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Why can’t Muslims criticize Islam

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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26 September 2018 10:50
 
hannahtoo - 26 September 2018 08:47 AM
icehorse - 26 September 2018 08:30 AM
hannahtoo - 26 September 2018 08:10 AM

Ice:
If we think about the friendly Muslims you’ve encountered, one of the following must be true:

- They don’t believe the two tenets above but they must say they do in public.
- They DO believe the two tenets above but they say they defend secular society.

I disagree with these assumptions.  Muslims I’ve cited in this thread do not fit these descriptions.  This is the crux of our disagreement.  You seem to assume that Muslims, unlike people of all other faiths, are unable to make personal decisions about what they believe or what they say, even when they live in open Western societies.

Ok, so what’s a plausible example of what they really think and say? The reason I ask is because the idea that blasphemy is a crime looms large for Muslims. Unlike other religions, it’s physically dangerous for a Muslim - anywhere in the world - to blaspheme.

See my post which ended up above yours.  The link is a good one for assessing Muslim views.

I can mostly agree with what you just said, but that still doesn’t answer the questions I posed in post #73.

I would really like you to try to answer those questions directly because I think you’ll find yourself in a logical bind when you do. Again, I’m not saying that there aren’t a lot of friendly Muslims, of course there are. What I’m saying is that they are living every day with a huge lie.

 
 
bbearren
 
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bbearren
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26 September 2018 13:23
 
icehorse - 26 September 2018 10:50 AM

What I’m saying is that they are living every day with a huge lie.

What you are saying is absolutely, beyond any shadow of a doubt, not statistical, and is quite monolithic in its projection.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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26 September 2018 13:56
 
bbearren - 26 September 2018 01:23 PM
icehorse - 26 September 2018 10:50 AM

What I’m saying is that they are living every day with a huge lie.

What you are saying is absolutely, beyond any shadow of a doubt, not statistical, and is quite monolithic in its projection.

As a favor, I would ask you to try to answer the question I posed in post #73.

(What I WILL cop to is that I believe logic can be 100% black and white)

 
 
bbearren
 
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26 September 2018 14:26
 
icehorse - 26 September 2018 07:49 AM

So when I talk about pinning some things down, I’m not talking about pinning 100% of Islam down. But once again, virtually all Muslims will tell you these two things about their faith:

- The Quran is perfect and unalterable
- Muhammad was the perfect role model.

Those two claims are far more consequential than the claims made by Christians. We see Christians debate some of Christ’s supposed actions, and we see the Bible modified left and right.

I think that since I lived in Turkey for a year and a half, it’s safe to say that I’ve been around more Muslims and talked with more Muslims than have you.  In addition, I also have close Muslim friends who have immigrated to this country and have become naturalized citizens.  With those qualifiers, I can honestly say that I have never heard a Muslim make either on those statements.  I have heard, “The Quran is what the scribes wrote.  They said they wrote everything that Mohammad said, and nothing that he did not say.”

But those two tenets of Islam are held as immutable

According to you.

If we think about the friendly Muslims you’ve encountered, one of the following must be true:

- They don’t believe the two tenets above but they must say they do in public.

They don’t necessarily believe them, nor feel compelled to say they do in public.

- They DO believe the two tenets above but they say they defend secular society.

They say that faith is private, something between oneself and god/allah, and one’s faith is displayed in good deeds.

In either case they are making and defending a huge lie throughout their entire life. That’s why I said that it’s as if they are carrying a cognitive anchor. Having to sustain this huge lie throughout their lives is a cognitive burden.

This is not an “islamophobic” conclusion. It’s a logical one. The basic tenets of the faith THEY CHOOSE to adhere to are in opposition to our society. That conflict is real.

And Mario is the perfect statistically relevant example of all of Catholicism worldwide.

 
 
bbearren
 
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26 September 2018 14:34
 
icehorse - 26 September 2018 01:56 PM

(What I WILL cop to is that I believe logic can be 100% black and white)

Only if all conditional premises are true, which, particularly when discussing religion, is a non-starter.

