Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community  

Go Back   Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community > Chatter > General Discussion


 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-04-2010, 07:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
Insane
 
Islam in America

I was thinking about Islam and Muslims today after getting a lame Muslim stereotype e-mail list from a relative. It spawned me to actually look up what Muslims believe and the history of Islam specifically in America. My question is it possible for Muslims to eve be fully integrated into American society? How far can America go to accommodate different belief systems without treading on other people's freedom? Allow Sharia courts for civil disputes between Muslim parties? Hijabs in school? Should a woman be allowed to wear a burka through airport security? I believe in religious liberty, but some of the things I found in the Koran as basic beliefs were not consistent with beliefs of America. If you choose to worship one way and live one way, that is fine, but what if the core of your religion allows you to punish those who don't live like you? I was hoping for a thoughtful, respectful, well informed debate, but that probably won't happen.
lionrock is offline  
Old 11-04-2010, 07:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
Mine is an evil laugh
 
spindles's Avatar
 
Location: Sydney, Australia
Why *shouldn't* they be allowed to integrate. Australia has a sizeable (though still minority) Muslim population and while there may be tensions, I suspect it is no worse than those between black and white Americans.

I'm not sure what the issue with courts is - courts are designed to provide justice given the (non-religious) laws of the land. American doesn't have "Christian" courts now, so why would you have Muslim courts? In any case, I'd expect that both Christians and Muslims could approach their 'clergy' to settle a specific religious dispute.

Burkas and Hijabs - well searches in Airports aside, I can't see how you could ban these, without also banning (for example) Indians from wearing turbans. While we are at it, we could ban youths from wearing baseball caps backwards.

Airports are a different matter - I'd expect a guy in a long overcoat to get the same treatment as a Burka wearer. Once past security, who cares?

I would hope most people are able to see past the media created frenzy of hate and treat Muslims like everybody else.
__________________
who hid my keyboard's PANIC button?
spindles is offline  
Old 11-04-2010, 07:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
... a sort of licensed troubleshooter.
 
Willravel's Avatar
 
Culture and religion being stationary is an outdated idea, imho. With each passing generation we become more mobile as a species, intermingling further and further. It's kinda nice, because it ultimately facilitates understanding. Even if you hate the foreigner across the street, your kid's probably going to date his daughter.
Willravel is offline  
Old 11-04-2010, 08:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
roachboy's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: essex ma
you're joking, right?
tell me you're fucking joking.
__________________
a gramophone its corrugated trumpet silver handle
spinning dog. such faithfulness it hear

it make you sick.

-kamau brathwaite
roachboy is offline  
Old 11-04-2010, 08:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
... a sort of licensed troubleshooter.
 
Willravel's Avatar
 
No, I'm totally serious. And your kid is probably gonna get into anime, too.
Willravel is offline  
Old 11-04-2010, 10:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
Currently sour but formerly Dlishs
 
dlish's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: Australia/UAE
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionrock View Post
I was thinking about Islam and Muslims today after getting a lame Muslim stereotype e-mail list from a relative. It spawned me to actually look up what Muslims believe and the history of Islam specifically in America. My question is it possible for Muslims to eve be fully integrated into American society? How far can America go to accommodate different belief systems without treading on other people's freedom? Allow Sharia courts for civil disputes between Muslim parties? Hijabs in school? Should a woman be allowed to wear a burka through airport security? I believe in religious liberty, but some of the things I found in the Koran as basic beliefs were not consistent with beliefs of America. If you choose to worship one way and live one way, that is fine, but what if the core of your religion allows you to punish those who don't live like you? I was hoping for a thoughtful, respectful, well informed debate, but that probably won't happen.
americans are free to govern the way they want to govern themselves. i find the argument about introducing seperate sharia laws quite lame really. most muslim communities in western countries have an internal system of sorting out cultural or religious issues that dont need access to the courts.

Issues relating to marriage, divorce, religious decrees (fatwas), civil contracts etc are all internally resolved by a mufti or sheikh, or community elder. if those things fail, it may proceed to the court of the country they live in. Islamic principles are loosly based around the christian and judaic ones, so a court of law in the states would not be alien to muslims. except maybe for the religion jargon.

the fact that muslims live under another system of government other than their own does not give them a right to enforce their laws on the people of the land. But those laws do give them the right to settle their own disputes between themselves. i do know theres been some dicussions in the UK to introduce a 'shariah court', but from what i recall it was to settle civil disputes in the country and not criminal ones and it had no right to enforce punishments. i can only presume that by doing this a country can monitor civil matters and ensure that the rights of others is not infringed which cant be a bad thing.

