Why do nonmuslims treat muslims so badly (a)?

Two of the world’s greatest and most beloved muslim leaders and scholars discuss the holy Koran, Hadiths, Pakistan. They discuss what being a muslim means.

34 minutes in, they discuss how Imam Ali went to Usman (also written Othman or Uthman) and presented him Ali’s copy of the holy Koran, also called the book of Ali or book of Fatimah. These were Imam Ali’s and Fatimah’s notes on the Koranic versus as they were revealed. As an aside Dr. James White and Jay Smith discusses how the holy Koran was composed:

Quietly Islamic scholars discuss this frequently but are afraid to discuss this in public for fear of retaliation at the hands of Islamist extremists. Please also watch the exceptional Islamic scholars Abdullah Gondal and Abdullah Sameer discuss the formation of the holy Quran:

After discussing the holy Quran, Imam Tawidi and Tarek Fatah discuss how and why Raswa Hind was written right after the holy prophet Mohammed pbuh passed away; which called for the conquest of Arya varsha (Iran, Turan, SAARC and related civilizations in South East Asia) and Asia. Tarek Fatah’s next book–“The Hindu is Not My Enemy”–elaborates on this. Many muslims believed that Pakistan was prophesied  in the holy Koran and by Mohammed pbuh because of Raswa Hind. Pakistani psychosis is discussed.

They mention how the numbering system of the Koran comes from India and how several of the Hadiths were written by muslims long after Mohammed pbuh passed away when muslims came to India–including the Hadith on how male monkeys stoned a female monkey for engaging in physical relations without formalizing her wedding with a male monkey  (at that time monkeys only lived in greater India).

They discuss the nexus of soft Islamists and their nonmuslim collaborators that now greatly influence and control America, Europe and much of the world. They often intimidate, oppress and harm patriotic good muslims. One of the ways they do this by accusing good muslims such as Tarek, Imam Tawhidi and Maajid Nawaz of being Islamaphobes. They are banned from many networks, publications, newspapers; and are on no fly lists. But despite this attempt by nonmuslims and Islamists to stifle them; their popularity and legitimacy among muslims continues to soar.

After watching this video, please see this very interesting discussion between the wise compassionate Jaʿfari jurisprudence extraordinaire Imam Tawhidi and the great atheist Bengali Islamish scholar Mufassil Islam moderated by Lebanese Canadian heart throb Gad Saad:

Many Islamic versus and their interpretations are discussed. I am a very in the weeds detailed guy and would have liked a more granular conversation about Islam. On balance I liked Imam Tawhidi’s perspectives in this exchange.

Mufassil Islam is brilliantly smart. What I would say to Mufassil Islam is that the holy Koran is similar in some ways to art, opera, classical music, poetry. There are many stories within stories, sweetnesses within sweetness, wonders within wonders. These are figurative (versus literal) pathways to nonlinear moment to moment mystical experience; to what desis call prem ka rasa; or the sweetness of love.

Other related articles at Brown Pundits on this topic are:

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44 Replies to “Why do nonmuslims treat muslims so badly (a)?”

    1. Which one of the four ? I am huge fans of all four (and Sarah Haider too). While Sarah is brilliantly smart and brave . . . I don’t completely agree with her on everything. We are all free to read and interpret the holy Koran our own way.

      Many leading Islamic scholars quietly say what Imam Tawhidi and Tarek are saying about the way the holy Koran was composed, assembled and put together. I am sure you get what is being implied between the lines. [I want to be able to visit muslim majority countries 🙂 ] My hope is that Sarah Haider might be open to the possibility that this at least might be so.

      Mysticism, meditation, religion and spirituality are related in my opinion to the intricacies of the nervous system, unconscious brain, subconscious brain and conscious brain. Perhaps conscious influence over parts of the nervous system and brain can be achieved through mediation. I interpret some parts of the holy Koran from this perspective.

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  1. I am a fan of Imam Tawhidi. He represents a large faction of Shiites in Iraq, Iran, India, Australia, Canada and the US. This is true. I don’t think this means he is sectarian although Sunni Islamists often accuse Imam Tawhidi of sectarianism.

