Wisdom

My wife found this (probably on Facebook):

La religion ne  transforme pas les hommes en criminels; ce sont les criminels qui utilisent la religion comme alibi de leur soif de pouvoir.

Translation:

Religion does not turn people into criminals. It’s criminals who use religion as an alibi for their thirst of power.

The quote is attributed to the Dalai Lama. This would need a lot of reflection, study and criticism, because violence seems to be intrinsic to the “satanic verses” of the Koran in a way that even the Old Testament isn’t. On the other hand, if we want to reply to the atheists who blame religion for war and crime, many more people have died under atheistic regimes than under religious intolerance.

Food for thought…

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6 Responses to Wisdom

  1. J.D. says:

    Father-

    Seems to me the quote applies most of the time but is not some universal maxim. Islam is a religion that sanctions everything from the taking of multiple wives and sex slaves to the slaying of non Muslims, and this is all coming from legitimate interpretations of the Koran and Muslim scholars.

    Generally the statement would seem to hold true,but not in the case of Islam. The Dalai Lama has many wise insights into things, but that naive quote is not one of them.

    One thing I notice is that so many people are either legitimately ignorant of Islam or they want to engage in some sort of wishful thinking.

    • Dale says:

      J.D…very, very well stated.

    • Indeed, as from the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia who called for the destruction of all churches. This is not coming from a crazed Daesh raghead with a knife but from the equivalent in Islam of the Archbishop of Canterbury. There is a more peaceful “gnostic / monastic” version of Islam called Sufism, to which René Guénon converted when he went to live in Egypt. I am told that Muslims in Morocco and Tunisia are respectful of Christians, especially those faithful to the old traditions. I have not read the Koran, but I have seen the very nasty quotes. Even the “Demiurge” of our Old Testament comes nowhere near these utterances of the Koran. I don’t know whether a liberal / modernist version of Islam exists.

      The sources of Islam seem to be Nestorianism and Zoroastrianism with Muhammed’s idiosyncrasies. Some Muslims are sympathetic to Christians and devoted to Mary and Christ as a prophet. The ones we hear most about are the hard-line head-choppers. They worship a perverted notion of God, an evil spirit, whatever that means to them. Call that deity Allah, the Demiurge, Satan – the mythologies flow into each other. Such a religion, as with the Inquisition and modern American Protestant fundamentalism, would be a cause of evil and not merely a vehicle for evil people. There I agree that the holy Buddhist leader is naive.

      I think we all have a lot to learn about Islam, the Shiites, the Sunnis, Wahhabism, Sufism – then the history including the period when they were miles ahead in science, astronomy and medicine than the Christians. They had a very rich culture, then their countries became dustbins and seedbeds of corruption, torture and death. Stories of the various Turkish invasions in history are horrific. Daesh and similar groups would destroy the world and themselves with atomic bombs if they got the chance!

      • Patrick Sheridan says:

        Islam needs a Reformation, as happened in Christianity. That eviscerated the power of the Roman church for the good of humanity. So perhaps a parallel movement within Islam might do away with the more violent and primitive aspects of the Qur’an; turning the fundamentalist Salafist/Wahhabi form of Islam into a renegade, irrelevant fringe group…like RC traditionalists under the present pope.

  2. J.D. says:

    I suspect part of the reason so many politicians, religious leaders and journalists use a nonsense term like “islamism” to describe a certain style of Muslim is exactly in order to try and render them illegitimate and renegade. It’s like a form of psy-op with words.

    The two issues with Reformation in Islam are :
    1. There are no central authorities in Islam like in Catholicism. There is no Pope or “magisterium” that can come in and willy nilly change things and demand obedience. There are various schools of Muslim law and interpretation, but no one pope or anything akin to an ecumenical council or “magisterium”.
    2. No matter what way you cut it Islam sanctions violence in the name of its God. This sanctioning of violence is clear as a bell in the Koran itself ,most of Islamic history and interpretations of it. For western academics and non Muslims to come in and try to sweep this under the rug in the name of wishful thinking or whatever is absolutely nauseating and disrespectful.

    There are simply many barriers to an Islamic Reformation that I don’t see how it could happen. Perhaps the only way would be if the materialist secular humanism of the modern west basically made enough inroads amongst Muslims that they all lost their Islam and became more or less cultural Muslims who don’t eat pork and who occasionally pray but who are otherwise no different than their western counterparts.

    • Patrick Sheridan says:

      Why should the absence of a pope or caliph make an Islamic reformation impossible? It already happened in Saudi Arabia in the early 20th century by a combination of imperial collapse, the discovery of petroleum and American support. The only problem here is that it revived and proliferated a puritan, fundamentalist strain of Islam founded by Muhammad ibn Wahhab in the 18th century, which came about by a political union, which is every bit as effectual in demanding obedience as the Roman Catholic “magisterium;” in fact more so because it does so by threat of violence. Until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the discovery of petroleum, Wahhabism was the religion of insular desert-dwellers. With all that money pouring in, and American support for tyranny in the Muslim world, Wahhabism (which is the religion of ISIS) has now become the dominant force in Islam.

      There is no easy answer. As we know from our own bloody history, the Reformation claimed countless lives and eventually, in places like France, led to the abandonment, by the State, of religion altogether. Who knows what form an Islamic reformation could take. There was a lot of irrational hope over the so-called “Arab Spring,” which has gone very badly, and the past 20 years demonstrates unquestionably that our intervention in the Muslim world to bring about “regime change” (which is a euphemism for establishing American-controlled puppet governments, like the Shah of Iran) has failed utterly. The only thing I can suggest is to pull out altogether; start repatriating our own Muslim populations; stop supporting Israel, and let Sunnis and Shias kill each other, rather than us, in a bloody civil war. Maybe then they can reform, or have an “enlightenment.” Who knows?

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