Showing posts with label The "Infidel's" Guide to Islam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The "Infidel's" Guide to Islam. Show all posts

Sunday, October 14, 2012

How To Talk To A Muslim: Debating The Existence Of Allah, The Validity Of The Qur'an, & Evolution

Further seizing upon the opportunity to debate with a conservative Muslim, who stands for just about everything I am against, I challenge him on some of the Qur'an's known contradictions using a section from The "Infidel's" Guide to Islam. It all started when Gareth linked his post titled "There is a god, and His name is Allah (My personal gift to Atheists & Anti-Theists)" on the Non Believer Nation Facebook page. I read it and took it upon myself to inject some more intellectual critique, rather than just the usual hyperbole. In his post the argument is made that in the Qur'an, Mohammad gives information about things that were not scientifically known at that time, and could only have been known if this information had been revealed to him by Allah. The "revelation" in question here is a vague line in the Qur'an mentioning that iron was given from above and descended to Earth.

“We have descended Iron, within it contains great durability, as well as benefits for Humans.” Surah 57:25

This is offered as the "proof" that Allah is the one true god and that Islam is the one true faith. As you can easily imagine, I call out this naivety for what it is: bullshit. There were many other comments on the post, some congratulating, some critical, and so I decided to weigh my two cents in so that the anti-theist perspective could be heard. What ensued was a very heated exchange between me and Gareth where I pointed out the contradictions in the Qur'an to make the argument that it is far from revealed wisdom. His only rebuttal when cornered with these apparent facts, is to say that all of my English translations are incorrect, even through I have several of the most popular English-translated Qur'ans.

I ask him for the correct translation directly from Arabic and to include references, but he doesn't reply. About halfway through we get into debating the validity of evolution, which he denies, insisting that the Qur'anic retelling of the Adam and Eve creation myth is how it all happened because "Allah says that it happened, period." So I introduce him to some of the evidence in favor of evolution and he seems to concede, although not admitting it, and retracts back into his talking points, insisting that Allah is all powerful and that I only disbelieve in him because I want to worship my "ego & desires". I close by trying to make amends, in a way, to see how best people like him and me can coexist in the long term. Our debate and the link to his blog are below. His words are in bold.

"There is a god, and His name is Allah (My personal gift to Atheists & Anti-Theists):

Look man, as an atheist and anti-theist, I do respect your right to have your own opinion and to be vocal about it. After all, I hope that you, as I do, respect freedom of speech going both ways. I just can’t wait until the Muslim majority countries practice this.
Over the years I’ve had a few Muslims try to point to some vague references in the Qur’an that when twisted, accurately describe science. But you must be aware, that for skeptics like us, such vague references will never be enough, because all religious books have some truth to them, and they can’t all be correct in their entirety.
On top of that, all religious books are full of scientific and historic inaccuracies, which would of course defeat your objective since your holy book must be perfect. There is no religious text, that accurately describes the universe as science does, because of course no one writing them knew anything about science. You must be aware that the Qur’an contradicts itself many times. How do you reconcile this when the Qur’an is supposed to be absolutely perfect in every way?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Does Islam Condone Unjustified Violence?

Over drinks a few weeks back, I had a great debate with a friend over the reasons why the West has such a big problem with the Islamic world. He maintained that our problems are all due to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and Western militaries being on Muslim lands committing injustices. While I whole heartedly agree that the Israelis have committed human rights violations in their treatment of the Palestinians, and that the U.S. military's blunders in the Middle East, (usually backed by the needs of U.S multinational corporations in their insatiable thirst for profit), have no doubt contributed to the hatred by some in the Islamic world toward the West. But what I do not agree on, is this notion that these are the sole reasons why we have terrible relations with so many in the Islamic world.

Rather, I argue that the primary reason the West has this "beef" with radicalized Islam, is due to our mutually incompatible cultures. Traditional Islam is so radically different in terms of values when compared to the moral progression and modernity of the West. It is, I argue, the forces of cultural modernity more than anything else, that are at the root of many of our problems with Islam. Even if the Israeli/Palestinian conflict did not exist, and even if the U.S. was not on any "Muslim lands", we would still have conflict, because our cultures are so different.

