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Islam Under Scrutiny

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Interfaith Agenda

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ABC Radio National produces Encounter, "a highly acclaimed series which explores the connections between religion and life...invites the listener to make connections intellectually, emotionally and intuitively across a broad spectrum of topics. ..and regularly reflects on the religious experience of multicultural Australia."

On 20 December, they ran "Interfaith Agenda: Parliament of the World's Religions."
I would like to highlights parts of the transcript and have added my views in places.

Please feel free to add yours.

What is the common voice which religions can bring to the big global concerns? Do the various religions share a core ethic, and if so, how does that relate to their distinctive beliefs, sense of identity and understanding of 'the other'? The Parliament of the World Religions (PWR) provided some interesting windows in to those debates.

DAVID BUSCH: This week, a window on faiths, dialogue and global concern.
From Rev. Dr Bill Lesher, chair of the Council of the Parliament:
The world is looking at us differently.... listening to what we have to say, out of the rich wisdom, the moral values, and the millennia of human experience that are held and reverenced in the religious and spiritual communities. They know that the climate crisis will not be averted unless or until the sacredness of the earth is restored... that the Millennium Development Goals to cut poverty in half will not happen unless or until a powerful wave of compassion sweeps across the world.

The main wave sweeping across the world is Islam, but I don't see much compassion coming in its wake.

Rabbi David Saperstein:  ... We are the first generation that can educate every child on earth, that can undo the damage to God's creation, that can spread freedom across the globe...our failure to do so is a failure of moral vision and political will. And we know what we must do to succeed. Enhance the spiritual fulfillment that can transform people for the better; empower communities to organise to meet their own needs; and change government policies to embody our vision of justice.
Never before has the world needed to hear more clearly the values of human dignity, of charity, societal justice, compassion and peace, that are common to our multi-varied traditions and faiths....together, we can be the shapers of a better and more hopeful future for all humanity

Rabbi, we're trying to spread freedom and empower communities. It's you interfaith lot that are empowering Islam and destroying our freedoms and the values of human dignity.

DAVID BUSCH:  What is the common voice which religions can bring to the big global concerns? Do the various religions share a core ethic, and if so, how does that relate to their distinctive beliefs, sense of identity and understanding of 'the other'?

Dr Hans Kung, Christian theologian and founding president of the Global Ethic Foundation drafted a statement of global ethics, which sought to encapsulate the shared ethical principles at the heart of all religions...

KUNG: ...we need some minimum of some ethical values and standards in order to survive, not only economically but in present society...this is not just an issue of individual morality, but also an issue of corporate morality and concerns the global market economy. The failure of the markets, institutions and morality calls for an ethical framework. 
... despite all the differences between the different cultures and religions, we have some common ethical standards - in the Buddhist canon, of course in the Hebrew Bible, in the New Testament and the Islamic tradition. The Global Ethic Declaration identifies two basic principles which underlie all ethical values and standards. First is humanity - every human being must be treated humanely. Second is the principle of reciprocity, the famous golden rule, it can be found already in the Analects of Confucius four centuries before Christ, but also in the biblical, Islamic and other traditions - the principle which has to be applied not only among individuals but also between ethnic groups, nations, religions - don't do to others what you do not want done to yourself.

Sorry Hans, but  Islam abhors your 2 basic principles. Muslims must be treated humanely, but infidels are subjugated as second class citizens and can be killed. There is no golden rule in Islam and certainly no reciprocity. Afraid it's back to the drawing board for your Global Ethics utopia!

DAVID BUSCH: A similar project has been underway on an ethic of climate responsibility. Martin Frick is director of the Global Humanitarian Forum, formed in 2007 by Kofi Annan, which has developed eight principles of climate justice.

MARTIN FRICK: These eight points were discussed with a high-level panel, where we had Archbishop Tutu, Kofi Annan, Mary Robinson, Wangari Maathai and Rajendra Pachauri. .. religious communities can not only make a tremendous difference by speaking out for climate justice, but it might also help for mutual understanding and working together with different groups in the religious societies.

See, I told you climate change was a religion!

For Dr Mary Tucker of Yale University, one of the world's leading scholars of religion and the environment, religion brings a unique moral and spiritual force to the climate crisis.