Or to put it another way, icehorse says that he can say unequivocally that he knows the true heart and mind of all 1.8 billion Muslims in the world.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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26 September 2018 15:20
 
icehorse - 26 September 2018 01:56 PM
bbearren - 26 September 2018 01:23 PM
icehorse - 26 September 2018 10:50 AM

What I’m saying is that they are living every day with a huge lie.

What you are saying is absolutely, beyond any shadow of a doubt, not statistical, and is quite monolithic in its projection.

As a favor, I would ask you to try to answer the question I posed in post #73.

(What I WILL cop to is that I believe logic can be 100% black and white)

Seriously, did you read any of the articles I linked?  I am getting exasperated.  Your question from post #73:

“Ok, so what’s a plausible example of what they really think and say?”

Look at the Pew Survey article, for Pete’s sake.  It’s full of actual examples of what Muslims think.  Here it is again:

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/08/09/muslims-and-islam-key-findings-in-the-u-s-and-around-the-world/

 
icehorse
 
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26 September 2018 16:15
 

hannah, bb,

If you ask 1000 Muslims if those two tenets are core to Islam, the vast majority will agree. Correct?

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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26 September 2018 16:59
 
icehorse - 26 September 2018 04:15 PM

hannah, bb,

If you ask 1000 Muslims if those two tenets are core to Islam, the vast majority will agree. Correct?

Find me a survey that addresses those questions.  It doesn’t matter what anyone on this forum assumes about Muslims around the world.

More to the point, how do Muslims apply what they believe about the Quran in their lives?  From the article I cited:
...a Pew Research Center survey of Muslims in 39 countries asked Muslims whether they want sharia law, a legal code based on the Quran and other Islamic scripture, to be the official law of the land in their country. Responses on this question vary widely. Nearly all Muslims in Afghanistan (99%) and most in Iraq (91%) and Pakistan (84%) support sharia law as official law. But in some other countries, especially in Eastern Europe and Central Asia – including Turkey (12%), Kazakhstan (10%) and Azerbaijan (8%) – relatively few favor the implementation of sharia law.

What is most important to us here is how our Muslim neighbors behave and vote.  It is not my concern whether, in their hearts, they feel that the whole world would be so much better if everyone were Muslim.  It is particularly important that Muslim populations in different countries are very, very different in their views.  Citing large numbers of Muslims who favor Sharia Law in one place does not mean that Muslims in the US feel that way in anywhere near the same proportion.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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26 September 2018 17:16
 
hannahtoo - 26 September 2018 04:59 PM
icehorse - 26 September 2018 04:15 PM

hannah, bb,

If you ask 1000 Muslims if those two tenets are core to Islam, the vast majority will agree. Correct?

Find me a survey that addresses those questions.  It doesn’t matter what anyone on this forum assumes about Muslims around the world.

More to the point, how do Muslims apply what they believe about the Quran in their lives?  From the article I cited:
...a Pew Research Center survey of Muslims in 39 countries asked Muslims whether they want sharia law, a legal code based on the Quran and other Islamic scripture, to be the official law of the land in their country. Responses on this question vary widely. Nearly all Muslims in Afghanistan (99%) and most in Iraq (91%) and Pakistan (84%) support sharia law as official law. But in some other countries, especially in Eastern Europe and Central Asia – including Turkey (12%), Kazakhstan (10%) and Azerbaijan (8%) – relatively few favor the implementation of sharia law.

What is most important to us here is how our Muslim neighbors behave and vote.  It is not my concern whether, in their hearts, they feel that the whole world would be so much better if everyone were Muslim.  It is particularly important that Muslim populations in different countries are very, very different in their views.  Citing large numbers of Muslims who favor Sharia Law in one place does not mean that Muslims in the US feel that way in anywhere near the same proportion.

I’m very familiar with the various Pew polls concerning Islam and Muslims. If you map on to the country by country results of desire for sharia, the population of those countries, it’s conservative to say that half the world’s muslims want some form of sharia.

