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.


  1. One day the rationalists will inherit the earth. Until then we just have to hope the religious nutters don't cause the extinction of our species.

  2. Actually splitting up into sects has been forbidden in Islam, and so is shedding the blood of other muslims.

    So if muslims act this way, surely you should be criticizing them as opposed to the religion (which they aren't obeying)?

    Just a thought :)

    1. My point was that surely it isn't beyond the power of an omnipotent being to ensure the peaceful continuation of His religion after the demise of His prophet.

    2. That's a really good point!

      And yes, God has created rulings to ensure that the muslims will be able to live in peace with each other (such as forbidding all sects, which I explained in detail in another comment I just published underneath).

      However, we have been given free will, which means we are responsible for our own actions.

      So if we choose to reject and ignore the rulings that have been put in place to prevent the clashing of the muslim nation then it is our fault, surely?


      I just wanted to ask one other thing as well. In your sidebar you have a quote about how people are drawn to Islam because of the scientific facts it has revealed (this is actually the major reason that I decided to follow Islam actually), and you disagree with it (fair enough!), but you haven't really explained why, or even talked about any of these discoveries on the blog and backed up your view that these scientific facts are not proof that Islam is the right religion(as far as I can see that is, apologies if you have).

      So I'd like to know what your thoughts are on the scientific facts in the Quran?

      I'd also like to make one more comment (haha sorry! I'm going on a bit today). You regularly say that you disagree with Islam, yet you nearly always use the (corrupt) actions of muslims as a reason.

      But muslims and Islam are completely different, and many muslims (most unfortunately - in my experience) do not follow Islam. Heck, they barely know anything about it!

      So is that really a justification? 'Ignorant muslim does bad thing = Islam is bad'. Shouldn't it be 'ignorant muslim does bad thing = bad muslim/person'? If you wanted to know about Islam then it's necessary to actually read the Quran and hadiths that make up Islam, not look at muslims (who are an awful representation of the teachings of Islam).

      Ps Thanks for taking the time to respond, it's great to be able to have a discussion about these things politely :)

    3. Oh sorry, I just looked at your sidebar and saw a bunch of posts about your thoughts on the scientific miracles. I'll take a look at them now! :)

  3. Evolution?? hahahahahaha the notion of descending from monkeys and apes is just as hilarious...... :D

    Now how is that rational???? Science is limited.

    Knowledge of the unknown never sits well with MAN. Rational thought = ego where MAN thinks HE knows everything....

    Yet HE does not. Most of the time, he's deluded. But when he finds out the truth, it will be too late :)

    I pray for your souls and hope you find guidance soon in sha Allah.

    Allahu Akbar!!!

    Rationalists will never inherit the Earth. Allah (swt) controls everything. Sorry!!

    Still, you keep rationalising :D

    1. I note the :) (smiley face) after your comment about man finding "it's too late" and hence, presumably ending up in Hell for an eternity.
      Why is it that so many followers of religion seem to delight in the prospect of non-believers being tortured for an eternity by their god?
      If ever there was proof that religion perverts morals surely this is it.

    2. what is this unseen that your referring to.

      and what proof and evidence do you have of its existence.

      I predict 0 credible info.

      but go ahead enlighten us all.

    3. @anon I'd be interested to know what proof and evidence you have against it?

      There's no hard evidence (particularly from a scientific perspective) that's been able to prove that God and the unseen do not exist.

      I'd be interested to know what you think about this :)

    4. Evolution?? hahahahahaha the notion of descending from monkeys and apes is just as hilarious.. This silly comment goes to betray the wilful ignorance of creationists and science deniers. Evolution posits we share a common ancestor, an entirely different thing. Just because you choose to remain ignorant please don't shout about it you fool.

  4. The Shiite, Sunni fight started right from the get go - immediately after the death of Mohammed. There is a sentence in the Quran that reads : "do not divide yourselves into sects" and there is also a part of the Saudi Arabian visa form which says: "sect". So there you have it ladies and gentleman - "its not Islam" but yet, it is.

    They are not the only sects btw - they are just the largest of the many groups. Within the groups you also have mahdabs. So it gets messier and messier still.

