Leaving Islam






Wissam's  message of Aug 24 

Dear Forum Visitors,


Over the past month or so you have seen Ali and I debate the merits of Islamic teachings. When I first showed up to this debate, I thought this debate would be about the facts, and facts, as you know, should come from credible sources. So, at the bottom of all of this, is about what sources we cite to give us our facts and support our views. Allow me to begin my response with a discussion of our sources.  

Credible Sources for our Debate:  

Ali claims that every single author in the Oxford History is an “apologist.” Yet even he admits that he hasn’t read the book that he criticizes. Despite what I asked in our last debate, Ali has offered no evidence that every (or any) author in the Oxford History could be called an apologist. Another request that Ali has denied me is to at least define apologist for me, since I believe that the authors of the Oxford History are actually very objective as opposed to apologetic. What are the criteria for who is an apologist and who is not? While Ali is at it, perhaps he could tell me the criteria for what is biased, since I believe that most of his sources are biased against Islam. In any good debate, we need to define these recurring terms.  

The Oxford History does not have any “angle.” Rather, the authors simply inform the reader of the many sides of the story and give an overview of historical debates on any given issue. It is a HISTORY book, not some thesis. They talk about history as accurately as modern scholarship is able to determine it, and they include all sides, including the sides that critique Islam. But Ali didn’t know that since he didn’t read it. I don’t think it makes sense to throw out all 744 pages of it out the window just because he doesn’t agree with a couple of things he’s heard. At any rate, I don’t think any rational person would agree with his dismissing the ENTIRE Oxford History of Islam. That would be pretty silly.  

As you read this response, you will see that I have turned to reputable authors and books on the subject of Islam, as well as encyclopedias that any one can pick up. Ali, however, choose to read and quote books written by Muir, or even more laughably, to quote articles that he wrote himself. For those of you that don’t know who Muir is, Muir lived in 1861 and he himself is quoting books written even earlier. In addition to being overwhelmingly biased, Muir lived so many years ago that modern scholarship has moved on since then, in accuracy, credible sources, and the acknowledgement that ancient writers such as Muir were filled with thinly veiled bias towards Islam. To grasp his bias, look how he starts his 7th chapter:


The relation of Islam to Christianity.

Up to A.H. 3, little allusion to Christianity1

At the close of the fifth chapter, it has been stated that up to about the tenth year of the Mission of Mahomet there is hardly any mention in the Coran of Christianity or the Christian Scriptures.

In the Suras of the period reviewed in the preceding chapter, that is in the three last years of the Prophet's residence at Mecca, we begin to find detailed notices on the subject. Indeed, the approach then made by Mahomet to our holy Faith never afterwards became closer; nor did his views of it materially alter. It will not, therefore, be inappropriate here to review the entire relation of Islam to Christianity; and, in so doing, I shall not confine the enquiry to the Meccan period, but extend it to the whole of the Prophet's life.

Note the underlined portion: Do you see how Muir refers to “our holy faith?” Hmmm, I wonder if he is biased towards Islam. If Ali knew anything at all, then he would know that Christian writers have historically been biased towards Muslims for many centuries, going back even before the Crusades (the ultimate manifestation of Christian intolerance towards Muslims).

Furthermore, the fact that Muir wrote in 1861 has direct bearing on this debate. First of all, at that time many Islamic texts were not translated into English (many translations occurred after 1950), and thus Muir did not have access to many Islamic texts. He almost exclusively relied on early Christian writers for his sources, who themselves relied on even earlier Christian writers, and almost all of his sources are both secondary and translated (check his bibliography). Second of all, let us not forget that the year 1861 was BEFORE slavery ended in this country a time when racism and prejudice were the order of the day around most of the Western world at the time Muir wrote. As we know, many writers at the time had the superiority of White Christendom as their starting point. Third of all, as you can tell from even a casual reading of his text, Muir is clearly biased against Islam. Apparently none of this bothered Ali enough to pass Muir off as a credible source to his unsuspecting readers. Let us see what Jane Smith, a Christian scholar, tells us about early Christian authors when they wrote about Islam, to see where Muir is getting his information and to examine the starting point of writers like him:

“Despite the fact that in the understanding of medieval Christian clergy Islam was a Christian heresy (although technically a heretic is one who has been baptized in the faith), in the popular literature of this time Muslims were clearly considered to be pagans. This tension between the necessity of seeing Islam both as “other” and at the same time of understanding it as a deviation from, a salacious heresy within, the body of Christianity itself remained throughout the Middle Ages. Christians enjoyed feelings of both repulsion for and fascination with the Prophet and his religion. Muhammad was almost universally thought of among Christians as a man of depravity, dishonor, falsehood, and illicit power. In addition, he was seen as a sexual libertine, demonstrated most specifically by the well-known facts of his own multiple marriages and the details of his (that is the Quran’s) description of the pleasures of the gardens of paradise, which was seen by the West as both material and carnal. Such rewards promised to the faithful were convincing proof to the Christians that Islam was a religion utterly devoid of spirituality. The ill regard with which Christians held the Prophet of Islam did nothing to prevent them from a fascination with that they deemed to be the more sordid aspects of his life and teachings. They saw him as having presented throughout his life a prime example of sensuality, violence, and immorality, an example that guaranteed that his followers would demonstrate those same unfortunate qualities. Christians opinions about the Prophet and his religion had as their starting point the conviction of the depravity of Muhammad, but this never stopped them from analyzing whatever elements of the faith were familiar to them and pronouncing them to be further proof of the absolute inadequacy of Islam as a religion.

            In western eyes the other primary offense of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers was the advocacy of force and violence. This moved from the realm of simple analysis of the life and teachings of the founder of Islam to the actual experiences that Christians had, or sometimes believed they had, of Muslims invading their lands and profaning their churches. Such violence was seen as a natural outgrowth of the Saracen (Arab) terror that was associated with Arab lands a legacy from the warring tribes of the Old Testament. It was at once projected upon Islam and expected of it…Although in reality a great deal of reliable information was available about Islam and its Prophet, it was fashionable and served the appropriate polemical purpose to circulate popular tales that ranged from gross exaggeration to complete and baseless fiction.”

So like the early Christian writers that Ali quotes, Ali himself has as his starting point the conviction that Mohammad was evil. As you can see he is putting forth his own thesis and trying to support it with biased writers. Or perhaps he gleaned his distorted views from these biased writers. It is kind of like the “ Which came first, the Chicken or The Egg?” question. At any rate, even the visitors to this site must agree that we shouldn’t be quoting Christian writers from 1861 in our debate.

Furthermore, that link that you gave us in your last response links to a Christian website that I have visited many times before and they have published outright lies and half-truths about our religion. Anyone is welcome to visit their entire site and compare it to any book detailing the teachings of Islam. I invite all of you to do this. The silly list of “contradictory claims” in the Quran can easily be answered by a knowledgeable 6 year old. They take many things out of context, but at least they are honest enough to include rebuttals to their claims by Muslims. I also noticed that you took your silly example about the mathematics of Islamic inheritance directly from the site, although you have not bothered to offer the rebuttals made to those claims, as Answering-Islam.com does. Where is Ali’s claim of objectivity here? Can’t he even offer what Muslims say in return to these claims? Or would their entirely rational and historical explanations put a dent in his efforts to promote prejudice and hate? I suggest that he stop pointing everyone to websites and books that spew out intolerance about Islam, just so he can try to back up his views. These writings were made to REFUTE and NOT EXPLAIN Islam’s teachings. They are inherently biased.

