OPINION

Islamic Lynch Mob Hounds Taslima Nasrin: In the Footsteps of the Prophet

November 28, 2007
Muhammad Hussain

Last week, Muslim mobs in India, seeking Taslima Nasrin’s blood for her writings critical of Islam, hounded her out of Calcutta. With assistance from the police, she escaped from Bengal and is now hiding somewhere in the Indian capital. She had to flee her home country Bangladesh when militant Islamic mobs pursued her in 1994 in similar fashion on the same charges. She found a home of some sort in West Bengal, where people speak the same language she speaks and writes in. But now, Taslima has nowhere to go. She may well forget about her writing career altogether.

The mission of Muslims in life is to emulate Prophet Muhammad’s life in meticulous detail to gain access to Paradise. The slightest deviation from it will land Muslims in hell for some time to be roasted there in the terrible fire, before getting access to Paradise. Bravo Muslims of India, you are trying to emulate the Prophet. Let us go back 14 centuries to the time of Prophet Muhammad.

Prophet Muhammad’s 13 years of preaching Islam in Mecca yielded only about 150 converts in all. By 620, his mission in Mecca had come to a standstill. Open preaching among Mecca citizens had been banned. In 620, he secretly started preaching to pilgrims from Medina during the Hajj pilgrimage at the idol-temple of Ka’ba. Six Medina pilgrims converted to Muhammad’s faith. Next year during Hajj, another six joined to give allegiance to Muhammad’s creed. The pilgrims returned with a disciple of Muhammad named Musab to instruct the converts of Medina in Islamic creed.

Musab turned to be an able preacher; and came back with 75 converts during the following Hajj season in March 622 to meet Muhammad at a secret meeting at Akaba near Mecca. Obviously seeing the great success of his creed in Medina even in his absence, the Prophet sought to move there with them. In urging their support for his protection if move there, Muhammad said: "I invite your allegiance on the basis that you protect me as you would your [own] women and children." The Medina converts replied: "By Him [Allah] Who sent you with the truth we will protect you as we protect our women. We give our allegiance and we are men of war possessing arms which have been passed on from father to son” [Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, Karachi, p204].

Muhammad was all set to move to Medina. He ordered his disciples in April to relocate there. Over the next two months, all Muslim converts left for Medina in small batches except Muhammad and Abu Bakr and their families plus Ali still left behind. It was time for Muhammad to leave; and in the company of Abu Bakr, Muhammad set off for Medina. Ali and females of Abu Bakr’s and Muhammad’s families, including Prophet’s child-wife Aisha, were still left behind. They set off for Medina after a few more days like nothing had happened [Ibn Ishaq, p219-221].

The departure of the Muslim community from Mecca was completed. Muhammad arrived in Medina on 21 June 622 CE to a hero’s welcome from his eagerly awaiting disciples, from Mecca and Medina combined.

Muhammad took about six months to build a communal abode for his community. Once his community was comfortably settled, there came time for revenge against the Quraysh for rejecting his faith. Quraysh’s rejection of Muhammad’s creed, as described in the Quran―“to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members"―became tantamount to “Tumult and oppression,” which in turn was “worse than slaughter” [Quran 2:217].

Thereupon, Allah sanctioned Jihad or Holy war upon the Muslims to “fight them [Quraysh] on until there is no more Tumult or oppression [ie, rejection of Islam & practice of idolatry], and there prevail justice and faith in Allah” [Quran 2:193]. Muslims must “slay them [Quraysh idolaters] wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out” [Quran 2:191]. In other words, Muslims must take upon a mission to exterminate the idolatrous Quraysh from Mecca once and for all.

For those Muslims, who did not like fighting as it involved violence and even bloodbath―they still had to fight, because: “Fighting [Jihad] is prescribed for you [by Allah], and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not” [Quran 2:216].

Having made Jihad an obligatory duty on all Muslims, Prophet Muhammad started sending his armed comrades in search of trade-caravans from Mecca to plunder them. The Prophet himself pursued a few caravans; but they escaped before the messenger of Allah could reach there on time. The first success came in January 624 at Nakhla, 9 days away from Medina and only 2 days’ from Mecca. In the attack, one of the Quraysh attending the caravan was killed, two taken captive and another managed to flee. The raiders returned to Medina with the rich booty and two prisoners. The latter were ransomed bringing more revenue for the Prophet.

But, it was the sacred month of Rajab in which fighting was prohibited in Arabian tradition. This bloodbath, therefore, created unhappiness among the people of Medina and the region, including among the Prophet’s disciples. Allah justified this illegal holy-month attack and bloodbath, claiming that the ‘Tumult and Oppression’ [ie, the rejection of Allah’s religion] committed by the Quraysh was “worse than [the] slaughter,” which his henchmen committed at Nakhla:
They ask thee concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say: "Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members." Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter” [Quran 2:217].

In a couple of months, the Prophet pursued another huge caravan returning from Syria under the care of Quraysh leader Abu Sufyan. This led to the bloody battle of Badr, in which the Quraysh got defeated. Some 50 Quraysh were slain and similar number captured, while Muhammad’s side lost only 15 Jihadists.

Muhammad’s violent plundering raids one after another and such bloodbaths, rather uncommon in Arabia, enraged some conscientious intellectuals of Medina. There was among them the first Taslima, named Asma bte Marwan ― a poetess. She composed poetic verses disparaging Muhammad’s heinous acts and railed the men of Medina for allowing such as a bloodthirsty person settle in their community, who had no regard for life whatsoever even of his own kinfolk of Mecca.

As her verses spread quickly, an exasperated Muhammad said: “Who will rid me of Marwan's daughter?” Umayr, a disciple of Muhammad, took up the job of finishing Asma off. On one night, Umayr stealthily entered Asma’s apartment, when she was deep asleep with her suckling baby on her bosom. Umayr removed the child quietly and plunged his sword into her breast with such force that it got stuck onto the couch. The next day at the mosque prayer, the Prophet thanked Umayr: 'You have helped God and His apostle, O 'Umayr” [Ibn Ishaq, p675-6].

Umayr belonged to Asma’s clan and when he was returning from upper Medina and passed by Asma’s sons burying their mother―they accused him of killing her, to which he responded that “if they dared to repeat things such as she had uttered, he would slay the whole clan of them” [William Muir, The Life of Mahomet, London, p240].

The next intellectual to be in line to embrace the same fate was another poet, 120-year old Abu Afak. Horrified by the bloodthirsty zeal of Muhammad’s followers in the name of their God and religion―he wrote verses condemning his actions. He even wrote a poem to incite the Quraysh to take revenge against Muhammad’s Badr massacre without regard for kinship whatsoever. The prophet sent another disciple, named Salim, to finish him off [Ibn Ishaq, p675].

There started Islam’s journey of Holy terror or Jihad against the intellectuals, critical of Islam. Six years later when Muhammad conquered Mecca in 630 CE, he ordered the death penalty on 10-12 people, who had criticized, strongly opposed, or, apostatized from, his creed. Those belonging to influential families were spared upon reconciliation achieved by lobbying from their families. Finally, four persons were executed, among whom were two singing-girls, who had composed songs ridiculing Muhammad [Muir, p392-3].

Four centuries later, we meet the great blasphemous thinker Ibn Sina, who considered that Greek Philosophy was revealed truth, not the Quran; and that Aristotle and Plato were greater than Muhammad. Enraged by this, the jealous Sunni and barbaric invader of India, Sultan Mahmud ordered hunting Ibn Sina down. To save his life, Ibn Sina fled to Egypt to take refuge under the deviant (Ismaili) Fatimid rulers. Some two centuries later in 1190s, the great thinker Ibn Rushd, a commentator on Aristotelian philosophy, got banished from Spain for his heretical views. French author, Renan writes, “Not a Musalman philosopher and scholar escaped persecution… who passed half their life in prison, in forced hiding…” [Ibn Warraq, Why I am Not a Muslim, p274].

Continuing in the Prophet’s footsteps, we witness his steadfast followers putting his writ into action in India. The Prophet must be delighted sitting among at least 72 celestial virgins in Paradise.

