If your Spiritual Orientation is MUSLIM…

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I actually did a blog entry long ago that addressed perfectly my problems with people who feel more drawn to Islam than any other religion so I am content to refer my Muslim readers to that:

Muslims, get a life!

Do you REALLY believe in Allah, who is described throughout the Quran as “the Merciful” as well as “Forgiving”? It seems that many of your comrades in faith do not and merely use His name to destroy people’s lives and freedom!

I have not forgotten how some of you threatened the life of Salman Rushdie in 1989 for writing his novel The Satanic Verses.  Did it ever occur to you that if Allah really found what he did to be that offensive, he would have struck down Rushdie Himself? The fact that He never did is evidence to me that either Allah could not do it (why worship such a weak god?) , or that he didn’t see fit to (why do yourselves what He would not?). In short, Allah willed the act of “blasphemy”. So why not condemn Him too? Why is your faith in Allah so weak, that you deem yourselves to be more of a judge of what is worthy of death than Allah Himself? Note that the one who passed the death sentence on Rushdie with a fatwa, Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini, died soon afterwards, while Rushdie still lives today! It seems clear that it  was Khomeini who was the blasphemer, not Rushdie!

Do not be so foolish as to make anyone or anything, including the religion of Islam and the deeds and words of the Prophet Muhammad, above criticism! Remember that Muhammad himself strongly criticised the Jewish and Christian religions, even while stating that their followers were “People of the Book”. Likewise, allowing criticism of Islam in public is in keeping with the verse in the Quran that declares: “There is no compulsion in religion.” (Sura 2:256). How can there be no compulsion in religion if you threaten critics of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad with death, you hypocrites!?

Islam is not superior to any other religion. If you think otherwise, then why would Allah will the existence of other faiths? Why is Christianity still the most popular religion at nearly two billion followers? Is it not possible that Muhammad intended Islam for Arabs only rather than for all the peoples of the world? Why insist on one truth for the whole world when science cannot even find the existence of Allah anywhere, let alone the dogmas of Islam?

The Quran is but a book, revealed by Muhammad. To say that it is equal to Allah himself is blasphemy, yet I always get the impression that you seem to think every word of the Quran should be believed in and obeyed absolutely. NO! Don’t you know that the Quran was not even completely assembled until several years after the death of Muhammad? How can we be sure all of it is accurately transcribed  and really from the Prophet?

I am disgusted by the practice of older Muslim men marrying girls as young as 12 and making them fall pregnant. What a violation of the girls’ dignity! Yes, I know Muhammad married a nine-year old girl. I also know that he and Aisha never had children, so it is possible that the marriage was never consummated. I’d rather beleive that than assume that he was a pedophile, as some have alleged! In any case, are you forgetting that the Prophet was a man and not to be seen as equal with Allah himself? Why assume that if Muhammad did something 1400 years ago, it must be right to do even today? Have you no minds of your own? If you are given brains by Allah and do not use them to determine truth from falsehood and morality from what is immoral, those brains are wasted and thus Allah is dishonored. If your only sources of truth and morality is Islam and the actions of Prophet Muhammad, what will you do if it is revealed to you on the Day of Judgement that Muhammad was not a Prophet at all? Honorable Skeptics like myself don’t worry about that, because we have morals that do not depend on any faith.

It is said among Muslims, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his Prophet.” But an atheist would say, “There is no god and Muhammad was no prophet.” If a Muslim denies Hinduism, the Baha’i Faith and atheism, why can’t the atheist and the Hindu deny Islam (the Baha’i would not; all Baha’is see Muhammad as a Prophet)?

How dare you claim Islam is Allah’s final religion! Why put any limits on the Word of Allah? Why tell him to be silent and speak no more? Isn’t that also blasphemy? I think so!

Remember what the Quran also says, in Sura 109: “Say: O disbelievers! I worship not that which ye worship; Nor worship ye that which I worship. And I shall not worship that which ye worship. Nor will ye worship that which I worship. Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion.” Follow THAT, and you will follow the example of Allah, who is Merciful.

 

المسلمين، والحصول على الحياة!

Note: This is an Arabic translation of a blog entry I made years before:
https://dalehusband.com/2010/05/04/muslims-get-a-life/

