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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:12 pm 
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On another thread, someone was commenting about an important prophet of his faith, and the revelations that came to him. When you read the Bible or the Koran, you will find many cases of great prophets having visions, or speaking directly to God.

I can recall a time years ago where a group of us in a lab were doing some mass-production filtering and beaker-cleaning work. It was the kind of work that made it easy to turn the radio on and/or talk about whatever. Well we had one fellow who liked to talk about Jesus, and convert us all. I was in my "Not gonna convert me; I'm an ex-Catholic." phase. A born-again trying to convert an ex-Catholic trained in parochial school is an amusing thing to behold. But anyhow... One of the people around the table came up with this thought. "If you daughter came to you - pregnant - and told you The Holy Spirit did it, what would you say?"

So here's the "pregnant" question. Since it seems that God only spoke to people through visions in the past, are we largely talking about an absence of anti-psychotic meds? Then again... whose reality is "real?" :lol:

Just curious... And I don't expect any definitive answers, so don't get too worked up about it. :)

- Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:32 am 
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I'd ask my daughter to introduce me to "Mr. Spirit" so we could have a "chat" about it! :wink: Then I'd explain to "Mr. Spirit" that it's already been done, so it won't fly a second time, especially not without us getting to know each other extremely well. :evil:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:04 am 
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I sat in on an interview with a patient in a locked psych ward with the psych attending. The guy was remarkably well organized, and his disorder was limited to a little thing: he was convinced he was the Messiah, and he was always attracting attention out in the world trying draw crowds to witness his miracles, and he was too busy waiting for a following to notice that he couldn't feed or shelter himself. But, he was not dumb. He asked, "Listen, you're only persecuting me because of my religious awakening (delete passage about the inadvisability of detaining the son of God) and I know that in this country, you're supposed to have freedom of religion. What I say and do is no less plausible than believing that Jesus was resurrected or that he returned to walk around the midwest. So how can you justify calling me crazy?"

The shrink just laid it out: "I can see why you're frustrated, but in america, a religion of one is a mental disease."

There was also an interesting passage about people who live somewhere in the boonies and get a rep as eccentric for their weird speech or visions... and if they make it to the city, they're locked up for being crazy.

As for creative sources of children, Gershwin went after one but decided not to go after the more offensive alternative event, but this applies somewhat:

"It ain't necessarily so
It ain't necessarily so
The t'ings dat yo' li'ble
To read in de Bible,
It ain't necessarily so.
...
Li'l Moses was found in a stream.
Li'l Moses was found in a stream.
He floated on water
Till Ol' Pharaoh's daughter,
She fished him, she said, from dat stream.
...
Live clean ! Don' have no fault !
Oh, I takes dat gospel
Whenever it's pos'ble,
But wid a grain of salt."

If you want to claim a fantastical event these days, you usually have to come up with better proof that a written acount from a witness. Pancake visions of the virgin mary excepted. [/i]

_________________
--Ian


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:17 pm 
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IJ wrote:
Pancake visions of the virgin mary excepted.


I made the mistake of putting the Frangelico bottle in the same cabinet with the Aunt Jemima bottle and ended up with a dozen nip-sized bottles of Irish Whiskey... Divine? I dunno, I drank the evidence while smoking a 40th anniversary Padron cigar! 8) :lol: :oops: :P


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:10 pm 
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Irish whiskey? Frangelico is an Italian hazelnut liqueur, which doesn't have anything to do with Irish or whiskey. Or maybe I completely missed the joke, I don't know.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:55 pm 
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Andrew Heuett wrote:
Or maybe I completely missed the joke, I don't know.


Go with your instincts on this one... :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 4:52 am 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
So here's the "pregnant" question. Since it seems that God only spoke to people through visions in the past, are we largely talking about an absence of anti-psychotic meds?

- Bill


As another ex-Catholic, I'd vote yes. I'd also chalk the whole thing (religion) up as "sorry no evidence" "wishful thinking", so please stop killing each other over it.
(I don't mean to offend people with religious beliefs here, just stating the conclusion I came to after weighing the evidence).

In a previous career, I used to work for big Pharma and sell antipsychotic meds. Went to a lot of wards, met a lot of very intelligent people sick with serious delusion problems. What they saw and heard and felt was absolutely and positively real to them. They had passion and true belief in their delusions. No doubt, in an earlier time, many of these people would have been considered visionaries or prophets. Quite sad really - because its not their fault.

The stats are starting to fade, so I really should re-look them up, but from memory I believe the stats for % of population for people suffering from delusions at any one time is somewhere in the 1-5% range, so you're bumping into them pretty well every day.


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 5:04 am 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
On another thread, someone was commenting about an important prophet of his faith, and the revelations that came to him. When you read the Bible or the Koran, you will find many cases of great prophets having visions, or speaking directly to God.

I can recall a time years ago where a group of us in a lab were doing some mass-production filtering and beaker-cleaning work. It was the kind of work that made it easy to turn the radio on and/or talk about whatever. Well we had one fellow who liked to talk about Jesus, and convert us all. I was in my "Not gonna convert me; I'm an ex-Catholic." phase. A born-again trying to convert an ex-Catholic trained in parochial school is an amusing thing to behold. But anyhow... One of the people around the table came up with this thought. "If you daughter came to you - pregnant - and told you The Holy Spirit did it, what would you say?"

So here's the "pregnant" question. Since it seems that God only spoke to people through visions in the past, are we largely talking about an absence of anti-psychotic meds? Then again... whose reality is "real?" :lol:

Just curious... And I don't expect any definitive answers, so don't get too worked up about it. :)

- Bill



Well remember, the first question Mohammed asked when he got his visions was: Am i crazy? Am i possesed by demons?

Not saying 'oh, he had criticle thinking, now become muslim!'

No no, please dont get that idea.

Im just trying to say that: Though people those days were not smart, they DID ask the same fundamental questions.


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 7:17 pm 
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AAAhmed46 wrote:
Im just trying to say that: Though people those days were not smart, they DID ask the same fundamental questions.


I wouldn't say that people in those days weren't smart. Given the times, the state of the world, and other influences, people there coped and checked things out arguably as well as we do today. (modern tools and inventions for accuracy aside...)

Even today, we have large groups of "believers" in all manner of "spirituality", "para-normal", <fill in your favorite item here>... In fact, in this modern times when double blind scientific tests have been conducted (including some by esteemed posters here ;) ), I happened to be out last night and saw part of a show called "Deal or No Deal" where the woman claimed to have psychic abilities. Well... Long story short, she did NOT win the million dollars... not even close in my book. She (and her "psychic" co-horts repeatedly had "feelings" about opening this or that case... only to have the values be statistically correct in general for what I saw.) YET, there were a LOT of folks there who "believed" in her.

Want me to "believe" in you... come turn my water into wine and walk across my swimming pool (With due credit to JCS).

On the other hand, is there room for belief and faith in my life... damn right. I'm just not going to go around killing people who disagree.

