13 STRANGE RULES OF ISLAM
Many Westernized people outside the Arab world are drawn to what they perceive as the simplicity, peace, and reasonableness of Islam. However, before you accept Islam at face value or consider converting, it is important to understand that conversion to Islam demands that you follow the Qur’an (scripture), the hadith (oral teachings of Muhammad), and the sunna (actions of Muhammad). Many of these teachings make no sense to Westerners. In fact, if you asked the average Muslim why Muhammad set some of these rules, they would not know either. After all, Muslims are taught never to question the infallible word of Allah and his Prophet (Qur’an 5:101).
Considering that conversion to Islam is final, with death being the penalty for abandoning Islam (Bukhari, Vol. 4, Number 260), perhaps the dog-lovers, modern women, and reasonable minded among us should consider these strange, but mandatory, rules:
Islam makes it a sin to pluck your eyebrows.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 7, Number 815
Muslims are not allowed to have pictures in their homes.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 7, Number 844
If a Muslim wife refuses to wear the veil, others will regard her as her husband’s slave, not a wife.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 7, Number 22
Unmarried people who have sex are to be whipped 100 lashes and sent into exile for one year.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 3, Number 817
Although Islam teaches getting into heaven is a matter of having your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, there are certain things that guarantee heaven: memorizing the 99 names of Allah, having 2 of your children die before you in jihad, and killing someone who does not believe in Islam.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 3, Number 894. Bukhari, Vol. 2, Number 341. Bukhari, Vol. 1, Number 35
Allah encourages lying to non-believers to keep the peace or to overpower them.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 3, Number 857
Allah forbids women from wearing wigs or hair extensions.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 7, Number 133
Muslims are not allowed to wear the color yellow.
Q Muslim, Book 24, Number 5173
Yawning is from Satan and to be avoided at all costs.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 8, Number 242
Muhammad taught that all dogs should be killed.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 4, Number 540
Muhammad urged women to breast-feed grown young men so that the men would be considered family and therefore able to be around the unveiled women and would be unable to marry the women.
Q Muslim, Book 8, Number 3426
It is sinful to lie on your back with your feet crossed one on top of the other.
Q Muslim, Book 24, Number 5238….
- Former Muslim: Islam Is ‘Not Merely A Religion But A Cult Belief System, The Cult Of Muhammad’ (midnightwatcher.wordpress.com)
- Islam’s Terrorist Dogma in Muhammad’s Own Words (angelforisrael.wordpress.com)
Does Islam have a loophole for sex-on-demand called ‘temporary marriage’?
It is called Nikah Mut’ah, a fixed-time arrangement between a man and a woman that dissolves once the duration expires.
Qur’an (4:24) – “And those of whom ye seek content (by marrying them), give unto them their portions as a duty. And there is no sin for you in what ye do by mutual agreement after the duty (hath been done)”
Qur’an (5:87) – “O you who believe! do not forbid (yourselves) the good things which Allah has made lawful for you and do not exceed the limits; surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits” Surprisingly the context for this verse (which is found in Bukhari (60:139) is temporary marriage, in this case trading an article of clothing for a few days of access to a woman’s body. By calling this a “good thing,” Muhammad really stood traditional morality on its ear.
From the Hadith:
Muslim (8:3252) – Muhammad clearly allowed his men to use temporary marriage as a sanctioned form of prostitution. (To be fair, the end of the hadith also seems to suggest that the practice was later forbidden. Islamic scholars disagree as to the historical context, and whether or not it is enough to supersede verse 4:24 of the Qur’an).
Since temporary marriage is a euphemism for prostitution, the Sunnis believe that it should only be practiced in certain times (such as the lifetime of Muhammad… oddly enough). The Shias take a more liberal position and freely allow the practice.
Lying (Taqiyya and Kitman)
Question: Are Muslims permitted to lie?
Muslim scholars teach that Muslims should generally be truthful to each other, unless the purpose of lying is to “smooth over differences.”
There are two forms of lying to non-believers that are permitted under certain circumstances, taqiyya and kitman. These circumstances are typically those that advance the cause Islam – in some cases by gaining the trust of non-believers in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them.
Qur’an (16:106) – Establishes that there are circumstances that can “compel” a Muslim to tell a lie.
Qur’an (3:28) – This verse tells Muslims not to take those outside the faith as friends, unless it is to “guard themselves.”
Qur’an (9:3) – “…Allah and His Messenger are free from liability to the idolaters…” The dissolution of oaths with the pagans who remained at Mecca following its capture. They did nothing wrong, but were evicted anyway.
Qur’an (40:28) – A man is introduced as a believer, but one who must “hide his faith” among those who are not believers.
Qur’an (2:225) – “Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts” The context of this remark is marriage, which explains why Sharia allows spouses to lie to each other for the greater good.
Qur’an (66:2) – “Allah has already ordained for you, (O men), the dissolution of your oaths”
Qur’an (3:54) – “And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers.” The Arabic word used here for scheme (or plot) is makara, which literally means deceit. If Allah is deceitful toward unbelievers, then there is little basis for denying that Muslims are allowed to do the same. (See also 8:30 and 10:21)
Taken collectively these verses are interpreted to mean that there are circumstances when a Muslim may be “compelled” to deceive others for a greater purpose.
From the Hadith:
Bukhari (52:269) – “The Prophet said, ‘War is deceit.'” The context of this is thought to be the murder of Usayr ibn Zarim and his thirty unarmed men by Muhammad’s men after he “guaranteed” them safe passage (see Additional Notes below).
Bukhari (49:857) – “He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar.” Lying is permitted when the end justifies the means.
Bukhari (84:64-65) – Speaking from a position of power at the time, Ali confirms that lying is permissible in order to deceive an “enemy.”
Muslim (32:6303) – “…he did not hear that exemption was granted in anything what the people speak as lie but in three cases: in battle, for bringing reconciliation amongst persons and the narration of the words of the husband to his wife, and the narration of the words of a wife to her husband (in a twisted form in order to bring reconciliation between them).”
Bukhari (50:369) – Recounts the murder of a poet, Ka’b bin al-Ashraf, at Muhammad’s insistence. The men who volunteered for the assassination used dishonesty to gain Ka’b’s trust, pretending that they had turned against Muhammad. This drew the victim out of his fortress, whereupon he was brutally slaughtered despite putting up a ferocious struggle for his life.
From Islamic Law:
Reliance of the Traveler (p. 746 – 8.2) – “Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible (N:i.e. when the purpose of lying is to circumvent someone who is preventing one from doing something permissible), and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory… it is religiously precautionary in all cases to employ words that give a misleading impression…
“One should compare the bad consequences entailed by lying to those entailed by telling the truth, and if the consequences of telling the truth are more damaging, one is entitled to lie.
Muslims are allowed to lie to unbelievers in order to defeat them. The two forms are:
Taqiyya – Saying something that isn’t true.
Kitman – Lying by omission. An example would be when Muslim apologists quote only a fragment of verse 5:32 (that if anyone kills “it shall be as if he had killed all mankind”) while neglecting to mention that the rest of the verse (and the next) mandate murder in undefined cases of “corruption” and “mischief.”
Though not called Taqiyya by name, Muhammad clearly used deception when he signed a 10-year treaty with the Meccans that allowed him access to their city while he secretly prepared his own forces for a takeover. The unsuspecting residents were conquered in easy fashion after he broke the treaty two years later, and some of the people in the city who had trusted him at his word were executed.
Another example of lying is when Muhammad used deception to trick his personal enemies into letting down their guard and exposing themselves to slaughter by pretending to seek peace. This happened in the case of Ka’b bin al-Ashraf (as previously noted) and again later against Usayr ibn Zarim, a surviving leader of the Banu Nadir tribe, which had been evicted from their home in Medina by the Muslims.
At the time, Usayr ibn Zarim was attempting to gather an armed force against the Muslims from among a tribe allied with the Quraish (against which Muhammad had already declared war). Muhammad’s “emissaries” went to ibn Zarim and persuaded him to leave his safe haven on the pretext of meeting with the prophet of Islam in Medina to discuss peace. Once vulnerable, the leader and his thirty companions were massacred by the Muslims with ease, belying the probability that they were mostly unarmed, having been given a guarantee of safe passage (Ibn Ishaq 981).
