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ZOIDRubashov
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I got this in my inbox this morning and have just spent over an hour crafting a reply to it.



Islam/Muslim
By Rick Mathes

This gave me further insight into the Muslim religion. Thank goodness we worship a God of love.

Last month I attended my annual training session that's required for maintaining my state prison security clearance. During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths that explained their belief systems. I was particularly interested in what the Islamic Imam had to say.

The Imam gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a video. After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers.

When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Imam and asked: "Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad (Holy war) against the infidels of the world. And, that by killing an infidel, which is a command to all Muslims, they are assured of a place in heaven. If that's the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?"

There was no disagreement with my statements and without hesitation he replied, "Non-believers!"

I responded, "So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can go to Heaven. Is that correct?"

The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He sheepishly replied, "Yes."

I then stated, "Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine
Pope John Paul commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Pat Robertson or Dr. Stanley ordering Protestants to do the same in order to go to Heaven!"

The Imam was speechless.

I continued, "I also have problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me. Let me ask you a question... would you rather have your Allah who tells you to kill me in order to go to Heaven or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to Heaven and wants you to be with me?"

You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head in shame.

Chuck Colson once told me something that has sustained me these 20 years of prison ministry. He said to me, "Rick, remember that the truth will prevail."

And it will!

Here is my reply.....

--- "horsinaround" did not write but forwarded the following:

Note: this is a piece of hate mail and if I remain silent to it, I
am complicit in agreeing with it.

**********************************************************************

Islam/Muslim
By Rick Mathes

This gave me further insight into the Muslim religion. Thank goodness we worship a God of love.

<>

*********************************************************************

OK, any time one refutes something like this, I run into the problem that I am no scholar of religion, just a reasonably well read person who paid attention in Western and Nonwestern Studies in high school. If you want an authoritative response, I recommend this website.

http://www.beliefnet.com/index/index_10004.html

and particularly this article....

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/137/story_13719_1.html

Now I'll give my take on the piece by Rick Mathes:

#1: Islam is NOT a monolithic religion. The Moslems DO NOT have a Pope. They do not even have the equivalent of bishops. This is similar to both Judaism and Protestant Christianity. Eastern Orthodox Christianity is organized by country with Bishops but no worldwide spiritual leader. Any Islamic religious leader (equivalent of priest or minister) can issue a Fatwah (order to do something). He DOES NOT speak for all the Moslems, just as the prochoice Unitarian/Universalist minister does not speak for all Protestants or for that matter there are some very religious Christians who condone bombing of abortion clinics. They clearly don't speak for all others of their faith.

#2: Christians have spilled a fair amount of blood in God's name, and Christianity in Western Europe was monolithic. They had a Pope who ordered the Crusades and the Inquisition. During the First Crusade, Christians slaughtered Jews and Moslems with impunity so they could "take back the Holy Land." The Inquisition was directed against nonconforming Christians, and recently converted Moslems and Jews. By the way while we are at it, let's throw in the Reconquista of Spain in the 1400's (but we'll get back to this one).

Now you can say that Proestant Christianity was not involved in any of this. True so far, the Reconquista was in Spain which kept out the Reformation and everything else I've mentioned happened before the Renaissance and Reformation, but Protestants (and Catholics too) have blood aplenty on their hands. They just got it from killing other Christians in the name of God of course. This was called the English Civil War in the 1600's and in Continental Europe it was known as the Thirty Years War.

One can also argue that the recent wars in Yugoslavia have a religious component, with Serbian Orthodox Christians fighting and killing Bosnian and Albanian (Kosovar) Moslems. The flashpoint for World War I is Serajevo, Bosnia which is on the border between Roman Cathlic (Western) and Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

#3: But you can say none of this happens today. Christians don't do that any more. Moslems still do. There's a reason for that. It's called the Englightenment which brought with it separation of church and state.

Much of the religious violence perpetrated by Christians was possible because the political powers that be worked hand in glove with the Roman Catholic Church, various Protestant Churches (in Germany), or its own established National Protestant Church and a breakaway sect from that church in England. When government backs religion it can raise armies in God's name and then the angry words become holy war.

There are still theocracies in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is Wahabi Moslem and a very strict theocracy with Wahabi Islam as its national faith. Preaching other faiths there will get you killed etc... From this rat's nest comes Osama bin Laden who is secretly and not so secretly funded by other Saudis.

Iran is a Shia theocracy ruled by the mullahs. Most of the blood they've shed though has been that of other Moslems.

A third theocracy of note in the Middle East is Israel. Would you have those crazies in settlements on the West Bank if there was no Israeli Army funded by the government to provide them with security?

For our Founding Fathers the memory of civil war fought over religion was relatively recent. They did not want this poison to take root in the New World so kept the government OUT of the religion business, primarily to keep Christians which include everything from Unitarian/Universalists and Quakers to Catholics to Bornagains off each others' throats. Most of the Western world has followed our example in practice if not in law.

#4: Who is an "infidel" under Islam is highly variable. Historically Jews and Christians have been considered dini (hope I have that spelled right) or "protected people." When Saladin drove out the European Crusaders the Jews fought alongside him. One of the best places for Jews to live in Medieval Europe was in the Moorish Kingdom in what is today Spain. The poetry that Jews wrote in Moorish Spain and can still be read in translation and Maimonides was also a product of this kingdom. Rashi was no doubt influenced by it though he lived in Francce.

