Better Representing Muslims: A Few Ideas

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Lightknight:

So again, there is a significant difference between the attempted targeting of military combatants and the purposeful murder of civilian non-combatants. Let's also not forget that these fragmented and regional groups showing their teeth on 9/11 is the entire reason for the drone program being necessary. Without them doing things like that, we'd still be stuck in border to border warfare as usual. They've literally brought tribal warfare back into viability. The history books being written regarding this period should hopefully touch on that.

As Ive said, this isnt a Muslim thing. The IRA amongth other groups have targeted civilian targets.

"Some" is targetting and killing Iranian nuclear scientists as we speak. No one is owning up but the likely people will be American/British/Israeli intellegence services. None military targets, labs, scientist and factories are not military targets but its seen as justified. If a superpower aggressor as you see it was suporting oppressors (eg Bahrain, SAE)umping in with their military as and when it suits them, over thrown democratically elected governments for their own gain and jumping in with their military as and when it suits them, a strike on their financial power house could be seen as a viable target.

The curse of Empire has been going on for centuries and there is a lot of bad feeling. No one has the power to line up on the battle field with western powers and go for it. Thats part of the reason these attrocities happen. This isnt about muslims, this is about people without the power to attack a country directly. As Ive said before, justifying attrocities against civilians is not a muslim thing. Just like the none muslim IRA who blew up and killed civilians for decades. No one blames their religous leanings (or shouldnt in my opinion) for the violence. When its muslims its all because of their book. Heaven forbid they may have other reasons to feel aggreived. Im not excusing terrorism but if you come from the opinion "Its because of the book they read" you wont find the common ground or settle the conflict.

I wont get into which religion is more peaceful. Shit things have happened from interpretations of all forms of religious texts and political ideology. Christian extremists have felt justified in bombing abortion clinics for a contemporary example. There are thousands of words and youll find what you want in there, there are multiple interpretations of each text, hence factions and sects. Theres no "one" bible faith or "Koran" faith. Even the new testement is made up of multiple books with different accounts and someone through the ages has decided what to keep and what to throw out. A lot of whats attributed to "muslims" is from regimes or warlords with their own agenda. Its like blaming Christianity for the Lords resistance army and the misery thats caused.

As far as Muslims in the UK? Its not a bad place to be a muslim, you can worship (although out lifestyle doesnt fit well with preaying 5 times a day, wear what you like and can openly be muslim. ITs not perfect though. We have some racism, Muslims on our TV are still sterotyped. They own corner shops, restaurants or are family doctors. There is also segregation in that there are "muslim" areas but this is the legacy of migration and economics, in a similar way low earners are clustered together, IMO. Muslims are also the current Bogey man in our media unfortunately.

Arif_Sohaib:
There is nothing about spreading religion by the conquest in Islam, as you mentioned in the post above the one where you replied to me. If someone attacks, we fight back otherwise we are not allowed to start a fight. There is part of an Ayat that says that Allah does not love aggressors.

I've often wondered if this was the case. I do kind of wonder where the notion of spreading Islam by the sword came from. I mean, we can certainly say that Islam was effectly spread by the sword but them only attacking those at war with them is quite another thing that the phrase causes one to believe. Thank you for your response. I think I'll shift my view to match this going forward unless actual data is presented that would indicate otherwise. Having studied the religion as long as I have, I do not expect to find such information.

It is forbidden to forcibly convert anyone.

Yes, I believe the wording is that there is no compulsion with faith or something along those lines. There is even a principle in Islam that allows Muslims to lie about their faith to save their lives. I was surprised to find that wording. I suppose their being heavily oppressed early on must have led to the need for that to be clarified.

It is also forbidden to oppress non-Muslims in a Muslim country.
And the tax you mentioned earlier as discrimination is there, I think, so Muslim soldiers know where part of their salary comes from so they won't oppress non-Muslims.

Well, yes and no. I did establish that the Muslims were remarkably kind to the Christians and Jews in Spain when they invaded, compared to other invaders. But oppression of non-Muslims comes in the form of discrimination. The special tax you agreed was there and also a general forced state of subjugation included in the same verse (9:29). Any form of discrimination like that is typically considered to be oppressing that group.

And a few of the Jewish tribes of Madina were exiled, not because of a disagreement but because they were actively supporting the Meccans during the battle of Uhad. Those who did not support them stayed.

Ah, so THAT was the tribe that fled just before the battle. I knew there was a conflict between that tribe and Muhammad and I knew about the tribe that abandoned him during that fight, but I didn't know both were the same. Very good.

And the 300 years, I might have confused that with the Mughal Empire. Still Muslim Spain was a great achievement and was the most scientifically advanced and tolerant society in Europe at the time, one of the very few places in Europe where Jews were not oppressed.

Agreed. Hopefully everything I said regarding the invasion was along those lines.

About 9/11, it was never justified, no attack on any civilians is ever justified, but try to look from a poor and/or illiterate Muslim's point of view. Non-combatants in Muslim countries had suffered or were told they had suffered at the hands of Uncle Sam and now they got to see the other side suffer, simple as that.

