Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Irrational Islam


The religious internet has been alive with pictures of burning churches, of nuns being paraded through the streets as prisoners of war, with abduction and murder of bishops and priests, the abduction and forced conversion and forced marriage of young girls, the abduction and murder of young boys, the killing of so many and the flight of even more from their ancient homelands, the question raised is: Why?
Again we see in Syria mass murder, the use of chemical weapons, torture, mass rape, again: Why?

As Sandro Magister points out for an answer we can go back to the 2006 Regensburg speech of Benedict XVI, we can state with the Pope Emeritus and the Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos, "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only bad and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." 

Both Christian and Islamic fundamentalism are dangerous, as is secular fundamentalism, it always leads to inhumanity. The Emperor continues,  ""God is not pleased by blood — and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death…"

For Catholics revelation is about Faith and Reason; Reason, which comes from God and is God's gift to mankind is part of man's very nature. Faith without Reason is dehumanising, even Christianity when reduced to mere Fideistic Positivism, the mere following of rules, rather than its emphasis on worshipping God "in Spirit and Truth", in Jesus as being the Incarnate Logos or forgetting Paul's insistence that the Law brings death and the Spirit brings Life, can be dangerous indeed.

The problem with Islam is that the best man can hope for is to become abdullah, a slave of God, a slave of a God who commands and instructs, but who is actually as far removed from man as a man is from a microbe, whilst Catholicism insists that man can hope for 'divinisation', we can hope "to see God face to face", to become Sons. We believe that Grace transforms base fallen nature that distorts man's rational nature, it enthuses our very nature and transforms us. Islam does indeed believe in 'One God' but it is God who is distant. It is certainly a God who is merciful and who expects his creatures to be merciful if they are to expect mercy but the Christian God transforms. The difference is Grace. The difference is the doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity.

Human reason transforms, Islam in the Spanish pre-reconquest Convivencia, when Islam, Christianity and Judaism dwelt more or less happily together was an age in which Islamic scholarship embraced, preserved and eventually passed on to men like Aquinas the philosophy of the ancient Greeks. It is not by accident that Christianity rediscovers Aristotle and Plato in dialogue with a rational Islam. Today's problem is that contemporary Islam has lost its sense of the rational. Nostrae Aetate urges us to dialogue, Benedict's Regensburg speech was a model for blunt, frank and courageous dialogue, it is more necessary now than it was 50 years ago.

Catholicism unlike than secularism, which can only confront, can engage in dialogue with Islam but it strikes me that in the West especially but elsewhere too amongst Moslems there is a great hunger for a faith which is rational. In my 'dialogue' with Islam - talking with local shopkeepers and cafe owners and students - the more Islam identifies itself as irrational and bloodthirsty, the more tentative enquiries I find are made about Christianity. 

37 comments:

Badum-tish! said...

But Islam isn't one monolithic religion, as you seem to have understood if I read this correctly, it's a mishmash of different ideas and approaches, much as Christianity is. Isn't this post a rather simplistic view, one which I wouldn't expect from someone that is usually more attuned to the different shades of argument.. How about some comment about Sufi and Shia ideas of a personal relationship with God, given that many of the Muslims living in the UK come from that background?

Mike Cliffson said...

""Islam in the Spanish pre-reconquest Convivencia, when Islam, Christianity and Judaism dwelt more or less happily together" "was an age in which //Islamic scholarship// embraced, preserved and eventually passed on to men like Aquinas the philosophy of the ancient Greeks."
Well now.......many, many,many qualifications about this beautiful picture, usually used as a bludgeon to justify decristianizing modern Spain.
At point zero, the Iberian reconquista got going pretty coterminously with the conquest.
Mutatis mutandis, as someone said of chivalry, that there genuinely were Christian knights errant doesn't mean they never spent their nights erring.


Independent said...

I think we all know what happened to that great Christian friend of Islam, Ramon Lull.

Konstantin said...

