Some of my problems with Islam, in case you were wondering…


This is a reblog of a post I did on Xanga several years ago.  Might have done it here too.  I don’t remember.  Anyway, I am reaping some grief today on having gotten totally fed up with Islam, more than ever after the cartoon riots, ISIS and Hebedo murders, the infitida in Israel, and the Muslim migrant murders, rapes, and riots in Europe, and, you know, all that “nice” stuff that goes hand and foot, like a disease, with Islam.  At the time, I wrote this blog I wasn’t entirely fed up yet, so this is really just about doctrine at a time when Muslims who couldn’t personally get to me to kill me were still scolding me endlessly for leaving Islam and, Heaven Forbid(!), abandoning hijab:


I have been often accused by both Pee Cees and Muslims alike of being too critical of Islam. They have accused me of propagandizing against it, but propaganda uses unflattering lies and I have expressed only unflattering truths so this charge, at least, is patently untrue.

Many a committed Muslim has, moreover, expressed total disbelief that I could once have been Muslim and turned away from it so vehemently. They honestly don’t understand why. They themselves have never looked in depth at any aspect of Islam that wasn’t strictly appealing to them. Islam has some good things it. I’m not saying it doesn’t. But it has bad things too and it is on that basis and my own common sense – that I must reject it.

 

Defining God

I am not a religious person, though I have no problem with spirituality. I was once a Pentecostal Christian who left Christianity to convert to Islam (see Freedom & the High Cost of Convictions) and then ended up leaving Islam too. Now, as near as I can figure, I might be defined as an agnostic – sort of.

The proper definition of an Agnostic, straight from Merriam Webster’s is: “a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly: one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god.”

That’s almost me, but not quite, just the closest description I could think of. I acknowledge that there’s a God or rather a source of Creation and that from it all things come and remain intimately connected. What I refuse to believe is that it could be as petty, vindictive, jealous, angry, or emotional in the all-too-human way in which it is described in the Old Testament Bible and Koran. How totally wrong, it seems to me that such a being should alternate favors and set its

creations against one another. How atrocious that any of its more finite expressions into the physical could be damned with infinite torment by the very source of their beings. How, frankly weird that It should concern itself with what we believe or don’t believe, based on the experiences we have managed to acquire, or with what artificial rituals we do or do not perform. Rituals are, after all, symbolic expressions and are worthless when the practitioner fails to find further meaning in it. Certainly our creator doesn’t require it.

As for whether or not our Creator intervenes in our lives, well, miracles DO happen and prayer, from anybody or any religion or non-religion, has been clinically proven to work. There was a university hospital I read about once that did a series of experiments on this and, sure enough, the prayed for patients did better than the not-prayed-for patients in the control group. Why should that be so? Who can really know? But my feeling is that as we are all extensions of the Creator, we all can focus extra energy there from, even as our very existence as individuals is, after all, a focus of such primal energy and a miracle in and of itself.

I can accept that such books as the Bible and the Koran are products of history and DO have good lessons in them, but they also contain things I don’t feel I need. I do not, for instance, consider the lives of most prophets to be an ethical example to follow. They all had perfectly human foibles, like any of us, but what really makes them a hazard to follow is that they quite primitive and inhumane by modern standards. Believe it or not, for all our faults, the human race has evolved a great deal since then and such tribalism, ritualism, and cruelties as they practiced then are no longer appropriate or acceptable. Faith in a religious doctrine requires unconditional acceptance of the whole thing to be really true and, truthfully, I admit that I cannot accept the whole kit and caboodle.

I thought I should mention all this because a lot of Muslims think I am picking on their religion unfairly and, by extension, on themselves. I would really like them to understand that it is NOT them but the Islamic doctrine itself that gives me grief and, frankly, I feel that way about many fundamentalist religions; it’s just that Islam seems the most dangerous one of all to me. Even though many Muslims are good and peaceful people, Islamist terrorism and human rights abuses happen for a reason and that reason requires full exposure in order for it to be properly tackled.

 


Three Main Sources of Islamic Doctrine

The Koran is the holy scripture of Islam. It contains 114 chapters or “Suras” which are composed of poetic verses called “ayat.” It claims to be very clear-cut, but the truth is it’s a little vague and archaic in some areas so there are some secondary sources for Islamist dogma by which various issues can be clarified, the first such source being the scholars who compiled and/or translated it from the ancient version of Arabic to the more modern form as well as into other languages.

The main secondary source is a collection of stories, “Haddith,” about how the prophet of Islam and very first Muslim, Mohammad, conducted his own life. Many use Mohammad’s life as an example of how to properly interpret the Koran’s vagaries and how, by extension, to live their own lives. Too bad that Mohammad’s example was set in the 7th century A.D. and Muslims are still following it, in detail, in the 21st century. I mean, come on! Things have changed a bit since then.

