Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Does the Quran Incite Violence? A Debate with Mike Ghouse, Part 1



 

Mr. Mike Ghouse (MBA, MCom), claims his Website, is by a Speaker, Thinker & Writer on Pluralism/Interfaith, Terrorism, Islam, India & peace. He is a well-known Muslim activist based in Dallas and a prolific contributor to many Websites. I have been confronted by him (also noticed him confronting others) on a few occasions that the Quran is a book of peace and that there is no violent verses in the Quran.

Recently a Hindu writer (Dr R Brahmachari), in an e-mail group, commented on why Muslim terrorists bomb and cause harrowing carnage in Indian cities---such as Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Mumbai etc.---one after another that:

“In the eye of Allah, these kafirs [Hindus] are no better than animals and hence He instructs the Muslims to mount any kind of torture and atrocities on them, kill them, burn them and their houses, take their women and children as captives and rape their women and so on. So the Koran says:

  • “We have created, for hell, many genii (races) of men...and they are like brute beasts” (7.179)

  • “Verily, those who disbelieve our signs, we will surely cast them to be broiled in the hell-fire, so often as their skins shall be well burnt, We will give them new skins in exchange, so that they may taste the sharper torment” (4.56)

  • “Whosoever followeth any religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him in this life, and in the next life he shall be of those who perish” (3.85)

  • “I will cast a dread into the hearts of the unbelievers” (8.12)

  • “Therefore cut off their heads, and strike off all the ends of the fingers. This shall they suffer because they have opposed Allah and His Prophet, and whosoever shall oppose Allah and His Prophet, verily Allah will be severe in punishing them” (8.13)

  • “moreover, as for the non-believers, I will punish them with grievous punishments in this world, and in the world is to come” (3.56)

  • “they shall suffer a grievous punishment” (3.77).

  • “They (believers) shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain” (9:111).”


In response, Mike Ghouse as usual threw in his challenge:

It is time to get over the propaganda that has been dished out over the years. There is no such verse in Qur'an, if you have the list produce me one. Not what is handed down to you, but the one you can point to? Remember, finding the truth is one's own responsibility. You have an open challenge here. Let’s clean the slates and live in peace, one person at a time.

Terrorism is committed by individuals and not religions, these are the dirty games played by individuals donning the mask of Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus or any one. They have everything to gain to upload hatred between people.


Although I deal with violent aspects of the Quran in my Website, previously I couldn’t take on Ghouse’s challenges because of the scarcity of time. This time I have taken it up. Ghouse has agreed to an open debate with me, which we have agreed to publish in Websites.

In this first installment, I am initiating the debate as follows.

Dear Mike Ghouse,

I am, hereby, taking up your open challenge and opening the debate here.

The said Indian writer has produced a set of Quranic verses, which obviously incite violence. You can see it yourself and still, you deny that there are no violent verses in the Quran. These verses have obviously been picked from the Quran according to my checking of six different translations. May I now ask you the following questions:

  1. Why do you think that these verses do not exist in the Quran?

  2. If you think that they exist in the Quran, why do you think that they do not incite violence?

  3. Allah himself urges Muslims to ‘strike terror into the heart of the infidels’ [8:12]. Why do you disagree with Allah? Who knows better? You or Allah?

  4. Likewise, Prophet Muhammad also said: “I have been victorious with terror.” Why do you disagree with Prophet Muhammad? Do you know better than the Prophet? Why do you think that Prophet Muhammad lied?

Let our debate start from here. I wait for your response.


Mike's Response is posted here and I will return with my reply in Part 2:



Mike Ghouse: I am pleased to respond to the above item by item:

Quoted as: "We have created, for hell, many genii (races) of men...and they are like brute beasts" (7.179)

As a habit, I include at least one sentence(Verse) before and one after the given sentence to give a better understanding of the verse.

7:178 (Asad) He whom God guides, he alone is truly guided; whereas those whom He lets go astray-it is they, they who are the losers!

Mike: It is the belief in all religions, that everything that happens is God's will, the Bhagavad Gita says, even the blade of grass is God's will. Here God is nature, the energy of the creator that makes things happen.

7:179 (Asad) And most certainly have We destined for hell many of the invisible beings [143] and men who have hearts with which they fail to grasp the truth, and eyes with which they fail to see, and ears with which they fail to hear. They are like cattle -nay, they are even less conscious of the right way: [144] it is they, they who are the [truly] heedless!

