Liberals and Islam

I am very liberal. You should know that about me. But when it comes to Islam I have struggles that set me apart from other liberals. I think for most liberals (and most of my friends) defending Muslims is the same as defending any other minority. We care about people having equality and being safe and having the ability to practice their own beliefs without persecution. We believe in that for everyone (yes even those in the majority, even Christians here and Hindus in India). So I think for my friends, fighting for equality for Muslims in America is straightforward. It fits the philosophy of their life to help everyone of any religion and belief gain equal rights.

It’s hard for me to look at Muslims that way because the religion isn’t just like any other. The equal rights for all religions assumes all religions are equal. In theory that’s true, in theory I believe that, but the beliefs of Islam are completely antithetical to my faith.

In my attempts to be kind to Muslims I’ve already been getting back some disrespect for my religion. It’s super challenging to defend the rights of those who would ideally like to see my religion disappear. The way I look at the world and the way a Muslim looks at the world are not compatible. There’s almost no overlap, it seems.

It’s hard to defend people of a religion that says it is the only true path and all others are sinning against God by not converting to their religion.

I know Christians who don’t think Christianity has to be exclusive, who don’t take literally the idea that only Jesus leads to God. So it is possible for Christians to be open to sharing the world with people who have different beliefs. But the Islamic statement of faith is that Allah is the only God. It’s pretty much the whole basis of the religion.

I don’t know how to reconcile that.

My conclusion at the moment is that I can dislike Islam and like Muslims. I can be a friend to Muslims even if I don’t like their religion. But can I really? Can I be a friend to those who don’t think my faith has any legitimacy?

Are there Muslims who believe in coexisting with other religions? Please speak up and tell me!

What does the ideal future look like? That’s what I’m trying to figure out. If we liberals get what we want and there is freedom for everyone to practice their religion and Muslims are no longer discriminated against, what happens then? Do we all live in peace, share our resources, help one another out? Is it possible to have such a world?

I just don’t know. I would really like to hear from Muslims about how they envision the future. What do you think it would look like if Muslims were no longer discriminated against in America?

How can Islam coexist with other religions that do not believe in one God separate from his creation?

 

 

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  • Pikassole

    My feelings exactly. I further worry that if a Muslim is to ever entertain the possibility of the kafirs being equal rights partners, he/she would be labeled an apostate and persecuted, either by some vigilante or worse, the state. We are in more dire situation than the morons in WaPo and NST would have us believe.

  • Captain Noypee

    How do you respect a religion that does not respect you?

    • morris98

      In our secular system what is your alternative?

      • Wussypillow

        Answer his question instead of deflecting.

        • morris98

          The answer is simple. If you don’t want to respect, don’t. But if you wish to express it openly, do it carefully staying clear off the hate speech. Under our secular system we are required to respect all religions. Our secular system has made a judgement that all religions are equally good and indirectly we are required to believe that.. I don’t know how that could be secular? This judgement itself is a kind of religion. To believe in it requires a lot of faith.

          • Wussypillow

            We aren’t actually required to ‘respect’ all religions. That is a ridiculous distension of the word ‘respect’. Different religions may be practiced but nothing about ‘respect’ is mandated.

          • morris98

            I agree. That is why I said. Don’t. But this is the foundation of our secular system.

          • Wussypillow

            No it isn’t.

          • morris98

            Our secular system foundation is the freedom to practice our religion. That is why so many cases go to the court to decide whether your freedom is supreme or his/her religious belief? And almost always religious belief prevails. There was no reason to insert a specific reference for freedom of religion. We had ample freedom to practice our religions without that. Your personal freedom is being trumped by someone’s religious beliefs.

          • Wussypillow

            Your personal freedom is being trumped by someone’s religious beliefs.

            Yes.

          • morris98

            Yes of course. But it depends upon your norm. I thought ours is secular democracy and being secular it should trump the religious. Any way, no matter how you look at this, religious freedom mean different things to different people and it divides the society. If we treated every one equally do we see any need for an article like the one we are discussing? Perhaps not. I would rather have a law that does not care about my religion.and for that matters yours too. All equal under the law free to practice their religions. And 99% or more are able to do so within the framework of our laws without reference to religious freedom. Why do you think some of the states are enacting law against Sharia. The fear that Sharia may sneak in under the guise of religious freedom.

          • Captain Noypee

            Secularism is the separation and freedom from religion. You are free to practice any religion you want as long as you keep it private. In secularism we may respect you as a person but we dont have to respect the crap you believe in.

          • morris98

            “.. any religion you want as long as you keep it private”
            I agree. But that is not what is happening.

          • Captain Noypee

            What is happening is that muslims are trying insert sharia law into our system. Muslims conducting sharia which contradict our way of life…like forcing women to veil, persecuting fellow muslims who choose to convert to another religion.

          • morris98

            Because ours is a religious democracy. Instead of one religion trumping our freedom, now we allow any and all to do so. We had Christianity as our state religion, now we have embraced them all. Think it very carefully where we are heading.

          • Captain Noypee

            we are not embracing any religion, what are you talking about? secularism is the exact opposite, its the rejection of religion.

          • morris98

            Well, that is the way you see it. I see no evidence for rejection of any religion. Perhaps you can explain why you concluded rejection of religion. Just because we call it secular, does not make it rejection of any or all religion.

          • Captain Noypee

            Secularism rejects religious influence over the rule of law. Secularism prevents the law from promoting any religion. Secularism allows us to make fun of religion, any religion. So what the hell are you talking about “embracing religion”?

          • morris98

            You cannot have freedom to practice religion that often challenges our laws and claim that it does not have any influence over it.

          • Captain Noypee

            In secularim we limit the practice of religions. Muslims are especially limited from fully practicing their religion, like they cant have 4 wives, they cant beat displeasing wives as mandated by their holy book, they cant marry children, they cant kill apostates, etc. Secularism rejects religion. It does not embrace it.

          • morris98

            I don’t know what you mean by Muslims are especially limited from fully practicing their religion. To my understanding they have no more or less freedom than any one else. Their religion is a lot more pervasive into daily life activities than others’. And that is the only difference. I think they can marry four wives. Killing any one is a criminal act and no one can commit crime. You keep saying secularism rejects religion. Yet we enjoy freedom of religion. Makes no sense. If we were indifferent to religion, where we neither accept nor reject religion then you would be right. But that is not so.

          • Captain Noypee

            No, muslims cannot marry 4 wives in a secular state. Thats just one of the MANY ways we are limiting their religious freedom. You should know that historically religion always try to control people. The act of resisting religious rule is what we call secularism. Thats how secularism rejects religion.

          • morris98

            I am not a lawyer. I will be pleased to hear about a case where a Muslim man’s right to have more than one spouse, when defended based on religious reason, was not upheld by a court. We all have the right to practice our religions. The law is clear. So in order for you to prove that you are right, you have to cite a court decision. In fact I just wonder how enforceable the law on monogamy is?

          • Captain Noypee

            seriously you need a court decision to prove that polygamy is illegal in the west? LOL! dude you are pathetic.

            I am not wasting precious time on your ignorant demands. This should suffice:

            https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2008/05/24/gtas_secret_world_of_polygamy.html

          • morris98

            Ignorant as I am, I still believe that polygamy is being practiced even today. No further discussion.

