Should I convert to Islam?

biro

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Semantics? The Resurrection is not important, just that people think Jesus was a 'really cool guy'?

Are you trying to be offensive? I know there are other things going on for you, but it does make a difference whether or not you, and the Muslims, believe Jesus was the Son of God or not. It matters.
 

LizaSymonenko

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I don't like the reference to Christ as a "really cool guy".  He was more than a "cool guy".  He was God.  

....and if you are worried about proving the Gospels are accurate....prove to me that Quran is accurate.

Prove to me that Allah is God.  Prove to me that God gave these visions to Muhammad.  Prove to me that it wasn't Satan who gave him these visions.

Prove to me that Muhammad wrote them down accurately...oh wait...he's not the one who wrote them down at all.

Prove to me that Islam is not evil.

You'll have a really hard time with this last one....Prove to me that they are peaceful....
 

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How many modern day Christian clerics can send out a fatwa on someone's head and get blood shed over it?
 

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Wow, you guys jump at any chance to bite someone's head off.

It's called dry humor. A discussion this heavy needs some lightening up, otherwise we'll drive ourselves crazy.

Also, if you want to play the "who converted more by the sword game" please start your own thread. I honestly don't care about those numbers and it has a lesser importance to me for any potential conversion. It's a moral elitist's argument which to me is not convincing. Thanks.


"MY religion is better because MY religion has caused less deaths AND converted people by belief, not war...as opposed to YOUR religion."
 

doubtingthomas

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William said:
How many modern day Christian clerics can send out a fatwa on someone's head and get blood shed over it?
My grandpa is part of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher. I'm about 90% sure if the Pope ordered them to kill someone, he would do it. But that's beside the point of this thread lol
 

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doubtingthomas said:
Melodist said:
To answer your question, no you should not convert to Islam.
This made me laugh lol
Thank you for your direct answer!
It didn't make me laugh. It's a sobering sentence and one that i'd endorse without any further investigation. I have witnessed too many friends get tangled up in doctrine that at one time, they wouldn't have entertained in a million years. Doctrine that has so seduced and ensnared them because the words have appeared reasonable.
 

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FountainPen said:
doubtingthomas said:
Melodist said:
To answer your question, no you should not convert to Islam.
This made me laugh lol
Thank you for your direct answer!
It didn't make me laugh. It's a sobering sentence and one that i'd endorse without any further investigation. I have witnessed too many friends get tangled up in doctrine that at one time, they wouldn't have entertained in a million years. Doctrine that has so seduced and ensnared them because the words have appeared reasonable.
If you're confident in your beliefs, put them to the test of others'. I already explained why I considered investigating Islam.
 

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doubtingthomas said:
FountainPen said:
doubtingthomas said:
Melodist said:
To answer your question, no you should not convert to Islam.
This made me laugh lol
Thank you for your direct answer!
It didn't make me laugh. It's a sobering sentence and one that i'd endorse without any further investigation. I have witnessed too many friends get tangled up in doctrine that at one time, they wouldn't have entertained in a million years. Doctrine that has so seduced and ensnared them because the words have appeared reasonable.
If you're confident in your beliefs, put them to the test of others'. I already explained why I considered investigating Islam.
There are enough "tests" in this life without creating them where they don't need to be.
 

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NicholasMyra said:
Andrew21091 said:
You have to realize that Muslims didn't forcibly convert as many people as you would like. Christianity was way more effective at spreading with the sword than Islam ever was.
Bull.
You think so? Do you think that all the natives in South America accepted freely when the Spanish and Portuguese came to Christianize them? What about Africa? I don't think many had a choice there. Same with the Byzantine Empire and Kievan Rus. What was going on in the Islamic areas was the same thing that was happening in Christian countries, even Holy Russia and the Byzantine Empire. I don't like the argument against Islam that many on here espouse. Instead of offering constructive reasoning as to why Islam is wrong, people just say it is violent and include various insults. Seriously, people opposed to Christianity throw the same arguments that Christianity is a hateful and violent religion. I've read plenty of what the Church did in the Middle Ages and a lot of it isn't pretty. It usually involves massacres, crusades, inquisitions, and people being burned at the stake. When offering real arguments against Islam, don't use the same old BS about them being the "religion of the sword" or whatever. It goes nowhere.
 

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Despite what Muslims claim, Muslims do convert to Christ.  The descendants of Jinnah, Father of Pakistan, cannot go to Pakinstan, as they have received baptism


Our Parish regularly hosts a Priest from Indonesia Father Daniel ( I have to look up his last name) who is a convert from Islam and is now an Orthodox Arch Priest. His testimony is very compelling

If you PM me I could try to put you in touch with him for some guidance.
 

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Is he Fr. Byantoro? I've heard his podcasts, they are very good.  :angel:
 

Andrew21091

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Marc1152 said:
Despite what Muslims claim, Muslims do convert to Christ.  The descendants of Jinnah, Father of Pakistan, cannot go to Pakinstan, as they have received baptism


Our Parish regularly hosts a Priest from Indonesia Father Daniel ( I have to look up his last name) who is a convert from Islam and is now an Orthodox Arch Priest. His testimony is very compelling

If you PM me I could try to put you in touch with him for some guidance.
Fr. Daniel Byantoro?

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Daniel_%28Bambang_Dwi%29_Byantoro
 

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compare between the Two founders of the Two Religions ...

who is better :

Jesus or Muhammad ?

which of them Deserves really to be Glorified and Praised?

