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Old 30th April 2020, 10:52 AM   #1
Scorpion
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The Quranic challenge

I doubt this thread will have many takers, but I need to post my effort at writing a Quranic surah for Muslims to read it. The Quran says nobody could write a surah like it. I says the Quran is simplistic trash not worthy of any kind of God and anyone could write better verses. My effort is deliberately satirical but some of it is just like any verse in the Quran.

2.23 And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our
servant, then produce a Sura like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (If
there are any) besides God, if your (doubts) are true.

2.24 But if ye cannot- and of a surety ye cannot- then fear the Fire whose fuel is
men and stones,- which is prepared for those who reject Faith.


The quran says above that no one can produce a sura like it. Here is my sura.


Sura 118 Al Baba.

118.1 Praised be to Allah the almighty and most merciful, the lord of the worlds.
118.2 Obey Allah and his messenger, Muhammad, and if you should give all you own, and die in battle for Allah you will be well rewarded.
118.3 You will recline on couches drinking from silver goblets, and be waited on by wide eyed virgins, who have been specially made for you in heaven. (well they may have been fixed by surgery)
118.3 So you will no longer have to hobble Thamud the she camel for your satisfaction as you did on earth.
118.4 Did we not tell you of Ali Baba and the forty thieves, and did we not remind you of Noah, and how we asked him to gather two of every creature, we even saved the pig, but I am damned if we can remember why we mentioned them. Unless it was to poison unbelievers, yes I think that was it.
118.4 And did we not give you the sand to play in, as far as the eye can see, nothing but sand,sand, sand. Allah love sand, no, he really likes making sand. And did we not surround it by the seas which are too salty to drink. Allah is most merciful and wise.
118.5 Did we not tell you to fight the unbelievers wherever you find them, so that you could steal their lands and get out of all that sand. So great and merciful is Allah to the followers of the messenger. Obey the messenger and fight the unbelievers and take their wives and steal their possessions, you can have the wives, but the loot belongs to Allah, (and his messenger Muhammed so had it over or else) But do not kill unbelievers if they become believers, just sign them up as conscripts, and put them in the front line of the next battle to liberate the lands of more unbelievers. Only kill them if they become believers, then change their minds when they start thinking for themselves ,and asking awkward questions. Then strike their necks with a sword.
118.6 Allah will curse the unbelievers to be roasted over a slow burning flame for all eternity, and have their eyes plucked out with hooks. But Allah will give them new eyes, so that they can be plucked out again, because Allah is most wise and great, and he likes to watch. He likes little boys that pick the wings of flies as that amuses him. He is the seer-er of all you do, and even peeps on you when you are in the bathroom.
118.7 Allah be praised and praised, then praised some more.
No really, you had better get down on your heads and grovel, you wretched worms, or you are really going to get it in the head. You either praise me(Muhammad) or have your flesh peeled off, and red hot irons shoved where the sun does not shine.
118.8 Whoops, That may have been a verse influenced by Satan, so do not worry to much about that one, I may abrogate it later. Anyway, don't mess with the messenger (Muhammad) if you know whats good for you.
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Old 30th April 2020, 04:35 PM   #2
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I am an atheist from a muslim background, there surely are attempts in Arabic , this is an example :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2isBLIMuLI

Personally, I think that the challenge is merely linguistic, because, if you just translate the Qur'an into English, it loses that element, and appears to be like boring prose.

Other than that, the Qur'an is devoid of miracles, it is very poor in terms of scientific content (compared to Hindu vedas for instance), not only that : sometimes it is completely wrong.

But the aesthetic, rhetoric and emotional element is quite fascinating most of the time, although some surahs are boring.

But I think that guy on youtube did a great job in response to that challenge, if we can call it a challenge in the first place.

Last edited by MohamedTaqi; 30th April 2020 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 30th April 2020, 04:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MohamedTaqi View Post
I am an atheist from a muslim background, there surely are attempts in Arabic , this is an example :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2isBLIMuLI

Personally, I think that the challenge is merely linguistic, because, if you just translate the Qur'an into English, it loses that element, and appears to be like boring prose.