          • Captain Noypee

            practiced illegally. secularim rejects religious dictates. we dont embrace religion. have a nice day. :)

          • Captain Noypee

            Freedom is the foundation of our secular system, not respect for ideologies or religion.

          • morris98

            Your freedom is trumped by his/her religious belief. Nothing to do with respect.

          • Vineet Menon

            That is kind of very misconstrued definition of ‘secularism’. Secularism was invented in the Christian West as a countermeasure to the growing influence of Papal Church. Simple stated, it mandates for separation of Church and State affairs and in corollary, religion and politics.

            In no way this means that as a person, I have or the state can enforce me to confer any ‘respect’ for any religion which I deem not fit for it.

          • morris98

            Yes I agree, secularism was invented in the christian world

            to separate the influence of Church from politics. I am not sure whether I misconstrued its meaning or perhaps the way we are using it now, does not achieve the purpose for which the word was invented. Yes, the influence of Church may have gone down considerably. But in its place religious practices have entered the domain and because we granted freedom to practice as a basic right, it can challenge our secular laws. Moreover, religious freedom means different things to different people therefore we are not all equal under the law. That is not good enough for the original purpose. I think we could do better.

      • gimpi1

        There’s a difference between respecting a group’s right to believe as they see fit and respecting the specific beliefs.

        For example, I have no respect for young-earth creationism. (I married a geologist. You pick up things. Mostly rocks…) However, I respect the right of people to go the the Creation Museum; to publish absolute nonsense about geology, fossils, biology and such; and to teach their beliefs in their churches. As long as they don’t push their nonsense in the public schools or pressure the government to endorse it, I respect their rights to believe it.

        With Islam, I’m profoundly uncomfortable with their views on women; on gay people; and on other religions. (I have the same issues with the more conservative denominations of Christianity and Judaism.) However, as long as there’s no attempt to require non-believers to follow their codes, I respect their right to follow their own beliefs.

        I respect the rights of people to follow their own conscious. I respect the rights of groups to follow their own traditions – as long as those traditions don’t violate the rights of others. I don’t have to respect the beliefs as such to respect the rights of those that hold them.

        I also expect to be granted the same rights in law to my own beliefs, and to have any group respect me as I respect them. If they refuse to, they are violating my rights, and I have every right to push back to expect support from my community and government in defending my rights.

        Like all things, it’s a balance.

  • HARRY

    I love your write up , it always cheers me up. When ever I read your article it gives vocal to my mind, but somehow it doesn’t always portray right message. I will explain . You are very nice person inside out and very politically correct. This is why you will never be able to right thing that your heart is telling you to write. This is why you always sugar coat your writing. if someone is ill and if you give then sugar coated medicine does this make you a bad nurse? I don’t know , but it sure makes you very considerate one.

    Your are a one of those pen knife that only opens envelops , but not big and sharp enough to cut trough rubbish of others perspectives and dogmas, which are part and parcel of their faiths. This is because you are politically correct and not brutal enough.

    The two comments above says it all, that I was going to tell you.

    A sheep can never be a lion even when it wears it’s skin , In order to be a lion it need to transform it self completely inside out. On that note Al vida.

    • Ambaa

      You have such a way with words! And after all this time you do know me very well. I should never be a nurse, for sure. You are right that I do try very hard to be gentle of everyone’s feelings.

    • Ch Billy

      I am sorry Harry, I beg to differ on this with you. I am not a liberal because I refuse to categorize myself into man-made categories. I think the approach you are giving here is not pragmatic.

      First of all, I refuse to categorize anything that does not fit our mind as dogma. I am not saying Quran is perfect but I am saying that only the person who follows the path of Quran sincerely has the right to identify if there are any dogmas in that path and reform them. This is what is prescribed in Shastra. According to Shastra, you cannot judge a path if you are not sincerely pursuing that path or have deeply meditated on that path. By Shastra I mean the entirety of scriptures of Sanatana Dharma including Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Itihasas, Dharma Shastras etc.

      If you are sincerely following the path of Quran and came to the conclusion of dogmas, I apologize to you for the unnecessary statements I made in the previous paragraph. But, even in this case, Shastra does not agree with what you are saying here about how to convey to others that there are dogmas in a particular path. Let me be clear that Shastra does not call for confirming to untruths just for the sake of political correctness. The Shastra way of speaking the truth or giving a message to someone is through empathy. There are three dimensions to this:

      1) If someone is not ready to receive harsh statements, you cannot use harsh statements to tell the truth. Your statements will not be received well and this is not empathy. Empathy is doing what is necessary to make the message reach a person’s heart no matter how obvious and correct you perceive the message to be. Remember, not all lived the same kind of life as you did. If certain people require love and political correctness, then so be it. Shastra asks us to “satyam vadam priyam vadam” for such people. It means tell the truth but tell it pleasingly.

      2) If someone is at an almost equal level of realization as you are, then you can debate with them in a civilized way using Shastra. There is a science on how to debate called Tarka Shastra. Since, they are at an almost equal level of realization as you are, they will accept the message if it is argued in a sound manner using Shastra. This is the empathy required for them. Even here, you cannot be harsh as it would be considered uncivil.

      3) If someone is having a very strong relationship with you based on solid trust and if they are dependent on you for knowledge like a Guru Shishya relationship (Teacher Disciple relationship), then you can use harsh words to put forth the message. Because they trust you they will not mind the harshness and will listen to you very carefully because you are using harsh words. That is the empathy required for them.

      Unfortunately, most people today are busy in categorizing everything as liberal or conservative, left or right etc. This is due to lack of pragmatism.
      Once again when I mean most people, I do not mean you as you may not believe in these categories.

      Also, most people are such that even if they arrive at good conclusions by following some path sincerely, they are very impulsive and self-righteous and hence always harsh when they are sharing their realizations with others. This is due to lack of empathy and humility.

      Shastra is the most abundant treasure of pragmatism, empathy and humility. Hope I was not harsh to you here.

  • skyblue

    Are there Muslims who believe in coexisting with other religions?

    I’m not Muslim, but on this subject, check out Irshad Manji (gay Muslim and reform advocate) and Maajid Nawaz (ex-extremist and liberal Muslim campaigner).

    What I personally have a problem with is fundamentalism, regardless of the religion. I’d define that in terms of “compatibility with secularism”, or “live and let live” ability. Sure, Christianity, for historical reasons, has a lower percentage of fundamentalists, but where to from here for Islam? Will Islam have an Enlightenment of its own, and who or where will it come from?

    I worry that the left (of which I consider myself a part, please don’t take this as a rant from a cranky Republican!) doesn’t do a good enough job of sticking up for the minorities within Islam who share our values (for example, gay or liberal Muslims), and of standing up to far-right beliefs if they come from Muslims (anti-gay or anti-women beliefs for example). There’s more hesitation in the name of multiculturalism towards standing up to Muslim fundamentalists. “Oh, well, that’s their culture” and all. What of the gay Muslim kid who must endure both anti-gay from some and anti-Muslim abuse from others! I’m afraid the western left is missing out on the chance to support the people who can/will drive the Islamic Enlightenment if there is to be one.

