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Ron Webb
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Quote Ron Webb Replybullet Posted: 30 May 2008 at 9:06pm

LOL Wow!  I must be psychic or something!

Originally posted by Ron Webb

(And here we go again -- I can already anticipate people returning to Straw Man #2, replying to me that theft is not always trivial...)

Originally posted by Israfil

Well trivial crimes are not not judged universally as trivial. For example look at bank robbery.

Originally posted by Shasta'sAunt

Perhaps you have never been a victim of crime, but I have had my home burglarized and I have been robbed at gun point twice.

Okay everyone, repeat after me: I am not talking about armed robbery, or bank robbery (which is necessarily armed), or robbery with actual or threatened violence.  These are obviously not petty crimes.

---------
It's evident that neither of you is willing to address the point I am actually making, that the Quran commands an obscenely brutal punishment even for petty thefts. -- even for the simple theft of an item worth only a few bucks, with no violence or other aggravating factors. It is understandable that you would want to avoid such a discussion, because you know in your hearts that cutting off hands for a petty theft is morally indefensible.

It is a fundamental belief of mine that that voice inside all of us, the one that tells us right from wrong even when we don't want to listen, is God talking to us.  It is God's most direct communication, and must take precedence even over such things as the Quran, because as I have said before, if you cannot trust your own ability to discern right and wrong, how can you decide which scripture(s) are right and wrong?  How can you have faith in the Quran if you cannot have faith in your own judgement?

Addeenul ‘Aql – Religion is intellect.
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Quote Nur_Ilahi Replybullet Posted: 30 May 2008 at 10:59pm
Hi Ron,
For your understanding, here I quote from an Islamic source.
 
Punishment has always played an integral part in the concept of justice. We all know or at least expect that if you do something wrong you are subject to punishment in some way or another. This is only fair. Humankind is charged with the responsibility for the choices they make. This is because they are created with the freedom of choice and granted the moral sense of right and wrong. Accordingly, one is not to be punished for the actions of others, or for acts done under duress or because of insanity. All people are equal and innocent until proven guilty: only then punishment is considered.
Islam considers crime an act of injustice towards society, a sin against oneself and a transgression against Allah. Punishment is not atonement nor does it erase the sin. A sin is only forgiven through repentance. However, crime is an act of inflicting harm upon society that cannot be forgiven by repentance alone.
The object of all penal systems is to punish the offender and protect society from reoccurrence of the crime. Punishment serves as an educational purpose, as well as a form of crime deterrent and prevention and the system used must achieve this aim. However, if societies were to rely only upon their systems of punishment, they would fail miserably. An environment of healthy morality and faith must be the norm, where to do right is encouraged by all and to do wrong is discouraged and found difficult. In fact, encouraging right and forbidding wrong is a foremost duty in Islam.
Most penal systems in today's societies are based and dependent on the current social sentiment. In Islamic law, punishment is based upon divine revelation. There is no leeway for sentiment or possibility of change. These laws were established by the Creator who is Infinitely Wise and Merciful, Who knows the true affairs of the world better than humankind. To seek justice without recourse to divine help would be tragic, as all other sources of knowledge and theory are flawed by human imperfection.
Justice is the ruling spirit of Islamic law, which is known as the Shari`ah. One of the main reasons for which the Prophets (peace be upon them all) were sent were to guide mankind to justice.
In this connection, Allah, Most High, says, (We sent our messengers with clear signs and sent down with them the Book and the Balance so that men may conduct themselves with justice. ) (Al-Hadid 57: 25) and [O you who believe, be upholders of justice, witnessing for Allah alone. ) (An-Nisaa' 4: 135)
Changes in the world as well as the changing definition of concepts such as "civilized", "equality", "freedom", and "justice" have caused a critical light to shine upon Islamic laws. Such critics charge that the Shari`ah, in view of the changing world, is an outdated system of laws in need of amendment, replacement or abolishment. Views of this sort express rejection of divine guidance and even worse, rejection of the wisdom of our Lord who has put us on this earth with a purpose in life and a set of rules to live by and achieve that purpose. These rules are the ultimate criterion of justice and mercy and cannot nor need not be changed or measured against the changes and desires of society. To imply such is to imply imperfection in Allah as Lord and Master of the Universe.
There are basically three categories of punishments in Shari`ah:
The first is Hadd, which includes divinely prescribed forms of fixed punishment based upon the Qur'an and Sunnah. These are punishments set to preserve the public interest; they cannot be lightened nor made heavier, nor can the offender be pardoned. They instill a deep feeling of abhorrence in the society towards the crime for which the offender has been punished. Such crimes include drinking alcohol, armed robbery, theft, illicit sexual relations, apostasy, and slanderous accusations of promiscuity.
The second form is called Qisas, which is the punishment for homicide and assault. Whenever a person causes physical harm or death to another, the injured or family of the deceased has the right to retaliation. A unique aspect of Qisas, is that the victim's family has the option to insist upon the punishment, accept monetary recompense, or forgive the offender, which could even avert capital punishment. This leaves the door open to compassion and forgiveness. Settlements are therefore encouraged outside of court, as a judge must exact the punishment.
All other crimes fall into the third category, Ta`zir, which is a discretionary punishment decided by the court.
So, in the light of this, one cannot just brandish Islamic penal codes as being too harsh or inhumane while neglecting the fact that the source of those penal codes is the Mighty Lord, the Supreme Lord of the Universe. Everything with Him has been measured with absolute perfection. This perfection is reflected in the strict procedures laid down before a person can be convicted and punished. Actually, all forms of punishment stipulated by Shari`ah are more reforming and more successful in preventing recurrent crime than the man-made legal systems whose futility is proved and confirmed by daily incessant crimes, with prisons becoming homes to homosexuality and schools for harboring criminal behavior.
Ilahi Anta Maksudi, Wa Redhaka Mathlubi - Oh Allah, You are my destination, Your Pleasure is my Intention.
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Quote Shasta'sAunt Replybullet Posted: 31 May 2008 at 12:26am
Originally posted by Israfil

