Muslims at Burning Man?

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
MoisturePup
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Re: who

Post by MoisturePup » Wed Feb 22, 2006 4:52 pm

bdeywoo wrote: Ya know Jeffrey Dahlmer was a Christian, using your line of thinking all Christians are evil i guess. Have we not learned anything in the last 100 years?
No, apparently we haven't. People still follow religion as though it were based on something other than the imaginings of somebody that lived a long time ago.

I'm not saying that people can't believe in religion, I'm just saying it's an awfully bizarre thing for any rational adult to be doing. I mean, seriously, imaginary cloud beings that guide our everyday life? Sure, it's a pretty story, and imagination is a wonderful thing... but living your life based on some "prophets" imaginings thousands of years ago? That's crazy.

Let's face it, insane acts will be done in the name of any religion because religion itself is a fiction that people believe is real. As long as there is religion there will be genocide, there will be persecution of those who are different, there will be terrorism. That's not to say there won't be any of those things without religion, I just think people have one less reason to do those things without religion.

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Re: who

Post by Eric » Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:19 pm

MoisturePup wrote:As long as there is religion there will be genocide, there will be persecution of those who are different, there will be terrorism. That's not to say there won't be any of those things without religion, I just think people have one less reason to do those things without religion.
Stalin turned his back on religion and was a staunch atheist. During WW2 he very intentionally used religion, as Marx said, as an "opiate of the masses" to get them to defend the Motherland, and then cracked down on the church once his need had passed. He held no known religious beliefs himself.

He was also directly and indirectly responsible for the murder of over 20 million of his own people- one of the greatest genocides in world history. No religion needed.

People don't need religion to persecute and kill. They only need the belief that theirs is the right path and that all the other paths are wrong.

You seem to cling to this belief that being religious means we automatically believe in an old guy on a throne surrounded by angels, with little red pitchfork-wielding devils tempting us. You would be wrong.

Try reading the Einstein article. He explains better than I can in a post on the eplaya where many of us who are religious and intelligent stand. I'll use one of the insipid quoted I so dislike to sum it up:
"The knowledge of truth as such is wonderful, but it is so little capable of acting as a guide that it cannot prove even the justification and the value of the aspiration toward that very knowledge of truth. Here we face, therefore, the limits of the purely rational conception of our existence."
Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions, pp.41 - 49.
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Post by regionalchaos » Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:43 pm

AntiM wrote:I'd love to hear the call to prayer floating out across the playa at least once. (what is that called specifically in Arabic? I can't recall). I've lived in Shiraz and Taif and it was a consistent part of the aural landscape I loved even though I'm nowhere near being a Muslim myself.
One of the things I really appreciate about Burning Man is the shouts that go out across the city at sunrise and sunset. So much audible energy. It always moves me. Are the calls to prayer a similar event? If so it would be neat to live an a region that did that.
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Post by skygod » Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:18 pm

We are all children of Abraham.
Well, most of us anyway.
Monotheism works!
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Post by DVD Burner » Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:05 pm

Just wanted to say, I hope that Starjack does not think I don’t understand their point.



I have many friends of many faiths, colors and cultures.

Why we are friends? We all respect each other despite them knowing how I feel about religion.


That's a true friend.

Being a Muslim and a burner in these times these days only enhances my admiration for you.

Not saying that BM is not accepting, just saying Americans in general are not.

I’m sure if you do pray at the event on your own, there will be many surprisingly that will join you.

Just do it.
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Post by Eric » Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:06 pm

Kinetic IV wrote:I'd like to learn more about moderate Islam...I truly would. But I have yet to meet or even read anything from a so called moderate, everything I see seems to be influenced by the radical side.
If you truly want to read about moderate Islam, and the attempts to reclaim that faith from the extremists, try "No God but God" by Reza Aslan.

Well written, with a very good summary of the history of Islam, and the various threads and "sects" of it (Sunni, Shi'ite, Sufi....)

The author is very well spoken, very smart, and has made a great guest on the Daily Show a couple of times. I highly suggest it.

Just like America "mainstream" Christianity has been hijacked by the radical right, so has "mainstream" Islam been hijacked by the extremist Wahabi sect of Islam (funded by our great allies, Saudi Arabia, where Wahabism originated and is the state religion)
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Post by DVD Burner » Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:12 pm

Eric has impressed me. No matter how brutal criticisms have been, Eric has always come up smelling like a rose.



(Cherish the fact that I am complimenting you because I almost never do it........though at times it seems like I do.)





Was that myopic?