    For example there seems to be a focus on the hijab as a “symbol” for Islam. I noticed quite a few Women’s March signs featuring a woman wearing hijab, and also read about a “Hijab for a day” event for non-Muslim women. I think it’s possible to both say, a woman should be able to wear whatever she likes and be free from harassment or violence in public, BUT, I disagree that a woman must cover her hair to be “modest”, and the implication that a woman who does not cover her hair is implied to be immodest. Most on the left would not accept a “modesty” lecture from a Christian fundamentalist advocating for long skirts and turtlenecks, but I have heard liberals parroting the “modesty” justification for hijab and I think it’s inconsistent, throws non-hijabi Muslims under the bus, and promotes a less tolerant view as “more authentically Muslim”.

    Some discussion does seem to be taking place on this topic, we saw the controversy around Linda Sarsour at the Women’s March. And when Maajid Nawaz, who I linked to above, was designated an “anti-Muslim extremist” by the SPLC, it did set off a huge controversy (he’s Muslim himself, for crying out loud).

    • Ambaa

      Did you see Padma wrote on her blog Seeking Shanti about wearing hijab for solidarity? It’s a really good post

      • skyblue

        Thanks, I just went and read that and I also thought it was excellent!

  • Krishna Rao

    Excellent points for a liberal to bring up. Bill Maher says he a true liberal by questioning Islam. And so would agree with him. And since you are an idol worshiping Hindu, Islam utterly condemns your beliefs and way of life. You are doing the unforgivable sin. You asked legitimate questions that all liberals need to think about?

  • MichaelElwood

    I kinda stumbled across this article by accident. Since I seem to be the only Muslim here, I’ll answer the questions that you raised.

    Ambaa Choate wrote: “My conclusion at the moment is that I can dislike Islam and like Muslims.”

    Kinda like evangelical Christians who claim to hate the sin (homosexuality) but love the sinner (homosexuals), eh?

    Ambaa Choate wrote: “I can be a friend to Muslims even if I don’t like their religion.”

    Sure you can. But why don’t you allow that the converse could also be true? Can Muslims be friends with Hindus even if they don’t like their religion? Can Muslims be friends with those who don’t think that their faith has any legitimacy? Can Muslims be friends with Hindus who think that their religion is not “like any other”? Can Muslims be friends with Hindus who think that their religions are “not compatible” and that there’s “almost no overlap” between them? All of this is theoretically possible. But in reality, Muslims aren’t so desperate for friends or allies that they’d just befriend or ally with just anyone. I think both Muslims and Hindus are more likely to befriend or ally with individuals or groups who are less hostile to them and their religions (without having to accept all the claims of each others religions). I also think that the harsh realization that bigots in the West don’t believe in a Hindu exception to their bigotry might also compel some Hindus to seek alliances with some Muslims. For example, the wife of the Hindu man that was recently killed seemed to have deluded herself into thinking that being Hindu should’ve shielded him from such violence:

    “Not everyone is a Muslim,” she said, describing herself as Hindu, “Not everyone will be harmful to this country.”

    http://www.fox5ny.com/news/237969807-story

    However, bigots in the West can’t, don’t, or won’t make such distinctions.

    Ambaa Choate wrote: “Are there Muslims who believe in coexisting with other religions?”

    Of course there are. There always has been:

    “Stanford scholar casts new light on Hindu-Muslim relations”

    http://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/september/sanskrit-mughal-empire-090915.html

    And, of course, there are also Hindus who believe in coexisting with other religions:

    “Redeeming the understanding of Islam and making it accessible”

    http://www.dnaindia.com/india/column-redeeming-the-understanding-of-islam-and-making-it-accessible-2290920

    Ambaa Choate wrote: “How can Islam coexist with other religions that do not believe in one God separate from his creation?”

    The same way Hinduism can coexist with other religions that do not believe in many gods who are imminent in creation.

    • Ambaa

      Thank you so much for responding to my questions! I really appreciate that.

      As you can see I am struggling really hard against my own bigotry. It’s a battle to hang on to my liberal values!

      The one thing that I would love to get more clarification on is the last point. Hinduism coexists with other religions because it has no exclusivity clause. Both Islam and Christianity have the belief that there is only one true God and their religion has the path to it. Hinduism just does not have that.

      The Hindus I see being intolerant it’s because of fear of being wiped out by religions that proselytize. We don’t convert people because we don’t think we have exclusive access to truth

      • MichaelElwood

        Ambaa Choate wrote: “As you can see I am struggling really hard against my own bigotry. It’s a battle to hang on to my liberal values!”

        I wouldn’t call it bigotry. Anti-Muslim bigots (whether “liberal” or conservative, religious or irreligious) are an incurious lot. They tend not to ask questions like you do because they think they already know everything about Islam and Muslims (which they gleaned from TV and the internet). :-)

        Ambaa Choate wrote: “The one thing that I would love to get more clarification on is the last point. Hinduism coexists with other religions because it has no exclusivity clause.”

        All religions make exclusive claims, including Hinduism, because the nature of truth is inherently exclusive. The “law of the excluded middle” entails that propositions are either true or false. For example, the earth is either round or flat. But despite the exclusive claims of the round earthers, there’s not a history of intolerance or persecution of the flat earthers by them. Bemusement, perhaps, but not persecution. In this sense, exclusive claims don’t necessarily lead to intolerance or persecution. They can, but not necessarily. Similarly, despite the exclusive claims of Islam, at various times and places they have been tolerant of Hindus and others. For example, the Kashmiri Muslim ruler, Zaynul Abidin, rebuilt Hindu temples that were destroyed by his predecessor and prohibited cow slaughter in his realm so as not to offend Hindus. This is in line with Islamic teaching concerning freedom of religion. The Quran says:

        “There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.” [Quran 2:256]

        “. . . .O you disbelievers. I do not worship what you worship. Nor do you worship what I worship. Nor will I ever worship what you worship. Nor will you ever worship what I worship. To you is your religion, and to me is my religion.” [Quran 109:1-6]

        Other rulers like Aurangzeb ignored this Islamic principle and destroyed Hindu temples and levied special taxes on Hindus.

        Similarly, despite the exclusive claims of Hinduism, at various times and places they have been tolerant of Muslims and others. However, at other times and places, they have been intolerant. For example, Hinduism makes exclusive claims about the nature of Brahman and Atman that are rejected by Buddhists. This has led to the persecution of Budhists by some Hindus in the past. For example, the Hindu ruler Pushyamitra Sunga persecuted Buddhists and destroyed Buddhist structures.

        Ambaa Choate wrote: “Both Islam and Christianity have the belief that there is only one true God and their religion has the path to it. Hinduism just does not have that.”

        I don’t know about Christianity, but Islam doesn’t teach that there is only one path to God. The Quran says:

        “As for those who strive in our cause, we will surely guide them in our paths. Most assuredly, GOD is with the pious.” [Quran 29:69]

        “With it, GOD guides those who seek His approval. He guides them to the paths of peace, leads them out of darkness into the light by His leave, and guides them in a straight path.” [Quran 5:16]

        The Arabic word used in verse 29:69 is “subulana,” or “paths” (plural). This is not an endorsement of the relativistic claim that all paths lead to God. It’s simply a recognition that there is more than one path. However, verse 5:16 mentions the Arabic term “sirati mustaqeem,” or “the straight path (singular),” which is Islam.

        Ambaa Choate wrote: “The Hindus I see being intolerant it’s because of fear of being wiped out by religions that proselytize. We don’t convert people because we don’t think we have exclusive access to truth”

        I don’t think that’s a convincing explanation of why some Hindus are intolerant, because Hindus proselytize too:

        “Are India’s Christians and Muslims Forced to Become Hindus?”

        http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/28/are-india-s-christians-and-muslims-forced-to-become-hindus.html

        “Are poor Indian Muslims being forced to convert to Hinduism?”