Shasta's Aunt
 
If you know anything about law you know there are 3 branches of government right, each having their respective laws in acocrdance to what actions transgress them. You should be aware that State laws vary from state to state each giving its own account of the severity of crimes that are committed. I never said the system is flawless or perfect, but its better than laws I've personally read from other countries. For instance I find it ridiculous that if you speak out against the Egyptian president openly you risk serving time (I believe minimum is 6 months in jail).  I highly doubt you are a multi-cultural social complainer because most of your post are generated towards the "west" but that is another story. I also thinky uo have little knowledge about law.
 
What you find on the internet and what you see on news does not always count as reality. Of course there are politics in the system such as light sentences, revolving doors etc, but the reality is you cannot change a lot of it. Politics just like systems of government are like pendelums. Looking at pieces of history does not make you right (e.g. looking at William Clinton's marital transgression).  My point is, is that laws look at trivbial crimes based on country, demographic etc.
 
 
 
I do know a little bit about the law. It is rather off-putting to have you continually telling people what they do and do not know. You actually have no idea what profession I call my own nor my level of education. For all you know I might be a retired attorney with a second Master's in Religion and Theology.  
 
Contrary to some who post here, I actually read books, newspapers, and take part in civic and social activities. My sole source of info is not the internet, although it can be a useful tool if you know what you are looking for.
 
Yes, most of my comments are directed towards the ills in this country because this is my country and I live here. I want it to be a better place than it currently is. In this country you can be sentenced indefinitely to Gitmo merely because you are a Muslim. I think 6 months in jail for speaking out against Egypt's president doesn't seem too harsh in comparison.  
 
And if you don't look at history how can you learn from it? Our history is what defines us and hopefully what causes us to correct the paths we choose that are wrong.
 
By the way, our country was originally based upon the principal of  "government of the people, by the people, for the people", but somewhere along the way this has gotten lost.  We control the government, not the other way around.
I saw an interview with a French newsman who was saying that in France the politicians could never get away with covering up and lying like they do in the U.S. because the media would never allow it. He said that in France the politicians are afraid of the people, not the other way around, like it is in the U.S. Because in France if the people get fed up they get rid of the politicians.  Our country USED to be that way, and hopefully it will be that way again.


Edited by Shasta'sAunt - 31 May 2008 at 1:12am
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
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Quote Shasta'sAunt Replybullet Posted: 31 May 2008 at 12:45am
Originally posted by Ron Webb

It's evident that neither of you is willing to address the point I am actually making, that the Quran commands an obscenely brutal punishment even for petty thefts. -- even for the simple theft of an item worth only a few bucks, with no violence or other aggravating factors. It is understandable that you would want to avoid such a discussion, because you know in your hearts that cutting off hands for a petty theft is morally indefensible.

