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The Iraq thread 4

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So, you've read these nice KKK translations of Quran?

Browse back a few pages for my links and quotes regarding "offensive Jihad" from Islamic sites only.

This part of your accusation against DOR is incorrect.

Well interpreteation of religous writings was always a very debateable topic. This does however not mean that islam is an offensive religion.

While I never said that Islam is defined as being an "offensive religion", your assumption can be countered with just the opposite, too.

Quote[/b] ]I remember when I read the bible (I'm atheist btw) I saw many shocking and cruel things there too. And I know from european history that those things were abused to preach hatred and to justify the killing of followers of another religion. But in the end those are no rules given by the bible. Those are stories in the bible that can be interpreted in different ways.

Regarding Christianity, please show me where there's a biblical mandate for the Church to resort to conquest or violence in its fulfillment of Christ’s commission, who preaches this and how many people adhere to this.

Regarding Judaism, please show me where there's a requirement to employ violence today, other than for defensive purposes.

Quote[/b] ]And some people abused their power to follow their - rather secular - aspirations for expansion and power.

But this is the whimsy of individuals - not an established doctorine adhered to by hundreds of millions of people around the globe.

Quote[/b] ]Now I didn't read the Quran but I can imagine it's pretty much the same way with it. I know sevral muslims and if you look at turkey you can see that there are many muslims not preaching violence and hatred and they all have the same worries that we have and if you looked what happened in germany this weekend you saw a lot of peaceful muslims not fighting against the western culture. For those who didn't get the news. There was a huge muslim anti-terror demonstration.

That's all very true. It's also true that there are a lot of Muslims who are ignorant of their own religious texts, especially those who are not litetrate in ancient Arabic and its nuances.

So, too, for Jews and the Torah. And so, too, for Christians unfamilair with the teachings of the New Testament.

This is really going off-topic but this subject specifically is touched upon just today in Daniel Pipes' latest article "Moderate Muslims, Real and Phony".

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@Avon

I didn't accuse you of saying that it was an offensive religion. This answer wans't directly related to your comment. It's more a general answer to the topic that was brought up. Maybe I shouldn't have quoted your message.

I'm also not sure if you got it right what I've written. I said there are stories in the bible (i.e. I believe it's in the old testament where god kills the population of a city because they were atheists - or they followed different gods... don't remember exactly. it's a long time ago when I read it) that were quite shocking for me and that such parts of the bible were interpreted by some people do do bad things. But those stories aren't rules as the ten commandments for example. I said they are just stories and they can be interpreted. I wanted to express that anyone using such stories to tell people "it's written in the bible that christians must do this or that" (as it happened in europe's history) is infact decieving the people because he's suggesting those are "rules" and he's hiding that infact they are his own interpreteations that may be true or not.

so basicly you summed up what I wanted to tell in this sentence:

Quote[/b] ]But this is the whimsy of individuals - not an established doctorine adhered to by hundreds of millions of people around the globe.

As for being off topic. Well I find it quite important to talk about this aspect of Iraq which is a mostly muslim country, when I hear some people saying that muslims that follow their religion are bad. Because as I explained with the example of the bible there are people interpreting special parts of it in a way that allows them to preach hatred. And I believe it's not much different with the quran. As you see in different muslim countries there are - as in christianity and judaism too - very different forms of religousness. Some are fundamentalists or extremists and some follow "sects" that have different interpretations and then there are also moderate people not really letting their life be dominated by the religion. And of course also people inbetween... it's just totally wrong to generalise and saying thinking they are all the same.

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As for being off topic. Well I find it quite important to talk about this aspect of Iraq which is a mostly muslim country, when I hear some people saying that muslims that follow their religion are bad. Because as I explained with the example of the bible there are people interpreting special parts of it in a way that allows them to preach hatred. And I believe it's not much different with the quran. As you see in different muslim countries there are - as in christianity and judaism too - very different forms of religousness. Some are fundamentalists or extremists and some follow "sects" that have different interpretations.

You made an excellent differentiation between biblical events and commandments. Indeed, much religious violence throughout history has been based on erroniously learning "by example" when no equivalent obligation was ever intended.

Not so the Quran. There are explicite laws and codes of war in Islam. Everything essential in life, according to Islam, is either permitted or forbidden, with a foundation in Quranic verse. The question is at times how to interpret them. In such cases, you and I have no say on who's right or wrong.

Quote[/b] ] and then there are also moderate people not really letting their life be dominated by the religion.

Any religious abiding Muslim (no matter what their interpretation of this or that Quranic text) will tell you that such people, who you qualify as moderates, are not practicing Muslims.

And that's the problem. They do not represent the teachings of the Quran. They represent a sort of do-what-you-want-to-do version of Islam.

What happens when such people wish to repent and follow the tru path of Islam? Well, that depends what the true path is.

Quote[/b] ]And of course also people in between... it's just totally wrong to generalise it that they are all the same.

I didn't. But there are definitely trendlines that can be discerned.

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As I didn't read the Quran myself it's hard for me to comment on your claims. So my first question is. Are those strict rules really written that strictly in the Quran or are they part of a different "ruleset". Like the Sharia (spelling) or anything alike.

