Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Interreligious Dialogue: east is east and west is west ...

The perils of 'interpreting' Islamic ideas into Western culture lay not in translation, but in concepts behind the word. Postmodernists have the added problem, to believe behind language is only more language, not concepts. Ibrahim here gives the example of zakat = charity, which it apparently is not. Infamous is also "well, Islam is a religion so it must be good". In "How the Islamist Mindset Rationalizes - and Promotes - 'Sex Sins'" he's dealing with chastity (or lack thereof).

Middle East Forum: "When Will Westerners Stop Westernizing Islamic Concepts?", by Raymond Ibrahim"

Recently, Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA Today wrote an article about Muslim zakat, wherein I was referenced as a "critic of Islam." She then followed up with another article titled "Critic questions the aims and ends of Islamic charity," dedicated to examining my views on zakat.

While I appreciate Ms. Grossman's initiative, what especially interests me is that her response exemplifies the problems originally highlighted in my article, "The Dark Side of Zakat: Islamic Charity in Context," which Ms. Grossman takes to task.

I had written: "From what American schoolchildren are being taught by their teachers to what Americans are being told by their presidents, concepts unique to Islam are nowadays almost always 'Westernized.'… [T]his phenomenon has resulted in epistemic (and thus endemic) failures, crippling Americans from objectively understanding some of Islam's more troublesome doctrines."

It is, therefore, a bit ironic that Ms. Grossman's entire article is a testimony to this phenomenon. For starters, even though I indicated Muslims are actually forbidden from bestowing zakat onto non-Muslims, her opening sentence stubbornly describes zakat as a "mandate to be charitable." Surely "charity" that discriminates according to religion cannot be deemed all that "charitable," a word that, in a Western context, is connotative of universal beneficence. (...) >>>

Mar 3, 2010

Catholic realism -

Weasel Zippers: "Catholic Bishops Say Islamic Tenets Violate Internationally Enshrined Women's Rights, Want Church to Exercise "Caution" in its Relations With Islam....."

They're basically saying Islam's rotten to the core, Muslims can't change the fundamental doctrine of their "religion"...which is exactly what they're criticizing. Note: The Archdhimmi Rowan Williams must be horrified.....

Catholic bishops attending a synod at the Vatican have said Islam does not respect internationally enshrined women's rights, the ANSA news agency reported, quoting a spokesman. The criticism that Islamic tenets flout the principles of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights came during a meeting of Spanish-speaking bishops at the three-week gathering, the report said.

The Catholic church, in its relations with Muslims, "should keep in mind their conception of marriage and the family, which does not accord women the rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights", said the spokesman, Julian Carron, quoting from a summary of the discussion. For this reason, the bishops called on the church to exercise "caution" in its efforts at rapprochement with Islam, Carron said.

Feels good to be a proud Catholic again..... ZIP >>>

20th Oct 2008

NYSun: "Saudi King's Religion Conference Ends on Sour Note"

(...) the most significant effect of the conference, the observers say, may ultimately be within Saudi Arabia, where the king's example of personally greeting rabbis, priests, and leaders of other faiths, will be interpreted as a call to moderation directed to the most conservative among Saudi Arabia's clergy, which is dominated by the Wahhabi movement of Sunni Islam. (...)

The final statement, which was read by an official with the Muslim World League, Abdul Rahman Al-Zaid, rankled several of the conference participants because it differed from an earlier agreed upon draft. Under pressure from a conference participant, William Vendley of Religions for Peace, a second version was subsequently drafted which attributed the communiqué to the "conveners" of the conference and not the participants, as the earlier version had.(....) One complaint, which two participants voiced on condition of anonymity, is that the communiqué called for the Muslim World League to select some of the delegates for the suggested upon United Nations conference on interfaith dialogue.

