Ali Sina’s review of ‘Why I Am Not a Muslim’ by Ibn Warraq
[Admin’s comment: This book is available for download in English and Indonesian.
1- “Why I am not a Muslim” by Ibn Warraq (2003 edition) in English
2- “Why I am not a Muslim” by Ibn Warraq in Indonesian
A review of Ibn Warraq’s book
By Ali Sina
In Why I Am Not A Muslim, Ibn Warraq, exposes the bitter truth about Islam without sugarcoating it. He is learned and his book is well documented. He lashes out at the western intellectuals who instead of condemning the assassination order of a savage man like Khomeini against Salman Rushdie, chose to criticize Rushdie for his book The Satanic Verses because it was not “politically correct”. Warraq talks about the brutal treatments of all those who fell under the domination of Islam, from the time of Muhammad to the present days. He talks about the minorities, philosophers, women and slaves in Islam. Jews were massacred and exiled by Muhammad in Medina and Kheibar; their belongings were distributed among the “believers”, their women and children taken as slaves. This heinous act of barbarism was repeated time and again throughout history with Christians, Zoroastrians, Hindus, and in recent years with Ahmedies, Baha’is and other minorities in Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, India, Syria and everywhere Islam reined.
Warraq talks about the origin of Islam, its pagan background and the influence of Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism on Muhammad. He talks about the origin of Allah in Arab culture, about the early days of Muhammad as a preacher and his rivalry with another storyteller “Al Nadir” and his revenge against him. Warraq traces back the origin of many Islamic rituals to Arab superstitions and Muhammad’s strange belief in jinns, demons and other shadowy beings. He also describes how Muhammad rehashed the biblical nonsense about creation, Noah’s Ark, birth of Christ etc. while misunderstanding a lot of it, like mistaking Mary the mother of Jesus Christ with Miriam sister of Aaron, or the Christian belief in Trinity. You will learn about Muhammad’s bizarre view of cosmology, science, history, and medicine. (He prescribed drinking the urine of camel as a remedy against stomachache!).
Then you will learn about Muhammad’s metamorphosis from preacher to despot. How his call for tolerance, when he was still in Mecca and weak changed to the cry of killing and looting when he became powerful in Medina. You will learn how Muhammad encouraged his handful of followers to attack the caravans, kill the men, rape the women and bring the booty (20% for himself) to please Allah, while assuring them that if they are killed their rewards will be “young boys”, rivers of wine, and many hurries in the other world. All what Warraq says is backed by Quran and Ahadith.
The reader becomes familiar with Muhammad’s favorite way of eliminating his opponents, namely assassination. Asma Bint Marwan a poetess who wrote against the prophet was assassinated by his order in the middle of the night while nursing her infant. Her five small children where forced to convert to Islam. Muhammad’s hit list also included Ka’b Ibn al-Ashraf and Abu Rafi who spoke against him and had to be taken out traitorously. This policy was adopted by Muslims throughout the history and is being practiced up to this day. What we call terrorism, to a Muslim is Jihad (holly war). The much-publicized fatwa against Rushdie is an example. Among other things we learn about Muhammad’s preference for young girls (Ayesha was 9 years old when he consummated his “marriage” with her) rather at an advanced age and how he is unabashed to make Allah reveal Quranic verses to justify his lust for women and his sexual appetite.
Warraq makes a thorough study of the totalitarian nature of Islam. He even goes as far as to compare the impact of monotheism on human rights versus polytheism and atheism. For all those who still wonder why Muslims hate so much the West I recommend reading this book. There is a whole chapter dedicated to this subject.