Because here again are paralells to christianity. In christianity most people couldn't read the bible until the 16. century because it was written in Latin. So they had to trust the priests that were telling them "the rules" And the priests again were instructed by the pope and by conventions of the concillium which were manmade decissions and it remided more of politics than of religion. Later there were little books (catechism - spelling?) for the normal people to read and so they could be "educated" in religion. Again those books were full of interpretation from the church and not direct copies of the bible. So christianity had those strong rules too and there were strict rules set for most aspects of life. But you have to differ between the bible as the basis of the religion and the church as an manmade institution with a political agenda. And most of those rules were clearly made from the church. That's why so many christians are so "liberal" today. Because the church lost it's political power after the period of enlightment.

I did some reading on Islam and the impression I got was very similar to christianity. It's like most of those rules are based on other writings than the Quran itself. Writings that were made later - mostly by interpreting the Quran. Or the rules are based on the specific religous authority in the region. Like there are differences with Sunnis ans Shias in their religous belief. Even in the people they worship. And therefore they all have different religous authorities and some of them are more fundamental/extreme and others are more liberal. And in some parts of the muslim world it's similar to europe that the religon doesn't have very much political power while in other parts the religous power and the political power lies in the hands of the same people. And you can see clearly that in the more secular parts it's possible to have a more "open" and "tollerant" Islam. Now if the Quran did set those strict rules it should be everywhere more or less the same. But it's not. To make a somewhat extreme example. Turkish muslims are mostly very "liberal" compared to the Taliban. Yet all of them claim to be followers of mohammed and they all respect the quran. Now I don't know what is written in the Quran but it would seem strange to me that the religous practics could be so different if most apsects of life were clearly regulated by the Quran. I rather think it's again a matter of interpretation. And some people interpreted the writings in a very extreme way and they also have other secoundary writings as religous autorities, while others interpet it in a more liberal manner - just like christians.

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Islam is essentially a peacefull religion Avon...remember Judaism, Christianity and Islam share 70% characteristics... though i appreciate your particular bias on this matter, and given your own personal situation, i can forgive you for your prejudices against Muslims and Islam.

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Quote[/b] ] and then there are also moderate people not really letting their life be dominated by the religion.

Any religious abiding Muslim (no matter what their interpretation of this or that Quranic text) will tell you that such people, who you qualify as moderates, are not practicing Muslims.

I think most american christian fundamentalists would call typical finnish liberal protestant same.

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As I didn't read the Quran myself it's hard for me to comment on your claims. So my first question is. Are those strict rules really written that strictly in the Quran or are they part of a different "ruleset". Like the Sharia (spelling) or anything alike.

There is Quran itself, which is word of God, and then Hadith, which are sayings of Muhammad. So strictly speaking Quran itself can't be disputed by any muslim, as it comes directly from Allah - though as it is written in classical arabic and is pretty poetic, it still is quite open to interpretation. Now, lot of stuff you hear being cited all over is in Hadith, which are is basically things written down as what people have heard Muhammed saying. And this does not include writings by early Muslim scholars, which are in part their interpretations of Hadith, and this is the stuff Wahhabi and al-Qaeda base quite a lot of their ideology on, including things like their justifications on beheadings of hostages.

I had few good links I wanted to list here as an example but those english-language al-Qaeda affiliated webpages do not tend to stay up very long...

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Islam is essentially a peacefull religion Avon...

And what do you base this on? History perhaps?

Quote[/b] ]remember Judaism, Christianity and Islam share 70% characteristics...

So do Saks 5th Avenue and Walmart but it's irrelevant.

Quote[/b] ]though i appreciate your particular bias on this matter, and given your own personal situation, i can forgive you for your prejudices against Muslims and Islam.

I don't need your forgiveness.

Please point out the bias in my posts above.

Quote[/b] ] and then there are also moderate people not really letting their life be dominated by the religion.

Any religious abiding Muslim (no matter what their interpretation of this or that Quranic text) will tell you that such people, who you qualify as moderates, are not practicing Muslims.

I think most american christian fundamentalists would call typical finnish liberal protestant same.

Of course. Just as I, an Orthodox Jew, will say the same about Reform and Conservative Jews.

I had few good links I wanted to list here as an example but those english-language al-Qaeda affiliated webpages do not tend to stay up very long...

Say no more.

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I had few good links I wanted to list here as an example but those english-language al-Qaeda affiliated webpages do not tend to stay up very long...

Say no more.

Thanks for the link,extremly enlighting about the views of Muslim organisations about contemporary issues.

The Islamic View on Hostage Taking

Quote[/b] ]The following is a statement issued by the International Association for Muslim Scholars (IAMS)regarding the recent incidents of kidnapping and hostage taking. The IAMS was founded in London, July, 2004, by Sunni and Shiite  scholars with the aim of forming an international Muslim juristic consensus that goes beyond sectarian affiliations. The IAMS is headed by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

Kidnapping and hostage taking are not an invention of our particular times. They go back long in history. But they have become so frequent these days because of the grave injustice suffered by weak and oppressed communities at the hands of powerful countries seeking to impose their will on them. Moreover, these oppressed communities seldom have adequate means and resources to repel aggression. Since some Muslims resort to such methods, at an increasing rate, thus going beyond the limits of what is lawful, we wish to clarify the Islamic perspective related to the matter. This ruling, or fatwa, sums up all the Islamic rules that apply to such acts:

Kidnapping is an aggression against others, be they Muslims or non-Muslims. It is a type of transgression which God has prohibited, as the Qur’an reads: [surely Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good (to others) and the giving to the kindred, and He forbids indecency and evil and rebellion] (An-Nahl 16:90). It is well known that the order to ensure justice, extend kindness and be generous to one’s kindred is not limited to Muslims only. Similarly, the prohibition of what is shameful, reprehensible conduct and transgression applies to all humanity. Even though man, by nature, tends to fight any aggression inflicted upon him, God permits the repelling of aggression by parallel, proportionate means only. This is stated in the Qur’an: [Whoever then acts aggressively against you, inflict injury on him according to the injury he has inflicted on you and be careful (of your duty) to Allah and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil)] (Al-Baqarah 2:194); [And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits] (Al-Baqarah 2:190). God also makes it clear that religious differences do not justify aggression against anyone, even though they may reach the stage of open conflict: [Let not hatred of a people—because they hindered you from the Sacred Masjid—incite you to exceed the limits] (Al-Ma’idah 5:2).

