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Author Topic: Greek Orthodox Church in Lebanon bombed by Israel  (Read 6897 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: June 24, 2010, 10:51:29 PM »

Islam is a political ideology as well as a faith. There are many verses in the Qur'an that refute the typical assertion: "Jihad is allowed only for self-defense".

 Theophilos, you are correct in stating that Islam is just as political as it is a faith.  I looked over some verses from the Qur'an, and then checked several commentaries and it seems that your second sentence above does have validity.  Furthermore, I would like to apologize to you for being contentious, as well as insinuating you were being disingenuous regarding your Islamic past.  Please brother, for the sake of our salvation, accept my humble apology- I am sorry.

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
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St. Mstislav I

« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2011, 08:48:54 PM »

Fr. Deacon Daniel,

Hello, it is a pleasure to write you.

You cited:
From the aforementioned article:

3. Jihad.
Islamic scholar Jamal Badawi, chairman of the Islamic Information Foundation in Halifax, insists that a jihad is `permitted only in self-defense or against tyranny and oppression -- not as a tool to promote Islam.''

But, experts added, the ancient Islamic empires were built as much by force as by persuasion.... The caliphs, who succeeded Mohammed as leaders of the Arab world, successfully took up arms against the Christian Byzantine Empire in Egypt and the Holy Land...

Within 200 years after its inception, Islam had spread through a huge geographical area and many converts were made by the sword.

Regarding the issue of whether Islam allows wars whose purpose is to promote Islam:

The example here of the caliphs' conquest of the Holy Land does not repudiate the statement by Mr. Badawi that Islam permits its concept of "holy war" "not as a tool to promote Islam.''

The practical effect of the conquest was the promotion of Islam, but the fact that Islam was promoted doesn't mean that Islamic theory accepts that the conquest could have been legitimately carried out for that purpose. Plus, it's conceivable that the caliphs made the conquest to spread their own power, rather than to spread Islam.

To give an analogy, I think that Christian doctrine goes against the idea of making war to spread Christianity. In fact, it seems conceivable that some conquests of the native Americans by the Spanish Conquistadors had such an aim. At least spreading Christianity was the effect of the conquest.

Another excuse could be that the caliphs weren't following Islam when they made their conquests. It's conceivable, but would be harder to accept regarding Sunni Islam because I think that one of the first caliphs was a friend of Muhammed and plays a big role in Sunni Islam.

Regarding the issue of whether the Arab conquest could have been a war "against tyranny and oppression":

On the other hand, the caliphs' conquest of the Holy Land could go against Badawi's idea that in Islam, its concept of "holy war" only applies "in self-defense or against tyranny and oppression".

It's true that the Byzantine empire was tyrannical and oppressive in the sense that it lacked a republican form of government or democracy. But I think that a caliphate had an imperial system of government similar to that of the Byzantine empire.

The 9th century Persian historian writes:
"The people of Homs replied [to the Muslims], "We like your rule and justice far better than the state of oppression and tyranny in which we were. The army of Heraclius we shall indeed, with your 'amil's' help, repulse from the city." The Jews rose and said, "We swear by the Torah, no governor of Heraclius shall enter the city of Homs unless we are first vanquished and exhausted!"... The inhabitants of the other cities—Christian and Jews—that had capitulated to the Muslims, did the same ("Byzantine-Arab Wars", Wikipedia)
The city of Homs is on the western edge of modern-day Syria.

Wikipedia ("Byzantine-Arab Wars") specifies that the Oriental Orthodox movement in the eastern Mediterranean welcomed the Caliphate's conquest:
In the Levant, the invading Rashidun army were engaged by a Byzantine army composed of imperial troops as well as local levies.[1] According to Islamic historians Monophysites and Jews throughout Syria welcomed the Arab invaders, as they were discontented with Byzantine rule.

Politico-religious events (such as the outbreak of Monothelitism, which disappointed both the Monophysites and the Chalcedonians) had sharpened the differences between the Byzantines and the Syrians. Also the high taxes, the power of the landowners over the peasants and the participation in the long and exhaustive wars with the Persians were some of the reasons why the Syrians welcomed the change
If the Byzantines were significantly persecuting Oriental Orthodox, as Fr. Peter Farrington claims, then the Muslim historians' narrative sounds correct, with Oriental Orthodox welcoming the Arab Islamic conquest to free them from Byzantine tyranny or oppression.

It's conceivable that the conquest had such a liberating purpose, but I guess that the conquest's main purpose was simply the expansion of political power, which seems to be why many conquests really occur.

