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Debating Islam

Ben Affleck Explains Islam
Bill Kassel
Ben Affleck Explains Islam
Bill Kassel

While I readily agree with Affleck that most Muslims don’t share the violent obsessions of the Islamic State, I do share Harris’ opinion that there’s a certain perception deficiency on the Left, as regards the subject of comparative religion… “The Islamic State kidnaps innocent people, then beheads its hostages, and distributes videos of these hideous acts online.” “Yeah, well, what about the Spanish Inquisition?”……

The media may be saturated with images of Islamic terrorists and suicide bombers, but a 2011 Gallup survey concluded that Muslims are actually more likely than any other religious or ethical group in America to reject violence against civilians. At the same time, the vocally “anti-theist” atheists who dominate the airwaves and the bestseller lists may get all the press, but a 2013 study from the University of Tennessee indicated that less than 15% of atheists fall into the “anti-theist” category. So why hasn’t there been more dialogue and solidarity between Muslims and atheists? Can’t we all just get along?.....

A Muslim’s Open Letter to Bill Maher
Faryal Malik
A Muslim’s Open Letter to Bill Maher
Faryal Malik

Can you please stop making each and every Muslim accountable for the actions of the small unrepresentative minority? Stop stereotyping and stop spinning what a Muslim may or may not believe. Understand, for example, I, as a female Muslim, have not been brainwashed and I definitely don’t need to be rescued by a ‘liberal’ like yourself. And please, do not act like I don’t exist. Muslim women exist and excel in many shapes and forms all over the world. We do have grievances and issues just as women of any faith or set of beliefs do….

We, Muslims, love to comfortably deny any criticism thrown towards us regarding extremist elements by simply saying that it is an insignificant minority, and what that extremist minority does neither represents the true picture of Islam, nor do they have popular support for their actions. This brushing of issues under the carpet, which make us uncomfortable, neither helps us nor the image of Islam in the world….

‘REFORMING’ ISLAM? A Rejoinder to Ali A. Rizvi's ‘Open Letter to Moderate Muslims’
Maryam Sakeenah, New Age Islam
‘REFORMING’ ISLAM? A Rejoinder to Ali A. Rizvi's ‘Open Letter to Moderate Muslims’
Maryam Sakeenah, New Age Islam

Mr Ali A.Rizvi in his ‘Open Letter to Moderate Muslims’ has called for ‘reforming’ Islam, saying that Muslim moderates inadvertently defend ISIS when they attempt to defend Islam against allegations of violence and backwardness - because ISIS follows most closely and literally the contents of Islam’s most sacred texts. Moderates are at pains to explain away ISIS’s actions as ‘unIslamic’ through interpretation and contextualization of the sources of Islam. Given the accessibility of information in this day and age, religion is no longer shrouded in sacred mystery. Once the awareness of the sources of religion explicitly sanctioning violent practices spreads, Rizvi argues, sustaining faith in the indubitability and infallibility of the Quran would be difficult.

Related Article:

An Open Letter to Moderate Muslims: You're Feeling More Misunderstood than Ever, as Islamic Fundamentalists Hijack the Image of Islam, and Worse, Everyone Seems to Be Buying It

At the same time, critics of religion must refrain from simplistic generalizations about people of faith. It is true that in many Muslim countries, women do not have the same rights as men. But that fact alone is not enough to declare Islam a religion that is intrinsically more patriarchal than Christianity or Judaism. (It’s worth noting that Muslim-majority nations have elected women leaders on several occasions, while some Americans still debate whether the United States is ready for a female president.).....

The caveat, “Islam today,” is important. The central problem with Maher’s and Harris’ analysis is that it takes a reality – extremism in Islam – and describes it in ways that suggest it is inherent to Islam. Maher says Islam is “the only religion that acts like the Mafia, that will [expletive] kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book.” He’s right about the viciousness, but wrong to link it to “Islam” – instead of “some Muslims.” Trust me, Bill, if 1.6 billion Muslims felt this way, you would be dead already.....

