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Fatima: If you keep an open mind, you can free yourself from religion's shackles

Reader comment on item: Destroying Sculptures of Muhammad
in response to reader comment: I did listen

Submitted by Plato (India), Mar 18, 2008 at 11:44

Fatima,

You seem to be struggling to find good in Islam, like most normal Muslims. Being born into a race, culture, or religion our first instinct is to see no evil in their practices and customs. Just as in the case of our parents who we think are the best in the world. That comes effortlessly to all of us. But what takes some effort and rational thought is to see evil in them, if there is evil. Saddam's daughters still think of him as an ideal father.

The same goes for the cultures and religions we are born into. We make every effort to shut our minds to their unsavoury past, and their current evils. It is very difficult for our ego to accept that we are children of a people, culture or religion which had a criminal past or present.

One practice that Muslims accept as a great deed is the sacrifice of millions of animals to please their god. In our pagan past we had even worse practices (including human sacrifice) but we have accepted that causing pain to please a deity is immoral and unethical. We have stopped such practices but Muslims continue to believe that shedding animal blood ritually to honour Ibrahim for acceding to the demand made by Allah to sacrifice his son is a holy deed.

You are also using one of the favourite tricks of Muslims, that is bring up the crimes committed by other religious figures to hide crimes committed by the followers of Islam. You forget that these religions do not condone what was done in the past or present by their religious figures.

But Muslims continue to view child marriage, near incest, massacres and slave taking and trading as acts allowed by Allah for their Prophet and so cannot be questioned. Unlike in other religions if any Muslim questions the prophet's action he is likely to be killed (I don't know about Arab countries, but Pakistan has a law that calls for death to those who question the prophet's actions). Which plainly shows that the prophet's acts need protection of the law to give them legitimacy.

So when you ask if a priest rapes a child whether Jesus had asked him to do it you are being very very tricky. Jesus never soiled himself with any such acts. If the priest had followed the example set by Jesus he would not have raped the little boy. Can you say the same about your prophet?

He married a six year old girl. He set this personal example of child marriage. Jesus never asked that his critics be killed. Mohammed personally asked that his critics be murdered. The prophet set the example for killing people who criticised him. Mohammed set the example of cursing and abusing Jews and pagans. The clerics who give sermons on Friday are just following the example set by the prophet. These are just a sampling of the actions of the mercy sent by Allah to mankind.

So, yes, when you ask whether the sheikhs and mullahs represent Islam when they curse and rail at pagans, jews, and those who question Mohammed, they do represent Islam as they are following the examples set by their prophet not doing anything different from what he did.

You ask that your holy book be searched to see the love in it. Many of us have been doing that for years and what we come away with are hate verses against unbelievers and Jews. There are too many to be mentioned here. Can you point me to any verse that shows love, real love, for unbelievers in Allah's book?

What the Koran contains are curses, imprecations and threats about horrible punishments for what is no crime at all, disbelief. A study of the Koran shows not a mighty being but an almighty ego. The Koran never explains why disbelief in Allah is such a terrible crime. Any love in the Koran is only for Muslims. Allah criticises Jews for considering themselves chosen people, but goes ahead and creates a new chosen people, the Muslims (3:110).

You say that because of your religion you feel no hate for anyone, then your religion does not sound like Islam. For Islam asks you to abhor even your parents, children and friends if they are not believers like you (58:22). You are probably lucky if all your near and dear ones are Muslim, but otherwise your religion calls on you to hate them.

You may want to gloss over these verses by trying to find some context like the wars the prophet was constantly conducting against unbelievers to justify it. But a holy book from Allah himself should have made it clear to its readers rather than have them search unreliable ancient history for the context of such hate verses to get their true import.

You also say that because of your religion you don't hate even satan because he was just doing his job. You are right on that point as satan has Allah's permission to create mischief among humans (38:82).

And thank you for not hating me. I am not trying to defame Islam. Islam is a religion. It must stand up to scrutiny by believers and unbelievers alike and come out unscathed if it is a true revelation from a merciful, benevolent being. I am trying to show you that your beliefs are based on stories and interpretations that cannot stand close inspection.

If you find this unacceptable it means that anyone can claim to have received messages from god and there is no way one can dispute it. Whatever he does and says will be have to be accepted on trust. Why cannot you or I claim to be receiving messages from god?

Many other Muslims on this forum also have told me they will have the last laugh on judgment day. If seeing me being tortured on judgment day will give you satisfaction, you are welcome to it.

Salam,

Plato.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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