A Call To Muslims of the
Dear brothers and sisters in humanity. Dear Muslims.
The tragic incident of September 11 has shocked the world. It is
unthinkable how anyone could be so full of hate as to commit such
heinous act and kill so many innocent people. We people of Muslim origin
are as much shaken as the rest of the world and yet we find ourselves
looked upon with suspicion and distrust by our neighbors and fellow
citizens. We want to cry out and announce that we are not terrorists,
that those who perpetrate such despicable act are murderers and are not
part of us. But, in reality, because of our Muslim origin we just can
not erase the stigma of "Islamic Terrorists" from our
Most Muslims believe: "Islam would never support killing innocent people. Allah of
Holy Quran never advocated killings. This is all the work of a few
misguided individuals. The real Islam is
sanctified against violence. Islam means
peace. Islam means tolerance."
But is it true? Does Islam really
preach peace, tolerance and non-violence? Those Muslims who
perpetrate crimes in the name of Allah think differently. They believe
that what they do is a Jihad (holy war). They say that killing the
unbelievers is mandatory for every Muslim. They do not kill because they
break the laws of Islam but because they think this is what a true
Muslim should do. Those who blow up their own bodies to kill more
innocent people do so because they think they will be rewarded in
Paradise. They hope to be blessed by Allah, eat celestial food, drink
pure wine and enjoy the company of divine consorts.
Are they completely misguided? Where did they get this distorted
idea? How did they come to believe that killing innocent people pleases
God? Or is it that we are misguided? Does Islam really preach violence?
Does it call upon its believers to kill the "non-believers" ?
We denounce those who commit acts of violence and call them extremists.
But are they really extremists or do they actually do what
the Holy book of Quran tells them to do? What does the Quran really
teach? Have we read the Quran? Do we know what kind of teachings are
there? Let us go through some of them and take a closer look at what
What Qur'an Teaches:
Quran tells us to: "not to make friends with Jews and
fight them "until they pay the Jizya (a penalty tax for the
non-Muslims living under Islamic rules) with willing submission, and
feel themselves subdued" ( 9:29).
"kill the disbelievers wherever we find them"
"murder them and treat them harshly" (9:123),
"fight and slay the Pagans, seize them, beleaguer them, and
lie in wait for them in every stratagem" ( 9:5).
Quran says that all those who disbelieve in Islam go to hell (5:10),
they are najis (filthy, untouchable, impure) (9:28),
and orders us to fight the unbelievers until no other religion except
Islam is left (2:193).
It prohibits a Muslim to befriend a non-believer even if that
non-believer is the father or the brother of that Muslim (9:23),
It says that the "non-believers will go to hell and will
drink boiling water" (14:17).
It asks the Muslims to "slay or crucify or cut the hands and
feet of the unbelievers, that they be expelled from the land with
disgrace and that they shall have great punishment in the world
And tells us that "for them (the unbelievers) garments of
fire shall be cut and there shall be poured over their heads boiling
water whereby whatever is in their bowels and skin shall be dissolved
and they will be punished with hooked iron rods" (22:19-22)
and that they not only will have "disgrace in this life, on
the Day of Judgment He shall make them taste the Penalty of
burning (Fire)" (22:9).
Quran says that "those who invoke a god other than Allah
not only should meet punishment in this world but the Penalty on the Day
of Judgment will be doubled to them, and they will dwell therein in
For those who "believe not in Allah and His Messenger, He has
prepared, for those who reject Allah, a Blazing Fire!" (48:13).
As for him who does not believe in Islam the Prophet says that after
he dies it will be announced with a "stern command":
"Seize ye him, and bind ye him, And burn ye him in the
Blazing Fire. Further, make him march in a chain, whereof the length is
seventy cubits! This was he that would not believe in Allah Most High.
And would not encourage the feeding of the indigent! So no friend hath
he here this Day. Nor hath he any food except the corruption from the
washing of wounds, Which none do eat but those in sin." (69:30-37)
The holy Prophet prescribes fighting for us and tells us that "it
is good for us even if we dislike it" (2:216).
Then he advises us to "strike off the heads of the
disbelievers"; and after making a "wide
slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives"
Our God has promised to "instill terror into the hearts of
the unbelievers" and has ordered us to "smite
above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them"
and "to strike terror into (the hearts of the enemies"
He has made the Jihad mandatory and warns us that "Unless
we go forth, (for Jihad) He will punish us with a grievous penalty, and
put others in our place" (9:39).
