Norway: New religion class books drop Christian date count

New schoolbooks by Cappelen Damm publishers "We in the world" (Vi i verden) for the new religion class in elementary schools uses "before the common era" and "after the common era" instead of "before Christ" and "after Christ".

(..)

Shoaib Sultan, general secretary of the Islamic council, doesn't support the new term. "I think it's unfortunate.  People try to hide the meaning of something important because it has a religious background.  It's certainly not an implementation of a new date count, it continues to be based on Christ, and people should say that," says Sultan to Dagbladet.no.

He also thinks that the term "common" era is not less discriminating.  "For something to be common something else must be uncommon.  The new term signals that other date counts aren't the right ones."

The general secretary thinks it's misunderstood that people of other religious backgrounds feel offended by Christian references in Norwegian society.

"It's important that all religions are respected and that all get to have their religious holidays.  Norway has a Christian culture and history and everybody should understand that.  It shouldn't change by adapting itself otherwise which sends wrong signals," says Sultan.

He advises against being so zealous on respecting other religions that people give different treatment and instead attack Christianity.

"For example, Christmas is celebrated with a religious background, and people should support it.  it's misunderstood that it's neutral by camouflaging it's background."

Source: Dagbladet (Norwegian)

37 comments:

Martin said...

This is funny, exactly the same thing did communists during communism in the Czechoslovakia :)

Joachim Martillo said...

No one should be surprised at the position of the Muslim spokesman. Jews have a problem with the identification of Jesus as the Christ or Messiah, but believing Jesus is the Messiah is an essential element of Islam.

Esther said...

Joachim Martillo,

Muslims don't believe Jesus is 'the Messiah'. They believe he's one of the many prophets that God sent to humanity. They certainly do not believe that God sent Jesus to atone for humanity's sins or that he's the son of God. In other words, Islam 'believes' in Jesus by undermining anything that Christianity says about him. I wouldn't say they don't have a problem with Jesus, they just redefined the problem so it would go away. This would be similar to Jews for Jesus saying that they're still Jews, even if they deny the basic tenents of Judaism. Do you think a Muslims for Jesus group - who believe that Jesus is the Messiah and that he atoned and would atone for men's sins - would be considered Muslim?

Anonymous said...

Muslims consider Jesus to be a fraud. They think Mary/Miriam (the same person to Muslims) was a slut who should have been stoned to death, that Jesus'/Esau's (also the same person to Muslims) dying on the cross was fraudulent (it's the single most provable fact from ancient history), that the whole Bible is 'corrupted' because it contradicts Mo's twisted versions of events, because the science is correct, and because it's not all one book in which everyone - Adam and Eve through Zephenia through the Apostles - lived together on one continent, in one 50-year period, in one Testament. They also call it 'the kafir calendar' and think that the workday should end at sunset, thereby making clocks irrelevant. They think that not operating on the retarded lunar calendar (which had long since been obsolete among civilized people a millenium prior to the advent of Islam) is kufr - unbelief. So no, we shouldn't be surprised at this.

Also Esther, there are all sorts of Jews for Jesus. My grandmother was probably the first, decades before they were a denomination or movement or whatever you want to call them. Many of them believe that Jesus' coming was an affirmation of OT scripture, that he was indeed the Messiah, and that his existence proved that Judaism was the only true religion. He set the perfect example, a Jewish one, and didn't contradict OT teachings except those which were obsolete by his time and conflicted with the Golden Rule, like animal sacrifice and stoning adulterers. The only thing I can think of that he ever said or did that contradicted the OT - and it's not overt, just between the lines, and every Christian church would disagree with me but would be unable to cite scripture in favor of their persepctive - was that he redefined 'adultery' by rendering it a concept independent of marriage. It was a breach of loyalty thing to him - polygamy, cheating one's spouse - that's adultery. He was with Mary Madgalene for 15 years and he refused to demean their love by degrading her through marriage. He also had to knock back a few just to watch a marriage take place so he turned water into wine at the wedding of Cana because he was so creeped out by the institution. Jesus also never said anything about an afterlife. The Book of Revelations, which has absolutely no business being in the NT and was a ridiculously poor choice on the part of the Church, said it, not Jesus. But you can't simultaneously believe that Jesus died for your sins and believe in hell anyway. He made no mention of 'heaven,' only 'paradise,' which he equated with love/faith (love proves faith, according to Jesus). Paradise is here on earth according to Jesus. A lot of Christian dogma has no basis in the NT, and a lot of it is from books which aren't foundational to Christianity (i.e., not the Gospels) and shouldn't be in the Bible anyway, like Revelations and Paul's sexist letters. Jews for Jesus is an anti-Church, pro-OT, pro-Gospel movement for a lot of people. I came to these 2 conclusions - about adultery and the afterlife - when I was in Catholic high school. The Biblical scholars and Jesuit priests who taught us religion class could never disprove my perspective with real scripture (the Gospels). One of the problems with Christianity is the presece of the non-foundational, contradictory, superfluous NT books. This is also the basis of all the other probelms with Christianity. In the OT, it's all foundational and it's all relevant. That's just not the case with the NT. It's largely filler, just to make the NT as big as the OT. Jews for Jesus see no reason why it should be so. Christianity is based on all the superfluous books. Jews for Jesus is based on the OT and the Gospels, which contain a simple message in affirmation of Judaism.

