ISIS, Islamophobia and the End of Sunnism

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Editor’s Note: this was first published in the fall/winter 2014/5 issue of The Islamic Monthly

The recent dust-up involving notorious “new atheist” Sam Harris and popular anti-religionist HBO comedian Bill Maher, on the one hand, and popular movie star Ben Affleck, on the other, has reopened debate that first came to the public fore in the immediate wake of 9/11: Is Islam inherently violent or inherently incompatible for contemporary liberal political norms? Is it, in the words of Harris, “the mother lode of bad ideas” in today’s world? If it is, then it would seem that public intellectuals who fail to denounce it — as they did in the case of communism or fascism — are failing in their obligations as intellectuals in fundamental ways. Affleck’s response was that the position advocated by Harris and Maher is dangerous insofar as it threatens to stereotype, marginalize and even dehumanize almost a fifth of humanity and is deeply wrong insofar as neither Harris nor Maher can claim to know the content of Islamic teachings on these various issues in an authoritative fashion.

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Affleck’s response is correct as far as it goes, but it does not respond to the charges laid by Harris and Maher: If in fact Islam is as they describe, should the propriety of our response to those terrible ideas be influenced by the quantity of the number of people in the world holding them? Indeed, one might say that to the extent profoundly destructive ideas have a grip on larger (rather than smaller) numbers of people, the responsibility to denounce such ideas becomes even more pressing. Likewise, saying that their description of Islamic doctrines is reductionist is not responsive to the legitimate concern that certainly some Muslims hold to the doctrines that Harris and Maher criticize, nor does it provide an answer to the question that many people genuinely wish to know, namely, what is the content of authoritative Islamic teaching regarding a familiar range of contentious issues that are held to be important by mainstream liberals? Affleck’s response implies that the only way we can legitimately know Islamic doctrine so we may responsibly criticize it is to engage in a rigorous empirical examination of what actual Muslims believe and how actual Muslims act. Such an empirical investigation, at its extreme, would require surveying of millions of Muslim individuals all over the world before conclusions about Islam could be reached. Not only would such a study be practically impossible, we generally don’t demand such precision in empirical studies before we accept the results of social scientific studies, even if we realize that the conclusions that can be drawn from such studies are, by their nature, incomplete, tentative and open to methodological criticisms.

Reza Aslan, who was not on the show, also intervened in the debate, dismissing Maher’s comments as evidencing a lack of “sophistication” with respect to religion. Aslan, while correct to point out mainstream media’s consistent conflation of the actions of particular Muslim countries with the practices of all Muslim countries generally, also fails to respond to the core of Maher and Harris’ argument. Their position, ultimately, is that while it may be true that most or a large proportion of Muslims do not engage in the conduct that is generally condemned as “extremist,” it is nevertheless the case that such practices are often a normative part of Islamic teachings. Stoning of adulterers, of course, is only one such example. Aslan, however, is not interested in discussing the normative content of Islam or even other religions, asserting that there is no connection between formal doctrine and conduct, thereby reducing religion into purely a reflection of non-religious factors. Thus, instead of responding to Maher and Harris’ claim about the illiberal content of Islamic teachings, he instead dismisses that critique as irrelevant, while maintaining studious silence on the contents of orthodox Muslim belief.

To take up Harris’ claim that Islam is “the mother lode of bad ideas,” I would say that if such a claim is true, in fact, it is trivially so. The same point can be said about any tradition of thought, particularly, one that originated in late antiquity and has survived into modernity. It is a trivial exercise to pick up standard works of Islamic law and find ideas that are repugnant to the modern world. But, it is also a trivial exercise to pick up classics of Western philosophy and law and find the same thing. Even Thomas Jefferson the most egalitarian of America’s founders, expressed views on gender equality that would disqualify him today from entering public office, or might even get him dismissed from a public office were he to express them openly. In this respect, Maher and Harris reflect the all too common historical amnesia common among liberals, who are too quick to forget the recentness of the egalitarian achievements of the liberal West — many of which only came into existence as part of the post-World War II settlement and have yet to become settled social realities, even among the relatively privileged — and too slow to acknowledge the radical changes that have taken place in most Muslim countries and even Islamic discourse regarding issues such as gender equality over the last one hundred years.

