Edip Yuksel

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EDIP YUKSEL, J.D.

Edip Yuksel

Edip Yüksel in front of his home in Tucson, Arizona 4 November 2015

American-Turkish-Kurdish author and progressive activist (1957). Spent over four years in Turkish prisons in 1980’s for his political writings/activities that promoted an Islamic revolution in Turkey.

While a popular Islamist youth leader, Edip adopted the Quran Alone philosophy after corresponding with Rashad Khalifa and reading his landmark book, Quran, Hadith and Islam. This led him to experience a paradigm change in 1986. He parted ways from his comrades, including Tayyip Erdoğan and Ahmed Davudoğlu, who have been leading Turkish politics for over a decade. As a consequence, he was declared to be a heretic, an apostate deserving death. In 1989, he was sponsored for immigration to the USA by Rashad Khalifa and worked together in Masjid Tucson until his mentor’s assassination in 1990.

Edip Yuksel is the author of over twenty books and hundreds of articles on religion, politics, philosophy and law in Turkish and English. His English books include:

  • Quran: a Reformist Translation,
  • Manifesto for Islamic Reform,
  • Peacemaker’s Guide to Warmongers,
  • NINETEEN: God’s Signature in Nature and Scripture.

Edip organizes international Critical Thinkers for Islamic Reform conferences; so far in Atlanta, Oxford, Los Angeles, Almaty, and Istanbul. He is the co-editor of the annual anthology carrying the same name. He has given lectures at various universities, including University of Arizona, Emory Law, Oxford University, Middle East Technical University, TU Dortmund University International, and Princeton University.

After receiving his bachelor degrees from the University of Arizona in Philosophy and Near Eastern Studies, Edip received his law degree from the same university. Besides activism, writing and lecturing, Edip works as an Adjunct Philosophy professor at Pima Community College. Edip is fluent in Turkish, English and Classic Arabic; proficient in Persian, and barely conversant in Kurdish, his mother tongue. To promote rational monotheism and peace Edip founded Islamic Reform, 114 Organizations, and co-founded MPJP. Edip shares his documentaries and home-made videos at his youtube channel. His online books and articles are published at numerous Internet sites, including www.19.org

Here is a sample of my ENGLISH interviews, lectures and debates:

1-minute trailer:

Peacemaker’s Constitution at Princeton University

With Prof. Noam Chomsky on Politics

Debate with Dr. David Silverman, the president of American Atheist Organization

Speech at European Parliament (most of it)

With Prof. Abdullahi An-Naim

Peace Activist Cole Harrison

1-minute clip from my talk at European Parliament

5-minute Recent #FreeYuksel campaign

2-minute Kurdish rights campaign

Debate with Shamsi Ali, the imam of the biggest mosque in New York
(Starting with a big smile on his face, he ends up getting angry and escaping from the discussion; in his own mosque)

1-minute clip made by one of my fans from my videos

 

 

Ruby Amatulla of MPJP

 

Islamic Reform – Freedom of Expression

 

Challenge at Ground Zero

Charlie Hebdo Exposes the Hypocricy of East and West

I have too many Turkish public debate on TV programs and conferences. Here are just a few. They are watched by millions of Turkish people:

Live debate on Islamic Reform with the Turkish President of the Association of Muslim Theologs

(Mustafa Yazıcı keeps losing the theological arguments, and at one point, he attacks me and grabs the Quran from my hand, yanks it forcefully from my hands)

A memorable live debate with the former Chief of Turkish Religious Affairs, Dr. Süleyman Ateş. (Losing the theological arguments, he escaped from the studio twice, each time brought back by the host promising him that Edip will be softer on him)

Meeting with some popular Turkish academics who are close to our Islamic Reform movement

A theological debate on Hadith with the leader of religious order. After exposing his contradictions, the “peaceful” Sheikh, at one point, tells me that he will “chop off my neck” if I do not revert back to Sunni religion.

My friendly discussion with a popular reformist friend of mine. He is also well-known in Turkey.

Another debate with Sunni authors, which started a month-long national debate on islamic reform:

Alevilik Sünnilik Diyanet

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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…

Laws?

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

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.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhCH_zSbIdg[/youtube]

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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.

http://www.youtube.com/user/edipyuksel/

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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Islamofacism-2

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2 thoughts on “Defending Islam:
Corpus juris must be seen as a whole; the cancer of Islamofacism”

Lambda Gongyi-Lu
18 July 22016
www.19.org

I would like to add an extra note. Islamophobes are obsessed with a kind of logical fallacy that goes as follows: Elephants are animals, therefore, a small elephant is a small animal. But this is obviously false. In this statement, the definition of the first “small” is different from that of the second. The first “small” means small relative to an average elephant, while the second “small” means small relative to all animals on average; a small elephant is still pretty big compared to all other animals on average. In the arguments of Islamophobes, similarly, the definition of the term “Islam” shifts around to fulfill their agenda. So I’ll first give several possible definitions of the term “Islam” as used in everyday speech:

1. A family of religious orders that ideologically gives special significance to the Quran and Prophet Muhammad. I put the word “ideologically” because in fact, many people who call themselves “Muslims” and consider themselves part of those religious orders don’t read the Quran, though they will be offended if the Quran is under attack. This is the most common way the term “Islam” is used in everyday speech. I call this the “cultural definition”.

2. The way extremist Wahabis interpret Islam. Note that the vast majority of Muslims by definition 1 reject such interpretation.

3. The system of pure monotheism and submission to God as described in the Quran. This is how we Quranists define the term “Islam”, and I call this the “theological definition”. Under this definition, most of what counts as Islam by definitions 1 and 2 are not Islam, because of polytheism, such as idolizing religious leaders and saints and seeking intercession from Muhammad.

From now on, Islam(x) or Muslim(x) denote Islam or Muslim under definition x, where x is an integer from 1 to 3. There can be more possible definitions, but I’ll focus on these 3.

Here comes the fallacy of Islamophobes. Their arguments generally follow this form: Islam(2) is intrinsically violent and backward; therefore, saying that Islam(1) should be eliminated is not discrimination or hate speech. When arguing that Islam is intrinsically violent and backward, they refer to Islam(2). However, when arguing for discrimination against Muslims and for eliminating Islam from earth, they refer to Islam(1). In fact, Islam(1) and Islam(2) are pretty much incompatible to each other. According to Islam(2), all members of Islam(1) that is not also a member of Islam(2) is not Islam at all. So if Islam(2) is intrinsically violent and should thus be eliminated, this should by definition not include anything in Islam(1) that is not a member of Islam(2). In other words, if something is Islam if and only if it’s Islam(2), then Islam(1) shouldn’t be relevant here because it’s not Islam to begin with. Moreover, 99% of what counts as Islam(1) is not Islam(2). I agree that Islam(2) really deserves to be eliminated, but saying that this means Islam(1) should be eliminated is doing injustice to over a billion people. Here, the switch of definition reflects the bias and bigotry against Islam(1) as well as xenophobia by Islamophobes.

Islamophobes also like to assert that Islam(2) is the pure form of Islam, so Islam(1) is supposed to become Islam(2) to be pure. But most Muslim(1)s will reject this; they would say there’s no logical way in their corpus juris to justify Islam(2), which means 99% of Muslim(1) don’t have any potential to become Muslim(2). Furthermore, why is it the Islamophobe’s business to write the corpus juris for Muslim(1)s? Isn’t this ridiculous? To ask a similar question: Why is it the
atheist’s business to tell a theist what to believe?

Atheist: Science has always been in war with religion. Science has successfully explained what people used to attribute to God, so science has eliminated the need of God.

Theist: This is not true. Throughout history, faith in God has inspired great scientists like Galileo, Kepler, Boyle, Maxwell, Francis Collins, and etc. to do science. To them, science is a way of worship, since knowing more about how God created the universe is just like knowing the mind of God. The God of the gaps mindset is bad theology that most theologians reject, and is incongruent with Scripture, because everything is the work of God. The completeness and intelligibility of Nature further shows the glory of God, in His immanent involvement in the universe, to paraphrase the eminent theologian David Bentley Hart.

Atheist: No, God has been eliminated by science. God can’t be otherwise, and you describe God your way because you’re ignorant and scientists in the past are ignorant. If you correctly understand what God is, then you’ll know that God has been eliminated by science.

But the reality is, for us theists, the atheist here is ignorant (I’m not generalizing to all atheists here). Many Islamophobes are Christians, and in this example, Muslims and Christians can find a common ground to ease understanding. I know that stronger arguments for atheism exist, but I deliberately picked a terrible one to illustrate how weakness of argument generates the need to mold the opponent into a straw man. Our scripture is clear that everything in the universe submits to God and that God is the Sustainer, not God of the gaps. But the atheist here has to feed us God of the gaps for his argument to be successful; otherwise his argument will fall apart. The atheist might not know that his understanding of God is rejected by the vast majority of serious believers, and he might think that his understanding is correct, but here, we see how we can’t accept his understanding of God. In the same manner, vast majority of Muslim(1)s will not accept the Islam(2) that Islamophobes are force feeding. So this further shows that most of Muslim(1)s have no potential to become Muslim(2)s even if they seek doctrinal purity. And there’s a need to force feed because the Islamophobe’s argument will fall apart without Islam(2).

Another point to make about the Islamophobe’s claim above is that there’s no such thing as THE Islam(1). There’s many different kinds of Islam: Sufi, Sunni, Shia, Ahmadi, Quranist, etc., and they differ vastly from each other. For instance, while Shias venerate saints, we Quranists reject it as idolatry. While Sunnis venerate their religious scholars and claim that we need the scholars to understand Islam and be guided, we Quranists reject this as idolatry as well. Because the vast majority of the Sunni corpus juris is outside the Quran, rejecting all those and keeping the Quran alone makes us Quranists much more different from Sunnis than Protestants are different from Catholics. It’s not the business of any one school to define the doctrine of other schools (for similar reasons as the previous paragraph); each school defines its own doctrine. There’s no such thing as THE Islam(1).

When Muslims are talking about something like THE Islam, they’re actually referring to the definition of their school, like Quranists are referring to Islam(3), but not Islam(1), as THE Islam. In the West, where most Muslim(1)s are non-denominational, every single person defines what Islam is for himself, and they mostly respect differing opinions of other Muslims(1). To some Muslim(1)s, Islam(1) is just a cultural identity and they’re not into the Quran. While other Muslim(1)s are into the Quran, but anyone familiar with Quranist culture must know the palpable diversity in our interpretation of many verses and concepts. To some Muslim(1)s, other schools of Islam(1) is unacceptable and will not deserve salvation, while to some others (I believe it’s the majority of Muslim(1)s in the West), other schools are also valid, as long as they’re peaceful and sincere. We should keep these differences of mindset and corpus juris (just like the “biochemistry” of concepts) in mind just like we keep the vast differences between the biochemistry of archea and that of bacteria in mind though both archea and bacteria are prokaryotes. These differences mean that while some bacteria are infectious, archea are not, so it’s fallacious to generalize infectiousness of some bacteria to all prokaryotes.

Here I’m responding to more potential objections.

Objection: Islam is already cancerous. I think a similar form of this objection is that Islam is a convenient marker for terrorism.

Again, please define your term: What do you mean by “Islam”? I would agree that Islam(2) (from the previous comment) is cancerous, but this can’t be generalized to all members of Islam(1). Actually it’s not my business to defend all possible creeds of Islam(1), since many of them are polytheistic and thus not Islam(3), which I hold. I’m defending Islam(1) because Islamophobia is not doing justice to Islam(1) and I uphold justice.

What a Muslim(1) is like is not reducible to what unites Islam(1) and what a human cell is like is not reducible to the human genome (which unites human cells), because so many things controlling what Muslim(1) or a human cell is like are outside what unites Islam(1) or human cells. What makes Islam(2) Islam(2) is outside what unites Islam(1), and that’s why the vast majority of Islam(1) is not Islam(2) and will not become Islam(2). There’s no such thing as THE Islam(1) just as there’s no such thing as THE human cell, as the property that unites both the category Islam(1) and the category human cell is not predictive of other important properties (properties besides those that unite members of the group and what’s common not only to members of this group but also the larger group that includes this group) of members of the categories that all members must possess. I call this kind of property a mandatory property.

For instance, while cell type is not reducible to the human genome, every single human cell must have a cell type. Similarly, while what unites Islam(1) does not entail what Islam means for every single person, all Muslim must have such a definition. For some, Islam means a cultural identity, and for some, it’s a system that governs every aspect of life. So what is THE human cell? Is it a pluripotent stem cell? Is it a cancer cell? Is it a neuron? A fibroblast? An epithelial cell? A chondrocyte? A goblet cell? A cardiomyocyte? A lymphocyte? Or a combination of some of them? To be honest, there is even no such thing as THE white blood cell or THE neuron, for the same reason why there’s no THE human cell. What is THE Islam while there’re mandatory properties within Islam(1) that are mutually exclusive? Definition of the corpus juris is also a mandatory property for Muslim(1), but many such definitions are mutually exclusive, such as while Hadith is central to Sunnis, Quranists reject all Hadiths. A cell can’t be both a white blood cell and a neuron. It doesn’t matter who’s right; everybody is happy with his own definition and won’t be easily persuaded to change. I’m sure that from the perspective of Islam(3), seeing Islam as merely a cultural identity is wrong, but since there’s no way that Western Muslims who think that way to derive terrorism from their corpus juris, then whatever Islam(2) does has nothing to do with them. Another thing here is that Islam(1) does not even have a definition of who’s right or wrong; I said so and so is wrong based on Islam(3), since I can’t find a criterion from the definition of Islam(1).

Disagree with my definition of Islam(1)? Just pull out some article from the media or pay attention to everyday speech and try to infer the definition from context. You should get something in the same line. (For example, see how the terms “Islam” and “Muslim” are used inhttp://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/22/muslims-and-islam-key-findings-in-the-u-s-and-around-the-world/) Don’t ever think that there’s no such thing as Islam(1) and that Islam is nothing but Islam(2) and that the media usage of Islam(1) is political correctness. If you think that way, then just walk out of your community, visit a Sufi center (or just a random person in a university Muslim student association, etc.) and try to force feed the members Islam(2); you will soon reach an impasse due to the different definitions of the term “Islam”, and the Sufis might say, “Who are you to tell us what to believe while you’re not even a Muslim(1)? You don’t even have the authority and we have our own authority.

My religious leaders and my best reading of scriptures said that Islam(2) is not Islam at all.” if they’re not trying to defend Islam(1) in general (that defense also often entails why Islam(2) is not the benchmark of Islam(1)). This is what I tried to say in my previous comment in addition to force feeding as a signal of weakness – the failure to face something as it is and the need to coerce it into a straw man to make a case – and hopefully this will speak out many Muslim(1)s’ heart. I know that appeal to authority is wrong, but here I’m not talking about who’s right or wrong; what I’m talking about is that someone who has not and is not willing to conduct terrorist attacks does not deserve punishments for terrorism. The punishment should suit the particular crime, and even if the defendant is guilty of other crimes, he should not deserve punishment of a crime that he did not commit.

What about correlation between membership of Islam(1) and say terrorism, ignorance, and etc? Correlation doesn’t mean causation, but can Islam(1) be a marker for those attributes even if there’s no causation? But even if there’s some correlation, a marker that yields 90% false positive is still a terrible marker. Even 40% false positive should be more than enough to make a marker bad. For both judicial and medical purposes, we must strive to minimize false positives and true negatives, and when it comes to Islam(2), it doesn’t take much effort to somewhat cut down false positives – simple things like questionnaires should at least help. But we should try not to wrong a single person. If justice is of great value, then we must invest much more on it and shouldn’t use a marker that yields 90% false positive. Health is of great value, and we did and should invest on it. If it’s right to spend millions of dollars on biomedical research in order to improve medicine, then anthropological research of particular Muslim(1) communities that might be problematic (which I don’t think will cost nearly as much as research done to understand cancer or other kinds of common diseases) should be warranted for the sake of justice. But what anthropologists said is that it’s not the wish to spread Islam or restore Caliphate that makes people terrorists, but imperialism, poverty, discrimination, identity crisis, and etc. (see http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/anthropologist-seeks-the-roots-of-terrorism/, http://19.org/blog/terrorism/) If you don’t have the expertise to judge which anthropologist is right, then please stop judging what you can’t judge if you’re rational. A precise understanding of the problem is required before the problem can be solved. It seems that here, I’m just reiterating something many Muslim(1)s and liberals have already emphasized: Nuances!

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Islamofacism-1

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Defending Islam:
Corpus juris must be seen as a whole;
the cancer of Islamofacism

Lambda Gongyi-Lu
12 September 2015
www.19.org

I’m suggesting the general formula of a new argument for defenders of Islam and religion in general. This is not only relevant to defense of Islam, but also to how we can accurately describe phenomena in general. Not an Islamic scholar, I will entrust the elaboration and further development of this argument to Islamic scholars and people interested in Islamic culture. One of the most significant mistakes made by people suffering from extremist thinking is to ignore the diversity within people that wear the same label, such as failing to distinguish between Mother Teresa and KKK and between Galileo and the Church. Islamophobes also tend to assume that all people who call themselves “Muslims” think in the same way as ISIS, which is not true. Related are the failure to distinguish between God and Church (or any religious institution), between cultural and theological definitions of religion, and between intellectual and lived corpus juris. (What are cultural and theological definitions and intellectual and lived corpus juris? See a previous post) Here, I’m adding more to the point about intellectual and lived corpus juris: Islamophobes and Islamofacists ignore that fact that the corpus juris functions as a whole.

The life of a person would reflect this whole. Anti-theists and Islamophobes fail to take this into account. An intellectual corpus juris can function as a whole instead of a one-dimensional list of rules, with some laws defining the functions of and relationships between laws within this system. The same applies to a lived corpus juris. Since the intellectual and lived corpus juris of the same person can be radically different, the same element can play radically different roles in the intellectual and lived corpus juris. Two systems that function radically differently do often have modules in common; these modules can be invoked in very different circumstances. For instance, meditation is more and more popular among Westerners. It was taken from Buddhist rituals. Yet obviously Westerners who meditate generally behave very differently from devoted Buddhists; they meditate for different purposes and have very different intellectual and lived corpus juris. In other words, meditation fit into their corpus juris in different ways. Not radical enough an example? Here’s a more radical example: Our jaws evolved and developed from gill slits (like those of fish). We used to have gill slits when we were embryos. Similar events occurred frequently in evolution. Biologists have also taken advantage of biological modules such as RNAi in their experiments, using them in a way alien to the original biological system.

Religion can be viewed as a module that plays different roles in the lives of different people, who behave very differently. To highly devoted people, it penetrates every part of life, while to people merely wearing a label, it’s merely a cultural heritage not well-integrated into life. To people like Michael Faraday, religion powers science, while to fundamentalists, religion and science are at war. Obviously Faraday and fundamentalists behave very dfferently. The same principle applies to elements in a certain religion, such as a scripture or parts (or verses) of a scripture (I’ve already addressed the ritual called meditation). This shows the different structures and functions of the lived corpus juris. Reducing the diverse and complex structure of the entire lived corpus juris into a few isolated laws taken from the intellectual corpus juris, out of context, is simply an inaccurate description of the person’s system of belief.

Cancer and Islamofacism

Let’s consider a specific example: Islamophobes like to cite a few war-like verses from Chapters 8 and 9 to indict Islam as inherently violent and has no hope to be reformed. But the mistake they make is to take those verses out of context, in particular, they ignore how those verses are regulated. Other verses throughout the Quran regulating the war-like verses are clear in the following: War is only permitted as self-defense and invasion is never allowed; force conversion is impossible and futile since no messenger can guide those who don’t will to be guided; we should leave those who reject alone unless they invade us; not all Jews and Christians are despicable; saying that Muhammad is the center of Islam instead of God is just like saying that everything in the solar system orbits the Earth instead of Sun. There is ample Quranist literature arguing for these points in the internet so I will not repeat them (for instance, see Ahl al-Quran and 19.org). I’m already tired of reading those repeats over and over again. What I’m doing here is to illustrate the importance of regulation of interpretation of verses using the analogy of cancer.

 

Cancer Cells

Red: Centromeres of chromosome 2; each chromosome should only have one centromere. Green: MYCN, an oncogene. (A) Amplification of MYCN in neuroblastoma tumor cell nuclei. (B) Gain of copy of MYCN. (C) Normal diploid cell. What’s striking is that the amplified copies of MYCN form their own autonomous bodies independent from other chromosomes. Image credit https://diagnosticpathology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1746-1596-8-5

Regulation of interpretation of verses is analogous to how genes are regulated does seriously affect biological functions. Please focus on the essential features here common to regulation of interpretation of verses and regulation of genes if the war-like verses sound too controversial. For instance, oncogenes such as Myc, Ras, and Src are essential to the cells, but when they’re overexpressed, the cells will form tumors, which can form cancer when the tumor spreads beyond where it started. Tumor suppressors such as p53 can halt cell division and initiate genome repair or apoptosis if the cell has some sign of developing into tumor, and loss or repression of tumor suppressors is a common cause of cancer.

If it’s correct to say that because Islamofacists cite a few war-like verses and claim that the peace verses were abrogated from the Quran to justify terrorism and oppression, the Quran is inherently violent, then it’s also correct to say that because cancer cells overexpress oncogenes and disable tumor suppressors and DNA repair to be cancerous, the genome inherently makes cells cancerous and tumor suppressors should be abrogated in healthy cells. This statement assumes that cancer cells are regulating their genes correctly, but in reality, cancer cells are not properly regulating the oncogenes and tumor suppressors to begin with and they usually have extremely screwed up genomes, such as crazy aneuploidy (abnormal number of chromosomes), crazy amplification of certain genes (see photo), and crazy abnromal DNA methylation patterns.

Just having oncogenes in the genome doesn’t mean that a cell is a cancer cell; the oncogenes are important to the normal life of the cell when properly regulated, and in normal cells, tumor suppressors are also properly expressed and DNA repair functions normally. Similarly, the “oncogene” war verses, when properly regulated (remember those “tumor suppressor” peace verses), as self-defense and to fight against oppression, is essential to the viability of a nation; otherwise evil forces too easily rule the world because righteous nations are not defending themselves. The war-like verses, when properly regulated, are thus important to Islam. The verses about how some (again, the Quran is very clear that this is not all) People of the Book turned away, when properly regulated, serve as a warning for us that we should not do the same thing again; but Islamofacists made exactly the same mistake, so they too deserve to be called swines and apes. This warning is very important in defining the correct attitude and method to interpret the Quran.

Some Islamophobes claim that Islam can only be reformed if those war-like verses are deleted from the Quran; I would reply that if you want to eliminate cancer from our species, then you must delete all oncogenes, but the problem is, our lives depend on those oncogenes, so you have not only eliminated cancer, but also eliminated the entire human race. For instance, oncogene Ras is a hub of many signaling pathways including those for cytoskeleton modeling, cell division, cell migration, differentiation, and etc. Cancer will form when cell division, dedifferentiation, and migration are out of control, so no wonder Ras is an oncogene, but cell division, migration, and differentiation are how the single-celled zygote develops all the way to the adult human being and how your skin renews and heals. The key is REGULATION!

A healthy cell not only needs the correct content of the genome, but also correct regulation. In fact, cancer can begin without a single mutation (though cancer cells can pick up mutations and chromosomal disorders after this beginning to become even more cancerous, and this is especially easy when tumor suppressors are disabled), as messing up with epigenetics can upregulate oncogenes and/or repress tumor suppressors. Similarly, the argument Islamophobes borrowed from Islamofacists that even if all Hadiths are deleted, the Quran is still inherently violent is inherently flawed, because it doesn’t interpret the Quran the way defined by the Quran and still carries over the way Islamofacist cancers regulate their genes. Content without regulation (or more generally the relationship between parts of the whole) does NOT tell the entire story.

In sum: If Islamofacism represents genuine Islam, then cancer cells represent healthy cells in your body. If all Muslims are terrorists, then all your cells are cancer cells. Even if cancer is correct and it’s wrong to be any other types of cell, it’s still fallacious to claim that a normal, say, endothelial cell – terminally differentiated and can’t divide anymore, so lacking everything that makes a cell cancerous – is a cancer cell just because those endothelial cells have oncogenes in their genomes; those genes are regulated in such a way that those cells can’t turn cancerous.

Finally, I would like to note that all analogies will break down at some point. The purpose of analogies is to use an example that can be more easily understood and easily accepted to illustrate a more abstract or hard-to-accept concept; this does not require the example to be identical in every aspect to what’s to be illustrated. Conversely, non-essential discrepancies do not show that an analogy is not appropriate. An analogy is good enough as long as it captures the essential features of the concept to be illustrated. I would like to note a few important points about my analogy here, so the analogy will not be stretched beyond the essential feature illustrated, namely, the importance of regulation and holism. This analogy should NOT be stretched to interpreted as the following:

Number one: The genome is perfect and self-explanatory. This is not true, since there’re many things outside the genome that control the regulation of genes, such as the epigenome and transcription factor binding. In this aspect, the genome is very unlike the Scripture, since the correct way of interpretation is encoded by the Scripture, but not by the genome. How do our normal cells know how to correctly interpret the genome? Remember that we did not start de novo with just a genome; the zygote started with epigenome, proteins, mRNAs, and so many other things from your parents so your genome is properly interpreted to ensure proper development. From generation to generation, this traces all the way back to the origin of life. Messing up with the epigenome can cause severe developmental disorders even if no mutation is introduced, as an example, see http://science.sciencemag.org/content/350/6261/aab2006. What counts as a correct interpretation? Cells in every different tissue interpret their genomes differently; I mean by “correct interpretation” the interpretation that makes the cells capable of making up healthy functional tissues and organs. In this sense, cancer cells are not interpreting their genomes correctly since they do not allow proper function of tissues. In contrast, I mean by correct interpretation of the Quran the method of interpretation as defined by the Quran itself (e.g. reading the scripture holistically, reject interpretations that contradict since there shouldn’t be contradictions in the Quran, etc.). I wouldn’t say that the genome is perfect, because perfection is a very slippery concept to define so I use this concept extremely carefully and many common diseases have genetic contributions.

Number two: All forms of Islam that is not Quranism is as cancerous as Islamofacism. This is not true. The analogy of cancer is used to illustrate the importance of regulation. Furthermore, I picked cancer here because of how hazardous Islamofacism is. However, not all forms of Islam (by the cultural definition of the term “Islam”) that uses Hadith is Islamofacism just like not all cells that mess up with gene regulation are cancerous. For instance, some cases of imprinting disorders are caused by getting both copies of a chromosome from the same parent; the chromosomes actually have an epigenetic mark saying whether it’s from mom or from dad. In this case, the genes in all (or most) of the patients’ cells are not properly regulated, thus causing the disease, but it doesn’t mean that all cells from those patients are cancer cells, since they do not regulate genes the way that makes cancer cells cancerous. In other words, bad gene regulation is necessary but not sufficient to cause cancer. I actually do have some Sunni and Shia friends; they’re nice charitable people and are nothing like terrorists. In their case, the laws of interest are not regulated in the way that makes Islamofacists Islamofacists. For instance, even if the Hadith has violent and chauvinist rulings, they can just be silenced like transposons (whose transposition, BTW, can possibly lead to cancer) are strongly silenced so they don’t transpose. Again, regulation is the key. Whether or not their belief system or method of regulation is correct, it’s the way they regulate their laws in the corpus juris that tells me that most Sunnis and Shias are nothing like terrorists.

 

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Irshad Manji

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Book Review:

A brave voice of a truth-seeker and iconoclast!

by Edip Yuksel
İrshad Manji
Irshad Manji is not a sheikh nor a mullah, but she is a brave muslim (a peacemaker, a peaceful surrenderer to God ALONE) who has not squandered her God-given mind and heart through the teachings of clergymen who arrogated themselves by claiming monopoly over the understanding of the Quran and by injecting themselves between individuals and their Creator.

Irshad surprises me by her insight and courage. “Our duty to know God overshadows any guilt brought on by the artificial gods of family and nation.” This is not an easy task. The great majority of people follow the religion of loudest, crowdest, or the proximate bandwagon. It takes wisdom and bravery to search for truth, without condition. Throughout history, those who questioned dogmas and mythologies were shunned and declared heretics.

I do believe that a substantial reform is impossible without brave reformists who are ready to question everything. Throughout history, reformists have uttered ideas that initially repelled or scared the hypnotized majorities in their “holy bandwagons.” There cannot be a slow transformation, but a shock, a radical jump, a paradigm change among Muslim masses.

Such a reform perhaps can be accomplished only by “children” who do not hesitate to scream the reality that “emperor is naked.” Yes, Muslim clergymen and politicians are naked!

The title of the book is excellent. By using the word Allah instead of God, Irshad is daring the wormongers who wish to demonize muslims. By using the word Liberty and Love, she also challenges the Sunni and Shiite bigots who betray the many verses of the Quran promoting freedom of expression, tolerance to the choices of others. How islam could be depicted as the “religion of hate,” while the most frequent attribute of God is derivatives of the root RaHaMa (compassion, love, care)?

Irshad knows that Allah is not a proper name, but the contraction of “al” (the) and “ilah” (god) meaning, the God. I would like to quote a note from Quran: a Reformist Translation on the first verse of the Quran:

The Arabic word Allah is not a proper name as some might think; it is contraction of AL (the) and ELAH (god). The word Allahumma is a different form and the letter “M” in the end is not an Arabic suffix as a novice might think. The word Allahumma may not be considered a divine attribute since it cannot be used as a subject in a sentence or as an attribute of a divine subject. It is always used in supplication and prayers, meaning “o my lord” or “o our lord.” Allah and Rahman are two attributes that are invariably used as names rather than adjectives. Since God sent messengers to all nations (10:47; 16:36; 35:24) in their own language (14:4), they referred to their creator in their own language. See 7:180.

While some tried their hardest, for centuries, to turn the creator of the universe into an Arab God, others too have attempted to transform Him into an Anglo-Saxon male. The former ignored the fact that the languages of many nations who received God’s message in their own language did not contain the word Allah. The latter ignored the fact that Jesus or (J)esu(s), never uttered the English word `God,’ but referred to his Lord with Hebrew or Aramaic words such as Eli, Eloi, Elahi, or Ellohim (Mark 15:34), which are almost identical to corresponding Arabic words.

The Old Testament contains several verses containing the attributes of `Gracious’ and `Merciful’ as used in Basmalah: Exodus 34:6; 2 Ch 30:9; Nehemiah 9:17,31; Psalms 103:8; 116:5; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2.

In this book, Irshad informs the reader about degeneration of the peaceful, progressive and liberating message of Islam and supports her arguments through the verses of the Quran and numerous scholars of the past and present. Let me provide brief information about the nature of deformation that took place centuries ago, and the message of modern Islamic Reform movement:

Male chauvinists, hermits, misogynists too took advantage of the deformation movement that started with the gathering of hearsay stories called Hadith, about three centuries after the departure of Prophet Muhammad. Hearsay statements attributing words and deeds to Muhammad and his idolized comrades became the most powerful tool or Trojan horse, for the promotion of diverse political propaganda, cultural assimilation, and even commercial advertisement. As a result, the Quran was deserted and its message was heavily distorted.

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, 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 near 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 (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).

In addition to the above mentioned reasons, many hadith were fabricated to explain the meaning of the “difficult” Quranic words or phrases, or to distort the meaning of verses that contradicted the fabricated hadith, or to provide trivial information not mentioned in the Quran (such as, Saqar, 2:187; 8:35…).

I hope that Irshad’s book will be adopted as a textbook by colleges and universities that teach courses on religions and Near Eastern or Oriental Studies.

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Edip Yuksel v. Ali Sina

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Peacemaker’s Guide to Warmongers

Exposing
Robert Spencer,
Osama Bin Laden,
David Horowitz,
Mullah Omar,
Bill Warner,
Ali Sina and
other Enemies of Peace

9780979671531 Cover

This book comprises of eight sections:

  1. An Invitation to Jews, Christians, Muslims, and All, an excerpt from the last section of the Manifesto for Islamic Reform.
  2. An analysis of selected Quranic verses that are distorted or taken out of context to justify violence and terror, an excerpt from notes of Quran: a Reformist Translation.
  3. Interview with FrontPage Magazine about my life and cause to promote Islamic reform.
  4. A debate between me and Robert Spencer, Bill Warner, and Thomas Haidon, which was organized by and published at FrontPage Magazine.
  5. Another debate between me and Khalim Massoud, Thomas Haidon, Abul Kasem, Robert Spencer, and Bill Warner.
  6. A lengthy debate between me and Ali Sina, the agitator-in-chief of the faithfreedom.org site. The debate is presented in 16 sessions.
  7. Various essays I have written on violence, peace and war.
  8. Various related news and essays by other authors.

Here is the SİXTH section of the book:

To the Factor of 666 (Edip Yuksel versus Ali Sina) 145
1. Edip Yuksel Accepts Ali Sina’s Challenge 146
2. Using Hearsay of Hearsay as History (Ali Sina) 149
3. Palm-reader Finds Dirty Character in Garbage (Edip Yuksel) 153
4. Sample Discussion with Audience (Edip Yuksel) 159
5. “Muhammad was illiterate and cruel” (Ali Sina) 164
6. Addicted to the Smell of Hearsay Trash (Edip Yuksel) 176
7. Christian, Agnostic, Muslim Audience Help Clarify (Edip Yuksel) 185
8. A Revolution Led by Muhammad (Edip Yuksel) 193
9. To the Factor of 666 (Edip Yuksel) 207
10. Hadith, Sunnah, and Islamic Scholars (Ali Sina) 219
11. Chit-Chat 235
12. Evangelical Connection Exposed (Edip Yuksel – Ali Sina) 240
13. Low foot, high foot; true foot, lie foot; here comes… (Edip Yuksel) 246
14. The Evangelical Fascism 263
15. Closing, Analysis, and Surprise (Edip Yuksel) 267

 

To the Factor of 666

Edip Yuksel v Ali Sina

Dear Ali Sina, faithfreedom.org:

Regardless of your intention or motivation, I believe that your site is serving a great mission: people are provoked to think and question the claims made in the name of God, gods, or about God, gods.

I was told by a participant of 19.org/forum that you are challenging Muslims for debate and you also have expressed your intention to debate with me.

Here is my situation:

I am currently working on the Reformist Translation of the Quran with two colleagues of mine and busy with several other projects. With so much on my plate, I will not be able to engage in lengthy internet discussion with anyone. (For instance, years ago, I engaged in a lengthy debate with Abdurrahman Lomax on Code 19, the mathematical structure of the Quran. Our debate was later published as Running Like Zebras and available on the net).

HOWEVER,

I would be willing to engage in a face to face debate that could be recorded. I invite you to Arizona for such a debate; we can hold it at an auditorium at the campus of the University of Arizona or Pima Community College. If you accept this invitation then I will organize the debate. But, if you wish, we might meet at a university campus of your choice. Then, you should take the responsibility to organize and publicize it.

The debate must be public and must be one-to-one. We should agree on a moderator and also decide the topics or the outline of the debate. Later, the transcript of the debate could be posted on the internet and its video recording could be made available for public after we sign a contract.

I do not want you or others consider this as a CHALLENGE, but a friendly invitation to discuss the theological, philosophical, social, political and psychological aspects and ramification of faith in general and islam in particular.

Peace,

Edip Yuksel

 

Edip Yuksel v. Ali Sina (1)

Edip Yuksel Accepts Ali Sina’s Challenge

Dear Susan and Omen:

I understand Susan’s frustration and anger and I understand Omen’s taking verses out of their context to demonize muslims.

In a century where Christians have fought two world wars therby killing millions, where Christians committed history’s biggestt terrorist acts against two Japanese cities, where Crusaders have been destroying cities and massacring tens of thousands, where Isareli occupying forces have been torturing, killing and terrorizing the Palestinian population, the Christian-Zionist propaganda machine is working hard to depict their victims as monsters and terrorists. I understand that.

But, I am not here to debate with everyone, especially with the ones who appear to be screaming while their ears closed. I wish I had time and energy to respond to every one of you individually, even to those who have no patience to hear the opposing point of view.

I think Ali Sina will represent many of you in your cause against the Quran. If Ali Sina uses the same arguments, then I will respond them, God willing.

I thought that I received an invitation from him for a debate. If I am mistaken, or mislead by one of his fans, then I will continue what I need to do: finish my projects and enjoy my vacation with my family.

Peace,  Edip

Then, let’s do it in writing.

Dear Ali: Please read my second posting and let me know what is your answer. I will be leaving to California next Sunday and I will spend my time with extended family untill the beginning of the new year. So, I mihgt not be able to access internet…

If you wish, we may start our debate after the new year. Or, if you wish we may start now and continue after a one week holliday break.

As for reform: apparantly you misunderstood what I mean by this phrase. If you check my web site, you will find that your criticism is irrelevant.

Peace,  Edip

Ok. Let’s Start after the New Year

This is a challenging and colorful forum and without censorship like our forum at 19.org. There are many issues to be discussed and many deep emotions to be dealt with. I hope, when Ali and I start our debate in a restricted forum we will deal with most of these issues. After we settle our debate, hopefully the readers will post their reaction and fill the gaps in our arguments.

I urge you and myself to consider the possibility that there is an alternative way. That the truth may not be in either Christian, Muslim or Atheist side. For instance, when I criticized the wars and aggression of the modern Zionist-Crusader alliance, I did not intend to condone or support the violence conducted or dreamed of by some Muslims. Unfortunately, many were conditioned to assume that position for me with the “either-or” fallacy.

Personally, I suffered the most from the second violence: I had to leave my country, my family, my career, and everything behind to save my life from Sunni radicals! My struggle is well known in Turkey and I have shared with English speakers some of my personal experience at my website, http://www.yuksel.org. So, I think I am justified to demand a fair criticism, since I am not coming here with a mask on my face, but a person who is known by millions of people and who is not shy or scared to share his opinions and personal experience with others.

Unlike Ali Sina, my criticism and rejection of Sunni or Shiite version of Islam did not lead me to rejection of God or the Quran. Though there were times I contemplated such possibilities, but my faith in God and the Quran became much stronger after my rejection of the religion or sect of my parents falsely called Islam. Either I was not intellectually and emotionally as strong as Ali Sina, or I knew things that Ali did not know. Here, by God’s will, we will debate these issues and we will find out which one of us is closer to the truth. I hope that you will not watch us like spectators in a football stadium or boxing ring, but with open mind and heart for what both people have to say. I want to remind people that on many issues I agree with Ali Sina, but on some crucial points I disagree and we will try to separate the hay from he grain.

Regardless of Ali’s criticism and insults levied against what I consider dear and truth, I respect his courage to challenge Muslim scholars. I assume that he is honest too. His intelligence level is obvious from his writing. I consider honesty, courage, and critical approach to extraordinary claims as prerequisite qualities in the search of truth. And it seems that Ali Sina have all of them.

But, I am hurt by his remarks regarding my intentions. I did not rush to make such a judgment about his and I will try to control my primitive urge to judge his intentions. If Ali had taken a few minutes and asked people who know me, including my enemies, he would have found out that I gave up too many things for what I came to believe to be true. Most of my Sunni enemies, especially those who know me in Turkey, acknowledge the fact that I am honest and courageous. They shared this perception with public on TV debates, articles and books. I have changed my positions on many issues without thinking the social, political and economic consequences to my person. This principled attitude is evident even after my immigration to the United States. I left the Submitters organization when I found them becoming cult members trapped in hero-worship.

So, before attacking my honesty, I expect Ali to check my background. I treat truth above everything. If today I am convinced by a rational argument or by empirical evidence that the Quran is a man-made book, I would not hesitate to reject my present conviction. I do not make money from my books published on religion; I donate them. I am not getting salary to be an imam. I do not expect people to respect me because I am a holy man or the descendent of this or that dead holy man. To the contrary, I advice people who call me with titles such as “hodja”, “Dr.” or “efendi” to stop calling me with titles, especially when we have discussion or dialogue on religious matters. I deliberately sabotage my perceived charisma in many ways just to allow impressionable people to be able to think for themselves, without being influenced by my title, reputation, etc.

“Whether Edip accepts the truth or not is not our concern. It would be naïve to expect those who have made a name for themselves and enjoy a position of respect within their community be so honest to give up all that just because they find out that they have been mistaken. In fact such people will never find out that they have been mistaken because they will not even consider the possibility.”

Thus, I consider Ali’s comment above to be an attack to my core value. I might have false ideas and opinions, but I am honest in perpetual pursuit of truth and appreciation of it. Ali does not need to apologize for his prejudice about me. During the upcoming debate with me, I believe he will recognize how unfair assessment and prejudice it was. However, I think he is right in general. Those who have vested interest in a particular religion or political ideology have invisible walls erected between them and the truth.

I am not seeking your votes. In fact, I believe that majority of people will neither like nor accept what I will say here. So, I hope my arguments will be evaluated separate from presumed negative and positive speculations about my personality or intention. Hopefully, Ali will compile a list of QUESTIONS expressing his reasons for rejecting Islam and we will start discussing them on a new forum.

Peace, Edip

 

Edip Yuksel v. Ali Sina (2)

Using Hearsay of Hearsay as History

Ali Sina

12-21-2004

 

I went to your site and read your views on hadith:

http://www.yuksel.org/e/religion/trash.htm

So you prefer to use the books of history to learn about Muhammad. That is fine with me. I will rely on history when I talk to you. However let us talk about hadith for now.

Your position is that all hadiths should be scrapped because a lot of them are fabricated. Lomax, your opponent in that debate, made a valid observation. He said: “The bound collection of testimony from any court is certain to contain some lies and some errors. The reliability of any piece of evidence remains debatable….And if a collector collects a thousand hadith and makes a few errors neither is he to be condemned as unreliable.”

You rebutted his statement and said: “Not a single court will accept the testimony of Bukhari who collected contradictory hadiths about the Prophet Muhammad, narrated from generation to generation 200 years after his departure.”

On this issue I side with Lomax. Let us make this clear with an example. The police department of a city is trying to solve a case and asks for tips from the public. Thousands of tips pour in. Most of them are completely unrelated, but among those thousands a few corroborate a story and based on those related tips the detectives will be able to solve the case. It would be unconscionable to through away all the tips because most of them are incorrect.

In our case we want to know about Muhammad and how he lived his life. We have tens of thousands of tips in the form of narrations of his followers. Many of them are weak leads and many of them are fabricated. We know also that the believers tend to exaggerate and aggrandize the virtues and attribute miracles to their beloved prophet. So when it comes to these particular hadiths we should take them with a grain of salt. However when we put all these tips together the picture of a man emerges. We separate those tips that corroborate each other and based on them we sketch the profile of our suspect. Can we be 100% sure that this is how he looked? Maybe not! But because these tips come from a variety of sources and despite the differences in detail they tell us the same story we can be fairly sure that we have a good idea of how our suspect looked and what he did.

So if I were a responsible detective, I would not discard all the tips simply because some of them are fabricated, especially when there is no other source to depend on. However, what if the picture emerging of the suspect portrays my beloved father? What would be my natural reaction? I would probably want to scrap all the tips and discredit them. This is dishonesty. But hey, you are talking about my father. You are asking me to choose between filial piety and honesty. That is a tough choice. Not everyone can pass that test. I would do everything to cover up my father’s crime and protect him. That is how I see you and all other hadith deniers. You do not like what you see in the hadith. They embarrass you. You find Muhammad torturing his victims, beheading them, gauging their eyes, raping them and doing all sorts of despicable acts and all that hurts. So instead of being honest and admit that you were wrong and the man whom you worship is a psychopath criminal, you try to dismiss all the hadiths. You think if you put your head in the sand and pretend you do not see; the problem will go away. The despicable lawyers of O.J. Simpson did that and they won. But does that mean that Mr. Simpson is innocent? Even if you win this case based on discrediting the evidence and technicalities, can you still live with your conscience?

Can we use these hadiths in an actual court of law to incriminate Muhammad? I think we can. You may argue that they are circumstantial and try to discredit them. But they are so many of them that any sane jury will find it difficult to dismiss them. Muhammad is guilty as charged.

However, our goal is not to take legal action against Muhammad. He is dead. We want to find out the truth. We may never be able to find the truth one hundred percent. But we can get a fairly good idea of it. What you have now is absolute lie.

Nonetheless, we have enough evidence in the Quran, in the books of history and in the hadith to become certain that Muhammad was not a messenger of God but a cult leader like Jim Jones and David Koresh and this I will prove to you in our discussions.

Muslims have fallen in love with Muhammad because they have been shown a picture of him which portrays him as a holy man, a perfect human being, an example for all to follow, the mercy of God for all the creation, etc, etc. That image is false. According to our tips, and his own book, he was far from being a good man. How did the Muslims get that false picture in their minds? …Because they were fed with lies! It certainly does not match the picture we get from our tips and from our thorough investigation. So which picture is more accurate? The one that is based on the fantasies of his followers or the one that emerges from the tips?

This is just to show the weakness of the position of the Quran only Muslims. Apart from the fact that this is a fallacious way of thinking, it leaves Islam indecipherable.

P.S. I was about to post this that I found you have posted the above message. So I will read and respond to your message in another posting

I see in this letter you say that you don’t even acknowledge the biography of Muhammad as recorded by Ibn Ishaq, Tabari and Waqidi. I understood this differently when I read your debate with Lomax but now it is clear.

If that is your position and you are adamant to deny all the historic evidences relating to Muhammad, I deny even the existence of Muhammad. I claim that he was the fabrication of Arab rulers who needed a religion to justify their imperialistic ambitions (See Crone and Cook). You are a lawyer. You know that the burden of proof is on the person who is making the positive assertion, i.e. you. It is you who must prove that Muhammad actually existed and was not just a fictitious personage, a figment of the unknown real author/s of the Quran. Anything you say must be documented. However you can’t use the hadith or the Sira to make your case. If you deny these books you can’t use them.

I do not think that you are relying on every historical report of the syrah books, such as Tabari or Waqidi. I will treat each historical anecdote on ad-hoc basis and evaluate it critically with a healthy dose of suspicion.

So what is your position exactly? Are you saying that part of the history is acceptable? I perfectly understand looking at the history and hadith with a healthy dose of suspicion. That is my position too. The reason I bring this up is to know which documents are admissible in our discussion and which ones are not and whether your rejection of haidth and Sira is categorical or you are open to accept them with a healthy dose of suspicion. Are you willing to use the same criteria also for the hadith or hadith is definitely out?

I asked on what you base your knowledge of Muhammad and you responded:

“I mostly rely on the narration of the Quran. If the Quran’s account contradicts the account of a particular narration I chose the narrative of the Quran.”

That is okay with me. If a hadith or a narration contradicts the Quran or the spirit of it we will reject it.

So let me recapitulate what I understood from your position. You would look at hadith and the biography of Muhammad, provided they do not contradict the Quran or the spirit of it. You are willing to consider them as sources of information for their historic value, although with some reservation.

If that is your position I am with you. That is how I look at those sources too. But if I have misunderstood you please correct me.

If that is the case, I will make my case against Muhammad using the hadith and Sira as well as the Qurn. You are of course free to dispute the accuracy of each document I present based on the above mentioned criteria. i.e. if they contradict the Quran, we will discard them but if they don’t we keep them, not as absolute truth but as a probable.

In other words, we will not discard a hadith or a story just because it incriminates Muhammad. After all that is what I want to prove. If I am not even allowed to present my evidence against him then what is the point of the trial?

I agree not to present any evidence that is against the explicit or implicit teachings of the Quran. You are entitled to question the validity of my exhibits but if you can’t demonstrate that they are unauthentic we are not going to discard them. We leave them there as probable. It is my conviction that the weight of these probable documents and that of the Quran will be so overwhelming that I will win the case against Muhammad and will prove to you and the world that he was an impostor and not a prophet. Scott Peterson’s lawyer argued that all the evidences against his client are circumstantial. He was right! But they were so many that the Jurry had no problem convicting him. We have a lot more evidence against Muhammad.

 

Edip Yuksel v. Ali Sina (3)

Palmreader Finds Dirty Character

Edip Yuksel

12-22-2004

 

“That is how I see you and all other hadith deniers. You do not like what you see in the hadith. They embarrass you. You find Muhammad torturing his victims, beheading them, gauging their eyes, raping them and doing all sorts of despicable acts and all that hurts. So instead of being honest and admit that you were wrong and the man whom you worship is a psychopath criminal, you try to dismiss all the hadiths. You think if you put your head in the sand and pretend you do not see; the problem will go away. The despicable lawyers of O.J. Simpson did that and they won. But does that mean that Mr. Simpson is innocent?  Even if you win this case based on discrediting the evidence and technicalities, can you still live with your conscience?”

Dear Sina:

I was denied access to this forum as Edip Yuksel. So, I re-registered under the username www.19.org and was able to access again. I would prefer to use Edip Yuksel consistently here. I hope you will correct the technical problem.

This reminded, let’s continue our discussion:

Once I was a believer and defender of hadith. However, when I studied the history of hadith, its collection, procedures of its collection, and problems with their authenticity and the profound difference between hadith and the Quran, yes when I witnessed that, I gave up from following hadith and sunnah.

I understand why you want me to drag to a source that I have come to refute at the cost of risking my life. You want me to revert back to my old days and start believing those sources that are mere hearsay. Here is my answer:

I WILL NOT ACCEPT YOUR INVITATION TO DIG INTO A LITERARY GARBAGE AND CHOOSE AND PICK WHATEVER WE LIKE AMONG THE THOUSANDS Of CONTRADICTORY AND OCCASIONALLY RIDICULOUS NARRATION.

It appears that you are not able to criticize the Quran without the help of adding some garbage from collections of hearsay. Muslims and non-Muslims, all agree that the historical authenticity of the Quran is far beyond the authenticity of hadith. Thus, your insistence to rely on hadith, by a biased criterion of “if it says something good about prophet we will reject it but if it says bad things about him we jump over and accept it” is unacceptable. It is unfair; it is dishonest.

How can you rely on Bukhari who came from Bukhara to the scene 200 years after Muhammad and started collecting anything he heard and liked?

How can you rely on Bukhari who in the beginning of his collection is not even ashamed of insulting MONKEYS by reporting that a companion of the prophet saw monkeys stoning an adulterous monkey to death? According to your suggested criterion of sifting the garbage, we should accept this report since it does not praise Muhammad! Or you have another criterion that you forgot to communicate to me? You may end up with hundreds of arbitrary criteria to be able to justify your picks and rejects!

How can you invite me to speculate on Bukhari who confesses of collecting 700,000 hadiths and accepting only about 7000; rejecting 99 percent of them? Don’t you see the exaggeration? Had Muhammad talked every minute of his life after claiming messengership, his words could have hardly added up to 700,000 hadiths.

How can you take Bukhari serious who justifies the abrogation of a Quranic verse after Muhammad’s departure by none other than a holy goat that ate the skin where the alleged verses issuing the stoning-to-death for adulterers written? Should we accept that report? In order to add another insult to Islam you would like to have it. But you cannot have it both ways. You have to also believe the “holy goat”:)

Bukhari had a very different idea of islam than Muhammad. Bukhari was an ignorant idol worshiper and had no respect for the Quran. Besides, he sided with the oppressive rulers. For instance, he found Marwan, the drunk and murderer governor. to be a credible person and narrating “sahih” hadiths from him, while he declined accepting any hadith from a brave student of the Quran, Abu Hanifah who suffered in the jails of Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties for rejecting to sell his soul! Bukhari was not an objective hadith collector; he was on the side of murderers and agressors.

We can write volumes of books listing the contradiction between the teaching of Bukhari and the Quran, the only book delivered by Muhammad. Then, how can a sound person claim Bukhari to be a friend of Muhammad? To me, he was a real enemy of Muhammad (6:112-116), like St. Paul was the real enemy of Jesus, since he too distorted another messenger’s message beyond recognition.

Let me little side track here. For instance, Jesus never silenced women and put them down with xenophobic teachings but St. Paul asked women to submit to men and hush: (1Ti 2:7-15;  1 Corinthians 14:34-35; 1 Peter 3:7). Jesus never asked for money for preaching but St. Paul asked for money shamelessly and likened his audience to flock of sheep to be milked by the holy sheperd! (Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 1Co 9:7). He was a successful Machiavellian (before Machiavelli was born!) as opposed to Jesus who did not twist the truth to gain people: “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22).

How can you trust Bukhari who narrates the LAST HADITH while prophet Muhammad in his death bed, rejecting the recording of any hadith through a decleration from the mouth of Omar Bin Khattap and the acquiescence of all prominent muslims that “Hasbuna kitabullah” (God’s word is sufficient for us)? Will your suggested criterion to sift through the garbage pile help us to decide the authenticity of this hadith and reject all the rest? Which one do you believe? Was the Quran deemed sufficient by early muslims or they too needed hearsay reports to understand the Quran? What is the meaning of protecting the Quran from tempering while making it needy of volumes of dubious and fabricated stories?

How can you trust hadith books that report THE MOST WITNESSED HADITH, or THE MOST AUTHENTIC HADITH and yet manage to confuse the most crucial words, THE LAST WORDS in that hadith? The hadith about the last sermon, which was claimed to be witnessed by more than hundred thousand believers, has three different endings: (1). Follow the Quran. (2). Follow the Quran and my Sunnah. (3). Follow the Quran and my family. Should we pick and choose! Throw dice? How will your criterion help us to pick the accurate version?

How can you invite me to take Bukhari a serious source of history while in its LONGEST HADITH it narrates the story of Miraj in which poor Muhammad goes up and down between 6th and 7th heavens trying to reduce the number of daily prayers? In that hadith, Muhammad is like an innumerate and gullible union leader bargaining for some break time on behalf of his people against a merciless boss (hasha God!) who tries to impose 50 prayers a day, that is, a prayer for every 28 minutes, day and night! In that narration Moses is the wise guy and he coaches Muhammad in this hard task of negotiation with God! According to your suggested criterion, we should accept this hadith because Muhammad is depicted as an idiot who cannot even calculate the impossibility of performing 50 prayers (not unit) a day without the help of Moses who resides just one heaven below God? Even if one tried at that time they could not have divided the day to 50 periods of 28-minutes! Since, this hadith insults the intelligence of Prophet Muhammad according to your garbage-sifting criterion, should we believe this story?!

