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Wissam Nasr
Executive Director
Islamic Institute for Human Rights

[email protected]

15 Jul 2002

Hi Ali,

How are you doing? Fine I hope. I am Wissam Nasr, the Executive Director of the Islamic Institute for Human Rights. Not too long ago, I sent in a long commentary refuting the many erroneous claims on your site. Despite your insistence that you will take down your site if you are proven wrong--which my commentary clearly accomplished--I see that your site still exists.

I have read my comments on the comments page. I find it a little too convenient that you respond to only some of the comments posted there. I understand that it would take you a great deal of time to respond to each one individually, so I am asking that you answer me, because I am articulate and knowledgable enough to properly defend Islam against your disinformation.

I am very knowledgable about Islam and I promise you that I can win absolutely any debate with you, from philosophy to theology to Islam in actual practice. I challenge you to publish my comments and I challenge you to try to answer them. I must tell you right now, however, that I am heavily armed with information and citations. As you will soon see, my good friend, it will be impossible to prove me wrong. I will give you so much accurate knowledge and reasoning, that inshallah you will convert to Islam. If that sounds crazy, then look around you Ali--crazier things have happened.

Ali, you know perfectly well why your site is here. You hate Islam. That is clear to even the casual reader of your site. However, you need to open your mind to logic and accurate information. Therefore I challenge you or anyone else on your "staff" to debate ME. All I ask is that you bring your logic to the table. If you are sincere about your challenge, and a man of your word, then let me personally put your site out of business.



Waiting for your response,

Wissam Nasr
Executive Director
Islamic Institute for Human Rights

 

The following is what Mr. Wissam Nasr wrote to me few months ago that I did not respond then.  

Greetings Sir,

I read your website with great interest. I would like to point out to you, however, that you have many half-truths, exaggerations, and outright lies in your articles. Since I would prefer to believe that you are just misinformed, and not a person spewing hate, I will gladly point out to you your errors, and thus, accept your challenge. If you are indeed interested in the Truth, then you will publish this email. Indeed, all that you will read below is fact, and I have included citations.

One of your first erroneous claims is this:

"Islam as it is taught in Quran (Koran) and lived by Muhammad, as is reported in the Hadith (Biography and sayings of the Prophet) is a religion of intolerance, inequality, violence, discrimination, superstition, fanaticism, and blind faith...Islam advocates killing the non-Muslims, abuses the human rights of the minorities and women. Islam expanded by Jihad (holy war) and forced its way by killing the non-believers and the dissidents."


Let's examine these claims, in no particular order. You claim that Islam is based on blind faith and superstition. That is interesting, because when we open THE OXFORD HISTORY OF ISLAM (John Esposito, 1999) the very first sentence of the second chapter, "Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge: The Relationship between Faith and Practice in Islam" reads as follows:

"Faith is never blind in Islam."

Oxford goes on to reveal that "Islam is the conscious and rational submission of the contingent and limited human will to the absolute and omnipotent will of God." Read the rest of the chapter, and you will find in numerous places that Islam is based on knowledge and reason (clearly stated on page 66).

This is a direct contradiction to what you claim on your website.

The second erroneous claim you make is that Islam is a religion of intolerance. This is clearly not based on history. All we must do is simply compare the expansion of the Islamic Empire with other empires. Other empires, such as the Roman or Egyptian Empire expanded with brute force, simply killing everyone in their way. Islamic expansion was quite different, as any history book would tell you. Moslems would not even live in the same town as the one they conquered. They built garrison towns next to the towns, and lived there without harming anyone. The collected a tax like all other governments. Any history book will tell you that Islamic expansion was the least bloody of any expansion in history. If you take issue with this, then read what the Oxford History of Islam says about Islamic expansion:

"During the expansion of the caliphal empire, the Islamic community itself spread beyond the empire. Whereas the spread of the empire was carried out mainly by armies [as a political entity, not as a religion], the spread of the Islamic faith beyond the caliphates borders was usually the work of merchants or pious preachers.  In many parts of the empire, even in those conquered early on, such as Egypt or Iran , the population remained predominantly non-Muslim for centuries. With time, more conquered peoples embraced Islam....forced conversions were rare, but in some cases the imposition of higher taxes on non-Muslims may have created an economic incentive for embracing Islam. For the most part, however, the gradual Islamization of the empire’s populations was part of a complex transformation of the whole social environment, involving many factors that impinged simultaneously on the individual and the family: economic and political advantage, social mobility, linguistic and cultural affinities, marriage and kinship requirements, and, above all, the intrinsic appeal of Islam as a belief system."

