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4.5. The concept of informed transition from Orthodoxy to Islam.
1. The sequence of religions. One of the main approaches da'wa among Christians is the concept of «faith of Abraham», i.e. presentation of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as a religion of one branch, and if you follow its logical conclusion, all Christians as a result should convert to Islam. For Islamic missionaries to the most thoroughly, using many quotes from the Torah, Bible and Koran, preacher Ahmed Deedat in his many writings is the concept of informed transition from Christianity to Islam. Thus, the book «Let's come together», published and translated into many languages, has become a reference for most missionaries. The ideas giving by Ahmed Deedat are markedly different from previous ideologies, working with this concept - Sayyid Qutba, Al Maududi and others.
The structure of the sermon of Ahmed Deedat is built in the tradition of programming information:
- First combine (reconcile) religious materials with the purpose to weaken the aggression, distrust and doubt of non-Muslims;
- Followed by a gradual, increasing with every paragraph, «pointing» to the Jews and Christians, a deviation from the true faith;
- And as a conclusion, at the end the author answers to non-Muslims to the question: «What can we do to be saved?» And the answer: «There is only one option - to return to the true faith of monotheism (Islam)».
a) ... owners of the Book - Jews and Christians are called so reverently in the Quran. The Koran instructs Muslims to appeal: «Oh, People of the Scripture (scientists, educated people, people who assert their commitment to Divine Revelation, Scripture), let us come together, that we worship none but Allah». And then Ahmed Deedat quotes from the Bible - «For no one besides Him is worthy of worship, and not because the Lord, your God is a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. But because He is our Lord and the Guardian, our support and our path in every way worthy of praise, prayer and devotion to Him» (Exodus 20:5).
Like most preaching Islamic books, «Let's come together» is replete with quotations from the Koran, inserted after almost every thought and a paragraph. Say: «O People of the Book! Come to a word, as between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and do not give it to associates, and so one of us will take others for lords besides Allah». If they turn away, then say: «Bear witness that we are - betrayed». (Koran, 3:64).
b) Further, Ahmad Deedat begins to blam the Jews and Christians in the discharge from the true faith: «... Jews and Christians could theoretically agree on all three proposals contained in the above verse of the Koran. In fact, it's not happening. In addition to doctrinal differences on the question of the unity and uniqueness of the true God, there is the issue dedicated to the priesthood, the priestly caste (the Jews had dignity as the inheritance), when it turns out, though simple, ordinary person - whether he or Hagan or Pope, a priest or Brahmin - can claim for excellence in anything other than scholarship and purity of life, or in some special way is between God and other people. Islam does not recognize the priesthood ...».
c) «... the Muslim position is clear. A Muslim does not claim to have a religion that belongs exclusively to him. Islam is not a sect or an ethnic religion. From the point of view of Islam, all religions are one, because the truth is - one. This is the same religion that all the prophets of old preached (Qur'an 42:13).
All Divinely inspired books teach the same truth. In fact, it is the understanding of God's will, the Divine and joyful obedience to them. If anyone is looking for another religion, he betrays his nature, because changes will and providence of God. The man should not rely on the guide, because he rejected it deliberately. That is creed of Islam, expressed literally in a few words. Say: "We believe in Allah and in what was revealed to us, and was sent down to Ibrahim, Isma'il, Iskhaq, Yakub and knees, and that was given to Moses and Jesus, and that was given to the Prophets from their Lord. We do not distinguish between any of them, and we give ourselves to Him. (Qur'an, 2:136) ...».
Ahmad Deedat, in his International Center for Islamic Call publishes many booklets of da'wa condemning Christianity («The Crucifixion or fiction?» And «Resurrection, or bringing into consciousness?», Etc.). Video material with lectures and debates with Christians, as well as the books were quickly spread among Muslims around the world... Since 1992, the edition of «Santlada» (Khasavyurt district, vill. Pervomaiskoye), in addition to the huge amount of Islamic literature, has begun to publish a series of books of Ahmed Deedat in Russian. Some of them were enjoyed a special interest were the books «What the Bible says about Muhammad» and «Was Jesus crucified», etc.
Islam is not portrayed as a new religion implanted, but as the culmination and fulfillment basic truths that God revealed to all prophets since the creation of the world. Islam is described as the first and most natural religion. Non-Muslims are urged not to abandon their religion, just go back to what they represent in the form of their original beliefs, from which they departed: «Every child is born a Muslim», and when it comes to adoption of Islam, we must «return to the true faith» and not «turn».