Such was the reputation of Muslims for lying and then killing that even those who “accepted Islam” did not feel entirely safe. The fate of the Jadhima is tragic evidence for this. When Muslim “missionaries” approached their tribe one of the members insisted that they would be slaughtered even though they had already “converted” to Islam to avoid just such a demise. However, the others were convinced that they could trust the Muslim leader’s promise that they would not be harmed if they simply offered no resistance. (After convincing the skeptic to lay down his arms, the unarmed men of the tribe were quickly tied up and beheaded – Ibn Ishaq 834 & 837).
Today’s Muslims often try to justify Muhammad’s murder of poets and others who criticized him at Medina by saying that they broke a treaty by their actions. Yet, these same apologists place little value on treaties broken by Muslims. From Muhammad to Saddam Hussein, promises made to non-Muslim are distinctly non-binding in the Muslim mindset.
Leaders in the Arab world routinely say one thing to English-speaking audiences and then something entirely different to their own people in Arabic. Yassir Arafat was famous for telling Western newspapers about his desire for peace with Israel, then turning right around and whipping Palestinians into a hateful and violent frenzy against Jews.
The 9/11 hijackers practiced deception by going into bars and drinking alcohol, thus throwing off potential suspicion that they were fundamentalists plotting jihad. This effort worked so well, in fact, that even weeks after 9/11, John Walsh, the host of a popular American television show, said that their bar trips were evidence of ‘hypocrisy.’
The transmission from Flight 93 records the hijackers telling their doomed passengers that there is “a bomb on board” but that everyone will “be safe” as long as “their demands are met.” Obviously none of these things were true, but these men, who were so intensely devoted to Islam that they were willing to “slay and be slain for the cause of Allah” (as the Qur’an puts it) saw nothing wrong with employing Taqiyya in order to facilitate their mission of mass murder.
The near absence of Qur’anic verse and reliable Hadith that encourage truthfulness is somewhat surprising, given that many Muslims are convinced that their religion teaches honesty. In fact, it is because of this ingrained belief that many Muslims are quite honest. When lying is addressed in the Qur’an, it is nearly always in reference to the “lies against Allah” – referring to the Jews and Christians who rejected Muhammad’s claim to being a prophet.
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Muhammad allowed his men to rape the women captured in raids. However, after capturing the women, Muslims faced a dilemma. They wanted to have sex with them but also wanted to return them for ransom and therefore did not want to make them …pregnant. Some of these women were already married. Their husbands had managed to escape when taken by surprise and were still alive. The raiders considered the possibility of coitus interruptus (withdrawing from intercourse prior to ejaculation). Unsure of the best course of action, they went to Muhammad for counsel.
Abu Saeed said: “We went out with Allâh’s Apostle for the Ghazwa of Banu Al-Mustaliq and we received captives from among the Arab captives and we desired women and celibacy became hard on us and we loved to do coitus interruptus. So when we intended to do coitus interruptus, we said, ‘How can we do coitus interruptus before asking Allâh’s Apostle who is present among us?” We asked (him) about it and he said, ‘It is better for you not to do so, for if any soul (till the Day of Resurrection) is predestined to exist, it will exist.”
Notice that Muhammad does not forbid raping women captured in war. Instead, he indicates that when Allâh intends to create anything, nothing can prevent it. In other words, not even the absence of semen can prevent it. So Muhammad is telling his men that coitus interruptus would be futile and ill-advised because it would be an attempt to thwart the irresistible will of Allâh. Muhammad does not say a word against the forced insemination of these captive females. In fact, by criticizing coitus interruptus, in effect he supported forced insemination.
In the Qur’an, Muhammad’s god made it legal to have intercourse with slave women, the so-called “right hand possessions,” even if they were married before their capture.
Ibn Aun has narrated:
“I wrote a letter to Nafi and Nafi wrote in reply to my letter that the Prophet had suddenly attacked Bani Mustaliq without warning while they were heedless and their cattle were being watered at the places of water. T…heir fighting men were killed and their women and children were taken as captives; the Prophet got Juwairiya on that day. Nafi said that Ibn ‘Umar had told him the above narration and that Ibn ‘Umar was in that army.” Bukhari 3.46.717 (see also Muslim 019. 4292)
Muhammad sent one of his companions; Bareeda bin Haseeb, to spy on the Bani al-Mustaliq and after assessing the situation he ordered his men to attack. Muslims came out of Madina on 2nd Shaban of 5 A.H. and encamped at Muraisa, a place at a distance of 9 marches from Medina.
Juwairiya was one of the captives during the raid of Banu Mustaliq. When all the prisoners were made slaves and distributed among the victorious Muslim soldiers, Juwairiyah fell to the lot of Thabit bin Qais. She was the daughter of Haris, the leader of the clan.
The Islamic site muslims.ws writes: “She was the daughter of the leader of the clan, and therefore, very much felt the discomfiture and disgrace of being made slave of an ordinary Muslim soldier. Therefore, she requested him to release her on payment of ransom. Thabit agreed to this, if she could pay him 9 Auqias of gold. Hazrat Juwairiyah had no ready money with her. She tried to raise this amount through contributions, and approached the Holy Prophet also in this connection. She said to him “0’ Prophet of Allah! I am the daughter of Al Haris bin Zarar, the Lord (chief) of his people. You know that it is by chance that our people have fallen captive and I have fallen to the share of Thabit bin Qais and have requested him to release me considering my status, but he has refused. Please do an act of kindness and save me from humiliation”. The Holy Prophet was moved and asked the captive woman if she would like a thing still better. She asked as to what was that thing. He said that he was ready to pay her ransom and marry her if she liked. She agreed to this proposal. So the Holy Prophet paid the amount of ransom and married her.”
First he raids a population without warning because they were easy targets and wealthy. As usual he kills the unarmed able-bodied men, plunders their belongings, then enslaves the rest. The narrator says, “According to the prevailing practice all the prisoners were made slaves and distributed among the victorious Muslim soldiers.” Prevailing practice? Didn’t Muhammad come to show people the right way? Why should he follow the evil prevailing practices of a people whom he called ignorant? By doing so, he set the example and those evil practices became standard practices of the Muslims for ever.
The narrator says that upon seeing Juwairiyah the Prophet was “moved”. Methinks that movement must have happened in his male organ because his heart seems to have remained cold and unmoved. Although Muslims call this marriage, I call it rape.
Safiyah was a beautiful 17 years old Jewish woman who was captured when Muhammad’s troops raided Kheibar. She was the daughter or Huyeiy Ibn Akhtab, the chief of the Banu Nadir, a Jewish tribe of Medina , whom Muhammad had beheaded two year…s earlier along with the men of Banu Quriaza. The tribe of Banu Nadir had been already banished from Medina and their properties were confiscated.
Safiyah had married to her cousin Kinana, who was a young Jewish leader of Kheibar. When Muhammad raided that fortress, he killed its unarmed men and captured the rest. A Jewish traitor, (reminds me of Noam Chomsky) to gain Muhammad’s favor and be spared from death, told him that Kinana was the treasurer of the town and that he used to hide the money in some ruins. Muhammad ordered Kinana to be tortured to reveal the whereabouts of the treasures and killed him.
Then he asked the prettiest woman from amongst that captives to be brought to him. Ibn Ishaq writes: “The apostle occupied the Jewish forts one after the other, taking prisoners as he went. Among these were Safiya, the wife of Kinana, the Khaibar chief, and two female cousins: [sisters of Kinana] the apostle chose Safiya for himself. The other prisoners were distributed among the Muslims. Bilal brought Safiya to the apostle, and they passed the bodies of several Jews on the way. Safiya’s female companions lamented and strewed dust on their heads. When the apostle of Allâh observed this scene, he said, ‘Remove these she devils from me.’ But he ordered Safiya to remain, and threw his reda [cloak] over her. So the Muslims knew he had reserved her for his own. The apostle reprimanded Bilal, saying, ‘Hast thou lost all feelings of mercy, to make women pass by the corpses of their husbands?’”