How can you trust the account of hadith books, which unanimously claim that Muhammad was an illiterate man? Based on your criterion, we should swallow this lie because it does not praise Muhammad, since it depicts him an illiterate man who was not capable of learning 28 letters while dictating a book for 23 years! Or should we reject it because while insulting Muhammad it praises the literary excellence of the Quran?

Idiot or ignorant friends can harm a person more than wise enemies. Hadith and siyar books are products of ignorant friends who insulted and defamed the men they idolized. Besides, we should not ignore the possibility of some converts with agenda to distort the message. For instance, many Jewish stories and practices were imported to “islam” via “convert” Jewish and Christian scholars, such as belief in the coming of Mahdi and second-coming of Jesus, and practice of circumcision, stoning to death for adultery, etc. Kab bin al Ahbar is one of those influential converts. The story of Muhammad massacring Bani Qurayza Jews is another fabricated story by Jewish converts; unfortunately they were able to insert such lies into hadith and siyar books, which provided every clever fabricator access to a holy mass propaganda.

Hadith books contain almost anything you want. You may find an extremely kind and nice Muhammad besides a cruel torturer one. You may find Muhammad to be a person with great morals on one page, and on the next page you may see him a pedophile. You will find Muhammad pointing at the moon and splitting it into two pieces letting one piece falling into Ali’s backyard, and on the other page you will find Muhammad incapable of reading a simple letter. Now, you want us to enter this Muhammad-in-the-Wonderland story books and separate truth from falsehood. And without looking in my eyes, you are suggesting me to pick the bad and reject the good ones. You cannot be serious!

“Can we use these hadiths in an actual court of law to incriminate Muhammad? I think we can. You may argue that they are circumstantial and try to discredit them. But they are so many of them that any sane jury will find it difficult to dismiss them. Muhammad is guilty as charged.”

It is evident that you have no knowledge of modern rules of evidence in justice system. I challenge you to find a single judge in America that would find those hearsay reports credible for character assassination. If you find one, I promise that I will petition to the bar to take away that judge’s license by using similar hearsay statements to depict him as a drunk child molester! Yes, go find a single judge in a secular country accepting the garbage you are inviting me to.

“However, our goal is not to take legal action against Muhammad. He is dead. We want to find out the truth. We may never be able to find the truth one hundred percent. But we can get a fairly good idea of it. What you have now is absolute lie.”

As I gave a few examples out of many, it is not possible to get a fair and objective idea by using hadith and siyra books. But, your insistence on this issue gives away your weakness. You are not able to discuss Islam based on the most reliable historic document, the Quran. You had perhaps great time in constructing arguments against Sunni or Shiite Muslims who are mislead by those sources. As you know, I follow the Quran alone, like Muhammad himself did. There are now, thank God, tens of thousands of Muslims all around the world discovering this truth.

“This is just to show the weakness of the position of the Quran only Muslims. Apart from the fact that this is a fallacious way of thinking, it leaves Islam indecipherable.”

Interesting. How in the world you can construe our rejection of hearsay and silly reports as weakness? The real weakness is in your argument, since you mix garbage in your arguments. I did not come here to speculate on books that NEITHER OF US TRUST. Bukhari could not survive five minutes in the witness stand and he would be rejected by every decent court of justice. But, your hatred against Muhammad or Islam, as it seems, has made you care less about truth and justice.

“If that is your position and you are adamant to deny all the historic evidences relating to Muhammad, I deny even the existence of Muhammad. I claim that he was the fabrication of Arab rulers who needed a religion to justify their imperialistic ambitions (See Crone and Cook). You are a lawyer. You know that the burden of proof is on the person who is making the positive assertion, i.e. you. It is you who must prove that Muhammad actually existed and was not just a fictitious personage, a figment of the unknown real author/s of the Quran. Anything you say must be documented. However you can’t use the hadith or the Sira to make your case. If you deny these books you can’t use them.”

Why do you think that the books collected centuries after Muhammad are more reliable sources regarding the words and deeds of Muhammad? Why rejecting those books should undermine the HISTORIC value of the Quran? I find no connection. Let’s say I reject the claims of a biography of Jefferson written by a contemporary author and you tell me: “Well, if you reject this book then how can you prove that Jefferson was indeed a real person who drafted the constitution of the United States?”

I am not sure how serious you are in your denying the historic reality of Muhammad. You are right that I cannot PROVE his existence to you, neither you can prove to me that there was Jesus or Socrates. But, you are missing the entire point.

I follow the Quran. Whether Muhammad existed or not is really a side issue in the context of the message of the Quran. I am not following Muhammad; I am following the message of the messenger. I am here to defend the principles and teachings of the Quran. The questions such as “Did Muhammad really exist or not?”, or “Was Muhammad a good guy or not?” are not relevant right now.

Again, I invite you to tell me which verses of the Quran you have problems with and why. Please be as specific and concise as possible. Let’s discuss the real issues. I hope we will not be distracted by secondary issues.

PS: I believe and argue that the Quran is the word of God and the information containing there is authentic. Inshallah, when we get over this procedural issues I will share you my REASONS why I believe in the divine nature of the Quran.

Peace,

Edip

 

Edip Yuksel v. Ali Sina (4)

Sample Discussion with Audience

Edip Yuksel

12-22-2004

 

Kufr0929:”Edip, I don’t believe there was a muhammad, he was invented 50-100 years after his supposed death. Initially arabs used to say muhammad rasoul alla, which also means praised be the messenger of alla, they might have been talking about abraham or ishmael. My question to you is about koran, which I think is the source of hate and fascism: go , pick up a Quran and read the following verses: 2:191,3:28,3:85,5:10,5:34,9:5,9:28,9:29,9:123,14:17,22:9,25: 52,47:4, and 66:9, you will get your answer. They all promote hatred and violence against non-muslims. A person who believes the Quran to be God’s words, and has read and believes in, these verses, is thus a terrorist , atleast in mind, if not in practice. It is another matter that most muslims are totally ignorant of what is really in their scriptures and their history books. They continue to believe that Islam is a peaceful religion ; and the knowledgable religious leadership wants it that way because exposing them to the reality will result in losses in mosque attendance and fund collection from gullible muslims. Most effective way to fight this islamic terrorism , instead of spending billions in wars and weapons, is exposing the truth to the world and stop being politically correct. Please support courageous people like Taslima Nasrin, Ali Sina (faithfreedom.org) and Ibn Warraq (secularislam.org).”

EDIP: Dear Kufr0929, I answered Ali Sina regarding his conspiracy theory of the fictional Muhammad. You can even claim that Muhammad was an E.T. So what? One can speculate in infinite ways, as long as he does not think that he needs evidence for his wild assertions.

I would like to keep this discussion between me and Ali Sina, since it will be impossible for me to answer every criticism directed to me regarding my faith. I was hoping that I would discuss this and similar verses with Ali Sina, and we agreed to keep this debate restricted. So, I might be going against our agreement, perhaps justified by your access to this so-called restricted forum.

I am a student of the Quran and I have translated the Quran to Turkish and currently working on its English translation together with native speakers. I understand and relate to you why you could reject those verses. If I (mis)understood them like you and majority of muslims do, then I would too have problems with them.

Here is why I think you do not understand the verses the way I understand:

  1. You are taking them out of their Quranic context.

Following your method, I could easily depict Jesus, one of the messengers of peace (islam), as a divider and a trouble maker, rather than uniter and peacemaker:

“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” (Lu 12:51-53).

But reasonable people will consider this an injustice to Jesus and his message.

  1. You rely on distorted translations by sectarian clergymen:

You are relying on the translation of scholars who follow the diabolic teachings of hadith and sunnah. They try hard to distort the meaning or implication of verses to make them compatible with those teachings.

  1. You are ignoring many other verses that compliment these verses and clarify the rules of engagement.
  2. You falsely assume that the practices of Sunni or Shiite khalifs and kings were in accordance with the Quran.

God willing, I will later deal with each verse you listed here. But, I expect this debate to be done between me and one person, presently Ali Sina.

Here, I just want to briefly express my opinion on the verse number that you have attached to your user name, 9:29:

The verse is mistranslated by almost every translator. The correct translation of it should be:

9:29        “You shall fight (back) against those who do not believe in God, nor in the last day, and they do not prohibit what God and His messenger have prohibited, and do not abide by the system of truth among those who received the scripture, until they pay the COMPANSATION, in humility.”

You have noticed that I inserted a paranthesis since the context of the verse is about the War of Hunain, and fighting is allowed for only self defense. See: 2:190-193, 256; 4:91; and 60:8-9.

Furthermore, note that I suggest COMPENSATION instead of Arabic word Jizya. The meaning of Jizya has been distorted as tax on non-Muslims, which was invented long after Muhammad to further the imperialistic agenda of Kings. The origin of the word that I translated as Compensation is JaZaYa, which simply means compensation, not tax. Since the enemies of muslims attacked and agressed, after the war they are required to compensate for the damage they inflicted on the peaceful community. Various derivatives of this word are used in the Quran frequently, and they are translated as COMPANSATION.

I hope you will forgive my lack of opportunity and time to engage in lengthy discussion with you.

armour_piercing_bullets: “Anyone who believe in koran and allah-false god is a terrorist. no need to waste our time on these terrorists. let him prove how his terrorist god/allah created man from mud/clay.”

EDIP: Dear Armour: You should be respectful to your creator, who created you from clay (not mud). Several years ago, the Scientific American had a cover story about the origin of life. The scientists were claiming that life must have started from geodesic structure of clay, since its loose layers create a perfect environment for incubation. We are the latest product of evolution that started from the layers of clay. Thus, my understanding of the word FROM is different than the common understanding. I consider it indicating space rather than substance.

“let him prove how noah took 2 animals each and these later re-populated the world.”

The flood related to Noah was not worldwide. The Quran never claims such a world-wide fload. Rather, it was limited to Noah’s community around Dead Sea. Noah took pairs from his farm animals to a boat made of logs.

“let him prove how the stone in kaba is given by allah to ismeal/abraham.”

That volcanic stone is not sacred; though Muslims worship that black stone. I guess it might have been used to indicate the starting point of circumbulation during the time of prophet. But, later when Muslims turned back to the days of ignorance they idolized many things including the black stone and Muhammad’s grave.

“there r 100 other things in koran that r false.”

Hopefully, Ali Sina will bring these allegations up and I will inshalah deal with each of them. Please remind Ali Sina about these 100 false things.

“this guy is a fundamentalist muslim,and a threat to peace, secularism and freedom. he is an islamic nazi.”

What can I say? It is unfortunate that you falsely depict a man who has been promoting peace against the agents of hatred. May God give you sense of fairness and justice.

“religion especially judeo christianity islam is a disease and truth is the only cure”

I do agree with the real implication of this statement. I find most of the religious organizations to be manipulated by politicians. However, humans have abused many other institutions. Secular governments spend too much resources to manufacture weapons and kill people of other countries. Communism too was used to suppress and oppress people. Now we see “democracy and liberty” has been abused by an evangelist US-Inc president to invade and destroy other countries.

Shake Down: “Now if the debate continues to use hadiths as a source Ali will win. There is no defense against hadiths. It has long been my view that Sunnis and anti-Islam types both love hadiths but for very different reasons. Sunnis love them because they can find anything they want to support their corrupt beliefs. Anti-Islam folks love them because they can use hadiths to show that Muhammad was an awful person.”

EDİP: Thank you Shake Down for this insightful assessment.

Denis Giron: The first objection I have is that Dr. Sina seemed to avoid the issue of hearsay, which is precisely what the ahaadeeth are comprised of. It is one thing to have witnesses, but it is wholly another to have people saying: “I heard from so-and-so that so-and-so heard from so-and-so that somebody else witnessed person X perform action Y.” Mr. Yuksel is right, this would not stand up in court. Rather it would be struck down with a single word objection: hearsay.”

“Now, I agree that it might be absurd to say every single claim in the ahaadeeth is unreliable (I find that to be analogous to those who attempt to reject the entire New Testament in toto). Nonetheless, it seems that Dr. Sina considers an uncomfortable amount of the ahaadeeth reliable, and I suspect that he does this only because it provides him with an easier stick with which to beat Islam. I find the attempt to force Yuksel to accept the ahaadeeth as a straw man approach, analogous to trying to force a Protestant to accept Catholic beliefs before disproving Christianity.”

EDIP: Excellent points Denis. I checked your website, http://www.geocities.com/freethoughtmecca/ and I liked your work. I would like to get to know you further. If you accept, I might invite you to review and participate in our translation of the Quran. It will contain a lot of side notes with philosophical and theological arguments. You may contact me via my cell phone: 520 xxx xxxx..

IDF: “Fine, Yuskel Should be a little more accurate instead of “hinting” the Quran approving the stories before it. Its not making sense that his readers need to “interpret” what Yuskel really meant. Also, how can one re-write something that claimed to be complete anyway? Yuskel doesnt have to use that of a high language to express more in less words.”

EDIP: You are right IDF. I was not careful in my language. The Quran “narrates” some events that allegedly happened centuries ago. What I meant was the events that happened during the revelation of the Quran. Thank you for this correction.

“Its funny that I see arabic names like ‘JIBREEL’, ‘YUSUF’, ‘MUSA’, or ‘ISMAIL’. I see that and think, do they even know they actually name their kids in hebrew? (only with some arabic accent). I could totally be apathetic towards it, but we all know how arabs/muslims hate jews/americans to no end and call to ITBAH them ‘wherever/whenever’ they are.”

Hebrew and Arabic languages are very close to each other. For instance Salam or Shalom. They are twin languages. An Arab might claim that Hebrew language was derived from Arabic. I consider both claims to be unsubstantiated. Besides, I do consider Jewish race as a prototype of humanity. Their accomplishments and blunders are incredible compared to their population ratio. Besides, I do not consider Arabic holier than Hebrew or any other language…

Farside: “The magical numbers of Islam hold a special place my heart.”

EDIP: I loved that picture! But, I could not post it here; and I do not have much time to find a way to do that. Can you please visit 19.org/forum and post it there so that with your permission we can use it.

Peace, Edip

 

Edip Yuksel v. Ali Sina (5)

“Muhammad was illiterate and cruel”

Ali Sina

12-22-2004

 

“Dear Sina:

“Once I was a believer and defender of hadith. However, when I studied the history of hadith, its collection, procedures of its collection, and problems with their authenticity and the profound difference between hadith and the Quran, yes I witnessed this, I gave up from following hadith and sunnah.”

“I understand why you want me to drag to a source that I have come to refute at the cost of my life. You want me to revert back to my old days and start believing those sources that are mere hearsay. Here is my answer:”

“I WILL NOT ACCEPT YOUR INVITATION TO DIG INTO A LITERARY GARBAGE AND CHOOSE AND PICK WHATEVER WE LIKE AMONG THE THOUSANDS Of CONTRADICTORY AND OCCASIONALLY RIDICULOUS NARRATION.”

“It appears that you are not able to criticize the Quran without the help of adding some garbage from collections of hearsay.”

On the contrary! I will show that the Quran is full of errors and absurdities and it can’t be a book of revelation unless the revealer was Satan. The reason I want to clarify the question of hadith is to demonstrate the fallacy of the position of those who totally deny them. Once that is established I will have no need for hadith.

Muslims and non-Muslims, all agree that the historical authenticity of the Quran is far beyond the authenticity of hadith.

It is not true that everyone agrees that the Quran is more authentic than the hadith. Here is a study that disagrees with that claim:

http://www.derafsh-kaviyani.com/english/quran1.html

“Thus, your insistence to rely on hadith, by a biased criterion of ‘if it says something good about prophet we will reject it but if it says bad things about him we jump over and accept it.’ is unacceptable. It is unfair; it is dishonest.”

I already responded to this in my example of police and tips from the public. It would be dishonest to disregard all those tips. No investigator would do such thing unless he is trying to cover up.

You want us to throw all the incriminating evidence against Muhammad just because some of those stories my not be true. The mere fact that some of them are fabricated is not enough reason to discard all of them. You have to do more than that to discredit them all. For example let us talk about the motive.

People do not lie unless there is a motive. What was the motive of those who reported these hadiths?

Sycophantism is a motive. People lie to endear themselves. They falsely attribute miracles to their cult leader because they find receptive audience among fellow believers. This makes them feel important and validates their ego. This is very typical in cults where the cult leader is elevated superlatively by his cronies and each tries to fabricate a lie to make the cult leader look bigger and holier, both during his life time and after his death. A good example is John de Ruiter, the self appointed “Messiah” who has orgies with two young sisters with the consent and gratitude of their parents even though he is married.

A few years ago in my neighborhood market, I saw his flyer pinned to the billboard. It was an invitation to his conferences with these words:

“John de Ruiter: Master of transformation; living embodiment and teacher of Truth.”

And;

“Through the living essence of Truth emanating from his words and from his presence, John de Ruiter awakens what our hearts most long for…”

Any sane person can see that this self proclaimed “guru of the gurus” is insane. But that is not what his followers see. I can bring multitude of examples such as these where the followers of cults become blind and try to fabricate an unreal image of their leader. The point here is that such narrations from the befogged followers of cults should not be taken seriously. So when we see hadiths that attribute miracles to Muhammad we should discard them or at least the part containing the miracles. Also attributing miracles to Muhammad contradicts the Quran.

We see Muhammad shrugging his shoulder when people ask for miracles. He said “There came to you messengers before me, with clear Signs and even with what ye ask for: why then did ye slay them, if ye speak the truth?”3:138 Or: “Glory to my Lord! Am I aught but a man,- a messenger?” Q.17:93. We see this denial that he can perform any miracles in many verses of the Quran (25:7,8 17: 95 ) People called him mad and possessed and asked “Why do you not bring to us the angels if you are of the truthful ones? Q15:7 His response was: “We send not the angels down except for just cause Q.15:8 In another place we read ““And the Unbelievers say: “Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?” But thou art truly a warner, and to every people a guide.” Q.13:7 His contention was that even with clear signs people rejected the prophets so the miracles are useless. Q.3:184

Therefore if the Quran is right then all the miracles attributed to Muhammad in the hadiths are fabricated.

It is clear why the believers fabricate false stories to make their cult leader look grand. But why would they lies to make him look like a villain? We have stories about Muhammad raiding innocent unarmed people with no warning, massacring and looting them, enslaving their wives and children and raping them, torturing people to make them reveal the whereabouts of their treasures, branding their eyes with hot red iron and then raping their wives on the same day. There are stories about him beheading in cold blood 750 innocent men who had surrendered to him without a fight when he blockaded their quarter and diverted the flow of the water to their town. We have hadiths that say he assassinated his opponents including a 120 year old man and a mother of five small children only because they composed poetries criticizing them.

These hadiths are confirmed in the books of history (Siras). They come to us from a variety of sources. They vary in detail but are consistent in the main theme which is normal when a story is reported by several people. There are names of the people involved. They do not seem to be fabrications because of the amount of details.

The main question is WHY? Why would devout followers who loved their prophet report so many false stories about him that portray him as a criminal, mass murderer, rapist, pedophile, assassin, deceiver, and a highway robber?

The motive is important. We can see a clear motive why people fabricate lies to make their prophet look holy but what motive could they have to lie about their prophet and make him look so evil?

We could also overlook such hadiths if they were just a few. Someone could have been an enemy in disguise and might have lied. But we have thousands upon thousands of hadiths that tell the same tale of brutality and portray Muhammad as a criminal. At the same time we have no other version of the same events. If Muhammad actually did not raid the innocent populations how they converted to Islam? Do we have a different version of how Islam expanded? Why would so many devout believers who waged wars for Islam and gave their lives fabricate so many falsehoods against their prophet? Why would dedicated scholars such as Ibh Ishaq, Tabari, Waqidi, Ibn Sa’d, Ibn Hisham, Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Malik or others spend an entire life writing books based on nothing but lies? What happened to the “real” history of Muhammad? How come not a single version of that was ever written? And all what is survived are lies? If all these people were liars, where were the truthful scholars of Islam? How can it be that for 1300 years all the Muslims were lying and suddenly when they came in contact with the West and were embarrassed to see their religion is barbaric in comparison to the humanistic values of the Westerners they discovered that the history of Muhammad that they have is all lies?

Your position of denial is absurd and untenable. You are shocked by the sheer inhumanity of Muhammad, but you are not capable to let go. You try to cling to him desperately but you mask the truth, lie to yourself and cocooned in your leis you feel safe. By these denials you are not changing the truth. You are simply sugarcoating the bitter truth so you can swallow it easier. You are simply beguiling yourself.

“How can you rely on Bukhari who in the beginning of his collection is not even ashamed of insulting MONKEYS by reporting that a companion of the prophet saw monkeys stoning an adulterous monkey to death?”

If you want to discredit Bukhari and other biographers on the basis of the absurdity of their thinking then why you do not look at the absurdity of Muhammad’s thinking?

Muhammad’s ignorance is obvious from what he wrote in the Quran. He thought that Jews were transformed into apes and swine. Is that logical? Who is more ridiculous? Bukhari who thought monkeys practice Sharia or Muhammad who thought Jews were transformed into monkeys? 2:65 5:60 7:166

But that is not all. There are numerous ridiculous statements made by Muhammad in the Quran. We will come to that when we come to the Quran.

“According to your suggested criterion of sifting the garbage, we should accept this report since it does not praise Muhammad! Or you have another criterion that you forgot to communicate to me? You may end up with hundreds of arbitrary criteria to be able to justify your picks and rejects!”

No this hadith should not be accepted. It belongs to that category of hadiths that were invented by Muslims to make their religion look universal. We can see why a zealot Muslim would fabricate such ludicrous hadith. We can also easily see it is false because we know monkeys are not as savage as Muslims to stone their kind. Like all other hadith talking about miracles, this hadith is irrational and hence should be discarded. But when we read Muhammad took a bunch of Arabs and cut their extremities, gouged their eyes and left them to die in the desert for stealing his camels, we have no reason to doubt this is untrue because this heinous act is doable and it fits the character of Muhammad. From the Quran, from thousands of hadiths and from the siras we can see that Muhammad was a violent, unforgiving and ruthless man. There is nothing extraordinary in this hadith for us to doubt it. It is likely that this hadith is true.

  • It is repeated in several sources
  • It is not contrary to the explicit or implicit teachings of the Quran, in fact it is in unison with it.
  • It is not contrary to logic. It is possible to cut the hands and feet of people, gouge their eyes and leave them die in the desert sun.
  • It is consistent with the character of Muhammad
  • There is no reason to believe why so many believers would fabricate such story
  • It is detailed.

Based on all the above this hadith is very likely to be true. And since we have thousands of hadiths like this, it really does not matter even if some of them are not true. We get the picture of Muhammad when we read all of them.

“How can you invite me to speculate on Bukhari who confesses of collecting 700,000 hadith and accepting only about 7000; rejecting 99 percent of them? Don’t you see the exaggeration? Had Muhammad talked every minute of his life after claiming messengership, his words could have hardly added up to 700,000 hadiths.”

This is not a valid argument at all. Suppose Bukhari was exaggerating, this does not invalidate his work. Talking hyperbolically is part of the Persian psyche. If only you could see the kind of hyperbole they they use in their poetry! The number 7 and its multiples of ten were the favorite number of the ancient people and we see Muhammad also using it often. As in the example of police and tips brought earlier, sometimes tens of thousands of tips could be reported. The sheer enormity of the false tips should not invalidate the good ones.

“How can you take Bukhari serious who justifies the abrogation of a Quranic verse after Muhammad’s departure by none other than a holy goat that ate the skin where the alleged verses issuing the stoning-to-death for adulterers written? Should we accept that report? In order to add another insult to Islam you would like to have it. But you cannot have it both ways. You have to also believe the ‘holy goat'”

I haven’t seen this hadith. It could be false but it is not illogical. Goats are known to eat papers and books. The only reason you are so shocked is that you think those writings were revelations from God and if so they could not have been destroyed. Since your premise is wrong your conclusion is wrong too.

“Bukhari had a very different idea of islam than Muhammad. Bukhari was an ignorant idol worshiper and had no respect to the Quran. Besides, he sided with the oppressive rulers. For instance, he found Marwan, the drunk and murderer governor. to be a credible person by narrating “sahih” hadiths from him, while he declined accepting any hadith from a brave student of the Quran, Abu Hanifah who suffered in the jails of Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties for rejecting to sell his soul! Bukhari was not an objective hadith collector, he was on the side of murderers and aggressors.”

“We can write volumes of books listing the contradiction between the teaching of Bukhari and the Quran, the only book delivered by Muhammad. Then, how can a sound person claim Bukhari to be a friend of Muhammad? To me, he was a real enemy of Muhammad (6:112-116), like St. Paul was the real enemy of Jesus, since he distorted his message beyond recognition.”

“Let me little side track here. For instance, Jesus never silenced women and put them down with xenophobic teachings but St. Paul asked women to submit to men and hush: (1Ti 2:7-15; 1 Corinthians 14:34-35; 1 Peter 3:7). Jesus never asked for money for preaching but St. Paul asked for money shamelessly and likened his audience to flock of sheep to be milked by the holy shepherd! (Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 1Co 9:7). He was a successful Machiavellian (before Machiavelli was born!) as opposed to Jesus who did not twist the truth to gain people: “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22).”

“How can you trust Bukhari who narrates the LAST HADITH while prophet Muhammad in his death bed, rejecting the recording of any hadith through a decleration from the mouth of Omar Bin Khattap and the acquiescence of all prominent muslims that “Hasbuna kitabullah” (God’s word is enough for us)?”

I think you are confusing the facts. This hadith that BTW might be apocryphal reports that Muhammad asked for pen and paper to write something and Omar said Hasbuna Kitabullah. Muhammad did not say that. It was Omar who said it in defiance of Muhammad’s order and Muhammad was upset and motioned everyone to leave the room. I say it might be apocryphal because a) Muhammad could not write b) it is highly unlikely that Omar would be so disrespectful to him at the moment of his death and c) even if Omar said such thing others who were present would have obeyed Muhammad and not Omar. This hadith could have been invented by a follower of Ali to stain Omar. But whatever it is it has nothing to do with rejecting the hadith. Muhammad claimed to have sublime morals 68:4 and ordered the Muslims to follow his “good example”. 33:21 How would you know about his examples if not through the narrations left by his companions? The Quran is allegedly the word of God and not a collection of the examples of Muhammad.

Furthermore isn’t this story you are telling us a hadith? So you are trying to discredit the hadiths on the authority of another hadith? And you call that honesty?

“Will your suggested criterion to sift through the garbage help us to decide the authenticity of this hadith and reject all the rest? Which one do you believe? Was the Quran deemed sufficient by early muslims or they too needed hearsay reports to understand the Quran”

The early Muslims did not need narrations about him because they had seen him themselves. But soon after he died, they went to Aisha and others asking about him so they could emulate him. There is no logical reason to believe that his companions started lying from day one and never said a word of truth. Yes exaggerations happen, memories fail and stories get twisted, but despite all that it is not difficult to find an approximation of what actually happened, especially on major events like wars and mass murders. If we had a different version completely opposite to what we have, you would have a point. But what we have is all there is. There is no other version of the history of Islam and Muhammad.

“What is the meaning of protecting the Quran from tempering while making it needy of volumes of dubious and fabricated stories?”

How do you know that the Quran has not been tampered, especially when the same Muslims who were so dishonest as to fabricate thousands of hadiths on Muhammad and were left unchecked were the very ones who transmitted the Quran? In fact, even your mentor Rashed Khalifa admitted that the Quran has been tampered.http://www.submission.org/tampering.html

If the Quran has been tampered it throws out the claim that God has promised to preserve it. 15:9 The myth of inviolability of the Quran has been shattered. What guarantees we have that it has not been tampered more than once?

“How can you trust hadith books that report THE MOST WITNESSED HADITH, or THE MOST AUTHENTIC HADITH and manage to confuse the most crucial words, THE LAST WORDS in that hadith? The hadith about the last sermon, which was claimed to be witnessed by more than hundred thousand believers, has three different endings: (1). Follow the Quran. (2). Follow the Quran and my Sunnah. (3). Follow the Quran and my family. Should we pick and choose! Throw dice? How will your criterion help us to pick the accurate version?”

No two people will tell you exactly the same story after witnessing the same event. If we have three different versions of this hadith, it shows that such sermon did take place and Muhammad made a plea at the end of his sermon. What did he exactly say? We may never be able to know 100%. But we can say he recommended his followers to follow the Quran with great certainty and possibly his sunna and or his family. But this we can’t say with certainty. We can only speculate. In the Quran he says follow my example. 33:21.This is sunna. So the version 2 could be true. It does not contradict the Quran and it ratifies it. What about the family? Muhammad had only one daughter left alive who was married to Ali. So it is very unlikely that he recommended people to follow his family. Can this be a fabrication? If so who would have benefited by fabricating such lie? Well, Shiites would have benefited. So it is highly probably that the version 3 that says follow my family is apocryphal.

You see? Not a big deal at all! We can easily solve most of these problems and sieve the authentic hadith from the false ones once we look at them objectively and not through the lens of a believer who has his responses already made before even asking the question.

If we ask the opinion of a Quran only Muslism about the above hadith, he will chose the version 1. A Sunny will only accept the version 2 and a Shiite will only agree with the version 3. Only an unbiased person like me can see the truth. You can’t be a judge and the interested party at the same time.

If we leave our faith and look at the hadith objectively we will find the truth. We may not be one hundred percent right but we can get close. After all our objective is not to follow blindly and religiously these hadiths. They are not sacred to us. We want to use them as sources of information to learn about Muhammad. These are the ONLY sources of information about Muhammad available to us. The Quran does not talk about Muhammad, it is allegedly the message of God to mankind. In that message he says follow the examples of the prophet but those examples are not there in the Quran. They are in the traditions.

“How can you invite me to take Bukhari a serious source of history while in its LONGEST HADITH it narrates the story of Miraj in which poor Muhammad goes up and down between 6th and 7th heavens trying to reduce the number of daily prayers? In that hadith, Muhammad is like an innumerate and gullible union leader bargaining for some break time on behalf of his people against a merciless boss (hasha God!) who tries to require 50 prayers a day, that is, a prayer for every 28 minutes, day and night! In that narration Moses is the wise guy and he coaches Muhammad in this hard task of negotiation with God! According to your suggested criterion we should accept this hadith because Muhammad is depicted as an idiot who cannot even calculate, without the help of Moses who resides just one heaven below God, the impossibility of performing 50 prayers (not unit) a day? Even if one tried at that time they could not have divided the day to 50 periods of 28-minutes! Since, this hadith insults the intelligence of Prophet Muhammad according to your garbage-sifting criterion, should we believe this story?!”

The story of Miraj is ridiculous. But it was a story told by Muhammad himself. Why would you disparage only the bargaining part of this story? Is the very idea of going to heaven not ridiculous? Isn’t the story of Miraj in the Quran? 71:1 Muhammad claimed that he traveled from Mecca to Masjd Al Aqsa and from there to the seventh heaven in one night. Isn’t this claim more ridiculous? Muhammad bargaining with Allah about the number of prayers is just comic. But the claim that he had such trip is unscientific and absurd. By the way can you tell me where is Majid al Aqsa without referring to hadith? You can’t. When we start our discussion of the Quran, I’ll show you that the Quran is indecipherable without the hadith.

“How can you trust the account of hadith books, which unanimously claim that Muhammad was an illiterate man? Based on your criterion, we should swallow this lie because it does not praise Muhammad, since it depicts him an illiterate man who was not capable of learning 26 letters while dictating a book for 23 years! Or should we reject it because while insulting Muhammad it praises the literary excellence of the Quran”

That is a valid argument. In fact Ali Dashti asks the same question. He wonders why Muhammad, if he really could perform miracles, did not perform the most practical and easiest miracles and learn how to read and write? Obviously whoever said Muhammad was illiterate said a lie to make him look a prodigy. But who really promoted such lie? It was actually Muhammad himself who said it.

62:2        “It is He Who has sent amongst the Unlettered an apostle from among themselves,”

So I do not understand why you vilify the poor Bukhari who simply reported what Muhammad claimed and say nothing Muhammad who said that lie in the first place.

“Idiot friends can harm a person more than wise enemies. Hadith and siyar books are products of ignorant friends who insulted and defamed the men they were trying to worship.”

I agree, If they were not idiot they would not have followed a crazed man such as Muhammad. But didn’t Islam have any wise person to write the correct history of Islam?

“Besides, we should not ignore the possibility of some converts with agenda to distort the message. For instance, many Jewish stories and practices were imported to “islam” via “convert” Jewish and Christian scholars, such as belief Mahdi and practice of circumcision, etc. Kab bin al Ahbar is one of those influential converts. The story of Muhammad massacring Bani Qurayza Jews is another fabricated story by Jewish converts; unfortunately they were able to insert such lies into hadith and siyar books, which provided every fabricator access to a holy mass propaganda.”

Yes also the holocaust is a lie fabricated by the Jews. In fact everyone knows that Osama Bin Laden is a Jew working for CIA who is trying to give a bad name to Islam.

So you want to make us believe that a story reported with so much detail by several historians, containing so many names and data was a total fabrication, that it never happened, that is was a lie concocted by Jews who were exterminated by Muslims but mysteriously reappeared and took control of the Ummah and started writing falsified history of Islam and secretly put those books into the shelves of the Muslims’ libraries without anyone noticing the plot, to give a bad name to Islam and there was not a single Muslim coming forth saying hey, this is not what happened the real story is this? No wonder Muslims still believe in Jinns?

The story of Bani Quraiza is recorded by all the Muslim historians. It is not the only disturbing story of crime of Muhammad. What happened to Bani Nadir, Bani Qainuqa, the Jews of Kheibar, the bani Mostaliq, the Hawazin and countless other tribes who became victims of Muhammad’s marauding gangs? They were slaughtered, enslaved, banished, looted and subdued. Is the entire history of Islam a fabrication? In that case what proof we have that Muhammad himself was not a fabrication? If the entire history of Islam is false, then what makes you believe that Muhammad ever existed? The whole thing could have been made up. Your first duty is to prove the very existence of Muhammad.

“Hadith books contain almost anything you want. You may find an extremely kind and nice Muhammad besides a cruel torturer one. You may find Muhammad to be a person with great morals and on the other page you will see him a pedophile. You will find Muhammad pointing at the moon and splitting it into two pieces letting one piece falling into Ali’s backyard, and on the other page you will find Muhammad incapable of reading a simple letter. Now, you want us to enter this Muhammad-in-the-wonderland and separate truth from falsehood. And without looking in my eyes you are suggesting me to pick the bad and reject the good ones. You cannot be serious!”

It is good that you see these contradictions. However these stories originate from the Quran. The claim that Muhammad was illiterate is in the Quran and the claim that he split the moon asunder is also in the Quran.

54:1-2    “The Hour (of Judgment) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder.
But if they see a Sign, they turn away, and say, “This is (but) transient magic.”

What you should know is that many hadiths were fabricated by zealot believers to back up and justify the claims made in the Quran. But this story is made by Muhammad. He claimed to have ascended to Heaven and this made Abu Bakr waiver for a while doubting the sanity of Muhammad until his blind faith overcame his reason and he succumbed again into ignorance.

“It is evident that you have no knowledge of modern rules of evidence in justice system. I challenge you to find a single judge inAmerica that would find those hearsay reports credible for character assassination. If you find one, I promise that I will petition to the bar to take away his license by using similar hearsay to depict him as a drunk child molester! Yes, go find a single judge in a secular country accepting the garbage you are inviting me to.”

That won’t be a bad idea. I don’t know whether we can prosecute a dead man. But this surely would make a sensational trial. If it can be done and if a lawyer is willing to joins me, it would be a great idea to take Muhammad to court. Or at least try to ban Islam under the anti hate law.

“As I gave a few examples out of many, it is not possible to get a fair and objective idea by using hadith and sira books. But, your insistence on this issue gives away your weakness. You are not able to discuss Islam based on the most reliable historic document, the Quran. You had perhaps had very good time in constructing arguments against Sunni or Shiite Muslims who are mislead by those sources. As you know, I follow the Quran alone, like Muhammad himself did. There are now, thank God, tens of thousands of Muslims all around the world reaching the same conclusion.”

Don’t be impatient my friend. One thing at a time! First I’ll pull the stool from beneath your feet. Once that is done I will move to discredit the Quran and use nothing but the Quran. In fact I left Islam only after reading the Quran. I only became familiar with the hadith afterwards.

“Interesting. How in the world you can construe our rejection of hearsay and silly reports as weakness? The real weakness is in your argument, since you mix garbage in your arguments. I did not come here to speculate on books that NEITHER OF US TRUST. Bukhari could not survive five minutes in the witness stand and he would be rejected by every decent court of justice. But, your hatred against Muhammad or Islam, as it seems, has made you care less about truth and justice. Peace,”

On the contrary, the very fact that you prefer to deny the hadith and so desperately reject the evidences that incriminate Muhammad is the sign of the weakness of your position. You perfectly know he can’t be defended if those evidences are brought to the light. The books of Bukhari is not one person’s opinion. They are collections of thousands of tips. I have never heard a judge throw out the theory presented by the prosecutors on the basis that some of the tips they had received could be false. As long as the theory is not based on false leads, it stands. Just as the police can construct a theory of how the crime happened based on a few tips among many false ones and with that they can prosecute and convict their accused, we can easily construct the profile of Muhammad based on the hadiths that we have even though some of them may not be reliable. It is not impossible or difficult to separate the true hadiths from the false ones.

Going through Rashid Khalifa’s claim another fact became apparent. That you do not reject all the narrations but simply those that you do not like.

The above link states:

“Nineteen years after the Prophet Muhammad’s death, during the reign of Khalifa `Uthman, a committee of scribes was appointed to make several copies of the Quran to be dispatched to the new Muslim lands. The copies were to be made from the original Quran which was written by Muhammad’s hand. This committee was supervised by `Uthman Ibn `Affaan, `Ali Ibn Abi Taaleb, Zeid Ibn Thaabet, Ubayy Ibn Ka`ab, `Abdullah Ibn Al-Zubair, Sa`eed Ibn Al-`Aas, and `Abdul Rahman Ibn Al-Haareth Ibn Heshaam….”

How do you (or RKh) know that? You are expecting others to believe in that story and not in the story of Bani Quraiza or other stories about Muhammad? Where is the honesty here?

 

Edip Yuksel v Ali Sina (6)

Addicted to the Smell of Hearsay Trash

Edip Yuksel

12-23-2004

 

Take your shaky stool away, Ali

A participant of the forum, Mirror of Truth, in another threat answered your argument. You were urging me to join you in using hadith as a reliable evidence to incriminate Muhammad. I am quoting his answer, since I agree it, and it will save me time. I will answer some of other arguments of yours after this excerpt from Mirror of Truth, whose answer is distinguished with five asterisks:

*****

I’m writing my first post regarding the actual debate and I note that some classic AS double talk is beginning to creep into the flow of debate.

On the one hand – AS bluffs his hand by stating:

“On the contrary! I will show that the Quran is full of errors and absurdities and it can’t be a book of revelation unless the revealer was Satan. The reason I want to clarify the question of hadith is to demonstrate the fallacy of the position of those who totally deny them. Once that is established I will have no need for hadith.”

Well he launches into an awful lot of pre-amble if he has no need for hadith. Edip has made it explicit that he does not need nor has any desire to discuss the hadith.

During this pre-amble AS lists two possibilities as the motives for the fabrications which I accept. These are namely:

  1. Glorification of an idolized leader. This would explain hadiths for example that report that Muhammad’s manliness was equivalent to 30 men or whatever number it was. In trying to make their hero macho they do not realize the absurdity they create – and the inadvertent slander they commit.
  2. The fabrications of enemies whether they be hypocrite ‘believers’/converts or or open enemies. This explains a great many hadiths that are covert digs at Muhammad. An example is the cherished hadith of the ‘miraj’ where Moses acts as the wiser guide to Muhammad’s alleged negotiations with God. Obviously this is the fabrication of a Jewish convert who asserts the superiority of Moses’ bargaining/knowledgeability.

What Ali Sina discounts and does not mention at all is that there is another group of hadiths that were introduced (or supported) in the folklore in order to support the actions of corrupt leaders. If corrupt leaders/mullahs could justify their pedophilia or desires to rape and pillage by introducing or supporting such hadiths then having the absolute power there would be little reason for them to reject such hadith. Thus the hadith that obviously makes Muhammad look evil/wicked/stupid etc. become canonized because it meets the secondary need of the corrupt leaders.

Thus there are motives for these hadith that AS has completely ignored.

The sum of it is that whatever the motive for ahadith – none are required for the purposes of following God’s system – not one.

AS has stated he has no requirement for them. None of us are shocked and the position to go on sans ahadith is very tenable. They are fabrications. The absurdity they contain is enough to convince the free-thinker of that. I would advise that AS lets go of his love for the hadith that I’m sure rivals the mullahs in order to make a real contribution to the debate. Let’s move on from the nonsense of ahadith and see what arguments he has left now.

*****

I want to elaborate little bit more about motivation in fabrication of hadiths. Ali Sina is treating hadith sources in a simplistic way. I recommend him to read Mahmud Abu Rayya’s book Adwa’ ‘ala al-Sunna al-Muhammadiya (Cairo: 1377/1958). It is one of the best criticism of history of hadith collection and procedures. The book allocates 60 pages to motives for fabricating hadith. People fabricated hadith to even advertise the dates of a particular town, Ajwa. They fabricated hadiths to promote submission to the rule of Kings. They fabricated hadith to justify the massacres and tortures of Umayyad or Abbasid kings…. Ali Sina ignores all these motives and wants us to believe that any hadith depicting Muhammad as a violent person must be accepted without question! One of his suggested criteria for accepting hadith is if “It is consistent with the character of Muhammad” found in his hostile imagination or in other dubious hadith books! As circular as it could be! Accepting this offer is more difficult than to swallow the prophecies of his favorite psychics.

“Muhammad’s ignorance is obvious from what he wrote in the Quran. He thought that Jews were transformed into apes and swine. Is that logical? Who is more ridiculous? Bukhari who thought monkeys practice Sharia or Muhammad who thought Jews were transformed into monkeys? 2:65 5:60 7:166”

Holy cow! Is this your level of reading a literary test that contains metaphors? Your hatred against Muhammad and islam has reduced your literary skills to elementary level. When your friends tells you “Ali don’t have a cow” do you chastise them by saying, “When did I want to have a cow? Are you hallucinating?” When someone labels another person “pig!” does he really mean that the other was transformed to a pig or he really means that the person acted like a pig. The verses you refer are metaphors that use the Arabic language and culture. It likens the acts of a particular group of Jews to the behavior of monkeys and pigs. Please check Arabic language for the implication of such metaphors.

“I haven’t seen this hadith. It could be false but it is not illogical. Goats are known to eat papers and books. The only reason you are so shocked is that you think those writings were revelations from God and if so they could not have been destroyed. Since your premise is wrong your conclusion is wrong too.”

I do not have such ideas about revelation. You are making up ideas in my name. I do not blame you for this since you have encountered so many Sunni Muslims or Shiite Muslims you may be excused to confuse a “muslim muslim” with them.

“I say it might be apocryphal because a) Muhammad could not write b) it is highly unlikely that Omar would be so disrespectful to him at the moment of his death and c) even if Omar said such thing others who were present would have obeyed Muhammad and not Omar.”

You are accepting one of the biggest lies about Muhammad. Muhammad was literate. He wrote the Quran with his own hands. The Arabic word UMMY does not mean illiterate, it means gentile. For my logical and scriptural reasons for literacy of Muhammad please visit my website at:http://www.yuksel.org/e/books/rtq.htm

Second, if Omar supported Muhammad for 23 years of his messengership he must have known that Muhammad prohibited his companions from writing his hadith all his life. He must have known that the Quran was the only source to be followed and associating man-made teachings to it was another form of polytheism. If I were in Omar’s sandals, I would too reject Muhammad’s request to prescribe another source for our guidance, especially knowing that he was terminally sick and had high fever.

Third, you are confusing the early believers with later Sunni and Shiite Muhammad-worshipers. They were free minds. They did not follow Muhammad as a cult leader, but they accepted his message by using their God-given reason. As you are confusing me or wish to confuse me with a blind follower of a particular sect or cult, you are also confusing or wish to confuse those brave and progressive souls, those freedom fighters with them.

“But whatever it is it has nothing to do with rejecting the hadith. Muhammad claimed to have sublime morals 68:4 and ordered the Muslims to follow his “good example”. 33:21 How would you know about his examples if not through the narrations left by his companions? The Quran is allegedly the word of God and not a collection of the examples of Muhammad.”

You share a strikingly similar poor knowledge of the Quran with Sunnis and Siites. You use the same lousy arguments. If you were able to read the Quran without smelling the garbage of hadith, you would easily notice that 33:21 had preceding and succeeding verses and the example of prophet was his bravery in defending Muslims against the aggressor army of Meccan oligarchy. If your knowledge of the Quran was a little bit beyond the surface, you would also notice that verse 60:4 uses exactly the same description, “good example”, for Abraham and his supporters. Using your logic Muslims should have had the hadith of Abraham and his supporters too! Perhaps, you will find the story of another hungry holy goat eating those hadith collections too to be “not illogical.”

“Furthermore isn’t this story you are telling us a hadith? So you are trying to discredit the hadiths on the authority of another hadith? And you call that honesty?”

I use that hadith to show a conspicuous internal contradiction in hadith books. I say, “if you believe this hadith, you must reject all other hadiths. If you accept other hadiths, then you must reject this one. You cannot believe all to be authentic!” I am surprised that you did not understand this common and simple rhetorical device.

“If we had a different version completely opposite to what we have, you would have a point. But what we have is all there is. There is no other version of the history of Islam and Muhammad.”

Do you really hear what you are saying? What about the Quran? The book that preceded the hadith books by centuries! The Quran refers to all major wars and conflicts and even generously quotes the allegations and accusations of opponents. But, you are addicted with the stinky smell of hadith narrations and you try hard to engage me in a wrestling match in that location. No, my dear friend. I had been there and I am grateful to God for saving me from that. You might, however, continue enjoying your mud-slings with Sunni and Shiite opponents there. If I have time, I will be watching you with a smile on my face.

“How do you know that the Quran has not been tampered, especially when the same Muslims who were so dishonest as to fabricate thousands of hadiths on Muhammad and were left unchecked were the very ones who transmitted the Quran? In fact, even your mentor Rashed Khalifa admitted that the Quran has been tampered. http://www.submission.org/tampering.html

If the Quran has been tampered it throws out the claim that God has promised to preserve it. 15:9 The myth of inviolability of the Quran has been shattered. What guarantees we have that it has not been tampered more than once?”

Finally, a good question, a fair criticism.  I would like to reserve a separate discussion on protection of the Quran via its numerical structure.

“Is the entire history of Islam a fabrication? In that case what proof we have that Muhammad himself was not a fabrication? If the entire history of Islam is false, then what makes you believe that Muhammad ever existed? The whole thing could have been made up. Your first duty is to prove the very existence of Muhammad.”

Again, you are confusing me with your Sunni friends! If I were in an island and found the Quran there among other books, and if I were able to understand its message and blessed to witness its scientific accuracy, prophecies and mathematical structure, I would not need anything else to believe in its accuracy. Do you hear me? Do you understand me? Besides, I am not a Muhammadan. Islam, as the system of peace and submission to God alone, existed long before Muhammad and will continue to exist as a path for the truth-seekers long after him.

“Yes also the holocaust is a lie fabricated by the Jews. In fact everyone knows that Osama Bin Laden is a Jew working for CIA who is trying to give a bad name to Islam.”

No, I do not consider holocaust a lie fabricated by Jews. To the contrary, I consider it one of the most diabolic disasters caused by racism and religious bigotry. Even if the number of massacred Jews has been exaggerated, it does not change this fact a bit. To me, the life of a single human being, be a Jew or Arab, is infinitely important. Killing a single human being unjustly, without self-defense is equivalent of killing all humanity, since if one loses his respect to the life of one human being will lose his respect to the basic principle of brotherhood of humanity (See Quran 5:27-32).

As for Ben Laden being a CIA agent… No, I do not believe that either. CIA might have in the past supported and collaborated with bin Laden, but they parted their ways after Russia left Afghanistan. CIA supported Saddam for long time, when he was killing Iranians and gassing Kurds, my people, to death. But, they parted their way too when Saddam invaded Kuwait, after reading the USA’s reaction before the invasion as a “yes”. To concoct a new scenario in the region, the USA tricked her former puppet-dictator to invade Kuwait …

“It is good that you see these contradictions. However these stories originate from the Quran. The claim that Muhammad was illiterate is in the Quran and the claim that he split the moon asunder is also in the Quran.”

The Quran does not claim that Muhammad was illiterate, but only illiterates of the Quran claim such. Quran claims that Muhammad was not reading any scripture, in other words, he was a gentile. Muhammad was a literate gentile, like many of his contemporary prominent Meccans. The Quran does not claim that Muhammad split the Moon, but only the splitters of holy lies claim as such. The Quran refers to the end of the world and gives the splitting of the Moon as a sign for its coming close. I understand it as reference to the splitting of the Moon’s surface by Apollo astronauts in 1969 when they took rocks from the Moon. I have a detailed argument on this in my Turkish books and inshallah you will find it in our upcoming Reformist Translation of the Quran.

“That won’t be a bad idea. I don’t know whether we can prosecute a dead man. But this surely would make a sensational trial. If it can be done and if a lawyer is willing to joins me, it would be a great idea to take Muhammad to court. Or at least try to ban Islam under the anti hate law.”

Only an Inquisition or Taliban court would accept your evidence as credible. But, in case you find such a court in Texas or Saudi Arabia, please let the judge appoint me as Muhammad’s attorney! I would be glad to represent him against Bukhari, Tirmizi, Ibni Majeh, Ibni Hanbal, Taberi, Waqidi and Ali Sina, combined.

“Don’t be impatient my friend. One thing at a time! First I’ll pull the stool from beneath your feet. Once that is done I will move to discredit the Quran and use nothing but the Quran. In fact I left Islam only after reading the Quran. I only became familiar with the hadith afterwards.”

Now this is really funny. I never stood on that stool or wanted in the first place. You are the one trying to push it under my feet, and each time I kick it you try harder. Now, you are taking credit for your failure to insert that stinky stool under my feet? What kind of logic are you using? In my first letter to you, I invited you to discuss the Quran and you managed to extend the introduction with silly arguments from silly books.

So, it should be the last round that we discuss hadith. We should now move to the real argument. Are you ready for that, or you want to dwell more on hadith? You will not receive any response from me if you continue your bizarre insistence to force me to accept hadith. Then, you may claim your victory and continue your debates based on hearsay and ignorance.

I hope you will kick that stinky stool under your feet. As it appears, it is the only stool keeping you standing

A PERSONAL NOTE

(Ali, take a deep breath, sit down, take prozac or medication of your choice, and then read it. I do not want to be the cause of your heart attack—Muslims needs to hear your voice and your baby followers need nourishment–but I want to share with you my honest thoughts about you. If my thoughts about you are wrong, please correct me. I assume that I will deserve a personal retaliation. So feel free to express your thoughts about me!).

When I accepted your challenge to debate on Islam, I had no knowledge about your philosophy or political position. All I knew was that you were very aggressive enemy of Islam. During the three days I had chance to browse some of your writings and learn a little about you, as you have been doing the same about me. I cannot claim that I know your philosophy or religion well; but I learned a few things about you that mostly fascinated and occasionally surprised me:

  1. You have access to volumes of religious classics and you know well how to navigate among them.
  2. You are curious about modern science, you read and you are able to construct some philosophical arguments based on most recent scientific findings or theories. It is a risky business, but hey, intellectuals are entrepreneurs. However, I warn you against taking risks with theories and speculations and by speculating over speculations.
  3. You have great aversion, to the degree of hatred, against the religion falsely introduced as Islam.
  4. Your aversion and hatred against the corrupt Islam, which I call Hislam, I think, have led you to lose the diamond (the Quran) in the garbage. (I have read some of your criticism directed to the Quran, and inshallah I will demonstrate the problems with MOST of your arguments).
  5. Your fight against false ideas and terrorism is somehow focused on Muslims alone, while a segment of Christendom, especially millions of fanatic evangelists and crusaders, equipped with big financial resources and powerful propaganda machines, are propagating similar false ideas, supporting and encouraging state terrorism, occupations, dictatorial governments, military coups, wars, crusades and destruction around the world; yet, you do not show similar aversion and hatred towards them.

As for me, while I condemn Ben Ladin for killing innocent people, I also condemn the evangelical president of the USA-Inc who has terrorized an entire nation based on lies, deception, and has killed many times more civilians, and destroyed many times more buildings in a poor country that had no connection with Ben Laden. (See: www.yuksel.org/e/law).

So, if you call Muslims terrorist because they killed several thousand people in last decade, you must call Christians “terrorists to the factor of 666” since they killed hundreds of thousands in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam, and just recently they killed tens of thousands Iraqi civilians, and wounded even more.

Why terrorizing an entire nation, destroying their cities, killing, torturing, raping and sadomizing their children and youth in the name of “democracy and liberty” should be treated lightly? Why killing tens of thousands of civilians should be forgiven if the murderers, who are also proven congenial liars, use the magic word “collateral damage?” Why smashing the brains of children with bombs or severing their legs and arms should be considered civilized and treated differently than beheadings? Why destroying an entire neighborhood or city and massacring its population by a push of button from the sky should not be considered equally or more evil than the individual suicide bomber blowing himself or herself among his powerful enemies who snuffed away all his or her hope? Why surviving to push another button to kill more people should be considered a civilized action not the action of those who gave their own lives while doing the killing? How can one honestly call an occupying foreign military force to be freedom fighters? How can one call the native population to be terrorists just because they are fighting against an arrogant and lethal occupation army which was mobilized against them through lies and deception?

If you read my books, articles, and listen to my speeches, you will find that I do not favor one criminal over another because of their religion or nationality. However, I consider state terrorism, regardless of the nationality and religion of the population, to be much more cruel, dangerous, and sinister than the group or individual terrorism. I expect similar consistency and fairness from you. I expect you to PROTEST and CONDEMN the atrocities conducted by Evilgelical-Zionist coalition in Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, etc., as you rightly condemn the atrocities committed by Hislamic radicals in Afghanistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, etc.

