ME: actually now that u mention it, i found it rather funny that the mail i sent you and all the messages i sent you regarding your site were answered by her. Amusing, made me wonder if men are "oppressed" in your culture in the sense that they do not have enough say to deal with their own matters or if women are "oppressed" into doing everything for them. i was just thinking, you had the time to create a brilliant site but left the mailing and queries to your secretary?
ME: The certificate you put on your website declaring your religious authority is rather amusing, too. Why do you put a FAKE cert saying you are a qualified man of the church? Is it perhaps a need to add credibility to yourself, which you lack otherwise? Your work on the bible at http://www.erols.com/cygnus6 is very thorough. But that cert is surely a comical reflection of insecurity. I asked your girlfriend to ask you this but she never replied..
ME: you think less of Islam than you do of Christianity? How interesting since you DO have a site on trashing the Bible and none trashing the Quran...why i wonder? My first guess is that you don't have anything to say about trashing the Quran besides the "womens rights" that you and your girlfriend go on and on about. Makes enough sense to me. Why create a site on something you ain't got nothing much to say about?
ME: that reminds me, I have noticed a similarity among western women who rant on and on about how the Quran promotes the oppression of women. Do you reckon that Western women are INSECURE, Sam? Cos' it seems to me, they have this intense dislike for anything that 'seems' remotely oppressive. What happened to democracy and human rights in America? Are the women there so fearful and insecure that if they let a bunch of rules into their lives, that would be the end of their freedom? that's what it looks like to me.
ME: Independance and rights are gained/promoted also by a woman's dignity, morals, education, etc. - ESPECIALLY in the fair and indiscriminating society the west claims to have. Don't your women have enough of those to assert her independance and rights? If she did, she wouldn't have to worry about something as secular as religion would she?
ME: I recommend a book to you. It's called "Daughters of another Path" by Carol Anway. It's a compilation of accounts of 53 American women who chose to become Muslims. Among the various reasons is that Islam offers in its rules a freedom to women which societies like that in the West do not have to offer. Please do read this book. It will give you an insight into women and Islam from the viewpoint of an American instead of "us backward Moslems".
ME: You know what I think OPPRESSION is Sam? It is the need to conform to ideas of beauty and other external qualities that dominate modern societies today. In a modern society, almost every woman at one time or other is disturbed, depressed because she is overweight, because her skirt isn't short enough, because she feels she needs larger physical attributes and does not have the money for plastic surgery, that she doesn't have fancy clothes or the right make up on.
ME: THAT IS OPPRESSION. The constant need to look beautiful as society prescribes so that you don't feel inferior or so that you get this job you really want and so on. Can you very confidently say that this is not a problem in modern socities and that it is a form of oppression of women?
ME: For a Muslim woman who wears the hijaab, she is judged by her mind and her deeds only...not by how sexy she looks, how much cleavage she's showing and how much make up she's wearing. when a man looks at her, he looks into her eyes and his focus is on what she says and the way she thinks and not anything else. that is freedom.
ME: I think Hijaabi women have a great deal more confidence and self-respect for themselves because they don't see the need to portray a beautiful image in order to get by in life.
ME: They are not conformist..there are countless hijaabi women in America and they dare to be different. They don't feel as if they have to conform to the latest fashion or how others dress....THAT is freedom!
ME: Has your modern society ever had a female leader? do women even RUN for elections? What happened to the independance and rights of women? Do you know how many Islamic countries were and are still ruled by women?
ME: another thing. one fifth of the world are muslims. there are roughly 6 million Muslims in America. Have you any idea of the extent to which domestic violence is rampant in America AND other parts of the world which have little or negligible number of Muslims? Domestic violence is a social problem rampant in the USA....and how many percentage of the offenders are MUSLIM? Here, it is unfortunate I have to use such sad facts to an advantage of any sort. I quote the statistics of your "modern society"ME:
Stats from Family Violence Prevention Fund of the USA
Almost four million American women were physically abused by their husbands or boyfriends in the last year alone.
