Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thank God I'm Not A Moslem

In the news this week:

A prominent British imam has been forced to retract his claims that Islam is compatible with Darwin's theory of evolution after receiving death threats from fundamentalists. (Scientist Imam threatened over Darwinist views)

Whew! I never had to deal with anything like that! True, Rav Moshe Shapiro's star talmid Reuven Schmeltzer did write that people who believe that Chazal wrote incorrect statements about the natural world should be put to death by any means possible, but I don't think that anyone is likely to take him seriously. Thank God I'm not a Moslem!

Also, check out this discussion on a British Moslem forum (this is the Google cached version, as the original has a virus). Now I know what it must be like for non-Jews who come across www.hashkafah.com.

(Thanks to everyone who sent this in.)

24 comments:

  1. Thank God I'm a country boy.

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  2. That discussion board appears to currently be infected with a virus. Look at the link at your own risk. (At least no fundamentalists try to infect hashkafah.com)

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  3. The title of the post seems like a special addendum to one of the birkos ha-shachar.

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  4. In case the Muslim forum discussion has viruses, you can read it safely by looking at Google's cached version:

    https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:aU54Wp72MLwJ:www.sunniforum.com/forum/showthread.php%3F42553-Sheikh-Usama-Hasan-on-Evolution+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=encrypted.google.com

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  5. True, Rav Moshe Shapiro's star talmid Reuven Schmeltzer did write that people who believe that Chazal wrote incorrect statements about the natural world should be put to death by any means possible, but I don't think that anyone is likely to take him seriously.


    But it only takes _one_ person who _does_ take him seriously to ruin your day.

    Look at Yigal Amir -- he simply "took seriously" what his rabbis were saying about what should be done to "pursuers".

    Charles

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  6. Rav Moshe Shapiro's star talmid Reuven Schmeltzer did write that people who believe that Chazal wrote incorrect statements about the natural world should be put to death by any means possible.



    Where did he write that?

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  7. Lawence Kaplan coments:

    R. Slifkin: If you read the entire article you will see that the Imam did NOT retract his views re Islam and evolution. He apologized "for the mistakes I made and any offense I caused." That says precisely nothing. His "mistake" might have been speaking to those thugs in the first place.

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  8. Michael A. SingerMarch 10, 2011 at 3:58 AM

    Rabbi -

    Please write "Muslim" and not "Moslem" in all your future postings; the latter is the preferred spelling!

    Best,
    Michael Singer

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  9. Charles P. Cohen said...
    True, Rav Moshe Shapiro's star talmid Reuven Schmeltzer did write that people who believe that Chazal wrote incorrect statements about the natural world should be put to death by any means possible, but I don't think that anyone is likely to take him seriously.


    But it only takes _one_ person who _does_ take him seriously to ruin your day.

    Look at Yigal Amir -- he simply "took seriously" what his rabbis were saying about what should be done to "pursuers".

    Charles


    Yigal Amir was doing it because of politics. Politics makes people shoot politicians. At best if someone is religious that one will also use religious arguments. He was a member of a front group that was really headed by someone cooperating with the Shin Bet. The idea was to make a group that looks badly antigovernment and encourage it to say it will use violence and so make a segment of the population look bad. Well Yigal Amir was groomed by the head of the group who was the spy and Yigal Amir went through to actually shoot Rabin. The Shin Bet was responsible for the death of Rabin by neglect and incompetence. Sure it only takes one to do something but if we Jews would really be so dangerous we would not have to argue about whether there would be one. There would be no shortage to do the job.

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  10. "Rav Moshe Shapiro's star talmid Reuven Schmeltzer did write that people who believe that Chazal wrote incorrect statements about the natural world should be put to death by any means possible."

    Where did he write that?


    http://zootorah.com/controversy/chaim.html

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  11. Look a little more closely at Judaism. Consider the enormous list of things you could be executed for, the terrible penalties for heresy, apostasy, blasphemy and dissent under their various Hebrew and Aramaic names.

    Our religion is no better, probably worse.

    There are only two reasons you are still walking around are:

    1) Our legal system has been almost entirely theoretical. It hasn't been applied in any real sense in millennia. What we now consider to be halacha has never actually been implemented.

    2) Oppression has generally discouraged us from killing each other.

    If you take even a cursory look at how it's would play out look at Israel. Stoning - without conviction or trial - has been routine for decades for "offenses" such as being a girl and talking to a boy in the wrong neighborhood.

    Consider the popularity of genocidal ravings like "The King's Torah" and the frenzy that results when the government tries to interfere with rabbinical sedition.

    Look at how eager certain influential self-proclaimed gedolim are to declare anyone who disagrees with them an oppressor of Jews or otherwise deserves to die.

    The only thing that keeps our fanatics at bay is a lack of opportunity.

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  12. If you take even a cursory look at how it's would play out look at Israel. Stoning - without conviction or trial - has been routine for decades for "offenses" such as being a girl and talking to a boy in the wrong neighborhood.

    Todd, is this what is happening in Israel? Where? When?

