OPINION

Does the Quran Incite Violence? A Debate with Mike Ghouse, Part 1

February 15, 2009
MA Khan

Mr. Mike Ghouse (MBA, MCom), claims his Website, is by a Speaker, Thinker & Writer on Pluralism/Interfaith, Terrorism, Islam, India & peace. He is a well-known Muslim activist based in Dallas and a prolific contributor to many Websites, including Desicritics. I have been confronted by him (also noticed him confronting others) on a few occasions, including once in Desicritics, that the Quran is a book of peace and that there is no violent verses in the Quran.

Recently a Hindu writer, in an e-mail group, commented on why Muslim terrorists bomb and cause harrowing carnage in Indian cities---such as Bangalore, Ahmedabad etc.---one after another that:

“In the eye of Allah, these kafirs [Hindus] are no better than animals and hence He instructs the Muslims to mount any kind of torture and atrocities on them, kill them, burn them and their houses, take their women and children as captives and rape their women and so on. So the Koran says:

• “We have created, for hell, many genii (races) of men...and they are like brute beasts” (7.179)
• “Verily, those who disbelieve our signs, we will surely cast them to be broiled in the hell-fire, so often as their skins shall be well burnt, We will give them new skins in exchange, so that they may taste the sharper torment” (4.56)
• “Whosoever followeth any religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him in this life, and in the next life he shall be of those who perish” (3.85)
• “I will cast a dread into the hearts of the unbelievers” (8.12)
• “Therefore cut off their heads, and strike off all the ends of the fingers. This shall they suffer because they have opposed Allah and His Prophet, and whosoever shall oppose Allah and His Prophet, verily Allah will be severe in punishing them” (8.13)
• “moreover, as for the non-believers, I will punish them with grievous punishments in this world, and in the world is to come” (3.56)
• “they shall suffer a grievous punishment” (3.77).
• “They (believers) shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain” (9:111).”

In response, Mike Ghouse as usual threw in his challenge:

It is time to get over the propaganda that has been dished out over the years. There is no such verse in Qur'an, if you have the list produce me one. Not what is handed down to you, but the one you can point to? Remember, finding the truth is one's own responsibility. You have an open challenge here. Let’s clean the slates and live in peace, one person at a time.

Terrorism is committed by individuals and not religions, these are the dirty games played by individuals donning the mask of Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus or any one. They have everything to gain to upload hatred between people.

Although I deal with violent aspects of the Quran in my Website, previously I couldn’t take on Ghouse’s challenges because of the scarcity of time. This time I have taken it up. Ghouse has agreed to an open debate with me, which we have agreed to publish in Websites. Since, we both have published in Desicritics and come from that part of the world and that the debate started concerning Islamic terrorism issues in India, Desicritics is the best place to bring this debate to readers.

In this first installment, I am initiating the debate and hope Mr. Ghouse will soon do his part to continue the debate through.

Dear Mike Ghouse,

I am, hereby, taking up your open challenge and opening the debate here.
The said Indian writer has produced a set of Quranic verses, which obviously incite violence. You can see it yourself and still, you deny that there are no violent verses in the Quran. These verses have obviously been picked from the Quran according to my checking of six different translations. May I now ask you the following questions:

1. Why do you think that these verses do not exist in the Quran?
2. If you think that they exist in the Quran, why do you think that they do not incite violence?
3. Allah himself urges Muslims to ‘strike terror into the heart of the infidels’ [8:12]. Why do you disagree with Allah? Who knows better? You or Allah?
4. Likewise, Prophet Muhammad also said: “I have been victorious with terror.” Why do you disagree with Prophet Muhammad? Do you know better than the Prophet? Why do you think that Prophet Muhammad lied?

Let our debate start from here. I wait for your response. Once the debate is completed we will publish it on websites.

MA Khan is a liberal humanist and the author of Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism, and Slavery. He also edits the Islam-watch.org website.
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#1
Mike Ghouse
URL
February 15, 2009
02:14 AM

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Quoting Mr. Khan within the solid lines
_____________________________________________

Does the Quran Incite Violence? A Debate with Mike Ghouse, Part 1

http://desicritics.org/2009/02/15/000156.php

"In the eye of Allah, these kafirs [Hindus] are no better than animals and hence He instructs the Muslims to mount any kind of torture and atrocities on them, kill them, burn them and their houses, take their women and children as captives and rape their women and so on. So the Koran says:

"We have created, for hell, many genii (races) of men...and they are like brute beasts" (7.179)
"Verily, those who disbelieve our signs, we will surely cast them to be broiled in the hell-fire, so often as their skins shall be well burnt, We will give them new skins in exchange, so that they may taste the sharper torment" (4.56)
"Whosoever followeth any religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him in this life, and in the next life he shall be of those who perish" (3.85)
"I will cast a dread into the hearts of the unbelievers" (8.12)
"Therefore cut off their heads, and strike off all the ends of the fingers. This shall they suffer because they have opposed Allah and His Prophet, and whosoever shall oppose Allah and His Prophet, verily Allah will be severe in punishing them" (8.13)
"moreover, as for the non-believers, I will punish them with grievous punishments in this world, and in the world is to come" (3.56)
"they shall suffer a grievous punishment" (3.77).
"They (believers) shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain" (9:111)."

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1. Why do you think that these verses do not exist in the Quran?
2. If you think that they exist in the Quran, why do you think that they do not incite violence?
3. Allah himself urges Muslims to 'strike terror into the heart of the infidels' [8:12]. Why do you disagree with Allah? Who knows better? You or Allah?
4. Likewise, Prophet Muhammad also said: "I have been victorious with terror." Why do you disagree with Prophet Muhammad? Do you know better than the Prophet? Why do you think that Prophet Muhammad lied?
_____________________________________________

I am pleased to respond to the above item by item

Quoted as: "We have created, for hell, many genii (races) of men...and they are like brute beasts" (7.179)

As a habit, I include at least one sentence(Verse) before and one after the given sentence to give a better understanding of the verse.

7:178 (Asad) He whom God guides, he alone is truly guided; whereas those whom He lets go astray-it is they, they who are the losers!

Mike: It is the belief in all religions, that everything that happens is God's will, the Bhagavad Gita says, even the blade of grass is God's will. Here God is nature, the energy of the creator that makes things happen.

7:179 (Asad) And most certainly have We destined for hell many of the invisible beings [143] and men who have hearts with which they fail to grasp the truth, and eyes with which they fail to see, and ears with which they fail to hear. They are like cattle -nay, they are even less conscious of the right way: [144] it is they, they who are the [truly] heedless!

144 - Lit.; "they are farther astray"-inasmuch as animals follow only their instincts and natural needs and are not conscious of the possibility or necessity of a moral choice.(Quran Ref: 7:179 )

Mike: All the holy books and the law books reasonably establish the consequences for one's behavior. Indeed, as the law of Karma is understood, those who do not do the right deeds in this life, they are bound to born in less than human form, where they have all the senses of eyes, ears etc, yet fail to grasp the morality as humans. Hell denotes less than desirable life. I will be occasionally referencing Hindu scriptures as the man who has produced this information is of Hindu faith.

I don't see the author's claim and connection in this verse ""In the eye of Allah, these kafirs [Hindus] are no better than animals and hence He instructs the Muslims to mount any kind of torture and atrocities on them, kill them, burn them and their houses, take their women and children as captives and rape their women and so on."

I have no idea what he was thinking when he wrote the less than intelligent statement.

7:180 (Asad) AND GOD'S [alone] are the attributes of perfection; [145] invoke Him, then, by these, and stand aloof from all who distort the meaning of His attributes: [146] they shall be requited for all that they were wont to do!

145 - This passage connects with the mention, at the end of the preceding verse, of "the heedless ones" who do not use their faculty of discernment in the way intended for it by God, and remain heedless of Him who comprises within Himself all the attributes of perfection and represents, therefore, the Ultimate Reality. As regards the expression al-asma' al-husna (lit., "the most perfect [or "most goodly"] names"), which occurs in the Qur'an four times-i.e., in the above verse as well as in 17:110, 20:8 and 59:24-it is to be borne in mind that the term ism is, primarily, a word applied to denote the substance or the intrinsic attributes of an object under consideration, while the term al-husna is the plural form of al-ahsan ("that which is best" or "most goodly"). Thus, the combination al-asma' al-husna may be appropriately rendered as "the attributes of perfection" -a term reserved in the Qur'an for God alone.(Quran Ref: 7:180 )

146- Le., by applying them to other beings or objects or, alternatively, by trying to "define" God in anthropomorphic terms and relationships, like "father" or "son" (Razi).(Quran Ref: 7:180 )

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Quoted as: "Verily, those who disbelieve our signs, we will surely cast them to be broiled in the hell-fire, so often as their skins shall be well burnt, We will give them new skins in exchange, so that they may taste the sharper torment" (4.56)

4:55 (Asad) and among them are such as [truly] believe in him, [72] and among them are such as have turned away from him. And nothing could be as burning as [the fire of] hell:
[72]I.e., in Abraham - implying that they are faithful to his message. It is to be borne in mind that the Prophet Muhammad, too, was a direct-line descendant of Abraham, whose message is confirmed and continued in the Qur'an.(Quran Ref: 4:55 )

4:56 (Asad) for, verily, those who are bent on denying the truth of Our messages We shall, in time, cause to endure fire: [and] every time their skins are burnt off, We shall replace them with new skins, so that they may taste suffering [in full] [73] Verily, God is almighty, wise.

[73] This awesome allegory of suffering in the life to come is obviously meant to bring out the long-lasting nature of that suffering (Razi).(Quran Ref: 4:56 )

Mike: The concept of reward and punishment exists in all human endeavors; Swarga and Naraka have been a part of the Hindu system of belief. Naraka is not a place one would enjoy life, it is a bloody hell. The paradise and the hell exist in all forms of justice. Whether it is religious texts or civil or criminal laws there is always a grim consequence or liberation. What is God's message? What does it mean when Krishna says "Surrender to me?" and What does Jesus or Allah mean when they say "follow me" or "submit to my will respectively?."

