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 Islam is basically political, not religious

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1PostSubject: Islam is basically political, not religious   Thu Nov 19, 2015 5:10 pm

Islam means "submission" in Arabic and the official interpretation by the Muslim establishement has always been that it means "submission to the will of God". However, modern students of religious history are beginning to uncover evidence the term actually meant "submission to Arabian imperialism" to the people who wrote and circulated the Quran. The book itself was intended to do three things at once, and it's obviously been extremely successful at doing this.

These things were intended to operate simultaneously, so it doesn't matter which is mentioned first, but the logical starting point is the Arabic language itself, which the Quran essentially created in its modern form. This one book put Arabic "on the map" as a language that speakers of other languages had reason to learn and use in religious rituals. The second was to provide detailed descriptions of the Arabian culture, so outsiders who converted to the religion tended to change their personal lifestyles and customs to fit with the ones in the book. And the third was to create a new Abrahamic religion out of elements in the Jewish and Christian relgions that would be compatible with the Arabian Empire these men were already in the process of creating.

So it really doesn't matter exactly who "the Prophet Muhammad" really was or what he believed: he was simply one of the military leaders of the early Arabian Imperialist movement who became the figurehead for the creation of what was essentially a "new world order". Nor is it useful to compare Islam to either Judaism or Christianity in moral, legal, or philosophical terms. The other two religions evolved over long periods of time and their scriptures were written by many different people, each one living in a different physical and social environment, so a wide variety of viewpoints are presented. Islam, on the other hand, was created by a small number of people in just a few years, and essentially presents a single viewpoint: one compatible with a massive Arabic-speaking Empire.

And my point in creating this thread is simply to throw out the idea that DAESH/ISIS is a logical modern successor to the original Arabian Imperialist movement that produced the Quran ... meaning that the new Caliphate is simply an attempt to re-establish an equivalent to the one that existed in the early days of Islam ... and ended up conquoring quite a large part of the world.

Here's a link to a site where some of the ideas I just presented are discussed, from the viewpoint of Muslims who took a hard look at their religion and ended up rejecting it.

http://www.politicalislam.com/about/
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2PostSubject: Re: Islam is basically political, not religious   Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:26 am

I agree to everything you say, though this is a highly unpopular position among so-called Liberal or left people. The essence of Islam as a religion is rulership, a dominator model. No wonder I understood something about its basic core (submission etc.) when in my youth I was trying to understand a friend who was dating a guy that turned out to be a bona fide masochist. IMHO it is better to use a real S/M club for this type of instinct...

With all that, I must stress that I am not prejudiced against particular people or cultural products who come from a majority Islamic culture or country. I grew up in a so-called Communist country (in reality, Bolshevik or Soviet), and that does not make me personally a Bolshevik. The highest value can be assigned to those people's experiences and thought who have something to do with Islam but refuse to identify with it as a militant ideology - only as a brand of origon kind of like ethnicity.

One of my best friends for a while while in the US was an Iranian sociologist who embodied strong cultural roots and could very well represent the music, poetry and the literature of the country of his origin, including explaining its ties to Islamic mysticism, without falling any of the traps. Another source of knowledge was a Baha'i follower who could tell me a lot about the Prophet Baha'ullah's attempt to reconcile Islam in an interfaith matrix. It was really impressive yet I could not fail to notice how the founders of the faith were tortured to death when the leaders suddenly had enough of their "foreign" mysticism.
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3PostSubject: Re: Islam is basically political, not religious   Fri Nov 20, 2015 11:04 am

reg, #2, re: "I agree to everything you say, though this is a highly unpopular position among so-called Liberal or left people. The essence of Islam as a religion is rulership, a dominator model. No wonder I understood something about its basic core (submission etc.) when in my youth I was trying to understand a friend who was dating a guy that turned out to be a bona fide masochist. IMHO it is better to use a real S/M club for this type of instinct..."

I grew up in the hard core of the counterculture, where individuals from just about every religious and ethnic background interacted positively, and it wasn't until I participated in the foundation of the New Age and Neo Pagan movements in the Seventies and Early Eighties that I realized this had been a "self-fulfilling prophecy" situation. People from a wide variety of backgrounds could work together as long as they agreed to subordinate their individual opinions to those of the movement they were participating in. But as soon as people began forming alternative religious organizations, each with its own belief system, exclusiveness replaced inclusiveness, and true liberalism became replaced by "political correctness". So I went from "there's good and bad in all religions and a sensible person accepts the form and rejects the latter" to "good and evil transcend politics, culture, and religion and people or organizations should be judged only by their deeds, not by any theoretical explanations they may give". So I began comparing the liberalization and secularization of the Western World with the conservatism and ever-increasing theocracy of the Islamic world, and gradually was forced to admit the things I described in the OP.