My friend steadfastly argued that it is all politics at the root of our problems and that religion is not at all a part of it, or at the very least it plays a minor role. He argued that he just cannot imagine, someone killing in the name of their religion. I tried to point out to him, with little success, that people throughout history, have killed in the name of their religion, and that killing in the name of religion is historically something quite common. But he could not believe that when a Muslim blows himself up, that it could be in the name of religion, but is always motivated by personal or political conflict.

I offered several examples that show Muslims can be more than willing to kill in the name of their religion. First, Muslims kill each other all the time. Sunnis and Shites have been killing each other off and on for 1,400 years. These killings have nothing to do with Israel or Westerners being on Muslim soil. Second, Muslims have been on the offensive conquering lands in the name of spreading Islam. They took the whole of the Iberian peninsula beginning in the year 711, and the Ottomans marched their way up to siege upon the city Vienna in Central Europe in 1529 and in 1683 (the latter of which was retaliated on September the 11th). This wasn't over Israel or Westerners on Muslim land, indeed this was before the Western imperial powers had colonized the Middle East and North Africa. But my friend argued that the Muslims were motivated by power, not by religion. Well it is certainly true that empires have economic aspirations for expanding and conquering. The funny thing is, Islam even has a chapter detailing the spoils of war in the Qur'an (Sura Al-Anfal) for those victorious Muslims who fight for its cause. Since Muslims put so much emphasis on the Hereafter, Earthly rewards will always pale in comparison to those awarded by god. And no action is deemed more respectable in honor than dying in the name of Islam. For it is this sacrifice, that the pious Muslim can expect his 72 virgins. Since dying in the name of Islam is its highest honor, we can infer that Muslim sieges onto what was previously non Muslim lands, were very likely motivated primarily by a spread of the faith. But I am not denying that there could have been other reasons too.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Intellectual Enemies

I don't often debate religion with fundamentalists, but when I get the rare opportunity it is often exhilarating. This made me think recently of the notion of an "intellectual enemy". That is to say, someone who holds beliefs that if they became the law of the land, the very air would be difficult for me to breathe. I wouldn't be able to exist as I am naturally. An easy example of this would be having to live under an Islamist state or a theocracy. Another would be living under a Stalinist-style dictatorship. The people then who espouse these religions or ideologies and who are actively trying to spread them, are what I call my intellectual enemies.

Now I regard intellectual enemies a bit distinguished from other traditional enemies. I do not necessarily wish harm on those who think differently from me. When I wrote The Infidel's Guide to Islam I carefully mentioned in the introduction that I did not advocate any violence or harm towards Muslims in any way. Instead, I wrote that debate and argumentation should be the weapons of choice. This is a ideological battle that is ensuing, not a real war. Now that doesn't mean that our war on "terror" isn't a real war against radical fundamentalist Islam, with casualties mounting on both sides. What I mean is that we simply cannot kill our way to destroying Islamists and theocrats; the war must inevitably be won with argumentation and persuasion. Lovers of freedom and secularism must win the opinion war against those who assert that a politicized and literalist interpretation of religion be forced on the masses. So I'll take a moderate Muslim over a fundamentalist any day. I'll take a cafeteria Christian over a fundamentalist any day as well. I'd take a secular humanist over all of them, although I wouldn't necessarily judge a person solely by their religious beliefs.

Doing battle with words can often lead to real life physical violence. I am aware of that and weary, especially when one criticizes Islam, that people can get killed. I acknowledge this reality, while seeing Islam as the most formidable contemporary enemy to the secular way of life that I relish in. What I fear about Islam is its spread in the West. I hate the idea that ever increasing numbers of subversive Muslims are populating the West, with the overall goal of one day victoriously raising the flag of Allah and enforcing Sharia law. You may call me an Islamophobe if you are a liberal sympathizer, but there is credible evidence that this is the objective to a surprising number of Muslims, and it's not just a tiny fringe minority.