If this sounds too radical, think back to the Prophet Muhammad himself, who was chased out of Mecca for being a radical dissident fighting the Quraysh. Think of why Jesus Christ was crucified. These men didn't capitulate or shy away from challenging even the most sacred foundations of the status quo. These men certainly weren't "moderates." They were radicals. Rebels. Reformers. That's how change happens. All revolutions start out as rebellions. Islam itself started this way. Openly challenging problematic ideas isn't bigotry, and it isn't blasphemy. If anything, it's Sunnah. Get out there, and take it back….

In other words, he is either completely ignorant of the world in which he lives, or is alternatively completely indifferent to the violence his careless words could engender. And sadly, this ignorance and/or indifference is one of the great hallmarks of the modern right-wing atheist movement. A movement that is more likely to celebrate the bloodlust of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Christopher Hitchens, than great historical materialists like Bertrand Russell and Noam Chomsky......

Self-Defeating Extremes
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid
Self-Defeating Extremes
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

The vacuum awaiting practicable solutions to the Islamic world would be filled by first acknowledging that extremism is a common problem in most Muslim countries. As things stand, the anti-Muslim bigots and Islamic apologists are wasting a lot of intellectual space and innocent lives, in bigoted rhetoric and precarious denial….

 
Why Is Ben Affleck Defending Islam?
Lana Asfour
Why Is Ben Affleck Defending Islam?
Lana Asfour

More seriously, what is the overriding agenda? Trashing Islam is about disseminating simplistic ideas that lend support to precise political goals, and it allows supporters of certain aspects of US foreign policy to justify past, present, and future mistakes. If American voters can be given the impression that most Muslims are sexist, homophobic, intolerant fanatics who murder and behead at the drop of a hat, then they may just believe that it is necessary to invade countries in which Muslims are the majority - it hardly matters which country, as long as wrecking its political, economic, and social fabric serves the primary goals of controlling oil resources, profiting from the arms trade, and allowing Israel to feel safe....

Although we have become accustomed to the agenda-driven narrative from Aslan, we were blown away by how his undeniably appealing but patently misleading arguments were cheered on by many, with the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple going so far as to advise show producers not to put a show-host against Aslan “unless your people are schooled in religion, politics and geopolitics of the Muslim world.” Only those who themselves aren’t very “schooled” in Islam and Muslim affairs would imply that Aslan does anything but misinform by cherry-picking and distorting facts.......

 

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Dear readers of New Age Islam

 

In the past I had written two articles on this subject.    

This year I am sharing with you a very important news item that took place the other day and is accompanied by a compelling video, and I hope you will support our effort to minimize this suffering by whatever means it takes

 

 I cannot see how a just and compassionate God could reward His people for doing such things to animals in His name. Things that cannot be described in words

 

 Syed Rizvi

 

 Live export investigators uncover illegal activity ahead of Festival of Sacrifice


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Here are the two previous articles from NAI, I am referring to:


http://www.newageislam.com/debating-islam/animal-sacrifice-or-blood-orgy?/d/3706

 

http://www.newageislam.com/ijtihad,-rethinking-islam/hajj----some-afterthoughts/d/9483

Suroor outright ignores the relationship between interpretation and structures of power and authority. Who are the “Learned Islamic scholars” in his imagined conference–from where do they derive their authority? The extremists have their scholars as well. Moreover, Islam and Muslims are not a monolithic, organized entity. Were such an “authorised” version of Islamic tradition to be produced, how would the thousands of diverse Islamic communities be induced to follow that version–and more specifically, what sort of violence (both physical or conceptual) would that entail?.....

Her language is raw. Mr Abbott is a “bare-faced liar” and a “political psychopath”.  Unemployed young people, the target of proposed welfare cuts, already feel “like a bucket of shit”. The high transport costs paid by Tasmanians are an “outrageous, stinking, filthy injustice”. During her maiden speech, Ms Lambie stunned many by claiming Aboriginal ancestry. When Tasmanian Aboriginal leaders challenged her, she warned them to “watch your step with me”. She also offered to take a DNA test……

 

When Camerota spoke of “Muslim countries,” Aslan jumped in again and told her again that’s completely unfair. Camerota challenged him on whether he seriously thinks there’s no common thread between Muslim nations. Aslan said there are certain horrible practices that all good people must condemn, “but to say Muslim countries, as though Pakistan and Turkey are the same… it’s frankly, and I use this word seriously, stupid!”.....

