The Mumbai tragedy

I think this is as good a time as any to have a moment of silence for Hema Kassipillay, the Malaysian who died in the Mumbai attack. Also my condolences to Razali Ismail‘s family over his sudden death.

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The death toll following the attacks in Mumbai has climbed up to nearly 200. According to reports, the fight has ended, and all the terrorists have been killed.

I don’t know if we can truly say that the fight has ‘ended’, in what I can only describe as a very disturbing turn of events. It may have ended in Mumbai this time, yes. But it has happened in Mumbai before, and no one can say with a shred of certainty if it will happen in Mumbai again. Or any other place for that matter.

Terrorism is terrorism, and it doesn’t matter to me if they come in form of Islamic militants, or Christian fanatics, or in any other form, religion or non-religion related. So I want to be clear on this point that I am against any form of cruelty and disregard for life, and not against any one particular religion.

That aside, it was disturbing to read that the terrorists were allegedly carrying Malaysian IDs. Even if it’s just a one-liner in a rather long article, it does create a whole lot of tension. From ABS-CBN:

Indian intelligence sources say that one of the gunmen now in custody told Indian authorities that he – along with seven others – pretended to be students, rented an apartment in Mumbai and meticulously staked out the targets. Allegedly, they carried Malaysian identity cards.

*Hat-tip: Bangmalaysia.

I searched the StarOnline after reading this article, and am glad I found THIS:

Malaysia has no link with the militants who attacked Mumbai and left at least 150 people dead, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.

He was commenting on The Times of India’s report that nine of the gunmen had claimed to be Malaysian students when they visited Mumbai several months ago for reconnaissance work.

At the very least, there was a quick response to this, and hopefully, there will be follow-up reports after this, clearing Malaysia from any link whatsoever.

However, the closing paragraphs of the StarOnline article quoted Syed Hamid as saying this:

He said Malaysia did not suffer from terrorism or extremism activities as it had preventive laws in place to ensure law and public safety.

“That is why we take action against any group that promotes extremism, whether through ethnicity, religion or culture,” he said.

I get the feeling that our fight to ask that the ISA be abolished will only be even steeper and more uphill from here on.


30 Comments on “The Mumbai tragedy”

  1. Drachen says:

    The first step in fighting terrorism is for the West to get out of the Middle East. It won’t completely stop attacks but it will reduce the incidences by cutting out the support. One of the rare occasions when I agree with Dr M is when he said a terrorist is anyone who attacks civilians. The Western armies are equally guilty of committing terrorism.

  2. Jeremiah says:

    Just like 9/11, the Bali bombings and other ignoble events of human history, there are only three motivations of the terrorists in the Mumbai attack:

    1. Political message: To send a message that “religion” or “political rights” or “revenge for past grievances” are more precious than human life.

    2. Military message: that force rules the world for some people and these people are willing to fight for a “better, more spiritual world” (ha ha, what irony)

    3. Social message of martyrs and cowardice: the motive is to make heroes out of these young people so that they can inspire a new generation of martyrs for the cause. The fact that most terrorists who have taken dangerous missions are young people between the ages of 20-30s shows the cowardice of the older ones, who tend to plan behind the scenes. Killing defenseless citizens, including women and children is never an act of bravery even if they trade their lives for others.

    Once again, the apologists for terrorists will say it is a complicated historical and religious issue and we need to address the causes of terorrism instead of the symptoms. Tell that to the robber who wants your money or your life. Why not sit down with him to talk about his background and childhood while he polishes his knives behind your back?

    BTW: for historical accuracy, can you name how many Christian fanatics have committed terrorists acts against innoncent civilians. Perhaps you have been reading too much from the secular and non-secular apologists. It takes a brave intellectual to look at Islamic terrorism in the eye and say it is evil rather than say all religious freaks are evil.
    __________
    I won’t claim to know a great deal of history, nor admit to be an intellectual, much less a brave one. But I do believe that terrorism is terrorism, and much like what I wrote in the posting above, it matters not if it is religion-related or not. I rather agree with a phrase I read in a StarOnline article yesterday HERE, and I quote:

    “There is no such thing as Islamic terrorism. There is no ‘Islamic’ violence, there is no ‘Hindu’ violence. Religion has nothing to do with terrorism and violence.”