And again, I’ve not seen a poll taken in the US concerning support for Sharia, but I have seen those polls for Muslims in the UK, and again, a significant percentage are for sharia.

As for your first point - I frequently see apologists play “hide the ball” when such questions come up. But you have to ask yourself, are there ANY ideas that are central to Islam? That should not be (and is not), an unknowable, ineffable question. If there are no ideas that are central to the faith, then what’s being defended?

I am not claiming that Islamic belief is monolithic. But it strains credulity to argue that there are zero core ideas in the faith. And it doesn’t take rocket science to come up with the answers.

By analogy, is it fair to say that a core tenet in Christianity is that Jesus is the son of god?

 
 
bbearren
 
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26 September 2018 17:35
 
icehorse - 26 September 2018 04:15 PM

hannah, bb,

If you ask 1000 Muslims if those two tenets are core to Islam, the vast majority will agree. Correct?

Not necessarily.  “For American Muslims, being highly religious does not necessarily translate into acceptance of traditional notions of Islam. While many U.S. Muslims say they attend mosque and pray regularly, sizable shares also say that there is more than one way to interpret their religion and that traditional understandings of Islam need to be reinterpreted to address the issues of today.”
...

“About half (52%) of all U.S. Muslim adults also say that traditional understandings of Islam must be reinterpreted to reflect contemporary issues, while 38% maintain that traditional understandings of Islam are all that are needed to address today’s issues. On this question there is more of a difference of opinion among Muslims when it comes to how important religion is in their lives. Those who say religion is very important in their lives are evenly divided (43% say traditional understandings should be reinterpreted vs. 46% who say traditional understandings are all that is needed), while about seven-in-ten (71%) of those who say religion is less important express the view that Islamic teachings need to be reinterpreted.”

And again, from all of the Muslims with whom I have visited, shared a meal, or joined in conversation about family, politics and religion, I have not heard either of those statements, not even once.  Not even in discussions specifically about religion.

Vast majority?  I would have to say no.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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26 September 2018 18:20
 
icehorse - 26 September 2018 05:16 PM
hannahtoo - 26 September 2018 04:59 PM
icehorse - 26 September 2018 04:15 PM

hannah, bb,

If you ask 1000 Muslims if those two tenets are core to Islam, the vast majority will agree. Correct?

Find me a survey that addresses those questions.  It doesn’t matter what anyone on this forum assumes about Muslims around the world.

More to the point, how do Muslims apply what they believe about the Quran in their lives?  From the article I cited:
...a Pew Research Center survey of Muslims in 39 countries asked Muslims whether they want sharia law, a legal code based on the Quran and other Islamic scripture, to be the official law of the land in their country. Responses on this question vary widely. Nearly all Muslims in Afghanistan (99%) and most in Iraq (91%) and Pakistan (84%) support sharia law as official law. But in some other countries, especially in Eastern Europe and Central Asia – including Turkey (12%), Kazakhstan (10%) and Azerbaijan (8%) – relatively few favor the implementation of sharia law.

What is most important to us here is how our Muslim neighbors behave and vote.  It is not my concern whether, in their hearts, they feel that the whole world would be so much better if everyone were Muslim.  It is particularly important that Muslim populations in different countries are very, very different in their views.  Citing large numbers of Muslims who favor Sharia Law in one place does not mean that Muslims in the US feel that way in anywhere near the same proportion.

I’m very familiar with the various Pew polls concerning Islam and Muslims. If you map on to the country by country results of desire for sharia, the population of those countries, it’s conservative to say that half the world’s muslims want some form of sharia.

And again, I’ve not seen a poll taken in the US concerning support for Sharia, but I have seen those polls for Muslims in the UK, and again, a significant percentage are for sharia.

As for your first point - I frequently see apologists play “hide the ball” when such questions come up. But you have to ask yourself, are there ANY ideas that are central to Islam? That should not be (and is not), an unknowable, ineffable question. If there are no ideas that are central to the faith, then what’s being defended?

I am not claiming that Islamic belief is monolithic. But it strains credulity to argue that there are zero core ideas in the faith. And it doesn’t take rocket science to come up with the answers.