However, the Muslims in India deviated a little from the Prophet’s protocols by alerting Taslima beforehand, saving her from embracing the fate of Asma. Muhammad sent his assassins to Asma and Abu Afak quietly without altering them. Muslims in India have failed to emulate Prophet’s example in meticulous detail. Infidel observers may see this as a sign of their progress towards civility, but Allah and His Prophet may not be all too happy by this lapse of theirs.

Muhammad Hussain is a researcher and freelance writer.
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#1
free_kafir
November 28, 2007
03:22 AM

Hi Alamgir,
Thanks for enlightening us. I was not sure of all these things.
I always say to all my friends it is this lunatic's book that is the problem and not with the people as such.
Muslims globally are confused with this book which have all sorts of crap like this.

#2
Chuck
URL
November 28, 2007
10:27 AM

Call in and check out our interview tonight at 8PM EST with Dr. Paul L. Williams, author of The Day of Islam at thirdrailradio.com

#3
Deepti Lamba
URL
November 28, 2007
11:01 AM

Alamgir, your article is quite an eye opener.

#4
temporal
URL
November 28, 2007
12:50 PM

alamgir:

But now, Taslima has nowhere to go.

how do you know?

#5
bharath
November 28, 2007
12:50 PM


Refreshing perspective. You point to so much literature critical of Islam. I am curious as to what happened to them and how it squares with the case you present.

#6
temporal
URL
November 28, 2007
12:54 PM

bharath:

he is a troubled apostate

he has renounced his faith and MORE IMPORTANTLY has not found peace elsewhere - hence his jihad against islam!

and the putrid hatred that flows from his keyboard regurgitating mr. rajkotwala's half baked writings

#7
Sam
URL
November 28, 2007
02:18 PM

Sad to see that this kind of hate posting is permitted at Desi Critics. I could probably quote selectively from Shakespeare and show him to be a violent, murderous, incestuous serial killer. If there is anyone to blame for religious extremism, it is people who use it as a tool to further their own ends.

The Taslima Nasreen incident is a case in point. The woes of the poor farmers is cast aside and a religious issue is used to make it communal. Slowly, the focus will shift away from the real issue, which is the troubles of those who were protesting against the state and were shot for their troubles, and instead we will have yet more rhetoric on religion.

People are so easy to manipulate. The state wins, the extremists win, the poor people and the moderates' voices are drowned.

#8
Sam
URL
November 28, 2007
02:28 PM

I just saw that Alamgir has islamwatch as his homepage. Perhaps he could be persuaded to expand his vitriol. I suggest jihadwatch, dhimmiwatch and littlegreenfootballs. They are banned in some countries as hate sites but he will find plenty of company.

In case, he wishes to expand his research further, he may consider jewwatch, dalitnetwork (evils of Hinduism) and evilbible.

And after all this, he should look at history and reflect on why a few atheists, like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, killed more people than all the religions in history.

#9
razorMirage
November 28, 2007
04:06 PM

Not many knew of this man called P Mohamood before. But after the advent of internet and blogs things are openinig up.
Muslims are constantly hiding the facts for long time.It has just a piece of crap with all ludicious content that modern Muslims are now recognizing it quickly.
Now it is easy to understand the mentality of Muslims as the book they follow is written by a caravan thief, pediophile and a hard-core criminal.

Sam,
You, like all Muslimsk, want to to be offensive when you Muslim ideology is attached.
-Raise MF Hussian topic when Taslima Nasreen topic comes.
-When oppression of woman in Islam is talked then talk abt Indian Widows, dowry etc.
-When taked abt Islam founder you raise weak links from Dalits.
Your idea of divide Hindus on basis of Dalits with other castes is good ploy.

But the fact remains the fact and you can't deny it. Hinduism is Vedas, Upanishads and see what it talks compared to what a hate-book Koran is.
You can see the pusilanimous mentality of Mahamod who wrote the book. It is unfortunate that with the power of Sword the religion was expanded and now a big headache to every one in world.

Disclaimer: I don't have any IslamWatch.com website on my name.

#10
temporal
URL
November 28, 2007
04:19 PM

hello rM

suggest a final solution?

#11
Sam
URL
November 28, 2007
04:35 PM

razormirage

Glad to see you did not miss the point of the post completely. :D

#12
razorMirage
November 28, 2007
05:28 PM

Sam,
It is imp that you too get the point..the sooner the better.

#13
Deepti Lamba
URL
November 28, 2007
09:01 PM

Sam, on Desicritics all opinions are welcome and people have the right to respond to articles via posts or comments. Dialog is important and so is the spirit of knowledge.

Write your own post and refute the author.

#14
Bong buster
November 29, 2007
12:15 AM

But the so called secular and liberal muslims in India like Javed Akhtar,Shabana,Bandukwala,Sadia Dehlvi et al parrot the story of Mohammed having pardoned a woman who used to throw dirt on him daily.He is supposed to have even gone to visit the woman to enquire abt her well being.

The behaviour of the muslim goons is not surprising neither is the silence of the 'liberal' muslims.

#15
Mike Ghouse
URL
November 29, 2007
04:01 AM

I have been conducting workshops on all religions for over two years now : http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Calendar.asp, and prior to that for two years I did a daily radio talk show on every faith. We have had the scholars of each faith discuss and take questions from the public...

I do not find any religion to be filled with hate, religion was taken as a guidance to individuals how to live in peace, a majority of the people understand the message and live the live and religon. Some don't.

It is those who do not get it cause the problems. You cannot count more than 1/10th of 1% of any group - be it Muslims, Hindus, Christians.... who is an extremist. The other 99% simply get along with all. It is not the religion, it is the individuals that are bad.

What Aalamgir writes is filled with hate. He can cash that well if he writes more of the make believe things. Islam bashing is a business that makes money. Look at any of those websites quoted in above comments... crate fear and ask for money!

There are people waiting out there to thank the hate mongers, the ones that wedge rather than bridge.

There are some sixteen translations of Qur'aan out there, at least one of them is hateful. Not the book but the translation. Those books are free give aways as well.

Finding the truth is one's own responsibility - jumping the gun on hearsay is a shame. Check this website out:

http://www.islamicity.com/QuranSearch/

On the right panel, below the words verse search, check the author - Mohamed Asad is the most easy translation and most respected. Others will barely pass.

Find out for yourselves what the truth is. In a few months, I will have all the 16 translations for each verse will be on the website, so one can understand the human interpretations... and then find the essence of it, and you will have a different view, provided you read it with an open mind.

Mike Ghouse

#16
Mike Ghouse
URL
November 29, 2007
04:09 AM

The one verse that every one jumps " slay them where you find them" kill the infidels...

was deliberately paid to mistranslate to make Islam look bad. Take a look at the whole verse, verses before and after to understand the full meaning of it.

You can also view the power point at:
http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/WorldMuslimCongress/Quran_Translations_Issues_031107.pps

No religion teaches one to hate, neither does Islam.

I would like Aalamgir to give me a complete list of verses that he assumes to be offensive, I will review and post on this blog, word for word, straight out of Qur'aan, that you can go to as Ihave given the link. He is wrong and it is a challenge for him to take it up.

Given the amount of time I have - I will accumulate all the verses and respond once and will do the follow up as much as he wants. His quotes must be authentic source. If it is Islam, Qur'aan is all there is to it.

Mike Ghouse

Mike Ghouse

#17
Farhan
November 29, 2007
04:43 AM

Thank Mike Ghouse excellent explanation!!!!
By the way somebody called Almgir Hussain really exist or is it a pseudoname of some Islamic hater?. Because there are so many Islam hating sites, were there is common to pose with a Muslim name and slam their own (ex)religion. Well Islam and Quran had survived the attacks of intelligent Meccans and the Jews of Medina of that time.

#18
Alamgir Hussain
URL
November 29, 2007
05:44 AM

BB, the story of the woman throwing dirt and Muhammad going to see her when she fell sick is not found in any original Islamic literatures. So far I haven't found anybody seeing that story except in the lips of liberal Muslims. It's most likely a concocted story to fool the gullible.

