Islamoskepticism or Islamophobia

Religions have many aspects to it,what matters for growth is that it comes down to being able to take criticism. If criticism leads to complex arguments, then depending on the nature of those arguments one can make progress, provided they can atleast temporarily keep the religious side interested with the belief that they do have a chance to come through.  So there has to reach a (seemingly) stable equilibrium between the critics and the believers. If this isnt possible then religious believers might find it difficult to sustain belief.

Islam truly is poor in its resources compared to other religions, it is precisely for this reason for its comparative poverty in its expression. Because it is anchored to Mohammad. we need to first find a way to compare between different religions, our understanding of this phenomena of “religion” has been shaped  largely due to christian/western worldview and its impact on how other systems of belief are perceived.Reason why we have many new world isms (Shintoism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Sikhism,Jainism, Buddhism). So lets compare instead by many making different criteria to see where they stand.A kind of card, too many red cards and that religion is the worst. On inequality, Hinduism is worst, on freedoms to criticize , Christianity/Islam are worst, on use of violence for conquest, Islam is again the worst with concept of “Jihad”,so is Christianity. political ambitions,theologically for expansion bringing them into conflict with others, Christianity,Islam are worst.Just look around for christian and Muslim expansion in last 1000+ yrs by both.   Finally we can come to the central pillars of religions which have founders, Jainism Mahavira,Buddhism Buddha, Christianity Jesus,Sikhism ,Islam Mohammad.

Of them Mohammad is the worst example.  Any acceptance of criticism of religion leads to criticism of texts and criticism of founder, while for all other religions, its mostly criticism of texts they need to largely deal with, In Islam, one ends up have to deal with criticism of Mohammad as well over all others.  Growth is possible if realistic outward possibilities through texts and examples are readily available to meet some basic defense for criticism.

In absence of which this attempt becomes futile. Islam is modeled around Mohammad as the central character, it largely is a footnote to Mohammad. While for other religions it takes many more steps to put believers in spot of trouble, in Islam all it takes is criticism of Mohammad . He is the central pillar of Islam. All it takes is just 2 steps, one to allow criticism of Islam, 2, criticize Mohammad.

People wont follow the common rules if it is very clear to them that to follow those rules of engagement is complete defeat to them. Second, if there were indeed possibilities for growth , if there were indeed real theological resources  to deal with their predicament, they would have been pursued already . If Mohammad killed no one and captured no one as sex slave. I ask you all? .Would we even be discussing this at all this day in 2018?

My answer is no. After all, remove Mohammad and all there are  is texts, which is similar to other religions. The difference is Mohammad. Here too there is a difference in terms of values of asceticism which exists in Buddhism,Hinduism,jainism, monks in Christianity stand as exemplars of being men who control their desires. Here too Islam is different, asceticism is not an Ideal in Islam. Ideal is Mohammad . who pursued conquest and sexual predation of non muslim women.

 

If Mohammad is the central pillar of Islam and it is not possible to even make meaningful defense, then there really is little hope that muslims shall allow a criticism of Mohammad, because to accept criticism of Mohammad is to accept end of Islam itself. Why therefore must muslims allow criticism of Islam when it would mean this end?.  Again, If Mohammad was like Buddha, would we be discussing this?. No.

so on inequality, Islam does better than Hinduism, so Hinduism gets the red card. One ideals of asceticism, here again it gets the red card for it infact promotes polygamy which has bad consequences for society. An article on economist points to this. On political ideals, it calls upon conquest of world, jihad. it again gets a red card. One allowing criticism ,exploration of ideas, here too, it gets the red card. All other religions fall somewhere in between with lesser number of red cards. There is a reason beyond economics and politics which explains present world .  Poverty has terrible social implications but need not have terrible political implications in terms of democracy or relative political freedoms as example of India has shown. Those issues can be sorted with more economic growth. However on political rights, it is competition with in that lets it down.   I do not claim there can be no good muslims, But it is the feature of abrahamic religions that there will always be a fundamentalist branch waiting in the wings and if it survives long enough it will find opportunity to grow. That is the story of Wahhabism, it is also the story of why many liberals in America are stunned to find out why they ended up with Donald trump as president. Its because of evangelical support. These books are as the rhetoric of a prominent atheist goes to say are “engines of intolerance” that is they will keep erupting again and again.

As Islam can neither abandon Mohammad nor be willing to accept full criticism of Mohammad , they are stuck with very poor theological options that allows them the way to constructively dig themselves out of it.  As I pointed out in last article on “can all ideologies or religions can reform?”. Just because one has tweaked A, B, C, it doesnt mean everything can be tweaked. A belief system which regards Hitler as perfect man would break , succeed but not reform.

