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The Grip of Faith  

Ali Sina

2007/11/25

Mr. Ali Sina, there is something that I don't understand. Before 9/11 I didn't know much about Islam. Because of the tragedy, I began to study the "doctrine" of Islam. I could see that the "doctrine" was evil. I could also see that some Muslims were very good, and that they were not following the "doctrine" of Islam. However, some of these Muslims were finding it very hard to leave Islam. Why? If the good hearts of these Muslims were not embracing the evil contained in the historical documents of Islam, how could they find it hard "to leave"? You cannot leave something that you never embraced, can you? In reality, the good Muslims were never authentic Muslims. They were actually kind people who merely called themselves Muslims. Were they hypocrites since they weren't practicing what's contained in the evil historical documents of Islam? The Muslims that I have known were not at all like the pedophile Muhammad. So why do the nice Muslims feel bad if they were not like Muhammad? Why isn't it easy for nice Muslims to kick Muhammad in the teeth and forget about him since they were never like him? Why isn't it easy, for example, to also kick the Muslim Taqiyya in the teeth and forget about that evil doctrine? Why isn't it easy to dump the evil Qur'an into the trash can?  Why do good Muslims have "withdrawal pangs" when all along they were not holding on to anything evil? What were they "withdrawing" from? I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.   

Your friend, Philip  

 

Dear Philip:  

You are right; the majority of Muslims are good people, no different from others. They do not believe in the real Islam nor follow it.  Some Muslims do not know the real Islam but many of them do and despite the fact that they do not agree with it they do not leave it.  You are right to be puzzled, however this problem goes beyond Islam and Muslims. It is rooted in human psychology.  

We all have our own beliefs and convictions and we defend them with tooth and nail. The belief that the earth is the center of the universe and the cosmos revolves around it was so strong that when Galileo challenged it he was threatened with death and despite his recant, he was jailed for the rest of his life. Jordano Bruno was less cautious and he was burned for challenging the belief of the majority.   

Do not assume that people have changed. The world has changed but people haven't. When I say people, I mean you, me and everyone else. To demonstrate this point let me introduce a controversial topic, something that the majority have difficulty accepting and something that challenges people's comfort zone.  

A couple of weeks ago America's presidential hopeful, Senator Kucinich was asked whether he believed in UFO’s.  He said he did and the entire audience burst into laughter. As a matter of fact he became the subject of the joke of the late night shows.

Now, the fact is that 14% of Americans claim to have actually seen UFOs and many of them are highly reputable and trustworthy people, such as Carter, the ex-president of the USA, Symington, the ex-governor of Arizona, several retired high ranking military generals who were entrusted with atomic bombs, several astronauts and innumerable pilots and policemen.  These people are not kookies.  I believe this percentage is similar all over the world.  Why should seeing a UFO  be the cause of derision?  It is because when you are convinced of something, it is hard to change your mind.  Do not assume that people claming to have seen UFOs are merely derided at. They can be insulted and even threatened to lose their jobs. That is why people generally don't report UFOs until they retire.  Pilots are warned that if they report seeing UFOs they will be sent for psychiatric assessment and could be fired.  Have we really changed from the time of Galileo and Bruno?

I bring this as an example, because the majority of people do not believe in UFOs and their first reaction is derision.  See how difficult it is for you, if you are among the deniers of UFO, to accept the possibility that you may be wrong!  It is very difficult. You just can't accept it. The whole idea seems nuts.   The very fact that you are part of the majority confirms your conviction. When people deride UFOs you feel validated further.  You will not change your views and will dismiss all the evidences that the other group may present without taking them seriously.  We humans are prone to be resilient to ideas that are contrary to our beliefs while easily accept flimsy evidences that confirm them.  That is why Muslims see miracles in the prosaic statements of the Quran, but they are completely blind to hundreds of blunders and asininities that inundate that book.

Is the idea of interstellar travels entirely crazy, worthy of derision? It would be if Einstein's theory of general relativity, the theory that explains the structure of space and time was inviolable. However, the problem with general relativity is that it is at odds with quantum mechanics, the theory of physics that polices the world of the tiny particles.  Many physicists have tried, and are still trying, to heel the rift between the two theories. Among them was an obscure German physicist known as Burkhard Heim who in 1950s postulated the existence of two more dimensions to the four recognized dimensions of the universe. His theory was later expanded by other physicists,  Dröscher and Häuser, who incorporated yet two more dimensions to his equation. According to these physicists, travel between two planets is possible through these new dimensions and not trough the space and time. This would allow a spaceship to go faster than the speed of light, without rocket fuel, using the same force that propels the dark matter in the universe. If this theory can be demonstrated, you can make a trip from earth to a solar system eleven light years away in just eighty days.  

Inter planetary travels is a fascinating subject. You can read about Heim's theory here.  However, before you pack your suitcase, we have to first come to terms with problems that affect our thinking.  It is easy to take the cavemen out of the cave and even send him to space, but is it possible to take the cave mentality out of the caveman?  

Whether Heim's theory works and whether UFOs are real or not is beside the point.  Noting has been proven, but isn't it how science has advanced to where it is now? This is just an example. The point is to show how difficult it is to change our convictions.  Just as those who try to dismiss UFOs consider the subject unworthy of investigation,  for Muslims the very thought that Islam can be false is an impossible thought, not worth to be entertained.  In both cases, the deniers (a.k.a believers) are convinced to know the truth and they do not feel the necessity of harboring any doubt. In both cases the deniers/believers can be offended if their conviction is defied. Isn't it amazing that a subject so academic in nature as whether the UFOs are alien spaceships or not can provoke so much emotions, ruin friendships and arose even hostility?  Now imagine how much more religious beliefs can control our passions and emotions.  