It does not mean falling flat on the ground and acting dead, it rather means, following the path of truth, dharma - the golden rule in every religion; treat others as you would wanted to be treated. It is the fear of punishment that is a deterrent from wrong doing, as a result ensuring a fairly peaceful existence. The above verse would be wrong in Qur'aan, IF our criminal laws say there is no punishment for the violent killer, rapists or a thief. Imagine your society without the punishment!

For the 2nd time, I don't see the author's claim and connection in this verse "In the eye of Allah, these kafirs [Hindus] are no better than animals and hence He instructs the Muslims to mount any kind of torture and atrocities on them, kill them, burn them and their houses, take their women and children as captives and rape their women and so on."

Where did he cook this up from? And How many has he fed this? I wish he had made the effort to follow Bhagvad Gita "Finding the truth is one's own responsibility".

4:57 (Asad) But those who attain to faith and do righteous deeds We shall bring into gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide beyond the count of time; there shall they have spouses pure: and [thus] We shall bring them unto happiness abounding. [74]

[74] The primary meaning of zill is "shade", and so the expression zill zalil could be rendered as "most shading shade"- i.e., "dense shade". However, in ancient Arabic usage, the word zill denotes also "a covering" or "a shelter" and, figuratively, "protection" (Raghib); and, finally, "a state of ease, pleasure and plenty" (cf. Lane V, 1915 f.), or simply "happiness" - and in the combination of zill zalil, "abundant happiness" (Razi) - which seems to agree best with the allegorical implications of the term "paradise".(Quran Ref: 4:57 )

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Quoted as "Whosoever followeth any religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him in this life, and in the next life he shall be of those who perish" (3.85)

3:84 (Asad) Say: "We believe in God, and in that which has been bestowed from on high upon us, and that which has been bestowed upon Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and their descendants, and that which has been vouchsafed by their Sustainer unto Moses and Jesus and all the [other] prophets: we make no distinction between any of them. [68] And unto Him do we surrender ourselves."
[68] - The prophets

3:85 (Asad) For, if one goes in search of a religion other than self-surrender unto God, it will never be accepted from him, and in the life to come he shall be among the lost.

Mike : Just as Lord Krishna proclaims " whenever adharma takes over the society, I will re-appear to bring the dharma back", God says in Qur'aan that" to every nation, every tribe, and every community he has sent a messenger to bring the righteousness back whenever the society went astray.

Then Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, Surah 49:13: "O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. The noblest of you, in sight of God, is the best in conduct. God Knows and is Aware of everything we do." Dharma operates when people conduct themselves well and treat others as they would want to be treated. That is when Satya (truth ) triumphs.

If you do not follow what Lord Krishna says or God says, the results are same - adharma prevails.

Qur'aan further adds that " it is your Karma that earns you a place in heaven, not necessarily your prayers and wealth. Prophet Muhammad told his own daughter that she will have to earn her place with her Karma and she ain't going to get a free pass because she is the daughter of the prophet. It is individual responsibility.

For the third time, I don't see the author's claim and connection in this verse "In the eye of Allah, these kafirs [Hindus] are no better than animals and hence He instructs the Muslims to mount any kind of torture and atrocities on them, kill them, burn them and their houses, take their women and children as captives and rape their women and so on."

Where did he cook this up from? And How many has he fed this? I wish he had made the effort to follow Bhagvad Gita "Finding the truth is one's own responsibility".


3:86 (Asad) How would God bestow His guidance upon people who have resolved to deny the truth after having attained to faith, and having borne witness that this Apostle is true, and [after] all evidence of the truth has come unto them? [69] For, God does not guide such evildoing folk.

[69] The people referred to are the Jews and the Christians. Their acceptance of the Bible, which predicts the coming of the Prophet Muhammad, has made them "witnesses" to the truth of his prophethood. See also verses 70 and 81 above.(Quran Ref: 3:86 )

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Quoted as: "I will cast a dread into the hearts of the unbelievers" (8.12)

I will stop at this... I bet, there is a pattern of mis-information here. I call it mis-information because it incites hate among Hindus for Muslims. Right information like right karma would help one heal and create goodness.

If you want me to continue, I will. But I think this should be sufficient, I have responded to similar false claims umpteen times.

Pick up the Quraan translation by Mohammad Asad, or a few others and look directly into it. I did not write any of the above except my comments. It is all from the Qur'aan.

It is another story that the Europeans had paid to mistranslate the Qur'aan and even called it a Mohammadan Religion. Much of it is documented at the blog http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/

Mike Ghouse
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"Therefore cut off their heads, and strike off all the ends of the fingers. This shall they suffer because they have opposed Allah and His Prophet, and whosoever shall oppose Allah and His Prophet, verily Allah will be severe in punishing them" (8.13)
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"moreover, as for the non-believers, I will punish them with grievous punishments in this world, and in the world is to come" (3.56)

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"they shall suffer a grievous punishment" (3.77).

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"They (believers) shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain" (9:111)."

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#2
SanjayTheAtheist
February 15, 2009
04:15 AM

It's useless to try and derive all ethics from a scriptural dogma written ages ago. It only encourages people to limit their reasoning capability, and even to seek whatever scriptural interpretation suits their fancy.

The fact is that there isn't enough criticism of violence by Muslims coming from the Muslim community itself. I don't see Mike addressing this point. That renders his scriptural recitations academic. If anything, all I expect is the usual "we ARE protesting! you're just not listening hard enough!"

Nope, sorry, there's not enough self-criticism from within the Muslim community, which is why it seems like so much criticism is coming from outside it. When you're not used to hearing any criticism at all, even from your own, then any whatsoever will hurt the ears.

#3
Aaman
URL
February 15, 2009
04:39 AM

Mike, It might be better to post your response as an article, so it can be linked to this one, and so on.

#4
Ravi Kulkarni
February 15, 2009
05:25 AM

Dear Mike,

SanjayTheAtheist stated it the best way. The biggest challenge facing muslims is the lack of introspection. In addition Quoran apologists like yourself do more harm than good. The Quoran is not a living document - it died within a century after the prophet. This is a tragedy because wisdom and knowledge are not limited subjects. Besides, what's right and what's wrong changes with people, times and places. So it is foolish to put God's seal on a document that was clearly written for a certain region of the world, by a council of perhaps well meaning people, and the seventh century society. If Islam is in decline today, scientifically, economically, socially and spiritually it is because of the revival of the primacy of Quoran over scholarly work that thinks outside the book, so to speak, and challenges long held dogmas.

Islam was at its best when it let its thinkers free from the shackles of strict scriptural interpretation. That's why it flourished in the 8th to 14th centuries AD. In my opinion it is futile to argue about a book that became obsolete to a large extent long tim ago. There may be some good in it, but there are many such books and they all have something good in them.

Regards,

Ravi Kulkarni

#5
MA Khan
February 15, 2009
08:39 AM

Dear Mike, I will follow on with your response in a day or two and publish it as an article, Part 2.

#6
akhter
February 15, 2009
09:13 AM

Question: Aren't there some verses of the Qur'an that condone "killing the infidel"?

Answer: The Qur'an commands Muslims to stick up for themselves in a defensive battle -- i.e. if an enemy army attacks, then Muslims are to fight against that army until they stop their aggression. All of the verses that speak about fighting/war in the Qur'an are in this context.

There are some specific verses that are very often "snipped" out of context, either by those trying to malign the faith, or by misguided Muslims themselves who wish to justify their aggressive tactics.

For example, one verse (in its snipped version) reads: "slay them wherever you catch them" (Qur'an 2:191). But who is this referring to? Who are "they" that this verse discusses? The preceding and following verses give the correct context:

"Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loves not transgressors. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. But if they cease, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevails justice and faith in God; but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression" (2:190-193).

It is clear from the context that these verses are discussing a defensive war, when a Muslim community is attacked without reason, oppressed and prevented from practicing their faith. In these circumstances, permission is given to fight back -- but even then Muslims are instructed not to transgress limits, and to cease fighting as soon as the attacker gives up. Even in these circumstances, Muslim are only to fight directly against those who are attacking them, not innocent bystanders or non-combatants.

Another similar verse can be found in chapter 9, verse 5 -- which in its snipped, out of context version could read: "fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)." Again, the preceding and following verses give the context.

This verse was revealed during a historical period when the small Muslim community had entered into treaties with neighboring tribes (Jewish, Christian, and pagan). Several of the pagan tribes had violated the terms of their treaty, secretly aiding an enemy attack against the Muslim community. The verse directly before this one instructs the Muslims to continue to honor treaties with anyone who has not since betrayed them, because fulfilling agreements is considered a righteous action. Then the verse continues, that those who have violated the terms of the treaty have declared war, so fight them... (as quoted above).

Directly after this permission to fight, the same verse continues, "but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them... for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful." The subsequent verses instruct the Muslims to grant asylum to any member of the pagan tribe/army who asks for it, and again reminds that "as long as these stand true to you, stand ye true to them: for God loves the righteous."

Any verse that is quoted out of context misses the whole point of the message of the Qur'an. Nowhere in the Qur'an can be found support for indiscriminate slaughter, the killing of non-combatants, or murder of innocent persons in 'payback' for another people's alleged crimes.

The Islamic teachings on this subject can be summed up in the following verses (Qur'an 60:7-8):

"It may be that God will grant love (and friendship) between you and those whom ye (now) hold as enemies. For God has power (over all things), and God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

God does not forbid you, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God loves those who are just."

#7
Ravi Kulkarni
February 15, 2009
11:36 AM

Dear Akhtar,

All this sounds so much like quid pro quo. If you do this God will do this, if you don't then you burn in hell. Why do all the books have to reduce God to human level and ascribe human qualities to it?