Bharat, there were some critics who directly criticized Islam. Others' expressed views while discussing scientific and philosophical issues which contradicted the Islamic position. Two of the great philosophers of medieval world were Ibn Sina and Al-Farabi, both of whom believed writings of Aristotle were revealed truth. But for Muslims, Quran is the only revealed truth. By default, Ibn Sina & Al-Farabi became heretics. They needed not say anything about the Quran. Later on Al-Ghazzali, considered second-greatest Muslim after Muhammad, declared these two brilliant thinkers apostates, death being their punishment. Luckily for them, they had departed the world already.

Yet, Muslim world's greatest thinker and scientist was al-Razi -- a fearless intellectual iconoclast. Here is how he berated the idiot Allah for throwing a challenge to compose a book like the Quran: "You [Allah] claim that the evidentiary miracle is present and available, namely, the Koran. You say: "Whoever denies it let him produce a similar one [ie, a Quran]." Indeed, we shall produce a thousand similar, from the works of rhetoricians, eloquent speakers and valiant poets, which are more appropriately phrased and state the issues more succinctly. They convey the meaning better and their rhymed prose is in better meter... By God what you say astonishes us! You are talking about a work which recounts ancient myths, and which at the same time is full of contradictions and does not contain any useful information or explanation. Then you say: "Produce something like it."

His works were burned or destroyed by orthodox Muslims and survives only in bits and pieces. Similar fate was to befall most heretical works. In about 1195, there was a carnival of book burning in Spain in which Ibn Rushd and other philosophers' book were burned. In 1171, the fanatic Sunni 'Saladin' conqueror burned the giant library of Cairo , after he ousted the heretical Fatimid rulers.

#19
temporal
URL
November 29, 2007
08:14 AM

so what is new? alamgir did not accept the challenge:

I would like Aalamgir to give me a complete list of verses that he assumes to be offensive, I will review and post on this blog, word for word, straight out of Qur'aan, that you can go to as Ihave given the link. He is wrong and it is a challenge for him to take it up.

#20
Alamgir Hussain
November 29, 2007
10:39 AM

Mike,

I do not spread hate definitely. I just say the truth. My references are the Quran, Hadiths and authoritative biographies of Muhammad. Blame for spreading hate should befall the shoulders of Allah, Muhammad and other brilliant ISlamic scholars who wrote those books, not mine.

I know there are a lot of deception going on in the translations of the Quran in recent years. This because of the increasing scrutinty, Islam facing from infidels in recent decades. Only reliable translations are those that were done probaly before 1950s. I trust the three translations (Shakir, Yusuf Ali & Pikhtal) hosted at the University of Southern California website.

However, the Arabs do not read Quran in any translations. What the Arabic speakers understands of the Quran is the most accurate. Don't tell us that Osama read the Quran in English.

I do not have time to go into compiling all hateful verses. If you have any point-by-point refutation of my essay, I will respond.

#21
free_kafir
November 29, 2007
12:01 PM

What is this Challenge cr ap.
He told some history in his article.If you don't like it then you write a seperate article.
What is the garuntee that what ever you are saying is right.Just because you appeared in some 'talk shows' does not mean what ever you twisted is right.
We see Islam daily. If you are soo enthusastic then try to change the perception we have on Islam.Change the who gave fatwa to Salman Rusdie, Taslima. Change the people who declare jehad and kill innocent in Kashmir,Afganistan,Chechania.change the people who supress woman on name of Islam.Change people who assemble in Mosques to plan for a strategy to do riots, gather stones and throw on innocents.
You try all that..then you don't need to challenge any one.Actually you wont find any one writing these articles.

#22
temporal
URL
November 29, 2007
12:17 PM

I do not spread hate definitely. I just say the truth.

of course:)


the rest are tunnel-visioned bigots

;)

#23
Sam
URL
November 29, 2007
02:04 PM

The above incident quoted in Alamgir Hussains text is attributed to a Ibn Ishaq. But is it really? There is no surviving copy of Ibn Ishaq's works. He is said to have declared in his own works that what he collected were oral traditions (Ibn Ishaq died in 767, Mohammed in 632)and that he had no way of verifying them.

Ibn Ishaq's work was selectively copied in some of his students and followers works. None of these survive in entirety. What survived was translated by Guillaume in 1955, the translations of which are the source for all these websites.

In other words, who can verify what was written, when and by whom?

No Muslim believes the Sirat to be an accurate representation of the Prophet. But they provide color and history to what we know of the Prophet.


A little bit more reason as applied to the Hadiths.

None of the Hadiths were collected until 100-400 years after Mohammed's death, most were collected from lay people. If you think about something that happened in your own family a hundred years ago and try to gauge its accuracy, you can imagine how difficult it is.

Moreover, the earliest scholars who collected these stories, did not ascertain who said it or who the source was. It is only later scholars who developed the method of isnad (or citation and attribution).

So we have a dual state, one where earlier works were uncorroborated but may be accurate, and later works (300-400 years) were cited but may not be accurate.


The Hadiths are meant to be considered as guidance, not law. They provide a historical context to the Quran and the Prophet, but ultimately what the Quran says is more valid. The Quran's first revelation to the Prophet was the verse "Iqra! B'ismi Rabbi", "Read! in the name of your Lord"

The Quran stresses education and knowledge, it provides guidelines for morality and prohibits censorship in favor of knowledge.


[20:114] Do not be in haste with the Qur'an before its revelation to you is completed, but say, "O my Sustainer! Increase my knowledge."


Over 90% of Muslims follow their religion in this way. Out of 1.5 billion of them a few thousand extremists have grabbed center stage, a few protests here and there are given undue attention while the vast billion and a half is ignored.

And people like Alamgir stoke the flames of ignorance.

#24
temporal
URL
November 29, 2007
02:32 PM

sam:

in each major faith there are lunatic fringes...they should be recognised as such and exposed for their agenda driven tunnel-visions

the 'warraqites' stand exposed as such;)

islamophobia provides them with sinecures and easy acceptance (with other tunnel-visioned fringe groups)

by and large the vast majority professing different faiths are unmoved by their antics of spitting at the skies

#25
Sam
URL
November 29, 2007
03:19 PM

"in each major faith there are lunatic fringes..."

don't miss the secular fundamentalists :D

#26
temporal
URL
November 29, 2007
03:26 PM

yes:)

the "fringes" cover both sides of the spectrum

#27
kerty
November 29, 2007
04:21 PM

temporal

Masses have always been led by small band of people. Tides of time and winds of change have always been shifted by tiny band of men. And what characterizes such men is their do or die zeal, their one-tract mind, willingness to sacrifice anything that get in their way, aggressive and assertive tactics, one point mission. Masses eventually fall in line and tag along whichever 'frige' group and its vision prevails or they would create their own defensive shell and sulk in it as Hindus have done for centuries.

#28
temporal
URL
November 29, 2007
05:06 PM

kerty:

there is a major difference between them

the leaders of a 'movement' are as majrooh said:

maiN akela hee chala thaa jaanib e manzil
log aatay ga'aye aur karvaan banta gaya


they are active while the "lunatic fringe" is always doomed to be reactive

#29
razorMirage
November 29, 2007
05:28 PM

-A Woman married Hindu boy in Malaysia. The Muslim Malaysian Govt arrested her. Brainwashed Islam on her for 6 months and even deliberately forced to eat PORK when she is practicing Hindu.

-Girl raped in Saudi Arabia was given punishment instead of the cruel gang of men who raped. This is Shairia...muslim law.

-A good teacher in Sudan was ARRESTED and given prison punishment for what...for allowing KIDS to name of their favorite toy as Prophet Mohamood.

-Nobody need Introduction of Taliban Govt in Afghanistan.

You see the commonality here. Just in case you don't all these are Islam States here.

Do you think they are 'fringes' here and there.

#30
kerty
November 29, 2007
05:32 PM

Temporal..

Being active and reactive is matter of angles - it depends on from which angle and spectrum you are looking at it. If you are looking at it from south, it would look northish, and visa versa.

Given a spread bed-sheet, if it needs to be centered in a certain way, it has to be pulled from its borders. Each corner, when pulled will bring different part of the bedsheet to the center but pulling will always be done from its fringe.

