Leaving Islam




Ali Sina's open letter to Prof. Michael Sells 


The University of North Carolina decided to familiarize its freshmen students with Islam. That is a noble thought. They chose a book called "Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations,". But this apparently commendable act became highly controversial. It became controversial because that book does not represent the whole truth. The early revelation was written when Muhammad was weak and it does not include any of he violent and bloody verses of the Quran. Those verses are in the later revelations, when Muhammad escaped to Medina and started to gain power through raiding caravans and killing the Jews and looting their belongings. The following is Ali Sina's open letter to Professor Michael Sells the author of the book "Approaching the Quran".


Dear Prof. Sells;  

I read your write up entitled “Understanding, Not Indoctrination” in Washingtonpost.com Thursday, August 8, 2002.  

I have to say that as an ex-Muslim I was not very much impressed.  I believe your comparison of Islam with Christianity and Judaism was unfair. I have to emphasize that I am not a religious person at all. Yet in all fairness I see no similarities between Islam and other major religions.  

You spoke of the book of Joshua. Of course that book and the books prior to that present Jehovah as a ruthless tyrant. It is amazing that people can still believe in a such bloodthirsty deity. Yet as Biblical scholars such as Richard Elliott Friedman have demonstrated those stories may not be even true. As a matter of fact the very existence of Mosses is questionable. However, Even if we accept those tales as historical the mandates given to Moses and Joshua were exclusively given to them and they are not binding on or required from the believers. In nowhere in the Old or New Testaments we find injunctions given to the believers of all times to kill and loot the infidels. Therefore if Christians in any moment of history have used the scriptures to persecute and kill, they have done it by misinterpreting and abusing the teachings of their books. If you disagree with me please show me your evidence.  

Nevertheless the Quran is filled with injunctions that call the believers to be harsh with the unbelievers and kill them wherever they find them.    

You wrote, “But most Muslims interpret these in the context of early war between Muhammad's followers and their opponents. They no more expect to apply them to their contemporary non-Muslim friends and neighbors than most Christians and Jews consider themselves commanded by God, like the Biblical Joshua, to exterminate the infidels.” 

It is true that “most Muslims” do not apply the violent verses of the Quran to their contemporary non-Muslim friends. But your book is not about Muslims and whether they practice what the Quran teaches or not. Your book is about the Quran and you were not truthful in representing that book. These are two different issues. The reason most Muslims today do not strap bombs to their waists and blow up innocent people or do not contemplate killing their non-Muslim neighbors is because they are wishy-washy Muslims and do not really practice what Quran requires from them. Even the Prophet had problem with this. Arabs were a violent folk, but still they were reluctant to fight for religion. Actually prior to Islam there were no religious hostilities among the Arabs that comprised idolaters, Jews and Christians. Most of the early believers disliked fighting. The Prophet had to coax them with the following verse:

“Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you”? (Q.2:216).

Is really fighting good for people? But when this did not work he coerced them with the following:  

“Unless ye go forth, He (Allah) will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place”?  (Q.9:39).


Actually a great part of the Quran is about inciting the believers to kill the infidels. But as you know perfectly part of the Quran was written in Mecca and the other part in Medina. The part that was written in Mecca contains all the “nice” verses. The violent and harsh verses are all to be found in the second part or the “later revelation”. 

Moreover you certainly must know that the later revelation abrogates most of the more pleasant teachings of the early revelation.  

Perhaps the best person to clarify this question is Dr. Muhsin. Khan the translator of Sahih Bukhari and the Quran into English who wrote:

"Allah revealed in Sura Bara'at (Repentance, IX) [the order to discard (all) obligations (covenants, etc), and commanded the Muslims to fight against all the Pagans as well as against the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) if they do not embrace Islam, till they pay the Jizia (a tax levied on the Jews and Christians) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued (as it is revealed in 9:29). So the Muslims were not permitted to abandon "the fighting" against them (Pagans, Jews and Christians) and to reconcile with them and to suspend hostilities against them for an unlimited period while they are STRONG and have the ability to fight against them. So at first "the fighting" was forbidden, then it was permitted, and after that it was made obligatory  "[Introduction to English translation of Sahih Bukhari, p.xxiv.] 

As a matter of fact Islamic scholars developed a “science” to determine which verses are abrogated and which ones are the abrogators. This science is called nasekh va mansookh. 

I have clarified this controversy in this article.

