Invitation to Dr. Michael D. Berdine to Prove Islam is Tolerant
Today I received an email from my esteemed from Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh (a pseudonym) author of Prophet Muhammad Illustrated who asked me whether I would be willing to debate with Michael D. Berdine Ph.D, a convert to Islam, who had left the following message in his website.
This is a Muslim-bashing at its worst. Lies, half-truths and distortions do not history or truth make. While there are some truths mentioned, most were half-baked, twisted or distorted and without the full story.
Other despicable acts mentioned are the work of evil humans who call themselves Muslim, but hardly act as Islam teaches. This is just like the Christian Crusaders, who boiled, roasted and ate babies (documented facts) on the First Crusade, the Spanish Inquisitors who tortured, maimed and killed in the name of Jesus or Adolf Hitler and his cohorts, ostensibly Christians all, who perpetrated the most heinous crimes against humanity in recorded history. None of these acts had anything to do with what Christianity teaches either. So, why identify an entire religion with what a few of its so-called adherents did?
Interestingly enough, Muslims wouldn’t dream of condemning Christianity for the acts of the Crusaders, Inquisitors, or Hitler, or anyone else. They believe that it’s the individuals who are at fault, not the religion. That’s how they see it. So, why can’t we? If Muslims or Christians, or those from other faith traditions were to follow the teachings of their faith so similar among all the world’s major faiths world over the world would be a much better place.
Otherwise, what the author has done here is rehash old stories that have been disproved before and added one or two new ones (with one-sided explanations). This is a book for people who want to believe the worst about Islam and Muslims. As such, it is hardly historical, or factual.
I’ve always found it interesting to see Christians so eager to attack Islam, while Muslims never attack Christianity in response. Perhaps that’s because they’ve been told in the Qur’an not to do so, nor to argue with Christians (except kindly) and consider them closest in faith to themselves.
Some Christians, like the author of this work (if he is a Christian), all too often show Christianity at its worst. This is a trait too many Christians have shown, on behalf of Christianity, against all who disagreed with it since it became the religion of the Roman Empire at the end of the fourth century.
This is not to say Muslims haven’t done bad things, or been bad people, far from it. But it does say that just as those Christians mentioned earlier who didn’t follow their faith and its teachings, so some Muslims not acting as Islam taught have done horrific things, too. As such, they are not considered Muslims like those who flew the hijacked planes into the Twin Towers. Knowledgeable Muslims believe they’ve gone to hell in a handcart as false martyrs. Whether or not they were actually practicing Muslims, or just using the religion as a cover for their heinous crimes as so many have done since time immemorial, will be left up to a higher authority than us to judge.
In conclusion, the publication of this book was a sad day for tolerance and understanding and, otherwise contributed nothing positive or good but only added immeasurably to ignorance about Muslims and Islam. Today, we are at war, but it’s a war led by morally bankrupt and un-Christ-like neoconservative fundamentalist Christians against Islam. And this book has joined in the fray.
Michael D. Berdine, Ph.D
Dr. Berdine is a convert to Islam. In his testimony he says how he came to be impressed with the chant of Adan when he was growing up in India during his formative years, which led him to be fascinated by this religion until at the age of 45, he became interested in the history of Islam and finally after reading “Arberry’s t translation of the Holy Qur’an that summer and realizing no man could have written it that did it for me.” http://groups.yahoo.com/group/islamic_ways/message/7935
I find Dr. Berdine’s story interesting because in my case also it was the Quran that did it for me. Prior to that moment I had refused to read any book or even an article that smelled of criticism of Islam. I did not consider such writings worthy of my time. I was not willing to read them even for the purpose of rejecting them. I realized Islam is a lie when I read the Quran. I read that book in Arabic and used English and Persian translations at the same time to make sure I understand what I read. I must say that the English translations are all deceptive. All the translators of the Quran have done their best to hide the real evilness of that book. The Persian translation is far more accurate and closer to the real thing. I can understand why. The English translations are for the consumption of non-Muslims who must be deceived. The Quran must be sugarcoated for them. The Persians are already Muslim and they have to be told the truth.
