Qur’an cold calling

This evening I received a phone call from a number that seemed very strange to me.  While I was in the kitchen preparing our dinner for the evening I thought I had heard my phone ring. My wife and one of my daughters were sitting in the lounge room where my phone was but they were watching the television and there was an advert on that had a phone ringing and they thought that is what the noise was.
Anyway I came in to the lounge room to check my phone and indeed someone had called. I checked the number on the internet as it seemed weird as it was 0923158629876 and the search came up that 09231 was a German number. So I thought nothing of it and went back to what I was doing.
Suddenly my phone rang again so I answered it and it was a lady from either Pakistan or India. I immediately thought ‘Great another telemarketer’. It then hit me because I knew exactly who it was and why they were calling. On the weekend a friend had told me that she had had a phone call from someone trying to sell a program of learning about this religion online over a 3 month period. She said she wasn’t interested but new of someone that would be more than happy to talk to them, i.e. me.
So back to tonight and the phone call. The lady was telling me about this great offer where I could learn the Qur’an via an online course over a 3 month period, I acted like I had no idea what was going on, and that the classes were 3 a week 1 hour each. I replied to her that this is great that they are offering this for free to people and she was confused and said pardon, I repeated what I had said and she rather obviously said that no there was a fee for the course. I asked why were they charging people a fee for this and is there anything different that they can show me that I am not able to learn in my own version of the Qur’an. She had no answer at all for that.
Moving on to the main subject of the course, the Qur’an. I asked which version of the Qur’an they were going to teach me and again she was confused so I replied with ‘which version of the Qur’an was going to be taught to me, Sufi, Sunni, Shiite, Sunni Wahabi, Zaydis, Zaydis and so on” This really confused her and she replied with “Sunni” So I asked which branch of Islam and the Qur’an were they going to teach me then as again with Sunni there are different sects. At this I then heard a muffled male voice talking to her and her to him then all of a sudden she hung up on me.
So the point of this is that this is really rude that these people are phoning people to try and covert them. Okay they had been given my number by my friend but my friend was a random call. I find it also rude when people of any religion come to my door or phone me to try and get me to join their fairytale party.

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Quran

The Life of Muhammad: An Inconvenient Truth

“Muhammad is a narcissist, a pedophile, a mass murderer,
a terrorist, a misogynist, a lecher, a cult leader, a madman
a rapist, a torturer, an assassin and a looter.”

Former Muslim Ali Sina offered $50,000 to anyone
who could prove otherwise based on Islamic texts. 
The reward has gone unclaimed.

This article explores the life of Muhammad as laid out in Islamic texts and history. It also addresses the common myths used as deception about Muhammad to defend his reported actions. Written by Ali Sina, former muslim.

Timeline of Muhammad’s Life (A.D) mahoma1

570 – Born in Mecca
576 – Orphaned upon death of mother
595 – Marries Kadijah – older, wealthy widow
610 – Reports first revelations from angel at age of 40
619 – Protector uncle dies
622 – Emigrates from Mecca to Medina (the Hijra)
623 – Orders raids on Meccan caravans
624 – Battle of Badr (victory)
624 – Evicts Qaynuqa Jews from Medina
624 – Orders the assassination of Abu Afak
624 – Orders the assassination of Asma bint Marwan
624 – Orders the assassination of Ka’b al-Ashraf
625 – Battle of Uhud (defeat)
625 – Evicts Nadir Jews
627 – Battle of the Trench (victory)
627 – Massacre of the Qurayza Jews
628 – Signing of the Treaty of Hudaibiya with Mecca
628 – Destruction and subjugation of the Khaybar Jews
629 – Orders first raid into Christian lands at Muta (defeat)
630 – Conquers Mecca by surprise (along with other tribes)
631 – Leads second raid into Christian territory at Tabuk (no battle)
632 – Dies

Introduction

What if a man you knew began telling people that God was routinely speaking to him and only him – and that the “revelations” he claimed to be receiving were mostly about him and his relative importance to all other people?  Say, for example, that this self-proclaimed prophet insisted that God had declared him to be the ‘excellent pattern of conduct’ for mankind (Quran 33:21) and that others were therefore to accord him with special privilege, unwavering obedience (Quran 4:80) , wealth and earthly desires, including all of the slaves and more women than his lust could handle.

Such figures still arise from time to time.  Some of the more dynamic manage to develop a small group of followers so taken with their leader’s self assurance that they willingly offer their own children to him for “marriage” or even kill on his behalf.

Would it really validate the message of any such cult leader if his followers did successfully kill and seize the property of anyone who dared disagree?  What if they gradually expanded their power and numbers in such fashion that eventually they were recognized as a major world religion?  Would that make the cult leader’s claims about himself true?  Would it really change the fact that what they believe ultimately sprang from the imagination of a narcissist?

In 610, an Arab salesman with a commanding personality attracted a small cult of credulous fanatics by claiming to be a prophet.  Though his “revelations” were self-referential and occasionally contradicting, he was successful in manipulating his followers with promises of heavenly reward and threat of divine wrath.  The god heard only by him told them to lie and steal for him, to give their children to him for sexual pleasure and, eventually, to gruesomely murder his detractors.

There are two ways to approach a study of Muhammad.  One is with reverence and the other is with skepticism.  Thinking persons choose the latter.  They are not influenced by the number of Muslim believers in the world today or by their force of belief because these are meaningless for determining truth.  They care only about fact.

The facts presented here about the life of Muhammad and the origins of Islam are fully supported by the works of early Muslim biographers upon which all later historians rely.


Origins

To understand Islam, you must understand the harsh circumstances into which the religion was born.  The Arabian Peninsula at the time of Muhammad (b.570 AD) was a barren and desolate region with scorching sun and oppressive heat by day, and chilling cold at night.  There was little vegetative growth, and the nomadic inhabitants lived between jagged rocks and shifting sand dunes.

While Europe and much of the Middle East was transitioning from the Roman to the Byzantine Empire, with roads, irrigation canals, aqueducts, and a culture that included philosophical discourse and theater, the Arabians lived short and brutal lives in warring tribes with little to offer the rest of the world beyond their own harsh existence.

This partly explains Islam’s inherent hostility to music and art, which some extremists, such as the Taliban, take quite literally.  Islam does not encourage the pursuit of knowledge outside of itself.  It is, as Oriana Fallaci puts it, it is “the religion which has produced nothing but religion.”

The inhospitable climate protected the peninsula from conquest and cultural influence.  No foreign army felt that sheep and goats were worth taking from the desert fighters, so the area was relatively isolated, with the exception of certain trading routes.  The renaissance of knowledge that the rest of the world had been experiencing since the Greek revival was largely missed out on by the Arabs, whose entire energies were devoted to daily survival against the ruthless environment and other tribes.

For these people, morality was dictated merely by necessity, and obligations did not extend beyond one’s tribe.  This is a critical basis for the development of the Islamic attitude toward those outside the faith, including the moral principle that the ethics of any act are determined only by whether or not it benefits Muslims.

There were pagan religious traditions in Arabia, particularly among those based in the trading centers such as Muhammad’s birthplace of Mecca.  Some of these towns had Kaabas – cube-like structures that would attract pilgrims during holy months.  The Kaaba at Mecca housed various idols, including the black meteorite that remains to this day.

In addition to the black rock, Muhammad’s Quraish tribe worshipped a moon god called Allah.  Other gods were recognized as well.  In fact, the town of Mecca was renowned for religious tolerance, where people of all faiths could come and pray at the Kaaba.  (This would later change once Muhammad gained the power to establish his authority by force).

Islam was created both from these crude pagan practices and from the basic theological elements of Christianity and Judaism as Muhammad [often erroneously] understood them (his inaccurate interpretation of Christianity, for example, is often attributed to an early experience with fringe cults in the Palestinian region, then known as Syria).


Early Life at Mecca

Muhammad was born around 570 AD to a widowed mother who died just six years later.  He grew up poor and orphaned on the margins of society, which was controlled by tribal chiefs and trading merchants.  He worked for his uncle, Abu Talib, as a camel herder.  Although his uncle had some standing in the community, Muhammad himself did not rise above his lowly station until he was 25, when he met and married a wealthy widow, Khadija, who was 15 years older.

His wife’s trading business not only nurtured Muhammad’s natural talents of persuasion, but it also gave the successful salesman an opportunity to travel and acquire knowledge that was not as accessible to the local population.  He would later use this to his advantage by incorporating the stories that he had come across into his “revelations” from Allah, particularly the tales from the earlier religions, Judaism and Christianity.

Having attained a comfortable lifestyle and the idle time that wealth affords, Muhammad would wander off occasionally for periods of meditation and contemplation.  It is quite likely that he was experiencing the symptoms of a midlife crisis, including a desire for personal accomplishment and meaning.

One day, at the age of 40, he told his wife that he had been visited by the angel Gabriel in a dream.  Thus began a series of “revelations” which lasted almost until his death 23 years later.  The Qur’an is a collection of words that Muhammad attributed to Allah.  The Hadith is a collection of narrations of the life and deeds of Muhammad.  The Sira is his recorded biography.  The Sunnah is said to be Muhammad’s way of life, on which Islamic law (Sharia) is based.

With his wife’s influence and support, Muhammad proclaimed himself a prophet in same “lineage” as that of Abraham and Jesus, and began trying to convert those around him to his new religion.  He narrated the Quran to those who believed him, telling them that it was the word of Allah (heard only by himself, of course).

Muhammad’s Quran did not contain a single original moral value and it contributed only one new idea to world religion – that Muhammad is Allah’s prophet.  In fact, Muhammad’s “Allah” seemed oddly preoccupied with making sure Muslims knew to obey Muhammad’s every earthly wish, as this mandate is repeated at least twenty times in the narration of the Quran.

In the beginning, Muhammad did his best to compromise his teachings with the predominant beliefs of the community’s elders, such as combining all 300 of their idols under the name “Allah.”  His amalgamation of Judeo-Christian theology and pagan tradition grew more sophisticated over time.  He also used his “revelations from Allah” to repeatedly affirm his own position.  Even if he did not remember the Biblical stories correctly, for example, each one was conspicuously modified to incorporate a common theme: “Believe in the Messenger (Muhammad) or suffer the consequences.”


Preaching and Persecution at Mecca islam

According to early Muslim historians, the Meccans did not mind Muhammad practicing his religion, nor did they feel threatened by his promotion of it.  This changed only after the self-proclaimed prophet began attacking their religion, including the customs and ancestors of the people (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 167).  This was enough to stir up the resentment of the influential leaders of Mecca, who then mocked his humble background against his pretentious claims.  (See also MYTH: Muhammad was Persecuted for Preaching Islam)

Still, Mecca at the time was a remarkably tolerant society.  Muhammad was allowed to attack the local customs for thirteen years, even though the town’s economy depended on the annual pilgrimage attended by visiting pagans, whose religion he actively disparaged.

At first, Muhammad was only successful with friends and family.  After thirteen years, “the street preacher” could boast of only about a hundred determined followers, who called themselves Muslims.  Outside of his wife, his first convert was his young cousin Ali (who would later become his son-in-law and the fourth caliph of Islam).  Another early convert was Abu Bakr, a wealthy merchant whose money and credulous acceptance of Muhammad can be credited with the survival of the fledgling cult.  (Muhammad would later “marry” Abu Bakr’s 6-year-old daughter).