 

https://www.economist.com/news/christmas-specials/21732695-plural-marriage-bred-inequality-begets-violence-link-between-polygamy-and-war

 

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43 Replies to “Islamoskepticism or Islamophobia”

  1. https://twitter.com/asharfouch/status/974463258911440896

    Ali S. Harfouch
    @asharfouch
    Beirut | New York | Chicago MA in Pol. Theory (AUB) | RT ≠ Endorsement

    How Not To Defend Islam

    The only thing more dangerous than a Secular attack on Islam is a Secular defense of Islam. How often do we hear the defense “Islam and/or Muslims is not a monolithic faith/community” or “you cannot essentialize Islam and/or Muslims”?

    Now, in an age where Secularism has attained a sort of omnipotent status, it is not difficult to see why so many Muslims fall prey to this line of defense, regurgitate it and use the the overtly fetishized “pluralism” illusion in doing so

    The problem with this line of defense is that in stating that Islam is not monolithic or that we cannot essentialize Islam, it reinforce a fundamental Secular assumption: religion is a set of historical symbols and practices. It historicizes Islam through a Eurocentric rubric.

    Islam becomes “what Muslims do” – contingent and historical – as opposed to a transhistorical worldview grounded in revelation. Paradoxically, when Islam is reduced to “what Muslims do” we also give legitimacy to the very same ‘violent’ practices we sought to condemn.

    In the end, by using this line of defense, we surrender both our first/fundamental commitments (divinity of revelation) and our ability to critique un-Islamic practices. Basically, a lose-lose situation. In short, there is an essential Islam, dont be afraid to say it.

    Then the same guy retweets an article on Industry of Islamophobia.

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  2. Prophet Muhammad SAW had more than one wife. Is this “feminist” trying to say, that the Prophet SAW sinned?

    under an article where a feminist tries to tweak quran discounting mohammad’s polygamy.

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  3. Wolfdevon(ra)
    @kalifenreich
    Sunni Supremacist

    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Joined March 2018

    Remember, convert their families, marry their daughters, put hijab on them and make sharia the law of the land in the whole of Europe. Kara Boga reigns supreme! This is the natural order of the world, the Muslim Alpha Male over the beta wh*Tey

    Takbir ya ikhwan al muslimeen

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  4. Bharata, are you referring to the holy Koran, six Sunni Hadiths; and Sira?

    If so, you must understand that minority muslims either reject or de-emphasize the six Sunni Hadiths and Sira.

    Could you please provide Koranic quotes you disagree with or you have concerns about. I (and others) can share thoughts regarding these Koranic quotes.

    Mohammed pbuh had more than one wife; but this was in my opinion mostly for political alliances. Without the Sunni Hadiths and Sira . . . we don’t know why Mohammed pbuh married these wives. I would argue that that there isn’t evidence that Mohammed pbuh married them for lust or selfish reasons (if we disregard the Hadiths and Sira).

    There are more good muslims than you can imagine. Please watch Tarek Fatah:
    http://www.brownpundits.com/2018/01/17/why-do-nonmulims-mistreat-muslims-so-much/
    Is there anything you disagree with Tarek Fatah on? If so, will you agree to support Tarek Fatah and other good muslims in their contest with Islamists?

    What other choice do you have? Do you really want to wait until nuclear bombs are detonated on Moscow, Calcutta, Shanghai, Najaf, Quom, Ajmer, Europe, Toronto, Libya, the West Bank, São Paulo, Nigeria and other large global population centers? Can we really risk it?

    What other possible policy alternative do you propose other than to stand shoulder to shoulder with non Islamist muslims? Do you really think that nonmuslims can solve the Islamist challenge without the help of non Islamist muslims? I don’t.

    Why do you think dialogue–and protecting those who engage in dialogue–won’t work? This question is aimed at everyone . . . not just you.

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    1. Mohammad and his companions took sex slaves.

      https://www.meforum.org/articles/2014/muhammad-and-islam-s-sex-slaves

      This is Islam too, read dabiq of ISIS. To say these things no longer apply is idiotic

      //
      Bharata, are you referring to the holy Koran, six Sunni Hadiths; and Sira?

      If so, you must understand that minority muslims either reject or de-emphasize the six Sunni Hadiths and Sira.//

      Are you being silly? . The idea of de-emphasize is idiotic and is if anything more dangerous and sinister attempt to fool others and manipulate them. One should have the integrity to say, these are also aspects of Islam, they are evil, immoral and one must historicize them, that they didnt know better. That quran is not perfect word of God and go about bashing those who disagree to this view and throw them out of power and insult them until they go extinct, but it cannot happen . The evidence of religion that doesnt change is precisely that in full bloom of internet it uses it to orchestrate evil projects like ISIS rather than to become better by learning more.

