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Arabs..muslims?

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I agree with some of the things but not others.

but if they're older they sometimes get really, really hostile so I prefer not to be out to late. I prefer to think that hostility comes just because they are in a bad situation

It's really said that the only Arabs you guys see are those with this very strict and closed behaviour, you never really see the Arabs that I call normal and are get along very well with the westerns without any problems or any negative impression from the westerns.

After reading all this I wouldn't say there are very little of these strict arabs/muslims, but I would say that they are considered a minority compared to the so called 'normal arabs'.

The thing about the closed people is that they try to apply every single rule in Islam in the outer world without considering where they are and who are they communicating with, which is a mistake. What we have been doing is that we don't speak 'islam' with westerns, we don't try to restrict our connections with them because they don't think like us and we certainly don't try to apply our rules on them which some people try to do. With these thing in mind people like us get absolutely well with westerns without any hint of negative impression.

I am not sure about europe, but in the US people had no problem with you being an arab or even a muslim as long as you kept your religion out of the communication area between you and them.

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I'm from Australia (hence the flag in my profile), and there is massive segregation which occurs with almost all religions/races here. Australian general opinion of Muslims probably isn't helped by the fact that there are Muslim 'areas' which are seen as the 'shifty' suburbs. It is my opinion that the government simply doesn't put enough money into these areas because there are Muslims there which causes them to become 'shifty'. It's really sad. As much as I hate to admit it, it is my belief that Australian opinion of Muslims is very poor. In typical Australian fashion, riots against Muslims have broken out at the beach. An uproar occurred a year or so ago when the government was volleyed to build a Muslim school. I remember a woman on the television saying "I'm not trying to be racist, but underneath their head-scarves, they have guns. They do." I laughed at the time, but it is actually really sad/stupid. People kept accusing the Muslims of not 'assimilating' when actual governmental policy is 'integration'.

That said, one of my close friends is an Arab (Arabian?) Muslim and she is lovely (albiet highly defensive). I go to a Christian school with her and she always acts as though she is being attacked. Not surprising considering the general 'anti-muslim' climate, but my school is really accepting and loving towards her, particularly because it's a Christian school. That might sound weird, but it is a school of real Christians. I think the Americans call us 'born again Christians'? Anyway, we are taught to love and cherish each person regardless, or even especially, of religious differences.

However, one thing I have noticed is that when we discuss our faith (I have a Mormon friend as well and we often chat about each others religion) neither of them really seem to have a great knowledge of their faith. I mean, my Muslim friend prays, and upholds all of the main principles (although I don't think she's been to Mecca yet), but the particulars of the 'end times' according to their faith is not very well known I think. Is this just because the country is officially 'Christian', and so Muslim teaching is... rare?

I don't really give terrorists a second thought. I'm more afraid of my government trying to make us a republic (darn them!!). I notice that my friend's parents are much more strict, but then a lot of families I know are much too lax. Other than that... I love every Muslim I've ever met (all seven of them)!

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Balloon:

neither of them really seem to have a great knowledge of their faith.

I've seen a few examples of that. When I was studying the world religions at school and leaned about Buddhism, I asked a Japanese exchange student for help, and it turned out I knew more than she did about Buddhism even though she was Buddhist. I think that the reason for that is that Japanese/Chinese ect. are very family oriented, so religion would carry on in the family even if it is no longer practiced. Im not sure if this is the case in austrailia though... XD

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Well the reason for this I think is because in places further away from the Middle East, where Islam is much more concentrated, it is actually much more difficult to practice the religion. You don't find mosques nearby, and traveling to the Middle East to do Hajj (in Mecca; all Muslims have to do it at least once) is costly so people tend to put it off. And so by living in these more Western cultures causes you to in effect, be "americanized". Also, about your friend, I definitely understand her defensiveness. Look at the media and see how much Muslims are being attacked, how can she not feel any insecurity when this is happening (and is also more apparent in Australia then it would be in, say, Asia)?