Otherwise, your biased stance against Muslims alone might support the speculations that you are used by Evangelical Christians. I do not know and cannot speculate that there is such a connection, but I found your position intellectually problematic and dishonest.

  1. Your belief in paranormal was a surprise, though. You might have already read several of my articles on paranormal. My stance on paranormal is somewhere between yours and skeptics’. I do not want to distract our current debate with this subject, so I will just touch the surface.

I found some entertaining writings about you (See the excerpt below). It seems that some people are taking you too serious and considering you together with Van Praagh (a charlatan who fools gullible people on TV) as the founders of a new religion: Rational Spirituality. I do not know whether you take Van Praagh serious, but getting to know you little bit, I will not be surprised if you do so. You might be one of those people with multiple personalities: genius on one page, gullible on the other; against the Muslim terrorist on one page; for the Christian or Jewish terrorists on the other page!

Regardless, I enjoy reading your writings, including your silly and utterly false or nonsense claims. I respect intelligence and revere it as a divine gift. You are gifted in that sense, and you will have equal responsibility. I hope your ego will allow you to control and check yourself. Be reminded that extreme points might be dancing on a circle, the farthest they go away from each other the closest they might get to each other, and the barrier separating both extremes may collapse occasionally. Here is the funny excerpt by one of your “followers”:

“My fellow friends, we must rally behind Ali and Van Praagh et al. to establish this fledgling religion firmly on earth. I am encouraged by a few converts already joining hands. We must win this battle against the skeptics who destroy people’s lives. Remind you- they never build lives; they only destroy. Think about this: the skeptics’ camp dominated by the Scientists, Rational Humanists, leading Philosophers etc. have done nothing, absolutely nothing to build people’s lives. They have only brought about all scientific progress; they have contributed enormously for the comfortable, easy and just life in this world. Those are just material things – those contributions don’t build people’s life but instead destroy people’s life and destroys people’s hope. Of course, the skeptics never kill people in great numbers; still we must believe that they destroy people’s life. Although, we rational spiritualists just “do twaddles” by means of our new religion but they still build people’s life, bring hopes to people. One may wonder if we destroy the skeptics; who is going to keep the wheel of progress of human life rolling. I don’t think we have any problem there at all. Do we remember the fire-ball Ali witnesses in his sister bed room? Ali says that was clearly an intelligent being. It can be presumed that those intelligent beings may be huge gold-mine of genius and intelligence. Once we have established our new religions by destroying the skeptic scientists, philosophers etc., we can replace them with those intelligence beings and the progress of our Spiritual world can even move forward faster.” (Alamgir Hussain)

Peace.

 

Edip Yuksel v Ali Sina (7)

Christian, Agnostic, Muslim Audience …

Edip Yuksel

12-23-2004

 

HECTOR: Merry Christmas Edip Yuksel, What is your view on my proposition that the Quran is also hearsay because of the evidence chain: Allah to Jibril to Muhammad to verse memorizer to verse scribe?

Merry one-month-after Ramadan Hector:)

EDIP: First, we need to shave the unnecessary part. Since, we have strong evidence that Muhammad was literate and wrote the Quran with his own hand, the physical representation of the Quran came into existence at that point. You have a very good point, but for a slightly different reason. The suspicion, I believe, would not be the reliability of transmission, since one can assume angels to be following God’s order verbatim and they are designed to perform their jobs, etc. In other words, if the receiver of the revelation is sure that what is he receiving is a revelation from God; he does not have much reason to worry about the veracity of its transmission, since God should be capable of ensuring a reliable communication. However, the big philosophical problem with receiving revelation involves the question whether the revelation is coming from God or not and this issue was well expressed by the existentialist philosopher Sartre. Sartre questioned Abraham’s conviction regarding the divine order sacrificing his son. Sartre asked, “How could Abraham be sure that it was God not Satan who inspired him such an idea?” I have written a short article on this issue and it is available at my personal website under the category: Philosophy.

MR HAPPY: Perhaps you missed my question first time round Edip, briefly, what are your thoughts on the Sharia law, particularly the punishments such as stoning, lashings, amputation etc.

EDIP: I reject any Sharia law made by clergymen. Stoning to death, according to the Quran, was practice of Jews and pagans. It was imported to Islam long after the departure of Muhammad and many lies were fabricated to link it to Muhammad. One of the well-known basis for that is the fabrication of verse that does not exist in the Quran but believed to have the authority of the Quran. The fabricated verse ordering the stoning penalty for married adulterers was allegedly eaten and abrogated by a hungry holy goat! Since that hungry holy goat of hadith books have not eaten my brain  Ironically, Ali Sina wished me to believeJyet I do not believe such nonsense that nonsense so that he could declare an easy victory after goring me from . But, instead he adopted and gave shelter to the poor goat and called itLbehind “not illogical”.

As for lashing, it is in the Quran, and it can be applied to those who freely admit the jurisdiction of Quranic law if they are proven to commit adultery, that is betraying the contract with their spouses. It is in reality a public shame, rather than a harsh physical punishment, since the word used for lash is JiLD, derived from the same root used for skin. We are culturally biased in favor of prison system. I recommend you an excellent book on the origin of prison system and abandonment of corporal punishment in the West. The title of the book is Discipline and Punish, authored by Michael Foucault. It is a very interesting historical, social and legal account of of evolution of western criminal system. As for amputation, it is one of the meanings out of three alternatives. I think amputating the hands of the thieves is a very harsh punishment and it contradicts my sense of justice. Yes, MY sense of justice. So, I prefer the other two alternative understanding, which I have discussed in the short introduction section of my upcoming Reformist Translation of the Quran.

PEACEONEARTH: Having denounced Hadith and Siras, with no historical basis to go by, who is to determine what the right spirit is? Edip will want to give the benefit of doubt to Quran. Arabic is full of ambiguities and Edip will choose to assign the appropriate meaning on the basis of “right spirit”.

That in essence is his approach. Am I right, Edip? Did I capture the essence of your approach?

EDIP: It is called the good spirit dear JPeace. Does “in the right spirit” mean “the most likely meaning” or the “meaning that puts Quran in the best light”.

Replacing the ambiguity in the book with the ambiguity of “in the right spirit” does only one thing – transfer the right to interpret to the one wanting to define what the “right spirit” is.

Now, is the approach of “right spirit” that is defined by someone in 21st century better than the context provided in Hadith or Siras? I beg to differ

If you are hundred percent convinced by reason and personal experience that the Quran is indeed word of God, then you treat ambiguities also as intentional way of divine communication with generations of humans to come. So, if a word or verse has multiple meaning, I will take the one or the ones that do not contradict other clear verses and spirit of the scripture, the laws of nature. I have some examples at my website.

???: First, a positive: I commend Edip on his intention to reform Islam as we know it. It would be a welcome change if Edip can successfully get Islam to ban Hadith & Sira and use Edip’s translation of Quran. That would be a great change for Islam as we know it. But will it happen?

EDİP: Thanks for this good wish. More accurately stated, we are trying to have an islamic reform according to the teaching of the Quran alone.

??? Such “inspired translation”, even as they appear far fetched, are going to be common-place in this debate. This is the “in spirit” translations that one has to believe to make Quran appear to be a book of God.

Does the following seem reasonable to any one other than Edip and his ilk? “Splitting of the moon surface” = “Apollo astronauts taking rocks from the moon”. Sigh … Such rationalization to forward one’s own faith … such a pity

EDIP: Perhaps, I did not use the right English word. The Arabic word SHAQQA perhaps cannot exactly be translated with the word “split” since it is also used to describe the split opening or cracking the soil after rain (Quran 80:26). I would appreciate if you help me find a better English translation, if there is, that can both mean splitting apart AND split opening, cracking (the ground). I have not yet discussed this verse with my co-translators. Since, they are native English speakers and professors of linguistics, I think they will help. (BTW, English is chronologically my fifth language.)

JAK: Escape routine as usual, when get cornered use Christianity as a shield. Hey Edip, your discussion with Ali Sina is about Islam, Christian have nothing to do with it. Use Quran alone in your defend to Islam. You said it yourself that you are “Quran only” man.

EDİP: Are you offended with one paragraph referring to three facts about St. Paul? I did not use it in the context of justifying anything wrong in Islam. The Biblical references were about xenophobia, milking the church goers, and hypocrisy. We have not yet discussed these topics in relation to Islam. I gave it as a parallel example how clergyman of all religions distort the message of messengers after they are transformed to idols. So, your accusation fails to make a case for “red herring” fallacy. If the examples of corruption I gave are part of your religion, then you should try to defend it, or give up from that part of your religion, or take your time and do some research. But, you are filing a trivial procedural complaint about it. The examples were relevant to the argument and they were correct. So, your objection is denied

MIRROR OF TRUTH: However the truth is that man made religions are what this word refers to. Any division created between mankind to break apart the unity of God’s system is forbidden by the Quran.

EDIP: Thus the breaking into religions is forbidden. The system of God is outlined within the Quran and a person either chooses to follow it – absolutely without the intervention of any intermediaries – or not. That’s the choice – not secularism vs religion.

EDİP: Muhammad was not illiterate. This is a slander generated by traditionalist islamists. In their zeal to ‘enhance’ the literary miracle of the Quran they most likely assumed that by making the messenger illiterate that it would make things more impressive. However it is quite clear that the word “ummy” means Gentile – and not illiterate as traditionalists hold. Thank you Mirror for these beautiful comments.

FARSIDE: Did Muhammad stand out brilliantly?

EDIP: You are a breeze in dessert blowing from Farside. Thanks:)

IDOLFREE1: ISLAM is NOT a RELIGION. Human beings have taken DIVINE WISDOM and turned it into yet another religion.

The Title “Muslim” is not something that you give yourself and that is it, one is only a “muslim” (lower case) when they submit to righteousness.

EDIP: Wow, three in a row… Thanks for this comments, idolfree1

JUAN: Well, Mr. Edip seems to have a problem with some of the hadiths that depict Muhammad as a criminal. Nevertheless, in my opinion, he is not being clear about the criteria he uses to categorise what haditsh are authentic and which ones are not. When he says that the Quoran should be the only source of guidance, then one has to assume that the Quarna itself provides with the sufficient context for some particular and key issues. For instance, in terms of the wagging war against enemies, could Mr. Edip shows us that the sword verses are indeed intended only for defensive wars? From what I have read in the Quoran, and please correct me if I am wrong, nowhere can I find a single paragraph/context/situation in which it is clearly shown that Muslims were firstly attacked, and that they only retaliated. Another good example concerns the beating of wives in surah 4:23 if I am not mistaken. Can Mr. Edip shows us the paragraph/context/situation in the Quaron in which Muhammad put into practice such commands from Allah? As I said, I stand to be corrected in those two issues. However, if Mr. Edip has to recur to the haditsh to prove and show the context of some verses in the Quaoranm, the he definitely has to show us the criterion he used to say those hadiths are consistent with the message of the Quopran, and why other not of his liking are not consistent !

EDIP: Dear Juan: The Quran does not promote war; but encourages us to stand against aggressors on the side of peace and justice. War is permitted only for self-defense (See: 2:190,192,193,256; 4:91; 5:32; 60:8-9). We are encouraged to work hard to establish peace (47:35; 8:56-61). The Quranic precept promoting peace and justice is so fundamental that peace treaty with the enemy is preferred to religious ties (8:72). As for your second criticism, please visit the BOOK section of yuksel.org and there you will see an introductory section of our upcoming translation. You will find my translation and comments on 4:34 (not 23) there.

JUAN: Mr. Edip, I surely hope you can read me. If you indeed have been doing some ground-breaking research regarding the mathematical miracles in the Quaron and its origins, I will pay attention only until after you have successfully defended your book and theories in front of experts in history, mathematics, linguistics, etc. LISTEN, I AM NOT ASKING YOU TO PROVE THE EXSISTENCE OF GOD. I am just asking you to prove to world-class experts in the relevant areas that you indeed have the correct translation of the Quaraon, that the mathematical miracles in the Quaron can only be found in the Quoran and in no other book or document, etc, etc, etc.

So the challenge for you is Mr. Edip, go and argue with the experts in Cambridge, Harvard, Oxfords regarding your “ground-breaking” research. Once you have convinced the experts that 1400 years of tradition and hadiths are pure garbage and that your new Quoran is the correct one, that it is mathematically inimitable, then you can come here and teach a lesson to us mere mortals. Who knows, you might even be remembered very fondly in the future as the intellectual giant who saved humanity from discarding the “miracle” of the Quaran!!

EDIP: I have already given several lectures on this in Near Eastren Studies, Philosophy and Math departments at the University of Arizona. In math department, more than 30 professors and graduate students attended the speech. I received not a single objection. Here are some possible reasons: (1) they did not understand me; (2) they found the case so hopeless that they did not want to waste their time on it; (3) they were cautious since they needed to study it for themselves and they were not ready to challenge the examples; (4) they were frozen speechless miraculously… My my one to one conversation with them after the lecture showed that the third option was true; at least for the some.

I debated this issue on Turkish TV two years ago against a professor of mathematics at Bosphorus University, Istanbul; a prestigious university in Turkey. The other opponent was Turkey’s former Chief of Religious Effairs. Millions of people watched that debate. The debate was in Turkish and is now available as a video stream at 19.org. You may ask a Turkish (preferably, a non-religious one) who watched the debate either live in Turkey/Europe or at my web site.

About a decade ago, when I was student at philosophy department, I engaged in a two-round debate on the numerical structure of the Quran and its implications with Carl Sagan, late astronomer and agnostic. (By the way, I highly recommend his book, The Demon Haunted World, Science as a Candle in the Dark, to everyone, especially to Ali Sina and his followers). Our debate is available on the internet under the title The Prime Argument.

I had some communication via mail and phone with Martin Gardner, the famous mathematician and philosopher, on the subject. But, he was merely asking some questions and stayed away from discussing the issue. He wrote several articles on this topic, mostly informative, yet with a little dose of his usual sarcasm.

Inshallah, when I finish the translation I will finish an English book on the mathematical structure of the Quran. Then, I will be challenging all these mathematicians.

JUAN: Mr. Edip, could you please show me the verses in the Quoran where it is clearly explained that the wars the muslims emarked on were only defensive? If you can not and have to recur to the hadiths, could you please show me the methodology that you used to choose those verses?

EDIP: Juan, I listed some references above when you first directed this question. If you missed it, please go back and read my response again.

JUAN: Mr. Edip wrote: “I follow the Quran and whether Muhammad existed or not is really a side issue in the context of the message of the Quran. I am not following Muhammad; I am following the message of the messenger. I am here to defend the principals and teachings of the Quran. Did Muhammad really exist or not, was Muhammad a good guy or not, is not relevant right now.”

This is the stupidest thing I have ever read in my life !!! …. so basically, this guy has said that even if Muhhamad was a pedophile, murderer, robber, etc, etc, ALL OF THIS WOULD BE OF NO IMPORTANCE, HE’D STILL BE A MUSLIM !!!

My gosh, I have seen some stupid garbage posted by Muslims, but this one definitely takes the cake !!! ……

  1. GIRON: Well, let’s be honest here. Edip is attempting to derive his theology entirely from the Qur’an, and if we’re honest about this issue, we will admit that the Qur’an does not tell us a great deal about Muhammad or his role in the revelation of the Qur’an. In fact, were we not carrying the baggage that is a natural result of centuries of Muslim exegesis, we could read the Qur’an in a vacuum and not come to any conclusion about any man named Muhammad (it simply mentioned a man who is praised, and whose name shall be commendable, laudable, praise worthy). The veracity of the Qur’an can actually be discussed regardless of whether there ever was an historical Muhammad or not.

Well, if we reject the ahaadeeth as a reliable source of information, what kinds of conclusions can we really reach about Muhammad? It seems the character of Muhammad becomes almost irrelevant to Mr’ Yuksel’s interpretation of Islam.

And that’s exactly the issue with Mr. Edip’s stance. I am catholic, and of course I believe in God. Mr. Edip also believes in his god allah. I think Mr. Edip and I would agree that God has revealed the way in which He wants His children to “act”, “behave”, so to speak. That’s why it is utterly CRITICAL for God that in His revelation, the ultimate example of how to “act” and “behave” is also included! …. so if “allah” had wanted the Quoran to be his ultimate and final revelation, where’s that ultimate “role model”/character in the Quoran??!?!? …. again, if one has to go to the haditsh in order to have a picture of who Muhhamad was (if god really intended Muhhamad to be his finest example for humanity), then Mr. Edip has to show why the “nice” haditsh have to be accepted as original, and why the “not so nice” hadiths about Muhhamad have to be rejected because they are corrupted??

And again, I say that it is too bad that the all powerful and wise allah forgot to include all those critical details and examples in his “perfect” “complete” and miracolous book known as the Quoran, but on the other hand, allah made sure to include stupidity and garbage such as 19 codes, seven heavens, sun setting in mud, etc …

EDIP: I thank Giron for his voice of reason. Juan have misread my words. I was talking about ontological issue not moral one. The key word was EXIST. It was my response to a ridiculous conspiracy theory.

Juan is thinking exactly like Sunnis. One really does not need role model if the rules are clear. For instance, if there is a rule telling you not to lie, you do not need a role model to understand it or practice it.

I have a question to Juan who claims to be a Catholic and presumably believes all the stories in the Old Testament: Many prophets and messengers in the Old Testament are depicted to be less than role models. They committed incest, got drunk, lied, had slaves, had hundreds wives and concubines, massacred their enemies together with their women and babies…. I do not believe that any messenger of God would commit these lowly and horrendous acts.

The same evil people who fabricated those lies about Noah, Abraham and many other prophets, were at work when muslims turned their back to the Quran and paid attention to stories and hearsay attributed to their new idols: Muhammad and his companions. The same criminals, the same evil people attributed evil deeds to Muhammad. The motive: to justify their own sins, corruption, oppression, and aggression.

So, I wonder your motive for insisting that I should believe in those mishmash collection of hearsay and gibberish. I wonder, why you cannot handle Quran alone. Peace.

XXXX: Actually you are called in the muslems sight as (quranni).. we don’t consider those kind as Muslems… I wanted to read the full debate.. but your sunna insulting with no clear reason or evidence.. made me not continue.. I think you don’t know so much about Hadith .. and its science and how muslems deal with it and clasify it… you (quraanis ) just wanted to make things easy for just personnel benefits without any fair. I suggest you go to saudi arabia or egypt to and have a study about the Hadith science… you will never be able to ignore it any more

EDIP: I formally studied hadith and usulu alhadith for ten years, and unfortunateIy, during the days of my ignorance, I wrote books and articles defending hadith.

The reason you will not see me discussing the details of hadith, because this is not its place. When I debate this issue with believers of hadith and sunnah, then I use the so-called science of hadith. And I hit them with their own science! Millions of Turkish speaking people know my live TV debates with top religious leaders in Turkey. In fact, the audio and video records of several debates are currently available at the Turkish section of 19.org.

If you are too eager organize a debate between me and your top expert in “Science of Hadith” Let him be the graduate of your al-Azhar! Let him have the title “great alim” before his name, a long beard on his face, and a turban on his head. Do you hear me? Then, you will be able to listen to both sides and make your own mind.

If you really want to know what kind of “science” is the “science of hadith,” I recommend you to read Muhammad Abu Rayya’s defense of Hadith and Sunnah, Udwa Ala Sunna. You will be educated and very surprised. But, if you want an entertaining book on this subject, then I recommend you Ibn Qutayba’s defense of Hadith, The Science of Resolving Conflictis among Hadiths.

In fact, o reasonable person may not need to know the SCIENCE of COLLECTING and EVALUATING hadith (Jarh and Tadil), since the outcome is out there! Read Bukhari, Muslim, Timizi, Nasai, Ibn Majeh, Ibn Hanbel and other numerous hadith collections and you will find that this science is very good in only producing trash and losing some precious diamonds among its piles. Peace.
Edip Yuksel v Ali Sina (8)

A Revolution Led by Muhammad

Edip Yuksel

 

In our previous rounds of debate, Ali Sina used his favorite fabricated hadiths to insult and condemn Muhammad. His zeal in relying on hadith was no less than of a fanatic Sunni. Before starting discussing the Quran, I decided that it would be unfair and unjust to Muhammad, the last prophet of islam, to leave his name and message be stained by those trashy narrations and allegations. So, here I post an excerpt from the beginning of my upcoming book, “Code 19“,[1] which summarizes Muhammad’s struggle against ignorance, arrogance, selfishness, violence and injustice. Here is the true account of Muhammad’s character and mission:

A Revolution Led by a Gentile against the Mollarchy of Medieval Arabia

It was 570 years after Christ when Muhammad was born in Mecca. At the age of 40 he made a declaration that shocked his people. During the month of Ramadan of 610, he claimed that he was visited by Holy Revelation (a.k.a. Jibreel or Holy Spirit) delivering him a message from God. This claim was first kept secret; he shared it only with a few close friends and relatives. A few years later he publicly declared his messengership and his opposition to the religious and political establishment of Mecca. An era of revolution and reformation that would change world history had started.

Muhammad, a member of a powerful tribe and a successful international businessman, was not an ordinary citizen of Mecca. With his sound judgment and trustworthy personality, he had won the respect of the theocratic oligarchy. His uncles were the leaders of one of the prominent tribes and were active in social, political, economic, and religious affairs.

Arabs living in the Hijaz region were brethren of the Jews, and Abraham was their common forefather. Mecca or Bacca was the valley where Abraham had immigrated, after his exile from Babylon.[2] There is only one reference to this important city in the Old Testament:

“Blessed is the man whose strengths in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also fills the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appears before God. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob.” (Psalms 84:5-8)

Meccan Arabs had deep respect for the struggle of Abraham whose courageous stand for his monotheistic belief was legendary. Therefore, they were very protective of his reputation, religious practices, and the Kaba. Knowing that Abraham rejected worshiping the statutes besides God, Arabs never worshiped statues or symbolic objects.[3] Nevertheless, they had holy names, such as Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat from whom they would ask intercession and help. Their association of other authorities and powers to God and their fabrication of myriad prohibitions and laws in the name of God is called shirk[4] and the Quran repeatedly criticizes this mindset and practice as polytheism, the source of all evil.

53:19-26               What do you think about Allat (The Goddess), Al-Uzza? And Manat, the third one. Do you have sons, while He has daughters? What a fraudulent distribution! These are but names that you made up, you and your forefathers. God never authorized such a blasphemy. They follow conjecture, and personal desire, when the true guidance has come to them herein from their Lord. What is that the human being desires? To God belongs both the Hereafter, and this world. Not even the angels in heaven possess authority to intercede. The only ones permitted by God are those who act in accordance with His will and His approval.

39:43-45               Have they have invented intercessors to mediate between them and God? Say, “What if they do not possess any power, nor understanding?” Say, “All intercession belongs to God.” To Him belongs the kingship of the heavens and the earth, then to Him you will be returned. When God alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter shrink with aversion. But when others are mentioned besides Him, they rejoice.

However, those who accept other authorities besides God, never accept their crime. They vehemently deny their shirk. Though the majority of “believers” follow the teachings of their clergymen and assign divine authority to others besides God, they usually do not accept that they are committing shirk; they claim to be monotheists. If you question a Hindu who worships hundreds of gods and goddesses, you will learn that he or she is really a monotheist! A Christian who puts his full confidence in St. Paul’s polytheistic teaching which was formulated in 325 CE by the Nicene Council as the Doctrine of Trinity (i.e., God with three personalities) will still claim to be a monotheist![5]  Muslims who elevated Muhammad to the level of God by making him the second source of their religion and by putting his name next to God in the Statement of Testimony will also insist that they are monotheists.

6:22-23 On the day when we summon everyone, we will ask the mushriks, “Where are those whom you claimed partners?” Their only response will be, “By God our Lord, we never were mushriks.”

16:35     Those who commit shirk say, “Had God willed, we would not have worshiped anyone besides Him, nor would our parents. Nor would we have prohibited anything besides (what was prohibited by) Him.” Those before them have done the same. Can the messengers do anything but deliver the message?

Arab mushriks (those who accept other authorities besides God) never claimed that those holy names were gods, they were merely praying for their intercession. They believed that the saints and angels were mediators between them and God.

39:3        The system absolutely shall be devoted to God ALONE. Those who set up masters besides Him say, “We worship them only to bring us closer to God; they are in a good position!” God will judge them regarding their disputes. God does not guide any liar, unappreciative.

The Quran clearly rejects association of any authority besides God, whether in making  religious laws or providing eternal salvation.

42:21     They follow those who decree for them religious laws never authorized by God. If it were not for the predetermined decision, they would have been judged immediately. Indeed, the transgressors have incurred a painful retribution.

9:31        They have set up their religious leaders and scholars as lords, instead of God. Others deified the Messiah, son of Mary. They were all commanded to worship only one God. There is no God except He. Be He glorified, high above having any partners.

According to the information given by the Quran, Meccan Mushriks preserved their forms of religious practices while losing its monotheistic and spiritual meaning. They were praying, fasting, and performed pilgrimage.[6] It was the most popular religious practice.

Mollarchy in the City State of the Arabian Peninsula

There were some characteristics of Mecca that distinguished it from other Arabian towns and cities. Mecca, with Abraham’s temple, was the center of religion, politics and business. Abraham’s temple, the Kaba, is described by the Quran as “People’s House” or “Sacred Place of Prostration.” Abraham, as I mentioned above, was a legendary ancestor for both Arabs and Jews. During the four consecutive sacred months,[7] Arabs dwelling in the region would visit Mecca for pilgrimage. Meanwhile, the occasion was also used for an international trade fair. Merchants from neighboring countries would participate in a lengthy business and cultural activity. During these religious months, besides trading, cultural and athletic competitions such as poetry and wrestling would take place. Mecca was the center for economic, political, and cultural activities of a vast land.

Prominent tribal leaders like Abu Hakem (a.k.a., Abu Jahel), Abdul Uzza (a.k.a., Abu Lahab), Abu Sufyan, Umayy Ben Halef, Nadr Ben Haris, and Valeed Ben Mugiyra, could not tolerate any reformation movement that would change the status quo and risk Mecca’s crucial position in the political and economic landscape. They were determined to follow the traditional religion they inherited from their ancestors who had distorted Abraham’s monotheistic system to shirk. Preservation of the traditional religion and the status quo was vital for the theocratic government of Mecca. Questioning the orthodox belief system and the common practice could be interpreted as a foreign attack on the unity of Mecca or as a betrayal to the fabric of  its society.

A teaching that rejects the idea of intercession and the sacred role of professional clergymen, a teaching that promotes the human rights of slaves and the oppressed, that seeks economic justice by objecting to monopoly and usury, that is concerned about the poor, that condemns ethnic and racial discrimination, that protects the rights of women, that advocates democratic governance through consultation, and encourages people to use their reasoning and questions tradition, surely, such a system would pose a serious threat to the economic and political interest of the ruling elite.

Social, Economic, and Political Structure Criticized

It is a well-known fact that the early revelations of the Quran use strong language in criticizing the theocratic oligarchy, which did not care about the poor, orphans and aliens; did not free the slaves; did not treat women as equal to men; and did not consult people in public affairs.

107:1-7 Do you know who rejects The System of God Alone?  That is the one who mistreats the orphans. And does not advocate the feeding of the poor. And woe to those who observe the contact prayers, Who are totally heedless of their prayers; they only show off. And they forbid charity.

89:17-20               Wrong! It is you who brought it on yourselves by not regarding the orphan. And not advocating charity towards the poor. And consuming the inheritance of helpless orphans. And loving the money too much.

90:6-20 He boasts, “I spent so much money!” Does he think that no one sees him? Did we not give him two eyes? A tongue and two lips? Did we not show him the two paths? He should choose the difficult path. Which one is the difficult path? The freeing of slaves. Feeding, during the time of hardship. Orphans who are related. Or the poor who is in need. And being one of those who believe, and exhorting one another to be steadfast, and exhorting one another to be kind. These have deserved happiness. As for those who disbelieved in our revelations, they have incurred misery. They will be confined in the Hellfire.

16:58-59               Thus, when one of them gets a baby girl, his face becomes darkened with overwhelming grief.  Ashamed, he hides from the people, because of the bad news. He even debates: should he keep the baby grudgingly, or bury her in the dust. Miserable indeed is their judgment.

42:38     And they respond to their Lord by observing the contact prayers and by deciding their affairs on the basis of consultation among themselves, and from our provisions to them they give.

4:1-5      O people, observe your Lord; the one who created you from one being and created from it its mate, then spread from the two many men and women. You shall regard God, by whom you swear, and regard the parents. God is watching over you. You shall hand over to the orphans their rightful properties. Do not substitute the bad for the good, nor shall you consume their properties by combining them with your properties. This is a gross injustice. If you deem it best for the orphans, you may marry their mothers—you may marry two, three, or four of them. If you fear lest you become unfair, then you shall be content with only one, or with what you already have. This way, you are more likely to avoid inequity. You shall give the women their due dowries, fully. If they willingly forfeit anything, then you may accept it graciously. Do not give immature orphans the properties that God has entrusted you as guardians. You shall provide for them therefrom, and clothe them, and talk to them nicely.[8]

59:7        Whatever God restored to His messenger from the (defeated) communities shall go to God and His messenger (in the form of a charity). You shall give it to the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien. Thus, it will not remain monopolized by the strong among you. You may keep the spoils given to you by the messenger, but do not take what he enjoins you from taking. You shall reverence God. God is strict in enforcing retribution.

Life Style and Harmful Tradition Criticized

The population of Mecca was afflicted with many social problems caused by individual abuses of time, money, brain, body and exploitation of God’s name.

For instance, gambling was transferring money from the poor to the wealthy, thereby creating financial nightmares for many families. Alcohol was the cause of many personal and social problems such as domestic violence, inefficiency, loss of intellectual capabilities, alcoholism, rape, criminal activities, accidents and a myriad of health problems. The Quran, though acknowledging some financial and personal benefits of gambling and alcohol, encouraged believers to abstain from these addictions without criminalizing them via a penal code.

2:219     They ask you about intoxicants and gambling: say, “In them there is a gross sin, and some benefits for the people. But their sinfulness far outweighs their benefit.” They also ask you what to give to charity: say, “The excess.” God thus clarifies the revelations for you, that you may reflect.

4:43        O you who believe, do not observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) while intoxicated, so that you know what you are saying.…

5:90        O you who believe, intoxicants, and gambling, and the altars of idols, and the games of chance are abominations of the devil; you shall avoid them, that you may succeed.

16:67     And from the fruits of date palms and grapes you produce intoxicants, as well as good provisions. This should be (sufficient) proof for people who understand.

Sexual promiscuity or adultery were contributing to the destruction of families and was a major health threat for the public by transmitting sexual diseases. The Quran encouraged men and women to be loyal to their marriage contract. Though polygamy is permitted to take care of fatherless children and their widowed mothers, monogamy was encouraged.

17:32     You shall not commit adultery; it is a gross sin, and an evil behavior.

4:3          If you deem it best for the orphans, you may marry their mothers—you may marry two, three, or four. If you fear lest you become unfair, then you shall be content with only one, or with what you already have. Additionally, you are thus more likely to avoid financial hardship.

A lengthy list of dietary prohibitions concocted in the name of God was wasting many food resources. The Quran prohibited only four items related to animal products and considered any additional religious prohibitions to be fabrications and shirk.

6:145-151 Say, “I do not find in the revelations given to me any food that is prohibited for any eater except: (1) carrion[9], (2) running blood, (3) the meat of pigs, for it is bad,[10] and (4) the meat of animals blasphemously dedicated to other than God.” If one is forced (to eat these), without being deliberate or malicious, then your Lord is Forgiver, Most Merciful. For those who are Jewish we prohibited animals with undivided hoofs; and of the cattle and sheep we prohibited the fat, except that which is carried on their backs, or in the viscera, or mixed with bones. That was a retribution for their transgressions, and we are truthful. If they disbelieve you, then say, “Your Lord possesses infinite mercy, but His retribution is unavoidable for the guilty people.” The idol worshipers say, “Had God willed, we would not practice idolatry, nor would our parents, nor would we prohibit anything.” Thus did those before them disbelieve, until they incurred our retribution. Say, “Do you have any proven knowledge that you can show us? You follow nothing but conjecture; you only guess.” Say, “God possesses the most powerful argument; if He wills He can guide all of you.” Say, “Bring your witnesses who would testify that God has prohibited this or that.” If they testify, do not testify with them. Nor shall you follow the opinions of those who reject our revelations, and those who disbelieve in the Hereafter, and those who stray away from their Lord. Say, “Come let me tell you what your Lord has really prohibited for you: You shall not set up idols besides Him. You shall honor your parents. You shall not kill your children from fear of poverty—we provide for you and for them. You shall not commit gross sins, obvious or hidden. You shall not kill—God has made a person’s life sacred – except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you,that you may understand.”

The Quran dealt with many other issues such as protection of the environment and ecological balance and protection of God’s creation from unnecessary mutilation. For instance, the Quran prohibited hunting during pilgrimage (5:95-96). It also criticized Meccan Arabs for cutting the ears of animals for religious reasons, which has a negative implication regarding the custom of circumcision.

4:119     “I will mislead them, I will entice them, I will command them to (forbid the eating of certain meats by) marking the ears of livestock, and I will command them to distort the creation of God.” Anyone who accepts the devil as a lord, instead of God, has incurred a profound loss.

The chapter “Ben Israel” (Children of Israel) contains a series of commandments aiming to change the mindset, attitude, and actions of individuals:

17:23-39               You shall not set up any other God beside God, lest you end up despised and disgraced. Your Lord has decreed that you shall not worship except Him, and your parents shall be honored. As long as one or both of them live, you shall never say to them, “Uff” (the slightest gesture of annoyance), nor shall you shout at them; you shall treat them amicably. And lower for them the wings of humility, and kindness, and say, “My Lord, have mercy on them, for they have raised me from infancy.” Your Lord is fully aware of your innermost thoughts. If you maintain righteousness, He is Forgiver of those who repent. You shall give the due alms to the relatives, the needy, the poor, and the traveling alien, but do not be  excessive, extravagant. The extravagant are brethren of the devil, and the devil is unappreciative of his Lord. Even if you have to turn away from them, as you pursue the mercy of your Lord, you shall treat them in the nicest manner. You shall not keep your hand stingily tied to your neck, nor shall you foolishly open it up, lest you end up blamed and sorry. For your Lord increases the provision for anyone He chooses, and reduces it. He is fully Cognizant of His creatures, Seer. You shall not kill your children (infanticide) due to fear of poverty. We provide for them, as well as for you. Killing them is a gross offense. You shall not commit adultery; it is a gross sin, and an evil behavior. You shall not kill any person—for God has made a person’s life sacred—except in the course of justice. If one is killed unjustly, then we give his heir authority to enforce justice. Thus, he shall not exceed the limits in avenging the murder; he will be helped. You shall not touch the orphans’ money except for their own good, until they reach maturity. You shall fulfill your covenants, for a covenant is a great responsibility. You shall give full measure when you trade, and weigh equitably. This is better and more righteous. You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the mind, and you are responsible for using them. You shall not walk proudly on earth – you cannot bore through the earth, nor can you be as tall as the  mountains. All bad behavior is condemned by your Lord. This is some of the wisdom inspired to you by your Lord. You shall not set up another God beside God, lest you end up in Gehenna, blamed and defeated.

The Quran aimed to reform both society and the individual. The Quran invites individuals to undertake a substantial reformation. The description of believers in the last verses of chapter “Al-Furqan” (The Distinguisher) reveals the desired characteristics of Muslims:

25:58-77               You shall put your trust in the One who is Alive—the One who never dies – and praise Him and glorify Him. He is fully Cognizant of His creatures’ sins. He is the One who created the heavens and the earth, and everything between them, in six days, then assumed all authority. The Gracious; ask about Him those who are well founded in knowledge. When they are told, “Fall prostrate before the Gracious,” they say, “What is the Gracious? Shall we prostrate before what you advocate?” Thus, it only augments their aversion. Most blessed is the One who placed constellations in the sky, and placed in it a lamp, and a shining moon. He is the One who designed the night and the day to alternate: a sufficient proof for those who wish to take heed, or to be appreciative. The worshipers of the Gracious are those who tread the earth gently, and when the ignorant speak to them, they only utter peace. In the privacy of the night, they meditate on their Lord, and fall prostrate. And they say, “Our Lord, spare us the agony of Hell; its retribution is horrendous. “It is the worst abode; the worst destiny.” When they give, they are neither extravagant nor stingy; they give in moderation. They never implore beside God any other God, nor do they kill anyone—for God has made life sacred—except in the course of justice. Nor do they commit adultery. Those who commit these offenses will have to pay. Retribution is doubled for them on the Day of Resurrection, and they abide therein humiliated. Exempted are those who repent, believe, and lead a righteous life. God transforms their sins into credits. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful. Those who repent and lead a righteous life, God redeems them; a complete redemption. They do not bear false witness. When they encounter vain talk, they ignore it. When reminded of their Lord’s revelations, they never react to them as if they were deaf and blind. And they say, “Our Lord, let our spouses and children be a source of joy for us, and keep us in the forefront of the righteous.” These are the ones who attain Paradise in return for their steadfastness; they are received therein with joyous greetings and peace. Eternally they abide therein; what a beautiful destiny; what a beautiful abode. Say, “You attain value at my Lord only through your worship. But if you disbelieve, you incur the inevitable consequences.”

Meccan Leaders are Losing Their Sleep

Mecca could remain an independent center of commerce because of its unique geopolitical situation. Mecca was located in a region where the influence of the two super powers of that era, Byzantine and Persian Empires, collided. This balance of powers created such a vacuum that Mecca could survive without submitting herself to either hegemony. Mecca was a default capital of the Arabian Peninsula. The population of Mecca and surrounding towns did not follow any scripture, but only oral traditions and practices. Religion and politics were inseparable affairs. Though Meccan population had many literate people, they were considered “UMMY” (gentiles) for not having a scripture or a written law as their Christian and Jewish neighbors. Muhammad was a literate gentile.[11]

When Muhammad declared that he had received a message from God, the Meccan oligarchy first did not take him seriously. They just ignored him. However, when they noticed the potential power of his message and the rate of the new converts, their reaction varied between mockery and insinuation. Soon their reaction escalated to slander and threat of eviction and death. Though Muhammad’s personal history and his tribal relationship was providing a kind of protection against physical attacks, some of his followers did not have tribal support. For instance, among those who were subjected to torture was Bilal, an Ethiopian slave who was freed by one of Muhammad’s friends. The first convert[12] who was killed was Sumayya, a woman. Slaves and women: victims of racist and misogynistic laws and religions.

Having economic and political interest in man-made religious teachings, clergymen augmented and manipulated the religious fanaticism of ignorant masses. The fatal combination of ignorance and arrogance, which in the past had taken the lives of many messengers and prophets, from Socrates to Jesus, was again at work. The words uttered against previous messengers were repeated against Muhammad, this time in Arabic. Muhammad’s situation was no different than of Saaleh, a messenger to a community which perished a long time ago.

11:62     They said, “O Saaleh, you used to be popular among us before this. Are you enjoining us from worshiping what our parents are worshiping? We have a lot of doubt concerning everything you tell us.

Muhammad’s message was focused on monotheism (tawheed), which is the main theme of Mosaic teaching that crowns the Ten Commandments.

And God spoke all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shall have no other gods before me. Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.… Thou shall not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain. (Exodus 20:1-4, 7)

Ironically, despite the popularity of Ten Commandments among Jews, Christians and Muslims, the faith and practices negating and defying the first two commandments have become their basic dogmas.

Muhammad delivered the words of the Quran critical of the traditional religion of Meccan people who had transformed Abraham’s monotheistic system into polytheism by blindly following their ancestors, inheriting innovations, superstitions, numerous cleric-made religious laws falsely attributed to God, and the belief of intercession.

6:161     Say, “My Lord has guided me in a straight path: the perfect system of Abraham, monotheism. He never was an idol worshiper.”

Flocking on the Glorious Path of their Ancestors

Mushriks, be it of ancient times or modern times, attempt to justify their religions by the number of their members, by the glory of their ancestors and by the fame of their “saints.”  In arguments based on logic, scientific investigation and analysis of historical documentation, their common defense is the miserable argument from authority: “this and that holy clergymen said this,” or “most of our ancient scholars have decided this way.”

43:22-24               Instead, they said, “We found our parents carrying on certain practices, and we are following in their footsteps. Invariably, when we sent a warner to a community, the leaders therein said, “We found our parents following certain practices, and we will continue in their footsteps.” He would say, “What if I brought to you better guidance than what you inherited from your parents?” They would say, “We are disbelievers in the message you brought.”

31:21-22               When they are told, “Follow these revelations of God,” they say, “No, we follow only what we found our parents doing.” What if the devil is leading them to the agony of Hell? Those who submit completely to God, while leading a righteous life, have gotten hold of the strongest bond. For God is in full control of all things.

Idolizing their ancestors under different titles and following the dogmas and superstitions that are attributed to them as a religion are the universal characteristics of mushriks. Religious idols vary according to religions and languages. For instance, idols in America are Jesus, Mary, or Saints; in Turkey are Ata, Evliya, Sheik, or Hazrat; in India Mahatma; in Pakistan Maulana; in Iran Imams Hussein and Ehl-i Bayt. Religious masses do not seek the truth by using their brains or senses. Instead, they blindly follow the teachings bearing sanctified signatures. Mushriks are like parrots; they repeat words without understanding their meaning.

2:171     The example of those who disbelieve is like those who parrot what they hear of sounds and calls, without understanding. Deaf, dumb, and blind; they cannot understand.

Ironically, it is the religious leaders who promote blind imitation. By institutionalizing ignorance through religious terms, the diabolic saints lead astray masses from Truth.[13]  The messengers and prophets, who invited people to question their popular religion and traditions, almost invariably found the clergy fighting and plotting against them.

Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. (John 12:42-43)

38:6-8    The leaders announced, “Go and steadfastly persevere in worshiping your gods. This is all you need. We never heard of this from the religion of our fathers. This is a lie. Why did the message come down to him, instead of us?” Indeed, they are doubtful of My message. Indeed, they have not yet tasted My retribution.

The Black Campaign Waged by Those with White Turbans

The message delivered by Muhammad baffled and bewildered the bearded and turbaned Meccan clerics. They first tried to attack his character. They accused and insulted him labeling him a “wizard,” a dreaming “poet,” or “a crazy man.”

51:51-53               Do not set up besides God any other God. I am sent by Him to you as a manifest warner. Consistently, when a messenger went to the previous generations, they said, “Magician,” or, “Crazy.” Did they make an agreement with each other? Indeed, they are transgressors.

37:35-36               When they were told “La Elaaha Ella Allah [There is no other God besides God],” they turned arrogant. They said, “Shall we leave our gods for the sake of a crazy poet?”

68:51-52               Those who disbelieved show their ridicule in their eyes when they hear the message and say, “He is crazy!” It is in fact a message to the world.

The Quran encourages Muhammad not to give up against this negative propaganda. Muhammad’s mission was to deliver the message at the cost of losing his popularity.

52:29-33               You shall remind the people. With your Lord’s blessings upon you, you are neither a soothsayer, nor crazy. They may say, “He is a poet; let us just wait until he is dead.” Say, “Go on waiting; I will wait along with you.” Is it their dreams that dictate their behavior, or are they naturally wicked? Do they say, “He made it all up?” Instead, they are simply disbelievers.

The Reaction and Plans of Disbelievers

Tyranny and terror is a prevalent characteristic of mushriks. Terror and violence is a defense mechanism of many who prefer not to use their brains. The polytheistic elite of Athena convicted Socrates to death for questioning the absurdity of their religion. Persian priests tried to get rid of Zoroaster. Jewish clerics conspired with Romans to kill Jesus for his threat to their abuse of religion. In defense of his theocratic and oppressive regime, Pharaoh mobilized his generals and religious leaders to eliminate Moses. Shuayb’s life was threatened by his people. Noah was stoned. Abraham was rejected by his own father and was thrown into a fire. Some messengers were evicted and others were killed. Muhammad, who declared intellectual war against slavery, subjugation of women, racism, superstitions, ignorance, illiteracy, ancestor-worship, and exploitation of religious beliefs, would not be treated differently.

8:30-31 The disbelievers plotted and schemed to neutralize you, or kill you, or banish you. However, they plot and scheme, but so does God. God is the best schemer. When our revelations are recited to them, they say, “We have heard. If we want to, we can say the same thing. These are only tales from the past.”

The forerunners, who took all kinds of risks by siding with Muhammad, encountered difficult tests. They were excommunicated. They were rejected by their families and relatives. They experienced economic hardship. They were subjected to insult and torture of mushrik Arabs. They were oppressed, banished from their land, and were viciously attacked. Many were killed; but they did not give up their conviction and cause.

9:97        The Arabs are the worst in disbelief and hypocrisy, and the most likely to ignore the laws that God has revealed to His messenger. God is Omniscient, Most Wise.[14]

Muhammad was the main target of mushrik Arabs. Not only had he lost his popularity among his people; his life was also in danger. However, he was ordained by the Lord of the Universe. He was commissioned to deliver the Message without compromise. He became the recipient of the greatest possible honor, receiving revelation from God.

4:113     God has sent down to you the scripture and wisdom, and He has taught you what you never knew. Indeed, God’s blessings upon you have been great…

While the multifarious aggressive campaign of the Meccan government and its allies in the region continued, Muhammad and his comrades promoted the freedom of expression and religious beliefs.

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

The leaders, whose political and economic interest was at risk, and the ignorant followers, whose conformity was disturbed, responded to this message of “leave us alone” with violence. But, their bloody terror and noise could not prevent the light from piercing and destroying the layers of darkness.
Edip Yuksel v Ali Sina (9)

 

To the Factor of 666

Edip Yuksel

If Muslims are Terrorists, then Jews and Christians are Terrorists to the Factor of 666! The Diabolic Coalition Exposed: Evilgelical Crusaders, Fascist Zionists, and Fanatic Sunnis and Shiites are Following Six Steps to Discredit the Quran

The verse 9:5 does not encourage Muslims to attack those who associate partners to God, but to attack those who have violated the peace treaty and killed and terrorized people because of their belief and way of life. The Quran does not promote war; but encourages us to stand against aggressors on the side of peace and justice. War is permitted only for self-defense (See: 2:190,192,193,256; 4:91; 5:32; 60:8-9). We are encouraged to work hard to establish peace (47:35; 8:56-61; 2:208). The Quranic precept promoting peace and justice is so fundamental that peace treaty with the enemy is preferred to religious ties.

8:72        Those who have acknowledged and emigrated and strived with their money and lives in the cause of God, and those who sheltered and supported; these are the allies of one another. Those who acknowledged but did not emigrate, you do not owe them any allegiance until they emigrate. But 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. God is watcher over what you do.*

This verse unequivocally states that the rule of law is above any other affiliation. Islam emphasizes the importance of the rule of law, justice and peace (Also see: 16:91-92).

One of the favorite verses used by warmongers to justify the imperialistic occupations and atrocities against Muslims is 9:29. Unfortunately, it is mistranslated by almost every translator. The correct translation of it should be:

9:29        You shall fight (back) against those who do not believe in God, nor in the last day, and they do not prohibit what God and His messenger have prohibited, and do not abide by the system of truth among those who received the scripture, until they pay the COMPANSATION, in humility.

You have noticed that I inserted a parenthesis since the context of the verse is about the War of Hunain, and fighting is allowed for only self defense. See: 2:190-193, 256; 4:91; and 60:8-9.

Furthermore, note that I suggest COMPENSATION instead of Arabic word Jizya. The meaning of Jizya has been distorted as a perpetual tax on non-Muslims, which was invented long after Muhammad to further the imperialistic agenda of Sultans or Kings. The origin of the word that I translated as Compensation is JaZaYa, which simply means compensation, not tax. Because of their aggression and initiation of a war against muslims and their allies, after the war, the allied community should require their enemies to compensate for the damage they inflicted on the peaceful community. Various derivatives of this word are used in the Quran frequently, and they are translated as COMPANSATION for a particular deed.

Unfortunately, the distortion in the meaning of the verse above and the practice of collecting a special tax from Christians and Jews, contradict the basic principle of the Quran that there should not be compulsion in religion and there should be freedom of belief and expression (2:256; 4:90; 10:99; 18:29; 88:21,22, and 4:137). Since taxation based on religion creates financial duress on people to convert to the privileged religion, it violates this important Quranic principle. Dividing a population that united under a social contract (constitution) into privileged groups based on their religion contradicts many principles of the Quran, including justice, peace, and brotherhood/sisterhood of all humanity.

Some uninformed critics or bigoted enemies of the Quran list verses of the Quran dealing with wars and declare islam to be a religion of violence. Their favorite verses are: 2:191; 3:28; 3:85; 5:10, 34; 9:5; 9:28-29; 9:123; 14:17; 22:9; 25: 52; 47:4 and 66:9. In this article, I refuted their argument against 9:29, and I will discuss each of them later.

Some followers of Sunni or Shiite religions, together with their like-minded modern Crusaders, abuse 9:5 or 9:29 by taking them out of their immediate and Quranic context. Sunnis and Shiites follow many stories and instructions falsely attributed to Muhammad that justify terror and aggression. For instance, in a so-called authentic (or authentically fabricated) hadith, after arresting the murderers of his shepherd, the prophet and his companions cut their arms and legs off, gauge their eyes with hot nails and leave them dying from thirst in the dessert, a contradiction to the portrayal of Muhammad’s mission in the Quran (21:107; 3:159). In another authentically fabricated hadith, the prophet is claimed to send a gang during night to secretly kill a female poet who criticized him in her poetry, a violation of the teaching of the Quran! (2:256; 4:137; 4:140; 10:99; 18:29; 88:21-22). Despite these un-Quranic teachings, the aggressive elements among Sunni or Shiite population have almost always been a minority.

Six Diabolic Steps to Distort and Discredit

The following six steps are cleverly utilized over and over by the enemies of islam, including Christian missionaries, to discredit the Quran. For the 3rd and 4th steps they find great ammunition inside the volumes of hadith and sectarian jurisprudence books. (No wonder they like those books very much). For the 5th and 6th steps they find many allies among the followers of Sunni or Shiite sects, who are extremely intoxicated by those anti-islamic sectarian teachings.

Before exposing this unholy alliance let me quote several war related instructions from the so-called authentic hadith books:

Narrated As-Sab bin Jaththama: The Prophet passed by me at a place called Al-Abwa or Waddan, and was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, “They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans).” I also heard the Prophet saying, “The institution of Hima is invalid except for Allah and His Apostle.” (Bukhari (Jihad) Volume 4, Book 52, Number 256)

It is reported on the authority of Sa’b b. Jaththama that the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him), when asked about the women and children of the polytheists being killed during the night raid, said: They are from them. (Muslim Book 019, Number 4321)

It is narrated by Sa’b b. Jaththama that he said (to the Holy Prophet): Messenger of Allah, we kill the children of the polytheists during the night raids. He said: They are from them. (Muslim Book 019, Number 4322)

Sa’b b. Jaththama has narrated that the Prophet (may peace be upon him) asked: What about the children of polytheists killed by the cavalry during the night raid? He said: They are from them. (Muslim Book 019, Number 4323)

Here are the repeated sixes:

  1. Ignore the fact that the Quran is a self-sufficient, self-explaining and detailed book, and destroy its semantic network by deliberately disconnecting its verses. Take a portion of the Quran and ignore all other verses that explain, supplement or bring limitation to that verse. If this is not enough to make it ugly or scary, then;
  2. Reduce your reference to a smaller portion; take a Quranic verse or part of it out of its immediate context. If this is not enough to make it ugly or scary, then;
  3. Twist the meaning of some words. You may even find a sectarian book or a website that has done that before you. If this is not enough to make it ugly or scary, then;
  4. Refer to the mishmash collection of fabrications called hadith and sunna; there you will find a treasury of trash to stink an entire city. Claim that the Quran is useless and unintelligible without these sources. Some Sunni or Shiite people will be confused by your love of those “holy” teachings! That is a good sign. If you cannot convince, you must confuse… But, your goal is to convert as many as possible. So, find as much as garbage out of the Sunni or Shiite sources and introduce it as Islamic. If this is not enough to make it ugly or scary, then;
  5. Pick some examples of Sunni or Shiite idiots or terrorists, from among more than a billion Muslims, and generalize it to all Muslims. Especially, choose your examples from traumatized populations that have been abused and oppressed under the occupation of USA, UK, Israel, or Russia, or under the tyranny of a puppet dictator supported by one of these nations. While doing this, you must entirely ignore all the wars, destructions, massacres, tortures, and terrorist acts committed by the Judeo-Christian forces. If this is not enough to make it ugly or scary, then;
  6. Exchange words of hatred and bigotry with some intoxicated followers of Sunni or Shiite sects. Then go to your church, sing songs about love and Jesus, and do not forget asking forgiveness for your sins. You will start your next day clean and ready to commit more sins. Your Sunni or Shiite partner (!) will be waiting for you since they do not have confession sessions. If this is not enough to make it ugly and scary, then you have picked a very wrong verse. Choose another verse from the Quran, and go back and start from step one!

Let’s apply it to the Bible: “Jesus and His Disciples were a warmongering gang!”

