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A religion of Tolerance ?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by michel, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    http://www.religionnewsblog.com/14461

    A recent convert from Christianity to Islam, Bashir Masi knew nothing of his new faith.

    He could not describe a single tenet of Islam, nor remember the Qalma, the Muslim declaration of faith, nor name his own children, who have adopted Muslim names.

    He, his wife Amna and their six children, converted to Islam 15 days ago. "We are happy now we are Muslim," said Mr Masi, 45. "It is a great religion."

    The Masis's conversion is typical of the vulnerability of Christians in Pakistan, many of whom live under the threat of persecution, death and who have suffered waves of violence directed against them and their churches.

    In February about 400 people attacked and burnt a church in the southern city of Sukkur after accusations that a local Christian had burned pages from the Koran.

    After a similar allegation last November a Muslim mob wielding axes and sticks set fire to three churches, a dozen houses, three schools, a dispensary, a convent and two parsonages.

    The attacks were the worst on Pakistan's Christian community since 2002, when Muslim fanatics led an assault on a church with grenades on Christmas Day. Three young girls were killed in that attack, at Chianwala, 40 miles north of Lahore.

    The Masis were "invited" to convert by the local Muslim town mayor, Nazim Sahib as they call him, who doubles as the owner of the basic compound they had shared with their extended family.

    Since converting, the family, which comes from Pakistan's underclass of sweepers, has moved to a better house, been given a better sweeping job and been ostracised by other members of the 30-strong Christian community, including their family.

    Their village is part of a sprawling suburb of Mingora in Swat in northern Pakistan, an area where an intolerant and doctrinaire interpretation of Islam is increasingly popular.

    They moved there over three years ago from Sialkot in the Punjab in search of work.

    Some 90 per cent of the 15 million Christians in Pakistan trace their ancestry to the "untouchable" Hindu Chuhra caste from Sialkot, where mass conversions began during the 19th century under British rule.

    Mr Masi's ancestors probably converted to Christianity to improve their lot; now he is banking on another change of faith in the hope of transforming his family's fortunes.

    However, Group Capt Cecil Chaudhry, Pakistan's self-appointed defender of the faith, contended that such conversions were not as innocent as depicted.

    "It is more through fear that conversions have taken place. Our community is poor but it is not easy to break their faith," he said. "After all the recent attacks the community is living in fear."

    Group Capt Chaudhry, twice decorated from Pakistan's wars against India, knows something of anti-Christian discrimination personally. He was passed over for promotion by the Islamist-favouring dictator General Zia-ul-Huq.

    He now heads several organisations championing Christian rights and lobbies the government of President Pervez Musharraf to change legislation that is prejudiced against Christians.

    He has reacted strongly against the leadership since the president buckled under pressure from Islamists and gave up plans to change the way in which a controversial blasphemy law was implemented to discriminate against Christians. "Musharraf has still some way to go - he talks but says nothing of substance," he said.

    Group Capt Chaudhry has also battled, with partial success, to do away with an electoral system that separates Muslim and Christian voters and candidates that means that Christians are never properly represented in a constituency.

    In Afghanistan earlier this year, a man faced the death penalty for converting to Christianity from Islam before international pressure led to him being freed.

    In Pakistan, conversion is technically legal but those who do convert are dubbed "apostates" and often killed. Christian officials describe a large community of "secret Christians" made up of some government officials and prominent people who have converted to Christianity.
    :(
     
  2. Mike182

    Mike182 Flaming Queer

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    well, at least the family are convincing themselves..... how old are the children? what happens when they start asking questions?
     
  3. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    sorry, pass on that one................
     
  4. Mike182

    Mike182 Flaming Queer

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    i guess it was more of a rhetorical question...
     
  5. john313

    john313 warrior-poet

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    it is unfortunate that more of those that call themselves muslims don't follow the teachings of the quran or the teachings of the prophets in the quran. but it was foretold by muhammad. most muslims in the end times will be as far astray as most christians and most jews. those calling themselves muslims in the end times will be the furthest thing from it (muslim simply meaning 'one who submits to the will of the God'). there are many more hadith also.

    peace, love, and bearded dragons
     
  6. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    That is interesting; what does amaze me though (in the light of what you say) is that the Muslims who are 'straying' now presumably are choosing to disregard the prophecies. Why do you think that is ? (I ask, because it strikes me that Muslims are a people who seem very educated in the Qu'ran; maybe even more so that the Christians are in the Bible).
     