      As for joining “good muslims”, this is the trap, one must hold people accountable for their bad ideas. I do not invite one good brother if his other brother is a serial killer or rapist into my home. In fact “good muslims” are anything but good, how else does one explain their failure? or they are good for nothing muslims, Like perveze hoodboy is, he is a brilliant physicist who nonetheless is really wasting away his life. He probably could have achieved more otherwise. Point is what do I care, my job is vigilance, my job is not apologetic’s or making theological arguments against Islam. My job is to perceive a pattern, have a heuristic that is useful to me and implement in a way that is beneficial to me. I dont have to get the history right or the quran right or anything, only the pattern of where the problem is coming from should be good enough reason to be vigilant. And hold the people concerned accountable, not get into emotional games of feelings being hurt or anything else.

      Why should you believe that some form of Islam has to be preserved at all, they can abandon it, go join and become buddhists or jains. My job is to care for myself and my community’s safety. Not to play refree in another community where the basic principles always shall ensure that bad muslims will always exist and rise again and again. The kashmiri pandits suffered from the people they knew. The yazidis suffered from their neighbors they knew. All one can do is constant vigilance and shame them otherwise. If shaming doesnt work and it clearly hasnt, that is the point. It really is not possible to shame fanatics, if the leader they wish to emulate as perfect man himself was a fanatic.That was the inspiration for ISIS. As for peace in the world is concerned, they are as responsible for it as others. Our job is to keep ourselves safe. Not to engage in scriptural gymnastics or be apologetic or pick sides. I believe there is no free will, all there is, is knowledge,ideas, social behavior of others that together impact us to change our mind. There is nothing more. People change their mind depending on their cultural make up, individual make up that together has either prepared them to transform or not. If people have invested in bad ideas , an entire civilization has invested in bad ideas, that is what it is. I do not share whiggish view of history, As I mentioned in my earlier article.

      http://www.brownpundits.com/2018/03/07/there-is-no-morality/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

      http://www.brownpundits.com/2018/03/09/are-all-religions-ideologies-reformable/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

      There is no morality, all there is are communities living by some set of rules,when they meet an aggressive group, it is incumbent on others to put heavy costs on them to change. Not to mollycoddle them, they are adults, they have brains, they can think. No one should expect to be treated better with out affording the same to others. This is what I view of brumby and any other group. The most righteous thing to do is to be bad to those who are bad, good to those who are good . And no, good here does not mean “good for nothing”, Which is what a lot of muslims are . If someone were to retort the same to Hindus, I will not rebut them. They have every right to be vigilant towards us as well.

      words like bigotry are nothing but attempts to emotionally manipulate people to disorient them to throw off criticism. It is perfectly alright to be a contrarian to a trend. It is my life, my freedom that is at stake. Why should it be wrong to be contrarian?. It is useful in stock market, it cant help find faults where no one is looking and often times if you get it right, the payoff or the cutoff to loses might be big enough that one might very well pursue the method that works. All there is to do is vigilance. Nothing more. And again, please be a contrarian to hinduism , christianity, marxism or anything else for that matter, It is your life and it is your freedom that matters most at the end of the day.

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  5. I really don’t want to get into a back and forth about “Islam” but this 4 wives thing is just too much:

    At a time of war when there were far more women around then men and there was no way to take care of all these women (it is the 7th century remember), The Prophet of God (peace be upon him) told his followers to marry more than one wife and to treat all 4 wives equally. This was how those women were going to get food and shelter and a respectable status in society. There was a particular emphasis on marrying widows.

    The stipulation to treat 4 wives equally (which is very difficult to do in practice) means that most Muslim men only have one wife. To be clear, this is the 21st century. I do believe if you are going to marry again, you should divorce the first wife. Of course, today many women are economically independent and have professions (like my own mother). They are not going to starve if their husband leaves them or they leave their husband. Even a few decades ago, divorced Pakistani women had no choice but to go back to their “maika” and live on sufferance of their brothers and their sisters-in-law. No wonder many chose to stay in bad marriages. There is a saying in your own Hindu culture where the parents of the bride say “You have left on the doli. Only come back on the funeral bier”.

    Hindus also had multiple wives until Hindu Family Law made that illegal. You also have a case in your epics of a lady who is married to five brothers at the same time (which seems rather incestuous no?).

    So those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

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    1. //I really don’t want to get into a back and forth about “Islam” but this 4 wives thing is just too much:

      //

      capturing women, making them sex slave is different from marriage of which I didnt mention.so it seems you just hallucinated an argument I never made. it was the arguments others made that I was pointing to. If this isnt clear. Read my article. Breathe, take your time and read slowly.