144 - Lit.; "they are farther astray"-inasmuch as animals follow only their instincts and natural needs and are not conscious of the possibility or necessity of a moral choice. (Quran 7:179)

Mike: All the holy books and the law books reasonably establish the consequences for one's behavior. Indeed, as the law of Karma is understood, those who do not do the right deeds in this life, they are bound to born in less than human form, where they have all the senses of eyes, ears etc, yet fail to grasp the morality as humans. Hell denotes less than desirable life. I will be occasionally referencing Hindu scriptures as the man who has produced this information is of Hindu faith.

I don't see the author's claim and connection in this verse ""In the eye of Allah, these kafirs [Hindus] are no better than animals and hence He instructs the Muslims to mount any kind of torture and atrocities on them, kill them, burn them and their houses, take their women and children as captives and rape their women and so on."

I have no idea what he was thinking when he wrote the less than intelligent statement.

7:180 (Asad) AND GOD'S [alone] are the attributes of perfection; [145] invoke Him, then, by these, and stand aloof from all who distort the meaning of His attributes: [146] they shall be requited for all that they were wont to do!

145 - This passage connects with the mention, at the end of the preceding verse, of "the heedless ones" who do not use their faculty of discernment in the way intended for it by God, and remain heedless of Him who comprises within Himself all the attributes of perfection and represents, therefore, the Ultimate Reality. As regards the expression al-asma' al-husna (lit., "the most perfect [or "most goodly"] names"), which occurs in the Qur'an four times-i.e., in the above verse as well as in 17:110, 20:8 and 59:24-it is to be borne in mind that the term ism is, primarily, a word applied to denote the substance or the intrinsic attributes of an object under consideration, while the term al-husna is the plural form of al-ahsan ("that which is best" or "most goodly"). Thus, the combination al-asma' al-husna may be appropriately rendered as "the attributes of perfection" -a term reserved in the Qur'an for God alone.(Quran Ref: 7:180 )

146- Le., by applying them to other beings or objects or, alternatively, by trying to "define" God in anthropomorphic terms and relationships, like "father" or "son" (Razi).(Quran Ref: 7:180 )

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Quoted as: "Verily, those who disbelieve our signs, we will surely cast them to be broiled in the hell-fire, so often as their skins shall be well burnt, We will give them new skins in exchange, so that they may taste the sharper torment" (4.56)

4:55 (Asad) and among them are such as [truly] believe in him, [72] and among them are such as have turned away from him. And nothing could be as burning as [the fire of] hell:
[72]I.e., in Abraham - implying that they are faithful to his message. It is to be borne in mind that the Prophet Muhammad, too, was a direct-line descendant of Abraham, whose message is confirmed and continued in the Qur'an.(Quran Ref: 4:55 )

4:56 (Asad) for, verily, those who are bent on denying the truth of Our messages We shall, in time, cause to endure fire: [and] every time their skins are burnt off, We shall replace them with new skins, so that they may taste suffering [in full] [73] Verily, God is almighty, wise.

[73] This awesome allegory of suffering in the life to come is obviously meant to bring out the long-lasting nature of that suffering (Razi).(Quran Ref: 4:56 )

Mike: The concept of reward and punishment exists in all human endeavors; Swarga and Naraka have been a part of the Hindu system of belief. Naraka is not a place one would enjoy life, it is a bloody hell. The paradise and the hell exist in all forms of justice. Whether it is religious texts or civil or criminal laws there is always a grim consequence or liberation. What is God's message? What does it mean when Krishna says "Surrender to me?" and What does Jesus or Allah mean when they say "follow me" or "submit to my will respectively?."

It does not mean falling flat on the ground and acting dead, it rather means, following the path of truth, dharma - the golden rule in every religion; treat others as you would wanted to be treated. It is the fear of punishment that is a deterrent from wrong doing, as a result ensuring a fairly peaceful existence. The above verse would be wrong in Qur'aan, IF our criminal laws say there is no punishment for the violent killer, rapists or a thief. Imagine your society without the punishment!

For the 2nd time, I don't see the author's claim and connection in this verse "In the eye of Allah, these kafirs [Hindus] are no better than animals and hence He instructs the Muslims to mount any kind of torture and atrocities on them, kill them, burn them and their houses, take their women and children as captives and rape their women and so on."

