The Anti-Religion Movement

Oct 2014
1,833
Stockholm
The anti-religion, and especially the anti-Islam movement, is gathering momentum. Personally, I know enough about Islam to praise it when talking to Muslims and to discuss some key topics. But I'm definitely not knowledgeable enough to defend it in front of its enemies.

Of late, I've experienced an increased number of social events where these issues have been discussed and the antireligious sentiments have been expressed and agreed upon. I really don't wish to turn a family gathering or a meeting with friends into a polemic and heated discussion about religion. At the same time, however, I feel very uncomfortable about just being diplomatic, trying to choose another topic, while I just calmly maintain basic positions like the Muslim God being the same as the Christian.

I'm not looking for arguments here, to be used the next time. I'm rather thinking about something else. I think we Bahá'ís should apply the principle of unity in this context – unity among ourselves and unity with other Faiths. I believe that as a community we shouldn’t just be passive in front of such a general attack against religion. I think that we should act.

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gnat
 
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Nov 2015
239
United States
I agree 100%! I have been studying Islam for the last year as part of understanding my own Faith. This has led me to many antitheist articles as well as pro-Islamic sites.

I really recommend reading Islam and the Future of Tolerance. It is a short read but is full of useful terms for discussing Islam in today's world. One of the authors was the most famous critic of Islam before he cowrote it, but the experience of collaborating with a knowledgeable reformist Muslim author changed his attitude (though not his beliefs) toward Islam and how it should be addressed in the public discourse.

I also recommend reading content by Quilliam.
 
Nov 2015
239
United States
The introduction to the Haleem translation of the Qur'an has some great defenses against common criticisms of Islam.
 
Oct 2014
1,833
Stockholm
Oh yes, one could do that. But as I said, I'm really not looking for arguments in favour of Islam to be used in closed circles. What worries me a lot more is the general tendency of intolerance against religion, of building up a morality entirely based on the material side of things. I trongy feel a need for us Bahá'ís to act as a collective. I don't feel that this is an individual enterprise.

At the same time, it is easy to see the reasons behind these sentiments. As late as today, I walked with a friend in the centre of Stockholm. In one of the central squares, a black man had put his prayer rug on the ground and was doing his Salaat. My friend wanted to kick his behind. And, honestly, I could see the reason. Things are changing so rapidly - women all over the city wearing niqab, in the suburbs you often see entirely veiled women. People feel that they are taking over, which in fact is the case in certain areas.

But the counter reaction often is to turn against Islam and religion as a whole. As a Bahá'í, it is absolutely impossible to agree then. I try not to be polemic, but feel obliged not in any way to agree. This is not an individual matter. It is a matter for the whole of the community, to say the least.

And personally, I feel immensely saddened, because I see the repercussions. Once people openly turn against religion as such, it looks as if they change very rapidly. They kind of lose interest in intangible values and turn to material values. Communication becomes very boring.

gnat
 
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Oct 2014
1,833
Stockholm
Or to make the question more straightforward: should we join hands and stand up openly for God, or should we just go on, trying to fend this off on an individual level? The floor is open.
 
Jun 2011
1,543
Somewhere "in this immensity"
Brother,

It is a complicated issue and complicated times we live in but I happen to believe that one of the best defenses of islam is to not defend Islam. Islam is going through a process now, and I am hopeful and optimistic that it will come out of this process renewed. It will not long survive in its current manifestation and that is a good thing. In the end, it is my prayer that Islam will start to be more like islam, and islam is not in need of defense and the point will become moot. At least that is my prayer that it will.

Cheers
 
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Oct 2014
1,833
Stockholm
Brother,

It is a complicated issue and complicated times we live in but I happen to believe that one of the best defenses of islam is to not defend Islam. Islam is going through a process now, and I am hopeful and optimistic that it will come out of this process renewed. It will not long survive in its current manifestation and that is a good thing. In the end, it is my prayer that Islam will start to be more like islam, and islam not in need of defense and the point will become moot. At least that is my prayer that it will.

Cheers
Oh, but I'm not only talking about defending Islam. I also think of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism. We are all under attack, and so is God. I'm beginning to wonder if this is not the bottom line, where we should do something.

gnat
 
Jun 2011
1,543
Somewhere "in this immensity"
Oh, but I'm not only talking about defending Islam. I also think of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism. We are all under attack, and so is God. I'm beginning to wonder if this is not the bottom line, where we should do something.

gnat
I see your point. But I think God is safe and in no need of defense from his feeble creatures, and in fact, it is more than likely that the reverse situation is true.

Cheers
 
Oct 2014
1,833
Stockholm
I see your point. But I think God is safe and in no need of defense from his feeble creatures, and in fact, it is more than likely that the reverse situation is true.

Cheers
Oh, that is still not what I'm thinking of. Indeed, God doesn't need us to defend Him. Indeed. In such case, He might not even need us to teach His Faith? I don't quite understand your logic. To me, this is a kind of teaching opportunity, but really something more demanding than individual teaching.

gnat
 
Sep 2010
4,627
Normanton, Far North West Queensland
The anti-religion, and especially the anti-Islam movement, is gathering momentum. Personally, I know enough about Islam to praise it when talking to Muslims and to discuss some key topics. But I'm definitely not knowledgeable enough to defend it in front of its enemies.

Of late, I've experienced an increased number of social events where these issues have been discussed and the antireligious sentiments have been expressed and agreed upon. I really don't wish to turn a family gathering or a meeting with friends into a polemic and heated discussion about religion. At the same time, however, I feel very uncomfortable about just being diplomatic, trying to choose another topic, while I just calmly maintain basic positions like the Muslim God being the same as the Christian.

I'm not looking for arguments here, to be used the next time. I'm rather thinking about something else. I think we Bahá'ís should apply the principle of unity in this context – unity among ourselves and unity with other Faiths. I believe that as a community we shouldn’t just be passive in front of such a general attack against religion. I think that we should act.

Best

from

gnat
Much Like Backbiting discussions, got to move them away from the subject matter or bring in the goodness of the subject ;)

Unity is the way to move that type of Topic, demonstrate how the world needs Unity in all we say and all we think. Amazing how Unity then becomes the Focus of the discussion :yes:

Regards Tony