A woman is physically abused every nine seconds in this country.
Two-thirds of attacks on women are committed by someone the victim knows -- often a husband or boyfriend.
More than one in three Americans have witnessed an incident of domestic violence, according to a nationwide survey released by the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FUND) last year. Nearly nine out of ten Americans say that women being beaten is a serious problem facing many families -- and concern cuts across race, gender and age lines.
Forty-two percent of murdered women are killed by their intimate male partners.
1.First Comprehensive National Health Survey of American Women. New York: The Commonwealth Fund, July 1993.
2.Based on data published by the Commonwealth Fund, stating that 3.9 million American women were victims of domestic violence in the last year alone. F irst Comprehensive National Health Survey of American Women. New York: The Commonwealth Fund, July 1993.
3.Analysis by the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, Institute for Behavioral Science, and the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado. The data used to calculate this percentage came from the FBI's 1988-91 Uniform
4..Examining the Work of State Courts, 1993: A National Perspective from the Court Statistics Project. National Center for the State Courts, 1995.
A recent FBI report on crime in 1995 found that 26 percent of all female murder victims were known to have been killed by their husbands or boyfriends.
Stats from Family Violence Prevention Fund of the USA
Wisconsin Attorney General Jim Doyle reported in December that 25 percent of murders in Wisconsin in 1995 were domestic homicides. He also said that reports of domestic abuse in the state have been rising sharply. There were 1,800 domestic abuse cases reported in 1992, and nearly 33,000 in 1995.
U.S. Department of JusticeME: so what are the reasons for domestic violence among non-muslims in America? I mean they don't have the Quran which tells them they can hit their women. So what do you say? what is the cause of the majority of domestic violence cases? HITTING WIVES is a social problem. That is why it cuts across all barriers of race and culture and religion.
Bureau of Justice Statistics
In 1996, women experienced an estimated 840,000 rape, sexual assault, robbery,aggravated assault and simple assault victimizations at the hands of an intimate. Intimate violence is primarily a crime against women -- in 1996, females were the victims of 3 of every 4 victims of intimate murder and about 85% of the victims of nonlethal intimate violence.
ME: As I told your girlfriend (in a mail/icq msg she conveniently ignored) when she said that "we shouldn't believe in a religion just because a man told us to believe in it'. IF you did a thorough study of the Quran, you will see scientific data and other information in it which was unthought of during the time of Prophet Muhammad. The verses and words of the Quran are locked with a mathematical formula. Each word occurs a specific number of times and the word opposite in meaning occurs exactly one extra time.
ME: tell me Sam, If you haven't realised, Prophet Muhammad did not have a laptop. He did not have word count or the scientific information that is in the Quran (which speaks of the data only scientists today are discovering). I would love to hear how you would explain how this book came about DEVOID OF ANY INCONSISTENSIES, MISTAKES, CONTRADICTIONS 1400 years ago.
ME: Islam does not instruct Muslims to fight to GET TO ALLAH. that is a Christian concept whereby you have to convert THREE people in order to make it to heavan. You and August have mentioned several times that very soon you will have a site on Islam very soon, hence i assume that you are claiming to have studied it thoroughly...there are numerous verses that warn against fighting and killing for the wrong reasons which i'm sure you chose to ignore at your convenience.
ME: Sam, if you judge a religion and culture based on a small cohort of people then from my experiences, I can readily say that Wiccans are impulsive, insecure, VERY EMOTIONAL and rather moronic. Am I right? Cos' I have received several e-mails from Wiccans (your girlfriend included) with regards to the contents of my site and BELIEVE ME, one proved more moronic than the other. I refer you to a section called 'Emails I have received' on my website. I have put there a thread of e-mails that we exchanged with a Wiccan not too long ago. She's not the only Wiccan who came charging at me.