It becomes clear then, that Islam did not spread by violence (and is thus not a violent religion), and that minorities were respected---because as we see above Moslems were the minorities! In fact, one commentator I read pointed out a simple fact: If Islam was a religion of violence, they would have killed millions during their expansion. Even today, if Islam were a religion of violence, then we would have 1.2 billion people armed to the teeth and ready to fight what you call a "holy war". (by the way, jihad does not mean holy war. This is one of the more well-known misconceptions about Islam. Jihad means struggle or resistance to evil. This takes many forms, including scholarly writings such at this one, the struggle to purge your inner self from evil, and if no recourse exists, then armed struggle under certain, very stringent guidelines. I would suggest you actually read about Jihad before dismissing it as a "holy war" Read a book and you will this error, as well as many other errors on your website ) That is obviously not the case. Also, do not forget the Islam is derived from the word Salaam, which means peace. All scholars and historians and people who visited Islamic countries agree that your normal, average Muslim loves peace. Hence the word "extremists"--by virtue of the word itself, extremists are an aberration of Islam.

Another completely erroneous claim that you make is that the Koran says the Earth is flat or the sun is fixed. This is really bizarre and untrue. When they say the Sun is on a fixed term and runs its course, it is saying from our perspective here on Earth. If that is true, then how could Muslims advance Astronomy so far? There is an entire section in the Oxford History devoted to Islamic efforts in astronomy and math. Truly, reading will set your straight and logic will prove your claim not only false, but really farfetched. In fact, I laughed out loud when I heard such a ridiculous claim. Let me state my point again: If Islam teaches us to think the Earth is flat or whatever you claim, then how could we make such notable advances in astronomy, science, and math?

In short, I have read your entire website, and you have taken so many things out of context that your credibility is non-existent You have twisted things to misinterpret almost every Islamic concept, and all parts of Islamic history. I imagine that this is a mixture of your hate for Islam with poor, biased sources. I beg, beg, beg you to read the Oxford History of Islam to see what our foremost scholars say about this religion. If you do not read objective, in depth sources, then you are a victim of the same ignorance that you are accusing Moslems of. It’s really that simple. You have so many lies and exaggerations on your website, that I could write a book correcting you. Why should I do that when you can read books for yourself?

There is one more thing I would like to quote from the Oxford History, just so you know:

"About Christians themselves, the Koran is quite charitable. Apart from accusations of heresy for their stand on the Trinity and some chiding for the conviction that theirs is the true religion, the Koran declares that Christians are people of compassion and mercy, that they will be able to enter paradise, and even that they are nearest in love to the Muslim believers. (page 307)"

"For many Christians the arrival of Islam was actually seen as a liberation from the tyranny of fellow Christians rather than as a menace of even a challenge to their own faith. Such acquiescence, of course, was encouraged by the fact that under Islam they were guaranteed the right to continue as independent communities [where is your claim of religious intolerance here?] . The Dhimmi (minority) status, despite the obligations and lower status attached to it, was for many people preferable option to Byzantine oppression...the arrival of the Muslims was welcomed by a significant portion of the population...significant numbers pf the embers of these eastern communions eventually converted to Islam. (309)

I would also like to say that your website is clearly biased against Islam. This, of course, ruins its credibility as an objective source of material. There are many awful abuses of Islam’s beliefs throughout the world. It is awful what people are doing in Islam’s name. Clear examples are the Taliban and Iran’s bloody past. But you have to draw distinctions between these corrupt governments and average Muslims who do not wish for bloodshed or harm to others. Do we judge farmers in Texas by the actions of the CIA? No, of course not. All people want human rights, but it is GOVERNMENTS that have historically repressed them. Do not equate Muslims with what you see their very corrupt, often dictatorial regimes doing.  Because as anyone can tell you, you cannot generalize about 1.2 billion people, which is exactly what you are doing. You have to do some serious studying, but even more serious thinking about the hate you harbor towards 1.3 billion people on this Earth. Your fail to draw distinctions, instead lumping together people with stereotypes. This is very clear to even casual visitors to your website.