Relations with the Meccans turned particularly sour after an episode known as “the Satanic Verses” in which Muhammad agreed to recognize the local gods in addition to Allah.  This delighted the Meccans, who generously extended their welcome.  But Muhammad soon changed his mind after his own people began to lose faith in him.  He claimed that Satan had spoken through him, and he rescinded recognition of the Meccan gods (Tabari 1192, Quran 22:5253:19-26).

The locals intensified their mockery of Muslims and made life particularly difficult for some of them.  Although Muslims today often use the word “persecution” to describe this ordeal (justifiably, in some cases), it is important to note that the earliest and most reliable biographers (Ibn Ishaq and al-Tabari) record the death of only one Muslim during this period, an older woman who died from stress.

This fact is a source of embarrassment to modern apologists, who do not like admitting that Muslims were the first to become violent at Mecca (see MYTH: The Meccans Drew First Blood against Muhammad) and that Muhammad was the first to resort to militancy… and at a later time, when it was entirely unnecessary.

To deal with this unpleasant truth, sympathetic narratives of the early Meccan years usually exaggerate the struggle of the Muslims with claims that they were “under constant torture.”  They may also include apocryphal accounts that are unsupported by earliest and most reliable historians (see MYTH: Persecution of Muslims at Mecca – Many Deaths).

Modern storytellers and filmmakers (such as those behind 1976’s The Message) have even been known to invent fictional victims of Meccan murder, either to dramatize their own tale or to provide justification for the “revenge killings” that followed.  But, in fact, the only Muslim whose life was truly in danger was that of Muhammad – after 13 years of being allowed to mock the local religion.  (See also MYTH: Muhammad was Tortured at Mecca).


The Hijra – Flight from Mecca to Medina

The death of his uncle, Abu Talib, in 619 left Muhammad without a protector against the Meccan leadership, which was gradually losing patience with him.  The true agitator in this situation, however, is quite clearly Muhammad himself, as even Muslim historians note.  Consider this account of what happened at Abu Talib’s deathbed, as the Meccans implored him a final time for peace with his nephew:

[Muhammad’s chief adversary] Abu Sufyan, with other sundry notables, went to Abu Talib and said: “You know the trouble that exists between us and your nephew, so call him and let us make an agreement that he will leave us alone and we will leave him alone; let him have his religion and we will have ours.” (Ibn Ishaq 278)

Muhammad rejected the offer of peaceful co-existence.  His new religion was obviously intended to dominate the others, not be on equal standing with them.  Meanwhile, the Muslims were beginning to become violentwith the people around them.

Muhammad’s search for political alliance led him to make a treaty of war against the Meccans with the people of Medina, another Arab town far to the north (Ibn Ishaq 299-301).  This was the last straw for the Meccans, who finally decided to capture Muhammad and put him to death.  (see also MYTH: Muhammad and his Muslims Fled Mecca because of Persecution)

Although this sounds harsh against Western standards, it is important to note the contrast between the Meccan reaction and that of Muhammad when he had the opportunity to deal with perceived treachery in Medina at a later date on the part of those who hadn’t even harmed anyone.

The Meccans limited their deadly aggression to Muhammad himself.  This is quite clear from the episode in which Muhammad escapes his home by using his son-in-law, Ali, to trick his would-be assassins into thinking that they had him trapped (Ibn Ishaq 326).  No harm was done to Ali or his wife, both of whom subsequently remained in the city for several days to complete the transfer of Muhammad’s family business to Medina.

Compare this to the episode of the Banu Qurayza (below), in which Muhammad slaughtered an entire tribe of people based on their leader having switched loyalties in a conflict in which none of them even participated.

The year that Muhammad fled Mecca for Medina was 622, which marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar.


Medina and the Origin of Jihad

Islam-and-Arab-Revolutions Stinging from the rejection of his own town and tribe, Muhammad’s message quickly become more intolerant and ruthless – particularly as he gained power.  Islam’s holiest book clearly reflects this contrast, with the later parts of the Quran adding  violence and earthly defeats at the hands of Muslims to the woes of eternal damnation that the earlier parts of the book promises those who will not believe in Muhammad.

It was at Medina that Islam evolved from a relatively peaceful religion borrowed from others and into a military force that was intended to govern all aspects of society.  During these last ten years of Muhammad’s life, infidels were evicted or enslaved, converted upon point of death and even rounded up and slaughtered depending on expediency.

To fund his quest for control, Muhammad first directed his followers to raid Meccan caravans in the holy months, when the victims would least expect it.  This was despite the fact that the Meccans were not bothering him in Medina (see MYTH: Muhammad and his Muslims were Persecuted by the Meccans at Medina).

Muhammad provided his people with convenient revelations “from Allah” which allowed them to murder innocent drivers and steal their property (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 426).  The people around him gradually developed a lust for things that could be taken in battle, including material comforts and captured women and children.  (See also MYTH: Muhammad Raided Caravans to Retrieve Stolen Property).

Often the people captured in battle would be brought before the self-proclaimed prophet, where they would plead for their lives, arguing, for example, that they would never have treated the Muslims that way.  The traditions are quite clear in portraying Muhammad as largely unmoved by their pleas, and ordering their deaths anyway, often by horrible means.  In one case, he orders a man slain, telling him that “Hell” will take care of the poor fellow’s orphaned daughter (Ishaq 459).  (See alsoMYTH: Muhammad Never Killed Captives)

The raids on caravans preceded the first major battle involving a Muslim army, the Battle of Badr.  This was the spot where the Meccans had sent their own army to protect their caravans from Muslim raiders.  Although, Muslims today like to claim that they only attack others in self-defense, this was clearly not the case in Muhammad’s time.  In fact, he had to compel his reluctant warriors with promises of paradise and assurances that their religion was more important than the lives of others.  (See also MYTH: The Battle of Badr was Defensive).


The Consolidation of Power

Muhammad defeated the Meccan army at Badr, which emboldened him to begin dividing and conquering the three local Jewish tribes at Medina.  Their mistake was to accept the Muslim presence, but reject Muhammad’s claim that he was in the line of Jewish prophets.  His stories from the Torah simply did not agree with their own.  (Muhammad’s recited version of Bible stories sounds more like fragmented fairy tales with the same moral – believe in his personal claim to be a prophet or else).

How these three tribes, the Banu Qaynuqa, the Banu Nadir, and the Banu Quyrayza met their fate is insightful into the Muslim mindset, which employs an inherent double standard in its relations with those outside the faith.

First, to try and gain their favor, Muhammad briefly preached that Christians and Jews could attain salvation through their own faith.  In fact, he changed his followers’ direction for prayer from Mecca to Jerusalem, which prompted the Jews’ tolerance of him while he worked surreptitiously for the power to evict them.  These earlier concessions and teachings were later revoked by Muhammad, since the Jews ultimately refused his religion.  The rare early verses of tolerance in the Quran are abrogated by later verses such as 9:29.

The Jews’ knowledge of the Torah naturally threatened the Muslim leader’s credibility, since it easily refuted the claims that he made about himself as a prophet of God.  They also saw through the Biblical narrations that he had picked up from secondhand sources and knew that these contradicted established revelation.  Conveniently, Allah stepped in to tell Muhammad that the Jews had deliberately corrupted their own texts to hide the very evidence of his own prophethood that he had previously insisted existed.  (To this day, Muslims have never been able to produce a copy of the “true” Torah or Gospel to which their own Quran refers).

While the Jews remained unconvinced by such obvious gimmickry, Arab polytheists converted to Islam in large numbers, which soon gave Muhammad the power to make his intentions clear that Islam would be imposed by force:

While we were in the Mosque, the Prophet came out and said, “Let us go to the Jews” We went out till we reached Bait-ul-Midras. He said to them, “If you embrace Islam, you will be safe. You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I want to expel you from this land. So, if anyone amongst you owns some property, he is permitted to sell it, otherwise you should know that the Earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle.”  Bukhari 53:392

The Jews of Mecca were the first in a very long line of unfortunate people to be offered the opportunity to convert to Islam under obvious duress.  Forcible conversion is very much a Muslim tradition started by Muhammad (see MYTH: Muhammad Rejected Conversions to Islam made under Duress)

Since they chose to hold on to their religion (and their property) Muhammad looked for reasons to go to war against the Jews at Medina.  According to some Muslims, the first tribe, the Qaynuqa, were driven from their homes and land on the pretext that one of their own had harassed a Muslim woman.  Although the offender was killed prior to this by a Muslim, the Muslim was also killed by Jews in retaliation for the first murder.

After laying siege to the entire community and defeating the tribe, Muhammad wanted to put every male member to death, but was talked out of it by an associate – something that Allah later “rebuked” him for.  The Qaynuqa were forced into exile and the Muslims took their possessions and property, making it their own.  Muhammad personally reserved a fifth of the ill-gotten gain for himself (a rule that he was sure to include in the Quran).

This episode helped ingrain within Islam the immature principle of group identity, whereby any member of a religion or social unit outside of Islam is just as guilty as any of their peers who insult or harm a Muslim – and just as deserving of punishment.  (Muhammad’s punishments usually did not fit the crime).

Members of the second tribe, the Banu Nadir, were accused by Muhammad of plotting to kill him.  What is most intriguing about this episode is that it occurred after the Muslims had killed several prominent Jews on Muhammad’s order, including a leader of the Banu Nadir (named Ka’b al-Ashraf).  (See also MYTH: Muhammad Never Approved of Murder)

When the prophet of Islam learned that he might be targeted in retaliation (something that he claimed was “revealed” to him by Allah), he promptly laid siege to the Banu Nadir community.  After forcing them to surrender, these original inhabitants of Medina were then banished from their homes and land by the Muslim newcomers, who again started to take as much as they could for themselves (Ibn Ishaq 653).  (To the disappointment of his people, this time Muhammad produced arevelation from Allah that allowed him to confiscate the entire portion for himself).

In a critical example of how deception is sanctioned under Islam, a surviving contingent of the Banu Nadir (under Usayr ibn Zarim) was later tricked into leaving their fortress by promise of peace talks.  The contingent of Muslims sent by Muhammad to “escort” them, however, easily slaughtered the victims once they let down their guard (Ibn Ishaq 981).   (See also MYTH: Muhammad always Disapproved of Dishonesty).


The Qurayza Massacre

By the time the Banu Qurayza met their fate, Muhammad was wealthy and powerful from his defeat of the other two tribes.

The Jews of the Banu Qurayza tasted Muhammad’s wrath after their leader half-heartedly sided with the Meccan army during a siege of Medina (the Battle of the Trench).  By then, Muhammad had evicted the other Jews and declared that all land at Medina belonged to him, so the original constitution of the town was no longer in effect.  It is important to note that the Qurayza did not attack the Muslims, even after switching loyalties (contrary to another popular myth).

Although the Qurayza surrendered peacefully to the Muslims, Muhammad determined to have every man of the tribe executed, along with every boy that had reached the initial stages of puberty (between the ages of 12 and 14).  He ordered a ditch dug outside of the town and had the victims brought to him in several groups.  Each person would be forced to kneel, and their head would be cut off and then dumped along with the body into the trench.

Between 700 and 900 men and boys were slaughtered by the Muslims after their surrender.

The surviving children of the men became slaves of the Muslims, and their widows became sex slaves.  This included the Jewish girl, Rayhana, who became one of Muhammad’s personal concubines the very night that her husband was killed.  The prophet of Islam apparently “enjoyed her pleasures” (ie. raped her) even as the very execution of her people was taking place.