Esther said...

Jdamn13,

No matter how you try to phrase it - you can't be a Jew and believe in Jesus. If you say that many of the things that Jesus said are common Jewish theology, that's true. But then, that's not really believing in Jesus, is it? That's just Jesus repeating what Jewish scholars said before him.

A Muslim can't believe in Jesus either, that's perfectly understandable. But I don't really see the difference you're trying to draw between a Muslim who claims he believes in Jesus and a Christian (ie, somebody who believes in Jesus) who says he's Jewish. The Old Testament is part of Christian scripture and putting an emphasis on it, as long as you accept that there's a "New Testament" doesn't really mean anything.

Joachim Martillo said...

Esther you need to read a Qur'an.

Muslims call Jesus masih (مسيح‎), which is the exact Arabic equivalent of mashiah (מָשִׁיַח) in Hebrew.

Islam is a slightly evolved version of the righteousness and piety conceptualization of 2nd Temple Judaism as espoused by Jesus, James and their followers while Greek Orthodox and Syrian Christianity accept some ideas from Jesus but evolve mostly out of intellectual currents more directly associated with the Temple Elite.

I discuss the connections and evolution of post-2nd Temple Judaic religions in Connecting Hanukkah Christmas and `Idu-l-Adha.

Medieval Rabbinic and Karaite Judaisms crystallize much later and have much less clear connections to 2nd Temple Judaism than Greek Orthodox Christianity, Syrian Christianity, and Islam.

Daphne said...

To claim there is anything in common between the teachings of Jesus and those of Muhammad is totally irrational. Only the insane or muslims would draw such a parallel.
Jesus saved the adulteress woman from a stoning.
Muhammad believed the adulterer should be stoned or flogged.
Jesus said that if a thief stole your coat give hinm your cape also.
Muhammad said 'If a thief steals your coat chop his hands off.
Jesus said turn the other cheek.
Muhammad said an eye for an eye.
Muhammad said love your enemies.
Muhammad said do not have jews or christians as friends.
The only reason Muhammad said Jesus was a prophet was to get more followers. Muhammad was a megalomaniac who wanted to force everyone into submission to him.
He would have claimed Mother Theresa & Ghandi were muslims if it would have got him another follower.

Daphne said...

Sorry. That should read Jesus said love your enemies.
I think everyone would have noticed that Muhammad would never have said anything so humane.

Anonymous said...

Hi Esther,

Jews for Jesus, by and large, don't recognize that there's a New Testament. They recognize that there are Gospels to the exclusion of the rest of the NT, which are separate from the OT but which do not constitute a NT. And you're right that "[t]he Old Testament is part of Christian scripture and putting an emphasis on it, as long as you accept that there's a 'New Testament' doesn't really mean anything." Like I said, being a Jew for Jesus is more of an affirmation of Judaism that it is of Christianity. I realize that you will always see that as half-assed, and in a way it is. Jews for Jesus are usually people like my mother and my grandmother who were Christian (usually Catholic) and converted to Judaism once upon a time, had no problem with abandoning the Church or most of the NT, but who simply couldn't give up Jesus and the Gospels at the end of the day. I believe the same thing they do more or less, but I consider myself to be my own denomination of Christianity. I'm just more honest with myself that believeing that Jesus is the Messiah makes you a Christian. Jews don't consider us Jewish and Christians don't consider us Christians, but we believe in the Old Testament and the Gospels. I'm not even sure we disagree regarding Jews for Jesus about anything except your statement that they "deny the basis of the tenets of Judaism." I was just clarifying the standpoint of most Jews for Jesus, not trying to reaffirm their legitimacy as Jews per se. And you're absolutely right that Muslims don't believe that Jesus is the Messiah, but they didn't just "redefine the problem." They redefined both Jesus and Christianity.

