Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Criticism of Islam

( Excerpts From Article )
Muslims who complain the most over Israel'’s immunity to criticism are the same ones who complain the most about Islam’'s lack of immunity. Wrong speech is countered by correct speech, not by shutting it up.

Nothing is immune from criticism, constructive or otherwise, including Islam. All of the prophets, and the messages they conveyed, were subject to every type of scrutiny and humiliation (in many cases, far worse than what we are experiencing now). However, their response was not to silence and condemn the opposition, but to teach it. If we are so concerned about the honor of our religion, we should try practicing it in response.

The fact of the matter is that there are many Muslims who engage in violence as a form of protest or problem-solving, who violate human rights, and who openly hate and call for the murder of “kuffar”. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that non-Muslims will combine a superficial interpretation of these verses with the atrocities committed by some Muslims and conclude that Islam and its followers are violent. In fact, I would be surprised if they came to any other conclusion.

Hazem Bata is an attorney and real estate developer living in Florida.


1 comment:


    Thomas Carlyle in 'Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History,' 1840:

    "The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round
    this man (Muhammad) are disgraceful to ourselves only." "A silent
    great soul, one of that who cannot but be earnest. He was to kindle
    the world, the world's Maker had ordered so."

    A. S. Tritton in 'Islam,' 1951:

    The picture of the Muslim soldier advancing with a sword in one hand
    and the Qur'an in the other is quite false.

    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.

    Gibbon in 'The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' 1823:

    The good sense of Muhammad despised the pomp of royalty. The Apostle
    of God submitted to the menial offices of the family; he kindled the
    fire; swept the floor; milked the ewes; and mended with his own hands
    his shoes and garments. Disdaining the penance and merit of a hermit,
    he observed without effort of vanity the abstemious diet of an Arab.

    Edward Gibbon and Simon Oakley in 'History of the Saracen Empire,' London, 1870:

    "The greatest success of Mohammad's life was effected by sheer moral force."
    "It is not the propagation but the permanency of his religion that
    deserves our wonder, the same pure and perfect impression which he
    engraved at Mecca and Medina is preserved after the revolutions of
    twelve centuries by the Indian, the African and the Turkish proselytes
    of the Koran....The Mahometans have uniformly withstood the temptation
    of reducing the object of their faith and devotion to a level with the
    senses and imagination of man. 'I believe in One God and Mahomet the
    Apostle of God' is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The
    intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible
    idol; the honors of the prophet have never transgressed the measure of
    human virtue, and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of
    his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion."

    Reverend Bosworth Smith in 'Muhammad and Muhammadanism,' London, 1874:

    "Head of the State as well as the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in
    one; but he was Pope without the Pope's pretensions, and Caesar
    without the legions of Caesar, without a standing army, without a
    bodyguard, without a police force, without a fixed revenue. If ever a
    man ruled by a right divine, it was Muhammad, for he had all the
    powers without their supports. He cared not for the dressings of
    power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his
    public life."
    "In Mohammadanism every thing is different here. Instead of the
    shadowy and the mysterious, we have history....We know of the external
    history of Muhammad.... while for his internal history after his
    mission had been proclaimed, we have a book absolutely unique in its
    origin, in its preservation....on the Substantial authority of which
    no one has ever been able to cast a serious doubt."

    Edward Montet, 'La Propagande Chretienne et ses Adversaries
    Musulmans,' Paris 1890. (Also in T.W. Arnold in 'The Preaching of
    Islam,' London 1913.):

    "Islam is a religion that is essentially rationalistic in the widest
    sense of this term considered etymologically and historically....the
    teachings of the Prophet, the Qur'an has invariably kept its place as
    the fundamental starting point, and the dogma of unity of God has
    always been proclaimed therein with a grandeur a majesty, an
    invariable purity and with a note of sure conviction, which it is hard
    to find surpassed outside the pale of Islam....A creed so precise, so
    stripped of all theological complexities and consequently so
    accessible to the ordinary understanding might be expected to possess
    and does indeed possess a marvelous power of winning its way into the
    consciences of men."