Over in India in the 1500's the Mughal Empire flourished. This Empire had Moslem rulers who were incredibly tolerant of Hindus and Christians whom they ruled. Mughal art is still prized today and it is unusual for Islamic art in that it includes the human form. This is very interesting becase Hindus are clearly unbelievers according to Islam.

One last note: It is interesting that the panel Rick Mathes saw did not include a Rabbi and representatives of other faiths besides Catholicism, Protestantism (which branch by the way), and Islam, especially since Moslems and Hindus are currently fighting each other in Gujarat (India) and Kashmir (also on the subcontinent), and Bhuddists and Hindus are at war in Sri Lanka (just south of India).

Peace,
Eileen H. Kramer
ehkuhall7@tacheiru.every1.net

[ 27. December 2003, 11:32 AM: Message edited by: snopes ]

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meanjelly
Happy Holly Days


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Christians and Jews are people of the book and not infidels.

The holy jihad is a personal jihad, a spiritual war (trying to keep ones soul clean from outside and unholy influences) not a real war. Although some radicals have distorted this.

Imams are community religious leaders; every community has its own. Do I believe that some have distorted their faith? Yes. Do I believe the vast majority has? Not in a million years. That would be like saying Pat Robertson speaks for all Protestants.

--------------------
Education... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.
G. M. Trevelyan (1876 - 1962), English Social History (1942)

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First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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He still speaks for too many.

And really, some of these people who believe in the same version of God he's claiming to be speaking for should really grow a backbone, take some personal initiative, and do something about him.

I reccommend some concrete galoshes.

Same goes for the Muslims, Re: the rabid mullahs. They're their problem first.

And yes, if somebody starts going around inciting violence and murder in the name of Hugo the Great Eternal Platypus, I'll happily shoot him for blasphemy. Hugo is a platypus of love.

--------------------
"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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Hell's Granny
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by ZOIDRubashov:
Islam/Muslim
By Rick Mathes Note: this is a piece of hate mail and if I remain silent to it, I
am complicit in agreeing with it.

Yes, this is hate mail. Rick Mathes runs the Mission Gate Prison Ministry. Maybe somebody could contact him and ask for details of this "training session"?

--------------------
Oakleaf Circle - Elfin Magical Diary-Transit: the astrologers' newsletter

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abbubmah
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Hell's Granny:
Yes, this is hate mail.

Is it? It's an account of a conversation between two people. Mathis does not make any statements regarding hating Muslims, or taking any actions against Muslims. He is merely relating one account, where "truth prevailed".

Has a differing opinion now become hate speech? I'll grant that using resources from outside the setting given, a presentation at a prison, his views are not all-inclusive nor does the Muslim cleric represent all Muslims.

Yet, within this small setting, the point was made, and made well. If all it does is get one cleric to think about his views, then it was a successful conversation. But hate mail? Not really.

ham "hate mail is... well, hateful" bubba

--------------------
Fundamentally Unfundie since 1975

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by hambubba:
quote:
Originally posted by Hell's Granny:
Yes, this is hate mail.

Is it? It's an account of a conversation between two people. Mathis does not make any statements regarding hating Muslims, or taking any actions against Muslims. He is merely relating one account, where "truth prevailed".
I see it as a fictional dialogue, comparable to some seen in Jack Chick comics, wherein an entire religion is libeled.

How is this really different from various anti-"Fundie" guff that gets circulated a lot, or, seriously, how is it different from the anti-Jewish Blood Lie?

I can't see it as anything other than hate mail; its purpose is so obviously to dismiss Islam based on false pretenses.

Silas

--------------------
When on music's mighty pinion, souls of men to heaven rise,
Then both vanish earth's dominion, man is native to the skies.

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Schrodingers Cat
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by ZOIDRubashov:

You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head in shame.


It was probably more like:

You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head and prayed for the strength to go through yet another discussion with yet another self-righteous idiot who, yet again, probably wouldn't listen to a thing he said.

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A Shoggoth on the Rooftop
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by hambubba:
quote:
Originally posted by Hell's Granny:
Yes, this is hate mail.

Is it? It's an account of a conversation between two people. Mathis does not make any statements regarding hating Muslims, or taking any actions against Muslims. He is merely relating one account, where "truth prevailed".

Has a differing opinion now become hate speech? I'll grant that using resources from outside the setting given, a presentation at a prison, his views are not all-inclusive nor does the Muslim cleric represent all Muslims.

Yet, within this small setting, the point was made, and made well. If all it does is get one cleric to think about his views, then it was a successful conversation. But hate mail? Not really.

Think of it this way:
Think of a white guy writing about his confrontation with a black man. The black man is letting people know about his culture. And all the black man says is stereotypical stuff, while speaking in ebonics.

Then the white guy says, "You mean all you blacks like to do is eat collared greens, cornbread, fried chicken, and drink orange soda? And your biggest goal in life is to marry a white woman? And I shouldn't walk down an alleyway with a black man while nobody else is around?"

