thriving sects vying for attention and there is a suggestion that Jesus may have been a member of one. For lists of sects and cults in various countries, see
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governmental_lists_of_cults_and_sects
  11. 16 Jan '15 18:19
    Originally posted by C Hess to Eladar
    I would say that if you claim to believe in and follow a specific religion, and your actions can be squared with the teachings of said religion, then you get to say you're a member of said religion. This is how we get to call Hitler a roman catholic, and both terrorist and non-terrorist muslims muslims. Religion is like that. It can be bent to fit any political agenda.
    "This is how we get to call Hitler a roman catholic ..."
    --C Hess

    As a historian, I don't regard the *adult* Hitler as a 'Roman Catholic' in any
    meaningful sense. I know of no evidence that Hitler participated in any of
    the activities (e.g. Mass) that faithful Roman Catholics normally do. I know
    of no evidence that Hitler respected the spiritual authority of the Pope.

    Is the Lord's Resistance Army Christian?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord%27s_Resistance_Army
  12. 16 Jan '15 18:41 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Eladar
    I hear all this talk about how these supposed Islamic Terrorists are not Muslims and that they are trying to hijack the religion?

    Who gets to decide that the terrorists and those who support them are not Muslims? They believe they are Muslims. Generally people get to call themselves whatever they want to call themselves.

    Who has the right to define what is Islamic and what is not?
    I think a fundamental question is, cui bono? Who benefits from popular acceptance of a label that is put on a particular person or group? What purpose is served? What are the intended effects? It seems to me that a Muslim or Muslim group would benefit in the broader society by distancing themselves from terrorists, but would risk attack from the very same persons that they distance themselves from. It could very well be the case that the labeling is a pragmatic necessity that requires careful calibration.
  13. 16 Jan '15 23:23 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    Political leaders have two choices. They can say that Islam is the problem, thus declaring war on billions around the globe in one breath, or they can say that violence that comes as a result of Islam has nothing to do with Islam. If nothing else, it helps defuse the hostilities a bit and buys them some more time.
    I'd say politicians have one choice, speak the truth.

    Why not simply say we are at war with Jihadist terrorists and those who would support them?

    Why deny the Muslim psychologist who killed US soldiers in a Jihadist rage is anything but a Muslim jihadist? Because people like you won't question?
  14. 16 Jan '15 23:25
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Agreed. Now if only you could remind yourself of this every once in a while...
    I am aware of this fact all of the time.

    I can say that believe another person is this or not that, but that is simply an opinion. When Obama speaks he tries to pass it off as absolute truth.

    I love how the government goes out of its way to give these terrorists Korans and Islamic compliant diet while in prison, but they do not recognize them as Muslim in public.
  15. 16 Jan '15 23:26
    Originally posted by JS357
    I think a fundamental question is, cui bono? Who benefits from popular acceptance of a label that is put on a particular person or group? What purpose is served? What are the intended effects? It seems to me that a Muslim or Muslim group would benefit in the broader society by distancing themselves from terrorists, but would risk attack from the very same pers ...[text shortened]... y well be the case that the labeling is a pragmatic necessity that requires careful calibration.
    As long as rich Muslims have big money behind the scenes, the paid for politicians and paid for journalists will play the correct tune.

    I think I heard Pat Buchannan spewing pro Islamic tripe on the radio today.