LinuxQuestions.org
Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Non-*NIX Forums > General
User Name
Password
General This forum is for non-technical general discussion which can include both Linux and non-Linux topics. Have fun!

Notices

Closed Thread
 
Search this Thread
Old 01-07-2004, 07:04 AM   #1
rinard
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2004
Posts: 6

Rep: Reputation: 0
New Face


Although religion is no longer dominates everyday life in Western society, Islam becomes the fastest-growing religion in America and in the world?


A NATION CHALLENGED: AMERICAN MUSLIMS; Islam Attracts Converts By the Thousand, Drawn Before and After Attacks
By JODI WILGOREN
Source: The New York Times: October 22, 2001, Monday
Section: National Desk


"Islam is the fastest-growing religion in America, a guide and pillar of stability for many of our people..." Hillary Rodman Clinton, Los Angeles Times, May 31, 1996, p.3

Famous people are affected too: Singer "Cat Stevens"
 
Old 01-07-2004, 08:09 AM   #2
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Lubuntu
Posts: 19,174
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 428Reputation: 428Reputation: 428Reputation: 428Reputation: 428
Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam?) embraced Islam years ago - he says it helped him through a breakdown or helped him not have one or something like that. And he's English.

I think people are attracted by the religion itself - not necessarily the slant put on it by the extremists. I don't know that you can draw any real inferences from the statement.
 
Old 01-10-2004, 05:07 AM   #3
rinard
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2004
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
From what I've heard from different friends of mine who have converted to Islam, there are a few main reasons for most conversions.

1. Islam is a religious lifestyle, not just a quick Sunday morning church visit and a label. Although some Christians do pray before each meal and spend much time with their Bible, etc.many don't in the USA. Islam is something that can't be shunted into a few spare hours. You pray five times a day. Your dress code is affected; even your food choices are explained in the Qur'an. Many converts like it because they feel actively involved and as if they are truly religious.

2. For women, it is a big and welcome change from the "in your face" sexuality of western culture. Women are not required by the Qur'an to veil. They are required to dress modestly and it is *recommended* that they cover their hair. However, most do veil and some go farther with niquab (the face screen) or other traditional clothes. Women dressed like this consider themselves marked as religious women, not easy dates. They don't get hit on. No one gawks at their bodies. They are clearly off limits sexually and many that I personally know say it is liberating not to have to conform to western standards of sexy dress, makeup and spending so much time and money on appearance. You buy a five-dollar hijab, put your hair in a ponytail and cover, wear long skirt and a tunic shirt -you're set.

3. Islam is also growing because many people are not satisfied with Christianity. They feel it is too liberal, too fluid and changes for the culture. Islam on the other hand is more rigid and does not as a whole allow much for modern changes and the whims of society. Many like it because they feel other religions have loose standards.

That's what I got from the new Muslimah's group at Yahoo, Islamway women's board and a few other friends of mine. Stats taken by many college groups say that women convert 4 times more often then men.


This is an example:


Why Are Women Turning to Islam
At a time when Islam is faced with hostile media coverage particularly where the status of women in Islam is concerned, it may be quite surprising to learn that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, and even more ironic to discover that the majority of converts to Islam are WOMEN.
The status of women is society is neither a new issue nor is it a fully settled one, and where Islam is mentioned, for many the term 'Muslim Women' prompts images of exhausted mothers chained to the stove, 'victims' suppressed in a life of indoctrination, frantic to be westernized and so on. Others will go to great lengths to explain how the hijaab is an obstacle, clouding the mind, and comment that female converts are either brainwashed, stupid or traitors to their sex. I reject such accusations and pose to them the following question: why is it that so many women who have been born and brought in the so called 'civilized' societies of Europe and America are willing to reject their 'liberty' and 'independence' to embrace a religion that supposedly oppresses them and is widely assumed to be prejudicial to them?
As a Christian convert to Islam, I can only present my personal experience and reasons for rejecting the 'freedom' that women claim to have in this society in favor of the only Religion that truly liberates women by giving us a status and position, which is completely unique when compared with that of non-Muslim counterparts. Before coming to Islam, I had strong feminist tendencies and recognized that where the women was concerned, a lot of shuffling around had been going on, yet without being able to pin her on the social map. The problem was ongoing: new 'women's issues' being raised without the previous ones being satisfactorily resolved. Like the many women who shared my background, I would accuse Islam of being a sexist religion, discriminating, oppressing and giving men the greater privileges. All this coming from a person who did not even know Islam, one who had been blinded due to ignorance and had accepted this deliberately distorted definition of Islam.