    Alphonse de LaMartaine in 'Historie de la Turquie,' Paris, 1854:

    "Never has a man set for himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more
    sublime aim, since this aim was superhuman; to subvert superstitions
    which had been imposed between man and his Creator, to render God unto
    man and man unto God; to restore the rational and sacred idea of
    divinity amidst the chaos of the material and disfigured gods of
    idolatry, then existing. Never has a man undertaken a work so far
    beyond human power with so feeble means, for he (Muhammad) had in the
    conception as well as in the execution of such a great design, no
    other instrument than himself and no other aid except a handful of men
    living in a corner of the desert. Finally, never has a man
    accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world, because
    in less than two centuries after its appearance, Islam, in faith and
    in arms, reigned over the whole of Arabia, and conquered, in God's
    name, Persia Khorasan, Transoxania, Western India, Syria, Egypt,
    Abyssinia, all the known continent of Northern Africa, numerous
    islands of the Mediterranean Sea, Spain, and part of Gaul. "If
    greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astonishing results are
    the three criteria of a human genius, who could dare compare any great
    man in history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws,
    and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than
    material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man
    moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples, dynasties, but
    millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more
    than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas,
    the beliefs and the souls.

    "On the basis of a Book, every letter which has become law, he created
    a spiritual nationality which blend together peoples of every tongue
    and race. He has left the indelible characteristic of this Muslim
    nationality the hatred of false gods and the passion for the One and
    Immaterial God. This avenging patriotism against the profanation of
    Heaven formed the virtue of the followers of Muhammad; the conquest of
    one-third the earth to the dogma was his miracle; or rather it was not
    the miracle of man but that of reason.

    "The idea of the unity of God, proclaimed amidst the exhaustion of the
    fabulous theogonies, was in itself such a miracle that upon it's
    utterance from his lips it destroyed all the ancient temples of idols
    and set on fire one-third of the world. His life, his meditations, his
    heroic revelings against the superstitions of his country, and his
    boldness in defying the furies of idolatry, his firmness in enduring
    them for fifteen years in Mecca, his acceptance of the role of public
    scorn and almost of being a victim of his fellow countrymen... This
    dogma was twofold the unity of God and the immateriality of God: the
    former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the
    one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea
    with words.

    "Philosopher, Orator, Apostle, Legislator, Conqueror of Ideas,
    Restorer of Rational beliefs.... The founder of twenty terrestrial
    empires and of one spiritual empire that is Muhammad. As regards all
    standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask,
    is there any man greater than he?"

    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.

    Sir George Bernard Shaw in 'The Genuine Islam,' Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936:

    "If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe
    within the next hundred years, it could be Islam." 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."

    "I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of
    the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way
    that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have
    prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to
    the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the
    Europe of today."

    Michael Hart in 'The 100, A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons In
    History,' New York, 1978:

    My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential
    persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but
    he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both
    the secular and religious level. ...It is probable that the relative
    influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined
    influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. ...It is this
    unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I
    feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single
    figure in human history.

    Dr. William Draper in 'History of Intellectual Development of Europe':

    Four years after the death of Justinian, A.D. 569, was born in Mecca,
    in Arabia, the man who, of all men, has exercised the greatest
    influence upon the human race... To be the religious head of many
    empires, to guide the daily life of one-third of the human race, may
    perhaps justify the title of a Messenger of God.

    Arthur Glyn Leonard in 'Islam, Her Moral and Spiritual Values':

    It was the genius of Muhammad, the spirit that he breathed into the
    Arabs through the soul of Islam that exalted them. That raised them
    out of the lethargy and low level of tribal stagnation up to the high
    watermark of national unity and empire. It was in the sublimity of
    Muhammad's deism, the simplicity, the sobriety and purity it
    inculcated the fidelity of its founder to his own tenets, that acted
    on their moral and intellectual fiber with all the magnetism of true

    Philip K. Hitti in 'History of the Arabs':

    Within a brief span of mortal life, Muhammad called forth of
    unpromising material, a nation, never welded before; in a country that
    was hitherto but a geographical expression he established a religion
    which in vast areas suppressed Christianity and Judaism, and laid the
    basis of an empire that was soon to embrace within its far flung
    boundaries the fairest provinces the then civilized world.

