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Rebuttal to James Arlandson

"Top ten reasons why sharia is bad for all societies"

By

Bassam Zawadi

 

 

 

Introduction

This article is in response to James Arlandson’s article “Top ten reasons why sharia is bad for all societies”, which can be accessed here http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Arlandson/top_ten_sharia.htm.

As you will see, most of the responses are not of my own. I quote and offer links to other websites that already have addressed the issues at hand. Most of these charges have already been answered already. I just want to thank James for giving us a comprehensive article filled with anti Islamic charges so that I would be able to provide a comprehensive rebuttal to all those charges.

A lot of the arguments posed could actually be used with greater force against the bible, however he keeps sliding away from these arguments by saying that Jesus abolished the Old Testament laws. Something that he did not do (Mark 7:6-13, 10:10-12, Matthew 15:3-8, Luke 5:14, 35)

Lets begin..

 

James said:

10. Islam commands that drinkers and gamblers should be whipped.

In 2001, Iranian officials sentenced three men to flogging not only for illicit sex (see reason no. nine), but also for drinking alcohol.

In 2005, in Nigeria a sharia court ordered that a drinker should be caned eighty strokes.

In 2005, in the Indonesian province of Aceh, fifteen men were caned in front of the mosque for gambling. This was done publicly so all could see and fear. Eleven others are scheduled to undergo the same penalty for gambling.

After going through two previous confusing stages before coming down hard on drinkers and gamblers, the Quran finally prohibits alcohol and gambling in Sura 5:90-91; they do not prescribe the punishment of flogging, but the hadith does. This poor "criminal" was brought to Muhammad who became angry: The Prophet felt it hard (was angry) and ordered all those who were present in the house, to beat him [the drinker dragged into Muhammad’s presence]. (Bukhari, Punishments, nos. 6774-6775)

 

My Response:

James puts the word criminal in quotation marks in order to sarcastically show that the person did not commit such a huge crime. Well he did, because he broke the law of God (no drinking and gambling allowed) and the law of the Islamic state, which clearly prohibited the consumption of alcohol and gambling. Where did the men get the alcohol?  They must have illegally made it.

Now instead of throwing the man in jail just like what was done during the time of Prohibition (http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-157.html), which actually doesn’t help, the man was beaten. He was also beaten while he was in the state of drunkenness and probably did not feel that much pain. But he surely deserved such a punishment. This method proved to be a successful method of alcohol prohibition.

Taken from http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/nc/nc2a.htm

Notwithstanding the various patterns of regulation, Senator Arthur Capper's words of the 1930's still seem to be correct:

We can repeal prohibition, but we cannot repeal the liquor problem (Peterson, 1969: 126).

Only Islam can.

It is surprising that we do not see any condemnation of gambling anywhere in the bible, despite it’s horrible effects  http://www.tuh.com.au/content/index.cfm?id=107

Consumption of alcohol has its harmful effects on society and is not a joke as some people might think http://www.ccri.edu/advising/health_and_wellness/alcohol.htm.

Alcohol and gambling can have harmful effects on the society, therefore it is a crime punishable by the Islamic society it self.

 

James said:

Thus, we see no offer of help for the alcoholic, when he is dragged before Muhammad and his followers. Why does Muhammad not offer rehabilitation? Why does he always seem to go immediately to corporal punishment?

The later classical legal rulings follow the Quran and the hadith, so we do not need to examine them here.

It is sometimes argued that Islamic countries are pure, whereas the West is decadent. No one can argue with this latter claim, but are Islamic countries pure? The Supplemental Material, below, demonstrates that Islamic countries still have drinking and gambling in them.

 

My Response

As Christians and Muslims and probably even every human being alike knows, every man is born and inclined to sin. No matter what laws are ever instituted, there will always be people to break it. Muslims are not saying that when Islamic law is implemented there will be zero crime. No, there will always be crime when the devil is around whispering into people’s ears to sin. However, when Islamic law is applied, crime drops significantly as to when compared with the other man made laws.

Taken from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2003/23829.htm

Reports from South Sulawesi indicated that crime rates did, in fact, drop sharply following the introduction of stricter Islamic practices. However, there was energetic opposition to the new policies. Some legal experts warned that the regulations contradict the country's Constitution, while some residents, both Muslims and non-Muslims, complained that the Government was meddling in citizens' private lives.

Of course there would be people complaining because they believed in their country’s constitution. But notice that the crime rates did drop and at the end of the day that is all that matters.

He asks why Muhammad did not offer any rehabilitation. First rehabilitation does not always work and it takes a long time to be effective in order for it to work anyway (http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/about/f/faq6.htm). But the Islamic ruling results in quicker and more effective results.

 

James said:

Here is the article that supports this tenth point and that analyzes the confusing Quranic verses on drinking and gambling. It also analyzes the hadith and later legal rulings.

 

My Response

 

I read the article http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Arlandson/drinking.htm and will only respond to what I find worth responding to.  What is in black font is what James wrote and in red font is my response.

 

First Prohibition (of sorts): yes and no

Maududi says that most of Sura 2 was revealed shortly after Muhammad’s Hijrah (Emigration from Mecca to Medina) in AD 622. The following verse in Sura 2 shows that Muhammad partially or confusedly permitted or condemned drinking and gambling at that time (Maududi, vol. 1, p. 161, note 235).

2:219 They ask you [Prophet] about intoxicants and gambling: say, "There is great sin in both, and some benefit for people: the sin is greater than the benefit." They ask you what they should give: say, "Give what you can spare."

In no way is this verse a clear and uncompromising edict on the two personal practices of drinking alcohol and gambling. (Islam teaches that all intoxicants are criminal; cf. Bukhari, Drinks, vol. 7, nos. 5579-5589; Muslim no. 7186.) It seems contradictory to call the two acts mostly sinful but partially beneficial. It may be argued that alcohol is sinful in its morality, but beneficial in its health for the body (e.g. helping digestion). However, Allah will later prohibit it completely, so either it is sinful morally regardless of the year on the Muslim calendar, or it is not.

