Sunday, August 08, 2010

Weird Attacks

Do you ever hear weird comments from the enemies of Islam? For instance:

that Islam isn't a real religion, but just a cult, and referring to it as a "so-called religion"

that if people only read the biography of Muhammad they'll understand why Syrian Shari'ah makes a woman burn herself

that face veiling is just "Arab culture" and has no basis in religion

that Muslims try to "sugarcoat" Islam and they don't actually follow the Qur'an?

I've heard each of these over the past two days and I just get confused. The first one I've seen in two places, so maybe it's getting popular (on forums and blogs, anyway) to say that Islam isn't a real religion. It's kind of a crackpot statement, since it's the world's second largest religion (by number of adherents) and the world's largest purely monotheistic religion. The characteristics which define Islam should be defining for any religion--Islam should be the standard, really, as it's so pervasive globally. So to say it's not a real religion? It requires the logic-defying arrogance equivalent to declaring the earth is flat.

The second one I heard on NPR on Friday, during an interview of a particular published enemy of Islam whom the host didn't bother to ask any meaningful questions. The woman hails from Syria--which she upholds as a bastion of Islamic idealism, even Shari'ah (I find this particularly laughable, since Syria is well-known to be quite far from Shari'ah and actually makes it more difficult for Muslims to practice Islam there than here in the USA.) And then bases her entire argument against Islam on an emotional appeal--the tragic (if true, it was indeed tragic and inexcusable) suffering of a female relative. She then bizarrely tries to claim that abuse and oppression of women is based in the biography of Muhammad (pbuh) and encourages listeners to read it in order to verify her claims. I find that pretty odd since I would encourage listeners to do the same thing--read his biography--to see through her weak and unsupported argument.

To be more specific, she highlighted an instance of forced marriage--yet in a clear hadith a woman is permitted a divorce simply because she was married without her consent. In fact, the woman went to the Prophet himself and asked her the question. So she wasn't locked up, forced to stay at home, not allowed to talk to men, or considered to be shameful by the Prophet (pbuh) to speak to him about her husband and to question the marriage.

Then she (the aforementioned enemy of Islam) pointed to the marriage of the Prophet (pbuh) to his wife Aisha, who she claimed to be 6 years old. Again, actually reading the biography would clear up that matter as well.

The third point above comes from a discussion about the burqa banning and arises from Americans who I can only imagine feel that if 20 or 30 women in their city choose to cover their faces, that society is going to collapse, their wives will be cowed into submission to male dominance and forced to wear a suit that looks like--actually, I won't even say how it was described, lest I offend my sisters who choose to wear it. In short, those fears are totally baseless, and I can't see them as anything other than pure bigotry. Moreover, it seems to be a convenient excuse for those who do hate the face veil to pretend that veiling actually doesn't belong to Islam. Without delving too deeply into the religious argument for the veiling of the face, I will say that we have clear evidence that the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) covered their faces, and as that is true, who on earth has the right to prevent a woman from aspiring to such nobility and modesty as maintained by the mothers of the believers?

The last remark is the most curious of all, though I know it's not new. In fact, it's a remark which brought me to Islam five years ago--when someone claimed that the Qur'an promoted violence which Muslims were just hiding. I have relatives who still believe this to be the case. But the difference between me and them on this issue is that I have actually read the Qur'an. The obvious result is that now I am a Muslim. So if anyone is going around claiming that, the refutation is simply to actually read the texts.

Why doesn't the truth speak for itself? Because society likes to watch the shadows on the wall instead of looking at reality and the light of day.

9 comments:

Umm Aaminah said...

Salaam sis. My favorite comment after I converted? That Islam was not only a cult, but a moon-worshipping cult. Hmmmmm. :-)

Asim said...

Its just astonishing that in this day and age people can argue about God and religion.

First one would have to provide evidence for the existence of God.

I have asked many a muslim for this proof and not even one could furnish it.

This is the question.

For there to be a creator, there must be something created.

As we know from the first law of thermodynamics, the principle of conservation of energy, as well as Einsteins work; Energy and mass can neither be created or destroyed.

Since we have no evidence of a "creation" event, and we know that energy and mass can neither be created or destroyed.

How can any rational human being assume that there is a creator?

