Tuesday, October 10, 2006

a muslim response to the pope

Zaytuna: A Muslim Response to The Pope: For They Know Exactly What They Do by Imam Zaid Shakir gives a pretty thoughtful analysis of the pope's controversial lecture in the context of other comments and policy decisions coming out of the Catholic Church recently.


sondjata said...

So what are your opinions of the critique here? Are there portions to which you disagree? For example I think that the quotation of Alan Keys as a relevant example of the wish to kill all Muslims is problematic simply because Alan Keys is far outside the African-American mainstream thought that he cannot be properly thought of, in this case, as a valid representation of African-American thought on the Pope's commentary.

Does the author think that anyone with a critique of Islam is willing to go to the "logical conclusion" as presented by the author? If so, would the author be open to the suggestion that Muslims with a negative opinion of non-Muslims will have the same "logical conclusions" that non-Muslims ought to be "eliminated"? If the latter is logically unsupported then shouldn't the former be as well?

I look forward to your response.

Abdul-Halim V. said...

Well, firstly the quote wasn't attributed to Keyes but to his website. And I think that mentioning Keyes as an AFrican-American was only incidental to the argument. Zaid Shakir wasn't trying to make a general statement about the mainstream African-American (or African-American conservative) thinks about the Pope or Islam. It was a simple example of a kind of religious extremism.

And as for the second argument, I don't think Shakir is saying that anyone who criticizes Islam wants to eliminate Muslims. In his talk, the pope didn't just say that he disagreed with this or that Islamic doctrine. The point is that he tried to suggest Islam was categorically evil with no good coming from it.

sondjata said...

I'm not sure that the Pope's speech said what you claimed it to have said. I followed the link you provided earlier to the speech and could not find such a quotation attributable to this Pope (I may have missed the reference so please feel free to offer the quotation to support that claim). The Pope did quote another figure who made such a claim. I did agree with your earlier Pope posting regarding the Popes eurocentric ideas on rationalism, but I don't think that your last claim here is supported.

I can give that Alan Keyes may have been an incidental quotation, but then, in my opinion, the identification of Alan Keyes as an African-American, makes me think that such a comment was not accidental. Why identify his "race" when he could have easily identified him by his religious identification (Protestant Christian?) or political orientation which would be more relevant to the topic. It's not like the author identified the Pope by his racial grouping (or even nationality).

Abdul-Halim V. said...

The point of the lecture was to elevate a particular conception of "logos" or reason and argue that Christianity displays this idea but Islam does not.

The quote from the emperor is a piece of that. So is his interpretation of Ibn Hazm.

The Pope says: But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality.

I think it is a tricky point which can be spun in more than one way.

sondjata said...

I agree that the Pope wanted to highlight Christian so called "rationality" I'm completely with you on that. I also wouldn't expect anything different from a person with a vested interest in Christianity and specifically Catholocism. Which brings me to the original reason for my first question. If the Pope is biased towards his own faith then perhaps the author of the piece you linked to can have his own bias (which I think is evident in his piece).

I agree that the quote you have given can be taken in various contexts though I think it is in line with your position that he feels Christianity (and perhaps other religions given the quote does not mention them) has a "one up" in regards to rationality.

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