In some ways, women were much like any other possession taken in battle, to be done with however their captors pleased.  But Muslims found them useful in other ways as well.  In fact, one of the methods by which Islam owed its expansion down through the centuries was through the reproductive capabilities of captured women.  In addition to four wives, a man was allowed an unlimited number of sex slaves, with the only rule being that any resulting children would automatically be Muslim.

Muhammad ordered that a fifth of the women taken captive be reserved for him.  Many were absorbed into his personal stable of sex slaves that he maintained in addition to his eleven wives.  Others were doled out like party favors to others.  (See MYTH: Muhammad was an Abolitionist)

At one point following a battle, Muhammad provided instructions on how women should be raped after capture, telling his men not to worry about coitus interruptus, since “Allah has written whom he is going to create.”  (See also MYTH: Muhammad Never Approved of Rape)

Following the battle against the Hunain, late in his life, Muhammad’s men were reluctant to rape the captured women in front of their husbands (who were apparently still alive to witness the abomination), but Allah came to the rescue with a handy “revelation” that allowed the debauchery.  (This is the origin of Sura 4:24 according to Abu Dawud 2150).


The Origin of Islamic Imperialism

From Medina, Muhammad waged a campaign of terror, to which he openly attributed his success (Bukhari 52:220).  His gang of robbers launched raids in which hapless communities were savaged, looted, murdered and raped.  The tribes around the Muslims began to convert to Islam out of self-preservation.

download The excuse for military campaign began to shrink to the point that it hardly existed at all.  Muhammad told his followers that Muslims were meant to rule over other people.  Supremacist teachings became thedriving force behind Jihad (see also MYTH: Muhammad Waged War Only in Self-Defense) and Jihad became the driving force behind Islam.

The brutal conquest of the people of Khaybar, a peaceful farming community that was not at war with the Muslims, is a striking example.  Muhammad marched in secret, took them by surprise and easily defeated them.  He had many of the men killed, simply for defending their town.  He enslaved women and children and had surviving men live on the land as virtual serfs, paying Muslims an ongoing share of their crops not to attack them again.

Muhammad suspected that the town’s treasurer was holding out and had his men barbarically torture the poor fellow by building a fire on his chest until he revealed the location of hidden treasure.  (See also MYTH: Muhammad Never Approved Torture).

Afterwards, the prophet of Islam beheaded the man and “married” his widow on the same day (she first had to pass through the hands of one of his lieutenants).  Given that the woman’s father was also killed by Muhammad, it isn’t much of a stretch to say that true love had very little to do with this “marriage.”


A Life of Hedonism and Narcissism

Muhammad’s personal life became the picture of hedonism and excess, all justified by frequent “revelations” from an increasingly arbitrary and capricious god   In his later years, he frequently used his influence for purely personal goals, including sex, wealth and power.  Allah’s authority for him to pursue these earthly ambitions is even immortalized in the Quran (suras 33 and 66, particularly).

The same man who earlier in his career had justified his claims as a prophet by saying that he “asked for no reward” from others, reversed course and began to demand a fifth or more of all booty taken from conquered tribes.  According to his biographers, he became fat from living off this enormous share of ill-gotten gain.  (See also MYTH: Muhammad was a Brave Warrior who Trusted in Allah to Protect him)

In the span of a dozen years, he married eleven women and had access to an array of sex slaves (see MYTH: Muhammad Married Multiple Women as a Favor to them).  When he wanted a woman, even if she were the wife of another man, his own daughter-in-law, or a child as young as 6-years-old (see MYTH: Muhammad Condemned Pedophilia), Muhammad was able to justify his lust and inevitable consummation with an appeal to Allah’s revealed will for his sex life – which was then preserved forever in the Quran, to be faithfully memorized by future generations for whom it has no possible relevance.

The first verse of Sura 66 is a good example of this.  It was narrated by Muhammad to his wives shortly after two of them pressured him into not visiting a favorite sex slave:

O Prophet! why do you forbid (yourself) that which Allah has made lawful for you, seeking to please your wives? (Quran 66:1)

Allah (according to Muhammad) was so upset with his prophet for denying himself an afternoon of pleasure with the concubine that Allah had provided for him that it was a good thing for Muhammad that Allah was a forgiving and merciful god!  (For the Muslim faithful, it must surely be a source of embarrassment that Allah evidently had more interest in Muhammad’s personal sex life than he did about tolerance or universal love.  The god of Islam encourages sex with slaves in several other places as well).

Muhammad used eternal paradise and damnation to solicit strict obedience to his every command: “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise, and whoever disobeys me will not enter it’” (Bukhari 92.384).

Islam became centered completely around its founder.  Of all the prophets, new converts are required to affirm only the legitimacy of Muhammad.  The Muslim leader even shares the Shahada with Allah (“There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger”).  To this day, every Muslim must bow down five times a day “toward” Muhammad’s birthplace (Islam’s “prophet” did not know the earth was round).

The prophet of Islam was also an extremely superstitious person, leaving many bizarre rules for Muslims to follow, including which direction they should defecate and how many stones they should wash their anus with afterwards (any odd number… for anyone who’s curious).  (See also MYTH: Muhammad did Away with Superstition).  Sketchy hygiene apparently left him with an annoying lice infection.

Not content with waiting for Allah to act on his behalf, Muhammad had personal critics executed, including poets.  One of these was a mother of five children, who was stabbed to death by Muhammad’s envoy after a suckling infant was removed from her breast (see MYTH: Muhammad Never Killed Women).  Other innocent people were killed merely because they were of a different religion, sometimes including children (see MYTH: Muhammad Never Killed Children).

The glaring double standards of Islam were ingrained by the prophet of Islam during his lifetime.  This included commands to execute apostates (those who wish to leave Islam) and evict people of other religions from their homes.

An elderly woman named Umm Qirfa once ran afoul of Muhammad merely by fighting back when her tribe was targeted by Muslim raiders.  Muhammad’s adopted son tied the woman’s legs separately to two camels, then set the camels off in opposite directions, tearing the woman’s body in two.  He also killed her two sons – presumably in gruesome fashion – and made her daughter into a sex slave.  (See alsoMYTH: Muhammad Never Killed the Elderly).

Today’s Muslims inherit this legacy of self-consumption and disregard for those outside the faith.  They may or may not agree with terrorist attacks on non-Muslims, but they are nearly united in their belief that the victims have no right to strike back, even if it is in self-defense.

The Quran distinguishes Muslims from others, bestowing the highest praise for believers while heaping the vilest condemnation on those outside the faith.  Islam is a true supremacist ideology.  (See also Is the Quran Hate Speech?)


The Taking of Mecca

Though many of the Arab and Jewish tribes were eliminated and absorbed through military victory and forced conversion, the city of Mecca remained.

In 628, six years after fleeing, Muhammad’s followers were allowed to re-enter the city under an agreement whereby he set aside his title as “Prophet of Allah.”  This was a temporary ploy that enabled him to gain a political foothold in the city through the same “fifth column” activities that are still used today by organizations such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which use their host’s language of religious tolerance to disguise an ulterior agenda that includes systematic discrimination against non-Muslims.

Many of his followers were disappointed that Muhammad had made concessions to the Meccans, not understanding how it actually fit perfectly with his ultimate agenda of domination.  It was during this time that he led the campaign against the Khaybar, to assuage their lust for blood, women and loot.

Technically, Muhammad was the first to break the treaty with the Meccans when he violated the portion of it that restricted him from accepting members of the other tribe into his camp.  His own people also staged deadly raids on Meccan caravans (see MYTH: The Meccans were the First to Break the Treaty of Hudaibiya).  Although he evidently had no personal obligation to the treaty, the prophet of Islam held the other party to the letter of the law, particularly after he amassed the power to conquer in overwhelming fashion.

The excuse that Muhammad eventually used to march his armies into Mecca was provided when a tribe allied to the Meccans conducted a raid on a tribe allied with the Medinans.  Although a true man of peace would have heeded the fact that his enemy did not want war, and used non-violent means to resolve the tension while respecting sovereignty, Muhammad merely wanted power and vengeance.  (See also MYTH: Muhammad always Chose Peace over War).

In just under a decade, Muhammad had evolved from trying to sell himself as a Judeo-Christian prophet, seeking followers, to an Arab warlord, seeking subjects, slaves and total dominance.  The early Quran (of Mecca) tells unbelievers to ‘follow the example’ of Muhammad or suffer Hell.  The later Quran (of Medina) tells unbelievers to ‘obey’ Muhammad or suffer death.

Following Mecca’s surrender, Muhammad put to death those who had previously insulted him (see also MYTH: Muhammad was a Forgiving Man).  One of the persons sentenced was his former scribe, who had written revelations that Muhammad said were from Allah.  The scribe had previously recommended changes to the wording that Muhammad offered (based on some of the bad grammar and ineloquent language of “Allah”) and Muhammad agreed.  This caused the scribe to apostatize, based on his belief that real revelations should have been immutable.

Although the scribe escaped death by “converting to Islam” at the point of a sword, others weren’t so lucky.  One was a slave girl who was executed on Muhammad’s order because she had written songs mocking him.

In what would also become the model for future Muslim military conquests, those Meccans who would not convert to Islam were required to accept third-class status.  Not surprisingly, almost the entire city – which had previously rejected his message – immediately “converted” to Islam once Muhammad came back with a sword in this hand.  This included has adversary, Abu Sufyan, who was bluntly ordered to “Submit and testify that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the apostle of Allah before you lose your head.”

Those who would not convert to Islam were banned from the city a few months later – again underscoring the dual ethics of Islam.  When Muhammad was previously banned from Mecca, he described it as a “persecution” that justified his “slaughter” of those who prevented him from performing the Haj.  Yet, when he attained power, he immediately chased anyone who would not convert to Islam from Mecca and prevented them from performing the Haj.

To this day, people of other religions are barred even from entering Mecca, the city where Muhammad was free to preach in contradiction to the established religion.  Islam is far less tolerant even than the more primitive Arab religion that it supplanted.  A person preaching the original Arab polytheism on the streets of Mecca today would be quickly executed.


Jihad and Jizya

Tellingly, some of the most violent verses in the Quran were handed down following Muhammad’s ascension to power, when there was no threat to the Muslim people.  The 9th Sura of the Quran exhorts Muslims to Jihad and dominance over other religions:

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.”  (9:29)

The verse that follows curses Christians and Jews by name and says“May Allah destroy them” (as with other sections of the Quran, it is unclear whether it is Allah or Muhammad speaking).

Before his death, Muhammad ordered 30,000 men to march on Christian lands (which were Byzantine at the time).  It is possible that he believed false rumors of an army amassed against him, but there is absolutely no evidence of such a force having been assembled.  Instead, Muhammad subjugated the local people and extorted “protection” money from them – something that has come to be known as the jizya(a tax that non-Muslims pay to Muslims).

Another episode from this period that offers insight into the legacy of Muhammad is the forced conversion of the al-Harith, one of the last Arab tribes to hold out against Muslim hegemony.  Muhammad gave the chief of the tribe three days to accept Islam before sending his army to destroy them.

Not surprisingly, the entire people immediately embraced the Religion of Peace!

Most Arab tribes recognized Muhammad’s quest for power and wisely pledged their political allegiance without a fight.  This quickly presented a problem for his core band of followers, however, since they had become used to living off of what could be stolen from others via raids and battle.