Did Muhammad Deserve to be Equivalent to Jesus Of Nazareth?

how did the Life of Both Figures affected the Life of their Followers?

What is the Content of their Teachings?

yes, some christians did Violent Acts ... But what this have to Do with Jesus of Nazareth?

Muslims Did Violent acts in the Past and Nowadays, how is this Related to Life and Teachings of Muhammad?

in which way do Both religions look to People who are not following them?

How God according to both Religions communicates with the Human Kind?

and be Aware ... Use the Primary Sources of these religions ( Scripture, Traditions (as Hadith in Islam) so that your research will be Pefrect ...

And may god help you ...

Coptic Chrisitian here , i would like to help you as much as i can.
 

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Doubting Thomas,

It does not appear that you are reading our responses, but are determined to embrace Islam and preach it to us.

Please consider the plight of this woman:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,41216.msg672334/topicseen.html#msg672334

Do you agree that a woman who is raped should be forced to marry her rapist or face 12 years in jail and/or a honor killing by her family or the family of the rapist?

Do you believe that honor killing is justified because Mohammed and his followers would also agree with it?

And finally, would you agree to kill your family members and other Christians if a fatwa was issued against us?
 

Marc1152

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biro said:
Is he Fr. Byantoro? I've heard his podcasts, they are very good.  :angel:
Yes, he was here last week and visits us fairly often.

He occasionally gives the sermon when he is here. Last time he summarized the Orthodox view of the Theotokos perfectly and completely in about 18 minutes.. It was a work of art. Awesome.
 

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Should you convert to Islam? Why are you asking that question on a Christian Forum?  ;D

Of course, you must do what you are led by your own conscience to do. Only you know what is right for you.

Personally, even if I wasn't Orthodox, I couldn't let go of Jesus Christ as my ideal!
 
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doubtingthomas said:
primuspilus said:
There is a far more basic problem here than just islam or Christianity.

Is Jesus Christ a liar?

Is he either God of Very God and the Messiah as he said he is, or is he a liar? I'd answer that one first.

PP
That's not the problem. The problem is verifying our Gospels against the Muslim claim that they've been tampered with. The problem is proving nobody has lied about Jesus Christ in their writings. After it's proven that there were little or no changes, I have no choice but to accept Jesus' divinity (yet again in my life).

In the back of my mind:
(Jesus talking with Thomas)

"...Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” [john20:29]
Re the Muslim claim that the Jewish and Christian scriptures have been tampered with: why do our "old testament" scriptures correspond so closely with the Jewish canon if our scriptures are mutilated and in error? Surely the Muslims do not suggest that the Jews and Christians, who are in agreement in nothing as concerns the person of Jesus Christ, conspired to tamper with their own respective scriptures in exactly the same manner?

I have always found this claim completely fanciful and I am shocked anyone puts any stock in it. Am I missing something?
 

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doubtingthomas said:
-Apparent mistakes in the Quran
The Quran at one point mentions that the Christian Trinity consists of Jesus, Mary, and God (the Father). This is a clear human misunderstanding of the doctrine as God would know our beliefs better than us and convey them as such in any subsequent revelation. Another mistake is when Mary, Jesus' Mother, is referred to as the 'Sister of Aaron' (confusing her with Miriam, but the names are the same in Arabic). The prophet attempts to explain this in a Hadith by saying "this is how people of old used to refer to people they honored", but Christians who heard this verse and Hadith didn't recognize that as a legit way of referring to respected people, and there is no other instance of this type of address in the Quran.
This is a pretty big problem, since Muslim doctrine hinges on the Koran being 100% accurate on all points. Sure, you have scholars who create elaborate apologies for the rather obvious mistakes, and I find their explanations about as convincing as I find Fundamentalist Protestants' explanations for various internal inconsistencies and historical inaccuracies in the Bible. That's "not very" in case you're wondering.
 

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You should believe something because it is true. Every other reason is wrong.

Besides that, Christianity has all the things you mentioned. Your post reminds me a bit of a video of this woman who says she converted to Islam and left Christianity because Islam prohibits doing drugs, being a drunk and sleeping around - apparently she's totally clueless about Christianity.
 

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Andrew21091 said:
You think so? Do you think that all the natives in South America accepted freely when the Spanish and Portuguese came to Christianize them? What about Africa? I don't think many had a choice there. Same with the Byzantine Empire and Kievan Rus. What was going on in the Islamic areas was the same thing that was happening in Christian countries, even Holy Russia and the Byzantine Empire. I don't like the argument against Islam that many on here espouse. Instead of offering constructive reasoning as to why Islam is wrong, people just say it is violent and include various insults. Seriously, people opposed to Christianity throw the same arguments that Christianity is a hateful and violent religion. I've read plenty of what the Church did in the Middle Ages and a lot of it isn't pretty. It usually involves massacres, crusades, inquisitions, and people being burned at the stake. When offering real arguments against Islam, don't use the same old BS about them being the "religion of the sword" or whatever. It goes nowhere.
The problem with this kind of thinking, morisco, is that you are comparing two very distinct phases of history and making some sort of equivalency out of two things that were not equal then, and certainly cannot be considered equal now. Being the descendent of some of those indigenous people, nobody has to tell me what the Spanish did in South America. It certainly is nothing to be proud of. But is also is not a fair picture of "the spread of Christianity" vs. "the spread of Islam".