When mainstream needs to be changed, a reaction is needed from a fringe to pull or push the mainstream off to the side so that something else can occupy the mainstream. Fringe will do the reacting and pulling but it will not be able to reach to the mainstream - it will be something else that will get to occupy the mainstream - and it will be those who you describe as 'active' that will seize the opportunity and occupy the mainstream and make final adjustments to the center-stage so that it can endure. Even those whom you call 'active' would be a small band of players, but their role/methods during winds of change is different than those whom you would call 'reactive'.

#31
Rehman
November 30, 2007
12:59 AM

Some of the sayings of Jesus:

"I did not come to bring peace, I came to bring war."

"If you don't have a sword, sell your garment and buy a sword."

"Let the dead, bury the dead."

Every religion has few sayings that point towards violence. However, what's imp. is their interpretation and in what context they were said because words and context can completely change the meaning of a saying or verse. So it's imp. to read scholars of high level who can properly interpret things and believe in the central authority of the religious tradition. Also, in many cases, there is bad translation involved. e.g., a verse from Quran which is quite often used to bash islam, "Not to be FRIENDS with Jews or Christians" is a case of bad translation.
It actually means not to let them be your protector or guider. And it should be clear because Islam allows muslims to marry jews or christians, so it doesn't make any sense that jews and christian can't be friends but can be spouses.
I only gave this example to explain that many muslims' ignorance and incorrect interpretation is giving others the opportunity to bash Islam. I have no problem with criticism but it should be done fairly. If it is done with malice, it gets quite evident as it has been spotted by plenty in this article. Therefore, I stopped reading the article after few paragraphs because of the author's ill and hateful intent. Their aim is to sell themselves and as someone pointed out, in today's world, you can easily sell yourself by writing something against Islam or at least attract a large number of readers.

Anyways, for those who think that Islam was spread by sword, they should think little deeply.

HOW IS IT THAT ISLAM WITH EXTREME NEGATIVE PUBLICITY AND ULTRA NEGATIVE IMAGE IN THE WEST STILL CONTINUES TO BE THE FASTEST GROWING RELIGION? There has to be at least some truth in it that continues to attract people despite its haters and bashers.

My request is to look at things little deeply, May God guide us all.

#32
Alamgir Hussain
November 30, 2007
01:56 AM

All religions are lies. Only lunatics, pretending to be talking to some unseen power, without any proof or logic whatsoever, created religions. Abrahamic god chose Moses and Muhammad, the two mass-murderers, looters, and enslavers -- having no other credibility whatsoever. We can't say much of Jesus, since he had only a handful of followers (17 in all) at the time he was put on the cross. All prophets have been dangerous to mankind.

#33
farhan
November 30, 2007
02:58 AM

Rehman #31
Salam Rehman good explanation, for seven years I have been living in western countries(Germany and Canada), Allhamdullilah in spite of all negative publicity I saw many converts to Islam, ranging from University professors to drug addicts.

#34
razorMirage
November 30, 2007
03:38 AM

I pity you both Farhan and Rehman...how narrow-minded you are.
Is the number of converts means the religion is good and correct.
I already told in my #29 how and what is happening to Islamic States.

#35
razorMirage
November 30, 2007
03:49 AM

Alamgir,
I want to bring to your notice that Hinduism is not started by ONE PERSON. No one knows how it started and how people started following it.
There is no known convertion method untill now. No one converts any one as Hinduism believes in Sanathana Dharma...way of life.
It was the oldest religion (side-stepping Zoorastrains which almost extent, thanks to Islam and their followers) existing adn going strong with rich spiritual knowledge emunating from Vedas and Upanishads.
Hinduism always talks peace and co-existinance of humans in this world.
The greatness of the Hinduism I want to tell by with one simple mantra.
You will be stunned to know the meaning of this.

AUM saha navavatu, saha nau bhunaktu
Saha veeryam karvaavahai
Tejasvi naa vadhita mastu
maa vid vishaa va hai
AUM shaantih, shaantih, shaantih.

Such is the greatness of this religion that when Buddism and Jainism started becoming popular in India, Hindus gave them brotherly treatment. There are great co-existance of all these religions.
But the day Islam came to India every thing changed. I can go on and on like this.

#36
Farhan
November 30, 2007
03:55 AM

Razormorage #34
The number of converts does not matter, if somebody is accepting something means they have found something good in that. And I have witnessed to many of those conversions and passed this information to Rehman. Personally I am proud and thankful to Allah.

#37
Sam
URL
November 30, 2007
08:10 AM

"All prophets have been dangerous to mankind."

Only those who spread hatred and intolerance, as you do, are dangerous to mankind.

#38
Alamgir Hussain
November 30, 2007
09:37 AM

RM,

I am a Muslim-turned an atheist. 32 years of my living as a Muslim gives me an edge in understanding Islam.

But all religions have definitely been created by man, singularly or collectively. As for Hinduism, I see it as a cultural and civilization religion, consisting loads of ancient myths, popular beliefs and grandma stories.

On the whole, Hinduism has been tolerant of other people and their faiths unlike Abrahamic religions. This a historical truth. It's also been an evolutionery religion.

#39
farhan
November 30, 2007
09:50 AM

Razormirage
Hinduism co-existed peacefully ? Yes, because first of all before Muslims came to India there was no name called Hindu, so no Hinduism as a coherent institution.
The basis of Sanathana Dharma is the caste system the Hindus were too busy in protecting their own vernas than thinking about some thing called religion. A brahmin was more interested in protecting his own position than thinking about other religion, so are the other castes.
Buddhism and Jainism was actually a revolt against the brahmins(Brahmanical religion) from agrarian, ruling class and trading community who formed 90% of the population. And hence no much opposition.
One of the worst gifts to mankind by Hinduism is the caste system, I think it is the genesis of Racism. No where in History one can find such elaborate division of society. Hinduism made a vast majority of the people think that they are low caste, cursed, all due to birth in a particular caste, its karma. Islam on the other hand( and the original Christianity to) is formed on the basis of Egalitarianism, a convert from any background can became a Imam or even Khaliph or ruler. Could you imagine that in Hinduism , even to this day no one other than Brahmins can be priests. That is the reason so many Hindus from lower caste converted to Islam.

#40
Sam
URL
November 30, 2007
11:14 AM

"I am a Muslim-turned an atheist. 32 years of my living as a Muslim gives me an edge in understanding Islam."

Your post reflects how well you have lived as a Muslim.

Since I have lived as 38 years as a Muslim, does that give me a sharper edge? :p

#41
free_kafir
November 30, 2007
11:22 AM

Caste system was a excellant mechanism in which people do specialized jobs in a society. That concept worked well at that time.If you think it makes real sense a potter used t specialize in pottery.A barber used to specialize haricuting.A teacher used to specilize in teaching. Because of this the Indus valley civilization were very advanced at that time only because of this caste system only !
But when Britishers came they used this system to divide Hindus. Offcourse,they used some other techniques to divide Hindus and Muslims also.
After that, to some extent this system was used jealously to their own needs as it happens every where.Also,this sytem is irrelevant now and Hindus are coming of it.
Don't you think there is slavery in America at one point of time.
Don't you think Islam is divided into Sunnis, Shias, Sufi and all hate each other?

#42
farhan
November 30, 2007
12:22 PM

Free_Kafir:
What you are referring is division of labor, but the caste system is something different, the varna has religious sanction, it is hierarchy not based on profession but based on birth.
"But when Britishers came they used this system to divide Hindus. "
No to blame British for every evil is not fare, in fact British gave India its shape, it gave Hindus their identity,(though I am not a fan of English rule, but these are unfortunate facts)
"Don't you think Islam is divided into Sunnis, Shias, Sufi and all hate each other?"
They are not caste they are sects, as far as Sufis , there are shia sufis and sunni sufis. Yes they may hate each other, but on equal terms, there is no concept of low-high birth like the Hindu caste system. Moreover a sunni can become shia and vice versa but a Shudr can never become a Brahman.

"Because of this the Indus valley civilization were very advanced at that time only because of this caste system only !"

Well first of all IVC is different from vedic civilization, IVC was destroyed by veda chanting Aryans, and from their started the varna system a system that exist even today. Its true that Hindus are coming out of it, but obviously it still exist in varied form.

