Information icon.svg The 2019 RMF board election has started!
We are electing 3 board members for the 2019-2021 term.
Vote here and read their campaign slogans here!

User talk:Ghazia/Archive1

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

This is an archive page, last updated 24 December 2010. Please do not make edits to this page.
Archives for this talk page:   , (new)(back)

SHA hash

What is it of? From what I can gather, brute-forcing it is grossly impractical, so it seems like a rather pointless challenge... Wisest evil Phantom! 18:00, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Still trying to find exactly what I had used for it. Brute forcing would probably be highly unfeasible, computationally, since I always salt hashes when I use them. ghazi alizm, comments? 19:02, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Just a question

So, you're a muslim that's turned atheist (according to your profile, my apologies if I'm reading it wrong). I have a question for you, mostly because I don't know any other muslim turned atheists. How do you feel when you see things like cartoons of muhammad, or people disrespecting the Koran? I only ask, because of the few muslims I do know, all are very strongly against these things, even those I would consider liberal muslims. I'm just curious why the reaction is much stronger amongst a wider swath of muslims than simillar actions are to other religions. Z3rotalk 18:15, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes, you're correct in how you read it. Since I no longer consider myself a Muslim, even a "non-practicing one" as I've heard a lot of people say about their Christian faith, it doesn't bother me in the slightest. Thoughts on depictions of Muhammad vary from sect to sect, and since my parents were Sunni, they didn't approve of any whatsoever. Or any other prophet, for that matter. When we visited places in Latin America, my father strongly disapproved of the various paintings of Jesus, since he's considered a prophet, and therefore no depictions are allowed. (in his and a lot of modern Sunni's interpretation of the faith). The reaction is strong because they worry about idolatry.
As for the Qur'an, once again, I don't have a problem with people disrespecting it (from a religious point of view). However, since I see it as an important cultural and historical document (not the whole foreknowledge deal, but it has played an incredible part in Arabic history), I don't want to see it burned en masse either. One could view it as a work of art, even if you don't read Arabic. Devout Muslims have a strong aversion to those actions, though, and for the same reasons many do not support translations of it. Unlike the Bible, which even though some Christians (maybe many, I don't know) regard it as a directly inspired Word of God, they leave it open to translation for various reasons. The Qur'an, on the other hand, is believed by many Muslims to be the direct dictation of God, so translating it is problematic, to say the least, because when combined with the nuances of the Arabic language, you stand a good chance of significantly altering the word of God.
Does that make sense? Long-winded I know, but hopefully helpful. ghazi alizm, comments? 18:41, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Also, just as a side note, one thing a lot of people don't seem to realize is that to many followers of Islam, it's not merely a religion, but rather a way of life. The daily prayers, each one with varying rituals (in some cases, ritual or physical cleansing before each one, etc) lus family habits, other traditions, etc, all encompass much more than people realize. It's not as simple as "going to church every day." The latter is kind of an ignorant view, but still one that many people hold. Pardon the heavenly slap I'm sure to receive, but in that way it's kind of like some evangelical Christians, that use it to dictate every aspect of the routine parts of their lives. ghazi alizm, comments? 18:47, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
That actually answers alot of questions, regarding the bigger picture. My comparison would be on the eating meat thing; I have a muslim coworker who's a fairly liberal muslim, who will absolutely not eat meat. Yet my liberal neighbor, whose christian, has no problem eating meat on a friday. Is this the result of the culture, rather than the religion? Z3rotalk 18:51, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
I'll venture out on a limb here and say cultural differences. I just know that the culture I was raised in (even though I was mostly raised in America, as opposed to a predominantly Islamic society, I mean that of my family) was significantly different than that of many of my peers. We're all influenced in different ways, so that's hard to answer. Hence, the limb. I've known plenty of Muslims that were fairly lax about the rules, and the only reason I wasn't was because I was still young (well, I still am, but even more so!) and those were the rules of the household. Even though I do eat meat now, it's still not an every day occurrence for me, just because "old habits die hard" and that's the way I was raised. I assume that will change somewhat as time marches on. ghazi alizm, comments? 18:59, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
That makes a lot more sense to me put in a cultural context. I know from my experience, I was raised in a fairly strict catholic household, and we never had meat on friday. Even after I left deconverted, at first I almost unconsciously did not eat meat on friday during lent. It took awhile until I almost forgot that lent was occuring until I started eating meat on friday without a thought. Interesting. Z3rotalk 19:11, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Moved from CP talk:WIGO section about "Ground Zero Mosque"

Since we quickly got off topic, I thought I would move this here for clarity's sake, as well as for my personal archival purposes. It was originally found in this section, even though that link might break when the page is archived.

