February 7, 2006 VNN8909
Rampant Maha Madness
BY ALI SINA
EDITORIAL, Feb 7 (VNN) "Allah was not just satisfied with killing the unbelievers. He enjoyed torturing them before killing them..." Taste ye the Penalty of Burning!" 22:19-22
I Learned the truth from the Quran.
I left the religion in the backburner for several years. Not that my views about religion had changed or I didn't consider myself religious any more. I just had so much to do that expending time on religion had become scarce. I simply lived the way I thought I was supposed to live according to my understanding of how a good Muslim should be. Meanwhile I learned more about democracy, human rights and other values like equality of rights between men and women and I liked what I learned.
Did I pray? Whenever I could, but not fanatically. After all I was living and working in a Western country and did not like to look too different. One good day I decided that it is time that I should deepen my knowledge of Islam and read the Quran from cover to cover. I found an Arabic copy of the Quran with an English translation. Before that I had read the Quran but only bits and pieces of it. This time I started to read all of it. I read a verse in Arabic then I read its English translation moving back to Arabic and did not go to the next verse unless I was satisfied that I had understood it in Arabic completely. It didn't take me long before I came upon verses that I found hard to accept. One of the verses that I found puzzling was this one.
"Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed." 4:48
I found it hard to accept that Gandhi will be burned in hell forever because he was a polytheist with no hope of redemption while a Muslim murderer can hope to receive Allah's forgiveness. This raised a disturbing question. Why Allah is so desperate to be known as the only God? If there is no other god but him what is the fuss? Against whom is he competing? Why should he even care whether anyone knows him and praises him or not. I learned about the size of this universe. That the light, which travels at a speed of 300 thousand kilometers per second takes 20 billion years to reach us from the galaxies that are at the edges of the universe.
How many galaxies are there? How many stars are there in these galaxies? How many planets are there in this universe? The thought of that was mind-boggling. If Allah is the creator of this vast universe why he is so concerned about being known as the only god by a bunch of apes living in a small planet down the Milky Way?
Now that I had lived in the West, had many western friends who were kind to me, who liked me, who had opened their hearts and their homes to me and accepted me as their friend, it was really hard to accept that Allah wanted me not to take them as friends.
Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah 3:28, Isn't Allah the creator of the unbelievers too? Isn't he the god of everybody? Why he should be so unkind to the unbelievers? Wasn't it better if the Muslims befriended the unbelievers and taught them the Islam with good example? By keeping ourselves aloof and distant from the unbelievers, the gap of misunderstandings will never be bridged. How in the world the unbelievers will learn about Islam if we do not associate with them? These were the questions I kept asking myself. The answer to these questions came in a very disconcerting verse. Allah's order was to, "slay them wherever ye catch them". (Q.2:191)
I thought of my own friends, remembered their kindness and their love for me and wondered how in the world a true god would ask anyone to kill another human being just because he does not believe. That seemed to be absurd, yet this concept was so much repeated in the Quran that obviously there was no doubt in it. In the verse 8:65, Allah tells his prophet:
"O Prophet! rouse the Believers to the fight. If there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the Unbelievers."
Why should Allah send a messenger to make war? I wondered. Shouldn't God teach us to love each other and be tolerant towards each other's beliefs? And if really Allah is so concerned about making people believe in him to the extent that he would kill them if they disbelieve, why he would not kill them himself? Why he asks us to do his dirty work? Are we supposed to be Allah's hit men? Although I knew of Jihad and never questioned it before, I found it hard to accept that God would recourse to such violent measures to impose himself on people. What was more shocking was the cruelty of Allah in dealing with the unbelievers. I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their fingertips off them 8:12.
