Breaking the Manacles of Islam
29 Jun, 2007
A specter is haunting the Mullahs. The specter of Islamic truth. Pardon me for paraphrasing those two famous lines of Karl Marx from his 'The Manifesto of the Communist Party.' I could find no better sentences than those two lines about the frantic efforts by the Mullahs to cover up the true colors of Islam in the world of Internet. Many recent essays in NFB (News From Bangladesh), Secular Islam, Rational Thinking, Faithfreedom.org, and Islam-watch.org etc., have exposed the other side of many religions including the Islam. The writers of these essays have taken great risks in terms of their personal safety to expose the intolerance, cruelty, injustices and irrationalities of many facets of Islam, the religion of "Peace." Their forceful arguments, painstaking researched and extraordinary dedication are really going to shake the very foundation of the religion. I think the Mullahs could never believe that there is so much of disgust and disdain for the irrationalities and the backwardness in Islam in the present-day context. They thought that the fear of death sentence and the declaration of Jihad (Holy War) would silence the voices of rationality, logic and progress. No wonder, the Mullahs are desperate to counter attack with theirs every possible means. Amongst them are the illogical blind quotations of fear, the mindless hate, personal attacks, intimidation, charges of apostasy and blasphemy and what not. If only they could identify and catch those Kafirs and the infidels, I am sure they cannot wait to hang them in public. Unfortunately, the cyber world is too huge for them to start the killing spree. Therefore, they have little choice but to resort to intellectual assassinations.
After reading through a number of those venomous essays by these Islamists, I could categorize them into two broad groups; namely:
The hard-core bigots. These Mullahs preach nothing but hatred towards anyone suspected of uttering a single word against Islam. They are completely devoid of any logical or rational thinking. Their languages are filthy (mostly four letter words), full of personal threats, distasteful and incomprehensible writings, etc. They usually judge a Muslim through his/her name. They challenge the writers to declare their apostasy in public so that they can take care of them (that is, kill them). They usually send their threats through the personal e-mails of the authors. So, many readers may not be aware of these threats. They do not realize that a person's name has very little to do with his/her religion although it (the name) may be useful in many cases. I know many Lebanese whose names sound like Muslims but I see them wearing crosses on their necks that tells me what is his/her real religious affiliation is (that is they are actually Christians). Bertrand Russell seems to be a Christians name, but he wrote the book 'Why I am not a Christian.' The name given to a person during his birth is beyond his/her control. Similarly, the birth religion of a person has nothing to do with his/her personal belief when he grows up and starts to think and act on his/her own. This is a fundamental human right. Thus, a person being born in a Muslim family and given a Muslim (or rather Arabic) name does not necessarily must follow Islam when he grows up. But these fanatic bigots will not accept this basic right of a human being. When the bigot finds that a person has a Muslim name and he argues certain points in Islam, he is immediately declared as an apostate and, therefore, that person automatically becomes a target for annihilation. I just do not understand this mindless thinking. Never have I seen a secularist/humanist declare any person who does not agree with him or who talks and writes against the secularists/humanists/atheists should be killed. These people will not accept the truth that a person has every right to examine critically his/her birth religion. What kind of religion these bigots are preaching to the civilized world?
Readers, have you seen that these hard-core bigots are greatly alarmed even though they know that it is not that simple to kill people in the cyber world? Their frustration is then manifested in the personal attacks to the writers. There are many examples that can be found in many criticisms of the essays written by the secularists/humanists authors. A recent example is the criticism of Kamran Mirza's two essays; one was on the ancient Arabian practices of worship of the Moon God Allah and the other was the serious questions about fasting in Islam. The Islamic critics resorted to severe personal innuendoes, abusive languages and false accusations. I cannot quote all those remarks. Please refer to NFB back issues if you want details. Another example is the personal and shameless attack on Taslima Nasrin in an article titled 'True color of Taslima Nasrin.' The bigoted writer of this article has tried to depict Taslima as a sex maniac and has delved into her private married life with her deceased husband. They wanted to finish her off physically by slaughtering her but that did not happen. They grossly underestimated her courage and conviction. So, now they are trying to kill her through character assassination. Nothing could be more unjust than this type of intrusion in some ones personal and private life. But then, again, we cannot expect anything more decent from these hard-core bigots.
These types of bigots have very little understanding even the religion that they love so much and not to talk of their knowledge of other religions or other philosophical/belief matters. Their main language is violence, Jihad, and terrorizing people to the extent that the author is compelled to stop disseminating his/her views. This tactic is nothing new in religion. Terror and violence had always been used in Islam (and some other religion too) to silence it's critics. You will find many references to these types of activities if you read the relevant passages in Koran and the Hadiths.
