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Interfaith Dialogue
 IslamiCity Forum - Islamic Discussion Forum : Religion - Islam : Interfaith Dialogue
Message Icon Topic: Are These Acts of Idolatry? Post Reply Post New Topic
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Ron Webb
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Quote Ron Webb Replybullet Posted: 29 July 2014 at 8:07pm
I lost track of this discussion but was reminded of it when I read this article:

Reported ISIS member vows to destroy Kaaba in Mecca
By Ghanizada - Wed Jul 02

A reported member of the militant group Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), has threatened that the group will ruin the Kaaba after capturing Saudi Arabia because people worship a stone instead of Allah.

The remark has reportedly came from an ISIS member Abu Turab Al Mugaddasi who has written in a Tweet message, If Allah wills, we will kill those who worship stones in Mecca and destroy the Kaaba. People go to Mecca to touch the stones, not for Allah.


Apparently ISIS (or at least some of its members) also sees a resemblance between Muslim prayer and idolatry.  I know, I know, he is wrong to call it "worshipping stones"; but he is wrong in exactly the same way that that you are wrong to say that about Christians "worshipping statues".

Originally posted by islamispeace

Even if the flag merely represents certain "ideals", people still do respect the flag, do they not?  If someone were to disrespect the flag, people would get upset, would they not?

Only if their intent was to express disrespect for the ideals it represents.  If the flag is worn out or no longer needed, it can simply be tossed it in the trash and nobody would be upset.  (Well, maybe a few "ignorant superficial observers", but nobody with a lick of sense.)

Originally posted by islamispeace

Originally posted by Ron Webb

No, not the statue, but at what it represents.  If I gaze admiringly at a picture of my wife, does that mean I am in love with a picture?

What if you offered flowers to the picture or burned incense around it?

And what if I kiss it, as some romantic fellows are inclined to do?  It still doesn't mean we are in love with a piece of paper.

At the heart of all of this is the fallacy of reification: the mistake of confusing the symbol with the thing that it represents.  Many Hindus make that mistake, and maybe even some Christians; but any knowledgable worshipper understands the difference.  Apparently ISIS makes the mistake too -- and so do you.
Addeenul Aql Religion is intellect.
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islamispeace
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Quote islamispeace Replybullet Posted: 30 July 2014 at 3:15pm
Originally posted by Ron Webb

Apparently ISIS (or at least some of its members) also sees a resemblance between Muslim prayer and idolatry.  I know, I know, he is wrong to call it "worshipping stones"; but he is wrong in exactly the same way that that you are wrong to say that about Christians "worshipping statues".


LOL Well, first of all, it has not been verified that the specific tweet was from an ISIS member or was promoted by the group itself.  According to the Huffington Post:

"The Twitter account https://twitter.com/nm8smyh, which sent the original message, has been suspended. The authenticity of the account as belonging to an ISIS member has not been verified." (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/01/isis-destroy-kaaba-mecca_n_5547635.html)

Second, your clownish ineptitude keeps getting funnier and funnier!  As I have already stated several times, we know for a fact that some Christians literally pray to statues and that Hindus pray to their idols.  Do Muslims pray to the black stone?  NO!  Ding, ding, ding!

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Only if their intent was to express disrespect for the ideals it represents.  If the flag is worn out or no longer needed, it can simply be tossed it in the trash and nobody would be upset.  (Well, maybe a few "ignorant superficial observers", but nobody with a lick of sense.)


LOLLOLLOL What difference does that make?  The fact remains that to many people, the flag is a sacred object and deliberately desecrating it is seen as an offensive act. 

Originally posted by Ron Webb

And what if I kiss it, as some romantic fellows are inclined to do?  It still doesn't mean we are in love with a piece of paper.


Except that Muslims don't kiss pictures of the black stone, but actually the stone itself. 

But some Christians and most Hindus literally pray to their statues.  Hindus even make offerings to them and some have even claimed that their idols accepted offerings of milk! 