Since it was against the rules to attack fellow Muslims, Muhammad began demanding tribute from his new “converts” instead, but this proved to be less profitable than the jizya – not to mention that it carried the risk of internal resentment and strife.

Khaybar, the remote Jewish city that had been turned into a sharecropper state on behalf of its Muslim masters was a more preferable economic model for a growing Islamic empire that had become dependent on extortion justified by religious superiority.

Years before attacking Christian and Persian lands, Muhammad wrote to governors in each, telling them, “embrace Islam and you will be safe.”  There was no mention of oppression or liberation cited as a justification.  The only threat these people faced would be from Muslim armies.  (Only six years later, 4,000 peasants in the modern-day Palestinian region would be slaughtered for defending their homes).

At the time, the wealth of other nations was an open source of envy among Muhammad’s followers, which he promised to rectify.  The subsequent military expansion that he set in motion may have been sanctioned by Allah and powered by religious zealotry, but the underlying motives of money, sex, slaves and power were no less worldly than any other conqueror of the time.


The Legacy of Islamic Imperialism

Muhammad died of a fever in 632 at the age of 63, with his violent religion spread over most of Arabia.  His method of forcing others to convert under duress had several negative consequences, beginning with the civil wars that were immediately engaged in following his death.  Many tribes wanted out of Islam and had to be kept in the empire via horrific violence.

Abu Sufyan, the Meccan leader who was literally forced to “embrace” Islam at the point of a sword actually had the last laugh.  He skillfully worked his own family into the line of succession and his son, Muawiya, became the heir to Muhammad’s empire at the expense of the prophet’s own family.  In fact, Abu Sufyan almost lived to witness his son and grandson kill off Muhammad’s own grandchildren and assume control of the Islamic empire.

Muhammad’s failure to leave a clear successor resulted in a deep schism that quickly devolved into violence and persists to this day as the Sunni/Shia conflict.  His own family fell apart and literally went to war with each other in the first few years.  Thousands of Muslims were killed fighting each other in a battle between Muhammad’s favorite wife, Aisha, and his adopted son, Ali.

Infidels fared no better.  Through Muhammad’s teachings and example, his followers viewed worldly life as a constant physical battle between the House of Peace (Dar al-Salaam) and the House of War (Dar al-Harb).  Muslims are instructed to invite their enemies to either embrace Islam, pay jizya (protection money), or die.

Over the next fourteen centuries, the bloody legacy of this extraordinary individual would be a constant challenge to those living on the borders of the Islam’s political power.  The violence that Muslim armies would visit on people across North Africa, the Middle East, Europe and into Asia as far as the Indian subcontinent is a tribute to a founder who practiced and promoted subjugation, rape, murder and forced conversion.

In Muhammad’s words: “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.’ And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them…”  (Bukhari 8:387)

It is certainly the basis not just for modern day terror campaigns against Western infidels (and Hindus and Buddhists) but also the broad apathy that Muslims across the world have to the violence, which is an obvious enabler.

As Indonesian cleric, Abu Bakar Bashir recently put it, “If the West wants to have peace, then they have to accept Islamic rule.”

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Myths of Islam

Muslims often complain of popular “misconceptions” about their religion in the West. 

We took a hard look, however, and found that the most prevalent myths of Islam are the ones held by Muslims and Western apologists.  The only glaring exception to this is the misconception that all Muslims are alike (they aren’t, of course), but even Muslims often believe this as well, as evidenced by the various contrary factions insisting that they are the true Muslims, while those who disagree with them are either infidels, hijackers, or hypocrites.

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Islam Means ‘Peace’

The Myth:

Lesser educated Muslims sometimes claim that the root word of Islam is “al-Salaam,” which is “peace” in Arabic.

The Truth:

An Arabic word only has one root.  The root word for Islam is “al-Silm,” which means “submission” or “surrender.”  There is no disagreement about this among Islamic scholars. al-Silm (submission) does not mean the same thing as al-Salaam (peace), otherwise they would be the same word.

Submission and peace can be very different concepts, even if a form of peace is often brought about through forcing others into submission.  As the modern-day Islamic scholar, Ibrahim Sulaiman, puts it, “Jihad is not inhumane, despite its necessary violence and bloodshed, its ultimate desire is peace which is protected and enhanced by the rule of law.”

In truth, the Quran not only calls Muslims to submit to Allah, it also commands them to subdue people of other religions until they are in a full state of submission to Islamic rule.  This has inspired the aggressive history of Islam and its success in conquering other cultures.

Islam Respects Women as Equals

The Myth:

The Quran places men and women on equal foundation before Allah.  Each person is judged according to his or her own deeds.  Women have equal rights under Islamic law.

The Truth:

Merely stating that individuals will be judged as such by Allah does not mean that they have equal rights and roles, or that they are judged by the same standards.

There is no ambiguity in the Quran, the life of Muhammad, or Islamic law as to the inferiority of women to men despite the efforts of modern-day apologists to salvage Western-style feminism from scraps and fragments of verses that have historically held no such progressive interpretation.

After military conquests, Muhammad would dole out captured women as war prizes to his men.  In at least one case, he advocated that they be raped in front of their husbands.  Captured women were made into sex slaves by the very men who killed their husbands and brothers.  There are four Quranic verses in which “Allah” makes clear that a Muslim master has full sexual access to his female slaves, yet there is not one that prohibits rape.

The Quran gives Muslim men permission to beat their wives for disobedience, but nowhere does it command love in marriage (although it is said to exist).  The verses plainly say that husbands are “a degree above” wives.  The Hadith says that women are intellectually inferior, and that they comprise the majority of Hell’s occupants.

Under Islamic law, a man may divorce his wife at his choosing.  If he does this twice, then wishes to remarry her, she must first have sex with another man.  Men are exempt from such degradations.

Muslim women are not free to marry whom they please, as are Muslim men.  Their husband may also bring other wives (and slaves) into the marriage bed.  And she must be sexually available to him at any time (as a field ready to be “tilled,” according to the holy book of Islam).

Muslim women do not inherit property in equal portion to males.  This is somewhat ironic given that Islam owes its existence to the wealth of Muhammad’s first wife, which would not otherwise have been inherited by her given that she had two brothers and her first husband had three sons.

A woman’s testimony in court is considered to be worth only half that of a man’s, according to the Quran.  Unlike a man, she must also cover her head – and often her face.

If a woman wants to prove that she was raped, then there must be four male witnesses to corroborate her account (according to strict Sharia).  Otherwise she can be jailed or stoned to death for confessing to “adultery.”

Given all of this, it is quite a stretch to say that men and women have “equality under Islam” based on obscure theological analogies or comparisons.  This is an entirely new ploy that is designed for modern tastes and disagrees sharply with the reality of Islamic law and history.

Further Reading from the Quran:

Veils
Women Worth Less than Men
Proving Rape under Islamic Law
Wife-Beating
Divorce – A Man’s Prerogative
Remarriage
Men in Charge of Women
Polygamy


Jihad Means ‘Inner Struggle’

The Myth:

Islam’s Western apologists sometimes claim that since the Arabic word, Jihad, literally means “fight” or “struggle,” it refers to an “inner struggle” rather than holy war.

The Truth:

In Arabic, “jihad” means struggle.  In Islam, it means holy war.

The Quran specifically exempts the disabled and elderly from Jihad (4:95), which would make no sense if the word is being used merely within the context of spiritual struggle.  It is also unclear why Muhammad and his Quran would use graphic language, such as smiting fingers and heads from the hands and necks of unbelievers if he were speaking merely of character development.

With this in mind, Muslim apologists generally admit that there are two meanings to the word, but insist that “inner struggle” is the “greater Jihad,” whereas “holy war” is the “lesser.”  In fact, this misconception is based only on an a single hadith that Islamic scholars generally agreed was fabricated.

By contrast, the most reliable of all Hadith collections is that of Bukhari.  Jihad is mentioned over 200 times in reference to the words of Muhammad and each one carries a clear connotation to holy war, with only a handful of possible exceptions (dealing with a woman’s supporting role during a time of holy war).

Further Reading:

The Greater-Lesser Jihad Myth (from a Muslim Source)

Islam is a Religion of Peace

The Myth:

Muhammad was a peaceful man who taught his followers to be the same.  Muslims lived peacefully for centuries, fighting only in self-defense, and only when it was necessary.  True Muslims would never act aggressively.

The Truth:

There shouldn’t be any argument over who the “true Muslim” is because the Quran clearly distinguishes the true Muslim from the pretender in Sura 9 and elsewhere.  According to this – one of the last chapters of the Quran – the true believer “strives and fights with their wealth and persons” while the hypocrites are those who “sit at home,” refusing to join the jihad against unbelievers in foreign lands.

In truth, Muhammad organized 65 military campaigns in the last ten years of his life and personally led 27 of them.  The more power that he attained, the smaller the excuse needed to go to battle, until finally he began attacking tribes merely because they were not yet part of his growing empire.

After Muhammad’s death, his successor immediately went to war with former allied tribes which wanted to go their own way.  Abu Bakr called them ‘apostates’ and slaughtered anyone who did not want to remain Muslim.  Eventually, he was successful in holding the empire together through blood and violence.

The prophet of Islam’s most faithful followers and even his own family soon turned on each other as well.  There were four caliphs (leaders) in the first twenty-five years, each of which was a trusted companion of his.  Three of these four were murdered.  The third caliph was murdered by those allied with the son of the first caliph.  The fourth caliph was murdered in the midst of a conflict with the fifth caliph, who began a 100-year dynasty of excess and debauchery that was brought to an end in a gruesome, widespread bloodbath by descendents of Muhammad’s uncle (who was not even a Muslim).

Muhammad’s own daughter, Fatima, and his son-in-law, Ali, who both survived the pagan hardship during the Meccan years safe and sound, did not survive Islam after the death of Muhammad.  Fatima died of stress from persecution within three months, and Ali was later assassinated by Muslim rivals.  Their son (Muhammad’s grandson) was killed in battle with the faction that became today’s Sunnis.  His people became Shias.  The relatives and personal friends of Muhammad were mixed into both warring groups, which then fractured further into hostile sub-divisions as Islam expanded.

Muslim apologists, who like to say that is impossible for today’s terrorists to be Muslim when they kill fellow Muslims, would have a very tough time explaining the war between Fatima’s followers and Aisha to a knowledgeable audience.  Muhammad explicitly held up both his favorite daughter and his favorite wife as model Muslim women, yet they were invoked respectively by each side in the violent civil war that followed his death.  Which one was the prophet of God so horribly wrong about?

Muhammad left his men with instructions to take the battle against Christians, Persians, Jews and polytheists (which came to include millions of unfortunate Hindus).  For the next four centuries, Muslim armies steamrolled over unsuspecting neighbors, plundering them of loot and slaves, and forcing the survivors to either convert or pay tribute at the point of a sword.

Companions of Muhammad lived to see Islam declare war on every major religion in the world in just the first few decades following his death – pressing the Jihad against Hindus, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, and Buddhists.

By the time of the Crusades (when the Europeans began fighting back), Muslims had conquered two-thirds of the Christian world by sword, from Syria to Spain, and across North Africa.  Millions of Christians were enslaved by Muslims, and tens of millions of Africans.  The Arab slave-trading routes would stay open for 1300 years until pressure from Christian-based countries forced Islamic nations to declare the practice illegal (in theory).  To this day, the Muslim world has never apologized for the victims of Jihad and slavery.