I am sure a person of your caliber is familiar with this Islamic science and knows perfectly that the later revelations annulled the early revelations. This is known to all the Muslim scholars as well as to the terrorists who put those teachings into practice. They know perfectly which part of the Quran  overrides which part. The Meccan part however, although mostly abrogated is often used by Islamic apologists to softsell their harsh religion and fool the gullible westerner by showing them the nice part of the Quran that is already abrogated.   

What surprised me is that in compiling your book “Approaching the Quran” you deliberately chose the Meccan Suras. In an introduction to your book you wrote:  

“A general introduction to the Qur'an and its role in Islamic culture; new translations of the early Meccan Suras with facing commentaries; …The goal is to make the early Meccan period of the Qur'an, in its literary and oral qualities, approachable and accessible to those not conversant in Arabic.” http://www.haverford.edu/relg/sells/home.html


My question to you Sir is WHY? Why you deliberately tried to hide the bitter fact that Quran is a textbook for terrorism? You knew that the Meccan Suras are softer and those of the “later revelation” are violent, brutal, cruel, and inhumane. Why did you make a deliberate choice to softsell the Quran by publishing a book that shows only the tolerant part of it? Is this intellectual honesty? Why did you want to hide the fact that Quran contains also many hundreds of stern verses like exhorting the believers to fight the Christians and the Jews until they pay Jizya submissively and feeling subdued? (Q.9:29) Why you did not mention that Quran also teaches: 

“ Fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you.  (Q.9:123), 

“Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people” (Q.5:51), 

“Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. (Q.9:5).  

“Truly the Pagans are unclean” (Q.9:28,. 

“Take not for protectors your fathers and your brothers if they love infidelity above Faith: if any of you do so, they do wrong.” (Q.9:23), 

“And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.” (Q.2:193).

“When ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens.” (Q.47:4).

“I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them." (Q.8:12).

These horrendous verses and hundreds more like these are not part of the early revelation.


Mr. Sells, I am a member of a rapidly growing movement of ex-Muslims who are determined to unveil the truth and present the real face of Islam to the world. We are not an “organization”. We do not have leaders or directors. But we work together, exchange ideas and try to make sure that truth is not sacrificed at the altar of Political Correctness or slaughtered by unscrupulous individuals who would sell even their souls for money. Our movement is very new. But we are already a few hundred strong and counting. We meet in cyber space and often fear for our own safety. This is our website. www.faithfreedom.org   Please pay us a visit in our forum.

Believe it or not there have been individuals with titles such as “doctors” who have written the most ludicrous dissertations trying to convince their uneducated readers that Quran is scientific. Those “doctors” made a total fool of themselves in the scientific circles but they were rewarded handsomely by Saudi ruling families and that is what counts (for many).

Of course that is not applicable in your case. I do not doubt your integrity and would never suggest that you were bribed to softsell the violent Islam by hiding deliberately its harsh verses. That is why I am writing to you and request you to clarify this matter for me and for hundreds of other members of our movement who come from Islamic background, who have read the Quran and who do not think that you were fair.  

Would you be kind enough to tell us why Mr. Sells? For many of us this is an important issue. Many of us have lost loved ones to Islam. Our countries have been ruined by this cult. Our people have sunk into misery. Death, poverty, wars, fratricide, illiteracy have engulfed us. And we see Islam as the culprit. Now we are coming together and want to liberate our people from the bondage of this evil cult and remove the shackles of lies and deceits from their minds. Yet we are astounded to see that there are respectable intellectuals in the West who go out of their way to masquerade a lie, sugarcoat it and sell it to trusting young kids who strive for knowledge and they are taught ignorance. If this is a joke it is a cruel joke. We want an explanation Mr. Sells. Please tell us why! 

You wrote, “But well before Sept. 11, I had called for the overthrow of the criminal Taliban regime and warned of the danger posed by the extremist Wahhabi version of Islam being promoted in Saudi Arabia.” 

I am quite surprised that you cannot see that Wahhabism and Talibanism are Islam. Please tell us what they do that is contrary to the teachings of the Quran? Khomeini did the same things that Muhammad did. These “extremists” are the real and true Muslims. It is a fallacy to believe that there is an Islam somewhere that is peaceful, tolerant, moderate or compromising. If such thing exists it is not Islam. Of course there are Muslims who are peaceful, tolerant and moderate, but this has nothing to do with Islam. These people are tolerant and peaceful to the same extent that they are not Muslims and do not live by the teachings of the Quran.   