Why can’t non-Muslims such as Maher or Harris recognize these changes? Perhaps for the same reason that even Muslims can’t: The profound weakness, or even the non-existence, of a credible institutional expression of Islamic teachings in the modern world means there is no objective source from which an outsider (or even Muslims) can know what authoritative Islamic teaching is. In the absence of such an expression, one can hardly blame non-Muslims — who wish to “know” what Muslims believe — for turning to the same sources that Muslims themselves do, such as pre-modern treatises of Islamic law that continue to be taught in seminaries in the Muslim world and are also translated and studied by Muslims in the West. It ought to come as no surprise then that Islamophobes, such as the Center for Security Policy, often cite passages from works like The Reliance of the Traveller as proof of the subversiveness of Muslim attachments to sharia. It makes no difference that modern Muslims may dismiss many of the rules found in such texts as not representative of their own views, or perhaps reflecting an Islamic teaching that might have been appropriate in a previous age but is not appropriate now; in fact, if a Muslim makes such a claim, he might be dismissed as engaging in taqiyya, or dissimulation of “true” Islamic teachings in an effort to protect Islam or spread it among unsuspecting non-Muslims.

In this context, it behooves Muslims to keep in mind the adage that “not only must Justice be done; it must be seen to be done.” As long as Muslim doctrinal change remains undocumented in authoritative doctrinal statements — such as the treatises of Islamic law that serve as the formal basis for the study of Islamic law in Muslim religious institutions — that appear only in particular and occasional fatwas that rise and fall with the authority of the mufti who authored the opinion, then they appear, or risk appearing, as merely the idiosyncratic views of a particular Muslim. Indeed, it may even give the appearance of an insincere attempt at revising controversial Islamic doctrines by dressing them up in new garb to ward off criticism unaccompanied by a real commitment to change. Indeed, if Sunni Muslims are too indifferent to their law that they fail to articulate a meaningful expression of its content in the modern world, then the best that Sunnis can plead in their own defense is that historical Islamic law is irrelevant to their beliefs and actions. But it is this very nihilism that produces the ethical and political vacuum that authoritarian political regimes, corrupt oligarchies and religious millenarians have filled and created the political circumstances justifying Islamophobia.

The fundamental problem that has given rise to both Islamophobia and ISIS is that in the modern age, after the collapse of the authority of Sunni madhahibs, Sunni theologians continue to claim that Islam provides the moral grounds for the regulation of Muslim societies, but they have lost the ability and ambition to make this claim effective. As a result, a radical legal pluralism has taken root in the Sunni world, particularly in its Arabic-speaking regions, where every individual has become entitled to express an interpretation of the content of Islamic law. In the absence of a modern Islamic theory of the legitimacy of the state, law and democracy, it is no surprise that Muslims and non-Muslims repair to pre-modern texts when seeking to determine what the normative Islamic baseline on any particular issue is. When this normative vacuum is combined with the profound failure of the Arab state system to produce citizens willing and capable of cooperation in the context of a common political project, it should not be surprising that some Muslims take up interpretations of Islam and Islamic law that are apocalyptic in their scope and claims as an answer to the catastrophic failures of those states.