MARY TUCKER: The religions are absolutely necessary, especially if they come with humility and with a sense of dialogue with science, with economics, with law, with policy, with technology.
The former Dean of Yale's school of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Gus Speth, founded the World Resources Institute... said these approaches are not working...'We need the moral force of religion. We need the spiritual sensibilities - we need poetry, we need philosophy, we need the arts.'
...If we are able to go into some of the deepest sensibilities that religion has to offer - that there's a numinous presence in nature...and if we destroy it we are destroying something of the divine - how we articulate that sensibility, that also links us to scientists who are equally distressed at what is happening.

More climate change religion!

DAVID BUSCH: Science and religion came together in a series of seminars on climate change. 'The warfare is over: science and religion as allies for the sake of the planet' was the theme. Australian Catholic theologian Denis Edwards indicated the kind of conversation which scientific discoveries and ecological crises were opening up between science and religion.

DENIS EDWARDS: Our Earth.... I think it's a gift to us, a gift that actually comes from 20th century science and technology. .. Saudi Arabian astronaut Sultan Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud, said, "The first day we were up there we all pointed to our own countries, The third day we were pointing to our continents. The fifth day we were all aware of only one earth."

Yes, one  day the earth will all be under Allah.  And the likes of Edwards are helping fulfill that mission!

I have a sense that religion and science are partners with each other in a new quest for global community...This is a new part of human culture, and it's beautiful, and it's creative, and it can energise us. For many people on our planet, religious traditions provide the deepest sense of meaning, and therefore it's hugely important that we plumb the depths of  the deepest meanings of our own religious traditions and find there, right at the heart, an ecological ethos and an ecological ethics.

Global community...One World Government...The Ummah.
Call it what you will, but all terribly energising - ask those who perished under Stalin or the Calliphates!

DAVID BUSCH: While common ground in ethics and a sense of the sacred may help religions on issues of global concern, there is much more fluidity in how they talk about each other to each other ... on issues of identity, exclusivity, how religions view 'the other', and the purpose of inter-religious dialogue.

Hindu teacher Ravi Shankar: You know, as long as we have even a part of the planet left thinking only they go to heaven and everyone else going to hell they're going to create hell for everybody. (Laughter) We need this education - the multi-cultural, multi-religious education - to reach to every nook and corner of this planet.

Ravi, there's one religion whose belief that everyone else is going to hell is put into action here on earth, with constant harassment of "the other" and terror attacks.

DAVID BUSCH: But are exclusive truth claims antithetical to inter-religious harmony?
Erin Williams of the Interfaith Youth Core from the US.

ERIN WILLIAMS: ''So, can people with exclusive truth claims be involved in your work?'

I usually reply with a story about ...our Executive Director, Eboo Patel, a Muslim of Indian origin who travels the world talking about religious pluralism. What many people don't know is the story of our second-in-command, April Kunze. April grew up in small-town Minnesota. A white evangelical, she led the evangelical group on her campus. In her final year, a mosque in Minneapolis-St Paul, was burned down by an arsonist. So April gathered together her religious community on the campus to organise a service project to help rebuild the mosque. But April was asked by the group to step down from her leadership role. The reason? 'We don't support devil worship.'

My question: why would any self-respecting Christian want to help rebuild a mosque which is committed to destroying Christianity?

Our organisation of 35 religiously diverse young staff members is still headed by an Ismaili Muslim and an evangelical Christian.

So when I hear the question, 'Do exclusive truth claims have a role in interfaith work?', I believe we should ask whether we're taking care to invite members of exclusive truth claims to the table. Because, for sure, evangelical communities can be insular, they can ask a well-meaning leader to step down because of her desire to serve Muslims. But the same faith also inspires April in all her goodness... To take away her truth claim, her passionate devotion to Jesus, would be asking her to compromise her identity... interfaith work requires us to respect all that makes each of us beautiful...and to bring that goodness together to do common projects for the common good.

At last some truth:  it's her devotion to Christianity that brings out her altruism. Erin could have been even more honest, acknowledging that devotion to Islam causes hatred towards  others. But she would doubtless have lost her job and the speaking opportunities that come with it.