Unfortunately what we see in Egypt is the essence of Islamic behavior towards unbelievers, not some version of Islam. Even if there was such a thing as Rational Islam, it is not any more desirable than its irrational version, both are just faces of the same false religion.
Let's just get the old Catholic missionary spirit out there again. 50 Years of very tame "dialogue" (btw an absolutely unheard-of term before Vatican II) didn't get us anywhere.

If we study the history of the Catholic missions we will see how confrontational (always non-violent, of course) Catholicism won so many converts all over the globe because it's basis was the very sound attitude that it is the One True Faith and Our Lord asked us to teach the Gospel to all nations, and that the false religions eventually lead to people's damnation and not to a union with God, something barely, if ever mentioned in today's ecumenical climate.

Bring back the days when priests would preach at mixed congregations of Catholics and Muslims that Christ also asks Muslims to join His flock and that they should act accordingly for they do not know if tomorrow they still have time. If it could be done in 1895, why not try it again today?

James said...

Muslims worship what they do not know. If the Koran is the literal word of god, then reason can be dispensed with. If Muhammed is the perfect model of behaviour, then terror will be the consequence.

nickbris said...

In Islam Blasphemy is a capital crime and punishable by death,it is an insult to God.

So long as we don't insult God we can all live peacefully & happily together.

Moslems were always happy with Christianity and were so admiring of Christian art & technology they urged everybody to go out in the World and learn everything and they lived contentedly together and amassed great wealth which caused serious envy & jealousy.

Causing a Moslem to Blaspheme & insult God by renouncing Him will always attract severe punishment.Why can't we all live together peacefully?

Deacon Augustine said...

It is time to stop pretending that Muslims and Catholics believe in the same God. The true God is Father, Son and Holy Ghost - the Muslim God is Slavemaster. Therein lies all the problems with Islam.

Childermass said...

What will the UK be like with a dominant Muslim population? Like Saudi Arabia or Iran or Egypt or almost every other Muslim country? One fears the prospect, but it seems increasingly likely.

Physiocrat said...

@Badum-tish!

Islam might not be a monolithic religion but it remains grounded in the Koran and Hadith, and the principle of abrogation applies. So late statements like kill the unbelievers wherever they are to be found take precedence over the milder teachings from the Medina period.

Good Muslims are bad Muslims.

Damask Rose said...

Very interesting thread, Fr Ray.

Great comments on "reason".

My take on "reason" is that after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, "reason" then became the only way the devil could truly be battled. So for instance, any way the mind can be impaired is to open oneself up to demonic temptations - or worse! Eg, opening demonic doors through depression, drug taking, alcolholism and so on.

Interestingly in the Greek translation of the New Testament, the Gospel of John, Jesus is identified as the Logos, because in classical Greek, logos can mean word, story, reason etc. So we have:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (In the beginning was the Reason, and the Reason was with God...).

One wonders how modern day Afghanistan Taliban-ism would deal with an unmarried woman made pregnant by her employer? This is what happened to Hagar when she conceived Abraham's son, and an angel instructed her to name him, Ishmael, "God hears". And yet God saved her and Ishamael again when they wandered the wilderness (towards Arabia) after their expulsion. Ishmael, of Abraham's seed, was promised a great nation and the two nations seemed to live in harmony together. Isaac and Ishmael both burying their father, Abraham. God the Father has show such kindness and mercy towards Hagar that it so jars with how women are buried in pits and stoned, or disfigured in Islam today. (Muhammad claims descent from Ishmael.)

"Today's problem is that contemporary Islam has lost its sense of the rational."

Somewhere in its history, Islam became patriarchal and political. And those "Arabian" countries conquered through the Islamic sword have never fared well even centuries later - it's still a kind of oppression*. Also, I think that Islam has a kind of "caste" system.** So for instance, a bus driver will address a buisnessman in a certain way and (possibly) people do not move out of their social strata. Another issue is the Islamic/Arabic language itself.** Arabic doesn't have enough vocabulary and is archaic. This archaism is further enhanced through the Imam schools where propsective Imams learn the ancient Koran. So a whole society lives and expresses itself in archaic terms which isn't helpful to living in a modern world.
*Info from an academic article. **Info from an interview given by a Muslim. Sorry, can't remember the sources so as to reference the info given here.