So there you have it: I am quoting the Oxford History of Islam and encyclopedias and Ali is quoting writers from 1861 and Christian websites. Which would you rather accept as a credible source?  

Ali’s “interpretations”  

Besides quoting sources from the 1800’s, Ali claims to interpret Islam directly from the Quran and the Hadith. Yet Ali cannot read either one in the original Arabic. If he wishes to understand a particular word or phrase, he must rely on secondary sources, which also must be translated for him into English.  

The subject of translation must be examined in this debate, because it has a direct bearing on anyone’s interpretation. As everyone here knows, whenever something is translated from its original, there will be a loss of meaning and the intention of the original author is then subject to the “filter,” if you will, of the author translating the work. This is because the translator must use his own word choice and literary discretion when deciding upon what words or phrases to use. For those of you who have little linguistic training, this is a big problem. For example, there are different shades of meaning between the two words ‘ugly’ and ‘hideous’. Although both mean unattractive, there is an emphasis and power to the word “hideous’ that is not necessarily present in the word “ugly.” If I say, “That color is ugly,” that is slightly different from saying, “that color is hideous.” When I translate something, I am using my own judgment when deciding which of these words to use. When it comes to cases in the Quran, every scholar agrees that it is best to examine the words in their original Arabic. Ali is unable to do this.  

Also, time plays a big part in it. It is even harder to translate something that was written centuries ago into a more modern, and totally alien language, as in the example of translating Classical Arabic into Modern American English. The loss of meaning can only increase. If any of you speak another language, you can see how difficult it is to translate even one word into English—usually you would have to offer many words in order to give the subtleties of meaning that the foreign word represents. The fact that you are translating an ancient word into modern language can only represent more problematic issues, and thus limit critical interpretation.   

Translation also cannot capture the beauty and essence of the art of language. For example, can an Arabic reader really appreciate the beauty of Shakespeare’s word choice, sentence structure (especially in 10 syllable line sonnets), or double meanings and puns in his writings, if they were translated? Of course not. Similarly, can an English speaker really appreciate the different shades of meaning, both connotative and denotative, in the Quran or hadith? Of course not. Translation clearly has its limitations.  

This topic is important to our debate, because Ali cannot speak Arabic and relies on the English translations of the Quran and Hadith. This takes a higher importance because he focuses on certain words that have different shades of meaning in Arabic, but that are invisible in the English translation. This could be the reason why he chooses to think that Muhammad thought the earth was flat and other misinterpretations on his website. No sane interpreter of the Quran would (or has) ever accused the Prophet Muhammad of thinking this. The sheer absurdity of this claim being passed off as “rational thinking” should be a big red flag to all of you that Ali is misinterpreting the words of the Quran and hadith.   

Another example is how Ali quoted the Azhar scholar, which was inEnglish, and not Arabic, the language of his original remarks. This is important, since words like Jihad get translated into “holy war,” often in the English language, when in fact as you know (or should know), Jihad means “struggling or striving against evil.” When Jihad is literally translated as “holy war,” the part of the meaning that emphasizes the internal struggle between good and evil is lost, because of the negative and limited connotation of the phrase “holy war.” What Ali fails to point out is that the Quran has a different word altogether for war. But I will assume he didn’t know that—which just  shows how not knowing the original Arabic, and relying on secondary English sources, can affect people’s ideas and views, and represents a limitation to Ali’s ability to focus on language in this debate. In other words, because he are relying on English translations, he is effectively a slave to someone else’s word choice and perceived meanings—he cannot decide for himself, or accurately interpret, words in the Quran. Ali claims that he “goes straight to the source” for his interpretations, but in fact he is not going to the ORIGINAL source. Ali is merely relying on other people’s interpretations, which could be biased, as we have proved in the case of Ali quoting Muir. He is not an expert on the Quran, because he has never read the original Quran. That is like saying that there is an Arabic speaking expert on Shakespeare, when he has never read Shakespeare in the original English.


That is why your buddies who claimed to write a Sura in the “style” of the Quran failed. They did not write it in Arabic. That is like saying I can write better than Shakespeare and then I write something in Polish. That is absurd. Show me those imposters writing the verses in Arabic, and I would be happy to refer it to ANY professor of the Arabic language for his opinion on whether those fake verses can match up to the Quran. I will leave this as an open challenge, because you will never find an expert in the Arabic language agree that those so called verses in the style of the Quran would ever be more beautiful than the real thing.

Yet another reason that Ali must leave his original sources is that he has proven that he cannot interpret them in the accepted manner that they should be interpreted, which is progressively and with a purpose. He interprets the hadiths and bits of the Quran for the sole purpose to show that we are barbaric or backwards. The interpretation of the hadith is the opposite—Muslims are to read them with an eye towards finding solutions to a particular problem. In addition to deleting parts of the hadith, or not including the verses before and after the verse he quotes in the Quran in order to put their meaning within some meaningful context, Ali twists their meanings to suit his already preconceived notions. In other words, everything he reads in the Quran and Hadith, he cites to prove his already preconceived ideas that Islam is evil or backward. And you know what, just for arguments sake let’s just say that that is fine—but his undoing lies in the fact that he recognizes absolutely NO GOOD in Islam, and that is where the vast majority of people just won’t agree with him. Even if we were 50% evil, that means we are 50% good—but he doesn’t point out ANY of the good, does he? That’s why he is biased, and that’s why his credibility is shot.

As for the accuracy of the Quran, Bernard Lewis, the eminent historian, claims that “there is no argument about the accuracy and authenticity of the Canon.” Good luck trying to say that Lewis is an apologist. Ali, I suggest you don’t even bother, since I have even seen some of your forum visitors speak of him with admiration.  

But let’s look at a prime example of the absurd logic behind Ali’s claims:

“If everyone agreed that Quran contains no mistakes, everyone would be a Muslim by now”

For all you law school students, read that sentence over. What is Ali assuming when he makes that statement? Ali, has it ever occurred to you that not “everyone” has read the Quran? Or if they have, it might not necessarily be in the original language, so they can comprehend its full meaning and beauty? Or that the great majority of people that do read the Quran respect it at the very least?

The Quran was written in a revolutionary mix of outstanding mix of poetry and prose, and literally introduced a new style of writing to the pagan Arabs, who already excelled in writing poetry and prose. The Quran did not resemble in any way the style of the period. Just hearing the Quran’s elegance of language, superb structure of its words and sentences, in its style of narration, in the extraordinary beginning and ending of its verses, in its flow of thought, in the introduction of parables and description of events, in the forms of its admonitions and warning and in the matter of its reasoning and arguments, it is a book unparalleled in the whole range of human history. Arab Christians also acknowledge it as the supreme example of the Arabic language. It is a truly original book, and it was revealed by an illiterate man. This is its miracle: No illiterate man can have such a grasp on language that he could write something like the Quran. That is like a man born deaf and becoming a master pianist; or someone who never saw a painting and picking up a brush to paint an original and timeless masterpiece. Although some claim that the Prophet Muhammad got his ideas from the Bible, it doesn’t resemble the Bible at all in content or writing style. People that have read both the Bible and the Quran realize that there are barely any similarities.

Ali, however, can never know that, because he cannot read the Quran in its original language. He relies on faulty English translations, and he skews the meanings in English, not even in Arabic. Anyone will tell you that if you have read the Quran in English, you have not really read the Quran. If you read Shakespeare in Arabic, could you really appreciate the beauty of his composition and word choice? Of course not. Therefore, you cannot appreciate the beauty of the Quran if you have not read it in Arabic. You cannot understand the true depth and width of the meaning of its words when they are translated into English. 

