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Islam Under Scrutiny

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Compass Blows Islam's Cover

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Compass Recently Compass showed a 2-part program about the Qur’an where it daringly mentioned some of Islam’s less savoury bits (many more remained hidden) and showed evidence that the Qur’an as we know it didn’t exist until much later (despite Muslim claims that the qur’an has existed unchanged from allah to Mohammad, to the present.)  Of course Muslims were given the opportunity to provide a sugar-coated explanation for the unsavoury nature of Islamic texts and practices, but no-one critical of Islam spoke.   Also omitted was the information that the Qur’an is only a small part of Islam, with the hadith and sira contributing substantially to text and law. Sharia, which is the way all Muslims must live, encompasses all 3 sources.  Without the hadiths Muslims wouldn’t know how to carry out their daily lives or ceremonies eg Hajj.
We were of course subjected to the usual excuses –culture and Wahhabism.  How many know that Abd al-Wahhab (1691?-1787?) was a Muslim ‘reformer’ who opposed practices NOT sanctioned by the Qur’an.  He wanted a return to Islam’s original text and the example of Mohammad ie Pure Islam.

We are also told the Qur’an honours and dignifies women, which is totally absurd to those who have read the Qur’an plus the even greater horror in the hadith, sira and laws. (see “No Women’s equality in Islam - (12-04-09)” and Mohammad struck child wife Aisha HARD  - (04-04-09) this site for some text and refutations of Muslim claims ).   

Re women’s status:
a) covering women:
The qur’an says do not display yourself as they did in the times of ignorance and pull a veil across your bosom.
An interviewee states her personal belief is that women are not required to wear the hijab.
This seems strange as this runs counter to Mohammad’s statements in the hadith, to the beliefs of the second greatest Muslim Al Ghazali and to sharia. Personal opinion should not be used without displaying the text and laws which say the opposite, as this is deceives the viewer  (see Hijab - Part 1 - 12/09/07 Hijab - Part 2 - 17/09/07 Hijab - Part 3 - 22/09/07, Hijab - Part 4 - 01/10/07 and others).

Lena Fawzy further obfuscates the matter by saying covering shows pride in their Islamic identity and how Islam wants to honour and dignify women (by covering them up so they cannot be recognized!). When asked if the ambiguities and apparent contradictions in the qur’an troubled her, she replied not, as the problem was with her understanding, not the Qur’an itself!

Sheik Badri notes  the face, eyes, and lips of a woman are their adornments and must be covered.
Hania Kamel claims covering women preserves their chastity, and protects her from stares from men (surely the problem is men yet this Muslim female sees it as her fault for not being covered)

We are subjected to inanities such as ‘god knows women are gems so he hides it’.  (Don’t ask why god would bother making something that had to be hidden away!) Women stay home and completely subjugate themselves to their husband/god  in expectation of being ‘rewarded.’   (Tragically these women seem unaware of Mohammad describing women as like devils, inferior and populating hell in the hadiths)

b)  Women’s inferiority:
When asked “Don't you feel Islam relegates women to an inferior status?”,  a Muslim woman  replied that if there was discrimination, it was entirely cultural  (does she actually read the text?   These women seem incapable of rational analysis , but hide or twist text or blame their own ‘misinterpretation’ to avoid the reality of Islam’s text and the rational choice to leave Islam.  The fact that they remain Muslim must be legitimated at any cost).

Men are managers of women's affairs, are a degree above women, and can admonish, banish them to couches alone and beat them. Islam says beating is appropriate for certain kinds of women who want to go out, who don’t want anyone to control them, who are unwilling to fulfill their duties.
 Yet we are told Islam honours women, like a fertile land that the husband takes care of and doesn't exhaust.   The reality is far less pleasant --

OR ***Koran  sura 2.223 ”Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will…” (Often the translations are sanitized)

This is associated with several hadith eg *Muslim book 8 Nos 3364, 3365; *Bukhari Vol 6 Book 60 No. 51 ,