By analogy, is it fair to say that a core tenet in Christianity is that Jesus is the son of god?

Sigh.  Getting tired of saying the same thing over and over.

So addressing the Christian issue.  Yes, that’s a core tenet of Christianity.  Yet, if you ask an American Christian whether divorce is acceptable, the majority will say yes.  This despite the fact that Jesus himself said it is not…or in another Gospel, okay only in the case of unfaithfulness.  How can a person disagree with the holy scriptures and even savior quotes?  Hmmmhmmm, hand waving, ah, “He was speaking to the people of a different time.”  Or “Unfaithfulness has a broad definition which includes not loving someone anymore.”  Or whatever.  Ask any Jews who are not Orthodox about keeping kosher, or working on the Sabbath.  So some Muslims interpret that jihad is a war within the believer’s heart to root out sin, etc.  Hooray for modern interpretations!

People are inconsistent and great at rationalizing. 

I was born of a Jewish mother and raised following many traditions.  So in the eyes of many, I am a Jew.  Do you want to blame me for the Palestinian crisis?  After all, doesn’t the OT say that Israel was given to the Jews, so of course I must support that claim?  Don’t a lot of Jews support Israel right or wrong?  Wouldn’t American and Israeli Jews agree on these matters?  Actually they don’t.  Read here:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/poll-shows-deep-divisions-between-israeli-and-us-jews-on-trump-peace/

Yes, yes, again you will say, “Jews and Christians are not Muslims.”  And I will say that Muslims are not all the same, and American Muslims are not Pakistani Muslims.  In sum, to me the important issue is that we should not condemn our neighbors for the sins of others who share their same broad label.  When we do, our tribal tendencies and fear of “others” take over.  And that’s why an African American young man got shot by a vigilante for carrying Skittles in his pocket. 

That’s it.  I’m taking a time out.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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27 September 2018 07:56
 

hannah:

Getting tired of saying the same thing over and over.

We can agree on that point!

I want to summarize the points I’ve granted you guys, and what I think I’m hearing from you and bb:

- I’ve granted that Islam is not monolithic.
- I’ve granted that there are loads of Muslims living in the West who support secular society.
- I’ve granted that “only” about half the world’s Muslims want some aspects of Sharia in place where they live. (A fundamentally non-secular idea.)

You guys have said (substantially paraphrased):

- Islam is somehow simultaneously defensible and yet so ineffable that it doesn’t even have a few core tenets that can be named.
- The ideas that young children are indoctrinated with do not impact them later in life.
- Islam occupies a rare position in that if only half of its adherents belief an idea that’s spelled out in its scripture, the ideology itself cannot be tied to that idea.

Let me know if I’ve got that substantially correct. If I do, then I would agree that we’re at a stalemate. I do appreciate the time and energy you’ve both put into this debate.

 
 
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27 September 2018 15:00
 
icehorse - 27 September 2018 07:56 AM

hannah:

Getting tired of saying the same thing over and over.

We can agree on that point!

I want to summarize the points I’ve granted you guys, and what I think I’m hearing from you and bb:

- I’ve granted that Islam is not monolithic.

I don’t think we can discount the significance of the Quran in how {no statistical relevance modifier}Muslims actually live. Over the centuries, {no statistical relevance modifier}Muslims have tirelessly defended this book from change. I think it’s safe to say that the Quran is a major “flywheel” in Islam. It helps maintain consistency across generations. We also have a lot of evidence that shows how passionately {no statistical relevance modifier}Muslims defend this book and their prophet. In the west we can and do criticize all other religions mercilessly (hooray!). But we have been forced to pull our punches when it comes to Islam, and the obvious reason is because {no statistical relevance modifier}Muslims get violent when their sacred cows get ridiculed (mixed metaphor intended?). E.g., there is no chance that we could take the broadway play “book of Morman” and repurpose it to satirize Islam.”

And yet you say, “I will stand by the post you referenced above.”

