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Milton J. Madison - An American Refugee Now Living in China, Where Liberty is Ascending

Federalism, Free Markets and the Liberty To Let One's Mind Wander. I Am Very Worried About the Fate of Liberty in the USA, Where Government is Taking people's Lives ____________________________________________________________________________________________ "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater-

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

One Has To Have Faith In People....

And I have always had faith that people will do the right thing. But Muslims have really dented my faith in the inherent goodness of people. They think that the world has to completely acquiesce to their sometimes bizarre and many times barbaric behavior. Why don't they take to the streets when one of their own, claiming to speak and fight for the Muslim people, commits atrocious acts of violence? I think that it is largely that they are taught that this is acceptable behavior by their bloodthirsty Imams and clerics. And why are these Imams and clerics such rabble rousers? Particularly in the Sunni dominated Arab world? Because they really do not have a high place amongst the believers in traditional Sunni Islam and really are not important to the relationship between the individual and his or her creator. As written here on the Sunni/Shia split....
The Shia Imam has come to be imbued with Pope-like infallibility and the Shia religious hierarchy is not dissimilar in structure and religious power to that of the Catholic Church within Christianity. Sunni Islam, in contrast, more closely resembles the myriad independent churches of American Protestantism. Sunnis do not have a formal clergy, just scholars and jurists, who may offer non-binding opinions. Shias believe that their supreme Imam is a fully spiritual guide, inheriting some of Muhammad's inspiration ("light") . Their imams are believed to be inerrant interpreters of law and tradition. Shia theology is distinguished by its glorification of Ali. In Shia Islam there is a strong theme of martyrdom and suffering, focusing on deaths of Ali and, particularly, Hussein plus other important figures in the Shia succession.
The way I see this is that one's relationship with God is that person's business. But Imams and clerics need to insert themselves into this relationship in order to create a need and place for themselves. It would be fine if they were just like shepherds tending a flock, but they also appear to have high political aspirations like bin-Laden who wants to recreate the Muslim caliphate such as existed with the Ottomans.

However, in an interesting article today, European Muslims are attempting to meld their religion with the values of European society.
The conference stressed that Muslims might better adapt to Europe, which some of them see as corrupt and immoral, if imams stressed in their sermons that core Western values of democracy and freedom meshed with their own faith.

"Imams, as teachers and preachers, have a duty to emphasize to their congregations to play a positive role ... in addressing the plagues of Europe -- hate, bigotry, racism, extremism and terrorism," said British imam Abduljalil Sajid.
In reality, the Western values that make democracy and liberty possible can be found in the writings of Hobbes and Locke where they promoted the concept of religious tolerance to avoid chaos caused by religious conflict.

Essentially, Muslims must enter into a social contract with others to determine and gain a place in modern society. The social contract, one that drives modern humans to live together is outlined here...
Social Contract Theory, nearly as old as philosophy itself, is the view that persons' moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement between them to form society. Socrates uses something quite like a social contract argument to explain to Crito why he must remain in prison and accept the death penalty. However, Social Contract Theory is rightly associated with modern moral and political theory and is given its first full exposition and defense by Thomas Hobbes. After Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau are the best known proponents of this enormously influential theory, which has been one of the most dominant theories within moral and political theory throughout the history of the modern West.
Its at least food for thought, and if European Muslims can form a contract with the West, they will be able to form a social contract in other places that they live. Maybe I should keep my faith in people for a little bit longer.


At 6:00 AM, Blogger Thoughtlines said...


Your blog was one of the top 3 listed in a search I did with the words "moral, violence, hate". I'm attempting to get a discussion going revolving around the words "moral, tolerance, peace, violence, hate" to see if there's a possibility for constructive change, and would value your input. Please drop by at www.lineofthought.blogspot.com if you've got a sec. Thanks.



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