On the other hand (and I'm sure I'll get outraged indignation from some for pointing out this TRUTH, which comes from mainstream Islam - yes, I've done my homework on a number of different "religious" and "spiritual" fronts for years), what mainstream Judeo-Christian America does not realize (for some reason) is that the Imams who have expressed their "tolerance to the west" and their "sympathies over the atrocities of 9/11", are using the Islamic principle of Taqiyya – the seldom-discussed Islamic practice of lying to non-Muslims in order to win political battles and protect Islam. While these "moderate" Imams have claimed to be tolerant and sympathetic to the United States, they have also made statements such as:

"Muslims [have] the numbers to take control of the United States in a political coup." - Imam Siraj Wahhaj, to a Muslim audience in New Jersey, in 1992, a year after giving the invocation to Congress.

"Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran ... should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth." - Omar M. Ahmad, a leader of the "moderate" Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"I want to see the U.S. become an Islamic nation." - Ibrahim Hooper, ranking member from CAIR.

(CAIR is considered a "mainstream" Islamic group, but has seen three of its top leaders – Ghassan Elashi, Bassem K. Khafagi, and Randall Todd "Ismail" Royer – convicted on terrorism-related charges.)

"Allah's rules have to be established in all lands, and all our efforts lead to that direction." - Imam Muzammil H. Siddiqi in a 2003 fatwa to the faithful, even though he is considered a "moderate" and was given the "solemn honor of representing the Muslim faith during the prayer service for [9-11] victims at the national Cathedral in Washington."

There are countless U.S. Muslim leaders who masquerade as moderates, forswear terrorism, but then do what the Quran commands: "instill terror in the hearts of unbelievers" (Surah 8:12).

Thanks to multiculturalist efforts to appease the Islamist lobby, it has infiltrated deep into American society. A Muslim chaplain corps has been created in the U.S. military and a Saudi-based front for al-Qaida employed to minister to the approximately 20,000 Muslim soldiers. The same religious recruiters are active in penitentiaries, where there are 200,000 Muslim inmates. In fact, U.S. prisons are now the top recruiting ground for al-Qaida in the United States.

Terrorism is an excrescence of Islam because while the murder of "innocents" might be prohibited, "orthodox Muslims do not consider Jews and Christians [much less Israeli civilians] necessarily innocent." In other words, "What the public recognizes as murder, these Muslims recognize as justice." The Quran, after all, doesn't teach tolerance toward other faiths, but inveighs against the Jewish "apes and swine" and the Christian blasphemers.

In the final analysis, the words "gullible" and "politically correct" do not begin to describe the dereliction of duty of the U.S government that has not only failed in its constitutional duty to uproot America's enemies on the home front, but has done its best to accommodate and appease them.


Note on sources and cites...

Besides the Quran (the CAIR-approved translation), I have also used other sources, such as:

Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington by Paul Sperry, which contains staggering evidence, meticulously researched and quoted.

The Sword of the Prophet by Serge Trifkovic

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) by Robert Spencer

All three authors have shown and given the documented evidence that "sadly, much of Western terrorism is simply Islam in practice, the text of the Quran in action." Judging by the Quran, Islam is an inherently violent and intolerant faith, around which self-proclaimed "moderates" have built a politically correct mythology that has been meticulously molded.

{Putting on my asbestos suit...}


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 8:10 pm 
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Making america an islamic nation?

Dont christians consider america a CHRISTIAN nation? What about all those sermons of 'this is the holy land' or 'god has chosen america'


Quote:
"instill terror in the hearts of unbelievers" (Surah 8:12).


Do you know what came before that...or AFTER that? Do you know if this is the full verse or not? :lol:

"Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors. And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. but if they desist, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrong-doers. The forbidden month for the forbidden month, and forbidden things in retaliation. And one who attacketh you, attack him in like manner as he attacked you. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is with those who ward off (evil)." 2:190-194



Not an exact quote from different translations, damn it!, but depending on the translation, before that it essentially said 'if they bring harm to you' and after that it said 'if they desist leave them in peace...' or something like that. Also, the context of this verse was revealed during the battle of Badr. The whole surah lays out the rules of war for muslims to adhere to.

On translation:

All are different translations
Here are the 3 most popular translations in their complete form:


Pickthall
Yusufali
Shakir

8:9 When ye sought help of your Lord and He answered you (saying): I will help you with a thousand of the angels, rank on rank. Remember ye implored the assistance of your Lord, and He answered you: "I will assist you with a thousand of the angels, ranks on ranks." When you sought aid from your Lord, so He answered you: I will assist you with a thousand of the angels following one another.
8:10 Allah appointed it only as good tidings, and that your hearts thereby might be at rest. Victory cometh only by the help of Allah. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise. God made it but a message of hope, and an assurance to your hearts: (in any case) there is no help except from God: and God is Exalted in Power, Wise. And Allah only gave it as a good news and that your hearts might be at ease thereby; and victory is only from Allah; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.
8:11 When He made the slumber fall upon you as a reassurance from him and sent down water from the sky upon you, that thereby He might purify you, and remove from you the fear of Satan, and make strong your hearts and firm (your) feet thereby. Remember He covered you with a sort of drowsiness, to give you calm as from Himself, and he caused rain to descend on you from heaven, to clean you therewith, to remove from you the stain of Satan, to strengthen your hearts, and to plant your feet firmly therewith. When He caused calm to fall on you as a security from Him and sent down upon you water from the cloud that He might thereby purify you, and take away from you the uncleanness of the Shaitan, and that He might fortify your hearts and steady (your) footsteps thereby.
8:12
When thy Lord inspired the angels, (saying): I am with you. So make those who believe stand firm. I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger.
Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them."
When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.

8:13 That is because they opposed Allah and His messenger. Whoso opposeth Allah and His messenger, (for him) lo! Allah is severe in punishment. This because they contended against God and His Apostle: If any contend against God and His Apostle, God is strict in punishment. This is because they acted adversely to Allah and His Apostle; and whoever acts adversely to Allah and His Apostle-- then surely Allah is severe in requiting (evil).

Let us try and understand exactly what the above verse is conveying and for whom. First







Now is this author a christian? Because according to this article:


By Abu Iman Abd ar-Rahman Robert Squires. © Muslim Answers

Any open-minded person embarking on a study of Islam, especially if using books written in European languages, should be aware of the seemingly inherent distortions that permeate almost all non-Muslim writings on Islam. At least since the Middle Ages, Islam has been much maligned and severely misunderstood in the West. In the last years of the Twentieth Century, it does not seem that much has changed—even though most Muslims would agree that progress is being made.

