This is the continuation of the email exchanges I
had with Dr. Sohail
Dr. Sohail wrote:
I believe Islam to be the best religion in the world &Prophet
Muhammad (pbuh) to be the true Last Messenger of Almighty Allah. (Relax
I'm not starting a debate!)
Before I get into a discussion with you over Islam here's an easy query
for you to answer (kindly don't misquote & misinterpret my words):
As far as I know you're an atheist which means you don't believe in the
existence of God & we all know that every human being will die
someday...IF FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT, I agree with you that whatever
you say about Islam is true then can you tell me what do you believe
will happen to you after you die?
I do not know what will happen to us after we die. Most likely we simply cease
to exist. Is it possible that a reality of us survive after we die? Is it
possible that the world is more complex than what meets the eye? Could there be
other worlds with different dimensions parallel to ours of which we have no
knowledge? How can we know? The fact is that even if such worlds exist, we have
no evidence of their existence and therefore they belong to the realm of
speculation. It is okay to speculate, but it is not wise to hinge our lives
around things that are speculative in nature. There is only one life of which we
can be certain and it is this life – the one that we are living. We must make
the most of it.
The best way to make the most of this life is to make our species advance. We
humans are social animals. Our happiness depends on the happiness of our fellow
beings. Nature has made us such that the greatest pleasures we feel are in
giving and in helping others. Those who help others do so because they enjoy it.
There is no pleasure greater than making others happy. Empathy is something that
has evolved in us humans. Apparently we are not the only species capable of
empathy. Recently I saw a video on Youtube that stunned and amazed me and made
me change my understanding of the animal world forcing me to respect them to the
point of reverence. The amateur video shows that a buffalo calf is caught by a
pride of lions and then the entire buffalo herd regroups, surrounds the pride,
attacks the lions and rescues the calf. These buffalos risked their own lives to
save the life of one of their own. What an astounding evidence that many species
of animals do care about their own kind and are willing to risk their own lives
to save the lives of others.
Empathy, like intelligence is a biological phenomenon. A study shows that the
area of the brain associated with higher-level thinking, empathy, and guilt is
underused by teenagers. When considering an action, the teenage medial
prefrontal cortex, located in front of the brain, doesn't get as much action as
adults. Empathy is a basic part of human nature that allows people to care about
others. This study suggests that empathy is a learned behavior.
Another study suggests damage to the brain limits empathy. When asked if they
would kill someone for a greater cause, such as saving the lives of more people,
those with damaged brains often responded affirmatively while the subjects with
normal brains were not prepared to kill someone even for a greater cause.
According to Dr. Antonio Damasio, one of the study’s lead authors, “Part of
our moral behavior is grounded ... in a specific part of our brains,"
Some cultures are noticeably more empathic than others. High on the list are
Indian and western cultures. Low on the list, are Islamic cultures, irrespective
of their race or nationality. Muslims often rationalize the pain and suffering
caused to non-Muslims, citing Abu Ghraib, Hiroshima, Palestine and other
unrelated topics to justify the senseless killing of innocent people. Some
zealot Muslims do not feel the pain of other Muslims either. They are constantly
fighting and shedding each other's blood. The very Islamic belief that God would
burn the non-Muslims for eternity and their inability to see anything wrong in
this patent injustice is a clear indication of their lack of empathy. No other
religion has such a blanket condemnation of its detractors.
Now, it would be unreasonable to suggest that Muslims, as a group, are brain
damaged. So how can we understand the general lack of empathy in a large number
of them towards other humans particularly the non-Muslims? This conundrum can be
explained through the findings of another study.
A French and American team of social-cognitive neuroscientists have identified a
network of brain regions that are involved in human imitation. The scope of the
research was to find the neurological basis of social interaction, particularly
empathy. The team is headed by neuroscientist Jean Decety of France 's Institut
de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale and a visiting scientist at the
University of Washington 's Center for Mind, Brain & Learning, and
developmental psychologist Andrew Meltzoff, co-director of the center.
