Saudi Arabia: Damage Control of Muslim Reverts

Those who are newer to Islam and come to Saudi Arabia are perhaps more zealous about their faith than a Saudi in many ways.  The revert is eager to convert others to Islam and share his/her newfound knowledge.  A new revert may likely have a closed mind on other faiths as Islam is the greatest and the best.  The revert is overjoyed to have the chance to live his or her faith in the Kingdom of Islam.

However, at the same time, it is the revert in Saudi Arabia who can damage the image of Saudi Arabia.  Muslim is a religion of peace and tolerance.  Peace and tolerance includes hearing other views without having to agree or argue about them.  Quoting endless suras, hadiths or fatwas just make readers turn blind eyes and deaf ears.  Any discussions of Islam or other religions need to be done with respect.  Issues should be backed up with facts and examples.

When I had discussions with Muslims in Saudi Arabia and particularly among Saudis, I found that the Saudis were patient and eager to participate in a peaceful give and take discussion.  Even if a non-Muslim visits an Islamic center in the Kingdom the visitor will be treated with kindness and respect.

Is it easier to simply quote the Quran rather than engage in a substantive discussion because with a blog most are simply faceless entitities?  Would the same type of discussions and choices of words be used if the discussion were face-to-face?

I understand that a Muslim revert wants to speak positively of Islam and share the fact that Islam is the only path for them.  No problem!  But I encourage reverts to think twice of what they write before posting and ask whether the words will stimulate a discussion or promote dissent and close eyes and ears.

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396 Responses

  1. Maybe it’s just me, but I find the word “revert” rather distasteful as if we are all in rebellion of our natural Muslim states when we choose to not follow the vast number of rules Muhammad placed upon all humans who follow his religion.

    re·vert/riˈvərt/
    Verb:

    1. Return to (a previous state, condition, practice, etc.).
    2. Return to (a previous topic).

    Pardon me, but I never was a Muslim. No “reverting” here. Ever.

  2. Thanks for your perspective, Susanne. I’ve always preferred the term ‘ convert’ but I’d be frequently corrected telling me I should use revert.

  3. I have this question: If we are all Muslim to begin with, and Christians, Jews and Muslims all worship the same one true God, then wouldn’t everyone also be Jewish and Christian to begin with because different messengers were sent to different people?

    Typically, when people con-/re-vert to a faith (pick your word), I think they do so because they feel led to make that decision for whatever reason. Therefore, I could easily understand why they would want to share their passion with others. However, particularly in a religion that teaches tolerance, they should also learn to be respectful of others. I hope with time they learn to find a balance. This goes for not just people who have found Islam, but also to those who have found Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, etc.

    I believe that some of the ways Muslims choose to live is to a certain extent culturally related to how other Muslims around them behave and how they personally feel about it.

    Also, when one is first learning about a religion, one may want to do everything the “right” way. They may go overboard trying to distance themselves from their previous way of life until they learn more about their new-found religion and how to find a healthy balance.

    I have my own interpretation of Islam, which is more or less that the principles of Islam are based upon belief in one creator of the universe that should be worshiped, maintaining health and cleanliness standards, and respecting and loving others. So I take these standards and apply them to the culture I’m in.

  4. I am also not a revert. I find the term offensive. Carol, Muslims are the people that have threatened me – yawn – and my family (that is unacceptable but apparently standard practice for the followers of Mohamad). When Muslims start treating others as they want to be treated, then we can talk about what silly words we want to use to describe each other.

    The image used for this post is incomplete. It is taken from signs being posted in Islamic areas in Europe, to advise non-Muslims that they are not welcome and if present must conform to Islamic “morality”. I notice the original sign forbids five categories of sin – too bad there is no sharia law against hate, discrimination, violence and murder.

    Another small detail, if everybody is born Muslim (under the revert theory) then all non-Muslims are by logic apostates. As apostates they are, under sharia jurisprudence, to be killed. This comes from the words of Mohammad: “kill anyone that changes his (islamic) religion”. No I didn’t add the ‘islamic’ between parenthesis – that is how Muslim experts clarify the hadith that actually says “Kill anyone that changes his religion” (used to justify killing of apostates). It seems then that Mohammad gave orders for his men to kill all converts to Islam. So it really doesn’t matter if one is a convert or revert, they are to be killed under sharia, if Muslims follow their own clear, prefect scripture. Oh yes, people leaving islam are also to be killed under sharia.

  5. And yes, it seems that “natural” (born) Muslims are much more polite or less fanatical than converts (reverts as they say). This is, I guess, to prove their “islamicness”.

  6. I too find the use of the word revert repulsive. I know Muslims use it, perhaps the word they use in Arabic is a better fit but in English it is wrong. Muslim often make a big deal about how absurd Christian theology is (and it certainly is a stretch). Muslims need to look at how they have created their own theology that is also absurd if not quite as absurd as much of medieval Christianity. One wonders about a god who creates us all as Muslims but does such a poor job that he has to send an Arab trader to clarify the message. One wonders about a god who wants to communicate with his world but picks a language that few speak or read. Final messenger, maybe, but written in 7th century Arabic that few people really understand today one wonders about how efficient god is at getting a message out. (This is hardly a new idea others have wondered why god never seemed to speak to the Chinese.)

  7. Reverts are fanatical about explaining the correct form of Islam etc and following every rule to the letter (even those not islamic but arab cultural etc) simply because they are reinforcing the choice they have made to themselves…as well as others. In other words…convincing themselves and others that they have made the correct choice because…see how well they follow the rules…even better than born muslims. (personal experience speaking)

    The saddest part of that whole mess is that, it is bad enough when born arab muslims grow up believing something to be true due to their culture but see it as islamic…but when someone reverts to islam and takes on that same shared belief with such obsession…and in some cases even more so.

    As the saying goes…there’s no arguing with a revert.

  8. ‘it is the revert in Saudi Arabia who can damage the image of Saudi Arabia. ‘ totally disagree..saudis damage/create their own image of their own country..no one is doing it for them.

    ‘A new revert may likely have a closed mind on other faiths as Islam is the greatest and the best.’…Actually not only new muslims think that Islam is the best ..i think all muslims think that, otherwise they wouldn’t be muslim..its goes for everyone else and their religion..don’t christians or jews think their religion is the best??..seems natural to me.

    “But I encourage reverts to think twice of what they write before posting and ask whether the words will stimulate a discussion or promote dissent and close eyes and ears.”..
    Sorry AB but i don’t think thats very fair. I don’t need to sensor what i say because the fact that i don’t sugar coat Islam, i think is being real and honest and something that shouldn’t be stopped just cos it doesn’t sit well with everyone else’s ideas of what they think Islam “should” be. I am all for discussing and understanding and educating with other yet most of the ppl on the other side do not want to do that..actually they want to educate muslims on our own religion seeing they take so much time in reading and learning about a religion they so love to hate…which hey is cool with me it kinda shows how much u really care.
    The freedom to say what i want is why i love about this blog..i get what ure trying to say..but i see it differently.

  9. I’m with you Bella. I think keeping it real is the only way to go. I also can’t imagine a ‘revert’ doing more damage in Saudi as they likely mix in very well (as compared to in the ‘West’). But yeah, they often DO give a very bad impression of Islam as unbending and cold.

  10. I absolutely agree with Bella Vita.

  11. As a “convert” to Islam, I find the term “revert” distasteful and pretentious.

  12. Well said, absolutely. However, the polite way of discussion should be universal and not only to the new muslims.

  13. bella…who is this “they” that you speak of that want to “eradicate” muslims? Are you referring to people on this blog? I take exception to that statement because it is muslims themselves who believe everyone else should either convert to islam…or live under it’s rule. Yeah I know..now you will say not all muslims believe that..sorry but it’s in the religion whether you wish to believe it or not. I can’t imagine people want to eradicate muslims…they just want muslims to not be so physical with their hate and anger and turn everything into blasphemy against Islam or the prophet etc etc etc. (pesky extremists)

    I might remind you that not everyone on this blog is a novice and learned islam from fox news. So while you believe you have the upper hand and can school us all with your knowledge…I’m quite sure I could run rings around you. Your ego is an interesting thing to behold. Another thing that reverts/converts take on when they take on islam…an ego the size of the kaba. ;)

  14. @Dr Nassef – ‘… the polite way of discussion should be universal and not only to the new muslims.’

    I agree but I don’t think we are really talking about ‘polite’ here. Remember, Carol was a ‘diplomat’ (;-)) so you have to be able to translate this from ‘Diplospeak’ to English.

    @Coolred -’Another thing that reverts/converts take on when they take on islam…an ego the size of the kaba.’

    LOL But, I’d bet that converts aren’t like that as much as ‘reverts’ are. Also, you have to ask which came first? The ego or the conversion? With my daughter the ego certainly came first! Taking on a religion that the world was blaming 9/11 on, shortly after 9/11, was the ultimate ego trip for a person that thrives on negative attention.

  15. @Coolred – oops, I forgot to say. Perhaps you need to get yourself to the eye doctor or maybe just slow down when you are reading. Bella didn’t say eradicate, she said EDUCATE. LOL. Was that a Freudian slip of some kind? LOL

  16. Coolred, you want to “take exception” to a statement and not be lumped into a pot, but not willing to allow us the same by saying, “…want muslims to not be so physical with their hate and anger and turn everything into blasphemy against Islam or the prophet etc etc etc. (pesky extremists).” Do you actually know any muslims? Are they physical with their hate and anger and turn everything into blasphemy? I personally do not know anyone fitting that description, except what the news would have the man-on-the-street believe. The peaceful see no correlation between themselves and the extremists and see them for who they are, but what can we do? They give muslims a bad name, but that is NOT islam.

    Why the need to insult the muslim kind enough to answer your question? You know, about her ego? EVERYBODY on here has an ego, so get over it. We are all equally allowed to speak our minds, so play nice.

  17. ‘except what the news would have the man-on-the-street believe.’

    Come on Robin, don’t be silly. How in the world does the media twist the reaction on the Muslim street to oh, let’s say the Mohammed cartoons?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jyllands-Posten_Muhammad_cartoons_controversy

    ‘This led to Islamic protests across the Muslim world, some of which escalated into violence with instances of firing on crowds of protestors (resulting in a total of more than 100 reported deaths),[1] including the bombing of the Danish embassy in Pakistan and setting fire to the Danish Embassies in Syria, Lebanon and Iran, storming European buildings, and burning the Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, French and German flags in Gaza City.[2][3] Various groups, primarily in the Western world, responded by endorsing the Danish policies, including “Buy Danish” campaigns and other displays of support. Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen described the controversy as Denmark’s worst international crisis since World War II.[4]‘

  18. Well if we want to talk about what came first then Judaism was first once we get past the really early or Eastern religions and since Judaism (and Chistianity which came second) are accepted by Islam then I would suggest that the proper word for someone becoming Muslim who was not born into Islam would be convert.

    I think Muslims who are born and raised in secular countries or countries where the religion is less dominating will have a different way of looking at the world. I think they are more open to thinking outside the box that those who never see/hear anything other than Islam. Converts to anything, be it a religion or a cause are always very zealous and that is also very understandable. What distresses me about many Muslims is the fact that they think it’s ‘too bad’ that I won’t convert. They think they are the only ones that are right in many cases. It seems to be the one religion that wants to dominate and would like to have everyone convert. I do NOT see Jews trying to convert people and ditto other religions apart from CULTS. In the same way converts can be over-zealous and protective those who have left Islam can be over-zealous about why they and everyone else should leave it/avoid it and so on. I am thinking of Ayan Hirsi Ali as one example.

    My husband and some of his friends like to refer to themselves as ‘just Muslims’ meaning they follow their religion in a sensible way and do not want to be referred to as Sunni, Shia or any other kind of Muslim. They don’t like the infighting, the heavy handedness of KSA Islam and so on. I think that a bigger majority of Muslims are like that and I am around Muslims from many different parts of the world all the time.

  19. @Wendy – ‘they follow their religion in a sensible way and do not want to be referred to as Sunni, Shia or any other kind of Muslim.’

    Would you include them among those who think it’s ‘too bad’ that you don’t convert?

  20. I agree with Bella Vita, I think followers of all religion think theirs is the best and hence they follow it.

    Outside and inside of Saudi Arabia, Saudis are the one’s that do more harm to the Saudi image-usually by NOT practising their religion.

    Sometimes when you meet a new revert they are in a very zealous stage, and you have to understand that they want everyone to see the light, just as they have, they usually ‘calm down’ and behave inoffensively after that period. They are also more bolder about their faith, I guess, because it takes a lot of guts to break away from the ties that bind you to one faith and adopt another. Wheras, many born Muslims, often keep a lower profile, or even an apologetic stance due to years of having to defend explain the tarnished and skewed image of Islam- they don’t look for battles, they’ve already been fighting them for a much longer time.

    I have to admire their gumption of reverts because many rights that Muslims enjoy in Europe were fought and gained by Western Reverts who lack the cultural hindrances present in the immigrant Muslim populations.

    Muslims believe that each child is born in on the ‘religion of nature;:Islam. It is the child’s family/society that turns the child into a follower of another faith. So when a person converts to Islam they are thought to revert.

    A person is not concerned a Muslim for legal intents and purposes unless they say the Shahadah or declaration of faith.

    The legal ruling for killing an apostate is applicable thus to only those who are legally considered Muslim..

    If people want facts or evidence Muslims will provide surahs/hadith/fatwas..to establish the fact that they haven’t just made it up on the spur of the moment. This is how something is ‘proven’ as correct among Muslims- I don’t have on any knowledge on what effect this has on Non-Muslim’s view of Islam. If you have heard Dr Zakir Naik’s lectures, if these things are accompanied by debate they seem to work and attract many Non-Muslims and Muslims alike.

    Obviously, everyone should enter debates on religion with politeness, seeking to engage not insult, I hope I have done that, and I apologize in advance if in the process I of explaining myseld I have offended someone.

  21. In my view the best way to do dawa is,’ to be a practising muslim in every aspect of life———simple’.

    Moreover I believe that ACTION SHOW BETTER THAN WORDS.

  22. @Lynn “Would you include them among those who think it’s ‘too bad’ that you don’t convert?”

    Absolutely NOT!

  23. I should add that my Muslim friends and most relatives accept me for who I am and my Sudanese relatives actually find someone to escort me to a church (okay I don’t go so far as to tell them that I don’t believe in organized religion). My husband will also attend church with me on those occasions. :)

  24. LOL Wendy, perhaps you should let them KNOW who you really are before you go around saying that they accept you for who you are. ;-)

    Go ahead, we’ll wait, you breathing machine you. ;-)

  25. @Coolred..
    First of all i never said anything about eradicating no one..lol not sure were u got that from ure kinda going off track.
    ‘I might remind you that not everyone on this blog is a novice and learned islam from fox news’…actually i never said i knew more or was better than anyone…there are many non-muslims who take a great deal of time outta their day to study/compare/contrast the Quran and hadith. I think its remarkable that so many are interested in knowing about Islam even more than most muslims..
    ‘So while you believe you have the upper hand and can school us all with your knowledge’…seriously calm down.. u always seem so mad at the world red..:(
    ‘Another thing that reverts/converts take on when they take on islam…an ego the size of the kaba.’..lol loving that
    @Wendy…
    “In the same way converts can be over-zealous and protective those who have left Islam can be over-zealous about why they and everyone else should leave it/avoid it and so on.”…totally agreeing with u there wendy :)

  26. Misha
    maybe many born muslims keep a lower profile because for them it isn’t a big deal…it is a part of who they are and they are not trying to prove anything to God, themselves or their fellow muslims.

    Also I am old enough to remember Islam and muslims before this big push to wear your faith on your sleeve. Years ago the muslims I knew were what I thought of as quietly confident. They knew their faith, they practiced it in their daily lives, they did not feel a burning need to announce their faith to non muslims and they were able to intermingle with nonmuslims without the fear of becoming “tainted”. Nowadays it feels like muslims are on a mission to make sure they do everything possible to distinguish themselves from the other. It almsot feels as if they have become less confident in their faith and by being verbose and ultrapious they will convince everyone around them that they are confident. I think a lot of this comes from within the muslim community itself. When people are feeling insecure for any reason they are more likely to “circle the wagons” for security…seek out those like themselves to mirror back to them their value. Converts are this in hyperdrive. So to an outsider it feels as if islam has become more in your face or there…like there is a point to prove. But from a nonmuslim perspective muslims don’t seem more secure, but rather the reverse…more insecure, hence the need to say “I’m a muslim” every chance they get…as if they will not be important if they don’t. Strength and confidence lies in quiet confidence.

  27. @Bella -’…so many are interested in knowing about Islam even more than most muslims..’

    LOL I’m seeing a direct correlation between the level of knowledge of Islam being adversely related to the level of faith. The more you know, the less you believe. Interesting, isn’t it?

    Bella, you have heard of archaeologists,anthropologists, sociologists and historians and the like? Do you realize how much time they devote to trying to understand different people/societies. Do you also find them remarkable?

  28. @Oby – ‘…they were able to intermingle with nonmuslims without the fear of becoming “tainted”.

    Yes, that was the Muslims and the Islam that I knew before this big ‘push’ as you say. After 9/11 I spent a lot of time telling people that what they did was NOT Islam and NOT the way real Muslims would behave and you can’t blame ALL Muslims and blah blah blah. Then I read the Quran…

  29. @Lynn..’Bella, you have heard of archaeologists,anthropologists, sociologists and historians and the like? Do you realize how much time they devote to trying to understand different people/societies. Do you also find them remarkable?’ when i made that comment it was in all sincerity..and yes to the last question i do find those ppl remarkable..most definatly.
    “I’m seeing a direct correlation between the level of knowledge of Islam being adversely related to the level of faith. The more you know, the less you believe. Interesting, isn’t it?”..interesting point but personally the more i learn the more my faith increases..i cannot speak for anyone else’s feelings.

  30. Lynn, the more you know, the less you believe – with regard to the religion – doesn’t make sense to a devout muslim. Of course, your wishy-washy, change-my-views-to-fit-the-audience, AND, make-me-more-palatable- in-the-process muslim would fall into that category. There are tons of those who are too cowardly to own up to the fact that they are bound by a religion they are blatantly disregarding. Why the fear? Because of the stigma we have now? Or for fear of being “called out?’ Does anyone have time to care? I know there are those that will constantly remind you of your religion, if you don’t wear hijab, for instance, but, that is between them and Allah. That is precisely the reason you see more “in your face” muslims these days. To show that the majority of us do not condone nor prescribe to the violence, just want what every sane person wants and also, having learned MORE, now BELIEVE more. The ones that do not, (extremists) have their own interpretations of things, including the Qu’ran, and that is the tragedy.

  31. ‘personally the more i learn the more my faith increases’

    I have no doubt about that. But I also have no doubt that you keep yourself pretty well protected from a lot of ‘knowledge’ that is out there. One of those protection methods being accusing those who do not believe the same as you as being somehow deficient in knowledge (i.e. accusing them of only having their belief because of the ‘media’s’ dastardly means of brainwashing us etc).

    You said : ‘I am all for discussing and understanding and educating with other yet most of the ppl on the other side do not want to do that..actually they want to educate muslims on our own religion seeing they take so much time in reading and learning about a religion they so love to hate…’

    See? What does that mean? I understand that to mean that you don’t think that a NON Muslim could POSSIBLY know enough about Islam and you need to educate them. See the defense mechanism in place there? You don’t have to pay any attention to what what any of those on ‘the other side’ might say because they CAN’T possibly actually know anything about the OUR religion. Too often I see that thrown out there and I think it is the most ridiculous thing. Why do you feel the need to try to discredit a person? If what you have to say has merit then it can stand on it’s own.

  32. Robin, I include anthropological and sociological knowledge as well as understanding the actual words written down in a holy book. But I would love to be able to take a poll of all Muslims in the world and see what percentage has ever even read a Quran, in ANY language. But I know that that fact does not necessarily prevent them from discussing and arguing about their religion (personal experience).

  33. @Lynn..i am not trying to discredit those who do know a lot about islam and i admit it wasn’t the right thing to say .. but i can defiantly learn from everyone muslim or non-muslim..especially the older generations and their “words of wisdom” lol.
    I think that the part that is missing that non-muslims I’m my opinion will never be able to understand is the emotions and personal connection a muslim has to their faith..Like other ppl of other faiths..its that love for something that becomes you and is your identity that i think ppl who aren’t of the same faith yet have knowledge just do not understand but hey i encourage the discussions to continue..

  34. I would say rather- that as a Muslim, sometimes the more you know, the less you believe in the “scholars” and hadith and even worse “interpretations” of hadith. The more you know, the less you follow like sheep the carefully selected scripts that are given to people to learn. Supported by the carefully selected hadith and “scholarly” opinions. The more you know the more you think for yourself, and not buy into all the scripts designed to control the Islamic masses- largely designed by men who follow patriarchal/tribal/Arab ways with a very thin veneer of Islam over it. The more you know, the less desire and compulsive need to control everyone else, and to view Allah as a petty old-time Patriarchal tyrant-while trying at the same time to make that seem like a good and enlightened thing.

  35. First of all, that wasn’t my comment, but I do agree with it.

    Secondly, I do not aim to discredit you. Yes, I am of the opinion that you don’t know enough about our religion to comment the way you. Can you speak a foreign language without practicing it? Can I know as much about surgery without actually performing one? (By the way, I know quite a lot there, but have never performed one. Care to test me?) How is that ridiculous? That is as ridiculous as all the arguments you need to satisfy the “why did God say this” or “Why did God say that?” and the “where is that in the Quran?” queries. Haven’t you all read the Qu’ran? You all claim to know/have studied my religion so well, but, have missed the mark in understanding what you have read. It’s not so difficult to comprehend.
    Studies have shown that only 2 per cent of Americans feel knowledgeable about Islam. Wow. That certainly is a lot less than the ones who are not shy about voicing their negativity about an entire religion! Studies also show that when knowledge goes up, prejudice and fear go down.

    Why do you think your poll would yield a large percentage?

  36. @Robin – ‘but, have missed the mark in understanding what you have read.’

    See, that’s YOUR opinion. Perhaps I think that YOU are the one missing the mark. But perhaps that’s just because I have OTHER knowledge as well?

    I think my poll would yield a larger percentage based on the fact that a large number of Muslims are illiterate or have been raised to be a Muslim but never took the time to read a Quran even when it IS available to them but they will insist that they know more about Islam than I do. Why Bella? Because he feels it in his soul? ;-)

    Bella, you said – ‘I think that the part that is missing that non-muslims I’m my opinion will never be able to understand is the emotions and personal connection a muslim has to their faith.’

    Would this be kind of like the non-married, never been in love Muslim woman who describes plural marriages as acceptable?

    But no one is arguing about anyone’s emotions unless you are blaming those ‘emotions’ for making you lash out with lame attempts to try to discredit or invalidate someone else.

  37. Your claims of us trying to “discredit” you is not allowed, but YOUR lame attempts are ok?
    Hmmmmm. Typical.

  38. My apologies…I made my last comment up there after returning from the night shift after being awake nearly 2 days. Mistakes are my own.

    robincks…you asked if I know any muslims? Are you serious? I was married to one and lived in a muslim country for 23 years. And YES…they were physical with their hate. If I walked my dog they threw rocks at us because it was sinful to own a dog (and not just kids..adult men too). If I or my daughters wore anything they thought not proper…we were spit on and slurs were shouted at us….and my sons were castigated and sometimes manhandled if their thobes were not short enough to some sheik or other. Damn stinking clothing police…everyone in a muslim country believes they have the right to personally take exception to what you wear. While in mecca in the prophet’s mosque…lady security police (I assume that’s what they were) walked around with freakin sticks and either smacked the floor in front of you…or tapped you on your body to get your attention. WTF!!! Yes..a tap is not exactly a beating but where do they get off touching you in any way AND deciding your not dressed appropriately? It’s the damn mosque IN mecca..not like anyone was wearing a skirt or tank top.

    AND last but not least…after I kicked my ex out once I discovered what an animal he was…all of our lovely neighbors decided it was their duty to make us aware of just how bad we were (the kids and I) by throwing our oh so pious muslim leader out on his ass…by shouting shit as us…by leaving pretty presents by our door…by spreading false rumors about us…and by questioning our morality..so they physically and emotionally put us through the ringer…simply because they had this perceived moral high ground and assumed they had the right to inflict such asinine behavior and judge us AND teach us just how a good muslim should behave.

    I’ve been harrassed and molested by muslim men..followed…had things thrown at me…had sexual acts done in front of me (walk upon a guy somewhere and he suddenly gets the urge to show you his dick) been rubbed up against too many times to count and been propositioned enough times to make me rich several times over..muslim woman have nothing better to do then shred your character to pieces because they are so freaking bored they have nothing else more entertaining to do. As soon as you leave the room they pick you apart..and YES that is from personal experience as well. …so yes…I do know some muslims…and yes..they are very physical with their hate.

