Theometer or Sectometer

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Theometer or Sectometer

(First conducted on the participants of my lectures at Oxford University in November 3-5, 2008)

© Edip Yuksel

Name: _________________________________________________

Email Address: __________________________________________

Phone: ______________________________________ Age: ______

Occupation: _____________________________________________

Nationality: _____________________________________________

Have you read the Manifesto for Islamic Reform? ______________

Favorite Books/Authors: ___________________________________

Your Sect: (a) Sunni (b) Shiite (c) Salafi (d) Another sect (d) No sect

Please put a CIRCLE around the letter of your choice:

1. According to the Quran, which one of these is not and cannot be idolized by people?

  1. Prophet Muhammad
  2. Desires or Wishful thinking (Hawa)
  3. Crowds or peers
  4. Ancestors or children
  5. Reasoning (Aql)

2. Which one of these is a true statement?

  1. The Quran is not sufficient to guide us; in addition we need Hadith and Sunna.
  2. The Quran is not sufficient to guide us; we need Hadith, Sunna and follow the teaching of a Sunni sect.
  3. The Quran is not sufficient to guide us; we need Hadith, Sunna and follow the teaching of a Shiite sect.
  4. The Quran is not sufficient to guide us; we need Hadith, Sunna, follow the teaching of a sect and join a religious order.
  5. The Quran is sufficient to guide us when we understand and follow it through the light of reason.

3. Which one of these hadiths narrated by Bukhari, Muslim and other “authentic” hadith books, do you think are fabricated?

  1. Muhammad was illiterate until he died.
  2. Muhammad married Aisha at age 54 while she was only 9 or 13 years-old.
  3. Muhammad dispatched a gang of fighters (sariyya) to kill a woman poet secretly during night in her home, for criticizing him publicly through her poems.
  4. Muhammad slaughtered 400 to 900 Jews belonging to Ben Qurayza for violating the treaty.
  5. All of the above.

4. Which one of these laws or rules does not exist in the Quran?

  1. Stone the married adulterers to death
  2. Do not play guitar
  3. Men should not wear silk and gold
  4. Men are superior to women
  5. All of the above

5. The Quran instructs us to follow the messengers. Following the messenger means:

  1. Follow Hadith and Sunna; Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Hanbal, etc.
  2. Follow his Ahl-al-Bayt.
  3. Follow hadith, sunna, consensus of sahaba, ijtihad of imams and fatwas of ulama.
  4. Follow Muhammad.
  5. Follow the message he was sent with, which was Quran alone.

6. The Quran is God’s word, because:

  1. There are verses of the Quran stating that it is God’s word.
  2. The Quran is a literary miracle. None can bring a sura like it surpassing its literary qualities.
  3. I do not need to have a reason. Reason is not reliable. I have faith in the Quran.
  4. The moral teaching of the Quran is the best for individual and humanity.
  5. The Quranic signs (aya) do not have internal contradiction nor does it contradict the signs in nature. Besides, it is numerically coded book with an extraordinary mathematical structure integrated with its composition and Arabic language.

7. Which one of the following is correct for Muhammad:

  1. Muhammad was the final messenger and prophet.
  2. Muhammad had the highest rank above all humans.
  3. Muhammad demonstrated many miracles such as splitting the moon, healing the sick, and crippling a child
  4. All of the above´
  5. Muhammad was a human messenger like other messengers.

8. In what year he Bukhari started collecting hadith for his hadith collection known as the Sahih Bukhari, the most trusted Sunni hadith collection?

  1. During the life of Muhammad inMedina
  2. Ten years after Muhammad’s death.
  3. 130 years after Muhammad’s death.
  4. 200 years after Muhammad’s death
  5. 230 years after Muhammad’s death.

9. According to Bukhari himself, he collected the 7,275 hadith among the 600,000 hadiths he collected. If each hadith, together with its isnad (the chain of reporters) and sanad (the text that was attributed to Muhammad) took about half a book page, how many volumes of books with 500 pages would they take to record all those 600,000 hadith allegedly collected by Bukhari?

  1. 7 volumes
  2. 10 volumes
  3. 70 volumes
  4. 100 volumes
  5. 700 volumes

10. What are the last statements in the Farewell Sermon (Khutba al-Wada) which was reportedly witnessed by more than 100,000 sahaba, making it by far the most authentic hadith among the thousands of hadiths?

  1. I leave you Abu Bakr; you should follow him.
  2. I leave you my sahaba; you may follow any of them.
  3. I leave you the Quran and Sunna; you should follow both.
  4. I leave you the Quran and Ahl-al- Bayt (my family); you should follow them.
  5. I leave you the Quran, you should follow it.

11. According to some “authentic hadith” found in Bukhari and other hadith books, there was a verse instructing muslims to stone the married adulterers to death: “Al-shayhu wal-shayhatu iza zanaya farjumuhuma nakalan…” According to hadith reports, what happened to those verses?

  1. After the Prophet Muhammad’s death, Umayyad governor Marwan burned the pages where those verses were written.
  2. Angle Gebrail came down and deleted it from the scripture.
  3. Ibni Abbas forgot it yet Abu Hurayra never forgot it.
  4. There is no reference to such a verse in any authentic hadith books.
  5. After the Prophet Muhammad’s death, the skin which the verse was written on was protected under Aisha’s bed. A hungry goat ate it. Thus, it was abrogated literally yet kept legally.

12. According to both Bukhari and Muslim, when Muhammad was in his death bed, he asked his comrades around to bring him a paper and pen to write something for them so that they would not divert from the right path. According to the same “authentic” Sunni hadith books, Omar bin Khattab stopped a sahaba who was hurrying for a paper and pen and said the following: “The prophet is sick and has fever. He does not know what he is saying. God’s book is sufficient for us.” According to the hadith, all the prominent comrades (sahaba) agreed with Omar and Muhammad passed away without writing down his advice. What do you think about this hadith?

  1. If it is narrated by both Bukhari and Muslim, then it must be true
  2. If it is true, then, Omar and all other Sahaba must have betrayed Muhammad and committed blasphemy.
  3. If it is true, then, Omar and all prominent Sahaba were followers of the Quran alone.
  4. If it is false then all other hadith too should be rejected.
  5. C and D must be true

13. Do we need to SAY “sallallahu alayhi wasallam” after Muhammad’s name?

  1. Yes, every time Muhammad is mentioned we have to praise his name.
  2. Yes, but we need to say only once in our lifetime.
  3. Yes, the more we say the better.
  4. Yes, and those who do not say it after Muhammad’s name disrespect him and they will not receive his intercession.
  5. No, the Quran does not ask us to say anything after Muhammad’s name; muslims were asked (salli ala) to support him, as he was also asked to support them (salli alayhim).

14. What is the correct Testimony (shahada) according to the Quran:

  1. I bear witness that there is no god but the God and the Quran is God’s word.
  2. I bear witness that there is no god but the God and Muhammad is His messenger.
  3. I bear witness that there is no god but the God and Muhammad is His messenger and His servant.
  4. I bear witness that there is no god but the God and Abraham, Jesus, Moses and Muhammad are His messengers.
  5. I bear witness that there is no god but the God.

15. Should Muslims who do not observe daily prayers be beaten in public?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

16. Should Muslims who are caught for consuming alcohol for the fourth time be killed?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

17. Did the prophet give permission to kill women and children in the war?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

18. According to the Quran, are women banned from reading Quran and pray during their menstruation periods?

  1. Yes
  2. No.

19. In the daily Sala prayers, do you recite “attahiyyatu lillahi wassalawatu …. as salamu alayka ayyuhannabiyyu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu”?

  1. Yes
  2. No

20. Does the Quran justify taxing Jewish and Christian population under Muslim authority with extra or different taxation called Jizya?

  1. Yes
  2. No.

21. Does the Quran instruct women to cover their hair?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

22. Are woman restricted from leading congregational prayers?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

23. Are women mentally and spiritually inferior to men?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

24. Does the Quran restrict women from initiating divorce?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

25. Is polygamy with previously unmarried women allowed?

  1. Yes, up to four women.
  2. No, polygamy is allowed only with the widows who have orphans.

26. Do pilgrims need to cast real stones at the devil?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

27. Is the black stone near Kaba holy?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

28. May a muslim own slaves?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

29. Is circumcision a required or encouraged practice in Islam?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

30. Should converts change their names to Arabic names?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

31. How much zaka charity one should give away?

  1. 2.5%
  2. As much as one can afford, without making themselves needy.

32. Are those who break their fast during Ramadan before the sunset required to fast 60 consecutive days as a punishment for not completing the day?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

33. Is leadership the right of Quraish tribe?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

34. Is drawing pictures or making three dimensional statutes a sin?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

35. Are there more dietary prohibitions besides pork, carcass, running blood, and animal dedicated to idolized names?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

36. Is displaying Muhammad’s name and the names of his closest companions next to God’s name in the mosques idol-worship?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

37. Did Muhammad advise some sick people to drink camel urine?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

38. Did Muhammad gauge people’s eyes with hot nails?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

39. After following the advice of Moses, did Muhammad, bargain with God about the number of prayers, lowering down from the impossible-to-observe 50 times a day to 5 times a day?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

40. Does Muhammad have the power of intercession?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

41. Was Muhammad sinless?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

42. Did God create the universe for the sake of Muhammad?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

43. Did Muhammad have sexual power of 30 males?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

44. Was Muhammad bewitched by a Jew?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

45. Do some verses of the Quran abrogate other verses?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

Here is the story and the answer of this test:

Between November 3 and 10 of 2008, I traveled to UK and Turkey to deliver four lectures; first two at Oxford University, the third at Muslim Institute in London and the fourth one in Istanbul Book Fair. I had prepared a test containing 45 multiple choice questions just the night before my travel. I duplicated them on both sides of a single sheet and I distributed to the audience before the lecture… They were asked to write their name, age, occupation, email address, favorite authors, and their sectarian affiliation. It was a bit awkward to test an audience that consisted of students and professors at one of the world’s top universities. The multiple-choice test proved to be a powerful instrument to deliver the message of Islamic Reform under the light of the Quran. The correct answer for each multiple choice question was the E option, and for the Yes or No questions was the B option. So, it would take me a few seconds to evaluate the tests after they were returned to me.

The Sunni or Shiite test-takers found themselves in quagmire of contradiction with their own sectarian teachings. They learned that they were thirty, forty or even more than fifty percent infidels or heretics. Some of those who marked Sunni as their sectarian affiliation contradicted the Sunni teachings on most of the issues. According to their own confessed sects, their lives were worthless; they deserved to be killed! I did not let this mirror or sect-o-meter remain an individual experience; I publicly declared the overall results. Many got all answers correct, including Eric, a monotheist from Unitarian church who already had a copy of the Quran: a Reformist Translation in his possession. Eric knew the original message of islam better than all the mullahs and the so-called “ulama” combined.

If you have chosen the wrong option for any of the questions and you are wondering why you have contradicted the Quran, please visit and read the full version of the Manifesto for Islamic Reform. If you prefer to have it in a book form, you may order it by visiting

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Edip Yuksel’s Speech at European Parliament

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Edip Yuksel’s Speech
at European Parliament

7 June 2012

Below you will find the text and video of my speech at European Parliament in June 7, 2012. First time in my life, I made an obscene or insult gesture by showing my middle finger to the warmongers towards the end of the end of my speech:

“We are now using drones to assassinate people without trial, poor people who stand against our aggression and hegemony. The list of wars, covert operations and countries bombed by the USA-Inc, printed in 9 points Times Roman, single space, one line for each country, is five times longer than my middle finger. With Cognitive Dissonance every bloody list is possible!” 

The link to the youtube video is in the bottom of the text. I recommend you reading the submitted text to the conference before watching the video. I did not have sufficient time to share all in my speech. I received a few more minutes to list the solutions in the end of the panel, which is not in the video clip I posted on youtube.


Dear sisters and brothers, peace, salam, shalom, aşiti!

During my research on the Constitution of countries for a legal article I witnessed that the Turkish Constitution was the only constitution that contained an article, banning a language, the Kurdish language. The 1982 Turkish Constitution, ironically, referred to the “banned language” under the subtitle “Freedom of Expression.” Some resisted to this cultural genocide and some yielded and were assimilated. Unfortunately, I belong to the second group. I know, more or less 5 languages, and thanks to my Turkish brothers, my mother tongue is the poorest of all.

I know the evil of racism firsthand. I lost my brother, Metin Yüksel, to the cowardly bullets of Turkish nationalists. While in Turkish prison, I was put in the same ward with the murderers of my brother. And, one of them is now an elected member of Turkish National Congress.

I teach and lecture without reading from papers. It is boring, I know. But, knowing that I tend to wonder in details while talking, and knowing the time limitations I decided to share with you my thoughts and feelings by reading from the paper. Please bear with me and listen to me carefully.

I am not going to talk just about a massacre happened some years ago… I am not a good story teller and I think there is another way besides discussing the details of past atrocities followed by finger-pointing, since we are all criminals, we all contribute to the unfair, myopic, diabolic echo system that is doomed to generate this sorts of tragedies and even more. As long as we do not focus on the main causes, yes plural, of all conflicts, fights, and atrocities that is committed by our ancestors we will never be able to break the cycle. Remember we are the children of Cain, the children of the killers who survived, the children of winners, bullies.

But, I believe that we are in a threshold point in history, in which we cannot go beyond without destroying everyone including ourselves. We need to give support to the peacemaker gene of Abel and try our best to suppress the barbaric genetic code we have inherited from a portion of our bloody ancestors. It is time to use the software, the 19 rules of inference embedded in our brain, to do some reformation in our nature, in our-selves. We have to look at ourselves before pointing at the other.

I am not talking as a Kurd, or a Turk or an American or as a Lawyer here. I have decided to talk like my hero, Socrates. I know that I am far being in caliber of that great man, and also I know that the European Parliament is much better than the 501 jury members of the Athenian senate. Of course, I am not on trial, but I want to put myself as a member of humanity on a short trial here.

I will have a bad news first, which I will harp on it not to annoy you, like a gadfly, but to tickle your brain, your heart, and your consciousness. But I promise that it will follow with a few good news, very good ones, which might create a butterfly effect for a new era in global politics, starting from you, from this room.

In 1948 the United Nations issued Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide with19 articles. In the 2nd article it defines genocide as:

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  1. (a) Killing members of the group;
  2. (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Declaration of Human Rights, UN resolutions, International law…


Who cares about the laws? Not even those who drafted, dictated and passed the laws care about those laws!


Who cares about the laws?

Most countries are ruled by the children of Thrasymachus.

Long live Thrasymachus!

“Might makes it right”!

If we are the Exceptional Americans or the Chosen Ones in the Middle of Trouble of our own creation, why should we care about the laws? Neither the International Criminal Court can reach our exceptional people, nor can the UN resolutions stop our crimes. What happened to the war criminals of our decadent decade, such as Sharon, Bush, and his cabal, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, Bolton, Perle?

Who cares about the laws?

Perhaps, only the poor, the weak has to follow the laws! No wonder, our justice system is designed to absolve and respect the biggest thieves while punishes mercilessly the hungry who steals bread to feed himself and his children.

WE HUMANS are HYPOCRITES and Suffer from Cognitive dissonance. Unless we ACCEPT THE TRUTH we will not be free from hypocrisy and tragedies.

What goes around comes around and the entire humanity suffers as in the case of global warming, gang terrorism, wars, etc. And what is going around is coming around much faster and with vengeance.

Let me confess my sin as a human being. I am confessing our sins not to ask forgiveness from those few bullies who arrogate themselves to be the world’s leaders, or the representatives of God on earth. No. I will confess to unite us, to remind us our aggressions and hypocrisy, and also our common bond as humans, our common destiny as travelers on this crowded and troubled spaceship called Earth!

A massacre, a war or a human rights violation is not an isolated incident. They are part of a much bigger system, ideology and lifestyle that we choose. It is connected to how we treat women, how we treat the poor, the working people, how we treat the animals, how we treat the earth, how we value family, humanity… A massacre, a war or a human rights violation is the symptom of our way of life, our system, our paradigm.

  • We are oppressors, ignorant and self-righteous. We expect Bulgaria or Germany to give Turkish minority cultural rights while we first deny the existence, than we ban the language and culture, including the Holydays, of Kurdish minority and then we subject them to assassinations and massacres.
  • We are oppressors, ignorant and self-righteous. We blame Kurdish minority of treason for demanding and fighting for their lives, human rights and dignity and we adopt a policy of cultural genocide and then assassinations, imprisonment, burning towns, torture and massacres, against the Kurds, indigenous population of Turkey. And at the same time, we go to war on behalf of a Turkish minority in Cyprus to DIVIDE Cyprus. Ironically, the Turkish minority in Cyprus did not suffer even a fraction of fascist policies and actions we imposed on Kurds. Costing 60 thousand dead in recent years, 80 percent of them being Kurds.
  • We take it lightly of being the only country that has banned the language of a minority, comprising about 20 percent of its population. Ironically, we claim to be Muslims while Islam condemns racism and considers every language to be God’s signs deserving respect and appreciation.
  • We are oppressors, ignorant and self-righteous. We expect Europeans to cherish our mosques, to enjoy our minarets punching holes in their skies, and if they convert an old mosque into a church we protest with loud noises, yet we are not ashamed of trying to convert Hagia Sophia into a Mosque, as if we were in desperate need for another empty mosque.
  • We are criminals and in denial. We turned minorities against minorities and in 1995 we let the Turks and Kurds commit genocide against Armenians, exterminating more than a million Armenians. About a quarter million Assyrians became the victims of our spree of genocide.
  • We are oppressors, self-centered and self-righteous. We protest and condemn American and European atrocities and neo-colonialism, invasions and wars in the Middle East, while we shamelessly glorify the same aggression of our ancestors by celebrating Fatih and other Ottoman tyrants whose major contribution to humanity was to invade other people’s countries, plunder their riches, levy on them taxes, kidnap and draft their children to the imperial military for more wars, invasions, and plunder.
  • We are oppressors, ignorant and self-righteous. We condemn the genocides, atrocities of the past, big or small, especially if they were against our tribe, but we enjoy doing exactly the same thing even now while we are talking this issue.
  • We are oppressors, ignorant and self-righteous. We declare about a quarter of human population to be terrorists while our quarter itself is the biggest terrorist, even 666 times more violent, supported with the most sophisticated armies, monstrous killing machines and unending imperial wars that is cunningly presented to be promoting freedom, democracy and human rights.
  • We are oppressors, delusional and self-righteous. We fool ourselves to be Davids while we are the Goliaths. We have the audacity of depicting our fascist and well-nourished invaders and murderers-in-uniform inside a tank to be the victim and the poor teenager with a rock in his hand standing for his life, freedom, home and dignity against our tank to be the terrorist.
  • We are shameless in praising our former enemies, such as Gandhi, Martin Luther, Mandela as great moral leaders, yet we did not stop our crimes just because they were nice people singing peaceful songs. We hide from even ourselves that we were forced to stop our crimes because of logistics, the rising cost of committing those crimes and the violent groups and elements among our victims. By making a deal with the peaceful group among our victims, we wanted save face, and negotiate new terms and try to keep our advantages as much as we could.
  • We are cunning, delusional and self-righteous. We preach human rights to the people of poor countries which suffer under our SOB tyrants or friendly puppet regimes, while we had committed and still continue to commit the biggest atrocities in known human history: Holocaust, Carpet bombing, Use of nukes, Napalm bombs, Mines, Drones… So, it is not a surprise when we become the Geert Wilders, Robert Spencers, David Horowitzes, Neocons, Zionists, Rapture-freak crusaders and the 1 percent capitalists of the world and try every means and propaganda to escalate the conflict between the East and West. Our grandchildren should not be surprised if we repeat our bloody history by committing another major genocide, this time against Muslims, here in the West. With Cognitive Dissonance every evil is possible!
  • We are oppressors, ignorant and self-righteous. We preach the world about nuclear weapons, declare war against terrorism, but we do not even apologize for committing much greater state terror and atrocities around the world, including the biggest terrorism (targeting civilians) in known human history: Nagasaki and Hiroshima. With Cognitive Dissonance every atrocity is possible!
  • We talk about truth and justice, yet we are addicted with lies and we allocate multi-billion dollar funds to generate lies and propaganda through secret agencies and their puppets in the media and academia. No wonder we did not even regret for killing more than 1 million Iraqis while delivering our great democracy through bombs and bullets. We give Nobel Peace prize to the commander of the world’s biggest bloody military power that has killed tens of thousands of innocent people through euphemistic words such as surge, forward leaning, collateral damage, enhanced interrogation techniques.
  • We are now using drones to assassinate people without trial, poor people who stand against our aggression and hegemony. The list of wars, covert operations and countries bombed by the USA-Inc, printed in 9 points Times Roman, single space, one line for each country, is five times longer than my middle finger. With Cognitive Dissonance every bloody list is possible!
  • We brag with our civilization and technological advances, yet the Bosnian Muslims were massacred and raped in our midst for years. But our powerful military stood idle and perhaps we were busy pushing small countries around to plunder their natural resources and dictate our terms to continue our hedonistic consumerist life style. With Cognitive Dissonance all sorts of genocides are possible!
  • We brag to be nice and civilized people, yet we feed our children all sorts of violence and atrocities through video games and films, desensitizing them against human life.
  • We brag to have deserved our mansions and luxuries life style, while in fact, we made laws by legalizing usury, speculations, printing money out of hot air, crony capitalism, plutocracy and we stole most of our wealth from the services and products of those who worked hard day and night.
  • While at it, we also polluted our land, our oceans and our atmosphere. With Cognitive Dissonance every disaster is possible!
  • We brag with our technology and high-tech toys that come in fancy packages, we create mountains of trash from plastic bottles. A massive plastic garbage patch twice the size of the state of Texas circling in the North Pacific is growing faster than the power of big corporations over our so-called democracies.
  • We complain about not having enough to feed the poor, yet just several weeks ago we saw the picture of millions of tons of grain, a mountain of food without exaggeration, left to rot by the Indian government following the dogmas preached by the high-priests of capitalism.  Every year millions of tons of food are deliberately wasted by the capitalists while millions of people starve to death.
  • Besides greedy capitalism, detached governments, the world population is posing one of the greatest threat to the future of humanity, yet, our political and religious clowns among Catholics, Sunnis, Mormons and many other manmade religions are competing with each other in turning every mother to octomoms.
  • We brag to be Muslim (peacefully submitting to God and peacemakers) to be the followers of Muhammed, one of the most peaceful men in history, yet centuries after his death we make up volumes of lies about him thereby depicting him a warmonger, a torturer, a sexual maniac, a misogynist, a tyrant, an illiterate and superstitious medieval Arab. We demonstrate respect to the physical mediums where the Quran is recorded, yet we betray almost all its universal principles and instructions by promoting anti-rationalism, blind faith, intercession, by giving religious charlatans the power of making up rules in the name of God, by promoting violence, suicide bombing, antisemitism, the killing of apostates, oppressing our women, ignoring the plight of the hungry, homeless and jobless, stoning people to death, and many other appalling criminal acts. With Cognitive Dissonance every evil is possible!
  • We brag to be Christians, to be the followers of Jesus, one of the most peaceful and just men in history, yet soon after his death we became soldiers of Roman empire, we became slave owners, we burned “witches” and “heretics” on stakes, waged bloody Crusades, invented various torture machines, condemned thinkers through inquisition, fought two world wars, killed millions in holocaust, worked day and night to make bigger and even bigger bombs, invaded and destroyed numerous countries, killed millions around the world, and replaced the golden rule with the iron rule called “pre-emptive strike.”

