Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Shiism and Islamic reformation

First of all I'd like to thank all at Fathfreedom for propagating the truth about Islam, your articles were an important source for helping me make the decision to leave the 'religion of peace' and embrace Christianity instead.
The first point I'd like to make is that I do not think in the West there is sufficient understanding of Islam to see that an Islamic reformation akin to what transpired in Christianity is not possible. People that I have spoken to regarding this issue cannot, or will not grasp that there is not the scope in Islam to support secularism, tolerance, and universal moral values as Christianity allows. I realise I am somewhat biased now being committed to Judeo-Christian biblical values, but I think it is essential for us to tell the world irrespective of our individual opinions of Christianity, that a reformation was possible in Christianity because in the sacred text there is clear support for secularism, toleration of all peoples and faiths, and universal morals, whereas the Qur'an forbids secularism, respect for other religions, and universal moral values.

Also I'd like to inquire as I was a practicing Shia Muhammadan for two years: is it possible on this website to put up Shia sources which show Muhammad to be a vile rotten terrorist as Sunni sources portray him? I think it would benefit the website by giving Ali Sina more credibility in light of his Shia background.

I cannot be of great help in this regard because I was a convert and do not speak Arabic or Persian and the Shia seem to be more careful than the Sunnis and limit the Hadiths that they translate into English only publishing the Hadiths which make Muhammad and his progeny out to be saintly men. I do know however that 'the voice of human justice' Ali, in sermon 79 of the Nahjul Balagha repeats the
'women are deficient in intelligence and religion tirade. Finally I'd also like to congratulate Ali Sina on producing a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening book on the Prophet of Islam.

Kind Regards, Daniel

Hello Daniel,
I am glad that you saw the ugly truth about Islam and left it. I am confident that we can demolish this lie by spreading the truth.
That is the only way to do it. As for Islam not allowing reform I have already explained why in an article The Illusion of Reforming Islam. Reform in Islam is not going to happen. Period. Anyone who tells otherwise is either deluded or is trying to pull wool over your eyes. When the so called moderate Muslims talk about reform what they actually mean is to practice Islam minimally. This is like saying, poison taken in low doses is not deadly.
Shiism is a lie within another lie. It is a compounded lie. Shiites generally do not accept the hadiths reported by Aisha, Omar, Abdullah ibn Omar and other personages to whom Ali was hostile. As the result they do not give much credence to Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim (who were both Persians). Instead they have invented their own set of hadiths. A cleric known as Muhammad Baqir Majlesi, (1616 A.D. – 1698 A.D.) during the Safavid dynasty, more than 1000 years after the death of Muhammad, started “compiling” a huge collection of hadiths, obviously creating them from his imagination and his book became the basis of the Shiism.
The ahadith of Majlesi have no historic value. No sane person would give any credence to a book written more than 1000 years after the events had happened. Where did Majlesi get his stories? How can one rely on a chain of narrations after 1000 years? So, you can see how baseless is Shiism, which is founded on the thoughts of this powerful cleric.
Of course, the Shiites do not reject the biographies of Muhammad written by Tabari, Ibn Sa’d and al Waqidi. I use these sources often.
Now that you are officially an ex-Muslim I hope you’ll also help spread the truth so others do not fall into the tarp of Islam. I have no doubt that we will be able to defeat Islam if we all work together.

Ali Sina



Thursday, 12 December 2013

Fornication Incidents and Muhammad's Great Wisdom

Ibn Kammuna

Muhammad, it is claimed, was one of the wisest men ever lived. I have shown in some of my previous writings that this is in fact far from the truth. In this article, I present to the reader two hadiths that have a similar story. We will analyze those hadiths from a purely moral perspective. We want to discover Muhammad’s “wisdom” in those hadiths.

Here is the first hadith:

Dawud - Book 38, Number 4451:
Narrated Sahl ibn Sa'd: A man came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and made acknowledgment before him that he had committed fornication with a woman whom he named. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) sent someone to the woman and he asked her about it. She denied that she had committed fornication. So he gave him the prescribed punishment of Lashes and left her.

In the above story, a man comes to Muhammad and tells him that he fornicated with a woman. Muhammad does the right thing by going to the woman to ask her if this is in fact the case. She denies it. So, Muhammad punishes the man by himself for fornication, at least that’s how I read the punishment for in the above hadith. Here, it seems clear that Muhammad did two wrongs. First, he punishes a man for fornication that did not occur (according to the story). If anything, the man should be punished for lying only. Second, what did Muhammad expect the woman to say? If she admits to the relation, she will be punished too. She denied it and so Muhammad cannot punish her. Why, then, did Muhammad believe her, and not the man who came to him? It is evident that Muhammad had no way of knowing who was telling the truth. In a court of law, such a case will be dismissed for lack of evidence. But apparently, that was not the case with the wisest man ever lived!!

Let us now look at a very similar story, but this time Muhammad decides to take a different action. Here is the hadith:

Dawud - Book 38, Number 4452:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: A man of Bakr ibn Layth came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and made confession four times that he had committed fornication with a woman, so he had a hundred lashes administered to him. The man had not been married. He then asked him to produce proof against the woman, and she said: I swear by Allah, Apostle of Allah, that he has lied. Then he was given the punishment of eighty lashes of falsehood.

Here again, a man comes to Muhammad and tells him that he had committed fornication. So, Muhammad administers the punishment right away. What more do you want? The man admitted guilt. That is well. But the problem comes after that. Muhammad asks the man to produce proof against the woman. Shouldn’t Muhammad have done that before punishing the man? The fact that he punished the man has an implied acceptance by Muhammad that the man and the woman are both guilty. Why else would he punish the man? So, asking for a proof against the woman is an unrealistic one. The story does not end here. The woman denies it, and it seemed that Muhammad accepted her word. Well, if this is the case, why did he punish the man? And shouldn’t Muhammad have asked the woman about it before prescribing any punishment against the poor young man? It does not end here either. Muhammad gives a second punishment to the man for lying! I do not know how Muhammad knew that the man lied. He said he did commit fornication. The woman denied it. In such a case, the case should be dismissed in court. But again, Muhammad, being such a good feminist (I am just joking here), accepts the woman’s word for it, and gives the man a double dose of punishments.
The above hadiths clearly show that Muhammad was not consistent or wise in judging or analyzing situations. He did not have the analytical ability needed to be just and fair when dealing with people’s problems and faults.



Thursday, 5 December 2013

Apostasy in Islam

"if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them"(Qur'an 4:89)

Narrated Ikrima: Ali burnt some people [hypocrites] and this news reached Ibn 'Abbas, who said, "Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, 'Don't punish (anybody) with Allah's Punishment.' No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, 'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.' "(Bukhari 4.260)

In this article I discuss Apostasy in Islam. There are two main parts in this study; one deals with some Hadith references on apostasy, and one deals with Qur'anic references on apostasy. It is important here to mention that Hadith is an integral part of Islam. Many of the Islamic creeds and practices cannot be understood without Hadiths. Main line Muslims accept the Hadith as authoritative. It is only in the last twenty years or so that we saw movement away from relying on the Hadith by very few Muslim scholars who consider themselves enlightened. My own view is that there is no Islam without Hadith. In fact, if you take the Qur'an (only) to some remote Island and ask its inhabitants to practice Islam, they will not be able to. Many of the Qur'anic teachings themselves present themselves as to “How” and “When” in the Hadith. This is a topic of study on its own. I just thought about mentioning it since I'll be relying on the Hadith and the Qur'an to achieve some valid deductions as to what does Islam teach regarding treatment of apostates.