In the Koran there is direct evidence that the Muslim faith, and most «core» of his time is the doctrine of monotheism (tawhid), formed, so to speak, «by contradiction» - in contrast to Christianity and especially - the Christian doctrine of Jesus Christ - son of God, is equal to God the Father.
«They said, God took his child... Can you begin to say to God that you do not know?» (10:68).
«.. In order to intimidate those who said: God took to Himself a child. They have no knowledge about it, and their fathers [too]» (18:4-5).
«They said: The Most Merciful took the child to Himself. "Glory He [what is credited to Him]!»(21:26).
«... And He did not take the child to Himself, and he had no friend in power» (25:2).
«Oh! They're on their mendacity say: "God has created!" - And they are lying» (37:151-152).
In the Koran there is evidence that the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad, came to the Christians with the truth of God, but Christians have rejected him: «Yes, we came to them with the truth, but because they are lying! God did not take himself a son, and there was no god with Him (23:90-91). Finally, the Koranic creed was formulated as an antithesis to the Christian: Say: He is Allah, the one, eternal God. He didn’t bear and was not born, and there is none equal to Him (112:1-4).
2. Rationalism of Islam. Among the main reasons that make Islam attractive in the eyes of modern Europeans, should call the absolute rationalism. Islam is called a «religion without mystery». Muslim mind is not put before the need to reconcile before essentially unavailable to him, in contrast to Christianity (especially the Orthodox), where humility is required constantly - and the study of theology, and in practice: at every liturgy, in front of each icon of the Saviour and the Virgin, each personal visit to the triune God.
In religion, where everything is simple and straightforward, commonplace minds easier to calm down. This is attractive. Modern man, accustomed to the popularization of science, art, economics and politics, it seems that religious truth must be clear, simple and accessible to any reason - and Islam covers these needs. In Islam there are no mysteries, no secrets and no paradox. Monotheism is only one God, not Father, Son and Spirit. Islam accepts Jesus (Isa) as a prophet, not as God or son of the God, it takes the concept and the Virgin Mary (born God). As for the icons and holy Islam is more consistent in paying their prayers only to God, not worshiping to photocopies of different people. The man with the first rudiments of Islam gives the impression that it is a religion of justice, which allows communicate with God directly, without intermediaries.
3. Traditionalism of Islam. In the West for more than two hundred years a feature of Christianity is striving to reform, to ensure that «keep up» with the times, upgraded constantly. But the reformed Christianity cannot withstand the «competition» with Islam. It is characteristic that in Europe converted Muslims accept strictly traditional version of Islam, while Islamic modernism finds its spread mainly among Muslims by birth. In traditional Islam, there are no revise and correct dogma.
European women, who were converted to Islam, not only comply, but jealously defend such (according to modern European society discriminate) the establishment of Islam, such as polygamy, the wearing of the hijab, and others in sorting out the causes of this strange at first glance, fact it must be recognized that traditionalism of Islam retains the distinction of two worlds - the world of men and women and it attracts the attention of Westerners, including women, oppressed dictated by modern western culture emancipation. In today's civilization, the difference between these worlds is erased, that injures the consciousness of both women and men, even if they do not know about it themselves.
4. The Comfort of Islam. Christianity from the outset requires human sacrifices to God. For the Christian God, man, just has been born is sinned, he was conceived in sin and all mankind is paying for the sin of Adam. At first glance it might seem that the goal of Christian life is to suffer and beg for forgiveness. Symbolic cut hair from the head of the baptized in the sacrament means exactly that, and if Christianity says that through the sacrament of baptism one is freed from the dominion of sin and becomes the heir of eternal life, the acceptance of faith in Islam is not a sacrament, nor is it none of the above. In Islam, you should say three times with the witnesses , "No God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet" and you become a Muslim, but with the development of the Internet you can do this and being in the network.
5. Mysticism of Sufism. For those who regard everything lightly, Islam is ready to offer fantastic maze of Sufi mysticism. The seeker will meet here many centuries of the current culture of austerity and high spiritual poetry, proclaiming the idea of God-love and desire for contemplation of God as the supreme
religious enjoyment. It is in the form of Sufi Islam has become attractive to some members of the intellectual elite of Western thinkers - and the Orientalists (R. Guenon1, R. Garaudy2). For some people, Sufism appears readily in the occult, vulgar. How ironic that the Muslim mission successfully uses in his passion for even the occult and UFO. It is impossible to bring some examples illustrating this statement: The possibilities of many of the true Sufi is so great that they are available in almost any higher phenomena. They are able to make contact with the object of subtle worlds and extraterrestrial civilizations.
