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View Full Version : Mehdi Hasan - Islam Is A Peaceful Religion. Oxford Union debate.



Yossarian
22nd November 2014, 15:47
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Absolutely brilliant.

CricketCartoons
22nd November 2014, 17:24
Already a thread on this. http://www.pakpassion.net/ppforum/showthread.php?181756-British-Journalist-Mehdi-Hasan-at-Oxford-Union-Debate-on-Islam!-Must-Watch

CricketCartoons
22nd November 2014, 17:27
And i still have problem at what he says at 1:50. That Al Khwarizimi came up with algebra and algorithms, as if these are singular inventions, and not an entire field of study.

Yossarian
22nd November 2014, 18:09
And i still have problem at what he says at 1:50. That Al Khwarizimi came up with algebra and algorithms, as if these are singular inventions, and not an entire field of study.That's just nitpicking, as opposed to understanding the general gist of the speech.

CricketCartoons
22nd November 2014, 18:18
That's just nitpicking, as opposed to understanding the general gist of the speech.

May be, but I am more interested in science and mathematics than religions, and what he said was wrong. that doesn't mean that the rest of his points are wrong ( didn't watch beyond that). but it is important not to get carried away just because he is debating islamophobes, and think every point of his is right.

Varun
22nd November 2014, 18:30
That bit about shedding away 16,000 Muslim suicide bombers as being supposedly only 0.01% of the global Islamic population and therefore, 99.9% aren't wasn't the way to go I reckon. The obvious follow-up to that would be questioning the lack of even a 1,000 such suicide bombers across any of the other faiths.

CricketCartoons
22nd November 2014, 18:30
That's just nitpicking, as opposed to understanding the general gist of the speech.

Just went beyond the 2 minutes, and watched most of the video. it seems he is debating with a bigot (someone who is saying christianity is good and islam is bad), and bigots only understand their own language, which mehdi hasan is doing nicely to shut him up.

CricketCartoons
22nd November 2014, 18:32
That bit about shedding away 16,000 Muslim suicide bombers as being supposedly only 0.01% of the global Islamic population and therefore, 99.9% aren't wasn't the way to go I reckon. The obvious follow-up to that would be questioning the lack of even a 1,000 such suicide bombers across any of the other faiths.

he has a good point, that the extremists are mainly political and religion is used out of context by them. just look at any place where there is terrorism, and you will see political reasons. not that i am a fan of religion.

Yossarian
22nd November 2014, 18:36
May be, but I am more interested in science and mathematics than religions, and what he said was wrong. that doesn't mean that the rest of his points are wrong ( didn't watch beyond that). but it is important not to get carried away just because he is debating islamophobes, and think every point of his is right.Well the debate was about religion and not about science and mathematics, which is presumably why you started reading the thread since neither science nor mathematics is mentioned in the thread title or in the OP whereas religion is. The mathematics was just a passing reference in the speech and not the central point.

CricketCartoons
22nd November 2014, 18:39
Well the debate was about religion and not about science and mathematics, which is presumably why you started reading the thread since neither science nor mathematics is mentioned in the thread title or in the OP whereas religion is. The mathematics was just a passing reference in the speech and not the central point.

yes, but that passing reference was wrong. when you review journals, even catching a minor mistake is worthy contribution. i agree with his central point though. but let that not cloud our senses that his every point was right.

Yossarian
22nd November 2014, 18:41
That bit about shedding away 16,000 Muslim suicide bombers as being supposedly only 0.01% of the global Islamic population and therefore, 99.9% aren't wasn't the way to go I reckon. The obvious follow-up to that would be questioning the lack of even a 1,000 such suicide bombers across any of the other faiths.And yet another one who failed to comprehend the gist of the speech. Surprised you even bothered watching the clip.

Yossarian
22nd November 2014, 18:48
yes, but that passing reference was wrong. when you review journals, even catching a minor mistake is worthy contribution. i agree with his central point though. but let that not cloud our senses that his every point was right.Are you complaining that he was completely wrong about the passing reference to Al Khwarizimi and the algebra and algorithms or that the reference to Al Khwarizimi implied he played a bigger part in algebra and algorithms than he did? If the former then fair enough, but if the latter ... then as I said, nitpicking.

