Definition of Terms and Goals

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Dear Readers:

Starting a blog is quite a thrilling experience, filled with learning opportunities.  I wanted to take some time to review some general terms and goals of my portion of this site, to better enhance dialog and communication.

Humanist Muslim:  This is a general term I use to segregate peace-desiring, religiously tolerant Muslims from terror-fomenting, Jihad-embracing terrorists.  I will interchange this word with Islamo-friend, peace-loving Muslims, and other similar terms.

By Humanist Muslim, I am not deeming one path of Islam better than the next.  I will leave discussions of the nuances of Islamic practice to writers much more knowledgeable. I am merely a weigh-station on the road to Conservatives desiring additional information on the American Muslim Community not typically available in other blog sites.

One interesting aspect I have learned during recent discussions is that the term Humanist Muslim is bandied about carelessly. For example, one commentator here stated:

“LGF (littlegreenfootballs.com) does post the words of lots of Humanist Muslims and applauds their efforts. Ali, Rushdie, Sultan, Phares, the list goes on. You can’t say they never do.”

Samaha, in a very illuminating post , disagrees with how the term is applied in the above context. Rightly so, I feel. Samaha has the following assessment of these cited Humanists:

Ali:“Islam is a cult created by a psychopath. It cannot be reformed. It must be eradicated. Islam must be eradicated not because the Quran says Earth is flat or the shooting stars are missiles that Allah fires at the Jinns who climb the heaven to eavesdrop on the conversation of the exalted assembly. These stupid tales could even amuse us. Islam must go because it teaches hate, it orders killing of non-Muslims, it denigrates women and it violates the human rights. Islam must go not because it is false but because it is destructive, because it is dangerous; a threat to peace and security of humankind. With the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in Islamic countries, Islam has become a serious and a real threat to the survival of our civilization. ”

“Let us save the world from its certain destruction. We don’t have to face another world war. We can stop this madness now. We can love each other like members of one family and celebrate our diversity like flowers of one garden. We can build a better world for our children. We can sing the songs of joy together. We can make a difference. Let not a psychopath liar fool you. Do not become an instrument of hate. Muhammad lied. This site is the proof.”

Wafa Sultan: The Muslims are the ones who began the clash of civilizations. The Prophet of Islam said: “I was ordered to fight the people until they believe in Allah and His Messenger.” When the Muslims divided the people into Muslims and non-Muslims, and called to fight the others until they believe in what they themselves believe, they started this clash, and began this war. In order to start this war, they must reexamine their Islamic books and curricula, which are full of calls for takfir and fighting the infidels. …

I am not a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew. I am a secular human being. I do not believe in the supernatural, but I respect others’ right to believe in it.”

Clearly, neither of the above writers can be classified as Muslims, Humanist or otherwise. I would have not known about their real opinions of Islam were it not for the input of a practicing Muslim such as Samaha.

And that is a key purpose of my discussions and dialogs about Islam. My portion of this blog permits Muslims to tell us something about their faith without insults and derisions. As a scientist, I cannot fathom the logic of asking a Christian to explain fine-points of Islamic theology. It would be like asking a medical doctor about the nature of a strike-slip fault (a geologic specialty). Though the doctor may sound informed and wise, important details would be neglected and may be misinterpreted. You need a seismologist for the best answer in this case.

This site also allows Islam Questioning Conservatives to politely and rationally express their very reasonable concerns to their fellow Americans who practice Islam. I hope our Muslim readers can take their viewpoints and ideas and utilize them to enforce Humanist Muslim actions and ideals in the Muslim community — in America and abroad.

I am facing some real challenges now, as not every Conservative seems willing to distinguish between Islamo-friend and Islamo-foe — instead, lumping them into a many-headed Muslim monster that needs to be slain. However, I struggle on because this site and others like it offer another tool in the war against Islamic extremist terror. Friends and allies that promote peace and can help our servicemen take-out terrorists need our support. Words like this leave me encouraged:

From Jarhead, a Marine:

So perhaps it is time for me to admit that I have been wrong about blaming all Muslims for the actions of a few.

From Fibbonaci, a Catholic:

I must say, your exemplary posts make me think. I started on this forum defending Islam for I know good Muslims. You have reminded me to be more tolerant. Thanks.

One last thought: Those who believe we are on a collision course with Islam and are destined to be an a global war are as dangerous as the Jihaddis. Alienating an entire population of people can be deadly, leaving us with no allies, tipsters, or intelligence resources within the Muslim community. Recall the transatlantic attacks from London slated for this summer were foiled, thanks to a tip from a Muslim. Hate could cost us future tips.

P.S.  I also like the phrase “Humanist Muslim”, for it reminds people that Muslims are human — a fact seemingly forgotten by certain members of the Rightosphere.

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3 Responses to “Definition of Terms and Goals”

  1. Yursil Says:

    Peace.

    The fact of the matter is sometimes I get the feeling, from even the people who are looking to support dialogue, that there is a prevelant belief that the -majority- of Muslims are not peace loving.

    If we believe that the majority are peace loving, then we need no qualifications on Muslim. Rather, it is the extremists that need the qualifying word.

    And as I’ve said continuing to use the word humanist, especially considering its meaning which discounts a faith based approach to life, will simply disconnect Muslims from any dialogue.

    I myself am getting a bit nauseated by it already. Ali Eteraz has some good ideas, but this term needs to go.

  2. isis13 Says:

    Yursil: I do see your point, and am inclined to agree. I will try to confine this term to discussions with the Rightosphere — to force the distinction that some seemingly refuse to see. But I will be more circumspect in the future. Indeed, it is the extremists who deserve the derogatory qualifiers. Thanks for the perspective.

  3. Maximus Says:

    I would like to see a continuation of the topic

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