    And yes…I absolutely do have anger over my experiences. You forget…while there is this blatant wholesale misconception that muslims are some superior chosen children of god because they have islam..they have that perfect book…they have a god on earth perfect man to guide them and they are going to heaven simply for being muslim…I lived the reality of just how f**ked up they are…as f**ked as the rest of us….nothing special whasoever about muslims..and IMO poor excuses for representing god, mohammed, islam or anything else.

    Anymore dumb ass questions?

  39. Yes, actually. So you apply this to all muslims?

  40. I hope no one minds but I want to touch upon a few points.

    Bella…

    “I think that the part that is missing that non-muslims I’m my opinion will never be able to understand is the emotions and personal connection a muslim has to their faith.”

    I don’t think that is true. While one might not understand a Muslim’s feelings for their faith they can certainly understand their OWN feelings for their own faith and that can be as strong as a Muslim would feel for Islam. Muslims don’t corner the market on loving Allah/God with a deep heart.

    True Story: A few days ago I talked with a woman who is very much about helping people in the community..ALL people no matter faith. She is christian and told me a story about a Muslim woman who needed help. Her baby had died prematurely and they needed to bury the child. The family had no money and for whatever reason the mosque wasn’t helping. The woman came to her organization which is an offshoot of a church. They were able to help her with the cost of burying her baby.

    This same Christian woman had another Muslim woman who is
    close to giving birth. The woman had come to her organization for help (some baby items) and in the course of the conversation the Christian found out that the Muslim woman had no females to attend her during and after birth. The lady inquired if there were any ladies from her mosque who could come help and this woman said no. Only her husband. They chatted for awhile and the Christian woman asked the Muslim lady if she would like her to be there for her during birth so that she is not alone. The Muslim woman started crying and said yes, she didn’t want to be alone and would appreciate some support.

    I ask you this: Don’t you think that Christian woman LOVED her faith? First, Jesus told us to love your neighbor as yourself and that was the mission of her organization….to help ALL people as Jesus commanded her. She is going out of her way to help this muslim lady and has nothing to gain from it. I was skeptical because I don’t like prostyletizing in any religion. She said that they don’t force anything on anyone. They ask them if they need prayer for anything and if so please write it down and later, when it is quiet and she is alone she prays for people. She has no reason to go to the birth of this baby and when I asked her about it she said that she was appalled that this woman would be all alone and felt that it was what she should do. “I just live my life as Jesus would want me too.”

    My point is that Muslims are not the only ones who have a deep and lasting love for God and who try to put that into action.

  41. “Yes, actually. So you apply this to all muslims?”…just the ones I’ve had the misfortune of coexisting with..and get to enjoy crazy security checks at airports because of the overwhelming love they show for the rest of mankind.

    In 23 years living among muslims I had the pleasure of meeting exactly 2 that actually walked, talked, and breathed the essence of what islam is described as being (not the reality because that’s pure b.s.) They are siblings and two of the most kind, generous, awe inspiring people I have ever had the pleasure of calling friends. I never heard a single sarcastic, judgemental, holier than thou comment escape their lips. Even when I took off hijab..this niqab wearing, quran carrying, mesbah counting been to haj or umra every year of her life muslim woman…defended me against the barrage of muslim woman that would have sent me to hell faster than you can say “Islam means peace” with their flapping on both sides of their mouth tongues. Her brother supported my children and I after my ex decided his children weren’t his responsibility anymore since we were now divorced. He bent over backwards to bring us necessities…even leaving his family in the middle of the night to answer any emergencies we might have. He never judged me…never demanded explanations for my “new choices”…and never tried to lecture me. He was kindness personified.

    THAT is what a muslim should be..or a christian..or jew…or any other person who professes to follow a faith from god. Keep your faith to yourself…and be kind. Period.

  42. Glad you knew some genuine muslims. Be a shame if you never meant any.

  43. @Robin,
    Coolred’s been through a lot as she mentioned. So I can fully understand why she might be somewhat “mad at the world”. Please give her some respect and understanding for all she’s been through. There are genuine people of all faiths (or lack thereof). There are plenty more who are not genuine, and it has nothing to do with how ritualistic the person may or may not be. (Although the ones that cling to rituals sometimes have lost sight of the true meaning behind what it is they are doing.)

    @Bella Vita
    I can understand how much a person’s faith might mean to them as my current faith means a lot to me- and I’m just a “person of the book”. And yes, I believe my way is right. LOL.

    @Wendy,
    “(okay I don’t go so far as to tell them that I don’t believe in organized religion)”
    Know the feeling! Usually, I accompany my extended family members out of respect for them.

    @Dr.Nassef,
    I agree.

    @Misha,
    I enjoyed reading your comment.

  44. @Robin – ‘but YOUR lame attempts are ok?’

    I didn’t realize that I had made any. Could you please expand a bit? How can I change it if I don’t realize it? Or is this just another claim that you throw out with no intention of proving?

  45. After a day at work I see there has been a whole lot of interaction here!!!
    Lynn, just let me add that I do attend a church when in Sudan generally once because my in-laws so lovingly want to make me feel at home. I could not burst their bubble by not attending the church service and it is generally very enjoyable with lots and lots of singing with gospel type music in many different languages, etc. We don’t have any relatives living in Canada but our Muslim friends do know that I don’t attend any church. They also understand that not attending church does not mean one doesn’t believe in God and they actually understand what I mean about ‘organized’ religion.

  46. AS for that sharia imposed BS if England has any brains they will crack down on that in a heartbeat. This parallel law stuff is total crap. If England imposed “no Muslim allowed” areas how long do you think that will last or how will that go over. It is absolute crap! If you can’t live by the law of the land then you are welcome to leave….even if you are a citizen. There should be zero tolerance for that..no negotiations no moderations… Muslims wonder why nonmuslims are upset?

    Read this: dated last month. Some Muslims come to these countries and stir up trouble. They are given the same rights as anyone else..Why can’t they live within the rules of the country?…this attitude divides countries. I pray that they don’t bend to any “islamophobia” bs and don’t worry about being politically correct. What is politically correct is for the citizens of the country, ALL of them, to live by the rules and laws. THANK GOD there are some level headed Muslims opposing it.

    http://www.cphpost.dk/news/national/52364-islamists-seek-to-introduce-sharia-zones.html

  47. I read that article, and it’s interesting to note the name of that group is: “The Call to Islam.” The name of the fundamentalist Christian group in Detroit stadium, that is praying against Islam is also named “The Call.” Kinda funny, both groups prolly think they have the direct number to God :-)

  48. You are right Kristine…any religion that goes overboard is a problem. I am going to read that article because I have not seen it yet. Fundamentalism of any kind is a pain in the a**.

  49. From the article – ‘We need to start at the primary school level, to stress the importance of democracy.’

    Which is why they homeschool their kids.

  50. Do a lot of muslims homeschool?

  51. Watching converts, excuse me, reverts, is my own personal favorite form of entertainment. I mean a particular kind of convert – the one so full of their new zeal that they can’t wait to share the good news with all and sundry. I remember in college there was this girl who suddenly shows up in a hijab one day and starts calling herself Aisha and telling anyone who listens how she found religion and is a changed woman. I was like, honey, you’re still a white girl from Maryland, and your name is Heather and I don’t care how may times you say your shahadas, you aren’t and will never be an Arab, so give it a rest. And if you say “yaani” one more time, I’m going to kick you in the shin. And your kabsa is stinking up my classroom.

    What I find very annoying about converts (that particular kind) is that they assume that you disagree with them because you haven’t been “educated”. That you see, there is a magic argument somewhere out there they can bring out, and I will slap my head and say “Yesss! Ahhh! THAT’S why women don’t get jack after divorce, THAT’S why braised pork belly is nasty, THAT’S why you can’t study music or dance ballet. I can totally see it now. My bad.” As if.

    Well, I don’t need any (more) education. I was born and raised in a Muslim-majority country. I am married to a Muslim. I read and studied and analyzed it all, and what’s more, I saw and observed it at such close quarters as little white girls from Bumscrew, OH, never will. In fact, I could probably give them some lessons. What I know about Islam is way more than most non-Muslims, and more than some Muslims. Basically, what I don’t know doesn’t need to be known. Because I read and studied and observed for years, and never saw anything remotely compelling, in book or in reality in front of me, in this way of life, and things that didn’t make sense in the beginning still don’t. I came, I saw, I yawned and shrugged.

    So no, I don’t need any more education from converts on how Islam is so super awesome. I know it all. I just don’t love it the way you do. And it’s not because I don’t know enough. It’s because my life is great, and religion doesn’t offer anything to make it better and takes away too damn much.

    I should say, for the sake of fairness, that most converts I met are lovely unassuming people who mind their own business and make friends without bringing religion into the conversation. It’s only the pushy kind that I find annoying.

    PS: Where is Abu Sinan when you need him? I hope he’s well.

  52. @oby,
    “Do a lot of muslims homeschool?”

    I don’t know but I know that in the US a lot of Christians will because they want their children to learn how to behave in a “Christian” environment.

  53. I don’t know about ALL Muslims but I know that a true extremist would (ANY extremist no matter what their philosophy). That is what my daughter intends to do. They just do not want to take the risk that their kids be exposed to different ideas and if it is blatantly put out there that there is a problem in their society that they intend to start teaching them pro-Democracy dogma then, by God, you know they will do whatever they need to keep their children safe.

  54. My biggest fear is that Canada will bend to allow Sharia law. Ontario almost did but the progressive Muslim Congress basically fought against it saying that immigrants come to Canada to get away from Sharia law. We have laws in our countries and they should be understood and agreed upon before emigrating to non Muslim countries.

  55. But Wendy, what about the homegrown overzealous ‘reverts’ who might want sharia because it would make them feel like they are right there in Saudi Arabia? They didn’t move away from it. What about them?

  56. @Coolred..Why are u mixing ure personal issues with an entire people of a certain religion? If i did the same as u i would be hating on all christians for something they had nothing to do with (i mentioned before i was in a similar situation as u minus the muslims). Ure experience with those low life’s is crazy and tragic and mind blowing and i believe Allah will deal with them in due time. I can understand that possibly when u think/hear of muslim u relate that to all the pain that u and ure family have suffered and been thru at the hands of “muslims” but its not fair. Its not fair because at the same time like u said there were people who were extending a hand not becos they thought they were better then you but because they saw someone in need and attended to them the best way they could mashallah yet they were the same religion as the ones that hurt u the most. I aint no expert but i do understand ure situation cos i have experienced something similar (i read ure blog) and it aint gna go away but we have to stop being mad at the wrong ppl.

    @StrangeOne..”as my current faith means a lot to me- and I’m just a “person of the book”. And yes, I believe my way is right. LOL.”. Thats cool that u think ures is the right way cos its only natural for everyone to think his/her religion is the best..otherwise we wudn’t be following it.

    @Oby..”I don’t think that is true. While one might not understand a Muslim’s feelings for their faith they can certainly understand their OWN feelings for their own faith and that can be as strong as a Muslim would feel for Islam. Muslims don’t corner the market on loving Allah/God with a deep heart. ”
    They can TRY to understand that because of their dedication and love for their own religion but for example a christian would never be able to understand why/ how i can love Islam so much because for them they see christianity as the “right” religion and not Islam and they will always believe they are more dedicated to God as they are on the “right way” therefor they “feel more” and are “better believers.”..do u get me? i get that ppl can try to understand how one feels in his/her religion but its impossible to understand the same extent. I can try to understand how a follower of Hari Krishna may feel but not to the full extent that i feel for my religion as i believe Islam is right and hari krishna is wrong..

  57. @Bella – ‘Why are u mixing ure personal issues with an entire people of a certain religion?’

    She never said that she hated all Muslims. She just told you that there were 2 that she knew that were more than wonderful to her. I know you didn’t miss that. Then there are those other Muslims that are her CHILDREN so there is no way she is hating on them, right? So yeah, her experience shows her more bad than good among Muslims but she didn’t say she hated all Muslims. She was being accused of hating on Islam when she probably didn’t even KNOW any Muslims. You know, that typical accusation that we’ve been trying to highlight here. ;-)

  58. Ok, Lynn. What’s your excuse?

  59. Coolred can answer for herself..and second of all i never said she hated muslims.. arrrrr lol Lynn ure like my cyber mum :) any room for another extremist daughter?

  60. @Robin – My excuse for what? I certainly hope you are not trying to accuse me of hating Muslims again. If you mean for not respecting Islam my only excuse was that I read the Quran. I know it is supposed to be a miracle book that once read has awesome powers of persuasion but it backfired on me. Like I said, I had more respect for Islam before I read the book.

    @Bella – Yes, I know she can answer for herself but I thought it important to point it out to you while it’s still ‘fresh’ LOL Plus no decent cyber mum worth the bandwidth would EVER risk letting behavior unbecoming of civil conversation go un-chastised ;-) I quoted what you had said. Perhaps you could explain what you meant by that comment if I took it wrong. And sure, there is ALL kinds of room for more extremist daughters especially considering that they don’t take ANY room in my infidelerious life ;-)

  61. Well, now I know. Thank you!

  62. Lynn, so far it’s been imports who want Sharia law. Canucks born here regardless of religion seem to realize they have a good thing goin’ on. :)

    Bella, I can understand your love for your religion and good for you for loving it so. What I don’t like is when people say their true love is better than the true love of somebody else.

    True story based on an earlier true story on this post. I have Muslim friends who have immigrated from Iraq. They had a 3 year stopover in Syria. Who helped them in Syria you might ask. Catholic nuns is the answer. They tried to get help from a mosque near where they were housed. No such luck. It was a church who helped them and there was no attempt at conversion either. Same friends ran into some difficulties a few months after immigrating to Canada. They said they tried to ask at their mosque but got no help. They did get help from a United Church. They think that is very sad and I agree with them. Just wanted to tell this story because I think it is telling about religions.
    Now added to this story – my friends WANT to raise their children in a secular country. They want their children to be Muslim but to grow up with children of all religions and races and to participate in all things Canadian. They say they are ‘just Muslims’ wanting to live a better life with nice people. I get that!!!!

  63. Wendy, SO far… I’m sure if the Wahhabis were to have their way the ‘reverts’ that they train would be pushing for it.

  64. Coolred wrote:

    “While in mecca in the prophet’s mosque”. Um……must be a mistake on your part, but the prophet’s mosque is in Medina. Kind of a huge mistake to make. The Grand Mosque, with the Kabba, is in Mecca, the Prophet’s Mosque, with the tomb of the Prophet, is in Medina. Anyone who professes any sort of knowledge about Islam would be clear on that.

  65. PS…just had a good female friend get back from Hajj and didnt see anyone with sticks, anywhere, hitting anyone.

  66. NN, I’m sure you won’t mind if I disagree with you. You may know more than the little white girls from Bumscrew, OH about Islam, but just because you “read and studied and analyzed it all” STILL does not qualify you, in my book, to KNOW much.
    But, it’s what YOU think that counts, right? Just sayin’.

  67. Oh my…HUGE mistake..since I went to both mosques and unfortunately made a mistake in typing (was thinking of one and typed the other for some reason). So that makes the rest of my statement a lie then? And I didnt say hitting..I said tapping….and whether or not your friend saw this does not make my claim any less true. Good try though.

  68. Bella…Im mixing my personal issues with this only when it concerns my experience with Muslims…I did say these were my personal experiences..so of course it will be personal. And I never said I judged the entire muslim population by this pathetic standard. Just the ones I came into contact with..for better or worse…and the ones that are highlighted so wonderfully on the news at night.

    My children are muslim…my very best friend in the world is muslim…I do no hate them..I hate the experiences I have had with a majority of the ones I have had to deal with in some fashion or another. Period.

  69. Robin, I’m sure that until I fall on my knees and declare that I have seen the light coming out of Mecca and run to the nearest hijab shop, it would not qualify me to KNOW, in your books, because anyone who reads what you read just HAS to get all googly-eyed the way you do, or else they are deficient in some sense. I don’t blame you for thinking this, because that’s what Islam says about those who don’t believe. Something about closed hearts or similar. Good on you. I’m sure you get a big fat A in your Islamic studies report card.

    All I’m trying to get across here is this: It is entirely possible for two equally intelligent people to read the same book, and one will say Alhamdullillah, and the other will say, “Meh. What’s on telly?” Both are right. None of them is deficient. I will not say you are wrong for believing because that’s your thing. But I will never agree that the reason I don’t believe is insufficient knowledge. I got knowledge. There’s nothing else to know. It just doesn’t affect me the way it does you. Just like my husband is not wrong for hating oysters, which I love. It’s tempting to declare his palate deficient because to me, oysters are better than anything. We’re just different that way.

  70. @NN – I don’t know how I missed your comment. But I just saw this ‘PS: Where is Abu Sinan when you need him?’

    You mean the Original King of Determining (who is eligible to speak about Islam)?

    @Robin – ‘just because you “read and studied and analyzed it all” STILL does not qualify you, in my book, to KNOW much.’

    Could you please give us the criteria for being crowned as ‘KNOWING’ anything about Islam’? Perhaps you could make up some kind of certificate process so we can know before they attempt to speak? Because I’d hate to keep having to have conversations with people that are probably just talking out of their asses! Would you agree that a person who is soooo overtaken by their new religion that they can not think of anything else or treat others, who do not share their religion, as worthy human beings should be removed as ‘disqualified’ from having a conversation about ‘normal life’? I’ll go for that.

  71. Bella Vita…

    Perhaps it is the way one looks at religion. I don’t have a “my way is right and all others are wrong” take on it. I love my faith just as you love yours, BUT I look at it as my faith is right FOR ME. It is the path I have chosen to take to God. I say chosen because I was born into it, true, but I have enough knowledge of other faiths that I could be drawn to another if I chose. I know that there are others out there, but this is the right one for me. It is not whether I am right and all others are wrong. We are talking one God who loves everyone even if they are not of the abrahamic religions. It is not up to me to judge. The good Lord in his infinite wisdom has relieved me of the burden of having to judge others who do not chose my path. It is like me as a child of a large family being responsible for my siblings behavior and having to correct it or worry about it FOR my parents…that’s ridiculous. As a child it is not my responsibility but my parents to deal with. MY behavior is my worry. When one takes their ego out of it and stops worrying if they are on the right bus to heaven along with everyone else, and simply focuses on themselves and their travels and journey and leaves the rest to God to judge it no longer is a question of “Am I right and everyone else wrong?” You focus on you and can make room for others’ choices even though they are not your own. It isn’t a matter of right or wrong…it becomes a personal matter of “I choose this path because FOR ME it is correct”.

  72. WHERE did I EVER say anyone was deficient in any sense? WHERE am I trying to impose my religion on anyone? I am expressing my opinion, as everyone else here claims to be doing. I also get the feeling that you think I am a convert. Hmmmm. I’ll just leave it at that.

    It appears to me that when the muslims comment, we are “imposing our views” or our religion or are just zealots, but when the (apparent) non-muslims do, oh, just shut up an take it? Ummm, not feelin’ that!

    NN. I’m not here to get anyone to believe in Islam. Could you show me where you got that from?

  73. Lynn…

    “I know it is supposed to be a miracle book that once read has awesome powers of persuasion but it backfired on me. ”

    OMG! too funny! I had that experience with Mormons. One of my best friends is a Mormon (not the polygamy believing ones) I once invited some missionaries into my house one winter day because I felt sorry for them out in the cold. I gave them hot chocolate and we had a chat about the Book of Mormon. They told me to pray on it and God would call me to the light (or something like that). Well, I never felt the love so to speak, and I couldn’t convince them of that. They kept coming back every week or two (I stopped answering the door) and I finally told my friend to call the powers that be to get them off my back…she did and they left me alone…but they too were convinced I had not understood it right and if “only I had listened with an open heart” I would have no choice but to convert. Thank god my friend is a live and let live, nonprostylitizing type. This “only if…” belief comes in all religions.

  74. Robinrocks…

    How would saying the shahada make NN any more qualified??? Does some magic light come down granting her a secret knowledge? Sounds like she knows more than MANY converts.

  75. Does the mere KNOWLEDGE of the intricacies of surgery , without ever having performed one, qualify me to operate on you? Would you let me? What about having studied another language without putting it into use having left the classroom? Don’t tell me it’s not the same thing.

    I need popcorn.

  76. @Robin – ‘I also get the feeling that you think I am a convert. Hmmmm. I’ll just leave it at that.’

    Crazy azz people going and thinking that! Perhaps it had something to do with your ’12 years of Catholic School in NY’. But that DOES explain why you came out not really understanding Catholicism.

    Remember, you were trying to explain the Christian’s religion to them when you were telling them they are banned from pork? So a Muslim is qualified to speak on Christianity based on readings or personal relationships with Muslims but a Non-Muslim can’t speak about Islam no matter HOW many Muslims they know or how many books they read. Funny isn’t it?

    We are NOT saying that you guys are pushing your religion on us. We are saying that you CANNOT tell us that OUR opinions don’t count based on whatever you deem as a qualifier.

    I didn’t say you weren’t ‘qualified’ to tell me the Christian dietary laws. I was telling you that you were WRONG. Then you tried to qualify yourself by showing your ‘education’. It can’t work both ways, kid.

  77. ‘So a Muslim is qualified to speak on Christianity based on readings or personal relationships with Muslims’

    I meant NON Musllims, sorry.

  78. Lynn, there are a lot of muslims in catholic schools! Where’ve you been?

    And your last paragraph? EXACTLY!! You don’t accept that from me, but, again, we are supposed to just agree with all that you throw at us. What’s with all the double standards?

  79. interesting discussion so far! gotta love NN’s comments :D

    @Robin,

    how can the knowledge of islam be compared to the knowledge of how to perform a surgery? i’m not sure I understand the link and would appreciate your explanation :)
    does it mean that if a non-Muslim makes any claims about Islam they are not valid because they come from someone who didn’t actually practice the faith?

  80. Yes, Almost a Muslimah. That is MY opinion. Not saying the opinion is not valid, but it is not based on actual practice. Now, because others here don’t agree with that, then THEIR opinion reigns.

    I didn’t say you weren’t ‘qualified’ to tell me the Christian dietary laws. I was telling you that you were WRONG. Then you tried to qualify yourself by showing your ‘education’. It can’t work both ways, kid.

    Not showing my education. You mentioned something about having gotten my education in a “Christianity friendly place.” You assumed I was coming from where, I don’t know.

    Lynn, it has occurred to me that you and others are here with preconceived notions and not necessarily addressing the personalities here. Why do I say that, you ask? Well, the RANTS for one.

  81. ‘You don’t accept that from me, but, again, we are supposed to just agree with all that you throw at us.’

    I didn’t accept it because you were WRONG not just because you aren’t Catholic! But WE non-Muslims are wrong just because we are non-Muslim. See the huge glaring difference there? This rant IS intended to sincerely address your personality LOL

    All I am saying is if we could bypass all this stupid haggling about ‘qualifications for holding an opinion’ and accusations of agendas, hatred etc. maybe, just maybe it would be a step towards having a civilized conversation.

  82. I actually don’t think comments about Christianity and Judaism etc. made by Muslims are invalid because of the source. Something either makes sense or it doesn’t. Saying shahada doesn’t give you extra brain cells, or take the ones you have away.

    Pardon the pun, Islam isn’t brain surgery. Nothing in it (or in any other religion) needs to be practiced to understand how it feels. To the extent that religion sells a philosophy, it can be read and understood by anyone. And no, I don’t need to have my children taken away from me, or get stuffed out of my husband’s inheritance to understand that it will suck big-time.

  83. @Robin

    I understand it’s your point of view. But wouldn’t you say that practice differs A LOT between Muslims? non-Muslims who are trying to learn more about Islam are continuously being asked not to look at practice but at sources such as Qur’an and the hadith so I don’t grasp what practice has anything to do what the original sources.
    I would think then that opinions expressed by both Muslims and non-Muslims would be valid if they are supported by the Qur’an and hadiths, no?

  84. Almost a Muslimah, I happen to think that EVERYONE’S opinion is valid, but that gets lost when someone has the need to challenge your every word and becomes defensive and accusatory. If we were face-to-face, then the head nodding, eyebrow-raising and telling smiles, etc, would all be visible and people wouldn’t bring it to the level it’s reached.
    With regard to the backups w/Hadiths and Quran; that’s only acceptable when ASKED to produce them, it appears. Otherwise, it’s back to the sophomoric name- calling and accused of being all fanatical and what not.

    Practices differ from person to person, but that’s personal, right? I think you mean from the devout to the name-only muslim? Don’t look at a muslim, christian or jew that is clearly violating the rules of the religion if you are looking for a religion. Look at the religion itself and see if those are the rules you can live by, because it’s a RELIGION and religions have rules.