QUESTIONABLE MOTIVES & GENERAL IGNORANCE

I feel that an elegant summary of the West's ignorance of Islam and the motives of Orientalism are the following words by the Swiss journalist and author, Roger Du Pasquier:

"The West, whether Christian or dechristianised, has never really known Islam. Ever since they watched it appear on the world stage, Christians never ceased to insult and slander it in order to find justification for waging war on it. It has been subjected to grotesque distortions the traces of which still endure in the European mind. Even today there are many Westerners for whom Islam can be reduced to three ideas: fanaticism, fatalism and polygamy. Of course, there does exist a more cultivated public whose ideas about Islam are less deformed; there are still precious few who know that the word islam signifies nothing other than 'submission to God'. One symptom of this ignorance is the fact that in the imagination of most Europeans, Allah refers to the divinity of the Muslims, not the God of the Christians and Jews; they are all surprised to hear, when one takes the trouble to explain things to them, that 'Allah' means 'God', and that even Arab Christians know him by no other name.
Islam has of course been the object of studies by Western orientalists who, over the last two centuries, have published an extensive learned literature on the subject. Nevertheless, however worthy their labours may have been, particularly in the historical and and philological fields, they have contributed little to a better understanding of the Muslim religion in the Christian or post-Christian milieu, simply because they have failed to arouse much interest outside their specialised academic circles. One is forced also to concede that Orientals studies in the West have not always been inspired by the purest spirit of scholarly impartiality, and it is hard to deny that some Islamicists and Arabists have worked with the clear intention of belittling Islam and its adherents. This tendency was particularly marked—for obvious reasons—in the heyday of the colonial empires, but it would be an exaggeration to claim that it has vanished without trace.
These are some of the reasons why Islam remains even today so misjudged by the West, where curiously enough, Asiatic faiths such as Buddhism and Hinduism have for more than a century generated far more visible sympathy and interest, even though Islam is so close to Judaism and Christianity, having flowed from the same Abrahamic source. Despite this, however, for several years it has seemed that external conditions, particularly the growing importance of the Arab-Islamic countries in the world's great political and economic affairs, have served to arouse a growing interest of Islam in the West, resulting—for some—in the discovery of new and hitherto unsuspected horizons." (From Unveiling Islam, by Roger Du Pasquier, pages 5-7)

The feeling that there is a general ignorance of Islam in the West is shared by Maurice Bucaille, a French doctor, who writes:

"When one mentions Islam to the materialist atheist, he smiles with a complacency that is only equal to his ignorance of the subject. In common with the majority of Western intellectuals, of whatever religious persuasion, he has an impressive collection of false notions about Islam. One must, on this point, allow him one or two excuses. Firstly, apart from the newly-adopted attitudes prevailing among the highest Catholic authorities, Islam has always been subject in the West to a so-called 'secular slander'. Anyone in the West who has acquired a deep knowledge of Islam knows just to what extent its history, dogma and aims have been distorted. One must also take into account that fact that documents published in European languages on this subject (leaving aside highly specialised studies) do not make the work of a person willing to learn any easier." (From The Bible, the Qur'an and Science, by Maurice Bucaille, page 118)

ORIENTALISM: A BROAD DEFINITION

The phenomenon which is generally known as Orientalism is but one aspect of Western misrepresentations of Islam. Today, most Muslims in the West would probably agree that the largest volume of distorted information about Islam comes from the media, whether in newspapers, magazines or on television. In terms of the number of people who are reached by such information, the mass media certainly has more of a widespread impact on the West's view of Islam than do the academic publications of "Orientalists", "Arabists" or "Islamicists". Speaking of labels, in recent years the academic field of what used to be called "Orientalism" has been renamed "Area Studies" or "Regional Studies", in most colleges and universities in the West. These politically correct terms have taken the place of the word "Orientalism" in scholarly circles since the latter word is now tainted with a negative imperialist connotation, in a large measure due to the Orientalists themselves. However, even though the works of scholars who pursue these fields do not reach the public at large, they do often fall into the hands of students and those who are personally interested in learning more about Islam. As such, any student of Islam—especially those in the West—need to be aware of the historical phenomenon of Orientalism, both as an academic pursuit and as a means of cultural exploitation. When used by Muslims, the word "Orientalist" generally refers to any Western scholar who studies Islam—regardless of his or her motives—and thus, inevitably, distorts it. As we shall see, however, the phenomenon of Orientalism is much more than an academic pursuit. Edward Said, a renowned Arab Christian scholar and author of several books exposing shortcomings of the Orientalist approach, defines "Orientalism" as follows:

" . . . by Orientalism I mean several things, all of them, in my opinion, interdependent. The most readily accepted designation of for Orientalism is an academic one, and indeed, and indeed the label still serves in a number of academic institutions. Anyone who teaches, writes about, or researches the Orient—and this applies whether the person is an anthropologist, sociologist, historian, or philogist—either in its specific or its general aspects, is an Orientalist, and what he or she does is Orientalism." (From Orientalism, by Edward W. Said, page 2)

"To speak of Orientalism therefore is to speak mainly, although not exclusively, of a British and French cultural enterprise, a project whose dimensions take in such disparate realms as the imagination itself, the whole of India and the Levant, the Biblical texts and the Biblical lands, the spice trade, colonial armies and a long tradition of colonial administrators, a formidable scholarly corpus, innumerable Oriental "experts" and "hands", an Oriental professorate, a complex array of "Oriental" ideas (Oriental despotism, Oriental splendor, cruelty, sensuality), many Eastern sects, philosophies, and wisdoms domesticated for local European use—the list can be extended more or less indefinitely." (From Orientalism, by Edward W. Said, page 4)

As is the case with many things, being aware of the problem is half the battle. Once a sincere seeker of the Truth is aware of the long standing misunderstanding and hostility between Islam and the West—and learns not to trust everything which they see in print—authentic knowledge and information can be obtained much more quickly. Certainly, not all Western writings on Islam have the same degree of bias—they run the range from willful distortion to simple ignorance—and there are even a few that could be classified as sincere efforts by non-Muslims to portray Islam in a positive light. However, even most of these works are plagued by seemingly unintentional errors, however minor, due to the author's lack of Islamic knowledge. In the spirit of fairness, it should be said that even some contemporary books on Islam by Muslim authors suffer from these same shortcomings, usually due to a lack of knowledge, heretical ideas and or depending on non-Muslim sources.

This having been said, it should come as no surprise that learning about Islam in the West—especially when relying on works in European languages—has never been an easy task. Just a few decades ago, an English speaking person who was interested in Islam, and wishing to limit their reading to works by Muslim authors, might have been limited to reading a translation of the Qur'an, a few translated hadeeth books and a few dozen pamphlet-sized essays. However, in the past several years the widespread availability of Islamic books—written by believing and committed Muslims—and the advent of the Internet have made obtaining authentic information on almost any aspect of Islam much easier. Today, hardly a week goes by that an English translation of a classical Islamic work is not announced. Keeping this in mind, I would encourage the reader to consult books written by Muslim authors when trying to learn about Islam. There are a wide range of Islamic book distributors that can be contacted through the Internet.