Other than that, the Qur'an is devoid of miracles, it is very poor in terms of scientific content (compared to Hindu vedas for instance), not only that : sometimes it is completely wrong.

But the aesthetic, rhetoric and emotional element is quite fascinating most of the time, although some surahs are boring.

But I think that guy on youtube did a great job in response to that challenge, if we can call it a challenge in the first place.

Hi Mohamed.

An atheist in Morocco ....... wow! You are certainly in a minority group if you look at the CIA World Factbook:

Muslim 99% (official; virtually all Sunni, <0.1% Shia), other 1% (includes Christian, Jewish, and Baha'i); note - Jewish about 6,000 (2010 est.)

I wonder about these figures and I guess they are only as good as the people who collect them.
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Old 30th April 2020, 05:07 PM   #4
MohamedTaqi
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Hi Mohamed.

An atheist in Morocco ....... wow! You are certainly in a minority group if you look at the CIA World Factbook:

Muslim 99% (official; virtually all Sunni, <0.1% Shia), other 1% (includes Christian, Jewish, and Baha'i); note - Jewish about 6,000 (2010 est.)

I wonder about these figures and I guess they are only as good as the people who collect them.

Strange hhh, I know .

I have personally met about 30 - 40 atheists and non-religious Moroccans ... including my 3 brothers, my current boss , 6 - 7 work mates... But I don't have friends, because I am on the autistic spectrum.

I don't know, but since about 2010 , I just stumble upon non-religious people, agnostics, atheists, they seem on the increase.

Just back in 2009 , I used to think that I am the only atheist in the world.

It is Ramadan here, and all people are supposed to fast .. I only drink water during the day. Why?

Because I am confined at home, and my parents are religious. Besides, eating Ramadan in public (even if I am an atheist) feels like nudity in public, it just feels shameful to eat while fasters are around.

Last edited by MohamedTaqi; 30th April 2020 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 1st May 2020, 02:27 AM   #5
dann
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Originally Posted by MohamedTaqi View Post
(...)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2isBLIMuLI
(...)
But I think that guy on youtube did a great job in response to that challenge, if we can call it a challenge in the first place.
(...)

Could you explain how he responds to the challenge? - to those of us who have looked at the video and don't understand a word of it. The only thing I get is the smilies in the comments section!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st May 2020, 02:34 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Hi Mohamed.

An atheist in Morocco ....... wow! You are certainly in a minority group if you look at the CIA World Factbook:

Muslim 99% (official; virtually all Sunni, <0.1% Shia), other 1% (includes Christian, Jewish, and Baha'i); note - Jewish about 6,000 (2010 est.)

I wonder about these figures and I guess they are only as good as the people who collect them.

Remember the lesson! You can't be forced to believe, but you can be forced to pretend to believe. In other times and places, believers may be forced to pretend that they don't believe or that they believe in something other than what they actually believe.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st May 2020, 02:55 AM   #7
dann
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Originally Posted by MohamedTaqi View Post
IPersonally, I think that the challenge is merely linguistic, because, if you just translate the Qur'an into English, it loses that element, and appears to be like boring prose.

A similar thing happens to French philosophy!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st May 2020, 06:06 AM   #8
MohamedTaqi
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Could you explain how he responds to the challenge? - to those of us who have looked at the video and don't understand a word of it. The only thing I get is the smilies in the comments section!
Rhetorically , it is the same style as the Qur'an, the same rhymes , the difference is that this one talks about modern science, while the Qur'an is an ancient scrpiture.
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Old 1st May 2020, 06:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Remember the lesson! You can't be forced to believe, but you can be forced to pretend to believe. In other times and places, believers may be forced to pretend that they don't believe or that they believe in something other than what they actually believe.
It is very difficult to pretend to believe .. My parents know that I am nonreligious, or at least secular, because my opinions about different topics reveal that.

One day , my mother asked me : Do you believe in God? because you seem that you don't. I said : Well, Modern Science does not take that for granted.

But some aspects of religion have become traditions : like Ramadan. Even though I am an atheist, I cannot eat during the day in their presence , I can only pretend to fast ..