There is nothing contradictory. James answered the question himself. God is saying that there are benefits to it (like you said, eg. Helping digestion), however the evil is greater. Alcohol is not the only solution to better digestion. http://www.apothecaryshop.co.uk/solgar/solgar-natural-help-for-digestion.htm

 

People even argue that marijuana has benefits http://www.benefitsofmarijuana.com/benefits.html but that in no way justifies smoking it.

 

Allah says that there are benefits so that people would not go ahead and say “its okay to drink, because it has benefits”. God knew there would be people who say that. So God is simply saying that the harm is more than the good. Its like me saying “yes smoking does relieve stress, however don’t smoke because it can cause lung cancer”. There is no contradiction, as a matter of fact it is only the wisdom of the quran so that people can better comprehend that alcohol is indeed harmful to us and we have no excuse for drinking it.

 

Second Prohibition: only during prayer

According to the historical evidence and the content of Sura 4, Maududi says that the sura was revealed between the timeframe of AD 625 and 627, because various verses indicate different events. For example, vv. 1-28 speak of the Battle of Uhud in AD 625. Verse 102 indicates a military expedition in AD 626 during which Muhammad taught his Muslims how to pray while out on campaign. Verse 43 takes place during another military expedition in AD 627 when he taught his holy military warriors how to perform ablutions (washings) with pure dust if water was not available.

Maududi speculates that the target verse 43 came at the chronological beginning of the entire sura and therefore early in AD 625 because many Muslims showed up intoxicated for public prayers "and made blunders in their recitations" of Quranic passages. So Muhammad had to correct the problem. However, some hadith passages (the hadith is the reports of Muhammad’s words and actions outside of the Quran) say that some Muslim warriors showed up at the Battle of Uhud intoxicated and died, but this was before Allah had prohibited it, so they were not held responsible (Sura 5:93; see Bukhari, Oppressions, vol. 3, no 2463; Jihad, vol. 4, no. 2815; Commentary, vol. 6, nos. 4618, 4620).

Regardless of the exact timeframe, for our purposes all we need to know is that Sura 4 was revealed between Sura 2 (see above) and Sura 5 (see below). Thus, Allah’s "eternal" revelations on the morality of drinking intoxicants are changing according to external circumstances.

Because the Muslims showed up intoxicated for public prayer, "they changed the timings of their drinking so as not to clash with the timings of their prayers," says Maududi (vol. 1, p. 337, note 65). So Muhammad prohibited drunkenness only during prayers. This means that Muslims were permitted to drink some alcohol in between the times of prayers, though the number of prayers per day would limit drunkenness. However, this further means that after the nighttime prayer, the final one, Muslims could even get drunk. How were the early Muslims supposed to sort this out? Was alcoholism so bad in the Muslim community that Muhammad had to tell them to stay away from prayers, but not prohibit alcohol? It is one thing if he had told them not to show up for prayers drunk, and then to allow them mild drinking without intoxication. (After all, the Bible distinguishes between mild use of alcohol and drunkenness, as we will see, below.) But he already said in Sura 2:219 that intoxicants have sin in them. Also, Sura 5:90-91 will prohibit intoxicants completely. It is quite odd that in this confused state of affairs Muhammad did not completely and absolutely prohibit intoxication at this time, when the Muslim community needed it most. Quranic revelation on this matter falls short. How is this guidance?

Prohibiting alcohol (and gambling) is a religion’s prerogative, so we should not quibble too much over this. The real issue is how Muhammad and his early companions dealt with drunkenness—excessively, as the sections on the hadith and classical legal rulings show us.

 

James erroneously assumes that Allah is changing his mind when it comes to the laws of drinking. You have to understand the wisdom behind the evolvement of the prohibition of drinking. Allah did not send down all the laws at one time. The Quran was sent down over a period of 23 years. In the first 13 years of Mecca, none of these laws were sent down. As a matter of fact, if you analyze the Meccan Surahs, they all talk about Tawheed, Shirk, Day of Judgment, and Hell, Heaven etc. This was done in order to first build up the faith of the believers. Then in Madina, the laws were sent down. This is to teach us that people change gradually and not just overnight.  This is the wisdom that Muslims even apply today. That if there is a sinner and wishes to turn back to God, he doesn’t conform to all the of laws and quit all the sins he does over night. His mind would eventually pop and lose hope of ever changing. But a person is to change gradually.

Drinking was a part of the lives of the people at that time and Allah in his divine wisdom had them quit gradually. This was Allah’s plan the whole time. But if Allah were to completely prohibit drinking all at once, it would have been very difficult for them to abide by that law immediately. This simply shows Allah’s mercy and consideration for his creation

In reply, however, the historical reality behind the words in Sura 5:90-91 contradicts Qutb’s reading of human nature. In this mid- or late Medinan sura, Allah has to remind the Muslims not to indulge in idols (Qutb’s translation of v. 90). This can only mean that some Muslims were engaged in idolatrous practices when this verse was sent down. Yet according to Qutb, the oneness of Allah and the evils of polytheism must be commanded at the first without compromise. Something is wrong here. This shows that human nature is slow to obey divine commands even in abstract matters like the oneness of Allah—especially in abstract matters. Then how much more are average humans slow to obey practical commands against drinking and gambling, which are "well-entrenched social habits" (vol. 1, p. 332)? Therefore, in the progressive revelations of Allah and his prophet and in Qutb’s defense of them, they misread human nature,

They were polytheists since the day they were born, you cannot just go up to a person and tell him that the religion he has been practicing all his life is wrong. Of course it takes time. Of course the oneness of God is first priority. They needed to change spiritually first before abiding to the more physical laws (such as not consuming alcohol) and they did. The reason God is sending down this verse as a reminder could be for several reasons. I will name 2.

1-      In order to reassure them that the idols they have been worshipping are false gods just incase they were beginning to miss worshipping them.

2-      Because of Islamic critics who keep claiming that Muhammad worshipped idols, therefore this is a clear-cut verse to shut those critics up.

Also, when the final revelation came down in Sura 5:90-91, Qutb reports on the miraculous results in these words:

All the Muslims stopped drinking. Once the command was given, all wine containers were emptied and broken throughout Madinah [Medina]. Indeed, those who were in the process of drinking did not swallow what was in their mouths when they were informed of the prohibition. It was, thus, a great triumph for the Qur’an and its approach. (vol. 3, p. 155).