Finally, there are only two existential mediums of Islam:
1. The existing Islamic states.
2. Those states waiting to be converted to Islam.

romishgraffiti said...

Islam might not be a monolithic religion but it remains grounded in the Koran and Hadith, and the principle of abrogation applies.

Correct, and I'd go as far as to say that it is monolithic in the only thing matters: consequentialism, which they have in common with their secular Leftist Western counterparts who provide all manner of cover for their evil deeds.

gemoftheocean said...

Out of curiosity Fr. Ray, do Moslem making the queries of you re: the faith tend to be men or women? I'd think the men might be braver, being "watched" less than women, but I'd think overall secretly more of the women would want to ditch Islam if they could.

Fr Mark said...

Excellent post, Father. I hope I don't seem pedantic in qualifying just one point. You write that for Islam, God "is actually as far removed from man as a man is from a microbe, whilst Catholicism insists that man can hope for 'divinisation', we can hope 'to see God face to face', to become Sons." In fact, for Christianity too, God is BY NATURE further removed from us than we are from a microbe. BY GRACE this abyss of separation is not abolished but BRIDGED. And the bridging is done entirely from God's side, by the Incarnation of the Son of God. Our God is high above the heavens, as he is for Mohammed, but ulike the latter, we know that "he stoops from the heights". That is why, before calling God our Father, we remind ourselves that it is "At the Saviour’s command and formed by divine teaching, [that] we DARE to say: Our Father...". There exists a significant number of "catholics" who cannot stomach this basic premise of our Faith. They seek to eliminate transcendence, rather than admit that it is only divine condescension which mitigates it. In doing so, they become Pelagians.In a way - though it may sound extreme - they are worse off spiritually than the many, pious Muslims who love God sincerely, seek his will, and eschew hatred and violence in his name.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Fr Mark,
Quite right, thank you for your pedanticism, the point I was making was God "reaching down" to man, there is revelation but no kinosis in Islam.

Gem,
They are men but then I tend not to meet Islamic women, and the demonstrations of interest are very tentative.

GOR said...

It used to be said that one of the tests of the truth of a religion was the holiness of its founder. Thus Islam = FAIL. Mohammed was no altar boy, so to speak.

After 9/11 here in the US we were treated to pious repetitions of: “Islam is a religion of peace”. To anyone with even a little knowledge of history, that is laughable. It was founded in strife, exported and enforced by the sword and it hasn’t changed.

I find it hard to understand how any thinking person can subscribe to Islam. Given how Islamic women are treated, there may be some attraction for certain men – even without the 70 virgins bit of nonsense. But what right-thinking woman would embrace such a life and ideology?

If women have to be covered up so as not to be a ‘temptation’ for men, what does that say about the men? Don’t they have any self-control - or any respect for women?

Arguments about whether their ‘God’ and our God are the same are specious. Islam is a false religion. It didn’t come from God and whether two billion or ten billion adhere to it, that won’t make it right.

nickbris said...

Headline news this morning was about the growth of Islam in America since 9/11,it has boomed,some say it is as a result of the marginalising of Islam because of the criminal failure of the Security Services to do their duty.

The same thing has happened over here,doors being smashed down,innocent people arrested,stop & search of people with darker skin colour and even innocent people having their brains blown out.

People have become ashamed and on looking further into Islamic teaching have come to realise that it could be good for them

Badum-tish! said...

There's a lot of very uninformed opinion being spouted here, and I'm guessing that the majority of the posters here know far more about Catholicism than Islam.

