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Islam Relevant Differences Between Islam and Sikhism (English Defense League Blog)

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by spnadmin, May 24, 2010.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Relevant Differences Between Islam and Sikhism


    Contents
    i) Sikhs Embrace Diversity: Muslims Don't
    ii) God and Man
    iii) Women in Sikhism
    iv) Sikh Militarism
    v) Ritual
    vi) Sikh-Muslim Relations in the UK

    Sikhs Embrace Diversity: Muslims Don’t

    The most obvious distinction to make between Islam and Sikhism is that the latter recognises all human beings as equal, regardless of colour, caste or background. More specifically, Guru Nanak aimed his religious and beliefs at all human beings, not just Sikhs (or his followers). In fact, he preached against all forms of communalism. So much so that we have this well-known quote:

    ‘There is no Hindu and no Muslim.’

    That clearly means that what should be emphasised is man’s common humanity, not his religion or his religious allegiances. Thus it is no surprise that Guru Nanak happily and freely borrowed and reworked ideas and concepts from all the other religions he was aware of (as Mohammed did, but less honestly and openly).

    Now from everything just written, it will be clear that although Guru Nanak himself stressed common humanity, and thus what all religions shared, Sikhism, if only to non-Muslim Westerners like me, is very different to Islam and it is so in important and relevant ways. That is, relevant to Westerners and indeed members of the EDL. For a start, whereas Sikhism emphasises man’s equality and common humanity, Islam stresses the difference of all Muslims from the rest of non-Muslim mankind. It emphasises the superiority of Islam over all other religions. It emphasises the superiority of every Muslim over every non-Muslim, even the ‘peoples of the Book’. Like Guru Nanak, Mohammed aimed his religion and teaching at all men. However, whereas Mohammed did this in order to convert all non-Muslims to Islam, Guru Nanak was not a proselytiser, as such. The message of Sikhism could be learnt and respected by those who still did not want to convert to Sikhism in total.

    There is also a well-known story which the Sikh Bhikan Shah used to stress Sikhism’s regard for all religions and its stress on man’s common humanity. Bhikan made a visit to Patna in India. On that journey he came across many Hindus and Muslims. His disciples, and others, wanted to know what his attitude towards Hindus and Muslims was. In order to do this, he placed two small pots in front on the infant Gobind Rai, one representing Hindus and the other Muslims. As the child covered both the pots simultaneously with his small hands, this showed Bhikan Shah that the young child would grow up to treat both Hindus and Muslims alike and with equal respect.

    God and Man

    Theologically, Sikhs, or at least many Sikhs, have stressed union with God, or the unity of God and man. Guru Nanak talked of the ‘transformation’ of man ‘to a permanent union with God’. Guru Nanak's anti-communalist position flows directly from this theological stance on God and man. More specifically, Sikhs are instructed to transcend and merge their soul directly with God. This is done specifically to allow themselves to rise above their egos in order to escape from vanity and ‘repetitive reincarnation’. However, there is never a complete identity between God and the individual Sikh. The soul of the Sikh is thought to retain its identity. That is, the Sikh and God are never ‘ontologically identical’.

    Muslims, on the other hand, seem to spend much time stressing man’s difference and inferiority to Allah, or God. Indeed such a distinction or difference is absolutely essential to Islam and therefore to the lives and beliefs of all Muslims (except, perhaps, the Sufis, etc.).

    To Sikhs, God has no gender. He is neither male nor female. Furthermore, Sikhism teaches that God is Nirankar (‘Niran’ meaning without and ‘kar’ meaning form). Of course, to most non-Muslims, and also to most Muslims, Allah has a very male character – or, at the least, his manly and masculine characteristics are stressed and also seen as important. His is a being of rage, anger, jealousy, aggression; and he demands absolute and total obedience. Of course, theological Islam also teaches that Allah is without form and cannot be fully known.

    Women in Sikhism

    One very big difference between Islam and Sikhism with regards to men and women is that Sikhs respect women, whereas Muslims despise them (or at least Islam does). Even as a teenager, being brought up in Bradford Moor, Bradford, I noticed that Sikh women were well-respected by Sikh men and were ‘allowed’ to look attractive.

    Would you ever, in a million years, expect to find the following in the Koran or in any Islamic text? –

    ‘It is in a woman that man’s body is formed, and it is of a woman that he is born, it is to a woman that he pledges his word, it is a woman who is his companion, with a woman he shares his roof, and it is through her that his life is lived out. When a wife dies, one looks for another. Society can only exist through her since it is through her that kings are born. All creatures are born of the female of the species; without her none can exist.’

    - Adi Granth, ki Var Mahala I

    This quote almost seems to veer towards matriarchy. However, perhaps some religions don’t accept the matriarchy/patriarchy division in the first place.