As for your claim that most people don’t read or rely on the hadith, I do not believe that “many” Muslims choose not to believe in the words of the hadith. I think that many Muslims find guidance in the hadith. Although some stories deal with issues that are not found in the modern Western world anymore, please remember that most of the world has not kept pace with the US and Europe. Rural areas of Russia, China, and Afghanistan still live the lifestyle they’ve lived for countless centuries. Therefore, although parts of the hadith might not seem relevant to us, with our Mercedes Benzes and Laptop computers, they might seem very relevant to farmers and fisherman in parts of the world that are barely remembered by us and have their own mode of living, which actually might not be too different from 7th century Arabia. The point is that in each hadith, we must not dwell exclusively on the situation per se, but we must also search for the deeper meaning behind each situation. What is the meaning or moral of the story? How can we apply these principles by analogy to the present situation? This is how Muslims are taught to approach the teachings in the hadith.


At any rate, there is often divergent views within the Islamic community about the meanings of certain hadiths, so when you say “Islam says this,” or “Islam says that,” you are not being completely honest. Muslims are not necessarily monolithic on every single one of our views. Islam strikes a balance between what can be argued about and what can’t. On some issues, there is room for disagreement as long as one can support his views accurately. On many other issues, there can be no disagreement because the Quran and/or Hadith makes things so plain to understand. The closest thing that I can think of that can describe the interplay between the debatable and the un-debatable in Islam is the interplay between the U.S Constitution and congressional legislation. The former is for the most part, unchangeable, the latter is in a constant state of flux in order to adapt to society’s needs. Islamic Law and scholarship is very much like this—it chooses to seek a balance between the timeless laws of God as found in the Quran and Hadith, and the adaptive laws formulated by man for human growth and progression. Islamic law—barring the extreme interpretations which I am sure you will bring up--has often times been described as tremendously pragmatic by many scholars.  

Before I move on to the subject of rape and captives in Islam, let me just take a moment to cut and paste the definition of “belief” once again, in order to rebut your attempted stipulation on a limited scope of its definition. Belief is a broad word, Ali. You cannot just take a piece of it and claim that it covers our entire debate. You say that in order to believe something, then you cannot have real evidence of it. The dictionary says:


Belief (from Dictionary.com)

  1. The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another.
  2. Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something.
  3. Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.


Rape and captives in Islam:

To all of you reading this today, let me state this clearly: it is absolutely, utterly, and totally ridiculous, preposterous, and absurd to think that Muslims can lawfully force themselves on a woman in a sexual manner. That claim is just so unbelievable, I am actually having a hard time accepting that I am writing about this. No Muslim can force himself on a woman. Period. That is well known. So no matter what you say or how you spin it, Muslims cannot rape women, whether they are captives or not, and we abhor it more than anyone else. If you, or anyone reading this “debate” thinks that we are “allowed” to rape women captives, just stop reading this response and read a book about Islam first.

In order to support my point, let us look at what John Renard, who holds a PHd in Islamic Studies from Harvard University and is a practicing Catholic, says about the stringent requirements to Jihad:

“no action can be justified as authentic jihad if any of the following conditions obtain: the killing of non-combatants, prisoners of war, or diplomatic personnel; use of poisonous weapons (beginning with poison tipped arrows and swords, for example) or inhuman means to kill; atrocities in conquered lands, including the mutilation of persons and animals, and wanton despoliation of natural resources; and the sexual abuse of captive women. All of that, however, has not prevented horrors from being perpetrated in the very name of Islam, to the great sorrow of many millions of Muslims. Nothing can excuse those who engage in such atrocities, whatever their express motivation, whatever their avowed religious affiliation. (page 146, “101 Questions and Answers on Islam”, Renard)

So you see, Ali, Islam teaches that we are not allowed to sexually abuse any captives obtained during a jihad. That said, let us check out one more quote from the Encyclopedia of World History, under the entry Slave Trade (Arab):

“The Arab Slave Trade was a much older institution that that of the European-run trade, but was organized in a less regimented way. Slaves were primarily acquired through military conquest and by purchase in regions of Africa, East and South Europe, and Central Asia. Unlike the slaves that were taken to the European colonies, slaves in the Arab-run trade, due mainly to laws passed by Muhammad, were given certain rights that were intended to ensure they received humane treatment. Many received vocational and religious training as well as, in the case of the Mamluks, military training. Many enslaved women on becoming concubines were legally entitled to the same rights as non-slave wives.”

So as you can see, Ali, there is, in effect, no such thing as sex-slaves or concubines in Islam. If someone chose to have sex with their slave, the slave first had to consent (as Islam teaches) and many slaves did, since it would ensure their extensive rights as wives under Islam, which includes, amongst other things, the end of their slavery; guaranteed property rights; their rights to inheritance; their children would be free, etc…All of which were not guaranteed to any other slaves outside Islamic Law, especially not slaves in the Americas. As Ronald Segal, the author of ‘Islam’s Black Slaves,” pointed out, one of the huge differences between the two different slave trades (Arab and European) was that according to Islam, slaves were to be treated as people and not as possessions or property.

As a side note, does everyone here see how easy it is for me to support my views? I literally open up the Encyclopedia to support my points. I have never seen Ali support any of his points with the Encyclopedia—especially not his very questionable definition of schizophrenia. Instead, he chooses to quote Muir, Christian websites, or his own articles, or maliciously misinterpret the Quran and Hadith. This should be a wake up call that Ali are an extremist—no reputable publications (or books written in the 20 century) support your views. That is why you must turn to the hadith and Quran and twist their meanings, and even then, no scholar would agree with your interprations. Whenever Ali finds a scholar that does not agree with him, he calls them an apologist and dismisses their views. He would rather read biased authors like Muir or come up with his own creative interpretations than listen to what the Encyclopedia has to say. But perhaps every encyclopedia is apologistic too?


Miracles are present in every religion. What is a miracle? A miracle is an event that is meant to defy scientific or rational explanation. What is the purpose of a miracle? When the prophets came to warn their people of the power of God, many of them (and you have to remember that since these people couldn’t read, they were incredibly ignorant and couldn’t use their still undeveloped reasoning to apprehend God’s existence) demanded to see God, or to at least see proof of God.  There is no scientific explanation to claims of miracles precisely because there SHOULDN’T be. It must defy reason in order for people to believe and accept the presence of God. One example is how the Prophet Muhammad miraculously escaped an attempt on his life by 12 assassins who staked out his house. When they finally walked in his house to kill him, they could not find him, causing an enormous uproar and widespread confusion in Mecca. In actuality, Allah allowed his Messenger to walk right by them. His disappearance from the sight of these assassins is well documented. Another more obvious example is that Moses split the Red Sea and freed the Hebrew slaves. This HAD to happen, since, logically speaking, the Egyptians would not just let their slaves walk off one day, and settle 300 miles eastward without the slaves’ total decimation and/or recapture. That’s like the slaves in the pre-civil war South suddenly getting very organized one day and walking off to live just over the border in Mexico without harassment. I don’t think our government at the time, which was so dependant on those slaves, would allow that to happen. And if you think the US response in a situation like that would be bad, then what would the Egyptian Pharaoh do in a situation like that? The simple fact that the Jews even exist today has to do with their freedom from the Pharaoh so many centuries ago. If you accept these miracles—like all Christians, Muslims, and Jews do---then you are forced to believe in the very power behind these miracles, which is God. If you believe in God, then you believe that splitting the moon or raising the dead would be quite easy to do for an infinite super-being to do. If you do not believe it—and I know you don’t—no matter, because over half the world does, and has for countless centuries. So if you do not believe in God’s ability to split the moon, then you believe in no miracles at all, and if you believe in no miracles at all, then perhaps you can logically explain to me how the Jews just walked away from Egypt one day.