Taking prisoners is an act done in warfare. If it could be exceptionally permissible during war, it is totally forbidden in all other situations whatsoever.

In his commentary on the Qur’an, At-Tabari quotes the following hadith: “The Prophet came to Makkah to perform `Umrah. Some Companions arrested some local people, taking them as prisoners while they were unaware. The Prophet ordered their release.†We see that the Prophet did this, releasing unbelievers who were taken prisoner, because he did not consider himself in a state of war with the unbelievers, as his purpose was to offer the `Umrah.

Similarly the Prophet did not sanction what one of his Companions, Salamah ibn Al-Akwa’, did when he kidnapped four unbelievers after the signing of the peace treaty at Al-Hudaybiyah. Salamah did so thinking that the unbelievers had already violated the peace treaty. The Prophet, however, said, “Leave them so that they will be the ones who initiate evil and repeat it.â€[1]

Initiating aggression is not a part of Muslim ethics. It must never be characteristic of Muslims. Muslims may repel evil with a similar measure, but their purpose in doing so is not to retaliate; rather, it is to bring evil actions committed against them to an end, attempting to end evil against all humanity. The Qur’an demonstrates that the best method to ensure the prevention of evil is to call upon people to pursue forbearance and forgiveness—as the best way to fight animosity: [And not alike are the good and the evil. Repel (evil) with what is best, when lo! he between whom and you was enmity would be as if he were a warm friend] (Fussilat 41:34). [Repel evil with that which is best] (Al-Mu’minun 23:96). Muslims are described in the Qur’an as those who [repel evil with what is good] (Ar-Ra`d 13:22 and Al-Qasas 28:54).

Based on that, therefore, we declare that is it is forbidden to kidnap any human being in any situation whatsoever, other than in an open warfare situation, when the person kidnapped becomes a prisoner of war—and even in that case—he must not be killed. Indeed, even a prisoner of war must eventually be released, as the Qur’an states [either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates] (Muhammad 47:4). Needless to say, it is forbidden to kidnap anyone who is opposed to a war launched against us, or is sympathetic towards us, such as the two French journalists. We denounce all cases of kidnapping where the victims have nothing to do with the occupation of Muslim land. We demand an immediate and unconditional release of all people taken as hostages.

Even in the case of war, it is not permissible to kidnap innocent people or civilians, who must not be a war target, to begin with. From an Islamic point of view, civilians are all those who are non-combatants, such as women and children, as well as the elderly who have no role in the fighting, and men of any religion. The Prophet has given an express order “not to kill women and children.â€[2] He also said, “Do not kill any young person.â€[3] In an order to Khalid ibn Al-Waleed, the army commander, he said, “Never kill a child or a labor worker.â€[4] This last order includes anyone employed in non-combat capacity, such as factory workers, medical personnel, and the like. The Prophet also made clear the prohibition of killing any elderly man,[5] priests, or hermits dedicated to worship. The same prohibition of killing elderly men is confirmed by Abu Bakr. Moreover, Jabir ibn `Abdullah, one of the Prophet’s Companions, is quoted as saying that Muslims “did not kill the merchants among the unbelievers.†The majority of scholars in the Hanafi, Maliki and Hanbali schools of Islamic law extend this prohibition, on the basis of analogy, so as to include other non-combatants, such as those who are physically or mentally handicapped, those who lock themselves in a house or a church, laborers, farmers, and other tradesmen and craftsmen. Imam Ash-Shawkani has formulated a clear rule of analogy on this particular issue. This rule makes clear that “it is unlawful from the Islamic point of view to kill anyone who is of no benefit to the enemy and cannot do the Muslims any harm.â€

Therefore, we denounce taking school children as hostages in the school in North Ossetia, leading to a horrific massacre, despite the fact that we believe the Chechens have a just cause and that the Chechen people should be able to exercise their right to self-determination. We also denounce the kidnapping of two Italian women working for a humanitarian agency at the same time that we condemn the Italian government’s policy of alliance with the US aggression against Iraq. All such incidents are unlawful from the Islamic point of view. In addition, such incidents do not serve the interests of resisting the occupation of Iraq. We should remember in this connection that when the Quraizhah Jews committed a horrific act of treachery, violating their peace treaty with the Prophet and allying themselves with the aggressors who had declared their aim of annihilating the Muslim community, such treachery did not cause the Muslims to kill Jewish women and children or expose them to any danger.

Should taking prisoners take place during war, those who are imprisoned become prisoners of war and must be treated according to the relevant Islamic rules, which can be summarized as follows:

Prisoners of war must be handed over to the Muslim authorities to determine what is to be done with them. Those who actually take them as prisoners or keep them do not have any authority over them and cannot determine their fate.