Allah speaks to our Holy Prophet and says "O Prophet! strive
hard against the unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be stern against
them. Their abode is Hell,- an evil refuge indeed" (9:73).
He promises us that in the fight for His cause whether we slay or are
slain we return to the garden of Paradise (9:111).
In Paradise he will "wed us with Houris (celestial virgins)
pure beautiful ones" (56:54),
and unite us with large-eyed beautiful ones while we recline on our
thrones set in lines (56:20).
There we are promised to eat and drink pleasantly for what we did
(56:19). And have sex with "boys like hidden pearls"
and "youth never altering in age like scattered pearls"
As you see, Allah has promised all sorts of rewards, gluttony
and unlimited sex to Muslim men who kill the unbelievers in his name,
not forgetting even those with pedophilic inclinations. We will be
admitted to Paradise where we shall find "goodly things,
beautiful ones, pure ones confined to the pavilions that man has not
touched them before nor jinni" (56:67-71).
In the West we enjoy freedom of belief but we are not supposed to
give such freedom to anyone else because it is written "If
anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never
will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks
of those who have lost (all spiritual good) (3:85).
As for women, the book of Allah says that they are inferior to
men and their husbands have the right to scourge them if they are found
It advises men to take a green branch and beat their wives,
because a green branch is more flexible and hurts more. (38:44).
It teaches that women will go to hell if they are disobedient to their
husbands (66:10). It maintains that men have an advantage over the women
It not only denies the women's equal rights, it decrees that their
witness is not admissible in the courts of law (2:282).
This means that a woman who is raped cannot accuse her rapist unless she
can produce a male witness. Our Holy Prophet allows us to marry up to
four wives and he licensed us to sleep with our slave maids and as many
'captive' women as we may have (4:3) even if those women are
already married. He himself did just that.
[A word of warning for those who may find their version of Quran is
translated differently from those appearing in this article: Almost all
the translators of Quran have deliberately tried to soften the harsh
verses of Quran. Yusufali especially goes out of his way to twists the
meaning of the words and hide the harshness of Quran. For example
he translates the verse (38:44)
that says "take a green branch and beat your wife" as
"take a little green grass and strike therewith". Or when he
translates the verse (4:34)
that says "beat your wife" he cannot help it but to add the
word (lightly) in parenthesis.]
Dear fellow Muslim: Is this the Islam you believe in? Is this your
Most Merciful, Most Compassionate Allah whom you worship daily?
Could God incite us to kill other peoples? Please understand that there
is no terrorist gene but there could be a terrorist mindset. That
mindset finds its most fertile ground in the tenets of Islam. Denying it
and presenting Islam as a religion of peace similar to Buddhism to the
lay public is suppression of truth. The history of Islam between 7th and
14th century is riddled with violence, fratricide and wars of
aggression, starting right from the death of the Prophet and during the
so-called 'pure' or orthodox caliphate. And Muhammad himself hoisted the
standard of killing, looting, massacres and bloodshed. How can we deny
the entire history? The behavior of our Holy Prophet as recorded in
authentic Islamic sources is quite questionable from a modern viewpoint.
The Prophet was a charismatic man but he had few virtues. Imitating him
in all aspects of life (following Sunnah) is firstly impossible
and secondly dangerous in the 21st century. Why are we so
helplessly in denial on this simple issue?
When the Prophet was in Mecca and he was still not powerful enough he
called for tolerance. He said "To you be your religion, and
to me my religion" (109:6).
This famous quote is often misused to prove that the general principle
of Quran is tolerance. He advised his follower to speak good to their
exhorted them to be patient (Q. 20:103)
and said that "there is no compulsion in religion"
But all that changed drastically when he came to power. Then killing and
slaying the unbelievers was justified in innumerable verses with
harshness and without mercy. The verses quoted to prove Islam's
tolerance ignore many other verses that bear no trace of tolerance or
forgiveness. Is it normal that a book revealed by God should have so
many serious contradictions?
The Prophet himself set the example of unleashing violence by
invading the Jewish settlements breaking the treaties he had
signed with them and banished some of them after confiscating their
belongings massacring others and taking their wives and children as
slaves. He inspected the youngsters and massacred all those who had
pubic hair along with the men and those who were younger he kept as
slaves. He distributed the women captured in his raids among his
soldiers keeping the prettiest for himself (33:50).
