Hey duders. I thought I'd encourage the community to have a discussion about religion. The reason? I generally like this community, and appriciate many of your opinions on stuff that is not related to gaming. Also, religion is a very interesting topic.
I'll kick this off with my two cents on religion. Personally, I've been studying up on Islam as of late. I'm not a man of faith, but I find a lot of the teachings in their holy book to be very interesting. For instance, I'm a proud social democrat, and not to long ago, I actually sat down and read the Quran. Imagine the surprise when I found the blueprint for social democracy in the holy book of this villified religion.
Zakat, which is basically a charity, is one of the five pillars of Islam. It's the giving of a fixed portion of one's wealth as a tax, generally to the administration or government. Keep in mind, this is a required tax, and exists for one reason, and one reason only, to help the poor. Here's a list of the eight groups that qualify for Zakat. This is taken directly from Wikipedia:
- Those living in absolute poverty (Al-Fuqarā')
- Those who were restrained because they cannot meet their basic needs (Al-Masākīn)
- The zakat collectors themselves (Al-Āmilīna 'Alaihā)
- Non-Muslims who are sympathetic to Islam or wish to convert to Islam.(Al-Mu'allafatu Qulūbuhum)
- People whom one is attempting to free from slavery or bondage. Also includes paying ransom or blood money (Diyya). (Fir-Riqāb)
- Those who have incurred overwhelming debts while attempting to satisfy their basic needs (Al-Ghārimīn)
- Those working in God's way (Fī Sabīlillāh)
- Children of the street / Travellers (Ibnus-Sabīl)
Interesting stuff, don't you agree?
Now, compare this to the most powerful country in the west, the USA. For a very long time capitalism has been the norm. With Obama there seems to be a rise of social democrats in the country, but it's still very conservative compared to some other western countries, especially in Scandinavia. All the same, the mentality in capitalism is that I'll provide for myself, and you'll provide for yourself. Everyone has equal terms, right? No, of course not. If there ever was such a thing as equal terms, it was long gone after just one generation of capitalism. After that, some would be born rich and with oppurtunities, and others would be born poor. It's the sins of the fathers, basically.
Before I get to side tracked, let me just wrap this up. In the USA, a country where christianity is etched in it's very soul, people have to provide for themselves. In Islamic countries however, people have to provide for each other. It's a law of God. I find that super interesting. So, basically:
Christianity/Captialism: Provide for yourself. Take care of yourself.
Islam/Socialism: Share with those who need it. Be humane.
Of course, there are extremists everywhere. And that's the problem. The media are giving you a false impression of both religions, and this needs to stop. I find it baffeling that Islam is villified, especially after reading up on the religion. Now, please sound off below, and let's hear your thoughts. And let's keep this civil!