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The Goatmilk Debates: “Islam is Incompatible with Feminism” – Mohamad Tabbaa For the Motion

with 45 comments


“THE GOATMILK DEBATES” will be an ongoing series featuring two debaters tackling an interesting or controversial question in a unique, intellectually stimulating manner.

Each debater makes their opening argument, followed by an optional rebuttal.

The winner will be decided by the online audience and judged according to the strength of the respective arguments.

The motion: “Islam is Incompatible with Feminism”

For the motion: Mohamad Tabbaa

Against the motion: Katrina Daly Thompson

“God is not dead; and neither is He a feminist”  by Mohamad Tabbaa 

God has not died, just yet. But there is a real push to kill Him. And it’s gaining popular support. I’m sure we’ve all noticed the modern tendency to ‘reconcile’ Islam with almost everything; democracy; liberalism; homosexuality; heck, even Christianity. And now feminism. So what’s the problem, exactly? Surely any right-minded individual would openly embrace the move to bring Islam into modernity, while only a backward Wahhabist regressive fundamentalist caveman would resist, right?

Well, not exactly.

You see, there are a number of fundamental flaws inherent in many of the arguments put forward to ‘modernise’ Islam. I will highlight some of these flaws — especially as they relate to feminism — and argue that not only are Islam and feminism not compatible, but that our actual attempts at reconciling Islam with modern ideologies is futile and misguided.

Rather than launch into definitions of what Islam and feminism mean, I believe it’s important that we first take a step back. This debate, after all, is not really about Islam and feminism per se; this debate is more to do with epistemology. Epistemology, otherwise known as “the theory of knowledge”, is the study of the creation and basis of knowledge itself.[i] Epistemology concerns itself with questions such as: What are the structures and conditions of knowledge? How is knowledge constructed and justified? Does knowledge lead to truth? What are the limits of knowledge? And does God play a role in this process?[ii]

The question being debated here, namely is Islam compatible with feminism, is one which can only be answered by first exploring the epistemological and methodological assumptions underpinning the call for Islamic reformation, and what these mean in the greater scheme of things.

Feminism, in all its variations, depends very heavily on postmodern theories of knowledge; namely that there is no ‘objective’ or transcendental truth; that all realities are merely constructed, contextual and relative, and therefore subject to change; and that all knowledge is intrinsically biased.[iii] Utilising poststructural methods of deconstruction, postmodernists argue that all knowledge is influenced by power, personal interest and especially language, and that therefore no knowledge can claim to be impartial.[iv] It is upon this basis that feminists (rightfully) critique the dominant liberal discourse as being male-oriented and oppressive towards women.

So, while the core concern of feminism might be women’s equality, rights or humanity, postmodernism (and hence, feminism) itself teaches us that one cannot judge an idea based solely on its ‘abstract’ theory, but must instead deconstruct its underlying assumptions in order to ascertain what that idea is really advocating or producing. For example, renowned feminist scholar Margaret Thornton argues that, despite its proclaimed concern of ensuring equality between males and females, liberalism is inherently biased against women; not because of its ‘abstract’ theory, which is neutral, but purely because of its underlying assumptions – its epistemology – which are male-oriented.[v] Likewise, in order to properly assess both the nature and impact of feminism, one must necessarily look past its purported aims and concerns, and instead investigate its philosophical basis.

Let us pause here for a moment. At the core of feminist philosophy lies the belief that there is no transcendental knowledge, there is no objective truth, and that all knowledge is subjective and biased. So what does this mean for Islam, and religion more generally? To begin with, feminism entirely rejects the notion that there is a higher being. That is not to say that one must reject God to be a feminist, but merely that any belief in God must acknowledge that there is no such thing as divine knowledge; basically the idea that you can believe in whichever god you wish, so long as that god stays in your mind and does not intrude into the feminist discourse in any significant way.

Secondly, the idea that there is no objective truth is in stark contrast to one of the core purposes of religion, which is to teach humanity the truth of their existence. Of what benefit is religion if it is just as ‘true’ as atheism? Finally, even if one were inclined to accept the radical notion that God has knowledge, they must also accept that even God’s knowledge is entirely subjective and constructed (perhaps He spent too much time amongst the angels?) or risk departing from feminist philosophy in a very serious way.

In 1967, Roland Barthes took the idea of postmodernism to its inevitable conclusion with his theory of ‘the death of the author’.[vi] Barthes had essentially argued that once a text had been written, it was open to unrestrained interpretation, and, most importantly, that the author’s intention for the work was of no relevance whatsoever. To this end, Barthes wrote that, “it is the language which speaks, not the author”.[vii] Barthes had effectively removed the power to interpret from the author, and instead placed it squarely with the reader. Barthes had killed the author.

The main purpose of this argument, as Margaret Davies explains, was to free interpretation “from anxieties and closures such as ‘is this what the author really meant?’ and [allow it to be] performed in a spirit of openness, and of endless possibility [emphasis added].”[viii] This is what Barthes referred to as the ‘death of the author’. While such an argument may sound convincing given the biased nature of human authors, we must keep in mind what exactly we are dealing with in a religious discourse. In Islam, we are not talking about any old author.

We are talking about God. Therefore, to strip God, the author of the Quran, of authorial authority to interpretation is not only to have a very lowly opinion of God as equal to humans, but it is to kill God Himself. In the Islam/feminism debate, the core conflict lies in the fact that traditional Islamic discourse attempts to understand the intention of God by analysing authentic Islamic texts, while modern discourses, such as feminism, remove God entirely from the equation and place humans at the centre of knowledge. In essence, by arguing that Islam is open to all sorts of interpretation, feminism aims to kill God in Islam.

But it doesn’t end here. Taking the relative, pluralistic approach towards religious interpretations inevitably leads to “endless possibilities”.[ix] The problem with this is that, since there is no ‘authentic’ Islam, and all interpretations are relative and biased, all interpretations must be treated as equal, as there is no basis upon which to criticise one version as ‘unIslamic’ (there is no ‘true’ Islam, remember?). So what exactly does this mean? Well, in short, it means that if we are to accept the feminist interpretation of Islam as valid, then we must also, by default, accept bin Laden’s version as equally valid. Feminists would need to come to the discussion accepting that honour killings, domestic violence, gay-bashings, female infanticide and terrorism are valid Islamic practices, according to one, subjectively valid, interpretation of Islam. Such practices could not be condemned as ‘unIslamic’ if we accept the feminist epistemology of multiple truths and the death of the author.

This is where feminism actually needs traditional Islam, and not the other way around. If feminists wish to condemn the oppression of women in Muslim societies as against the ‘heart’ or ‘nature’ of Islam, then they can only do so by opposing the idea that Islam is open to interpretations, and instead seeking out what God’s authentic Islam teaches. Unfortunately, however, we see that the Muslim feminist discourse regarding Islam is laden with contradictions, and Katrina’s article is no exception. In order to convince us of the validity of feminist Islam, feminists initially argue that “Islam is open to interpretation”.[x] However, many then make the mistake of saying things like, “we must acknowledge some Muslims’ (mis)use [or misrepresentation] of Islam”.[xi] But how can Islam be ‘misrepresented’ or ‘misused’ if there is no singular authentic meaning of Islam by which to judge actions? What if a person genuinely believed that honour killings or domestic violence were an authentic part of their interpretation of Islam? How could we denounce such a view in light of the idea that ‘Islam is open to interpretations’?

Acknowledging this pitfall, many feminists have now turned to human rights as a basis for critiquing such actions, arguing instead that the abovementioned practices are “human rights violations”.[xii] This is a very strange move, and is fundamentally anti-feminist. Many of the most prominent feminists (and postmodernists) have attacked the very core of human rights as being anti-woman and the epitome of (male-oriented) liberalism, such as Catherine MacKinnon, Margaret Thornton, Wendy Brown and Gayatri Spivak.[xiii] In fact, the concept of human rights has been consistently accused of bias and critiqued from every possible standpoint; such that it there is somewhat of a consensus in the legal scholarly world that human rights are fundamentally flawed.[xiv] These are only some of the many fundamental problems associated with attempting to merge Islam into a postmodern discourse such as feminism.

However, a more alarming question also arises and requires urgent attention, which is: Why do we need to merge Islam into anything else in the first place? Is Islam so deficient that we need feminism to ‘save’ it?It is not at all surprising that most of those voices calling for Islamic reformation are of western origin or education. The western (European) experience with religion is extremely different to the Muslim experience, and the results of these different experiences have never played out more clearly than today. The west’s experiment with Christianity (and, to an extent, Judaism) was disastrous to say the least, and does not need any explanation.

Regarding the position of women, they were considered to be sub-human and soulless in the western world; their humanity was denied; they were considered the property of men; they had little to no economic, political, sexual or social rights; and they were generally treated as the root cause of sin and immorality. It is little surprise then that the notion that women were human not only had to be explicitly noted in the western world, but it was also considered a ‘radical’ idea. Given these experiences, many of which were directly related to religion, it is not hard to see why the western world moved in the direction of ‘enlightenment’, secularism and even atheism.

The Muslim experience was not the same, and it is arrogant to assume that the entire globe shares the western experience and mentality. Although the Muslim world obviously had its fair share of bad experiences, these were largely seen to have resulted despite Islam, and not as a result of it. In fact, while many of the European revolutions/movements sought to remove religious authority in order to end oppression and corruption, the Muslim world generally sought to strengthen religious authority to achieve that same end. The recent phenomenal success of Islamist parties across the Muslim world is testament to this ongoing and prevalent attitude. Similarly, Muslims did not need a 19th Century historian to teach them that women are human; the Quran had already taught them this from the very beginning.

There are a number of points to be made about this difference in religious experience, and how it relates to the current debate on Islam and feminism. It appears that much of this debate rests on oriental racist stereotypes about the ‘backward’ nature of exotic (Muslim) peoples, and the supposed ‘superiority’ of the western (white) world. How? Well, to begin with, the call for feminist Islam suggests that the Muslim scholars of the past 1400 years not only got it terribly wrong, but that they were in fact misogynists. Some have gone so far as to suggest a deliberate cover-up (yes, a conspiracy) amongst all traditional Muslim scholars, who apparently knowingly perpetuated deliberate ‘misreadings’ and ‘mistranslations’ of Islamic texts in order to maintain power.[xv] And it gets worse. Throughout these 1400+ years of cover-up, conspiracy and corruption, the Muslim women who were the (ideal) victims in this narrative were either too stupid or too scared to even speak out against such barbarity, let alone take any assertive action to reclaim their religion.