- I’ve granted that there are loads of Muslims living in the West who support secular society.
- I’ve granted that “only” about half the world’s Muslims want some aspects of Sharia in place where they live. (A fundamentally non-secular idea.)

icehorse” - 26 September 2018 08:16 PM I’m very familiar with the various Pew polls concerning Islam and Muslims. If you map on to the country by country results of desire for sharia, the population of those countries, it’s conservative to say that half the world’s muslims want some form of sharia.

Perhaps you’re not as familiar as you might assume.

Support for sharia as the official law of the land also is widespread among Muslims in the Middle East-North Africa region – especially in Iraq (91%) and the Palestinian territories (89%). Only in Lebanon does opinion lean in the opposite direction: 29% of Lebanese Muslims favor making sharia the law of the land, while 66% oppose it.

Support for making sharia the official legal code of the country is relatively weak across Central Asia as well as Southern and Eastern Europe. Fewer than half of Muslims in all the countries surveyed in these regions favor making sharia their country’s official law. Support for sharia as the law of the land is greatest in Russia (42%); respondents in Russia were asked if sharia should be made the official law in the country’s ethnic-Muslim republics. Elsewhere in Central Asia and Southern and Eastern Europe, about one-in-three or fewer say sharia should be made the law of the land, including just 10% in Kazakhstan and 8% in Azerbaijan.”

...

“Among Muslims who support making sharia the law of the land, most do not believe that it should be applied to non-Muslims. Only in five of 21 countries where this follow-up question was asked do at least half say all citizens should be subject to Islamic law.”

You guys have said (substantially paraphrased):

- Islam is somehow simultaneously defensible and yet so ineffable that it doesn’t even have a few core tenets that can be named.

Many Muslims insist on adding Muhammed’s name to the shahada, defying God and the idea of keeping the religion absolutely to GOD ALONE. No where in the Quran can we find Muhammed’s name added to the name of God in the shahada. The statement, “Muhammed Rasoul Allah” is a statement of fact and should not be confused with the statement of shahada that we bearwitness [sic].

The first pillar of Islam, (Shahada) is the same first commandment given to Moses , and it has to be the same commandment given to all the prophets and messengers.

“I, the Lord, am your God who brought you out of the Land of Egypt, that place of slavery. You shall not
have any other gods beside me. .....” Deuteronomy 5:6

“We did not send any messenger before you (O Muhammed) except with the inspiration : “There is no god except Me; you shall worship Me ALONE.” 21 :25

The Islamic Shahada ( that equals the first commandment) is mentioned in 3:18

“God bears witness that there is no god except He, and so do the angels and THOSE WHO POSSESS KNOWLEDGE. Truthfully and equitably, He is the absolute god; there is no god but He, the Almighty, Most wise.” 3:18”

There is disagreement among Muslims over supposedly the most foundational tenet of Islam.  Pew research indicates that there are a number of other significant differences, as well.

- The ideas that young children are indoctrinated with do not impact them later in life.

It would seem that many members of SHF were indoctrinated as young children to be Christian or Jew.  How well has that worked out?

- Islam occupies a rare position in that if only half of its adherents belief an idea that’s spelled out in its scripture, the ideology itself cannot be tied to that idea.

Not unlike Christianity in that regard, is it?

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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29 September 2018 08:38
 
icehorse - 25 September 2018 08:09 AM

Hmmm. I just realized that I’ve always assumed that the trioon categories were mostly the product of nurture not nature. Did I get that wrong?

 

Mostly right. Like any talent, there is an element of both but nurture is usually more decisive in the outcome. As in Type A or Type B. However, I don’t think I was offering a challenge with any trioonity in it. My challenge is that you have quit the investigation too soon after casting too narrow a net. Islam has some unique characteristics. Circumstance in Arabia provided Mo with a literate culture so the very beginning of his brain’s adventures are as chronicled as the later stuff. It was not, like its competitor, a product of a single jumble of an editing session fueled by existential desperation. Its path is not jumbled around.