The problem with Maher and Harris — despite their claim that they are taking liberals to task for their alleged silence about Islam — is that they are not asking the right questions from a liberal perspective: Why, after more than a century of theological and legal reform that has generally moved toward greater recognition of rights of women and non-Muslims, for example, has a brutally atavistic movement like ISIS found a home (even if one hopes it is only temporary) in the Nile-to-Oxus region, which was once called the heartland of the Islamic world by the great American historian of Islam, Marshall Hodgson? In my opinion, this is not because a reified Islam is teaching Muslims to reject liberal values as such, but is a simple and predictable reflection of the fact that political orders prevailing in the Islamic heartland have no interest in promoting liberalizing political values. The promotion by Arab ruling elites of a politically neutered, state-dominated Islam that is disabled from holding power accountable to a moral standard serves their authoritarian political project well, even if the cost is quite high: The failure to produce a reasonably acceptable political theology that can serve the needs and further the aspirations of modern Muslims inevitably will create groups like ISIS, at least as long as religion remains socially salient. Neo-traditionalist Sunni theologians, such as ʿAli Jumuʿa of Egypt, or al-Ḥabīb ʿAlī al-Jifrī, who believe that it is possible to re-create in the modern world the division of labor of late Sunnism — in which the state, usually military elites, provided coercive resources and the ʿulamāʾ provided moral legitimacy, binding the public to the state through a regime of taqlīd — will inevitably, even if belatedly, discover that modern Muslims will not willingly cede their moral autonomy to them. Instead, it might produce more theological radicalism, either in the form of increased atheism or religious apocalypticism.

Sunnism was historically a centrist tradition that rejected the messianism of Shiʿism and the unforgiving puritanism of the Khawārij. Its centrism, however, was not born of a kind of ad hoc reasoning that called on Muslims simply to take middle positions between extremes. It was a centrism based on firm adherence to certain moral principles, including rejection of armed rebellion combined with a refusal to recognize as valid the illegal conduct of rulers; a readiness to overlook moral shortcomings of individuals constituting the community, whether rulers or ruled, combined with an insistence on holding each person accountable before the law for their conduct, even if that accountability was deferred and only theoretical; a recognition of the superior piety and learning of some, and even the possibility that some people may receive particular spiritual favors from God, but a rejection that such distinctions could result in the suspension of the law. In short, the political theology of Sunnism was centered on the sovereignty of law and respect for authority (not power as such). The historical tradition of Sunnism, however, assumed a certain kind of relationship between political leaders, religious leaders and the public that no longer exists and will not return. Until a new political theology is established that adapts the historical principles of Sunnism to the realities of a democratic age, we can continue to expect the persistence of groups like ISIS and the Islamophobic New Atheists. The failure of the Arab Spring to usher in a new democratic moment in the Arab world has deferred the day when the historical center of the Muslim world will be able to contribute productively to solving the challenges facing Sunni Islam in the modern world. It also means we have no reason to believe that the assaults of figures like Bill Maher and Sam Harris on Islam, or their influence on the public perception of Islam, will cease or decline in the near future, no matter what Ben Affleck says.

This was first published in the Fall/Winter 2014 print issue of The Islamic Monthly  Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 10.38.44 AM

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    Mohammad Fadel

    Mohammad Fadel is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto and a Columnist at The Islamic Monthly
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    Comments
    • Arun

      The above article does not explain what one can observe about Islam in Pakistan.

      • Seema Arif

        It is only an article and not complete works on Maududi… There is lot of research on Maulana and his concept of political Islam as well as founding principles of Islamic state. you cannot observe it in Pakistan, because there are so called rational democratic parties or army has been in rule.

    • Arun

      For instance, the works of this man, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abul_A%27la_Maududi, Syed Abul A’la Maududi constitute a “modern Islamic theory of the legitimacy of the state, law and democracy”.

    • Yes, ISIS is Saudia Arabia: Woman-slaving, commercial slavery, whippiings, mutiilations, beheadings: Saudi Arabia all the way.

      America’s ally in bringing democracy and liberty to MENA . . . .

      The real enemy, beyond plutocracy, are Bronze-Age thinkers and One-Bookers, all of which together are hostis humani generis.

    • gazzang

      What Mohammed Fadel is saying about the reliance of Muslims on dated
      calssical texts can also be said about various fundamentalist Christians
      who have a deep attachment to archaic Old Testament laws at the expense
      of Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament. They no more represent the Christian mainstream than the troglodytes of ISIS represent the Muslim mainstream.

      • conurse

        Or the orthodox Jews who refuse to sit next to a woman on a public aircraft….. extremism is pretty much the same across the human spectrum.

