TED Conversations

Bernard White


This conversation is closed.

Islam. Is it a "religion for peace"? Do we understand it? Have we treated it unfairly? (With prejudice and discrimination?)

Considering recent events like "Woolwich" (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22664835) I can imagine many feel that Islam isn't a religion for peace.
However I would implore you to watch those TED talks linked in the description (especially "Lesley Hazleton: On reading the Koran" and "Bobby Ghosh: Why global jihad is losing") to get a better perspective on Islamic culture, and its true teachings (of peace and compassion).
All of these TED talks clearly indicate that Al-Qaeda (and other organizations) have distorted the true message of the Quran (or Koran), for instance in the Quran (or Koran) it never mentions "72 virgins".
It is interesting to note that Al-Qaeda's motives seem more political than religious. And their method of recruiting people ( where they seem to use various psychological mechanisms (like "conformity", "obedience", "dehumanization", and imbue a "conflict of interest") to make their cause seem more reasonable. This is quite vividly seen in the TED talk "Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy: Inside a school for suicide bombers" in the description.
However Philip Zimbardo (if I remember correctly) in his Book "The Lucifer Effect" argues that many of the suicide bombers were of middle class, or high class origin. So nobody is immune.
Before I say any-more I strongly recommend everybody (at least) watchs this short (3 minute video) : "On Iran, Islam, and Amazingly Stupid Comments"
Now my last part :
Do we treat Islam unfairly?
Have our nations (the west) genially incited hatred towards us by our exploitation f their nations. (If this, of-course, is true!).
Considering (on another note) that most Islamic people are just normal nice people. Like me or you! :D


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • May 28 2013: Islam like christianity and every other religion can be either a religion of peace or of war depending on how its applied. I live On the North side of Chicago about 2 blocks from an area highly concentrated with Muslims and i must say that the ones that stay by me are real good people and i always feel safe in their presence because they seem to have a calm demeanor. I think peoples views get distorted because people only see the bad on the news which in a lot of ways may be influenced by the political and socio-economic conditions of there countries. None-the-less Islam is a belief system and it alone cannot
    committ terrorism, only the people who let it inspire them to do so. Look at christianity it inspires people all over to do good but does and has inspired much evil as well so....
    • thumb
      May 28 2013: I agree! :D
      It does seem sad to me personally.
      I'v always liked a quote by Bill Maher : "Jesus, as a philosopher is wonderful. There's no greater role model, in my view, than Jesus Christ. It's just a shame that most of the people who follow him and call themselves Christians act nothing like him."
    • thumb
      Jun 2 2013: To Keith Wessman: You describe Muslims as, " . . . real good people and I always feel safe in their presence because they have a calm demeanor."

      That is exactly the thing that I admire the most about Islam. I intend to explore that further!

      To Bernard White: Why is it that Bill Maher is so seldom wrong? I met Bill Maher at one of those "Jesus Land" theme parks in Florida a few years ago. He was looking for comedy material. I told him that he was wasting his time. There is something about Evangelical Christianity that does NOT lend itself to giggling or other forms of laughter. It wasn't long before he agreed with me. But Bill Mahr is irrepressible.

      Oh, and here is a Neurological insight for your other conversation on God: I've caught myself using the self-conditioned tools of faith as a management device. Forgive the intentionally cynical pejorative, but whatever this "Religious-crap" does to my brain, it makes managing things much easier.

      Steven King, the Author of best-selling horror novels, once commented upon the Reptile Brain. "Sometimes the Reptile Brain just says: KIll them All!" The interviewing Journalist just had to sit in stunned silence when he heard that. That may well be the secret of Stephen King's Success in the genre of horror.

      When my Reptile Brain says: "Kill them All!" If I can focus some Religious Thinking into my consciousness, it seems to activate my Limbic System and pacify everything. And it is more complex than just meditation. I'll have to reflect upon that. I will.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.