Safiyah was taken to Muhammad’s tent. Muhammad wanted to have sex with her on that very night, only hours after torturing to death her husband. She resisted his advances. That night Abu Ayyub al-Ansari guarded the tent of Muhammad. When, in the early dawn, Muhammad saw Abu Ayyub strolling up and down, he asked him what he meant by this sentry-go; he replied: “I was afraid for you with this young lady. You had killed her father, her husband and many of her relatives, I was really afraid for you on her account”. (Ibn Ishaq, p. 766)
The next day Muhammad covered Safiyah with his mantle, an act signifying that she is now his. Safiyah was groomed and made-up for Muhammad by Umm Sulaim, the mother of Anas ibn Malik and was taken to Muhammad who married her in a mock marriage ceremony and raped her that night. Muslims call this marriage. I call that rape. I am certain not many young women would like to jump into bed with an old man who happens to be the murderer of their father and husband and many other relatives. That poor woman had no choice; therefore that marriage was nothing but a mockery of this sacred institution. At that time Muhammad was close to sixty years old.
Another victim of Muhammad was Rayhana, a 15 year old girl from the tribe of Banu Quraiza. Muhammad massacred all the men of that tribe. Then women were brought to him to pick and he chose Rayhana. Rayhana never married Muhammad and unlike Juwairiyah and Safiyah never feigned being a Muslim to have an easier life. She preferred to remain a sex slave rather the wife of the murderer of her father, brothers and uncles. .
 Bukhari, Volume 5, Book59, Number 459. Many other canonical hadiths recount how Muhammad approved intercourse with slave women, but said coitus interruptus was unnecessary because if Allâh willed someone to be born, that soul would be… born regardless of coitus interruptus.
See the following:
Bukhari 3.34.432: “Narrated Abu Saeed Al-Khudri: that while he was sitting with Allâh’s Apostle he said, “O Allâh’s Apostle! We get female captives as our share of booty, and we are interested in their prices, what is your opinion about coitus interruptus?” The Prophet said, “Do you really do that? It is better for you not to do it. No soul that which Allâh has destined to exist, but will surely come into existence.”
Sahih Muslim is another source considered factual and accurate by virtually all Muslims. Here is Sahih Muslim 8.3381: “Allâh’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) was asked about ‘azl, (coitus interruptus) whereupon he said: The child does not come from all the liquid (semen) and when Allâh intends to create anything nothing can prevent it (from coming into existence).”
Muslims also consider Abu Dawood highly accurate and factual. Here is Abu Dawood, 188.8.131.52: “Yahya related to me from Malik from Humayd ibn Qays al-Makki that a man called Dhafif said that Ibn Abbas was asked about coitus interruptus. He called a slave-girl of his and said, ‘Tell them.’ She was embarrassed. He said, ‘It is alright, and I do it myself.’ Malik said, ‘A man does not practise coitus interruptus with a free woman unless she gives her permission. There is no harm in practicing coitus interruptus with a slave-girl without her permission. Someone who has someone else’s slave-girl as a wife does not practice coitus interruptus with her unless her people give him permission.’”
See also Bukhari 3.46.718, 5.59.459, 7.62.135, 7.62.136, 7.62.137, 8.77.600, 9.93.506 Sahih Muslim 8.3383, 8.3388, 8.3376, 8.3377, and several more.
 Qur’an, 4:24: “Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess: Thus hath Allâh ordained (Prohibitions) against you.”
Qur’an, 33:50): “O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allâh has assigned to thee.”
Qur’an, 4:3: “If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.”
As an adult, Muhammad worked as a trader between the cities of Mecca and Damascus, and earned a great reputation in the process. Having heard of the reputation of Muhammad, Lady Khadijah, one of the noblest of the Quraysh, on one occasion commissioned him to take charge of some of her trading business between the two cities. Lady Khadijah sent one of her servants, Maysarah, along with him to keep an eye on him and report back to her. Having seen his performance in the business, and the returns he had produced as well as his honesty, Lady Khadijah put Muhammad in charge of her business. Although she had many proposals of marriage from various dignitaries of the Quraysh, Lady Khadijah declined them all. It is reported that it was Lady Khadijah who, albeit indirectly and discreetly, made the marriage proposal to Muhammad. Some historians have reported that when they married in 595CE he was 25 and she was a 40 year old widow with children.
Mohammad had many other wives after her, most captured during raids and war on pagans, Christians, and Jews. They were given to him by Allah. In total he had eleven wives.
Muslims refer to them as Mothers of the Believers (Arabic: Ummu l-Mu’minīn). Muslims use the term prominently before or after referring to them as a sign of respect. The term is derived from the Qur’anic verse 33:6.
The most famous “wife” is the six year old he married, Aisha, though reportedly didn’t have sex with until she was nine years old. Mohammad’s acts and sayings, in addition to the Qu’ran that he dictated, are the bases for all of Islam and Sharia, Islamic Law.
Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64
“that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).”
Because of the marriage to the six year old, Islam permits marriage to children and this is still practiced, especially in Saudi Arabia. This is an article on CNN on the marriage of an 8 year old to a 40 year old male upheld by Saudi Arabian court:
Given Islam’s violent history and the unfavorable contrast of its oppressive practices against 21st century values, Muslims are hard-pressed to repackage their faith in the modern age. Some of its leading apologists have come to rely on tricks involving semantics and half-truths that are, in turn, repeated by novices and even those outside the faith.
This is a document (which we hope to improve on and expand over time) that exposes some of these games and helps truth-seekers find their way through the maze of disingenuous (often blatantly false) claims about Islam and its history.
“If Islam were a violent religion, then all Muslims would be violent.”
“Other religions kill, too.”
Muhammad preached no compulsion in religion (Qur’an: 2:256)
“Muhammad never killed anyone.”
The Qur’an Teaches that all Life is Sacred (Qur’an 5:32)
“Muslims only kill in self-defense.”
The million dollar wager that “Holy War” isn’t in the Qur’an.
“Verses of violence are taken out of context.”
“Islam must be true, because it is the world’s fastest growing religion.”
“The Qur’an can only be understood in Arabic.”
“If Islam were a violent religion, then all Muslims would be violent.”
The Muslim Game:
Most Muslims live peacefully, without harming others, so how can Islam be a violent religion? If Islam were the religion of terrorists, then why aren’t most Muslims terrorists?
The same question can easily be turned around. If Islam is a religion of peace, then why is it the only one that consistently produces religiously-motivated terrorist attacks each and every day of the year? Why are thousands of people willing and able to cut off an innocent person’s head or fly a plane into a building while screaming praises to Allah? Where’s the outrage among other Muslims when this happens… and why do they get more worked up over cartoons and hijabs?
Rather than trying to answer a question with a question, however, let’s just say that the reason why most Muslims don’t kill is that (regardless of what Islam may or may not teach) it’s wrong to kill over religion.
Consider that many Muslims would not even think of amputating a thief’s hand. Does this mean that it is against Islam to do so? Of course not! In fact, this mandate is clearly found in one of the last verses in the Qur’an (5:38) and in the example of Muhammad according to the Hadith (Bukhari 81:792).
Muslims may believe whatever they want to about what Islam says or doesn’t say, but it doesn’t change what Islam says about itself. As an ideology, it exists independently of anyone’s opinion. As such, it may be studied objectively and apart from how anyone else practices or chooses to interprets it.
The Qur’an plainly teaches that it is not just proper to kill in the name of Allah in certain circumstances, but that it is actually a requirement. Muslims who don’t believe in killing over religion may be that way out of ignorance or because they are more loyal to the moral law written in their hearts than they are to the details of Muhammad’s religion. Those who put Islam first or know Islam best know otherwise.
In fact, few Muslims have ever read the Qur’an to any extent, much less pursued an honest investigation of the actual words and deeds of Muhammad, which were more in line with hedonism, deception, power and violence than with moral restraint. The harsh rules that Muslim countries impose on free speech to protect Islam from critique also prevent it from being fully understood. In the West, many Muslims, devout or otherwise, simply prefer to believe that Islam is aligned with the Judeo-Christian principles of peace and tolerance, even if it means filtering evidence to the contrary.
It is no coincidence, however, that the purists of the faith – those most prone to abandoning themselves to Islam without moral preconception – are always the more dangerous and supremacist-minded. They may be called ‘extremists’ or ‘fundamentalists,’ but, at the end of the day, they are also the more literal and dedicated to the Qur’an and following the path of Jihad as mandated by Muhammad.
