Call for Islam enlightenment

There are serious problems with Islam in different parts of the world, with powerful and violent leaders and terrorist groups wreaking havoc. Most of the victims are Muslims.

Christianity has had some horrific times in history, but most of those abuses of their fundamental faith has been overcome, in large part as a result of the age on Enlightenment.

Enlightenment

The Enlightenment is the period in the history of western thought and culture, stretching roughly from the mid-decades of the seventeenth century through the eighteenth century, characterized by dramatic revolutions in science, philosophy, society and politics; these revolutions swept away the medieval world-view and ushered in our modern western world.

Since then things have been far from perfect, especially last century with major world wars, but in general many Christians and non-Christians benefit from the enlightenment in the 21st century.

Can the same revolution happen in the Islamic world? It can be difficult from ordinary Muslims to speak up for fear of violent consequences, but chance has to be pushed from the people.

Nelly has come up with this:

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Due to the suppression of speech and the risks of speaking up in Muslim countries it’s difficult to know whether this is a minority view or not, but it is worth repeating – especially by Muslims as if they are going to advance in the modern world they have to push for change within their religion.

36 Comments

  1. MaureenW

     /  April 5, 2017

    Hopefully they’ll get their enlightenment in their native countries before further migrating to Western societies where, shall we say, it’s not working out so well.

    • Enlightened people will see little problem with how it’s working here.

      • Anonymous Coward

         /  April 5, 2017

        Where did the enlightenment come from? Who kept the Greek and Latin texts alive? Who gave us the ‘zero’?

        • Gezza

           /  April 5, 2017

          That might take a bit of digging into when I get time & inclination. I read somewhere many of the ‘enlightened’ mulim scholars were actually greeks & jews given muslim names. But in any case, while they preserved ancient science & even reputedly added the zero to maths, that was early in the piece & their science went dead & backward as fundamental Islamic society developed & took hold, while the West’s went foward and took hold of religion.

      • Brown

         /  April 5, 2017

        Christian enlightenment was the return to its roots at the expense of the Roman Catholics who had abused the doctrines for hundreds of years with their indulgences and threats of purgatory. The scale of the abuse may be grossly overstated for effect as history is revisited. The message of the gospel the church is built on did not change and remains as relevant now as then. You may not like the concept of sin, accountability and judgement on some final day but you can live in this world without fear of Christians picketing your door because you said something nasty about them or are not one of them or are not the right sort of one of them.

        Islam is fundamentally different because its reformation, which we are seeing, is also a return to its roots at the expense of flimsy cultural Islam that the followers do not take seriously. My niece’s husband identifies as Muslim but doesn’t take part in any of the mosque stuff and likes a beer. At present he’s not a practicing Muslim so its just a label without meaning. The message, which is as relevant to serious Muslims now as at the inception, is one of political control and using any means required to get there. Its history is vastly more blood thirsty than Christianity and given its clear and unambiguous teachings that is understandable although, in my view, unacceptable. I think it ridiculous that you will continually excuse Islam because the principles of another religion that is vastly more benign, in that its apolitical, were abused in the past by some charlatans.

        Until you understand the distinction your opinions ignore the reality of the Muslim theological and political position and do not assist with understanding of the problem inherent in Islam.

        • This is pretty much taken from an article citing Douglas Murray that I have linked to below, and as the writer ever so eruditely expresses himself on reformation within Islam, I’ll not use quotes where I have simplified for brevity in places.

          The implication by many Christians these days is that pre-reformation Christianity ( Catholicism) was somehow in conflict with existing political values, but thatit learned to change its ways. Many Protestants not only believe this, but the more pious even take credit for Luther being a political pioneer the father of modernity.

          “They imagine he said something along the lines of: ‘Let’s question what the Pope tells us and adapt our faith so that it accords with humanist morality, equal rights, and the separation of church and state.”

          However Luther said something along the lines of:” ‘Let’s purify our religion, be more faithful to its essential logic, contained in its founding documents.’ And this reforming movement gradually produced new political realities and ideas. Creating a more liberal political order was not on Luther’s agenda, nor on anyone’s at that time, but it did become a central concern of some Protestants in the next century. The Protestant Reformation was not a matter of Christianity accepting the truth of something else, something beyond itself. ”

          When I and others, say that Islam needs a reformation, what we mean is we want Muslims to accept the virtue of western values and laws and fully embrace and adapt to them. Naively we suppose that Christianity and Islam are two comparable forms of religion – i.e.” if Religion A adapted to modernity, Religion B can too. But Religion A didn’t adapt to modernity: it inadvertently made modernity, by trying to be more purely itself”

          “Are there are any grounds for thinking that Islam can echo this story? That it can move to seeing its theocratic tendency as erroneous, to seeing coercion in religion as a hideous heresy? I’m sorry to sound gloomy but I’m not sure there are.”

          The problem is this. Liberal values already exist, and are firmly seen as external, or quite alien, to Islam. To say that freedom of religion and freedom of speech are central principles of Islam has no validity, and we all know that these have only been formulated and institutionalised, over centuries, and in the West.