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  13. In general, Todd, I agree with you. My solution is a separation of state and religion. Just look at Lebanon, it's the only thing that can save that country from destruction. The same is true for Israel. As the proportion of religious population grows the state will self-destroy unless it is separated from religion. The separation will enable all of us to live together. Also, mandatory education in citizenship, democracy and human rights for everyone NOW before it's too late. If not, we will look worse than Teheran.

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  14. Todd, check out on youtube 'Ayad Jamal Al-Din in TV Debate About Separation of Religion and State'. He nailed it. Awesome!

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  15. "Todd said...

    Look a little more closely at Judaism. Consider the enormous list of things you could be executed for, the terrible penalties for heresy, apostasy, blasphemy and dissent under their various Hebrew and Aramaic names.

    Our religion is no better, probably worse."

    Actually you overestimate what someone was executed for. Heresy, apostasy and dissent were not crimes you were executed for even in theory. Even today, who could define heresy for all? Our religion probably worse yet? It is not reality you are describing.

    "1) Our legal system has been almost entirely theoretical. It hasn't been applied in any real sense in millennia. What we now consider to be halacha has never actually been implemented."

    "The only thing that keeps our fanatics at bay is a lack of opportunity."

    Your earlier paragraph is proof against your later sentence. Listen we had far more opportunity millennia ago so what you said is false. It is not grounded in reality. Even now we have opportunity. Somehow the Arabs have plenty. What is stopping us? Ourselves. If we wanted to we could kill each other and maim each other aplenty. Even in Biblical times with idolatrous kings they were used to mercy certainly for those days. Eliyahu tells off King Achav and it takes his Gentile wife to say hey who is king!? When the Arameans want to surrender they say let us surrender to the king of Israel since we heard the kings of Israel are merciful. Further you obviously do not believe in the Oral Tradition as to you Halacha made things up. According to us though the Oral tradition goes even further to Biblical times. But even on a strict reading you are not dealing with reality.

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  16. "Carol said...

    Todd said: "If you take even a cursory look at how it's would play out look at Israel. Stoning - without conviction or trial - has been routine for decades for "offenses" such as being a girl and talking to a boy in the wrong neighborhood."

    "Todd, is this what is happening in Israel? Where? When??"

    What he is doing is trying to say that those who throw stones are stoning and constitute a court of Jewish law ruling in accordance with Halacha. It's called libel against the Jewish people Carol. No one is being stoned ie.having the penalty of death carried out by stoning like in Iran. Rather they are throwing stones thrown at them by a tiny group which is bad enough. They are a small group of people within a small group people. In Todd's statements he takes grains of truth when he can to commit slander.

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  17. YA, thanks, but I would like Todd's own explanation for his ' a girl meets a boy story'. Todd I am listening.

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  18. Carol and YA, stoning people doesn't only occur when it's carried out by judicial authorities under exacting rules. It happens whenever a mob commits potentially deadly assault by throwing rocks at its victims. The attempt to define it away simply don't wash.

    Thank you both for making my experiment a success. Rabbi Slifkin's letter and your responses illustrate the hidden point nicely. When it's us (whoever "us" is) the fine distinctions and accuracy are important. When it's the other guys a broad brush is appropriate. This is a universal human thing.

    Caricatures notwithstanding the overwhelming majority of Muslims are no more bloodthirsty than the vast majority of Jews, Christians or followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    It's always a small group of fanatics. It's not necessary for everyone to do a bad thing. To destroy the reputation of the decent majority, Dayenu!

    If a handful of Israelis stones Shabbos drivers or half a dozen anonymous thugs who follow Mullah Mustafa bin Big Beard threaten a scientist it's enough.

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  19. "Thank you both for making my experiment a success. Rabbi Slifkin's letter and your responses illustrate the hidden point nicely. When it's us (whoever "us" is) the fine distinctions and accuracy are important. When it's the other guys a broad brush is appropriate. This is a universal human thing."

    Well that is why I am always generous when depicting other groups as well. Your experiment just demonstrated that I can defend Jews and not be blind to how many Arabs are killing people though.

    "Caricatures notwithstanding the overwhelming majority of Muslims are no more bloodthirsty than the vast majority of Jews, Christians or followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster."

    It should only be so. I would hope that the numbers are on your side but terms like overwhelming majority when vast numbers are educated to hate may be excessive. Remember they are living under dictatorships and a significant number even if a minority can be thoroughly on the side of the dictatorship and its propaganda.

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  20. Todd, when and where they stoned the girl in Israel? Was this your 'experiment' to make a false claim to achieve what exactly?

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  21. I have started a new post on this topic.

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  22. One of the posters on that forum wrote:
    "Dr Usama Hasan is going over-the-limit asome of his comments are brodering Kuf'r (and some say that he has crossed it)."
    lol. kfira.

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  23. Wait, so Avishai Raviv was Amir's rabbi? Who knew?

    Is there a special "Shabak Smicha" that they give too? Do they study kashrut to qualify or just the laws of mosrim is sufficient?

    Amir did not act because of any rabbi.

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