There is not another religion in the world that consistently produces terrorism in the name of God as does Islam.  The most dangerous Muslims are nearly always those who interpret the Quran most transparently.  They are the fundamentalists or purists of the faith, and believe in Muhammad’s mandate to spread Islamic rule by the sword, putting to death those who will not submit.  In the absence of true infidels, they will even turn on each other.

The holy texts of Islam are saturated with verses of violence and hatred toward those outside the faith, as well as the aforementioned “hypocrites” (Muslims who don’t act like Muslims).  In sharp contrast to the Bible, which generally moves from relatively violent episodes to far more peaceful mandates, the Quran travels the exact opposite path (violence is first forbidden, then permitted, then mandatory).  The handful of earlier verses that speak of tolerance are overwhelmed by an avalanche of later ones that carry a much different message.  While Old Testament verses of blood and guts are generally bound by historical context within the text itself, Quranic imperatives to violence usually appear open-ended and subject to personal interpretation.

From the history of the faith to its most sacred writings, those who want to believe in “peaceful Islam” have a lot more to ignore than do the terrorists.  By any objective measure, the “Religion of Peace” has been the harshest, bloodiest religion the world has ever known.  In Islam there is no peace unless Muslims have power – and even then…

Further Reading:

The Life of Muhammad: An Inconvenient Truth
Muslim Terror from 9/11 through 2003
Muslim Terror in 2004
Muslim Terror in 2005
Muslim Terror in 2006
Muslim Terror in 2007
In the Name of Allah

Islam is Tolerant of Other Religions

The Myth:

Religious minorities have flourished under Islam.  Muslims are commanded to protect Jews and Christians (the People of the Book) and do them no harm. The Quran says in Sura 109,“To you, your religion.  To me, mine.”

The Truth:

Religious minorities have not “flourished” under Islam.  In fact, they have dwindled to mere shadows after centuries of persecution and discrimination.  Some were converted from their native religion by brute force, others under the agonizing strain of dhimmitude.

What Muslims call “tolerance,” others correctly identify as institutionalized discrimination.  The consignment of Jews and Christians to dhimmis under Islamic rule means that they are not allowed the same religious rights and freedoms as Muslims.  They cannot share their faith, for example, or build houses of worship without permission.

Historically, dhimmis have often had to wear distinguishing clothing or cut their hair in a particular manner that indicates their position of inferiority and humiliation.  They do not share the same legal rights as Muslims, and must even pay a poll tax (the jizya).  They are to be killed or have their children taken from them if they cannot satisfy the tax collector’s requirements.

For hundreds of years, the Christian population in occupied Europe had their sons taken away and forcibly converted into Muslim warriors (known as Jannisaries) by the Ottoman Turks.

It is under this burden of discrimination and third-class status that so many religious minorities converted to Islam over the centuries.  Those who didn’t often faced economic and social hardships that persist to this day and are appalling by Western standards of true religious tolerance and pluralism.

For those who are not “the People of the Book,” such as Hindus and atheists, there is very little tolerance to be found once Islam establishes political superiority.  The Quran tells Muslims to “fight in the way of Allah” until “religion is only for Allah.”  The conquered populations face death if they do not establish regular prayer and charity in the Islamic tradition (ie. the pillars of Islam).

Tamerlane and other Muslim warriors slaughtered tens of millions of Hindus and Buddhists, and displaced or forcibly converted millions more over the last thousand years.  Islamists in Somalia behead Christians.  In Iran, they are jailed.

One of the great ironies of Islam is that non-Muslims are to be treated according to the very standards by which Muslims themselves would claim the right to violent self-defense were the shoe on the other foot.  Islam is its own justification.  Most Muslims therefore feel no need to explain the ingrained arrogance and double standard.

There are about 500 verses in the Quran that speak of Allah’s hatred for non-Muslims and the punishment that he has prepared for their unbelief.  There is also a tiny handful that say otherwise, but these are mostly earlier verses that many scholars consider to be abrogated by the later, more violent ones.

As for Sura 109, any true Quran scholar will point out that the purpose of the verse was to distinguish Islam from the gods of the Quraysh (one of which was named “Allah”) rather than to advocate religious tolerance for non-Muslims.  At the time that he narrated this very early verse, Muhammad did not have any power, and thus no choice but to be “tolerant” of others.  By contrast, there was no true tolerance shown when he returned to Mecca with power many years later and demanded the eviction or death of anyone who would not convert to Islam.  In fact, he physically destroyed the cherished idols of the people to whom he had previously addressed in Sura 109.

If tolerance simply means discouraging the mass slaughter of those of a different faith, then today’s Islam generally meets this standard more often than not.  But, if tolerance means allowing people of other faiths the same religious liberties that Muslims enjoy, then Islam is fundamentally the most intolerant religion under the sun.

Islam and the “Golden Age” of Scientific Discovery

The Myth:

Muslims often claim that their religion fostered a rich heritage of scientific discovery, “paving the way” for modern advances in technology and medicine.  On this topic, they usually refer to the period between the 7th and 13th centuries, when Europe was experiencing its “Dark Ages” and the Muslim world was acquiring new populations and culture through violent conquest.

The Truth:

Although there is no arguing that the Muslim world was relatively more advanced during this Middle Age period than the “Christian” world, the reasons for this have absolutely nothing to do with the Islamic religion (other than its mandate for military expansion).  In fact, the religion tends to discourages knowledge outside of itself (Quran 5:101-102), which is why the most prolific Muslim scholars are usually students of religion rather than science.

[Note that the country of Spain alone translates more learning material and literature into Spanish each year than the entire Arab world has translated into Arabic since the 9th century.  As the Saudi Grand Mufti bluntly put it in 2010, “The Quran with its stories and knowledge are sufficient for us… we don’t need the Torah, or Gospels, or any other book].

The many fundamentalists and other devotees who dress as Muhammad did and adopt 7th century lifestyles to some degree or another underscore the importance of tradition in Islam.  The religion is highly conservative and resistant to change, which is viewed with suspicion.  As scholar Bernard Lewis points out, in Islam an innovation is presumed to be bad unless it can be proven to be good.

Beyond this, there are four basic reasons why Islam has little true claim to scientific achievement:

First, the Muslim world benefited greatly from the Greek sciences, which were translated for them by dhimmi Christians and Jews.  To their credit, Muslims did a better job of preserving Greek text than did the Europeans of the time, and this became the foundation for their own knowledge.  (One large reason for this, however, was that access by Christians to this part of their world was cut off by Muslim slave ships and coastal raids that dominated the Mediterranean during this period).

Secondly, many of the scientific advances credited to Islam were actually “borrowed” from other cultures conquered by the Muslims.  The algebraic concept of “zero”, for example, is erroneously attributed to Islam when, in fact, it was a Hindu discovery that was merely introduced to the West by Muslims.

In truth, conquered populations contributed greatly to the history of “Muslim science” until gradually being decimated by conversion to Islam (under the pressures of dhimmitude).  As Mark Steyn puts it, “When admirers talk up Islam and the great innovations and rich culture of its heyday, they forget that even at its height Muslims were never more than a minority in the Muslim world, and they were in large part living off the energy of others.”

The Muslim concentration within a population is proportional to the decline of scientific achievement.  It is no accident that the Muslim world has had little to show for itself in the last 800 years or so, since running out of new civilizations to cannibalize.

Third, even accomplished Muslim scientists and cultural icons were often considered heretics in their day, sometimes with good reason.  One of the greatest achievers to come out of the Muslim world was the Persian scientist and philosopher, al-Razi.  His impressive works are often held up today as “proof” of Muslim accomplishment.  But what the apologists often leave out is that al-Razi was denounced as a blasphemer, since he followed his own religious beliefs – which were in obvious contradiction to traditional Islam.

Fourth, even the contributions that are attributed to Islam (often inaccurately) are not terribly dramatic.  There is the ‘invention’ of certain words, such as alchemy and elixir (and assassin, by the way), but not much else that survives in modern technology which is of practical significance.  Neither is there any reason to believe that such discoveries would not have easily been made by the West following the cultural awakening triggered by the Reformation.

As an example, consider that Muslims claim credit for coffee – in the sense that they popularized existing knowledge of Africans who were caught up in the Arab slave trade.  However, it is also true that the red dye used in many food products, from cranberry juice to candy, comes from the abdomen of a particular female beetle found in South America.  It is extremely unlikely that the West would not have stumbled across coffee by now.

In fact, the litany of “Muslim” achievement often takes the form of rhapsody, in which the true origins of these discoveries are omitted – along with their comparative significance to Western achievement.  One often doesn’t hear about the dismal fate of original accomplishments either.  Those who brag about the great observatory of Taqi al-Din in [freshly conquered] Istanbul, for example, often neglect to mention that it was quickly destroyed by the caliphate.

At the end of the day, the record of scientific, medical and technological accomplishment is not something over which Muslim apologists want to get into a contest with the Christian world.  Today’s Islamic innovators are primarily known for turning Western technology, such as cell phones and airplanes, into instruments of mass murder.

To sum up, although the Islamic religion is not entirely hostile to science, neither should it be confused as a facilitator.  The great achievements that are said to have come out of the Islamic world were made either by non-Muslims who happened to be under Islamic rule, or by heretics who usually had little interest in Islam.  Scientific discovery tapers off dramatically as Islam asserts dominance, until it eventually peters out altogether.

Islam is Opposed to Slavery

The Myth:

Islam is intolerant of enslaving human beings.  The religion eradicated the institution of slavery thanks to the principles set in motion by Muhammad, who was an abolitionist.

The Truth:

There is not the least bit of intolerance for slavery anywhere in the Quran.  In fact, the “holy” book of Islam explicitly gives slave-owners the freedom to sexually exploit their slaves – not just in one place, but in at least four separate Suras.  Islamic law is littered with rules concerning the treatment of slaves, some of which are relatively humane, but none that prohibit the actual practice by any stretch.

The very presence of these rules condones and legitimizes the institution of slavery.  Adding to this is the fact that Muhammad was an avid slave trader.  After providing ample evidence of his activities according to the most reliable Muslim biographers, the Center of the Study of Political Islam summarizes its findings as such:

Muhammad captured slaves, sold slaves, bought slaves as gifts of pleasure, received slaves as gifts, and used slaves for work.  The Sira is exquisitely clear on the issue of slavery. (Muhammad and the Unbelievers: a Political Life)

Even the very pulpit from which Muhammad preached Islam was built by slave labor on his command!

The Quran tells Muslims to emulate the example of Muhammad, who has the most “exalted character”.  As such, the deeply dehumanizing horror of slavery has been a ubiquitous tradition of Islam for 14 centuries, including the modern plight of non-Muslim slaves in the Sudan, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and other parts of the Muslim world.

There has never been an abolitionary movement within Islam (just as the religion produces no organized resistance to present-day enslavement).  The abolition of slavery was imposed on the Islamic world by European countries, along with other political pressures that were entirely unrelated to Islamic law.

Although horrible abuses of slaves in the Muslim world were recorded, there has been little inclination toward the documentation and earnest contrition that one finds in the West.  The absence of a guilty Muslim conscience often leads to the mistaken impression that slavery was not as bad under Islam – when it is actually indicative of the explicit tolerance the religion has for the practice

So narcissistic is the effect of Islam on the devoted, that to this day many Muslims believe in their hearts that the women and children carried off in battle, along with their surviving men folk, were actually done a favor by the Muslim warriors who plucked them from their fields and homes and relegated them to lives of demeaning servitude.