Please don't forget that what is happening in Egypt has very little to do with religion and a lot to do with politics, power and control. Syria is infinitely more complex, but again the same armed thugs are trying to gain control. But again, to judge Islam by these situations would be similar to judging Catholicism through the lense of Northern Ireland!

Physiocrat- you're right about abrogation, and I often feel it is a shame as the earlier 'revelations' are often far more liberal. Don't forget that Jews, Christians, Mandaeanism etc are not counted as unbelievers.. The later surah also are very open to interpretation as they were revealed during a part of Mohammad's life that was very public and where all he said and did was used to make political capital. An example of this might be the surah about how women should dress- this was undeniably originally only to apply to the women in Mohammad's household in an attempt to prevent their being hassled by those that camped around Mohammad's house, yet in an attempt to live a life more like that of the Prophet, most Muslims try to at least recognise and interpret it in their own lives.

The odd view of Islam most of you seem to have seems to be based on the form that which is spread by Saudi Arabia. Given their power, money and reach during the last 60 years this is hardly surprising, but please don't forget the majority of Muslims in the UK are not of this ilk. It's like a Muslim basing their views on Christianity by solely referring to the beliefs and interpretations of the evangelical churches of the deep south of the US, or West Africa.

FWIW, I think some forms of Shia Islam, especially the Sufi-looking, mystical ones, have more in common with traditional, mystical Catholicism than half of the happy-clappy, guitar-strumming, liturgical-dancing tosh that seems to occur in most Catholic churches on Sunday. The desire to eradicate the difference between the self and God, the respect for Mary, the belief in duty being part and parcel of faith.

Sorry for the long post. It just worries me when I read people trotting out the same fallacies about a complex faith.

Badum-tish! said...

GOR- if we're going to go around slagging off founders of religions, how about Moses? No less an authority than the Bible records he literally got away with murder, genocide, and committed what would now be seen as war crimes including the rape and massacre of women and children.. Maybe a little thought about historical realities and different moralities might be useful here, eh?

By the way, if you think women have it bad in Islam you should meet the teenage Muslim girls I teach. They are strong, intelligent and frankly the way Islam will change through it's stay in the West is going to make for interesting viewing.

If you think women are regarded as second rate citizens in Islam, rather than the cultures Islam is currently predominant, look at the life story of Mohammad's first wife. She was a strong, independently wealthy business woman, and married Mohammad when she was older than him through her own choice. He was, by all accounts, very much in love, didn't stop her doing anything, respected her opinion and remained faithful and monogamous until her death.

Again- try to separate cultural problems from faith ones...

John Nolan said...

Benedict XVI's Regensburg lecture in September 2006 is the greatest pronouncement of his pontificate and one of the most important statements of the last twenty-five years. It was also supported to a greater or a lesser degree by all western secular governments. Among the leaders of the Church, only one saw fit to criticize the Pope, and he said:

"Pope Benedict's statements don't reflect my own opinions ... These statements will serve to destroy in 20 seconds the careful construction of a relationship with Islam that John Paul II built over the last 20 years".

Cardinal Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

Damask Rose said...

Dear Badum-tish!

1. I was under the impression that a lot of Muslims in the UK followed Wahhabi (Saudi Arabia) Islam. (I could be wrong.)

2. I sincerely believe that any change to Islam will be woman-led.

Think how Christianity has treated women. Mary, an unmarried mother was saved from her "predicament" by Joseph being encouraged by an angel to marry her. Mary was allowed to ride the donkey to Bethlehem for the census instead of following Joseph behind on foot being pregnant and carrying baggage. Jesus did what his mother told him at the Cana wedding. Mary Magdalen, a loose woman, was saved from stoning by Jesus by pointing out male stone-thrower's hypocrisy. The woman-at-the-well was acknowledged by Christ, the haemorrhaging woman (therefore, de facto, an outcast) was healed, the widow's son was resurrected so that his mother would be looked after...).

"Again- try to separate cultural problems from faith ones..."