A third backup for the Koran, one primarily used instead of the Haddith by Shias, the second biggest sect of Islam, is the Nahjul-Balagha which is a collection of sermons, “Khutbas,” by Ali, the prophet’s son-in-law, whom Ali’s followers thought should have been the prophet’s heir, the new “Leader of the Faithful.” The fact that the Sunni’s chose someone else, caused of Islam’s first sectarian division: Sunni and Shia.

 

Islamic Doctrine Concerning the Treatment of non-Muslims

Sura 4:144: Believers, do not choose the unbelievers rather than the faithful as your friends. Would you give Allah a clear proof against yourselves?

What is this about a “clear proof” by the way? Is Allah afraid that unbelievers will tell believers some irrefutable proof that will foil the believer’s faith? Interesting… or am I misunderstanding this entirely? Opinions anyone?

Sura 8:13: When thy Lord revealed to the angels, saying, ‘I am with you; so make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Smite them above their necks, and smite off all finger-tips.’

Sura 8:40: And fight them until there is no persecution and religion is wholly to Allah. But if they desist, then surely Allah is Watchful of what they do.

Sura 9:5:  And when the forbidden months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever you find them and take them captive, and beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent and observe Prayer and pay the Zakaat, then leave their way free. Surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.

Merciful? Must be a problem of translation.

Sura 9:14: Fight them, that Allah may punish them at your hands, and humiliate then, and help you to victory over them, and relieve the minds of a people who believe;

Oh yeah, “Peaceful Islam” in action. I think that’s an oxymoran.

Sura 9:29: Fight those who do not profess the true faith (Islam) till they pay the jiziya (poll tax) with the hand of humility.

Sura 47:4: When you meet the unbelievers in the Jihad strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly. Then grant them their freedom or take ransom from them, until War shall lay down her burdens.

Islam peaceful? Perhaps its so between Muslims. It’s only the peace of the grave for those who disbelieve. Since I am no longer a Muslim but rather among those Koran prescribes shunning, humiliating, enslaving, or killing, I don’t think so! “Islam means peace,” is one of those fallacious statements the media uses that just makes me laugh. Anyway, the world “islam” actually translates as “submission:” in other words, “Submit or die.”

Islam prescribes severing relations with non-Muslim family members:

Sura 9.23: O you who believe! Do not take your fathers and your brothers for guardians if they love unbelief more than belief; and whoever of you takes them for a guardian, these it is that are the unjust.

The Haddith, Volume 1 Number 14: The Prophet said ‘None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind.’

 

About Women

An article about Islamic Hudud Law in action: “Law without Justice; A Report” by rose Ismail.  Just think how much you’d just love to be a Muslim woman living under that law. Do you think THEY love it? I doubt it. Hudud laws, like Sharia, come from both the Haddith and Koran. The Koran starts out sounding equitable in regard to the sexes, but things swiftly deteriorate.

Sura 2:228: Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise.

Sounds like the old adage: “All people are created equal, but some are more equal than others.”

Sura 2.282: But if he who oweth the debt is of low understanding, or weak or unable himself to dictate, then let the guardian of his interests dictate in (terms of) equity. And call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not (at hand) then a man and two women, of such as ye approve as witnesses, so that if the one erreth (through forgetfulness) the other will remember.

Which is to say that, according to Koran, women are intellectually deficient and unreliable as witnesses. Pardon me while I vehemently disagree! It sounds like a regular Old Boys Club! In Nahjulbalagha, Khutba 83, Ali adds to this insult, crowing:  O People! Women suffer from three deficiencies: of faith, of mind, and of a share in heritage. Their deficiency in religion is apparent from the fact that at certain times they keep away from prayers and fasting. Deficiency of mind could be gauged from the circumstance that two female witnesses are considered equal to one male, and deficiency in shares of heritage is plain from the incident, that their share is equal to half of the share of male members.

Keep yourself away from the wiles of wicked women, and do not indulge too much even in good ones. Do not blindly follow their advice even in good deeds, so that they may not be tempted to lead you toward bad ones.

Sura 4:2,3: Give unto orphans their wealth, exchange not the good for the bad (in your management thereof) nor absorb their wealth. Lo! That would be a great sin. And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hand possess. Thus it is more likely that ye will not do injustice.

For the most part, as here, men only are being addressed in Koran. The women mentioned here would be the mothers of orphans. Despite having mothers, the orphans are still considered orphans if they have no father as mothers in this culture are not considered responsible enough to raise their own children alone.