*** Abu Dawud Book 11, Number 2159: Narrated Abdullah Ibn Abbas:
Ibn Umar misunderstood (the Qur’anic verse, "So come to your tilth however you will")--may Allah forgive him. The fact is that this clan of the Ansar, who were idolaters, lived in the company of the Jews who were the people of the Book. The Ansar accepted their superiority over themselves in respect of knowledge, and followed most of their actions. The people of the Book (i.e. the Jews) used to have intercourse with their women on one side alone (i.e. lying on their backs), the most concealing position for (the vagina). The Ansar adopted this practice from them. But this tribe of the Quraysh used to uncover their women completely, and seek pleasure with them from in front and behind and laying them on their backs. (??)     When the muhajirun (the immigrants) came to Medina, a man married a woman of the Ansar. He began to do the same kind of action with her, but she disliked it, and said to him: We were approached on one side (i.e. lying on the back); do it so, otherwise keep away from me. This matter of theirs spread widely, and it reached the Apostle of Allah.
So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: "Your wives are a tilth to you, so come to your tilth however you will," i.e. from in front, from behind or lying on the back.

Mohammad's response shows women as low objects to be used as men wish, with no control over their body as the wife had no say in how Dr Salahintercourse occurred!!

Laws:  Reliance of the Traveller:A classic manual of Islamic sacred law
*Law m5.4  p 526 A husband possess es full right to enjoy his wife's person in what does not physically harm her.  (a later addition in brackets which is not part of the original Arabic law,  is from top of head to her toes but anal intercourse forbidden!!)
It is obligatory that the woman must be constantly available, clean, with pubic hair shaved (Law m5.1 p525,  Law m5.6 p526,  and *Bukhari:Volume 7, Book 62, Number 173), even if tanning leather (*Muslim book8 No. 3240) or baking bread (*Tirmidi 109 -ALIM CD ROM)

There is an array of text in *Bukhari and *Muslim (book 8, chapter 20), the two most important sets of hadith, cursing women who aren’t ‘available.’

How can this be regarded as honouring, caring for or not exhausting women?

Of course we are told all bad practices are the result of customs not connected with Islam and throwback to pre-Islamic times.

Yet the first women dean of Al Azzar University, Dr Souad Salah, faces death threats for daring to suggest the Qur’an respects men and women equally (It doesn’t!)

c) clitoridectomy:
In Egypt 97% of girls are mutilated.

We are told the qur’an doesn't say anything about fgm, but no mention is made of the hadith and sharia (see Clitoridectomy; Wikipedia; The Age and Islam - 18-07-08, Female Genital Mutilation - 18/04/07, and  others this site, for Mohammad’s support of clitoridectomy and Laws endorsing the practice.)
Some hardline clerics strongly support it, as it refines, rectifies and purifies the female.
It's the reason Muslim women are virtuous, unlike Western women who run off with any man.

Others claim it’s an African cultural practice and harms women (funny that it’s practiced by Muslims in India, Afghanistan, Yemen, Indonesia, Malaysia - it follows the spread of Islam.  Isn't it racist to keep blaming Africans?)

We are told at the end of the program that there are verses that are controversial, especially re women, yet for every reference that seems to suggest inferior status, others call for respect and equality – but NO evidence is provided for this claim.   Indeed a massive amount of text and laws are horrifying for women, there is no equality.

d) Islamic violence:
Attempts are made to blame it all on the Saudis, but Wahabiism (18th century) is simply a return to the text, which is full of violence to others and rewards for those who fight to establish Islam over the world.  Islamic law fully endorses violent jihad to establish the religion.
Dr Sookdheo notes text is used to justify violent conflict and suicide bombing.

Unlike Christians and Jews, who believe their texts are inspired by God, Muslims maintain the qur’an is the literal word of Allah.

We are told that the Qur’an is in classical Arabic that even today’s speakers cannot understand and need help.   The sharia is based on the qur’an and hadith.  The hadith were written 250-350 years after  Mohammad.  Some consider the hadith co-equal with the qur’an while others claim the qur’an  only is important.  Again we are led to believe the problems with the Qur’an are due to Saudi, Wahhabi influence.   The Saudis produce millions of qur’ans per year.  

The Qur’an was written when??
Muslims believe the qur’an is authored by allah via Mohammad.