Should we become CYNICAL? NO

  1. We cannot afford it. No more. With the increase in population and popularity of Internet and communication technology, what is going around is coming around much faster and bigger. The imperialist powers, which have mutated their skin and predatory method of sucking other’s blood, yet remain the same with all its greed, arrogance and delusions, can no more shed blood in the so-called third world countries and get away with it. The world cannot sustain our wars, our lies, our delusions, our robber banks, our Zionist propaganda, our capitalist-consumerist BS that wastes limited resources and pollutes and poisons this precious Blue Planet, God’s free gift to us.
  2. We cannot afford being cynical. There are some pockets of hope and examples of promises such as Sweden, Norway, and Finland…

We have proposals for solution:

First, we should diagnose the disease, which demonstrate the symptoms of aggression, arrogance, delusions and cognitive dissonance. We have to recognize the cancer tumors in our body that causes wars and genocide:

  • We should teach tolerance and respect to other people’s ideas as long as they are not used to harm others. We should question and reject the religious dogmas glorifying conquests, salvation through death and shedding blood.
  • We should require critical thinking and philosophy classes as a required curriculum in our elementary, middle and high schools.
  • We have to establish real democracy and ban lobbies from influencing our elected officials.
  • We must stand against warmongers and it must be the priority of every human on this planet, be it poor or rich, be it religious or atheist, black or blue, purple or pink, man or woman. Military Industrial Complex. Weapon merchants. These bloodsuckers (s)elect and bribe politicians to constantly create conflicts and ugly enemies with highly exaggerated powers, and declare wars here and there. We should make a list of top 10 war profiteers globally and locally, and declare them to be the enemies of humanity, and demand our politicians to dramatically reduce the military spending. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” (FDR). We should listen to this historical warning, “… we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” (Eisenhower).
  • To eliminate corruption, capitalistic exploitation and guarantee food, home, education and a reasonable health care for every human being, we should design a fair economic system without creating a totalitarian regime. We should bury capitalism and consumerism in the same graveyard that we buried authoritarian communism. Multinational big corporations through their news media, film industry, internet sites, lobbies, politicians and academia promote capitalistic dogmas, glorifies greed, usury, and the consumerism that is destroying the fragile echo system.
  • We should treat nationalism as a virus causing a mild disease that feigns as patriotism when in hibernation. But certain conditions, such as economic crisis or some provocations could trigger the virus to mutate into demonstrating the symptoms of jingoism and racism that may cause uncontrollable fatal complications and tragedies. These viruses are nourished and manipulated by inapt and evil politicians, weapon merchants, bigots and occasionally by global finance. Flags are used as idols. Waving flags triggers hormones of the subject thereby leading otherwise nice people to commit atrocities and genocides.


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Edip Yuksel’s Channel at Youtube

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First, if you want to keep in touch with our activities, please subscribe to my English Twitter @19org

I have recently (2011) started uploading some video clips at Youtube… I will be posting many more, inshallah… You may find some of my live TV debates in Turkish uploaded by other people. You may search Youtube by my name “Edip Yuksel” or “Edip Yüksel” to find my videos.

Or, may find the English videos posted by me at my Youtube channel by searching for: “Edip Yuksel (E)”, in which letter E in paranthesis indicates the Language.

God willing, the upcoming two documentaries will be available online and also in high definition DVDs. Here is a sample:

Running Like Zebras

Interview with Noam Chomsky

Speech at European Parliament

Last Statement at the European Parliament

Debating the President of American Atheists Organization)

Challenging Americans at Ground Zero

Why Quran Alone 1/2

Why Quran Alone 2/2

Islamic Reform (introduction)

Code 19

And Many More at Edip Yüksel’s Channel. See the PLAYLIST

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Idiots v Idiotmeters

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In this article I will focus only on one published test.
I have the third edition of this book Test Your I.Q. by Alfred W. Munzert, Ph.D. (Prentice Hall, 1994).
Its new editions are available into the mass market, and it is one of the most popular IQ Test books.


Should “Idiots” File a Malpractice Class Action against IQ-test Designers?

© Edip Yuksel, J.D.
2 April 2004

BrainbowTV English

Should lawyers file a class action against psychologists for malpractice on behalf of all those who took flawed IQ tests and discovered that they were idiots? Could they make a successful “faulty design” argument and establish mental pain and suffering, loss of self esteem, and loss of confidence in their mental activity? If they could, I bet there are millions of Americans out there eager to take their revenge, including those who were matched by MENSA with partners presumably sharing comparable IQs and then ending up with shared nightmares and divorce. I bet that the IQ Tests have contributed to sales of the Complete Idiot’s Guide or Incomplete Imbecile’s Guide (is coming soon!) series by convincing millions that they are indeed Idiots and Imbeciles.

I do believe that IQ tests measure some intellectual capabilities of individuals, sure with reasonable margins of error. But, out of curiosity, I have checked several IQ tests and found them riddled with flawed questions. I am not writing this criticism because I got low scores. To the contrary, I have received very high scores on each test I have taken so far (even my zealous religious opponents have conceded my high IQ in their books and articles). Furthermore, I do not claim that it is easy or even possible to design a flawless IQ test, and I am not dreaming or suggesting to design a test to test the test makers either. But I believe that many IQ tests on the market could be improved easily, if only the test designers had subjected them to trials and considered the results. Or they simply could have handed them to lawyers for cross-examination! Even if a lawyer who does not obtain good score on an IQ test, he or she is professionally skilled to smell flaws as long as it is presented as the evidence of an opposing party. (I am not practicing law, but I still feel a duty towards my comrades; they always need clients, especially psychologist ones!).

In this article I will focus only on one published test. I have the third edition of this book Test Your I.Q. by Alfred W. Munzert, Ph.D. (Prentice Hall, 1994). Its new editions are available into the mass market, and it is one of the most popular IQ Test books. The book contains great essays on intelligence; however its 60-question test is tainted with at least NINE flawed questions. This is more than enough to “reduce” an average person to a slow learner or to an idiot. Here are the flawed questions, followed by my criticism:

Question 2:

Which of the five is least like the other four?

  1. a) Nickel
  2. b) Tin
  3. c) Steel
  4. d) Iron
  5. e) Copper

According to the book the correct answer is C, that is, STEEL since “others are simple metals; steel is an alloy.” BUT this question measures the knowledge of metals and alloys rather than the IQ of the test taker. Those like me whose native language is not English may suffer additional disadvantage.

Question 6:

Which of the five is least like the other four?

  1. a) Dictionary
  2. b) Biography
  3. c) Atlas
  4. d) Almanac
  5. e) Directory

According to the book the correct answer is B, that is, BIOGRAPHY, since “all others are reference books. A biography is a narrative.” BUT another distinction could be made for ATLAS, since it is the only one which is the collection of maps while others are not.

Question 16:

Anne received $.59 change from a supermarket purchase. Of the eleven coins she received in change, three were exactly alike. These three coins had to be:

  1. a) Pennies
  2. b) Nickels
  3. c) Dimes
  4. d) Quarters
  5. e) Half dollars

According to the book the correct answer is B, that is, NICKELS, since “four dimes, three nickels, and four pennies is the only solution”. BUT the phrase “three were exactly alike” is ambiguous and justifies another answer too.  The phrase should have been “only three were exactly alike.” Otherwise, PENNIES too could be the correct answer since in case of nine pennies ad two quarters, three pennies are exactly alike.

Question 19:

Which of the five makes the best comparison? Love is to hate as valor is to:

  1. a) Courage
  2. b) Security
  3. c) Cowardice
  4. d) Anger
  5. e) Terror

According to the book the correct answer is C, that is, COWARDICE, since “love is the opposite of hate. Valor is opposite of cowardice”. BUT “valor” is not a commonly used word. Therefore, it measures the knowledge of lexicon rather than IQ, especially of non native English speakers.

Question 27:

Which of the five designs is least like the other four?

  1. a) X
  2. b) T
  3. c) N
  4. d) V
  5. e) L


According to the book the correct answer is C, that is, design N, since “all the others are made with two lines; N is made with three lines”. BUT the correct answer could be A too, that is, design X, since X is the only one where two straight lines cross each other.

Question 42:

Which of the five makes the best comparison? Pencil is to paper as eye is to:

  1. a) Eyeglasses
  2. b) Ear
  3. c) Book
  4. d) Hat
  5. e) Brush

According to the book the correct answer is C, that is, BOOK, since “a person uses a pencil for the purpose of writing; a person uses the eye for the purpose of reading.” BUT the pencil writes on the paper, while the eye sees the written words. Writing and seeing are different activities. The former influences the paper, but the latter does not. (Excluding Schrodinger’s cat and other quantum quirks). What about EAR as the correct answer? Both pencil and paper are made of wood; both eye and ear are made of living cells.

Question 46:

Which of the five designs is least like the other four?

[Designs with different numbers of concentric squares are omitted ]

According to the book the correct answer is B, since “all the others have an odd number of squares; B has an even number.” BUT the design in option E also could be the correct answer, since all except E have equal distances between their concentric squares.

Question 52:

Which letter does not belong in the following series?

B             E             H             K             M            N             Q             T

According to the book the correct answer is M, since “the series is made up of every fourth letter of the alphabet, starting with B”. However, E could be, even a better option, since it is the only vowel.

Question 55:

Which of the five is least like the other four?

  1. a) >
  2. b) =
  3. c) +
  4. d) <
  5. e) ll

According to the book the correct answer is C, that is + sign, since “the others all show mathematical relationships. + is a mathematical operation.” BUT II (two vertically parallel lines) is not a commonly known symbol of mathematical relation. As mathematical symbol for parallel it measures advanced knowledge in mathematics.


So, dear reader, if you are dying to find a one-question I.Q. test, then I have it for you. Please answer my question below:

Look at a mirror; what do you see:

  1. a) An idiot
  2. b) A genius
  3. c) A curious person
  4. d) An attractive person
  5. e) The photons reflected from the mirror

If your answer is A, then you are correct. Congratulations; but try to keep it secret; others might be jealous of you.

If your answer is B, then you need a reality check. See Marilyn Vos Savant; she got 228 reportedly.

If your answer is C, then you should continue looking at mirrors, until you find something else.

If your answer is D, then every moment is working against you; look deeper.

If your answer is E, then you know too much physics but little neurology and no humor.

PS: I am looking forward receiving your homemade IQ tests. The interesting and original ones will be published here.

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Fatwa against Islamic Reform

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Following a Fatwa-Review of “a Very Established Scholar,”
Palgrave/Macmillan Aborted the Publication of the
Reformist Translation of the Quran

Edip Yuksel 

(The Complete Review of the Sunni Scholar and Our Response)

“…. From the perspective of the academic study of the Qur’an, this book has very little to contribute……. .”
– A anonymous Sunni Scholar who was described by the editor of Palgrave-Macmillan as “a very well-established professor.”

Quran a Reformist Translation

In 2004, my colleagues and I signed a contract with Palgrave/Macmillan publishing house for the Quran: a Reformist Translation. The editor and other staff of the publishing house were very encouraging and enthusiastic, and last summer, I was personally introduced to the director of the publishing company at its New York headquarters. Palgrave even published an announcement about the upcoming Reformist Translation in their 2006 Fall/Winter Catalogue, which was later postponed for the summer of 2007. However, in December 2006, the editor informed me that the board determined that my manuscript was not acceptable for publication.

iNear Eastern Studies and Islamic Studies departments are heavily dependent on the grants of Sunni or Shiite establishments and the financial support of repressive regimes. Furthermore, Middle Eastern or Near Eastern Studies programs employ a good number of embedded CIA agents disguised as scholars, whose real job is to promote the agenda of imperial politics. So, for both theological and political reasons, the likelihood of a book by outspoken progressive muslims receiving negative reviews from those “well established scholars” was high. Perhaps, the publishing house looked for a “scholarly” excuse to censor the work of a politically incorrect team. Early signs of such a desire were evident when the publishing house recommended I delete the last section of the Manifesto for Islamic Reform, where I address Muslims, Christendom, Jews, and all Humanity.

The “very well-established” scholar’s letter (partially quoted above), was filled with prejudice, false accusations and misrepresentations. There was however, one substantial criticism, which consisted of our usage of a word, yes a single word in the translation: progressive. Palgrave’s “very well-established scholar” apparently had allergy towards that word; his rejection of that word did not rest on a linguistic argument, but on his lack of differentiation between “progressive” and “Progressive,” the first being an adjective and the latter, a relatively modern political label. Based on his reactionary and regressive mindset, our scholar pontificated that the author of the Quran could not have any idea about a progressive concept! (See verse 15:24; 74:37; and 66:5)

I believe that without hearing my defense against this Sunni version of excommunication in the guise of a “scholarly review,” the publishing house committed an injustice against my person and our work. I called the publishing house and asked them to give me the chance to respond to the reviewer and defend myself and work against his disparagement and distortions; I was told he remain anonymous.

These so-called scholars who glorify tradition do not have the guts to engage in critical thinking. They are aware of a lot of literature and are very good in quoting this or that in their works, yet they lack originality and the courage to criticize the establishment. They are aloof towards the plight of the masses. They do not take the risk of actively participating in leading the masses in a better direction. All they care about is their pension, their reputation among those who would rank them in the academic game and politics. Most of their production is regurgitation of useless academic material that contributes nothing toward the betterment of individuals and the society. They consider themselves objective, yet they cannot tolerate honest people with conviction.[1]

We were not surprised to hear negative remarks, insults, or false associations from a reviewer who considers a rejection of backward and bankrupt sectarian dogmas “heresy.” However, we were surprised to learn that the board of the publishing house cancelled the publication of a potentially controversial yet crucial book that would introduce the message of the Quran–the message of peace, justice, reason, and progress–without the distortion of sectarian teachings. Any scholar who can see beyond his or her office can see the growing reform movement, open or clandestine, particularly in Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, Egypt and Kazakhstan where people take great risks to question the popular sectarian dogmas.

Men and women of reason who have been promoting Islamic reform since the 1970’s by rejecting manmade religious dogmas have been the target of Sunni and Shiite extremists, terrorist groups and oppressive governments. Many of those who converted to rational monotheism are oppressed, some are forced to emigrate, others are forced to hide their whereabouts, and a few have been assassinated. For instance, my friend, Dr. Rashad Khalifa, was assassinated in Tucson, Arizona, by an al-Qaida affiliate terrorist group al-Fuqra or al-Fuqara; my Turkish comrade, Ms. Gonca Kuriş, was kidnapped, tortured and assassinated by Turkish Hizbullah, allegedly a tool of a faction in the Turkish secret police agency. And with the publication of this book, we are concerned about Layth who lives in Saudi Arabia, an oppressive and regressive monarchy supported by the US-Inc, which has been incubating a frustrated and bigoted population.

It is our conviction that some powerful interest groups do not wish the voice of a progressive islamic reform movement to be heard, a movement that does not justify state terrorism and atrocities as a response to group violence and terrorism; a movement that rejects serving the recently increased appetite of the imperialistic hegemony and military adventures of U.S. Inc., which has been advocated and conducted in the Middle East and beyond by the coalition of Neocon, right-wing Evangelical Christians, the Oil/Weapon industry, AIPAC, and the axis of Anglo-fascists, under the guise of national interest, freedom or security. Modern world history is filled with numerous examples showing that the terrorism, atrocities, genocides, covert operations, destruction and misery caused by militaries and police forces of governments are by far much worse than the ones committed by terrorist gangs and organizations.

We cannot allow the national propaganda machines lead us to seek refuge in a super evil that promises to save us from a smaller one, especially if the latter is the by product of the first. We should not let our governments be hijacked by war profiteers who do not hesitate to satisfy their greed for more power and money at the cost of the blood of the young and innocent, white and black, here and abroad. We should not let their embedded agents in academia and press dupe us through double speak, misinformation, and disinformation. We should not let some dubious forces manufacture consent in our names. We should not let ourselves be manipulated by fear-mongers, who will only increase or exaggerate the source of our fears. We should take back our governments by getting informed and involved. We should not let the fanatic Jihadies and Crusaders lead the world to their bloody Armageddon.

You may visit the following websites for the full letter of the Sunni scholar whose advice was taken at face value by Palgrave/Macmillan, and our response to the letter. You may also find in the following websites, recent updates, reactions, and feedback from reviewers, our responses, related news in the media, and the activities of the global reformist movement:

Let the world hear the message. Let the West hear the voice of monotheism, the voice of reason, peace, justice and progress. Let the East and the Middle East hear the clear message of the book that they have abandoned for centuries, despite efforts by their leaders to repress it.

9:32     They want to extinguish God‘s light with their mouths, but God refuses such and lets His light continue, even if the ingrates hate it.

9:33     He is the One who sent His messenger with guidance and the system of truth, to make it manifest above all other systems, even if those who set up partners hate it.

Now, I will intersperse my response with the full letter of the Sunni scholar who led Palgrave/Macmillan to drop the publication of this book:

“Thanks very much for sending me the manuscript of Quran: a Reformist Translation. As you requested, I will attempt to address the quality of the debate, the market/audience and potential for course material, and the timeliness for this publication.

“From the perspective of the academic study of the Qur’an, this book has very little to contribute. The translators represent an eccentric modern movement that claims its inspiration from Rashad Khalifa, a scientist who in 1974 came up with a computer-based numerological analysis of the Qur’an that served as a basis for his wholesale rejection of the last 14 centuries of Islamic tradition, and his founding of a new sect called United Submitters International. The translators repeatedly refer to this event as a miraculous discovery, something which will have very little appeal either to mainstream Muslims or to non-Muslims looking for a solid approach to this sacred text. The problem with this numerology is its complete disconnection from meaning and history, and its claim that permutations of the number 19 demonstrate the miraculousness of the Qur’an. This apologetic approach (which is well known in 20th-century thought, though by no means unchallenged) is based on intellectual sleight-of-hand, using the language of science to confer religious authority on a sacred text.”

This so-called prominent scholar does not bother to provide evidence for his accusation. His arrogant and hostile reaction to the numerical structure of the Quran is a typical reaction of an innumerate Sunni or Shiite mullah. Ironically, many Sunni scholars around the world applauded and celebrated Dr. Rashad Khalifa and his work for about a decade, until they learned that he was not one of them. Rejecting our claims, which are published in numerous books, in a “scholarly” review and depicting it as “intellectual sleight-of-hand” without providing a shred of evidence is itself intellectual sleight-of-hand.

As for our inspiration being Rashad Khalifa, that is a misstatement. Though it was Rashad who pulled our attention the message of the Quran and monotheism, the source of our inspiration was and always has been reason and the message of Quran through the light of reason. When he was alive among us, we called him with his first name and discussed issues with him freely. We never considered him as an “authority” regarding islam. To the contrary, we found ourselves mostly agreeing with him, since he was using reason in his critical evaluation of sects and religions. We reject being labeled as members of a sect, since we have problem with organized religions and we submit ourselves to God alone. This very translation differs in numerous verses from the translation of Rashad Khalifa.

As for the “wholesale rejection of the last 14 centuries of Islamic tradition”… This is a misstatement of our position, since the so-called modern Islamic tradition did not originate 14 centuries ago, but it originated after the compilation of fabricated hadith three centuries after the death of Prophet Muhammad. Besides, we never rejected the use of sectarian tradition and liturgy as historical documents, sure being subject of critical evaluation. We also never rejected their role in learning the political, social, cultural and linguistic norms and events of the past. So, the accurate assessment of our position would be the following: “Wholesale rejection of 11 centuries of sectarian tradition which is based on hearsay and medieval Arab culture as a secondary authority besides God’s word.” Those who are familiar with our work will attest to the fact that our Sunni scholar is twisting our well-known position with his sleight-of-words.

“To proclaim that the Qur’an contains 20th-century scientific discoveries renders meaningless the religious faith of Muslims of the past who could not possibly have been aware of such a concept. It also makes the faith of future Muslims irrelevant, since these 20th-century scientific discoveries will be utterly transformed in another hundred years. Moreover, it demonstrates a staggering audacity in suggesting that only now for the first time in 1400 years has someone actually grasped the significance of the Qur’an. In a way, this is the mirror image of those hypercritical exposés (e.g., Christian Luxenberg) claiming to discover for the first time in history that the Qur’an is actually written in Syriac or is somehow a forgery. This adds nothing to the understanding of the origins and meaning of the Qur’an in its original context, or to the way in which it has been interpreted over the centuries.”

Indeed, this is a powerful argument. Not because it contains truth; but because it cunningly appeals to a diverse group of people and feeds their prejudices. It appeals to Orientalists and Atheists who consider the Quran the work of an uneducated desert Arab lived in medieval ages. According to this group, the Quran cannot contain any information that could not have been known by Muhammad’s contemporaries. So, this group will be ready to reject our arguments without even listening to them, as this so-called prominent scholar has done.

This argument, ironically, appeals to traditional Sunnis too, since they consider the Quran incapable of containing any information beyond Muhammad’s knowledge. Idolizing Muhammad and limiting the knowledge and information contained in the Quran with Muhammad’s understanding, contradicts many verses of the Quran, which we listed in the footnotes of the translation. Without dealing with any of those verses, this so-called prominent scholar ignores the numerous scientific statements mentioned in the Quran, and reduces the divine knowledge to the limited knowledge and understanding capacity of medieval men. They ignore the fact that, if the Quran is God’s book as it asserts, if the Quran contains information beyond the time of its revelation as it asserts, then Muhammad, a human messenger, could not have properly understood many scientific statements contained in the Quran. Furthermore, our prominent scholar ignores the fact that we do not have an accurate and exhaustive account of Muhammad’s understanding of the Quran. All we have about Muhammad are volumes of contradictory hearsay narrations collected more than two centuries after his departure. The best of those books contains stories of holy goat eating and abrogating verses of the Quran, monkeys stoning adulterous monkeys to death, Muhammad being bewitched by a magician, or Muhammad marrying a child almost 50 years younger than himself!

The scholar revered by the board of Palgrave/Macmillan wants us to subordinate the knowledge of the Quran to these kinds of tradition. He wishes us to pollute our mind with the understanding of those who glorify those kinds of silly stories.