Shame and apology, no matter how appropriate, are almost never to be found in Dar al-Islam.  Caliphs, the religious equivalent of popes, maintained harems of hundreds, sometimes thousands of young girls and women captured from lands as far away as Europe and consigned to sexual slavery.  Hungarians were hunted like animals by the Turks, who carried 3 million into slavery over a 150 year period in the 1500-1600’s.  In India, 200,000 Hindus were captured and transported to Iranian slave markets in just a two year span (1619-1620) by one of the kinder Muslim rulers.

African slaves were often castrated by their Muslim masters.  Few survived to reproduce, which is why there are not many people of African descent living in the Middle East, even though more slaves were taken out of Africa in the 1300 years of Arab slave trading than in the 300 years of European slavery.  The 400,000 slaves brought to America, for example, have now become a community of 30 million, with a much higher standard of living than their African peers.

There is no William Wilberforce or Bartoleme de las Casas in Islamic history as there is in Christianity.  When asked to produce the name of a Muslim abolitionist, apologists sometimes meekly suggest Muhammad himself.  But, if a slave owner and trader, who commanded the capture and sexual exploitation of slaves, and left a 13-century legacy of divinely-sanctioned slavery, is the best that Islam can offer in the way of an abolitionist, then no amount of sophistry will be enough to convince any but the most ignorant.

Further Reading:

Slavery in Islam (TROP)
Slavery in Islam (Answering Islam site)

Islam is Incompatible with Terrorism

The Myth:

Islam is completely incompatible with acts of terrorism.  It is against Islam to kill innocent people.

The Truth:

Islam does prohibit killing innocent people.  Unfortunately, you don’t qualify.

Even though many Muslims earnestly believe that their religion prohibits the killing of innocent people by acts of terrorism, the truth is certainly more complicated.  This is why Muslims on both sides of the terror debate accuse the other of hijacking Islam while insisting that they are the true believers.  It is also why organizations that commit horrible atrocities in the name of Allah, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, receive a significant amount of moral and financial support from the mainstream.

In fact, the definition of “terrorism” in Islam is ambiguous at best. And the definition of an “innocent person” in Islam isn’t something that Muslim apologists advertise when they say that such persons aren’t to be harmed.  The reason for this is that anyone who rejects Islam by refusing to convert is not considered to be innocent according to Islamic teaching.

Consider that a great deal of the Quran is devoted to describing the horrible punishment that awaits those who refuse to believe Muhammad.  How then can Muslims say that the subjects of divine wrath are innocent people?

The most protected and respected of all non-Muslims are the dhimma, the “people of the book.”  Specifically , these would be Jews and Christians who agree to Islamic rule and pay the jizya (tribute to Muslims).  Yet, the word “dhimmi” is derived from an Arabic root that means “guilt” or “blame.”  [“…the dhimmi parent and sister words mean both ‘to blame’ as well as safeguards that can be extended to protect the blameworthy” Amitav Ghosh, “In an Antique Land”].

So, if even the dhimma have a measure of guilt attached to their status (by virtue of having rejected Allah’s full truth), how can non-Muslims who oppose Islamic rule or refuse to pay thejizya be considered “innocent?”

Even within the Islamic community there is a category of Muslims who are also said to bear guilt – greater, even, than the average non-believer.  These are the hypocrites, or “Munafiqin,” whom Muhammad referred to in the most derogatory terms.  A hypocrite is considered to be a Muslim in name only.  They are distinguished from true Muslims, according to the 9th Sura, by an unwillingness to wage (v.81, 86) or fund (v.121) holy war.  True believers fight and are harsh to unbelievers (v.123).

The Muslim terrorists who frequently kill “other Muslims” in the name of Allah do so believing that their victims are Munafiqin or kafir (unbelievers).  This is a part of Sharia known as takfir,in which a Muslim can be declared an apostate and then executed for their role in hindering the expansion of Islamic authority.  (A true Muslim would go to paradise anyway, in which case he or she could hardly be expected to nurse a grudge amidst the orgy of sex and wine).

In addition to the murky definition of innocence, there is also the problem of distinguishing terrorism from holy war.  Islamic terrorists rarely refer to themselves as terrorists, but usually say that they are holy warriors (Mujahideen, Shahid, or Fedayeen).  They consider their acts to be a form of Jihad.

Holy war is commanded in the Quran and Hadith.  In Sura 9:29, Muhammad establishes the principle that unbelievers should be fought until they either convert to Islam or accept a state of humiliation under Islamic subjugation.  This is confirmed in the Hadith by both Sahih Muslim and Bukhari.

In many places, the prophet of Islam says that Jihad is the ideal path for a Muslim, and that believers should “fight in the way of Allah.”  There are dozens of open-ended passages in the Quran that exhort killing and fighting – far more than there are of peace and tolerance.  It is somewhat naïve to think that their inclusion in this “eternal discourse between God and Man” was of historical value only and not intended to be relevant to present-day believers, particularly when there is little to nothing within the text to distinguish them in such fashion.

Combine the Quran’s exhortation to holy war with the ambiguity of innocence and a monumental problem develops that cannot be patched over by mere semantics.  Not only is there a deep tolerance for violence in Islam, but also a sharp disagreement and lack of clarity over the conditions that justify this violence – and just whom the targets may be.

Even many of those Muslims who claim to be against terrorism still support the “insurgency” in Iraq, for example, and often entertain the allegation that there is a broader “war against Islam.”  Although American troops in Iraq were trying to protect innocent life and help the country rebuild, Muslims around the world and in the West believe that it was legitimate for true believers to try and kill them.

Enjoying the sanction of holy war, the Mujahid thus reasoned that it is permissible to attack fellow Iraqis – the ones helping the Americans – even if they are part of a democratically-elected Iraqi government.  These non-combatants and combatants alike are believed to be the “Munafiqin” or “Takfir” assisting the enemy “Crusaders.”

Although we use Iraq as an example here, this is the same rationale that is ultimately behind all Islamic terror, from the Philippines to Thailand.  Wherever the Muslim religion is a minority, there are always radicals who believe that violence is justified in bringing Islam to dominance – just as Muhammad taught and set by example in Mecca and other places, such as the land of al-Harith.

And what of the so-called “innocents” who suffer from the bombings and shootings?  Even in Muhammad’s time they were unavoidable.  The much-touted hadith in which Muhammad forbade the killing of women, for example, also indicates that there were such casualties in his attacks on other tribes.

If there is any doubt that he believed that the forbidden is sometimes necessary, it should be put to rest by an incident in which Muhammad’s men warned him that a planned night raid against an enemy camp would mean that women and children would be killed.  He merely replied “they are of them,” meaning the men.

This is the slippery slope opened by the sanction of holy war.  What starts out as the perception of a noble cause of self-defense against a supposed threat gradually devolves into a “let Allah sort them out” campaign through a series of logical steps that are ultimately justified by the sublime goal of Islamic rule.

Islam is not intended to co-exist as an equal with other religions.  It is to be the dominant religion with Sharia as the supreme law.  Islamic rule is to be extended to the ends of the earth and resistance is to be dealt with by any means necessary.

Apologists in the West often shrug off the Quran’s many verses of violence by saying that they are relevant only in a “time of war.”

To this, Islamic terrorists would agree.  They are at war.

Islam is a Democracy

The Myth:

Islam is compatible with democratic principles.  The religion itself is a democracy.

The Truth:

A democracy is a system in which all people are judged as equals before the law, regardless of race, religion or gender.  The vote of every individual counts as much as the vote of any other.  The collective will of the people then determines the rules of society.

Under Islamic law, only Muslim males are entitled to full rights.  The standing of a woman is often half that of a man’s – sometimes even less.  Non-Muslims have no standing with a Muslim.  In fact, a Muslim can never be put to death for killing an unbeliever.

The Islamic state is guided by Islamic law, derived from the Quran and Sunnah.  A body of clerics interprets the law and applies it to all circumstances social, cultural and political.  The people are never to be placed above the Quran and Sunnah any more than man should be above Allah.

It is somewhat debatable as to whether there are any states in the Muslim world that qualify as actual democracies.  There is no denying, however, that the tiny handful that are often held up as democratic nations are ones in which deep tension exists between the government and religious leaders, as the latter often complain that democracy is an idolatrous system imposed on them.

Islam does not facilitate democracy.

Further Reading:

Democracy and Islam
Loyalty to a Non-Muslim Government
The Quran is the Muslim Counterpart to the Bible

The Myth:

The Quran is to Muslims what the Bible is to Christians (and the Torah to Jews).

The Truth:

The Quran only contains what is presented as the literal words of Allah – as relayed by Muhammad.  It can be compared to a manufactured text that includes only the words of Jesus (the so-called “red-letter” verses) extracted from their New Testament historical context and then randomly mixed together (the chapters of the Quran are arranged by size and themes are rarely consistent even within each chapter).

By contrast, the Bible contains history and biographical detail.  For example, there is nothing in the Quran that details Muhammad’s life, whereas the Bible contains four books that present all that is known about the biography of Jesus.  Another distinction is that when the Bible commands violence – as it does in a handful of Old Testament verses – the intended target is explicitly defined within the passage, leaving little doubt that it is a recounting of history and not an open-ended command for anyone else to do the same.

Despite the rhapsody with which Muslims sing the Quran’s praises, there is an obvious reason why only a minority have actually bothered to delve deeper than an occasional sporadic perusal through its pages.  The random arrangement of verses and near absence of context makes it difficult to understand.  For this reason the Quran is rarely printed without the incorporation of voluminous commentary (that usually expresses the personal preferences of the translator).

In fact, the Muslim counterpart to the Bible is the Quran, Hadith and Sira combined.

The Hadith is a collection of anecdotes and historical snippets of Muhammad’s life based on the relayed narrations of those who lived with him. Unfortunately, authenticity varies.  But the most dependable compilers are agreed by Muslims scholars to be Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, followed by Abu Dawud. It is on the Hadith that Islamic law (Sharia) is based.

The Sira is the biography of Muhammad’s life. Again, there are reliability issues which would appear somewhat bewildering to Christians, given that the gospels were well in place within the first few decades following the crucifixion – which preceded Muslim history by over 600 years.  Still, the most reliable biography of Muhammad was compiled by Ibn Ishaq, who wrote about 150 years after his death.  His original work survives only in what was “edited” by a later translator (Ibn Hisham, who admitted that he filtered out several accounts that were of a distasteful nature).

A failure to recognize that the Bible is only comparable to the Quran, Hadith and Sira together often leads to faulty accusation and misplaced analysis.

source

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SCIENCE-ISLAM__800x450

The Quran’s Mythical Science

BY · JULY 2, 2015

Introduction

Muslim scholars still claim that the Quran contains numerous scientific miracles. Many Muslim Arabs regard those claims as the most important reason why they accept Islam as the true divine religion.

The term ‘scientific miracle’ is a contradictory expression, just like saying a black white. Science is based on explanations and calculated results, while miracles are unpredictable and unexplainable. However, by claiming the Quran has ‘scientific miracles’, Muslim scholars only mean that the Quran is correct and it agrees with science. Of course, any book is supposed to be correct, but since the Quran is centuries old, Muslims believe it was expected to be wrong, had it been authored by a man.

