Skip to comments.Do moslems Care About Existential Questions?
Posted on 06/04/2012 8:54:02 AM PDT by bayouranger
Harold Rhode, an accomplished expert on Islam had a recent piece in The American Thinker, Existential Questions Facing the Muslim World. The Power Line blog in a post, The Problem of Islamic Culture identifies Rhodes background and how he arrived at his views:
[He is] a Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute who has written a provocative article about the cultural shortcomings of the Muslim World. Rhode knows whereof he speaks. He is an expert on Islam and the Middle East, and has a PhD from Columbia in Islamic studies and Middle Eastern history. Rhode is fluent in Farsi, Hebrew, Arabic, and Turkish. He formerly worked for the Pentagon in the Office of Net Assessment, an internal Defense Department think-tank. And, most importantly for purposes of his article, Rhode has spent considerable time sitting in coffee or tea houses in the Islamic world, spending time with Muslims, and asking them questions in their own surroundings and in their own languages.
Rhode presents a litany of deficiencies among Palestinian Muslims which might be extended to the global Ummah or Islamic community of believers: Not encouraged to question Islamic authority; No incentives that encourage creativity; No ability to admit failure and learn from it; Emphasis on rote learning; Peace doesnt exist for unbelievers; Devaluation of women; Limited intellectual curiosity beyond Quranic doctrine; and, Dependency on petro-dollar income rather than broader development.
Rhode distinguishes this mindset from Jewish culture, given the alleged genetic family relationship with Palestinian Muslims:
The Jewish culture encourages questioning and thinking from an early age, whereas the Palestinian Muslim culture does not. What is encouraged instead is the unexamined acceptance of whatever is set before one, whether on government-run television or in government-written textbooks. Religion has nothing to do with this situation; Islam therefore is not the problem: Islamic culture is. Only when Muslims address their culture head-on can there be any real hope for their world to overcome its self-imposed limitations and start fully contributing to the wonders of the 21st century.
Another way of putting Rhodes observations in context is that Islamic countries are wedded to an ossified totalitarian creed denying civil and human rights and a future - the basis of the Judeo Christian value system and Western dynamism. Under Islam all thought outside Quranic doctrine is deviant, women are evil and unbelievers have no standing let alone justice. Apostates are to be punished and even killed. Any criticism is considered Blasphemy. That is unfortunately at the core of Quranic doctrine. As for development; Inshallah if Allah wills it, he provides. There is little to no individual free will. Accounting for all of the oil revenues of Muslim Middle East states their total GDP per capita is equivalent to what? Finland. How many Nobel laureates in science, medicine and even literature has the Muslim world produced, compared to the rest of the world, even tiny Israel?
We asked Clare Lopez, a national security, Islamic expert and Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy for her review of Rhodes thesis. Lopez is a co-author of Shariah: The Threat To America: An Exercise In Competitive Analysis (Report of Team B II . She sent us this reply:
Harold is absolutely right in everything he says. However, he writes from a totally Western perspective. Islam doesn't want the same things we want....individual Muslims may, but not Islam, the institution. Besides which, whatever it is they're doing, it's working! Not only has Islam survived 14 centuries and defeated many non-Western civilizations it has come up against. It may well be on its way to bringing down Western civilization, too....on top of the Buddhists, Byzantines, Hindus, Persians, and Middle East North African Christendom.
We err when we think that Islam will be better off with equal rights, individual liberty, minority protections, and all that we treasure...no! It will not be better off. Islam, the institution, would be destroyed by these things. Non-Muslims and individual Muslims might love them, but the global institution of Islam would be annihilated with acceptance of these principles and they know it. That is why they fight them with everything they've got.
They created a system that works to conquer, dominate, and proliferate. It is all-encompassing, complex, and very, very sophisticated. Why would they even consider diluting that in the slightest, much less giving it up? We have to understand that all first. Then we must study hard and come up with effective ways to get inside their defenses, the way they've gotten inside ours. But thinking that these valued concepts of Western civilization are some kind of temptation to Islam, the institution as administered by Islamic authorities, is folly....it's not. It is red meat to them, gets them into a murderous frenzy.
So they don’t care about existential questions?
Well, he’s right, but you cannot separate the religion from the culture that easily.
The God of Israel and of Christianity gives His people freedom of choice. They can accept or reject His Covenant, or His Grace. And the God of Jews and Christians is a rational God, who created a rational universe.
Not so with Allah. Allah is irrational, does whatever he damned well feels like from second to second, and orders rather than persuades his followers. And what he orders is often evil. Muslims, of course, would disagree. Whatever Allah does is good and right, simply because he is Allah. Enslave, behead, break solemn oaths, tyrannize, beat your wife, kill your daughter because she was raped—it’s all OK as long as Allah says so.
It’s built into the culture, but it’s also built into the Koran and the earliest accounts of Mohammed and his doings.
Allah is not the God of Abraham.
Islam is not a religion, it is a political system invented by a madman for the purpose of justifying his sexual perversions.
Islam - as a whole - doesn’t care about anything except hatred of God’s Creation and power over men.
Religion has nothing to do with this situation; Islam therefore is not the problem: Islamic culture is. Only when Muslims address their culture head-on can there be any real hope for their world to overcome its self-imposed limitations and start fully contributing to the wonders of the 21st century.
As far as I can determine Islam as a culture was and is designed to benefit only those who have figured it out that it is a useful way of controlling their fellow Islamics who haven’t figured that little kernel of truth out. Then there is that ultimate sop for Human Laziness, “Inshallah As Allah Wills”.
Think about it! Everything that happens to you both good and bad is because Allah wants it that way. Yeah! No responsibility for your actions for your whole life. In a way it makes perfect sense considering where Islam first started. Saudi Arabia... It’s a very difficult place to live let alone thrive if you have to do it with only the resources at hand. So you get to place the blame on Allah for all your troubles and if a caravan or someone in a city has something you want or perhaps NEED to survive, then Allah put them there for you to take because you need it to survive. Perfect circular logic...
But what happens when you run out of potential victims? Excuse me, I meant potential converts. Why then you start to fight with your fellow co-coreligionists coming up with various reasons because you want or need their stuff. That will continue until there is no more Islamics or no more stuff to take... Because Allah willed that too, Inshallah.
There are no existential questions in Islam,
the answer to EVERYTHING is in the Koran.
Just ask them.
” The Jewish culture encourages questioning and thinking from an early age,whereas the Palestinian Muslim culture does not.”
The Muslim values rote memorization above analytical thinking.
To become a Muslim you must submit, not think.
This is silly distinction. Islam believes that Allah can re-create the world from second to second, that there are no physical laws you can really depend on. What happens is simply the will of God, as he is bound not even by any self-imposed restraints to follow any 'laws' of physics in how the world is from second to second. As such, it is not important to try to figure out what will happen next, you are just to submit to the will of Allah.
It's also silly on a second level. Since this mode of thinking follows Islam through all the cultures it invades, be it Persian or Indonesian or Nigerian, it belongs to Islam, which is a religion, not a culture.