reply to post by charles1952
The quote in your post is mine, so I'll defend it.
Perhaps a bold statement, but Islam is not about freedom, it is about submission,
Islam does indeed mean submission, but it's root is Salam which means peace. The larger philosophy of Islam is essentially the same as other
monotheistic religions: if one accepts the belief of a universal God, then they may achieve the highest level of inner peace and spiritual wisdom.
The flaws result in the disproportionate focus on smaller aspects of the Koran. For example, some of the more particular aspects of Sharia which were
more political in nature than religious. Beyond preaching about God, Mohammad did also seek to create an empire that lived according to his social
Many of these social practices are kept in place by the ruling elite, as you say, basically as a means of control.
But this part of your post can show us the next step in achieving a better quality of life for Muslims in the Middle East:
So, my question is, are Muslims and their governments interested in what might make them happy as the rest of the world sees it? Or are they, indeed,
a people with very different ideas?
This is in line with my point. Muslim people are people like any other. What separates them now is their ideology. History is a reason for this, these
governments and their populations feel threatened by the West, with reasonable cause. Warfare has done no favors to their economic situation, and a
government with a poor population is more at risk for being challenged.
So, I return to my point that economics, freedom, education, etc. are the key to making the Middle Eastern countries happier. More money would mean a
more satisfied population, and a lower need to control them with fundamentalist law.
This in itself would expand freedom.
As I mentioned before, there are countries like Qatar and the UAE that are very liberal. Women are educated and equal. As these countries prove their
model successful others in the region will follow suit.
We've seen the beginnings of a popular call for a different type of society. The Arab Spring. Sure, the Muslim Brotherhood was elected in Egypt. But
an Islam more consistent with Western values is growing in support, and will continue to do so exponentially as long as the West avoids alienating the
general populations with continued invasions and interventions.
We can't really say that they don't want freedom, because there hasn't been a peaceful time period in the region where these nations are at liberty
to develop authentically without the threat of war.
Maybe I'm too optimistic, but I think these countries have great potential to develop fair and tolerant societies while keeping Islam as their
cultural philosophy. They just have to focus more on the larger ideas of the book.
And, I think this is what the general population does for the most part. The call for reform will get louder, and governments will have to concede to
demand on issues like women's rights.