A Prodigious Imam, Faith Freedom's Newest Apostate
01 Feb, 2009
With Ali Sina's answer to demonization of Jews & Israel.
Shoaib wrote to Dr. Ali Sina:
I think you may have landed your latest apostate. I have been on your website many times in the past year or so. Initially, it was to attempt to refute your articles. I knew the content of much of your articles which makes me ashamed now that I had the intention to try and refute them.
Although I never joined an “Islamist” group, I can very much say my ideology was the same.
I believed in things like waging war against the Kuffar, taking their women as slaves, killing of apostates, subjugation of women, because they were God’s laws.
I think many young Muslims of my age still cling on to these principles because that, whilst the majority of Muslims just remain ignorant of it.
My way of thinking since taking up the Islamist ideology was, in fact, based around the fact that had these Muslims known the reality of the religion (i.e., what Islam demands of them), the majority would have left the fold of Islam with little hesitation.
Thinking back this makes me very ashamed as well. Had I stopped and considered longer, why they would have left Islam, I would have done so years ago as well. I have never been a bad person or rather never felt as though I was. Sure I made mistakes, committed “sins” but I was a popular kid at school and I made friends easily. Since taking up the ideology I find myself isolated, even within the “Muslim” community. I only maintained like-minded friends, although I couldn’t find enough hate in me to give up a couple of my closest “kafir” friends. I feel so guilty and ashamed of this hate now.
No religion should teach hate.
To give you some background about myself, I am a 22 year old engineering student living in the West (I hope someday I may be able to disclose this to you). I have always performed academically very well. On top of this, I’m seen as a “pillar” of our community as I am a Hafiz of the Quran, and have furthered my Islamic studies while pursuing an engineering education as well. I’m sure you understand the mentality of Muslims trying to “parade” people like myself. I have been questioning my beliefs for some time now, but like the typical Muslim, the thought was always there that “the nations before you were destroyed for their excessive questioning.”
Again you probably know as well that Islam has almost every single mechanism to try and subjugate such questioning, by preaching that too many questions can land you in hell, apostates must be killed etc, etc.
My current status at this moment in time would have to be rejection of Islam (and if you go by the teachings I have adhered to for so long, my statements are blatant kufr and have annulled my shahadah). But I can’t seem to let go of it outwardly for the following reasons, I really hope that you can help me with:
Foremost, I can’t disappoint my family. They are not crazy fanatical Muslims, but they pray, fast, etc, etc; they believe that Islam preaches tolerance to all peoples and all faiths. I am not scared they will banish me, or worse, apply the apostasy punishment on me, simply because they’re what the West would call “moderate Muslims” and I guess you would like to call “ignorant Muslims”.
My mother, especially, is very “pious” – i.e. prays all her prayers, stays up at night praying more, has unquestioning “Iman”.
Any questioning of Islam, I feel after 40 odd years of her life, would utterly crush her. I don’t think I can do that to her.
I don’t know how I can live my life after this, especially looking at point 4 (below). I threw myself into Islam so deep that I don’t know how I can get out.
Of course, I am also afraid of the apostasy punishment. Although even most Islamists will say that only the imam can perform this (which itself is utter rubbish, Islam orders apostates to be killed by anyone) as you know, and recent events have shown, there are many vigilantes out there willing to take this into their own hands
I am our neighborhood Imam. I give the khutbah’s, I lead the prayers, and I even used to run Quran classes. (I would just like to ask have you had any other Imam’s notifying you of their apostasy).
I also have a few questions for you. The most important at this moment is:
Why do you only attack Islam? I’ve seen your answers to this on the FAQ page of your website. But I don’t think it’s just Islam that promotes violence. Jewish people claim that they are the “chosen people” so therefore have the right to kill anyone who opposes them. They want a kingdom stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates. How can you support these people (as I notice you do), especially if your intention is to rid humanity of faith based killings?
I still maintain Israel is an illegal, illegitimate state who is massacring thousands of unarmed Arabs (the same crime that you accuse Mohammad of).
I think religion as an establishment needs to cease for your goal of faith based killings to stop. As long as it doesn’t, Muslims will continue killing Kafirs because they are the chosen people now, and their religion must dominate, and Jews will continue killing Arabs (albeit covertly as Hamas’ attacks makes it easy for them to use the “they started it excuse”) because they are in their “promised land” and it is their “birth-right.” As if anyone can be born with a right to exert dominance over an entire region, subjugating the other people in that land.
I look forward to hearing back from you.
Ali Sina's reply:
I am glad you saw the truth and left Islam. Yes I know other Imams who left Islam. One such person is Zaki Ameen (a pseudonym) whose book Living by the Point of my Spear has just been released. People don’t like to believe in lies and it is really not that difficult to find the truth about Islam.
