Religion and culture

Discussion in 'Religion' started by sinbad, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    Sometimes we see general statements about a religion and those statements do not take into account that geographyical culture affects and twists religious beleifs to make "local pockets" of "special edition" of that same religion.

    I am a Muslim, and sometimes we see activisits condemning "female circumsession" and condemining Islam with it. It is OK to discuss religion, but it should be an enlighened discussion, not one based on half facts. Directly I can say for example that I don't know ANYONE in our family that has practised female circumsession ( MALE circumsession is widely practiced and I am circumsized myself but not the female Muslims) ... So, what is all this about ???

    AFRICA has seen the female circumsession practice . I am not generalizing abot ALL Africa, but at least in the African countries that has Muslims ( Sudan, Egypt ..etc. ) female circumsession is more spread and prcticed that , say , a very strictly Islamic country like Saudi Arabia . What does this tell us ??? That it is not religious treachings but local traditions that kicks in , and to be acceptable some kind of religious interepretation is (mis)used to give it some form of acceptance.

    Same thing goes of christainity I am sure. Although I don't know alot about details of the Christian faith, but Iam sure that Christians in Africa, Phillipnes, India, China, Russia, and Europe may have some differences that have originated from their local cultural tradditions and were later cloaked with religious beliefs.

    If you could read Arabic newspapers, you will see relgious arguments you never believed exsited. It is not very different from teh Obama / Bush camps in the U.S. It shows that even in the same country, differemnt regions with different geography and demography have different looks at life and faith.

    Look at your own country and your own religion and you will see the same variety of colors.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
  2. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    OK, we all know there is liberals and conservatives in every society. I have addressed what western librals say ( about women rights ...etc. ) , but there are the western conservatives who themselves have been accused of being merciless and who throw a different kind of accusation. Namely, terrosirism.

    Those of you who travelled in these regions ( Middle East and around it ) will notice some Arabs who live very urban type of lives like in Dubai and there are gun-toting tribal types like in Yemen and Afghanistan. They are all "Muslims" , but practicing Islam in different ways. Even in one large country like Saudi Arabia , differences are very obvious. Those living in the desert center of the country ( historically closed to other people ) lean more towards ultra conservatism , while people on Eastern and Western coasts (historically open to trade and neighboring nations) show more tolerance towards other people and different traditions and beliefs.

    You just cannot put apples and oranges in one go. In the U.S. you have the extreme right like some militias, and you have the tree huggers . It is same everywhere. And you add to the mix those opportunity hunters and foreign hands, it becomes very complex. Many cases were further complicated by interference from opprtunity hunters who couldn't care less if you were this or that, and all they cared for was their bank accounts.

    While I have tried ( and many times failed ) to educate people around here that western folks also come in all colors of the rainbow, it seems like a universal mystery that few want to understand.

    It is not smart to streotype .. not only because it is unfair to others, it is also deceiving for you as well , because you would think you got it all figured out but learn later ( at a great cost) that haven't figured out anything right.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010

  3. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    Thanks for posting your defenses of Islam. That takes a bit of courage. I agree and disagree with some of what you've said but don't have time to address it now. I will later.

    Again, thanks for posting.
  4. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    I was going to let this pass ... but I can't ...

    First I don't care which religion does this ... IMO ... it is not right. The first time I heard about female circumsession was a story about a 12 year old girl living in Britain. She told her story and I got the chills and sick just reading it.

    "When you are just turning 12 and summer holiday is coming around you can't help to be happy!", she said. For some reason that part of her story stuck with me.

    Somethings come to mind more than others ... So I will start here ...

    She was reading one of the Harry Potter books when her mother came for her and told her it was time ... time for what she didn't know.

    She was ask to sit on the floor, where the older females pushed her down on the floor and held her.

    The next thing she remembered was the blood ... it was every where ... She couldn't remember if she screamed or not ...

    That was about all I could read....

    I say child abuse :mad: ... This is not right!!!!

    sinbad - I did see that your family does not do this ... but what I did not hear you say was what you thought about the others that did?