:P
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Post by Kinetic IV » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:03 pm

I didn't want to sit down and read an English translation of the Koran to get a better understanding, I don't have that much time or patience to do so. But a shorter book that offers an overview I could make time for...and Eric I think I'll take you up on that recommendation of yours. I really want to learn more about Islam and I don't want it spoonfed to me by mass media conglomerates with private agendas.

Also my Ventura quote was simply a response to Moisture Pup's post...it's a quote that stands out in my mind. Is that my POV? No. But the quote does make one stop and think so I felt it was worth posting.
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Re: who

Post by MoisturePup » Thu Feb 23, 2006 12:11 am

Eric wrote::
"The knowledge of truth as such is wonderful, but it is so little capable of acting as a guide that it cannot prove even the justification and the value of the aspiration toward that very knowledge of truth. Here we face, therefore, the limits of the purely rational conception of our existence."
Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions, pp.41 - 49.
Just as I do not look to theologians for my physics education, I'm not going to look to a physicist for a theology lesson. Clearly this was outside of Einsteins realm of expertise, and his domain of knowledge.

In addition, just because a man has a great mind capable of doing wonderful things in a specific field of thought (in this case physics) doesn't mean that he has looked truelly at the source of irrational thoughts regarding a belief in higher beings that control the universe.

I've been referring to magical cloud beings, not to any God on any thrown. If your magical cloud being actually is a magical forest being, or a magical tranny being, it's immaterial to disproving that I think all magical beings, creaters, destroyers, etc... are the workings of the mad.

Lastly, you yourself just said in your statement that Stalin was responsible for the death of millions, that he USED RELIGION to further those goals. That seems to support my argument more than deny it. If a mad man came into power using the opiate of religion then you've basically underlined, bolded, capitilized, and increased the font size on my arguments that religion is for the weak minded.

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Post by Apollonaris Zeus » Thu Feb 23, 2006 7:53 am

skygod wrote:We are all children of Abraham.
Well, most of us anyway.
Monotheism works!
Children of Abraham that wish to control the way into heaven through oppression and suppression. Like the spoiled children of the wealthy, each will destroy the other so they and only they can control the wealth of the kingdom.

Monotheism does not work. Historically and presently it is a failure. I will never work. For christians will kill jews and jews will kill muslims who will kill christians and all of you will everyone else because it is written into you book that a dead pagan is better then no pagan at all. You are even amongst yourselves! Christians burning churches in the southern US. Sunni’s bombing Shia Temples. Only the jews have yet to enter that realm only because once they do they too will destroy Israel and themselves, but it is destine as well.

There are fundamental flaws written into the Judeo/ Christian/ Muslim beliefs that conflict with basic needs of mankind to progress and until then we will always live under spiritual oppression.

AIIZ

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Post by skygod » Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:29 am

Abraham built the Kaaba as a temple to his one god, it's the black stone building in Mecca that Muslims pilgrimage to and walk around. It degenerated after Abraham back to the worship of multiple deities, Mohammed rededicated back to the one god.
I am thinking that monotheism parallels the development of the sciences, and the idea that some things are more true than other things.
Correct me if Im wrong!
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Post by lurker » Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:47 am

Ya know Jeffrey Dahlmer was a Christian, using your line of thinking all Christians are evil i guess
.

Jeffrey Dahmer wasn't screaming the glory of Christ as he was killing and eating his victims. Jeffrey Dahmer did not have the approval and support of any government(much less a Christian one--if you could find such a thing)

The people who sawed off Daniel Pearl's head were saying 'allahu akbar', as were the people dancing when the towers fell, and the people burning embassies while carrying signs calling for death, maiming and destruction of the west.

Not all Muslims are bad people. There are Muslims that the west would consider 'good'--though it can easily be said that the larger part of Islam seems to consider these 'good' Muslims one step shy of apostasy.

Consider this. Burning Man celebrates things that are anathema to Islam. The attendees come from walks of life that are punishable by death under Muslim law--currently. Burning Man is everything that sharia would wipe out.

Oh, there are different sects of Islam--schisms, just like all the monotheisms suffer. And yes, the points I make are generalizations--but similar generalizations are made of Christians--sometimes by the same people who don't want them made about Muslims. But here's the crux of things. Christian extremists are not the main body of Christianity--there are no violent mobs of Christians roaming the streets. And when some nut commits an atrocity, and claims that they did it in the name of Christ or God or Yahweh, there is no huge Christian upwelling of support.

In Islam, streets are named after people who deliberately filled children with pieces of shrapnel. The main body of Islam, based on their own words, their own media, their own actions, are the 'extremists'.