    Chris Rock waiting on youtube:)

    I. Am. Outtahere.

  85. “However, at the same time, it is the revert in Saudi Arabia who can damage the image of Saudi Arabia. Muslim is a religion of peace and tolerance.” Saudis have done far enough already to damage the image of Saudi Arabia as well as Islam it’s self, especially when they travel abroad. They go to strip bar, drink, and act in ways that are totally un-Islamic. When my family and I first came here to KSA, we were appalled at the way a lot of Saudis were behaving. We all wondered allowed, “are these really Muslims?” And the sad part is, many of them still haven’t changed. I know you are married to a Saudi, so you feel a need to defend them. And those “reverts” ( a term used b/c most believe that they are returning to the same religion that was given to Adam and all other prophets after him in it’s original form) who are overzealous are few, and I have run into far more over zealous Saudis than I have new Muslims. I always find new Muslims from the West and other countries far more friendly that the more religious Saudis. And let’s not for get, most Most Saudis won’t talk to you a about Islam mainly b/c that’s not where their minds are. They are only concerned about the most trivial things in life. So, as I said, if anyone is damaging the image of Saudi Arabia, it’s the Saudis themselves, and all of my Saudi friends agree with this. Btw, I am an American Muslim who was born into Islam and not a revert.

  86. @Robin – I think you forgot something…(hint: Of course, Lynn, you are always right)

    If you’d just remember that we could avoid all this damned typing back and forth ;-)

  87. Quote: I have to admire their gumption of reverts because many rights that Muslims enjoy in Europe were fought and gained by Western Reverts who lack the cultural hindrances present in the immigrant Muslim populations.

    Misha, you are kidding, aren’t you? What rights are these? If you are talking about freedom of religion, to build mosque, to share your faith or to wear a blanket – rights which Muslims enjoy in the West – I must inform you that these are have nothing to do with your religion, with Muslims or much less that what you call reverts. Basic human rights are a product of the Western tradition and, in case you haven’t noticed, have no place in Islam. In fact, the reverts often work hand-in-hand with the radicals (that may be redundant) to end these rights and replace them with sharia.

    So, quote: “the legal ruling for killing an apostate is applicable thus to only those who are legally considered Muslim” – is that it? No condemnation? No reservations? No thoughts on how the legal ruling is constructed? So it is just a blind acceptance, ‘that is what Muslims do’, type of thing…

    As to the use of hadith, it depends on which hadith – yours or mine, his or hers, and so on. What never ceases to amaze me is how Muslims will use one verse and ignore six others, if it suits their purposes.

    Don’t worry about offending me. I’m OK with any type of discussion. These are important issues and so we should not let an improper measure of sensitivity impede us from debating moral values that are linked to violence, hate and discrimination.

    Robin, you say “the majority of us do not condone nor prescribe to (the) violence”. I think that all serious Muslims (as opposed to the cultural Muslims), particularly those that defend your prophet (99.999999%), not only condone but endorse violence. Yes, those are strong words but they can easily be corroborated by evidence from the hadith – assuming you have actually read them and are aware of your prophet’s endless wars against his neighbors.

    Let me tell you a story, or rather several events of analogous nature. I have sought out Muslims on various occasions and asked them to explain Mohammad’s aggressions against other tribes (and even his own). I won’t go into detail, but the facts are clear – terrible deeds were done, both on his orders and with his acquiescence – yet this means nothing to Muslims. Never have I found a Muslim who would condemn this violence. I find this troubling, since the implications are severe. Worse yet, the people that ignore Islam’s transgressions are the same people that excoriate non-Muslims for minor moral faults. Worse yet yet, the Quran says this man is a great moral example for Muslims to follow if the want their 70-72 virgins (men) or 72 new kitchen appliances (women).

    Does under matter? Is it important? I think it is. I think it explains the total lack of comparable moral values by Muslims, even the so-called moderates. It explains the violence in the Muslims world; it explains the lack of an ability to reflect on difficult issues and it explains why Islam cannot change.

  88. @Robin,

    thanks for the explanation. i asked because it really seemed to me that you think that an opinion about Islam or its practices is somewhat less valid (still trying to find a better word) or true simply because it comes from someone who doesn’t practice the religion as per your comment:

    “Not saying the opinion is not valid, but it is not based on actual practice.

  89. PS: I made up the part about kitchen appliances. I know that you women have been wondering what you get in paradise, since the Quran is silent on this, so I decided to step up and clarify the issue.

    PSS: said appliances will be 220 volt – the new Saudi standard. I don’t want you women having obsolete, 110 volt stuff that doesn’t work, in 100 years, or 200, or 1000 years from now. Old jay is always thinking ahead, thinking of others.

    Red, are you still at the convenience store? How long have you been back now? Are things improving? How are the kids?

  90. @jay kactuz: There are no 72 virgins, it’s only a propaganda based myth made up by non-Muslims. You really should pick up a Qur’an and read it for yourself rather than pol-parroting the ignorance of others.

  91. @Jay – ‘so I decided to step up and clarify the issue.’

    You are always SO thoughtful.

  92. Mike, is all this propaganda?

    http://wikiislam.net/wiki/72_Virgins

    I read the Quran once and didn’t see the number 72 specifically, but I did get the impression heaven was dang-good for Muslim men.

    Jay, women only get new appliances?!?! When I asked my Muslim friend about Muslim heaven, he said women could get whatever their hearts desire. Just God knew men liked sex the best so that’s why He promised them so much sex – with numerous women, no less! I doubt most women would ask for new appliances, but maybe I’m wrong. :)

  93. And this is the kind of stuff I find revolting about the religion. Apart from anything else the fact that people will get wonderful beautiful women when they go to heaven to me says that they will not have that on earth so it is another slam at women in the here and now.

  94. Mike… FYI is was just a small joke. Of course I know the Quran uses neither the term ‘virgin’ nor does it say how many. I believe the Arabic term is ‘hori’ (((( resisting impulse to make another bad joke!!!))) which are somewhat mystical wide-eyed, soft creatures that have no purpose but carnal gratification of male Muslims. (Now I am resisting temptation to take another dig…).

    It is not my fault that the Quran is vague about the fate of the Mulsimas in Paradise. Allah obviously thought it not important to share her plans for the gentle sex with her faithful. From what I remember from umpteen visits to Muslim sites, the experts seem all to agree that in paradise Muslim women will be happy and, oh yes, they will still be married to their current or latest husband. I can find references for this if you want. You can disregard the words of your prophet about the inhabitants of hell, cause I think more guys (independently of religion or race) go there (or should go there) than women.

    This brings to mind the the case of little Fatima, a pious good Muslim woman married to a mean old guy named Ahmed (he was even worse than me!). Well Ahmed often beat poor Fatima until, as Aisha said, she was black and blue. One day Ahmed goes out to attack the hated infidels and is killed (defective EID). Well Ahmed goes to heaven, gets his hori and has a million-year orgy of happiness. Good for him! Well, Fatima dies a few years later, after many hardships and no support, but always faithful and kind-hearted, and she goes to heaven. Saint Peter then meets her at the gate (oops, wrong religion) I mean Gabriel meets her and takes her to her new heavenly abode – Ahmed’s palace! Wow, lucky her.

    Actually the thing might work out – since Ahmed will be so busy with the hors that he wont have time to abuse poor Fatima.

    So:
    1. Lighten up. We don’t have to agree but we can try to find common ground and it helps if the ground is softened with humor.
    2. Some non-Muslims actually have read the Quran, ahadith (not all but most of the Sunni ones), Ibn Ishaq, Kathir, Hisham, Tabari (wow! 30+ thick volumes even if I did skip pages at times) and of course, dozens of Muslim sites that address a wide variety of social, economic, hygiene (some pretty gross), sentimental, and of course important theological issues such as “what do Muslim women get when they die?”. One thing is sure: You can always count on Muslim experts to come up with fascinating answers to any issue. I remember one site that said Muslim men and women in Paradise can produce instant, full grown children, if they want. I kid you not! Great idea, no diapers or getting up at 3am. And if you need help to move the sofa, just get together with the wife and, pronto, ta-daaa (drums rolling) a helpful son arrives to help (in theory!). I Just hope these insta-kids are better at helping than mine.

    Wewwww!

  95. Afterthought: In a more serious vein, I would like to wish this were true for Carol, because she obviously deeply misses her husband, who was certainly a kind man.

    Who knows? I don’t.

  96. @Susanne: Seriously, you are going to get learn about about Islam from a wiki site? How about learning Islam from more authentic sources? As I said, the 72 virgin thingy is a propagada based myth. Furthermore, men aren’t the only ones who will have mates in heaven, women will also get them. Also, if a man and woman has had a good relation qith one another in this life, they will be the mates of one another in the next life. realize, is that those mates that a”72virgins

  97. @Susanne: Seriously, you are going to get learn about about Islam from a wiki site? How about learning Islam from more authentic sources? As I said, the 72 virgin thingy is a propagada based myth. Furthermore, men aren’t the only ones who will have mates in heaven, women will also get them. Also, if a man and woman has had a good relation with one another in this life, they will be the mates of one another in the next life.

  98. @Susanne: One other thing many don’t realize, even some Muslims themselves, is that those mates that you get in heaven are of the lesser rewards. And there is no clear evidence in the Qura’n that sexual relations will even be had in heaven with those mates. Why does everything have to be about sex? Nothing in heaven is like anything in this world. Ouf minds don’t have the capacity to comprehend it.

  99. @jay kactus: Read what I postsed to Susanne.

  100. Oh pleeeeaaaase Mike. What is it this with the certain, affirmative “will” this and “will” that? The virgin thingy, as you say, comes from so-called Muslim experts, not us poor stupid infidels.

    Just out of curiosity, please provide the “authentic sources” for your statement that women will also get mates (plural) in heaven. I must have missed that one.

    You must be one of those that support the ‘white grapes’ theory of paradise… Yes, sex with a grape is kinda hard, I mean difficult.

  101. raisins, not grapes…. It is late and I am tired.

    We need Oby, always moderate and reasoned, to step in and save this thread from Mike and I.

  102. Hey Mike, chew on this…

    Abu ‘Umama (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) said: “Allah will not admit anyone in the Paradise but Allah, the Mighty and glorious will marry him with 72 wives, two will be from virgin (houris) with big eyes and 70 will be his inheritance from the people of the Hell-Fire*.” Every one of them will have a pleasant vagina and he (the man) will have sexual organ that does not bend down during sexual intercourse (perpetual erection).” [Ibn Majah, volume 5, number 4337]

    To all, sorry for the NSFW-like language. I like sex but that doesn’t sound like much fun to me… I mean after 4 or five days a guy would want a break, to watch TV, take out the garbage, mow the lawn, carry heavy rocks. I could say more but why…

    Enuf is enuf… I’m going to bed.

  103. @jay kactus: I tried chewing on it, but it didn’t taste right, so I spit it out. That hadith was taken from Tirmidhi, is weak, and has no chain of naration. You need to be aware of sound and weak hadith. The weak ones are those used by terrorist to do their brain washing. And did I mention that those virgins in heven are of the lesser rewards of paradise? And those men with the everlasting boners are supposed to be for the women who enter paradise. And again, the hadith is weak.

  104. Don’t worry Jay, I’m here for you. :-)

    @Mike -’And did I mention that those virgins in heven are of the lesser rewards of paradise?’

    Could you provide the reference for your statement as Jay has?

  105. Hi,

    I recommend listening to lectures/speeches by the well-renowned American-Muslim scholar, Hamza Yusuf Hanson. He really gives a well-balanced view on Islam.

  106. @jay, yeah, your knowledge about Islamic sources is ‘awesome’ and thats why you miss interpreted some verses in some posts like as the article Carol posted about the “holy ghost”. You found trinity theory in verses where it says nothing about .
    And so on.
    I like your afford to read Islamic books to know what the “mistakes” were done by Muhammad (PBUH).

    @all, My belief is not right by your point of view and your point of view is not correct by my knowledge. And it is a general nature of human being. So, what we can do to prove ourslv right?
    We need a third source of knowledge to compare with the matter we are ‘ suffering’ from.
    the “third source” can be the history, science and evidences.

    Left the “I am right you are wrong” thing. And while commenting try to hurt less the opposites.

    Lol by the by Lynn already is my Dyer Aunt@ bell lolzzzz

  107. @Lynn: Of course I can give references, my references are the Qura’n and authentic hadith. I’m sure that you guys don’t speak Arabic, but if did, you would understand that the mates that will be recieved in paradise are not for the male inhabitants only. It’s just that most non-Muslims who are against Islam like to twist the words of Qua’n and hadith to make it look as though Islam is a religion that favors males. And that just isn’t the case. I will get back to you with the sources soon insha’allah. I don’t gave access to my books at the moment.

  108. It is not non-Muslims that have put out that the houris are for men, but Muslims. And I say that as a Muslim woman. I would not assume that no one here knows Arabic- and I’d also be careful making the argument that only native Arabic speakers can properly understand the Quran-if that’s what you are suggesting- because that might also suggest that Islam is only for Arabs. I have found the Quran to be perfectly translatable, though not all Muslims-or non-muslims do it with integrity. I do agree with you that the 72 virgin thing is astoundingly weak. However it is Muslims, not non-Muslims who have propagated those ideas. I would love to see anything Quranic that indicates companions for women as well. When you have the chance please do post the reference.

  109. Mike, actually I cared little about learning about Islam until a Syrian Muslim found me online four years ago. Do I have to mention that Arabic is his native language, he was ‘born’ Muslim and he taught me what he’d learned as a religious Muslim? Just wanted to qualify him as Arab and Muslim enough for you since I have learned most things from him, his friends and reading books and mostly Muslim blogs. Forgive the Wiki site, but when I googled “72 virgins koran” that was one of the links and it had the hadith and talked of houris. So I was wondering if you could verify that the hadith are, too, propaganda. And I did say I’d read the Quran once and didn’t find the number 72. I think that’s from a lesser-known or not-as-popular hadith. (You said “weak” – fair enough.) Regardless and throwing the hadith aside, the Quran is explicit enough about the sexual nature of Islamic heaven for men. I think even pearly boys are offered for those who prefer young boys to perpetually virgin women.

    “Why does everything have to be about sex?”

    Oh, I totally agree! Totally! Thank you for saying this!!!

    But I’m only telling you what I’ve learned from Muslims themselves about the sexual nature of heaven for men. Again, men like sex so why would God not provide them eternal sexual orgies as part of their reward for being so good here on earth? You shouldn’t try to take away the men’s sexual fun in heaven, Mike. That’s what a number of them are looking forward to and probably why some of them put up with all the rules and hardships of this life. And maybe it’s why some people willingly die as martyrs or act as suicide bombers. What better incentive than to totally skip grave life and go straight to paradise with those bright-eyed, beautiful houris waiting for a good time?

    My Syrian friend did say that if women wanted sexual partners for eternity (like the men get), they could get this. He said they could receive whatever their hearts desire. Maybe a few would take the new kitchen appliances Jay suggested. I always thought it would be funny if a woman’s desire was the earthly husband she had be faithful to her and only her which means he wouldn’t get his promised houris. I wonder if God would honor her request over his.

    My theory and one of a progressive Muslim lady I know is that the Arabs of Muhammad’s day were used to have numerous wives (Islam actually limited them to only 4 unless you were Muhammad who got exceptions to Allah’s rules). She said this was an incentive used to get Arabs to follow Muhammad’s new religion. I actually like the raisin/grape translation because

    1. I think sexual orgies in heaven are just plain sick (as you said “why does everything have to be about sex?”)

    2. I think it would be funny to see the looks on men’s faces when they realize they get a handful of raisins/grapes instead of women for all eternity

    I’m mean like that. :)

  110. Thank you Jay for your vote of confidence! Hmmm…save the thread. I think you can hold your own and I always enjoy reading your reasoning. The differences between what you see and what Mike sees about Islam is what makes it a bit problematic. It seems that there are few basic truths that all Muslims can agree on. Therefore the interpretations can get shattered in a million directions and it can get nuanced to death. IMHO, this is one of the main reasons no one can agree on what is right and where a lot of the judgement comes from. Everyone wants to make sure they are on the right train to Paradise and since Islam is so rule/ritual heavy it is important to get it “right” or your off the fast track to Allah. I think that makes it laden with a LOT of anxiety and is at the root of a lot of judgement Muslims have for each other. Plus it is not redemption based as is Christianity. It is submission based. OK…but what is the right way to submit? Have they done it enough or correctly? In Christianity it is about making mistakes and being forgiven so there is less anxiety about getting it just right….IMO.

  111. Plus it is very important for Muslims to have a sense of unity at all costs so it is bad news of others step out of line…again judgement. Christians have a sense of unity in their belief but they don’t feel the need to extend that to practice. Different branches have slightly different ways of practicing and that doesn’t diminish their faith because they are looking at the bigger picture Jesus’ dicinity) rather than the rituals that are performed in expressing that belief. Catholics I think are the closest to Muslims in their rituals that are practiced. But even then, Catholics think of other Christian branches as christian…different from them but no less worthy.

  112. oops…

    dicinity should be divinity…

  113. Islam is also about making mistakes and being forgive. The only difference is, we believe that one is held responsible for their own mistakes and that someone else has already paid the price for you. Secondly, the rules of Islam would only seem difficult to the spiritually lazy. Islam is an easy way of life, but there is no taking the blame for someone elses misdeeds. That’s just ridiculous.

  114. Sorry, but your Syrian friend being an Arabic speaker doen’t in any shape or form make you and Arabic speaker or an expert in the matter. And the reason Muslims in Saudi Arabia treated you with politeness is b/c the majority of them practice treating non-muslims withe respect as our prophet did. There are peole who would like to make one believe that our prophet treated no-muslims bad, but that just isn’t trure. You don’t compare the way one treats aggressive people with with the way they treat the non-aggressive.

  115. Mike…

    You misunderstand Christianity just a tad…yes Jesus came for our redemption but that in NO WAY relieves us from responsibility for our own actions. Each of us is morally responsible for our behavior, thoughts and actions and how it affects us and those around us. Jesus didn’t give us a total pass on personal responsibility.

  116. @Oby,
    I have had MANY Christians tell me exactly that. That accepting Jesus as your personal lord and savior IS a free pass. Of course, they also say, someone who has done that will also want to do the right thing.

    Not all Christians view it the same way- but Mike is correct about many of them.

  117. Well, that’s how the whole Jesus died for our sins thing comes across from many Christians. I’ve always found Christianity to be far too confusing with its whole god jr. concept.

  118. Sandy

    Maybe I am misunderstanding then…I don’t know anyone that says that they can do anything and go to heaven. Can people make mistakes and ask sincerely for forgiveness and repent and not do it again? Yes. But they can’t just go around sinning indiscriminately and go to heaven….

  119. Sandy…

    Maybe on second thought it might be Catholics that have that take that I have. I cannot imagine someone saying “oh yes I can do anything I want and get away with it.” You are right about wanting to do the right thing…

    Susanne…your take on it?

  120. @Mike – ‘How about learning Islam from more authentic sources?’

    How about you tell us what this ‘authentic sources’ would be? Where did you learn Islam? Who gets to determine whether that was an ‘Authentic Source’? Also, in your opinion, how many Muslims in the world learned their Islam from ‘authentic sources’?

    ‘It’s just that most non-Muslims who are against Islam like to twist the words of Qua’n and hadith to make it look as though Islam is a religion that favors males.’

    Yeah, it’s the NON-Muslims that do that! I don’t understand how a non-Muslim could gain more from that than a Muslim MAN. But, if you feel the need to place the blame on NON-Muslims then, ok but it will be a TOUGH sell.

    ‘Sorry, but your Syrian friend being an Arabic speaker doen’t in any shape or form make you and Arabic speaker or an expert in the matter.’

    It’s incredible how that same ol’ gets used over and over again try to discredit a person’s comment. So predictable and SO boring.

  121. @Mike – ‘I’ve always found Christianity to be far too confusing with its whole god jr. concept.’

    Then perhaps you should take a course on it or something ‘authentic’. You know, so you can then talk with authority about it. Because you know, there are many Non-Christians (especially Muslims) that like to spread false ideas about what Christianity is. ;-)

  122. You claim to be such an expert on Islam, but you don’t know what the authentic sources are? And about non-Muslims gaining from spreading misinformation on Islam, perhaps you can enlighten me in that matter, b/c I really don’t know. And yes, as I saud before, just b/c you know a Syrian friend who speaks Arabic doesn’t all of a sudden make you qualified in that area any more than I knowing someone who speaks swahili makes me qualified in African culture. Your Syrian friend could be telling you any thing, and how are you to be sure that he/she isn’t? You can’t be that shallow, can you?

  123. Mike, you said:

    “Sorry, but your Syrian friend being an Arabic speaker doen’t in any shape or form make you and Arabic speaker or an expert in the matter. And the reason Muslims in Saudi Arabia treated you with politeness is b/c the majority of them practice treating non-muslims withe respect as our prophet did.”

    Right, I never claimed to be an expert or Arabic speaker! I’ll be the first to admit I cannot pronounce all those Arabic sounds without sounding like a growling monster trying to clear her throat of phlegm! :) I mentioned my Syrian friend only because I didn’t want you to think I first heard about the houris (or Islam for that matter) from WikiIslam. It was just the first website that showed hadith sources when I was googling last night…you know, for quick reference to that weak hadith.

    Not sure what you meant about Muslims in Saudi Arabia since I’ve never been there. Maybe you were talking to two of us at once.

    Oby, Jesus said we’d know them (followers of him) by their fruits. So I think that people who habitually do wrong and it doesn’t bother them aren’t true followers of Christ. It’s not one of these things where you can do whatever you want with no accounting for it. If you follow Jesus, you act like him. That’s how I think of it anyway.

  124. Yeah, and that’s exactly what I do. I also have my family members who are the majority of them, Christian. So they are yet another source, even though most Christians don’t even seem to know what is in their own religious book. The thing I’m defnitely not going to do is get that information of of wikki, that’s just idiotic. :-/

  125. I don’t mind Wiki if they have sources noted. I saw that page did so I used it. I was hoping you’d tell me if those sources were good ones and I think you have somewhat saying the “72″ part, at least, was from weak hadith.

  126. Mike….many many muslims have no idea what their religion is all about past the 5 pillars and shahada. They learn a few ayats for prayer and memorize some hadith to get into debates and defense modes with. Other than that…not a whole lot. How do I know this…because I have argued with them again and again over something they insist is in the quran and I prove to them that it’s not. Or they insist something is Islamic when in fact it is arab culture and nothing more. So not everyone here learned their islam from an unuthentic source…some of us learned it first hand.

    btw..are you saying that Saudis treat nonmuslims with kindness ONLY because the prophet did…otherwise they wouldn’t??? Are muslims capable of doing anything on their own without the requirement that the prophet did it first? Kindness should be a basic human act that does not require a religion to teach you. I might add that I have met plenty of Saudis who must have missed that kindness bit extended by the prophet.

  127. I understand that, but what one need to take into consideration, is that a lot of the stuff on wikki is don’t by non-Muslims, most of whom collected bits and pieces of information from here and there. And the problem with that is, a lot of that information is a mixture of, Sunni, Shia, and Sufi ideologies. Not to mention other sects out there. The Qur’an and Sunnah of the prophet Muhammad (saw) are the sources I use. And when it comes to looking at hadith, you need to look at who reported it, was he a close companion of the prophet, was he trustworthy, and is there a accurate chain of narration? All these are to be taken into account. And my apologies if I in anyway cam across as hostile, I was typing on my mobile and it was frustrating me to no end. :-/

  128. Thanks for explaining! I enjoyed talking with you. :)

  129. Thank you for pointing that out, that’s exactly the truth, same with most Christians. It’s not enough to be Muslim, Christian, or Jewish merely by name. You need to have actual knowledge of you religion or system of belief, when you don’t, that’s what get you into trouble. Lol

  130. Likewise. And please forgive any typos, I’m just not good at multi-tasking. :(

  131. The main thing is, we all need to learn to agree to disagree, once we get that down pat, we will all be fine. Differences in opinion doesn’t have to lead to conflict and resentment of one another. That isn’t what I’ve learned from Islam. We are all human in the end.

  132. “Not sure what you meant about Muslims in Saudi Arabia since I’ve never been there. Maybe you were talking to two of us at once.”

    Yeah, sorry about that. :-/

  133. I’ve never met any Muslims who homeschool either in KSA or outside of KSA. In fact, when in Australia my stepson attended a Catholic school because it had the best curriculum. When his class had religion classes he had study hall. It worked very well.

  134. I know several Muslim women homeschooling here- and I did myself for awhile. The schools here are awful.

  135. Susanne…

    Thank you…your take is like mine. This is my (brief for consideration of others) understanding.

    I agree that anyone who habitually does wrong is not a follower of Jesus. I also think anyone who does wrong and superficially asks for forgiveness (meaning they are not truly contrite or sorry…simply paying lip service) are not following Jesus nor are they forgiven. I also agree that you can’t just run around and sin anytime you feel like it and you get a pass because of Jesus. If you are a follower of Christ you will do your BEST to live your life as an example of His goodness and how he wants us to live. If you do that then your actions and your intent will generally be harmonious with Jesus’ commandments to His people.

    The idea that we can do anything we want just because Jesus died for us is way off track IMO. Actions and intent are important as they were for Jesus. They go hand in hand and if one is a true follower they will not sin as much as humanly possible to reflect Jesus’ intent.