    To me, the fight is against extremism, and the terrorist acts that follow it. Not against any particular religion.

  3. huichek says:

    It bugs me…why are those ministers so sure that Malaysians are not related to the terrorists attack?do they have any database for terrorists?weird…
    I am not,in any way, implying that there may be Malaysians in the groups, but this kind of claim should be supported with solid evidence..
    Surely this tragedy is just a beginning..I have bad feeling about this..Imagine these guys actually enjoy killing(from an article I read, they were smiling while they kill)..
    Yup, battle for ISA is definitely a steep journey, but more and more parties are standing up for this..Just today PPP has threatened to pull out from Barisan if they have no intention of abolishing the ISA.however I have doubt, considering PPP is just a small party.. :p
    ______
    The minister, I believe, was trying to reassure us that everything is under control. But after that, like what you said, some form of assurance must be provided. So let’s hope that thorough investigations are carried out.

    At the very least, the minister did not dismiss those claims as ‘outright lies’, and he did say that proper investigations will be carried out.

  4. Jeremiah says:

    It is politically correct to say that terrorism/violence should be seperated from religion. But to say that religion has nothing to do with terrorism is naive.

    Is it a coincidence that 99% (or thereabouts, can somebody do a google on this) of terrorist acts of violence against civilians is commited by a certain group of people belonging to a certain religion in the last decade?

    I have many Muslim friends who are peace-loving and tolerate other people from other faiths. But the problem is they seldom admit of the calls for jihad that abounds in their scripture. They see 9/11 as an act of self defense.
    _________
    My contention is simply that religion is ‘used’ to qualify for these acts. 9/11, along with all the other terrorist attacks have been crimes against humanity, and I agree that it has to stop. Those who commit such crimes may believe that they are doing it in the name of their religion, but that does not mean that the religion is wrong, or that we should condemn the religion altogether.

    You say that the calls for jihad abound in their scripture. You may be right. But there have been different interpretations of “jihad” that I’ve heard, one of it being that jihad is a personal thing, an individual fight for righteousness against evils and worldly temptations. That the terrorists choose to call it their ‘jihad’ is what I see as extremism. The fault lies with man, not with the religion.

    I’m not a religious person. But when some people do things to hurt other people – whether in form of terrorism, hate crimes or discrimination – in the name of religion, whereas there are many more others who do not conform to such acts, it is more reasonable for me to believe that it is religious extremism – not religion – practiced by certain people that created this mess that we’re in.

  5. Drachen says:

    With reference to Jeremiah’s post above, the US army is sending out precisely the same message:

    1) Political – human rights and democracy are worth killing for.

    2) Military – the US can violate the sovereignty of any country because they have the power to do so.

    3) Social – young Americans who die in Iraq and Afghanistan are heroic freedom fighters.
    ________
    Violence begets violence. And that in turn begets more violence. It’s an endless cycle. Very ruthless.

  6. Drachen says:

    Here is something on Dr M’s definition of terrorism:
    http://www.islamic-world.net/war/world_leader_comments.htm

  7. Drachen says:

    This article is also interesting if you have the patience to go through it: http://mpk.rmp.gov.my/jurnal/2004b/contemporaryissues.pdf
    _______
    Thanks for the links. Will check them out later.

  8. Jeremiah says:

    To Drachen, here is the difference between America’s indiscriminate bombing of Iraq and Afghanistan:

    World citizen A sympathises with Israel’s right of existence and self-defence in the Middle East. He travels and holidays among “Westerners” at “Western” and cosmopolitant resorts and hotels. He gets bombed and shot by terrorists.

    World citizen B sympathises with the Iraqi and Afghan people who were victimised by the Americans. He is against Israel. Yet, neither the Americans nor the British bother to single him out for execution.

    Now you know the difference between the right to have a free opinion/belief and the right to kill others just because they disagree with you. Acts of terror are acts of intimidation.

