ISIS and Radical Islam: An Atheist Examines a Stupid Meme | Kile Jones

ISIS and Radical Islam: An Atheist Examines a Stupid Meme | Kile Jones June 9, 2015

In my last post, I examined a meme that attempted to show the Qur’an contains hate-speech towards nonbelievers. I argued that when we view the passages in the meme in textual and historical context, the Qur’an is not even close to hate-speech to non-Muslims. Additionally, I highlighted the perils of proof-texting by using simplistic and naive memes.

In this post, I tackle a similar meme. This one takes a few passages from the Qur’an and titles itself “ISIS & Radical Islam’s Daily Devotional.” The issue here is not only whether the group that calls itself the “Islamic State” correctly interprets and implements Qur’anic teachings, but whether these verses, prima facie, mean what this meme-maker thinks they do. I will not be addressing every verse here, since I went through some of them in my past post.

So, let’s take a look.

aaaaaa

 

1)     “Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them.”

 

A full rendering of verse 2:191 is as follows:

 

And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al-Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.”

 

First, a few things to notice: “Expel them from wherever they have expelled you” [italics mine].  “Do not fight them at al-Masjid al-Haram (the “Grand Mosque” in Mecca) until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them” [italics mine]. Does anyone else notice how this verse is not asking Muslims to preemptively kill? Doesn’t this sound more like self-defense?

 

This falls in line with what 22:40-41 says,

 

“Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged… Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is God’ — And if God did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down temples and churches and synagogues and mosques.”

 

Wait–Temples, churches, and synagogues? It’s almost as if the Qur’an is for defending other religions in times of war.

 

For instance, notice who is killing and attacking first in 3:21,

 

Those who disbelieve in the signs of Allah and kill the prophets without right and kill those who order justice from among the people – give them tidings of a painful punishment.”

 

Also, at the end of 2:193 it says,

 

But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors.”

 

Except against oppressors. You heard it.

 

 

2)     “Muslims must not take infidels as friends.”

 

3:28 actually says:

 

 Let not believers take disbelievers as allies rather than believers. And whoever [of you] does that has nothing with Allah, except when taking precaution against them in prudence. And Allah warns you of Himself, and to Allah is the [final] destination.”

 

Does anyone else notice the “rather than believers” part? Or how about the “except when taking precaution against them in prudence”? I wonder what other Qur’anic passages say about this:

60:8: “Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” What if I told Muslims might even have been granted permission to eat with and possibly marry Christians and Jews (“People of the Book”)? Check out 5:5: “This day [all] good foods have been made lawful, and the food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you, when you have given them their due compensation, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse or taking [secret] lovers.”

 

Let’s put it this way, if this meme is correct on face value, all the Muslims I know would not be following the Quran.

Also Read: 6 convincing reasons debunking the myth of islam promoting hatred of jews and christians

 

 

3)    “Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.”

 

3:85 actually says,

 

“And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.”

 

Using this verse as a way to support the conclusion that ISIS interprets the Qur’an correctly seems quite mistaken. This says nothing about military action or violence. It is theologically, not militarily, focused. If you don’t believe me, read the few verses following 85 and tell me it’s not theological.

 

4)     “Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam.”

 

5:33 actually says:

 “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.”

 

Notice the initial instigator of violence: “Those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger.” Now, I’m no fan of crucifying or lobbing of the hands and feet of enemy offenders, but this is certainly not something particular to Muslims during that time. See what happened to Sumayyah bint Khayyat, Bilal the Abyssinian, or what the Quraysh leadership did to other early Muslims. But this is no tit-for-tat argument. It’s merely pointing to historical context.

 

Most importantly, I want you to read verse 32: “Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors” [italics mine].

 

So does this verse advocate crucifying and maiming infidels at all times and in all places? No. Does it say to early Muslims, during a war in which they are on the defensive, that they could corporeally punish their oppressors? Possibly. Either way, this is not the same thing this meme attempts to express.

 

5)     “Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels.”

 

8:60 actually says:

 

“And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of Allah will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.”

 

If only people would read the following verse, which says, “And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah.” Preparing for oppression to spark fear in oppressors is not the same as a preemptive strike. This is most certainly not what ISIS is doing.

 

6)     “Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood.”

9:123 actually says,

 

“O you who have believed, fight those adjacent to you of the disbelievers and let them find in you harshness. And know that Allah is with the righteous.”

 

Not only is this Surah dealing with treaties and rules of war (see preceding verse), it’s also about the suffering of early Muslims. Verse 128 says, “There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you.” Muslims were suffering, on the defensive, and having to prepare for attacks. They were not doing what ISIS is doing now. (Also read Qasim Rashid’s amazing piece on Muhammed’s rules of war and Jeremiah Bowden’s excellent piece on war and jihad.)

 

Now, I’m no scholar of Islamic military jurisprudence (“Fiqh”), but it doesn’t take one to see how misleading this meme is.

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Kile Jones is an atheist involved in inter-faith dialogue who works towards building bridges between non-believers and religious persons. He is also the founder of “Interview an Atheist at Church Day” and Claremont Journal of Religion. His twitter is @KileBJones

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  • Kamran Maharramov

    It’s almost as if religions are based on random, poetic, mystical texts written thousands of years ago, which can be interpreted whichever way you want them to be, and not legal texts to be taken literally.

    New atheists and fundamentalists completely disagree with the above paragraph. They completely misunderstand the phenomenon of religion. In reality it has nothing to do with “belief” as in the sentence “Emily believed Sally flew to the Moon on Saturday night.”

  • Michael Erickson

    Are you not getting that the meme isn’t targeting every day moderate Muslims? They’re targeting extremists and ISIS and you’re defending it?

    First, a few things to notice: “Expel them from wherever they have expelled you” [italics mine]. “Do not fight them at al-Masjid al-Haram (the “Grand Mosque” in Mecca) until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them” [italics mine]. Does anyone else notice how this verse is not asking Muslims to preemptively kill? Doesn’t this sound more like self-defense?”
    – Did you totally forget the first part of that verse? “Kill them wherever you overtake them…” does not sound like self defense to me. If you want to talk about context let’s keep it in context.

  • Conservative4Life

    @Author

    And how did Arabia become Muslim? Through jihad and war
    And how did Egypt become Muslim? Through jihad and war
    And how did N. Africa and Spain (for some time) become Muslim? Through jihad and war
    And how did Mesopotamia, Persia, Afghanistan, Turkey, and Pakistan become Muslim? Through jihad and war.

    What did Mohammed do to the Jews of Medina? He beheaded 900 of them and sold their women as sex slaves.

  • Nicolas Liu

    I imagine the author recognizes this, BUT the majority of people generalize. They assume that all these interpretations are actually quotes from the , Qu’ran, which they clearly are not.

  • Son Ja

    Arabia prior to Islam worshipped birds…

  • MichaelElwood

    Kudos to Kile for this article and for trying to foster dialog between Muslims and atheists.

    Interestingly, the meme that Kile is commenting on is by Dr. Michael Brown, a Jew who converted to evangelical Christianity. However, these memes are common to both religious and secular Islamophobes. Which is funny because atheist Islamophobes like to think that their Islamophobia is well-informed and “rational”. But the thought process (or lack thereof) of atheist Islamophobes is identical to the religious people that they claim to be so different from.

    The memes are recognizably false to anyone with even a cursory familiarity with the Quran. The verses are not only taken out of context, but they’re truncated and interpolated as well. For example, verses 2:191, 5:33, 8:60, and 9:5 don’t even mention “infidels” or “unbelievers.” Those words are interpolated in order to give the false impression that the actions of groups like ISIS are grounded in a “literal” interpretation of the Quran. The false implication being that Muslims who disagree with ISIS aren’t following a “literal” interpretation of the Quran.

  • MichaelElwood

    Michael Erickson wrote: “Are you not getting that the meme isn’t targeting every day moderate Muslims? They’re targeting extremists and ISIS and you’re defending it?”

    Actually, the meme is targeting moderate Muslims. According to Islamophobes, there is no such thing as moderate Islam. Islam is inherently extremist. And moderate Muslims either don’t know this, or they do know it but are lying about it. Either way, moderate Muslims are running interference for extremist Muslims.

    Michael Erickson wrote: “Did you totally forget the first part of that verse? ‘Kill them wherever you overtake them…’ does not sound like self defense to me.”

    Who is the “them” referring to? It may not sound like self-defense to you, but it will sound like self-defense to anyone who has common sense and reading comprehension. The preceding verse (which Kile didn’t mention) makes the defensive nature even more apparent:

    “You may fight in the cause of GOD against those who attack you, but do not aggress. GOD does not love the aggressors” [Quran 2:190]

    Michael Erickson wrote: “If you want to talk about context let’s keep it in context.”

    Yes, let’s keep it in context. Especially since atheist Islamophobes are always whining about how their words (like the ones below) are constantly being “taken out of context”:

    “We are at war with Islam. It may not serve our immediate foreign policy objectives for our political leaders to openly acknowledge this fact, but it is unambiguously so. It is not merely that we are at war with an otherwise peaceful religion that has been ‘hijacked’ by extremists. We are at war with precisely the vision of life that is prescribed to all Muslims in the Koran. . . . ”

    –Sam Harris

    “Fearing that the above reflection on torture may offer a potent argument for pacifism, I would like to briefly state why I believe we must accept the fact that violence (or its threat) is often an ethical necessity. . . .”

    –Sam Harris

    “Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them.”

    –Sam Harris

    “We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim, and we should be honest about it.”

    –Sam Harris

  • Jean J. Stuart

    Most of the verses this author has responded to has also been dealt with here in greater detail with commentaries:

    http://discover-the-truth.com/2014/11/08/debunking-the-myth-that-the-quran-endorses-violence-2/

    Quran 3:28
    http://discover-the-truth.com/2015/01/24/quran-328-not-to-take-non-believers-as-friends/

  • Jean J. Stuart

    Thanks. Most of the verses the author has responded to has also been dealt with here in greater detail with commentaries attached:
    http://discover-the-truth.com/2014/11/08/debunking-the-myth-that-the-quran-endorses-violence-2/

    Quran 3:28
    http://discover-the-truth.com/2015/01/24/quran-328-not-to-take-non-believers-as-friends/

  • Kamran Maharramov

    To be fair, the Jews of Arabia at that time were complete fucking assholes as well.

    Read about Dhu Nawas, the jewish warlord of yemen, from the 6th century AD: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhu_Nuwas

    He murdered many christians: “According to contemporary sources, after seizing the throne of the Ḥimyarites in ca. 518 or 523 Dhū Nuwās attacked the Aksumite (mainly Christian Ethiopians and Yemeni Arab Christians) garrison at Zafar, capturing them and burning their churches. He then moved against Najrān, a Christian and Aksumite stronghold. After accepting the city’s capitulation, he massacred those inhabitants who would not renounce Christianity. Estimates of the death toll from this event range up to 20,000 in some sources.”

    What Mohammed did wasn’t some special new demonical type of evil or anything. It was just the continuation of the same old pattern. The sooner you realize this, the better off you will be.

  • Marcion

    “Now, I’m no fan of crucifying or lobbing of the hands and feet of enemy
    offenders, but this is certainly not something particular to Muslims
    during that time.”

    Doesn’t the fact that the quran endorses the same brutal tortures that others in its time were perpetrating suggest that it’s a really bad moral guide in the 21st century?

  • arun1

    First Allah does not exist , so all these verses are made up, second it is what Muslims do that matters , so if ISIS kills in the name of Allah infidels and idol worshippers and sells their women into slavery then that is what we kaffirs have to contend with.

    Third why did Mohammed praise the killers of young Asma , saying her life was not worth that of two goats , when all she did was write a few satirical poems about him?. Muslims have taken their intolerance cues from him.

    He also had a woman stoned after she had weaned her child , when she had confessed to adultery befor childbirth, he could have forgiven her and set a precedence for mercy.

  • Tom Borromeo

    please explain the Qur’anic concept of “Taqqiya” which effectively is ‘dissimulation’ or ‘lying.’ So Islam condones lying or dishonesty, pretending …
    One of the things that disturbs me about Islam and the Qur’an is this and I trust I am understanding this correctly.
    If in Christianity, we have one of the 10 Commandments, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour,”
    In Islam, it (taqqiya, lying ) is allowed when your life is in danger and also to protect Islam, is that correct ?

  • Jean J. Stuart
  • Jean J. Stuart
  • Gareth

    Nothing we have not heard before, the same lame excuses:

    1) Pretty ironic that the Quran complains about the “pulling down of mosques and synagogues”. There is no recorded evidence that the pagans ever did that, but Muhammad certainly did destroy all the pagan temples, according to the accounts of the Muslim’s own historians. As for the accusing the pagans of being “Oppressors”, well we can expect that the Quran would resort to such labeling to justify their wars. I am not even certain that “al Zaliman” means “oppressors”, Mushin Khan and Pickthall translate it as “wrong doers”.

    2) The fact that most Muslims do not follow the Quran has no relevance on what the Quran actually says. Christians do not follow the Bible verses about stoning adulterers, but that doesn’t mean that the Bible does not say it.