Cordoba, at the time of the Cordoba mosque in the 11th century, was a city where Muslims, Jews and Christians all lived relatively peacefully together. As far as I'm concerned, commemorating that time is a very good thing - even if it's done by a bunch of folk who follow a religion that, frankly, I find completely insane. Of course, what makes this even better is that this building is, in fact, already a mosque, for all practical purposes, as Muslim prayer services are actually held there already. What the people who own it want to do is simply do a large-scale renovation or rebuild to make it into a Muslim community center, which includes a mosque. 92.1.146.121 (talk) 18:44, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
The unsigned post was mine; I simply forgot. Trust me, I perfectly understand the rationalizations, even though I left my faith several years ago and was still in my mid teens. I try to defend any one that I feel is being accused of unfairly, but I am only human. ghazi alizm, comments? 18:50, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Christians and Jews were allowed to live with a stiff infidel tax under the Caliph of Cordoba (Sorry about the "v", European history was 8 years ago for me), but it was also the seat of power for the failed conquest of Europe, surely you can see why that is of concern BON. @Ghazi, of course it looks that way to us, I still get upset when people go after the catholic church for being anti-science, I feel like they aren't giving the full breadth of respect due to the work of the Jesuits, My defense of the catholic faith seems perfectly fair and just to me. --Opcn (talk) 19:44, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
The "stiff infidel tax" is somewhat of a misnomer, though, might I add. At the time, and in most cases still today, Muslims were required to donate a portion of their income to charity, often Muslims who were living in poverty. Since non-Muslims were not required to pay the zakat, many governments imposed the amount required of Muslims as a tax on non-Muslims. A bit unfair, perhaps, but also an egalitarian measure aimed to benefit the poor, at least on the surface and mostly in practice too. ghazi alizm, comments? 19:53, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
As I understand it it was an additional tax that they had to pay. The infidel tax (though I believe it was called an "offering", infidel tax is my word choice) was pretty steep and is largely credited with converting the majority of Spain within 100 years of it being levied. Most people were poor, and on the Iberian peninsula most of the Muslims initially came in with the conquering army and virtually all of the poor and destitute were non-muslim. --Opcn (talk) 20:02, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
My mistake, I left out some other interpretations. We're talking about the jizya tax here, which traditionally has been a tax levied on non-Muslims in predominantly Muslim-run societies. Even though there's been a few schools of thought on the subject in Islamic law, one of which was the use of the jizya as a substitute for the zakat, like what I talked about above) the other most common reasoning for its issue was as a substitute for military service. Although in some cases, non-Muslims under Muslim rule were still required to serve in the military (the Ottomans for example) the payment of the tax was often used in exchange for that. Also, it was sort of a "you pay us this tax, and in exchange, you get to live with us, get protection from our militaries, whatever social services, albeit rudimentary at the time, that we might offer, and be able to lend money to others without interference." From what I've read, however, tolerance of non-Muslims in Iberia differed wildly between different rulers of the Caliphate, through different time periods, etc. In some cases, pogroms against non-Muslims (especially Jews). In other cases, relative tolerance and acceptance into a mostly secular-geared society. Not an excuse, just a comparison: not much different from many other medieval societies of Christian origin or governance. ghazi alizm, comments? 20:23, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Why I fear Islam

We went off topic (CP) so I figured I'd bring it here, the reason I fear Islam over Christianity is because The Qu'ran is still in it's original Arabic, and that means that people actually know what it says. The bible is a hodge podge of books that have been translated either 3 times or 4 times depending on the book. The bible and the Qu'ran are both equally bronze age nightmares. The bronze age Xtians and Muslims were both mighty awful. But now when they open their respective holy books the christians find something muddled and confusing and have to take their cues from society, while the Muslims find a clearly written (and I hear beautiful) Bronze age manual for conquest. That scares me. Back in the day Muslims conquering Christians were comparatively nice, but they still did things that we would consider despicable today, how nice they were depends on what you compare them too. --Opcn (talk) 22:01, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