    My brother in law once stayed at the Taj hotel, my cousin sister was once in the World Trade Centre before it was bombed and many of my friends including myself freely roamed through Bali as tourists. Are we all lucky to be alive or should we all now be anti-Israel and anti-US just to be on the safe side?

  9. anakpakross says:

    Even if one can show that in the last decade or so 99% of terrorist acts are indeed carried out by people of islamic beliefs, it does not necessarily proof that islam promotes terrorism.

    If it is true that islam promote terrorism, why is it that terrorims that we see today are not common place in many other islamic countries. Why not muslims in all other countries go around and terrorize everyone, carry a pistol in his pocket all the time. After all if a religion teaches one to do that then a good believer will definitely do it without questions asked. On average you would then find every other muslims who promote someone to go and haunt his neighbours and you would not make claims such as “i too have good muslims friends”. But surely that is not the case at all.

    There are however other common factors in areas where terrorims shows their ugly face. In these areas we see opression, economically backward, social ills, and all other things that is an anti-thesis to what religion promote. In some ways these people find religion is their only resort to fight this injustice. And yes there are of course ‘religious people’ who is more that willing to extend version of acceptable conduct, not necessarily the right one.

    So is it the religion that is at fault. Are we that shallow to accept things at the surface value and believe that no other factors contribute in making this world a complex mix of many issues? This reminds me of the recent ducth guy who made a film on islam and attribute terrorism to it. We can always accept that and continue to promote the idea with their intended aims. After all “islamic terrorism’ is their invention.

    Now, during the early days of christianity, the christians are also agrresive against the romans. They too were the poor and oppressed people. They too would be termed terrorist by modern standard by the romans generals. Can we called them ‘christian terrorist’ and say christianity promotes terrorism?

    In Sri Lanka, the tamil (mainly hindus) fought against the Sinhalese whom are majority budhist. Can we called them ‘Hindu terrorist’ and their religion promote terrorist?

    What about the prosecution of witches in medieval europe by the churches? Isn’t that some form of terrorism promoted by the vatican?

    Surely all religion promotes peace on earth and the people define the order of the day. The west will promote ‘islamic terrorism’ to benefit their aim. There is a big difference between the blatant attack by the aggressor and the defence by those oppressed. But lets not go into that. Suffice to say, religion has been around to see us in peace and in war. Why is it that is war we blame religion’s fault but in peace we are the good guys and what has religion got to do with it!

  10. Drachen says:

    Jeremiah,

    The Americans and Brits have a well-defined killing zone. The terrorists don’t have a well-defined killing zone. Is that what you are trying to say?

  11. Jeremiah says:

    You have just answered your own riddle.

    “Even if one can show that in the last decade or so 99% of terrorist acts are indeed carried out by people of islamic beliefs, it does not necessarily proof that islam promotes terrorism.”

    Yes, a social scientist will not conclude that Islam promotes terrorism. But, if the above statement is correct, he will be astute enough to investigate further this group of people who are motivated by a misinterpretation or special interpretation of Jihad. You are right that economic poverty and tough social climates could breed terrorists. My contention is that the greatest tide of evil (like Communism) is founded on wrong intellectual ideas about bringing good to people. The masterminds like Osama bin Laden came from wealthy families.

    Thus, moderate and peace-loving Muslims should take a stand and unveil the great mystery of the Koran for the peace of this civilised world. Words like Jihad and infidels should be spelled out for what they really mean so that some radicalised misguided youth does not misinterpret them.

    Sorry, but the New Testament does not condone the use of might against one’s enemies. Jesus taught us to love our enemies. Too bad for the poor practitioners in the Middle Ages or the Bush administration.

  12. anakpakross says:

    Firstly it is not a riddle, and secondly it is yours not mine. It is not a riddle but just a thinly veiled description of your unwillingness to be direct to the point and just say what you mean.

    You thesis is ‘islam’ the religion promotes terrorism. Just be direct and we can get on with it and argue the points.

    I am saying that you cannot blame the religion because some of its believers action. As I have argued earlier, that would make almost all the religions in this world a promoter of terrorism.

    If a social scientist cannot conclude that islam promotes terrorism then what actually are you arguing? “But if the statement is true” is just a BIG IF to make conclusion isn’t it?