    3) So what if it does not specifically mention violence! It still promotes demonization and prejudice of those that have different beliefs.

    4) Two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because some Muslims were treated badly, doesn’t justify the Quran to promote the brutal and barbaric torture of captured enemies.

    5) So the Quran allows Muslims to make peace with infidels, so what? It would not have survived as a state without periods of peace. We should also remember that many times when tribes offered to make peace with Muhammad when he was strong, he refused to accept it until they agreed to convert to Islam (i.e. the Banu Thaqif). So it seems like Muhammad did not always practice what he preached.

    6) He is trying to place the verse into a false context as described in the sugar coated modern reinterpretations of Islamic history where Muhammad is portrayed as a peace loving hippie or only begrudgingly went to war in defense of his followers. One need only look at a map of how his early state expanded it’s territory from his base in Medina to cover all of Arabia and then his companions conquered all of the Middle East to see that these early wars to spread Islam were obviously not only “defensive”.

  • Michiel de Jong

    Well, .. it’s nice that you want to interpret those verses in this way. However it tells more about you (having peace loving preferences) than about those verses.
    It is impossible to read in Sur:2:191 something else then a active promotion of the use of violence against disbelievers. Kill them, expel them, hold your fire when they are in the Mosque, but kill them anyway if they fight.
    The broader textual context indicate that this use of violence is limited to ‘those who fight you’ (Sur2:190). But the even broader historical context shows that everybody who is not willing to submit to Allah according Mohammed can easily fall into this category, with the Maccans being the first victims by the hands of Mohammed, and many to follow in the consecutive decennia, up to the fields between Tours and Poitier (in AD732).
    So,.. you may believe your interpretation, but you know that most Muslims don’t and never have.
    That brings me to your intention to write the article as you stated it; to combat the idea that violence in the name of Islam has nothing to do with Islam/Quran. Let’s assume that to be true. Why is it then that so many Muslims from all over the world go to Syria/Iraq to fight for ISIS? Are they genetically preconditioned for violence? If it’s not a gene, then it must be a meme. The meme you want us to believe isn’t based on reality….

  • Conservative4Life

    So? How does that absolve the fact that Mohammed was a warlord and a terrorist?

  • Conservative4Life

    Which exactly proves my point. Islam spread through violence, death, fear, and intimidation. Mohammed was nothing more than a warlord and a terrorist who murdered thousands.

    Islam is violence and violence is islam. This is the reason no muslim scholars disagree on the need to murder/kill apostates.

  • Kamran Maharramov

    Actually, I think it is genetic to a certain degree.

    When you think of the Qu’ran as Old Testament 2.0, re-imagined and re-packaged for export to other nations than semitic middle easterners, the world starts to make a lot of sense.

  • Kamran Maharramov

    For example, 1/3 of the world’s muslims are south asians, indians, and indonesians. But we can literally count the ISIS members from those countries on our hands.

    There are no iranians in ISIS, why not? Can you answer me this?

    Most of the foreign ISIS members are banlieu trash from your continent.

  • Kamran Maharramov

    Correct.

    I am a former muslim. Your interpretation of “Taqqiya” as lying daily on trivial matters is kind of incorrect. I think “Taqqiya” is more equivalent to “Apologetics” rather than lying outright, so more like defending the faith by composing texts and letters, and if need be, by omission.

    Tariq Ramadan writing articles and books defending islam and excommunicating obviously muslim terrorist organizations as not islamic? Taqiyya.

    Your Egyptian cab driver scamming you for $10? Not Taqiyya.

  • Kamran Maharramov

    It seems to me you’re ascribing some sort of metaphysical quality to islam?

    You do realize god doesn’t actually exist? There is no such thing as “islam.” Only muslims, and their practices. It is muslims who are violent.

  • Kamran Maharramov

    Also you didn’t read my comment and didn’t grasp my point at all. It seems to me you have a low IQ and are incapable of understanding information unless presented in simple memorable form.

  • Tom Borromeo

    I have come across articles that say even to the extent of blaspheming the Prophet or apostatising is allowable in order to protect your own life.

  • Kamran Maharramov

    No. That is not allowed, and is punishable by death. Historically there have been cases where people found cop-outs of course.

  • Michiel de Jong

    You seems to contradict yourself. First you state it ‘genetic’, than you suggest it’s the Quran, being OTv2.0
    You are mistaken to think that it’s only “trash from the banlieu”. Actually the content of the higher educated is substantial; Marocs, Arabs, Algerians, converted Europeans, Chechenians, etc. Very different genetic origins.
    The fact that the content Indians and Indonesians is low, is easy to explain. They don’t have the money, nor the right passport,nor the freedom to make it across the border.

  • Kamran Maharramov

    I still think it’s genetic. The vast majority of ISIS members are sunni middle easterners. Question is why?

    You want proof that those 1/3 of all muslims in south asia and southeast asia don’t go to ISIS not only because they don’t have resources (bullshit explanation btw, plenty of them have resources — look at all south asians joining South Asian islamist organizations like the Pakistani Taleban) go look at polls.

    South asia — no financial or military support for ISIS from south asian muslims

    Al-Jazeera arabic poll — 90% support ISIS victories, financial support from various princes.

  • Conservative4Life

    When you admit that Mohammed butchered and beheaded thousands in Arabia based on the writings of the Koran, Sura, and Hadiths we can then talk. Until, then all you’re doing is deflecting and ignoring the facts. Islam istelf divides the world in the Dar al Islam and the Dar al Harb. The house of submission and the house of war.

    The days when people were ignorant about the nature of islam are over. The internet has changed the game. Islam spread through war and violence.

    When you admit your “prophet” beheaded people, sold people into slavery, had sex slaves, and engaged in sex with a child according to your own holy books, then we can talk. However, you will not acknowledge any of this because you are either brainwashed or too scared to admit any of this because the islamists will hunt you down and kill you for apostasy.

  • Conservative4Life

    No one is born violent. It is the ideology of islam that makes them violent.

  • Kamran Maharramov

    Bull-fucking-shit.

    Some people ARE definitely born-violent. I read the Qu’ran, both in Arabic, and translated. I read the Old testament, and I never felt like I was just supposed to get up and kill people.

    You’re an idiot, if you don’t think there are genetic dispositions that result in variance in propensity to violence.

  • Kamran Maharramov

    Who CREATED Islam, you idiot?

    Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Ideologies exist because of people. If you want to destroy islam, you have to genocide all muslims first.

    Are you prepared to do that?

  • Kamran Maharramov

    I am an atheist for your information. I am not afraid of anybody. I speak my mind freely and always will.

    neither islamists, conservatives, or liberals frighten me.

  • MichaelElwood

    Gareth wrote: “There is no recorded evidence that the pagans ever did that, but Muhammad certainly did destroy all the pagan temples, according to the accounts of the Muslim’s own historians.”

    Uh, no. It wasn’t the practice of Muhammad and the early Muslims to destroy other peoples’ places of worship. Common sense should tell you that, if Muhammad and the Muslims destroyed all pagan temples, they wouldn’t have been around for modern archaeologists to study (like the various temples in southern and northern Arabia).

    Gareth wrote: “As for the accusing the pagans of being ‘Oppressors’, well we can expect that the Quran would resort to such labeling to justify their wars. I am not even certain that “al Zaliman” means ‘oppressors’, Mushin Khan and Pickthall translate it as “wrong doers”.”

    The two words that Muhsin Khan mistranslates are “fitnah” and “zalimeen”. Khan seems to be the only translator who did this. Pickthall, Shakir, Yuksel and Schulte-Nafeh translate “fitnah” as “persecution”. And Yusuf Ali, Asad, and Khalifa translate “fitnah” as “oppression”. Only Khan translates “fitnah” as “disbelief” or “polytheism”. Khan is also the only one who translates the word “zalimeen” as “polytheists”. The verse says “if they cease, then let there be no aggression except against the oppressors/fa’ini intahaw fala udwana illa ala l-zalimina”. It doesn’t say “if they cease, then let there be no aggression except against the polytheists/fa’ini intahaw fala udwana illa ala l-mushrikina”. If it said that, there wouldn’t have been a need for Khan to put it in parenthesis.

    In the same chapter, the Quran makes it clear that people should have religious freedom:

    “There shall be no compulsion in religion/la ikraha fi l-dini. . . .” [Quran 2:256]

    The same chapter also makes it clear that the Muslim’s enemies were fighting them to rob them of their religious freedom:

    “. . . .They will always fight you to revert you from your religion, if they can/wa la yazaluna yuqatilunakum hatta yaruddukum an dinikum ini istata’u. . . .” [Quran 2:217]

    Simply being a “disbeliever” or a “polytheist” isn’t a legitimate reason for aggression in Islam. Muslims are only allowed to fight those who fight them (see 2:190-192).

    Gareth wrote: “3) So what if it does not specifically mention violence!”

    and,

    “5) So the Quran allows Muslims to make peace with infidels, so what?”

    LOL! That pretty much sums up the Islamophobic point of view! Sure, the Quran doesn’t say what we say it does, but so what! We’re gonna believe that it does anyway, damn it! We’re not gonna let those pesky things called facts get in the way of our Islamophobia! Now, where’s our freedom fries! 🙂

    Gareth wrote: “6) He is trying to place the verse into a false context as described in the sugar coated modern reinterpretations of Islamic history where Muhammad is portrayed as a peace loving hippie or only begrudgingly went to war in defense of his followers. One need only look at a map of how his early state expanded it’s territory from his base in Medina to cover all of Arabia and then his companions conquered all of the Middle East to see that these early wars to spread Islam were obviously not only “defensive”.”

    There is no theological imperative in Islam to spread it by force. And the early Muslims didn’t forcibly convert people to Islam. Dr. Daniel W. Brown points out in his textbook “A New Introduction to Islam,” under the subheading “The Invisible Conquests”:

    “If we look for evidence of the burning, looting, or destruction described by Bishop Sophronius in 635, we find none. No systematic sacking of cities took place, and no destruction of agricultural land occurred. The conquests brought little immediate change to religious and communal life. There were no mass or forced conversions. Christian, Jewish, or Zoroastrian communities in Syria and Iraq may have felt threatened, but they continued to thrive. New synagogues, churches, and monasteries were still being built into the eight century, and churches or synagogues were not converted to mosques on any noticeable scale. The first urban mosques were not built until after 690, and the urban landscape of the Near East remained largely unaffected by the conquests (Pentz 1992). There was certainly change, but in the same directions and at the same pace as before the conquests (Morony 1984: 507-26). Two key measures offer telling evidence that the conquests brought little immediate disruption to the patterns of religious and social life in Syria and Iraq: production of wine (forbidden in Islamic Law) continued unchanged, and pigs (considered unclean by Muslims) continued to be raised and slaughtered in increasing numbers (Pentz 1992).

    “Neither do we find evidence of dramatic change in the law or political institutions of conquered territories in the years immediately following the conquests. What did change was the ruling class. The new rulers spoke Arabic, represented a different ethnicity, and kept aloof from their conquered subjects. But for all the differences change came slowly even at the highest levels of political affairs. The new rulers continued to use Greek and Persian in administrative documents. They continued to mint Byzantine-style coins complete with the image of the emperor holding a cross, and Sassanian-style coins bearing Zoroastrian symbols and Sassanian dates (Morony 1985: 38-51). They were dependent on the old Persian and Greek bureaucrats and institutions. Major reform of the language of administration or of coinage did not take place until 695 — sixty years into Arab rule. Earlier attempts at reform reportedly failed in the face of stiff popular resistance. The Arab rulers also continued the same patterns of taxation. The conquests replaced the top rung of the Byzantine and Sassanian ruling class with Arabs, but they did not immediately or violently alter the administrative, religious, economic, or cultural landscape of the Near East.”

    Even if there was a theological imperative to spread Islam by force, it wouldn’t work because beliefs can’t be spread by force (as Christians and atheists have found out). Many of the areas of Europe that were forcibly christianized, are now secular. And many of the areas of the Soviet Union that were forcibly secularized, are now Christian or Muslim.

  • MichaelElwood

    Tom Borromeo wrote: “please explain the Qur’anic concept of ‘Taqqiya’ which effectively is ‘dissimulation’ or ‘lying.’ So Islam condones lying or dishonesty, pretending …

    “One of the things that disturbs me about Islam and the Qur’an is this and I trust I am understanding this correctly.”

    The atheist, Jeffry Halverson, did a decent job of explaining “taqiyya” in a recent article in Salon:

    http://www.salon.com/2015/06/01/everything_you_see_on_twitter_about_islam_is_wrong_heres_the_real_history_and_information/

    I also explained “taqiyya” in a previous comment in relation to Judaism and Christianity:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/236786-will-iran-abandon-taqiya-by-signing-a-nuclear-treaty-with

  • MichaelElwood

    Kamran Maharramov wrote: “To be fair, the Jews of Arabia at that time were complete fucking assholes as well.”