And so, naturally, the white middle-class enlightened objective free western woman must now come to the rescue of the imperilled and unable female Muslim victim. Yet again. This narrative also suggests that the European experience of mistrusting and secularising religion, which brought us the wonders of enlightenment, colonialism, biological racism, atheism, evolution and capitalism, somehow culminated in the ultimate discovery of the ‘true’ (feminist) meaning of Islam, and of the otherwise unknown representation of God as The Feminist. Very convincing. Indeed.

So in concluding, God is not dead. Alhamdulillah. And it is not in our best interests to try to kill Him. Islam is not feminism, just as feminism is not Islam. The fact that feminists need to radically reinterpret — or at times entirely disregard — very clear Islamic texts highlights this fact beyond a doubt. Islam and feminism are differing ideologies. Each has its own foundations, epistemologies, methodologies, worldviews, discourses and paradigms. This means that, while they have the potential to overlap at times, they cannot be coherently merged into one another without fundamentally compromising one or radically expanding the other. The push to merge Islam into feminism is akin to trying to squeeze an elephant into a birdcage; either the elephant will be killed by being forced into such a narrow entrance, or the birdcage will have to expand so significantly that it would no longer be recognised as a birdcage. Besides, suggesting that Islam ought to merge into feminism suggests the superiority of feminism, and the inferiority of Islam.

So, where to from here? Well, Muslim feminists must now make the choice between the Islamic paradigm, which is centred around God, or the secularised modern theology, which is based almost exclusively around (white) men. We must also move away from this tendency to merge Islam with anything and everything, as this method is limitless, and there is nothing to stop such an approach ultimately leading to a merger between Islam and atheism, with god presented as The Atheist. We should take an investigative approach towards Islam, trying to decipher God’s intention from His revelations, rather than entering with our own preconceived ideas of right and wrong and then attempting to mould Islam into these ideas. Humble pie is ultimately more fulfilling than arrogant pie. If you personally feel the need to become a feminist, a socialist, a liberal or a capitalist, by all means, knock yourself out. But there’s no need to drag Islam down with you.

Mohamad Tabbaa is a recent Honours graduate in Legal Studies at La Trobe University, Melbourne, and former president of the La Trobe Unoversity Islamic Society. 


[i] Michael Williams, Problems of Knowledge: a Critical Introduction to Epistemology, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001, p.1.

[ii] Ibid, pp. 1-5.

[iii] See: Margaret Davies, Asking the Law Question: The Dissolution of Legal Theory, Sydney, Lawbook Co, 2002; and Judith Butler, ‘Contingent Foundations: Feminism and the Question of “Postmodernism”’, in Judith Butler and Joan Wallach Scott (eds.), Feminists Theorize the Political, London, Routledge, 1992.

[iv]  See: Jacques Derrida, ‘Force of Law: The Mythical Foundation of Authority’, in Michel Rosenfald and David Carlson (eds.), Deconstruction and the Possibility of Justice, New York, Routledge, 1992; Michel Foucault and Colin Gordon (eds.), Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-

1977, London, Harvester Press, 1980; and Tim Dant, Knowledge, Ideology, Discourse: A Sociological Perspective, London, Routledge, 1991.

[v] Margaret Thornton, The Liberal Promise: Anti-Discrimination Legislation in Australia, Melbourne,

Oxford University Press, 1990, p. 7.

[vi] Roland Barthes, Image, Music, Text, London, Fontana, 1977.

[vii] Michel Foucault, “What is an Author?”, in Josue V. Harari (ed.), Textual Strategies: Perspectives in Post-Structuralist Criticism, London, Methuen, 1980, p. 143.

[viii] Margaret Davies, “Ethics and Methodology in Legal Theory: a (Personal) Research Anti-Manifesto”, in Law/ Text/Culture, Vol. 6, Iss. 1, 2002, p. 11.

[ix] Ibid., p. 11.

[x] Katrina Daly Thompson, The Goatmilk Debates: “Islam is Incompatible with Feminism, GoatMilk, http://goatmilkblog.com/.

[xi] Ibid.

[xii] Ibid.

[xiii] See: Catharine MacKinnon, Are Women Human?, And Other International Dialogues, Cambridge,

Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006; Margaret Thornton, The Liberal Promise: Anti-Discrimination Legislation in Australia, Melbourne, Oxford University Press, 1990; Wendy Brown, Edgework: Critical Essays on Knowledge and Politics, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2005; and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, ‘Use and Abuse of Human Rights’, Boundary 2, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2005, pp. 1-60.

[xiv] For a comprehensive overview of the human rights debate, see: Costas Douzinas, The End of Human Rights: Critical Legal Thought at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2000.

[xv] See: Jarret M. Brachman, Global Jihadism: Theory and Practice, New York, Routledge, 2009, pp. 12, 41; Brian R. Farmer, Understanding Radical Islam: Medieval Ideology in the Twenty-First Century, New York, Peter Lang, 2007, p. 71; Youssef M. Choueiri, Islamic Fundamentalism, London, Pinter, 1990, p. 3; and Charles E. Butterworth, “Political Islam: The Origins”, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 524, p. 9.

45 Responses

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  1. Great read! But I can’t help but wonder if feminism has a role to play in wading through (often patriarchal) cultural baggage that Muslim migrant communities bring along when settling into western/European societies.

    Muhummed Shah Idil

    December 12, 2011 at 10:29 am

    • Feminism does not have a role to play, but removing the “cultural baggage” and replacing it with Islamic teachings and values is the real solution, and you focus on certain gender issues or women’s issues within Islam if that is the concern at hand. If there is a problem with racial divisions within the Muslim community (ethnic communities staying with their “own kind”) then you deal with that by going back to the Islamic teachings of equality before the eyes of Allah and unity. That is how you tackle any issue with Muslims, not by questioning, challenging and finally changing Islam. (As in the problem is Muslims not understanding/practicing Islam, not Islam itself).
      It will also help them deal with the cultural baggage of Western society and the way women can be perceived as commodities in their ads and the pressure for a superficial beauty as displayed almost everywhere from magazines with airbrushed models, actresses, tv presenters. Such a backward culture!

      Lisa

      December 14, 2011 at 8:15 am

  2. [...] rights islam « “The US should stop Aid to Pakistan”: THE GOATMILK DEBATES The Goatmilk Debates: “Islam is Incompatible with Feminism” – Mohamad Tabbaa For the Moti… [...]

  3. Islam does alot to protect women but to many muslim believe more than culture value compare to religious value. It alot like the anti-homosexual people who want to remove all right from the homosexual which is mortality wrong. Our mayor and one city counil member refuse to follow than voter initivate to remove all benfits from homosexual city employer so than christian group decide to recall the mayor and that one person from the council. I donot like homosexual but I will vote against the recall as the anti-homosexual group will next target muslim.

    Brian C. Hoff

    December 12, 2011 at 7:15 pm

  4. Feminism is not a western construct

    almostclever

    December 13, 2011 at 6:12 am

  5. Well-written! However, I was wondering if this debate is referring to Western feminism? I mean one can argue that Muslim women who approach issues of gender equality and complementarity can still create a feminism of their own that is within Islamic context–unlike secular Western feminism. For example, this approach can be through an intellectual investigation of the Quran and other relevant texts. In addition, learning and advocating for women’s rights under the Islamic law and according to the Quranic principals. Which goes goes along with “seeking out what God’s authentic Islam teaches.”

    RimA

    December 13, 2011 at 9:07 am

  6. GOat MILK debate

    Morshed Alam

    December 13, 2011 at 11:25 am

  7. First, feminism is not a philosophy it is rather a movement. The opinion of certain feminist scholars are not to be applied to all other feminists (whose opinions may differ greatly from those of scholars’).

    Second, ” feminism entirely rejects the notion that there is a higher being.” – this is simply not universally true. Theist feminism does not reject the notion of a higher being at all; in fact it calls Him God.

    Third, wanting Muslim women to enjoy the rights and freedoms similar to those enjoyed in most parts of the world is not the same as wanting to “merge” Islam into feminism. And let’s not pretend that Muslim women in Muslim countries do not want more freedom, more rights. Let’s not pretend that white people are the ones injecting this idea in their heads.

    “(..) the core purposes of religion, which is to teach humanity the truth of their existence.”

    That should be the core purpose of religion, but this purpose is manipulated (by many in all religions). I personally say that the Truth is God (and God alone) and He is the source of our existence.
    Atheism doesn’t exist, it is an illusion.

    “by arguing that Islam is open to all sorts of interpretation, feminism aims to kill God in Islam.”

    Then blame Muslim scholars and the different approaches to the Quran, Sunnah and consequently Shariah; because these teach us that Islamic texts are open to interpretation. Should it be inferred that they are killing God in Islam?

    Classical Islam depicts high respect for women. Classical Islam is refined towards women. When I was in Junior High I studied Arab poetry (authored by the Arabs who participated in the European invasion) and certain poems invoked love, deep respect and consideration toward women. This being said, I would like to know when, and how, the Muslim Dark Ages began.

    “The west’s experiment with Christianity (and, to an extent, Judaism) was disastrous to say the least, and does not need any explanation.”

    It was but it has evolved. The West in the 21st century is much much better than it was merely 60 years ago. Most Muslim nations cannot say the same, unfortunately.
    The West evolved, most Muslim Nations regressed – it’s that simple. And instead of pointing fingers, touching the wounds of the West, playing with the guilt of the Left Wing and yielding to victimisation, Muslim countries should focus on themselves and evolve once and for all (the Arab Spring casts a light upon that possibility, thank God).

    I apologise for the long comment, but the text begs for a worthy comment.

    Cheers

    Max Coutinho (@Max1977)

    December 13, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    • “The West evolved, most Muslim Nations regressed – it’s that simple. And instead of pointing fingers, touching the wounds of the West, playing with the guilt of the Left Wing and yielding to victimisation, Muslim countries should focus on themselves and evolve once and for all (the Arab Spring casts a light upon that possibility, thank God).”

      Sorry, but that’s racist. You are also overlooking the sexist oppression, misogyny, and male supremacy that exists in the west. Your victim-blaming tone is quite atrocious, too.

      Disappointed

      December 19, 2011 at 7:57 pm

  8. my two cents – thanks to Western feminism, Muslims re-discovered their lost tradition. Anti-Western sentiments (mostly because of colonial excesses) should not blind us to this contribution. Our current understanding of women’s rights in Islam has been triggered by the West and it would be disingeneous to deny this.

    sarah

    December 14, 2011 at 12:05 am

    • Sarah! very well said. I second your comments. This is the truth which many sincere AND innocent muslims still did not realize. There should be no shame to accept that. Now it is time to go ahead for real Islam again which for many hundreds years we muslim forgot because of our own rigid and extremist scholars of that time. Thanks to western civil ethics movements and feminism that have awaken us (muslims) and made us realize again our real true Islam. All extremists among muslims must read the following Saying of our Prophet (PBUH) in Sahi Bukhari:

      “Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and give the good news to others of rewards they would get ; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, the nights.” (See Fath-ul-Bari, Page 102, Vol 1). (Book #2, Hadith #38) SAHI BUKHARI.