    When it comes to religion ... I'm more of a live and let live ... kind of person. With that said, I am condemning this ... It is not right ... in many different ways!

    Just the way I see it! (and that is what it is all about!)
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
  5. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    OK, yea, in a way I was defending Islam but I was nmore defending the proper way to think. Sterotyping is not the way to think properly.

  6. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    Not only my family....
    but anyone I know in whole Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries
    No one here does this

    Is this enough ???

    I will add it is a crime, it is gender discrimination, ignorance, and a social disaster.

    Why I said (gender discriminination) is because we ( Muslim MALES) have been cricumsized.. but that happened (a) a few hours or days after birth (b) in hospitals with sanitary conditions.

    Now please do not feel free to conclude that I "support" doing that to females in hospitals. What I am saying : IF IT CANNOT BE ELIMINIATED, IF THIS TRADITION IS STAYING NO MATTER WHAT , then at least do it in a hospital under proper medical supervision,. That is all I am saying.

    Off course, I am AGAINST IT 100% .

    I hope this is enough to clear me from those charges ( just kidding ) LOL

    I am going even further, telling you about things you didn't know about this tradition. It is the second phase of circumsession after cutting the clit. I havent seen it among all the negative reports in western writings. So let me tell your even worse stuff that happens in some places.

    When my wife was in hospital (expecting our second child) she saw a Sudanese woman in labor too. The Sudanese woman told her that her labor would take much longer than her because she was cricumsized.

    What she meant is not the part you already know ( cutting the clitorios ) .. no , she meant the second part of female circumssession which is SEWING up the vulva opening. They leave only a small opening for menstration .. and they do that for fear the female will have sex before wedding.

    Again, like I started my thread, we do NOT do this , nor do we agree to it, nor do even most of our local people know it exists. But again, it happens somewhere in the expansive Muslim world, and someone with an agenda say that ALL MUSLIMS do it. It is NOT true.

    You mentioned the 12 years old in Britain. It reminds me of Pakistani and Indian Muslims , since many many of them migrate there. OK, they are Muslims too . But they have very strange traditions that we don't jave in majority of the Muslim world. When a couple gets married, it is the GIRL who has to provide things for the guy !!!! His family asks for full furniture, a car, or whatever .. and when she (actually her father ) cannot provide those she may be in trouble. Can you blam e all of us for this tradition ??? No way, actually pakistani and Indian Muslims adopted this traduition from their Hindu fellow citizens. It didn't originate in Islam and you will not find it even in very traditional Islamic countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  7. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    Circumcision is a misnomer. It is nothing like male circumcision. Call it what it truly is ... mutilation.

    I'd like to thoroughly condemn any country that allows it or does not fully prosecute anyone who does it but then how do we explain legal abortion in this country? Isn't one just as barbaric as the other?
  8. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    I agree with you MMM, it is mutilation and complete injustice to girls

    Interesting that you mentioned abortion. I was going to say something about it but my post was already too long.

    If you notice in those countries like Egypt for example where they do this mutilation ( and mind you, local newpapers ARE condeming it FYI). Anyway, when I think of it I guess one reason why they do it in a "butchering" style is that it is NOT allowed in hospitals of those countries. So, there comes the dillema which is not too different from abortion in the U.S. Should it be legalized and openly performed in hospitals for at least saving the physical health of the girl, or do they keep it illegal and then people do it away from hospitals and risk all those health hazards to the girls ??

    It is easy to answer these questions from our armchairs, but real life is different.

    And again, I condemn female genital mutillation by all means. Th epurpose of this thread is to shed light on the differences between cultures and religion. I have three daughters , and NO clregy man has ever asked me if I have circumsized them, nor did any of my family or relatives in neighboring Bahrain, Kuwait or the UAE. We are Muslim, but not all Muslim do it. Actually MOST Muslims don't do it. It is only a cultural thing in some geographical areas. We should not realte tit to a particular religion. I will not be surpsrized if some "christian" tribes in Africa practice this thing because it is a local tradition not part of the faith.
  9. thunderdan19

    thunderdan19 Shoots to Thrill

    I have a cousin who is married to a Turkish muslim man who has been a US citizen for many years now. He is a good man, very smart and persistent, works hard and has made a good living here in the US, always contributing, never leeching. I don't consider him to be a devout muslim as he does not pray many times a day, does not attend mosque that I know of, but does celebrate Ramadan.