I do disagree with you statement that "[you] don't really see the difference you're trying to draw between a Muslim who claims he believes in Jesus and a Christian (ie, somebody who believes in Jesus) who says he's Jewish." I don't disagree that you see it that way, of course, but there's a huge difference. The Old Testament is foundational to Christianty, whereas the Bible is not, despite what Muslims claim, foundational to Islam. Islam runs completely counter to absolutely everything in the Bible, both in terms of history and doctrine. Islam has absolutely nothing to do with the Bible, or it wouldn't confuse its characters, its Testaments, the timeline (averyone from Adam to the Apostles lived within aa approximately 50-year period according to Muslims), the geography (they all lived in one small town somewhere unspecified, with the exception of the Sodomites, which were probably in their own separate neighborhood - since it was destroyed but nobody else was affected - while the Gomorrans didn't exist at all). They also wouldn't deny the entire message, namely the Golden Rule, or actively advocate violence, genocide, the loss of free will, a hatred for the Judeo-Christian work ethic to the extent that they are specifically instructed to survive their entire lives through parasitism, the robbery of human rights and human diginty, or promote extreme misogyny, polygamy, or slavery, the abolition of which is foundational to both Christianity and Judaism. Christians see the OT the same way as Jews do except that they regard themselves as wannabe Abrahamic peoples, which they obviously are, while Muslims decry that they are the only true Abrahamic people, even though that makes no sense since Islam knows no creed, ethnicity, or denomination, and is rooted in the goal of all people abandoning their identity, their culture, their governments, and their laws in favor of Sharia and Arab supremacism. Muslims deny that Jesus died on the cross, that he died for our sins, or that he was the son of God. They even confuse him with Esau. They also confuse Mary with Miriam and say that Christians regard her as part of the Trinity. For all these reasons Muslims believe that the Bible is 'corrupted.' And of course, the Dead Sea Scrolls are a forgery on the part of the Joooooos.

Muslims regard the violation of every commandment to be extremely pious.

1) I am the Lord your God They worship another God named Allah, not Yahweh.

2) You shall have no other gods before me
See above.

3) You shall not make for yourself an idol
The crescent, scimitar, and the color green.

4) You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God
They scream "Allah-hu Akbar!" whenever they kill infidels.

5) Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
First comes Saturday... Also, the Yom Kippur War.

6) Honor your father and mother
Hate your father and mother, separate yourself from them, and even kill them if they do not embrace Islam.

7) You shall not murder.
Kill the infidels wherever ye may find them. Smite them at their necks, at length. Strike off the fingers of every one of them. Murder is the single most pious act a Muslim can carry out.

8) You shall not commit adultery
Be a polygamist, rape infidels, own sex slaves, rape your daughters and sisters.

9) You shall not steal
Survive your enire life by parasitizing infidels, either by raiding, looting, or murdering them and selling their wives, mothers, sisters, and children as sex slaves, or by extorting jizya from them.

10) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
Lie in order to keep peace within the Ummah, lie to hide that which Allah hides, or if they're infidels, war is deception, so falsely accuse them of crimes in order to get rid of them, and come up with endless ways in which your neighbor is 'oppressing you' by simply existing and use that as an excuse to murder them, steal their property, take their women as sex slaves, and destroy their nation. See Pakistan, Bosnia, 'Palestine,' Bangladesh, Chechnya, etc...

11) You shall not covet your neighbor's house.
If your neighbor is an infidel, slay him wherever ye find him and steal his house and the rest of his possessions, even if you don't covet it. Also, steal his houses of worship and convert them into mosques.

12) You shall not covet your neighbor's wife
After you murder your neighbor and steal his property, take his wife, his daughters, his grandma, and any other female relatives he may have as sex slaves, and sell them if you didn't actually covet them in the first place.

And JM, Muslims call Jesus Isa, which means Esau. Jeshua/Yeshaua is Arabic for Jesus. 'Masih' means 'messiah.' Muslims deny that Jesus is the son of God, that he died for our sins, and that he died on the cross. Muslims do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Daphne's right. His only purpose in Islamic scripture is to 'prove' Mo's insane claim that he was a Muslim, which was a way of whoring his contrived Abrahamic faith to the Christians during the Meccan period, and he still couldn't bend over backward far enough to denigrate him. If Muslims believe that Jesus was the Messiah, why would Coptic monks in Egypt get sodomized with crosses every Friday in lynchings by Muslims? Why would Muslims destroy every Christian holy site that they know they can't *ssrape by turning it into a mosque?

And Daphne, Mo never said 'an eye for an eye.' He murdered every single person who he believed ever uttered a single unkind word against him, including a 120-year-old Jewish man and a mother of 5 with a baby at her breast. That is not proportional punishment and goes way beyond simple revenge. Talking trash about them, which he spent 98% of the Sira doing, is an eye for an eye, not murdering them. Islamic Jew-hatred ostensibly stems from a Jew nailing a woman's skirt down so that it would come off when she stood up. That does not explain the 4 million Jews murdered in the name of Islam, when you count the eastern end of the Holocaust, which was carried out entirely by Muslims. Of course, we know that that's not the reason and it all stems from Mo's malignant narcissism and subsequent inability to handle rejection, which is why Islam obligates its followers to extrort and rob, if not murder, every infidel they lay eyes on or hear about.

Esther said...

Joachim Martillo,

This is not an issue of reading the Koran, it's an issue of looking at reality. Muslims, by definition, cannot believe that Jesus is the Messiah. If they believe that he's the Messiah who has come to atone for men's sins (ie, the Christian view of Jesus) and that he would rise again to do so, they cannot believe that Mohammed is the last of the prophets.

A religion which claims to supersede another will certainly use the language and texts of the previous religion (as Christianity does to Judaism and as Islam does to both), but they cannot believe in them in the same way. If they would, they wouldn't be claiming to supersede them.