The Spirit World, the Jinn, and the Unseen.

If you believe in any religion, you believe in the unseen. Many people believe in the supernatural or the spirit world. Although in our highly science-oriented society we are taught not to believe in such things, it doesn’t surprise us that many people do anyway and more people are turning to religion and new age spirituality movements. Generally, we glean our knowledge of the supernatural from first and second hand accounts of the paranormal. Although many stories of the paranormal are without credence, there are many accounts that do have credibility, and that defy scientific explanation. Some of these people who claim they have had run ins with the paranormal are normal, ordinary soccer moms who have no apparent reason to make things up, and who would rather not have the media attention (most of it negative) that might come with coming forward. Many of them ask no money for their story.

One interesting story would  be the “Amityville Horror,” where a family bought their dream house in Amityville, Long Island, only to find supernatural occurrences happening everyday. Records show that the house was built over an ancient Indian burial ground. Centuries later, circa 16-1700, witches were known to have  conducted satanic ceremonies in the cemetery. The previous tenants of the Amityville mansion were a family of 8. A member of the family claimed to hear voices ordering him to kill the rest of the family, and he promptly took a shotgun and killed them all in their beds. No shotgun blasts were heard by the neighbors, or the other family members, who remained sleeping in their beds until they were killed one by one. At any rate, the new family that bought the house after the murders, left the house after being attacked by unseen forces less than 28 days after moving into the 7 bedroom mansion. They asked no money for their story, and refused to ever return to the house that they still continued to own. There are many more details that I have not included, but that are quite interesting, and verified by independent sources. I suggest you all read about this story and make up your own minds. It is a prime and well-documented case of the supernatural.

Other people who have claimed to have contact with the spirit world are no less than professional modern day witches (wicca), magicians (such as the Order of the Golden Dawn), and Shamans (Voodoo and indigenous priests) who actively seek ways in which to communicate with a world which they very much believe exists. Major civilizations, such as the Mayans, Egyptians, and Aztecs have built their entire existence around belief in the supernatural. Even cavemen, who did not need the belief in the supernatural to survive their harsh conditions, have left evidence of elaborate religious rituals. Many people around the world believe that Voodoo magic exists in parts of Haiti, Cuba, and the surrounding islands—and many of them claim to have seen the supernatural happen in front of them (to read an excellent and reasoned survey of Voodoo practices, read “Voodoo in Haiti,” by Alfred Matraux.)

Ali, Jinns exist, although I make no pretense of knowing their lives and habits. If you are looking for your scientific proof of jinn and/or exorcism, then know that reputable TV shows such as Oprah, Diane Sawyer, and Barbara Walters have featured exorcists on their shows. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Time, and other publications have charted the proliferation of exorcisms across the United States. The ABC news show ‘20/20’ filmed an exorcism several years ago. John Stossel, the intreprid TV journalist and well-known skeptic, claimed himself a believer after witnessing the exorcism. He just didn’t understand how a 12 year old girl could speak ancient Latin and Hebrew, and have such incredible strength. I suggest you read a book called American Exorcism by Michael W. Cuneo. Just so you don’t think he is some quack, let me tell you a little about him. Michael W. Cuneo teaches sociology and anthropology at Fordham University in New York City. His previous books include the highly praised The Smoke of Satan, and his research has been featured in such publications as The New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

But interestingly enough, I find that you ‘believe’ in souls. Tell me Ali, what is your direct, scientific evidence that we have souls? What does they look like? Where are your scientific journals proving that we have souls? Why should I ‘believe’ in something that clearly defies science? You cannot PROVE that we have souls, so you are engaging in blind faith, aren’t you Ali? If you believe we have souls that are unseen, what do you suppose is the source of our souls? The Big Bang? Are you telling me that souls are made of physical elements? Are souls solid, liquid, or gas? Ali, if you believe in souls, then don’t make fun of people who believe in the spirit world of Jinn, especially since your beliefs are based on your own conjecture and mine are based on a reputable holy book. Show me an “aura,” such as the one you believe in, and I’ll show you a Jinn.

Magic and the spirit world aside, to believe in the unseen is not necessarily the same as having blind faith. The difference lies in the source of the teaching-whether that source is credible or not. For example, I would not consider it blind faith to listen to the exact words of Jesus as found in the Bible. I would consider it blind faith to believe in some of the rituals or theological teachings as found in the Roman Catholic church, however, without questioning them as to their origin and validity. Similarly, I would not doubt the words of the Prophet Muhammad, because he was known to be honest (named Al-Amin, “The Truthful,” by people in Mecca even before his Prophethood) by a great many people, especially the ones around him, who knew him best. Furthermore, the very fact that the Prophet instructs us to learn as much as we can from as many sources as possible, as well as the Quranic command to think and use our reasoning to apprehend God’s purpose in creation, shows me that the God encourages thinking. Logic and reason, according to Islam, is there for you to understand God’s creation. The entire field of theology is nothing more than applying reason and human logic to religious concepts. We are not allowed to believe in anything unless we question its purpose and validity. Islam came to eradicate superstitions, such as the practices of drinking the blood of your enemies in order to make you a better warrior. That would be ridiculous to a Muslim. We are taught to question everything, and even if we cannot find the right answers, it is the sincerity of the search that will ultimately matter to God.

Nevertheless, it is also that Muslims (especially converts) have questioned these things and found satisfactory answers. Converts to Islam have already questioned the legitimacy of the Prophet and his teachings. They have found that the answers—found in reputable books and encyclopedias—have erased their skepticism. The many teachings of Islam have provided them with answers to their life questions. Islam, in fact, claims to have all the answers, and for every single Muslim, it does, and has for over 15 centuries and countless nations. I find it hard to believe that the Quran, which demands that humanity use its logic and reason, would approve of blind faith. Islam is not afraid of its adherents thinking on their own. If anything, it encourages it, because it knows that the ultimate source of truth, and the final destination of your contemplative journey, will be God, the source of all knowledge.

Although you might not respect our beliefs, the simple fact that the idea of Islam has transcended both geography and time, both the minds of individuals and the minds of entire empires, proves that it is a legitimate source of guidance. No one will agree with you if you say that Islam has not helped to cultivate the very idea of what a civilization should be. There have just been too many contributions to the fields of art, science, law, government, religion, philosophy—the list goes on and on. Many of these advancements were made by people who you, ironically, consider idiotic for the simple fact that they believe in God and/or Islam. They, in turn, would think you are idiotic for not believing in a creator of what you see around you. To them--and to all Muslims--history, the existence of the prophets, and everything around you is proof that we must believe in God, and this is a reason why we don’t approve of blind faith—we have the proof of our creator right in front of us. Our minds are there to apprehend the objects and events around and inside of us as further proof of an intelligent creation. The Prophet Muhammad—whether you think he was right or wrong-- was a sincere believer in the infinite super-being we call God, as can be seen through just about any book on the subject. In his conflicts he was never guided by lust for treasure or land. He was always guided by his devotion to God. He is a successful role model for both men AND women for countless centuries and for countless nations.

 The claim that the Prophet was insane.

In Ali’s response, he claims that the Prophet was a schizophrenic. First of all, what is his definition of schizophrenia? Ali, are you making all of this up? A schizophrenic is not someone torn between good and evil as you say. A schizoprehrenic is usually (broadly) understood to be a person in psychosis, that hallucinates and hears voices to the point of literally being unable to continue his or her life. Ali, where did you get that definition of schizophrenia? What on earth would possess you to make definitions up for words like that? Readers, just by examining Ali’s definition of schizophrenia, it is abundantly clear that he is making things up out of thin air in order to do anything to discredit the Prophet.