#43
Deepti Lamba
URL
November 30, 2007
01:16 PM

Farhan, the caste system is unfortunately deeply ingrained in the minds of some Indians. There had been reform movements during the colonial times and the Dalits do have a voice in our political framework , take Mayawati for example.

For most education acts as the means of breaking the shackles and for others its freedom granted via the political system.

What worked in the ancient times as a flexible system cannot be excused in the present context though in history its a known fact that when the Portuguese came to India only the Brahmanical converts were allowed to become Priests and the lower castes used to have separate churches.

Even now those in the upper cream of society are quick to say that their forefathers belonged to the upper castes before they converted. I've heard this kind of talk from upwardly mobile Christians and Muslims alike.

As far as the Sufi saints are concerned they are deeply revered in Northern India and are seen a symbol of peace between the Hindus and Muslims.

The Muslim culture is as much a part of the Indian fabric as is the Hindu culture. The minute we take on the minority or majority mindset we as a nation lose time and again.


#44
kerty
November 30, 2007
08:43 PM

Farhan..

Any system needs intellectuals, defenders, wealth creators and workers to sustain it. In India, it got rigidified for self-preservation when threatened from within and externally. When threat is present, people lock their doors and fortify ourselves. System does not benefit by rigidifying it in normal times. It is easier for invader to conquire a nation if it has only one power center to defeat. When nation has zillion tiny power centers, the task of defeating them becomes impossible - that is what society evolved to defeat the purpose of invasions.

Varnashrama is different than caste system, later has only socio-economic role and that is why it is so vast. It allowed propgation of skils, knowledge, specialization. It also allowed society to accomodate diversity and plurality in religious, social and cultural and economic spheres as one could form their own autonomous groups if they wanted to be different from others. It allowed even people with hostile and antithetical ideas and pursuits to co-exist and enjoy their freedom and autonomy away from the rest. That is why moslems and xians could survive for thousand years in India - they lived like just one more caste without bothering anybody and without being bothered by others. That is how Parsis and Jews could feel at home in India. Without caste system, none of the rich diversity, plurality that we see in every sphere could be accommodated and sustained.

Lot has changed since than. Now caste serves merely socio-cultual role - it has no economic role to play. So main cause of abuses has been stripped off caste system. Does it mean caste has lost its relevance in India? Hardly, judging by how many people still cling to it and find it useful. It now provides a socio-cultural support system. A sense of belonging to like-minded people. There is no other system that can sustain India's diversity, much less produce it. Its power to accommodate diversity and give different groups limited autonomy in socio-cultural sphere is still second to none. Unless something better comes along, people will hang on to it. Even people who say caste is evil do not want to give theirs up.

#45
Ashraf Sadik
November 30, 2007
09:21 PM

Hello Alamghir

Nice to read this article. I feel good to know that all hope is not lost. There are sensible, reasonable people like you who have seen through the lies and deceptions of religions, which are all man made, false and evil. I am an ex-muslim turned atheist myself. Although I hate all religions, I hate Islam with a passion. Hope to read from you again.

May good be with you. You are a voice of sanity. Take care my friend.

#46
Alamgir Hussain
URL
November 30, 2007
09:50 PM

Sam, I meant my growing up as a Muslim gives me edge in commenting on Islam, not Hinduism. So I am generally reluctant to comment on things I do not have very good grasp of.

If you think, your living a Muslim for 38 years still does not give you grasp of Islam, then this religion is definitely something troublesome. Islam's history from its birth to this day testifies to this too.

---

About conversion of lower caste people to Islam, not higher caste people, is a suspicious propaganda of modern times. There is little historical document that shows such discrimination in conversion.

When Muhammad bin Qasim landed in Sindh in 712, he slaughtered 10s of thousands and enslaved in excess of 300,000 Hindus and Buddhists in his 3-year career. The enslaved by-default became Muslims. There wasn't any discrimination in his capturing the free-living Hindus and other Kafirs for converting them into slave-Muslims.

Sultan Mahmud's first single assault in 1000-01 CE yielded 500,000 Hindu slaves to become Muslims, according to his court chronicle written Abu Nasr al-Utbi. I do not think, Mahmud went around to see who was Brahmin and who was Sudra while taking them captives.

Muslim conquerors did some discrimination for singling out the Brahmins to slaughter them to extinguish the light of Hinduism. That's what medieval Muslim historians -- namely al-Utbi, Muhammad al-Kufi, al-Biladuri, Hasan Nizami, Amir Khausraw, Ziauddin Barani, Muhammad Farishta, Shams Shiraj Afif, and AlBeruni et al. -- tell us.

#47
temporal
URL
November 30, 2007
10:50 PM

alamgir:

claiming to be an ex muslim will only give you an edge if you examine the former faith with a deeper understanding

in case of your writings here and elsewhere and those of other rajkotites...they are agenda driven, selective and arbitrary

your own venom and frothing rises to the top and exposes your ilk

this world is large enough to sustain multi-faiths over the millennium despite the tunnel-visioned hate-mongers

keep frothing;)


#48
Ravi Kulkarni
URL
December 1, 2007
01:10 AM

To examine a historical or even mythological character's life can't possibly be hateful speech. I welcome similar articles on Ram's life and Jesus' as well. The basic problem with most religions is the followers' inability to criticize the prophets and other leading lights of their religion.

There are those who say Quoran is eternal; it never changes and it is always applicable. This is the sharia crowd. Then there is the apologentia (is there such a word?) who while claiming to be moderates, try to find something good about other religions, all the while saying Prophet is above reproach and Quoran the true word of God.

Alamgir seems to belong to that rare species who is willing call a spade a spade. I don't know if everything he has written in this article is true, but he is important because nay sayers are required for any religion. Islam, especially during the last 100 years of so, has seriously lacked introspection. It is time more muslims looked at their own religion with a critical eye.

Come on folks, there are no God written books period. Only inpired ones perhaps, but ultimately they were all human creations with human minds behind them. Therefore, none of them are perfect, everything is subject to change depending upon the circumstances, prevailing culture and the times.


#49
Ravi Kulkarni
URL
December 1, 2007
01:28 AM

To those who challenge Alamgir, especially muslims, here is a challenge.

Please state for the record whether you truly believe that Quoran is the perfect book with no flaws in it and Prophet Muhammad led a blemishless life worthy of emulation.

#50
Chandra
December 1, 2007
02:27 AM

Alamgir

I dont know how much of what you say is true. But considering the current environment, you have massive courage! My good wishes.

rgds

#51
Sam
URL
December 1, 2007
03:18 AM

"Sam, I meant my growing up as a Muslim gives me edge in commenting on Islam, not Hinduism. So I am generally reluctant to comment on things I do not have very good grasp of."

It certainly does not stop you from presenting rumor as facts, as the post presented by you shows.

e.g. Historians generally agree that Islamic social reforms in areas such as social security, family structure, slavery and the rights of women and ethnic minorities improved on what was present in existing Arab society.[2][3][4][5][6][7] For example, according to Lewis, Islam "from the first denounced aristocratic privilege, rejected hierarchy, and adopted a formula of the career open to the talents."[2]

These references for example are freely available for general reference.

#
# ^ a b c Lewis, Bernard. "Islamic Revolution", The New York Review of Books, January 21, 1998.
# ^ Watt (1974), p.234
# ^ Robinson (2004) p.21
# ^ Esposito (1998), p. 98
# ^ "Ak̲h̲lāḳ", Encyclopaedia of Islam Online
# ^ a b c Nancy Gallagher, Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, Infanticide and Abandonment of Female Children.

Now you cast aside the established works of accredited scholars and present ill-cited hadiths with no isnad as "facts"

This, more than anything else, reveals you as a propagandist. I have met many sincere apostates, who have left Islam due to personal reasons and I can respect that they do not share my beliefs. However, those who misrepresent the religion, using misinformation from dubious hate sites and without explaining the source of their information, I consider as hatemongerers. Such kind of posts do nothing to extend understanding between people or encourage social reform or dialogue or education.

Misrepresentation of the kind presented by you only deepens the divide, creates mistrust and suspicion and leads to greater occurences of instances of discrimination, since you give validity to those who are looking for an excuse to legitimise their anti-social behaviour.


