Religion, specifically christianity.

Snicky

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True, I'm all for having my religion being criticised or scrutinised, in fact I criticise or scrutinise a good 75% of what the clergymen tell me I should be believing. Like the whole depictions of Muhammad issue, I felt like people mocking him knew it would touch a nerve, but at the same time, if my community openly accepts Muhammad as someone who did X, Y and Z, then can we really blame people for not criticising him at least?
I just think that it's difficult to separate the beliefs from the believers when mocking. It's hard to mock a religion without also mocking the person who believes it.
It is, because it is very personal and that’s how it should stay. But in my opinion it’s necessary.
 

Sepp Blatter

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Same here, I agree, which is why I’m not mocking those people. Only the basis for their beliefs. Where does it stop if mocking beliefs is not allowed? Does anybody get a free ride? Are all beliefs free to be practised and preached? We do not have blasphemy laws in this country.

If religion was left alone there would have been no enlightenment, no separation of church and state. We would still be living under the medieval practices of church rule.
You are entitled to mock whoever you want. That's the beauty of free speech!

I have little time for anyone who tries to restrict that right through censorship, whether through trying to force changes in the law, or through threats of violence.

That said, as with the Alice Roberts tweet above, one important aspect of free speech is that it lets me make my own mind up about a person and their views.
 

Sepp Blatter

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Sadly a very high proportion of mosques don't have prayer rooms for women.

Mosques in Bosnia and so on allow women into the main prayer hall, but have a divider, the two holy mosques in Saudi Arabia allow women in the same prayer area as men. However, a woman in Preston can probably only pray in (I'd take a guess) three mosques at most. In some areas of the UK that number decreases further.

The United States mosques are better, generally because they haven't quite got the same sectarianism as over there. The Islamic community in Dearborn in Michigan being one example.
Something that will hopefully change over time. Women's rights in Islam is a very complicated subject!
 

daddyman16

Manager
Something that will hopefully change over time. Women's rights in Islam is a very complicated subject!
I actually wanted to train to become an imam and open my own Islamic centre that was fully open to women and people of all Islamic thought, but although I did get some encouragement, I was met mostly with death threats and mockery. You probably don't need any clues as to which gender reacted which way.
 

Sepp Blatter

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I actually wanted to train to become an imam and open my own Islamic centre that was fully open to women and people of all Islamic thought, but although I did get some encouragement, I was met mostly with death threats and mockery. You probably don't need any clues as to which gender reacted which way.
Ghost wrote a book about women's rights in the Middle East a few years ago and it was a eye-opening subject. Much more complex than people think - it's become part of the battle for democracy there and a lot of powerful people use the oppression of women simply as another means to control the population.

Not just men - a lot of rich, well-connected women subverted feminism because they feared young, well-educated women threatening the status quo.

Hope you manage to succeed in your aim - it's the only way it is going to change.
 

Liberation

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Ghost wrote a book about women's rights in the Middle East a few years ago and it was a eye-opening subject. Much more complex than people think - it's become part of the battle for democracy there and a lot of powerful people use the oppression of women simply as another means to control the population.

Not just men - a lot of rich, well-connected women subverted feminism because they feared young, well-educated women threatening the status quo.

Hope you manage to succeed in your aim - it's the only way it is going to change.

Isn't that how most religions have started throughout the ages? And to varying degrees some still do.
 

Snicky

Thorium Indium Potassium
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I actually wanted to train to become an imam and open my own Islamic centre that was fully open to women and people of all Islamic thought, but although I did get some encouragement, I was met mostly with death threats and mockery. You probably don't need any clues as to which gender reacted which way.
Wow, really?

The modernisers have a hell of a battle on their hands. Why do you think that is? The relinquishing of religion to free thought and the potential that Islam could go the same way as Christianity? Or similar to what Sepp mentioned, a much more base reason like lack of control and power?
 

Sepp Blatter

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Isn't that how most religions have started throughout the ages? And to varying degrees some still do.
Sometimes - no doubt about that.

Others, I suspect, are genuine attempts at exploring the universe through spirituality and the mind. Others start as a rebellion against oppression and the established order.

Doesn't stop them later morphing into ways of controlling people, of course, although you can say the same about most ideologies.
 

Schemer

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You do realise you’re not defending Islam here, you’re doing the opposite, you’re highlighting the issue and danger with upsetting certain followers of said religion. Why risk your life ?
Yes thanks, that wasn't the point of my post.
 

daddyman16

Manager
The modernisers have a hell of a battle on their hands. Why do you think that is?

Someone openly said online that they hoped that God would snap my neck, that's the sort of people I was dealing with. Islam is a tool like any other religion, you can either use that tool obnoxiously, destroying everything in sight, or you can use that tool, thoughtful of those around you, in a way that builds things rather than breaks them.