DAVID BUSCH: But how religions have a sense of 'the other' - and whether they see an essential unity or essential difference between them - remains a critical issue .
Rabbi Goshen-Gottstein is director of The Elijah Interfaith Institute in Jerusalem, which works with religious leaders on interfaith issues and theologies of 'the other'.

GOSHEN-GOTTSTEIN: When we see another religion our first instinct is to ask, what's wrong with it? ...If we start by asking what's right with it, the whole process will start to look differently.
We give a lot of thought to the question of making space for the other, justifying pluralism, but underlying it all is a question of our capacity to view the other correctly....And we come  out of traditions that misrepresent, and intentionally so, the other. Mockery, caricature, demonising - all kinds of stuff goes between us and 'other', and then of course we construct our theology based on, well they're so bad and we're so good. But what happens when the other ain't so bad after all?

Salman Rushdie, the Danish Cartoons - all this demonising!
Reminder: let's criminalise defamation of religion!

Tariq Ramadan spoke about the Koran's mandate to know one another... Now you can't know while you're distorting. Knowledge is contradictory to distorting because knowledge assumes you have to know the other in the other's truth, veracity, authenticity. That's a very powerful mandate. Not all traditions have this command to know one another.

We're always distorting peaceful Islam, claiming it engages in terrorism., but saying infidels are apes and pigs is  not distorting. Tariq certainly follows the mandate to know infidels and their fear of offending Muslims.  some of We too want a mandate to let others know about Islam, but are not allowed to speak out.

So what would it look like to judge another tradition favourably?
I see things they're doing and they don't appeal to us...and maybe they worship in ways that we don't - but what does it mean to try to understand them favourably?

Yes, do let's try to judge fgm, death for apostasy, dhimmitude, killing Jews and other infidels and honour killing  favourably!
Hang on though Rabbi; you're Jewish, so in the cause of interfaith harmony, would you judge Muslims beheading you favourably?

DAVID BUSCH: ...some religious traditions talk about the essential oneness and that we should lose a sense of identity and difference... Yet the reaction against that is that there is in fact particularity and distinctiveness that we should not dissolve. Is that an inherent tension...about how we understand this sense of someone being other than us?

GOSHEN-GOTTSTEIN: I think it's a serious tension but it manifests itself in different religions differently. For traditions that emphasise identity, as in the case of Judaism, that issue will be very central because you don't want to compromise identity..

What about traditions that emphasise that none had the right to be worshipped but Allah and those not submitting to Shariah must be killed?

DAVID BUSCH: Rabbi Fred Morgan is chief rabbi of Temple Beth Israel in Melbourne and President of the Victorian Council of Christians and Jews.
FRED MORGAN: ... if you're entering into an interfaith dialogue situation you're not coming in to learn from the other person about your faith. That's what you're bringing to the dialogue.

...You don't go in to learn from the other necessarily, not about faith. But you might. I mean, I'm trying to imagine what I can learn about faith from other traditions. Yes, I can learn from Islam about submission, because Jews tend to be very much question orientated. We're a challenging tradition, we're not a submitting tradition. That might enter me as an individual, it might affect my Jewishness - it certainly should affect my ability to be humble. 

Rabbi, if you submit, it certainly will affect your Jewishness. You will have become a MUSLIM!

DAVID BUSCH: The capacity to discover riches within your own tradition through engagement with people of other faiths is a recurring theme in inter-religious engagement. Here's Daniel Peterson of Brigham Young University.

DANIEL PETERSON: When you're going to compare their religion with your religion, don't compare your best with their worst: we have Mother Teresa, you have Osama Bin Laden. That's not fair. Compare your saints with their saints; compare your villains with their villains...

DAVID BUSCH: Dr Stewart Sharlow is a Catholic with a deep involvement in Islamic mysticism. He ran a session on religious dual belonging - people who identify closely with two religious traditions.

STEWART SHARLOW: You're not compromising your religion just because you decide, 'I'm going to experience what a Muslim feels by fasting from before sunrise until after sunset.' By looking at another religion you develop a deeper understanding of your own faith. And in doing so you also have a better understanding of the faith of the other, and it's not so different from your own.