    In fairness to the Jews of Arabia, not all of them were as belligerent as Dhu Nawas. The Quran says:

    “They are not all the same; among the followers of the scripture, there are those who are righteous. They recite GOD’s revelations through the night, and they fall prostrate.” [Quran 3:113]

    It’s often overlooked that the Quran rejects the notion of collective guilt and collective punishment that was common in the ancient world (see 6:164, 17:15, 35:18, 39:7 and 53:38). And the Constitution of Medina also rejected collective guilt and punishment:

    “Punishment on an individual basis only – no collective punishment of persons for the wrongs committed by others, no demonizing of whole groups of people because of the crimes committed by single members.”

    http://www.nmhtthornton.com/mehistorydatabase/ConstitutionofMedina.php

    Consequently, the segment of the Jewish community that had not conspired with the Meccans, remained on friendly terms with Muhammad and the Muslims. Interestingly, non-Muslim travelers (like Benjamin of Tudela in the 12th century, Ludovico di Varthema in the 16th century, and C.M. Doughty in the 19th century) mention the existence of a Jewish community in the Hijaz in their travelogues. It’s interesting because, according to the popular tale, the Jews of the Hijaz had all been executed or exiled during Muhammad’s lifetime:

    http://19.org/blog/banu-qurayza/

  • Abandon Islam

    “There are no iranians in ISIS, why not?”
    Because they are Shia.
    And Shia are not “real muslims” according to the Sunnis (which constitute around 90% of world muslims)

  • Kamran Maharramov

    Who are you to say who is “real” muslims and “fake” muslims. Why the fuck is everybody taking it upon themselves to say what is “real” muslim?

    Are you god?

    Robert Spencer is saying he knows what is “real” islam.
    Grand Mufti of Mecca saying he knows what is “real” islam.
    Reza Aslan saying he knows what is “real” islam.

    TRUTH: There is no such think as real islam, real christianity, real judaism….all religions are cultures imagined by man.

  • Michiel de Jong

    The article is about what “real Islam” is, according the author. He bases this on his interpretation of the Quran. There is, however, room to question this interpretation, to say the least. And thus one can doubt whether his version is any near close to “real Islam”, when you assume that “real Islam” takes the Quran seriously.
    The margins of “real Islam” are defined by the Quran, and being written by Allah himself supposedly, for all humanity and infallible, there is little room to wiggle.
    That is different compared to the Bible, which is considered to be an historical document, written by men over time for a specific audience in a specific time. That leaves a lot of space for interpretation. And there always has been a tradition of textual criticism within Christianity. Although the stoning of adulterers has been commanded in the OT, it has not been practiced within Judaism since the Late Bonze Age and was abandoned by Christianity from start, due to the NT.
    This in itself doesn’t tell you if one of those religions is true, if any. Whether Christianity is true is determined by the question whether or not the Gospels reflects the historical reality. Whether Islam is true is determined by the question did the God the creator really gave Mohammed the Quran? It can’t be both true.
    Your statement that all religions are man made leaves you with question did life and the Universe happen by accident?

  • Val Cocora

    we can tell real muslims because they live in the banana tree with their apian god, allah.
    want a banana, inbred?

  • Val Cocora

    islam is a mental disease.
    it should be confined to medical wards, isolation, shock therapy, the works.

  • Abdullah

    Idiot
    This is what happns when you don’t understand arabic and don’t know. When and what was situation and concept behind of revilation of verse. Quran is not an ordinary book from which i.e by reading translation even a muslim can’t understand
    And this is not only problem of non muslims but many muslims went in wrong direction or path because of lack of knowledge. I think this man got extremely mad and picked the verse which contain extreme things but quran contain many.peaceful.messages. And quran is i.e objective of quran is peace.
    And because of like this misunderstandings Muslims Not only follow quran but also hadees and fiqh
    Quran can be understood with the help of. Hadees and hadees can be understood i.e we can understand hadees by fiqh or using fiqh
    Because it is not a ordinary book like you understand. Story books. You should be master in many uloom to not understand but try to understand quran. So. This is not the arena of atheast to understand such a holy book
    I am not a scholar or something. But an ordinary. School going muslim but theese are the things which helped. Me. And our community from being collapsed
    Thank you

  • Kamran Maharramov

    Go fuck yourself with this banana. If you are real man come to seattle, downtown, tomorrow at 2:00 AM to engage in mortal combat with me.

  • Kamran Maharramov

    Yes it happened by accident. For the record, I disagree with the majority of muslim practices. I also believe, however, that religions are ever changing, just like other human cultural attributes.

    The Qu’ran, just the like the Old Testament, and the Bible, can be expanded, and changed. Nothing is infallible in human culture.

    All it would take is some guy to come along, say he is Muhammed come back to earth again or something, and write a new book.

    Or even, just some guy seeing visions or something.

    If people want to change, they CHANGE. Then they can justify their decisions based on holy scripture by finding loopholes, interpreting things in different ways, being like a lawyer. But first must come the desire to do things differently.

    Do you really believe people read something ordering them to go and kill some people, and they just get up from their chair and go and kill so-and-so? Are they droids or something?

    No people do things according to their habits, and then use texts and scriptures as justification. Most culture is based on their personal biases and inclinations. These are possibly considerably genetic.

  • Abdullah

    Why do you think so

  • HamburgerHelper

    Memes are often like bumper stickers. They are short and pithy, sometime a little creative but they don’t invite the reader or viewer into a conversation. Often times they mimic the propaganda posters found around totalitarian countries.

  • HamburgerHelper

    Don’t expect a clear answer. This is the warp and woof of the new atheists. They say the same things over and over again and resort to the use of stock phases and insults. No individual thought here.

  • RockyMissouri

    You insult YOURSELF when you call someone an idiot.

  • RockyMissouri

    A large THANK YOU.

  • Michiel de Jong

    The Quran hasn’t been changed over the last 1300 year and it won’t, any time soon, but keep on dreaming.
    For your information; there is no culture of killing and beheading in Europe, not even in the “banlieu”. Yet, -it’s almost inconceivable,- they leave by plane and adopt the habit of killing and beheading.
    And there is no genetic correlation between those who leave (including white converts), but only a religious one. The fact that you keep stating otherwise indicates you being out of contact with reality. Maybe that explains your believe that it all just happened…

  • Saba Ahmed

    Countering their verses with Peaceful verses from The Holy Quran:
    Holy Quran 4:93
    ——————
    وَمَنْ يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِنًا مُتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَاؤُهُ جَهَنَّمُ خَالِدًا فِيهَا وَغَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَلَعَنَهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُ عَذَابًا عَظِيمًا

    The punishment for one who purposely slays a believer will be to live in hell fire forever. God is angry with him and has condemned him. He has prepared for him a great torment.

    Holy Quran 41:34
    ——————
    وَلَا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ۚ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ

    Virtue and evil are not equal. If you replace evil habits by virtuous ones, you will certainly find that your enemies will become your intimate friends.

    Holy Quran 22:17
    ——————
    إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَادُوا وَالصَّابِئِينَ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ وَالْمَجُوسَ وَالَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْصِلُ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ

    On the Day of Judgment, God will make truth and falsehood clearly distinct from each other to the believers, the Jews, the Sabeans, the Christian, the Zoroastrians, and the Pagans on the Day of Judgment. God is a Witness to all things.

    Holy Quran 2:150
    ——————
    وَمِنْ حَيْثُ خَرَجْتَ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ ۚ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنْتُمْ فَوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ لِئَلَّا يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَيْكُمْ حُجَّةٌ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْهُمْ فَلَا تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِي وَلِأُتِمَّ نِعْمَتِي عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

    (Muhammad) wherever you go, turn your face to the Sacred Mosque and Muslims, wherever you are, turn your faces in the same direction so that no group of people, except the unjust among them, would have any reason against you and so that I may establish My commandments for your people to have proper guidance. (The unjust may criticize you) but do not fear them, fear only Me.

    Holy Quran 3:113
    ——————
    ۞ لَيْسُوا سَوَاءً ۗ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ أُمَّةٌ قَائِمَةٌ يَتْلُونَ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ آنَاءَ اللَّيْلِ وَهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ

    The People of the Book are not all the same. Some of them are straightforward. They recite the words of God in prostration at night.

    Holy Quran 60:7
    ——————
    ۞ عَسَى اللَّهُ أَنْ يَجْعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَ الَّذِينَ عَادَيْتُمْ مِنْهُمْ مَوَدَّةً ۚ وَاللَّهُ قَدِيرٌ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

    God will perhaps bring about love between you and those of the disbelievers with whom you were enemies. God is All-powerful, All-merciful, and All-forgiving.

    Holy Quran 6:69
    ——————
    وَمَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ مِنْ حِسَابِهِمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ وَلَٰكِنْ ذِكْرَىٰ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

    But those who observe piety (commit no sin) by sitting with the (unbelievers) in order to preach (the Truth) so that they, too, may become pious.

    Holy Quran 5:32
    ——————
    مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَٰلِكَ كَتَبْنَا عَلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنَّهُ مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا ۚ وَلَقَدْ جَاءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِنْهُمْ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فِي الْأَرْضِ لَمُسْرِفُونَ

    For this reason, We made it a law for the children of Israel that the killing of a person for reasons other than legal retaliation or for stopping corruption in the land is as great a sin as murdering all of mankind. However, to save a life would be as great a virtue as to save all of mankind. Our Messengers had come to them with clear authoritative evidence but many of them (Israelites) thereafter started doing wrong in the land.

    Holy Quran 4:36
    ——————
    ۞ وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالْجَنْبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَنْ كَانَ مُخْتَالًا فَخُورًا

    Worship God and consider no one equal to Him. Be kind to your parents, relatives, orphans, the destitute, your near and distant neighbors, your companions, wayfarers, and your slaves. God does not love the proud and boastful ones,

    Holy Quran 10:25
    ——————
    وَاللَّهُ يَدْعُو إِلَىٰ دَارِ السَّلَامِ وَيَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ

    God invites every one to the House of Peace and guides whomever He wants to the right path.

  • Michiel de Jong

    Actually there is no correlation with eduction either. You have those “violent idiots from the banlieu”, but also intelligent, highly educated technician, programmers.
    No correlation with genetics (there aren’t may whites going, but they are equally represented, because there aren’t that many white converts), no correlation with intelligence, no correlation with social background, hardly any correlation with country of origin. There is only one common denominator; Islam.
    And your implicit idea that white European are less prone to violence, is an indication of absence of historical knowledge. European wars were the worst…

  • mike

    5:32 and 33 both say to kill someone for ‘spreading corruption’. so what is spreading corruption?

  • Gareth

    The reason why archaeologists can study ancient temples in Arabia (there are very few by the way, and none from Muhammad’s time) is because they were buried under layers of sand for thousands of years. Archaeologists excavate, that is what they do. Every archaeological site you see today has been painstakingly excavated and reconstructed. You didn’t honestly think that all those ancient buildings were left standing intact for thousands of years did you?

    According to early Islamic sources, Muhammad destroyed the pagan sanctuaries of the Goddess Allat at Taif, the idols at Mecca, the Goddess Al-Uzza at Nakhla, the Southern Kaaba at Dhul Khalassa, and other sanctuaries at Dumat Al Jandal, Qudayd, and Al Fuls.

    According to Lanes Lexicon of Classical Arabic, Fitnah means “causing to error or go astray from the truth”

    http://www.tyndalearchive.com/tabs/lane/

    You are quoting some modern authors. But have you actually read any early Islamic sources? If so which ones? According to Ibn Ishaq, when Muhammad besieged Taif, he would not accept their surrender until they agreed to convert to Islam. According to Sahih al Bukhari, Ali, Muhammad’s son in law would burn atheists and idol worshippers alive. Looking at archaeological evidence today to try to investigate the Islamic conquests is fraught with problems because the evidence for anything is very sparse. Most of the cities are directly underneath modern cities, and those that aren’t show very few signs of activity at all during this period. To try to use the sparse archaeological record to argue that Muslim conquests imply did not happen is pretty strange.

    Honestly resorting to ad hominid criticisms and caricatures just shows your immaturity and your inability to actually defend your position (“Islamophobia”, “freedom fries”, really?). You are the one that is cherry picking verses out of context, not me. And you are strawmaning me, I never claimed that the Quran does not allow Muslims to make peace, I actually said the exact opposite, that it does but so what? I did not ignore the evidence as you claimed.

    As to your assertion that “beliefs cannot be spread by force”, and your evidence from the Twentieth Century, that is more evidence that forces in the modern era were unwilling to do what it takes to spread beliefs by force, than whether or not it is actually possible if those powers had the will to be ruthless. During the Medieval Era, religious orthodoxy was enforced by many governments.

    I’d like to know what early Islamic sources you have read to reach your conclusions.

  • Robert Werdine

    Michal de Jong you betray much ignorance here. You said:

    “It is impossible to read in Sur:2:191 something else then a
    active promotion of the use of violence against disbelievers. Kill them, expel them, hold your fire when they are in the Mosque, but kill them anyway if they fight. The broader textual context indicate that this use of violence is limited to ‘those who fight you’ (Sur2:190). But the even broader historical context shows that everybody who is not willing to submit to Allah according Mohammed can easily fall into this category, with the Maccans being the first victims by the hands of Mohammed,
    and many to follow in the consecutive decennia, up to the fields between Tours and Poitier (in AD732).”