Let’s read again, his last statement in the excerpt above: “This adds nothing … to the way in which it has been interpreted over the centuries.” What? “Over the centuries?” Why not “by Muhammad and his companions?” If our only way of understanding the Quran is trying to understand the interpretation done centuries ago, then what about the second-century muslims? If the second century muslims had no right to understand the Quran on their own, then there could be only one generation that had the right to understand the Quran: The first generation. The rest, according to Palgrave/Macmillan’s scholar, had to regurgitate their interpretations. However, if those who lived in the second century, or the third century, or the 13th century had the right to interpret the Quran according to their own times, then why should we, the 21st century generation, not have the same right? The “prominent” scholar, as it seems, is too prominent to notice this simple logical fallacy in his argument.

“The only way in which this might be seen as useful is in the extent to which it documents new intellectual movements that have emerged in Muslim circles during the 20th and 21st centuries. In this sense, this book could be considered a contribution, although frankly it would need to be treated in comparison and analytically from an outside perspective in order to be considered academic. Simply to publish this work as it is basically gives this religious group a platform to express their distinctive theology, which is highly polemical and dismissive of other perspectives. They state quite clearly that “we intend for the translation to reflect the original message of the Quran for those who have scholarly or personal curiosity in it” (page 9), but they identify this original message with their “alternate perspective,” which is explicitly a rejection of all previous views.”

In this translation, we did not just replace the “previous views” with our “alternative perspective.” For almost all cases where we differed from the traditional translations, we provided sufficient discussions in the footnotes, using linguistics, sound reasoning, and the light of other verses of the Quran. We understand the reaction of scholars of theology who secure a position at a university by merely cutting and pasting previous views without critical thinking; the reformist paradigm appears foreign and scary.

“The possible market appeal of this book is questionable. There is considerable controversy attached to be translators’ inspiration, Rashad Khalifa, who was apparently assassinated by Muslim extremists. Controversy may assist book sales, as happened in the case of The Satanic Verses, but it would be a cynical and questionable strategy to publish a book simply because it arouses the wrath of many people. Nor would scholars of Islamic studies be drawn to use this book in courses, unless they were dealing with fringe movements in the modern world. I myself would never use it in my course on “the Qur’an as literature,” though I might draw it to the attention of a student interested in modern science-based ideological approaches to the text.”

Those Muslim extremists followed the “tradition”, which we are accused of not respecting. The books of jurisprudence of both Sunni and Shiite sects and their interpretations of the Quran distort the verses of the Quran and drive a satanic rule: “Anyone who is deemed heretic or apostate by ulama should be killed.”

Dropping the name of The Satanic Verses of Salman Rushdi, our Sunni scholar is intending to scare the publishing house, which we believe was the real reason for the cancellation of the publication of this translation. The publishing house received numerous positive feedback and endorsements from prominent scholars.

How a sober mind, especially someone who is considered a scholar, could confuse this translation with a fiction that contains ugly insults and false accusations to Prophet Muhammad and his family? Where in this translation did this Sunni scholar find such disrespect, even a hint of such a language? To the contrary, this translation is one of the strongest defenses of Muhammad’s integrity and model character against the defamation of hearsay tradition. Nevertheless, the Sunni scholar reached his goal, which was to scare a prestigious American publishing company off from publishing a book that could be catalyst in peace and progress.

“I have not yet addressed the claim of the translators to represent a reformist and nonsexist view of Islam. I think that such a goal is worthwhile and indeed is being pursued responsibly by a number of scholars and activists. However, there is a big gap that separates the eccentricity and polemical exclusivism of this text from, for example, the serious academic and philosophical engagement with ethical issues characteristic of the group represented in the volume Progressive Muslims: on Gender, Justice, and Pluralism, edited by Omid Safi. The translators make their case for a nonsexist reading of the Qur’an by highly selective and arbitrary readings of terms, such as the absurd rendering of the Arabic word bakr (normally “virgin”) as “progressive,” a meaning that is practically inconceivable in seventh-century Arabia. They apply their own understanding of the principles of the Qur’an to revise the text with remarkable disregard of historical and linguistic precedent. It would be a mistake to equate this kind of revisionism with a genuine spirit of reform, since it would create a false impression for those who might be interested in real Islamic reform. “

Good. Finally, to support his accusations, our scholar is providing a specific example, though it is a single word. He picks that particular word after 13 full pages. Assuming that he read at least 13 pages from this translation before writing this diatribe, could we say that he did not have a problem with our arguments for rejecting the traditional translation of verse 4:34, where we rejected the traditional distortion justifying husband beating their wives, or our rejecting the traditional take on 5:38, where punishment for thieves is limited with cutting off their hands, or our rejection of traditional translation of 9:29, where distortion of a word create an extra tax on non-Muslims, or our rejection of traditional translation of 4:127, where the fatherless children of widows are considered candidates to be married by their adult guardians? Our “prominent scholar” could not find anything wrong with those radical and important diversions from tradition. To support all his unsubstantiated attacks on behalf of a regressive and diabolic innovation that replaced a Quranic tradition, he finally finds a single word in our translation: progressive.

Interestingly, he does not acknowledge the extraordinary importance of our powerful arguments debunking the traditional interpretation on 4:34; 5:38; 9:29; and 4:127 (among hundreds of others). Restoring the meaning of these four verses alone to their indented original meaning, yes this alone, would have immense contribution to the intellectual, social, and political lives of more than a billion Muslims. But, our scholar does not care about truth, well being of Muslims or their progress. All he cares is to follow a status quo that landed him on a secure job.

As for the word progress:  After sending the draft of the translation to Palgrave/Macmillan, together with few others, we revised the translation of verse 66:5 and we replaced the word “progressive” with “foremost ones,” which we had already listed as one of the other alternatives in the discussion section of the draft. We have a strong argument why the word “abkar” should not be translated as “virgins.” The Sunni scholar does not respond to any of our arguments. His problem with the word “progressive” is pervasive and emanates from his regressive position.

According to Palgrave/Macmillan’s scholar the meaning of progressive, is “practically inconceivable in seventh-century Arabia.” He would be perhaps right if it was written in capital letters as Progressive. But, claiming that a population that demonstrated the capacity of igniting a splendid civilization in a dizzying speed, yes claming that such a population had no concept of progress is a sign of intoxication with the cocktail of arrogance and ignorance. Had he checked verse 74:37, he would be shocked to see the word “progressive” or its synonyms.

“The endorsements that have already been cited for this work include some from people (Irshad Manji and Daniel Pipes) who are known primarily for their antagonism and enmity towards Islam, a project which has significant backing in certain political quarters. Their notion of “reform” is a complete capitulation of Muslims to the dictates of the globalizing capitalist economy, and as an endorsement it will speak worlds about the questionable credentials of this work. The other endorsements are cautious to say the least. Thus one can only call this a timely writing from an opportunistic point of view.”

This knee-jerk reaction to a couple of names who supported our work demonstrates the level of awareness of the scholar about our position: zero. His antagonism and fanaticism against our theological position perhaps deprived him to learn our political position. Had he read any of our articles on contemporary political issues, available in books and several websites, he would learn immediately that our political position is in line with the position of Noam Chomsky and all other activists promoting global peace and justice. Had he also checked the names of others who endorsed our work, he would be confused, since most of them have nothing to do with his scenario. For instance, Kassim Ahmad of Malaysia is inverse of Daniel Pipes of USA. Kassim is a strong voice against American imperialism and Zionism. Similarly, Reza Aslan and all the rest of those who endorsed the book may not necessarily share the same political or theological positions. The idea of Islamic Reform may appeal to many different people for many different reasons. The stereotypical lenses of the “prominent” scholar is unable to see the nature of the endorsements we received, and thus, he takes out his two boxes and puts the two names in our list, together with my name, in the one labeled “bad”, and put the rest in the “cautious” one.

“More could be said about the translation itself, which is flat and uninspired in its style, quirky in the interpretation, treats verses atomistically without connecting them, and in its citation of the Arabic is marred by an idiosyncratic transliteration system based on modern Turkish. But I think it should be evident that I do not recommend this for publication, and I think it would be a mistake for Palgrave to take this on.”

This might be considered a fair criticism. Though his blinding bias takes away his credibility regarding the style and literary value of this translation, we never claimed superiority of the Reformist Translation in literary style. This has never been the primary goal of this work. In fact, there are numerous spelling errors, and it might create too many distractions for the Spelling Bee contestants. Since the book was delayed beyond our patience, we decided to go with the publication despite some spelling errors. I do not recommend this book to those who are going to treat it like a dictionary or another Shakespeare; they can find better books.

The Reformist Translation of the Quran is now available at:

August, 2007

Edip Yuksel

[1] For the portrait of a version of such “scholars” see: Vampires Anonymous and Critical Race Practice, Robert A Williams, 95 Mich. L. Rev. 741 (1997), reprinted in Critical Race Theory:  The Cutting Edge 614 (Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic eds., 2d ed. 2000).



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Muslim Reform or Become Extinct

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Muslims either Reform or become Extinct

Edip Yuksel*
1 January 2015
(Feel free to publish this article at your website or page)

“Do not adhere to what you have no knowledge of. For the hearing, eyesight, and mind, all these are held responsible for that.” (Quran 17:36)

“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32)

 “The messenger will say, ‘My Lord, my people have deserted this Quran.’ (Quran 25:30)

2013-11-13 Angry Sunnis and progress

November 7, 2014. Somehow, he was able to find my phone number and contacted me during one of my European lecture tours. I was at Hotel Terminal, Köln. His voice was urgent. He insisted to meet me in person at the hotel. As someone who frequently receives death threats, after a few moments of hesitation, I accepted to meet him. He was a young Turkish expatriate who just wanted to thank me face-to-face and share his story. He showed me a picture he received from his friend via Facebook. His friend’s hand was holding a hand grenade. His best friend’s message to him from Syria: “You deserve this.” He had split feelings, a trilemma. Thankful to me for saving him from leaving his family to join ISIS militants in Syria, and at the same time was sad for losing his best friend, and fearful for the lives of both his friend and his own. My books in various languages, articles, lectures, especially youtube videos have been very effective in changing the hearts and minds of thousands of potential and actual members of radical Sunni and Shiite groups. He was one of them.

Recently, 2 million pilgrims in Mecca circumambulated around the historic Cube-Stone building dressed in black silk embroidered with 120kg of gold and 25kg of silver threads. They then competed with each other to kiss the Black-Stone encased in an oval-shaped silver frame. Finally, they walked from Mina to purchase pre-packed bags of small stones in order to stone the Devil-Stone where he/she/it waits to be stoned. Stoned with silly holy stories, obsessed with stones, every year pilgrims kill each other in stampede, ending up with hundreds, and occasionally thousands dead. This year, the number exceeded a thousand dead, perhaps several thousands. Where is the real devil? Where is the metaphoric stone?

In the last few years, in Iraq and Syria, we saw ISIS militants shooting and beheading people, burying women alive in black sacks, even literally enslaving some; always accompanied with the cry of Allah-u Akbar. They competed with the Catholic Church in breaking the torture record. In Nigeria we saw Boko Haram competing with ISIS in committing atrocities. They made Mullahs of Iran, Talibans of Afghanistan and al-Qaida of anywhere to appear civilized. They all showed off their common denominator; they stoned several women to death in accordance to the Sharia Law. Farkhunda Malikzada, a reformist muslim heretic, was one of their victims. All in the name of Islam! What is real islam? Where can one find the real islam?

These were the actions and practices, but they were matched by the ideas produced in theological and intellectual arena. Religious scholars of both Sunni and Shiite religions competed with each other to come up with the most stupid and appalling religious fatwas. Saudi Sheikh Bandar al-Khaibari repeated the fatwa of late top Saudi Cleric, the blind Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ben Baz who declared the earth to be stationary, and threatened those who reject his hadith-based fatwa with death penalty (His book on this topic was published by the University of Medina in 1975, six years after Americans landed on the Moon). This was from bearded Sunni-Salafists.

But, the modern-looking and soft-talking Sunni-Hanafi clerics did not come short. The Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, who controls billions of dollars of The Gulen Movement cult, produced numerous top-quality nonsense, including his discovery of Jesus’ mysterious father: according to Gülen, Jesus’ father was no more than Muhammad, the last prophet. Another very popular Sufi cleric, Cübbeli Ahmet, whose most important mission has been growing beards on men’s face, and burying women in black sacks, claimed, on a very popular Turkish TV program, that Muhammad’s followers loved him so much that they were drinking his urine for cure. While talking about the miracle in Muhammad’s shit and urine, Cübbeli’s face was straight, and the popular TV host too went along with him. Another very popular preacher named Nihat Hatipoğlu too has been re-discovering the treasures of religious nonsense for the millions of Turkish people affixed to his top rating TV programs. For example, once Hatipoğlu talked about a “saint” named Sülemi, who supposedly did not look at the sky for 40 years because of his respect to God, and one day he breaks this admirable inactivity of his cervical vertebra. Lo and behold! He breaks his neck too and dies afterwards. Of course, not from calcification of his neck, but from divine retribution!

The list of such novel ideas and stories is too long. For instance, declaring jihad against lizards and the virtue of killing more lizards with fewer hits (which is an authentic hadith); or the miracle of the holy hungry goat that ate the verse about the stoning-to death after Muhammad’s death; or the “great news” for women: raping a women would not nullify her fasting; or marketing holly coffins that protect the dead from torture in the grave, which is exclusively caused by nothing other than molecules of urine in one’s pants. Hundreds of such holy nonsense are produced by the most popular religious leaders around the so-called Islamic world, and I am sure, they can compete globally and win the top Ig Noble Prize, every year.

Let me just give you a few examples how the Sunni and Shiite scholars worked hard to distort the message of the Quran, beyond recognition. None of the following practices and beliefs can be found in the Quran: Veil for women; Killing heretics, apostates; Stoning the adulterers to death; Slavery; Smiting the necks of captives; Forcing people to pray; Imposing morality (which is the same as imposing hypocrisy); Worshipping stones; Asking help from shrines or dead sains; Following clergymen or scholars blindly; Believing extra-ordinary stories without extra-ordinary evidences; Punishing those who mock their religion or insult Muhammad; Declaring wars to promote religion; Taxation based on religion (jizya); Prohibiting music, drawing picture or making sculptures; Beating women; Establishing sultanate; And hundreds of more laws, prohibitions, rules, and thousands of frivolous rituals…

I have written more than 30 books in Turkish and English on religion, philosophy, politics and law. But the most important ones are the two translations: I have translated the Quran into both Turkish and English languages. As I have demonstrated in my books, especially in the introduction and endnotes of Quran: a Reformist Translation, if Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad were back today, Jews would condemn the first as Anti-Semite, Christians would denounce the second as Anti-Christ, and Muslims would revile the third as the Dajjal, the imposter. Most of what you know about “Islam” (Peacemaking) has nothing to do with the rational, liberating, progressive and peaceful system delivered by Muhammad, which is no different than the original message delivered by all messengers. They all delivered the message of peacefully surrendering to the Truth, to the Just, to the Loving, to the Peaceful, to Compassionate God to establish peace among humans.

In short, the so-called two billion muslim ummah is sick, very sick. We are intoxicated with religious and historic lies, which are 175° proof. We are terribly afflicted with endemic polytheism, ignorance, violence, oppression, pseudoscience, superstitions, misogyny, intolerance, racism, jingoism, economic inequality, poverty, nepotism, corruption, tyranny, delusion, logical fallacies, hypocrisy…. Find all the bad words from a dictionary and we have plenty of all those in our homes, mosques, streets, and governments… Mosques, madrasas, schools, streets and homes continuously produce sick people. Individualism, critical and creative thinking and self-confidence is killed in early age by fathers, teachers, and religious leaders whose role models are authoritative, cruel, bigoted and psychopathic historic characters.

The end is near; either we will become extinct like Neanderthals or we reform ourselves. How? By becoming critical thinkers and questioning the dogmas that have turned us into zombies, barbarians, and the clowns of the world. We can no more afford of doing nothing but blaming the Western world, which might be foolishly enjoying our demise.

*Edip Yüksel, J.D. is a Kurdish/Turkish/American author residing in Arizona. He teaches philosophy and promotes Islamic reform. His website is

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Terrorism! What? How? Why?

Edip Yuksel
16 November 2015


Governments are by far the biggest terror organizations, and they give birth and foster gang terrorism. To control and exploit masses, big corporations and corrupt politicians promote domestic or international conflict and wars.

Terror organizations are usually by-product of either

  1. Nationalist or racist policies of States
  2. Imperialistic wars, invasions, covert operations and interference of States


  • Afrikaners’ state terror in South Africa gave birth to ANC
  • Sri Lanka’s state terror gave birth to Tamil Tigers
  • Turkish state terror gave birth to PKK


  • USA imperialism in Iran supporting Shah and his military gave birth to Mullahs
  • Israeli occupation, fascism and state terrorism gave birth to Hamas
  • Russia and then USA’s invasion of Afghanistan gave birth to Al-Qaida
  • Russia’s invasion of Chechenia gave birth to Chechen
  • USA invasions of Iraq and killing about a Million Iraqi gave birth to ISIS
  • USA and Europe supports foreign dictators and kings or politicians who are corrupt

Don’t forget that States killed millions of civilians in last century… Just in last decade, USA killed about a million Iraqis, Israel killed thousands of Palestinians, including more than 2000 children.

Wars, invasions, covert operations, state terrorism –> Profits, Power and Control –> Gang Terrorism –> Fear and propaganda –> Wars, invasions, covert operations, state terrorism

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U.S. and Turkey on a Collision Course in Syria

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U.S. and Turkey on a Collision Course in Syria

David Phillips
2 November 2015

2015-04-06 Suriye Yarmuk ISIS


Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatens “all necessary measures” to prevent Syrian Kurds from advancing west of the Euphrates River. The People’s Protection Units (YPG) of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) is America’s principal ally fighting ISIS in Syria. Attacking the YPG puts Turkey and the US on a collision course.

The US and the PYD have been steadily deepening their cooperation, beginning with the battle for Kobani in October 2014. US war planes bombed ISIS and dropped weapons to besieged Kurdish fighters defending the city. The YPG was joined by Kurdish fighters from across the region, including the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK). About 40 percent of Kobani’s defenders were women.

The YPG is a highly motivated and effective force fighting ISIS in Syria. They function as the multinational coalition’s boots on-the-ground. Last year, the US Special Envoy for Syria and PYD Co-Chair Salih Moslem had a series of meetings in Paris. Tactical discussions about battlefield coordination are ongoing.

In June, the US supported the YPG’s efforts to seize Tal Abyad, a strategic town on the Turkish border with Syria. Air power proved decisive in driving ISIS fighters from the town. Tal Abyad municipality – which includes Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Armenians, and others – recently chose to join Rojava. They are drawn to the YPG’s administration of grass-roots democracy, women’s empowerment, and environmental sustainability.

Now, the YPG is pushing west from Jazeera towards Jarabulus. The US recently provided 50 tons of ammunition to the YPG and affiliated Arab fighters, readying for the battle to liberate the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.

Syrian Kurds are consolidating their territorial gains with the goal of establishing a security buffer along the Turkish-Syrian border. Contiguous territory controlled by the YPG serves a strategic purpose. It prevents jihadis from transiting from Turkey to Syria. It also provides a sanctuary for Syrians displaced by violent conflict.

Rojava’s emergence is anathema to Erdogan, who abhors the notion of an autonomous Kurdish region along Turkey’s border. To Erdogan, ISIS and the PKK “are the same.”

The PKK fought for decades to gain greater political and cultural rights in Turkey. The US, EU and Turkey have labeled it a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). However, the US Government does not consider the PYD an FTO. US support for the YPG is expanding, despite Turkey’s objections. The Pentagon announced last week the deployment of US Special Operations advisers, working with resistance forces in northern Syria.

Turkey strongly opposes US support for the YPG. Turkish war-planes recently strafed YPG fighters on at least two occasions. Erdogan warns Washington, “We don’t need anyone’s permission.”

Targeting the YPG opens a dangerous new front in the Syrian conflict. It also presents a conundrum to the United States.

It puts the US in a position of choosing between Turkey and the YPG. “Degrading and destroying” ISIS trumps concerns about tension with Turkey.

Moreover, Erdogan is out of favor in Washington. US policy-makers are upset by Erdogan’s authoritarianism and anti-democratic governance, especially his crackdown on press freedom. The Pentagon is still smarting from Turkey’s collusion with jihadi groups and half-hearted participation in the multinational coalition fighting ISIS.

The United States accept the AKP’s electoral victory in parliamentary elections on November 1. However, it cannot condone policies that undermine US counter-terrorism goals.

When Obama meets Erdogan in mid-November at the G-20, he should reaffirm America’s commitment to working with the YPG. He should also tell Turkey that an attack against the YPG – America’s ally — will be considered as an attack against the United States. The US and Turkish militaries need a protocol for de-conflicting in the event of a confrontation in Syrian air space.

Mr. Phillips is Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. He is recent book is The Kurdish Spring: A New Map for the Middle East.

PS: Original article was published at:

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Turkey’s Dark Future

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Turkey’s Dark Future

David L. Phillips
30 July 2015

2015-08-27 Diktatör Tayyip Kore Kim

Storm clouds are gathering. Turkey has a dark future. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan bears responsibility. His policies have made Turkey less secure, stable, and solvent. Erdogan is digging a hole for Turkey. Instead of getting out of the ditch, he keeps digging, casting aspersions and blaming others for Turkey’s problems.

On July 24, the US and Turkey announced an agreement allowing use of Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base by the coalition for air strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Erdogan seized on the deal to bomb PKK outposts in the Qandil Mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan.

To the West, counter-terrorism means fighting ISIS. To Erdogan it means killing Kurds. Erdogan cannot whitewash his true intentions by feigning cooperation with the coalition. At the recent NATO meeting, several countries expressed concern that targeting Kurds would strengthen ISIS.

Erdogan justifies air strikes, citing the killing of 2 policemen by the PKK. The PKK claims that the police officers were collaborating with ISIS, allowing the bombing of a Youth Center in Suruc earlier in the week that killed 32 people. Turkey has been the Islamic State’s lifeline. The jihadi highway runs through Turkey to Syria. Turks provide logistics, funds, weapons, and medical care to Islamic State fighters.

Erdogan set the bait after Suruc; the PKK took it. Now violence is spiraling out of control.

Erdogan says the bombing campaign will go on indefinitely. He is recklessly leading Turkey into a state of perpetual war. Richard Holbrooke said of Milosevic, “He tried to solve a problem by creating a bigger one.” Erdogan is doing the same thing.

Escalation comes at a time of waning legitimacy for Erdogan. He is waging war as the figurehead of a lame duck party. His Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its parliamentary majority and moral authority during national elections on June 7.

Provoking the PKK is a brazen ploy to create a crisis. Erdogan is pandering to nationalists, demonizing the PKK, and marginalizing Kurds in Turkey who number 20 million. On July 30, the Turkish government has arrested over 350 Kurdish community activists.