Part 1: The Hadith references
This article discusses seven hadiths in Sahih Al-Bukhari about apostasy in Islam. I start by pointing out Islam’s decision regarding apostasy, and then I introduce certain implications in the quoted hadiths. A discussion with a substantive conclusion follows that. I end part I of this article with the actual hadiths quoted.

Islam’s Decision Regarding Apostates
Apostates are to be put to death according to the Islamic Hadiths. The first quoted Hadith below shows that Muhammad ordered the killing of anyone who changes his/her Islamic religion.
Other issues that seem to be implicated

1.      The first hadith below seems to imply that hell or God’s punishment in the end of time had a physical existence. Fire and burning are viewed in the physical sense.
2.      Early Muslims had no tolerance to anyone who became a Muslim then changed his mind and believed differently. The second Hadith below clarifies this point. (As a side but useful point here, note that Muhammad is using a “Siwak” to brush his teeth. So, I say to you westerners why waste your money on dental floss, toothpicks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, even dentists. Forget about all of that and just get yourself a good quality Siwak [or any other tree stick of your choice!]. This is Sunnah folks.
3.      The third Hadith shows that Muslims will go to war to fight a group of apostates. There are also some economic benefits to Muslims out of such a war.
4.      The fourth Hadith shows that those who leave their religion (Islam) are to be killed. Not only that, but the killers will also be rewarded on resurrection day.
5.      The fifth Hadith is a validation that early Muslims had no problem chopping off heads of apostates.
6.      The sixth Hadith below shows Muhammad telling his followers that there are three groups of people who should be killed: murderers, adulterers, and apostates. Do not worry about our current moral values that are tolerant and allows people to change their beliefs and religions. Under the banner of Islam, you do not have to worry about all that tolerance Jargon. Everyone gets killed but the Muslims. See, the tolerance problem becomes nonexistent. Also, if you plan to become an apostate, go ahead and kill the people you don’t like, and commit adultery. Islam has one punishment fits all policy on this matter. I think it was the clear air of Arabia that prompted Muhammad to equate Apostasy with murder and adultery.

7.       I added the last Hadith; number 7, to show how the punishment is to be done to people who commit a combination of apostasy, murder and theft. The way the prophet Muhammad reacted to such crimes is Sunnah to be followed by all Muslims! It was not enough for Muhammad to kill them. He had to do it in a brutal, slow and painful way.

Discussion of the Hadith Evidence
Humans believing anything is a continuous and dynamic process. It is ever changing. I may believe that the God of Islam (or any other religion for that matter) exists at one point in my life. Later on I may encounter new evidence or questions and become agnostic. Later on I may encounter new experiences and change some of my beliefs again. The fact of the matter is this: humans are liable to change some or many of their beliefs during certain intervals of their lifetime. This change is, in a sense, similar to what Carl Popper calls a paradigm shift. Such a process of belief change is inconsistent with the Islamic beliefs about apostasy. Islam; TRUE Islam that is, does not allow any individual in the Muslim community to change their beliefs by rejecting Islam and/or believing something else, say Buddhism or Christianity. Because of this intolerance that exists in Islam, one has to reject the basic Islamic beliefs about apostates, or better yet, reject all of the Islamic creeds altogether.

Part I Hadith Quotations
All quotations are from Sahih Al-Bukhari

1. Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57: Narrated 'Ikrima: Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to 'Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn 'Abbas who said, "If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah's Apostle forbade it, saying, 'Do not punish anybody with Allah's punishment (fire).' I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah's Apostle, 'Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'"
2. Volume 9, Book 84, Number 58: Narrated Abu Burda: Abu Musa said, "I came to the Prophet along with two men (from the tribe) of Ash'ariyin, one on my right and the other on my left, while Allah's Apostle was brushing his teeth (with a Siwak), and both men asked him for some employment. The Prophet said, 'O Abu Musa (O 'Abdullah bin Qais!).' I said, 'By Him Who sent you with the Truth, these two men did not tell me what was in their hearts and I did not feel (realize) that they were seeking employment.' As if I were looking now at his Siwak being drawn to a corner under his lips, and he said, 'We never (or, we do not) appoint for our affairs anyone who seeks to be employed. But O Abu Musa! (or 'Abdullah bin Qais!) Go to Yemen.'" The Prophet then sent Mu'adh bin Jabal after him and when Mu'adh reached him, he spread out a cushion for him and requested him to get down (and sit on the cushion). Behold: There was a fettered man beside Abu Muisa. Mu'adh asked, "Who is this (man)?" Abu Muisa said, "He was a Jew and became a Muslim and then reverted back to Judaism." Then Abu Muisa requested Mu'adh to sit down but Mu'adh said, "I will not sit down till he has been killed. This is the judgment of Allah and His Apostle (for such cases) and repeated it thrice. Then Abu Musa ordered that the man be killed, and he was killed. Abu Musa added, "Then we discussed the night prayers and one of us said, 'I pray and sleep, and I hope that Allah will reward me for my sleep as well as for my prayers.'"
3. Volume 9, Book 84, Number 59: Narrated Abu Huraira: When the Prophet died and Abu Bakr became his successor and some of the Arabs reverted to disbelief, 'Umar said, "O Abu Bakr! How can you fight these people although Allah's Apostle said, 'I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, 'and whoever said, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah', Allah will save his property and his life from me, unless (he does something for which he receives legal punishment) justly, and his account will be with Allah?' "Abu Bakr said, "By Allah! I will fight whoever differentiates between prayers and Zakat as Zakat is the right to be taken from property (according to Allah's Orders). By Allah! If they refused to pay me even a kid they used to pay to Allah's Apostle, I would fight with them for withholding it." 'Umar said, "By Allah: It was nothing, but I noticed that Allah opened Abu Bakr's chest towards the decision to fight, therefore I realized that his decision was right."
4. Volume 9, Book 84, Number 64: Narrated 'Ali: Whenever I tell you a narration from Allah's Apostle, by Allah, I would rather fall down from the sky than ascribe a false statement to him, but if I tell you something between me and you (not a Hadith) then it was indeed a trick (i.e., I may say things just to cheat my enemy). No doubt I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "During the last days there will appear some young foolish people who will say the best words but their faith will not go beyond their throats (i.e. they will have no faith) and will go out from (leave) their religion as an arrow goes out of the game. So, where-ever you find them, kill them, for who-ever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection."
5. Volume 5, Book 59, Number 632: Narrated Abu Burda: That the Prophet sent his (i.e. Abu Burda's) grandfather, Abu Musa and Mu'adh to Yemen and said to both of them "Facilitate things for the people (Be kind and lenient) and do not make things difficult (for people), and give them good tidings, and do not repulse them and both of you should obey each other." Abu Musa said, "O Allah's Prophet! In our land there is an alcoholic drink (prepared) from barley called Al-Mizr, and another (prepared) from honey, called Al-Bit"' The Prophet said, "All intoxicants are prohibited." Then both of them proceeded and Mu'adh asked Abu Musa, "How do you recite the Quran?" Abu Musa replied, "I recite it while I am standing, sitting or riding my riding animals, at intervals and piecemeal." Muadh said, "But I sleep and then get up. I sleep and hope for Allah's Reward for my sleep as I seek His Reward for my night prayer." Then he (i.e. Muadh) pitched a tent and they started visiting each other. Once Muadh paid a visit to Abu Musa and saw a chained man. Muadh asked, "What is this?" Abu Musa said, "(He was) a Jew who embraced Islam and has now turned apostate." Muadh said, "I will surely chop off his neck!"
6. Volume 9, Book 83, Number 17:Narrated 'Abdullah: Allah's Apostle said, "The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims."
7. Volume 9, Book 83, Number 37: Narrated Abu Qilaba: Once 'Umar bin 'Abdul 'Aziz sat on his throne in the courtyard of his house so that the people might gather before him. Then he admitted them and (when they came in), he said, "What do you think of Al-Qasama?" They said, "We say that it is lawful to depend on Al-Qasama in Qisas, as the previous Muslim Caliphs carried out Qisas depending on it." Then he said to me, "O Abu Qilaba! What do you say about it?" He let me appear before the people and I said, "O Chief of the Believers! You have the chiefs of the army staff and the nobles of the Arabs. If fifty of them testified that a married man had committed illegal sexual intercourse in Damascus but they had not seen him (doing so), would you stone him?" He said, "No." I said, "If fifty of them testified that a man had committed theft in Hums, would you cut off his hand though they did not see him?" He replied, "No." I said, "By Allah, Allah's Apostle never killed anyone except in one of the following three situations: (1) A person who killed somebody unjustly, was killed (in Qisas,) (2) a married person who committed illegal sexual intercourse and (3) a man who fought against Allah and His Apostle and deserted Islam and became an apostate." Then the people said, "Didn't Anas bin Malik narrate that Allah's Apostle cut off the hands of the thieves, branded their eyes and then, threw them in the sun?" I said, "I shall tell you the narration of Anas. Anas said: "Eight persons from the tribe of 'Ukl came to Allah's Apostle and gave the Pledge of allegiance for Islam (became Muslim). The climate of the place (Medina) did not suit them, so they became sick and complained about that to Allah's Apostle. He said (to them ), "Won't you go out with the shepherd of our camels and drink of the camels' milk and urine (as medicine)?" They said, "Yes." So they went out and drank the camels' milk and urine, and after they became healthy, they killed the shepherd of Allah's Apostle and took away all the camels. This news reached Allah's Apostle , so he sent (men) to follow their traces and they were captured and brought (to the Prophet). He then ordered to cut their hands and feet, and their eyes were branded with heated pieces of iron, and then he threw them in the sun till they died." I said, "What can be worse than what those people did? They deserted Islam, committed murder and theft."