هذا هو خطاب مفتوح لجميع أولئك الذين اعتناق الدين الإسلامي.
هل نؤمن حقا بالله، الذي يوصف طوال القرآن باسم “الرحمن الرحيم”، وكذلك “الغفور”؟ ويبدو أن العديد من رفاقك في الإيمان وليس مجرد استخدام اسمه لتدمير حياة الناس والحرية!
أنا لم ننس كيف أن بعض من كنت تهدد حياة سلمان رشدي في عام 1989 لكتابة روايته آيات شيطانية. إلا أنها تحدث أي وقت مضى لك أنه إذا كان الله وجدت حقا ما فعله ليكون هذا الهجوم، لكان قد ألغت رشدي نفسه؟ سمعة ولم يفعل ذلك دليلا لي إما الله لا يمكن أن يفعل ذلك (لماذا هذه العبادة ضعيفة إله؟)، أو أنه لم تراه مناسبا ل(لماذا أنفسكم ما هو لا؟). باختصار، شاء الله فعل “التجديف”. فلماذا لا تدين له أيضا؟ لماذا هو إيمانك بالله ضعيفة جدا، التي ترونها أنفسكم أن أكثر من قاض ما يستحق الموت من الله نفسه؟ ويلاحظ أن الذي أصدر حكم الإعدام على رشدي مع فتوى الزعيم الإيراني أياتولاه خوميني، وتوفي بعد ذلك بوقت قصير، في حين رشدي لا يزال يعيش اليوم! ويبدو ذلك واضحا أنه كان الخميني الذي كان مجدفا، وليس رشدي!
لا تكن أحمق وذلك لجعل أي شخص أو أي شيء، بما في ذلك دين الإسلام وأفعال وأقوال النبي محمد، فوق النقد! تذكر أن محمدا نفسه انتقد بشدة الديانتين اليهودية والمسيحية، وحتى حين قالت إن ثمة أتباعهم “أهل الكتاب”. وبالمثل، انتقادات السماح الإسلام في الجمهور وذلك تمشيا مع قوله تعالى في القرآن الكريم أن يعلن: “لا إكراه في الدين” (سورة البقرة 2: 256). كيف يمكن أن يكون هناك لا إكراه في الدين إذا كنت تهدد المنتقدين للإسلام والنبي محمد مع الموت، وكنت المنافقين!؟
الإسلام ليس أفضل من أي دين آخر. إذا كنت تعتقد خلاف ذلك، ثم لماذا الله في وجود الأديان الأخرى؟ لماذا المسيحية لا يزال الدين الأكثر شعبية في ما يقرب من ملياري أتباع؟ أليس من الممكن أن محمدا يقصد الإسلام للعرب فقط وليس لجميع شعوب العالم؟ لماذا الإصرار على حقيقة واحدة للعالم كله عندما العلم لا يمكن أن تجد حتى وجود الله في أي مكان، ناهيك عن العقائد في الإسلام؟
القرآن ما هو إلا كتاب، كشف محمد. أن أقول أنه يساوي الله نفسه هو الكفر، ولكن أنا دائما انطباع بأنك ويبدو أن أعتقد أن كل كلمة من القرآن يجب أن beleived في ويطاع تماما. NO! لا تعلمون أن القرآن لم يكن حتى تجميعها بشكل كامل حتى عدة سنوات بعد وفاة محمد؟ كيف يمكننا أن نتأكد من كل من هو نسخها بدقة وحقا من النبي؟
أنا أشعر بالاشمئزاز جراء ممارسات رجال مسلمين كبار السن يتزوجون فتيات لا تتجاوز أعمارهن 12 و جعلها تقع حاملا. ما انتهاكا لكرامة الفتيات! نعم، أنا أعرف محمد تزوج من فتاة عمرها تسع سنوات. وأنا أعلم أيضا أنه وعائشة لم يكن الأطفال، ولذلك فمن الممكن أن الزواج كان يكتمل أبدا فما استقاموا لكم فاستقيموا بدلا من أصدق هذا يفترض أنه كان شاذ جنسيا، والبعض alledged! في أي حال، هل ننسى هذا كان النبي رجل وليس أن ينظر إليها على قدم المساواة مع الله نفسه؟ لماذا نفترض أنه إذا فعلت شيئا محمد قبل 1400 سنة، فإنه يجب أن يكون الصحيح الذي ينبغي عمله حتى اليوم؟ هل لا عقول بنفسك؟ إذا كنت يتم إعطاء العقول الله وعدم استخدامها لتحديد الحق من الباطل والأخلاق من ما هو غير أخلاقي، وإهدار تلك العقول وبالتالي يهان الله. إذا المصدر الوحيد للحقيقة والأخلاق الخاص بك هو الإسلام وأفعال النبي محمد، ماذا ستفعل إذا تبين لك يوم القيامة إن محمدا كان لا نبي على الإطلاق؟ المشككون مشرفة مثلي لا تقلق بشأن ذلك، لأن لدينا الأخلاق التي لا تعتمد على أي دين.
ويقال بين المسلمين، “لا إله إلا الله، وأن محمدا رسول الله”. ولكن هل الملحد يقول، “لا إله وكان Muhmmad لا نبي.” إذا رفضت مسلم الهندوسية والبهائية والإلحاد، لماذا لا يمكن الحادي والهندوسية ينكر الإسلام (البهائية لن؛ وكل البهائيين يرى محمد كنبي)؟
كيف تجرؤ على المطالبة الإسلام هو دين الله النهائي! لماذا وضع أي قيود على كلمة الله؟ ماذا أقول له أن يكون الصمت والكلام لا أكثر؟ هو أيضا ليس من الكفر؟ أعتقد ذلك!
أيضا تذكر ما يقول القرآن في سورة 109: “قل يا أيها الكافرون! التي لا أعبد ما تعبدون. ولا عبادة انتم ما أعبد. ويجب أن لا أعبد ما تعبدون. ولا أنتم عابدون ما أعبد. لكم دينكم، ولي ديني “. يتبع ذلك، وسوف تحذو حذو الله الذي هو الرحمن الرحيم.