Please read more about Islam. It is only in this way that you can find the truth from reliable sources. The books you have been reading are quite inaccurate, as can be seen from your website’s statements. If you do not believe me, then read the Oxford History of Islam, and tell me what you think those scholars would say about your website.

Wissam Nasr
Executive Director
Islamic Institute for Human Rights


Dear Mr. Wissam Nasr

Before we proceed may I ask you if as the Executive Director of Islamic Institute for Human Rights do you defend the human rights of women and the minorities in Islamic countries or you are only interested about the rights of the Muslims living in the West to promote their religion without opposition?  Do you at all operate in any Islamic country?

If you agree that all people are humans and their rights must be protected would you please tell us what your Institute has done for the Christians, Hindus or Baha'is that are persecuted systematically in the hands of the Muslims in Sudan, Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran or other Islamic countries? 

Also how can you reconcile the human rights of the minorities in Islamic countries with the law of Jizya that apparently you agree with? Did you defend the right of the guy in Saudi Arabia that was condemned to execution for possessing a copy of the Bible? 

As a defender of human right please tell us what is your opinion about this report:

The Wall Street Journal, April 9, 2002: In Saudi Arabia, there is the concept of blood money. If a person has been killed or caused to die by another, the latter has to pay blood money or compensation, as follows:

100,000 riyals if the victim is a Muslim man

50,000 riyals if a Muslim woman

50,000 riyals if a Christian man

25,000 riyals if a Christian woman

6,666 riyals if a Hindu man

3,333 riyals if a Hindu woman
That is, a Muslim man's life is worth 33 times that of a Hindu woman

However, if in your opinion the "unbelievers" and the kafirs are less humans than Muslims and their rights are not the same as the rights of the Muslims please disregard this question. Your silence would be an eloquent answer.  

 

Now let me answer your questions:

You refute my claim that Islam is a religion based on blind faith and to prove your case you quote from The Oxford History of Islam written by John Esposito that says Faith is never blind in Islam. Perhaps that definition satisfies you, but it does not satisfy me. I have stopped believing blindly in anyone, including John Esposito if enough proof are not provided. I look at the facts and make my own mind.  

The very fact that Islam means submission indicates that it is contrary to freethinking. This word does not drive from Salama which means health or Salam which is a wish for good health or peace. Islam drives from Taslim which means surrender or submission. You cannot think independently and submit your intelligence and your will to someone else at the same time. A prerequisite of freethinking and rational thinking is doubt. Belief is the antithesis to doubt.  

Let me make this concept clear. Belief means accepting something without evidence. According to Oxford Dictionary belief is: The feeling that something is real and true. Thus belief is based on feeling not facts. And feelings can be wrong.  

You say, Faith is never blind in Islam. Please tell me how factual are the beliefs in Miraj, in Jinns, in splitting the moon or in the Quranic story of creation? All these beliefs are contrary to science and human logic. They are based on blind faith and sheer ignorance. Instead of listening to John Esposito or other apologists of Islam you better listen to what science and commonsense dictate. How any intelligent rational being can believe in Miraj, Jinns or other Islamic nonsense? Isnt this blind faith?  

What the belief in Muhammad as a messenger of God is based on?  Who said Muhammad was truly a messenger of God and not an impostor? Can you present any solid evidence for that belief? Muslims believe Muhammad was whom he claimed to be because that is what is written in Quran. But the Quran came out of the mouth of Muhammad. If he was a liar the Quran is also a lie. Isnt this circular reasoning? Isnt this blind faith? Can you prove that Quran is truly the world of God? This book is full of mistakes and sheer nonsense. How can one believe in Islam without blind faith? 

In your second point you claim that Islam did not expand through violence. Sir, who do you want to fool? Are you going to deny all the books of history including your own? Islam has advanced through violence since the day one. What do you think Muhammad was doing in his Qazvahs (raids)? The reason the first time you send me this message I just published it without responding to it is because I have no time to waste with people who either have not read anything about Islam and defend it or just resort to deceit and lies.  

You claimed that after the invasion of Arabs the population of Iran and Egypt remained predominantly non-Muslim for centuries. That is true but you forget to mention that this resistance was a bloody resistance. Iranians fought a long time against Islam until they succumbed under the brutal forces of darkness.