You quoted Pat Robertson's question “How can we trust our Muslim neighbor or colleague, knowing that behind a gesture of friendship may lie an intention to kill?”. The answer is:  Ask him how much he believes in Islam! If you see him reading the Quran, observing his prayers, going to the mosque, wearing beard and Islamic outfits, fear him. He could actually be contemplating to kill you. And this is the plain truth, whether you like to hear it or not. If you do not believe me go to a mosque and listen to what they preach there. And yes Islam is your enemy as it has been our enemy for the last 1400 years. Islam is the enemy of mankind.

Read this report please: 

If most Muslims overlook the violent verses of the Quran the credit should go to them and not to Islam. We are not talking about the Muslims. The majority of Muslims are peace loving, friendly and warm people who would not hurt anyone. It is thanks to this innate goodness of this majority that life still continues in Islamic countries. If you see your Muslim neighbor is amicable, loyal, helpful and loving it is because he is a good person. Islam calls for killing, looting, enslaving and raping the unbelievers. Be grateful that he is not a good Muslim. We fight against Islam not the Muslims. Nobody is accusing Muslims, who are as good as anybody else. What you have done Sir, is misrepresenting the truth. You hid the facts and did not tell the whole truth.  The real Islam is what became of it after the later revelations were written down. But you hid that fact and preferred to dwell on the early revelations. Your work is as honest as someone trying to find a soother for an old and ugly woman by showing a picture of her youthful years. My question to you is WHY?


Yours truly

Ali Sina 

August 28, 2002

The above letter was sent to Prof. Sells on Aug 28 but up to this date he has not responded. Please write to him and tell him that you are interested to read his response. 

E-mail address:

Prof. Sells: [email protected]

Chancellor of UNC: [email protected]

Dr. Carl Ernst: [email protected]  

Carl Ernst is professor of Islamic studies at the University of North Carolina and author of The Shambhala Guide to Sufism. He wrote:

"Michael Sells is to be congratulated for making a major contribution to religious literature with Approaching The Qur'An, the best version of Muslim scriptures available in English. This is an important and illuminating work, one that will be welcomed by scholars, students, believers, and all who seek to better understand Islam and its sacred scripture."

Other letters to Mr. Sells 


Dear Professor Sells:

I  have read your write up entitled “Understanding, Not Indoctrination” in Washingtonpost.com Thursday, August 8, 2002 and have also read an open letter to you dated August 28, 2002 from Ali Sina of www.faithfreedom.org 
The open letter can be read here   http://main.faithfreedom.org/sells.htm
I am very interested to see your response and hope to read it soon.
Professor Sells, you may find it of interest to know that I only came across Mr. Ali Sina's open letter to you today, prior to that I had no knowledge that his website even existed.  I can assure you however, that what he has to say needs to be heard. 
Mr. Sina is correct that the truth needs to be told and not sacrificed at the altar of political correctness.  It is my hope and prayer that The Washington Post as well has the courage to present all views on this matter and not only yours.
Professor Sells, I am an American citizen who works and resides in a Muslim country.  I am also an now an ex-muslim.  If caught I can be executed for apostasy and yes I am in fear of my life.  So much for there being no compulsion in Islam. 
For several years I studied Islam in one of the local universities here by taking evening courses.  Like John Walker Lindh I constantly studied and searched for the real Islam, the purist form.  I strove to follow the Quran to the letter.   I converted to Islam so that I could marry my wife which happens to be the law here.  During my free time, I taught English in a local Madrassah.  It was during this time back in 1999 when I began to seriously question Islam.   On a few occasions I was threatened simply for asking questions concerning my new religion.  I was then reminded that the penalty for blasphemy is death.
I began to question whether Islam was truly a religion or was it in fact a theocratic form of government.  Muslims themselves will tell you that Islam is not just a religion but rather "a way of life".  Islam is a way a life, it is a way of life that will destroy the America and Democracy if unchallenged.


Dear Mr. Ali Sina 

I only came across your website today and am pleased to find it. I admire you for having the courage to do what so many others have not. Please let me know how I can help. Sincerely, 



Dear F.S.

You have already done your help. That is the kind of help I need. We need people to take active role in our cause. We need manpower and brainpower to fight the ignorance that is permeating not just the Islamic world but also the politically correct western world.

Please write articles, send them to media and counter Islamic falsehood in every way you can. Also spread the name of faithfreedom.org in where ever is possible.

Write a testimonial and s

Kind regards,

Ali Sina 

Why some western writers defend Islam and try to portray it as a religion of peace? A member of the our forum believes: "Some of these are academics who receive grants from petro $ wealthy Islamic sources"  Read

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