‘Islam or Atheism – Which is More Rational?’ was the title of a recent debate that took place at University College of London. It may as well have been titled ’7th century Arabian goat herder myths or a rational scientific approach – which makes more sense? In any case, the debate pitted well-known US atheist Prof. Lawrence Krauss against a little known UK-based Muslim called Hamza Tzortszis and was organised by a group calling itself IERA.
Upon digging a little deeper, I found that IERA, far from being moderate or even traditional Muslims, are actually a group of Islamist extremists with strong Wahabi influences that routinely intimidate and attack moderate Muslims whilst towing the Saudi-Wahabi line. Their speakers promote sexism, anti-semitism, wife-beating, apostate-killing and a whole range of other unsavoury things. It therefore, came as no surprise that the event was segregated, the so-called moderator was a member of IERA and the hand picked audience was 90% Muslim. The security guards were also IERA affiliated and did their level best to intimidate atheist guests.
In recent debates between Muslim preachers and atheist activists, the issue of absolute morality or moral absolutism has been frequently and enthusiastically raised. This seems to be the believers new trump card since no-one is buying the scientific miracles in the Qur’an humbug any more.
The argument goes along these lines. If one does not follow religion, how can one know right from wrong? What guides one’s morality or prevents one from killing, stealing or having sex with their mother? Surely morality without the divine, being subject to human whims, interests and desires, will fluctuate over time depending on social norms and trends? Thus, it is not really morality at all.
In contrast the morality provided to believers from God, as expressed in scripture, is absolute and eternal since it comes from the creator.
Have difficulty in trying to see why religion gets a bad reputation amongst some people? No problem, just see the crimes done in the so called sacred name of it and see the justifications made by many for those crimes as well as the condition of the majority of its adherents to know how limiting it actually is to the lives of many. Of course, you can say that it’s their life and happiness is the primary goal but doesn’t that mean that people should be more educated in their own religion? What about the social mobility through education that many say has considerable significance? But it seems those questions aren’t very important. Apparently it’s too much to ask them to partake in such a task, some may not be up to it as I’m advised but I also have to consider the idea how intuitive it is as well as how important it is in changing our viewpoint.
An honest and thoughtful explanation of the results of a great deal of soul-searching by one ex-Muslim.
This is a brief unscripted video summarizing the reasons why i left Islam and became an atheist. The last part of the video got cut off because my video editing software was not working properly. My upcoming video will be criticisms of Islam. Subscribe to my channel for more criticisms of religion.
Al-Jaʿd ibn Dirham, tutor to the Umayyad Caliph Marwan, said “The Qur’an’s eloquence is not a miracle and people can do the like of it and better.”(1)
The Mu’tazilite scholar Abu Musa said “People are able to produce the like of the Qurʾān as regards eloquence, and composition and rhetorical beauty.”(2)
The 11th century Sunni scholar Abu al-Qushairy said: “We do not claim that everything in the Qurʾān is in the highest rank of eloquence.”(3)
Ibn al-Rawandi (former Mu’tazilite scholar) (d. 910 ad) said “Indeed the Qurʾān is not the speech of a wise god. In it are contradictions and mistakes and passages that are in the realms of the absurd.”(4)
1. Mustafa Sadiq al-Rafiì, “The Miraculous Nature of the Qurʾān and the Prophetic Rhetoric.” Page 160.
2. Al-Baghdadi, “The Difference Between the Groups” Page 164–165; and al-Shahrastani, “The Book of Sects and Creeds”, 1/68–69.
On facebook, increasing numbers of young Muslims are turning away from Islam, says this report:
A handful of Pakistani Muslim youths are beginning to question the existence of God and in the process giving up Islam to become atheists.
Still a small number, the trend seems to be telling of pressures that the image of militant Islam has had on them. A Facebook group has been floated for Pakistan’s agnostics and atheists by Hazrat NaKhuda, a former Pakistani Muslim.
At last count, the group had over a 100 members. In a thread started on the discussion board on “How did you become an atheist”, Hazrat writes, “I used to be a practicing Muslim. I used to live in Saudi Arabia. I have done two Hajs and countless Umrahs. Used to pray five times a day. When I turned 17-18, I realized that the only reason I was a Muslim was because my parents were Muslims”.