    To say this is not Islam is to be in total 100% denial. All of these sects perform the Hadj, attend mosque, pray 5 times, fast ramadan and believe in the Quran, the Hadith and the prophet Mohammed - I can't see that they can be any more qualified for the term "Muslim" than that. They are even there and apparent in the early history and hadith and yes, the ahadith as well.

    Reading the actual literature and history (instead of just listening at the mosque) - and reading in a language that you can understand (instead of memorizing the Arabic that you can't understand) will go a long way towards highlighting this for people. Unfortunately, conformity is a matter of life and death for a lot of people in Muslim communities, and even if their lives are not in danger - their relationships with the wider community and their families are - its like a very strict cult or gang, whereby this philosophy that anything outside of what is will be severely punished is drilled and drilled and drilled - it cuts out so much of the normal life, that to deviate in any way shape of form comes at significant personal cost to the individual.

    They say the first 5 years of a child's life is pure subconscious - so in that first 5 years of life, whatever is drilled in, is difficult to undo - these people, even those who leave or try to leave Islam do so with such a sense of guilt and doom that they will really have a hard time being happy whether they practice or stop practicing.

    @Anon - evolution is not irrational - its a theory that is constantly being challenged and constantly assessed, until a better theory comes along. Science is the acceptance of not-knowing, hence it is based on continuous inspection, challenge and discovery. Science is out there finding cures for cancer, and HIV, and finding ways to purify polluted water and make renewable energy, vaccines and medicine, and false limbs and heart transplants. Science continues to try to improve the quality of our lives - and part of science is to investigate our origins. Science brought us computers, laptops, microwaves, cars and trains.

    Religion on the other hand assumes all of the answers have been discovered - and development stops right there.

    The benefit of religion is that it teaches morals and positive qualities and creates a community with a strong moral compass - this is the only thing science (if it existed completely on its own) is missing. Religion makes good behavior rewarding - evolutionary theory doesn't do that so well.

    1. What morals and positive qualities does religion provide (in this case Islam), that can not be found or deduced outside of it?

    2. To come together as one and be a nation - with an agreed set of rules and principles, an agreed way of dealing with right and wrong that penetrates the majority. It seems that only the notion of an omnipotent ruler of sorts was able to achieve that level of penetration.

    3. Jasmine I think this is a brilliant response, it's very well thought out in putting things into context, as well as looking at both sides of the argument.

      I'd just like to add a few things though that I slightly disagreed with:

      1)"To say this is not Islam is to be in total 100% denial. All of these sects perform the Hadj, attend mosque, pray 5 times, fast ramadan and believe in the Quran, the Hadith and the prophet Mohammed".

      If a muslim does all of these things then of course, they are a muslim. This is what a real muslim does!

      So in actual fact they don't belong to any specific sect, they simply follow Islam. And that's exactly what is commanded in the Quran. As simple as that.

      Not all sects do this though. Many sects deviate from the teachings of the Quran and the Prophet pbuh, which is why they are not regarded as muslims.

      As the Prophet pbuh said "these people are those who invent new things (bid'ah) in religion and the followers of the vain desires of this Muslim nation, and their repentance will not be accepted by Allah." (Tafsir Al-Qurtubi)

      In Islam someone is either a muslim (by doing the things that you stated above, among the other instructions) or not.

      2) Also "They (the sects) are even there and apparent in the early history and hadith"

      Yes, there are hadiths that mention the dividing of the muslim community in the future (the prediction refers to there being 73 sects I believe).

      However this is not being said by the Prophet pbuh in a praiseworthy manner, rather it is a warning. As diving into groups causes major clashes (which is unfortunately evident today!).

      So it's for these reasons that sects have never been accepted in Islam.

    4. Hi Sanam,
      Thanks for your lengthy comments. I shall try to address them all shortly.
      Bit hectic at work at the moment..

    5. Thank you for your reply jasmine.These things can be achieved without the need for religion. A lot of nations are secular and do not require the need for a divine rules. They are not perfect; agreed, however theocratic states are nowhere near as successful.

      I do get a sense that you are implying that humans need the whole carrot and stick scenario to do good and a threat of eternal torment is to not do 'bad'. Is this a fair assessment of your view?.

