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View Diary: Why Being an American Muslim is Starting to Suck (44 comments)

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  •  Redefining a word to change a faith (0+ / 0-)

    Very large religions, like Islam, Christianity, etc. all have certain key concepts.   But they can be interpretted wildly different.  

    If I were to get together a David Koresh following Christian and some folks from the local United Methodist, they would have zip to really say to each other.

    The same is largely true with Islam.   There are more then a billion followers and hundreds of interpretations.

    The problem that they face is that because of a few, there has been an ongoing effort to change the context of their faith to make all seem the same.  

    Because that broad spectrum exists, conservatives and commentators have made hay of redefining words and meanings and changing the way people think about the religious beliefs of those who are islamic.

    I've diaried that many here in the US have used fear and concern to terrorize people into the horror that "Sharia" will come and get them.   They do so without informing anyone of the nuance, stances, etc. they just use it to scare people, when what they are playing at rivals what they are doing.

    The concern for Islam is that the radicals/loons manage to soak up more time then loons manage to absorb more air time.

    That's not to say there aren't radicals and loons who are Christian or fake Christian, and while I haven't met any, I'm sure there are some nutty Bhudists and Confucianism isn't really a faith but a philosophy but I'll be there are some nuts there too.

    I admit, as an aetheist, the only big concern I have with any faith is the crucible that determines a faith.  A faith is a faith as long as you can quit.    If you can decide to not follow that faith any longer and leave of your free accord, then it is a faith, because it is based on your honest belief.

    When there is ever a mechanism to harm or shun people who leave a 'faith' it stops really being a faith, and becomes a cult.   Because then you can't be sure whether or not people practice that belief system because they really believe in it, or because they are afraid of their situation if they were to leave.

    MOST more liberated islamic organizations do allow the 'free door'.   The ability to pass through the crucible of faith through belief.  

    But as long as there is a large group who is sucking up airtime who manages to demand pox and death warrants against those who leave (see Salmon Rushdie), it becomes a problem for all Islamics, not just those who believe in such things.

    Imagine if the Roman Catholic Pope were to come out and say "those who stop being catholic should be stoned!"   It would be a pox on that religion... and because of it's size and presence in other areas of the world, it would hurt all of Christianity in many areas.

    That's the foe that faces Islam now.  A few large and public leaders and activists have managed to turn a faith into a cause centered around them and their concepts and they've allowed others to define the words for them.. because there isn't enough public knowledge the other way.

    The Islamic World NEEDS a "Martin Luther" moment, that tacking to a church door a list of rights by a major leader that says: This is NOT what Islam is.

    Because as terrible as it is for all of those who practice their faith as a matter of love, hope and peace without it, too many will define their faith for them, and they will do so only in the most negative terms possible.

    Having Hope and using action to give people hope are different things. Make a difference for someone.

    by Chris Reeves on Sat Aug 27, 2011 at 02:19:46 PM PDT

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