re: "With all that, I must stress that I am not prejudiced against particular people or cultural products who come from a majority Islamic culture or country. I grew up in a so-called Communist country (in reality, Bolshevik or Soviet), and that does not make me personally a Bolshevik. The highest value can be assigned to those people's experiences and thought who have something to do with Islam but refuse to identify with it as a militant ideology - only as a brand of origon kind of like ethnicity One of my best friends for a while while in the US was an Iranian sociologist who embodied strong cultural roots and could very well represent the music, poetry and the literature of the country of his origin, including explaining its ties to Islamic mysticism, without falling any of the traps. Another source of knowledge was a Baha'i follower who could tell me a lot about the Prophet Baha'ullah's attempt to reconcile Islam in an interfaith matrix. It was really impressive yet I could not fail to notice how the founders of the faith were tortured to death when the leaders suddenly had enough of their 'foreign' mysticism."

Yes, this actually parallels my own experiences as described above, though the cultural, politcal, and religious details differ to varying degrees on different aspects of adjustment to the social environment.


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4PostSubject: Re: Islam is basically political, not religious   Sun Nov 22, 2015 3:21 am

Facing the paranoia I can see in some locals (most of my friends have adopted some sort of nationalism or some anti-Western, particularly anti-American mania) makes me reexamine my own beliefs time to time. And the result is that I am becoming more and more a hardcore Westerner. Historically, I see the process of evolution through the enlightenment and individual rights to women's rights and the weakening of theocracy as a continuum. And some of the attitudes I held or experimented with fifteen or twenty years ago do not pass the muster.
The core of my experiences that moves people out of the comfort zone of traditional civilizations was centered on psychedelics, meditation, and psychological renewal. In the light of the true healing of wounds within and moving on to a developing vision we can truly share with the next generations, all historical traumas appear as the same. The collective is wrongly impressed upon the individual and the family.

When examining the idea of national identity historically, it falls apart soon. The importance of which language you speak was quite exaggerated in the 19th century in Europe but usually not before. We have the first world war with its weird personalization of nations as if they were living entities. Look at this gallery http://galeria.index.hu/tudomany/2015/11/10/elso_vilaghaborus_propaganda/
- the first maps especially.

Then we have the collective shadow movement of Nazism with its weird ideology of ethnicizing religion - Nazis were planning the destruction of people, as new and new documents found in construction attest in Hungary, door to door, marking people by religion. RELIGION. People who were Jewish were marked as such - even if they converted or their ancestors did over 50 years before. People who were not Jewish in this weird mixed-up psychotic way of looking at the world were marked on the map as "Christian". Not Hungarian. Christian. (Despite the widespread anti-Christian beliefs of various brands of Nazis).

Jewishness was - and still is in this part of the world - looked upon something you can inherit genetically (though that wasn't the word they used). Now this is a glaring contradiction.

Now we read stuff like "Muslims proliferate" and the "Muslim birth rate" and so on. As if Muslimness was something you could inherit biologically... And again, these weird and psychotic beliefs appear in the West too, but there they are questioned and transcended by anyone who has experiences like I did, or basically by anyone who has a sense of humor. In the Middle East they are taken for granted as true objects of worship or destruction. In Eastern Europe, people debate about these "entities" as if they were real. Time to time I have to remind people in any debate that these "entities" cannot be "inherited", that Muslims cannot "proliferate" and there is no single entity you should call "Hungarian" when we are a mix of at least fifteen various ancestor nations and religions and so on. (No wonder my mother points out many times that it is macho societies and mostly nineteen-century men who keep up this fictitious way of looking at the world).

The Western tradition exhorts one to question all these while already in Eastern Europe it is rarely questioned. You have to go as far as India with the logic of Panini to find a non-authoritarian view based on comparisons...

The question I can ask is if I have anything in common with people who share this psychosis merely because their mother tongue is the same?

Very few people look at nationalism as negative in this part of the world full of a PTSD syndrome based on the last hundred or so years. I am an internationalist, a Bolshevik and so on if I question national identity. It is natural for people to measure with a double standard. Consequently very few people see the connection between Arab nationalism (and later a Persian variety too) and Islam. Take that away and nothing much remains...

