Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:42 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:19 am
lostitude wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:51 pm
binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:19 pm
If they believe that God (who instated their religious doctrine) is just, then, by implication, they think it is just and look forward to everything God did, does, or will do, including burning "infidels" in hell forever. If they hope that God's justice be done, and God's justice includes burning "infidels" in hell forever, then they hope that those "infidels" will burn in hell forever.
Come on binocular, this makes no sense... It is like saying that Buddists hope that people with bad karma go to hell because that is what the Buddha said must happen to them.
Why is the teaching called the "Gospel" or "Glad tidings" or "Good news"?
Binocular is not ill-informed here necessarily by impying that as a possible reading of the 'good' in the good news. Christian apocalyptic literature is very ambiguous as to theodicy. Just like you can pick a certain jurisprudence of Islam and correspondingly form an impression of it as X or Y, one can pick from a myriad of Christian methodologies for dealing with the justification for a damnation that is described as eternal. I can find the quote shortly, but there exists a theologounemon popular in Protestant Revivalist circles, which justifies damnation in a way similar to the above.

Explained in layman's terms: you don't need to be worried about being upset in your glorified body on account of the suffering of those in hell. As glorified beings, we will have an expanded perspective on account of our closeness with God, we will understand that those in hell are profoundly wicked, because only with God may we be not wicked (this is in intersection with the 'doctrine of utter depravity' from Calvin).
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.

吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by narhwal90 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:30 pm

Case in point of disparate views; a good friend of mine is Catholic, one of her aunts, Catholic as well, was big into an obscure tradition that daily prayed for armageddon so as to speed the arrival of the rapture. I'm inclined to think any similarly big enough, old enough religion will have all sorts of odd nooks and corners such that most any argument can be supported via appropriate cherry-picking.

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:48 pm

Greetings,
narhwal90 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:30 pm
Case in point of disparate views; a good friend of mine is Catholic, one of her aunts, Catholic as well, was big into an obscure tradition that daily prayed for armageddon so as to speed the arrival of the rapture. I'm inclined to think any similarly big enough, old enough religion will have all sorts of odd nooks and corners such that most any argument can be supported via appropriate cherry-picking.
Not so much "cherry picking", but the point you raise demonstrates that there's a diverse spectrum of understandings in play within any given major world religion. Think about the diverse understandings members have here within the spectrum of Theravada Buddhism itself, let alone Buddhism as a whole!

Criticism of the extremes should not be regarded as criticism of the whole, and conversely, where the whole is criticized, it's important to make an effort to understand whether that which is under criticism genuinely applies to the whole.

Therefore, the more accurate criticism can be, the better. Unfortunately, in some quarters there is such a blanket intolerance for exploration, debate or criticism of any kind, that people get emotional and reactive, even when there is really no need for it. The reactive emotionality merely gets in the way of facts, reason, precision, truth and logic, and (inadvertently or deliberately?) stifles conversation. In the end, it achieves nothing other than upset for the person who reacts and engages in such an akusala way, and a suspicion amongst those who are trying to have a reasoned discussion that the hyper-emotional reactions may be a diversionary obfuscation tactic, moreso than representing a genuine feeling, actually felt. (And whilst that's how it pans out sometimes at Dhamma Wheel, it's also how it pans out sometimes in the public sphere too... so in that regard, it's nothing different, unique or unusual.)

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:58 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:42 pm
I can find the quote shortly, but there exists a theologounemon popular in Protestant Revivalist circles, which justifies damnation in a way similar to the above.
You'll find no end of quotes in this 140-page thesis on the subject:

Trevor Johnson, Do the Saints in Heaven Behold the Sufferings of the Damned, And How Do They Respond?

Before I read it I'd always thought that the idea of the blessed in heaven rejoicing at the torments of the damned in hell, though popular and normative in Islam, was in Christianity confined to Tertullian, Calvinism and Jansenism. It seems I was wrong and the idea is actually much more widely shared by Christian heavyweights — including even Aquinas.
Nothing should be denied the blessed that belongs to the perfection of their beatitude…Wherefore in order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful to them and that they may render more copious thanks to God for it, they are allowed to see perfectly the sufferings of the damned.

[...]

Seeing the punishment of the wicked, the righteous have no pity:

Whoever pities another shares somewhat in his unhappiness. But the blessed cannot share in any unhappiness. Therefore they do not pity the afflictions of the damned.

[...]

[Johnson:] This knowledge and sight of hell does not detract, in any way, from the joys of heaven; rather, it even contributes to it. By this visual display of the end result of rebellion against God the saints are allowed to “enjoy their beatitude more thoroughly.” This sight does not ruin heaven; it enhances it.

[...]