Their study suggests that empathy is learned through imitation. "This work
is important because imitation is a natural procedure. We don't learn to
imitate. It is part of our biological nature and we are born to imitate,"
Children learn empathy if they see empathy. It is a mistake to assume all
cultures are equal or buy into the lie that all people are the same and that bad
and good are equally distributed among all nations. There are definitely nations
that are more ethical and empathic than others. There are societies that
generally lack empathy. In the western societies good people are the majority
and bad people are exceptions. Westerners have written and adopted The Universal
Declaration of Human Rights where all humans are regarded as equals and
deserving of the same rights.
unable to accept precepts of equality and fairness, Muslims have created their
own version, calling it "Islamic Universal Declaration of Human
Rights" were freedom of speech is controlled and Muslims have more rights
How can we explain this difference? We humans are genetically made of the same
stock and are the same species. So, how can we explain the fact that there are
cultures that are more empathic than others? Westerners are very likely to give
money to charities, even when they are not wealthy. Muslims in general do not
give to charities unless they believe they will be rewarded for it in the next
world. Islamic charities are not geared to help the poor but to promote Islam,
such as build mosques, print Islamic literature to distribute for free, or to
finance Jihad. This is how Muslims perceive charity. Muslims also give to the
poor. However, the intent is to gain the pleasure of Allah and be rewarded in
the afterlife. I recall once I stayed at the home of an aunt and a beggar
knocked at the door asking for something to eat. My aunt went to the kitchen,
rapped some food in a piece of bread and gave it to him. But before, she rotated
the food around my head. I perfectly knew what she was doing. According to her
belief system, by rotating the food around someone’s head she would collect
the ills surrounding that person and give it away. As a child I believed this to
be true and felt guilty. I did not want someone else receive the calamities that
were destined for me just for a piece of bread. That seemed to be an unjust
trade. This kind of charity is called sadaqeh. The intent of sadaqeh is to send
away the ill and give it to someone else and of course be "rewarded"
for it as well. Everything Muslims do is for reward, a vacuous promise of
gaining Allah's compensation in the afterlife.
A sad reality that sheds light on the Muslim mind is the fact that they rarely
volunteer to donate organs or blood; but, unlike Jehovah's witnesses, they would
accept organ and blood donations.
Good people often do bad things when inspired by bad religious teachings, with
clarity of conscience. An entire society can lack empathy. If the ethos of that
society does not promote empathy people do not learn it. The evolution of
empathy in the West is recent. Only a hundred years ago the westerners felt no
qualm colonizing other nations, subjugating and exploiting them. The unjust
Opium War that the British waged against the Chinese to destroy them with
addiction because the Chinese would not accept wool in exchange for their tea,
is only a token of the lack of empathy and the injustice of the Europeans.
Another example is what the Germans did less than seventy years ago. However, it
is unlikely that either the Germans or the British of today would allow their
governments to commit such acts of inhumanity. The ethos of these people has
changed and as the result their level of empathy is raised.
Many ex-Muslims will tell you that prior to their rejection of Islam they had no
empathy for the pains of the non-Muslims and some have even confessed that they
were elated when they heard about the September 11 calamity that killed many
innocent people. Even the westerners, upon converting to Islam lose their
empathy. Yvonne Riddley, the BBC journalist who converted to Islam, has given
her unconditional support to the terrorists, calling them "heroes" and
"martyrs" and has justified their murder of innocent people including
the children of Beslan. Joseph Cohen, a Jew who changed his name to Yusuf
Khattab after converting to Islam, has also expressed his approval of the
killing of Israelis, including their children.
Left on our own, with no ideology or belief system to poison our minds and
divide us, we humans are naturally capable of having high levels of empathy for
each other. Many gregarious animals, including some social insects such as bees,
are capable of great self sacrifice for their kind. I am sure buffaloes do not
have prophets to teach them empathy. This proves that empathy is completely
biological. We do not need a reason or a cause to live together in harmony.
However, to hate one another we need causes and beliefs that instill in us the
hatred of our fellow beings. These causes could be spurious religious beliefs,
such as Islam or fascistic political ideologies, such as Nazism or communism.
People with no ideologies, have less reason to wage war.
It is clear that we can develop empathy or lose it through education and belief.