It is an important Islamic duty to treat prisoners of war kindly and gently, be hospitable to them, and provide them with food and clothing. They must never be subjected to ill-treatment or torture. The Qur’an says, [And they [i.e., the believers] give food out of love for Him to the poor and the orphan and the captive] (Al-Insan 76:8). The Prophet gave this general order: “Be sure to treat the captives kindly.â€[6] He is also reported to have said “Be kind to your prisoners, and let them have their afternoon rest, and provide them with water to drink.†He is also reported that the Prophet ordered that the prisoners should not suffer from the heat and the tiresomeness of carrying their arms to battle. After the Battle of Badr, the Prophet ordered that those unbelievers who were taken captive should be treated kindly. Complying with his order, the Companions of the Prophet gave the captives their food before they themselves ate.

Eventually, according to Islam, captives must be released, either by an act of grace that requires nothing in return, or in return for ransom, which could be monetary, through prisoner exchange, or in the form of a service they render to the Muslim community. The Prophet asked some of those taken prisoner at the Battle of Badr to teach some Muslims reading and writing in return for their release. That prisoners of war must be released is clearly stated in the Qur’an: [so when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates] (Muhammad 47:4). The Prophet put the instructions contained in this verse in practice until the end of his life. Indeed, scholars rule that it is forbidden to kill a war captive in principle. In his book, Bidayat Al-Mujtahid, Ibn Rushd says, “A number of scholars say that it is not permissible to kill a captive. Al-Hasan ibn Muhammad At-Tamimi says that it is the unanimous view of the Prophet’s Companions.†In his commentary on the Qur’an, Ibn Kathir states, “Scholars say that the Muslim ruler’s only choice is to set captives free, either as an act of grace or in return for ransom, but it is prohibited to kill a captive.†Al-Alousi says, “The apparent meaning of the Qur’anic verse is that it is forbidden to kill a person after taking him prisoner. This is also the ruling expressed by Al-Hasan.â€

Based on the above, we say that a captive can only be killed in exceptional circumstances, by an order of the head of the Muslim state made on the basis of a court sentence. The groups operating within the armed resistance to the occupation of Iraq or elsewhere do not have the right to exercise the power of the head of a Muslim state. Moreover, killing captives is bound to have adverse effects on the resistance to the occupation, and dishonors the cause of the Iraqi people and their struggle. We, therefore, condemn the killing of the Nepalese workers and other captives who did not take part in the war. If it were true that they provided service to the occupation forces, even so, such service does not justify their killing.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Moreover, killing captives is bound to have adverse effects on the resistance to the occupation, and dishonors the cause of the Iraqi people and their struggle.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It is unlawful from the Islamic point of view to take enemy civilians as hostages and threaten to kill them in retaliation for any action or inaction carried out by someone else, especially when the hostages are not responsible for such an action and cannot prevent it. This applies to the case of the school in North Ossetia where school children and teachers were held hostage. This prohibition is based on two factors:

One of the basic principles of justice is that no one should be held accountable for someone else’s action or offence. This cardinal Islamic principle is emphasized in several verses of the Qur’an, such as [and no soul earns (evil) but against itself, and no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another] (Al-An`am 6:164); [No laden soul can bear another’s load] (Al-Israa’ 17:15); [Whoever does good, it is for his own soul, and whoever does evil, it is against it] (Fussilat 41:46); [Whoever does evil, he shall be requited with it] (An-Nisaa’ 4:123). The Prophet emphasized this in several traditions, such as “Anyone who commits an offense will be the only one to bear its consequences.â€[7] “No one shall bear responsibility for another’s crime.â€[8] A number of statements by the Prophet make clear that non-Muslims who have a treaty with Muslims must never be killed, such as “Whoever kills a man bound with a treaty, without valid cause, shall never be allowed even the smell of Heaven.â€[9]

In war time, it may happen that some civilians are killed as a result of some operations, as in the case of a raid launched against an enemy concentration resulting in the death of some people nearby. Scholars say that this is acceptable provided that it is unintended. But to deliberately kill civilians is certainly forbidden. How, then, can the murder of captives in cold blood be justified when enemy civilians may not be targeted even in war time

As Muslims we should take the upper moral grounds and not lower our ethical conduct into the wanton level of the occupation forces in Iraq, which has so far killed thousands of Iraqi civilians, including large numbers of women, children, and elderly people, under the pretext of fighting the resistance to their occupation.

It is incumbent on all Muslims to observe the Islamic rules summarized above.

Allah, majestic in His praise, knows best.

So basicly they are denouncing all gruesome beheading comited by Zarqawis group and the kidnapping of children in N Ossetia and explicitly forbid the kindapping of civillians regardless of their religion.They also demand that even combatants such as US soldiers should be treated well and released eventually.

Some intresting tidbits:

"Initiating aggression is not a part of Muslim ethics. It must never be characteristic of Muslims. Muslims may repel evil with a similar measure, but their purpose in doing so is not to retaliate; rather, it is to bring evil actions committed against them to an end, attempting to end evil against all humanity. The Qur’an demonstrates that the best method to ensure the prevention of evil is to call upon people to pursue forbearance and forgiveness—as the best way to fight animosity: [And not alike are the good and the evil. Repel (evil) with what is best, when lo! he between whom and you was enmity would be as if he were a warm friend] (Fussilat 41:34). [Repel evil with that which is best] (Al-Mu’minun 23:96). Muslims are described in the Qur’an as those who [repel evil with what is good] (Ar-Ra`d 13:22 and Al-Qasas 28:54).

