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Round 3. Grimreaper797 vs. Rdube02: Islam is a religion of Peace

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posted on Apr, 12 2006 @ 11:52 PM
The topic for this debate is "Islam is a religion of Peace.".

Grimreaper797 will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
Rdube02 will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

No post will be longer than 800 words and in the case of the closing statement no longer than 500 words.

Credits or references at the bottom do not count towards the word total.

Editing is Strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted.

Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references. Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only one image and no more than 5 references can be included for each post.

Responses should be made within 24 hours, if people are late with their replies, they run the risk of forfeiting their reply and possibly the debate.

Judging will be done by a panel of anonymous judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. One of the debate forum moderators will then make a final post announcing the winner.

This debate is now open, good luck to both of you.

posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 11:29 AM
Well let me start by stating what I will be doing during this debate. I will be showing all of you why Islam is a religion of peace and not some violent primitive religion which it has been portrayed as. I will show that this religion of peace had been twisted and why people have twisted it to make you believe that its violent.

My opponent will most likely quote the Quran, then how some religious extremists did some actions to portray it as violent. I reassure you that this argument is flawed and I will show you why.

It will be easy to see where unintentional and intentional mistakes have been made by people to display the religion of Islam as evil. The most common will be quotations of the Quran without an understanding of the Quran. Also, purposely letting religious extremists represent the entire community of Islam in order to give such people a negative image. This is some things I will be addressing in my argument.
To further show Why they do this I will also attempt to show you. This way you can better understand the intentions and reasons for making Islam out to be a religion of violence and hate.
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posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 01:31 PM
As always, I offer my thanks to the moderators of these debates, the judges for their time, and to all of our readers for their interest. To my opponent, congratulations on making it past the last round, and best of luck to you.

I would like to open this debate with a statement from our fearless leader, President George W. Bush. Yes...I know what you’re thinking. Why would rdube02 quote George Bush – those who know me well know my not-so-happy feelings toward our dear president. However, as an opening to this debate, I believe this is appropriate because it plays into the theme and logic my opponent will be attempting in this debate, and it is the reason why this debate will be a difficult one – because while my opponent’s position is politically correct, as we’ll see in a moment, my position on the other hand is one of cold, critical, and logical dissection of a religion. Not just the religion of Islam, but this dissection will play, in many ways, as an analysis of all religions in general – and their relationships to violence. It is an understatement to say that this will be quite interesting.

Here is the quote from President George W. Bush, following the 9/11 attacks:

America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country. Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads. And they need to be treated with respect. In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect.
Women who cover their heads in this country must feel comfortable going outside their homes. Moms who wear cover must be not intimidated in America. That's not the America I know. That's not the America I value.

What I have been tasked with in this debate, is to present to you a politically incorrect view, in direct conflict with that statement above. It is especially politically incorrect in the current climate of post Sept 11. I will present this to you, but it will not be as my opponent apparently would like – I will present this to you with cold hard facts, a non-biased and open minded discussion of Islam, and free of personal opinion. It won’t be easy or comfortable for the soft or sensitive, but it needs to be done. The truth is often quite difficult to accept. In the end, each reader may decide for themselves what the truth is regarding Islam.... and essentially religion itself.


posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 03:07 PM
First i will start by addressing the misinterpretation of the Quran. Is it a religion of violence or in truth a religion that preaches self defense when all else fail?

“Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, and do not transgress; for God loves not transgressors. And slay them wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out for tumult and oppression is worse than slaughter, but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they first fight you there, but if they fight, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. But if they cease, God is Forgiving, Most Merciful, And fight them on until there is no more persecution or oppression, and there prevails justice and faith in God, but if they desist, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression." (Q. 2 : 190-193)

as you can see through this passage, its not a means of promoting violence but merely saying do what you mus survive. If you have to defend yourself, then do so.
The definition of Violence:

A noun
1. an act of aggression (as one against a person who resists)

In a sense, if we follow the true definition of violence its not just causing harm, but an act of aggression as well. This is prohibited by the Quran. The definition of violence, when interpreted correctly, you will see, the Quran is against.