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all Muslims have to do it at least once

I must disagree, it is one of the five pillars yet if someone can't afford it they definatly do not have to, hence: "Liman istata3a ilayhi sabila" (For whoever is capable)

What I don't like is the spot light is always on muslime despite the fact that there are many other religions that could be questionned (not saying I would though). All this is just because of the whole 'terrorism' issu which I still feel it's not purely 'ISLAMIC'.

I understand your opinion on the 'scary' arabs and muslims you people have in your countries, but couldn't be that perhaps it's what YOU see, not what things really are?

If for instance you came to an arab country as an immigrant, and was living in a very bad area like some muslims are living in australia, and was treated with racism(gr?) always avoided..etc..etc, just because the US attacked IRAQ or what Israel is doing in Palestine. Honestly, how would you feel? I am sure you'll feel angry and will forever have a bad impression on arabs wouldnt you?

I can say that westerns are generally treated very well in most arab countries, whether a north african one, gulf country or middle eastern, yet we still get badly treated in some western countries.

I am saying 'we' because I have at some point experienced bad treatement as an arab muslim, then again, general treatement was nice in the US.

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I read this thread in its entirety, which took hours [w/ other stuff going on], but it was definitely interesting.

I can't comment on Arabs--Muslim or otherwise--because I've never been to any Arab country or had any significant interaction with an Arab that I'm aware of.

What I do want to say about the hijab is that it's great when it's a choice. It's funny, and I think Viivi might have said this above, but it can be liberating. I believe Leen said this several posts ago, but a lot of the pressure comes from women, from what I've seen. I've never been hijabi, and I've never seriously considered it. What gets me is the pressure to wear a hijab that people aren't even aware of. From what I've seen in the United States in an area with a relatively small Muslim community, women who don't wear the hijab aren't treated badly at all by Sunni Muslim women, but women who wear the hijab find themselves treated better. Kind of like favoritism. I do have to say Sunni because I don't know of any Shia Muslims who aren't Shia Ismaili, and Ismailis tend to be very different from the general Shia population, so I can't speak of Shia Muslims at large. With Ismailis, in the US they enjoy the liberties and the freedom suits them. They can be really devout while still appearing 'westernized.'

I want to quote something that Maha said:

For some reason, I noticed that people havent seen balanced muslims yet? Its like either 'open minded' AND western like..OR close minded and EXTREMIST religious.

I'm somewhat guilty of this... If you're extremist, is it okay to assume you're close-minded? I know it doesn't necessarily work the other way? And as for open-minded and western... HAHAH what a joke. Open-minded is not dependent on where you grew up. It's more of what you were exposed to and what you were allowed to do and what you did. In other words, things that happened to you and how you reacted to them. Accepting vs. questioning. Like Leen said earlier, if we don't question, we can't grow. Since I was around the age of 10 or 12, I've been told that I can question my faith. The search for answers and the realization that sometimes you can't find answers and you have to keep looking something I'm trying to get.

One thing I noticed. I'm scared to speak my mind to people who are Muslim unless I know them very well. I'm sure this isn't limited to Muslims, but I can't openly talk about what I believe because I'm almost positive that it will be twisted around and that they will judge me. I've been taught that people should be able to worship in their own ways [and of course as long as they aren't hurting others], and I believe I'm in no position to judge another. I don't think that most people would extend the same courtesy to me. Do you think I'm being extremely unfair? Or a little bit? I'm speaking from experience when I try to talk to friends just as 'open-minded' [however you want to define that] as me. When I start asking questions about my faith, the answer I get is that I should have blind faith, period. There's something sacred about blind faith. It is given freely. I think blind faith is even better if it follows questioning that faith. Asking questions and maybe not getting satisfactory answers and then choosing to believe is pretty amazing to me.