Esther said...

Daphne,

Why do you think 'love your enemies' is humane? Should people love al-Qaeda?

Esther said...

Jdamn13,

I don't want to get into a theological argument. Besides "Jews for Jesus" themselves, nobody else in Judaism sees them as Jewish, and frankly, I can't see how they can.

To a Jew, saying that you are Jewish and believe in Jesus is a objectionable as it would be to a Christian to say that you are Christian but believe in Mohammed. You think it's objectionable and you wrote a lot to prove it to me. I ask you to believe me that this is exactly how Jews see it. If only for the suffering that the believers of Jesus have inflicted on the Jewish people throughout history. The fact that Christians claim the Jewish holy books as their own does not by definition make things 'better'. In fact, the more you claim you're really the same, when you deny the essence of one's religion, the worse it is.

If somebody wants to convert to Judaism, then they can convert to Judaism and accept Jewish doctrines. If they continue to believe in Christian doctrine (no matter how they phrase it), then it's not really conversion, it's just a different type of Christianity.

Daphne said...

Hi Esther,
I am not a christian. I do not believe in loving al-qaeda or any neo nazi organisation.
I regard the teachings of Jesus as similar to those of buddha. They are an ideal. Something man should aspire to but are not practical. Buddhist and christian ideals are best practised in a monastry. Or even better like Simon Stylites on top of a pillar.
But religion should be about ideals. If people are going to believe in an imaginary being then he has to be idealistic.
The failing of islam is that it is practical. It tries to impose god's way of life on man. That inevitably leads to cruelty and torture such as floggings, beheadings and cutting off hands. The same happened when christianity tried to create a christian govt.
God is an ideal. He cannot be practical and rule the world.
As jesus said "Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and give unto God that which is God's".

Anonymous said...

Hi Esther,

I agree with you. Maybe I got too long-winded and lost sight of my point, but I don't think we disagree about Christianity or Jews for Jesus, just about the 'Christians deny the basic tenets of Judaism' thing, and I accept that we're always going to disagree about that. There's just a huge difference between Christians, who uphold the Old Testament as it actually is and who genuinely revere Moses for who he was and what he did, and Muslims who distort the Bible to the extent that they disagree with everything in in wholeheartedly, claim it's 'corrupted,' and denigrate Moses and Jesus at every opportunity. Frankly, I think the only reasons they ever invoked the Bible were to try to convert Christians and Jews during the Meccan period, and to take over Jewish and Christian holy sites during the Medinian period and afterward. The whole Muhammad ascension ahadith is an obvious attempt by Muslims to stake a claim to the Temple Mount, as they so 'revere' Abraham, and yet they denigrate him at every opportunity. They wanted the Jews out of Israel and the Middle East (all of which constitutes Arabia to them) more generally then, and they want them out now because (a) Perv Mo demanded it on his deathbed, and (b) they believe that the final hour - that which is the ultimate goal of their death-cult after the subjugation of every other religion and the installment of pervasive, global Sharia - will only come when there are no more Jews. This is particularly true in the Shi'ite view. They think the Hidden Imam will come only after there are no more Jews, so that is what they are to shoot for. That the Israeli government never seems to understand this or to even be willing to crack a book on Islamic doctrine and history, quite frankly, scares the piss out of me.

And loving one's enemies is a very Christian concept. In the Christian, and even the humanist view, Muslims and Al Qaeda 'know not what they do.' You should feel sorry for them, hate what they do, and believe that they are simply misled, but love them as people, just Ali Sina believes that Muslims are basically good people who are victims of a bad ideology. Christianity is all about forgiveness. That's why I'm a half-assed Christian. I don't believe in forgiveness, either as a course of action or as an actual phenomenon that ever occurs in the world, nor do I believe that Muslims are basically good people. I think they are all by definition mentally ill malignant narcissists who have no concept of or capacity for love and no moral compass whatsoever, and that every Muslim with a single shred of decency would leave Islam at the first opportunity. I simply can't love or pray for my enemy. I want everyone dead who wants to destroy my way of life, my country, freedom, Israel, and everything that is good and worthwhile in the world. I hope they suffer horribly and die an early, painful death. I also don't believe in turning the other cheek. I'm all about the Bush doctrine and the preemptive strike, with-us-or-against-us perspective.

And Daphne, Jesus wasn't 'an imaginary being.' He was a real guy, and his crucifixion is the single most provable incident in all of ancient history, since innumerable Jewish and Roman sources recount it nearly identically. Whether he rose form the dead and was the son of God are a matter of faith and can't be proven. There's also lots of evidence that Moses was a real guy, that Jews were enslaved in Egypt, that they left in EXODUS, and that they wandered around for decades before settling down in their new homeland. The Bible, once you get past Genesis, is an incredibly accurate historical document, and this just keep being proven more and more through archaeology. It doesn't require much faith to believe in the story, just the miracles.

marisa said...

daphne said:
"Only the insane or muslims would draw such a parallel."

