Wednesday, February 22, 2006
  Sectarian violence
I've just read about the bombing and partial destruction of the Al-Askari mosque in Iraq. Needless to say, the news saddens and angers me. Muslims have enough problems without blowing up each others cultural heritage and/or killing each other over sectarian differences. Of course, the mosque incident is not isolated. I regularly hear of attacks upon Shi’ites, Ismailis, or Ahmedis in Pakistan. In Iran there are pogroms against the Bahai's who are viewed as heretical Muslims. And the Shi'a-Sunni tension in Iraq is certainly not new.

While we may disagree about certain tenets of Islam -- and some of those differences are significant -- the proper response is to leave the matter to Allah. It says in the Qur’an, (32:25) “Verily, it is God alone who will decide between people on Resurrection Day with regard to all on which they were wont to differ.” And the Qur’an repeatedly counsels tolerance for disagreements on matters of faith:

2:256 Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things.

10:99 And had thy Sustainer so willed, all those who live on earth would surely have attained to faith, all of them: do you, then, think that you could compel people to believe?

18:29: “And say: ‘The truth has come from your Sustainer: let, then, him who wills, believe in it, and let him who wills, reject it.’"

109:6 To you your way, to me mine.

How can anyone justify killing, looting, burning and bombing, then, in response to differences in theology??? In no case can violence against people of differing beliefs be justified, simply on the basis of their belief.

This goes for interfaith violence, such as the recent arson of churches in Nigeria and Pakistan as well. There is no justification for burning or destruction of the sacred buildings of other faiths. The same verses which apply to Muslim on Muslim violence apply to violence against Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists or members of other religious group. Tolerance and acceptance is the Islamic response to diversity. Political motivations, outrage over cartoons, religious bigotry, and fear of diversity are not acceptable excuses for murder, arson, and rampaging.

This intolerance is, of course, also manifested in the whole blasphemy/apostate mess. The favorite tool of so many Islamists and oppressive "Muslim" governments is to label an outspoken critic as a blasphemer or, God forbid, an apostate. A "crime" which earns a death sentence, or long-term incarceration. Something like 11 Arab journalists and editors have been imprisoned because they criticized Muslims for their reactions to the cartoons, or reprinted the cartoons in their newspapers.

What an unholy mess this world is in!

Of course... there are times when I can sympathize with these crazies -- times when I'd rather like to line them all up against a wall and open fire and then let the rest of us sane folks get with life... thankfully, that's just a momentary flash of fanciful wish-gratification, and then I return to my sanity.
There is, as they say, no fool like an old fool. That you chose to repudiate all that your Nation was built on and represents, is a right. The exercising of that right is a shame.
I am contemplating a permanent move to America, from Australia. Work enables this but pride in the Judeo-Christian heritage I share with many Americans, and an awareness of the truly great horror that Islam represents, are the prime motivations behind my decision.
I will be a proud American.
That you are not is apparent, and to your very great shame.
Your positions are so entrenched in left-wing dogma I am amazed you dare call them your own. Most of what I read here is lifted straight from the mouths of the worst America/West haters in existence. I'd be angry, but my contempt runs deeper. To pity.

What is it about religious tolerance that so scares you? What in this post is anti-American? The notion of free practice of religion coupled with respect for others religious traditions is as American as apple pie.

Funny as it may seem to you, I read these quotes from the Qur'an and see no "great horror" but something truly beautiful; perhaps the "great horror" is that indeed other religions do have something beautiful to offer, just as Judiasm and Christianity do.
Post a Comment

<< Home

My Photo
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

Recent Posts

October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
July 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
July 2013