As for people outside, I reveal my atheism whenever I want to date a girl, and it all ends with rejection, I never succeeded, add to that the fact that I am autistic, which makes me bad socializer.

At times, I think about pretending to be a nonpracticing muslim, just to get married and have a family, but I am not sure I can do that either. I don't socialize, but when someone says something that seems irrational, I cannot just ignore them.
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Old 1st May 2020, 06:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by MohamedTaqi View Post
I am an atheist from a muslim background, there surely are attempts in Arabic , this is an example :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2isBLIMuLI

Personally, I think that the challenge is merely linguistic, because, if you just translate the Qur'an into English, it loses that element, and appears to be like boring prose.

Other than that, the Qur'an is devoid of miracles, it is very poor in terms of scientific content (compared to Hindu vedas for instance), not only that : sometimes it is completely wrong.

But the aesthetic, rhetoric and emotional element is quite fascinating most of the time, although some surahs are boring.
I know what you mean, I became quite obsessed with the Qur'an for a while. I don't read or speak Arabic, but I can follow with a cheat sheet so that I know what the words mean and it can be quite breathtaking at times.

But also, as you say, often boring.
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Old 1st May 2020, 08:50 AM   #11
dann
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Originally Posted by MohamedTaqi View Post
Rhetorically , it is the same style as the Qur'an, the same rhymes , the difference is that this one talks about modern science, while the Qur'an is an ancient scrpiture.

Sounds like a fun idea - and it explains the many smilies!
A little like using the language of the Bible's Genesis when describing the Big Bang!
What is the language? Arabic?
I guess it would be pretty easy to have Google translate at least the comments into English.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st May 2020, 09:13 AM   #12
dann
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Originally Posted by MohamedTaqi View Post
It is very difficult to pretend to believe .. My parents know that I am nonreligious, or at least secular, because my opinions about different topics reveal that.

I don't know, but maybe your Asperger's (?) is what makes pretending difficult. It seems to be pretty easy for most people. Notice the number of people who are able to pretend that they believe that Donald Trump is a very stable genius!

Quote:
One day , my mother asked me : Do you believe in God? because you seem that you don't. I said : Well, Modern Science does not take that for granted.

It sounds as if your parents are able to accept that you are a non-believer, which is good.

Quote:
But some aspects of religion have become traditions : like Ramadan. Even though I am an atheist, I cannot eat during the day in their presence , I can only pretend to fast ..

Very similar to what has happened here (Denmark) with Christmas and all other Christian holidays for the vast majority of the population.

Quote:
As for people outside, I reveal my atheism whenever I want to date a girl, and it all ends with rejection, I never succeeded, add to that the fact that I am autistic, which makes me bad socializer.

Don't you get ostracized by people in general? I mean, if you are as open about it as that, word must get around.

Quote:
At times, I think about pretending to be a nonpracticing muslim, just to get married and have a family, but I am not sure I can do that either. I don't socialize, but when someone says something that seems irrational, I cannot just ignore them.

Many Muslims in Denmark are 'cultural Muslims'. I don't know how many, but this book written by a Muslim claims that the majority of Muslims living here are cultural Muslims, in particular the Muslims that migrated to Denmark from Turkey, Morocco and Pakistan in the 1970s and their descendants: Islam og forsoning (2010).
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st May 2020, 09:47 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I don't know, but maybe your Asperger's (?) is what makes pretending difficult. It seems to be pretty easy for most people. Notice the number of people who are able to pretend that they believe that Donald Trump is a very stable genius!
Yes, I have Asperger's. I can't pretend or lie about anything. Sometimes I just let my guard down and say things that seem to others inappropriate .

Originally Posted by dann View Post
It sounds as if your parents are able to accept that you are a non-believer, which is good.
Most of the time , we just switch these subjects into jokes, thanks to my brother... One day, my mother was talking about how God helped Jonah inside the whale, I said that is impossible because whales cannot swallow a human.. It was about to turn into a serious talk, but my brother turned it into something funny when he said that it is possible because jonah was tiny, like a shrimp.

