An ex-Muslim poses key questions on Islam

wayfarer

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ex-Muslim Questions Islam (fixed links)

An ex-Muslim poses some questions to a Muslim scholar, via his nephew (audio in short MP3s). These seem to be the most commonly asked philosphical questions on Islam or theism in general, and the answers provide an official perspective of Islam on a number of issues. These short answers in audio are entitled: The Coherence of Islam.

1. Knowledge Paradigm and Faith
Limits of proof and paradigm of faith

2. Causation, Correlation & Influence: The Relationship Among Divinely Revealed Texts
Did Prophet Muhammad get his ideas about monotheism from Christians/Jews?

3. The Pathos of Scientism
Scientific riddles, Design, Atheism-as-faith and the nature of scientific epistemology

4. Religion, Fear, and the Limitations of the Freudian Model
Maslow's hierarchy and religion, revelation and more

5. Ontology of Morality, Evolution, and Islamic Creed
Would a single ancestral couple (Adam and Eve) not lead to inbreds and deformed descendents?
Evolution, The Fossil Record, and Islamic Creed


6. Science and the Raison d’etre of the Qur’anic Text
What about dinosaurs; and this whole science in the Quran issue (commonly known science of the time)
Scope of religious knowledge; Scientific paradigms and Quranic interpretation
 
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porchrat

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#3
These are not the questions I have about Islam. I have similar problems with it that I do with most Christian denominations. The attitude towards women, the inability to recognise a secular society, the inability to recognise the beliefs of others (unless of course it is a belief in Allah).

There are many areas of the Qur'an that demonstrate this and I don't agree with these things. It's actual validity as a faith I care less about for me it is more a case of some of the practices are destructive.
 
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Is there any science in the Qur'an that is of a nature other than that a normally observant person could have come up with. Such as how hail forms or how the human body develops in the womb.
 

wayfarer

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These are not the questions I have about Islam. I have similar problems with it that I do with most Christian denominations. The attitude towards women, the inability to recognise a secular society, the inability to recognise the beliefs of others (unless of course it is a belief in Allah).

There are many verses in the Qur'an that demonstrate this and I don't agree with these things. It's actual validity as a faith I care less about for me it is more a case of some of the practices are destructive.
Well, these are the types of questions that I have been receiving. Nevertheless, the questions you pose are important too. I think the questions you pose (which are probably as a result of genuine concerns/criticisms you have) are more applicable to certain Muslim societies than Islam per se.

Muslim Women

The question about attitude towards women would best be answered by Muslim women. In my experience, and I have encountered Muslim women all the way from hardcore conservatives and ultra-orthodox), right through to neo-liberals and feminists, while some have much to say about negative treatment they experience by some Muslim menfolk (more prevalent in some Muslim societies than others), I have yet to meet one who feels that Islam is particularly oppressive of discriminatory. Islam suggests broad but different roles for men and women, (something that even post-modern feminism accepts), but sees both sexes as equal before God. Misunderstandings by non-Muslims of the Quranic verses refering to women often occur as a result of either taking them out of context, or because of them not knowing the specific circumstances of its revelation. Another reason is that the bigger picture is not looked at. Men (fathers/brothers/husbands) are tasked with the responsibility of being the maintainers/caretakers of women, and failing in this duty is seen as sinful.

An example would be the following in a marriage situation:

The husband has the following legal rights over his wife, and it is her duty honour them:

  1. Sexual relations
  2. That he is seen as the "man" in the house (not uncommon in even the most liberal societies)
THe wife has the following legal rights over her husband, and it is his duty to honour them:
  1. Sexual relations
  2. Comfortable housing
  3. Clothing on a similar stature to what is normal for her community
  4. Food that is of a similar stature to what is normal for her community
  5. Suitable recreation (sometimes Sexual relations is seen as subsumed under this point :) )
In addition to this, it should be noted that a man is obliged to provide all of this at his own personal expense. His wife, whether she works or not, is free to do with her money exactly as she pleases, and has no obligation to share any of her wealth (in any form) with him.