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One thing I noticed. I'm scared to speak my mind to people who are Muslim unless I know them very well. I'm sure this isn't limited to Muslims, but I can't openly talk about what I believe because I'm almost positive that it will be twisted around and that they will judge me. I've been taught that people should be able to worship in their own ways [and of course as long as they aren't hurting others], and I believe I'm in no position to judge another. I don't think that most people would extend the same courtesy to me. Do you think I'm being extremely unfair? Or a little bit? I'm speaking from experience when I try to talk to friends just as 'open-minded' [however you want to define that] as me. When I start asking questions about my faith, the answer I get is that I should have blind faith, period

I do agree that some people do get very defensive when you start speaking your mind to them about faith. I was liken that at some point. It's perhaps because I was never really able to explain or justify my behaviour correctly.

I am not saying I would personally question faith my self, but I have at some points question why are we told to do this..for example, but not.."where is god?". What I can say for sure is that Sunni muslims reject questionning faith for 2 main reasons they will always repeat:

1)Our minds are limited and can't understand everything and we start questionning EVERYTHING we will get lost and become unsure of almost everything.

2)We believe that God wants the best for us, and will not intend to harm us for no reason, that's why we don't need to know every detail about him because we don't need to.

I am convinced with both of the reason because I have thought about them myself, I refuse taking things as they are, I think about them and get convinced. I have tried once questionning faith and god, and just got carried away with a long chain of question that I found no answers to which got me lost and confused.

As long as i feel sure of myself and faith I do not need to question faith. I believe in god and in his ultimate ability to do what's best for me. :)

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I do agree that some people do get very defensive when you start speaking your mind to them about faith. I was liken that at some point. It's perhaps because I was never really able to explain or justify my behaviour correctly.

I am not saying I would personally question faith my self, but I have at some points question why are we told to do this..for example, but not.."where is god?". What I can say for sure is that Sunni muslims reject questionning faith for 2 main reasons they will always repeat:

1)Our minds are limited and can't understand everything and we start questionning EVERYTHING we will get lost and become unsure of almost everything.

2)We believe that God wants the best for us, and will not intend to harm us for no reason, that's why we don't need to know every detail about him because we don't need to.

I am convinced with both of the reason because I have thought about them myself, I refuse taking things as they are, I think about them and get convinced. I have tried once questionning faith and god, and just got carried away with a long chain of question that I found no answers to which got me lost and confused.

As long as i feel sure of myself and faith I do not need to question faith. I believe in god and in his ultimate ability to do what's best for me. :)

Haha you cut me off at a kinda dangerous place...

anyways, I agree that there some some fundamental things that shouldn't be questioned, and this reminds me very much of TOK :)

What I'm saying about questioning, though, is don't take things for granted. Know what you believe but figure out if youi're justified in believing it. Even if you're not, I think it's fine to still believe. It's just kind of closure about your religion so that you can talk about it and explain yourself when people have questions about it.

I'm really glad that you're content with your faith. && I love how you expressed yourself. In my family, we have this saying 'whatever happens is for the best.' We believe that we can't know what will happen and what's the best for us, so we ask for what's best for us rather than for what we want. =)

The good part about questioning is learning. Like why do we do certain things? Posture for namaz, etc. The history behind it is practical, from what I know, and when we change things, it makes sense because a lot of what the Prophet [saw] did was based on the context of the time. It's like the different interpretations one can take from the Quran. & What the essence is stays the same, but how it's applied can change. That's what I believe, anyways.

Edited by sweetnsimple786

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It's just kind of closure about your religion so that you can talk about it and explain yourself when people have questions about it.

That's the thing I don't really midn answering questions because I am certain of what I believe and have faith in. Before I was very reluctant to answer any faith question because I was just believing without having justifications and ways to convince myself in the first place.

Most people tend to get extremely defensive about their religion being questionned because they are not sure themselves and this applies to muslims aswell.