As for your mother, you don’t have to tell her anything. Unlike Muslims who like to beat the chests and sound the trumpets when someone converts to Islam, we prefer to keep it quiet. Ours is silent revolution. We are opening the minds of the Muslims and preparing the path for their sudden exodus from the bondage of Islam. Islam will fall at once. We are working in the basement, exposing its foundation. This giant edifice is erected on sands of lie. Once those lies are expose it will collapse on its own.
You don’t have to tell anyone about your apostasy. If your mother becomes concerned about your lack of interest in Islam, blame your excessive homework. Eventually she will come to know the truth and of course at first she will be shocked and saddened, but it will pass and she will get over it. Just don’t volunteer telling everyone what you think about Islam. You can never know, even your mother can one day leave Islam. Truth does marvels.
As for why I do not criticize other religions, it is because I am not an anti-religious person. I believe in freedom of faith. I do not believe in any religion per se, but I will do everything in my power to defend people’s rights to believe in what they wish to believe as long as they do not advocate violence.
It is not true that all religions preach violence? I read the Old and New Testaments and I did not find any such preaching. Jesus was a pacifist to a flaw. There is no violence in his teachings. There are tales of violence in the Old Testament, but those are stories about Moses, Joshua and other biblical figures and not orders to kill like the ones you find in the Quran.
The truth is that all those stories may actually be fabrications of the Jews in captivity. When people are defeated, abused and subdued they make up stories about their past glories to not lose hope and keep the dream of their youths alive. All those stories about how the Jews killed and subdued other nations are bravado and gasconading of a downtrodden people in slavery. Moses may never have existed. In the last chapter of Pentateuch, a book allegedly written by Moses, we read:
5 And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had said. 6 He buried him [b] in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is.
Are these the words of Moses? If Moses existed, he must have been so insignificant that the Jews did not even mark his tomb. We Persians know where our beloved poets are buried and have converted their graves into mausoleums, even though they are dead a thousand years ago. How come the Jews don’t know the tomb of their prophet? Moses is a myth. Those stories of his victories and how he defeated and killed everyone are lies. With these fables the Jews could dream about a time they were so powerful that could do to others what now others did to them.
Ferdowsi (935–1020) is the most loved poet of every Persian. That is because when Persia was defeated by a bunch of savage Arabs who butchered people, raped the women and looted their wealth, he composed a great epic, the Shāhnāmeh (”The Epic of Kings”), in which he told tales about the bravery of Iranians and their past glories. The major protagonist of his epic is a hero of great valor called Rostam. Persians chanted his poems in the coffee shops for one thousand years and felt good. Rostam restored their national pride and gave them back their identity and dignity. At the end Ferdowsi wrote, “Rostam, yali bood dar Sistaan. Manash kardamash Rostame’ daastaan.” (Rostam was just a warrior in Sistan. I made him the legendary hero.”)
Rostam is a myth, but that did not matter. Iranians will forever love Ferdowsi for giving them that myth to read about whenever they are beaten up and feel subdued. Moses for the Jews had the same function. He was a myth invented by rabbis that restored their pride while in captivity.
The Old Testament is a book of fables. Modern Jews do not follow it. Jews had an assembly of 70 elders called Sanhedrin. Throughout centuries, the Sanhedrin revised the old teachings of the Bible and replaced them with teachings that were more appropriate for the time. For example Jews stopped stoning adulterers before the time of Jesus. That is why they brought a prostitute to him to test him. They actually wanted to discredit him. They thought if Jesus tells them to follow the law, they will discredit him as a ruthless man and if he tells them not to follow the law, they will discredit him as one who disrespects the law. It was a perfect plan, or so they thought. But Jesus was much cleverer than them. Without losing his clam or even lifting his head, he continued doodling on the sand and told them; let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone. In a similar case, Muhammad told the Jews you should stone the woman. Are really Jesus and Muhammad the same? It would be unfair to denounce Jesus for the cruelty of Muhammad. I do not believe in the divinity of Jesus but as a fair person I must admit that he was a wise and compassionate person. He was completely different from Muhammad who was ruthless and evil.
Judaism was so much changed that it was no longer biblical Judaism and it was called ‘rabbinical Judaism.’
Then again, in the 18th and 19th century, Judaism underwent major reformation, to the extent that some Jews became secular. The reformed Judaism is one of the most advanced forms of religions around.
I am thinking of wring a book about the impossibility of reformation in Islam and in it I will talk in detail about reformation movements in Judaism and Christianity. The problem is that not only Muslims don’t read about the story of reformation in Judaism and Christianity, they don’t even read the Bible. They only know a few quotes taken out context compiled by a bigoted Muslim and so believe the Bible teaches violence. Take the example of Jesus’ words “I have come not to bring peace, but a sword.” Muslims quote it everywhere to say Jesus taught violence. Here Jesus is forewarning his followers that they will not have peace, but will be persecuted and dealt with sword. Do you see how Muslims twist the words of Jesus to justify the violence of Muhammad?