      SAFI

      February 19, 2012 at 4:47 am

  9. Wearing half clothes or or as short as children’s dress is NOT modernism but is backwardness as these sort of things existed before Islam and it is islam that brought world to light thus ; At the time of “Dark Ages” Muslims were at the peak of science & literature as well as architecture and the Western writers till this day profess this fact, and for this we have all the proofs available should you wish to acquire.

    Despite Islam having so much misconceptions & yet more people from various backgrounds embrace it!
    This is because when people from various faiths & Atheists as well as prominent scientists read Qur’an or its logical answers to every question & doubts, there remain very minor hesitations in being honest with oneself that this is The Truth & makes sense…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybnJKLEla3Y (proof Islam is the Truth ‘No Brainer’ by Yusuf Estes)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q094wWy_CS0 (above video full version)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsovikQmHdU (Feminism ‘Ahmed Deedat Best Answer of the question’)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk0AaZQOrc4 (Death! ‘You will be Judged’ by khalid yasin)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My7N8rEwbwk (Feminism ‘Dr Zakir Naik Atheist Guy Questions’
    Atheist brought about the total destruction who are the maker of guns, biological weapons, jet fighters, abortion, warships etc etc. Atheist claims the most lives and the destruction of the ozone layers…

    Much Obliged for your time & consideration

    umer khan

    December 18, 2011 at 9:08 am

    • Your opinion on clothes should only be yours, nobody claims its mordernism, its for comfort. The ‘mordernism’ aspect comes here: when a woman wears what she likes, and nobody cares, then its called ‘mordernism’. The very fact that you dont approve of this (as proved by your statement) shows that you are not ‘mordern’. Since we talk about clothing, let me tell you this: Many of my muslim friends are being forced to wear a burqua/ hijab. Sorry I actually dont know what you should call the black cloak/ veil. They are being forced and they absolutely resent it.

      Kiran

      November 16, 2013 at 10:56 am

  10. At the time of “Dark Ages” Muslims were at the peak of science & literature as well as architecture and the Western writers till this day profess this fact, and for this we have all the proofs available should you wish to acquire.

    Despite Islam having so much misconceptions & yet more people from various backgrounds embrace it!
    This is because when people from various faiths & Atheists as well as prominent scientists read Qur’an or its logical answers to every question & doubts, there remain very minor hesitations in being honest with oneself that this is The Truth & makes sense…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybnJKLEla3Y (proof Islam is the Truth ‘No Brainer’ by Yusuf Estes)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q094wWy_CS0 (above video full version)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsovikQmHdU (Feminism ‘Ahmed Deedat Best Answer of the question’)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk0AaZQOrc4 (Death! ‘You will be Judged’ by khalid yasin)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My7N8rEwbwk (Feminism ‘Dr Zakir Naik Atheist Guy Questions’

    umer khan

    December 18, 2011 at 9:13 am

    • Sir, you seem to have forgotten the very motion of this debate. It is not concerning how developed or civilised Islam is, it is about an entirely different thing: whether or not Islam and feminist mutually exclusive. The above peak of Science all that is fine, but may I also remind you that this time was when all civilisations were making remarkable progress, not just Islam. Aryabhatta, Sushrutha, Ptolemy and Pythagoras to name a few.
      Going by what you said, even, how many of those scientists and artists were women? Thats the object, the purpose of this debate. I know for a fact that Razia Sultana was killed because according to her killers, a woman could not be a ruler.

      Kiran

      November 16, 2013 at 11:03 am

  11. Your article sucks because you are trying to scare people with the bogeyman of “post-modernism” and you equate “Islam” with Islamic tradition and orthodoxy. Go read some Mohammad Arkoun and get your head straight.

    As sad as this may make you, we don’t live in the 7th century anymore. Islam must change and adapt to the 21st century, or it will become irrelevant to believing people.

    The questions to be answered are “how much” and “how fast”.

    Does the Qur’an support post-modernism vis a vis:

    3:7 “He has sent down this Book which contains some verses that are categorical and basic to the Book, and others allegorical. But those who are twisted of mind look for verses metaphorical, seeking deviation and giving to them interpretations of their own: but none knows their meaning except God; and those who are steeped in knowledge affirm: ‘We believe in them as all of them are from the Lord’, but only those who have wisdom understand. (Ahmed Ali translation)

    ??

    JDay

    December 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    • So you approve of abortion on demand the murder of unborn baby the only approve use of abortion is when the mother life is in danger. So you are than member of the pro-death camp on the abortion issue. You approve of woman going around half naked all the time. Woman under Islam have more rights than western women. It was the illegality occup of muslim lands that force muslim to restist woman to safegruad then from christian from the west. When muslim feel secure in muslim lands then the cultural restistion on moslim women will end.

      Brian C. Hoff

      December 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      • Salaam (peace) I do not know who is JDay refering to? if me then he/she should look again of what i wrote and watch the videos i’ve posted.

        PS: Muslims never had dark-ages. It was the dark ages for the Europeans. Read history and watch my videos above and below vidoes for proofs:

        NB: Islam does not need to change, the only religion or system needs changing that’s not perfect.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3vglFjsDgw (watch all videos to this for proof after proof not just faith)

        umer khan

        December 19, 2011 at 8:38 pm

      • First Muslim woman couldnot goes with western femmistism. America women since 1973 murder over 53,000,000 unborn babies in than genocide of they own babies and futures.

        Brian C. Hoff

        December 19, 2011 at 11:45 pm

      • I just dont understand, why is the way a woman wants to dress ridiculed for absolutely no reason? Its freedom. I personally dress anyway I want to, and nobody dares raise their voice against me, because I assert my freedom all the time.
        and what is this about abortions? If the mother doesnt want to have the baby, and it was an accidental conception, then I dont see any reason to not abort. Only Abortion on gender lines is a crime, but this is just my view. You cannot force your views on anybody and hence I wont. And what I really dont get is, why men think they need to ‘safeguard’ women. I can defend myself pretty well. All women of my family can.
        and btw, you should totally check out the divorce laws in Islam. MEN can simply say Talaq thrice to end the marriage, with NO consideration for the woman’s feelings. This happens ALL the time. And men are allowed to remarry legally without divorce, but women are not.

        Kiran

        November 16, 2013 at 11:24 am

    • I think my copy & paste of the below article shall be enough for doubters;

      Islam; The Rational & The Most Logical Faith:

      ANY RATIONAL PERSON WITH SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE WILL COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT (unlike other religious scriptures) THE GLORIOUS QUR’AN NEVER CONTRADICTS OR CONFLICTS WITH MODERN ESTABLISHED SCIENCE AND LOGIC…There are numerous scientific miracles mentioned in the Qur’an which have only recently been discovered by modern science. This is a book revealed 1400 years ago to a unlettered man (prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him) who could neither read nor write.

      The Qur’an has recorded such amazing scientific information that many elite scientists & Atheists have embraced Islam. Some prominent examples include Professor Keith Moore, Dr Maurice Bucaille, Dr. Jeffrey Lang, Dr.Hormoz PhD, Physicist & Scientist Omar Dexter, Dr. Laurence Brown, and others (full list available on request or check them on http://www.youtube.com ). Please check out some of the following Quranic verses which refer many areas of scientific phenomena: 16:16, 41:11, 21:30, 25:59, 39:21 , 13:3, 16:66, 96:2, 96:15-16 & many others which are available on request. Then comes the Challenge: “Do they not consider Qur’an with care, had it been from anyone besides Allah (God-Almighty), there would have been many contradictions in it.” Quran Surah An-Nisa 4:82.

      Islam means sincere submission to the Will of God (Allah). Unlike other faiths that are being named after Prophets, peoples & places Islam however, does not mean Mohammedanism & Muslims are not Mohammedans because he who worships Prophet Mohammad has left the fold of Islam. Prophet Mohammad is not the founder of Islam but he is the Last Messenger & Final Prophet of God (thus his teachings should be followed to the end of time). Muslims are not allowed to worship anyone or anything other than God-Al-Mighty alone, not Mohammad, Jesus, Moses (peace be upon them) or any other beings or places. However Muslims do love & respect all these prophets & messengers but do not worship them nor call upon them in need or in prayer. This is Islam, the pure, rational & the ONLY truly monotheistic faith which does not liken the Creator to His 1 creation.

      Some people allege that prophet Mohammad copied from their religious books regarding the scientific verses but they fail to realise that had this been the case, why then is there not a single scientific error in the Qur’an? Given that these other religious texts contain numerous scientific errors, how could Mohammad (pbuh) have known which parts were scientifically accurate and which were not? Thus these allegations are illogical! In fact God admonishes their false claims in the following Qur’anic verse Surah Al-Baqarah 2:79 ” Woe to those who write the book with their own hands, and then say: This is form Allah, to traffic with it a miserable price! Woe to them for what their hands do write and woe to them for what they earn!”

      Furthermore, we can also prove from the character/biography of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) that he was not a liar as (1) The non-Muslims of his time used to call him al-Amin (the trustworthy) & as-Siddiq (meaning the truthful) and (2) If Prophet Mohammad (God-Forbid) was the author of Qur’an, how come the Qur’an is promoting/elevating other prophets like Adam, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses & Jesus (pbut) instead of himself? Why would Prophet Mohammad say that the mother of Jesus (Virgin Mary (pbuh)) was the chosen woman above all nations? If he was the author, surely he would have chosen his own mother, wife or any Arab woman. Why did he mention a Jewess? (3) He was not after money or fame as he was offered all the wealth of the Arabs at the time & was offered a kingdom on the condition that he abandon his mission to promote Islam. He refused & responded by saying “by Allah, if you place the sun in my right hand & the moon in my left hand, I will never give up this message until I perish therein”. (4) There was a solar Eclipse the day his son (named Ibrahim) died & people were saying look the day is being darkened due to respect for the son of the Prophet but. Instead of using this situation to promote himself or elevate his status with the people he instead said while pointing up to the sky “This is the sun and this is the moon, they’re from the signs of Allah, & they do not rise or set or eclipse for the death or birth of any man, so when you see this, pray to your Lord” & he taught us the prayer of the eclipse.
      Are these not the words of a prophet? Amongst many proofs of his prophet hood we have only mentioned 4. Now it’s your choice to accept or reject to worship the One Who sent this Prophet & The One Who created you and the Universe.
      Unlike other religions & philosophies Islam is unique because it represents a complete way of life, to the extent that it even teaches its followers how to clean themselves, worship, interact with others & even how (morally) to go to bed, the toilet & other daily activities including sexual relations between husband & wife. All of these things are considered forms of worship because they prevent corruption & allow us to live our lives in a way that pleases our Creator.