So it's more a case of men and women having different roles.

I find it striking that while these criticisms are leveled against Islam, few know that the previous president of the Muslim nation with the highest population in the world was female. Megawati Sukarnoputri was Indonesia's 5th president. I doubt this would ever have been possible if all that the media and anti-Muslims have said about Islam were true. Other female Muslim presidents of note were Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto, Bangladesh' Hasina Wajed and Khaleda Zia, and Turkey's Tansu Ciller. We still do live in male dominated world - of this there is no doubt.

Another interesting fact is that most of the converts to Islam in recent years are female. You might find some interesting reasons for this by following some of the links of the news website "All Voices".

Recognition of secular society

Islam has absolutely no problem with the recognition of secular societies. This is evidenced by the many non-Muslim and secular societies that are present in every Muslim country. While Islam has no problem with secular society, it is natural that especially where Muslims are a majority they would prefer to be governed by laws and norms that are congruent to their belief system.

States that adopt Islamic Law do modify it to some extent to cater for non-Muslims. For instance, alcohol sale and consumption is permitted for non-Muslims in many Muslim countries.

Recognition of Beliefs of Others

This is a definite rule within Islam. But you will find many Muslims who do not uphold this rule. But in your day to day life, if you do regularly come into contact with Muslims (not forum trolls, I mean real life Muslims) this tolerance/recognition will be evident. This is partly because, as I stated elsewhere before, Muslims do not believe that merely being Muslim means having a superior status or that it is a guarantee for salvation. Nor is it believed that rejection of Islam equates to automatic damnation. But as theists, Muslims believe that obedience to God will increase your chances...
 
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mtd

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wayferer, would u say saudi arabia is a good example of a country applying Islamic law? I have come across many critics of these so called Islamic states (Tariq Ramadan,TJ Winters etc)
 

wayfarer

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Here's another ex-Muslim posing key questions on Islam.

Ali Sina's Challenge
I have encountered many attempts at genuine deconstruction and criticism of Islam, and some of them have left me with questions that I, personally, could not answer. But Ali Sina's hatespeech was not amongst these.

He wants a "reputable scholar" to prove that Muhammad is God's prophet. No-one can even concretely prove that God exists, so we certainly cannot then logically show anything attributed to Him to, in fact, be attributed to Him, such as His Word or His prophets. What an obvious farce of a challenge! He only wants to debate with reputable scholars, as if they'd give him the time of day.

You not allowed to use Ali Sina's website as it goes against Islam and is full of lies and hate and Allah will get him, is that not right wayfarer ?
Allah will "get" whom He Wills, and that knowledge is not part of my domain. I cannot prescribe what website you're allowed to use, but I implore you to not waste my time with Sina's feeble attempts at rebuttal again, attempts that were easily and clearly shown to be utter nonsense. If you do a bit of your own research of his so called exposing and refutations of Islam, and sift out all the totally invalid accusations, non-factual points, and some simply idiotic reasoning - if you then find that you're still left with anything, go ahead and ask that question/s.

I welcome genuine concerns and researched/thought-out questions, and I will attempt to respond to them, if I am able to.
 

porchrat

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#11
Well, these are the types of questions that I have been receiving. Nevertheless, the questions you pose are important too. I think the questions you pose (which are probably as a result of genuine concerns/criticisms you have) are more applicable to certain Muslim societies than Islam per se.

Muslim Women
Yea I find the idea of "legal rights" to sexual relations to be a dangerous term. Whether that means the wife/husband is legally obliged to provide sex or whether or not they are all of a sudden legally allowed to have sex. Illegal to have sex when unmarried...ILLEGAL?!?! "legal" is a stupid word to use...very stupid.

If people have different roles and are required to perform these roles with no consideration for what they want then this is wrong. It is an example of inequality plain and simple. The fact that a woman within an Islamic marriage MUST recognise her husband as the head of the household (I assume that means she must obey him to a certain degree) is quite frankly a HUGE step backward culturally. Yes this scenario occurs in liberal societies however in a liberal society the woman makes that choice it is not expected of her and indoctrinated into her by her entire religion and cultural upbringing.