So, you might counter, didn’t the Prophet see and hear things? Yes, but these would not be considered hallucinations because they were not indicative of any psychosis. This man signed treaties and was a fully functioning human being, Ali. By all accounts he was a great general and even greater diplomat. His closest companions certainly did not accuse of him of being some out-of-control maniac that heard and saw random things. Look at the case of Umar ibn Al-Khattab, a person who initially opposed Islam (and, incidentally, once said all the same things then that you say on your website about the Prophet now) but after meeting him and listening to him, he converted and became one of the most devoted Muslims in history and became the second Caliph. Was Umar insane to listen to whom you call a schizophrenic? No scholar would ever accuse Umar or any other Caliph of being insane, so tell me Ali, how could Muhammad have such a following if he was irrational and hallucinatory, like all schizophrenics are? The Prophet Muhammad was a predictable man: he valued truth, justice, and other virtues of God, not unlike what Jesus taught. Schizophrenics, on the other hand, are not even close to being predictable. I think that you are the crazy one, if you read about Muhammad’s life, and accuse him of being a schizophrenic.

Second of all, as I have proven to the world, you are using Christian biased writers to support your claims of the Prophet’s insanity, which are clearly what you use to support your propaganda against the prophet. As Jane Smith clearly states, these sources all thought that Muhammad was lustful and violent and crazy, just like you do. She also points out that these views “ranged from gross exaggeration to complete and baseless fiction.” It is no wonder that Ali uses these biased authors to support your views. Doesn’t the Ku Klux Klan use snippets of the Bible in order to support their hatred? That sounds a lot like the approach Ali’s website uses—to use snippets of the Quran and Hadith to support his racist and hateful propaganda.

Furthermore, If he was insane then how did he govern the entire city of Medina so well (or even at all?). How could an insane person have such aptitude for military strategy? How could an insane person negotiate contracts and treaties? How could an insane person be a successful businessman for so long? What about the people of Medina that asked him to negotiate a settlement between the warring tribes of the city? If he was insane, then why did they abide by his decisions? If you think they didn’t know he was insane until later on, then why did they continue to listen to him and look at him as the paradigm of human behavior? Why did the converts keep coming to an “insane” man?

Ali, why did some people (some of the unbelievers and pagans) believe he was insane when other people thought he was perfectly sane? If he was indeed insane as you describe, then all people must have acknowledged it. Schizoprhenics do not act insane around just a few select people, Ali. They are crazy around everyone. Furthermore, when the unbelievers realized that he was NOT insane, they changed their excuse for disbelieving his message into “Muhammad is possessed.” They later moved on to other excuses—no matter, though, since they were looking for any excuse not to listen to him, so that they could continue living their very backward lifestyles. Like you, they did anything they could to discredit the Prophet. It is interesting to note that the arguments that attempt to discredit the Prophet have not changed for countless centuries. The things you say in this debate were said by the pagan Meccan enemies of the Prophet Muhammad 15 centuries ago. They thought he was insane because he tried to reform the lifestyles of his countrymen. History now tells us that he reformed their society for the better.

Michael H. Hart, the noted historian, ranks Muhammad as the number ONE most influential person in history (“The 100, A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History”). Ali, Hart is definitely NOT an apologist and I invite you to read his analysis of Muhammad’s life and impact to see that for yourself. The number one most influential person in history is not bad for someone you claim to be schizophrenic, huh?

For a Prophet to be called insane is nothing new: John the Baptist was called the same thing. Jesus was ridiculed for bringing his message of devotion to God as well. Just to show you the hypocrisy of the unbelievers, Jesus was convicted in a Hebrew Religious court for blasphemy. Think about that: Jesus was convicted of blasphemy. Doesn’t that sounds absurd? But that is how far the unbelievers went to discredit the messengers of God. Why would anyone do that? Often—and the Prophet Muhammad’s case mirrors the case of Jesus—The message that the new prophet brought would mean and end to the status quo, of which just too many people were profiting out of. Quite simply, the religious establishment did not want to accept either the Prophet Muhammad’s message or the Prophet Jesus’ message because that would mean an end to their monopoly on religious control and it would mean a big hit on their religious donations and money. The Prophets Mohammad and Jesus were simply too revolutionary. Their message had to be stopped in every conceivable way—from attempts on their life to propaganda against them and their message. What you say about the Prophet Muhammad was said about every Prophet before him.

As far as your claims that the Prophet was some kind of sex maniac, let us see what noted British author Geoffrey Parrinder, wrote in his book “Mysticim in the World’s Religions” (Oxford University Press, New York, page 121):


“No great religious leader has been so maligned as Muhammad. Attacked in the past as a heretic, an imposter, or a sensualist, it is still possible to find him referred to as “the false prophet.” A modern German writer accuses Muhammad of sensuality, surrounding himself with young women. This man was not married until he was twenty-five years of age, then he and his wife lived in happiness and fidelity for twenty-four years, until her death when was forty-nine. Only between the age of fifty and his death at sixty-two did Muhammad take other wives, only one of whom was a virgin, and most of them were taken for dynastic and political reasons. Certainly, the Prophet’s record was better than that head of the Church of England, Henry VIII.”


We must also remember that:

  1. Semitic culture and Arab practice permitted polygamy. It was practiced by Jews in Arabia as well. Islam demanded that polygamy be limited, if not eliminated altogether, and eliminated abusive marriages.
  2. During the prime of his life, the Prophet Muhammad remained dedicated to one woman, Khadija.
  3. It was only after Khadija’s death that he took other wives.
  4. Muhammad’s use of the special dispensation from God to exceed the limit of four wives imposed by the Quran, occurred only after the death of Khadija.
  5. Most of the eleven marriages had political and social motives. Many were to cement alliances. Others were marriages to the widows of his companions who had fallen in combat and were in need of protection, both physical and financial, because remarriage was difficult in a society that valued virgin marriages.
  6. Aisha was the only virgin that Muhammad married and the wife with whom he had the closest relationship. Contary to your claims that he was molesting her, she never showed any signs of being abused as a child, and she went on to enjoy the highest respect from the entire Muslim community, and became one of Islam’s greatest theologians. She had nothing but respect for the Prophet and by all accounts, she was a well adjusted, normal individual, unlike many of those who were sexually abused at a young age. They consummated their marriage many years after the Prophet initially asked for her hand in marriage.
  7. Muhammad’s teachings and actions, as well as the Quranic message, improved the status of all women—wives, daughters, mothers, widows, and orphans. There are many stories about the Prophet’s concern and care for his wives.