He made sexual advances on Safiyah a Jewish girl in the same day he
captured her town, Kheibar, and killed her father, husband and
many of her relatives. Reyhana was another Jewish girl of Bani Quraiza
whom he used as sex slave after killing all her male relatives. In the
last ten years of his life he accumulated a score of wives, concubines
and sex slaves including the 9 year old Ayesha.
These are not stories but records from authentic Islamic history and
the Hadiths. It can be argued that these behaviors were not unknown or
unusual for the conquerors and leaders of the mediaeval world but these
are not the activities befitting of a peaceful saint and certainly not
of someone who claimed to be the Mercy of God for all the creation.
There were known assassinations of adversaries during the Prophet's
time, that took place at his behest. Among them there was a 120 year old
man, Abu 'Afak whose only crime was to compose a lyric satirical of the
Prophet. (Kitab al Tabaqat al Kabir, Volume 2, by Bin Sa'd, page 32)
Then when a poetess, a mother of 5 small children, 'Asma' Bint Marwan,
wrote a poetry cursing the Arabs for letting Muhammad assassinate an old
man, our Holy Prophet ordered her to be assassinated too in the middle
of the night, which was carried out while her youngest child was
suckling from her breast. (Sirat Rasul Allah (A. Guilaume's translation
"The Life of Muhammad") page 675, 676).
Dear conscientious Muslims: Question yourselves- isn't this
compulsive dogma of following a man who lived 1400 years ago, leading us
to doom in this changing world? Who are we deceiving? See how our
Umma (people) have sunk into poverty and how we lag behind the rest of
the world? Isn't it because we are following a religion that is outdated
and impractical? In this crucial moment of history, when a great
catastrophe has befallen us and a much bigger one is lying ahead, should
not we wake up from our 1400 years of slumber and see where things have
The hatred has filled the air and the world is bracing itself for its
doomsday. Should we not ask ourselves whether we have contributed,
unwittingly, to this tragedy and whether we can stop the great disaster
Unfortunately the answer to the first question is yes. Yes, we have
contributed to the rise of fundamentalism by merely claiming Islam is a
religion of peace, by simply being a Muslim and by saying our shahada
(testimony that Allah is the only God and Muhammad is his messenger). By
our shahada we have recognized Muhammad as a true messenger of God and
his book as the words of God. But as you saw, those words are anything
but from God. They call for killing, they are prescriptions for hate and
they foment intolerance. And when the ignorant among us read those hate
laden verses, they act on them and the result is the infamous September
11, the result is human bombs in Israel, massacres in East Timor and
Bangladesh, kidnappings and killings in Philippines, slavery and
genocide in Sudan, honor Killings in Pakistan and Jordan, torture in
Iran, stoning and maiming in Afghanistan and Iran, violence in Algeria,
terrorism in Palestine and misery and death in all Islamic countries. We
are responsible because we endorsed Islam and hailed it as a religion of
God. And we are as guilty as those who put into practice what Quran
preaches and ironically we are the main victims too.
If we are not terrorists, if we love peace, if we cried with the rest
of the world for what happened in NYC, then why are we supporting Quran
that preaches killing, that advocates holy war, that calls for murder of
non-Muslims? It is not the extremists who have misunderstood Islam. They
do literally what Quran ask them to do. It is we who misunderstand
Islam. We are the ones who are confused. We are the ones who wrongly
assume that Islam is the religion of peace. Islam is not a religion of
peace. In its so-called pure form it can very well be interpreted as a
doctrine of hate. Terrorists are simply doing that and we the
intellectual apologists of Islam are justifying it.
We can stop this madness. Yes we can avert the disaster that is
hovering over our heads. Yes we can denounce the doctrines that promote
hate. Yes we can embrace the rest of humanity with love. Yes, we can
become part of a united world, members of one human family, flowers of
one garden. We can dump the claim of infallibility of our Book and the
questionable legacy of our Prophet.
Dear friends, there is no time to waste. Let us put an end to this
lie. Let us not fool ourselves. Islam is not a religion of peace, of
tolerance, of equality or of unity of humankind. Let us read the Quran.
Let us face the truth even if it is painful. As long as we keep this lie
alive, as long as we hide our head in the sands of Arabia we are feeding
terrorism. As long as you and I keep calling Quran the unchangeable book
of God, we cannot blame those who follow the teachings therein. As long
as we pay our Khums and Zakat our money goes to promote Islamic
expansionism and that means terrorism, Jihad and war.