“Other religions kill, too.”
The Muslim Game:
Bringing other religions down to the level of Islam is one of the most popular strategies of Muslim apologists when confronted with the spectacle of Islamic violence. Remember Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber? Why pick on Islam if other religions have the same problems?
Because they don’t.
Regardless of what his birth certificate may or may not have said, Timothy McVeigh was not a religious man (in fact, he stated explicitly that he was agnostic). At no time did he credit his deeds to religion, quote Bible verses, or claim that he killed for Jesus. His motives are very well documented through interviews and research. God is never mentioned.
The so-called “members of other faiths” alluded to by Muslims are nearly always just nominal members who have no active involvement. They are neither inspired by, nor do they credit religion as Muslim terrorists do – and this is what makes it a very different matter.
Islam is associated with Islamic terrorism because that is the association that the terrorists themselves choose to make.
Muslims who compare crime committed by people who happen to be nominal members of other religions to religious terror committed explicitly in the name of Islam are comparing apples to oranges.
Yes, some of the abortion clinic bombers were religious (as Muslims enjoy pointing out), but consider the scope of the problem. There have been six deadly attacks over a 36 year period in the U.S. Eight people died. This is an average of one death every 4.5 years.
By contrast, Islamic terrorists staged nearly ten thousand deadly attacks in just the six years following September 11th, 2001. If one goes back to 1971, when Muslim armies in Bangladesh began the mass slaughter of Hindus, through the years of Jihad in the Sudan, Kashmir and Algeria, and the present-day Sunni-Shia violence in Iraq, the number of innocents killed in the name of Islam probably exceeds five million over this same period.
In the last six years, there have been perhaps a dozen or so religiously-inspired killings by people of all other faiths combined. No other religion produces the killing sprees that Islam does nearly every day of the year. Neither do they have verses in their holy texts that arguably support it. Nor do they have large groups across the globe dedicated to the mass murder of people who worship a different god, as the broader community of believers struggles with ambivalence and tolerance for a radical clergy that supports the terror.
Muslims may like to pretend that other religions are just as subject to “misinterpretation” as is their “perfect” one, but the reality speaks of something far worse.
Muhammad preached “No compulsion in religion.” (Qur’an, Verse 2:256)
The Muslim Game:
Muslims quote verse 2:256 from the Qur’an to prove what a tolerant religion Islam is. The verse reads in part, “Let there be no compulsion in religion; truth stands out clearly from error…”
The Muslim who offers this verse may or may not understand that it is from one of the earliest Suras (or chapters) from the Medinan period. It was “revealed” at a time when the Muslims had just arrived in Medina after being chased out of Mecca. They needed to stay in the good graces of the stronger tribes around them, many of which were Jewish. It was around this time, for example, that Muhammad decided to have his followers change the direction of their prayer from Mecca to Jerusalem.
But Muslims today pray toward Mecca. The reason for this is that Muhammad issued a later command that abrogated (or nullified) the first. In fact, abrogation is a very important principle to keep in mind when interpreting the Qur’an – and verse 2:256 in particular – because later verses (in chronological terms) are said to abrogate any earlier ones that may be in contradiction (Qur’an 2:106, 16:101).
Muhammad’s message was far closer to peace and tolerance during his early years at Mecca, when he didn’t have an army and was trying to pattern his new religion after Christianity. This changed dramatically after he attained the power to conquer, which he eventually used with impunity to bring other tribes into the Muslim fold. Contrast verse 2:256 with Suras 9 and 5, which were the last “revealed,” and it is easy to see why Islam has been anything but a religion of peace from the time of Muhammad to the present day.
There is some evidence that verse 2:256 may not have been intended for Muslims at all, but is instead meant to be a warning to other religions concerning their treatment of Muslims. Verse 193 of the same Sura instructs Muslims to “fight with them (non-Muslims) until there is no more persecution and religion is only for Allah.” This reinforces the narcissistic nature of Islam, which places Muslims above non-Muslims, and applies a very different value and standard of treatment to both groups.
Though most Muslims today reject the practice of outright forcing others into changing their religion, forced conversion has been a part of Islamic history since Muhammad first picked up a sword. As he is recorded in many places as saying, “I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah…” (See Bukhari 2:24)
Muhammad put his words into practice. When he marched into Mecca with an army, one of his very first tasks was to destroy idols at the Kaaba, which had been devoutly worshipped by the Arabs for centuries. By eliminating these objects of worship, he destroyed the religion of the people and supplanted it with his own. Later, he ordered that Jews and Christians who would not convert to Islam be expelled from Arabia. Does forcing others to choose between their homes or their faith sound like “no compulsion in religion?”
According to Muslim historians, Muhammad eventually ordered people to attend prayers at the mosque to the point of burning alive those who didn’t comply. He also ordered that children who reached a certain age be beaten if they refused to pray.
Interestingly, even the same Muslims of today who quote 2:256 usually believe in Islamic teachings that sound very much like religious compulsion. These would be the laws punishing apostasy by death (or imprisonment, for females), and the institutionalized discrimination against religious minorities under Islamic rule that is sometimes referred to as “dhimmiitude.”
Islamic law explicitly prohibits non-Muslims from sharing their faith and even includes the extortion of money from them in the form of a tax called the jizya. Those who refuse to pay this arbitrary amount are put to death. If this isn’t compulsion, then what is?
The Muslim Game:
Muslims love talking about the Crusades… and Christians love apologizing for them. To hear both parties tell the story, one would believe that Muslims were just peacefully minding their own business in lands that were legitimately Muslim when Christian armies decided to wage holy war and “kill millions.”
Every part of this myth is a lie. By the rules that Muslims claim for themselves, the Crusades were perfectly justified, and the excesses (though beneath Christian standards) pale in comparison with the historical treatment of conquered populations at the hands of Muslims.
Here are some quick facts…
The first Crusade began in 1095… 460 years after the first Christian city was overrun by Muslim armies, 457 years after Jerusalem was conquered by Muslim armies, 453 years after Egypt was taken by Muslim armies, 443 after Muslims first plundered Italy, 427 years after Muslim armies first laid siege to the Christian capital of Constantinople, 380 years after Spain was conquered by Muslim armies, 363 years after France was first attacked by Muslim armies, 249 years after Rome itself was sacked by a Muslim army, and only after centuries of church burnings, killings, enslavement and forced conversions of Christians.
By the time the Crusades finally began, Muslim armies had conquered two-thirds of the Christian world.
Europe had been harassed by Muslims since the first few years following Muhammad’s death. As early as 652, Muhammad’s followers launched raids on the island of Sicily, waging a full-scale occupation 200 years later that lasted almost a century and was punctuated by massacres, such as that at the town of Castrogiovanni, in which 8,000 Christians were put to death. In 1084, ten years before the first crusade, Muslims staged another devastating Sicilian raid, burning churches in Reggio, enslaving monks and raping an abbey of nuns before carrying them into captivity.
In 1095, Byzantine Emperor, Alexius I Comneus began begging the pope in Rome for help in turning back the Muslim armies which were overrunning what is now Turkey, grabbing property as they went and turning churches into mosques. Several hundred thousand Christians had been killed in Anatolia alone in the decades following 1050 by Seljuk invaders interested in ‘converting’ the survivors to Islam.
Not only were Christians losing their lives in their own lands to the Muslim advance but pilgrims to the Holy Land from other parts of Europe were being harassed, kidnapped, molested, forcibly converted to Islam and occasionally murdered. (Compare this to Islam’s justification for slaughter on the basis of Muslims being denied access to the Meccan pilgrimage in Muhammad’s time).
The Crusaders only invaded lands that were Christian. They did not attack Saudi Arabia (other than a half-hearted expedition by a minor figure) or sack Mecca as the Muslims had done (and continued doing) to Italy and Constantinople. Their primary goal was the recapture of Jerusalem and the security of safe passage for pilgrims. The toppling of the Muslim empire was not on the agenda.
The period of Crusader “occupation” (of its own former land) was stretched over less than two centuries. (The Arab occupation is in its 1,380th year).