Part II: Apostasy - The Quranic Evidence
In part I of this study we saw that the Hadith evidence prescribes the death penalty for apostates. What about the Qur'an? Some Muslim readers may point to the fact that Hadith evidence is not as good as the Qur'anic evidence. Well, let us see if the Qur'an differs in this regard. Once done with this task, I will introduce a story to the reader that shows Islam in action with regard to Apostasy. This story happened in the great Islamic Umma of Sudan; the same great Muslim nation that wanted to kill a decent human being who took an honorable profession of teaching in a poverty stricken country just because she allowed her students to name a teddy bear “Muhammad”. Some Muslims claim that the Qur’an does not have any verse “which prescribes an earthly punishment for apostasy”. Some even quote some of the earlier Qur’anic verses. One such verse is: “..
There is no compulsion in religion...”. It is important to know that the earlier dated verses of the Qur’an, before the Hijra, had a softer tone to them than later Qur’anic verses. The reason is simple: In Mecca, Muhammad had a small number of followers. He and his followers could not protect themselves if his Qur’anic tone was too harsh. Later on, all such nice verses were abrogated by harsher ones. After the Hijra, and especially after his gruesome act of Bani Qurayza’s genocide, Muhammad's fortunes changed. He had the economic resources and the strength to have “harsher” Qur’anic revelations. Now, Let us look at some of the Qur’anic apostasy jewels that were revealed to Muhammad when he was strong enough:

002.217 YUSUFALI: They ask thee concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say: "Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members." Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. And if any of you Turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be companions of the Fire and will abide therein. Al-Shafi’i, the founder of one of the four Sunni Islam schools of law, interprets the above verse to mean that an apostate is to get the death penalty. [Source: Zwemer, The Law of Apostasy in Islam, pages 34-5.]. And as a bonus here, it is worth mentioning that Al-Razi and Al-Tha’alibi reach a similar conclusion and state that the apostate should be killed. Below is even a clearer Qur’anic jewel regarding the fate of apostates (I am quoting all three reliable translations of the Qur’an to insure clarity of the meaning of the verse:

004.089 YUSUFALI: They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks;
PICKTHAL:They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them,
SHAKIR: They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper. And there it is folks: if you become an apostate, a true Muslim is not allowed to be a friend to you anymore. Rather, Muslims should kill those apostate Kafirs. It is worth mentioning here that Baydawi, in his commentary on the Qur’an, interprets the above verse to mean that the apostate should be killed openly or secretly, and no intercession will be accepted in this case.[Source: Zwemer, The Law of Apostasy in Islam, pages 33-4.]. Abu Al’Ala’ Almawdudi, the influential Islamic thinker of the twentieth century (considered by many the spiritual leader of the Muslim brothers movement) clearly interprets the Qur’an commanding the death penalty for apostates. He uses the following Qur’anic gems to drive his point home:

009.011 YUSUFALI: But (even so), if they repent, establish regular prayers, and practice regular charity,- they are your brethren in Faith: (thus) do We explain the Signs in detail, for those who understand.

009.012 YUSUFALI: But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained

Al-Mawdudi takes into consideration the occasion of the revelation in interpreting those two verses. His “The punishment of the Apostate according to Islamic Law” is available on line at Well, it is evident that the claim that “There is no single verse in the Qur’an which prescribes an earthly punishment for apostasy”, as one reader of a previously published article of mine claimed, is baseless. As you have seen above, there are more than just a “single verse” in the Qur’an that prescribe murdering an innocent human being who just wanted to practice her/his basic right of freedom and ability to change some of her/his beliefs.

An Apostasy Story – Food for Thought
I would like to end this article with a story that ought to make any true Muslim ashamed of the Islamic beliefs about apostasy: The late Sudanese theologian Mahmud Muhammad Taha tried to reform Islam by attempting to minimize the role of the Qur’an as a source of law in Sudan. He wanted to devise new laws to better accommodate the Sudanese people of the twentieth century. Needless to say that the religious authorities in Khartoum did not take kindly to his attempts. He was declared an apostate in 1968. Under Islamic law, his punishment was the death penalty. His writings were burned and he managed to escape execution for seventeen years. When he was seventy six years old, he was tried again and was hanged publicly in Khartoum in January of 1985. [Source: Daniel Pipes, The Rushdie Affair: The Novel, the Ayatollah, and the West (New York: Birch Lane Press, 1990), pages 75-6]

Conclusion The grim reality for a modern Muslim regarding apostasy is that its death penalty is rooted in the Qur’an and in the Hadith. I have shown that this is the case in this article. Such a punishment for a behavior that is not a crime at all, but a right that any human being of our time should enjoy, cannot be a morally justified punishment. One should be able to change religious beliefs if one wants to without the threat of being killed.



Sunday, 17 November 2013

But Religion Has Nothing To Do With It: Minarets are Political Symbols

As to the decision by Switzerland to ban minarets, I would like first of all to say that, in my years as a correspondent from Jerusalem, I had to bear the Muezzin’s call from a nearby mosque every night at 4 a.m., much before the cock crow. And nor far away from him came many other similar voices. However, I never thought that the Muezzin had to be silent. In his village, he does not sing to be heard also from me, but to call his followers to pray. This is religious freedom and Jerusalem gives it to everybody. Thinking that, down there, he was trying to convey a political message in addition to a religious one would mean to go well beyond what is legitimate for a person who is democratic, liberal and respectful of other people’s culture and religion.

