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Author Topic: What are your thoughts on Islam?
Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
A very rebellious religion wouldn't have a good relationship with an authoritarian power.

Sure it would. The authoritarian power just has to cast itself as the leader of the rebellion and ensure a steady stream of outside "oppressors" are available to rebel against. Perhaps even by provoking them into attacking so that it can tell its own people that they're under constant threat.
This sounds cute on paper, like the plot of a good TV show. Historically things were much simpler. Rebellious religion or region led to...rebellion. And then squashing the rebellion.

Along the lines of what you said I can even imagine such a power arranging to have its people actually running the rebellion just so it could give people some hope only to dash it at the right time, and ensure order for a generation or two. Again, neat plot idea, but essentially irrelevant when talking about real cultures. The proven way to deal with a rebellion in an autocracy is to simply annihilate it.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
This sounds cute on paper, like the plot of a good TV show. Historically things were much simpler. Rebellious religion or region led to...rebellion. And then squashing the rebellion.
Aside from, for example, the Islamists, who have taken the revolutionary nature of jihad and repurposed it from battling with personal struggles into perpetual war against outside threats that they cultivate to maintain power.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
This sounds cute on paper, like the plot of a good TV show. Historically things were much simpler. Rebellious religion or region led to...rebellion. And then squashing the rebellion.
Aside from, for example, the Islamists, who have taken the revolutionary nature of jihad and repurposed it from battling with personal struggles into perpetual war against outside threats that they cultivate to maintain power.
Are you talking about ISIS? What has that got to do with the concept that rebellious religion doesn't fare well under autocratic rule? ISIS is currently not under autocratic rule by someone else. If you're talking even more specifically about ISIS as regards Assad, then the nature of that relationship is clear: they didn't fare well under Assad, and are now fighting him! So much for getting along with an autocratic government. Rebellious religions can go one of two ways: get squashed, or win and become the new autocrats. Either way there is no co-existence, and by virtue of natural selection this is probably why the principle religions of the world are non-rebellious by nature (except maybe for Judaism, but I think a case can be made that the advent of Christianity effectively took the fight out of Judaism).
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Pete at Home
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Um ... The destruction of the temple circa 70 ad took the fight out of "Judaism." Or rather, killed off the Sadducees and Sandwiches and Essenes, leaving the field open for the Pharisees to create what we now call Judaism, which is a relatively peaceful adaptation of an earlier religion which remains as nameless or multi named as its God.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Are you talking about ISIS? What has that got to do with the concept that rebellious religion doesn't fare well under autocratic rule? ISIS is currently not under autocratic rule by someone else.
Where are you getting "someone else" from? ISIS is the autocratic ruler. ISIS is currently using rebellious religious concepts as a tool to control people.

An autocratic authority looking to use religion as a tool of control collaborates with or assumes control of religious authority. It doesn't do it as "someone else" it does it as "the one of us that bears the burden of being in charge"

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Pete at Home
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Pyr is mostly right but screws up on the religion part. Most fail to grasp that Islam is more of a tribal identity like Jewishness than a religion like Christianity. As for rebellion, think of Jefferson Davis declaring martial law in the confederacy, violating the confederate constitution to do so, and maintaining near totalitarian control of areas (having deserters and runaway slaves killed horribly) through enthusiastic gangs of white trash that weren't even fit enough to join the rebel army. There is no contradiction between rebel and authoritarian. In the totalitarian mind, no problem with a "freedom Fighter" being a SLAVER.
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Pete at Home
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Note Judaism has a vocabulary to distinguish the religion (Judaism) from the Jewish identity. Islam does not. A Muslim-identity person (identified by the Quran as Muslim, by the fact of having a Muslim father) who does not adhere to the Muslim religionis called a "Muslim apostate.". (Unless he happens to be a powerful world leader in which case the subject is politely avoided while he is visiting Saudi Arabia.)
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Um ... The destruction of the temple circa 70 ad took the fight out of "Judaism." Or rather, killed off the Sadducees and Sandwiches and Essenes, leaving the field open for the Pharisees to create what we now call Judaism, which is a relatively peaceful adaptation of an earlier religion which remains as nameless or multi named as its God.

Well you could argue that once the Jews lost their power base rebellion became impossible by definition. I was addressing more the fact that the OT is pretty rife with Never Give Up Never Surrender, and the NT (which ended up eclipsing Judaism) washes this kind of sentiment away completely. Christianity may be subversive in subtle ways (Jesus was definitely subversive) but not in an open "we will fight you" kind of way. I mean, he said came right out and blatantly told the Jews they had to change their ways if they wanted to survive.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Are you talking about ISIS? What has that got to do with the concept that rebellious religion doesn't fare well under autocratic rule? ISIS is currently not under autocratic rule by someone else.
Where are you getting "someone else" from? ISIS is the autocratic ruler. ISIS is currently using rebellious religious concepts as a tool to control people.