To anyone who is genuinely interested in learning about how Muslims really think and what is happening today in the Islamic world, I recommend authors such as Ali Eteraz or Svend White, who possess genuine credentials and produce scholastic works that represent the majority of Muslims, and not the militant minority.

Ali Eteraz blogs at http://eteraz.wordpress.com/

Svend White blogs at http://akramsrazor.typepad.com/

There was an excellent series of articles a couple of months ago in Guardian, written by Ali Eteraz, which examines the current state of affairs in Islam and what it means. If anyone is genuinely interested in looking beyond islam watchers to islam scholars, this is the url

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/ali_eteraz/2007/09/the_roots_of_islamic_reform.html

This is not an evangelical article, but an objective assessment of the Islamic religious scene.

I hope you will consider the consequences of your words. Realise that the pen is stronger than the sword and work to build, not destroy society.

#52
Sam
URL
December 1, 2007
03:25 AM

"To examine a historical or even mythological character's life can't possibly be hateful speech."

Do you mean to say that if vile rumors about you with no basis or evidence of validity were published in the media, and you could prove (and the writer should have known) that there was no evidence behind the rumors, you would applaud it as an investigation of your character?

#53
Alamgir Hussain
December 1, 2007
06:30 AM

Sam, once again -- it is the Islamic historians of the time who should be blamed for recording vile rumours. Pick up Tarikh-i-Yamini of al-Utbi, Chachnama of Al-Kufi, Taj-ul Ma'asir of Hasan Nizami, Tarikh-i-Firoj Shahi of Ziauddin Barani, Tarikh-i-Al'ai of Amir Khasrau, Malfutzat-i Timuri (autobiography) to find out that it is they, not me, engineered those rumours.

It's a problem with Muslims that, in their thinking, be it the pious biographers of Muhammad, the brilliant hadith compilers, the traslators of the Quran and all the medieval Muslim history writers were engaged in conspiracy against Islam and spreading rumors and nothing else. This problem arose only during the last few decades, not during the previous 13+ centuries.

Your reference to a few historians does not necessarily represent the fact. There are other historians who have different views based on documented facts. The most trust-worthy history is that told by the Muslim historians of the time, not what some modern historians invent, contradicting those past Muslim historians.

#54
Ravi Kulkarni
URL
December 1, 2007
09:47 AM

Dear Sam,

Just as vile rumours are not ok, it is also not ok to fluff up someone as the true agent of God. I would have no problems if you say Mohammad had some good things to say (borrowed largely from bible and other equally man made documents) and he also added some stuff relevant to his period. Instead all muslims are REQUIRED to venerate him as the last and the most important prophet of God. If you can believe that, then he is fair game for any vilification, justified or not.

#55
temporal
URL
December 1, 2007
09:51 AM

ravi:

take quran as a final arbitrator of islam and its history...and it does not matter if it is the word of god or not...it is available in a written format, unchanged since the beginning...(most hadiths are and can be suspect e.g. abu huraira who has been oft quoted was rent-a-hadith guy)

qur'an being a written document can be likened to another famous written document - the constitution of the US

the SC is its guardian and continues to interpret the intent of the founding fathers in changed times and circumstances (civil rights, busing, blacks, women, abortion, etc.)

there is a similar mechanism in islam ... that is hijacked by the other extreme....the fringe mullahs... the clergy...they used the same book to push the baby back in the womb that the islam-wrong-at-all-costs whiners want to destroy

slowly, albeit slowly post 9/11 a new class of muslims from the middle is awakening from their centuries old slumber and reclaiming the book ...reading and pondering the message for themselves...and fighting both the fringes attacking its core...

i attack both the lunatic fringes with equal ease and fervour...both are selective and tunnel-visioned and both go overboard in their zeal



#56
Ravi Kulkarni
URL
December 1, 2007
11:07 AM

Dear Temporal,

I have no problems with anyone having faith, we all need faith in one form or the other. It is only when this faith becomes the tool of exploitation for a privileged few it becomes a problem. It has happened with every major religion including Islam.

Unfortunately Quoran is not least like the US constitution. The latter is subject to modifications as the people of the US determine, not set in stone. It is true that the constitution can be and has been misused. When it is cast in stone, it binds people to anachronistic and totally alien culture that was prevalent at some corner of the world ages ago. Muslims tout Quoran (just as you did) as never having mutated. I say that is the worst thing that has happened to muslims. Not only are muslims led to believe that quoran is the word of god, they are also left with no direct channel to god as the last channel died in 632AD. It appears to be a truly sad and unhappy life for spiritual muslims.

Ravi

#57
temporal
URL
December 1, 2007
11:46 AM

ravi:

Qur'an is a document for eternity...and anything that is for all times has to have an inbuilt security valve... a mechanism for change and adaptability... and such procedures exist...reams and reams of material is available ... the thing is easier to understand if i say this:

while Qur'an cannot be touched or altered...the ayahs...injunctions therein are open to continuous interpretations...except those that deal with the haduds...and they are less than 1%...

the mechanisms are there in place

ijma, qayas, ijtihad etc..... and the muslim masses and critics alike have been brainwashed to understand that those doors are closed permanently...not so!

#58
Raza Rumi
URL
December 1, 2007
01:07 PM

I am surprised at DC for having posted an article that borders on hate material. Based on an obscure biography by Ibn Ishaq, translated by orientalists and another one William Muir's, The Life of Mahomet, this piece is above all a reflection of author's ignorance.

He could only find these two ostensible unreliable and unbiased sources to view the life of Mohammad. What about all other biogrpahers and reams of material

His style and charged against Prophet Mohammad are remnicscient of the entire approach, tone and lens of Orientalism. Pathetic to say the least - the way conquerors and those considering themselves superior to the inferior, dark, infidels....tsk tsk

Mohammad (peace be upon him) unlike the glorified images of other icons was a human made of flesh and blood. This is what makes him different. He was a trader, a soldier, a general, an administrator, a husband and led a full life for the 60 plus years he was alive. He brought a message of equality and egalitarianism to the world and this is why his followers exceed in 1 billion and there are conversions taking place in USA, Africa and India even today. Why? Are his followers intimidating people with knives and guns..

These shoddy attempts to link the actions of lunatics in Kolkatta to Prophet's life is a bunch of half-truths only feeding in the global Islamophobia..

Well done Alamgir Hussain (whoever you are ex or present Muslim we don't care). Now you should join the Fox News or work on the revival of that accurate and objective discipline namely Orientalism..

On Quran: well, I read the comments thread here - alas, many who comment on the Quran have not read it. It is a book of guidance for the Muslims and there are avenues and methods for its interpretation and aligning the divine teachings to the changing times. Yes, it is true that the Islamic clergy - for which there is not space in the religion - have approporiated the right to interpret and inserted nonsensical stuff in the jurisprudence. Most of this stuff is man made and the clergy of today makes it sound divine -

this is the failure of Muslims - being blind to tradition and 'taqleed'. Hopefully this will change - or at least many Muslims want it to change..

#59
Aaman
URL
December 1, 2007
01:12 PM

Raza, you're welcome to write an article countering or disproving any of the points in the article, or the sources used. No one, not the prophet, not Jesus, not you or I are immune from criticism, and why would we want it thus?

#60
kerty
December 1, 2007
01:35 PM

Raza..

The scriptures, if they are meant to be read and followed by people, have to be accessible to people for reasonable interpretations based on certain guide lines, of course - that domain of reasonable interpretation can not be made exclusive province and prerogative of select few. That is the only way fundamentalists derive their power by maintaining exclusive monopoly over interpretations that suits them.

Religions are not interpreted and judged by what is written in their books. They are interpreted and judged thru actions of their followers. Religions and their followers leave a trail of history by which to judge them. If the shoe fits, that becomes the real interpretation of their books and teachings, notwithstanding what is actually meant in the book. If all one can see is followers of Islam involved in every hotspot, every conflict, terorrist event around the world, than you will have hard time convincing others that Islam is religion of peace and tolerance even if you can quote dozens of verses from Koran to support it - Alamgir would look more believable than you when he gives us closer-to-reality interpretation of those verses and acts of Prophet.