Plus, I doubt that the basic situation was of Oriental Orthodox being most of the Levant, people being persecuted, and then being liberated from oppression by the Arab Islamic conquest because:
(A) After centuries of Muslim rule, most native Christians in the Holy Land are the Orthodox of the 7 Councils, and few of them (about 10,000) are Oriental.
(B) Eastern Orthodox make up most of the Christians of the Levant today
(C) Islamic rulers in the Holy Land had rules discriminating against Christians, and the rules would have applied to Oriental Orthodox too.
(D) If Oriental Orthodox had a strong presence in the Holy Land during the Byzantine empire, then the Islamic rule worked against them, because pressures, perhaps social or political, led to a situation today where there are few native Oriental Orthodox in the Holy Land, their descendants apparently having converted to Islam.
(E) Likewise, if Judaism had a strong presence in the Holy Land under the Byzantines, to such an extent that they played a serious role in passing power to the Arab conquest, then Islamic rule worked against them too, since after centuries of Islamic rule, Judaism had a significantly weaker presence there.
(F) Likewise, egarding the statement: "Also the high taxes, the power of the landowners over the peasants and the participation in the long and exhaustive wars with the Persians were some of the reasons why the Syrians welcomed the change":
  • i. the Arab rulers put a special tax on non-Muslims
    ii. there were also wealthy Arab landowners for whom poor peasants worked
    iii. imperial wars continued as the Byzantine and Arab empires clashed.
(G) I read that the Arab rulers' system favored cultural Arabs over even non-Arabic Muslims.

Regarding the issue of self-defense:

It appears that the first battle between the Byzantine Empire and the Arab Islamic forces was the Battle of Mu'tah, which ended in a draw. It appears that the Muslim forces began the battle as a revenge attack on other Arab forces, who were allied with the Byzantines, instead of as self-defense.

Wikipedia ("Battle of Mu'tah") records:
In Muslim histories, the battle is usually described as the Muslims' attempt to take retribution against a Ghassanid chief for taking the life of an emissary...

Muslim historians say that the immediate impetus for a military march north was the mistreatment of emissaries. Muhammad is said to have sent emissaries to the nomadic Banu Sulaym and Dhat al Talh tribes of the north (tribes under the protection of the Byzantines). The emissaries were killed. The expedition sent for revenge was the largest Muslim army raised yet against a non-Meccan confederate force and would be the first to confront the Byzantines. According to F. Buhl, another possible reason "seems to have been that he wished to bring the Arabs living there under his control."

According to later Muslim historians, Prophet Muhammad dispatched 3,000 of his troops to the area in Jumada al-awwal of the year 8 A.H., i.e., A.D. 629, for a quick expedition to attack and punish the tribes.

So the Byzantine-Arab Wars place doubt on Mr. Badawi's statement that in Islam, its concept of "holy war" is" "permitted only in self-defense or against tyranny and oppression -- not as a tool to promote Islam.''



It makes sense when you write:
I prefer Chrisitianity NT/OT Church.
It's correct from a theological view, in my opinion. However, rather than referring to the "OT Church", it seems better for the default linguistic use to refer to the OT Church as "the people Israel," as it was known at that time. Still, in some ways "the OT Church" is more accurate, because some of God's people, like Noah, Abraham, and Isaac, preceded the people of Israel.

I highly doubt your statement:
Judeo-Christian is a Christian term that Jews do not believe, Abrahamic a Muslim construct that people who should know better have adopted.
(A) some Jews use the term Judeo-Christian, and appear to be sincere in their use
(B) Abrahamic includes three major religions tracing themselves from Abraham, and makes sense on its face.

I have some doubt that
The problem with the latter is that even if you argue that the Muslims, Jews, and Christians all look to Abraham (true enough), it leaves out Manicheanism, Mandaeans, etc. who also look to Abraham.
It seems like the Mandaeans and others who look to Abrahamic could in fact validly claim to be Abrahamic. In such a case, I somewhat agree when you write:
It really is only useful when you are contrasted these faiths with the Dharmic religions or the Far Eastern etc.
Except that the list would go far beyond what you mentioned, to include Native American religions, wicca, European paganism, perhaps Zoroastrianism and other Monotheisms, etc.

You commented:
my situation-that I am still considered Jewish under Jewish law (because of my maternal grandmother), although I've never been a Jew all my life-"it's just like a pearl: even if it is buried in mud, it is still a pearl."

Congratulations, you can rightly be called a Jewish Orthodox Christian.

Awesome, bro.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2011, 08:59:10 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #47 on: March 20, 2011, 05:37:11 AM »

Lord Have Mercy ....On Our Eastern Orthodox Faithful,
And There Holy Churches in that troubled Area....Amen Amen

I vote Israel Blows That aid Ship to Smithereens ........
And They Sink the Catholic Idol, Statue Of Mary with it...... Grin
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 05:39:48 AM by stashko » Logged

I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
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My plans for retirement.

« Reply #48 on: March 20, 2011, 05:46:36 AM »

I vote Israel Blows That aid Ship to Smithereens ........
And They Sink the Catholic Idol, Statue Of Mary with it...... Grin
I hope you're not bothering to fast.

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Benjamin the Red
Recovering Calvinist
OC.net guru
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Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America, Diocese of Dallas and the South ||| American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese
Posts: 1,601

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

« Reply #49 on: March 21, 2011, 09:21:46 PM »

I vote Israel Blows That aid Ship to Smithereens ........
And They Sink the Catholic Idol, Statue Of Mary with it...... Grin
I hope you're not bothering to fast.


"Hades is not a place, no, but a state of the soul. It begins here on earth. Just so, paradise begins in the soul of a man here in the earthly life. Here we already have contact with the divine..." -St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily On the Sunday of Orthodoxy
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