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/12/12/are-poor-indian-muslims-being-forced-to-convert-to-hinduism/?utm_term=.9cfd80929baa

        • Vineet Menon

          Just one point, levying Jizya is not an anomalous behavior with Islamic rulers rather the norm.

          • MichaelElwood

            Vineet Menon wrote: “Just one point, levying Jizya is not an anomalous behavior with Islamic rulers rather the norm.”

            The levying of jizya wasn’t an anomaly, but it wasn’t a normality either. Many Indian Muslim rulers either didn’t levy it, or abolished it. The most well-known example was Akbar. But he wasn’t the only, or even the first, to do it. The first was probably the female ruler Razia Sultana, then Zaynul Abidin (whom I mentioned in my previous comment), then Malik Ambar, and then Akbar. There were probably more, but these are the ones I can remember at the moment.

            The reason for the inconsistency in levying the jizya has to do with the dubious nature of the jizya itself. Muhammad didn’t tax non-Muslims simply for being non-Muslims, something that is repeatedly pointed out in the Quran:

            “(O Messenger) do you ask them for any tribute? (They must know that) your Lord’s tribute is best, for, He is the Best of providers.” [Quran 23:72, also see 6:90, 10:72, 26:109, 26:127, 26:145, 26:164, 26:180, 34:37, 36:21, 38:86, 42:23, and 52:40]

            The Sunni sect was the first to tax non-Muslims simply for being non-Muslims. And the first Sunni dynasty to do this was the Umayyad dynasty. But they didn’t call this tax the jizya, and they didn’t bother to try to give a theological justification for it. A few centuries later, the second Sunni dynasty to do this was the Abbasid dynasty. They did call this tax the jizya, and they did try to give a theological justification for it. They did this by fabricating hadiths and posthumously attributing the practice to Muhammad. They also claimed that the Quran 9:29 justified the practice:

            “Fight those who do not acknowledge God nor the Last day among the people who received the book; they do not forbid what God and His messenger have forbidden, and they do not uphold the system of truth; until they pay the reparation, in humility.” [Quran 9:29]

            The problem with their interpretation of 9:29 is that it’s ahistorical and anachronistic. It’s ahistorical because, as I already pointed out, Muhammad didn’t tax non-Muslims simply for being non-Muslims. The non-Muslims paying jizya mentioned in 9:29 is in reference to a specific historical event–specifically, the Battle of Hunayn mentioned a few verses earlier in 9:25–not some generic tax on non-Muslims. And it’s anachronistic because it attributes a definition to the word jizya that it didn’t have at the time of revelation. Not surprisingly, the word jizya only came to be defined as a tax on non-Muslims around the time the Abbasids started taxing non-Muslims simply for being non-Muslims. However, in Quranic Arabic, it has the exact opposite meaning of tax (e.g. compensation or reparation). It’s akin to reading a 17th century English book that said that “there were a bunch of faggots lying under a tree” and asserting that the word “faggots” meant “homosexuals” instead of “bundle of twigs”. :-)

          • Ch Billy

            I am glad I learnt all these new things about Islam and Quran from you.

            Let me make same clarifications about certain things you wrote about Hindus or I would like to call followers of Sanatana Dharma.

            Shastra, the entirety of scriptures in Sanatana Dharma never makes exclusive claims about what is the correct path to God.

            “They call him Indra, Mitra, Varua, Agni, and he is heavenly nobly-winged Garutmn. To what is One,True and Eternal, the sages give many a title they call it Agni, Yama, Mtarivan.”
            – Rig Veda 1.164.46

            “All of them—as they surrender unto Me—they do so in many different way and forms and I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects knowingly or unknowingly, O son of Prtha.”
            – Bhagavad Gita 4.11

            Here, (Rig Veda verse) Shastra talks of several titles for One Truth which both implies that the approach to God is multifarious and also there are multiple aspects of God (personal, impersonal etc). Here, (Bhagavad Gita verse) Shastra confirms that different people approach God in different ways and God rewards them accordingly.

            I agree that neither verse talks anything about Islam or Christianity exclusively but it conveys the message that different paths are possible and also are rewarded (not equally though but accordingly) . Now, accordingly does not mean Sanatana Dharma is better than Islam or Christianity. It means the rewards are different for different paths and only way to know what reward a particular path gets is by following that path sincerely without going dogmatic or fanatical. There are several paths within Hinduism itself that are sometimes very contradictory like Vedanta, Yoga, Sankhya, Vaisheshika, Nyaya and Mimamsa and you can choose any path you want. I have not chosen Islam. So, I will not judge anything about Islam and leave it to those who follow that path sincerely. Dharma not only avoids making exclusive claims but also gives maximum freedom to follow any path sincerely if you are so disposed spiritually.

            I have heard of Pushyamitra Sunga and if he did destroy Buddhist scriptures, that is against what Shastra recommends and hence, against Dharma and he will or has already faced appropriate consequences for such bad karma. I will say the same to so-called Buddhist nationalists who have hurt/are hurting innocent Muslims in Myanmar or so-called Hindu nationalists who have hurt/are hurting innocent Muslims in India.

            Because of the philosophical freedom in Dharma, conversion is antithetical to Dharma. Conversion asks you to accept a new path and declare yourself a follower and believe only in the new path. In Dharma, it does not matter what you declare or believe, it matters what you follow.

            There is Diksha in Dharma which is initiation into any of the multiple paths but unlike in proselytizing religions, one is reminded repeatedly how tough Diksha is and how it is not for everyone discouraging all insincere people. Nobody comes to you to offer Diksha like in proselytizing. You have to yourself find a Guru and practice under him/her for enough time to convince him/her to offer Diksha. This may take several years in some cases.

            I know Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) does “conversion” of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism. This is not authentic as it is a made-up thing not prescribed in Shastra. VHP is a political organization that makes many hurtful statements to people of Dharma themselves like once they said “If Lord Krishna does not accept He is hindu, then I will reject Lord Krishna”. They make sincere people of Dharma very unhappy. Please donot conflate what VHP does with what Shastra recommends.

            In conclusion, even though people claiming to be of Sanatana Dharma have made exclusive claims, participated in proselytizing and hurt non-Dharma people, none of these actions are backed by Shastra. A true follower of Dharma cannot be intolerant.

          • Ch Billy

            I am glad I learnt all these new things about Islam and Quran from you.

            Let me make same clarifications about certain things you wrote about Hindus or I would like to call followers of Sanatana Dharma.

            Shastra, the entirety of scriptures in Sanatana Dharma never makes exclusive claims about what is the correct path to God.

            “They call him Indra, Mitra, Varua, Agni, and he is heavenly nobly-winged Garutmn. To what is One,True and Eternal, the sages give many a title they call it Agni, Yama, Mtarivan.”
            – Rig Veda 1.164.46

            “All of them—as they surrender unto Me—they do so in many different way and forms and I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects knowingly or unknowingly, O son of Prtha.”
            – Bhagavad Gita 4.11

            Here, (Rig Veda verse) Shastra talks of several titles for One Truth which both implies that the approach to God is multifarious and also there are multiple aspects of God (personal, impersonal etc). Here, (Bhagavad Gita verse) Shastra confirms that different people approach God in different ways and God rewards them accordingly.