Qutb writes further: "How did it all happen? How was this miracle, unparalleled in human history, achieved?" (vol. 3. p. 155; cf. vol. 4, pp. 247-50; see Bukhari, Sales, vol. 3, no. 2226, Oppressions, vol. 3, no. 2464; Drinks, vol. 7, nos. 5582-5583).

Thus, history demonstrates that the Quranic approach to human frailty is far better than Western (read: Christian) answers.

The reply to Qutb’s utopian description is not difficult. These last three defenses (the social, psychological and historical) of the Quran’s progressive revelations are contradicted by the brute facts. It may be true that some Muslims stopped drinking instantaneously after Sura 5:90-91 was sent down (though these reports seem exaggerated and counterfactual), but all of the Muslims? Indeed, the hadith and later classical legal rulings (the next two sections) demonstrate that the results were not always and exclusively positive. Muhammad had to whip alcohol drinkers, and so did the first generations of Muslims, that is, the companions of Muhammad, like Abu Bakr, Umar, and Ali. Later jurists then followed their example and decreed the penalty of whipping drunkards and even light social drinkers. Thus, Islam follows the less-than-ideal results in the US during Prohibition, after all.

Not some Muslims stopped as James said. Look at the quote that Qutb said, he said

All the Muslims stopped drinking. Once the command was given, all wine containers were emptied and broken throughout Madinah [Medina]. Indeed, those who were in the process of drinking did not swallow what was in their mouths when they were informed of the prohibition. It was, thus, a great triumph for the Qur’an and its approach. (vol. 3, p. 155).

Once the command was given all the Muslims stopped drinking. But James said that later on drinkers were being punished. Well Qutb didn’t say “All the Muslims stopped drinking forever

Yes, it is true that later on in the future Muslims did drink but Qutb was talking at the moment.

But only for sake of argument, lets say Qutb is wrong and James is right and that not everyone quit drinking. Like I said before, everyone sins. It is the human being that needs to change. However, Islam offers the best solution. That gradual change is better than any other rehabilitation programs out there http://www.soberforever.net/

One of the deficiencies in Islam is that a Muslim must pay for his own sins. Where does this end? How can he be assured of getting into heaven? Taking a trip to Mecca? What about all the Muslims who are unable to do this, especially before modern transportation? In Christianity, per contra, Jesus pays for the sins of his followers by his death on the cross. All they have to do is believe in him, and then they are on their way to heaven. However, it is one thing to make material restitution for one’s sins, say, in the case of theft (restitution is good), but it is quite another to "expiate" one’s sins by self-effort to ensure access to heaven.

You don’t understand how tempted I am to respond to this paragraph and actually show how ridiculous this statement is. Show me where in the Quran that says you can only attain salvation by going to Mecca! If you are referring to Hajj then it is only for those who are able to do so.

 

Surah 3:97

 

In it are clear signs, the standing place of Ibrahim, and whoever enters it shall be secure, and pilgrimage to the House is incumbent upon men for the sake of Allah, (upon) every one who is able to undertake the journey to it; and whoever disbelieves, then surely Allah is Self-sufficient, above any need of the worlds.

 

However, this will take us off topic.

 

All I wanted to do is show this verse from the bible and now we can move on.

 

Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin. (Bible, Deuteronomy 24:16, NIV)

Jesus offers to freely help all those who ask him. He does not flog sinners or the needy. Not even the Old Testament, which can impose harsh laws, commands physical punishment for drunkenness.

James does not like harsh Islamic laws but he is okay with the bible’s harsh laws. Ironic isn’t it? He is okay with people being executed for cursing their own parents (Leviticus 20:9). This is a law that Jesus reminded his followers of in Mark 7:10.

James does not have a problem with this law but he is not okay with Islamic rulings. It is truly ironic.

The Old Testament on alcohol is clear. It allows people to drink, but only in moderation. It condemns drunkenness. Gambling will be analyzed in the section "Application," below.

What do you mean by moderation? http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh23-1/05-14.pdf

Taken from http://mens-health.health-cares.net/moderate-drinking.php

·  They recommend the following people should not drink at all:

·  women who are pregnant or trying to conceive

·  people who plan to drive or engage in other activities that require attention or skill

·  people taking medication, including over-the-counter medications

·  recovering alcoholics

·  people under the age of 21.

Tell me, who is left to drink?

It has harmful effects as well http://www.athealth.com/Consumer/disorders/womenalcohol.html

Moderate drinkers most likely become heavy drinkers anyway so why the risk? Islam does not like to take risks. It ensures the safety of society. There is no necessity at all for drinking alcohol in any way and should be totally prohibited even if it takes force to do so (just like the fight on drugs).

Additionally a Christian can use the same argument. “Now if it is okay for me to drink but not get drunk, it is also okay for me to smoke marijuana and not get high”

Anyways throughout the rest of the article, James just posts hadith that shows that drinkers are being punished (by beating) and tries to show that this is cruel. I have just one response to that.

If someone has the guts and the nerve to break the commandment of God, to go against the law of the country and to influence and affect the society with that poison (alcohol) then he certainly deserves such a punishment and that punishment reduces alcohol consumption better than any other system.

Now to move on with the rest of his original article http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Arlandson/top_ten_sharia.htm

James said:

9. Islam allows husbands to hit their wives even if the husbands merely fear highhandedness in their wives.

In 2004, Rania al-Baz, who had been beaten by her husband, made her ordeal public to raise awareness about violence suffered by women in the home in Saudi Arabia.

My Response

Well these problems do not only exist in Saudi Arabia just incase James was trying to make that point. http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/7-24-2003-43341.asp?viewPage=2

James said:

Saudi television aired a talk show that discussed this issue. Scrolling three-fourths of the way down the link, the readers can see an Islamic scholar holding up sample rods that husbands may use to hit their wives.

