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The more your research Islam, the more your mind gets warped.

Reader comment on item: The Liverpool Bomber and Fake Muslim Conversion to Christianity
in response to reader comment: from the Hadith, Mohammed's examples for all Muslims to follow

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Nov 24, 2021 at 02:59

Dear Dr Pipes, The life of a person who wants to oppose Islam after researching it deeply is not easy. For me researching Islam surely feels like a journey into a lunatic asylum where common sense, logic, and expectations are repeatedly times at every step and the mind is warped (the feeling is somewhat like watching the Harry Potter movies where logic defying magic happens every few minutes except that defense of Islam is humorless).

In the above letter by Joan Warner when I read that Muhammad had said that war was deceit, I was expecting some common sense rebuttals. For example, I expected that Muhammad's defenders would probably say that Muhammad used deception as an one-time exception on a given occasion. Or they would say that Muhammad only stated that war brought the worst in the people and deception was a part of wars. I even expected that the defenders would say that Muhammad never said any such thing and that he was a nice and gentle man. But none of these potential defenses would have warped my mind. Islam needs to offer something more logic-defying than these defenses and it did!

How many words do you need to rebut against three words (war is deception)? How about 31 pages? I ran into a 31-page long paper by Prof Joyl Hayward (ref 1). Hayward is an expert in Islamic studies and like so many other students of Islam he became so enamored by it that he converted to Islam. (ref 2)

Hayward's defense of Muhammad will make every criminal defense lawyer proud. It follows the dictum that if you cannot beat them, at least confuse the jury and the judge. For the first 18 of the 31 pages Hayward explains that Jewish and Christian apostles were also war mongers. He also tells us that poor Muhammad wanted to live in peace but was forced into wars. Then for some bizarre reasons, Hayward starts to refer to the Geneva convention (I am not kidding). He defends Taquiya. He attacks Robert Spencer and Raymond Ibrahim and on and on and on. In this process Hayward tells the readers that Muhammad ordered the murder of a Jewish poet and that murder was less bad than what Raymond Ibrahim described it to be. Hayward resorts to multiple meanings of many Arabic words and power (or powerlessness) of Arabic script and grammar. He invokes Sun Tzu, Moses, and Joshua. Muhammad's defense does not start until page 19 or 20. And, what is the defense? Hayward defends Muhammad against deception by citing tens of additional examples of Muhammad's deception in tens of other battles. You see, if I accuse you of stealing candies, your best defense would be to say that candy theft is normal and you stole candies on ten different occasions. Hayward rests his case by saying, "the declaration attributed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, 'war is deceit', is an innocuous statement merely summarizing what he considered to be war's essence: the artful use of ruse designed to bring about positional or psychological advantage". To Hayward, deception is neither an exception nor a necessary evil. It is just a Muhammadesque normalcy.

After this Hayward goes on to cite examples from the lives of Sun Tzu, Napoleon Bonaparte, Horatio Nelson, Carl von Clausewitz, Antoine-Henri Jomini, Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, Robert Lee, and George Patton.
Hayward seems to be implying that since the best apostle of Allah had something common with a confederate commander of the US civil war and a 5-ft 5 inch short French general, Apostle of Allah must be exonerated. No where in his defense Hayward brings the issue of ethics of deception (or lack of ethics) in wars.

Islam defames infidels but infidels can give some true lessons to Islam. In the Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna resorted to deception on more than one occasions in the Mahabharata (the great Indian) war. And, He left us human mortals to debate forever under what circumstances deception was good or bad and why even the God can resort to deception (ref 3). To explain Krishna's right or wrong, we do not need to invoke Joshua, Napoleon, Robert Lee, and Sun Tzu as Hayward did. I wonder what does conversion to Islam do to people's minds!

ref 1: Hayward's article in defense of Muhammad's deceit: https://rissc.jo/books/en/War%20is%20Deceit%20e-book.pdf

ref 2: Biography of an esteemed scholar of Islam and a convert: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joel_Hayward

ref 3: Story and debate about Krishna's deception during Mahabharata. (warning: long and semi-religious description) https://isha.sadhguru.org/us/en/wisdom/article/krishna-in-mahabharata. Examples for Muslims of how to do ethical debates).

Submitting....

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