as far as hijabs go, my wife wears one. out of her own choice. ive never been involved in her decisions and she has the freedom to choose her on her own. shes smart ( much more than me) , much more articulate than me, highly educated ( again much more than me) and works for the government as well as her own business and a mother at the same time. i find that if the governments were going to clamp down on hijabs in schools and deny girls an education, then they are denying and alienating a part of the population that can actually give back to the community. the last thing you want is to alienate muslims so that they pull away from scoiety. Ive always said that education is the key to bridging the divide. Deny this to the girls with hijabs and you'll have a lingering problem.

with regards to burqas, in the middle east and south asia there has never been an issue with burqas. ive been through many airports where women in burqas show their faces to women border security and passport control. they must go through the same checks as anyone else as far as im concerned. but like spindles said, once you go past those gates..who cares.

will i dont think that religion or culture is stationary. in fact islamic culture and art has evolved from 1400 years ago. even your exmample about dating and integration into the west is evolution.
__________________
An injustice anywhere, is an injustice everywhere

I always sign my facebook comments with ()()===========(}. Does that make me gay?
- Filthy
dlish is offline  
Old 11-04-2010, 11:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
... a sort of licensed troubleshooter.
 
Willravel's Avatar
 
Yes, that was what I meant. I like that mobility. It's progress.
Willravel is offline  
Old 11-05-2010, 03:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
Insane
 
Thanks for an informed and civil discussion. I don't know any Muslims personally, and don't care for the sensational fear mongering. I am interested in potential cultural conflict based on beliefs. I think women should be free to wear the hijab wherever they want in America. I can think of few exceptions (in hospitals where infection may be an issue, or if someone were a paid entertainer like the recent case at Disney). I started looking at websites about Islam and found two concepts about Islam that precipitated the thoughts of integration in my head.

1) Al-taqiyya- as I understand it (as a non-Muslim outsider) is a concept that allows Muslims to lie to non believers. In fact some places showed that this was a "good" deed.

2) Death sentence to heretics and former Muslims. This comes up again and again on websites. If you were once Muslim and change your mind, you are sentenced to death.

3) Images of the prophet or criticizing the religion being the cause for death threats.

These three concepts which I kept finding again and again on websites both anti-Islam and even websites that try to explain Islam in positive light are what caused me to start this discussion in hopes for a calm explanation for an individual instead of a group. Dlish can you shed some light here?
lionrock is offline  
Old 11-05-2010, 03:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
Darth Papa
 
ratbastid's Avatar
 
Location: Yonder
Go read Leviticus. CHRISTIAN beliefs aren't consistent with the beliefs of America.
ratbastid is offline  
Old 11-05-2010, 04:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
Asshole
 
The_Jazz's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Chicago
I've got more than my fair share of crazy relatives. One of my cousin's wife is one of those folks that is at church whenever it opens, and she drags her kids with her. Even my second cousin that's a Babtist minister thinks she's crazy. And I should add that besides being crazy, she's a prime example of the failure of the Georgia school system.

So Maude (a name I know would piss her off) sends an email to about 100 recipients last year. She does this every few months. In it, she says that she needs all of our help to stop the Muslims from starting a Shariah court in Savannah, GA (where she and my cousin live). She "explained" that it would replace the current criminal system and that they'd start cutting off heads and hands and that they'd institute the bhurka and that they'd outlaw bacon and othersuch nonsense. Honestly, if she weren't serious, it would have been absolutely comical, and I'm sorry that I didn't keep a copy of it when I left my job.

Being me, I responded and pointed out that Shariah is a "companion" court system, kind of like arbitration. If both parties agree to stand by an imam's ruling, there's no law saying that a lawsuit has to be filed.

Needless to say, I haven't gotten another email from her, and my cousin won't return my calls. But his gay brother (which is a whole other story) emails me a couple of times a week now.

By the way, I completely agree, Willravel. That's the historical pattern in this country, and you can already see it at work in suburban Detroit. I see no reason that it won't continue.
__________________
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
The_Jazz is offline  
Old 11-05-2010, 06:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
roachboy's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: essex ma
sorry about that, will.
when i posted above i looked at the op then scrolled over the responses.
my comment was directed at the op, not at your response to it.

reading the op was like watching a bad cartoon.

there is the Same (white christian US-ness) and there is the Other (scary bad muslim space-aliens).
then there is this stupid "problem": how do these two imaginary categories interact?

the Same in it's sameness is so very very not the Other in it's Other-ness.

so what would it mean for our Sameness were all this Other-y stuff to happen inside it?
why the Sameness of the Same would be be contaminated by a rampant Other-y-ness.

our Sameness would be Compromised.

what happens then?

other nice groups of conservatives worry about this sort of thing too.
i figure you might get along.