The black man says, "Yeah bitch."

Sure it's not hatemail in the direct sense, but it is hatemail in a roundabout, passive way.

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ASL
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by hambubba:
quote:
Originally posted by Hell's Granny:
Yes, this is hate mail.

Is it? It's an account of a conversation between two people. Mathis does not make any statements regarding hating Muslims, or taking any actions against Muslims. He is merely relating one account, where "truth prevailed".

Has a differing opinion now become hate speech? I'll grant that using resources from outside the setting given, a presentation at a prison, his views are not all-inclusive nor does the Muslim cleric represent all Muslims.

Yet, within this small setting, the point was made, and made well. If all it does is get one cleric to think about his views, then it was a successful conversation. But hate mail? Not really.

ham "hate mail is... well, hateful" bubba

The way you know this is BS is that the cleric unhesitatingly gives clear yes and no answers to questions that are leading to a very obvious and unwanted conclusion (from the poinnt of the cleric that is). He is apparently ashamed of his religious beliefs all ofthe sudden upon questioning (or at least what we are led to believe his religious beliefs are) and makes absolutely no effort to explain any apparent contraditions.

The biggest give away, however, is that the cleric makes no counterarguement; he simply remains silent as his beliefes are being torn to pieces in front of a room full of observers. That just doesnt happen in real life. There is ALWAYS a counterarguement, no matter how damning the evidence to the contrary and no matter how idiotic the view, especially in cases of religious beliefs.

I sincerely doubt the exchange between the clerid and the guy who wrote this piece of hate mail ever ocurred. And yes, I am quite confident in calling this hate mail. I think Shoggoth has it absolutely correct.

ETA: I'll also remind you that Jack Chick, of Chick Tract Catholic/Muslim/Just-About-Anyone bashing infamy says that he doesn't hate Catholics but rather loves them as his brothers. Does this mean that many (some might say most [actually,I'd say all]) Chick Tracts are not hateful?

--------------------
"Dear Lord, please protect this rockethouse and all who dwell within..."

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abbubmah
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Drat, lost my post.

We have not determined that this was indeed written by Rick Mathes.

This falls into a gray area between "making a point" and "Hate speech" that could be interpreted different ways, depending on the mindset of the reader. A Christian reading this would tend to agree, as it solidifies their position. Someone with utter disdain for Christianity might see it as one group's hate speech about another group. It really is neither. As written, the intent of the author is not entirely clear, and could be taken many ways. Re-reading, I noticed that while the encounter gave the author "further insight into the Muslim religion" he went in loaded for bear. He knew all the right questions to ask... that speaks of malice aforethought. Also, someone involved in ministry wouldn't likely start a confrontation (possibly ugly) in the midst of those he seeks to reach. Even if he's right, it's not a way to win converts.

I'm actually going with Silas on this being a fiction. And, I'm not sure Mathes is the author, but may very well be a victim of "internet attribution". We've seen that before.

ham "skeptical" bubba

--------------------
Fundamentally Unfundie since 1975

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ASL
We Three Blings


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It doesn't matter who wrote it. If Lincoln had written "Mein Kampf," then I'd personally take a backpack full of C4 to Mt. Rushmore and blow his likeness into oblivion. The name of the author is irrelevant when it comes to deciding if something is hateful. Whoever wrote this was a bigot, one way or another. It doesn't matter if Christians see it as something that solidifies their position; it's still hate speech. Just because one particular group doesn;t realize how hateful something is, does not change the fact that it is hateful.

--------------------
"Dear Lord, please protect this rockethouse and all who dwell within..."

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BurnDark
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Hmm.....

I see how people could see this as hateful, but I don't necessarily see it that way. However, I think that the author is implying that he hates Islam. It is similar to me saying I hate prostitution. I may have the utmost love for people who are prostitutes, I just hate the act of prostitituion. Of course it is not that simple with religious beliefs. I don't think most prostitutes won't get too upset if you say that you don't like their job, but I think that if you tell most people that you hate their religion, they will get upset.

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Hell's Granny
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by hambubba:
I'm actually going with Silas on this being a fiction. And, I'm not sure Mathes is the author, but may very well be a victim of "internet attribution". We've seen that before.

I'm going with that as well. But until he denies it, we cannot be certain. This is being circulated widely amongst Christian groups, who all seem to be accepting it as Gospel. The truth is that, in America today only an honourable minority of Christian leaders are speaking out against this type of hate-mongering. Most are turning a blind eye, a minority are actively promulgating it.
The long and bloody history of religious hatred is littered with Christian clerics who have broken the Commandment about bearing false witness.

--------------------
Oakleaf Circle - Elfin Magical Diary-Transit: the astrologers' newsletter

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A Shoggoth on the Rooftop
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Active hate speech is very easy to recognize and dismiss. It seems that people are coming to realize this and so I have seen an increase in what would appear to be a passive form of hate speech.

All you do to make it passive is instead of saying the denigrating things yourself, you have a member of the targetted group say it, while removing any derogatory words such as "towelhead". You also use complex words or words from the target group such as Imam or jihad, to give the illusion that you are educated well about said group.

These are done to paint yourself as intelligent and considerate, and to have a member of the group actually admit to these stereotypical things.