    • Adis Duderija

      Superb on so many levels. Apart from a new political theology Sunnism, in my view, needs to exhibit a much larger degree of epistemological openness, a more contextually grounded Qur’an-Sunna hermeneutics and it needs to calibrate its theory of ethics to be much more responsive to humanity’s contemporary ethical subjectivities. the reform of Islamic jurisprudence should be done in the light of these three principles. the traditional ulama are either unwilling or unable to do this , hence that is why we need ‘progressives’ ( or critical traditionalists) whose approach to Islam is based on the principles I just outlined above. acritical mas of scholars is already doing this for details see here :https://www.academia.edu/4501956/CRITICAL-PROGRESSIVE_MUSLIM_THOUGHT_REFLECTIONS_ON_ITS_POLITICAL_RAMIFICATIONS

      • rashiddar

        adis – i would ask – on what basis must islam’s “theory of ethics” be made responsive to “humanity’s contemporary ethical subjectivities”? is this to be done for pragmatism’s sake, i.e. this is the new reality? why could we not perhaps hold fast to this “theory of ethics” and hope for the world to be understanding of our theory, or, perhaps, hope for the non-muslim world to adjust their theory of ethics to be made more responsive to muslim ethical subjectivities? i am just curious as to your motivation.

    • conurse

      The intellectual exercise of postulating some sort of pedigree for modern Islamic thought that the faithful will understand is ridiculous. Religious faith – by definition – rejects neutral and independent analysis. Islam is no more or less dangerous philosophically than Christianity or any other religion. They are ALL poisonous and stunt the individual’s intellectual development. Although it is difficult to imagine intellectual development in the average Muslim household, which is illiterate and based on absurd cultural superstition. Maher and Harris have thought a lot more about this than the author. And they come to more reasonable conclusions.

      • Seema Arif

        you are stereotyping and spreading bias. Which authority has given you an ultimate right to brand Muslims under a certain label? Are you not repeating the same “sin” in name of liberalism, which orthodox sunnis do in name of religious extremism? Is this knowledge or your type of cultural superstition?

        • conurse

          You are demonstrating the inability of ignorant fools to think for themselves by asserting the concept of “sin” as universal. Many of us reject that as much as the silly anthropomorphic “Gods” which you worship. It’s not a stereotype to observe reality. The average follower of Islam is a superstitious, ignorant illiterate easily led to horrific violence in the name of “Allah” – the imaginary deity used as an excuse to behave as a sub-human.

          • Seema Arif

            Sorry but u could not impress me with your verbal aggression. This only demonstrates your ignorance about Islam and Muslims.. And we are ignorant fools…but more foolish were those who funded us in our foolishness against Russia. And as usual created a Frankenstein… Which they are disowning. And want to masquerade their personal failure in establishing peace in Afghanistan and middle east… Such non-performers have been our dictators… The failure is always of the knowledgeable and not of poor foolish.

            • conurse

              Just more unintelligible hogwash from a pseudo-intellectual.

            • Seema Arif

              Well I’m surprised by the personal remarks given by “intellectuals” who consider themselves none the less than demi-gods. Never mind people in these hard days need to project themselves…!

            • conurse

              WTF does all that word salad mean? No wonder you can’t think anything through to a logical conclusion.

            • Jim Prindle

              …a monster, much like Frankenstein, that can be completely destroyed with fire….or a NUKE !

    • cckaarshe

      This article is shortsighted and stupid. It only makes sense if you take the binaries of Islam/Christian, Stucture/non-structure, East/West, local/global as a given. “If only Islam had a centre these Islamophobes would not be confused, the whole issue would have been clarified.”

      Idiot, maybe it is about power-knowledge and not power and knowledge, maybe it is about praxis of global politics and economy and not a matter of epistemology and inter civilisational dialogue. Maybe you are stupid.

      • Seema Arif

        I don’t think its an educated or an enlightened response. It shows projection of your anger and bias only.

    • Martin

      Much respect to the article for pointing out flaws on both sides, but I do disagree about how sunnism needs to advance into a political and theological debate for the modern democracy. When you do things like that it just creates MORE Branch Offs LIKE SHIA OR SUFI…Islam the way it was practiced by the prophet is the real and only true Islam. Under his leadership women were equal and held high roles of honor within the state. People of other thoughts lived together in peace. The prophet when he was alive forgave those who called him a magician and a false prophet. Apply this to the same logic of Muslims today something doesn’t jive, but it’s not sunnism, it is muddle eastern tribalism that has soaked it’s way into the fabric of sunni thought which is the real issue today.