"

"Based on the above, we say that a captive can only be killed in exceptional circumstances, by an order of the head of the Muslim state made on the basis of a court sentence. The groups operating within the armed resistance to the occupation of Iraq or elsewhere do not have the right to exercise the power of the head of a Muslim state. Moreover, killing captives is bound to have adverse effects on the resistance to the occupation, and dishonors the cause of the Iraqi people and their struggle. We, therefore, condemn the killing of the Nepalese workers and other captives who did not take part in the war. If it were true that they provided service to the occupation forces, even so, such service does not justify their killing. "

So help me understand AvonLady,are the scholars part of the International Association of Muslim Scholars not true muslims  wink_o.gif

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So help me understand AvonLady,are the International Association of Muslim Scholars not true muslims  wink_o.gif

I would not conclude such a thing. However, I'll quote expert Robert Spencer on the particular article you've mentioned to show you how two-sided and complex this becomes. Spencer's last paragraph is a good summary:

Quote[/b] ]International Association of Muslim Scholars condemns hostage-taking

Islam Online (thanks to A. El Haji) has a lengthy statement from the International Association of Muslim Scholars (IAS) condemning hostage taking. At first glance it looks great: a carefully reasoned argument from Islamic sources showing that the behavior of the Iraqi jihadists is wrong. Just what we need. However, once again there is somewhat less than meets the eye.

The first reason for that is that the Chairman of the IAMS is none other than Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, who has said of suicide bombing: "It's not suicide, it is martyrdom in the name of God, Islamic theologians and jurisprudents have debated this issue. Referring to it as a form of jihad, under the title of jeopardising the life of the mujahideen. It is allowed to jeopardise your soul and cross the path of the enemy and be killed." So evidently it is OK to blow up civilians on a bus, just not to take them hostage.

Another is that the reasoning itself is unlikely to convince educated jihadist Muslims (and if you don't think the jihadists are educated, read this). The argumentation is likely to convince non-Muslims who are largely unfamiliar with the Islamic sources, but not Muslims who are steeped in those sources. For example, the article says:

Similarly the Prophet did not sanction what one of his companions, Salamah ibn al-Akwa’, did when he kidnapped four unbelievers after the signing of the peace treaty at al-Hudaybiyah. Salamah did so thinking that the unbelievers had already violated the peace treaty. The Prophet, however, said: “Leave them so that they will be the ones who initiate evil and repeat it.â€(1)

This means that initiating evil is characteristic of unbelievers. It must never be characteristic of Muslims. Muslims may repel evil with a similar measure, but their purpose in doing so is not to retaliate; rather, it is to prevent a repeat of the evil committed against them, and to remove it totally from the domain of human relations.

This is an account from Sahih Muslim, a hadith collection that is generally accepted as authentic. It seems to be used here as evidence that Muhammad himself was against kidnapping and hostage-taking. Note, however, that Salamah thought they had violated a peace treaty. This leaves open the question of whether hostage-taking is acceptable if a peace treaty has, in fact, been violated. Also, consider another account from the same source, involving the same companion of the Prophet, Salamah ibn al-Akwa’:

<ul>It has been narrated on the authority of Salama (b. al-Akwa') who said: We fought against the Fazara and Abu Bakr was the commander over us. He had been appointed by the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). When we were onlv at an hour's distance from the water of the enemy, Abu Bakr ordered us to attack. We made a halt during the last part of the night to rest and then we attacked from all sides and reached their watering-place where a battle was fought. Some of the enemies were killed and some were taken prisoners. I saw a group of persons that consisted of women and children. I was afraid lest they should reach the mountain before me, so I shot an arrow between them and the mountain. When they saw the arrow, they stopped. So I brought them, driving them along. Among them was a woman from Banu Fazara. She was wearing a leather coat. With her was her daughter who was one of the prettiest girls in Arabia. I drove them along until I brought them to Abu Bakr who bestowed that girl upon me as a prize. So we arrived in Medina. I had not yet disrobed her when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) met me in the street and said: Give me that girl, O Salama. I said: Messenger of Allah, she has fascinated me. I had not yet disrobed her. When on the next day. the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) again met me in the street, he said: O Salama, give me that girl, may God bless your father. I said: She is for you. Messenger of Allah! By Allah. I have not yet disrobed her. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent her to the people of Mecca, and surrendered her as ransom for a number of Muslims who had been kept as prisoners at Mecca. (Sahih Muslim, book 19, no. 4345)

Quite aside from the rape elements of the story ("I had not yet disrobed her," but it would have been inconceivable for him to have said, "I had not yet asked her consent"), this indicates that when Muhammad ordered the other hostages freed, he may have done it for many reasons, but not because of a general prohibition of hostage-taking. For in this case he uses the girl precisely as a hostage, winning the freedom of Muslim captives as her ransom.

Now once again: why am I taking issue with moderate Muslim arguments, instead of supporting them? Because I want the moderate Muslim arguments to be strong enough to refute the radical Muslim arguments. When I, who am not even a Muslim, can easily find fault with them, how much easier will it be for a hardened mujahid, who has given his whole life to the study and practice of Islam, to do so? That leads me to believe that fatawa such as this one are intended more for non-Muslims than for Muslims: to reassure non-Muslims that Islam is cleaning its own house. But I need to see a fatwa that is strong enough to convince radical Muslims to lay down their arms. I'm still waiting.