It seems that Erdogan is angling for new elections. He is trying to discredit the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), a pro-Kurdish party which received 13.1% of the votes and will be seated in parliament for the first time. Erdogan is furious with the HDP for its strong showing, which denied the AKP enough support to change the constitution and establish an executive imperial presidency. In retaliation, Erdogan is threatening to lift the parliamentary immunity of HDP legislators. He’s even intimated at closing the HDP for supporting the PKK.

Attacking the PKK effectively undermined the peace process. Two years ago, the PKK initiated a unilateral ceasefire and sought talks to end its armed struggle for greater cultural and political rights. Social divisions in Turkey are worse today than any time in recent memory. The risk of renewed civil war looms large.

War-mongering also has an economic cost. Turkey’s over-heated economy is highly leveraged. Corruption is rampant in Erdogan’s inner circle. Erdogan fears that the newly-elected parliament could open corruption and mismanagement dossiers, targeting the AKP and its leadership.

Erdogan conjures enemies at home and abroad, using fear to manipulate the electorate. He accuses the pious Gulen Movement of plotting to establish a parallel administration and overthrow his government. He has arrested hundreds of administrators, judges, and law enforcement officials with ties to Gulen.

Erdogan wants Turks to blame others for the country’s problems. However, there will be a tipping point when they blame Erdogan for mismanaging Turkey’s affairs, endangering its security, and turning a blind eye to criminal profiteering by his friends and family.

David L. Phillips is Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. He served as a senior adviser and foreign affairs expert to the U.S. State Department. His recent book is The Kurdish Spring: A New Map for the Middle East.

PS: This article was originally published at:

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Lambda – Theological Questions for Yuksel

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She first contacted me via email in 19th of January 2012. She was not using her Chinese name, but her pen-name: Lambda. Below you will see the first few email correspondence and the followed by a great philosophical investigation by a young Chinese undergraduate junior student at UCLA.

Lambda, while a high school student in China, started communicating with me in January 19, 2012. She had, somehow had obtained Quran: a Reformist Translation and had decided to convert from atheism to rational monotheism. Soon she surprised me by informing that she wanted to translate the Quran into Chinese. She was still a high school student in China and was volunteering for such a task that many professional academics in the field could not dare. I did not discourage her. She did not know Arabic, but a translation of translation that is not distorted by Sunni and Shiite hadith and jurisprudence, would still be much accurate and closer to the message of the Quran. We also could find another Chinese monotheist who knew Arabic to read and edit her translation. She surprised me again, by actually starting her translation.

Here is her first email and the following correspondence:

Dongyi Lu

About your translation and explanation of Quran

19 January 2012

Peace be upon you. I’m a high school student in China, and I converted Sunni in 2010. In October 2011, thank God, I started the reform. Now, I have read most of your translation of Quran, and I found some errors in the end notes, hope you would consider.

First of all, about the speed of light in the end note of 32:5. From one crescent to the next crescent, what we count is the synodic period of Moon, which is about 29.5 days. The Hijri is using the synodic period instead of the sidereal period; the medieval Arabs might not know the sidereal period. And I calculated with the 27.3 period as you suggested. Since I don’t know how to calculate an ellipse’s perimeter, I assume the orbit of Moon is a circle with radius 385000km. I calculated the speed of Moon by calculating the perimeter of the orbit first, then, I multiplied the speed by 12*1000*27.321661, I get 335976km/s. I just wonder how you calculated. Is the measurement of light speed not accurate? or the verse is talking about something else? or this is the speed of gamma ray? I don’t beg the answers immediately, but I think this end note should be affirmed.

Secondly, it’s about 65:12. I don’t repeat what the end note says. Just after reading this end note, I searched about element 118, Uuo. Surprisingly, it exists! Though just artificially synthesised 4 atoms. It was said that the limit of atomic number was 137 or 173, perhaps the model wasn’t accurate, but the end note should be considered.

Now I’m suggesting another understanding of 27:88. My first interpretation of this was the drift of continents. Also 55:17, would it be a double star system? And 21:30, If it’s understood as Big Bang, I found the scene Day of Judgement ambiguous. I don’t think Day of Judgement is the end of the universe; it must be just the end of human race. Thus, I suggest that 21:30 might be talking about how Earth’s atmosphere was created. Furthermore, I’m a bit dubious about Big Bang. Because matters traveled at a speed faster than that of light just after Big Bang, this contradicts the relativity. However, it was the relativity deducing the Big Bang! It’s a paradox.

I found a phenomenon recently. Some Sunni net friends force Quran verses into some scientific facts without considering the reliability of the facts (I used to be one of them), so non-Muslims like my parents think the Quran is following modern science.

In China, there’re Sunnis believing in 19 theorem, but they just took a slice of it so it doesn’t contradict Hadith. Furthermore, the government has blocked many religious websites just like it blocks Facebook. I don’t know much Arabic, but anyone I know that is good at Arabic in China are hyper radical Sunnis. Therefore, I wish I could translate your translation of Quran into Chinese (a bit dangerous in China), if God wills, during holidays when I’m in university. The mosque and halal restaurants in Shenzhen, China are extremely dirty and messy, with groups of super radical Sunni old men and women who know nothing but Hadith, Sharia and stuff similar. Let’s pray to the True Lord, Jehovah, for the salvation of the corner of city!


19 January 2012

Dear Lambda (your real name),

You are one of the most impressive high school students I have ever met. I am very grateful for your criticism of my work, and I will read it closely when I have chance.

I would indeed be delighted if you translate Quran into Chinese language using my translation. We need to talk about it later, God willing. You sholud not be afraid since we are one the most peaceful people on Earth. It is already has been translated into Turkish and currently it is been translated to Itailan and Russian. Chinese would be very important. But, we need someon who have basic knowledge of Arabic besides you so that the translation would not get far from the original.

I would like to send you the copy of NINETEEN: God’s Signature in Nature and Scripture if you wish. Or if you prefer, I may give you access to download it from my google DOCUMENTS. For that, I believe you need to get Gmail address.

My younger son has been studying Chinese for five years. He has been in Changsha (Khunan province) twice as an exchange student. I accompanied him during his first trip. I wrote my observation and I am attaching it so that you may see China from my eyes :)
My son will be visiting China (Changsha, I assume) this coming June for the third time… If you are close to the area, I would like you to meet and get to know each other.

If you wish, we may communicate via Skype. My name at Skype is edipyuksel

PS: I am sharing this with two close friends of mine who occasionally visit China…


20 January 2012

Thank God that your son is a superstudent. Also, sorry for having a messy habit.  Thanks for publishing your books for free, may God reward you. It would be messier for me to have another e-mail, so would you mind sending the book to this e-mail? I’m not sure whether I can go to Changsha in June. I’m going to volunteer in northwest China in June, and I have just sent the registration form. If I fail the registration, then I might go to Changsha.

I spend most of my time in Shenzhen, a city just next to Hong Kong. On weekends, I’m usually in Dongguan, a city to the north of Shenzhen. Also, I often visit Shanghai, and I’m quite familiar with it. My hometown is in somewhere to the north of Shanghai across Yangzi River. Changsha is the capital of Hunan Province, which is quite far from Shenzhen. At present, I’m studying in Shenzhen College of International Education, and I’m dealing with SATs and TOEFL. It could be more convenient for me to go to US, since I’m going to US for college, departing in early 2013, God willing. Which college? Undecided.

About Arabic, besides those Hui people, I have some Qatari net friends in medical schools that I got to know in Cornell Summer College last year. They were also radical Sunnis; their college imported bodies from US for dissection because Sunnis oppose destroying the dead bodies of Sunnis.

I suggest calling Quran its meaning, i.e. to read or to recite, instead of transliteration; the names “Islam”, “Muslim” and “Quran” are often associated with terrorism and sexism by Christians. “Bible” simply means book doesn’t it? The names really affect the atitude of the readers. I can’t clear the stereotypes of Muslims off my mind though I’m a Muslim and I don’t fit the stereotype. Thus, when I’m reading Quran, I feel a bit indignant when it’s talking about marriage, because I automatically associate it with sexism as Christians do. When I’m reading Bible, when I see more sexist rulings, I automatically ignore them, because the Christian stereotype is free and creative. If the name “Old Testament” is changed into “Torah”, I would take every sentence seriously, whatever it is, and execute every rule, without being indignant, because Jews are not notorious for sexism.

Wonder who I am? Lambda is my pseudonym, my real name is ….. You can search this name in Facebook. Unfortunately, my hotspot shield doesn’t work at home; I’m not accessible to Facebook until the school starts. You’ll know what I look like. God willing, I’m happy to work with your organization in my free time after going to USA.

Lu, peace!


20 January 2012

If I do not respond this email, it may join the hundreds of emails that I could not respond. So, I will be short; I am getting ready for a three-hour class: Symbolic Logic…

I understand your inclination to use the translation of the word Quran or another substitute among its numerous descriptive names, such as The Book, The Message, The Proof, etc. In fact, my Turkish translation’s title is this: “MESAJ: Kuran Çevirisi”, which you can easily infer its meaning.

My son, Matine is also studying SAT and he will be taking the first test within about ten days. The only school he is interested is Harvard. I hope he can make to one of the top schools. With excellent work ethic and diligence, he is indeed one of top students in the USA… I am glad to learn that you are planning to come to the USA for your college education. Looking forward meeting you here.

It seems that there is a picture within your email, but somehow it does not show… You may send me a friendship request at my Facebook account Edip Yuksel, but you should hurry up, since my contact list is fast approaching to its maximum allowed limit.

What do you wish (plan?) to study?


PS in 2015: Matine is now third year student at Princeton University.

Some Theological Questions for Yuksel

8 October 2015

23s component of large subunit of E. coli ribosome. Pepidyl transfere (amino acid polymerizing) activity resides in domain V of this component.

23s component of large subunit of E. coli ribosome. Pepidyl transfere (amino acid polymerizing) activity resides in domain V of this component. From:

Dear Yuksel,

Salam! Long time no see. First of all, I read the Philosopher’s Way textbook you sent me this summer, and it helped a lot. I like the “reading critically” box in the book as it prompts me to read more critically than I used to. But I really wish that there’s a chapter about aesthetics. Thank you very much! Now I’m reading the Introduction to Philosophy anthology, but I only have time on weekend thanks to my double major and work in lab. I can return the books upon demand; I understand that books are really expensive in the US. Here I have some theological questions to discuss with you. I may not be entitled to your response, since I’m not enrolled in your class and you’re busy with your work and trips around the world. If you don’t have time, then it’s fine if you respond pater.

I have to apologize a few things to begin with. First, I really think I need to do a lot of research before I consult Bruin Alliance of Skeptics and Secularists again (they didn’t reply last time I contacted them). I apologize for delays caused by the research. Why research? I wasn’t a thinker until I became a Quranist; I converted Islam from atheism because it was cool, and I didn’t even care about theology at that time. Meanwhile, I was an atheist just because I was taught to be so, so I still need to do research on the strongest arguments for atheism, which I wasn’t aware of while I was an atheist (abiogenesis and problem of evil don’t convince me). Now I kind of suspect that the so called skeptics is really a group of people who share a certain ideology, not indeed truth seekers, when I saw how they cited a few examples of acupuncture failures while ignoring the accident rate of conventional medicine that is hundreds of times higher and they never question their own philosophy. So I’ll need to do research about philosophy of science as well as ideology of skeptics and New Atheism to see whether my suspicion is well-founded. As I have so many other extra-major research topics ahead of me, I’m frustrated about which to do first provided equal priority. Secondly, I apologize for mentioning you in some stupid Facebook posts. Now I’ve deleted my fb account as it wasted me so much time. Third, again, I apologize for stalling in translating your work; I’m just not confident enough about my understanding of the Quran and again, I have to learn more. I don’t want people to be misguided because of me.

OK, now let me begin my theological questions. First, while the universe is deterministic, there’s something called probability. Many processes are stochastic. God obviously knows what’s 100% certain in the future, and I accept that some but not all events are predetermined, such as life events of Joseph. In some situations, there’s a certain probability that one option occurs, and certain probability that another option occurs. Some outcomes will certainly arise from a stochastic process, such as the production of antibodies; we don’t know which particular amino acid sequence for the recognition region of the antibody will be produced as genes are matched randomly, but we’re sure that something that will bind to the antigen will be produced[1]. But I’m not asking about outcomes here; I’m asking about the random process that leads to the outcome. In this case, does God know which option on the way to the outcome will occur?

I also read a very interesting series of articles about how random doesn’t mean mindless in my search of potential answers to my question:’s-governance-part-1. It’s still interesting though it didn’t really answer my question.

Second, please critique my reasoning in the following. This quarter, I’m taking a class about molecular evolution. I took it because I’m interested in evolution of genomes, gene regulation, and molecular networks, but it turns out to be more about origin of life. The professor (whose email is; the email is available publicly anyway, so I’m not violating his privacy) is agnostic and is strongly against intelligent design. He made fun of intelligent design when he said such important enzyme as ribosome (which produces protein according to RNA code) (and other biological processes) is so inefficient. But I found a flaw in his argument – “efficient” is context-dependent and relative.

I’ll begin with the context-dependent aspect. Efficient means to perform a certain function well; there has to be a purpose for function to make sense. For instance, a technology that manufactures cars is efficient because it makes better and more cars than other technology also designed to manufacture cars. When we say it’s efficient, we already assume that we’re talking about its purpose, which is making cars, not something else. A machine that manufactures cars can’t be said to be efficient to package food; when such a machine is used to package food, then it’s not efficient. The purpose of ribosome is to polymerize amino acids, and if it’s fast, then it’s tempting to say that it does its job well, or that it’s efficient. But what’s the purpose of polymerizing amino acids? To make proteins, which are to perform various functions in the cell. What’s the purpose of those functions? To sustain the life of the cell, to make the cell perform functions in the tissue, which performs its function in the organ, which performs its function in the organism, which… For a cell to perform its function well, protein synthesis has to be regulated; it’s not the case that faster means better. What do I mean that a cell performs its function well? The cell, by cooperating with other cells, makes the tissue perform its function well. A tissue performs its function well when it, with other tissues in the organ, makes the organ perform its function well. An organ performs its function well when it, with other organs, makes the whole organism perform its function well. An organism performs its function well when it can better survive and reproduce, in evolutionary context. What does it mean to better survive and reproduce? At least when resources are limited, the organism has to outcompete other organisms, and whether it can outcompete depends on the ability of other organisms to compete. Since the current ribosomes and other seemingly “inefficient” biological processes did allow organisms to better survive and reproduce, they are efficient.

Now I’ll talk about “efficient” as a relative concept, just like “big” and “small”, continuing from the last paragraph. A species can outcompete other species when it does something better. But the “better” can be just a little better than something very poor compared to some other scale. If according to that scale, everyone species performs something poorly and one does it slightly better than others (though still poor according to that scale), this species has outcompeted other species and can better survive and reproduce. But why that scale, while it’s not relevant to the organisms at stake? A number, without something to compare to, can’t be said to be large or small.

Is a cumbersome pathway that defies Occam’s razor inefficient? Not necessarily. The whole pathway has to be considered; what seems cumbersome can intersect with many other pathways and allow better regulation. Unfortunately, few biology classes are that holistic (not just for the purpose of this argument, but for a more accurate description of nature), and that’s why I added systems biology as my second major.  Still related to the ideology of the skeptics, I wonder why while there’re many possible metaphors about evolution, such as the engineer in this article[2] (, the metaphor of blind watchmaker got way more popular and is what’s taught in most biology classes. I also bought the book “Music of Life” by Denis Noble, a perspective very different from that of Dawkins though Noble didn’t favor theism according to the final chapter of that book, Dawkins is way more popular.

What about intelligent design? My understanding of a popular theory called intelligent design is that the presence of an intelligent designer is a hypothesis, and in some cases (especially when it points to the inadequacy of evolution), it’s more rational to accept this hypothesis than to propose some more convoluted naturalistic explanations. I can’t comment that much on this, as I’m also a bit critical of intelligent design as it’s still ultimately God-of-the-gaps, which is incongruent with how we should interact with God according to the Quran (I think I’m influenced by Oxford biophysicist Ard Louis, Oxford theologian Alister McGrath, and MIT physicist Ian Hutchinson (not the motorcyclist with the same name) here, and it seems that your version of intelligent design is a bit different from the popular one). At least since I just showed that the “inefficient” processes are not really inefficient, the argument against God from inefficiency is mostly refuted. But there’s a problem. Is the purpose of our lives to better survive and reproduce? Perhaps for animals in evolutionary settings, yes, but probably not for us humans. Were we created with a purpose? If we are the purpose of evolution, then evolution is not efficient, but not necessarily; what’s the purpose of the wind about way of our creation? Whenever it comes to a cumbersome way, I can’t say that it’s inefficient just because it’s cumbersome, since the cumbersome way itself may have a purpose that I don’t know about. I can list many other related questions, some even related to the transhumanism debate.

Third, what do you think of C.S. Lewis’s famous quote “I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it, I see everything else”? There’s a section about it in the beginning of theologian Alister McGrath’s talk I think this kind of makes sense, since as already said, I’m interested in thinking thanks to the Quranic worldview centered on pure Monotheism to begin with; to me, it’s more the case that I think because I believe in God than that I believe in God because I think. This talk inspired me to make the following argument that I would like you to critique: Why do we consider art art? For instance, there’s really nothing apparently special to the photos in the exhibition Light, Paper, Process at Getty Center, but as I considered the lives and thoughts of the photographers and how they reflected on the nature of photography, their works suddenly became art to me. In other words, the art work as a whole consists not only of the very work itself, but also the thoughts behind the work. Some of the “photos” are just plays with chemistry, but if a chemistry student produced the same thing accidentally, it’s not considered art. It is art because of the thoughts of the artist behind it while the chemistry student gave it no thought; we won’t understand it as art unless we understand the artist. If we do some “objective” measurement on an art work, say by Lichtenstein, not even thinking about the artist, and from the measurements, we find patterns and use the patterns to predict further measurements, we may never ever consider what we measure art and never ever think what we’re measuring would have any purpose. But the purpose behind the art work is real, so the “objective” measurement is not an accurate description of reality. Though people can interpret the same art work in different ways, the way the artist intended is the correct way.

No wonder scientific materialism would like to say the universe is pointless; they’re ignoring something I just said. So it would be better to know the Creator before appreciating the creation, and the worldview that better makes sense of the world is the better worldview. I mean by “better make sense” building a coherent picture involving all aspects of life beyond natural science. Now saying which religion is truer is like a clinical trial. Patients take drugs rather than analyze them and the one that better cures or manages the disease is the better drug, and patients of chronic diseases may conclude from their experiences from different drugs which work better. A problem is, most people live in the worldview they’re born into and don’t bother to make sense of the world. I don’t know for others; for me, God made me to bother to begin with. Also, the universe is different from a painting of Picasso since the methods we analyze the art work are not part of the art work, but concerning the universe, while we do base our analysis on theories based on previous observations, all conclusions based on observations are based on some “self-evident” laws such as laws of logic, math, and cause and effect. If God is the Absolute, then those laws must have been created. But since we can only think in terms of laws, we can only think about God in terms of those laws. But “God is Absolute” is itself a law; if God transcends laws, then God must also transcend that, but “God transcends laws” is itself a law. Perhaps I shouldn’t define “law” this way, or when we talk about God, we’re really talking about the consistency of a worldview, and we can’t begin to imagine God’s essence. As we live in this universe, if we want to be in harmony with God, we must abide by laws decreed to this universe.

Thanks again for your patience reading this long letter. Hopefully we can inspire each other. Of course some of my thoughts are potentially problematic as I may have ignored something, otherwise I wouldn’t write this letter to begin with.



12 October 2015

Attached is the updated version of the email we just talked about [see: above]. I added references, clarified what I mean by “intelligent design” (and probably what the general public means) as well as my understanding of the nature of art and corrected some spelling and grammatical mistakes. Perhaps we should talk about our understandings of art sometime. I’m really a big fan of art; if I recommend somewhere to visit in LA, the top of my list is all art museums, followed by beaches.

Another flaw of my professor’s (and most people who believe in the blind watchmaker model) opinion, which is about nothing buttery: He cited another biochemist that life is nothing but electrons looking for a place to rest. Well, it’s true that respiration, from which we get our energy and which makes all other life processes possible, is ultimately based on electrons looking for a place to rest, but saying that life is nothing but this ignores lots of other aspects about life. This is just like the familiar saying “you are what you eat.” It’s true that our bodies are composed of what we eat, but this doesn’t address other more important aspects of life such as what we love, what we aspire, and etc. The “other aspects” I just mentioned only pertains to life of an intelligent being. But the nothing buttery also applies to intelligent human lives. I understand that the brain is a carrier of the mind and the mind and body interact with each other, but this doesn’t mean that the mind can’t exist without the body.

We characterize an entity by its essential feature. For instance, there’re cups that look like camera lenses in gift shops sold for nerds. They’re cups, not lenses, though they can be easily mistaken for lenses, since they’re made to function as cups, not lenses; the function is their essential feature, not the appearance. The essential feature is not always that easy to be found, though.

Nothing buttery assumes that the essential feature of our lives is the material basis of our body. Though currently, substance is supporting the existence of our thoughts and emotions, we all know that the true value of our lives doesn’t lie in the material basis of the body, but in something more intellectual and noble, in the mind, which can possibly exist without the body (we believe that mind can definitely exist without body as we believe in hereafter). The life of a person who would risk his life for the truth is more admirable than the life of a person only indulging in bodily desires. Here, the persuit of truth is more essential than the material basis to life. 20th century Chinese author Lu Xun has a famous quote that can be summarized here: Some people are alive, but in other people’s hearts, they’re dead, while some people are dead, yet in other people’s hearts, they’re alive.

If nothing buttery becomes a worldview, like evolutionism, then we can imagine how degrading it can be. Just like metaphors about evolution, what’s fundamental to the material basis of the body must be rephrased so it doesn’t miss the point while not leading to such a detrimental worldview. At least the ambiguous term “life” should be avoided or clarified in this case. I admit that I shifted the definition of “life” from a biochemical entity that makes copies of itself to something else, or that I shifted from one dimension to another dimension of life. I never meant that life is exclusively bodily (like nothing buttery does) or exclusively intellectual; life is both, as a whole, with the different dimensions interacting and functioning with each other. Similarly, the shape as a lens is important to the lens-shaped cup, since the shape makes it unique and distinguishes it from an ordinary white ceramic cylinder with a handle. Perhaps the biochemist whom my professor quoted didn’t intend such a worldview. But the general public can easily derive such a worldview when the quote is quoted this way.