Front National Le site officiel du Front National
__________________
a gramophone its corrugated trumpet silver handle
spinning dog. such faithfulness it hear

it make you sick.

-kamau brathwaite
roachboy is offline  
Old 11-05-2010, 06:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
Crazy, indeed
 
Location: the ether
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionrock View Post
Thanks for an informed and civil discussion. I don't know any Muslims personally, and don't care for the sensational fear mongering. I am interested in potential cultural conflict based on beliefs. I think women should be free to wear the hijab wherever they want in America. I can think of few exceptions (in hospitals where infection may be an issue, or if someone were a paid entertainer like the recent case at Disney). I started looking at websites about Islam and found two concepts about Islam that precipitated the thoughts of integration in my head.

1) Al-taqiyya- as I understand it (as a non-Muslim outsider) is a concept that allows Muslims to lie to non believers. In fact some places showed that this was a "good" deed.

2) Death sentence to heretics and former Muslims. This comes up again and again on websites. If you were once Muslim and change your mind, you are sentenced to death.

3) Images of the prophet or criticizing the religion being the cause for death threats.

These three concepts which I kept finding again and again on websites both anti-Islam and even websites that try to explain Islam in positive light are what caused me to start this discussion in hopes for a calm explanation for an individual instead of a group. Dlish can you shed some light here?
Are those websites actually by Muslim leaders, saying what can and cannot go on in their Muslim communities in the United States?

My wife's best friends are a Muslim couple here in the US. You know that the only difference I have ever noticed between them and us in all our interactions? The wife always discreetly covers hear hair, and the husband doesn't drink beer.

And I am talking about full practicing, praying 5 times a day, Muslims.

Other than the husband not drinking beer and the wife always having a scarf or something similar covering her hair, nothing is different. We sit down together, order a bunch of wings and watch NBA, the wife went to see Sex and the City with my wife, etc. Just like with everyone else.


So my bet is that these websites you are seeing are the fearmongering types of website.

Which could be easily done for Christians and Jews too. Leviticus says that anyone who disrespects their parents should be put to death, anyone who commits adultery should be put to death, that anyone who has sex while the woman is having her period should be cast off from society, that daughters of priests who are promiscuous should be put to death, and that those who are blasphemous should be put to death.

And not the "lethal injection" kind of death either. We are talking about stoning or being burned to death.
dippin is offline  
Old 11-05-2010, 06:31 AM   #13 (permalink)
warrior bodhisattva
 
Baraka_Guru's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: East-central Canada
Quote:
The Founders of this nation explicitly included Islam in their vision of the future of the republic. Freedom of religion, as they conceived it, encompassed it. Adherents of the faith were, with some exceptions, regarded as men and women who would make law-abiding, productive citizens. Far from fearing Islam, the Founders would have incorporated it into the fabric of American life.
The Founding Fathers and Islam (May 2002) - Library of Congress Information Bulletin

Muslims had been coming to the New World since before the founding of America.

The question is whether America will stick to its founding values with regard to Islam in the 21st century.
__________________
Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot
Baraka_Guru is offline  
Old 11-05-2010, 07:07 AM   #14 (permalink)
still, wondering.
 
Ourcrazymodern?'s Avatar
 
Location: South Minneapolis, somewhere near the gorgeous gorge
Synthetic & derivative distinctions, taken seriously & expanded upon to the extent that we damn "others" for what they believe when its basis is the same (as "ours"), are the means with which we fuck our more accurate perceptions of commonality. America has tried to avoid damning individuals with significant lapses & variable success, but at least it has tried.
__________________
BE JUST AND FEAR NOT
Ourcrazymodern? is offline  
Old 11-05-2010, 10:20 AM   #15 (permalink)
Insane
 
To be clear, I don't know any Muslims. I have always assumed that most of them in America are just like everyone else. There are not that many Muslims where I live so Islamic American culture is not something I am familiar with. I get the fear mongering e-mails and tasteless e-mails all the time and just delete them.

I understand and appreciate that passages of the Bible advocate horrible atrocities like killing disobedient children and keeping slaves. However I have experience with a Christian perspective and understand that generally those ideas are not conveniently overlooked. I rarely hear a Christian minister calling for followers to kill or enslave anyone.