Also to see this as hate speech, you must look at the purpose behind writing such a thing. Is he writing it to educate people about Christianity? Nope, he barely discusses it. The entire intent of the piece is to denigrate Islam, to make them look foolish, to say, "we're better than you."

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Information Man
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Most of the Catholic churches bruitality took place before protestant religions started coming about and if you think protestant religions were not responsable for bruitality, just look at some of our early American history.
What seporates Christianity from Islam is that Christianity is not hostile by it's core eliments. Islam is.
The Catholic church was able to do all the things they did in the middle ages do to the limited amount of education wear they could say that Christ indorsed what they were doing and the average joe wouldn't have A way of knowing otherwise. Bibles were also very limited in thoes days. It took 3 years to produce 1 bible.
Thoes ages had a lot of people within the church who stood up and fought that behavior. St. Francis was probibley the most well known case.
People generally join religion for all the wrong reasons. Many muslims join for cultural and hate reasons, most Christians join for emotional reasons, nither stoping to think about the dangerous game of russian rellet their playing. You join the religion that has proven it's self enough for you to trust the threat against your afterlife with, not what's most conveniant or apatising.

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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quote:
Originally posted by Information Man:
What seporates Christianity from Islam is that Christianity is not hostile by it's core eliments. Islam is.

No, it isn't.

--------------------
"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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abbubmah
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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IM, you're making my head spin...!

quote:
Originally posted by Information Man:
People generally join religion for all the wrong reasons. Many muslims join for cultural and hate reasons, most Christians join for emotional reasons, nither stoping to think about the dangerous game of russian rellet their playing.

Firstly, "joining" religion is an option available for people in countries like the US, where choice is allowed. There are a lot of people who are born into a religion, and taught that religion only, without ever an option to choose otherwise. The Islamic governments we see are an example of this - it's not a matter of choosing. In many of these countries, it's illegal to be anything other than Muslim. In the more liberal regimes they could theoretically become Christians or Jewish and get away with it, but could NEVER make the choice to be an atheist, at least openly.

Sadly, we also see this in "Christianity", ie: Northern Ireland. Choice is available, but generally unwanted... again, that's cultural and historical Christianity rather than personal. It's "we've always been, and we'll never change."

Freedom of and from religion is a wonderful thing... It allows choice, which is a basic human right. Thank God or gosh, as appropriate, for the freedom we have.

ham "long may it wave" bubba

--------------------
Fundamentally Unfundie since 1975

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Archangel
Spider Cider


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My sense is that it is only a minority that choose their religion in any meaningful sense.

Instead of the majority of people who profess any faith, it is the one they were born into.

And where chosen, it seems to occur out of pragmatic, get-ahead, Condi'-Rice type reasons, or matrimonial ones rather than a studied and duly informed evaluation.

If only we had a polling option...

I wouldn't be so sure of there being many countries that compel membership of any religion. Who could be bothered with all the fuss?

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Shoggoth
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Information Man:
Christianity is not hostile by it's core eliments. Islam is.

As said before, it is NOT.
quote:
Originally posted by Information Man:
People generally join religion for all the wrong reasons. Many muslims join for cultural and hate reasons, most Christians join for emotional reasons, nither stoping to think about the dangerous game of russian rellet their playing.

Let me tell you, my opinion of Islam is higher than that of any other of the mainstream religions (other than Buddhism). I once considered converting, you know why? Because of the kindness and brotherhood I saw in them. I have more Muslim friends than I do Christian because the Muslims accept me for who I am. When the Christians find out I'm not a Christian they shun me. I also find their approaches different when it comes to spreading the word. All Muslims I have encountered teach about Islam. Almost all Christians I've met have tried to convert me. Teaching gives you information and lets you decide what to believe in. The conversion method is more of trying to get you to believe what I believe, without serious thought.
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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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quote:
Originally posted by hambubba:
I'm actually going with Silas on this being a fiction. And, I'm not sure Mathes is the author, but may very well be a victim of "internet attribution". We've seen that before.

It's good to see you're coming around. The above is a far cry from your first post defending the OP:

quote:
Originally posted by hambubba:
It's an account of a conversation between two people. Mathis does not make any statements regarding hating Muslims, or taking any actions against Muslims. He is merely relating one account, where "truth prevailed".

Pogue

--------------------
Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

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MisterGrey
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:

Think of a white guy writing about his confrontation with a black man. The black man is letting people know about his culture. And all the black man says is stereotypical stuff, while speaking in ebonics.

Then the white guy says, "You mean all you blacks like to do is eat collared greens, cornbread, fried chicken, and drink orange soda? And your biggest goal in life is to marry a white woman? And I shouldn't walk down an alleyway with a black man while nobody else is around?"

The black man says, "Yeah bitch."

Funniest. Scenario. Ever.
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BurnDark
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Shoggoth:
Teaching gives you information and lets you decide what to believe in.