Varun
22nd November 2014, 18:48
And yet another one who failed to comprehend the gist of the speech. Surprised you even bothered watching the clip.

Clearly you're going to disagree with everyone on this thread unless they type out what you want to hear in a requisite predetermined fashion.

Yossarian
22nd November 2014, 18:51
Clearly you're going to disagree with everyone on this thread unless they type out what you want to hear in a requisite predetermined fashion.And clearly you didn't understand the point of the whole speech and the reason for the debate.

CricketCartoons
22nd November 2014, 18:59
Are you complaining that he was completely wrong about the passing reference to Al Khwarizimi and the algebra and algorithms or that the reference to Al Khwarizimi implied he played a bigger part in algebra and algorithms than he did? If the former then fair enough, but if the latter ... then as I said, nitpicking.

that is the problem with the world. if there is a passing reference against religion, it snowballs into a controversy and human calories are wasted. but a wrong passing reference on science, and it is nitpicking. science to me is what is religion to you.

Yossarian
22nd November 2014, 19:05
that is the problem with the world. if there is a passing reference against religion, it snowballs into a controversy and human calories are wasted. but a wrong passing reference on science, and it is nitpicking. science to me is what is religion to you.Don't assume my background. FYI my degree at uni was in a scientic field. And my interest in religion is more of a passing interest than of living my life according to strict religious norms.

CricketCartoons
22nd November 2014, 19:11
Don't assume my background. FYI my degree at uni was in a scientic field. And my interest in religion is more of a passing interest than of living my life according to strict religious norms.

I have seen your posts enough to know your views. Yes you dont believe in literal interpretation of your religion, but religion is still central to your life, or does science supersede religion for you?

shaykh
22nd November 2014, 19:14
First 5 minutes are on point...

The disagreement I have is he makes that mistake of judging a religion by its people when religions should be judged on their scriptures...

So Christianity can be brutal...but many Christians are not...this is because the majority of Christians don't follow their faith anymore...

He's doing what his opposition does where he uses people to judge a religion which is a silly position to take really...the likes of Daniel that blame things on Islam is just as weak as Mehdi Hasans 0.0001% comment...

Religions are judged by scriptures...they aren't judged by their followers...i agree the majority of Muslims are peaceful...I also agree the majority of Muslims don't believe that homosexuals should be killed...no apostates should be killed...does this mean Islam doesnt say this?...

I know plenty of Muslims who drink and have sex before marriage...does the prevalence of such behavior mean Islam permits such behavior...no you look at scripture...

This approach to debate is what made Bill Mahers position so weak...and Mehdi Hasan does the same thing albeit for the other side...

What I do find funny Yossarian is you attacked me constantly for using the term mainstream Islam...yet you are calling Mehdi Hasan brilliant for doing exactly the same thing ;) ...

In short you're looking for the answers you want and Mehdi Hasan gives you the one you want...

Yossarian
22nd November 2014, 19:18
I have seen your posts enough to know your views. Yes you dont believe in literal interpretation of your religion, but religion is still central to your life Errr... No.

or does science supersede religion for you?Yes.

CricketCartoons
22nd November 2014, 19:20
He's doing what his opposition does where he uses people to judge a religion which is a silly position to take really...the likes of Daniel that blame things on Islam is just as weak as Mehdi Hasans 0.0001% comment...


tbf, mehdi hasan admitted that he is doing what his opposition was doing, hoisting him by his own petard.

Yossarian
22nd November 2014, 19:23
First 5 minutes are on point...

The disagreement I have is he makes that mistake of judging a religion by its people when religions should be judged on their scriptures...

So Christianity can be brutal...but many Christians are not...this is because the majority of Christians don't follow their faith anymore...

He's doing what his opposition does where he uses people to judge a religion which is a silly position to take really...the likes of Daniel that blame things on Islam is just as weak as Mehdi Hasans 0.0001% comment...

Religions are judged by scriptures...they aren't judged by their followers...i agree the majority of Muslims are peaceful...I also agree the majority of Muslims don't believe that homosexuals should be killed...no apostates should be killed...does this mean Islam doesnt say this?...