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So help me understand AvonLady,are the International Association of Muslim Scholars not true muslims wink_o.gif

I would not conclude such a thing. However, I'll quote expert Robert Spencer on the particular article you've mentioned to show you how two-sided and complex this becomes. Spencer's last paragraph is a good summary:

(quotation removed)

I wouldn't really classify IslamOnline.net as that moderate site, though front page would lead you to think so - it's rather conservative on some issues and tone in discussion forums goes even father.

But it is clearly not al-Qaeda affiliated site either, and mixing conservativism and terrorism does not help either this discussion or aid in combating terrorism.

In western world you have Ann Coulter, who in her column advocated either killing muslims or converting them to christianity, and those Swedish skinheads who wanted to make Sweden in their image by killing police, immigrants and attacking critical infrastructure. Both are white, evangelical christian, extreme right wingers, but you can't combat violent rightist movements with throwing labels around and treating every vocal group as being part of single entity. Saying every nutjob is al-Qaeda is all good when you need to get that 10 billion budget increase for this or that agency or you need to get reelected, but it does not help us win war against terrorism, in whatever form it comes.

Ann Coulter says things she says because she's gets paid for it, same goes for IslamOnline.net - they're doing a PR job for their funders. If al-Qaeda would achieve their goals in Middle East, people behind "al-Qaeda affiliated" sites like IslamOnline.net would probably be first against the wall, as they are very likely closely affiliated with ruling parties just by virtue of existing at all in countries where freedom of speech is almost non-existent.

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Quote[/b] ]
Islam is essentially a peacefull religion Avon...

And what do you base this on? History perhaps?

The Koran. I also have 3 muslim freinds.

Quote[/b] ]
Quote[/b] ]remember Judaism, Christianity and Islam share 70% characteristics...

So do Saks 5th Avenue and Walmart but it's irrelevant.

Yes comparisons between 2 supermarket chains are irrelevant, the comparisons between religions are not. Incase its too hard for you: Almost 3/4 of your religion is the same as Islam. If islam is the pure evil thing you say it is, then so is both Judaism and Christianity.

Quote[/b] ]
Quote[/b] ]though i appreciate your particular bias on this matter, and given your own personal situation, i can forgive you for your prejudices against Muslims and Islam.

I don't need your forgiveness.

Please point out the bias in my posts above.

Everyone has bias in thier posts. Thats true as long as we all carry (emotional) baggage. Your background means that the issue of Muslims and whether they are all evil or not is probably very close to your heart, but still, you should try and take a step back and not judge a whole religion on the actions of a few.

If you want examples i'm happy to point them out though.

Quote[/b] ]Any religious abiding Muslim (no matter what their interpretation of this or that Quranic text) will tell you that such people, who you qualify as moderates, are not practicing Muslims.

This is essentially the same as Duke of rays "the only good muslim is one who doesnt actually follow the religion". So the only moderates are those that dont actually follow the religion? And i suppose that means everyone who follows Islam is a fanatic, ready to come and blow you up?

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Quote[/b] ]
Islam is essentially a peacefull religion Avon...

And what do you base this on? History perhaps?

The Koran.

State your case. And indeed, what about history or should we just forget it as something irrelevant from the past?

Quote[/b] ]I also have 3 muslim freinds.

Like wow! wow_o.gif

Quote[/b] ]
Quote[/b] ]
Quote[/b] ]remember Judaism, Christianity and Islam share 70% characteristics...

So do Saks 5th Avenue and Walmart but it's irrelevant.

Yes comparisons between 2 supermarket chains are irrelevant, the comparisons between religions are not. Incase its too hard for you: Almost 3/4 of your religion is the same as Islam.

State your case. I suppose you must have at least 3 Jewish friends to know that.

Quote[/b] ]If islam is the pure evil thing you say it is,

I didn't but there's something in it that inherritly offers many of its followers to achieve something close to that as far as us non-Muslims are concerned.

Quote[/b] ]then so is both Judaism and Christianity.

Brilliant analysis!

Quote[/b] ]
Quote[/b] ]
Quote[/b] ]though i appreciate your particular bias on this matter, and given your own personal situation, i can forgive you for your prejudices against Muslims and Islam.

I don't need your forgiveness.

Please point out the bias in my posts above.

Everyone has bias in thier posts. Thats true as long as we all carry (emotional) baggage. Your background means that the issue of Muslims and whether they are all evil or not is probably very close to your heart, but still, you should try and take a step back and not judge a whole religion on the actions of a few.

How few is a few? Can you quantify the number of Muslims worldwide that support/not support Islamic Jihadism, even passively?

Quote[/b] ]If you want examples i'm happy to point them out though.

Examples of what? My bias in my posts? Go ahead. Examples of "moderation in Islam"? There are a million of them.

Quote[/b] ]
Quote[/b] ]Any religious abiding Muslim (no matter what their interpretation of this or that Quranic text) will tell you that such people, who you qualify as moderates, are not practicing Muslims.

This is essentially the same as Duke of rays "the only good muslim is one who doesnt actually follow the religion".

No. Read Carefully. I am speaking from the viewpoint of an Orthodox Muslim. Do you want me to start quoting the Quran (Abdullah Yusuf Ali English translation) on the hellfires awaiting Muslims who do not keep Islam's ways?