Actually it is amazing how fast one can acquire empathy or lose it. I felt no
pain or sorrow upon hearing the violent death of Musab al Zarqawi, the Jordanian
terrorist who had killed over a thousand people in Iraq, nor did I feel any
sadness upon the execution of Saddam Hussein. I must confess that I even felt
relieved, and the news of their death felt good. Now, this feeling is generally
alien to me. I often feel the pain of others, not just in my mind but also in m
body. Watching the picture of a woman being stoned makes my body ache, as if I
am being stoned. Despite the proliferation of the videos of beheadings, I have
not been able to watch any of them yet. I feel the knife on my own throat and
have to stop the video or close my eyes. The only way I can explain this double
standard is that we humans must have the ability to switch on and off our
empathy “button” at will. When terrorists are killed I justify their death
and feel good and when innocent people are killed I feel I am being violated and
empathize with them. This is the choice I have made. Those Muslims, who find
themselves on the other side of the fence and sympathize with the terrorists and
their cause, empathize with them while they rejoice when an innocent non
believer is killed. What separate good people from bad people are the causes
that they embrace and since the definition of good and bad for each person is
different, people commit evil with clear conscience once they embrace ideologies
that are evil.
This makes our problem very clear. It is evil ideologies that reduce people into
bloodthirsty beasts and heartless killers. It is these ideologies that we have
to fight and eliminate. People are the same everywhere. We were all born
innocent. What make us different are our belief systems.
Some Muslim children are nurtured with the hatred of the non believers,
particularly the Jews. Even a “moderate” Muslim like Dr. Mahathir, the
ex-Prime minister of Malaysia, who probably has never seen a Jew in person, was
so much paranoid of them that in his speech addressed to the Muslim leaders of
the world, in 2003, blamed the Jews for everything that is wrong in the Muslim
world. When people grow in such an environment filled with hate, there is little
room for empathy in their minds.
Empathy makes us not only feel the pain of others, but also their happiness.
Isn’t it true that seeing a happy face makes you happy? The reverse is also
true. Seeing a person crying and in pain saddens you. Because, as species we
humans are capable of having high levels of empathy, we can rejoice and be happy
in the happiness of others. This is the crux of the matter.
Why should we be kind to others, help our fellow beings and strive to bring
happiness to their lives, if there is no hell and heaven? It is because once we
develop empathy, we do not need a compensation for our good deeds and kindness
to others. The fact that we can help someone and make him or her happy is by
itself rewarding. It is the happiness of others that makes us happy. Many people
did not know Nazanin, the young Iranian girl who was sentenced to be hanged by
the Islamic courts for defending herself against a rapist, which accidentally
killed him. People all over the world felt her pain and started a campaign to
urge the Islamic regime to set her free. Under the pressure of the world opinion
the courts in Iran buckled and Nazanin was released. Her picture with a big
smile after gaining her freedom brought joy to the hearts of all those who had
strove for her freedom. I felt elated and tears of joy bubbled in my eyes, even
though I do not know that young woman. This is called empathy. We feel the pain
of others and rejoice in their happiness. There is no other reward needed in
making someone happy. The reward is intrinsic in the very act of kindness.
What about those people who have no empathy, like criminals, the brain damaged
and the terrorists? They are mishaps. The criminals and the brain damaged must
be rehabbed. The terrorists must be weaned from their cultic beliefs. As long as
they hold unto their belief, and to the degree that they are inspired by the
hate speeches of their religious leaders, there is little difference between the
terrorists and criminals or brain damaged people. The actions of the terrorists
and the moral support that they get from millions of their like minded
coreligionists, is an eloquent testimony that not all doctrines are harmless.
Whether we like it or not and whether it is politically correct to say it or
not, we have to accept the fact that those Muslims who regularly go to the
mosque and fill their minds with the venomous sermons of their hate spewing
mullahs, have little empathy for the rest of mankind. What distinguishes us
humans from lower forms of life is empathy. If even buffaloes can have empathy
for their kind, the terrorists and those who support them can be ranked as less
As I stated above, empathy can be learned and it can be switched off and on.
Once these hardened fanatics leave their doctrine of hate they often acquire
empathy quite fast. Suddenly they can see other humans as fellow beings and feel
their sorrow and happiness. The reverse is also true. Once someone falls into
the trap of Islam, it takes very little time before he or she starts hating
everyone and everything.