Actually, except for some pathological cases, Islamophobia is an invention of the U.N. Indeed, in 2004, the U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan officially defined it as the cause of frustration for many Muslims, without mentioning the rampant jihad and other huge problems. In fact, in most countries of origin and abroad, the official Islam has not accepted the universal declaration of human rights. But it has responded with other initiatives such as the Cairo Declaration, which states that “anyone has the right to support what is right and to warn against what is wrong and evil in line with the Islamic Sharia”.

The ultimate reason that led the Swiss to say no to new minarets is not poor respect for religious freedom. It is not even the loss of identity that is driving us – erroneously – to ask for the cross on our flag. It has nothing to do with this. There are many simple reasons of diffidence that prevent from wishing for the expansion of Islam. Nor should we imagine that this choice invites the Muslim to embrace extremism. There are indeed other reasons behind jihadism – that is fed only by itself and by its unflinching decision to convert the world. The Swiss watch the TV and are concerned: the Sharia leads to death sentences, to the hanging of homosexuals, to stoning people to death. In general, Islamic countries are ruled by dictatorships, the dissidents suffer, they die. The Christians are persecuted, let alone the Jews. The groups and the countries that cry their faith louder are also the most evident ones: certainly both Ahmadinejad's Iran and the Hezbollah, or Hamas or Al Qaida, represent negative, terrorist models.

Of course, the Islam is not all like this. But, let us talk about it. Let us thoroughly examine the problems without being accused of Islamophobia; we have a problem, either we solve it by looking at the Islamic immigration in its eyes, or soon this concern will turn into rejection. And the idea that the true Islam is elsewhere with respect to jihad is not able to placate these fears within the public opinion: there are few and rare instances in which a brave Islamic voice speaks to guarantee the respect for democracy, sexuality, converted individuals, dissidents. It is the politically correct denial that makes jihad prosper: in Switzerland, after the arrest of eight people who allegedly collaborated to some suicide attacks in Saudi Arabia, the reaction of the head of a local Muslim group was that “the problem is not the growth of Islamic fundamentalism, but the intesification of Islamophobia”. In the USA, the same happened after the Fort Hood incident.

It is forbidden to laugh for some cartoons that talk about Islam. It is forbidden to deal with the terrifying oppression of women, it is disgraceful to stress that there is an evident identification between the Islam and totalitarian regimes. It is horrible to raise the issue of honor killing, polygamy and of disfiguring women with acid that push us back in time (yes, many of these episodes result from tribal and not by religious habits, but please let us look at the geographical and sociological distribution of these episodes) and especially it is generic to speak about jihad... And then, since whatever is concrete is forbidden, the reaction is against the symbols of the Islam.

There are millions of mosques without minarets in Islamic countries. But if they are built close to churches, they are taller, more proud and powerful. The construction of an Islamic place of worship has a series of explicit secular meanings that always reiterate the holy competition of the Islam to conquer the world. Many mosques have been built on ancient Jewish and Christian temples.

A revolt against the politically correct on the Islam may occur anywhere and the trigger will not be religious intolerance: it does not belong to us or to Switzerland or to Europe.



Sunday, 10 November 2013

Just confused, the religion u trust??

The title of this article is an email we received from a reader. Below is the email that our editor sent to this person. 

We are against Islam not Muslims. Islam is an evil religion established by a con man.

We are against Hate not Faith.

So, as long as your faith is not Islam, you'll be okay. Have any faith you want other than Islam. We know that Islam is a big lie. Islam is the only religion where the founder made an enemy of all others, instead of preaching love and peace and treating the other as you would treat yourself.

You ask what religion I trust? I do not judge people by religion. People can be very religious, yet not very nice people. People can also be very religious, yet very nice people. Also, people can be atheists to the core, and be very nice people. They can be atheists and be very evil people too. What I am saying is don't look at people through the mirror of religion. Judge people according to the golden rule: Do they treat others as they would want to be treated. This golden rule is universal. It can be found in many religions, be it Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Baha'i,..etc.

In his "Sermon on the Mount" Jesus established Love, Mercy, and Forgiveness within the golden rule. He also made sure he treated the psychological aspects of human nature. When you get a chance, search the sermon on the mount and read its text. It is very inspiring to show we should live our lives. In Christianity, the golden rule is a leading measure for human affairs. Jesus was once asked about the greatest commandment. He answered that the greatest commandment is to love God deeply. Second to that is to love your neighbor as yourself. Isn't that beautiful?

Look what the founder of Baha'i faith said:
Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not.

Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself.

Look what Buddhism teaches:
Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill

Look what Hinduism teaches:
One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self. This, in brief, is the rule of dharma. Other behavior is due to selfish desires.

Muhammad violated such rules on a daily basis. He taught his followers to do the same. He established desert piracy on a large scale. Any decent human being should expose the true nature of Islam and show Muhammad for what he is - a lowly thug and bandit .

I hope that I solved some of your confusion. I know I did not give you a complete answer as to what religion one should believe in. This is where you come in and read things and decide for yourself. Some people are happy without any religion, and they are super nice people and treat others with utmost care and love. All I am saying is that "Religion" should not be the lens we look at other people with. The key is avoid Islam at any cost, and you will be just fine.

Kind regards


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Are Minarets the ‘Bayonets of Islam’?

By M. A. Khan

In a public gathering in 1998, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leader of the ruling Islamist party and current Prime Minister of Turkey,
recited: “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers...

These words earned him a conviction and minor jail-term for inciting religious hatred.

Taken from Erdogan’s recitation or not, the phrase, minarets our bayonets, it appears, has caught the Swiss with alarm amidst its rising Muslim populations. In a referendum on Sunday, 29 November 2009, some 58% of Swiss voters backed a ban of minarets on mosque-tops in Switzerland on the ground that it’s a symbol of political domination in Islam, which threatens the secular nature of the Swiss society, since there is no separation of religion and politics in Islam.

The backing of the referendum—initiated by right-wing parties, but condemned by the government, major political parties, media and intellectuals, even outside of Switzerland—surprised observers, including initiators of the move, because opinion polls, days earlier, showed only 34% of the voters would back the motion.

Quite understandably, passing of the referendum has caused global uproar and flurry of condemnations. There has been threat of boycott of Swiss products by Islamic countries to hauling the Swiss government before the European Commission and the UN, because legislating the ban would amount to denial of freedom of religion to Muslims.

The backers of the move were quick to reassure Muslims of their religious freedom in Switzerland. Said one activist behind the move, “…this will in no way change their [Muslims’] right to practise their religion, to pray or to gather [in mosques]… However, society wants to put a safeguard on the political-legal wing of Islam, for which there is no separation between state and religion”.

While much has been said about the referendum, this article will focus on what minarets represent in Islam, religiously and historically. In other words: Are minarets a symbol of ‘political domination’ or the ‘bayonets’ of Islam?

Origin: Not at all Islamic but Christian      
Whatever it represents, the bayonet-shaped minarets have become a proud and exclusive symbol of Islam today. Yet, minarets are, fundamentally, neither Islamic nor an innovation of Islam.

Going back to Prophet Muhammad—who basically founded a monotheistic religion, Islam, for the Bedouin desert Arabs, never dreaming it would ever spread out of the Arab Peninsula—he himself had no conception of minarets; he would have duly rejected such sumptuous structures on mosque-tops or attached to them.

