Sunday, June 30, 2013

Why believe in Allah?

Having just returned from a working holiday to Bordeaux, I thought I'd prolong the Gallic atmosphere here at Rational Islam? by looking at some French Islamic sites. And my goodness, what a depressing lot they are.

Admittedly, whether they be French, British, Malaysian or Saudi ... the reasons given for believing that Allah is our Creator and the Qur'an His last testament to humanity always tend to be depressingly similar since the 1980s. No surprise there, I suppose. But just once, wouldn't it be refreshing to read about someone who has made up their own mind for their own reasons instead of trotting out the same old nonsense? How genuine a faith can it be, for example, when you have to ask other people for reasons why God exists?
Here, for example, is a site where visitors are asked to help with the following request:
Mes frères et soeurs je viens à vous car j'aimerai expliquer à un athée le fait que dieu tout puissant existe je suis musulmane dieu merci. (Brothers and sisters, I'm here because I'd like to explain to an atheist the fact that God the all powerful exists ... I am a Muslim, thanks to God.)
The most popular answer lists, inter alia, three reasons - those ubiquitous "proofs"  relied upon by those unwilling, for whatever reason, to research for themselves and thus discover they have been systematically lied to to keep them from leaving Islam.

Let's examine them quickly and try to dispense with each one as simply as possible:

1) Les miracles scientifiques du Coran (The scientific miracles in the Qur'an): 
Boll*cks. (Too simple - ed) Yes, I know - but I get so angry seeing the same mendacious drivel trotted out.There is not a single scientific fact contained in the Qur'an not known to humanity at the time Muhammad wrote the Qur'an. These claims of miraculous science can all be traced back to The Commission on Scientific Signs - a Saudi initiative set up by a mullah three sandwiches short of a picnic in the 1980s. Anyone mentioning "scientific miracles" has fallen for the Saudi bulls*t and forfeits all rights to be taken seriously. Please see the group calling themselves the iERA for further evidence. The irony is, of course, that traditional Muslims get as frustrated as the rest of us with the lies spread by these characters.  As the the Ottoman scholar Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, famously said: The Qur'an is not a science book, and so does not need to dwell on cosmological matters.

2) Le grand défi de produire un seul chapitre semblable aux chapitres du Coran (The challenge to produce a single surah like one in the Qur'an) 
Meaningless. Think about it for just one second. The challenge itself is one of the strongest indicators of fallible, human authorship. No-one can dance like me, for example. (Believe me, ask Mrs Spinoza...) Does that make my inimitable boogieing divine? I'd like to think so, but I'd be hard pressed to expect my followers to swallow it. I used the analogy of pizza baking last time I examined this claim. Put more simply still: Write me a play like Shakespeare, why don't you. Can't? Oops...

3) Les prophéties bibliques concernant la venue de Mohammed (The Biblical prophecies concerning the coming of Muhammad)
There are none. This lie requires all sorts of linguistic gymnastics which even my convert friend seems to have given up on...A good example of these contortions is the claim that Jesse is really Ishmael. Here's a post I did a while back on that one. And this is how I concluded: 
To summarise then: we have the Judeo-Christian Biblical tradition established for millennia which maintains that a direct descendant of King David will be the Messiah. We have Jesse whom no one can dispute is the father of King David.  And we have a verse which states a great prophet will be "a shoot out of the root of Jesse". The verses referring to the root of Jesse also include numerous references to Israel and the Jewish nation. And Muslims maintain this verse, by a strange contraction of the name (why use such a bizarre contraction in a prophesy anyway?) using a discredited method of a follower of the Bahá'í Faith from a century ago, refers to Mohammad. How can people believe this utter nonsense?
I just hope the atheist mentioned by the French poster was able to explain to his Muslim friend that none of her supposed proofs held water.

"By all means believe what you will", he might have said, "but don't rely upon others to convince you that your delusions are real. At least have the energy and curiosity to think things through for yourself."

And finally, whilst we're in a francophone state of mind, here's a superb article by a young female French speaking Arab apostate explaining her lack of belief and why she came to France: Apostasie: moi, arabe et athée.

Compare the lucid and intelligent reasoning of this young woman to the confused gullibilty of those posting answers on the French Islamic site. Are they much different, after all, to Tom Cruise explaining his "devotion" on Oprah's couch? 

Monday, June 24, 2013

What if...

Those darned questions that keep Western revert to Islam, Charlie "Muhammad" Brown, awake at night...
What if the Creator is a kind-hearted, intelligent liberal?
What if He actually approves of people being allowed to find love in any way they choose as long as it harms no-one else?
What if He found the idea of a "chosen people" laughable?
What if He disapproves of treating the sexes differently?
What if He thought women in a marriage had just as much right to make the decisions as men?
What if He thought the idea of leaving scientific clues to his omniscience in a book just a little bit beneath him?
What if He asks why I believed everything I read instead of using my intelligence to question?
What if He thinks blind faith is just plain stupid?
Oh good grief! What if He is a WOMAN?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Oh the Shiites hate the Sunnis, and the Sunnis hate the Shiites...

...and everyone hates the Jews! (with apologies to Tom Lehrer)

Do any Muslims ever consider, I wonder, the likelihood of an omniscient, omnipotent and beneficent Creator allowing his worshipers to descend into the sort of murderous sectarian anarchy which is engulfing more and more of the Islamic world at the moment? 
If God is indeed all-knowing, all-powerful and loves his creation so much that he spent twenty odd years dictating the minutiae of how to be a good Muslim to a chap in the desert, and then sent armies of angels to ensure unlikely battles were won against the unbelievers to lead to massive world-wide expansion (deep breath)...  is it really too much to also expect Him to have sorted out who was going to ensure the peaceful continuation of the faith after the demise of his prophet? Really? I mean why take such a close, some might say obsessive, interest in the spread of the "one true faith" only to to suddenly abandon His responsibility?
I mean...Come on, God... for f*ck's sake! - Can't you get a grip on your lunatic followers?
I'm not for one moment claiming Christians have been any better. Those of us living in the peaceful West must be grateful we weren't around for our own bloody sectarian nightmares between the Protestants and the Catholics but at least we (well most of us) have got beyond the atavistic tendency to want to burn, torture or generally give a pretty hard time to our neighbour just because he or she believes in a different version of a merciful, loving creator.
In fact, thank Evolution, most of us in the West have now abandoned completely the notion of one particular sky fairy looking out for our welfare because we believe in him.
What a tragedy that for such a large proportion of mankind the nightmare is still a reality.