Surely this is an oxymoronic statement? Surely we all realise that culture and faith is symbiotic in Islam? (Of course, we Catholics once had this. It was called Christendom.)

So when a Muslim has an inner conversion, a deepening of faith, and he encounters a Christian who doesn't want to convert to Islam, then what...? (I guess it's OK if you live in Western Europe.)

"...it's a mishmash of different ideas and approaches, much as Christianity is."

No, Christianity really isn't this. Catholicism, is the New Covenant with the divinely (meaning Jesus Christ) instituted successor of Apostle Peter at its head. It is divine revelation (which ceased with Apostle St John of the Gospel) that was ratified by Jesus Christ, Man-God on Earth, when his words and deeds fulfilled the Scriptures (Old Testament) of the Jewish faith.

Damask Rose said...

Dear John Nolan

When John Paul II finally gets canonized, I sincerely hope that the Muslims don't ask Pope Francis to kiss the Koran.

Do you think the Pope Francis will set up a kind of Neo-Cat/Charismatic/even Traditional group, re the New Evangelisation, to evangelise all the c. 40,000 Islamic (predominantly male, I think I read) immigrants that have settled in Southern Italy? I believe he recently said a Mass at Lampedusa where many immigrants attended. Why not teach them about love of neighbour? I'm sure they're grateful for a predominantly Catholic nation taking them in.

(Honestly, it makes the Battle of Lepanto and the Siege of Vienna a total embarrassment. Just like the impression I had of embarrassment the Beatification of John Henry Newman was for the Bishops of E&W. I mean, an Anglican vicar actually converted. Come on. And the Anglican Ordinariate?-more than one conversion at a time. Eeww. Just like Tony Blair said. "We don't do God.")

Well at least they're restoring the original sea-faring statue of Our Lady of Lepanto. I wonder how the restoration is coming along?

Deus lo vult!

JARay said...

If I might take up part of the comment by Damask Rose.
She rightly points out that "logos" can be interpreted as both "Word" and "Reason". In the "Catena Aurea" written by St. Thomas Aquinas we have St. Augustine pointing out the same thing but he also points out that "Word" is the better translation in this instance because "Word" implies a speaker and a spoken, whereas "Reason" is simply reason and simply points to a "reasoner" and not to an outcome of that reason.
St. John in his gospel wants to link both the Father and the Son, who is "The Word made Flesh". He points out that the Word co-exists with the Father, is "with" the Father, and is also God.
The Jehovah's Witnesses deliberately miss-translate the Greek. They say "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was A god."
As one of them argued with me there is no word "a" in Greek, Theos can be both "God" and "a god".
My Greek is rather rusty now but when I had that argument I knew no Greek. The Greek runs thus:-
En arke ein ho logos
Kie ho logos ein pros ton theon
Kie Theos ein ho logos
In the begining was the Word
And the Word was with God
And God was the Word

If St. John had wanted to say
And the Word was a god, he would have written the Greek as:-
Kie ho logos ein theos
But he didn't.
He wrote
Kie theos ein ho logos.
He put the noun "theos" before the verb "ein". And he put "Ho Logos" after the verb.
That can only be translated as:-
And God was the Word, or, in normal English, "And the Word was God".
I'm ready for the next Jehovah's Witness!

Nicolas Bellord said...

Badum-tish: There are good and bad episodes in the history of all religions. The problem at the moment is that Islam has two faces. This was vividly illustrated to me some years ago when with an interfaith group I visited two mosques in Crawley.

At the first mosque we had an interesting talk from the Imam about how muslims worship. However at the second mosque we had a diatribe from a young convert against Christianity. We also had a talk from a young woman who addressed us from another room over a loud speaker system. She told us she was free to do anything she wanted provided her husband agreed.

My take is that we can respect most Muslims but there is a violent side which is very worrying and we are seeing being manifested in the Middle East. Religion is used for political purposes but it is up to the religious to make sure this is for good purposes and not bad.

JARay said...

