Author Topic: Orthodox and Heterodox Muslims: Definitions  (Read 49 times)

Offline pr126 (OP)

Orthodox and Heterodox Muslims: Definitions
« on: January 02, 2018, 05:51:15 AM »
Orthodox and Heterodox Muslims: Definitions
YOU'VE HEARD the terms "radicalized Muslims" and "fundamentalist Muslims." We use those terms to make sure everyone knows we're not talking about "normal" or "moderate" Muslims. There is a good reason to try to make this distinction.

The main reason is because if you say "Muslim," you might mean all Muslims, and clearly all Muslims are not behaving the same.

The only piece of information missing from most peoples' understanding is that the "radicalized" Muslims are not really radical. They are orthodox. They are simply doing what it says in their scriptures they are supposed to do. They're not "hijacking" their religion or misinterpreting it. Most non-Muslims are unaware of this.

The first definition for "orthodox" in is: Adhering to the accepted or traditional and established faith, especially in religion. That's perfect. And it is easily understood by most Westerners. It's a term we're already familiar with.

And in, heterodox means: Not in agreement with accepted beliefs, especially in church doctrine or dogma. You can delete the word "church" and that's a great definition for what has been termed "moderate" Muslims. It's accurate and makes the distinction very clear.

So I'll be using the term "orthodox" to describe someone who strictly follows the teachings in the Quran and the Hadith, and who tries — as a good Muslim is supposed to do according to the doctrines — to follow Mohammad's example.

“Radical” is a Misleading Term
LOTS OF PEOPLE use the word "radical" to describe devout, orthodox Muslims. I've always been bothered by that term because it is misleading. If a Christian prayed for forgiveness, or gave to charity, would you call that “radical?” If a Buddhist meditated every day, would you call that “radical?”

No, you would call them "practicing Buddhists" or just Buddhists. They are practicing the basic ideas of their faith.

Let's stop using the word "radical." Non-Muslims have been using it to avoid offending “non-radical” Muslims, but it makes our educational efforts more difficult because it gives the illusion that "normal Islam" is not "radical."

The idea that the "terrorists" have "hijacked" Islam is widespread and ultimately mistaken. The mistaken notion causes confusion when people begin to learn about Islam. The use of the term "radical" supports this confusion. Let's stop using it, even when talking to people who know very little about basic principles of Islam. Eventually they need to learn what's really happening, and the more people use misleading or confusing terms, the more difficult it will be for them to learn.

At least, that's what I think. Words are important. Let's try to use words that make things clearer, not more murky.

Have we got the courage to say publicly that Islam is not the religion of peace but the religion of permanent war? I don't think so.

An ideology that is a danger for all humanity. Especially for Muslims.

The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist

« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 11:52:44 AM by pr126 »
“True Ignorance is not the absence of knowledge but the refusal to acquire it.” - Karl Popper

“It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled”  - Mark Twain

Offline SGOS

Re: Orthodox and Heterodox Muslims: Definitions
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2018, 06:55:22 AM »
I've understood that radical Muslim is technically a misnomer for a long time.  It's similar to Christian fundamentalist where the righteous at least profess to be following the commands of their holy book.  Radical or fundamentalist, as true as those are to the original religions, do fall outside the norm of social interactions in today's world, at least in Christianity.  I don't know what the so called moderate Muslims believe.  I know what they profess, although as with any fanatical religion, I don't necessarily believe they profess what they believe.  Religions are wacky belief systems that have evolved to titillate the wacky nature of humans.  This is a dangerous scenario, and just as dangerous in the hands of Christians as in the hands of Muslims.  Islam may not always be violent. Someday it may be an outward profession of peace and tolerance, while Christians evolve once again into bloodbath of intolerance, as directed by the writings of the Bible.

The problem with wacky beliefs is that they are the ingredients for a poisonous soup.  The ingredients may or may not combine into toxic religions, but they are still there waiting for the right catalysts to make it happen, and it doesn't seem like it takes much for the catalylization to happen.  Humans have a mob mentality.  We accomplish many things, some often self destructive, and I don't think we actually understand what we are doing when we rush to accomplish these things.  "Save the world for Christianity (or Islam)" sounds like something laudable to a frenzied mob, but might just be a pointless purge of ethnic cleansing, done by well meaning, but utterly thoughtless people who get carried away by their own insanity.

Offline Baruch

Re: Orthodox and Heterodox Muslims: Definitions
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 07:24:06 AM »
Some Christians in Africa are violent now.  They were violent (in the Axis and collaborators) as recently as 1945, in Europe.

And yes, there are Muslims who act out violently and those who do not.  But to say that all Muslims are potentially violent? ... I would say ... all humans are potentially violent (usually for ideology not theology).
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 07:26:33 AM by Baruch »