      Also, I keep hearing muslims say the degree of violence muhammad engaged in was small in numbers. If so, this makes no sense. The degree of violence one needs to engage in order to justify it possible to allow marriage of 4 women for some charity seems nonsensical. lets assume a tribe of 100 men and women are at fight with another of 100 men and women, assume 5o men died, leaving 50 men to support 50 other women from their tribe and 50 other women, so, even then one ends with about 3 women each to 1 man . That is 50% of total male population dying. There is no mathematical justification for this. Except lust of captured women who would be separated from their spouses. And this was allowed by Mohammad himself. Knowing too well that the husband of the captured woman was alive. No, it is perfectly alright and moral infact to attack errors of my tribe and me to attack yours. Take the criticism.

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      1. Life’s too short to be constantly on the attack. Mr. Bharatvanshi I will not be engaging with you in future. I’m going to have a chat with Zach about your constant Islamophobia. Perhaps some new ground rules will be established for this blog…

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        1. I have been invited by @omarali50, its for him to decide, I honestly do not care.

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          1. Fine, I’ll have a chat with Omar Ali. Islamophobia and disrespect for one particular religion is not on.

            I say the slightest thing about Hinduism and ten of you jump down my throat. I called Lord Hanuman a “monkey god” (he is a monkey no?) and Zach severely chastised me. Caste is an evil in Hinduism (Muslims who practice it learned it from Hindus) but Vikram jumped down my throat. So if it is not fair to criticize you guys, don’t you dare to criticize the Prophet of God (peace be upon him).

            Perhaps we can all try writing on topics other than religion for a while? Equal opportunity criticism.

            Peace.

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          2. I agree we should avoid pejoratives for all faiths.

            There is a difference between a critique (from a place of love) and attacks masquerading as hate speech.

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        2. Interesting, there was only two major Hindu-Muslim conflict in British India. The Mapilla riot in the Malabar and the Direct action day of 1942. In both cases, Hindus were at the receiving end and the Muslims were aggressors. It is reasonable to say that Pakistan was born out of Hinduphobia, as there was no violence against Muslims by Hindus during those days, it definitely can be defined as phobia (Fear without any rational reason)

          We have a defender and a person hailing from Pakistan complaining of Islamophobia, despite the fact that there are many, many acts of violence committed in the name of Islam, by Islamist, in many countries.

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          1. Prashant, there is an answer to your question; but I am afraid to give it for fear of being called “sectarian” yet again. The vast majority of said violence is by subsets of specific sects of Islam.

            The sad truth is that American and European nonmuslims are the ones who call me “sectarian” the most. Muslims rarely do.

            There are nonmuslim people who are part of the DC policy complex that regularly accuse anyone who favors assistance to the Iraqi Army or Afghan Army of being sectarian. I have been accused of being sectarian many times by nonmuslim Americans. It is like I keep needing to point out that I am not Yezidi, or Kurdish or twelver or sixer or Sufi or Tajik or Uzbek or Ahmedi or Bahai or whatever the heck else they think I am. These are uninformed nonmuslim fools who know almost nothing about the greater middle east, Islam, South Asia. They automatically accuse anyone who favors more aid to the Iraqi Army or Afghan Army of being pro Iran or some other caca meme conspiracy in a nasty way. Many Afghan Americans and Iraqi Americans are utterly disgusted by them.

            However American and European academic “scholars” are by far the worst in accusing people of being “sectarian” with respect to Islam. I don’t remember ever being called Islamaphobic by anyone. But that too is only a matter of time now that they are going after Maajid Nawaz and other prominent global muslim leaders.

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          2. Pakistan was not born of “Hinduphobia”. It was born because of the legitimate concerns of British India’ s Muslims (weighted representation, separate electorates) were ignored.

            How many Hindu-Muslim riots have there been in Independent India? Why was Babri Masjid torn down? What happened in Muzzaffarnagar?

            Perhaps look at your own record. It’s not very good.

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          3. Kabir, it appears to be a complete no no to mention the Islamic civil war or how Muawiyah and Yazid harmed minority and moderate muslims in front of North American and European nonmuslim academics.

            {Back before 2012 it was also a complete no no to mention Islamist violence against muslims in front of North American and European nonmuslim academics; but thank God that has changed. Even now some nonmuslim Americans flare up with great anger when I mention it.}

            Serious question. Have I ever come across as a pro Sufi/Shia partisan Sunni hater? Please let me know. I am always trying to improve myself.