Where did he cook this up from? And How many has he fed this? I wish he had made the effort to follow Bhagvad Gita "Finding the truth is one's own responsibility".

4:57 (Asad) But those who attain to faith and do righteous deeds We shall bring into gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide beyond the count of time; there shall they have spouses pure: and [thus] We shall bring them unto happiness abounding. [74]

[74] The primary meaning of zill is "shade", and so the expression zill zalil could be rendered as "most shading shade"- i.e., "dense shade". However, in ancient Arabic usage, the word zill denotes also "a covering" or "a shelter" and, figuratively, "protection" (Raghib); and, finally, "a state of ease, pleasure and plenty" (cf. Lane V, 1915 f.), or simply "happiness" - and in the combination of zill zalil, "abundant happiness" (Razi) - which seems to agree best with the allegorical implications of the term "paradise". (Quran 4:57 )

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Quoted as "Whosoever followeth any religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him in this life, and in the next life he shall be of those who perish" (3.85)

3:84 (Asad) Say: "We believe in God, and in that which has been bestowed from on high upon us, and that which has been bestowed upon Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and their descendants, and that which has been vouchsafed by their Sustainer unto Moses and Jesus and all the [other] prophets: we make no distinction between any of them. [68] And unto Him do we surrender ourselves."
[68] - The prophets

3:85 (Asad) For, if one goes in search of a religion other than self-surrender unto God, it will never be accepted from him, and in the life to come he shall be among the lost.

Mike : Just as Lord Krishna proclaims " whenever adharma takes over the society, I will re-appear to bring the dharma back", God says in Qur'aan that" to every nation, every tribe, and every community he has sent a messenger to bring the righteousness back whenever the society went astray.

Then Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, Surah 49:13: "O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. The noblest of you, in sight of God, is the best in conduct. God Knows and is Aware of everything we do." Dharma operates when people conduct themselves well and treat others as they would want to be treated. That is when Satya (truth ) triumphs.

If you do not follow what Lord Krishna says or God says, the results are same - adharma prevails.

Qur'aan further adds that " it is your Karma that earns you a place in heaven, not necessarily your prayers and wealth. Prophet Muhammad told his own daughter that she will have to earn her place with her Karma and she ain't going to get a free pass because she is the daughter of the prophet. It is individual responsibility.

For the third time, I don't see the author's claim and connection in this verse "In the eye of Allah, these kafirs [Hindus] are no better than animals and hence He instructs the Muslims to mount any kind of torture and atrocities on them, kill them, burn them and their houses, take their women and children as captives and rape their women and so on."

Where did he cook this up from? And How many has he fed this? I wish he had made the effort to follow Bhagvad Gita "Finding the truth is one's own responsibility".

3:86 (Asad) How would God bestow His guidance upon people who have resolved to deny the truth after having attained to faith, and having borne witness that this Apostle is true, and [after] all evidence of the truth has come unto them? [69] For, God does not guide such evildoing folk.

[69] The people referred to are the Jews and the Christians. Their acceptance of the Bible, which predicts the coming of the Prophet Muhammad, has made them "witnesses" to the truth of his prophethood. See also verses 70 and 81 above.(Quran Ref: 3:86 )

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Quoted as: "I will cast a dread into the hearts of the unbelievers" (8.12)

I will stop at this... I bet, there is a pattern of mis-information here. I call it mis-information because it incites hate among Hindus for Muslims. Right information like right karma would help one heal and create goodness.

If you want me to continue, I will. But I think this should be sufficient, I have responded to similar false claims umpteen times.

Pick up the Quraan translation by Mohammad Asad, or a few others and look directly into it. I did not write any of the above except my comments. It is all from the Qur'aan.

It is another story that the Europeans had paid to mistranslate the Qur'aan and even called it a Mohammadan Religion. Much of it is documented at the blog http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/

Mike Ghouse
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• "Therefore cut off their heads, and strike off all the ends of the fingers. This shall they suffer because they have opposed Allah and His Prophet, and whosoever shall oppose Allah and His Prophet, verily Allah will be severe in punishing them" (8.13)
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• "moreover, as for the non-believers, I will punish them with grievous punishments in this world, and in the world is to come" (3.56)

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• "they shall suffer a grievous punishment" (3.77).

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• "They (believers) shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain" (9:111)."


>>> Mike Ghouse smashed in Part 2


MA Khan is the editor of islam-watch.org and the author of  Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery.

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