Watch the full segment here, via CNN:

 

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When Syed Manzoor Alam brought out the urine-related hadees, to challenge Mr. Ghulam Ghouse's blind faith in hadees, he was, I think, not focusing on that particular hadees but the unreliability, absurdness of many so-called authentic (sahis) hadeeses. .... to attack the blind faith in hadees, putting it on a pedestal even above the holy Quran, as Tablighi Jamaat and ahl-e-hadees people and generally nearly all Muslims do.

Pakistani Army Official: But you cut the throats and noses.....we have not demolished any Masjid, thanks to Allah SWT. Wherever Pakistan Army goes; it improves and beautifies the Masjid? Tell me about cutting; do you accept that your Taliban cut the throats, noses and ears of the dead soldiers of Pakistan Army? Prophet (pbuh) has strictly forbidden these acts and this was done by Hind and Wehshis (savages) in the battle of Uhud that cut the organs of prophet’s uncle Hamza RA. This is not the work of a Muslim and only the Kuffar and polytheists would cut the ears and noses, You do this. Don’t you?

Taliban Scholar: Cutting the throats is the Sunnah (example, practice) of Prophet (pbuh). Only such a person would not understand this who does not know that Kalashnikov was invented in 1900s. During the time of Prophet (pbuh), Kalashnikovs and pistols etc were not available. At that time, Prophet (pbuh) and his Shabah RA used to cut the throats of the Kuffar.

 

{Being presented so that Ulema (Islamic scholars) may know how Islam is being distorted in extremist discourse and defend Islam's peaceful nature by refuting the allegations against Quran (words of God), Hadees (sayings of the Prophet), Sunnah (examples, practices) of the Prophet and Shariah (Islamic Law).}

For most Indians the word Wahhabi means Saudi Arabian fundamentalism. When told that Wahhabism has deep roots in the Indian sub-continent, the first response is usually denial often followed by claims that Indian Wahhabism was a British invention……

 

Taliban Scholar: Alhamdolillah, we accept the responsibility of Kamra attack because that was a military school. If there were any children killed in that attack, then obviously some children may be killed while killing the adults. I explain to you the usool of Fiqh (principles of Islamic jurisprudence) that it is the target and the intention that  matter; otherwise what is the point to fight the war anyway? If the actions of Prophet (pbuh) are of any importance and standard for you, then listen that Prophet (pbuh) flooded the whole area during the battle of Ta’if and fitted a catapult upon the enemy. Obviously, women and children were killed during that battle. Also it is narrated by Sa’ab bin Jassama (ra) that Prophet (pbuh) asked them to carry out a night raid on certain tribe. Sahaba (ra) said: "O messenger of Allah (pbuh), (among them are their women and children) Sahih Bukhari, Kitab ul Jihad, Hadees 3012. Prophet (pbuh) replied: "They are part of them". That is why we are proud of the operation that we carried out in Kamra in which we destroyed the military school. But you are repeating the allegations of bombing the markets again and again. It would be better if you accept the responsibility of  those attacks yourself because Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and its central spokesman condemned those attacks through media and by distributing the pamphlets.

  

{Being presented so that Ulema (Islamic scholars) may know how Islam is being distorted in extremist discourse and defend Islam's peaceful nature by refuting the allegations against Quran (words of God), Hadees (sayings of the Prophet), Sunnah (examples, practices) of the Prophet and Shariah (Islamic Law).}

Pakistani Army Official: I don’t know if you have read any history but let me assume that you might have. The history shows that in 1947, Quaid-e-Azam (MA Jinnah, the "murtad" founder of Pakistan) was the only person in favour of creating Pakistan. But the scholars and maulanas like yourself called him a Kafir and that he was committing Kufr by creating a separate country. But when the country came into existence, you people started claiming its ownership. First, you opposed the creation of Pakistan but when the country was created, you people started laying claim to it. What is this story all about?

Taliban Scholar: Respected sir! We considered Quaid-e-Azam a Kafir before and we consider him a Kafir-e-Azam (the greatest Kafir) and a Kaddu-e-Azam (satire; the greatest pumpkin) even now.