Fitting for a desert Prophet and the prevailing sociopolitical situation and institutions, Muhammad founded a creed, perfect for the underdeveloped desert Arab Bedouins. He opposed creating buildings on a grand scale, saying that “Truly the most unprofitable thing that eats the wealth of a believer is building” and that “Every expense of the believer will be rewarded except the expense of the building”.

And, despite founding a powerful Islamic state, poised to dominate the world in the next two decades, the two early mosques founded by Muhammad, one in Koba and the Prophet’s mosques in Medina, were simple structures until his death. Rain leaked through the roof of his ramshackle mosque in Medina. And when a companion asked if it should be repaired, Muhammad answered: “No, a mosque should be simple and modest, a booth, like the booth of Moses.”

Obviously, such structures, as approved by the prophet as mosques, could not even hold minarets on their tops. The idea of minarets never crossed Muhammad’s mind. And for eight decades after Muhammad’s death, minarets were not a part of mosques.

Minarets became a part of mosques in the period of the “Godless” Umayyad dynasty that came to power by ousting the Prophet’s grandson Hasan (661 CE), and later exterminating the Prophet’s offspring, including his other grandson Husayn, a pretender to the caliphate (Battle of Karbala, 680 CE). The Godless Umayyads first introduced the tradition of building gorgeous architectural and building structures, including elegant mosques, defying prior tradition and pious Islamic injunctions against it.

Umayyad Caliph al-Walid I (r. 695–715) was the first to introduce minarets to mosques, emulating the steeple, a bell-tower structure that was a feature of Christian churches. This move faced strong resistance from the pious, who objected to constructing anything higher than walls of the mosque. They also condemned the rulers for incorporating Christian symbols to sacred mosques.

Minarets have undergone refinement, becoming a gorgeous architectural symbol of Islam, but it is obviously not Islamic; in fact, it is anti-Islamic and borrowed from Christianity. It’s a Christian religious symbol in its originality. Even the term mosque, masjid in Arabic, is also usurped from Christianity; it is an Arabic rendering of the Aramaic term masgeda, then in Christian usage, meaning their ‘place of worship’.

What does a minaret represent?
To most observers, minarets would appear as a simple religio-architectural symbol, having nothing to do with ‘political power’, opposed to what Erdogan and the Swiss voters would have us believe. But minarets have a political dimension, at least, from the viewpoint of its origin and history.

After knocking out the world’s second-greatest power, Persia and capturing Central Asia and North Africa, the Umayyads—despite gaining considerable grounds in the Christian East and later in Spain—remained horn-locked in an impossible, and often disastrous, battle with Christian Byzantium as well as Christian Europe. For many centuries, the Christian world remained the enemy par excellence of Islam. Islam’s mission of global conquest, initiated by Muhammad, was persistently held back by Christian Europe, despite slowly losing grounds, before attaining supremacy over the Islamic Jihadis and beating them back, and even going on to capture most of the Islamic lands in the so-called Colonial Age.

Only after the Umayyads turned Islam into the master world-power, they started building imposing structures—initially in the form of sumptuous palaces, to which gorgeous mo mosques, minarets and mausoleums were added later on—all over the conquered lands (although clearly prohibited by Muhammad and the Quran) so as to declare the religious and political supremacy of Islam.

As concerns introduction of minarets, its beginning was, in fact, an act of borrowing the icon from Christian religious structures and using it to declare Islam’s supremacy over Christianity, the arch-enemy of Islam. And there was no better place of doing it than in Palestine, the holiest land of Christianity and the birthplace of Jesus. Here, al-Walid I, in 712, constructed first gorgeous mosque, the al-Aqsa mosque, fitted with a dome (of central Asian origin). The dome was constructed using remains of a destroyed church in Asia Minor. Thereafter, minarets began to be added on mosque-tops all over the world.

Hereon, wherever Muslims has gone, mosques, fitted with imposing domes and minarets, became the feature of all political centers of Islam, from India to Spain to Constantinople, declaring the supremacy of Islam and Muslims over non-Muslims. Indeed, building gorgeous mosques with minarets often became the first building initiative, which Islamic conquerors undertook in the newly conquered lands. For example, in India, the construction of the famed Quwat-al-Islam (Might of Islam) Mosque and the Qutb Minar (minaret) in Delhi were undertaken by Islamic conquerors in the 1190s, well before the founding of the permanent Muslim Sultanate in 1206.

Sky-piercing minarets, thus, became the familiar icon of the seats of Islamic power throughout history. Istanbul—the captured heartland of eastern Christianity Constantinople, which became the indomitable powerhouse of the Islamic Ottomans that terrorized Christian Europe for centuries—is also dotted the world’s finest minarets, an indication of what Istanbul stood for in the Islamic world. Erdogan, a well-versed Islamist ideologue, could hardly be wrong: Minarets are the ‘bayonets’, the symbol of Islam’s power.

Minarets represent a declaration not only of ‘who is in power’, but also of the supremacy of the Islamic creed. It is from here the residents, Muslim or non-Muslim, would be reminded, one likes it or not, in ear-blaring loudness five times a day that Islam is in power, that Islam calls the shot, that Islam is your ultimate choice. It’s not only a call to prayer to the faithful, but also a call to the infidels for the submission to Islam, five times daily, however irritating it may be.

If one has traveled in Asia, he/she would find that, even in the predominantly infidel cities in India, in Singapore, where Islam has been dislodged from power, thanks to British colonial interventions to some extent, but the people, overwhelmingly non-Muslim, must have to bear with the reminder for submission to Islam five times a day, including the most irritating wee-hour call to prayer.

Islamic power has gone from these lands, but the symbol remains. And, given the high breeding rates amongst Muslims, it also amounts to sign of the things to come again: absence of Islam’s hold on power in these lands is not permanent.

The Swiss minaret ban has drawn epithets such as shame, disgrace, Swiss racism, victory of Islamophobia, illiberal decision and so on for the nation. But the Swiss have obviously got it right in taking Erdogan’s message seriously: Minarets are Islam’s symbol of political domination.

Muslims are the fastest-rising populations in Western countries, with increasing Islamic orthodoxy and radicalism. The Islamic world, somewhat secularized in the Colonial Age and by the western influence of socialism/communism in the early 20th century, is witnessing increasing political integration of Islam, too. It is people like Erdogans, who want to turn minarets into bayonets of Islam, get unrivalled political backing from Muslims. Given these fact, the Swiss, indeed the wider secular West, has much to ponder when those lands are poised to witness Muslim dominance in a century, if not in a half.

Muslim immigrants in Europe today may acquiesce to not using minarets for ear-blaring calls to prayers five times a day as the Swiss Muslims have promised. But that’s what is minarets are meant for, and they would be bidding for time: first for being able to use minarets for the loud calls to prayer, and eventually for turning them into the bayonets of Islam by introducing Sharia in the West, something they have been strenuously striving for even at this stage.

M. A. Khan is author of
Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery, and the editor of



Saturday, 5 October 2013

Al-Qaida Kills Eight Times More Muslims Than Non-Muslims

Der Spiegel [1]:  Few would deny that Muslims too are victims of Islamist terror. But a new study by the Combating Terrorism Center in the US has shown that an overwhelming majority of al-Qaida victims are, in fact, co-religionists.

In the battle against unbelievers, can one also kill Muslims? Even the terror network al-Qaida is troubled by this question.

A leading al-Qaida ideologue for the terror network, Abu Yahya al-Libi, has developed his own theologically-based theory of collateral damage that allows militants to kill Muslims when it is unavoidable.

