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Middle aged heterosexual, WASP male. Semi retired, semi-sane and semi-serious. And endangered species and I'm not going quietly!!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Islam, Religion of Violence?

(From my book: "The Plain Truth About God-101" (what the church doesn't want you to know!)

Islam is not only the religion of Muhammad. Islam means devotion to God, and is a newer version of the religion of Abraham.

After Muhammad’s death, Islam got off to a rocky start when warfare was used to spread the faith and three of the first four Caliphs died by violence.

The fourth Caliph, Ali, was a cousin of Muhammad and his followers then tore the community apart by claiming that Ali should have been the first caliph by virtue of his blood ties to Muhammad.

These people came to be known as the Shi’a or Shiite sect while the great majority of the followers of Muhammad, (who claim that succession does not rely on blood ties) are known today as the Sunni.

A great many differences exist to this day between these two main sects of Islam, and the distinctions go far deeper than just who should have succeeded Muhammad.

In fact, in the interpretation of the Koran itself, there are quite a few differences between the sects. There are passages that summarize the things a Muslim should believe. However, these were too brief to be sufficient. In addition, they were also too bare to be satisfying.

Because of this, we find different “creedal statements” circulating amongst the communities of both the Shiite and Sunni’s, as well as amongst the Sufi. (Who are mystical branches of Islam.)

On top of the differences between the sects of Islam, we have to remember that while Christianity was founded on the principal of “love” for on another, the main driving force behind Islam is that it was bound up in war, expansion and aggression from its very inception.

History has now given us an almost unbroken string of militant Islamic movements such as the "Assassins" of the 11th-12th century, the Wahhabis, (1715) and then the Ayatollah Khomeini and his followers. (Even if he is technically a Persian and not Arab)

As a result, no matter how close or far from the intended message of the Koran it was, portions of it were always used to justify Arab extremist and expansionist views.

In spite of this, religion is not the only factor to be considered here, and Islam can’t be blamed for all that is happening in the Middle East and elsewhere.

About the only places where religion has not played a great role in that part of the world is in Darfur, Uganda and Rawanda.

Some of the major hot spots in the last while are in Iraq, Lebanon,(Hamas and Fatah) Gaza, Somalia, Sudan and the Yugoslav wars.

These areas are not only wracked by religious tensions but are also the result of political, cultural, and nationalist factors that all contribute to the general instability of their particular area.

So, in the long run it would be unfair to say that Islam is a religion of violence by itself, but would rather be more accurate to say that because of outside forces such as politics and tribal or cultural differences, religion has been used in this area to further the agenda of different groups and ideologies!

Your Philosophical Scribe;

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God-101 (what the church doesn't want you to know!) at; www.God-101.com
And the petition to have people mind their own business instead of yours at; http://www.petitiononline.com/moses/petition.html

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