Dante described hell as a place where there is no hope. I agree with that
description and add one more. Hell is where there is no love. By this
definition, those who hate mankind live in hell. They wake up every morning and
go to bed every night feeling nothing but hatred. A hatred that is fueled by
lies, so intense that derives them to commit suicide in order to take their
revenge. This is hell.
We humans care about each other. That is because our survival as a species
depends on it. Therefore, empathy is natural and a necessity of life in us. In
giving, we enrich our own lives. Giving validates our sense of humanness and
makes us feel complete. We feel pleasure in giving, in helping, in making others
happy and in alleviating people’s pains. This feeling is very natural to us
humans, unless we lose it through evil indoctrination.
One does not need any religion or belief to have empathy because, just like
intelligence, empathy is part of our evolutionary make up. However, like
intelligence, it has to be nurtured to develop. Since religion is the expression
of everything that is noble and good in us humans, most religions emphasize on
this aspect of our humanness and encourage us to be giving, loving and helping.
Nonetheless, it is a mistake to assume that it is because of religion that we
have empathy. It is actually the other way round. Religions have adopted what is
essentially a human experience. The reason we are attracted to religions that
teach love is because they speak the language of our heart. They tell us what we
already know to be true and aspire.
Islamic teachings contain passages that can bee seen as hate mongering. They can
reduce those who take them literally into zombies. They take away their humanity
and make them monsters who think of nothing but how to kill other humans. With
false promises of a shamefully orgiastic afterlife and threats of a sadistic
hell, some so called religious teachings, rub the intelligence and the
conscience of their victims reducing them into less than beasts. Once you lose
your humanity, there is nothing left in you than bestiality. Take a look at what
is happening in Iraq and in Palestine these days. Muslims are killing one
another in the most savage ways. This is not new. Muslims have been killing each
other since the day Muhammad died.
Whether there is an afterlife or not, we don’t know. Assuming there is, of one
thing we can be sure, and that is evildoers will not be rewarded. Those who go
against human nature and kill their kind can’t expect to be rewarded. If there
is a hell these evildoers will be sent to the pit of it. God will not reward
people who hate and kill what He has created. Ignorance is not an excuse. God
gave all humans the faculty to distinguish right from wrong. Those who willingly
choose evil are responsible for their deeds.
The Quest for Immortality
It is my belief (belief means something for which one has no evidence) that we
humans are the only species that is aware of its mortality. I recall the day I
became aware of human mortality. It was a traumatic experience. I was about
eight or nine years old when an elderly lady who was our acquaintance was hit by
a truck and died. I was shocked by the realization that she was gone for ever. I
kept asking “why”. My mother reassured me that she had gone to a better
place. I accepted her explanation because it made me feel better and I wanted to
Because we humans are aware of our mortality, we seek immortality. We want to
beat the death. How we do that depends very much on our maturity and our ability
to think rationally. Primitive humans solved this problem by promoting the
belief that they will transcend death by either resurrecting, reincarnating or
by acquiring an ethereal incorruptible body in a new (spiritual) dimension.
Rational people find it hard to accept these assumptions. They satisfy their
quest for immortality by trying to leave a trace of themselves behind. This
sentiment was beautifully expressed by Orianna Fallachi, who in her last days,
while cancer was fast depleting her vital energy, ran against the time to write
three books, warning the West of the looming danger of Islamization of Europe.
She said, “Through these books I will die a little less.”
This is what derives people who do not believe in an afterlife. They seek their
immortality through their legacy. Painters, poets, writers, teachers,
philosophers and inventors strive to die a little less through their work.
One does not have to be necessarily a painter or a writer to become immortal. We
can outlive our death and acquire immortality through our deeds. Our deeds have
a ripple effect and their echo lasts for decades, centuries or even millennia.
Abused people abuse others! This abuse passes from one generation to another.
All tyrants of history who butchered thousands or millions of people had abusive
childhood. Hitler, Stalin, Saddam. Pol Pot, Genghis Khan, Mao, apart from their
savagery and ruthlessness had one more thing in common. They were all survivors
of abusive childhood. Those who abused them sow evil in them and this evil came
into fruition when these children became adults. Acts of kindness also pass from
one generation to another and last. Therefore, we are all immortal. We all live
through our deeds. They are the seeds that we sow.