Where did you get that from? The muslim version of the elders of zion (as opposed to the Jewish one)? another holocaust anyone?

Jdamn:

Muslims do not consider Jesus a fraud or Maryam to be a slut who should be stoned to death... If you can't read a Qur'an then at least ask your muslim friends... Or do you not have any because you are a bigoted and racist Islamophobe?

Esther:
"This is not an issue of reading the Koran, it's an issue of looking at reality. Muslims, by definition, cannot believe that Jesus is the Messiah."

So what you are saying is... we can not base our discussions on facts (documents-like holy scriptures that are followed by ALL these "muslims") but more on our narrow minded conclusions that are based on our own perceptions that have nothing at all to do with facts?

So the fact that Muslims in Indonesia call Jesus "Isa Al Masih" (the messiah) is not part of your "reality" is it? So glad that the rest of us have a different "reality".

Rgrds,

Ex-Muslim who actually has a modicum of knowledge about the subject.

marisa said...

For Joachim Martillo:

Thank you for stating the obvious. There is actually a passage in the Qur'an about Armageddon that does state there will be a second coming of Isa Al Masih. Islam does not however believe him to be gods "son". but he is one of the main prophets/ rasul (Muhammad-Mohammed, Isa-Jesus, Musa-Moses, Ibrahim-Abraham, Sulaiman-Solomon and Daud-David among them).

Organized religion to me is plain silly, but people who define what other peoples religions are and should be (such as daphne, jdamn and esther) are just as bothersome as Islamic Fundamentalists (they are all trying to dictate what you should believe in)

Esther said...

Marisa,

What I'm trying to say is that the Christian perception of Jesus does not equal the Muslim perception of Jesus. Using the same words (messiah, belief etc), does not connote the same meaning.

Therefore, saying that Muslims call Jesus 'the Messiah', has no real meaning when talking about whether they 'believe' in Jesus. As you state, Jesus is one of several prophets. Christians simply don't believe that. In fact, that's why they call themselves Christians, literally, those who believe that Jesus is Christ.

So, technically speaking, and following your logic that I should read the literal words and not the real meaning behind them, Muslims who believe that Jesus is the Messiah are also Christians. In other words the West is really Islamic, Islam is really the West. QED.

If your read my blog or my comments, you'll see that I constantly state that it is the religious believers themselves who decide what their religion is. Not that this should stop you from your preconceived notions, of course. But in this case, we're not talking about how Muslims see their religion. We're talking about how Muslims talk about the originator of a competing religion.

Again, according to your logic, Muslims do not only decide for their religion, they decide for other religions as well. Since, if they claim they 'believe' in Jesus, then at the same time they disregard the claim of Christians about what is contained in true Christian belief.

This is not new, it's exactly what the Christians did to the Jews. Jews and Christians both 'believe' that the Torah was given at Mount Sinai. But they differ in how they interpret this 'belief' and that is the cornerstone of the differences between them.

marisa said...

Esther:

I think you are confusing my logic with yours. Not one sentence from my post states that muslims are christians or vice versa. I am merely stating a well known fact that Muslims do regard Isa as the messiah (albeit with a major difference)

In Jewish messianic tradition and eschatology, Messiah refers to a future King of Israel from the Davidic line, who will rule the people of united tribes of Israel[1] and herald the Messianic Age[2]. In Standard Hebrew, The Messiah is often referred to as מלך המשיח, Méleḫ ha-Mašíaḥ (in the Tiberian vocalization pronounced Méleḵ haMMāšîªḥ), literally meaning "the Anointed King."

Christians believe that prophecies in the Hebrew Bible refer to a spiritual savior, and believe Jesus to be that Messiah (Christ). In the (Greek) Septuagint version of the Old Testament, khristos was used to translate the Hebrew מָשִׁיַח (Mašíaḥ,) (messiah), meaning "anointed." [3]

In Jewish messianic tradition and eschatology, Messiah refers to a future King of Israel from the Davidic line, who will rule the people of united tribes of Israel and herald the Messianic Age. In Standard Hebrew, The Messiah is often referred to as מלך המשיח, Méleḫ ha-Mašíaḥ (in the Tiberian vocalization pronounced Méleḵ haMMāšîªḥ), literally meaning "the Anointed King."

Christians believe that prophecies in the Hebrew Bible refer to a spiritual savior, and believe Jesus to be that Messiah (Christ). In the (Greek) Septuagint version of the Old Testament, khristos was used to translate the Hebrew מָשִׁיַח (Mašíaḥ,) (messiah), meaning "anointed."

In Islam, Jesus (Isa) is also called the Messiah (Masih)[4], but like in Judaism he is not considered to be the Son of God in a literal sense.

And I did not say that you had to read the literal words but merely commenting on your "reality" and how it does not open itself to sources of documentation (Holy scripture).

And this in itself makes Joachim Martillo's comment of how believing in Jesus as the Messiah as an essential element of Islam (and Judaism) as fact.