    Sikh Militarism

    Many commentators have stressed the militarist nature of Sikhism. Sikhs would not disagree with this. Thus these commentators also stress this as a similarity with Islam, which seems fair. But the nature of Sikh’s warlike spirit must be understood historically. And that history brings in Muslims and Islam.

    Many have stressed the fact that the fighting spirit of Sikhs was largely a response to Muslim aggression and persecution. From the 15th century onwards, Sikhs were always in conflict with Muslims and Islamic empires. For example, Sikhs and Sikh gurus were often in conflict with the Mughal (Muslim) authorities. In one case, Guru Arjan Sahib was captured by the Mughal authorities and was persecuted and later killed. This directly led his Sikh successors to promote the military and political organisation of Sikh communities to defend themselves against the attacks of Mughal forces.

    Later, under the 10th Guru, the Sikhs organised a trained fighting force to defend their independence from the Muslims. Still later, the guru, Tegh Bahadur, was executed in 1675 for refusing to convert to Islam. Then Gobind Singh formed the Khalsa Sikh community in 1699. This was a disciplined community which combined Sikhism with military and political organisation. After Gobind Singh died, Banda Singh Bahadur became the leader of the Sikh army and carried out several attacks on the Mughal Empire. He too was executed after refusing to convert to Islam.

    Ritual

    One thing that is an extremely strong feature of Islam is its emphasis on rites, rituals and other examples of ‘outward observation’. The Sikh, Guru Nanak, on the other hand, emphasised the irrelevance of rites, pilgrimages and even of asceticism (as certain forms of Protestantism, etc. do). Muslims even have rites for wiping the ****. Indeed some Muslim men sleep on their left sides in imitation of Mohammed, though I am not sure this is an official Islamic commandment.

    Following on from this, it will be clear why Sikhs are prohibited from eating halal food or any other ritually slaughtered meat and fish. Indeed many Sikhs are lacto-vegetarians, though, unlike Muslims, they respect the diets of people of other religions.

    None of this is a surprise if one knows how Islam ‘follows you into the bathroom and then into the bedroom’, as someone once put it. Because of all this we can say that Muslims, on the whole, are far more religiously ostentatious than Sikhs.

    It can also be said that Islam has a very negative view of life, whereas Sikhism is optimistic. Many Muslims talk of the 'shallowness and tawdryness of life'. Sikhs are also advised to defend the rights of all creatures, including their fellow human beings. Muslims are told to despise all non-Muslims, let alone animals. They are only expected to ‘defend the rights’ of their fellow Muslims. Similarly, Sikhs are encouraged to share with all men. Muslims are told to share only with their fellow Muslims. All these points also apply to charitable donations, the distribution of free food, working for the good of the community, etc. In each case, all these things are only applied to fellow Muslims in the Islamic case.

    Sikh-Muslim Relation in the UK and the World

    One commentator on Sikhism and Islam interestingly claims that relations between Sikhs and Muslims is worse in the UK than in India and Pakistan. He tells us that many Indian Sikhs visit historical gurudwaras in the Punjab, Pakistan. Likewise, many Pakistani Muslims visit Indian Islamic shrines or sports events in India. However, he also says that there are ‘tensions’ in the UK between Sikhs and Muslims. Specifically, there are many cases of Sikhs being ‘forced to convert to Islam’ here in the UK. From my own knowledge, there is the problem of Muslim men ‘grooming’ Sikh girls in order to have sexual relations with them or turn them into virtual or actual prostitutes.

    Outside of the UK, in 2009 in Pakistan, the Taliban forced many Sikhs to pay them the Islamic Jizya or poll tax, which is levied by Muslims on all non-Muslim minorities. As recently as this year, 2010, the Taliban, again, attacked Sikhs and even beheaded many of them.
     

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  3. lionsingh

    lionsingh
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    I support the EDL (English Defense League)

    I Support the EDL...

    The EDL is an open organization that opposes Islamic extremism and Sharia law. It has Jewish,Sikh,Gay divisions amongst others. It is a non-racist organisation. Visit and ask them and dont pay to much attention to the biased main media press.

    I wondered what others here thought. I would also suggest you visit the forums and see what they are really about....ask them questions about there views on Sikhism.

    I myself see Islam more as a political doctrine that has to be faced and questioned, especially when granted "special" status sometimes in the UK.
    I do not hate muslims..I feel sorry for them...but question the Koran..(which is a death sentence in itself) and the actions of Mr Mo. (the so called perfect man who married Aisha at 6yrs old !!)

    Well 9:29. " Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued "

    Where is there a free and liberal Islamic country where all are free to pray ? From a so called cult of peace...that condems and brutalises women, gays, slaves, children, jews, christians, sikhs...in fact anyone not
    brainwashed like themselves. motherlylove
     
  4. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    Admin Warning!

    lionsingh ji,

    We understand your support for so-called EDL and have heard enough of it from you already, but your constant bragging about so-called EDL seems like you are a paid agent for them. Whether you are a paid agent or not, NOW if we find you littering SPN with their website's link, you will be banned immediately.