          Are there are any grounds for thinking that Islam can echo this story through some imagined route to reformation ? ” can it move to seeing its theocratic tendency as erroneous, to seeing coercion in religion as a hideous heresy? I’m sorry to sound gloomy but I’m not sure there are.

          First, liberal values already exist, and are firmly seen as external, or alien, to Islam. To say that freedom of religion and freedom of speech are central principles of Islam just doesn’t ring true: we all know that they have been most fully formulated and institutionalised, over centuries, in the West.”

          In conclusion, there is no short route to reformation based. Scriptures do not support equality and there is neither the will nor an organised cooperative and collective theocracy to do so. If the West wishes to hold fast to our pluralism and values we need to insist that any and all people choosing to live within our societies accept our fundamental values, that each and every person is free to pursue worship, and all are to consider others as equal. They are to consider all as equal under the law.

          The case with Ayaan Hirsi-Ali shows us how close to home the contempt of freedom this ingrained hatred and lack of accomodation is and the lack of resolve within government to insist on basic freedom of speech.

          https://www.spectator.co.uk/2015/02/why-calling-for-an-islamic-reformation-is-lazy-and-historically-illiterate/

      • MaureenW

         /  April 5, 2017

        It will be interesting to see how all those “unenlightened” citizens of Paris and Germany vote in the coming elections Pete. In fact I hope it becomes an election issue in NZ too.

        • Nelly Smickers

           /  April 5, 2017

          *No question* which way those citizens of France will head….

      • That implies anyone disagreeing with you is not enlightened – subtle Pete, subtle.

        There maybe limited issues here right now, Pete. But its a question of time and scale.

        There was no problem in Australia in the 1990’s – but it has started there… There was no problem in the UK in the 1970’s but by the late 1980’s early 1990’s the problems had begun.

        The two philosophies are not reconcilable in my view and I highly doubt Islam will reform when the core funding for promulgating the faith is coming out of a place like Saudi, with the long intertwining of the House of Saud and Wahhabism as the pillars of Saudi royal power…

        • Brown

           /  April 5, 2017

          Australia had a substantial Islamic attack back in the late 19th century as I recall. NZ had one in the 50’s. Interestingly both involved railways with ours being a murder of a young woman staff member at Reefton (I think) railway station by another railways employee who was an immigrant from Ceylon or somewhere similar – a gun was used. All understandable of course because what the heck was a woman doing asking for the windows to be cleaned in a certain way? The offender, who had used the Allahu Akbar phrase, went to the gallows quietly once convicted. He was one of the last men to be hanged apparently. Thanks to the NZ Railway Observer for covering this interesting railway event some detail last year. No doubt the editor will now be looking over his shoulder.

  2. Kevin

     /  April 5, 2017

    Islam will become enlightened only when it’s very existence is under threat.

  3. We should take pity on them living as they do under our terrible regimes.
    An airline should be set up with the sole purpose of returning muslims to muslim countries and to the traditions they so badly miss.
    They will self select.
    Those protesting at our way of life and laws or keeping their customs and dress get immediate conveyance to the nearest airfield and a waiting B747 or Airbus and next stop is a muslim country.

  4. Corky

     /  April 5, 2017

    Good post. Pete. You Tube has other Muslims speaking out. One chap who impressed me pointedly told other Muslims that they came to the West for a better life….if you don’t like it F-OFF back home. Once the majority, or proven majority of Muslims believe that, I will hang up my anti-Muslim spurs.

    • Brown

       /  April 5, 2017

      Good luck with that. It will require God’s word being re-written because it was wrong and there will be no political or theological power once that’s done. The whole rotten house of cards will fall down. Its not going to happen.

      • Corky

         /  April 5, 2017

        That and the high illiteracy rates among Muslims. But even educated Muslims in science still revert back to Allah being the causual factor for all objective phenomamna in our universe.

  5. Griff

     /  April 5, 2017

    Educate Muslim woman.
    With education comes power.
    It has been proven that educating woman in these shit holes is the quickest way forward into this century.

    Going to war with them is only making things worse.

    • Brown

       /  April 5, 2017

      Kabul was full of educated women wearing western clothes in the 70’s but Islam reborn sorted that problem.

  6. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  April 5, 2017

    Have a look at this video that tracks the life of a Belgian convert to Jihadism.
    http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2017/03/europe/isis-behind-the-mask/

    How do you change the minds of recent converts to militant Islam?

  7. Sufian Ahmed could be Kiwi Guy for all we know …?

    I hope Islam does have an ‘enlightenment’, and I hope it is manifestly and ten-mega-zillion-fold better than the so-called Christian one which, amongst other things, gave the European nations the absurd idea that everyone else in the world required ‘our’ form of government as well as our religion …

    Hmmmm … Where have I heard this sorta crap lately …?