However, despite my criticisms of Islam, inwardly I wasn't satisfied with my own status as a woman in this society. It seemed to me that society would define such terms as 'liberty' and 'freedom' and then these definitions were accepted by women without us even attempting to question or challenge them. There was clearly a great contradiction between what women were told in theory and what actually happens in practice. The more I pondered, the greater emptiness I felt within. I was slowly beginning to reach a stage where my dissatisfaction with my status as a women in this society, was really a reflection of my greater dissatisfaction with society itself. Everything seemed to be degenerating backwards, despite the claims that the 2000 was going to be the decade of success and prosperity. Something vital seemed to be missing from my life and nothing would fill this vacuum. Being a Christian did not do anything for me, and I began to question the validity of only remembering God one day a week - Sundays! As with many other Christians too, I had become disillusioned with the hypocrisy of the Church and was becoming increasingly unhappy with the concept of Trinity and the deification of Jesus. Eventually, I began to look into Islam. At first, I was only interested in looking at those issues, which specifically dealt with women. I was surprised. What I read and learned taught me a lot about myself as a woman, and also about where the real oppression of women lies: in every other system and way of life outside of Islam. Muslim women have been given their rights in every aspect of the religion with clear definitions of their role in society - as had men - with no injustice against either of them. As Allah says: Whoever does deeds of righteousness, be they male or female, and have faith, they will enter paradise and not the least injustice will be done to them [Nisaa 4:124]
So having amended my misconceptions about the true status of women in Islam, I was now looking further. I wanted to find that thing which was going to fill the vacuum in my life. My attention was drawn towards the beliefs and practices of Islam. It was only through establishing the fundamentals that I would understand where to turn and what to prioritize. These are often the areas, which receive little attention or controversy in society, and when studying the Islamic Creed, it becomes clear why this is the case: such concise, faultless and wholly comprehensive details cannot be found elsewhere.
 
Old 01-10-2004, 11:05 AM   #4
trickykid
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,133

Rep: Reputation: 197Reputation: 197
Is this some kind of preaching to us type thread? If it is, I'll go ahead and close it now cause this is not the place to post such threads. We're here to help people with Linux related problems and religious type threads don't go over so well on this site, especially if this thread was only created to spread the word of Islam in some fashion.

Regards.
 
Old 01-10-2004, 11:10 AM   #5
arunshivanandan
Member
 
Registered: May 2003
Location: Kerala,India
Distribution: RedHat,Mandrake,Debian
Posts: 643

Rep: Reputation: 30
It is personal choice,right?Dont forget that there are quite a good number of atheists living happily in the world.
Your post is quite conforming to facts.The 'extremist' face of Islam is only one of the many interpretations of Islamic Principles,actually it is a very peaceful religion.It is one of the latest,and hence one of the more scientific among religions.
I dont know what exactly is intended to be discussed.Hope it is not a comparison among religions.
 