    While a large faction of Shiites have always liked Jews (and now Israel); that does not make them sectarian. 😉

    Of course from a certain point of view all religious people are sectarian from the perspective of some atheists. In that sense someone could categorize most people around the world as sectarian. We are all , myself included, are racist and sectarian from a certain point of view. ;- 0

    I have learned a lot about Islamic theology from Imam Tawhidi and love the way his mind thinks. Just because I like someone a lot doesn’t mean I agree with them on everything.

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  2. “Pakistani psychosis” is an offensive term. Please for the love of god stop using it. You all didn’t like it when I used “Indian psychosis” and that post was quickly deleted. You are no one to judge Pakistanis or the state of our psyche.

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    1. I have no objection to the term Indian Psychosis.

      Life is short – enjoy it!
      Life is a song – sing it!
      Life is a game – play it!
      Life is a challenge – meet it!
      Life is a dream – realize it!
      Life is a sacrifice – offer it!
      Life is love – enjoy it!

      May I quote Garib Nawaz?:
      https://wahiduddin.net/sufi/muinuddin_sayings.htm
      “The noise of the lover is only while he has not seen his Beloved. Once he sees the beloved, he becomes calm and quiet, just as the rivers are boisterous before they join the ocean, but when they do so, there are becalmed forever.”

      No offense is intended against the great and good Pakistani people. The world is on their side!

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      1. You are no one to judge who is a “good Muslim” or a “good Pakistani”. For the love of bhagwan, find a new bloody topic and leave Muslims alone.

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  3. As a non-muslim, indeed a non-South-Asian, might I be allowed a comment?

    The general perception is that some Muslims (not of course all by any means) agree with the traditional Islamic belief that there are three acceptable situations for non-muslims: possibly, kuffar is the right word.

    Converted to Islam.

    For some of them, accepting an inferior status and never disagreeing with Muslims.

    Dead.

    That being so, expecting the kuffar to actually like Islam is not altogether reasonable; though most of them will of course accept that individual Muslims may be thoroughly decent people.

    I don’t know if this helps.

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    1. this is a safe space for the kufar. you have liberty to speak. don’t let bent wig the lord of lahore intimidate you 😉

      DAR-AL-HARB FTW!

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    2. Well OK, but some Christians think that if you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior you are a “heathen” and are doomed to hell. All ultra-religious types are similar.

      The Orthodox Islamic belief is that every newborn baby is born a Muslim. Those who happen to have been born in non-Muslim households will obviously not be led down the right path and will face the consequences in the afterlife unless they convert (“revert” is the word they use).

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      1. Kabir says,

        but some Christians think that if you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior you are a “heathen” and are doomed to hell. All ultra-religious types are similar.

        Kabir, very insightful.

        Main stream/established Christianity (i.e. Roman Catholicism, Anglican (Church of England), Methodists are no longer part of proselyting organizations. The established denominations, (above) view Evangelical Christians as a low key threat. The Evangelical Christians view establishment denominations, specially the Roman Catholic church as heretics. Disregard the very public spectacles of working together. Evangelicals are US establishment. Billy Graham, Oral (thats a nice name) Roberts were all part of American presidential ambitions. Huge Unis built by their personal funds/donations.

        They may in public preach tolerance, in private and by actions its about heretics, unless of course they accept the “true word”

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        1. I just feel everything apart from Catholicism and Orthodox is not mainstream. If something is established roughly 1500 years after the religion is established can it be called “mainstream”?

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      2. Razib,

        You are acting like the rich guy in the village who keeps on bullying the poor guy in the village. Kabir, as we well know is not poor, but rich in emotion. Hopefully one day (he is very young), he will become emotionally entwined with the less fortunate. We scientific types are less emotional. May espouse the cause of the less fortunate, but most likely will be almost academic.

        To be honest, at times I get pissed of with Kabir with his emotional commitment to whatever his pet causes, impression of the world.