  7. john313

    john313 warrior-poet

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    i can't figure out why the majority of muslims don't consider the prophecies, except maybe it is the only way they can come true :). i agree that most muslims have a large bank of religious knowledge to access, but unfortunately the wisdom is not always there to apply the knowledge. most clearly prefer picking and choosing which hadith supports an action (rather than considering the context of the hadith and the current situation) and which parts of the sunnah to follow rather than reasoning the correct decision in each situation. a lot of wisdom can be taken from hadith and the sunnah for those with eyes, but to blindly follow the wicked scholars is a mistake. when one stands in front of God, one cannot say that a particular virtue was not convenient to follow at a particular time.
    a quote i liked in superman: (this may not be exactly right) 'some people can read the art of war and get nothing, others can read a pill bottle and unlock the secrets of the universe'.

    peace
     
  8. aboody

    aboody Member

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    for Mr. MICHEL
    the guy who was converted to Christianity was freed because his doctor prooved he was mentally unfit. not because the pressure.
     
  9. aboody

    aboody Member

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    dear guys,
    No One Porn with complete knowledge.
    You can convert to islam gradually as any learning curve. It will take time to get the whole knowledge.But the important things at least to know the five pillers of islam and the basic things. All muslims do not have to learn all the aspect of islam but at least the basics. If he has any questions he can ask islamic Shikh who has the knowledge.
    Even though, Islam fosters its fellower to learn islam as they can.
     
  10. robtex

    robtex Veteran Member

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    You don't question Islam if you live in Pakistan. To challenge the Koran (aka questioning) is a punishable by fines imprisionment or death.
    Here is the penal code regarding Islam in Pakistan:
    http://www.rationalistinternational.net/Shaikh/blasphemy_laws_in_pakistan.htm


     
  11. ΩRôghênΩ

    ΩRôghênΩ Disciple of Light

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    In Pakistan...No
     
  12. ΩRôghênΩ

    ΩRôghênΩ Disciple of Light

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    All we can do is pray for them, and help them as many ways as possible
     
  13. ΩRôghênΩ

    ΩRôghênΩ Disciple of Light

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    All we can do is pray for them, and help them as many ways as possible
     
  14. sparc872

    sparc872 Active Member

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    Hmm, I think that we are putting Islam in a pretty terrible light right now. Think back to the witch burnings in Christianity, The attacks against outsiders in Judaism in the OT. Heck, even recently here in Dearborn, Michigan and the rest of the US we had hundreds of attacks on Muslims and arabs after Sept. 11th (Dearborn has one of the largest, if not the largest, Muslim population in the US).

    Christianity is no more tolerant of others beliefs than some other religions. Atheist leaders in the USSR persecuted Christians as well. The thought of people different than us can be unsettling and unfortunately some people react aggressively, it's human nature. The only way to overcome that is to understand others beliefs, rather than hiding behind ignorance.
     
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  15. sparc872

    sparc872 Active Member

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    Sorry guys, didn't realize what section this was in, hope you don't mind me posting my feelings real quick :eek:
     
  16. TashaN

    TashaN Veteran Member
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    Dear Michel, I have one question.

    Can i pick any christian country who do mistakes and blame Christianity for that? will you accept it?

    I have no problem with the thread but your title "A religion of Tolerance?" imply from the information given that Islam is not.

    I'm surprised because if i did the same (which i don't want to do) you would attack me saying why to blame all christians because of those in that particular country.

    With all do respect, you missed it this time dear Michel as a rational man i used to see in you.
     
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  17. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

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    I think the same can be said of today's religions, not just in the past.

    What today's "tolerant" monotheistic religion respects women in priesthood or higher up in the hierarchy? What religion respect the right of individual or couple to choose abortion or euthanasia? What religion treats widows or single or divorce mothers with compassion? What religion are tolerant of gay or lesbian?

    Islam has failed in most of the above aspects. Christianity has also failed in many of the above aspects. Neither of these two religions practice tolerance in all aspect of life. And both religions often targeted people who are in minority groups, when it don't completely conform with their religious traditions or customs.

    What I am trying to say, is that no matter how tolerant a religion is, there are some aspects where religion can be very intolerant.
     
  18. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious. You say *we* are putting Islam in a bad light...I presume because this thread is focusing on the negative aspects of some muslim's interpretation of their Scripture. Yet, in several threads you've done just that to Christianity. You've focused on the negative aspects of *some* Christian's interpretation of Scripture. Basically, putting christians in a bad light. Why the double standard?
     
  19. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    I dunno...I don't think some muslims interpretation (and resulting violence) is any different than some christians' interpretation. I have no doubt that the Fred Phelps of the world would be out there blowing up mosques and killing anyone (including christians who don't believe the way they do) as heretics if they thought they could get away with it.

    Let's at least be fair and not paint all muslims with the same blood soaked paintbrush used by the fanatics in their faith....and I'd hope for the same consideration from non-christians about my faith.
     
  20. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

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    I think this sort of thread should have been in the debate topics, Michel.
     
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