      Outside of morality it is difficult to argue for religion without faith. though even with morality it is very subjective and can be conflicted with different interpretations of morality.

    6. @Sanam Thats fair enough - everyone is entitled to their viewpoint. When I mentioned the sects at the beginning of Islam - I was referring to Islamic history and the war that ensued between the two sides (leading to Ali being assassinated whilst he prayed in the mosque, Fatima's house being stoned (whilst she was pregnant) and Fatima refusing to speak to Abu Bakr and Aysha until her death - the conflict is right there from the beginning, amongst the immediate generation of Muslims.

      @Anon - Of course, they can be achieved without religion - but it was "the omnipotent ruler" that achieved it in the first place (in my opinion - I have not read ALL of history - so I could be wrong, although I doubt it). Once anything is done, it can be redone, reworked, remade, improved, enhanced etc etc. But it never happened in the first place without religion, and I think probably would not have done. Even the Ancient Civilisations - they came together under the rule of Gods - not philosophies, or politics, or national ethics.

      I don't think your carrot and stick scenario is fit for my view- although I can see why you would conclude that. I am not making any judgements about humans themselves or what they need - I'm just pointing out that at stages in history, large (very large) amounts of people have come together as one nation, agreeing to follow the same set of rules: and the reason they did that was because they believed in an omnipotent ruler and an after life. I am also hypothesizing that this historical occurrence (in fact, all of these historical occurrences) would not have happened had the notion of an omnipotent ruler been in place.

      What that does or doesn't say about humanity I don't know. Just an observation.

      Religion without faith is called politics.

      Morality - well yes, morality is subjective. Religion seems geared to protect the good from the bad - and I think what we call "morality" today is the same, only it has been practiced now for thousands and thousands of years - so morality is accepted as good and immorality as bad. Teachings which began as religious teachings have been repeated and repeated and repeated through our cultures, art works, plays, books and literature, politics and laws: so eventually, we have a norm and we do not consider where these ideal originated. I think if you trace any moral to it's origin, you will end up in a religion. In fact, I am quite confident of this - because religion is where record keeping begins - and so naturally, you will see the messages repeat, evolve, repeat, evolve, repeat, evolve - until all of your culture is teaching the morals of a particular religon - even though the religion itself has gone from view.

    7. @ Sanam: re: "sects will never be accepted in Islam" - please can you have a look at this image and tell me what it says on the 6th line down on the right hand side: http://sacredhajj.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/hajj_visa_sample_regular.jpg

    8. thanks jasmine. I understand the direction you are coming from now. Your view seems to be that in which god provided the initial inspiration, so everything built up from there.

      ofcourse this does not demonstrate the existence of a diety. even if certain events are attached to it through ignorance.

      I do believe that religion in the past had evolutionary benefits. evolving social dynamics made a religion a powerful tool for socail cohesion but has its numerous problems as well.

    9. Hi Jasmine, I just took a look at the picture.

      However this doesn't prove that Islam accepts sects, just that the state/country for which this form was for does.

      What the people do and what Islam instructs are two very, very different things.

      Also, about your previous comment. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel that you have confused sects (which is "a group of people with somewhat different religious beliefs") and conflict.

      The issues that you have raised in your comment didn't come from these people having differing beliefs in Islam, therefore it doesn't demonstrate an acceptance of sects in Islam, even among the early generation. If I'm incorrect though then please do let me know, I'm definitely keen on sharpening my knowledge on the early history!

      Thanks for your response :)

    10. Salaam Sanam,

      I want to start by sending you a hug and a smile so that it is clear that I have only positive feelings towards you.

      On the topic of this discussion: There really is no point in my responding - as if you sincerely believe that "sects are not accepted in Islam" in spite of the clear evidence of sects in Islam, the existence of sects in Islam and the fact that Muslims do refer to themselves as either Shia or Sunni (all in Islam) - then we have reached a point where progress is not possible.

      It's quite a typical response: because what can happen now is that I can keep giving you clear evidence, and you can keep rejecting it - not because there is a reason for your rejection, but because accepting "what is" would seriously mess with your worldview.

