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Are there any "liberal Muslims" (besides Lady_Alison)?

DaftChrisDaftChris Spiritually conflicted. Not of this world. Veteran
edited March 2012 in Faith & Religion
Within the Abrahamic faiths, people can identify as a liberal Christian and Jew, but what about Muslims?

There are many people out there who say that those who try to pass off as a liberal (or even moderate) Muslim are not "real" Muslims and that the term itself is an oxymoron.

Are there any Muslims that don't:

- Believe in world wide Sharia law?

- Believe that women are submissive to men?

- Believe that homosexuals should be put to death?

- Believe that the Qur'an is infallible?

- Believe that Islam and the government should be one in the same?

I'm not here to start a debate, nor am I here to troll. I'm just curious to see if there are any Muslims out there who are openly progressive.

Comments

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    My adopted son from Pakistan fits every one of those standards of yours.
  • Well, are there *any* Muslims that believe the Qu'ran is infallible? I thought it was a basic tenet of Islam that the Qu'ran were direct words from God.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Well, are there *any* Muslims that believe the Qu'ran is infallible? I thought it was a basic tenet of Islam that the Qu'ran were direct words from God.
    Whoa.

    I hear people on this forum say that Buddhist scriptures are the exact words of Buddha.

  • Whoa.

    I hear people on this forum say that Buddhist scriptures are the exact words of Buddha.
    Erm... ok?
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Whoa.

    I hear people on this forum say that Buddhist scriptures are the exact words of Buddha.
    Erm... ok?
    I just don't want us to use different standards for religions other than our own.

  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran
    Within the Abrahamic faiths, people can identify as a liberal Christian and Jew, but what about Muslims?

    There are many people out there who say that those who try to pass off as a liberal (or even moderate) Muslim are not "real" Muslims and that the term itself is an oxymoron.

    Are there any Muslims that don't:

    - Believe in world wide Sharia law?

    - Believe that women are submissive to men?

    - Believe that homosexuals should be put to death?

    - Believe that the Qur'an is infallible?

    - Believe that Islam and the government should be one in the same?

    I'm not here to start a debate, nor am I here to troll. I'm just curious to see if there are any Muslims out there who are openly progressive.
    Are you wondering if there are "liberal Muslims" on these very forums? Or just if they exist in general?

    If it's the former, then I have no clue. Probably not (aside from Lady_Alison, evidently), or at least not very active.

    If it's the latter, then I think that's a very odd question. There are many Christians and Jews who would say that being a "liberal Christian/Jew" is an oxymoron as well - Rick Santorum, for example. Likewise, there are extremely conservative and extremely liberal people from all religions.

    I would think that's a given...
  • edited March 2012
    I just don't want us to use different standards for religions other than our own.
    Well, a Muslim is typically someone who believes that Mohammad was Allah's messenger, with the Qu'ran being the divine word of God revealed directly to Mohammad. The Qu'ran states those beliefs as being the criteria for being a Muslim. So, I was wondering if a "Muslim" would actually not believe that. I wouldn't think so.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    I just don't want us to use different standards for religions other than our own.
    Well, a Muslim is typically someone who believes that Mohammad was Allah's messenger, with the Qu'ran being the divine word of God revealed directly to Mohammad. The Qu'ran states those beliefs as being the criteria for being a Muslim. So, I was wondering if a "Muslim" would actually not believe that. I wouldn't think so.
    I would expect that just as many Christians do not believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, and just as many Buddhists do not believe that Buddhist scriptures are the literal words of Buddha/Siddharta, that there are Muslims who do not believe that the Koran is the literal word of Mohammad.

    My son did not believe that everything in the Koran was valid.