How did the Issue of scientific miracles come up?quranmiracles2

The issue of scientific miracles in the Quran is fairly recent, only about four decades old. There was nothing about this subject in the standard Islamic education as approved by Al-Azhar and Arab governments until at least the 1970s. Before that, Arab Muslims were taught that the language of the Quran is miraculous – a claim many Arabs didn’t find convincing.

In the last century, Arabs passed through a brief period of renaissance marked with some decline in their interest in religion. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Arabs woke up to the painful fact that they were far behind the west in science and in technology. Muslim clerics lost some of their influence as they were unable to provide answers to questions of modern life and were often considered as obstacles to development.

Maurice Bucaille

The rescue came from Maurice Bucaille, a French doctor who worked for the Saudi king in the 1970s. The generously paid doctor learned the skill of how to make the Muslim Arabs happy by praising their religion and culture. His book about the Bible, the Quran and modern science was published in 1976 and claimed that the Quran, unlike the bible, was free from scientific errors. Oil money seems to have paid well. To the Islamists it was like winning the jackpot.

To this point, I must say that I never met a Muslim who actually read Maurice Bucaille book, although they all knew about it. But that didn’t matter because the important point was the fact that a western Christian has admitted that the Quran is scientifically accurate. If a Muslim wrote such a book it wouldn’t have made such an impact, as the material contained was not the issue but the author was. Speaking of myself, I read parts of the book during the height of my religious interest and was never really convinced of its arguments, but who cares? What mattered to me was the fact that a western Christian made an admission that the Quran is correct, scientifically. I believed all the claims made in the book not because they convinced me but because they happened to suit me. Keep in mind though that those days it wasn’t usual for westerners to praise Islam or convert to it.

Maurice Bucaille’s book, being written by a western Christian, made me clench to Islam longer. It must have had a similar impact on other Muslims as well. Its success stimulated the Saudis to spread the word through other means such as special TV programs and to establish the International Commission of Scientific Signs in the Quran and Sunna. Sheikh Zindani was appointed in charge of the commission which encouraged pseudo-academics to do as many as possible of pseudo- research that supported their point.

Obviously, Maurice Bucaille didn’t believe his own claims because if he did he should have converted to Islam immediately to save his soul. Having read the Quran, he must have learned that the unbelievers will be burnt in hell fire for eternity. Some Muslims claim that he had lately converted to Islam, which does not make any difference; he certainly wasn’t sure he will live to see the light of another day.

The appearance of the ‘Miracle Specialists’

Maurice Bucaille’s success lead to the appearance of a new breed of Muslim scholars called ‘the miracle specialists’ whose role was to spread this myth of Quranic miracles to the world. They first targeted the Muslims (to strengthen their faith) and then the non-Muslims working in Saudi Arabia (those days, non-Muslim conversions to Islam were generously rewarded). Exploring scientific miracles in the Quran became a big business in the Islamic world with its own celebrities.Miracle Expert

Because true Muslims believe the Quran to be Allah’s words, they also believe it must be absolutely accurate. Everything else in life must give in to maintain the integrity of such absolute belief. When the Quran doesn’t agree with common sense or logical thinking, then these have to be modified to conform with the Quran’s logic. Good Muslims must dismiss as wrong any scientific finding that opposes the teachings of the Quran, even if it appears to be correct. Who knows? the scientific evidence might change in the future (with Allah’s willing), but the Quran will never change.

True Muslims’ golden rule is that Allah is always right while everything else can be wrong. If a scientific fact is not in line with Quranic teachings, it simply doesn’t become a fact at all. Any true Muslim will choose to be on Allah’s side even when it is against the entire world. True Muslims do not really need modern science to strengthen their faith. However, they understand that not all Muslims have a perfect faith like theirs; therefore, proving that the Quran is in harmony with science is always welcome.

The miracle specialists follow an aggressive approach in selling their lies. They inject scientific language and terminology into ordinary Arabic text to give it a scientific appearance. They know it is unlikely for their their simple audience to double check the accuracy of the claims they make. They developed a clever strategy to solve the incompatibilities between Quran and science. While the Quran is made of divine words that cannot be changed or modified, the interpretation of those words can be changed. After all, Arabic dictionaries and the interpretation books are not divine, therefore, can be changed.

For two decades after the establishment of the International Commission of Scientific Signs in the Quran and Sunna, its officials were very busy hunting for gullible western academics. Surprisingly, there was no shortage of western scientists who were willing to endorse, in return for money and fame, whatever appealed to the miracle advocates. The willing scientists got invitations to the frequent meetings lavishly organised by the commission. The presence of the western scientists in such meetings was of significance as it gave the presented papers some kind of authenticity from what looked like a neutral party. However, the scientific value of the presence of western scientists in meetings where the discussion is centred on Arabic knowledge remains anyone’s guess.

Prophets and Miracles

The Quran told the stories of many prophets who were armed with miracles, which served the purpose of a divine stamp of authenticity. For example, Moses had his famous stick, which converted to a snake and with which he caused the sea to split. Sulaiman was in control of the wind and the jinn and was able to understand the language of animals. Jesus had the capability to cure the sick and wake up the dead. No human being who witnessed any of those miracles could argue with them, although it was up to them whether to believe in the prophet or not.

The Quran’s miracles, assuming there are any, are very different because they are invisible and, to those who can imagine their existence, are only about common knowledge. Furthermore, their recognition needs to be worked out by people with good command of Arabic, uncritical minds and special kind of imagination (or even hallucination). The irony is that the Quran, if we are supposed to believe it, says with undisputed clarity that Mohammed had no miracles. The Quran repeated this assertion multiple times in a number of verses -Mohammed had no miracles. The Arabs, the Quran says, promised Mohammed to believe in him if he produced to them a miracle but he didn’t. The reason, according to the Quran, was that Allah had enough of sending miracles people who didn’t believe in them.

The claims about scientific miracles in the Quran is a risky business since it exposes the Islamic scripture to scientific scrutiny. For centuries, the Muslims believed that the Quran is a divine book authored by the infallible Allah, therefore, it is absolutely perfect. The finding of one mistake, no matter how trivial, means that the Quran was neither authored nor preserved by Allah and the entire system of Islam collapses in an instant.

The number of claims of scientific miracles keeps rising with every conference about the subject. Probably there are hundreds of claims by now but none of them deserves consideration. This article will look at three of the most pivotal claims made by the so called miracles specialists to expose their lies.

The Shape of the Earth

The Muslim scholars claim that the Quran described the shape of the earth correctly, albeit they are not sure in which verse.
The Quran describes the shape of the earth very clearly, and in numerous verses, as FLAT. It actually used most, if not all, the Arabic expressions to make its point. Interestingly, a thousand years before the Quran, the Greeks were aware of the spherical shape of the earth and calculated its circumference with reasonable accuracy. Even in Mohammed’s time, a flat earth was the knowledge of the ignorants.

The following is a list of the verses referring to the shape of earth. The Arabic words used in the Quran are in bold.

Q. 13:3 “And He it is who hath outstretched the earth, and placed on it the firm mountains”

Madda

Q. 15:19 “And the earth have WE spread out”

Madadnaha

Q. 20:53 “[since he is the One] Who has laid out the earth as a carpet for you”

Mahdan

Q. 2:22 “Who made the earth a bed for you, and the heaven a roof”

Firasha

Q. 43:10 “(Yea, the same that) has made for you the earth (like a carpet) spread out”

Mahdan

Q. 50:6-7 “What, have they not beheld heaven above them, how we have built it, and decked it out fair, and it has no cracks? And the earth — We stretched it forth, and cast on it firm mountains, and we caused to grow therein of every joyous kind”

Madadnaha

Q. 51:48 “And the earth we have spread out, and how excellently do we spread it out”

Farashnaha

Q. 71:19 “And God has laid the earth for you as a carpet”

Bisata

Q. 78:6 “Have WE not made the earth as a bed, And the mountains as pegs”

Mihada

Q. 79:27-30 “What, are you stronger in constitution or the heaven He built? He lifted up its vault, and levelled it, and darkened its night, and brought forth its forenoon; and the earth – after that He spread it out…”

Dahaha

Q. 88:20 “Nor even how the earth has been flattened out”

Sutehat

Q. 91:5-6 “By the heaven and that which built it and by the earth and That which extended it”

Tahaha

The Quran describes the shape of earth using the following Arabic words:

Madda, Madadnaha, Firasha, Mahdan, Farashnaha, Bisata, Mihada, Dahaha, Tahaha and Sutehat.

Every one of the above words means FLAT. I am trying to think of other words in the Arabic language that mean flat but can’t find any! It is clear that Allah, according to the Quran, wants to tell man that earth is flat, and he used all the available Arabic vocabulary to make his point. Flat is precisely what the Arabs understood from the Quran for centuries.

It is clear that the Quran made a fatal error in describing the shape of the earth. The Muslims, however, do not admit defeat because it would mean the falsehood of their religion, which is unthinkable to them. Faced with such a dilemma, the Muslim scholars had to think of some explanations without harming the ‘absolute perfection’ of the Quran.

They re-interpreted the Quran and changed the laws of the language, even they invented new meanings for the words. Most scholars say: “Well, focus on verse 79:30 and ignore the others, the verse uses the word ‘dahaha’ which means egg shaped, modern science discovered that the earth isn’t a sphere but egg shaped”. The Muslim scholars who bothered to read about the difference in the earth’s diameters should have read the difference is not significant enough to make it look like an egg. From outer space, the earth still looks like a sphere. The main point, however, is that the word dahaha doesn’t mean eggs, it means flat in all Arabic dictionaries. It is the flat bed prepared by the Ostrich to lay its eggs. The Muslim scholars clenched to the word ‘eggs’ in the above definition and ignored the rest of it. They even started using the word to mean an egg, in their articles, books and TV programs, which generated some criticism from other Arabs.

Other Muslim scholars follow a different route; they would apologise for the mistakes made by their colleagues in interpreting the word dahaha but still insist that the Quran described the earth as sphere. They say: “well, ignore all the above verses and read with me verse 39:5, which is not mentioned above, it mentions the word ‘yukawwer’ ( to make like a sphere) clearly”. Verse 39:5 reads: “ He wraps the night up in the day, and wraps the day up in the night”. Indeed, the word yukawwer, which is translated here as “wraps”, also means to make like a ball. However, the word does not refer to earth, it refers to the day and night.

A third group of Muslim scholars follow a philosophical approach. They say: When the Quran says earth is flat it means the earth appears to be flat, so wherever you are on earth it appears to you flat, and this can happen only if the earth is round!! But the Quran doesn’t use the word appear (tahsabuha in Arabic) at all. The Quran has used words that mean appear to you in other verses and could have used them again in this context to make its point, but it didn’t. My question to the Muslim scholars is: Assume that the earth is really flat, and Allah wanted to say it in the Quran, how else the information could be communicated? what other expressions left that could be used? Are there any other Arabic expressions left in the language that Allah has not used in the Quran to give the meaning of flat?

Until we get a convincing answer, I am afraid the earth remains flat according to the Quran.