I know plenty of Muslims who drink and have sex before marriage...does the prevalence of such behavior mean Islam permits such behavior...no you look at scripture...

This approach to debate is what made Bill Mahers position so weak...and Mehdi Hasan does the same thing albeit for the other side...

What I do find funny Yossarian is you attacked me constantly for using the term mainstream Islam...yet you are calling Mehdi Hasan brilliant for doing exactly the same thing ;) ...

In short you're looking for the answers you want and Mehdi Hasan gives you the one you want...Here we go again. shaykh and his fixation with 'scriptures', most of which he takes out of context, whereas the debate is about Muslims, Islam, and the reality of how 99.999% of Muslims live their lives today, ie peacefully and not going around randomly killing 'non-believers'.

Fastandfurious
22nd November 2014, 19:30
Lol Shaykh is here.:facepalm:

shaykh
22nd November 2014, 19:32
The bizarre thing here is Hasan actually says to be agnostic is the rational position ;)...Mehdi Hasan looks a lot weaker when debating with atheists...

He even resorts to lying or ignorance of the fact that Islam claims the world was created in 6 days...

His 'prove it' argument was awful...you need to prove something does exist not the other way round...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGgw9YvXK-A

shaykh
22nd November 2014, 19:38
Here we go again. shaykh and his fixation with 'scriptures', most of which he takes out of context, whereas the debate is about Muslims, Islam, and the reality of how 99.999% of Muslims live their lives today, ie peacefully and not going around randomly killing 'non-believers'.

So what?...

Like i have said there are two things at play here...scripture itself and individual adherence...

Mehdi Hasans whole argument was fixated on showing how many people follow a rule...there was little on scripture...

Here is a simple question...the majority of Muslims i know are not homophobic...does this mean Islam is not homophobic?...

I actually dislike the oppositions approach to Islam as I do Hasans...they use scripture to generalize people...while Hasan uses people to determine scripture...

They are two separate discussions...

Yossarian
22nd November 2014, 19:39
Lol Shaykh is here.:facepalm:Seem's as if his time as a muslim was spent immersing himself in the literal meanings of religious texts. He seem's to have learned everything, but understood nothing, about Islam or Muslims. Makes you wonder, during his time as a Muslim, if he ever mixed with the average Muslim going about his day to day life instead of spending all his time with extremists and fundamentalists, ie the types who join the IS or the TTP.

Fastandfurious
22nd November 2014, 19:41
Seem's as if his time as a muslim was spent immersing himself in the literal meanings of religious texts. He seem's to have learned everything, but understood nothing, about Islam or Muslims. Makes you wonder, during his time as a Muslim, if he ever mixed with the average Muslim going about his day to day life instead of spending all his time with exremists and fundamentalists, ie the types who join the IS or the TTP.

I've dealt with too many of his kind. Best to ignore em.

shaykh
22nd November 2014, 19:42
tbf, mehdi hasan admitted that he is doing what his opposition was doing, hoisting him by his own petard.

Thats not what im referring to...

I'm referring to his 0.0001% comment as a point of reference...

Muslims arent warlike I completely agree...this is a discussion of adherents...

Mehdi Hasans reasoning is the following:

Majority of Muslims aren't violent therefore Islam isn't violent...

His opponents position...

Islamic scripture is violent therefore all Muslims are violent...

Both are as weak as each other...

Yossarian
22nd November 2014, 21:04
I've dealt with too many of his kind. Best to ignore em.Sound advice. Although he's now started another thread, on virtually the same topic but with a different thread title, using more or less the same examples he was trying to show in this thread. Quite pathetic actually.

shaykh
23rd November 2014, 00:05
Lol ok Yossarian lets do things your way...no need for scholarship so lets look at verses standalone...there are 109 verses about war with disbelievers...here are but a few...and I will only use the Quran...

Quran (2:191-193) - "And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief] is worse than killing...
but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)"

Quran (2:244) - "Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things."

Quran (2:216) - "Fighting is prescribed for you,

Quran (3:151) - "Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority".

Quran (4:74) - "Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward."

Quran (4:89) - "They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks."