Ideally, conversion should be the same way. Unfortunately, many Christians aren't good at it. It has been my experience that conversions go best (feelings-wise as well as likelihood of success) when there is already a deep relationship between the person who is doing the converting and the object of the conversion. This may be why your experiences with the Muslims were so pleasent.
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abbubmah
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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Ma-Hunk of Burning Love:
It's good to see you're coming around. The above is a far cry from your first post defending the OP:

I still don't think it's "hate mail" in any significant sense. Misleading and possibly inciting, but it's really on the fence, in my opinion.

ham "...that's all right, now, ma-ma..." bubba

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Fundamentally Unfundie since 1975

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Ghost on Toast
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I see this e-mail as just another way of trying to besmirch the reputations of Muslims, just another anti-muslim piece of rubbish that has been increasingly popular since 9/11.
Perhaps this Rick guy's name has been put on it to give it some credence, but maybe he has nothing to do with it.

Either way, Information Man needs to change his handle there, saying Islam is about hate is a really ignorant thing to say. The other posters above have said it far more eloquently than I ever could but us Christians aren't such a great or innocent bunch either.

I seem to remember reading that when Mohammed invaded Jerusalem, he ordered that all churches be left alone and not raided. Anyone got a cite? If it's tru it shows a lot of tolerance, not hate.

You cannot use the examples of a few nuts and suicide bombers to tar the whole religion with.

If we want to be having a go at anyone, let's look at the Catholic Church.
The Pope, who is clearly not 100 per cent with it, is living in wonderous opulent luxury whilst millions of Catholics around the world starve.
Then he orders them not to use birth control or to have abortions so thousands more children a year are born into this miserable poverty.
I seem to remember that when God first send his representative down to earth, He lived a normal life amongst the people and suffered like us - He didn't live in a huge Vatican with art, luxuries, plentiful food and flunkies to serve his every whim.

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Cat Grey
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by The Bubba of You:
I still don't think it's "hate mail" in any significant sense.

I'll second that. "Hate mail" is too strong a term for this. I'd go with "propaganda" instead - a mixture of pro-Christian and anti-Islam. It's not really out to threaten Muslims - hence, not hate mail - but it clearly is grossly over-simplified misinformation (and preaching to the converted, at that).

quote:
Ghost on Toast pointed out:
I seem to remember that when God first send his representative down to earth, He lived a normal life amongst the people and suffered like us - He didn't live in a huge Vatican with art, luxuries, plentiful food and flunkies to serve his every whim.

Actually, while I have some serious personal issues with Catholicism, using the Vatican as a storehouse for paintings, statues, etc. is actually praiseworthy IMHO. The amount of money that could be made by selling all that off would barely make a dent in world poverty, and a lot of works of art and literature are only still around because the Church preserved them.

I'm not sure this actually refutes your point (and I agree with you in part), but it's worth considering.

quote:
Information Man added:
What seporates Christianity from Islam is that Christianity is not hostile by it's core eliments.

Heh.

"It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people." -Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Good Omens

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"Beer assuages grief. No one tells you that." ~Arrow-Tech IV

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PatYoung
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by hambubba:
quote:
Originally posted by Hell's Granny:
Yes, this is hate mail.

Is it? It's an account of a conversation between two people. Mathis does not make any statements regarding hating Muslims, or taking any actions against Muslims. He is merely relating one account, where "truth prevailed".

Has a differing opinion now become hate speech? I'll grant that using resources from outside the setting given, a presentation at a prison, his views are not all-inclusive nor does the Muslim cleric represent all Muslims.

Yet, within this small setting, the point was made, and made well. If all it does is get one cleric to think about his views, then it was a successful conversation. But hate mail? Not really.

ham "hate mail is... well, hateful" bubba

problem:"Let me ask you a question... would you rather have your Allah who tells you to kill me in order to go to Heaven or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to Heaven and wants you to be with me?"

i agree that this seems fictional. did the catholic priest really just sit by while this was going on?

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pat "Megadittoes Rush" young

THUMP, THUMP, THUMP

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Ghost on Toast
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Ah! Cat Grey - I agree with you on the art. Despite what I think about the Catholic leadership (not Cathiolics just their bosses!) I am a history and literature buff and a collector of old books so I do recognise the vatican's contribution on that side of things....
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quis_custodiet
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by First of Two Turtledoves:


And yes, if somebody starts going around inciting violence and murder in the name of Hugo the Great Eternal Platypus, I'll happily shoot him for blasphemy. Hugo is a platypus of love.

YOMANK

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quis custodiet

"My father says that almost the whole world is asleep - everybody you know, everybody you see, everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant, total amazement."

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snopes
Return! Return! Return!


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This was Rick Mathes' response when I asked him about the piece:

This article is an exact recording of a real event that I participated in. My only commentary was, "the truth will prevail." I think this meeting was in May 2003 and I will not give out more details for fear of retribution. The purpose of the class was to increase "religious sensitivity", that is, tolerance for each others beliefs and I really blew that. The director was purple with rage however the Imam and I exchanged signs and said "Salaam" which means "peace" in Arabic (I hope). I questioned him (Imam) really to get a clear refutation of what is commonly thought of this Jihad nonsense. But apparently he wasn't educated enough to rebut my remarks or by his silence on this matter (I think) concurred with my implied conclusions. In either case I was surprised. And when I said I found it hard to be his friend, everyone laughed out loud. So the mood was an amazing mix of those who were interested like me and others that were just amused by the whole thing. I left the matter open on purpose (the truth will prevail) so that either side could speak up and claim the truth as their own. I don't hear the Muslim community singing "God Bless America" and have not had the pleasure of hearing an Imam in an American mosque recite the "Pledge of Allegiance." So I have my own belief in who the truth is. (Jesus)

I have a 20 prison ministry to protect so I am not inclined to invite further inquiry. You can write this story off as just a story and move on and that's ok with me.