It calls for so much violence even if only for defense. It is anachronistic in the 21st century. It is true that there are numerous wars being fought even today, but on the whole, most of the humanity including muslims live peacefully. That's why any written document, including Quoran, Bible, Geeta have a limited applicability and a limited lifetime. If someone says it is the final word, then do not understand the nature of the universe.

Regards,

Ravi
Regards,

Ravi

#8
Mike Ghouse
URL
February 15, 2009
01:47 PM

Sanjay: The fact is that there isn't enough criticism of violence by Muslims coming from the Muslim community itself. I don't see Mike addressing this point. That renders his scriptural recitations academic. If anything, all I expect is the usual "we ARE protesting! you're just not listening hard enough!"

Mike: Sanjay there is plenty of criticism and condemnation out there, you are listening to the old tunes my friend, have you heard of two major gatherings in Hyderabad and Delhi, this year alone, some 60,000 Clerics and half a Million Muslims condemning it. Then the Muslims in Bombay did not allow the terrorists to be buried in their cemeteries... What do you want? It is a major concern, like the Hindus, Christians or any group, a majority of people mind their own business of living, they do not have the time... and those who scream on the wrong side get the attention and not on the right side though.

#9
Mike Ghouse
URL
February 15, 2009
01:49 PM

My apologies... don't know why it printed 5 times. Sorry guys, if the moderator can delete the 4, I would appreciate it.

#10
Mike Ghouse
URL
February 15, 2009
01:52 PM

This article focuses on the idea that the voilence emanates from the verses in Qur'aan. My responses would remain just what is presented, that I beleive is incorrect.

Mr. Khan believed that the violence emanates from the verses in Qur'aan and I have asked him to show which verses, he is finding the translations that were perpetuated by the Europeans to make Islam look bad, it was their economic interest they did and all the right wingers gloat on it and take it forward, it's like chasing one's own tail. Instead, we need to find reasons to live in peace and harmony and co-exist. Qur'aan is not the source for violence, but the politics of people is; be it Islam, Christianity, Hinduism or any faith for that matter.

#11
Mike Ghouse
URL
February 15, 2009
01:54 PM

Ravi: Islam was at its best when it let its thinkers free from the shackles of strict scriptural interpretation. That's why it flourished in the 8th to 14th centuries AD. In my opinion it is futile to argue about a book that became obsolete to a large extent long time ago.

Mike: Fully agree with you Ravi, Qur'aan is a book of guidance just as Gita, Bible, Guru Granth Saheb or any other holy book or self help books. In reality a majority of the people, yes majority of the people just mention the books, but live the life that is portrayed in our movies. Up in the morning; to the job, kids to school, lunch, dinner and back to sleep. Most of the people that go to the places of worship is for social than religious drive.

#12
Mike Ghouse
URL
February 15, 2009
01:56 PM

Ravi: All this sounds so much like quid pro quo. If you do this God will do this, if you don't then you burn in hell. Why do all the books have to reduce God to human level and ascribe human qualities to it?

Mike: I will not defend the above comment, however, in the absence of civil laws, when religions came into being, justice was shown through rewards and punishment and God was the convenient guy to do that. Not me, not you.

#13
Mike Ghouse
URL
February 15, 2009
01:59 PM

In civil societies, which my India and America are, we live under the civil laws for robbery, rape, murder and such crimes. Constitution become the God which punishes the bad guys, just a God was the convenient guy in non-democratic societies.

#14
Mike Ghouse
URL
February 15, 2009
02:08 PM

Akhter,

You are right on! You are following the same logic - a verse before, after and the one that is referenced. It is a good methodology.

I appreciate Mr. Khan, Ravi and Sanjay, it is because of their efforts, we can clarify some of the myths out there.

All religions are beautiful, it is the individuals that create the problems, not the religions.

Here is another link that affirms what you have written for 9:5 - http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2007/12/slay-idolaters-95.html

And, 48:29 to be ruthless to the infidels:
http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2007/12/ruthless-to-infidels-4829.html


#15
Morris
February 15, 2009
02:42 PM

Mike Ghouse

Perhaps you are right about the translation of Quran by Europeans to make Islam look bad was deliberately maligned. But that tranlation must have taken place in 18th or 19th century, correct me if I am wrong. But if I am right then my question is why all that violence in Islam going back to the beginning of the relgion both within and with ouside world in the name of religion? Spread of Islam and violence went hand in hand. Perhaps you do not agree with my reading of the history then please correct me. But if you do, then do'nt you think inspirarion for all that violence came from Quran?

#16
Mike Ghouse
URL
February 15, 2009
02:57 PM

Morris,

Thanks for the input, you, me and every one has a responsibility to create a better world, and one of the means is to clear certain myths.

Roots of Islamophobia in the early Orientalist Translations

The first Qur'an translation was into Latin by Robert of Ketton in 1143. It was made at the request of the Abbot of the monastery of Cluny. (abounds in inaccuracies).

Another Latin translation by Ludovicus Marracci was published in 1698. It was supplemented with quotes from Qur'an commentaries "carefully juxtaposed and sufficiently garbled so as to portray Islam in the worst possible light" (Colin Turner,1997 p. xii).

The title of the introductory volume of such translation was A Refutation of the Qur'an.

Such translations formed the foundation for a number of subsequent translations into English, French, Italian, German, etc.

Jesus taught to turn the other cheek, Islam taught you cannot wage a war, unless it is in self defense, there are strong words in it. Then Hinduism talks about non-violence towards the animals.

Tell, me haven't these groups committed attrocities beyond any one's imagination? Was it the religion? or was it the agenda of the insecure? Religion was mis-used for their means, and the general public did not have a say in it. Today, people condemn it. Look at us the Americans, we let Bush get away murdering innocents in Iraq and Afghanistan... is it religion, or the war of idiots?

Religion is never a problem, every religion, it is the individuals. When we get to this, we can punish the individuals appropriately and bring justice. Blaming religion has not gotten us anywhere, religion is intangible, you cannot punish it, it did not do it.

#17
SanjayTheAtheist
February 15, 2009
03:01 PM

Oh look, here's another one who accidentally didn't read his Koran properly:

http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=272502&version=1&template_id=37&parent_id=17

Too late for his sister, though.

Religious teachings which create and sustain backward patriarchal societies only help to create situations like these. Islam's argument is that "we don't treat women quite as much like property in comparison to those of the 6th and 5th centuries"

Oh great -- meanwhile the rest of the world has been moving onward. I still don't see anyone protesting incidents like these, which are all too frequent. Instead, when Muslims are asked about them, they typically shrug it off by saying, "don't equate such people with all of us"
(Translation: I don't care what happened to that girl, I just care about myself and how people see me.) The instinct to protecting the image or reputation of the Ummah somehow doesn't seem to extend to reforming the behavior of its claimed membership. It's much easier to attack the critic than to address the issue he's criticizing.

#18
SanjayTheAtheist
February 15, 2009
03:09 PM

Oops, here it is again:

http://tinyurl.com/dyg5ho

#19
Ruvy
URL
February 15, 2009
04:16 PM

Hi Mike,

Good to see you writing. I'm sad to see the subject. I'm a Hebrew speaker, but not an Arabic one, and just as the authoritative version of the Tana"kh is in Hebrew, the authoritative version of the Qur'an is in Arabic.

I think that this is an important issue that needs to be raised here. First off, unless one has a clear understanding and a certain mastery of a language, the 'plain meaning' will be hard to discern. In order to properly comprehend the Christian Books, one DOES need to know Kone. In order to properly comprehend the Tana"kh, one DOES need to know Hebrew. In order to properly comprehend the Qur'an, one DOES need to know Arabic. There is just no way around this. I submit that very few on this site can properly enter this discussion as it is presently framed for this precise reason.

In my opinion, the appropriate question is not "does the Qur'an incite violence?" Instead the real question needs to be, "how is the Qur'an used to incite violence, and by whom?"

This is a different issue, and one accessible by those of us not blessed with a sufficient knowledge of Arabic to intelligently talk about the 'plain meaning' of the shuras of the Qur'an. And, more to the point, it is one where one can arrive at an intelligent answer, as well as possible solutions.

#20
Morris
February 15, 2009
04:21 PM

Mike Ghouse

I agree with you to a certain extent but I am not quite there yet. I still think violence in the name of religion is a different cattle of fish compared to violence by people who happened to be christians etc. While Bush did justify his attack on Iraq and Afghanistan using God's name, he was not specifically guided by the Bible. It was not a denominational justification. We can blame a belief in God.

When terrorists are caught we often see them holding Quran dear to their hearts. This is a clear indication that they think that what they are doing is justified by what has been asked of them in Quran. Here is a clear association of violence with the religion.

I agree generally violence has nothing to do with religions. All of us regardless of our religions are faced with life problems when we are likely to commit all kind of crimes. Of course that has nothing to do with religions. But when we commit violence and find justification from our holy book then we need to revisit the religion and seriously look at it. Texts written centuries ago may not be suitable for today's secular society. Are these appropriate for our schools if they are witten today? Do they comply with our human rights code?

Societies and our thinking about how we relate with each other have evolved and our evolution will continue. There is no finality. And the texts that say that this is it final are road block to our growth. If I am not mistaken Quran does have some of those final answers. DO you not see any problem there?

Some one has said
Good people do good deeds
Bad people do bad deeds
But takes a religion to make good people do bad deeds.