Almost any big size book can be discredited by this dishonest and deceitful method; any book! By following these steps, I could easily depict Jesus, one of the messengers of peace (islam), as a divider and a trouble maker, rather than a peacemaker. Let’s take one example from Bible:

“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” Lu 12:51-53

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34

By using the right-wing Evangelical Christians’ own methodology of treating the Quran, I came up with a peace-hating, anti-family, troublemaker called Jesus! All I did was to take the verse out of its context. I did not even resort to twisting its words or adding some trash from secondary sources, or giving some examples from crusades, inquisitions, slavery, or irritate and provoke some crazy people among Evilgelical Crusaders. (To distinguish the militarist Evangelical Christians from the progressive ones, I will heron call this group with one word: Evilgelical)

By using the first two of the six steps, I could claim that the disciple of Jesus were, in fact, a dangerous gang who were planning to shed blood in that peaceful region. They were savages who cut the ears of their opponents:

“And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear.” (Mt 26:51. Also see: Mark 14:47 ; Lu 22:50; John 18:10)

I could depict Jesus and his disciples as a gang of blood-thirsty troublemakers, by adding verses justifying violence, blood-shed, massacres and tortures from the Old Testament, which was heavily relied by Jesus and his supporters for their mission. I could even reasonably speculate that Jesus and his few followers were planning a huge massacre in the region, but the Roman Empire stopped them before the cult reached to a dangerous number (Luke 21:24);. Knowing that they were provoked prematurely, Jesus reminded Peter:

“Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” (Mt 26:51).

I could reasonably ask a Christian who claims his religion to be the religion of peace: “You will agree that this event happened in the last days of Jesus. Why then did Jesus never tell his disciples not to carry SWORDS before one of them cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest? Or, do you want us to believe that Peter, who was putting his life at risk by trying to defend Jesus, did not give a hoot to the instruction of his leader? Was Peter carrying the sword to peel cucumbers? Obviously, Jesus had seen that his disciple(s) were carrying swords and he did not mind. However, here he knew that tactically using sword would not save them from the Roman army and it would be a futile and premature fight.” Perhaps, my argument to depict Jesus as another potential Samson who killed a thousand men with the jaw of an ass (Jg 15:16) would receive cheers from the enemies of Jesus.

To depict Jesus as a rebel who planned a bloody revolution, I could cite Mt 21:12; Mr 11:15; Jo 2:19 and claim that he attacked the temple and destroyed its properties. I might have even continued the attack by quoting him:

“But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” (Lu 19:27).

“Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” (Luke 22:36)

However, if I had done this it would be unfair to the teaching of Jesus, one of the messengers of islam (peace and submission to God), delivered by the New Testament. It would be unfair because I would be taking them out of their context. Without even mixing them with the verses of the Old Testament that usually published in the same volume and frequently referred by the New Testament.

Modern Crusaders, allied with big corporations are orchestrating a deceptive propaganda and misinformation campaign to promote their bloody cause to colonize new lands and convert more people.

Modern Crusaders distort verses of the Quran, exaggerate the deeds of terrorists and even attribute some events motivated by nationalism or other motives to islam. Their propaganda machine never referred to the Serbs as Christian Rapists and Christian Terrorists. Their propaganda machine never referred to the torturer and murderer Zionist occupying forces as Jewish Terrorists, or Jewish Murderers. Their propaganda machine never acknowledges the Christian faith and zeal behind Nazi crimes. But, they frequently associated any act of terrorism to Islam and Muslims. Furthermore, they cleverly managed to depict the freedom seeking victims of brutal occupying forces as aggressors in conflicts such as Chechnya and Palestine.

They try to depict islam as a violent religion, thereby seeking to justify their own terror, massacres, pre-emptive wars, which are cunningly promoted in a euphemistic language through their propaganda machines. They don’t kill and terrorize civilians; they just produce collateral damage by tens of thousands and they just perform colorful shows of “shock and awe.” They do not torture prisoners; they either interrogate them or turn them to anecdotal irrelevancies. They do not destroy cities; they do surgical and smart operations. They do not occupy others’ lands; they liberate them. They do not take revenge; they take justice to their enemies. Thus, media is cleverly used to hypnotize masses and get their support for neo-colonialism. The ruling class in democracies uses their media to “manufacture consent.” In order to plunder the resources of other countries, greedy corporations and their unholy allies replace one dictator after another, create wars and conflicts, undertake covert operations, and if they are bored, they play liberation games for fun and profit, big profit.

Crusaders have directly participated or supported many atrocities and wars in the last millennium; they have killed many more innocent people than their counterpart Sunny or Shiite warmongers. Inquisition, crusades, witch-hunt, World War I and II, holocaust, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Argentine, Palestine, Lebanon, Bosnia, Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan are just few words in the long list of wars and massacres that are committed or supported by those who call themselves Christians. Nazis used the traditional Christian hatred of Jews as fuel and a twisted Cross (swastika) as the symbol for their racist ambitions. The list of British and American wars, occupations, massacres, slavery, covert operations that were conducted with the approval and support of the Christian church or masses is too long and too gruesome. You can still find many Christians justifying the biggest terrorist attack in the history, the destruction of two big cities with their hundreds of thousands civil population, as a retaliation to the Japanese attack to an American military base. American government has not apologized humanity for this horrific and cowardly act of terror. The mentality of these Crusaders is no different than those of al-Qaeda militants who justified the destruction of the World Trade Center as retaliation to the American support for the Israeli’s racist policy of occupation, massacres and terror in Palestine.

Modern Crusaders Use Proxies for their Bloody Cause

Right-wing Christianity, which I call Evilgelicalism, is a growing radical movement in Christendom, officially known as Evangelical Christians. They are also known as Left-behind Rapture Freaks. Here, we will refer them by mutating several letters in their name so that their name will fit their deeds: Evilgelicals. Yes, Evilgelicals have recently mobilized all their sources to launch a campaign against the Quran in order to convert Muhammad-worshipers to Jesus-worshipers. Though there won’t be much difference, since both populations are like identical twins, but the plan is to start a new era of colonialism and slavery through holy Trojan horses.

Jomo Kenyatta, the founder of Kenya, once articulated the method of colonialist Evilgelicals in nutshell: “When the missionaries came to Africa, they had the Bible and we had the land. They said: ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”

But, Crusaders are no more relying on prayers or the closed eyes of their victims to grab their lands. Many people nowadays are no more closing their eyes while praying, especially when there is a priest around. Since public learned that some priests grab other things besides lands, there is more reluctance to close eyes. So, the priests and their followers have mutated since last century and have transformed to modern Evangelicals.

This new strand of crusaders use all kinds of media for propaganda, combining their mesmerizing effect with the devastating impact of smart and dumb bombs and modern weapons. They call themselves pro-lifers, but they are always for increase in military budgets, they chant “God bless America” whenever USA-Inc invades a country and kills tens of thousands of its population, and they are more likely support capital punishment. Though they claim that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Mt 19:24; Mr 10:25; Lu 18:25), in reality they support policies that make rich richer and poor poorer.

They no more adhere to the highest ethical standards thought by Jesus. To the contrary, for centuries they made a travesty out of it. Before they suck the blood of their victims, they no more use the pain-reducing and sleep-inducing formulas, such as, “right-cheek, left-cheek” or “coat after cloke” (Mt 5:39; Lu 6:29). They claim to bring peace and liberty to barbarians by invading their lands through proxy fighters, such as the armies of corporate-nations. While barbarians terrorize, they do awing and shocking. They destroy their homes, smack their heads, kill their children, torture, rape, and sodomize those they have captured. They further justify their method by comparing their action to the ones committed by the “few thugs” who were ironically their former allies in their previous operations, and they look adamant to outdo those barbarians in the acts of shedding blood and inflicting pain.

Repeating the Old Habits

In the lands they occupy they kill 666 times more innocent people than their counterpart Sunni or Shiite barbarians. They excuse themselves by baptizing those dead and mutilated bodies with the holy word “collateral damage.” If one of them or an innocent person is beheaded by Sunni or Shiite radicals by sword, they complain from barbaric nature of this and go on killing spree and shatter their heads together with the heads of many collateral lambs.

Evangelical Christians have last year got a great doze of virtual blood and passion by watching several hours of brutal beating of their idol on the screens. While their mouth uttered peace songs, they dreamed blood and more blood. They drank wine pretending to be the blood of their sacrificial lamb, they ate bread pretending to be the flesh of their idol, but pretence was not satisfying them like actual blood and flesh. They are now determined to direct their anger away from Jews to Arabs. Sucking the blood from Jews is no more feasible since Jews have cleverly taken the top seats almost everywhere. For its unending appetite to suck more Semitic blood, this dangerously mutated strand signed a contract with a newly mutated blood-sucking strand of Children of Israel.

Sure, on the other hand, there are many peacemaking Christians who follow the teaching of Jesus in this regard (Matthew 5:9), such as Unitarian Universalists, Jehovah Witnesses, and Quakers, who have consistently and bravely opposed aggression and unjustified wars. Similarly, among the Jews too there are many peaceful people bravely condemning Israel’s fascist policy. Nevertheless, the Old Testament, which is accepted by most Christians as verbatim word of God, is filled with horrific and racist instructions to commit terror, massacres and genocide that cannot be attributed to a Caring and Merciful Lord of all people. It is a great wonder that those Christians and Jews, who take this and few other Quranic verses out of their context in the hopes of misrepresenting the peaceful message of islam, do not see the sword in their own bloody eyes. I do not think that any contextual argument would be able to transform the following blood-sucking beasts to the knights of peace:

“And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.” (Jos 6:21).

“And Judah went up; and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men. And they found Adonibezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites. But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. And Adonibezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died. Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire. And afterward the children of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites, that dwelt in the mountain, and in the south, and in the valley. And Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron: (now the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba:) and they slew Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai.And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjathsepher: And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.” (Jg 1:4-12).

“And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out… And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man.” (Jg 3:22,29)

“Then I shall make the heavens shudder, and the earth will be shaken to its foundations at the wrath of the Lord of Hosts, on the day of blazing anger. Like a gazelle pursued by a hunter or like a flock with no shepherd to round it up, every man will head back to his own people, each one will flee to his own land. All who are found will fall by the sword, all who are taken will be thrust through; their babies will be battered to death before their eyes, their houses looted and their wives raped.” (Isaiah 13:13-15).

“Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” (1Sa 15:3).

“But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.” (Jer 10:10).

“Why do the wicked prosper and the treacherous all live at ease?… But you know me, Lord, you see me; you test my devotion to you. Drag them away like sheep to the shambles; set them apart for the day of slaughter.” (Jer 12:1-3).

“Then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings that sit upon David’s throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness. And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.” (Jer 13:13-15)

“They shall die of grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried; but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcases shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.” (Jer 16:4)

“A curse on all who are slack in doing the Lord’s work! A curse on all who withhold their swords from bloodshed!” (Jeremiah 48:10)

“The LORD hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the LORD our God. Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance of his temple. Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes: for the LORD hath both devised and done that which he spake against the inhabitants of Babylon.O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness. The LORD of hosts hath sworn by himself, saying, Surely I will fill thee with men, as with caterpillers; and they shall lift up a shout against thee. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding. When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth: he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures. Every man is brutish by his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish. The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts is his name. Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms; And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider; With thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid; I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers. And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the LORD.” (Jer 51:10-24)

“And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” (Eze 9:5-6).

“And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal furiously with thee: they shall take away thy nose and thine ears; and thy remnant shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sons and thy daughters; and thy residue shall be devoured by the fire.” (Eze 23:25).

“Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.” (2Ch 36:17).

“Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.” (Ps 149:6-9)

“Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” (Zep 3:8)

Despite their bloody and horrific religious teachings, and despite their practice of colonialism, slavery, discrimination, occupations, destructions, covert operations, productions of weapons of mass destruction, making obscene profits from production and sales of weapons, plunder of natural resources of earth, terrorizing nations, and massacring poor populations, Modern Crusaders and their allies are successful in portraying one billion Muslims as terrorists and themselves as people of peace and freedom!

Terrorists to the Factor of 666!

Why terrorizing an entire nation, destroying their cities, killing, torturing, raping and sadomizing their children and youth in the name of “democracy and liberty” should be treated lightly? Why killing tens of thousands of civilians should be forgiven if the murderers, who are also proven congenial liars, use the magic word “collateral damage?” Why smashing the brains of children with bombs or severing their legs and arms should be considered civilized and treated differently than beheadings? Why destroying an entire neighborhood or city and massacring its population by a push of button from the sky should not be considered equally or more evil than the individual suicide bomber blowing himself or herself among his powerful enemies who snuffed out all their hope? Why surviving to push another button to kill more people should be considered a civilized action not the action of those who gave their own lives while doing the killing? How the smile of a well-fed and well-armed mass murderer be deemed more sympathetic than the pain and anger of a poor person? How can one honestly call an occupying foreign military force to be freedom fighters? How can one call the native population to be terrorists just because they are fighting against an arrogant and lethal occupation army which was mobilized against them through lies and deception? Why the children of poor Americans are used to kill the children of poor countries?

We should not favor one criminal over another because of their religion or nationality. However, state terrorism, regardless of the nationality and religion of the population, is much more cruel, dangerous, and sinister than the group or individual terrorism. In our stand against war, violence, and terrorism we must be consistent and fair. Peacemakers and promoters must also PROTEST and CONDEMN the atrocities conducted by the Evangelical-Zionist coalition in Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, etc., as they condemn the atrocities committed by Sunni or Shiite radicals in Afghanistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, etc.

So, if Muslims are called terrorists because they killed several thousand civilian people in last decade, Christians, Jews and capitalists must be called “terrorists to the factor of 666” since they killed hundreds of thousands in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam, and just recently they killed tens of thousands civilians in Iraqi, and wounded even more.

 

Edip Yuksel v Ali Sina (10)

Hadith, Sunnah, and Islamic Scholars

Ali Sina

1-3-2005

Dear Edip,

You started your argument by saying I use hadith to insult Muhammad. Can you please show one instance of that?

In this debate with you, knowing perfectly that you deny the legitimacy of hadith, I have refrained bringing the hadith as the evidence of my claim against Muhammad. When I use hadith it is in support of the verses of the Quran.

I started my debate with you showing that the Quran and Islam cannot be understood without any reference to hadith and sira.

The proof of that is in this last long response of yours. Here you went off tangent and instead of answering any of my points you started copy-pasting from one of your books, giving details of the life of Muhammad without attempting to counter my claim that the Quran without haidth cannot be understood and Islam without the biography of Muhammad is meaningless. Since you completely neglected the topic at hand and contended yourself with copy-pasting your book, I am inclined to believe you truly have no answer to the points I raised.

However, despite your claim that the Quran is self-sufficient, you made statements that are not in the Quran.

You wrote:

“It was 570 years after Christ when Muhammad was born in Mecca. At age 40 he made a declaration that shocked his people. During the month of Ramadan of 610, he claimed that he was visited by Holy Revelation (a.k.a. Jibreel or Holy Spirit) delivering him a message from God. This claim was first kept secret he shared only with several close friends and relatives. A few years later he publicly declared his messengership and his opposition to the religious and political establishment of Mecca . An era of revolution and reformation that would change world history had started.”

Muhammad, a member of a powerful tribe and a successful international businessman, was not an ordinary citizen of Mecca . With his sound judgment and trustworthy personality, he had won the respect of the theocratic oligarchy. His uncles were the leaders of one of the prominent tribes and were active in social, political, economic and religious affairs.

Arabs living in the Hijaz region were brethren of Jews, and Abraham was their common forefather. Mecca or Bacca was the valley where Abraham had immigrated, after his exile fromBabylon . There is only one reference to this important city in the Old Testament:

How do you know all these things? This information is not given in the Quran. It can only be found in the hadith and the Sira. But you say that your Islam does not have any need for these “garbage” and the Quran is enough. Then how do you know Muhammad was born in 570 A.D. in Meccaand at the age of 40 he made his declaration, etc. etc.?

In this book that you are writing, you are providing a lot of information about Muhammad, about Mecca , about his uncles and you even name his enemies. You know exactly at what age and in what year Gabriel paid him a visit. You said Abraham was the legendary ancestor of Jews and Arabs. How do you know that? This information is only available in the Bible and haidth. But you said hadith is a load of garbage that would sink a city. Do you accept the Bible? You talked in detail about the costumes of the Arabs in those days and the fact that the time of pilgrimage was also used for trading purposes. You said these occasions were used for cultural and athletic competitions such as poetry and wrestling and that Mecca was the center of economic, political and cultural activities of a vast land. You even talked about Bilal and the fact that he was saved by “one of Muhammad’s friends” and you rehashed the apocrypha hadith that Summayyah was the first Muslim martyr. There is a wealth of information in this book you are writing that is not available in the Quran. Where did you get that information?

You sneaked into the books of hadith and Sira didn’t you? You naughty little devil you! You shouldn’t have done that, you know that. You waddled into that load of garbage to find the goodies for us and save us from seeing that fetid pile of filth accumulated on top of the prophet. How nice of you! You are really the savior of Islam.

Apparently you say something and do something else. Is that a good thing? So you do not reject the hadith and Sira entirely. You simply reject the part that does not suit your agenda. None of these info you are giving away are in the Quran and you keep telling me the Quran is sufficient? If the Quran is sufficient why did you have to dig into the garbage of hadith to write your book?

Why not be honest here? Let us say that you agree with the part of the hadith that is not embarrassing and incriminating but when a hadith becomes too scandalous then that is garbage. The fact that Muhammad was born in 570 A.D. is not embarrassing, so you have no problem with that. But when the same sources say that he massacred the Bani Qurayza or raped a 9 year old child then that is all fabrication and garbage. Thank you for teaching us Islamic honesty.

In round III and IV I raised a series of questions. You did not even touch them. Here is a list of them:

1- How can Muhammad’s character be irrelevant to his claim? How can we be sure that he was not a liar? What if he lied for the same reason Jim Jones and thousands of other charlatan, impostor cult leaders lie manipulate and control the foolhardy?

2- Muhammad made so many bogus claims about being the best of the creation, and a perfect example to follow. How can we verify these self adulating claims? And how are we supposed to follow his examples as Allah asked us to do in the Quran if we are not allowed to read his history or believe it? You reject his biography in its entirety (except the part that is not incriminating) so can you tell us how else can we know him to comply with the Quranic injunctions and follow his examples? Or are you saying those verses where he said follow my example and I mentioned before are all later day fabrications? Are we supposed to take those verse and the verse 33:21 that says “Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct)” seriously or not?

3- I asked you to explain the meaning of Sura 111 and Sura 38:41-44 without referring to hadith, tafseer and Sira, by merely trying to decipher their meanings from the Quran. Can you do that? These are just two examples. Most of the Quran is incomprehensible without hadith and tafseer and I will keep pointing them out as we touch them.

4- We also talked about the Quran’s claim that God transformed the Jews into apes and swine (5:60) and said “Be ye apes” (2:65, 7:166). These are not metaphors. No scholar has understood them as metaphors because the texts make it clear that they are not metaphors. Can you explain to us how this absurdity is possible? How come such an amazing phenomenon was not recorded in any book prior to Muhammad saying such thing? How can such a ridiculous statement be compatible with science? Remember, it was you who said “We will get to the scientific accuracy… of the Quran”. Explain this please scientifically.

5- You claimed Muhammad wrote the Quran with his own hand. I asked how do you know that. Where is your source? Why should we believe you when he himself claimed to be illiterate and unable to read. 7:157 , 6:22

6- You made the claim that ummi does not mean illiterate but gentile. I quoted the verse 2:78 were Muhammad alludes to the Jews and calls them ummayoon ْ أُمِّيُّونَ because they can’t read their book. What is your response?

7- We talked about sura 33 and I said this sura is not self explanatory. I asked you to tell us who are the “confederates” mentioned in verse 20 and from where they did not withdraw. Explain that without any reference to hadith or tafseer.

[Re: To the Factor of 666]

What is happening dear Edip? Why is it that I feel like talking to an answering machine? You have completely neglected my questions and like all your fellow co-religionists resorted to copy-pasting. What is the relevance of these to our discussion? Where are the answers to my questions?

Now you start with a new topic. That is okay. I will dance along with all your beats. Let us talk about the verse 9:29 in its context.

You claim that all the translators were drunk when translating this verse or did not know proper Arabic but you, who have decided to become the Martin Luther of Islam and have embarked in writing a “reformist” translation of the Quran”, can translate it better.

According to Dictionary.com reform means: “To improve by alteration, correction of error, or removal of defects; put into a better form or condition.”

Can you please tell us by what authority are you trying to “alter, correct the errors or remove the defects” of the Quran? If the Quran is perfect, why it needs to be reformed? Are you claiming to be superior in rank and knowledge to the original author of the Quran? Do you know more than Allah? Or, are you the new Mahdi?

Since by your own admission, your translation of the Quran is reformist, it is logical to conclude that it is the least accurate of all the existing ones. You are deliberately trying to alter, correct the errors and remove the defects of the Quran according to your understanding and not translate it faithfully. You want to intentionally change the meaning of the Quran to suit your “reformist” agenda. Please tell us, why should we not read the Quran in Arabic directly or in one of its more faithful non-reformist translations and why should we rely on your “reformist” translation which is twisted and altered?

Now let us study the Sura 9. The first 29 verses of this Sura were written by Muhammad a couple of years after he conquered Mecca and they are allegedly his last “revealed” words. He did not go to Hajj that year but he sent Abu Bakr in his place. Then he dispatched Ali to follow Abu Bakr and publicly announce these injunctions to the pilgrims who were composed of Muslims and pagans.

This Sura is called Bara’at or “declaration of immunity”. In this Sura he claimed Allah allowed him to break all his treaties with the Pagans. He gave the pagans four months of grace or immunity to go to their homes and after that they would be fair game for the Muslims. After these four months, they must accept Islam and pay the tithes or they would be hunted wherever they are found and put to death.

As for breaking his oaths, Muhammad had never shown any scruples. He broke his oaths any time it suited him. To justify his own treachery he would often claim that others would break their oaths and hence he is justified to do that preemptively.

8.56        “They are those with whom thou didst make a covenant, but they break their covenant every time, and they have not the fear (of Allah).

If thou fearest treachery from any group, throw back (their covenant) to them, (so as to be) on equal terms: for Allah loveth not the treacherous.” 8.58

This is the typical mindset of the pathological narcissist who projects his own lack of honor on others and then feels justified to avenge for the breach of an agreement that has occurred only in his paranoiac mind.

In this Sura Muhammad said that if one among the pagans asks for asylum it should be granted so he can convert to Islam. Therefore victims of Islam cannot ask for asylum and live their lives freely. They should only be given asylum provided they convert to Islam and pay zakat or become dhimmis and pay jizyah.

In verse 7 he makes a pledge to spare the lives of those who still had not believed in him for a period of four months. In the verse 8 he tries to justify his treachery by blaming the victims and claiming that they would have done the same. But do we have any proof that the pagans ever broke their treaties with Muhammad? None! The history, written by Muslims, only shows that Muhammad was the one who broke all his treaties and yet in every occasion he blamed his victims accusing them of “plotting” and “contemplating” to break the treaties and thus leaving him no option but to breach his treaties and attack them preemptively.

In verses 9 and 10 he accuses the pagans of not respecting even kinship. This is utterly a lie. The pagans loved their own sons and daughters who had fallen prey to the cult of Muhammad. They did not want to kill them and this was their vulnerability and weakness. This gave Muhammad extra power who told his followers that they should shun their own fathers and brothers who do not believe and even kill them.

Today this very dynamism is the cause of the weakness of the civilized world. While the civilized world is unwilling to deal with Muslims harshly and tries to respect their human rights, Muslims have no such twinges and are ready to kill any number of non-Muslims with total ease of mind. `

A good example of that is the Battle of Badr. Abu Sufyan was forewarned of Muhammad’s plan to attack the caravan under his leadership. He asked for help from the Quraish. However he managed to escape by rerouting the caravan. When he reached Mecca he learned that the Quraish had already left to confront Muhammad. He sent an emissary asking them to return. The men of the army debated and many of them returned. But encouraged by Abul Hakam and weary of Muhammad’s constant taunts, some of them proceeded forward. Before squaring off with the Muslims, again another group of them, headed by Haakim ibn Hizam, the nephew of Khadija (who supplied food to Muhammad and his party when shut up with Abu Talib a few years earlier) is mentioned as urgent in offering this advice: “When we have fought and spilled the blood of our brethren and our kinsmen,” said he said, “of what use will life be to us any longer? Let us now go back, and we will be responsible for the blood-money of Amr, killed at Nakhlah.” Amr was killed by Muhammad’s marauding gang a few months earlier and he was the first blood spilt in Islam. Abul Hakam demanded that the army should advance. “If we turn back now” he said, “it will surely be imputed to our cowardice.”

So you can see that despite the fact that Muslims had killed a Meccan, the Meccans still did not want to kill the Muslims for these benighted men were their own sons and brothers and this was really the main cause of their defeat in Badr. They were hesitant to kill their own kin while Muslims had no such compunction.

Interestingly Haakim ibn Hizam was captured in the battle of Uhud and despite his previous services to Muhammad was ungratefully slain.

Compare the attitude of the Meccans to what Muhammad told his followers about how they should treat their non believing kin. The Quraish, goaded as they were by the repeated attack of their caravans, and the blood shed at Nakhlah, were yet staggered by the prospect of the battle, and nearly persuaded by their better feelings to return to Mecca. The Muslims on the other hand, though the aggressors, were hardened by the memory of former injuries, by the maxim that their faith severed all earthly ties without the circle of Islam, and by a fierce fanaticism for their Prophet’s cause.

Waqidi (p.89) states that Muhammad led the Muslims in prayers and after rising from his genuflexion, called down the curse of Allah upon the Meccans and prayed: “O Allah! Let not Abu Jahl (Abul Hakam) escape, the Pharaoh of his people! Lord, let not Zamaa escape; rather let the eyes of his father run sore for him with weeping, and become blind!” Muhammad’s hate was unrelenting, and his followers imbibed from him the same inexorable spirit.

A story is told of Abu Hodhaifa, a young Meccan believer who participated in the battle of Badr and his father was in the rank of the Quraish. It is said that when Muhammad instructed his followers to spare Abbas, his own uncle, who was also among the Quraish, Hodhaifa raised his voice, “What? Are we to slay our fathers, brothers, uncles, etc., and to spare Abbas? No, verily, but I will slay him if I find him.” Upon hearing this impertinent remark, Omar, in his usual sycophantic gesture of loyalty, unshielded his sword and looked at the Prophet for his signal to behead the ill-mannered youth at once. [Waqidi p. 75]

This threat had immediate effect. A dramatic change happened in the behavior of Hodhaifa and we see him after the battle, a completely subdued and different person. When he found his father slain and his corpse being unceremoniously dragged to be dumped into a well, he was overwhelmed and started crying. “What?” asked Muhammad, “Are you saddened for the death of your father?” “Not so, O Allah’s Prophet!” responded Hodhaifa, “I do not doubt the justice of my father’s fate; but I knew well his wise and generous heart, and I had trusted that the Lord would lead him to the faith. But now that I see him slain, and my hope destroyed! —- it is for that I grieve.” This time Muhammad was pleased with his response, comforted Abu Hodhaifa, blessed him; and said, “It is well.” [Waqidi, p. 106; Sira p. 230; Tabari, p. 294]

The displeasure of Muhammad at Hodhaifa’s irreverence in defying his word and the swift reaction of Omar threatening to slay him on the spot, were such powerful stimuli that Hodhaifa immediately changed his demeanor and a day later he even saw the “justice” in his father’s murder. Once Hodhaifa lost his father, in whose killing he had conspired by ganging up with his murderers, then there was no going back for him. He had to justify what he had done and rationalize the slaying of his father. Coming to his senses and facing his own guilty conscience would have been painfully mortifying. He had to continue in the path that he had taken to justify his actions.

As these historic evidences demonstrate, Muslims were the aggressors not the pagans and it was Muhammad who told his benighted followers to hate and kill their own kin and not the other way round. After 9/11 the world was stupefied to see how unabashedly Muslims commit the crime and blame their victims. However this is a sunna set by their prophet. This is the way the Muslim mind works.

But of course since all these historic facts do not conform to your self-made “religion of peace” you prefer to deceive yourself and ease your conscience by denying their validity. Yet what would you say to the following verses of the Quran that confirm the above and the fact that Muhammad told his followers to hate even their own fathers and brothers if they do not believe?

9:23        “O ye who believe! take not for protectors your fathers and your brothers if they love Infidelity above Faith: if any of you do so, they do wrong”

9:113     Muhammad repeatedly instructed his followers not to seek the companionship of the unbelievers 31:15 and even made his imaginary deity say: “It is not fitting, for the Prophet and those who believe, that they should pray for forgiveness for Pagans, even though they be of kin, after it is clear to them that they are companions of the Fire.”

4.89        Muhammad’s paranoia was so intense that he told his followers “those who believed but came not into exile, ye owe no duty of protection to them until they come into exile;” 8.72 and he went as far as telling them that if some of the believers return renegades “seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks;”

You have chosen the path of self deception and denial of the historic facts. You reject wholesale all the incriminating tales about Muhammad, (yet keeping the ones that are not incriminating) but what do you say to these hate mongering verses of the Quran?

Continuing with Sura Bara’at, verses 11and 12 say that only if the unbelievers convert to Islam they should be taken as brethrens (in faith) but if they decide to exercise freedom of belief they should be fought and restrained. The verse 13 spews more hate and goads the believers to be resolute in their enmity to the unbelievers and the verse 14 makes it clear that the unbelievers should be fought and punished by the hands of the Muslims. This is the verse that OBL and other terrorists use to justify their crimes against humanity. This verse make clear that the punishment for disbelief is no more left to God but rather it should be meted by the Muslims. This answers all the hypocrite apologists of Islam who come to the West and deceitfully try to portray Islam as a religion of peace, claiming that the terrorists are misinterpreting the Quran.

In the verses 17 to 19 Muhammad prohibits the pagans to visit or maintain the grand Mosque of Ka’ba. This is the first time in the history of that temple were religious apartheid is ordained. For thousands of years, the Meccans had allowed the followers of all faiths to come to Ka’ba and worship together their own gods in amity. That changed when Muhammad came to power and inaugurated an era marked by religious bigotry and hate, which has lasted up to this day.

The verses 25 and 26 talk about the defeat of the Muslims in Hunain, despite their great numbers and then their victory, the details of this event is in sira and really does not belong to this Sura. How would we know what happened in Hunain and with whom Muslims fought without consulting the sira? Isn’t this another proof that the Quran without hadith and sira is incomprehensible?

Here is the entire Sura Bara’at. The rest of the Sura is called Tauba and it refers to another unrelated event. [Because of its length Ali Sina’s quotation of the entire chapter is not displayed here, since it can be found at various internet sites, including this one: http://19.org/km/RK/9]

Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

Now let us discuss the verse 9:29

9:29        Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the People of the Scripture, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

You wrote:

“Furthermore, note that I suggest COMPENSATION instead of Arabic word Jizya.”

Who are you to “suggest” such thing? How can you suggest that one word should mean something else? You obviously have taken the entire Quran as a book of jokes and you allow yourself to “suggest” meanings that are not there.

To justify your twisted translations you wrote:

“The meaning of Jizya has been distorted as a perpetual tax on non-Muslims, which was invented long after Muhammad to further the imperialistic agenda of Sultans or Kings.”

On what you base such claim? How do you know that Muhammad did not exact Jizyah tax on his subdued victims? The hadith and sira tell us Muhammad levied heavy Jizyah on his victims. We are told that for example in Kheibar he usurped their land and allowed the survivors to stay, provided they work the land and pay 50% of the proceeds to him. You deny all these because they do not validate your fantasies about Muhammad. How can you prove to me that Muhammad did not demand Jizyah and all that was invented by the Sultans or Kings? When I say Muhammad charged Jizyah I quote various books of history written by Muslim scholars. Tell me on what you base your wanton claim? Why should we reject the historians of Islam and accept your fantasies? You want us to throw out all the books of hadith and history because they were written a hundred or two hundred years after Muhammad but you expect us to believe in your words 1400 years later?

The verse 29 starts with قَـتِلُواْ This can only be translated as fight and not fight (back). It is an offensive order and not defensive. It is qatilu not dafeu. The verse goes on to say fight them until they pay الْجِزْيَةَ Jizyah. This word derives from Jaza. It means fine and punishment the plural of that is Mojazat. It does not mean compensation. The correct word for compensation is Mokafat.

Your “Reformist Translation of the Quran” is not translation but “reformation” or in other words misrepresentation of the facts and soft selling of the Quran by twisting the truth.

According to wikipedia.org Jizyah is the Arabic language translation of Poll tax or “head tax”, a tax imposed on male individuals of other faiths living under Muslim rule.

Jizyah was applied to every free male member of the People of the Book, non-Muslim communities living in lands under Muslim rule. The jizyah was levied in the time of Prophet Muhammad on vassal tribes under Muslim protection, including Jews in Khaybar, Christians in Najran and Zoroastrians in Bahrain .

Give me one reason why should we reject all these historic facts and explanations and accept your claims? Obviously you want to rewrite the history by reinventing it. And your only sources are your fantasies.

The verse 28 of this sura says:

9:28        O you who believe! Verily, the Mushrikin are impure. So let them not come near Al-Masjid Al-Haram after this year; and if you fear poverty, Allah will enrich you if He wills, out of His bounty. Surely, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.)

Can you tell us how are you going to translate this in your “Reformist Translation”? The meaning of this verse is obvious. Please let us see how you twisted it in your version of the Quran.

After mistranslating the word Jizya you made the following statement:

“Unfortunately, the distortion in the meaning of the verse above and the practice of collecting a special tax from Christians and Jews, contradict the basic principle of the Quran that there should not be compulsion in religion and there should be freedom of belief and expression (2:256; 4:90; 4:137; 10:99; 18:29; 88:21,22). Since taxation based on religion creates financial duress on people to convert to the previliged religion, it violates this important Quranic principle. Dividing a population that united under a social contract (constitution) into previliged groups based on their religion contradicts many principles of the Quran, including justice, peace, and brotherhood/sisterhood of all humanity.”

What you have failed to see is the fact that the Quran was written over a period of 23 years and the early writings of Muhammad are very distinct from latter ones. When Muhammad started his prophetic career, he had no earthly powers and the verses that he wrote during that period are all conciliatory and tolerant. During the early phase of his mission, he sounded almost like Christ.

In the verse 2.256 he says:

2:256     “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error”

And

10:99     “If it had been thy Lord’s will, they would all have believed,- all who are on earth! wilt thou then compel mankind, against their will, to believe!”

Or

18:29     “The truth is from your Lord”: Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it)”

But these are the Meccan verses. He wrote these verses when he was weak. It would have been impossible for his handful of followers to wage war against thousands of unbelievers and win. In these verses the cunning prophet contented himself by telling his followers that the unbelievers will be severely punished in the afterlife as the verse 18:29 makes it clear where he tries to impress and frighten his gullible followers with his bogus lies about hellfire and his bugabear deity.

18:29     “We have prepared a Fire whose (smoke and flames), like the walls and roof of a tent, will hem them in: if they implore relief they will be granted water like melted brass, that will scald their faces, how dreadful the drink! How uncomfortable a couch to recline on!”

How can any sane person believe that the maker of this universe is a sadist with this much insanity and penchant for torture is beyond comprehension!

However when Muhammad became powerful and managed to fool a sizable number of ignorant men who rallied around him and who were ready to kill at his behest, his so called “revelations” underwent a new twist and he took it upon himself to bring upon those who denied his claim the severest punishments.

So while in Mecca he said “Speak good to men… ” 2:83, “be patient with what they say” 20:103 , 73:10 , and preached about the virtues of Abel saying to Cain: “If thou dost stretch thy hand against me, to slay me, it is not for me to stretch my hand against thee to slay thee: for I do fear Allah, the cherisher of the worlds” 5:28, when he went to Medina and became powerful he revealed his true self and a different kind of message. There he wrote: “Oh ye who believe! Murder those of the disbelievers and let them find harshness in you” 9:123 ; “I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off. ” 8:12 , “Whoso desires another religion than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him” 3:85 , “Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them” 66:9 , “When you meet the unbelievers, strike off their heads; then when you have made wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives” 47:4 , “rouse the Believers to the fight” 8:65, “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies”. 8:60.

In fact most of the Quran is filled with such violent verses. Definitely the verses written in Medina contradict those written in Mecca. Which ones should we take? Logics says that if I tell you one thing now and another thing the next day, you should follow my last instructions. The latest verses of the Quran are those written in Medina and they are the harsh and violent ones. The very last sura of the Quran is Sura 9, the sura we discussed above. This sura is basically the Will and Testament of Muhammad. If any part of the Quran is in contradictions with what this sura says, it is obvious that the latest words of Muhammad (i,e. sura 9) should override the previous ones.

Dr. Muhsin Khan the translator of Sahih Bukhari and the Quran into English writes:

“Allah revealed in Sura Bara’at the order to discard (all) obligations (covenants, etc), and commanded the Muslims to fight against all the Pagans as well as against the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) if they do not embrace Islam, till they pay the Jizia (a tax levied on the Jews and Christians) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued (as it is revealed in 9:29). So the Muslims were not permitted to abandon “the fighting” against them (Pagans, Jews and Christians) and to reconcile with them and to suspend hostilities against them for an unlimited period while they are STRONG and have the ability to fight against them. So at first “the fighting” was forbidden, then it was permitted, and after that it was made obligatory “[Introduction to English translation of Sahih Bukhari, p.xxiv.]

Q 9:5 reads: “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them”

According to Dr. Khan in 9:5 Allah ordered Muhammad to cancel all covenants and to fight the pagans, the Jews even the Christians. This is in contrast to what Muhammad wrote earlier.

5:82        “Thou wilt find the nearest of them in love to the believers [Muslims} are those who say ‘We are Christians'”

Dr. Khan continues:

The “Mujahideen who fight against the enemies of Allah in order that the worship should be all for Allah (alone and not for any other deity) and that the word is Allah’s (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and His religion Islam) should be upper most.”

So first it was “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:265) and then

61:10-12″O who believe! shall I direct you to a commerce that which will save you from a painful torment? That you believe in Allah and His Apostle (Mohammad), and that you strive hard and fight in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That will be better for you, if you but knew. If you do so He will forgive you your sins, and admit you into gardens of Eternity – that is the great success”

Dr. Sobhy as-Saleh, a contemporary academic, does not see in 2:256 and 9:73 a case of abrogation but a case of delaying or postponing the command to fight the infidels. To support his view he quoted Imam Suyuti the author of Itqan Fi ‘Ulum al- Qur’an who wrote:

“The command to fight the infidels was DELAYED UNTIL THE MUSLIMS BECOME STRONG, but when they were weak they were commanded to endure and be patient. [ Sobhy as_Saleh, Mabaheth Fi ‘Ulum al- Qur’an, Dar al-‘Ilm Lel-Malayeen, Beirut , 1983, p. 269.]

Dr. Sobhy, in a footnote, commends the opinion of a scholar named Zarkashi who said:

“Allah the most high and wise revealed to Mohammad in his weak condition what suited the situation, because of his mercy to him and his followers. For if He gave them the command to fight while they were weak it would have been embarrassing and most difficult, but when the most high made Islam victorious He commanded him with what suited the situation, that is asking the people of the Book to become Muslims or to pay the levied tax, and the infidels to become Muslims or face death. These two options, to fight or to have peace return according to the strength or the weakness of the Muslims.”[ibid p. 270]

And Nahas writes:

“the scholars differed concerning Q. 2:256. (There is no compulsion if religion) Some said: ‘It has been abrogated [cancelled] for the Prophet compelled the Arabs to embrace Islam and fought them and did not accept any alternative but their surrender to Islam. The abrogating verse is Q. 9:73 ‘O Prophet, struggle with the unbelievers and hypocrites, and be thou harsh with them.’ Mohammad asked Allah the permission to fight them and it was granted. Other scholars said Q. 2:256 has not been abrogated, but it had a special application. It was revealed concerning the people of the Book [the Jews and the Christians]; they can not be compelled to embrace Islam if they pay the Jizia (that is head tax on free non-Muslims under Muslim rule). It is only the idol worshippers who are compelled to embrace Islam and upon them Q. 9:73 applies. This is the opinion of Ibn ‘Abbas which is the best opinion due to the authenticity of its chain of authority.”[ al-Nahas, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, p.80. See also Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi, A-Nnasikh wal-Mansukh, Dar al-Kotob al-‘Elmeyah, birute, 1986, p.42.]

Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi writes:

“Fight in the way of God with those who fight with you, but aggress not: God loves not the aggressors (2:190)” On the authority of Ga’far ar-Razi from Rabi’ Ibn ‘Ons, from ‘Abil-‘Aliyah who said: This is the first verse that was revealed in the Qur’an about fighting in the Madina. When it was revealed the prophet used to fight those who fight with him and avoid those who avoid him, until Sura 9 was revealed. And so is the opinion of ‘Abd ar-Rahman Ibn Zayd Ibn ‘Aslam who said this verse was cancelled by 9:5 “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them”[ bn Hazm al-Andalusi, An-Nasikh wal- Mansukh, Dar al-Kotob al-‘Elmeyah, birute, 1986, P.27]

Now what these eminent scholars of Islam say make sense. Logically the latter revelations override and cancel the previous ones if they contradict each other. But what you say make completely no sense. Your claim is informed by your zealotry and blind faith and not by facts.

You also copy pasted an argument you had with Christians. Although I find it irrelevant to our debate, I would like to point out the fact that you yourself are guilty of the same sins you blame your Christian opponents. Let us go over the six points you raised:

1) You are the one who denies the fact that the Quran is NOT self-sufficient. I asked you a few questions about the Quran. Explain them without referring to haidth. Explain how do you know Muhammad was born in 570 A.D. and declared his message at 40 without referring to haidth. You can’t do that without the aid of the hadith and sira and therefore your claim that ALL the haidth is garbage and the Quran is self-sufficient is fallacious.

2) It is you who reduce your references to smaller portion, take a few abrogated verses and disregard the rest of the Quran where it clearly calls for blood and violence. It is you who are scared to show the ugly part of the Quran for the fear of being shown that the man you have accepted to be a prophet was a psychopath. Let us say the Quran has also a good part. Is there a book, including Mein Kampf, that is completely bereft of any good part? What you fail to see is that a few allegedly “good” verses in the Quran are not enough to call it a divine book. A book of a perfect God should not have even one ugly or imperfect verse in it. And yet we find hundreds of ugly and terrible verses in the Quran.

3) It is you who twist the meaning of some of the words and “suggest” that they should be interpreted differently to suit your “reformist” agenda. To fulfill your agenda, what you have sacrificed is the truth.

4) It is you who selectively deny some of the hadith but cling to others because you realize without them you can’t even establish the existence of Muhammad.

5) The argument used in point 5 is a logical fallacy called tu quoque. By using this fallacy you try to justify the crimes perpetrated by Muhammad and his followers with the wrongs committed by the followers of other religions. Followers of other religions were mere followers. Their actions should not reflect on their religion just as the action of the Muslims should not reflect on Islam. The followers could be misguided. We are not blaming the Muslims but Muhammad himself. If Muhammad was a prophet of God indeed, he should have known better.

6) In point 6 again you are attacking the Christians and their conducts. Even if your accusations are proven to be true, how with this, you can justify the crimes of Muhammad or the violence and absurdities of the Quran?

The rest of your message, is a misplaced copy-paste. It has nothing to so with our discussion. It is a discussion you had with Christians. Why you bring that up here is not clear to me. But since you mentioned it let me dismiss it as another tu quoque fallacy. Here you are trying to vilify Christianity and Judaism to get away with the sins of Muhammad. Suppose whatever you say about these religions is true. Would that prove that Muhammad was a prophet of God? Wouldn’t this be another proof that he was not a messenger of God? Muhammad said Jesus and Moses were prophets of God. If you show they were not, then doesn’t this automatically make Muhammad a liar? Irrespective of the fact that you succeeded or not, by simply questioning their prophethoood you have challenged Muhammad and his authority and you are not a Muslim.

At this stage, I request you to please come back and debate the points that I am discussing, in the same way I am debating the points that you raise. If all you can do is copy paste irrelevant articles and rehash what you wrote in other occasions, I don’t see any debate and wonder what we are doing here. This is supposed to be a debate. If you are reluctant even to engage with me, if all you can do is copy paste irrelevant material and expect me to answer them without you contesting my points, is there any point in continuing? Weren’t you the person who accused the Christians of “parroting”? Aren’t you doing the same here?

You seem to have run out of arguments before we even engage and hence with these tedious copy pasting and filibustering tactics you try to bore the readers and find your way out of this discussion. Please prove to us this is not the case.

If this is what you intend, I suggest you would be saving face more by not responding at all. Dr. Zakir Naik, Prof. Michael Sells and Prof. John Esposito are far better now for not responding to me than if they did and failed to engage in coherent arguments. If you are gasping for relief, you may stop, but if you truly want to debate please do not burden me and the readers with long tedious and irrelevant copy pastes.

Finally I would like to speak to your heart. If you can’t defend Islam, why you cling to this sinking ship? Islam is a lie and this I have proven here in numerous articles time and again. Why hang to a doctrine that is so evil and so false? I earnestly urge you to leave Islam. You can’t save Islam nor can you reform it. Islam is based on total lies. It is not a religion of God but a cult created by a psychopath to control and dominate the gullible. Its fruit speaks for itself.

I call upon all the Muslims to leave Islam. Islam is a lie. The sooner we face this truth the sooner we save our own souls and this battered world. By adhering to this cult we are lending our tacit support to the terrorists. We are committing a sin against our own souls and against our own children. You are responsible for what you believe. Do not be an instrument of hate and destruction. Be an instrument of love and unity of mankind. Let us rebuild this wrecked world together. Let us mend our tattered brotherhood. We are all brothers and sisters in Humanity. You know the maxim of “divide and rule”. How can you let yourself to become a victim of this evil ploy? The world is not divided between Muslims and Kafirs. It is not created as dar al Harb and dar al Islam. This is one planet for all of us to share, to cherish and to love.

Enough with insanity! Enough with hatred. Muhammad lied to us. Let us wake up from our slumber. Let us leave this doctrine of hate aside and let us step into the world of love and light. Let us do it now for tomorrow is too late.

 

Edip Yuksel v. Ali Sina

Chit-Chat

Jan 5, 2005

 

Dear Ali Sina:

I will, inshallah, answer your most recent posts this weekend. But, before answering your claims, accusations, and false arguments, I would like to express my disappointment in how you handle your debates:

“You may also tell Dr. Naik that as of 2005 I am offering $50,000 U.S. dollars of my own money to anyone who can refute my charges against Muhammad and prove that he is a prophet of God.”

Well, it seems you are really being carried away. I hope that you will give up from these cheap promotional gimmicks. Yes, this is just a deceptive and empty promise. I know this, since I studied law, and reading books on advertising is one of my hobbies.

I had ignored your silly promise of closing your website if you were proven wrong. However, now you need some reality check and a reminder

If any decent person is proven wrong regarding his claims in his website, closing or changing the content of that website must be a next step expected from that person. In other words, your promise is just an empty promise. It is like, “if you prove me wrong, I will act as a decent man and acknowledge that you proved me wrong!” Or little like, “if you prove that I sleep naked in my bed, then I will give you the cloth I am wearing in my bed!”

To top your empty promise, here I am also going to give several empty promises: If anyone proves me wrong regarding my position on Quran and its mathematical structure, I will close the www.19.org and discontinue the publication of more than a dozen Turkish books promoting the message of monotheism. Furthermore, I will resign from participating in Reformist Translation of the Quran!

As for your new empty offer of 50,000 US dollars, well here is why it is empty, deceptive, and pathetic:

Alperenaslan: “I thought you had no Money Ali! You were crying and talking about $300-$400 site ads income.”

Ali Sina: “Well, that is my present income. But I had a business before dedicating myself to this cause. Have a house and have some equity. Why, do you think I can survive with $400 dollars income per month?”

Even if one day you miraculously accept to be proven wrong, I will never demand that money from you for a couple of reasons. First, I am not debating with you to get your money. I am not gambling in Las Vegas. Second, I will never accept that money from a person who has such a little income; I am a person with conscious and I cannot doom someone to poverty; especially as a price of him finding and acknowledging the truth! It is just absurd. No decent human being will accept such an offer. However, with your offer you are tacitly insulting our intention for debating you and insulting our sense of justice. You are too gullible if you do not have such an agenda!

Another problem with your money offer is that it is not actionable; it is an empty promise: Without depositing that money in an escrow account and proving that to your opponent, without appointing a team of judges equally selected by you and your opponent, this offer is empty squared!

To top your worthless money offer, here I am going to announce even a bigger worthless money offer: “I am offering $114,000 U.S. dollars of my own money to anyone who can refute my charges against enemies of islam (not hislam!), and prove that Muhammad was not a prophet of God.”

I do still believe that you are honest in your offers and you have not thought about their empty and worthless nature. You just wanted to demonstrate how serious and committed you were to find the truth of the matter. Or perhaps, you thought you could draw the attention of those who are easily duped by empty promises. So, I demand you to retract these offers since they are not only empty and worthless, as I said above, they are implicit insults to the intention of all those who debate against you.

Let me make it clear: I am here not because of you or your money; you will most likely not see many of my points in my arguments; but I am here for those who are following and will be following this debate. And, they are not limited with the visitors of your website…

See you this weekend!

Peace,

Edip Yuksel

*****

 

Jan 5; 2005

Dear Edip

Please get back to your debate, you are wasting your time and people are waiting to see your responses. So far you have not responded to any of my charges. The last round was just copy paste and had nothing to do with what we discussed in previous rounds.

As for the offer of $50,000 don’t worry, I am not going to lose that money. If I had any doubt in my mind that I could lose, I would not have started this website and risk being tortured by the savage god of Islam for eternity. What is more important? Losing $50,000 dollars of being burned for eternity?

Furthermore, if for the sake of argument I lose and have to pay that $50,000 dollars I would go to my own profession and would make at least twice that amount in one year alone. So financially I would be better off. The reason I decided to dedicate myself to this cause is because I see this is such an important cause, unique in history. I just could not miss the chance to by part of this great event in human history and not have a piece of it. Also, I am not planning to live on the advertisements and donations alone for ever. I believe once my books are out they will generate enough money to compensate what I lost during these couple of years. I have built up a good readership and they are supportive of me. If the movie project becomes a reality then of course the financial rewards would be substantial. I expect this movie to be a blockbuster. Just the controversy it generates would make it a hit.

Now as your claim that the offer is cheap, I don’t see it that way. I believe it would generate some interest and highlight the fact that the challenge is not yet met. This has its psychological effect and would help promote our cause.

As for putting the money in a screw, oh please get real. You have not even attempted to respond to my charges and you want the guarantees now? First win the debate and if I don’t pay, then you can trumpet it wild and far that I have reneged to comply.

As for your “worthless [sic] money offer of $114,000 U.S. dollars to prove that Muhammad was not a prophet,” I take it. I have already proven that Muhammad was not a prophet. Any reasonable person reading my articles will come to that conclusion. However I am not going to ask you to read what I wrote. I will prove also to YOU that Muhammad was not a prophet and will make it clear like the sun. If at the end you agree and leave Islam you can keep your money and join me so together we get rid of this curse affecting humanity. Don’t worry about the lost royalty of the books that you have already written. You can start writing books to prove Islam is false and make an honest living by telling people the truth. In fact thanks to your fame, your apostasy will make you instantly famous and you may sell your anti Islamic books by millions. You have to sacrifice in the cause of truth and you will be rewarded by the universe. I have done my sacrifice by quitting my own professional practice. You can do that too.

But if I prove that Muhammad was not a prophet, which you can bet your life I will do, and you try to sabotage the debate by, for example, withdrawing from the debate and starting to post huge amounts of unrelated copy-pastes to bore the readers and end the debate, then I expect you to pay what you offered. Of course I am not going to ask you to put the money in screw. I hold you responsible against your honor. You are not going to pay because you are not going to admit defeat, but that is okay. My goal, as I said at the very begging of this debate, is not to convince you but our readers. I want intelligent people who think they are Muslims see that Islam is a failed paradigm and it is hopeless.

You are just one person. It really does not matter to me if you accept the truth or not. But our debate is read by thousands of people and many of them are Muslims. They will see the truth and it is them that I really care for. If you read the recent testimonies and comments, you can see this site is having its intended effect. People ARE leaving Islam.

It is like, “if you prove me wrong, I will act as a decent man and acknowledge that you proved me wrong!” Or little like, “if you prove that I sleep naked in my bed, then I will give you the cloth I am wearing in my bed!”

Obviously truth for you is just a joke that depends on ones whims and wanton interpretation. I think differently and I am sure our readers can see the difference too. Truth can be unraveled. Just as it is possible to prove 2 + 2 = 4 it is possible to prove Islam is not from God and Muhammad was an impostor. Demonstrating the truth is not difficult, sometimes accepting it is difficult.

See you this weekend!

Hey cheer up. Don’t frown at me. Don’t take it personal. I am not your enemy but your best friend, if only you could know it. I am the enemy of that cult that has taken you and your brain as hostage. I am not here to hurt you but to set you free.

Ali Sina.

*****

 

January 5, 2005

“But if I prove that Muhammad was not a prophet, which you can bet your life I will do, and you try to sabotage the debate by, for example, withdrawing from the debate and starting to post huge amounts of unrelated copy-pastes to bore the readers and end the debate, then I expect you to pay what you offered. Of course I am not going to ask you to put the money in screw. I hold you responsible against your honor. You are not going to pay because you are not going to admit defeat, but that is okay. My goal, as I said at the very begging of this debate, is not to convince you but our readers. I want intelligent people who think they are Muslims see that Islam is a failed paradigm and it is hopeless.”

Dear Ali:

In psychology, this is called projection. Accuse me of doing things that you are committing! That might work for a short term propaganda, but hey, I will be here as long as you can endure me. The jury will see the flawed patterns of your modus operandi.

BTW, I enjoy debating with you. I do not get angry with you, since if you are sincere in your cause, which I do not have reason to believe otherwise, you need the light of the truth that will help you to distinguish Islam from Hislam. To humble yourself in front of God and ask forgiveness for your aggression and false accusations.

Though you are still hoping that you will indulge me in debating on the garbage pile of fabricated narrations, your favorite place of wrestling, I will try my best to snatch you from there and put you in a clean agora this weekend, by God’s will. For a while, it will be a yo-yo exercise, but eventually, you will be ending up discussing ISSUES and PRINCIPLES, rather than adhominem attack based on hearsay of hearsay on a historical figure.

One of the reasons I enjoy debating with you is because you are an intelligent grumpy old man

By the way, you “screw”ed up the escrow! See you MORUK!