            Kabir, since you are not living in the West now . . . you may not know this. Many Western Sufis, Shias and Ahmedis are now terrified of being called “Islamaphobic”. Its more a self censoring fear rather than something that happens to people. This is extremely recent. Only in the last two years. Something has gone badly off the rails.

            Many Sufi and Shia websites, social media accounts are frequently banned or temporarily suspected or demonetized because they are “Islamophobic.” I don’t know why this is happening. Could some rich Gulf people be behind it?

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          4. Prashant I have heard from people who have now passed away that India would have stayed together if Nehru allowed Jinnah to be the first PM of a united India. This is what Gandhi wanted and what probably most Indians wanted.

            Most of the older generation (who have now passed away) that I talked to wanted Jinnah to be the first PM of India and blame Nehru rather than Jinnah for the partition of India. This is my view as well. Jinnah was a deeply flowed, imperfect, and honorable man.

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          5. AnAn,

            You do come across as someone who is much more pro-Shia and “minority Muslim” (which I still don’t understand what that is supposed to mean) and who doesn’t like conservative Sunnis very much.

            Anyway, I’m so over talking about Islam. So I’m going to bow out now. You can find me on other social media if you are so inclined.

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          6. Kabir: How many Hindu-Muslim riots have there been in Independent India? Why was Babri Masjid torn down? What happened in Muzzaffarnagar?

            Dear Kabir, I was asking how many Hindu-Muslim riots were there before partition. You are pointing out how many were there after partition.

            You point to a man farther away in the crowd and tell me that that man is going to bash you up. Then you go over the man you have pointed out and bash him real good and he retaliates in kind.
            Now, you come back to me and tell “did you see Prashanth, I prophesied that the man would bash me up, didn’t you see that came out to be true!

            Here is a list of riots in Bombay from wiki:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_riots_in_Mumbai

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    2. I strongly agree with almost everything in your comment Kabir.

      Mohammed pbuh explicitly advised that one wife was best almost always. But if and only if it was absolutely necessary to marry more than once–no more than four wives was allowed. This was an extraordinarily feminist thing for Mohammed pbuh to have said in the early 600s AD. This was a very big deal for rich and powerful men at that time.

      bharata bharatavanshi–the sex slave references are almost entirely in the Hadiths and Sura. Minority muslims usually don’t accept these sections on sex slaves as applying today. Shiites often use really strong insults about these Hadiths and Sura which I will not repeat.

      It is possible that Mohammed pbuh took “sex slaves” not to have physical relations with them but rather to protect them from predators among Mohammed’s pbuh followers. How do we know that Mohammed pbuh didn’t treat them with the greatest of respect, honor and love? What makes you believe that Mohammed pbuh ever had lust for any sex slave or any of his later wives? [Khadija being a possible exception. Mohammed pbuh was only 25 when he married Khadija. Can you give him a break? Mohammad pbuh was born an imperfect flawed human with extraordinary unlimited potential. Mohammed pbuh kept improving, transforming, evolving and purifying himself as he got older. By the time he passed away, he had become a great spiritual master and prophet.]

      Minority muslims believe that these passages were added to the Hadiths and Sira by bad people who wanted to abuse woman.

      Bharata, you have no idea how much minority muslims disagree with the Hadiths and Sira.

      “If this isnt clear. Read my article. Breathe, take your time and read slowly.” I have asked Kabir to be respectful in the past. Bharata, is this line respectful towards Kabir? Would would happen if you said this to your own sister, cousin sister or niece? Might they get a tad bit violent with you. 🙂

      “Except lust of captured women who would be separated from their spouses.”
      What justification is there for this in the Koran itself?

      “And this was allowed by Mohammad himself.” Please quote the relevant section of the Koran.

      “Knowing too well that the husband of the captured woman was alive.” There are several stories you might be referring to in the Hadiths and Sira. Can you find examples in the holy Koran?

      “No, it is perfectly alright and moral infact to attack errors of my tribe and me to attack yours. Take the criticism.”

      You are right. Can you say “constructive feedback” instead of criticism?

      Bharata, if you want to discuss these issues, please carefully study the holy Koran. Shouldn’t we speak about the Koran with humility and respect–given how much we don’t know about muslim theology, scripture and spiritual experience?

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      1. Hazrat Khadija is the one who proposed marriage to the Prophet (he was of course not the Prophet at that time). She was his boss (Can you get more feminist than that?). Also, while she was alive, Rasul-Allah did not take another wife. That was how much he loved Hazrat Khadija. She was also the first person to accept his claim to Prophethood.

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        1. Agree completely with Kabir’s comment. I would say that Khadija accepted Mohammed pbuh as a prophet before Mohammed pbuh did. 🙂

          Ali was the second person to accept Mohammed as a prophet pbuh.