#21
Inayat Lalani
URL
February 15, 2009
06:06 PM

Obviously MA Khan hasn't read the scriptures of other faiths with as much care or as critically as he has the Quran.
It is true that the Quran does not categorically proscribe violence in the way, for instance, the Quakers who forswear violence unconditionally. However the Quran goes much further in limiting the scope of violence, the conditions for permissibility of violence and in mitigating the brutality of warfare than the scriptures of any other major religion bar none; specifically the Hebrew and Christian Bibles and Bhagwad Geeta.
Consider the exploits of Joshua, the conqueror of the 'Promised Land'(all ordained by God!) wherein, after promising safe conduct to the peaceful inhabitants of Ai if they submitted, he slew every man,woman and child, slaughtered everything that walketh or runneth, creepeth or crawleth and left not a blade of grass standing. So he added deception and duplicity to gratuitous bestiality. And today Joshua is the most favorite name of a newborn male child among Americans!
And the 'civilized' Western nations have raised the stakes of 'total war' to unimaginable heights where blowing up hundreds, maybe thousands, of civilians to smithereens with cluster bombs is OK (but beheading of one or a few individuals by the 'terrorists' is barbaric).
Nor is the Quranic injunction a pious and empty rhetoric; In the closing days of World War I, the retreating secular Turkish armies refused to resort to scorched earth policy so characteristic of the Western nations and would not poison the wells from which the advancing British hordes would derive their drinking water precisely because those tactics are un-Islamic! Likewise, no crops were burned or livestock slaughtered by them in order to deprive the enemy of their food. For that attitude, they earned derision from the British although the latter's Arab allies understood and nodded in agreement.
It is a sign of human progress, as assessed by God, that the Quran has sought to 'humanize' warfare. That does not mean we cannot go further and append a supplemental creed of total non-violence a la Quakers, to our respective scriptures. God would not frown upon man taking such liberties with his revelations, He would smile.
A few Muslim sects have done just that and have renounced violence in its totality.
MA Khan, read the Book of Judges, the Book of Esther and the Book of Revelation in the Old and New Testaments - to cite just a few examples - and you will be sold on the moderation of the Quran. BTW, by pointing these chapters out to you I am committing blasphemy in the eyes of devout Muslims

#22
Hamid shahul
February 15, 2009
10:09 PM

Dear Friends, Much has been stated on the subject. Inayat Sahib has adequately covered the ground. Where I want to emphasize is as to what Ruvy has cautioned. The language of Holy Torah is Hebrew and the language of Holy Quran is Arabic. That is the problem. It took 22 years and some months the entire Quran to be completed. One notices, certain questions for which God gives His verses. Till Prophet shifted from Mecca to Medina the muslims suffered without saying a word and it is only after reaching Medina Holy Prophet PBUH was asked to defend themselves.
We are talking about India. India is a most fortunate country to have accepted first of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All landed on the Southern coast. The Bhakti Philosophy and the Sufi thoughts brought tremendous synergy and that is the India we are all proud of. We lived happily as good neighbours. Take Judaism, Holy Prophet Moses name appears 42 times in the Holy Quran. Such is the respect and place for this great Prophet of Islam. So also Jesus occuppies a central stage in the Holy Quran. Mother Mary's position too is supreme. Islam says that over 100000 prophets came to this world. Many Islamic Scholars believe that Lord Buddha, Lord Krishna may have been Prophets earlier. Dr Zakir Naik quotes from Vedas about the prophecy of the Coming of Prophet Muhammad,pbuh. What has now changed the mindset is the politics of conflict. Blood shed all over. Justification in killing .Human bombs a total taboo in Islam have become a part of revenge. These are difficult times and understanding alone could solve our differences. By calling names and pointing fingers nothing is going to change. I want to tell you a short story; in a musical concert in Delhi some years ago a Brahmin girl from Bengal announced that she was going to render a song "Allah Huu". Her rendering was not only very melodious but so effective that it brought tears to the audience in the hall mostly Hindus, and such is our country India and I belong to that country where every religion has survived and flourished, brought Harmony and every sphere of life was beatified in art, music, artitechture, food, calligraphy and host of beautiful things. My friends let us see beauty in all religions and live happily in this difficult world. Before I close, at least minimize the differences, I pray.

#23
Mike Ghouse
URL
February 16, 2009
10:02 AM

PLEASE NOTE

The essay by Mr. Khan claims that certain verses in Qur'aan incite violence, and he quotes those verses.

However,the verses that have been quoted "as from Qur'aan" are actually manufactured a 1000 years ago and the neocons have been recycling it to malign a religion, that is their business and livelihood.

Those verses "as quoted" are not in the Qur'aan as have been dished out.

The verses in Qur'aan do not promote violence or hate.

Individuals do wrong and are responsible for it, and not the religion.

Please keep the discussion to just that.

Thanks

#24
Mike Ghouse
URL
February 16, 2009
10:05 AM

Thanks to every one for remaining focused and not run in different directions.

#25
Khalil Fariel
URL
February 16, 2009
12:59 PM


I think much of the confusion on whether Quran incites violence or not is stemming from the ignorance on Quran itself. Quran is not a book that slowed down in a night, but it is the life history of Islam's prophet Muhammad's last 23 years. All verses have contextual significance though Allah's commands to Muslims as found in the text should be considered relevant to all times and all places. That amounts to the infinite relevancy of Quran.

But there are abrogated verses in Quran as stated by Allah himself. Moreover traditional interpreters of Quran have commented on abrogated and abrogating verses. What should be noted here is a verse revealed earlier to Muhammad can not abrogate a verse revealed to him later. So, if there is a verse that revealed to Muhammad during his early stages of prophetic life in Mecca and if we find enough messages of peace in it, that can not abrogate any of the Medinan verses.

Now, if we look at Quran as a whole, there are some peaceful verses in it, but equally or more violent ones too. Noteworthy here is all those peaceful verses happened to be of Meccan origin. And we see the ultimate message of Quran as an incitement to endless violence as mentioned in the last chapter Surah Taubah of Quran. (Only chapter Al-Nasr which consists only three verses was revealed after chapter 9 of Quran.) So, we have to treat the message Quran chapter 9 gives as Quran's ultimate message.

And it is not coincidental that the most violent verses of Quran are found in this chapter. In fact this chapter should be considered as Muhammad's marching orders, because its historical context forces us to believe so. As Maududi stated in his Tafhimul Quran:

Consider the historical background of the Sura. The series of events that have been discussed in this Sura took place after the Peace Treaty of Hudaibiyah. By that time one-third of Arabia had come under the sway of Islam which had established itself as a powerful well organized and civilized Islamic State. This Treaty afforded further opportunities to Islam to spread its influence in the comparatively peaceful atmosphere created by it. After this Treaty two events took place which led to very important results. http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/maududi/mau9.html

One third of Arabia had come under the control of Islam as Maududi attests when chapter 9 was revealed to Muhammad. So, it is not surprising that the verse of sword is found in this chapter. Verse of sword as attested by most authentic Mufassirs is Quran chapter 9:5 which commands Muslims to kill unbelievers wherever THEY find them. According to most prominent Mufassir Ibn Kathir, this verse abrogated all peace treaties Muslims had with then unbelievers thus abrogated all peaceful looking verses too. I don't think it is necessary to bring chapter 9:5 here as it is notorious among Muslims as well as non-Muslims.

One more thing to note: Verse 29 of this chapter commands Muslims to fight those who do not believe in Allah and last day, NOT to those who fight Muslims. Again, bringing the verse is not necessary as anyone can check it online or in the copies of Quran they have.

If there is a chapter containing verse of sword which commands Allah's faithful to kill unbelievers wherever THEY find them, and if there is another verse in this chapter commanding Muslims to fight unbelievers only for the reason they are unbelievers, Quran's ultimate message should be considered as inciting violence to the end of times since Quran is infinitely relevant according to Muslims' claims.

I can not add more here since this is the comments section. Only after Mike Ghouse comes up with refutations to this, I will be adding more.

http://www.news.faithfreedom.org/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2036


Regards
Khalil Fariel


#26
SanjayTheAtheist
February 16, 2009
06:40 PM

Here's the latest on a Pakistani Muslim who founded his own TV network, because he was concerned about Islam's image in the West:

http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE51F4ZX20090216

Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to have figured out that Islam's image is created through everyday conduct of its followers, and not through TV teleprompters.

Btw, feel free to participate on Blogcritics.com everyone. There are a lot of good discussions going on there, too.

#27
Mike Ghouse
URL
February 16, 2009
07:18 PM

Thank you Mr. Khalil Fariel for sharing your concerns about 9:5, i.e., Chapter 9, verse 5 for those who are not familiar with the system.

Nuclear energy can be used for destruction or creating peace, it is what one wants. The purpose of religion is to bring peace and tranquility to an individual and what surrounds him or her; people and environment.

Every book has the same features embedded in to it. If we are peace mongers, we see justice and seek a comprehensive understanding of the information to create a better world. On the other hand, we can look other ways as well. It is about choice. Every holy book has been abused, it is not the problem of the book, it is the issue of misinterpretation.

The 9:5 is here for your reveiw;

Slay the idolaters 9:5

Slay the idolaters wherever you find them 9:5

Finding the truth is one's own responsibility, it gives clarity and peace of mind knowing that the causer of life, the creator God is kind and merciful. We have captured various attempts to understand this verse from Qur'aan in its entirety, courtesy of www.islamicity.com and other translation sources. We hope to clarify each such verse that is misunderstood, God willing, one verse at a time over the next few years. Here is the mis-represented verse followed by correct version and various translations.

May God give you the strenght to be a peace maker; that is a conflict reducer and nurturer of Goodwill and harmonious co-existence.

Mis-represented verse

Surah 9, ayah 5, the book says, when the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them and lie in ambush everywhere for them."

The Actual Verse
As a practice, I have included a verse before and several after the 9:5. It is all here;

Arabic - Transliteration - Translation (before and after verses) - Notes - 17 Translations.