      • SPEECHFREEDOM1976

        taqiya taqiya taqiya taqiya taqiya !

    • O. Locke

      there is no “islamophobia”. people don’t want to be forced into practicing your religion with you.

      If you can’t shake woman’s hand and she’s your boss if she extends her hand and you don’t take it because of your religious beliefs your forcing your religion onto her.

      if you force a woman to put on a head covering and make her stand in the back of a room your not defending her modesty, your subjugating her.

      islam MUST reform itself or risk open conflict with the other 5 billion people on the planet that don’t want to be forced to practice it with you.

      • Seema Arif

        And what when you are offering someone a hand who will not accept because of cultural reasons (that by no means demonstrate that women are not respected and are devalued) … this is not forging liberalism on others… Life and relationships move forward with mutual respect and understanding diversity. Those who appreciate diversity are liberated from such stereotypes.

        • conurse

          If you want to practice Bronze-age superstition, go live in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Leave your “cultural diversity” somewhere else when you inhabit the modern world. If you want to wear a body-condom on the streets of a modern, progressive city, be prepared to be mocked. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

          • gazzang

            I don’t have to go to Afghanistan to practice a Bronze-age superstition. I can go to America and join the Westboro Baptist Church or any of the many others run by divinely inspired bigots. Technically Islam is not a Bronze Age religion, Judaism is. Islam actually arrived close to the end of the late Iron Age while Christianity began in the middle of the middle Iron Age. If you are going to use the proximity to the bronze Age as your yardstick then clearly Islam is the most modern and progressive of the three.

        • Seema Arif

          We are happy in our lives and mock no one Mr.cave man. Rejoice in your freedom as well where wives are adulterous and daughters elope, and sons open fire in schools on their mothers; where fathers are insensitive to the needs of family; where women can’t tell who is the father of their children and children can’t tell who is their father or even mother. yes! this is your freedom which snatches one’s identity… its being senseless, ruthless, valueless and shameless, so its worst than barbarianism caveman freedom of robbing people of their identities, their self worth, self respect, and their preferred lifestyle.

      • gazzang

        In my life I have had to bridge cultures. As a traditionally reserved Westerner I have adapted to the 5 o’clock shadow of the traditional hug and kiss between males in the middle east and elsewhere. When greeting a Muslim woman I don’t offer my hand to shake adopt the respectful custom of putting my hand to my chest and a slight nod of my head. No problems. I also know that as a rule most Muslim women who wear hijab or niqab do so out of choice and it is often a spiritually significant part of their being. They are typically independent and far from oppressed. I love in a society where you see just as many covered Muslim women as you do women who wear the shortest of shorts and mini skirts. Everyone is accepted there is no compulsion except in places of worship where both mean and women are required to dress appropriately and with few exceptions everybody gets along and yes it is a country with a majority Muslim population.

        • O. Locke

          choice? give me a break. they aren’t given a choice by their parents and are sure to adopt the veil to be “good muslims” when they come of age. lets not forget that every mosque around the world subjugates women then says it is to “protect chastity” don’t sell me that.

          • gazzang

            Firstly I know several women who chose to wear the hijab against the strongly expressed opposition of their parents. Second;y just because some mosques and indeed some churches leave a lot to be desired in their treatment of women doesn’t mean all do. Get outside the narrow confines of Fox News, meet some real Muslims, (most of them don’t bite) and get to know them. Most are just ordinary decent people trying to peacefully get on with their lives.

            • O. Locke

              no you don’t. you don’t know anyone who is in that situation. and in most cultures ESPECIALLY outside the west there is no choice. so don’t try to hand me that.

              how do you know what religion I am? don’t be a bigot.