In the first four centuries of Christianity, the spread of the faith was largely without the power of empire behind it, and yet it still penetrated deeply into North and East Africa, India, the Fertile Crescent, Europe, etc. Basically the entire world, as far as was known then. It was not until much later, following some internal controversies and subsequent developments in the imperial church that set East and West (and "East" and "Orient", as we understand those terms Christologically) on different trajectories that we would get things like the Crusades, the Inquisition, etc. For instance. Kevian Rus' was Christianized largely in the 9th and 10th centuries, that is to say, nearly a thousand  years after the initial (peaceful) spread of Christianity.

Islam's historical trajectory looks very different than this because its impetus was different. "I have been ordered to fight all people until they declare that their is no god but Allah", said the wretched blasphemer and profiteer. Its expansion was therefore dependent on an external enemy to mobilize the faithful for the temporal victory of Allah's religion, first over the pagans in Muhammad's midst, then over the others in his surroundings (Jews and Christians), then (after much of the peninsula proper had been brought under Muhammad's control during his lifetime) over adjacent regions to the East (the Fertile Crescent) and the West (much of Europe). Along the way, however, the social and economic engines that kept the Islamic war machine going began to be transformed by the large numbers of converts, thereby denying a large source of revenue (tribute from non-Muslims) and slowing down the pace of conquest, as later converted people like the Indonesians and Malaysians largely saw it as good business sense (they were right, too).

Islam basically moderated during those times when it didn't have to convert people by force, but make no mistake: that has always been an option, and one that is entirely consistent with Muhammad's personal examples and sayings, and certainly with the actions of the earliest Islamic rulers.

So ask yourself: Which of the apostles who brought Christianity to the world resorted to such atrocities? St. Mark was martyred in Egypt, but Egypt had blossomed as a majority-Christian society before the coming of the Islamic horde. St. Thomas was likewise martyred in India, but not before planting a community that is several million strong to this day, despite always being a minority religion in that land (something that Islam could learn, but never will: You don't have rule over the land you are in to prove the strength of your faith). Similar histories could be told of a great many other saints, apostles, and missionaries. Nothing similar can be said of any Muslim ever, anywhere, and I doubt it ever will be so, because Islam simply does not operate in that fashion. It preaches a different gospel, and we all know what that means...

Akimori: What's more, why, if they maintain that our scriptures are corrupted, do they also claim that Muhammad is prophesied in them? (like claiming he is mentioned by name in the Song of Songs)

Unrelated to any of the above: When I lived in Oregon, in a town that had a lot of Saudis and other Muslims, I saw and heard of a lot of what Isa has written about Muslims in the west going a little "freedom crazy", if you will. I got to be sort of friends with a local cab driver and he regaled me with stories (that I didn't ask for) about how strange it was that he would always be called to the nightclubs on the weekend to pick up drunken Saudis who were rude and still possessed a "holier than thou" attitude despite being pitiful losers acting not only outside the bounds of their own religion, but in ways that would make American fratpersons blush. I don't know about any of that, but I did ask my Saudi friend Meedo about it once and he became very defensive: "America is a free country! So we do what we want." It is as though Allah would look the other way while they are in the land of the kuffar. Then again, I guess Islam's Allah has always been very Mecca-centric (except, y'know, before that, when Muhammad had ordered his people to pray to Jerusalem)...and there are certainly much more exciting places to check up on than Eugene, Oregon.

Contrast that with life today among the Copts. Now, I don't know all of them in the world, but I do know all of them (I think) here in Albuquerque, NM. They're not perfect (after all, they let me come to their liturgies and such), but they are very friendly, family-oriented, not prone to excesses in anything but perhaps fasting. :) Not one of them has ever said to me "I can do whatever I want because I'm in America now, not Egypt." So, if we're going to judge a religion by the piety of its members (which is a terrible idea, but seems to be a part of the OP's "pro-Islam" argument), Orthodox Christianity wins all the way.

So OP -- don't convert to Islam. Convert to Orthodoxy. You can pray and fast more than Muslims, speak Arabic (if this is part of the attraction; I know some people who converted to Islam who thought this made it more beautiful), AND (this is the best part) you get the real, actual God, not Muhammad's self-serving recension of God based on his perversion of previous scriptures mixed with various heresies that were floating around Arabia at his time.
 

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doubtingthomas said:
Wow, you guys jump at any chance to bite someone's head off.

It's called dry humor. A discussion this heavy needs some lightening up, otherwise we'll drive ourselves crazy.

Also, if you want to play the "who converted more by the sword game" please start your own thread. I honestly don't care about those numbers and it has a lesser importance to me for any potential conversion. It's a moral elitist's argument which to me is not convincing. Thanks.


"MY religion is better because MY religion has caused less deaths AND converted people by belief, not war...as opposed to YOUR religion."
So, what about my post about the Incarnation? Does the Incarnation leave you indifferent?
 

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I would strongly beg you not to become a Muslim. The theological differences are so profound if you choose to worship the god of Mohammad, you will not be worshipping the one holy and undivided Trinity.
Allah is one and within one there can be no love and no creation. All that is required is to submit to Allah as a slave. But within the Holy Trinity there is the love of the Father for the Son and Holy Spirit. And this love is reciprocated within the Holy Trinity. And through that Divine Love all of creation came into being.