    Recently, their family vacationed in Turkey. While there (I don't know if it was due to pressure from family members there or what) he decided he wanted to have his son (around 9 years old or so) circumcised. Apparently, it is traditional for the son to be circumcised in youth, rather than as a baby as we do here. I have mixed feelings about it. I respect that tradition and know that ultimately it would be to the son's benefit healthwise, but would certainly be a very traumatic experience for him at that age (possibly making him never want to return to Turkey because of it, or cause him to associate that with Islam).

    Ultimately it didn't happen, but it left me wondering how I would react to such a proposition. I could not imagine making my son go through that (though it's moot because he was circumcised as a baby). It would have to be his choice to participate in this tradition as a right of passage. And I would be traumatized by it...
  10. Calebra

    Calebra Well-Known Member

    Female genital mutilation is a barbaric preislamic tradition. The problem is slave like treatment of women in islam encourages this practice.The only cultures where this horrible practice is present are cultures where women have no right to say no--in particular any and all muslim countries. places that have this horrid practice that are not populated by muslims are usually places that are half a step away from the stone age like certain areas in africa and asia. Which in a nutshell is the effect that islam has on an area--it legalizes and sets in stone traditions and practices that should be exterminated and forgaten--such as female mutilation,slavery ,child marriage and so on. Islam as a cult that above all prohibts change and ajustment to modernity has that exact effect on society--it keeps it in the same time as when mohamed raided peicefull vilages . Granted the barbarians now have aks and rolls royces but mentallity and mind set is the same as well as the effect on the people around them. And no--I am not generalizing here.
    Look at it this way. You're saying that because this is done by non muslims as well as muslims it's not related to islam. Two problems here--first off the simple percentages--over 90 percent of cases of this sadistic practice are in muslim countries.Second--it's the same deal as with pedophilia--sure there are scumbags who like kids in US ,there are scumbags that like kids in saudi arabia--the difference is in US if you marry an 8 year old you go to jail and get your rectum stretched out to industrial proportions--in saudi arabia it's an honored practice approved by the society and the goverment.That's what happens when you beuild a religion using someone like mohamed as a perfect human being--a "person" that prided himself on geing a psychotic pedophile,torturer and coward.
    Sorry for being so hard but this 'taquiya" crap you are practicing here Sinbad is simply offensive.
    BTW--no such thing as half facts--it's either a fact or a lie.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  11. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    But Calebra: how do you explain that Saudi Arabia is NOT known for female genital mutilation ???

    Have you read somewehre that Saudi women suffer from this problem ??

    Saudi women suffer from different problems like : not allowed to drive a car for example. And this is exactly what I am saying. Islam can be resposnsible about something if ALL or MOST Muslims do, preform something or ebleievve in it.

    Women not alloowed to drive is a problem localized to Saudi Arabi aonly, so you cannot lame Islam for it. There is ( I think ) 52 Islamic countries, 51 of them allow women to drive. So , again it is a localized problem.

    Likwsie, Saudi Arabi aand Iran, are among the strictist Isalmic countries, but they do not allow or perform femal circumsession . Their clergy do not propagate it either. If some isolted villages in the hills practice it we don';t know but the MAINSTREAM Muslims in these cities do not do it. So, it is a localized problem , not an Isalmic problem .

    It is only the media that insists to link it to Islam as a religion. And this is part of tyhe ongoing war between us and Israel, which winning the media war agianst us, at least in the west.

    My question is simple :
    if female circusession is part of ISLAM , as some people think, then why it is NOT practiced in Saudi Arabia ???
  12. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    Calebra, you mentioned marrying 8 year old kid.

    Very good example I mean bad, but good in the sense of clarifying the argument.

