From email@example.com (Jeremiah McAuliffe) Newsgroups: soc.religion.islam Subject: Re: Geisler-Saleeb Anti-Muslim Book Part 2 (2/2) Date: Thu Sep 19 12:05:35 EDT 1996 Message-Id: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Abdul Saleeb wrote: >Jeremiah, I am too tired and too bored with this discussion to look up >references Well, so am I. It WOULD be interesting to see other people chime in here.... even if that means Muslims disagreeing with me. Saleeb, your book is an argument against certain forms of Islam, not Islam per se. It is, in that case, a book I might support. Your book is an argument for an overhaul and upgrading of our religious education. Muslim intellectual work and theology has been asleep for 400 years as symbolized by the phrase "closing the doors to ijtihad". I assume you are familiar with that phrase. You have based your understanding of Islam on what you hear from contemporary Muslims and a few selective readings and interpretations. Had you really talked to a broad cross-section of Muslims, if you had really read Faruqi, you would know this (such as his book on tawhid-- excellent). Though, I will grant you, Muslims such as myself seem to be in a minority.... and, to be fair to you, some local Muslims think I work for the FBI-CIA. I think they have unresolved psycho-social problems that are being expressed by means of religion.... I did find your statement of your experience at Al-Azhar really interesting. The top "Muslim" university is still stuck in Medieval styles of thinking--- precisely my complaint as readers of sri know. Now, I'm not saying there is NO place for this, but certainly, as someone who has engaged in formal academic religious studies, I can say with confidence that there have been advances and developments in styles of thought and methodologies in the human sciences that change the character of any theological activities.... You did not address my concerns, nor did you refute them, nor did you defend your book as an argument against Islam per se. However, as a devastating work against contemporary Muslim practice? I'll give it to you. As a complaint against contemporary Muslim theology? I'll give it to you. Indeed, I'll join you. In fact, I'll go farther than that: imho, there are fundamental, foundational errors in our contemporary approach to both Qur'an and sunnah. You mentioned the assasinations. THAT would have been good to put in your book, as well as the hadith where some guys have their eyes put out. When I discovered these and asked about them here in sri, and asked about them of local Muslims NOT ONE Muslim even knew of these hadith, which are in sahih Bukhari. I got e-mail saying what a bad guy I was for even bringing it up! That is typical of my experience with Muslims-as-a-group: don't ask questions! I saw this same attitude in Catholic school. So.... many of today's Muslims, and, it would seem, ALL of the Muslims on sri, are not even familiar with the foundational texts of our tradition. Pretty normal. When I was Catholic I knew a lot who had never read the Bible, much less the Vatican II documents...... So, as a complaint against contemporary Muslim practice, and as a call for an overhaul of our religious education, your book works. Indeed, it proves my own points, made to my Muslim brothers and sisters, that we need new ijtihad..... big time. Our absurd Medieval positions on a number of issues leave us open to valid attacks. The Geisler-Saleeb book, when seen as a complaint against our contemporary practice, is valid. The statement that our contemporary theology is "bankrupt" is true. It would seem that most of us are not really studying religion at all-- relying on "what our forefathers did" which we know from the Qur'an that is an invalid basis for religio-spirituality. However, your stuff on the immanence-transcendence issue still doesn't work. Again, don't you accept the Christian idea of Godhead and those writers I mentioned who use metaphors like "dark nights" "desert experience" etc? And what about the "via negativa" and the form of silent prayer called "orison" (spelling?) All of these talk about God-as-transcendent..... I'll end on a positive note for you, a negative one for us. We Muslims do indeed have things to learn from our Christian cousins. How often are we talking about things like joy, compassion, love, forgiveness? Almost never. THAT, Saleeb, is the foundational Achilles heel of contemporary Muslim practice...... also, the legalistic trends in Islam-- think Jesus' saying the Law is made for man, not man for the Law..... (Gospel of Barnabas? I am embarrassed for us everytime I see it being sold or mentioned.... I do not accept your interpretation of the Qur'anic ayat talking about God not having a consort... I do accept that the previous Scriptures *point to* someone like Jesus and Muhammad-- I do NOT accept the literal reference Christians want for Jesus and some Muslims want for Muhammad.... it is an issue of HOW to read the Bible-- I disagree with the way both you and Muslims approach the Bible.....) It is fast becoming a cliche among Muslim converts: the best religion, the worst adherents--- "if I had met Muslims before accepting Islam I would not have become Muslim"..... we are not known for our piety. And so, I guess that's it? Is this an acceptable compromise for you? Jeremiah McAuliffeemail@example.com *************************************** Visit Dr. Jihad's! Page 'O Heavy Issues http://www.city-net.com/~alimhaq/miaha.html *************************************** WOW! Major Upgrade Comin' Soon!
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