The Grip of Faith
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not embracing the evil contained in the historical documents of Islam, how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what's contained in the evil historical documents of Islam?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
Your friend, 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.
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
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
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
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