Old 01-10-2004, 03:58 PM   #6
unimaginative
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: USA
Distribution: SuSE 8.2 Professional
Posts: 159

Rep: Reputation: 30
about your post: it isn't just islam that has surpressed women, most the world has done that at one point. by the way, i think it is good that islam is attracted women, maybe they will be the people to turn the Arab world into a more democratic place, but by the way Rinard, many Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and others are very religious, so I don't think that that is a fair statement when you compare Islamic culture to American culture. furthermore, the main difference between our two cultures is the fact that the middle east has governments that are theocracies. Also, a diversity of religions tends to be more tolerant here, then in the middle east.

p.s. i agree with you 100% that sex is way, way too open and discussed in western countries
 
Old 01-10-2004, 04:04 PM   #7
unimaginative
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: USA
Distribution: SuSE 8.2 Professional
Posts: 159

Rep: Reputation: 30
however, it is impossible to ignore that some women in islam, really are repressed
did you know in Iraq, women can barely go out on the street? An under-discussed issue in the media is all the rapes and murders of woman, since Saddam was taken out of power
in the former taliban, women of the one of the most conservative branches of Islam were required to cover their entire bodies

feel free to disagree with me, as I am not a Muslim, and I may be wrong on some points
 
Old 01-10-2004, 10:07 PM   #8
arunshivanandan
Member
 
Registered: May 2003
Location: Kerala,India
Distribution: RedHat,Mandrake,Debian
Posts: 643

Rep: Reputation: 30
Well as I said,the covering of entire body etc is just an interpretation of Islam.When the French government decided to ban the 'hijab',there was an uproar.But you must know India has the second largest Muslim population in the world.A good number of them,though they are very religious,does not wear hijabs,and are very liberal.About the extremist interpretations:have you seen an Indian Muslim's name in an Al Quaida list?
That is,Islam basically is a very peaceful religion.
But again it is personal choice.I dont need much control over my life,especially by religion.I can quite control myself.btw,I am a Hindu,and I am not necessarily required to go to a temple or something by my religion.I dont pray even once a week,and I am quite confident that I can control myself.About Sex,it is very controlled and conservative in India(that is the culture here).That is,you need not necessarily change your religion to control yourself.But not for some.
I have seen many atheists and communists who can very well control their feelings and can live peacefully.
Bottomline is,if you cant control yourself,that is you need someone to control you,you can go for Islam.
 
Old 01-11-2004, 02:37 AM   #9
rinard
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2004
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
I don't outbid on Islam. Islam a brilliant religion by itself and doesn't need any preaching or missionary work or me.
We cay say there are so many sects, cults, religions, philosophies, and movements in the world, all of which claim to be the right way or the only true path to God. How can one determine which one is correct or if, in fact, all are correct? The method by which the answer can be found is to clear away the superficial differences in the teachings of the various claimants to the ultimate truth, and identify the central object of worship to which they call, directly or indirectly. Can we either claim that all men are Gods or that specific men were God or that nature is God or that God is a figment of man's imagination.
It may be argued that all religions teach good things so why should it matter which one we follow. I made some searching and I couldn’t find a sharp answer but I found something interesting stated in the Koran:
Creation-worship is the greatest sin that man can commit because it contradicts the very purpose of his creation. Man was created to worship Allah alone, consequently, the worship of creation, which is the essence of idolatry, is the only unforgivable sin. One who dies in this state of idolatry has sealed his fate in the next life. This is not an opinion, but a revealed fact stated by Allah in his final revelation to man:
"Verily Allah will not forgive the joining of partners with Him, but He may forgive (sins) less than that for whom so ever He wishes"(Soorah An- Nisaa 4:48 and 116)

Buddha was a reformer who introduced a number of humanistic principles to the religion of India. He did not claim to be God nor did he suggest to his followers that he be an object of worship. Yet, today most Buddhists who are to be found outside of India have taken him to be God and prostrate to idols made in their perception of his likeness.
This is also what I found regarding Racism in Quran:

The noblest of you in the sight of Allah*, is the most pious (righteous) of you” (Qur'an 49:13).