 

You wrote:

With time, more conquered peoples embraced Islam....forced conversions were rare, but in some cases the imposition of higher taxes on non-Muslims may have created an economic incentive for embracing Islam. 

It amazes me that you cannot see the evil in this confession of yours and use it to present Islam as a non-violent religion. Here you admit that people were conquered. Tell me how this is possible without war and the use of violence? You say forced conversion were rare. They were not rare. But the fact that you admit that people were forced to convert demonstrates that Islam is not a "religion of peace". You talk of imposition of taxes on non-Muslims as an incentive for people to embrace Islam. So by your own admission people did not convert to Islam because they found it a true religion but because they were under duress. If you know this much of Islam arent you ashamed to belong to this oppressive and violent cult? What do you think if the West starts levying especial taxes on Muslims? Would that be fair? How many Muslims will remain faithful when they have to give 50% of their income as penalty for being Muslims? (50% is what Muhammad charged the Jews after raiding their town in Kheibar) Is this a humane law?  I want you to answer this because you are not stranger to human rights. This is your business. You should know. In any non-Islamic country impose special tax such as Jizyah on Muslims, you Mr. director of human rights would be up in arms fighting tooth and nail crying injustice. Why you say nothing about Jizyah then?

You say Islam did not spread through violence. Then how do you suppose it spread? Through dialogue and open discussion? Would you publish this letter of mine in your site (just as I publish yours in mine) to prove that you mean what you say and you are not afraid of open discussions? My friend, which Islamic country allows open discussion on Islam? Which Islamic Internet site allows it? In which one of Islamic countries you can decide to leave Islam and live to tell about it?  Do you know what is the punishment of the apostates in Islam? Read this if you want to refresh your memory    http://main.faithfreedom.org/Articles/quran_teaches.htm

 

You say that if Islam was the religion of violence then all the 1.2 billion people would be armed to the teeth to fight in the holy war. As a matter of fact the good news is that most of the Muslims are not living by what Islam requires from them. We even have nations such as Bangladesh and sometimes Pakistan that elect women as their rulers. This is completely against what Muhammad said about the women. He said "Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler."  

So fortunately Muslims are not aware of the inhumane teachings of Islam and the majority of them still are under the delusion that Islam means peace. Nevertheless Muhammad was clear about it. He not only said that Paradise is under the shade of the sword but also made his Allah reveal:  

2:216, Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you 

 

Now can you please tell us how fighting can be good for us? Please dont tell me that the meaning of that verse is self-defense. There is no need for God telling people to fight, kill and maim their enemies in self-defense. Self-defense is natural in all living organisms including ameba and bacteria. It is just ridiculous to claim that all these violent verses are for self-defense. Does this verse sound to you a teaching for self-defense?

9:5, But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem.

 

You say Jihad means struggle against "self". Really...? Was Muhammad struggling against his self when he raided the Jewish quarters of Medina massacred all their men and enslaved their women and children? Do you really believe that by waging war against innocent people killing them and raping their wives Muhammad was just struggling against his selfish ego?

 

Volume 4, Book 53, Number 392
Narrated Abu Huraira:
While we were in the Mosque, the Prophet came out and said, "Let us go to the Jews" We went out till we reached Bait-ul-Midras. He said to them, "If you embrace Islam, you will be safe. You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I want to expel you from this land. So, if anyone amongst you owns some property, he is permitted to sell it, otherwise you should know that the Earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle."

 

Perhaps you have forgotten the famous saying of your messenger of peace who said:

"I have been ordered by God to fight with people till they bear testimony to the fact that there is no God but Allah and that Mohammed is his messenger, and that they establish prayer and pay Zakat (money). If they do it, their blood and their property are safe from me" (see Bukhari Vol. I, p. 13). 