    Rodwell in the Preface to his translation of the Holy Qur'an:

    Mohammad's career is a wonderful instance of the force and life that
    resides in him who possesses an intense faith in God and in the unseen
    world. He will always be regarded as one of those who have had that
    influence over the faith, morals and whole earthly life of their
    fellow men, which none but a really great man ever did, or can
    exercise; and whose efforts to propagate a great verity will prosper.

    W. Montgomery Watt in 'Muhammad at Mecca,' Oxford, 1953:

    His readiness to undergo persecution for his beliefs, the high moral
    character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as a
    leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement - all argue his
    fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more
    problems that it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of
    history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad.... Thus, not
    merely must we credit Muhammad with essential honesty and integrity of
    purpose, if we are to understand him at all; if we are to correct the
    errors we have inherited from the past, we must not forget the
    conclusive proof is a much stricter requirement than a show of
    plausibility, and in a matter such as this only to be attained with

    D. G. Hogarth in 'Arabia':

    Serious or trivial, his daily behavior has instituted a canon which
    millions observe this day with conscious memory. No one regarded by
    any section of the human race as Perfect Man has ever been imitated so
    minutely. The conduct of the founder of Christianity has not governed
    the ordinary life of his followers. Moreover, no founder of a religion
    has left on so solitary an eminence as the Muslim apostle.

    Washington Irving 'Mahomet and His Successors':

    He was sober and abstemious in his diet and a rigorous observer of
    fasts. He indulged in no magnificence of apparel, the ostentation of a
    petty mind; neither was his simplicity in dress affected but a result
    of real disregard for distinction from so trivial a source. In his
    private dealings he was just. He treated friends and strangers, the
    rich and poor, the powerful and weak, with equity, and was beloved by
    the common people for the affability with which he received them, and
    listened to their complaints. His military triumphs awakened no pride
    nor vain glory, as they would have done had they been effected for
    selfish purposes. In the time of his greatest power he maintained the
    same simplicity of manners and appearance as in the days of his
    adversity. So far from affecting a regal state, he was displeased if,
    on entering a room, any unusual testimonials of respect were shown to
    him. If he aimed at a universal dominion, it was the dominion of
    faith; as to the temporal rule which grew up in his hands, as he used
    it without ostentation, so he took no step to perpetuate it in his

    James Michener in 'Islam: The Misunderstood Religion,' Reader's
    Digest, May 1955, pp. 68-70:

    "No other religion in history spread so rapidly as Islam. The West has
    widely believed that this surge of religion was made possible by the
    sword. But no modern scholar accepts this idea, and the Qur'an is
    explicit in the support of the freedom of conscience."
    "Like almost every major prophet before him, Muhammad fought shy of
    serving as the transmitter of God's word sensing his own inadequacy.
    But the Angel commanded 'Read'. So far as we know, Muhammad was unable
    to read or write, but he began to dictate those inspired words which
    would soon revolutionize a large segment of the earth: "There is one

    "In all things Muhammad was profoundly practical. When his beloved son
    Ibrahim died, an eclipse occurred and rumors of God 's personal
    condolence quickly arose. Whereupon Muhammad is said to have
    announced, 'An eclipse is a phenomenon of nature. It is foolish to
    attribute such things to the death or birth of a human being'."

    "At Muhammad's own death an attempt was made to deify him, but the man
    who was to become his administrative successor killed the hysteria
    with one of the noblest speeches in religious history: 'If there are
    any among you who worshiped Muhammad, he is dead. But if it is God you
    Worshiped, He lives for ever'."

    Lawrence E. Browne in 'The Prospects of Islam,' 1944:

    Incidentally 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.

    Napolean Bonaparte as Quoted in Christian Cherfils, 'Bonaparte et
    Islam,' Pedone Ed., Paris, France, 1914, pp. 105, 125.
    Original References: "Correspondance de Napoléon Ier Tome V pièce n°
    4287 du 17/07/1799..."