He was a similar kind of puppet like today’s Karzai who has been appointed as president in Afghanistan by the Crusaders. The scholars who supported Jinnah; we consider them misguided and I am repeating again and again that due to the mistake of those early scholars, we become misguided as well. We repent for our mistakes and ask forgiveness from Allah (swt).

{Being presented so that Ulema (Islamic scholars) may know how Islam is being distorted in extremist discourse and defend Islam's peaceful nature by refuting the allegations against Quran (words of God), Hadees (sayings of the Prophet), Sunnah (examples, practices) of the Prophet and Shariah (Islamic Law).}

 

Pakistani Army Official: (Sounds very angry and shouts) Tell me, how many Muslims and how many Americans have you killed so far? Huh, how many Americans have you killed so far, tell me?

Taliban Scholar: When we kill you people, our intention is as if we are killing the Americans. The only difference is that the monthly expenditure on an American soldier is $80,000  but you people sell yourself for only $300  per month. That is the only difference. Otherwise we consider you and Americans as same. I have mentioned earlier that we are at war with the People of the Book here (in Pakistan) as well as there (in Afghanistan). Similarly, we are fighting against the servants of kuffar here as well as there.

Pakistani Army Official: Mufti sahib! Give me the answer.

Taliban scholar: I have given you the answer; we kill you with the intention of killing the Americans.

{Being presented so that Ulema (Islamic scholars) may know how Islam is being distorted in extremist discourse and defend Islam's peaceful nature by refuting the allegations against Quran (words of God), Hadees (sayings of the Prophet), Sunnah (examples, practices) of the Prophet and Shariah (Islamic Law).}


Pakistani Army Official: I am asking,  it is mentioned in Quran that if Kuffar fight against you (then you fight against them). Does it mean that you consider us kuffar?

Taliban Scholar: Why do you have any doubt about that? (Sounds surprised).

Pakistani Army Official: Right, in one battle, a Sahabi (Prophet’s companion) RA told Prophet (pbuh),” A Kafir was reciting Kalima out of fear but I killed him, “Prophet (pbuh) said, “Did you open his heart to see whether he was a Muslim or not?” Now I recite kalima in front of you: لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله (La Ilaha Illalahu Muhammadur Rasool Allah).  Now I may be a munafiq but I cannot be a kafir. Tell me now, is it justifiable for you to kill me?

Taliban Scholar: We consider you “Murtad”. Murtad is a person who recites kalima but has renounced Islam. Your actions are like those people who have renounced Islam.  You make fun of Shariah, you take the help from kuffar to kill the Muslims. All these actions are not classified as major sins but committing such acts takes the person outside the fold of Islam into the domain of kufr

{Being presented so that Ulema (Islamic scholars) may know how Islam is being distorted in extremist discourse and defend Islam's peaceful nature by refuting the allegations against Quran (words of God), Hadees (sayings of the Prophet), Sunnah (examples, practices) of the Prophet and Shariah (Islamic Law).}

Video: http://www.newageislam.com/multimedia/qaed-e-azam-jinnah-was-kafir-e-azam,-jihad-became-our-duty-in-1947--pakistan-taliban-scholar-to-army-officer/d/98573

Islam- Peaceful or Problematic?
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
Islam- Peaceful or Problematic?
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

Our task is to nip in the bud the wannabe terrorists. We can do this by, first of all speaking up. Whenever we notice, especially in the Friday congregational prayer that the Imam is speaking radically an orthodox version of Islam, we must try to counter it, if not then and there then at least after the prayer. Secondly we should educate people that Islam is not here to subjugate other religions, because every religion has come from God and is a way towards salvation. The other point under this is that Islam’s meaning is so encompassing and all embracing that it includes every other way of life under its fold.....

Since this difference in opinion  between two major sects of Islam is a major cause of  contention and bad blood between them, this issue needs to be settled for once and for all. The entire family of the Prophet(pbuh) is respected to his ummah and not certain members of it. Secondly, on the pretext of this, all the descendants  of Ahl-e-Bayt consider themselves superior to the rest of the ummah though the Prophet (pbuh) has said that a white man does not have any preference over a black person or vice versa, similarly an Ajami (non-Arab) does not have any preference over an  Arab and vice versa only on the basis of race, colour or  religious affiliation. The only basis for superiority is peity (taqwa).

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