The intellectual bigots: These bigots have very good knowledge of Islam, Koran Hadiths......etc. They are fully aware that what is being written by the Kafirs and the infidels are very difficult if not impossible to refute. These intellectual bigots are frustrated by the logic, rationality, coherence and the realistic arguments extended by the authors. They too wished that these writers were eliminated but then they also feel a little guilty about the open call for their annihilation. So, they resort to psychological killing. This involves the quotations from Koran and Hadiths about the dreadful punishments that will be meted out to those who dare to criticize Islam. They openly declare that whoever questions Islam is no more a Muslim. Of course, the infidel writers are very little concerned whether they are considered Muslims or not. But then, the declaration by this group of bigots has some significance. What are those? The significance is that the author becomes an enemy of Islam and therefore, subject to all the punishments that are applicable to non-believers and the apostates.
These bigots are very shrewd and intelligent. They will extend subtle threats to the authors, like becoming an outcast in society, to rot in hell, not to have the advantages of the petrodollars, not to be favored by the Arabs, etc. etc. This type of threat is designed to instill the fear and greed in the minds of the authors. A preferred fear is the fear of death. The greed is the greed of going to heaven/petro-dollars, etc. They will quote from their scriptures about the terrible death that awaits those who question and doubt the religion (Islam). Most of the time these bigots will avoid going into logical or rational reasoning because they know rather well that that won't be fruitful. Their main armor is the quotations and the regurgitation of only what they know about their religion. For example, when the question of haram/halal food is raised, they will give no reason as to why the halal food should be eaten except that religious scriptures have decreed so. And, therefore, it should not be questioned. The nutritional values of haram/halal foods are irrelevant in this case. All that matters is that the religion has approved certain foods and to the contrary has banned certain foods. Many haram foods are as nutritional as many halal foods are if not better. If halal foods are good, then the Muslims must be the healthiest people in the world. How come then that those who eat haram foods have better physique? This is a commonsense question. However, the religious bigots will never answer this question in an honest and straightforward fashion. They will simply hide behind the cloak of their scriptures and confuse people more. Similar examples can be cited on many other archaic practices in Islam. Like fasting, performing haj, praying five times every day, etc. These bigots will never give any good reasons as to their practices except to say that they are the pillars of Islam. Is there anything wrong in knowing the reasons behind them? Many of these rituals were actually practiced by the pagan Arabs long before the advent of Islam. However, if this question is put to the bigots, all you get is personal vilification and branding you as an enemy of Islam. This reminds me my childhood. As a child, I was asked to memorize the verses of Koran. I used to ask the Hujur (Mullah) what meanings were conveyed by those verses? The reply I used to get from the Hujur was a few strokes of the cane and rebukes. He used to say that one should never ask any question on the matter of Islam especially on Koran. The penalty for asking questions is whipping. So, I stopped questioning and memorized the verses without understanding anything. The Hujur was a symbol of terror to me. I had no choice but to follow whatever he asked of me. That was how fear was and still is being introduced in the minds of the people and these bigots are repeating the same things over and over again. This is what is called a mass hypnotization induced through intimidation and fear. The fact is that if the real truths about the religion leak out these Hujurs will be out of work. Pure and simple.
Another ploy employed by these people is to blame the translators of the Koran, Hadiths and Sunnah. Even the eminent translator like A. Yusuf Ali is not considered as authentic translator. These bigots will never say which one is the authentic English version of the Koran, Hadiths, Sunnah, etc. They will simply say that one must be very good in Arabic to interpret Koran. This is akin to saying that one must be very good in Aramaic and Hebrew languages to understand the Bible and the Talmud. Or that you must be very good in Greek, Latin and Dutch languages to understand Aristotle, Roman laws, Copernicus' 'laws of heavenly bodies,' etc. These are absolutely illogical ideas. Strangely though, you will notice that these bigots will use the English translation of the Koran when it suits their purposes. But when the inconsistencies, irrationalities and illogical things are pointed out, these bigots will simply say that the English translation is perverted. What kind of hypocrisy is that? In many cases, they warn people that the interpretations will vary depending on who is interpreting as well as the context of interpretation. This means that only those interpretations offered by them are valid and the rest are simply invalid. At the same time, these Mullahs also insist by quoting from Koran that the mishandling (wrong interpretations) is a great sin and the interpreter/s will have to face severe penalty No wonder, it is next to impossible to gauge any logic from these talks of the Mullahs.