            • gazzang

              I have made no assumptions about your religion and i have not made any statement that can reasonably be construed as bigotry. I have traveled widely and spent time in different cultures outside the west. In fact I currently live in one. There are no problems here. Women have a choice and as a rule freely exercise that. I fact I live in a country with a Muslim majority where several religions get along quite happily. All the Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and traditional Chinese religious holidays are celebrated and recognised with public holidays. In fact instead of the mythical war on Christmas, this year saw some truly elaborate decorations and festivities in all the major commercial centers. As for Hindu celebrations, the celebration of Thaipusam attracts over 1milion participants and is attended by the Muslim prime Minister as part of his official duties. There is currently no Jewish community here but there is one in a neighbouring country. There is however a small Jewish cemetery in the north of the country which isa relic of the former colonial era. This does receive the occasional Jewish visitor but is kept clean and maintained by local Muslims who see it as part of their religious duty. No compulsion, no forced conversions at sword point and no forcing of
              dress codes on unwilling citizens, male or female or anything in
              between.

            • O. Locke

              yes. you have made assumptions that could make one consider you a bigot.

              “Get outside the narrow confines of Fox News, meet some real Muslims, (most of them don’t bite) and get to know them.” – gazzang

              I assume you think you know my race, too. Shame on you! SO watching fox makes a person some kind of ignoramus? you should be ashamed of yourself for attempting to stereotype people.

              As for your total fictional Xanadu paradise. I believe moslems are tolerant when they begin demonstrating that. it is precisley BECAUSE of my experiences and knowledge that i rightly call for a reformation of the moslem religion.

              practice your religion at the mosque. NOT in public. no one has to practice it with you. this means that all the requirements placed on society are practiced by YOU not society. you can’t live your faith in public and expect others to go along with it. if a Christian man feels the need to bless me every five minutes THAT would annoy me too. I don’t have the right to pick and choose my workmates. sometimes you work alone with women and sometimes they are in charge of you.

              moslims aren’t getting it. keep your faith at home. none of us want to practice your faith with you.

              And I think the middle eastern mosilims didn’t get the same memo you did. many Sunni moslims the world over will disagree with your take and interpretation. I won’t even go into the fundamentalists du jour.

              live with the facts, pal.

            • gazzang

              I am not living in a fictional Xanadu paradise and you are the one making assumptions about my religion. Muslims don’t confine their religion to the mosque they live it in their daily lives and they don’t expect everyone to practice it with them. In fact the Qur’an specifically forbids forced conversion.

              You are the one saying watching Fox makes you an ignoramus, not me. Fox News however makes you ignorant of the truth because they don’t report the truth.

              Now as for Muslims confining their religion to the mosque that would be nice because the greatest reward in Islam comes from spending time in the mosque. The only drawback to that is Christian Presidents like George Bush Jr who take their perverted version of Christianity out into the world on a holy mission to bomb the rest of the world into freedom and democracy.

            • O. Locke

              islam is YOUR religion. And you’re not getting it. you’re part of the problem if you think reform and leaving your faith in the mosque won’t work for you. you’re forcing people to practice it with you.

              whenever you go in public and ask women to subjugate themselves by refusing their hand, making them walk behind you, making them stand behind you forcing them into a status that’s lower than a man’s status you are forcing non-mooslims to practice with you. this is unacceptable. none of us want to practice with you.

              you intimated that people who watch fox are ignorant, a bigoted position because you quite clearly have no clue what you’re referring to.

              but thanks for clearing up your extremist moslem position. reform the faith or risk confrontation with the west.

            • gazzang

              Thanks for confirming your ignorance and your bigotry. First you assume that I am a Muslim. Secondly you accuse me of ding all the things you falsely accuse all Muslims of doing. I do none of those. I didn’t intimate that people who watch Fox News are ignorant. I am stating that those who believe Fox News’ view of the world are ignorant because Fox News is not the world. It is a nightmare land of loons who are paid to talk nonsense and that is not bigotry it is a fact.

            • O. Locke

              look, pal.

              I recognize mooslims are allowed to lie to “non-believers” but you called it your religion in a previous statement.

