The Quran - The Book That Is Shaping Our New World. A Western Buddhists Point of View
Are Muslims Following the Right Thought or Right Intention?
One of the Ahah moments I have had in life is in the search of peoples reasoning behind any of their actions. Whatever they SAY their reasons are, it is normally to fulfill some selfish intent. This is not at all to say whether they THINK they believe that what they are doing is for the greater good, but that underneath, it is to fulfill some missing satisfaction within themselves and this in turn causes suffering to themselves and others.
As an analogy I identify with Buddhism, when we look at the latest spate of trophy hunters spread across pages in social media. Often you hear the trophy hunters justify their actions with caring about environmental conservation, when in actual fact they simply have a bloodlust for taking a life that was never theirs to take.
We can see the disconnect in their reasoning purely based on whether:
- They actively take part in planting trees in their homeland
- They feed the homeless
- They actively recycle
- They drive an environmentally friendly vehicle
- They smoke and leave their cigarette butts on the street
To not ponder the life they have taken and consider all other ramifications is against environmental conservation. We may see these trophy hunters explain that the meat goes to feed villagers, but villagers can hunt their own food. Also, in an overpopulated society, they are not considering the impact of human encroachment.
We call this an unelightened perspective and they are not living in truth.
Now, Muslims across the world espouse their religion as peaceful and tolerant. If all Muslims today were to take up arms, they could quickly override the countries that they live in. This is truth. So we consider the evidence here to say they are peaceful.
But are their thoughts and intentions right? Quite possibly no.
There is an intention that all humans one day follow the Quran as a way of life and abide by Sharia Law. Islam allows for religious debate, legal discussion and reasoning, provided that it shows that at the end of it all, the islamic faith is the one and only. It cannot consider that there are faults in their thinking. And to expose this causes their rebellion, many times violent, and their suffering.
The ego is what we inspire to calm. Each of us can realise that we are most special while at the same time realise that we are nobody at all. Our significance is only determined by what we give to the world and what we take from it.
The latest in Muslim extremism is ISIS. What they believe they are doing is right, within the boundaries of the Quran. They are satisfying a bloodlust based on THINKING they believe their intentions and actions are giving and justified. Thinking they believe is not actually believing. This becomes their delusion and their suffering.
Yet, we come back to easy questions to ask to expose their poor intentions:
- Wish to impose their judgments on others?
- Are they smiling when they take a life?
- Do they promote negative emotions such as hatred?
- Are they following their own 'peaceful teachings' in their own land or do they keep to themselves and only stand up when there is a fight?
- Are they seeking redemption or are they seeking war?
- Do they show malice in the lives they take? This may be whether they take a life quickly or whether they ensure their victim suffers slowly upon death.
Even in this last point we can see their intention is not right and cannot even follow their own religion, causing a massive contradiction in their own thinking.
Conflict in ones own mind causes some of our greatest suffering and where our actions contradict our own eyes ability to see what we have done, these memories will have a lasting, almost eternal suffering on our being. When these Muslim's actions entirely contradict their religious faith, the only way to ease their suffering is to pick and choose phrases in the Quran that supports their current actions, while ignoring all of those phrases that entirely contradict it.
Is There Even An Original Quran?
The Inaccuracy of the Quran
We are told that there is only one Quran and there is only one translation.
However, several well-read scholars have proven that, just like the bible, this book is open to interpretations.
These interpretations are quite literally responsible for the beheading's and torture of thousands upon thousands of men, women and children.
In Buddhism, it seeks truth in the simplest of forms and one truth is that we are all intricately connected. When we further layer this with complications of colour, race, gender or societal background we tend to create new concepts that become vastly different over time. This original concept builds, grows and offshoots, just like the branches of a tree. The further it branches out, the thinner it becomes and the easier that branch is to break.
Why? Because it has moved further and further away from the source. In Islam, as messages and teachings branch out, with further interpretations spreading throughout the religion, more and more Muslims become extremists. They seek their own interpretations of the same material and their interpretations become so far from an apparent 'peaceful source', that all that is left is violence and uneducated thinking.
While several books may exist, some with missing chapters, based on that one books origin, it will shape the minds positively or negatively of the Muslims who read from it. As all its contents are taken as truth with no supporting evidence, we start to see inaccuracies forming.
Ultimately, this causes conflict. We see Muslim's killing Musiim's around the world. Sunni's Vs the Shi'ites throughout the world causing death, destruction and mayhem based on their own versions and interpretations on the one seemingly all powerful book, which, as it turns out can have added or missing chapters.
In Buddhism, it is the simplest of lessons that keep this faith, which is not a religion, so pure to its source. There is no need to stretch beyond it. It seeks the truth in the simplest structure. And one of those truths is that we all seek to be happy and free from suffering.
The Quran is proving to cause extreme unrest, dissatisfaction, suffering and death in the modern world, even amongst Muslim's who have been killing each other through religious reasoning.
Where ISIS is causing its most religious destruction
Do Muslims Seek Evidence To Prove Their Beliefs?