An encouraging development is that people chased away their government with court examinations in next-door Romania because corruption is rampant and many people died in the capital in a discothéque in a fire because permits have been issued with impunity with sliding money. People took to the streets in Bucharest and the courts actually did their job and convicted the government - and wonder of wonders, they abdicated. Which shows that these days ordinary Romanians have more sense than the majority of the Indian reservation that calls itself Hungary.
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5PostSubject: Re: Islam is basically political, not religious   Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:44 am

reg, #4, re: "Facing the paranoia I can see in some locals (most of my friends have adopted some sort of nationalism or some anti-Western, particularly anti-American mania) makes me reexamine my own beliefs time to time. And the result is that I am becoming more and more a hardcore Westerner. Historically, I see the process of evolution through the enlightenment and individual rights to women's rights and the weakening of theocracy as a continuum. And some of the attitudes I held or experimented with fifteen or twenty years ago do not pass the muster. The core of my experiences that moves people out of the comfort zone of traditional civilizations was centered on psychedelics, meditation, and psychological renewal. In the light of the true healing of wounds within and moving on to a developing vision we can truly share with the next generations, all historical traumas appear as the same. The collective is wrongly impressed upon the individual and the family."

It looks to me like there are only two meaningful social classes in the USA today: people who "have been moved out of the comfort zone of traditional civilization by psychedelics, meditation, and psychological renewal" and people who haven't. Ironically, just as many people in the first category label themselves as conservative as liberal, and the class demographics cut across the usual demarcation lines of economic status, race, religion, and ethnic origin. The majority of successful business and professional people (and their families) belong to this class, as do artists and intellectuals in general ... but so do large numbers of people who accept significant amounts of public assistance. And from what you just said, the same is true in Hungary right now, even though the whole socio-economic system is very different from ours.

re: "When examining the idea of national identity historically, it falls apart soon. The importance of which language you speak was quite exaggerated in the 19th century in Europe but usually not before. We have the first world war with its weird personalization of nations as if they were living entities. Look at this gallery [link] - the first maps especially."

IMO, it's important to realize that before the 19th century, just about all educated people in Europe spoke one or more languages other than their birth tongue and often used them in communication with a wide variety of foreigners. These included the Latin and Greek then taught in practically all formal schools, but also languages widely used in trade and travel, especially French, German and English. The very term "lingua franca" to mean "universal language" is an example of this.

re: "Then we have the collective shadow movement of Nazism with its weird ideology of ethnicizing religion - Nazis were planning the destruction of people, as new and new documents found in construction attest in Hungary, door to door, marking people by religion. RELIGION. People who were Jewish were marked as such - even if they converted or their ancestors did over 50 years before. People who were not Jewish in this weird mixed-up psychotic way of looking at the world were marked on the map as "Christian". Not Hungarian. Christian. (Despite the widespread anti-Christian beliefs of various brands of Nazis). Jewishness was - and still is in this part of the world - looked upon something you can inherit genetically (though that wasn't the word they used). Now this is a glaring contradiction."

This same mentality can be traced back for many centuries all over Europe, and probably originated in the struggle the Roman Catholic Church engaged in for many centuries to always be in the ascendancy over secular governments. This tended to generate a type of anti-Semitism grounded in economics rather than religion, because the Jews were often engaged in foreign trade, and when doing this functioned more as an ethnic group than a religion.

re: "Now we read stuff like 'Muslims proliferate' and the 'Muslim birth rate' and so on. As if Muslimness was something you could inherit biologically... And again, these weird and psychotic beliefs appear in the West too, but there they are questioned and transcended by anyone who has experiences like I did, or basically by anyone who has a sense of humor. In the Middle East they are taken for granted as true objects of worship or destruction. In Eastern Europe, people debate about these 'entities' as if they were real. Time to time I have to remind people in any debate that these 'entities' cannot be 'inherited', that Muslims cannot 'proliferate' and there is no single entity you should call 'Hungarian' when we are a mix of at least fifteen various ancestor nations and religions and so on. (No wonder my mother points out many times that it is macho societies and mostly nineteen-century men who keep up this fictitious way of looking at the world)."

IMO, this is rooted in the fact that the "Islamic World" was put on the map as an important  politico-economic entity after the break-up of the Ottoman Empire primarily by the discovery of major oil deposits in many parts of it. The more important this oil has become to the world economic community, the more the concept of Muslims as an ethnic group rather than a religion has received recognition.

re: "The Western tradition exhorts one to question all these while already in Eastern Europe it is rarely questioned. You have to go as far as India with the logic of Panini to find a non-authoritarian view based on comparisons..."