      If you’re still not convinced of the creation of the world by God but believe in the Big Bang then consider this: the Qur’an says in Surah Anbiya 21:30 that Big Bang did happen (“Do the unbelievers not see, that the heavens & the earth were joined together (as one unit body) & We1 split them asunder”). If you allege that we’re a product of random selection/chance then I suggest you think again as we know that ‘nothing comes from nothing’. If there isn’t a creator then how comes all the galaxies/planets are in such perfect order? Even a small explosion creates chaos, so how can whole galaxies swim smoothly in the Milky-way (orbits) after a HUGE explosion (the Big Bang)?
      Do you ever ask yourself the question “who created God”? This is as illogical as asking the question “If Mr. John gave birth to a child, is the child a girl or boy?”. If you’re intelligent, you’ll say “a man (Mr. John) cannot give birth” so the question itself is flawed & illogical. Hence the question “who created God” is similarly illogical, as God is uncreated and He is the Creator. Finally, Islam is not just a religion but a complete way of life..though Qur’an is not a book of science it contains scientific miracles. Everything in the Qur’an is presented in a logical and intelligent manner. Even though it was revealed over 1400 years ago it is a religion for all times & its laws will never become out of date. A religion for all times & all peoples, The Universal Faith.

      PS. For those Philosophers who deny Allah/God-Almighty (after clear proofs have been given to them) we have the following response: “According to you there’s no God due to a lack of testable evidence. You reason that if you don’t see, hear or smell God then He doesn’t exist. However I don’t see, hear or smell your brain, so does this mean that you don’t have a brain?”

      To become a Muslim one should make the following declaration of faith (preferable before 2 witnesses): “There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah and Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah.
      Footnote: 1 The word He or His used above for God is not gender-based but rather (Huwa: He) an Arabic expression of honour. The word 1 We (Nahno or Khalaqna) used for God (above) is not a term of plurality but rather represents the royal style of respect when referring to oneself like when a king or queen addresses their people e.g.” we have decreed so & so…”
      NB; In over 1400 years the Qur’an has not changed by even a single letter, let alone a word. It is exactly how it was revealed to Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) via Angel Gabriel. 100% pure and uncorrupted.
      PSS: Qur’an challenges all humankind (with easy but stern challenge) to try produce just a chapter somewhat similar like unto Qur’an (“And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant (Prophet Mohammad), then produce one chapter somewhat like it (min mithlihi) and call on your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful. But if you cannot do it and for a surety/fact (challenge) you can NOT do it, then be prepared for the Fire (of Hell) whose fuel is men and stones it is prepared for the unbelievers!!” Qur’an 2:23-24.. ..Qur’an is the Book of facts: “Say; the Truth has come and falsehood perished. For falsehood is by its nature bound to perish” 17:81…>>For more information & free authentic Islamic literature & cd/dvd’s please contact us on 07529941222 or dawahgs@yahoo.co.uk alternatively purchase a copy of Qur’an, Sahih Al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim in your language…Thank you for your time & consideration…

      umer khan

      December 19, 2011 at 8:45 pm

      • You are to give facts, sir. With all honour, your use of adjectives only makes you seem juvenile. May I remind you, with no offense to the Holy Quran that almost all religious texts contain wonderful scientific thoughts? I will speak in reference to the vedas as i am a Hindu and i know a lot about the vedas because my family is one of the direct lines of those whom we call ‘Sacred sages’. The vedas also have immense scientific knowledge. They talk about how we can build spaceships, aeroplanes and ships. Our astronomical charts, which were charted ages ago, eras ago predict our full moons and new moons and everything precisely. Our forms of medicine, Ayurveda and Siddha are being lauded. The Saama Veda, the basis of our music is now being studies in music healing therapy. Kama sutra approaches sex in a scientific way. Sushrutha Samhitha is a medical journal. Sushrutha, the authour of the journal had performed successful plastic surgeries, surrogations in ancient times.
        i am saying this only to tell you that not only Islam, but every religion has its own list of merits and notable personalities. I bet you can get similar videos for every religion if you search.
        As for celebrities, many celebrities convert to Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism, and here Christianity.
        What i am trying to stress here is, you are acting as if the above mentioned things are found exclusively in Islam which is not the case.
        That said, i still am reminding you, the topic of this discussion is feminism and Islam. I dont see anything in your comment relating to the topic.
        And how are your last paragraphs related in any way to the article? Merely seems like some marketing stratergy. Why would you tell us how to become a muslim or anything?

        Kiran

        November 16, 2013 at 11:42 am

    • “”As sad as this may make you, we don’t live in the 7th century anymore. Islam must change and adapt to the 21st century, or it will become irrelevant to believing people.

      The questions to be answered are “how much” and “how fast”. ”

      JDay’s question sets it out clearly. If islam becomes ‘irrelevant” to believing people- it’s thier loss. They will be judged on the Day of Judgement. Why should it be changed ? It is revelation from Allah to humanity for humanity’s benefit.

      ahmad husain

      December 21, 2011 at 9:30 am

      • True, SubhanAllah

        umer khan

        February 16, 2012 at 7:36 am

      • First many of our idears we have today come the past history. Islam have some idear which are total new to western idears. Western societry is falling apart with no mortal value.

        Brian C. Hoff

        February 16, 2012 at 7:39 pm

  12. I’m disappointed that this is even up for debate. Sexist oppression is too much of a serious issue for GoatMilk to treat this question as if it’s a contest. I think it’s a sign of male privilege to treat a conversation about Muslim feminism as such.

    The question about Islam’s “compatibility” with feminism is problematic to begin with. Houria Bouteldja addressed this in the following piece, “Decolonial Feminism and the Privilege of Solidarity”:

    http://kasamaproject.org/2011/02/19/decolonial-feminism-the-privilege-of-solidarity/

    Why does a man know about sexist oppression anyway? The author’s opinion on feminism doesn’t change the fact that there are Muslim women who self-identify as feminists and actively fight sexism, misogyny, and patriarchy both within and outside their communities. As Bouteldja says, Islamic feminism legitimizes itself; it doesn’t need to pass a “feminist exam.” When we ask if Islam is “compatible with feminism,” why wouldn’t it be? The question seems to suggest that Muslims are “more misogynistic” than non-Muslims (and given the way Muslims are racialized, there is a very strong white vs. non-white tone there). Why not ask if the United States is compatible with feminism while we’re at it? Or Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, etc.? Ironically, the author writes about colonialism and racism, but doesn’t seem to be aware of the work done by feminists of color who argue that Native women, for example, have been engaged in feminist struggle since 1492 in what is now known as the United States.

    White western feminists have constantly been challenged by women of color and the author failed to acknowledge the immense amount of work that has already been done by them. Instead, the author makes no distinction between anti-racist feminists who center intersectionality politics and mainstream white feminist groups. This serves to the author’s advantage when he suggests Muslims who self-identify as feminists are “aiming to kill God.” He accuses them of making feminism “superior” to Islam when, in actuality, many Muslim feminists argue that feminist politics are foundational to Islam.

    If we were to take bell hooks’ definition of feminism, i.e. a movement that seeks to end sexist oppression, we can read Mohamad Tabbaa against Mohamad Tabbaa when he argues that Islam doesn’t need feminism to “save” it. This point suggests that the author believes Islam is sufficient enough to combat sexism and patriarchy, which is the same argument Muslim feminists make in regard to Islam. The author may also believe anti-racism and anti-classism are rooted in Islam, but does that mean we should imply Islam doesn’t need anti-racist or anti-classist politics? I could understand his point if he is critiquing mainstream western non-Muslim feminist groups like the Feminist Majority Foundation, who claim that Afghan women must be “liberated” through US war and military occupation, but the author makes no such distinction. On the contrary, he presents an ultimatum for Muslims – either they conform to his interpretation of Islam or they side with the white man. How insulting is that to the Muslims who challenge white supremacy, patriarchy, and other structures of violence?

    When the author criticizes Muslims who believe Islam is open to interpretation, I can’t help but wonder what his views are on spiritual diversity within Islam. Twelver Shias, Ismailis, Ahmadis, and other non-Sunni Muslims have different interpretations of the Qur’an, so are they not “authentic” according to the author? Also, the argument that diverse interpretations means Osama bin Laden’s interpretation of Islam is “equally valid” is absurd. The author is playing into simplistic logic that suggests domestic violence murders (stop calling them “honor killings”), female infanticide, and atrocious acts of violence are motivated solely by religious interpretations. There are many other contributing factors that lead to such outcomes, including misogyny, patriarchy, poverty, imperialism, colonial occupation, etc.

    Lastly, I’m also disappointed that nothing was said here about male privilege and the active role men need to play in recognizing their responsibilities and complicities in patriarchy. If you argue that your generalized understanding of feminism “aims to kill God,” then what is to be said about the Muslim women who self-identify as feminists and fight both personal and state violence? Arguing that “feminism is not Islam” merely erases the work that Muslim feminists have and are doing to challenge sexism, racism, imperialism, sexual violence, and other forms oppression.

    Disappointed

    December 19, 2011 at 7:50 pm

  13. Concept of God in Major Religions (A brief introduction from Various Holy Books as opposed to its followers’ opinions):

    Hinduism: Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires worship dummy gods: Bhugwad Geeta Chapter 7 Verse 20
    Ekam Evaditiyum (meaning God is only One without a second) Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:1
    Na Tasya Pratima Asti ( meaning There is no Image or Idol of Him: Yajurved 32:31
    Ma Chiddanyadvi Shansata ( “O friends do not Worship anybody but Him, the Devine One”) Rigveda Book 8:1:1

    Christianity: God is not a man nor a son of man. Numbers 23:19…and this is life eternal, that they might know Thee The ‘Only One’ True God, and Jesus Christ, which Thou has sent: Bible, John 17:3…Jesus of Nazareth-a man approved of God: Mathew 5:17-20..and Jesus merely repeated what Moses had said: “Shama Israelo Adonai Hayno Adna Ikhad – Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is One God: Mark 12:29.