A distinction regarding the causes of joy in this sight:

Will the Redeemed in heaven be happy when they see damned souls in hell? Most assuredly, yes. Aquinas, however, does make several distinctions. He distinguishes between the primary and secondary causes of this joy in beholding hell. Aquinas is careful not to emphasize that the saints will joy over the pain of the ungodly for pain’s sake. Instead, he asserts the direct causes of joy as (1) joy over deliverance from the ungodly and (2) joy over the vindication of divine justice. The saints only gain joy indirectly from the punishment, their direct joy being their deliverance and the glorification of God’s justice in it. Aquinas writes:

A thing may be a matter of rejoicing in two ways. First directly, when one rejoices in a thing as such: and thus the saints will not rejoice in the punishment of the wicked. Secondly, indirectly, by reason namely of something annexed to it: and in this way the saints will rejoice in the punishment of the wicked, by considering therein the order of Divine justice and their own deliverance, which will fill them with joy. And thus the Divine justice and their own deliverance will be the direct cause of the joy of the blessed: while the punishment of the damned will cause it indirectly.

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Modus.Ponens » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:59 am

lostitude wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:42 am
Modus.Ponens wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:13 am
To the extent that they do what is described in those texts, we need to criticize the texts themselves. But in order to criticize the texts we need to start by aknowledging what is written in them.
I disagree. You may criticize their understanding of the texts, but not 'what is written in the texts', for the simple reason that your interpretation of this text (or rather, its English translation I would assume) might way differ from theirs. And their actions based on textual references may stem from a different interpretation which has nothing to do with yours. This is why it is pointless to criticize 'the texts' because no interpretation, no reading of a text in this world is purely objective and universal.
In the topic in question I have quoted the facts directly from the canonical islamic scriptures (which can be easily found online from islamic and academic sources). Some members complained about the offensiveness of the facts, but they did not provide refutations based on canonical islamic scriptures. Some members claimed these facts have long been disproven, without providing the required proof. Thus, these remain facts.
Really? It seems to me that someone has rebutted most of your arguments, and that you were in the process of developping your own counter-arguments, which I look forward to.
Facts matter. In the case of a medical doctor treating a patient, the doctor needs to get to the right diagnosis in order to apply the propper cure.
True, but what you're suggesting is akin to a doctor prescribing a drug based on the description of that drug without looking at the symptoms of the disease.
If it is my defective interpretation, then please show how the quotes do not mean what they mean.

I was in the process of writing the reply to the misleading arguments and realised that what DharmaSherab linked to already contained all the necessary material. Anyone who reads those links, and checks the original sources, will realise the truth. Only voluntary blindness (or conscious lies) can explain the denial of the scriptural quotes.

But the main point I wanted to correct I will correct now. It's about abrogation, which is crucial to understand misinformation being spread about islam.

"Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?" Koran, 2:16

What this verse means (and a couple others like this one) is that whatever was revealed later in Muhammad's life which contradicts something that was revealed earlier, supercedes the earlier verses. So, out of contradictory verses, the valid verse becomes the later one. This is unfortunate because Muhammad started as a peaceful preacher and died a warlord. This is why the peaceful verses often quoted by propagandists are not valid. They have been rendered obsolete by later verses. For example, there is actually compulsion in religion, i.e., islam is compulsory. Jihad is not merely self defense either. The self defense has been abrogated and the command for jihad is now an imperialist command.

Despite the grim outlook on islam given by these facts, there are also facts that bring great hope in helping the reform movement. But this will only be discussed after the admittance that the texts say what the texts say. Please provide refutations based on the canonical texts or don't blame me for stating that what is, is.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Modus.Ponens » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:14 am

lostitude wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:56 am
Pseudobabble wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:33 am
Actual German neo-Nazis - their perception of their heritage is the only one that matters?
Yes, because they look at the same facts as you in order to come up with Aryan supremacy theories. The problem doesn't lie with the facts, but with the interpretation that's made of them.
I'm sorry, but I have to point out that this is dangerously wrong. Nazis were swimming in lies. Lies about jews. Lies about "race". Lies about their "race". Lies about the history of their "race". Lies about history in general. Nazis were not merely interpreting the facts in a different way. They were deluded about what the facts were.

The problems being described in this thread are not one dimensional, "good vs bad". They are two dimensional: "unpleasant lies", "pleasant lies", "unpleasant truths", and "pleasant truths". If we throw the lies away, we can address the truths in a constructive manner. If we don't throw the lies away, we may try to be constructive and fail frequently. It's not about good vs evil. It's about good grounded in truth.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by DooDoot » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:38 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:59 am
For example, there is actually compulsion in religion, i.e., islam is compulsory.
Historical reality proves the above is absolutely wrong because under the Islamic Empire people were free to practise their religions. Can't you do better than post something that is 100% provably wrong? If Islam was compulsory, how did Yazidi exist in Iraq, Maronite in Lebanon, Orthodox in the Levant, Armenian Apostolic Church, Coptic in Africa, Buddhism in Persia (until the Mogul invasions), Judaism in Spain, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Turkey, etc?