Quran (5:33) - "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement"

Quran (8:12) - "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"

Quran (9:29) - "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."

Quran (9:123) - "O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness."

Sandeep
23rd November 2014, 00:08
People judge religions by the people that follow it and unfortunately, Islam has it's share of screwed up fundamentalists.. Most religions have them.. I don't know what Quran says so can't comment

shaykh
23rd November 2014, 00:11
Here we go again. shaykh and his fixation with 'scriptures', most of which he takes out of context, whereas the debate is about Muslims, Islam, and the reality of how 99.999% of Muslims live their lives today, ie peacefully and not going around randomly killing 'non-believers'.

Thats interesting...as someone who doesnt believe in hadith or scholarship i would like to hear how you personally contextualize verses...

The verses I put above would be a good start...

Cpt. Rishwat
23rd November 2014, 00:14
I haven't watched the video but I would say yes, Islam is a peaceful religion. But it is also a violent religion as some of the Quranic scriptures show. Peaceful sometimes and violent sometimes, nothing much has changed all over the world in that sense. Otherwise why would we need armies, bombs or guns?

sh47
23rd November 2014, 00:56
why are peeps misunderstanding shaykh? i don't see him taking certain verses from scriptures out of context just that mehdi's argument is not based on scriptures, if i am right reading shakykhs post he is saying mehdhi should be explaining the context of scripture which extremists interpret in their own way to justify their evil deeds. But then again i don't know if mehdi is a scholar educated in tafseer etc and even then scholars don't always find a degree of consistency between each other which can satisfy us all. Also given how the other dude was debating, i don't know if it would be appropriate to debate scripture and also given how his audience would be unfamiliar with it maybe that's why he focused on people in his bid to vanquish the general islamaphobic views certain stray bigot folk have

just saying
23rd November 2014, 01:06
Here we go again. shaykh and his fixation with 'scriptures', most of which he takes out of context, whereas the debate is about Muslims, Islam, and the reality of how 99.999% of Muslims live their lives today, ie peacefully and not going around randomly killing 'non-believers'.

Almost all Muslim majority countries do not give equal rights to their Non-muslim citizens, e.g. a Pakistani Non-muslim citizen cannot be a President, PM, Speaker of Parliament,.....of Pakistan.

99.9999% of Pakistani Muslims did not kill Salman Taseer, but the percentage of supporters of the murderer of Salman Taseer may well be in the double digits.

Yossarian
23rd November 2014, 04:09
Thats interesting...as someone who doesnt believe in hadith or scholarship i would like to hear how you personally contextualize verses...

The verses I put above would be a good start...I don't take things literally when it comes to religion. Full stop. So no point in quoting selective verses to me. That's your fixation, not mine.

Instead, here, let me quote you something I wrote in the other thread you started.


So called 'scholars' who interpret literally religious texts written hundreds or thousands of years ago have a few screws loose. And that applies to Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindu's et al.

Same goes for those who use the works of such 'scholars' to justify (their own) and/or malign (someone else's) religions.

Judging any religion due to a few nutcases claiming themselves to be it's followers, and/or judging any religion as a result of literal interpretations by so called 'scholars' ,says more about those who do the judging, and their lack of intelligence, than the topics of their judgements.so basically you are saying that scholars are obsolete, and scriptures should be interpreted metaphorically. so the verse about caste system is metaphor for something else, and casteism is not actually a part of hinduism?

and anyone who goes by literal translation is actually trying to malign the religion?

basically you are saying that, don't say anything about religion unless you have to say something nice about it.
In a sence, yes.

IMO I believe that every religion, at it's inception, came about in order to address issues and problems within a society. And the only reason it proliferated to the extent that the religion, any religion, managed to last, and expand, for hundreds or thousands of years is because, at it's heart, it successfully addressed issues that were beneficial to the peoples who followed it.

Of course there were many, but not the vast majority, who became followers due to forced conversions, fear and/or conquests. But even there, the descendents of these converts, generation after generation, would not have continued to be followers had they too not seen the benefits of following the religion..

So yes, at their heart, all religions are good and came about for good reasons.

