TED Conversations

Ghassan Mustafa

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Is Islam tolerent religion or not?and do you think that Muslims are isolated?

Many people say that Islam makes Muslim tend to be isolated and does not accepte the other. "God made us tribes and nations to get to know each other." This is a quote from Quran that displays that Islam is tolerent and it is not an isolated religion. Islam acceptes and respects the other and gives the other the freedom to practice their religions. Islam does not attack other religion and people and does not force them to converte into Islam. Many stereotypes of Islam tend to deform the image of Islam. One of the ways to know more about Islam is reading books by moderate Muslim or going to Muslim countries. Islam is the religion of peace and tolerence and this is applied to all religions over the world. Islam prohibits extremism. Therefore, Muslims do not consider extreme people as Muslims and representative of Islam. Muslims should communictate with people from all over the world. If non-Muslims need help, Muslims will definitely help them because we are all humans.


Closing Statement from Ghassan Mustafa

Ted..this debate is supposed to end within 9 days from now!!

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    Apr 11 2012: Many things done in the name of Chistianity are not consistent with the Holy Bible. That is not as it should be. Perhaps things are done in name of Islam and Allah that are not consistent with the Koran. That is not as it should be. Muslim nations are notoriously, militantly even, uncooperative with other religion's efforts to evangelize within their borders. That is not exactly tolerant of other religions, quite the contrary. That policy leads, naturally, to a single, dominant religion and an isolated atmosphere regarding religious freedom. If the Koran teaches religious tolerance it will come as a surprise to outsiders whose experience is consistently contrary to that idea. So, I say your answers are No, Islam is not tolerant of other religions, and Yes, Muslim nations are isolated (from other religions).
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      Apr 13 2012: A reply to all of your comments

      In every religion there are a group of people or individuals who deviate from their religion, they either go to extremes or be far away from the values and principles of their religion. When you want to think of Islam think of it as a religion that is represented by the ones who apply it in a right way. You can not be judgmental without knowing about Islam and its laws. Going to Muslim countries and reading about Islam and getting to know moderate Muslims who know about Islam well will make you understand Islam more. Do not judge Islam by leaders such as Saddam and organizations such as Al-Qauda. Theses leaders and organizations do not represent Islam at all, because they call for bloodshed and wars. In Islam, extremism is prohibited because it deforms the image of Islam and leads to many issues such as bloodshed and hatred towards other religions. For example, the KKK the organization that opposed the equal rights of African Americans are not representative of Christianity and the same applied to the Islamic organizations that do not apply Islam.

      "God made us tribes and nations to get to know each other." This is a quote from Quran that displays that Islam is tolerant and it is not an isolated religion. Many Muslim travel to the west as a sort of cultural exchange and to .Many Muslims like traveling to see the world and exchange knowledge and experiences. My father and my uncles and my friends traveled to the west.

      Come to Jordan where I live and you will be amazed how Muslims and Christians live in peace and harmony.
      Muslims and Christians in Jordan share their culture and food. No Muslim can insult a non-Muslim, and if one did so that would be wrong and many people will condemn him.
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        Apr 13 2012: Thank you for your insight into real life in Jordan today. News reports are the primary source of information, and opinion forming, in America. The primary question to me is why are virtually all of the terrorists Islamic? Are all of our news sources biased against Islam and creating false impressions of it? The acts of these cowardly, psychopaths are done 1) in the name of Allah, 2) under the banner of Islam, and 3) by people from Muslim countries.. It is not easy to set all that aside and accept the explanation that they are not really Muslims, or Islamic, or following Allah or the Koran.
        You speak of "moderate Muslims". Does that mean there are "extremist Muslims", or what the world calls terrorists? How many categories of Muslims are there? These maniacal fiends who are slaughtering innocent people all over the world are members of the same faith as the millions of peace-loving, compassionate followers of Allah and his son Muhammed. The non-Muslim world is waiting for an explanation of that conundrum. Peace to you and to yours sir.
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          Apr 13 2012: Edward, what truly is a terrorist?

          People from Christian lands have pillaged and taken over other countries...well, look at the US.........If the American Indian had TED and the internet back then they would be saying Christians were terrorists.

          I think that like anything else in life, there are true Muslims, and false Muslims....true christians, and false christians.

          Jesus said that by their fruits you would recognize them.

          Anyone can claim to be a Muslim or a Christian Edward, but their words, their actions......, are they peace loving? Are they neutral when it comes to war and politics? There is alot to be said on this topic....but since we have discussed this before, I'll leave it here.

          I think Mustafa is trying to educate us as to true Muslims.

          I for one I'm very thankful for his kindness and willingness to share his faith, and his country's attitude towards a global brotherhood.

          Sending lots of warm salutations your way Edward........Mary
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          Apr 13 2012: You asked these questions: "The primary question to me is why are virtually all of the terrorists Islamic? Are all of our news sources biased against Islam and creating false impressions of it?

          Again I say to you......what truly is a terrorist.

          It is all interconnected ED, whether you want to admit it or not.....hence, I feel I have not gone off topic.......but thank you kindly for trying to correct my supposedly lack of focus.

          Here in the US alot of people got tarred and feathered during war time for being politically neutral, and exercising their right to love their enemy......they were "terrorized" by a government and people who were "Christians".....

          I don't deny what you have stated, the jail time, and other such things for evangelizing.....but it is a governmental decision....yes, based on their "supposed" faith in Islam.....but Islam is not united.......it has many factions, just like christianity....

          I will state again what I said, that Muslims should be the one's discussing this topic. NOT US.