I am not going to say this because I am muslim, but I have heard many people tell me that muslims tend to be more able to get peace of mind, I don't know if I am saying this correctly, but I mean we don't really get those times where we feel like dying because we're unsure of everything in our lives and very confused about everything for hearing different things about our religion that are totally contradicting. It's because of the belief that god is there for us always and there is no need for us to know what's going to happen after 10 years for example because whatever is happening happening and there's nothing we can do about it. There is a saying of the prophet that talks about how someone would live if they knew something very bad is giong to happen to ghem in 10 years. They wouldn't live normally would they?

I really think that this is the reason why we tend to get 'attacked' and sometimes offended for our religion, it's because we sort of refuse questioning everything about god and demanding why he said this and told us to do that, although we do have answers.

Besides the fact that 'the people attacking us' are christians, christianity seems to allow questionning, so people have nothing to critisize about it, do they? Or is it just the religious people? (this is a question by the way. :))

I am not sure if this was said in this thread or some TOK lesson I had, but another reason about why people see Islam as a closed up extreme religion is that we are against 'philosophical talk', mainly because it gets people to not accept anything that has no visual or any other evidence, which directly leads the person to deny god's presence (which is a topic argued on the 'Does god exist thread'.

Haha you cut me off at a kinda dangerous place...

Haha don't think I did that on purpose perhaps I didn't understand the question or the what you were saying?

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It's just kind of closure about your religion so that you can talk about it and explain yourself when people have questions about it.

That's the thing I don't really midn answering questions because I am certain of what I believe and have faith in. Before I was very reluctant to answer any faith question because I was just believing without having justifications and ways to convince myself in the first place.

Most people tend to get extremely defensive about their religion being questionned because they are not sure themselves and this applies to muslims aswell.

That makes sense.

I am not going to say this because I am muslim, but I have heard many people tell me that muslims tend to be more able to get peace of mind, I don't know if I am saying this correctly, but I mean we don't really get those times where we feel like dying because we're unsure of everything in our lives and very confused about everything for hearing different things about our religion that are totally contradicting. It's because of the belief that god is there for us always and there is no need for us to know what's going to happen after 10 years for example because whatever is happening happening and there's nothing we can do about it. There is a saying of the prophet that talks about how someone would live if they knew something very bad is giong to happen to ghem in 10 years. They wouldn't live normally would they?

I don't agree with the first part completely. I think that Muslims can be just as prone to depression and suicidal thoughts as people practicing other religions or no religion. A lot of it is cultural though. Often, if people have these thoughts, they aren't able to express it or get help. They just have to live their lives and deal with it however they can. They may not commit suicide, but they might not be happy either. I think that when people are allowed to question, they do get lost, but if and when they find what they're actually looking for, they gain a better understanding of their faith. It's better if you have a guide in your search, someone you can turn to and talk to. Otherwise, it's very difficult. Have you heard of Nasir Khusraw? Anyways, I feel like as long as we live, we can always strengthen our faith.

I really think that this is the reason why we tend to get 'attacked' and sometimes offended for our religion, it's because we sort of refuse questioning everything about god and demanding why he said this and told us to do that, although we do have answers.

This is generalization, though. The perception might be that Muslims don't question, but this isn't true. I question. Why is questioning always bad? I know there are boundaries, and I know that if I get lost in questioning, I can come back to 'Square 1' and start over.

Besides the fact that 'the people attacking us' are christians, christianity seems to allow questionning, so people have nothing to critisize about it, do they? Or is it just the religious people? (this is a question by the way. :))

...huh? haha can you say that again? I agree, it can be hard for people who always question to understand the value of not questioning. Like I said earlier, there's something great about blind faith. But I think once people have a certain understanding of their beliefs that they look to expand their beliefs. I want to know more about my religion and other religions. I'm extremely inquisitive when it comes to others' religions. I love hearing about others' philosophy on life. I try not to judge, and it doesn't mean that I want to accept everything. I want to learn though, so that I can speak less ignorantly.

I am not sure if this was said in this thread or some TOK lesson I had, but another reason about why people see Islam as a closed up extreme religion is that we are against 'philosophical talk', mainly because it gets people to not accept anything that has no visual or any other evidence, which directly leads the person to deny god's presence (which is a topic argued on the 'Does god exist thread'.