It is a fundamental belief of mine that that voice inside all of us, the one that tells us right from wrong even when we don't want to listen, is God talking to us.  It is God's most direct communication, and must take precedence even over such things as the Quran, because as I have said before, if you cannot trust your own ability to discern right and wrong, how can you decide which scripture(s) are right and wrong?  How can you have faith in the Quran if you cannot have faith in your own judgement?

 
O.K. as if my posts did not make my opinion clear, I do not find this punishment barbaric or morally indefensible in the least. What I do find morally indefensible are those who feel it is their right to prey upon others with no thought or care as to what harm their actions cause to the individual or the society in which they live.
 
Apparently not everyone has your little God voice telling them what is right and wrong or we would not have need of punishment because there would be no crime. We'd all be doing the right thing all of the time. Since this is not the case, then there has to be a system in place to punish those who choose not to obey the laws.  
 
What I fail to understand is how you can't seem to comprehend that those who live in countries where amputation is a punishment for theft know that amputation is a punishment for theft. The laws are not kept secret. So, if having full knowledge that you will be punished with amputation if you are caught stealing, you steal anyway, then you get what you deserve.
 
As for trusting your own judgement, apparently not everyone should have faith in their own judgement because there do seem to be those who despite the fact they know their hand will be amputated, they steal. They appear to have very poor judgement. Since this is the case, then there has to be a system in place to punish those whose own judgement is somewhat lacking.
 
If you don't want your hand cut off, then don't steal. Seems almost too simple to me. 


Edited by Shasta'sAunt - 31 May 2008 at 8:22pm
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
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Ron Webb
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Quote Ron Webb Replybullet Posted: 01 June 2008 at 4:00pm
Originally posted by Nausheen

There have been times in the Islamic states when people did not steal. There was no need for it, because of the affluence, and the law and order - shata's aunt stated this in her post.
 
She did state that, but she didn't elaborate or offer any evidence of it so I pretty much ignored it.  Would anyone care to tell me about?
 
Originally posted by Nausheen

 
Originally posted by Ron Webb

I think it makes a difference to society as a whole too, by inuring us all to violence and human suffering.  A society that would stoop to cutting off hands to curtail theft can easily justify suicide bombing, weapons of mass destruction, and similar atrocities to achieve other ideological goals.
The punishment from God can be found in the Quran and/or sharia. When people make things crooked with their own hands, it finds no basis in these documents. Thus you will not find any sanction for suicide bombing in our scriptures. It is unfair to equate the two - unless now you have become non-serious, and it is better to leave you there.
 
Unfortunately those who perpetrate such atrocities do claim to find a basis for their actions in Islamic scripture.  I'm not saying that such claims are valid.  What I'm saying is that the violent nature of sharia desensitizes people to violence in general, and makes them more likely to believe such claims.  After all, once you accept the legitimacy of cutting off hands to defend your cup of coffee, it is easier to justify much worse things to defend Islam.
Addeenul ‘Aql – Religion is intellect.
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Ron Webb
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Quote Ron Webb Replybullet Posted: 01 June 2008 at 4:12pm
Originally posted by Shasta'sAunt

O.K. as if my posts did not make my opinion clear, I do not find this punishment barbaric or morally indefensible in the least.
Barbaric or not, what your posts make clear is that you are uncomfortable prescribing this punishment for petty theft, and are constantly trying to shift the discussion to more serious crimes.
 
Apparently not everyone has your little God voice telling them what is right and wrong or we would not have need of punishment because there would be no crime.
A very few people (called "psychopaths") don't seem to have that little voice at all.  For the rest of us, the voice is still there, but we are free to ignore it.  It gets easier to ignore with practice, which is what I mean by desensitization.  It's also possible to shout it down with ideology, as for instance the cry of "Allah Akbar!" as a preliminary to indiscriminate slaughter.
 
As for trusting your own judgement, apparently not everyone should have faith in their own judgement because there do seem to be those who despite the fact they know their hand will be amputated they steal. They appear to have very poor judgement. Since this is the case, then there has to be a system in place to punish those whose own judgement is somewhat lacking.
 