Yes, I understand it. I just don't think the belief that the attack on civilians jives with Islamic teaching. That's why I'm surprised so many believed it was warranted. None of the people in those buildings in New York had anything to do with their suffering. The Pentagon was the only "legitimate" target and even that included a non-trivial amount of civilians. But yes, it is all fine and well for me to look at this from the wealth of information that is the internet and what is almost a God's eye view over the situation to criticize it, but you're right that they most likely don't have that kind of information. In fact, it may very well be that the people who are proud of the attacks would be the most verbal about it.

And about America and the Muslim world, just imagine a nation not friendly to you with influence on the rest of the world and even your own government and with the ability to attack you without any significant consequence at any time, the ability to change your government at its will with or without your knowledge, the ability to spy on you without consequence and with rumors that it even has devices to control the weather and cause earthquakes. Imagine living in an alternate reality Cold War with the USSR having much more power, unimaginably advanced technology and influence and power over the entire world and the US having almost nothing, then you will understand what makes some Muslims so afraid of and angry at the US.

Oh, I understand the reason for dislike entirely. Engaging in battle with us and hating us is one thing, attacking civilians who have no say over our government's politics is quite another. But you seem to agree with that sentiment anyways. So again, thank you for adding your perspective. It's the rational clear intellect that people need to see to understand this kind of topic.

Lastly, I thought this thread was supposed to be about games and Muslims, why is it descending into something that should be in the religion and politics section? The last few posts have almost nothing about games so I make it a point to mention them in all my posts here.

That is the nature of the internet, my friend. To claim that there should be better representation of Muslims naturally leads to a discussion on what Muslims actually practice vs what they do not.

Azahul:

Lightknight:

1. Where in the Middle East? It makes a difference.

Exactly. This. This is the core of my argument, the main point I've been making. There is a lot of difference within Islam, and within the Middle East, and video games do not represent that well. You clearly agree.

At this point posts are taking me far, far too long to for me to reply to point by point (I entirely understand your last post cutting out a lot of the discussion, for what it's worth). Especially since we still seem to be perpetuating the same cycle. I think, in essence, most of our conversation comes down to a few key points that have been stated time and again. You find a lot of problems in Islam. I agree that those problems exist, and that they are problems, but disagree that they're an intrinsic problem within Islam (incidentally, this remains my argument for most of your points in your latest post). Even the most widespread problems share a huge amount of overlap with non-Islamic countries in the same economic/development bracket, which shows, I think, that they're hardly problems within Islam and more a problem with equality in the world in general. Heck, most of these problems were shared by the West until the last century. And none of that really has much to do with the fact that video games have pretty much a single representation of Islam, which is the topic at hand.

Intrinsic or inherency is regarding the basic components of the structure and not the use of the structure itself. A gun is inherently a device made to fire a bullet but a gun may be made and purchased that is never fired even once. The use does not negate the function.

As such, when I say that the verses and the laws derived from the Qur`an/Hadiths include the points of contention that I mentioned, I believe this to be inherent function being shown. I also believe that individual nations and individual Muslims may and sometimes do likewise reject those functions. But their rejection of certain functions does not negate the inherency of those commands and laws existing as legitimate teachings. The fact that the Qur`an puts the testimony of a woman at half the value of that of a man means that this principle is inherent in Islam whether it is functionally followed or not. Therefore, you can say that Islam is inherently discriminatory against women while not necessarily claiming that all Muslims and Muslim nations follow that guideline.

Perhaps our disagreement has been mostly semantics on that point and my defining of it above clears that up. If you agree that such discriminatory beliefs are present in their scriptures and laws then the disagreement is purely on the term intrinsic/inherent, which does us no good to debate since we agree on function.

Still, I do want to thank you. Discussions like this are incredibly interesting and insightful and usually lead me to discovering all kinds of new research projects. It's why I quite like reading Therumancer's posts. I invariably disagree with his opinions, and he really struggles to remain on topic, but even when he's getting wildly off topic he usually presents interesting new subjects to look into.

I certainly appreciate your input and the fact that we may have a pleasant/insightful discussion on such a potentially heated topic.

bjj hero:

Lightknight:

So again, there is a significant difference between the attempted targeting of military combatants and the purposeful murder of civilian non-combatants. Let's also not forget that these fragmented and regional groups showing their teeth on 9/11 is the entire reason for the drone program being necessary. Without them doing things like that, we'd still be stuck in border to border warfare as usual. They've literally brought tribal warfare back into viability. The history books being written regarding this period should hopefully touch on that.

As Ive said, this isnt a Muslim thing. The IRA amongth other groups have targeted civilian targets.