I don’t think my philosophical dissent with my professor will adversely affect my learning in this course, since I learn the science, not the non-scientific interpretation of the science. Well, I can also learn the interpretation only to refute it and to analyze the academic culture. I agree that abiogenesis and life’s origin from alkaline hydrothermal vents are strongly supported by evidence, but this doesn’t necessarily lead to those interpretations. Yet our interpretation and that of (which greatly influenced me) aren’t popular, thanks to the culture that I think originated from Lucretius’s poems about atomism in ancient Greece, Isaac Newton’s bad theology (he doesn’t believe in Trinity, yet I consider him a bad theologian), the Deism movement, Andrew Dixon White’s book, and perhaps more.



[2]See, pages 9-13

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Why the Sharia Law is so Dangerous for Our World

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Why the Sharia Law Is So Dangerous for Our World

By our affiliates Abdur Rab and Hasan Mahmud

Originally published at World Religion News, October 8, 2015


Human oppression is part of the human legacy. Sadly, it’s often the State that acquiesces in, or even willfully partners with, such oppression. And all too often, such oppression is legitimized in the name of God, especially in faith-based states such as Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, and Pakistan.

Almost everyday, the world is witnessing overt acts of violent extremism being committed by extremist groups in various parts of the world – acts that take the forms of suicide bombing, killing, arson, and plunder. Such acts as well as those that are often being perpetrated coldly without being much noticed by the world under the umbrella of some faith laws insidiously inflict enormous human suffering and destroy untold human lives.

Such faith laws are those of so-called Islamic Sharia (Aka Shariah, Shari’a), a term used to mean “a noble path according to Islam.” Although many of its legal provisions are quite well meaning for society, many others are found to be seriously problematic and dangerous for our world.

Indeed, the Sharia Law is what has driven the self-styled Islamic State – IS, ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh – to commit horrific atrocities and abuses of basic human rights. In taking over large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, the IS terrorists have brutally carried out public beheadings of foreign hostages and displaced and killed untold numbers of Christians and Yazidis. Their victims also include large numbers of Muslims who they consider to be apostates or who have resisted or refused to acknowledge their view of Islam. The IS members also carry out suicide bombings and other terrorist operations in other countries. Their recent operations have claimed many lives at a tourist beach resort in Tunisia and include the killing and injuring of even Muslim worshippers in mosques in Kuwait, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. Other terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, the Nigerian Boko Haram, the Somalian al-Shabaab, and other splinter groups are also committing horrendous crimes against humanity in various countries.

Sharia’s draconian and most ridiculous laws that grab media headlines relate to laws about jihad, blasphemy and apostasy, and laws that put the adulterer and the adulteress to death by stoning, punish the thief by cutting his or her limbs, and punish religious and political dissent by physical lashes and imprisonment. However, these laws are an affront to human conscience as well as to universally recognized human rights. And importantly, these laws completely violate clear directives of the Quran.

Sharia jihad laws are in complete defiance of the clear directions of the Quran as follows:

2:256   There is no room for compulsion and coercion in religion.

2:190   Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not initiate aggression, for God does not love aggression.

In Islam, human persecution and terror (fitna) is strongly denounced (2:191, 217) and human life is held to be the most sacrosanct (5:32).

5:32    If any kills a person – unless for murder and mischief in the earth – it is as though he has killed the whole of humankind, and if any saves a person, it is as though he has saved the whole of humankind.

The Sharia law that Muslims can wage jihad against non-Muslims until they pay zijiya (a poll tax) has been dismissed as untenable in the modern context by Muslim scholars such as Khalid Abou El Fadl who contend that it was only a historically understood system of tax on alien groups; it is not a theologically mandated valid tax on non-Muslims.

Blasphemy and apostasy laws are being applied in various countries, most commonly in the Middle East and North Africa. Other regions using such laws include, most notably, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Malaysia. As Alastair Lichten reports, “The blasphemy law is routinely used to persecute [Christians and] members of the Ahmadiyya Community – a Muslim sect considered to be apostates by many Muslims.” The apostasy or blasphemy conviction also incites widespread vigilante violence, which has led to the killing of many people in Pakistan. Bangladesh, which uses secular laws, has also seen in recent months brutal murders of several independent thinkers and bloggers by fundamentalist groups. Sharia blasphemy and apostasy laws not only offend human conscience and human rights, but they also flagrantly violate the Quran’s call for religious freedom and freedom of thought and speech as follows.

18:29    The Truth (has now come) from your Lord; let, then, him who wills believe (in it), and let him who wills reject (it).

10:99    If your Lord willed, all on earth would have believed. Will you then compel humankind to believe against their will?

73:10    Bear with them what they say, and leave them in a dignified manner.

The Sharia-prescribed stoning to death punishment for adultery is not what the Quran dictates. The Quran prescribes a maximum of one hundred lashes, and that also after four witnesses confirm the criminal offense (24:2).  The Quran also allows the convicts to be left alone if they repent and mend their conduct (4:15). The Quran also enjoins marriages of adulterous men with adulterous women (24:3,26). If stoning to death is an applicable punishment for adultery, then the question that arises is how can they get married after death? Modern Muslim scholars also consider another punishment brutal – that of cutting off the hands of the thief according to a traditional interpretation of a Quran verse (5:38). As suggested by contemporary Muslim scholar Edip Yuksel, a humane yet sufficiently humiliating punishment would be limb marking rather than limb cutting.

There are still many other Sharia laws that are not responsible for overt killings and persecution of human beings, but are responsible for hidden killings and persecution. These laws relate to problematic family laws such as child marriage, permission of unrestricted polygyny, use of war captives and slave girls as sex slaves, unfair child custody rights, instant and unilateral divorce of wives by husbands, distorted provisions for remarriage of divorced wives, inadequate support for divorced wives, and unequal inheritance of surviving family members.

Taking recourse to a widely cited Hadith that the Prophet Muhammad married Aisha when she was six years old and consummated this marriage when she was nine, Sharia sanctifies child marriage. However, citing historical evidence, Ridhwan ibn Muhammad Saleem of West London School of Islamic Studies provides a well-documented refutation of the above assertion about Aisha’s age at her marriage and suggests that Ayesha was over fifteen when her marriage with the Prophet was consummated. Other scholars such as T. O. Shanavas also explode the 6-9 year myth. The Quran advises marriage when the couples attain maturity to be able to provide sound judgment and consent for marriage (4:5-6). Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted in 1989 by the United Nations, a child is defined as a person below the age of 18, unless adulthood is set at a younger age by a particular country’s laws. The Convention calls for review by countries of ages set lower than 18.

Sharia allows polygyny up to four wives without any restrictions. However, the Quran, on the other hand, has talked about and permitted polygyny only in the context of orphan girls, while talking about providing justice to them, and permits it subject to financial capability of the husband to support more than one wife and his ability to do justice to more than one wife. The Quran in fact discourages one to take multiple wives cautioning that however much one tries, it is extremely difficult to do justice to more than one wife: You will not be able to do justice between (your) wives, however much you wish (4:129). The Quran requires one to postpone marriage until one is financially solvent (24:33).

4:3   If ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to more than one wife), then just one, or that you rightfully have. This will be more appropriate, that ye will not do injustice.

Another perplexing aspect of the Sharia Law is that it allows believers to have sexual relation with war captives or slave girls, which Sharia labels as “those that believers’ right hands possess.” Abul Ala Mawdudi gives a similar interpretation of this Quranic passage. Wahhabi ideologue Zakir Naik also supports this view. This view, however, blatantly ignores the Quranic directions that the believers should either demand ransom for freeing war captives or they should be released with generosity (47:4). The raping of slave women is incompatible with the very spirit of the Quran’s message, which vividly encourages manumission (90:12-13) and the marrying of freed slaves (4:25), and which forbids them to compel slave girls to prostitution without marriage (24:33). In 5:5, the Quran also vividly encourages us to seek chastity, not lewdness.

Sharia grants virtually unilateral power of divorce to the husband. It requires the wife seeking divorce to go to a court and take her husband’s consent. These restrictions often prove too forbidding and tyrannical to an aggrieved wife, as she has to tolerate unbearable torture of her husband in the face of her husband’s refusal to divorce. These Sharia provisions are in direct conflict with the Quran’s directions that a wife should not be compelled to stay with her husband against her will (33:28, 4:19), and to her hurt (2:231), that a wife has rights similar to her husband (2:228), and that a husband needs to treat his wife in a compassionate manner (2:228, 229, 231, 65:2).

Worse still, Sharia entitles a husband to divorce his wife instantaneously by uttering the word “talaq – I divorce you” three times and, importantly that also, without requiring any witness. The divorce is considered valid even if the husband may utter this in a fit of rage or when drunk and does not really mean it. However, these Sharia provisions flagrantly violate the Quran’s clear directions on divorce. The Quran requires two witnesses (65:2) and a well defined (about three-month) waiting period for divorce to be effective (2:228, 229, 231, 65:1, 4). In fact, the Quran even wants husbands who want to dissociate from their wives to wait four months to give them a chance to see if they would like to change their mind during this period (2:226).

The Sharia Law stipulates that once the divorce becomes irrevocable (after the waiting period), the divorced wife cannot go back to, or remarry, her husband unless and until she marries another person and until that husband divorces her. This halala or hilla system is prevalent in Bangladesh, Iran and other parts of the Muslim world, where the Sharia Law is rigidly enforced. However, as shown vividly by us in a short film and an article, this despicable halala or hilla system is counter to the very spirit of the Quran’s unambiguous directions and egalitarian message on the subject. The Quran urges believers to create no obstacles in the way of the divorced wife remarrying her husband (2:232), if the couple so wants. The halala system exacts a terrible human cost in terms of enormous suffering inflicted on the couple willing to reunite and has resulted in destroying many Muslim families.

Under the Sharia Law, wives divorced instantaneously get nothing for livelihood from their husbands, while those divorced normally get only three months’ provision from their husbands after divorce. The Quran, on the other hand, urges husbands not to take back anything that has been given to them (2:229) and to retain or release them in kindness, and not to hurt them (2:231).

Sharia displays a patriarchal bias in dealing with child custody rights. It allows mothers custody of her children generally up to the age of nine for sons and seven for daughters (Shafii Law allows the child to remain in mother’s custody until the child is able to choose between the two parents). A mother is deprived of her child custody rights if she does not pray or when she takes a mahram husband (i.e., a husband who is not lawful according to Sharia). The Quran allows separated or divorced couples to decide about child custody by mutual consultation, and it makes the husband squarely responsible for bearing the financial costs of children under mother’s custodial care, if he has financial capability (65:6-7). A dangerous aspect of the Sharia Law is that the divorced wife is barred from taking her children anywhere without the permission of their father. The cruelty of this aspect becomes evident when one observes the plight of many divorced Iranian immigrant mothers in Canada.

In the area of inheritance, as discussed more elaborately by us in our earlier article, Sharia rigidly applies, in most cases, the provision that the male heir should receive twice as much as the female counterpart, ignoring the spirit of the exceptions that the Quran itself grants about this rule and ignoring the socioeconomic background in which this rule was made in the first place in the seventh-century Arabia, when women were totally dependent on their husbands for financial and other support. As argued by many modern Islamic and feminist scholars, the socioeconomic condition for women has vastly changed in the modern context, when women are almost equally participating in contributing to the family income and welfare. Furthermore, the human rights instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, 1948) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, 1979), to which all Muslim countries are also signatories, also oblige them to move toward removing all forms of discrimination against women, including in the inheritance case.

Other Sharia provisions include:

  • Non-acceptance of testimonies from women in hudud, adultery and drinking cases;
  • Ineligibility of women to serve as judges in hudud cases;
  • Ineligibility of women to lead the umma or to head a government;
  • Allowing a mass murderer to go unpunished if he or she repents;
  • Allowing a rapist to get indemnified by offering the raped woman an amount equivalent to marriage dowry, in case if his rape is condoned for some reason;
  • Non-acceptance of circumstantial evidence in hudud

All this despite numerous Quranic directives to us to uphold justice (4:58, 2:188, 4:135, 5:8).

4:135     O you who believe! Be firm in justice, bearing witness to the truth for the sake of God, even though it is against your own selves, or your parents and kinsfolk, whether rich or poor.

On top of all this, Sharia is an institution for a dangerous political mission. Its mission is to create an Islamic State in the world that applies only its laws and imposes its religious injunctions on all Muslim citizens. This is, however, authoritarianism that is tyrannical and, most pertinently, also antithetical to the Quran’s directions for religious freedom and democratic principles.


In sum, many aspects of the Sharia Law are ridiculous and brutal by any conceivable standards. It violates the core teachings of Islam as well as the internationally accepted human rights. Furthermore, it is a nefarious tool for political and religious domination. It is precisely because of such concerns that this Law is so dangerous for our world.

Abdur Rab, Ph.D., is a retired public policy analyst and author, Rediscovering Genuine Islam: The Case for a Quran-Only Understanding, the third succeeding two earlier acclaimed editions. His articles on select Islamic topics have appeared on World Religion News, Aslan Media, and Oped News, and include one presented to a conference at Princeton University. Follow Abdur Rab at Twitter. His website is:

Hasan Mahmud is a Member, Advisory Body, World Muslim Congress, General Secretary, Muslims Facing Tomorrow, Canada, and author, Sharia Ki Bole, Amra Ki Kori (in Bangla) being translated into English as How Sharia-Ism Hijacked Islam forthcoming and three movie-dramas (the making of a fourth one is in progress) that highlight the problems with the Sharia Law. His website is:

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Turkish author sentenced to 3.5 years

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Turkish author sentenced to 3.5 years
for insulting both Erdoğan and Atatürk

27 October 2015 Tuesday, 16:55

Author Edip Yüksel has been found guilty of insulting then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as well as the legacy of Turkey’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in a series of posts on both Twitter and Facebook. A court has sentenced the writer to three years and six months in prison.

Turkish author sentenced to 3.5 years for insulting both Erdoğan and Atatürk

Judge Mustafa Gürbüz of the Istanbul Anadolu 57th Criminal Court of First Instance ruled on Tuesday that author Edip Yüksel was guilty of insulting both President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Prime Minister at the time) and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk through social media, giving him 1 year 9 months for each crime, a total of three years and six months in prison.

The offending comments were posted on Facebook and Twitter on Jan. 2, 2013.

“Of course, it is normal for a country’s leader, someone in the prime minister position, to be criticized. These constructive criticisms also help these leaders make better decisions. But these criticisms should not be demeaning, but rather constructive and expository. The defendant, however, has far exceeded the limits of acceptable criticism and used words that contain insult multiple times,” the court ruling read.

On the charge of “insulting a public servant due to the conduct of their duties,” Yüksel was found guilty and sentenced to one year, nine months in prison. On the similar charge of “insulting the legacy of Atatürk,” the defendant was also found guilty and sentenced to another year and nine months.

Judge Gürbüz decided to not grant Yüksel a reduction in the sentence, as he did not indicate any remorse for his actions. However, the author was granted a reprieve of the punishment and one year of probation.

Oct 27, 2015 | | Istanbul


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Your uncle or the sniveling shit-faced stranger rummaging the rubbish

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Which one is more important?
Your uncle or
the sniveling shit-faced stranger
rummaging through rubbish to find his greenback?

Edip Yüksel
22 September 2015

2013-11-29 Edip face

English language is rich in many ways. You may cry in so many tones and ways, such as: bawl, sob, keen, wail, weep, whimper, snivel, sniffle, howl, yowl, bellow, sulk, brood, pout, bewail, croon…

You can describe a drunk in dozens of words, such as, befuddled, besotted, blotto, boiled-as-an-owl, crapulous, dipso, drunk, high, hooched-up, inebriated, in-one’s-cups, intoxicated, liquored-up, looped, pickled, pie-eyed, plotzed, pot-valiant, ripped, shit-faced, slopped-up, sloshed, soused, sozzled, spaced, stewed, stiff, stinking, stinko, stoned, tanked, tied-one-on, three-sheets-to-the-wind, tipsy, toasted, tweaked, under-the-influence, under-the-table, wasted, wiped-out, woozy, zoned, zonked…

In English you can cause disorder in many ways, such as, tout, hoopla, ferment, frenzy, vociferous, bustle, furor, ruction, pother, raucous, bedlam, chaos, pandemonium, mayhem, fracas, melee…

You can also search for something in many ways, such as: delve, ferret, grope, plumb, probe, inspect, rake, ransack, rummage, scour, scrutinize.

You may exercise bravery too in many ways, such as, courageous, fearless, dauntless, intrepid, plucky, daring, heroic, valorous, audacious, bold, gallant, valiant, doughty, mettlesome…

For money? For garbage? Well, let’s not go there; I will need much space for these two.

But, in English we do not have enough words for relationship. In fact, not a single word to describe some of our relatives. The word UNCLE is used for both mother’s brother and father’s brother. The same is true with AUNT who is used for both mother’s sister and father’s sister.

As it seems, extended family members among English-speakers are not as important as the sniveling shit-faced stranger rummaging through rubbish to find his greenback.

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Warning to YouTube Turkish Team

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Edip Yuksel’s Open Warning to

YouTube’s Turkish Team

24 February 2015

My rights protected both by the First Amendment of the USA constitution, and Article 19 of the Declaration of Human Rights have been violated. If your Turkish team does not stop censoring my videos promoting Islamic Reform via critical thinking, I may be forced to launch both LEGAL ACTION and SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN against you.

I am a Kurdish/Turkish/American author and philosophy professor who have received numerous death fatwas because of my criticism of Sunni, Salafi and Shiite religions. I immigrated to the USA in 1989 just to be free. I a grateful to God for enjoying such a freedom. Yet, I am under constant attack and frequently receive death threats from the followers of various religious leaders in Turkey. They use local political machine and intimidation to censor my appearance on mainstream TV stations and media. No problem. I do not need them. I am using YouTube to promote critical thinking, justice, liberty, human rights and peace.

Unfortunately, a great majority of Sunni/Salafi/Shiite preachers teach bigotry, misogyny, violence and utter ignorance in the name of God, Muhammad, and the saints of their choice. The impact of their false teachings is immense, and they have contributed to horrible events, oppression, repression, misery, backwardness and bloody conflicts around the world.

My main focus is to promote Islamic Reform by inviting people to reason, and providing powerful theological and philosophical arguments for rejecting all fabricated religious sources besides the Quran. By translating the Quran into Turkish and English, I expose the distortions made by clergymen in the interpretations of key verses related to freedom, reasoning, women’s rights, peace and justice. It is a daring and daunting task; but it is worth it.

Currently, my YouTube channel, which is under my name, has about 19 thousand subscribers and it is growing daily. It has more than 500 educational videos, both in Turkish (T) and English (E). Thousands of people have experienced paradigm change after watching those videos. I receive hundreds of emails/messages daily thanking me for changing their lives from religious bigotry and ignorance to critical thinking and desire for peaceful co-existence. Some even gave up joining terrorist groups after watching those videos; they were convinced through my theological, political and philosophical arguments.

I have been receiving FALSE copyright and privacy complaints from some public figures whose public speeches/lectures I have been criticizing. However, recently the number of complaints from Fethullah Gülen, Cübbeli Ahmet, Alpaslan Kuytul, Ebubekir Sifil and other religious/cult leaders have increased dramatically. They reached to the level of harassment. I command YouTube for rejecting those frivolous complaints after evaluating my defenses; but recently, I was surprised to learn that a few of my videos were blocked by YouTube Team in Turkey (See the list below).

These religious charlatans and political demagogues should not be able to escape from intellectual scrutiny by falsely claiming copyrights (for the fair use of their public speeches) or privacy rights (for the fair use of their public speeches). Copyrights or Privacy rights are not recognized by laws to protect the rights of professional religious class fooling masses with false and harmful teachings. I am a lawyer and I teach philosophy; I appreciate legal and ethical concerns regarding privacy and copyrights, but I also stand for my right of free speech if it is taken away through the abuse of such rights, and if YouTube staff is inclined to side with the rich and powerful.

I am concerned that the YouTube office staff dealing with Turkey is not abiding by the First Amendment of the USA Constitution nor by the 19th Article of Human Rights Declaration. So, I would like to receive a phone call or a non-generic email containing a direct phone number and name of a lawyer representing Youtube in the USA to discuss this issue before it reaches to another phase.

PS: The list of my videos currently blocked in Turkey in violation of Article 19.

  1. F-tipi Kuran düşmanı: Fethullah Gülen (120K)

  1. Fethullah Gülen’in Başına Kimler İşiyormuş? (32K)

  1. Peygamber düşmanı salya sümük ağlıyor (6K)

  1. Kuran düşmanı risaleci şimdi F-tipi takla atıyor (31K)

  1. Türkçe olimpiyatları aldatmacası (31K)

  1. Fethullah Yetim, Köpeği Öldü Fethullah’ın 1/2 (21K)

  1. Fethullah Yetim, Köpeği Öldü Fethullah’ın 2/2 (8K)

  1. F-Tipi SANSÜRLE engellenen bir videom (11K)

  1. Sevimli bir risalecinin ilkel Allah algısı (81K)

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A Bloody Lie: Massacre of Banu Qurayza Jews

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The Sunni and Shiite translations of the Quran is filled with distortions.
They follow volumes of hadith and sectarian fabrications and distort the meaning of the verses according to those lies.
Compare other translations of the Quran with Quran: a Reformist Translation by Edip Yuksel, et al.

New Light on the Story of


And the Jews of Medina

From Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland,
(1976), pp. 100-107.

The story about Banu Qurayza massacre was the fabrication of Jews, which was later promoted by the likes of ISIS psychopaths among Sunnis.

The story about Banu Qurayza massacre was the fabrication of Jews, which was later promoted by the likes of ISIS psychopaths among Sunnis.

IT IS WELL KNOWN THAT at the advent of Islam there were three Jewish tribes who lived in Yathrib (later Medina), as well as other Jewish settlements further to the north, the most important of which were Khaybar and Fadak. It is also generally accepted that at first the Prophet Muhammad hoped that the Jews of Yathrib, as followers of a divine religion, would show understanding of the new monotheistic religion, Islam. However, as soon as these tribes realized that Islam was being firmly established and gaining power, they adopted an actively hostile attitude, and the final result of the struggle was the disappearance of these Jewish communities from Arabia proper.

The biographers of the Prophet, followed by later historians, tell us that Banu Qaynuqa.,1 and later Banu al-Nadir,2 provoked the Muslims, were besieged, and in turn agreed to surrender and were allowed to depart, taking with them all their transportable possessions. Later on Khaybar3 and Fadak4 were evacuated. According to Ibn Ishaq in the Sira,5 the third of the Jewish tribes, Banu Qurayza, sided with the Qurashites and their allies, who made an unsuccessful attack on Medina in an attempt to destroy Islam. This, the most serious challenge to Islam, failed, and the Banu Qurayza were in turn besieged by the Prophet. Like Banu al-Nadir, in time they surrendered, but unlike the Banu al-Nadir, they were subjected to the arbitration of Sa’d b. Mu’adh, a member of the Aws tribe, allies of Qurayza. He ruled that the grown-up males should be put to death and the women and children subjected to slavery. Consequentiy, trenches were dug in the market-place in Medina, and the men of Qurayza were brought out in groups and their necks were struck.6 Estimates of those killed vary from 400 to 900.