    This is just nonsense. What does “broader historical context” have to do with this? Let’s take a peak at verses 2:190-193, shall we?

    [2:190] “You may fight in the cause of GOD against those who attack you, but do not aggress. GOD does not love the aggressors. [2:191] You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque (Masjid), unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. This is the just retribution for those disbelievers. [2:192] If they refrain, then GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful. [2:193] You may also fight them to eliminate oppression, and to worship GOD freely. If they refrain, you shall not aggress; aggression is permitted only against the aggressors.”

    The Qur’an, which is the highest authority in Islam, is very clear on what
    constitutes the basic status of relations between Muslims and non-Muslims:

    [60:8] “GOD does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. GOD loves the equitable. [60:9] GOD enjoins you only from befriending those who fight you because of religion, evict you from your homes, and band together
    with others to banish you. You shall not befriend them. Those who befriend them are the transgressors.”

    The Qur’an is similarly clear that, in war, if an enemy ceases aggressing, then peace must follow:

    [2:190] Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Verily, Allah does not love transgressors.

    [2:193] Fight them until there is no more persecution and worship is for Allah. But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors.

    [8:61] If the enemy inclines to peace, then incline to it also and rely upon Allah. Verily, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.

    [4:90] So if they remove themselves from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not made for you a cause for fighting against them.

    In the Qur’an, all matters of war and peace are regulated by the principles expounded in 60:8-9, 2:190-193, 4:89-90, and 22:39-41. All of
    which sanction jihad only to fight oppression or aggression, and none of which sanction the spreading of the faith by force and conquest, i.e. jihad. There has been a wide plurality of opinions among Muslim jurists over the centuries on the subjects of war and peace and when jihad (holy war) is justified. Of the four main Sunni schools of law (Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki, and Shafi’i) only Imam Shafi’i believed that jihad should
    be waged against unbelievers because they are unbelievers; Imams Hanifi, Hanbal, and Malik all argued that war was only justified to fight persecution or in self-defense. That Muslims are and have been defying these precepts of the Qur’an for centuries is beyond dispute, but irrelevant. The author is talking about what the Qur’an says, not what Muslims have been doing or should be doing. That’s another discussion. Also, the author did not say that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam, but addresses their use and misuse of scripture to justify their murderous and depraved behavior.

    Muslim conquests after the death of Muhammad were certainly acts of aggression and conquest that were in defiance of the Qur’an’s
    strictures on fighting in self-defense. That’s beyond dispute.

    However, please explain, if you will, what Meccans were “victims” at the hands of Muhammad. Two years after agreeing to a truce with Muhammad, the Meccan Quraysh violated the truce by attacking an ally of Muhammad’s. After nearly two decades of persecution, harassment, and conflict, Muhammad had had his fill of the gangster-pagans of Mecca, and their mischief-making, and he made what turned out to be a sound strategic judgement that the time was propitious to settle accounts with them once and for all. After formally renouncing the truce, his forces then converged on Mecca in an army now ten-thousand strong to a virtually bloodless conquest. The Quraysh army, rent with feuds and
    disorganization, scattered like bugs. That was it. The “victims” could
    not have numbered more than a few, at best. How is this inconsistent with the principles set out in verses 2:190-193?

  • El Cid

    Very scholarly. Nicely done. I did not know that reference in Arabic was allowed. A tradition in Islam is that the Arabic be placed along with any translation of it. Fundamental to any translation attempted of the Noble Qur’an.

    Most websites purporting to be Muslim but actually Secular and ZioNazi funded, targeting Islam and Muslim sensitivities, like Loonwatch and Muslim Girl don’t appreciate it. It undercuts their disinformation agenda of chaos and confusion ‘Fitna” poisoning impressionable minds creating dissonance, doubt, schism.

    [PS: BTW there is NO such thing as “Holy Qur’an”. The Noble Qur’an calls itself by many names but NOT once does it refer to itself as “Holy Qur’an”. Most Muslims are influenced by the Christian ethos: “Holy Bible”, Holy Cross, Holy mother of god, Holy Water, Holy Pope, Holy Father, and so on in that vein…and commit blasphemy, as have you. And in this instance repeatedly, over and over again, in your otherwise commendable post. However, on a minor note, some of your translations need work].

  • El Cid

    True. Memes are shock phrases. Often used against Muslims and Islam. They infect the weak unquestioning mind, perpetuating themselves.

    It is unfortunate that many Muslims take them at face value, as if they are harmless. Muslims propagate, pass them along unknowingly or they seem ‘hip’…a self inflicted wound.

    But as you have pointed out, they are weapons of war. Effectively being used by the Hindoos, Crusaders and their ZioNaziOverlord in their Global War on Islam and Muslim Civilization.

  • MichaelElwood

    Gareth wrote: “The reason why archaeologists can study ancient temples is in Arabia (there are very few by the way, and none from Muhammad’s time) is because they were buried under layers of sand for thousands of years.”

    Oh, so it was the sands that did it, not the Muslims? 🙂

    Gareth wrote: “Archaeologists excavate, that is what they do. Every archaeological site you see today has been painstakingly excavated and reconstructed.”

    Yet, even when archaeologists do what they do, you dismiss the results when they don’t reinforce Islamophobic tales of Muslims marauding throughout the Near East.

    Gareth wrote: “According to Lanes Lexicon of Classical Arabic, Fitnah means ‘causing to error or go astray from the truth'”

    LOL! You don’t credit me with much intelligence, do you? You don’t think I understand Quranic Arabic, do you? Why would you give me some generic reference to Lane’s Lexicon without giving me the specific reference? Could it be because–like all Islamophobes–you’re a liar and a charlatan? The definition that you gave is for the word “faatin” on pg. 2336. The definition for the word “fitnah” is on pg. 2335. The word is defined thus:

    “. . . .it signifies a trial, or probation; and affliction, distress, or hardship; and [particularly] an affliction whereby one is tried, proved, or tested: this is the sum of its meaning in the language of the Arabs.”

    All words from the FTN root have a similar meaning. For example, verse 4:101 says that Muslims can shorten their prayers: “. . . .if you fear that those who disbelieve may harm you/in khiftum an yaFTiNakumu alladhina kafaru. . . .”. And 85:10 says: “. . . .those who persecuted the believing men and women/alladhina FaTaNu l-mu’minina wa l-mu’minati. . . .”.

    Gareth wrote: “You are quoting some modern authors. But have you actually read any early Islamic sources? If so which ones? According to Ibn Ishaq, when Muhammad besieged Taif, he would not accept their surrender until they agreed to convert to Islam. According to Sahih al Bukhari, Ali, Muhammad’s son in law would burn atheists and idol worshippers alive.”

    Neither Muslim nor non-Muslim scholars uncriticallly accept what the “early Islamic sources” say. Prof. Aisha Musa writes in her book, “Hadith as Scripture: Discussions on the Authority of Prophetic Traditions in Islam” (pp. 7-8):

    “Scholars such as Ignaz Goldziher, Joseph Schacht, and G.H.A. Juynboll have used textual content and historical milieu to conclude that the majority of Prophetic traditions are later inventions of the second and third centuries AH that were back-projected into the mouths of the Prophet and his companions.”

    It’s interesting that, of all the “early Islamic sources” that you mention, you continue to ignore the most authoritative and authentic one. . . The Quran. The Quran says:

    “O you who believe, if you strike in the cause of GOD, you shall be absolutely sure. Do not say to one who offers you peace, ‘You are not a believer,’ seeking the spoils of this world. For GOD possesses infinite spoils. Remember that you used to be like them, and GOD blessed you. Therefore, you shall be absolutely sure (before you strike). GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.” [Quran 4:94]

    “. . . .Do not be provoked into aggression by your hatred of people who once prevented you from going to the Sacred Masjid. . . .” [Quran 5:2]

    Gareth wrote: “Looking at archaeological evidence today to try to investigate the Islamic conquests is fraught with problems because the evidence for anything is very sparse. Most of the cities are directly underneath modern cities, and those that aren’t show very few signs of activity at all during this period.”

    Excavating is what archaeologists do, remember? It doesn’t matter if the artifacts are “buried under layers of sand” or “directly underneath modern cities”. Urban excavation is quite common, by the way.

    Gareth wrote: “You are the one that is cherry picking verses out of context, not me.”

    I’ll leave to those reading this to decide which one of us is taking verses out of context.

    Gareth wrote: “As to your assertion that ‘beliefs cannot be spread by force’, and your evidence from the Twentieth Century, that is more evidence that forces in the modern era were unwilling to do what it takes to spread beliefs by force, than whether or not it is actually possible if those powers had the will to be ruthless.”

    Modern atheists were more than willing to do what it takes to spread their beliefs by force. Stalin delegated this job to his comrade, Yemelyan Yaroslavsky, the leader of the League of Militant Atheists:

    “The League of Militant Atheists aided the Soviet government in killing clergy and committed believers.[48] The League also made it a priority to remove religious icons from the homes of believers.[49] Under the slogan, ‘the Storming of Heaven,’ the League of Militant Atheists pressed for ‘resolute action against religious peasants’ leading to the mass arrest and exile of many believers, especially village priests. By 1940, ‘over 100 bishops, tens of thousands of Orthodox clergy, and thousands of monks and lay believers had been killed or had died in Soviet prisons and the Gulag.'”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/League_of_Militant_Atheists#Activities

    But it failed. The former Soviet Union is more Christian and Muslim than ever.

    Gareth wrote: “I’d like to know what early Islamic sources you have read to reach your conclusions.”

    Could you please stop insulting my intelligence with this “early Islamic sources” piffle. Find some other sucka who’ll fall for it!

  • El Cid

    Unless you are simply a troll, trolling this site ‘making friends and influencing people’, then when you make such an overarching statement it is customary, for the educated disciplined and the scholarly, to cite references to substantiate such opinion. Without such authentication an opinion remains an opinion…in your case a poor one.

    Now, please substantiate your statement and demonstrate that it is you who is not the one mentally diseased…an escapee from one of those wards and treatments you advocate for over 1.5billion Muslims and for over 1400 years of Islam.

  • Robert Werdine

    Michiel de Jong you continue to advertise your ignorance. The notion that, where the Qur’an is concerned, there is “little room to wiggle” demonstrates your illiteracy in the matter of Islamic theology.

    The history of Qur’anic exegesis from the advent of Islam in the 7th century to the present is thus chock full of disagreements and debates on the interpretation of scripture and the application of the Shari’ah, testifying to an extremely diverse and variegated interpretive tradition whose true, and sincere study rewards Muslims and non-Muslims alike in understanding. To understand the difference between Islam as a religion of spirituality and moral guidance on the one hand, and the modern-day phenomenon of Islamism as a political ideology takes the patience to learn, the insight to understand, as well as the lack of hostile prejudice to do both.

  • Jean J. Stuart

    Mike, 5:33 was revealed because some people from Ukil murdered a shepherd and robbed him. This is what corruption means:
    http://discover-the-truth.com/2015/04/08/eight-men-from-ukil-savagely-killed-a-shepherd-and-robbed-him/

  • Jean J. Stuart
  • mike

    you sure? i’ll check out your link, but as I recall the hadith about the tribe of ukl, Muhammad put hot irons in their eyes. he didn’t have them crucified. he did cut off their hands and feet though, and said not to cauterize the wounds, leaving them to bleed to death in the desert. ouch.

  • mike

    I see there is a ‘answering hadith rejecters’ button on that website. show that to el cid, he is a hadith rejector. anyway, does that mean you support the killing of “whoever changes his Islamic religion’?

  • Azmi

    the majority member of ISIS are not sunni muslims, the majority member of ISIS are retarded or slave soldier. Indonesians here, our country have the majority of Sunni Muslims about 209,120,000 and our Imam/Syeikh are COMPLETELY against ISIS & Syi’ah.

  • Michiel de Jong

    The repeated command of Allah in the Quran is to “kill those who fight you”.
    Firstly, this is not self-defence. That would have been “defence yourself against those who fight you”. It’s simply retaliation.
    Secondly it implies escalation; they fight, you kill.
    But my main concern is the fact that it is very easy in Islam -or according the Quran for that matter-, to fit in the category “those who fight you”. Basically it’s everybody who resist Islam, or offend the prophet, or who don’t want to submit to Allah any longer.
    It is therefor that you find in Islamic doctrine the distinction between ‘Dar al-Salam’ (House of Islam) and ‘Dar al-Harb’ (House of war), which means that according Islam, the world is divided into two regions; the region where Islam reigns, where supposedly is peace, and the region where it does not, which is defined as a war zone.
    This is, -forgive me the expression- a very explosive mix of convictions.
    And that is what the history of 1300 years of Islam proofs, as well as the current events, with an disturbing numbers of young males of fighting age from all over the world gathering around Al Qaida, Al Nushrah, Herzbollah, Hamas, BokoHaram, Taliban, Isis and the like.
    The fact that the less a Muslim takes the Quran seriously, the less prone to violence he likely is, is also a clear indication of the relationship between violence and Islam.

