Islam and the infidel

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I have been reassured by followers of Islam that it is about love and peace. Trouble is I have read the Koran and what it says about non believers (kuffars):

Against kuffars make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war to strike terror into the (hearts of) the Enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside, whom you may not know, but whom Allah does know. Whatever you shall spend in the Cause of Allah, shall be repaid to you, and you shall not be treated unjustly. (Koran: 8:60)

This identity as a kuffar is meant to be insulting; enshrined in law in some Arab countries where for example crimes and punishments are less severe when a non believer is wronged. More so when the transgresser.

This attitude to non believers is regularly exposed on twitter by @CEMB_forum – run by the Council for Ex Muslims. If you doubt watch the views expressed and then the bio of the people saying them.

This Islamic thinker page had me thinking when defining kuffar:

Atheists – such as those who believe in science, self-worshippers, women-worshippers, money-worshippers etc.

Supporting science makes you a non believer? This attitude may help explain the issues a London University had hosting a debate about Islamic creationism and evolution.

Time to take the debate about science, secularism and atheism to the faith heads.

Carry on @CEMB_forum

Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

Follow @JPSargeant78

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5 Comments

Filed under atheism, Religion, secular

5 responses to “Islam and the infidel

  1. Yasmin

    Science and Islam went hand-in-hand for centuries. We had no problems as a religion with scientific progress, as we understood that science is merely a tool for understanding how the world works. It does NOT and should not explain WHY the world works, since it lacks religious/philosophical components.

    It wasn’t until the majority of Muslims became colonised that we started absorbing Christian rhetoric regarding abortion, evolution, and many other “hot topic” issues that Evangelicals love to talk about.

    You can believe in geological time as a Muslim. The Qur’an is not linear at all, and there is no possible way to “count back generations” of Israelis to come at a figure of X years. Indeed, the Qur’an doesn’t even go into generations. It is not historical. It goes into parables about prophets – parables that were given because they were relevant to what Muhammad (pbuh) was going through at the time.

    The fact that contemporary Muslims are using belief in evolution and science to mark who is a disbeliever (not infidel, as the triliteral root k-f-r from which kaafir and its plural kuffar comes from has NOTHING to do with infidelity, that is a separate word in Arabic) just shows how ignorant we have become of our own religion.

    Muslims nowadays rarely even refer to the Qur’an in its original Arabic and instead rely upon translations which have biases and agendas – another Christian belief we have absorbed (the translation is equal to or better than the original Arabic). I’ve heard idiots mention that Allah made the world in six days, when that is not what the Arabic even says! It says Allah made the world in six periods of time, meaning he made it in six steps. That’s a huge difference, and while I highly doubt that will convince you as an Atheist to become a Muslim, you can see that viewing the creation of the world as a process with steps that took undefined amounts of time is much more conducive to accepting and understanding evolutionary process, something I believe in as a Muslim because frankly there is nothing in the Qur’an to suggest that it is 100% false. The only part of evolution I reject is the notion (and this is not even anywhere in the theory of evolution) that evolution happened in absence of a creator. Last time I checked, evolution doesn’t specify if you have to believe/disbelieve in a creator behind the scenes. So in that sense I am a creationist who believes that the Creator used evolution. 😛

    As a majority, our minds are still colonised. We still fear those who colonised us because they still largely interfere with our societies, by bombing innocent women and children and promoting unchecked capitalism in lands that are already impoverished. And until we shake the role of being the colonised, we will continue to see ourselves as powerless and essentially give our power away willingly, which means instead of looking at and interpreting our own texts from our current perspective, we will look at it from a traditional perspective whilst giving the Christian point of view more prominence, which is absolutely the bid’ah (innovation) we were warned about by Muhammad (pbuh).

    People like you, who have absolutely no reason to be pushing a Christian agenda, drive me batty. There is a lot of diversity in what Muslims at large believe, and yet you people go straight for the anti-Islam, pro-Christian stance, which is that we are all extremists who want to kill non-Muslims (specifically Christians because, believe me, extremist Christians don’t want you to live either so they only highlight that atheists are to be killed as well to show you that they are the lesser of two evils). Yet if that were true, there would be a lot more dead people on this planet. 1.5 billion people who believe it’s their duty to kill you and yours like you would be doing a LOT more damage than what is currently being done, because by all estimates only about 0.01% of Muslims believe in this extremist view which you are espousing. There would be absolutely ZERO embassies in all the Muslim majority countries if we really believed this! I mean, the lack of logic is just mindboggling.

    You never mention fatawa (plural for fatwa) from highly prominent “clerics” (stupid Christian words being foisted onto Muslims but yeah whatever, you can’t be bothered to learn our terms) such as the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Dr. Ali Gomaa:

    http://www.ali-gomaa.com/?page=scholary-output&so_details=29

    Oh and by the way, since science was designed to completely leave the how’s unanswered, you Atheists who are using science as a basis for belief are actually misusing science. If you wish to disbelieve in all forms of religion or in any possibility of a higher power that is fine, but to say you do so because of science is counterintuitive and a perversion of science from a way to learn about the universe into some weird, twisted dogma.

    • Yasmin I invite you to read all the blogs tabbed religion. You will find me highly critical of Christianity and Islam. Only yesterday I was criticising the pope for having a heart of hate, and Christian commentators for using the tragic events at Sandy Hook to breakdown the wall of separation between church and state, and attack the First Amendment via popular culture. To say I am pushing a Christian agenda is nonsense. Read Jehovah to Dawkins page for how far I am from that.