            I agree that neither verse talks anything about Islam or Christianity exclusively but it conveys the message that different paths are possible and also are rewarded (not equally though but accordingly) . Now, accordingly does not mean Sanatana Dharma is better than Islam or Christianity. It means the rewards are different for different paths and only way to know what reward a particular path gets is by following that path sincerely without going dogmatic or fanatical. There are several paths within Hinduism itself that are sometimes very contradictory like Vedanta, Yoga, Sankhya, Vaisheshika, Nyaya and Mimamsa and you can choose any path you want. I have not chosen Islam. So, I will not judge anything about Islam and leave it to those who follow that path sincerely. Dharma not only avoids making exclusive claims but also gives maximum freedom to follow any path sincerely if you are so disposed spiritually.

            I have heard of Pushyamitra Sunga and if he did destroy Buddhist scriptures, that is against what Shastra recommends and hence, against Dharma and he will or has already faced appropriate consequences for such bad karma. I will say the same to so-called Buddhist nationalists who have hurt/are hurting innocent Muslims in Myanmar or so-called Hindu nationalists who have hurt/are hurting innocent Muslims in India.

            Because of the philosophical freedom in Dharma, conversion is antithetical to Dharma. Conversion asks you to accept a new path and declare yourself a follower and believe only in the new path. In Dharma, it does not matter what you declare or believe, it matters what you follow.

            There is Diksha in Dharma which is initiation into any of the multiple paths but unlike in proselytizing religions, one is reminded repeatedly how tough Diksha is and how it is not for everyone discouraging all insincere people. Nobody comes to you to offer Diksha like in proselytizing. You have to yourself find a Guru and practice under him/her for enough time to convince him/her to offer Diksha. This may take several years in some cases.

            I know Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) does “conversion” of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism. This is not authentic as it is a made-up thing not prescribed in Shastra. VHP is a political organization that makes many hurtful statements to people of Dharma themselves like once they said “If Lord Krishna does not accept He is hindu, then I will reject Lord Krishna”. They make sincere people of Dharma very unhappy. Please donot conflate what VHP does with what Shastra recommends.

            In conclusion, even though people claiming to be of Sanatana Dharma have made exclusive claims, participated in proselytizing and hurt non-Dharma people, none of these actions are backed by Shastra. A true follower of Dharma cannot be intolerant.

          • Wussypillow

            tl;dr – Why should I pay a tax for not being moslem?

        • mjm

          “the earth is either round or flat” i guess you have never seen dr zaik naik [the peace tv guy] hold up a quarter and say, look it can be both flat [holding it parallel to the ground] and round [and he turned it perpendicular to the ground].

          you didn’t want to join my discussion on hudud?

    • mjm

      i was wondering how you got on the white hindu?

      no mention of of 5:51?

  • Lokesh

    “In my attempts to be kind to Muslims I’ve already been getting back some disrespect for my religion. It’s super challenging to defend the rights of those who would ideally like to see my religion disappear. ”

    This is in deed a difficult conflict, We should always be kind, even to those who hate us, our nature should be to love and to be unconditional about it. (http://aumamen.com/story/sri-ramakrishna-paramahansa-saves-a-scorpion)

    But if it ever becomes political and taking sides becomes necessary, we should be ready to be critical to defend the ideology that to the best of our knowledge is better and useful.

  • No No

    The fundamental question is :
    Why CANT THEY COEXIST. Where ever you go …I dont have to repeat it. Its either my way or you are thrown off a building. I dont think you can even say no in such a religion. Its like a cult, where you say YES. or the result is crap.
    See for your self. Every Muslim majority state has the same issue.

    Now having said that. If someone slaps you, not everyone shows the other cheek. And thus the worlds chaos.
    Its pretty simple, we cant coexist.

  • Ch Billy

    Hi Ambaa. I am happy to to have discovered your blogs. You come across to me as a fairly sincere seeker from your writings. It is rare to find such souls in Kali Yuga.

    I am not a very learned man. But, I wanted to give my 2 cents regarding your question “Can I be a friend to those who don’t think my faith has any legitimacy?”.
    Shastra recommends only positive ways to handle with any sort of problem. The only way we can make some change in the minds of people who think other faiths have no legitimacy is by being the correct example ourselves. If we follow Shastra and truly live the tolerant and open-minded teachings of the Shastra, it will affect those who delegitimise Santana Dharma. This may sound like a cliched answer but this is what is prescribed in Shastra. If you think this is unrealistic, a more pragmatic way of approaching the same is recommended in Vaishnava Dharma. According to this, there are three kinds of intolerant/envious/fanatical people. The first kind are those who are so because they were just miseducated (Avidya). We can associate with such people, be a good example and reveal our hearts to them. We cannot expect good results. They may change or may not change as results or not in our hands but we can put our efforts (Bhagvad Gita 2.47). The second kind are those who are intolerant/envious/fanatical because they are forced by circumstances in this life (bad sanskara). We can associate with them and be a good example but from a distance and we cannot reveal our hearts to them unless the effects of their past bad sanskara completely fade away. This is both for our good and their good. The third kind of people are those who are born inherently intolerant/envious/fanatical because of accumulated bad karma in previous lives (sanchita karma). It is better to be as far as possible from them. Very realized transcendental souls can change even such people but if we are not very realized transcendental souls, we should fight our ego and not associate and try to change such people unless we become ourselves very realized. If we have to associate with them, we should be very formal and non-confrontational. This approach may not sound very courageous (and manly) but is the correct path and one prescribed by Shastra. If we try to do anything else out of ego, we will face consequences.

    • HARRY

      I like the way you use shastra as a level playing field, but in reality lion does not require defending, it’s only deer or gazelle that need defending, this is what shastra is trying to explain. 😀

      • Ch Billy

        Yes. I totally agree with you man. One thing I really missed mentioning in this comment was that these precautions are meant for Sadhakas i.e. practitioners of Dharma who are not yet fully enlightened. Their practice includes performing Sadhana and deeply inculcating Shastra into their lives. I think with high probability most people today are only Sadhakas at different levels, if practicing at all. However, those who have reached the enlightened state i.e., Sadhyas are at a transcendental level where they know exactly what to do at any situation based on their knowledge of Shastra including dispelling misconceptions of the most deluded people on earth. They are the lions in your analogy. All our endeavors should be to become that lion who then require no form of defending at all.

        I like the pragmatism of Shastra that says self-transformation is most important for any person before they begin to impact the society in any way.

  • Ch Billy

    @ MichaelElwood:

    I am glad to learn all these new good things about Islam and Quran from you.

    Let me make same clarifications about certain things you wrote about Hindus or I would like to call followers of Sanatana Dharma.

    Shastra, the entirety of scriptures in Sanatana Dharma never makes exclusive claims about what is the correct path to God.

    “They call him Indra, Mitra, Varua, Agni, and he is heavenly nobly-winged Garutmn. To what is One,True and Eternal, the sages give many a title they call it Agni, Yama, Mtarivan.”
    – Rig Veda 1.164.46

    “All of them—as they surrender unto Me—they do so in many different way and forms and I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects knowingly or unknowingly, O son of Prtha.”
    – Bhagavad Gita 4.11

    Here, (Rig Veda verse) Shastra talks of several titles for One Truth which both implies that the approach to God is multifarious and also there are multiple aspects of God (personal, impersonal etc). Here, (Bhagavad Gita verse) Shastra confirms that different people approach God in different ways and God rewards them accordingly.