    Sikhism: There exists but One God, Who is called the Creator, free from fear and hate, immortal not begotten, Self Existent, Great and Compassionate: Sri Guru Granth Sahib Vol: 1 Japuji the first verse. He is also called: ‘Wahe Guru’-The One True God, Rahim, Karim

    Judaism: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, is One. Deuteronomy 6:4-9. I am the Lord; & besides Me there is no saviour: Isaiah 43:11.Thou shalt have none other gods before me. thou shalt not make thee any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in the heaven above or that is in the earth beneath or that is in the water beneath the earth. Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor serve them; for I, thy God, am a jealous God: Deuteronomy: 5:7-9 & Exodus: 20:3-5

    Zoroastrianism (Parsiism): The Greatest: Yasna, 31:7, Beneficent-Hudai: Yasna:33:11 & 48:3 Bountiful-Spenta: Yasna: 43:4, Davasatir, Ahura Mazda: (1) He is One (2) nothing resembles Him (3) He is without an origin or end (4) He has no father or mother, wife or son…

    Islam: “Say: He is Allah, The One and Only, Allah, The Eternal , He begets not, nor is He begotten, And There is nothing like unto Him.” Glorious Qur’an: 112:4 …”If there were, in the heavens and the earth, other gods besides Allah, there would have been confusion in both! But Glory be to Allah, the Lord of the Throne: (High is He) above what they attribute to Him!” Al-Quran 21:22

    Conclusion: Ultimately all major religions believe in existence of One God, but due to through the passage of time most of the religious scriptures have been distorted & changed by people for their own benefits. The creed of many religions has thus been distorted from monotheism to pantheism or polytheism due to distortion & corrupting the message of (along with belief) “ worship One God Alone!
    Furthermore, We can also conclude from Buddhist scriptures that Buddha never claimed divinity either but people seem to love to worship the creation than the Creator…The Glorious Qur’an urges Muslims to preach but not force their religion on anybody: “Say: O people of the Book! Come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah (One God Alone); That we associate no partners with Him; That we raise not among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah! If they turn back, say; “you bear witness that we are Muslims (meaning we Bow to the Will of Allah)': Qur’an 3:64

    Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in Various Religious Scriptures (amongst many only a few have been selected)

    Hinduism: Atharvaveda Bhavishya Purana Prati Sarag Parv III Khand 3 Adhay 3 Shloka 5 to 8 (&10 to 27. “A malecha (belonging to a foreign country and speaking a foreign language) spiritual teacher will appear with his companions. His name will be Mohammad. Raja (Bhoj) after giving this Maha Dev Arab (of angelic disposition) a bath in the Panchgavya & Ganga water (i.e. purifying him of all sins) offered him the present of his sincere devotion and showing him all reverence said, “I make obedience to thee. O ye! The pride of mankind, the dweller in Arabia, Ye have collected a great force to kill the Devil and you yourself have been protected from the malecha opponents.”

    Sikhism: Page 14 Bhai Bhala’s Janam sakhi: Baba Guru Nanak preached: ” Pekh padho Kalama rab da Mohammad nal milay. Ho ya mashuk-e-khuda yeda hoya Yallah” (Translation: ” O pious people: Recite the kalma of the Creator adding to it the name Mohammad. Who is beloved by God by dedication of his very self to Allah”

    Christianity: Glorious Qur’an 7 verse 157: “Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered Prophet. Bible Book of Isaiah chapter 29 verse 12: “And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, and he saith, I am not learned. ” When Archangel Gabriel commanded Muhammad by saying Iqra -“Read”, he replied, “I am not learned” Quranic Surah Al-‘Alaq (Read/Recite/Proclaim!) 96..John 16: 12-13: I (Jesus) have many things to say unto you, but ye can not bear them now howbeit when he, the spirit of Truth come he will guide you into all Truth, for he shall not speak of himself, but all that he hear that shall he speak, and he will show you things to come”.

    Buddhism: Chakkavatti Sinhnad Suttanta D. III, 76: “There will arise in the world a Buddha named Maitreya ( benevolent one, an enlightened one, endowed with wisdom in conduct, auspicious:” What he has realised by the knowledge he will publish to this universe. He will preach his religion, glorious in its origin, glorious at its climax, glorious at the goal, in the spirit and the letter. He will proclaim a religious life, wholly perfect and thoroughly pure; even as I now preach my religion and a like life do proclaim. He will keep up the society of monks numbering many thousands, even as now I keep up a society of monks numbering many hundreds” Gospel of Buddha Carus pg. 217…

    Zoroastrianism/Parsiism: Zend Avesta Farvardin Yasht chapter 28 verse 129 (Sacred Books of the East, volume 23, Zend Avesta Part II pg. 220): “Whose name will be the Victorious, Soeshyant and whose name will be Astvat-ereta. He will be Soeshyant (The Beneficent one) because he will benefit the whole bodily world. He will be Astvat-ereta (he who makes the people, bodily creatures rise up) This Prophecy applies to no other person more perfectly than to Muhammad (pbuh): The Prophet was not only victorious at Fatah Makkah but was also merciful when he let go the blood thirsty opponents by saying: “There shall be no reproof against you this day”.Soeshyant means the ‘praised one’ (refer Hasting’s Encyclopedia), which translated in Arabic means Muhammad (pbuh). & in Zamyad Yasht 16 : 95

    Judaism: Almighty God speaks to Moses in Book of Deuteronomy chapter 18 verse 18: “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and I will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” Book of Deuteronomy chapter 18:19 “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not harken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” Muhammad (pbuh) is prophesied in the Book of Isaiah. Song of Solomon Page 1155:Chapter V, Verse 16: Hikko mamittakim we kullo ‘Mohammadim’, zehdoodeh wa zehraee bayna Jarusalem” This Hebrew text has been translated as “His mouth is most sweet, yea: he is altogether lovely (in actual fact it’s Mohammad). This is my beloved, and this is my Friend, O daughters of Jerusalem”

    NB: More similarities include; Hinduism & Christianity religious scriptures prescribes veil for females to cover their head & to wear modest clothing (loose-fit & not see through nor half sleeves) “RigVeda:8 Hymn:33 V19 & more & I Timothy 2:9, I Corinthians 11:3-10, Mathew 2:28 (Islam: (Sahih Muslim 2128, Sharh of Nawawi 1603).>Christianity: Jesus was circumcised Luke 2:21, Jesus had a beard. He (Jesus) fell on his face & prostrated to his Lord; Mathew; 16:39 (like Muslims do 5 times a day: as 5 times prayer is the only main thing that keeps one Muslim (Sahih Muslim 1/146) & the texts prohibits magic/horoscopes, alcohol & pork. & Hindu’s are allowed to eat non-veg; Mahabharata; Anushashan Parva CH.88, Manusmriti: CH:5 V 30 & should put 8 parts of bodies on the ground (‘shashtang’) (like Muslims do 5 times a day) Things should be practical i.e. one who claims to love God but does not follow His apostles’ claims are flawed & as illogical as one who works in a company but never plays a role in any task, will the boss keep him or kick him out of the job for just sitting around & no intention to work there? We are Not being ordered by God to worship Prophet Mohammad, Jesus, Moses, (peace be upon them), any saints or any other beings but God Alone, none besides God & none along with God, direct without intermediaries but via teachings of His Last Prophet & Final Messenger Mohammad (pbuh) thus it’s only logical that we should choose to beseech God instead of His creation & worship according to His Devine Wisdom, hence the word ‘Islam’ meaning ‘submission to God’ & Muslim is ‘one who has submitted to God’)… One can embrace Islam easily simply by uttering the following words (preferable before 2 witnesses): there is but One God & that Mohammad is His Messenger. PS: Qur’an is unchanged Book of God wherein there is no doubt & Qur’an has no contradictions of any kind: “Do they not consider Qur’an with care, had it been from anyone besides God, there would have been many contradictions in it.” Surah An-Nisa 4:82. >>> PS: Qur’an challenges all humankind (with easy but stern challenge) to try produce just a chapter somewhat similar like unto Qur’an (“And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant (Prophet Mohammad), then produce one chapter somewhat like it (min mithlihi) and call on your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful. But if you cannot do it and for a surety/fact (challenge) you can NOT do it, then be prepared for the Fire (of Hell) whose fuel is men and stones it is prepared for the unbelievers!!” Qur’an 2:23-24 ..Qur’an is the Book of facts: “Say; the Truth has come and falsehood perished. For falsehood is by its nature bound to perish” 17:81 >>>For authentic Islamic literature please contact us on dawahgs@yahoo.co.uk Alternatively purchase a Qur’an, Sahih AlBukhari & Sahih Muslim. Thank you for your time & consideration…

    umer khan

    December 19, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    • I still dont understand your point of this and feminism. And FYI, there in nothing in our scriptures about clothing, its what came along during the middle ages. Our gods are depicted wearing minimal clothing. And the concept of idols began as nothing other than creative visualisation and art. We worship them because we can connect to god easier by assuming a form. As for the covering on heads, my great grandmother does that. My grandmother wears saris and salwars. My mother wears trousers and skirts. I wear party wear and short clothes. I dont live in the West, in fact, I live in India. What I am saying via the above lines is: As time changed, we changed. We adapted. Perhaps my daughter (if I have one) will wear bikinis on the road. I do not know, nor will I interfere.
      But you really must stick to the topic of the debate, because nobody claimed Islam was inferior for you to constantly defend it.

      Kiran

      November 16, 2013 at 11:56 am

  14. Why are my comments still awaiting moderation? I noticed a couple of other comments were approved after I submitted mine.

    Is a critique of this post (and the debate itself) not welcomed?

    Disappointed

    December 21, 2011 at 5:12 pm

  15. [...] a debate, with the resolution: Islam is Incompatible with Feminism.  Speaking for the motion was Mohamad Tabbaa, and opposing it was Katrina Daly Thompson. Not surprisingly, several MMW writers had something to [...]

  16. Thanks for the comments/feedback.

    I’ve submitted a follow-up article to clarify certain aspects of my argument which have been raised both here and elsewhere. I’m told it should be up soon, and hopefully it will clarify a few of the points made here (@Dissapointed, sorry I missed your comment earlier as it was flooded amongst the copy/paste articles, so I haven’t directly responded to it in the article. However, many of your questions were addressed in one form or another in the follow-up. I hope that helps.

    Thanks again for reading.

    Mohamad Tabbaa

    December 27, 2011 at 8:07 am

  17. [...] compute for me recently became profoundly clear when I noticed how glad I was to read a piece in favor of the motion that Islam is incompatible with feminism. Although reading responses to the piece (especially those at Muslimah Media Watch here and here) [...]

  18. [...] mosque – but a reader sent an e-mail requesting my thoughts on the recent Goatmilk debate: Islam is incompatible with Feminism, and I decided to throw my two cents [...]

  19. I had to click like although I’m an Atheist. A former Muslim.

    (And to those who believe me liking this post stems from some unconscious deep and dying Muslim inside me, please don’t. You’re only embarrassing yourself.)