ME: I have to say though, your girlfriend isn't all that bad, she certainly makes more sense that the others I have spoken to. Although I did have a good laugh when she sent me a warning in reply to mail i sent you. I have a flower in my signature file which is sent automatically to every receipient. She called me something like a habibti (made me wonder if she knows English or not - or if she's trying to impress me by using words I myself do not use) and said that it is HARAM to send a flower to a man (her boyfriend) via the internet...*laugh*...what a way to start the day!
ME: with regards to your questions, here's what i have to say off the top of my head
>SAM: 1. Why would a God reveal his/her truth to one individual or a select number of individuals when a being that is all-powerful could have this information be inbred into us so we instinctually know it at birth?
ME: simple: we are differentiated from all other creatures by one thing. FACULTY OF REASON. the ability to make knowledgeable decisions and to be able to see the difference between right and wrong. PUMPING this information into everyone defeats the purpose of giving us the ability to choose! That is the main purpose of us being here - to choose or not to choose.
ME: Why would God send us here to live our lives in accordance to a fixed destiny? you know how people say that it's no use what we do in our lives, everything has been written in the book of destiny right? people resign to this fact. but what they don't realise is that YES it's written in the book of destiny IT IS ALSO destiny if we choose one alternative or the other. God has left this decision making to us. that is the point of us coming here. we may be little itty gritty things with souls in comparison to the might of Him but he has given each of us that significant amount of decision making power.ultimately it boils down to how you believe or what you believe to be the purpose of mankind.. when that is subjective, the answer is subective.
>SAM: 2. Why would a God who is Good reward those who believe and punish those who >don't when it is God who has all of the power and all of the knowledge?
ME: what does God having infinite power and knowledge have to do with US ACCEPTING IT? if he is good, why don't the disbelievers believe? If you read the Quran carefully, you will see that there is one thing that God will not forgive - the denial and inacceptance that He is THE GOD, the one and only with no others equal in power. He will forgive all other sins..ALL others but not this one. You answer your own question when you say "when it is God who has all of the power and all of the knowledge"....since people KNOW this fact and still decide to acknowledge it, why wouldn't he punish them?
>SAM: 3. Shouldn't this God make the information clearer and non-refutable?
ME: how is the information unclear and irrefutable? please be more specific when you mention inconsistencies and contradictions.
ME: Just like you question the clarity of the Quran, people have constantly done so ever since Prophet Muhammad's time. In the Quran, there is scientific data about cosmology, evolution of life from water, growth of the embryo, etc. Cosmology was explained clearly 600 years after the revelation of the Quran, by Gallileo. That's when people were able to make sense of the 'unclear' verses on cosmology. Before that, they were confused and pointing fingers as you are doing now. Alot of the Quran's verses have been explained by scientific discovery over the last 2 centuries and particularly the last 3 decades..before that it was UNCLEAR.
ME: so if you don't understand something in the Quran, blame it on your and my limited knowledge of the world, don't point your finger outwards. It woudl be rather egotistical of me to claim that the world is stupid just because i don't understand it!
ME: You say that these questions cannot be answered by any of the religions. That's where you are pointing your fingers in the wrong direction. Islam does explain these but it's frankly your problem if you wish to deny that it does. If you can't and don't want to understand it, it's a different story altogether.
ME: with referance to your quote below
>SAM: "You might have lived a good life as an exemplary Christian, only to be met at the gates of Heaven by Mohammed. That's called fate."
ME: how interesting that you should highlight an Islamic concept. I wonder
if you know that out of all the souls lined up for HEAVAN on Judgement Day, most will be those who lived as people of OTHER RELIGIONS OR NO RELIGION at all!!
ME: I shall wait till your site includes what you have to say about the Quran being something you and August "spit on". As far as I know, all you two have come up with women are beaten in Islam. Pfffft...even that is, as your girlfriend says, taken out of context. I wish you luck, YOU'RE GONNA NEED A LOT OF THAT!
if you can maintain your professionalism, i asked to be added to the webring called "World Religions"..the one with the spinning globe as its logo.
ME: God Bless,