Despite popular depiction, the Crusades were not a titanic battle between Christianity and Islam. Although originally dispatched by papal decree, the “occupiers” quickly became part of the political and economic fabric of the Middle East without much regard for religious differences. Their arrival was largely accepted by the local population as simply another change in authority. Muslim radicals even lamented the fact that many of their co-religionists preferred to live under Frankish (Christian) rule than migrate to Muslim lands.
The Islamic world was split into warring factions, many of which allied themselves with the Frankish princes against each other at one time or another. This even included Saladin, the Kurdish warrior who is credited with eventually ousting the “Crusaders.” Contrary to recent propaganda, however, Saladin had little interest in holy war until a rogue Frankish prince began disrupting his trade routes. Both before and after the taking of Jerusalem, his armies spent far more time and resources battling fellow Muslims.
For its part, the Byzantine (Eastern Christian) Empire preferred to have little to do with the Crusaders and went so far as to sign treaties with their rivals.
Another misconception is that the Crusader era was a time of constant war. In fact, very little of this overall period included significant hostilities. In response to Muslim expansion or aggression, there were only about 20 years of actual military campaigning, much of which was spent on organization and travel. (They were from 1098-1099, 1146-1148, 1188-1192, 1201-1204, 1218-1221, 1228-1229, and 1248-1250). By comparison, the Muslim Jihad against the island of Sicily alone lasted 75 grinding years.
Unlike Jihad, the Crusades were never justified on the basis of New Testament teachings. This is why they are an anomaly, the brief interruption of centuries of relentless Jihad against Christianity that began long before the Crusades and continued well after they were over.
The greatest crime of the Crusaders was the sacking of Jerusalem, in which 30,000 people were said to have been massacred. This number is dwarfed by the number of Jihad victims, from India to Constantinople, Africa and Narbonne, but Muslims have never apologized for their crimes and never will.
What is called ‘sin and excess’ by other religions, is what Islam refers to as the will of Allah.
“Muhammad never killed anyone.”
The Muslim Game:
In order to give others the impression that Muhammad was a man of peace, Muslims sometimes claim that he never killed anyone. By this, they mean that he never slew anyone with his own hand (except in battle… which they may or may not remember to mention).
By this logic, Hitler never killed anyone either.
Obviously, if you order the execution of prisoners or the murder of critics by those who are under your command, then you are at least as guilty as those who carry out your orders. In Muhammad’s case, the number of people that he had murdered were literally too many for historians to fully know.
There were the men taken prisoner at Badr (including one who cried out for his children at the point of execution), a mother of five (stabbed to death for questioning Muhammad’s claim to be a prophet), dozens of Jewish citizens, including poets and merchants who were accused of mocking Islam, numerous adulterers, at least one slave girl, 800 Qurayza men and boys taken captive and beheaded on Muhammad’s order, a Qurayza woman made delirious by the execution of her family, and an unfortunate individual who was tortured to death so that the prophet of Islam could discover his hidden treasure and then “marry” his freshly-widowed wife.
Indirectly, Muhammad is also responsible for the millions upon millions of people who have been slaughtered down through the centuries by those carrying on his legacy of Jihad. Not only did he kill, he is truly one of the bloodiest figures in history.
“The Qur’an Teaches that all Life is Sacred” (Qur’an, Verse 5:32)
The Muslim Game:
Many Westerners prefer to believe that all religion is either equally bad or equally good, and eagerly devour anything that seems to support this preconception. The myth usually works to Islam’s advantage as well, since it either raises it to the level of others, or brings the others down to it. To compete with Western religion, Muslims vigorously employ verse 5:32, which is the closest thing they have to the Old Testament command of ‘Thou shalt not kill.”
It reads, in part:
“…if any one slew a person… it would be as if he slew a whole people; and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of a whole people…”
(As quoted by the Fiqh Council of North America in their ultimately meaningless “Fatwa against Terrorism”)
Oh goodness… if only the Qur’an stopped right there! What would the world be like without large numbers of Muslims across the globe eager to commit mass murder in the name of their religion each day? Think of the lives, money and heartache that would be spared if Muhammad had commanded Muslims to cherish human life in the Judeo-Christian tradition
Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. This fragment of verse 5:32 is what Muslim apologists want non-Muslims to believe is in the Qur’an, rather than the dozens of other open-ended passages that command warfare, beheadings and torture. But even what they usually quote from 5:32 isn’t quite how it appears. Remember all those ellipses? There’s something being left out.
Here’s the full text of the verse:
“On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.”
First, notice the gaping loophole. Killing is allowed in cases of murder or “for spreading mischief in the land.” Murder is pretty straightforward, but “spreading mischief?” If anything begged for a careful and precise explanation, this phrase certainly would. But generations of Muslims are left to apply their own interpretation of what “mischief” means. (Needless to say, the standards vary).
Secondly, note the broader context of this verse. It turns out that this isn’t a command to Muslims after all. It’s a recounting of a rule that was handed down to the Jews. It isn’t an admonition against killing. It’s an indictment against the Jews for violating the law given to them. “Any one” doesn’t mean “anyone,” but rather “any one” of the Jews.
Rather than encouraging tolerance, Sura 5 as a whole is actually an incitement of hatred with a hint of violence. Jews and Christians are explicitly cursed as ‘wicked’ people with ‘diseased hearts’ and as hateful ‘blasphemers’ respectively. Muhammad goes on to coyly remind his people that Allah loves those who “fight” in his service – and it’s fairly obvious who the enemy is.
Muslims also conveniently leave out the fact that the verse which follows 5:32 actually mandates killing in the case of the aforementioned “mischief.” It even suggests crucifixion and “the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides.”
With this being the best that Islam has to offer, it’s not hard to guess why the religion contributes over a thousand deadly terrorist attacks to the world each and every year.
“Muslims only kill in self-defense.”
The Muslim Game:
Muslims often claim that their religion only orders them to kill in self-defense (ie. when their own lives are in danger).
In fact, self-defense is just one of several conditions under which Muslims are permitted to take the lives of others. The myth of killing only in self-defense is easily disproved from the accounts of Muhammad’s own life as recorded in Islam’s sacred texts (with which Muslim terrorists are only too familiar).
Muhammad’s career of killing began with raids on merchant caravans traveling between Syria and Mecca. His men would usually sneak up on unsuspecting drivers and kill those who defended their goods. There was no self-defense involved here at all (on the part of the Muslims, at least). This was old-fashioned armed robbery and murder – sanctioned by Allah (according to Muhammad, who also demanded a fifth of the loot for himself).
The very first battle that Muhammad fought was at Badr, when a Meccan army of 300 was sent out to protect the caravans from Muslim raids. The Meccans did not threaten Muhammad, and (turning this Muslim myth on its ear) only fought in self-defense after they were attacked by the Muslims. Following the battle, Muhammad established the practice of executing surrendered captives – something that would be repeated on many other occasions.
The significance of this episode can hardly be overstated, because it lies at the very beginning of the long chain of Muslim violence that eventually passed right through the heart of America on September 11th. The early Muslims were not being threatened by those whom they attacked, and certainly not by those whom they had captured. They staged aggressive raids to eventually provoke war, just as al-Qaeda attempts to do in our time.
Muslims try to justify Muhammad’s violence by claiming that he and his followers “suffered persecution” at the hands of the Meccans in an earlier episode, in which Muhammad was evicted from the city of Mecca and had to seek refuge at Medina. But even the worst of this persecution did not rise to the level of killing. Nor were Muhammad and his Muslims in any danger at all in their new home of Medina. They were free to get on with their lives.
Even Muhammad’s own men evidently questioned whether they should be pursuing and killing people who did not pose a threat to them, since it seemed to contradict earlier, more passive teachings. To convince them, Muhammad passed along a timely revelation from Allah stating that “the persecution of Muslims is worse than slaughter [of non-Muslims]” (Sura 2:191). This verse established the tacit principle that the authority of Muslims is of higher value even than the very lives of others. There is no larger context of morality against which acts are judged. All that matters is how an event impacts or benefits Muslims.
Under Muhammad, slaves and poets were executed, captives were beheaded, and adulterers were put into the ground and stoned. None of these were done during the heat of battle or necessitated by self-defense. To this day, Islamic law mandates death for certain crimes such as blasphemy and apostasy.
