Islam is evil
I accept your challenge.
I do not believe that Islam is intolerant. On the contrary, I believe that Islam is a very tolerant religion. I will provide arguments and evidence that support this claim.
I am looking forward to your arguments.
It no longer offers Democracy to its supporters in its many corrupt regimes.
There is no progress in the sciences , music , medicine , literature in any measurable way with Islam.
The only contribution that Islam has extended to us is that of a suicide bomber or a beheading.
In this round I will provide my initial arguments. Rebuttals to the arguments of Pro will follow in the next rounds.
The structure of my evidence is as follows. The Quran is the word of God and is always the first source of information regarding religious matters. Anything that contradicts the Quran, cannot be accepted as Islamic. The second source of information is the example of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. This is called the Sunnah and is recorded in Hadith. There are many scholars who have gathered these Hadith. A few of these are widely regarded as the most reliable, the kutub al-sittah: Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abu Dawood, Jami at-Tirmidhi, Sunan al Sughra and Sunan ibn-Majah. Again, these are the most reliable ones, but can still contain mistakes. Every hadith needs to be analysed individually. Hadith with multiple chains of narration are considered the most reliable hadith.
Islam promotes tolerance
The Quran clearly and repeatedly says that there is no force in religion. Everyone is free to believe in whatever they want. God has made his signs manifest. The last step is accepting these signs and that is to be made by choice, not by force:
“There is no compulsion in religion. Surely, the right way has become distinct from error” (1)
“It is the truth from your Lord; wherefore let him who will, believe, and let him, who will, disbelieve.” (2)
“Proofs have indeed come to you from your Lord; so whoever sees, it is for his own good; and whoever becomes blind, it is to his own loss.” (3)
Muhammad is also commanded in several verses, that his task is to convey the message. Whether the people believe or not, it is up to them:
“If they surrender (to Allah), then they will surely be rightly guided, but if they turn back, then thy duty is only to convey the Message.” (4)
“And obey Allah and obey the Messenger. But if you turn away, then Our Messenger is responsible only for conveying the Message clearly.” (5)
“Say, ‘Obey, Allah, and obey the Messenger’ But if you turn away, he is responsible for what he is charged with and you are responsible for what you are charged with. And if you obey him, you will be rightly guided. And the Messenger is only responsible for the plain delivery of the Message.” (6)
Islam even takes it one step further. Not only does the Quran tell Muslim to let people believe whatever they want to believe, but it tells us not to be disrespectful of gods of other beliefs:
“And abuse not those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they, out of spite, abuse Allah in their ignorance.” (7)
There are plenty more verses that clearly convey this message, but these verses on their own should suffice to prove the fact that the Quran promotes religious freedom and even tells us not to be disrespectful to followers of these other faiths.
The Quran also tells Muslims to be respectful to everyone who didn’t fight us. Respecting others is only forbidden when someone has fought against Muslims, driving them out of their homes. A difference in ideology is not a reason to be disrespectful (8)
Based on these verses it is clear that Islam tells us to be tolerant and respectful.
Islam promotes good qualities
In the Quran there are many verses that promote different, good qualities that everyone should have. These qualities are named here:
“O ye who believe! Fear Allah and be with the truthful” (9)
“And they feed, for love of Him, the poor, the orphan and the prisoner; assuring them: ‘We feed you to win Allah’s pleasure only. We desire no reward nor thanks from you’” (10)
“And the true servants of the Gracious God are those who walk on the earth humbly and when the ignorant address them, they avoid them gracefully by saying, ‘Peace!’” (11)
“… but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.” (12)
“Those, who spend in prosperity and adversity, and those who suppress anger, and pardon men; and Allah loves those who do good” (13)
These qualities, truthfulness, charity-work, humility, patience, self-control and forgiveness, are mere examples of qualities which a Muslim should possess according to the Quran. There are many other qualities which are referred to in the Quran, but it is impossible for me to list them all. I believe that these examples however, should be enough to show that a true Muslim, following the teachings of the Quran would be a true example for everyone that sees him. If everyone would have these qualities, there would be no more conflict or evil.
Islam promotes acquiring knowledge
Islam encourages us to acquire knowledge. The Quran tells us that God’s signs are everywhere for us to observe:
“And He has subjected to you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the Earth; all this is from Him. In that, surely, are Signs for a people who reflect” (14) (surat jathiyah 45:14)
“In the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alteration of the night and day there are indeed signs for men of understanding.” (15)
“And He it is Who spread out the earth and made therein mountains and rivers, and fruits of every kind He made therein two sexes. He causes the night to cover the day. Therein, verily, are signs for a people who reflect. And in the earth are diverse tracts, adjoining one another, and gardens of vines, and corn-fields, and date-palms, growing together from one root and others not so growing; they are all watered with the same water yet We make some of them excel others in fruit. There are signs for a people who use their understanding.” (16)
It becomes clear from these verses that Allah has provided signs for everyone to see. These signs are in the heavens and in the earth. How can one see these signs if one does not study them? This means that the Quran tells us to study and acquire knowledge, so these signs can become visible to everyone.