      Once clear evidence and facts have failed, one can only save one's energies for a more fruitful pursuit.


    11. @anon no problemo. Know that religion is losing it's gusto (kind of) we are seeing the divisions that it once solved, beginning to appear again. Society is splitting into multiple little groups once more.

  5. Wise words as ever, Jasmine.
    Good to see you back.

  6. correction: "in fact, all of these historical occurrences) would not have happened had the notion of an omnipotent ruler been in place."

    is meant to say:

    "in fact, all of these historical occurrences) would not have happened had the notion of an omnipotent ruler NOT been in place.

  7. Sanam M said:
    "So I'd like to know what your thoughts are on the scientific facts in the Quran?"

    Well, the question was directed towards Spinoza, but let me contribute my own two cents...

    I, Varma, have been following Spinoza's blog for quite sometime, and this blog as well as some other websites inspired me to write a blog, Debunking Bucailleism, where I had debunked many of the so-called scientific miracles in the Qur'an but also the Bible and was about to start a series on the Vedas as well. But when my Muslim friends came to know about it, they were hurt, although they were very nice about it. Besides, I had been struggling with feelings of guilt for some time, because I did not want ordinary people to lose their faith because of what I was writing, although my blog was aimed at people like Zakir Naik and Harun Yahya. Plus, I found that blind followers of these people would not accept any rational arguments. In short, I had grown disillusioned with the whole thing. So I can't direct you to my now-defunct blog.

    All right, I'm done confessing, now to answer your question. What if I were to assert that in the middle ages, the Illuminati in Europe had attained a level of technology that even then surpassed anything we have today?

    If I were to say something like this aloud, most sensible people would begin to slowly edge away from me, or if they were very polite, smile and pretend to listen.

    Now as proof of my phenomenally inane and insane belief, I were to cite the story of, say, Jack and the Beanstalk?

    I hope you're familiar with the story. Let's now look at the amazing proofs it gives of the existence of medieval Illuminati technological expertise. (It goes without saying that I believe 100% that the story really happened.)

    #1: The wizard who gives Jack the five beans: He's actually an Illuminati scientist. Pity the poor ignorant people who thought he was a devil-worshipper!
    #2: The five magical beans: GM crops, what else! That too, injected with a high dose of plant hormones that made them grow up to the clouds in a single night! Oh, the amazing technology of the Illuminati!
    #3: The giant castle in the clouds: Great big hovercraft, powered by solar energy and even harnessed lightning!
    #4: The giant: He obviously had abused steroids!
    #5: The talking harp: Well duh! Obviously a robot of some kind!

    By these five wonderful proofs, I declare that the Illuminati had advanced science even then!

    As far as I'm concerned, the reasoning (or lack of it) of the "miracle milkmen", as I'm inclined to call them, is no different. All of these claims are made after first assuming that the Qur'an is from God, just as I've here assumed that the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale is true. When that assumption itself is not there, you will see the Qur'an for what it is: a human work.

  8. "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."
    So, I'm getting the sense that this isn't just about sects and whatnot but just the impression that Muslims think they are the best? Uh yes hello where did this idea come from. How do Muslims still have "the tendency to want to... 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 Islam, as children, one of the most famous stories that every child knows is the story of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his neighbor who used to dump trash on his doorstep every morning.
    The story goes that the man (or woman, this is one detail I forget) was Christian, and hated the Prophet, as many of the people in his time did. Every morning, he would go to the Prophets house and dump his trash on his doorstep, and every morning, he would throw the trash away. One day, the Prophet woke up to find his doorstep clean of any waste. He was worried, and so, despite him having a different belief and treating him like cr*p, he visited the man, to see if he was well. The man was sick, and when he found that the Prophet visited him, he converted to Islam.
    God and the Prophets stories encourage us to always be KIND to EVERYONE. We are to never judge, or discriminate, or to treat people differently because of their religion. Of course, we are told to teach them of Islam by telling them and by the way we act, so that they can become interested, and see that Muslims are not bad, and maybe even convert.
    Also I didn't appreciate the note that we all hate the Jews. That's not true. We dislike the Zionists. The ones who are killing people in Palestine. There is a difference.
    Thank you for listening! :)