Now as for the idea that all religions are violent, I would like to beg to differ. Why? Well you pretty much encountered one of the points I was planning to make anyway. Religious extremists, every religion has them, but none of the religions want them. These people are NOT followers of the true religion. They are people who have twisted the words of the Quran and Bible in order to further their own agenda. This is why religions may come off as violent. When we take a closer look into the teachings of the religion itself, rather then the followers of the religion, we will find violence is the last thing it promotes.

What we are seeing is not a violent religion, but rather violent people who cannot follow the religion they claim to be a part of. This makes it seem as though the religion itself is evil. This we must not do though, we must not judge the religion based on those who can only claim to follow it. We must learn to see the religion for what it preaches, rather then see it as the misguided followers who could not interpret it.

posted on Apr, 14 2006 @ 01:21 PM
I would like to start off by outlining the relationships between religion and violence.

As you will find if you review this ongoing, quote controversial online discussion throughout the internet (and the world at large), quite a few people who defend the seemingly violent nature of Islam quite often post the very Quran quotes that mention such violence, and then proceed to attempt to redefine the meaning of violence to defend it.

A good example of this is the following excerpt from Seyyed Hossein Nasr in Al-Serat, a Journal of Islamic Studies. He writes the following:

First of all, it is necessary to define what we mean by violence. There are several dictionary definitions that can be taken into account such as 'swift and intense force', 'rough or injurious physical force or action', 'unjust or unwarranted exertion of force especially against the rights of others', rough or immediate vehemence' and finally 'injury resulting from the distortion of meaning or fact'.

You will find this tap-dance in just about every defense out there concerning the violence within the Quran of Islam. The only way to defend it is to redefine what violence is. This is because the violence is there – they can’t say it’s not there, so the only alternative is to redefine the meaning of the word.

To avoid such a tap dance, I suggest we use the simplest definition, as my opponent posted:

“an act of aggression (as one against a person who resists)”

To understand how such violence is integrated into the foundation of the Islamic religion, it’s important to understand the history of the man who is the very foundation of Islam, Prophet Muhammad. While some on the extreme right wing of our society have argued that Prophet Muhammad himself was a man of violence, I would have to strongly disagree. At the core, his spiritual/religious life had its beginnings in peace. Muhammad’s life during the thirteen years known as the “Meccan Period”, from the start of his revelations to the emigration to Medina were actually much like the story of Jesus in many ways.

The Meccan Period is characterized by the more elliptical and otherworldly portions of the Qur'an, and by the story of the rejected and persecuted prophet. Had the assassination plot against him in 621 succeeded, his religious career would have been similar in broad outline to that of Jesus.

However, during the “Medina” period, Muslims found themselves under attack, and prophet Muhammad’s writings can be seen to introduce a justification to violence “if” such violence is in the form of defense. Furthermore, Muhammad and his followers were in many ways forced to take up a military stance, and needed to justify this spiritually in the form of a necessary evil, or as Muhammad calls it, a “little” jihad, while “referring to the improvement of one’s self as the ‘greater’ jihad”.

But regardless of how you define the word violence, it goes without saying that Prophet Muhammad and his followers not only conducted such violence upon others, also written into the Qur’an was a justification of such violence.

While such writings concerning violence could probably also be found in the Christian Bible – the historical figurehead of various religions typically promoted peace and non-violence under all conditions. In Christianity Jesus taught to turn the other cheek. Even in the old testament, there are the commandments – one of the most important of which is the sixth: “Thou shalt not kill”, not thou shall not kill unless someone attacks you first. Simply – thou shalt not kill. In Buddhism, “Ahimsa” is the first of five precepts that the Buddha taught “do not kill”.

It teaches the following:

Do not kill living things. Do not let others kill. Do not allow others do kill. One needs to control violence toward all living things whether they are strong and powerful in society or they are fearful and weak. (Sutta-Nipata, Chapter 2, #14).

The Qur’an, on the other hand, offers an alternative. Violence (fighting) for “justified” reasons:

“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" (9:29).

Quotes of violence can be seen throughout the Quran. The nature of such words condoning some forms of violence, unfortunately come from the very foundation and history of Islam.