If any who are fluent in Arabic can contact me and tell me how accurate this translation, via Google Translate, is, I would appreciate the input.

If Israel shouldn’t exist….

……neither should Pakistan. BOTH states were founded after World War II by followers of a specific religion who wanted to establish a society in which that religion would dominate it. Pakistan excluded Hindus and remains a hotbed of Muslim extremism to this day (which is why it was stupid for President Bush Jr. to accept Pakistan as an ally in his “War on Terrorism”, when in fact Osama Bin Ladin was hiding out in Pakistan for years until President Obama finally had him killed). And Israel continues to violate the rights of Palestinians by building and keeping Jewish settlements on the West Bank, thus stealing land the United Nations said was not theirs in 1947. Yet the United States also continues to support Israel, no matter what. Why is Jewish extremism more acceptable than Muslim extremism? Either accept both and the states made from them or condemn both and the states made from them. Not only one or the other, unless you are a religious bigot.

This understanding came to me after reading this:

http://skepchick.org/2013/03/whitefeminism/

While other countries are “Muslim” or “Islamic” because they just so happen to have a large Muslim population, Pakistan was founded by Muslims as a Muslim country in rather deliberate fashion.

I replied as follows:

Likewise, Israel was founded by Jews as a Jewish country in rather deliberate fashion. If one is illegitimate, so is the other. Can you discuss this too?

The blog author replied:

That isn’t at all part of my focus or within my scope as a blogger. There are plenty of critics of Israel and Zionism who can speak to such matters better than I can.

I then said:

I understand. My actual point is that I know of no anti-Zionists that also attack Pakistan for its existence as a Muslim state founded to separate its people from mostly Hindu India. Proving that they are more biased towards Islam and against Jews than any just person should be.

As an non-theist, I’m one of those “a plague on both your houses” people that gets it from both sides.

Contradictions of orthodox Islam

For the sake of argument, I define “orthodox” in Islam as including the beliefs common to both the Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, though the Sunnis themselves say only they are orthodox (much like orthodox Christians may be defined as including much more than the denominations called “Orthodox”, including Catholics and most Protestants).

There are several issues in Islam I find contradictory and thus I would never become a Muslim, even if I were to ever believe in a god again.

  1. Islam is said to be a world religion, appropriate for all peoples of the world to follow. This is absurd because Islam also makes Mecca the city that all Muslims must pray to five times a day and to make a pilgrimage to at least once in their lives. Islam also makes Arabic the default language for the Quran and for Muslim prayers and calls to prayer. Even Roman Catholicism no longer makes Latin the default language for Mass around the world. A truly worldly religion would have NO default language, no one city as the center of prayer and pilgrimage, and would see holiness in all places. We Unitarian Universalists might regard Boston as a place of historical significance to us, but we don’t pray to it!
  2. Islam is said to be the final religion, the Quran is Allah’s final revelation and Muhammad the last of the Prophets.   This contradicts the idea of Allah as an all-knowing, all-powerful, and thus totally sovereign deity. If Allah wills another revelation by a new Prophet, as Baha’is have claimed, it is not for anyone to deny this. The argument that past revelations have been corrupted is pointless, since Islam is still divided into various sects. A truly pure and uncorrupted revelation from Allah would never have allowed this.
  3. Islam condemns idolatry. Really? Then Muslims should stop regarding the Quran as the Word of Allah. Even official histories of Islam admit that it wasn’t put together until some years after Muhammad’s death. Why didn’t Muhammad himself do this? Also, walking seven times around the Kaaba in Mecca during pilgrimage looks too much like idolatry to me! It’s just a building! Also, see point 1 above.
  4. Islam teaches that men can have no more than four wives at a time. Then why did Muhammad have nine or ten wives at the time of his death? Muslims should make up their minds; you cannot hold Muhammad as a supreme example of Muslims to follow and then ignore that he himself broke a basic rule of marriage!

Theocracies by nature are evil

Religions as tools for social cohesion are indeed valid reasons for having them, since people are by nature social beings. However, using any religion that has demonstratively false dogmas as that tool is by nature unethical because you are encouraging people to lie to others about reality. It is even worse when you have a government take that religion and use force to make everyone follow it. All this does is make many people into hypocrites who act a certain way in public while privately doubting or denying the religion. This results in greater corruption. It is no coincidence that the ones who often come across as the most moral and are also deeply religious also turn out to be the most hypocritical. I think the reason for this is because their moral values are simply not based on anything real and things that are not based on reality are themselves not real. If you need to believe in the Bible, the Quran, or some other scripture to believe in God, to be moral or function in a social order, then you are actually a dangerous person because you will resort to all sorts of dishonest arguments, claims and assertions to keep your faith. Likewise, getting a government to enforce your religion on everyone merely makes the government dishonest. We shouldn’t tolerate this any more than we should tolerate mob bosses taking over a government.

Thus, Islamic states like those of Saudi Arabia and Iran are contemptible and should be condemned and opposed at every turn, and the concept of Sharia (Islamic law) should be completely thrown out in all societies. They are simply phony by nature!