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Oh for bob's sake. My church (located in the Diamond in the Buckle of the Bible Belt, and, as such, Christian) has never recited the Pledge of Allegiance, either. That doesn't mean anything (Jesus)...

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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abbubmah
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
The purpose of the class was to increase "religious sensitivity", that is, tolerance for each others beliefs and I really blew that.

Well. He's honest about it. It sounds like he had a list of questions, didn't get the well-reasoned answers he was expecting, and continued the series... By the time he realized that ball was rolling downhill fast, it was too late.

This (Mathes') response ought to circulate with the OP text. Thanks, snopes. A FINE job, as usual!

ham "yes, everyone knows I'm awed" bubba

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Fundamentally Unfundie since 1975

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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quote:
Originally posted by The Bubba of You:
It sounds like he had a list of questions, didn't get the well-reasoned answers he was expecting, and continued the series... By the time he realized that ball was rolling downhill fast, it was too late.

So then why did he perpetuate the hate -- yes, I think it is hate mail not because it incites violence but because it clearly incites hatred -- by penning a bombastic missive?

He didn't merely ask well-reasoned questions in an effort to ellicit well-reasoned answers. He asked loaded questions in an effort to degrade and humiliate. Then he piled on by writing lines such as, "The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar." And let's not forget this, "the Imam hung his head in shame."

I still think the "conversation" is a figment of the author's imagination. Not only is he a coward, he's also a liar.


Pogue

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Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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By the by, what benefit is there to keeping a ministry secret?

Isn't that rather counterproductive, especially if that ministry wants to, say, minister or something.

--------------------
"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Okay, after waiting and waiting, I have finally decided to take the plunge.

I read the Quran (translated). I read it again. Then I made the following notes of passages - directly stolen from an online Quran website... I apologize in advance as it is long as POOP!!

The things in [brackets] are the Suras (chapter and verse)

I think THESE Suras are the reasons that people think the religion is so violent.

Malruhn.


[5:12] GOD had taken a covenant from the Children of Israel, and we raised among them twelve patriarchs. And GOD said, "I am with you, so long as you observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and believe in My messengers and respect them, and continue to lend GOD a loan of righteousness. I will then remit your sins, and admit you into gardens with flowing streams. Anyone who disbelieves after this, has indeed strayed off the right path."
Consequences of Violating God's Covenant
[5:13] It was a consequence of their violating the covenant that we condemned them, and we caused their hearts to become hardened. Consequently, they took the words out of context, and disregarded some of the commandments given to them. You will continue to witness betrayal from them, excepting a few of them. You shall pardon them, and disregard them. GOD loves those who are benevolent.
_____________________________________________________________________
*5:12 If you fulfill the requirements stated in this verse, God will let you know that He is with you; you will have no doubt about it. Prominent among God's signs are mathematical signs for those who understand the Quran's miracle (Appendix 1).
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Christians, too, Must Obey God's Messenger
[5:14] Also from those who said, "We are Christian," we took their covenant. But they disregarded some of the commandments given to them. Consequently, we condemned them to animosity and hatred among themselves, until the Day of Resurrection. GOD will then inform them of everything they had done.

[5:32] Because of this, we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people. Our messengers went to them with clear proofs and revelations, but most of them, after all this, are still transgressing.
Capital Punishment:
When is it Justified?
[5:33] The just retribution for those who fight GOD and His messenger, and commit horrendous crimes, is to be killed, or crucified, or to have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or to be banished from the land. This is to humiliate them in this life, then they suffer a far worse retribution in the Hereafter.
[5:34] Exempted are those who repent before you overcome them. You should know that GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[5:35] O you who believe, you shall reverence GOD and seek the ways and means to Him, and strive in His cause, that you may succeed.

[9:5] Once the Sacred Months are past, (and they refuse to make peace) you may kill the idol worshipers when you encounter them, punish them, and resist every move they make. If they repent and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), you shall let them go. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

[9:11] If they repent and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), then they are your brethren in religion. We thus explain the revelations for people who know.
[9:12] If they violate their oaths after pledging to keep their covenants, and attack your religion, you may fight the leaders of paganism - you are no longer bound by your covenant with them - that they may refrain.
[9:13] Would you not fight people who violated their treaties, tried to banish the messenger, and they are the ones who started the war in the first place? Are you afraid of them? GOD is the One you are supposed to fear, if you are believers.
_____________________________________________________________________
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[9:14] You shall fight them, for GOD will punish them at your hands, humiliate them, grant you victory over them, and cool the chests of the believers.
[9:15] He will also remove the rage from the believers' hearts. GOD redeems whomever He wills. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.