Winwoods Reade said; “A sincerely religious man is often an exceedingly bad man” This fact applies to no one more than to Muslims. Here is the proof:
“When you meet the unbelievers, strike off their heads; then when you have made wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives.” (Quran 47:4)
“And when the sacred months are passed, kill those who join other gods with God [i.e. moshrekin.] wherever ye shall find them; and seize them, besiege them, and lay wait for them with every kind of ambush: but if they shall convert, and observe prayer, and pay the obligatory alms, then let them go their way, for God is Gracious, Merciful.“(Quran 9:5)
And as for Christians and Jews who rejected him he has this to say:
“Make war upon such of those to whom the Scriptures have been given and believe not in God, or the last day, and who forbid not that which God and His Apostle have forbidden…”(Quran 9:29)
These are the injunctions of Muhammad’s Gracious and Merciful God. How can a “good Muslim” disobey these explicit “divine” mandates? And how can one who observes them be a “good person”? This is the question that sincere Muslims must ask themselves. I am not insinuating that there are no good people amongst Muslims. Good and bad people are distributed in equal proportions in all nations. Yet in Islam good people are often forced to do bad things and go against their conscience. They often convince themselves that in this apparent injustice there must be a hidden wisdom that they do not understand and that God knows better. Many good people who claim to be Muslims are often ignorant of true Islam and dismiss the real orthodox Muslims as hard-liners and fundamentalists. But as Ibn Warraq in “Why I am not a Muslim” points out, unlike Christianity, Islam does not leave room for leniency and tolerance. Islam and fundamentalism are synonymous terms. You have to break the laws of Muhammad, just to keep your humanity and be good. No amount of intellectual acrobatics performed by Muslim apologists can justify the intolerant and ruthlessness of Muhammad’s religion.
“Why I Am Not A Muslim” is worth its weight in gold. Warraq’s book by far is the best source I found on Islam. He tells the truth and pays no lip service. The book’s only flaw is that it is not translated into the language of people who are victims of Islam. I am sure that will be taken care of too.
Islam was established through force and bloodshed. No argument, no reason, no logic was ever given but the blade of the sword. Masses were kept in ignorance. Muslims have no knowledge of Quran and are not aware of its naivete and inhumane character. Should they read Quran in their own language and understand it, they would be disappointed to see the book, far from being a “miracle”, is a hoax; poorly written, full of errors and bereft of beauty.
Islam has silenced all voices of reason throughout the history. But now is a different time. The Internet, although strictly censored in Islamic countries, is becoming accessible even to Muslims. Freethinkers can write and publish without the fear of persecution. I foresee that ere long, the same devout Muslims will turn their back, against their religion and will endeavor to liberate the rest of humanity from the claws of religion in general and Islam in particular.
Warraq talks about “Arab Imperialism and Islamic Colonialism”. He explains eloquently how through Islam, many civilized nations lost their identity, their dignity and humanity to bow in front of a savage god of a bunch of uncultured Arabs and follow the wimps of a fanatic and schizophrenic bloodthirsty madman of Arabia. Islam is the enemy of science, of freethinking, of reason and of human rights. It acts as a powerful break on the advancement of civilization. Warraq keenly points out that “Islamic Civilization” is a contradiction in terms. You can either be Islamic or civilized. In another place he argues that also “Islamic Philosophy” is a contradiction in terms, because philosophy was regarded as a “foreign science, which led to heresy, doubt, and total unbelief”. Brilliant minds like Zacharia Razi and Avicenna never believed in Islam and were attacked by Muslims. More recent intellectuals and freethinkers don’t fare better. For example Ali Dashti, the brilliant scholar and the author of “23 years”; a book written about Muhammad and his 23 years of prophetic life, was incarcerated while in his 80s during Khomeni’s rule and died in prison.
In Warraq’s own words: “Thus we had the spectacle of periodic persecution of various group considered either doctrinally suspect or politically subversive; individuals (philosophers, poets, theologians, scientists, rationalists, dualists, freethinkers, and mystics) were imprisoned, tortured, crucified, mutilated, and hanged; their writings burned. Significantly, none of the heretical works of Ibn Rawandi, Ibn Warraq, Ibn al-Muqaffa, and al-Razi has survived. Other individuals are forced to flee from one ruler to another more tolerant ruler (e.g. al-Amidi). Some were exiled or banished (Averroes). Many were forced to disguise their true views and opinions by difficult or ambiguous language. Those who managed to get away with blasphemy were those protected by the powerful and influential.”
From the original faithfreedom.org site:
[Ali Sina’s collection of articles from the original blog can be read here http://faithfreedom.org/Author/Sina.htm while those of other authors can be read here http://faithfreedom.org/ancient_Articles.php ]