The ancients misunderstood the nature of the world, and believed that things were created and destroyed, and therefore to this there must be a creator/destroyer.

But science has completely refuted this notion.

There is no creator.

Anonymous said...

@Asim - Dude, I assume you didn't mean what you just wrote. I mean seriously?



"First one would have to provide evidence for the existence of God."

For some, the fine balance (carbon ratio, gravity etc) in the universe is enough to assume that it is designed. Leaving that fact aside, by asking for a material proof, you are assuming that by studying the creature (universe in this case) you can find out about the creator (i.e. Allah). To me, it sounds like saying that 'by studying the design of first liquid fuel rocket, you can understand about the existence and personality of Robert H. Goddard'. Which is not true.



"For there to be a creator, there must be something created."

Okay, then how did it all started?



"As we know from the first law of thermodynamics, the principle of conservation of energy, as well as Einsteins work; Energy and mass can neither be created or destroyed".

Again, the basic question, in an 'uncreated world', where did all this mass and energy come from? Don't think about the universe as its too big. Just think about your very own self. How did you come into being from a single sperm and an egg? Seriously, think about it. (On a side note, once mass transforms into energy its gone. It isn't reversible in most cases.)



Since we have no evidence of a "creation" event, and we know that energy and mass can neither be created or destroyed.

Please don't embarrass yourself on public forums. For the very least, you should read 'A brief history of time' by Stephen Hawking. Even an atheist like him believes in a 'beginning'. (Though he can't answer 'why').



"How can any rational human being assume that there is a creator?"

Seriously? I mean, you really want me to believe that you came out of a sperm and an egg all by an accident? How did that single sperm and an egg transformed into you? Dude, trust me, there's a purpose of life. And you are more than a sexual accident between your parents.



"The ancients misunderstood the nature of the world, and believed that things were created and destroyed, and therefore to this there must be a creator/destroyer.
But science has completely refuted this notion."


Can you please give me examples of 'fully' understood scientific phenomenons that happen all by 'themselves' without any external force or catalyst? Since, science has completely refuted that, you should be able to give me tons of examples. Right?

Science is a form of rationality. Not everything that isn't scientific is irrational. For example, science can't tell us if a certain piece of poetry or music is good or bad. Science, does tell us that giving poison to someone will kill him, but it doesn't tell us if it is morally wrong to do so.




There is no creator.

This type of thinking is an exercise is mental masturbation. It surely feels good. But it won't get anything done for you.

Cheers,
Anonymous Coward :)

Siraj said...

poor asim got pwned!

Khawla said...

Have not you noticed that only Muslims are questioned about their faith? I mean no other people of other faiths are told: "You do this and that, then you are not Christian/Jewish/Buddhist/etc.?"

Why only Islam is being the focus of attack? Why the attackers resort to stereotypes when criticizing Islam and Muslims? Why cannot they have an open mind and question their misconceptions?

Asim said...

To me, it sounds like saying that 'by studying the design of first liquid fuel rocket, you can understand about the existence and personality of Robert H. Goddard'. Which is not true.


Is this not what the quran itself asks you to do?


Again, the basic question, in an 'uncreated world', where did all this mass and energy come from?


Its always been there, eternally, just like your god.

You claim god is eternal, science claims the mass and energy have always existed.


For the very least, you should read 'A brief history of time' by Stephen Hawking. Even an atheist like him believes in a 'beginning'. (Though he can't answer 'why').


There is a beginning of this universe,

That is we know the big bang was the beginning.

We do not know what preceded it.

Anyway you have failed (like every other muslim) to answer my question.

Furnish proof of a creation event.

Even in this day and age show me where matter or energy is made out of "nothing" and I will say shahadah and practice islam again.

Anonymous said...

Asim - If you don't mind, then let's take this discussion offline. I'll appreciate if you can drop me an email at 'umer dot azad at gmail dot com'.

In my earlier post, I didn't mean to criticize you personally, instead I was critical of your reasoning. I don't think this is the appropriate forum to debate about such issues. If you want to discuss these beliefs, then please do write to me. I think we can help each other.

I hope all stays well with you.

Cheers,
Not So Anonymous or Coward :D

lendmeurear said...

miskeen asim

Saladin said...

And in other news in the blogosphere... Ramadan Mubarak!