My Response

Lets read what the scholar said,

On pages 86-87, Mustafa states: "The [wife-]beating must never be in exaggerated, blind anger, in order to avoid serious harm [to the woman]." He adds, "It is forbidden to beat her on the sensitive parts of her body, such as the face, breast, abdomen, and head. Instead, she should be beaten on the arms and legs," using a "rod that must not be stiff, but slim and lightweight so that no wounds, scars, or bruises are caused." Similarly, "[the blows] must not be hard." [1]

Mustafa noted in his book that the aim of the beating was to cause the woman to feel some emotional pain, without humiliating her or harming her physically. According to him, wife-beating must be the last resort to which the husband turns in punishing his wife, and is, according to the Qur'an, Chapter 4, Verse 34, the husband's third step when the wife is rebellious: First, he must reprimand her, without anger. Next, he must distance her from the conjugal bed. Only if these two methods fail should the husband turn to beating.

 

I couldn’t say it better myself. Unlike the bible, the Quran gives solutions on how to stop divorce. Unlike the high divorce rates in amongst Christians http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40E16FA3C5B0C778DDDA80994DC404482 that don’t have solutions on how not to reach to divorce, us Muslims have solutions.

James said:

The Quran says:

4:34 . . . If you fear highhandedness from your wives, remind them [of the teaching of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them. God is most high and great. (MAS Abdel Haleem, The Qur’an, Oxford UP, 2004)

My Response:

Lets look at the translation by Yusuf Ali.

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because God has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what God would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For God is Most High, great (above you all).

Notice the pattern, first admonish then leave them in bed then the beating. These all signify emotional punishments. Secondly, Islamic critics might be stubborn and want to take the literal word daraba as in beating physically. But lets not forget why God has sent Prophet Muhammad (Surah 16, verse 44) and Prophet Muhammad has made it clear what is meant by the word daraba in the verse.

 

James said:

The hadith says that Muslim women in the time of Muhammad were suffering from domestic violence in the context of confusing marriage laws:

Rifa'a divorced his wife whereupon 'AbdurRahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her. 'Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating). It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah's Apostle came, 'Aisha said, "I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!" (Bukhari)

My Response:

Again, the Muslims made mistakes. That does not mean that the Prophet approved of it. The Muslims at the time did sin. But as the scholar quoted from above said and as the Prophet said, no marks should be made. http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503544256

She had a green mark. That is forbidden.

Maybe the Prophet condemned him for that act later on in privacy. Just because the hadith does not show the Prophet condemning him, it does not mean that the Prophet approved of it.

James said:

This hadith shows Muhammad hitting his girl-bride, Aisha, daughter of Abu Bakr: Muslim no. 2127: "He [Muhammad] struck me [Aisha] on the chest which caused me pain."

My Response:

Looking at Imam Nawawi’s tafseer (explanation) of this hadeeth from http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Display.asp?Doc=1&Rec=2119

?( ?????? )
??? ???? ????? ?????? ??????? , ???? ( ?????? ) ?????? ???? ???????? . ??? ??? ????? : ???? ????? ?????? ????? ???????? ?? ???? , ????? : ???? ??? ???? ???? ??? ?? ???? , ????? ????? ???? ????? . ?

The explanation basically says that the Prophet either push her on her chest with an open hand or pushed her on her chest with a closed fist. HE DID NOT PUNCH HER, HE PUSHED HER with a closed fist. So it probably caused her a little pain. This is no way shows the Prophet to be a wife abuser.

http://muttaqun.com/abuse.html

 

James said:

It is claimed that Islamic societies have fewer incidents of fornication and adultery because of strict laws or customs, for example, women wearing veils over their faces or keeping separate from men in social settings.

My Response:

And it is true…

James said:

But these results of fewer incidents of sexual "crimes" may have unanticipated negative effects in other areas, such as the oppression of women. Generally, sharia restricts women’s social mobility and rights, the more closely sharia is followed. For example, in conservative Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to drive cars. In Iran, the law oppresses women. For instance, women’s testimony counts half that of men, and far more women than men are stoned to death for adultery.

My Response:

As for women not being allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. That is not an Islamic verdict but Saudi Arabia has its own reasons for not letting women drive (http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=64646&d=31&m=5&y=2005). The Prophet never prohibited women from riding camels or donkeys. You just quote one scholar. For god sake that scholar even thinks women are not allowed to show their face and hands when the Prophet has clearly permitted it http://www.muhajabah.com/niqabdalils.htm.

I am not here to defend Iran Law; I am here to defend Islamic Law. If Iran abuses or misinterprets Islamic Law then that is not Islam to blame. It is the Iranians themselves.

The women’s testimony is only during financial situations. http://www.drzakirnaik.com/pages/qanda/13.php

If more women are being punished for adultery then that simply means that more women are committing adultery than men. So what is the problem? Whose fault is that?

 

James said:

8. Islam allows an injured plaintiff to exact legal revenge—physical eye for physical eye.

In 2003, in Saudi Arabia a man had two teeth extracted under the law of retaliation.

In 2003, a court in Pakistan sentenced a man to be blinded by acid after he carried out a similar attack on his fiancée.

In 2005, an Iranian court orders a man’s eye to be removed for throwing acid on another man and blinding him in both eyes.

The Quran says:

5:45 And We ordained therein for them: Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth and wounds equal for equal. But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation. And whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers . . .). (Hilali and Khan, the Noble Qur’an, Riyadh: Darussalam, 1996)

This passage allows for an indemnity or compensation instead of imposing the literal punishment of eye for an eye. No one should have a quarrel with this option. According to the hadith, the plaintiff also has the option to forgive, and this is legitimate, provided a judge oversees the process. The problem is the literal law of retaliation.

The hadith and later legal rulings demonstrate that this excessive option was actually carried out, as do the three modern examples linked above.

Please go here for the supporting article that cites the hadith and later legal rulings.

Islamic law calls all of humanity to march backwards 1,400 years BC and to re-impose the old law of retaliation—literally, though the evidence suggests that the Torah never intended the law to be carried out literally, as the supporting article demonstrates. Muhammad’s understanding of the Torah was incomplete and confused.

My Response:

I recommend people to read http://www.answering-christianity.com/laws_of_murder.htm and http://www.shariah.net/

I looked at the article he is speaking of which could be found here http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Arlandson/retaliation.htm and decided to respond to only what I found needed to be responded to.

