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The Forum > Article Comments > Arab and Muslim academics, self criticism and balancing on a tightrope > Comments

Arab and Muslim academics, self criticism and balancing on a tightrope : Comments

By Abe Ata, published 25/11/2016

It is true that Muslim thinkers are tilting in the direction of increased integration and participation in civic life, and this has implications for their willingness to question traditional attitudes.

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This is not an issue that should be of concern to most Australians. It is only relevant to those who are Muslims. How Muslims sort out their differences is up to them. The end result is that they are still Muslims and it is Islam which is the problem for the west. However you try and sugar coat the product it is still a deficient product. It is at odds with the way the west approaches the world in which westerners live and the methodology they use for solving societal problems.

Trying to draw non-Muslims into a sectarian stoush is rather cowardly. Muslims need to sort out their own differences rather than appealing to non-Muslims to side with them. Using the rest of us to help you manipulate your argument with other Muslims is dishonest and I think non-Muslims should be awake to this tactic.
Posted by phanto, Friday, 25 November 2016 7:55:02 AM
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An unexamined life is not worth living. And an unexamined cornerstone foundational belief that is never ever questioned is even less valuable! Particularly when there are several variations demanding that they are the one true belief!

Moreover, the emerging archaeological evidence seems to throw considerable doubt on an exodus and therefore by implication, a promised land and tablets craved by the hand of God?

Therefore, how much can allegorical legend be treated as having a foundation in truth?

Particularly that transcribed by writers allegedly recording verbatim, the words of a mortal man; or, years after the event!

One recalls a story from the front lines during WW1, when runners were sent back to HQ, with the message, send reinforcements, we're going to advance!

Several runners later a puffing corporal arriving at HQ, gasped out, send three and fourpence, we're going to a dance.

Interpreting dreams or visions is equally fraught!

I would commend anyone who genuinely searches for the mighty irrefutable truth, learns to meditate.

It's full of complementary health benefits and seems to improve academic performance as well as mitigate against PTS?

But apart from that, one can enter the mind state of, still mind meditation, with several unresolved or conflicting ideas and come out of this stilled mindfulness with, why didn't I think of that? Resolution!

Which is what masters achieve in the deepest state of meditation. And central to the older, lest revised, Muslim Sofie tradition?

Not to be sneezed at, given reported phenomena connected to meditation, like sitting almost naked in the snow for up to 24 hours while maintaining normal body temperature or walking on fire without burning the soles of the feet?

Know the truth and the truth will set you free. And last but not least, search and you will find! Absolutely impossible if you never ever look!

Mind over matter? Or, if you don't mind it doesn't matter?

At the end of the day the only thing we have absolute control over is the thoughts we entertain in our mind, and through them, our attitudes! Think, there is power there!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Friday, 25 November 2016 8:54:10 AM
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I appreciate the sentiment expressed by Abe Ata. But, I donít think anyone from one religion telling those of another, what they should do, is likely to be met with enthusiastic support. Yet, how can one encourage others to consider and ultimate adopt a different approach, particularly when it is done with best intentions?
Iím currently reading Islamic Exceptionalism- How the struggle over Islam is reshaping the world, by Shadi Hamid. It is a difficult read as one who isnít a Muslim or religious scholar. The historic references are clearly extremely important but it is very difficult to follow without the historic knowledge. Shadi, a USA based Muslim himself, is clearly very concerned about the unfolding events, and the naive expectations of non Muslims and governments to think that Islam will change, will mold itself to fit a modern, secular, global world. The Muslim Brotherhood, whose origins and basic philosophy, seemingly were not of extremism, are in it for the long game, measured in decades and centuries; something unimaginable, unthinkable in the West! I find Shadiís thinking about this very concerning, quite depressing. Maybe scholars have read and critiqued this, and have some other conclusions. If so it would be good to know of them.
I too share Abe's desire for Australian Muslim scholars to be far more outspoken as he outlines. But, self criticism of a degree that would lead to change, according to Shadi Hamid, looks very unlikely.
Posted by Longinthetooth, Friday, 25 November 2016 10:41:16 AM
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The "silence of so many of Australiaís Muslim academics and intellectuals" is not a matter of introspection, it is a requirement.

In simple terms, Muslims are unable to reflect on Islam, to acknowledge its many failures and inconsistencies or the apply absolute moral standards to it and themselves. Any Muslim that dares criticize Islam or their prophet ("I am made victorious with terror") will be punished or killed. Free thought and speech are impossible under Islam.

This is why Islam and Muslims will always be a problem. Their values are not those of the West, therefore they cannot integrate and even live in peace (generally speaking) with non-Muslims or even each other.

Remember, according to the Quran, Muslims are put on earth to kill and be killed. How nice! The good thing that that Quran 9:111 doesnt specifically say to kill non-Muslims so killing each other is also obeying Allah.

Worse yet, our silly leaders refuse to be honest about the vile things that Islam teaches. Since when do Muslims respect non-Muslims, as the writer wants us to believe?

The only solution is to be honest. People have to tell Muslims that their theology is unacceptable. Muslims have to accept that the Quran and hadith are insulting to non-Muslims. Unless Muslims criticize Mohammad for his evil deeds (murders, rape, looting, enslavement, etc... according to all Islamic histories), then, to Muslims, these are not really wrong. In fact, the main reason for the turmoil and hate in the Islamic world is Islam. However, since Muslims cannot, will not criticize Islam, they cannot solve their problems. They come to the West and they bring this evil with them, and then they and our leaders (most of them) pretend that the problem is us, never them.

We are damned. Bad times are coming.
Posted by kactuz, Sunday, 27 November 2016 12:18:09 PM
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There are two reasons why Moslems move into Western countries

The first is to take advantage of living conditions to which their cult has contributed nothing.

The second is to prepare new ground for the expansion of their cult until it has enslaved the world.

The expansion takes advantage of appeasers among non-Moslems, including at government level, who will bust a gut to defend Islam and Moslems against knowledge of and reactions against the extreme arrogance and bigotry of their cult, from the murderous desert bandit Mohammed to the acts of Moslem aggression against the people of the host countries today (from the Cronulla riots in Australia to the no-go zones and terrorist atrocities in Britain and Europe and the IS wars of conquest and mass murder in Africa and the Middle East.)
Posted by EmperorJulian, Tuesday, 29 November 2016 12:19:59 PM
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the silence by the abc re the muslim arsonist trying to burn down Israel is deafening. To busy celebrating and making excuses for Castro.
Posted by runner, Tuesday, 29 November 2016 1:31:38 PM
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