The Buddha asked his followers to not take his word blindly, but asked that they collect the evidence themselves to prove him right or wrong.
Islam only allows for evidence to be collected to prove that it is right, regardless of whatever actions are being taken, whether they are extreme or moderate. When you only collect evidence that supports your actions and ignore the plethora of evidence that contradicts, you are not in balance. It only leads to you taking irresponsible actions, that in the case of The Islamic State, leads to cruelty, torture, death and destruction. It leads to moderate Muslims buying into the hype because it fulfills their egos of being superior.
In Buddhism, we seek to remove our ego. In Islam, it seeks to fulfill ego by teaching Muslims that they are superior to the non-believers, even if they choose to live in harmony with them. Instead of Muslims letting a dying athiest pass away in peace and telling him he too will go to heaven, a Muslim is likely to only let that dying man know he will perish in hell unless he converts to Islam.
Here, in a mans dying moments, a Buddhist will give peace to that dying man simply because we do not understand the afterlife. Rebirth can occur and Samsara lets him go around again in a new body. But in those dying moments, it is not just how that dying man feels and whether he feels at ease with our words, it is about how we feel about putting him at peace. If we choose to make him fear hell in his last moments, this comes back to our own negative Karma. He may be fine. But we may not.
Islam promotes virtues that may or may not assist us with our living conditions. But evidence alone shows us the suffering that is created by living an Islamic life. It shows that the people are open to corruption, provided there is a passage in the Quran to support it.
There is evidence of this where a man rapes a woman in an Islamic country and it is the woman who is stoned to death for her immorality. If the male Muslim can choose a page from the Quran that says that the woman exposed herself in a way that was sexual to him, then according to the Quran, it was her fault.
Have ALL Muslims gone back to the country origin of Islam and followed the paper trail of their faith or are they just following blind leaders who have been fed Chinese whispers? Can the evidence support the belief or can the evidence be corrupted purely because the only evidence allowed to be collected must support that the Quran is the truth?
Do all Muslim's speak the original language so that no words can be misinterpreted? Are the words taught being fed through the consciousness of an imperfect Muslim with an agenda of his own which incites hatred?
By taking ANY religion at face value as the truth, and defending this position using any force necessary, we continue negative Karma and the cycle of suffering. This is no more obvious than we now see in Islamic extremism.
Enlightenment Can Never Be Achieved Through Fear and Control
The Quran - Controlling With Fear is Not the Way To Guide
Each man, woman and child must discover spirituality on their own terms based on a life of collected knowledge. If there is a god, it seems that it is not just out there, but deep down into our very DNA.
Islam seeks to control its followers through fear. Fear of:
- Eternal Damnation
Westernized Muslim women disagree that their Burqua or Niqab is in any way suppressing. This is because western laws allow them a choice. But if an Islamic state arises, the choice is then taken away and doctrine is enforced.
But also, they do not see the capital punishment dished out by religious authorities for what they perceive as acts against God. For example, capital punishments have been given to women who have been raped.
One such story involves a teenage girl, Leyla, a 19-year-old girl with a mental age of eight. Leyla was sentenced to death for "acts contrary to chastity." She was ordered to be be flogged before being executed. When Leyla was eight, her mother had forced her into a life of prostitution, allowing her be raped repeatedly.
Later she was sold as what is known as a 'temporary wife' (mut'a, sigha),. This is considered legal in Shi‘ite law. It allows men to own temporary wives who can be contracted from one hour to ninety-nine years.
Old Muslim men taking on child brides and using fear of death to keep them under control is common in certain areas of Muslim countries.
While western Muslim's may decry this, it is western law and morality that allows them the privilege of freedom of speech to denounce these acts.
In Nigeria, Boko Haram, an extremist Muslim militant group kidnapped female students because of their extremist belief that women should not be able to read or be educated.
Once again, in western culture, Muslim women are lucky that democratic laws allow the freedom to be educated and have a career. But under the modern translation of the Quran, it is punishable.
We learn in Buddhism that learning to control the uncontrollable leads to great suffering and dissatisfaction. Across the globe, Muslims, mostly male Muslims, are showing a great dissatisfaction with life. Because there are so few countries where Sharia Law is followed completely, the religious leaders of Islam and those who follow them are angry and violent that their laws are not forced upon others. This extreme dissatisfaction has led many Muslims born and raised in a European or Western country to wage war in Iraq and Syria.
The aim is to clear this entire landscape of any non-believers of Islam. Those who do not convert, die.
Those who tend to find a religion or spiritual belief are drawn to it in some way, whether it be a religious sect, Buddhist life or offshoot Christian church. But once there, some come to believe that this religion is not for them. In a traditional Islamic country, to leave the religion is to face your own execution.
From observation, as Muslim extremists exert their egoistic control over the non-believers, great destruction takes place. They become angrier and angrier as more and more non-believers stand their own ground. Their ferocity increases along with their ability to torture. These people become enraged with their lack of control over non-believers. They even understand that while non-believers may convert to save their own lives, they are angrier that they cannot control their thoughts.