Just as Communism and Fascism was defeated, I hope too that one day radical Islam will retreat into the darkest corners of the minds of a few ineffectual people. I would like for Muslims to embrace a secular political system as we have here in the U.S., to adopt modern secular humanist values as most progressive Christians and Jews have, and for them to detach themselves from the superstitious thinking produced by faith. If these first steps can be made, I think here in the West we can coexist without much conflict. If an evolution of sorts like this is not made in the Islamic world, and Muslims remain in isolation among us in the West, making no attempt at assimilation, then we will never reconcile our differences and remain intellectual enemies. Modernity must force the Muslim to open their eyes with the shine of enlightenment exposing the truth. If they refuse to acknowledge what they see and wish to remain blind, then there is no hope for our two civilizations and therefore little hope for humanity's future.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The "Infidel's" Guide to Islam


When asked, “Is Islam a religion of peace?” what should one reply? We are often told by the politically correct western media, that Islam is a religion of peace that has been hijacked by extremists who have perverted it, and have used it to justify violence. In a way that’s the media’s job, but those who aren’t in the position of having to make everyone happy, as our news media and politicians often are, can say with confidence that the aforementioned assumption is simply not true. Islam is clearly not a religion of peace by definition, because it justifies violence and unfathomable hatred. A religion that ever justifies violence cannot be considered a religion of peace.

The purpose of The “Infidel’s” Guide to Islam is to educate the nonbeliever or “infidel” (as some Muslims say), to the truth about Islam and what it says. Here you will find the information you need to contradict the lies often told by those who profess the faith, and its sympathizers. This pamphlet is not urging any violence or discrimination towards Muslims in any way, shape or form. Rather, this pamphlet will arm you with knowledge and debate as your primary weapon over the false claims made that are used to spread this religion, and lie to its critics. Do not be the stereotypical ignorant westerner who knows nothing of Islam or its history. Muslims are counting on you being ignorant of the truth of Islam, its history and its culture. This guide is designed as an introduction for non-Muslims to be educated for the ideological debate between Islam (submission) and western liberal democracy (freedom) that simply have irreconcilable differences. How long do we have to tolerate the intolerant?

-Surely the vilest of animals in Allah's sight are those who disbelieve -Surah 8:55

Islam on “Infidels”

What does Islam say about those who don’t blindly submit to the “revelation” of Mohammad? Islam contains two sacred texts, one is the Qur’an, the central book considered by Muslims to be the literal word of god (Allah), and the other is the Hadith, which are the written sayings and teachings of the Islamic “prophet” Mohammad. When one reads the “holy” Qur’an he or she will quickly find a plethora of insults, hatefulness, and utter disdain towards all non-Muslims. In the Qur’an, Allah has absolutely no tolerance or sympathy, and has reserved a special place in hell for the infidel. All the good deeds any non-believer does is worthless in the eyes of god (5:5). Behold what this supposed “religion of peace” says for the fate of non-Muslims:

Those who deny their lord, for them will be cut out a garment of fire: over their heads will be poured out boiling water. With it will be melted what is within their bodies, as well as their skins.

The Qur’an further says, as if that’s not enough torture:

In addition there will be maces of iron (to punish) them. –Surah 22:19-21

Only the sickest, most sadistic reader gets pleasure by contemplating the torments of non-Muslims, and rejoices in their discomfort. I wonder what goes on through the mind of the Muslim when he or she reads these verses.

When it comes to Jews and Christians the “holy” Qur’an says:

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled. The Jews say, "Ezra is the son of Allah "; and the Christians say, "The Messiah is the son of Allah ." That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?  
 –Surah 9:29-30

The Qur'an says that Christians and Jews are to be trusted or tolerated (2:109) but also says numerous times that they are not to be trusted and association with them will lead to unbelief (3:100) and that it is better not to befriend them (5:51). These contradictions are more evidence that the Qur'an is man-made and comes from the mind of one deluded man.