What do you mean by 'philosophical talk'? As far as I know, I have no reason to believe that philosophers can't have a religion, or scientists for that matter.

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I don't agree with the first part completely. I think that Muslims can be just as prone to depression and suicidal thoughts as people practicing other religions or no religion. A lot of it is cultural though.

Yeah true, but that's either because it's not about faith/religion confusion, or if it is then it's someone who doesn't know much or was taught and made to believe false things that really have no explanation. For example, those people who were forced to believe that women are only there to serve and they have no right to argue with you, give her opinion or even think that she is in anyway equal to a guy. A lot of people are raised to believe that and treat all women based on this principal that has got nothing to do with what Islam is about. It would make sense if a girl in that case hated her self so much that she commited suicide, wouldn't it? This is not a rare example it's a very common one seen in many places and muslim countries around the world.

Often, if people have these thoughts, they aren't able to express it or get help. They just have to live their lives and deal with it however they can. They may not commit suicide, but they might not be happy either. I think that when people are allowed to question, they do get lost, but if and when they find what they're actually looking for, they gain a better understanding of their faith.

It's better if you have a guide in your search, someone you can turn to and talk to. Otherwise, it's very difficult.

That's the problem, as I said earlier some people tend to refuse that completely that the person who's questionning just gets frustrated and starts keeping everything inside. I asked my dad so many things and he answered openly until it got to a question where an issue is not to be discussed then he would go like: "that's how it is, we believe it..etc".

Anyways, I feel like as long as we live, we can always strengthen our faith.

Yeah we sure can, at least I know I can. That's certain and it's not against anything that the religion says.

lol TOK war, Mahuta v. sweetnsimple

Haha lol, I hated TOK so much..but its a debate..lol since we do agree on somethings.

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I don't agree with the first part completely. I think that Muslims can be just as prone to depression and suicidal thoughts as people practicing other religions or no religion. A lot of it is cultural though.

Yeah true, but that's either because it's not about faith/religion confusion, or if it is then it's someone who doesn't know much or was taught and made to believe false things that really have no explanation.

That's my point exactly! It's not about religion. I don't think it's fair to say Muslims as a whole don't encounter depression/suicidal thoughts compared to others. I don't think it should have anything to do with religion. One can be just as happy believing in one god, multiple gods, or no god.

Often, if people have these thoughts, they aren't able to express it or get help. They just have to live their lives and deal with it however they can. They may not commit suicide, but they might not be happy either. I think that when people are allowed to question, they do get lost, but if and when they find what they're actually looking for, they gain a better understanding of their faith.

It's better if you have a guide in your search, someone you can turn to and talk to. Otherwise, it's very difficult.

That's the problem, as I said earlier some people tend to refuse that completely that the person who's questionning just gets frustrated and starts keeping everything inside. I asked my dad so many things and he answered openly until it got to a question where an issue is not to be discussed then he would go like: "that's how it is, we believe it..etc".

Just wondering, can you give me an example of a question that your father wouldn't answer? If you don't feel comfortable, could you just PM me or forget about it. No worries. =)

lol TOK war, Mahuta v. sweetnsimple

Haha lol, I hated TOK so much..but its a debate..lol since we do agree on somethings.

haha Islam is a peaceful religion. Make chai, not war. :)

but you didn't answer something.

I am not sure if this was said in this thread or some TOK lesson I had, but another reason about why people see Islam as a closed up extreme religion is that we are against 'philosophical talk', mainly because it gets people to not accept anything that has no visual or any other evidence, which directly leads the person to deny god's presence (which is a topic argued on the 'Does god exist thread'.

What do you mean by 'philosophical talk'? As far as I know, I have no reason to believe that philosophers can't have a religion, or scientists for that matter.

I'll ask again, what do you mean by 'philosophical talk'?