The major complaint of many participants was that the document appears to have been revised at some stage without the consent of members of a drafting committee. And the vast majority of participants never had a chance to review any version of the statement before Mr. Al-Zaid of the Muslim World League read it aloud. (...) >>>

Updated: 21st July 2008

ADNKronos: "Spain: Interfaith summit ends with 'Madrid declaration' "

A three-day conference on inter-religious dialogue closed on Friday with the 'Madrid Declaration which cited terrorism as a major obstacle to mutual understanding. "Terrorism is a universal phenomenon that requires unified international efforts to combat it in a serious, responsible and just way. This demands an international agreement on defining terrorism, addressing its root causes and achieving justice and stability in the world," said the declaration. (...) The World Conference on Dialogue brought together representatives from the three main monotheistic faiths, Islam, Christianity and Judaism as well as Buddhism. It was held under the patronage of Saudi King Abdullah Bin-Abd-al-Aziz al-Saud (photo).

The declaration rejected 'clash of civilisations' theories and backed the spread tolerance and understanding via dialogue. The declaration also called on United Nations General Assembly to support the recommendations reached by the conference. (...) No Israeli was part of the conference. Saudi officials chose Spain to host the inter-faith summit due to its symbolism as a place where Muslims, Christians and Jews have lived peacefully for over 500 years. (...) >>>

Updated: 20th July 2008

Chiesa: "Dialogue among the Religions - The Vatican Prepares the Guidelines," by Sandro Magister

Enough with the ceremonies. And more conviction in proclaiming the Gospel. New signs of openness come from Saudi Arabia. Algerian philosopher Mohammed Arkoun criticizes the pope, but even more the cultural void in the Muslim world (...) >>>

Updated: 11th June 2008

BBC: "Pope to host summit with Muslims"

Pope Benedict XVI will host landmark Catholic-Muslim talks in November to improve ties between the two religions. (...) The joint statement said the first Catholic-Muslim summit would be held in Rome on 4-6 November and would involve 24 religious leaders and scholars from each side. (...) the Vatican is now clearly convinced of the need for a wider, if more difficult, dialogue with Islam. (...) >>>

Updated: 6th Mar 2008

Chiesa: "The Cardinal Writes, the Prince Responds. The Factors that Divide the Pope from the Muslims"

The contrast is not only one of faith. It also concerns the achievements of the Enlightenment: from religious freedom to equality between men and women. The Catholic Church has made these its own, but Islam has not. (...) The meeting is scheduled for the spring. And it will take place between Benedict XVI and a delegation of the 138 Muslim authors of the open letter "A Common Word between Us and You" addressed to the pope and to other Christian leaders last October. (...)
Sandro Magister has the entire exchange - read it all >>>
Updated: 2nd Jan. 2008

Townhall: "Christianity and Islam: How Common is the Ground?", by Bob Burney

In response to the “Common Word” document, Yale Divinity School drafted its own “open letter” to Muslims on behalf of Christians everywhere. (While most of the signatories of the Yale letter are a “who ’s who” of today’s theological left, there are a number of evangelicals on board.) The letter titled, “Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to ‘A Common Word Between Us and You,’” heaps praise on the representative Muslim scholars for their efforts to bring about peace among Muslims and Christians. In addition, the letter agrees that the essential “common ground” between Islam and Christianity is love to God and neighbor. A closer analysis of both documents, however, should give Christians pause. (...) >>>

Updated: 5th Dec. 2007

Politeia: "Sunday School Theology for a Time of Crisis"

(...) At the present time of deep social, cultural and religious crisis >>>

Updated: 27th Nov. 2007

Chiesa: "Why Benedict XVI Is So Cautious with the Letter of the 138 Muslims", by Sandro Magister

The pope is asking Islam to make the same journey that the Catholic Church made >>>

Updated: 26th Nov. 2007

Chiesa: "How the Church of Rome Is Responding to the Letter of the 138 Muslims", by Sandro Magister

For now, only the experts are speaking, (...) meanwhile, cardinal (...) Here are the complete texts >>>

Updated: 2nd Nov. 2007~
National Catholic Reporter (by John Allen): "Catholic Reaction to Letter from 138 Muslims Positive, but Wary"

... Perhaps the most extensive reflection to date comes from Jesuit (...)

The Truth Shall Set you Free (by Justin Haller): "Muslims call for Peace with Christians"

... Far from a call for peace with Christians (which violates (...). >>>

Melanie Phillips: "Britain thrilled by offer to submit or die"

National Catholic Reporter (by John Allen): "Transcript of Press Conference on Muslim Letter to Benedict XVI"
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