The Grand Mosquee in Saan'aIn 1972, during restoration of the grand Mosque in Sana, Yemen, workers discovered old parchments between the inner and outer roof. The entire load was stuffed into 20 potato sacks, where it might have remained if not for the arrival 7 years later of  German scholar and qur’an  expert, Prof Puin. He prised layers apart, photographed them and noted 4 fragments from the first and the last chapters of the qur’an.  These had illustrations of mosques and dated to the reign of Al Walid 705-15. Puin identified fragments from nearly 1,000 different Qur’ans. The comparisons between them and the Cairo standard text are startling. These early texts are written in a kind of shorthand with no vowel markings or individual dots, which means that individual words can have up to 30 different readings or meanings.

“the sheer existence of so many possible readings would suggest that this text wasn't passed down word for word. The text isn't as stable as it seems in the Cairo version.”

Forensic techniques reveal earlier text that had been washed off and overwritten. Words had been changed and verses and chapters rearranged.

These oldest fragments of ‘qur’an’  in the world date to 70 years after Mohammad died.

Dr Sookdheo, from the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity:
”If the work on the dating is accurate, it suggests that the Qur’an was not a single product or a single entity that was fixed by 650, but actually developed much much later, hence the overlaying of text.”

Muslim scholars argue that the integrity of every word is perfectly preserved from Mohammad (who got it from an angel who got it from allah and the original is in paradise!)Dr. Sookhdeo

In what language were bits that became the Qur’an originally written?
In 2001, Puin's concerns were taken a dangerous step further in a book written by someone under the pseudonym of Christopher Luxembourg:

Dr Marcus Gross noted that 20-25% of the qur’an contains words that don't make sense or are misunderstood.  Syrio–Aramaic was the dominant language of Christian communities and had become dominant in Christian liturgy by the 3rd century.  With a knowledge of Syriac, the ‘misunderstandings’ in the qur’an are reduced to 5%.

Luxemberg, a German writer, suggests the qur’an is written in 2 languages. Christians spoke Aramaic, which at the time of Mohammad was the main language of the whole region, while written Arabic was in its infancy. .
Muslim scholars in the past identified foreign languages in the qur’an, with words in Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Syrian..

Luxembourg claims new meanings for Islamic text.  
The qur’an;  After Mary gave birth to Jesus, the archangel (or baby Isa) said “be not sad, your Lord has placed a rivulet beneath you.”  (Qur’an 19.24)
In Aramaic, Luxembourg, notes this becomes, “The Lord has made the delivery legitimate.”

Allah’s command to a skeptic - “look at your food and drink, look at your ass” becomes “ look at your condition and look at your overall state” according to Luxemberg.

In Arabic, at the end of the world the earth steps forward. In Syriac, it splits open.

Many everyday customs are challenged by Luxembourg's  interpretation.

e.g the veil.
While the qur’an requires covering of the head and cleavage, the same text in Syriac means put your belt around your hips. The belt was a sign of chastity.

But it was Luxembourg's reference to paradise that caused the greatest offence.
In the Iranian city of Isfahan, a 17th century palace was built to represent the gates of paradise –the cool green of gardens beyond expresses the longings of desert people, beautifully described in the qur’an, along with flowing fountains and houris, understood as wide-eyed virgins. The qur’an promised the righteous eternal contentment with wives –dark-eyed maidens.
Luxembourg however suggests it might read:
“we will make you comfortable under white crystal-clear grapes.”
So a suicide bomber does not get 72 virgins, but a modest bunch of grapes!

Imam Ajmal Masroon, London, says the German study is very Christian-centric,  influenced by the way the Bible has been researched and put together, but the Bible and qur’an are not the same.

But it's the connection with Christian symbolism that is so controversial to some.
A 5th century mural in Egypt (PRE-Islam) depicts archangels receiving souls in paradise. Each archangel holds a grape in one hand and in the other cradles departed souls, who are refreshed with bunches of grapes. The grape motif is repeated in the vestments of priests of the Syrian Orthodox Church.

Such motifs relate back to Christ's promise to disciples at the Last Supper that he will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until he is reunited with them in his Father's Kingdom.

Dr Taj Harjey (of Third Jihad fame) from the Muslim Education Centre, Oxford, said -  A cultural, religious, theological heritage with Christianity or Judaism is not problematic at all .  In fact it is part of the body politic that as  Muslims, we must believe and accept as scriptures the whole corpus of divine revelation from the beginning of time.

Although Luxembourg's work is controversial and questioned by some academics, it opens the door encouraging linguists, archeologists and historians to use modern tools to throw light on the text.   