I'm really not looking to start a fight. I want to learn from others' experiences, especially how an American or moderate Muslim interprets the concepts mentioned above. Often, fear is based on ignorance. If someone who is trying to instill fear of Islam mentions the idea of killing heretics or Al-taqiyya or suggests the possibility that in a Sharia court someone could receive a "whipping" for something that isn't a crime in the US (for example having a beer) how do I answer?

I would rather ask the question and look ignorant in the search for truth than not ask it. Light a candle rather than cursing the darkness etc.

I only ever spent time with one Muslim fellow, a Saudi who was nothing but gracious and friendly and open about his faith.

---------- Post added at 10:20 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:18 AM ----------

I also realized that my first post made me look a lot more douchebaggy than I actually am. I sincerely started this thread to learn more about something I don't understand. The tone of the questions came across as confrontational which I was not intending.
lionrock is offline  
Old 11-05-2010, 10:26 AM   #16 (permalink)
still, wondering.
 
Ourcrazymodern?'s Avatar
 
Location: South Minneapolis, somewhere near the gorgeous gorge
lionrock, read the Qur'an and tell me it's not almost exactly the same as the Bible.
We have no basic differences without pretense. I applaud your desire to know more.
__________________
BE JUST AND FEAR NOT
Ourcrazymodern? is offline  
Old 11-05-2010, 10:59 AM   #17 (permalink)
Insane
 
Ourcrazymodern.....I will admit that there is a good deal of overlap in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. However respectfully, it is not the similarities that give rise to conflict and misunderstanding. It is the differences where people who want to create turmoil will find a foothold.

I don't would prefer my understanding of these differences to come from a first person perspective rather than CNN, FOX, or the e-mails. My curiosity won't allow me to settle for "they are all mostly the same".
lionrock is offline  
Old 11-05-2010, 11:07 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
ring's Avatar
 
Location: ❤
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionrock View Post
I want to learn from others' experiences, especially how an American OR moderate Muslim interprets the concepts mentioned
I have somewhere to be. I'll get back to this later.
ring is offline  
Old 11-05-2010, 11:09 AM   #19 (permalink)
Insane
 
I had a similar experience with Mormons earlier this year. There are lots of wild stories and rumors about them. I actually had conversations with several Mormons and we addressed concerns and issues about what is assumed and what their reality is. I ended up with a better understanding and relationships. There is still a lot of ground that we don't share, but I understand where they are coming from to some extent. I still don't get the underwear thing though.

I am all for letting others worship as they choose. I become uncomfortable when a religious morality crosses over to politics and makes their belief law. This is something that Mormons, Christians, Jews, Catholics, and Muslims have all done at one point or another.
lionrock is offline  
Old 11-05-2010, 11:45 AM   #20 (permalink)
Currently sour but formerly Dlishs
 
dlish's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: Australia/UAE
lionrock, i dont think you came across as douchbaggy at all.


to answer your questions -

taqiyya - this does not relate specifically to lying to non-muslims like you refer. what it does refers to is a state of fear. for example, during war where one is permitted to lie to save their life.

how many people do you know or heard of that have been killed for converting to another religion? none that i know of or heard of. in fact in order for anyone to lawfully take a life under shariah law, you need a caliphate which does not exist, therefore no islamic injuctions relating to hadd punishments can be carried out. anyone who does is carrying this out outside of the conditions of shariah law. therefore this cannot be enforced especially under a different system of government.

with regards to pictures of prophet Muhammed, there have been many pictures depicting him in persian art. None of these have been destroyed by muslims. one reason is because they dont attack the prophet, even though they are considered 'sin' to depict him. with regards to death threats for criticising the religion, refer to point 2. One thing ive said time and time again is that if the religion is not extended, it doesnt move forward.
__________________
An injustice anywhere, is an injustice everywhere

I always sign my facebook comments with ()()===========(}. Does that make me gay?
- Filthy
dlish is offline  
Old 11-05-2010, 12:14 PM   #21 (permalink)
Insane
 
dlish, thank you for your thoughtful response. I am coming from the perspective of someone who assumes that we all can get along, however I'm not naive enough to not ask questions. People who want to inflame fear will present these concepts without context to people much less willing to listen than myself.