    To further addressed your ignorance on ‘islam’, the moderate and peace loving muslims have long make a stand on terrorism. Majority of scholars in the muslim world has said that killing the innocence can never be acceptable in islam. As a matter of fact, even in war muslims must not oppress let alone kill those who had surrender. There are many many ‘fatwas’ or guidance by the ulama on this matter. So, unless you are willing to read and find out, accusing a religion out of ignorance is just arrogance on your side.

    Ya we have heard all that before isn’t it. My religion is all good, it is your religion that causes evil in this world. What a schmug! I say it again, all religion preaches good and forbid evil. It is the believers that tainted the faith. I’m sure Christianity is the same. BUT surely you cannot deny there are loads of christians that also do evil in this world. Example are everywhere to be seen and i don’t need too elaborate.

  13. JJ says:

    I hope that the Indian people know that whatever Reverend Jeremiah Wright says it doesn’t represent the views of all of America. Lots of us in America see Jeremiah Wright as a source of shame and view him with contempt.

    I don’t feel that this is a case of India’s chickens coming home to roost. Lots of us in America would be appalled at hearing Reverend Jeremiah Wright say “God Damn India”.

    It really concerns me that such a low life is so close to our President-elect.

  14. Jeremiah says:

    1. As far as I know, nobody in their right mind cannot make a stand against terrorism. Those who said that 9/11 was an act of self defense could be in the minority who are emotionally incensed and do not reflect the religion (is there a poll done on this?).

    2. Making a stand against violence and encouraging people not to kill is the jurisdiction of the law in every country. Every religion should go ten steps further to disarm its disciples and love others especially those who are non-believers.

    3. Being an intellectual discussion and not claiming a monopoly on the total truth, let us be at least civil and focused. I can see how emotional some of you are getting by being personal and defensive. I am not contending that Islam promotes terrorism. There are also many terrorists acts from other religious fanatics.

    4. Instead, I am looking at the risks of misinterpretation and the vagueness of the texts on killing infidels. (whatever the ulamas say is never as powerful as the original texts themselves)

    Pls focus on these texts. I know that are other texts that say otherwise, but it is precisely the lack of cohesive clarity on violence or non-violence that can lead to acts of calculated terrorism.

    If you can’t follow the logical sequence of the discussion, then I suggest you read more on history and logic. A completely objective social scientist from will follow the tracks without any preconceived conclusion.

  15. Drachen says:

    APR,

    Muslims have a bad PR (public relations) problem. It’s not unique to you alone.

    China, for example, is constantly accused of abusing humans rights, of low quality standards, etc.

    Go to the bookshop or library and try to do research on Germany. All you’re likely to find are books on war and Adolf Hitler.

    Some people automatically relate Islam with extremism, radicalism, terrorism, etc.

    Of course part of the problem is the American/British media. They highlight other people’s weaknesses to make themselves look good.

    I think there are two basic ways to improve PR. Firstly, moderate our own behaviour – changing ourselves is the hardest thing to do. Secondly, project a better image to the world. That is something PR companies are good at.🙂

  16. anakpakross says:

    It is most fascinating to see others sense of acceptability. If someone insinuate about ones religion by saying “99% of terrorist acts of violence against civilians is commited by a certain group of people belonging to a certain religion” that is OK yet when one is outright and spell ‘islam’ as the insinuated religion, that is ‘BAD PR’. So I guess it is OK to accused as long as you are discrete. It is not acceptable to be outright, even if you are defending your religion. Strange values!

    We also want every religion to spell it clearly and disarmed its disciples. We are concerned about the ‘misinterpretation’ of the religious text. Well, can we really be exhaustive with all the things we want? Do we really expect god to write down everything for us? Man, what a demanding lot we are.

    Why not we also have ‘no nuclear weapons’ in all the scriptures so that there is no confusion in our interpretation of ‘defensive retaliations’? All I am saying is, you just do not know what you actually want. You can’t possibly know if you are vague in your request for something like be ‘clear’ in the text so that there is no misinterpretation. No matter how many versions of bible you have you can’t possibly exhaust the possibilities of humans exploits.