Traditionalists see reformists as trying to re-word and change the Qur'an to suit contemporary society, whereas reformists are only looking at the translations and how the Arabic words are interpreted.
As Muslims we can't change the word of God, but we can translate the Arabic words in different ways, because Semitic languages are made of words that have roots,so the word 'Salam', it's root is S-L-M, which forms the meaning of both peace and submission (Islam, Muslim, Assalam alaikum, all S-L-M derived words).
There might be a fear of losing power, but it's not at the forefront of a person's mind I don't think, because scholars really only hold so much power and influence, I couldn't even tell you the name of my local imam, that's the influence he has over me.

There's nothing unorthodox about women being allowed to pray in the same room as men, Muhammad allowed it, then Abu Bakr (the first caliph) changed it so that women were allowed but did so behind a roped off area, and then it was Umar a few years later who separated the genders off all together.
I suspect it was later caliphates/empires like the Mughals of India who didn't allow women in at all, but I could be wrong.
 

Snicky

Thorium Indium Potassium
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Someone openly said online that they hoped that God would snap my neck, that's the sort of people I was dealing with. Islam is a tool like any other religion, you can either use that tool obnoxiously, destroying everything in sight, or you can use that tool, thoughtful of those around you, in a way that builds things rather than breaks them.

Traditionalists see reformists as trying to re-word and change the Qur'an to suit contemporary society, whereas reformists are only looking at the translations and how the Arabic words are interpreted.
As Muslims we can't change the word of God, but we can translate the Arabic words in different ways, because Semitic languages are made of words that have roots,so the word 'Salam', it's root is S-L-M, which forms the meaning of both peace and submission (Islam, Muslim, Assalam alaikum, all S-L-M derived words).
There might be a fear of losing power, but it's not at the forefront of a person's mind I don't think, because scholars really only hold so much power and influence, I couldn't even tell you the name of my local imam, that's the influence he has over me.

There's nothing unorthodox about women being allowed to pray in the same room as men, Muhammad allowed it, then Abu Bakr (the first caliph) changed it so that women were allowed but did so behind a roped off area, and then it was Umar a few years later who separated the genders off all together.
I suspect it was later caliphates/empires like the Mughals of India who didn't allow women in at all, but I could be wrong.
Interesting, thanks. The language part will be right up @Sepp Blatter street.

You mentioned that you also tried to bring together various sects within Islam together under one roof. Do you mean Sunni/Shia/Ahmaddiyya etc? The latter are frowned upon as reformist in some circles are they not?

Also, have you seen a change in Islamic practice over the last few years due to the rise and availability of Saudi money in Sunni mosques?

Apologies for all the questions, just genuinely interested.

 

daddyman16

Manager
You mentioned that you also tried to bring together various sects within Islam together under one roof. Do you mean Sunni/Shia/Ahmaddiyya etc? The latter are frowned upon as reformist in some circles are they not?

Also, have you seen a change in Islamic practice over the last few years due to the rise and availability of Saudi money in Sunni mosques?
The Ahmadiyya are definitely reformist, Shi'ites have some bits to their teachings I guess, the Mutazila movement of the 10th century is quite close to my views, as is Qur'anism. However, yes, that would have been my aim.
While all mosques say they welcome everyone, and they do to an extent, their particular ideology mean that some will not feel welcome.

So regarding the Sauds, they have a printing complex in Medina called the King Fahd Complex. It's responsible for printing and distributing most of the Qur'ans and hadith books that are in most mosques. These books can cost £25-50 each, yet the Sauds send them for free. At the time I found it astonishing before I converted that mosques gave people like me a free Qur'an, but now it's not so astonishing after all!
The translation they usually send out is the Hilali-Khan translation, one which is controversial because it advocates the beating of women when they don't behave. The word they translate to mean hit, it does mean hit, but it also means 'to set forth an example' and 'divide oneself from'. It also encourages Muslims not to be friends with Christians and Jews, which has indirectly led to many issues today. Again, the word can mean 'friend', but it also means 'ally', the context actually being about not taking other religions as allies in war due to conflicting interests, risk of turncoating etc.

They have ruined a lot of Islam as it is today.
 

Snicky

Thorium Indium Potassium
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The Ahmadiyya are definitely reformist, Shi'ites have some bits to their teachings I guess, the Mutazila movement of the 10th century is quite close to my views, as is Qur'anism. However, yes, that would have been my aim.
While all mosques say they welcome everyone, and they do to an extent, their particular ideology mean that some will not feel welcome.

So regarding the Sauds, they have a printing complex in Medina called the King Fahd Complex. It's responsible for printing and distributing most of the Qur'ans and hadith books that are in most mosques. These books can cost £25-50 each, yet the Sauds send them for free. At the time I found it astonishing before I converted that mosques gave people like me a free Qur'an, but now it's not so astonishing after all!
The translation they usually send out is the Hilali-Khan translation, one which is controversial because it advocates the beating of women when they don't behave. The word they translate to mean hit, it does mean hit, but it also means 'to set forth an example' and 'divide oneself from'. It also encourages Muslims not to be friends with Christians and Jews, which has indirectly led to many issues today. Again, the word can mean 'friend', but it also means 'ally', the context actually being about not taking other religions as allies in war due to conflicting interests, risk of turncoating etc.