As a result of following these teachings, many people have banished racism from their thoughts and actions. You can still see racial harmony today in the mosques of cosmopolitan cities. You will find people of various colors worshipping together, all with equal status before God. Rich or poor, black or white, kind or pauper all line up side by side to worship. No special preference is given to anyone based on color or social status. The leader in a mosque is appointed for his learning in the religious sciences, regardless of skin color. There is no such concept as a 'black mosque' or 'white mosque'. Islam removes such destructive concepts.


Regarding woman, most Islamic societies aren't theocratic. I find it interesting that the three largest Islamic countries have had women heads of state (Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh), while the same can't be said of the three largest Christian countries.
To read more go to:


Women in Christianity and Islam
http://www.beconvinced.com/women/CH_IS.htm
 
Old 01-11-2004, 03:49 AM   #10
scott_R
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Brighton, Michigan, USA
Distribution: Lots of distros in the past, now Linux Mint
Posts: 746

Rep: Reputation: 31
(Unimaginative)>>p.s. i agree with you 100% that sex is way, way too open and discussed in western countries

I don't think that open and discussed is necessarily a bad thing, though I agree that it's too exploited, and (perhaps worse) the exploitation is talked about too much. I don't really care who Brittney Spears kisses at an awards show, but apparently the media companies think that's a major story worth days (weeks) of replay and commentary. And I honestly don't care about a co-worker's weekend sex conquests. (Have you ever noticed the biggest braggers are the ones that you wouldn't...?)

On the other hand, I suppose it's better than an environment where sex is so taboo that it's never discussed, to the point where people are hurt because they aren't allowed a reasonable amount of knowledge and freedom to discuss it. At least here I can attempt to ignore it. In some places you might be tossed in jail or worse for "just being human".

BTW, I'm not implying that Islam is like that. In fact, I prefer the modesty thing. Blame it on an overactive imagination that is so rarely fed subtlety. That said, I'm not sure the full body armor thing is that wonderful either, if for no other reason than it should work both ways.
 
Old 01-11-2004, 04:37 AM   #11
bigjohn
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jun 2002
Location: UK - South Coast.
Distribution: Ubuntu (usually the latest....)
Posts: 2,672
Blog Entries: 9

Rep: Reputation: 45
Ha, I must have superhuman powers then.

Because I can magically see both the general wisdom's of "religion" as well as the inherent ambiguities.

I understand that Islam IS, in one view, a religion of peace. In another (possibly the view taken by taliban and OBL), one where the only true way, is the way of Islam, and even if a few "infidel's" happen to die in the process, then they may also be come martyr's to Allah i.e. the violent view.

BUT, the many view's of christianity i.e. the varying sect's have also said that Christianity is a religion of peace and then gone and tried to convert peoples to their way of thinking in some pretty damn horrendous ways - yes, it's fair to say that christian's don't do stuff like that anymore, but in a lot of instances it's all just words.

All religious doctrines, ARE social control dogma.

It doesn't matter which way you try to split things down. You only have to view the specific "tenet's" of the varying religions, and they all demonstrate the social control mechanism's of the approximate locations of where they originated.

Farmed pig's will smell (though if you check out pig husbandry, a pig doesn't mess his own bed), in earlier times, during the founding of Judaism or Islam, both founded in hot countries/locations, that would have made things worse, so the "powers that be", at the times that the religions started made it easy to portray the humble pig as a dirty, smelly, and therefore unclean animal.

Or another example being that the "love thy neighbour" shit that some versions of the bible "push" didn't stop various "advanced" societies pilaging the different African societies of their manpower, and say that it was "god's will" that the heathen will be taken into society and converted. Converted by the Slavemasters whip. That's definitely Christian Charity - NOT!

No ones view, of any religion, can be guarenteed to be the RIGHT view, irrespective of how many people want to support that particulare "take".

See religion for what it is - Social control. Doctrine produced by man, for the control of behaviour of other men. Hell, even "human right's" vary from culture to culture, but at least they allow for more "cross cultural" freedom's.