So, they just laughed at it.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Very similar to what has happened here (Denmark) with Christmas and all other Christian holidays for the vast majority of the population.
Except that Christians are more tolerant compared to Muslims .. my great grandparents were jewish, and that may explain why my family are an exception.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Don't you get ostracized by people in general? I mean, if you are as open about it as that, word must get around.
No, people don't ostracize me, even religious people are good to me

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Many Muslims in Denmark are 'cultural Muslims'. I don't know how many, but this book written by a Muslim claims that the majority of Muslims living here are cultural Muslims, in particular the Muslims that migrated to Denmark from Turkey, Morocco and Pakistan in the 1970s and their descendants: Islam og forsoning (2010).
The problem with Islam my friend is that it needs a reform, even "cultural Muslims" who could integrate themselves in European society can be influenced by Qur'an, Sirah and Hadeeth books that promote violence, directly or indirectly.

Last edited by MohamedTaqi; 1st May 2020 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 1st May 2020, 03:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MohamedTaqi View Post
Strange hhh, I know .

I have personally met about 30 - 40 atheists and non-religious Moroccans ... including my 3 brothers, my current boss , 6 - 7 work mates... But I don't have friends, because I am on the autistic spectrum.

I don't know, but since about 2010 , I just stumble upon non-religious people, agnostics, atheists, they seem on the increase.

Just back in 2009 , I used to think that I am the only atheist in the world.

It is Ramadan here, and all people are supposed to fast .. I only drink water during the day. Why?

Because I am confined at home, and my parents are religious. Besides, eating Ramadan in public (even if I am an atheist) feels like nudity in public, it just feels shameful to eat while fasters are around.

An interesting situation and I wonder how your religious parents deal with the apostasy of their 4 sons, or do you keep it hidden from them?

My wife at the time and I visited Egypt some 25 years ago. We had tour guid whom I informed that my wife and I were not Christians We being from the West I assumed he would think we were, and I wanted to put him at ease, so he would speak frankly to us. Silly mistake of mine because I could see he was uneasy about my admitting to a lack of religious belief. I have since learned that it is illegal to be an atheist in some muslim countries.
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Old 1st May 2020, 03:07 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Remember the lesson! You can't be forced to believe, but you can be forced to pretend to believe. In other times and places, believers may be forced to pretend that they don't believe or that they believe in something other than what they actually believe.

Dragging that old chestnut out again are we? I thought we had dealt with it quite comprehensively on that other thread.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 01:56 AM   #16
dann
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Originally Posted by MohamedTaqi View Post
Yes, I have Asperger's. I can't pretend or lie about anything. Sometimes I just let my guard down and say things that seem to others inappropriate .

Me too! Not the Asperger's, but saying things that others find inappropriate. It can be done deliberately, too!

Quote:
Most of the time , we just switch these subjects into jokes, thanks to my brother... One day, my mother was talking about how God helped Jonah inside the whale, I said that is impossible because whales cannot swallow a human.. It was about to turn into a serious talk, but my brother turned it into something funny when he said that it is possible because jonah was tiny, like a shrimp.

So, they just laughed at it.

One can get away with much by turning it into a joke!

Quote:
Except that Christians are more tolerant compared to Muslims .. my great grandparents were jewish, and that may explain why my family are an exception.

That is not my experience. In my part of the world, Christians do tend be more relaxed/tolerant than some Muslims, but it took many, many years for the Danish version of Christianity to become as secularized as it is nowadays. Immigrants from Muslim countries only started to arrive in the 1970s, but even so, the religious attitudes of most of the Turkish immigrants, the first wave to arrive, are now very similar to those of other Danes.
Have you heard about Phil Zuckerman, who wrote a book about secularization in Denmark and Sweden? The Death of Religion thread.

Quote:
No, people don't ostracize me, even religious people are good to me

Sounds good! And it sounds as if Morocco is probably more tolerant than I thought. (Which reminds of this weird thread from last year.)

Quote:
The problem with Islam my friend is that it needs a reform, even "cultural Muslims" who could integrate themselves in European society can be influenced by Qur'an, Sirah and Hadeeth books that promote violence, directly or indirectly.