The Islam teaches tolerance and makes us better human beings by promoting good qualities and promoting the acquisition of knowledge, thus benefitting society.
Translations from: http://www.alislam.org...
* A note regarding the above quoted verses. There might be difference of numbering with other sources. This is because here the verse “bismillah…” is regarded as the first in every chapter (except al-Taubah which does not start with this verse). Therefore, reduce the number of the verse by 1 when this is the case.
“It no longer offers Democracy to its supporters in its many corrupt regimes.”
You claim that the Islam does not support democracy. As an example you name the current Islamic regimes. These ‘Islamic states’ cannot be taken as the source of Islam. The true source of Islam is the Quran and the example of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Many of the policies in these Islamic states are not Islamic at all (have no Quranic basis) and in some cases even go against the Quran. A prime example of this is the collection of rent. Giving or receiving rent is Haram in Islam. (1)
The truth is, Islam is not meant to be of political influence. It is often mentioned that Muslims want a Caliphate which is political of nature and should form a political government. If you look at the actual word Khalifa in Arabic, it means successor, deputy or vicegerent. (2) In Islam this means a successor to a prophet, someone who is appointed by God.
Then we look at what the objective is of a prophet. The Quran says on this matter:
“We have sent to you a messenger from among yourselves, who recites Our signs to you, and purifies you, and teaches you the Book and Wisdom, and teaches you that which you knew not.” (3)
It becomes clear that the objective of a prophet of God is to teach about religious matters. The only reason why Muhammad was a political leader after going to Medina, is that he was appointed by the chiefs of the tribes of Medina (i.e. democratically chosen). In the times of Ali, one of the Caliphs of Muhammad, he was the spiritual leader (Khalifa) but not the political leader. (4)
But then the question arises, does the Quran say something about the governance of states? The answer is: yes, it does.
“and whose affairs are decided by mutual consultation” (5)
“Verily, Allah commands you to give over the trusts to those entitled to them, and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice.” (6)
The first verse points out that affairs should be decided by mutual consultation. This can be any form of government, whether that is democracy or some tribal system, as long as it is by mutual consultation. The second verse points out that the people put their trust in the hands of others who deserve it. This refers to the people who are most capable of leading a country. It does not state any characteristics, except those that are entitled to it, i.e. are most deserving. Obviously this is an objective matter, so people will naturally disagree on who is most capable (in most situations) of leading a country. That is again, where mutual consultation comes into play. This all points towards the concept of democracy as we know it. (4)
Furthermore, Islam promotes the separation of religion and political matters: a secular government. This is, because as soon as you form a religious government, you imply that followers of other religions are inferior, which goes against Quranic teachings:
“O ye who believe! Be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely Allah is aware of what you do.” (7)
This verse clearly lays down the principle that everyone must be treated equally and with justice.
The next claim made my Pro is:
“There is no progress in the sciences , music , medicine , literature in any measurable way with Islam.
In my opening statement I have given the argument that Islam promotes acquiring knowledge, which leads to progress in sciences, medicine, etc.
When it comes to suicide bombers and terrorists etc., they are going against the Islam by killing innocent people:
“And fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress.” (8)
“And fight them until there is no persecution, and religion is professed only for Allah. But if they desist, then remember that no hostility is allowed except the against the wrongdoers” (9)
The Quran literally states that fighting is only allowed against those who fight against you (i.e. self-defence only). It further states that when freedom of religion has been established, or when the enemies stop fighting, the Muslims should stop fighting. This is quite clearly worded with no multiple interpretations possible. Since freedom of religion has been established in the west and Muslims are generally not attacked physically, fighting is not allowed. (Also, ‘collateral damage’ is absolutely not justified in Islam, since this verse says: “those who fight against you”. Innocent people who are not fighting anyone clearly do not fight under this category).
The final allegation (so far) made by Pro is the following:
“ In reality any muslim who rejects Islam is an apostate according to Islamic law and should be put to death.”
That is not exactly the definition of an apostate. The definition of an apostate: “A person who renounces a religious or political belief or principle:” (10) This means someone who becomes a Muslim and then renounces his faith to something else.