They do indeed generally have poor judgement, as I already said.  Since this is the case, punishment is of little or no use, because they either don't believe or never even consider that they might get caught.  (As I also already said.  Nausheen is right -- we're just going around in circles.)
Addeenul ‘Aql – Religion is intellect.
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Quote Shasta'sAunt Replybullet Posted: 02 June 2008 at 12:23am
"Barbaric or not, what your posts make clear is that you are uncomfortable prescribing this punishment for petty theft, and are constantly trying to shift the discussion to more serious crimes"
 
Geez Ron, if they steal they deserve what they get cannot be much clearer. I am not squeamish on this subject at all.
 
Not getting caught as a defense to committing a crime doesn't cut it with me in the least.(no pun intended) Personally I think we are far too lenient on criminals in our "enlightened" society. A few amputated hands might do some good.
 
"A very few people (called "psychopaths") don't seem to have that little voice at all."
 
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice stats for Dec. 2006, the last count available, almost 2,300,000 people were in prison or jail, in the United States alone, for not having that little voice. These are just the ones who had been caught and convicted...
 
And in Canada: For every 100,000 Canadians, 129 are behind bars. (Jason Logan)  So there are a few Canadians missing that little voice also.
 
"It's also possible to shout it down with ideology, as for instance the cry of "Allah Akbar!" as a preliminary to indiscriminate slaughter."
 
This is a cheap shot. I suppose all of those slaughtered in the name of Christianity, expansion of civilization, progress, or the spread of democracy, just don't count. And before you spout your usual: "I don't agree with the U.S.'s imperialist attitude" just remember that imperial settlers of your fair country Canada massacred tens of thousands of indigenous peoples in order to take their lands. I wonder what your ancestors were screaming as the genocide of the native peoples occured. "I want that parcel by the lake?" 
 
How barbaric was it to purposefully introduce disease into the native population that would wipe them out? The first "germ warfare". Or to forcibly take away 100,000 native children from their families and put them in Residential schools where they were beaten, sexually abused, and the death rate by murder was 50%.
 
From what I read from Amnesty International there is still land grabbing going on... Grassy Narrows for example. Where the native indigenous people have actually been called terrorists by the Canadian government for blockading the roads.  Talk about western imperialism!
 
Barbarism is subjective I suppose....just as terrorism is subjective, genocide, etc....
 
 


Edited by Shasta'sAunt - 02 June 2008 at 1:19am
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
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Quote Shasta'sAunt Replybullet Posted: 02 June 2008 at 12:49am
"There have been times in the Islamic states when people did not steal. There was no need for it, because of the affluence, and the law and order - shata's aunt stated this in her post.
 
She did state that, but she didn't elaborate or offer any evidence of it so I pretty much ignored it.  Would anyone care to tell me about?"
 

Waqf has been your special interest area. How do you see its potential as a tool for economic development?

This question leads us directly to Islamic economic history and confirms the point I was trying to make above. You see, in order to envisage about the current potential of the waqfs, we need to understand its achievements in the past. If we look at Islamic/Ottoman economic history, we would note that throughout the Ottoman realms, the waqf, was without any doubt, the most important philanthropic institution. For six centuries, the Ottomans tried and largely succeeded to eradicate poverty through this institution. It was primarily through the waqfs that a voluntary transfer of wealth from the rich to the poor took place and the latter were fed and taken care of. More importantly, health and educational services, essential conditions for the development of human capital, were provided by this institution. Moreover, it was thanks to the waqfs that property rights violations by a powerful state were avoided; magnificent architectural heritage of Islamic civilization was financed and maintained through the centuries; urban districts could cope with the crashing tax burden imposed by an occasionally desperate state; excessive fragmentation of land could be avoided; old age and disability pensions were provided; in an age when insurance as an institution was unknown, rudimentary insurance for the members of a guild or an urban district was provided; infrastructure projects such as bridges, roads, ports, lighthouses, libraries, water conduits, aqueducts, public fountains and pavements were built and maintained; in short practically all the services one can expect to have in a civilized society, save defense, were financed, organized, built and maintained by this system. The waqfs, actually, even aided the defense effort by building and maintaining urban walls and fortresses. Finally, it was through the waqfs and the services they provided that Islam could spread first in Anatolia and then in the Balkans. (Prof. Cizakca Ph.D. in Economics)

 
 


Edited by Shasta'sAunt - 02 June 2008 at 1:05am
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
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