Following his death, Muhammad’s companions stormed the Christian world – taking the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe. They attacked and conquered to the East as well, including Persia, Central Asia, and well into the Indian sub-continent. Few, if any, of these campaigns involved the pretense of self-defense. They were about Jihad.
“The words, ‘Holy War’, aren’t in the Qur’an.”
The Muslim Game:
In early 2005, a well-known Muslim apologist named, Jamal Badawi, offered $1 million to anyone who could prove that the Qur’an contained the words, “Holy War.” Whether he actually had the money to put up is somewhat in question, but his intention was to make people believe that Jihad is not advocated in the Qur’an and that the terrorists are somehow tragically mistaken when they wage their campaigns of holy war in the cause of Islam.
So successful is this myth, that it has been repeated on popular television shows, such as “Criminal Minds.” Many now believe that not only is holy warfare not advocated by the Qur’an, but that the word, “Jihad” must not appear in it either, since Jihad has come to mean “Holy War” (most especially by those who kill in the name of Allah).
In fact, not only is the word “Jihad” mentioned in several places within the Qur’an, such as the infamous Sura 9 (which includes the “Verse of the Sword”), there are over 150 calls to holy war scattered throughout the entire text.
So what’s the catch?
Well, when knowledgeable infidels such as Robert Spencer immediately responded to the challenge and went to collect their prize, Mr. Badawi was forced to reveal the fine print on his offer. You see, he wasn’t talking about the concept of holy war. He only meant the exact Arabic phrase, “Holy War.”
And what about “Jihad?” Well, this doesn’t count, according to Mr. Badawi, because technically it can be used in a context that doesn’t mean ‘holy war’ (even if that is not how it was interpreted in Muhammad’s time, nor in ours). “Jihad” is like the word “fight,” which can be used in a benign sense (as in, “I am fighting a craving to call Mr. Badawi a disingenuous hack”).
If “Jihad” is holy without war, then “Qital” must be war without the holy. It is an Arabic term that literally means to wage military combat. But, like Jihad, it is most certainly used within the context of holy war, such as in Sura 2: “Fight against them until idolatry is no more and religion is only for Allah.” Mr. Badawi is even on record as admitting that Qital can be a form of Jihad… but even this doesn’t qualify according to the niceties of his offer.
So, although the Qur’an tells believers to “slay the infidels wherever ye find them,” and “smite their necks and fingertips,” showing “ruthlessness to unbelievers,” and 150 other violent admonitions to fight explicitly in the cause of Allah… the Arabic words “holy” and “war” don’t literally appear side-by-side. (Neither do the German words, “concentration” and “camp,” appear consecutively in Nazi documents, by the way).
My, what a hollow victory this is! One has to wonder whether Mr. Badawi sincerely believes that he has a point or if he recognizes this for the shameful word game that it is.
At the very least, people should know that “Jihad” is used within the context of religious warfare time and time again throughout the Qur’an and Hadith, and that, regardless of the exact terminology, Islam’s most sacred texts clearly advocate the sort of holy war that propels modern-day terrorism.
“Verses of violence are taken out of context.”
The Muslim Game:
Verses like, “Slay the infidels wherever ye find them,” were issued during times of war, according to the apologists. They accuse critics who use Qur’anic verses to discredit Islam of engaging in “cherry-picking” (pulling verses out of context to support a position, and ignoring others that may mitigate it).
The Muslims who rely on this argument often leave the impression that the Qur’an is full of verses of peace, tolerance and universal brotherhood, with only a small handful that say otherwise. Their gullible audience may also assume that the context of each violent verse is surrounded by obvious constraints in the surrounding text which bind it to a particular place and time (as is the case with violent Old Testament passages).
The truth, unfortunately, is just the opposite. This is why new Muslims and non-Muslims alike, who begin studying the Qur’an and Hadith, are often confronted with an array of disclaimers and warnings by well-meaning Muslims who caution that it takes “years of study” to fully understand the meaning of certain passages. Neophytes are encouraged to seek the “counseling” of a Muslim scholar or cleric to “help them” interpret what they read.
It is not the verses of violence that are rare, unfortunately, it is the ones of peace and tolerance (which were narrated earlier in Muhammad’s life and superseded by later ones). Neither is the “historical context” of these verses of violence at all obvious from the surrounding text (in most cases).
In the Qur’an, constructs and topics often come from out of nowhere and merge randomly in a jumbled mess that bears no consistent or coherent stream of thought. But, with external references to the Hadith and early biographies of Muhammad’s life, it is usually possible to determine when a Qur’anic verse was “handed down from Allah,” and what it may have meant to the Muslims at the time. This is what apologists opportunistically refer to as “historical context.” They contend that such verses are merely a part of history and not intended as imperatives to present-day Muslims.
But “historical context” cuts both ways. If any verse is a product of history, then they all are. Indeed, there is not a verse in the Qur’an that was not given at a particular time to address a particular situation in Muhammad’s life, whether he wanted to conquer the tribe next door and needed a “revelation” from Allah spurring his people to war, or if he needed the same type of “revelation” to satisfy a lust for more women (free of complaint from his other wives).
Here is the irony of the “cherry-picking” argument: Those who use “historical context” against their detractors nearly always engage in cherry-picking of their own by choosing which verses they apply “historical context” to and which they prefer to hold above such tactics of mitigation.
This game of context is, in fact, one of the most popular and disingenuous in which Muslims are likely to engage. Simply put, the apologists appeal to context only when they want it to be there – such as when the bellicose 9th Sura of the Qur’an, which calls for the subjugation and death of unbelievers, is at issue. They ignore context when it proves inconvenient. An example of the latter would be the many times in which verse 2:256 is isolated and offered up as proof of religious tolerance (in contradiction to Muhammad’s later imposition of the jizya and the sword).
Islamic purists do not engage in such games. Not only do they know that the verses of Jihad are more numerous and authoritative (abrogating the earlier ones), they also hold the entire Qur’an to be the eternal and literal word of Allah… and this is what often makes them so dangerous.
“Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion”
The Muslim Game:
How can Islam be a bad religion if it is growing so fast? Doesn’t this mean that it is actually a truthful religion, since so many are accepting it?
In the first place, the truth of an idea or doctrine is never established by mere belief. Up until the last hundred years or so, the vast majority of people on our planet did not even believe that they were on a planet. Nor did they believe that the earth was spinning at a thousand miles an hour or hurtling around the sun at 67,000 miles an hour. Does this mean that the earth wasn’t doing these things up until people believed that it was?
Secondly, Islam is not “growing faster” than other religions because “people are accepting it,” but rather because the
birthrate among Muslims is significantly higher than it is among Christians and others, particularly in the West.
Kids can be raised to believe in just about anything, so this hardly constitutes any sort of accomplishment.
Of the so-called “converts” from other religions, only a miniscule number were active believers. Nearly all are really just people who had no faith to convert from – regardless of their nominal designation. In the West and other parts of the non-Muslim world in which all religions are allowed to compete equally such people experiencing a spiritual awakening are far more likely to turn to Christianity than to Islam.
There are also some women who “marry into Islam” (a nominal change in official designation), but in terms of raw conversions, there is almost no comparison between Islam and Christianity. It is estimated that thousands of Muslims convert to Christianity each day, while only a handful of non-Muslims actually adopt Islam.
This leads to our final and most important point, which is that decent Muslims should feel a sense of embarrassment, rather than pride over the rules that they have to enforce in order to maintain Islam’s status as the “fastest growing religion.” In truth, it speaks more to the insecurity that Muslims have in their own religion, and the banal immaturity that Islam has compared with other faiths.
Let’s say that you are playing chess with a 6-year-old boy. Instead of following the same set of rules, however, the child is allowed to make up rules that are preferential to him. One of the rules he decides on is that you aren’t allowed to make any moves on his half of the board, but he is allowed to make moves on yours. Another might be that it is impossible for any of his pieces to be taken.
Now, if the child is winning the game – which is assured by the conditions that he has imposed – is it really something in which he can truly take pride?
The rules that Muslims impose on the “conversion game” are almost exactly like this chess analogy. Other religions are not allowed to operate in Islam’s own territory (ie. preaching their faith and evangelizing) as Muslims are in others. Neither is conversion away from Islam allowed – on penalty of death.
