Politicalmonkey2010

The Truth Shall Set You Free…It might piss you off first, but it will set you free.

Can God Survive Religion? Part I – Islam and Getting the Vocabulary Right

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on July 7, 2010

Like Maria, let's start at the very beginning...

I am taking my inspiration from the Von Trapp Family, specifically Do-re-mi…

Let’s start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A-B-C
When you sing you begin with do-re-mi

Do-re-mi, do-re-mi
The first three notes just happen to be
Do-re-mi, do-re-mi

When you talk about Islam or any religion you being with vocabulary….this is where we will start.

The flood gates have opened, and I admit I have been struggling with how to approach it.  Thanks to all who have submitted questions, keep ’em coming!  As I have gathered them I am grouping them into categories, you are not seeing your questions in the comments section I realize this…what I am finding is that there are quite a few people asking the same thing…

What does Islam mean? Islam literally means to submit to the will of God. Not much of a difference from any other Christian religion who prayers the “Our Father Prayer” the line is Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done – surrendering our will to the Divine. If you are familiar with a 12 step program, it is all about surrendering your will to a Higher Power. You may be surprised to know, it isn’t much different than US – Judeo Christian law – and for good reason. Judaism, Christianity and Islam have the same roots. Islam fully recognizes all of the prophets that Judaism recognizes, they also recognize Jesus as a prophet, He is very well dignified in Islam, as is the Virgin Mary.

It is so easy to understand how wars get started, all it takes is one small mistake in vocabulary.

There are certain “buzz” words that we hear so much in the media, and we take it for granted that we understand what it means.  I have news for you – they are exactly that “buzz” words that the media has latched onto and Islamaphobic  people have embellished.  We hear the word “Jihad” and we immediately associate it with violence, militancy, murder, suicide bomber, the destruction of the west, a holy war against anything non Islamic.  I hate to break it to you but you and I engage in a “Jihad” virtually every moment of our life, it is the eternal struggle between right and wrong, good and evil.  You are engaging in a Jihad when you are at the grocery store and the clerk gives you too much change back, and you bring it to her attention, when you see somebody in need, and give charity, when you go to work and earn an honest living, when you stop the spread of malicious gossip..do you see a theme developing here?

Yes, there is a “Jihad of the Sword” which I will devote alot more time to in a later post, it deserves a post of its own. I showed a friend here a site which was particularly offensive to even me, a non-Muslim, where it outlined all the places in the Koran that supported killing. As I showed it to him, his eyes well up with tears, and he said, this is not true. Each and every one of those passages was taken out of context. There are more qualified sources to be found than myself, but I will in a later post address under what circumstances engaging in a “Jihad of the Sword” is permissible.

(Disclaimer:  Who am I and why am I doing this?  I am a 4o something year old American, born and bred, Catholic, who happens to be on an extended working sabbatical in Egypt,  yes I know that is an oxymoron.  The purpose of these entries is to open a civil dialogue about Islam.  I am a firm believer we fear that which we do not understand.  I am also a believer that there is entirely too much mis and dis information out there.   I suggest you read this to get an overview of who I am.  I do not pretend to have all the answers, but I am more than willing to ask the questions.  Since 9/11 I have watched Islam be vilified, distorted and used as a pinata for everything that ails this world.  Like all religions the best of intentions seem to be twisted by extremist, and there are those who would latch onto this and by some sick logic proclaim that in fact Islam.  It is not.  I fully recognize and accept responsibility for any misinformation, bring it to my attention please.  My sources for these posts I cannot thank enough, specifically Mohamed, he has shown remarkable patience with me.  People spend a lifetime studying religion, this is not meant to be the “be all end all”, it  is meant to show what mainstream Moslems believe, endorse. Questions and comments are welcome, civility is required.)

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