Qur'aan, Surah 9 -At-Tauba (The Repentance) Verse 5

فَإِذَا انسَلَخَ الأَشْهُرُ الْحُرُمُ فَاقْتُلُواْ الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَيْثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمْ وَخُذُوهُمْ وَاحْصُرُوهُمْ وَاقْعُدُواْ لَهُمْ كُلَّ مَرْصَدٍ فَإِن تَابُواْ وَأَقَامُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتَوُاْ الزَّكَاةَ فَخَلُّواْ سَبِيلَهُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ (9:5)

Faitha insalakha alashhuru alhurumu faoqtuloo almushrikeena haythu wajadtumoohum wakhuthoohum waohsuroohum waoqAAudoo lahum kulla marsadin fain taboo waaqamoo alssalata waatawoo alzzakata fakhalloo sabeelahum inna Allaha ghafoorun raheemun

9:5 And so, when the sacred months are over [6] , slay those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God wherever you may come upon them, [7] and take them captive, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every conceivable place [8] ! Yet if they repent, and take to prayer, and render the purifying dues, let them go their way: for, behold, God is much forgiving, a dispenser of grace. [9]

9:4 But excepted shall be [4] -from among those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God - [people] with whom you [O believers] have made a covenant and who thereafter have in no wise failed to fulfil their obligations towards you, and neither have aided anyone against you: observe, then, your covenant with them until the end of the term agreed with them. [5] Verily, God loves those who are conscious of Him.

9:6 And if any of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God seeks thy protection, [10] grant him protection, so that he might [be able to] hear the word of God [from thee]; and thereupon convey him to a place where he can feel secure: [11] this, because they [may be] people who [sin only because they] do not know [the truth].

9:7 HOW COULD they who ascribe divinity to aught beside God be granted a covenant by God and His Apostle, [12] unless it be those [of them] with whom you [O believers] have made a covenant in the vicinity of the Inviolable House of Worship? [13] [As for the latter,] so long as they remain true to you, be true to them: for, verily, God loves those who are conscious of Him.

9:8 How [else could it be]? [14] -since, if they [who are hostile to you] were to overcome you, they would not respect any tie [with you,] nor any obligation to protect [you]. [15] They seek to please you with their mouths, the while their hearts remain averse [to you]; and most of them are iniquitous.

Note 6 :
According to a pre-Islamic custom prevalent in Arabia , the months of Muharram, Rajab, Dhu 'l-Qa'dah and Dhu 'l-Hiijah were considered "sacred" in the sense that all tribal warfare had to cease during those months. It was with a view to preserving these periods of truce and thus to promoting peace among the frequently warring tribes that the Qur'an did not revoke, but rather confirmed, this ancient custom. See also 2:194 and 217.(Quran Ref: 9:5 )

Note 7 : (Quran Ref: 9:5 )
Read in conjunction with the two preceding verses, as well as with 2:190-194, the above verse relates to warfare already in progress with people who have become guilty of a breach of treaty obligations and of aggression.(Quran Ref: 9:5 )

Note 8:
I.e., "do everything that may be necessary and advisable in denotes "any place from which it is possible to perceive The term marsad enemy and to observe his the movements" (Manar X, 199). warfare".(Quran Ref: 9:5 )

N0te 9:
As I have pointed out on more than one occasion, every verse of the Qur'an must be read and interpreted against the background of the Qur'an as a whole. The above verse, which speaks of a possible conversion to Islam on the part of "those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God" with whom the believers are at war, must, therefore, be considered in conjunction with several fundamental Qur'anic ordinances. One of them, "There shall be no coercion in matters of faith" (2:256), lays down categorically that any attempt at a forcible conversion of unbelievers is prohibited - which precludes the possibility of the Muslims' demanding or expecting that a defeated enemy should embrace Islam as the price of immunity. Secondly, the Qur'an ordains, "Fight in God's cause against those who wage war against you; but do not commit aggression, for, verily, God does not love aggressors" (2:190); and, "if they do not let you be, and do not offer you peace, and do not stay their hands, seize them and slay them whenever you come upon them: and it is against these that We have clearly empowered you [to make war]" (4:91). Thus, war is permissible only in self-defence (see surah 2, notes 167 and 168), with the further proviso that "if they desist-behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace" (2:192), and "if they desist, then all hostility shall cease" (2:193). Now the enemy's conversion to Islam - expressed in the words, "if they repent, and take to prayer [lit., "establish prayer"] and render the purifying dues (zakah)"-is no more than one, and by no means the only, way of their "desisting from hostility"; and the reference to it in verses 5 and 11 of this surah certainly does not imply an alternative of "conversion or death", as some unfriendly critics of Islam choose to assume. Verses 4 and 6 give a further elucidation of the attitude which the believers are enjoined to adopt towards such of the unbelievers as are not hostile to them. (In this connection, see also 60:8-9).(Quran Ref: 9:5)

Thank you.

#28
Mike Ghouse
URL
February 16, 2009
07:30 PM

Thank you Mr. Khalil Fariel for sharing your concerns about 9:5, i.e., Chapter 9, verse 5 for those who are not familiar with the system.

Nuclear energy can be used for destruction or creating peace, it is what one wants. The purpose of religion is to bring peace and tranquility to an individual and what surrounds him or her; people and environment.

Every book has the same features embedded in to it. If we are peace mongers, we see justice and seek a comprehensive understanding of the information to create a better world. On the other hand, we can look other ways as well. It is about choice. Every holy book has been abused, it is not the problem of the book, it is the issue of misinterpretation.

The 9:5 is here for your reveiw;

I have been unable to post... attempted 6 times and hope this brief will come up... else, I will post it later from my home computer

#29
Morris
February 16, 2009
10:33 PM

Mike Ghouse

Does it really matter whether your or some one else's interpretation is correct? The important point is that what is an average person likely to think it says. And that is where the problem lies. The average person is not likely to interpret in the way that you are using. They take it the way they read it. Normally we all do that. Not only the actual verses that are important but the overall impression is also equally important. When I read the Quran it left me with the feeling that it did ask for destruction of idols and if not out right killing at least harassment of non-believers. To me that is inciting violence. Is'nt it?

Talibans are closing down girls' schools. I am not sure on what basis they justify that. If it is based on Quran, then that is violence against women.

Moreover, you have not addressed a few points I raised earler.

I honestly think that interpretations or correct translation are not relavent issues. Scholars can debate that. For us the relavent issue is when all those madaressas are teaching Quran to young children what are they reading into it? Or perhaps what are they being taught? Because that is where the incitement if any occurs.

#30
SanjayTheAtheist
February 16, 2009
10:33 PM

Mike, I realize you're more interested in protecting the image and reputation of Islam than in the lives lost to it, but here's some more on that story:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/02/16/buffalo.beheading/index.html

#31
(a+b)^2
February 17, 2009
12:12 AM

How on earth is the conversation related to the link posted in comment #30.
It is so naive to believe that in Islam people are taught to behead their wives if they file a divorce.
That is height of ignorance.

Well, if a person doenot follow a religion, he or she can go to this extent
http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Crime/Story/A1Story20080806-80977.html

#32
Khalil Fariel
URL
February 17, 2009
01:07 AM

Thank you Mr. Ghouse for answering to my input. ,

The topic of this debate is whether Quran incites violence or not, and I see you in backfoot now with your Nuclear energy theory. Is it a subtle admission from your part Quran contains violent verses but believers should not follow them? If so, I am sorry to tell you things do not work in that way. 1400 years of bloody history is well behind us.

Religions never brought peace on this earth. Even the most passive Buddhists gone berserk at times. So the claim: purpose of religion is to bring peace and tranquillity to individuals and society is very much bogus. Sad but true; we have to accept this fact.
And at the same time this does not mean non-religious institutions are infallible. Violence is as old as mankind, even your holy book says it started from the time of the first Man Adam. My point is religions failed big time. Let us look for alternatives and time is running out very fast.

It is good to preach a holy book should not be abused but used for the betterment of the world, but in actuality, that never was the case. Islam holy book Quran has been the reason behind the cruellest massacres world witnessed. It never brought peace in history. There was never a moment Muslim Ummah stayed tranquil. 1400 years of failed history is what Islam offers to humanity in terms of peace.

All that said; I brought Quran's next last chapter and a verse or verses from it to prove the contention "Ultimate message of Quran is not peace but violence to the end of times. I do not know whether you had gone through the link I provided in parenthesis to my message. It was my article on www.faithfreedom.org. However, I am not promoting any website but the article was very much relevant to this ongoing discussion and I linked you to it. That's all.

I see you are trying very hard to confine Quran in a certain context and as usual, you brought the verses "No compulsion in religion". What I understand from your post is you want us to get the message of Quran assessing the it en bloc. Unfortunately such an argument puts your Quran in trial when in one place it says "there is no compulsion in religion" and in another place it commands believers to "Fight unbelievers until they become Muslims or paying Jizya in humiliation". Are not these verses contradicting each other? Yes. But how can there be a contradiction in Quran if it has been emanated from an infallible divine source?

The only way to counter this is to accept the doctrine of abrogation. That is what I said as introductory to my previous message. We know the history of Quran and it was not made within a day or two. When I asserted the context of Quran is the last 23 years of life history of Prophet Muhammad, you did not deny it. So, we have to treat the book accordingly. We know Muhammad was hopeless in the first few years of his life in Mecca; he did not have many followers and polytheist Meccans were a huge majority then. In that context, we can expect conciliatory words from Muhammad. That is why I said, all those peaceful verses in Quran belongs to Muhammad's life in Mecca. In the second stage of his life, when Muhammad earned some followers in Medina, he implemented self-defence, and his conciliatory tone changed into somewhat self defensive. You project those verses in your response but they belong to the second stage of Muhammad's life. And at last when Muhammad won one third of Arabian Peninsula, he has power and sources now to impose his religion upon others who are not attached to his belief system. The very context of Quran chapter 9 is a war named Tabuk which was utterly offensive. We see God admonishing his faithful for not going to war in this chapter (9) verse 38-39. Remember this occurs after one third of Arabia has fallen to Prophet Muhammad. There was no need of an offensive and most of Muhammad's followers did not feel like so. (That is why God had to reveal verses on it). These group of. Muhammad's followers never stayed idle whenever they attacked or whenever they were commanded to attack. That is why Muhammad emerged victorious through bloody wars. But this time, his followers held back because even they could not find the necessity of warfare when it was spring time in Arabia then. But God revealed verses admonishing them for not going offensive. Tabuk war is notorious for Muhammad's followers' desertion from it.