Watching Muslims gloat over conversions to Islam or in being the “fastest growing religion” is no different than watching a child delude themselves into thinking that they are smarter and better for “beating” a much wiser adult in a game played under manufactured conditions that render the artificial “victory” entirely meaningless.
Islam has been playing by its own rules since its inception. It is unlikely that Muslims will soon develop the confidence in their own religion (or the required social maturity) to lift the shameful restrictions to which it owes its success and risk competition with other faiths on a level playing field.
As was first mentioned, the truth of a belief or creed is never established by how many followers it has. But when a religion has to be supported by double standards and death threats, there is all the more reason to doubt its veracity.
(Note: Our article does not take issue with the claim that Islam is the fastest growing religion, not because we necessarily believe it, but because others have done a better job of refuting it. See Islam is not the Fastest Growing Religion in the World for an example.)
“The Qur’an Can Only be Understood in Arabic”
The Muslim Game:
The Qur’an can only be fully understood in Arabic. One cannot criticize Islam without knowing Arabic.
Although Muslims often tell critics of Islam to “read the Qur’an,” they are usually unprepared for what happens when their advice is heeded. An honest translation of Islam’s holiest book generally reinforces negative opinion. The fallback is to then claim that the Qur’an can only be understood in Arabic.
Of all the efforts to artificially insulate Islam from intellectual critique, this is probably the most transparent. Unfortunately, for those Muslims craving reassurance from the more embarrassing passages of the Qur’an and Sunnah, this cheap tactic of arbitrarily dismissing anything they disagree with still comes at a heavy price, since Islam cannot be protected in this way without sacrificing its claim to being a universal religion.
In the first place, it is fundamentally impossible for anyone to learn a language that cannot be translated into the only one they do know, which means the apologists who insist that “one must learn Arabic” in order to understand the Qur’an are committing a logical fallacy. Either the Arabic of the Qur’an is translatable (in which case there is no need to learn Arabic) or it is not (in which case it can never be learned by the non-native speaker).
Enter the skeptic. While every language has its nuances, how is that Arabic is the only one with words and phrases that are literally untranslatable? More importantly, why in the world would Allah choose to communicate his one true religion for all men in the only language that cannot be understood by all men – including all Muslims, since most do not speak Arabic?
Even more suspicious is that this amazing linguistic “discovery” was only recently made – and that it corresponds quite remarkably with the contemporary rejection of Islamic practices that were considered acceptable up until the religion’s recent collision with Western liberalism. In fact, there is an astonishing correlation between the argument that hidden and alternate meanings exist to unflattering Qur’anic passages (justifying slavery, the inferior status of women, sexual gluttony, holy warfare, wife-beating, and religious discrimination) and the level of embarrassment that modern scholars have about the presence of such verses in the Qur’an!
No other world religion makes this claim about itself or its holy texts. While the Bible is distributed pretty much as is by various Christian groups, for example, it is rare to find a Qur’an that does not include voluminous and highly subjective footnoted commentary deemed necessary to explain away the straightforward interpretation of politically-incorrect passages.
An additional problem for the apologists is that they want to have it both ways. On the one hand they declare that (for some strange reason) the “perfect book” can’t be translated and that Allah’s perfect religion thus cannot be understood by most of humanity without a battery of intercessors and interpreters. Then they turn around and blame the reality of Islamic terrorism on this same “necessary” chain of intermediaries by claiming that the Osama bin Ladens of the world have simply gotten bad clerical advice, causing them to “misunderstand” the true meaning of the Religion of Peace (in the most catastrophic and tragic way imaginable).
Of course, another irony here is that, as a Saudi, the Qur’an-toting Osama bin Laden is a native Arabic speaker – as are most of the leaders and foot soldiers in his al-Qaeda brotherhood of devout Muslims. In fact, many critics of Islam are Arabic speakers as well.
At this point there is only one avenue of escape open to the beleaguered apologist, which is the weak claim that the Qur’an can only be understood in Classical Arabic, an obscure Quraish dialect which has not been commonly used in over a thousand years and is only known by a few hundred people alive today (generally Wahabbi scholars, who are – ironically enough – accused of taking the Qur’an ‘too literally’).
Although it is hardly plausible that the differences between classical and modern Arabic are such that peace and tolerance can be confused with terrorism, even if this were true, it merely begs the question all the more. Why would such a “perfect book” be virtually impossible for the rest of us to learn – and susceptible to such horrible “misinterpretation” on an on-going basis?
Really, it isn’t hard to see through this childish game, particularly since the rules are applied only to detractors and not to advocates. Apologists never claim that Arabic is a barrier to understanding Islam when it comes to lauding the religion, no matter how less knowledgeable those offering praise are than the critics.
Obviously, the real reason for this illogical myth is that, for the first time, the information age is making the full history and texts of the Islamic religion available to a broader audience, and it is highly embarrassing to both Muslim scholars and their faithful flock. Pretending that different meanings exist in Arabic is a way of finding solace and saving face.
These are many elements of pagan worship that Muhammad grafted directly into Islam virtually unchanged.
The symbols, the temples, the rituals of modern Islam were practiced by polytheists before Muhammad was born. Islam is Repackaged Polytheism. “Polytheism with a monotheistic veil”. This cannot be said about either Judaism or Christianity.
Many elements of pagan worship that Muhammad grafted directly into Islam virtually unchanged.
#1. The Kabah was of pagan origin.
1. Many local pagan sanctuaries like the Kaba at Mecca.
2. Muhammad’s tribe was in charge of “Allah’s” sanctuary in Mecca.
3. “In northern Arabia, certain tribes looked after particular sanctuaries.” (Britannica, Arabian Religions, p1059, 1979)
4. Not only do both the Holy Bible and archaeology contradict this claim, the sound Hadith itself makes it impossible for Abraham and Ishmael to be the ones who built the Kabah: “I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Which mosque was built first?” He replied, “Al-Masjid-ul-Haram.” I asked, “Which (was built) next?” He replied, “Al-Masjid-ul-Aqs-a (i.e. Jerusalem).” I asked, “What was the period in between them?” He replied, “Forty (years).” He then added, “Wherever the time for the prayer comes upon you, perform the prayer, for all the earth is a place of worshipping for you.”” (Hadith, Sahih al-Bukhari 55:636, Narrated Abu Dhaar). This Hadith affirms that the Kaba was actually built long after Abraham and Ishmael had died. Abraham lived about 2000 BC and the Temple was built by Solomon in about 958-951 BC. This implies that the Kabah was built approximately 998-991 BC. If Muhammad is correct, then the Quran is wrong. But if the Quran is correct in stating that Abraham and Ishmael built the Kaba, then the Hadith is wrong. Yet, if this particular Hadith is wrong then this throws into question the authenticity of the entire Hadith collections, especially Bukhari’s collection which is considered to be the most reliable and authentic collection
#2. The Pilgrimage to Mecca
1. “After the Pilgrimage, in Pagan times, the pilgrims used to gather in assemblies in which the praises of ancestors were sung. As the whole of the Pilgrimage rites were spiritualized in Islam, so this aftermath of the Pilgrimage was also spiritualized. (The holy Qur’an, text, translation and commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. 1872-1952, First published in 1938, 1973 ed. p. 80, footnote 223)
2. “temples of the moon gods, with rituals similar in many details to those of the pre-Islamic and Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.” (Britannica, Arabia, History of, p1045, 1979)
3. “A principal public celebration of the Arabians was an annual pilgrimage, in which tribes who shared a common bond of worship of a deity at a specific sanctuary would reunite there. A pattern of ceremonial procession around the baetyl [the sacred stone] was common, and this pattern may be seen in the surviving Islamic custom of the pilgrimage to Mecca.” (Britannica, Arabian Religions, p1059, 1979)
4. Muhammad merely borrowed this wide spread polytheistic worship style and adopted it into Islam as a central rite. Same polytheistic pilgrimage under the disguise of a modified monotheism.
5. It is true that in the hajj many pre-Islamic practices were retained, but as has been shown above, the origin of these practices is traceable to Abraham, and every one of them carries with it a spiritual significance. (The Religion of Islam, Maulana Muhammad Ali, p. 448, 1936, Muslim).