An autocratic authority looking to use religion as a tool of control collaborates with or assumes control of religious authority. It doesn't do it as "someone else" it does it as "the one of us that bears the burden of being in charge"

Ok, I get what you mean now. Still, do you really think ISIS uses 'underdog' language to keep its people in line? From what I hear it sounds like they use good old fashioned force and threats, which doesn't make them sound too much like rebels to me. That being said for those who subscribe to the theory that ISIS arose in order to oppose Assad then ISIS would by definition be a rebel force and not a ruling force, notwithstanding the fact that as fairly successful rebels they now control territory. I don't subscribe to this theory, mind you, and so actually I'm more inclined to agree with you that they should be considered to be a 'rising kingdom' more so than a rebellion. Actually I really think they're mercenaries who may end up with a kingdom, which is pretty much the same thing in the end.
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Slovenija
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isam is ok, isis is not ok, that`s all
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Still, do you really think ISIS uses 'underdog' language to keep its people in line?
Absolutely. That's the core of how radicalization works. It's also how the keep the people pliant and accepting of their abusive practices, by framing it as necessary for the greater good and protection against the infidels that want to bomb them. It's the core of how they gained power in Iraq, employing the cast out Sunnis from the Baath part and the Awakening movement and offering them the chance to not only put their skills and training to work, but to fight back against the Iraqi government and Western Forces that left them in shambles.

It's precisely the formula that all of the Islamist groups follow and why they provoke outside attackers and the resultant collateral damage that brings in more recruits, all while pretending to be the last, best line of defense against such aggression.

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Fenring
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There may be something to that. I'm not sure it's as pat as "they're an oppressor who talks like an underdog" since from a macro perspective they really were the underdog. Nevertheless I see your point.
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Greg Davidson
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quote:
Pyr is mostly right but screws up on the religion part. Most fail to grasp that Islam is more of a tribal identity like Jewishness than a religion like Christianity.
Why do you not consider Christianity to be a tribal identity for many people? There was the US Congressman who had proposed a bill to publicly post the 10 Commandments in Post Offices and he was famously unable to actually name more than 2 or 3 of them during an interview. In that case, he strongly affiliated with a movement to the degree that he wanted to overrule past precedent and force promulgation of key tenets of that belief. At the same time, he had no clue as to even the basics of that religion.

Those who burn a cross on land to stake their claim (Scots/Irish prior to the adoption of this policy by the KKK) were acting out their Christianity in a tirabal rather than theological way.

Those who get outraged over "the War on Christmas" (and polling suggests that is millions of Americans) are moved not by doctrinal issues having anything to do with Christianity, but instead by tribal affiliation.

[ December 04, 2015, 12:10 PM: Message edited by: Greg Davidson ]

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Fenring
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Greg, I think you have a point, however I think we can still distinguish between someone who has a 'religious spirit' even though their actual knowledge about it is nearly zero, and between someone who doesn't care about the spiritual side of it at all and knowingly disavows belief in that thing while still caring about the culture. We know for sure there are cultural Christians, but in terms of someone supposedly caring about the 10 commandments while being ignorant of them this doesn't strike me as a cultural thing but rather as a pathetic religious thing. Ever since Chuck Heston fell out of favor with liberals I don't recall the 10 commandments as being a pop culture thing.

As for Christmas I know plenty of outright non-Christians (even Jews) who could potentially get outraged over Christmas, so I wouldn't even call that in particular cultural Christianity.

Pete's point isn't that tribal identity doesn't exist outside of Islamd and Judaism, but is more a description of the fact that entire communities of Jewish people are only tribal Jews, and not religious ones. You'd be hard-pressed to find an active community of avowed Christians who don't believe in the tenets of the Christian religion. Maybe the odd person, but not a whole culture. Pete is trying to say he suspects Muslims may have something in common with this, which would be an important thing to note if true.

[ December 04, 2015, 12:32 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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Pyrtolin
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There are tribal groups that have adopted Islam, sure, but the tribal identities are based on those groups, not on the religion as a whole. That's why you have major factions like the Shia and Sunni fighting each other. Different tribes that nominally share a faith. Judaism had a more uniform tribal identity because, by and large, it's tied to a single tribe and has rules to shield itself from integrating with other tribes and discourage general evangelism.

And that's only at the higher level Persians, Arabs, Turks, Serbs, Kurds, etc... all have distinct identities and perhaps even distinct tribal identities within them, even if their majority nominally share the same faith.

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Pete at Home
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"There are tribal groups that have adopted Islam, sure, but the tribal identities are based on those groups, not on the religion as a whole. "

If that was an attempt to respond to what I said, you seriously derailed when you said the word RELIGION.

Non responsive. Move to strike.

Are you claiming that Islam's concept of the UMMAH is not intended to create a sense of identity analogous to Jewishness?

By insisting that Islam is no more than a religion and by acting as if Islam isn't a core identity like Jewishness, you commit violence against key elements of the Muslim self description. Go talk these assumptions of yours out with actual Muslims and get back with me. If you are very lucky they will recognize that you meant well and did not actually mean to say something horribly offensive.

[ December 04, 2015, 12:53 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Pete at Home
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By offensive I mean tantamount to a Gentile telling a Jewish atheist that he isnt really a Jew because he doesn't believe in God.
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Pyrtolin
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Christianity is no different in that regard, and it fails just as much as Islam does because regardless of what identity it imparts it can't override actual tribal identity. Judaism gets away with it because it is a single tribe, not because it manages to override tribal differences. MAny Muslims may do their best to hold to the concept of a single identity, but the real state of the conflicts between the various tribes just within the Middle East, Balkans, and Africa show that practice does not meet theory, and more than it does across various groups of Christians who are supposed to consider themselves one community/body (never mind a whole tribe)
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