No, you mean this isn't an Islamic thing. A Muslim thing in that it was born out of a particular sub-Muslim-culture. Likewise, if they percieve the US as being hostile towards them, then this IS an Islamic thing as well. They'd hardly be blamed for seeing the US as combatant with us siding with their enemies and waging wars on their soil from time to time. But as enemies, they are practicaly commanded (Islamic) to attack us, especially with us waging war in their land. The part that was cultural was the attack on civilians specifically. That is not a warranted action within Islam and different Muslim cultures likely disagree or agree with it according to region and adherence to Islam which would be against civilian murders. The part that was potentialy Islamic (religiously justified) was attacking us in general. It is important to note that just as Jews are a culture in addition to a faith, so are Muslims typically a culture and a faith. So there can be some confusion over saying that "Muslims believe this:" as opposed to "Islam teaches this:". Those two are not synonymous yet are often confused as synonyms. For example, Saudi Arabian Muslims believe that women should not drive cars. Yet as far and wide as I look in Islam, not so much as a reference to women not driving carts can be found.

So please bear in mind that my only claim is what Islam teaches and how the schools of law interpret that. To say what Muslims believe would require for me to go through by culture rather than through a higher/broader level. That being said, Sunnis who are a member of a particular school of law do believe X. Culturally they may not practice X. So you can see the confusion. All I can really tell you is what they teach. How it is practiced is up to the individual. I've repeated this several times throughout this discussion so hopefully this distinction will better serve as an explanation that I'm not talking about all Muslim cultures and am just referring to teachings and laws.

Yes, a lot of Muslims are psychopaths.

A lot of catholics are psychopaths. Infact, wasn't the Koo Klux Klan a Catholic group? And isn't the Al Queada a Muslim group? Are we really willing to bash Muslims for terrorism when the Koo Klux burned immigrants and Black people to death on crosses?

We're just as bad as each other. Here's an idea, instead of races or religions, we have people. With an identity. A name, orientation, a personality, a religion, hopes, dreams, knowledge, education, history, and memory. Not groups. There are as many awful people as there are good people.. most of the time.

And for a more ditch-effort, just make everyone an asshole.

Blitzwing:
How about actually arguing.

Wow, you went from

How about actually arguing instead of acting like such an arrogant prick

(yes, the original comment is still in my inbox) to

How about actually arguing.

You still lost this by calling names (again).

-edit- So I've decided to put you on the ignore list. Arguing is fine, but you can not keep the bad words out of it. Cheerio.

dylanmc12:
Yes, a lot of Muslims are psychopaths.

A lot of catholics are psychopaths. Infact, wasn't the Koo Klux Klan a Catholic group? And isn't the Al Queada a Muslim group? Are we really willing to bash Muslims for terrorism when the Koo Klux burned immigrants and Black people to death on crosses?

We're just as bad as each other. Here's an idea, instead of races or religions, we have people. With an identity. A name, orientation, a personality, a religion, hopes, dreams, knowledge, education, history, and memory. Not groups. There are as many awful people as there are good people.. most of the time.

And for a more ditch-effort, just make everyone an asshole.

First off, you're completely right that stereotyping individual Muslims based on the actions of others is a veritable guilty before even proving/disproving anything scenario.

As a side comment though, I'll present the concept that Islam itself, as a faith, openly commands discrimination against women and non-believers to a degree that is incompatible with some fairly fundamental human rights (as we see them). There is a difference between groups that do extreme things in the name of a religion that openly rejects them (Hell, Christianity was established by Jews and likely Black people as well considering the region it sprouted from, so the KKK can just go suck it if they do what they do in the name of Christianity) and groups that do extreme thing in the name of a religion that openly commends said actions.

The main problem is that people believe that Islam teaches to attack non-aggressors. It doesn't. That is a complete misconception. So when extremist groups attack people who are peaceful then they are directly breaking their faith. However, Muslims in the Middle East see the US (not incorrectly, necessarily) as at war with them. From siding with their enemies (Israel) to literally warring in their land to overthrow leaders. As such, the attacks on US soil were technically condoned and even encouraged by the Islamic faith. Though the methods and targets of the attacks would likely have been condemned as I seriously doubt that investment bankers had much of anything to do with combating Islamic nations).

It's a fascinating subject. It has to always be looked at with the understanding that individuals may vary greatly and that a Muslim in India likely has very different views from a Muslim in Iran.

DVS BSTrD:
Or maybe we could you know, play as one?

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

...Yeah, right. What next, play as a woman? Or a homer sexual?

Man... you guys need to actually get out and meet some Muslims.

All in the name of Allah.

And I'm as surprised as anyone to see women walking around as they are in the UK. They can dress how they want.

The ignorance on show here is astounding.

I mean, really, what did you think day-to-day life was like? What did you really think the people were like? Why are you so ready to accept the complexity of your society but not afford the same luxury to others?

Do you really think the world is that simple?

@Lightknight
Sorry for the late reply, I had been a bit busy lately but I just want to clarify that when I said some Jewish tribes supported the enemies of the Muslims, I meant they violated the Constitution of Madina and had meetings with the Meccans and were their allies. The archers that left their posts(Not fled, they thought they had won and disobeyed direct orders and went to collect the items left by the Meccans) were Muslims.
And this battle was not a defeat as the Meccans did not achieve their goal but the Muslims had very high losses.

And The Message has a fairly accurate depiction of this battle and the battle of Badr agreed upon by scholars of from the University of AlAzhar and another university, meaning they took permission from Sunni and Shia scholars before making it.

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