Has it occurred to the readers of NFB that these bigots give them the impression that the Koran is an extremely difficult piece to understand and to interpret. Why should Allah make his words so difficult that ordinary people have great difficulties in understanding them? It simply doesn't make any sense, whatsoever. One does not need a Ph.D in the ancient Arabic language and culture to understand the Koran. Then, why do these Mullahs insist so much on the mastery of the Arabic language? They know that most followers of Islam do not know Arabic and even if they know their skill in the language is not enough to interpret the ancient language of Koran. Furthermore, it takes many years to master a language. Most people have no time, patience and the motivation for that. So, they simply take the advantage of people's ignorance and pretend that they are the sole agents of the Koran and it's interpretations. Many people are not conversant in the English language as well. So, they do not know the exact meanings in many verses of the Koran. How about the Bangla and other translations of Koran? The Mullahs simply ignore them while accepting only those that suit them. Ironically, think about what will happen to the Mullahs if every Muslim masters the Arabic language! People will start interpreting the Koran in the way they understand and not be dependent upon the Mullahs. This may open the eyes of the masses and dehypnotize them. These Mullah's will then simply be defeated in their own game, will they not?
This is what the Mullhas fear most. The Mullahs desperately need the uneducated, ignorant and fearful mass to perpetuate their stranglehold on the salesmanship of Islam.
However, the development in new technology and the introduction of the Internet has really alarmed the Mullahs. Many people are now able to exchange ideas almost instantly on any matter including religions. Many Mullahs could never believe that there are so many born Muslims who dare to question Islam and challenge its archaic practices. This was unthinkable even a few years ago. The reason is very simple. Many of these thinkers always had doubts about what they were supposed to believe but thought that they were alone and hence they were fearful about speaking their minds in public or to their peers. They kept that question to themselves. The Internet and the modern electronic mass media had opened an opportunity for them to be united if not physically at least electronically. This is a very bad news for the Mullahs. They simply cannot digest the truth that one day Islam will not go unchallenged. This is now happening as it had already happened with Christianity and with other religions as well many years ago. The innate nature of humanity to seek the truth, to explore the unexplored, to question and to innovate can never be suppressed. One day Islam will surely realize that.
By the way, it is interesting to note that innovation in Islam is haram. The dictionary definition of innovation is to introduce changes or to introduce new things. This is the foundation of civilization. Imagine what would have happened if mankind was not innovative. The people of other religion prospered only when they freed themselves from their religious irrationalities and started innovating. That is why Islam is so paranoid about innovative ideas and free-thinking. These two things hit at the heart of Islam.
Curiously, you will notice that many of the innovative ideas and inventions are used by the Mullahs to propagate their doctrines. You can see many examples of these. Like TV, Radio, modern appliances and the latest is Internet. They have realized the immense power of modern science and technology. When you ask them why should the Islamic people accept these innovative things that are mainly due to the innovative ideas of the Kafirs and the infidels, the Islamists have ready answers. The answer is that these inventions are the gifts of Allah. Some will even say that science and technology are Allah's blessings to mankind. I have no problem in accepting the compliment. How about the Islamic bomb? This maut be the greatest gift of Allah to His followers. How about the Hindu bomb? Since Allah is the only god could it be that Allah is also responsible for this great gift to the Hindus as well? And how about the Christian and the Buddhist bombs? If these questions are asked to the Islamists I do not know what will be the answer? The other question is that why is it that the followers of Islam have next to nothing contribution to the modern science and technology? Isn't that because Islam had kept its followers blind for centuries? Now, many of these blind people are getting their sights back. What were impossible to think for centuries for many innocent followers of Islam, are now having a second look at their ancestor given faith. It is simply a matter of time before the arrogance and the irrationality of Islam becomes a distant history. And with that, is the demise of the Mullahs like, Ayatollahs, Talibans, Golam Azam, Maulana Nizami, etc.
Finally, I must pay homage to the few braves who took the risk to demystify Islam. You are the pioneers. You have taught me how to think the unthinkable. You have taught me how to be courageous. You have taught me how to rekindle the human spirit. You have taught me how to fight for the justice. You have taught me how to accept merciless criticisms with grace. You have taught me how to conquer the unconquerable. A hundred years from now humanity will remember you as the greatest innovators in finding a cure for the religious blinds. That is because you dared to think differently. Truly, you are the alarm bells of the Mullahs. History won't forget you for being the Agradoot (harbinger) who are bent on breaking the manacles of Islam.
Abul Kasem is an Bengali ex-Muslim and academic. He has contributed in Leaving Islam - Apostates Speak Out and Beyond Jihad - Critical Voices from Inside. He has also written extensively on Islam in various websites and is the author of five e-Books: A Complete Guide to Allah, Root of Terrorism ala Islamic Style, Sex and Sexuality in Islam, Who Authored the Quran? and Women in Islam. Mr. Kasem leaves in Sydney, Australia. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.