I am a Justice of the Peace.
It is now some time since I had a phone call asking me to witness some documents. It was a woman on the phone and I said that I would, of course!!!
Time went by.
One hour, two hours, nearly three hours! and then there came a knock on my door just as I was getting ready to have my evening meal. There was a man and a woman completely covered from head to toe. I must admit that I was very annoyed at this long delay and I made my displeasure evident. The man explained that he had to get home from work first in order to drive the car to my house.
I'll cut the story short now but when I handed a pen over to the woman for her to sign her name, her husband took the pen from me and he handed it over to his wife and the body language made it quite clear to me that she was not allowed to take the pen from my hand.
When she went down the stairs from my house to get down to the car it was pitch black and for my own defence I had to warn her that she had to be careful as she went down the steps because, clearly, she could barely see what she was doing!!

Ma Tucker said...

Badum-tish
You may erroneously mistake false christianity from true Christianity because there is a one true Church that teaches us about God and what we need to do to be saved. There is only one true Church. This error is to be expected because there will always be false prophets distorting the truth. Islam has no such claim. There is no authority proper and each has a right to spout off. To suggest there is a "true" Islam is false. To suggest that people have a mistaken view of Islam is false. They may not be aware of the full spectrum of Islamic variation however, there is no Islamic authority on earth that has the authority to make the claim that there is a True Islam. You talk about Mohamed and his first wife. I was not aware that Islam was in existence at this point in Mohammad's life. How could his behaviour be indicative of being muslim since the name and idea of "muslim" did not even exist. What we do know for a fact is that, as a muslim he had sex with many women and "married" a young child. What we do know for a fact is that, as a muslim he spread his beliefs by violence or the threat of violence. The truth of course is it's own sword and had no need of such violence.

nickbris said...

I think most of these people get their knowledge about Islam from the GARBAGE PRESS and have never even spoken to a Moslem.

I personally in all my life which is quite have never really met a bad Moslem,I have however met countless dodgy Christians.I always went to Catholic Schools,some run by presentation & De La Salle brothers one of them was worse than a Japanese PoW camp

Badum-tish! said...

nickbris: let's not get too carried away- I meet plenty of people of all religions and there are the same proportion of good people to bad in all. I don't think being a good or bad person has anything to do with religion, one of the reasons I wrote such a reply to Fr Blake!

Ma Tucker: calm down! Surely 'erroneous mistake' is tautologous to begin with, and the existence or not of one Islamic Authority has no bearing on whether people should acknowledge the spectrum of Islamic faith. I was brought up to believe ignorance was natural, but that one should always try to remedy it if possible :)

JARay: again, why do you assume the woman was downtrodden? Think about the internal dynamics of the other male/female relationships you know- even with more traditional couples, does the man always get his way even if publically that often seems so? One of the female teenagers I teach chooses not to touch men, even their hands. So she doesn't shake hands. I know her, her sisters, her mum and her dad; it's definitely her decision. Or maybe you think your views on personal contact are 'better' than hers, which is an interesting position for a JP to take :)

Damask Rose: no, the majority are from the Asian subcontinent and are Shia leaning towards Sufi. The most famous and popular man recently in UK/India/Pakistani culture was Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, whose music is amazing and would blow a lot of the preconceptions about Islam being voiced here out of the water!

Sorry for ranting again, Fr Blake!

John Fisher said...

Islam has always been irrational. It has used violence, murder, intimidation and theft in the name of Allah and the profit. It is a fusion of divine claims political authority and dictatorship. Islam's founder acted with caprice and certainly lived a life of vice. Its all about sex, power, violence and greed. With Allah appointing him. That is what makes Islam an evil. Yes Moslems copied Jewish and Christian customs such as fasting and alms giving. This is only for Moslems towards members of the same Moslem sects. All of this should be seen as submitting and building mutual obligations.

John Fisher said...