Recognition of secular society

Islam has absolutely no problem with the recognition of secular societies. This is evidenced by the many non-Muslim and secular societies that are present in every Muslim country. While Islam has no problem with secular society, it is natural that especially where Muslims are a majority they would prefer to be governed by laws and norms that are congruent to their belief system.

States that adopt Islamic Law do modify it to some extent to cater for non-Muslims. For instance, alcohol sale and consumption is permitted for non-Muslims in many Muslim countries.
There should be no time at which religious laws become state law. I don't wish to be punished because I don't live like a Muslim. I know there are exceptions however exceptions do not mean that there are not many many Muslims out there guilty of this.



Recognition of Beliefs of Others

This is a definite rule within Islam. But you will find many Muslims who do not uphold this rule. But in your day to day life, if you do regularly come into contact with Muslims (not forum trolls, I mean real life Muslims) this tolerance/recognition will be evident. This is partly because, as I stated elsewhere before, Muslims do not believe that merely being Muslim means having a superior status or that it is a guarantee for salvation. Nor is it believed that rejection of Islam equates to automatic damnation. But as theists, Muslims believe that obedience to God will increase your chances...
Yea just because some Muslims choose to ignore it doesn't mean it isn't part of the faith and I still have a problem with it.

I have met some great Muslims in my life. Some truly caring and wonderful people. However the religion has too many violent and exclusionary elements within it that cannot be ignored. These elements are destructive and it is no wonder that terrorism results with those who take it all literally. Why these elements have not been purged from your religious texts in order to protect the rights and lives of others I don't know.
 

wayfarer

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wayferer, would u say saudi arabia is a good example of a country applying Islamic law? I have come across many critics of these so called Islamic states (Tariq Ramadan,TJ Winters etc)
The quick answer is a loud and clear NO. There are countless reasons for this. Just one indication of this being so is their ever growing, enormously long list of mainstream (moderate) scholars that are banned from ever visiting the country, not even to perform pilgrimage. This list includes many of the most respected Muslim voices of moderation in the world. Saudi Arabia's policies are more politically and materially motivated than religious. But as is often the case, deliberate misinterpretation of religion is used to sanction oppressive policies or wrongdoing.

Saudi Arabia officially practices the Wahhabi (or Salafi) inflection of Islam, and while scholars reject this as a valid interpretation, scholars are hesitant to willy nilly label these adherents as being non-Muslim. It is this very sect that produced bin Laden and his ilk, although even puritanical Wahhabism does not want to claim this mass murderer. Google Wahhabism to find out more, or for an article that hits the nail on the head, check here: Who or what is a Salafi? Is their approach valid?
 

Frankie

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#13
I have encountered many attempts at genuine deconstruction and criticism of Islam, and some of them have left me with questions that I, personally, could not answer. But Ali Sina's hatespeech was not amongst these.
OK, I understand, you decide which apostates comments are acceptable.

I bet you'll also accuse Sir Salman Rushdie of hate speech, and not exposing the truth - BTW, is that death fatwa by those "peaceful ones" still active?
 
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I have encountered many attempts at genuine deconstruction and criticism of Islam, and some of them have left me with questions that I, personally, could not answer. But Ali Sina's hatespeech was not amongst these.
Could it be because he put you on a spot, that the only thing you can do in your ignorance is call his questions, hate speech?

He wants a "reputable scholar" to prove that Muhammad is God's prophet. No-one can even concretely prove that God exists, so we certainly cannot then logically show anything attributed to Him to, in fact, be attributed to Him, such as His Word or His prophets. What an obvious farce of a challenge! He only wants to debate with reputable scholars, as if they'd give him the time of day.
Could you debate and demolish his points ? Give it a shot, his points of question are all on the site. Show your skill of Islam.