    Will someone be allowed to marry a 8 years old kid in Bahrain ??
    Will someone be allowed to marry a 8 years old kid in Qatar ??
    Will someone be allowed to marry a 8 years old kid in Syria ??
    Will someone be allowed to marry a 8 years old kid in Iraq ??


    Again, we can blame Islam only when all or most muslims do it, otherwise we should blame the culture of that particular community which commits it.

    In Utah, some Americans practice polygamy. They are called the Mormons. Can I post the picture of a Mormon and his 5 wives and say that AMERICANS allow polygamy ??

    Why not ??
    Because this is a LOCALIZED practice, it is not done by all or most of Americans, only a few Americans do it. Only a few.

    Likewise, only a few Muslims do this or that , but our real problem is that we have an enemy ( Israel ) whose main job is to showe us as the monster that has awakend after the collapse of the previous Evil : Communism. .. This is why they pick anything and blow it out of proportion, while they get away from the most basic of questioneing about their own evil practices.

    Let me add something you never knew Calebra. I think pro-Israel reporters never heard of it , so I will give you this piece of news as a bonus about how 'bad" some Muslims are...

    In Eastern Saudi Arabia, a judge has ordered separation between a man and his wife ( they have 2-3 kids) who had no legal violations of any type. Their marriage has been a textbook marriage ( with blessing of both parents ..etc. ) . Then father of the wife died and half-brothers of the wife made a case in court to forecefully separate them. And judge agreed.

    Our public and our papaers are definitely against the rule. They wrote and criticized the judge and some laywyers volunteered ( or were paid I am not sure ) to reverse the rule.

    Now aside of the legal battle and the wrath they got from the public and local media .. what is it that those half-brothers saw in the marraige that justified breaking it ?? We - the public - think they only were twisting their sister's arm to accpet less or no money from their parents inheritance (Sp??) we belive this is the real thing behind the drama , but what is the claim they submitted to the judge to make the judge punish the girl in this barbaric way ?? They said that we come from an esteemed tribe , and the husband was a car mechanic who wasn't known to come from any noble ancestry !!!

    This goes directly AGAINST Islamic teachings of human equaliy.
    Prophet Muhammad himself suggested to a noble woman from his tribe to marry a black poor man and she accepted. This recent judgement of desolving the marriage based on ancestry or nobility is totally unaccptable in the Muslim world, period.

    Off course, you could accept or reject someone according to anything you want, but once someone is already married to somebody, no one else has the right to dissolve that marriage except in very few cases like if they were found to be brother & sister (which has happened sometime ).. etc. Other than that it is the husband & wife to decide for themselves.

    Now, this judgement that no one has told you about, I am myself telling you about it and if you could read arabic you could have read how much this was condemned publically in the same country of Saudi Arabia . not to mention other Islamic establishment like Al-Azhar ( Islamic Establishment and university ) in Egypt.

    There is no way that most Muslims are going to accept this ruling . So it is one judge, and a group of self interest group in a LOCALIZED case. Now smart pro-Israel reporters can find the story and blow it out of proportion .... and will definitely NOT tell you that EVERYONE who heard of the case has condemened the jedge and his ruling. And those are Muslims too.

    I can give you 10 other cases that has shaken public opiions around here including marriage to 10 years old or the like.. and the media is against it. and those who reject , object, and condemn them are Muslims also.

    So why don't "free" media cover their side as well ????

    You may have a different answer, but here is mine :

    Israel doesn't like really free media. Uncovering the "other side" of most cases, will show how many lies are being stuffed in the Western media.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  13. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    isn't Mormonism a RELIGION, while AMERICA is a POLITICAL ENTITY?

    HOW exactly is THIS Israel's fault?...

    WHEN was this again?, I hope you're NOT referring to John Robinson, who was an anti-semite BEFORE his posting in Israel & sure as Hell didn't change his opinion just because he was placed there.

    regarding Arab-Israeli 'war'

    If the Middle East lay down their arms, there would no more war...
    If Israel lay down their arms, there would be no more Israel.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  14. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    The Blob

    If you read carefully I am talking about MEDIA war, not military war.