              “I am not living in a fictional Xanadu paradise and you are the one making assumptions about my religion.” – gazzang

              moslem mendacity is astounding. And I’m not sure why you keep attacking fox. I’m not defending them but it is quite bigoted of you to assume anything about fox viewers. you’re statements are very ignorant.

              shame on you, pal!

            • gazzang

              Your level of cognitive dissonance is astounding. All I said was that you were making assumptions about what my religion is. I have not said what religion I follow. As for the bullshit about lying you have clearly drunk the poisoned cup of taqiyyah. This is a doctrine amongst Muslim minority Shia that if you fear for your safety it is only permissible to deny you are a Muslim. It doesn’t give you a general license to lie. What you are doing is assuming that I am a Muslim and even if I am telling the truth I am really lying because in your narrow mind thats what Muslims do.

              You have to stop reading right wing Christian fundie crap and actually get to know real Muslims as I do. You might get a pleasant surprise.

            • O. Locke

              Look, pal.

              You called it your religion. I quoted you. Although it’s easy for me to understand why your now backtracking. This absolves you of any responsibility.

              It is my responsibility as a human being to tell molsilims to reform their death cult or risk confrontation with the other 5 billion people on the planet who don’t want to practice their ridiculous faith.

              You clearly don’t understand cognitive dissonance. Please stop using that phrase. It’s embarrassing when people use language they don’t understand to try and insult people who do understand it. A simple google search would have helped you there.

              and I’m not sure why but everyone who attacks valid statements always begins attacking fox, Christianity, or Judaism as if I’m representing or supporting those organizations. Attack them all you like mooslims are the issue. They are the ones beheading westerners in the name of a guy that married a 6 year old and raped her when she turned 9.

              My facts are from the koran. Live with that.

              Thanks for your input and the exchange, pal.

            • gazzang

              Give me the facts from the Qur’an that prove Mohammed married a 6 year old and raped her when she turned 9. I am not attacking Christianity or Judaism but I am attacking any one who kills in G-d’s name.

            • O. Locke

              aisha was married (most likely forced) to marry the profit mohamed. then he raped her when she was 9.

              read it and weep, pal.

            • gazzang

              Read what and weep pal? What is your source for this information? You claimed it is from the Qur’an then give me the chapter and verse. Do that and then I will address your claim.

            • O. Locke

              look, pal.

              go read your hadith.

              it isn’t up to me to quote your ridiculously unsubstantiated faith. muhammed is the one who married a 6 year old and raped her when she turned 9. shouldn’t you know these things about your faith?

              shame on you, pal.

            • gazzang

              I know that you are lying. I have now asked at least twice for your proof for your claims and you have failed to provide it. Now put up or shut up.

            • O. Locke

              look, pal.

              it isn’t my job to educate you on your unsubstantiated faith. your “profit” is the one who married a prepubescent girl (6) and then raped her when she turned 9. go read your hadith then weep.

              stop asking people who don’t share your ridiculous ideology of forcing faith on to wider society to educate you on YOUR beliefs.

              thanks for your input and the education, pal.

            • gazzang

              Well thats the third request and you still fail to provide your proof because you have none. It merely exists in the warped world your mind occupies. I don’t need education. You are the one who is too frightened to learn the truth.

            • O. Locke

              look, pal.

              you keep asking me to educate you on basic facts of the moeslim death cult. if you read your hadith or do a simple google search you could figure it out on your own. this is the part youre not getting. I don’t have to educate you on the rapist tendencies of your “profit” mohmad.

              go figure it out on your own. although I do judge that moslems shouldn’t be so sensitive about teh facts when it comes to their religion. it’s all man made. don’t take it so seriously.

              thanks for your input and the exchange, pal.

            • gazzang

              Actually Pal you do have to “educate” me. I have asked you fur times to present evidence of your claim. You clearly have none. All you can do is put your brain on an endless loop and repeat the same lie over and over again. Bring your proof and we might both be educated.

            • O. Locke

              look, pal.

              the evidence is in your hadith. go read it for yourself. stop asking me to educate you on the rapist tendencies of your ridiculous ‘profit’.

              thanks for your input and the exchange, pal.