    I find it interesting to see you admiting that “I am not contending that Islam promotes terrorism” but yet all your arguments points to the opposite. I just hope this is not one of those ‘discrete’ mannerism thing of being polite while insulting.

  17. Drachen says:

    Intersting development: Muslim graveyards in Mumbai are refusing to bury the gunmen.

    http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Asia/Story/STIStory_309027.html

  18. Drachen says:

    In these online forums, once I identify someone as a “nut” I stop reading his/her comments. Saves me a lot of time and effort.

  19. Jeremiah says:

    Sorry for offending your religious sensibilities. As I said, focus on the texts (too exhaustive lah?)and I am not attacking any religion. If I asked you to read Hamlet, am I asking you to attack the merits of the play?

    Anyway, calling people names like they do here in Parliament and reframing the dialogue does not help in disguising your ignorance and denial to face the truth. I suppose Malaysia Bolehlah and that includes intellectual mediocrity and name calling.

    Since no one is diligent enough to focus on the texts, now, let us have a closer look at what the Koran says about the infidels:-

    Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them(2:191)
    Make war on the infidels living in your neighboorhood (9:123)

    When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them (9:5)

    Kill the Jews and the Christians if they do not convert to Islam or refuse to pay Jizya tax (9:29)

    Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable (3:85)

    The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them (9:30)

    Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticise Islam. (5:33)

    The infidels are unclean; do not let them into a mosque (9:28)

    Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies
    (22:19)

    Do not hanker for peace with the infidels; behead them when you catch them (47:4)

    The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them (8:65)

    Muslims must not take the infidels as friends (3:28)
    Terrorise and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an (8:12)

    Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorise the infidels (8:60)

    Perhaps the above quotes are wrongly translated (or interpreted)? Do a search for certain key words in your electronic version of the texts and see how many of the above words can be counted.

    The beginning of knowledge is to know how much you do not know. The beginning of ignorance is to accuse others of racism, bigotry or Islamophobia in order to muffle the freedom of intellectual expression and enquiry.

  20. Jeremiah says:

    I shall rest my case given the mental exhaustion of following this nutty thread. Anyway the actual quotes above are linked to:

    http://infidelsarecool.com/2006/12/28/overwhelming-evidence-of-i/

  21. anakpakross says:

    For someone who claims that he is not attacking any religion it is amazing that you can take quotes that is totally a misrepresentation of what the religion says. The source of your quote is also NOT those representing the religion and probably some people who is hell bent to spread misunderstanding. If he is guilty of that, then you are guilty not just by association but also by your deeds.

    Let’s just take one of the ayat that you put out of contact. Just take (2:191) into its perspective.

    “(2:189) Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors. (190) And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. (191) But if they cease, Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful. (192) And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression.”

    Is that something that comes from promotion of terror or just to fight oppression? The chain of ayats is all about the muslims being oppressed and how they should respond. Not about how to go around finding unbelievers and slay them! For the rest of your quoted ayats, i suggest you find them in context. A full translation can be found here;

    http://www.quranexplorer.com/Quran/Default.aspx

    I must also add that the translation of the Quran is not the same as reading Harry Potter. There are historical context for every ayats that was brought down. Just quoting the chain of ayat as I have shown above does not do justice in telling the whole context of the whole Surah.

    Maybe you should read again your last para and ponders your own medicine!

  22. Jeremiah says:

    Thank you for the amazing link to the Quran. I am learning new things such as Moses’s struggle with the Pharoah is even mentioned! I agree some texts may have been out of context when it is Allah that does the avenging…

    Nonetheless, the text below seems very clear about the militancy against those who do not share your beliefs:

    (27) O ye who believe! The idolaters only are unclean. So let them not come near the Inviolable Place of Worship after this their year. If ye fear poverty (from the loss of their merchandise) Allah shall preserve you of His bounty if He will. Lo! Allah is Knower, Wise. (28) Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low. (29) And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they! (30) They have taken as lords beside Allah their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One God. There is no god save Him. Be He glorified from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him)! (31) Fain would they put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah disdaineth (aught) save that He shall perfect His light, however much the disbelievers are averse. (32) He it is Who hath sent His messenger with the guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religion, however much the idolaters may be averse. (33) O ye who believe! Lo! many of the (Jewish) rabbis and the (Christian) monks devour the wealth of mankind wantonly and debar (men) from the way of Allah. They who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah, unto them give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom,

  23. anakpakross says:

    So much for a person who claims not attacking any religion. From quoting unreliable sources to just making statement out of context, how much lower do you need to go. From your first comment till your last, you can’t even offer a decent argument and yet have the cheek to talk on subject you obviously are clueless about. Grow up! Drachen may have a point here.

