Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Problem(s) With Islam

The derivative religion of Islam, founded in the seventh century by Mohammad, a man held in such high regard that he may as well be a deity beyond question or criticism, has made itself run afoul of most public opinion with its propensity toward violence, gender and cultural chauvinism and failed states. These socio-political effects are seen readily and can be derided and condemned. But theologically, how strong is Islam? Is it a faith that can survive spiritual weathering? Are its foundations strong?

A few things to consider, aside from the origins of Islam, are how God is perceived, His capabilities and how Muslims may conduct themselves.

First of all, as was stated before, Islam is a derivative religion preceded by Judaism and its divergent off-shoot, Christianity. While Judaism boasts a covenant with God and Christianity has Jesus Christ as its head, Islam holds Mohammad, who waged brutal war against those who did not believe in the religion he founded, whose opinion of women was low and who married a six year old girl, the man as its model for how its adherents behave.There is no central authority as the final arbiter of form and matter or to rein in its clerics, no room for interpretation of a chronologically incongruous text nor has any major change taken place since Islam was founded. The religion operates very much the same way it has for centuries.

So when Islamic clerics wildly claim that Christmas, which celebrates the birth of a man they don't believe is the Son of God, is a time of fornication and evil, who supports or negates them? No one. Indeed, even wishing someone a Merry Christmas is like professing Christianity or admitting that Jesus is God rather than getting into the spirit of things or even an act of civility. Cultural faux pas abound!

What is more is that even Christ's death is denied. This video put out by Answering Muslims carefully dissects (a thorough and wonderful job of it is done, too) the arguments of a Muslim speaker, Zakir Naik's, that God made it appear that Jesus died on the cross but did not in fact do so. God, or Allah, apparently is a better liar than the devil. The Roman soldiers, who had no side to pick one way or another and who not only scourged Jesus, marched Him to His death, nailed Him to a cross and witnessed Him expire, hence not breaking His legs, were lying? And why capitalise on the fact that the Jews were responsible for the death of a man who is not only not the Christ but did not even die? If Jesus didn't die, why bring it up? The Talmud also mentions Jesus’ death. Though the Koran (4:157) is quick to condemn the Jews for killing the man that Muslims do not believe is the Son of God, Jewish law dictated that trial and punishment would not occur so close to the Sabbath, making Jesus’ execution a Roman affair. But who instigated or carried out the death of Christ is a moot point as the Bible makes clear that Jesus was sacrificed for the sins of all.

This boils down to the crux of Islamic belief. First, that with God, something is impossible. If God is all-powerful, as even the Koran states, then why can't God take on human form, walk the Earth, die and rise back to life? If this is impossible, than what is greater than God? Or is it a matter of being unwilling to believe that God is capable of doing these things?  All things are possible with God, therefore, God can assume human form and save the world. That He chose one group of people in which to do this should not deprive all of humanity from the messages of peace and salvation. Christianity may have originated in Israel but does that mean people in Asia also cannot believe? The possibility of openness and universality seems lacking in the Islamic world if they cannot fathom that one man from one place came for all. Furthermore, this lack of belief not only makes God impotent but, if he is perceived as a liar, is cruel. Why believe in a higher being who is deceptive? It's one thing not to understand Divine plans; it's quite another to not care if whoever makes them is wicked.

Why labour under a religion where the Supreme Being is powerless and a liar? This negative view of God reflects on the people who hold that belief. They don't think much of Him but they do fear Him or at least those who say they know Him. Would it not be better to believe that a being who created the world can do other things, even forgive sins of others? Wouldn't that being give comfort and hope?


Anonymous said...

You have incorrect views of both Judaism and Islam. I think it would be best if you were to actually talk with a muslim person rather than assume things that are not correct

Osumashi Kinyobe said...


What parts were incorrect? You didn't point anything out.

The Koran does mention Jesus and denies that he is the Son of God. Naik's talk, very poorly sourced, denies that He died. Was that incorrect?

Patrick Dennehy said...

No no, you are just incorrect, I will not tell you why nor will I divulge my identity. I will just make a simple blanket statement that you are wrong and I don't need to say why...

Trolls are out in FULL FORCE today, It must be a Christian holiday. :\

Anonymous said...

Not sure if your inquiry is sincere---if it is...then please accept my apologies.

The prophet is not a diety or near- diety...Muslims are very strict about Tawheed.

voilence, gender inequality and failed states---while your observation is correct, your conclusion is simplisitc. There are complex geopolitical and socio-economic factors at play. Please read up on scholarly works.

The Prophet did not wage "brutal war, marry six yr old or treat women unkindly---He advocated Peace and made peace treaties with various tribes (622 CE), He made the Charter of Medina and put in place a system of mentorship in which immigrants to medina could find shelter with a "mentor family"(Ansar). He consulted with his wives on important state matters and advocated for laws that gave women inheritance and property well as the right to own and conduct business, write contracts...The right to marry and divorce....etc
Islam does not have a formal system of priests---it has scholars. You may want to listen to what they have to say---Such as Tariq Ramadan, Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, Sayyid Hosein Nasr...etc.