As for the 'negative' aspects of the edicts of these religions, such as on homosexuality, let me turn the question around. Why do you think such views came about in the first place? And don't blame it on religion alone, since, historically, virtually every religion has similar views on topics such as this, and therefore you cannot claim that it was pure chance that religions, conceived in differing continents, different periods in history, all came to similar views just by chance or by collusion.

It must have been beneficial to society for such views to come about, take hold, and last for thousands of years.

shaykh
23rd November 2014, 07:03
I don't take things literally when it comes to religion. Full stop. So no point in quoting selective verses to me. That's your fixation, not mine.

Instead, here, let me quote you something I wrote in the other thread you started.

Lol you don't take things literally so do tell me what you think these verses mean...

Lol you insulted scholarship so i didn't bring that...you don't believe in hadith so i left that out of the discussion...and now i bring Quran and now you insult me for bringing verses of Quran to a discussion about Islam...

You call me quoting scripture during a discussion on Islam a fixation...bizarre frankly...so we can discuss Islam as long as we don't discuss Quran, hadith or scholarship...

Laughable frankly...

Yossarian
23rd November 2014, 16:02
Lol you don't take things literally so do tell me what you think these verses mean...

Lol you insulted scholarship so i didn't bring that...you don't believe in hadith so i left that out of the discussion...and now i bring Quran and now you insult me for bringing verses of Quran to a discussion about Islam...

You call me quoting scripture during a discussion on Islam a fixation...bizarre frankly...so we can discuss Islam as long as we don't discuss Quran, hadith or scholarship...

Laughable frankly...It's very easy to randomly pick a quotation here or there, interpret it literally, take it out of context, and post it in a discussion. Especially when trying to portray a particular religion in a negative light. Unlike you, I don't play that game. I will simply refer you to what I wrote earlier : "So yes, at their heart, all religions are good and came about for good reasons. "

If you don't like my answer - tough!

DeadlyVenom
23rd November 2014, 16:08
Not followed all the posts in much detail but generally Shaykh has a decent grounding in Islamic thought/history of scholarly opinions.

Interesting discussion overall.

Yossarian
23rd November 2014, 16:33
Not followed all the posts in much detail but generally Shaykh has a decent grounding in Islamic thought/history of scholarly opinions.

Interesting discussion overall.Not denying he has a very detailed knowledge about Islam. Much more so than most on this forum, including myself. However, having knowledge is one thing, understanding it is another. And coupled with having an agenda to portray said religion in a negative light, a tendency not uncommon when attempting to justify abandoning a faith that one had spent so much time following, studying and immersing oneself in, it's not difficult for someone with that detailed knowledge of thousands years old religious texts, to pick and choose, take out of context, interpret literally and present it as the true face and absolute truth of said religion..... to paraphrase "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned".

DeadlyVenom
23rd November 2014, 16:46
Not denying he has a very detailed knowledge about Islam. Much more so than most on this forum, including myself. However, having knowledge is one thing, understanding it is another. And coupled with having an agenda to portray said religion in a negative light, a tendency not uncommon when attempting to justify abandoning a faith that one had spent so much time following, studying and immersing oneself in, it's not difficult for someone with that detailed knowledge of thousands years old religious texts, to pick and choose, take out of context, interpret literally and present it as the true face and absolute truth of said religion..... to paraphrase "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned".

Without wanting to make this a discussion about Shaykh and diverting from Mehdis excellent video you posted on OP, I think you are a bit harsh when it comes to Shaykhs POV ( because he is no longer a believer in Islam). Like it or not what he presents is (generally) the accepted view of Muslims for generations.

Although you may disagree with him ( as you have every right to) you have reduced the argument to make it appear it is Shaykhs POV you are disagreeing with, however he is merely presenting the views of others considered orthodox ( you have made it quite clear you disagree with all those others considered orthodox, which again you have every right to).

Just thought I'd point out that Shaykh may be a woman scorned but millions of people who are not scorned interpret the scriptures the same way as the interpretations he presents.

Yossarian
23rd November 2014, 17:46
Without wanting to make this a discussion about Shaykh and diverting from Mehdis excellent video you posted on OP, I think you are a bit harsh when it comes to Shaykhs POV ( because he is no longer a believer in Islam). Like it or not what he presents is (generally) the accepted view of Muslims for generations.

Although you may disagree with him ( as you have every right to) you have reduced the argument to make it appear it is Shaykhs POV you are disagreeing with, however he is merely presenting the views of others considered orthodox ( you have made it quite clear you disagree with all those others considered orthodox, which again you have every right to).

Just thought I'd point out that Shaykh may be a woman scorned but millions of people who are not scorned interpret the scriptures the same way as the interpretations he presents.Generally speaking, I will agree with you. Let me give a parallel example if I may.

In the UK Parliament, every member of the Govt., from the Prime Minister & Cabinet Ministers down to the most junior Govt. post holder, have to publically support and agree with with every single Govt. policy going, every single point in the party manifesto, endorse every single statement by the PM or senior Minister, no matter what - or resign.

Similarly, does anyone honestly think that all, or even the majority, or even the most fundamentalists of Muslims, or even a single muslim out of billions, privately believes in every aspect of every religious text within Islam? Because if they did, wouldn't they then live their life accordingly, especially if they are a 'true' believer? Can anyone give an example of a single Muslim, out of billions, even the most pious Imam or respected Muslim scholar, who lives their lives in the perfectly compliant manner as per the religious texts?

And yet, how many Muslims will disagree with the same texts when publically asked the question? So what do you say if then selective verses are taken out of context, taken literally, and claim that because a Muslim believes in Islam he therefore must be in agreement with and supporting everyone of such verses in the manner portrayed? And then ask that Muslim publically to give an answer of 'yes' or 'no', akin to the UK Govt example? Do you think any devout Muslim will say, publically, even to close friends or even family members, that they don't believe in every aspect of these religious texts in the manner described?

Does that help to explain where I'm coming from?

DeadlyVenom
23rd November 2014, 19:25
Generally speaking, I will agree with you. Let me give a parallel example if I may.

In the UK Parliament, every member of the Govt., from the Prime Minister & Cabinet Ministers down to the most junior Govt. post holder, have to publically support and agree with with every single Govt. policy going, every single point in the party manifesto, endorse every single statement by the PM or senior Minister, no matter what - or resign.

Government statements are generally within the boundaries of the way the party leans in the political spectrum. Most policies even if slightly disagreeable to some people will generally fall within the traditional left/right/centrist leanings of the party. So while some might not support the exact policy/statement they will accept it if its still principally similar to their political beliefs or of course for reasons of opportunism, career progression and even compromise for the sake of clinging onto power. In some political philosophies despite finding the opinion disagreeable they may pursue it thinking the proposer of the philosophy knows better and hence should be followed.

In religion you could see similar trends, if someone finds something disagreeable they will either try to rationalise it by claiming it to be metaphorical,not accepted literally but agree with the principle, follow it despite disagreeing with it ( as the creator knows best) or 'resign' from the religion.


Similarly, does anyone honestly think that all, or even the majority, or even the most fundamentalists of Muslims, or even a single muslim out of billions, privately believes in every aspect of every religious text within Islam? Because if they did, wouldn't they then live their life accordingly, especially if they are a 'true' believer? Can anyone give an example of a single Muslim, out of billions, even the most pious Imam or respected Muslim scholar, who lives their lives in the perfectly compliant manner as per the religious texts?

Yes - I think the majority of adherents of a religion do accept every single word of the religious texts as truth both publicly and privately. Can I provide examples - no, but there is no need to. Islam for example acknowledges that humans are by nature flawed. The goal of religion is not to be perfect but to strive towards perfection. Perfection is unattainable, it is expected that sinners will seen but it is also expected of them to seek repentance for their actions and to attempt to control them.


And yet, how many Muslims will disagree with the same texts when publically asked the question? So what do you say if then selective verses are taken out of context, taken literally, and claim that because a Muslim believes in Islam he therefore must be in agreement with and supporting everyone of such verses in the manner portrayed? And then ask that Muslim publically to give an answer of 'yes' or 'no', akin to the UK Govt example? Do you think any devout Muslim will say, publically, even to close friends or even family members, that they don't believe in every aspect of these religious texts in the manner described?