In Sufism, there is an understanding that the unique creation of God, is the man is a unity of three components: material body, the subtle nature and the fundamental substance of human existence - the soul (Arabic - «nafs»). Nafs is also the «animal soul» and in modern experimental science, it is known as aura. He frames the material human body is egg-shaped (narrowing of the feet), shape and consists of seven layers of Energy, «bodies», each of which has a complex structure, its own energy structure, color (color of the nafs in general resemble a rainbow), the frequency range of vibration, the polarization etc. Thus, vulgarizovanny Sufism may well satisfy the thirst of mysticism in general religious search.
6. Transition to Islam as a political protest.
Protest mood in Russia today is not related to religion, the more so for the majority of Russian sentiments are still in the formative stage. Rather, «ethnic Muslims» are using religion as a tool and it is an ideology of protest from the government (corruption, cronyism) and to adapt Islam to fight.
Loss (inability to conquest) of the Orthodox orthodoxy of key importance in the spiritual life of Russia is connected with the failure of its attempts to create intellectually and emotionally compelling social structures that can not only strengthen its own status of the church, but also to make a semblance of real unity in the cultural landscape of dangerously dividing Russian. Thus range of conceptual and heuristic capabilities extremely narrowed of the church officially vision of Islam as a whole and its entanglements with various faces of worldview protest. This is reflected in the following terms orthodox orthodoxy:
a) inability to construct new models of response to a world view (especially Islam), in the spirit of the time, with its predominantly tolerant dominant;
b) the inability to grasp adequately the emotional and ontological parameters of the other, i.e. non-Christian (and non-Orthodox) forms of life;
c) its persistent failure to recognize equivalence, then at least the right to existence of other types of perception and interpretation of the other.
In recent years, leading Russian mass media have reported repeatedly on the spread of Islam outside the category of «ethnic Muslims», including majority of the Slavic population. This seems paradoxical in the background of periodic outbreaks of anti-Islamic propaganda in the semi-official level. According to media reports, the number of converts is increased especially among young people.
A significant portion of converts living in regions with predominantly Muslim population and thus is under the direct influence of the Muslim way of life. Far more paradoxical example of Karelia, where virtually no Tatars or Chechens. According to published reports, the Muslim community in Karelia was founded (in 1990), Russian, and by 2001 numbered approximately 20 thousand of people of 772-thousand population of Karelia, six thousands of them lived in Petrozavodsk.
Community is led by own imam - Palestinian student Wisam Ali Bardvil, approved in this position by the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of European part of Russia. Despite protests of local nationalists, the community sought aggressively the permission to build mosque.
In the absence of reliable sociological data on the judgments of the leading factors of the spread of Islam inevitably remain at the level of hypotheses. One probable reason is the public reaction to 20 years of defeats in military campaigns in Afghanistan and Chechnya, which, even in quite respectable media often thoughtlessly were presented as examples of Russian-Muslim «clash of civilizations». In this context, the Russian mass media in the last ten years has been actively discussing the issue of «mobilizing» the possibilities of Islam. Another factor - already mentioned above, a demonstration of their ethno-religious communities of the exceptional abilities to survive and protect its members from harassment and economic risks in the course of reforms against the backdrop of disunity of the Russian population. A number of reports highlights the cases of transition Russian to Islam in a situation of crisis tangible and personal turmoil when a local Muslim community has provided the only shelter in search of material or psychological support.
In some parts of Russian society readiness to identify with the oppressed minority, intimidated or left an ineradicable feature of any reform of the national character. In this category of population of anti-Muslim campaign for the elite looked through future looming threat of reprisals against non-conformist movements, cultural and political dissent among Russian themselves.
In any case, the Islamist «missionary» and expansion, apparently confuse those theorists and practitioners of management socio-cultural processes, for whom the intimate link between religion and ethnicity has got a social norm, the starting point of analytical constructs and reference to «technological» manipulation. Because of this concern the relationship between Orthodoxy and Islam begin to be perceived by them as a «zero-sum game». This cannot contribute and widely publicized events such as the transition to Islam and "missionary" activity, of Vyacheslav (now Ali Vyacheslav) Polosin, in the recent past, an Orthodox priest and social activist in the field of Christian Democracy.