So, your assertion Quran should be understood as a whole is flawed for many reasons. First it does not make sense when we understand Quran's history. If it was a book slowed down on a single occasion your argument can be understood but it is not the case with it. It took 23 years for God to reveal his last message to Muhammad. Allah himself admitted in Quran he revealed it in stages [Quran chapter 17: verse 6] Allah said he will abrogate his words accordingly (Quran chapter 2:106]. All these point out the fact, God was revealing verses in accordance with things going on in Muhammad's life. When he was weak, God did not incite him to go offensive. When his position became somewhat better, God revealed verses of self defence. (Which you mentioned in your post). But when Muhammad emerged victorious and had enough power, God incited violence and inspired faithful to go offensive. We saw God even in the role of an admonisher as stated above.

Muhammad is the role model of Muslims and Quran should be understood in light of his life history or how he taught the holy book should be taken. His words, deeds and consent all are important for Muslims. Quran was revealed to Muhammad, and what leads a Muslim forward is his holy book and holy prophet's Sunna (words, deeds and consent) If Muhammad had ordered to march on and on at the end stages of his life, and if we see those marching orders in the holy book Quran, we get the fact Quran's ultimate message is violence and NOT peace. True, Quran has some passive verses too but those are never implemented later in Muhammad's life or by his Sahaba (followers) or successors especially when they had the upper hand. The verse "No compulsion in religion" becomes a joke when we understand the first Caliph of Islam Abu Bakr fought against apostates of Islam for over a year only for the matter some groups in central Arabia refused to pay tithe. Imam Ibn Kathir mentions Quran chapter 9:5 was what inspired Abu Bakr to arm up against fellow Muslims who apostatized soon after Muhammad's death. A lot of blood was shed only for the purpose of having apostatized tribes to get back to Islam. The wars known as "Riddah wars" lasted over a year, and if "no compulsion in religion" is a verse that is relevant; either Abu Bakr the first Caliph of Islam did not know of it or he ignored his God's order. Otherwise, what reason can you provide for Abu Bakr going after tribes just because they denied only one of the pillars of Islam (tithe) and apostatized likewise? Why did not Abu Bakr recite the verse "No compulsion in religion" and leave those apostates? Remember he was the first elected Caliph of Islam

Just have a glace at Omar's life. All his life was full of wars. He invaded nations after nations and wherever his army entered, either converting to Islam or paying Jizya in humiliation as prescribed in Quran 9:29 were the options offered for unbelievers. If there is no compulsion in religion, Omar the second Caliph of Islam too did not know of it as history suggests.

The fact can not be like that. Muhammad understood the message of Quran and in the last part of his life; he called for offensive wars and went totally offensive. The first Caliph of Islam Abu Bakr got inspired from verse 9:5 (which you try to misinterpret) and went for bloody wars against apostates of Islam. Omar the second caliph understood the message of Quran and implemented it in his life. That is why he could not stop invading nations and subduing all people giving them Islam or humiliation as options.

And history after Omar too is no exception to what I said above. I am not going into the full details of it.

What we come to know is the ultimate message of Quran is violent. Quran calls for violent Jihad. After the revelation of Quran chapter 9:29, Muhammad went for invading surrounding parts of Arabia even though one third has been already under is sway. Abu Bakr the first caliph implemented Quran's message in his life, Omar too did the same. So, the way Prophet Muhammad, his followers, his successors understood Quran was right. They can not be wrong because that would be too arrogant a notion for any Muslim to digest. So, we have to conclude Quran definitely incites violence. Otherwise please have the audacity to trash your holy figures. Start from Prophet Muhammad; I am sure no Muslim can afford this.

So, there is no need of any deception. Quran is obviously violent. You can not deny it by bringing some verses with no contexts. Showing some flowery verses of Quran hardly makes your case. Because peaceful "no compulsion in religion" kinds of verses and Muhammad's end stage of life and Caliphs actions do not match up.

If none of those Muslims (best among the Muslims as attested by Muhammad in a Sahih Hadith in Bukhari) did not get the message of Quran right and Mike Ghouse is going to get it, I am sorry Mike, you have to start preaching a different Quran and practicing a different Islam too that were not familiar to Prophet Muhammad, Abu Bakr and Omar and all those followed them.

Thank you for your time

Khalil Fariel (www dot faithfreedom dot org)

#33
Aaman
URL
February 17, 2009
08:29 AM

I find interesting that the original author, Mr. Khan, has not responded to Mike's responses - I thought this was meant to be a debate.

#34
Chiclets
URL
February 17, 2009
11:23 AM

@ Aaman,

Please read all the comments carefully, Mr Khan has said that he will respond to Mike by way of another article

#35
Aaman
URL
February 17, 2009
11:38 AM

Ah, missed that, looking forward to it.

#36
Morris
February 17, 2009
02:02 PM

Khalil Fariel #32

Very enlightening indeed. Well aruculated, excellent. I am waiting for rebuttal by Mike Ghouse.

#37
commonsense
February 17, 2009
06:07 PM

the quran just like any holy text from the past, without exceptions, is and should be completely irrelevant to our contemporary lives. Those who pull out passages from these texts to demonstrate the essential "perfidy" of an entire group of people who supposedly are completely shaped by them (be it Muslims for Quran, Christians for the Bible, Hindus for the Smritis etc) are as bizarre as those who do the opposite, ie. who claim that such and such religion is fundamentally peaceful, logical, best etc. etc. While all religions may or may not be "crap" (Aaman's famous quote), such pseduo-debates based on religious texts from way back when or now certainly border on the absurd. The point is to make all religions be they XY of Z, irrelevant as far as public life and the formulation of laws go. A tall order for sure and then there's the question of who is going to enforce it etc. etc. But all changes appear initially to be tall orders but then they become part of life.

#38
Morris
February 17, 2009
07:41 PM

CS

That is your mumbo jumbo as usual. That is not the subject they are discussing. Look at the title of the lead article. I know you do not like that. This is your way to support Mike Ghouse. Good try.

#39
SanjayTheAtheist
February 17, 2009
08:14 PM

Mike, I hope you'll join me in sending Mr Muzammil Hassan a nice big pink chaddi. That will make him all better. It will also give him something to wear for those special nights with his cellmate.

#40
Mud
February 18, 2009
12:13 AM

Sanjay the pink chaddi debate is there in the forums. please go and write your not so humourous "Chaddi" comments there. kindly try to understand this is a beautiful discussion and i don't want people to destroy it with irrelevant one liners just to get cheap attention.

let it be pure and in accordance with the main discussion.

#41
SanjayTheAtheist
February 18, 2009
02:42 AM

Mud -- good name, btw, although it sounds like you want cheap attention -- my pink chaddi comment was meant to illustrate that such cheap stunts are useless in the face of a society that promotes beheading of women, while downplaying it after the fact.

#42
SanjayTheAtheist
February 18, 2009
02:48 AM

Here's a good one to read:

http://www.ww4report.com/node/6865

Islamic activists are, as usual, more concerned about the image of their faith than about the crime committed in its name.

#43
Mud
February 18, 2009
04:08 AM

hmmm.....SanjaytheAtheist. i guess your one liners everywhere in this entire writeup suggests that you are having no idea except for going to some website and copying the link and pasting it. the others here are doing detailed discussion obout a real interesting topic. and here you are with "i am also here" attitude.

no hard feelings but i thought it to be pretty wannabe. my apologies if i am wrong. maybe i was not thinking from your perspective.

anyways , a suggestion for you. it will be very nice if you write a separate blog and post the links there. in thsi way we will have a library of all these atrocities the muslims are doing. i mean a common library to promote hate because of the doing of a couple of hundred men(it will be much nicer if you get more links, this will make the library even more stronger) :)

i mean i am also a muslim and so far in my city, family, country no one has beheaded a woman because of religion :)

the close relatives of the pink chaddi guys surely did some of these atrocities against our women. maybe you never reached that link. i cannot post it here as the debate here is not about what has been done to us. it is what we have done to others.

and besides if i start posting the links what difference will remain between a "wannabe" and me.

i live in India by the way.

#44
SanjayTheAtheist
February 18, 2009
04:21 AM

Mud, good job in living upto your name. It's nice to know that you feel we should all revolve around your personal emotional state and emotional needs. Perhaps you think we're all just background characters in your dream. One day you may decide to wake up from your dream, and realize there's another world beyond it, based on reality. This reality doesn't conform to the uninterrupted sales pitches of Mike Ghouse, who mainly seems to convey his desire to be a salesman for his religion and its reputation. The more zealously he markets it, the shallower and more transparent his intentions become. If only he could find a magic button to just make us all magically fall in line with his need for the rest of us to look admiringly upon his faith. It's all a matter of "correcting" our "misconceptions", you see. Keep imbibing the opiate, gentlemen. After enough of it, everything looks dreamy.

#45
Muddassar
February 18, 2009
05:24 AM

whoa sanjay...that was heavy.

i never mean to say that you all are background characters in my dream. i am not at all dreaming. i never said that i am defending Mike. neither i am supporting anyone. it is open debate and i am enjoying the point and counterpoint.

what i am trying to say is that the links you are providing is of isolated incidents which can be very much a result of rage.
the people realize this once the rage is over and they look for a place to hide. not all can hide behind the powerful politicians like we have in India. so some hide behind the religion. and then there are people like you and the journalists(yes the same pink chaddi campaign ones) that use this isolated incident against a whole religion without any regard to rage that man(the wife beheader) was having at a certain moment.

in Delhi a person killed other in Road Rage. this will make all delhites bad. in haryana a Gujjar father burnt his daughter and her lover alive. the haryanavis are butchers. in this way you will ultimately relize that you as a person are a butcher in 10 ways due to 10 different generalizations which people might have for you(based on your religion, caste, territory, your eyes(it can be a cold killer's eyes, etc)).

what i am saying is that in this otherwise meaningful debate you are sticking one link after the other and suggesting that all muslims are butchers and wife killers. one link vs 1.3 billion people.

also, there are lot of killings where people kill their wife and daughter for bad conduct. don't tell me that you are unaware of it. what if anyone here starts posting links of dowry killing and wife burnings and hence claim that hinduism is a killer religion. i'll again laugh at it as all the hindus friends and people i met are yet to burn a wife.

any sensible person will realize that who is dreaming here.

wake up sanjay.

p.s: i am not supporing mike or any other chap here. what i am saying is that your links and the corresponding generalizations are wrong.