Islam divides the world in two parts: Darul Harb (land of war) and
Darul Islam (land of Islam). Darul Harb is the land of the infidels,
Muslims are required to infiltrate those lands, proselytize and
procreate until their number increase and then start the war and fight
and kill the people and impose the religion of Islam on them and convert
that land into Darul Islam.
In all fairness we denounce this betrayal. This is an abuse of trust.
How can we make war in the countries that have sheltered us? How can we
kill those who have befriended us? Yet willingly or unwillingly we have
become pawns in this Islamic Imperialism. If this sound to you
abhorrent, we ask you how can you support a doctrine that is so
deceiving, so cunning and so ruthless? Let us see what great
Islamic scholars have to say in this respect.
Dr. M. Khan, the translator of Sahih Bukhari and
the Quran into English wrote: "Allah revealed in Sura Bara'at
(Repentance, IX) the order to discard (all) obligations (covenants,
etc), and commanded the Muslims to fight against all the Pagans as well
as against the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) if they do
not embrace Islam, till they pay the Jizia (a tax levied on the Jews and
Christians) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued (as it
is revealed in (9:29).
So the Muslims were not permitted to abandon "the fighting"
against them (Pagans, Jews and Christians) and to reconcile with them
and to suspend hostilities against them for an unlimited period while
they are STRONG and have the ability to fight against them. So at first
"the fighting" was forbidden, then it was permitted, and after
that it was made obligatory "[Introduction to English
translation of Sahih Bukhari, p.xxiv.]
Dr. Sobhy as-Saleh, a contemporary Islamic academician, quoted
Imam Suyuti the author of
Itqan Fi 'Ulum al- Qur'an who wrote: ?The command to fight the infidels
was DELAYED UNTIL THE MUSLIMS BECOME STRONG, but when they were weak
they were commanded to endure and be patient. [ Sobhy as_Saleh, Mabaheth
Fi 'Ulum al- Qur'an, Dar al-'Ilm Lel-Malayeen, Beirut, 1983, p.269.]
Dr. Sobhy, in a footnote, commends the opinion of a scholar named
Zarkashi who said: "Allah the most high and wise revealed to
Mohammad in his weak condition what suited the situation, because of his
mercy to him and his followers. For if He gave them the command to fight
while they were weak it would have been embarrassing and most difficult,
but when the most high made Islam victorious He commanded him with what
suited the situation, that is asking the people of the Book to become
Muslims or to pay the levied tax, and the infidels to become Muslims or
face death. These two options, to fight or to have peace return
according to the strength or the weakness of the Muslims."
[ibid p. 270]
Other Islamic scholars (Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi, Ga'far ar-Razi,
Rabi' Ibn 'Ons, 'Abil-'Aliyah, Abd ar-Rahman Ibn Zayd Ibn 'Aslam, etc.)
agree that the verse "Slay the idolaters wherever you find
cancelled those few earlier verses that called for tolerance in Quran
and were revealed when Islam was weak.
Can you still say that Islam is the religion of peace?
We know too well that it is not easy to denounce our faith as it means
denouncing a part of ourselves. We are a group of freethinkers and
humanists with Islamic roots. Discovering the truth and leaving the
religion of our fathers and forefathers was a painful experience. But
after learning what Islam stands for, we had no choice but to leave it.
After becoming familiar with the Quran, the choice became clear: it is
either Islam or it is humanity. If Islam is to thrive, humanity has to
die. We decided to side with humanity. We are still Muslims culturally
but we no more believe in Islam as the true religion of God. We are
humanists. We love humanity. We endeavor for the unity of humankind. We
work for equality between men and women. We strive for secularization of
Islamic countries, for democracy and freedom of thoughts, beliefs and
expressions We have decided not to live anymore in self-deception but to
embrace humanity, enter into the new millennium hand in hand with people
or other cultures and beliefs in amity and in peace. We denounce the
violence that is eulogized in Quran as holy war (Jihad). We condemn
killing in the name of God. We believe in sacredness of human life, not
in the inviolability of beliefs and religions. And we invite you to join
us and the rest of the humanity and be part of the family of humankind
with love, camaraderie and peace.
Faith Freedom International
This message was sent by Faith Freedom International to several news
papers for publication. Faith Freedom Foundation is an organization of
freethinking Muslims and Secular Individuals who uphold the concept of