What you are trying to debate (albeit with little sense) is how I am trying to equate Muslims as being Christian. Which is SO NOT the case. Believing in Jesus as a messiah is not the sole element of believing in a religion, and just because the three main monotheistic religions believe in Isa/ Jesus/ etc. as a messiah, does not make them one and the same.

And this in itself is a testament of your 'fundamental' nature to label peoples beliefs. For me I couldn't care less about Jews for Jesus. They can believe what they want to believe in, I just don't subscribe to their train of thought.

Again, your logic:
"Again, according to your logic, Muslims do not only decide for their religion, they decide for other religions as well. "

My earlier post:
"Organized religion to me is plain silly, but people who define what other peoples religions are and should be (such as daphne, jdamn and esther) are just as bothersome as Islamic Fundamentalists (they are all trying to dictate what you should believe in)"

And there you have it. Your "spin" jsut doesn't wash.

marisa said...

Typo:
"And this in itself makes Joachim Martillo's comment of how believing in Jesus as the Messiah as an essential element of Islam (and Judaism) as fact."

Should have been:

"And this in itself makes Joachim Martillo's comment of how believing in Jesus as the Messiah as an essential element of Islam (and some faiths of Judaism-jews for jesus) as fact."

Esther said...

marisa,

I never said that you equate Muslims with Christians. I just said that if according to you both are 'believers in Christ' then technically speaking, both are Christ-ians. Of course, that's not true, because they're not both believers in Christ.

Would it be better if I say: Muslims and Christians both believe that Jesus is a Messiah except both religions define the concept of 'Messiah' in completely different ways?

I really don't see the point of such a sentence.

Believing that Jesus is the Messiah in the sense that he will being spiritual salvation is the basis of Christian doctrine. It is what defines a Christian, as I've been told several times by quite a few Christians. (Who am I to tell Christians what defines them?)

Since I know Muslims DO NOT believe that, then Muslims DO NOT believe in Jesus in the Christian sense, and they can use whatever language they prefer, it would still not change the core essence of their beliefs. That is what I meant when I said you can ignore what the Koran says. If Muslims ignore it, why shouldn't I?

Let's look at what Muslims believe regarding Jesus.
- He would come back
- He never died
- He wouldn't be the only one coming back
- He would lead the people to Islam.

But when I look at what Jesus said, he never mentioned Islam. And when I look at his life story according to the people who follow his teachings, they do believe he died. In what sense does believing in the 'return of Jesus' in the Islamic sense mean 'believing in Jesus'?

It seems to me more like usurping the Messiah of another religion for your own religious needs. And that was my 'complaint' about Jews for Jesus.

I have no problems with people defining their own religions. I have a problem when somebody defines the religion of others.

If they 'believe' in Jesus, then by definition they can't be Jewish. If they're Jewish, then the only way they can 'believe' in Jesus is by redefining 'believe' as 'believing that there might have been a Jew named Jesus approx. 2000 years ago who preached his own brand of religion and who was then killed by the Romans'. If you define it that way, then I believe in Jesus too. (I'm a closet born again Christian apparently)

My problem with this logic, and I hope you can understand that, is that you can then go very far with it. For example, I believe Iran is peaceful (if I redefine "peace" to mean "obliterate anybody who doesn't accept Islam"). This might sound outrageous, but there are actually people who define 'peace' in that way (which is quite Biblical) and in Hebrew and Arabic, the word 'peace' comes from the same root as 'surrender'. In other words, if you work hard on redefining everything, you can prove whatever you want.. it would still not mean that Muslims believe in Jesus.

Daphne said...

I draw that parallel from the examples I have given which you have not refuted.
There is no common ground between the teachings of Jesus & those of Muhammad. One turned his cheek when attacked the other was a sadistic mass murderer who had poets assassinated for calling hin a phoney.
If anyone is going to bring on a holocaust it is people like you who defend a doctrine that advocates flogging women, cutting off hands and killing people for thought crimes.

marisa said...

esther:

"This is not an issue of reading the Koran, it's an issue of looking at reality. Muslims, by definition, cannot believe that Jesus is the Messiah. If they believe that he's the Messiah who has come to atone for men's sins (ie, the Christian view of Jesus) and that he would rise again to do so, they cannot believe that Mohammed is the last of the prophets."

Muhammad is the last of the prophets, but that does not mean a prophet that was before him can not come back again (this does not count as a new prophet-as is the case of Isa Al-Masih).

And I think that the basic problem with your sentiments is because you are translating "Messiah" through a bible. Messiah as a word has several meanings that can be translated through several religions (christianity is just one of them). Judaism has its version of what "Messiah" means and so does Islam. One meaning does not semiotically supersede the other unless one is discussing faith, in which case it is a personal opinion and can not be used as a viewpoint of discussion.

marisa said...

Daphne:
"If anyone is going to bring on a holocaust it is people like you who defend a doctrine that advocates flogging women, cutting off hands and killing people for thought crimes."