        Razib, take the high road.

        cheers sereno

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      3. Kabir: “some Christians think that if you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior you are a “heathen” and are doomed to hell. ”

        True enough. But there is room for a considerable amount of disagreement as to whether hell exists, and if it does who will go there.

        On the other hand, there is no disagreement possible as to whether this world exists, or to what some (not all by any means) Muslims think should be made to happen to non-Muslims in this world.

        Let alone what some (nabam) Muslims think should happen to ex-Muslims.

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        1. Christianity has been forced to secularize post the Enlightenment. I don’t think I need to remind you of the Crusades or how Ferdinand and Isabella basically expelled all the Jews and Muslims from Spain. They found refuge in the Ottoman Empire, which was comparatively tolerant.

          All ultra- religious people think theirs is the only true religion and everyone else is terribly misguided (to use nice words). This is not a particularly Islamic problem.

          As for “ex-Muslims”, Sharia has certain things to say about apostasy. There was a time when the Church did not regard heresy or blasphemy very kindly either. But Christian countries are now basically secular states. In Muslim countries, if you only nominally believe in Islam, it’s better to keep your mouth shut. If your father was Muslim, you are Muslim and explicitly renouncing Islam does have very negative consequences. I don’t particularly care what religion (if any) anyone follows, but Orthodoxy is very clear on the punishments for apostasy.

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          1. “All ultra- religious people think theirs is the only true religion and everyone else is terribly misguided (to use nice words). This is not a particularly Islamic problem.”

            This is an Abrahamic issue that doesn’t to my knowledge apply to the rest. Of course eastern thought is built on Sarva Dharma (infinite paths to one truth).

            “I don’t particularly care what religion (if any) anyone follows, but Orthodoxy is very clear on the punishments for apostasy.”

            Which religion other than Islam bans apostasy or leaving the religion? Perhaps Catholicism comes the closest with ex-communication. But that just means that Catholics avoid someone and doesn’t to my knowledge involve physical punishment. Please correct me if I am wrong.

            It is also important to note that many Islamish people all over the world strongly reject the idea of apostacy; so this is really a problem with Islamists and soft Islamists rather than muslims as a whole.

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          2. “Which religion other than Islam bans apostasy or leaving the religion?”

            Did you miss the entire history of Christianity where people were constantly declaring each other “heretics” and killing each other? This is not an Islamic problem. Someone needs to brush up on their European History.

            Until fairly recently in history, many Christian countries frowned on apostasy and blasphemy. Yet, since many of those countries are now secular states, the concept of blasphemy doesn’t apply. The majority of Muslim countries are not secular states and therefore blasphemy remains a salient concept.

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      4. “The Orthodox Islamic belief is that every newborn baby is born a Muslim”

        Fascinating. Do you have a reference for that?

        And further: what is the Orthodox Islamic belief about babies born before the Messenger of God, or in countries that for historical and geographical reasons could not possibly have heard of Islam?

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        1. I have heard that all children are born pure in the sight of Allah and it is their parents who mislead them into wrong paths. By the way, Islam has the greatest respect for Christianity and Judaism and almost all your prophets are part of our own tradition. A Muslim man can marry a Christian or Jewish woman without her having to become a Muslim.
          Muslims simply believe that Christians and Jews were no longer following God’s message properly and therefore God sent down his Final Messenger (peace be upon him) to correct the record for all times and all peoples to come. After that, revelation ceased. Christ also believed that the Jews of his time and place were not following their religion properly and he needed to fix them. It is Christian belief that God sent down his only-begotten son to die for our sins.

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          1. Kabir: if Islam had the greatest respect for Christianity and Judaism, then should not a Muslim woman be equally free to marry a Christian or Jewish man? If not, why not?

            And given greatest respect, why were Christians and Jews made to pay extra taxes, and given lesser political rights?

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          2. A muslim woman cannot marry a non-muslim man without his converting because in Islam children are supposed to follow their father’s religion. Why would the community want to lose potential Muslims? I agree its patriarchal, but that is how it is. Just as in Judaism, it is important for the mother to be Jewish.
            The extra taxes were because non-muslims were not expected to fight in Muslim armies. They were being charged money for their protection.