Moslems are like Catholics or any man. We should not mistake being pleasant for being "good" Moslems or Catholics. Many Moslems are cultural Moslems but they belong to that identity and that is the problem. Nominal Moslems develop a syncretistic view of what they hold to be true. Why is the UK "immigrating" itself into oblivion and causing many future conflicts. It is a type of suicide. Diversity and syncretism caused confusion in any society. I would rather a Moslem be an atheist than a Moslem. The Presence od Moslems puts pressure on everything. Attitudes such as in marriage, towards Christians, violence, fraud, deception. Ultimately Islam is foreign to the UK ethnically and culturally and it is a form of colonialism with no purpose except an economic one. They bring with them Islam which is a pestilence. The history of the UK bears witness to the turmoil immigration causes.

Badum-tish! said...

John Fisher wrote: Islam has always been irrational.

All religions are- faith requires the abandonment of the rational by definition.

It has used violence, murder, intimidation and theft in the name of Allah and the profit.

And Christianity hasn't??

It is a fusion of divine claims political authority and dictatorship.

So I assume you know nothing of the history of the Catholic Church?
Islam's founder acted with caprice and certainly lived a life of vice.

You clearly know nothing of the life of Mohammad either!

Its all about sex, power, violence and greed. With Allah appointing him. That is what makes Islam an evil.

This is mere assertion, and unfounded assertion does not an argument make!

Yes Moslems copied Jewish and Christian customs such as fasting and alms giving. This is only for Moslems towards members of the same Moslem sects. All of this should be seen as submitting and building mutual obligations.

Rubbish; Islamic charities are as good at giving to non-Muslims as Christian charities are at giving to non-Christians. You also know nothing of the work of, say, Islamic relief.

Moslems are like Catholics or any man.

Well, obviously...

We should not mistake being pleasant for being "good" Moslems or Catholics. Many Moslems are cultural Moslems but they belong to that identity and that is the problem. Nominal Moslems develop a syncretistic view of what they hold to be true.

This manages to be both irrelevant and a truism. Well done.

Why is the UK "immigrating" itself into oblivion and causing many future conflicts. It is a type of suicide. Diversity and syncretism caused confusion in any society.

Again, you clearly know nothing of the history of the UK. It is one of constant immigration, and usually are greater per capita numbers. But then again, the rest of your post demonstrates a less than firm grasp on reality, argument or empathy.

I would rather a Moslem be an atheist than a Moslem.

An atheist cannot be a Muslim by definition. It sounds like you're confusing faith with ethnicity- can we add racism and bigotry to the list of deficiencies you've thus far demonstrated?

The Presence od Moslems puts pressure on everything. Attitudes such as in marriage, towards Christians, violence, fraud, deception. Ultimately Islam is foreign to the UK ethnically and culturally and it is a form of colonialism with no purpose except an economic one. They bring with them Islam which is a pestilence.

Looks like the answer to my previous question is a yes then!

The history of the UK bears witness to the turmoil immigration causes.

No it doesn't. (Refer to my previous answer and any history of the UK for evidence).

Are you trolling or serious, John Fisher? And presumably the irony of your name has escaped you- didn't John Fisher try to persuade Charles V to invade the UK?

Feel free to reply- I could do with a laugh :)

Nicolas Bellord said...

Badum-Tish: You say that all faiths are irrational. That may be the case for Islam but Christianity is based upon Faith and Reason. You need to read Pope John Paul's "Fides et Ratio". Science has progressed under Christianity whilst although Islam was very much at the forefront in science early on it came to a dead halt when a fundamentalist view that it was not rational took hold.

One could argue endlessly about history and violence in the past but if one looks around the world to-day there does seem to be an awful lot of violence by Islamists and this is very worrying. I am sure that there are many, perhaps the majority of, muslims who do not support violence but they need to do more to separate violence from their religion - not easy when there are passages in the Koran supporting violence and the Koran seems to be the one and only absolute authority in Islam.

Badum-tish! said...