Did I in anyway defend Islamic Wahabbists? That is what you are talking about right? The brand of Islam that is prevalent in Saudi arabia? The kind that cuts off hands and kills people for thought crimes? Unfortunately a lot of muslims are not sunni wahabbists. Some are Baha'i, some Shiite, some Salafists, and others born again sufists, etc. Or did you not know that there are different divisions in Islam? Hitler wasn't very knowledgeable either... Thats why he burnt books instead of reading them...

Esther said...

marisa,

The ironic part of this entire conversation, is that what Shoaib Sultan was saying above is - if you count the years from the day Jesus was born, then what's the point of hiding it by calling it 'common era'. It's not common, it's Christian. You're counting the years before Christ and after Christ, at least admit that's what you're doing.

I agree with him in many ways. You can use words however you want to mask the underlying belief, it really wouldn't change reality. However, I also do see the reason why using 'common era' and not emphasizing the 'Christ' aspect would be better for non-Christians. They prefer not thinking of the underlying belief, which today is something most people don't even think about anyway.

Daphne said...

I quoted Qaradawi who is regarded as a moderate muslim. Wife beating, flogging and amputating hands are all in the Koran.
99% of muslims are Sunni or Shiite. To claim other sects represent Islam is specious.
And bahai are not muslims. If they were they would not be treated as pariah in Iran.
As to burning books by Hitler. I could mention rushdie, the Danish cartoonists and Gogh's film as exaples of islamic tolerance being comparable to Nazism

marisa said...

Daphne:
"One turned his cheek when attacked the other was a sadistic mass murderer who had poets assassinated for calling hin a phoney."

you really need to read your Bible and your Qur'an. There is not one holy scripture in this world that does not advocate violence (even some sects of chinese buddhist teachings have some violence in their text).

But as I said before please do cling to your belief in Jesus, just don't frame what other peoples beliefs are (meaning: Muhammad never did any of your jihadwatch bullshit and although jesus was a man of peace, the bible also has its violent side).

Please stop being a racst bigoted Islamophobe. They really are a nice people, when not being bombed, raped, tortured, and pillaged by occupying forces such as the government of the US of A.

Esther said...

Daphne,

Why do you think Qaradawi is defined as a moderate Muslim? He's obviously not a moderate Muslim, he preaches an extremely radical brand of Islam. Saying that he's moderate is really redefining what 'moderate' means. (which I admit seems to be rage these days).

It should be the other way around: Anybody who preaches to kill gays (for example), cannot by definition be moderate. Anybody who preaches to chop off hands, cannot by definition be moderate. Etc. Unless, of course, you redefine what 'moderate' means and then you're not really saying anything.

marisa said...

esther:

"What I'm trying to say is that the Christian perception of Jesus does not equal the Muslim perception of Jesus. Using the same words (messiah, belief etc), does not connote the same meaning."

ah, I think we have reached a simultaneous conclusion... That was actually what I was stating... But to the effect that it was okay for Jews for Jesus to say that he was their messiah and also for Muslims to name him their (although in a totally different meaning) their messiah...

Shake hands? hehe

Esther said...

marisa,

I just wrote a reply to your last comment, but it got erased. I'll summarize and say that it is the free countries of Iran and Saudi Arabia who practice strict Sharia law and it is the Muslims of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan who make the life of their fellow Muslims a living hell.

As for shaking hands - the problem is that Christianity is a proselytizing religion, and Jews for Jesus are a proselytizing group. Muslims are also a proselytizing religion. Which is why it's so important for them all to say that they really DO believe in what YOU believe.

I don't mind disagreeing with you, but I think it's clear that we disagree. You look at the literal word, I look at the underlying belief. Jews for Jesus are not Jews. Muslims do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah. In fact, they do not believe in Jesus at all, since the Jesus they believe in was Muslim, the Jesus Christians believe in was Jewish and not really human.

So, we can agree that Muslims believe that the Muslim Essa is 'a' Messiah. Christians believe that the former-Jewish Jesus is 'the' Messiah. But that's not the point, because Muslims redefine Jesus and redefine Messiah and then claim they believe that Jesus is the Messiah.

Do I mind what Muslims believe? Not really, as long as they don't kill me for it. I do mind when somebody redefines MY core beliefs.

I know this brings up a completely different issue, but it's quite similar to the current discussion about 'freedom of religion'. Freedom of religion means you can practice your religion. It does not mean you can force your religion on others.

marisa said...

Daphne:

"I quoted Qaradawi who is regarded as a moderate muslim."

I think Esther already said something about your choice of "islamic moderates" Can I suggest Sari Nusseibeh? Or perhaps some one from the 13th century sufi movement? although I doubt your 'agenda' wont be as forcefully propagandised as such.

"Wife beating, flogging and amputating hands are all in the Koran."

Please do elaborate... What Sura? What Ayat?

"99% of muslims are Sunni or Shiite."