Muslims and lying

All God-fearing people hate deception. Since you decide to quote Al-Ghazali (out of context, I am sure), I’ll do you one better and just quote right out of the hadith:

It is reported on the authority of Asma bint Yazid (Allah be pleased with her) that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Falsehood is unlawful except in three (matters): falsehood of a man to his wife to please her, falsehood in war, falsehood in restoring peace among men. (Tirmidhi)

Clearly, the Quran despises deceit:

“O you who believe! Be careful in your duty to Allah and be with the truthful.” (9:19)

“Stand fast to truth and justice for Allah’s sake, though it may be against yourselves or your parents or your near relatives. (4:135)

So as you can see, Ali, Islam despises deceit and falsehood. In the case of the special circumstances that the Prophet made mention of, frankly, I agree with everyone one of them. If it is absolutely necessary to lie to your wife so you don’t hurt her feelings and to preserve the integrity of the family at large, then it is permissible, though I would not say encouraged. That is meant as a last resort. This is good news for men everywhere, who use this policy anyway, out of common sense. Second, lying and deception when on the battlefield is almost a necessity so one can gain a strategic advantage. All governments, including our own, launch “disinformation” campaigns to preserve their strategic advantage. It is often a matter of life and death, or as we say now, ‘national security.’ Lastly, if you must engage in a lie in order to bring peace amongst 2 groups of people, then it is permitted since that is considered to be a noble end. That does not mean that everything should be a lie—of course lying should be minimized as much as possible when dealing with these exceptions. But for example, if two groups of people are fighting and hate each other, and I went to one of the groups and said, “The other group told me that despite your hatred, they respect and admire many things about you,” and I did the same to the other group, then that would be good, since it would help to build some badly needed bridges. I can only see positivity coming out of something like that. So the lying we are talking about is not in the traditional sense of squirming out of something, or making up stories to obtain some worldly end. It is used for reasons that are practical and worthy and not damaging in any way, such as maintaining the emotional balance of your wife (which would have a direct impact on the entire family), maintaining peace between people, and maintaining your advantage during times of war. Conveniently enough, another example is you. Ali, since you did not mention this hadith about lying and these very important verses from the Quran that insist on truthfulness in all matters. Not giving the whole truth in this situation is definitely considered lying, but we all know that you mix in some lies with what you say on your website, so this is nothing new.

The Prophet and the Jews:

Contrary to what you say on your website that the Prophet set about massacring Jews, will expose yet another of your lies and propaganda by quoting directly out of the Encyclopedia Judaica and see what they have to say when we look up the entry “Muhammad.” As you read, note the option for settlement offered to the Jewish tribes in each conflict. This differed tremendously from other Arab leaders and tribes who would NEVER offer any kind of settlement option. Other tribes simply set about massacring all inhabitants:

The Jewish Tribes:

“In April 624 a scuffle in the market between Muslims and Jews of the Qaynuqa tribe resulted in the deaths of one from each group. The Aynuqa, who were traders and goldsmiths of Medina, retired to their strongholds where they were besieged. They surrendered to Muhammad after 15 days, and were given three days to leave the city, without their arms and probably without their goldsmiths’ tools as well. They stopped at a nearby Jewish community and a month later moved on to Syria.

            In August 625, when morale among the Muslims was low after an unsuccessful battle with the Meccans, Muhammad visited the Jewish tribe of Nadir and demanded financial aid. They told him to wait while they prepared a meal. Several moments later Muhammad went home, explaining to his companions that he received a warning from God that the Jews were planning to attack him while he sat there. He immediately sent an ultimatum to the Nadir, demanding that if they did not leave Medina within ten days they would be put to death. If they left, however, they would continue to own their palm gorves and receive part of the produce. The Nadir held out for 15 days before surrendering to Muhammad. Thus, they had to abandon their weapons and were not entitled to their date harvest. The tribe proceeded to Khaybar, 70 miles to the north. When the Meccans unsuccessfully besieged the Medina, the Qurayza, the last major clan of Jews in medina, were neutral but engaged in clandestine negotiations with the Meccans [against Muhammad]. After the Meccans departed, Muhammad turned his forces against the strongholds of the Qurayza. After 25 days they asked to surrender on the same terms as the Nadir. However, Muhammad demanded an unconditional surrender, which they accepted. Some of the tribe of Aws allied with the Qurayza appealed on their behalf. Muhammad met their request by appointing as judge Sa’d ibn Mu’adh, a leader of the Aws. Sa’d  [NOT MUHAMMAD] decreed that all the men of the Qurayza (about 600) should be put to death, and the women and children sold as slaves. The sentence was carried out the next day. This severe action cannot be interpreted as an attack against Jews as such, since other minor Jewish clans which had maintained neutrality were allowed to remain in Medina unmolested. The deep and underlying reason for Muhammad’s attacks on the Qaynuqa and the Nadir lay in their criticism of the Koranic revelation which aimed at undermining the ideological foundation of the entire Islamic political order. They were also giving political support to Muhammad’s opponents. As long as the Jews refrained from such hostile activities, they were unmolested.

            The Jews last base of opposition to Muhammad was Khaybar, where they actively conspired with neighboring Arabs to confront Muhammad in battle. In May/June 628, Muhammad conquered the oasis. The settlement with the Jews stipulated that they would continue to live there, but pay a tax on half of their produce. This was a new principle regarding the status of minorities in Muslim territories although it was applied with less stringent conditions on other occasions.

In January 630, Muhammad set out for Mecca with 10, 000 men. The city submitted without resistance, except for a skirmish between a few men. Muhammad gave a general amnesty and forbade pillage…”

So as you can see, our Prophet Muhammad did not carry out mass executions as you claim. I don’t even know where you got your information, but I got all of the above straight out the source—the 16 volume Encyclopedia Judaica. But since you don’t agree with what they say, I suppose that you will call them apologists, too.



Briefly, I would just like to say that a typical method of promoting hatred is to take the most infamous examples of a culture or people and promote them as indicative of everyone. When you bring up names like Jose Padilla (who, by the way, was never charged with a crime, and there is no evidence that he actually had the means of detonating a “dirty bomb,”) you are painting all of us as terrorists. If you wish to bring up an example of what a Muslims should be like, why don’t you mention the first four Caliphs, who were companions of the Prophet? The Prophet himself was a role model to both men and women from all cultures. Jose Padilla is an extremist. An extremist, by definition, does not represent the mainstream. The Prophet Muhammad demanded that all Muslims be loyal to the majority (Sahih, Ibn Ma’Jah; also Ibn Hibban, ‘Mawarid adh-dham’an’ p.47, on the authority of Zaid ibn Thabit, the Prophet’s famous secretary)

As for your question who converts to Islam, here is a nice story for you:

Rome's Envoy to Saudi Arabia Converts to Islam by Luke Baker, CNN, November 26 2001 CE

Italy's ambassador to Saudi Arabia has converted to Islam, the second time in seven years that an envoy of Rome to the land of Mecca has adopted its religion.

Cardilli's change of faith follows years of study of Islam. A graduate in oriental culture and languages from the University of Naples, Cardilli has spent much of his 33-year diplomatic career in the Muslim world.

The conversion of Cardilli -- who is married with two children -- follows the move to Islam made by Mario Scialoja, Italian ambassador to the Arab kingdom in 1994-95, who has since left the foreign service and is head of Italy's Muslim League.

Call me Crazy Ali, but try as you may to convince people that Islam is a violent religion, apparently the last two ambassadors to Saudi Arabia didn’t think so. Last time I checked, Ambassadors were there to help avoid conflict. So there are some better examples of intelligent people converting to Islam,  than the infamous ones you bring up. You are a liar Ali, because you mislead people into thinking that because people like Jose Padilla embrace Islam, then that is indicitave of all Muslims. That is much like saying that the David Koresh, Branch-Davidian from Waco, Texas, is indicative of all Christians.


Final Comments:

Practically speaking, I cannot continue to write these lengthy responses. I would like to thank you all for your time and interest in my letters, and I am actually appreciative of this experience since I have learned so much—not from Ali, but from the many reference books I read during the course of our dialogue. However, I have lost the desire to continue on, since Ali insists on using biased sources to support his claims, as I have proven above. Therefore, I have decided that since the end of every trial has its closing arguments, we should have these as well. Below are my closing arguments. I will not bother to reply to Ali’s closing arguments. It is time for all of you to make your minds up.