Allah will "get" whom He Wills, and that knowledge is not part of my domain. I cannot prescribe what website you're allowed to use, but I implore you to not waste my time with Sina's feeble attempts at rebuttal again, attempts that were easily and clearly shown to be utter nonsense. If you do a bit of your own research of his so called exposing and refutations of Islam, and sift out all the totally invalid accusations, non-factual points, and some simply idiotic reasoning - if you then find that you're still left with anything, go ahead and ask that question/s.
If Allah gets anyone for criticism, then he is just a big bully, that is if he exists at all, Seem like the believers are always the one's who know what their God wants, you can tell this from the way they explain how their God wants them to do things. Like if a fly goes into your mouth while you are doing your daily prayers, those prayers are invalid and you must start again. (Ayatollah Khomeini wrote this in his book on Islam)
I welcome genuine concerns and researched/thought-out questions, and I will attempt to respond to them, if I am able to.
Does Ali Sina not have those? Reading his site, he has genuine concerns about the effect of Islam on the world and seems to have studied the Qur'an well enough to be able to quote from it.

If Ali Sina's website has such feeble attempts then you could deal with them and not even have to refer to Islamic scholars. Show us why he has invalid accusations and lies to his stupid reasoning. Stop calling him names and show why he is wrong about Islam. Can you do that, and by the way do you believe in Allah, and do you have proof that he exists? Can you show me/us this proof. I do not believe in Allah as I can not find any proof that he exists. I am I wrong to have this belief about the non existence of Allah.

So two things, show proof of Allah, the god you believe in, and secondly address the stupid, easy to refute claims that Ali Sina puts forward.
 
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Na-iem

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Could you debate and demolish his points ? Give it a shot, his points of question are all on the site. Show your skill of Islam.
...

If Ali Sina's website has such feeble attempts then you could deal with them and not even have to refer to Islamic scholars. Show us why he has invalid accusations and lies to his stupid reasoning.
*raises hand* Me, me, pick me!!!

Well, I don't have "skill in Islam" (lol, I don't even know that much about Islam!), but I do believe I have some skill in logic, a bit of skill in poetry and a high enough level of intelligence to comprehend what I read (if what's been written makes sense, of course). What I don't have is an endless supply of time, so I won't be able to produce a rebuttal to his pdf document (his review of the Naik-Campbell debate, 1 April 2000, Chicago) that's 80 pages long in a short space of time. I am currently about a quarter of the way through.

Anyway, if I have some time this weekend, I will format what I have thus far and post it. Watch this space ;)

EDIT: oh, I just read my own post and realized it gives the wrong impression - I don't have rebuttals for ALL his points: I simply don't have enough time to research everything Sina claims. But the simple, obvious faults with his argument I can point out, like the use of faulty logic, illogical/irrelevant statements, lack of knowledge of the BBT, and his chronic lack of poetical reading skills (that last one just amazed me!)
 
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Ancalagon

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#17
Do you know how many cases I read about while living in the UK, of women who were murdered by their own family for marrying or having relations with a man they did not approve of? It happened in the UK, or in some cases the girls, as young as 15, were lured away to their home countries and never seen again.

Then theres the burka... need I mention that.

Read this

Also in 1999 the Jordanian government proposed canceling article 340 of the Penal Code, which said that killing a wife or female relative engaged in adultery was not a crime. Even after the king endorsed the change a poll showed about two-thirds of his subjects against the cancellation.
But in Egypt a survey shows that one-third of women have been beaten by their husbands, female circumcision continues to be practiced, and a husband who kills a wife involved in adultery would only receive a three-year sentence.
Recognition of secular society

Recognition of Beliefs of Others
Crap. You arent even allowed to bring a bible into Saudi Arabia. Its not legal to construct a church in ANY arab country, as far as I know. Muslims who attempt to leave the faith are often killed, especially if they try to convert to Christianity.
 

wayfarer

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Do you know how many cases I read about while living in the UK, of women who were murdered by their own family for marrying or having relations with a man they did not approve of? It happened in the UK, or in some cases the girls, as young as 15, were lured away to their home countries and never seen again.
While not common worldwide, this terrible crime has been noticed to take place within some Asian immigrant communites. And some of these crimes were committed by Muslims. What this has to do with Islamic doctrine beats me. I am not an Islamic scholar and can only speak about what I know, but I am certainly not an expert on Asian tribal or village cultural extremism. Create a separate thread for that if it's up your alley.