So, while it is YOUR right, to follow any religion that you so desire, YOU must ALLOW me, to follow whatever religion that I want - I'll go for the agnostic view - seeing, is believing.



regards

John

p.s. Oh, and sex is a natural phenomena. To view it, in an open and non-oppressive way, isn't only a "liberal" thing, it seems to be the sensible way, and help's to prevent many, many health and other problems that often manifest themselves when it's treated in a dirty, sordid way, i.e. in ways taught by those of a more traditional religious view (irrespective of flavour!)
 
Old 01-11-2004, 10:23 AM   #12
trickykid
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,133

Rep: Reputation: 197Reputation: 197
Quote:
Originally posted by rinard
I don't outbid on Islam. Islam a brilliant religion by itself and doesn't need any preaching or missionary work or me.
We cay say there are so many sects, cults, religions, philosophies, and movements in the world, all of which claim to be the right way or the only true path to God. How can one determine which one is correct or if, in fact, all are correct? The method by which the answer can be found is to clear away the superficial differences in the teachings of the various claimants to the ultimate truth, and identify the central object of worship to which they call, directly or indirectly. Can we either claim that all men are Gods or that specific men were God or that nature is God or that God is a figment of man's imagination.
It may be argued that all religions teach good things so why should it matter which one we follow. I made some searching and I couldn’t find a sharp answer but I found something interesting stated in the Koran:
Creation-worship is the greatest sin that man can commit because it contradicts the very purpose of his creation. Man was created to worship Allah alone, consequently, the worship of creation, which is the essence of idolatry, is the only unforgivable sin. One who dies in this state of idolatry has sealed his fate in the next life. This is not an opinion, but a revealed fact stated by Allah in his final revelation to man:
"Verily Allah will not forgive the joining of partners with Him, but He may forgive (sins) less than that for whom so ever He wishes"(Soorah An- Nisaa 4:48 and 116)

Buddha was a reformer who introduced a number of humanistic principles to the religion of India. He did not claim to be God nor did he suggest to his followers that he be an object of worship. Yet, today most Buddhists who are to be found outside of India have taken him to be God and prostrate to idols made in their perception of his likeness.
This is also what I found regarding Racism in Quran:

The noblest of you in the sight of Allah*, is the most pious (righteous) of you” (Qur'an 49:13).


As a result of following these teachings, many people have banished racism from their thoughts and actions. You can still see racial harmony today in the mosques of cosmopolitan cities. You will find people of various colors worshipping together, all with equal status before God. Rich or poor, black or white, kind or pauper all line up side by side to worship. No special preference is given to anyone based on color or social status. The leader in a mosque is appointed for his learning in the religious sciences, regardless of skin color. There is no such concept as a 'black mosque' or 'white mosque'. Islam removes such destructive concepts.


Regarding woman, most Islamic societies aren't theocratic. I find it interesting that the three largest Islamic countries have had women heads of state (Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh), while the same can't be said of the three largest Christian countries.
To read more go to:


Women in Christianity and Islam
http://www.beconvinced.com/women/CH_IS.htm
rinard,

You have totally ignored my question I have asked you and now after this post, it only seems you are here to somehow use our forums to preach, which to me is a form of advertising on our site. I am requesting this thread be closed at this time as we do not allow such threads, etc.

If you feel this is in error and you are actually here to help others using Linux, feel free to email me personally to discuss why your creating threads with the intention of controversial topics with a hint of preaching (advertising)?

Regards,

-trickykid
 
  


Closed Thread


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
face to face, man to man dazzler Linux - General 1 07-27-2004 06:27 AM
Sigsegv in my face del914 Linux - Software 1 01-24-2004 05:08 AM
face in rh installation dave bean Linux - General 3 10-27-2003 02:22 PM
How we face Longhorn? jin.liu General 28 10-25-2003 05:28 PM
face to face in Malaysia ... Penang thomassounness Linux - Newbie 3 06-29-2003 06:09 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:22 PM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration