Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Rightosphere Muslim Defense
Let me not leave you with the impression that all members of Ann Coulter Official Chat are ranting, thoughtless attackers of all that is Islam. Many, member fellow chatters in my group have been striving to elevate the discussion of Islam and to actually learn something about the Muslim faith, practices, and diversity of opinion. In light of my previous post, a very thoughtful ACOC friend sent me this contibution. With his permission, I repost it here.
Hi! I went a little long with this message so I decided to start off addressing your request for any good links. As far as moderate interpretations of Islam, I'm not aware of any that are better than the freemuslimcoalition that you're already aware of.
I have a few links that might be of interest.
These two organizations led the campaign to stop sharia tribunals here in Canada http://www.wluml.org/english/index.shtml (women living under muslim laws) Yes, religion is a more contentious issue than politics! I've been trying to understand religion and belief in God for almost 40 years. When it comes to belief, I've been all over the map since I was 12 years old. Way back then,growing up in a fundamentalist home, I was disturbed by an article I found in a book on zoology I received as a present.
It was about Ichneumonidae wasps that lay their eggs inside a live caterpillar. The larvae can only feed on live flesh, and as they hatch, they slowly devour their host. Even though they were just lowly insects, it made me wonder how and why an omniscient, caring God would create such a system. It seemed to only make sense in a dispassionate survival of the fittest sense. I did not receive any useful answers to the question and even though I never considered an advanced education in science or philosophy; since then I've spent a good portion of my spare time investigating science, religion and philosophy to try to find some satisfactory answers. From the beginning, I discovered that most people were not all that curious about these kind of anomalies or why there are so many different religions in the world.
When I was young, we kept changing churches as my father would keep finding inconsistencies in the beliefs of the new church and would move us on to a new one in a fruitless search for God's true church. Over the years, I've shifted from belief to nonbelief countless times, but I've always steered clear of religions that claim exclusive truth or salvation. This doesn't work for many people who seem to need a strict infallible dogma and a set of rules to follow. This has been a problem for many liberal churches that have tried to update their doctrines in the wake of social pressures or new scientific discoveries, and lose members in the process who start becoming suspicious of the church leadership. The fundamentalist churches ignore or oppose these pressures, but there are two problems with that approach.
ONE The opposition to new science(especially evolution, but also neuroscientists looking for the source of consciousness in the brain and new cosmological theories) encourage a hostility and lack of interest in science that some educators believe may already be endangering the U.S.'s dominance in many research areas. TWO When more than one religion claims exclusive revelation from God, someone has to be wrong. And that I believe, is the primary source of the hostility being expressed towards Islam.
If one church or a group of churches such as the evangelicals who insist on dispensationalist salvation, believe that their dogma holds the only salvation for all of mankind; having a foreign religion that views Jesus as just another prophet flourishing, might be seen as invalidating their claim to divine truth. And I believe this is why the true believers do not want to hear about moderate Muslims or compromises. Many of the posts on the Islam threads are fatalistic about an inevitable war with Islam based on their interpretations of the prophecies in Revelation. (I can't help notice how many members are using crusader avatars lately)
This reasoning is obviously being fueled by the pastors like John Hagee and Jack Van Impe, who are preaching that the Muslims will be the Antichrist's armies in the final battle of Armageddon.(A generation ago, the Soviet Union and China had that distinction) On the Muslim side, the fundamentalists like Ahmadinejad and Bin Laden are preaching that Mahdi will come to lead them to victory against the Jews and Christians in the final war. An innocent bystander can only conclude that fundamentalists on both sides either subconsciously or deliberately, are willing to risk destroying the planet in the goal of deciding religious supremacy.
So with all that going on, I hope that voices of moderation on both sides can encourage people to step back and consider the risks involved if they are wrong.