Actually, some of the ancient Greek philosophers were questioning this logic about the same time Panini was, but their wisdom somehow got washed away in the flood as Western civilization took shape, whereas Panini's fame as a grammarian gained all of his teachings more respect in India.

re: "The question I can ask is if I have anything in common with people who share this psychosis merely because their mother tongue is the same? Very few people look at nationalism as negative in this part of the world full of a PTSD syndrome based on the last hundred or so years. I am an internationalist, a Bolshevik and so on if I question national identity. It is natural for people to measure with a double standard. Consequently very few people see the connection between Arab nationalism (and later a Persian variety too) and Islam. Take that away and nothing much remains..."

A lot of Americans feel the same, which is why there has been an active counterculture here continuously since the early 1800's. And it's had massive influence over the evolution of American culture, but this is hard to trace by reading the history books used in schools, because alternative viewpoints on various issues rarely get mentioned.

re: "An encouraging development is that people chased away their government with court examinations in next-door Romania because corruption is rampant and many people died in the capital in a discothéque in a fire because permits have been issued with impunity with sliding money. People took to the streets in Bucharest and the courts actually did their job and convicted the government - and wonder of wonders, they abdicated. Which shows that these days ordinary Romanians have more sense than the majority of the Indian reservation that calls itself Hungary."

These events in Romania have received almost no media coverage here in the USA, nor are they mentioned in the on-line political discussions I read. And the same is true of news about what's now going on in Hungary. Which I assume is why I and a lot of people with similar backgrounds continue discussing these subjects on the Web.


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6PostSubject: Re: Islam is basically political, not religious   Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:50 pm

Thank you! It is important for me to receive feedback and confirmation in some of these basic things - then of course we may build similar houses and fill them with different furniture...

Over here there is very little support. At least at the personal level. I find much support on the single one radiostation that is mostly anti-government (Klubrádió) and some people writing articles but many of my friends and relatives are seeing me as odd with these views so I frequently think I should have stayed silent. All my clients share a fascination to the new and the cosmic but politics and culture has become a hot potato... I keep on bumping against the same things so I limit my exposure...
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7PostSubject: Re: Islam is basically political, not religious   Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:21 pm

regmelocco wrote:
Thank you! It is important for me to receive feedback and confirmation in some of these basic things - then of course we may build similar houses and fill them with different furniture...

Over here there is very little support. At least at the personal level. I find much support on the single one radiostation that is mostly anti-government (Klubrádió) and some people writing articles but many of my friends and relatives are seeing me as odd with these views so I frequently think I should have stayed silent. All my clients share a fascination to the new and the cosmic but politics and culture has become a hot potato... I keep on bumping against the same things so I limit my exposure...

The problem here in the USA is that most people get bombarded by electronic mind control from every angle throughout their lives, but aren't ever brainwashed into submission to any particular agenda, simply because there are literally dozens of such agendas all blending into one another. And when these people get onto the net, very few of them are prepared to do quality control on the information they find here, and end up learning a lot less than they should about "what is really going on here".
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8PostSubject: Re: Islam is basically political, not religious   Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:56 am

but there is a way to use philosophy to bring peace
http://www.politicalforum.com/religion-philosophy/341905-i-believe-abraham-said-good-son-good-prophet-prophet-muhammad-pbuh.html

I believe Abraham said "good son and good Prophet" to The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
If more Christian Mystics and even some Jewish Mystics will begin to discuss the theory that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was in many ways a Prophet Like Unto Moses as well as perhaps King David or Elijah or the Patriarch Abraham reincarnated........ then peace will soon break out in the Middle East!!!!!!!!!


3. The Prophet Muhammad's Journey to Heaven



Quote :
According to the Islamic legend called "Miraj," the Prophet Muhammad had an experience that is similar in many respects to a near-death experience. Muhammad is said to have ascended to heaven to visit the seven heavens [and, in some accounts, the fires of hell] in the company of the archangel Gabriel. In the Koran, Muhammad's enemies are quoted as saying that they would not believe him unless he ascends to heaven and brings down a book (Sura 17:92-95).

In Islamic legend, Muhammad is reported to have gone on a mysterious night journey into heaven. Islamic sources state this happened "in the spirit," his body remaining behind. In this legend, Muhammad is prepared for his meeting with God by the archangels Jibril and Mikail one evening while he is asleep in the Ka'bah, the sacred shrine of Mecca. They open up his body and purify his heart by removing all traces of error, doubt, idolatry, and paganism and by filling it with wisdom and belief. An animal by the name of Buraq, apparently horse-like and white, and with a human face, was provided for a ride from the mosque in Mecca to the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, from where he ascended, supposedly on a ladder of light to the seven heavens. In the first heaven Muhammad meets Adam; in the second, John the Baptist and Jesus; in the third, Joseph; in the fourth, Enoch; in the fifth, Aaron; in the sixth, Moses; and in the seventh, Abraham (who welcomed him as "Good son and good prophet").
http://www.near-death.com/muslim.html
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9PostSubject: Re: Islam is basically political, not religious   Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:44 am

Thank you for the illuminating quote. I always wanted to see the source of why Jerusalem was a holy city for Muslims.