Now coming the allegation itself, it has no Quranic basis. This tradition of the death penalty for apostasy is based on rumours.
There are several verses in the Quran which talk about unbelievers and how they will be punished. However, all of these verses mention a punishment from God, but no corporal punishment. (11) Often verses from surat al-Taubah (9:12-13) are mentioned regarding the punishment of apostates. However, when you read the preceding verses, one can see that what is being talked about are the idolaters of Mecca who have broken their pledge (a peace treaty) which they made to the Muslims. (11)
I will further elaborate on one passage from the Quran, about apostates. This is about the passage from the chapter Al-Imran 3:86-92. The author of the source I have mentioned (11) does a beautiful job at explaining this passage:
“It is obvious from these verses that no punishment is to be inflicted by one man on another for apostasy. The words ‘thereunder shall they abide’ clearly refer to the life hereafter. By no stretch of imagination can any sane person interpret the words ‘curse of Allah’ to be a license to murder anyone whom he considers to be an apostate. No capital punishment is mentioned. If it had, according to the strict requirements of the law, the punishment would have been clearly defined, as in the case of all other hodud(punishments specifically prescribed in the Holy Quran). On the contrary, the Holy Quran mentions the possibility of repentance by such persons and subsequent forgiveness by God. How can anyone repent and atone for his sins in this world if he has been killed?” (11)
A few traditions that are mentioned when it comes to apostasy are of Anu Qalabah, Ibn Khatal and Maqees bin Sababah. They were indeed apostates. But the crimes they were executed for were murder (in all three of these cases). Like these traditions, there are several other narrations of deaths of apostates, but it is never mentioned that these people were (war) criminals or in some cases the questionable reliability of the sources. (11)
In conclusion, it becomes clear that the allegations made by Pro do not have a Quranic basis and are therefore not considered Islamic teachings.
The violent rhetoric of Islamic reactions to cartoons of your prophet in a Denmark publication exposed the very real threat that we face here in the west. Islam is a bad religion.
Again, Pro has not presented any proper arguments. He only sums up a bunch of allegations which have no apparent basis. Nonetheless, I shall try to refute the allegations that are made.
“The Koran is a nonsense. It is a collection of myths.”
What are you basing this on? What parts are nonsense according to you? To prove the opposite, namely that the Quran is the truth, I will provide a few examples of prophecies that were made in the Quran 1400 years ago, and have been fulfilled in the meantime.
In chapter 10 (Yunus) verses 91-93 the demise of Pharaoh has been described. It has also been mentioned that his body was saved and preserved for future generations to see. This prophecy has clearly been fulfilled, since we can see the mummies of Egyptian Pharaohs in museums. (1)
The next prophecy:
“Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were a closed-up mass, then We opened them out? And We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?” (2)
The Big Bang theory states that “the universe expanded rapidly from a highly compressed primordial state”. (3) See the resemblance between a ‘highly compressed primordial mass’ and ‘a closed-up mass’? It has also been proven that life originated from water. (3)
“And when the she-camels, ten month pregnant are abandoned,” (4)
Camels were used for centuries are a means for transport in Arabia. When this verse was revealed, it was unthinkable that it would ever be abandoned for other means of transport. It is only since a few hundred years that fast means of travel (like trains, cars, and planes) have been developed, fulfilling this prophecy.(5)(6)
“And when the wild beasts are gathered together,” (7)
This is quite obvious. Animals have been gathered in zoos all over the world.
These prophecies are mere examples, and I have chosen the most simple of prophecies to make it easy to understand. There are many more prophecies in the Quran that have been fulfilled. (5)(6)
“If Mohhamad was alive today he would be arrested for war crimes and child sex .”
This is a separate topic (the life and character of Muhammad) so I will only briefly discuss this allegation.
Several historians have written about Muhammad and Islam. Sir Bosworth Smith says that Islam was barely criticized up to his time (1800s). Only one sect of Jews (Maimonides) had criticized Islam or Muhammad. If Muhammad was a war criminal and had committed many crimes, wouldn’t the enemies of Islam (i.e. Jews and Christians) have taken hold of any straw they could find? Wouldn’t they have criticized Islam based on the crimes that Muhammad is supposed to have committed?
It is only in modern times where rumours spread like wildfire (for example via internet and television) that rumours become so common they are accepted as the truth, while they are actually not.
I will also respond to the allegation of paedophilia, most likely referring to Muhammad’s marriage with Aisha.