 

James said:

One of the oddest traditions, recorded multiple times, says that if someone damages an eye of a "Peeping Tom," no sin is accrued. Says the prophet: "If someone is peeping (looking secretly) into your house without your permission, and you throw a stone at him and destroy his eyes, there will be no sin on you." This rule is not surprising because Muhammad aimed an arrow at the head of "a Peeping Tom" in order to hit him. Muhammad also said to another gazer that if the prophet had been sure that "you were looking at me (through the door), I would have poked your eye with this (sharp iron bar)" (Ad Diyat, no. 6888; cf. nos. 6889, 6902; Asking Permission, vol. 8, nos. 6241 and 6242; Dress, vol. 7, no. 5924).

At first, this retaliation may seem deserving or even humorous, but analyzed more deeply, it is serious and disproportionate. Anyone whose mind has not been clouded by a lifetime of devotion to Islam must conclude that "destroying" an eye is not equal to looking into a house without permission. True, the violator should be punished, but excess is never just, and this punishment is excessive, not equal, as qisas implies. What does this vengeful violence and destruction say about Muhammad’s capacity to be rightly guided? One would expect more self-restraint from the Allah-inspired prophet, instead of nearly poking a man’s eye with sharp iron or with an arrow, though the man’s act was wrong. He should have been arrested and warned. If he had persisted, he should have spent some time in jail.

My Response:

Let me respond and rephrase what James said. ANYONE WHOSE MIND HAS NOT BEEN CLOUDED BY A LIFETIME OF DEVOTION TO CHRISTIANITY AND HATRED TO ISLAM MUST CONCLUDE THAT ISLAM IS THE TRUE RELIGION OF GOD AND THAT MODERN DAY CHRISTIANITY CAN NEVER BE.

How does James respond to the fact that millions of people have converted to Islam in the past century voluntarily? (http://www.drzakirnaik.com/pages/qanda/4.php) They haven’t been devoted to Islam all their lives. They know about the cutting of the hand law. They are okay with it. You know why? Because they don’t commit the same logical fallacy as you. That fallacy is that you reject something just because you don’t comprehend it. Regardless of it being the truth or not.

How can people justify God commanding the killing of women, children and animals? (1 Samuel 15:3).

Read http://www.evilbible.com/Evil%20Bible%20Quotes.htm

And section 2 at http://www.answering-christianity.com/ac12.htm

Anyways I am not here to attack the bible but it just amazes me when all these horrible things are found in the bible and not in Islam and yet Christians insist on attacking Islam. It is so ironic.

Again, people can say “well wouldn’t it have been better if this punishment was applied besides that harsh punishment” etc. Islam is very direct and strict when it comes to crime. If we were to be lenient, crime would climb to the roof.

Even Jesus said in Matthew 5:29-30

29If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

There are people that really apply this verse http://www.answering-christianity.com/slice_off_penis.htm.

James said:

Potentially, the law of retaliation is irreversible if it is wrongly applied. This is seen in the case of two men mistakenly accusing a man of theft, which is penalized by cutting off the hand. Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law and cousin, accepted the two men’s testimony and cut off the accused man’s hand. Afterwards, a fourth man stepped forward and showed that the now disfigured man did not commit the theft. Ali accepted his testimony, but it was too late. The man’s hand was already cut off. The punishment could not be reversed. Ali told the two accusers: "If I were of the opinion that you have intentionally given false witness, I would cut off your hands." This hadith is found in the context of the law of retaliation, which would have been like-for-like mutilation of the two accusers. But this second punishment would have been a mistake compounded on a mistake, even in a courtroom overseen by a competent judge. This is precisely why the law of retaliation should not even exist, not to mention this unjust punishment for theft. The actual imposing of the law is irreversible and therefore excessive (Ad-Diyat, no. 6895).

My Response:

Well you cannot blame Islamic Law; you have to blame the people that falsely accused the person. How many people have been wrongfully executed for crimes that they haven’t committed? Does that mean we abolish the death penalty?

Or does that mean it is the fault of the poor police investigation regarding the case?

James said:

In this section we focus on retaliation (qisas), not on blood-wit or indemnities (diya). First, the Shafi School is examined.

My Response:

Yes, James wants people to forget that Islam offers the other two options and only wants to show that Islam is a vengeful religion.

Throughout the article James tries to show that Christians and Jews have interpreted Leviticus 24:17-22 and Deuteronomy as meaning for it to be an indemnity. I just love how James said this …

To conclude this section, even if we assume, contrary to the bulk of the evidence, that the law of retaliation was actually and physically carried out when it was first published in Exodus 21:23-25, Judaism later evolved towards the more humane monetary compensation, finding verses in the Torah that pointed in that direction. However, the evidence suggests that the three passages laying out the law of retaliation were not literally carried out; rather, the words stand for equality in punishment and damages.

In other words, Jews stopped following the law sent down to them and decided to interpret things that best fit them (like Jesus accused them of in Mark 7:9) and thought they can take things in to their own hands and misinterpret the laws to what they best see fit (look at Jeremiah 8:8)

James also says that indemnity and forgiveness was encouraged in the bible, but he forgets to mention that it is also mentioned in the Quran.

Surah 16:126

And if ye do catch them out, catch them out no worse than they catch you out: But if ye show patience, that is indeed the best (course) for those who are patient.

Quran encourages forgiveness so that people can have a reward from Allah.

Surah 42:40

42:40.  The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah: for (Allah) loveth not those who do wrong.

Islam does not encourage revenge but permits it. It should be no worse than the affliction caused to the victim as indicated by the Quranic verse above. This is every person’s right. James did not indicate that clearly enough and tried to show Islam as a vengeful religion while as a matter of fact it encourages forgiveness and gives people their rights (right to choose to have revenge on the person or not).

He tries to show Jesus as a loving person and Muhammad as a violent vengeful person.

Let me ask you something, I want you to close your eyes and truly imagine this. Imagine someone gauges your right eyeball out. Are you going to take Jesus’s so called advice in the bible and let him gauge our your left eye as well or are you going to practice one of the 3 options that Islam gives you

1-Forgive him

2-Ask for blood money

3-The right to ask for his right eye to be gauged out as well so that he can understand how you feel.