What about South Africa? Any such recurrent phenomena in your backyard? Do you know about anything of a similar nature through direct contact with Muslim men or women in the workplace, any "knowledge" that you did not stumble upon via an Islamophobic outlet?

Then theres the burka... need I mention that.
While Islam requires men and women to dress modestly, wearing the burqa is only done within certain cultural groups, and is not compulsory by any Islamic tradititon. South African Muslim women genreally do not wear the burqa, although they do don a headscarf. Because the wearing of the burqa is not an Islamic rule, women who do not wear it (like SA Muslim women) are not seen as any less Muslim or sinful. I do not see why women who choose this dress should be discriminated against though.

Have you ever learnt anything about Islam from sources that are not exclusively geared to villify Islam? Any neutral website, about Islam or Muslim culture that would be seen as unbiased and relatively accurate? I'm sure you can visit your prefered websites and instantly come up with over 100 names of Muslim men who murdered their wives, but I do not answer for them. This thread is about Islam (with the focus supposed to have been on philosophical questions), not some Muslim criminals who are seen as representative of the entire Muslim nation. If you want to post opinions as fact, then back it up with proof.

Crap. You arent even allowed to bring a bible into Saudi Arabia.
And this has what to do with Islam? Anyway, you are correct. And the most widely acclaimed Islamic religious texts are banned in Saudi Arabia, because they do not comply with Saudi's fanatical Wahhabi interpretations.

Its not legal to construct a church in ANY arab country, as far as I know.
As far as you know?

There are approximately 290 churches listed in the business directory of the small arab country, Lebonan, of which many were built post 2000. (And some are simply beautiful architectural masterpieces!) Syria, Jordan, and Palestine have large Christian minorities that practice their faith without hindrance. Iraq has a sizable Christian community, oppressed under Saddam's regime, and again under foreign occupation, as they are seen as particularly sympathetic to western aggression and occupation. This seems to be more an issue of politics rather than religious dogma.


Muslims who attempt to leave the faith are often killed, especially if they try to convert to Christianity.
There has in the past been, and still exists this gross misinterpretation by some Muslim scholars regarding this issue. The Prophet Muhammad never permitted execution of plain apostates, and there were many in his time. What is actually being referred to in Hadith is apostasy accompanied by treason. While this misinterpreted edict is not often implemented, it still exists today within some Arab countries.

Note: Arab does not equal Muslim, and Muslim does not equal Arab. About 10% of Arabs are Christian. And Middle Eastern Arabs make up 15% of the world's Muslims, which is less than the Muslim population of sub-Saharan (black) Muslims (a little over 15% of the world's Muslims). White Muslims number about 1 fifth of the Arab amount. About 60% of the worlds Muslims are from the Asia-pacific region, with Indonesia being the most polulace Muslim country. Criticism of Arabs can hardly be construed as crtiticism of the gloabal Muslim nation. Apostasy is not a crime in most non-Arab Muslim countries. Blasphemy is seen as a crime in Pakistan, but this "crime" is not punishable by death and is seldom implemented. Iran is Shia, which does not form part of the approximately 85% of mainstream Muslims. (And Balstrome's Ayatollah is a Shia too. At the time of the Salman Rushdie saga, no cleric outside Iran was prepared to support this Iranian fatwa.)

What is the point of me posting explanations of Islam. These are summarily ignored, and instead the topic is changed to cliche anti-Muslim arguments that have been rebutted long ago, and when their inadequacy is pointed out, this is also ignored.

Anyway, any comments on the original post?
 
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wayfarer

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Yea I find the idea of "legal rights" to sexual relations to be a dangerous term. Whether that means the wife/husband is legally obliged to provide sex or whether or not they are all of a sudden legally allowed to have sex. Illegal to have sex when unmarried...ILLEGAL?!?! "legal" is a stupid word to use...very stupid.
Islam has very large and comprehensive Legal code.