  • My son did not believe that everything in the Koran was valid.
    I would like to speak to him, or someone like him, to understand his beliefs better. :)
  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran
    I just don't want us to use different standards for religions other than our own.
    Well, a Muslim is typically someone who believes that Mohammad was Allah's messenger, with the Qu'ran being the divine word of God revealed directly to Mohammad. The Qu'ran states those beliefs as being the criteria for being a Muslim. So, I was wondering if a "Muslim" would actually not believe that. I wouldn't think so.
    The Bible is supposed to be the divine word of God revealed directly to the authors. But there are Christians who have tons of faith and are into Jesus and all that, yet do not hold the opinion that the Bible is infallible or that every single word is sacred and true.

    I'm sure there are Muslims like that too.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    My son did not believe that everything in the Koran was valid.
    I would like to speak to him, or someone like him, to understand his beliefs better. :)
    Sorry, he's back living in Pakistan. If he were here he would be happy to have such a conversation.

  • The Bible is supposed to be the divine word of God revealed directly to the authors.
    Well, I'd say that's debatable.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    oh hugely debatable.
    Massively.

    but not here.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 2012
    because in my long and occasionally tired experience, such debate descends into bashing and bickering.
    Please - just trust me on this one....

    Edit:
    This post was in response to one submitted by Bekenze, which simply asked 'Why?'.
    I believe that as I was responding, he erased it.
  • It's sad that people take Muslim fundamentalism as the norm, or the only form of Islam. This is inaccurate, and does a grave injustice to the Muslim world. The Quran, I've read, says nothing about the subservience of women. Rather, it's a companion text that outlines customs and morality that discusses women's roles. IIRC, Iran under the Shah was liberal and Westernized, for example. I would encourage people to do some research before posting stereotypes.
  • DaozenDaozen Veteran
    In my experience, most Muslims are moderate. They are human beings after all.

    It is the media that distorts and portrays ALL Muslims as fanatic, woman-hating terrorists.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    In my experience, most Muslims are moderate. They are human beings after all.

    It is the media that distorts and portrays ALL Muslims as fanatic, woman-hating terrorists.
    I agree with your first statement. But I tire of blaming everything on "the media".

  • In my experience, most Muslims are moderate. They are human beings after all.

    It is the media that distorts and portrays ALL Muslims as fanatic, woman-hating terrorists.
    Who has ever said they were? I've never heard this other than from people who claim the media says this.

    The Muslim world does however have a lot of internal problems to confront though, including its treatment of women, children, and minorities.

  • DaozenDaozen Veteran
    I agree with your first statement. But I tire of blaming everything on "the media".
    Sure, like everything, it's complicated :) Outspoken Muslims who ARE radical extremists don't help the cause (of moderate muslims) but I think the media in general (some, like Fox News, are obviously worse than others) does portray a very skewed picture, simply because news that is emotional, based on fear and loathing, $ell$ more.

  • DaozenDaozen Veteran
    Who has ever said they were?
    I was reponding to the OP, which asked the question are there ANY liberal/moderate Muslims.

    And as a matter of fact, media coverage of muslim issues is skewed towards negativity.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    I agree with your first statement. But I tire of blaming everything on "the media".
    Sure, like everything, it's complicated :) Outspoken Muslims who ARE radical extremists don't help the cause (of moderate muslims) but I think the media in general (some, like Fox News, are obviously worse than others) does portray a very skewed picture, simply because news that is emotional, based on fear and loathing, $ell$ more.

    Well, I also remember seeing quite a few reports that have profiled responsible Muslims. But, when it comes to news, it's the not-so-peaceful elements are naturally highlighted.

  • Sensationalism sells newspapers. End of story.
  • Sensationalism sells newspapers. End of story.
    Yellow journalism. I wonder if I'm allowed to post...lol...it said except Alison. :)
  • ArnArn
    edited March 2012
    In my experience, most Muslims are moderate. They are human beings after all.

    It is the media that distorts and portrays ALL Muslims as fanatic, woman-hating terrorists.