#46
Muddassar
February 18, 2009
05:40 AM

i went through a link and i can say that all Germans are killers and man eaters(a german guy cooked his friend). shall i start putting these links here..

#47
commonsense
February 18, 2009
06:07 AM

Morris:

"CS

That is your mumbo jumbo as usual. That is not the subject they are discussing. Look at the title of the lead article. I know you do not like that. This is your way to support Mike Ghouse. Good try."

Not! My comment is germane to the discussion. "Does the Quran incites violence"? Whether the bible glorifies violence? Whether Hindu, Jewish etc. etc. incite violence? All these are pointless, textual games.

Morris, I thought I'd read the title of the piece, as well as the ensuing discussion carefully.

However, if you are hell-bent on being the self-appointed censor for the "usual mumbo jumbo" or even the unusual variety, please feel free. whatever gets you off or makes your day, or night, is good enough for me!

#48
commonsense
February 18, 2009
06:12 AM

Morris to CS:

"This is your way to support Mike Ghouse. Good try."

huh?? you are either with me or against me approach? Good try would be my response too...

#49
commonsense
February 18, 2009
06:20 AM

Morris to CS:

"This is your way to support Mike Ghouse. Good try."

CS:

Really bizarre, since I did criticize Mike without any ambiguity. Morris, read the second part of my sentence before asking me to read the title of the article. I wrote:

""Those who pull out passages from these texts to demonstrate the essential "perfidy" of an entire group of people who supposedly are completely shaped by them (be it Muslims for Quran, Christians for the Bible, Hindus for the Smritis etc) are as bizarre as those who do the opposite, ie. who claim that such and such religion is fundamentally peaceful, logical, best etc. etc."

I suppose Morris you are experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms since we haven't locked horns for some time. Not to worry, I haven't really been around! so, relax.

#50
Ruvy
URL
February 18, 2009
06:25 AM

Not to worry, I haven't really been around! so, relax.

School must be out again.....

#51
Ledzius
February 18, 2009
08:38 AM

"Founder of Islamic TV station accused of beheading wife"

See-

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/02/16/buffalo.beheading/index.html

Doesn't do much to promote his cause, does it?

#52
kaffir
February 18, 2009
11:22 AM

huh?? you are either with me or against me approach?
-
What's the problem with that either-with-me-or-against-me approach? Or would you rather have it phrased differently, for example, "you can't be neutral on a moving train"? That, I'm sure, you can agree with, since it comes from the left, though it's the same words. ;)

#53
Ruvy
URL
February 18, 2009
11:34 AM

"Founder of Islamic TV station accused of beheading wife"

Actions speak louder than words - they always speak louder than words. This is not an issue of the Qur'an inciting violence - just as the Torah's laws of war do not incite violence by Jews. Were this the case, all the Arab men of Gaza (over million) would have been murdered off during the last campaign there by the IDF. That is what is specified in the Torah. Had the policies specified in the Torah been carried out, there indeed would have been a genocide in Gaza, as has been falsely charged by the enemies and haters of the Jewish people - including a whole slew of self-hating Jews in America, Europe and Israel.

What is at issue here the Moslem culture inspired by certain interpretations of the Qur'an inciting violence. "Honor killings" of this sort are found daily in the Arab countries and even the Arab controlled districts of Israel. They are part of a Moslem culture of violence towards and enslavement of women; a culture that puts women in an inferior and disadvantaged place in society.

Put a bit differently, as certain elements of Moslem culture interpret the Qur'an, its most genocidal and most vicious elements become state policy - i.e the fatwas demanding the murder of various authors, politicians, like Rushdie, van Gogh and others. Were Judaism interpreted in a similar fashion, it too would be a nightmare. But Jews do not generally interpret the Torah in such a way as to encourage death and murder. Even the most militant among us do not do this, in spite of the slanderous libels hurled against us. Too many Moslems world-wide (with perhaps India and central Asia being exceptions to this rule) do.

It is the interpretation of the Qur'an really being discussed here, not the terms found in the Qur'an.

#54
Anamika
February 18, 2009
12:22 PM

As usual, what promises to be an interesting discussion on Islam runs the risk of being hijacked by DC's favourite fanatic.

A few gems from the aforesaid fanatic:

"Actions speak louder than words - they always speak louder than words."

And then of course the "ALL REVEALING" news report about a Muslim man killing his wife as a demonstration of what?

But in the interest of the two running themes: over generalization and "actions speaking louder than words", here goes another news story:

"In August 1949, an army unit stationed at Nirim in the Negev shot an Arab man and captured a Bedouin girl with him. Her name and age remain unknown, but she was probably in her mid-teens.

In the following hours she was taken from the hut and forced to shower naked in full view of the soldiers. Three of the men then raped her.

After the Sabbath meal the platoon commander, identified by Ha'aretz as a man called Moshe who had served in the British army during the second world war, proposed a vote on what should be done with her.

One option was to put her to work in the outpost's kitchen.

Most of the 20 or so soldiers present voted for the alternative by chanting: "We want to fuck". The commander organised a rota for groups of his men to gang rape the girl over the next three days. Moshe and one of his sergeants went first, leaving the girl unconscious. Next morning, she complicated matters by protesting about her treatment. Moshe told one of his sergeants to kill her.

She was forced into a patrol vehicle with several soldiers, two carrying shovels, and they drove off into the dunes. When the girl realised what was about to happen she tried to run, but only made it a few paces before she was shot by a Sergeant Michael."

Rest of the story is at:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/nov/04/israel1

So does this mean Israeli men are gang rapists and killers? Or racist rapists/killers? Or is it just "elements of Israeli society" that is interprets the state religion and policy as licence to rape/kill non-Jewish women.

In the interest of even-handedness, just wondering how this one plays out...

#55
Morris
February 18, 2009
02:09 PM

Anamika

It plays no better. I am afraid you have joined the hijackers. The only person who could help us get back to the subject is Mike Ghouse. Mike, where are you?

#56
Ruvy
URL
February 18, 2009
03:27 PM

It is always interesting to see how this paid up BJP member will do anything to condemn Jews and Israelis. It's a good thing that I do not assume from this woman's writings that all BJP members are anti-Israel or Jew-haters. Of the approximately 85,000 sites where honor killings were mentioned at Google, I picked this one just for this particular paragraph:

"Why are thousands of women/girls (ranging from age three to eighty) slain every year in all four provinces of Pakistan, but mostly in the semi/rural communities or among the urban dwellers with original links to the rural, tribal and feudalist set ups?"

Anamika is able to pull up one case of rape and murder from 1948, and probably can pull up a few dozen such cases over 60 years, with a little work. And her whole point is to smear Jews! But The Forum News mentions thousands each year in Pakistan without trying to condemn anyone except the perpetrators of the murders! The Forum News does not talk about Iran, Iraq, Bangladesh, Jordan, Egypt or Turkey - only Pakistan. Add all these other nations where honor killings are the norm, and you have tens of thousands of women murdered each year.

Imagine if it was the cultural norm in Israel to rape and murder non-Jewish women routinely, as it is the culture of many Moslem immigrants in Europe! Anamika and those who think like her would be jumping up and down in paroxysms of anger and outrage and dropping from apoplexy!

And for all this sound and fury, what has Anamika contributed to the discussion?

Nothing!

I return to my point. It is not the writings in the Qur'an that incite this behavior, it is the interpretation of the writings in the Qur'an that incites this behavior.

#57
Aditi N
February 18, 2009
03:56 PM

Who is this paid-up BJP member?!

#58
Anamika
February 18, 2009
05:45 PM

Aditi - its meant for me! Of course, the fanatic wouldn't know a BJP voter/member from a Samata or DMK voter, but he believes that information about me will bother DC regulars. Its a pathetic ploy that he has employed before.

My point remains the same: this is a fanatic that has openly called for genocide on this board. And now what appears to be a relatively serious discussion is being hijacked by barely concealed bs again.

If the point is that it is the interpretations of Quran that create the violence, then that point can be made without making unncessary references to a marital killing case simply because it involves Muslims.

Morris: I have seen the propaganda games this poster engages in...IF he has a valid theological and/or cultural point based on actual knowledge, I would be happy to read his viewpoints. But so far there has been little proof of that!

I - for one - am waiting for the next installment of the debate.

#59
Aditi N
February 18, 2009
06:11 PM

How does he even know what your political party preferences are? I am just mystified by this!

But more importantly, the bizarre "wife beheading" case sounds more like an isolated murder than an issue specific to Muslims. To categorize it as a Muslim act just because it involves beheading is just dumb.

I personally think Ruvvy is more of an embittered or frustrated person than a fanatic (although I admit I haven't read through each of his comments). Hindus and Sikhs from during the India-Pak partition time whose homes were destroyed and families were lost due to Muslims speak similarly to date of inciting war against Pakistan and ousting Muslims from India. I think its just human nature to get illogically malevolent after having suffered some loss or personal upheaval.

I have Muslim friends, know plenty Muslim people who don't behead their wives and don't misinterpret the Q'uran. In fact they are pretty laid back and nice people. But if a Muslim man raped me or hurt my loved ones I can only hope that I will not quit all rationality in how I perceive all Muslim people or their religious teachings.

Ruvy's reaction is similar to the "Lets bomb Pakistan" fervor that errupts with the aftermath of every terrorist attack in India. It is not justified...but then we can't be good judges because we haven't experienced that kind of anger, helplessness or frustration. Everybody has their own coping mechanism I guess.