So I am very curious to see what Dr. Berdine saw in the Quran that I failed to see. When I started reading that book, I had no doubt that it is the word of God. I approached it expecting to find divine guidance. All I found were hate, violence, absurdity, and asininity. The author of the Quran came across as an ignoramus and not just ignorant but very evil person.
Needless to say that I went through a tremendous shock that lasted two years. My whole world fell apart. Two years later, in 1906, I accepted that Islam is a lie and started delving into its texts to learn more. When I read the history of Tabari I felt nauseated. The details of the crimes and brutalities of Muhammad and his companions are heart wrenching. At times I could not read more. I had to go out for a walk, pained for imagining the sufferings of those innocent people whom Muhammad butchered, enslaved and raped. While studying Islam I came face to face with Devil himself in the person of Muhammad.
So I am always curious to hear the reasoning of those who convert to Islam. I was born to a Muslim family and was indoctrinated and brainwashed since childhood. I want to know why one who has been exposed to far better beliefs becomes attracted to an ideology as evil as Islam.
In his comment on the Prophet Muhammad Illustrated, Dr. Berdine says Muslims respect Christianity and laments that others can’t respect Islam. He says, just as one mustn’t judge Jesus by the bad actions of his followers, one must also not blame Islam for the bad deeds of Muslims. This statement is only partially true. One cannot blame Jesus if Christians do evil things because he never did evil nor he taught evil. Christians do evil despite the teachings of Jesus. Even though they don’t go killing people in the name of Jesus. However, Muhammad committed countless evil acts and he taught evil. So, to the extent that Muslims follow the teachings of their prophet and emulate him they become evil.
Dr. Berdine wrote, “some Muslims not acting as Islam taught have done horrific things, too. As such, they are not considered Muslims like those who flew the hijacked planes into the Twin Towers. Knowledgeable Muslims believe they’ve gone to hell in a handcart as false martyrs.”
If such horrendous acts of terror were limited to a few Muslims we could have accepted Dr. Berdine’s explanation. Sadly it is not. Jihad is part of Islam and there is only one meaning to this word and that is terror. Terrorism is a way of life for all true Muslims. Not every Muslim is a terrorist but every true Muslim is. There is not a day that some Muslim don’t kill some innocent people in the name of Allah, expecting to be rewarded by him. Just today, 6 July 2013, Muslim gunmen attacked a secondary school in Mamudo, Yobe State in Nigeria, killing at least 42 students and teachers. Why? Because Muslims want to stop the westernization of Nigeria. This is the idea promoted by Muhammad who called anything that is not Islamic Jahiliyah and Taghooti and ordered his followers to kill those who follow them.Is this how Muslims respect other religions? Muslims are busy killing Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, animists, atheists, humanists and everyone else, everywhere in the world. People everywhere fear Muslims because so many of them are terrorist. What respect? What tolerance? Muhammad said Jews are monkeys and pigs and that the end of the world will not come until Muslims kill all the Jews. He said the Christians have “gone astray” and the wrath of God is on the Jews. This is in the first chapter of the Quran. How much respect and tolerance is there in that sura alone for others?
How come so many Muslims have got it so wrong? Why the followers of no other religion are so bent in killing others to go to heaven? I find a lot of evil in the Quran and I believe those evil teachings are responsible for all these crimes perpetrated by Muslims all over the world and through the history.
Dr. Berdine urges others to be tolerant of a belief system (BS) that promotes hate, violence and terror and ignores that it is his co-religionists who are killing innocent people all over the world because of this very BS.
Now, is it possible that I am mistaken and Dr. Berdine has got it right? I don’t think so, but since I learn from my past errors, I no longer close the doors of learning. Unlike before, I am ready to read and listen to views that are contrary to mine. I make an offer to Dr. Berdine: If he can show anything new in Islam that is good, I will revert back to Islam and will close my sites. In gratitude, I also donate to him or to the charity of his choice the sum of $100,000 USD.
All he has to do is to show us one thing that is not rehashed from other religions and is also useful and good for mankind. The reader may recall that this was the challenge made by the 14th century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaiologos to a Persian Muslim who wanted to convert him. The Emperor said, “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” As far as I know this challenge has never been met. If Dr. Berdine can meet it, he will be remembered by history.