A Muslim man may marry up to four Muslim women at a time and keep innumerable concubines from among those captives that his “right hand possess.” These are women enslaved by the Muslims when their husbands and families were slain for refusing to embrace Islam when Muslims launched wars of conquest against them. As for a Muslim woman, she is limited to only one husband that she might have to share with other wives and concubines and for her to have a male concubine is certain death for her.

There are other places in the Koran that mentions 4 wives being permissible to men. Most of these are in Sura 4, The Women. It is regularly advised that a man get the blessing of his first wife on the other wives he takes but it’s not required and, in actually practice, rarely applied.

A natural result of this custom is that the first wife feels betrayed by her husband and jealous of the new wife(s). Here she is, devoted solely to him while he is not similarly devoted to her.

See http://www.geocities.com/Wellesley/3321/win21d.htm for example.

Of this, Hazrat Ali in Nahjul Balagha, Saying 121, says: Jealousy in women is unpardonable, but in man it is a sign of his faith in religion (because Islam has permitted polygamy and prohibited polyandry).

Was that man really oblivious to the fact that Islam itself created these conditions for women and that neither ethics nor nature had anything to do with it? Excuse me while I go and club the erstwhile Ali with the backside of my iron skillet.

Sura 4.15: And as for those who are guilty of an indecency from among your women, call to witnesses against them four (witnesses) from among you; then if they bear witness confine them to the houses until death takes them away or Allah opens some way for them.

Again, men only are being addressed and, hence, the witnesses can only be male. In the case of rape, a woman unable to produce 4 male witnesses to the crime then stands accused of adultery. Note the form of the punishment – solitary confinement for the rest of her life – but also note the vagary of the crime description.

“Indecency” can mean different things in different cultures. In actual fact, Middle Eastern Muslims seldom use this punishment in cases of adultery. Most often, they use it for one of two “crimes:” to punish lesbianism if there are four witnesses to it OR to punish a Muslim girl for marrying a non-Muslim. The later case is much easier to prosecute since there are always plenty of witnesses to the fact of a marriage and in Islamic nations the marriage between Muslim and non-Muslim is considered illegitimate, therefore, a brazen act of fornication. In more obvious acts of fornication or adultery, the actual punishment is far more violent but just as severe.

Sura 4:24: Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess: Thus hath Allah ordained (Prohibitions) against you: Except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property, desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, agree Mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you, and Allah is All-knowing, All-wise.

This little gem lays out which women are not permissible for a man to marry or have sex with and which ones are permissible. Please note that captured or enslaved married women are NOT forbidden, the vows they made to their husbands and their own wishes completely irrelevant in the matter.

As for veiling in Islam, I’ve written about this before (see: Gaseous Pheromones and the Obsessive Veiling of Women in Islam) so am not going to go into a great deal of detail on the subject here except to say that the Koran does not actually mandate it, but rather only prescribes reasonable modesty for both sexes. The actual veiling requirement is based on various Haddith of dubious report. Even so, veiling/hijab is law for women in most Islamic nations. The so-called “Morals Police” will beat or arrest a woman who fails to veil properly.

Muslims often defend the hijab as preventing women from being viewed as sex objects by men since the requisite drab and baggy clothes with scarves, black chadors, or faceless blue burqas and the like tend to obscure a woman’s form into mere shadow, barely noticeable. Some women even welcome this invisibility, thinking it really does make them safe. It doesn’t actually work though. In non-Muslim lands, it just draws attention because of its oddity and mystery and, of course, since 9-11, it even draws hostility from those who see it only as a symbol of Islam, the religion that declared war on us.

In Muslim lands, where men and women are strictly segregated, it does more than simply draw attention; it draws unwelcome lewd advances as well to any woman outside without an escort and sometimes even with.

As for me, I could never get used to having to have an escort every single place I went while living in the Islamic Regime of Iran and I sorely HATED wearing hijab! I found it annoying, restrictive, and unexpressive to wear and ruinous to the pleasure I used to find in outdoor summer activities: I felt smothered by it in the hot weather and, though I loved swimming, I couldn’t stand the thought of swimming with that thing on. Meanwhile, I saw Muslim men going comfortably shirtless or in shorts and tank tops and swimming in normal swim trunks and eyed them malevolently from under my own heavy garments. DOWN WITH THE DAMN HIJAB AND I MEAN IT!!!

