Debate with Mr.
read some of the articles from your site. I e-mailed one of them to a
Muslim friend of mine, who's a philosophy major, and we both came to the same
conclusion... your arguments are not logically/rationally founded... that is,
they don't appeal to logic but rather to emotion... to the
"liberal/humanistic sympathies in western culture" as my friend would
say. So far, I haven't found your arguments convincing...
appeals to emotions therefore for a religious person it is not easy to be
objective. If you think my arguments are not logically/rationally founded, may
be it is because you are biased. All believers are biased. You cannot believe in
something and not be biased. If you are not biased towards a doctrine you
won’t believe in it, rather you question it and reject part of it. Since it is
not possible to accept part of a religion and reject other parts of it,
especially in Islam that claims to be the perfect religion, if you are not
biased, you are not a believer. Of course if what I say is not rational or
logical, you should have no difficulty to demonstrate that. As a matter of fact
I have issued a challenge in the first page of my site inviting anyone to
disprove my arguments and if he succeeds I’ll delete my site. Just denouncing
my arguments is no proof; the challenge is to disprove me logically and
me say for the record that I am a Muslim though pretty secular minded. For
example, I am a strong believer in the secular state and rule of law - at
elections I consistently support the platforms of social-democratic parties.
I am attracted and open to other religions as well... I have been particularly
influenced by Quakerism, Unitarianism, and Native-Canadian religion.
are either pregnant or you are not. What you tell me about yourself is not
Islam. You cannot call yourself a Muslim and disregard what the Quran asks you
to do. This is what the Quran teaches.
And slay them wherever ye catch them
And if any believe
not in Allah and His Messenger, We have prepared, for those who reject Allah, a
If anyone desires
a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of
him; and in the
Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good).
is what Quarn says about other religions. You cannot have it both ways. Please
be honest to yourself and define where you are standing.
I want to say that I have no intention of bringing you back to Islam... that's
your own choice as "there is no compulsion in religion." I
merely am troubled by the flaws in your argument.
single verse “there is no compulsion in religion” was said when Muhammad was
in Mecca and weak. How he could compel people when he had no means. That was a
convenient thing to say. But when he became powerful, he forgot about this verse
and started revealing verses such as this one.
O ye who believe! fight
the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and
know that Allah is with those who fear Him.
to many Islamic scholars the surah Towbah (surah nine) that is said to be the
last surah revealed to Muhammad that contains many verses such as above,
abrogates the “no compulsion” think in Quran. See here
on 3: 28
you should not even take a non-believer as a friend.
just curious where in the West you have lived... it seems you have only been
exposed to a middle class/university environment within the West. I'm from
small-town (actually small city) Canada (a "redneck" region of
Canada you might say). I don't find ALL Westerners to be that tolerant or
liberal (I want to avoid over-generalizing and stereotyping though, which you do
quite a bit - especially in your comments about Saudis and Westerners). I
find many in the West tend to practice a sort of cultural imperialism - they
think they are superior without critically examining their own system of
thought. In a way Western humanistic thought is a system of thinking as is
did not say all the Westerners are tolerant people. Here we have the KKK, the
neo nazis and other nutcases. I do not believe in stereotyping. But generally
speaking “most” people in the West are tolerant while finding a tolerant
person among the Muslims, say for example the Saudis is rare. Said this, I also
should say the West has its devils and Islam its saints. We are talking about
general rule not exceptions.
don't particularly believe many of the practices common in Islam today... but
one can be (as I am) a cultural Muslim because, for better or for worse, that is
the group I feel I belong with. In Israel, many Jewish nationalists don't
believe in Judiasm as a religion but rather as a nationality. They
consider Judaism as part of their identity but don't necessarily believe in this
tenants. I was talking about this the other day with a Jewish friend of
do you mean by “cultural Muslim”? Are you talking about your ethnic
background, the music you listen to, the language you speak, the cuisine you
prefer, the architecture, the poetry and the calligraphy of your people? If that
is what you are talking about I am a cultural Muslim too. Some how we call
these things Islamic; I prefer to refer to them as Middle Eastern. I do cherish
and love my culture, my heritage, my motherland and my people and their
folklore. It is the religion of Muhammad that I am against, not my culture. I am
against Islam because it teaches me to hate others.
is a nationality. The religion of Judaism was created to foster and protect that
nationality. There have been many studies on this subject. The best one is by
Richard Elliot Friedman, the author of Who Wrote the Bible. Islam on the other hand is a
religion that wants to expand, conquer and dominate the entire world. Judaism
represents no danger to anyone; Islam does.
the Quran, like the Bible and the Torah, can be interpreted to mean pretty much
anything you want. I've heard arguments that paint the Quran as very
liberal (ie. promoting homosexuality, women's rights, and legalized euthanasia)
and as being very illiberal as you have argued. While there are phrases
one can interpret as very harsh, there are also phrases one can interpret as
being very liberal. One can take the Quran as being metaphorical and
allegorical - which I personally think is accurate and which seems more
claims to be a book of guidance in which there is no doubt and admits no error.
