Personal blog of Liz from Kauai.

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Baha'i, Mom and Grandma, Fish Breeder, Sports Fan

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Islam Day in Hawaii

From the Honolulu Advertiser:

Posted at 11:18 p.m., Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hawaii lawmakers create 'Islam Day'

Associated Press

Hawaii is planning to celebrate "Islam Day" over the objections of state lawmakers who associate extremist Muslims with terrorism.

The resolution to proclaim Sept. 24, 2009, as Islam Day passed the Senate yesterday on a 22-3 vote.
As more than 100 Christians gathered in the Senate to oppose same-sex civil unions cheered, the Senate's two Republicans argued that members of all religions shouldn't forget the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Democrats countered that the diversity and positive contributions of the Islamic world should be honored.
The resolution does not call for any spending or organized celebration of Islam Day.

This proclamation has created an opportunity for discussion and education on Islam.

It is my hope that the people of Hawaii will move away from the "all Muslims are terrorists" common opinion and with unprejudiced eyes learn even a little something about Islam.

I offer this Baha'i perspective on Islam for those who don't want to become confused or embroiled in the sectarian-arguments within the Faith today.

Notes on Islam from a Bahá'í Perspective

Some excerpts:
"Like any religious tradition, Islam can be summarized simply or in complex detail, depending on the level one wishes to reach. Just as Christianity has creeds and Buddhism has the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, Islam has a basic summary of major teachings. This summary is oriented around what the believer must do; it says little about what he or she should believe. Islam does have a complex metaphysics, and we will explore it as well. The basic summary of Islam is called the FIVE PILLARS."

"some Muslims consider jihád a major principle of the Faith; in fact, some consider it the fifth pillar. The translation "holy war" is very misleading; as Muslims are quick to point out, Arabic has no word for "holy war," the phrase having developed as a way to translate the word crusade, which is a Latin word and a "Christian" idea! Jihád means to struggle in the path of God, and only rarely is such struggle violent. To struggle in the path of God can refer to one's effort to control one's passions and avoid vices; it can be an internal effort. It can mean telling others of the true Faith; this is how Islam has always been spread. While Muslim armies have often conquered areas, they did not convert the population at the point of the sword; rather, they established a Muslim civil, educational, and legal system, and allowed the conversion to occur gradually, over hundreds of years, through personal efforts by Muslims. In this respect the record of Islam is at least as good as Christianity. Charlemagne converted half of Germany to Christianity by the sword, and massacred thousands who refused to surrender their pagan beliefs. Spain was forcibly converted back to Christianity from Islam by the sword, and thousands of Muslims and Jews were forced to flee. The Jews fled not to other Christian countries, but to Muslim countries, where they were persecuted much less. Most of Latin America was Christianized through a combination of force and missionary work.

      The word jihád, however, has come to acquire the connotation of holy war as well as its other meanings. Muslim fanatics often invoke it against outsiders and against each other: the Iran-Iraq war was declared a jihád by both sides."


Anonymous wafan said...

I saw that yesterday. I think it is a good thing for all the reasons you stated. Whatever you do, do not read the comments by the ignorant on yesterdays article!

Wow. Such vitriolic hatred. I kind of wondered if Bill O'Reilly and Shawn Hannity had taken up residence there.


May 7, 2009 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger LizKauai said...

wafan, I have been practicing self-control on the ExtremeSkins board...

The analogies are almost too similar to be funny.
Skins fans are waiting for the team to be awesome. They draft Colt- an unknown to most of them. We who know something about Colt show up and start sharing the great experiences we had when he was our QB.
Some of those who are ignorant about Colt start bashing him using the negative publicity they heard - system QB, weak sos, pass-happy offense...blah blah blah. When we speak up to clear the confusion, we get bashed too.
Then we get accused of being haters of their starting QB when all we did was share first hand info about Colt!

The win/lose perspective of life will evolve someday into the cooperative win/win it can be. I think it will start one heart at a time and then gather momentum until it is the norm.

In the meantime, we have to put up with the knee-jerk reactions of those too afraid to change.

May 7, 2009 at 8:19 PM  
Anonymous wafan said...

It is absolutely funny how they argue. Not a single fact about their opposition. Just a lot of opinion and emotion. Of course, they have to do the personal attack and name-calling.

So much like elementary school all over again. HA!

Best thing to do is ask them for solid facts anyone can research. Most will then resort to their typical tirade. Very predictable. I use things like this to teach my Civics students how not to argue and discuss issues, and how not to persuade anyone of your point of view exept to convice them of your ignorance. HA!

May 8, 2009 at 2:58 AM  

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