They have ruined a lot of Islam as it is today.
Again, interesting thank you. That enforces similar things I have heard elsewhere but never in as much detail as that.

May I ask what led to your conversion?
 

Liberation

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Someone openly said online that they hoped that God would snap my neck, that's the sort of people I was dealing with. Islam is a tool like any other religion, you can either use that tool obnoxiously, destroying everything in sight, or you can use that tool, thoughtful of those around you, in a way that builds things rather than breaks them.

Traditionalists see reformists as trying to re-word and change the Qur'an to suit contemporary society, whereas reformists are only looking at the translations and how the Arabic words are interpreted.
As Muslims we can't change the word of God, but we can translate the Arabic words in different ways, because Semitic languages are made of words that have roots,so the word 'Salam', it's root is S-L-M, which forms the meaning of both peace and submission (Islam, Muslim, Assalam alaikum, all S-L-M derived words).
There might be a fear of losing power, but it's not at the forefront of a person's mind I don't think, because scholars really only hold so much power and influence, I couldn't even tell you the name of my local imam, that's the influence he has over me.

There's nothing unorthodox about women being allowed to pray in the same room as men, Muhammad allowed it, then Abu Bakr (the first caliph) changed it so that women were allowed but did so behind a roped off area, and then it was Umar a few years later who separated the genders off all together.
I suspect it was later caliphates/empires like the Mughals of India who didn't allow women in at all, but I could be wrong.

Glad to see that God wasn't listening :) ........ Interesting post by the way.
 

daddyman16

Manager
May I ask what led to your conversion?
Well, I wasn't religious for most of my life and come from an atheist family, but religion played an important part in my life when I was going through a tough time.
I ended up praying for some relief at Westminster Cathedral and life got better, so I started going to Catholic church. After a while though, I saw issues with their practices and the trinitarian thing just troubled me. Anyway, for me converting to Islam was about being truer to God who for me had got me through a bad time, and not Jesus. I had looked into Judaism, but it was the mosque's doors that were open and not the synagogue's.

I don't always feel my prayers get answered anymore, I feel like I was like those first-time customers that get all of the perks, now after seven years of being a loyal customer, the perks seem not to come so much.
I just live in some sort of hope everything will be okay and am thankful for what I've got.


Glad to see that God wasn't listening :) ........
I know, right?
 

Snicky

Thorium Indium Potassium
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Well, I wasn't religious for most of my life and come from an atheist family, but religion played an important part in my life when I was going through a tough time.
I ended up praying for some relief at Westminster Cathedral and life got better, so I started going to Catholic church. After a while though, I saw issues with their practices and the trinitarian thing just troubled me. Anyway, for me converting to Islam was about being truer to God who for me had got me through a bad time, and not Jesus. I had looked into Judaism, but it was the mosque's doors that were open and not the synagogue's.

I don't always feel my prayers get answered anymore, I feel like I was like those first-time customers that get all of the perks, now after seven years of being a loyal customer, the perks seem not to come so much.
I just live in some sort of hope everything will be okay and am thankful for what I've got.



I know, right?
Love that analogy :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

Sepp Blatter

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Interesting, thanks. The language part will be right up @Sepp Blatter street.

You mentioned that you also tried to bring together various sects within Islam together under one roof. Do you mean Sunni/Shia/Ahmaddiyya etc? The latter are frowned upon as reformist in some circles are they not?

Also, have you seen a change in Islamic practice over the last few years due to the rise and availability of Saudi money in Sunni mosques?

Apologies for all the questions, just genuinely interested.
It is right up my street, thanks!

One of the problems I have with literal readings of scripture is that it all ends up as semantics, context, and interpretation. It's a it like the debate over a written constitution - people interpret it in different ways, so you then need additional text to clarify- then additions to the additions - and expensive constitutional lawyers.

You can read it any way you want. Although, that is perhaps the key to religious texts - in their original language, they are many-layered and textured, and understanding that is all part of the personal journey. Coptic Christians, Sufis, Kabbalist Jews and many others know this perfectly well. We can read the same book and all draw different conclusions from it - religious texts are no different, IMO.

Reminds me of the debates I used to have with fundamentalist Christians a while back. They used to take a literal interpretation of the Bible. I asked them how they could do that if they had no knowledge of New Testament Greek, and the argument was that they used a computer program.

You can't do that with Ancient Greek, which is a rich, complex language that depends on context and also assumptions based on a specific time and place. I assume it is the same for Arabic, Hebrew, and Sanskrit, for example.
 
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