      Plus I do mention death sentences imposed on apostates and fatwas when I hear of them. Richard Dawkins retweeted the article on the fatwa announced on Malala.

      I also ran for public office condemning the invasion of Iraq. So before you draw conclusions about my colonialist Christian ambitions try and find out where I stand rather than create me as someone you can easily disagree with. Disagree with what I say rather than what you think I might have said.

      You will also discover reading this blog is that I am pushing for a secular society – which allows you to have your faith, me to be an atheist – so we can both go about our daily lives as equal citizens without fear or favour. The about blog alone answers that question.

      Traditional Islam did not see scientific discovery as having to coincide with holy teaching; one reason why for a time scientific understanding was so far advanced of Europe. I imagine that we both do not want religion interfering with understanding how the world works. It only holds us back.

      As to god as a first cause – never argued that evolution proves there is no god or makes it less likely. I think studying religion itself is more than adequate for showing it is more man made than inspired of god. Science just helps with the god-of-the-gaps argument that no serious theologian would use nowadays.

      • Yasmin

        John, I’m not saying that you’re intentionally pushing a Christian agenda. I’m saying that when you repeat propaganda (such as the mistranslation of kaafir into infidel) that was created by Christians in order to “prove” Christianity is superior to Islam (something that can’t be proven scientifically but let’s ignore that for a moment), you are unwittingly pushing the Christian argument.

        As far as secular society goes, I’m not so sure. I was just reading an article which I bookmarked to blog about later, and it had this quote:

        “The first factor is Western Europe’s unfortunate history of monolithic state religion. The rise of secular states did little to change the idea of a religious monoculture—it just included secularism as one of the monocultures. Indeed, “lay” states such as France and Turkey have long enforced secularism as the only acceptable form of behavior in public affairs, while countries like Norway treat their official churches as vestigial organs.”

        I’m sure as an Atheist you have probably experienced this first hand, or heard of people complaining about this. Secular nations like the United States contain masses of people that are still largely intolerant to anyone who is not Christian – and even then you have to be the right “brand” of Christian to garner complete approval.

        Furthermore, how many states defined as secular really have a place for me? France and Belgium prohibit me from dressing how I wish within their borders, so I can’t be free there. Sweden and others have banned halal and kosher meat, so unless I wish to be a situational vegetarian/pescatarian I can’t be free there, either. And I am a United States citizen but I don’t ever see myself living there again because of all the open discrimination and hatred I faced from narrow-minded bigots. The U.K. is the same, as I have Muslim friends who live there who complain about hate-speech violence against Muslims, which is tolerated by society at large for the most part (at least silently).

        You’re correct, however, that it was the way traditional Islam viewed science that kept it ahead of Europe. In fact, the Muslim world didn’t start regressing until, out of fear of outsiders, it embraced traditionalism over the essence of Islam. And we still largely hang on to that traditionalistic view of Islam, where everything is distilled down to meaningless rituals, thereby lobotomising ourselves.

        As far as studying religion goes, really, does it matter in the long run if it’s manmade? (I don’t believe my religion is manmade; I’m addressing your beliefs.) I’m an Anthropologist, and I know that both culture and language are manmade in the sense that they are part of human evolution – as is religion. I don’t shun either culture or language because they’re very useful tools that are required for humans to, well, be human. And in reality, religion is the same. Humans need direction. We need morals and a certain amount of rules. We need something that drives people together.

        Is religion often perverted into something that also causes harm? Sure, but the same could be said of language and culture, especially in the guise of Nationalism.

        And until Atheism at large stops being a luxury and starts dealing with/solving issues that exist in developing countries, it’s of little use to anyone except elites in Ivory Towers. Religion, on the other hand, actually helps a lot. Take, for example, the comparison of South Africa and Egypt. Both are in similar economic situations, with a huge elite devouring most of the nation’s wealth and the poor literally struggling to survive on a daily basis. Yet if you look at crime in Egypt vs. crime in South Africa (and both have cultures based on corruption of the police and governmental offices so that’s near identical), you’ll see that Egypt has a lot less crime than South Africa does. That’s because the people of Egypt are mostly devout Muslims who, while they make mistakes and still have their issues (and they have some large ones, I’m not apologising for that), don’t really have a lot of violent crime to speak of, whereas South Africa doesn’t have that kind of guidance but instead has a mixture of various religions/denominations within a secular system that don’t really give the people guidance as to how to live their lives on a day to day basis, and crime here is absolutely out of control.

        Anyway, my point here isn’t to convert you. I just tire of Atheists evangelising. If you want to try and “convert” (devert? what would you even call that?) religious people to being a-religious people, that’s your right. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to sit by and listen silently while you spew propaganda, especially when that same propaganda was meant for pushing Christianity via colonialism down the world’s collective throat.

      • I think the word is deconvert – but I’m not into that. You are right that secularism should allow people to go about their religious identity. Key thing is that no one is oppressed to do or not to do.

        I argue secularism is something the religious and non religious should care about.

        By the way I refer to infidel in the way Thomas Jefferson said about the freedom of religion.

  2. Yasmin – de-colonise your mind from Islam 🙂

    Follow our twitter and join our forum http://www.councilofexmuslims.com/

    Watch our video on science and Islam http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XLg-SRGMNk

    Stop reciting untruthful dawah propaganda 🙂

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