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Just wondering, can you give me an example of a question that your father wouldn't answer? If you don't feel comfortable, could you just PM me or forget about it. No worries. =)

Haha don't worry i'm ok..well simply, I asked my dad why we can't see god, or another question, we know that god sees us, does he see in the same way we do? You know that kind of stuff.

I'll ask again, what do you mean by 'philosophical talk'?

Sorry, forgot about that, well philosophical talk is basically TOK talk things like: "You can only prove something when you see it" that's a statement that is very critical to muslims because we believe that rules like this don't apply to god because as we say: "God is the greatest" and he is above all rules. You know what I mean?

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Ladies, if I may interrupt the catfight, I don't think people are suicidal / depressed over the thought of whether there is a supreme being or not, if they do, they have issues. Religion/God has nothing to do with depression, and Muslims are just as prone to depression / suicidal thoughts as Christians/Jews/Hindus/Sikhs/Jains/Atheists/Agnostics/Zoroastrians/Satan Worshippers/Wiccas....

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Just wondering, can you give me an example of a question that your father wouldn't answer? If you don't feel comfortable, could you just PM me or forget about it. No worries. =)

Haha don't worry i'm ok..well simply, I asked my dad why we can't see god, or another question, we know that god sees us, does he see in the same way we do? You know that kind of stuff.

haha alright. I get what you're talking about

I'll ask again, what do you mean by 'philosophical talk'?

Sorry, forgot about that, well philosophical talk is basically TOK talk things like: "You can only prove something when you see it" that's a statement that is very critical to muslims because we believe that rules like this don't apply to god because as we say: "God is the greatest" and he is above all rules. You know what I mean?

Ohh that's what you meant. I mean with TOK, as far as I know, that's just one part of it. You have the rationalists, but then you have the empiricists. I like 'TOK talk' because it gets me thinking about the validity of my thoughts. But even if it makes logical sense for something, that doesn't mean I have to believe that something. Who says I have to be rational when it comes to faith? =)

& Aboo, catfight? no one's mad or super defensive. I think we're both just trying to explain how we think. It's been pretty constructive from my point of view. And I don't think we're disputing on what you just said.

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When I think about Arabs, I think about the culture, the language - and I like these things a lot! Unfortunately, I don't know any Arabs! But I'd love to meet some one day. I find their culture really interesting!

Well, I personally don't believe in god or anything and islam has too many "rules" in my opinion. But still, I don't think that "Muslims" are so or so. They're just people as anyone else and they're allowed to believe in whatever they want to believe! And even if some terrorists are muslims, that doesn't mean all muslims think like them or anything. Any people, regardless their religion and origin, can be this or that way, can do bad or good things. I don't know the ideas those e.g. "assassins" have/had, why they did/do what they did/do - maybe it has to do something with their religion, I don't know, but also I've to admit they I don't know a lot about religions (i.e. islam)...

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My wish is that everyone believes this. There is nothing in Islam that allows assassinations or terrorism, in fact from it's early days, it has fought to stop the random, revenge and just for the sake of it murder and war. I honestly don't think it could possibly have some 'rule' that would encourage this or even approves it. In Islam, killing another person deliberately, is one of the worst things you can EVER do in your life and Allah(god) sees that as so as well, so whatever reasons these terrorists come up with (IF they turn out to be muslims), there is never an excuse to kill someone and this is what most 'normal' muslims think.

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which explains why not ALL arabs treat their wives like that..its mostly in countries like KSA...and bahrain and stuff....where they totally mistake the things said in the quran about the man being reponsible for the woman as "we have to beat them up...we have to not allow them any freedom..etc...etc"

the thing is..im a muslim..im a tunisian...we dont have such things as treating the women badly...and i see it myself...and i see the HUGE difference between what certain people do to their wives and what's actually said about treaing the wives in the quran

Hello,

In Bahrain, we don't have men beating women, maybe it's just common in KSA.. So please don't make assumptions such as the one you made about Bahrain because we don't find this kind of practice in MY COUNTRY, BAHRAIN.. =>

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