  24. anakpakross says:

    If one is to take things out of context, one can make all kind of interpretation of the events that are to be told. The following is a passage from the bible (NOT from unreliable sources);

    “11(J) And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals. 12(K) And they abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt.(L) They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and(M) bowed down to them.(N) And they provoked the LORD to anger. 13They abandoned the LORD(O) and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. 14(P) So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he(Q) gave them over to plunderers, who plundered them.(R) And he sold them into the hand of their surrounding enemies,(S) so that they could no longer withstand their enemies. 15Whenever they marched out, the hand of the LORD was against them for harm, as the LORD had warned,(T) and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were in terrible distress.”

    Sourced from here:
    bibleresources.bible.com/passagesearchresults.php?passage1=Judges+2&version=47

    Are we to understand that “the LORD was against them for harm” suggest a vengeful LORD? I say that is a perversion of the sacred text. All muslims accepts the original bible is god sent to Jesus, and from the ONE and only god. We don’t mock or make fun of the bible out of respect of all holy books. I find some people ease in mocking others religion sickening!

  25. Gadfly says:

    More often than not,historically and socially speaking, people find themselves trapped in vicious circle like economic and social deprivation, struggle for freedom,and more political oppression. Perhaps, terrorists do want to, or are brainwashed to find a ‘solution’. Instead of conflict resolution, terrorists create new form of terrorism. As what Philip Zimbardo,Professor of Psychology Dept,Stanford University, said – ” Terrorists create terror; terror creates fear and anger; fear and anger create aggression, and aggression against citizens of different ethnicity or religion creates racism and, in turn, new forms of terrorism.”

    Political ruling elites may draw inspiration from the terrorists to create state terrorism and attempt to rationalise or justify all acts of oppression and suppression that a civilised society would feel ashamed to do – torture and detention without trial etc.

    Ordinary people, when caught in this vicious pattern, are equally capable of supporting an evil system. When Elisabeth Kubler-Ross,the pioneer of the hospice movement in US, visited the Maidanek concentration camp in Poland where more than 300,000 were killed, she could not believe that people could be so evil. The lady guide told her,” You would be surprised what you’re capable of doing. If you had been raised in Nazi Germany you could have easily turned into the kind of person who would do that. There is a Hitler in all of us.”

    Is there a Mumbai terrorist in all of us? This is a rhetorical question. Some spiritual tradition may argue in the affirmative that people all share the same ignorance in the ultimate sense. And in that sense, we can begin the process of healing of alienation from God, from humanity and from our own self. Otherwise, we go in vicious circle once again. Some just see the question as Us and Them and the cure prescribed is so unspiritual that it is worst than the disease. That is the trap terrorists set for humanity.

  26. Jeremiah says:

    Do you understand English or is the verse below saying something else with multiple meanings? It does not say “God shall fight against such..or my anger shall go against such..” This is a question and not an attack. So much for intellectual honesty. Look at Azly Rahman’s blog and see how many people can see beyond terrorists and know they are motivated by something more than evil..perhaps,ignorance of grammar be in Arabic or English in your case?

    “(28) Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.”

    Now you can quote for the benefit of readers here one verse in the Bible or Buddhist texts or any other scriptural texts that says to fight those people who do not share your beliefs.

  27. anakpakross says:

    How much clearer do you need me to be? You inability to comprehend something said is beyond reasons. Have I not mentioned earlier that each ayat and surahs was brought down under specific historical situation? It has to be seen in that context and taking it out of that is just not doing justice.