            • gazzang

              Well we progress. It is no longer in the Qur’an, it is in “your” hadith. Please enlighten me and quote the relevant hadith and its source. Then maybe the truth will be seen.

            • O. Locke
            • gazzang

              nn

            • O. Locke

              LOL.

              No.

              My argument centers around Aisha’s narrative. she herself said she was six when married and 9 when raped by your prophet.

              it is always the same with moslems. any information given that accurately portrays the religion is called propaganda. what an effective defense.

              your prophets wife told us her age. or is that propaganda too?

              http://sunnah.com/bukhari/67/69

            • gazzang

              Nice try but I can look up Bukhari as well. The hadith you refer to in the printed copy of Bukhari is about the wedding celebration and yes it was narrated by Aisha.

              The hadith you link to is in Bukhari but it is in Book 62 (The Book of Marriage) Vol 7. Chapter 64, Hadith 92

              Narrated Aisha (Ra): that she prepared a lady for a man from the Ansar as his bride and the Prophet (SAW) said, “O Aisha! Haven’t you got any amusement (during the marriage ceremony) as the Ansar like amusement?

              The hadith about her age of marriage is in the same book, Chapter 60 Hadith 88.

              Narrated ‘Urwa: The Prophet (SAW) wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death.

              That’s right, not narrated by Aisha but by Hisham ibn “urwa the man whose hadith are considered unreliable because of his failing memory.

              Now read the rest of my previous post where scholars using other reliable hadith which place Aisha in a dated historical setting and establish her age at marriage at between 18 and 20.

              Read also the Guardian and Huffington Post articles which give an analysis and opinion of the current situation. The duck dynasty tape is there to show that predatory males after young girls is not a situation confined to Islam.

              I would no more take a bearded duck hunter as an exemplar for Christianity than you should take a defective suspect hadith and the behaviour of a few similarly ignorant Muslims as exemplars of Islam.

            • O. Locke

              LOL

              It’s always the same. I could quote more for you but you’ve already made up your mind.

              sorry to break to this to you, pal.

              but your prophet was a pederast. many moslems agree on the age and your duck dynasty “proof” won’t refute the long history and acknowledged age of the prophet’s child bride.

              live with the facts, pal.

              thanks!

            • gazzang

              I am living with the facts. It is a pity your mind is too closed to do the same.

            • O. Locke

              LOL

              look, pal.

              you’re doing the common moslem death-cult jig. deny the facts and stick your head in the sand. if islam is not reformed you risk all out conflict with the other 5 billion people on the planet.

              you lose that conflict. reform the cult.

            • O. Locke

              duck dynasty proves Aisha wasn’t 6 when married and 9 when raped bu prophet mohammed?

              you keep bringing up fox and now you posted a clip of a guy who I think has absolutely zero value or relevance to any discussion. I’ve never seen his show and I don’t think he is authoritative.

              stop dodging and denying facts with these limp-wristed personal attacks. none of them are relevant to me.

            • O. Locke

              I know nothing will be good enough for you but I hope you’ll stop asking me to educate you on your ridiclously unsubstantiated faith. all it took was a look at your own hadith or a google search.

              I can also link videos to moselim scholars saying as much.

              live with the facts, pal.

              thanks for your input and allowing me to lend weight to the facts.

        • Jim Prindle

          You are an idiot and lying to gloss over the strictness of islam ! Perhaps you also love to support Islamic terrorists and missed the public stoning of women, the beatings and violent hangings. Because that too is a major part of islamic middle east. These people are barbaric animals who treat their goats better than their wives !!! Until they decide to catch up and join the rest of the civilized world, most people will hold them in contempt and ridicule.

          • gazzang

            There are 1,6 billion Muslims in the world If they all were behaving as you suggest they do there would be bodies everywhere. Now lets look at the land of freedom and democracy. You know the one that precision bombed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to death all based on a lie told by a Christian president and his gang of thugs. In one year alone there are 2 million injuries and 1300 deaths caused by domestic violence. That comes to 3 to 4 women a day murdered by their partners. Now tell me that Christians are nit violent and barbaric and treat their guns better than they treat their wives.