This is an unfortunate truth, but it is a truth we must face if we are to save ourselves and any of them that are saveable.
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Post by Bob » Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:47 am

AFAIK the Kaaba Hut is locally quarried granite, and the black stone is from off-planet.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Post by lurker » Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:00 am

I am thinking that monotheism parallels the development of the sciences, and the idea that some things are more true than other things.
Correct me if Im wrong!
The names for the sciences, and the words we use for classification come from the Greek, and Latin primarily. We have few of these words in the languages of the jews, the christians, or the muslims.

Greece was a nation that was not infected with monotheism as the sciences came to be studied. Democracy, republicanism, these too are the product of polytheists. Rome, as well, brought many advances until it was forced to bend the knee to the one god.

What did monotheism bring? 'the 'divine right of kings', heresy trials for the great scientific minds of the time.

Humanity suceeds despite the scourge of monotheism, the human spirit rebels against the constraints that monotheism necessitates.

The Reformation and the Renaissance saw the waning of the influence of the Church and the beginnings of the Age of Reason. Man flourished.

Now monotheism festers again, it's adherents ready to kill once more to force people to pray to their god.

Only this time they have the power to kill the world.
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Post by theCryptofishist » Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:08 am

regionalchaos wrote:
AntiM wrote:I'd love to hear the call to prayer floating out across the playa at least once. (what is that called specifically in Arabic? I can't recall). I've lived in Shiraz and Taif and it was a consistent part of the aural landscape I loved even though I'm nowhere near being a Muslim myself.
One of the things I really appreciate about Burning Man is the shouts that go out across the city at sunrise and sunset. So much audible energy. It always moves me. Are the calls to prayer a similar event?
Five times a day, I understand.
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Post by theCryptofishist » Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:12 am

I am a little dissapointed in the degenaration of this thread. (And I haven't read it all) I"m sorry it became muslim bashing. My thought was that those sorts of fundamentalists--of any flavor--weren't going to attend the event anyway, so why worry.

I have a friend working on a unified field theory of god. Be afraid, be very afraid.
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Post by MoisturePup » Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 am

lurker wrote:
This is an unfortunate truth, but it is a truth we must face if we are to save ourselves and any of them that are saveable.
Violent Islamic extremism has already reared it's head in the United States. Those of us who live in the bay area (and I think it made national news) will remember a few months back that Muslims in an east bay neighborhood demanded that liquor stores stop selling liquor to their community. When the liquor stores continued to provide the goods and services to people in the community seeking those goods and services what happened? The liquor stores were destroyed by the Muslims. We all watched on the news as security cameras caught the ransacking of a liquor store while a muslim leader stood watch directing the young men in their act of religiously sanctioned violent extremism.

The news stories didn't seem to point out that this is a startling new development in the American Islamic community, and a sudden turn torwards violent extremism. The men were prosecuted, but the events weren't examined closely for the frightening new advance of extremism into America. Undoubtedly other stores in the community will think twice next time about not following the edict of a muslim leader, and that is a victory for the extremists.

It's the same thing when Christian Anti-choice groups put up death watch lists for abortion doctors. Or when Christians cruise through gay bar parking lots in Alabama so that they can get the license plate numbers off the cars to intimidate those who would go to that gay club. http://www.godhatesfags.com Or school boards that keep on attempting to ban the teaching of evolution (Kansas)? What about the Mormon and Catholic churches spending millions to prevent gays from ever obtaining equal civil rights. Or the justification for slavery, and continued mistreatment of blacks.

The point I'm making is that it doesn't matter what religion you're talking about you can find countless examples where mass killings, violence, and the civil rights violatoins have taken place in that religions name. All religion is a fools errand.

If it bothers you to be called a fool, then don't be a fool. Problem solved. Declare yourself an athiest and live your life a free and evolved human being, or keep your religion and be somebody else's fool.

P.S. Last I recall the Roman polytheist were using monotheists as lion scooby snacks.

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Post by lurker » Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:54 am

y'know what? I'm bashing muslims, and I don't like it.

I'm not doing it because I don't like muslims--as individuals(my opinions on monotheists, notwithstanding)

I'm doing it because we have to. The media, the imams, the governments in much of Islam ARE bashing us. So regularly, and so much so that we find ourselves in this situation.

And we're trying to react to it in a sane, tolerant manner--but the situation is neitherr sane nor tolerant.

We're trying to fight a war against radical fundamentalists without offending their sensibilities.

We're trying to pick and choose, to hold hands with muslims who are our friends, while constantly looking over our shoulders for those who aren't.

The problem with trying to placate those muslims who do not wish death on the infidel is that it hampers us.