    The surah you pick I believe was brought during the time when the prophet PBUH and his people were exiled from entering Mecca. In that period the muslims were persecuted by the idolators, jews and christians alike that was in power of Mecca. The prophet had to settle in Medina, a nearby city to Mecca, where they regroup and built the muslim nation. When the muslims had grown in size, they had negotiated with the non-believers in Mecca for anuual pilgrimage. Even then in the early years on entering Mecca there are non-believers who would go out of their ways to terrorize the muslims and some of them are ‘people of the book’. They ayat came down to address ‘the believers’ to fight these people.

    Can you use this ayat now and say muslims should go out and find the non-believers and slay them? Truly you are trying to keep harping things out of context. Your effort in this is most perplexing. Maybe you just cannot understand basic english.

    Should I go all out in finding fault in the bible and other religious text? I could but I don’t think I will indulge you in this. Maybe you should read the Quran throughly and ask the right people so that you will be guided. Your act of finding dault and taking things out of context to proof what I don’t know is worse that terrorim that you so loath!

  28. anakpakross says:

    I try not to get into this but for those who ‘enjoy’ reading all these ‘me better than you’ stuff, go and muddy yourself. Please don’t blame me and I am in no way responsible for any of these sites. There are lots of them so a little bit of good sense please.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_terrorism

    http://www0.epinions.com/content_2998378628

    http://terrorism.about.com/od/politicalislamterrorism/tp/Religious-terrorism.htm

    http://answering-christianity.com/ac12.htm

    http://answering-christianity.com/jihad_in_bible.htm
    ________
    anakpakross. If next time you produce links here, and your comment sort of disappears, just leave another comment telling me that, and I’ll retrieve it from the spam section, and delete the later comment. WordPress does that automatically, sending those comments with links into the spam section.

  29. Gadfly says:

    I have tried to read the Qur’an a few times and I still could not grasp its meaning. I thought that since I can understand a bit of ‘Being and Time’ by Martin Heidegger, the German philosopher, it is not that difficult to understand Qu’ran. I then turned to the introduction written by Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi for assistance,and I think where the problem lies: “…In discussions of philosophical or metaphysical questions, we miss the familiar expressions and terminology of formal logic and philosophy. Cultural and political matters, or questions pertaining to man’s social and economic life, are discussed in a way very different from that usual in works of social sciences. Juristic principles and legal injunctions are elucidated, but quite differently from the manner of convention works….the reader ..may become so confused…”

    I think spiritual experience and transformation and practical action are the pre-requisite for understanding this religions text, besides the Islamic hermenunistics at the intellectual level. When I say ‘spiritual’, it means the mind becomes encompassing,inclusive without borders, and the heart becomes more compassionate.

    Historically speaking, Buddhism has a relatively good record in non-violence. I think there are a few important reasons: 1) Doctrine of non-violence – No one is able to qoute any Buddhist texts whatsoever to say that Buddha gives greenlight for violence. This does not mean that the text cannot be distorted. Even so, that person could not say ” Buddha says..”. The Buddhist doctrine of non-violence or ahimsa is borrowed from Jainism. But, it is reframed on the Buddha’s original idea of non-self. Just like Islam, Buddhism has provided a diagnosis and a prescription to cure the human ill of self-centeredness. On the moral or ethical level, Buddhism more or less shares similar principles of doing good and avoid evil. From a Buddhist perspective, it is not really important whther you believe in God or gods or not. But, to understand the self, the human self and hence the nature and the dynamocs of the human mind (not the Buddhist mind) is of crucial importance. If you take away the idea of non-self, Buddhism would collapse. 2) The understanding of non-self could not be achieved just by reading the texts or chanting. In fact, these are considered hindrances for deeper realisation because of the tendency of the human mind to conceptualise and to categorise. Meditation is used study the mind objectively like research study in neuroscience or cognitive science.

    Buddhism has its strength and limitations. I would not want to write further. Otherwise, I sound like doing marketing for Buddhism.

  30. jeremiah says:

    Anakpross and Gadfly,

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge on Koran and Buddhism. If I did not ask probing questions, I would not have found the answers. Though I am not totally convinced about the political and historical contexts of those verses.


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