If you disagree with the meaning of this hadith, please try to convince your own coreligionists first. For example try Dr. Muhammad Said Ramadan al-Buti, the Azhar scholar, who in his book, "Jurisprudence in Muhammads Biography" says: 

"The Holy War, as it is known in Islamic Jurisprudence, is basically an offensive war. This is the duty of Muslims in every age when the needed military power becomes available to them. This is the phase in which the meaning of Holy War has taken its final form. Thus the apostle of God said: I was commanded to fight the people until they believe in God and his message ..."  : (page 134, 7th edition) 

 

Notwithstanding the errors in your letter, you said something that I agree completely and that is the normal, average Muslim loves peace. This is absolutely true. But the normal, average Muslim knows nothing about Islam. He reads the Quran but does not understand it. Muslims are unaware of the violence that exists in that book. They are oblivious of who was Muhammad and how ruthless, pervert, crazy and violent was that man. And that is why our site, the faithfreedom.org and its dedicated writers try to remedy. We are mostly ex-Muslims who started to read the Quran and after going through the initial stages of shock and denial came to see the real face of Islam. Now we are determined to unveil the real Islam to the world and especially to our Muslim brothers and sisters. By extremists we do not mean all the Muslims, we mean the REAL Muslims who understand the Quran and practice it.

 

Furthermore you denied the fact that Quran says Earth is flat and Sun rotates around it. I am not going to discuss that here because I have discussed it elsewhere and if you care you can read it in this link:

 

http://main.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina/genesis.htm

See also this article:

http://main.faithfreedom.org/Articles/avijitroy/flatearth.htm

 

But I totally disagree with you for crediting Islam for the intellectual prowess and scientific achievements of the great minds born as Muslims. This is utterly dishonest.  

What the talents and achievements of Khayym, Ibn Arabi, Ibn Sina and other luminaries born as Muslims have to do with Islam? Does Quran teach Algebra, Chemistry, Biology or Astronomy? Muhammad made a mistake in parting the inheritance. This guy could not add simple fractions. Why you want to credit Islam for the achievements of these great minds? Our people had a culture and a civilization that predated Islam by thousands of years. It is amazing that we call our own architecture, art, science and literature Islamic. What is Islamic about them? We even call Arabic names Islamic. What do you think Arabs used to call themselves before Islam? I noticed that Pakistanis and Bengalis have Persian names and they call these purely Iranian names like Parviz, Afrasiab, Sardar, Kamran, etc. Islamic names. This is amazing. Please, give credit where credit is due. What our people created with their own genius is not Islamic. It is ours. The accomplishments of our luminaries are no more Islamic than the theories of Einstein are Jewish and those of Darwin are Christian. Yet no Christian or Jew would credit his religion for the greatness of the scientists and philosophers born amongst them. Only Muslims who do not mind to live a delusional faith of self deceit make such claims.  

What Islam did for art? What it did for music? What did the prophet say about the poets? What were his views on Economy or Astronomy? How much he knew about Agriculture? He once said it is useless to pollinate the female date trees with the flowers of the male trees. Then when the trees did not produce dates he said I am just a man and I make mistakes. This man was an absolute ignorant. That is why those who believe in him have sunk into fanaticism and have not advanced. We have 1.2 billion people following a lunatic. What can be expected from them? 

What happened to Ibn Sina and Ar Razi? They were called apostates and their philosophical views rejected. Ar Razy wrote a tome on rationalism and rejected the mumbo jumbo of religion. He called prophets "Billy goats" and  "charlatans" His book was destroyed. All is left are fragments of his sayings in a book of refutation to him. In Islam the freethinking is discouraged. If it werent for Islam most likely we would have the enlightenment happen in Iran 400 years before it took place in Europe.  During the Caliphates of the Abbasids, many great minds were born. This was possible because these rulers were secular and tolerant rulers and allowed certain degree of freethinking, that was lost later through the rise of Islamism. This tolerance however should not be attributed to Islam because the Sharia does not allow any degree of tolerance. The regime of Taliban was the true embodiment of what Islam is about. Saudi Arabia and Islamic Republic of Iran are real Islamic courtiers.  

Imagine where would we be now if we had achieved what we achieved in the field of science after the Renascence 400 years earlier in Iran! We will never know the extent of the damage that Islam caused to the world of humanity. Just think of all the libraries and books that the Islamic forces burned. Who knows how much human knowledge was lost then. I had an Iranian who challenged me to show him one great Iranian poet prior to Islam. He claimed that before Islam there were no great minds in our country as if we have to thank Islam for great men of our land. What he wanted from me was to produce what his savage masters destroyed 1400 years ago. This brainwashed man does not ask himself how Iran became a world power if it did not have any great minds. How can I produce the evidence when Muslim invaders destroyed il? 