Image
Persian Jews have lived in the territories of today's Iran for over 2,700 years, since the first Jewish diaspora when the Assyrian king Shalmaneser V conquered the (Northern) Kingdom of Israel (722 BC) and sent the Israelites (the Ten Lost Tribes) into captivity at Khorasan. In 586 BC, the Babylonians expelled large populations of Jews from Judea to the Babylonian captivity.

Jews who migrated to ancient Persia mostly lived in their own communities. The Persian Jewish communities include the ancient (and until the mid-20th century still-extant) communities not only of Iran, but also the Azerbaijani, Armenian, Georgian, Iraqi, Bukharan, and Mountain Jewish communities

At the time of Islamic conquest of Persia Jews were heavily under the pressure of the Sassanid rulers. Several Jewish religious figures were executed and the Jewish community was under pressure. Thus, many Jews welcomed the Arab armies with open arms. One of the Jews of Isfahan, "Abu Naeem", wrote in the "stories of the news of Isfahan" that Jews rushed to the gates of Isfahan to open the gates for the Arabs. He further wrote that many took musical instruments to make a feast. These Jews believed that the time of the Messiah is coming. Amnon Netzer believes that this story demonstrates that the Jews were the majority of the population of Isfahan at the time, since this act was likely to enrage the local Zoroastrians.

After the Islamic conquest of Persia, Jews, along with Christians and Zoroastrians, were assigned the status of dhimmis, inferior subjects of the Islamic empire. Dhimmis were allowed to practice their religion, but were forced to pay taxes (jizya, a poll tax, and initially also kharaj, a land tax) in favor of the Arab Muslim conquerors, and as a compensation for being excused from military service and payment of poor tax incumbent on Muslims.[27] Dhimmis were also required to submit to a number of social and legal disabilities; they were prohibited from bearing arms, riding horses, testifying in courts in cases involving a Muslim, and frequently required to wear clothes that clearly distinguished them from Muslims.[citation needed] Although some of these restrictions were sometimes relaxed, the overall condition of inequality remained in force until the Mongol invasion.[28] The 10th-century Persian historian Estakhri reports that : "All of the land from Isfahan to Tustar (Shushtar) was settled by Jews in such large numbers that the whole area was called Yahudistan (land of the Jews)"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_o ... ws_in_Iran
:alien:
Modus.Ponens wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:14 am
Nazis were swimming in lies. Lies about jews. Lies about "race". Lies about their "race". Lies about the history of their "race". Lies about history in general. Nazis were not merely interpreting the facts in a different way. They were deluded about what the facts were.
The above is also very wrong because it correlates anything that is "Nazi" as "wrong", which is obviously false. The Nazis could not have been 100% wrong about everything. Its like claiming Germans don't make the best motor cars today; just as claiming the Germans did not lead the world in many things, including music & technology, back then. The Nazi-Islam correlation is a non-sense, like in these videos from two national leaders of one-religion nations:


Islam is the state religion of Saudi Arabia and its law requires that all citizens should be Muslims.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Saudi_Arabia

Israel, founded in the aftermath of the Holocaust, was created in the Jews' ancestral homeland to provide a national home, safe from persecution, for the Jewish people.[18] Although Israeli law explicitly grants equal civil rights to all citizens regardless of religion, ethnicity, or other heritage,[19] it gives preferential treatment in certain aspects to individuals who fall within the criteria mandated by the Law of Return, including preferential treatment to Jews and their relatives who seek to immigrate to Israel.... Pew Research Center has identified Israel as one of the countries that places "high" restrictions on religion...Many parts of the "status quo" have been challenged by secular Israelis regarding the Chief Rabbinate's strict control over Jewish weddings, Jewish divorce proceedings, conversions, and the question of who is a Jew for the purposes of immigration. While the state of Israel enables freedom of religion for all of its citizens, it does not enable civil marriage. The state forbids and disapproves of any civil marriages or non-religious divorces performed amongst within the country. Because of this, some Israelis choose to marry outside of Israel.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_ ... itizenship
Last edited by DooDoot on Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:21 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by lyndon taylor » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:03 am

Modus, You can't prove anything by quoting the Koran out of context, and making up your own interpretations in direct contradiction to those of recognized Islamic scholars.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:07 am

lyndon taylor wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:03 am
Modus, You can't prove anything by quoting the Koran out of context, and making up your own interpretations in direct contradiction to those of recognized Islamic scholars.
Whom do you have in mind? Which recognized Islamic scholar either rejects naskh / "abrogation", or interprets it differently from Modus?