Also, the Holy Scriptures were written over time by many authors who wrote it within the context of the history of Church which began on the day of creation. The Qu\'ran was written without this context of history by one supposed author, Mohammad. Read the article below by Fr. Patrick Reardon. I would even contact Fr. Pat if you have more questions about the many theological differences. He will clearly guide you.

One Difference Between the Bible and the Qu\'ran

Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon

   
Tenth Sunday After Pentecost
Father Pat's Pastoral Ponderings

For a long time the identification of a thematic core of ideas was a major difficulty facing modern biblical scholarship. Even from fifty years ago I recall initiatory books--with titles like Introduction to the Old Testament and New Testament Theology--in which the author prefaced his labor with many pages trying to justify the effort: What were the unifying doctrines that led to the formation of the biblical canon(s)? I, for one, was never satisfied that the author answered the question. Only later did I realize it was the wrong question.

The difficulty came from the nature of the biblical canon, which differs greatly from what may appear, at first, to be parallel cases. For instance, a book entitled An Introduction to Plato or The Philosophy of Jane Austen begins with the canonical limits of these two authors. Their origin from a single mind is the unifying core of their ideas.

Even a literary canon not determined by single authorship normally has some other recognizable factor providing a unitive core. In a book entitled An Introduction to the Romantics, for instance, the author is not obliged to spend a lot of pages explaining why Endymion is included and The Old Man and the Sea is left out.

Contrast such clarity of purpose with the task of identifying what ideas Chronicles and Job have in common, or picking out the themes shared by Nahum and Deuteronomy, or Jude and Luke. Since the New Testament was composed over several decades, and the Old Testament over several centuries, there is an inbuilt frustration in attempting to canonize either testament on the basis of its core ideas, to say nothing of uniting both testaments in a single canon.

A few years ago Remi Brague summed up the simple and easily recognized truth of the matter: "The unity of the Bible does not reside in the text itself, but in the experience of the people of Israel. That experience constitutes the common background upon which and in the light of which the texts have continuously been read and reread" (The Wisdom of the World, p. 44).

To be sure, there are multiple thematic doctrines found all through the Bible. The Bible's true and deeper unity, however, comes from the unified history of an identifiable entity--Israel and the Church. The biblical metaphor for that unity is the cultivated olive tree of Israel, into which, according to St. Paul, the believing Gentiles have been engrafted (Romans 11:16-28).

We will not strain the force of Paul's metaphor, I believe, if we regard the sundry books of Holy Scripture as the olives produced by that tree. Thus, if the books of the New Testament, in some instances, look and taste different from those of the Old, this is hardly surprising. The fruit of an engrafted branch is determined by the species of that branch, even while its life wells up from the older root and is transmitted through the common trunk. In short, an identifiable historical community--the one Church of the Old and New Testaments--is what provides the unity of the Scriptures.

In this respect there is a radical difference between the Bible and the Qu'ran, because a single authorship unites the 114 qu'ranic suras. (We understand that author to be Muhammad, whereas Muslims believe him to be God, but that disagreement does not bear on the distinction considered here.) Islam was begotten and born of the Qu'ran, not the other way around. Canonicity preceded community. Thus, it is not the least bit difficult to write a Qu'ranic Theology or A Thematic Introduction to the Qu'ran, because the canonicity of the text is in no way contingent on the history and experience--or even the existence--of Islam. On the other hand, It is impossible even to think of the Bible without Israel and the Church.

The unnecessary problem faced by those misguided "introductions" and "theologies," of which I first spoke, grew from the deep chasm dug between exegesis and ecclesiology about five hundred years ago, when theologians felt obliged to choose between the Bible and the Church. Depending on their choice, either the Bible lost its proper hermeneutic context, or there perished from the Church an identifying feature of her being. Without the Church, of which the Bible was a formal and constitutive part, those modern exegetes were forced to examine the shared content of the Bible's canon in order to explain its canonicity. Man put asunder what God had joined together.


Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and a Senior Editor of Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity.


http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles8/Reardon-One-Difference-Between-the-Bible-and-the-Quran.php
 

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Marc1152 said:
Despite what Muslims claim, Muslims do convert to Christ.  The descendants of Jinnah, Father of Pakistan, cannot go to Pakinstan, as they have received baptism


Our Parish regularly hosts a Priest from Indonesia Father Daniel ( I have to look up his last name) who is a convert from Islam and is now an Orthodox Arch Priest. His testimony is very compelling

If you PM me I could try to put you in touch with him for some guidance.
It is probably good that he remain in the USA. I have heard of Catholic priests who had converted from Islam being tortured and killed. BTW, don't some countries still have the law that if a Muslim converts to Christianity he is subject to capital punishment?
 

dzheremi

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Yes, Stanley. Conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable by death in some Islam-dominated countries (in a great many more people will just gather into a big mob and murder you themselves outside of any court/legal situation, and suffer no retribution for it). Youcef Nadarkani has been sentenced to death for apostasy in Iran, just as other ex-Muslims turned Christians have. In Egypt, Mohammed Hegazy has been denied the right to have his religion legally changed from Islam to Christianity on his ID card, and Sheikhs Gad al-Ibrahim and Youssef el-Badri, as well as professors at al Azhar have called for him to be executed should he not return to Islam after being given three days to recant, and some sheikhs have also issued fatwas that his daughter (born to his wife, also a convert to Christianity, while they were in hiding) should also be killed at age 10 if she does not choose Islam.