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          3. Muslims all over the world should be treated just like Islam wants to treat other religions. No non-Muslim women should be allowed to marry a Muslim man. All non-Muslim countries should conquer Muslim countries just like Muslims started right since the days of prophet and continued until stopped under the Khalifas. Only a very small number of Muslim youths fought in the armies, most of them joined for share in booty anyway. For this excuse Muslims seek to impose Jizjya upon all non-Muslims under them, women, old and all. Muslims in the western world and conquered Muslims in the Muslim world should pay Jizya to the conquerors.

            “that is how it is”, this is the fucking word bloody, mindless, moronic, Muslim bigots keep saying when people point out the medieval, ill-logic of their religion. Muslims should be treated just as Islam wants to treat non-Muslims. This is the only way Muslims will learn that this is not the way how it is. In spite of getting hammered from all other countries and all other religions, Hindus (India), Christians (America, Europe), Buddhists (Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand), atheist (China), Muslims still think that they are going to win over the world by not compromising the perfect and complete.

            Pakistan harbors arguably the worst of these ‘destiny Muslims’. These fucking idiots think that they can mess up the neighborhood and the world without any consequence because that is their destiny, vanguard of Islam in the world. Muslims should be treated just like they want to treat non-Muslims.

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          4. Shafiq,
            I was just answering a question. Personally, I’m a fan of secular states based on the western model. Anyone can marry who they like as far as I am concerned. However, according to shariah a Muslim woman cannot have a nikah with a non-muslim man. She can have a civil marriage and if that works for the couple, more power to them.

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          5. Shafiq R, I think Kabir’s answer is athentic:
            “Personally, I’m a fan of secular states based on the western model. Anyone can marry who they like as far as I am concerned. However, according to shariah a Muslim woman cannot have a nikah with a non-muslim man. She can have a civil marriage and if that works for the couple, more power to them.”
            Kabir is clearly a nonislamist muslim (I would say good or authentic but Kabir doesn’t approve those descriptors) and on the correct side of this issue. At worst he sometimes inartfully and imprecisely conveys his views.

            I have a request to the Brown Pundits community that I am sure would greatly please Zachary. Can we try not to harshly respond when Kabir makes typos or imprecisely conveys his feelings? Shouldn’t we focus on the feelings, emotion and heart of a person versus how politically correct they write? Doesn’t love and light heal all?

            And a request for Kabir . . . please think about not implying that the many muslims or muslim heritage people who read, write comments or contribute articles to Brown Pundits might in any way not be “real”, “authentic”, “good” muslims?

            You might be the best muslim at Brown Pundits and the world more generally. You might even by one of the most loving spiritually evolved human beings on the planet (similar to the Shia Imam {from the line of Fatimah} or Sufi Auliya saints.) You are a lot better and smarter than me as I freely concede. But some muslims and muslimish people feel hurt when it is implied that they are not completely authentic muslims.

            No need to decide now. Take a few weeks to think this over. Please pray about it. And decide later.

            Thank you 🙂

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          6. Anan,
            Please stop with the unsolicited advice. I don’t need any advice from you on what to say or write. I am a grown and intelligent man. What I write reflects on me. If it hurts some random person’s feelings, its none of my concern.
            I am no one to judge “good” or “bad” Muslims. I can refer to them as practicing and non practicing. Someone who isn’t following shariah is not a practicing Muslim, whatever they think of themselves. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly practicing myself. It is for Allah to judge.

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  4. Stephen, please read Suurah Al-A’raaf, Verses 172-173:
    http://islam101.com/dawah/newBorn.htm
    All children are born muslims as per my understanding of the holy Koran. This based on my understanding would apply to “babies born . . . in countries that for historical and geographical reasons could not possibly have heard of Islam.”

    “what is the Orthodox Islamic belief about babies born before the Messenger of God”?