Quote[/b] ]So the only moderates are those that dont actually follow the religion?

No. Read again.

Quote[/b] ]And i suppose that means everyone who follows Islam is a fanatic, ready to come and blow you up?

Wrong. Read again.

Someone's biases are shining brightly.

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Yes yours are shining brightly once again Avon. Im not even going to give your mickey mouse arguments the time of day. Youd obviously be too blind to actually read any reply to them, even if i spelt it out to you like a child, so forgive me if i dont bother wasting my time on trying to explain even simple things to you.

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So help me understand AvonLady,are the International Association of Muslim Scholars not true muslims  wink_o.gif

I would not conclude such a thing. However, I'll quote expert Robert Spencer on the particular article you've mentioned to show you how two-sided and complex this becomes. Spencer's last paragraph is a good summary:

(quotation removed)

I wouldn't really classify IslamOnline.net as that moderate site, though front page would lead you to think so - it's rather conservative on some issues and tone in discussion forums goes even father.

But it is clearly not al-Qaeda affiliated site either, and mixing conservativism and terrorism does not help either this discussion or aid in combating terrorism.

Sorry. I did not mean to convey that IslamOnline.net is an Al-Qaeda site. But you say a mouthful when stating that its front page would lead you to think it's moderate until you step inside.

Quote[/b] ]In western world you have Ann Coulter, who in her column advocated either killing muslims or converting them to christianity,

Do you have a link?

Quote[/b] ]and those Swedish skinheads who wanted to make Sweden in their image by killing police, immigrants and attacking critical infrastructure. Both are white, evangelical christian, extreme right wingers, but you can't combat violent rightist movements with throwing labels around and treating every vocal group as being part of single entity.

That's because I don't see the connection betwen Coulter and Swedish skinheads.

And skinheads are a phenomena world-wide and police have special tactics to deal with their most common offenses.

Quote[/b] ]Saying every nutjob is al-Qaeda is all good when you need to get that 10 billion budget increase for this or that agency or you need to get reelected, but it does not help us win war against terrorism, in whatever form it comes.

So many nutjobs. So many disciples. It's wakey-up time!

Quote[/b] ]Ann Coulter says things she says because she's gets paid for it, same goes for IslamOnline.net - they're doing a PR job for their funders.

You are accusing Islam Online's religious contributors of being insincere? Based on what?

Quote[/b] ]If al-Qaeda would achieve their goals in Middle East, people behind "al-Qaeda affiliated" sites like IslamOnline.net would probably be first against the wall, as they are very likely closely affiliated with ruling parties just by virtue of existing at all in countries where freedom of speech is almost non-existent.

You're making the contrary mistake of believing that Al Qaeda has some sort of tiny monopoply on Islamic extremism. Far from it, I believe.

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Yes yours are shining brightly once again Avon. Im not even going to give your mickey mouse arguments the time of day. Youd obviously be too blind to actually read any reply to them, even if i spelt it out to you like a child, so forgive me if i dont bother wasting my time on trying to explain even simple things to you.

Thank you for proving nothing.

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Yes yours are shining brightly once again Avon. Im not even going to give your mickey mouse arguments the time of day. Youd obviously be too blind to actually read any reply to them, even if i spelt it out to you like a child, so forgive me if i dont bother wasting my time on trying to explain even simple things to you.

Thank you for proving nothing.

I do not need to prove everything i said, but if you weren't going didnt flame me for it, maybe i would indulge you. But as i said in my last post, you are too blinkered to read anything i would say properly. And i am not wasting my time indulging you so you can ignore the point of what i'm saying and have another go at flaming me.

Good Day Avon  mad_o.gif

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I do not need to prove everything i said, but if you weren't going didnt flame me for it, maybe i would indulge you. But as i said in my last post, you are too blinkered to read anything i would say properly.

What words of yours did I misconstrue, oh unbaised one?

Quote[/b] ]And i am not wasting my time indulging you so you can ignore the point of what i'm saying and have another go at flaming me.

Good Day Avon mad_o.gif

Harrumph! Harrumph!

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Post the exact line where i claimed i was unbiased please.

You didn't. You complained about my bias. And I even just called you "oh unbiased one".

And I thought you weren't going to indulge me.................

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I havent. Read again. That was not indulging you by arguing my previous points, so that you could have another run at flaming me for my opinions.

Now i WILL indulge you:

I didnt complain about your bias, i pointed it out. I also pointed out that we ALL have bias. And i also said i understand why you have your bias. At least i took the time to understand where your coming from.....

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I didnt complain about your bias, i pointed it out.

You didn't point out anything. You accused me of bias in my posts without substantiating your claim. Care to give it an honest try?

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I did. You flamed me for it.

Promise you wont do it again?

Ok then, quick one:

Quote (Pathy @ Nov. 24 2004,02:16)

Islam is essentially a peacefull religion Avon...

Quote[/b] ]And what do you base this on? History perhaps?

So despite all the strict laws on war layed down in the quoran, the basis that Islam is a peacefull religion is wrong in your opinion? Jihad is a defensive war avon, its purpose isnt expansion or suchlike, its defending of the homeland. Theres no difference between that and your right to defend your country. And before you go into history to suggest that Islam isnt peaceful, Christianity and Judaism both have thier bad historical moments as well.