 

Human Rights Violations are in Accordance with Standard Islamic Doctrine

The Koran claims to be the next book following that of the Biblical New Testament, and yet it significantly diverges from it. There are many differences and between the Bible and Koran which, as an Agnostic, I don’t really care about personally, other than to find them interesting, but for the curious I will list a few:

1. The Bible is arranged chronologically and the Koran is arranged, loosely, by subject in with the verses arranged in a mathematical formula designed to make sure it stays in that exact order. You delete or add any verses and it throws the formula off. It’s a clever formula the Muslims are proud to point out. It has something to do with the number 19, but being I am not mathematically inclined I never made much sense of it and am unable to relay it here.

2. The Koran is more load heavy on law than it is on histories the way the Bible is. It claims to be the book that follows the Biblical New Testament but doesn’t effectively do so. For one thing, it harkens right back to Abrahamic law… Not Mosaic law, mind you, but Abraham: very coarse and brutal crime and punishment system, much more primitive than the ways and laws that followed Abraham’s time. Also, it pointedly states that it’s blasphemy to say that Christ is god and the Christ was only a prophet. There are more stories about the childhood experiences of Maryam and Christ in the Koran than in the Bible (probably derived from the Apocrypha to which prophet Mohammad was exposed), but not much about Christ’s teaching as an adult.

The biggest difference is that whereas Christ’s most important teaching, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” the very root of humanism, is in the New Testament, but nowhere in the Koran. Humanism runs counter to the laws of Abraham’s time. Punishment under the old laws, you see, often involves torture, maiming, and excruciatingly painful, prolonged executions and the “Do unto others” clause undoes the whole thing. In accordance with that one little clause, if you don’t enjoy being tortured, maimed, or painfully executed, you don’t do it to others. Right? This concept is wholly missing from the Koran.

Sura 5:33-35: Those that make war against God and His apostle and spread disorder in the land shall be slain or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or be banished from the land. They shall be held up to shame in this world and sternly punished in the hereafter: except those who repent before you reduce them. For you must know that God is forgiving and merciful. Believers have fear of God and seek the right path to Him. Fight valiantly for His cause, so that you may triumph.

Make war against God? Can that be done? And, if so, whose God are we talking about anyway? Religious people all over the world are prone to disagree vehemently on the issue. And how is the god named Allah being shown to be merciful here? Submit wholly or suffer a long and painful death?

Do you have any idea how cruel a death by crucifixion is? The Islamic version I’ve seen involves sticking a pike up between the victims legs then propping him/her up with it in a public square, like a scarecrow, until the pike has slowly pierced its way, via gravity, through the body’s vitals & out the victims back or mouth. It takes a long time for them to die that way and it seems they remain conscious the whole time. And in the midst of this, the victim must listen to the conscienceless Muslim crowd clapping and cheering at the suffering they caused or condoned taking place right before their eyes.

Sura 5:35: And (as for) the male thief and the female thief, cut off (from the wrist joint) their (right) hands as a recompense for that which they committed, a punishment by way of example from Allah. And Allah is All Powerful, All Wise.

Wise? Being only human and not a god way above it all, I cannot call this wisdom of the practical sort. There are, of course, some interpretations of this verse treat this as allegorical, meaning instead only that the thief’s personal resources should be severed – not his hands. But is either interpretation like to lead to a thief’s reformation? Hardly. Physically or socially handicapped he well never be able to earn an honest living again even if he does learn his lesson and choose to go straight. So what kind of brilliance is this punishment?

Under Sharia law, the penalty for fornication between single people is that both are flogged 100 strokes with a whip in a public square. This is per the Koran on adultery:

Sura 24:2: The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment.

Even though this punishment is a sadistic one, it is at least not as cruel as the punishment Muslims mete out for adultery, prescribed not by Koran, but by Haddith alone, and therefore dubious but nonetheless practiced. A white burial sack is placed over the accused one’s head and she is buried, standing, up to her chest. Then people gather to throw palm-size rocks (big enough to hurt, too small to immediately kill) at her, slowly smashing her head and upper body, until she dies.

From the Haddith:

Volume 3 Number 508: The Prophet said, ‘O Unais! Go to the wife of this (man) and if she confesses (that she has committed illegal sexual intercourse), then stone her to death.’

Muslim 680 The Prophet said: When an unmarried couple fornicate they should receive one hundred lashes and banishment for one year. In the cases of a married male committing adultery with a married female, they shall receive one hundred lashes and be stoned to death. If one of the pair is unmarried, one hundred lashes and exile for a year.

Muslim 682: The Prophet said: “Do not stone the adulteress who is pregnant until she has had her child.” After the birth she was put into a ditch up to her chest and the Prophet commanded them to stone her. Khalid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and there spurted blood on the face of Khalid and he cursed her. The gentle Prophet prayed over her and she was buried.

