Thursday, February 26, 2015

Confusing Images and Claims of Islam

Here's an interesting article from the BBC, talking about modern Muslims, public perceptions, and what alleged Muslims see happening around them. 

The author says, "Out of the dozens of people I've spoken to, an overwhelming majority have said they're angry that their interpretation of Islam has been eclipsed by an extreme ideology that is too often projected in the media."

That comment infers that those clerics who are leading or motivating the "extremists" are out of touch with the majority opinion of the masses of Muslims. Therein lies "the rub", for those so-called "extremist" clerics are the ones who more closely follow the complete doctrines and writings of their religion. It is the masses who push or pull themselves away from the unpleasantness of Islam's founding doctrines and writings, who, thus, put themselves out of touch with the full reality of their religion, who place themselves in opposition to the clerics who cling, in varying degrees, to the core values of their religion, as Mohammed and his immediate followers practiced it centuries ago.

I am not equating the Qur'an with the Bible, but, I'm sure that many Muslims would agree in principle with the following premise. According to the Bible, God never takes dictation nor orders from anyone, so God is not going to change what He says or expects of people simply because any given mass of people do not want to do things His way any longer. The Bible is full of stories about that battle over apostasy, and many people have rejected His Word for eons. Repeatedly, God asks those who read His Word whether any soul is really a Jew or Christian if that person refuses to follow the founding tenets of their religion, as God has laid down those founding principles. To His own question, God says “No”, very emphatically, in both of the Bible's Old and New Testaments.

Let's use the principles of God's scriptural question to test the discussion in the BBC article. In the article, it is clear that there are those who consider themselves Muslims who claim to wholly reject jihad, while there are also those who embrace jihad under certain circumstances, and, finally, there are those Muslims who wholly subscribe to jihad as a way of life. All three of those groups cannot be right according to Islamic law and writings. Logically, one must be right and the other two wrong. This invariably leads us to question, under the official doctrines of the Qur'an and Islam, whether Mohammed would go along with those who reject jihad, accept the liberal waffling of modern Muslims, or would he force them all back to Shia at the point of a sword? Lawrence of Arabia (who worked intimately with the Islamic Arabs during WWI) was careful to point out that, “the sword also means clean-ness and death” (from the cover of “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” by T.E. Lawrence).

As there are wannabe "military veterans" who tell all sorts of tales, claiming all sorts of experiences through which they never passed, so there are wannabe people in all religions, who take the names of the religions for social or personal reasons, but, who have no real spiritual interest in what the religion is about, or no idea what it is supposed accomplish in them. Their wishful thinking or apathetic approaches to their religions do not change what their name-sake religions really stand for. Their wannabe status does not change the underlying philosophies, tenets, nor practices that are supposed to be adhered to by people calling themselves by the names of those religions.

That contrast among real believers, modernist-liberal believers, and fake believers is where a great religious disconnect takes place in the minds of most secularists, nominally religious people, and the public, including the media. Why is there a religious disconnect? ... because none of the latter groups are really “doers of the word” in their respective religions, for they have deceived themselves as to the true nature of their religions, i.e. they pick and choose which portions of their religion they want and throw away the rest, in spite of their professed beliefs in their respective nominal religions. The bottom-line question, then, is that, whatever people call themselves, or why, if they do not really practice the religion in which they say they believe, then, are they really of that religion?

Just as religious equivocators and pretenders in other religions confuse the public, the fruit of the religious disconnect within Islam confuses and muddies the waters of public perceptions, media representations, personal social interactions, and society's general relationship and understanding of what Islam really is, including its objectives. That happens because most people do not know what the real doctrines are and how to test and discern real Islamic believers from pretenders to that religion. Therein lies the reason that it is so easy for fake or liberal believers and true believers (who are or become jihadists) to congregate in plain sight, for they appear to flow together and mask each other because of our lack of knowledge of their official doctrines. The three groups all claim and demonstrate enough commonality (vaguely familiar to the public) that most people do not care to look any closer to inspect and test the root cause of what drives any of those three groups, or what the motives are for the rationales or paths that the fake, the liberal, or the true believers of Islam decide to follow. Islamic modernists or liberals or fakes do not want anyone associating them with the reality that Islam has had jihad as a foundational element since its beginning with Mohammed. We can admit and deal with that, or deny it and make ourselves its prey.

We all need to test ourselves by what we claim to believe, to see if we are hypocrites. We, also, need to understand the real doctrines and roots of Islam to see who their true believers are. We must be as serious about these determinations as if we were comparing lethal things in nature with their non-deadly look-alikes, such as deadly plants or deadly animals. Our attention to proper source information and accurate identification can help preserve us, or our neglect to do so shall surely help to kill us.

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