Quote[/b] ]
Quote[/b] ]  

If islam is the pure evil thing you say it is,

I didn't but there's something in it that inherritly offers many of its followers to achieve something close to that as far as us non-Muslims are concerned

You are even basically admitting to your bias here.

Edit: got to go to work. Have fun!

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As a child I learned that those who believe in God and do good things end up in heaven when they die. Bad people go to hell. East is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet.

I've known many a strong believer in christianity, and never once have they told me I'll end up in hell - even though I don't do very much good - including my disbelief in any God whatsoever! I don't believe they will end up in hell for that matter - or in heaven if there's any!

Point is that religious texts are full of paradoxes and things best understood with history in mind, as in the "ad fontes" approach - you know, when historical matters are best understood and considered as occuring under certain and specific conditions - such as the world was flat because they believed it to be and could hardly be blamed for thinking exactly that. Does that make their truth "false" ?

Did they end up in hell? Or could it be that their understanding - or shall we say interprentation was exactly that, an interprentation!

So who exactly have the power to tell what is true and false then?

The obvious answer would be the priest, the mullah, and the rabbi. Yet, even they disagree what is true and false. Their knowledge is also informed and changed because of historical findings (dead sea scripts/rolls) and history is even known to have made Jesus Christ a historical subject. And finally, there's us! Isn't the personal matter/believing what matters in the end?

Avon, there are so many muslims speaking out against the bloody campaign of a few! There are after all also very few people responsible for the attrocities. Do you honestly believe that the few are the right and the many wrong?

Because of what? A reference to an american scholar that have a list of monographs with dubious titles?

I've read lots of monographs myself as a student of social anthropology - not once have I read about muslims who's goal was to make it to cut-throat island.

Madmen is to be found in all societies regardless of their  religious or profane constitution. It takes more than one mad mullah to change that - or a rabbi of course!

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Avon, there are so many muslims speaking out against the bloody campaign of a few!

I slighlty disagree. I would say that there are so many Muslims speaking out against the bloody campaign of many other Muslims.

Look what the wind blew in to appease Ralph (the moderate) :

Quote[/b] ]Al-Zarqawi Tape Criticizes Muslim Scholars

12 minutes ago Middle East - AP

By SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq - An audiotape purportedly made by Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi lashed out Wednesday at Muslim scholars for not speaking out against U.S. actions in Iraq (news - web sites) and Afghanistan (news - web sites), saying they have "let us down in the darkest circumstances."

Al-Zarqawi, who leads the feared terror group al-Qaida in Iraq, is believed to have escaped from his headquarters in the insurgent-held stronghold of Fallujah during the massive U.S.-led assault earlier this month.

Al-Zarqawi addressed his comments to the "ulama" — religious Muslim scholars — on the tape posted Wednesday on the Internet. Its authenticity could not be independently verified.

"You have let us down in the darkest circumstances and handed us over to the enemy... You have quit supporting the mujahedeen," he said. "Hundreds of thousands of the nation's sons are being slaughtered at the hands of the infidels because of your silence."

"You made peace with the tyranny and handed over the countries and the people to the Jews and Crusaders. ... when you resort to silence on their crimes, when you refused to hold the banners of Jihad and Tawhid, and when you prevented youth from heading to the battlefields in order to defend the religion," he said.

"Instead of implementing God's orders, you chose your safety and preferred your money and sons. You left the mujahadeen facing the strongest power in the world," he said. "Are not your hearts shaken by the scenes of your brothers being surrounded and hurt by your enemy?"

It was unclear whether his message was intended as a direct threat against religious scholars.

This week, two Sunni clerics who were part of an influential Sunni group that openly called for a boycott of Jan. 30 national elections because of the U.S. offensive against Fallujah were assassinated by gunmen.

On Tuesday, Sheik Ghalib Ali al-Zuhairi, was killed as he left a mosque after dawn prayers in the town of Muqdadiyah, 60 miles north of Baghdad, police said.

His assassination occurred a day after another prominent Sunni cleric was killed in the northern city of Mosul — Sheik Faidh Mohamed Amin al-Faidhi, who was the brother of the association's spokesman. It was unclear whether those two attacks were related.

The audio message appeared as U.S. and Iraqi security forces continued their search for al-Zarqawi after reports that he was in the region north of Baghdad.The U.S. has placed a $25 million bounty on his head.

His group, formerly named Tawhid and Jihad, is believed responsible for dozens of deadly bombings and gruesome beheadings of foreign hostages.

In the northern city of Kirkuk, militants attacked Iraqi National Guard forces, killing one soldier and a civilian in the drive-by shooting, the military said Wednesday.

The attackers struck after sundown Tuesday, firing from their car on Iraqi forces helping a civilian with his vehicle, the military said in a statement.

Another Iraqi guardsman suffered injuries in the incident, the military said. Kirkuk is about 180 miles north of Baghdad.

The release of the purported al-Zarqawi tape came a day after thousands U.S. Marines, British troops and Iraqi forces began an offensive aimed at clearing a swath of insurgent hotbeds south of Baghdad.

Tuesday's series of raids and house searches was the third large-scale military operation this month aimed at suppressing Iraq's Sunni Muslim insurgency ahead of crucial elections set for Jan. 30.

The assault aims to stem an increase of violence in an area that has been notorious for months as a danger zone. Car bombings, rocket attacks and ambushes have surged in recent weeks — likely in part due to guerrillas who slipped out of the militant stronghold of Fallujah, according to commanders.

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