IMPERIALISTIC AIMS & EAGER MISSIONARIES

Moving on to a more detailed look at the West's distorted view of Islam in general and Orientalism in particular . . . Edward Said, the Arab Christian author of the monumental work Orientalism, accurately referred to Orientalism a "cultural enterprise". This is certainly no distortion, since the academic study of the Oriental East by the Occidental West was often motivated—and often co-operated hand-in-hand— with the imperialistic aims of the European colonial powers. Without a doubt, the foundations of Orientalism are in the maxim "Know thy enemy". When the "Christian Nations" of Europe began their long campaign to colonize and conquer the rest of the world for their own benefit, they brought their academic and missionary resources to bear in order to assist in the task. Orientalists and missionaries—whose ranks often overlapped—were more often than not the servants of an imperialist government who was using their services as a way to subdue or weaken an enemy, however subtly:

"With regard to Islam and the Islamic territories, for example, Britain felt that it had legitimate interests, as a Christian power, to safeguard. A complex apparatus for tending these interests developed. Such early organizations as the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (1698) and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (1701) were succeeded and later abetted by the Baptist Missionary Society (1792), the Church Missionary Society (1799), the British and Foreign Bible Society (1804), the London Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews (1808). These missions "openly" joined the expansion of Europe." (From Orientalism, by Edward W. Said, page 100)

Anyone who has studied the subject knows that Christian missionaries were willing participants in European imperialism, regardless of the pure motives or naïveté of some of the individual missionaries. Actually, quite a few Orientalist scholars were Christian missionaries. One notable example is Sir William Muir, who was an active missionary and author of several books on Islam. His books were very biased and narrow-minded studies, but they continue to be used as references for those wishing to attack Islam to this very day. That Christians were the source of some of the worst lies and distortions about Islam should come as no surprise, since Islam was its main "competitor" on the stage of World Religions. Far from honouring the commandment not to bear false witness against one's neighbour, Christians distortions—and outright lies—about Islam were widespread, as the following shows:

"The history of Orientalism is hardly one of unbiased examination of the sources of Islam especially when under the influence of the bigotry of Christianity. From the fanatical distortions of John of Damascus to the apologetic of later writers against Islam that told their audiences that the Muslims worshipped three idols! Peter the Venerable (1084-1156) "translated" the Qur'an which was used throughout the Middle Ages and included nine additional chapters. Sale's infamously distorted translation followed that trend, and his, along with the likes of Rodwell, Muir and a multitude of others attacked the character and personality of Muhammmed. Often they employed invented stories, or narration's which the Muslims themselves considered fabricated or weak, or else they distorted the facts by claiming Muslims held a position which they did not, or using the habits practised out of ignorance among the Muslims as the accurate portrayal of Islam. As Norman Daniel tell us in his work Islam and the West: "The use of false evidence to attack Islam was all but universal . . . " (p. 267)." (From An Authoritative Exposition - Part 1, by 'Abdur-Raheem Green)

This view is confirmed by the well known historian of the Middle East, Bernard Lewis, when he writes:

"Medieval Christendom did, however, study Islam, for the double purpose of protecting Christians from Muslim blandishments and converting Muslims to Christianity, and Christian scholars, most of them priests or monks, created a body of literature concerning the faith, its Prophet, and his book, polemic in purpose and often scurrilous in tone, designed to protect and discourage rather than to inform".." (From Islam and the West, by Bernard Lewis, pages 85-86)

There is a great deal of proof that one could use to demonstrate that when it came to attacking Islam, even the Roman Catholic Church would readily embrace almost any untruth. Here's an example:

"At a certain period in history, hostility to Islam, in whatever shape or form, even coming from declared enemies of the church, was received with the most heartfelt approbation by high dignitaries of the Catholic Church. Thus Pope Benedict XIV, who is reputed to have been the greatest Pontiff of the Eighteenth century, unhesitatingly sent his blessing to Voltaire. This was in thanks for the dedication to him of the tragedy Mohammed or Fanaticism (Mahomet ou le Fanatisme) 1741, a coarse satire that any clever scribbler of bad faith could have written on any subject. In spite of a bad start, the play gained sufficient prestige to be included in the repertoire of the Comédie-Française." (From The Bible, the Qur'an and Science, by Maurice Bucaille, page 118)

WIDESPREAD LIES & POPULAR CULTURE

The dedicated enemy of the church, referred to above, was the French philosopher Voltaire. For an example of what he thought of at least one Christian doctrine, read his Anti-Trinitarians tract. Also, the above passage introduces a point that one should be well aware of: the distortions and lies about Islam throughout the ages in Europe were not been limited to a small number of scholars and clergy. On the contrary, they were part of popular culture at the time:

"The European imagination was nourished extensively from this repertoire [of Oriental images]: between the Middle Ages and the eighteenth century such major authors as Ariosto, Milton, Marlowe, Tasso, Shakespeare, Cervantes, and the authors of the Chanson de Roland and the Poema del Cid drew on the Orient's riches for their productions, in ways that sharpened that outlines of imagery, ideas, and figures populating it. In addition, a great deal of what was considered learned Orientalist scholarship in Europe pressed ideological myths into service, even as knowledge seemed genuinely to be advancing." (From Orientalism, by Edward Said, page 63)

"The invariable tendency to neglect what the Qur'an meant, or what Muslims thought it meant, or what Muslims thought or did in any given circumstances, necessarily implies that Qur'anic and other Islamic doctrine was presented in a form that would convince Christians; and more and more extravagant forms would stand a chance of acceptance as the distance of the writers and public from the Islamic border increased. It was with very great reluctance that what Muslims said Muslims believed was accepted as what they did believe. There was a Christian picture in which the details (even under the pressure of facts) were abandoned as little as possible, and in which the general outline was never abandoned. There were shades of difference, but only with a common framework. All the corrections that were made in the interests of an increasing accuracy were only a defence of what had newly realised to be vulnerable, a shoring up of a weakened structure. Christian opinion was an erection which could not be demolished, even to be rebuilt." (From Islam and the West: The Making of an Image, by Norman Daniel, page 259-260)

Edward Said, in his classic work Orientalism, referring to the above passage by Norman Daniel, says:

"This rigorous Christian picture of Islam was intensified in innumerable ways, including—during the Middle Ages and early Renaissance—a large variety of poetry, learned controversy, and popular superstition. By this time the Near Orient had been all but incorporated in the common world-picture of Latin Christianity—as in the Chanson de Roland the worship of Saracens is portrayed as embracing Mahomet and Apollo. By the middle of the fifteenth century, as R. W. Southern has brilliantly shown, it became apparent to serious European thinkers "that something would have to be done about Islam," which had turned the situation around somewhat by itself arriving militarily in Eastern Europe." (From Orientalism, by Edward W. Said, page 61)

"Most conspicuous to us is the inability of any of these systems of thought [European Christian] to provide a fully satisfying explanation of the phenomenon they had set out to explain [Islam]—still less to influence the course of practical events in a decisive way. At a practical level, events never turned out either so well or so ill as the most intelligent observers predicted: and it is perhaps worth noticing that they never turned out better than when the best judges confidently expected a happy ending. Was there any progress [in Christian knowledge of Islam]? I must express my conviction that there was. Even if the solutions of the problem remained obstinately hidden from sight, the statement of the problem became more complex, more rational, and more related to experience." (From Western Views of Islam in the Middle Ages, by R. W. Southern, pages 91-92)