    And what I belive is that Israel will die if it stops killing and destriction.

    Even Amdinijad president of Iran has said that NO ONE will destroy Israel, it doesn't nmeed to be destroyed from outside . Just if AID stops, it will stop to exist.

    And by aid, I don't mean a few billions from the U.S. I also mean , all Arabs "dicatators" who are CRUSHING their own people opposition to Israel , and the Arabs who accpetd to have 13% of Israeli materials in their own industrial goods ( to help exports them into the Arab world under Arabic camouflague ) .... The list of "help" is endless.

    Israel is living in an incubator of unlimited anoumt of protection and aid, and when that stops, it will crumble under its own weight.

    What we belive in the Arab world is that even the "voting" in South Sudan is linked to this. The U.S. and other powers want a separate state there NOT for human rights or the like ( we do not belive the US cares anyways about human rights or christian rights ) they want a country to control water resources to big Arab country like Egypt if someone after Mubarak is less 'freindly' or 'helpful' to Israel.

    They know that Arabs are water-poor. And if they separate south of Sudan and north of Iraq, Arabs are mostly screwed.

    Yes, The US goes a great mileage to support Israel.
    I just wish they do that much for the average American citizen.

    But again, I was talking initially about MEDIA wars only, not military.
  15. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    once again, ambiguity & rhetoric... :rolleyes:

    If you don't offer specifics they can't be refuted, can they?

    the 'insulation' and 'aid' you mention appears to be Free Market Capitalism

    On September 7th, 2010, Israel joined the OECD, which praised Israel's scientific and technological progress and described it as having "produced outstanding outcomes on a world scale." Israel has also signed free trade agreements with the European Union, the United States, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Jordan, Egypt, and on December 18th, 2007, became the first non-Latin American country to sign a free trade agreement with the highly insular Mercosur trade bloc. Recently Israel has discovered large gas reserves off its coast and are in the process of developing them to reduce it's reliance on petroleum imports completely. In the past few years there has been an unprecedented inflow of foreign investment in Israel, as companies that formerly shunned the Israeli market now see its potential contribution to their global strategies. In 2006, foreign investment in Israel totaled $33 billion. The Financial Times said that 'bombs drop, yet Israel's economy grows'. Moreover, while Israel's total gross external debt is $84 billion (US), or approximately 34% of GDP, but since 2001 it has become a net lender nation in terms of net external debt (the total value of assets vs. liabilities in debt instruments owed abroad), which as of June 2009 stood at a significant surplus of $70 billion (US). The Israeli economy withstood the late-2000s recession, registering positive GDP growth in 2009 and ending the decade with an unemployment rate lower than that of many western countries. There are several reasons behind this economic fortitude, for example, the fact that the country is a net lender rather than a borrower nation and the government and the Bank of Israel's generally conservative macro-economic policies, two policies in particular. One is the refusal of the government to succumb to pressure by the banks to appropriate large sums of public money to aid them early in the crisis, thus limiting their risky behavior. The second is the implementation of the recommendations of the Bach'ar(sp?) commission in the early to mid-2000s which recommended decoupling the banks' depository and investment banking activities, contrary to the then-opposite trend, particularly in the United States, of easing such restrictions which had the effect of encouraging more risk-taking in the financial systems of those countries (yeah that worked SO well for the US).

    Israel & EGYPT receive 1/3 of US Foreign 'Aid' (most of it military) yet neither is adeveloping country
  16. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    And Jordan too
    And the PLO too ( after accepting to join the non-ending soap called: 'peace' talks with Israel )

    Why not ?? Mobarak need to buy tear gas when someone protests against Israel
    Abbas (PLO) needs to build more jails for his people and bribe palistinan informers to infilterate any group which helps assasinate an Hamas leader or activists.

    Money is needed to boost Israeli security off course, so anyone who volunteers to help will be paid.

    We see this as nothing but a bribe for these Arab governments that help Israel. Actually there are countless demonstartions in Egypt to stop taking this "aid" and insteqad they demand Mobarak help Egypt itself stand on her feet. Mubarak on the other hand is insisting on policies that keeps Egypt hostage to American "aid".