 

stanley123

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dzheremi said:
Yes, Stanley. Conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable by death in some Islam-dominated countries (in a great many more people will just gather into a big mob and murder you themselves outside of any court/legal situation, and suffer no retribution for it). Youcef Nadarkani has been sentenced to death for apostasy in Iran, just as other ex-Muslims turned Christians have. In Egypt, Mohammed Hegazy has been denied the right to have his religion legally changed from Islam to Christianity on his ID card, and Sheikhs Gad al-Ibrahim and Youssef el-Badri, as well as professors at al Azhar have called for him to be executed should he not return to Islam after being given three days to recant, and some sheikhs have also issued fatwas that his daughter (born to his wife, also a convert to Christianity, while they were in hiding) should also be killed at age 10 if she does not choose Islam.
It looks like this might be a small problem if a Christian converts to Islam, but then later on changes his mind.
 

dzheremi

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It probably varies at least a bit by location and local culture. Some places where the population is more evenly split between Christians and Muslims (e.g., East Africa) often have mixed families, which makes it hard to enforce the law of one religion over another. Makes sense if you think about it: Islamic laws for an Islamic population, and for a mixed population...well, the Muslims will try anyway. This is why there are many places in the world where an enclave of Muslims pushes everybody else around even when they are a minority in terms of the overall state (e.g., the semi-autonomous Muslim-majority island of Zanzibar belonging to Christian-majority Tanzania), or even within their specific enclave (e.g., the "Autonomous Republic of Muslim Mindanao" in southern Philippines, which does not have a Muslim majority but is the only part of the Philippines with a large concentration of Muslims, who make up a total of 5-10% of Filipinos).

 

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If authenticity is what you're after, look no further than the disciples and apostles who were martyred for preaching the faith. If the ones who were with Christ for three years, in His "inner circle" if you will, were not 1000% sure He is God, they would not have willingly given up their lives for Him, His message, and the testimony that they themselves wrote in the form of the Gospels and epistles.

If that is still not enough for you, I encourage you to read the book The Case for Christ. It's written by a former athiest journalist who found Christ through various interviews with Biblical scholars who offered evidence for Christ being God.

And if I may, the early Church and early Islam have one thing in common: they were both spread by shedding blood - the Church by the blood of the martyrs, Islam by the blood of the non-believers.
 

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dzheremi said:
Andrew21091 said:
You think so? Do you think that all the natives in South America accepted freely when the Spanish and Portuguese came to Christianize them? What about Africa? I don't think many had a choice there. Same with the Byzantine Empire and Kievan Rus. What was going on in the Islamic areas was the same thing that was happening in Christian countries, even Holy Russia and the Byzantine Empire. I don't like the argument against Islam that many on here espouse. Instead of offering constructive reasoning as to why Islam is wrong, people just say it is violent and include various insults. Seriously, people opposed to Christianity throw the same arguments that Christianity is a hateful and violent religion. I've read plenty of what the Church did in the Middle Ages and a lot of it isn't pretty. It usually involves massacres, crusades, inquisitions, and people being burned at the stake. When offering real arguments against Islam, don't use the same old BS about them being the "religion of the sword" or whatever. It goes nowhere.
The problem with this kind of thinking, morisco, is that you are comparing two very distinct phases of history and making some sort of equivalency out of two things that were not equal then, and certainly cannot be considered equal now. Being the descendent of some of those indigenous people, nobody has to tell me what the Spanish did in South America. It certainly is nothing to be proud of. But is also is not a fair picture of "the spread of Christianity" vs. "the spread of Islam".

In the first four centuries of Christianity, the spread of the faith was largely without the power of empire behind it, and yet it still penetrated deeply into North and East Africa, India, the Fertile Crescent, Europe, etc. Basically the entire world, as far as was known then. It was not until much later, following some internal controversies and subsequent developments in the imperial church that set East and West (and "East" and "Orient", as we understand those terms Christologically) on different trajectories that we would get things like the Crusades, the Inquisition, etc. For instance. Kevian Rus' was Christianized largely in the 9th and 10th centuries, that is to say, nearly a thousand  years after the initial (peaceful) spread of Christianity.

Islam's historical trajectory looks very different than this because its impetus was different. "I have been ordered to fight all people until they declare that their is no god but Allah", said the wretched blasphemer and profiteer. Its expansion was therefore dependent on an external enemy to mobilize the faithful for the temporal victory of Allah's religion, first over the pagans in Muhammad's midst, then over the others in his surroundings (Jews and Christians), then (after much of the peninsula proper had been brought under Muhammad's control during his lifetime) over adjacent regions to the East (the Fertile Crescent) and the West (much of Europe). Along the way, however, the social and economic engines that kept the Islamic war machine going began to be transformed by the large numbers of converts, thereby denying a large source of revenue (tribute from non-Muslims) and slowing down the pace of conquest, as later converted people like the Indonesians and Malaysians largely saw it as good business sense (they were right, too).

Islam basically moderated during those times when it didn't have to convert people by force, but make no mistake: that has always been an option, and one that is entirely consistent with Muhammad's personal examples and sayings, and certainly with the actions of the earliest Islamic rulers.

So ask yourself: Which of the apostles who brought Christianity to the world resorted to such atrocities? St. Mark was martyred in Egypt, but Egypt had blossomed as a majority-Christian society before the coming of the Islamic horde. St. Thomas was likewise martyred in India, but not before planting a community that is several million strong to this day, despite always being a minority religion in that land (something that Islam could learn, but never will: You don't have rule over the land you are in to prove the strength of your faith). Similar histories could be told of a great many other saints, apostles, and missionaries. Nothing similar can be said of any Muslim ever, anywhere, and I doubt it ever will be so, because Islam simply does not operate in that fashion. It preaches a different gospel, and we all know what that means...

Akimori: What's more, why, if they maintain that our scriptures are corrupted, do they also claim that Muhammad is prophesied in them? (like claiming he is mentioned by name in the Song of Songs)

Unrelated to any of the above: When I lived in Oregon, in a town that had a lot of Saudis and other Muslims, I saw and heard of a lot of what Isa has written about Muslims in the west going a little "freedom crazy", if you will. I got to be sort of friends with a local cab driver and he regaled me with stories (that I didn't ask for) about how strange it was that he would always be called to the nightclubs on the weekend to pick up drunken Saudis who were rude and still possessed a "holier than thou" attitude despite being pitiful losers acting not only outside the bounds of their own religion, but in ways that would make American fratpersons blush. I don't know about any of that, but I did ask my Saudi friend Meedo about it once and he became very defensive: "America is a free country! So we do what we want." It is as though Allah would look the other way while they are in the land of the kuffar. Then again, I guess Islam's Allah has always been very Mecca-centric (except, y'know, before that, when Muhammad had ordered his people to pray to Jerusalem)...and there are certainly much more exciting places to check up on than Eugene, Oregon.

Contrast that with life today among the Copts. Now, I don't know all of them in the world, but I do know all of them (I think) here in Albuquerque, NM. They're not perfect (after all, they let me come to their liturgies and such), but they are very friendly, family-oriented, not prone to excesses in anything but perhaps fasting. :) Not one of them has ever said to me "I can do whatever I want because I'm in America now, not Egypt." So, if we're going to judge a religion by the piety of its members (which is a terrible idea, but seems to be a part of the OP's "pro-Islam" argument), Orthodox Christianity wins all the way.

So OP -- don't convert to Islam. Convert to Orthodoxy. You can pray and fast more than Muslims, speak Arabic (if this is part of the attraction; I know some people who converted to Islam who thought this made it more beautiful), AND (this is the best part) you get the real, actual God, not Muhammad's self-serving recension of God based on his perversion of previous scriptures mixed with various heresies that were floating around Arabia at his time.
POM nomination
 

Apples

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dzheremi said:
Andrew21091 said:
You think so? Do you think that all the natives in South America accepted freely when the Spanish and Portuguese came to Christianize them? What about Africa? I don't think many had a choice there. Same with the Byzantine Empire and Kievan Rus. What was going on in the Islamic areas was the same thing that was happening in Christian countries, even Holy Russia and the Byzantine Empire. I don't like the argument against Islam that many on here espouse. Instead of offering constructive reasoning as to why Islam is wrong, people just say it is violent and include various insults. Seriously, people opposed to Christianity throw the same arguments that Christianity is a hateful and violent religion. I've read plenty of what the Church did in the Middle Ages and a lot of it isn't pretty. It usually involves massacres, crusades, inquisitions, and people being burned at the stake. When offering real arguments against Islam, don't use the same old BS about them being the "religion of the sword" or whatever. It goes nowhere.
The problem with this kind of thinking, morisco, is that you are comparing two very distinct phases of history and making some sort of equivalency out of two things that were not equal then, and certainly cannot be considered equal now. Being the descendent of some of those indigenous people, nobody has to tell me what the Spanish did in South America. It certainly is nothing to be proud of. But is also is not a fair picture of "the spread of Christianity" vs. "the spread of Islam".

In the first four centuries of Christianity, the spread of the faith was largely without the power of empire behind it, and yet it still penetrated deeply into North and East Africa, India, the Fertile Crescent, Europe, etc. Basically the entire world, as far as was known then. It was not until much later, following some internal controversies and subsequent developments in the imperial church that set East and West (and "East" and "Orient", as we understand those terms Christologically) on different trajectories that we would get things like the Crusades, the Inquisition, etc. For instance. Kevian Rus' was Christianized largely in the 9th and 10th centuries, that is to say, nearly a thousand  years after the initial (peaceful) spread of Christianity.

Islam's historical trajectory looks very different than this because its impetus was different. "I have been ordered to fight all people until they declare that their is no god but Allah", said the wretched blasphemer and profiteer. Its expansion was therefore dependent on an external enemy to mobilize the faithful for the temporal victory of Allah's religion, first over the pagans in Muhammad's midst, then over the others in his surroundings (Jews and Christians), then (after much of the peninsula proper had been brought under Muhammad's control during his lifetime) over adjacent regions to the East (the Fertile Crescent) and the West (much of Europe). Along the way, however, the social and economic engines that kept the Islamic war machine going began to be transformed by the large numbers of converts, thereby denying a large source of revenue (tribute from non-Muslims) and slowing down the pace of conquest, as later converted people like the Indonesians and Malaysians largely saw it as good business sense (they were right, too).

Islam basically moderated during those times when it didn't have to convert people by force, but make no mistake: that has always been an option, and one that is entirely consistent with Muhammad's personal examples and sayings, and certainly with the actions of the earliest Islamic rulers.

So ask yourself: Which of the apostles who brought Christianity to the world resorted to such atrocities? St. Mark was martyred in Egypt, but Egypt had blossomed as a majority-Christian society before the coming of the Islamic horde. St. Thomas was likewise martyred in India, but not before planting a community that is several million strong to this day, despite always being a minority religion in that land (something that Islam could learn, but never will: You don't have rule over the land you are in to prove the strength of your faith). Similar histories could be told of a great many other saints, apostles, and missionaries. Nothing similar can be said of any Muslim ever, anywhere, and I doubt it ever will be so, because Islam simply does not operate in that fashion. It preaches a different gospel, and we all know what that means...

Akimori: What's more, why, if they maintain that our scriptures are corrupted, do they also claim that Muhammad is prophesied in them? (like claiming he is mentioned by name in the Song of Songs)

Unrelated to any of the above: When I lived in Oregon, in a town that had a lot of Saudis and other Muslims, I saw and heard of a lot of what Isa has written about Muslims in the west going a little "freedom crazy", if you will. I got to be sort of friends with a local cab driver and he regaled me with stories (that I didn't ask for) about how strange it was that he would always be called to the nightclubs on the weekend to pick up drunken Saudis who were rude and still possessed a "holier than thou" attitude despite being pitiful losers acting not only outside the bounds of their own religion, but in ways that would make American fratpersons blush. I don't know about any of that, but I did ask my Saudi friend Meedo about it once and he became very defensive: "America is a free country! So we do what we want." It is as though Allah would look the other way while they are in the land of the kuffar. Then again, I guess Islam's Allah has always been very Mecca-centric (except, y'know, before that, when Muhammad had ordered his people to pray to Jerusalem)...and there are certainly much more exciting places to check up on than Eugene, Oregon.

Contrast that with life today among the Copts. Now, I don't know all of them in the world, but I do know all of them (I think) here in Albuquerque, NM. They're not perfect (after all, they let me come to their liturgies and such), but they are very friendly, family-oriented, not prone to excesses in anything but perhaps fasting. :) Not one of them has ever said to me "I can do whatever I want because I'm in America now, not Egypt." So, if we're going to judge a religion by the piety of its members (which is a terrible idea, but seems to be a part of the OP's "pro-Islam" argument), Orthodox Christianity wins all the way.

So OP -- don't convert to Islam. Convert to Orthodoxy. You can pray and fast more than Muslims, speak Arabic (if this is part of the attraction; I know some people who converted to Islam who thought this made it more beautiful), AND (this is the best part) you get the real, actual God, not Muhammad's self-serving recension of God based on his perversion of previous scriptures mixed with various heresies that were floating around Arabia at his time.
Awesome post!
 

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Maria said:
Doubting Thomas,

It does not appear that you are reading our responses, but are determined to embrace Islam and preach it to us.

Please consider the plight of this woman:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,41216.msg672334/topicseen.html#msg672334

Do you agree that a woman who is raped should be forced to marry her rapist or face 12 years in jail and/or a honor killing by her family or the family of the rapist?

Do you believe that honor killing is justified because Mohammed and his followers would also agree with it?

And finally, would you agree to kill your family members and other Christians if a fatwa was issued against us?
I don't appreciate the insinuation that I'm not even reading your responses, because I'm reading every single one and taking many of the provided sources into consideration. Second, I'm not preaching Islam so I'm sorry if you feel that's happening, nobody's forcing you to read or respond to this thread. Additionally, I'm not obliged to respond to every post as this is a forum, not an IM chat or email. If you feel you want to reach me more directly, PM me.

Second, bringing up honor killings, rapist marriages, and jail/guilt by rape are irrelevant to this discussion because as someone who has spoken to Christian and Muslim activists about these issues while living in the Middle East that these are completely cultural. Just as many honor killings etc. are committed by Christians as Muslims and both groups  are fighting to reform the laws, taboos, and practices of these problems.

Of course I don't agree what happened to her was right, but again it has nothing to do with religion because these happen in Muslim and Christian circles throughout the Middle East.

Honor killing is not Islamic. Honor killing is not Christian. Honor killing is a phenomena of tribal societal structure based on family image (Arabs fall into this classification, regardless of religion )

I'll provide you with the evidence for this if you're inclined to need textual proof of my claims.
 

doubtingthomas

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stanley123 said:
dzheremi said:
Yes, Stanley. Conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable by death in some Islam-dominated countries (in a great many more people will just gather into a big mob and murder you themselves outside of any court/legal situation, and suffer no retribution for it). Youcef Nadarkani has been sentenced to death for apostasy in Iran, just as other ex-Muslims turned Christians have. In Egypt, Mohammed Hegazy has been denied the right to have his religion legally changed from Islam to Christianity on his ID card, and Sheikhs Gad al-Ibrahim and Youssef el-Badri, as well as professors at al Azhar have called for him to be executed should he not return to Islam after being given three days to recant, and some sheikhs have also issued fatwas that his daughter (born to his wife, also a convert to Christianity, while they were in hiding) should also be killed at age 10 if she does not choose Islam.
It looks like this might be a small problem if a Christian converts to Islam, but then later on changes his mind.
Based on my information, it shouldn't be. My Islamic Thought professor in Jordan said that Muhammed described conversion in a hadith as a convert to Islam being allowed to leave Islam if he doesn't agree with it. If he then converts to Islam a second time and decides, yet again, to leave he can be killed for attempting to trick Allah into thinking he is pious when he doesn't see the truth lol
 