  • Michiel de Jong

    I am fully aware of the ‘disagreements and debates’ within Islam over the centuries, although I consider the words ‘disagreement and debates’ to be euphemisms. When the sword is involved to settle those disputes, other words are more appropriate.
    And it’s not that according me that there is no room to wiggle. As far as I am concerned, the right answer to the question; “Did the creator of the Universe really gave Mohammed the Quran?” leaves you with the possibility to ignore the text as authoritative altogether and take as much room for interpretation as you like.
    It is the concept in Islam itself (The Quran supposedly being written by Allah..!) that leaves very little space, if you accept it that way. It requires a full submission to the text as it is being written. It is for this reason that the different Islamic believes fight each other till the death. By far the most victims of Islamic terrorism are Muslims themselves.
    Moreover, most of those versions (Shia, Sunny, Allawites, Wahhabism do show the same tendencies towards non-Muslims.
    Your suggestion that Islam as a political ideology is a modern-day phenomenon, shows a lack of knowledge about Islam as well as Islamic history. It has been that way from start. The Quran completely serves the political agenda of Mohammed and has done so ever since. It’s about the establishment of a Caliphate and obviously no separation between ‘church’ and state.

  • Mike De Fleuriot

    More fake Scotsmen.

  • Gareth

    MichaelElwood wrote: “Oh, so it was the sands that did it, not the Muslims? :-)”

    Are you stupid or just engaging in sophistry? You said that Muhammad and his army couldn’t have destroyed pagan temples because archaeologists study them today. I explained to you that those ancient temples were protected because they were buried under the sand during Muhammad’s time and that there are no pagan temples from the time of Muhammad that have survived in Arabia. If you still want to refute this point then name me a site with a pagan temple from the time of Muhammad

    MichaelElwood wrote: “Why would you give me some generic reference to Lane’s Lexicon without giving me the specific reference?”

    Because I am not sure there is a way to link directly to the page. Faatin is from the same root, read the whole definition of faatin and you will see it goes on to describe fitna as a derived term, I was not aware it had it’s own entry on the previous page, but anyway you are only nitpicking on this to try to obscure the fact that the definition from Lanes Lexicon says nothing about oppression or persecution as you claimed.

    MichaelElwood wrote: “Neither Muslim nor non-Muslim scholars uncriticallly accept what the “early Islamic sources” say. Prof. Aisha Musa writes in her book, “Hadith as Scripture: Discussions on the Authority of Prophetic Traditions in Islam”

    Of course the early sources are late and cannot be accepted as 100% accurate. But that doesn’t mean you can just cherry pick from it anything that makes Muhammad look kind and tolerant and discard anything where he acts cruelly or intolerant. Or if you want to throw the early sources out entirely then don’t try to claim we can say anything about Muhammad at all if we have no sources to rely on. Don’t try to claim that his wars were only defensive, that he practiced tolerance, etc. If you have already said that all the sources on his life cannot be used.

    MichaelElwood wrote: “It’s interesting that, of all the “early Islamic sources” that you mention, you continue to ignore the most authoritative and authentic one. . . The Quran.”

    The Quran is an authentic and authorative source on early Islamic history now? The Quran is not even an historical account of events. It is a vaguely phrased religious text that barely mentions Muhammad or the things he did. It only briefly alludes to events in his life cryptically, it is the early hadiths and sirah that provide us with the context. For example that is how we are told that 8:11-18 refers to the Battle of Badr, but from reading that passage without the context you could have no idea even what Badr was. If you throw out the hadiths and sirah, and rely only on the Quran alone you cannot even say who wrote the Quran, then all you are doing is speculation, and making things up. I do not ignore the Quran, I just do not quote random verses out of context like you.

    MichaelElwood wrote: “It doesn’t matter if the artifacts are “buried under layers of sand” or “directly underneath modern cities”. Urban excavation is quite common, by the way.”

    No, urban archaeology is not common. It only happens by chance when someone is working on a construction project and just happen to uncover some artifacts by accident. Unless the specific country has laws in place to protect the archaeology then usually this stuff just gets bulldozed over, 99% of archaeological finds do not look like anything valuable or interesting to the lay person.

    MichaelElwood wrote: “But it failed. The former Soviet Union is more Christian and Muslim than ever.”

    I wouldn’t say it failed. The Soviet Union does not exist anymore, but during their rule they did keep a lid on religion pretty well and they did leave a legacy: the Islamic nations that were part of the Soviet Union actually have the best record on women’s rights today (according to UN Gender Inequality measures) and their citizens tend to have the least interest in pursuing Sharia (according to Pew research polls).

    MichaelElwood wrote: “Could you please stop insulting my intelligence with this “early Islamic sources” piffle . Find some other sucka who’ll fall for it!”

    I can take it from your evasive attitude that you have not read any early sources then. Which is what I expected, you swallow wholeheartedly the sugar coated versions of Islamic history peddled by modern authors who let their politics get in the way of their research. And you don’t even bother to verify what they say by consulting the early sources yourself. I would say that anyone who wants to discuss the period of formative Islam should at least have read 1 early Islamic source.

  • Michiel de Jong

    Be careful what you ask for.. Strong conviction combined with militancy hasn’t worked well in history, … atheist versions included.

  • Michiel de Jong

    Cleansing of any kind; bad idea. Try to keep the peace loving majority of the Muslims on the side of civil society, nationally as well as internationally. Keep an eye on certain categories of Muslims within the Western world by means of security agencies in order to protect the population. Don’t get involved in conflicts in the Muslim countries, (we have tried that; it doesn’t work) only in cases of humanitarian crises. Be generous to refugees of supressed minorities; gays and Christians. Basically; this is a policy of ‘Containment’, like Truman did with Communism.
    And most of all; make sure that all Muslim are able to know the truth if they want to know it.

  • Michiel de Jong

    Christianity preaches freedom of and believes in the concept that all men are created in the image of God. So destroying people is not part of the arsenal.
    The world is a battlefield, but the Christian weaponry is the ‘sword of the spirit which is the word’ (Eph:6:17); just telling the truth, telling the Gospels.
    It’s not a coincidence the those were forbidden in totalitarian regimes, like the Sovjet Union, China and still are in North Korea, the Muslim world.

  • mike

    so how many Zoroastrians are left in Persia?

    Christianity hasn’t spread to the ‘new world’ by force?

    http://islamqa.info/en/43087

    and least we forget the famous hadith were Muhammad destroys 360 pagan idols.

  • mike

    just don’t say that about islam. they kill people for that.

  • mike

    I always heard that the Saudis didn’t let archeological digs in Arabia because the Koran tells them not to? something about the giants of ad and thamund who were destroyed by allah and are not to be disturbed?

  • mike

    an atheist? he must support ‘mild molestation’ of children.

  • mike

    so the Koran shouldn’t be taken literally? maybe god is just a metaphor than?
    I’m still confused as to who is to crucify whom according to 5:33?

  • mike

    yes I see that you are a dangerous man. and delusional, that is a bad combo.

  • Michiel de Jong

    I assume a lot of the people, who happened to fall out side the category ‘Ubermensch’, as defined by this atheistic regime, won’t agree. But I presume that you don’t care to much about that, because you already know this regime has to be necessarily totalitarian. Don’t be surprised I consider those genetic utopian ideals as very scary and against my convictions, in which the value of human life is not determined by their qualities and or capacities they have or lack, but by the fact that they are all created in the image of God.
    Moreover, implementation of those ideals based on a toxic mix of Darwinian concepts, racist (or other discriminatory) prejudices and nihilistic philosophies have been tried in the past and not considered to be a big success. It remind of a song text of Pink Floyd; “And I suffer premonitions. Confirm suspicions. Of the holocaust to come”

  • Michiel de Jong

    Don’t let yourself to be upset by “on line mocking jackals”. Who cares about their ‘contributions’?

  • Michiel de Jong

    You are right that science reveals truth, but you are wrong in your believe there is “nothing else”. For instance “destroying your enemies”… Islam / Allah tells you that is good, Christianity / Jesus tells you that is bad, but science don’t tells you anything on this matter.
    There is nothing in science what defines what is good and what is bad. So if you start destroying who ever you define to be your enemies; you are just following your own impulses, basically being your own God, defining good and bad, nothing at all scientifically based.


    PS. You told in another posting you are upset about “jackals mocking Turkey”. But you just told me the “Christianity is bullshit”. I could be very upset as well. In case we all follow your “rules of engagements” the story will not get an happy ending…

    You know what… in this ISIS-video, in which they show the decapitation of those 21 Christians, who didn’t fight but jut restated their faith is Jesus. … Who gave the strongest message?

  • MichaelElwood

    Gareth wrote: “Are you stupid or just engaging in sophistry?”

    Neither. But I’ve long since concluded that you’re both.

    Gareth wrote: “You said that Muhammad and his army couldn’t have destroyed pagan temples because archaeologists study them today. I explained to you that those ancient temples were protected because they were buried under the sand during Muhammad’s time and that there are no pagan temples from the time of Muhammad that have survived in Arabia.”

    Muhammad and the early Muslims didn’t have a policy of destroying pagan temples, as you erroneously claim. The Quran says:

    “There are those who establish a temple to do harm and cause rejection, to cause division among those who acknowledge, and as an outpost for those who fought God and His messenger before. They will swear that they only wanted to do good, but God bears witness that they are liars. You shall never stand there. A temple that is founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy of your standing; in it are men who love to be cleansed. God loves the cleansed.” [Quran 9:107-108]

    The small pagan temples that existed in Arabia during Muhammad’s lifetime simply fell into disuse as the Arabs became Islamized. The bigger temples, like Mahram Bilqis, were simply ignored.

    Gareth wrote: “Because I am not sure there is a way to link directly to the page.”

    You don’t have to give a link. You could’ve just referenced it by root or page number, like I did.

    Gareth wrote: “Faatin is from the same root, read the whole definition of faatin and you will see it goes on to describe fitna as a derived term, I was not aware it had it’s own entry on the previous page, but anyway you are only nitpicking on this to try to obscure the fact that the definition from Lanes Lexicon says nothing about oppression or persecution as you claimed.”

    “Fitnah” is not derived from “faatin”. “Faatin” and “fitnah” are from the SAME ROOT, but they are DIFFERENT WORDS with DIFFERENT MEANINGS. For example, the word “faatin” is used in 37:162. And the word “fitnah” is used in 2:191 (the verse that we’re actually talking about). Like many Islamophobes, you pretend to have some profound, even esoteric, understanding of Islam. But you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Gareth wrote: “Of course the early sources are late and cannot be accepted as 100% accurate. But that doesn’t mean you can just cherry pick from it anything that makes Muhammad look kind and tolerant and discard anything where he acts cruelly or intolerant.”

    Yet, cherry picking is exactly what you and other Islamophobes do. You just pick those souces that portray Muhammad as mean and intolerant, and ignore those that portray him as kind and tolerant. That’s your only criteria for acceptance. But that’s not the criteria that Muslim and non-Muslim scholars use for acceptance of sources. In a previous comment, you claimed (without referencing a specific source, of course) “that many times when tribes offered to make peace with Muhammad when he was strong, he refused to accept it until they agreed to convert to Islam”. I referenced specific verses in the Quran that demonstrate that this is false:

    “O you who believe, if you strike in the cause of GOD, you shall be absolutely sure. Do not say to one who offers you peace, ‘You are not a believer,’ seeking the spoils of this world. For GOD possesses infinite spoils. Remember that you used to be like them, and GOD blessed you. Therefore, you shall be absolutely sure (before you strike). GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.” [Quran 4:94]

    “. . . .Do not be provoked into aggression by your hatred of people who once prevented you from going to the Sacred Masjid. . . .” [Quran 5:2]

    “He is the One who withheld their hands of aggression against you, and withheld your hands of aggression against them in the valley of Mecca, after He had granted you victory over them. GOD is Seer of everything you do.” [Quran 48:24]

    You can’t give a single logical explanation for why you reject the “early Islamic source” that I referenced, except that it does not portray Muhammad and the early Muslims as mean and intolerant. But *I’M* the one who’s cherry-picking, eh?

    Gareth wrote: “Or if you want to throw the early sources out entirely then don’t try to claim we can s ay anything about Muhammad at all if we have no sources to rely on. Don’t try to claim that his wars were only defensive, that he practiced tolerance, etc. If you have already said that all the sources on his life cannot be used.”

    Please, spare me these false delimmas! The choice in front of Muslim and non-Muslim scholars isn’t to accept “early Islamic sources” uncritically or reject them altogether. The sources are checked for internal and external consistancy, and accepted or rejected accordingly. In an excelent article about the historicity of early Islam, Prof. J. Mark Nicovich writes:

    “Historical sources are unlike evidence produced by scientific experimentation, since we cannot control the nature of the sources we possess as one can control certain aspects of a physical experiment. Historians must contend with a number of potential problems with their sources, especially those related to the most ancient past. We only possess a tiny fraction of written works produced in the ancient world, and in many cases what we have is fragmentary and has been changed and varied during the course of transmission.