The negative feedback continues as they teach their children to hate the 'Infidels'. Even those Muslims who live freely in a European country can teach their child that a non-believing European is worthy of nothing more than death. The confused, manipulated child is now being controlled, thus removing his natural empathy for life, filling him with anger over issues he will never understand.
Moving back to the centre of your heart, breathing deeply and feeling compassion for all life, letting go of control over the uncontrollable is more likely to give people want they want in life. When you are in harmony with others, more positive outcomes are possible.
Vice News - the Rise of Isis Part 1
An Islamic Conquest. Peace Comes At the Price of Conversion
Seeking Peace and Enlightenment
Do You Believe Islam Seeks Enlightenment and Peace
What Is Right Intention and Wrong Outcome?
To consider whether Islam lives with right intention, it should follow 3 important but very simple points:
- The intention of renunciation, which counters the intention of desire.
- The intention of good will, which counters the intention of ill will.
- The intention of harmlessness, which counters the intention of harmfulness.
The wrong outcome can be considered simply as:
- The endless war
- The endless suffering
- The endless monopoly
The human ego seeks to possess people and things.
To possess people, we can refer to:
- Monogomous marriage
- Sexual slavery
- Socialist government
- Fear based religious doctrines
- Financial debt
To possess things, we can refer to:
- Owning land
- Owning a car
- Owning a home
- Occupying a nation
Buddhists understand that we own nothing. We do not even own our own bodies. We can control nothing. We cannot control other people for any extended period of time. Our home can burn to the ground. We will die and be removed from the land we say we possess. Our car will break down and one day simply no longer work. Our nations are based on geopolitical and financial means only.
Islam seeks to possess and control. This understanding alone has lead to the greatest corruption. This could be said of all religious actions over the centuries, including Jewish and Christian invasions of other lands. It seems that in this era, it is the time for the Muslim invasions.
As we see their intentions, leading to poor outcomes, the Quran teaches Muslims that the earth is theirs, as though they own it. However, just as impermanent as each being is, the lands will wash away and the climate will change. They don't even own a single grain of sand in the desert in which they seek to occupy.
To drive non-believers from lands they seek to possess shows a lack of enlightenment and intelligence. To seek to control the thoughts of non-believers who should convert or perish shows their bloated egoism, unenlightenment and impoverished thoughts.
Wrong outcome is an endless war when we all seek peace.
We all have a right to our lives and just like the trophy hunter, the extremist Muslim is using the Quran to justify a holy war to seek their own, personal internal peace, based on controlling the uncontrollable. They do not seek a peace for the people.
Grooming Children To Hate In the Islamist State
Islam - Shaping the Modern World
The Islamic Faith tends to be the faith where Egoism is abundant. It is the ego that wishes to press its will onto others.
From following a Buddhist path I have come to question several of my own internal ethics
- Empathy for the individual
- Empathy for the masses
- Empathy for nature
In my empathy for an individual I tend to feel their emotions heavily. For example, when I see somebody in pain, my reaction is to assist them. When I see them bullied, my reaction is to defend them. But what happens when they are being bullied as retaliation for their own misdeeds? Am I defending somebody who must learn a lesson? Do I still step in when I see somebody being mistreated?
Here is an example: We see a man being beaten by a crowd. My empathy calls out to defend him and push the crowd away. but what if he has committed an unspeakable act upon a child and that child is suffering greatly? Do I step back? Where does my empathy go?
This becomes an internal struggle. So I may see a Muslim extremist suffering from a gunshot wound on the television, or crying as his friend bleeds to death. Where do I lay my empathy? In the person they have killed and the fear they instilled as their victims took their last breaths, or them?
Then there is empathy for the masses. Already I feel that the human population is out of control and this is destroying the habitats of millions of species that are now threatened.
So when an extremists religious factions kill one another, committing genocide, where does my empathy lay? They are both arming against each other. They are both firing their weapons. If not the death of one, then it is the death of the other. And as the death toll rises to the hundreds of thousands, I tend to lose my empathy and come to believe that it is simply the way of life. They cause their own suffering and will simply go around and around until they become enlightened. It is not my business at that point.
I see the same with starving people in African nations, many Muslim. These families continue to breed children they cannot feed. While my empathy for the individual is high, can I not allow nature to take its course? Why must I interfere?
And finally there is my empathy with nature. As it is endless and flowing, long after humans have disappeared, the earth will heal and whatever replaces us, as we did dinosaurs, the cycle of life will simply continue. I see an animal suffer, a herd of elephants butchered by poachers and trophy hunters and I want to leap to defend them, as they are really the innocent. My empathy is deep here.
Finally, I see that Muslims live for the afterlife. They do not live in the now, here on earth. They are not here to learn but to earn a selfish path to their heaven, which is their final destination. Can they take enough lives to earn their entrance?
Buddhism teaches that all you have is now and so you should appreciate this life and its possibilities, seeking peace and happiness away from suffering.
As we live such finite lives, these extremists must ask, what was it all for? It certainly was not for enlightenment and ease of suffering.