Development of the human embryo

The miracle specialists claim that the Quran described the stages of the human embryo development in verses (Q.23: 12-14): “Verily We created man from a product of wet earth (12). Then we placed him as a drop of seed in a safe lodging (13). Then We fashioned the drop a clot (‘alaqa, something sticky ), and of the clot (‘alaqa) We fashioned a chewed lump, and of the chewed lump We fashioned bones, and We clothed the bones (with) meat. Then We produced it as another creation…(14)”

The verses say that Allah created man from a drop (of the seminal fluid). There is no reference to the ovum, which is a fatal error. Then the verses say that Allah placed the drop in a safe place (we assume it is the uterus) and the drop was created into something sticky (alaqa), then this sticky thing was made into something that looked like a chewed lump, then this chewed lump was fashioned into bone, then Allah dressed this bone with flesh. This is another fatal error as there is no stage when the embryo is made of bony skeleton waiting to be dressed with flesh.

The above verses used words like: notfa (drop), alaqa (sticky thing, or blood clot), mudgha (chewed lump). They are the kind of words that desert women would use. I don’t see in these verses anything more than a description similar to what ladies would describe a miscarriage. Miscarriages can happen at various stages of early pregnancy; so embryos look different in each stage.

Humans since the Stone Age must have noticed that man’s semen was necessary for a woman to get pregnant. They also must have noticed how embryos look like after miscarriages at various stages of pregnancy. I wonder how else a woman in 7th century Arabia would describe her understanding of the development of the human embryo.

The Arabs, and indeed the Jewish tribes in Arabia, criticised Mohammed whenever he said something that looked absurd to them. On this occasion, they did not. There is no shred of evidence that these verses were met with any criticism, which indicates that the verses must have agreed with the prevailing knowledge of the 7th century.

The miracle specialists cherish the embryo subject because it is their most significant success. It happened in 1981 when Prof. Keith Moore of Canada fell into the trap set for him by the Saudi organisation dealing with the Quranic miracles. He shamelessly accepted that the Quran has an accurate description of the development of the embryo. Overnight, Moore became a celebrity enjoying the VIP treatment in his frequent trips to Islamic countries. He even published a special edition of his embryology book, apparently financed by Osama Bin laden, to whom he made an acknowledgement. Prof. Moore’s statement is widely used by Muslims who consider it as the end of discussion. Of course, Dr. Moore doesn’t speak Arabic and had no clue on how the Quran described the embryo.

When Muslims write articles about the Quran’s description of the embryo, or indeed any other ‘scientific miracle’, they follow an interesting pattern. The writers ignore all of the Quran’s errors on the subject. In the embryo example, they do not address the skeletal embryo which Allah covers with flesh, and the omission of the role of the ovum. In the shape of the earth example, they ignore the entire list of words that mean flat and focus on something that exists only in their imagination. Their articles usually start with a lengthy scientific introductions to the subject, complete with scientific diagrams and terminology. The strategy overwhelms the readers who get the impression that only specialists can understand this level of Quranic science. And its all because the Quran mentioned the sticky stuff and the chewed lump!

The Mountains

Muslim scholars claim that the Quran accurately describes the geology of the mountains in verses 16:15 and 78:7

First claim: Mountains and earth’s stability

The miracle specialists claim that the modern theory of plate tectonics holds that mountains work as stabilisers for the earth. The Quran explains the theory in verse Q. 16:15 “And He has thrown onto the earth mountains lest it shakes with you..”
This claim is not true, the mountains do not stabilise the earth; actually they are a result of tectonic instability.

Second claim: Mountain structure

The miracle specialists claim that the Quran described the geological science of mountains in this verse Q. 78:7 “Have We not made the earth a bed? and the mountains as pegs”.

The Arabic word ‘awtad’( translated as pegs) was more than enough for the miracle specialists to publish articles, write books and organise conferences to praise its scientific value. The Arabs insert pegs deep into the ground to support their tents. Modern science proved that mountains also have roots deep into the earth’s crust, therefore, the Quran spoke of a scientific miracle.

As usual, the Muslim miracle scholars ignore the serious error in the preceding verse, where the Quran describes the earth as flat as a bed, and focus on pegs. Unfortunately for them the Quran used the word awtad in other places to describe high rising structures, not deep rooted ones. Actually the Quran referred to the Pharaohs’ pyramids (mountain-shaped) as ‘awtad’, not once but twice:

Verse 38:12 “..and Pharaoh, the owner of the pegs”
Verse 89:10 “And [with] Pharaoh, owner of the pegs”

The above two verse are a proof that the Quran uses the word ‘awtad’ to mean high rising structures, not deep rooted ones.

When it comes to the mountains, the Quran actually makes a far more serious error; literally an out of this world error, not once or twice but dozens of times. The Quran says that the mountains do not belong to the earth at all but were thrown down on the earth (by Allah) to stop it from shaking. The Quran always speaks of the mountains as different entities from the earth, just like the sky. The following is a small sample of those verses:

Q 88: 18-20 “And at the sky, how it is raised? And at the mountains, how they are erected? And at the earth, how it is spread out?”
Q.15:19 “And the earth we have spread out; and thrown thereon mountains…”
Q. 31:10. “He created the skies without any pillars that you can see; He’s thrown down on the Earth Mountains, lest it should shake with you…”
Q. 50:7. “And the earth- We have spread it out, and thrown down thereon mountains…”
Q. 16:15 “And He has thrown down mountains on the earth, lest it should shake with you…”

I am afraid that on the miracles issue, we have to stand by the Quran because it is right and Muslim scholars are wrong.

The Quran said that Allah stopped sending miracles.

And the Quran itself  proved it.

Source http://www.faithfreedom.org/the-qurans-mythical-science/

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The aftermath of the Reclaim Australia rallies.

After the Reclaim Australia rallies over the weekend of 18th & 19th of July which saw a very good turn out in Perth for the supporters of RAR. There was also a protest held at all of the RA rallies by those people of differing views but also violence. At the Melbourne, Sydney and Perth events as many are aware several members of the protesters were arrested by the fantastic Police turnout. It is also worth pointing out that the Police had their backs to the RA crowds. Now surely if the RA supporters were an issue then the Police would be looking at them and not the protesters, wouldn’t they?
So given that had happened and has gained considerable media attention which was pretty good for the RA crew and supporters as it showed the country who were indeed the intolerant violent bigots. Notably the rallies were mentioned on the Bolt Report and all the major TV networks which clearly show who the perpetrators of violence were with images of them rightfully being pepper sprayed.

Given the events on the weekend it has led to the Western Australian governments Minister for Multicultural Interests Mike Nahan to come out and give an interview on the matter. Have a read what the ABC had to say in the link at the bottom.

Now there is still a long way to go but pay particular attention to the words the minister is using when he is talking about the two groups. Okay it may not seem like a lot but it is something. What is it? It is the government no longer calling the people and supporters of Reclaim Australia as racists. Yes okay xenophobic is still not quite right but the language is heading in the right direction but still a long, long way to go. The government need to learn that Islam is not a “…..peace-loving religion.” Islam is far from that. Can Islam be anything other than that? Well the answer for that isn’t a simple no nor is it a straight forward yes either. There are many people, Muslims included that will tell you that Islam cannot be changed as it is the word of god.
Well to that I say look at the history of the Qur’an and see when it was put to paper, some almost 100 years after the Prophet Muhammad supposedly passed away. If this is indeed the case as per the history of Islam, not Muslims history alone but the historical evidence kind of history which is the one we all should be subscribing to, then this can indeed be changed. Taking that into consideration though it isn’t quite so simple.

Who reading this has ever been able to successfully unlearn something that has been a big, all encompassing part of your life. I don’t mean you read it a bit then put it down and get on with your life kind of following the religion but not really. I mean literally every part, every aspect of your life from when you wake in the morning until when you go to sleep and how to sleep if you are a true follower of the Qur’an as it was spoken by the Prophet. Don’t forget all the supporting literature needs to be addressed as well. Some Muslims will say the hadith needs to be followed along with the Qur’an as it is a literal recount of how the Prophet lived his life and how to therefore interpret the book. However others will say that as it isn’t the literal word of Allah then it is nothing but hearsay (now that is irony there people). There also are many books written by Muslims that Muslims learning about what it is to be Islamic and what you can’t do rather than what you can do. So as I say if you were born in to the religion it would be extremely hard to give that all up so quickly. If you are a convert it may or may not be slightly easier.
It would be a huge and long undertaking to suddenly expect all Muslims worldwide to give that all away over night. In fact it is a ridiculous thing to even suggest honestly. Who would police it and how strict do you be? So given that the WA state government has taken some notice there needs to be a movement to now get governments and the Muslim community to come out and finally start telling the full truth about Islam.

Now since these rallies I have personally spoken with many people on social media and it is more than evident that the majority of people defending Islam, not Muslims, have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. To those that may not be aware Islam is not a person so what is there to defend? We are openly allowed to discuss any other religion but just not Islam. Why is that? So yes the WA state governments position of integrating the Muslims into the community better and bringing about better education is indeed a key point and is the only way to have any kind of success with this. The biggest issue with this though is if all parties aren’t going to be totally upfront and honest about it then nothing will ever come of it. There are many very well educated people in Australia that are not Muslim but they have much more knowledge of Islam than likely most Muslims in Australia, the United Kingdom, America and Europe do. Why do I say this? Purely because I have witnessed it with my own eyes and ears.

We demand that Muslims in Australia start admitting that there are many different sects within Islam and that each separate one of those calls itself the only true Islam. Islam as per the Qur’an and hadith was not supposed to be so divided yet it is. Muslims need to be accepting to themselves that even though they are all Muslims they all may well follow it in such a different way. Don’t believe me then go look at the fights between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims since almost the beginning of Islamic time. They have been killing each other over this very issue for centuries. So yes it is fair to say that some of the much more peaceful followers of Islam, the ones that consider only the 1st Meccan parts of the Qur’an where Muhammad was talking only peace as the only parts that need to be followed (Read the Qur’an though and it is a different story), have come here to Australia seeking genuine asylum from the warring Sunni and Shia Muslims. However we take all kinds of Muslims into Australia and the countries I listed above and none of them have to list which sect they belong to and how peaceful it is. Look at it this way, if they aren’t honest with us about the Qur’an and about Islam how are we the general public supposed to ever trust them when we see a much different picture throughout the world. We already have terrorist organisations here in Australia that will say they will bring the true Islam and Sharia Law down on us. Then other Muslims that their Islam is peaceful yet Sharia is good. Then other Muslims saying Sharia will never come here as they want to follow our laws. Who are we to believe?!
This is exactly why the government need to use language that is 100% completely honest. Get the likes of Dr Mark Durie to come and speak on these very issues so Australians can truly begin to understand what Islam is, by Australians I mean all those people that see themselves as only Australian and nothing else. We need all followers of all Islam to know that if they can speak out when things we non Muslims do offends them then they have to accept, not tolerate, that if they do things we are offended by then we too have the right to speak out without reprisal. Religion should be private and for in the house or in the place of worship and not out in public. Isn’t that the idea of living in a secular society where public lives, including government, aren’t affected by religious views. That goes for all religions. All we the general, concerned public want to see is open, honest and transparent policies put in place that benefit all equally or punish all equally and fairly within the laws of the land. There must not ever be any cultural sensitivities taken in to consideration when it comes to matters of the law. It really is simple, if you don’t want to live by our laws then you are free to leave. Australians, even those involved in the Reclaim Australia movement are happy for immigrants to come to Australia of all different ethnic traits . What we don’t want is some to be seen to be given preferential treatment over others. Honestly in the 21st century is that really too much to ask for?
It is time the Governments and the media plus the Muslim communities (don’t think it is just one) to step up and have an honest, open discussion group.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-20/wa-government-plans-islam-community-campaign/6634042

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