    “Often these materials reflect various aspects of human fallibility; the authors possess conscious or unconscious biases, have limited knowledge or perspective, or simply make mistakes. Sometimes the sources give us a wide view of contemporary events, but in many cases they provide only a small, fleeting glimpse of a historical episode, and these episodes must be integrated into a larger historical framework. In short, the job of a historian is not an easy one, and requires very careful treatment of the surviving evidence. But this task is not impossible. Despite whatever distortions may exist within the source material, there is real historical data that may be gleaned. Bias does not equal fabrication, and imperfections do not negate an entire text.”

    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/1497/muhammad_man_or_myth.aspx

  • MichaelElwood

    Gareth wrote: “The Quran is an authentic and authorative source on early Islamic history now?”

    Yes, and It always has been.

    Gareth wrote: “The Quran is not even an historical account of events.”

    The Quran isn’t a history book, but it contains invaluable historical information about Muhammad and the early Muslims.

    Gareth wrote: “It only briefly alludes to events in his life cryptically, it is the early hadiths and sirah that provide us with the context. For example that is how we are told that 8:11-18 refers to the Battle of Badr, but from reading that passage without the context you could have no idea even what Badr was.”

    You’d have no idea that it was later called the “Battle of Badr”. But you’d have many important details about the battle itself, including that it was precipitated by Muhammad’s enemies, not the other way around. From the same chapter, we read:

    “The disbelievers plot and scheme to neutralize you, or kill you, or banish you. However, they plot and scheme, but so does GOD. GOD is the best schemer.” [Quran 8:30]

    Gareth wrote: “If you throw out the hadiths and sirah, and rely only on the Quran alone you cannot even say who wrote the Quran, then all you are doing is speculation, and making things up.”

    Uh, no, The Quran was revealed to Muhammad (see 47:2). And he wrote down the Quran (see 25:5). On a side note, there’s a popular theory that the Quran was written over time by multiple authors. Behnam Sadeghi wrote an interesting essay about a stylometric analysis of the Quran:

    “First, this essay answers the above three questions (viz. the number of authors, the basic textual unit, and chronology) without any recourse to the statements of early Muslims about the history of the Qurʾān. It uses neither the reports of individuals about Islamic origins nor the broad historical framework taken for granted in the huge literature that these reports comprise collectively. The reliability of such statements has been the subject of an academic debate. Focusing on the style of the Qurʾān, this article bypasses the sayings of early authorities altogether and therefore is immune to doubts regarding their authenticity and reliability. In fact, the results here constitute an independent test of the broad outline of Islamic beginnings given in the literary sources.”

    http://www.academia.edu/2572358/The_Chronology_of_the_Qur_%C4%81n_A_Stylometric_Research_Program

    Gareth wrote: “I wouldn’t say it failed. The Soviet Union does not exist anymore, but during their rule they did keep a lid on religion pretty well and they did leave a legacy: the Islamic nations that were part of the Soviet Union actually have the best record on women’s rights today (according to UN Gender Inequality measures) and their citizens tend to have the least interest in pursuing Sharia (according to Pew research polls).”

    If they didn’t eradicate religion in the former Soviet Union, then they didn’t keep a lid on religion pretty well. And I noticed that, once again, you make a dubious claim without giving a specific reference.

    Gareth wrote: “I can take it from your evasive attitude that you have not read any early sources then. Which is what I expected, you swallow wholeheartedly the sugar coated versions of Islamic history peddled by modern authors who let their politics get in the way of their research.”

    And I take it that you still don’t credit me with much intelligence. Why would I take the word of some anonymous fool on the internet over well-known scholars, not just authors, in Islamic Studies, Near Eastern Studies, Arabic Studies, etc.? Your claim to have read “early Islamic sources” is as dubious as your claim to not be able to cite specific references from Lane’s Lexicon.

  • Michiel de Jong

    Well,… you prefer IQ, the Nazi’s preferred blue eyes, others might prefer something else… and from your atheistic point of view;… who will tell what’s a good or bad criterion? Only the individual atheist is able to define for himself what are good or bad criteria. And apart from the disagreement among atheists, those who doesn’t meet the criteria will disagree as well… That spells conflicts.
    The implementation of your idea will require the absolute power in your hands. If you succeed, it will lead to mass extinctions of others, if somebody else succeeds with other personal preferences of features you don’t have, it will lead to your extinction.
    Basically you sketch a vision similar to the one Friedrich Nietzsche gave around 1900AD, who is considered to be the prophet of atheism. That scares me a lot, because from an atheistic point of view, there are no arguments against it. It is the logic consequence of atheism, which a lot of atheists don’t understand. The fact that you do, tells me something about your IQ, but that’s hardly reassuring…

  • osamahkiwan

    Religion (or certain ones) is evil according to you, yet you are suggesting nuking the muslim population and/or sterilization. Some mentality. And you’re Turkish I believe ? I’ve met some turks in the past and they seemed like very decent people.

    Atheism can be as deadly as any religion.

    As Noam Chomsky mentioned in one of his talks, that new secularism and atheism can be thought of as just another religion. It may not necessarily involve praying to a divine being, but it contains a set or system of beliefs, some of which are very controversial. If you’re familiar with Sam Harris you may know what those controversies are. You can also find some if you examine your own comments as well.

    Even if you got rid of all religions, problems and conflicts will still persist in the world. Will you be able to get rid of greed, envy, want for natural resources etc ?

  • Michiel de Jong

    It’s your prerogative to ignore the content of the message, but to deny the existence of the message is just dumb.

  • Awais Mahmood

    Hello Kile, thank you very much for writing this. 🙂

  • George

    what a load of crap. its mind boggling how millions adhere to this nonsense. Islam is the most backwards and uninteresting religion among all

  • mike

    “including that it was precipitated by Muhammad’s enemies” you sure? i thought it was a trade caravan that the muslims attacked? if it was a defensive battle, wouldn’t it be the ‘battle of medina’?
    and on a side note, do you believe in angelic intervention in the battle of badr?

  • Way out of context. They’re inserting the personal and cultural beliefs into their religion, the outcome being barbaric extremism … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipfgfTtqq2c

  • tallshipmodels

    Brilliant!

  • Red the Fister

    “And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you,”

    “And kill them wherever you overtake them…”
    How did you miss that part?
    You know, the part about Muslims killing unbelievers wherever Muslims overtake (invade) unbelievers?
    You’re apologisting.

  • Gareth

    “Muhammad and the early Muslims didn’t have a policy of destroying pagan temples, as you erroneously claim. The Quran says…”

    Not sure why you are citing that verse as evidence against Muhammad and his followers destroying Pagan sanctuaries. The verse you quote refers to mosques, not Pagan temples. The word used in the Arabic is “Masjid”. According to the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, it is referring to a mosque built by some “hypocrites” (fake converts to Islam). Muhammad had the Mosque taken down. See here:
    http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1590&Itemid=64

    “The bigger temples, like Mahram Bilqis, were simply ignored.”

    That temple was not in use during Muhammad’s time. It was excavated during in the modern era and was in use between 7th century BC to 4th century AD, see here:
    http://www.afsm.org/review/expeditions/exp_mahram_bilqis.asp

    You can read about Muhammad’s destruction of pagan temples here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expedition_of_Abu_Sufyan_ibn_Harb

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expedition_of_Khalid_ibn_al-Walid_(Nakhla)

    Those wiki articles have plenty of sources.

    “Fitnah” is not deriv ed from “faatin”. “Faatin” and “fitnah” are from the SAME ROOT, but they are DIFFERENT WORDS with DIFFERENT MEANINGS”

    According to Lanes Lexicon, they have roughly the same meaning. Which is why Fitna is mentioned within the definition of faatin. But again you are just trying to obscure the fact that Lanes Lexicon does not list oppression or persecution as meanings of either words.

    “You just pick those souces that portray Muhammad as mean and intolerant, and ignore those that portray him as kind and tolerant. That’s your only criteria for acceptance. But that’s not the criteria that Muslim and non-Muslim scholars use for acceptance of sources”

    I do not think I do. Can you give an example of where I did this?

    “In a previous comment, you claimed (without referencing a specific source, of course) “that many times when tribes offered to make peace with Muhammad when he was strong, he refused to accept it until they agreed to convert to Islam”.

    The source is Ibn Ishaq. For Taif, Muhammad would not accept the surrender of the Banu Thaqif until they agreed to convert. (Ibn Ishaq pg. 916-918). For Mecca, Muhammad refused to negotiate with Abu Sufian until he agreed to convert (Ibn Ishaq pg 814).

    “Do not say to one who offers you peace, ‘You are not a believer,’”

    This is a rather dishonest translation. The Arabic verse is about someone giving the “peace be upon you” greeting, not an enemy army offering a peace treaty. According to Ibn Kathir’s Tafsir, it refers to this incident:

    “A man from Bani Sulaym, who was tending a flock of sheep, passed by some of the Companions of the Prophet and said Salam to them. They said (to each other), `He only said Salam to protect himself from us.’ Then they attacked him and killed him.”

    For this Muhammad punished them and revealed that verse, that if people say they Salam to you then don’t kill them.

    Here is the link:
    http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=616&Itemid=59

    And the other Quran verses you cite, I do not see how they refer to “freedom of religion” for pagans. They seem to just be generic encouragements for Muslims to be merciful, without anything specific about tolerating paganism. Quran is very inconsistent and contradictory anyway. All you do by quoting a tolerant verse from the Quran is highlight how contradictory and hypocritical Muhammad was, who would say one thing one day and do another the next day.

  • Gareth

    That is interesting. Where did you hear that?

  • Gareth

    See the discussion we are already having regarding the definition from Lane’s Lexicon.

  • mike

    I’ve heard it several places. islam.com. the former tampa director for CAIR told me that when we had diner once, after I asked him about the giants that are in the Koran. I watched a video once on how the pyramids were built by giants and that there is no archeological discovery of them because the Koran says not to mess with what allah has destroyed. it is kind of like the story of gog and magog in the Koran. muslims believe they can’t be found because allah doesn’t want them found. and I think when the hoax pictures where going around the internet, I saw several muslims say that the Saudis wouldn’t have let such a dig take place.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/8303805/Google-Earth-finds-Saudi-Arabias-forbidden-archaeological-secrets.html

  • mike
  • MichaelElwood

    Gareth wrote: “Not sure why you are citing that verse as evidence against Muhammad and his followers destroying Pagan sanctuaries. The verse you quote refers to mosques, not Pagan temples. The word used in the Arabic is ‘Masjid’. According to the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, it is referring to a mosque built by some ‘hypocrites’ (fake converts to Islam). Muhammad had the Mosque taken down. See here:”

    You’re link doesn’t work. But that’s neither here nor there. In Quranic Arabic, the word “masjid” is a generic term for temple. It’s not only used to refer to Muslim houses of worship, but also for Jewish houses of worship (like the Temple in Jerusalem for example, see 17:7), and Christian houses of worship (like the Church of the Seven Sleepers for example, see 18:21). Verse 9:107 is self explanatory. It was a temple based on “kufran”.

    Gareth wrote: “That temple was not in use during Muhammad’s time. It was excavated during in the modern era and was in use between 7th century BC to 4th century AD, see here:”

    Mahram Bilqis was a site of pilgrimage up until Muhammad’s time:

    “The Mahram Bilqis – pronounced Mah-ram Bill-kees – (or Temple of the Moon God) lies buried under the sands of the southern Arabian desert in northern Yemen and is believed to have been used throughout the reign of the legendary Queen of Sheba. According to University of Calgary archaeology professor Dr. Bill Glanzman, the project’s field director, the sanctuary was a sacred site for pilgrims throughout Arabia from around 1200 B.C. to 550 A.D.”

    http://www.ucalgary.ca/uofc/events/unicomm/NewsReleases/queen.htm

    When Islam came to Yemen, the temple wasn’t buried under layers of sand. And it wasn’t destroyed by Muslims. It fell into disuse as the Arabs became Islamicized, like other pagan temples across Arabia.

    Gareth wrote: “You can read about Muhammad’s destruction of pagan temples here:”

    The first link relates a tale about Abu Sufyan being dispatched by Muhammad to destroy the idol al-Lat. The tale is apocryphal and serves no other function except to make Abu Sufyan (an ancestor of the Umayyad caliphs) look good. Similar tales were told about al-Abbas (an ancestor of the rival Abbasid caliphs). You should know from your extensive reading of “early Islamic sources (wink, wink)” that the reason Ta’if was besieged was because soldiers from the Battle of Hunayn had sought refuge there, not to destroy the idol al-Lat. When Ta’if was conquered, some of its inhabitants converted to Islam, and others remained pagan as evidenced by the statue of al-Lat excavated from the city:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Allat.jpg/220px-Allat.jpg

    The same was true when Muhammad had previously conquered Mecca. He gave a general amnesty to its inhabitants. This is alluded to in the Quran:

    “He is the One who withheld their hands of aggression against you, and withheld your hands of aggression against them in the valley of Mecca, after He had granted you victory over them. GOD is Seer of everything you do.” [Quran 48:24]

    Some of the Meccans converted to Islam. Others remained pagan (though they weren’t allowed to worship at the Kaaba any longer, see 9:28). When the pagan tribes attacked Muhammad during the Battle of Hunayn, about 2000 of his troops were pagan Meccans. Abu Sufyan, who hadn’t converted to Islam at the time (according to at-Tabari), was among them. Some say that he never really converted to Islam. He was said to have brought divining arrows called al-azlam, used for divination in the pagan Arab religion, to the Battle of Hunayn. Of course, you should already know this from your extensive reading of “early Islamic sources (wink, wink)”.