We do not have the luxury of picking over the muslim masses to seek out each one who is rooting, if not for us, then at least for us not to be annihilated. Their silence dooms them--and so should it be--because our inaction dooms us--AND them.

Better that 900,000,000 'moderate muslims die than 100,000,000 muslim fanatics succeed in drowning the world in Islam.

After we win, I will weep for the innocents that were killed in the slaying of this monster. After we win, I will work to help what fragment of Islam that remains reform itself as a viable, peaceful faith. After we win many things are possible.

If we lose, nothing is.

That's why I say these things. Because it's scary. Because we are getting to a point where nuclear holocaust is once again possible. Because we're talking ourselves softly into letting someone else use the big stick-- on us.

The governments of the world are waltzing into armegeddon.

Right now, we can stop this with fewer deaths. Right now, we can stop this in such a way that both sides have a future. Right now there is still hope.
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Post by Isotopia » Thu Feb 23, 2006 12:29 pm

Religion is the symptom of a weak mind.
And tossing off a bumper sticker style one-liner suggests what? Enlightenment? Intellect?

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Post by MoisturePup » Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:19 pm

Isotopia wrote:
Religion is the symptom of a weak mind.
And tossing off a bumper sticker style one-liner suggests what? Enlightenment? Intellect?
Hi Isotopia,

I did a google on "Religion is the symptom of a weak mind." and it turns out I'm the first person to ever type that sentence into all of the billions of web pages that google searches.

Calling it a "bumper sticker style one-liner" suggests that by calling it a "bumper sticker style one-liner" I am somehow wrong. However, I can provide plenty of evidence that I'm not wrong if you really want me to spend time researching how weak the minds of people who follow religion are. I'd be happy to provide citations, examples, stories, etc...

You, however, have not yet offered one single piece of evidence that contradicts my statement to the effect that people who believe in religion are weak minded. Instead you've offered a "bumper sticker style one-liner" to refute my argument which you refer to as a "bumper sticker style one-liner."

So shove your "bumper sticker style one-liner" where the Grace Jones don't shine.

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Post by HughMungus » Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:34 pm

"Declare yourself an athiest and live your life a free and evolved human being, or keep your religion and be somebody else's fool."

Or be agnostic and spend a lot less time thinking and posting about it. Now there's real freedom.
It's what you make it.

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Post by MoisturePup » Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:57 pm

HughMungus wrote:"Declare yourself an athiest and live your life a free and evolved human being, or keep your religion and be somebody else's fool."

Or be agnostic and spend a lot less time thinking and posting about it. Now there's real freedom.
Agnosticism is the cowards atheism.

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Post by Kinetic IV » Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:05 pm

In a legitimate effort to steer this thread away from the holy war / flame war it seems predestined to become....I have a question. Can anyone on here recommend additional books or other resources like Eric did to help one learn more about Islam, resources that will offer differing perspectives and historical backgrounds? I've got an order in for the book Eric recommended and an English translation version of the Koran on order now.

By the way this is not a knee-jerk reaction to the thread....for the past 3 years I've been looking into all sorts of religious topics as wide ranging as Taoism and Buddhism to the writings of Aleister Crowley. So any additional resources on religion in general are also welcome.
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Post by Isotopia » Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:05 pm

Calling it a "bumper sticker style one-liner" suggests that by calling it a "bumper sticker style one-liner" I am somehow wrong. However, I can provide plenty of evidence that I'm not wrong if you really want me to spend time researching how weak the minds of people who follow religion are. I'd be happy to provide citations, examples, stories, etc...
Honey, I'm not sure what to think of your line of 'reasoning' other than to not give it much more thought than what I've wasted on it so far - which ain't much.

Hint: if that IQ of yours ever hits 30 points I'd sell if I were you.

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Post by Isotopia » Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:13 pm

So any additional resources on religion in general are also welcome.
A few suggestions:

A Muslim Primer, Ira G. Zepp Jr

Great article http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/prem/199901/koran in the Atlantic magazine on What is the Koran

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Post by Kinetic IV » Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:54 pm

While checking out the above link and doing some Googling of things I came across I found a pretty good page with various Qur'an resources. If anyone else shares some of the same curiosity that I have perhaps you can find something on there that will be helpful.

http://www.arches.uga.edu/~godlas/primsourcisl.html
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Post by Lassen Forge » Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:00 pm

For the first time since I started looking at this thread I'm feeling hopeful.

Until then, I was ready to give up on it out of... I don't know... sadness? Anger? Apathy?

Maybe, inshallah, we'll finally stop throwing rocks at people because they have a different religion, or look different, or eat different kinds of food...

I can only hope.

