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Confucianism suggests an ideal of conduct to guide all human relationships and lead to an ideal social structure and harmonious co-existence. However, upon syncretism to various existing religions, many view it as dictating its teachings and corrupting the initial religion. Syncretism has faced as much criticism as Confucianism itself with the level of resistance varying between different religions.
The Islam religion since early days continues to present the most resistance to syncretistic efforts. The followers see syncretism as a betrayal of the pure truth. Using this consideration as a basis, an argument follows; that the addition of new beliefs, practices, and traditions would lead to corruption of the original religion. This would eliminate its truth and hence authenticity. Distortion of the original Islam faith is one that faces intense rebuke and resistance.
The existing religious rules and norms go further to call for severe punishments such as stoning, amputation of certain body parts and even death for followers who do not obey the original teachings. Islam is a largely exclusivist religion and suggestions from Confucianism come out as an introduction of undesirable modifications or substitutions to the central elements of the original faith.
Nevertheless, Sufism, the Islamic mystical tradition can be seen to be syncretic in both its origins and beliefs. Sufism implies the purity of one self, and advocates the reprehension of all negative traits of human character as one seeks to commit their whole love and service to God. The followers typically seek to understand all subtle knowledge, educate their hearts to purify it of basic instincts, promote the love of God in themselves and approach God through various spiritual stages. It further necessitates the seeker to turn away from all wrong-doing, love for material wealth, company and recognition of fellow men and all human promptings that could lead to negative deeds. This could mean abandoning vices such as pride, arrogance and envy.
Majority of these traits and character structures that Sufism advocates are also, the precise attributes that Confucianism promotes. This leads to the opinion that Islam could have some elements from Confucianism. Islamic religious leaders, however, vehemently argue against this claiming that those teachings and needs are a part of the original Islamic faith.
Another key contributing factor to the hearty fight against syncretism of Confucianism to Islam is the remark previously made by Dalai Lama. In his efforts to bring about a syncretism of all the world’s religions, he made a claim that among others, argues that all religions aim at the permanent happiness of the human being. This elicits anger and sharp criticism, not only from followers of the Islamic faith, but also from Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism.
Islamic religion aims at the worship of Allah, following of all his commands and reverence for his prophet Mohammed. The statement by Dalai Lama contributes to increasing opposition to whatever effort that aims at syncretism since then.