… The closest thing to a “constant” across the generations is the religion’s scripture. Therefore, the characteristics of a given religion’s scripture has to play a significant role in the indoctrinated child’s worldview. Correct so far?

Correct-ish. There are other constants from gen to gen like techniques of education. Variations in outcome occur when and if the manner of education evolves even if the text does not. The perception of the text changes. Something happens that no text can completely arrest. It’s the path to secularism. There is a process by which the text is overcome.

One might say that they simply applied logic and reason to the subject and nothing else needed to happen. That is, at least, seeing it as a do-thing. Then doing this do-thing could have a long or a short duration. Longer durations of do-thing doing could get more work done. If one’s brain is gasping for breath after just a short duration of doing the do-thing, then it would be like…

It’s like their trying to compete in track and field events while carrying heavy anchors.

Exactly! Let’s encourage and enable the strengthening of their capacity to carry anchors. It is a matter of duration. The anchor gets heavier the longer you carry it. That requires a broad engagement with the runners far beyond being extra prickly about their religious text. Alienation can drive the short term anchor-bearers into systems that encourage or enforce the shortest possible durations of anchor bearing or worse, insist that they keep their unworthy hands off of the Holy Anchors. The long chronicle of the Adventure of the Brain of Mo can do all these things with ease.

And to answer your question, I’m not compelled by the Quran because I was indoctrinated to be curious and question authority

Is it possible that your indoctrination changed or enhanced the way your brain works? What if your training gave you a self-authority from which to question other authorities? Can you imagine not possessing a self-authority? It is what we get when we can hold up our anchors with pride.

 
 
icehorse
 
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29 September 2018 10:50
 

Nhoj:

Exactly! Let’s encourage and enable the strengthening of their capacity to carry anchors. It is a matter of duration. The anchor gets heavier the longer you carry it. That requires a broad engagement with the runners far beyond being extra prickly about their religious text. Alienation can drive the short term anchor-bearers into systems that encourage or enforce the shortest possible durations of anchor bearing or worse, insist that they keep their unworthy hands off of the Holy Anchors. The long chronicle of the Adventure of the Brain of Mo can do all these things with ease.

Up until this point in your post, it seems we’re largely in agreement. This is perhaps where our biggest disagreement lies, and admittedly, I’m making some inferences here, let me know if I’ve got your points wrong…

I’m going to - arbitrarily - declare two types of Islamic immigrants. Yes, I know, there I go again with the generalizations and the categorizations:

- type 1: Middle class and above families coming to the West, probably taking Islam very lightly.
- type 2: Poorer, less educated families, more likely to take Islam more literally and seriously.

The type 1’s are relatively few in number, and it would seem are assimilating to their host cultures in largely healthy ways.
Over the last several decades, Europe has promoted mass immigration of the type 2’s. The type 2’s are (largely), resisting assimilation. They’re for more likely to remain “on the dole”. They’re far more likely to create insulated, highly segregated “Muslim only” neighborhoods. They are far more likely than any other demographic to commit rape and other violent crimes (although the authorities make these statistics hard to uncover). They are large in number, and their population is growing faster than other groups in Europe.

For these group 2’s i don’t think your “long duration anchor-carrying” strategy will work out. I think that if we take a lassie faire(sp?) attitude, they will tend to become more insulated, more intrenched in their old ways. Looking at how this situation has been progressing in Europe over the last several decades does not lead me to believe that being non-prickly has worked out well.

Nhoj:

Is it possible that your indoctrination changed or enhanced the way your brain works? What if your training gave you a self-authority from which to question other authorities? Can you imagine not possessing a self-authority? It is what we get when we can hold up our anchors with pride.

I believe I get your points here and I largely agree. I think that Islamic indoctrination is very “Ummah” focused. In other words it’s directed towards support of the Muslim nation over actualization of the self. And yes, the Ummah is at odds with the idea of self-authority.

So the question is, how do we deal with folks who have been indoctrinated in this way? I don’t believe that we should base our efforts on promoting lies like: “Islam is a religion of peace.” I believe that when we support such lies, we’re exacerbating the problem.

 
 
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