Peace,

Edip Yuksel

 

Edip Yuksel v. Ali Sina

Evangelical Connection Exposed

Edip Yuksel – Ali Sina

 

Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 4:56 am
Subject: Faith Freedom Foundation Address & Telephone number.
Author: MirrorOfTruth

Peace all,

Just wondering why Ali Sina hasn’t put the postal address or telephone number for his organisation on his web site. I believe it is:

Faith Freedom Foundation
P.O Box 664
Amherst, NY, 14226
United States of America

or the phone number:

Telephone: +1 – 2516664567

Surely he’d like to hear from his supporters and receive the odd card, or courtesy call now and then ?

Regards.

EDIP: “Exposing” or more accurately unveiling the identity or whereabouts of a person who is out there not to create a personal cult, but to debate important theological issues with great political and social ramification is irrelevant.

But, it is more than irrelevant, it is irresponsible and even evil, since it may jeopardize the live of a person whose all crime is to express his faith and opinion. Putting the life of such a person at risk contradicts diametrically with what I stand for. I stand for freedom of faith and expression. If God Almighty let even Satan express himself and let people choose whatever religion, opinion, philosophy, or faith they want, then it would be against God’s system and will to create a hostile environment and conditions that would suppress dissent and oppress some people because of their belief or disbelief.

So, I condemn the acts of those who want to indulge in detective or police work, rather than intellectual debate.

If I want freedom and security for myself, I have to want the same thing for others, including my enemies who are not in act and mindset of physical hostility. To do the opposite is hypocrisy.

I believe that Ali Sina’s voice, regardless of its truth-value, is precious and should be protected. We cannot find truth without people like Ali Sina.

Personally, I do not care a bit, whether Evilgelical organizations, Zionist organizations, CIA, or any other power pays or uses Ali Sina. To me, it is not relevant and important, since Ali Sina is raising important issues, and voicing important problems with a religion that is followed by more than a billion people.

We are all brothers and sisters from Adam and Eve. We cannot be muslims (submitters to God alone, and men of peace) if we do not act like humans. To be a human, and care about the life of every single human being is a prerequisite of being a muslim. I have no connection with those who ignore and violate this sacred bond among human beings, a bond that was established by our Lord and Creator in the moment and fabric of our creation.

Peace

Edip yuksel

Thank you Edip,

You wrote that three times already. I think we got the message.

Ali Sina

Jan 09, 2005

Dear Ali Sina:

I got very angry when I noticed such postings, so I reacted with emotions. There are two reasons for my strong reaction to such an act:

  1. Submission to God (or Truth) ALONE frees a person. Truth sets a person free. So, freedom of belief and disbelief and their expression is the number one requirement of my belief system.
  2. I myself experienced attacks to my life, safety, and my integrity. Hislamics fabricated many lies about my connections. They claimed that I was a Bahai, a follower of Moon cult, a CIA agent, etc. So, far none has yet claimed my being a Martian agent But, after exhausting their fabrication some of them may come up with that allegation.

So, please feel free to delete the two of the three postings from this forum. But, I want you to keep the one I posted in our main debate threat and page: Edip Yuksel v. Ali Sina. I want people read my position, which I argue with passion that it is also the position of the Quran, regarding the freedom of faith, opinion, philosophy, etc, and their expression.

Peace,

Edip Yuksel

MOT

Thank you for unmasking the true nature of the submitters. Everyone knows your intention has been to put my life in danger. This is a great proof that these so called “reformists” are Muslims after all and Muslims will do what Muslims are supposed to do and that is lie, deceive and murder.

Now for your information, that address is the address of a humanist organization. This is the same address used by Ibn Warraq to register his site. I figured out if have to receive anything in the mail I can trust these guys so I used that address. They do not have my address. Actually no one has my address.

So I am sorry, your plot is frustrated and you’ll have to eat your heart knowing I will continue to live. Now do you really think you are the smartest Muslim? Don’t you think that is the first place your terrorist brothers would check to learn about me?

To save you the trouble, let me tell you that I have never given any information to anywhere or anyone that may somehow lead to me. For example I could make more money by becoming an affiliate of amazon.com but amzon.com pays only by check and I can’t accept checks because this could lead to my address. My information at my host are false, the payment is done through bank draft. So basically there is nothing on the net that could lead to me. I am sorry to disappoint you but thanks for showing the world that submitter or not submitter a Muslim is a Muslim.]Let us make this clear. Although I have said I do not believe in a god or a religion, I have no problem with any of the present religions. My fight against Islam is not because it is a religion but because it is not. It is fascism disguised as religion.

Now, I have been saying all along that all the people of the world must unite to fight Islam. This means as a secularist I see the Jews, the Hindus, the Christians or the Atheists as my comrades in this war. I am very grateful to followers of other religions who have supported me either with their literary contribution to this site or with their donations.

I am a freethinker. Nonetheless I do not want to impose my way of thinking on anyone. Faithfreedom means freedom from and of faith. I believe in diversity and happily will work with any organization or group that shares my goals as long as it is not another racist hatemongering group like Islamists. My goal is not to create yet another group and divide the already divide people but rather bring everyone together and create a common front composed of all the people of the world against Islam. So if Christians or Jews or Hindus or communists want to help in any way, I will accept that help with gratitude and will work with them. In fact four years ago it was Golshan.com that hosted my site and they are Iranian communists. I am entirely anti communist yet I did not allow my personal disagreement with them come in between our common goal. The goal is to eradicate Islam and all of us humans must work together to achieve that goal.

Think if an alien species attack the Earth, wouldn’t all of us with all our differences unite to combat them? Well the humnity is under attack by a barbarian cult and we and we must unite to destroy it.

Ali Sina

EDIP: Dear Ali Sina: It seems that your hatred and emotions have turned you to those who you claim to hate.

Here is the difference between you and me:

I do not ally with a vampire or vampires to kill another vampire. I do not ally with Evilgelical Christians (you know which Christian groups I am referring to) who are supportive of wars and invasions that has been taking the lives of so many innocent people. I cannot. Throughout history they have been on the wrong side; they have been involved in many bloody and dirty tragedies in history.

But, it seems that you are following the Machiavellian path of St. Paul and you will accept any alliance to dehumanize all Muslims and making them the subject of another Holocaust. Your mindset and mission is no different than of Hitler.

The guy who posted information allegedly proving your connection with Christians might have endangered your life, but with your propaganda of hatred and general condemnation, you are putting the lives of millions and perhaps billions of people at risk. You even show the audacity to put me in the same category of terrorists! I very rarely use this word. But, I think you deserved until you notice your problem: “shame on you, Ali Sina!”

It is hypocritical to applaud the massacres, terrorism, occupations, exploitations, covert operations around the world supported by super powers and its supportive Evilgelical Christian organizations, while condemning the terrorism, violence committed by a group of Sunni or Shiite extremists. This is a diabolic double standard!

If you are a humanist as you claim, you should join me to fight ANY act of terrorism, violence, injustice, regardless the identity or religion of the criminal.

Justice and peace cannot be accomplished by holding one hand of the Devil against another hand. You become just a pawn. I condemned the action of the person who tried to “expose” you, and similarly I condemn the actions of USA-Inc’s secret agents that have secretly kidnapped and tortured many innocent people in Guatanamo Bay, Iraqi Abu Ghraib, Egyptian or Saudi prisons used by the USA-Inc.

Jan 9, 2005

Apology to MOT (Mirror of Truth):

Without knowing the real nature of your so-called “exposition”, I reacted immediately and condemned your action with strong language. When I first read the reactions of others, I thought that you had indeed announced privately held information about Ali Sina and thus endangered his safety and security.

However, now, I learn that what you posted was available for public. If it is the case, which now it seems that it is the case, then you did nothing wrong, and I apologize for condemning that action.

Though your posting did nothing to endanger the life of Ali Sina, since it was himself who publicized that fake, yet revealing address in the first place, I still believe that it was an irrelevant posting. You gave an excuse to some trolls who took advantage of your posting; they twisted and depicted it differently. They created a storm in an empty teaspoon. I am learning more about the nature of this site and its fanatic supporters and actors. They are just making too much noise…

Ali Sina, by acknowledging today that he is open to make alliance with ANY group against Hislam and islam, did not surprise me. Just by looking at the position of his supporters one must be stupid not to understand where he is standing. He has no integrity in his position, since he justifies some atrocities, terror, murder, deception and opposes some based on the identity or religion of their doers. So, he already lost his claim of being a HUMANIST; he is an Evangelical Crusader!

God willing, tonight or tomorrow night I will rebuttle his latest allegations and distortions. The noise of his Evilgelical comrades may provide some comfort for him, but eventually their darkness will be exposed by the light of reason and honesty.

Peace,

Edip Yuksel

Later when I checked Alexa toolbar, I found out that the visitors of faithfreedom.org were also the common visitors of the following sites:

  1. http://exmuslim.com, which promotes itself as Muslims For Christ; and
  2. http://born-again-christian.info

Thus, the connection between Ali Sina and Evangelical organizations has been established without doubt, since they were sharing the same address, most of the visitors of their websites, and they were also sharing the same twisted mindset and hostility against muslims. However, Ali Sina, even fell lower in hypocrisy by trying to hide his Christian link and agenda.
Edip Yuksel

 

Edip Yuksel v. Ali Sina

Low foot, high foot; true foot, lie foot; here comes…

Edip Yuksel

 

Jan 13, 2005

“How do you know all these things? This information is not given in the quran. It can only be found in the hadith and the sira. But you say that your islam does not have any need for these “garbage” and the quran is enough. Then how do you know muhammad was born in 570 a.d. in mecca and at the age of 40 he made his declaration, etc. Etc.?”

You fell for it, Ali Sina. Indeed, I posted that article to provoke you to make such an attack; a knee-jerk attack. You demonstrated that I did not underestimate your “mistunderestimation”. Let me explain and offer you first-aid:

Now identify all those extraneous information that do not exist in the Quran, and take them out of my article, and you will see that nothing would be lost regarding my claims and arguments about the last prophet’s character, mission and message. If I do the same thing to your previous claims and arguments about Muhammad’s character, mission and message, nothing would stand. That is a big difference. How could I have accomplished something like this? What are you missing so that you are confusing knick with knack? Why you are not able to distinguish the hay from grain? Discard the eyeglass of hatred and fanaticism and this simple issue will become as clear as Tucson’s sky.

Let me put in other words so that some of your fans too will understand: Replace 570 with any other date, or replace Mecca with any other city name, or even replace Muhammad’s name with any other name. Yes, not a single personal, moral, and legal principle advocated in my article would change or lose its Quranic foundation and truth-value.

As for your assertion that I could not have known that Abraham was a legendary ancestor of Jews and Arabs from any other source besides Bible and Hadith. Well, somehow you forgot the Quran, as you cunningly and frequently do so. See the Quran: 2:132; 22:78…

“You sneaked into the books of hadith and sira didn’t you? You naughty little devil you! You shouldn’t have done that, you know that. You waddled into that load of garbage to find the goodies for us and save us from seeing that fetid pile of filth accumulated on top of the prophet.  How nice of you! You are really the savior of islam.”

You still do not get it, do you Ali? You use THE STINKIEST SUBSTANCE out of the Sunni holy trash as the MAIN MENUE in your round table. As for me, I arguably picked some material too from the same can; but they were CLEAN PLASTICS; I used them as ORNAMENTAL or STYLISTIC COSMETICS on my round table. I can easily trash them if my guests dislike their color, as I did it right now; but if you discard those stinky items from your table, you and your beloved friends will starve to death. Do you smell and see the difference dear Ali? Do you understand metaphors? I bet you do. But, you may act as if you do not understand or hear me.

“Apparently you say something and do something else. Is that a good thing? So you do not reject the hadith and sira entirely. You simply reject the part that does not suit your agenda. None of these info you are giving away are in the quran and you keep telling me the quran is sufficient? If the quran is sufficient why did you have to dig into the garbage of hadith to write your book?”

Perhaps you are still confusing me with some of your Hislamic opponents. Or, you are praying that I would just devolve to one of them so you could pull my beard, smack my medieval head with those volumes of religious trash! Bad luck! When I say the Quran is sufficient, I say it within the context of the Quran’s mission, which is to guide us to eternal salvation. When I say the Quran is sufficient, I do not mean that I do not need or enjoy salt or pepper for my food, car for my transportation, plastic for wrapping, or other sources of information. I do not mean that. I simply mean that anyone who follows the instructions and principles of the Quran ALONE will be guided to the straight path and will attain eternal salvation. I do also believe that people do not need even to know the Quran to free them from the hypnosis of devil by submitting themselves to God–who is the Truth, lead a righteous life and believe in the Day of Judgment (2:62).

None needs to know the birth year or place of Muhammad, nor the name of his enemies, etc, to be a muslim, that is, submitter to God alone and promoter of peace; they are trivial information. Even if those information were wrong, it would not change any tenet of my faith or practice. Are you following me?

“Why not be honest here? Let us say that you agree with the part of the hadith that is not embarrassing and incriminating but when a hadith becomes too scandalous then that is garbage. The fact that muhammad was born in 570 a.d. is not embarrassing, so you have no problem with that. But when the same sources say that he massacred the bani qurayza or raped a 9 year old child then that is all fabrication and garbage. Thank you for teaching us islamic honesty.”

The birth year of Muhammad has no substantial contribution to my argument, but your arguments are based on dubious sources with numerous contradictions and ridiculous stories. Besides, reasonable people–not fanatic skeptics or evilgelicals–would easily concede that there is no a reasonable and actual motive behind distorting the birth year of Muhammad, but there are many reasons and motives to fabricate lies about Muhammad’s personal life, about his treatment of women, or his treatment of a tribe banished from Medina because of their betrayal during a war of self-defense. There are plenty of motives for those who reverted to the days of ignorance and established kingdoms in the name of God to distort the original message to justify their corrupt acts in public.

I gave some examples of such motives but you ignored them by a silly Martian remark. Soundbites might save ones career in political arena, church, or mosque but not in the market place of ideas. You ignore the fact that many Islamic and Hislamic scholars have written volumes of books to identify and expose the piles of stories imported from Jewish Mishna, Gamarra and Old Testament, which were called ISRAILIYAT. Sunni and Shiite Muslims adopted many Jewish stories and practices via those imported Jewish and Christian fabrications. Knowingly or out of ignorance, you wish to blame Muhammad and Quran for the deeds of their enemies, that is the fabricators and followers of hadith (6:112-115)!

For instance, the Quran does not contain STONING TO DEATH as punishment for adultery. Guess what we discover when we search the source of this punishment? We learn that it was the practice of Jews and ancient pagans. The so-called converted Jewish scholars inserted their distorted Biblical practice into Islam by fabricating hadith and fictional chains of narrators. In order to defend that hadith against the objections of early muslims, they even went further by fabricating Quranic verses that do not exist in the Quran.

How a verse instructing such a big punishment would be removed from the Quran? Well, there is no limit for imagination of clergymen, and there is no shortage of gullible people. The “authentic” hadith books justify the so-called “literal-but-not-legal” abrogation of the stoning verses by the following story: “After the Prophet Muhammad’s departure, a hungry holy goat ate the skin where those verses were written on!”

Now, you would like us to believe the first half of this Jewish story and ignore the other half! Circumcision is another of numerous Jewish practices that were centuries later imported to islamic faith, after the fertile era of hadith fabrication ended. They imported that bloody Jewish practice via sectarian jurisprudence. But, you wish to take Muhammad and Quran responsible for this unnecessary and harmful Jewish practice that has survived until modern times.

“In round iii and iv I raised a series of questions. You did not even touch them. Here is a list of them:

“1.          how can muhammad’s character be irrelevant to his claim? How can we be sure that he was not a liar? What if he lied for the same reason jim jones and thousands of other charlatan, impostor cult leaders lie manipulate and control the foolhardy?”

Here, I am going to touch them with my fingers by tickling the twenty-six letters and punctuation marks of the loyal keyboard of my muslim laptop. I hope some of these letters will touch your heart, if you have any, and mind too, and perform some remote healingJ

I am not an Evilgelical Christian or a Hislamic who believe blindly (euphemistically: on faith) in the claims of someone because they just trust that person or the chain of trust that goes back for many generations. If I were a comrade of Muhammad, I would perhaps have some idea about his character and intelligence, but hey, I came to the world centuries after him and I am not even an Arab. I cannot trust any person whom I have not seen and lived together especially in a matter that involve my eternal salvation. I may not even be hundred percent sure about the trustworthiness of any person, even if I share the same room with them for all my life. Even if I trust someone hundred percent, that does not mean whatever that person is claiming is true. Many people whose honesty we may not reasonably doubt, yet they may honestly assert nonsensical claims, believe in their hallucinations, superstitious and false ideas.

So dear Ali: as a philosopher, I demand extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims. If trusting Muhammad’s character were the only thing I could have as evidence, I would not be considering myself of having even an ordinary evidence for Muhammad’s ordinary claims, let alone an extraordinary one. I would not be a muslim. So, go and ask me the follow up question! Need a clue? Well, it starts with the following phrase: “Then why do you believe in….”

  1. “muhammad made so many bogus claims about being the best of the creation, and a perfect example to follow. How can we verify these self adulating claims? And how are we supposed to follow his examples as allah asked us to do in the quran if we are not allowed to read his history or believe it? … are we supposed to take those verse and the verse33:21 that says “ye have indeed in the messenger of allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct)” seriously or not?”

It seems either you have amnesia or you do not really read my answers. I had, in the past, answered the same question of yours. Let me cut and paste my answer here, again. (Well, I confess that I made two minor changes in spelling and grammar. This will leave something for those Christian detectives who have ample time and curiosity for the frivolous; they will find the corrected words and will accuse me in other threads of this forum for changing my past answers to their guru! Seriously, Ali, how could you attract so many followers with such a hobby and so much time?). Yes, here is the answer:

You share a strikingly similar poor knowledge of the Quran with Sunnis and Shiites. You use the same lousy arguments. If you were able to read the Quran without smelling the piles of hadith, you would easily notice that 33:21 had preceding and succeeding verses and the example of prophet was his bravery in defending Muslims against the aggressor army of Meccan oligarchy. If your knowledge of the Quran were a little bit beyond the surface, you would also notice that verse 60:4 uses exactly the same description, “good example”, for Abraham and his supporters. Using your logic, Muslims should have had the hadith of Abraham and his supporters too! Perhaps, you will find the story of another hungry holy goat eating those hadith collections to be “not illogical.”

Let me add this too: according to the Quran, Muhammad could never have claimed to be the best of the creation, since as a muslim, he was ordered not to distinguish among God’s messengers (2:285), and be humble (32:11-20). This is a lie fabricated by Muhammadans in their polytheistic competition to top the idols of Christians. In thear zeal to turn Muhammad into a holy superman, ignorant Hislamic scholars even fabricated many miracles, from siplitting the moon to jumbo sexual powers for Muhammad.

  1. “I asked you to explain the meaning of sura 111 and sura 38:41-44 without referring to hadith, tafseer and sira, by merely trying to decipher their meanings from the quran. Can you do that? These are just two examples. Most of the quran is incomprehensible without hadith and tafseer and I will keep pointing them out as we touch them.”

Now it is clear that your Hislamic disease is still in your heart and mind. Your approach to the Quran is exactly similar to of the Sunni or Shiite ones. Without being brainwashed by these teachings, any reasonable person would and should understand the meaning and message of those verses. Sure, we can ask more questions regarding the details WE WISH to see, but there is no end of demands for more details, especially irrelevant details. Bring me any explanation, and I bet that I will shower you with too many questions that you will never be able to satisfy my demand for more details. Here is the translation of these verses from the translations of Rashad Khalifa and Layth of Progressive Muslims, respectively:

Remember our servant Job: he called upon his Lord, “The devil has afflicted me with hardship and pain.” “Strike the ground with your foot. A spring will give you healing and a drink.” We restored his family for him; twice as many. Such is our mercy; a reminder for those who possess intelligence. “Now, you shall travel the land and preach the message, to fulfill your pledge.” We found him steadfast. What a good servant! He was a submitter. (38:41-44) http://19.org/km/RK/38

And recall Our servant Job, when he called upon his Lord: “The devil has afflicted me with an illness and pain.” “Strike with your foot, here is a cold spring to wash with and to drink.” And We restored his family to him along with a group like them, as a mercy from Us; and a reminder for those who possess intelligence. “And take in your hand a bundle and travel with it, and do not break your oath.” We found him steadfast. What a good servant! He was obedient. (38:41-44) http://19.org/km/PM/38

I do not understand which part you do not understand. Since the followers of hadith and sunnah blindly accept the lies of their clergymen, they do not trust the Quranic verses asserting that the Quran was detailed, complete, easy-to-understand, and should be the only authority (12:111; 45:6; 39:23; 30:28; 16:89; 7:2-3; 17:46; 27:6; 11:1; 75:19; 54:17,22,32,40; 5:48-49; 6:112-115; 18:109; 10:15; 6:159; 19:64; 10:15; 41:3; 25:30; 17:39; 36:2; 5:101; 42:21; 33:38; 35:43.). To prove their point, they asked numerous IRRELEVANT questions or the questions where they found their answers in mishmash collection of Hadith and Sunnah. As an ex Sunni or Shiite, you have not yet washed your brain from the pollution inflicted by these sects.

Ali, which part of these verses you do not understand? Perhaps, like your Sunni and Shiite evil twins you are wondering with which foot Job hit the ground. The followers of hadith and Sunnah take the right-hand and left-hand, right-foot and left-foot issue more seriously than Dr. Seuss had taken. They try to enter bathroom with left foot, clean themselves with left, and eat with right. Right foot, left foot. Wet foot, dry foot. Low foot, high foot. True foot, lie foot. Here comes the Evilgelical-Sunni sly soot!

  1. “We also talked about the quran’s claim that god transformed the jews into apes and swine (5:60) and said “be ye apes” (2:65, 7:166). These are not metaphors. No scholar has understood them as metaphors because the texts make it clear that they are not metaphors. Can you explain to us how this absurdity is possible?”

Turning to monkeys and swines is an allegory indicating their spiritual and intellectual regression. Similar allegorical language can be found in the New Testament. For instance, Jesus likens his own people figuratively to swine and dogs (Matthew 7:6; 2 Peter 2:22 ). Swine was regarded as the most filthy and the most abhorred of all animals (Le 11:7; Isa 65:4; 66:3,17; Lu 15:15-16). TheTalmudic liturgy contains narrations about people who transformed into apes because they attempted to build thetower of Babel.

As for your claim that “no scholar has understood them as metaphors” is simply false. Though my understanding of the Quran does not depend on this scholar or that scholar or the number of their votes, I will give some examples to demonstrate that you frequently make false claims with hyperbolic pontifications.

For instance, Muhammad Asad, in his renowned translation of the Quran, The Message, makes the following comments on verse 7:166:

“According to Zamakhshari and Razf, the expression ‘We said unto them’ is here synonymous with ‘We decreed with’ regard to them’ – God’s ‘saying’ being in this case a metonym for a manifestation of His will. As for the substance of God’s decree, ‘Be as apes despicable’, the famous tabi’i Mujahid explain it thus: ‘[Only] their hearts were transformed, that is, they were not [really] transformed into apes: this is but a metaphor (mathal) coined by God with regard to them, similar to the metaphor of `the ass carrying books’ [62: 5]’ (Tabari, in his commentary on 2 : 65; also Mandr I, 343; VI, 448; and IX, 379). A similar explanation is given by Raghib. It should be borne in mind that the expression ‘like an ape’ is often used in classical Arabic to describe a person who is unable to restrain his gross appetites or passions.”

  1. “You claimed muhammad wrote the quran with his own hand. I asked how do you know that. Where is your source? Why should we believe you when he himself claimed to be illiterate and unable to read.7:157 , 6:22”
  2. “You made the claim that ummi does not mean illiterate but gentile. I quoted the verse 2:78 were muhammad alludes to the jews and calls them ummayoon ْ أُمِّيُّون because they can’t read their book. What is your response?”

I did not know that you were also illiterate, more accurately a selective illiterate, since in my previous answer I made my case clear from the Quran that UMMY means gentile, not illiterate. In case you missed by accident, here is a more detailed argument on this case. I will copy and paste from the samples of our upcoming Reformist Translation of the Quran[15]. You do not have the right for complaining from my copying and pasting, since I do not need to re-invent the same medicine for the same allergy:

During the month of Ramadan, every evening, after the lengthy congregational prayers, millions of Muslims crowding the mosques ask God to bless the soul of his “Nabbiyy-il Ummy” with the orthodox interpretation “illiterate prophet” In their minds. “Illiterate” (or “unlettered”) is one of the most common titles used by Muslim clerics and imams to praise Muhammad, deliverer of the Quran.

The Arabic word “ummy,” however, describes people who are not Jewish or Christian. The meaning of this word, which occurs six times in the Quran, has nevertheless been rendered as “one who can neither read nor write.” This deliberate manipulation by Muslim scholars has become widely accepted as the true meaning of the word. For example Yusuf Ali, in his translation, follows this pattern:

“… So believe in God and His Apostle, the unlettered Prophet,….”

Marmaduke Pickthall’s translation also reflects the same manipulation:

“… So believe in Allah and His messenger, the prophet who can neither read nor write,…”

Our translation of 7:158:

“… So you shall believe in God and His messenger, the Gentile prophet…”

COMMENTARY ON 7:158

The Quran itself provides guidance for the true meaning of “ummy”. If we reflect on the verse 3:20 below we will easily understand that “ummy” does not mean an illiterate person:

3:20        “And say to those who received the scripture, as well as those who did not receive any scripture (ummyyeen)…”

In this verse the word “ummy” describes Meccan idol worshipers. It is obvious that “ummy” does not mean illiterate because it has been used as the counterpart of the people of the scripture. If the verse was ” … And say to those who are literate and illiterate”, then the orthodox translation of “ummy” would be correct. According to the verse 3:20 the people of Arab peninsula were two main groups:

  1. The people of the scripture, i.e., Jews and Christians
  2. Gentiles, who were neither Jewish nor Christian.

If the people who were neither Jews nor Christians were called “ummyyeen” (3:20; 3:75), then the meaning of “ummy” is very clear. As a matter of fact, the verse 3:75 clarifies its meaning as Gentile.

Mecca was the cultural center of the Arabs in the 7th century. Poetry competitions were being held there. It is a historical fact that Meccans were not familiar with the Bible, thus they were gentiles. So the verse 62:2 describes Meccan people by the word “ummyyeen”:

He is the One who sent to the Gentiles (ummyyeen) a messenger from among them, to recite to them His revelations, purify them, and teach them the scripture and wisdom. Before this, they had gone far astray. (62:2)

The disbelievers claimed that Muhammad was quoting verses from the Old and New Testaments (25:5; 68:15). The verse below refutes their accusation and gives the answer:

You did not read any previous scriptures, nor did you write them with your hand. In that case, the objectors would have had reason to harbor doubts. (29:48)

This verse tells us that Muhammad did not read nor write previous scriptures. The word “min qablihi” (previous ) suggests that Muhammad did read and write the final scripture.

Muhammad was a literate gentile (ummy)

After this examination on the true meaning of the word “ummy”, here are the reasons and proofs for the fact that Muhammad was a literate Gentile:

  • To magnify the miraculous aspect of the Quran, religious people thought that the story of illiteracy would be alluring.
  • The producer(s) of the illiteracy story found it relatively easy to change the meaning of “ummy.” Nevertheless, the word appears throughout the Quran, and consistently means “Gentile” (2:78; 3:20; 3:75; 62:2). In verses 3:20and 3:75, the Quran uses the word “ummy” as the counterpart of the “ehlil kitab” (“People of the Book,” a phrase that in both of these verses equates with “Jews and Christians”).
  • The Quran describes Meccan people with the word “ummyyeen” (Gentiles). (62:2). According to the orthodox claim, all Meccan people must have been illiterate. Why then were the poems of pre-Islamic Meccan poets hung on the walls of the Ka’ba (the ancient monotheistic shrine of Abraham)?
  • The Arabs of the 7th century were using letters as numbers. This alphabetical numbering system is called “Abjad.” The merchants of those days had to know the letters of the alphabet to record their accounts! If Muhammad was a successful international merchant, as is universally accepted, then he most probably knew this numbering system. The Arabs stopped using the “Abjad” system in the 9th century when they took “Arabic numbers” from India.
  • The different spelling of the word “bism” in the beginning of the Basmalah and in the first verse of chapter 96 is one of the many evidences supporting literacy of Muhammad. It is not reasonable for an illiterate to dictate two different spellings of the same word which is pronounced the same.
  • The very first revelation from the Angel Gabriel was, Muslims believe, “Read!” And the first five verses of that revelation encourage reading and writing (96:1-5). The second revelation was “The pen and writing” (68:1). These facts compel some questions that orthodox scholarship would rather avoid. Does God command an illiterate man to “read”? If so, could Muhammad read after Gabriel’s instruction to do so? The story told in Hadith books about the first revelation asserting that Muhammad could read only after three trials ending by an angelic “squeeze” contradicts the other stories claiming that Muhammad died as an illiterate!
  • Traditional history books accept that Muhammad dictated the Quran and controlled its recording. Even if we accept that Muhammad did not know how to read or write before revelation of the Quran, we cannot claim that he preserved this illiteracy during the 23 years while he was dictating the Quran! Let us accept, for the sake of argument, that Muhammad was illiterate before the revelation of the Quran. Why then did he insist on stayingilliterate for 23 years after the first revelation: “Read !”? Did he not obey his Lord’s command? Did he receive another command forbidding him from reading and writing?
  • Was it so difficult for Muhammad to learn to read and write? If a person still does not learn to read and write after 23 years of careful dictation of a book, what kind of intellect is that?
  • If Muhammad was encouraging his followers to read and write (which he did when he recited 2:44 to them), then why should he have excluded himself?

Muslim scholars, who are in disagreement on a bewildering array of subjects, somehow have managed to agree on the story of Muhammad’s illiteracy. Perhaps the glorification of illiteracy, using it as a positive attribute of a worshipped figure, is one of the causes of the high current level illiteracy in Muslim communities.

  1. “We talked about sura 33 and I said this sura is not self explanatory. I asked you to tell us who are the “confederates” mentioned in verse 20 and from where they did not withdraw. Explain that without any reference to hadith or tafseer.”

Why should I care what was the name of that group. I find no relevancy for the lesson I get from the verse. Let’s say the tribe’s name is “Ibn Fulan” or “Abu Falan” what would it change? First, the Quran is not a history book. Yes, it refers to historical events, but does not narrate them as a chronological story, or like Hadith books or the Old Testament does by giving pages and pages of names, number of mules and horses… The Quran uses snapshots of history or events to drive and convey lessons for those who have intelligence and good faith. But people like you (this include your twins, Sunnies and Shiites) miss the main point of the story in search for irrelevant details, for goose eggs.

To create an excuse and to mix pages of garbage to distort the meaning of a clear verse you asked the NAME OF A TRIBE. How clever you are! “Edip, your Quran does not tell me the name of the enemy tribe, so, I will go dig the mishmash collection of contradictory narrations and pig all the garbage I can, and use it to cover and distort the truth in the Quran.”

This is a very cheap game Ali. It might have so far worked against those who considered your pile of historical trash as their holy books, but you are still in denial: YOU ARE DEBATING WITH EDIP YUKSEL founder of 19.ORG, A MUSLIM, not A SUNNI OR SHIITE MUSHRIK. Why are you still trying to pretend that your filthy weapons are still efficient in this battle-ground is a subject I leave to psychologists. You PROMISED me several times that you would not use hadith and other dubious sources, but each time you sought a silly excuse to bring a truck-load of them.

Now let me play the game you are begging me to play. Just recently, a sunni posted an article at 19.org/forum asking us where in the Quran we could find how to sleep! He was living in another universe as you do, and could not fathom the simple concept of following the Quran alone to attain eternal salvation. Here are four of his seven challenging questions:

What are the Quranic ruling on the following things:
What is the punishment for having sex with an animal?
Will you loose ablution if you touch a dog?
Does the Quran tell us how to sleep?
What are the words most beloved to Allah?

When I hear a Sunni asking me to provide irrelevant or stupid details to challenge the sufficiency of the Quran alone, I remind them the story of Heifer or Cow mentioned in the Quran. When God asked Jews to sacrifice a heifer, rather than obeying God’s commandment, they asked irrelevant questions like you and Sunnis do. They asked more details about the heifer’s color, its age, etc. (See the Quran 2:67-71).

Some of his great scholars of the past even wondered about the name of the dog, which was the companion of the so-called seven sleepers of the cave. Not finding the name of the dog, they decided that the verses 18:9-27 were not detailed enough to be understood! So they went a head and fabricated a name for the dog: Qitmeer. With the name and color of the dog, the names of the youngsters and more similar details, now the story of the People of the Cave and Numbers was finally detailed and comprehensible! Though your curiosity regarding the name of the aggressive tribe is one grade above than your Sunni or Shiite ditto-heads, unfortunately you suffer from the same disease. To understand, and hopefully to appreciate MONOTHEISM, you need to cleanse yourself from the logical fallacies which somehow you retain from your Hislamic past. You came to hate Hislam, but unfortunately, you hate it with similar logical fallacies that had led you to love it in the first place. Thus, you replaced Hislam with Evilgelical Christianity or Spiritual Humanism that is dedicated to promotion of hate, misinformation, and dehumanization of more than a billion Muslims, which may lead to genocide.

Please don not tell me that you cannot see those viruses; I know, they are too little to be seen. Well, when you called me “little devil” you were under the influence of those little devils. So, you should think nineteen times before hurl someone, especially a monotheist, such a label. You need a philosopher, a logician, a monotheist, a miracle, or another act of God, to help you find and delete them. If you cannot delete them from hardware and software system that makes up your personality, then the Ali Sina of FFF may end up in the Creator’s depository of “infected free-will programs” or “infected beta programs” and be deleted for eternity.

I almost forgot the game I promised to play against you. The name of the game is called BUMERANG or MIRROR since it mirrors the fallacious logic of the opponent and exposes the absurdity of their argument. Here we go:

Okay, you are right Ali Sina, that the Quran does not contain the details you are asking for, and to understand the Quran we need hadith and tafseer (commentary) books you are so fond of. Now can you please tell me, how can I understand those books, since they do not contain many details that I AM CURIOUS about? For instance, which hadith or tafseer gives the numbers of those people? Which hadith or tafseer describes the flag of the Confederates? In which hadith or tafseer can you find me the temperature of that day? Don’t tell me that these are not important information, since you have not claimed to be an authority or the only authority in defining what is important or not. Thus, you have to find another source besides hadith and tafseer to find answers for my questions. If you lived in those times, you had the choice just to fabricate one with a chain of narrators. Otherwise, you have to say exactly the same thing about hadih and tafseer books: ‘We cannot understand them.’

“What is happening dear edip? Why is it that I feel like talking to an answering machine? You have completely neglected my questions and like all your fellow co-religionists resorted to copy-pasting. What is the relevance of these to our discussion? Where are the answers to my questions?”

I know, after receiving all my answers you will be repeating this. You know that if you repeat something many times you will find enough people to believe whatever you are saying. A working political campaign!

“According to dictionary.com reform means: “to improve by alteration, correction of error, or removal of defects; put into a better form or condition.”

“Can you please tell us by what authority are you trying to “alter, correct the errors or remove the defects” of the quran? if the quran is perfect, why it needs to be reformed?  are you claiming to be superiorin rank and knowledge to the original author of the quran? do you know more than allah? or, are you the new mahdi?”

You got it all wrong, Ali. Go ask someone who knows English better than you the difference between “Reform in Islam” and “Islamic Reform.” You indicated that you have read some of my articles at my website. If you have done so, you should have learned that I do not suggest what you are trying to put in my mouth. Perhaps, you are deliberately trying to misrepresent my position to divert from the main issues. You have somehow succeeded many times by resorting to your favorite silly storybooks, and copying and pasting them here.

“The verse 29 starts with   قَـتِلُواْ this can only be translated as fight and not fight (back).  It is an offensive order and not defensive. It is qatilu notdafeu. The verse goes on to say fight them until they pay الْجِزْيَةَ  jizyah.  This word derives from jaza. It means fine and punishment the plural of that is mojazat. It does not mean compensation. The correct word for compensation is mokafat.”

After another lengthy diversion with a load of trashy references and lies, you finally make an argument, though a funny argument. First, the word MOKAFAT is modern Arabic and is not used in the Quran and hadith books. You are confusing a Modern Arabic word with classic Arabic. Second, the JAZA means recompense, reward. In fact, in haste I missed a better English term for Jizya: reparation. Various nouns and verbs derived from the same root, JaZaYa is mentioned in the Quran 118 times. If we exclude the JiZYa of verse 29 for the sake of the argument, NOT IN A SINGLE occurrence it has anything to do with TAXation. Furthermore, in dozens of verses this word is used to describe REWARD and COMPENSATION.

Here are some verses that falsify your claim regarding the modern Arabic word MOKAFAT:  3:144-145; 10:4; 12:22; 12:74-75; 14:51; 18:88; 20:76; 28:14; 33:24; 37:80,105,110,121,131; 39:34; 55:60; and more.

“According to wikipedia.org jizyah is the arabic language translation of poll tax or “head tax”, a tax imposed on male individuals of other faiths living under muslim rule. … Give me one reason why should we reject all these historic facts and explanations and accept your claims? Obviously you want to rewrite the history by reinventing it. And your only sources are your fantasies.”

First, your linguistic sources are little better than your hadith sources, but it is still the third rate source. Any person can go write an article and definition in wikipedia.org, including you and any of your followers. From your MOKAFAT, now your of knowledge of classic Arabic become suspect, and from using wikipedia.org I know your level of academic gullibility becomes an issue.[16] Please be serious Ali.

Besides, no scholar who is familiar with transformation of language, will put his or her full trust in a dictionary, even if it is the most reputable dictionary. There are some Arabic words whose meanings have changed through time and it does not take to be a rocket scientist or a monotheist to notice the traces of such change. We have many examples of such a semantical mutation in English too. For instance, you cannot claim that a renaissance poet was homosexual because in his poems he called himself GAY several times. Wikipedia.org indeed does a good job in listing the early meaning of the word GAY. However, it fails to define word ELOI or ELI one of the few Aramiac words used in English translation of the Bible (Mat 27:46; Mrk 15:34). If I claim that the etimological origin of Arabic Elahi (my god) is the same with Aramaic Eloi (my god) or the origin of Allah (the god) is the same as the Aramiac Alohim (the god), you may refute me by referring to wikipedia.org, which defines Eloi as of the two post-human races mentioned in the novel The Time Machine. Of course Jesus was asking help from Eloi not Marlocks who lived in the year 802701 AD!

The Devil’s Califs of Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties had too much interest and motivation to change the meaning of a Quranic word and they had many hadith and sunnah fabricators under their service. So, changing the meaning of JIZYA from reperation to tax perhaps took some time, but considering their success in changing much important principles and practices it was not that difficult.

“In the verse 2.256  he says: “let there be no compulsion in religion: truth stands out clear from error”. And “if it had been thy lord’s will, they would all have believed,- all who are on earth! Wilt thou then compel mankind, against their will, to believe!” 10:99  or “the truth is from your lord”: let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it)” 18:29.   But these are the meccan verses. He wrote these verses when he was weak. It would have been impossible for his handful of followers to wage war against thousands of unbelievers and win.”

First, I do not separate the verses of the Quran as Meccan on Medinan verses. Again, you are confusing me with Sunnis. The Quran does not contain such a distinction, and a believer must follow ALL the verses of the Quran. You are a disbeliever of the Quran and you do not care about its internal consistency and integrity. You will divide and chop, mix and twist, take verses out of their context and do all the SIX STEPS to fulfill your agenda until you reach TO THE FACTOR OF 666! You, your Sunni and Shiite partners are warned by the following verses:

15:90     As We have sent down on the dividers.

15:91     The ones who have taken the Quran apart.

15:92     By your Lord, We will ask them all.

15:93     Regarding what they used to do.

15:94     So proclaim what you have been commanded and turn away from those who set up partners.

15:95     We will relieve you from the mockers.

15:96     Those who sat up with God another god; they will come to know.

15:97     We know that your chest is strained by what they say.

15:98     So glorify with the praise of your Lord, and be of those who prostrate.

15:99     Serve your Lord until certainty comes to you.

Second, the trashy sources you are so fond of using against my faith, yes your favorite sources are reporting differently regarding the first verse in your reference: Verse 2:256 is listed as Medinan verse by the sources you wish me to believe. Again, you mix truth with falsehood, pieces of glass with diamond, poison with candies… Exactly like hadith narrators and collectors had done.

“Now what these eminent scholars of islam say make sense. Logically the latter revelations override and cancel the previous ones if they contradict each other. But what you say make completely no sense. Your claim is informed by your zealotry and blind faith and not by facts.”

The idea of abrogation is Satanic, and it was fabricated by Sunni and Shiite mushriks who had problems with some verses when they tried to twist others. Ironically, your mentality is not much different. It seems that you have rejected the substance of your religion but you are keeping its mind set, its fallacious reasoning methods intact. No wonder, the Sunnis who are following our argument have found you much closer to themselves!

“You seem to have run out of arguments before we even engage and hence with these tedious copy pasting and filibustering tactics you try to bore the readers and find your way out of this discussion. Please prove to us this is not the case.”

You made me smile. Thanks. Do you remember the words PROJECTION?

“If this is what you intend, I suggest you would be saving face more by not responding at all. Dr. Zakir Naik, prof. Michael Sells and prof. John Esposito are far better now for not responding to me than if they did and failed to engage in coherent arguments. If you are gasping for relief, you may stop, but if you truly want to debate please do not burden me and the readers with long tedious and irrelevant copy pastes.”

Copy paste what? So far, I copied and pasted only ONE article of MINE to TRICK you in order to expose the real reason behind your indulgence in loads of trashy hearsays of hearsays of hearsays… You are the one who is continuously copying and pasting the hearsay books and you have the audacity to blame me for what you have been doing since the beginning of our debate. More than half of what you have included in your answers were COPY and PASTE from story books.

“Finally I would like to speak to your heart. If you can’t defend islam, why you cling to this sinking ship? Islam is a lie and this I have proven here in numerous articles time and again. Why hang to a doctrine that is so evil and so false? I earnestly urge you to leave islam. You can’t save islam nor can you reform it. Islam is based on total lies. It is not a religion of god but a cult created by a psychopath to control and dominate the gullible. Its fruit speaks for itself.”

Dou you have heart Ali Sina? Then why are you playing as a pawn of Crusaders for their new colonialism plans? Why do you distort facts, you introduce hearsays of hearsays as facts, and dehumanize the entire muslim world? Don’t you know that your hatred might justify a genocide against muslims in the minds of some of your followers? I wish you could be brave enough to stand against the terror, destruction and massacres inflicted by evilgelical crusaders and their Zionist allies as you demonstrate bravery to stand against the terror, destruction and massacres inflicted by taliban and mullah hislamics. I invited you to condemn ANY ACT OF AGGRESSION, TERRORISM, ATROCITIES, VIOLENCE, and HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION regardless of the religion or nationality of the perpetrator. You should join me in using one standard if you have dignity and sense of justice.

Despite this bitter-tasting debate with you, I still pray for your guidance and I hope that one day you will see the truth that well set you free.

I challenge you to use scientific evidence and reason for your cricticsm of the Quran. I will NOT continue debating with you if ONE MORE TIME you refer to or quote from hadith, syra or tafseer books that I have rejected vehemently since 1986. If you cannot criticize the Quran without referring to hearsays of hearsays, then you will be proving to the entire world that you lost this debate against someone who followed the Quran alone.

Finally, I would prefer that you post my responses all together, rather chopping them and using them in your complete articles. You had eliminated some of the quotation in my responses and thus making it difficult for the readers to follow my response to each point. If you visit the forum of 19.org you will see how I respected the integrity of your responses and learn learn how to be fair.

Peace,
Edip

 

Edip Yuksel v. Ali Sina

The Evangelical Faschism

Edip Yuksel

Jan 13, 2005

“If edip agrees I am ready to change the tone of this debate and instead of being confrontational we both become inquisitive. In other words instead of defending and attacking we discuss this matter like two scientists conducting a research. Let us be open to whatever the study throws at us. Let us accept the facts with open mind. Present them and move on. This debate has a court format; it is litigious. Let us convert it into a lab format. So instead of arguing, we do research. The subject of study would be primarily the Quran and then muhammad and his claim. It is okay if we see things differently. After all even scientists don’t agree all the time. Theories are presented, discussed, critiqued and even criticized until a consensus is reached. I am willing to change gear if edip is ready too. After all we are all after the truth. I think if we give up all our preconceived ideas and investigate this matter impartially, we both will find out the truth. Our beliefs act as prejudices and prejudices are veils between us and the truth.

“So here is my offer to edip. If he does not want to answer the issues that I raised in previous rounds, let us forget about them. Let us start talking about the Quran and see whether this book stands the litmus test of reason and commonsense.”

Wow. That means you can do that too. I now take back my judgment regarding your heart, Ali.

Okay, if you wish, you may respond the above-posted response of mine. You do not need to respond every paragraph. Or if you wish, you may just apologize for using wrong weapons and style against me and let’s start discussing the Quran alone by applying scientific method with an inquisitive tone.

I already spent too many hours writing a long response to you. I am working more than full time, and it seems that I will have problem in putting up with you. In accepting your challenge I never indented to debate you in writing, but I was carried away. Now, it stuck with me like a triple-mint gum:)

Inshallah, I will be able to continue debating this issues if you post short articles, each not exceeding 1000 words, preferably even shorter than that. The same should apply to mine.

Since I am working more than 60 hours a week on multiple projects, the delay in my responses should not be considered as justifications for your allegations and criticism. If one day I find myself intellectually unable to answer your allegations, I will be the first one denouncing my faith, and you would hear it from my own websites. So, please remind your people, as you have wisely reminded them above, not to make up stories on my behalf.

But, if one day I suddenly disappear, either it is because I had been killed by a crazy Hislamic, or I am kidnapped by patriotic USA-INC forces to be tortured at Guatanomo Bay under the melodious prayers of evilgelical priests, or divorced and made homeless by my wife who is fed up with my lack of getting enough sleep and risking my jobs L

Ali Sina, if you will be one of causes of these tragedies in my life; then don’t come to heaven next to me J

Peace,

Edip

The Fascist Crusader Advocates Genocide Against Muslims

“You may say but Muslims are humans too. Is having the human appearance enough to make us humans? The sign of humanity is in our humanness. No person who believes in those inhumane teachings of the Quran that calls for killing and murder of innocent people deserves to be called human. Therefore, this is a war between humanity and a spiritually underdeveloped subhuman species. The actions of Muslims are barbaric. Their thoughts are beastly. They have no human conscience and they are preying on us humans. So this is a war between humans and Muslims.”

Ali, someone posted the above excerpt in another site claiming that Ali Sina wrote it. I know that your mouth is filled with foam and venom against Muslims, but I do not expect you to be using the exact language of Fascists and Nazis. In case you have not written the above-qouted idiotic statements, which I hope that you have not, then ignore these words and let the real source get my message.

To the coward vampire who is instigating wars and genocides:

You are the real subhuman, you are a vampire who is thirsty to suck the blood of more than a billion humans on this planet. If this is an irrational reaction to a terrorist event that killed several thousand people, then you should demonstrate many times more hatred and irrational reaction to the terrorism, atrocities, murders, and massacres committed by USA-INC, UK, USSR, and Israel; in the last century alone, in which they killed MILLIONS of PEOPLE and destroyed countries and annihilated entire cities! By calling destruction of entire cities, together with families and children, with the word WAR does not make a bit difference.

Though I condemn a warmongering group of hypocrite Christians by calling their name Evilgelical, I never justify killing Evilgelical Christians, let alone all Christians, or killing Zionist Jews, let alone all Jews. You are a monster using the mask of humanism. You cannot be a human; you are a hatemonger and blood-thirsty creature. I do not condone killing animals like you; but I might approve of putting a leash around your dirty neck.

Peace is our weapon against fascist warmongers. Yes, PEACE!

Edip

Addendum:

A forum participant accused me of accusing Ali Sina based on hearsay. Ironically, he quoted the part, in which I expressed my doubts regarding its source and I simply lamented to the author of the excerpt whomever he was. Despite this request for clarification in the beginning of the article and my friendly wish, how a person with a gram of fairness would blame me of accusing Ali Sina based on hearsay. The language of the excerpt was close to Ali Sina’s, though its Hitler-style thirst for the blood of the followers of a particular religion was something I have not heard before, so I asked his clarification regarding the authorship.

I am waiting for Ali Sina’s answer for this matter, ASAP. This excerpt is not something simple to get away with it. I will explain after Ali Sina’s rejection or admission. And I hope he will reject or rescind it. I will accept his denial even if he was the one who had written in a moment of irrationality and rabid insanity.

Today I found the same paragraph posted at:

http://www.faithfreedom.org/debates/EdipYukselp19.htm

“You may say but Muslims are humans too. Is having the human appearance enough to make us humans? The sign of humanity is in our humanness. No person who believes in those inhumane teachings of the Quran that calls for killing and murder of innocent people deserves to be called human. Therefore, this is a war between humanity and a spiritually underdeveloped subhuman species. The actions of Muslims are barbaric. Their thoughts are beastly. They have no human conscience and they are preying on us humans. So this is a war between humans and Muslims.”

So, Ali Sina, if it is not you who has written the above Neo Nazi remarks then who is posting articles together with you? If it is you, be brave and come out of your cave.

Tell me whether it is indeed NOT you who have declared himself to be a promoter of genocide by dehumanizing all muslims. Tell me that a TALIBAN or a NEONAZI hacker hacked your website and wrote that paragraph in your name. I would be glad to accept this senario. Because, I cannot believe that a person who is smart enough to engage in intellectual debates, though frequently sniffing and stuffing himself with holy trash, could be the author of such rabid and diabolic words!

SALAM, that is PEACE

From: MirrorOfTruth

Dear Edip,

The paragraph is in ROUND VI:

http://www.faithfreedom.org/debates/EdipYukselp19.htm

“Edip is absolutely right. I am not only willing but striving to bring all the people of the world together and make them see that humanity is under attack by an alien enemy who does not see us as Christians, Jews, Hindus, Atheists, Agnostics, or Animists but merely as kafirs and as such deserving to die. Their enmity is with Mankind.

“You may say but Muslims are humans too. Is having the human appearance enough to make us humans? The sign of humanity is in our humanness. No person who believes in those inhumane teachings of the Quran that calls for killing and murder of innocent people deserves to be called human. Therefore, this is a war between humanity and a spiritually underdeveloped subhuman species. The actions of Muslims are barbaric. Their thoughts are beastly. They have no human conscience and they are preying on us humans. So this is a war between humans and Muslims.”

He has edited portions of that round before so please download these posts he made and post these as soon as possible on your thread – to make his weasel tactics ineffective. I believe he may remove that section as it has just incriminated him if you are not quick. I have saved the page in question just in case. Peace.

 

Edip Yuksel v. Ali Sina

Closing, Analysis, and Surprise

Edip Yuksel

January 17, 2005

 

On January 14, 2005 I wrote the following:

“What are you saying Ali Sina? Was it your other personality who for about three weeks has been scavenging among the piles of hadith and syra books?

“In your attack to the Quran so far you have not been able to get your nose out of those trash; you always followed the “Six Steps to the Factor of 666” methodology. It would be perhaps a much better argument if you could give up from your hadith treasure and focus on that book alone. But, deep in your heart you know that you cannot criticize the Quran against someone like me; so you tried to delay such a debate. So far, all your accusations have been thrown into where they belong. With the exception of the few troll who will clap you even if you sneeze, people will see it.

“I will post a brief analysis of your site, your cause and I will present you a little surprise. Hopefully, before the next week starts.”

Well, now it is time for the ANALYSIS and the SURPRISE note. However, first I will explain what led me to end this debate:

About a month ago, I accepted Ali Sina’s invitation to debate on Islam. I had limited time, so I invited him to debate face-to-face in public. I told him that I could arrange such a debate at the University of Arizona or Pima College. I was working to finish important projects such as the Reformist Translation of the Quran; a script for a political comedy; animation school; and establishing an alliance with other organizations under the name Islamic Reform; and teaching philosophy.

But, Ali Sina rejected to debate in public claiming security and his need for research; so, we ended up debating on Islam at his website, which took about a month. Despite my repeated reminder to debate on the Quran, Ali was obsessed with using hearsays of hearsays in his arguments. I was glad that finally Ali Sina was offering to debate in a nicer language and focus on the Quran, and I congratulated him for that decision. Nevertheless, my happiness did not last long. On January 13, 2005, Ali posted a paragraph exposing his real face. I read the paragraph first at free-minds.org then I saw it published at his website, faithfreedom.org. I reacted to that in a language that it deserved. Here is the merged version of my successive two reactions. Note that for the first time I did not feel free to call Ali with the word “dear”:

“You may say but Muslims are humans too. Is having the human appearance enough to make us humans? The sign of humanity is in our humanness. No person who believes in those inhumane teachings of the Quran that calls for killing and murder of innocent people deserves to be called human. Therefore, this is a war between humanity and a spiritually underdeveloped subhuman species. The actions of Muslims are barbaric. Their thoughts are beastly. They have no human conscience and they are preying on us humans. So this is a war between humans and Muslims. Ali Sina.”

Ali, I know that your mouth is filled with foam and venom against Muslims, but I do not expect you to be using the exact language of Fascists and Nazis. In case you have not written the above-quoted idiotic statements, which I hope that you have not, then ignore these words and let the real source get my message.

To the coward vampire, who is instigating wars and genocides:

You are the real subhuman, you are a vampire who is thirsty to suck the blood of more than a billion humans on this planet. If this is an irrational reaction to a terrorist event that killed several thousand people, then you should demonstrate many times more hatred and irrational reaction to the terrorism, atrocities, murders, and massacres committed by USA-INC, UK, USSR, and Israel; in the last century alone, in which they killed MILLIONS of PEOPLE and destroyed countries and annihilated entire cities! By calling destruction of entire cities, together with families and children, with the word WAR does not make a bit difference.