  136. There was a large muslim homeschool community where I was in states. I also started when I was in Dubai, at the request of my oldest daughter. She felt she was getting shortchanged in the school system there. She was able to finish 2 years in one. It was really a challenging curriculum.

  137. Regarding Christian Grace or the belief that accepting Christ’s salvation is a Protestant belief. Calvinist and any church that has a calvanist background believe that salvation us based on faith in Jesus Christ alone and good or bad deeds are not pat of salvation. Its one if the reasons that many Protestant church consider Mormonisms not Christian since Mormons believe in faith PLUS works is needed for salvation like Catholics do. Look up Calvinism if you are interested in seeing why a lot of Protestant churches say you just need faith and acceptance in Jesus Christ for salvation. So whatever you do after that you are already saved.

  138. From what I recall, the women who enter paradise will be much more beautiful than the than the Hour al-ain. They also inter paradise with their husbands, and if they had multiple husbands in this life they will be able to choose the best one out of them . Also, the women who enter paradise will be able to ask for anything they desire. I’m not sure if this applies to men. I still need to do a lot of research, and I’m pressed for time, so please be patient with me. ^_^

  139. I think the term ”revert” is too arrogant and supercilious for words. Can’t stand it.
    And it’s a silly concept of course. Children are born atheist. they know nothing about gods or goddesses and they need to be indoctrinated from baby onwards to mold them into ”believers”. And that is why religions place so much emphasis on ”getting them young”. Because a small child is programmed to believe anything their parents tell them; the toothfairy, santaclaus, and god.
    And that’s also why the parents try to keep the children from being exposed to the world at large and ”educate” them at home. (Something which should be forbidden in my opinion. ) Because there is a moment in a humans normal development when they start questioning things, when they start thinking for themselves, that is when the indoctrination is being tested, and why this blackmail/bribe system of heaven and hell has been invented. To scare people so much that they are willing to stop their ind from logic thought, to even stop their minds from going anywhere which might make them doubt.

  140. Of course there will always be people who do not like ”thinking” in the first place, who do not like responsibility, etc. These people will always be willing slaves to whatever religion manages to haul them in.
    And there are those who like the feeling op superiority religions give them , the knowledge that ”They are special” ”they are god’s chosen people” ”they are superior to other people”.
    If wanting to be superior and special gets you off, then you can’t do it more easily than joining a religion.

  141. Mike, men get the 72 chilled grapes and the pearly boys, the wives are not really that important apparently.
    Now I think about it I suddenly realize where the necessity for those 99 rooms or whatever you get in your house in Jannah comes in; imagine one of those men who divorce women to make a slot for a new bit of booty, this can add up! And women don’t need anything else than to be obedient to their husbands to be happy, so why should there be anything else for them in heaven?

  142. onigirifb…

    Yes I was thinking mormons were the same because my friend is very much about doing good works and helping others. When I didn’t want to impose on her son for something she scolded me that I was taking away his chance for blessings.

    But my mother was a protestant and she never ever told me that you could do anything and get a pass on it in the hereafter. She was Lutheran maybe that is the difference. Even still, saying someone can be a murderer his whole life and get into heaven just because Jesus died goes against the whole “live your life like Christ would”. There has to be some other qualification such as repentance, seeking forgiveness, something…

  143. Dude, please don’t make me repeat things over, and over again. There are NO 72 virgins. It’s taking from a weak hadith. Men will actually only get 2 spouses in paradise. And they also have a chance to be together in paradise with their wife from this life, who in fact will be much more beautiful that the hour Al-in. I’d much rather be with my wife than the two hour Al-in, b/c she is the one I love. And those boys are servants for the believers, both men and women. So please dude, just go back to where ever it was you came from, I don’t like where you are trying to take this, so will not get another respond out of me. I refuse to entertain such ignorance. Peace.

  144. Onigirfb, you are absolutely correct that Paradise cannot be earned by virtue of deeds alone. Paradise is something of immense value.

    Muslim reported from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah(saw) said:

    “No one of you will enter Paradise by his deeds alone.” They asked, “Not even you, O’ Messenger of Allah?” he said, “Not even me, unless Allah covers me with His Grace and Mercy.”

  145. Mike, learn how to read, I wrote ”72 chilled grapes”.
    ”Houri” is one of the many non-arabic words in the Quran and was wrongly translated when they put the Quran completely into Arabic instead of the Syro-Aramaic it was probably first written down in.

    I think it is this inability to read properly which convinces people that (any given) religious writing is the real deal. It’s muddled thinking, or intellectual lazyness, leading to intellectual acrobatics, and there you have it: another believer in the one true religion (whichever it happens to be) has ”reverted”.

  146. What I meant to write is that there is no 72 virgins or grapes mentioned in the Qur’an. The number ’72′ isn’t there. I is taken from a weak hadith in Tirmidhi.

  147. But this weak hadith is used to convince believers to blow themselves and others up, so it doesn’t seem to matter it is weak. It is quite important in fact.

  148. Moreover, if these poor kids were not brainwashed into religion, but were left free to think for themselves, and nobody begrudged them having a bit of healthy sex, instead of promising them unending orgies with willing eternal black eyed virgins after death, there would be a lot less youngsters willing to blow themselves and innocent others up.

    So I think this is a very important hadith

  149. So Mike, if men get 2 spouses in heaven, does that mean that in heaven women will get two spouses too? Otherwise it’s a bit unfair. Heaven should be fair!

  150. Well, those people falling prey to the trickery of those terrorist leaders aren’t my problem. They have their own ignorance to blame for that.

  151. Let’s put this all in a different light. If the Qur’an were to say that men got 72 women and woman got 72 men (there is no mention of 72 virgins in the Qur’an btw, it was taken form a weak hadith), what then would be the response of the non-Muslims to that? It would probably be on the lines of, “Oh, so the men get to have 72 prostitutes while the woman becomes a prostitute for 72 men?!?!”. The bottom line? The hateful non-Muslims will always find something to mock or complain about when it comes to Islam. We can’t win either way. :-/

  152. Oh, yeah. And if a woman in paradise wanted to have not only 2 husbands, but 1,000, she would get them. B/c you get what ever you ask for in Paradise.

  153. I really dislike your gender biased views here, if men have sex with 72 women the women are prostitutes, and if women have sex with 72 men the men are not prostitutes but the women are?
    There really is no win for the women here is there?

    And you are right the number 72 is made up, in fact a man if he earns enough hassanat can have as many as he earns, just like he can have as many sex slaves as he can buy/rob/or make in this world. According to Islam.

    I still think that if men are allowed a certain number of sex partners, women should be allowed the same number, that would not make them prostitutes, that would make the equal.

    And it is still fact that for large parts of the Islamic world the 72 black eyed are a reality, because the religious leaders tell them they are a reality.

  154. Oby. – Lutheran doctrine is different. John Calvin was the one who started the by faith alone thinking and came after Luther did his thing with the paper on the door thing. Sorry there is a name foe it but I don’t recall it at the moment. Calvinism is where the pilgrims took a lot their teachings so Christianity in the US tendsto have a base in Calvinist teaching. Like southern Baptist and evangelical yo find that the teach salvation by faith alone.

    Yes you are taking a Mormons blessings away if yo take away his chance to serve others Specially the young men as service to others is really pushed in young men’s church groups. Also a lot of Mormon boys are boy or eagle scouts and service project help them earn their badges.

    I too hate the term revert. It arrogant and disrespectful to claim everyone is a Muslim born and I’m sure Muslims would be offended if I claimed everyone is Mormon and people are just too stupid to realize it. Besides if everyone is musl8m born why do fathers have to say the shahada into a newborns ear?

  155. Because humans are born without an idea of gods or religions. They have to be indoctrinated.
    Preferably young before they develop independence and critical thinking.

  156. “I really dislike your gender biased views here, if men have sex with 72 women the women are prostitutes, and if women have sex with 72 men the men are not prostitutes but the women are?
    There really is no win for the women here is there?”

    I’m not saying that, I’m merely telling you how non-Muslims tend to think, and I’m sure you yourself know that this would be the case. I have spoken with and debated non-Muslims on a regular bases, so I’m pretty well acquainted with their way of thinking when ignorance comes into the equation. So stop trying to twist my words. You know exactly what I was saying. :-/

  157. And what of those who chose to follow a certain religion on their own? Every one is indoctrinated at birth in one way or another, either religiously or irreligious. When an atheist is teaching their children that their beliefs or lack of belief, how ever you want to say it, isn’t that a form of indoctrination?

  158. There are parents who leave it to their kids to choose what they want to think.
    I have written in one of my comments above what of people who choose a religion on their own.

    fact remains: babies are born tabula rasa. And if they would be allowed to grow up, and were taught to think for themselves and regarded as naturally outside of religion until they are adult and make their own choice the world would be a better place for everybody.

    And stop pushing the old ”you are ignorant of …. religion” at me. your problem discussing with me is that I know way too much about islam. (and other religions)

  159. Actually, the world would be a better place if people would just learn to mind their own business and worry about own lives. And also, it’s never too late for a person to choose their faith, even after having grown up with the religion of their parents. And many are doing just that, but when they choose Islam, everyone is jumping up and down screaming bloody murder.

  160. Ah but the problem is that it is the religious who excel at not letting other people live in peace.
    Lets have a look at your chosen religion, in islamic countries women are marginalized, people of other religions are discriminated against or even face incarceration or death, anything which can be construed to be an ”offense against islam” hold serious consequences up to death penalties, and then they try to push the same nasty views onto other countries, for example the ridiculous ”religious blasphemy resolution” they try to get through in the UN, or the insane reactions in the Muslim world to a few inane cartoons in a far away non-muslim country, escalating to arson and murder all over the world.

  161. Mike, as you follow a religion whose followers kill people who choose freely, you are the last to complain here.
    I will not let that go. Your religion is violent, it teaches to kill those who do not want to ”revert” to the religion, and to kill those who want to choose another religion. How nice that you could change your mind and change from one religion to islam. You know (or should know) that it doesn’t work the other way around: apostates have to be killed. That is what your new holy book tells you and that is the view the majority of Muslims in the world hold.

    We who do not believe in myths, superstitions and fairy tales are sick of being put upon by those who do. Religions and their followers do not deserve respect, they deserve serious doubt.
    They have earned this doubt towards their behavior because of centuries of nasty behavior and the nasty wicked rules their holy books still put upon people.

  162. “people of other religions are discriminated against or even face incarceration or death,”

    Hmmm….I live in Saudi Arabia at the moment, and I haven’t witnessed any such things. On the contrary, non-Muslims here are treated much better than most Muslims. They also have more freedom. Did you know that here in Saudi Arabia, they have beaches especially for foreigners where they can walk in bikinis and do what they want? Oh, you didn’t, did you? I guess not, they don’t teach you such things in pol-parroting school. This really is the last time I reply to your ignorance. Lol.

  163. Mike…Saudi women cannot marry nonSaudis..or if they do..its outside the country and then it is nearly impossible for her marriage to be recognized…and it doesnt even matter if her husband converts to islam or not (but lord help her if he doesnt even more so)…she still faces discrimination and judgement..and sometimes the wrath of her family and community. Now why is that? The quran teaches that all muslims are like brothers and sisters. None better than the other…however..a saudi woman that marries a nonsaudi almost never has her children recognized as saudi…why is that? Now please explain again how saudis dont discriminate against people and religions?

    Indians and pakistanis and other “lowly” workers are discriminated against…philipino housemaids (or other nationalities) are hugely discriminated against….christians and those of other faiths are NOT allowed to openly practice their faith..and quite often their religious gatherings are raided by the haya and charges brought..is that not discrimination?

    Please do explain what your definition of discrimination entails.

  164. “Mike…Saudi women cannot marry nonSaudis..or if they do..its outside the country”
    Ummm…since I’m living and working in Saudi Arabia atm, let me up date you. Yes, at first, Saudi women, as well as Saudi men (you left that part out) weren’t allowed to marry foreign men and women unless given permission by the Saudi Arabian government. Mainly b/c of the little situation they have here of Saudis being so eager to marry non-Saudis. The men would usually marry from Morocco or Lebanon, while the women would search for Americans or European men. The problem Saudi men marrying non-Saudi women was the biggest concern, most Saudi men considered their female counterparts to be un-homely, lazy, and unrealistic. While Saudi women thought of Saudi men as being, too soft, lazy, and irresponsible. All this translated into hundreds of unmarried women. So the government set a rule that Saudis, men and women aren’t allowed to marry a foreigner without governmental consent. The government later lifted this ban for women only, reinstated it, and then lifted it again. As far as I know, the ban is still lifted for women, but not for the men. The reason for the band being lifted was to make more possibilities for Saudi women to get married. I hope that cleared up things for you. ^_^

  165. Im curious how there is a ban on saudi men marrying foreigners when we hear about it happening all the time. Many women on this blog are married to saudis and living in saudi..or have at one time or another. Even though…you did not comment on my references to discrimination. That was my bigger concern…

  166. There is something here called Wasta (also known as connections), with out it, your out of luck. Anyway, I never said that having the band means that it never happens, but that is besides the point. You were making it seem as though only women were prohibited to marry foreigners. It still happens, but you need to know people. And discrimination is another story.

  167. Restrictions remain for Saudi men in certain categories which prevent them (ostentatiously) from marrying foreign women. I say that because with WASTA and/or money the restrictions can be circumvented for some.

    I am one of the foreign women who was married to a dear Saudi. Due to his position and my former background we ultimately had to obtain permission from the King for our marriage (in order to live in the Kingdom as man and wife). I cherish every moment we had of our life together.

    I’d suggest to be careful about what you say without being aware of the actual facts as too many may take a comment literally.

  168. I also forgot to mention that the woman isn’t the only one who is treated with contempt upon marrying a foreigner, the Saudi man is also treated as such, but this is rare in most cases. You are basing your information of off 20 year old practices. The Saudi people have actually become more accepting in the matter.

  169. @Mike – ‘You claim to be such an expert on Islam, but you don’t know what the authentic sources are?’

    I think this may have been directed at me since I am the one that asked you what the ‘authentic sources’ would be to YOU. Each Muslim could have a different idea about what that means, no? If someone discusses something re:Islam then you are going to slam them back as you have with ‘that’s not authentic’ or ‘that’s just a weak hadith’ That is why I wanted to ask you, up front, to let us know what would constitute ‘authentic’ to you.

    Also, where did you see ANYone on here claiming to be an expert on Islam? Now you said that you want to have a civil discussion where people can agree to disagree but do you really see how that is possible if you are going to behave in such an offensive and accusatory manner as you have?

    ‘Men will actually only get 2 spouses in paradise. And they also have a chance to be together in paradise with their wife from this life, who in fact will be much more beautiful that the hour Al-in.’

    If you want to keep the discussion going where time is spent deciding if someone is ‘qualified’ to even have an opinion then I think you should give us some background info on yourself so that we can know if you are ‘qualified’ to be speaking on Islam? Either that or tell us where you get your info so we can check it’s ‘authenticity’ for ourselves.

    If you are not willing to do that then could you please STOP trying to discredit the other person’s opinions based on your presumption of their ignorance?

    ‘Did you know that here in Saudi Arabia, they have beaches especially for foreigners where they can walk in bikinis and do what they want?’

    Is this on public property that the country sets aside for the comfort of their guests or privately owned ‘clubs’? Because yes, I DO know that they have those.

    So where are the churches and temples for these freedom happy foreigners in Saudi Arabia to worship at? Muslims have a mosque on every corner so they will have no shortage of worship space. I would think that considering the great hospitality of the Saudis to their guests and the great importance that they put on worshiping God that they would give the foreigners a church before they would give them a beach to run half naked on.

  170. Mike everything you say about the government dictating who Saudi women or men can marry is just sad. If there wasn’t so much intermarriage within families you might have healthier people in the country.

    You said “And what of those who chose to follow a certain religion on their own? Every one is indoctrinated at birth in one way or another, either religiously or irreligious. When an atheist is teaching their children that their beliefs or lack of belief, how ever you want to say it, isn’t that a form of indoctrination?”
    No, it is not. I respect those who are animists the most. They respect nature and all living things and believe in a great spirit who you and I would refer to as Allah or God. That’s it. Simple. People are basically good without having to be told to by some religion. In fact sometimes when people are controlled too much they really let loose when they get away from those controls. Good example might be Saudis going to Bahrain to ‘let loose’.

  171. Mike, you also said “On the contrary, non-Muslims here are treated much better than most Muslims. They also have more freedom. Did you know that here in Saudi Arabia, they have beaches especially for foreigners where they can walk in bikinis and do what they want? Oh, you didn’t, did you? I guess not, they don’t teach you such things in pol-parroting school. This really is the last time I reply to your ignorance. Lol.”

    Well, that would be only for expats working for Aramco, in hospitals, etc. wouldn’t it? They wouldn’t get them working in KSA if they weren’t allowed to do some of the things they do but where are their churches?

    Interesting that you would say they are treated better than Muslims. I thought Muslims and their treatment was the be all and end all in the fabulous KSA. Isn’t that they way Muslims want or should want to live?

  172. Actually, I am aware of the facts. I have many lose Saudi friends here, and we discuss such issues on a day to day bases. And the marriage rules here change as frequently as a a chameleon changes it color.

  173. I told you what my authentic sources were. Go back and read. :-/

  174. And the hypocrisy begins to surface. :-/

  175. “Well, that would be only for expats working for Aramco, in hospitals, etc. wouldn’t it?”

    Nope, as long as you are a foreigner, you can go. Even Saudis can get in, as long as they have connections.

  176. ‘And the hypocrisy begins to surface. :-/

    Explain?

  177. Just disregard that last statement, It’s like 3 in the morning, I’m tired, and don’t know who I’m responding to anymore. :-/

  178. Oh Mike…do get some sleep so the fun can continue tomorrow! :-)

  179. Hey Mike, glad that you are reading the older stuff her. AmBedu is an education, if nothing else. This place is full of interesting people (except me!) that offer a wide variety of experiences and ideas. I would love to get us all in the same room.

    Let me see – “one of three”. Naw, nope to trinity there. How anybody can link trinity to the number three is beyond me – You are just too good for me.

    This whole “virgins and eternal vacations” thingy is almost as exciting as talking about the 27 angels that can dance on the head of a pin. That is 27 normal-sized angels, mind you. Cherubim and seraphim type angels take up a lot more space than the run-of-the-mill average angels – but you know that, too.

    Actually it is somewhat interesting must to see how many variations Muslims come up with in things like this, everyone different, none of them supported by the Quran, much less by evidence or logic. Take for example the link in my post. So in this version it is only two houris but 70 women from hell-fire. Does that make sense? Would they be Muslims, or non-believers doing penitence by serving male Muslims? Would they be virgins then? What about your prophet’s statement that ‘most people in hell are women’? Were they sent to hell so that they would be available for male Muslims?
    Anyway, these are really important issues and very relevant today (not!).

    Susanne did a great good putting the “women men and sex in paradise” issue in focus.

    Oby, I’ll missed the train to Paradise. Tis a shame because I like trains and have traveled in many, even riding with my feet out the door or on end platforms. That is heaven, but a long long time ago.

    Mike, you again (I am reading the comments in order…). Quote: “treating non-muslims with respect as our prophet did” So you haven’t really read the hadith and early histories after all, have you! Oby, tell him!

    “God jr” That is good, but no worse than a ‘we’ god that is one. So, what about Allah and his co-god? (‘he who obeys the prophet obeys Allah’ and ‘when Allah and the prophet decide a matter’). See Mike, like Jesus said, the devil can quote scripture.

    AA, good to see you back. Give em hell.

    Mike, please stop this nonsense about “weak hadith”. A ‘weak’ hadith is by definition any that a Muslim doesn’t want to consider, nothing more. This is obvious because you reject or ignore any ‘sahih’ hadith by reliable writers if it contains material you dislike or prefer to ignore. Take the case of Asma bint Marwan, for example, or the attack on the banu al Mustaliq.
    .
    Well, my wife is mad at me because I told her “you told me that 5 minutes ago!” so I had better get going or my name will be ‘mud’. I love her but the idea of having 2 or 70 or 72 mean Brazilians telling me what to do kind of scares me. Hummm, I remember that houri never talk back and only agree with their master. Obviously an improvement on the female of the human species!

  180. OMG that was so draining to read all that between Mike and Co..dammmmm
    @ Coolred..about the discrimination thing..just cos some saudis have racism and discrimination issues don’t mean they reflect islam 100%. Saudi yes is a muslim country and do they practise Sharia Law 100% perfectly.. no..there is no perfect muslim country unfortunately…if they did practise it..1)all them stupid monarchs yes I’m talking about u Mr Al Saud + family, would be long gone and there would be no dictators but one Khalifa..anyway we will get there in the future inshallah…and 2) saudi men and woman would be able to marry whoever they wanted

    “christians and those of other faiths are NOT allowed to openly practice their faith..and quite often their religious gatherings are raided”
    ..OMG i said it 100 times ..if they don’t like it ..don’t go to saudi..u have all the other places in the world to do ure thing..Everyone is well aware of the rules before they go..so if ure dumb enough to still go and then complain, it aint no ones problem but ure own. Same for muslims who don’t like niqab ban in France..u don’t like it..don’t stay simple as that.

    Ok aside from that..there are racism issues in saudi as well as the rest of the world..its like ..white ppl rule..black ppl dont (even though most of saudis skin colour goes from tanned to supper tanned to african colouring..go figure) but they don’t count as black rite cos they are “saudis” lol ..arrrrr…why r ppl so cruel.

  181. Saudi is NOT a Muslims country that practices Shariah law. It is primarily Tribal/Patriarchal.

    Also, why is it not Islamic to allow churches? It is my understanding there were churches on the Arabian peninsula at the time of the prophet. So if it was good enough for him….

  182. I said saudi doesn’t practise sharia law 100% perfectly..
    I never said its not islamic to allow churches..don’t accuse me of things i never said. All i said is if u don’t like it..get out ..but apart from that of course its not un-islamic.

  183. That wasn’t just for you Bella Vita. I was clarifying to anyone reading. But anyway, Saudi barely practices Shariah at all-except where it might overlap with it’s Tribal/Patriarchal beliefs-and then they usually give some awful twist so they can keep doing what they want.

    And I didn’t actually accuse you of anything.

  184. thanks for clarifying..and accuse was def the wrong word.

  185. 183 responses and still counting!! This seems to be going in circles, people.

  186. You are actually correct, there is nothing in Qur’an nor hadith that bans churches in Muslim countries. I always wondered where they got that idea. You are also spot on when you say that shariyah isn’t practiced perfectly here. It seems and they only practice what they want of shariyah. And Allah knows best.

  187. @Mike,
    They apply it to the Arabian Peninsula- not all Muslim countries. I think it was Umar who ultimately pushed the Christians out in pursuit of “Muslim only” Peninsula. The Jews were here until the 1930′s or so- and left for Yemen when King Abdul-Azziz conquered Najran- though King Abdul-Azziz tried to get them back. They later left Yemen for Israel.

    The Prophet sought refuge with the Christians of Eithiopia and didn’t seem in fear of his flock “converting” just because they were exposed to Christians- and he had good relations with the Christians of Najran who he allowed to pray in the mosque when they visited him. This fear of being exposed to Christianity is not a part of early Islamic practice.

  188. who was it who compared religion to surgery..please don’t :-) i had a 6hr surgery yesterday.. and even after a goo dnights sleep, my back hurts, my neck hurts, my fingers hurt, my feet hurt and most of all my eyes feel like they are permanently stuck to the eye piece….

    so no reading islam without practise is not like rweading up on surgery and cutting open… no comparison.

    As for saudi and it’s marriage permissions.. it’s still archiac and stupid, why on earth the govt wants to regulate who can marry whom is beyong me and why on earth we still tolerate that is also beyond me.

    Saudi is as racist and prejudiced as any other country .. nothing particularly pure there , it’s populated by humans like everywhere else, we all have our flaws and we try to do our best inspite of them…

    My only grouse against the zealots is after 2+ decades of me being married to a muslim ,they still liketo try their hand at converting me , quite amusing for me and my spouse to watch nowadays :-) oh when they realize the kids don’t follow their fathers religion.. that’s even more entertaining.

    we have to get our kicks from somewhere,

  189. Radha, I hope you will be feeling better soon!

  190. @Bella Vita – “christians and those of other faiths are NOT allowed to openly practice their faith..and quite often their religious gatherings are raided”
    ..OMG i said it 100 times ..if they don’t like it ..don’t go to saudi.

    That isn’t the point. The POINT was that Mike was saying ‘On the contrary, non-Muslims here are treated much better than most Muslims. They also have more freedom.’

    NO one is ‘requesting’ that KSA give them rights. Just disputing what Mike said.

