In Response to a Popular Islam Basher

Before I delve into the main subject of this post, let me make this clear: I am not a 'Muslim extremist’. I support freedom of thought and expression and I value constructive criticism. I am writing this post as a critique only.

In the recent months, an egregiously outspoken critic of Islam has gained a heap of media attention and mass popularity for her anti-Islamic views. In a public speech, Wafa Sultan, the Islam basher, said, “There is no moderate Islam at all because Islam is different from any other religion.” She continued, “They believe the Quran is the absolute word of God and we’re not supposed to play with it or change it.” I can’t understand what she means by saying ‘there is no moderate Islam because Islam is different from any other religion’. Does this mean homogeneity breeds moderation? How? I believe we must celebrate our differences and should try to use them as grounds for amity, not divide..

As far as Quran’s being the absolute word of God is concerned, yes, Quran is the absolute word of God. That’s what the Muslims believe. And I can’t find anything wrong in it. And, of course, no Muslim is supposed to ‘play with it or change it’. I can’t find anything wrong with this either. On the contrary, I think if the Muslims were supposed to change the word of God, the Muslim ‘terrorists’ or ‘extremists’ would most certainly do so to legitimize their actions and hence, gain a wider popular support among ‘devout’ Muslims. Who would want that? Also, to the best of my knowledge, no one in any other religion is allowed to ‘change’ the text of a sacred book or ‘play’ with it in any other form.

For Muslims, Islam is a ‘complete code of life’. This means it is a complete social, political and religious system which can enable a Muslim society to run autonomously and without any ideological support from outside. This also means that in a Muslim state, politics and religion are intertwined. Nonetheless, almost all of the ‘problems’ seen in Islamic countries have nothing to do with Islam; rather, they are caused by local tribal traditions and cultures confused to be Islamic. Forced marriages, or mandatory circumcision of girls, for example, have nothing to do with Islamic principals. Likewise, torture or rape of women are strictly forbidden in Islam. These phenomena have become characteristic of Islam because they are practiced frequently in Muslim countries.

Dr Sultan is, as some people speculate, currently enjoying a position of popularity and fame in an atmosphere of immunity. She will continue to enjoy these privileges as long as she keeps bashing Islam. She may appear to be a hero championing the cause of free speech in an oppressively censuring society, but it is said that she may be doing so just to further her personal objectives. Her case is more or less like that of Ayan Hirsi Ali, a Dutch ex-Muslim politician and a fierce critic of Islam.

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12 Responses to “In Response to a Popular Islam Basher”

  1. 1 Omni May 13, 2006 at 4:42 am

    Christians tend to pick and choose as to which parts of the Bible they’ll believe, obey, stress, or even pay attention to; do Muslims never do this with the Quran?


  2. 2 hamesha May 13, 2006 at 6:52 am

    Powerful and well argued Ahmad. I am more suspicious of Wafa Sultan’s motives than Ayan Hirsi Ali’s whom I respect as a serious and consistent intellectual and not just a media baby. Nonetheless, W.S. and anyone else are entitled to their opinions. The tragedy is that many do not realize that while claiming to reform and critique Islam, through employing extreme and tactless methods, they may end up harming the whole project for reform and undermine the cause of moderate Muslims. Also, there is a need to expound to a greater degree the question of Islam being a ‘complete code of life’ for Muslims and the only source of social, political inspiration.

  3. 3 Kunstemaecker May 15, 2006 at 6:59 pm

    Only ignorant people bash on other people’s religion. Sadly for people like us, that’s half the world.

    I am an atheist and I respect all religions and cultures just like I expect people to respect me for who I am.

    It’s the only way.

    For the record, Islam is a wonderful religion if followed correctly.

  4. 4 MyScribbles: Write-ups of an Afghan May 15, 2006 at 10:52 pm

    Omni, as I mentioned in the body of the article, Islam is considered to be a complete code of life; a perfect way of living devoid of drawbacks. This means there is no question of accepting some parts of it while denying others. So if a person converts to Islam or believes in the Quran, s/he is bound to accept all of its contents. S/he can not be selective as to which parts s/he likes or dislikes.

  5. 5 Callen Damornen May 17, 2006 at 1:30 am

    So is it pretty much like in the Christian religions where you have some who take the Bible extremely literally and don’t want to change it while others believe the same, but interpret it differently.

    I know the Christian fundies can be quite scary, but I don’t lump all Christians in the same boat. Same as the Muslims as I know some who are my friends who do not want to be associated with the terrorists.

    While one Muslim may interpret a call to wipe out the infidel as a general kill any non-Muslims, others interpret that same passage as a right to kill only those who are currently physically attacking you.

    Some of the Bible passages are quite scary if you take them too literally.

  6. 6 MyScribbles: Write-ups of an Afghan May 17, 2006 at 10:26 am

    Yes, Callen Damornen, Like any other holy book, the Quran is also open to more than one interpretation. This is what makes it very dangerous.

    The 'terrorists''interpretation of some verses of the Quran regarding 'Jihad' and 'killing of the infidels'is as violent as their natures are. And because they can justify their actions through the Quran, people (who are mostly illiterate and very religious in the Muslim countries) are attracted to them and tend to support them. Hence, the terrorists get a continuous, inexhaustible supply of manpower to continue their detructive activities. However, we must keep this in mind that this misinterpretation is not the only reason why some people are joining the terrorists.

  7. 7 Darrell May 18, 2006 at 8:17 pm

    How any religion is viewed by the outside world is entirely dependent on who defines it and how it is defined. Those who define Islam as a religion of Jihad and intollerant of other faiths are the ones currently speaking the loudest and most often in defining Islam. I know that all of Islam is not the Terrorist religion it is made out to be by many. I also know that at least publicly there is not enough being stated nor done by “Moderate Muslims” to define Islam as the religion of peace and tollerance that they want it to be. I hope that someone from with the Muslim community will step up and take the microphones away from the Bin Ladens and Ayatollah Ahmad Husseini Al-Baghdadi and demonstrate to the world that Islam is a religion of peace.

  8. 8 Francis W. Porretto May 20, 2006 at 2:56 am

    All of this would have some value if Islam were in fact a religion. It isn’t.

  9. 9 ninglun May 25, 2006 at 4:28 am

    Congratulations on your blog, which I have noted on my own today.

  10. 11 Niyaz PK January 15, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Good post. I agree with everything.

  1. 1 My writing in May 2006 really was different… | Neil's Commonplace Book Trackback on May 10, 2016 at 4:36 am

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I no longer update this weblog due to academic and other preoccupations. However, feel free to browse through its older entries. Thanks.
This is a weblog where a journalism enthusiast Afghan student writes about hot contemporary issues from an Afghan perspective. Enjoy your visit! Contact: mail . myscribbles @ gmail . com

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