As a young person, researching various religions, I could see that these Prophets were at a similar level (Moses, Jesus and Muhammad). I had a positive attraction towards certain Islamic cultures and mysticism. However, meditative states and thinking in terms of many lives were also natural to me, as they were for many Islamic mystics.

I could also see that the outlook on Jesus of Islam was more normal and in line with my feeling than mainstream Christian eschatology (Jesus died for your sins and saved billions of folks ahead of time and retroactively etc.).

However, music or meditative occupations or these visions do not deter certain destructive people from - using Western technology - to destroy others who have similar but different visions, such as Jews, Christians, Hindus or Yazidis... so these days I tend to have an outsider's point of view on all three religions "of the book..."

Perhaps there is something in the Middle East that people from other regions have a difficulty to grasp: no one can own the land but all three major religions try. And that has been the case for over a thousand years.

Does it matter where you formally are registered in terms of religion? I think your inner being should be the one that matters and its evolution, not whatever someone wrote in an ID card...
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10PostSubject: Re: Islam is basically political, not religious   Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:54 am

DennisTate wrote:
but there is a way to use philosophy to bring peace
http://www.politicalforum.com/religion-philosophy/341905-i-believe-abraham-said-good-son-good-prophet-prophet-muhammad-pbuh.html

I believe Abraham said "good son and good Prophet" to The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
If more Christian Mystics and even some Jewish Mystics will begin to discuss the theory that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was in many ways a Prophet Like Unto Moses as well as perhaps King David or Elijah or the Patriarch Abraham reincarnated........ then peace will soon break out in the Middle East!!!!!!!!!


3. The Prophet Muhammad's Journey to Heaven



Quote :
According to the Islamic legend called "Miraj," the Prophet Muhammad had an experience that is similar in many respects to a near-death experience. Muhammad is said to have ascended to heaven to visit the seven heavens [and, in some accounts, the fires of hell] in the company of the archangel Gabriel. In the Koran, Muhammad's enemies are quoted as saying that they would not believe him unless he ascends to heaven and brings down a book (Sura 17:92-95).

In Islamic legend, Muhammad is reported to have gone on a mysterious night journey into heaven. Islamic sources state this happened "in the spirit," his body remaining behind. In this legend, Muhammad is prepared for his meeting with God by the archangels Jibril and Mikail one evening while he is asleep in the Ka'bah, the sacred shrine of Mecca. They open up his body and purify his heart by removing all traces of error, doubt, idolatry, and paganism and by filling it with wisdom and belief. An animal by the name of Buraq, apparently horse-like and white, and with a human face, was provided for a ride from the mosque in Mecca to the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, from where he ascended, supposedly on a ladder of light to the seven heavens. In the first heaven Muhammad meets Adam; in the second, John the Baptist and Jesus; in the third, Joseph; in the fourth, Enoch; in the fifth, Aaron; in the sixth, Moses; and in the seventh, Abraham (who welcomed him as "Good son and good prophet").
http://www.near-death.com/muslim.html

My personal belief is still that Islam started out as a political movement to build an Arabian Empire as the Roman Empire was being replaced in the West by a Christian Empire, but there is no doubt that some of the religious elements in the Qu'ran and later Muslim writings contain real spiritual wisdom and power.
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11PostSubject: Re: Islam is basically political, not religious   Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:05 pm

regmelocco wrote:
Thank you for the illuminating quote. I always wanted to see the source of why Jerusalem was a holy city for Muslims.

As a young person, researching various religions, I could see that these Prophets were at a similar level (Moses, Jesus and Muhammad). I had a positive attraction towards certain Islamic cultures and mysticism. However, meditative states and thinking in terms of many lives were also natural to me, as they were for many Islamic mystics.

I could also see that the outlook on Jesus of Islam was more normal and in line with my feeling than mainstream Christian eschatology (Jesus died for your sins and saved billions of folks ahead of time and retroactively etc.).

However, music or meditative occupations or these visions do not deter certain destructive people from - using Western technology - to destroy others who have similar but different visions, such as Jews, Christians, Hindus or Yazidis... so these days I tend to have an outsider's point of view on all three religions "of the book..."

