Thursday, July 8, 2010

Is there such a thing as "spirited debate" in Islam?

I enjoy engaging in a debate once in a while or watching/reading one. But when it comes to Islam, I'm starting to feel it's impossible... Maybe it's my personal experiences only but I feel that Muslims have very little respect for people who chose to follow or believe differently than they and that causes them to not even try to understand the "opposing" idea, thus debating nothing at all since they're not addressing what has been brought up!

I know the real answer to my question must be that yes, it's possible theoretically... But how many Muslims with debating skills do you really know? Is it the education that is lacking in Muslims generally? Is the Islam some Muslims believe in simply incompatible with debate because of how closed to interpretation it is? But even if it's that closed, why can't they defend this position of it being closed at the very least?

I hope that I get comments from people who can say that yes, it's just because of the Muslims I have met personally who don't represent the majority... Or comments from people of other religions who say it's the same there! It always upsets me to imagine that Islam has more closed-minded adherants than other religions/sects because Islam is so open to me!

12 Comentários:

sara said...

Wow, that's insulting, saying that muslims are uneducated.
You are really wrong there, a lot of muslims hold several degrees and Masters.
There's things in Islam that are not debatable,you are new,you will learn inshaAllah, you should seek knowledge from scholars,knowledgeable muslims.I'm disappointed that your husband doesn't seem to guide you at all.

LK said...

Its not just Islam. You get into a group of die hard Christians and you often end up with the same result. Or a room of Catholics and Protestants. That can get brutal.

Sometimes its just presentation of of the "debaters" thoughts. Most people are not good at productive, thoughtful debate. Its often really hard to see the other side of things. Especially if you lack exposure to other religions.

Rukhpar Mor said...

Alhumdolillah, I can say that it must be that the Muslims you have met seem that way....I live in a place with many different Muslims and they love to debate...
=)

And I am sure there are people of all faiths that are like that in their thinking..

CATGIRL said...

Hey deary. I am a female MBA from Karachi, Pakistan. I do write on issues related to religion and need more enlightenment from people like you. Love ur blog outlook and ur DEEP thoughts.. Best of Luck for ur blogging. I hope we can be mutual followers- if u like my blog??

http://relationships-catgirl.blogspot.com/

ellen557 said...

I definitely think it's possible sis! Of course if you like debating, I do too so I don't mind having one with you on something... I'll admit though that I do find it hard to approach some Muslims sometimes with issues that I have trouble with because some of them just can't comprehend that someone may actually *question* a rule. :(

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

I think it's a combination of bad education systems in Islamic countries as well as the strange grip Islamic orthodoxy has right now. Conservatives have a lot of power and since they hate debate or competition, it makes sense that so many Muslims shy away from debating.

Either way, debate was intrinsic to making Islam the great religion it was at some point, so it's sad that today it's not appreciated.

Great topic!

Candice said...

I'm glad to hear it's not just in Islam! Although it makes life even more discouraging that it's simply all sorts of people from all sorts of background...

LK: Yes, it's true that not everyone is good at debate. Even if they have been taught and shown.

Rukhpar Mor: Where do you live?? I should admit though that I know Muslims mostly from the internet and ones in real life are my husband and his friends and family so I don't have a well-rounded view.

Ellen: Thanks for your comment! I'm not out looking for a debate anything; that's looking for disagreement! But sometimes there is just a situation and I found that the way it was handled when it happened with Muslims I was in contact with was almost always with non-debate!

CLA: Your posts and comments always make me imagine Islam in a more open way. It's hard to imagine that "debate was intrinsic" in Islam at some point. It really is far from what we see now. That's the Islam I'd like to see or at least learn more about.

Gardens of Sand said...

Many muslims lack the skills and practice, I think. At last, that has been my experience, coming from a muslim background, having lived in am muslim country and now within a muslim community. In my country, it was the live and let live attitude and not wanting to offend the other person.

Here in the US among the muslim community, judgementalism and superiority is rampant. The more religious the folks are the more judgemental they are, the less loving. They look down on less religious folks and will not even debate any religious matters or even political. People are taught not to question, to follow blindly whether it is a religious or political authority. It is almost a dumbing down of society so that they are spoon-fed their faith by religious leaders. If you dare say something contrary or show disagreement to a certain teaching or presume to engage them in a debate, you are a heretic or a commie. Sad but true.

Rukhpar Mor said...

Salam!! I live in California....I've met all sorts of Muslims.....=)

Even though, my parents are all about "blind faith", I have always felt comfortable debating with my dad about certain issues...but i am still kind of careful as to not get too much on his nerves=)

LK said...

Candice: I always try to remember how difficult debate is. I have a degree in speech and I still have issues with it. It gets difficult when your opponent looses their cool. Its hard not to get mad.

When someone starts to agrivate me I try and remember how hard it is to have a civil debate with someone of opposing views and that they are trying just as hard to stand up for what they believe. That usually calms me down :)

Aynur said...

That's been my experience as well, I'm not sure if it's ingrained in the teaching methods or how the kids are raised - not to ask questions.
Like when I want to talk/debate about any topic, it's hard to with my husband - or even harder with his mom (who just gets defensive and doesn't listen to anything).
I think it's like ellen557 said, some can't comprehend that someone may actually question a rule!

Maybe too many people just follow without understanding what they follow, I dunno.
I know of some die-hard Christians that are like that too, though - I don't think it only pertains to Muslims.

Candice said...

Gardens of Sand: Yes, it's sad really.

Rukhpar Mor: At least he is willing to debate with you a little! I think that's already pretty good!

LK: I guess without being taught and encouraged it's hard to know how!

Aynur: What I know about Egypt is that it's all about memorization in their system. Whether it's religion or any other subject! There was no room for debate in my husband's education and it shows. In about 5 years, I see a tiny bit of improvement in him where small things he can now allow me to question... It's a start, but I think it's too engrained in him to really open his mind up.

He also has A LOT of trouble staying on topic. He will reply to me with something that does not at all answer what was being brought up, and talk with a tone like he's proving something! It's ridiculous! It's either education or language, because it's true that English is not his first language and maybe he dind't understand to begin with, but with how often it happens and on simple things, and from what I see online from people whose English seems quite good in writing, I think it could really be education!

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