inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #226 of 281: It's a new sun to me (nukem777) Fri 28 Jan 05 02:07
    
From today's
NYTimes:http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/28/opinion/28wright.html?pagewanted=1&th&oref=l
ogin

by Robert Wright, a fellow at Princeton University's Center for Human
Values and at the New America Foundation, is the author of "Nonzero:
The Logic of Human Destiny."

"And finally, help the world mature into a comprehensive community of
nations - bound by economic interdependence and a commitment to
liberty, and cooperating in the global struggle against terrorism and
in law enforcement generally."

I'm asking my question above in this context. How do you think a
Caliphate is going to move us in that direction?
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #227 of 281: Farooq Khan (farooq) Fri 28 Jan 05 04:28
    
>I think both are mistaken premises, and in the same way<

Let me put it another way. There are of course complexities involved
however the reality being discussed is the basis upon which the Arab
world progressed and Europe, when they emerged as powerful
civilisations. Clearly they progressed upon some fundamental ideas and
that is the point being made here. As for two World Wars and the social
malaise afflicting nations since the birth of secularism and Islam,
this requires a different context of discussion but doesn't detract
from the original premise.  

>again, has only been applied in a very piecemeal way<

We need to be specific here. There is no doubt that is the case today.
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #228 of 281: Farooq Khan (farooq) Fri 28 Jan 05 04:37
    
primarily colonialism and/or neo-colonialism that caused the decline
in the Muslim world?<

The decline was the Muslim world's own doing when it closed the doors
of ijtihad thereby restricting debate. This inevitably affected society
as a whole because thinking became stifled. Ijtihad is central to the
dynamism of Islam because as has been discussed. Once you restrict
thinking in a society and prevent the very process which gives you
intellectual strength from occurring then it is the beginning of the
end. As a consequence Europe was able to surpass the Muslim world
culminating in industrialisation. 
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #229 of 281: Farooq Khan (farooq) Fri 28 Jan 05 05:48
    
What are the most important
things that you hope non-Muslims will learn from your magazine?<

I hope the magazine will remove many misconceptions and ignorance
about Islam because there is so much misunderstanding and
disinformation. If it removes much of the negative stereotypes and
propaganda against Islam then it will have achieved a great thing. I
hope that non-Muslims learn that Islam is more than just a spritual
belief but has practical solutions to the myriad of problems facing
humankind. I hope that non-Muslims learn that Muslims are an asset for
their society because we are and will make great contributions to the 
west. I hope that non-Muslims learn that Islam is a real alternative to
capitalism and socialism. 
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #230 of 281: Farooq Khan (farooq) Fri 28 Jan 05 05:48
    
From the web site:

The main objectives of New Civilisation are:

1 To be the primary medium of choice for nurturing debate and
discussion on all cultural, political and ideological issues relating
to Islamic political thinking.

2 To seek specifically to engage thinkers and policy makers, both
Muslim and Non Muslim, in debate and discussion on all important issues
facing the world.

3 To present clear and objective thinking by knowledgeable observers
on essential ideas that need to be addressed.

4 To project cogent and stimulating alternative ideas in the realm of
cultural and political debate which challenge as well as inform.

5 To be a permanent and regular sponsor of events and forums, both
print and non-print, that encourage original and objective insight.

6 To aid in informing and educating the leaders and thinkers of
tomorrow on upcoming alternative views in addressing the major issues
facing humankind.

http://www.newcivilisation.com/index.php/main/newciv/press_release
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #231 of 281: Gerry Feeney (gerry) Fri 28 Jan 05 07:17
    
> I hope the magazine will remove many misconceptions and 
> ignorance about Islam because there is so much 
> misunderstanding and disinformation.

That's a worthy goal, Farooq.  And I agree that there are many
misconceptions.  Along those lines, many in the west - especially since
9/11 - have become suspicious and fearful of Muslims.  And fear is
very often based on ignorance, as we all know.