    … and that ‘they’, the others, were primitive native savages, probably not even human, to be enslaved and/or killed … and that all their resources belonged to Western Secular-Christendom anyhow … by some equally ludicrous ‘Right of Discovery’ …

    This patently farcical and utterly preposterous belief on our part has required us to exercise various decrees of oppression over the indigenous peoples we colonised – the ones we didn’t outright extinguish by genocide – and, what’s more, has led Western Secular-Christian nations – and their successful ‘colonies’ – into regional and global war with one another – on an unprecedented scale – and against any ‘adversaries’ who exhibit pretensions remotely like our own … such as Japan …

    We’re fucken kidding ourselves!

    But hope springs eternal … possibly even moreso than Western arrogance …

    So along with Islam, I hope we have ANOTHER enlightenment ourselves …

    • Corky

       /  April 5, 2017

      Said like a true hate filled Leftie, Parti. Hate the West. Hate our success. Hate our mistakes as peoples and countries . Hate Christianity. Hate our advances for humanity in general.

      Meanwhile non Western Nations never recieve your jaundiced critiques because your philosophy demands such nations must always be ” victims” of the West. Even though many adopt western ways because they supercede stones, sticks and mud huts.

      I previously asked why the hell you stayed here. You would save yourself much angst living in a third world nation where you could actually help natives with their problems rather than write about them.

      Bottom line..people like you are a liability for Western nations. The fight back is starting old chum. Universities are first up.

      • I don’t hate any of those things Corky … You’re a Western Right-Wing extremist … I’m simply applying some perspective to the issue …

        I don’t have time to respond to everything in your hate-filled diatribe, but I have and do critique non-Western nations … I believe Islam is essentially a form of mass psychosis and its extremes are mass socio-pathology … Islam certainly isn’t unique in this though …

        And yes, many Western ways are very worthwhile and good … and constant improvement requires constant critique …

        Now … Let me get this straight … there’s going to be a “fight back” in Western nations … a cleaning-out or ‘cleansing’ of “people like me”? Right? Is this a form of ‘enlightenment’?

        And its going to start with the Universities … Right? The places of enlightenment …

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Golden_Age

        I don’t ask why you stay here Corky … I respect your right to freedom of speech … even if you venture too far from your bridge sometimes …

    • Missy

       /  April 5, 2017

      “Sufian Ahmed could be Kiwi Guy for all we know …?”

      He is British from what I understand, and the post in question is about 2 years old, first posted in 2015 as a private post. A Facebook friend of his tweeted it with his permission.

      It is worth reading some of the replies to the initial tweet (I won’t post them all), but looking at them it seems this guy is not a practicing Muslim, but is a cultural Muslim.

    • Gezza

       /  April 5, 2017

      I hope Islam does have an ‘enlightenment’, and I hope it is manifestly and ten-mega-zillion-fold better than the so-called Christian one

      Snowball’s chance in hell.

    • Well off the mark partisanz. You’ve been too narrow in your timeline with regard to the impact of a “Christian reform” based society as it applies to natives colonised or invaded. Also, damage v benefits to many colonised countries is far more complicated than the couple of hundred ( at the outside) years under the often well-intentioned colonisers and up for debate.

      In India last week a gentleman told me that “the British were the best thing that ever happened to India”. “They gave us infrastructure, education, health, bureaucracy( yikes), their language and the Railway” . I was gobsmacked.

      • Blazer

         /  April 5, 2017

        he missed out ..cricket….India having a caste system always had affection for the British and their ‘upstairs..down stairs’ society.

  8. Corky

     /  April 5, 2017

    ‘And its going to start with the Universities … Right? The places of enlightenment ‘

    Yes, enlightenment, as long as it isn’t rightwing…or conservative.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/91145422/paul-moon-freedom-of-speech-in-new-zealands-universities-under-attack

    ‘I don’t ask why you stay here Corky … I respect your right to freedom of speech … even if you venture too far from your bridge sometimes.’

    An appeal to reasonableness. And a twist to imply I am a anti-free speech. Suppression of free speech is a Leftie thing.

  9. Bill Brown

     /  April 5, 2017

    Can they “enlighten” me on the cellophate and how cutting off heads works ?

    • Anonymous Coward

       /  April 5, 2017

      You can’t cut off a head with cellophane.

    • Gezza

       /  April 5, 2017

      I can. A cellophate is most likely a place or group of countries whose the Rulers are a dynastic family of cello players & where everybody is required to study & learn all the cello music that has been divinely revealed to great composer through the ages. The cutting off heads possibly relates to cutting off the heads of the cellos of those people who mangle the music pieces they play, to exact a financial penalty when they have to purchase another one.

      Best I can do at short notice.

  10. Corky

     /  April 5, 2017

    Islam exposed in rational debate.

    The point about Anglicans turning on fellow Anglicans should they commit crimes common to Islam was a telling point.

  11. He did indeed leave it out. However, he may have thought the Indians invented it, being as how it’s so widely played there.

    • That’s a reply to you on the Indian blazer 😬😬

      • Blazer

         /  April 5, 2017

        thought you would be lying on the beach…getting a ..foot massage,at this time of the day.

        • Waiting to hit the streets for the Galungan parade in my village here in Bali. As it’s a holiday the massage lady is at temple all day. Life is tough for tourists 🌞🌞