First of all, let me say that I love you all and I wish you all peace and health in your lives. I have no hatred at all towards any one of you, including Mr. Sina. As a Muslim, I am taught to love even those who oppose me and to try to make the WHOLE truth available to them, as opposed to Ali’s selective truths mixed in with lies and glued together by his flawed logic. I hope that God has mercy on all of your souls, and I implore you to stop your active participation in smearing the name of Islam.

Islam means conforming your actions to the will of God. Being a good Muslim means being able to manifest your sincerity into good deeds. It is a tremendous struggle and a difficult one, but a rewarding one as well. Ever since I have become a practicing Muslim, I have felt nothing but peace in my heart and wisdom in my mind, and I invite you all to learn more about Islam from encyclopedias and from reputable scholars, and not rely on sources such as this clearly prejudiced website.

Muslims are not taught to be violent. As any Muslim will tell you, we abhor the senseless violence we see everyday. If that violence is maliciously and persistently directed at us, however, we must fight back until the hostilities cease. If we see injustice occur to the poor and disadvantaged, we must fight against it as well. The concept of war in Islam is not centered around territorial gain or other materialistic causes. It centers around fighting for your convictions when all diplomacy has failed.

Some of you are adamantly opposed to all forms of violence, under all circumstances without exception. This is not practical in the world we live in. Violence is a reality. Muslims are taught to avoid it as much as possible, but when cornered we will fight until a resolution—ultimately peaceful—has been reached. To fight in the way of a lasting justice and peace—whether through the pen or the sword-- is something that we will not apologize for.

Some of you are Christians and Jews that come here to smear our faith since you think that your religions are somehow better than Islam. My response to you is that that is a prideful view, and that you should worry about your own souls and the day of judgment, rather than attempt to show us “the error of our ways.” Muslims are not concerned with converting Jews or Christians as much as they are concerned with bettering their own souls, so I advise you to do the same. We all believe in the same God. We all respect the prophetic lifestyle. We all strive to do good deeds. Let us focus on the path that the prophets tread, do it with sincerity, and let God decide between us on that inevitable last day-- the day when we will accept total responsibility for our actions and our words. The last day of judgment is the day we all believe in, the day when good deeds will be the only currency acceptable to God.

Some of you are atheists. To you, all I have to say is that I suggest you reflect longer about the existence of God (as the Quran repeatedly asks of all humans). Do not make the mistake of thinking that because modern scholarship has discredited the Bible, that ALL religion is nonsense. The Quran is the most preserved holy book available to us and is nothing like the Bible, in content, history, or development. As I mentioned before, even cavemen believed in religion. Belief in a higher order is inside all of us. If you do not think so, you are DENYING it. This is the real meaning of kafir—to conceal—to conceal your innate belief in God. Instead of doing the best you can to discredit all proof of God, I suggest you do the best you can to comprehend his proofs. However, nothing I say can make some of you believe, so to you, I pray for your souls and warn you of a day that you will wish you had believed in our creator and judge. God is real, folks. Do not make the mistake of assuming that since you cannot see him, he does not exist. Do not make the other mistake of thinking that most of humanity are stupid sheep for believing in God, either. Many of us have thought very hard about God, and we have come to the conclusion that there is something up there. 10, 000 years ago, a man named Noah thought so. Several thousand years later, a man named Abraham thought so. Moses thought so, Jesus thought so, and Muhammad thought so. These were the most influential people in history. I suggest you read as much as you can about their messages, and come to a more informed conclusion about the existence of God.

Some of you are polytheists. To you I say that you should stop worshipping idols, as nothing can adequately symbolize or encapsulate the infinite source we all, on some level, try to worship. Painted stones are poor symbols for an Infinite power. Remember that it is mathematically, philosophically, and spiritually impossible to divide infinity. Whatever gods you try to worship are inherently limited by the presence of the other gods. There can only be one infinity. Polytheism and animism are usually culturally particular. There is no polytheistic religion that is a world religion (practiced by people all over the world.). The closest is Hinduism, which is largely confined to India, and it is a religion that teaches discrimination through the caste system. Polytheism is largely tribal, and relatively primitive, compared to the complex theologies of the monotheistic religions. Do not be a polytheist simply because your father was one. Think for yourself and ask yourself why the world at large does not believe in your polytheistic religion.

To all the people who only believe in science and evolution I say this: Science has its limitations and there are many things that cannot be explained in purely scientific terms. There is no mathematical formula or equation that can define my personality. Science cannot define the happiness my heart feels when I pray or the suffering of a woman in Somalia when she can’t find food for her children. There are some things that can only be understood or sensed by our spiritual senses and can only be put in spiritual, as opposed to strictly intellectual, terms.  In this sense, religion provides us with our spiritual sustenance, and gives us the inclination to think about a higher purpose for our limited time here on earth. Do not fill your time hating Islam, for no other reason that there are better and more productive things for you to do with your time.

Furthermore, if you believe in evolution (which I personally believe in as well, seeing how much of it is not inconsistent with Islam), and have read the newspapers lately, two new discoveries in Chad have shaken up the entire theory of evolution. We are not certain how evolution works, and we do not have all the answers. It is a fact that life adapts to its surroundings, but that is only one component of the many theories of evolution that scientists have today. Islam can accommodate theories of both evolution and creation. Two famous writers in the Islamic world, Dr. Maurice Bucaille (“What is the Origin of Man,”) and Harun Yahya (Evolution Deceit), have contributed well-reasoned and opposing arguments to the Muslim debate on evolution. 

 As for people that believe in God, but do not follow a particular religion, then you are relying on your limited human ability to judge what is right and wrong, effectively defeating the purpose of God’s divine guidance. Organized religion is here for us to judge between right and wrong in our lives and to give us a structured path to God’s forgiveness. It is all or nothing. Either you believe in your religion and everything that comes with it, or you don’t and you deprive yourself of the divine guidance that comes with its message, and the community of believers that you should belong to.

Monotheistic religions are separated only by which prophet a person wishes to follow, or as is more often the case, has been taught to follow. Jews follow Moses, Christians follow Jesus, and Muslims follow all of them. Muslims, however, believe that the message that the Prophet Muhammad brought has been the most well preserved—a fact that is supported by history—and thus, find good reason to rely on his words and way of life over the teachings of other prophets. If the Jews had preserved the message of God faithfully, why did Jesus come to admonish them for their transgressions and seek to restore the message of God to the people of Israel? But Jesus’ message has also been perverted from its original form, by the doings of various religious councils (especially the Council of Nicea and Trent, the corruption of the Popes, and omissions, changes, and various “versions” of the Bible) and various doctrines that are totally alien to the teachings of Jesus, such as the introduction of the concept of the Trinity by St. Athanasius 4 centuries after Jesus left this world. Furthermore, as Christianity spread, the priesthood found it necessary to compromise some of its teachings with pagan customs of the new lands it conquered in order to promote conversion (which was often forced, as in the case of Christianity in the “new world” of the Western Hemisphere). Perhaps this is why Christmas and Easter were on the same days as the Pagan festivals of the Roman Gods (where we got the name “Sun-day” from), the Babylonian Gods (Marduk on December 25th), and the Saxon gods (Eastre, the Goddess of rebirth).

Islam, however, has been uncorrupted by the pen of subsequent generations. Agree with its ideas or not, the fact remains that the words of the Quran has never been changed. It is a timeless message that billions of people adhered to and found profound and progressive truth in. The Islamic civilization succeeded while Europe was plunged in ignorance, the Americas were practicing human sacrifice, and the East was worshipping idols and kings. The Islamic civilization succeeded because the Quran commanded Muslims to think.