Originally posted by Ron Webb

At the heart of all of this is the fallacy of reification: the mistake of confusing the symbol with the thing that it represents.  Many Hindus make that mistake, and maybe even some Christians; but any knowledgable worshipper understands the difference.  Apparently ISIS makes the mistake too -- and so do you.


Oh, so Mr. Ron Webb is going to set the record straight, eh? 

Let it be proclaimed:

All Christians and Hindus who pray to statues, Mr. Ron Webb is going to set you straight!  You may not know it, but he has an impressive resume.  He has done about 10-15 minutes of Google research and wants to let you know that you have made some "mistakes" in how you practice your religion...

So, now it seems that you are not only a fake Sheik, but a trickster Minister and phony pundit...LOL

After all this, the original question remains unanswered.  Were the pictures shown examples of idolatry, especially in light of the fact that Christians and Hindus definitely do pray to idols (despite Mr. Ron Webb's special pleading)? 


Edited by islamispeace - 30 July 2014 at 3:16pm
Say: "Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds. (Surat al-Anaam: 162)

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Quote Abu Loren Replybullet Posted: 31 July 2014 at 3:41am
Ron don't say a word!
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Ron Webb
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Quote Ron Webb Replybullet Posted: 01 August 2014 at 4:21pm
Originally posted by islamispeace

As I have already stated several times, we know for a fact that some Christians literally pray to statues and that Hindus pray to their idols.

Find me a single Christian who literally prays to a statue.  That's utter nonsense.

The fact remains that to many people, the flag is a sacred object and deliberately desecrating it is seen as an offensive act.

Of course it is, because desecrating implies intent.

Except that Muslims don't kiss pictures of the black stone, but actually the stone itself.

And surely kissing the stone itself would imply idolatry more strongly than kissing a picture.  Whose side are you arguing here? LOL
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Quote islamispeace Replybullet Posted: 01 August 2014 at 6:29pm
Originally posted by Ron Webb

Find me a single Christian who literally prays to a statue.  That's utter nonsense.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvIV4UIBSHE

LOL "Utter nonsense", indeed.

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Of course it is, because desecrating implies intent.


What difference does that make?  Intent or not, if the flag is really just a piece of "cloth", then who cares if it is desecrated or not?  Obviously, if someone gets upset at the flag's desecration, they must see it as more than just a piece of "cloth". 

Originally posted by Ron Webb

And surely kissing the stone itself would imply idolatry more strongly than kissing a picture.  Whose side are you arguing here? LOL


LOL Idolatry means the worship of idols.  Worship means to pray to something or give it homage as if it is capable of responding.  Simply kissing something does not imply idolatry.  But making offerings to it and praying to it definitely does.       
Say: "Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds. (Surat al-Anaam: 162)

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Quote Ron Webb Replybullet Posted: 01 August 2014 at 9:30pm
Originally posted by islamispeace

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvIV4UIBSHE

LOL "Utter nonsense", indeed.

FOX "News"?  Okay, there's your first problem. Tongue Trust them to describe it as "praying to a statue".

The obvious intention of the people praying is to address their prayers not to a heap of plaster and paint, but to the person it represents, i.e. the Virgin Mary -- which I agree is a problem in itself, but the problem is polytheism, not idolatry.

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Of course it is, because desecrating implies intent.

What difference does that make?  Intent or not, if the flag is really just a piece of "cloth", then who cares if it is desecrated or not?  Obviously, if someone gets upset at the flag's desecration, they must see it as more than just a piece of "cloth".

OMG, you're actually serious!  Sorry, I didn't realize the first time that it was a real question.  Okay, bear with me.  I'll try to answer, but if you truly don't understand the distinction, then this is going to be difficult.  I'll go slow.

Suppose I meet someone for the first time, and his first words to me are a string of obscenities.  I will naturally assume that he is rude and disrespectful, and will want to have as little as possible to do with him.

...Until he explains to me that he suffers from Tourette Syndrome.  He is not intending to be rude or disrespectful; the words just burst out of his mouth at random, and he can't suppress them no matter how hard he tries.