    Consider this as your final warning,

    Take Care
    Thanks!
     
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  5. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Just taking some sugar coating off,

    • Diversity: Sikhs Embrace and Muslims Don't
      • Every non-Muslim is an Infidel
      • Every Infidel must be converted to Islam
      • There is no difference between Infidels and animals
    • God and Man: For Sikhs God in everyone but for Muslims
      • There is only one God and he is called Allah
      • There is only one path to God and it is through Mohamed
      • Allah is in Heaven so you only find Him after death
      • The blessed Muslims when they reach heaven they will find Hooran (female Concubine angels) and rivers of milk I don't know what women will find unless they become Hooran
    • Women: Men and women are equal in Sikhism but in Islam
      • Women in Islam don't exist independent of men
      • They are in the control of male members of the family and subject to Honor killing
      • Man can give a woman (Talak) by stating so 3 times and paying pre-determined token sum
      • Men while away from home are allowed company of other woman other than their own wife
      • Married women can be stoned to or otherwise put to death or subjected unabashed debasement with impunity by men if considered to have cheated

    • Militarism: Sikh militarism is for self-defence and injustice but for Islam
      • Militarism is to conquer
      • Militarism is to convert
      • Militarism is to get rid of Infidels who don't convert
      • Militarism is a continuing Jihad till final victory
    • Ritual: Sikh rituals are guided by participation of all while muslim rituals are
      • Restricted to Muslims
      • Muslim rituals are threats to comply or go to hell
      • Muslim rituals are to promise heaven if you comply
      • Muslim rituals to assign martydom if you die in Jihad or kill infidels
    • Sikh-Muslim Relations: In old Punjab (before 1947) they lived and worked together but in the UK
      • I don't know
    If you are a man who likes power, control, sex, dominance over females I believe Islam is pretty good. I believe it is one of the key reasons it has grown so fast and has seen so many Christianity to Islam conversions in the west.

    Sat Sri Akal
     
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  6. findingmyway

    findingmyway
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    Just to add some balance to this thread, there are a lot of holes in Islamic philosophy but not all Muslims adhere to all the above beliefs and not all Muslims are bad people. Th moderate voice is often lost in the din! Let's make sure we judge the beliefs and don't discriminate against the individuals.
     
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  7. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    findingmyway my post is about Islam as a religion.

    True spine, values and beliefs of a religion come out in special situations. That is if there is a crowd or gathering of muslim people and the right inciter how they will behave against a minority. The true test of a religion is there response to other minorities in a confrontation and conflict. I don't think I need to historically cite any Muslim bad deeds against sikhs as there is plenty to choose from. Let us consider Hindus in the same vein. For example the Delhi genocide of sikhs by Hindu crowds. Trust me this is not the last of incidents that a sikh minority is going to suffer from and there will be ever increasing and more in the future.

    How one addresses these issues is to be blatantly honest to assess and be vigilant and guard against. Ignorance, sugar coating is no bliss.

    One on one it is always dangerous to generalize (and my post does not apply) as you said you can have great muslim friends, neighbours, etc., and I agree and we know and have such people too. There were sikhs who saved muslims or protected them in 1947 and similarly there were muslims who saved sikhs.

    I hope that clarifies. I did want to put such notes in the post but you lose the ability to edit pretty quickly and it was also getting late in the night.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  8. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Some sufiana wonderful items if you take religion connotations out (not too strong anyway) wonderful soul linking singing,

    YouTube - KALAM BABA BULAHAY SHAH PUNJABI
    YouTube - Punjabi Sofiana Kalam
    YouTube - Pathanay Khan, Darshan bin Akhiyan taras giyan, great kafi
    YouTube - Ghum Charkhia Ghum Pathanay Khan

    YouTube - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Turia Turia Ja Farida

    YouTube - Baba Bulleh Shah - Sher Miandad Khan - Raaz Dhiya Gallan
    Sufis straddled kind of liberal and rebellious view of Islam within Punjab and in soul and spirit come pretty close to direct talk sikhi writings.

    A wonderful song interpretation by Alam Lohar of Bhagat Kabir ji,

    YouTube - Alam Lohar - Awal Allah (Kalam Baba Kabir)
    YouTube - Awal Allah - Road To Sangam (Kailash Kher)

    These sooth my soul. Music the universal unifier.

    Sat Sri Akal
     
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  9. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Thanks for the videos because today, all the news....we can use a pick-me-up that focuses on things good. The faces we see in the audiences are real, and so are their expressions of appreciation. The performers and their performances are very real, as are the recordings. The poetry and the message is real, as is the love expressed in the Sufi message. And all of this can quickly disappear, in the blink of an eye, as fundamentalists and Taliban have made so clear in the past. Life is fragile, and so are its fruits. We should enjoy this while we can.
     
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