    I’m not even going to comment on the second link (about Khalid ibn al-Walid destroying the idol al-Uzza who appeared in the form of an Ethiopian woman), which is clearly apocryphal.

    Gareth wrote: “According to Lanes Lexicon, they have roughly the same meaning. Which is why Fitna is mentioned within the definition of faatin.

    No, they don’t have roughly the same meaning according to Lane’s Lexicon. “Fitnah” and “faatin” are two distinct words with two distinct definitions. If someone told you that the words “zero” and “cipher” mean roughly the same thing just because they’re both derived from the Arabic word “sifr”, you’d think they were crazy.

    Gareth wrote: “But again you are just trying to obscure the fact that Lanes Lexicon does not list oppression or persecution as meanings of either words.”

    “Hardship” is one of the definitions given for the word “fitnah” in Lane’s Lexicon. Do yourself a favor and look up the synonyms for “hardship” in a thesaurus and see if you can find the words “oppression” and “persecution”:

    http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/hardship

    Sheesh! Are you really this clueless, or are you just toying with me?

    Gareth wrote: “I do not think I do. Can you give an example of where I did this?”

    For example, your reliance on a later source (ibn Ishaq) to suggest that Muhammad rejected offers of peace from pagans until they converted instead of an earlier source (the Quran) which clearly suggests that he didn’t. It not only contradicts earlier sources like the Quran, but it also contradicts later sources like at-Tabari.

    Gareth wrote: “The source is Ibn Ishaq. For Taif, Muhammad would not accept the surrender of the Banu Thaqif until they agreed to convert. (Ibn Ishaq pg. 916-918). For Mecca, Muhammad refused to negotiate with Abu Sufian until he agreed to convert (Ibn Ishaq pg 814).”

    Both of those incidents are of dubious historicity. As I pointed out above, Abu Sufyan was still a pagan after the conquest of Mecca.

    Gareth wrote: “This is a rather dishonest translation.”

    How do you know? As you’ve demonstrated throughout this debate, you don’t have even a rudimentary knowledge of Quranic Arabic.

    Gareth wrote: “The Arabic verse is about someone giving the ‘peace be upon you’ greeting, not an enemy army offering a peace treaty. According to Ibn Kathir’s Tafsir, it refers to this incident”

    Again, you don’t know Quranic Arabic. So how do you know what the Arabic verse is about? The verse isn’t talking about rejecting someone’s greeting of peace, it’s talking about rejecting someone’s offering of peace (literally, “alqa ilaykumu s-salama”) during war. The mention of booty/maghanimu in the verse should’ve gave it away.

    Gareth wrote: “And the other Quran verses you cite, I do not see how they refer to ‘freedom of religion’ for pagans. They seem to just be generic encouragements for Muslims to be merciful, without anything specific about tolerating paganism.”

    Right, because there’s nothing in the following verses that could be taken as allowing freedom of religion for pagans (and others):

    “. . . .O you disbelievers. I do not worship what you worship. Nor do you worship what I worship. Nor will I ever worship what you worship. Nor will you ever worship what I worship. To you is your religion, and to me is my religion.” [Quran 109:1-6]

    That’s sarcasm, by the way. . .

    Gareth wrote: “Quran is very inconsistent and contradictory anyway. All you do by quoting a tolerant verse from the Quran is highlight how contradictory and hypocritical Muhammad was, who would say one thing one day and do another the next day.

    The only thing inconsistent, contradictory and hypocritical is you. And that becomes more and more apparent as you continue this spectacle. You should’ve just quietly bowed out a long time ago and saved yourself further embarrassment.

  • mike

    http://www.al-islam.org/story-of-the-holy-kaaba-and-its-people-shabbar/kaaba-house-allah

    “It was over Four Thousand years later that the last of the line of prophet (S), Muhammad Ibne Abdullah entered Makka triumphantly, went inside the Ka’aba and, with the help of his cousin and son in law ‘Ali Ibne Abi Talib, (as) destroyed all the idols of Ka’aba with their own hands.

    At one stage of this destruction of idols, the tallest of the idol Hubbol was brought down after ‘Ali had to stand on the shoulders of the Prophet to carry out God’s orders. The Prophet of Islam was reciting the Verse from the Qur’an:

    “Truth hath come and falsehood hath vanished.” (17:81)”

  • zdk
  • mike

    so what is 5:32 referring to?

  • jrb16915

    From your “about you”,,,,”

    He maintains that Islam as enshrined in the Quran is very different from the Islam that is advocated by Islamic theocracies and self-serving Mullahs. Hence, he seeks to clear popular misconceptions about Islam and actively challenges the passive mentality that condones irrationality & a breach of fundamental human rights just because it is presented in the guise of Islam.”….

    I am not a Muslim nor am I am student of the Quran. But your own description of your blog points out the main problem. Your desire for “a different narrative of Islam” doesn’t do anything at all to inform the enemies of ISIS, other Islamic Theocracies, the self-serving Mullah’s or the followers of any of these.

    Rather than spend time and energy on trying to convince people with no quarrel with you on the correct interpretations of the Quran, wouldn’t it be better to Quranalyze these passages with the ISIS/Islamic Theocracy interpretation of then, then explain why they are wrong. Arguing against a meme seems nearly pointless.

  • mirdad

    Where do you live? Odds are there are some “real Muslims” who would be happy to have a mutually respectful and peaceful discussion with you about how they practice Islam in their daily lives. Pretty sure they won’t try to kill you and behead you, and would be happy to explain it to you as long as you don’t try and arrogantly tell them all about how their belief system is inferior and evil to the great, peace-loving history and world view of white, European Christianity.

  • jrb16915

    It doesn’t really matter what the academic translation ought to be of any verse. What matters when confronting ISIS or Iran is the interpretations those groups believe in. Neither ISIS nor Iran is apt to stop doing what they do because someone convinces them they have been interpreting the Quran incorrectly. I am not sure what profit there is in having sincerely peace loving Muslims explain what is wrong with the ISIS interpretation of things.

    But his author doesn’t evem do that. His argument isn’t against the ISIS interpretation, its against non-ISIS people who acknowledge that ISIS believes what it believes.

    If I were dealing with the Westboro Baptist Church, I need to understand their lunatic interpretation of the Bible. In dealing with them, it does not matter that the 80% of the Christians in the world follow the Catholic or Orthodox faiths which have much different interpretations of the Bible.

  • Michiel de Jong

    Oh, sure,.. by far the most Muslims are peace loving people. However the discussion is not about “real Muslims”, but about “real Islam”. One may defend the definition that “real Islam” is the version of Islam followed by the majority of Muslims, however in the article the author tries to define Islam by the Quran. In hat case “real Islam” is defined by the margins of interpretation of the Quran, and that makes it impossible to construct something peaceful, because the Quran isn’t.

  • mirdad

    Well, “real Muslims” are like “true Scotsman”; very convenient for denying that which doesn’t fit your agenda, but not so much for understanding how actual people live their everyday lives, and how their interpretation and understanding of their faith, and its source texts, informs their behavior. These are not mutually exclusive (the people or the book), and the claim that, because a 1,400 year old book includes violence, that it can not be the basis for constructing a peaceful way of life, holds no water.

    No matter who “they” are, you cannot understand “them” without experiencing something about their actual lives, asking genuine, sincere questions and listening, anymore than you can become a great lover by reading “Don Juan”, “How to Pick up Chicks”, and watching internet porn. All of these things, however, may provide you with hours and hours of self-pleasure, if that is what you are looking for.

  • Michiel de Jong

    I agree that discussing “real Muslims” doesn’t serve any useful purpose (,but to know them personally does).
    That’s the reason why I explicitly focussed on “real Islam”, with a definition; “the faith which takes the Quran seriously as being written by Allah himself”, in response to this article.
    I even agree that you can construct what ever suits you on the basis of a 1400 year old book, if you take that book for what it is. However your options become limited when you believe the Quran to be written by Allah, because that implies you can’t bend it’s meaning according your own preferences, but have to submit yourself to the text as it is written..

  • Michiel de Jong

    You are right. The author isn’t talking to those who hold these fundamentalist’s convictions, but to the people who suspects those convictions to be representative for Islam.

    Interestingly the Westboro Baptist Church always comes up when somebody felt it necessary to point to the fact that “Christianity has also lunatic extremists in their midst”, which implies that thus everybody understands WBC not to be representative for Christianity… I never saw anybody took the effort even to study their way of thinking let alone publishing articles about this thinking in defence of “Real Christianity”.

  • Mohammed Adnan

    please visit mohammed http://www.muhammadfactcheck.org/

  • mike

    well the first one is hilarious, ‘he had no say in the matter’.

    and then the third one is even funnier. “Narratives related to the time of the Prophet Muhammad show that A’isha for sure was not six years old at the time of her marriage but rather was 12-13 years of age, an age legally acceptable for marriage in this modern age even in the developed countries.” so he married a 13 year-old. so he may not be a pedophile, just a statutory rapist.

  • mike

    “Mirza Bashir Ahmad” are you an ahmadi?
    so one ‘myth correction’ says that Muhammad allowed for freedom of religion and then another said he didn’t allow idol worship. so which is it?

  • mike

    so why are muslims killing the yazidi? enslaving the girls and women, taking them as war booty? I guess they don’t understand the ‘they’?
    funny that an all knowing god would right a book so poorly that some devout followers would read the exact opposite of its intended message.

  • TNT

    Possibly the most ridiculous thing I have EVER read in 18 years on the internet. Muslims really are stupid.

  • TNT

    The sheer number of Muslims (actually 1.2 billion and reducing by 6 million each year) does nothing to detract from the fact that Islam is a cesspit, and Muslim countries are all failed states. You can’t rely on the judgement of a 7th century paedophile for a moral life. What is wrong with you people?

  • El Cid

    Your abusive, vulgar language suggests that you are an anti-Islam, anti-Muslim, uneducated low intellect Christian Bigot Islamaphobe.

    You shame and profane Christ Jesus with your hateful nonsense. You prove beyond doubt that he failed as a teacher, failed as a prophet and failed as a son of god and failed as a god.

    Thank you for the update on Jesus’ Resume as a failed entity. I will keep it under advisement. Thank you.

    Peace be upon you.

  • TNT

    And heaps of pig excrement on your psychotic paedophile land-grabbing ‘prophet’. May his name be cursed for all time.

    I’m not a Christian, but I am part of the civilised, thinking world. As such, I reflexively loathe you, your religion and your repulsive appropriated Babylonian moon-god Allah.

  • El Cid

    I like your self hating style . Except that you don’t sound civilized or educated. I probable could squish you like a bug without a second thought…except that you are less than that for me.

    Loath all you want. But to me yours is self loathing that you are projecting. BTW your comment is not based on thinking or knowledge but likely on booze and slum living. You poor sad old deprived creature.

    You are done. Stick a fork in yourself. Preferably see a shrink.
    And get of off them drugs and booze.

  • TNT

    What a demented, unpleasant creature you are – the lowest of the low. Like your prophet, you don’t even qualify as pond life.

    You can barely write English, so I am deeply complimented by your condemnation of my knowledge and learning.

    I don’t do drugs or booze. But far worse than those things is the devotion to raising your anus to a Babylonian moon god – stolen and wrought in his image by a seventh-century psychopath who stank of camel-p*ss – five times a day. Depraved, miserable… and profoundly dumb.

    Islam has about ten years left, and naturally the beast always roars loudest before the end.

  • El Cid

    Thank you for the info. I will keep it under advisement. Now please tell me what you really think.
    Regards.

  • TNT

    What do I really think?

    Actually, you’re just another human, like me, by turns struggling with or enjoying deeply this amazing gift of life we have.

    I hope that you won’t be tied to ANY idea in particular, and that your future will be bright.

  • Robiul Islam

    I am from an Islamic family, but am an atheist [I suppose strictly speaking, I would argue I am a strong agnostic]. You have written → ❝and Muslim countries are all failed states.❞ This statement seems utterly ludicrous, when considered in context.

    Consider South Asia. The richest country in South Asia by far are the Maldives, a [95%] Muslim majority, country. Pakistan was up until the early 90s significantly richer than India. It is now somewhat poorer [per capita], but has much better infrastructure. Bangladesh was the regional laggard at the time of it’s independence in 1971, and one of the poorest countries in the world. Yet by 2015, though still poorer than India, it has better life outcomes in many different categories [life expectancy, educational attainment for children, social mobility etc.]. The regional laggard in South Asia would be Nepal, a Hindu majority country.