Link 1

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posted on Apr, 14 2006 @ 03:09 PM
Its quite obvious my opponent is attempting to disregarded semantics, which is actually a key to this debate. If you don't understand what words mean, you can't be able to label a religious group anything, let alone violent.

Like the definition said, violence is an act of aggression. Aggression means:

ag·gres·sion n.
1.The act of initiating hostilities or invasion.
2.The practice or habit of launching attacks.
3.Hostile or destructive behavior or actions.

So as you can see this is a strike on some group or person that is unprovoked and in destructive intentions. Now lets look at self-preservation:

self-pres·er·va·tion (slfprzr-vshn)
1.Protection of oneself from harm or destruction.
2.The instinct for individual preservation; the innate desire to stay alive.

So Self-Preservation, UNLIKE aggression, is doing whatever is needed to stay alive. It is self defense.
As you can see, there is a difference between violence and self preservation. Even the American justice system acknowledges this. There is a distinct difference between violence and self-defense. My opponent attempts to discredit with because its so damaging to his case.

The only way to defend it is to redefine what violence is.

What we have done is not redefine violence, merely explain that throughout time, the definition of violence has been forgotten. It has been mixed up with self defense in an attempt to discredit a persons reaction to survive. What your doing is not calling Islam violent. What you doing is calling every religion, every government, and every human beings reaction to survival violence rather then self defense. If you point is to prove that every living thing on this planet is violent, im going to have to disagree. Things can be peaceful while maintaining its survival at the same time.

We kill animals for food, are we now violent? It is in the means of survival, but it must be violent because we do some act that is damaging to that animal. An act of violence, or aggression, is uncalled for and unprovoked attacks. These are not condoned by Islam, nor any religion. You even proved my case by showing that during these times the Islamic people were under attack and had no choice but to defend themselves. Their leader wrote things so they would not forget they have that right, to defend their lives. No where was it unprovoked violence on their part.

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posted on Apr, 15 2006 @ 06:01 AM
What I am describing in this position is an unbiased critique of the statement of this debate: “Islam is a religion of Peace”. In order to analyze this statement, one must remove themselves from their own religious beliefs and personal opinions. What my opponent is offering are simply his own opinions regarding violence, and the justification of it in different circumstances. We are not debating whether violence is ok in different situations. We are debating whether Islam is a religion of Peace.

In order to determine if Islam is a religion of Peace, we must go back to the very foundation of Islam – its history. If there is time, I will also compare this to the history of Christianity. It will be left up to the reader to decide whether Islam is a “religion of Peace”.

While the Meccan period of Prophet Muhammad’s preaching in Mecca from 610 C.E to 622 C.E. was a peaceful period, the Medina period was not. In this period after the assassination attempt on his life, Muhammad and his followers fled to Medina and this began his reign over a growing community of Muslim followers.

This is where the similarities between Muslim and Christian histories end. The Muslims (of the city of Medina) went to war with Mecca. From 622 C.E. through 632 C.E., the Muslims had not only won the war with Mecca, they had, through conquest and conversion, taken over the Arabian Peninsula [2]:

…he and his followers had united the entire Arabian peninsula under his leadership, and had started to expand into the areas now known as Syria and Iraq.

It is also very important to note here that during the war with Mecca, the Muslims under Muhammad’s leadership, starting in 623 C.E. began terrorizing, plundering raids against Quraishi caravans. In these raids they captured or killed unarmed, innocent civilian merchants.

Another example of such action was in 626 C.E. at the well of Muraysi when the Muslims surprised the army of the Banu l-Mustaliq. The bounty was two thousand camels, five thousand sheep and goats and two hundred women. Yes, you read that correctly – women. The following description is from the Hadith of the Sunan of Abu Dawud [1]:

The Apostle of Allah sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, send down the Qur'anic verse: ‘And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hand possess.’[Surah 4:24] ...Sunan Abu Dawud, Book V, Chapter 711, Number 2150

This, apparently, is the “self-defense” my opponent is referring to.

In contrast, if one would use persecution and oppression to justify plundering and murder, let’s examine Christian history. Immediately after Christ was crucified, much like after Muhammad’s assassination attempt, the Christians went into hiding. In early Rome, many were persecuted because they refused to remain loyal to the state religion.

…and it is known that they were accused of disloyalty because of their refusal to perform the token ritual acknowledging the divine status of the Emperor

What was the reaction of these earliest Christians, under the same kind of persecution and oppression as the Muslims went through? Did they choose a path of war, killing, and plunder? Or did they choose a path of peace?

In fact, they chose the difficult path of peace. So much so that “particularly perplexing to the Romans, was the manner in which they readily accepted their fate.”[3] Tertullian, one of these earliest Christians, wrote:

It is bait that wins men for (our) school. The oftener we are mown down by you, the more in number we grow: the blood of Christians is seed [of the church].

This is the major difference between a religion that promotes peace, and a religion that does not. It is the difference between a religion that says to turn the other cheek, to avoid violence at all cost, and a religion that says to “fight” anyone who would not accept Islam. Christianity is the comparison I used here. However it could be argued that while just about every religion might have had militant extremists within their histories, the basic foundation and earliest histories of most other major religions of the world, from Buddhism to Hinduism – was one of non-violence and unconditional peace. Unfortunately, the same simply can not be said for the earliest history of Islam. It can not honestly be said that Islam is a religion of Peace. It’s earliest days show that it is not.

Word Count: 794


1. Link 1
2. Link 2
3. Link 3

posted on Apr, 15 2006 @ 07:35 PM
My opponent has been trying to tell you that my opinion has been playing a part in this debate. This couldn't be more wrong. I never accused your position of being bias, but it is incorrect. As I have stated, your idea that aggression, violence, self defense, and survival all fall into the same category is interfering with this debate.

You attempt to call the definition of violence "my opinion". How is the dictionary term for violence my opinion? I would say its your opinion that certain Quran passages sound like they condone violence, this doesn't prove my case though. This isn't "my opinion" on what violence is. This is a dictionary definition of violence and how it is not the same as the definition of self defense.

If I were to say, Red is a color, Blue is a color, Green is a color, could you tell me the difference between the three? No you couldn't. This is because your definition is so vague that you can't tell the difference between the three. There is a definite difference, but you fail to show that because of how vague your definitions are. So when you say Aggression is violence, Self Defense is violence, is there no difference between the two? There is, but your definitions fail to show that because how vague they are. If you believe there isn't, then why do justice systems treat them so differently, between a murderer and a man who killed in self defense?

Its because there is a difference, and you are failing to see this. As I showed Islam does not condone aggression, in those words. It wasn't some interpretation like the quotes you have posted, it says in those words "Allah does not condone aggression, or transgressors". It says it in those exact words, and yet you continue to say otherwise. We can't have a debate about whether Islam is a religion of peace or violence when you don't even understand the definitions of the words. We came to debate whether or not Islam is a religion of peace, not whether or not you understand the difference between aggression and self defense. If Islam does not condone violence by definition, what else is it? Its peaceful. This is what you fail to grasp, the difference between descriptive words. In a debate where you try to describe what a religion is or isn't, its pretty important you understand the difference between such words.

(word count: 410)
above posts, same references used.

posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 01:25 PM
This is going to be a very short post, as there's not much to respond to in my opponents last post. My position has already been made, with the historical evidence to back it. As it seems my opponent is still caught up way back on post #1 with his definition of violence. Only now he has decided the only approach to this discussion is to split hairs over a definition. If that’s the case, I will be glad to comply.

We agreed at the start of this debate that violence is an act of aggression. Therefore I proceeded in my analysis to show our readers some strong examples and evidence of such aggression from the very history of Islam – which led to the creation of the Quran and everything that follows related to Islam. We could debate all day regarding whether the various acts of violence were in “self-defense” or not. But the main point is that Prophet Muhammad himself, and his many followers in the very beginning of Islam, chose a path of violence over a path of peace.

A path of peace is one in which regardless of justification, you choose not to take part in any act of aggression, even against those who are attacking you. It is the peaceful path of the Civil Rights movement of Martin Luther King, the Women’s movement, Mahatma Gandhi, and many others. As Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” – that is the belief system of a peaceful person, and a peaceful religion.

The foundation of Islam does not embrace that concept. They believe different forms of violence can be justified in the eyes of Allah. My opponent argues against quotations from the Quran which I haven’t made – I’ve quoted from the history of Islam, to which there is no defense. My opponent, even at this late stage in the debate, is continuing his tap-dance around words – while we are here trying to analyze the historical evidence surrounding the foundation of a religion, in order to determine if it really is a religion of “peace”.

Clearly, with the examples provided from such a violent history – compared to the many peaceful histories of movements, people, and religions throughout history, Islam could never in all honesty be called a religion of peace.

posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 02:06 PM

My opponent argues against quotations from the Quran which I haven’t made – I’ve quoted from the history of Islam, to which there is no defense.

I would like to thank my opponent for kicking his own legs out from under him. He now shows that he is attacking the imperfections of people rather then the religion itself. What he is doing is not showing that Islam is a religion of violence but rather the imperfections of people who have attempted to live it. These people tried to live in the image of perfection, only to fail. You have described to us people who tried, best they could, to live in perfection but couldn't. I will not fight that the people are only human and bound to make mistakes. Let that not be reflective of what Islam expects. No acts of aggression.

In conclusion, my opponent first mistakes the very definition of words to the point that he is saying defense is an act of aggression. This is why I feel he cannot make a argument that hold ground, because he lacks understand of what violence even is. Since he doesn't understand what violence is, it is impossible for him to say Islam is a violent religion.

Further more he shows that people following the religion and attempting to live in this image fails, and for that the whole religion should be labeled as violent. We are all violent then, because at times we all make mistakes that in one way or another lead to destructive acts. Whether it be against other people or animals, even the people you named peaceful were violent. I mean, according your definition even those people were violent to something whether it be humans or animals. They ate meat, so they must be violent. See how stupid that sounds. In order for a person or religion to be violent they must act in aggression, but since you fail to understand that word, i guess even that won't get through to you.

(word count: 310)
no references

posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 08:29 PM
In summary - I would like to make this position clear to our readers, who I believe have a much firmer grasp on this concept than my opponent apparently does. What my opponent calls kicking my feet out from under myself, was in fact a statement which unfortunately destroyed the entire case he was trying to build through this entire debate. Throughout each of his posts, all my opponent could cling to was the hope of twisting our perceptions regarding violence, so that the actions of those who founded Islam could somehow be considered non-violent, and even somehow twist the facts in order to present the religion as one of peace.

My opponent speaks of those who fail to live up to the ideals of peace, those who accept violence against others, as though we are talking about the terrorists of today. Here are his words:

Further more he shows that people following the religion and attempting to live in this image fails

It's almost as though he has not even been present throughout this debate. It's as though he's arguing against someone else about some other topic. We are not talking about modern day terrorists here. We've been talking about the actions of Prophet Muhammad himself, and his followers in the first fledgling days of Islam. This was the creation of the religion - not a few people attempting to follow a religion and failing. And it was this historical foundation of the beginnings of Islam, and the very non-peaceful nature of those beginnings, that can only lead any logical person to conclude that the statement "Islam is a religion of peace" is unfortunately, not true.

Thank you for your time, I hope you enjoyed this debate - and best of luck to all remaining competitors.

posted on Apr, 17 2006 @ 09:08 PM
The judges will now review and make a decision.

posted on Apr, 24 2006 @ 06:27 PM
Rdube02 has won the debate and advances to the Grand Finale!

A selection of comments:

Both debators presented fallacies over the course of the argument, and for me the decision came down to style, over substance.

Both were doing well until Grimreaper797 wasted an entire post attacking his opponent.

Rdube02 clearly made the better case and was more consistent in form.

I'm not voting for Christianity over Islam, which is what Rdube would have us do in this debate.[...] I'm sorry that Rdube had to be put in this debate as this topic was too controversial to be debated in the first place.

Good jobs from both debaters!

[edit on 24-4-2006 by Nygdan]

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