Though I condemn a warmongering group of hypocrite Christians by calling their name Evilgelical, I never justify killing Evilgelical Christians, let alone all Christians, or killing Zionist Jews, let alone all Jews. You are a monster using the mask of humanism. You cannot be a human; you are a hatemonger and bloodthirsty creature. I do not condone killing animals like you; but I might approve of putting a leash around your dirty neck.

Peace is our weapon against fascist warmongers. Yes, PEACE

I am waiting for Ali Sina’s answer for this matter, ASAP. This excerpt is not something simple to get away with it. I will explain after Ali Sina’s rejection or admission. And I hope he will reject or rescind it. I will accept his denial even if he was the one who had written in a moment of irrationality and rabid insanity.

So, Ali Sina, if it is not you who has written the above Neo Nazi remarks then who is posting articles together with you? If it is you, be brave and own your words.

Tell me whether it is indeed NOT you who have declared himself to be a promoter of genocide by dehumanizing all Muslims. Tell me that a TALIBAN or a NEONAZI hacker hacked your website and wrote answer in your name. I would be glad to accept this scenario. Because, I cannot believe that a person who is smart enough to engage in intellectual debates, though frequently sniffing and stuffing himself with holy trash, could be author of such rabid and diabolic words!  SALAM, that is PEACE

On January 14, 2005 Ali Sina responded to my query as follows:

“Looks like you took that personally. Does that description describes you too? If not then why you get so worked out and if yes what else do you want me to call you when all you think is killing innocent human beings? ”

“Make your position clear Edip, do you approve of terror and murder of innocent people or not. Is this talk about reformation and humanization nothing but cheap propaganda? Which side you are standing anyway? If you are on the side of humanity why you get so upset and if you are on the site of the savage terrorists then why pretend to have been reformed. Is there an third position that I am not aware of?”

Ali Sina after condemning and convicting the entire muslim world to death and then as the judge of his court now he is contemplating to forgive my life if I can prove to him that I am not guilty, or subhuman. Though he had visited my personal website (yuksel.org), my organization’s website (19.org), read my life story, and learned my uncompromising standing against violence, terror, wars, human rights violation and suppression of freedom… Knowing that I had to flee my country because of my rejection of traditional corrupt Islam, knowing that my mentor and close friend was the first victim of al-Qaida terrorism in the USA, and witnessing that the rabid Sunnies and Shiites participating at his forum sided with him against me, knowing all of these, his majesty is not yet clear whether to distinguish me from other Muslims who are condemned to death by his “humanistic” decree of genocide. He needs more evidence, perhaps, me publicly begging for my life in his court of inquisition!

Thank God, this so-called Hislamic apostate who is openly supported by Evilgelical Christians does not have power. He would be worse than Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, or his like-minded Taliban.

I am glad that I am in a country established by deists, monotheists, and muslims (submitters to God alone and promoters of peace), who escaped from religious persecution. The constitution of the United States is mostly in harmony with Quranic principles. I am blessed for not living in a country ruled by Pope, Rightwing Evangelical Christians, Talibans, Mullahs, or fascist cult of Ali Sina. Though the USA government is currently infiltrated by Evangelical Christians and Zionists, there are still many institutions and majority of Americans still appreciate justice, equality, liberty, and the separation of church and state. I will fight against organized religion influencing the government of my country.

Thus, Ali Sina’s theo-fascist remarks declaring ALL Muslims being “subhuman species” made me decide to discontinue the debate with him. His “subhuman” remark was the last, but a venomous drop that filled his cup of hatred and bigotry. He is not a person to reason with, since his mind is filled with toxic hate and his stomach is thirsty for fresh blood. I now regret calling him with the word “dear,” since he does not deserve even its first letter.

Those who are curious about my response to Ali’s “6-Step” criticism of the Quran will find our answer to his and many other criticism at the side notes of the Reformist Translation of the Quran, which will be published in the end of the year, inshallah.

As I promised, I am posting my analyses of the leader of this small cult. A SURPRISE note will follow these analyses:

POSITIVE ASPECTS:

  1. Ali Sina is a smart, articulate and well-versed in classic Hislamic liturgy. Thus, I do not think that he was originally a Christian introducing himself as a former Muslim.
  2. Ali Sina’s website, though frequented by cheerleaders and hatemonger drunkards, is indeed an open forum with no censorship, like our forum at 19.org. I have not yet seen a Hislamic or Evilgelical website with such an open door policy.
  3. Ali Sina, though chopped some of my arguments by integrating/devouring them within his arguments, he demonstrated acceptable degree of fairness in posting them.
  4. Ali Sina, having full control on the website, could have distorted my responses and he even could have posted some outrageous statements under my name. (This happened in an atheist Turkish forum several years ago!). Ali Sina seems to have integrity in this regard.
  5. Ali Sina, though misguided, has complete dedication to his cause. (Since we do not know about his identity, we cannot verify nor falsify claims about his getting financial aid from Rightwing Evangelical organizations or from CIA for his job to promote hate and genocide.).
  6. Though Ali Sina appears to be thirstier for the blood of innocent people than his Hislamic clones, such as members of Taliban and Al-Qaida, he has a mediocre sense of humor that others lack. His sense of humor might be an indication that there is hope for his recovery from hatemongering.
  7. Using his old sunni mentality, though Ali frequently confuses the Quran with books of hearsay, Ali Sina does an excellent job in exposing the numerous problems in teachings of hadith, sunnah, and sectarian jurisprudence.

NEGATIVE ASPECTS:

  1. Ali Sina follows the Evilgelical-Sunny methodology of Right foot, left foot. Wet foot, dry foot. Low foot, high foot. True foot, lie foot. Here comes the Evilgelical-Sunni sly soot!

Ali Sina shares a strikingly similar poor knowledge of the Quran with Sunnis and Shiites. He uses the same lousy argument. He uses THE STINKIEST SUBSTANCE out of the Sunni holy trash as the MAIN MENUE in his round table.  He is not able to read the Quran without smelling the piles of hadith. Now it is clear that his Hislamic disease is still in his heart and mind. His approach to the Quran is exactly similar to of the Sunni or Shiite ones.

Without being brainwashed by these teachings, any reasonable person would and should understand the meaning and message of verses. Sure, we can ask more questions regarding the details WE WISH to see, but there is no end of demands for more details, especially irrelevant details.

The idea of abrogation is a Satanic idea, and it was fabricated by Sunni and Shiite mushriks who had problems with some verses when they tried to twist others. Ironically, his mentality is not much different. It seems that he has rejected the substance of his religion but he is keeping its mind set, its fallacious reasoning methods exactly. No wonder, the Sunnis who are following our argument have found Ali Sina much closer to themselves!

Ali Sina repeatedly claimed that the Quran was not detailed because it did not provide the real identity of person in chapter 111; he wondered about Abu Lahab and claimed that Quran is meaningless without hadith and other storybooks, since they provide much detail about that character. Well, I he just proved the Quran, since according to the Quran fanatic disbelievers will never understand the Quran (17:45-46). The believers of the Quran finds Abu Lahab (Father of Fire) a universal character. For instance, with his promotion of hate and violence against one fifth of humanity, Ali Sina is an example of prototype Abu Lahab, he is the Father of Fire. He will end up in his own hell together with his supporters who carry fuel for his fire.

  1. Ali Sina frequently makes false claims with hyperbolic pontifications.

For instance, he claimed that verse 7:166 claims that God “literally” transformed Jews to monkeys and pigs and continued by saying that “no scholar has understood them as metaphors.” I quoted from Muhammad Asad’s translation, The Message, and proved that he was simply wrong.

Another example is his assertion regarding the Quranic verses promoting freedom of religion and expression. He claimed that all belong to Meccan era when Muhammad was weak. The trashy sources he was so fond of using against my faith, yes his favorite sources are reporting differently regarding the first verse in his reference. Thus, he misrepresented his own trashy sources. Verse 2:256 is listed as Medinan verse by the sources he wished me to believe. Again, he mixes truth with falsehood, pieces of glass with diamond, poison with candies… Exactly like hadith narrators and collectors had done.

  1. Ali Sina has the habit of putting words in his opponent’s mouth.

For instance, regarding my promotion of Islamic Reform, either from ignorance or by a deliberate choice, he switched my words around and described it as Reform in Islam.

I told him to go ask someone who knows English better than him the difference between “Reform in Islam” and “Islamic Reform.” He indicated that he has read some of my articles at my website. Has he done so, he should have learned that I do not suggest what he is trying to put in my mouth. Perhaps, he is deliberately trying to misrepresent my position to divert from the main issues. He has somehow succeeded many times by resorting to his favorite silly storybooks, and copying and pasting them here.

  1. Ali Sina lacks academic rigor, and when it is in his advantage, he confuses modern Arabic with classic Arabic, or uses third class unreliable sources.

His suggesting MOKAFAT in our debate on Jizya was interesting: After another lengthy diversion with a load of trashy references and lies, he finally made an argument, albeit a funny one. First, the word MOKAFAT is modern Arabic and is not used in the Quran and hadith books. He is confusing a Modern Arabic word with classic Arabic.

Ali’s linguistic sources are little better than his hadith sources, but they are still third rate sources. He referred to vikipedia.org regarding our discussion on the word Jizya of verse 9:29. Any person can post an article or definition in wikipedia.org, including him and any of his followers. From his MOKAFAT, his knowledge of classic Arabic became suspect, and from using wikipedia.org, his level of academic gullibility became an issue.

Another example: He criticizes the Quran for being unscientific by reading the verses of the Quran like a third grader. For instance, he refers to verse 18:86 and understand it as “Koran teaches us that the Sun sets in a muddy spring.” He ignores the fact the verse is not describing an astronomic event, but the PERCEPTION of Zul Qarnain (the one with two generations), since he verse introduces the perception as “HE FOUND”. I urge anyone to search google by putting the following words in quotation “sun set behind” and they will find that more than ten thousand sites, including astronomy sites of modern universities “teaches us that the Sun sets” behind the mountains, clouds, trees, etc. If you wish you may type the following terms in the search box exactly: “sun sets in” OR “sun set in.”

  1. Ali Sina, instead of accepting his opponent as he is; he pretends what he should be and he debates with the imagined “little devil” character in his mind. He is like a cheap spelling program that cannot distinguish between screw and escrow, between hislamic and Islamic, between hadith and Quran!

In our one-month debate, he confused me with some of his Hislamic opponents. Or he prayed that I would just devolve to one of them so he could pull my beard smack my medieval head with those volumes of holy trash! Bad luck!

For instance, I do not separate the verses of the Quran as Meccan on Medinan verses. Again, he was confusing me with Sunnis. The Quran does not contain such a distinction, and a believer must follow ALL the verses of the Quran.

Ali Sina uses the common 6 STEPS to reach TO THE FACTOR OF 666, which I have explained in an article published at 19.org.

  1. Ali broke his promises frequently.

Ali Sina PROMISED me several times that he would not use hadith and other dubious sources in his criticism of the Quran, but each time he sought a silly excuse to bring a truck-load of them. He was like an obese person breaking his diet not to eat junk food.

Though he knew that I would not continue this debate if he continued to break his promise of not copying and pasting from the hearsay sources, yet he went a head and filled his latest response with those trash. I finished my previous response with the following challenge:

“I challenge you to use scientific evidence and reason for your cricticsm of the Quran. I will NOT continue debating with you if ONE MORE TIME you refer to or quote from hadith, syra or tafseer books that I have rejected vehemently since 1986. If you cannot criticize the Quran without referring to hearsays of hearsays, then you will be proving to the entire world that you lost this debate against someone who followed the Quran alone.”

  1. Ali Sina is unaware that he might be heading to Prison:

Ali Sina should be glad that he is in a free and secular country that people are not penalized because of their opinion or belief, how outrageous and stupid they might be. Ali Sina is thinking that he can hide his identity behind the computer screens and continue spew the message of hatred and genocide against Muslims. However, things might change. What goes around will come around.

He has already mesmerized some impressionable imbeciles and they might soon start following his advice and committing acts like Nazi or KKK members. They will kill innocent Muslims and their children in the name of “spiritual humanism.” Ali Sina then will find himself in the defendant seat rather than covering his face behind computer screens. I will be there to present the jury with his “subhuman” remarks. I hope this will never happen, but if history any indication, Ali Sina’s bloody dream might become his nightmare.

  1. Ali Sina is a modern crusader, masquerading as a humanist.

Ali has a double standard. While he exaggerates and generalizes the atrocities committed by Hislamic fanatic terrorists, he bypasses the bigger atrocities committed by Evilgelical Christians and Zionist Jews (I exclude some of the early Zionists) and their proxy forces.

I wish Ali Sina could be brave enough to stand against the terror, destruction and massacres inflicted by Rightwing Evilgelical crusaders and their Zionist allies as he stands against the terror, destruction and massacres inflicted by Taliban and Hislamic mullahs.

In his latest answer, he briefly stated that he was against all violence and terrorism; but that was it. So far, he has never condemned a single concrete example of violence, torture, terror, occupations, unjustified wars, and atrocities conducted by Evangelical-Zionist alliance or their proxies.

Modern crusaders, allied with big corporations are orchestrating a deceptive propaganda and misinformation campaign to promote their bloody cause to colonize new lands and convert more people.

Modern Crusaders distort verses of the Quran, exaggerate the deeds of terrorists and even attribute some events motivated by nationalism or other motives to Islam. Their propaganda machine never referred to the Serbs as Christian Rapists or Christian Terrorists. Their propaganda machine never refers to the torturer and murderer Zionist occupying forces as Jewish Terrorists, or Jewish Murderers. Their propaganda machine never acknowledges the Christian church and zeal behind Nazi crimes. However, they frequently associate any act of terrorism to Islam and Muslims. Furthermore, they cleverly manage to depict the freedom-seeking victims of brutal occupying forces as aggressors in conflicts such as Chechnya, or Palestine.

They try to depict islam as a violent religion, thereby seeking to justify their own terror, massacres, pre-emptive wars, which are cunningly promoted in a euphemistic language through their propaganda machines. They don’t kill and terrorize civilians; they just produce collateral damage and they just perform colorful shows of “shock and awe.” They do not torture prisoners; they either interrogate them or turn them to anecdotals. They do not destroy cities; they do surgical and smart operations. They do not occupy others’ lands; they liberate them. They do not take revenge; they take justice to their enemies. Thus, media is cleverly used to hypnotize masses and get their support for neo-colonialism. The ruling class in democracies use media to “manifacture concent.” In order to plunder the resources of other countries, greedy corporations and their unholy allies replace one dictator after another, create wars and conflicts, undertake covert operations, and if they are bored, they play liberation games for fun and profit, big profit.

Crusaders have directly participated or supported many atrocities and wars in the last millennium; they have killed many more innocent people than their counterpart Sunny or Shiite warmongers. Inquisition, crusades, witch-hunt, World War I and II, holocaust, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Phillipines, Korea, Vietnam, Nikaragua, Arjantine, Iraq are just few words in the long list of wars and massacres that are committed or supported by those who call themselves Christians. Nazis used the traditional Christian hatred of Jews as fuel and a twisted Cross (swastika) as the symbol for their racist ambitions. The list of British and American wars, occupations, massacres, slavery, covert operations that were conducted with the approval and support of the Christian church or masses is too long and too gruesome. You can still find many Christians justifying the biggest terrorist attack in the history, the destruction of two big cities with their hundreds of thousands civil population, as a retaliation to the Japanese attack to an American military base. American government has not apologized humanity for this horrific and cowardly act of terror.

The mentality of these Crusaders is no different from those of al-Qaida militants who justified the destruction of theWorld Trade Center as retaliation to the American support for the Israeli’s racist policy of occupation, massacres and terror inPalestine. If Ali Sina lived in Afghanistan, with is hatemongering and pro-genocide mentality, he would be a Taliban or Al-Qaida leader.

I defended Ali Sina:

Someone who supported me in debates with others, posted information about Ali Sina’s website and his affiliation with FFI, an Evangelical organization. Not knowing that the information was available in public, I condemned his action with harsh words:

“Exposing” or more accurately unveiling the identity or whereabouts of a person who is out there not to create a personal cult, but to debate important theological issues with great political and social ramification is irrelevant.

But, it is more than irrelevant, it is irresponsible and even evil, since it may jeopardize the live of a person whose all crime is to express his faith and opinion. Putting the life of such a person at risk contradicts diametrically with what I stand for. I stand for freedom of faith and expression. If God Almighty let even Satan express himself and let people choose whatever religion, opinion, philosophy, or faith they want, then it would be against God’s system and will to create a hostile environment and conditions that would suppress dissent and oppress some people because of their belief or disbelief.

So, I condemn the acts of those who want to indulge in detective or police work, rather than intellectual debate.

If I want freedom and security for myself, I have to want the same thing for others, including my enemies who are not in act and mindset of physical hostility. To do the opposite is hypocrisy.

I believe that Ali Sina’s voice, regardless of its truth-value, is precious and should be protected. We cannot find truth without people like Ali Sina.

Personally, I do not care a bit, whether Evilgelical organizations, Zionist organizations, CIA, or any other power pays or uses Ali Sina. To me, it is not relevant and important, since Ali Sina is raising important issues, and voicing important problems with a religion that is followed by more than a billion people.

We are all brothers and sisters from Adam and Eve. We cannot be muslims (submitters to God alone, and men of peace) if we do not act like humans. To be a human, and care about the life of every single human being is a prerequisite of being a muslim. I have no connection with those who ignore and violate this sacred bond among human beings, a bond that was established by our Lord and Creator in the moment and fabric of our creation.

I Scolded Ali Sina

But, after learning that the information was public and no additional harm could be done by something already given to the public by Ali Sina himself, I criticized Ali Sina and his attack dogs for accusing and insulting the person who posted that information:

Dear Ali Sina:

It seems that your hatred and emotions have turned you to those who you claim to hate.

Here is the difference between you and me:

I do not ally with a vampire or vampires to kill another vampire. I do not ally with Evilgelical Christians (you know which Christian groups I am referring to) who are supportive of wars and invasions that have been taking the lives of so many innocent people. I cannot. Throughout history they have been on the wrong side; they have been involved in many bloody and dirty tragedies in history.

However, it seems that you are following the Machiavellian path of St. Paul and you will accept any alliance to dehumanize all Muslims and making them the subject of another Holocaust. Your mindset and mission is no different from Hitler.

The guy who posted information allegedly proving your connection with Christians might have endangered your life, but with your propaganda of hatred and general condemnation, you are putting the lives of millions and perhaps billions of people at risk. You even show the audacity to put me in the same category of terrorists! I very rarely use this word. But, I think you deserved until you notice your problem: “shame on you, Ali Sina!”

It is hypocritical to applaud the massacres, terrorism, occupations, exploitations, covert operations around the world supported by super powers and its supportive Evilgelical Christian organizations, while condemning the terrorism, violence committed by a group of Sunni or Shiite extremists. This is a diabolic double standard!

If you are a humanist as you claim, you should join me to fight ANY act of terrorism, violence, injustice, regardless the identity or religion of the criminal.

Justice and peace cannot be accomplished by holding one hand of the multy-handed Devil against another hand. You become just a pawn.

I condemned the action of the person who tried to “expose” you, and similarly I condemn the actions of USA-Inc’s secret agents that have secretly kidnapped and tortured many innocent people in Guatanamo Bay, Iraqi Abu Ghraib, Egyptian or Saudi prisons used by the USA-Inc.

Edip Yuksel

My answer to a Christian supporter of Ali Sina:

First, NOT A SINGLE VERSE of the QURAN calls for killing and murdering of INNOCENT people. This hallucination of Ali Sina is embedded as a fact in his allegation. With this cheap twist, he wants to condemn any Muslim who confesses belief in the Quran.

To make it clearer for you let me, with a little modification translate it to a language that you will understand better:

“You may say but the supporters of FFF are humans too. Is having the human appearance enough to make us humans? The sign of humanity is in our humanness. No person who believes in those inhumane teachings of ALI SINA that calls for killing and murder of innocent people deserves to be called human. Therefore, this is a war between humanity and a spiritually underdeveloped subhuman species. The mission of FFF is barbaric. Their thoughts are beastly. They have no human conscience and they are preying on us humans. So this is a war between humans and FFF.”

Did you like this as a supporter of FFF (reminds me KKK)? Though the Quran (not hadith and other trashy story books) NEVER calls for killing the innocent, but here Ali Sina called for the killing of ALL those who believe in the Quran.

Obviously, here you outnumber me, and you will repeatedly post what you are instructed to do by your cult leader, but a ray of fact will destroy your darkness!

PS: A proverb states that if you want to know someone look at his friend. Interestingly, the Sunni who posts messages under the nickname sbwus is siding with you against me; whenever he sees you attacking me he is joining you with his saliva leaking from his mouth. This is another evidence that you are dancing on the same circle, that while you are trying to put as much distance between each other, whenever you see me, you meet each other at one point of THAT CIRCLE. When a monotheist delivers the message all idolworsihpers join their forces. Like your Sunni evil twins, your circle is made of the same ingredients: ignorance, fanaticism, hatred and self-deception.

What others say about Ali Sina and his cause?

Finally, I would like to finish this last article with a potpourri of impression by various visitors of faithfreedom.org. You will find the SURPRISE NOTE in the end of these excerpts:

A review from a seasoned visitor:

Over the years, as both a non-muslim participant in the forum and an avid reader, I have watched this site evolve. It began as a rationalist critique to LITERAL readings of the Quran, originally derived from one man’s journey out of Islam – Ali Sina, the sites founder – to a compendium of contributions arraigned against Islam from “ex-muslims”, religionists of various hues, Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists etc etc. While some of the better critiques are well constructed on a reading of the associated texts, none of the arguments are really informed by a believers SEMANTIC on the texts proferred. Such treatments, in the final analysis, must be considered faulty, for they do not admit an adherents view to “breathe life” into the texts concerned. There have been numerous debates on the forum of this site between muslims and non-muslims, but the modus of the dialogue is to hammer the muslim opposition into a corner on some issue of contention and then to discredit them as “inhuman” etc if they have a view that differs from the prevailing view on the forum. The dialogue is forced down to the lowest common denominator and does not emerge from there. Psychologically manipulative tools of mockery, contempt, shaming and thinly veiled hate are employed to batter dissenters. The site has decayed down to a one-point agenda, that of being ideologically opposed to Islam. Thus, it is not what it claims to be – rationalist – but really, an ideological site of it’s own, defined in anti-thesis to Islam. And while it is denied by participants, the site has become a conduit for jaundiced views and hate towards Islam and it’s adherents.

This review is an honest appraisal of how I view the site as an ongoing, non-muslim, agnostic participant. The site, while still containing a large amount of rationally well argued treatises against Islam, appears to have succumbed to an ideological fanaticism of it’s very own. Even sympathetic dissent is dismissed as “PC” or being the product of “weak-mindedness” and ridiculed without examination. Such are the trademarks of a cult in methodology. I remain a participant, to study what I consider to be the interesting phenomenon of an internet site being the core of the formation and reinforcement of a cultish mentality. Take note of this if you wish to visit or participate in this site.

A Pioneer site:

faithfreedom.org is a very honest web site telling the whole truth about islam and it’s violent teachings. Most islam apostates lives is threatened by fanatics. This site gives them a chnace to speak out for their rights and tell the true story of oppressions of islam as it is.

Nursery of Fascism: Disguised Voice of Christian Far Right

Faith Freedom International (FFI) , a self-styled “rationalist” website, preaches: “A good Christian becomes Mother Teresa; but a good Muslim becomes Khomeinii and Osama.” What a facile analogy! Let someone enlightern FFI that a “good” Christian can also become Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler was faithful Catholic after all and wanted all women to attend Church punctually( a historical fact). Adolf Hitler did not exist in isolated continuum of European history. The Jewish holocaust of Nazi Germany was merely rerun of systematic pogrom of Jews conducted by pious Christians for two millenia. All of these Christians were also “good and faithful” Christians. It is the Christian holy figures like “Saint” Augustine and Martin Luther (founder of Protestantism) who had written testaments of santimonious hate against Jews that led to genocides against them by pious lay Chrisitans. So FFI’s claim that Islamic piety only produces evil like Osama and Christian piety produces good like Mother Teresa is not only ignorant but entirely stupid in light of recorded history. In Pakistan there is one Maulana Edhi, a pious Muslim, whose humanitarian work has earned him recognition the world over much on the lines of Mother Teresa. He is often referred by media as “Islamic Mother Teresa”. Obviously , FFI has got it all wrong! Christian piety also produces Martin Luthers, Hitlers, Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells of the world and Islamic piety is also capable of producing Maulana Edhis, Rumis and Shams, etc. Things in the real world do not exist in such black and white oversimplification as FFI is propagating.

Please do not take me to be some disgruntled Muslim. I am not even remotely Islamic to have any soft corner for it. I am normal 43 year old agnostic person (with Western ethnic background) who happens to have travelled and read a lot. FFI is no rationalist website but a rather motley collection of self-seeking third world “intellectuals” and elements of Christian far right in West who have happened to become bedfellows for political reasons. This website’s agenda stands diametically opposite to the minority interests in Western countries (let all blacks, Jews, Hindus,Sikhs and New Agers who visit this site be cautioned along with Muslims). FFI is firmly against religious and ideological pluralism in politics as well as culture. The heavy element of Christian apologists, and people with evangelical leanings disguised as “rationalists”, make this website suspicious to its core. One would not be surprised if FFI’s connection with Christian Coalition or a similar lobby would be fully exposed. FFI is catering to the agenda of the malevolent right wing forces in America who want to designate all non-Christian ideologies (that also includes all New Age movements) as cults and thus prepare a fabricated case for their marginalization in the Western world. If you are not a Christian with a Western ethnic background, please be extremely wary of this website. This is a site for Pat Robertsons of America where they can pretend to be “rationalists” to fool the gullible multitudes. Quite unsuccessfully , alas! Almost all of FFI’s cheerleaders , supposedly “rationalists”, are derived from Christian far right and similar backgrounds. This website is a nursery of fascism on the web. Don’t trust its pretensions to the contrary. Stay away from this hate trap! Today Muslims are its targets. Tommorrow, all other minorities would be on its hit list. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to perceive this. So beware!

This site has it all!, December 14, 2003

Faithfreedom should continue its journey: I am a secular humanist. Though I do not subscribe with Ali’s view, I think Fithfreedom should continue it’s jourey. It is indeed a very rare and couageous effort from muslim comunity.

We should be grateful that Ali Sina exists:

This site, to the contrary of the other reviewers, is one of the only accesible resources that people can access by former Muslims. The articles go through various aspects of Islam, Islamic countries, and Islamic life as experienced by people. I forone am glad that this site exists because there is a forum where views can be aired without fear, daily updates with news articles on the web, and op-eds on important issues that concern everybody. Ali Sina is not out to kill people or hurt anybody, as some other reviewers have claimed. It is a small and growing community of people from Muslim origin (by birth) and converts who have left.

This site is very important because they are not allowed to live in Muslim countries because they are supposed to be killed. They can only live safely in the Western countries where their rights are protected and their lives. We should be grateful that Ali Sina and others like him exist otherwise we would not know the danger we are in.

Cheap attention seeker:

I honestly believe that Ali(as) Sina has a personality disorder in which he collects contact with famous people and he gets off on this. He immediately publicises his contact with those of high reknown or high repute. He has debated/interviewed the younger Pahlavi, James Randi, etc and I believe that he is just a cheap attention seeker.

His arguments are on the whole weak, and he is completely insincere… Here is an excerpt that i found amusing – Ali(as) Sina is telling a ‘friend’ :

“I told him about a strange incidence that happened to myself when I was a university student. One summer night I was reading a book while my sister was sleeping in the adjacent room. I heard noises coming from her room. She was groaning as if having a nightmare. I went to her room to wake her up. What I saw took me by surprise. I saw a globe of orange light about three feet in diameter suddenly moving away from my sister’s bed and hovering in the middle of the room. I stood at the door watching this strange thing. I got the impression that this thing was also startled. This thing seemed to have a thought of its own. For a moment we both were paralyzed gazing at each other. Then the thing zoomed out of the window and disappeared in the adjacent field practically in thin air. I woke up my sister and told her what I saw. She said she was having a bad dream and in her dream a bad being wanted to hurt her while someone good had come to her rescue. Well, people have dreams and nothing is strange about that. However, what to me seemed to be strange is that I possibly saw one of the protagonists of my sister’s dream. Even if that is not the case, that thing was strange on its own. ”

Seeing orange balls of light after hearing his sister moan in the next room… hmmm.

The SURPRISE NOTE and THE GREAT PROPHECY:

I recommend every person who followed my debate with Ali Sina (which is available at both 19.org and faithfreedom.org) to share this note and this instruction under the “The Surprise Note and The Great Prophecy” with as many people as possible. You may share this encoded message with your friends via email or you may post it in other forums.

As the audience knows, Ali Sina has finally unveiled his real mission; promoting genocide against ALL Muslims, in a much bigger scale than even Hitler or Stalin had envisioned.

I will declare the KEY of the coded note, and decode it on February 19, 2005 at 19.org/forum. With the original text unveiled, you will witness a fulfillment of a great prophecy regarding Ali Sina and ditto-heads. The issue will not end with the fulfillment of the prophecy; in fact, it will just start.

If Ali Sina is scared from this message, his fear will not help him. Even if he hires several bodyguards and inform FBI, CIA, al-Qaida, Taliban, or his Evilgelical friends; he will still not be able to escape from the fulfillment of this prophecy! He and his cult members might speculate with paranoia and fabricate any lie they want. Their deception and lies will be exposed one more time the day of the prophecy: February 19. Wait and I am too waiting.

Here is a portion of the great prophecy:

U-N-D-P-R-W-J-Q-Q-W-G-U-A-B
A-N-V-B-Q-P-B-U-R-F-F-G-F-M
R-W-Z-F-W-G-W-A-N-V-B-Z-M-D
N-A-J-P-J-M-S-G-U-Q-I-H-E-F
V-M-“L-I-L-E-N-F-K-M-U-F-X-J
I-N-J-N-D-S-N-P-C-Z-J-V-U-X
U-D-E-B-Q-Y-F-Q-N”-A-X-L-X-Q
P-X-E-N-L-F-M-V-V-L-P-U-Q-Y
E-R-T-V-W-U-T-A-F-Z-B-W-D-J
G-A-A-C-X-F-N-B-W-L-I-R-D-T
H-P-Z-B-Q-P-H-B-V-H-S-H-T-J
A-B-A-W-H-A-G-I-R-G-V-V-F-T
N-U-D-U-K-Q-U-R-X-H-M-H-A-A
R-A-A-U-L-E-S-V-W-W-U-H-Q-S

Peace,

***

 

Decoding the great prophecy on February 19, 2005 through the key, MIRACLE (13, 9, 18, 1, 3, 12, 5):

 

He looked

He frowned and whined

Then he turned away arrogantly

He said “This is but clever magic

This is human made”

I will commit him to retribution

What retribution

Thorough and comprehensive

Obvious to all the people

Over it is nineteen (74:21-30)

21 14 4 16 18 23 10 17 17 23 7 21 1 2
13 9 18 1 3 12 5 13 9 18 1 3 12 5
8 5 12 15 15 11 5 4 8 5 6 18 15 23
h e l o o k e d h e f r o w
1 14 22 2 17 16 2 21 18 6 6 7 6 13
13 9 18 1 3 12 5 13 9 18 1 3 12 5
14 5 4 1 14 4 23 8 9 14 5 4 20 8
n e d a n d w h i n e d t h
18 23 26 6 23 7 23 1 14 22 2 26 13 4
13 9 18 1 3 12 5 13 9 18 1 3 12 5
5 14 8 5 20 21 18 14 5 4 1 23 1 25
e n h e t u r n e d a w a y
14 1 10 16 10 13 19 7 21 17 9 8 5 6
13 9 18 1 3 12 5 13 9 18 1 3 12 5
1 18 18 15 7 1 14 20 12 25 8 5 19 1
a r r o g a n t l y h e s a
22 13 “12 9 12 5 14 6 11 13 21 6 24 10
13 9 18 1 3 12 5 13 9 18 1 3 12 5
9 4 8 8 9 19 9 19 2 21 20 3 12 5
i d “t h i s i s b u t c l e
9 14 10 14 4 19 14 16 3 26 10 22 21 24
13 9 18 1 3 12 5 13 9 18 1 3 12 5
22 5 18 13 1 7 9 3 20 8 9 19 9 19
v e r m a g i c t h i s i s
21 4 5 2 17 25 6 17 14″ 1 24 12 24 17
13 9 18 1 3 12 5 13 9 18 1 3 12 5
8 21 13 1 14 13 1 4 17 9 23 9 12 12
h u m a n m a d e i w i l l
16 24 5 14 12 6 13 22 22 12 16 21 17 25
13 9 18 1 3 12 5 13 9 18 1 3 12 5
3 15 13 13 9 20 8 9 13 20 15 18 5 20
c o m m i t h i m t o r e t
5 18 20 22 23 21 20 1 6 26 2 23 4 10
13 9 18 1 3 12 5 13 9 18 1 3 12 5
18 9 2 21 20 9 15 14 23 8 1 20 18 5
r i b u t i o n w h a t r e
7 1 1 3 24 6 14 2 23 12 9 18 4 20
13 9 18 1 3 12 5 13 9 18 1 3 12 5
20 18 9 2 21 20 9 15 14 20 8 15 18 15
t r i b u t i o n t h o r o
8 16 26 2 17 16 8 2 22 8 19 8 20 10
13 9 18 1 3 12 5 13 9 18 1 3 12 5
21 7 8 1 14 4 3 15 13 16 18 5 8 5
u g h a n d c o m p r e h e
1 2 1 23 8 1 7 9 18 7 22 22 6 20
13 9 18 1 3 12 5 13 9 18 1 3 12 5
14 19 9 22 5 15 2 22 9 15 21 19 20 15
n s i v e o b v i o u s t o
14 21 4 21 11 17 21 18 24 8 13 8 1 1
13 9 18 1 3 12 5 13 9 18 1 3 12 5
1 12 12 20 8 5 16 5 15 16 12 5 15 22
a l l t h e p e o p l e o v
18 1 1 21 12 5 19 22 23 23 21 8 17 19
13 9 18 1 3 12 5 13 9 18 1 3 12 5
5 18 9 20 9 19 14 9 14 5 20 5 5 14
e r i t i s n i n e t e e n


No Contradiction in the Quran

Verse 4:82 of the Quran claims that the book remains free of contradictions. Any internal contradictions  between the Quran and God’s laws in nature falsifies the claim. I found the following claims for contradictions posted on an evangelical site disguised as “humanist.” Below, you will find the 10 charges with my answers.

QUESTION 1: What was man created from — blood, clay, dust, or nothing?

  1. “Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood,” (96:2).
  2. “We created man from sounding clay, from mud molded into shape, (15:26).
  3. “The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: “Be”. And he was,” (3:59).
  4. “But does not man call to mind that We created him before out of nothing?” (19:67, Yusuf Ali). Also, 52:35).
  5. “He has created man from a sperm-drop; and behold this same (man) becomes an open disputer! (16:4).

ANSWER 1: Human beings were created from earthly materials and water according to divinely guided evolution.

The criticism presented above serves as a classic example of an EITHER-OR fallacy, or the product of a mind that does not consider or perceive time and evolution as reality. If he uses the same standards, the critic of these verses will find contradictions in almost every book. If he looks into biology books, he will similarly get confused. In one page he will learn that he is made of atoms, in another cells, in another DNA, and sperm, egg, embryo, earthly materials, etc. He would express his disbelief and confusion with a similar question. A careful and educated reading of the Quran reveals the following facts about creation:

  1. There were times when man did not exist. Billions of years after the creation of the universe, humans were created. In other words, we were nothing before we were created:

“Did the human being forget that we created him already, and he was nothing?” (19:67).

  1. Humans were created according to divinely guided evolution:

“Have they not seen how GOD initiates the creation, and then repeats it? This is easy for GOD to do. Say, ‘Roam the earth and find out the origin of life.’ For GOD will thus initiate the creation in the Hereafter. GOD is Omnipotent.” (29:19-20).

“He is the One who created you in stages. Do you not realize that GOD created seven universes in layers? He designed the moon therein to be a light, and placed the sun to be a lamp And GOD germinated you from the earth like plants.” (71:14-17).

  1. Creation of man started from clay:

“We created the human being from aged mud, like the potter’s clay.” (15:26).

Our Creator began the biological evolution of microscopic organisms within the layers of clay. Donald E. Ingber, professor atHarvard University, published an article titled “The Architecture of Life” as the cover story of Scientific American. He stated the following:

“Researchers now think biological evolution began in layers of clay, rather than in the primordial sea. Interestingly, clay is itself a porous network of atoms arranged geodesically within octahedral and tetrahedral forms. But because these octahedra and tetrahedra are not closely packed, they retain the ability to move and slide relative to one another. This flexibility apparently allows clay to catalyze many chemical reactions, including ones that may have produced the first molecular building blocks of organic life.”

Humans are advanced fruits of organic creation, initiated millions of years ago from layers of clay.

  1. Human beings are made of water:

“Do the unbelievers not realize that the heaven and the earth used to be one solid mass that we exploded into existence? And from water we made all living things. Would they believe?” (21:30).

The verse above not only emphasizes the importance of water as an essential ingredient for organic life, it also clearly refers to the beginning of the universe, or what we now call the Big Bang. The Quran’s information regarding cosmology remains centuries ahead of its time. For instance, verse 51:47 informs us that the universe is continuously expanding. “We constructed the sky with our hands, and we will continue to expand it.” Furthermore, the Quran informs us that the universe will collapse back to its origin, confirming the closed-universe model: “On that day, we will fold the heaven, like the folding of a book. Just as we initiated the first creation, we will repeat it. This is our promise; we will certainly carry it out.” (21:104).

“And GOD created every living creature from water. Some of them walk on their bellies, some walk on two legs, and some walk on four. GOD creates whatever He wills. GOD is Omnipotent.” (24:45).

Bipedal motion on two legs serves as a crucial point in the evolution of humanoids. Walking on two feet may initially appear to be insignificant in the evolutionary process, but many scientists believe that walking on two feet made significant contributions to human evolution by enabling Homo Erectus to use tools and gain consciousness, thereby leading to Homo Sapiens.

  1. Human beings are made of dust, or earth, containing essential elements for life:

“The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, “Be,” and he was.” (3:59).

  1. Human beings are the product of long-term evolution, and when human sperm and egg, consisting of water and earthly elements, meet each other in the right condition, they evolve to the embryo, the fetus, and finally after 266 days, into a human being:

“Was he not a drop of ejected semen?” (75:37).

“He created the human from a tiny drop, and then he turns into an ardent opponent.” (16:4).

“He created man from an embryo.” (96:2).

” O people, if you have any doubt about resurrection, (remember that) we created you from dust, and subsequently from a tiny drop, which turns into a hanging (embryo), then it becomes a fetus that is given life or deemed lifeless. We thus clarify things for you. We settle in the wombs whatever we will for a predetermined period. We then bring you out as infants, then you reach maturity. While some of you die young, others live to the worst age, only to find out that no more knowledge can be attained beyond a certain limit. Also, you look at a land that is dead, then as soon as we shower it with water, it vibrates with life and grows all kinds of beautiful plants.” (22:5).

As you noticed, we do not translate the Arabic word “Alaq” as “clot.” Since neither in interspecies evolution nor in intraspecies evolution does a stage exist where human beings are clots, this is a traditional mistranslation of the word, and the error was first noticed by medical doctor Maurice Bucaille. Any decent Arabic dictionary will give you three definitions for the word “Alaq” — (1) clot; (2) hanging thing; (3) leech. Early commentators of the Quran, lacking the knowledge of embryology, justifiably picked the “clot” as the meaning of the word. However, the author of the Quran referred to the embryo through this multiple-meaning word, as it hangs to the wall of the uterus and nourishes itself like a leech. In modern times, we do not have an excuse for picking the wrong meaning. This is one of the many examples of the Quran’s language in verses related to science and mathematics. While its words provide understanding to former generations, its real meaning shines with knowledge of God’s creation and natural laws.

QUESTION 2: Is there or is there not compulsion in religion according to the Qur’an?

  1. “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things,” (2:256).
  2. “And an announcement from Allah and His Messenger, to the people (assembled) on the day of the Great Pilgrimage,- that Allah and His Messenger dissolve (treaty) obligations with the Pagans. If then, ye repent, it were best for you; but if ye turn away, know ye that ye cannot frustrate Allah. And proclaim a grievous penalty to those who reject Faith,” (9:3).
  3. “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful,” (9:5). “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued,” (9:29).

ANSWER 2: Yes, there is no compulsion in religion according to the Quran, and Muslims are permitted to defend themselves against aggressors and murderers.

The Quran promotes freedom of opinion, religion, and expression. The critic takes the verses from Chapter 9 out of context and presents them as a contradiction with the principle expressed in 2:256 and other verses. Chapter 9 starts with an ultimatum for Meccan mushriks who tortured, killed, and evicted muslims from their homes, and who also mobilized several major war campaigns against them while they established a peaceful multinational and multi-religious community. The beginning of the chapter refers to their violation of the peace treaty and provides them with an ultimatum and four months to stop the aggression. Thus, the verses quoted from Chapter 9 have nothing to do with freedom of religion. They are a warning against aggressive and murderous fanatics.

I discussed this subject extensively in my first debate, and I argued that Sunni tyrants distorted the meaning of the word JIZYA as a taxation against non-muslims, while the word more accurately means “compensation” or “war reparations” which were was levied against the aggressor parties that initiated the war. My argument on Quran’s position regarding war and peace is posted at the Articles section of 19.org under the title “To the Factor of 666.”

QUESTION 3: The first Muslim was Muhammad? Abraham? Jacob? Moses?

  1. “And I [Muhammad] am commanded to be the first of those who bow to Allah in Islam,” (39:12).
  2. “When Moses came to the place appointed by Us, and his Lord addressed him, He said: “O my Lord! show (Thyself) to me, that I may look upon thee.” Allah said: “By no means canst thou see Me (direct); But look upon the mount; if it abide in its place, then shalt thou see Me.” When his Lord manifested His glory on the Mount, He made it as dust. And Moses fell down in a swoon. When he recovered his senses he said: “Glory be to Thee! to Thee I turn in repentance, and I am the first to believe.” (7:143).
  3. “And this was the legacy that Abraham left to his sons, and so did Jacob; “Oh my sons! Allah hath chosen the Faith for you; then die not except in the Faith of Islam,” (2:132).

ANSWER 3: Many prophets and messengers were the first muslims in their time and location.

If we check Google.com with the search tag “Olympic first place 100-meters + running,” we will find many names for athletes who received first place. If we use the critic’s logic, we would think that great confusion and contradictory claims exist regarding the first-place winner for the 100-meter race. What is wrong with that logic? Obviously, we need to consider time and space! Abraham was first muslim (submitter and promoter of peace) in his time and location. Similarly, Moses and Muhammad were also pioneer muslims in their times.

QUESTION 4: Does Allah forgive or not forgive those who worship false gods?

1 “Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed,” (4:48 ; Also 4:116).

2 “The people of the Book ask thee to cause a book to descend to them from heaven: Indeed they asked Moses for an even greater (miracle), for they said: “Show us Allah in public,” but they were dazed for their presumption, with thunder and lightning. Yet they worshipped the calf even after clear signs had come to them; even so we forgave them; and gave Moses manifest proofs of authority,” (4:153).

ANSWER 4: God does not forgive those who associate other powers or gods to Him, if they do not repent on time.

The Quran contains numerous verses regarding idol-worshipers or mushriks accepting the message of islam.

“He is the One who accepts the repentance from His servants, and remits the sins. He is fully aware of everything you do.” (42:25).

Most supporters and companions of messengers and prophets associated partners to God before they repented and accepted the message. For instance, the Quran informs us that Muhammad  was a polytheist before he received revelation, but after his acknowledgement of the truth he repented regarding his ignorance and God forgave him.

“Say, ‘I have been enjoined from worshiping the idols you worship beside GOD, when the clear revelations came to me from my Lord. I was commanded to submit to the Lord of the universe.'” (40:66).

“Thus, we inspired to you a revelation proclaiming our commandments. You had no idea about the scripture, or faith. Yet, we made this a beacon to guide whomever we choose from among our servants. Surely, you guide in a straight path.” (42:52).

“He found you astray, and guided you.” (93:7).

“Whereby GOD forgives your past sins, as well as future sins, and perfects His blessings upon you, and guides you in a straight path.” (48:2).

QUESTION 5: Are Allah’s decrees changed or not?

  1. “Rejected were the messengers before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our aid did reach them: there is none that can alter the words (and decrees) of Allah. Already hast thou received some account of those messengers,” (6:34).
  2. “The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfillment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all, (6:115).
  3. “None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?” (2:106).
  4. “When We substitute one revelation for another,- and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages),- they say, “Thou art but a forger”: but most of them understand not,” (16:101).

ANSWER 5: God’s decrees do not change.

This is a valid criticism against those who do not follow the Quran alone, since they have distorted the meaning of 2:106 and 16:101 through fabricated hadiths. Quran’s definition of ”does not change” refers to Sunnatullah (God’s law) and Kalimatullah (God’s word), as in 6:34 and 6:115. Verses 2:106 and 16:101 contain neither of these words; they describe God’s AYAT (Sign; miracle) given to prophets and messengers. The translation the critic uses contains a translation error, with grave theological ramifications.

According to the official faith of “Hislam,” some verses of the Quran abrogate other verses, and even some hadith abrogate some verses as supported by distortion of the meaning of this verse. The Quran has a peculiar language. The singular word “Ayah” occurs 84 times in the Quran, and nowhere it is used for the verses of the Quran; rather, it is always used to mean “sign, evidence, or miracle.” However, the plural form of this word, “Ayaat,” is additionally used for verses of the Quran. The fact that a verse of the Quran does not demonstrate the miraculous characteristics of the Quran supports this peculiar usage of the word. For instance, short verses existed that were comprised of only one or two words, and they were most likely used in frequent daily conversations, letters, and poetry. For example, see: 55:3; 69:1; 74;4; 75:8; 80:28; 81:26. Furthermore, we are informed that the minimum unit demonstrating Quran’s miraculous nature is a chapter (10:38) and the shortest chapter consists of 3 verses (103; 108, 110). The first verse of the Quran, commonly known as Basmalah, cannot be a miracle on his own, but it gains a miraculous nature with its numerical network with other letters, words, verses, and chapters of the Quran. By not using the singular form “Ayah” for the verses of the Quran, God made it possible to distinguish the miracles shown in the text and prophecies of the scripture from the miracles shown in nature. See 4:82 for further evidence that the Quranic verses do not abrogate each other.

QUESTION 6: Was Pharaoh killed or not killed by drowning?

  1. “We took the Children of Israel across the sea: Pharaoh and his hosts followed them in insolence and spite. At length, when overwhelmed with the flood, he said: ‘I believe that there is no god except Him Whom the Children of Israel believe in: I am of those who submit (to Allah in Islam).’ (It was said to him): ‘Ah now!- But a little while before, wast thou in rebellion!- and thou didst mischief (and violence)! This day shall We save thee in the body, that thou mayest be a sign to those who come after thee!’ But verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our Signs!” (10:90-92).
  2. “Moses said, ‘Thou knowest well that these things have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as eye-opening evidence: and I consider thee indeed, O Pharaoh, to be one doomed to destruction!’ So he resolved to remove them from the face of the earth: but We did drown him and all who were with him,” (17:102-103).

ANSWER 6: Pharaoh was killed by drowning and his body was saved via mummification.

Verse 10:92 does not say that God will keep Pharaoh alive; it informs us that God will preserve his body after drowning him.

QUESTION 7 Is wine consumption good or bad?

  1. “O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan’s handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper,” (5:90).
  2. “(Here is) a Parable of the Garden which the righteous are promised: in it are rivers of water incorruptible; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink; and rivers of honey pure and clear. In it there are for them all kinds of fruits; and Grace from their Lord. (Can those in such Bliss) be compared to such as shall dwell for ever in the Fire, and be given, to drink, boiling water, so that it cuts up their bowels (to pieces)?” (47:15).
  3. “Truly the Righteous will be in Bliss: On Thrones (of Dignity) will they command a sight (of all things): Thou wilt recognize in their faces the beaming brightness of Bliss. Their thirst will be slaked with Pure Wine sealed,” (83:22-25).

ANSWER 7: Consumption of wine is bad in this world.

The Quran strongly rebukes the consumption of intoxicants for believers. This is not an enforced legal prohibition; but left for individuals to decide. The reason for this prohibition is obvious: intoxicants, though may provide some social or psychological benefits to the consumer, impair judgment and intelligence and cause too many problems for the individual and for society. The Quran prohibits intoxicants to individuals due to various moral reasons (the designer and creator of your body and mind asks you not to intentionally harm the body lent to you for a lifetime), intellectual reasons (the greatest gift you have is your brain and its power to make good judgments, so do not choose to be stupid or stupider than already you are) and pragmatic reasons (you and your society will suffer grave loss of health, wealth, happiness, and many lives, so do not contribute to the production and acceleration of such a destructive boomerang).

This said, let me suggest a correction. The verses 83:22-25 does not mention wine; thus, the translation is erroneous. The only verse that uses intoxicants (KHAMR) in a positive context is 47:15, and interestingly it is about paradise, or the hereafter. A quick reflection on the reason for prohibition of intoxicants explains the apparent contradiction. Harm from intoxicants, such as drunk driving, domestic violence or alcoholism, may not occur in another universe where the laws and rules are different. In other words, a person rewarded by eternal paradise will not hurt himself or herself or anyone else through intoxication (See 7:43; 15:47; 21:102; 41:31; 43:71; 2:112; 5:69).

QUESTION 8: Has the Quran been abrogated?

No, the Quran is perfect and can never be abrogated. However, some verses have been abrogated.

“There is none to alter the decisions of Allah.” (6:34).

“Perfected is the Word of thy Lord in truth and justice. There is naught that can change His words.” (6:115).

“There is no changing the Words of Allah.” (10:64).

“And recite that which hath been revealed unto thee of the Scripture of thy Lord. There is none who can change His words.” (18:27).

Yes, some verses have been abrogated.

“And when We put a revelation in place of (another) revelation, – and Allah knoweth best what He revealeth – they say: Lo! thou art but inventing. Most of them know not.” (16:101).

“Nothing of our revelation (even a single verse) do we abrogate or cause be forgotten, but we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof.” (2:106).

ANSWER 8: No, there is no abrogation in the Quran.

This question received its answer when I answered Question 5 above.

QUESTION 9: Who chooses the devils to be friends of disbelievers?

Allah?

“We have made the devils protecting friends for those who believe not.” (7:27).

Or the disbelievers?

“A party hath He led aright, while error hath just hold over (another) party, for lo! they choose the devils for protecting supporters instead of Allah and deem that they are rightly guided.” (7:30).

ANSWER 9: Disbelievers choose evil and devils in accordance to God’s law which tests us on this planet.

While the Quran states that every event happens in accordance to God’s design and permission (8:17; 57:22-25), the Quran also informs us regarding our freedom to choose our path (6:110;13:11; 18:29 42:13,48; 46:15).

QUESTION 10: Will all Jews and Christians go to hell?

Yes, all Christians will go to hell.

“Whoso seeketh as religion other than the Surrender (to Allah) it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter.” (3:85).

“They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. … Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil-doers there will be no helpers.” (5:72).

No, some will not.

“Those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabaeans – whoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right – surely their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. (2:62).

“Lo! those who believe, and those who are Jews, and Sabaeans, and Christians – Whosoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right – there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.” (5:69).

ANSWER 10: Some Jews and Christians will go to hell.

First, the Quran terms the followers of Jesus using the word Nazarenes. Second, the word Sabaean is not a proper name referring to a particular religion. Rather, it is a verb meaning “those who are from other religions.”

The critic assumes that surrender to God is only possible if someone utters a magical Arabic word. Islam is not a proper name, neither did it start with Muhammad, nor did it end with Muhammad. Any person who dedicates himself or herself to God alone, believes in the day of judgment, and lives a righteous life — regardless of the name of their religion — is considered muslim. There are many people among Christians and Jews who fit this description.

 

[1]             The title of the book is NINETEEN: God’s Signature in Nature and Scripture.

[2]        There are some critics who argue that Baca or Becca is different than Mecca.

[3]        The common belief among Muslims is to the contrary. To distinguish themselves from the Meccan mushriks, clerics and scholars fabricated stories about statues. There are dubious narrations that Muhammad broke statutes occupying Kaba. However, the Quran that occasionally refers to the statues of previous communities (see: 6:74; 7:138; 14:35; 21:57; 26:71),never mentions the statues or icons of Meccan mushriks. Furthermore, there is no archeological evidence to support the claims of Muslim scholars. Besides, the classic book about statues, Al-Kalbi’s KITAB UL ASNAM (The Book of Statues), contains many contradictory descriptions of the so-called Arabian statues. Muslim historians who were disturbed by lack of material evidence for the allegedly abundant Arabian statues came up with a “cookie” theory: Meccan idol-worshipers were making their statues from cookies and when they got hungry they used to eat them. That should explain why archeologist cannot find statues in the region for that era! Phew!

[4]        Shirk is described by the Quran in various contexts. Setting up partners with God, or accepting prophets, clergymen and scholars as authorities in God’s religion is considered as an unforgivable sin. See 42:21; 9:31; 3:18; 2:48; 6:21; 6:145; 7:17-37; 17:46; 45:6; 16:89; 6:112-115; 19:82; 46:6; 25:30; etc.

[5]        See 19 Questions for Christian Clergy by Edip Yuksel.

[6]        The detailed argument on this subject can be found in author’s Turkish book, Kuran Çevirilerindeki Hatalar (Errors in the Translations of the Quran), Ozan Yayıncılık.

[7]        They were originally Zilhija, Muharram, Safar, Rabi 1, and later their order was changed by mushriks.