    I agree that neither verse talks anything about Islam or Christianity exclusively but it conveys the message that different paths are possible and also are rewarded (not equally though but accordingly) . Now, accordingly does not mean Sanatana Dharma is better than Islam or Christianity. It means the rewards are different for different paths and only way to know what reward a particular path gets is by following that path sincerely without going dogmatic or fanatical. There are several paths within Hinduism itself that are sometimes very contradictory like Vedanta, Yoga, Sankhya, Vaisheshika, Nyaya and Mimamsa and you can choose any path you want. I have not chosen Islam. So, I will not judge anything about Islam and leave it to those who follow that path sincerely. Dharma not only avoids making exclusive claims but also gives maximum freedom to follow any path sincerely if you are so disposed spiritually.

    I have heard of Pushyamitra Sunga and if he did destroy Buddhist scriptures, that is against what Shastra recommends and hence, against Dharma and he will or has already faced appropriate consequences for such bad karma. I will say the same to so-called Buddhist nationalists who have hurt/are hurting innocent Muslims in Myanmar or so-called Hindu nationalists who have hurt/are hurting innocent Muslims in India.

    Because of the philosophical freedom in Dharma, conversion is antithetical to Dharma. Conversion asks you to accept a new path and declare yourself a follower and believe only in the new path. In Dharma, it does not matter what you declare or believe, it matters what you follow.

    There is Diksha in Dharma which is initiation into any of the multiple paths but unlike in proselytizing religions, one is reminded repeatedly how tough Diksha is and how it is not for everyone discouraging all insincere people. Nobody comes to you to offer Diksha like in proselytizing. You have to yourself find a Guru and practice under him/her for enough time to convince him/her to offer Diksha. This may take several years in some cases.

    I know Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) does “conversion” of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism. This is not authentic as it is a made-up thing not prescribed in Shastra. VHP is a political organization that makes many hurtful statements to people of Dharma themselves like once they said “If Lord Krishna does not accept He is hindu, then I will reject Lord Krishna”. They make sincere people of Dharma very unhappy. Please donot conflate what VHP does with what Shastra recommends.

    In conclusion, even though people claiming to be of Sanatana Dharma have made exclusive claims, participated in proselytizing and hurt non-Dharma people, none of these actions are backed by Shastra. A true follower of Dharma cannot be intolerant.

  • Cody Mcdaniel

    I am a Christian who is quite liberal in many respects (Same sex marriage, leftist economic ideas, and a belief in nonviolence except for extreme exceptions) but I hope for a world in which everyone shares the view that Jesus is Lord and is part of the Trinity with God and is the Son of God the Father.
    However, I believe that I can still coexist and be friends with Muslims that believe that the Trinity is polytheism and that Jesus was God’s prophet not his
    Son. I have had a few friends that were Muslim and the main reason I do not have more is that there are not many where I live. But, I do not see their religious beliefs as impossible to get past, only as something that should be discussed delicately.
    I think that I have a religious belief that says Muslims have misunderstood God and his desire for how humanity should act then a liberal Hindu or Jew or Atheist or universal Christian should be able to have productive and loving friendships with Muslims.

    • Ch Billy

      Is it possible that you sympathize with Muslims because you have a similar idea that you “hope for a world in which everyone shares the view that Jesus is Lord and is part of the Trinity with God and is the Son of God the Father” similar to how Musilms hope for a world in which everyone shares the view that “Allah is the only God Almighty and Mohammed is His last Prophet and Quran is the only true word of God Almighty”?

      I am not accusing you. Please do not get me wrong. This is just an inquiry out of concern. I am just repeating the concerns of Ambaa or any other Hindu. What worries us Hindus is that we exclusively state and accept that it is alright for anyone to follow the religion of their choice as there are multiple paths to the same Truth of God and it is left to every person to choose their path and walk the chosen path. But in return, even a very liberal Christian like you cannot come to peace if the world does not share the view that Jesus is Lord and is part of the Trinity with God and is the Son of God the Father. However mildly you put, this is a claim that my path is exclusive and other paths are either illegitimate or legitimate only if they accept my path also. My worry is that despite Hinduism showing unconditional tolerance, Hindus continue to face coerced conversions, ridicule, disrespect and sometimes persecution by fundamentalists (not all) in Islam and Christianity and liberals like you unknowingly and innocently justify their acts by continuing with your claim that your path is the only exclusive path.

      • Cody Mcdaniel

        You are most likely correct when it comes to my sympathy with Islam. Also you are correct when you say that I believe other religions are illegitimate so far that they do not accept the basic aspects of my path.
        However while I also agree that coerced conversions, ridicule, disrespect, and persecution are terrible things that all people should regard as intolerable it is not the the evangelical nature of Christianity or Islam that is the cause of this. This is because many other religions that are non evangelical religions also have members that persecute others based on religion. In India many Muslims have been forcibly converted and killed by Hindu mobs. Also while no Israelis forcibly convert Muslims to Judaism many Jews in Israel persecute, ridicule, and disrespect Muslims. I do not say that this is because of any core tenets of Hinduism that Hindus persecute Muslims. However, it seems that religious persecution is endemic to all peoples regardless of their faith or lack of.

        • Ch Billy

          While I agree that there is news of coerced conversions into Hinduism, they were done by Right Wing Hindu political groups as a reaction to mass conversions happening by Islam and Christianity through questionable means like attracting economically weaker sections through money and illiterate people with false promises. There is no concept of conversion to Hinduism the proof of which is that there are no such recorded conversions in history of Hinduism (oldest of major religions) until post Indian independence era. Those in the west that became Hindus before Indian independence did so through initiation by Hindu Gurus whom they themselves seeked and they are in such small numbers that you can count them in fingers. Hindus do not proselytize and those that do today are doing so from a fear of being wiped out by proselytizing religions. This was what Ambaa highlighted in the article. I do not support these political groups and even consider what they did was wrong and unauthentic according to Hindu ethics. However, the number of people they have converted is extremely small compared to what Christians and Muslims have. If you do not agree, this video will give you an idea of how Christian organizations think and strategize to convert the entire Hindu population:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9zxK-FPnkI
          This definitely bothers us Hindus.

  • morris98

    The author is right on. Islam is quite clear about their non acceptance of other faiths. Our secular concept is based on equal rights for all religions because religions are all equally good. I think this is a wrong premise. Who is qualified to make this judgement? The best one could do is to stay away from making that kind of assumption. This path will ultimately lead us to a kind of society where Islam will get more and more attention. Because that is not just a religion but also a political doctrine. And that perhaps explains so called Islamophobia. We must change this secular concept based on non-judgemental about any and all religions. And that will be a true secular concept.

    • Captain Noypee

      religions are not equally good. c’mon religions are just collections of ideas. some ideas are good, some ideas are bad. if religion is such a good thing how come islamic countries suck?

  • Chilarai

    What passes for “liberal” today truly belongs in the fringe but somehow ended up being the mainstream. That really is the problem. I love them for their insistence on being “good” but pity them for their utter ignorance since none of them has any idea what Islam is about or that Muslims actually want them dead or converted with not middle option. The good news is that the silent majority has started to reject this nonsense. The backlash began in India with the overwhelming mandate given to the so-called “saffron” (or Hindu) BJP party which is actually a right wing ideology that believes in true secularism, not blind appeasement, based on true democracy which in 80%-Hindu India means a Hindu-centric agenda. We then saw it with Brexit and now with Trump. The “liberals” are shell-shocked when they really shouldn’t be.