Regardless of the flawed, biased—and even devious—approach of many Orientalists, they too can have their moments of candour, as Roger DuPasquier points out:

"In general one must unhappily concur with an Orientalist like Montgomery Watt when he writes that 'of all the great men of the world, no-one has had as many detractors as Muhammad.' Having engaged in a lengthy study of the life and work of the Prophet, the British Arabist add that 'it is hard to understand why this has been the case', finding the only plausible explanation in the fact that for centuries Christianity treated Islam as its worst enemy. And although Europeans today look at Islam and its founder in a somewhat more objective light, 'many ancient prejudices still remain.'" (From Unveiling Islam, by Roger Du Pasquier, page 47 - quoting from W. M. Watt's Muhammad at Medina, Oxford University Press)

SOUND ADVICE & CONCLUDING REMARKS

In conclusion, I would like to turn to a description of Orientalism by an American convert to Islam. What he has this to say about the objectives and methods of Orientalism, especially how it is flawed from an Islamic perspective, is quite enlightening. While summarizing his views on a book by an Orientalist author, he writes:

" . . . (t)he book accurately reports the names and dates of the events it discusses, though its explanations of Muslim figures, their motives, and their place within the Islamic world are observed through the looking glass of unbelief (kufr), giving a reverse-image of many of the realities it reflects, and perhaps calling for a word here on the literature that has been termed Orientalism, or in the contemporary idiom, "area studies".
It is a viewpoint requiring that scholarly description of something like "African Islam" be first an foremost objective. The premises of this objectivity conform closely, upon reflection, to the lived and felt experience of a post-religious, Western intellectual tradition in understanding religion; namely, that comparing human cultural systems and societies in their historical succession and multiplicity leads the open-minded observer to moral relativism, since no moral value can be discovered which on its own merits is transculturally valid. Here, human civilizations, with their cultural forms, religions, hopes, aims, beliefs, prophets, sacred scriptures, and deities, are essentially plants that grow out of the earth, springing from their various seeds and soils, thriving for a time, and then withering away. The scholar's concern is only to record these elements and propose a plausible relation between them.
Such a point of departure, if de rigueur for serious academic work . . . is of course non-Islamic and anti-Islamic. As a fundamental incomprehension of Islam, it naturally distorts what it seeks to explain, yet with an observable disparity in the degree of distortion in any given description that seems to correspond roughly to how close the object of explanation is to the core of Islam. In dealing with central issues like Allah, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), the Koran, or hadith, it is at its worst; while the further it proceeds to the periphery, such as historical details of trade concessions, treaties names of rulers, weights of coins, etc., the less distorted it becomes. In either case, it is plainly superior for Muslims to rely on fellow Muslims when Islamic sources are available on a subject . . . if only to avoid the subtle and not-so-subtle distortions of non-Islamic works about Islam. One cannot help but feel that nothing bad would happen to us if we were to abandon the trend of many contemporary Muslim writers of faithfully annotating our works with quotes from the founding fathers of Orientalism, if only because to sleep with the dogs is generally to rise with the fleas." (From The Reliance of the Traveller, Edited and Translated by Noah Ha Mim Keller, page 1042)

As anyone who has studied Orientalism knows, both their methodology and their intentions were less than ideal. The follow remarks serve as a pointed synopsis of the approach of Orientalism to the Qur'an in particular and Islam in general:

"The Orientalist enterprise of Qur'anic studies, whatever its other merits and services, was a project born of spite, bred in frustration and nourished by vengeance: the spite of the powerful for the powerless, the frustration of the "rational" towards the "superstitious" and the vengeance of the "orthodox" against the "non-conformist." At the greatest hour of his worldly-triumph, the Western man, coordinating the powers of the State, Church and Academia, launched his most determined assault on the citadel of Muslim faith. All the aberrant streaks of his arrogant personality -- its reckless rationalism, its world-domineering phantasy and its sectarian fanaticism -- joined in an unholy conspiracy to dislodge the Muslim Scripture from its firmly entrenched position as the epitome of historic authenticity and moral unassailability. The ultimate trophy that the Western man sought by his dare-devil venture was the Muslim mind itself. In order to rid the West forever of the "problem" of Islam, he reasoned, Muslim consciousness must be made to despair of the cognitive certainty of the Divine message revealed to the Prophet. Only a Muslim confounded of the historical authenticity or doctrinal autonomy of the Qur'anic revelation would abdicate his universal mission and hence pose no challenge to the global domination of the West. Such, at least, seems to have been the tacit, if not the explicit, rationale of the Orientalist assault on the Qur'an." (From: "Method Against Truth: Orientalism and Qur'anic Studies", by S. Parvez Manzoor, Muslim World Book Review, Vol. 7, No. 4, Summer 1987, pp. 33-49.)

Need we say more?

Whaling A Taqiyyah

Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi & Usman Sheikh
We recently came face-to-face with the lies of a low-level Christian missionary on the voice channel Paltalk with regard to the so-called "abrogration" of Qur'an, 2:256 ("There is no compulsion in religion…"). When this author (MENJ) took the microphone and attempted to address the claims which has no basis in Qur'anic tafsir (commentary), he was shouted down by the same Christian missionary who accused this author of committing taqiyyah, which is exclusively a Shia belief. Unfortunately for the missionary, the author in question is a Sunni Muslim and hence could not be committing taqiyyah as per the missionary's claims.1. The missionary thus resorted to the tafsir (commentary) of Sura' al-Imraan (3):28 by Ibn Kathir from the same volume (the abridged translation) to lend "support" to his further misinterpretation of the Qur'anic text.

Hence our purpose in writing this article is two-fold: what exactly did Ibn Kathir say with regard to the issue of taqiyyah? What is Sunni Islam's position on this exclusively Shia doctrine? And what is the deal with the so-called "abrogation" of Qur'an, 2:256, which the Christian missionary claims is no longer "valid" in Islam?

We seek to answer these questions, insha'allah.

The Deal With Taqiyyah: What Did Ibn Kathir Really Say?

The Christian missionary had referred to Qur'an 3:28 and relied on his copy of Ibn Kathir's commentary2 for some "interesting" information of taqiyyah and quoted it (partially) in his speech over Paltalk when we deflected the charge of taqiyyah. What he "failed" to mention was the context in which this commentary was made. The context of the commentary is with regard to Muslims taking the disbelievers as their protectors or political allies. We therefore reproduce the whole commentary here as follows:
(in context of war and conflict against the muslim nation)
{28. Let not the believers take the disbelievers as friends instead of the believers, and whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in any way, unless you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself, and to Allah is the final return.}

The Prohibition of Supporting the Disbelievers

Allah prohibited His believing servants from becoming supporters of the disbelievers, or to take them as comrades with whom they develop friendships, rather than the believers. Allah warned against such behavior when He said,

{And whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in anyway}

meaning, whoever commits this act that Allah has prohibited, then Allah will discard him.