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dzheremi said:
It probably varies at least a bit by location and local culture. Some places where the population is more evenly split between Christians and Muslims (e.g., East Africa) often have mixed families, which makes it hard to enforce the law of one religion over another. Makes sense if you think about it: Islamic laws for an Islamic population, and for a mixed population...well, the Muslims will try anyway. This is why there are many places in the world where an enclave of Muslims pushes everybody else around even when they are a minority in terms of the overall state (e.g., the semi-autonomous Muslim-majority island of Zanzibar belonging to Christian-majority Tanzania), or even within their specific enclave (e.g., the "Autonomous Republic of Muslim Mindanao" in southern Philippines, which does not have a Muslim majority but is the only part of the Philippines with a large concentration of Muslims, who make up a total of 5-10% of Filipinos).
Shari'a/Islamic law is non-compulsory for non-Muslims. The only compulsory Islamic law for non-Muslims in societies governed by Shari'a is Jizya/poll tax. Regarding other aspects of life and society, Islam demands that the other religions set up their own religious courts to deal with governing the lives of their believers.

(For example, in Jordan Islamic law governs marriage. The state does not recognize any type of marriage, it's a completely religious contract. Because Shari'a law cannot be forced on non-believers, Christians in Jordan have their own 'marriage courts' to get married and divorced. Actually most Christians who don't get to marry who they want to based on their priest's refusal will convert to Islam, have an Islamic marriage contract sealed and then renounce Islam the next day as if nothing happened. lol)

The situations we see of Saudi Arabia and Iran beheading 'infidels' and/or apostates is a political exception where the governments are trying to gain legitimacy through fear. Let's remember that these authoritarian states imposing Islamic law on all citizens are A) not applying it correctly, and B) are weak states and need to govern by fear to legitimize their regimes.
 

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Andrew21091 said:
bogdan said:
Andrew21091 said:
mikeyseky said:
Muhammad is a Great Military Leader ... he can be Compared To Hitler or Genghis Khan ... but a prophet .. No
Really, you would compare him to Hitler? That is a little far. Have you ever read the book of Joshua? A prophet who slaughtered whole cities, including women, children, and animals.

I think we have to be careful drawing a moral equivalency between our prophets and Mohammad. Joshua was a member of the Church, acting on God's direct command to slaughter those people, clearing out Israel and doing his part to prepare the way for the Messiah. Meanwhile, Mohammad came centuries after Christ, claiming to be a prophet, probably acting under demonic influence, slaughtering people for whatever reasons he had. (And were it not for Mohammad, there might be 3.5 billion Christians today, instead of 2 billion.)
You have to realize that Muslims didn't forcibly convert as many people as you would like. Christianity was way more effective at spreading with the sword than Islam ever was.
LOL...

Wait you're serious...
 
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My perspective on this is that Islam has many of the same problems as Protestantism, or more specifically, Restorationism. Both rely on a supposed "Great Apostasy" that occurred somewhere in early Church history. I see two major issues with this claim. One is that you have to account for a gap where no true religion existed. Let's suppose the Gospels were corrupted, and this would have to be early. Let's suppose it was the 2nd century. So if the followers of Christ all became apostate in the 2nd century, what happens to everyone between the 2nd and 7th centuries? Islam claims religious heritage from Abraham, but it's a discontinuous heritage at best. The 2nd problem is how do you know if current Islam is not in a state of apostasy? If God lets his religions completely become apostate, how do you you're not living in that same gap? How do you know the Quran wasn't edited like the Gospels supposedly were? There's just as much evidence for either happening.

Christianity is also able to accept small textual variances in the Gospels. You first must remember that Christianity is not founded on a book, it's founded on Christ. We don't claim the Gospels were written by God, and we don't use them as a our sole authority.
 

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Heorhij said:
So, what about my post about the Incarnation? Does the Incarnation leave you indifferent?
Hinduism and Buddhism talks about incarnations and reincarnations galore. It's not a novel idea unique to Christianity.

(I'm playing devil's advocate in this thread. I hope that's obvious. I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm just showing the community the information I'm working with. It's hard to guess every part of a person only by seeing their text on a computer screen  :) )
 

ialmisry

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doubtingthomas said:
stanley123 said:
dzheremi said:
Yes, Stanley. Conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable by death in some Islam-dominated countries (in a great many more people will just gather into a big mob and murder you themselves outside of any court/legal situation, and suffer no retribution for it). Youcef Nadarkani has been sentenced to death for apostasy in Iran, just as other ex-Muslims turned Christians have. In Egypt, Mohammed Hegazy has been denied the right to have his religion legally changed from Islam to Christianity on his ID card, and Sheikhs Gad al-Ibrahim and Youssef el-Badri, as well as professors at al Azhar have called for him to be executed should he not return to Islam after being given three days to recant, and some sheikhs have also issued fatwas that his daughter (born to his wife, also a convert to Christianity, while they were in hiding) should also be killed at age 10 if she does not choose Islam.
It looks like this might be a small problem if a Christian converts to Islam, but then later on changes his mind.
Based on my information, it shouldn't be. My Islamic Thought professor in Jordan said that Muhammed described conversion in a hadith as a convert to Islam being allowed to leave Islam if he doesn't agree with it. If he then converts to Islam a second time and decides, yet again, to leave he can be killed for attempting to trick Allah into thinking he is pious when he doesn't see the truth lol
No, once Muslim, always Muslim or a dead Muslim, according to shari'ah (except for very few schools, e.g. the Isma'iliyyah Agha-Khaniyyah)
 
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