I don’t know what will happen to us after we die. No one has come back to tell
us. My guess is that we cease to exist. We will return to nothingness just as we
were before we came to this world. However, like everyone else, I too seek
immortality. I do not trust the vacuous promise of an orgiastic paradise filled
with debauchery and carnal delights. If these things are immoral here, they
should be immoral also in the other world. I do not find them pleasurable
anyway. I think the greatest pleasure is learning and in giving. I seek my
immortality through my deeds. I strive to leave a trace of myself in this world
– the best part of me- and sow good seeds. I do my best to ease people’s
pains, to bring joy where there is sorrow; to shed light where there is
darkness, to impart knowledge where there is ignorance and to spread
understanding where there is confusion. I have chosen my goal and have
determined my purpose of life. I want to be an instrument of peace and work
towards the unity of mankind. I will not be fooled by spurious promises of a
sensual afterlife, but will cling to what is real and concrete. Goodness is real
and I strive to be good and do good.
Our goodness will outlive us. Of that we can be certain. Can anyone be certain
of anything else that may outlive us? The belief in the survival of the spirit
is only a belief. There is no evidence to support it.
I do believe in paradise. Paradise is right here in this world. Where there is
love and there is hope, that place is paradise. Why not fill this world with
love and hope and transform it into a paradise?
I heard the news about the passenger jet ramming into the WTC twin towers on
radio while driving. I ran into a coffee shop to watch the news. The shop was
packed. People were standing watching what was happening, in disbelief. I stood
there numbed, knowing who was behind that dastardly crime. When the first tower
collapsed, I collapsed too. My knees were not strong enough to take that much
pain that I felt in my soul. If the death of 3,000 people can bring me to my
knees, how can I enjoy paradise, eat, drink and have sex merrily, when I know
most of my fellow beings are tortured and burned in the most sadistic way? If
this is paradise I want no part of it. If buffaloes can have empathy for their
kind, are we humans less than buffalo to not feel the pain of ours?
You say, “(Please, quote some authentic sources
with references, NOT YOUR PERSONAL BELIEFS. Do refrain from quoting
Muslim sources on this.)
Why should I quote someone else when I am endowed with a mind of my own and can
use it? Are we sheep to follow someone else? Why can’t YOU use your own brain
and say something of your own and not quote a dead Arab of the seventh century?
I give you my opinion. If you seek the opinion of others, ask THEM.
I repeat again, I'll debate you, at least once, on
Islam but after a break.
Thank you again for clarifying the answer to my previous offer on public
(P.S.: I'll not answer anything you write to me other than about the
Who said I seek debate with you or with anyone? I have written millions of words
explaining my thoughts and have made them available on this site for free. You
are most welcome to read them, pick what you want and leave what you don’t. If
I debate it is to make everyone realize Islam is a lie. I want Muslims leave
Islam because I care about them and I care about this world and everyone living
Can you kindly show me a link on your website, for
verification, where you've proclaimed to every reader that comes to your
site that you'll present yourself to die if any Muslim can successfully
refute ANY ONE of your arguments against Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)?
Thank U & Allah Hafiz,
I did not say this before but I say it now. If you or anyone can disprove my
charges against your psychopath prophet, I will come to any event that you
Muslims may organize, knowing fully well that what you actually have prepared
for me is not a public debate but my assassination.
I say this, not because I have any desires to die. On the contrary I love life
and want to live it to the max. It is only by living that I can leave a trace of
myself and “die a little less.” I say this because I am certain that no one
can refute any of my charges against Muhammad. I bet with my life.
I sincerely hope that you too realize that Islam is evil, and a lie, that you
leave this doctrine of hate and join us. We are all one people. Do not let the
big lies of psychopaths such as Hitler and Muhammad separate us and make us kill
one another. Leave Islam and embrace all humankind. You have a big family, do
not make yourself a stranger. Do not harbor the hatred of your brothers and
sisters. Do not sharpen your knife to shed the blood of another human. By
killing someone, you are killing yourself. It is your humanity that you are