Similarly, Allah said,

{0 you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies as friends, showing affection towards them}

until,

{And whosoever of you does that, then indeed he has gone astray from the straight path.} [60:1]

Allah said,

{0 you who believe! Take not for friends disbelievers instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest proof against yourselves?} [4: 144]

and,

{0 you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends, they are but friends of each other. And whoever befriends them, then surely, he is one of them.} [5:51

Allah said, after mentioning the fact that the faithful believers gave their support to the faithful believers among the Muhajirin, Ansar and Bedouins,

{And those Who disbelieve are allies of one another, (and) if you do not behave the same, there will be Fitnah and oppression on the earth, and a great mischief and corruption.} [8:73]

Allah said next,

{unless you indeed fear a danger from them.}

meaning, except those believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers. In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Dard䒠said, "We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them." Al-Bukh㲩 said that Al-Hasan said, "The Tuqyah is allowed until the Day of Resurrection." Allah said,

{And Allah warns you against Himself.}

meaning, He warns you against His anger and the severe torment He prepared for those who give their support to His enemies, and those who have enmity with His friends….3

Note the bold sentences in the above quote. If someone is threatening to kill you and is only willing to let you go if you say or do the things he demands, then in such a dire circumstances, a person is permitted to say what needs to be said to save his/her life. That is all there is to it.

Consider the example of the American journalist Jill Carrol who was recently released in Iraq by militants. While still in Iraq, she appeared on television praising the militants who kidnapped her and murdered her translator. Later, once she was released and returned to America, she said that she was demanded to say those types of things, or else her life would have been in danger. Can anyone blame her for doing that and for saying the things she said in Iraq?

Likewise, Ibn Kathir explains that in such a situation, where you are being threatened with violence and you are not strong enough to defend yourself, a person may say certain things so that the aggressor would not harm him/her. Ibn Kathir does not state anywhere that you can just lie "for fun" or whenever you want to.

In the Qur'an we also read (16:106):

"Whoever disbelieved in Allah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith but such as open their breasts to disbelief, on them is wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a great torment." (Yusuf Ali)

Ibn Kathir has this to say in the abridged commentary:

{except one who was forced while his heart is at peace with the faith}

This is an exception in the case of one who utters statements of disbelief and verbally agrees with the Mushriktn because he is forced to do so by the beatings and abuse to which he is subjected, but his heart refuses to accept what he is saying, and he is, in reality at peace with his faith in Allah and His Messenger (P).

The scholars agreed that if a person is forced into disbelief, it is permissible for him to either go along with them in the interests of self-preservation, or to refuse, as Bil㬠did when they were inflicting all sorts of torture on him. even placing a huge rock on his chest in the intense heat and telling him to admit others as partners with Allah. He refused, saying, "Alone, Alone." And he said, "By Allah, if I knew any word more annoying to you than this, I would say it." May Allah be pleased with him.

Similarly, when the Liar Musaylimah asked Habib bin Zayd Al-Ansari, "Do you hear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah?" He said, "Yes." Then Musaylimah asked, "Do you bear witness that I am the messenger of Allah?" Habib said, "I do not hear you." Musaylimah kept cutting him, piece by piece, but he remained steadfast insisting on his words.

It is better and preferable for the Muslim to remain steadfast In his religion, even if that leads to him being killed, as was mentioned by Al-H㦩z lbn ?Asakir in his biography of ?Abdullah bin Hudh䦡h Al-Sahmi, one of the Companions….4

And so, according to Ibn Kathir, if someone is being compelled and forced, then they can do and say certain things — even pretend to renounce Islam — in order to save their lives, although it is preferable they face the torture and stick to Islam.

The Qur'an clearly speaks against lying and acts of deception in numerous passages and in Islam lying is absolutely wrong and condemned.

"Woe to every wicked liar." (Qur'an, 45:7)

Allah will say: "This is the Day when the truthfulness of the truthful will benefit them. They will have Gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, forever and ever. Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him. That is the Great Victory." (Qur'an, 5:119)

"Anyone who commits an error or an evil action, and then ascribes it to someone innocent, bears the weight of slander and clear wrongdoing." (Qur'an, 4:112)

They are people who listen to lies and consume ill-gotten gains. If they come to you, you can either judge between them or turn away from them. If you turn away from them, they cannot harm you in any way. But if you do judge, judge between them justly. Allah loves the just. (Qur'an, 5:42)

Why, when you heard it, did you not, as male and female believers, instinctively think good thoughts and say: "This is obviously a lie?" Why did they not produce four witnesses to it? Since they did not bring four witnesses, in Allah's sight they are liars. Were it not for Allah's favor to you and His mercy, both in this world and the Hereafter, a terrible punishment would have afflicted you for your plunging headlong into it [slander]. You were bandying it about on your tongues, your mouths uttering something about which you had no knowledge. You considered it to be a trivial matter, but in Allah's sight it is immense. Why, when you heard it, did you not say: "We have no business speaking about this. Glory be to You! This is a terrible slander!"? (Qur'an, 24:12-16)

O you who believe! If a deviator brings you a report, scrutinize it carefully in case you attack people in ignorance and so come to greatly regret what you have done. (Qur'an, 49:6)

Do not say about what your lying tongues describe: "This is lawful and this is forbidden," inventing lies against Allah. Those who invent lies against Allah are not successful. (Qur'an, 16:116)

Who could do greater wrong than those who lie about Allah and deny the truth when it comes to them? Do the unbelievers not have a dwelling place in Hell? (Qur'an, 39:32)

On the Day of Rising you will see those who lied against Allah with their faces blackened. Do not the arrogant have a dwelling place in Hell? (Qur'an, 39:60)

Say: "People who invent lies against Allah will not be successful." (Qur'an, 10:69)

Look how they invent lies against Allah. That suffices as an outright sin. (Qur'an, 4:50)

Hence what the missionary has claimed about the concept of taqiyyah in Islam is a false lie and goes against the spirit of the Qur'an. One can also see the numerous statements by the Prophet (P) against lying and liars, as well as the statements of Muslim scholars against lying and liars.

Qur'an 2:256: Where is the Abrogation?

Now we come to the gist of the whole issue, namely the so-called "abrogation" of Qur'an 2:256. The Christian missionary cited Ibn Kathir's commentary to this verse in order to "prove" that this verse was "abrogated" according to Ibn Kathir. However, Ibn Kathir does not say in the abridged commentary that this verse has been abrogated, which is contrary to the missionary claim on Paltalk.

We cite the relevant passage as follows.