James said:

7. Islam commands that a male and female thief must have a hand cut off.

Warning! This short article has photos of severed hands. The reader should never lose sight of the fact that this punishment is prescribed in the Quran, the eternal word of Allah. It does not exist only in the fevered imagination of a violent and sick radical regime like the Taliban, which once ruled in Afghanistan.

Warning! This page has photos of thieves getting their hands chopped off. They also show beheadings.

This news report shows a man getting his hand chopped off in Nigeria.

My Response:

This is James’s strategy; he wants people to see how gruesome the punishment is so that they can start sharing his opinion from the very beginning without hearing the arguments from the other side.

Its like me showing a video of a cow getting slaughtered and showing how innocent the poor animal is and try to gain the sympathy of the people to not eat non-vegetarian food again without the people first hearing the benefits of eating non-vegetarian food (I recommend to watch the debate on http://www.aswatalislam.net/DisplayFilesP.aspx?TitleID=50027&TitleName=Zakir_Naik)

James said:

A Saudi cleric justifies chopping off hands here.

My Response:

He does so quite well might I add.

Let me quote Zakir Naik:

2. Example - Islam commands us to shun robbery and also

prescribes method of eli-minating robbery

a. Islam prescribes method of eliminating robbery

All major religions teach that theft is an evil act. Islam teaches the same. So

what is the difference between Islam and the other religions? The difference

lies in the fact that Islam, besides teaching that robbing is evil, shows a

practical way of creating a social structure in which people will not rob.

b. Islam prescribes Zakat

Islam prescribes a system of Zakat (obligatory annual charity). Islamic law

prescribes that every person who has a saving that exceeds the nisab level

i.e. more than 85 grams of gold, should give 2.5% of that saving every lunar

year in charity. If every rich person in the world gave Zakat sincerely,

poverty will be eradicated from this world. Not a single human being would

die of hunger.

c. Chopping off the hands as punishment for robbery

Islam prescribes chopping off the hands of the convicted robber. The

Glorious Qur’an says in Surah Maidah:

“As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands:a punishment

by way of example, from Allah, for their crime: and Allah is Exalted in

power, full of wisdom.” [ Al-Qur’an 5:38]

The non-Muslim may say, “Chopping off the hands in this 20th century.

Islam is a barbaric and ruthless religion!”

d. Results achieved when Islamic Shariah Implemented

America is supposed to be one of the most advanced countries in the world.

Unfortunately it also has one of the highest rates of crime, theft, and

robbery. Suppose the Islamic shariah is implemented in America i.e. every

rich person gives Zakat ( 2.5% of his savings in charity above 85 grams of

gold every lunar year), and every convicted robber has his or her hands

chopped off as a punishment. Will the rate of theft and robbery in America

increase, remain same or decrease? Naturally it will decrease. Moreover

the existence of such a stringent law would discourage many a potential

robber.

I agree that the amount of theft that takes place in the world today is so

tremendous that if you chop off the hands of all the thieves, there will be

tens of thousands of people whose hands will be chopped off. The point

here is that the moment you implement this law the rate of theft will decline

immediately. The potential robber would give it a serious thought before

jeopardizing his limbs. The mere thought of the punishment itself will

discourage majority of the robbers. There will barely be a few who would

rob. Hence only a few person’s hands would be chopped off but millions

would live peacefully without fear of being robbed.

Islamic Shariah is therefore practical, and achieves results.

James said:

The Quran says:

5:38 Cut off the hands of thieves, whether they are male or female, as punishment for what they have done—a deterrent from God: God is almighty and wise. 39 But if anyone repents after his wrongdoing and makes amends, God will accept his repentance: God is most forgiving and merciful. (Haleem)

At first glance, verse 39 seems to accept repentance before the thief’s hand is cut off. But the hadith states emphatically that repentance is acceptable only after mutilation.

My Response:

James is incorrect, the man does not need to repent by turning himself in and get his hand cut off. His hand should be cut off if he is caught. But he can ask for normal forgiveness and repent if he doesn’t get caught (3:135-136,4:149, 16:119,24:22, 25:70, 39:53-54,42:37,42:40)

If the man wishes to turn himself in and have his hand cut off, this is called tawbah nasoooha (Surah 66, verse 8) and is the best of repentance.

It is the same with the fornicator. He does not have to turn him self in to get whipped. http://www.islamhelpline.com/view_answers.asp?QAID=8608

If you also look at Bukhari 8:6825, it shows that the Prophet wanted the adulterer to repent in private. This could also apply to stealing.

James said:

Muhammad himself says that even if his own daughter, Fatima, were to steal and then intercede that her hand should not be cut off, he would still have to cut it off (Bukhari, Punishments, no. 6788)

My Response:

This is one of the proofs that the Prophet was truly sincere and was a messenger of God. If he truly was the author of the Quran as critics claimed then he would not have had the law applied to his loved ones. Especially his daughter whom he loved so dearly. But this was the law of God and had to be equally applied to everyone.

James said:

If the reader would like to see more hadith passages, modern defenses of this indefensible punishment (and a refutation of them), and the Biblical solution to theft, they should click on this long supporting article.

My Response:

First I want to make perfectly clear that no other system in the world can fight the crime of theft better than Islam. All countries are having trouble.

Taken from http://www.civitas.org.uk/data/prisonRisk1950-2000.php

A negative correlation between the risk of punishment and the rate of crime was taken as support for the theory that an increased risk of punishment leads to a fall in crime. In England and Wales they found strong support for the theory that 'links falling risk of punishment to rising crime'.(Langan, P. and Farrington, D., Crime and Justice in the United States and in England and Wales, 1981-96, Washington: US Department of Justice, 1998, p. 38)

After 1981 the conviction rate in England and Wales fell and the crime rate (whether based on victim surveys or police records) rose. Similarly, the incarceration rate fell and the crime rate rose. However, the correlations between the severity of punishment and the crime rate were mixed. There was, however, a strong link between the severity of punishment of car thieves and the rate of vehicle theft. After 1981, the proportion of car thieves sentenced to prison, their average sentence, the time served and the percentage of sentence served, as well as the number of days of actual incarceration, all fell. During this time, vehicle theft rose according to both the British Crime Survey and police records.