    ‘Ok aside from that..there are racism issues in saudi as well as the rest of the world..its like ..white ppl rule..black ppl dont’

    You mean EXCEPT for in the US where a ‘black person’ rules? lol

  191. @Radha – you should pop in for a therapeutic massage. Too bad you aren’t in Michigan anymore because I have a WONDERFUL guy I would send you to. ;-)

  192. Ok then, let ‘s me put it this way, non-Muslims are treated better finicially and in everyother way, but perhaps they don’t enjoy as much religious freedom. But it is not in the teachings of Islam to keep peole from practicing there religion. They are just being paranoid about some Saudis potentionally converting to another religion. But when you think about it, they could just could convert when traneling outside if they really wanted to, right?

  193. I’ve read the hadith form authentic books and not the Internet. And it becomes pretty apparent that you guys haven’t read the Hadith when talking about Muhammad’s treatment of non-Muslims. I ask you this, when you are talking about Muhammad’s treatment of non-Muslims, are you talking about non-combatant Christian, Jews and Pagans, or are you talking about non-Muslim combatants? You are going to have to be clear here. And if you don’t like what I say about there being weak hadiths, that’s just too bad dude. There are many weak hadiths, and what makes them weak? Things such as, the person reporting it not having known the the prophet or his companions well enough or not knowing at all to be quoting hadith, and not having a chain of narration. Hadith is usually not accepted if it came from just one person who wasn’t close to Muhammad (saws) or his family and companions. So I’m not worried about you not being o.k with my mention of weak hadits. If I see someone quoting a weak hadith, no matter how good or bad it sounds, I’m going to call it out.

  194. @Mike – ‘non-Muslims are treated better finicially and in everyother way’

    Are there any Non-Muslim owned businesses in Saudi Arabia? According to our friend ‘gladiator’ foreigners are not allowed to own businesses there and we know that Saudi’s are not allowed to be non-Muslim therefore…the non-Muslim is NOT treated better financially, is he?

  195. @Mike

    do you accept sahih bukhari and muslim? they are supposed to be all sahih as far as i know. thx

  196. Yes, there are many non-Muslims who own Businesses in Saudi Arabia, there are even Hindus who own Businesses here. Shouldn’t talk about things you have no knowledge of.

  197. ‘If I see someone quoting a weak hadith, no matter how good or bad it sounds, I’m going to call it out’

    That’s fine. But, your argument should be with the MUSLIMS that accept and go by those ‘weak’ hadith, no? These hadith that in your opinion are weak are NOT weak in their opinions. Right?

    My personal opinion is that ALL hadith are weak. A self described miraculous book such as the Quran should not need ANY of them.

  198. Yes, I accept Sahih and Bukhari, but the hadith in question wasn’t form either. And as far as ever hadith in sahih and Bukhari being sound, I believe that they all are. And Allah knows best.

  199. Are you insinuating that I don’t argue with other Muslims concerning to this subject?

  200. Non-saudi’s can own businesses but it is extremly restricted.. this is after some act in 2001 i think.. mostly you must enter into a partnership with a saudi — sharikat tawsiya baseetah or some such thing..

    so when compared to the outside world saudi residents – even long term residents without saudi citizenship have more hurdles there than most other places…

    Financially non-saudis/ non-muslims are probably treated the same, but then discrimination is there, subtle but present…

    c’mon they pay salaraies based on nationality — how fair is that???
    like i said it’s each country to themselves and their rules, right or wrong anyone going there must abide by it.. the most glaring of all defects there is freedom or lack of it…and the laws that treat women as kids… maybe the first step could be that they treat saudi women to the mahrem system and release foreign women from it..eh

    @lynn — yes i need a massage, a looooong one too, but lots of work as we are leaving to costa rica for a vacation next week… so i will get my massages there :-)

  201. Are you sure about non-Saudi’s owning businesses? On paper I believe they need a Saudi owner. Or at least a partner. I know several foreigners who needed to find a silent Saudi partner- in one case it went bad- and the foreign partner was screwed.

    Western foreigners do have some advantages – but not because they are not Muslim, because they are Western. And yes, there are beach resorts wear folks can wear what they like- though only affluent and generally western foreigners can afford that, or wealthier Saudis. For poor laborers who are not Muslim they are not having any advantages that Muslims don’t have. So to me it is more an issue if you have enough money- you can buy access to more freedom that is denied your less affluent members of the community no matter their nationality or faith.

  202. @Mike – ‘Shouldn’t talk about things you have no knowledge of.’

    See what I’m talking about? You insist that you want civil conversation but THAT is not the way to go about it.

    As I said ‘According to our friend ‘gladiator’ foreigners are not allowed to own businesses’ He said he is a PARTNER in someone else’s business because ‘Kingdom’s law dose not allow a foreigner to own a business..’

    http://americanbedu.com/2011/09/29/saudi-arabiabangladesh-gladiator%E2%80%99s-story/

    No one disputed him. Also, Carol also interviewed her friend Khadeejah who is Pakistani and lives in Saudi Arabia but went to Pakistan to open a business. Why in the world would she do that when their ‘roots’ are in KSA? I don’t think we ever got to THAT question since we needed to get straight to the ‘Islam bashing’. ;-)

    http://americanbedu.com/2011/05/14/saudi-arabiapakistan-a-woman-named-khadeejah/

  203. - unless of course you are a woman and then that also depends on what your owner thinks.

  204. ‘Are you insinuating that I don’t argue with other Muslims concerning to this subject?’

    No, I’m just saying that you should save your arguments about it for them and convince THEM that they are weak so they will leave the rest of us to live in peace.

  205. Yeah, paying people according to nationality is a bit racist. It’s also pretty bad when you’re a non-Muslim working in a company in Saudi Arabia and the minute you decide to become a Muslim, you salary is reduced. Or when you apply for a job and you recieve a lower salary just b/c you are Muslim, lol. Now that is some bs. :-/

  206. Yeah, they do need a Saudi Business partner, but they still get a business, right?

  207. So what you are basically saying is, that if I notice a non-Muslim quoting a hadith that is weak, I shouldn’t point that out? Tell me, what’s the difference of pointing such things out to a non-Muslim or a Muslim? They are both going by something incorrect, so shouldn’t they both be corrected on it? Correct me if I’m wrong, b/c if I was to quote something for a Christian, Jewish, or any other religious book for that matter, i would want to be corrected if wrong.

  208. What’s so uncivil about saying, you should talk about things you have no knowledge of? That’s just common sense, and that goes for me as well. And you do get tired of people talking about things they have no knowledge or experience of. Sorry if that hurts your feelings in some way, but that’s just may way of thinking.

  209. well if you accept bukhari and muslim there are at least a handful of hadiths that one could deep as problematic, for the lack of a better word.

  210. I’m aware of that, and that’s why I say, and Allah knows best.

  211. you are aware that those hadiths are used to justify all sorts of injustices and yet you still accept them?

  212. I’ve never heard of an individual’s salary being *decreased *because he or she is or has converted to Islam. Can you please expand on that for me?

  213. They hadiths that you are referring to, were that just there to be there are are they there for a particular reason, what situation were the Muslims in at the time that this hadith was brought forth? Every hadith, like every verse in the Qura’n, has a specific reason for being reveled. Take a look at why it was reveled in the first place before making accusations, that’s the best way.

  214. Then you haven’t been around as much as I have. :(

  215. Actually I checked on the Ministry of Commerce website and it appears foreigners can own businsses themselves but I got the impression they want businesses that make significant investment in the country.

    Having a Saudi business partner than has a majority ownership (and that’s how it works) leaves you vulnerable to all kinds of problems as happened to a good friend of mine- basically it was all just taken from her.

  216. ‘What’s so uncivil about saying, you should talk about things you have no knowledge of?’

    I SHOWED you what was uncivil about it. You were making assumptions that I was talking about things I have no knowledge of. It’s just that it’s kind of laughable because even though I have according to you ‘no knowledge’ YOU, with ALL your knowledge, were the one that was WRONG. That’s all. Certainly does NOT hurt my feelings but DOES say a LOT about you. ;-)

    ‘…that’s why I say, and Allah knows best.’

    Then why couldn’t that be your response in regard to those ‘weak’ hadiths that many many many Muslims believe to be strong enough to be true?

  217. Yeah, but if you are lucky enough to a very close Saudi friend, he/she won’t take any part in the ownership of your company. There’s always a way around everything. ;)

  218. fair enough Mike. how do you go about deciding which verse in the Qur’an/hadith is more generic and applicable to all people at all times and which one is time specific?

  219. @Radha – I hope you enjoy your vacation and get lots and lots of relaxation.

  220. In the Qur’an it’s very clear. And you use the Qur’an to make reference to hadith. It’s not something difficult. Plus, if Muslims in this age are ever faced with the same problems as Muslims in the times of the prophet, then those Quranic verses and hadiths become applicable. But it would be a sin to transgress the barriers.

  221. I was assuming that you didn’t have knowledge on the subject, you made it apparent.

  222. But that certainly isn’t the same thing as a foreigner owning a business. My friend was in business for more than 2 decades before things suddenly changed. It happens everywhere- I am not critisising Saudi’s here, but the system. It is not fair if one partner can legally screw over the other.

  223. Yeah, the system is all screwed up. Especially with all that iqama mumbo jumbo. :-/

  224. ‘…if Muslims in this age are ever faced with the same problems as Muslims in the times of the prophet, then those Quranic verses and hadiths become applicable’

    Let’s see, what kind of problems did Mohammed have? People hated him and his religion and he felt he had to fight to spread the truth throughout the land? Do you really not think that there are PLENTY of Muslims that feel that way today? Wouldn’t they then feel that those hadith (or Quranic verses) ARE applicable to today?

  225. ‘I was assuming that you didn’t have knowledge on the subject, you made it apparent.’

    By being RIGHT?! LOL

  226. Yes, but did he just jump into fighting right away? Muhammad (saw) and his followers suffered many hardships when he first started to peacefully call people to Islam. They were even forced out of there homeland where they took refuge with a Christian king from Ethiopia. How about you go and get a bit more knowledge on the subject before making furtherer comments? B/c you are really starting to bore me. :-/

  227. ‘How about you go and get a bit more knowledge on the subject before making furtherer comments? B/c you are really starting to bore me. :-/

    So I guess you want to stick with your childishness. That’s cool if that’s the way you want to live your life. Just don’t expect to get much respect out of people.

  228. I’m not the one crying here. :-/

  229. Who’s crying here? What is WRONG with you? Overtired again? :-)

  230. I been paying 2000 ryals per month since I am using a Saudi name in my Licence.
    One of my Bangladeshi friend had to sale his Super market for only 400000 ryals while it worth about 650000 ryals, the only reason was Saudi Secret police some how got the information that the business is owned by a non saudi.
    But at the sometime on of my country man is running his own business ( worth about a 10 million ryal ) so ‘Openly’ in Jeddah.
    Now a days it is open secret that most of the shops are owned by foreigners and a few of them found difficulties. . .

    Mike I stopped the religion argument…… No matter how much you try Lynn will be their…. She is good at debating and expert in twisting…. Sigh!!! Lolzzz Lynn :P

  231. Yeah, I’ve realized that about Lynn. Also she can’t take criticism, I saw it with another person she was speaking to. I guess the best solution is to just ignore her. :-/ Oh, yeah. I bet the only reason those guys made your friend sell his business, was for the mere fact that he was a Bangladeshi. I bet if he had been American or European, that would have never happen. Racism is still rampant in these parts. Heck, they are even racist when it comes to their own people.

  232. but a thing, we muslim has changed our true Islamic path…. And huge number of people dont really know what is dos and donts in Islam. As I saw in Bangladesh. Most of the muslim doing something totally different things which is not permissible in Islam, far from sharia. As in Saudi arabia, there are some laws which is against sharia but non of the our Scholar even rised his or her eye brow.
    We kill and attack on embassies if any of the country say something against Islam. It is our some illiterate Scholars ( sorry, but so true for my country and I believe for many countries) who advise to do so and has made this devilsh act as a religious part while it is completely forbidden in Islam.
    Even they dare to change th translation of the Quran for their own benifits! Atleast in my country its true.
    Lets talk about my father, he believes that there is another Quran on the earth which is secrets and for only those whom are rich! So many times i tried to make him understand but I failed. This is a true cure for our most muslim brothers. We are short tempered, we are far from true teachings of Islam. :(

    we mixed our cultural tradition with religion. And thats why most of the readers at American Bedu think that the rule and system of Saudi is what Islam said.

  233. @Gladiator – ‘She is good at debating and expert in twisting…. Sigh!!! Lolzzz Lynn’

    Oh, you BEHAVE!! :-)

    Also, I’m not a debater and I am not an expert on twisting but rather UN-twisting. ;-)

    AND I am not even arguing about religion here. Mike declared that he wishes people would act civil in these discussions and he yet he continues to act in opposition of his own desires by acting in a less than civil manner. I’m just trying to point that out to him so he can recognize it and try to stop it so we can have a grown-up discussion.

    EXAMPLE: Yes, but did he just jump into fighting right away? Muhammad (saw) and his followers suffered many hardships when he first started to peacefully call people to Islam. They were even forced out of there homeland where they took refuge with a Christian king from Ethiopia. *** How about you go and get a bit more knowledge on the subject before making furtherer comments? B/c you are really starting to bore me. :-/

    Had he ended it where I put the *** it would have been a good example of a grown-up discussion but the next part adds nothing to further the discussion and reflects very poorly on his person which then often results in less respect for what he may have to say.

  234. Hmmm, I think saw…. I feel the racism in every bit of my life in Saudi Arabia. Sometimes it makes me feel, it is a sin to born in a under develop or developing country.

    Lolzz sorry lynn was kidding :) as I respect you like my Aunt lolzz

    ywnz its time to play in the dream land …..byeeeee

  235. i don’t see how anything is clear in the qur’an given the number of varying interpretations among muslims.
    also, does the qur’an give you any instructions on how to interpret it?

  236. Mike, Is Sahih Bukhari authentic enough for you? Read this:

    (Volume 4, Book 52, Number 193) Narrated Anas: Whenever Allah’s Apostle attacked some people, he would never attack them till it was dawn. If he heard the Adhan (i.e. call for prayer) he would delay the fight, and if he did not hear the Adhan, he would attack them immediately after dawn. We reached Khaibar at night. (195) The Prophet set out for Khaibar and reached it at night. He used not to attack if he reached the people at night, till the day broke. So, when the day dawned, the Jews came out with their bags and spades. When they saw the Prophet; they said, “Muhammad and his army!” The Prophet said, Allahu–Akbar! (Allah is Greater) and Khaibar is ruined, for whenever we approach a nation (i.e. enemy to fight) then it will be a miserable morning for those who have been warned.”

    Here is a link. There is more if you care to read it.

    http://www.cmje.org/religious-texts/hadith/bukhari/052-sbt.php

    If you HAD read the hadith, any hadith, you might have noticed the constant attacks on non-Muslims, not to mention the derogatory language. There are whole chapters in different hadith that do nothing but list the expeditions (ghazwa) in which Mohammad’s men participated. Muslim historians generally agree that Mohammad personally participated in over 2 dozens of these expeditions, while sending out between 20-60 more in which he stayed home. This does not include the dozen battles, of which only two were defensive (and the enemy came to fight only after tiring of the constant attacks, yet they were not very good at the art of war).

    I did mention two incidents above (Marwan and Mustaliq) but you didn’t even bother to check them. Why am I not surprised.

    Mike, Do you have any idea of the pain and suffering these attacks caused? Do you know what happened to those people? Do you know what happened to conquered cities in ancient times? I could be more explicit but I will let it go for now – but, just a hint, the word ‘nice’ does not apply.

    So please stop the silliness (or deceit?) about the “kind treatment of infidels”. We may not be Muslims but we can read and we didn’t fall off the turnip cart yesterday.

    Oh yes, on his deathbed, Mohammad cursed infidels and ordered the expulsion of non-Muslims from the sacred lands (Note that Tabari says he died of the effects of poisoned lamb, served by a Jewish woman from a village Mohammad had attacked). The expulsion order was carried out by Omar. That is why infidels are forbidden in Medina and Mecca.

    If would be nice if Muslims read their own writings, so I don’t have to keep telling them what they say.

  237. Gosh this thread has taken such an interesting journey!

    I just gotta say…someone above said that Saudi is paranoid about people converting out of Islam…who the hell cares if a person converts out? Religion of all kinds are in flux people convert in and out all the time. Why give people grief for it? I can only see having two problems with converting out of Islam..if keeping the numbers high is important for Muslims then no one wants to lose a “team” member and that makes sense. Or they don’t want someone badmouthing islam to all the people this person comes across. But so what? Everyone is entitled to an opinion and who wants a malcontent on the team anyway? Better to have those who are happy in the faith. Besides not enough will convert to make a dent so why does it matter? Isn’t that between Allah and the person?

  238. The Qura’n and hadith are easy to understand, bur there are those who interpret them the way they want to, usally to support their own personal agendas. Same thing with the Bible.

  239. so are you saying that there is one and only right interpretation of the Qur’an? fantastic! i have been looking for one for ages! can you give me the source pls?

  240. Mike…

    Jay has quoted the verse word for word if I am not mistaken…it reads pretty clearly. How would YOU interpret that wait to hear the call to prayer part? Are you saying Mohammed was nice enough to let them finish prayer before attacking and that is why he waited to hear it…or not? It couldn’t possibly be so that he knew if he was attacking Muslims or nonMuslims could it?

  241. I’m sure that there are Muslims who might wish they were anything BUT Muslim but when you have the fear of God put into you from even before you were born it’s hard to put aside the fears of leaving the religion. If you leave the religion you will certainly rot in hell and that is if you survive leaving the religion in the first place. It is fear based and I find that very, very sad. I also find it interesting that you can say a few words and be an instant Muslim in order to become the husband of a Muslim woman or to placate some Muslim man if you want to bend when you marry. Someone said to me when I was in KSA “just say you are a Muslim and a few words and then you can go to Mecca and Medina”. What kind of a hypocrite would that make me??? I guess some Muslims wouldn’t care.

  242. Call people to Islam peacefully? By killing anybody who wouldn’t comply? By cowardly sending out assassins to poets who dared to write poetry against him? By torturing people to death, committing genocide and making slaves out of the women and girls? Raping them before selling them. It’s disgusting.
    And it is right there for everybody to read, in those reliable hadith.

    And so Mohammed and his followers were asked to leave Mecca. After he committed treason against the Meccans by banding together with enemy tribes and attacking their caravans. I think the people of Mecca were extremely lenient in dealing with this band of traitors and murderers in their midst.

  243. Suggestion, go buy an authentic copy of Sahih Bukhari, and stop getting you information on Islam from Bogus sites. The Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement, really? Volume 4, Book 52, Number 193 doesn’t have any such hadith.

  244. gladiator…”we mixed our cultural tradition with religion. And thats why most of the readers at American Bedu think that the rule and system of Saudi is what Islam said”

    I’m sorry but you are dead wrong on this comment. It is NOT nonSaudis/nonMuslims who believe that statement to be true but Saudis themselves who see themselves as the Keepers of the 2 Holy Mosques and the recievers of the quran IN arabic since that’s where the prophet was etc etc…Saudis see themselves much as jews see themselves…as personally chosen by god to deliver and keep sacred a devine message. People on this blog, for the most part, CAN and DO make that distinction.

  245. There is no perfect English translation of the Qur’an, but if you are serious, the most accurate is the one published at the King Fahad Qur’an printing complex in Madina. But anyway, I wasn’t talking about people intentionally misinterpreting the Qur’an.

  246. Mike…your comments are quite arrogant and childish. You are attempting to teach us about hadith etc as if nobody here is aware of weak and strong hadith etc. But all that is a moot point because it is not nonmuslims who have a problem determining weak from strong and act accordingly. Muslims are the ones who follow hadith…nonmuslims do not…BUT nonmuslims are quite often affected by which hadith muslims find worthy of following..and generally speaking muslims seem to love the more discriminatory oppressive type hadith (yes, which are weak or just plain bullshit) but those are the ones that all muslims memorize and spout out as some sort of defense of their religion. You are “teaching” the wrong audience because we dont really care which ones are weak or strong…we just care when it affects innocent people badly.

    btw of the hundreds of thousands of collected hadith…an overwhelming majority of them are in fact weak..only a handful are considered strong (without question)…so the whole damn collection of hadith could be thrown out and it shouldnt affect islam and the practice of it one bit…food for thought…no?

  247. Saying the Shahad sincerely will only make one a Muslim. If they have other attentions behind taking the Shahada, then that Is between them and Allah.

  248. gladiator is right. The practice of Islam in Saudi Arabia has been mixed with cultural and tribalistic practices. This is the main reason you see things happening here that are not part of Islam. Arabism has also become more important among many.

  249. @Mike – ‘But anyway, I wasn’t talking about people intentionally misinterpreting the Qur’an.’

    No? Then why the heck did you say this?

    ‘The Qura’n and hadith are easy to understand, bur there are those who interpret them the way they want to, usally to support their own personal agendas. Same thing with the Bible.’

  250. Mike…

    I can’t run out right now and buy a copy, but I have found this and it is clearly in there…if you have a better sight please advise.

    http://www.sahih-bukhari.com/Pages/Bukhari_4_52.php

  251. Yes, but it is non-Muslims who like to bring those weak hadiths up. And when we explain to them that the hadiths are weak, they become all irritated and stuff. Why can’t you just say, o.k, so I made a mistake? No need to cry because you got corrected. :-/

  252. Do you understand the meaning of “intentionally misinterpreting”?

  253. I don’t need to look at another site, I have the full Shahi Bukhary in my house, and that particular hadith isn’t int there. And for some odd reason, the version I have can’t even be viewed on the Internet. :-/

  254. Volume 4, Book 52, Number 193 :
    Narrated by Anas
    Whenever Allah’s Apostle attacked some people, he would never attack them till it was dawn. If he heard the Adhan (i.e. call for prayer) he would delay the fight, and if he did not hear the Adhan, he would attack them immediately after dawn. We reached Khaibar at night.

    http://www.sahih-bukhari.com/Pages/Bukhari_4_52.php

  255. The reasons some muslims take exception to apostacy is simple. Islam is supposed to be this perfect sublime religion created especially by god for mankind…once you discover it and convert (or are born into it and have no choice really) you should never EVER find a reason to leave it…because it’s PERFECT!! Why would somebody possess something that is utter perfection…then decide they don’t want that perfect thing anymore and throw it away for something less perfect?

    So…for someone to be muslim…and then to decide to not be muslim anymore means that person has found something within islam they can no longer submit too…believe in…have faith in…or simply tolerate. For those muslims who take this especially hard and want to exact revenge on those would be apostisizers (is that a word) this is my belief based on my personal experience.

    They don’t want to believe that there is something wrong about islam that would cause someone who formerly believed and submitted to it to now decide they no longer can. In other words…they found a flaw, a crack, a deformity in so called “perfection”. And so this fear sets in. This fear does not stem from god, why the hell would god care if you believed in him or not, as a muslim or a christian or atheist, he is GOD dammit!! He doesn’t need you to believe in him for him to exist or BE. Hey…you wanna go to hell for disbelief..why would god care…plenty more where you came from. etc etc. No no..the ones who fear are humans, muslims…who are now faced with this fact that someone found a flaw in their perfect religion..a flaw that was so bad they had to quit the religion all together…even on pain of death. This is like a smack to the face to godfearing quran beating muslims because this is their way of life…something THEY have submitted too, believed in, argued over, sacrificed for, hated others over etc etc…but what someone who has apostisized has done is thrown that perfect religion into question…if THAT person found something within islam to question, find wanting, and discard it…what does that say about me and my faith. what I believe in. Am I fool to believe in something flawed? Something from god that is not perfect? How could that be? How could I be duped like that?

    So questions start forming…but wait!!! some muslims have a hard time with questions…they not only dont ask them..they dont know how to answer them. (based on personal experience) so instead of allowing these questions to form and become something concrete that requires answers…they decide it’s so much easier to kill the one causing these questions to form in the first place. In other words…kill the fucking messenger…because it’s not the message that is at fault..oh no..its the one delivering it.

    So say I.

  256. ‘Why can’t you just say, o.k, so I made a mistake? No need to cry because you got corrected. :-/

    LMAO!! That is exactly what you did!! Where did I make the mistake that got corrected? That was YOU! So I have nothing to cry about (not that I would for merely being corrected anyway I’m a grown-up ;-)). LOL

  257. Mike, don’t use that old chestnut that the Quran is somehow completely different when read in Arabic. It contains so many faults that it is very doubtful is was originally written in Arabic anyway.
    I know native Arabic speakers who have grown up with the Quran and they tell me there is nothing mystical or special about the Arabic version, nothing which cannot be perfectly well translated into English.
    Oh, and it’s badly written in Arabic, except for the bits stolen from earlier Arabic poets.

  258. I look for the answers myself. I was never really happy with the answers most people gave me. When it come to religion, a lot of people will tell you many things just to attract you to their religion, or keep you in it. What a lot of non-Muslims have a problem with, is that they can’t understand it when someone accepts Islam of their own free will, especially when it a woman.