          The confidence that Khadija and Ali had in Mohammad pbuh was critical in helping Mohammed pbuh accept that his spiritual experiences and visions were authentic–and that he was not going crazy. Fatimah also frequently reassured Mohammed pbuh that his Samadhi experiences, visions and astral/causal travels were real and authentic.

          Bharata, these were great, great people. Do not mistake them for ordinary people. Be careful when thinking and talking about great ones. Try to understand them not; for they cannot be understood with the ordinary mind. They are mysterious. Love their mystery. Watch from afar with humility and attentiveness; and learn. Be aware. Be alert.

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          1. Abu Bakr Siddique I think was also one of the first to accept Islam. He was the Prophet’s best friend and later father-in-law.

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  6. // @anan
    bharata bharatavanshi–the sex slave references are almost entirely in the Hadiths and Sura. Minority muslims usually don’t accept these sections on sex slaves as applying today. Shiites often use really strong insults about these Hadiths and Sura which I will not repeat.
    //

    33:51] O Prophet, We have made lawful to thee thy wives whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesses from among those whom Allah has given thee as gains of war, and the daughters of thy paternal uncle, and the daughters of thy paternal aunts, and the daughters of thy maternal uncle, and the daughters of thy maternal aunts who have emigrated with thee, and any other believing woman if she offers herself for marriage to the Prophet provided the Prophet desires to marry her; this is only for thee, as against other believers — We have already made known what We have enjoined on them concerning their wives and those whom their right hands possess — in order that there may be no difficulty for thee in the discharge of thy work. And Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.

    https://www.alislam.org/quran/search2/showChapter.php?ch=33&verse=51

    [4:25] And forbidden to you are married women, except such as your right hands possess. This has Allah enjoined on you. And allowed to you are those beyond that, that you seek them by means of your property, marrying them properly and not committing fornication. And for the benefit you receive from them, give them their dowries, as fixed, and there shall be no sin for you in anything you mutually agree upon, after the fixing of the dowry. Surely, Allah is All-Knowing, Wise.

    [23:7] Except from their wives or what their right hands possess, for then they are not to be blamed;

    All this from quran.

    Kahdija was a non muslim living in polytheistic society, mohammad married a rich woman and later in his years had many younger ones. Reminds me of lux luthor in superman.

    //It is possible that Mohammed pbuh took “sex slaves” not to have physical relations with them but rather to protect them from predators among Mohammed’s pbuh followers. How do we know that Mohammed pbuh didn’t treat them with the greatest of respect, honor and love? What makes you believe that Mohammed pbuh ever had lust for any sex slave or any of his later wives? [Khadija being a possible exception. Mohammed pbuh was only 25 when he married Khadija. Can you give him a break? Mohammad pbuh was born an imperfect flawed human with extraordinary unlimited potential. Mohammed pbuh kept improving, transforming, evolving and purifying himself as he got older. By the time he passed away, he had become a great spiritual master and prophet.]
    //

    There you have it gentleman and ladies, a non muslim engaging in apologetic for Islam. Apparently it is possible to have sex without lust. That one can treat captured woman whose spouse, family, all had been butchered and are totally powerless with very little autonomy and have sexual relations with them and still be defended as having being nice, Stockholm’s syndrome. And that really is the issue one needs to look at. One has to exculpate mohammad, try everything possible. Because a mohammad unreformed might very well be Islam unreformed.

    As Quran puts it.

    [33:22] Verily you have in the Prophet of Allah an excellent model, for him who fears Allah and the Last Day and who remembers Allah much.

    ISIS did take to the excellent model indeed.

    And why exactly must I give a break to mohammad?. If peace depends on non muslims having to give a break on mohammad while muslim fundamentalists take to the excellent example of mohammad, I think it would lead to horrible results to non muslims.

    As for asking people to breathe is now a problem?.
    “If this isnt clear. Read my article. Breathe, take your time and read slowly.”
    This is sensible advice to anyone, it means, take a moment, let things go, calm down and read.
    Words are not weapons, insults are not bombs and swords and I have vigorously debated with friends and family. respect is not a thing to be given, it is something to be earned .