[9:29] You shall fight back against those who do not believe in GOD, nor in the Last Day, nor do they prohibit what GOD and His messenger have prohibited, nor do they abide by the religion of truth - among those who received the scripture - until they pay the due tax, willingly or unwillingly.
Blasphemies
[9:30] The Jews said, "Ezra is the son of GOD," while the Christians said, "Jesus is the son of GOD!" These are blasphemies uttered by their mouths. They thus match the blasphemies of those who have disbelieved in the past. GOD condemns them. They have surely deviated.
Upholding the Teachings of Religious Leaders Instead of
God's Teachings
[9:31] They have set up their religious leaders and scholars as lords, instead of GOD. Others deified the Messiah, son of Mary. They were all commanded to worship only one god. There is no god except He. Be He glorified, high above having any partners.


[9:41] You shall readily mobilize, light or heavy, and strive with your money and your lives in the cause of GOD. This is better for you, if you only knew.


[9:73] O you prophet, strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern in dealing with them. Their destiny is Hell; what a miserable abode!
[9:74] They swear by GOD that they never said it, although they have uttered the word of disbelief; they have disbelieved after becoming submitters. In fact, they gave up what they never had. They have rebelled even though GOD and His messenger have showered them with His grace and provisions. If they repent, it would be best for them. But if they turn away, GOD will commit them to painful retribution in this life and in the Hereafter. They will find no one on earth to be their lord and master.
[9:75] Some of them even pledged: "If GOD showered us with His grace, we would be charitable, and would lead a righteous life."
[9:76] But when He did shower them with His provisions, they became stingy, and turned away in aversion.
[9:77] Consequently, He plagued them with hypocrisy in their hearts, till the day they meet Him. This is because they broke their promises to GOD, and because of their lying.
[9:78] Do they not realize that GOD knows their secrets, and their conspiracies, and that GOD is the Knower of all secrets?
[9:79] Those who criticize the generous believers for giving too much, and ridicule the poor believers for giving too little, GOD despises them. They have incurred a painful retribution.


The Disbelievers
[9:123] O you who believe, you shall fight the disbelievers who attack you - let them find you stern - and know that GOD is with the righteous.


[4:29] O you who believe, do not consume each others' properties illicitly - only mutually acceptable transactions are permitted. You shall not kill yourselves. GOD is Merciful towards you.

[4:30] Anyone who commits these transgressions, maliciously and deliberately, we will condemn him to Hell. This is easy for GOD to do.

Equality of Believers
[4:69] Those who obey GOD and the messenger belong with those blessed by GOD - the prophets, the saints, the martyrs, and the righteous. These are the best company.
[4:70] Such is the blessing from GOD; GOD is the best Knower.
[4:71] O you who believe, you shall remain alert, and mobilize as individuals, or mobilize all together.
[4:72] Surely, there are those among you who would drag their feet, then, if a setback afflicts you, they would say, "GOD has blessed me that I was not martyred with them."
[4:73] But if you attain a blessing from GOD, they would say, as if no friendship ever existed between you and them, "I wish I was with them, so I could share in such a great victory."
[4:74] Those who readily fight in the cause of GOD are those who forsake this world in favor of the Hereafter. Whoever fights in the cause of GOD, then gets killed, or attains victory, we will surely grant him a great recompense.


The Believers are Fearless
[4:75] Why should you not fight in the cause of GOD when weak men, women, and children are imploring: "Our Lord, deliver us from this community whose people are oppressive, and be You our Lord and Master."
[4:76] Those who believe are fighting for the cause of GOD, while those who disbelieve are fighting for the cause of tyranny. Therefore, you shall fight the devil's allies; the devil's power is nil.
[4:77] Have you noted those who were told, "You do not have to fight; all you need to do is observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat)," then, when fighting was decreed for them, they feared the people as much as they feared GOD, or even more? They said, "Our Lord, why did You force this fighting on us? If only You respite us for awhile!" Say, "The materials of this world are nil, while the Hereafter is far better for the righteous, and you never suffer the slightest injustice."


You Shall Not Kill
[4:92] No believer shall kill another believer, unless it is an accident. If one kills a believer by accident, he shall atone by freeing a believing slave, and paying a compensation to the victim's family, unless they forfeit such a compensation as a charity. If the victim belonged to people who are at war with you, though he was a believer, you shall atone by freeing a believing slave. If he belonged to people with whom you have signed a peace treaty, you shall pay the compensation in addition to freeing a believing slave. If you cannot find a slave to free, you shall atone by fasting two consecutive months, in order to be redeemed by GOD. GOD is Knower, Most Wise.
An Unforgivable Offense
[4:93] Anyone who kills a believer on purpose, his retribution is Hell, wherein he abides forever, GOD is angry with him, and condemns him, and has prepared for him a terrible retribution.
[4:94] O you who believe, if you strike in the cause of GOD, you shall be absolutely sure. Do not say to one who offers you peace, "You are not a believer," seeking the spoils of this world. For GOD possesses infinite spoils. Remember that you used to be like them, and GOD blessed you. Therefore, you shall be absolutely sure (before you strike). GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.