    Practically ALL the Middle-Eastern Muslim countries are richer than India and South-East Asia. The majority are actually richer than China, per capita. Muslim-majority Malaysia is the richest country in South-East Asia, excluding Brunei [another Muslim-majority country].

    The oil-rich Arab states have some of the highest per capita incomes and living standards in the world. Much is made of them being oil-rich, but the fact is you have extremely resource-rich countries in South America and Africa that have done NOTHING with their resources.

    Your proposition breaks down especially when we consider places by area. Consider Nigeria. The Northern Muslim part is distinguished from the Southern Christian/animist part by being not just wealthier, but much cleaner and greener too. It is far more organized and structurally functional than the rest of Nigeria. Yes, they have oil. But so does many other parts of Africa that are utter cesspits. There is surely something in the idea that Muslim nations are significantly better at leveraging their natural resources as compared to others, perhaps due to better societal organization. This is especially the case when we consider resource poor Muslim nations like Jordan, which while not wealthy, are still significantly better off than other parts of the developing world.

    I agree that Muslim majority countries are not places of expanding human rights, as in Scandinavian countries. But I disagree that they are cesspits. They appear to be places that can regulate great wealth rather well, provide educational resources for most of the population [when looked at compared to their non-Muslim neighbours], and take care of basic services. The same cannot be said for all groups.

    A lot of people focus excessively on resource wealth, but the question I then have is why all the resource-wealth supposedly fell into the “lap” of these Muslim countries. Obviously, it is not because they are “blessed” in any way [though citizens of these Muslim countries will attempt to give you that impression! ☺]. That whole explanation has always struck me as kind of hokey. There are many resource-rich regions that haven’t done a damn thing with their blessings. It seems to me that things like inherent stability, a somewhat lower level of corruption in Islamic “rulers” [they still have to answer to the public and “Allah”] and spreading wealth relatively more equitably are part of the superior Muslim ability to make hay while the sun shines better than their non-Muslim counterparts [all added to the much greater religious homogeneity of Muslim countries in the first place].

    I am from Bangladesh, an extremely resource-deprived country whose heyday was totally ruined first by 200 years of Imperial British rule and then by a further 25 years of Pakistani mismanagement. It is still a poor country, but in the last 15/20 years has massively caught up to it’s neighbours in terms of life outcomes for the average citizen. It is far more densely populated than India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Nepal. It does not have a remotely dynamic economy [except it’s garments industry and exporting manpower ▬ both of which are lower value activities]. Yet it has still managed to stage this successful catch-up. Entirely, I think, due to the more equitable distribution of resources such that the desperately impoverished have SOME means of existence, unlike in say Hindu-majority India or Nepal. It strikes someone as rather obvious that we could not have managed any of this if we were a Hindu-majority country, instead [even one with a slightly more dynamic economy than Bangladesh].

  • Who gives a shit about reading the Quran in its “historical contexts”? We are living in the 21st century, not a desert shithole during the Bronze Age where people didn’t understand shit.

  • Domagoj Jonjić

    Nice one, many more could be said, e.g. 10 rules of war (written in hadith) established by Prophet where it is explicitly forbidden to kill any non-combatant or combatant who is trying to surrender. Or, verses of Qur’an calling for peace for anyone who is willing to stop fighting (like 8:61). Or, verses whose are limiting war to defense only (2:190, 22:39-40). Or verses who forbids to break the given word (9:4). Still, it is very good to see sober and contextual approach! 🙂

  • Domagoj Jonjić

    This is verse 2:191, but verse 2:190 limits it to defense only. It says:
    Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors.

  • I think you mean calling out Strawmen for what they are. “No True Scotsman” is not a fallacy, it’s a bigots way of attempting to win the argument in the face of an actual, valid Strawman fallacy. The opposite of a fallacy cannot be a fallacy – ipso facto, QED.

  • “Allah” is simply a Neutral Monad, like the Taoists have “Wuji”… what do you have apart from no clue…?

  • Jean J. Stuart
  • JenellYB

    Ro Waseem, it is sad so many haters that are determined to agitate more hate are posting such replies as some here. I am Christian. But I have read the Qur’an, and studied at least an introductory basics of Islam and it’s history. And agree with your responses to these often mis-used out of context quotes. I have already myself sufficiently studied the texts quoted in this meme, so as to know how they are being distorted. They are the sort that do the same thing to our Christian Bible, taking snippets of text out of context and twisting it into ‘saying’ something it does not.
    Keep up the effort to get truth out there.
    Salaam Alaikum.

  • Marra Nathar

    It is not HATE Jenell to disagree with the Supremacist politico-religious ideology of Islam and not want to see it rise up in the World yet again. And it is preposterous to consider that all Jihadic verses in the Koran are solely defensive. After all, out of the 3 Jewish tribes who gave Mohammed a place to live when he fled Mecca, none survived and at the end of the 10 years Mohammed’s tribe owned everything that belonged to them, including the wives and children of one tribe, whose men and boys he slaughtered in a mammoth 1 day operation. At the end of that 10 year period, he had united the tribes of surly, cantankerous and difficult Bedouin of Arabia. HOW? By saying very firmly “Convert or die.” Mohammed’s reputation obviously was enough to cower powerful tribes. Then Islam spread and conquered all of North Africa, and on into Europe and over into India. Now unless I am mistaken, you cannot conquer someone else’s land in a defensive war. Once Mohammed left Medina, and Islam left Arabia – all wars were offensive.

  • Domagoj Jonjić

    Wow, this is even better, thanks! Of course, no sane scholar will ever advocate violence, if using at least a spark of intellectual honesty. Plus, it is enough to read Prophet’s biography to see how this verses were used in it’s context and how it should be used today.

  • TNT

    I have a better grasp than you of history and language, apparently.

    Muslims and their shills – they never fail to delight with their stupidity.

  • Just as I thought. No clue.

  • TNT

    Don’t talk to the mirror – people will think you’re mad as well as profoundly dumb.

  • The Koran is the main source text of Islam, but not the only source text. Hadith and Fiqh are to be considered too. ISIL are Wahabbi Salafists who take an extreme literalist exoteric approach, rejecting Hadith and Fiqh. Many of ISIL’s claims simply do not stand up to scrutiny when considered in the light of Hadith and Fiqh. They’re basically making it all up as they go along. ISIL are not more Islamic than Islam.

  • Mohammed Baybars Mehdi

    Good work. The context for 2:191 is from the previous verse :

    “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress.
    Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.” Qur’an 2:190-191

    The context for 8:60 is a treaty, as detailed in the previous verses :

    “Those of them with whom thou madest a treaty, and then at every opportunity they break their treaty, and they keep not duty (to Allah). If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember, And if thou fearest treachery from any folk, then throw back to them (their treaty) fairly. Lo! Allah loveth not the treacherous. And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah’s Purpose). Lo! they cannot escape.” Qur’an 8:56-59

    Every verse relating to war regards a historical incident. None of the verses are blanket commands.

  • Mohammed Baybars Mehdi

    Yahya related to me from Malik from Yahya ibn Said that Abu Bakr as-Siddiq was sending armies to ash-Sham. He went for a walk with Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan who was the commander of one of the battalions. It is claimed that Yazid said to Abu Bakr, “Will you ride or shall I get down?” Abu Bakrsaid, “I will not ride and you will not get down. I intend these steps of mine to be in the way of Allah.”

    Then Abu Bakr advised Yazid, “You will find a people who claim to have totally given themselves to Allah. Leave them to what they claim to have given themselves. You will find a people who have shaved the middle of their heads, strike what they have shaved with the sword.

    “I advise you ten things: Do not kill women or children or an aged, infirm person. Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy an inhabited place. Do not slaughter sheep or camels except for food. Do not burn bees and do not scatter them. Do not steal from the booty, and do not be cowardly.”

    Muwatta Malik. Jihad
    Book 21, Hadith 10

  • Mohammed Baybars Mehdi

    The Jewish tribes broke treaties and attacked Muslims. Your
    version of events is equally false. Do your homework. Hate sites don’t count.

  • Deuce Prez

    And all it takes is for Islamaphobes to offer their mistranslations of partial ayats (verses) taken out of context…..as we see in this picture in the article.

  • Just Saying

    2 prez, funny thing, i linked an old islamophobiatoday.com article over on muslimgirl.net. so how do you translate 5:32-33 and 5:51?

  • Jane Smith

    lol, so this article’s intended audience is to non-Muslims or anyone who would read this fallacious meme filled with contextomy and especially intended to those that would internally create a negative perception based on the propaganda. So, this article’s purpose and direction is perfectly fine considering its intended audience. There is no quarrel with the author himself, except for this comment. The quarrel being discussed is with the Quran and the creators/viewers of this meme. The author is simply a watch dog reporter doing his citizenly duty. For an intended audience of ISIS enemies, yes, an entirely different article with a different purpose should be written. But this article is not intended for ISIS. But I encourage you to write a new article about ISIS theocracy. Both are very important, but are different topics.

  • Terrykj

    All of this verbal fencing and apologetics aside there are some real problems in Islam that have nothing to do with it’s relationship to the west and the terrorist aberrations. I just watched a video of a woman being killed by a mob in Kabul because she was accused of burning a Quran. The charges were found out to be false later but the video is horrific. She was beaten, trampled, put under the wheels of a car and then burned. HOW DOES THIS RELIGION CONDONE THIS? Police stood by, hundreds were all involved as perpetrators and bystanders. This was in Kabul with billions of friendly dollars spent on helping establish the rule of law. Instead we see medieval mob enforcement of Sharia Law. This is no exceptionalism of ISIS or response to external events or attackers. This was a people living under Islamic rules enforcing in a most barbaric way what they believed was called for to defend their holy book.
    Can anyone step forward and explain this behavior? How can it possibly be justified?

  • I’m a Theosophist – idiot.

  • TNT

    So? You’re still full of s**t.

  • And, let me guess – you’re not…? Hahaha

  • TNT

    If I was, I’d be going round telling people I was a Theosophist. Shit carrier.

  • Of course – because you’re not a Theosophist.
    I am.

  • Alicia Goodluck

    The verses say what they mean. Check the haddiths if you have doubts. AND stop being AN IDIOT!!! Muslim Terrorists use the same verses to support their crimes against humanity. Instead of pretending to know something which you obviously DO NOT! Why don’t you try preaching your garbage to Muslim Terrorists?

    Tell them you hold the truth within their scripture.

    Tell them ALL Muslims for over 1400 years have misread their scripture and now you will help them read it right.

    P A T H E T I C!!! M O R O N I C!!!

    TAQIYYA MUCH MUZZI??

    We own you Satanic Muzzis! Your pathetic Supremacist Islam is nothing but a Demonic Ideology brought forth by a demon who committed all of the crimes committed by ISIS and if he was alive today, would act mostly exactly like AL Baghdadi!

    YOU LYING FILTH! YOU MAY WELL BURN IN HELLFIRE FOR ETERNITY!!!

  • Alicia Goodluck

    Muslims themselves are the greatest exponents of islamophobia! Only Muslims murder and commit violence when islam is discussed. Only Muslims have blasphemy laws which they implement universally.

    SHUT UP WITH YOUR PATHETIC use of language when you can’t even use it correctly. And your prophet was and will always be a pedophile, sex perrvert, mass murderer, beheader, looter, pirate, thief, liar, hypocrite, torturer and blasphemer!

  • Alicia Goodluck

    And what sort of treaties did Pedo Mo use? Convert, pay jizya or fight. You Muzzis are filled with Satanic ideals. No one in their right mind except fearing for immediate death would sign such treaties!

    YOU FILTHY MUZZIS will pay dearly and as if you have not paid enough but an eternity in HELLFIRE awaits all of you!

    Islam is a Satanic Cult of Death developed on the false pretense of a perverted and filthy being from HELL!

  • Alicia Goodluck

    THIS IS A BLATANT LIE! It was Pedo Mo who imagined the broken treaties and his continued conspiracy theories commit Muslims to an everlasting life of filth and savagery.

    Muhammed’s treaties were as barbaric and demonic as he was. Only a demon would allow for such a treaty to written and enforced.

    YOU MUSLIMS ARE SCUM OF THE EARTH. For over 1400 years you have continually murdered and enslaved hundreds of millions!

    Islam has always been a curse on those that embrace it and those unfortunate enough to come into contact with it.

  • Alicia Goodluck

    For over 100 years there was not a whimper about Muhammed. Then we immediately have tomes telling us each day of his existence!

    Only an idiot would believe the haddiths and only a demon would believe in the words of a sex pervert, blasphemer, pirate, thief, looter, enslaver, mass murderer, warlord, etc etc etc.

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/muhammad/index.aspx

  • Alicia Goodluck

    Their worse than stupid. They are Satanic! They will lie and even kill their own parents to support their filthy beliefs and demonic nature.