Conclusions

Is the Blair Government pursuing the right policies? The Government is ambiguous about prison. In its 2002 white paper, Justice For All, it says that it wants to send the 'strongest possible message' to criminals that the system will be effective in 'detecting, convicting and properly punishing them'. So far so good: after many years of being opposed to prison and favouring community sentences, the Government now recognises that prison protects the public more effectively. But prison is to be reserved for 'dangerous, serious and seriously persistent offenders and those who have consistently breached community sentences'. For the bulk of criminals, the Government still hopes to find alternatives to prison that combine community and custodial sentences, including weekend prison and more intensive supervision by the Probation Service.

This shows that greater the punishment the less the crime rate. Tell me how high would the crime rate be in a country if Islamic Law was instituted?

Taken from http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/rpr94.pdf

 

offenses in States other than the

one where the prisoner served time.

Released prisoners with the highest

rearrest rates were robbers (70.2%),

burglars (74.0%), larcenists (74.6%),

imprisonment and another 744,000

charges within 3 years of release.

motor vehicle thieves (78.8%),

This shows that thieves will continue stealing as long as they are able to do so. Statistics don’t lie.

Now tell me, how often are the thieves going to steal again if Islamic law is implemented?

There is no reason at all for the person to steal. The person can take a loan, or ask the government for help. Why steal? Why are people so worried about the Islamic punishment for stealing? Why should you steal in the first place? Who are you to take other people’s property? Someone might argue “well everyone sins”. Then I can use that same argument for someone who commits murder and then say “come on, everyone sins, forgive him!”

The truth of the matter is that the Quran is the word of God. That is what should be debated. You cannot come and disprove the Quran from being the word of God just because you cannot comprehend a law found in it. Your committing a logical fallacy and that is that you reject something just because you don’t understand it.

This Islamic punishment does not make sense to you, but it makes perfect sense to us Muslims. Now, how are we going to determine whose right? We must not let our subjective opinions be the judge. We must analyze objectively. Objectively, we can conclude nothing but that Islamic Law achieves results.

God is the one who has given the human being his hands, God also has the right to set a law for that hand to be removed if His law is broken with those very hands.

 

James said:

6. Islam commands that highway robbers should be crucified or mutilated.

In September 2003, Scotsman Sandy Mitchell faced crucifixion in Saudi Arabia. He was beaten and tortured until he confessed to a crime he did not commit: a bomb plot masterminded by the British embassy. The article says of this punishment that it is the worst kind of execution and that two have been carried out in the last twenty years.

My Response:

I would like to see evidence where Islam permits people to beat the hell out of people for them to admit something if they don’t have proof.

James said:

In 2002 Amnesty International reports that even though Saudi Arabia ratified the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention against Torture) in October 1997, amputation is prescribed under both Hudud (punishments) and Qisas (law of retaliation). Amnesty International has recorded thirty-three amputations and nine cross-amputations where the alternate hand or foot is mutilated.

In 2002, in Iran, a man was sentenced to have his right hand and left foot amputated for theft with special circumstances.

In 2003, in Sudan a sixteen-year-old boy has been sentenced to have his right hand and left foot amputated for highway robbery.

The Quran says:

5:33 Those who wage war against God and His Messenger and strive to spread corruption in the land should be punished by death, crucifixion, the amputation of an alternate hand and foot or banishment from the land: a disgrace for them in this world, and then a terrible punishment in the Hereafter, 34 unless they repent before you overpower them: in that case bear in mind that God is forgiving and merciful. (Haleem)

It may be difficult to accept, but the hadith says that Muhammad tortured these next people before he executed them. This scenario provides the historical context of Sura 5:33-34. The explanations in parentheses have been added by the translator:

Narrated Anas: Some people . . . came to the Prophet and embraced Islam . . . [T]hey turned renegades (reverted from Islam) and killed the shepherd of the camels and took the camels away . . . The Prophet ordered that their hands and legs should be cut off and their eyes should be branded with heated pieces of iron, and that their cut hands and legs should not be cauterized, till they died. (Bukhari, Punishments, no. 6802)

The next hadith reports that the renegades died from bleeding because Muhammad refused to cauterize their amputated limbs. Then the hadith after that one reports that the renegades were not given water, so they died of thirst. They probably died of both causes: thirst and loss of blood.

See this short article for details on another example of Muhammad’s use of torture.

Islamic law says that these punishments are imposed for highway robbery, and in some cases crucifixion does not need a murder before it is imposed.

For more information on Muhammad’s brutality and the barbaric laws that flow out of it, go to the back-up article.

My Response:

The same answers are given regarding the cutting the hands of the thief. Obviously armed robbery is worse. The reason why we cant comprehend why Islamic Law is just because we have never been victims of such brutal crimes. You can never imagine how it feels for a robber to come into your house with an armed weapon and point it at your family and potentially torture or injure one of them (God forbid). I would swear to you, that if we were in that position and we were made judge and had the decision as to what punishment the criminal must endure. We would definitely choose the Islamic punishment.

 

Let me quote Zakir Naik

 

5. Every Muslim should be a terrorist

Every Muslim should be a terrorist. A terrorist is a person who causes terror. The moment a robber sees a policeman he is terrified. A policeman is a terrorist for the robber. Similarly every Muslim should be a terrorist for the antisocial elements of society, such as thieves, dacoits and rapists. Whenever such an anti-social element sees a Muslim, he should be terrified. It is true that the word ‘terrorist’ is generally used for a person who causes terror among the common people. But a true Muslim should only be a terrorist to selective people i.e. anti-social elements, and not to the common innocent people. In fact a Muslim should be a source of peace for innocent people.

 

 

James said:

5. Islam commands that homosexuals must be executed.

In February 1998, the Taliban, who once ruled in Afghanistan, ordered a stone wall to be pushed over onto three men convicted of sodomy. Their lives were to be spared if they survived for 30 minutes and were still alive when the stones were removed.