Now, let us talk about the conflict between the Jews and the Arabs. This claim that Jews want a kingdom stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates is as true as the claim that the Jews used Muslim children’s blood to make their Passover pastry. It is a lie that only gullible Muslims can believe. Muslims believe in any lie as long as it makes them feel good. What do the Jews want to do with those deserts? They are a tiny nation that is actually shrinking in size due to low birth rate. All they need is a tiny piece of land to be safe from those who hate them.
Muslims love to tell these lies to demonize the Jews. Jews are not occupiers of Palestine. They bought those lands, piece by piece when no one wanted them and they were dirt cheap. If those lands are worth something now, it’s because they added value to it.
Palestine never existed as a country and there was no nation called Palestinian. Palestine was a piece of godforsaken barely populated land belonging to the Ottoman Empire. Akka had such a fetid air that the Ottomans used it as their prison fortress and exile destination. The so-called Palestinians are just as newcomers as are the Jews. However, Muslims make a lot of babies and in a span of a century a tiny group can become a nation.
The Jews did not go to Israel because of the promise of the Bible, but because they had no choice; and of course; Zion was their ancestral land. After the enlightenment, Christians opened up to the Jews. The Jews, who were living in isolation for centuries, felt so good that they decided to mix with the Christians and with them become one people. Some reformers of Judaism even declared that Germany is the new Zion and since the Jews are no longer treated as second class citizens there is no point in longing to go back to Zion and that their loyalty belongs to the country where they reside.
Unfortunately that dream was shattered when Hitler came to power. It was not Just Hitler who hated the Jews, most Germans also started hating them, because they loved Hitler....
After the WWII, the Jews realized that they needed to have a home of their own. Who could guarantee that this horror won’t happen again? Things can change overnight. Jews needed a safe place to avoid another holocaust. Israel offered refuge to many persecuted Jews from Russia to all Islamic countries. Today, thanks to Islamic invasion of Europe, anti-Semitism in that continent is again on the rise; Israel is seen as the last hope for millions of Jews.
I am not blindly pro-Israel, although I am a Zionist. I support the Jews’ right to have a homeland. That is what Zionism means, even though Muslims believe it is synonymous to everything evil. Every decent human being must be a Zionist. We cannot ignore the plight of the Jews as if they do not count.
I was on the record calling Israel a ‘terrorist state.’ That was when a defenseless Palestinian father and son were shot by Israeli soldiers, point blank. I was irate and accused Israel of war crime. Muslims were very pleased to hear that. Then the truth came out that it was all staged. I realized I had been duped. Now I am a lot more cautious in believing stories of atrocities of Israel. Palestinians have an industry called Paliwood that makes such movies. See this video.
I then called Israel a terrorist country, although now I know that is not true; I am happy that I did so. It showed that I am not taking the side of Israel, because I am biased. I am taking the side of truth and justice. Palestinians are even bad to each other. See this video.
Leaving Islam is the first step to freedom. Our journey does not end there. We must recover our sense of fairness that Islam has destroyed. I am not a Jew; and as far as I know; I am a pure Persian. I am a ‘Syyed’ from my mother side, meaning my ancestry goes back to Ali the Jew-killer and through his wife, Fatima to Muhammad the Jew-hater. I am now a free human. Free to think and free to love. I think tribalism is evil. I do not take the side of anyone because they belong to my clan. My clan is Mankind, not the Palestinians or Muslims and not even the Persians. I put fairness ahead of any allegiance. That is why I stand with Israel. I know, for a fact, that if the Palestinians put their guns down today, there will be peace in the Middle East; if the Israelis do the same, they will be massacred.
There is only one solution to the Middle East problem. Muslims must leave Islam; stop hating the Jews and start living with them in peace. This solution will not only end the conflict in the Middle East, it will also end the conflict between India and Pakistan, between Shiites and Sunnis, the conflict in Chechnya, in Darfur, in Philippines, in East Timore and in many other places. Islam is what causes hatred. My hope is that Muslims leave Islam and embrace the rest of humankind in amity. It’s foolish to build a tall wall around ourselves and consider the rest of people as our enemies. Nobody hates Muslims as humans. It is they who hate everyone. Once we stop believing in the lies of Muhammad, we set ourselves free from the bondage of hate.
My advice to you is that you leave the mosque quietly and start helping other Muslims through the Internet. It won’t be long before this whole house of cards comes down crumbling.
I wish you the best and welcome you to the big family of humankind.
Article slightly edited
Ali Sina is the editor of Faithfreedom.org. He is has contributed in 'Beyond Jihad - Critical Voices from Inside Islam'. His latest book is Understanding Muhammad: The Psychobiography of Allah’s Prophet.