No Compulsion in Religion

Allah said,

{There is no compulsion in religion}, meaning, "Do not force anyone to become Muslim, for Islam is plain and clear. and its proofs and evidence are plain and clear. Therefore, there is no need to force anyone to embrace Islam. Rather, whoever Allah directs to Islam, opens his heart for it and enlightens his mind, will embrace Islam with certainty. Whoever Allah blinds his heart and seals his hearing and sight, then he will not benefit from being forced to embrace Islam."

It was reported that the Ansar were the reason behind revealing this Ayah, although its indication is general in meaning. Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn ?Abbas said [that before Islam], "When (an Ansar) woman would not bear children who would live, she would vow that if she gives birth to a child who remains alive, she would raise him as a Jew. When Banu An-Nadir (the Jewish tribe) were evacuated [from Al-Madinah], some of the children of the Ansar were being raised among them, and the Ansar said, ?We will not abandon our children.? Allah revealed,

{There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the right path has become distinct from the wrong path}

Abu Daud and An-Nasa'i also recorded this hadith.

As for the Hadith that Imam Ahmad recorded, in which Anas said that the Messenger of Allah (P) said to a man,

{"Embrace Islam." The man said, "I dislike it." The Prophet (P) said, "Even if you dislike it."}

First, this is an authentic Hadith, with only three narrators between Imam Ahmad and the Prophet (P). However, it is not relevant to the subject under discussion, for the Prophet (P) did not force that man to become Muslim. The Prophet (P) merely invited this man to become Muslim, and he replied that he does not find himself eager to become Muslim. The Prophet (P) said to the man that even though he dislikes embracing Islam, he should still embrace it, ?for Allah will grant you sincerity and true intent.'5

The following points are to be noted in order to understand the above passage by Ibn Kathir:

1. According to Ibn Kathir, the verse is a general statement.
2. Ibn Kathir states that no one is to be forced to become a Muslim. It is a person's choice to accept or reject Islam.
3. Ibn Kathir does not state anywhere in this commentary that this passage has been "abrogated."
Therefore there is no basis in the missionary claim that this verse was "abrogated" according to Ibn Kathir.

What About the "Christian Taqiyyah"?

While Islam does not have any notion of a taqiyyah except in the minds of those who whale about it, in Christianity we find an interesting example of how one can resort to taqiyyah. Namely, the example of Paul of Tarsus, who was not only a scheming imposter, but a hypocrite and a false prophet. Such is the taqiyyah resorted to by this man that he said thus:

"But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless being crafty, I caught you with guile." (2 Corinthians 12:16)

Now here is a person who openly admits that he uses guile (understood as deception or lying) in order to spread his message. Is this the kind of man that the Christian missionaries expect us to follow?


Another passage clearly displays the flip-flop mentality of this Great Deceiver from Tarsus:

"To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under the law I became as one under the law — though not being myself under the law — that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law — not being without law toward God but under the law of Christ — that I might win those outside the law." (I Corinthians 9:20)

Geza Vermes, a fomer Christian who is one of the leading scholars in historical Jesus research today, says:

"He [Paul] could also be calculating and ready to compromise: 'To the Jews I became as a Jew…to those under the law I became as one under the law…To those outside the law I became as one outside the law…I have become all things to all men'…Or in short, 'I try to please all men in everything I do' (I Cor. 10:33)."6

Paul's deceptive methodology of "winning" converts resulted in him being viewed as an opportunist by the Jews:

"His goal is not self-gratification but the interests of the gospel, and in particular the desire to 'win' converts. Like a demagogue who enslaves himself to the populace to compaign for their rights, Paul has deliberately renounced rights and demeaned himself to advance the cause of the gospel (v. 19). His self-sacrifice is first illustrated by the chief characteristic of his mission, his cross-cultural adaptability (vv. 20-1). Among the Jews he could live like a Jew; that is, among the law-observant he observes the law, although not considering himself utterly bound to it (v. 20). The purpose is to win Jews for the gospel; for, although his call was 'to the Gentiles' (Rom 1:5), Paul still associated with Jews, as his synagogue visits testifies (2 Cor 11:24). Similarly, for Gentiles 'outside the law' Paul lived in a Gentile fashion, although in truth not lawless before God, but under full obligation to Christ (v. 21, 'under Christ's law'; no code of teaching is here envisaged). Again the purpose is to win Gentiles, the task in which Paul was so successful, though at the cost of his reputation among most fellow Jews, who took his adaptability to be merely opportunism (Gal 1:10)."7

Now here is a person who can be rightfully charged with the practice of a Christian taqiyyah. Such a lying, sinful person is not worthy to be considered as a follower of Jesus (P), much less an apostle. Only a product of Satan will resort to such lies and trickery to spread their message.

For more information, please see Lying In Christianity.

Conclusions

We have cited from Ibn Kathir and showed how his commentary was misused by a low-level missionary who whales about taqiyyah and abrogation and yet ended up citing texts which does not support his claims. Hence we are obliged to ask, from where did he get his poppycock stories from? One wonders why was this person wailing about taqiyyah and a so-called "abrogation" when neither one existed in the passages we have cited above.

It is obvious that this rabid missionary has no idea on what he was talking about and was just whaling for some sort of argument in order to smear Muslims with and tarnish their claims. In logical fallacy circles, this is called poisoning the well and an ad hominem attack. Perhaps the Christian missionary should return to his Logic 101 classes to learn the finer points of debating instead of resorting to wailing about taqiyyah or cutting his opponent off from the microphone when his opponent is speaking.

And only God knows best.

Technorati Tags: Polemical Rebuttals Quranic Commentary islam tafsir ibn kathir christian missionary shia taqiyyah whale whaling wail wailing god almighty quran paul of tarsus liar

For the Sunni perspective on the Shia doctrine of taqiyyah, see this article. [back]
Tafsir Ibn Kathir (abridged), Vol. 2 (Darussalam, 2000), pp. 141-142 [back]
ibid. [back]
ibid., Vol. 5, p. 530. [back]
ibid., pp. 30-31 [back]
Geza Vermes, The Changing Faces of Jesus (Penguin Books, 2000), p. 66. Italics are by Vermes. [back]
John Barton, John Muddiman (eds.), The Oxford Bible Commentary (Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 1123 [back]
Written by admin on April 21st, 2006 with 6 comments.
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 8:12 pm 
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De Lacy O'Leary in 'Islam at the Crossroads,' London, 1923.
"History makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated."


Mahatma Gandhi, statement published in 'Young India,'1924. I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind.... I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life.


Lawrence E. Browne in ‘The Prospects of Islam,’ 1944Incidentally these well-established facts dispose of the idea so widely fostered in Christian writings that the Muslims, wherever they went, forced people to accept Islam at the point of the sword.




K. S. Ramakrishna Rao in 'Mohammed: The Prophet of Islam,' 1989

My problem to write this monograph is easier, because we are not generally fed now on that (distorted) kind of history and much time need not be spent on pointing out our misrepresentations of Islam. The theory of Islam and sword, for instance, is not heard now in any quarter worth the name. The principle of Islam that “there is no compulsion in religion” is well known.