  259. I wasn’t talking about you exactly, I was speaking in general. ^_^

  260. Intereseting thing I learned about the arabic of the quran and the arabic the prophet spoke. Two completely different things. If god was sending it to the prophet IN arabic because others wouldnt believe it if it was in some other language…why not have it in the arabic he actually spoke…not that classical poetic flowing arabic that many many MANY arabs do not even understand properly (because classical arabic has layers of meaning and pulling the right meaning from the mix can only be done by one that has studied classical arabic..so to speak)…so once again…this perfect easy religion has yet again has put up barriers that make it difficult and nearly impossible to understand and follow…unless you understand classical arabic…which exactly how many people do…including arabs?

    My point being that the quran is translated into ordinary arabic just so the average arab can understand it (breaking it down so to speak) and that is translated into other languages…a complicated NOT easy process that cannot be proof of gods claim that its ‘perfect and easy for you” cause I made it that way. As if…

  261. Indeed, I think you must be either dotty or a self hating masochist to go for Islam when you’re a woman, there are much better religions out there for women if you need superstition in your life. I think a modern woman from a developed country who converts to islam is a traitor to all women and her ancestors who fought for freedom and equality for women
    I also look for the answers myself and the more I learnt about Islam the nastier it became.

  262. The Qura’n is translated into ordinary Arabic? Oh, really? I have have never saw one of those in my life. And even if it were true, a lot of Muslims would not like that one bit. But I’m going to have to check that out for myself. Anyway, I’m out for tonight, later people.

  263. One wonders why an all powerful deity chooses one of the most barbaric and backwards places on the earth, chooses an illiterate messenger, and then dictates a book that while it contains many passages of earlier books he or she dictated is still so unclear that you can make up anything you like using it.
    Why not go to a place where people can read and write? Where there is civilization?
    And anyway, why wait 98.000 years doing it?

  264. I do not mean you will find a quran written in ordinary arabic..i mean it is translated..explained…in ordinary arabic to arabs..in your religious classes etc…so arabs will have a clue about what it means. My very good friend has studied classical arabic and she says it is one of the hardest subjects to learn…because it is so complicated and confusing and has so so many meanings etc. She said very few arabs bother to learn it because it’s much too hard…so religious classes translate classical arabic into ordinary arabic so arabs themselves can understand it…otherwise they wouldn’t be able to.

    Ask any arab what subject they hated in school…many will say arabic classes…just regular arabic classes..much less classical arabic.

  265. So another thought comes to mind. Let us say for gods sake that the arabs of those days DID speak classical arabic…im sure god would have known that some day classical arabic would no longer be spoken or even really understood by arabs themselves much less the millions of other muslims on the planet…so why dictate the quran..the perfect message…into a language that would eventually become obsolete except to a handpicked few? hmmm?

  266. didnt finish my thought…if the quran if for all people for all time…that statement cannot be true simply because the language it is in is no longer used by it’s original recipients..much less converts and nonarabic speakers of today.

  267. And why did all the many earlier messages fail? Pretty big fail for an all powerful, all knowing deity!
    Besides, the islam one doesn’t seem to work either, maybe we can expect yet another attempt any time soon

  268. Maybe the next attempt will be in Esperanto?

  269. Spanglish??? or chinese…more people speak that than classical arabic or any other language anyhow.

  270. “I think a modern woman from a developed country who converts to islam is a traitor to all women and her ancestors who fought for freedom and equality for women”

    Really Aafke? You really think that?

  271. Yeah, generally speaking yes. We’ve had this discussion before. One either has not read enough or one is fooling ones self, or one is a masochist, or one thinks women are indeed second rate to men, whatever, I do think it is a betrayal of all those women who suffered and died to get us back our rights and then one two generations afterwards, safely ensconced in a society where one’s rights are secure, some women think they have to go back into a religion which in essence means serfdom to women.
    And so there are women who I think are intelligent, and I do wonder what makes them choose such a blatantly misogynist religion when there are better choices out there. Actually, I would like to have a real serious discussion about why a modern woman would choose to go muslim, but not here. But I would like to hear it because at this moment I do not understand it. Maybe I am missing something, I would be interested to find out.
    And besides the women issues, if you leave out the intellectual acrobatics I find the Quran and hadith extremely unpalatable.
    When I started to look into the religion I went to nice sites and I read all the intellectual acrobatics which make it :em:look:/em: nice, but it isn’t really.

  272. Mike…

    This is where it gets confusing for nonmuslims. You say that particular verse about attacking at dawn after listeneing for the adhan is weak and not even in your copy of Bukhari. Yet in the online website I posted which was the same as Lynn and is dedicated to Bukhari it is clearly in there. Others I have checked shows it in there…so why are some copies of Bukhari containing it and others not? Shouldn’t the book of Bukhari be the same no matter what?

  273. AA, I don’t suppose you get American telly? A new program started on Sunday night – a reality show called Muslims In America. I tuned in and I think it might be interesting. Most of them are Lebanese and living in Dearborn, Michigan which is predominately Muslim from what I understand. Anyway the cast of characters are a girl with eyebrow piercings, etc., another woman who wants to open a nightclub with alcohol, a couple of very traditional hijab-wearing girls and so on. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this but the first show is not exactly showing women in a subservient role. Now you know my views on Islam and religion in general but the show might be worth a watch. Both my husband and I were thinking that more than a few Saudis will be very shocked and rolling their eyes with this show and they will undoubtedly get it via satellites and they are big on American shows.

  274. http://www.islamicity.com/mosque/sunnah/bukhari/052.sbt.html#004.052.127

    Volume 4, Book 52, Number 192:
    Narrated Sahl bin Sad:

    That he heard the Prophet on the day (of the battle) of Khaibar saying, “I will give the flag to a person at whose hands Allah will grant victory.” So, the companions of the Prophet got up, wishing eagerly to see to whom the flag will be given, and everyone of them wished to be given the flag. But the Prophet asked for ‘Ali. Someone informed him that he was suffering from eye-trouble. So, he ordered them to bring ‘Ali in front of him. Then the Prophet spat in his eyes and his eyes were cured immediately as if he had never any eye-trouble. ‘Ali said, “We will fight with them (i.e. infidels) till they become like us (i.e. Muslims).” The Prophet said, “Be patient, till you face them and invite them to Islam and inform them of what Allah has enjoined upon them. By Allah! If a single person embraces Islam at your hands (i.e. through you), that will be better for you than the red camels.”

    Volume 4, Book 52, Number 193:
    Narrated Anas:

    Whenever Allah’s Apostle attacked some people, he would never attack them till it was dawn. If he heard the Adhan (i.e. call for prayer) he would delay the fight, and if he did not hear the Adhan, he would attack them immediately after dawn. We reached Khaibar at night.

  275. Damn! I meant to watch that CNN show. Dearborn IS right in my own backyard after all.

    I wonder if they will have it available on-line. I can’t seem to find it right now.

  276. It’s on TLC Sunday nights.

  277. Wendy, but I was not talking about Arab women, born into Islam and not choosing islam and not being very religious and living in a modern developed country where they have all the freedoms. If these women were following their religion they would be covered up, breeding babies, and serving the men and keeping quiet. if they lived in an Islamic state they would be imprisoned and possibly tortured, or even killed for ”opening a nightclub with alcohol” or walking around without hijab.
    I was talking about women from modern developed countries who choose to follow a religion which in its basic teachings tells them they are less than men, they are deficient mentally and physically.
    Going back to the dark ages.

  278. Ok. For some reason I got confused and made a huge mistake locating that hadith, but I’m going to make excuses to why I made the mistake. It was a really stupid mistake. I’m stilltrying to figure out how I couldn’t find it before. :-/ But yes, it’s there and I never refered to it as weak. Now, the reason the prophet waited to attack aftr dawn, is b/c he wanted to wait to see if heard the athan (the call to prayer) in the area before they attacked. If they had heard the athan, they would abandon b/c that would have ment that the people there had already accepted Islam. And keep in mind that these people were most likely of those who kept attacking Muhammad and the Muslims and making mischief in the land

  279. He woudn’t attack because the people had already accepted Islam…so your essentially verifying the fact that mohammed spread islam by the sword. He attacked communities until they accepted islam..left them alone once they had??? Not to mention, he is lying in wait outside a community that is not currently attacking him. So he is acting as the aggressor in this instance. God said fight to protect yourselves…but dont attack first…hmmmm.

  280. Obviously the people being attack were from among those attaking the Muslims and spreading mischief through out the land. There were many Jewish tribes who were siding with the pagans agaist the Muslims and the time. There are also books on Islamic history if you are interested.

  281. Weak? Come on, you should know that Bakhari is considered the strongest and most reliable of all the hadith (by Sunnis). That is why I picked it but I can find similar texts by other compilers. Just give me a name of a source you trust and we can have at it. No problema, amigo. Estou pronto para tudo.

    It really makes little difference because all the traditions basically say the same things and have very similar dosages of hate and violence. There are no ‘nice’ hadith that preach love and tolerance. This is why I say that Muslims don’t know, or don’t want to know that their religion teaches. It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

    That is why I say that Muslims have their own fantasy versions of Islam that have nothing to do with reality. Mike is a good example of this. Suddenly, the most reliable hadith become weak because he doesn’t like the message.

    BTW, most Arabic-speaking Muslims use the 1920′s “Cairo Version” of the Quran. Arabic isn’t one of my languages so I will not ask the obvious questions like why not use the text taken from the oldest existing copies (about 900AD – 200 years after Mohammad) instead of one assembled years later? It has to me more than accentuation, punctuation and lack of vowels. Wh nds vwls nwy? N cn wrt prfctl wtht thm n f llh ddnt nd thm th mst b vl nfdl thng!

    I took time to read Book 52 from Obi’s link (again). The material in this one chapter is often despicable but this means nothing to Allah’s and Mohammad’s faithful. Lord, save me from true believers.

    Yes, AA, we have had this discussion before – a lot of good it did! I move we move on to more exciting and challenging topics, like red camels or if stones and trees can really talk.

    You know, I am also really good with Roman history, Brazilian folklore and Age of Discovery cartography. We don’t have to pick Islam apart when there is so much else that we can focus on.

    PS: Who needs vowels anyway? One can write perfectly without them and if Allah didnt need them they must be a vile infidel thing!

  282. Jay…

    In Mike’s defense he says he didn’t say it was weak. I said he said that because I thought he did. My bad.

  283. Mike, the history of early islam is full of instances where Mohammed attacked others, everybody who wasn’t his follower was his enemy, doesn’t matter if they wanted to be left alone or not, he was the aggressor from the beginning.
    I notice you run whenever the discussion gets too hot for you to come back with a good answer.
    Why don’t you test your nice tolerant and peaceful religion and go to your mosque and Imam and tell everybody you want to think it over and leave for the time being join a church for a while. See what happens, see how they will treat you.

  284. I know this is Islam 101 and some of you will groan at this question but I am still confused about something. What am I missing?

    If I were to convert to Islam tomorrow, what would I, as a nonarabic speaking Muslim read in terms of the Quran? Or Bukhari? Wouldn’t I read an English translation copy? If so, what makes this copy “not understandable” or inaccurate for nonmuslims but acceptable for Muslims to read?

    If the English translation is not clear or you need to understand arabic to read the quran why is the translation out there for Muslims who don’t speak arabic?

    What about someone who was reading the Quran as part of a decision to convert? They at that moment are nonmuslim…if they convert they “got it?” and if they don’t the translation was bad??

  285. You really should learn to read things more carefully bro, I never said the hadith was weak.

  286. Just look around you, look at the world and what islamic countries are like, all islamic countries are human rights abusers, most of them are in conflicts with countries around them, all marginalize women, from forcing them to cover, to punishing them for being raped, to not prosecuting men who murder them, to Saudi Arabia where women are officially slaves.

    And the same goes for christians, christianity is tamed right now but that is because they don’t have power anymore. As soon as they get power back they will start burning witches again. (as an example)

    Just look at Africa, that is where these nasty religions are both showing their true faces, inciting their followers to kill whoever their stupid old books don’t like. look at what happens to an innocent teacher whose students name a teddybear ”mohammed”. Pure insanity. All fueled by religion.

  287. The English translations do get the basic Ideas and message across, so other languages far far better than English at this. English is a very limited language when compared to a lot of others and in a lot of cases it takes a few English words just to get the idea across of just one word in Arabic as well as in a lot of other languages. I faced this problem with having some Japanese words translated in to English. There are just some words that are a pain to have translated in to English just to get the exact meaning across. So that is the issue that surfaces with English translations of the Qur’an, as well as many other no-English books. The same is true with translating the original text of the Torah and Bible into English. Heck, even old English presents a problem for modern spoken English.

  288. For those who may not be aware, you can write to your local Saudi Embassy, attention Department of Islamic Affairs, and ask for a Quran to be sent to you in the language of your choice.

  289. Thank you for reminding me, I do want one of those Saudi Qurans full of extra bits where they explain you should ”fight the infidels (Jews and Christians) with (guns and missiles)

    Mike, again, there is nothing about the Quran, which is, even in Arabic, a rather badly written book, full of mistakes, grammar mistakes, wrongly translated foreign words, but still, it can be perfectly well translated into English.
    If you were a native Arabic speaker you would know this.

  290. You should try the indian version AAfke – it’s pretty good .

  291. Actually, native Arabic speakers have told me there are some small differences in the translation to English: In some small details it is softened up in the English, the original Arabic is nastier and more aggressive.

  292. I was actually ignoring you b/c of you ignorance, I really don’t care to covers with your type. The type who only provides lies to get their point across. So you say that the Qur’an has grammatical mistakes, by who’s standards? And you you even posses enough knowledge to make such a statement? Have you know, that Qur’anic Arabic (also known as Fusha) is the highest level of Arabic. There are no “grammatical Mistakes”. Most who make such a claim are those who only have knowledge of modern spoken Arabic which is a mish-mash of foreign, street slang, as well as words taken form other Arabic dialogs. Furthermore, the Arabic present in the Qura’n is the same Arabic that is taught at the Academic level, it is also the same Arabic that is basically used in newspaper and Magazine publications. And I find that a lot of Arabs who haven’t studied Arabic at the Academic level, have a hard time understand what is written in most magazines. I guess it’s to be blamed on their educational system. You really shouldn’t speak of things you have very little knowledge on.

  293. “Actually, native Arabic speakers have told me there are some small differences in the translation to English: In some small details it is softened up in the English, the original Arabic is nastier and more aggressive.”

    We only have your word to go by on that, and it has already become apparent that you will stoop to liar just to make yourself appear correct. I had you number the first time you posted. Which is why I decided to ignore your bs. :-/

  294. You do a brilliant job of ignoring me :mrgreen:

  295. Re: ‘All-American Muslim’ Show: Misleads on Islam

    I watched the reality show last Sunday and I was quite disappointed. This much-ballyhooed reality show makes its agenda clear in its opening sequences: shots of a hijabbed girl roller-skating, Muslims dancing at a wedding, an American flag waving proudly in the breeze, and newspaper clippings proclaiming “4 in 10 Americans ‘suspicious’ of Muslims,” “Outrage at Ground Zero ‘Mosque,’” and “Muslims Brace for Backlash.” The point of the show is to depict Muslims as ordinary folks just like you and me who are subjected to unjust suspicion.

    And so we meet one zaftig girl who loves to have fun and go to clubs, and who is in the process of getting married. Another young woman, provocatively dressed by Muslim standards, is trying to open up a club of her own. A young hijab-wearing wife shares the joy of her pregnancy with her loving husband. They’re balancing the demands of faith and family with life’s daily pressures, just like most Americans. So why—the show implies—are non-Muslim Americans so mean to them?

    Yet it is noteworthy that both the woman who is getting married and the one who is trying to open a club acknowledge that they are not all that religious. And that is the problem at the heart of All-American Muslim. The Muslims it depicts are for the most part undoubtedly harmless, completely uninterested in jihad and Islamic supremacism (although there is a notable undertone of something quite different here and there, such as when the career woman’s “friend and business partner Mahmoud” tells her, his voice full of quiet menace, that a Muslim woman is really better off tending to her family than opening a club).

    But Americans aren’t suspicious of Muslims who are trying to get married, open clubs, and play football. Americans are suspicious of Muslims who are trying to blow up American buildings, subvert American freedoms, and assert the primacy of Islamic sharia law over American law.

    The problem people have with Islam is not with every Muslim person. It is with Islam’s teachings of violence against and the subjugation of unbelievers. It is with the supremacist ideology and the fervent believers in those noxious doctrines of warfare and subjugation.

    All-American Muslim addresses nothing of that supremacist ideology, although at times it makes an appearance despite the producers’ best efforts. The woman who is getting married is marrying a Roman Catholic, who converts to Islam in order to marry her. Her father insists on the conversion as a condition of the wedding, and at one point we are told in passing that while a Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim woman, a Muslim woman is not free to marry a non-Muslim man.

    Left unanswered in the show is the question of what might have happened if the couple had decided to get married in the Roman Catholic Church, or to leave Islam at some later date. No doubt this non-observant woman’s Muslim relatives would have been less solicitous in that event. There are many women in the show who are wearing hijabs and many who are not, but we are not allowed to see what might happen if one of the hijab-wearing women decides to take it off. Such conflicts would not serve The Learning Channel’s agenda.

    There is a spectrum of belief, knowledge and fervor among Muslims, just as there is among the believers in every religion: there are people who are very knowledgeable about its doctrines and serious about putting them into practice, and others who don’t know and don’t care about what their religion teaches but still identify themselves as members of it, and every gradation in between. It would never happen for obvious reasons, but All-American Muslim would be much more interesting if it tracked one of its secular, attractive nominal Muslims as he decided to get more serious about his faith, and ended up participating in jihad activity or Islamic supremacist efforts to demonize and marginalize those who resist that activity.

    Such a show would be far more honest in its depiction of the causes of the trumped-up malady of “Islamophobia”—and of its remedies, for the best outcome would be a show in which the nascent jihadi was turned into the FBI by his patriotic and moderate coreligionists. But that is a show we will never see; instead all that All-American Muslim gives us is a denunciation of “Islamophobia” featuring Muslims who could never have conceivably inspired any suspicion of Islam in the first place. The show is a bait-and-switch.

    —————————————————————————————
    Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful: Seneca, Roman orator and historian, 37 BC

  296. @Mike – ‘You really should learn to read things more carefully bro, I never said the hadith was weak.’

    LOL!! No, you said it didn’t EXIST. LOL I hope you will start to follow your own advice.

  297. Mike, I have and English Quran in the house as well as several Arabic ones. My Arabic speaking husband has read both English and the Arabic he grew up with and I would suggest to you that he is NOT a liar about how the translation compares to his Arabic versions.

    Aafke, I think women convert for a number of reasons. I would like them to read Karen Armstrong’s biography of Mohammed first before even thinking about it. He did not come across as a gently saintly person when I read it. I do know more than a couple of women who converted paying lip service only to the religion and one of them goes to the Vatican from time to time because she is truly Catholic. Some women convert to rebel and we’ve read about that here. Some don’t know about or choose not to know the nastier bits.

    Some people really need something like this in their lives. Why do nuns become nuns? Why do some people take vows of silence or flog themselves to become better believers …. and I’m talking about Christianity, not Islam right now?

  298. ‘…and it has already become apparent that you will stoop to liar just to make yourself appear correct.’

    LOL!

  299. “Mike, I have and English Quran in the house as well as several Arabic ones. My Arabic speaking husband has read both English and the Arabic he grew up with and I would suggest to you that he is NOT a liar about how the translation compares to his Arabic versions.”

    I never Said that your husband was a liar, you said that. What I said was, that most Arabs have a difficult time understanding Fusha Arabic. My Father speaks and teaches Fusha Arabic, and most Arabs barley understand him when he speaks Fusha and say that he speaks Arabic far better than they do, unless they have studied it academically. All Arabs speak Arabic, but not all Arabs Speak Fusha.

  300. Mike btw is not a native English speaker, he makes grammatical mistakes which are typical for Arabic speakers.
    I think it’s perfectly ok to go on the internet and join forums under a anonymous screen name, but it is not correct to assume a fake personality to push some private agenda.

  301. @Aafke – ‘Mike btw is not a native English speaker, he makes grammatical mistakes which are typical for Arabic speakers.’

    I was wondering why he made such mistakes when he says that he is an American born Muslim not a revert. But I’m sure he will blame them on just being ‘tired’ or ‘not good at multi-tasking’ or perhaps just flustered by all the ignorance of the non-Muslims here. No point arguing with him about his claims ;-) But I was just wondering how old he was when he moved to KSA because I too noticed all the mistakes that you wouldn’t think a native speaker would make.

  302. Mike, you posted the following to Aafke implying that she was lying about the Arab to English similar translation she learned from her friends. ”

    “Actually, native Arabic speakers have told me there are some small differences in the translation to English: In some small details it is softened up in the English, the original Arabic is nastier and more aggressive.”

    We only have your word to go by on that, and it has already become apparent that you will stoop to liar just to make yourself appear correct. I had you number the first time you posted. Which is why I decided to ignore your bs. :-/”

  303. @Harry..I have to say ure writing is amazing…no joke i thought i was reading some type of formal review. Its making me want to try to not shorten my words and be more articulate..lol
    Btw interesting take on the All American Muslim..i haven’t seen it myself although i did see the preview..its kind of embarrassing to see the religion i follow grouped together with belly dancing and shisha smoking eww…apart from that cant say too much cos i haven’t seen it.

  304. At last a subject we can argue about without tears and blood… Languages and translations.

    To say that English is more limited than Arabic or any other language is silly. First of all English has many more words. Second, all modern languages are fully capable of expressing the full range of human emotions, actions, and needs. All languages – including Arabic – have incorporated the words of previous and neighboring languages and all languages change over time. To say that any language is better or worse than another, for most purposes, is silly or pure bias.

    The Quran has only a few thousand unique words, which can be viewed as either a strong or weak point, simplicity or communication deficit. Take your pick. It seems that the bible has 4 or 5 times more words, Hebrew and Greek.

    I would think that the major problem with Quranic Arabic is the lack of many other contemporary or earlier texts to get a better understanding of words used. This is fundamental in any study of semantics.

    My opinion is that good translations are 99% accurate and acceptable with the exception of poetry.

    As to the Quran, my impression is that translators soften the harsh language and attempt to make it more palatable for non-Muslims. Take for example 4:34: Here are two translations:

    1. “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).” (Yusuf Ali).

    2. “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.” (Pickthall)

    Notice the differences? Excuse me but this goes far beyond mere words. What we see here is attempt to rewrite Allah’s words and I hope she is pissed. The translations are similar but different. The newer (Ali) has so many sweet, added, changed concepts that it is pathetic.

    I could probably do a two-page analysis of this but here is the basic: first of all, the use of parenthesis to explain texts. Why? To explain what is not explained in a book that is supposed to be perfect and simple? Is the Arabic unclear? Are sentences incomplete? So men are “more” than women? How? What does this mean? The word “strength” is the translator’s guesswork. How does “in charge” become “protectors and maintainers”? How does “scourge” (whip until skin is removed) in one translation become the work “beat” and why is “lightly” then added? If that were the case, I am sure Arabic has a word for “lightly” (gently) and Allah would have used it if she wanted it in there. Note also the addition of temporal adverbs (first, then last). These are not in the original. These were added to make it nicer, if possible. The verse says to do any or all of those punishments, and nothing about sequentiality. This is an innovation and you know what Muslims say about the evils of “innovation” (when others do it!). Then there is the word “husband”. Note it is not in the older translation and added to new for clarity. Doesn’t Arabic have a word for husband? This issue, on who punishes women, for what and how is a can of worms that I will not address now.

    Muslims, Arabic speaking or not, cannot explain or much less translate this verse and so many others. They soften language or change words to conceal harsh realities. The problem is the concept not the words.

    My most unfavorite word if one that is often translated as “mischief” or “confusion”. It is used in several places in the Quran where Allah tells Muslims to kill people who do “mischief” or “confusion” (in the land). What kind of idotic, perverse god would use a word or concept like that? It is so vague that almost any action is covered. Note that Muslim tyrants have used these verses to kill people (mostly Muslims) for 1200+years. All they have to say is “Ahmed is causing mischief, off with his head”.

    I have things to do so I have to go…

  305. @Mike – ‘What I said was, that most Arabs have a difficult time understanding Fusha Arabic. My Father speaks and teaches Fusha Arabic, and most Arabs barley understand him when he speaks Fusha and say that he speaks Arabic far better than they do’

    So with that I guess the number of people that we can consider knowledgeable enough to speak on Islam is getting smaller and smaller in your view.

    Actually, this is the first time hearing this. I have actually been told that anyone that understands Arabic would understand Quranic Arabic with the only difference being that the Quranic Arabic is extremely formal but quite understandable. (I likened it to common English and Shakespearean English)

  306. “@Mike – ‘You really should learn to read things more carefully bro, I never said the hadith was weak.’

    LOL!! No, you said it didn’t EXIST. LOL I hope you will start to follow your own advice.”

    I most certainly will. ^_^

  307. Mike, that’s interesting that your father speaks Fusha Arabic. Does he also speak in a common accent? How many folks still speak in Fusha? Is it more common in a specific region?