It seemed that Allah was not just satisfied with killing the unbelievers. He enjoyed torturing them before killing them. Smiting people's heads from above their necks and chopping their fingertips were very cruel acts. Would really God give such orders? And yet the worst is what he promised to do with the unbelievers in the other world:
These two antagonists dispute with each other about their Lord: But those who deny (their Lord),- for them will be cut out a garment of Fire: over their heads will be poured out boiling water. With it will be scalded what is within their bodies, as well as (their) skins. In addition there will be maces of iron (to punish) them. Every time they wish to get away therefrom, from anguish, they will be forced back therein, and (it will be said), "Taste ye the Penalty of Burning!" 22:19-22
How could the creator of this universe be so petty? These verses of the Quran shocked me. I was shocked to learn how Allah ordered killing people, how he would torture them eternally in such a horrible ways for no reason but disbelief. I was shocked to learn that Quran tells Muslims to kill the disbelievers wherever they find them (Q.2:191), to murder them and treat them harshly (Q.9:123), fight with them, (Q.8:65) humiliate them and impose on them a penalty tax if they are Christians or Jews, (Q.9:29) and slay them if they are Pagans (Q.9:5). I was shocked when I learned that Quran takes away the freedom of belief from all humanity and tells clearly that no other religion except Islam is accepted (Q.3:85). That Allah would relegate those who disbelieve in the Quran to Hell (Q.5:11) and calls them najis (filthy, untouchable, impure) (Q.9:28). I was shocked to learn that Allah orders the Muslims to fight the unbelievers until no other religion is left other than Islam (Q.2! :193), or that he says that the non-believers will go to hell and will drink boiling water (Q.14:17), and asks the Muslims to slay or crucify or cut the hands and the feet of the unbelievers, that they be expelled from the land with disgrace. And as if this were not enough, that "they shall have a great punishment in world hereafter" (Q.5:34).
I was shocked when I reads words such as "As for the disbelievers, for them garments of fire shall be cut and there shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatever is in their bowls and skin shall be dissolved and they will be punished with hooked iron rods" (Q.22:9). How sadistic! But that was not all. The Quran also prohibits Muslims to befriend their own fathers or brothers if they are not believers (Q.9:23), (Q.3:28) and that actually Muhammad encouraged his followers to kill their own family in the battles of Badr and Uhud and asks the Muslims to "strive against the unbelievers with great endeavor (Q.25:52), and be stern with them because they belong to hell (Q.66:9). How can any sinsible person remain unmoved when he of she finds the Quran saying: "strike off the heads of the disbelievers" then after making a "wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives" (Q.47:4).
The book of Allah says that women are inferior to men and their husbands have the right to beat them (Q.4:34), and that women will go to hell if they are disobedient to their husbands (Q.66:10). It says that men have an advantage over the women (Q.2:228). It not only denies women equal right to their inheritance (Q.4:11-12), it also regards them as imbeciles and decrees that their testimony alone is not admissible in the court (Q.2:282). This means that a woman who is raped cannot accuse her rapist unless she can produce a male witness, which of course is a joke. Rapist don't rape in the presence of witnesses. But the most shocking verse was where Allah allows Muslims to rape the women captured in wars even if they are married before being captured, (Q.4:24) (Q.4:3). I was shocked to learn that the holy prophet raped the prettiest women that he captured in his raids in the same day that he killed their husbands and loved ones.
This is why anytime a Muslim army subdues another nation, they call them kafir and rape their women. Pakistani soldiers raped up to 250,000 Bangali women in 1971 and massacred 3,000,000 unarmed civilians when their religious leader decreed that Bangladeshis are un-Islamic. This is why the prison guards in Islamic regime of Iran rape the women and then kill them after calling them apostates and the enemies of Allah.
After reading the Quran I was overtaken by a great depression. It was hard to accept all that. At first I started denying and searched for exoteric meanings to these cruel verses of the Quran. But it wasn't possible. The proof was overwhelming. There was no misunderstanding! Quran was inhumane. Of course it contained a lot of scientific heresies and absurdities. But that was not what hit me most. It was the violence of this book that really jolted me and shook the foundation of my belief.
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