#61
temporal
URL
December 1, 2007
01:53 PM

aaman:

whether what islamophobes write is hate literature depends not on our perceived tolerance, outlook or liberalism but on our leanings and interests

you say: No one, not the prophet, not Jesus, not you or I are immune from criticism, and why would we want it thus?

let me add holocaust to above and see how we fare!

in Iran, and many other countries they can freely discuss holocaust and academically question the numbers of jews who died at auschwitz, the capacity of the ovens, the numbers they could accommodate if run 7/24 etc...

in the US, and much of the west questioning holocaust is a hate crime




#62
Sam
URL
December 1, 2007
01:59 PM

"Sam, once again -- it is the Islamic historians of the time who should be blamed for recording vile rumours. Pick up Tarikh-i-Yamini of al-Utbi, Chachnama of Al-Kufi, Taj-ul Ma'asir of Hasan Nizami, Tarikh-i-Firoj Shahi of Ziauddin Barani, Tarikh-i-Al'ai of Amir Khasrau, Malfutzat-i Timuri (autobiography) to find out that it is they, not me, engineered those rumours."

What were their sources?

#63
temporal
URL
December 1, 2007
02:06 PM

kerty:

you are on the needle in that first paragraph!

The scriptures, if they are meant to be read and followed by people, have to be accessible to people for reasonable interpretations based on certain guide lines, of course - that domain of reasonable interpretation can not be made exclusive province and prerogative of select few. That is the only way fundamentalists derive their power by maintaining exclusive monopoly over interpretations that suits them.

qur'an came as a set of guidelines for simple bedouins...largely unread...

it was not intended for rocket scientists...

fast forward to current era...as muslims drifted a clergy evolved that cornered the interpretation market and told the ordinary muslims to come to them for any interpretive guidance

they not only cornered the market... but also developed it further over the centuries and have now developed their vested interests in it

they steered the masses from the simple core egalitaruian message and appeal of islam:

be good, behave as a good corporate citizen, look after the needy....

a message that in essence is echoed in almost all other faiths

a good muslim or a good hindu or a good christian or a good jew are the same deep down - they are all good human beings!

#64
Sam
URL
December 1, 2007
02:07 PM

Ravi:

"Instead all muslims are REQUIRED to venerate him as the last and the most important prophet of God. If you can believe that, then he is fair game for any vilification, justified or not."

Where do you get that? According to Quran

[2:285] The messenger has believed in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and so did the believers. They believe in GOD, His angels, His scripture, and His messengers: "We make no distinction among any of His messengers." They say, "We hear, and we obey. Forgive us, our Lord. To You is the ultimate destiny."

And even if some Muslims revere the Prophet (which as you can see is against the Qurans teachings) why should what Muslims think about their Prophet be a carte blanche to vilify him?

#65
Sam
URL
December 1, 2007
02:07 PM

Ravi:

"Instead all muslims are REQUIRED to venerate him as the last and the most important prophet of God. If you can believe that, then he is fair game for any vilification, justified or not."

Where do you get that? According to Quran

[2:285] The messenger has believed in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and so did the believers. They believe in GOD, His angels, His scripture, and His messengers: "We make no distinction among any of His messengers." They say, "We hear, and we obey. Forgive us, our Lord. To You is the ultimate destiny."

And even if some Muslims revere the Prophet (which as you can see is against the Qurans teachings) why should what Muslims think about their Prophet be a carte blanche to vilify him?

#66
Raza Rumi
URL
December 1, 2007
02:48 PM

Aaman thanks for responding - the issue here is not immunity from criticism - I agree no such immunity is warranted.

the issue is that of 'quality', if I daresay so. pikcing up two orientalist versions of biographies the author has constructed a self hating narrative..and because is suits the global construct of Islamophobia, it appears to have credibility notwithstanding its shaky basis. If it were a piece of fiction, perhaps my reaction would be different.

I am not interested in writing a piece to counter this trash.I'd rather use my time to contribute something else to DC :)

Having said that temporal has raised a point - is Holocaust construct open to 'criticsm'? Many civilised countries would put anyone in jail for exercising his/her right of free speech when it comes to holocaust. Ah, these double standards ..

Islam/Muslim/Mohammad bashing is the flavour of the month and the new imperial project. This is why such posts and opinions are instructive as to how they feed into a mythology about Islam, Mohammad since the crusades.

Sam has raised two important points and I agree with them. First on sources and second on the reverence aspect.

I have stated earlier that Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) was a human at the end of the day and we take him as an ideal but those who do not are free to criticize him - but with some accuracy, better sources, and dareisay with some courtesy given that a billion people in the world hold him in high respect.

What is the difference between this post and the danish cartoon images where the Prophet was shown as the originator of suicide bombings: not much...

both are inaccurate and expressions of Islamophobia and both are ludicrous - and both deserve to be ignored and treated as ignorant trash!

#67
razorMirage
December 1, 2007
03:20 PM

The number of people follow any religion/faith is NOT directly propertional to the 'quality' of that religion/faith.

Good Quote I remember..

"History is written by people who hang Heros"


...not exactly related but surely give the needed message who all are saying Islam is great because the numbers it hold.

#68
kerty
December 1, 2007
04:23 PM

Razor..

Number do tell a story. If there is quality somewhere else, why are numbers not gravitating towards that quality? You are not suggesting that so many people are so gullible devoid of intellect? One can fool few, but not that many, and not time and again. One can fool a generation or two due to circumstantial considerations, but not generation after generation, even when those generations are exposed to other ideas that you might consider qualitatively superior or better. Ultimately quality and power of ideas rests on its durability, adaptability (adapting to something or making everything else adapt to it), its ability to meet the needs of the times or forcing times to meet its needs, its ability to sustain people's faith in it to deliver goods time and again - that is what create unshakable convictions. Ideas have power, some ideas hold people's attention momentarily, or hold it for generation or two, while some never go out of fashion. That is why some ideas are able to rise above fads or passing phases. Quality of ideas are judged by such standards. Otherwise, quality remains a subjective measure, not worth measuring anything.

#69
Farhan
December 1, 2007
06:05 PM

Kerty and Razormirage :
Numbers do have value, that is why Sangh Parivar statisticians are worried and doing their own maths to show that a Muslim majority is a possibility,
Israel will be forced to peace because of the numbers on opposite sides.
It is the numbers in Assam and Nagaland that may change the political structure in India, it is the numbers that forced France not to jump in Iraq war...So number counts....
That is why I said Allhamdullilah in my last comment( if you don't know the meaning of Allhamdullilah as a Muslim friend,.... I don't think you guys keep one)

#70
razorMirage
December 1, 2007
06:33 PM

Farhan...
You are right on !
This is the same mentality in which Islam expanded. Thanks for admiting.

#71
Farhan
December 1, 2007
07:09 PM

Well I did not say that, how can you figure out others mentality, I just said that number does matter.
Well Islam is proselytizing religion, so it does count conversions.

#72
kerty
December 1, 2007
08:28 PM

Farhan...

Numbers game can be played any number of ways.
-Reducing the numbers of opponents by ethnic clensing, forced conversions, genocides, warfare, patronizing ideologies that encourage abortions and smaller family size
-Increasing one's own side by aggressive family size, proslytizing

Relying on aggressive reproduction gives one captive constituency that dutifully tags along the faith of parents. All religions rely on this to maintain their numbers - but some more so than others. Why engage in hard work of proslytizations and conversions when all it takes is to have few extra wives and few extra babies in the family? Depopulate the infidels and populate the planet with faithfuls and fundamentalists will do the rest to keep the faithful in line. That will work too.

#73
Alamgir Hussain
December 2, 2007
01:58 AM

Ya, Quarn is that perfect guidance to human life but all else the Sunnah (hadith) and Prophet's life history are all corrupt. The problem is that these educated modern Muslims, who damn these sources, have little to no knowledge about these texts and may not even have copy on their book-shelfs.

However, the fact is that Islam survived for 14 centuries based on all these sources and not a crow, especially the pious and scholars of Islam, made a noise about it. They were revered than damned well into the mid-20th century. Even today, mostly those Muslims, who are exposed to modernist liberal values and ideas, raise complaints about these text. The pious still revere them.