I have actually said, without Mohammad I could not be a Christian. I am discovering many areas of both Islamic mysticism and Christian mysticism where they overlap. Someone said to me one day, 'Oh, well, you've tried fasting.' I said, 'Well, yes, I've now done four Ramadan fasts.' 'And you try to pray five times a day like a Muslim?' 'Yes. And I don't eat pork, and I don't drink alcohol, I've given up all that stuff, I even try to do what's called zikkah Allah, the remembrance of God, and I use that in my prayer life.' And they say, 'Well, haven't you tried it enough?' And I say, 'No. Because I don't yet know what the fullness of the experience is, and I won't know that if I do not remain faithful to it till the end of my life.'

To share a text from the Holy Koran: 'Allah says I have made you different so that you may learn from each other.' And that immediately says to me I cannot grow in my religious faith if I exclude the other.

Sounds like Stewart follows Mohammad, the Holy Koran and observes the Pillars of Islam.
But of course he's still a Christian..isn't he?

DAVID BUSCH: But inter-religious engagement carries risks, and the respect and care needed on the personal level is magnified at the level of religious leadership.
Dr Muhammad Shafiq is executive director of the Centre for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue in Rochester, New York, which runs training for inter-religious dialogue.

MUHAMMAD SHAFIQ: If you see those who participate in interfaith dialogue, they are the ones who are the reform ones. Still there is a big segment in each faith which does not participate in interfaith dialogue. So this is one of our problems - how to overcome the problems of exclusivism: 'I am right, the other is wrong.' Interfaith dialogue is not actually to amalgamate faiths, or to create a civil religion. It's  building understanding of religion and through building relationships, serving the cause of humanity.
The leadership has to be highly skilled and careful and sensitive toward others' feelings and others' believing and thinking processes. ..a small thing can ruin the whole.
  (source)

Muhammad, you're right that a small thing can ruin the whole, like when the "moderate" Muslim faith partners  unequivocally supported Hamas and their mission to kill all Jews everywhere.

Seems like this Parliament of World Religions generated as much hot air as Copenhagen.
Time to expose the fraud of interfaith - that it serves as a da'wa opportunity for Islam, and other religions tag along for the financial rewards and the kudos of strutting the world stage.

And have you noticed that the Muslim interfaith partners are never the true Muslim moderates who oppose sharia and espouse democracy and religious pluralism?
Wafa Sultan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Walid Shoebat, Daniel Shayesteh or Noni Darwish, all ex-Muslims ,are never invited to the interfaith table, yet they  have lived as Muslims and could tell you all about Islam.
But we know that's not what interfaith is all about!

Muslims don't want us to know the truth, and to be honest, many of our dhimmi leaders follow like sheep.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 19:49  

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Islam Kills

History - Articles

Lest We Forget the Battle of Tours

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History - Violent Jihad

Australians celebrate and revere Anzac Day on April 25th each year in remembrance of our brave soldiers who fought in two great world wars to secure our freedom. Every Australian identifies with the slogan “lest we forget” and in services held around the country people reflect on the battles and men who died to secure our freedom. Yet across the world in France, there is one remarkable battle which helped form the Europe we know today and allowed the development of civilization based on Judeo Christian principles. This one famous battle has become known as the battle of Tours and effectively stopped the Muslim advance into Europe. After the death of Mohammed in 632AD, Muslim armies exploded out of the Arabian peninsula to conquer much of the Middle East, expanding across north Africa. From there they crossed into Spain in 711AD and eventually controlled much of al-Andalus by 715AD. It was the victory at Tours by Charles Martel that stemmed the tide and eventually the Muslim marauders were expelled from Spain in 1492 when the last outpost at Granada fell to King Ferdinand of Spain. 

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Shivaji’s Coronation Laudatory Landmark

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History - Infidels' Resistance

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born, lived, fought and won battles against religious and social oppression in the 17th century Bharat or India. He was a shining star in the Indian firmament and is renowned as a champion of the downtrodden and depressed masses. He was and continues to be an icon for the classes and masses alike and is seen as a rallying point for peasants oppressed by foreign rulers, Pathans and Moghuls alike. Sexually exploited women found in Shivaji Raje a protector, a benefactor and flocked to his Hindavi Swaraj to find solace and feel liberated under his saffron flag. 