Russian Orthodox Church enjoys special favor in the Kremlin not only as the church of the majority (although the question of whether the Russian Orthodox Church) is the congregation, most of the population remains an open question), but also as the bearer of a certain ethical relationship with the government, which is convenient to this power and more than satisfied. Without getting into theological subtleties, it should be noted that the current official orthodoxy in their daily practice focuses on their rank and file followers humility before prevailing in the world as a necessary evil, to reject all attempts to improve society in the long run - to escape from this world and the struggle for the implementation of its religious and ethical values. Suffering and martyrdom, while the Orthodox are highly axiology, are not intended dispensation of the kingdom of God on earth - in contrast to Islam, which from the beginning was the religion of nature deeply social, inseparable from the policy and directs its adherents to achieve the «worldly» goals. A departure from the concept of a secular, pluralistic culture in the state and multi-religious society, the dominance of the ideology of one denomination, the introduction of an order of Christianity in the local schools, the opening of the University Church - inequality in relation to other religions that teaches intolerance.
Notion of Islam - the spontaneous, unbridled, self-sufficient about its contradictions, tragedies and triumphs, his role in the fate of all mankind and especially Russia have repeatedly re-invented the Orthodox Church and its guardians of honest among the laity. But at the same time Orthodoxy and Islam always are represented as a part of the dichotomy, true and untrue belief. Officially-Orthodox doctrine of Islam, as a supposedly the main character of non-Christian Caucasus and Asia, limits the Russian on the move to Islamic civilization and blocks the possibility of the move beyond the symbolic conventions of the «Russian» culture. The Orthodox Church cannot understand either Islam or the Muslim peoples of Russia in the wide system of their relationships, to accept the submission of every nation as a developing organism, as a reflection of the historical uniqueness of the life of many Muslim nations.
In the minds of the «typical orthodox», «typical great statue-chauvinist» and «typical Russian nationalist» prevails ideal of Orthodoxy as a self-contained, self-contained and coherent culture, dominated by worship of the secular authority and persistent procedure - which alone can give meaning to and manage the future of Russia. This is for them an expression of common Christian, Orthodox and Russian ideological steriotip. ROC has been acting in terms of unification, for it an ideal image of Russia is general orthodoxy, and all other beliefs must be subordinate to build for its hierarchical system.
Even the idea of preaching Islam among the Russian plunges Orthodox Church into terror. Here it is appropriate to recall what was said by N.I. Ilminsky in 1881as a warned: «А terrible Mohammedan cloud is looming, a new invasion, but not the Mongol and Muslim, not savages of Asia and the savage civilized past universities, high schools and cadet corps». These «civilized savages», he was referring primarily Muslim modernists, such as Davlet-Kildeev, Murza Alim, Bayazitov, Iskander Mirza, and especially I. Gasprinsky.
Continuing the historical review of relations of Orthodoxy and Islam in Russia should cite the words of I. Gasprinsky - «Muslims are urgently required» light and knowledge, the knowledge and light. If the «big brothers» - Russian - do not take proper measures, we will not only suffocate and rot and will infect the area, that is, simply we, Muslims of Russia, will become again a nuisance on the way huge, unwieldy, badly managed, the stagnant Russian Empire to a brighter future. Nevertheless, I. Gasprinsky was full of optimism: «I believe that sooner or later Islam, trained by Russia, will be led by mental retardation and the rest of the civilization of Islam. If the civilization of the East has revived in the West, by the Romans and the Arabs, then, perhaps, Providence ordained the Russian and Tatar to the revival of Western civilization in the East».
Russian Muslims demonstrate more pronounced political subjectivity and capacity for action than almost any other country in the current socio-cultural group. They fixed their special position by constancy of protest voting in elections, as well as a significant cohesion in response to the events following the attacks of September 11, 2001. The flip side of this coin is the increased vulnerability of the Muslim community, which is most accessible to date target for the politicians in power who need in the form of an internal enemy. In this sense, Muslims currently serve in the role, is strikingly similar to the role of pre-revolutionary and, to some extent, Soviet Russia, played the Jewish community. And in terms of their vulnerability, paradoxically, they are even weaker than all other socio-cultural groups, as Russian society as a whole today conditionally helpless and defenseless in the relationship with the government. This means that passive support, or even indifference on the part of society is enough to allow the Russian Center out of the game of politically active members of the Muslim community.
But it is equally obvious that for this Russian society pays too high price, both in morale and in the material sense (inflated subsidized republics of the NC), and that this path has no future in the long run. In this context, the metaphor of Lotman - «culture of explosion» - is quite applicable to today's Russia, which is characterized by spontaneous, unexpected exits to the surface deeply repressed or suppressed by social forces and contradictions (for example, Kaliningrad, 2010). There is a version of that Russian Muslims who live in the strategically sensitive areas of the republic, and whose form ties of the federal state may, after all, play a major destructive role in one of these «explosions».
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