On examination, details of the story can he challenged. It can be demonstrated that the assertion that 600 or 800 or 9007 men of Banu Qurayza were put to death in cold blood can not be true; that it is a later invention; and that it has its source in Jewish traditions. Indeed the source of the details in earlier Jewish history can be pointed out with surprising accuracy.

The Arabic sources will now be surveyed, and the contribution of their Jewish informants will be discussed. The credibility of the details will then be assessed, and the prototype in earlier Jewish history pin-pointed.

The earliest work that we have, with the widest range of details, is Ibn Ishaq’s Sira, his biography of the Prophet. It is also the longest and the most widely quoted. Later historians draw, and in most cases depend on him.8 But Ibn Ishaq died in 151 A.H., i.e. 145 years after the event in question. Later historians simply take his version of the story, omitting more or less of the detail, and overlooking his uncertain list of authorities. They generally abbreviate the story, which appears just as one more event to report. In most cases their interest seems to end there. Some of them indicate that they are not really convinced, but they are not prepared to take further trouble. One authority, Ibn Hajar, however, denounces this story and the other related ones as “odd tales”.9 A contemporary of Ibn Ishaq, Malik,10 the jurist, denounces Ibn Ishaq outright as “a liar”11 and “an impostor”12 just for transmitting such stories.

It must be remembered that historians and authors of the Prophet’s biography did not apply the strict rules of the “traditionists”. They did not always provide a chain of authorities, each of whom had to be verified as trustworthy and as certain or likely to have transmitted his report directly from his informant, and so on. The attitude towards biographical details and towards the early events of Islam was far less meticulous than their attitude to the Prophet’s traditions, or indeed to any material relevant to jurisprudence. Indeed Ibn Ishaq’s account of the siege of Medina and the fall of the Banu Qurayza is pieced together by him from information given by a variety of persons he names, including Muslim descendants of the Jews of Qurayza.

Against these late and uncertain sources must be placed the only contemporary and entirely authentic source, the Qur’an. There, the reference in Sura XXXIII, 26 is very brief:

“He caused those of the People of the Book who helped them (i.e. the Quraysh) to come out of their forts. Some you killed, some you took prisoner.” There is no reference to numbers.

Ibn Ishaq sets out his direct sources as he opens the relevant chapter on the siege of Medina. These were: a client of the family of al-Zubayr and others whom he “did not suspect”. They told parts of the story on the authority of ‘Abdullah b. Ka’b b. Malik, al Zuhri, ‘Asim b. ‘Umar b. Qatada, ‘Abdullab b. Abi Bakr, Muhammad b. Ka’b of Qurayza, and “others among our men of learning”, as he put it. Each of these contributed to the story, so that Ibn Ishaq’s version is the sum total of the collective reports, pieced together. At a later stage Ibn Ishaq quotes another descendant of Qurayza, ‘Attiyya13 by name, who had been spared, and, directly, a certain descendant of al-Zabir b. Bata, a prominent member of the tribe of Qurayza who figures in the narrative.

The story opens with a description of the effort of named Jewish leaders to organize against the Muslims an alliance of the hostile forces. The leaders named included three from the Banu al-Nadir and two of the tribe of Wa’il, another Jewish tribe; together with other Jewish fellow-tribesmen unnamed. Having persuaded the neighbouring Bedouin tribes of Ghatafan, Murra, Fazara, Sulaym, and Ashja’ to take up arms, they now proceeded to Mecca where they succeeded in persuading the Quraysh. Having gathered together a besieging force, one of the Nadir leaders, Huyayy b. Akhtab, in effect forced himself on the third Jewish tribe still in Medina, the Banu Qurayza, and, against the better judgement of their leader, Ka’b b. Asad, he persuaded them to break faith with the Prophet in the hope, presented as a certainty, that the Muslims would not stand up to the combined attacking forces and that Qurayza and the other Jews would be restored to independent supremacy. The siege of Medina failed and the Jewish tribes suffered for their part in the whole operation.

The attitude of scholars and historians to Ibn lshaq’s version of the story has been either one of complacency, sometimes mingled with uncertainty, or at least in two important cases, one of condemnatlon and outright rejection.

The complacent attitude is one of accepting the biography of the Prophet and the stories of the campaigns at they were received by later generations without the meticulous care or the application of the critical criteria which collectors of traditions or jurists employed. It was not necessary to check the veracity of authorities when transmitting or recording parts of the story of the Prophet’s life.14 It was not essential to provide a continuous chain of authorities or even to give authorities at all. That is obvious in Ibn Ishaq’s Sira. On the other hand reliable authority and a continuous line of transmission were essential when law was the issue. That is why Malik the jurist had no regard for Ibn Ishaq.15

One finds, therefore, that later historians and even exegetes either repeat the very words of Ibn Ishaq or else abbreviate the whole story. Historians gave it, as it were, a cold reception. Even Tabari, nearly 150 years after Ibn Ishaq, does not try to find other versions of the story as he usually does. He casts doubt by his use of the words, “Waqidi alleged (za’ama) that the Prophet caused trenches to be dug.” Ibn ai-Qayyim in Zad al-ma’ad makes only the briefest reference and he ignores altogether the crucial question of numbers. Ibn Kathir even seems to have general doubt in his mind because he takes the trouble to point out that the story was told on such “good authority” as that of ‘A’isha.16

Apart from mild complacency or doubtful acceptance of the story itself, Ibn Ishaq as an author was in fact subjected to devastating attacks by scholars, contemporary or later, on two particular accounts. One was his uncritical inclusion in his Sira of so much spurious or forged poetry;17 the other his unquestioning acceptance of just such a story as that of the slaughter of Banu Qurayza.

His contemporary, the early traditionist and jurist Malik, called him unequivocally “a liar” and “an impostor”18 “who transmits his stories from the Jews”.19 In other words, applying his own criteria, Malik impugned the veracity of Ibn Ishaq’s sources and rejected his approach. Indeed, neither Ibn Ishaq’s list of informants nor his method of collecting and piecing together such a story would he acceptable to Malik the jurist.

In a later age Ibn Hajar further explained the point of Malik’s condemnation of Ibn Ishaq. Malik, he said,20 condemned Ibn Ishaq because he made a point of seeking out descendants of the Jews of Medina in order to obtain from them accounts of the Prophet’s campaigns as handed down by their forefathers. Ibn Hajar21 then rejected the stories in question in the strongest terms: “such odd tales as the story of Qurayza and al-Nadir”. Nothing could be more damning than this outright rejection.

Against the late and uncertain sources on the one hand, and the condemning authorities on the other, must be set the only contemporary and entirely authentic source, the Qur’an. There the reference in Sura XXXIII, 26 is very brief: “He caused those of the People of the Book who helped them (i.e. the Quraysh) to come out of their forts. Some you killed, some you took prisoner.”

Exegetes and traditionists tend simply to repeat Ibn Ishaq’s tale, but in the Qur’an the reference can only be to those who were actually in the fighting. This is a statement about the battle. It concerns those who fought. Some of these were killed. others were taken prisoner.

One would think that if 600 or 900 people were killed in this manner the significance of the event would have been greater. There would have been a clearer reference in the Qur’an, a conclusion to be drawn, and a lesson to be learnt. But when only the guilty leaders were executed, it would be normal to expect only a brief reference.

So much for the sources: they were neither uninterested nor trustworthy; and the report was very late in time. Now for the story. The reasons for rejecting the story are the following:

(i) As already stated above, the reference to the story in the Qur’an is extremely brief, and there is no indication whatever of the killing of a large number. In a battle context the reference is to those who were actually fighting. The Qur’an is the only authority which the historian would accept without hesitation or doubt. It is a contemporary text, and, for the most cogent reasons, what we have is the authentic version.

(ii) The rule in Islam is to punish only those who were responsible for the sedition.

(iii) To kill such a large number is diametrically opposed to the Islamic sense of justice and to the basic principles laid down in the Qur’an – particularly the verse. “No soul shall bear another’s burden.”22 It is obvious in the story that the leaders were numbered and were well known. They were named.

(iv) It it also against the Qur’anic rule regarding prisoners of war, which is: either they are to be granted their freedom or else they are to be allowed to be ransomed.23

(v) It is unlikely that the Banu Qurayza should be slaughtered when the other Jewish groups who surrendered before Banu Qurayza and after them were treated leniently and allowed to go. Indeed Abu ‘Ubayd b. Sallam relates in his Kitab al-amwal24 that when Khaybar felt to the Muslims there were among the residents a particular family or clan who had distinguished themselves by execesive unseemly abuse of the Prophet. Yet in that hour the Prophet addressed them in words which are no more than a rebuke: “Sons of Abu al-Huqayq (he said to them) I have known the extent of your hostility to God and to His apostle, yet that does not prevent me from treating you as I treated your brethren.” That was after the surrender of Banu Qurayza.

(vi) If indeed so many hundreds of people had actually been put to death in the market-place, and trenches were dug for the operation, it is very strange that there should be no trace whatever of all that – no sign or word to point to the place, and no reference to a visible mark.25

(vii) Had this slaughter actually happened, jurists would have adopted it as a precedent. In fact exactly the opposite has been the case. The attitude of jurists, and their rulings, have been more according to the Qur’anic rule in the verse, “No soul shall bear another’s burden.”

Indeed, Abu ‘Ubayd b. Sallam relates a very significant incident in his book Kifab al-amwal,26 which, it must be noted, is a book of jurisprudence, of law, not a siraor a biography. He tells us that in the time of the Imam al-Awza’i27 there was a case of trouble among a group of the People of the Book in the Lebanon when ‘Abdullab b. ‘All was regional governor. He put down the sedition and ordered the community in question to be moved elsewhere. Al-Awza’i in his capacity as the leading jurist immediately objected. His argument was that the incident was not the result of the cormmunity’s unanimous agreement. “At far as I know (he argued) it is not a rule of God that God should punish the many for the fault of the few but punish the few for the fault of the many.”

Now, had the Imam al-Awza’i accepted the story of the slaughter of Banu Qurayza, he would have treated it as a precedent, and would not have come out with an argument against Authority, represented in ‘Abdullah b. ‘Ali. Al-Awza’i, it should be remembered, was a younger contemporary of Ibn Ishaq.

(viii) In the story of Qurayza a few specific persons were named as having been put to death, some of whom were described as particularly active in their hostility. It is the reasonable conclusion that those were the ones who led the sedition and who were consequently punished – not the whole tribe.

(ix) The details given in the story clearly and of necessity imply inside knowledge, i.e. from among the Jews themselves. Such are the details of their consultation when they were besieged, the harangue of Ka’b b. Asad as their leader; and the suggestion that they should kill their women and children and then make a last desperate attack against the Muslims.

(x) Just as the descendants of Qurayza would want to glorify their ancestors, so did the descendants of the Madanese connected with the event. One notices that that part of the story which concerned the judgement of Sa’d b. Mu’adh against Qurayza, was transmitted from one of his direct descendants. According to this part the Prophet said to Mu’adh: “You have pronounced God’s judgement upon them [as inspired] through Seven Veils.”28

Now it is well known that for the purposes of glorifying their ancestors or white washing those who were inimical to Islam at the beginning, many stories were invented by later generations and a vast amount of verse was forged, much of which was transmitted by Ibn Ishaq. The story and the statement concerning Sa’d are one such detail.

(xi) Other details are difficult to accept. How could so many hundreds of persons he incarcerated in the house belonging to a woman of Banu al-Najjar?29

(xii) The history of the Jewish tribes after the establishment of Islam is not really clear at all. The idea that they all departed on the spot seems to be in need of revision, as can be seen on examining the sources. For example, in his Jamharat al-ansab,30 Ibn Hazm occasionally refers to Jews still living in Medina. In two places al-Waqidi31 mentions Jews who were still in Medina when the Prophet prepared to march against Khaybar – i.e. after the supposed liquidation of all three tribes, including Qurayza. In one case ten Madanese Jews actually joined the Prophet in an excursion to Khaybar, and in the other the Jews who had made their peace with him in Medina were extremely worried when he prepared to attack Khaybar. Al-Waqadi explains that they tried to prevent the departure of any Muslim who owed them money.

Indeed Ibn Kathir32 takes the trouble to point out that ‘Umar expelled only those Jews of Khaybar who had not made a peace agreement with the Prophet. Ibn Kathir then proceeds to explain that at a much later date, i.e. after the year 300 A.H., the Jews of Khaybar claimed that they had in their possession a document allegedly given them by the Prophet which exempted them from poll-tax. He said that some scholars were taken in by this document so that they ruled that the Jews of Khaybar should be exempted. However, that was a forged letter and had been refuted in detail. It quoted persons who were already dead, it used technical terms which came into being at a later time, it claimed that Mu’awiya b. Abi Sufyan witnessed it, when in fact he had not even been converted to Islam at that time, and so on.

So then the real source of this unacceptable story of slaughter was the descendants of the Jews of Medina, from whom Ibn Ishaq took these “odd tales”. For doing so Ibn Ishaq was severely criticized by other scholars and historians and was called by Malik an impostor.

The sources of the story are, therefore, extremely doubtful and the details are diametrically opposed to the spirit of Islam and the rules of the Qur’an to make the story credible. Credible authority is lacking, and circumstantial evidence does not support it. This means that the story is more than doubtful.

However, the story, in my view, has its origins in earlier events. Is can be shown that it reproduces similar stories which survived from the account of the Jewish rebellion against the Romans, which ended in the destruction of the temple in the year AD. 73, the night of the Jewish zealots and sicarii to the rock fortress of Masada, and the final liquidation of the besieged. Stories of their experience were naturally transmitted by Jewish survivors who fled south. Indeed one of the more plausible theories of the origin of the Jews of Medina is that they came after the Jewish wars. This was the theory preferred by the late Professor Guillaume.33

As is well known, the source of the details of the Jewish wars is Flavius Josephus, himself a Jew and a contemporary witness who held office under the Romans, who disapproved of certain actions which some of the rebels committed, but who nevertheless never ceased to be a Jew at heart. It is in his writings that we read of details which are closely similar to those transmitted to us in the Sira about the actions and the resistance of the Jews, except that now we see the responsibility for the actions placed on the Muslims.

In considering details of the story of Banu Qurayza as told by the descendants of that tribe, we may note the following similar details in the account of Josephus:

(i) According to Josephus,34 Alexander, who ruled in Jerusalem before Herod the Great, hung upon crosses 800 Jewish captives, and slaughtered their wives and children before their eyes.

(ii) Similarly, large numbers were killed by others.

(iii) Important details of the two stories are remarkably similar, particularly the numbers of those killed. At Masada the number of those who died at the end was 960.35 The hot-headed sicarii who were eventually also killed numbered 600.36 We also read that when they reached the point of despair they were addressed by their leader Eleazar (precisely as Ka’b b. Asad addressed the Banu Qurayza),37 who suggested to them the killing of their women and children. At the ultimate point of complete despair the plan of killing each other to the last man was proposed.

Clearly the similarity of details is most striking. Not only are the suggestions of mass suicide similar but even the numbers are almost the same. Even the same names occur in both accounts. There is Phineas, and Azar b. Azar,38 just as Eleazar addressed the Jews besieged in Masada.

There is, indeed, more than a mere similarity. Here we have the prototype – indeed, I would suggest, the origin of the story of Banu Qurayza, preserved by descendants of the Jews who fled south to Arabia after the Jewish Wars, just as Josephus recorded the same story for the Classical world. A later generation of these descendants superimposed details of the siege of Masada on the story of the siege of Banu Qurayza, perhaps by confusing a tradition of their distant past with one from their less remote history. The mixture provided Ibn Ishaq’s story. When Muslim historians ignored it or transmitted it without comment or with cold lack of interest, they only expressed lack of enthusiasm for a strange tale, as Ibn Hajar called it.

One last point. Since the above was first written, I have seen reports39 of a paper given in August 1973 at the World Congress of Jewish Studies by Dr. Trude Weiss-Rosmarin, in which she challenges Josephus’ assertion that 960 besieged Jews committed suicide at Masada. This is highly interesting since in the story of Qurayza the 960 or so Jews refused to commit suicide. Who knows, perhaps the Story of Banu Qurayza is an even more accurate form of the original version.


1. Ibn Ishaq, Sira (ed. Wustenfeld, Gottingen, 1860), 545-7; (ed. Saqqa et al., Cairo, 1955), II, 47-9. See also al-Waqidi, Kitab al-maghazi (ed. M. Jones, London, 1966), II, 440 ff.; Suhayl, al-Rawd al-unuf (Cairo, 1914), I, 187 et passim; Ibn Kathir, al-Sira al-Nabawiya (ed. Mustafa `Abd al-Wahid, Cairo, 1384-5/1964-6), II, 5,et passim.

2. Sira, 545-56, 652-61/II, 51-7, 190-202; Ibn Kathir, oop. cit., III, 145 ff.

3. Sira, 755-76, 779/II, 328-53, 356, etc. More on Khaybar follows below.

4. ibid., 776/II, 353-4.

5. ibid., 668-84/II, 214-33.

6. ibid., 684-700/II, 233-54.

7. ibid., 689/II, 240; `Uyun al-athar (Cairo, 1356 A.H.), II, 73; Ibn Kathir, II, 239.

8. In his introduction to `Uyun al-athar, I, 7, Ibn Sayyid al-Nas (d. 734 A.H.), having explained his plan for his biography of the Prophet, expressly states that his main source was Ibn Ishaq, who indeed was the chief source for everyone.

9. Tahdhib al-tahdhib, IX, 45. See also `Uyun al-athar, I, 17, where the author uses the same words, without giving a reference, in his introduction on the veracity of Ibn Ishaq and the criteria he applied.

10. d. 179.

11. `Uyun al-athar, I, 12.

12. ibid, I, 16.

13. Sira, 691-2/II, 242, 244; `Uyun al-athar, II, 74, 75.

14. Ibn Sayyid al-Nas (op. cit., I, 121) makes precisely this point in relation to the story of the Banu Qaynuqa’ and the spurious verse which was said to have appeared in Sura LIII of the Qur’an and at the time was taken by polytheist Meccans as a recognition of their deities. The author explains how various scholars disposed of the problem and then sums up by stating that in his view, this story is to be treated on the same level as tales of the maghazi and accounts of the Sira (i.e. not to be accorded unqualified acceptance). Most scholars, he asserts, usually treated more liberally questions of minor importance and any material which did not involve a point of law, such as stories of the maghazi and similar reports. In such cases data would be accepted which would not be acceptable as a basis of deciding what is lawful or unlawful.

15. See n. 18 below.

16. Tabari, Tarikh, I, 1499 (where the reference is to al-Waqidi, Maghazi, II, 513); Zad al-ma`ad (ed. T. A. Taha, Cairo, 1970), II, 82; Ibn Kathir, op. cit., IV, 118.

17. On this see W. Arafat, “Early critics of the poetry of the Sira”, BSOAS, XXI, 3, 1958, 453-63.

18. Kadhdhab and Dajjal min al-dajajila.

19. `Uyun al-athar, I, 16-7. In his valuable introduction Ibn Sayyid al-Nas provides a wide-ranging survey of the controversial views on Ibn Ishaq. In his full introduction to the Gottingen edition of the Sira, Wustenfeld in turn draws extensively on Ibn Sayyid al-Nas.

20. Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, IX, 45. See also `Uyun al-athar, I, 16-7.

21. ibid.

22. Qur’an, XXXV, 18.

23. Qur’an, XLI, 4.

24. ed. Khalil Muhammad Harras, Cairo, 1388/1968, 241.

25. Significantly, little or no information is to be found in general or special geographical dictionaries, such as al-Bakri’s, Mu`jam ma’sta`jam; al-Fairuzabadi’s al-Maghanim al-mutaba fi ma`alim taba (ed. Hamad al-Jasir, Dar al-Yamama, 1389/1969); Six treatises (Rasa’il fi tarikh al-Madina ed. Hamad al-Jasir, Dar al-Yamama, 1392/1972); al-Samhudi, Wafa’ al-wafa’ bi-akhbar dar al-Mustafa (Cairo, 1326), etc. Even al-Samhudi seems to regard a mention of the market-place in question as a mere historical reference, for in his extensive historical topography of Medina he identifies the market-place (p. 544) almost casually in the course of explaining the change in nomenclature which had overtaken adjacent landmarks. That market-place, he says, is the one referred to in the report (sic) that the Prophet brought out the prisoners of Banu Qurayza to the market-place of Medina, etc.

26. p. 247. I am indebted to my friend Professor Mahmud Ghul of the American University, Beirut, for bringing this reference to my attention.

27. d. 157/774. See EI2, sub nomine.

28. Sira, 689/II, 240; al-Waqidi, op. cit., 512.

29. Sira, 689/II, 240; Ibn Kathir, op. cit., III, 238.

30. e.g., Nasab Quraysh (ed. A. S. Harun, Cairo, 1962), 340.

31. op. cit., II, 634, 684.

32. op. cit., III, 415.

33. A. Guillaume, Islam (Harmondsworth, 1956), 10-11.

34. De bello Judaico, I, 4, 6.

35. ibid., VII, 9, 1.

36. ibid., VII, 10, 1.

37. Sira, 685-6/II, 235-6.

38. Sira, 352, 396/I, 514, 567.

39. The Times, 18 August 1973; and The Guardian, 20 August 1973.

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Free Flying Elephant

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The Art of Passing a Free Flying Elephant

through the Eye of a Needle 

Edip Yuksel

“Like views in the classical liberal tradition, however, market democracy affirms the economic liberties of capitalism as basic rights. These include weighty rights of working, transacting, holding and using. Many libertarians ground their concern for economic liberty on some principle of self-ownership; classical liberal thinkers typically defend economic liberties because of their (hoped-for) positive effect on the economy over time. Market democracy, by contrast, sees a moral ideal of society and personhood as the most appropriate foundation for rights. According to market democracy, a thick conception of economic liberty is needed for citizens to exercise and develop the moral capacities they have as responsible self-authors. This is the core idea of market democracy, and we shall examine the moral case for it in a moment. For now, note that market democracy affirms a thick conception of economic liberty as a requirement of democratic citizenship.”
~ John Tomasi, from the draft of his upcoming book Free Market Fairness, Chapter 4, p. 78

AdamZyglis Rich Santa

I enjoyed Professor John Tomasi’s (Brown University) presentation and discussion in front of a room-full audience specializing in political philosophy, in which the University of Arizona is ranked first in the USA.[1] Compared to laser-focused graduate students in the audience, I had hard time following the angels dancing on the cracks of the details of issues discussed by modern Political philosophers. I am even more an outsider regarding the further details among the sub-branches of a particular branch. Thus, I benefited from the comparative table put on the board, which will be published in the fourth chapter of Tomasi’s upcoming book, Free Market Fairness:

School Politics Reasoning Person
Classical Liberal(Milton Freedman, Hayek, Epstein) Economic Liberty Ends directed Utility Seeker/ Maximizer
Libertarian(Nozick, Eric Mack) Economic Liberty Naturalistic Self-Owner
High Liberal(Freeman, Rawls) Social Justice Deliberative/Justificatory Democratic Citizen
Market Democracy(Tomasi) Econ-Lib + Soc-Just Deliberative/Justificatory Democratic Citizen

I was also impressed by Tomasi’s humility and appreciation of criticisms directed by students and professors in the audience. Tomasi’s response to my sharp criticism was also calm and gracious. I know, in this short paper, I have to ignore all the great points and arguments raised by him. I will ignore his sleepless nights and deep thoughts trying to construct his arguments. I may also ignore his vested interest in this book, and perhaps his potential interest working for the Koch Brothers for more deregulation.[2] So, please do not consider my criticism as an assessment on the merits of his whole work; I mostly focused on chapter four. I ended up with semi-philosophical and semi-political reaction.