    There are too many women, and men, so ultimately convinced that the narrow gender roles of Islam somehow make Allah a feminist and protector of rights, probably to cover up for the justice-free parts of Islam. “God made women and he knows what to do with them.” is poor and yet widely used all under the radical thought-of notion that all men, women, and children are the same. Islam aims to move the masses through pretending to move the individual. Please excuse this coming out too harsh, but I have been on both sides. I once was a very devoted Muslim girl with all love and submission to men in my life to ensure the continuity of the next generations free from the evils of ultimate freedom and bad godless people who don’t support the “natural” (I thought) family system. I now became something else and evolving (remember, if something does not change, it’s practically dead).

    So yes, it’s a little pissy when a Muslim insists (while hovering above my neck invading my ear and brain) that God is the ultimate feminist. That he is so darn wonderful and that he has given me all the rights a woman could ever need. Rights such as being having a steady income (but at the price of being dependent and obedient to a male all my life) or being promised heaven (preferably through marriage and motherhood).

    Then they go to ramble on about how precious things (the female) should be covered, and that it’s only common sense to cover them, and how women were so darn oppressed in pre-Islamic times. This they expect to impress me when it, instead, confuses me at the degrees of historical inaccuracy and general ignorance in the Islamic word (especially the Arab one).

    What’s also very amazing is religion’s great ability to merge with traditions and develop along their line with time because traditions seemed to mirror people’s needs at different era (such as when the majority moved to the city). The only way to survive the city, for example, without breaking the religious laws was through modifying them into something easier for the average person to both memorize and keep up with.

    It’s very obvious that religion is always after some part of your freedom. You even accept to give away a large portion of your (let’s say) word-wide recognized rights in order to please God. It is thus more than normal or even acceptable to give away a great portion of my feminist rights to please this God if I chose to. And so, it’s very normal for Islam to be anti-feminist in all ways, and that advertising it as feminist is just for publicity and gaining followers. Because no one just advertises something the way it is. You have to make it glitter or it will never sell.

    So, instead of preaching freedom of rights and feminism in the eyes of Islam, people should simply accept the ideas of that God, or whoever writes and changes religion daily for the sake of the masses, no matter how biased, instead of trying to escape them. Because when you do try to escape them, you are changing Islam at a pace faster than it should and Muslims worldwide will find it very difficult to absorb all this change in a short amount of time. They may even reject it more aggressively because it is not currently needed in the Islamic world. Once it is needed, of course, Muslim “feminists” will find it easier to introduce feminism to Islam and even introduce it “into the Quran”.

    It is as the writer said, “This means that, while they have the potential to overlap at times, they cannot be coherently merged into one another without fundamentally compromising one or radically expanding the other.”

    I just wish Muslim women would try to cut down their human-rights-through-God propaganda/spam movement. That would bring an end to all of my headaches.

    fleurs du mal

    February 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    • Salaam sister: please watch these videos as i too was an athesit but now I am a Muslim: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMlk0th7Enw

      umer khan

      February 5, 2012 at 11:17 am

      • Many thanks. I might watch them when I have time but I also believe changing my belief may require an interactive process instead of a few videos by mainstream Sheikhs (it appears).

        fleurs du mal

        February 16, 2012 at 7:45 am

  20. [...] reply to this debate/article that is still awaiting [...]

  21. umer khan

    February 5, 2012 at 11:17 am

  22. Well I donot have than fancy college degree. But Western Feminism workship than Idol of Abortion as than god or goddress to whom they make than sacfice of the murder of unborn babies. Since 1973 over 53 million babies where sacifice to this idol of ABORTION. Abortion should only be allow to save the mother life, which is very rare. In many centers which are called Abortion Clinic so called doctor actority really cuilt priest and priestress carry out ritural acts which murber unborn babies to they god or goddress of ABORTION than it than woman change her mind at the last second they go ahead than murber the unborn baby anyway just to sprite ALLAH.

    Brian C. Hoff

    February 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm

  23. “So, where to from here? Well, Muslim feminists must now make the choice between the Islamic paradigm, which is centred around God, or the secularised modern theology, which is based almost exclusively around (white) men.”

    I think author did a good job in proving his/her version but in above sentence mentioning something (white) is racism which is definitely NOT a scholarly attitude.

    SAFI

    February 19, 2012 at 4:58 am

  24. sorry joining this debate late but have been thinking about it for some time. your points about using post modern tools to unpick a modernist text- hasn’t islam always acknowledged the divine hand works within contextual and historical constraints? And no one can presume to know the mind of God, but only approximate it? even aspects of text that can never be known but are eternal mysteries.
    I hate when muslim men decry any moves at removing real life injustice by devout and secular Muslim women as somehow colonialist western puppets divorced from any true traditional appreciation of islam. I want to be able be a full witness and not be beaten and not have my husband have sex with slaves because I just want to create a secular diluted islam to serve my modern sensibilities and destroy religion in the process. Very easy for a man to say! I think it ignores the very real battle Muslim women face when their sense of their own humanity and spirituality (fully appreciated in Islam) conflicts with crushing, narrow legal precepts always made neutral when they are imposed through a male/state lens.

    Sarah

    April 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm

  25. Salam, I’d like to (re)publish these articles by M. Tabbaa and K. Daly Thompson. Let me know whether it’s possible to publish them. Greetings from Germany.

    Nimet

    June 15, 2013 at 4:29 pm

  26. What the some amongst many Prominent non-Muslims said about Islam

    Bertrand;Russel “Our use of phrase ‘The Dark ages’ to cover the period from 699 to 1,000 marks our undue concentration on Western Europe…” “From India to Spain, the brilliant civilization of Islam flourished…” ‘History of Western Philosophy,’ London, 1948, p. 419

    Jared;Diamond Professor of Physiology at the UCLA School of Medicine; recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1998.

    “Medieval Islam was technologically advanced and open to innovation. It achieved far higher literacy rates than in contemporary Europe; it assimilated the legacy of classical Greek civilization to such a degree that many classical books are now known to us only through Arabic copies. It invented windmills, trigonometry, lateen sails and made major advances in metallurgy, mechanical and chemical engineering and irrigation methods. In the middle-ages the flow of technology was overwhelmingly from Islam to Europe rather from Europe to Islam. Only after the 1500’s did the net direction of flow begin to reverse.”[Guns, Germs, and Steel - The Fates of Human Societies, 1997, p. 253]

    Montgomery Watt

    “Islam is a religion that is essentially rationalistic in the widest sense of this term considered etymologically and historically. The definition of rationalism as a system that bases religious beliefs on principles furnished by the reason applies to it exactly…” W. Montgomery Watt, ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY TODAY, London, 1983, p. ix.
    “His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement – all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad.” Mohammad at Mecca, Oxford 1953, p. 52:
    James A. Michener February 3, 1907 – October 16, 1997) was an American author of more than 40 titles, the majority of which were sweeping family sagas, covering the lives of many generations in particular geographic locales and incorporating historical facts into the stories. ‘Islam: The Misunderstood Religion’ in Reader’s Digest (American Edition), May 1955, pp. 68-70:

    “Muhammad, the inspired man who founded Islam, was born about A.D. 570 into an Arabian tribe that worshipped idols. Orphaned at birth, he was always particularly solicitous of the poor and needy, the widow and the orphan, the slave and the downtrodden. At twenty he was already a successful businessman, and soon became director of camel caravans for a wealthy widow. When he reached twenty-five, his employer, recognizing his merit, proposed marriage. Even though she was fifteen years older, he married her, and as long as she lived, remained a devoted husband.
    “Like almost every major prophet before him, Muhammad fought shy of serving as the transmitter of God’s word, sensing his own inadequacy. But the angel commanded ‘Read’. So far as we know, Muhammad was unable to read or write, but he began to dictate those inspired words which would soon revolutionize a large segment of the earth: “There is one God.” “In all things Muhammad was profoundly practical. When his beloved son Ibrahim died, an eclipse occurred, and rumors of God’s personal condolence quickly arose. Whereupon Muhammad is said to have announced, ‘An eclipse is a phenomenon of nature. It is foolish to attribute such things to the death or birth of a human-being.’ “At Muhammad’s own death an attempt was made to deify him, but the man who was to become his administrative successor killed the hysteria with one of the noblest speeches in religious history: ‘If there are any among you who worshipped Muhammad, he is dead. But if it is God you worshipped, He lives forever.'”

    Dr Annie Besant
    (1847-1933) British theosophist and nationalist leader in India. President of the Indian National Congress in 1917.
    “I often think that woman is more free in Islam than in Christianity. Woman is more protected by Islam than by the faith which preaches Monogamy. In Al-Quran the law about woman is more just and liberal. It is only in the last twenty years that Christian England, has recognized the right of woman to property, while Islam has allowed this right from all times.” [The Life and Teachings of Muhammad, Madras, 1932, pp. 25, 26]

    Edward Gibbon “The greatest crimes, the greatest “sin” of Mohammed in the eyes of Christian West is that he did not allow himself to be slaughtered, to be “crucified” by his enemies. He only defended himself, his family and his followers; and finally vanquished his enemies. Mohammed’s success is the Christians’ gall of disappointment… He did not believe in any vicarious sacrifices for the sins of others.”

    The good sense of Muhammad despised the pomp of royalty. The Apostle of God submitted to the menial offices of the family; he kindled the fire; swept the floor; milked the ewes; and mended with his own hands his shoes and garments. Disdaining the penance and merit of a hermit, he observed without effort of vanity the abstemious diet of an Arab” (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 1823)

    Michael H. Hart
    Michael H. Hart of USA, compiled a ranking list of the 100 most influential persons in the history of the entire humanity, who authored book “The 100 most influential persons”, published in 1978 by Hart Publishing Company Inc. He ranked Prophet Muhammad, as the number one, at the top of his list. “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History” , New York: Hart Publishing Company, Inc. 1978, p. 33:

    “My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level.”

    Jewish Historians:
    Tolerance and Living under Islamic State:
    Among many, Uri Avnery, has praised Islamic state for its protecting the non Muslim minority. Even Zion Zohar writes in Sephardic & Mizrahi Jewry, New York, 2005, P. 8-9. “Thus, when Muslims crossed the straits of Gibraltar from North Africa in 711 CE and invaded the Iberian Peninsula, Jews welcomed them as liberators from Christian Persecution.”
    (As Qur’an says: “Permission (to defend) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them. Those who have been expelled from their homes without a just cause except that they say: Our Lord is Allah. And had there not been Allah’s repelling some people by others, certainly churches and synagogues and mosques in which Allah’s name is much remembered; would have been destroyed…” Quran 22:39-41)

    Washington Irving (1783 –1859)
    An American author, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle”, both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. His historical works include biographies of George Washington, Oliver Goldsmith and Muhammad, and several histories of 15th-century Spain dealing with subjects such as Christopher Columbus, the Moors, and the Alhambra. Irving served as the U.S. ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846.