    And kabir ,also anan, did you two consider the possibility of abandoning your religion?. please do consider it. you might be the better for it . I became an atheist and turned believer again, though in a different way, I am more on the side of nyaya. I see getting rid of delusions as necessary part of ethical life. I have read every possible worse interpretation of Hinduism that is based in fact rather than psychoanalysis and I am the better for it. I do not defend those who practice untouchabiilty, Infact if Hindus cant get rid of this evil in next 150 yrs, then it should die as well. People are membots, they go on and on as memes have hijacked their emotions, we are talking to automatons with no agency. Because there is no such thing as agency. All there is , as i have said it before. Is information, individual capacity and cultural/belief matrix that can either help transform for better or not. Some change for reasons alone, others change for morality. I have become atheist for both reasons. I have read what the likes of rajiv malhotra considers as “atrocity literature” And I am the better for it. One has to see the worst possible interpretation of one’s faith (provided it be on facts) and see if there is anything there at all to be salvaged. This is a test that I think should be subjected to all. Not to some in higher doses and others in lesser doses. This is what people like anan think should be the case for Islam. That somehow it should be on others to salvage it. Keep it alive. Why?. That is a question that should lead every muslim through a journey of self discovery, this is what I want. This is what I want for all religions everywhere. Not just their own, but of others as well. They should be as thoroughly informed as possible.

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    1. 33:51
      I am well aware of this verse Bharata and I am glad that you have taken the time to research it. Muslims (especially in India and North America and Quilliam) talk about it all the time. If you want a perspective on this, please ask spiritual muslims you respect. If you want to help muslims, give muslims the freedom to openly discuss verses like this and draw their own conclusions. Support the freedom of muslims. Support dialogue with Islamists. That is how extremism ends.

      What I will say is that at least this verse bans all muslims other than one person to do these things.

      4:25 and 23:7
      I am well aware of this verse to and other verses in the Koran about slavery. Again please fight for the right of muslims to freely discuss and share opinions on verses like it.

      Bharata, what appears to be is not what is. Seek what is. When the seeking is every moment . . . the hidden will be unveiled. Feel the breath inside the breath as Kabir said:
      You can google search this Sikh song: “saas saas simro gobind”
      May only the truth remain.

      “That is a question that should lead every muslim through a journey of self discovery, this is what I want. This is what I want for all religions everywhere. Not just their own, but of others as well. They should be as thoroughly informed as possible.”
      Then support freedom for muslims. Support dialogue.

      I think very highly of Rajiv Malhotra.

      Bharata I say read the poetry of masters and let the emotions overtake totally until only that is . . . and I am no more. Enjoy the silence and let the love of God take you over totally. The twilight between one thought and the next; between one breath and the next. Secret tunnels they are.

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  7. I am interested in salvaging civilization, not in salvaging some religious project. And it is obligatory that we all invest to this purpose to criticize each other’s religions as much as evenly as possible as Richarddawkins himself put it. The consequence of failing this is civil war in many countries and other horrors, then we might very well meet as enemies of tribes we defend . It is better to avoid going down that path in first place or atleast apply the principle of quarantine and let disturbance spread and bring many more into trouble.

    //

    @RichardDawkins

    Before we rejoice at the death throes of the relatively benign Christian religion, let’s not forget Hilaire Belloc’s menacing rhyme:
    “Always keep a-hold of nurse
    For fear of finding something worse.”//
    So if mr atheist richard dawkins himself is willing to consider the instrumental utility of christianity in opposition to something worse. I feel the same as well.

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    1. Bharata I deleted your sex slave comment because it was bullshit (apologies for being blunt).

      There are many atheists on this blog and we welcome all views.

      However no Muslim / Islamic society condones sex slavery.

      As Kabir points out I was upset at some of the language he uses and while he is open to dialogue we should be sensitive to his religion.

      If you want to repost the comment with links (rather than excerpts) that will be fine. And in a more querying format (to learn rather than to taunt).

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      1. Zachary, my anecdotal observation which might not be representative is that muslims frequently bring up the “sex slave” issue and have questions about it. I think it needs to be dealt with openly.

        Unfortunately the “sex slave” point has become part of the Islamic civil war. Shias (openly) and Sufis (more quietly) bring it up as a way to discredit very conservative Sunnis and to discredit the Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. Many conservative sunnis don’t like the accusatory tone and lash out at minority muslims and moderate Sunni muslims. So the Islamic civil war continues as it has for 1400 years.

        I think the only way to end the Islamic civil war is to openly and respectfully discuss every controversial aspect of Islam. Freedom will end the Islamic civil war. Freedom will set us free.

        However, in truth I am afraid to say what minority muslims and moderate Sunnis say about “sex slaves” for fear of being called sectarian. It has happened many times before. We don’t have freedom. This is the problem.

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  8. You also have a case in your epics of a lady who is married to five brothers at the same time

    That (polyandry) was a prevalent custom in the Kandyan kingdom till the 1800’s, the last bastion of the Sinhalese in the hill/mountains. The Brits outlawed the custom or basically recognized only one father. It was still prevalent even in the 1950’s in the deep hinterland of the Kandyan kingdom (Nuwara Kalaviya).