One thing that strikes me as very different is that there seem to be very few "semi-practicing" Muslims. There are folks who identify themselves as Christian yet only go to church Christmas and Easter. There are people who only identify with Judaism as a social identification rather than a spiritual one. It seems to me though like there are very very few "semi-practicing" Muslims....you are either all in or all out. No one would go to prayers during Ramadan and then kick back with a beer on the weekend. Are there semi practicing Muslims?
lionrock is offline  
Old 11-05-2010, 09:03 PM   #22 (permalink)
Currently sour but formerly Dlishs
 
dlish's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: Australia/UAE
what i think you will find is that when foreigners leave their respective countries and set up shop in other countries, they leave with a lot of insecurities. So when they arrive they try and find other people that share the same, culture, food, language as well as the same beliefs. It gives them confidence that they'll have less insecurities because they have someone or something to fall back on. this may or may not be a bad thing because this may introduce ghetto-isation of certain communities which could have an affect on the community itself, causing it to close off outsiders. but thats a whole topic in itself.

the point in trying to get at here, is that when foreighnors leave their home countries, they tend to rely on who and what they know in a forgeign place. For example for muslims, it would be family and religion. I've noticed with my immediate family itself (parents, uncles aunts, cousins) that as quite liberal and open lebanese families are, that they certainly became more religious when they arrived in australia. they lived together initially, set up businesses, bought houses together, attanded the local mosque and worshipped together. i think the fear of becoming alien to their home country's way of life, and of losing their identity, their culture, customs and language is a fear that they all have. even for myself.

as well as i can speak arabic compared to the local australian arabic community, when i travel to lebanon (or any other arab country) i find that my arabic lacks depth because i didnt study it at school and didnt speak it like arabs do in the middle east. i fear that my son will know even less arabic than i would and that my great grandchildren will lose it altogether, and i hope that my son has that sense of belonging to want to learn it and about his culture. i can only hope.

on the other hand, you will find ( and i have seen this first hand) that many muslims in the middle east will drink and some will even fast ramadan or pray their daily prayers. some may not do any of those, but will still identify themselves as muslims and outsiders still see that as a sign of devoutedness. what ive found is that muslims in the middle east take their religion and culture less seriously than muslims in foreign parts of the world because there isnt a danger of them and their kids losing their culture, religion, language etc.

so im simple terms, to answer your question, yes there is semi practicing muslims. some do it out of norms, some do it out of social pressures, others do it because they have a fervour to practice it. you just have to poke around and you'll see the spectrum.
__________________
An injustice anywhere, is an injustice everywhere

I always sign my facebook comments with ()()===========(}. Does that make me gay?
- Filthy
dlish is offline  
Old 11-05-2010, 09:23 PM   #23 (permalink)
still, wondering.
 
Ourcrazymodern?'s Avatar
 
Location: South Minneapolis, somewhere near the gorgeous gorge
& I'm simple terms as well. Fearing Islam in America is not religious. Rolling around in the barnyard only makes you dirty. Identifying your fears enables you to conquer them. Once you have, you take your truth to others. Jesus & Mohammad advocated the same. IJUHP!
__________________
BE JUST AND FEAR NOT
Ourcrazymodern? is offline  
Old 11-06-2010, 08:59 PM   #24 (permalink)
MSD
The sky calls to us ...
 
MSD's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: CT
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionrock View Post
Thanks for an informed and civil discussion. I don't know any Muslims personally, and don't care for the sensational fear mongering. I am interested in potential cultural conflict based on beliefs. I think women should be free to wear the hijab wherever they want in America. I can think of few exceptions (in hospitals where infection may be an issue, or if someone were a paid entertainer like the recent case at Disney). I started looking at websites about Islam and found two concepts about Islam that precipitated the thoughts of integration in my head.

1) Al-taqiyya- as I understand it (as a non-Muslim outsider) is a concept that allows Muslims to lie to non believers. In fact some places showed that this was a "good" deed.

2) Death sentence to heretics and former Muslims. This comes up again and again on websites. If you were once Muslim and change your mind, you are sentenced to death.

3) Images of the prophet or criticizing the religion being the cause for death threats.

These three concepts which I kept finding again and again on websites both anti-Islam and even websites that try to explain Islam in positive light are what caused me to start this discussion in hopes for a calm explanation for an individual instead of a group. Dlish can you shed some light here?
Reading the few passages in Islamic texts that these reference and assuming that their religion is incompatible with any other way of life is as fair as taking a few passages from the Old Testament and claiming that Christianity is all about stoning people. The bits that Islamophobes cite are from documents written during the Crusades and other parts of history when Islam itself was under attack and it was a matter of kill or be killed.

There's a lot of fucked up shit in almost every religion's holy texts and it's easy to cherry pick passages that reinforce the fear that drives opposition to that religion. I'm no fan of any religion, but a hateful caricature of Islam in the western world is under attack much like the evil specter of Communism was in the McCarthy days and there's significantly less potential for harm in this case.
MSD is offline  
 

Tags
islam

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:44 AM.

Tilted Forum Project

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
© 2002-2012 Tilted Forum Project

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73