When it comes to marriage there are many cultural differences, even now. In the west people generally marry in their late twenties or early thirties, while in other parts of the world marriages take place after physical maturation is (nearly) complete. Also, in the time of Muhammad, there was no birth registration or a system which kept track of people’s ages. People’s ages were guessed based on their appearance. Lastly, when it comes to physical maturation, there is individual variation. Some people mature at a younger age, while others mature at an older age.
When it comes to the age of Aisha at marriage, sources point to her being around the age of 7 at betrothal and 12-15 at time of actual marriage. She was also already betrothed to another man, pointing to the fact that Aisha was already coming of age and ready for marriage. Historical accounts also show that emotionally Aisha was very mature, especially considering her age. (8)
This leads to the conclusion that Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha was completely culturally acceptable and was not a case of paedophilia.
“Islam would , if it could , take away the human rights of every female on the planet. Your holy book , the Koran , should be ridiculed at every opportunity.”
It is funny that you say this, since it was Islam that introduced women’s rights. Before Islam, women had no right to own property. Everything they owned belonged to either their father or their husband. Women were even considered property themselves! They were often sold or traded by their husbands. Women also had no share in someone’s inheritance. They had no right to divorce their husbands, while the men could divorce or sell women as they pleased without any requirements. Men could marry as many women as they wanted.
Then Islam came. Suddenly women were given the right to own property. They were allowed to inherit property. It became unlawful to sell women. Women had the right to divorce their husbands and when the husbands divorced their wives, they had to pay her an amount which was agreed upon (prior to the marriage). The amount of wives was limited to four, with the condition that each wife was treated equally in every respect. If this was not possible, the limit was one wife. (9, all relevant verses from the Quran are quoted there)
Then you look at the Western society as it is now. The rights of women have only developed in the last century. Islam had already stated these rules regarding women 1400 years ago, protecting their rights.
If you take a real good look at western society, are women really free? Women are judged on their looks, rather than their intellectual capability. When choosing between women for a certain job, her appearance is a bigger concern than her capabilities to perform the task at hand. Sex sells. Pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry. Women have become an object of lust first and human beings second. What Islam does, is protect women against these bad influences.
Furthermore, Islam does not prohibit women from being a part of society. It teaches them to dress modestly and cover their heads (not the entire face as is suggested sometimes), so they don’t reveal their feminine features in front of strange men. This leads to men not being tempted by her looks (at least, to a much lesser degree) and actually judging her based on her capabilities (instead of her looks).
“The violent rhetoric of Islamic reactions to cartoons of your prophet in a Denmark publication exposed the very real threat that we face here in the west.”
The actions of some Muslims cannot be considered representative for the religion itself. It is logical that if you insult someone’s beliefs, they will be angry. But the Islam teaches us to keep one’s anger in check and be forgiving. This is a commandment made in the Quran:
“Those, who spend in prosperity and adversity, and those who suppress anger, and pardon men; and Allah loves those who do good;” (10)
I have again refuted Pro’s (baseless) allegations. I hope that in the final round he actually does provide arguments with evidence that backs it up.
Tabari 17 ;187 "killing unbeleivers is a small matter to us" The words of the prophet Muhammad.
Q uara in Sura 2: 282 A womans testimony counts half of a mans testimony.
There are many examples like this. I could add more but that is for scholars to endlessly debate.
Now we have a myriad of different Middle Eastern Countries who are Islamic and continue to slaughter eachother . The only thing that they agree on is that Israel should be destroyed . Israel has democracy . This small State has contributed more to mankind than all Islamic Countries combined. Check the list of Noble Prize winners of both.
Speaking of peace and love may win over the Ignorant , but when the 12 th verse of Islams holiest book either speaks of Allahs hatred of non -muslims or calls for their death ,forced conversion or subjugation its little wonder support for terrorism runs as deeply as it does in the broader Muslim community.
When Islamists profess they share our values I suggest you look up a word they use with all its makaai connotations , the word Taqiyyah.
Pro provided a wrong source for one of your quotes. “Killing unbelievers is a small matter to us” is from Tabari, volume 9, page 69. This is the complete English translation of it:
“Arabs were the first to respond to the call of the Prophet. We are Allah’s helpers and the viziers of His Messenger. We fight people until they believe in Allah. He who believes in Allah and His Messenger has protected his life and possessions from us. As for one who disbelieves, we will fight him forever in the Cause of Allah. Killing him is a small matter to us.”