Knowing that makes all the difference.  The "words" do not convey any meaning at all.  They are simply noises he inadvertently makes with his mouth, and I will disregard them accordingly.

That is the difference that intention makes.

If someone destroys a flag for purely practical reasons, without any intention to be disrespectful to the country it represents, then no reasonable person would be offended by that.  On the other hand, if he desecrates a flag, it is with the deliberate intention of insulting the country.  That would be offensive -- but it is the intention that is offensive, not the act of destruction itself.
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Quote islamispeace Replybullet Posted: 01 August 2014 at 10:10pm
Originally posted by Ron Webb

FOX "News"?  Okay, there's your first problem. Tongue Trust them to describe it as "praying to a statue".

The obvious intention of the people praying is to address their prayers not to a heap of plaster and paint, but to the person it represents, i.e. the Virgin Mary -- which I agree is a problem in itself, but the problem is polytheism, not idolatry.


LOLLOLLOL I think it is abundantly clear that you are simply incapable of admitting when you are mistaken.  You go off on rambling arguments based on nothing except your personal opinions. 

The people in the video were praying to the statue.  If they were simply praying to Mary, without a statue, that would be one thing.  But, the reality is that emphasis is placed on the actual statue.  That is idolatry! 

Originally posted by Ron Webb

OMG, you're actually serious!  Sorry, I didn't realize the first time that it was a real question.  Okay, bear with me.  I'll try to answer, but if you truly don't understand the distinction, then this is going to be difficult.  I'll go slow.

Suppose I meet someone for the first time, and his first words to me are a string of obscenities.  I will naturally assume that he is rude and disrespectful, and will want to have as little as possible to do with him.

...Until he explains to me that he suffers from Tourette Syndrome.  He is not intending to be rude or disrespectful; the words just burst out of his mouth at random, and he can't suppress them no matter how hard he tries.

Knowing that makes all the difference.  The "words" do not convey any meaning at all.  They are simply noises he inadvertently makes with his mouth, and I will disregard them accordingly.

That is the difference that intention makes.

If someone destroys a flag for purely practical reasons, without any intention to be disrespectful to the country it represents, then no reasonable person would be offended by that.  On the other hand, if he desecrates a flag, it is with the deliberate intention of insulting the country.  That would be offensive -- but it is the intention that is offensive, not the act of destruction itself.


OMG, more ignorant rambling?  Are you aware that, at least in the United States, even disposing of a damaged or worn out flag has to be done in a "respectful" way? 

"As a revered symbol of freedom and justice, the flag of the United States of America needs to be treated with the utmost respect. This respect extends to the flag's eventual retirement and destruction. The United States Flag Code (4 USC Sec 8 Para (k) Amended 7 July 1976) states: "The Flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning." Follow the steps in this guide to dispose of a worn or damaged flag with the respect it deserves." (http://www.wikihow.com/Dispose-of-a-Damaged-American-Flag

Hence, just throwing the flag in the garbage would be considered disrespectful, even though that was not the "intention".  It is expected that the flag be destroyed in a "dignified" way.  If it was just a piece of "cloth", who would go to such lengths to destroy it? Shocked

Did you get that, dummy?  Should I go slower? LOL 
Say: "Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds. (Surat al-Anaam: 162)

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Quote Ron Webb Replybullet Posted: 02 August 2014 at 7:43pm
Originally posted by islamispeace

Are you aware that, at least in the United States, even disposing of a damaged or worn out flag has to be done in a "respectful" way?


No, it doesn't have to be done in any particular way.  If you want to follow the instructions you linked to ("edited by BarefootedWonder and 28 others"LOL), go ahead; but trust me, if you choose to dispose of your worn out flag in the trash, nothing bad will happen.

The US Flag Code presents guidelines for public and ceremonial use of the flag.  It "errs on the side of caution" so as not to offend anyone; and yes, if a nosy neighbour happens to see a US flag in your trash, he might be offended.  So just tell him it was an old worn-out flag and you intended no disrespect.  If he persists, tell him he is committing the fallacy of reification. Wink
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