Denying the possibility of being wrong is the flipside of belief.  If I deny to accept a certain fact, it is because I BELIEVE that fact is not true. Doubt is entirely a different thing.  Most people commit the grave error of calling themselves skeptics when they refuse to accept the evidence that others present and place onerous and impossible demands on their opponents to prove their case.  Let us not confuse obstinate denial with skepticism. Today, it is fashionable to call one's self skeptic and freethinker. However, real skeptics and freethinkers are extremely rare. Most self acclaimed skeptics are mere deniers. We are slaves of our beliefs. We change our masters often but we can’t live without them.  

Why we cling to our  beliefs?  It's because we like to step on solid grounds. We need consistency, stability and assurance that the laws of the universe remain the same. We are afraid of uncertainty. We want to know that tomorrow the sun will rise from the East and life will continue with no surprises. Since our understanding of reality is tenuous, we make our own, and cleave to it fast. We take it personal if our self-made reality is challenged.  In this sense we are all the same. It is unfair to single out Muslims or religious people and claim they are weak. We are all weak. We all depend on our spurious beliefs and hold onto them for our own security. 

Beliefs are shells in which we hide and within which we find refuge.  Religious beliefs are the strongest shells.  The more fallacious is a belief the stronger is its grip on us.  People who hide in their beliefs look at facts but do not see them.  I knew most of the things that I know now even when I was a believer, but I could not see them.  I never paid attention to them. I did not care, or maybe dare to pay attention.  Nonchalantly, I would dismiss anything that posed a threat to my belief and brushed it off with simplistic rationalizations.  I was aware of most of the inconsistencies and absurdities of the religion that I am now attacking and writing about, but when I was a believer, they were just non-issues.  The reason I could not see them then, was because I did not want to see them. They challenged my word view.  To accept that they are wrong meant that I had to change my entire notion of reality.  Change is painful, particularly when it comes to what we believe to be true.  

Buddha said, doubt everything.  He did not mean things that you don’t believe, but rather things that you believe.  You already doubt things that you don't believe.  Anyone can doubt the beliefs of others, but few can doubt their own.  

As a rule of thumb you should doubt your beliefs whenever you are most convinced of them.  Anytime you are convinced of something the chances are that you are wrong.  Again to quote Bertrand Russell: “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”   

Conviction is the measure of foolishness as doubt is the gauge of wisdom.  The biggest foolishness is the conviction based on fear. Russell says, “Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.  

Islam is entirely based on fear. Fear is the pivotal argument of all the Muslims. Fear of Allah and his punishment is the main bridle that keeps Muslims confined. In his three emails to me, Maulana Ajmal Qadri, the eminent scholar and saint of the Deobandi school of Islam, had nothing else to say but warn me of Allah’s punishment.    

Many Muslims are naturally good people. They do not want to do evil and often they don’t.  But they don’t see the truth because they don’t want to.  It’s this fear that keeps them cling to something so patently foolish as Islam.  Faith is the shackle of mind.  Believing is simple. Any fool can believe. Doubting is difficult. You need to have wisdom to doubt.  When a belief is founded on fear its numbing effect is compounded.  

Do not assume that there is no hope. All you need is to find one weak spot in the belief system of a believer to make him doubt.  Then, like a domino, all his convictions will fall, one after another and he is set free.  Once I found one hole in my belief, I was amazed how fast all my convictions fell and I could see the errors and absurdities in things that I previously held sacrosanct and inviolably true. I was looking at the same thing but seeing a completely different picture.    

You must be familiar with this drawing of a young girl-old woman illusion.  Imagine that this picture represents Islam.  Muslims can only see the pretty girl.  They are so enamored with that image that they can’t shift their focus to see the other less attractive image.  The alternative is so ugly that they refuse to see.   This change in paradigm, however, can happen in an instant.  Once it happens and once they see the ugly image they can no longer pretend that it is not there. Yes, they will try to deny it. Yes, they will cling faster to the image that they love, but they can not fool themselves. Their focus will constantly shift to the ugly image and sooner or later they will have to surrender to the truth and wake up.  

What you and I must do is keep reminding them of the ugly side of Islam and pointing out to its fallacies.  At one point Muslims will have no choice but to face the truth. That would be the beginning of their enlightenment.  From there on there is no turning back.  

Something that rattled the faiths of many Muslims recently was the breast feeding fatw a. When in May this year, Dr. Izzat Atiya of Egypt’s al-Azhar University said that according to Muhammad a stranger man can become maharm to a woman by suckling her breast, even though he could substantiate his claim by Sahih hadith (authenticated sayings of Muhammad) the great majority of Muslims were outraged. This shows that although Muslims are willing to be fooled, there is a line that they will not cross.  A few Muslims accepted even this foolish decree without thinking, but not the majority.  The majority was aghast and scandalized by what Dr. Atiya had dug up from the hadith.  Episodes like this, will eventually make the thinking Muslims wake up and see Islam for what it is: a stupid doctrine fit for fools and not for rational people.  

 

The day of the awakening of Muslims is near. They are realizing that far from being a prophet, Muhammad was a charlatan and a fool who took the ignorant people for a ride and profited from their gullibility.  Do not look at the size of Islam. This gigantic edifice is founded on lies and sheer stupidity. Once its foundation is exposed the entire edifice will collapse in a blink of an eye.  Islam's days are numbered. You can take this promise to the bank. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Articles Op-ed Authors Debates Leaving Islam FAQ
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Articles Op-ed Authors Debates Leaving Islam FAQ
Comments Library Gallery Video Clips Books Sina's Challenge
 

  ©  copyright You may translate and publish the articles in this site only if you provide a link to the original page.