My impression is that racism against immigrants helps keep religious fundamentalism alive among immigrants. Racist attacks on immigrants turns Islam into a thing that unites them against the pressure from outside.
When Muslim immigrants are met with the attitude, 'OK, so you are a Muslim. Interesting. So what is that like?' i.e. as if it is no big deal, the fundamentalist attitudes tend to die away.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 2nd May 2020, 08:47 AM   #17
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I am non religious in Mexico. A very Christian culture heavy on Catholic belief.

There are little shrines to jesus or Mary on nearly every block and small community churches everywhere.

Its not smart to say outright you are an atheist. Doors close, businesses won't deal with you.

I too had to play catholic to marry my girl, and her mother knew I am not religious. By simply not using the word " atheist " she could overlook a lot.
Another in the family married a rather obnoxious atheist from Venezuela and the battles were loud and frequent.
Her non religious ideas and mine arent all that different. It sure made a difference in publuc acceptance how we approached others with them.

The big cities are quite tolerant of anything, the small cities to villages can be quite strict about accepting the heathen.
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Old 10th May 2020, 08:18 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Me too! Not the Asperger's, but saying things that others find inappropriate. It can be done deliberately, too!
Yes, that puts you in the honest category brother. Although it sometimes paves the way to hardships.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
One can get away with much by turning it into a joke!
Hahaha, yes... I am not good with jokes, but my family are .

Originally Posted by dann View Post
That is not my experience. In my part of the world, Christians do tend be more relaxed/tolerant than some Muslims, but it took many, many years for the Danish version of Christianity to become as secularized as it is nowadays. Immigrants from Muslim countries only started to arrive in the 1970s, but even so, the religious attitudes of most of the Turkish immigrants, the first wave to arrive, are now very similar to those of other Danes.
Have you heard about Phil Zuckerman, who wrote a book about secularization in Denmark and Sweden? The Death of Religion thread.
Yes, that's how I perceive Denmark from my part of the world. As for Phil Zuckerman, I remember the name, but I've never read him. I only spend my time between technical textbooks, my bad !

I will check the thread. Thank you


Originally Posted by dann View Post
Sounds good! And it sounds as if Morocco is probably more tolerant than I thought. (Which reminds of this weird thread from last year.)
Morocco is relatively tolerant compared to other muslim countries, But it is still struggling with some issues regarding education. To give you an idea.

- If one steals in Iran or Saudi Arabia, they'd have their hands cut off. In Morocco, theves are jailed. Sometimes, after I finish a project, I go out and drink alcohol, sometimes I get myself drunk. I'd receive 80 lashes if I do that in Saudi Arabia or Iran.

The Qur'an doesn't say so, but the Hadeeth does. And scholars said 80 lashes for a free man , and 40 lashes for a slave.

- But, Most muslim countries (including Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon...etc) don't apply sharia law.

- Which means that Morocco is not an exception. In general, it's just a country still struggling with many issues. As for tolerance, we had two major terrorist attacks (bombings) throughout my life : one in 2003 , and one in 2011 . And a terrorist act back in 2019 in which two Scandinavian tourists were murdered.

Most Moroccans don't even do the 5 prayers .. That's not to say that they are tolerant. Of course, most of them are tolerant(-ish) .. but there are always exceptions.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
My impression is that racism against immigrants helps keep religious fundamentalism alive among immigrants. Racist attacks on immigrants turns Islam into a thing that unites them against the pressure from outside.
When Muslim immigrants are met with the attitude, 'OK, so you are a Muslim. Interesting. So what is that like?' i.e. as if it is no big deal, the fundamentalist attitudes tend to die away.
But not all fundamentalists. There are Muslim fundamentalists who have this attitude : Islam is the one true religion, Allah said that we must spread it and if we didn't apply Sharia Law we are then infidels, therefore : we must do as the Qur'an says".

So, they try to do this :

- Spread Islam (because Qur'an says so).
- Apply Sharia Law in new areas (because Qur'an says that those who don't apply it are infidels)

You see the point.
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Last edited by MohamedTaqi; 10th May 2020 at 08:24 AM.
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