In this paper, I occasionally let the emotions run in my reaction, since I do not have intention to submit it to a journal. As long as our emotions are led and controlled by reason, I think they are an important ingredient of being a moral agent. Morality cannot exist without empathy. However, even if I do not agree with many of his arguments, I would still respect Tomasi’s work since it helps me and others to clarify further our positions and sharpen our swords against the wolves under sheep clothing, this time under “market democracy.”

I think that depicting Free Market as one of the basic rights of “democratic citizens,” in par with other basic rights requiring strict scrutiny is like trying to push a camel through the eye of a needle. Here is why.

Minimum Taxation and Minimum regulation

I concede that Tomasi’s position is less extreme than of the Libertarians who consider ownership as the most important and an absolute right that should not be encumbered by taxation to promote the welfare of the society. After referring to Kant’s political philosophy, which justifies taxation of property to help those who cannot provide for natural needs, Tomasi is forced to peel a thin layer from his “thick conception” of property rights:

“Market democracy’s affirmation of a tax-funded social safety net programs follows this pattern. This very status of people as responsible self-authors may be threatened by conditions of extreme need. The state must be empowered to act to protect people’s moral status as self-authors. But, unlike many traditional classical liberals, market democracy’s justification of the safety net is thoroughly principled. After all, the same reasons that market democracy uses to justify the social safety net also justify the market democratic position against the pervasive encroachments on economic liberty allowed by high liberals such as Rawls. Without constitutional guarantees protecting the independent economic decision-making, people cannot fully executrices their moral powers of self-authorship.” (Ibid, p. 84)

Tomasi is proposing a system whose default rule is freedom of market. Let the free market work miracles! “But the tendency of market democratic regimes is to look to market-based solutions before turning to simple regulatory ones.” (p. 89) He welcomes anti-discriminatory regulations, albeit more for the public sector, and regulations aiming to prevent deception and fraud and setting monetary policy (p. 89). He thinks that the government should have “some ability to regulate work hours/wages/conditions” (p. 90), but he also hopes that those regulations to be kept in minimum, since he thinks that economic growth is “an antidote to the problem of worker vulnerability in post-industrial societies.” (p. 90).

The perpetual money-making machine!

As for the major concern of our times, environmental issues, Tomasi is utopist and comes up with a very thin conception that contradicts our experience with the free market in the last century. Regarding consumerism, he assures us that “It is fundamental to market democracy to see people not only as consumers of goods but as producers and innovators too.” (p. 91). I would like to believe this assurance, but knowing how greed has been the engine of private markets and how they would prefer hiring robots to humans if they could make more profits, I am not that optimistic. As for environmental sustainability, Tomasi wants us to believe that “market democracy advocates growth only within the boundaries of long term environmental sustainability (p. 91). Somehow, through his binocular he sees “capitalism and environmentalism as standing in a potentially positive relationship to each other.” (p. 91).

And that’s it. Sustainability, environmental protection, global warming, pollution, imperial wars, yes all these major and vital problems caused by even semi-regulated markets is dealt with through appealing to our trust in the positive powers of free markets. Though the author visits the issue again in chapter 8, he avoids dealing with the real issue:

“Along with securing the civil and political liberties of citizens, market democratic regime-types rely upon the state to refine and protect property rights, protect the environment, and to provide for a small number of genuinely public goods.” (p. 182)

Let’s see how the market democracy protects the environment:

“As Garret Hardin himself noted, when a good yields itself to private ownership, the structure of the incentives can change in a way that makes the economic agents better stewards.[3] If a common field is privatized, the owner of the field has reason to protect that resource from the ruin of overgrazing. Economic liberties of private ownership can prevent the negative externalities from the use of a particular resource from being spread across society. David Schmidtz writes: “Private property is the preeminent vehicle for turning negative commons into positive-sum property regimes.”[4] Ownership breeds responsibility. Market democracies therefore seek the thicken ownership, in part by expanding to range of things that are made subject to legal ownership by private individuals and groups. Property rights can [be] crafted and extended so as to make economic agents responsible not just for the quality of fields but also waterways and even the atmosphere itself.” (p. 189)

You have a problem with the fox? Then make the fox the owner of the chicken farm, and lo and behold: the problems are solved. I understand the argument made by the example of “tragedy of commons,” but in that example there is no government to regulate, manage, and enforce the rules. The tragedy of commons is not necessarily an argument against social democracies, it is against anarchism. Besides, let’s accept for the moment that private corporations in Tomasi’s market democracies would indeed work miracles in preventing negative externalities. Then what should we do to accomplish it? “Give them ownership,” suggests Tomasi. Ownership of what? National parks? Granted. Cities? Granted. Landfills? Granted. Forests? Rivers? Lakes? Seas? Oceans? Skies? You may not believe it, but Tomasi hopes that we grant all of them to the highest bidder.

The author’s magic formula of free market is a modified version of nick-knack store’s rule, “if you break it, you own it.” According to Tomasi, if lands, seas and skies are polluted by private companies, then they should be owned by the private companies. They will no more pollute. But, perhaps he ignores the little difference between the goods in the knickknack store and the food, the water, the air. The first one is reproducible and trivial, while the latter is limited and priceless! You own the broken china, you simply own a broken plate; but you own the water, you own the people!

A fantastic circle, a perpetual money-making machine! Let the private companies poison all rivers, lakes, and underground water by dumping their toxic chemicals as they wish. Then, let them own the rivers, the lakes, and underground water, and watch how they would keep them clean. For free? No, there is no free “free market”! Don’t be silly. These are democratic citizens with high moral values exercising their economic rights; they are not a bunch of tree-hugging bums. Private companies make profits when they pollute or vice versa; and they will surely make profits again if they clean them up. For each step they will charge the rest of the democratic citizens who own very little or nothing. Isn’t that fantastic?

You will end up running out of drinking water, which is a horrible news for you but a very good news for those citizens who are well-endowed and eager to exercise their authorship rights: they will sell you water in bottles and you will work damn hard to afford the price of bottled drinking water and similar products. Of course, the millions of discarded plastic bottles will not be teleported to a plastic heaven in another universe. They will end up filling your land, the seas, and the oceans. No problem! Market democrats will ask you to let them have the ownership of the land, the seas and the oceans so that the citizens exercising their economic rights could clean up the mess. Well, do not tell anyone that those few who end up exercising their economic rights do not really do the cleaning; they will hire you and your children to clean up their mess, and they will pay you as little as they wish. Of course, Tomasi will tell you that you are too equally free to buy the land and the sea; but you know that he knows that none other than those mass-producers and mass-polluters can afford buying them from the government of corporations, by corporations, for corporations.

If water is your concern, you don’t know the whole story. It is thicker then you imagine. It is beyond water. Tomasi will not have any problem if the “free citizens” (with thick conception of wallets) who have polluted and poisoned our atmosphere decide to exercise their “economic rights” by selling us clean air in bottles! Welcome to unregulated free market!

Markets declare their ultimate freedom, freedom from democracy!

In the following paragraph, Tomasi let his (fat) cats out of the bag:

“Market democracy also attends to public choice concerns about the regulatory approach to environmental protection favored by social democracies. Information is costly not only in the private sector but in the political one as well. The regulatory approach rests ultimately on political processes that in turn rely upon b[l]ocks of voters. For reasons discussed earlier, such voters typically do not have the information they need to make rational decisions about the environment. Further, environmental damage typically occurs when people lack accountability. But this applies to political actors no less than to economic ones: the farmer is more accountable with respect to his field than is the politician in whose general jurisdiction that field lies. What’s more, when political actors do not directly share the opportunity costs, such as higher energy prices, less technological innovation, or a weaker economy with less growth, over-protection can occur.” (p. 190) [5]

A clever argument, but an inconsistent one. Throughout the book, Professor Tomasi repeatedly accuses social democrats and high liberals of committing the cardinal sin of capitalism, “economic paternalism”, by trying to redistribute wealth or regulate their economic freedoms, yet here he does not hesitate to promote “political paternalism,” to save the environment from over-protection and corporations from under-protection. He considers democratic citizens and their elected officials incapable of learning the truth to protect their environment and demand for clean food, clean water, and clean air, and the same for their grand children. When the vital interests of democratic citizens contradict the interests of corporations, we are expected to cheer for the “market” in the “market democracy” to shoot the “democracy” into irrelevancy!

And, despite our experience with the reckless and avaricious acts of corporations over and over, all around the world, we are again asked to be optimistic. We must be pessimistic about the capacity of citizens who cannot breath because of the smog, or suffer from diseases caused by chemicals put in their food and environment, or cannot eat sea food because of ocean-size industrial poisons, but we should put our full trust in corporations, and even in bigger corporations of the ideal political system: market democracy! We should not regulate the market; but we should delegate most of our powers to the mercy of corporations and they will come up with a solution for our pollution.

“By contrast, market democracy is optimistic about the capacity of markets to track subtle changes in people’s concerns about environmental issues, and about the ability of markets to generate diverse avenues by which people can act on those concerns for themselves. At the turn of the 20th century, for example, the global market for fair trade products was expanding at over 10 percent a year; that for organic products, at 20 percent per year. These international movements are examples of the emergent, bottom-up approach to environmental sustainability favored by market democratic regimes. As with the other aspects of justice, there can be no guarantee that the property-rights based approach of market democracies will actually satisfy the requirements of environmental justice. But here again, we are examining the institutions of market democracy at the level of ideal theory. If we grant that the institutional arrangements of social democratic regimes pass the ideal theoretic test of “realistic utopianism,” we must recognize the arrangements of market democracies as passing that test too.” (p. 190-191)

We all witnessed how the semi-regulated markets have consumed us and harmed the planet earth. They wasted the limited resources of earth through reckless promotion of consumption, raked havoc on environment, poked holes in the precious ozone layer, filled the North Pacific Gyre with tons of Texas-size floating toxic plastic island, filled our cities with smog, filled the market with unhealthy food loaded with hormones and artificial additives, killed public transportation initiatives, fought public desire to support alternative energy, contributed to climate change, poisoned our air and water with toxic materials, exploited the working class through robber-banks, doomed millions in prisons, bombarded us with lies and propaganda through their TV channels, used the children of the poor to kill the children of other poor people in wars for bloody profits, designed complex financial tricks and derivatives, and recently committed the biggest financial heist in history by transferring billions of our money into their private banks and companies as bonus for destroying the economy and having become too big to fail… and on top of that they pick and choose political candidates for us, control political parties (which they limit our choices with only two identical twins), and they manufacture public consent. And they want us to swallow this as “democracy,” with the line, hook and sinker.

This tragedy becomes surreal when we hear capitalist liberals and conservatives telling us that we need to give corporations even more power and freedom! After witnessing all of the malfeasance listed above and even more, now imagine the “potentially positive” effect of little-regulated or “hopefully and potentially” unregulated free markets envisioned by Tomasi! By the end of reading his book, if you are a “democratic citizen” you should accept the so-called Market Democracy as the “fairest of them all!” and “the most highly evolved form of liberalism” (p. 195) With the presumably democratic government’s economic powers limited or totally castrated, big multinational corporations is expected to “pursue policies of free trade, free migration and peace.” (p. 91).

Dreaming, as it appears, is not exclusive to communists who once believed that the “dictatorship of proletariat” would bring justice and peace! We are expected to believe that unregulated foxes and vultures would foster freedom, justice and peace in the chicken farm! Edip don’t be unfair; foxes and vultures are animals too! Or, Edip don’t be paternalistic by likening people to chickens; each democratic citizen is a potential fox and vulture! All animals are equal and some (less than 1 percent) are more equal. All should have right to pursue their economic liberties, so that some (less than 1 percent) could own the 90 percent of the wealth! What is wrong with that?

Freedom for Cells

The salt that rubs the wound comes in the following statement: “Market democracy rejects the contention of the early 20th century progressives that the best way for a liberal state to respect its citizens is by systematically insulating them from individual economic decision-making.” (p. 91). As the pro-abortion crowd prefers calling themselves pro-choice, and the anti-abortion crowd prefers the euphemistic pro-life, the pro-corporate intellectuals call the Forbes 500 elite “citizens,” poor citizens whose right to grow even more is limited and regulated by big bad government! Ironically, the so-called democratic government is also mostly owned by those elite citizens! The great majority of citizens are doomed to lose either way, since they are left with only two options: big government or big corporations, where the first is the disguised form of the latter wearing the Uncle Sam mask.

It is a clever hiding scheme. First, liken the multi-billionaires citizens to Joe and Jane who work hard to make the ends meet, and then make us feel pity for them regarding their “moral right” to pursue unlimited freedom as citizens! I will call them the One Percent Club. Indeed the One Percent members are citizens, but when they are unregulated by people’s government, their greed transforms them into cancer cells, betraying the rest of the citizens, their country, and even the planet they live on. Here are a few statements so that you can appreciate how lofty and how “fairest of them all” is the free market:

“A reciprocity-based conception of social justice requires that we reject the temptation to trade-off the political autonomy of individual citizens for other goods and values –however attractive or pleasant those other values might seem. Liberal justice requires that we ask of any regime: does the regime create the social conditions in which all citizens, viewed as individuals, can exercise and develop the moral powers they have as citizens: the capacity for responsible self-authorship, and the capacity to respect the self-authoring capacity of their fellow citizens too?” (p. 92)

“Free market fairness pursues a different, and more lofty [sic], moral ideal. Market democracy challenges the high liberal suggestion that we respect people as free and equal self-governing agents by restricting the range of choices they are allowed to make in the economic areas of their lives. Market democracy rejects economic paternalism, however well motivated it might originally have been. Instead, market democracy insists that economic activity and decision-making are essential aspects of responsible self-authorship: protection of economic liberty is a requirement of democratic legitimacy itself.” (p. 194-195).

“Instead, these free market regimes are the fairest of them all. Evaluated by the quality of its moral intentions, market democracy is the highly evolved form of liberalism.” (p. 195).

Greed and vice is good for you!

I am surprised not only because of what I read in the book, but also because of what is missing from the book.  This book, which presents a new moral political and economic system and yet do not even discuss the most relevant moral concept, greed. The book briefly mentions the issues without satisfactory argument and dismisses our justified concern regarding the damage of greed on the well-fare of the society. Here are the few words taken from three paragraphs:

“Naturally, these facts can read in different ways: perhaps these people are greedy, ignorant, and easily misled (as well as vain). Another reading …” (p. 16). “Cynics have an easy answer: as people’s incomes rise, they become increasingly greedy and self-interested. They resist taxes for that reason. No doubt some people resist taxes simply because they are greedy, but there also seem to be other, more complex moral factors at play” (p. 60). “Bernard Mandeville is best known for his disquieting suggestion that even the most vicious forms of vice and greed could result in positive cooperative outcomes, if only those vices would be properly channeled. (p. 104)

Indeed Bernard Mandeville is disquieting. Let the tobacco companies sell more cigarettes to our kids. Otherwise poor people working in cigarette companies will lose their jobs, and hospitals will lose revenue from people with lung cancer. Let the banks charge as much interest and fees they deem right; let the speculators play with the currency and economy. Otherwise the poor and idiot citizens will never learn arithmetic and learn how to work according to the rules.

Those who do not accept the economic reality imposed on them by banks and corporations will still have options in our free-market economy: (1) they could enroll to military service and serve the interest of free market there and strive to get medals of heroism for their “volunteer” service; or (2) become homeless and escalate the “natural selection” process; or (3) try alternative markets (steal, sell drugs, etc) and join the prison population and become invisible! Ironically, the world’s biggest capitalist and champion of freedom, has also the biggest prison population per capita, a sure product of a very free market producing not-so free people![6]

After this highly charged reaction, I suggest that Professor Tomasi should address the following points when he revises his book:

Why is it immoral to impose limitations on economic liberties? Why should we treat the right of a billionaire citizen to make more billions the same with the right of another citizen with small business? If one does not wish to live in the jungle as a Tarzan or Jane, he or she should accept that we have to compromise, and our every right and freedom is weighed against the right and welfare of others we live together.

When the rights of millions of people struggling to provide for the basic necessities of life (food, shelter and health care) clash with the rights of a few people wishing to add many more millions and billions in their bank account, the latter class have no moral high ground in demanding more freedom to make bigger profits, to build bigger mansions, and throw more ostentatious parties, while bragging about the benefits of few crumbs and drops trickled down on their servants.

The unregulated and unlimited rights for the few wealthy will only increase the gap between the rich and poor, and will lead to major revolutions around the world. We recently witnessed the decline and collapse of the one extreme, the authoritarian socialism, and there are signs that the decline and collapse of the other extreme, with its several flavors, is not too far. Bad timing for Tomasi’s book!

Accumulation and concentration of wealth is not necessarily related to hard work; many inherit their wealth, which in turn provides them with much greater advantage against the great majority of citizens. Admittedly, during the last two decades, we have seen more self-made millionaires and billionaires, but that is an anomaly and overly publicized by the propaganda machine of the capitalist system.

Recent economic data shows that the gap between two classes of citizens has been growing bigger and bigger. Furthermore, the trend is global.

World’s rich got richer amid ’09 recession: report (Reuters) – The rich grew richer last year, even as the world endured the worst recession in decades. A stock market rebound helped the world’s ranks of millionaires climb 17 percent to 10 million, while their collective wealth surged 19 percent to $39 trillion, nearly recouping losses from the financial crisis, according to the latest Merrill Lynch-Capgemini world wealth report.”[7]

Due to the economic and political system designed by the wealthy elite, increase in wealth is not linear but geometric. Such a growth usually occurs at the cost of others. There is no free lunch! In other words, the wealth is astronomically increased by astronomically decreasing the wealth and opportunities of others. In the USA, almost in every industry we now have oligopolies and they collude and fix-prices. The owners of Wal-Mart are role models for Tomasi. Perhaps, Tomasi wishes less regulation imposed on Wal-Mart. Not because Wal-Mart sells some items a few cents cheaper. Tomasi is not primarily defending free-market for its over-exaggerated utilitarian advantage, but based on an idealistic concept of individual’s “economic rights.”  Wal-Mart might be praised for their management and sound business model, but do we really want having a system that rewards a few that a little better with astronomical awards? Do we really want to live in a world where life is like the TV’s Survivor, in which one takes all, or monopoly game, or any other games produced by corporations to condition us to their maxim “Life is not fair. One person or one team must win and the rest must loose!” In the world of Wal-Marts there could be only few citizens who would exercise their economic rights. Does Tomasi know how many small businesses went bankrupt and lost chance of exercising their “economic rights” because of the giant fish in the sea?[8]

The wealth accumulated in the USA is not just generated by hard working capitalists, but partially is gained and sustained by overt and covert military aggression and imposition against other nations with rich natural resources.

I would like to finish this draft article with the remarks of Chris Hedge in April 15, 2011, in Union Square in New York City during a protest across Bank of America.

“We stand today before the gates of one of our temples of finance. It is a temple where greed and profit are the highest good, where self-worth is determined by the ability to amass wealth and power at the expense of others, where laws are manipulated, rewritten and broken, where the endless treadmill of consumption defines human progress, where fraud and crimes are the tools of business.

“The two most destructive forces of human nature—greed and envy—drive the financiers, the bankers, the corporate mandarins and the leaders of our two major political parties, all of whom profit from this system. They place themselves at the center of creation. They disdain or ignore the cries of those below them. They take from us our rights, our dignity and thwart our capacity for resistance. They seek to make us prisoners in our own land. They view human beings and the natural world as mere commodities to exploit until exhaustion or collapse. Human suffering, wars, climate change, poverty, it is all the price of business. Nothing is sacred. The Lord of Profit is the Lord of Death.” [9]

I know that this article has become too long and polemical, yet I cannot ignore the voice of a famous consumer advocate, Ralph Nader, whose fight against big car companies have perhaps saved the lives of someone you know:

Meanwhile, the inequality, gouging, political exclusions and overall gaps between the top one percent and the rest tighten the grip of the oligarchy and its draining, violent militarized empire.

Loss of control over almost everything that matters, including their children to daily direct corporate marketing of junk food and violent programming, is rampant. Over seventy percent of those polled told Business Week that they believed corporations had “too much control over their lives”—and that was in 2000 before conditions and controls—viz, the Wall Street collapse, severe recession and taxpayer bailouts—worsened.

The American people don’t see much they can do to counter the pressures of greed and power that tracks them daily from debt to debt, from lower standards of living to outright penury, from denial of critical healthcare to the iron collar of the cruel credit score, from inscrutable, computerized bills to fine-print contracts trapping their sense of unfairness into waves of frustrations, from being put on hold by the companies until they’re told no, no, no or penalty, penalty, penalty!

How do we break the cycle of despair, exclusion, powerlessness, and endless betrayal by those given the authority to bring down the exploiters and oppressors to lawful accountability?

The Empire rips up the Constitution and takes the reserve army of the young unemployed to kill and die in aggressive wars of the White House’s choice, with Congress watching from the sidelines; its only role to funnel trillions of tax dollars into the insatiable war machine’s unauditable budgets. President Eisenhower wanted us to control the “military-industrial complex”. Instead it grew much more out of control. Eisenhower’s grave warning as expressed in his farewell address in 1961 was prescient.

The spark can come from a recurrent sequence of abuses that strike a special chord of deeply felt injustice. Or it could be a unique episode or bullying that tolls the feeling “enough already” throughout the land. Such sparks cannot be manufactured; the power to arouse and break people’s routines is spontaneous.

When that moment comes, millions of Americans whose self-respect and keen sense of wrong will remind them precisely why our Constitution begins with “We the People” and not “We the Corporations”. They will realize the necessity for a Jeffersonian revolution. [10]


[1]       UA Philosophy Department Ranks 13th in the World; Political Philosophy Specialty Ranks 1st. See:

[2]      David and Charles Koch made billions from refining oil and they have recently poured their money to kill social projects, financial and environmental regulation and the laws protecting consumers. They have been donating millions to numerous conservative and libertarian think tanks, organizations, scholars. It is now evident that the so-called ultra conservative Tea Party was not a grass root organization, but was the product of Koch brothers. Many people living in poverty were manipulated through jingoistic and deceptive propaganda leading them to vote against their own interest.