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Post by mojo » Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:41 pm

Starjack - I encourage you to persevere as I am likely not alone in finding great comfort and hope in your message about moderate Islamics. I would also love to join you for prayer.
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Post by Starjack » Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:19 pm

MoisturePup wrote: Isn't that really the problem Starjack? Muslims seem to rarely be willing to discuss anything when they are forced to talk to somebody with a contrary opinion. Of course, just about all people are like this, but most of us in the "western world" at least make an attempt at hearing out contrary opinions. Not wanting to discuss things with non-Muslims sends out a pretty strong message that you place zero value in the opinions of non-Muslims. I doubt that's the message you want to send. Are your beliefs so weak that thoughts and opinions to the contrary endanger them?

But you should know that when you post something on a forum which is probably 95% non-Muslim you're going to hear all sorts of opinions. It is too much to ask that people on a discussion forum not discuss.
My beliefs and opinions are very strong and secure, thank you, as are those of most of my Muslim friends. That doesn't mean that we want to take the time and energy to argue beliefs that are close to our hearts with people who aggressively make presumptions about us, and aren't likely to change their opinions either. It's a tiresome, aggravating waste of time.

I had naively assumed that the live and let live, open-hearted ideals espoused at Burning Man would be taken more to heart and hoped that the discussion here would largely include people interested in meeting together as Muslims and people who might be interested in learning more about Islam. Of course there are people who will not be at all interested or would rather avoid our religion specifially or any religion generally. they are welcome to those choices -- and surely most who do will silently go about their own business and leave us to ours -- but then what is the point in being insulting and hostile as some here have chosen to do?

Indeed the tone of many of these messages would encourage other Muslims to stay silent and not get involved in this discussion... Who needs the bother?

Of course we should reasonably expect a diversity of opinions and views. I would also hope that we could reasonably expect respect for that diversity.

Assalaamu Aleikum
(Peace be with you)

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Post by Starjack » Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:02 pm

lurker wrote:I am going to say harsh things....

And then...you insist that sharia is much more complex. We don't care, Starhawk. We have our laws here. Written by people--not derived from some lunatics visions(and I don't believe that the ten commandments are valid law , either)

I am sick to death of Muslims purporting to be peaceful--you ask about muslims at BRC--they'd be welcomed. It would be amazing to hear the call to prayer echo over the desert. This is something OUR culture values--the diversity of the parts that make it. Would a Christian be welcome on the hajj? In Mecca? Would they be welcome to circle the Kaaba(sp?)? How about a jew? A homosexual? A witch?

You exploit the freedoms we willingly profess while sanctimoniously denying the validity of those freedoms.

Starjack, you might be a great person. A peaceful, intelligent, all around gem. But your faith is violent, intolerent and dangerous. Muslims might be great--as individuals. In the aggregate....
I'm flattered to be confused with the great Wiccan teacher, Starhawk. Also confusing is your use of the word "you" -- specific to me? (which would be factually uncorrect here) to Muslims in general? (Which would be a gross and largely unfair generalization. Yeah, there are those, and they get lots of press. The huge majority live quietly ordinary un-newsworthy lives upholding and enjoying what freedoms we have here. )

The Hajj is a religious ritual for the faithful. Asking if Christians and Witches can make the Hajj is rather like asking if they can have bar mitzvahs. Or if Hindus can participate in the Catholic communion. Anyone of any faith background can profess the faith to become a Muslim, and then they are obligated to make the Hajj if they can. Homosexual Muslims are as welcome, even as obligated, to make the Hajj as heterosexuals. One's sex life is one's own business, a private matter. Gay or straight, all are expected to act with decorum, and as this is where even the most misogynist and reactionary Wahhabist will allow that men and women can worship together the good behaviour and restraint that gays at prayer practice routinely heterosexuals are called upon to practice with less experience.

Especially as the Hajj is already dangerously overcrowded, it would be disastrous to invite non-Muslims to observe it as some sort of tourist event. This is also a chance for the faithful from different nations to explore our unity and diversity as Muslims. Sorry, but there are good reasons for keeping it a "private party."

I'm not a great person, nor do I want that burden. All religions have the capacity for violence and extremism. Christianity has had its share. The violence that permeates so many Muslim nations is the violence of people who have been subjugated by colonialism and continue to be subjugated by post-colonial military autocracies. Where all other voices of protest and cries for democracy have been shut down religion remains the only channel that cannot be silenced. Mohammed (peace be upon him) warned us against anger, and now it corrupts vast sectors of our community. This is true, and it is highly regrettable. It is also exaggerated by people on both sides who seek to polarize and alienate us against each other.

Assalaamu Aleikum
(Peace be with you)

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