Date: July 10, 2019 01:51PM
"Ah yes, the ever-recurring posts wherein our resident experts on Islam, both as a religion and as a culture, more than a millennia old, fall over each other to demonstrate their heart-felt, intellectual prowess."
COMMENT: I am not sure who this is directed to, but I can guess. In any event, I don't recall anyone here claiming to be an "expert" on Islam, either as a religion or culture, much less anyone that appeared motivated to express anything other then there own views based upon limited knowledge and understanding. Now, that said, are YOU claiming to be an expert? If so, then please educate us by showing how the core doctrines of Islam, as traditionally taught and articulated by Mohammad, or in the Quran, or elsewhere, are inclusive, loving, and egalitarian. And then explain, please, how someone might take such innocuous doctrines and interpret them as exclusionary and jihadist. I personally would much appreciate such enlightenment.
And of course, said experts will observe the necessary distinction between Islam and muslims, ideas and people, societies and individuals.
COMMENT: Of course. So, is this comment supposed to be just sarcasm? If so, again, set us straight.
The catholicism of the Pope’s Swiss Guard is different from the anglo-catholicism of WH Auden (which is different from John Henry Newman’s anglo-catholicism); which is different from the catholicism of converts like the Lutheran Knute Rockne and the Jew Gustav Mahler; which is different from the catholicism in the Congo (which is different from the catholicism in the Philippines, Mexico and Brazil); which of course differs from the catholicism of the put-upon coffee picker in Guatemala (which differs from the catholicism of Bishop Timothy Dolan in New York). And this is true (and the scale can be drawn even wider and more varied) at the same time that all these people, if alive at the same time, could partake of the same Mass in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on any given Sunday (not to mention the many differing catholicisms of the ‘lapsed’ who are watching Sunday afternoon football, instead).
COMMENT: O.K. there are different versions of Catholicism. But, what you fail to note are the *commonalities.* It is the commonalities of religious traditions that are the focal point of criticism of Islam. So, what do all versions of Catholicism have in common. Well, I am not an expert, but presumably they all subscribe to Papal authority, and the doctrinal dictates of the Papacy. Isn't that a necessary condition for being identified a "Catholic" however one might deviate in the details?
The same is true with Islam among muslims.
COMMENT: No doubt. In fact, I would assume that each and every individual Muslim can in some sense be considered his or her "own brand" of the religion. But, I ask, what might be true about the mindset of all such persons simply by choosing to be identified as a Muslim? What do they all have in common? You tell me. As a layperson, I assume that it involves some commitment to the prophetic calling of Mohammad; and some commitment to the Quran. And, some idea of what Jihad means and how it is to be understood in Islam. So, again, where in all of these "innocent" versions is there a real *doctrinal* disconnect with the Islamic terrorism we see on TV; and where can we find these people insisting upon such distinctions? I don't see them. But, again, please educate me.
My Nigerian co-worker, with tribe-scared cheeks, and my Sunni barber, with the beautiful and rebellious daughter, have different experiences as muslims and have different ideas about Islam. So does my family doctor, of Persian descent. My childhood friend, whose parents came from Syria and ran a family bakery in the neighbourhood, has different ideas about Islam than my Saudi acquaintance, an accountant, who came to Canada to escape the stifling atmosphere of privilege and wealth (growing up with servants to screw back on your milk-bottle cap has its drawbacks, he jokes). And their experiences as muslims are different. And of course these differences are not lost on my better half’s friend and co-worker, an Indian who grew up in Africa and follows, as many in Calgary do, the Aga Khan. Our Mayor, also an Ismaili, certainly differs from her on what Islam is and means, as she likes to points out. And on and on and on.
COMMENT: That is all well and good. There are differences. There are kind and loving Muslims. We can all agree on that. But, at bottom what do they believe? What *is* their commitment to Islam? When does that commitment end and their charitable nature begin?
Recovery from Mormonism, for me, is partly about noticing that the same is also true even in Mormonism, as small as the community is. Nightingale’s experience of conversion mormonism, for example, differs from Elder Berry’s pioneer stock mormonism. The jack-mormon experiences a different LDSinc than does one of the Romney clan. A prophet’s grandson experiences a different mormonism than the Peruvians that were baptized last week. And so on.
COMMENT: Again, we can agree. People are different; Catholics are not all the same; Muslims are not all the same; Mormons are not all the same; (ExMormons are not all the same). BUT, THERE IS A CONSTANCY IN RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS THAT ALL OF THESE PEOPLE IDENTIFY WITH. There are such things as core religious doctrines; foundational tenets of faith, that unite such adherents. These can be identified, evaluated and adjudged independently of the mindset of the believers. And, like it or not, when someone affiliates with a religious tradition they buy into such traditions, for better or worse. And to that extent they own it. That alone--in my view--entails individual moral responsibility.
There are mormons and then there is LDSinc. There are catholics and then there is Catholicism. There are muslims and then there is Islam.
COMMENT: Yes, and when someone chooses to identify as Mormon, Catholic, or Muslim, they inherit and take on all that these traditions stand for.