  • ravitchn

    Christians and Jews are at least theoretically just as intolerant as Islam. But here is the difference. Christians and Jews do not persecute polytheists. They have modernized. Muslims kill them. Opposition to Islam is not bigotry; it is self-defense.

  • Rhetoric Lies

    Part of our issue arises from the trope that we should “respect another’s beliefs.’ Why not just respect the person and leave the beliefs alone? I have no respect for any belief that advocates “submission” and seeks to press it upon others. I have no use for fundamentalisms, and people who would withhold medical care from their children, or who would fight against scientific knowledge. I have friends who are in such belief systems. If they try to bother me with it, i just remind them that, in the words of Ulysses Everett McGill, i “remain unaffiliated”. I respect my friends, but i don’t pander to them by pretending to respect their religions.

    • DawnJ

      Stupid f aggot

  • ravitchn

    One point in Islam’s favor: its view of Jesus is more historically valid than orthodox Christianity which is a fraud.

    • Captain Noypee

      Islam and Christianity’s views of Jesus are BOTH historically invalid.

  • http://rturpin.wordpress.com/ Russell Turpin

    “It’s hard to defend people of a religion that says it is the only true path and all others are sinning against God by not converting to their religion.”

    It’s even harder when they want to write their religion into law, banning gay marriage and abortion. Nonetheless, I stand up for the religious freedom of the many fundamentalist Christians in this nation.

  • Raghu Copywrite

    How can we be tolerant of a religion and be friends with those who practice that religion whose priests, preachers, allow their places of worship for training terrorists, and glorifies violence in the name of Jihad??????

    . Watch this video, in which Christine Fair, professor and expert on Indo-pak relations says the exact same thing about Islamic places of worship.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-F_tQpcHe-E

  • MadScientist1023

    I think there’s a difference between defending Muslims and agreeing with Islam. I don’t think you have to agree with a religion to believe that people should be allowed to peacefully practice it. I don’t agree with Islam in the slightest, but I still think that people should be allowed to practice it if they so choose. I’ve openly told my Orthodox Jewish friends that I think a lot of their rules are silly, but I still respect the fact those rules are important to them.

    I think what’s missing from this discussion is the true definition of “tolerance”. Today, “tolerance” has become roughly synonymous with “multiculturalism”, but that’s not really what it means. Tolerance is about respecting people you have a problem with. You don’t get tolerance points for respecting people you don’t mind to begin with. Real tolerance is when you work through your dislike and establish a relationship in spite of it.

    You don’t need to agree with Islam. You don’t even need to like it. But a liberal who really believes in tolerance should be able to tolerate Islam in order to hold to the ideals that unpopular minorities deserve protections, and that we all have the right to make our own decisions about religion. The price of that freedom is tolerance.

    Of course if a group actually tries to limit your access to certain freedoms, then all bets are off. But I think that’s something they have to do in practice.

    • John Gills

      It’s tough, but necessary, to determine when we can no longer tolerate intolerance….

      • MadScientist1023

        It is, and yet people seem to jump to that saying very quickly.

    • Ambaa

      You are speaking my thoughts exactly! I totally agree with you. I’m struggling with fear and it’s fear that is for something that hasn’t even happened yet!

  • ravitchn

    Alll religions have sanitized their real origins, this includes Judaism, Christianity and Islam. But of the three Islam has falsified its origins a bit less deeply than the others. Christianity is especially based on fraud: fraud about what the earliest Christians believed; fraud about the real Jesus as opposed to the Jesus invented by the psychologically disturbed St. Paul; and fraud about the nature of God.

    The Jews wrote their history in the bible for various political reasons. The Muslims did the same in the Koran. But the lies of the Christians outshine all the others by far.

    • Jeff

      All religions are based on falsehoods, lies and mythology. To nitpick about which false entity is the least true is pointless.
      I’m far more concerned with their wicked actions and behavior, and in that regard, Islam has no equals in the modern world.

  • disqus_oD6t31uk5O

    Ambaa, your first paragraph resonated with me. I’ve had a similar journey trying to find an equilibrium between supporting minorities, cultural diversity and religious freedom and not tolerating religious/cultural beliefs that are against human rights, equality and secular democracy.

    Some of the commentators above point to the short term solution of making certain religious/cultural expressions illegal such as allowing men to have multiple wives, beat their wives, kill homosexuals, kill apostates, and keep slaves. Similarly we legislate for equality and human rights.

    In the long run, blindly importing individuals whose views are opposed to equality, human rights, equality, and secular democracy in favour of medieval religious dogmas could threaten the progress we’ve made in the last few centuries. Giving white men, then woman, then other races, then homosexuals freedom and equality. It’s simply a demographic dilemma as particular neighbourhoods, then councils/districts, and ultimately state and federal elections can be swayed by those who want to impose their sexist, homophobic and intolerant religious/cultural beliefs on others.

    Related issues include how do we reasonably discriminate against those who would impose sharia and those who support human rights, equality and secular democracy. How do you manage the 2nd or 3rd generations that may take up more fundamentalist beliefs than their parents.

    Perhaps core principles to help us work through this is not to tolerate intolerance and work to protect secular democracy, equality and human rights in a period of globalisation and clashing of values.

    It’s probably harder in the US that does not allow laws establishing or discriminating on the basis of religion. Some countries can simply block all Muslim immigration. But surely in the US you could develop a filter in support of human rights, equality and secular democracy and apply it to everyone.

  • mjm

    ambaa, how’s the family? baby ok?

    if you want to speak to more muslims, other than just elwood, i might be able to make that happen. i can find you some salafi/orthodox sunni who might say y’all will be allowed your religion, but not to build temples or worship in public, to secular muslims more in line with elwood, a koran alone american.

    there is this:
    https://www.travelfish.org/sight_profile/malaysia/peninsular_malaysia/penang/penang/2314

    and there is this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKimvdO2qHc

    • Ambaa

      I would like the opportunity to communicate with more Muslims and a variety of people of different beliefs. For me the liberal types would be the most helpful. I’ve heard so much from those who want to rule over the world, you know?

      • mjm

        Well now I’m out of town and on me phone so can’t do links

        But disqus channel “far reaching argument” has conservatives. “My neutral channel” has a woman named murn, an indonesian who is liberal. You will also find nur. She is a bit crazy but I think you will like her.

        And try elwoods stomping grounds, loonwatch.com. or the rational sufi on patheos

      • mjm

        here are some of the muslims i follow on disqus.

        https://disqus.com/by/guevarist_mayan/
        https://disqus.com/by/zuleikajuliedeldar/
        for some reason my list of people i’m following isn’t working too well right now.

        https://disqus.com/home/channel/mncmyneutralchannel/ [this is Murn’s channel and not really meant to deal with politics or religion, but she is an indonesian and therefore a pretty liberal muslim.]

        https://disqus.com/home/channel/thefarreachingargument/ [this is fex pil’s channel, he is an iranian kurd and conservative. you will also find ted mcgrif, nfaly, quidproquo, and other muslims here including joni (she is also on MNC) a canadian convert.]

        the gay Imam out of washington dc is also on disqus but he didn’t come up in my list of people i’m following even though i am. obviously being openly gay, he is very liberal as a muslim. i can’t spell his name [dayeedhia abdullah?] but if you google ‘gay imam washington dc’ you will find articles on him. then just google his name and ‘disqus’ and you should get his account.