Perhaps there is something in the Middle East that people from other regions have a difficulty to grasp: no one can own the land but all three major religions try. And that has been the case for over a thousand years.

Does it matter where you formally are registered in terms of religion? I think your inner being should be the one that matters and its evolution, not whatever someone wrote in an ID card...

IMO, it's also important to realize that the Islamic Empire in the Middle East became stable for a long time and powerful elements of true civilization developed within it. The same happened to a lesser extent in the West, after the first wave of Muslim expansion conquered Spain and then remained static for quite a few centuries. However, when certain very warlike Mongol tribes converted to Islam, they launched a second wave of Muslim expansion that poured into Western Asia and Eastern Europe, and also into China and India. These waves of expansion generated so much opposition that Islam in general got a very bad political reputation that continues down to the present day.
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12PostSubject: Re: Islam is basically political, not religious   Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:40 pm

Interesting... now that I think into it, this explains a lot of stuff.
The Golden Horde versus the Ilkhanate - Wiki says 1295.
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13PostSubject: Re: Islam is basically political, not religious   Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:21 pm

regmelocco wrote:
Interesting... now that I think into it, this explains a lot of stuff.
The Golden Horde versus the Ilkhanate - Wiki says 1295.

Yes! A lot of people in the West aren't aware just how recent this second wave of Imperial Islamic expansion was, or that it involved the first serious application of gunpowder and a number of the other trappings of modern military technology ti warfare. And even fewer seem to realize that this second wave had almost nothing in common with the first wave in terms of language, culture, art, literature, etc.
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14PostSubject: Re: Islam is basically political, not religious   Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:56 pm

Realityrebel wrote:
reg, #2, re: "I agree to everything you say, though this is a highly unpopular position among so-called Liberal or left people. The essence of Islam as a religion is rulership, a dominator model. No wonder I understood something about its basic core (submission etc.) when in my youth I was trying to understand a friend who was dating a guy that turned out to be a bona fide masochist. IMHO it is better to use a real S/M club for this type of instinct..."

I grew up in the hard core of the counterculture, where individuals from just about every religious and ethnic background interacted positively, and it wasn't until I participated in the foundation of the New Age and Neo Pagan movements in the Seventies and Early Eighties that I realized this had been a "self-fulfilling prophecy" situation. People from a wide variety of backgrounds could work together as long as they agreed to subordinate their individual opinions to those of the movement they were participating in. But as soon as people began forming alternative religious organizations, each with its own belief system, exclusiveness replaced inclusiveness, and true liberalism became replaced by "political correctness". So I went from "there's good and bad in all religions and a sensible person accepts the form and rejects the latter" to "good and evil transcend politics, culture, and religion and people or organizations should be judged only by their deeds, not by any theoretical explanations they may give". So I began comparing the liberalization and secularization of the Western World with the conservatism and ever-increasing theocracy of the Islamic world, and gradually was forced to admit the things I described in the OP.

re: "With all that, I must stress that I am not prejudiced against particular people or cultural products who come from a majority Islamic culture or country. I grew up in a so-called Communist country (in reality, Bolshevik or Soviet), and that does not make me personally a Bolshevik. The highest value can be assigned to those people's experiences and thought who have something to do with Islam but refuse to identify with it as a militant ideology - only as a brand of origon kind of like ethnicity One of my best friends for a while while in the US was an Iranian sociologist who embodied strong cultural roots and could very well represent the music, poetry and the literature of the country of his origin, including explaining its ties to Islamic mysticism, without falling any of the traps. Another source of knowledge was a Baha'i follower who could tell me a lot about the Prophet Baha'ullah's attempt to reconcile Islam in an interfaith matrix. It was really impressive yet I could not fail to notice how the founders of the faith were tortured to death when the leaders suddenly had enough of their 'foreign' mysticism."

Yes, this actually parallels my own experiences as described above, though the cultural, politcal, and religious details differ to varying degrees on different aspects of adjustment to the social environment.

You might find the first page of this discussion thread helpful
in some of your discussions......


http://www.politicalforum.com/religion-philosophy/341905-i-believe-abraham-said-good-son-good-prophet-prophet-muhammad-pbuh.html

I believe Abraham said "good son and good Prophet" to The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
If more Christian Mystics and even some Jewish Mystics will begin to discuss the theory that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was in many ways a Prophet Like Unto Moses as well as perhaps King David or Elijah or the Patriarch Abraham reincarnated........ then peace will soon break out in the Middle East!!!!!!!!!