Harjey claims LuxembouHargeyrg's research doesn't undermine the basic tenets of Islam but provides interesting questions, and we as thinking Muslims of the 21st century should look at what is provided and not just condemn. But let's also see if the research has an historical base or is a product of European Orientalism.

Hence the Compass program did give a very limited view of some problem text about women, though it also presented some syrupy personal views from Muslim women incapable of facing the reality of Islam’s text and laws.   It also gave a brief look at research that really threatens Islam’s claim as the literal word of allah handed to Mohammad and never changed since.  However, at the end we were subjected for a seemingly endless time to a nauseating pro-Islamic rant.

The program’s claims of peace, comfort, worth, dignity and the bringing together of people of different races and creeds to live in harmony via Islam is absurd!  Even a cursory glance at any true history of Islam reveals massive imperialism, slave-trading, racism, the complete destruction of other groups and cultures and the subjugation of others for countless centuries under dhimmitude laws, slavery and other evils.  At the beginning we were fed Islam’s mercy for repenters, but Islamic text and laws say the penalty for a crime is not obviated by the offenders having repented for it eg Reliance of the Traveler:  Law o16.5 P 617;   
*Abu-Dawud Book 38, Number 4359 states for the polytheists facing execution, crucifixion,  amputation, exile…
“If any of them repents before they are arrested, it does not prevent from inflicting on him the prescribed punishment which he deserves.”   
 Mohammad said there’s no forgiveness where there are prescribed penalties *Abu-Dawud Book 38, Number 4362;  And the qur’an (sura 24.2) tells us to flog the fornicators/adulterers and  let NOT pity move us in a punishment prescribed by allah.  There are many examples of cruel punishments being carried out regardless.

Then we are told of the creativity and great civilization. But don’t mention the thieving of the work of others, or the sheer repression of Islam that demands people live according to its dictates which forbid many areas of creativity, science, philosophy and individual freedom, including freedom of thought, speech and belief that we take for granted.  Islam has contributed virtually nothing in over 600 years.

Sickeningly we also get the ‘clear moral guidance of Islam’ eg its misogyny that limits the lives and status of females in every way and allows men to have sex with pre-pubescent girls; or beat and plough females who must satisfy the males demands or else; or enslave and rape females and hand them to friends; or have multiple wives who can be divorced by a few words plus concubines, and endorses removal of the clitoris and don’t mention the right to kill and take the property, women and children of non-Muslims or horrifying laws that include beheading, amputation, locking in rooms until death, stoning, flogging, crucifixion, or the white Arab supremacy and racism, slavery and dhimmitude .

It’s certainly not any ‘morality’ that I support!

Then we’re treated to the poor Muslim victim line:

When Muslims feel marginalised and threatened, this dignity and courtesy can give way to an explosive mixture of rage and hatred, impelling spokesmen for a great spiritual and ethical religion to seek approval in the qur’an for violent confrontation.

And there’s plenty of violence against others mandated by allah and practiced by Mohammad in Islam’s text and laws.   Muslims have rampaged across the world killing, enslaving, raping, stealing, and subjugating since Mohammad and they’re still going.  Are they marginalized and threatened in the Islamic world and in Muslim majority countries where they systematically destroy remnant populations today?

It is not the ‘fundamentalists’ that ‘miss-read’ the text as the program attempts to claim but the western Muslims, taqiyya speakers, and their western apologists who refuse to face the reality of Islam’s horror or want to hide it from us until Islam is in control.

We are told there is NO problem with the qur’an, just our interpretation!  And that the qur’an is telling us to be reformist – to reform the world for the better.  How Muslims interpret this message will affect the future of the qur’an and all mankind.   Remember, al Wahhabi was a REFORMER who demanded a return to Islam’s text and Mohammad’s behavior!

To a Muslim, the only way to make the world ‘better’ is to force everyone to be Muslim or at least force them to be subjugated under Islam and it’s laws.  This is a declaration of war against others as demanded in Islam’s text and laws and it certainly will affect us all!


1.    Al-Misri, Ahmad ibn Naqib;  Reliance of the Traveller:  A classic manual of Islamic sacred law.   In Arabic with facing English Text, commentary and appendices edited and translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller  amana publications  Maryland USA 1994

2.    The qur’an and hadith.
Last Updated on Friday, 21 August 2009 03:04  

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