    We see that aid as aid to Israel too .... it simply is a bribe for a regime that supports Israel and does the dirty work for the US, like stopping humanitarian aid ships to Gazza until Hamas waves the white flag.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  17. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member


    Thaunder dan

    This is what I am saying in my other thread about culture & religion.

    In our area ( Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries ) boys are circumsized a few days after birth and girls NOT circumsized. In other parts of the world , boys are circumsized when they are in that age you mentioned or older... so that is what I am saying ( it is a cultural thing that has to do with that community). If it was an Islamic teaching to circumsize boys at age 10, you would see ALL muslims doing that.

    So, defintely we do not like it when we see boys around 10 being circumzied and urge our fellow Muslims in Turkey to reconsider.
  18. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    there are people that feel (vehemently) that all circumcision is a deplorable act

    doesn't it say in the Quran something to the effect of all of God's (Allah's) creatures are made perfect? I think this is one of the major arguments against all circumcisions but I'm not very informed on this subject

    I think males should be circumcised when newborn, because let's face it, most kids are dirty dirty little disease vectors :eek: ;) :D :sssh:
  19. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    The Blob I don't want to wander around but this is a summary of how we see things.

    Arabs have no shortage of scientic and techo brains. Problem is coming from some rulers ( like in Egypt for example) who would spend money on resorts for Israelis to have a good time, and will NOT spend similar money on their aging astronomical observatories.

    When the USSR collpased, Israel was cheered for grabbing Soviet scientists but most Islamic nations were not . Iran was about the only Islamic nations which took ex-soviet scietisits and it was not only Israel and US who condemened that, but even the loyal payees like Egyptain president Mobarak and his papers . They warned of these scientists being channeled into nuclear research.

    OK, I was angry that time when I read it and said to those around me ( See how he is helping Israel ?? Those scientists should only go to Israel ... how about YOU Mr. Moabarsk taking a few into Egypt to help your vanishing scientifc community ???

    NO he won't do that cause he is doing favors for the US . Egyptain minds may be fed up with their local situation and then migrate to the US. What a better way to return favors to his American ally.

    And I am not defending Arabs for being so much out of sci-techo field. We are condemining that in our local forums . I am giving another an example here, so please do not misunderstand me again like when you asked : how is Israel responsible for the wrong judgement in Saudi court.

    You didn't get my meaning there. I was trying to tell everyone that I agree with you so much I am volunteering to give you examples that even you didn't know about. Get it ??

    The example I am giving now is our local media slamming on local beaurocracies for depending too much on oil, and not thinking about solar energy . This is just an example for you guys to believe me that we ARE criticizing what goes on in our countries. But logic dictates that in our local forum we criticize the part of the problem being committed there, and here in American forums we pinpoint the part of the problem which has to do with the US. Isn't that logical ?

    Please don't ask me now what Israel has to do with local failure of investing in solar energy. It is OUR fault , and WE are criticizing it, and I am only mentioning it to show you that we understand the problems are coming from all sides. I hope this is clear.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  20. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    Male circumsession is done in the US as I understand it, and it is done by jews too . It is not Muslims only.

    Female circumsession or whatever it is called is the subject we are discussing , and it is the one that creates lots of arguments thrown at Islam. So, while I agree that Islam tells us to circumsize boys, it does NOT tell us to circumsize girls, and I don't know how it was started ( maybe someone copied other religions or neigboring communities ) .

    Anyway, I am circumsized myself and belive our father Abraham was circumsized too , so yea we bleive in that . Off course, some can see it as ugly or whatever, I respect their view but sorry it is part of our teachings .. but I argue about the girls circumsession being part of our teachings..

    I think I have mentioned a story about pakistani/Indian Muslims who have a 'different' way of handling fianices of marriage life. The girl has to fisnance the couples apartment. This is NOT the Islamic way of putting financial reponsibility on the man. So, this is another example of some Muslims doing something that is exactly the opposite of what Islam says