    My understanding was that Arabs read the same Arabic, but their (speaking) accents vary so widely they could be separate languages. I’ve heard Italian and Spanish are more common that some Arabic dialects. My Syrian friend had to speak in English with a Moroccan in Germany because their spoken Arabic was so different that they could not understand each other!

    Interesting topic!

  308. What was the theme of Karen Armstrong’s biography of Mohammed? Was of of many attempts to demoniac the prophet, our was it an honest take on the prophets life?

  309. I most definitely am a native English speaker. Don’t make assumptions. :-/

  310. “To say that English is more limited than Arabic or any other language is silly. First of all English has many more words. Second, all modern languages are fully capable of expressing the full range of human emotions, actions, and needs.”

    Tell that to all the linguistic experts who say other wise.

  311. I have not read it but I would not be surprised if Karen Amstrong is quite politically correct.
    If you want the earliest and best biography of Mohammed you should read, Ibn Hisham, which is the edited version of Ibn Ishaq. And al Tabari.
    Al Tabari btw describes the ”satanic verses”, Ibn Hisham edited much which was later deemed undesirable and there are no existing originals by Ibn Ishaq left.

  312. Mike, read the book. My husband did and liked it actually and said the depiction of Mohamed seemed very accurate. We were reading it differently though. He was reading it through his Islamic upbringing and I was reading it as a free non-religious woman.

    Harry, the show is meant to put Muslims in a positive light and in that regard I think it’s fine. I do NOT agree with people being fearful of all Muslims and not understanding that they lead normal lives just like the rest of us.

    Bella – the belly dancing was at a wedding and showing a Lebanese tradition. There was also Irish step-dancing showing the tradition of the Irish American husband. The belly dancer was not half naked and I have seen lots of belly dancing in Muslim countries including KSA!!!

  313. Correct. The Arabic used in the Qur’an is a more formal form of Arabic that isn’t used by the common people. I used to use Fusha when I first came to Saudi Arabia. And my Arabic friends would say that would says that I spoke good Arabic, but know one speaks that way normally. So I had to learn what they called “Jeddawi” Arabic. I had also learned that that they speak a different dialog in Riyadh as well. My father likes to refer to it as “garbage” Arabic. Lol

  314. Yes. My father speaks Fusha Arabic as well as, Jeddhawi, Riyadh, Morrocan Darija, as well as a few others. You will find that those with a higher education speak Fusha, as it is a required subject at the academic level. Sadly, only a few tend to take it seriously. But yeah, you will find that all government officials and Royalty speak Fusha. And as I mentioned before, just about all magazines and news publications are written in Fusha Arabic.

  315. @Mike – ‘…speak a different dialog in Riyadh’

    I think you mean DIALECT. I’ve seen you use ‘dialog’ in this context more than once now. Interesting.

  316. Yeah, I meant dialect.

  317. Aafke, I think she told many truths. I did not read it in a flattering light at all.

  318. Ibn Ishaq and Al-Tabari were both questionable. Ibn Ishaq even warned that his book was consisted of weak hadiths as well as other discrepancies.

  319. Mike, exactly what sources do you consider as ‘good’? It seems that just about everything we quote, is to you, ‘weak’ or ‘questionable’ even those considered to be hasan by experts?

    By the way, this habit of chosing verses individually is morally and intellectually wrong. Don’t do that. If an author is reliable for one verse, please have the curtesy of being consistent.

    Worse yet, even Muslims have no clearing ruling on hadiths. There are those that argue that being weak is really not a problem, if you like the text.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=strong+and+weak+hadith&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    If you don’t like it, then it must be weak write, or if in the Quran, it is badly translated. As I said…

  320. “Mike, exactly what sources do you consider as ‘good’? It seems that just about everything we quote, is to you, ‘weak’ or ‘questionable’ even those considered to be hasan by experts?”

    The problem is with a lot of non- Muslims. When they see some text that say something negative about Islam, they choose to take it as truth, merely b/c that’s what they are searching for. They don’t want to see anything else. Same thing with those who are against Christianity, Judaism, or even atheism for that matter. Those who are looking for fault in s certain belief system aren’t interested in the facts.

  321. @Mike – ‘The problem is with a lot of non- Muslims. When they see some text that say something negative about Islam, they choose to take it as truth, merely b/c that’s what they are searching for.’

    Was that supposed to be an answer to Jay’s question?

    If it is then that would seem like you are saying If you are not Muslim and you find something in the Quran or ahadith that you think is negative then THAT is weak or a misunderstanding due to your ignorance of Quranic Arabic. But if a Muslim reads it and fails to see anything negative about it then it is strong. Does that sound about right to you? ;-)

  322. Mike, stop using strawman arguments as soon as somebody asks you a question you find hard to answer. Either answer a straightforward question with a straightforward answer, or admit you cannot answer it.

    You do not know know how much or how little we know about Islam, and in fact Jay knows a lot more about Islam than most Muslims, so stop running away each time you cannot answer a question.

  323. No, that doesn’t sound right, so stop twisting things. What I am saying is, if someone is searching for something negative in any belief system whether it’s Islam Christianity or any thing else for that matter, that’s what their mind is usually going to focus on. They could care less about the truth.

  324. Then how, exactly, does that answer his question to you asking your opinion on what you consider to be strong or ‘not weak’?

  325. Negative hadith are not the fault of the nonmuslim who reads one. Negative hadith have been around since 200 years after the prophet passed on…while muslims jockeyed for political power or viewed the newly lifted status of women to be contrary to their beliefs…or for whatever reason did not agree with how the quran put it..so needed to make it mean more…or less than it did.

    Mike, if you have a problem with non muslims viewing negative hadith in a negative light then you need to ask this question…why have those negative hadith stood the test of time…passed the so called science of hadith testing…even though they are negative..why have they been memorized and maintained among muslims to this day…rather than let die out and forgotten because they are contrary to the quran or prophet or whatever? That is the question you and other muslims who use the ‘that’s a weak hadith” need to ask yourself..not why nonmuslims always point them out and use them for justification of their points etc.

    I am willing to bet that muslims themselves can recite negative weak hadith more accurately and quickly than the few strong accurate hadith…why is that?

  326. For me it went quite the other way around, I wanted to learn about Islam, I was in a positive turn of mind about it, I met nice people, read nice things, but something jarred, so I read more, and more important, the originals, Quran and hadith, and not the sugarcoated versions I was told, and had to come to the conclusion that it is a very wicked religion, in no way less wicked than Christianity.
    And when you look at countries under Islamic law you can see what these old bronze age long obsolete ”morals” lead to: dreadful crimes against humanity, and against women in particular, suppression and lack of freedom.
    And this is not enough, these countries want to force the free and developed world to comply with their backwards rules, trying to force their religious censorship on the UN, threaten and terrorize the free world to stop allowing free speech and free press. Assassinate politicians, writers and filmmakers. (This is something Mohammed did from the beginning)
    Fathers and brothers killing their daughters and sisters for refusing the prison of hijab or arranged marriage. This is happening in developed free countries now too. We need to be aware of what religions really teach, and we need to keep them from power.

  327. “Mike, exactly what sources do you consider as ‘good’? It seems that just about everything we quote, is to you, ‘weak’ or ‘questionable’ even those considered to be hasan by experts?”

    I told you what my authentic sources were long ago, they are the Qur’an, Sahih Al-Bukhari, and Sahih Muslim. For the life of Muhammad, it’s Ibn Hisham’s book. The book of Ibn Ishaq is unreliable for the fact that it’s filled with weak hadiths, as well as a number of poems that are thought to be forgeries and exaggerations about the life of the prophet.

  328. It’s important to persevere the weak hadiths as well as the strong, they are useful for pointing out untrusted narrators as well as fabricators. Getting rid of them isn’t going to change the fact that the existed, now is it? Also it proves that us Muslims have nothing to hide nor fear when it comes to Islam.

  329. What can I say? Islam just wasn’t for you, you have a right to not accept it if it doesn’t agree with your opinions or way of life.

  330. “What I said was, that most Arabs have a difficult time understanding Fusha Arabic.”

    how many Muslims are Arabs or understanding at least colloquial Arabic out of all Muslims? The numbers I came across differ from 12% to 20%. And now you are saying that most Arabs have a difficult time understanding qur’anic arabic (which is what my handful of friends who are native arabic speakers said too). so that leaves us with how many Muslims actually understanding what they are reading?

    as you said, the Qur’an is a clear book (and it also says that itself), could you tell me where all those different interpretations come from?

  331. Yes, Bukhari and Muslim are considered the most authentic, but the problem is that they have stories about things your prophet did that can only be considered vile (unless, of course, splitting open and killing a pregnant woman is not vile).

    As AA said, the hadith are not about being nice, not even to other Muslims, much less to non-Muslims. Quite a dilemma!

    The only thing that makes some sense for a Muslim is the “Quran only” school of thought. Of course, without the traditions and sayings, Muslims know almost nothing about Mohammad and that also leaves a big whole in your theology.

    Here is an interesting case

    http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Hadith/bukhari.html

    The Muslim is saying that the Christians argue that the hadith are untrustworthy. The Muslims says not. If I were involved and were Muslim, it would be the other way around: I would reject the hadith because of the evil, damming deeds in them. If I were the Christian in the story, I would say “look at the evil things your prophet did”. It doesn’t make any sense to me.

    My advice to you is to jump on the “Quran only” bandwagon. The Quran is bad enough but the hadith are poison.

  332. @Mike ‘It’s important to persevere the weak hadiths as well as the strong,’

    I think you meant PRESERVE LOL but persevere does seem just WAY more appropriate somehow. Doesn’t it? lmao!

  333. What I said was, that most Arabs without an academic level of Arabic have some difficulties understanding Qura’nic Arabic. Most Arabs do study Arabic at an academic level, so the numbers of those who don’t understand Quranic Arabic, isn’t as high as one may think. Most Arabs who have a problem understanding Quranic Arabic,usually have a lower than academic education. It not about the Qur’an being easy or difficult to understand, it’s more about the level of Arabic people speak these days. Tell me, is every native English speaker able to fully comprehend Shakespearian literature or the like? And no thanks. The only Muslims who jump on to the “Qur’an only band wagon” are those who can’t explain the hadiths, or are actually ashamed of being Muslim in one way or another. Anyway, it’s too late, I’m off. Peace!

  334. BRAVO, MIKE!!! Bravo!! Well done, ma’ashallah.

    Can we put this baby to bed now? PLEEEASE?!!!!

  335. i can’t be asked to double check the sources but quick google search shows that the average literacy rate in the arab world is at around 75%. only above 50% for yemen.
    this is beside the point. you said:

    “The Qura’n and hadith are easy to understand”

    i’m asking again then. why so many interpretation of a book that claims to be so easily understood ‘in which there is no doubt’? where do they come from if it’s so clear?
    if native arabic speakers need education up to academic level, where does it leave me? where does it leave millions of muslims around the world?

  336. For fun, I ran 4:34 through Google translate. Wish I hadn’t.

    Original:
    الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنْفَقُوا مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ ۚ فَالصَّالِحَاتُ قَانِتَاتٌ حَافِظَاتٌ لِلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللَّهُ ۚ وَاللَّاتِي تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ وَاهْجُرُوهُنَّ فِي الْمَضَاجِعِ وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ ۖ فَإِنْ أَطَعْنَكُمْ فَلَا تَبْغُوا عَلَيْهِنَّ سَبِيلًا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيًّا كَبِيرًا {34}

    Translation:
    Male protectors and maintainers of women because Allah at one another and because they spend of their wealth portfolios Valsalhat obedient husband’s absence what God save those who are afraid and then leave them alone in their beds and beat them the heed not seek to harm them means that God most high, great

    Yeah, that explains it!

    Here is link:

    http://translate.google.com/?hl=en&tab=wT#auto|ar|

  337. you people read alot about Islam… Yeah, you read a bit better than “normal” muslim. Jay lol liked your afford dear.

    Lol lynn please help out I want to good at English :s

  338. Well, gladiator, buddy, I am not as well versed in Islam as Jay is. You could argue with him and learn English and Islam at the SAME time, how about that? Good deal eh? ;-) I think you’ll want to steer clear of that ‘Mike’ character though as he will teach you poor English and worse Islam! LOL

  339. Hey Gladiator, forget English and Islam. Why don’t you and me go to Brazil and study capirinhas, churrasco and, of course, the meninas. Og course, since I am old and married, I would just be a consultant.

  340. I heard a reviewer comment on the Muslim show…”It is giving Muslims the right to be as boring as every other American.” Don’t know why but that tickled me. ;-)

  341. Gladiator, On second thought perhaps you should avoid that Jay character too. ;-)

  342. I couldn’t find the video for All American Muslm because I was looking on CNN! Duh! That’s because it’s on The Learning Channel I’m glad I found it.

  343. Mike…

    I don’t mean to pick on you but I want to go back to Bukhari. If I am a person thinking of converting to Islam and I read the adhan verse and understood it to mean he attacked nonmuslims as it seems to read, how would I know that is NOT the case? Where would I go to get an enlightened idea of what that verse REALLY means? The wording itself seems clear if you read prior and after…does one need a translation for that? Or would one get with other Muslims and they would explain it to them? I guess what I am wondering is how does a faith that is supposed to be simple and for all wind up needing so much explanation and interpretation? Why not jsut say “it is damn confusing but here is the translations to make it clear for you.”

  344. lol ahem ahem Lynn, i think Mike is better than me . By the way he knows Islam very well. No doubt about it. :)
    I left religious arguments because it is difficult to come in same conclusion when the “positive” is “negative” from your points of view and your “positive” is “negative” to me.

    Lol tried to understand “capirinhas, churrasco” but did not get.
    “since I am old and married, I would just be a consultant.” lolzzzz ;) yeah a old consultant is not bad.

  345. @ lynn, Lolzzz ;p actually Now I am thinking of the Brazil trip…. So cant avoid. Lol

    bye, going to Bal with my magic carpet though my dream Lol

  346. “Bella – the belly dancing was at a wedding and showing a Lebanese tradition. There was also Irish step-dancing showing the tradition of the Irish American husband. The belly dancer was not half naked and I have seen lots of belly dancing in Muslim countries including KSA!!!”

    @Wendy..just cos its done in arab countries don’t mean it has anything to do with Islam including when its done in Saudi. If anything the title of the shows needs to be changed..considering the “muslim” part is subject to one culture i.e.: arab/ lebanese and thats not fair cos i certainly would not want to be associated with that as a muslim first and as a non-arab.

  347. Jay was using Portuguese words for Brazilian activities that no nice Muslim boy’s mama would want him involved in. (Although there is NO doubt in my mind that you would have fun with Jay boozing it up with Brazilian women at barbecues) I bet that’s how he got his wife. ;-)

  348. Mike…you say the weak hadith must be preserved to show that muslims have nothing to hide??? really? Even if that were true (which is laughable..hide what…from whom) that is not what weak hadith are used for…they are generally used to oppress and contradict the quran. So long as they exist…they corrupt. Period. Better to toss the lot of them and just stick with the quran.

    Personally…I converted to Islam based merely on reading the quran…it was only after I started deeper research (years later) that included historical references and yes…hadith…that I eventually came to the conclusion Islam was not for me. Those hadith, as someone said, are poison. The few good ones do not add anything to the quran (meaning the quran could do just as well without them) so why bother with hadith at all? What do they teach you or explain to you that you REALLY need to know to be a better muslim?

  349. This reminds me when I came to the conclusion that hadith caused more harm than good so decided to burn my entire collection. I would have thrown them in the trash but there were too many and that would have been a headache..so I burned them. When my ex found out (still married then) he went up in smoke..no pun intended. You would have thought I had committed some horrendous crime or something….meanwhile burning the quran is considered a proper way to dispose of it…so why the fuss? I’m thinking he took it personal because he knew the reason why I was burning them..nothing benign about it. He asked me why didn’t I give them to someone else who could use them…my reply was…why would I pass on to someone else something I considered trash…even within islam it says charity is no good if what your giving is worthless etc.

    I considered it my duty to burn them and not pass them on. Years before I had my hands on a quran that included some very woman hating comments within brackets inside ayats. I burned that one too because at the time it offended me greatly to read those inclusions and I couldn’t even begin to imagine passing that quran on. I even went to the islamic society in which I was given it by and told them they should withdraw it..as it was incorrectly translated and quite hateful to women. They just smiled and said don’t worry…god would make sure it was handled correctly. What?

  350. @Bella … you said “Wendy..just cos its done in arab countries don’t mean it has anything to do with Islam including when its done in Saudi. If anything the title of the shows needs to be changed..considering the “muslim” part is subject to one culture i.e.: arab/ lebanese and thats not fair cos i certainly would not want to be associated with that as a muslim first and as a non-arab.”

    Are you a little off-center Bella?? The show is about Muslims living their lives. It’s not about just about Muslims praying and attending mosques. People have lives and cultures that they enjoy apart from the religious aspect so if Lebanese Muslims want to have belly dancers and Irish dancers at their wedding they are certainly entitled are they not?? Perhaps your version of being a Muslim is to have little joy in life apart from praying, serving your man in all ways and having babies?? I didn’t say the entire show was about Lebanese Muslims. I said so far on the first episode they seem to be mostly Lebanese with one Irish American addition to the show for that episode.

  351. Hahahahaha ok yeah ill just get on with serving my man and popping out babies..lol seriously??
    Anyways I said that because i don’t want to be judged based on what people saw in a lebanese muslim household thats all..but ill get over it…i over-reacted to a silly little show.

  352. Well Bella, since you weren’t on the show then there’s no way you could be judged.

  353. I would put logic as a primary issue when considering any ideology.

    If Allah is god. If the Quran is her message to mankind. If Mohammad is her messenger. If he is the great leader that is to be admired and emulated…

    Then (drums rolling……)

    Why would allah let people include and preserve those horrible stories in the hadith? Why would she not write a better Quran? Why would she let the hadith record (in three different places) that Mohammad took an 9 year old girl to his bed?

    Would she not know that this would happen?

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/Mar/24/Yemeni-women-demonstrate-in-support-of-proposed-child-marriage-ban.ashx#axzz1dvZTurqt

    Since salafi leaders invoke the example of the prophet, Allah is also responsible for this:

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/Health/painful-death-yemen-child-bride/story?id=8568884#.TsR5ylaZiSo

    Or why did Allah put in a rule requiring 4 male witnesses for zina (adultery) so much that little girls who are raped are stoned to death since, because of this silly sharia rule, she doesn’t have proof of her innocence.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2008/11/2008111201216476354.html

    Yes I know about Aisha and her lost necklace and how this incident ended in the revelation to Mohammad that saved Aisha from slander but doomed many little innocent girls to a horrible death.

    You would think that a real god would be more careful about her words and the problems they would create. I don’t she that in Allah or Islam. This is logic, at least to me – but what do I know?????

    Maybe Allah doesn’t like little girls.

  354. At 4pm (EST) today (Thurs) Anderson Cooper’s show is about Muslims in America. The previews look pretty interesting. I’m going to try and remember to watch it.

  355. @Carol – Today on @Anderson we meet Muslim Americans from the controversial new @TLC show #AllAmericanMuslim

    So it will be the same ones from that show. Interesting.

  356. Thanks for the heads up Carol…

  357. Actually, the four witnesses is are required by the one who acusses the woman of adultery and not the woman accused. The woman who says she’s been raped, her word is to be taken as thruth unless proven otherwise. I will send a full text on the subject soon inshallah. :)

  358. Mike, I wonder how all those raped women end up getting punished for having illegal sex if, as you say, her word is taken as truth.

  359. Yes, waiting with baited breath to hear the answer to that one!

  360. I’ll try to send it as soon as I get back from the hospital.

  361. “The woman who says she’s been raped, her word is to be taken as thruth unless proven otherwise. I will send a full text on the subject soon inshallah”

    Now Mike, I can be a nice guy, and if you want to play “make beieve” with hadith, that is fine.

    However, when it comes to children and harm to them, I do not accept any excuses for those who do evil or those who pretend there is no evil.

    You are wrong!. You are part of the problem. Since when is a single woman’s words “taken as truth” in the Muslim word? Do you know anything about sharia law? By making excuses you are just as guilty of evil as the men that raped the child. The fact is that the necklace ruling was vile and stupid, but Mohammad and Allah should have known better, if it were inspired by some powerful, all-knowing divinity.

    I was getting to like your persistence, but to make excuses for rapists and murderers is too much!

  362. Perhaps you are just so egotistical that you just can’t being proven wrong? ;)

  363. Mike, have you any idea about what goes on in islamic countries? have you no clue as to how badly women are treated? especially in cases like rape? When is a woman’s testimony worth anything in the Muslim world? Even according to religion a woman’s word is worth only half of that of a man. Don’t you know women are imprisoned, stoned and mutilated for being raped?

    I agree with Jay, even if your heart is on the right place, and you would see justice done to raped women, your persistent blindness to reality, to your own holy books, and refusal to come to grips with it make you an enabler and supporter of crimes against humanity.

  364. @Aafke-Art,

    If you can please specify which Muslim countries you’re referring to, before writing blanket statements like that.

  365. Iran punishes women for rape by death, by hanging or stoning, or imprisonment,
    *according to an Iranian doctor who has witnessed many state executions of women, women and girls are commonly raped by guards prior to their execution. Ostensibly, this practice ensures that the woman is not a virgin when she dies, thus preventing her from entering paradise*

    In Pakistan tribal counsels can order gangrape of women, women who are ”normally” raped cannot prove it.
    *According to the HRCP (Human Rights Commission of Pakistan) report, one woman is raped every six hours and another is gang-raped every fourth day. The number of registered rape cases last year stood at 572 – a number that includes 28 violent deaths. In Pakistan, social taboos and outmoded concepts of shame prevent victims from stepping forward to demand justice. So these figures are only the tip of the iceberg.
    The Islamic Law of evidence applicable to cases of rape requires the evidence of four adult male Muslims, in order for the penalty of Hadood to be imposed upon the accused. Being a half witness by law the raped woman can’t even testify against the crime committed against her. According to these laws, testimony of the victim requires strong corroboration for conviction by the court. On the other hand, where sexual intercourse is established but the absence of consent cannot be proved, the presumption that such intercourse occurred with the woman’s consent can place her at the risk of prosecution. In cases, adultery or rape, a woman is kept in jail pending the ruling of the court. 52% of women languishing in the jails of Pakistan are waiting for their fate in these cases.
    *

    Saudi Arabia, girl of Qatif, need I say more? Only one of many who was sentences to prison and torture for thye crime of being a rape victim…
    She was only released from torture after global reactions of disgust and anger which shamed the king into ”pardoning” her. Although she did nothing to require pardon.
    Let me see, a minimum, and possibly more, of 15 girls being chased to a horrible death into a burning building because they tried to escape without their stupid veils. and it goes on and on.

    Need I go on? You can find in every Islamic country examples of the constant ill-treatment, rape, murder of women.

    And all in the name of Islam, and all supported by so called moderate Muslims because they will not speak out against these evil deeds.
    I am getting more and more convinced that all Muslims hare in these atroicities because they enable and support them. They will not speak out against them, they will make up a non-existing sugarcoated version of Islam and try to convince us it is a religion of peace while it is nothing of the kind.

    I am getting so fed up with the fake Islam and fake Muslims who come here and whine and do intellectual acrobatics trying to make Islam look good, and try to stifle the filthy truth with sugarcoated garbage.

  366. @Aafke-art,

    First of all. I’m not Muslim, I’ve left the faith years ago. I am just as much of a critic of Islamic theocracy as you are, you on the other hand haven’t lived in a country where you are oppressed and ridiculed for your beliefs. I am a proud atheist, and my “Gods” are the the likes of Richard Dawkins, Neil Tyson Degrasse, Christopher Hitchens, etc.

    What I am personally tired of are blanket statements like yours, that perpetuate the myth that for every that this is a common practice. In some rural areas of Muslim countries that could be the case, but what are the statistics? What is that based on? I am from Saudi Arabia, I’ve lived here. The state which women are in is one that I’m not happy with, and is downright appalling. But you are heavily biased in your criticisms of Islamic countries, that’s why when some people know I’m from Saudi Arabia, they are hesitant to offer me a beer or engage in a good heartfelt conversation. It’s due to those blanket statements that the average person that knows next to nothing about the affairs of the Arab, and Islamic world would assume rapes happen left and right in ALL those countries, and after the women is raped she will ALWAYS be killed.

    Another example of my distaste for how punishments are dealt with in Saudi Arabia is in direct contradiction with the case of the Qatif girl. Some years ago a girl was raped while being recorded, the video went viral. The rapist was beheaded, and that is something I am vehemently against. The idea of capital punishment, and any other forms of those punishments do not act as deterrents, but I can see the economic upside of not housing inmates for life as opposed to capital punishments.

  367. Here is a little something to read regarding the subject of rape in Islam and of having four witnesses:

    Rape in Islam

    In Islam, we are not allowed to tarnish the honor of anyone. One is required to produce four witnesses when making an allegation of adultery against another person; otherwise, one will be guilty of slandering.