    Probably do my first post on the societal structure that supported those customs. Very different and stable family structure.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/02/when-taking-multiple-husbands-makes-sense/272726/

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    1. sbarrkum, if a girl wants to marry 5 husbands, what is wrong with that? Should she have the freedom to do that? What is wrong with girl power?

      Just asking.

      Some European woman have multiple lovers and that is acceptable in modern global cosmopolitan culture. If that is okay, why is a woman marrying multiple husbands worse? How is the wife oppressing her husbands or men? Her husbands are voluntarily marrying her.

      Draupadi had every right to marry 5 husbands and did nothing wrong.

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      1. Kabir, AnAn

        AnAn, did not say polyandry was wrong. To the contrary said it was the norm in Ceylon among the Sinhalese, We were quite happy and proud of the system, until the Brits brainwashed us.

        Paternity was hard to prove until the advent of DNA testing. So a society (and laws) where paternity is important, women cannot be free. A male would have to ensure the wife/wives does not have contact with other males. i.e. males would need to control the life of females.

        So Kabir, the Draupadi story may or may not have been fiction, but it was a social structure that was prevalent until the 1950’s in Sri Lanka, Nepal and some other Indian cultures.

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    2. My issue is not with the multiple husbands. There are matriarchies around the world (I remember that much from Anthro 101). My issue is with the fact that the husbands were brothers. That just seems really incestuous. But it’s a story so I’m not taking it all that seriously.

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      1. Kabir, you have the right to disagree with Draupadi marrying the 5 Pandavas. Hindus debate these issues all the time. And you are free to join in.

        Bharat Hindustan and Aryan Iran for thousands of years had strong matriarchal parts to it before Islam came to their lands. Many Iranians and Asians blame Islam for the degradation of woman in their countries. This is partly unfair. Jinnah (both Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Fatima) and many muslims fought hard for women’s rights [And of course Khadija, Fatimah and Aisha were powerful leaders]. But it is important to note that this is one large source of tension between muslims and nonmuslims.

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        1. I’m not going to get emotional about a fictional character and what she did or did not do. I believe she was raped as well?

          But I will say that in Islam a man cannot marry two sisters at the same time. There have been cases where after a man’s wife died, he married her sister. That is religiously permissible. I think it’s incestuous. Same with marrying your brother’s widow. I think that is really gross. Hamlet thought so too, hence the plot of the the tragedy. “Tis an unweeded garden that goes to seed. Things rank and gross possess it merely”.

          To be fair, Henry the VIII’s first wife was his dead brother’s widow. So it is something Christians used to do as well. I still think it’s really gross. Your “bhabi” should stay your “bhabi” and not become your wife.

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          1. “I’m not going to get emotional about a fictional character and what she did or did not do.”

            “I believe she was raped as well?” You mean some attempted to rape her in the Mahabharata but none of these attempts succeeded. I know you aren’t a Mahabharata scholar . . . but feel free to share where in the story you heard this happened.

            Sugriva married his older brother’s widow too (Ramayana).

            Understand why you find marrying a “bhabi” to be gross. Feels like marrying your sister or mom or aunt or niece.

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          2. In this day and age, it is quite possible to support your brother’s widow and her children without marrying her. Just saying.

            To be fair, in the play “Hamlet” only Hamlet is really weirded out that Gertrude married Claudius. Everyone else seems to be fairly cool with it. Maybe it was just part of the culture back then. But Prince Hamlet does go on and on about the “incestuous sheets”.

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          3. Moshe gave the law that a widow has to marry her husband’s brother. Isn’t there something similar called Devar Nyay in N. India that the widow is obligated to marry her younger brother -in-law and continue as daughter-in-law to the same house? This is not some secret knowledge. What is gross is you should not plot to kill your brother to marry his wife. 🙂

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    1. Bharata, I am a big fan of both the wise Veedu Vidz and Jordan Peterson. Veedu Vidz has scores of incredibly funny comedy skits. Please watch them.

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  9. hoipolloi, Yibbum is the right of of a widow. She has a right to force a male relative of her deceased husband to marry her and they have no choice in the matter. If out of kindness or inclination a widow chooses not to exercise her rights she can free her husband’s male relative through a ceremony called Halizah.

    hoipolloi is also right that widows have long married their husband’s brother in Hinduism–and not just Vanaras 😉

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    1. Bharata, are you a fan of Averroës like me? The muslim world has had many greats. The issue has never been muslims; but been Islamists. Islamists oppress muslims and nonmuslims alike. And too often nonmuslims have supported Islamists against muslims.

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