Hadith Malik 493:1520: Ma’iz bin Malik came to Abu Bakr and said: “I am a base fellow for I have committed adultery.”

Abu Bakr replied: “Repent before the Lord and tell no one else.” The man still felt guilty and went to Umar who gave him the same reply. Still feeling guilty he went to the Prophet who asked if he was ill or mad, married or single. On hearing that Ma’iz was healthy and married, the Prophet ordered him to be stoned to death.

Hadith Malik 493:1524:   The Prophet was told: “My son was employed with this man; he committed adultery with his wife. I gave 100 sheep and a slave girl in compensation.” The Prophet said: “Take back your sheep and your slave girl. Your son will receive 100 lashes and a year in exile. As the adulteress has confessed she will be stoned.”

Hadith Malik 493:1530:  Ibn Shihab said that a man committing sodomy should be stoned whether he be married or unmarried.

Hadith Malik 496:1540:  A man went on a journey with the slave-girl of his wife and went into her. The envious wife reported it to Umar who said the husband would be stoned unless the slave girl was owned by him. The wife spoke out to save him: “I had given her as a gift.”

Sahih Bukhari, 11:2073:   The Prophet said: “If any slave marries without the permission of his masters, he is a fornicator.

Volume 4 Number 261:  Eight men of the tribe of ‘Ukil came to the Prophet and then they found the climate of Medina unsuitable for them. So, they said, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! Provide us with some milk.’ Allah’s Apostle said, ‘I recommend that you should join the herd of camels.’ So they went and drank the urine and the milk of the camels (as a medicine) till they became healthy and fat. Then they killed the shepherd and drove away the camels, and they became unbelievers after they were Muslims . When the Prophet was informed by a shouter for help, he sent some men in their pursuit, and before the sun rose high, they were brought, and he had their hands and feet cut off. Then he ordered for nails, which were heated and passed over their eyes, and whey were left in the Harra (i.e. rocky land in Medina). They asked for water, and nobody provided them with water till they died.

Yes the travelers committed a murder and some mayhem in exchange for hospitality, but GEEZE! What an excessive punishment when simple execution would have sufficed! But no, Islam requires that its victims first be tortured even while assuming such are already condemned to Hell!

In Conclusion….

It seems to me that Islam, as a human belief system has its priorities mixed up. It calls Allah, “Most Merciful,” but paints him by light of Hellfire as a cruel anti-human tyrant and slave master of limitless proportion: less the image of a sublime deity than a petty, savage human projection of absolute power. Instead of prizing the miracle of life most highly, it more greatly prizes death. Instead of honoring human diversity and freedom, it more greatly honors heavy-handed oppression in even the most private areas of individual lives. Instead of opposing human cruelty, it endorses it as a standard, legal, even “holy” practice while meanwhile condemning the mere harmless humanness of choosing one’s own religion (as in, not-Islam), stating an opinion not in favor of Islam, choosing romance over an arranged marriage, or being the victim of a rape. Meanwhile, the torturers of these harmless ones do their harm in the name of Allah and, literally, get away with murder and not a smidgen of ethical human conscience to show for it. Islam’s god, in my opinion, is not a god worth worshiping and is surely not our Creator.

 

Human Rights Abuses in Islamic Countries

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/734895/posts

Click here to witness a stoning and see just how “merciful” Allah can be http://www.apostatesofislam.com/media/stoning.htm#video

Even in the U.S., these are the things Islam’s representatives stand for:
Fascism at UC Berkeley, Muslim Student Association Disrupts Daniel Pipes Lecture http://www.chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=5925

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About Ampbreia

I'm an ex-Pentacostal, ex-Muslim, ecclectic Agnostic with slightly Wiccan leanings. I am not affiliated with any organized religion or political platform, but I do believe in magic and all things wise and wonderful. I work as an admin in a calibration lab. I've published 2 books so far this year: Lost in Foreign Passions: Love and betrayal, passion and loss in the heart of an alien land (a memoir of my time as a Muslimah and living in Iran for a year), written under my previous married name, Debra Kamza, and Dream Lover (a paranormal romance, the tale of witch that summons her favorite character out of a Bewitched spin-off and the actor who plays him as well). I'm constantly writing stories and poems, thoughts and dreams, and quite a few opinions - many of which are not popular but oh well. Bite me. I'm interested in art, animals, the paranormal, and people. I love to dance, all sorts, but have been studying belly dance since 2006 and LOVE it! I love anime too and love dressing up and going to conventions. My writing runs the gummut of historical, science fiction, fantasy, romance, and erotica. Beware: I may not be safe reading for work. Just saying....
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