If this book can be interpreted by anyone to suit his or her whims that book is
not a book of guidance. If you consult a map you expect all the information be
truthful. If it guides you sometimes and at other times it misleads you that map
of no value to anyone. If Quran means something to one person and quite another
thing to someone else, it fails to be a clear source of guidance to everyone. By
claiming to be an infallible source of guidance Quran becomes a dangerous source
of misguidance. A true book of guidance should not allow itself to
interpretations but must be precise and definite. Your opinion that Quran is
metaphorical is not shared by Quran and other Muslims who actually could kill
you for trying to introduce bid'a (innovation).
Trudeau, a former Prime Minister of of Canada, was a devote Catholic but did not believe
all the tenants of the Vatican. As a social activist in the
1950s and early 1960s he fought the stranglehold that the Catholic Church held
over his home province of Quebec. As Justice Minister in the 1960s he legalized
homosexuality and as Prime Minister in the 1970s abolished capital punishment.
He was a strong believer in the power of rational thought.
are many Catholics who do not believe in everything that Vatican tells them. But
one cannot find many harsh teachings like “kill the unbelievers” in the New
Testament. There are few misogynistic remarks in the NT but nothing like what we find in
the Quran. Christianity still survives and it may survive for a few more centuries.
But Islam is a different story. Islam teaches hate and advocates violence. We
cannot have liberal Islam for too long. As Taslima Nasrin points out, Islam is
like a poisonous tree from which shoot out poisonous brunches of fundamentalism.
You can keep cutting the branches but as long as the tree is not uprooted, these
branches keep shooting out.
some thoughts. Also, as I said in my previous e-mail, I don't seek to
convert you to Islam (frankly your religous beliefs are your business as I don't
believe in imposing my views on others). Rather, I seek merely to point
out the flaws in your arguments.
would be more than happy to listen to the flaws of my arguments. So far you have
only expressed your opinion and not the flaws of my argument. Why you don’t do
so? I have issued the challenge that should anyone refute my arguments I will
delete my site not before publishing an apology. All you have to do is to
disprove what I say about Muhammad and my claim that Quran is wrong.
I believe that you should be free to air your views - as free thought and
criticism are what made the medieval Islamic empire flourish - unlike the
present day where stifling of free thought has lead to the stifling nature of
Islamic cutlure today.
is true. Medieval Islamic World flourished because freethinkers like Ar Razi,
Abu Ali Sina, Ibn Rushd, Al Muari, Khayyam and other great luminaries were not
put to death when they expressed their disbelief in Islam and its mumbo jumbo.
But see how fundamentalism came back? Look at Turkey. Ata Turk secularized
Turkey, but today the fundamentalists are trying to reverse his reforms. Reza
Shah of Iran 70 years ago also curtailed Islam, but 50 years later the
fundamentalism destroyed that land. Keeping Islam is playing with a poisonous
snake. You either kill this snake or be prepared that one day it will come out
of its cage and bite you. I want to kill Islam forever. I do not agree
castrating it and flirting with it. I do not see any need for it. I have rather
got rid of my romanticism and I am more pragmatic. I do not trust Islam. Why
should we hold unto something that does not benefit us but could be lethal?
more thing, on my political views, which may be of relevance - I was brought up
in an environment to believe in democratic socialism. However, in
university I questioned these beliefs which I had earlier accepted so
uncritically. I was a neo-conservative for a while. Though, after
critical thinking I came back to my old socialist views but was better informed
and less dogmatic. I believe that might (though I could be wrong) reflect
the next stage in the spiritual development of an individual like yourself - to
accept Islam but not uncritically - I found that thought prevelant among some of
the testimonials on your site - Michael Muhammad Knight being one example.
Many of them seem to still accept Islam but just not uncritically anymore.
There are some who still opine Islam can be reformed. They cannot get rid of it
and need to cling to it. They want to reinvent a tolerant Islam. I question why.
Why we should hold unto something that is false from origin. Muhammad was a
narcissist and a sick man. Why we need to praise him? Shall we hold unto the
image of Hitler but try to reform and humanize his philosophy?
What is this attachment we have with this man? On one hand you are saying
that what Muhammad said should not be completely relied upon, we have to
incorporate democracy and freedom of thought in Islam. Which according the
Muhammad is bid’a and you are an apostate. On the other hand you cannot let go
of this man? Why?
problem is that as long as people like you, who have earned their degrees,
uphold Islam as the religion of God and the hodgepodge of Quran as the word of
God, the fundamentalists get their confirmation that all the killings that they
do by following the explicit teachings of Quran becomes justifiable. You may be
a liberal person and a freethinker, but when you recognize Quran as the book of
God, the less educated Muslims do not care to listen to your advice. They are
not interested in your personal views about tolerance, democracy and freedom but
they follow what the Quran teaches. And Quran teaches hate, bigotry, fanaticism
and killing. You are responsible for the rise of fundamentalism, whether you
agree with that or not.