    I can only share my interpretations of the holy Koran, Hadiths and Sura. But I would be curious to hear some scholarly perspectives on your questions. Can you e-mail some Islamic scholars and ask them (after which I will share my perspectives . . . since my opinion might be incorrect or incomplete). You can directly e-mail Tarek Fatah, Imam Tawhidi and Mufassil Islam among many, many others.

    “Christ also believed that the Jews of his time and place were not following their religion properly and he needed to fix them. It is Christian belief that God sent down his only-begotten son to die for our sins.”

    I interpret the Bible differently:

    John 14:6-11
    “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me:”

    John 14:11-15
    “or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

    John 14:16-20
    “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. ”

    If this isn’t Vedanta, or Sanathana Dharma or Arya philosophy than I don’t know what is. My interpretation is that the “Father” (or the “force” for Star Wars shippers) was speaking through him. The Father and Jesus were one.

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    1. Your interpretations are all well and good but since you are not an Islamic scholar, they are neither here nor there.

      On Christ, it is historically accepted that he was born a Jew. As long as he lived, he never said he had brought a new religion. He was trying to reform Judaism. Obviously the establishment Jews of the time didn’t like that and allied with Pontius Pilate to have him killed.

      The New Testament was codified several centuries later (the four Gospels don’t agree with each other in important details) and the Nicene Creed was established. It is also around this time that the concept of the Holy Trinity became important. Many Christians do believe that God sent his son down to earth to die for our sins (or that God came down himself in the form of Christ–it can be a bit confusing). Muslims believe that Hazrat Isa was a prophet and he was the son of Mary. It was a virgin birth because God is capable of miracles. But we don’t believe Hazrat Isa is either God or the Son of God. There is part of the Quran which states that Allah was neither begat or does He beget children.

      Orthodox Islamic belief is that the Jews and the Christians went astray and therefore God had to send down another prophet, who brought the final revelation which is now valid for all times and all places. There are no further upgrades to the operating system.

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      1. “On Christ, it is historically accepted that he was born a Jew. As long as he lived, he never said he had brought a new religion. He was trying to reform Judaism. Obviously the establishment Jews of the time didn’t like that and allied with Pontius Pilate to have him killed.”

        Hmm. This requires an entire article to respond to. I believe that Jesus was Jesus and an embodiment of Shunyata/Buddha/Brahman/Allah/Tao. Jesus transcends religion and I agree with you regarding “he never said he had brought a new religion”. This said, Jesus’ message was not exclusive to the Jews and applied to all. Jesus I believe represented change. I would rather say that Jesus was helping Jews be better Jews and Romans be better Romans and human beings be better human beings . . . and help all of us become free.

        “Reform” . . . not sure that was Jesus’ main purpose as most people understand the word “reform”. Don’t want to get into an epistemology or linguistic discussion here.

        Again my views on Jesus will evolve as I learn more. I know almost nothing about anything.

        The beginning of wisdom is to accept we have nothing, we know nothing, we are nothing. Then we are everything 🙂

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        1. Jesus of Nazareth (the historical figure) was a Jew. He wanted to reform Judaism because he thought that the leaders of the community were too obsessed with Mosaic Law. The whole Pharisees in the temple thing was part of that. His being an embodiment of Buddha sounds far-fetched to me. Not everything has an Indian connection.

          In any case, “Christianity” as we know it evolved centuries after the crucifixion. All sorts of myths got built around Jesus of Nazareth until he became Jesus Christ, God the Son.

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          1. It is widely believed by the east (Hindus/Buddhist etc.) that Jesus lived in greater Bharat between the ages of 13 and 29. I have read many books on this, including:
            https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Lived-India-Before-Crucifixion/dp/0143028294

            Many Hindus and Buddhists believe that Jesus was closely linked to their own great masters. Who were the three wise men from the far East?

            I think Jesus wanted to melt hearts, (and to a lesser degree improve mental health and increase intelligence to facilitate the melting of the heart. I think Jesus wanted to share love and truth . . . for people to directly experience the truth. These are much higher level things than Mosaic Law. Mosaic Law is but one of an infinite number of paths to achieve these things.