Even the Iraqi affiliates of Osama bin Laden’s terror group, who are known to be particularly bloodthirsty, claim that they too consider this question. For instance, in a message claiming responsibility for an August attack in Baghdad, the group wished those Sunnis injured in the “operation” a speedy recovery and expressed their hope that those killed would be accepted by God as “martyrs.”

But even as such apologetic communiqués from al-Qaida show the terror network stylizing itself as a defender of the true faith wrestling with religious concepts, they also make it look as though any dead Muslims are regretful but isolated cases. The facts, though, tell a different story.

Between 2004 and 2008, for example, al-Qaida claimed responsibility for 313 attacks, resulting in the deaths of 3,010 people. And even though these attacks include terrorist incidents in the West — in Madrid in 2004 and in London in 2005 — only 12 percent of those killed (371 deaths) were Westerners.

New Report Shows Many More Muslims Killed Than Non-Muslims

It is, of course, no surprise that al-Qaida kills more Muslims than non-Muslims — particularly for people in the Islamic world. But a
new report [2] by the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at the United States’ Military Academy at West Point in New York — which has gathered together these and other relevant figures in one report (“Deadly Vanguards: A Study Of al-Qaida’s Violence Against Muslims “), spells out the discrepancy in black and white.

The authors of the study admit that their report likely omits a number of Muslim victims. But that was the price of their rigorous methodology, used in an effort to avoid accusations of partisanship.

The researchers only counted the attacks for which al-Qaida claimed responsibility, thus preventing accusations that they were seeking to make al-Qaida look even worse than it is. Still, it is well known that al-Qaida does not claim responsibility for every attack perpetrated, meaning that many victims are likely left out of the report. Furthermore, the researchers only included attacks reported on by the Arab media and relied on the numbers they reported — out of a conviction that the Arab media is more highly regarded in the Muslim world than the Western media.
That, though, is not always the case…

Non-Westerners 38 Times More Likely To Be Killed

Put another way, between 2006 and 2008, non-Westerners were 38 times more likely to be killed by an al-Qaida attack than Westerners.

“Since al-Qaida has limited capability to strike against its Western enemies, the group maintains its relevance by attacking countries with Muslim majorities,” the study concludes.

The conclusions reached by Helfstein and his co-authors are hardly world changing. They are valuable nonetheless, in that they provide a numerical foundation to the relationship between Muslim and non-Muslim al-Qaida victims.

Still, critics will no doubt point out that the study comes from the CTC, an organization that is part of an American military school. In recent years, the CTC has released a number of excellent studies on terrorism. But because it is actually supplying arguments, backed by scientific research, for the fight against terrorism to decision makers, politicians and military personnel in the US, it cannot be considered strictly neutral. That also applies to this case, especially since a number of American officials have recently begun stressing the point that al-Qaida is particularly violent toward Muslims and can now rely on solid data to back up their argument.

This perceived lack of neutrality doesn’t change the fact that the fundamental findings of the report are correct and meaningful. The authors conclude that if they compare statistics for the years from 1995 to 2003 (excluding the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the US as a solitary event), they find that al-Qaida is becoming more violent and “increasingly indiscriminate” in its attacks.



Minarets are Symbols of Bigotry

The Swiss referendum: a shocker!

by Dr. Sami Alrabaa

In a national referendum last Sunday (November 29, 2009), the Swiss people voted in favor of a ban on the construction of minarets all over Switzerland. A majority of more than 57 percent approved of the ban. Twenty-two of the country’s 26 cantons voted in favor of the ban.

The vote was described as a “catastrophe” by Islam apologists and Islamism backers. Some media commentators and politicians spearheaded by the Green Party condemned the ban as a “right-wing” vote and alleged that it goes against religion freedom.

The truth of the matter is the Swiss across the political spectrum voted in favor of the ban, not only right-wingers. It is also true that the Swiss and the rest of the world are not against Muslims practicing their own religion in peace like all followers of other religions

It is also true that unlike Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Turkey, for instance, Switzerland and the rest of the world allow Muslims to build their own mosques. For example, there are more than 2,700 mosques for 3.5 million Muslims all over Germany.

It is also true that huge lavish mosques funded by petrodollars are being constructed to prove that Islam is omnipresent everywhere and Islam – the best religion on earth! – is increasingly being accepted and practiced all over the world.

In addition, most of Arab and Muslim states favor Islam because it is a repressive instrument of governance. Islam is against democracy, against formation of political parties, and supports traditional rulers.

If, however, people around the globe, especially in the West, read the Koran and Hadith and realize how this religion incites to hatred and violence against non-Muslims, and discrimination against women, they would classify it as an extremist ideology, as politically incorrect and demand banning it like all extremist organizations. Check out “
Is Islam a Violent Faith?” and “Women in Hadith.”

Nevertheless, the world community, including Switzerland, accepts Islam as a “religion” and allows its followers to practice it under the principle of religious freedom

If the world knew how my fellow Arabs and Muslims think and act, they (the world) would understand Arab politics and Islam better and act accordingly.

For example, it is permissible/legal in Islam to cheat non-Muslims. Numerous Saudi and Egyptian religious leaders have issued fatwas supporting this tenet and practice
. The German weekly, Der Spiegel (October 26, 2009) reported that many rich Muslims get costly medical treatment in Germany and leave without paying.

Sadly, both the majority of Muslims and the majority of Westerners have not thoroughly and carefully read the Koran and Hadith and hence are unaware of all those numerous atrocious passages that incite to hatred, discrimination, and violence, which drive many suicide and car bombers to kill themselves and murder innocent people

The West sees only the façade and not what is behind it. Even President Obama calls Islam a “tolerant religion” and Al Azhar University, which breeds bigots, a “torch of enlightenment

I recently toured the Middle East. I thought that my fellow Arabs and Muslims have changed, at least a bit, becoming more positive, but I found I was wrong. They still expose piety and practice evil. They pray five times a day. Afterwards they lie and cheat. They also believe, Allah forgives their sins because they are Muslims, “the only true believers on earth.” In one word, religion/Islam is a mask!

The media and political discourse has not changed for ages in the Muslim world. While the media and politicians blame the West for the misery in their societies, they report about filth and corruption everywhere in the Arab/Muslim world. People at all levels lie and twist facts. Instead of taking action, regardless how little it is, they sit on the filth idle and lament their “bad luck.”

Instead of urging people to work and instead of urging petrodollar sheikhs to invest in development programs, chaplains and political commentators entertain their audiences with old concocted tales on how “just” and “humane” old Muslims were.

It is a common wise international practice that before new members join an organization or community, like the World Trade Organization (WTO) or the European Union, for instance, they have to comply with certain conditions. The same, I believe, should apply to Muslim states.

Before the West accepts Islam as a religion it must demand that Muslim states reform Islam; accept/apply universal human rights and religious freedom in their societies.

Islam (Koran+Hadith= Sharia) still in the 21st century urges men to lock up their women until death if they are not obedient. The Koran incites Muslim to kill infidels (Christians+Jews). A “religion” that preaches such atrocious things and many more is absolutely not entitled to freedom of religion

Very few brave Arab/Muslim writers have welcomed the Swiss ban on the construction of minarets. The Kuwaiti columnist, Mohammed Al Saleh writes in the daily Al Qabas, Muslims do not need sky-scraper-high minarets to pray. They can pray anywhere if they are really honest and pious. Nidhal Na’eesa, writing for an Arabic blog, Modern Discussion, wonders what Muslims in Switzerland want? Do they want to have a Muslim society like the ones they fled, societies that do not respect religious freedom, societies that discriminate against non-Muslims and women? Na’eesa also wonders what have all those countless minarets in the Muslim world achieved. They only shed their shadow on misery and backwardness. He urges those who demand minarets in the West to rather invest the money in development projects in the Muslim world. He suggests that instead of minarets we need in the Muslim world factory chimneys.