Where did that statistic come from? Jihadwatch or Daniel Pipes? It would seem hard for 99% to be only those two categories since the majority of muslims is in indonesia and they subscribe to muhammadiyah or nahdatul ulama islam... Keyword: Gus Dur (Google it and get info)

"To claim other sects represent Islam is specious."

Thats not what a majority of muslims say... But what do they know? Its only THEIR religion.

"And bahai are not muslims. If they were they would not be treated as pariah in Iran."

An Iranian Shiite might not say so, but tell that to the Baha'i that regards him/ herself as Islamic... You gonna determine what defines their faith as well?

"As to burning books by Hitler. I could mention rushdie, the Danish cartoonists and Gogh's film as exaples of islamic tolerance being comparable to Nazism"

This only shows your shallow racist view that all muslims are the same... It wasn't so in the largest muslim populated country: Indonesia. and it wasn't so in many countries with a lot of muslims: morocco, turkey, Iran, etc.

You really shouldn't stereotype nad label people... Afterall we all know what that led to (hint:shoah).

marisa said...

esther:
"In fact, they do not believe in Jesus at all, since the Jesus they believe in was Muslim, the Jesus Christians believe in was Jewish and not really human."

actually he wasn't a muslim... Islam wasn't around during that period according to the Qur'an... so he was deemed "nasrani" which is a christian... And hence the whole "people of the book" theme in a lot of Qur'anic scripture (Musa was Jewish, etc. etc. and the five holy scriptures Taurat-Torah, Injil-Bible, Zabur-I don't quite know what this one is, etc.)

so I guess, we agree to disagree...

Esther said...

Marisa,

I think there are two issues here:
1. What does Muslim law advocate?
Are you saying that Muslim law does not advocate chopping hands, flogging, stoning etc?

2. Whether a Muslim can reform his religion.

I believe so, since I think it's up to the believer to decide what he believes in.

As for the Bahai - they don't believe they're Muslim. I think you're talking about the Ahmadiyyah. But then again, the Ahmadiyyah see themselves as Muslims, but no other Muslim does. There's a limit to how much you can define yourself. I could say I'm Muslim, but no Muslim would accept it - who's right?

Esther said...

Marisa,

Indeed.


As already explained in Article 1 in this series: A Muslim is one who has submitted to the will of Allah. Islam means submission (to the will of Allah), while it also means Peace. Thus, by declaring his submission to the will of Allah, Jesus declared himself to be a Muslim.


source

Esther said...

the source wasn't linked correctly..


Jesus (peace be upon him) prays to the Lord to save him from the anticipated persecution at the hands of the Jews; yet not as Jesus wishes but as the Lord wills. Do you realize what Jesus is stating at this moment? He subdues his wishes and submits himself to the will of Allah. In other words, Jesus declares his Islam, submission, at that moment.

As already explained in Article 1 in this series: A Muslim is one who has submitted to the will of Allah. Islam means submission (to the will of Allah), while it also means Peace. Thus, by declaring his submission to the will of Allah, Jesus declared himself to be a Muslim.


source

Needless (?) to say, this entire discussion is based on the redefinition of Jesus praying to his "Father" as Jesus praying to "Allah". Which goes to show that once you start redefining other people's religions, you can get very far indeed. Conversion to another religion is not a conversion anymore, it's just a redefinition of terms.

Thomas said...

@jdam13 You say "In the Christian, and even the humanist view, Muslims and Al Qaeda 'know not what they do.' You should feel sorry for them, hate what they do, and believe that they are simply misled, but love them as people, just Ali Sina believes that Muslims are basically good people who are victims of a bad ideology. Christianity is all about forgiveness. That's why I'm a half-assed Christian."


Point of fact, there would be no Humanists w/o Christian values. Humanists that abandon those values quickly become Fascists or Communists. When you lose the ideal that human beings are special, you lose the qualification for the tag "Humanist." Case in point, the Fabian Socialists were among the first to believe in destroying society's undesirables. The Nazis didn't even exist when George Bernard Shaw came up with that little gem.

Thomas said...

@Marisa

If the best you can come up with for Moderate Muslims is a 13th Century Sufi movement then your case is hopeless.

Furthermore, you're calling someone a racist makes you sound like a buffoon. Islam is not a race. There is no genetic code that grows Hijabs or Burkas. Islam is not a race, it is a religion; an institution of humankind. It has nothing to do with genes. It is not a hereditary trait. Weirdy-beardies can be black, white, or asian.


Try again with the race card.

Baileys said...

Thomas:

The 13th century Sufi movement wasn't all I came up with. Read a post before you spill your words. Sari Nusseibah, Anwar Sadat, Soekarno, Kemal Attaturk, etc. The 13th century sufi movement was just the most extreme (the core turning point of when all alcohol became Haram).
You post:
"Furthermore, you're calling someone a racist makes you sound like a buffoon."

Nice... And this statement makes you sound 'intelligent'? not...

"Weirdy-beardies can be black, white, or asian."

Nice bigotry to frame your lack of tolerance...