If people have different roles and are required to perform these roles with no consideration for what they want then this is wrong. It is an example of inequality plain and simple. The fact that a woman within an Islamic marriage MUST recognise her husband as the head of the household (I assume that means she must obey him to a certain degree) is quite frankly a HUGE step backward culturally. Yes this scenario occurs in liberal societies however in a liberal society the woman makes that choice it is not expected of her and indoctrinated into her by her entire religion and cultural upbringing.
These roles are not enforced, but are recommended as what would result in best practice. There are numerous instances within the Muslim community of these roles either not being adopted, or of complete role reversals. There Muslim female presidents I mentioned must count for something! A woman as the president of an entire Muslim country.

I find it intriguing that criticism of the official Islamic position on women come from outside Islam and not from Muslim women. As I have said, I have met Muslim women who are far left liberals and even feminist, and these come from very liberal families where socialisation or acculturisation would not have impacted on their thinking. Many European females come into Islam and continue to have a liberal outlook, without finding problem with Islam's view on Women. I linked a website that has links to European female converts to Islam. Go ask them what their experiences are...

If you are really interested in gaining a better understanding of the Islamic view of women, and how it fits in with modernity, read the following two pieces:

  1. Islam, Irigaray, and the retrieval of gender
  2. Boys will be Boys

There should be no time at which religious laws become state law. I don't wish to be punished because I don't live like a Muslim. I know there are exceptions however exceptions do not mean that there are not many many Muslims out there guilty of this.
Not everybody agrees with all SA laws either...
Muslims in a majority have a right to make laws that are in comformity with what they believe to be the best laws. This is, afterall, how democracies work. The "religious-specific" aspect of these laws are normally applicable to Muslims only, unless they are public crimes, or crimes against society, and sometimes crimes involving Muslims. But even in the time of prophet Muhammad, non-Muslims were handled according to there own laws. Islamic Law makes provision for this.

Yea just because some Muslims choose to ignore it doesn't mean it isn't part of the faith and I still have a problem with it.
This rejection is NOT a "part of the faith". Maybe be more specific.
 

Ancalagon

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#20
While not common worldwide, this terrible crime has been noticed to take place within some Asian immigrant communites. And some of these crimes were committed by Muslims. What this has to do with Islamic doctrine beats me. I am not an Islamic scholar and can only speak about what I know, but I am certainly not an expert on Asian tribal or village cultural extremism. Create a separate thread for that if it's up your alley.
Every report I read on the subject stated that it was isolated to Islam - they were "honour killings". In fact, read this. Pretty much isolated to Islam.

Before I go any further, let me state that I do not separate the religious issues of Islam with the cultural issues. This is because the cultural issues stem from the religious issues 100% of the time - Islam's poor view of women directly leads to their being abused and murdered, for one. So, these are cultural issues related to Islam as a religion, apparent in nearly every (or every) Islamic state and within migrant communities. Read the UN report on the matter:

"The report of the Special Rapporteur... concerning cultural practices in the family that are violent towards women (E/CN.4/2002/83), indicated that honour killings had been reported in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Yemen, and other Mediterranean and Persian Gulf countries, and that they had also taken place in western countries such as France, Germany and the United Kingdom, within migrant communities."

What about South Africa? Any such recurrent phenomena in your backyard? Do you know about anything of a similar nature through direct contact with Muslim men or women in the workplace, any "knowledge" that you did not stumble upon via an Islamophobic outlet?
What does that have to do with it? The Muslim community in this country is not nearly as large as it is elsewhere. Even the UK, I'm willing to bet, has a far larger Muslim community. And why should it make a difference whether we observe such things here? "Oh, the abuse of women and children due to Islam is not occurring in South Africa as far as we are aware, therefore it isnt a problem worldwide." Huh? I'm confused as to why you even bring that up.

As for "Islamaphobic sources", the interesting thing is that you cant refute them on a factual basis so you resort to labelling them as Islamaphobic. How about its just the truth and it makes you uncomfortable?