However often we turn to it{the quran} at first disgusting us each time afresh, it soon atracts, astounds, and in the end enforces our reverence...It's style, in accordance with its contents and aim is stern, grand, terrible-ever and anon truly sublime--Thus this book will go on exercising through all agesa a most potent influence.-Goethe, quoted in T.P. Hughes' Dictionary of Islam,


Sir George Bernard Shaw in 'The Genuine Islam,' Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.“I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion for from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity."



(CAIR is considered a "mainstream" Islamic group, but has seen three of its top leaders – Ghassan Elashi, Bassem K. Khafagi, and Randall Todd "Ismail" Royer – convicted on terrorism-related charges.)

Do you know what that was about? The families of 9/11 victems wanted to sue any group that has funded al-quada through false charities. Some of these charities are often under the guise of giving money to the palistinians or aid to africa and what not. Cair often donates to charities. If they were even truly suspected of being terrorists, they would be in guantanamo bay. North america has a no tolerance policy. Arar was thrown into prison because he was a SUSPECT and was proven innocent.


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 8:50 pm 
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Hell, i personally have read university class history books, written by authors who are harvard or oxford graduates.


It's a history book not a theological book but it was filled with many contridictions HISTORICALLY.

For instance, they described the samurai as some super duper pooper uber honorable soldiers and made it look like 'they were expected to live with little and love it' yet history clearly shows otherwise, that the samurai were like any other warrior class, they loved luxury and loved the POWER afforded to them by being military men. Yet this book made them look like charecters from anime.

On the spartan, they did almost the exact same description, yet clearly the spartan would take luxury when they could.

On the mongols they made them look like complete barbarains who were very good at using tactics and technology from other cultures, but essentially were just warriors. But they failed to mention how mongols became 'domesticated'.

On islam, this history book said that 'sufism' came about in the eighteenth century. Yet the principles of sufism are CLEARLY seen in early islamic texts.

I have read an article written by edward Said's students, a SIKH guy, who essentially says that many people in the educated world base thier works off the work of other people such as Muir, who has been critisized by even OTHER orientalists on being bias.


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 10:26 pm 
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Now since you read robert spencers book.


Now read edward said's book on Orientalism and his book 'covering islam'


Also, please find out what Robert spencers religion and background is?

Read Washington Irving's books on islam.

Annie Besant's books on islam "The life and teachings of Mohammed'

Stanley Lane Poole?


Karen Armstrong wrote two or three books on islam and on buddha(search her name along with 'life of mohammed'

Many of these people have been quoted multiple times.

But i have never heard of serge or spencer.


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Fine. It's all a "translation error", intentional distortions, only certain sects of Muslims believe lying is OK, there are lots of infidels who think Islam is just fine and have written to that effect.

As I understand it, most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared jihad (Holy war) against the infidels of the world and, that by killing an infidel, (which is a command to all Muslims) they are assured of a place in heaven. So I guess we need to look at what the definition of "infidel" is.

According to the Quran, Imams and clerics of Islam, an "infidel" is a "Non-believers". So, just to set the record straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not Muslim so they can have a place in Heaven.

To the REST of us, that causes a real problem because I'm trying to imagine the Pope commanding all Catholics to kill all Muslims or Dr. Stanley ordering all Protestants to do the same in order to "guarantee them a place in Heaven".

In fact, I have a problem trusting or befriending anyone who's religious leaders are telling to kill me!

Would you rather have Islam and it's leaders, which tell you to kill me in order for you to go to Heaven, or America and it's leaders who tell me to be tolerant, or Christianity and it's leaders who tell me to love you because I'm going to Heaven and you're welcome to join me on the journey?

Whether you're religious or not, it's important to be a realist, use your mind and look at what the various groups are and have been saying all along. When millions were impacted by the Tsunami, U.S. aid was immediate. When thousands were killed on 9/11, Muslims around the world started dancing in the streets. It took way too long for any expression of sympathy from any Muslim sector and to this day, there has never been any expression of condemnation of the acts unless there was some excuse and demand for understanding and tolerance. I don't agree with violence against someone for their religious beliefs... and that's the difference between me, my beliefs, my religion and most "Believers".

The quotes from the Imams are accurate and it comes down to the fact that Osama Bin Laden and others like him have not hijacked Islamic beliefs, they've been heeding them. A fact that most Americans don't know, realize or can't understand.


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:49 pm
Posts: 3519
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Did you read my giant post? Doesn't seem like it.

My quran says to kill all non-muslims?

No it isnt just translation, there are other factors.

Where? What tafseer? What context? What is the hadith to back it up? Where is the rest of the verse? What school of thought? Wahabi, created by the british and saudi royal family? hanafi school? Shafi school?

What sect? Shiite? ISmiali? Ahmedian?

I have read that verse before. I dont know what translation, i really dont want to start looking it up because it is a pain but is essentially a piece of an entire verse.


Do you know exactly what the context of jihad is? WHen it can be declared? Who can call it?

You do realize that there is no real priesthood in islam? Atleast thoeretically. So people dont have to listen to the imams. Infact you can say '##### you'to an imam and donly god can judge you, no one else.

And once again i say KAREN ARMSTRONG, NICHLSON, IRving, Haykal, EDWARD SAID basically people who oxford graduates and are generally taken seriously. Yeah they have thier biases, but the general consensus is that non-believers are not to be killed.


Did you read all of what i posted?


Are you basing all your knowledge on two books? Because there are ten times more books that say the opposite.

Also, what are these guys credentials? what are thier religious background?

There is a book about atheism, promoting it. He put verses fromt he bible and the torah and the quran. I cant speak for the other books but like you he had 'kill the unbelievers'once again using a piece of something bigger.


In my history class, my proffessor is SERBIAN and an existentialist, so essentially he should have a BIG bias against me. yet he said that the muslims never slaughtered or forced anyone by the sword.

I wrote a paper for him on Islam he did not like my soarces saying they were writeen by single individuals and not backed by major universities. So i got some other books, one by oxford professor R.A. Nichlson. He accepted that soarce.

Want to know what Niclson said? He said that there is a heavy agenda by many non-muslm writers on islam that have an anti-islamic slant. Then he went on with the rest of his book on islamic history."

Im my history coarse, he actually taught that early historian, influenced by the crusades; spread and created the myth of islam being spread by the sword. The history text book taught otherwise.
In the 1900 i forgot who this guys name was, but he stormed into Saladin's tomb and started kicking it yelling 'saladin were back'now this is about 1000 after the crusades. Feelings are still raw. A catholic encyclopedia makes the crusades look like they were justified and the muslims as ravanous dogs, the muslim historians paint the opposite. Colleges teach a medium but essentially show that the crusaders were the aggressors.

So once again, give me a good soarce.

A.S. Tritton in Íslam'1951
"The picture of the muslim soldier advancing with a sword in one hand and the quran in the other is quite false.


Last edited by AAAhmed46 on Fri May 12, 2006 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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