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Mar 08

Islam’s Many Flaws

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.

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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.

Choose Rationalism!

11 comments

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  1. Dave Meyers

    I have nothing of substance to add here Don, other than to say that the struggle between the intractability of Islam and the thinking of much of the rest of the world has a long history and despite the modern enlightened mind, is not likely to change any time soon. In fact, I believe that every perceived threat and criticism that Islam endures will only serve to reinforce it’s resistance to take a look at itself and decide to join the modern world. Even Catholicism is slowly coming around to a more realistic and updated version of itself. I fear Islam will not easily change as long as there are zealots among it’s practitioners willing to kill to silence critics.

    1. Don Bay

      Right you are, Dave. Islam needs to come out of its protective shell and face up to the criticisms of the religion from within and without. While the Islamic extremist criminals are killing opponents and destroying ancient works of art, the great majority of peaceful Islamic adherents (particularly females!) are being held back by clinging to Seventh Century delusional beliefs. Until Islam (and this applies to Christianity and other religions, too) comes into the Twenty-first Century, it is shooting itself in the foot and inviting persecution.

  2. Adam

    I live in an Islam majority country (Malaysia) and I find this true. The problem with critical thinking within Islam is that much of religious leaders influence people for power. These people would then proceed to induct their children into the religion further propagating the cycle.

    Only recently (Due to a political change in wanting a new leadership) I see more and more people becoming much more religious than I am familiar with in the past. All because an opposition party (PAS) is vying for control against the central government (UMNO) and both are trying to out-islamize each other. Now, Malaysia has a real prospect of being ruled under the syariah law (Governmental bodies are slowly trying to introduce syariah based machinations).

    There are many like me who are not in favour of this but the ignorant speaks louder while the sane are meek.

    1. Don Bay

      Thanks for your comment, particularly because you are one of the individuals who are informed. Largely because Islam is so ingrown, the adherents have not been and are not exposed to critiques of the religion in the way that Christianity and Judaism have been. That’s not to say that Christianity and Judaism do not have their own blind adherents. There are some internal critiques of Islam but they are either dead or marginal.

      There is some hope that Islam will open up with exposure to western influences, but the world may first suffer through the prospect of disharmony, disruption, terrorism and even war before rationality is permitted in. Fingers crossed that rationality will prevail, but I would”t advise holding our breaths.

  3. George

    I am a christian in the middle east, and i find what you wrote is true, but i disagree with you regarding Christianity, i believe Christianity is true, and Jesus is the son of god, and our lord and savior, i just wanted to say that. thank you.

    1. Don Bay

      You have a challenging life ahead of you in the Middle East. Good luck. However, consider this: Christianity comprises only 30% of the believers on Earth, so are the other religions wrong?

      I’m pleased that you read my blog piece on Islam. If you can find it in your heart to read other blog pieces I have written on religion, I ask you to read and consider one I wrote in 2013 about the logic of belief. You will find it in the Archives on the right side of the page. Answer the questions and think about your answers.

      I am in the process of writing a blog piece on Islam and Christianity. I hope you will read other entries and then read the one on Islam and your religion. Meanwhile, live a life as good as you can make it…and take time to smell the roses. Oh, and thank you for visiting my blog site. You are welcome to come again.

      1. George

        Yes, i totally agree with you, you got that right a challenging life huh, many people don’t accept me just simply because I’m a christian, and sometimes call me names and stuff, although i’m educated and speak french as well, but they choose to consider me stupid just because i choose to remain christian, i believe that Christianity is RIGHT, and would rather not comment on other religions, and i don’t pass judgement, but i truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and came down to earth and sacrificed himself to save the humanity, i will look for the blog piece you recommended and read it. Thank You.

  4. GB

    Hey Don:

    Your otherwise excellent analysis of Islam’s flaws was seriously marred by your penchant for taking potshots at all religions and religious beliefs. For example, you claim that belief in any deity is delusional. That is merely your personal belief, not an established fact. Generations of thinkers have attempted to either prove or disprove the existence of God; neither side has conclusively won the debate, because there just isn’t any conclusive evidence.

    Also, you make sweeping statements about “all religions” without either defining what you mean by the term “religion” or providing evidence to support your claims. For example, “all religions” do NOT claim belief in a capricious, murderous, inconsistent deity. Buddhism has no god at all, while the genuine Christian God – as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ – is utterly pacifistic and non-capricious. Finally, not all religions are murderous. Jainism is entirely non-violent. Buddhism tends the same way, as do Christian groups such as the Quakers, Mennonites and Seventh Day Adventists. Making these unsubstantiated claims hurts your credibility. Obviously you personally hate religion, but your opinions in no way prove that religion is bad or flawed.