While Islam requires men and women to dress modestly, wearing the burqa is only done within certain cultural groups, and is not compulsory by any Islamic tradititon. South African Muslim women genreally do not wear the burqa, although they do don a headscarf. Because the wearing of the burqa is not an Islamic rule, women who do not wear it (like SA Muslim women) are not seen as any less Muslim or sinful. I do not see why women who choose this dress should be discriminated against though.
Its compulsory for Muslim women in most or all Islamic states. Hardly "only for some cultural groups". I'm not discriminating against women, Islam is. They are forced to wear the burqa, not allowed to drive, or choose a husband, or vote, or run a business, or do anything a man can do. Yes, not in all countries. But in quite a few Islamic states, they have none of the rights that men have. Is it true that a women's word in an Islamic court of law is worth half as much as a man's? Why is this?

Have you ever learnt anything about Islam from sources that are not exclusively geared to villify Islam? Any neutral website, about Islam or Muslim culture that would be seen as unbiased and relatively accurate? I'm sure you can visit your prefered websites and instantly come up with over 100 names of Muslim men who murdered their wives, but I do not answer for them. This thread is about Islam (with the focus supposed to have been on philosophical questions), not some Muslim criminals who are seen as representative of the entire Muslim nation. If you want to post opinions as fact, then back it up with proof.
As above, you cant defend Islam with facts so you attempt to discredit my sources. Debate Ali Sina then, he knows Islam far better than I. Oh wait, he's biased too right? What you basically say is that if any source is in anyway critical of Islam, it must be biased. Right. Wikipedia too? Like that honour killing article I linked above, is that biased? Please.

And this has what to do with Islam? Anyway, you are correct. And the most widely acclaimed Islamic religious texts are banned in Saudi Arabia, because they do not comply with Saudi's fanatical Wahhabi interpretations.
So Saudi Arabia, one of the largest Islamic states, is in no way representative of Islam? Very convenient. Thats what Christians usually say about the Catholic church when their priests are caught fiddling with young boys.

There are approximately 290 churches listed in the business directory of the small arab country, Lebonan, of which many were built post 2000. (And some are simply beautiful architectural masterpieces!) Syria, Jordan, and Palestine have large Christian minorities that practice their faith without hindrance. Iraq has a sizable Christian community, oppressed under Saddam's regime, and again under foreign occupation, as they are seen as particularly sympathetic to western aggression and occupation. This seems to be more an issue of politics rather than religious dogma.
I suggest you read this before telling me Muslims would be happy for me to build a church in an Islamic state. Oh wait, its an Islamaphobic article because it disagrees with Islam, oh no!


There has in the past been, and still exists this gross misinterpretation by some Muslim scholars regarding this issue. The Prophet Muhammad never permitted execution of plain apostates, and there were many in his time. What is actually being referred to in Hadith is apostasy accompanied by treason. While this misinterpreted edict is not often implemented, it still exists today within some Arab countries.

Note: Arab does not equal Muslim, and Muslim does not equal Arab. About 10% of Arabs are Christian. And Middle Eastern Arabs make up 15% of the world's Muslims, which is less than the Muslim population of sub-Saharan (black) Muslims (a little over 15% of the world's Muslims). White Muslims number about 1 fifth of the Arab amount. About 60% of the worlds Muslims are from the Asia-pacific region, with Indonesia being the most polulace Muslim country. Criticism of Arabs can hardly be construed as crtiticism of the gloabal Muslim nation. Apostasy is not a crime in most non-Arab Muslim countries. Blasphemy is seen as a crime in Pakistan, but this "crime" is not punishable by death and is seldom implemented. Iran is Shia, which does not form part of the approximately 85% of mainstream Muslims. (And Balstrome's Ayatollah is a Shia too. At the time of the Salman Rushdie saga, no cleric outside Iran was prepared to support this Iranian fatwa.)

What is the point of me posting explanations of Islam. These are summarily ignored, and instead the topic is changed to cliche anti-Muslim arguments that have been rebutted long ago, and when their inadequacy is pointed out, this is also ignored.

Anyway, any comments on the original post?[/QUOTE]
 
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