The many faces of Islam

Discussion in 'General Global Topics' started by Casper, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. Casper
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    Casper Member

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    As a result of globalization, a burka-clad girl from some backwater Afghan or Turkish village can now find herself inhabiting the same space as female college student in Paris sporting a bare midriff. What role does Islam play in the West today? Is its influence possible to manage?

    Discussion Club moderator Yevgeny Shestakov discusses this issue with Alexander Ignatenko, Ph.D in Philosophy, head of the Russian Institute of Religion and Politics and a member of the Presidential Council for Interaction with Religious Associations and the Council for Foreign and Defense Policies, who specializes in Arab and Islamic studies and has written extensively on various aspects of Islam.

    Anti-Islamic sentiment is quite widespread in Europe these days. But there’re Islamophiles out there, too. For instance, 66% of France’s population have a negative attitude toward Islam whereas about a quarter (23%) feel positively and 11% have no opinion.

    On the flip side of the coin, there’s the attitude of Europe’s Muslim communities toward their non-Muslim fellow citizens. In France, 41% of Muslim residents have a favorable attitude toward non-Muslims while 58% have an unfavorable attitude. In the UK, this gap is much wider: 23% and 62%, respectively. I won’t cite any more figures here. Anyone interested can find this information on the Internet. The important thing to realize is that the animosity in Europe between indigenous populations and immigrants from Muslim countries is on the rise.

    According to Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, this increasingly pronounced trend shows that multiculturalism has failed. She said recently that the “multicultural approach, saying that we simply live side by side, and live happily with each other, has failed, utterly failed.”
    What we’re facing in reality is a clash of cultures rather than their harmonious and meaningful co-existence. As a result of globalization, a burka-clad girl from some backwater village in Afghanistan or Turkey and a female Sorbonne student in Paris with a bare midriff now often find themselves living side by side. The culture clash has nothing to do with one set of values being right and the other wrong; it arises because the two girls were shaped by different cultural milieus.

    There are several reasons why sociologists and politicians are so concerned by European attitudes toward Islam and Muslims’ attitudes toward European culture. First of all, the percentage of Muslims – both immigrants and native born converted to Islam – has increased sharply in recent years and they have gained prominence in the European landscape. Another reason, I think, is the emergence in Europe of anti-Islamic and anti-immigrant parties and movements, such as [Geert] Wilders’ Freedom Party.

    Also, it seems that immigrants from across the Muslim world are more reluctant to integrate with the native population of their adopted countries, in comparison with representatives of other traditions, such as Judaism, Buddhism, Orthodox Christianity, or Confucianism. Which may have something to do with the circumstances in which Islam emerged on the Arabian Peninsula back in the 7th century. In its early years this religion had to compete with Christianity and Judaism, two traditions that had spread here before, but ultimately Islam prevailed. The record of Islam’s triumph can be found in its two main holy books, the Quran and the Sunna. Small wonder, then, that devout Muslims, educated in the Islamic tradition, should experience something of a culture shock upon their arrival in Europe, which is still dominated by Christian values.

    Let me give you one example. Muslims believe that Jesus, known in Islam as Prophet Isa, a son of the Virgin Mary (or Marium), was carried up to Heaven by Allah when the Romans, led by Judas Iscariot, came to arrest him. Allah then made Judas look like Isa, and, as a result, the traitor ended up crucified instead of Jesus. So, according to Islam, it is Judas, not Jesus, who is actually worshiped in Christian churches. Sounds shocking, doesn’t it?

    Full version of the interview was published on valdaiclub.com
     
  2. chanel
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    chanel Silver Member

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    American Muslims have integrated more easily in the U.S. Hence we don't see the same level of radicalization that they have in Europe. This is a phenomenon that should be celebrated and embraced. Yet we have people in this country who still think multiculturism is a better way. They are blind, deaf, and dumb. And they may be winning.
     
  3. p kirkes
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    p kirkes VIP Member

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    Multiculturalism - (my definition) A social system where immigrants of different cultures can assimilate peacefully into the culture of a host country and live in harmony through succeeding generations, melding into the whole but not entirely losing their historical culture.

    Can it work - yes.
    Will it work in all cases - obviously not, if reading what the media reports.

    I'm a product of multiculturalism. My mother and most of her family immigrated from Lebanon (Marionette Catholic) along with many of her extended family and other adults in the years before, and after WW-1.

    They established a community in San Antonio, Texas, built their own church and started small family businesses.

    The community was insular at first but soon began the process of assimilating into the American way of life.

    By the time I was born in 1939, the community had begun to see members moving away from the core location branching out into commercial ventures, the military, legal and entertainment venues. Politics were pretty much left alone. However, they voted and were active in school affairs.

    The Lebanese community today still imports their priests, maintains their own church rituals, food and social mores, many still speak Arabic and hold community feasts. Otherwise they live the American dream.

    My dad, an Arkansas farmer, would not allow Arabic or Mexican to be spoken in our home so I'm just a one language person, whereas my cousins speak English, Spanish and Arabic.
    However, strange as it may seem, the Lebanese community just loved him and feted him like royalty.

    Since the end of WW-2 the community, although scattered in location, livelihood and lifestyle, still holds to many of it's old country traditions, mainly centered around the church.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  4. idb
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    idb Gold Member

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    It all comes back to the leaders of the respective communities.
    Religion relies on its leaders (elders, pastors, rabbis, imams etc) to provide direction to the promised land.
    There is no point bombing or legislating the hell out of the acolytes...get the leaders on side!
     
  5. Mr.Fitnah
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    Mr.Fitnah Dreamcrusher

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  6. jassmine12
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    jassmine12 BANNED

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    Thanks for the link..
     

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