[3]        Ibid, 1245.

[4]        David Schmidtz, “The Institution of Property” in The Common Law and the Environment: Rethinking Statutory Basis of Modern Environmental Law (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2000), 177. See also David Schmidtz “When is Original Appropriation ‘Required’?” The Monist, 73 (1990): 504-18.

[5]        Terry Anderson and Donald Leal Free Market Environmentalism (San Francisco: Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, 1991).

[6]         Pierre Thomas and Jason Ryan, U.S. Prison Population Hits All-Time High: 2.3 Million Incarcerated, ABC News, June 6, 2008. Accessed On May 5th, 2011. Http://Abcnews.Go.Com/Thelaw/Story?Id=5009270&Page=1

[7]        World’s rich got richer amid ’09 recession: report, By Joseph A. Giannone, New York, Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:55pm, Reuter. com

[8]       Sean Gregory and West Deptford, Walmart’s Latest Move to Crush the Competition, Time Magazine, Sep. 09, 2009 , Accessed on May 5, 2011,8599,1920698,00.html#ixzz1LVDHOJEp

[9]        Chris Hedge, Throw Out the Money Changers, Published on Monday, April 18, 2011 by (Accessed on April 26, 2011)

[10]       Ralph Nader, Waiting for the Spark, Published on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 by

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Muhammad Wrote and Compiled the Quran

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The Quran was Compiled in

a Book by Prophet Muhammad

Tuna Ulaş
Kodex Wetzstein II 1913 13v16
Dear Edip,
Because it is not so possible to contact you via e-mail possibly due to the hundreds of messages that you receive on daily basis, I wanted to try here, The Facebook’s comments section. Actually I would love to share my story with you but here I will keep it short and only share a view on a very little part of an issue: the integrity of Quran. Maybe you have already been aware of what I will say. If so, I am sorry. But this is something that I have realized and been able to relate very recently.
Sunnis claim-at least in a few hadiths-that in the time of the prophet, Quran had been written on the feathers and bones of animals, stones so on, but not compiled as a book. This attribution is also used and supported by some other opposing views claiming that the Quran couldn’t have stood up as preserved. However in the Quran (21:104), we encounter to a reference which I think is very thought-provoking and a very strong denial to the aforementioned attribution.  Verse 21:104 likens the end of the universe to the collapsing pages of an open book.*  This reference is to nothing but to ‘the book’, to its archetypal structure so as to help the hearers of the holy message envision metaphorically how the universe will end.
What I have inferred from that is, if the books were so much common enough to be given as references in the Quran in the time that it was revealed, how could Quran itself not be transferred to papers and not be compiled as a book immediately? To make my point clearer, in accordance with its very basic aim-guiding people in the way of the truth-, Quran wouldn’t expect people to envisage a case through an object that they were not familiar with. Therefore, we can readily comprehend that the people of every level had already known, observed and grasped how a book was like up until that time.
In the time that the Quran revealed, books were not rare as much as many people conceive as if so today. We can support this with many evidences. For example, a type of book which is the product of the Roman world, called ‘Codex’ was available at least in the first century CE., as some sources indicate. I don’t even mention another type of book, Scroll which is the preceding one of the Codex and was probably so much easier to provide. (To see some sources please follow the link I know that the Wikipedia should strictly be avoided sometimes, but the references to the dates in the page are from some solid sources.) We can also infer that these two type of books-mostly the latter one which I have mentioned, scroll) resemble the type told and described by the verb “roll up” in the aforementioned ayah. (Also, as far as I remember in one of your podcasts you have mentioned the very comprehensible possibility of bringing papyrus to Arabia from Egypt)
What sects claim in hadiths or various sectarian books seems more obscure, if we consider the fact that writing had already begun becoming a common practice in the Near East-though Arabia not included in- in the second millennium BCE. (At least, in that time, it had no longer been a mysterious practice.)** Additionally considering the fact that Quran refers to ‘the writing’ ‘to pen (kalem)’ in 96:4 saying “Who taught by the pen”, these claims come out even more obscure. I think we are being warned in the ayah against such kind of later fabrications denying the holy book compiled in the time of the prophet. The ayah is very clear: Your God taught you to write, that is, you know how to write, how to use a pen.
All in all, with the help of the two before-mentioned ayahs (21:104 and 96:4) which direct us to contemplate on the issue painstakingly, we can infer that the Quran had already been written and compiled as a book in the time of the prophet. It was the book sent by God, and its receivers and believers would later be obliged to pay some big prices just because of their loyalty to the message of the God. For instance, they would later be forced to leave their lands, be threatened with their lives. So then, is it something reasonable to think that those people acted such negligently and did not compiled the message for which they ventured to be killed?
* The Quran contains accurate information about cosmology, such as, the big bang, expansion of the universe and close universe. See: Quran: a Reformist Translation.
** C. Warren Hollister, Roots of the Western Tradition, (USA: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1996) p. 45
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حوريان‏ نارپستان همسال

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نگاه تازه به سوره نباء

سونیا جهانگیر
 February 2014 

Sonia - behesht

در این نوشتار می خواهیم کاربران محترم توجه داشته باشند که شاید آن معنی و ترجمه ای که تا حالا از سوره نباء در ذهن داشتید درست نباشد. برای واضحتر شدن مطلب چند تا از نمونه ترجمه های مختلف می آوریم و بعد آن ترجمه که به نظر ما صحیح است را حضورتان تقدیم می کنیم. آیه  مورد نیاز شماره 33 است. اما برای روشن شدن مطلب از آیه 31 شروع می کنیم.

إِنَّ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ مَفَازًا ﴿۳۱﴾

براي پرهيزگاران مسلما پيروزي بزرگي است.

حَدَائِقَ وَأَعْنَابًا ﴿۳۲﴾

باغهايي سرسبز، و انواعي از انگورها. (در این 2 آیه اختلاف چنینی به چشم نمی خورد)

وَكَوَاعِبَ أَتْرَابًا ﴿۳۳﴾

این آیه مورد بحث است. الآن چند تا نمونه می آوریم

–        و دخترانى همسال با سينه‏هاى برجسته (فولادوند)

–        و حورياني بسيار جوان و هم سن و سال (مکارم شیرازی)

–        و [حوريان‏] نارپستان همسال‏ (خرمشاهی)

–        و دختران زیبا که همه در نیکی و خوبرویی مانندیکدیگرند (تفسیر المیزان)

–        و دخترانى نارپستان و هم سال (تفسیر راهنما)

–        کنیزکان نارپستان و همسال (تفسیرهدایت)

–        و نیز براى پرواپیشگان حوریانى است بسیار جوان و همسال، که سینه هاى آنان تازه برآمده و برجسته شده است (مجمع البیان)

یعنی همان طوری که در تفاسیر و ترجمه های که بالا مشاهده نمودید،  همه مفسران اتفاق نظر دارند که “کواعب” یعنی زنان یا دختران هستند. اما اگر به لغت مراجعه کرده بیشتر دقت کنیم، خواهیم دید که این واژه دارای معانی مختلف هست که مناسبتر آن معنی “تو پر”، “سرشار”، “مملو” است:

كَعَبَ الإِنَاءَ ” : مَلَأَهُ[1] یعنی فعل کعب به معنی “پر کردن ” است.

.   کواعب –  جمع کعیب و آن در وزن فعیل است. فعیل می تواند فاعل و یا مفعول باشد. مثل واژه “جریح” و یا “رحیم”. این جا  کعیب مفعول است و معنی آن “تو پر”، “سرشار”، “مملو” است. و این مفعول صفتی است برای انگوری که در آیه قبل آمده.

اما واژه “اترابا”:  «أتراب»، جمع «ترب» بر وزن «مصر» است. به معنی ” همسالان”، “همزادان” و یا “همزمان رسیدگان” است. از آنجا که این صفت دوم برای انگور است، همزمان رسیدگان به آن بیشتر می خورد. با این حال ترجمه آیه 33 چنین خواهد بود:

–   و (انگورهای) سرشار و همزمان رسیده

الآن آیات ما قبل و ما بعد را با هم پیوند بزنیم و با هم بخوانیم تا موافقت بودن آن با قاعده “وحدة السیاق” را به وضوح ببنیم:

براي پرهيزگاران مسلما پيروزي بزرگي است* باغهايي سرسبز، و انواعي از انگورها* و (انگورهای) سرشار و همزمان رسیده* و جامهايي لبريز و پياپي

به این شکل هم پیوند بین آیات حفظ خواهد شد و هم یک اشکال دیگری هم حل می شود. اما اشکالی که در این جا وارد است: اگر متقینی که قرار است در بهشت لذت ببرند شامل زنان و مردان باشند (که مسلما این طور است)، اهل جنت لذتی که در بهشت ببرند، باید برای هر دو جنسهم جذاب و لذت بخش باشد. اما اگر آن معنی که مفسرین کردند را بپذیریم، برای خانم های بهشتی چندان جالب نباشد که دختران نارپستان آنجا حضور پیدا کنند (چه بسا ناراحت هم می شوند).

سونیا جهانگیر


Özet tercüme

Naba süresındeki / kevaib/   arap dili sözlüğünde birkaç anlama gele bilir. Bunlardan en uygun olduğu bence budur

كَعَبَ الإِنَاءَ ” : مَلَأَهُ[1]

Yani kaabal ina – kabı doldurdu anlamını verir.   کواعب =  جمع کعیب  ve bu feiyl فعیل    veznınde olup مفعول  ‘’dolu , doldurulmuş’’

dolu sözu bir sıfat tır. O da bir önce zikir edildiği üzüm’e aittir.

اترابا  ise

Aynı zamanda pişmiş anlamındadır öyleyse ayettin meali şöyle olacak:

32. bahçeler ve üzümler

33.Sulu (dolu) ve aynı zamanda pişmiş

34. dolu- dolu kadehler onlarındır

Böyle oldukça ‘’vehdetu siyak’’ kuralıya da daha uygun olacak


Sonia Cihangir

[1] المعجم: الرائد و المعجم: الغني  ماده: ک ع ب:

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Speech at Princeton University

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Speech at Princeton University on

Peacemakers Constitution

Draft by Edip Yuksel, J.D. and Layth Saleh al-Shaiban

(The following is outline of the PowerPoint presentation by Edip Yüksel at the conference titled
Constitution and Islam, organized by NAAIMS and Princeton University)

Edip Yuksel at Princeton University

Prof. Jon Mandaville (Portland State University), Prof. Aisha Musa (Colgate University) and Edip Yuksel at the conference on Constitution and Islam, Princeton University, September 28, 2013.

The Origins of Sectarian Teachings

After the death of the prophet Muhammad, a diabolic event happened. In direct contradiction to the teachings of the Quran, male clerics dedicated the religion not to God alone, but to a “holy” corporation consisting of:

  • God +
  • Muhammad +
  • Muhammad’s companions +
  • The companions of Muhammad’s companions +
  • Early sect leaders +
  • Late sect leaders +
  • Early scholars of a particular sect +
  • Late scholars of a particular sect, and so on.

The product of this corporation was the hadith (teachings attributed to Muhammad), the sunna (actions attributed to Muhammad), the ijma (consensus of a select group of early scholars), and the sharia (religious decrees by early scholars). The result was numerous hostile factions that afflicted a great amount of division and atrocities in the land about thirty years after the departure of Muhammad (6:159; 23:52-56). This concoction of medieval Arab/Christian/Jewish cultures was introduced to the masses as God’s infallible religion, as delivered by the last prophet. The only thing actually delivered by God to Muhammad, however, was the text of the Holy Quran, which is set out as the final and authoritative divine message to humankind.

Soon after Muhammad’s death, thousands of hadiths (words attributed to Muhammad) were fabricated and two centuries later collected, and centuries later compiled and written in the so-called “authentic” hadith books.

  • to support the teaching of a particular sect against another (such as what nullifies ablution; which sea food is prohibited);
  • to flatter or justify the authority and practice of a particular king against dissidents (such as stories about Mahdy and Dajjal);
  • to promote the interest of a particular tribe or family (such as favoring the Quraysh tribe or Muhammad’s family);
  • to justify sexual abuse and misogyny (such as Aisha’s age; barring women from leading Sala prayers);
  • to justify violence, oppression and tyranny (such as torturing members of Urayna and Uqayla tribes; massacring the Jewish population in Medina; assassinating a female poet for her critical poems);
  • to exhort more rituals and righteousness (such as nawafil prayers);
  • to validate superstitions (such as, magic; worshiping the black stone and the Kaba);
  • to prohibit certain things and actions (such as, prohibiting drawing animal and human figures; playing musical instruments; chess);
  • to import Jewish and Christian beliefs and practices (such as, death by stoning; circumcision; head scarf; hermitism; rosary);
  • to resurrect pre-Islamic beliefs and practices common among Meccans (such as intercession; slavery; tribalism; misogyny);
  • to please crowds with stories (such as the story of Miraj, that is ascension to heaven and bargaining for prayers);
  • to idolize Muhammad and claim his superiority to other messengers (such as numerous miracles, including splitting the moon);
  • to defend hadith fabrications against monotheists (such as condemning those who find the Quran alone sufficient); and even
  • to advertise products of a particular farm (such as, the benefits of dates grown in a town called Ajwa).

Federal Secular Constitution
Quranic foundation

The Quran REMINDS us universal laws governing human societies, the right balance between the rights and duties of a society and its individual members.

They are not just utopic ideas, but realistic laws that reflect reason and respect nature, which when applied during the era of last prophet, worked like a miracle. Not Sword, but Mind and Heart!

Islam: a Natural System

The Peacemakers Constitution is drafted under the light of hundreds of Quranic verses. Of course, we are not devoid our cultural biases as every generation was. But, we argue that an Islamic constitution based on God’s signs (ayaat) in scripture and nature, provides the most advanced map for the best possible society.

Islamic System can be summed up in a few words. Let’s call them the 5 Principles of Islam:

  • Use your Mind. Use your reasoning faculties
  • Seek Freedom. Search for truth and submit to the truth alone
  • Care about others and stand for Justice. Protect the poor, weak, children, needy, and the oppressed.
  • Be a Peacemaker. Peace with self, God, people, nature.
  • Be Appreciative. Don’t waste God’s blessing; protect the environment.

Few Examples of Quranic Signs

Before sharing with you some of the features of Peacemakers Constitution, I would like to remind you some signs (verses) of the Quran that provides basis for it.

Question! Think for yourself!

ولا تقف ما ليس لك به علم ان السمع والبصر والفواد كل اوليك كان عنه مسولا

Do not uphold what you have no knowledge of. For the hearing, eyesight, and mind, all these are held responsible for that. (17:36)

ويجعل الرجس علي الذين لا يعقلون

He casts the affliction upon those who do not reason. (10:100)

وما لهم به من علم ان يتبعون الا الظن وان الظن لا يغني من الحق شيا

While they had no knowledge about this; they only followed conjecture. Conjecture is no substitute for the truth. (53:28)

Be Free! Seek and serve the truth!

We are all Equal. No intermediary between God and us! God is Haq (truth). Thus, submit to the Truth alone!

انما الهكم اله واحد

You have only ONE lord. (6:19; 41:6 …)

لا اله الا الله

There is no god but the god. (3:18; 37:35…)

ولا يتخذ بعضنا بعضا اربابا من دون الله

… do not accept each other as lords besides Him.
(3:64; 12:39; 3:80; 9:31…)

Be Equal! You are all brethren.
Each is created with honor

يايها الناس انا خلقنكم من ذكر وانثي وجعلنكم شعوبا وقبايل لتعارفوا ان اكرمكم عند الله اتقيكم ان الله عليم خبير

O people, We created you from a male and female, and We made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Surely, the most honorable among you in the sight of God is the most righteous. God is Knowledgeable, Ever-aware. (49:13)

ولقد كرمنا بني ادم

We have honored the Children of Adam … (17:70)

Be a Peacemaker!
Fight only against the aggressors

يايها الذين امنوا ادخلوا في السلم كافه ولا تتبعوا خطوت الشيطن انه لكم عدو مبين

O you who acknowledge, join in peace, all of you, and do not follow the footsteps of the devil. He is to you a clear enemy. (2:208)

ان الدين عند الله الاسلم

God’s system is peacemaking and peaceful surrendering (islam). (3.19)

لا اكراه في الدين

There is no compulsion in the system (2:256)

Freedom of Expression

اذا سمعتم ايت الله يكفر بها ويستهزا بها فلا تقعدوا معهم حتي يخوضوا في حديث غيره انكم اذا مثلهم

… when you hear God‘s signs being rejected and ridiculed in, then do not sit with them until they move on to a different subject; if not, then you are like them… (4:140)

Distribute wealth

ما افا الله علي رسوله من اهل القري فلله وللرسول ولذي القربي واليتمي والمسكين وابن السبيل كي لا يكون دوله بين الاغنيا منكم

Whatever God provided to His messenger from the people of the townships, then it shall be to God and His messenger; for the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the wayfarer… (59:7)

Election, consultation, justice

ان الله يامركم ان تودوا الامنت الي اهلها واذا حكمتم بين الناس ان تحكموا بالعدل

God orders you to delegate the responsibilities to those who are qualified. If you judge between the people, then you shall judge with justice. (4.58)

والذين استجابوا لربهم واقاموا الصلوه وامرهم شوري بينهم ومما رزقنهم ينفقون

Those who have responded to their Lord, and they hold the contact prayer, and their affairs are conducted by mutual consultation among themselves, and from Our provisions to them they give. (42:38)


يايها الذين امنوا كونوا قومين لله شهدا بالقسط ولا يجرمنكم شنان قوم علي الا تعدلوا اعدلوا هو اقرب للتقوي واتقوا الله ان الله خبير بما تعملون

O you who acknowledge, stand for God as witnesses for justice, and let not the hatred towards a people make you avoid being just. Be just, for it is closer to awareness, and be aware of God. God is Expert over what you do. (5:8)

Rule of Law

يهاجروا وان استنصروكم في الدين فعليكم النصر الا علي قوم بينكم وبينهم ميثق والله بما تعملون بصير

… if they seek your help in the system, then you must support them, except if it is against a people with whom there is a treaty between you… (8:72)

واوفوا بعهد الله اذا عهدتم ولا تنقضوا الايمن بعد توكيدها وقد جعلتم الله عليكم كفيلا ان الله يعلم ما تفعلون

You shall fulfill your pledge to God when you pledge so, and do not break your oath after making it, for you have made God a sponsor over you. God is aware of what you do. (16:91)

Some Features of
the Proposed Draft Constitution

The following is a progressive constitution for peacemakers. It is not a utopia. Let’s discuss it, improve it, promote it, and work hard to make it the constitution of our countries!

The proposed Peacemakers Constitution:

  • Balances modern powers, such as media and corporations, to create the government of people by people and for people.
  • Aims to eliminate the role and influence of money in political system through separation of government from corporations. As Jesus expelled the money-changers from the temple, we should also expel the corporate lobbyists, the hoarders and greedy pigs from bribing public servants and spreading their disease in public offices.
  • Bans the privatization of military industrial complex to promote domestic and global peace, to eliminate the wars-for-profit.
  • Proposes federal secularism and allows more room for reflection of cultural and religious differences within the limits of the constitution. Provides protection for atheists and heretics.
  • Creates three houses through three different election processes. National Congress will consist of National House of Elected Politicians (EP), National House of Elected Experts (EE), and National House of Semi-Random Citizens (EE) with equal number of members. First house will be elected through national votes, the second through academia, the third will be determined through lottery election to monitor the financial transactions of the members of both houses and other high ranking public officers.
  • Introduces automatic expiration date for the constitution so that each generation will be given the opportunity to live under their own constitution.
  • Guarantees for each citizen the necessities of life, such as food, shelter, education and primary health care through work or social programs.
  • Reduces the power and profits of banks, speculators, and financial institutions. As the government is for the people, not vice versa, the corporations will be for the people, not vice versa.
  • Promotes competition and excellence, yet at the same time promotes cooperation and sharing among citizens.
  • Requires critical thinking and philosophy among the core curriculum in education.
  • Rejects the capitalistic dogmas, propaganda and consumerism that allowed big corporations to recklessly exploit workers, manipulate consumers, waste limited natural resources and pollute the environment.
  • Provides maximum protection for individual freedoms and rights.
  • Emphasizes the importance of human life, compassion and respect to nature and reflects those values in the proposed design of the new flag.

 For the full text of the Peacemakers Constitution click here:

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20 August 20013

Women veil

SUBHAN ALLAH: Salam, I am familiar with the argument that khimar (24:31) is anything that covers. What do you understand by the word jilbab (33:59)? Does it refer to a “wrapping” garment or can it refer to any kind of garment/covering?

EDİP: Jilbab is outer garment. It is any type of cloth that people normally wear outside; which is not their underwear or night clothes.

As it seems, some people are approaching this simple issue like the Jewish Rabbis approached to the issue of heifer; as they asked the color and age of the heifer. The more you ask questions regarding certain practices the more it will become difficult for you (5:101). Why? Because of the cause-and-effect relationship between “demand and supply”… Religious scholars will provide volumes of stupid details for you to turn yours and everyone else’s lives into hell. In the end the women will be buried alive in black sacks, sometimes covering even their faces, thereby destroying their identity in society and turning them to slaves of ignorant and arrogant men.

I will no more respond to any question on clothes and fabric. If they wish, let them walk naked. It is much better than fabricating dress codes in the name of God. The best attire is righteousness (7:26).


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Women in hell

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Buhari: 29, 304, 1052, 1462, 3241, 5197, 5198, 6449, 6546. Muslim: 80, 885, 907, 2737, 2738. Tirmizi: 635, 2602, 2603, 2613. Nesei: 1493, 1575. İbni Maje: 4003. Malik: 445. Darimi: 1007. İbni Hanbel: 2087, 2706, 3364, 3376, 3559, 4009, 4027, 4111, 4140, 5321, 6574, 7891, 8645, 14386, 27562, 27567, 19336, 19351, 19415, 19425, 19480, 19484, 20743, 21729, 26508.

Buhari: 29, 304, 1052, 1462, 3241, 5197, 5198, 6449, 6546. Muslim: 80, 885, 907, 2737, 2738. Tirmizi: 635, 2602, 2603, 2613. Nesei: 1493, 1575. İbni Maje: 4003. Malik: 445. Darimi: 1007. İbni Hanbel: 2087, 2706, 3364, 3376, 3559, 4009, 4027, 4111, 4140, 5321, 6574, 7891, 8645, 14386, 27562, 27567, 19336, 19351, 19415, 19425, 19480, 19484, 20743, 21729, 26508.

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