            It is okay to disagree.

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          2. Yes, Kashmiris also believe that Jesus was buried in Kashmir. He didn’t ascend to heaven but escaped with the help of his mother and Mary Magdalene. Murree in Pakistan is named after Hazrat Mariam (so the story goes). But it’s a story with no basis in historic fact. In reality, when you are crucified, you die. The whole “ascending to heaven” thing is a religious belief, not reality.

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          3. Kabir, do you also think Isra and Miraj were not reality, but just religious belief?

            As you must have guessed, yes, this is a trick question. But this will help you see things from both the perspective, i.e. from a believer and an non-believer’s perspective.

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          4. Snake Charmer,

            Yes, the Prophet’s (pbuh) journey to heaven is a metaphor. Any sane person knows that.

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  5. “ascending to heaven” . . . ruminate on the meaning until the mind drops away

    Kabir, there is infinitely more to reality than our brains can understand. May the goose bumps of bliss take you up beyond the twilight of heat and cold. May the tingle rise into the lotus above. May the drops of bliss fall down. May the silence roar. May the inner sounds be heard. The breath within the breath. May all stop . . . in that of which NOT can be said. May death be conquered through wisdom.

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  6. “A muslim woman cannot marry a non-muslim man without his converting because in Islam children are supposed to follow their father’s religion. Why would the community want to lose potential Muslims? I agree its patriarchal, but that is how it is. Just as in Judaism, it is important for the mother to be Jewish.”

    Yes this is how Islamists think. But no doubt many minority and liberal muslims have transcended this archaic legacy; much the way nonmuslims largely have and the nonabrahamics almost entirely have.

    Judaism is different since the faith is so small. This said many “Jews” are de facto fusion eastern philosophy Jews . . . probably more than a million. Some might call them new age Jews, Sam Harris style spiritual new atheist Jews (again heavily influenced by the east), Buddhist Jews, Hindu Jews, Sikh Jews. Jews are at the bleeding edge of eastern spirituality and the east welcomes them. The idea of exclusivity is alien to the east which prefers better Jews or (if Jews insist) Jews heavily influenced by eastern spirituality. Jewish Hindu Buddhists (and for that matter new atheist Jews similar to Sam Harris) are in many ways regarded as Brahmins in the east.

    “The extra taxes were because non-muslims were not expected to fight in Muslim armies. They were being charged money for their protection.” This archaic tradition of Jiswa tax on nonmuslims and minority muslims will probably fall away as muslims get freedom of art, thought, intuition and feeling; allowing dialogue. Dialogue will melt hearts and heal all. Including all remaining traces of Shariah that asymmetrically treats different types of muslims, nonmuslims, genders, LBGTQ.

    Shafiq R, thanks as always for your love, light and wisdom. Perhaps consider contributing articles to Brown Pundits. Let the world know the greatness of muslims and muslim atheists . . . and how Islamism doesn’t define muslims.

    To your point, I think that many or most minority muslims and liberal muslims want to be the same as nonmuslims and nonmuslims should treat them so. My best estimate is that 1/4 of the world’s 1.6 billion muslims (400 million or so) are Islamists.

    Islamists want to be treated differently than everyone else by nonmuslims, minority muslims, liberal muslims, atheist (or ex) muslims. How should the world’s 7.3 billion nonislamists treat the world’s 400 million Islamists?

    I don’t know the answer to this question. I think Islamists should be treated differently in the very short run. What are your thoughts my proposed solution . . . that muslims be given freedom of art, thought, intuition and feeling; and that loving non Islamist muslims and loving nonmuslims engage in dialogue with Islamists? Do you think this will melt hearts and over time soften Islamism?

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  7. Shafiq and Kabir, to be quite honest, most Hindus would have had views similar to most (?) Muslims today regarding marriage, perhaps even more restrictive with the caste angle. And till 50 years ago, whites marrying blacks (Christian or otherwise) was a statutory crime in much of America.

    Most societies had such restrictions, but changes were brought about through various avenues including the media and the influence of prominent personalities leading to legal protections.