I can personally think of one scholar who did reject it, claiming that true Islam is to be found only in the peaceful tolerant Mecca revelations and that the later and nastier Medina ones should be discarded on the grounds that they had only a provisional relevance. Unfortunately the scholar in question didn't become mainstream and in 1985 he was hanged for apostasy and heresy.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2006 ... ate-martyr

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Mohammed_Taha

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by lyndon taylor » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:14 am

Well if you live in an Islamic country and publicly assert that half the Koran is heresy, maybe you would be charged with heresy. I'm not saying there is anything ideal about Islam, but stick to the facts don't make up fake interpretations to fit your own prejudices, the Koran is very difficult to translate and interpret, quoting bad English translations out of context, as I said, isn't going to prove anything.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:27 am

lyndon taylor wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:14 am
Well if you live in an Islamic country and publicly assert that half the Koran is heresy, maybe you would be charged with heresy. I'm not saying there is anything ideal about Islam, but stick to the facts don't make up fake interpretations to fit your own prejudices, the Koran is very difficult to translate and interpret, quoting bad English translations out of context, as I said, isn't going to prove anything.
This doesn't really answer my question. You charged Modus with advancing interpretations of the Quran that are "in direct contradiction to those of recognized Islamic scholars." But the interpretive principle that Modus referred to — that the Medina revelations abrogate the Mecca ones whenever the two conflict — is about as mainstream as you can get.

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by lyndon taylor » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:31 am

Modus said a lot of things, many of which are in direct contradiction to Islamic teaching, for instance he is in complete denial of the common Islamic teaching that there is no compulsion in religion, could go on and on, but frankly I don't have the time, maybe some of our other posters could point out some things.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:36 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:27 am
But the interpretive principle that Modus referred to — that the Medina revelations abrogate the Mecca ones whenever the two conflict — is about as mainstream as you can get.
Let me help you out here .... there have been some dissenting voices:
Rejection of Naskh

The principle of naskh is acknowledged by both Sunnis and Shī'a. Among the sects of Islam that rejected naskh were the Mu'tazili, Zaidiyah, and Quranists, on the rationalist grounds that the word of God could not contain contradictions. According to scholar Karel Steenbrink, most twentieth century modernist or reformist scholars, consider the theory "an insult to the integrity and value of the uncreated revelation of God."

More recently the Ahmadiyya also reject the theory of naskh and argue that all Qur'ānic verses have equal validity, in keeping with their emphasis on the "unsurpassable beauty and unquestionable validity of the Qur'ān". The harmonization of apparently incompatible rulings is resolved through their juridical deflation in Ahmadī fiqh, so that a ruling (considered to have applicability only to the specific situation for which it was revealed), is effective not because it was revealed last, but because it is most suited to the situation at hand.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naskh_(tafsir)
But no mention of any rejection of naskh by anybody in the Islamic mainstream.

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:42 am

lyndon taylor wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:31 am
Modus said a lot of things, many of which are in direct contradiction to Islamic teaching, for instance he is in complete denial of the common Islamic teaching that there is no compulsion in religion
But this is a Meccan revelation. Members of the "heretical" Muslim sects referred to in my earlier post may quote the "no compulsion" passage in good faith, but when mainstream Muslims do so (without mentioning that it's abrogated by the intolerant Medina revelations) it's nearly always an exercise in dissimulation.

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by lostitude » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:54 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:27 am
lyndon taylor wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:14 am
Well if you live in an Islamic country and publicly assert that half the Koran is heresy, maybe you would be charged with heresy. I'm not saying there is anything ideal about Islam, but stick to the facts don't make up fake interpretations to fit your own prejudices, the Koran is very difficult to translate and interpret, quoting bad English translations out of context, as I said, isn't going to prove anything.
This doesn't really answer my question. You charged Modus with advancing interpretations of the Quran that are "in direct contradiction to those of recognized Islamic scholars." But the interpretive principle that Modus referred to — that the Medina revelations abrogate the Mecca ones whenever the two conflict — is about as mainstream as you can get.
This is really not as simple as that.
First, abrogation has always been controversial from the beginning, with many scholars rejecting the idea since the early centuries of islam.
Second, simply accepting the notion of abrogation does not mean that everyone will agree on which verses abrogate which. There are even controversies regarding the timing of the revelation of some verses, which means that they sometimes don't even know which one came first and which one abrogates it. Not to mention the many verses that seem contradictory but which are reconciled by some scholars through simple logic, thus eliminating the need for the concept of abrogation, but not by others.

The point is that it makes no sense for a non-Muslim to come and say 'here's how I read the text, here's how I understand it, so if you Muslims don't apply it the way I understand it, you're either bad Muslims who don't know their religion, or liars'. What amazes me are those people who are hell-bent of having everyone believe that 'there IS compulsion in islam' and who are dissapointed that most Muslims do not share this opinion because they interpret the texts differently. They lose an opportunity to criticize them, maybe, and it makes them unhappy.

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