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Debate Topic: Islam Promotes Violence
My opening thoughts
Quran (3:56) - "As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help."
Quran (3:151) - "Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority".
Quran (2:23) - But if you do (it) not and never shall you do (it), then be on your guard against the fire of which men and stones are the fuel; it is prepared for the unbelievers.
Quran (9:11) - If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, they shall become your brothers in the Faith.
Quran (9:5) - Fight and slay the unbelievers wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war.
Quran (9:14) - Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them and heal the spirit of the faithful.
As explained in a text below by an Arab scholar, Jihad didn't mean Holy War but only an inner struggle against one's own evil (In Occident, James Conrad did also talk about our inner evil)
Quran (8:12) - I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.
Quran (9:38-39) - O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place.
Quran (9:123) - "O you who believe! Fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness."
Today’s radical Islamic factions believe....
The literal meaning of jihad is "to strive hard" to progress in all aspects of life. Although this word, in English, has taken on purely military connotations, in reality it covers the vast range of human enterprise - family life, work, spiritual development, and, at the end of all this, justified defensive warfare.
The beginning of the jihad to purify the soul is to restrain the self from committing sins and thereby corrupting the soul. The next step is to control material desires and ambitions and free the self from the things that distract it from Allah. All of the forms of worship in Islam - prayers, fasting, charity, and so on - exist to purify and perfect the soul.
The Princeton University Middle Eastern scholar Bernard Lewis, states that Islamic jurisprudence does not allow terrorism.
In 2001, Professor Lewis noted:
At no time did the (Muslim) jurist approve of terrorism. Nor indeed is there any evidence of the use of terrorism (in Islamic tradition). Muslims are commanded not to kill women, children, or the aged, not to torture or otherwise ill-treat prisoners, to give fair warning of the opening of hostilities, and to honor agreements. Similarly, the laws of Jihad categorically preclude wanton and indiscriminate slaughter. The warriors in the holy war are urged not to harm non-combatants, women and children, "unless they attack you first."
Michael Sells and Jane I. Smith (a Professor of Islamic Studies) write that barring some extremists like al-Qaeda, most Muslims do not interpret Qura’nic verses as promoting warfare; and that the phenomenon of radical interpretation of scripture by extremist groups is not unique to Islam. According to Sells, "[Most Muslims] no more expect to apply [the verses at issue] to their contemporary non-Muslim friends and neighbors than most Christians and Jews consider themselves commanded by God, like the Biblical Joshua, to exterminate the infidels."
Even though the internet is full of reputable sources for finding out about Sharia Law, people continue to misunderstand it. This is partly because of the recent trend that associates Sharia Law with extremism and terrorism. This trend stems from one clear source: a 2010 report published by the Center for Security Policy (CSP).
Sharia is a reference point for a Muslim’s personal conduct, not a corpus to be imposed on the life of a pluralistic society.......and goes on to state that Sharia law is a threat to freedom and is incompatible with our Constitution. How can a reference point for your personal life be incompatible with our Constitution, which was designed partly to protect freedom in personal life?
Sharia Law is interpreted differently by different communities of Muslims......Christians don’t do half the terrible things mentioned in the Bible, like stoning people to death. Same with Sharia Law, which is also full of antiquated, extreme-sounding punishments that have faded out over time.
A 1998 United Nations report on "Civil and Political Rights, including Freedom of Expression" in the United States sharply condemned the attitude of the American media, noting "very harmful activity by the media in general and the popular press in particular, which consists of putting out a distorted and indeed hate-filled message treating Muslims as extremists and terrorists", adding that "efforts to combat the ignorance and intolerance purveyed by the media......should be given priority."
Data released Tuesday from the 2010 U.S. Religion Census shows Islam was the fastest growing religion in America in the last 10 years, with 2.6 million living in the U.S. today, up from 1 million in 2000.
Jones also speculated that the burst of anti-Islam sentiment after the 9/11 attacks could have done more to grow the religion's presence in the U.S. than slow it.
My judgement. A difficult task. Druid took a near untenable side because when he brought up Christianity, he brought to the fore the fact that all religions have used their faith for any justification of violence. Seabag was focused and clear in hs direction and illumination of the issues of violence surrounding Islam. The winner, though difficult to determine, is Seabag.
In my opinion Druid was the clear winner here. I found Seabags argument to be completely cherry picked starting with his opening post. As I was reading along, I could not help but laugh at his complete disregard for every point made by Druid, which are not strawmen arguments or "distractions" as Seabag wishes us to believe but instead go straight to the heart of his whole position. Seabags second post just baffled me. I do not think I have ever seen a debater completely disregard every point made and ignore them, and instead choose to cherry pick more quotes as a way to expand on his own beliefs. I was amazed at how he responded to Druid's opening post and found it to be very .. for lack of a better word, tactless. In Seabag's closing remarks, we again have more cherry picked quotes which I found to be absolutely amusing in that these examples of violence can also be found in the King James Bible. Death for homosexuality- in the Bible Stoning people- in the Bible Death penalty for non believers- In the Bible. So to pretend that this does not exist and to single out one religion is just foolishness. Using Seabag's logic, Christianity is just as much a religion of hate, intolerance, and violence as is Islam and through out all these examples we see from Seabag, we see keywords over and over again which do not strengthen his position, but enforces Druid's position. Words such as "militant", "terrorist", "extremist" which by definition does not coincide with the whole religion of Islam but rather secular factions within it. Which we also see the same within Christianity. Again, not a distraction to point out the obvious and I believe it was a huge mistake to just ignore these points and dismiss them outright choosing to not even address them. It was a great job by Druid to pick up on this tactic used by Seabag and exploit it, basically making it the elephant in the room that can not be ignored. Hands down winner in my opinion: Druid42 by a mile.