    "Moses has revealed the existence of God to his nation. Jesus Christ
    to the Roman world, Muhammad to the old continent... "Arabia was
    idolatrous when, six centuries after Jesus, Muhammad introduced the
    worship of the God of Abraham, of Ishmael, of Moses, and Jesus. The
    Ariyans and some other sects had disturbed the tranquility of the east
    by agitating the question of the nature of the Father, the son, and
    the Holy Ghost. Muhammad declared that there was none but one God who
    had no father, no son and that the trinity imported the idea of

    "I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the
    wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform
    regime based on the principles of Qur'an which alone are true and
    which alone can lead men to happiness."

    Sir George Bernard Shaw in 'The Genuine Islam,' Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.

    "If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe
    within the next hundred years, it could be Islam." "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 far from being an anti-Christ, he must
    be called the Savior of Humanity."

    "I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of
    the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way
    that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have
    prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to
    the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the
    Europe of today."

    Bertrand Russel in 'History of Western Philosophy,' London, 1948, p. 419.

    "Our use of phrase 'The Dark ages' to cover the period from 699 to
    1,000 marks our undue concentration on Western Europe...
    "From India to Spain, the brilliant civilization of Islam flourished.
    What was lost to christendom at this time was not lost to
    civilization, but quite the contrary...

    "To us it seems that West-European civilization is civilization, but
    this is a narrow view."

    H.G. Wells

    "The Islamic teachings have left great traditions for equitable and
    gentle dealings and behavior, and inspire people with nobility and
    tolerance. These are human teachings of the highest order and at the
    same time practicable. These teachings brought into existence a
    society in which hard-heartedness and collective oppression and
    injustice were the least as compared with all other societies
    preceding it....Islam is replete with gentleness, courtesy, and

    Dr. William Draper in 'History of Intellectual Development of Europe'

    "During the period of the Caliphs the learned men of the Christians
    and the Jews were not only held in great esteem but were appointed to
    posts of great responsibility, and were promoted to the high ranking
    job in the government....He (Caliph Haroon Rasheed) never considered
    to which country a learned person belonged nor his faith and belief,
    but only his excellence in the field of learning."

    Thomas Carlyle in 'Heroes, Hero Worship, and the Heroic in History,'
    Lecture 2, Friday, 8th May 1840.

    "As there is no danger of our becoming, any of us, Mahometans (i.e.
    Muslim), I mean to say all the good of him I justly can... "When
    Pococke inquired of Grotius, where the proof was of that story of the
    pigeon, trained to pick peas from Mahomet's (Muhammad's) ear, and pass
    for an angel dictating to him? Grotius answered that there was no

    "A poor, hard-toiling, ill-provided man; careless of what vulgar men
    toil for. Not a bad man, I should say; Something better in him than
    hunger of any sort, -- or these wild arab men, fighting and jostling
    three-and-twenty years at his hand, in close contact with him always,
    would not revered him so! They were wild men bursting ever and anon
    into quarrel, into all kinds of fierce sincerity; without right worth
    and manhood, no man could have commanded them. They called him prophet
    you say? Why he stood there face to face with them; bare, not
    enshrined in any mystry; visibly clouting his own cloak, cobbling his
    own shoes; fighting, counselling, ordering in the midst of them: they
    must have seen what kind of man he was, let him be called what you
    like! No emperor with his tiaras was obeyed as this man in a cloak of
    his own clouting. During three-and-twenty years of rough actual trial.
    I find something of a veritable Hero necessary for that, of itself...

    "These Arabs, the man Mahomet, and that one century, - is it not as if
    a spark had fallen, one spark, on a world of what proves explosive
    powder, blazes heaven-high from Delhi to Granada! I said, the Great
    man was always as lightning out of Heaven; the rest of men waited for
    him like fuel, and then they too would flame..."

    Phillip Hitti in 'Short History of the Arabs.'

    "During all the first part of the Middle Ages, no other people made as
    important a contribution to human progress as did the Arabs, if we
    take this term to mean all those whose mother-tongue was Arabic, and
    not merely those living in the Arabian peninsula. For centuries,
    Arabic was the language of learning, culture and intellectual progress
    for the whole of the civilized world with the exception of the Far
    East. From the IXth to the XIIth century there were more
    philosophical, medical, historical, religiuos, astronomical and
    geographical works written in Arabic than in any other human tongue."

    Carra de Vaux in 'The Philosophers of Islam,' Paris, 1921.

