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Reader comment on item: [The American Muslim Council:] 'Mainstream' Muslims?
in response to reader comment: Re: Nowshad

Submitted by Abdul Rahman Reijerink (Australia), Jun 4, 2006 at 10:03

Dear Francis,

I have seen some of your other posts and can see you are a person of conviction. May God's peace be with you. I suspect even that we may be students in the same theology class at uni. You write well and thoughtfully. I agree. you need to do your homework.

Quoting (a bad translation) of the Qur'an out of context will not bring you any understanding. Unfortunately, interpreting the Qur'an out of context is a historical fact amongst Muslims, so you can hardly be blamed for following it. However, every verse needs to be read in context, not just in terms of the verses around it, but also in terms of the overall message of the Qur'an. There are fourteen different sciences that you need to MASTER before you can interpret the Qur'an in terms of law, then you need the grace of God as well to do it properly.

I will not refute your assertions with evidence about the Qur'an on a case by case basis. The Qur'an does not permit the abominations you ascribe to it. Men with sickness in their hearts do. Non-believers are not relegated to hell for disbelief, this misconception is due to translation difficulties, and ideology imposed on the text by translators and exegetes. People who know the truth and cover it up are destined to hell (the real meaning on Kaffir is someone who covers up the truth, from the word for farmer because they cover up seeds)... big difference. Al Ghazali, a medieval scholar believed that out of three types of non-muslim , two types were dwellers of Paradise, how could this man who has more knowledge of Qur'an than anyone reading this posting say that if as you claim the Qur'an says that all "non-believers" were destined for hell? Allah is just and does not punish people for what they cannot control... Muslims are questioned more heavily on the Day of Judgement because we believe in our messenger and should act upon the message.

You yourself, in your challenge on what Islam and the Qur'an commands have been very selective in how you present the alleged orders to kill all "disbelievers". I have most of the common English translations, they all mention that this is in battle (47:4). You then need to to understand the context within which it was revealed, whether it is a specific injunction for that place and time or general, what the limitations are (mentioned in other verses, like stop when they flee....) and much more. You are falling into the trap propagated by the extremists that Joe Blow can interpret sacred texts with little or no training, this is how these obscenities are perpetrated and perpetuated.

Are you crazy? Why does the popular and majority opinion always favour Usama and Saddam? Where do you get this tripe. We hate them. With a passion. Saddam was a mass murderer backed by uncle sam for twenty years until he disobeyed orders,they loved him until then, the US government just LOVES dictators, like pinochet, noreiga, those fools from El salvador, all over central and south america, in turkey, the philipines, indonesia etc... the list just goes on. I know many Iraqis (my city Sydney has a lot) both Sunni and Shi'a, they all hate Saddam. every single one of them. They may not support the invasion/occupation, but they hate saddam and are glad he is gone. I won't even go into that fool from Saudi. We hate him. Sure people think that someone needs to stand up to the US government, but this is by no means limited to Muslims, most of Europe, Australia etc in polls think that the US is the single biggest threat to peace (don't get me wrong I love American people, I don't think much of my government either... or the Labor [Dem equivalent] government before them, they love dictators like Suharto too.)

Yes Al Aqsa is on site of the second(?) Jewish temple... but who destroyed it, the Emperor Titus when he was his father's general. A pagan roman! The site is sacred to us because of its connection to the Jewish faith. As I have listed elsewhere in this thread, I know Muslims have destroyed monuments/sacred sites so I wont deny that, but in your criticism at least be balanced. Re: bamyan, I believe his [Nowshad] argument is that REAL muslims do not do this, ie that they are not muslims. I say that muslims do, they are just sinners. Also many scholars consider that Buddha was a prophet of God..... something that too many people don't know when it comes to inter/intra-faith dialogue, how many Christians think that? Hagia Sophia was taken over not destroyed, its art is being uncovered and restored from under the plaster.

Your arguments about porn/polygyny are not really worth commenting on. Oppression is wrong. Exploitation is wrong. Muslims do it. They should not. Humans sin. I say that patriarchal cultures are to blame, not the message of Allah and his Prophet (see other discussion elsewhere on this issue). He [nowshad] is foolish for claiming that Muslims do not sin, Allah says in the Qur'an that if man did not sin he would replace us with somene who did, pointing out that our relationship to God is about seeking forgiveness and aid to be better people, otherwise angels would suffice for created beings with intelligence.

You quote a lot of Qur'an but I get the impression that you have not really read it. About the wives of Lot and Noah, do you think they were punished for not doing the dishes? i think it is clear from the passage 66:10 that their disobedience was to God in siding with the people punished by the flood and destruction of the cities. The message is that not even kinship to good people can save those who do evil, not that women should be the slaves and chattel of their husbands! FYI the crimes of Soddom were not homosexuality as is believed, it was primarily because the people of this city practised violence, fraud and banditry in the lands around them. A womans evidence is valid in court (read the passage again, with the surrounding verses, then go and look up a proper book of law on it), the limitation is for financial matters. Where a woman may be coerced or not be failiar with the subject becasue they could not read. Further, she does not require the testimony of a woman to verify hers, but the other woman serves as a reminder (ie only one is testifying the other providing moral support), read it closely, in arabic if possible. You need to read this stuff in combination with other verses giving women rights where they had none, and the textual unity of human dignity, combined with arguments on interpretation made above, also law extracted from sacred texts is not static, we follow the principles enumerated (ie progreesive uplifting of human dignity in context of time and place) and reapply them to our circumstances, so where women will not be coerced, they don't need someone to back them up, where a women are economic agents, she inherits . The Qur'an does not maintain that men have a degree over women, just that one has a degree over the other, what this means is open to debate, read some serious scholarship on the matter, not just blog bombast. You misquote 4:34, fair enough, most muslims don't understand it either, but read some proper scholarship on it, like "stealth islamist" Dr. Abou El Fadl "Speaking in God's Name: Islamic law, Authority and Woman" 2001.

Have you really read the qur'an, or have you just read a lot of anti-muslim propaganda that tells you about all the "bad" verses? Muslims have their equivalent writers (Ahmad Deedat) re: the bible, I don't agree with this approach and think it is disrspectful to scripture. If you have, did you read with an ear that wants to receive guidance or one that picks holes... that attitude will never gain true insight into a text, (and Allah says so specifically about the Qur'an), when reading the hebrew/christian bibles I never do that. Did you read a good translation or a bad one... its english polish is not always a good clue, the translator always has an agenda that is imposed on the text. I have hunted and hunted for a good translation of Christian scripture, approved by good christian scholars.

So what are the facts that "we" got after Sept 11, I was an atheist at the time? All I have learnt re: Sept 11 is that too many muslims are not educated about their religion or that of other people and that muslims have a big victim complex that divides the world into "us" and "them", but it seems this behaviour is not unique to Muslims... but that tells me little about Islam. Think about it.

In service of God, may our good deeds be accepted and the straight path be opened for us.

Abdul Rahman Reijerink

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