    I had my eyes opened to this by a documentary of muslims as villans in movies. It went on to show how cowboys & indians genres are no longer acceptable, women as sex objects are no longer acceptable, coloured people as gangsters are (largely) no longer acceptable, so who is the villan in most movies today? "Fanatical moslems". You see it in everything from "Back to the future", to "Homeland", and many others. It raises the question as to why mainstream media still see villification of moslems as acceptable in our inclusive western societies...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotypes_of_Arabs_and_Muslims
  • My son did not believe that everything in the Koran was valid.
    I would like to speak to him, or someone like him, to understand his beliefs better. :)
    Fundamental Muslims like fundamental Christians believe their holy books WORD FOR WORD AS THE TRUTH. Leaving little room for interpretation.

    Sunni, sufi (especially) like liberal Christians take time to interpret the books.

    The quran, written poeticly can be interpreted in MANY different ways. This is why it's important to follow the SPIRIT of the books.

    Follow the golden rule.
  • I had my eyes opened to this by a documentary of muslims as villans in movies. It went on to show how cowboys & indians genres are no longer acceptable, women as sex objects are no longer acceptable, coloured people as gangsters are (largely) no longer acceptable, so who is the villan in most movies today? "Fanatical moslems". You see it in everything from "Back to the future", to "Homeland", and many others. It raises the question as to why mainstream media still see villification of moslems as acceptable in our inclusive western societies...
    Russians as mafiosi and Russian women as prostitutes are also popular. :(

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    In my experience, most Muslims are moderate. They are human beings after all.

    It is the media that distorts and portrays ALL Muslims as fanatic, woman-hating terrorists.

    I had my eyes opened to this by a documentary of muslims as villans in movies. It went on to show how cowboys & indians genres are no longer acceptable, women as sex objects are no longer acceptable, coloured people as gangsters are (largely) no longer acceptable, so who is the villan in most movies today? "Fanatical moslems". You see it in everything from "Back to the future", to "Homeland", and many others. It raises the question as to why mainstream media still see villification of moslems as acceptable in our inclusive western societies...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotypes_of_Arabs_and_Muslims
    Well, I think you have to put some of this in perspective. A while back TCM had a series of movies about minorities -- including Muslims -- and had a guest on who talked about the inherent racism in each film. While he made some valid points, sometimes he was finding stuff that in my view really wasn't there. For example, one of the films they discussed was "The Road To Morocco", and how racist the depictions were of the Arabs in the film. I disagreed. Were the Arab characters (for example the one played by Mexican Anthony Quinn) treated as being a little dense? Yes. But so was Bob Hope's character...the biggest dunce in the film, while Bing Crosby was portrayed as nice, but a shady guy.

    And, BTW...don't come into Virginia and call someone "colored". And you see, there's a good example of how offense can all too easily be seen sometimes.

  • I can't believe people would take offense to how this or that group is portrayed in a movie. Whether it's Arabs, Italians, or what have you. I remember people crying crocodile tears that the DaVinci Code didn't have a counter-balancing good, moral bishop. So what, now in every movie, the villain has to have some sort of doppleganger that is his better angel? Maybe there should have been some good Germans in Casablanca? Silliness.
  • Yep, I dated one about 7 years ago, and I also know one now who lives in London who I have known for years. She moved there from Iraq because of the brutal war the Americans waged on her country, she saw too many deaths of innocent people and her family fled. They do exist, more than you probably think, it would be ignorant to not think otherwise, pretty damn ignorant if you ask me.
  • cazcaz Veteran
    My son did not believe that everything in the Koran was valid.
    I would like to speak to him, or someone like him, to understand his beliefs better. :)
    Fundamental Muslims like fundamental Christians believe their holy books WORD FOR WORD AS THE TRUTH. Leaving little room for interpretation.

    Sunni, sufi (especially) like liberal Christians take time to interpret the books.

    The quran, written poeticly can be interpreted in MANY different ways. This is why it's important to follow the SPIRIT of the books.

    Follow the golden rule.
    Lady Alison it is wise to take time and re read the books, Simply because every book that was compiled comes from men Im sure you have heard what Uthman did to varient copies of the Koran during the time after Mohammeds death.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    following on from the previous post:
    http://answering-islam.org/Green/uthman.htm

    I'm sure the same can be said - more emphatically perhaps - about the Bible....
  • The quran I believe is a continuation of the abrahamic faith...and must be read with the other books and not alone...I take Jesus stance on this one..follow the spirit of the law.