[8]        The purpose and practice of polygamy is another distorted issue in islam (submission). Though the Quran discourage polygamy with two verses (4:3 and 4:129), it allows it as a social and economic institution to take care of orphans in a family environment. The Quran allows polygamy with widows who have children. This permission allowed those who could afford to marry with widows to provide a father figure to their children and take care of their needs. Interestingly, the verse clarifying this limited permission is traditionally mistranslated despite its clear grammatical structure. The correct translation of the verse:

“They consult you concerning women: say, as recited for you in the scripture, God enlightens you regarding the rights of orphans of women whom you deprive of their dowries while seeking to marry them, regarding the disadvantaged children: you shall treat the orphans equitably. Whatever good you do, God is fully aware thereof.” (4:127).

Unfortunately, Muslim scholars abused this limited permission and justified marrying with four women at a time even without the permission of the first wife who was deprived her right to divorce!

[9]        The examples of this category are listed in verse 5:3.

[10]       Many speculations made by Muslims to provide medical reasons for prohibition of meat of pig. Though, I consider it as a divine commandment to be followed for just the sake of obeying the Creator of the Universe, I think one of the reasons might lay in the waste of resources and environmental pollution. It is a well-known fact that pigs produce six times more waste than other domestic animals. Pig farms have caused serious environmental problems in some States, such as in North Carolina. Besides emitting disturbing smells, pig waste has contaminated the underground water in many nearby towns.

[11]       Muslim scholars, among many facts, have distorted this one too. They fabricated and narrated stories claiming that Muhammad was an illiterate man and maintained his illiteracy until his death. This claim not only contradicts the Quran and the historical facts, but it is also an insult to Muhammad. Was the prophet who brought a book and dictated it for 23 years not able to recognize the 28 letters of Arabic alphabet? How come a prophet who brought a scripture, which its first revelation starts with the word “READ,” did not try to learn how to read? Why a prophet who encouraged his friends to learn how to read and write himself did not practice what he preached to others? If Muhammad was illiterate, then he was either a crook trying to fool people that he could not read (which is impossible since there were literally thousands of people who knew him since his childhood) or he did not have the intelligence to learn how to read and write! To support their claim of “Literal Miracle” Muslim Scholars resorted to this obvious lie and interestingly reached consensus on it! For a detailed argument on this subject see Quran: a Reformist Translation.

[12]       Meccan Arabs initially called Muhammad and his followers, “Sabeen” meaning “followers of other religions.”

[13]       The famous atheist philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, was so fed up with the abuse and exploitation of the Church, he opened a scorching attack on clergymen. He wrote, “As long as the priest is considered a higher type of man—this professional negator, slanderer, and poisoner of life—there is no answer to the question: what is truth? For truth has been stood on its head when the conscious advocate of nothingness and negation is accepted as the representative of “truth.” … In Christianity neither morality nor religion has even a single point of contact with reality.…  This world of pure fiction is vastly inferior to the world of dreams insofar as the latter mirrors reality, whereas the former falsifies, devalues, and negates reality. Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist, in The Portable Nietzsche, ed. and trans. Walter Kaufmann (New York: Viking, 1954).

[14]  The following verse, 9:99, makes an exception of this statement.

[15]       [Two year after this debate, the RTQ was published by Brainbowpress and it is available at brainbowpress.com, amazon.com and quranix.com]

[16]       [I do not wish to be misunderstood, since Wikipedia.org is an impressive site containing so much valuable information. I use it all the time. Though the information there is usually reliable, its use for proving a point in an academic debate is limited and cannot be relied on without critical evaluation or corroborative research. In pursuit of knowledge in serious matters, Wikipedia might be a good starting point, but not the last station.]

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The illegitimate child of 9 beasts

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The illegitimate child of 9 beasts

Edip Yuksel, J.D.
www.19.org
(Incorporating my speech at University of North Carolina at Greensboro in February 16, 2016)

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

The US Defense Department employs 3.2 million people, making it world’s largest employer, with $500 billion annual budget.

For the incomplete list of some videos, see the links below

2016-01-25 Ayaan Hirsi Ali asking for 45 thousand dollars 2

According to the holy books of the Judeo Christian Islamic religions, the first crime committed by the children of Adam was greed and murder. The Quran refers to this flaw even before the creation of Adam. Angels question the wisdom in creating a successor (caliph) of a blood-shedding creature which preceeded homo sapiens.

After reaching the eggs of the chosen female, as the champion sperms, most of us caused the eggs to close their entrances and condemned the other millions of our brothers to death. Whether we like it or not, we started as a selfish gene by causing the demise of millions of viable yet a bit slower or unlucky sperms like us. We are merely the children of murderers who call themselves victors throughout the history. We also started our lives by mass-murdering potential brothers. We are the children of Cane; we are the survivors of ferocious wars, both in macro and micro worlds.

Just in last century, we the children of Adam, killed millions of each other, left millions of orphans and handicapped people. We spend great amount of effort, all sorts, commit our finances, best brains, time, and soul into developing the most horrible weapons to kill another brother and sister sharing this planet with us. We do not commit a fraction of it to promote peace and find peaceful resolutions to our conflicts. In fact, we are eager and greedy to seek conflict and we are hasty into dropping bombs on top of each other’s homes. We might be singing peace and talk about love in our churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, but when we get out, we fill with hatred of those buildings we cheer for bigger military, more weapons and more wars.

As an activist whose books, lectures, TV debates, and youtube videos have changed the hearts and minds of thousands of religious radicals, including dozens of terrorists from Al-Qaida and ISIS, I believe that I know a working formula for global peace. In order to reduce violence, terror, national or international wars, first we need to understand the nature of each factor and their interaction. We must promote global and local peace, much stronger than those who have vested interest in wars.

The Islamist (read Sunni/Salafi) Terrorism is the illegitimate child of minimum 9 beasts

Both East and West, all religions and nationalities, we all contribute to the ecology that produces and nourishes the most diabolic of all human activities: killing each other. The invasions, domestic or international conflicts, terror, religious or nationalistic wars are directly or indirectly the product of the following major factors:

  1. Culture of violence: Insensitivity to human life and dignity, promoted by idolized historic characters, proverbs, films, video games, songs. This is an indirect and subtle factor; but it makes youth easier target of the recruiters by both by military and terror organizations.
  2. Consumerism, Capitalism, Imperialism: In other words, invasions, exploitation and enslavement.
  3. Military Industrial Complex: Making profits from killing each other. Influencing governments to create conflicts to stimulate bloody market and create more demand for the product; weapons.
  4. Plutocracy: Big corporations infects domestic and foreign policies with money and blood.
  5. Identity problem: Immigrant population in the West, condemned to poverty in ghettos and prisons, suffer identity problem. Their socio-economic isolation and psychological alienation from the native population leads them to seek identity, hope and honor in gangs and terror organizations.
  6. Anger: Western military invasions, meddling with political process of developing countries and their insensitivity towards the plight of the third world population, such Palestinian suffering for generations.
  7. Dictatorship and Corruption: Corrupt and ruthless kings, some of which supported by the West, such as Saudi Arabia, fight to grab power that leads to vicious circle of internal fights, state and anti-state terror, torture, corruption, atrocities.
  8. The misogynistic religious teachings and traditions. Which shapes the minds of children starting from family, promotes the iron rule “might makes it right,” rather than empathy and compassion.
  9. Religion and dogmatic ideologies: The backward and barbaric religious teachings and the bloody history of Sunni/Shiite sects add fire, passion, perseverance and sacrifice into the mix. All polytheistic religions glorify blind acceptance of stories and instructions under the word “faith” and gives immense power to religious leaders. Depending on political climate, religion is used as opium of masses and/or courage pill. It takes dogmas to turn a good person into a bad one. The Old Testament, The New and the Final Testament, all contains verses justifying violence. Their interpretation and application differs widely. (Edward Jones: Mutual Funds, stocks. Christians prefer investing in stocks without alcohol, pornography, etc. But they do not care about investing in military industry). Reform in all religions…
2016-04-05 Terrorism illegitimate child of 9 beasts

Peacemakers Guide to Warmongers and Manifesto for Islamic Reform

Without acknowledging and knowing all these intertwined sources, the diagnosis and cure for terrorism will be misguided.

The Facts Contradict the Official Account

Terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda are widely seen as being motivated by their radical theology. A theology which I have rejected and exposed in my books, articles, speeches since 1986, risking my life. But according to Robert Pape, a political scientist at the University of Chicago and founder of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, this view is too simplistic. Pape knows his subject; he and his colleagues have studied every suicide attack in the world since 1980, evaluating over 4,600 in all.

Pape’s research, underlying the outward expressions of religious fervor, ISIS’s goals, like those of most terrorist groups, are distinctly earthly:

“What 95 percent of all suicide attacks have in common, since 1980, is not religion, but a specific strategic motivation to respond to a military intervention, often specifically a military occupation, of territory that the terrorists view as their homeland or prize greatly. From Lebanon and the West Bank in the 80s and 90s, to Iraq and Afghanistan, and up through the Paris suicide attacks we’ve just experienced in the last days, military intervention—and specifically when the military intervention is occupying territory—that’s what prompts suicide terrorism more than anything else.” (Joshua Holland, Here’s What a Man Who Studied Every Suicide Attack in the World Says About ISIS’ Motives, The Nation, 2 December 2015)

There are many similar studies and observation contradicting the official narrative promoted by the mainstream Western media. For instance, Lydia Wilson, declared this fact in the title of her article published in The Nation in October 21, 2015: “What I Discovered From Interviewing Imprisoned ISIS Fighters: They’re drawn to the movement for reasons that have little to do with belief in extremist Islam.” A quote from one of the ISIS members tells the most obvious fact craftily hidden in the Western media: “The Americans came. … They took away Saddam, but they also took away our security. I didn’t like Saddam, we were starving then, but at least we didn’t have war. When you came here, the civil war started.”

The Bloody Propaganda Machine

Since 9/11 we have seen inflation in the numbers of the so-called “expert on terrorism” or “expert on radical muslims” or “former radical muslim”. Almost all follow exactly the same talking points, promoting the propaganda of the state via the mainstream media. Their entire job is to hide the main causes of radicalism. While they are very eager to condemn every “muslim terrorists” they never condemn the invasions, massacres, atrocities committed by Jewish or Christian terrorists and their governments.

Enter Daniel Pipes, a Zionist zealot. He has great talent in spinning the facts and hiding more facts.  He, like American politicians and media, never criticized the pictures of Israeli children writing messages on Israeli missiles, or Israeli citizens celebrating the bombing of civilians in Gaza, or numerous other racist aggressions by settlers against Arabs. But, he has powerful words, mostly accurate criticism against Muslims:

“Violence is the headline topic relating to Muslims, whether large-scale plots (Paris) or sudden jihad syndrome lone wolves (San Bernardino), but violence is hardly the whole problem. Muslim hostility toward non-Muslims takes many other forms, such as teaching Islamic supremacism in mosques, spewing anti-Semitism in the streets, and threatening anyone who dares publicly to criticize Islam. Issues concerning women include female genital mutilation, honor killings, polygyny, and forced marriages. Islamic mores lead to strong antipathies against seeing-eye dogs, mixed swimming pool usage, and homosexuals.” (Daniel Pipes, Washington Times, December 11, 2015)

Enter American media and political elite. You never hear them condemning Israel’s fascist policy, aggression, occupation, land-grab, massacres, and barbarism against Palestinians. For instance, in August 2014, Israel attacked Gaza, killing more than 2000 Palestinians, 500 of them being children. During that “conflict” Israel lost only 1 civilian and 2 soldiers, yes only 2 occupying soldiers, more accurately Gestapo, who lost their lives while killing Palestinian children, literally. No Western leader or mass media used the word “Jewish Terrorists”.

The lives of 2000 Palestinians, and 500 children had virtually no value. They were busy propagating the lie about how scary the 1500 rockets showered by Hamas. No major American media, no think-tank, no terror expert or politician questioned the veracity of such information. While Israel was committing genocide against Palestinians, they were busy talking about 1500 rockets scaring poor Israelis…

They never asked the simple question: How come the 1500 evil rockets acted like 1500 evil peanuts, killing none? Well, I should mention one event, which was shown on every channel numerous times: A pumpkin size hole in the middle of a road somewhere in Israel. That half-a-meter whole, was reportedly created by a terrorist rocket! There was nothing else. They would zoom in and out of that hole. They also showed another scene, even more pathetic than that: Israelis rushing for shelters, while acting a bit scared from the noise of the sirens, created by, well, the very Israeli government. It was like watching a horror-comedy film, with cheap special effects. The media, through that theatrics managed to cover and even justify the barbarism and atrocities committed by the fascist Israeli government.

Almost all US senators, congressmen, including the President who won Nobel Peace Prize, entered in line to kiss the Zionist ass, accusing Palestinians for the massacre. They all sent their heart-felt condolences to Israel for losing her two brave soldiers! Yes, soldiers!

The survey by Gallup conducted in 2010 contradicted the official or mainstream propaganda… More American Christians and Jews than Muslims justified the killing of civilians by military.  The following graph is from an articled titled “Most Muslim Americans See No Justification for Violence” by Nicole Naurath, published in August 2, 2011 at Gallup.com

2016-04-10 Gallup Pol and terrorism

In fact, we do not need any polls to witness the warmongers among Christians. Some of the popular GOP presidential candidates promised to CARPET BOMB Syria, or “kill the families of terrorists” and they received the passionate support of millions of religious or racist Americans.

The Old Testament contains numerous instructions for violence and terror, which cannot be attributed to a benevolent and just God. They are mixed and introduced together with beautiful and constructive instructions:

“Joshua and his men utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox, sheep and ass, with the edge of the sword.” (Joshua 6:20-21).

“Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” (1Samuel 15:3)

“Israel’s God will direct his jealous anger against Babylonians, Chaldeans, Pekod, Shoa, Koa, and the Assyrians, and they will be dealt with in fury. Their noses and ears will be cut off, and they will fall by the sword. Their sons and daughters will be taken, and those who are left will be consumed by fire.” (Ezekiel 23:25)

In the Manifesto for Islamic Reform, I have listed several dozens of Biblical verses expressing the cruel, violence, racist and misogynistic teachings of the Old Testament, which pales compared to Thalmud.

The New Testament, however, contains a different teaching. Nevertheless, since the New Testament relies on many verses of the Old Testament and there are ambiguities regarding the degree of its validity for Christians, Christians have justified many barbaric acts, atrocities, and torture by using and abusing the verses of both Old and New Testaments. For instance, see:

  • Mat 5:17-19, 29-30;
  • Mat 10:34;
  • Mat 19:12;
  • Mat 21:19;
  • John 15:6 (was abused by the church and used together with Exodus 22:18 to burn witches)
  • 1 Peter 2:13-14 (following this instruction, many atrocities and wars were committed by Christians)

Modern Crusaders do not directly fight as they used to in medieval times. They now sing peace in their churches while voting for warmongers and promoting militarism. Instead of quoting verses from their holy books that instructs its adherents to burn and stone infidels, destroy cities and kill every living being including babies, they now use modern secular propaganda filled with euphemism and doubletalk. They do not hesitate to establish coalitions with nationalists, capitalists, or Zionists. They have mutated with time and learned how to use secular governments and their militaries as proxy warriors for their bloody crusades. In fact, nothing has changed much: the king and the pope are toasting blood and these stooges are their public relation knights and bishops![1]

Merchants of Terror or Useful Idiots

Enter Zuhdi Jasser, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and numerous other so-called experts on Islamic Terror. Zuhdi Jasser is one of the Arabs with inferiority complex who is more for Zionists than Zionists for themselves. He is Fox News’ favorite useful idiot and is supported with hundreds of thousands of dollars and media exposure. He shamelessly promoted the invasion of Iraq and never apologized for the lies promoted by his Neocon masters.

When a few months ago he was invited by rapture-freak Evangelical Christians to the James Roger College of Law, my alma meter, I decided to confront him there. I took my camcorder and decided to record my confrontation and exposure of this stooge. Well, the organizers did not allow my recording, thereby proving their cowardice.

When I questioned Zuhdi Jasser and accused him of hypocrisy of not condemning Israel for the killing of more than 2000 Palestinians, 500 of them being Children; he acted like a coward as he is, and changed the subject. In order not to be exposed further, he escaped from the lecture hall like a zebra… I followed him to confront him and record my confrontation, but I could not find him around. He literally ran away and hid himself somewhere. I have no respect for these sorts bloody warmongers, just because they are well-groomed and talk fluently; they are the lowliest people on earth and they are merely well-paid useful idiots.

How much are they paid? Say, for a two-hour panel? If I was going to guess, I would say 500 (five hundred) dollars. Before reading further, please think of Ayaan Hirsi Ali? I bet the chances are you don’t know her. She is not Hillary Clinton, nor she is Angelina Jolie… She has no relationship with my favorite singer, Adele, either. Well, we wanted to have a diverse list of panelists for our conference on 16 February 2016 at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Ayaan Hirsi Ali was among the short list. Professor Askerov sent her an invitation. Here is what we got from her on 25th of January 2016:

Hello Dr. Askerov:

I was forwarded your email inviting Ayaan Hirsi Ali to speak at UNCG in February.  Worldwide Speakers Group represents Ms. Hirsi Ali for her speaking engagements, and I’d be delighted to assist. 

Ms. Hirsi Ali’s speaking honorarium is $45,000 plus local travel and expenses for 3.  Should you wish to proceed, I will send you our firm offer form – this is the vehicle by which we share the details/timing/audience and client expectations with our speakers.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards,

Caris

There are many well-paid or appointed talking heads in the media, whose entire job is to misinform the public and hide the real causes of terrorism and the real solutions. They serve the military industrial complex and other multinational corporations.

The biggest terror organizations

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

Examples of STATE TERRORISM due to RACISM and NATIONALISM

  • 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

Examples of STATE TERRORISM due to IMPERIALISM and COLONIALISM:

  • 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.

Here is the bloody vicious cycle:

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

Wars? Terrorism?  It is bloody good business!

The peacemakers of the world should unite their voices and forces against militaristic government policies, nationalism, fascism, military-industrial complex, and they must confront corporations, organizations and individuals that promote wars among the children of Adam. We should not discriminate among warmongers, the followers of Cain, because of their color, religious or political affiliations, titles, nationalities, or the fashions of their grooming! Warmongers belong to the same pack; they need each other to fan the flames of hate and war. If we spent a fraction of our money and effort to establish peace on earth, rather than wasting it on war machines, we would have a much better world. As a muslim (peacemaker), I have dedicated my life to confronting the enemies of peace and I invite you to join our efforts. Peacemakers of the world, we must transcend national and religious barriers and unite for peace, justice, and progress!

Edip Yuksel (E) Speech at European Parliament on Human Rights

Edip Yuksel (E) A Bloody Good Business UNCG ½

Edip Yuksel (E) Noam Chomsky – Democracy, Plutocracy, Palestinians, Kurds

Edip Yuksel (E) Beheading in Sunni Religion and verse 47:4

Edip Yuksel (E) Random Pakistani at Dubai Airport TÜRKÇE ALTYAZILI

Edip Yuksel (E) Islamic Reform – Freedom of Expression

 

Below is an incomplete list of the causes and promoters of bloody wars and terrorism. I published the list in my book, Peacemaker’s Guide to Warmongers.

ABC

Aegis Defence Serv.

AIPAC

Airal Sharon

AirScan

Alan Dershowitz

Alberto Gonzales

Al-Qaeda

American Enterprise Inst.

Ann Coulter

ArmorGroup

Army of Mahdi

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Basij-e Mostaz’afin

Benjamin Netanyahu

Beverly LaHaye

Bill Graham

Bill Kristol

Bill Warner

Blackwater (Xe)

Bush Family Co.

Boeing Co.

Brigitte Gabriel

CAMERA

Campus Watch

CBS

CIA

Charles Krauthammer

Christopher Hitchens

CNN

Custer Battles

Daniel Pipes

David Brooks

David Horowitz

Debbie Schlussel

Dick Cheney

Donald Rumsfeld

Doug Feith

DynCorp

Eliot Cohen

Elliott Abrams

Eric Prince

Estee Lauder

Foreign Policy Initiative

FOX News

Fouad Ajami

Geert Wilders

General Dynamics

Glenn Beck

Hal Lindsey

Haliburton

Health Net Inc

Heritage Foundation

Honneywell

Hughes

Ibn Waraq

IDF

IFCJ

IRGC

Iranian Mullahs

Israel Aircraft Indust.

Israel Military Indust.

Israel Weapon Indust.

Jack Hayford

JINSA

John Bolton

John Hagee

John Yoo

Joseph Alois Ratzinger

Joseph Lieberman

Jundullah

Karl Rove

Kimberly Kagan

L-3 Communications

Lashkar-e-Taiba

Left-Behind Crusaders

Lewis Scooter Libby

Lindsey Graham

Lockheed Martin

Mark Steyn

Michael Savage

Michelle Malkin

Mormon Church

Motorola

Mulla Omar

NBC

Neal Boortz

Neocons

New Grounds

Newt Gingrich

The New Republic

Nonie Darwish

Northrop Grumman

Osama Bin Laden

Pat Robertson

Paul Wolfowitz

Peter King

PNAC

Rafael Development Corp.

Raytheon Co.

Richard Armitage

Richard Perle

Rupert Murdoch

Rockxell

Rudy Giuliani

Rush Limbaugh

Sam Harris

Sarah Palin

Sean Hannity

Science Applications

Shimon Peres

Radovan Karadzic

Religious Right (Wrong)

Robert Kagan

Robert Spencer

Shiites for Sharia Law

Starbucks

Steven Emerson

Sunnis for Sharia Law

Taliban

Textron

Tim LaHaye

Titan Corp.

Tom DeLay

Tony Blair

Triple Canopy

Tzipi Livni

TRW Inc.

United Technologies

USA-MIC

Valayat-i Faqih

Victoria’s Secret

Vinnel Corp

Wafa Sultan

Walid Shoebat

Wall Street Journal

Warner Brothers

William Kristol

Xe (Blackwater)

Zionists

Zuhdi Jasser

 

Mandarin:          和平

Hindi:                    शांति

Arabic:                  سلام

Russian:               мир

Malay:                  Keamanan

Bengali:                শান্তি

Spanish:               Paz

German:                              Frieden

Urdu:                    امن

Turkish: Barış

Persian: صلح

French:                 Paix

Japanese:            平和

Korean:                평화

Javanese:            Rukun

Swahili: Amani

Hebrew:                               שָׁלוֹם

Kurdish:               Aşitî

[1]        As of October 2009, the Iraqi Death Estimator at www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq estimates 1,339,771 Iraqi deaths due to U.S.-led invasion, which deliberately started a civil war between the Shiite and Sunni Iraqis in order to crush the popular uprising against its brutal invasion, massacres, plundering, rape and torture. This is only Iraq! For the list of other atrocities and war crimes perpetrated by the West and Church see the article From Wounded Knee To Iraq: a Century Of U.S. Military Interventions.

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Reformist Translation vs Sectarian Translations

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From the Introduction of
QURAN: a REFORMIST TRANSLATION
by Edip Yuksel, Layth al-Shaiban, Martha Nafeh-Schulte

Sample Comparisons

On the following pages, you will find several comparisons between our translation and that of traditional orthodox English renditions of the Quran. By the word “tradition,” we refer to the works that heavily rely on hearsay reports such as hadith, sunna, and sectarian jurisprudence. We chose to compare our work primarily with the translation of Yusuf Ali, Pickthall, and Shakir, since they reflect most of the common errors and ­distortions, and because they are popular translations among the English-speaking Sunni population. We use standard reference numbers in referring to specific passages of the Quran: the number preceding the colon is always the chapter number, and the subsequent numbers are always verse numbers.

Should Men Beat Their Wives?

A famous (and controversial) passage in the Quran has brought about a great deal of misunderstanding about Islam. When in 1989, I started translating the Quran to Turkish, verse 4:34 was among a few verses that I noted down on an orange paper for further research. I had problem with my understanding of it and I let its solution to God, in accordance to the instruction of verse 20:114. I shared the story of my discovery of its original meaning with my Turkish readers in “Errors in Turkish Translations of the Quran” (1992). Below are three translations of that verse, reflecting a deformed mindset followed by our translation:

! Disputed passage: The traditional rendering is: you may beat them.

Yusuf Ali Pickthall Shakir Reformist
Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all). (4:34) Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for their support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then, if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High Exalted, Great. (4:34) Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great. (4:34) The men are to support the women by what God has gifted them over one another and for what they spend of their money. The reformed women are devotees and protectors of privacy what God has protected. As for those women from whom you fear disloyalty, then you shall advise them, abandon them in the bedchamber, and separate from them; if they obey you, then do not seek a way over them; God is High, Great. (4:34)

DISCUSSION OF 4:34

“Verse 4:34 of the Quran orders Muslims to beat their wives; therefore, Islam is a male-dominant religion.” Many of us have heard this criticism from Christians, Atheists, Agnostics, and others. Though wife-beating is not a Muslim specialty, and domestic violence is an endemic problem in the West as well as the East, the issue nevertheless is whether it is justified by God. Most people reading conventional translations of 4:34 feel that something is deeply wrong. How could God, the Most Wise order us to beat our women? What kind of solution is that? It appears to be in contrast to the verses in which God describes marriage:

“Among His signs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, in order to have tranquility and contentment with each other. He places in your heart love and care towards your spouses. In this, there are signs for people who think.” (30:21)

Obviously, these mixed messages have bothered many contemporary translators of the Quran. To avoid the moral and intellectual problems, they try to soften the word “beat” when they translate the verse 4:34. For instance, Yusuf Ali uses a merciful parenthesis after “beat,” adding the word “(lightly).” This insertion does not appear in the Arabic text; it serves as a kind of apology for his translation of the surrounding material.

Later, Rashad Khalifa, a leading figure in the modern Islamic reform movement, rather than questioning the orthodox translation of the word, demonstrates his discomfort with his own version of orthodox translation by an implausible argument in the footnote and a contradictory subtitle before the verse: “Do not beat your wife.” (However, Rashad Khalifa does not duplicate the orthodox distortion of other key words in the verse).

Many orthodox translators have tried to beat around the bush when it comes to explaining this passage, and perhaps just as many have beaten a hasty retreat from those inquiring after the author’s intention — but all have found themselves, in the end, beaten by 4:34.

Now please reread the sentence above. You will see that the word “beat” has been used three times, conveying totally different meanings each time: a verbal phrase meaning “avoid approaching directly” (“beat around the bush”); a verbal phrase meaning “depart quickly” (“beat a hasty retreat”) and the status of having been defeated (“beaten”). Interestingly, the Arabic verb traditionally translated by male translators as “beat” or “scourge” — iDRiBuhunne – also has numerous different meanings in Arabic, which is reflected by the Quran.

When I finished the Turkish translation (1991), this verse was on the top of my list to study carefully. Whenever I encounter a problem regarding the understanding of a Quranic verse, I remember 20:114 and pray accordingly: “Most Exalted is God, the only true King. Do not rush into (understanding) the Quran before it is revealed to you, and say, ‘My Lord, increase my knowledge.'”

Almost all of the translations have mistranslated the four key words or terms of this particular verse. These are:

  • Qawwamun;
  • Faddallallahu ba’dahum ala ba’d;
  • Nushuzahunna; and
  • Fadribuhunna

In one of my books published in Turkey in 1992, “Errors in Turkish Translations,” I discussed the real meaning of these words and the motivation and reasons for mistranslating them. Let’s first start from the last one.

A Famous Multiple-Meaning Word

The main problem comes from the word iDRiBuhunna, which has traditionally been translated as “beat them.” The root of this word is DaRaBa. If you look at any Arabic dictionary, you will find a long list of meanings ascribed to this word. In fact, you will find that that list is one of the longest lists in your Arabic dictionary. It can be said that DaRaBa is the number-one multiple-meaning word in Arabic. It has so many different meanings; we can find numerous different meanings ascribed to it in the Quran.

  • To travel, to get out: 3:156; 4:101; 38:44; 73:20; 2:273
  • To strike: 2:60,73; 7:160; 8:12; 20:77; 24:31; 26:63; 37:93; 47:4
  • To beat: 8:50; 47:27
  • To set up: 43:58; 57:13
  • To give (examples): 14:24,45; 16:75,76,112; 18:32,45; 24:35; 30:28,58; 36:78; 39:27,29; 43:17; 59:21; 66:10,11
  • To take away, to ignore: 43:5
  • To condemn: 2:61
  • To seal, to draw over: 18:11
  • To cover: 24:31
  • To explain: 13:17

As you see, in the Quran alone we can attest to the verb DaRaBa having at least ten different meanings. DaRaBa also has other meanings that are not mentioned in the Quran. For example, in modern Arabic, you do not print money–you DaRaBa money. You do not multiply numbers–you DaRaBa numbers. You do not cease doing work–you DaRaBa doing work. In Turkish, we have many verbs similar to the Arabic DaRaBa, such as Çalmak, which means to play, steal, or strike. In English, we have two verbs that are almost equivalent to DaRaBa. These are “strike” and “beat.” Consider, for the sake of comparison, that Webster’s Dictionary gives fourteen different meanings for the verb “to strike,” and eight for the verb “to beat”! (One strikes a match, strikes a deal, strikes an opponent, strikes gold, goes “on strike” against an unfair employer; one beats another team, beats out a rhythm, beats a retreat, and so on.).

Finding the Appropriate Meaning

Whenever we encounter a multiple-meaning word in the Quran we must select the proper meaning (or meanings) given the context, the Arabic forms, the usage of the same word elsewhere in the Quran, and a certain amount of common sense. For instance, if one were to translate DaRaBa in 13:17 as “beat” (as one could conceivably do), the meaning would be ridiculous:

.” . . God thus beats truth and falsehood…” (13:17)

A more sensitive rendering of the context, however, yields a better translation:

“… God thus explains truth and falsehood…” (13:17)

Another example of mistranslation of DaRaBa can be found in the translation of 38:44. Almost all the translations inject a rather silly story to justify their rendering of the passage. Here is how Yusuf Ali translates the first portion of this verse, which is about Job:

“And take in the hand a little grass, and strike therewith: and break not (the oath).” (38:44)

Yusuf Ali, in the footnote, narrates the traditional story: “He (Job) must have said in his haste to the woman that he would beat her: he is asked now to correct her with only a wisp of grass, to show that he was gentle and humble as well as patient and constant”.

However, without assuming the existence of this strange, male-viewpoint story (which has no other reference in the Quran), we can translate the verse as:

Yusuf Ali Reformist
And take in thy hand a little grass, and strike therewith: and break not (thy oath)… (38:44) Take in your hand a bundle and travel with it, and do not break your oath… (38:44)

Another Take on 4:34

In keeping with the translation we have used in 38:44, we translate the controversial “beating” portion of 4:34 as “leave her” (Literally, the phrase might also be rendered “strike them out,” meaning, in essence, “Separate yourselves from such wives.”).

Additionally, the word nushuz, which is generally translated as “opposition” or “rebellion” in 4:34, has another meaning. If we study 4:34 carefully we will find a clue that leads us to translate that word as embracing a range of related ideas, from “flirting” to “engaging in an extramarital affair” – indeed, any word or words that reflects the range of disloyalty in marriage. The clue is the phrase before nushuz, which reads: “… they honor them according to God’s commandments, even when alone in their privacy.” This phrase emphasizes the importance of loyalty in marriage life, and helps us to make better sense of what follows.

Interestingly, the same word, nushuz, is used later in the same chapter, in 4:128 – but it is used to describe the misbehavior of husbands, not wives, as it was in 4:34. In our view, the traditional translation of nushuz, that is, “opposition” will not fit in both contexts. However, the understanding of nushuz as marital disloyalty, in a variety of forms, is clearly appropriate for both 4:34 and 4:128.

The fourth key word is QaNiTat, which means “devoted to God,” and in some verses is used to describe both man and woman (2:116,238; 3:17,43; 16:120; 30:26; 33:31,35; 39:9; 66:5,12). Though this word is mostly translated correctly as “obedient,” when read in the context of the above-mentioned distortion it conveys a false message implying women must be “obedient” to their husbands as their inferiors. The word is mentioned as a general description of Muslim women (66:12), and more interestingly as a description of Mary who, according to the Quran, did not even have a husband! (66:12).

A Coherent Understanding

When we read 4:34, we should not understand iDRiBuhunna as “beat those women.” We should, instead, remember that this word has multiple meanings. God gives us three ways of dealing with marital disloyalty on the part of a wife. In the beginning stage of such misbehavior, the husband should begin to address the problem by giving advice. If this does not work, he should stop sleeping in the same bed and see if this produces a change in behavior. And if there is still no improvement in the situation, the husband has the right to compel a separation.

The Quran gives analogous rights to women who must deal with disloyal husbands (4:128); this is in accordance with the principle that women have “similar” rights to men in such situations, as stated clearly in 2:228. These would hardly be “similar” rights if women had to suffer physical beatings for marital disloyalty, and men did not!

Beating women who are cheating and betraying the marriage contract is not an ultimate solution, and it is not consistent with the promise of equitability and comparable rights that appears in 2:228. (This is an important consideration, because the Quran proclaims, and Muslims believe, that it is utterly free from inconsistencies.) But “striking out” the disloyal wives – that is, separating from them — is consistent, and it is the best solution. It is also fair.

Should Thieves’ Hands Be Cut Off?

If non-Muslims “know” anything about Islam, it is that they “know” that the Quran mandates a severe punishment for thieves: the cutting off of their hands. Here are three traditional translations of the famous passage on the left and our translation on the right:

! Disputed passage: Traditional translations render the punishment for thieves as “cut off,” while the verb has other meanings too.

Yusuf Ali Pickthall Shakir Reformist
As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands: a punishment by way of example, from Allah, for their crime: and Allah is Exalted in power. (5:38)  As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (5:38) And (as for) the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands as a punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah; and Allah is Mighty, Wise. (5:38) The male thief, and the female thief, you shall mark, cut, or cut-off their hands/means as a punishment for their crime, and to serve as a deterrent from God. God is Noble, Wise. (5:38)

DISCUSSION OF 5:38

The Quran often uses words with more than one applicable and relevant meaning. This leads to verses that mean two, three, or more things at the same time, verses that make the translator’s job exquisitely difficult.

We come now to such a verse. The verb form we translated as “mark, cut, or cut off” comes from a root verb — QaTa’A – that occurs in the Quran many times. In almost all of its occurrences in the Quran, this verb means “to sever a relationship” or “to end an act.” Only in two instances (12:31 and 12:50) is this verb clearly used to describe a physical cutting; in another instance (69:46), the verb might possibly be interpreted in that way. A related form of this same verb — one that implies repetition or severity of action — occurs in the Quran seventeen times. This particular form is used to mean physically cutting off; or as a metaphor for the severing of a relationship; or to describe physically cutting or marking, but not cutting off.

Thus, the verse recommending punishment for theft or burglary, in the context of the Quran and its terminology (and not the terminology or interpretation attributed to Muhammed or his followers) provides us with a single verb … but one that God has permitted to incorporate a range of possible penalties. For instance:

  • Cutting or marking the person’s hands as a means of public humiliation and identification;
  • Physically cutting off the person’s hands; or
  • Cutting off the person’s means and resources to steal and burglarize (presumably through rehabilitation or imprisonment).

The act of imposing any of these penalties, or any of their combinations, would of course depend on the facts of each case, the culpability and mental capacity of the accused, and the ability of the society as a whole to act in accordance with God’s other instructions in the Quran. Note, for instance, that a Muslim society cannot punish a hungry person for stealing food, since letting a member of the society go hungry is a much bigger crime than the act of stealing food. Such a society actually demonstrates the characteristics of a society of unappreciative people! (See 107:1-7; 89:17-20; and 90:6-20). Considering theft solely as an individual crime, and advocating the severest possible interpretation of the Quran in rendering punishment, is neither fair nor consistent with the scripture.

Should Muslims Levy an Extra Tax on Non-Muslims?

Verse 9:29 is mistranslated by almost every translator. Shakir translates the Arabic word jizya as “tax,” Pickthall as “tribute.” Yusuf Ali, somehow does not translate the word at all. He leaves the meaning of the word at the mercy of distortions:

! Disputed passage: The meaning of the Arabic word jizya (reparation/compensation) has been distorted to mean extra tax for non-Muslims.

Yusuf Ali Pickthall Shakir Reformist
“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (9:29) Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low. (9:29) Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latte day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. (9:29)  Fight those who do not acknowledge God nor the Last day from among the people who received the book; they do not forbid what God and His messenger have forbidden, and they do not uphold the system of truth; until they pay the reparation, in humility. (9:29)

DISCUSSION OF 9:29

We should be reminded that the context of the verse is about the War of Hunain, and fighting is allowed only for self-defense. See: 2:190-193, 256; 4:91; and 60:8-9.

Furthermore, note that we suggest REPARATION instead of Arabic word jizya. The meaning of jizya has been distorted as a tax on non-Muslims, which was invented long after Muhammed to further the imperialistic agenda of Kings. The origin of the word that we translated as Compensation is JaZaYa, which simply means compensation or, in the context of war, means war reparations, not tax. Since the enemies of Muslims attacked and aggressed, after the war they are required to compensate for the damage they inflicted on the peaceful community. Various derivatives of this word are used in the Quran frequently, and they are translated as compensation for a particular deed.

Unfortunately, the distortion in the meaning of the verse above and the practice of collecting a special tax from Christians and Jews, contradict the basic principle of the Quran that there should not be compulsion in religion and there should be freedom of belief and expression (2:256; 4:90; 4:137; 10:99; 18:29; 88:21, 22). Since taxation based on religion creates financial duress on people to convert to the privileged religion, it violates this important Quranic principle. Dividing a population that united under a social contract (constitution) into privileged groups based on their religion contradicts many principles of the Quran, including justice, peace, and brotherhood/sisterhood of all humanity.

Some uninformed critics or bigoted enemies of the Quran list verses of the Quran dealing with wars and declare Islam to be a religion of violence. Their favorite verses are: 2:191; 3:28; 3:85; 5:10,34; 9:5; 9:28-29; 9:123; 14:17; 22:9; 25: 52; 47:4 and 66:9. In this article, I refuted their argument against 9:29, and I will discuss each of the verses later.

Some followers of Sunni or Shiite religions abuse 9:5 or 9:29 by taking them out of their immediate and Quranic context. Sunnis and Shiites follow many stories and instructions falsely attributed to Muhammed that justify terror and aggression, which is currently used as a pretext and propaganda tool by imperialist or neocolonialist powers to justify their ongoing terror and aggression against countries with predominantly Muslim population, surely with much sophisticated weapons and destructive effect. For instance, in a so-called authentic (or authentically fabricated) hadith, after arresting the murderers of his shepherd, the prophet and his companions cut their arms and legs off, gouged their eyes with hot nails and left them dying from thirst in the desert, a contradiction to the portrayal of Muhammed’s mission in the Quran (21:107; 3:159). In another authentically fabricated hadith, the prophet is claimed to send a gang during night to secretly kill a female poet who criticized him in her poetry, a violation of the teaching of the Quran! (2:256; 4:140; 10:99; 18:29; 88:21-22). Despite these un-Quranic teachings, the aggressive elements among Sunni and Shiite populations have almost always been a minority.

Can One Marry Underage Orphans?

A passage of the Quran has persistently been interpreted as sanctioning marriage to young orphan girls:

! Disputed passage: The traditional rendering suggests that the objects of marital intention are the orphans, not the mothers.

Yusuf Ali Pickthall Shakir Reformist
“They ask thy instruction concerning the women say: Allah doth instruct you about them: And (remember) what hath been rehearsed unto you in the Book, concerning the orphans of women to whom ye give not the portions prescribed, and yet whom ye desire to marry, as also concerning the children who are weak and oppressed: that ye stand firm for justice to orphans. There is not a good deed which ye do, but Allah is well-acquainted therewith.” (4:127)  They consult thee concerning women. Say: Allah giveth you decree concerning them, and the Scripture which hath been recited unto you (giveth decree), concerning female orphans and those unto whom ye give not that which is ordained for them though ye desire to marry them, and (concerning) the weak among children, and that ye should deal justly with orphans. Whatever good ye do, lo! Allah is ever Aware of it. (4:127) And they ask you a decision about women. Say: Allah makes known to you His decision concerning them, and that which is recited to you in the Book concerning female orphans whom you do not give what is appointed for them while you desire to marry them, and concerning the weak among children, and that you should deal towards orphans with equity; and whatever good you do, Allah surely knows it. (4:127) They ask you for divine instruction concerning women. Say, “God instructs you regarding them, as has been recited for you in the book about the rights of orphans whose mothers you want to marry without giving them their legal rights. You shall observe the rights of helpless children, and your duty to treat orphans with equity. Whatever good you do, God has full knowledge of it. (4:127) 

DISCUSSION OF 4:127

Though the Quran permits polygamy for men (4:3), it severely discourages its actual practice by requiring certain significant preconditions: men may marry more than one wife only if the later ones are widows with children, and they should treat each wife equally and fairly. (See 4:19-20; 127-129.). Unfortunately, verse 4:127 has been traditionally misinterpreted and mistranslated in such a way as to suggest that God permits marriage with juvenile orphans. This is clearly not the case.

The Arabic expression yatama-l nisai-l lati in 4:127 has been routinely mistranslated as “women orphans, whom…” The expression is also sometimes translated as “orphans of women whom…” This later translation, though accurate, makes the crucial reference of the objective pronoun “whom” ambiguous: Does the phrase after “whom” describe orphans or women?

As it happens, the Arabic plural pronoun in this verse is the female form, allaty (not the male form allazyna), and it can only refer to the women just referenced, not to the orphans. This is because the Arabic word yatama (orphans) is male in gender!

All the English translations of the Quran that we have seen have mistranslated this passage. This is remarkable, because correct translation requires only an elementary knowledge of Arabic grammar. This error is thus much more than a simple grammatical slip; it is, we would argue, willful misrepresentation. The traditional interpretation of this passage offers an apparent justification for marriage with children, which flatly contradicts the Quran.

Like so many passages in the Quran, 4:127’s meaning was severely distorted in order to gain the favor of rich, dominant males. Over the centuries, male scholars with active libidos have used fabricated hadith to pervert the meaning of this and other Quranic verses relating to marriage and sexuality. (See the discussion of 66:5, below.)

What are the Characteristics of a Model Muslim Woman?

Verse 66:5 lists some ideal characteristics of an appreciative woman. The last three characteristics, however, have been mistranslated.

! Disputed passage: The traditional rendering emphasizes virginity.

Yusuf Ali Pickthall Shakir Reformist
“It may be, if he divorced you (all), that God will give him in exchange Consorts better than you—who submit (their wills), who believe, who are devout, who turn to God in repentance, who worship (in humility), who travel (for Faith) and fast, previously married or virgin.” (66:5) It may happen that his Lord, if he divorce you, will give him in your stead wives better than you, submissive (to Allah), believing, pious, penitent, devout, inclined to fasting, widows and maids. (66:5) Maybe, his Lord, if he divorces you, will give him in your place wives better than you, submissive, faithful, obedient, penitent, adorers, fasters, widows and virgins. (66:5) “If he divorces you, his Lord will substitute other wives in your place who are better than you; peacefully surrendering (to God), acknowledging, devout, repentant, serving, active in their societies, responsive, and foremost ones.” (66:5)

DISCUSSION OF 66:5

Traditional translations mistranslate the last three adjectives used here to describe Muslim women. They distort their meaning as “fasters, widows and virgins.” When the issue is about women, somehow, the meaning of the Quranic words passes trough rapid mutations. For instance, we know that the Sunni and Shiite scholars who could not beat cows and examples found it convenient and fair to beat women (see 4:34). Those of us who have rejected other religious sources besides the Quran are still struggling to clean our minds from these innovations that even have sneaked into the Arabic language long after the revelation of the Quran. There is, in fact, nothing whatsoever about fasting, widows and virgins in this verse. We are rediscovering and relearning the Quran.

The third word from the end of the verse, SaYiHat, which we have translated as “active in their societies” simply means to travel or move around for a cause. About two century after the revelation of the Quran, when the rights of women were one by one were taken through all-male enterprises called hadith, ijtihad and tafseer, Muslim communities found themselves thinking and living like the enemies of Islam in the Days of Ignorance. The misogynistic mind of orthodox commentators and translators simply could not fathom the notion of a Muslim woman traveling around alone to do anything – and so they pretended that the word in question was not SaYaHa, but SsaWM – fasting! Socially active women were indeed more difficult to control than the women who would fast in their homes; they were even less costly, since they would eat less. For the usage of the verb form of the root, see 9:2. The word SaYaHa has nothing to do with fasting; the Quran consistently uses the word SaWaMa for fasting (2:183-196; 4:92; 5:89,90; 19:26; 33:35; 58:4).

The second word from the end is THaYiBat, which means “those who return” or “those who are responsive”. Various derivatives of the same root are used to mean “reward” or “refuge” or “cloths”. For instance, see 2:125; 3:195. The Arabic words for widow are ARMiLa or AYaMa. The Quran uses AYaMa for widow or single; see: 24:32.

The last word of this verse, aBKaR, which means those who are “young,” “early risers” or “foremost,” has traditionally, and implausibly, been interpreted as “virgins” in this passage. The resulting distorted meaning of the verse supports a sectarian teaching that justifies a man marrying more than one virgin. The Arabic word for virgin is BaTuL or ADRa.

Here, I will focus only on the last word.

This false interpretation has become so popular that it is apparently now considered beyond any challenge. We have not seen any published translation (except Edip Yuksel’s Turkish translation, Mesaj) that does not duplicate this centuries-old error. It is particularly important, therefore, that we explain exactly why we have translated this verse as we have.

The Arabic root of the word we have translated as “foremost” is BKR, and it occurs 10 times in the Quran. In seven of these occurrences, the word describes time; in two (including the present verse) it describes women; and in one case it describes a heifer.

Before deciding that aBKaR means “virgin,” the translator should look closely at how the Quran itself employs the root word. Here are the references in Quranic sequence:

  • 2:68   —>        Young (heifer)
  • 3:41   —>        Early morning
  • 19:11 —>        Early morning
  • 19:62 —>        Early morning
  • 25:5   —>        Early morning
  • 33:42 —>        Early morning
  • 48:9   —>        Early morning
  • 54:38 —>        Early morning
  • 56:36 —>        ??? Woman
  • 66:5   —>        ??? Woman
  • 76:25 —>        Early morning

When this word is used in reference to women (in 56:36 and 66:5), orthodox scholars, without hesitation, leap to translate it as “virgin.” We reject this interpretation, and choose instead to translate the word as “foremost.”

Reportedly, one of the earliest converts to Islam, and the first elected Islamic leader after the death of Muhammed, was his father-in-law, a man who became known to Muslims as Abu Bakr. Abu means “father.” This nickname was not given to Muhammed’s father-in-law because he was the “Father of a Virgin”! Being the father of a virgin was not something unique, since every father of a daughter would deserve such a title at one time in their lives. Besides, Abu Bakr’s daughter did not remain virgin; she married Muhammed and was called by many as the “mother of Muslims.” Some sources relate the name to “young camels.” However, the best explanation must be related to his standing among Muslims. Abu Bakr was one of the foremost ones, one of the progressive ones, one of the early risers, one of the first converts to Islam. He was foremost – or, if you prefer, progressive.

We must note, too, the Arabic conjunction Wa (and), which appears before the word aBKaR (foremost ones). The end of the verse has traditionally been mistranslated, as though the word were actually OR:

“… previously married OR virgins”.

The traditional commentators and translators knew full well that a contradiction might present itself had they translated Wa accurately:

“… previously married AND virgins”.

We have chosen to render this passage as “responsive and foremost,” thereby retaining a legitimate alternate translation of the word traditionally translated “previously married” – as well as the impossible-to-evade “and” of the Arabic text.

There is, however, a portrait of the ideal Muslima (female Muslim): submitting, acknowledging, devoted, repentant, worshipful, active in her society, responsive and foremost.

Was Muhammed Illiterate?

During the month of Ramadan, every evening, after the lengthy congregational prayers millions crowding the mosques ask God to bless the soul of his Nabbiyy-il Ummy, meaning, in the orthodox interpretation, “illiterate prophet.” “Illiterate” (or “unlettered”) is one of the most common titles used by Muslim clerics and imams to praise Muhammed, the deliverer of the Quran.

The Arabic word ummy, however, describes people who are not Jewish or Christian. The meaning of this word, which occurs six times in the Quran, has nevertheless been rendered as “one who can neither read nor write.” This deliberate manipulation by Muslim scholars has become widely accepted as the true meaning of the word. For example, Yusuf Ali and Pickthall follow this pattern, while Shakir prefers not to translate the Arabic word.

! Disputed passage: Orthodox sources distort the meaning of ummy to turn Muhammed illiterate.

Yusuf Ali Pickthall Shakir Reformist
Say: “O men! I am sent unto you all, as the Messenger of Allah, to Whom belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth: there is no god but He: it is He That giveth both life and death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet, who believeth in Allah and His words: follow him that (so) ye may be guided.” (7:158) Say (O Muhammed): O mankind! Lo! I am the messenger of Allah to you all – (the messenger of) Him unto Whom belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. There is no Allah save Him. He quickeneth and He giveth death. So believe in Allah and His messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, who believeth in Allah and in His Words, and follow him that haply ye may be led aright. (7:158) Say: O people! surely I am the Messenger of Allah to you all, of Him Whose is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth there is no god but He; He brings to life and causes to die therefore believe in Allah and His messenger, the Ummi Prophet who believes in Allah and His words, and follow him so that you may walk in the right way. (7:158)
Say: “O people, I am God’s messenger to you all. The One who has the sovereignty of heavens and earth, there is no god but He; He gives life and causes death.” So acknowledge God and His gentile prophet, who acknowledges God and His words; and follow him that you may be guided. (7:158)

 

DISCUSSION OF 7:158

The Quran itself provides guidance for the true meaning of ummy. If we reflect on the verse 3:20 below, we will easily understand that ummy does not mean an illiterate person:

“And say to those who received the scripture, as well as those who did not receive any scripture (ummyyeen)…” (3:20)

In this verse, the word ummy describes Meccan polytheists. It is obvious that ummy does not mean illiterate because it has been used as the counterpart of the people of the scripture. If the verse was ” … And say to those who are literate and illiterate,” then the orthodox translation of ummy would be correct. According to 3:20, the people of the Arabian peninsula consisted of two main groups:

  • The people of the scripture, i.e., Jews and Christians.
  • Gentiles, who were neither Jewish nor Christian.

If the people who were neither Jews nor Christians were called “ummyyeen” (3:20; 3:75), then the meaning of ummy is very clear. As a matter of fact, the verse 3:75 clarifies its meaning as Gentile.

Mecca was the cultural center of the Arabs in the 7th century. Poetry competitions were being held there. It is a historical fact that Meccans were not familiar with the Bible, thus making them Gentiles. So the verse 62:2 describes Meccan people by the word ummyyeen:

“He is the One who sent to the Gentiles (ummyyeen) a messenger from among them, to recite to them His revelations, purify them, and teach them the scripture and wisdom. Before this, they had gone far astray.” (62:2)

The unappreciative opponents claimed that Muhammed was quoting verses from the Old and New Testaments (25:5; 68:15). The verse below refutes their accusation and gives the answer:

“You did not read any previous scriptures, nor did you write them with your hand. In that case, the objectors would have had reason to harbor doubts.” (29:48)

This verse tells us that Muhammed did not read nor write previous scriptures. The word min qablihi (previous ) suggests that Muhammed did read and write the final scripture.

Muhammed was a literate Gentile (ummy)

After this examination of the true meaning of the word ummy, here are the reasons and proofs for the fact that Muhammed was a literate Gentile:

To magnify the miraculous aspect of the Quran, religious people thought that the story of illiteracy would be alluring.

The producer(s) of the illiteracy story found it relatively easy to change the meaning of ummy. Nevertheless, the word appears throughout the Quran, and consistently means “Gentile” (2:78; 3:20; 3:75; 62:2). In verses 3:20 and 3:75, the Quran uses the word ummy as the counterpart to the ehlil kitab (“People of the Book,” a phrase that in both of these verses equates to “Jews and Christians”).

The Quran describes Meccan people with the word ummyyeen (Gentiles) (62:2). According to the orthodox claim, all Meccan people must have been illiterate. Why then were the poems of pre-Islamic Meccan poets hung on the walls of the Ka’ba (the ancient monotheistic shrine of Abraham)?

The Arabs of the 7th century used letters as numbers. This alphabetical numbering system is called “Abjad.” The merchants of those days had to know the letters of the alphabet to record their accounts! If Muhammed was a successful international merchant, as is universally accepted, then he most probably knew this numbering system. The Arabs stopped using the “Abjad” system in the 9th century when they took “Arabic numbers” from India.

The different spelling of the word bism in the beginning of the Basmalah and in the first verse of chapter 96 is one of the many evidences supporting the literacy of Muhammed. It is not reasonable for an illiterate to dictate two different spellings of the same word which is pronounced the same.

The very first revelation from the Controller Gabriel was, Muslims believe, “Read!” And the first five verses of that revelation encourage reading and writing (96:1-5). The second revelation was “The pen and writing” (68:1). These facts compel some questions that orthodox scholarship would rather avoid. Does God command an illiterate man to “read”? If so, could Muhammed read after Gabriel’s instruction to do so? The story told in hadith books about the first revelation asserting that Muhammed could read only after three trials ending by an angelic “squeeze” contradicts the other stories claiming that Muhammed died as an illiterate!

Traditional history books accept that Muhammed dictated the Quran and controlled its recording. Even if we accept that Muhammed did not know how to read or write before revelation of the Quran, we cannot claim that he preserved this illiteracy during the 23 years while he was dictating the Quran! Let us accept, for the sake of argument, that Muhammed was illiterate before the revelation of the Quran. Why then did he insist on staying illiterate for 23 years after the first revelation: “Read!”? Did he not obey his Lord’s command? Did he receive another command forbidding him from reading and writing?

Was it so difficult for Muhammed to learn to read and write? If a person still does not learn to read and write after 23 years of careful dictation of a book, what kind of intellect is that?

If Muhammed was encouraging his followers to read and write (which he did when he recited 2:44 to them), then why should he have excluded himself?

