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Questions for Abed

Reader comment on item: Identifying Moderate Muslims
in response to reader comment: The saddest part of all this...

Submitted by Kurtlane (United States), Nov 25, 2009 at 09:17

Abed, I'm really not into "gotcha points", but I have 3 questions that I'd like to ask, an don't know how to do it without seeming to be into them.

So here they are, sorry if I cannot phrase them any better:

1) Mohammed at the signing of the Treaty of Hudaybiya went to pray at the Quraish mosque. This was a pre-Muslim pagan temple, where Allah was a moon god, with a wife and daughters. He prayed so fervently that even those of the Qureish leaders who opposed signing a treaty with him changed their mind. Afterwards he was confronted by his followers, who asked him, "How could you violate the very principle you preach to us the most?" And he replied, "The devil made me do it."

Now, it might not look like a big deal today. But in those times values were different. A thief, a rapist, a murderer, anyone would be forgiven before someone who betrayed his monotheism. Mohammed himself was very clear about it. So how come he got away with "The devil made me do it"?

2) 3 years into the treaty, Mohammed broke it (it was supposed to last for 10 years) and massacred the Quraish tribe. When he was asked how come he broke his promise, he responded, "A promise is a promise, and a vow is a vow," meaning that a promise is a public statement between people and can be broken at any time, while a vow is a private matter between a man and God and should never be broken.

But this principle would be a death knell to any civilization. No civilization can exist without contractual obligations, and the only way Muslim civilization could deal with it was to isolate it, to say, "what's allowed to Mohammed is not allowed to you." But then, isn't Mohammed set up as a person to emulate in Islam? And isn't the slogan "A promise is a promise, and a vow is a vow" heard today? And isn't deceitfulness of oh so many Muslims today go over the roof? And isn't there something from this successful trickery done to the Quraish in it?

3) Finally, what about Mohammed's marriage to Aisha? OK, forget the marriage, it might've been a de-facto adoption of a poor orphan girl. But what about consummating it when she was 9? If it wasn't pedophilia, what was it?

As you see, I am trying to judge what happened by the standards of that time and place. And it still doesn't look good.

As far as similar cases in Judaism - this is why I rejected it. I struggled with such stuff there, until I realized that there is no way out. So I rejected it.

Now that I rejected it, can I at least ask you - and I'm really just asking, not trying to put you or Muslims in general down - what are the solutions to all this? What kind of person was Mohammed? What example does he set? I'm wrecking my brains about it, and all I come up with is EVIL. Really, if anyone can show me this is not so, I'd be grateful. For years I have tried to say, "It's not Islam doing these evil things, it's just some ugly Muslims," and I'll go back to saying it if someone can convincingly present a better case. But I haven't found anyone or anything.

Submitting....

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