Does that help to explain where I'm coming from?

I disagree fully with your assertion that no Muslim will 'agree' in totality with their religious texts. I can't provide statistics etc to back up my POV but know from personal experience ( which you are free to accept or reject).

I think a breakdown of people adhering to a religion is as follows.

1. Believe everything and accept it happily
2. Believe everything find some parts difficult to accept but believe that the messenger was truthful, scholarly interpretations are also truthful so accept these parts as these people know better.
3. Believe in broad principles but pick and choose what they think is acceptable.

I think that the majority of people fall into section 2 with a large minority in 1.

shaykh
23rd November 2014, 20:03
It's very easy to randomly pick a quotation here or there, interpret it literally, take it out of context, and post it in a discussion. Especially when trying to portray a particular religion in a negative light. Unlike you, I don't play that game. I will simply refer you to what I wrote earlier : "So yes, at their heart, all religions are good and came about for good reasons. "

If you don't like my answer - tough!

Its not about liking your answer...its just your answer is an empty one...

You make an accusation that I place verses out of context...and herein lies the point...I am asking you to provide the context...what do these verses mean?...fact is without scholarship or hadith how are you to view these verses other than literal...

The reason i posted those verses isn't to display how violent Islam is but rather to show how verses look without a context...it is the things you don't believe in that actually provide context...I have never argued from a literalist position...you make accusations which you don't back up...

If you are going to tell me that I have picked verses out of context then tell me with your Quran only position how to contextualize these verses...

Its actually with scholarship that laws of war are determined...Islamic Just War theory is a vast field...yet you reject all of this because you prefer your own subjective unqualified interpretations...i have simply asked you what a verse like 'kill them wherever you see them' is about when placed in isolation...

shaykh
23rd November 2014, 20:27
Without wanting to make this a discussion about Shaykh and diverting from Mehdis excellent video you posted on OP, I think you are a bit harsh when it comes to Shaykhs POV ( because he is no longer a believer in Islam). Like it or not what he presents is (generally) the accepted view of Muslims for generations.

Although you may disagree with him ( as you have every right to) you have reduced the argument to make it appear it is Shaykhs POV you are disagreeing with, however he is merely presenting the views of others considered orthodox ( you have made it quite clear you disagree with all those others considered orthodox, which again you have every right to).

Just thought I'd point out that Shaykh may be a woman scorned but millions of people who are not scorned interpret the scriptures the same way as the interpretations he presents.

And this is the point...I have at no point provided my own interpretations...I am not a scholar and am not qualified to do so...

And I would have disagreed with Mehdi Hasan when i was a Muslim for the same reasons...I believed in Islamic expansionism before as i do now...the difference is now i don't agree with it...i never believed Islam to be a peaceful religion...the results are the same but my conclusions are different...

My basic point in this context isn't even an attack on Islam...its on the method provided...when one is discussing religion then one should use scripture...not give examples of people...its this weak level of reasoning where people conclude that female genital mutilation is an Islamic issue...where things like honor killings are Islamic...these are false assertions but with Mehdis criteria one can make these assertions...

I have been attacked on quite a straightforward point...I will give my initial example again if you didn't catch it...

if the majority if Muslims begin to drink then does this make it Islamically acceptable?...i'll give another example...a girl the other day said its stupid to segregate at weddings and that the wedding she had been to was the first segregated wedding she had been to...her conclusion using Mehdis criteria was that segregation was extreme...not an iota of scripture but a conclusion she made simply from judging her secular friends and presuming the majority indicated what was correct...I would have critiqued her point the same way as a Muslim and as a non Muslim...

Mamoon
24th November 2014, 05:16
The problem with all these defenders of religion is that the only reason they are now standing on different platforms and providing justifications is because they were brought up to believe in Islam (and same goes for other religions as well), were brainwashed during childhood and were programmed to believe that the religion in which they were born by chance is the correct one.

He'd be defending some other faith now if he wasn't born a Muslim or could even be finding loopholes in Islam. This is a bitter truth they cannot digest. 90% of the people today believe in a particular religion simply because they were born into it and leaving your religion is an extremely hard thing to do because you have been brainwashed and even you try to study different religions with an open mind, you cannot because you already have a strong bias implanted in your brain.