Muslim scholars, who are in disagreement on a bewildering array of subjects, somehow have managed to agree on the story of Muhammed’s illiteracy. Perhaps the glorification of illiteracy, using it as a positive attribute of a worshipped figure, is one of the causes of the high current level of illiteracy in Muslim communities.

PS: There is another meaning of ummy, which does not exclude Gentile, is “the one who is the resident of the capital city.” Mecca was the capital city of medieval Arabia and it is referred in the Quran as “Umm ul-Qura” that is “the mother of cities” (42:7).

Do We Need Muhammed to Understand the Quran?

The so-called “Orthodox Islam,” by answering the above question affirmatively, has sanctified a collection of medieval hearsay reports and traditions attributed to Muhammed. Unfortunately, this was accomplished through the distortion of the meaning of several Quranic verses regarding the role of the prophet. The following verse is one of several crucial verses that have been used to promote hadith and sunna as the second source of Islam.

! Disputed passage: The traditional rendering implies the need for hearsay.

Yusuf Ali Pickthall Shakir Reformist
(We sent them) with Clear Signs and Books of dark prophecies; and We have sent down unto thee (also) the Message; that thou mayest explain clearly to men what is sent for them, and that they may give thought. (16:44) With clear proofs and writings; and We have revealed unto thee the Remembrance that thou mayst explain to mankind that which hath been revealed for them, and that haply they may reflect. (16:44) With clear arguments and scriptures; and We have revealed to you the Reminder that you may make clear to men what has been revealed to them, and that haply they may reflect. (16:44) With proof and the scriptures. We sent down to you the Reminder to proclaim to the people what was sent to them, and perhaps they would think. (16:44) 

DISCUSSION OF 16:44

Traditionalists have opted for what we consider an inaccurate rendering of the Arabic root word “BYN.”

The word ‘lituBaYyeNa is a derivative of “BYN,” which is a multiple-meaning word. It means:

  • To reveal what is concealed; or
  • To explain what is vague.

Thus the first meaning is the antonym of “hide,” and the second is the antonym of “make vague.” We have translated this passage in accordance with the first meaning, and understand the passage as relating to God’s order to Muhammed to proclaim the revelation which is revealed to him personally. We believe that the Quran is clear, as its text itself insists.

Indeed, “proclaiming” is the whole mission of the messengers of God, as the Quran maintains (16:35). To be sure, prophets sometimes experience difficulty in proclaiming the revelation (33:37, 20:25). But if the Quran is a profound book written in Arabic so that people may understand (12:2), if it is to be explained by God (75:19), and if it is simple to understand (5:15; 26:195; 11:1; 54:17; 55:1-2), then it is hard to see why or how the prophet is to assume the additional mission of explaining the divine message.

We emphasize, once again, that 75:19 holds that God explains the Quran, and makes no mention of Muhammed or any other prophet, or indeed any human explanation whatsoever. Thus, the word lituBaYyeNa of 16:44, which we have translated as “proclaim,” is similar to the one in 3:187. Verse 3:187 tells us that the people who received the revelation should

“… proclaim the scripture to the people, and never hide it.” (3:187)

Do The Verses of The Quran Abrogate Each Other?

There are schools of thought that have committed the travesty of allowing the Quran – regarded as the definitive word of God – to be abrogated (replaced, overridden) by the hadith and the sunna.

Though in his footnote, Yusuf Ali refers to the other meaning of the word AYAH, and the different interpretation of the verse, by translating the word as “revelations,” he affirms the traditional position known as “abrogation” of one revelation by another revelation. A few scholars, as we say, have gone so far as to use hadith to abrogate the Quran; a more common view, however, is that certain verses in the Quran either have been removed or some verses cancel each other’s judgment out. We reject these contentions.

! Disputed passage: The traditional commentaries and translations render 2:106 to justify abrogation in the Quran, thereby justifying the rejection of many Quranic verses.

Yusuf Ali Pickthall Shakir Reformist
None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that God hath power over all things? (2:106)  Nothing of our revelation (even a single verse) do we abrogate or cause be forgotten, but we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things? (2:106) Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things? (2:106) We do not duplicate (or abrogate) any sign or cause it to be forgotten, unless we produce a better, or at least an equal one. Do you not know that God is Omnipotent? (2:106) 

 

DISCUSSION OF 2:106

Ayaat, the plural of aya, is used in the Quran to mean both a) signs/miracles and b) verses/revelations of the Quran itself. Since verses of the Quran are considered to be miracles/signs, the plural form occasionally conveys both meanings simultaneously.

A single verse of the Quran is not deemed to be a miracle since some short verses of the Quran (for instance: 55:3; 69:1; 74:4; 75:8; 80:28; 81:26) are not unique and can be found in daily conversations of Arabic-speaking people. In fact, the Quran determines the minimum unit of miraculous nature as a chapter (10:38), and the shortest chapters consist of 3 verses (103; 108; 110). Therefore, only the plural form of aya, that is ayaat, can be used as reference to the verses/revelation of the Quran.

However the singular form, aya, in all its 84 occurrences in the Quran is always used to mean sign or miracle. Therefore, we choose to translate the singular form aya in verse 2:106 as “sign,” rather than as “verse (of the Quran).”

By declaring the word of God to be vague and ambiguous, early scholars opened the gate for unlimited abuse and distortion. Furthermore, by distorting the meaning of 2:106, they claimed that many verses of the Quran had been abrogated (amended) by other verses or hadiths. By this “abrogation theory,” they amended verses which they did not understand, or which did not suit their interests, or which contradicted their hadiths. Repeating the same error committed by the Children of Israel (2:85), Muslims fulfilled the prophetic description of their action in 15:91-93. Some of them abrogated 5 Quranic verses, some 20 verses and some 50. Below, you’ll find an extreme (and bizarre) example of an abrogation based on the supposed “authority” of 2:106 as interpreted in the orthodox manner.

The verse that was abrogated by a goat!

Some fabricated hadiths claim that the prophet Muhammed stoned a particular couple to death for illicit sexual relations. This punishment, we believe, would have been in conflict with 24:2 of the Quran, which sets out a separate penalty for adultery, and makes no mention whatsoever of capital punishment.

Since hadith-manufacturers realized that hadiths were not enough to abrogate the clear verses of the Quran, they went so far as to fabricate a “verse” supporting stoning and attributed it to God. “Al-shaykhu wa al-shaykhatu iza zanaya farjumuhuma nakalan bima kasabu…” They tried to inject the stoning penalty for adulterers into the Quran!

When they failed, they fabricated stories which only the people who are described in 10:100 of the Quran (those who believe without understanding and comprehending) could accept. According to the story, the ‘stoning verse’ was recorded in the Quran during the time of Muhammed; but just after his death, a goat entered the house of the prophet’s wife Aisha and ate the page on which that verse was inscribed. Thus, we are assured, the “stoning verse” had been abrogated physically!

This story can be found in the so-called authentic hadith collections, such as Ibn Maja, Nikah, 36/1944 and Ibn Hanbal, 5/131,132,183; 6/269.

How could a verse of a perfect scripture be abrogated by a goat? As an answer to this question, Ibn Qutayba, a proponent of hadith and sunna, in his classic book entitled “Solving the Contradictions Among Hadiths” puts forward the contention that “the goat is a holy animal.” And he asked a counter question: “Why not trust in God’s power? As He destroyed the people of Aad and Thamud, He is also able to destroy His revelations by using even a goat!”

How Much of the Quran Can/Should We Understand?

Is the Quran meant for everyone to understand? Or are some parts inaccessible to mere human beings?

Verse 3:7 is one of the most commonly mistranslated verses; it is extremely important, since it deals with these very questions. Different interpretations of this verse can lead to two totally different conceptions of Islam! Both Yusuf Ali and Pickthall reflect the majority’s view on behalf of “not understanding,” while Shakir prefers the minority view of “understanding.”

! Disputed passage: The traditional rendering suggests that some Quranic verses can never be understood fully.

Yusuf Ali Pickthall Shakir Reformist
He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: in it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meaning except God. And those who are firmly endowed by knowledge say: ‘we believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:’ and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding. (3:7) He it is Who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammed) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations – they are the substance of the Book – and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it. None knoweth its explanation save Allah. And those who are of sound instruction say: We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed. (3:7) He it is Who has revealed the Book to you; some of its verses are decisive, they are the basis of the Book, and others are allegorical; then as for those in whose hearts there is perversity they follow the part of it which is allegorical, seeking to mislead and seeking to give it (their own) interpretation. but none knows its interpretation except Allah, and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge say: We believe in it, it is all from our Lord; and none do mind except those having understanding. (3:7)

He is the One who sent down to you the book, from which there are definite signs; they are the essence of the book; and others, which are multiple-meaning. As for those who have disease in their hearts, eager to cause confusion and eager to derive their interpretation, they will follow what is multiple-meaning from it. But none knows their meaning except God and those who are well founded in knowledge; they say, “We acknowledge it, all is from our Lord.” None will remember except the people of intellect. (3:7)

 


DISCUSSION OF 3:7

The Arabic word we have translated as “multiple meanings” is mutashabihat. The word comes from shabaha (“to became similar”).

The word can be confusing for a novice. Verse 39:23, for instance, uses mutashabihat for the entire Quran, referring to its overall similarity — in other words, its consistency. In a narrower sense, however, mutashabihat refers to all verses which can be understood in more than one way. The various meanings or implications require some special qualities from the person listening to or reading the Quran: an attentive mind, a positive attitude, contextual perspective, the patience necessary for research, and so forth.

It is one of the intriguing features of the Quran that the verse about “mutashabih” verses of the Quran is itself mutashabih — that is, possessing multiple meanings. The word in question, for instance, can mean “similar,” as we have seen; it can mean “possessing multiple meanings;” it can also mean “allegorical” (where one single, clearly identifiable element represents another single, clearly identifiable element).

As you may have noticed, interpretation of the last part of 3:7 depends on how one punctuates the verse. (There is no punctuation in the original Arabic text.)

If one stops after the word “God,” then one will assume, as centuries of Sunni and Shiite scholars have, that even those who possess deep levels of knowledge will never be able to understand the “mutashabih” verses. However, if the sentence does not stop there, the meaning will change to the opposite: Those who possess knowledge will be able to understand the meaning of allegorical or multiple-meaning verses.

Here are five reasons for why we prefer the second understanding of this verse.

REASON ONE: The passage clearly emphasizes the unhealthy intentions of those who fail to understand multiple-meaning verses. With the disease of doubt in their hearts, they try to confuse others by focusing on their own faulty interpretations of these verses. We think that the passage emphasizes this point because the Quran tells us elsewhere that only sincere people possess the qualities necessary to understand the Quran (as emphasized in 17:46; 18:57; and 54:17).

REASON TWO: The Quran tells us repeatedly that it is easy to understand. (It does so at many points, including 5:15; 11:1; 26:195; 54:17; and 55:1-2.). If one punctuates this verse in the traditional way, there is an apparent contradiction – the Quran is, at least in some places, impossible for any human being to understand — and Muslims maintain that the Quran does not contradict itself.

We believe the Quran broadcasts a very clear, coherent message. However, there is sometimes a problem with our receiver. If our receiver does not hear the broadcast or cannot understand it well, then something is wrong with our receiver and we have to check it. If the signal is weak, we need to recharge our batteries, or reset our antennas. If we do not receive a clear message, we need to set our tuning to the right station in order to get rid of the noises and interference from other sources. We may, of course, ask for some help from knowledgeable people or experts for this task. If the receiver does not work at all, then we have to make a sincere effort to fix the broken parts. However, if we believe that the problem is in the broadcast, then nobody can help us.

REASON THREE: It is beyond dispute that the Quran encourages Muslims to study its words with patience. It advises us not to rush into understanding without sufficient knowledge (20:114). Nevertheless, it claims to be easy to understand (see REASON TWO, above). This, however, is not a contradictory position!

Experience with the book suggests that both of these statements are accurate. Although it can be explored for a lifetime without conquering all of its subtleties, the Quran, as a whole, is in fact quite easy to understand, revolving as it does around three basic ideas:

  • There is only one God.
  • This life is a test.
  • There will be an accounting for each individual after death.

We know that the Quran really is comprehensible and worthy of sustained, careful study, just as it promises. Whoever opens his/her mind and heart as a monotheist and takes the time to study it, will understand it, and that this understanding will be enough for salvation. Such people will also be inspired to explore it deeply, and will find ample rewards for doing so.

REASON FOUR: In order to acknowledge all the verses of the Quran, one does not need to be deeply rooted in knowledge. To be an “acknowledging person” is a sufficient condition to acknowledge all the verses. However, one needs to have deep knowledge of the Quran in order to understand “mutashabih” (multiple-meaning) verses accurately. Therefore, 3:7 mentions a narrow category (those who are deeply rooted in knowledge) in relation to those multiple-meaning verses.

REASON FIVE: If we follow the orthodox punctuation and translation of 3:7, then, we must, by logical extension, establish a clear definition of what the “mutashabih” verses are … in order to avoid trying vainly to understand them or teaching others based on them. We thus need a definitive list of the “mutashabih” verses in order to avoid being among those who are condemned in this verse. There is a problem, however: No one has ever been able to compile such a definitive list! What could the criteria for the list possibly be? Surely one person’s lack of understanding of a verse should not make a verse “taboo” for all other people. If that were the case, the lowest degree of understanding would be the common denominator for understanding and interpreting the Quran! In this Alice-in-Wonderland school of thought, there would be a perpetual race towards ignorance!

Unless one is committed to determining the truth by majority vote, then one may want to reflect upon the five reasons listed here for interpreting the verse as we have.

(A side note: There are a few Sunni commentators who support our understanding of this verse. For instance, the classic commentary of al-Baydawi prefers this understanding. Please note that Yusuf Ali also acknowledges this fact in the footnote of 3:7: “One reading, rejected by the majority of Commentators, but accepted by Mujahid and others, would not make a break at the point marked Waqfa Lazim, but would run the two sentences together. In that case the construction would run: ‘No one knows its hidden meanings except God and those who are firm in knowledge. They say’, etc.”)

Is the Earth Flat?

The Quranic description of the earth, the solar system, the cosmos and the origin of the universe is centuries ahead of the time of its first revelation. For instance, the Quran, delivered in the seventh century C.E., states or implies that:

  • Time is relative (70:4; 22:47).
  • God created the universe from nothing (2:117).
  • The earth and heavenly bodies were once a single point and they were separated from each other by an explosion (21:30).
  • The universe is continuously expanding (51:47).
  • The universe was created in six days (stages) and the conditions that made life possible on earth took place in the last four stages (50:38; 41:10).
  • The stage before the creation of the earth is described as a gas nebula (41:11).
  • Planet earth is floating in an orbit (27:88; 21:33).
  • The earth is round like an egg (10:24; 39:5; 79:30).
  • Earth’s atmosphere acts like a protective shield for the living creatures (21:32).
  • Wind also pollinates plants (15:22).
  • The creation of living creatures follows an evolutionary system (15:28-29; 24:45; 32:7-9; 71:14-7).
  • The earliest biological creatures were incubated inside flexible layers of clay (15:26).
  • The stages of human development in the womb are detailed (23:14).
  • Our biological life span is coded in our genes (35:11).
  • Photosynthesis is a recreation of energy stored through chlorophyll (36:77-81).
  • The atomic number, atomic weight and isotopes of Iron are specified (57:25).
  • Atoms of elements found on earth contain a maximum of seven energy layers (65:12).
  • The sound and vision of water and the action of eating dates (which contain oxytocin) reduce labor pains (19:24-25).
  • There is life (not necessarily intelligent) beyond earth (42:29).
  • The word Sabbath (seventh day) occurs exactly 7 times.
  • The number of months in a year is stated as 12, and the word Month (shahr) occurs exactly twelve times.
  • The number of days in a year is not stated, but the word Day (yawm) occurs exactly 365 times.
  • A prophetic mathematical structure based on the number 19 implied in chapter 74 of the Quran was discovered in 1974 by the aid of computer shows that the Quran is embedded with an interlocking extraordinary mathematical system (I have written several Turkish and yet-to-be-published English books on this subject).

And there’s more – much more. Many of the signs/miracles mentioned in the Quran, for instance, represent the ultimate goals of science and technology. The Quran relates that matter (but not humans) can be transported at the speed of light (27:30-40); that smell can be transported to remote places (12:94); that extensive communication with animals is possible (27:16-17); that sleep, in certain conditions, can slow down metabolism and increase life span (18:25); and that the vision of blind people can be restored (3:49).

Does it make sense, then, that a book that displays such astonishing knowledge of the physical universe would declare that the earth is flat?

As for the shape of the earth, Yusuf Ali extends, Pickthall spreads, and Shakir expands. Other traditional translations are essentially no different. They extend, expand, or spread the earth.

! Disputed passage: Traditional translations extend and spread the egg-shaped earth.

Yusuf Ali Pickthall Shakir Reformist
And the earth, moreover, hath He extended (to a wide expanse); (79:30) And after that He spread the earth, (79:30) And the earth, He expanded it after that. (79:30) And the earth afterwards, he made it round like egg. (79:30) 

DISCUSSION OF 79:30

Almost all English translations of the Quran mistranslate the word DaHY, a word that is still used for “egg” among Arabic-speaking populations in North Africa. Why? The answer can be found in the footnotes of some classic commentaries of the Quran, which were written centuries ago.

Early commentators and translators of the verse were stuck on the word DaHY, since it means (as we have translated) egg. In the verse it is used as a transitive verb with the third person pronoun Ha, which means “made it round like egg” or literally “egged it.” But, the commentators thought that the earth was flat!

Since they knew God’s word could not contain errors or contradiction, they assumed their understanding of the verse must have been wrong. Thus, they tried to interpret the description. They argued that the word DaHY (egg) must have implied maDHY (nest), and inferred that God meant “nest” by the word “egg.” Therefore, the earth is extended like a nest.

Early commentators had an excuse for reaching such a conclusion, since they did not know that the earth was spherical and slightly distended (like an egg); however, modern commentators of the Quran have no excuse to parrot this medieval misunderstanding. They should have known that the verse means what it says: the earth is shaped like an egg. The external physical appearance of planet earth is like an egg, and its cross-section displays geological layers similar to egg. Not only is the earth egg-shaped and resembles an egg regarding its layers, but so is its orbit around the sun. In fact, this is Kepler’s famous First Law of Planetary Motion: the orbit of a planet about a star is an ellipse, as opposed to a perfect circle.

Is it Obvious OR
is it Darkening, Scorching, Shriveling, and Burning?

Many verses in chapter 74 have been commonly misunderstood and mistranslated. We have written a lengthy article titled, Which One Do You See: Hell or Miracle?, exposing the problems in traditional commentaries and translations. Here we will only pick a sample from the lengthy list.

Verse 74:29 is very interesting and crucial in understanding the rest of the chapter. Though it consists of only two words, this verse is translated in several different ways. Here are some examples from English translations:

! Disputed passage: Many keywords in Chapter 74 have been mistranslated to describe the punishment of Hell, while in reality they describe an intellectual punishment.

Yusuf Ali:              “darkening and changing the color of man”

Pickthall:               “It shrivelleth the man”

Irving:                     “as it shrivels human (flesh).”

Shakir:                   “It scorches the mortal”.

M. Ali:                    “It scorches the mortal”

Dawood:                 “it burns the skins of men.”

M. Asad:                “making (all truth) visible to mortal man.”

R. Khalifa:             “obvious to all the people.”

Reformist:              “obvious to humankind.”

DISCUSSION OF 74:29

The derivatives of the word LWH are used in the Quran to mean a surface used for recording information, board, and flat wood; and nowhere is it used to mean scorch or burn. Before the fulfillment of the prophecy, translators and commentators of the Quran had difficulty in understanding the simple meaning of this word and thus, resorted to external sources and often odd meanings, such as scorch, or burn. In fact, the drive to justify a particular meaning for some “difficult” Quranic words is one of the many reasons for fabricating hadith.

Those who do not know Arabic might think that the words are difficult to understand and translate. In fact, the meaning of these two words, LaWwaHa and BaSHaR is very clear in the Quranic context. The word LaWwaHa, which comes from the root LWH, is the sister of the word LaWH (85:22) and its plural aLWaH. The plural form aLWaH is used in verses 7:145, 150, 154 for the “tablets” given to Moses, and in verse 54:13 for broad planks used by Noah to build his ark. The medieval commentators, not knowing the mathematical implication of the verses, mostly chose an unusual meaning for the word: scorching, burning, shriveling, etc. Ironically, most of them did acknowledge the obvious meaning of the word as “open board, tablet” (See Baydawi, Fakhruddin Al-Razi, etc.). Few preferred the “obvious” to the obscure. For instance, Muhammed Asad, who had no idea of the mathematical code, preferred the most obvious meaning. Rashad Khalifa who fulfilled the prophecy and discovered the implication of the entire chapter reflected the same obvious meaning. That “obvious” meaning, was obscured by the smoke of “scorching fire” burning in the imaginations of generations before him.

In 7:145; 7:150; 7:154, the word aLWaH, the plural of LaWHa is used to depict the tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed. In 54:13 it is used to describe the structure of the Noah’s ship made of wood panes. In 85:22 the same word is used for the mathematically protected record of the original version of the Quran. As for the LaWaHa of 74:29, it is the amplified noun-adjective derived from the root of the verb LWH, meaning open tablets, succeeding screens, obvious, manifesto, or clearly and perpetually visible. Ironically, the Quran uses different words to describe burning or scorching. For instance, for burning, the derivatives of HaRaQa (2:266; 3:181; 7:5; 20:97; 21:68; 22:9; 22:22; 29:24; 75:10), or for scorching the derivatives of SaLaYa ( 4:10; 4:30; 4:56; 4:115; 14:29; 17:18; 19:70; 27:7; 28:29; 29:31; 36:64; 37:163, 38:56; 38:59; 52:16; 56:94; 58:8; 69:31; 74: 26; 82:15; 83:16; 84:12; 87:12; 88:12; 92:15), or NaDaJa are used (4:56).

Again, we should note that the understanding of pre-1974 commentators was not without basis. Though their understanding did not rely on the Quranic usage of the words, and created some problems (such as explaining the verse 74:31), they had some justifiable excuses to understand the way they understood. The word LaWaHa also meant burn and BaSHaRa was another word for skin in Arabic language. As I mentioned above, the multiple meanings of these verses allowed the impatient pre-1974 generations to have an understanding, though a temporary and not primarily intended one. In fact, it was better for them to have patience and not rush to speculate on these verses without knowledge (20:114; 75:16-19). It was the computer generation that was destined to understand their real meaning (10:37-46).

A Portion of the Message OR a Fistful of Dirt?

Moses left his people with his brother Aaron and went to the mountain to receive commandments from God. While at the presence of God, Moses is lightly criticized for leaving his people behind:

“‘And what has caused you to rush ahead of your people O Moses?’ He said: ‘They are following in my footprints, and I came quickly to you my Lord so you would be pleased.’ He said: ‘We have tested your people after you left, and the Samarian misguided them.'” (20:83-85).

However, God knew that Moses’ people were not following his message. Taking advantage of Moses’ absence, the Samarian tried and succeeded to a degree to revert Jews to the religion of their Egyptian masters. Recognizing that many people respond better to concrete and tangible objects rather than an abstract idea of a transcendental God, the Samarian collected jewels and melted them in a pot to form a calf (7:148). He produced calf statues, which made sounds in the wind due to the craftily designed holes in their bodies, a symbol for intercession. Samarian was proud of his knowledge of human psychology, and he had the audacity to tell Moses the following:

! Disputed passage: Ignoring reason, the context of the verse, and the semantics of the Quran, traditional translations and commentaries create a bizarre story through mistranslation of the words AThaR, and NaBaZa. To accommodate the mistranslation, they also add several non-existing and non-implied words, such as, “Muhammed,” “Gabriel,” “Dust,” and “into calf.”

Yusuf Ali Pickthall Shakir Reformist
He replied: “I saw what they saw not: so I took a handful (of dust) from the footprint of the Messenger, and threw it (into the calf): thus did my soul suggest to me.” (20:96) He said: I perceived what they perceive not, so I seized a handful from the footsteps of the messenger, and then threw it in. Thus my soul commended to me. (20:96) He said: I saw (Jibreel) what they did not see, so I took a handful (of the dust) from the footsteps of the messenger, then I threw it in the casting; thus did my soul commend to me. (20:96) He said: “I perceived what they did not perceive, so I took a handful from the teaching of the messenger, and I cast it away. This is what my soul inspired me to do.” (20:96)

DISCUSSION OF 20:96

According to traditional translators and many who were unknowingly influenced by them, Samarian possessed extraordinary powers! According to the story that they all copy, the Samarian secretly followed Moses and somehow was able to see the Controller-messenger of God, Jibreel or Gabriel, riding a horse. He thought that the dirt stepped on by the feet of Jibreel’s horse must have had magical powers. So, the story goes, he collected some dirt and took it back to where his people were dwelling. He mixed the dirt with the melting jewelry and voila, the sound-making calf!

The word athar, which is mistranslated as “footprint” or “footsteps,” has the following meanings: trace, teaching, relics of knowledge, remains, mark, footprint, memorial, etc. The Quran uses the word athar to mean teaching or message (20:84; 37;70; 43:22-23). The meaning of the word should have been clear from several verses before, where in verse 20:84, it is used to mean “teaching.” God did not ask Moses why he came alone; He questioned Moses about leaving his people too early. Moses understood God’s question—though the majority of translators did not—and responded by saying that his people were following his teaching. God informs him about Samarian’s plan to mislead his people back to idolatry.

Should Skeptics Hang Themselves to the Ceiling?

The traditional rendering of verse 22:15 is so bad that it becomes an absurdity, a joke. The amazing thing is that anyone who studies the Quran should easily understand its meaning, since the expressions are used in other verses and contexts. Instead of first looking at the usage of words and expression in other parts of the Quran, the traditional translators look for inspiration from the early commentators who mostly relied heavily on hadith hearsay. Regardless of the source, with the exception of a few, such as Muhammed Asad, Muhammed Ali, and Rashad Khalifa, many translations have duplicated the bizarre and absurd traditional rendering.

! Disputed passage: Traditional translations insert non-existing words and produce a myriad of absurd and hilarious challenges.

Yusuf Ali Pickthall Shakir Reformist
If any think that Allah will not help him (His Messenger) in this world and the Hereafter, let him stretch out a rope to the ceiling and cut (himself) off: then let him see whether his plan will remove that which enrages (him)! (22:15). Whoso is wont to think (through envy) that Allah will not give him (Muhammed) victory in the world and the Hereafter (and is enraged at the thought of his victory), let him stretch a rope up to the roof (of his dwelling), and let him hang himself. Then let him see whether his strategy dispelleth that whereat he rageth! (22:15). Whoever thinks that Allah will not assist him in this life and the hereafter, let him stretch a rope to the ceiling, then let him cut (it) off, then let him see if his struggle will take away that at which he is enraged. (22:15).
Whosoever thinks that God will not help him in this world and the Hereafter, let him extend (his request) to the heaven via some means, then let him cut off (his dependence on anyone else) and see whether this action has removed the cause of his anger. (22:15)

 

 

DISCUSSION OF 22:15

Reading the verse within the immediate context of the Quran alone is sufficient to shed light on its meaning. For instance, just four verses before, verse 22:11 reminds us of the importance of unconditional trust in God:

“And from the people there is he who serves God in alteration. So if good comes to him, he is content with it; and if an ordeal comes to him, he makes an about-face. He has lost this world and the Hereafter. Such is the clear loss.” (22:11)

The following verse informs us that those people who oscillate in their service to God depending on the circumstances, associate others as partners to God.

“He calls upon besides God what will not harm him and what will not benefit him. Such is the far straying.” (22:12)
We learn from the Quran that most polytheists are in denial (6:23), though they hope for the intercession of prophets and saints (72:21 and 7:188;10:49;13:16; 48:11). The following verse expresses the reality of idolatrous people:
 
“He calls on those who harm him more than they benefit him. What a miserable patron, and what a miserable companion.” (22:13).
 
Verse 14 mentions God’s blessing on those who do not pollute their acknowledgement of monotheistic message through polytheistic ideas and practices:
 
“God admits those who acknowledge and promote reforms to gardens with rivers flowing beneath them. God does as He wishes.” (22:14)
And the following verse,22:15, shows them a way: try to reach God through prayer, science, charity, and cut off all of your dependence and hope from other things besides God. You should cut off your dependence to gods or holy people other than God, since you will do so in the hereafter (2:166). In other words, if you are able to remove all the idolatrous ideas and dedicate yourself to God alone, you will witness God’s help and victory. Those who mix monotheism with idolatry are not of those who acknowledge truth, even if they think so (49:14;6:23).
 
Thus, starting from verse 11, when we reach verse 15, the theological relationship among the verses becomes evident, and the meaning of verse 15 shines clearly. The message of22:15is identical to the message given in 6:41.
 
Unfortunately, many translations and commentaries ignore the context of the verse and the usage of certain words in the Quran, and copy the traditional false inferences and references inside the parentheses.
 
After reading these absurd and ridiculous translations and misleading parentheses, if an investigating person read the following verse,22:16, he or she would be repelled from the Quran, since it asserts that the revelation of the Quran is clear!
 
  • Many add Muhammed’s name in the parenthesis, though the verse does NOT mention Muhammed and the context is not about Muhammed, but about God alone.
  • Many insert the word “ceiling,” though sama does not mean “ceiling,” but rather means “heaven”; “ceiling” in Arabic is saqf (43:33; 21:32).
  •  Many insert a “rope,” though the verse does not mention “rope,” which is habl (111:5; 3:103).
The insertion, twisting, and distortion are not limited to the three examples above. The prominent Pakistani radical scholar Mawdudi, in his commentary, Tafhim al-Quran (Towards the Understanding of the Quran), lists six alternative views of previous commentators on this verse:
 
1. Whoever thinks that God would not help Muhammed (pbuh), should hang himself to a ceiling?
2. Whoever thinks that God would not help Muhammed (pbuh), should climb to the sky with a rope and try to stop God’s help.
3. Whoever thinks that God would not help Muhammed (pbuh), should ascend to the sky and stop God’s revelation.
4. Whoever thinks that God would not help Muhammed (pbuh), should ascend to the sky and stop God’s blessings to him.
5. Whoever thinks that God would not help Muhammed (pbuh), should hang himself to the ceiling of his home.
6. Whoever thinks that God would not help Muhammed (pbuh), should ascend to sky to ask for help.
 
Mawdudi finds the first four comments to be meaningless in their context, since he rightly argues that the pronoun “he” cannot be referring to Muhammed, but instead refers to a person who has doubt about God’s help. Though Mawdudi concedes that the last two renditions fit the flow, he finds them to be far from reflecting the meaning of the verse. After rejecting all these alternative interpretations, Mawdudi presents his own version:

“Whosoever fancies that Allah will not help him in this world and in the Hereafter, let him reach out to heaven through a rope, and then make a hole in the sky and see whether his device can avert that which enrages him.”

Well, Mawdudi too disappoints; even more than the others. He asks the doubtful person to get a rope, climb to the sky, and open a hole in the sky to peep through! However, Mawdudi’s understanding is better than others who nicely ask the opponents of Muhammed to commit suicide by hanging themselves to the sky and THEN think about their feelings and doubts!

Now it is time to challenge all those scholars, mewlahums, commentators, translators, and their admirers, who missed the obvious and simple meaning of the verse:

If they think that our reformed translation is wrong, then they should extend a rope to the sky and hang themselves, and then think whether this trick of theirs would remove the cause of their anger!

If the above challenge is a meaningful and wise challenge, then they should take it! No, if it is an absurd and silly challenge, then they should expunge from their translations the Muhammed, the rope, the ceiling, the climbing, the hanging, the committing suicide, the thinking after killing self, and the opening of a peephole in the sky.

Smite at their Neck or Strike the Control Center?

The Quran does not promote war; but encourages us to stand against aggressors on the side of peace and justice. War is permitted only for self-defense (See 2:190,192,193,256; 4:91; 5:32; 8:19; 60:7-9). We are encouraged to work hard to establish peace (47:35; 8:56-61; 2:208). The Quranic precept promoting peace and justice is so fundamental that peace treaty with the enemy is preferred to religious ties (8:72). The Quran orders believers not to transgress and ask them to keep the prisoners of wars alive to be released afterwards.

! Disputed passage: The translations that is based on hadith/sunnah distort the meaning of the word RiQaB and translate is as “neck.”

Yusuf Ali Pickthall Shakir Reformist
Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah.s Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost. (47:4) Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain. (47:4). So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates. That (shall be so); and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have exacted what is due from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others; and (as for) those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will by no means allow their deeds to perish. (47:4) So, if you encounter those who have rejected, then strike the control center until you overcome them. Then bind them securely. You may either set them free or ransom them, until the war ends. That, and had God willed, He alone could have beaten them, but He thus tests you by one another. As for those who get killed in the cause of God, He will never let their deeds be put to waste. (47:4)

 

DISCUSSION OF 47:4        

The expression “darb al riqab” is traditionally translated as “smite their necks.” We preferred to translate it as “strike the control center.” The Quran uses the word “unuq” for neck (17:13,29; 8:12; 34:33; 38:33; 13:5; 26:4; 36:8; 40:71). The root RaQaBa means observe, guard, control, respect, wait for (20:94; 28:18; 28:21; 44:10; 44:59; 11:93; 54:27; 5:117; 50:18; 4:1; 33:52; 4:92; 5:89; 58:3; 90:13; 2:177; 9:60; 47:4). “Riqab” means slave, prisoner of war, since they are controlled.

Even if one of the meanings of the word riqab were neck, we would still reject the traditional translation, for the obvious reason: The verse continues by instructing muslims regarding the capturing of the enemies and the treatment of prisoners of war. If they were supposed to be beheaded, there would not be need for an instruction regarding captives, which is a very humanitarian instruction.

Unfortunately, the Sunni and Shiite terrorists have used the traditional mistranslation, and abused it further by beheading hostages in their fight against their counterpart terrorists, Crusaders and their allied coalition, who torture and kill innocent people even in bigger numbers, yet in a baptized fashion that is somehow depicted non-barbaric by their culture and media.

The Quran gives two option regarding the hostages or prisoners of war before the war ends: (1) set them free; or (2) release them to get a fee for their unjustified aggression. Considering the context of the verse and emphasis on capturing the enemy, we could have translated the segment under discussion as, “aim to take captives.”

The Old Testament contains many scenes of beheadings and grotesque massacres. For instance, see: 2 Samuel 4:7-12; 2 Kings 10:7, and 2 Chronicles 25:12.

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Loneliness Uncovered

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Cities Loneliness uncovered

‘My neighbour avoids me … I was very unhappy’:
your tales of urban loneliness

A new report suggests life in big cities can make people feel more lonely.
We asked you to share your stories, and heard experiences of both alienation and connection from Berlin to Vancouver

Lonliness 1

An elderly woman alone in Athens. ‘Having tried rural and city life, I’ve come to the conclusion that loneliness feels more pressing in a city environment.’ Photograph: Fotis Plegas G/AP

Guardian readers and Francesca Perry
Thursday 24 March 2016 07.28 EDT
Last modified on Thursday 24 March 2016 13.39 EDT

Are there aspects of city life that can heighten one’s feelings of loneliness? The charity network Acevo, which set up The Loneliness Project last year to tackle social isolation among young people in London, today publishes a report which suggests young Londoners are twice as likely to be lonely as their counterparts elsewhere in the country.

Young people surveyed for the report cited high housing costs, long working hours and the growth of social media as factors contributing to loneliness in the city. The report recommends, among other things, the establishment of a mayor’s Fund for Young People’s Resilience and Inclusion, worth £3.2m, to help ensure that young people build the necessary strong social connections to battle isolation.

How art helped me see the beauty in loneliness

But what about people of other ages, and in other cities? Last month, following the release of Olivia Laing’s new book The Lonely City, we asked you to share your own accounts of loneliness in urban environments, and whether you thought cities help make people more or less lonely. From Buenos Aires to Edinburgh and Helsinki, you responded with some wonderful stories – here are some of them. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

‘Cities are full of lonely people’
“Hectic lives don’t leave much time to connect with others around us at a basic humane level. Cities are full of lonely people who take it for granted that urban life is such that it simply disconnects people – a gross oxymoron in the age of social media. We are training ourselves to feel at ease chatting with a stranger when we interact with a screen, but we would not dare strike a conversation with a stranger at the bus stop.” (Anonymous Helsinki resident)

‘Starting again in a city can be really hard’
“Having tried both rural and city life, I’ve come to the conclusion that although you can experience loneliness in both, it feels more pressing in a city environment. I’ve just moved to a big city and I’m reminded again of how alienating it can be. When you’re approaching 50 and trying to ‘start again’ in a new place, it can be really hard. In a city it can feel like the whole world is out having fun, which makes you feel like a bit of loser.” (Polly, Edinburgh resident)

‘You’re connected to no one’
“Big cities are intimidating. The more people around you, the easier it is to get lost among them, to lose track of your own self. In big cities one can be completely busy doing so much and be left with little to no time to nurture any particular relationship or interest. Therefore, you’re living surrounded by people, but connected to no one.” (Gustavo, Chicago resident)

‘Living in a city makes me feel more alive’
“Living in a city makes me feel more connected and more alive than anything else. I lived in Newcastle for three years and was forced to move back home to a small town suburb for a year while I got a new job, and that year I was the most stressed I’ve ever been, because I felt like there was a barrier between myself and ‘everyone else’. I moved to the centre of Leeds in 2015, and there is no better feeling than being able to step outside your apartment and be in the middle of a hub.” (Beth, Leeds resident)

‘The high cost of living isolates me’
“I live alone and find that because I am poor I often feel lonely, particularly in the winter as I do not have the money to go out and socialise with friends. The high cost of living in London has isolated me from those who are able to afford a social life.” (Anonymous London resident)

‘The city had little to offer’
“Growing up in a city that had little to offer but decrepit playgrounds, underfunded schools and a sorry park, I spent most of my precious childhood at home staring at screens. Later, I was compelled to move out of the city and into a more suburban, almost rural place. After a rough phase of adaptation, I was overwhelmed with the cordiality that surged up on me. Within a year, I made dozens of friends, met the girl I now live with and developed a much more positive attitude.” (Donald Saunter, ex-Saarbrücken resident)

‘They were lonely months in which staying home on the internet became the norm.’ Photograph: Robert Matton AB/Alamy

‘They were lonely months in which staying home on the internet became the norm.’ Photograph: Robert Matton AB/Alamy

‘The internet is both problem and solution’
“When I arrived in Barcelona, it took about six months to start to feel normal, and they were certainly lonely months, in which staying home on the internet became the norm. The internet was both problem and solution. Problematic because you can interact online and forget that you are not actually seeing real people, and solution because there are so many tools, for finding things to do and people to do them with. I remember for many, many months walking by groups of friends enjoying beers at outdoor bars and feeling incredibly isolated. I do sometimes wonder how many people are walking by me these days and feeling the same.” (Ruby, Barcelona resident)

‘There’s much more opportunity’
“City life makes people less lonely, because you can get around without a car and hence see and talk to your neighbours on the street. Also, there’s much more opportunity to go to things where you’re likely to meet like minded people – things like protest marches, galleries, theatre.” (62-year old Vancouver resident)

‘My neighbour avoids me’
“The friendliest person on my commute is a homeless man in the underground station who says good morning to me every day and now we know each other by name. This is in contrast to my next door neighbour who avoids me because I took him introducing himself to mean that he wanted a chat.”

“Based on the experience of foreigners like myself, I have come to the conclusion that Londoners carefully guard their social circles (maybe because they are so difficult to develop in the first place) and view openness and friendliness from strangers with mild suspicion. This doesn’t bother me now that I’m settled in but in the beginning I was very unhappy in what I thought was a cold, unfriendly city.” (Sarah, London resident)

‘The city is a five-star jail’
“I personally feel that NYC has become a more transient place rather than a community-building place. There’s no real sense of community left. The city has also become an investment haven for absentee foreign owners. It has also become a homogenised ‘Disneyland’ of sorts – imitating itself like the New York New York hotel/casino in Las Vegas. Another life-long New Yorker I know once referred to the city as a ‘five-star jail’ which I found to be pretty accurate. What can be more lonely than a jail?” (David, New York City resident)

‘City life was easier’
“As a relative newbie to my present home town I have struggled immensely with loneliness. City life was actually easier. There were clubs/groups to join that interested me and had like minded people. In smaller towns there is less choice and I feel people are more wary especially if they are established in their life.” (Anonymous)

‘Cities leave you unprotected and exposed’
“I have a thing for major cities, but they can be intimidating. While anonymity isn’t necessarily always bad, big cities do leave you somewhat unprotected and exposed. But part of that loneliness means cities are the ideal environment to discover yourself in your own light, without feeling like you are being watched or frowned upon, and really thrive.” (Juliana, Buenos Aires resident)

‘Their togetherness made me realise I was alone’
“I moved to Paris as a college student. I vividly remember one night coming back from classes. From the university, I took a bus to Place d’Italie. At the following stop the doors opened and many people got in, they were young, cheerful and were talking loudly. Their togetherness and that feeling of camaraderie made me painfully realise that I was alone in the city.” (Sandra, ex-Paris resident)

‘People have their heads down and ears plugged’
“The introduction of modern devices has stolen our eyes, ears, and mouths from other people in situations that may have otherwise garnered opportunity for connection. Airports, subway platforms, even waiting for a cup of coffee or checking out in the grocery line. To avoid feeling or appearing to be isolated or lonely, people occupy their few precious opportunities with their heads down and ears plugged, literally.” (Anonymous New York City resident)

 ‘We feel at ease chatting with a stranger online, but we wouldn’t dare strike up a conversation at the bus stop.’ Photograph: Tolga Akmen/LNP/REX/Shutterstock

‘We feel at ease chatting with a stranger online, but we wouldn’t dare strike up a conversation at the bus stop.’ Photograph: Tolga Akmen/LNP/REX/Shutterstock

‘Big cities can be a black hole’
“I will never forget that bus ride in Vienna on a chilly March afternoon. I wanted to get away from it all and decided to jump into just any bus that would take me far from the city’s concrete maze. Somehow I knew that that final stop would bring me some kind of relief. Don’t get me wrong, I loved and still love Vienna. I’ve experienced great things here, from crazy parties to romantic love stories. Yet it is perhaps because the city offered me so many things in the past that it is particularly painful to live here at present, when the people I shared these moments with are no longer a part of my life. I discovered that the city is a great place if you are happy, but it can be extremely daunting if you are sad.”

“On that day in March, I was feeling even gloomier than the weather. Vienna’s beautiful and majestic buildings ceased to impress me then. They were like a cold and bitter old lady who did not know what it meant to have a broken heart. I needed warmth of some kind. Jumping into a random bus was all I had. If we don’t have the comfort of at least one friend, pet or a partner, big cities can be a black hole where people fall in once in a while. It takes a very strong person to be alone in a big city and not feel lonely. A person to which I aspire.” (Anonymous Vienna resident)

‘I love the noise of the city’
“As an older person I value the ease of visiting cinemas, theatres, shops and the library without driving or organising a taxi. I love the noise of the city; when I lived in the country the silence depressed me. Moved to the city four years ago after 20 years in a small town and have had some of the best times in my life since.” (Anonymous Nice resident)

‘Berlin taught me to value loneliness’
“I moved to Berlin from Australia. Berlin has a special relationship with loneliness. Volatility and short-term layovers are a particular part of Berlin’s shtick: very few people stay in Berlin long-term. For this reason, it was easy to make friends in Berlin, but there was always an implicit understanding that the friendship was finite. This is a city of one-night stand intimacy.”

“I struggled with this initially, but it was never an uncomfortable loneliness. I felt a greater identification with the strangers around me, even though I tended to less interaction with them. An acquaintance observed that Berlin is a city where you go to be alone with other people. This resonated with my experience. Berlin taught me to value loneliness – something that is particularly difficult for my generation to understand, even as we have less real-world contact, and more artificial. In the thrall of social media and smartphones, we are drip-fed a steady supply of Instagram-filtered intimacy – and in this world, negative emotions and loneliness are taboo.” (Anonymous Berlin resident)

And some tips on how to beat urban loneliness…
“Join a gym and go to a class – great way to meet people. Go to one of the many, many evening cultural events that your library puts on. Join a political pressure group or charity that suits your outlook and go to the meetings. Even better, volunteer with a charity or festival and meet people that way. Car driving makes you lonely, so sell it and take sustainable transport.” (Anonymous Vancouver resident)

For the original article see here:

Modern Family

“Interpersonal communication and relationship is not better within family, either. Screens of televisions, computers and recently cell phones, have enslaved our generation.” Edip Yuksel

 

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What Motivates ISIS?

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What Motivates ISIS?

ISIS guard

ISIS guard. ISIS fighters stand guard at a checkpoint in Mosul, Iraq. (Reuters / Stringer)

Here’s What a Man Who Studied Every Suicide Attack in the World Says About ISIS’ Motives
More than anything, the terrorist group’s outward expressions of religious fervor serve its secular objectives of controlling resources and territory.

By Joshua HollandTwitter

DECEMBER 2, 2015
Originally published at The Nation

Despite the existence of a good deal of research about terrorism, there’s a gap between the common understanding of what leads terrorists to kill and what many experts believe to be true.

Terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda are widely seen as being motivated by their radical theology. But according to Robert Pape, a political scientist at the University of Chicago and founder of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, this view is too simplistic. Pape knows his subject; he and his colleagues have studied every suicide attack in the world since 1980, evaluating over 4,600 in all.

He says that religious fervor is not a motive unto itself. Rather, it serves as a tool for recruitment and a potent means of getting people to overcome their fear of death and natural aversion to killing innocents. “Very often, suicide attackers realize they have instincts for self-preservation that they have to overcome,” and religious beliefs are often part of that process, said Pape in an appearance on my radio show, Politics and Reality Radio, last week. But, Pape adds, there have been “many hundreds of secular suicide attackers,” which suggests that radical theology alone doesn’t explain terrorist attacks. From 1980 until about 2003, the “world leader” in suicide attacks was the Tamil Tigers, a secular Marxist nationalist group in Sri Lanka.

According to Pape’s research, underlying the outward expressions of religious fervor, ISIS’s goals, like those of most terrorist groups, are distinctly earthly:

“What 95 percent of all suicide attacks have in common, since 1980, is not religion, but a specific strategic motivation to respond to a military intervention, often specifically a military occupation, of territory that the terrorists view as their homeland or prize greatly. From Lebanon and the West Bank in the 80s and 90s, to Iraq and Afghanistan, and up through the Paris suicide attacks we’ve just experienced in the last days, military intervention—and specifically when the military intervention is occupying territory—that’s what prompts suicide terrorism more than anything else.”

ISIS emerged from the insurgency against the US occupation of Iraq just as the Al Qaeda network traces its origins to the Afghan resistance to the Soviet occupation in the 1980s.

This view differs from that of Hillary Clinton and others who believe that ISIS “has nothing whatsoever to do” with Islam, as well as the more common belief, articulated by Graeme Wood in The Atlantic, that ISIS can be reduced to “a religious group with carefully considered beliefs.” It’s a group whose outward expressions of religious fervor serve its secular objectives of controlling resources and territory. Virtually all of the group’s leaders were once high-ranking officers in Iraq’s secular military.

Pape’s analysis is consistent with what Lydia Wilson found when she interviewed captured ISIS fighters in Iraq. “They are woefully ignorant about Islam and have difficulty answering questions about Sharia law, militant jihad, and the caliphate,” she recently wrote in The Nation. “But a detailed, or even superficial, knowledge of Islam isn’t necessarily relevant to the ideal of fighting for an Islamic State, as we have seen from the Amazon order of Islam for Dummies by one British fighter bound for ISIS.”

But how does the notion that terrorists are intent on getting powers to withdraw from their territory square with the view that the group’s shift to terrorist attacks in the West is designed to draw France and its allies into a ground war in Syria? Writing at the Harvard Business Review, Northeastern University political scientist Max Abrahms argues that these analyses are contradictory. But Pape says that it’s important to distinguish between ISIS’s long-term goals and its shorter-term strategies to achieve them:

“It’s about the timing. How are you going to get the United States, France and other major powers to truly abandon and withdraw from the Persian Gulf when they have such a large interest in oil? A single attack isn’t going to do it. Bin Laden did 9/11 hoping that it would suck a large American ground army into Afghanistan, which would help recruit a large number of suicide attackers to punish America for intervening. We didn’t do that – we used very limited military force in Afghanistan. But what Bin Laden didn’t count on was that we would send a large ground army into Iraq to knock Saddam out. And that turned out to be the most potent recruiting ground for anti-American terrorists that ever was, more so than Bin Laden had ever hoped for in his wildest dreams.”

So if your goal is to create military costs on these states and get them to withdraw, you’ve got to figure out a way to really up the ante. And the way that you really up the ante is to get them to overreact. You try to get them to send a large ground army in so that you can truly drive up the costs. That’s what ISIS is trying to sucker us into doing.

Another theory holds that ISIS—and Al Qaeda—set their sights on France in order to polarize mainstream French society against its Muslim community. As University of Michigan historian Juan Cole put it after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, “The problem for a terrorist group like Al Qaeda is that its recruitment pool is Muslims, but most Muslims are not interested in terrorism. Most Muslims are not even interested in politics, much less political Islam.” In Cole’s formulation, if violent Islamic fundamentalists “can get non-Muslim French to be beastly to ethnic Muslims on the grounds that they are Muslims, it can start creating a common political identity around grievance against discrimination.”

Pape says this analysis is also consistent with his research:

“If ISIS is going to end the military intervention by France, one attack is not likely to do it. In the statement that ISIS released, they say that they want a storm of similar attacks against Paris and other French targets because their goal is to knock France out of the military coalition. To do that, to achieve that goal, they’re going to need to recruit many more attackers to do suicide attacks like the ones that occurred in Paris. In the short-term it makes perfect sense to want an environment that stirs up hostility towards Muslims in France, because that will make them much easier to recruit for their longer-term object of kicking France of the coalition.”

Pape also argues that ISIS’ shift in strategy to attacks overseas is a sign not of its strength, but of its weakness on the ground in Syria and Iraq. He points out that over the past year, the amount of territory ISIS controls has shrunk by 10 percent:

“The U.S. strategy against ISIS is working and it’s putting enormous pressure on ISIS. It’s a strategy of air and ground power, with the ground power coming from local allies—the Kurds and the Shia in the region, and even some Sunnis who are opposed to ISIS. They’re increasingly working with us on the ground while we’re fighting from the air. The problem here is not that we don’t have enough ground forces.”

It’s because the strategy is working that ISIS is now desperate, and is shifting its pattern of behavior. In October, ISIS launched only eight suicide attacks in Iraq and Syria, when they normally do 30 to 35 per month, and that’s the same month that they shifted to suicide attacks in Ankara, Turkey, on October 10. Then they downed the Russian plane on October 31st, and now the Paris attacks on November 13th. As ISIS’ territory has shrunk in Iraq and Syria, it is now clearly shifting its suicide attack resources out of Iraq and Syria, and into Turkey, into killing Russian civilians, and now also into Paris.

In Pape’s view, most of the conventional wisdom about what terrorists want to achieve is wrong, and that disconnect has limited the effectiveness of the West’s response to terrorism.

Robert Pape’s responses have been condensed and edited for clarity. You can listen to the entire 18-minute interview below.
You can also download the whole show at iTunes. It also featured Rebecca Hamlin, an assistant professor of legal studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the author of Let Me Be a Refugee: Administrative Justice and the Politics of Asylum in the United States, Canada and Australia, discussing Syrian refugees, and Salon columnist Heather “Digby” Parton talking about the ugly politics of terrorism.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this piece described the Tamil Tigers as “a secular Marxist group of Hindu nationalists in Sri Lanka.” Though the majority of Tamil Tigers are Hindu, the conflict is not religious and not all group members are Hindu, so that part of the descriptor has been removed.

http://www.thenation.com/article/heres-what-a-man-who-studied-every-suicide-attack-in-the-world-says-about-isiss-motives/

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Muslim Reform or Become Extinct

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Muslims either Reform or become Extinct

Edip Yuksel*
1 January 2015
www.19.org
(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 19.org

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Idiots v Idiotmeters or I.Q. IQ TESTS

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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. It’s PDF is available here (click on the cover):

Test your IQ Munzert

IDIOTS v. IDIOTMETERS

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

© Edip Yuksel, J.D.
www.19.org
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?

Test your IQ Munzert Q 46

 

 

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
www.19.org 

(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:

www.19.org
www.progressivemuslims.org
www.free-minds.org
www.quranic.org

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: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0979671507/

August, 2007

Edip Yuksel

19@19.org

[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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Terror

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Terrorism! What? How? Why?

Edip Yuksel
www.19.org
16 November 2015

military_industrial_complex

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

Examples of STATE TERRORISM due to RACISM and NATIONALISM

  • 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

Examples of STATE TERRORISM due to IMPERIALISM and COLONIALISM:

  • 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:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-l-phillips/us-and-turkey-on-a-collis_b_8452606.html

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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:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-l-phillips/turkeys-dark-future_b_7906588.html

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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

Lambda Dongyi-Lu

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?

Peace,
Edip

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: http://rna.ucsc.edu/rnacenter/images/figs/ecoli_23s.jpg

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: https://biologos.org/blogs/archive/randomness-and-god’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 cbrunk@ucla.edu; 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] (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/301/5641/1866.long), 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 https://biologos.org/blogs/archive/big-picture-or-big-gaps-why-natural-theology-is-better-than-intelligent-design. 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.

Lambda

**

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 BioLogos.org (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.

 

[1] https://biologos.org/blogs/dennis-venema-letters-to-the-duchess/evolution-basics-evolution-and-the-christian-part-1-is-evolution-a-purposeless-mechanism

[2]See https://biologos.org/uploads/projects/louis_white_paper.pdf, 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

Sharia

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.

Conclusion

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: http://quranonly.com/.

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: http://hasanmahmud.com/.

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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 | BGNNews.com | Istanbul

http://national.bgnnews.com/turkish-author-sentenced-to-3-5-years-for-insulting-both-erdogan-and-ataturk-haberi/10654

 

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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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