Other religions have a priesthood. The role of a priest for many religions was to act as an intermediary between the believer and the higher power/s. Often times, priests were also the scholars and learned men of a society. This was largely because they were taught to read. Not only did they read, but they learned how to read in order to read spiritual texts, thereby increasing both their mental and spiritual knowledge at the same time. Reading is something we now take for granted. But back then, as it is now, being illiterate was a form of slavery. The priesthood in Christianity developed because not everyone could read. The priest read parts of the Bible to the congregation and often served as its spiritual anchor. The words of the priest were thus very important, as was the priests interpretation of what he read. Often times, his interpretation was passed off as God’s “Truth.” This is one of the main reasons why there are so many different sects in Christianity: There are many charismatic leaders who do not necessarily see eye to eye, and because the Bibles they are reading are translations, the word choice is ambiguous enough to allow room for disagreement and outright conflict.

These problems are not present in Islam. Islamic civilization grew because all Muslims were commanded to be literate, especially in order to read the Quran. In Islam, knowledge is the bedrock of faith. There are no priests because we do not need anyone to interpret the incredibly clear message of the Quran. There are many interpretations to any verse in the Quran, but the vast majority do not seek to contradict each other, but rather be included on the list and to complement other interpretations. Very often, there is agreement. Furthermore, one finds that there is very little to actually interpret because the commands in the Quran are so clear: excel in every respect, remember God, be internally and externally devoted to Him, and do good works. Islam isn’t difficult to understand. But understanding can only come through knowledge, and knowledge can only be cultivated through thought, and this is why the Quran commands us to think. Islamic history is not like the history of the other religions, because Islam commanded widespread literacy and encouraged people to think for themselves. This is often why Islam is credited with forming the platform for the Renissance and Enlightenment: We learned that thinking independently was important almost 1000 years before Europe did. Muslim thinkers invented the scientific method—which is essentially a method of rethinking everything.

Your will should be based your knowledge and reasoning. Islam means submission to God’s will. That is what God taught Adam: how Adam should use his will to obey God’s will. It also what God meant for his descendants. To believe in Islam is to acknowledge that you were created by God, and to pay tribute to a being that has boundless knowledge and power. It is to worship your creator. Unlike other religions, Muslims do not believe they have a monopoly on God’s good favor. Jews believe they are the chosen people, and that the rest will burn in Hell. Christians believe that if you do not accept Jesus Christ dying for our sins on the cross, you will burn in Hell. Muslims believe that no one died for your sins, no one is a chosen over others, and that you will be responsible for your own actions when the day comes that you stand before God. God will decide who will burn in hell according to what each person knew, what they believed, and if they acted according to the knowledge they possessed. God will judge, because he is the only one fit to judge. That is why we don’t rape anyone. That is why we don’t force anyone to convert, which would be pointless anyway, since Islam is a voluntary and sincere submission to God, not a forced submission. That is why I am here talking to you: To warn you that everything you do when you close the curtains, everything you say when you are in front of others, and everything you write in this forum will be called to account on that day of judgment. Please think more about the concept of accountability. If you write about Islam out of intolerance, hatred, or prejudice, God will know. The consequences are the same if you wrote the same about other religions. God knows why you do the things you do and will mercifully judge you, but be reminded that he is strict in his punishment, and knows your heart and intentions well.

During the time that I have visited this forum, I have heard venom from the lips of each and every one of you. You have done everything possible to blame Islam for every ill that you see in Muslim countries, from history all the way to the present. I can only do my best to remind you to separate between the peaceful teachings of Islam and the violence that is improperly committed in its name by selfish people motivated by their own agendas. Religion is a powerful unifier and a powerful divider. Please do not associate Saddam Hussein with us. Do not associate these dictators and extremists with the teachings of Islam. Islam has no desire to see people suffering in any way. Islam has no desire to harm others. In fact, Islam was a reformist, if not revolutionary, message to the ignorance prevalent in the world in the 7th century. It was revealed in order to help humanity. This is the main goal of our religion and it succeeded in doing so, until colonialism and its subsequent dictatorship/puppet governments chose to silence the voices of Islam violently. Almost every “Muslim” country is a dictatorship that crushes dissent. And almost everyone is supported in some way by the US or its allies, such as Algeria, Saudia Arabia, or Egypt. In Algeria, for example, democratic elections led to a victory by Islamic groups. The military made short work of this success, a military that was supported by France, which is supposed to be a democratic country. The West does not support democracy in Muslim countries, because if the people of these countries really could participate in the political process, there would be no guarantee that the policies they formulate would benefit the West, especially in today’s political climate. By keeping dictators in these (or any) country, the countries of the West can ensure that they can impose their will through the proxy leaders they support, a support which, not surprisingly, takes its form mainly through military aid.

Islamic extremism is a product of these repressive regimes, and a simple survey of Muslim countries will show that the level of Islamic extremism is proportionate to the level of suppressed democracy. It is the same as the Chiapas Indians fighting in Mexico. It is the same as the ANC that Nelson Mandela led 25 years ago. Without access to democracy, there will be a backlash by the disenfranchised.

Extremism exists in the Muslim world because Islam teaches that tyrants have no right to govern, and must be removed—if not peacefully, then through Jihad, because a goal of Jihad is meant to restore some semblance of justice to society. The poverty and human rights abuses you see are not due to Islam, they are due to the incredible corruption of these dictatorships. Islam strives to fight against this, but then again, these dictators know that, and crack down on Muslims (who are often labeled under the blanket term “militants” or “fundamentalists.”) simply for challenging the status quo. The struggle turns violent when their voices are brutally and persistently repressed, as in the case of Algeria, Turkey, and Egypt. If violence is not acceptable, then how do you propose to rid the world of Saddam Hussein’s regime? By asking nicely? By conducting a sit in? If China slaughtered its own citizens in the Tienneamen Square sit-in without compunction, you can be assured that Saddam (or any other dictator) will do the same, and even kill the families of all involved. Peaceful opposition is not possible sometimes and as the Quran rightly says: oppression is worse than (and often leads to) slaughter, so fight oppression, even with your lives if you must. Applying the methods of the US Civil Rights movement would be to take it out of historical and socio-politcal context. At the time, America was largely a country based on the rule of law, with at least a symbolic respect for human rights, and under the scrutiny of the world and its own press. None of these conditions are present in Iraq or other repressive regimes. Therefore, sit-ins and labor-strikes and any other form of opposition are often suppressed, and in the most brutal way possible, in order to serve as a deterrent to other people wishing to fight for their rights. Islam fights against all of this. Islam wants freedom. Islam wants democracy. Islam wants human rights to prevail.

I hope that you all approach Islam with a more open mind. It seems that many of you have already made up your minds and are here in order to confirm your own prejudices. Ali Sina is a person who does not even attempt to conceal his seething hatred for Islam. Why would you listen to such a person? You say that he is telling the truth about Islam, but in fact, he is not—he is just telling you the stories you don’t read in many books. He claims that you don’t find these stories in books because the authors are apologists, but in fact, you will not find these stories in books because they are not credible.

I just hope that you all see the harm in Mr. Sina’s message of intolerance. It is harmful both for society and for your own mind. Please stop hating Islam and stop frequenting these extremist sites. Please learn about Islam from a less one-sided source. Learn about Islam in order to know that God’s final message to humanity is one of peace and progression, and not the evil message that Ali Sina wants you to think it is. My friends, Ali is lying to you so he can get you to hate Islam as well. I know you see what he is doing. I know you are all smarter than that. 


Wissam Nasr    


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