6. Is it not unfortunate that so many Orientalists have misinterpreted the Muslim’s veneration of the Ka’bah, the Black Stone and the pilgrimage rites as a whole, imagining them as some kind of idol worship, or dismissing the rites as silly, ridiculous or merely the relics of idolatrous superstition? Another faulty assumption is that the rites of pilgrimage were remnants of a pre-Islamic cult included by the Prophet in an attempt to reconcile the idolatrous Meccans with the faith. (The Sublime Qur’an and Orientalism, Mohammad Khalifa, p. 140, 1983, Muslim).
7. “The Arabs during the pre-Islamic period used to practice certain things that were included in the Islamic Sharia. They, for example, did not marry both a mother and her daughter. They considered marrying two sisters simultaneously to be a most heinous crime. They also censured anyone who married his stepmother, and called him dhaizan. They made the major [hajj] and the minor [umra] pilgrimage to the Ka’ba, performed the circumambulation around the Ka’ba [tawaf], ran seven times between Mounts Safa and Marwa [sa’y], threw rocks and washed themselves after intercourse. They also gargled, sniffed water up into their noses, clipped their fingernails, plucked their hair from their armpits, shaved their pubic hair and performed the rite of circumcision. Likewise, they cut off the right hand of a thief.” (Al-Milal wa al-Nihil, Muhammad ibn ‘Abdalkarim al-Sharastani, Muslim, vol. 2 chapter on the opinions of the pre-Islamic Arabs, as quoted in al-Fadi, Is the Qur’an Infallible?, p. 122, non-Muslim)
#3. Praying 5 times a day
1. Polytheistic worshippers prayed 5 times a day towards their local kaba’s.
2. “The Sabeans have five prayers similar to the five prayers of the Muslims. Others say they have seven prayers, five of which are comparable to the prayers of the Muslims with regard to time [that is, morning, noon, afternoon, evening and night; the sixth is at midnight and the seventh is at forenoon]. It is their practice to pray over the dead without kneeling down or even bending the knee. They also fast for one lunar month of thirty days; they start their fast at the last watch of the night and continue till the setting of the sun. Some of their sects fast during the month of Ramadan, face Ka’ba when they pray, venerate Mecca, and believe in making the pilgrimage to it. They consider dead bodies, blood and the flesh of pigs as unlawful. They also forbid marriage for the same reasons as do Muslims.” (Bulugh al-‘Arab fi Ahwal al-Arab, Muhammad Shukri al-Alusi, Vol 1, p 121-122, Muslim)
1. Prior to Islam the people would pray 5 times a day facing Mecca (
2. The Encyclopedia of Islam p. 303) Worshippers in pagan Sabian religion that worshipped stars were “obliged to pray three times a day” (Preliminary Discourse to the Koran, Sale, 1801)
1. At first, Muhammad prayed towards Jerusalem, but when he was rejected by the Jews, started directing his prayers towards Mecca. Today, monotheistic Muslims pray 5 times a day towards Mecca to Allah. Muhammad grafted this pagan practice into Islam.
#4. Crescent moon symbol
1. The crescent moon symbol was used since 2100 BC in paganism. Polytheism has extensively used the symbol of the crescent moon as far back as Abraham as hundreds of archeological examples verify.
2. All the Arabs at the Kaba in Mecca worshipped the moon god Hubal.
3. Crescent moon is the official symbol of Islam on top of every Mosque in the world and beside the Kaba on top of the Maqam Ibrahim! It is the last remaining polytheistic remnant of ancient moon worship under a new sanitized monotheistic veil.
#5. “The Run”
1. Pagans performed a fast walk between As-Safa and Al-Marwah.
2. Muhammad redefined the meaning while retaining the ritual.
3. Islamic pilgrimage requires a fast walk between As-Safa and Al-Marwah.
#7. “The Throw”
1. The polytheistic pilgrimages required throwing stones at the devil.
2. Muhammad retained this concept where the Islamic pilgrimage requires throwing pebbles at three fixed points in Mina, which represent evil. The pilgrim throws rocks over his shoulder at the three stone pillars which he has been told will frighten away the “djinn” or demons which the stone pillars represent.
#8. The Black Stone
1. “A principal sacred object in Arabian religion was the stone
2. , either a rock outcropping or a large boulder, often a rectangular or irregular black basaltic stone … ” (Britannica, Arabian Religions, p1059, 1979) “Of the numerous baetyls, the best known is the Black Stone of the Ka’bah at Mecca, which became the central shrine object of Islam.” (Britannica, Arabian Religions, p1059, 1979) The black stone is believed to be a meteorite that struck the earth at the time of Adam.
3. “Moslems do not worship the Black Stone, but only show special reverence and veneration for its dignity and they kiss it only after the example of the Prophet and to keep their Covenant with God to obey His Will and avoid His disobedience.” (The Spirit of Islam, Tabbarah, p. 173, Muslim).
4. “The kissing of the meteorite is a firm practice in Islamic law because Muhammad did it. You must not ask about the wisdom behind that because this rite is (an expression) of worship in spite of the obscurity of its wisdom” (Legal Opinions, Sheikh Sha’rawi, pt. 3, p. 167, Muslim)
#9. Holy Days: Friday & Fasting during Ramadan
1. Polytheistic pilgrimage required fasting for the month that begins and ends with the crescent moon for each pagan god.
2. During the holy month of Ramadan (November) Muslims begin and end month long fast exactly the same time and manner as the polytheism that pre-dated Muhammad.
3. Muslim practices such as gathering on Friday and the four sacred months of Islam were also pre-Islamic customs: “In Bulugh al-‘Arab fi Ahwal al-‘Arab, we read, ‘The four sacred months, Rajab, Dhu al-Qa’da, Dhu al-Hijja and Muharram, had been considered sacred during the pre-Islamic period [Jahiliya]. Raids, taking revenge, war, fighting and disputes were forbidden during them. If a man were to meet his enemy who killed his father or brother during these months, he would not quarrel with him… During the sacred months, [the people] were under restriction not to fight or make raids, and had to remove [their] spearheads as a sign that they would avoid fighting at all costs.’ Obviously, Islam borrowed the hallowing of these months from Pre-Islamic Arabs and introduced nothing new into the world.” (Is the Qur’an Infallible?, ‘Abdallah ‘Abd al-Fadi, Light of Life, , p. 127, non-Muslim)
#10. Abstinence during Pilgrimage
1. “Another practice that left its influence on Islam was ceremonial abstinence
2. . The South Arabian festival of Halfan was a moratorium on the use of weapons. Certain times were specified for fasting and abstention from sexual relations. Burnt offerings and sacrifices were common.” (Britannica, Arabian Religions, p1059, 1979) This identical pagan origin ceremonial abstinence is present today in Islam. Muhammad merely continued this pagan ritual and retained it in Islam.
1. “The verses of the Qur’an make it clear that the very name Allah existed in the Jahiliyya or pre-Islamic Arabia. Certain pagan tribes believed in a god whom they called ‘Allah’ and whom they believed to be the creator of heaven and earth and holder of the highest rank in the hierarchy of the gods. It is well known that the Quraish as well as other tribes believed in Allah, whom they designated as the ‘Lord of the House’ (i.e., of the Ka’ba)…It is therefore clear that the Qur’anic conception of Allah is not entirely new.” (A Guide to the Contents of the Qur’an, Faruq Sherif, (Reading, 1995), pgs. 21-22., Muslim)
#12. Praising Allah
1. “After the Pilgrimage, in Pagan times, the pilgrims used to gather in assemblies in which the praises of ancestors were sung. As the whole of the Pilgrimage rites were spiritualized in Islam, so this aftermath of the Pilgrimage was also spiritualized. It was recommended for pilgrims to stay on two or three days after the Pilgrimage, but they must use them in prayer and praise to God. See ii. 203 below.” (
The holy Qur’an, text, translation and commentary, by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. 1872-1952, First published in 1938, 1973 ed. p. 80, footnote 223, commenting on 2:200, “So when ye have accomplished your holy rites, celebrate the praises of God, as ye used to celebrate the praises of your fathers,- yea, with far more Heart and soul.”)
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