          I will retreat.....leave you to it..
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          Apr 13 2012: To Edward
          There are many religious groups all over the world who uses religion as a way to lead and control people such as Al-qaida. In Islam, they have no right to do that and this in turn violates the principles of Islam. They do thing in the name of God or Allah, and we as Muslims are against this and we despise them as well. As I said before, you can not judge Islam by terrorist organizations. The terrorist organizations does not represent Islam and therefore they are illegal. You did not notice that I did not associated Christianity with the KKK or the discrimination by white people against the African Americans or Abu Ghreb jail in Iraq or the war on Iraq itself. All religions all over the world call for peace, but unfortunately some people violate the laws of their religions and they try to lead people by the name of their religion. These people are totally ignorant; they cause problems to the followers of their religion.
          I am going to mention again that Islam has nothing to do with killing. You could be a Muslim on your ID, but you has nothing to do with Islam and its principles or teachings.Therefore you could commit crimes against humanity.

          To Mary....what you said is totally right.
          There are false Muslims and Christians.They do not represent both religions at all.
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          Apr 13 2012: Edward, I have always wondered about people like you. How could one react differently to bloodshed??? It’s a pity that you are trying to say that the world was a beautiful harmonic utopia before Islam, and "sadly" now the whole world has to suffer from our extremists. Extreme behaviors had always been part of human nature since the dawn of civilizations. I do NOT justify such behaviors, but the fact that you would think that your precious American soul make much more value than the Arab / Islamic ones. How would justify the bombs over Gaza??? How would you justify massacres by the Israeli occupation over the Palestinian Territories??? How could you ever think less of the lives of civilians that were brutally killed in Iraq, Afghanistan or in Palestine??!!! How could you not call that acts of terrorism???
          we as Muslims and humans condemn all acts of terrorism wherever it accrued . we don’t teach our children to kill, we teach them LIFE, Sir!
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          Apr 14 2012: "why are virtually all of the terrorists Islamic?" 9/11 and co aside, why do you think? If you're talking about the continous attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq, the answer is pretty damn obvious, it's almost all Al-Qaeda. Have you completely forgotten about the IRA in Northern Ireland? What of the people that want their independence in Corsica and the Basque country? what about the countless people who have tried to kill a president? what about the People's Army in Colombia. Do you also make the illogical step of connecting every single Muslim who is branded a terrorist as doing it in the name of Islam? Do you think the Palestinians are really fighting in the name of Islam rather than because they have no country to call their own? Do yourself a favor too by realising that all news is going to be centered somewhat around the country that's giving the news. You're going to hear a lot about the wars and therefore a lot about the suicide bombers over there.
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        Apr 13 2012: Thank you for your reply.

        I couldn't help but go find some information on the Jordan.

        Look what I found:


        Very, very interesting, how many Christian faiths coexist with the Muslims, just like you said.
        Thank you very much again for your wonderful reply.
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          Apr 13 2012: "What is a terrorist?" That is not Mr. Mustafa's question. His question is precise. I think most Muslim nations are not tolerant of other religions. This is evidenced by the death penalty for anyone convicted of the crime of evangelizing for another religion. That sounds intolerant to me. Most Muslim nations are isolated from the influence of other religions. Two questions. Two answers. We should stay on-topic. Thanks Mary.
    • Apr 13 2012: There is no merit to single out Islam as a militant religion when the fact is that all major religions have militant histories.

      Christians were responsible for a remarkable amount of what we would label today as terrorism and war crimes throughout Europe during the middle ages. Even the west have dealt with fringe Christian militancy in modern times like the mentioned example of the KKK. Timothy McVeigh is another name that comes to mind.

      The Jewish state of Israel currently militantly oppresses the Palestinians effectively on the basis of ancient religious dogmas.

      SO I would propose that the very premise of one religion being more or less tolerant and militant than others is a faulty one. Islam has been singled out as a militant religion by the western media since the September 11th 2001 attacks, this is quite obvious in hindsight and not entirely difficult to understand.

      That is all neither here nor there the point is that we have a political model where all religions are tolerated and granted freedom (secularism) and it has had a reasonably successful track record thus far. It should be promoted more.
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        Apr 13 2012: The conversation is based on a very specific subject, Islam. Mr. Mustafa has requested to hear opinions on the subject of Islam. If you are answering, or asking, a different question than his then you are off-topic. Is Islam a tolerant religion? Are Muslims isolated? I hope you agree Mr. Mark, that we are obligated to stay on-topic. Thanks.
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          Apr 13 2012: Ed,
          I think part of the problem is that there is very little consideration of the histories of the various religions, as opposed to the claims.
          It could be said that religion presents society's vision of what it is about, while government is the management of society. For its first 700 years Islam was one of history's most successful political movements, then basically coasted on that success for the next 600 years and has only really been eclipsed by the industrialized west in the last hundred years, since the fall of the Ottomans. So there is a connection between government and religion which goes to the very core of Islam.
          On the other hand, Christianity was profoundly brutalized by existing government for its first several hundred years, before being co-opted by an empire in decline. In the process it was converted from a grassroots, multifaceted movement, to a highly centralized one, whose function was to validate the role of the government. The cross went from being a symbol of triumph over suffering, to a war totem. So there is a very deep and abiding split in Christianity between the church and state that is as fundamental to it, as the connection is strong for Islam.
          It should be noted, for those agnostic in religious affiliation, it was the polytheists who invented democracy. When you have a theology where the Gods argue, it's reasonable to have a political system based on debate. On the other hand, monotheism is very supportive of monarchy and other forms of strong state power, since if there is just the Big Guy in charge up in heaven, then it will likely get reflected down here on earth.
          The logical fallacy of monotheism is the idea of the absolute, the universal state, as apex, when it is basis; Neutral, not singular. So a spiritual absolute would logically be the essence from which we rise, not an ideal from which we fell. The forms we adopt are inherently subject to context. Religions are like language; Essential, but idiosyncratic.

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