    "Finally how can one forget that at the same time the Mogul Empire of
    India (1526-1857 C.E.) was giving the world the Taj Mahal (completed
    in 1648 C.E.) the architectural beauty of which has never been
    surpassed, and the 'Akbar Nameh' of Abul Fazl: "That extraordinary
    work full of life ideas and learning where every aspect of life is
    examined listed and classified, and where progress continually dazzles
    the eye, is a document of which Oriental civilization may justly be
    proud. The men whose genius finds its expression in this book were far
    in advance of their age in the practical art of government, and they
    were perhaps in advance of it in their speculations about religious
    philosophy. Those poets those philosophers knew how to deal with the
    world or matter. They observe, classify, calculate and experiment. All
    the ideas that occur to them are tested against facts. They express
    them with eloquence but they also support them with statistics."...the
    principles of tolerance, justice and humanity which prevailed during
    the long reign of Akbar."

    Marcel Clerget in 'La Turquie, Passe et Present,' Paris, 1938.

    "Many proofs of high cultural level of the Ottoman Empire during the
    reign of Suleiman the Magnificent are to be found in the development
    of science and law; in the flowering of literary works in Arabic,
    Persian and Turkish; in the contemporary monuments in Istanbul, Bursa,
    and Edirne; in the boom in luxury industries; in the sumptuous life of
    the court and high dignitaries, and last but not least in its
    religious tolerance. All the various influences - notably Turkish,
    Byzantine and Italian mingle together and help to make this the most
    brilliant epoch of the Ottomans."

    Michael the Elder (Great) as Quoted in 'Michael the Elder, Chronique
    de Michael Syrien, Patriarche Jacobite d' Antioche,' J.B. Chabot,
    Editor, Vol. II, Paris, 1901.

    "This is why the God of vengeance, who alone is all-powerful, and
    changes the empire of mortals as He will, giving it to whomsoever He
    will, and uplifting the humble beholding the wickedness of the Romans
    who throughout their dominions, cruelly plundered our churches and our
    monasteries and condemned us without pity, brought from the region of
    the south the sons of Ishmael, to deliver us through them from the
    hands of the Romans. And if in truth we have suffered some loss,
    because the Catholic churches, that had been taken away from us and
    given to the
    Chalcedonians, remained in their possession; for when the cities
    submitted to the Arabs, they assigned to each denomination the
    churches which they found it to be in possession of (and at that time
    the great churches of Emessa and that of Harran had been taken away
    from us); nevertheless it was no slight advantage for us to be
    delivered from the cruelty of the Romans, their wickedness, their
    wrath and cruel zeal against us, and to find ourselves at people.
    (Michael the Elder, Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch wrote this text in
    the latter part of the twelfth century, after five
    centuries of Muslim rule in that region. Click here for a relevant
    document sent to the monks of St. Catherine Monastery in Mt. Sinai,
    628 C.E.)

    Sir John Bagot Glubb

    "Khalif (Caliph) Al-Ma'mun's period of rule (813 - 833 C.E.) may be
    considered the 'golden age' of science and learning. He had always
    been devoted to books and to learned pursuits. His brilliant mind was
    interested in every form of intellectual activity. Not only poetry but
    also philosophy, theology, astronomy, medicine and law all occupied
    his time."
    "By Mamun's time medical schools were extremely active in Baghdad. The
    first free public hospital was opened in Baghdad during the Caliphate
    of Haroon-ar-Rashid. As the system developed, physicians and surgeons
    were appointed who gave lectures to medical students and issued
    diplomas to those who were considered qualified to practice. The first
    hospital in Egypt was opened in 872 AD and thereafter public hospitals
    sprang up all over the empire from Spain and the Maghrib to Persia."

    On the Holocaust of Baghdad (1258 C.E.) Perpetrated by Hulagu:
    "The city was systematically looted, destroyed and burnt. Eight
    hundred thousand persons are said to have been killed. The Khalif
    Mustasim was sewn up in a sack and trampled to death under the feet of
    Mongol horses.

    "For five hundred years, Baghdad had been a city of palaces, mosques,
    libraries and colleges. Its universities and hospitals were the most
    up-to-date in the world. Nothing now remained but heaps of rubble and