    And do you really believe that non-religious persons have the moral high ground? Did you sleep through the 20th century? Please remember that World War II, the most destructive conflict in history, was launched by godless states. Also, the crimes of the Soviet Gulag, the Ukrainian Famine, and the Killing Fields of the Pol Pot regime, to name only a few examples, were all perpetrated by atheists. Ditto for the Reign of Terror after the French Revolution. There is at least as much blood on the hands of non-religious folk as there is on the hands of believers (with the exception of Islam, that is).

    I am a great fan of reason, but that particular virtue does not naturally walk hand-in-hand with non-belief, nor is it antithetical to belief. Nor is it a cure-all for every ill, primarily because the human race is not naturally rational. Instead, we are bundles of quivering emotion that can occasionally hold rational thoughts and make rational decisions. Your own rants against religion prove that you are as irrational as the rest of us. Religions are simply worldviews, and all worldviews – yours included – are based upon presuppositions that cannot be proved, but which must be accepted for the worldview to “work”.

    I myself am philosophically an ethical theist, a position I adopted after considerable study. Specifically I am Christian, though of no particular denomination. My experience has been that most religions have some remarkably good teachings. What is notable about Islam is that it appears to lack even this minimal saving grace. Its tenets are wholly hate-filled, violent and intolerant. Islam must be challenged and defeated, not because it is a religion, but because it is so destructive and so inimical to the human race.

    1. Don Bay

      Delusion is defined as a false belief that is based on an incorrect interpretation of reality. A person with delusional disorder will firmly hold on to a false belief despite clear evidence to the contrary.

      Your extensive apologia reflects your belief BUT it totally and, I must add, deliberately misrepresents my views. I repeat: your apologia totally misrepresents my views.

      I suggest you read “Religious Faith vs. Logic, #1” posted in August 2013 and “God is Good, Right?” posted in October 2015. Then read “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins, and John Loftus’ (a former Christian minister) book on why he became an atheist. The latter is directed specifically at believers in the Christian deity, so you might understand the logic he presents.

      Repeatedly, I have pointed out that it is illogical to profess that the Christian deity is good, all-seeing and all-powerful when you look around at all the pain, disease, suffering and death on Earth. If the deity is good, only good can exist. If it is all-seeing, that deity sees and is aware of all that ugliness. If that deity is all-powerful, it has the power to prevent it. BUT that deity does nothing about it, thus approving of that ugliness.

      Some People say that the deity is just testing its creatures, but that deity has the answer sheet yet does nothing. That means either that the deity is complicit in all that suffering or simply does not exist.

      The Christian belief system has existed for over two millennia, yet there is not a scintilla of evidence that has been put forth proving the deity’s existence. Why? Some say that the proof can be found in the Christian holy book, the Bible. That’s like saying that DC Comics is proof that Superman exists. It’s pure nonsense.

      The Bible says that the deity created everything, even the angels that were expelled from heaven. Logically, then, the deity created the evil that plagues Earth. Therefore, the deity is not good.

      At a bare minimum, religion is divisive. It sets one religion against another, even leads to conflict within a religion as can be seen in Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

      Rather than go on with all the problems and illogic found in religion, I suggest that you should study the inconsistencies you find. Unfortunately, humans have a strong tendency to blind themselves to reality. I suspect that you will ignore what I have written and continue to believe what you want to believe. It’s that blind spot.

  5. John Kennedy

    I am an agnostic myself, and have studied many religions including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. I have spent 7 years learning about philosophy and religion. I seem to find this article very misleading and full of sh*t. Get your facts right. This piece of text seems to try and make the reader become an Atheist. Many lies and twisted facts.

    1. Don Bay

      This comment is in violation of the Comment Guidelines. I recommend you read those guidelines. All comments must be on the subject of the piece and must address the subject rather than the author or commenter. The subject was Islam, not atheism. Insults are unacceptable.

      If you find flaws in reasoning or facts, point out the flaws and present facts to refute them. Mere ipse dixits are insufficient.

      Future comments, Mr. Kennedy, will be acceptable if addressed rationally and on subject. If comments violate the guidelines, they will be immediately sent to the trash. As has been said many times, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

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