Minaret construction is an exhibition of political power spearheaded by Islamists. These “towers” are simply aggressive symbols of fanatic defying power.

Besides, where have all those apologists who blast the Swiss decision been when Switzerland harbored all those tax-dodgers, Muslim dictators and their petrodollars? Where are all those religion-freedom advocates vis-à-vis religious persecution of non-Muslims in Muslim societies? Why don’t they protest against lack of religious freedom and lack of freedom of speech in Muslim states? Why don’t they speak up against hatred, discrimination, violence in Islam, in theory and practice?

Five thousand Iraqi Christians have recently found refuge in Germany. They were persecuted in their home country by fellow Muslim citizens. Neither German politicians nor the media dared to criticize this barbaric act. But when a veiled Muslim woman is killed, politicians and the media protest loudly and depict it as a crime motivated by hatred and discrimination against Islam and Muslims.

Islamists can rest assured that their fight for religious and political gains is supported by Western apologists, a boisterous minority. But when it comes to referendum, the majority in the Western world would also reject Islam as a stone-age “religion.” I am pretty sure that if the Swiss referendum were held in other European countries, the majority would also vote in favor of banning the construction of minarets. The European public is better informed than their self-appointed defenders of Islam.

I took to the street and interviewed, with some of my former students, over 500 German people, young and old. We asked them if they supported or rejected the ban on the construction of minarets. Over 70 percent of the interviewees favored the ban.

If the Germans, the Swiss, and all the other Europeans learned about all those fiery preaches held in Turkish and Arabic in mosques against Christians, Jews, and the constitution in the name of Islam, they would absolutely support any ban on the construction of mosques and minarets with a greater majority. Hatred, discrimination, and violence have nothing to do with religious freedom.

Preaching hatred and violence must be banned and their perpetrators must be punished. Additionally, the free civilized world must demand from Muslims and their religious institutions and states: Drop all those atrocious passages from your Koran and Hadith if you want to be part of the civilized world.

Opponents of the Swiss ban threaten to go to the European Court of Justice. This court might rule in their favor. But the reality on the ground remains the same. People are scared of Islam in theory and practice. Both Islamic scriptures and imams preach, day in day out, hatred, discrimination, and violence

Minaret construction has nothing to do with freedom of religion. It is a symbol of bigotry.

Dr. Sami Alrabaa, an ex-Muslim, is a professor of Sociology and an Arab-Muslim specialist. He has taught at Kuwait University, King Saud University, and Michigan State University. He also writes for the
Jerusalem Post.



The Qur'an and the Bible in the Light of Science


The World's Greatest Showman is a book written by Ali Sina that analyzes Dr. Zakir's Naik's arguments, one by one and demonstrates that every one of them is false. The World's Greatest Showman can be downloaded from this site:

The Qur'an & the Bible in the light of science - Part I (46 Minutes 17 Seconds) - Dr. Zakir Naik, Dr. William Campbell - Islaminfo UK

Dr. Zakir Naik Vs. Dr. William Campbell Recorded at Chicago ICNA Conference 2000
The Qur'an & the Bible in the light of science - Part II (55 Minutes 10 Seconds) - Dr. Zakir Naik, Dr. William Campbell - Islaminfo UK

Dr. Zakir Naik Vs. Dr. William Campbell Recorded at Chicago ICNA Conference 2000
The Qur'an & the Bible in the light of science - Part III (36 Minutes, 47 Seconds) - Dr. Zakir Naik, Dr. William Campbell - Islaminfo UK

Dr. Zakir Naik Vs. Dr. William Campbell Recorded at Chicago ICNA Conference 2000
The Qur'an & the Bible in the light of science - Part IV (58 Minutes) - Dr. Zakir Naik, Dr. William Campbell - Islaminfo UK

Dr. Zakir Naik Vs. Dr. William Campbell Recorded at Chicago ICNA Conference 2000
The Qur'an & the Bible in the light of science - Part V (1 Hour 1 Minute) - Dr. Zakir Naik, Dr. William Campbell - Islaminfo UK

Dr. Zakir Naik Vs. Dr. William Campbell Recorded at Chicago ICNA Conference 2000



Europe’s Dark Age and Islam’s Golden Age: Two Facets of The Same Fiction?

What Archeology tells us

According to the history books, the Early Middle Ages, the period stretching roughly from the first quarter of the seventh century to the first quarter of the tenth, was a crucial time for Europe and the Middle East. For Europe, this was the very darkest phase of the so-called Dark Ages, an era during which the light of Classical Civilization was finally extinguished. However, for the Middle East, which from about 635 onwards became Muslim, it was a very different story. The next three centuries, far from constituting a “Dark Age”, became a veritable Golden Age. This was to be the high point of Islamic civilization: three centuries during which the Islamdom led the world in science, philosophy, wealth and culture. As Europe floundered in poverty and darkness, with cities abandoned and violence everywhere, Muslim rulers such as Harun al-Rashid and Al-Mamum presided over a flourishing and enlightened urban civilization.

That, at least, is the story told in all the textbooks. But proper examination of facts suggests that this is mostly, if not completely, a myth. In reality, neither the European Dark Age nor the Islamic Golden Age has any basis in fact: These are little more than two facets of a single fictitious historical narrative, a narrative which has however been around for many centuries; one that derives from the written histories of early Islam and of Europe. Until the nineteenth century, no-one had any real reason to question this version of events. After all, the Islamic world, at least by the beginning of the eleventh century, did seem to be far ahead of Europe. Did we not get our numeral system (“Arabic numerals”) from the Arabs, as well as algebra, alcohol, and a host of other techniques and technologies? All the evidence seemed to indicate that the Muslim world was, in the centuries preceding the eleventh, advanced and sophisticated, while Europe was mired in a primitive barbarism.

But this view has now faced a serious challenge: For, in the twentieth century, a whole new body of evidence became available to historians; evidence unavailable to previous generations of scholars: The evidence of archaeology. And what archaeology tells us has been devastating to the traditional view.

By the mid-twentieth century, archaeologists had begun to put together a fairly comprehensive picture of the archaeology of Europe and the Near East. Indeed, several areas of the Near East, such as Egypt, Palestine and Iraq, were and remain among the most thoroughly excavated regions of the earth.

Medievalists had, of course, been very interested in throwing light on the somewhat romantic though apparently fabulously wealthy and cultured Islamic world of the seventh, eighth and ninth centuries. Strange and wonderful tales were told of this epoch, though all agreed it was an age of high civilization. This was the age of the Omayyad and Abbasid Caliphs; the romantic epoch of Scheherazade and Harun Al-Rashid, the fabulously opulent Caliph of Baghdad, who is said to have donned the disguise of a commoner and wandered by night through the dimly-lit streets of the metropolis—a city of reputedly a million people. This epoch, and this alone, is said to have marked the age of Islam’s cultural ascendancy. Consider the following description from an English historian of eighth-tenth century Cordoba, typical of the genre: “
In Spain … the foundation of Umayyad power ushers in an era of unequalled splendour, which reaches its height in the early part of the tenth century. The great university of Cordova is thronged with students … while the city itself excites the wonder of visitors from Germany and France. The banks of the Guadalquivir are covered with luxurious villas, and born of the ruler’s caprice rises the famous Palace of the Flower, a fantastic city of delights” (H. St. L. B. Moss, The Birth of the Middle Ages; 395-814, Oxford University Press, 1935, p. 172). All agree that, in later years, from the late eleventh century onwards, the Islamic world began to fall rapidly behind the West.