    A raped woman is a victim that must be treated with honor and kindness. She is not required to produce four witnesses to prove the crime done against her, nor is she punished for the crime done against her.

    In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

    If a person makes an allegation of adultery against another person (male or female) he or she must produce four witnesses to support such an allegation; otherwise, he or she is guilty of slandering, which is a grave offense in Islam, for we are not to tarnish the honor of anyone.

    A woman who has been raped cannot be asked to produce witnesses; her claim shall be accepted unless there are tangible grounds to prove otherwise. To insist that she provide witnesses is akin to inflicting further pain on her. If anyone refutes her claim of innocence, the onus is on him to provide evidence, and she may simply deny the claim by making a solemn oath, thus clearing herself in public. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The onus to provide evidence falls on the one who makes a claim, and the one who denies (the same) can absolve himself or herself by making a solemn oath to the contrary.”

    As for a spouse who witnesses his or her partner committing adultery and the other party denies it and they are unable to provide witnesses, they are, if they so desire, to part company by repudiating each other by engaging in what is known as a solemn oath and prayer of curse (li`an). It is described thus in the Quran: “And those who accuse their wives, and have no witnesses but themselves, then the testimony of each of them shall be a testimony sworn by God repeated four times, that he is indeed truthful. And the fifth (oath) is that God’s curse be upon him if he is lying. And it shall avert punishment from her that she testify a testimony repeated and sworn by God four times, that he is lying. And a fifth (oath) that the wrath of God be upon her, if he has spoken the truth” (An-Nur: 6-9).
    Peace.

    Here is proof form the Qur’an that the four witnesses are to be produced by the man and NOT by the woman in the case of accused adultery:
    “The [Unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse— lash each one of them with a hundred lashes, and do not be taken by pity for them in the religion [i.e. law] of Allaah, if you should believe in Allaah and the Last Day. And let a group of the believers witness their punishment. The fornicator does not marry except a [female] fornicator or polytheist, and none marries her except a fornicator or a polytheist, and that [i.e. marriage to such persons] has been made unlawful to the believers. And those who accuse chaste women (of adultery) and then do not produce four witnesses — lash them with eighty lashes and do not accept from them testimony ever after. And those are the defiantly disobedient. Except for those who repent thereafter and reform, for indeed Allaah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Quran 24: 2-5]

    I’ve also add the following hadith:

    Sahih Al bukhari: 58; 44 number 1757.
    Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas (RA):
    Hilal bin Umaiya accused his wife of committing illegal sexual intercourse with Sharik bin Sahma’ and filed the case before the prophet (saw). The Prophet (saw) said to (Hilal), “either you bring forth a proof (four witnesses) or you will the legal punishment (lashes) on your back.” Hilal said, “Oh Allah’s messenger! If anyone of us saw a man over his wife, would we go to seek after witnesses? The Prophet (saw) kept on saying, “Either you bring four witnesses or you will receive the legal punishment (lashes) on your back.” Hilal then said, “By Him who sent you with the truth, I’m telling the truth and Allah will reveal to you what will save my back from legal punishment.” Jabrael (Gabriel) came down and revealed to him:- “as for those who accuse their wives…” (V.24:6-9). The prophet (saw) recited it till he reached “… (Her accuser) speaks the truth. Then the prophet (saw) left and sent for the woman, and Hilal went (and brought) her and then took the oaths (confirming the claim). The prophet (saw) was saying, “Allah knows that one of you is a liar, so will any of you repent?” Then the woman got up and took the oaths and when she was going to take the fifth one, the people stopped her and said “It (the fifth oath) will definitely bring Allah’s curse on you (if you are guilty).” So she hesitated and recoiled (from taking the oath) so much that we thought that she would withdraw her denial. But then she said, “I will not dishonor all through these days.” and carried on (the process of taking the oaths). The prophet (saw) then said, “Watch he; if she delivers a black-eyed child with big hips and fat shins then it is Sharik bin Sahma’s child.” Later she delivered a child of that description. So the prophet (saw) said, “If the case was not settled by Allah’s Law, I would punish her severely. [6:271-O.B]

    As for rape, I haven’t gotten around to that yet. But it is agreed upon by many scholars that rape is to be treated the same a highway robbery. And the punishment for highway robbery is to cut off the hands and feet on opposite sides. I will do a bit more research on the subject. :)

  368. @Aafke-art,
    “What I am personally tired of are blanket statements like yours, that perpetuate the myth that for every that this is a common practice. In some rural areas of Muslim countries that could be the case, but what are the statistics? What is that based on? I am from Saudi Arabia, I’ve lived here. The state which women are in is one that I’m not happy with, and is downright appalling. But you are heavily biased in your criticisms of Islamic countries, that’s why when some people know I’m from Saudi Arabia, they are hesitant to offer me a beer or engage in a good heartfelt conversation. It’s due to those blanket statements that the average person that knows nex t to nothing about the affairs of the Arab, and Islamic world would assume rapes happen left and right in ALL those countries, and after the women is raped she will ALWAYS be killed.”

    That’s exactly why I stopped talking with this individual; there is just no reasoning with such a person. :(

  369. ‘As Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens, is famously quoted as saying “Thank God I learned about Islam before I met Muslims”.’

    excerpt from,

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/muslimahinprogress/2011/09/why-would-i-leave-islam.html

  370. There are actually lots of people who have said the same. Lol

  371. @Mike – ‘As for rape, I haven’t gotten around to that yet.’

    Yeah, well, that’s too bad since all that you HAVE copied here hasn’t answered the question which was: Mike, I wonder how all those raped women end up getting punished for having illegal sex if, as you say, her word is taken as truth.

    ‘It’s due to those blanket statements that the average person that knows nex t to nothing about the affairs of the Arab, and Islamic world would assume rapes happen left and right in ALL those countries, and after the women is raped she will ALWAYS be killed’

    I wouldn’t at all think that from Aafke’s ‘blanket statement’ but I know that some women consider unwanted man handling and groping like being raped and that DOES happen left and right. But perhaps you don’t know about that since you aren’t the one being groped.

  372. Those who punish women for being raped do so out of pure ignorance. If you can find proof in the Qur’an or hadith that clearly teaches the punishment of raped women, I will happily admit that I was wrong about everything. :)

  373. Only one thing is for certain when a woman in a Muslim country has been raped. That is that she had sex outside of marriage. And that is against the law. The rest is up to her to prove. You have not shown us anything to prove YOUR statement where you said that the raped woman is to be automatically believed and she doesn’t have to have 4 witnesses to prove that he raped her. We are still waiting for you to come up with your proof.

  374. I wanted to prove that you guys had the 4 witnesses thing all wrong. Also, all that women being killed for being raped is total propaganda. Do you guys seriously believe that they don’t use forensics and DNA testing in this part of the world? Don’t believe everything you see in the media. I’m done with this. No matter how much proof I provide, you guys will continue to look for ways to twist things. Take care, all of you. :)

  375. @Mike – ‘The woman who says she’s been raped, her word is to be taken as thruth unless proven otherwise. I will send a full text on the subject soon inshallah.’

    You don’t want to prove yourself and you want to try and turn it around and then you suddenly get tired and have to leave. LOL

    ‘Perhaps you are just so egotistical that you just can’t being proven wrong? :-)’ (your words)

    Cracks me up!

  376. @Lynn

    It wasn’t directed just at Aafke, but statements in a similar vein that are always found. I personally have nothing against her, I think she’s a brilliant artist, and her fondness for her horses just makes me like as a person even more.

    You’re right, I don’t know how it feels to be groped. I can’t say that I’ve witnessed it personally, but when I was younger my ex-girlfriend used to vacation in London, and was groped by guys from the gulf in crowded areas.

    My current girlfriend right now is Canadian, we’re currently doing the whole long distance thing, while I finish my degree in the States. She works as a waitress, and she always bitches about the same exact thing. A slap on the ass every now and then, especially after management recently changed their uniforms. She knows she can follow up with the manager and not take that shit, but it’s going to cut into her tips. It’s the nature of some guys, there or elsewhere. I haven’t seen waitresses being groped either, just like I haven’t seen girls groped in front of me during my time in Saudi Arabia, but I’m sure it happens.

    I’m curious about you had blanket statements in quotes. Thanks.

  377. I just had it in quotes because they weren’t my words and I don’t necessarily agree with the complaint against her. But perhaps that’s because I am used to her ways and no, she is in NO way wishy washy about her feelings ;-) Her opinion is no more ‘biased’ than any other person’s opinion is, but at least her opinion is based on actual knowledge where there are those who you will find that are hugely biased and it ends up that they are just talking out of their asses because they can’t back up their own words. LOL. You won’t find that with Aafke.

  378. @Lynn

    Never said she was wishy washy, just that she is biased. I butted heads with plenty of people when I was younger, and it took me awhile to realize when it comes to religion, it’s a matter of faith. I can’t persuade anyone out of it, I know the Hadiths are historically unreliable, just as much as the gospels. People of faith back up their own words via scripture, it’s not about what they believe in. I said she is biased, just like I’m biased against Amazonian rituals, because I’ve never experienced it. I can read about it, I can see videos about it, but if you’ve never been around it, you’re going to have a certain bias.

  379. What you said was ‘But you are heavily biased in your criticisms of Islamic countries, that’s why when some people know I’m from Saudi Arabia, they are hesitant to offer me a beer or engage in a good heartfelt conversation.’

    What does that mean? It sounds to me like you think she is not entitled to have her opinions because people won’t offer you beer? Seriously? LOL I don’t think you could blame Aafke or any other ‘biased’ person for you not getting offered beer. Perhaps you should bring your own beer and offer it to others so they will realize that you DO enjoy beer. ;-)

    I think you should replace the words ‘heavily biased’ with ‘have very strong opinions’. The word ‘biased’ leaves the impression that her beliefs/opinions have no real value. Know what I mean?

  380. Mike, yours is a very unimaginative defense of the Islamic law on rape. Not very convincing, really. Notice this quote (24;4): “And those who accuse chaste women [of adultery] and then do not produce four witnesses….”

    Notice the words in brackets “[of adultery]“. They were not, I assume, in the original but added for “clarification” sake. That is, the author assumes what he wants to find. Presumably the Arabic word is “zina” which does not translate as “adultery” so much as sexual misconduct generally. After all, this story originates with Aisha and no one would have ever suspected Aisha had committed adultery (or had been raped). It was about slander and sin, not rape or adultery.

    The article does not say that four adult male eyewitnesses are not necessary. Your example is off because the man confessed. If he had not, then what? No punishment. How many rapists confess?

    The problem was that she was raped and got pregnant. She was them with child and unmarried. Clearly zina. Her rapists did not confess. So who is punished? The innocent. Mike, that is how it happens and this happens a lot because of a stupid, vile, evil, unclear, poorly thought out rule in your perfect book.

    The fact that you and even other moderate Muslims (but thankfully not many here at AmBedu) spend time and effort to defend an immoral, stupid law is what is wrong with Islam. The fact that you argue that women are not subjugated and abused under Islamic law shows willful deceit.

    You may argue that the law is misunderstood and wrongly applied, and that may be, but the fact is that it is vague and ambiguous enough for these things to happen. Like I said, if Allah liked little girls she would have written a better Quran. With 100 additional words to clarify this issue, this type of tragedy could have been prevented.

    As to rape, get real. Once again you prove you haven’t read the hadith. Try these passages:

    (Bukhari 3.46.717): “I wrote a letter to Nafi and Nafi wrote in reply to my letter that the Prophet had suddenly attacked Bani Mustaliq without warning while they were heedless and their cattle were being watered at the places of water. Their fighting men were killed and their women and children were taken as captives; the Prophet got Juwairiya on that day. Nafi said that Ibn ‘Umar had told him the above narration and that Ibn ‘Umar was in that army.” (see also Muslim 019. 4292). So they captured the women, then what…
    So what does Bulkhari also say? We went out with Allâh’s Apostle for the Ghazwa of Banu Al-Mustaliq and we received captives from among the Arab captives and we desired women and celibacy became hard on us and we loved to do coitus interruptus. So when we intended to do coitus interruptus, we said, ‘How can we do coitus interruptus before asking Allâh’s Apostle who is present among us?” We asked (him) about it and he said, ‘It is better for you not to do so, for if any soul (till the Day of Resurrection) is predestined to exist, it will exist.”

    In other words, don’t worry about them getting pregnant. Just rape and that is that! They are only captives and slaves, and infidel at that.

    Here is a story from Abu Dawud (2:2150): “The apostle of Allah sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the apostle of Allah were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Quranic verse, “And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess”.

    This is, of course, Quran 4:24 which allows Muslims to rape infidels, married or not. Note that men were ashamed of their actions but this did not bother their leader.

    I could easily argue that at least one of two wives (Safiyah and Juwairiya) was raped by Mohammad on their wedding night, based upon the narrative. In any case, your prophet took these two women 1 or 2 nights after murdering their husbands, an immoral act if there ever was one and in violation of the Quranic verse that requires a 4 month wait for a widow to remarry – not that Gabriel wouldn’t have appeared with a special permission for somebody, had this issue been raised.

    Mike it is people like you, probably good people, that cover for evil. If you don’t believe that Islam has grave problems, it is not going to change except get worse. AA is right, you are an enabler. We are doomed.

  381. @Lynn

    You’re always looking to pick a fight, I made it clear that I meant said generalizations, lead to that opinion. Again I used the word some, I made plenty of good friends here in Oregon at the bars near my apartment, but I’ve dealt with said biases. People are naturally biased when the information they read is available on a new platform, the world is evolving in the developed countries. The “average Joe” of Saudi Arabia isn’t one for English, or commenting on English blogs. Again she is heavily biased, just like I am to cultures I’m not familiar with, and that’s okay. I’m just a bit sensitive to this issue because it regards my culture, and my people. It just fucks my mind to think that Muslims are apologetic to the atrocious crimes that are reported in the media. Do you honestly think my father would stay quiet if my sister was raped, and then tortured? My father did not speak to me for two years, but he’s eventually coming around to the fact that I’m not Muslim. My mother still doesn’t speak to me, but she’ll come around in due time. All I’m saying is that we’re all comforted by our own abode, and we have the convenience of the Internet to reaffirm our beliefs. We just go to google, and we’ll have plenty of sites proving that we’re right. Whether it’s the existence of a higher being, or aliens.

    Again I respect Aafke, but blanket generalizations of all kinds really do hurt people, you might not see it, but I do. I am heavily biased to foreign cultures, but I don’t play to ethnocentrism, because I have no say in the matter. When I was younger I figured all Mexicans were gang bangers, and even as a kid I could cite information that would prove me right. But Mexicans, or any south Americans have pride in the work they do, and the few do not represent the majority. I know I’m an anomaly when it comes to Saudi Arabians, but it is what it is. That is why I make sure to be specific when I criticize something, noting the specific people or the country. I don’t want my words taken any other way. I’ve got nothing but love for people, and even when people are a bit iffy when they find out where I’m from, I’m okay with that, because I’ve got patience, and after a couple of minutes we’re doing shots, even though I’m a bit too old for them. But hey, I can never say no.

  382. ‘Again she is heavily biased, just like I am to cultures I’m not familiar with, and that’s okay. I’m just a bit sensitive to this issue because it regards my culture, and my people. It just fucks my mind to think that Muslims are apologetic to the atrocious crimes that are reported in the media.’

    Sorry, I just can’t make much sense out of what it is you are trying to say. You accuse her of being ‘heavily biased’ but you agree with what she says? Seems like one of those situations where ‘I can talk about it because they are MY people but you can’t even though your knowledge is based on FACT’.

    Also not everyone is biased against cultures that are not their own. I have too many examples of the OPPOSITE being true, especially when we are talking about ‘reverts’ , ya know what I mean?

  383. @JC..totally agree with ure views on Aafke
    @Lynn..”especially when we are talking about ‘reverts’”
    u gotta drag the reverts into it every time don’t ya? :)

  384. Actually this thread IS about “reverts”- so no one is dragging anything in.

    However I propose we all refuse to use that word.

  385. I, too, find the word revert offensive. Who has the right to assume that I am a muslim at birth but I just haven’t figured that out yet. To me that is very close to what Mormons did with Jews who had passed…they baptized them after the fact as Mormons…WTF?? who has that right to make that determination for someone else without their consent.

    ‘As Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens, is famously quoted as saying “Thank God I learned about Islam before I met Muslims”.’

    I find the above statement very troubling. In every faith there are people who don’t do what they should, who don’t live like their books tell them to. Naughtiness and backsliding is in every faith. But I have heard that statement so often on these blogs from Muslims. My question is what the hell good is a faith, any faith, if it is possible to make a blanket sweeping statement like I often hear Muslims make? Why does the faith exist at all if no one (as per this sweeping statement) follows it like they should? I am not saying Christians don’t backslide but I have never heard a Christian say “thank god I knew about Christianity before I met Christians.” Even then, those that identify as Christian but don’t go to church etc would not call themselves devout.

    This whole concept that Islam is perfect but Muslims all over the world don’t practice it to me is a bit odd. Why hold a faith to a standard of perfection that clearly very few can attain? For a Christian if he doesn’t follow his faith he KNOWS he is not following his faith. But many Muslims don’t even know that they are not following their faith…they think all the tribalism etc. is Islam. That the way Sharia is applied today is Islam. If few can practice the faith correctly what makes them any different than anyone else? Wasn’t Mohammed sent to the world as a prophet to correct the “misguided” Christians who had messed up God’s faith and to set everyone right? Didn’t he bring Islam to correct the mistakes humans had made? I seems very very clear that Muslims are being hypocritical when they say that about Christianity when they themselves have twisted Islam to such a degree that they aren’t even aware that they are not adhering to the precepts. Or what are supposed to be the precepts.That being the case what makes Islam any more perfect or wonderful than any other faith. It is clear that no matter who the prophet people can’t get it right so why say Islam is the final message? Seems to me there is a need for another messenger to come down and set Muslims straight since we had the Muslims to set us confused Christians straight. (cue sarcasm).What does it say about a faith whose adherents are glad they discovered the faith before they discovered the followers?

  386. I think the older a religion is the more easy going it is . The newer religions have something to prove . hence the term reverts, strict adherence and lots of people not understanding the practise of it.
    in another 10 to 20 centruries when another new one comes into existance this will also become easier to practice.

    Not sure it makes sense to anyone but it does to me. There is no one perfect way to practice a religion, it’s between the practitioner and god… in islam i assume it should be the same way, why put the prophet in between you and god. he just came to show the way .. that’s it.

    I think everyone’s way is a good way, F is a muslim, he is vastly different than many other muskims i know inboth the way he lives his life and practices islam, does that make him a good muslim or bad one ?? who knows who can judge?
    So maybe he doesn’t follow everything verbatim in the koran, he follows his interpretation of the koran. not any other human’s .

    I don’t think muslims are wrong or following it incorrectly , i just think it being a newer religion ( in the bigger scheme ) people are more judging, and want to grow their numbers and hence all this angst.

    personally i find those that portray themselves as the more pios muslims more judgemental, but again if i were married to a christian i would probably find the pious ones there judgemental as well.

    The key is to ignore and not let it affect you. I think some of them just feel bad that i snagged a good catch , F is lost to a muslim lady :-) see everyone can twist things anyway they want :-)

  387. @Oby,

    ‘As Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens, is famously quoted as saying “Thank God I learned about Islam before I met Muslims”.’

    I agree that the statement above is very concerning. What is worse is Muslims repeat the statement above or something similar to it, as verification of the goodness of their religion. What they miss is the clear implied prejudice. The statement implies that over 1 Billion people who call themselves Muslims are bad in some way. These same people get real upset and accuse you of being prejudice when you argue that may be it is not the people who are bad, but the dogma they follow which causes such evil.

  388. @MoQ..

    Hey good to see you! Actually you touched upon something that I thought about but didn’t say. That is very controversial. I have thought about that myself. You hit the nail on the head with the prejudice comment. That is very unfair to the people yet they would rather be thought of as bad than look at their own dogma. And I think it also causes great guilt/stress that they can’t measure up. For my way of thinking, even if the dogma is bad as some Christian dogma is as well (who also feel the same way about being imperfect), if people can select to not follow the bad dogma, leave it behind and reject it then I think that is most one can hope for. The idea that people will wholesale abandon their faith is pretty slim, but if they can follow the good stuff and reject the bad that might have a tampering effect. And as in Christianity I think a lot of muslims do follow the good. But I think that since it is perfect for all time and everyone they have locked themselves into a position of immobility. All religions fux and flow. To keep one stagnant and rigid means the people have to bend to the faith…not have the faith adapt to the times.

  389. @Moq and Oby,
    I completely understand what you are saying. And as a Muslim I frankly have no answer for it- so I won’t even try. It’s quite a discouraging situation, though I think what is implied is that they are “misguided” rather than “bad in some way”. I still maintain hope that with education and exposure will come reformation and enlightenment. Meanwhile- I think I’ll go make some caramel corn and get ready to watch Survivor with my kids!

  390. oby…the misconception that Islam is perfect is made redundant by the fact that very few muslims can “live up to it”. Actually, the fact is that most of them are living about as good a life as a muslim as they can or want too. Many many muslims are just plain ignorant of what’s actually written in there..then they rely on scholars and imams who have made corrupting it in favor of personal agendas and arab culture a priority…and many muslims don’t know the difference.

    I place the blame…not on muslims (who are bad examples of what islam is supposed to be) but on god who mad so much of the quran ambiguous (giving too much leeway in interpretation..instead of using a word that can mean separate as well as beat…use a word that means JUST separate to prevent controversy and excuses given..etc). Once I opened my eyes and really read the quran…without believing stars in my eyes…and read the hadith and literature about it all etc…I pretty much gave up on it because I found more negative than positive aspects of it. The “good bits” are few and far between…even though those are the bits muslims hold up as proof that islam is from god and is perfect and fair and equal to all.

    The fact that god could not…with all those words and all those chapters…even once say that…even if you dont believe in me..as long as you lead a good moral life…everything will turn out all right…proves to me that he is just a selfish egotistical god that demands worship, devotion and obedience according to his contrary rules…or else suffer his wrath. Whatever…that doesn’t sound like an all loving all merciful god to me.

    And the fact that he could turn cities upside down, split the sea, flood the earth, and create the damn universe supposedly…but can’t prevent a child from getting and dying from cancer, a woman from being raped, a drop of blood from being spilt in his name…or even if he can he chooses not to “get involved”…is reason enough for me to call him on his bullshit. Why should we worship a god that can’t even answer a simple prayer…protect my children. That is all..protect my children.,,,but then again… he couldnt protect his own child…why should I expect him to protect mine?

  391. Hi Obey, good to see you too. I have been away for sometime and glad to see all the regulars are still here. With the Holiday season things get slow at work and may be I can comment more :)

    Anyway, I do have many Muslim friends and that statement from Cat Stevens is one of the most insulting I hear about Muslims. The problem is that Muslims are looking for celebrity converts (or reverts for those who prefer that term :) ) to help with marketing the religion that they do not even think about it.

    Additionally the man supports many evil acts like the Fatwah to kill Salman Rushdie, which has gone unnoticed by the media as he tries to rebuild his singing career. Just another bad character hiding under the cloak of his religion.

  392. @Sandy – ‘Actually this thread IS about “reverts”- so no one is dragging anything in.’

    Isn’t that a hoot?! That’s what I get for trying to stay on subject! LMAO!

    ‘As Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens, is famously quoted as saying “Thank God I learned about Islam before I met Muslims”.’

    I too have always had a hard time understanding how that could be a something to be proud of. Those same people would probably chastise us if we were to say something ‘biased’ about the religion or it’s people, eh?

  393. @MoQ – About damned TIME you show up. You go and leave us ignorants here to discuss a religion that we CLEARLY know NOTHING about (according to those who disagree with us ;-)) and then you just pop in all of a sudden so that YOU can be the 3 Millionth comment. Oh HAIL no!! That prize is MINE!

  394. @Lynn,

    How dare they argue. Don’t they know that your official title is “Dr Lynn, Queen of All Things” ?

    And of course as a loyal subject I will give up all rights prize to the Queen, if I somehow break protocol and step in front of the queen for the 3 millionth comment….

  395. Thank you MoQ. I’m sorry, I should have known better than to think that you might have forgotten who I am. You make me so proud. ;-)

  396. Mahatma Ghandi once said I like your Christ I do not like your Christians

    In the US there are a lot of Christians that imo give Christianity a bad name. If I had come to Christ through some denominations I might said the same as Cat Stevens about Christians. “Reverts” (blech ) remind me of some uber Mormons that are often converts. I call it convertisis as those converts seem to need to prove themselves better then the rest. Its a matter of fear imo where converts SEEN as just as good as born in the covenant Mormons. Its insecurity in some and a power trip on others. I think you will find the same thing in other religions.

    The people who use the term reverts in my experience tend to be Salafis who think they are the “true” Muslims. *roll eyes* Many generational Muslims imo tend yo be more laid back as they dont feel a need to have to prove anything .

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