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15PostSubject: Re: Islam is basically political, not religious   Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:45 pm

I recognized what you say long ago, the Prophet Muhammad is in many ways an equivalent to Moses or Jesus, though I inherently believe that thinking in a monotheistic God is just one way of talking about a mystical experience, and it is not always helpful. On the outside, tribal feelings dominate today's talk of monotheistic religions - not the searching for truth using traditional contexts.

You can partly become a "prophet" in that tradition yourself - it is not a blasphemy to say this. I do not mean the external part of being a prophet - preaching to people, writing holy texts, but in the sense that you yourself can get visions from "the Archangel Djibriel" - I don't think Islam explicitly disallows you doing that. No one will rewrite the Q'uran because if you read enough of that - or Moses or Jesus - you will see that there is precious little that remains to say in the field.

My favorite part is the Sufi music, poetry which is still as popular as the rock lyrics in the West, even in countries where rock music has penetrated. The real power is not in guns, neither in just praying or fasting, the real power is in the rugs, the music of Shahram Nazeri etc. which still make the charts to lovers of world music. Plus the incredible richness of Islamic space and ornamentation in architecture, the webs of energy of interesing mandalas - contemplating these can result in very different, rich states of mind. I believe this complex power cannot be totally destroyed, while AK-47-s and Fatwas are marginal in world history.

What we were discussing in this thread is rather the external focus - and lest we forget, there is a growing discrimination against everything relating to Islam in many Western societies at a level where today it would be unthinkable to talk about, say, Judaism in journalistic or political discourse. On that side, simple Nazi-like rhetoric has penetrated Western discourse. Islam can be "inherited" in the discourse of its enemies (which is not true about religions in general, though one can argue that the subtle morphic resonance of followers would come out in later generations, but let's keep that observation in the realm of deep psychologysuch as Jung or Hellinger's family constellation practices). Jung would certainly have maintained that if you had Islamic ancestors you should try to explore that culture or you would be suppressing something vital. Islamic people "proliferate" - which is a dark sociological bias by the imagined holders of social power.

The political angle on both parts comes by highlighting the tribal exclusion part not the inclusive part - I have had friends from Islamic cultures, believers and non-believers, who always welcomed me into their culture and recorded music, invited me for food, explained the origins of various refinements in traditions. I find the recordings of Arabic prayers really beautiful musically, and I can easily see why people have the experience that Classical Arabic is a perfect language, though in music, I find Iran just as rich and mystical and alluring.

Today it particularly seems that militant or fundamentalistic Islam is a shadow mirror to the Christian white culture which dominated recent ages. Basically everything journalists accuse Islamists today has once been part of a Christian Western tradition - except the ruling cultures today have a strong bias against being different. Even social time is handled differently in traditional Islamic cultures, not to speak about musical time - and by delving into the latter one can have a feeling of how life unfolds in the former. The wise stories of Hodja Nasruddin, the parables of the Knower and the Higher Self quoted by Western students of religion and world views make sure that despite the shortcomings of holy books, Islam is a fully grown adult religion which is capable of managing a full civilization and a cogent explanation of the world including mysticism. But fundamentalism is a danger and is not equipped to handle an adult civilization. Banning music in any Islamic state as in Daesh is a form of cultural suicide.

Hwoever, mystics have been at times horribly persecuted in Islamic countries, by the whim of a Caliph or an Ayatollah. Similarly to Popes and the Inquisition and the Crusades (a medieval Vietnam), or the violent Counter-reformation earlier in Europe, and yes, it's true, even the "more enlightened" Protestant Christians have had their stakes with burning people. (Anyone with a basic mystical experience would see that burning another human being to death will never serve anyone's getting closer to God or Oneness or the Spirit. That is ignorance.)

I found a particular style of situation very strongly portrayed in Islamic culture (stories mainly): that of power. Power of a human being over another, absolute power, Allah having power over the believers etc. One can make peace with that, it is part of the human situation on Earth, yet we in these threads are usually people who look for situations of equality and cosmic development, and speak of human power structures disapprovingly. We have a good reason to do so. And in particular, the book War in Heaven details how religious beliefs shape power situations far beyond the simple and obvious justification of the social power of the rich over the poor which sharp critics like Marx described.

Also, it is no accident that alcohol is banned in mainstream Islam (though Iranians widely disregard that part). The whole externality of Islam - if approached by a cultural sympathizer like me or an unbiased spectator - rhymes to sympathetic outsiders with a feeling more in tune with other cultural drugs - coffee, hashish, opium in particular, while wine is a sacrament to both Judaism and Christianity.