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Ransomer of Captives from the Muslims

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History - Tolerance Myths

Perhaps some readers might be interested to know that January 28 is considered a feast day among Catholics – actually 2 feast days are celebrated on the same day – one is of ST Thomas Aquinas, the great medieval theologian and philosopher who adapted Aristotle to the western Judeo-Christian worldview. . It is also the feast day of a lesser known person – St Peter Nolasco, the great ransomer of captives from the Muslims.

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Islamic Pirates

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History - Violent Jihad

Barbary Corsair
Somalian Islamic Pirates & Lessons from History
 
The dramatic rescue of the American cargo-ship captain Richard Phillips from the hands of Somalian Islamic pirates by the U.S. Navy—killing three pirates, holding him hostage at gun-point, through precision-targeting—warrants a review of the U.S. struggle with piracy and hostage-taking in North Africa, which ended two centuries ago.

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The Battle of Broken Hill

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Battle of Broken Hill Logo
 
The First Islamic Terrorist Attack on Australian Soil
 
On January 1, 1915 two Broken Hill men, both former camel drivers, armed themselves with rifles, an homemade flag bearing Islamic insignia and a large supply of ammunition and launched a surprise attack on the Picnic Train about 3 kilometres outside Broken Hill.

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Jihad Galore

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History - Tolerance Myths

Jihad Galore and the Toledo Whore

Battle of Higueruela

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Arabs Hated The Quran

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History - Stolen Heritage

 
How the Arabs Hated The Quran
 
Old Quran

Wh y are you a Muslim?
Musli ms in general love to hear the above question because it has a simple and readymade answer in their minds besides it gives them the opp or t u nity to propagate their religion and talk proudly about Islam.

 

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Lepanto Anniversary

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History - Imperialism

Decisive Victory for the West

At this time of year, it is timely to remember one of the greatest victories of the west against the Islamic world. On the 7th October in 1571, Don Juan and the Holy League, led by Admiral Doria, defeated the larger Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Lepanto, saving Europe from the Turks and militant Islam. The Holy League was a coalition of different armies - of the Republic of Venice, the Papacy (under Pope Pius V), Spain (including Naples, Sicily and Sardinia), the Republic of Genoa, the Duchy of Savoy, the Knights Hospitaller and some others.

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Muslim Jerusalem

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History - Stolen Heritage

Jerusalem - Coat of ArmsWhy do Muslims insist that Jerusalem is their Holy City?
When Mohamed and his faithful followers moved from Mecca to Medina, they found themselves among three Jewish tribes/clans (BANU-L-NADIR, BANU KAINUKA and BANU KURAIZA)  which settled there some time after their expulsion from their homeland and also living there were  two Arab, pagan tribes.

Mohammed, who at this stage needed more followers, decided to win those tribes over and convert them to his newly invented religion.

Islam was yet not as fully developed as we know it today, and Mohammed was still having his sessions with Allah (the Medina period revelations).

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Killing of Banu Quraiza

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History - Imperialism

Did Prophet Muhammad order Killing Surrendered Jews of Banu Quraiza and Khaybar?  A historical Analysis

In the post 9/11 era of this modern-world, Islamists around the globe are busy with ‘damage control utopia’ in order to correct the image of religion Islam. We all know that the nucleus of Islam are: Quran, Hadiths (Sunnah) supported by Islamic histories and biographies recorded by various famous Islamic scholars and historians.

What Mecca?

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History - Early History

A great tragedy of the Islamic control of our universities and political correctness plus the fear of extreme violence if anyone dares question the roots and claims of Islam is ...that nobody dares question the roots and claims of Islam!!!  I want to stimulate interest and offer this summary of information on Mecca from (LINK) which discusses some problems with Muslim claims in a comparison of evidence supporting Islam/Christianity. 

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Yahweh or Hubal

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FlagThere is a very strongly entrenched view among majority of Westerners today that the three main monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam share one common God and therefore despite the obvious differences, the core foundation of these three religions is the same. 

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