The same bias allows you to overlook the issues within your religion which wouldn't have seemed justifiable to you if you weren't born in this faith and what now looks wrong to you in religion XYZ would have looked perfectly reasonable if you would have grown believing in those particular faiths.

This is why I have great respect for converts - irrespective of which religion they leave or switch over to. It takes tremendous amount of willpower and ability to overcome all the prejudices that have infected your brain since childhood.

Can't take all these scholars seriously who would be parroting about how Hinduism/Christianity is the best religion if he weren't born into a Muslim family.

People like Hamza Yusuf and Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam are truly inspirational and worth listening to.

sh47
24th November 2014, 05:45
The problem with all these defenders of religion is that the only reason they are now standing on different platforms and providing justifications is because they were brought up to believe in Islam (and same goes for other religions as well), were brainwashed during childhood and were programmed to believe that the religion in which they were born by chance is the correct one.

He'd be defending some other faith now if he wasn't born a Muslim or could even be finding loopholes in Islam. This is a bitter truth they cannot digest. 90% of the people today believe in a particular religion simply because they were born into it and leaving your religion is an extremely hard thing to do because you have been brainwashed and even you try to study different religions with an open mind, you cannot because you already have a strong bias implanted in your brain.

The same bias allows you to overlook the issues within your religion which wouldn't have seemed justifiable to you if you weren't born in this faith and what now looks wrong to you in religion XYZ would have looked perfectly reasonable if you would have grown believing in those particular faiths.

This is why I have great respect for converts - irrespective of which religion they leave or switch over to. It takes tremendous amount of willpower and ability to overcome all the prejudices that have infected your brain since childhood.

Can't take all these scholars seriously who would be parroting about how Hinduism/Christianity is the best religion if he weren't born into a Muslim family.

People like Hamza Yusuf and Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam are truly inspirational and worth listening to.

So a born Muslim is not a true Muslim and all he says is invalid? and so are his intentions while his beliefs are not sincere given he was brainwashed from childhood? i find it difficult to look at it from that perspective given not all Muslim just eat what they are fed, in fact as a Muslim it's important to seek knowledge from all quarters to strengthen faith.

"Brainwash" is a strong word to use when naturally through evolution and past generations the faith of Islam behaves as a chain link, how does that make ones perceptions or beliefs flawed? i agree converts make some of the best Muslims but you can't generalize that all Muslims just blindly believe what they are told. Tbh even those who are not practicing Muslims have sincere belief in the one god and it's a lot easier to leave the religion in the West without a fear of death yet many choose not to and we can't put this down to one having been "brainwashed" since birth.

Yeah those guys are great, ever listened to Timothy Winter?

sh47
24th November 2014, 05:48
Mamoon maybe you were exposed to an environment where seeking knowledge was not encouraged given that you were only required to know the constituents of Islam, i think that environment or your teacher was very bad had he been a good one he would have encouraged intricate study of Islam, science and other religions. Because the more you know the better and it also strengthens your own beliefs/faith

Mamoon
24th November 2014, 16:03
I was exposed to an environment with no religious pressures. No one told me to not question anything related to religion and nor was I patronized into believing anything and this is why I have my doubts over various aspects of religion - things are are simply not clear and inexcusable.

I am not generalizing, but 90% of the Muslims are Muslims only because they were born as Muslims. Today we would could easily have been Catholics (assuming you are not a convert to Islam) and we would have strong belief even then.

The reason why I respect converts much more than general scholars is because I find their views very practical and dynamic compared to your run-of-the-mill Maulvis.

Brain washing and blind faith is indeed pivotal to any religion and the foundation for the I am right and you are wrong dogma. In Islam there is too much importance on the distinction between a Muslim and a non-Muslim. Any Muslim child born into a religious family is made to believe that he's following the true religion. He grows up believing that without taking into account that he could be wrong.

When he tries to look into other religions, even if he thinks he's adopting a neutral position he is not - the basis of the research is how other religions match up to Islam, not what they represent in isolation.

The natural bias of a born Muslim cannot be denied.