I remember that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, a backlash against
Muslims was manifested in many parts of the US.  And then one of our
American heros, Muhammad Ali, in an effort to calm the public, made a
public statement in which he tried to assure Americans that the attacks
were not representative of Islam.  He said that Islam is a religion of
love.  Many other Muslims have spoken likewise.

On the other hand, we've seen many other instances of bloodshed (e.g.,
the beheadings in Iraq), prepetrated by people claiming to be Muslims
and invoking the name of Allah.

These mixed signals tend to be very confusing for many non-Muslims. 
The impression I have is that non-Muslims generally understand that the
great majority of Muslims are not terrorists or
terrorist-sympathizers.  But knowing that *some* percentage of Muslims
are terrorists or terrorist-sympathizers tends to make many people
unfairly suspicious of *all* Muslims, simply because they do not know
how to discern the difference.

Do you think this is the case, and if so, what do you think should be
done about it?

I understand that Hizb ut-Tahrir seeks to advance its cause through
dialogue and reason, and renounces violence as a method for achieving
its goals.  Is this position based on the Quran and, if so, what
passages support it?  When other Muslims cite the Quran as the basis
for believing that they must kill other people, exactly how would you
refute them?  
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #232 of 281: Ari Davidow (ari) Fri 28 Jan 05 07:49
    
>On the other hand, we've seen many other instances of bloodshed (e.g.,
>the beheadings in Iraq), prepetrated by people claiming to be Muslims
>and invoking the name of Allah.

There is nothing inherent in the name of a religion that prevents more 
than one group from acting in the name of the religion as they see it.

If there is a lesson, it is hearing that there are a multiplicity of 
Islamic voices, just as there are a multiplicity of Hindu or Jewish or 
Buddhist or whatever voices, nor is there an Islamic version of a pope 
(nor does the pope speak for all Christians, but that's another story).
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #233 of 281: Gerry Feeney (gerry) Fri 28 Jan 05 08:24
    
That's a good point, Ari.  We know that some Christian cite scriptures
to justify war, just as other Christians cite scriptures to support
pacifism.  And each side will charge that the other is using scriptures
outside of the proper context.
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #234 of 281: Low and popular (rik) Fri 28 Jan 05 09:32
    
I can't think of a major religion where this is not so.
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #235 of 281: Dennis Wilen (the-voidmstr) Fri 28 Jan 05 09:49
    
Yet <farooq> insists Islam is rational.
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #236 of 281: Low and popular (rik) Fri 28 Jan 05 10:42
    
Do you have a case to make?
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #237 of 281: Chad Makaio Zichterman (makaio) Fri 28 Jan 05 12:00
    
rational = when the conclusions drawn are derived logically from your
premises.

Rational does NOT mean X or Y person agrees with those conclusions.

Rational does NOT mean accurate (accuracy being a flavor of
rationality but not the only one).  Inaccurate premise(s) in = likely
inaccurate conclusions out.

- - -

As a quick aside, I'd like to point out that even in this small
sampling (i.e. the thread), Farooq and Sajjad have already succeeded in
demonstrating commitment to the principles stated as the goals of "New
Civilisation" magazine.

It is an inherently uphill battle to even articulate ideas which fly
in the face of current prejudice (as one spends a great deal of time
explaining what such ideas are NOT in response to common
misconceptions) and so for having the endurance for that I applaud
their efforts.
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #238 of 281: Public persona (jmcarlin) Fri 28 Jan 05 13:22
    

<farooq> has argued in <islam.ind.> that the existance of God can be
proven logically which follows in the broad tradition of such people as
St. Anselm and St. Thomas Aquinas. I don't think that can be done
successfully, outside of Pascal's wager, but he's following in a broad
tradition already trod by Christian philosphers.

http://www.saintaquinas.com/philosophy.html
http://www.calpoly.edu/~jlynch/exist.html
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/rossuk/existenc.htm
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #239 of 281: Gail Williams (gail) Fri 28 Jan 05 13:36
    
I'm not versed in philosophy, but it occurs to me that the idea of Reason
within a faith-based culture has never bothered many folks, yet looking 
at one faith-based culture from within another their idea of Reason 
might seem odd to those same individuals.  To be fair you have to 
include secular culture(s) as creating a context for the idea of 
Reason, too.
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #240 of 281: Gerry Feeney (gerry) Fri 28 Jan 05 13:43
    
(Gail slipped in with a good point.)