The irrationalism of parts of the Qu'ran is partly appealing - the archangel Djibriel telling Mohammed about the cosmic order parallels a lone hallucinogenic or shamanic experience or the mediumship of talking with Inner Guides or Gurus in the Indian tradition. Hey, let's try this! (Though we probably won't tell desert tribes about our experiences - well, who knows, if they get on chat boards, we may.)

In all major religions, attachment to form is something that is now regarded as only a background of individual mystical experience. In Islam, unlike in Ihristianity or Judaism, there is an explicit long tradition of high priests writing poems about breaking all the taboos - even the Ayatollah Khomeini had to write a poem by tradition where he spends the night in a cemetery getting drunk, and if I remember correctly, cursing too. Why? Because integrating the shadow has been long part of Sufi experience. What you really want to reject, what you really hate, is part of you somehow and without embracing that part in an elevated state you cannot develop further).

Talking about Islam like "it's all in the book", without context, is misleading though, fundamentalists make a claim no historian could satisfy. You simply do not know the context of why the Prophet Muhammad said this or that in the 600's when you live in a society with cars, TV, fast food and machine guns. Or sometimes you do, but sometimes a rule may be applicable to a medieval tribal society and may not be part of something you really have to do among the skyscrapers of Dubai.

Back to the political nature: not only fundamentalist Islam is political. I met American Muslims who wanted to be religious but "not like the white man." I can see that there is an enormous resistance to modernity and a penchant for contemplating the "white man's burden" including colonialization in many branches of today's Islam, plus dissatisfaction with the alienation produced by mass consumerism. In a way, some of this reminds me of the Catholic Left in South America. They revive practices like banning interests, providing food and clothing and schooling to the poor, which modern capitalism does not, especially its neo-liberal type. I would say that thes ideological motors are driving towards a world war, except for two things: Islam is famously divided, Shi'ites against sunnis, Alawites against all the rest, plus the human power element above which serves as a worldly wisdom in many wise stories of Islamic tradition has a weak point: the strong man is always respected and feared and obeyed. In today's world, networking, equality, information and energy are the rulers. Plus making demos out of Western people contradicts that precise wisdom I mentioned about integrating the shadow. You create an army of djinns out of a secular army and pop songs - you creat a shadow projection that will one day destroy you. (Not to speak about the mere fact that people living in dictatorships usually start to crave precisely those things the dictators forbid - ordinary Tehranians simply like their modernity with the metro and air conditioning and scientific education, and some even like Israel, though in public they always have to denounce and boo.)

I read a long report of a journalist spending time with the anti-Israel Palestinian forces (then also battling the Iranians as well as the US). Their commander revealed a chief strength and at the same time a chief weakness of strongly Islamic and partly Marxist Palestinian troops in the Iraq-Iran war: they were never afraid to die for a community cause - belief helped them over this moot point. Well, Europeans and Americans used to be like that a hundred years ago but modern times taught people differently, especially WW2. Nazi Germany and
Imperial Japan had no respect for some ordinary human things - and the US and its allies won. The Soviets ditto - and in the long run they lost.
The military weakness is that due to the same attitude, troops with this strong religious-ethnic motivation in that part of the world cannot retreat, even if they clearly stand to lose a particular battle. This way they not only lose the battle but they lose very seasoned fighters and useful equipment. Mao and the Chinese Reds were far better at this aspect. They could lose in order to win later.

Some cultural points of modern political Islam are losing points though they may come up strong in all the confrontations coming up over the next years: two biases in particular. One is that we (meaning the Umma) should be fundamentally different from the mainstream Western paradigm. The other one is that America within that (aometimes along with Israel and Western Europe) is/are the chief Satan, and there are background powers in the world directed from the US, Israel and America that stand in conspiracy against the Islamic nations. Yes, there is a conspiracy hatching in the West for equality, democracy etc. and even science, though the West has its own stock of stupid Kali Yuga defenders too - the US Republican Party is a virtual zoo of these anti-huamn attitudes for example. But in the long term, I think one can never win a war based upon a paranoid mindset - though in a short term, paranoid ideologies may prove victorious.

The world is never black and white, there are many shades. In the Western world, there are respected scientists, engineers and doctors whose origins are from Islamic cultures, or Sikh, Hindu or Chinese. Surely a lot of Westerners dissatisfied with the injustices of mainstream capitalism also serve the propaganda of either Islam or another focus of "alternative history", the neo-Soviet Empire of Russia. Plus a lot of Western youth touched by the world crises in the wrong way decide to go and become a terrorist. (It's more fun to be a tourist, but no one told them so...)
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