Leaving Islam




It is indeed helpful to read that “in the U.S. , Mr. Siddiqi has led a group of prominent Muslim religious scholars in issuing a fatwa denouncing extremist interpretations of the Koran and hadith.”  However, a “mainstream” reading of the Sacred Text of Islam reveals a very negative view of non-Muslims. Consider for example, the accusatory texts from the Qur’an:  

"Because of the wrongdoing of the Jews We forbade them good things which were (before) made lawful unto them and because of their much hindering from Allah's way." Surah 4: 160            

"O people of the Scripture!  Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth.  The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him.  So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not 'Three' --- Cease!  (it is) better for you!  Allah is only One God.  Far it is removed from His transcendent majesty that he should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth.  And Allah is sufficient as Defender." Surah 4: 171               

Above all, we should not forget that in the very first Surah of the Qur’an, known as

Al-Fatiha, mention is made of the Jews and Christians in a derogatory way:  

“Ihdina as-Sirata’l Mustaqeem, Sirata’l al-Latheen an‘Amta ‘Aleyhem, Ghayra’l Maghdoobi ‘Aleyhem, wala’Dalleen.”  

“Lead us in the Right Path, the Path of those whom Thou hast blessed; and not in {the path of} those upon whom Thy wrath has come; nor of those who have gone astray”    (Chapter 1:6, 7) [Translation is mine JT]  

Muslim commentators explain that the Jews are “those upon whom” the wrath of God has come; as for Christians they are the ones who have gone astray. This chapter, which is in the form of an invocation addressed to Allah, is memorized by most Muslims. It defines their relation not only to Allah, but to the “Others” as well. It is ingrained in their memory that, while the grace of Allah has been abundantly given to them, those “Others” are either lost, or are the objects of Allah’s wrath!  

The mass media and our political leaders incessantly tell us that mainline Islam is “tolerant” and “magnanimous.” They may refer to texts in the Qur’an that teach freedom of religion. Most of us have heard ad nauseam, the following verse:  

“There is no compulsion in religion...” Surah 2: 256a  

However, this verse must be understood in the light of history. Ask those communities that have endured 1400 years of Islamic domination about the true meaning of “La Ikraha fi’l-Deen,” i.e. the No Compulsion clause. They will tell you about the awful status of dhimmitude that they and their forefathers suffered. Sure, the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) were allowed to remain in their faith, but were subjected to the most humiliating conditions. Just read the books of Bat Ye’or to learn about this most degrading institution that was inflicted on the original inhabitants of the Middle East and North Africa . And please don’t forget to learn about the Ottoman’s abominable Devshirme, whereby thousands of young boys from the Balkans were forcibly taken from their parents. Islamized, and enrolled in the special corps of the Janissaries!     

I return to the title of my essay, “Moderate Muslims Muddy the Waters.” Please read the last paragraph again:  

“That is not to say that there is no orthodoxy or, just as important, that religious leaders lack clout. They might want to remind the faithful, especially now, of the Prophet's tolerant teachings. As Sheikh Al-Abikan put it: “The authority to declare takfir is God's alone, and no man has that authority.’”

These words of summing-up are very deceptive. To quote Sheikh Al-Abikan’s words may fool the naïve, but they are no different than the mantra, ‘Al-Islam hua al-Hall’ i.e. Islam is the Solution!  

“The authority to declare takfir is God’s alone.” What a pious statement. It reminds me of the ruse of Mu’awiya’s camp back in 661! When his soldiers were losing in their confrontation with Ali’s forces, they suddenly lifted copies of the Qur’an on their spears and shouted, “Let God decide.” Pure and unadulterated exhibition of piety! But Allah had already spoken his final word, and this word must be interpreted by mere humans. The umpires that Ali and Mu’awiya agreed upon were not impartial. They deposed Ali, and confirmed his opponent as the lawful caliph of the Islamic Umma. Chaos broke loose as a result. Just read the violent crimes committed by the Khawarej to learn about the consequences of empty and vapid slogans!  

It is up to moderate Muslims, if they are to be believed, to initiate a new hermeneutic of the Sacred Texts of Islam, and devise ways where those texts and teachings that declare gloom and doom of the “Others,” are interpreted as belonging to the distant past, and are no longer valid today. In our globalized and interdependent world, there is no room for any type of takfiri ideologies. I am waiting eagerly for true moderates who don’t engage in muddying the waters; but acknowledge the mistakes of the Islamic past.







Articles Op-ed Authors Debates Leaving Islam FAQ
Comments Library Gallery Video Clips Books Sina's Challenge

  ©  copyright You may translate and publish the articles in this site only if you provide a link to the original page.