    I wonder if a major issue modernist Muslims face is the lack of a media industry and attendant celebrity culture to influence the Muslim masses. I checked online for the most followed Twitter accounts in important Muslim countries like Egypt and Pakistan, and the most followed celebrity accounts are those of news presenters, religious preachers and sports persons. It is likely that political restrictions in these countries prevented the emergence of an alternate stream of influencers who could challenge religious orthodoxy.

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    1. The lack of a media industry is not going to change religious law. Shariah is very clear on who a Muslim man or woman can have a nikaah (religious marriage) with. No maulvi is going to perform a non religiously sanctioned marriage.

      Even in countries like Pakistan, court marriages exist.
      They are difficult to do, but not impossible.
      If Muslims want to marry non Muslims and they are living in the west, the state will recognize that marriage. Expecting religious people to go against religious law is a bridge too far. For example, even in a country like the US where gay marriage is legal, an imam is not going to marry two men and it is his legal right to refuse to do anything not sanctioned by his religion.

      Practicing Muslims think Allah’s law is more important than laws made by human beings. Of course, if they live in non Muslim countries, they understand that they must obey the law of the land.

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      1. “in a country like the US where gay marriage is legal, an imam is not going to marry two men and it is his legal right to refuse to do anything not sanctioned by his religion.”
        There are many liberal Imams who now marry gay people. 🙂

        “Practicing Muslims think Allah’s law is more important than laws made by human beings”
        Agreed. Liberal and minority muslims might be interpreting Allah’s law correctly too! In which case international secular law is consistent with Allah’s law. Awesome! 🙂

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        1. Individual imams can do whatever they feel like. Allah will judge them in the afterlife.
          Shariah does not change, no matter how much you (or I) don’t like certain aspects of it. Only Islamic scholars are qualified to interpret Allah’s law. “Liberal Muslims” are not following shariah completely and in that sense they can be called non practicing Muslims. Which is their right but practicing Muslims will tell them that certain actions of theirs go against Allah’s wishes. They have to be prepared to hear that judgement and then they can do whatever they like.
          This conversation is now over from my side. Believe whatever you want. It doesn’t change the mainstream understanding of Islam.

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    2. Vikram, freedom of art, thought, intution, feeling, philosophy are deeply embedded in eastern thought and scriptures. Anyone can leave the faith so to speak or marry anyone they choose. Any Sanskrit scholar I am certain would agree with this. At best the family can choose to ignore the family member who chooses this path. They cannot do more. All any Hindu has to do is quote the shastras and no one can object. In fact there are many stories of precisely this.

      Now of course almost no Hindus have read Manu Smriti, Dharma Shastra, Bhishma’s multi-volume speech or the shastras (which I did . . . with some skimming . . . as a teenager).

      Kabir,

      “I am no one to judge “good” or “bad” Muslims. I can refer to them as practicing and non practicing. Someone who isn’t following shariah is not a practicing Muslim, whatever they think of themselves. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly practicing myself. It is for Allah to judge.”

      No disagreement on any of this. Do you prefer the phrase “practicing” to “good” or “authentic”? I will consider using this phrase.

      Many liberal and minority muslims interpret Shariah very differently from how Islamists interpret Shariah. For example some muslim scholars consider the US constitution, the Indian constitution and English common law to be consistent with Shariah and I see no reason to disagree. Muslims have the right to interpret Shariah liberally if they so choose. This is what freedom of art, thought, intuition and feeling means. The 14 century Islamic civil war is partly over different interpretations of Shariah.

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      1. There is one shariah. Its gods law. No one not qualified in fiqh will be taken seriously if they come up with “liberal” interpretations. People can do whatever they like but calling it Islam is a bit much. You cannot mix and match the bits of Allah’s law you like and ignore the bits you don’t like.

        This is a pointless conversation since you don’t seem to understand the most basic thing about how Islam works. When it comes to Allah’s law “freedom of thought, intuition, etc” goes out the window. An individual either chooses to follow Allah’s law or not. The consequences are between that person and Allah.

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