    Not only of abrahamic faiths but of all faiths...
  • I don't know if I ever explained this...everyone knows I'm monotheist. I follow the God of the Bible because he fits certain qualifications : omnipotence, omniscient, omnibenevolent...etc. I don't follow traditional Judaism because they believe you must be blood. My mother wasn't Jewish. I know certain Judaic branches have allowed conversion but not traditional Judaism. Ah, Christianity...ie, catholism, well I don't news to explain and the fact is that without the divinity ofchrist their religion falls apart.

    By default I'm Muslim (submitter)...in essence Islam is Judaism for everyone. I am worried that Islam is becoming like catholism and I think it is. So I have only been following the THE FIVE PILLARS, the Teachings of christ, AND TEN COMMANDMENTS.

    Islam has a lot of its Arabic and Persian culture mixed in...the hijab was one. The WAY they do their prayers in a ritualistic way that almost inflames my latent OCD. The way women are little less than property when their rights should be established and woman raised up to their full potential.

    I'm not happy with it.
  • cazcaz Veteran
    I don't know if I ever explained this...everyone knows I'm monotheist. I follow the God of the Bible because he fits certain qualifications : omnipotence, omniscient, omnibenevolent...etc. I don't follow traditional Judaism because they believe you must be blood. My mother wasn't Jewish. I know certain Judaic branches have allowed conversion but not traditional Judaism. Ah, Christianity...ie, catholism, well I don't news to explain and the fact is that without the divinity ofchrist their religion falls apart.

    By default I'm Muslim (submitter)...in essence Islam is Judaism for everyone. I am worried that Islam is becoming like catholism and I think it is. So I have only been following the THE FIVE PILLARS, the Teachings of christ, AND TEN COMMANDMENTS.

    Islam has a lot of its Arabic and Persian culture mixed in...the hijab was one. The WAY they do their prayers in a ritualistic way that almost inflames my latent OCD. The way women are little less than property when their rights should be established and woman raised up to their full potential.

    I'm not happy with it.

    You'd sound like you'd suit the Bahai Faith more then being a Muslim to be honest Alison :)
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited March 2012
    That's true--the Bahai's welcome all creeds. But still, I don't think we should stereotype Muslims any more than we should stereotype Christians. Islam hasn't always been down on women.
  • cazcaz Veteran
    That's true--the Bahai's welcome all creeds. But still, I don't think we should stereotype Muslims any more than we should stereotype Christians. Islam hasn't always been down on women.
    Traditionally it has it would be nice to say otherwise but it would be fairly unrealistic.
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    The point is, that's not the only face of Islam. We shouldn't fixate on that. To do so also wouldn't be accurate. It would be like putting up the Inquisition and Puritanism as the "traditional" norm for Christianity.
  • I will look into Baha'i faith and I always appreciate everyone's suggestions.
  • Unitarian Universalism, even.
  • @bekenze thank you...I definitely am flexible in learning new things. I'm going to look into this and make up my mind.
  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran
    The Bible is supposed to be the divine word of God revealed directly to the authors.
    Well, I'd say that's debatable.
    Well that's what lots of Evangelicals believe... I don't hold that belief at all. I'm just stating the fact in order to draw comparisons between Muslims and Christians, demonstrating how both can be fundamentalist or liberal or anywhere in between. At the time I posted, I felt as if the thread was heading in a "All Muslims are fundamentalist" way, so I wanted to keep it balanced and in perspective.
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran
    @Lady_Alison You might like this little religion test from a while back.

    http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Quizzes/BeliefOMatic.aspx
  • ThailandTomThailandTom Veteran
    edited March 2012
    I am just going to say that I support all religions apart from the mormons, I suport scientlogy BIGTIME, (hail lord xenu) and that it does not matter.... :clap:
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