And now even those translators, who belong to non-Muslim backgrounds, are also being demonized. Every non-Muslim reseracher is out there to screw up Islam. That is the way modern educated Muslim thinking goes. One must wonder where does this on-going Muslim-nonMuslim conflict arises from.

Why don't Muslims themselves do a translation to correct the corruptions introduced by Western scholars. Instead, they buy those corrupted translations and publish them from Pakistan and other Muslim countries for spreading the glory of those texts. It appears that not a single Muslim in the world understands Arabic and able to do correct translations of them.

BTW, Quran, the book of indisputable eternal guidance, also talks about how Muslim's should marry the wives of their adopted sons. That's should make a indisputable eternal guidance for mankind, too.

Quran is probably the more accurate biography of Muhammad. There could be some discrepancy in hadiths, but those non-Sahih ones have been excluded from all major hadith compilations. Only those ones that conform to the Quran are retained.

Moreover, Muhammad annihilated the Idolaters from Arabia not by reading the hadiths or his biography written by these allegedly obscure and crooked scholars. There is no dispute that Ka'ba was a sacred idol-temple of the Pagans of Arabia, which Muhammad destoryed and usurped in barbaric manner.

#74
temporal
URL
December 2, 2007
12:36 PM

alamgir:

frothings and diatribes aside the facts can be ascertained and the final criteria remains qur'an

even the euro-centric writer's obscure texts quoted by murtids are based on the two or three writers from early islam

that is why i suspect the 'scholarship' of ralkotites is merely tunnel visioned venom

#75
Mike Ghouse
URL
December 2, 2007
01:36 PM

Temporal,

The frightened kings of Europe figured out a way to stop the Arab Armies (Kings were Kings, religions was not important to them for practice, but for looting it was) from taking them over... recruited the pope to issue a fatwa that they are anti-christ, and the paid the goons to translate, rather mistranslate Qur'aan to show to their people that Muslims and Jews wer infidels and it is their duty to go and slaughter them.

Much of the knowledge of Qur'aan that has become the basis of neo-cons, including Alamgir is based on those mis-translations. The words of Quraan are same, but the translation was deliberately written to malign Islam... in effect the Kings were invading Europe.

Even those Kings (Muslim ones) mis translated Qur'aan to ge their sheep to go get martyred for them. A good game on both sides.

Today, there are thousands of neocons and websites out there based on a total wrong foundation. There are sixteen translations available now, some of them are off...
Read Mohamed Asad's translation, it is close to the essence of what religion was meant to be... to mitigage conflicts and foster goodwill.

God willing, I am working on translations of Quran in that light. If some oneelse does before me, I will thank them for that.

Any one out to create a wedge, build hate towards other people instead of goodwill, has problems. They are not genuine truth seekers, they are for cashing on the fear.

Mike Ghouse

#76
temporal
URL
December 2, 2007
03:28 PM

mike:

there are enough translations floating around - not enough readers;) (however good luck to you!)

the important thing is only this imho:

haqooq ul ibad has a preference over haqooq allah

once this message is drilled home then ...and only then will muslims learn to co-exist with others

life and living is not my-way or the hi-way...it is (a)about peace within leading to (b)peaceful coexistence with others

(others includes those who subscribe to other faiths, creeds and those who do not profess any faith like atheists and agnostics)

#77
Jawahara
URL
December 2, 2007
06:23 PM

Isn't it an entirely flawed premise that something is a universal religion if it can be so changed via a translation? Just as those other translations brought in their bias (which also happened with the King James Bible, of course) won't any other translation (based on peace and good will, for instance) be more a refection of the translator and not the actual text?

Just curious!

#78
Raza Rumi
URL
December 2, 2007
10:03 PM

Mike, thanks for your comments here. Indeed, the teachings of Islam and the Quran were distorted---

Alamgir: what's this fuss all about - yes we all know that Kaaba was a pagan temple but it was also something before..And, what do you think happened with other Abrahamic religions..

You are simply biased and rigid ironically like a fundamentalist. You will cite obscure texts and use the orientalist lens to view a massive religion and movement -

what a pity!

#79
Erron
December 2, 2007
11:15 PM

Islam seems to be the only religion, Judaism notwithstanding that refuses to adapt to modern times and forego the practices of a less enlightened time. Women's rights, equality only in name, violent punishments for trivial crimes, are but a few of the issues Islam has to address in its own turf, leave alone globally.

#80
Ruvy in Jerusalem
URL
December 3, 2007
06:43 AM

haqooq ul ibad has a preference over haqooq allah....

Temporal,

Can you provide a translation, please? My gut tells me that haqooq has something to do with law (Hebrew cognate Hoq?), but I'm not at all sure.

#81
Ledzius
December 3, 2007
08:54 AM

Islam is anti-family values. One example is the triple-talaq which would grant a man instant divorce. Even if he had uttered it in anger and regrets it later, the divorce is a done deal. They can come back together only after both get married to others and consummate those marriages! When there are court ordered reconciliation sessions in civilised judicial systems, Islam wants them out with no chance of recourse. Sick, imo.

And I don't want to hear apologists say the Quran didn't mean that, it is a problem of interpretation. It doesn't matter. If there are so many problems with the interpretations of a text,the logical conclusion is that there is a problem with the text itself.

#82
Saif
December 3, 2007
12:04 PM

Ledzius #81,
"And I don't want to hear apologists say the Quran didn't mean that, it is a problem of interpretation."
Ledzius it is quiet dictatorial, If you are on blog my friend you have to hear, even if it is not in tone with you, or else close yourself with few of your Islamic hater types.
I am sure somebody on this blog would give you a good reply to that, if you are open minded you will debate that, but if your real intention is to hate Islam then nobody can help you.
Do you know the lowest divorce rate in India and in the whole world is in Muslim societies, so how could you say that Islam is antifamily. Do you know in US about 30-50% marriages ends in divorce, with all those reconciliation processes.
I hope some apologist will reply you,

#83
Sam
URL
December 3, 2007
01:20 PM

"Islam is anti-family values. One example is the triple-talaq which would grant a man instant divorce. Even if he had uttered it in anger and regrets it later, the divorce is a done deal. They can come back together only after both get married to others and consummate those marriages! When there are court ordered reconciliation sessions in civilised judicial systems, Islam wants them out with no chance of recourse. Sick, imo."

How common do you think either of these are?

Some numbers to explain your agitation would be nice.

#84
temporal
URL
December 3, 2007
04:37 PM

mike:

#76:)

Jay:

think of it as ONE of the universal truths and not the ONLY truth:)

#85
temporal
URL
December 3, 2007
04:45 PM

ruvy:

haqq (A) adj: Just: right: true n.m. The truth: The Deity: God: justice: equity:rectitude: right: due: just:claim:duty

as an adjective we can say haqq is denied the Palestinians by the Occupiers

;)

salaam!


#86
Morris
December 3, 2007
11:17 PM

If there is such thing as group inferiority complex, followers of Islam must suffer more than all other. Any negative comment about their religion, prophet or Koran can create violent reaction. Perhaps they know that there is'nt very much they can defend. Even those who are not violent will refuse to admit the problem and all they could do is point out shortcomings of others. It would be nice if we all admitted our shortcomings and discuss the necessary reforms.

#87
Ledzius
December 4, 2007
01:15 AM

"How common do you think either of these are?

Some numbers to explain your agitation would be nice."

This is the second time the issue of numbers has been brought up on this topic. Like someone who argued before that gaining the max. number of converts is supposed to make the religion great.

I am actually glad that the number is low. At least that means there is some semblance of sanity left in the masses despite what the book says. But if you believe that the book is the word of God, then you shouldn't look for the numbers, should you?

#88
Anamik
December 4, 2007
07:58 AM

Just wanted to point out that just as the Bible is not the SOLE arbiter and expression of Christian thought/belief over 2000 years, neither is the Quran for the Muslims. Yes, the fundamentalist Christians believe every word of the New Testament as literal truth, just as fundamentalist Muslims do for the Quran. To believe in literalist interpretation denies the 1400 years of "Islamic" literary and philosophical traditions.

Here - as a meagre example goes a line by one of my favourite poets, Iqbal:

dard-e-dil ke vaaste paidaa kiyaa insaan ko, varnaa taa'at ke liye kuch kam naa the karubiyaan

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