On the word of the written histories, then, archaeologists expected to find, from Spain to eastern Iran, a flourishing and vibrant culture. An Islamic world of enormous cities endowed with all the wealth of antiquity and the plunder gathered in the Muslim wars of conquest. They hoped to find palaces, public baths, universities and mosques; all richly decorated with marble, ceramic and carved stone.

In fact, they found nothing of the sort.

The archaeological non-appearance of the Islamic Golden Age is surely one of the most remarkable discoveries to come to light in the past century. It has not achieved the sensational headlines we might expect, for the simple reason that a non-discovery is of much less interest to the public than a discovery. Then again, as archaeologists searched in vain through site after site, they imagined they had just been unlucky; that with the next day’s dig, the fabulous palaces and baths would be uncovered. And this has been the pattern now for a hundred years. In fact, the entire Islamic world is a virtual blank for roughly three centuries.

Normally, we find one or two finds attributed to the seventh century, then nothing for three centuries, then a resumption of archaeological material in the mid- or late-tenth century. Take, for example Egypt, the largest and most populous Islamic country during the Early Middle Ages. The Muslim conquest of the country occurred in 638 or 639, and we should expect the invaders to have begun, almost immediately, using the wealth of the land to begin building numerous and splendid places of worship, but apparently they didn’t. Only two mosques in the whole of Egypt, both in Cairo, are said to date from before the eleventh century: the Amr ibn al-As (641) and the Ahmad ibn Tulun (878). However, the latter building has many features found only in mosques of the eleventh century, so its date of 878 is disputed. Thus, in Egypt, we have a single place of worship, the mosque of Amr ibn al-As, dating from the mid-seventh century, then nothing for another three-and-a-half centuries. Why, in an enormous country with up to, perhaps, five million inhabitants, should the Muslims wait over 300 years before building themselves places of worship?

And it is the same throughout the Islamic world. No matter where we go, from Spain to Iran, there is virtually nothing between circa 650 and 950. Spain, as we have seen, is supposed to have witnessed a flowering of Islamic culture and civilization in the two centuries after the Arab conquest of 711; and the city of Cordoba is said to have grown to a sophisticated metropolis of half-a-million people or more. We recall the description of a flourishing and vastly opulent metropolis painted by the writer quoted above. Yet the same author admitted that “Little remains of the architecture of this period.” Little indeed! As a matter of fact, the only Muslim structure in the whole of Spain dating from before the eleventh century is the so-called Mosque of Cordoba; yet even this, strictly-speaking, is not an Islamic construction: It was originally the Visigothic Cathedral of Saint Vincent, which was converted, supposedly in the days of Abd er-Rahman I, to a mosque. Yet the Islamic features that exist could equally belong to the time of Abd er-Rahman III (latter tenth century), whom we know did conversion work on the Cathedral, adding a minaret and a new façade (Louis Bertrand, The History of Spain, p. 54). Most of the Islamic features in the building actually come after Abd er-Rahman III, and there is no secure way of dating anything in it to the eighth century.

The poverty of visible Islamic remains is normally explained by the proposition that the Christians destroyed the Muslim monuments after the city’s re-conquest. But this solution is inherently a suspect. Granted the Christians might have destroyed all the mosques, though even that seems unlikely, but they certainly would not have destroyed opulent palaces, baths, fortifications, etc. Yet none of these—none, at least, ascribed to the eighth to early tenth centuries—has survived. And even granting that, such a universal and pointless destruction did take place, we have to assume that at least under the ground, we would find an abundance of Arab foundations, as well as artifacts, tools, pottery etc. Indeed, in a city of half-a-million people, as Cordoba of the eight, ninth and tenth centuries is said to have been—the archaeologist would expect to find—a superabundance of such things. They should be popping out of the ground with almost every shovel-full of dirt. Now Cordoba has been extensively excavated over the past seventy years or so, often specifically to search for Arab/Moorish remains. What then has been found?

According to the prestigious Oxford Archaeological Guide, the city has revealed, after exhaustive excavations: (a) The south-western portion of the city wall, which was “presumably” of the ninth century; (b) A small bath-complex, of the 9th/10th century; and (c) A “part” of the Umayyad (8-9th century) mosque (The Oxford Archaeological Guide, Collins, 1998). This is all that can be discovered from two-and-a-half centuries of the history of a city of supposedly half-a-million people. And the rest of Spain, which has been investigated with equal vigor, can deliver little else. The foundations of a small house here and a few fragments of pottery there, usually of doubtful date and often described as “presumably” of ninth century or such like.

The sheer poverty of these remains makes it clear that the fabulously wealthy Cordoba of the eighth, ninth and early tenth centuries is a myth; and the elusive nature of all materials from these three centuries, in every part of the Islamic world, makes us wonder whether the rise of Islam has been somehow misdated: For the first real mark left (in archaeological terms) by Islam in Spain is dated to the mid-tenth century, to the time of Abd er-Rahman III, whose life bears many striking comparisons with his namesake and supposed ancestor Abd er-Rahman I, of the eighth century.

Again, there are strange and striking parallels between the major events of Islamic history of the seventh and eighth centuries on the one hand and of the tenth and eleventh centuries on the other. Thus, for example, the Christian Reconquista in Spain is supposed to have commenced around 720, with the victory of Don Pelayo at Covadonga; but the real Reconquista began three hundred years later with the victories of Sancho of Navarre around 1020. Similarly, the Islamic invasion of northern India supposedly commenced around 710-720 with the victories of Muhammed bin Qasim, though the “real” Islamic conquest of the region began with the victories of Mahmud of Ghazni, roughly between 1010 and 1020. Yet again, the impact of Islam on Europe seems not have been felt until the late tenth and eleventh centuries, though commonsense would suggest that it should have been felt three hundred years earlier. Henri Pirenne, for example, was criticized by Alfons Dopsch for suggesting that Islam terminated Classical Civilization in Europe in the seventh century by its blockade of the Mediterranean. Thus, said Dopsch, Europe should have become “Medieval” by the late seventh century. Yet many of the characteristics of medieval society, such as the rise of feudalism and castle-building, said Dopsch, only appear in the late tenth century. And obviously Islamic ideas, such as Holy War, were only copied by the Europeans in the eleventh century.

What then does all this mean?

The lack of Muslim archaeology from before the tenth and eleventh centuries (with the exception of two or three monuments such as the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and the Amr ibn al-As mosque in Cairo, usually of the mid-seventh century), would indicate that the rise of Islam has been misdated, and that some form of error has crept into the chronology. But error or not, the fact that, virtually nothing from before the mid-tenth century has been found, means that Islam was not a flourishing, opulent and cultured civilization whilst Europe was mired in the Dark Ages. By the late tenth century, Europe was experiencing her own “renaissance”, with a flowering of “Romanesque” art and architecture, much of it strongly reminiscent of the Late Classical work of the Merovingian and Visigothic period.

The meaning of this archaeological “dark age”, of central importance to our understanding of European and Islamic history, will be discussed more fully in a subsequent article.

The above article summarizes arguments found in John O’Neill’s
Holy Warriors: Islam and the Demise of Classical Civilization (Felibri Publications).