There was also the English clergyman, Bayes, who sought to prove the
existence of God using math.  He did not succeed, but his efforts did
yield Bayes Theorem of conditional probability, which can be useful. 
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/bayes-theorem/
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #241 of 281: It's a new sun to me (nukem777) Fri 28 Jan 05 14:48
    
Farooq and Sajjad, you have done an excellent job in handling
questions from just about every facet and point of view. I'm only
beginning to get a grip on what you are about and look forward to more
dialog in your conference and your magazine. You have made a difference
in my understanding of Islam and the issues confronting us all.

Thank you for all your efforts.
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #242 of 281: midget gems (riffraff) Fri 28 Jan 05 15:56
    

I use the fruit of Thomas Bayes' labours on a daily basis.
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #243 of 281: Sajjad Khan (sajjadkhan) Fri 28 Jan 05 16:13
    
>Such a state doesn't exist yet.  Who can say what the future will
>bring?  I'm sure there are many different opinions among Muslims
>about what such a state would be like, and most of them will be
>wrong. 

Of course there are different opinions about what a state should look
like, but this doesn't invalidate the need for a state. In the same way
there are different models of 'democratic ' states, doesn't invalidate
the need for such a state.

Why are differences tolerated within western societies (left, right,
libertarian, socialist, social democrat) yet at the same time an
Islamic society is considered unworkable because different Muslims
disagree.
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #244 of 281: Sajjad Khan (sajjadkhan) Fri 28 Jan 05 16:41
    
>In a sense, yes. But as I pointed out in post <186> using the Quran
>as the "elevated" text is very much different than a constitution.
>The Quran would be a source of law whereas a constitution is a
>framework for making law. Yes, the U.S. constitution contains things
>are like laws but mostly it's a framework. And one critical
>difference is a constitution is amendable. The U.S. constitution has
>been many times.Can the Quran be amended?

No it can't be because we believe through a rational basis that this
emanates from the creator. However the flexibility lies in its ability
to apply principles and texts via ijtihad to new realities. I believe
that the Quran is not the constitution but the source for the
constitution and therefore the constitution can be changed depending on
different interpretations and study. Contrast this to secular
constitutions, which you rightly claim can be amended in theory but in
reality are extremely difficult to do so. The US constitution requires
a 2/3 majority in Congress and of the states for it to be amended.In a
pure democracy i.e. one person one vote, 50% of people + 1 should be a
valid basis for a change in law. If you did apply democracy in its pure
form, the Bill of rights would not have lasted in its current form
especially since 9-11. Isn't the higher threshold for change an
explicit acceptance that rights are too precious especially those which
protect minorities to be overturned by a simple majority of people at
any particular time. Isn't this an evidence that societies need to be
protected from the perils of democracy and constant change.
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #245 of 281: Dennis Wilen (the-voidmstr) Fri 28 Jan 05 16:43
    
Leftism, rightism, liberatarianism, socialism and social democracy are
_not based on revealed wisdom from a divine superbeing_. 

This is a fundamental difference which, it seems, its always glossed
over in your analyses.
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #246 of 281: Sajjad Khan (sajjadkhan) Fri 28 Jan 05 16:52
    
>Your rhetorical question also brings into focus the problem of "might
>makes right."  Nicaragua might have had moral justification to attack
>the US militarily.  But in practical terms, that was never really an
>option for Nicaragua.