        • https://disqus.com/home/channel/collectorscorner/ Ubudian Roy

          “…but she is an indonesian and therefore a pretty liberal muslim.”

          Therefore? No…wrong word. Plenty of Indonesians are neither Muslim, nor liberal.

          That’s your free English lesson for the day Mikey.

          Cheers!

          • mjm

            lol. it is a 90% muslim country. too funny.

            what do you think of ambaa’s hinduism?

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/collectorscorner/ Ubudian Roy

            Nope…it’s 88% and with 250+ million people, that allows for a whole lot of non Muslim folks.

            “what do you think of ambaa’s hinduism?”

            Didn’t read it. As I’ve told you 100 times, in Bali, Hinduism is completely different. We have our own unique Agama Hindu which is called Agama Hindu Bali.

            Any additional lessons for you today Mikey and I’ll have to charge you for them.

          • mjm

            lol. 88%. ok. wow that 2% is really important to ya.

            “in Bali, Hinduism is completely different.” yes i know. i find it interesting that you constantly tell people that, especially muslims. it makes me think you are somehow ashamed to be associated with a different hinduism.

            so what do you think of non agama hinduism?

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/collectorscorner/ Ubudian Roy

            “wow that 2% is really important to ya.”

            And why not? We are talking about 5 million people who make up that 2%.

            Let me make it clear that I only consider what others might think when it’s clear to me that the person is capable of thought. You aren’t, so I never care what you think. So, you can take your insane idea of me being ashamed and shove it.

            I have no opinion about non Balinese Hinduism as I’ve never studied any form of Hinduism other than Bali Agama Hinduism.

          • mjm

            “so I never care what you think” yet here you are trolling me down. lmao.

            “So, you can take your insane idea of me being ashamed and shove it.” christ, you really can’t read. i didn’t say you are ashamed, but that you want to distance yourself from the non bali hinduism.

            “I have no opinion about non Balinese Hinduism as I’ve never studied any form of Hinduism other than Bali Agama Hinduism.” easy enough to say.

  • mjm

    right. it takes one to know one. i’m honest about it. i have no problem with the moniker troll. i will troll people down all the time.

    so why did you troll me down here?

    • https://disqus.com/home/channel/collectorscorner/ Ubudian Roy

      ” it takes one to know one.” And here I thought you were educated beyond grammar school.

      I didn’t troll you down. You made a false statement and I corrected it. Period!

      • mjm

        “I didn’t troll you down. You made a false statement and I corrected it. Period!” how did you know what my statement was?

        • https://disqus.com/home/channel/collectorscorner/ Ubudian Roy

          “…how did you know what my statement was?”

          BECAUSE I READ IT!

          This statement which YOU wrote about Murni:

          “but she is an indonesian and therefore a pretty liberal muslim.”

          One more time Mikey! Therefore is NOT the correct word!

          That turban a bit to tight Mikey? LOL!

          • mjm

            “BECAUSE I READ IT!” obviously. man you are dumb.

            but why would you have read it? because you are trolling my comments. i haven’t posted in days and i post something to ambaa, on her blog that you have never been too. on a thread that is old. lmao. clearly you are trolling me. why can’t you admit it?

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/collectorscorner/ Ubudian Roy

            Good grief Mikey! I read a whole lot of channels on Disqus! If you think I bother going to look for your posts, then I suggest you stick a pin in that over inflated ego of yours!

            And YES, I sure have been to the White HIndu Blog before!

            Get a grip on yourself man!

          • mjm

            “I read a whole lot of channels on Disqus!” haha, you don’t even know where you are. this is patheos.com, not a disqus channel.

            “And YES, I sure have been to the White HIndu Blog before!” really when? what was the article?

            what is ambaa’s husband’s name? what religion is he?

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/collectorscorner/ Ubudian Roy

            Yes Mikey, I know that this blog is not a regular channel on Disqus. I only mention that I surf Disqus channels a lot, and therefore may, or may not also run into you on them.

            As for the rest of your questions…I’m ROFLOL. You are being your typical insane and paranoid self. And, I’m betting that Ambaa is well aware of that typical side of you.

            Anyway, I’m done here. Your incorrect statement has been corrected, and therefore, I’ve accomplished what I wanted to accomplish.

          • mjm

            “Yes Mikey, I know that this blog is not a regular channel on Disqus. I only mention that I surf Disqus channels a lot, and therefore may, or may not also run into you on them.” it is not a channel on disqus at all. nothing ‘regular’ about it. it is a blog on the hindu channel on patheos.com. surfing disqus wouldn’t lead you here. you would have to have followed a person here.

            nothing insane or paranoid to call you on your lie.

            “And, I’m betting that Ambaa is well aware of that typical side of you.” lol. ambaa and i go back years. so when where you on this blog last?

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/collectorscorner/ Ubudian Roy

            I’m delighted that you and Ambaa “go back years.” Perhaps in this exchange she’s gotten a bit more insight about you Mikey.

            For certain Mikey, I don’t follow you! Have no doubts about that.

            One more time…goodbye Mikey. Your error has been revealed, so I’m done as well.

            When I want to talk with adolescents, I have three to choose from every day…Bima, Rama and Komang (my three sons). And any one of them do far better than you!

          • mjm

            “For certain Mikey, I don’t follow you! Have no doubts about that.” so how did you get to my comment? patheos doesn’t send invites. this is not a disqus channel. lmao. you are too funny with your lies roy. do you really think anyone believes you? ambaa knows you have never been to this blog before.

            any what ‘error’ are you talking about? you don’t think murn is a pretty liberal muslim? that indonesia practices a more tolerant islam than many other islamic countries? too funny.

          • ~ღஜ Joni ஜღ~

            Hey mike.. just saying taa.. am off disqus now.. try and be kind to people even muslims.. unless they are shaytan ones..

          • mjm

            how does one determine who the shaitan are?

            interesting story over on kim’s channel this morning. i’m going to repost the news link on mine. is the PM of malaysia among the shaitan. i saw your rant against the hadith. it sounded downright el cid like. nonetheless, good to see you reject the hadith. that is a good start. they lead to this kind of thinking:

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4383144/Malaysian-MP-says-girls-aged-NINE-ready-marriage.html?ito=social-facebook

          • ~ღஜ Joni ஜღ~

            sick that’s shaytan

          • mjm

            is this the canadian joni?

          • ~ღஜ Joni ஜღ~

            Hey Mike.. yep is me.. :) how r u?

          • mjm

            i’m fine. how’s our neighbors to the north? cold snap here:

            https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/Jacksonville+FL+USFL0228:1:US

          • ~ღஜ Joni ஜღ~

            it’s cloudy today but should get nice by late today. :) no bombs falling on us here.. you?

          • mjm

            nothing but sunshine. but then again this is the sunshine state.

            no, no worries on the bombs, we have air superiority.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Air_Station_Jacksonville

          • mjm

            did you reply to ambaa? she is looking for some ‘liberal’ muslims to talk to.

            you also might find some other things of interest. she doesn’t say it too often, but she has Asperger’s.