    He was sober and abstemious in his diet and a rigorous observer of fasts. He indulged in no magnificence of apparel, the ostentation of a petty mind; neither was his simplicity in dress affected but a result of real disregard for distinction from so trivial a source.

    In his private dealings he was just. He treated friends and strangers, the rich and poor, the powerful and weak, with equity, and was beloved by the common people for the affability with which he received them, and listened to their complaints. In his private dealings he was just. He treated friends and strangers, the rich and poor, the powerful and weak, with equity, and was beloved by the common people for the affability with which he received them, and listened to their complaints. (‘Mahomet and His Successors)

    His military triumphs awakened no pride nor vain glory as they would have done had they been effected by selfish purposes. In the time of his greatest power he maintained the same simplicity of manner and appearance as in the days of his adversity. So far from affecting regal state, he was displeased if, on entering a room, any unusual testimonial of respect was shown to him. (‘Life of Muhammad,’ New York, 1920)

    Adam Smith

    The 18th Century founder of modern economics, whose picture is printed on the current UK £20 note, was exceedingly inspired by the Islamic method of governing. He proclaimed that:

    “…the empire of the Caliphs seems to have been the first state under which the world enjoyed that degree of tranquility which the cultivation of the sciences requires. It was under the protection of those generous and magnificent princes, that the ancient philosophy and astronomy of the Greeks were restored and established in the East; that tranquility, which their mild, just and religious government diffused over their vast empire, revived the curiosity of mankind, to inquire into the connecting principles of nature.” *

    * Adam Smith, ‘History of Astronomy’, The Essays of Adam Smith (London, 1869), p. 353
    George Bernard Shaw -The Genuine Islam Vol.No.8, 1936.

    “I believe if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring much needed peace and happiness.
    I have studied him – the man and in my opinion is far from being an anti–Christ. He must be called the Savior of Humanity.
    I have prophesied about the faith of Mohammad that it would be acceptable the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.”

    De Lacy O’Leary
    “Islam at the cross road” (Page 8):
    “History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.”

    Malcolm X

    [Regarding Hajj/Muslim Pilgrimage to Makkah] [he did become Muslim before death]
    “…During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass, and slept in the same bed (or on the same rug)–while praying to the same God–with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the actions in the deeds of the ‘white’ Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan, and Ghana….”

    Napoleon Bonaparte – Quoted in Christian Cherfils BONAPARTE ET ISLAM (PARIS 1914)

    “I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform regime based on the principles of Qur’an which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness.”

    M.K. Gandhi YOUNG INDIA, 1924
    “…I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and his own mission. These, and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every trouble.” YOUNG INDIA, 1924

    Lamartine – Histoire de la Turquie, Paris 1854, Vol II, pp. 276-77:
    “If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls… the forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was twofold, the unit of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words.
    “Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?”

    Thomas Caryle – Heros and Heros Worship

    “how one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades?”
    “…The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammed) are disgraceful to ourselves only…How one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades….A silent great soul, one of that who cannot but be earnest. He was to kindle the world; the world’s Maker had ordered so.”

    Rev. Bosworth Smith Mohammed and Mohammadanism, London 1874, p. 92:
    “He was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without Pope’s pretensions, Caesar without the legions of Caesar: without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue; if ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by the right divine, it was Mohammed, for he had all the power without its instruments and without its supports.”

    Lesley Hazleton: award-winning British-American writer of politics, religion, and history

    “…And where the Bible is addressed exclusively to men using the 2nd or 3rd person masculine, the Qur’an includes women, talking for instance of believing men, AND believing women, honourable men AND honourable women…”
    [(The references in Qur’an are 33:35, there are other similar verses such as Qur’an 3:195, Qur’an 4:124 and one Whole Chapter given to women as Honour which is Surah Al Nisa 4) [Chapter Women chapter 4 regarding Equal Rights ] [Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y2Or0LlO6g%5D

    Harvard University

    Quranic verse posted by the faculty of law, which described it as “one of the greatest expressions for justice in history”
    “O you who believe, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both.
    [the verse continues as follows “…So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever Acquainted, with what you do.”(Qur’an 4:135)

    Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
    Russian author, essayist & philosopher [who also] wrote the epic novel War and Peace (1865-69)
    “Muhammad has always been standing higher than the Christianity. He does not consider god as a human being and never makes himself equal to God. Muslims worship nothing except God and Muhammad is his Messenger. There is no any mystery and secret in it”

    Karl Marx [1818 –1883) A German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist
    “Muhammad was the man who rose with an iron will among people who worship idols. He invited them to monotheism and plant the immortality of psych in their souls. So not only he has to be included among the prominent men of the history, but also we have to confess by all of our hearts that he has been God’s prophet (Muhammad among Western Scholars, page 10).
    Professor Rama Krishna Rao

    A philosopher, psychologist, parapsychologist, researcher and administrator. (B.A. hons., philosophy 1953; M.A. hons., psychology 1955; Ph.D., 1962). He was a lecturer in the Departments of Philosophy and Psychology at Andhra University, Waltair, India from 1953-58 wrote in ‘Mohammed: The Prophet of Islam,’ 1989
    My problem to write this monograph is easier, because we are not generally fed now on that (distorted) kind of history and much time need not be spent on pointing out our misrepresentations of Islam. The theory of Islam and sword, for instance, is not heard now in any quarter worth the name. The principle of Islam that “there is no compulsion in religion” is well known. By the laws of war he could have justly avenged all the cruelties inflicted on him and his people. But what treatment did he accord to them? Mohammad’s heart flowed with affection and he declared, “This day, there is no REPROOF against you and you are all free.” “This day” he proclaimed, “I trample under my feet all distinctions between man and man, all hatred between man and man.” This was one of the chief objects why he permitted war in self defense, that is to unite human beings. And when once this object was achieved, even his worst enemies were pardoned. Even those who killed his beloved uncle, Hamazah, mangled his body, ripped it open, even chewed a piece of his liver. The Prophet of Islam had proclaimed that “Woman are twin halves of men. The rights of women are sacred. See that women maintained rights granted to them.” Even those who did not believe in his message were forced to say “O Mohammad, we do not call you a liar, but we deny him who has given you a book and inspired you with a message. Read the history of the early converts to Islam, and every heart would melt at the sight of the brutal treatment of innocent Muslim men and women. The Encyclopedia Britannica says that “Mohammad is the most successful of all Prophets and religious personalities”. Encyclopedia Britannica On
    Muhammad, The Prophet of Islam
    (Vol. 12)

    “…. A mass of detail in the early sources show that he was an honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were like-wise honest and upright men.”

    “…Muhammad is the most successful of all Prophets and religious personalities including Jesus and Moses.”

    Sir William Muir speaking about the holy Quran says that. “There is probably in the world no other book which has remained twelve centuries with so pure text.”

    Islam
    Islam, major world religion promulgated by the Prophet Muhammad in Arabia in the 7th century ce. The Arabic term islām, literally “surrender,” illuminates the fundamental religious idea of Islam—that the believer (called a Muslim, from the active particle of islām) accepts surrender to the will of Allah (in Arabic, Allāh: God). Allah is viewed as the sole God—creator, sustainer, and restorer of the world. The will of Allah, to which human beings must submit, is made known through the sacred scriptures, the Qurʾān (often spelled Koran in English), which Allah revealed to his messenger, Muhammad. In Islam Muhammad is considered the last of a series of prophets (including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Solomon, and Jesus), and his message simultaneously consummates and completes the “revelations” attributed to earlier prophets.

    Encyclopedia Britannica, 4th & 11th editions

    “Muhammed was the most successful of all religious personalities.”

    Roberto Maroni, Italian Minister
    “If the Virgin Mary appears wearing a veil on all her pictures, how can you ask me to sign on a Hijab Ban Law?”

    naz

    September 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm

  27. What the some amongst many Prominent non-Muslims said about Islam

    Bertrand;Russel “Our use of phrase ‘The Dark ages’ to cover the period from 699 to 1,000 marks our undue concentration on Western Europe…” “From India to Spain, the brilliant civilization of Islam flourished…” ‘History of Western Philosophy,’ London, 1948, p. 419

    Jared;Diamond Professor of Physiology at the UCLA School of Medicine; recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1998.

    “Medieval Islam was technologically advanced and open to innovation. It achieved far higher literacy rates than in contemporary Europe; it assimilated the legacy of classical Greek civilization to such a degree that many classical books are now known to us only through Arabic copies. It invented windmills, trigonometry, lateen sails and made major advances in metallurgy, mechanical and chemical engineering and irrigation methods. In the middle-ages the flow of technology was overwhelmingly from Islam to Europe rather from Europe to Islam. Only after the 1500’s did the net direction of flow begin to reverse.”[Guns, Germs, and Steel - The Fates of Human Societies, 1997, p. 253]

    Montgomery Watt

    “Islam is a religion that is essentially rationalistic in the widest sense of this term considered etymologically and historically. The definition of rationalism as a system that bases religious beliefs on principles furnished by the reason applies to it exactly…” W. Montgomery Watt, ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY TODAY, London, 1983, p. ix.
    “His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement – all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad.” Mohammad at Mecca, Oxford 1953, p. 52:
    James A. Michener February 3, 1907 – October 16, 1997) was an American author of more than 40 titles, the majority of which were sweeping family sagas, covering the lives of many generations in particular geographic locales and incorporating historical facts into the stories. ‘Islam: The Misunderstood Religion’ in Reader’s Digest (American Edition), May 1955, pp. 68-70:

    “Muhammad, the inspired man who founded Islam, was born about A.D. 570 into an Arabian tribe that worshipped idols. Orphaned at birth, he was always particularly solicitous of the poor and needy, the widow and the orphan, the slave and the downtrodden. At twenty he was already a successful businessman, and soon became director of camel caravans for a wealthy widow. When he reached twenty-five, his employer, recognizing his merit, proposed marriage. Even though she was fifteen years older, he married her, and as long as she lived, remained a devoted husband.
    “Like almost every major prophet before him, Muhammad fought shy of serving as the transmitter of God’s word, sensing his own inadequacy. But the angel commanded ‘Read’. So far as we know, Muhammad was unable to read or write, but he began to dictate those inspired words which would soon revolutionize a large segment of the earth: “There is one God.” “In all things Muhammad was profoundly practical. When his beloved son Ibrahim died, an eclipse occurred, and rumors of God’s personal condolence quickly arose. Whereupon Muhammad is said to have announced, ‘An eclipse is a phenomenon of nature. It is foolish to attribute such things to the death or birth of a human-being.’ “At Muhammad’s own death an attempt was made to deify him, but the man who was to become his administrative successor killed the hysteria with one of the noblest speeches in religious history: ‘If there are any among you who worshipped Muhammad, he is dead. But if it is God you worshipped, He lives forever.'”

