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Are not most Muslims inside Islam out of habit, because of loyalty to loved ones and communities, tribes, nations? And of course because of hope of heaven and fear of hell? But no longer because of some bright future under Islam? As the first Muslims must have envisioned.
What future does Islamic State offer? They have the negative goals of destroying or at least subjugating their enemies, Israel, America, others. Or Jews, Christians, Hindoes, Atheists, even "erring Muslims".
But what do they offer if they should succeed? Rule of Islam everywhere? And what good will that bring to society and persons? In this life, mind you, or is it only HEAVEN after this life that they promise humans?
Are Muslims not secretly yearning for Judgement day? I mean, that means everlasting joy (in heaven) to them. And they don't seem to know what more good Islam can do for mankind in the future, than Islam is already supposed to have given mankind, here on earth. I mean Islam has been tried far and wide and for a long time, has it not? What more can Islam offer? In THIS life, to humans?
In contrast Pro-Democratic, pro-freedom Darwinist, Rational-Optimist people like me and I think Ali Sina too, have a vision of a bright future for mankind. We see progress in history so far and very likely continuing in the future. In prosperity, longevity, peace (yes, really!) and also in better education, better educated and more rational humans and higher percentages of them.
For us, the best is yet to come! But quite some Muslims I spoke to about the future were pessimists and expecting world war III or catastrophes and thus Judgement day soon. Which is the better attitude? Which is the more rational attitude?
But IMO there exist many good alternatives to Islam. Especially if one examines Islam's claims and the very weak arguments for them being true.
There is the question "how can humans be made FREE FROM Islam? But there also is the question; If Islam collapses what does that make humans FREE TO? Doing, being something that is different from and better than Islam?
Because those who wish Islam to perish, still want (Ex)-Muslims to live long lives, don't they?
So what is it that (Ex)Muslims, apostates, should do with those lives if they are not wasting them so much with Islam? What is it that Muslims try to prevent by killing apostates?
//"When judging Islam, one must judge the Quran and the Hadiths"// This is also said countless times by Shabeer, the most active Islam-apologist on this site. Although I suppose he adds the Sira, the biography of Mohammed.
But Shabeer uses this criterion to excuse and exonerate Islam, from the many misdeeds done by Muslims, in the name of Islam (them clearly giving their motivation, and so not their "ordinary" misdeeds).
But Abeid Salim seems to argue the other way around; he wants to excuse and exonerate Islam by pointing to the good deeds of Muslims, that is when Muslims do good deeds and avoid misdeeds in the name of Islam, like nowadays killing apostates.
He is arguing that when Ali Sina points to misdeeds of Muslims under the influence of Islam, then he as defender of Islam can point to good deeds and lack of misdeeds of Muslims to correct the picture that Islam has a bad influence on the behavior of Muslims.
But Abeid Salim so far has not pointed out the connection between Muslims doing good deeds and avoiding bad deeds (such as killing apostates) in connection with influence of Islam. He seems to be saying is that Muslims have watered down their literal following the instructions of Islam.
And also that many Muslims now implicitly admit that Islam was much more valid in the past but that nowadays much of Islam is no longer valid, anachronistic even. If this is so, what remains valid and valuable in Islam? is it's validity and value diminishing ever more over time? Until when? If Judgement day is postponed for a long time?
When asked about the atrocities committed by Islamic State (or Boko Haram etc), we regularly hear from "ordinary" Muslims that the Islamic State-people "are not Muslims". But Islamic State-people clearly have said the Shahada, do Ramadan, do Hajj if possible, pay Zakat and pray 5 times a day, which are the 5 pillars of Islam. So how can they NOT BE MUSLIMS???
I understand that it is impossible to throw those "extremist supremacist, violent criminal" Muslims out of the Ummah. But .... I speculate that many "ordinary" Muslims start to understand that under the current circumstances the "extremists" give Islam a VERY bad name and causes much mistrust of Muslims by the rest of mankind.
And rightly so, because the "extremists" get their inspiration from Quran-Hadiths-Sira (QHS) and, being enthousiastic about them, study them very well. So how can they be so wrong with their interpretation of QHS???
This means that at best QHS are somehow far too incomplete, far too vague and hence far too multi-interpretable. And, because of being considered "divine", unchangeable, not to be improved or amended in any way!!!
So Muslims should realise that Islam to the knowledgeable rest of mankind has a justified bad reputation.
and maybe, just maybe, a thinking part of Muslims can somehow start a movement with a more symbolic, peaceful, and definitely democratic, interpretation of the vague Islamic texts. And then declare themselves " New Muslims" or "Modern Muslims". And in doing that, this time setting clear conditions upon membership of that "new Islamic organisation".
With some recognized leadership, that can KEEP OUT or THROW OUT those damned "extremists", who can be called "traditional Muslims" as opposed to the "Modern Muslims". So that the rest of mankind can distinguish a peaceful Muslim from a supremacist violent one.
Of course this is very difficult for those "modern Muslims" to do, but now,
now they should be told that it is their own fault that for the rest of mankind, the reputation of Islam and trust in Muslims is very low.
You sort of introduce the factor time into the discussion. And in Islamic and Christianic and other faiths there is belief in Judgement day. And the time of most of mankind and of religions will presumably come to an end on Judgement day.
And of course even Atheists concede that at some point in the future mankind must go extinct.
But what if Judgement day is postponed for a very long time? Consider that in the time of Mohammed he and other people may well have thought that history would soon end. And hence he announced to be the last prophet, the seal.
Presumably to correct the corruption of teachings of the multitude of earlier prophets and to complete them. And the last prophet before Mohammed was Jesus, was he not? Now, between Jesus and Mohammed there was a timespan of # 600 years. But since Mohammed there was a time-span of almost 1400 years (632-2014)!
I for one hope many Muslims will realise that Islam is somehow past it's "expiry-date". Otherwise how can they rationally explain Allah's ongoing inactivity, Him neither ending mankind nor helping trying to improve it's fate (which must have been His reason to "send prophets", must it not?)???
Your reasons are entirely logical and to (people like) me you are very welcome to defend your faith. Because for discussing about Islam and it's alternatives and the problems Islam seems to cause for these alternatives of Islam
(which we Islam-critics crave to do in a non-violent way)
we need defenders of Islam very much. And although they must endure some vitriolic criticism here, they still get the lion share of attention. And we Islam-critics know that on pro-Islamic websites we almost certainly get banned as soon as we start criticizing Islam in earnest, so the Islam-discussion has to be on liberal website like Ali Sina's. That is why you are most welcome to defend Islam here as best you can, to (people like) me.
Christians do interpret their holy texts, it seems to me, much more symbolic and only valid in the past than Many, many Muslims seem to do. Many Many Muslims still interpret Quran-Hadiths-Sira (QHS) in a very literal way and still valid now.
So ideally I like you "to bother" with an answer to this observation by trying to tell us that there are many Muslims nowadays now who interpret QHS in the same symbolic way as the Christian majority interprets the Bible
(including the texts you mention, which are almost certainly almost nowhere interpreted literally and still valid in our time by Christians).
See, there is a lot of context that you don't "bother" to give also.
And of course, we can point out that Atheists in general do adhere to women's rights more than Muslims seem to do.