P.S I don't think Ruvy knows what the BJP thinks of Muslims. If he did, he'd join hands with them :)

#60
Anamika
February 18, 2009
06:47 PM

(Giggle)...Aditi, I dont want to take this thread on to a tangent because I am actually enjoying the debate from the sidelines on this thread. But just fyi, there was an exchange on politics VERY long time ago between a number of posters (we are talking something like 2007 or even earlier). Some people got upset about BJP, and this poster filed it away for future reference (he does that to pretty much any poster who disagrees with him).

Problem is when an embittered/frustrated person manages to reach a position of power, has access to weapons, legal protection AND a well accepted rationale for hating another group, they are nothing more than fanatics, and are dangers to civil society.

I would suggest that you just look up some of the threads of the past - on Islam, Hinduism, Indian culture/politics, Middle East, and of course Palestine-Israel on DC - for some really choice statements. They are enough to turn stomachs of any reasonable, civilized human being.

Frankly there has been enough violent/hate filled material put up by this one person, that if DC were based out of US or Europe, there would have been legal action against the site already for the kind of repeated hate speech it allows this particular fanatic to post.

Finally, not really! His views are more aligned with Bajrang Dal/Ram Sene/Taliban/LeT/Bible-thumping Palin-evangelists - same idiots, different pagdis.

#61
kaffir
February 18, 2009
06:57 PM

[sic] with the aftermath of every terrorist attack in India.
--
I believe I had pointedly asked a few writers in Nov-Dec 2008, who had written here responding to that fervor of "Let's bomb Pakistan", and none of them was able to provide a link to who exactly was creating that "Let's bomb Pakistan" fervor and where exactly did they see this war hysteria which they were responding to. I also followed a lot of news and blogs, and while there was much talk of taking tough action against Pakistan, I didn't really come across any war hysteria in response to the Nov attacks in Mumbai. Unless it was on the fringes.

Which leads me to believe that the writers imagined the worst possible scenario and then wrote their posts as a knee-jerk reaction to it. But of course, now the meme is in place that there was a war fervor after the terrorist attacks, and that is the truth for some people.

Anyway, back to the topic of discussion.

#62
kaffir
February 18, 2009
07:00 PM

(Mods, please delete the previous comment - formatting issues. Thanks.)

Ruvy's reaction is similar to the "Lets bomb Pakistan" fervor that errupts(sic) with the aftermath of every terrorist attack in India.
-
--
I believe I had pointedly asked a few writers in Nov-Dec 2008, who had written here responding to that fervor of "Let's bomb Pakistan", and none of them was able to provide a link to who exactly was creating that "Let's bomb Pakistan" fervor and where exactly did they see this war hysteria which they were responding to. I also followed a lot of news and blogs, and while there was much talk of taking tough action against Pakistan, I didn't really come across any war hysteria in response to the Nov attacks in Mumbai. Unless it was on the fringes.

Which leads me to believe that the writers imagined the worst possible scenario and then wrote their posts as a knee-jerk reaction to it. But of course, now the meme is in place that there was a war fervor after the terrorist attacks, and that is the truth for some people.

Anyway, back to the topic of discussion.

#63
Ruvy
URL
February 18, 2009
07:04 PM

Aditi,

I don't think Ruvy knows what the BJP thinks of Muslims. If he did, he'd join hands with them :)

I have made the point of noting Amamika's party membership (which she mentioned once and which I remember) precisely because I do know how in love the BJP are with Moslems. Thus, I find Anamika's constant attacks on Jews and Israelis all the more ironic.

But let's leave her histrionics aside, shall we?

This debate is between a man who has left the faith of Islam, Mr. Khan, and one who is a believer, Mr. Ghouse. Because I am a man of faith myself, I tend to gravitate in my sympathies towards Mike Ghouse. But both, in my opinion, are men of good will attempting to better mankind.

My whole point here has been that a text itself is less important than the culture interpreting the text. In the case of the honor killing referred to above, it is a case of the Moslem culture ensnaring even a man who attempted to build bridges to non-Moslems in the United States. He was so enmeshed in a culture that did not allow women the right of divorce that he killed his wife for suing for divorce. At least, that is how it looks to me - and thus its relevance to the debate here.

Finally, Aditi, I suggest you do not know my views as you may think you do. I do not hate Moslems. But many Arab Moslems do hate Jews - a fact that I live with here in Israel. But, I do not seek to hijack this debate at all, and await Mr. Ghouse to respond. In the meantime, I do hope that someone looks at Mr. Khan's second piece with a sharp editor's eye - it needs it.

#64
smallsquirrel
February 18, 2009
08:36 PM

"I do not hate Moslems."

jeebus, seriously? I wonder how horrible it might be if you did. what do you call how you feel then, cause you don't have any respect for them...

#65
commonsense
February 18, 2009
08:54 PM

Ruvy:

"I do not hate Moslems."

quotable quote!

So where is Mike to bring us on track!

#66
Ledzius
February 18, 2009
11:21 PM

Ruvy has a point here, and he is not blaming the Quran itself, but the interpretation of it. Isn't he exactly parroting the liberal viewpoint here? Or do those who have criticized him want him to blame the Quran itself then?

I too don't believe the beheading was just an isolated murder having nothing to do with Muslims. I can understand if someone kills his wife by shooting her or strangulating her in a fit of rage, especially if he is a loner or someone with behavioural problems. But this guy who seemed to be very normal otherwise (and tried to bridge communities, which is no mean task) threatened to kill her many times, and finally got to do it by beheading, of all possible methods. This strongly points to an honour killing more than anything else.

There have been many instances of honour killings by Muslim immigrants in the UK.

#67
Mike Ghouse
URL
February 19, 2009
12:33 AM

Ledzius,

You precisely understood my point when you said "Ruvy has a point here, and he is not blaming the Quran itself, but the interpretation of it. Isn't he exactly parroting the liberal viewpoint here? Or do those who have criticized him want him to blame the Quran itself then?"

I am not a conservative by any stretch of imagination, neither am I a liberal, but I believe, I have always stayed on the middle ground which, most people stand on.

All I am saying is to be "Open" to a larger interpretation and not get stuck "with the given meaning" .

Religion is one of the best organized thing we have, until, a new idea is supported, religion is still the best for larger populations. That is what holds them from doing wrong things.

You, me and several of us can do without religion, but that is the not the case with a large number of people. Religion makes their life easy, there are flaws in our understanding, we need to the "Open" to understand and not blame the religion.

There is not one single idea, or sytem that is perfect, every one of them have flaws in understanding and practicing.

#68
sarah islam
February 19, 2009
12:49 AM


Interesting debate here. However, all I can risk saying here (since i have not read any religious books, only snippets from them) is that all religions are basically obsolete in today's world.

The quran, torah and the bible are written in archaic terms meant for people living in those times. Sure, all of them incite violence but I think that it is time we let them stay in the centuries when they were crafted and get on with our lives. This is why we need to reject organized religion on all levels.

I agree with Ruvy though that the quran is interpreted incorrectly and I also beleive that all other religious books are also interpreted incorrectly.

That gets me thinking why muslims are most regressive in today's world. Islam flourished for a while in the middle ages. Is it because Mulsims probably think that they paid for their open socities (compared to values prevelant in those days) and lost their empires and therefore need to go back to their version of a classical Islam?

Just a thought.

#69
SanjayTheAtheist
February 19, 2009
01:05 AM

Ruvy, do you go posting under the alias of "BronxZionist"? That's you, isn't it?

#70
commonsense
February 19, 2009
04:28 AM

Mike Ghouse:

"Religion is one of the best organized thing we have, until, a new idea is supported, religion is still the best for larger populations. That is what holds them from doing wrong things."

I'm afraid not! Not sure what is meant by "you and I can do without religion" but "larger populations" need religion since it "holds them from doing wrong things". "the larger population", are they imbeciles with no brains or rationality? Why must they need religion while we should be able to do without it? (Note, i'm attacking organized religion, not religiosity as such)

No point making re-hashing an argument that Sarah Islam has already made in # 68. Thanks Sarah

#71
Ruvy
URL
February 19, 2009
04:42 AM

Sanjay,

LOL! I'm a Brooklyn boy, and would not be caught dead with an appellation like "BronxZionist". Secondly, as I've said a number of times on this site, I believe that Zionism is a dead letter, having achieved its basic goals. It's long past time for the next stage in the history of the Children of Israel.

Were it not for the burning and genocidal hatred behind those who scream at us "Zionist nazi", and in nearly the same breath, "Back to the ovens!" it would all be terribly laughable.

At this point, "Zionism" is the bloated bureaucracy of a series of nearly dead ideals. But don't tell my friends in ha'iHd ha'leum (the National Union Party) that. They'll be offended and won't understand what you are saying.

#72
Mike Ghouse
URL
February 19, 2009
08:33 AM

Ruvy, CS, I have been busy, and I posted response to Mr. Khan's note to his part 2, 5 hours ago. He misquotes the verses and does not like to hear it and wants to run from the debate. He is too eager to conclude and pass judgment on others, which is his choice.

I have not had the time to Google for that week, of how many men had butchered their women - from NPR (National Public Radio) I gathered that to date 70 men (Non-Muslims) had mutilated and mauled and killed their women in UK or London and 14 men were brutally murdered by their spouses. Needs to be verified though. It was not the religion, it was the rage of the crazy men and each SOB will give a reason to get out of it including insanity plea. It is a shame to pick on a religion for the behavior of the individuals, when perhaps 100 other men may have done the same that week and their religion was not maligned.

Once I get the password, I will post another article "fun with tele-marketers" and we can go any direction we want on that.

Back to the topic; Let me read through the points that are relevant to this specific debate and post my responses. I am not defending the actions of men and women who do wrong, their actions need to be condemned. The verses quoted must also be quoted from Qur'aan and not recycled manufactured verses that are not in Qur'aan.

The question is not whose side you're on, and there is no need to take any side. The question is rather, what you present as the verse from Qur'aan is verifiable or not? So far it has not been. However, I will respond to a few items posted on this thread in a day or so or soon.

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