Jesus Christ(pbuh) sacrificed for the sin of all---Islam does not have "original sin" Human beings are inherently good and each person is responsible for the good/bad they do---neither good deeds nor bad deeds are inherited. Without original sin---there is no need for crucifixion.....
Why can't God take on human form?----Incarnation of the diety is a prevalent belief in Hinduism in which "God" takes on various "forms" such as half man, half elephant...etc. Christianity itself denies that God can take on any form---human or otherwise---with the single exception of that of Jesus. However, such a position does not make sense....either God can incarnate freely into any form or God does not incarnate at all because it is unnecessary. Islam takes the second position that it is not necessary for God to incarnate.

Forgive sins---In Islam God is most merciful, most compassionate and forgives those who ask for it.

Anonymous said...

"Islam is a derivative religion preceded by Judaism and its divergent off-shoot, Christianity."

I would say that this is incorrect.

Islam is a derivative of Arabic paganism. Many tenants of it are from Arabic paganism, from the name of their god, their beliefs (regarding the divine and other celestial beings), their customs, their (initial) acceptance of multiple gods, even down to how they worship that shiny black space rock.

To even imply that Islam could be called "Abrahamic" would be categorically incorrect.

The only similarity, besides the few passages from The Holy Bible, stolen, twisted and repeated ad infinitum, would be that Muhammed was presented as an "alternate Abraham." A man called from pagan stock to create a new religion.

~Your Brother~

Osumashi Kinyobe said...

Anonymous, thanks for responding.

RE: Mohammad: no prophet can be greater than God. No one holds Isaiah or the Gospel-writers above God. So why is Mohammad treated with such reverence that he cannot even be represented (or can he? - ) or the Koran critiqued? He is mentioned more than God. He is defended more than God. Indeed, God is called a liar better than the devil. This positions Mohammad in a role congruous to Buddha as the head of a religion. Either Muslims will have to re-think their religion or its image will remain as it is.

RE: Violence, ect- the sectarian violence as one may see in Pakistan for example relates to blasphemy laws that have no place in the twenty-first century. They are used as vendettas with horrible results. Coptic Christians, who have lived in Egypt longer than Muslims, are beaten, murdered and their churches burned. Same in Indonesia. All assailants act according to their religion. Christians in Egypt and Iraq are not wealthier than their Muslim counterparts. What socio-economic factors are there to consider? Even Mohammad commanded that "unbelievers" be killed (2:98, 8:39, ect).

RE: Women in Islam- Mohammad declared that women are inferior and are most likely in hell. No can one claim that women enjoy a special status in Islamic countries.

RE: Incarnation: in the Bible, the savior was chosen from God's people- the Hebrews- for all. My argument was that God can do anything. Anything. He made His Son (who is also Him- read about the Trinity) in human form. He could be tempted and resist. He could die and come back to life. There is salvation. That was God's plan. For this reason, it is necessary for God to be incarnate.

RE: scholars, ect: wouldn't Islam benefit from a central authority? That way believers would not have listen to one imam's teachings that contradict another's. The scholars you mentioned as not a going concern for anyone outside of Islam.

Thanks for posting.

Osumashi Kinyobe said...

Patrick, hi.

I wondered why Muslims don't accept that God can become incarnate. If God cannot do it, why? If He won't do it, why not? What is more acceptable to believes- a God who walks among us or a burning bush? I say the former.

Osumashi Kinyobe said...

El Barto, that is one bit of scholarly posting. As the Koran is heavily influenced by Arab culture and is chronologically incongruous, with no standard of interpretation, how else can it be seen?

Patrick Dennehy said...

First, let me apologize to Anonymous for jumping to conclusions and being critical. I had seen an influx in Christian mockery throughout the day and I reacted in a negative judgmental fashion.

Laws cannot be perverted, without the law first being written. Radical Islamist Fascists feel justified in their belief because it's been derived from there texts. That is verifiable and documented. I realize not all Muslims view there faith in this way but it cannot be denied that one could infer from the teachings, this kind of behavior.

"Islam is a derivative religion preceded by Judaism and its divergent off-shoot, Christianity."

This statement is absolutely correct, why one would argue against it, is beyond me.

If Mohammed was 'only' a messenger chosen by God. Not God incarnate. Why would he be held in any higher regard/reverence than Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Solomon, David etc.?

Excuse my apparent ignorance; It just doesn't make much sense to me..

Patrick Dennehy said...

" is the same in essence, whether given to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, may Allah exalt their mention, or to Muhammad . For the message it calls to is the same, and the source of unity is the revelation from Allah: "He has ordained for you the same religion (Islam) which He enjoined on Noah, and that which We have revealed to you, and which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses and Jesus: namely that you should remain steadfast in religion and be not divided therein.” ." -Quran 42:13

Patrick Dennehy said...

p.s. Is God omnipotent or not? (rhetorical)

"I wondered why Muslims don't accept that God can become incarnate."

Admitting that would give greater credence to Jesus. Although Jesus is superior in every way, shape, and form. Muslims must call into question anything that makes him superior to Muhammad. So, they must limit the power God has in the (multi)universe. Their beliefs are not consistent. That is why there are so many radical sects. "There is no central authority as the final arbiter of form and matter or to rein in its clerics" - That is the major issue. No shepard for the flock.

Osumashi Kinyobe said...

Hence, Mohammad is a deity of sorts.

God is seen as impotent and a liar in Islam. It still puzzles me.