Once upon a time Iran was one of the great powers of the world. Iranians were contributors to human civilization. My people wrote the first Charter of Human Rights. We banned slavery completely 2500 years ago. Women ruled our great land. All nations that were part of our vast empire were free to practice their religions. This is mentioned in the Bible too. We believed in the benevolent Ahura Mazda, the god of light and practiced good words, good deeds and good thoughts.

Today we have forsaken our god of light and follow the sadistic deity of Muhammad who craves for blood and calls for the heads of those who do not want to submit to his despotic authority. Today we are a poor third world country sinking deeper and deeper day after day. Human rights are inexistent, women are second-class citizens, minorities are persecuted, poverty is rampant and we are known as a nation of terrorists. This is the gift of Islam to us.

Look at our countries; all Islamic counties; look at us! See how miserable, barbaric and pitiful are our societies. Show me one Islamic country that is not in war. If we are not fighting with others, we are fighting amongst each other. What do you expect from a people who are brought up to believe that paradise is under the shade of the sword? What do you expect of the ignorant people that eulogize martyrdom and celebrate death? What do you expect from the society that its spiritual leader (Khomeini) says: Economy is for the donkey? What do you expect from a society that dresses up a toddler as suicide bomber and take pride in their own stupidity? What do you expect of a society that massacres 3 million of his own people (Pakstanis in Bangladesh) and their spiritual leader issues the fatwa that raping the Bengali women is acceptable according to the Sharia and the Sunna of the Prophet because according to him Bangladeshis were not enough Muslim? Now please dont say he was wrong because he based his fatwa on this Quranic verse:

4:24 Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those (captives) whom your right hands possess.



Or see this story of Muhammads raid of Kheybar where he gives permission to his followers to enslave war captives and rape themSahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, Number 367


Or this one:

 Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 137
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
We got female captives in the war booty and we used to do coitus interruptus with them. So we asked Allah's Apostle about it and he said, "Do you really do that?" repeating the question thrice, "There is no soul that is destined to exist but will come into existence, till the Day of Resurrection."


Do you know what is coitus interruptus? The followers of the Holy Prophet used to rape the women they captured in their raids and withdrew before ejaculation. They report that to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon his immaculate soul) and the only thing that occurred to that man was that even if they withdraw and spill their semen on the ground, if Allah wills the women will become pregnant. 

Forget about the stupidity of this statement; think about the inhumanity of this man.

These are not stories narrated by Jews. These are stories counted by the followers of Muhammad, people who believed in him and loved him. Would anyone fabricate damaging stories such as these for the object of his adoration? These stories are true. The Ahadith are filled with tales of inhumanity and barbarity of Muhammad. Is this the man you call the prophet of God? Is this the person you follow?

Considering what Quran teaches it is clear that one cannot be a Muslim and humane at the same time. Time has come that we separate the good people from Muslims who truly follow Muhammad. Read the Quran this time with open mind. Dont try desperately to look for good in it rather look for the evil in it because if Quran contains a thousand good things and one bad thing it cannot be from God. But Quran contains a thousand bad things for one good thing.

Dont let the idea of monotheism fool you. That is another fallacy that we shall discuss in another occasion.

 

Dear Mr. Nasr, you beg, beg, beg me to read the Oxford History of Islam to see what your foremost scholars say about this religion. Please tell me why should I listen to your foremost scholars when I can read the Quran, the Hadith and the history of Islam on my own? Why should I rely on the regurgitated sanitized version of your scholars when I can go to the source and see what Muhammad said and what he did on my own? This is the problem with Muslim world Sir. I read tons of these apologetic lies about Islam written by high-ranking "scholars" and Mullahs prior to reading the Quran. But only when I read the Quran I came to see the light and found out all those books are propagandas not worth the paper they are written on. Read the Quran Sir. If you want to understand Islam please read the Quran and then read the Hadith. Do not let someone who has received millions of dollars from his Saudi or Iranian Masters fool you with his apologetic propagandistic lies. Read the Quran if you want to know the real Islam.  

From your Oxford History of Islam you quoted:

"About Christians themselves, the Koran is quite charitable. Apart from accusations of heresy for their stand on the Trinity and some chiding for the conviction that theirs is the true religion, the Koran declares that Christians are people of compassion and mercy, that they will be able to enter paradise, and even that they are nearest in love to the Muslim believers. (page 307)"

 

But does this book say that the above lovey dovey approach towards the Christians is abrogated? Does it say that later when Muhammad became powerful he revealed very harsh verses ordering Muslims not to befriend the Christians and the Jews and impose on them extortion tax?  Does Mr. Esposito quote the following verses? 