[4:100] Anyone who emigrates in the cause of GOD will find on earth great bounties and richness. Anyone who gives up his home, emigrating to GOD and His messenger, then death catches up with him, his recompense is reserved with GOD. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[4:101] When you travel, during war, you commit no error by shortening your Contact Prayers (Salat), if you fear that the disbelievers may attack you. Surely, the disbelievers are your ardent enemies.
_____________________________________________________________________
620 46710

War Precautions
[4:102] When you are with them, and lead the Contact Prayer (Salat) for them, let some of you stand guard; let them hold their weapons, and let them stand behind you as you prostrate. Then, let the other group that has not prayed take their turn praying with you, while the others stand guard and hold their weapons. Those who disbelieved wish to see you neglect your weapons and your equipment, in order to attack you once and for all. You commit no error, if you are hampered by rain or injury, by putting down your weapons, so long as you remain alert. GOD has prepared for the disbelievers a shameful retribution.
The Contact Prayers
[4:103] Once you complete your Contact Prayer (Salat), you shall remember GOD while standing, sitting, or lying down. Once the war is over, you shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat); the Contact Prayers (Salat) are decreed for the believers at specific times.
[4:104] Do not waver in pursuing the enemy. If you suffer, they also suffer. However, you expect from GOD what they never expect. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.
[4:105] We have sent down to you the scripture, truthfully, in order to judge among the people in accordance with what GOD has shown you. You shall not side with the betrayers.


Trinity: A False Doctrine
[4:171] O people of the scripture, do not transgress the limits of your religion, and do not say about GOD except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was a messenger of GOD, and His word that He had sent to Mary, and a revelation from Him. Therefore, you shall believe in GOD and His messengers. You shall not say, "Trinity." You shall refrain from this for your own good. GOD is only one god. Be He glorified; He is much too glorious to have a son. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. GOD suffices as Lord and Master.
[4:172] The Messiah would never disdain from being a servant of GOD, nor would the closest angels. Those who disdain from worshipping Him, and are too arrogant to submit, He will summon them all before Him.
[4:173] As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, He will fully recompense them, and shower them with His grace. As for those who disdain and turn arrogant, He will commit them to painful retribution. They will find no lord beside GOD, nor a savior.


Lessons from History*
[8:12] Recall that your Lord inspired the angels: "I am with you; so support those who believed. I will throw terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved. You may strike them above the necks, and you may strike even every finger."
[8:13] This is what they have justly incurred by fighting GOD and His messenger. For those who fight against GOD and His messenger, GOD's retribution is severe.
[8:14] This is to punish the disbelievers; they have incurred the retribution of Hell.
[8:15] O you who believe, if you encounter the disbelievers who have mobilized against you, do not turn back and flee.
[8:16] Anyone who turns back on that day, except to carry out a battle plan, or to join his group, has incurred wrath from GOD, and his abode is Hell; what a miserable destiny!
_____________________________________________________________________
*8:12-16 All wars are governed by the basic rule in 60:8-9.
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God Is Doing Everything*
[8:17] It was not you who killed them; GOD is the One who killed them. It was not you who threw when you threw; GOD is the One who threw. But He thus gives the believers a chance to earn a lot of credit. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.
[8:18] Additionally, GOD thus nullifies the schemes of the disbelievers.
[8:19] You sought victory (O disbelievers), and victory did come; it belonged to the believers. If you refrain (from aggression) it would be better for you, but if you return, so will we. Your armies will never help you, no matter how great. For GOD is on the side of the believers.


Retribution: A Consequence of Sin
[8:53] GOD does not change a blessing He has bestowed upon any people unless they themselves decide to change. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.
[8:54] Such was the case with the people of Pharaoh and others before them. They first rejected the signs of their Lord. Consequently, we annihilated them for their sins. We drowned Pharaoh's people; the wicked were consistently punished.
[8:55] The worst creatures in the sight of GOD are those who disbelieved; they cannot believe.
[8:56] You reach agreements with them, but they violate their agreements every time; they are not righteous.
[8:57] Therefore, if you encounter them in war, you shall set them up as a deterrent example for those who come after them, that they may take heed.
[8:58] When you are betrayed by a group of people, you shall mobilize against them in the same manner. GOD does not love the betrayers.
[8:59] Let not those who disbelieve think that they can get away with it; they can never escape.
You Shall Be Prepared:
A Divine Commandment
[8:60] You shall prepare for them all the power you can muster, and all the equipment you can mobilize, that you may frighten the enemies of GOD, your enemies, as well as others who are not known to you; GOD knows them. Whatever you spend in the cause of GOD will be repaid to you generously, without the least injustice.
[8:61] If they resort to peace, so shall you, and put your trust in GOD. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.

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Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

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PatYoung
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
I don't hear the Muslim community singing "God Bless America" and have not had the pleasure of hearing an Imam in an American mosque recite the "Pledge of Allegiance." So I have my own belief in who the truth is. (Jesus)

yomank to the max.

ot, in conversations with folks running correctional centers in the n.y. area, the "ministers" they usually find the most disruptive are those of the sort who wrote this article. imagine the iman asking the rev at a get toether for chaplains: "do you belong to a religion that confuses american foreign policy with divine will, that gave religious sanction to slavery, antisemitism, and the expulsion of native americans from their lands." i'm guessing the same shocked silence might prevail.

--------------------
pat "Megadittoes Rush" young

THUMP, THUMP, THUMP

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