In Brief—Unlike the other two Abrahamic religions—Judaism and Christianity— Islam has in large part cut itself off from modernity and open criticism in favor of a backward bloody fratricide and criminality in order to lock itself in Seventh Century mythology about the religion and Mohammed. It’s well past time for Islam to open up and welcome scholarly critique and justified skepticism from within and without.
The Delusion of Religion and Islam—
As we cruised slowly down the Nile in modern luxury, the earthen villages beside the river were much the same as they must have been in ancient Egypt. The only signs of modernity were an occasional TV aerial and a dusty bicycle. Gallibaya-clad men rode on donkeys. Just as the dusty villages along the Nile are a glimpse of the past, today’s Islam is not only derivative but stubbornly rooted in a mythical past that refuses to embrace modernity.
Starting this piece on Islam, I realized the subject is complex. Some Islamic countries are more modern, but all have one thing in common: the drive to insulate Islam from anything resembling a critique of the religion, whether the criticism be internal or external. Thus, for the vast majority of Muslims, Islam remains mired in the past.
My sources on Islam are “Why I Am Not a Muslim” by noted scholar and former Muslim Ibn Warraq as well as the numerous articles I have read. Due to the tremendous growth of Islamophobia, apologetics by those enamored with political correctness and extremist Islamic violence, I have sought to inform myself about reality. This report is the result.
Not All Muslims are Terrorists—
I feel compelled to emphasize that we must avoid assuming that all Muslims are terrorists. The overwhelming majority of Muslims are largely unquestioning believers who are too often the target of those who are determined to use the Quran and Hadiths to gain power and prevent anything they believe to be an insult to their version of the Islamic religion.
Hadiths, by the way, are the alleged words and deeds of Mohammed. The hadiths derive from oral reports circulated many years after Muhammed died. They were written by zealots and reflect their biases.
All religions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam, are based on the delusional belief that a deity exists and, in many cases, that their holy books are the words of their deity. All holy books have been written by credulous men, have been added to and subtracted from and have been used by proponents to reflect the myths of the past, the beliefs of the writers and the self-serving views of biased proponents. In this, Islam is no different. And always—always—the deity is capricious, murderous, inconsistent and all-too-human.
But this is about Islam, so that religion is the focus here.
Numerous Muslim critics of Islam have for centuries justly criticized Islam, often at the cost of their lives. Many have been forced to flee to avoid the wrath of adherents and rulers. Even former Muslims like the talented writer Salman Rushdie are pursued by zealots who believe he must die for having blasphemed Mohammed and Islam. Ask him about Islam and about the spineless non-Muslim apologists who chose to criticize him instead of standing up for freedom of expression.
The Middle East and Africa, Sunni and Shi’ite, Charlie Hebdo murderers and free expression. These and more pile body on body in the belief that Islam must remain pure to their version of Islam and by threatening, invading and murdering all who dare to question Islam, the Quran and Mohammed.
Female subjection, theocratic governments, unjust religious punishments and curtailed rights are just the tip of the iceberg that is Islam. Among its many flaws, this religion seeks to prevent its adherents from even considering the freedoms that much of the rest of the world enjoys.
In a notoriously male-centric religion, adult females are required to cover their hair if not their faces and are often forced in puberty to submit to genital butchery. Daughters, some quite young, must marry a man chosen by their parents. Depending on country, they too frequently cannot get an education or a meaningful job and may not be permitted to drive. They must get permission from a male member of the household to leave the house. Their inheritance rights are limited or absent. Interfaith marriage is forbidden. Legal standing is substantially less. Putting aside the appalling issue of honor killings, despite what apologists may say, they are essentially slaves without meaningful rights of their own.
Non-believers and atheists are often either killed or given the option of converting to Islam. Even after conversion, they may be required to pay an outlandish price…or they may just be killed anyhow.
These are just the most obvious flaws of Islam.
Mohammed, the “Prophet”—
Then there is Mohammed. A look at the Quran and history reveals that he was a pedophile, a murderer and a quite ordinary man, not the unflawed prophet depicted by believers. According to Islamic scholars, nowhere in the Quran is there a word forbidding the depiction of Mohammed. Indeed, his image and those of other humans can be seen in early examples of the art of the times.
Finally, this is NOT a war between Judeo-Christianity and Islam, it is a war between Rationality and Irrationality! All religion is irrational and Islam is a religion.
I urge readers to use their own brains. Don’t be taken in by the adherents and non-Muslim apologists who tell you that Islam is a religion of peace. Like Judaism, Christianity and other religions, Islam is NOT a religion of peace. All religions are murderous and deeply flawed. Their deities as well as their prophets are the core of the problem.
Don’t be a credulous sheep. Familiarize yourself with the whole picture and choose rationalism over comfortable delusion.