I must disagree; fear isn't the word I would use, but in this case, I don't really fear any one more than the other. I'm the type to break things down along class lines more so than religious lines, but enough of that. Although in colloquial name, the Qur'an is still in it's original language, the language of the Qur'an (classical Arabic) is fairly different from the official language spoken today in many Arabic countries (standard Arabic). Although they are nominally the same, modern standard Arabic is much more fluid than many people give it credit for. as it has proven as adaptable as English in borrowing words from other languages and adapting them to its usage. While I don't want to differentiate too much between these different versions of the language, I do want to emphasize that they are not necessarily the same language, by linguistic or cultural standards. It has adapted. Many of my Jewish friends/peers, reform, orthodox, hasidic, etc, read or have tried to read sacred texts in their original language, be it Hebrew, Aramaic, etc. Simply by reading it in their native language does not mean a person is more influenced by the (seemingly bizarre and archaic) traditions of that time period. As we see if evangelical Christians,groups like The Fellowship, the Wahhabi (from my own Saudi), etc, if someone wants to justify their specific ideology based on a religious text, they will do so. Regardless of its language. Interpretation various by period, even if language does not (in my opinion).
I think the idea that Muslims read the Qur'an in the original language contributes is somewhat flawed, because it, like the Bible, is still viewed by many Muslims, consciously or not, as open to interpretation. The Bronze age manual for conquest is more of a fluid, literary work of rhymes (albeit one written sometimes with broken styles that don't seem to make much sense). Over the course of centuries, many Muslims, especially those with a desire to conquest, have used it to justify their actions, as have many members of many other religious groups done with their liturgical texts. My opinion is that Islam is at a disadvantage in that Christianity obtained powerful patrons within its first few pivotal centuries. Rome, for instance. Islam, however, did not have this advantage thrust upon it, thus lending itself to a rationale of "conquer everything in site" since it was probably the best way to spread it. Despicable actions are commonplace in religious all history; while it lends a great deal of understanding to modern history to realize that, I wouldn't say the actions of any one group have been worse than another, when considering the entire spectrum of history.
Also, most of the radicalism that to many observers is pervasive throughout Islam (not in numbers of adherents, but it's present in any and every country with any Muslim population whatsoever, just like evangelical Christianity in any place with Christians) is primarily a reactionary movement. A backlash against a modernization and possibly secularization of a faith that is almost 600 years newer than Christianity. In Saudi, this change was already beginning in the early 20th century, but it was greatly accelerated by a new nation, awash with vast amounts of petrodollars that started a massive rush to modernization. The introduction of things like radio, television, or in more ancient times, Egyptian styles of music, gave fuel to the Wahhabi ideas of "returning to the pure form of Islam." I see it as simply reactionary, which in my eyes, happens in every faith, cultural group, etc.
If you're interested in somewhat of a psychological profile of devout Muslims (or Christians, Jews, Nazis, Leninists, uh, any one else really) Eric Hoffer's The True Believer is an interesting work of the sort. Although it was written before many people paid much heed to radical Islam, I've found that the social/psychological/cultural profile he generalizes applies quite well to the radicalism within Islam.

ghazi alizm, comments? 01:41, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

So in your opinion does the casual attitude of many leaders in Islam (That I've seen talk on TV, admittedly a small biased sample)towards confusing the ideas of living in peace and ruling over infidels not come from the Qur'an?--Opcn (talk) 19:26, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
Of course they feel it comes from the Qur'an. However, this is because, like the Old/New Testament, the Qur'an is full of contradictions, ancient passages from even more ancient traditions, etc. Just like the Bible, if you want to justify something by interpreting a passage in the Qur'an a certain way, you can. Keep in mind too that many of these leaders preach to people that may or may not know Arabic. I've been around Muslims that do not know Arabic, but still recite passages from the Qur'an with deep religious devotion.
How some leaders of Islam (and it's only some) interpret the Qur'an is no different from the usage of any other religion to justify an authoritarian hold on power. In this way, fundamentalist Islam is another example of the dominionism that many evangelicals and conservative Catholics preach. It doesn't make it right, but it does show that misinterpreting an ancient text to suit your ways, regardless of its historical accuracy, is pretty common. All of the Abrahamic faiths do it, and all of them believe that what they do is justified based on their sacred text(s). ghazi alizm, comments? 19:55, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
I think you would really enjoy The True Believer too; Hoffer has a lot of good information and profiles on the interchangeable nature of mass movements (which many people are falling into these days), and it's in line with the ability of people to rationalize their actions and why people buy into it. Quite an interesting read, imho. ghazi alizm, comments? 20:03, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
I purchased it on Amazon (for my kindle) before replying,it's just that you wrote too much, and I wasn't looking to hog my way through a wall of text, the written word and I are not friends sadly. --Opcn (talk) 01:16, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
My apologies; while hopefully some of my information is useful, I may tend to ramble. Hoffer is a difficult and densely packed read, at least he was for me, but his work is certainly intellectual and educational nevertheless. Enjoy! ghazi alizm, comments? 01:36, 20 August 2010 (UTC)