Jerry But there was nothing stopping Nicaragua sending in a covert
team of people to set off bombs in US cities or some other kind of
assymetric response in retailation for the US aiding the Contras. They
didn't need to take the U.S. on militarily to cause her damage, ala
9-11. As I said it is this kind of double standard that explains why
increasingly people reject U.S. leadership in the world. The gap
between the rhetoric and the reality
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #247 of 281: Sajjad Khan (sajjadkhan) Fri 28 Jan 05 17:09
    
>It does lead to a question. Is achieving a Caliphate an absolute or
>not? How much deviation from the ideal is allowable before it >crosses
the line and is not a true Caliphate? Such questions could >be raised
about the role of the Caliph, how he or she is selected, >law making
procedures, economics etc? Suppose a Caliph, for example, >decided to
make peace with Israel after engaging in ijtihad. Would >that
automatically mean the the Caliphate was illegitimate?

Any value driven society will have red lines, beyond which the society
dilutes its ideological character. An Islamic society would be no
different, it will have red lines. e.g. the source of the constitution
being the Quran and the sunnah, people having authority to choose their
leader, security being in the hands of Muslims etc. Ijtihad is
therefore only done in matters where there is an indefinite meaning
within a text. SO for example no ijtihad would be needed to define the
number of times a Muslim prays each day, or the percentage paid in
zakat (alms)or the need to protect the places of worship for Non
Muslims. In the same vein a well accepted principle is that occupied
land cannot be bargained away, this would be considered appeasement. If
such red lines were crossed, then this would not immediately
invalidate the Caliphate as the complaint would be sent to the Court of
Mathalim (unjust acts). They would enact a ruling upholding the
constitutional position through annulment of the policy or in the last
resort the actual removal of the ruler.
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #248 of 281: Sajjad Khan (sajjadkhan) Fri 28 Jan 05 17:28
    
>Farooq, I don't understand that statement in the least. Do you
>suppose that any current extremist, from bin Laden on down doesn't
>agree with that statement, and yet, presumably, have an entirely
>different visualization of what "because of Islam" means?

Why are we so surprised, replace the word Islam with democracy. In the
name of democracy Bush has invaded Iraq, enacted Guantano Bay and
refuses to accept an International Criminal Court. In the name of
democracy a load of other people believe invading Iraq, holding people
without charge at Guantanomo and not having an International Court are
totally undemocratic. To invert your quote, Do you suppose that any
current extremist, from Bush on down doesn't agree with that statement,
and yet, presumably, have an entirely different visualization of what
"democracy" means? Does this difference in what democracy is, mean
democracy is unworkable

I think it can be reasonably argued that pre Islamic Arabia was hardly
a force for good. The backward Muslim world today devoid of an Islamic
political philosophy is hardly a beacon of light. Yet for large
periods in between these two intervals the Muslim world powered by an
Islamic ideology excelled on a number of different level(economically,
scientifically and politically). I think it would be difficult to argue
that the Muslim world's progress was in spite of the Islamic ideology.
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #249 of 281: Sajjad Khan (sajjadkhan) Fri 28 Jan 05 17:39
    
>Farooq, do you think it was primarily colonialism and/or
>neo-colonialism that caused the decline in the Muslim world?  If so,
>could you expand on the details of how it affected that decline?

No colonialism was not the primary factory thought it is one of the
secondary ones. Blaming evil colonialists for all our problems is
tempting but intellectually lazy. My own view is that is was driven by
Muslim complacency which led them to neglect the arabic language and
other fundamental tenets of Islam, causing intellectual decline which
caused the inability to perform ijtihad.

It is the neglect of ijtihad which led to mass political stagnation in
society leading to decline in material progress. This coupled with the
idea of nationalism (an anathema to Muslims) towards the end proved
devastating and facilitated the foreign invasions you mentioned.
  
inkwell.vue.235 : Sajjad Khan and Farooq Khan, "New Civilisation"
permalink #250 of 281: Sajjad Khan (sajjadkhan) Fri 28 Jan 05 17:50
    
>Leftism, rightism, liberatarianism, socialism and social democracy
>are_not based on revealed wisdom from a divine superbeing_. 

>This is a fundamental difference which, it seems, its always glossed
>over in your analyses.

So is it your premise that Muslims can't come to different
interpretations based on a revealed text. 
  

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