And to polytheists the message is somewhat more severe:

Fight and slay the Pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers, and pay Zakah (charity), then open the way for them, for Allah is oft-forgiving, Most merciful.              
-Surah 9:5

There is a complicated relationship we are told in the Qur'an of how Muslims are supposed to deal with polytheists. Before Islam, Arabia was mostly full of polytheists, and when Islam got started it castigated the perceived idol worship of many pagan traditions. This lead many to see Islam as a threat to their ways and conflict inevitably broke out. Treaties were created and the Qur'an says that if the pagans honor the treaty they are not to be harmed (9:4) but as Surah 9:5 says above, once the treaty period is over, the pagans are to be killed if they do not submit to the codes of Islam.

It seems to be that the wager one must make, given a powerful Islamic force is: Islam, or death. True the restrained infidel has a choice and is not physically forced to convert, for it must be sincere. However, given the circumstances, who can argue that this is really a free choice, when the alternative is death? So as you can see, there is clear justification for violence and war against non-believers, and lethal intimidation for conversion to Islam.

Sure you’ll hear the opposing view that in the Qur’an it says “if any one slew a person…it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people” (Surah 5:32). I’m not denying that there are messages of peace in Islam, but the messages of hate toward the non-Muslim far out-weighs the few messages of mercy. In truth the Qur’an is full of contradictions to its own claims, which I will address in a later chapter. The Islamic god is a god who hates, whose love is purely conditional. One can literally pick a random page of the Qur’an and start reading and within a few pages or so, hit a sour note on Allah’s view toward the non-believer where sadistic details ensue. Eventually it gets to the point of utter redundancy.

If you’re a non-Muslim, it means that Muslims worship and condone a god who quite literally gets off on the idea of you being sadistically tortured forever upon your death. Some Muslims no doubt rejoice on the thought of the infidel’s fate. So can I be accused of misrepresenting the Qur'an? Can I be told that I’m making this all up? That I’m taking it out of context? I urge all of you to read for yourselves the full verses to get the full story. There are dozens of not hundreds of more quotes I can use to make my point. I don’t expect you to read the entire Qur'an, that’s why I’m summarizing it for you. Be educated and learn.

As for those who have converted to Islam and choose to leave it (apostasy) the Hadith unequivocally states the penalty for those who leave Islam:

Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him. -Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57

This is said to have come from the mouth of Mohammad himself, a man considered so noble and honorable in his ways, that he was chosen by god to reveal to the world his final and unalterable revelation. I think it’s pretty clear that Mohammad had a pretty warped sense of morality, as you will find out more about later. Now let’s see what this “prophet” said about the fairer sex.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The "Infidel's" Guide to Islam Coming Soon

I got an idea recently, to write a short pamphlet addressing the question "Is Islam a religion of peace?" After researching into Islam, and the Qur'an, I can tell you for a fact that Islam is no religion of peace. I'm writing the pamphlet to expose to a non-believing audience, the true horrors contained in Islam's doctrines. Its purpose will be to educate the reader on what Islam actually says of "infidels", and what Islam says of the treatment of women, as well as its views on slavery. There will also be a section detailing contradictions in the Qur'an, which we are told is the "perfect" word of the creator of the universe.

The "Infidel's" Guide to Islam will be designed to shock the reader, with sarcasm and humor, but will be fair in portraying the various sides to Islam, including its messages of peace. I also include a disclaimer urging the reader not to discriminate or commit violence of any sort towards Muslims, just in case, because words can be fatal after all.

I've gotten extremely excited over this, even though there is already a book full called The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran. My pamphlet however, will be my personal critique of Islam and is designed as a light read to quickly educate the reader on what I think is a very immoral philosophy. I'd like to pass them out to young people, in many different languages, so that they become educated enough about Islam to see past the lies told about it, and not convert to it.

I will post the entire guide as soon as it's done.


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