 

3: 85  "Whoso desires another religion than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him; in the next world he shall be among the losers."  

3: 28 "Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers:  

9:29, Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.  

Q.3: 118 O you who believe! Take not as (your) bitaanah (advisors, consultants, protectors, helpers, friends, etc.) those outside your religion (pagans, Jews, Christians, and hypocrites) since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you. They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse.

And

Q.5: 51 O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as awliya (friends, protectors, helpers, etc.), they are but awliya to one another  

 

Does Mr. Esposito mention the fact that Muhammad in his death bed ordered all the Jews and Christians to be expelled from Hijaz? An order that Omar executed when he became the Caliph? I  doubt if Mr. Esposito has mentioned anything about that. So why should anyone trust his biased book? Now who is telling "half truths"? John Esposito or I?

From the page 309 of the same book you quoted:

"For many Christians the arrival of Islam was actually seen as a liberation from the tyranny of fellow Christians rather than as a menace of even a challenge to their own faith. Such acquiescence, of course, was encouraged by the fact that under Islam they were guaranteed the right to continue as independent communities  . The Dhimmi (minority) status, despite the obligations and lower status attached to it, was for many people preferable option to Byzantine oppression...the arrival of the Muslims was welcomed by a significant portion of the population...significant numbers pf the embers of these eastern communions eventually converted to Islam. 

Then you asked me: where is your claim of religious intolerance here? Dear Mr. Nasr, John Esposito is lying. He is reinventing the history. I dont have to quote you the violent history of Islam. Any book of history will tell you that. How ridiculous is this claim that the Christians welcomed being conquered by a brutal force such as Muslims, be reduced to second class citizens, pay extortion tax, be called Najis (filty, impure) feel subdued and humiliated 9:29 and still be grateful. This not only demonstrates Espositos total intellectual dishonesty but also his lack of judgment. Could anyone say a lie more conspicuous than this?   Please read The Status of Jews and Christians in Muslim Lands, 1772 CE  to understand the abuse that these "people of the book" were subjected to in Islamic paradise. Just to whet your interest to read this documentary I quote a few paragraphs from it: 

Jews and Christians shall never begin a greeting; if you encounter one of them on the road, push him into the narrowest and tightest spot.' The absence of every mark of consideration toward them is obligatory for us; we ought never to give them the place of honor in an assembly when a Muslim is present. This is in order to humble them and to honor the true believers.

Entrance into Muslim territory by infidels of foreign lands under the pact guaranteeing protection to the tolerated peoples is permitted only for the time necessary to settle their business affairs. If they exceed this period, their safe-conduct having expired, they will be put to death or be subject to the payment of the head-tax,

Their men and women are ordered to wear garments different from those of the Muslims in order to be distinguished from them. They are forbidden to exhibit anything which might scandalize us, as, for instance, their fermented liquors, and if they do not conceal these from us, we are obliged to pour them into the street.

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/jewish/1772-jewsinislam.html

At the end of your letter you urged me to make a distinction between Islam and the action of the bad Muslims. Obviously, despite your claim of having read my ENTIRE site, you havent read anything. If you had you would have known why I blame Islam and not the Muslims. I regard the Muslims, with all their violence and acts of terrorism, victims of this barbaric cult of Islam. I have proven case after case that all the mischief of the Muslims is inspired by violent teachings of the Islam. I have shown that the more a person is Islamist and the more he lives by the Quran and the Sunnah, the more he is a potential terrorist. The enemy is the Islam not the Muslims. Just as there was no need to exterminate the Germans but the nazism to achieve peace, we must uproot the ideology that breeds Islamic terrorists. Fighting Islamic terrorism without fighting Islam is removing the symptom instead of the cause. 

  You wrote: "I will give you so much accurate knowledge and reasoning, that inshallah you will convert to Islam. If that sounds crazy, then look around you Ali--crazier things have happened." 

Yes I agree; that would be crazy. Wouldn't it?. But for that to happen, I have to be crazy--Really crazy. Fortunately I am still sane. And I hope humanity is heading towards sanity and not towards craziness.   

Ali Sina    

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