    Dr Annie Besant
    (1847-1933) British theosophist and nationalist leader in India. President of the Indian National Congress in 1917.
    “I often think that woman is more free in Islam than in Christianity. Woman is more protected by Islam than by the faith which preaches Monogamy. In Al-Quran the law about woman is more just and liberal. It is only in the last twenty years that Christian England, has recognized the right of woman to property, while Islam has allowed this right from all times.” [The Life and Teachings of Muhammad, Madras, 1932, pp. 25, 26]

    Edward Gibbon “The greatest crimes, the greatest “sin” of Mohammed in the eyes of Christian West is that he did not allow himself to be slaughtered, to be “crucified” by his enemies. He only defended himself, his family and his followers; and finally vanquished his enemies. Mohammed’s success is the Christians’ gall of disappointment… He did not believe in any vicarious sacrifices for the sins of others.”

    The good sense of Muhammad despised the pomp of royalty. The Apostle of God submitted to the menial offices of the family; he kindled the fire; swept the floor; milked the ewes; and mended with his own hands his shoes and garments. Disdaining the penance and merit of a hermit, he observed without effort of vanity the abstemious diet of an Arab” (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 1823)

    Michael H. Hart
    Michael H. Hart of USA, compiled a ranking list of the 100 most influential persons in the history of the entire humanity, who authored book “The 100 most influential persons”, published in 1978 by Hart Publishing Company Inc. He ranked Prophet Muhammad, as the number one, at the top of his list. “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History” , New York: Hart Publishing Company, Inc. 1978, p. 33:

    “My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level.”

    Jewish Historians:
    Tolerance and Living under Islamic State:
    Among many, Uri Avnery, has praised Islamic state for its protecting the non Muslim minority. Even Zion Zohar writes in Sephardic & Mizrahi Jewry, New York, 2005, P. 8-9. “Thus, when Muslims crossed the straits of Gibraltar from North Africa in 711 CE and invaded the Iberian Peninsula, Jews welcomed them as liberators from Christian Persecution.”
    (As Qur’an says: “Permission (to defend) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them. Those who have been expelled from their homes without a just cause except that they say: Our Lord is Allah. And had there not been Allah’s repelling some people by others, certainly churches and synagogues and mosques in which Allah’s name is much remembered; would have been destroyed…” Quran 22:39-41)

    Washington Irving (1783 –1859)
    An American author, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle”, both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. His historical works include biographies of George Washington, Oliver Goldsmith and Muhammad, and several histories of 15th-century Spain dealing with subjects such as Christopher Columbus, the Moors, and the Alhambra. Irving served as the U.S. ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846.

    He was sober and abstemious in his diet and a rigorous observer of fasts. He indulged in no magnificence of apparel, the ostentation of a petty mind; neither was his simplicity in dress affected but a result of real disregard for distinction from so trivial a source.

    In his private dealings he was just. He treated friends and strangers, the rich and poor, the powerful and weak, with equity, and was beloved by the common people for the affability with which he received them, and listened to their complaints. In his private dealings he was just. He treated friends and strangers, the rich and poor, the powerful and weak, with equity, and was beloved by the common people for the affability with which he received them, and listened to their complaints. (‘Mahomet and His Successors)

    His military triumphs awakened no pride nor vain glory as they would have done had they been effected by selfish purposes. In the time of his greatest power he maintained the same simplicity of manner and appearance as in the days of his adversity. So far from affecting regal state, he was displeased if, on entering a room, any unusual testimonial of respect was shown to him. (‘Life of Muhammad,’ New York, 1920)

    Adam Smith

    The 18th Century founder of modern economics, whose picture is printed on the current UK £20 note, was exceedingly inspired by the Islamic method of governing. He proclaimed that:

    “…the empire of the Caliphs seems to have been the first state under which the world enjoyed that degree of tranquility which the cultivation of the sciences requires. It was under the protection of those generous and magnificent princes, that the ancient philosophy and astronomy of the Greeks were restored and established in the East; that tranquility, which their mild, just and religious government diffused over their vast empire, revived the curiosity of mankind, to inquire into the connecting principles of nature.” *

    * Adam Smith, ‘History of Astronomy’, The Essays of Adam Smith (London, 1869), p. 353
    George Bernard Shaw -The Genuine Islam Vol.No.8, 1936.

    “I believe if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring much needed peace and happiness.
    I have studied him – the man and in my opinion is far from being an anti–Christ. He must be called the Savior of Humanity.
    I have prophesied about the faith of Mohammad that it would be acceptable the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.”

    De Lacy O’Leary
    “Islam at the cross road” (Page 8):
    “History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.”

    Malcolm X

    [Regarding Hajj/Muslim Pilgrimage to Makkah] [he did become Muslim before death]
    “…During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass, and slept in the same bed (or on the same rug)–while praying to the same God–with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the actions in the deeds of the ‘white’ Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan, and Ghana….”

    Napoleon Bonaparte – Quoted in Christian Cherfils BONAPARTE ET ISLAM (PARIS 1914)

    “I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform regime based on the principles of Qur’an which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness.”

    M.K. Gandhi YOUNG INDIA, 1924
    “…I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and his own mission. These, and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every trouble.” YOUNG INDIA, 1924

    Lamartine – Histoire de la Turquie, Paris 1854, Vol II, pp. 276-77:
    “If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls… the forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was twofold, the unit of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words.
    “Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?”

    Thomas Caryle – Heros and Heros Worship

    “how one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades?”
    “…The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammed) are disgraceful to ourselves only…How one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades….A silent great soul, one of that who cannot but be earnest. He was to kindle the world; the world’s Maker had ordered so.”

    Rev. Bosworth Smith Mohammed and Mohammadanism, London 1874, p. 92:
    “He was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without Pope’s pretensions, Caesar without the legions of Caesar: without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue; if ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by the right divine, it was Mohammed, for he had all the power without its instruments and without its supports.”

    Lesley Hazleton: award-winning British-American writer of politics, religion, and history

    “…And where the Bible is addressed exclusively to men using the 2nd or 3rd person masculine, the Qur’an includes women, talking for instance of believing men, AND believing women, honourable men AND honourable women…”
    [(The references in Qur’an are 33:35, there are other similar verses such as Qur’an 3:195, Qur’an 4:124 and one Whole Chapter given to women as Honour which is Surah Al Nisa 4) [Chapter Women chapter 4 regarding Equal Rights ] [Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y2Or0LlO6g%5D

    Harvard University

    Quranic verse posted by the faculty of law, which described it as “one of the greatest expressions for justice in history”
    “O you who believe, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both.
    [the verse continues as follows “…So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever Acquainted, with what you do.”(Qur’an 4:135)

    Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
    Russian author, essayist & philosopher [who also] wrote the epic novel War and Peace (1865-69)
    “Muhammad has always been standing higher than the Christianity. He does not consider god as a human being and never makes himself equal to God. Muslims worship nothing except God and Muhammad is his Messenger. There is no any mystery and secret in it”

    Karl Marx [1818 –1883) A German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist
    “Muhammad was the man who rose with an iron will among people who worship idols. He invited them to monotheism and plant the immortality of psych in their souls. So not only he has to be included among the prominent men of the history, but also we have to confess by all of our hearts that he has been God’s prophet (Muhammad among Western Scholars, page 10).
    Professor Rama Krishna Rao

    A philosopher, psychologist, parapsychologist, researcher and administrator. (B.A. hons., philosophy 1953; M.A. hons., psychology 1955; Ph.D., 1962). He was a lecturer in the Departments of Philosophy and Psychology at Andhra University, Waltair, India from 1953-58 wrote in ‘Mohammed: The Prophet of Islam,’ 1989
    My problem to write this monograph is easier, because we are not generally fed now on that (distorted) kind of history and much time need not be spent on pointing out our misrepresentations of Islam. The theory of Islam and sword, for instance, is not heard now in any quarter worth the name. The principle of Islam that “there is no compulsion in religion” is well known. By the laws of war he could have justly avenged all the cruelties inflicted on him and his people. But what treatment did he accord to them? Mohammad’s heart flowed with affection and he declared, “This day, there is no REPROOF against you and you are all free.” “This day” he proclaimed, “I trample under my feet all distinctions between man and man, all hatred between man and man.” This was one of the chief objects why he permitted war in self defense, that is to unite human beings. And when once this object was achieved, even his worst enemies were pardoned. Even those who killed his beloved uncle, Hamazah, mangled his body, ripped it open, even chewed a piece of his liver. The Prophet of Islam had proclaimed that “Woman are twin halves of men. The rights of women are sacred. See that women maintained rights granted to them.” Even those who did not believe in his message were forced to say “O Mohammad, we do not call you a liar, but we deny him who has given you a book and inspired you with a message. Read the history of the early converts to Islam, and every heart would melt at the sight of the brutal treatment of innocent Muslim men and women. The Encyclopedia Britannica says that “Mohammad is the most successful of all Prophets and religious personalities”. Encyclopedia Britannica On
    Muhammad, The Prophet of Islam
    (Vol. 12)

    “…. A mass of detail in the early sources show that he was an honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were like-wise honest and upright men.”

    “…Muhammad is the most successful of all Prophets and religious personalities including Jesus and Moses.”

    Sir William Muir speaking about the holy Quran says that. “There is probably in the world no other book which has remained twelve centuries with so pure text.”

    Islam
    Islam, major world religion promulgated by the Prophet Muhammad in Arabia in the 7th century ce. The Arabic term islām, literally “surrender,” illuminates the fundamental religious idea of Islam—that the believer (called a Muslim, from the active particle of islām) accepts surrender to the will of Allah (in Arabic, Allāh: God). Allah is viewed as the sole God—creator, sustainer, and restorer of the world. The will of Allah, to which human beings must submit, is made known through the sacred scriptures, the Qurʾān (often spelled Koran in English), which Allah revealed to his messenger, Muhammad. In Islam Muhammad is considered the last of a series of prophets (including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Solomon, and Jesus), and his message simultaneously consummates and completes the “revelations” attributed to earlier prophets.

    Encyclopedia Britannica, 4th & 11th editions

    “Muhammed was the most successful of all religious personalities.”

    Roberto Maroni, Italian Minister
    “If the Virgin Mary appears wearing a veil on all her pictures, how can you ask me to sign on a Hijab Ban Law?”

    daeeillah

    September 18, 2013 at 4:50 pm


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