Nicholas: I didn't say all faiths are irrational. I said faith requires the abandonment of reason. To be more exact, if I use reason, I know something. If I have faith, I believe something that my reason alone cannot explain or verify. As Fides et Ratio says, the two things work together and complement each other. However, as it says, to have faith means one has to step beyond reason:

The true key-point, which challenges every philosophy, is Jesus Christ's death on the Cross. It is here that every attempt to reduce the Father's saving plan to purely human logic is doomed to failure.

Maybe I'm getting a bit Kierkegaardian for this blog, but I'm pretty sure even his Protestant theology is applicable here?

Badum-tish! said...

Nicholas: sorry, forgot to ask if you really thought Islam was more responsible for violence, disorder and hatred in today's world than, say.. the (de facto Christian) US, the UK, Israel etc?

Nicolas Bellord said...

On the whole I would say Islam is to-day responsible for most of the violence. The UK and USA have reacted to this - I grant often in a very mistaken manner. As for Israel it is a country surrounded by enemies. Again their reaction may be not the best but it is understandable. How do you think for instance they should respond to the threats from Iran that they be annihilated?

Nicolas Bellord said...

Badum-tish! Surely there is a difference between abandoning reason and going beyond reason?

Badum-tish! said...

Nicholas: I've always understood it as that faith requires you to go beyond logic, to ignore it. Look at the doctrine of the Trinity. This clearly makes no logical or reasonable sense, to understand it we must go beyond reason, abandon logic, trust in God, have faith.

As for violence, it is a hard thing to quantify and assess, granted. In terms of numbers of people whose lives have been personally touched by violence I think that perpetrated by the US and UK governments might be greater. Put it this way- the genesis of the causes of most of the violence in the Middle East at the moment can be traced to UK or US policy. The borders of the countries and the mixed ethnic and religious nationalities are mainly down to the UK in 1918, trying to create areas where divide and rule could best work. After that you have the UK's crazy and toxic handling of the Palestinian mandate, the UK and US's support of dictators as opposed to democratically elected governments (see Iran, Jordan etc), our support of 'big men' in the fight against communism (see Egypt, Saudi, Tunisia etc), and the complete devastation that US support for the establishment of Israel has wreaked. The recent conflicts in Afganistan, Iraq and Libya, though arguably well intentioned, have left those living their in worse situations and destablised the area.

Al Quaida wouldn't exist if not for UK and US policy, both direct (funding and training during the 80s) and indirectly (the huge loss of goodwill for the US after its support of Israel, it's actions in Iran etc).

And we haven't even covered US policy in central and southern America, which has led to horrific states and dictators and terrible repression, torture and loss of life.

Or do you think the small numbers of US and UK citizens killed in the terrorist atrocities in the last 15 years are more important? That violence that results from state policy or action is somehow excusable compared to a disenfranchised, angry and confused young man with a bomb?

Nicolas Bellord said...

Badum-tish! I do not see that the idea of the Trinity is irrational or illogical. It is just that reason does not tell us anything about the Trinity. But I have never seen any problem of saying that there is something called God and he is made up of three persons. What is irrational about that?

I think an awful lot of our knowledge is based upon belief rather than reason. I believe in the existence of China because a lot of people have testified to its existence. I have not directly experienced the existence of China and but it seems reasonable to accept the testimony of others.

I think we could discuss the history of violence till the cows come home without coming to a conclusion. I would point to the early days of Islam when it set out to conquer the whole of North Africa and attempted the conquest of Europe. Further I am not thinking just of those who have died in terrorist acts in the USA and UK but rather of the conflicts in Africa. Knowledge of history is useful but we have to deal with the situation as it is to-day and Islamists do seem to be provoking an awful lot of conflict and unfortunately the rely on the Koran to justify their activities. This Islamist violence needs to be contained and it is very difficult to know how to do this. When I watch Cameron and Hague going on about Syria I despair of our getting it right.

By the way I cannot see that those who perpetrated the London bombings were disenfranchised!