Here, the word Jihad has been translated as fight. This itself is wrong already, since Jihad means ‘to strive’. In Islam there are three types of Jihad, which are Jihad Akbar (Greatest Jihad), Jihad Kabeer (Great Jihad) and Jihad asghar. The first two types are Jihad against one’s own sinful inclinations (Jihad Akbar) and peaceful propagation of Islam (Jihad Kabeer). Defensive war is the small Jihad. So by no means, Jihad means fight. And again, the last part refers to ‘killing’. This is again a bad translation, since the word used means ‘defeat’. Therefore, the meaning of this explanation is that Muhammad says to propagate Islam (by means of Jihad which I just described) and that defeating the enemy is a small matter. (1)
Then you refer to Quran 2:282 which supposedly means that a woman’s testimony is worth half of that of a man. This is the translation:
“and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her.” (Yusuf Ali)
The important part is that if one errs, the other can remind her. One woman is the one that testifies and the second woman is to assist her. Which means that the testimony of the woman is equal to that of a man and the second woman is a mere assistant, who is to help if needed. (2)
Then you say that there are many examples of scholars who discuss these issues. It is not the scholars you need to look at, but the Quran itself. The Quran does not teach violence. Some scholars mention abrogation of verses. This causes contradiction, namely that it is stated in the Quran 2:3 “This is a perfect book”. How can a perfect book contain contradictions? Coindicenally it is always the peaceful verses that are abrogated according to these 'scholars'. This furthermore points towards their evil intentions. Why not abrogate the evil verses instead? The truth is, there is no abrogation, since as I said the Quran itself claims that it is perfect. So according to Islamic belief there can be no abrogation of any verses. All verses are supplementing each other. The peaceful verses laying down the conditions of Islamic (defensive) war always supplement any ‘holy war’ (which of often even a spiritual one) mentioned in the Quran.
Then you mention the behavior of Muslim nations. You fail to recognize the difference between religion and politics. As I have stated in previous rounds, the Islam propagates secularism. These governments are already going against the Islamic principle of equality. Furthermore, their national and international policies contradict the Quran in so many ways it is impossible for me to list those. That is why these governments are not truly Islamic because of their policies, but because the inhabitants are mainly Muslims.
The hate against Jews and against Israel is also not based on Islamic principles. Islam promotes tolerance and peace as I have argued by showing you verses from the Quran. The intolerance of Muslim countries against Israel is therefore purely political, not Islamic.
You also claim that Israel has contributed more to society than Islam ever has. I am not sure if you realize how much early Arab (Muslim) scholars have contributed to current science. If there were nobel prizes since 800 AD, the rest of the world would still be catching up to the amount of Arabs that would have won Nobel prizes.
The pinhole camera, camera obscura, was invented by an Arab: Ibn al Haytham (Alhazen). This forms the basic of all cameras we use nowadays. The crankshaft and camshaft used in cars were invented by an Arab: Al-Jazari. The numerals we use in the west are from the Hindu-Arabic numeral system (the Indians only contributed the ‘0’ the other digits are based on Arabic digts). Algebra (al-jabr) was invented by an Arab: al-Khwarizmi. Modern medicine is based on Arabic practice of medicine during the European Middle Ages. (3)
Without these Arabic scholars, there would be no cameras, no cars, roman numerals (imagine writing 1000000 in roman numerals), no modern mathematics, no modern physics (all based on algebra) and medicine would lag behind by centuries. You claim Muslims have not contributed at all? Without Muslims there would be no developed Western society. It is all based on the work of Arab, Muslim scholars.
That is why it is even sadder to see that the Arabs not only did stop in their development, but completely fell back. Education is the lowest worldwide in Islamic countries. This is all due to failing politics and corrupt leaders, who not only deprive the inhabitants from basic needs (food, water, electricity, education) but also corrupt their religion to meet their twisted needs and desires. It is the politics that is failing, not the religion.
My final point regarding what you have said is about Taqiyyah. Even suggesting this teaching (that Muslims are purposely deceiving non-believers) exists causes so many contradictions with the Quran, that there is no possibility that it is true. In the verses of al-Baqarah 2:3-23 it describes the characteristics of the believers, disbelievers and hypocrites. The hypocrites get the worst punishment of all, even worse than disbelievers. There are also many other verses in the Quran that mention truthfulness as a good quality and mention that hypocrisy will be punished severely. Why would a Muslim become a hypocrite by practicing this deception and subject incur such a great punishment on himself? No sane Muslim would even consider it. Therefore, Taqiyyah is another lie forged against Islam. (4)
In the previous rounds I have sufficiently provided evidence from the highest authority in the Islam, namely the Quran, that Islam is a peaceful and tolerant religion. Any allegations provided by Pro against Islam have been found to be completely baseless. I am disappointed that Pro did not invest more time in coming up with proper arguments, but had a great experience nonetheless. The research that I needed to do myself about these issues has been very educational for me.
3. http://www.elsevier.nl... (article in Dutch)
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