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midlander12

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Dec 4, 2018
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Most majority religions (the most common religion in a country) tend to be like Catholicism in Ireland - they might seem to dominate the culture (and sometimes do in terms of politics) but most often it's a case of a relatively small amount of fundamentalists and a huge amount of "al a carte" believers.

I've met a hell of a lot of Muslims in continental Europe who consider themselves believers but really don't have any issues with having a beer or taking a selfie of themselves. Generally, the larger the congregation, the more relaxed the majority of the congregation are with regards the stricter rules of that religion.
I wasn't aware taking a selfie was un-Islamic!

I think the main concerns people would have about Islam relates to the treatment of religious and other minorities in majority-Muslim countries and above all the treatment of women in these countries. I am aware that these problems are not exclusively related to Islam, but I don't most Muslim countries could be reasonably described as 'a la carte' in terms of the implementation of of Islamic precepts. Islam certainly wields a lot more social and legal force in most of the Middle East than Christianity has done for many a long year anywhere in the West, except perhaps a few redder states in the US and (?) Poland.

Whether the majority actually hold such views may matter little if there's not much in the nature of elections and democracy about.
 
Nov 27, 2018
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I wasn't aware taking a selfie was un-Islamic!

I think the main concerns people would have about Islam relates to the treatment of religious and other minorities in majority-Muslim countries and above all the treatment of women in these countries. I am aware that these problems are not exclusively related to Islam, but I don't most Muslim countries could be reasonably described as 'a la carte' in terms of the implementation of of Islamic precepts. Islam certainly wields a lot more social and legal force in most of the Middle East than Christianity has done for many a long year anywhere in the West, except perhaps a few redder states in the US and (?) Poland.

Whether the majority actually hold such views may matter little if there's not much in the nature of elections and democracy about.
Portraits of any living thing are "haram" (forbidden or unlawful) in Islam. This includes photos and so selfies. Landscape or other pictures that contain living things (animals) are OK, as long as the living things are not the focus of the picture. It's why you don't see pictures off Muhammad, while other religions are stuffed to the gills with pictures and icons of holy figures.

That is cultural and political as much as religious, in the same way assuming that all Jewish people support Israel's politics and activities.

There are now huge amounts of Muslims in what we consider, or used to consider "the West". The Muslim/Christian dichotomy isn't really valid, what is far more valid is a dichotomy of secularised culture/religious culture. This doesn't mean that people aren't believers in a secularised culture, it simply means that religion does not dictate law and public appropriateness.

Christian (including Catholic) cultures, without much secularisation, were and are just as intolerant, brutal and discriminatory to minorities and the less represented as non-secularised Muslim countries. You only have to look at Ireland to see that, in both main flavours of supposed Christianity.

The difference is that now, far more Christian (and post-Christian) cultures are heavily secularised than Muslim cultures.

Fundamentalist zealots of any main Abrahamic religion have a very bad track record when it comes to basic human rights and equality, imo. "Real" Buddhism (not the fluffy Western kinds) and Hinduism aren't any better, either. It's just that fundamental Christian zealots hold less power these days.
 
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midlander12

Member
Dec 4, 2018
3,089
2,108
Portraits of any living thing are "haram" (forbidden or unlawful) in Islam. This includes photos and so selfies. Landscape or other pictures that contain living things (animals) are OK, as long as the living things are not the focus of the picture. It's why you don't see pictures off Muhammad, while other religions are stuffed to the gills with pictures and icons of holy figures.

That is cultural and political as much as religious, in the same way assuming that all Jewish people support Israel's politics and activities.

There are now huge amounts of Muslims in what we consider, or used to consider "the West". The Muslim/Christian dichotomy isn't really valid, what is far more valid is a dichotomy of secularised culture/religious culture. This doesn't mean that people aren't believers in a secularised culture, it simply means that religion does not dictate law and public appropriateness.

Christian (including Catholic) cultures, without much secularisation, were and are just as intolerant, brutal and discriminatory to minorities and the less represented as non-secularised Muslim countries. You only have to look at Ireland to see that, in both main flavours of supposed Christianity.

The difference is that now, far more Christian (and post-Christian) cultures are heavily secularised than Muslim cultures.

Fundamentalist zealots of any main Abrahamic religion have a very bad track record when it comes to basic human rights and equality, imo. "Real" Buddhism (not the fluffy Western kinds) and Hinduism aren't any better, either. It's just that fundamental Christian zealots hold less power these days.
Well the 'haram' photo thing makes no sense to me as Muslims most certainly get their photo taken on a regular basis.

I am fully aware of the intolerance of other religions and the societies they control. I grew up gay in Ireland in the 70's after all. My point was that Islam continues to hold political and social sway in Muslim countries to an extent that Christianity thankfully no longer does in the West. If people have negative views of Islam, it may relate as much to this as to some trite 'Islam=Fascism' thingy.
 
Nov 27, 2018
4,639
6,190
Well the 'haram' photo thing makes no sense to me as Muslims most certainly get their photo taken on a regular basis.

I am fully aware of the intolerance of other religions and the societies they control. I grew up gay in Ireland in the 70's after all. My point was that Islam continues to hold political and social sway in Muslim countries to an extent that Christianity thankfully no longer does in the West. If people have negative views of Islam, it may relate as much to this as to some trite 'Islam=Fascism' thingy.
Yes, it's optics. On the same lines, a large amount of the Muslims I've met through work or just day-to-day have been Turkish or Asian, and so the stereotype of 'Muslim = Middle East' isn't often that accurate. I've actually come across a few Chinese students who have converted to Islam, which seems to be a small but growing phenomenon in China, or so they've told me. There's a sense, I think, of people only assuming someone is Muslim because they "look Muslim", i.e. Middle Eastern rather than European, Asian or African. Unless they're explicitly visually branding themselves as 'Christian", we really don't assume this about "European/Western" looking people.

I remember, in recent years post Twin Towers and London attacked, Sikhs and Hindus getting a lot of abuse because people assumed they were fundamentalist Muslims. It think I read somewhere that some Greek Orthodox Monks in London were also in the firing line, presumably because of complexion and big beards.

It'd be a bit like having a go at a random American tourist because they "might" be a Scientologist.
 
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