In its 1991 Constitution, in Articles 108-113, Iran adopted the punishment of execution for sodomy.

In April 2005, a Kuwaiti cleric says homosexuals should be thrown off a mountain or stoned to death.

On April 7, 2005, it was reported that Saudi Arabia sentenced more than 100 men to prison or flogging for "gay conduct."

These homosexuals were lucky. Early Islam would have executed them, as these hadith demonstrate.

Ibn Abbas, Muhammad’s cousin and highly reliable transmitter of hadith, reports the following about early Islam and Muhammad’s punishment of homosexuals: . . . "If you find anyone doing as Lot’s people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done" (Abu Dawud no. 4447).

This hadith passage says that homosexuals should be burned alive or have wall pushed on them:

Ibn Abbas and Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying, "Accursed is he who does what Lot’s people did." In a version . . . on the authority of Ibn Abbas it says that Ali [Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law] had two people burned and that Abu Bakr [Muhammad’s chief companion] had a wall thrown down on them. (Mishkat, vol. 1, p. 765, Prescribed Punishments)

Though this punishment of a wall being toppled on them is extreme, the Taliban were merely following the origins of their religion.

If the reader would like to see the confusion in the Quran on the matter of homosexuality, the severity in the hadith, and excessive rulings of classical fiqh, they should see the supporting article The article has links to many discussions on Islamic punishments of homosexuals (scroll down to "Supplemental material").

My Response:

 

First of all, the killing of homosexuals is there in the bible.

 

 "If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives."
(Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

 

James says that this is not applicable today. So basically what James is trying to tell us is that the God he believes in, set an immoral law at a specific point in time but not anymore.

 

He fails to understand there cannot be homosexual Christians

 

1 Cor. 6:9-10, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

 

I recommend reading http://www.carm.net/issues/homosexuality.htm

 

James tries to show that Jesus was not fulfilling the Old Testament laws anymore. This is a separate issue. But he appeals to John 8:1-8 to show Jesus abolished the adultery punishment. But look at the side note in the NIV bible.

 

http://www.ibs.org/niv/passagesearch.php
((The earliest and most reliable manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53-8:11.))

This was an interpolation by people later on to try to show Jesus abolished the Old Testament laws, while he did not.

 

James posted this hadith

 

Ibn Abbas and Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying, "Accursed is he who does what Lot’s people did." In a version . . . on the authority of Ibn Abbas it says that Ali [Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law] had two people burned and that Abu Bakr [Muhammad’s chief companion] had a wall thrown down on them. (vol. 1, p. 765, Prescribed Punishments; cf. Maududi vol. 2, p. 52, note 68)

 

This hadith is false because the Prophet condemned burning people.

 

Volume 004, Book 052, Hadith Number 260.

-----------------------------------------

Narrated By Ikrima : Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn 'Abbas, who said, "Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, 'Don't punish (anybody) with Allah's Punishment.'

James said:

4. Islam orders unmarried fornicators to be whipped and adulterers to be stoned to death.

My Response:

The bible also orders adulterers to be stoned

Fornicators (Leviticus 21:9) were to be burned to death.

Jesus did not forgive the adulterous in John 8:1-8, as I showed above it was an interpolated verse.

See also Deuteronomy 22:22, Leviticus 20:10, Proverbs 6:32, Deuteronomy 25:11-12

James said:

Fornication:

In 2001, Iranian officials sentenced three men to flogging for illicit sex.

The Quran says:

24:2 The fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment. [This punishment is for unmarried persons guilty of the above crime (illegal sex), but if married persons commit it (illegal sex), the punishment is to stone them to death, according to Allah’s law]. (Hilali and Khan).

The additions in the brackets, though not original to the Arabic, have the support of the hadith. These command flogging only of unmarried fornicators: Bukhari, Punishments, nos. 6831 and 6833.

The classical legal rulings follow the Quran and the hadith closely, so we do not need to analyze them here.

My Response:

Notice the Quranic verse. Fornicators and adulterers can only be punished if there are four witnesses (or if the person voluntarily confesses). Can someone please tell me how two people can get caught in sexual intercourse by four trustworthy witnesses. The witnesses actually have to see “the penetration” occur.

Why did Allah make it so difficult for these fornicators and adulterers to get caught? So that they wont have to go through the punishment and so that they could repent. There are a lot of cases where fornicators and adulterers are being punished by not having four witnesses. Well then they are breaking the Islamic Law. The Quranic verse is very clear.

Now if two people do get caught by four witnesses, they deserve the punishment. Imagine the nerve of those two people to engage in sexual intercourse in such a public place. They deserve to be punished for such indecency.

Fornication and adultery are crimes against society http://www.understanding-islam.com/related/text.asp?type=discussion&did=506 and therefore need to be punished by society for their crimes. 

 

 

James said:

According to this report, in Iran a teenage boy broke his Ramadan fast, so a judge sentenced him to be lashed with eighty-five stripes. He died from the punishment. Though his sad case does not deal with fornication, it is cited here because it shows that lashing can be fatal.

My Response:

Taken from http://www.jannah.org/morearticles/4.html

Lord Scarman, the well-known British judicial champion of civil liberties, writes that "it is important to a civilised system of justice to have humane values at all levels of its administration"48 and Islam provides for this. Flogging in Islamic law is "not just a savage beating inflicted capriciously according to the whims of brutal guards" but it is done "with control, in accord with justice and in the kindest possible way in the circumstances"49 to the extent that one English writer says that "the best comparison for Islamic flogging is the caning of children at school". 50 Even the President of the International Court of Justice at the Hague in 1967 declared that "certain types of offences call for severe chastisement, and flogging in the case of such offences cannot be regarded as cruel, inhuman or degrading".51

James said:

Adultery:

In December 2004, Amnesty International reports:

An Iranian woman charged with adultery faces death by stoning in the next five days after her death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court last month. Her unnamed co-defendant is at risk of imminent execution by hanging. Amnesty International members are now writing urgent appeals to the Iranian authorities, calling for the execution to be stopped.

She is to be buried up to her chest and stoned to death.

This gruesome hadith passage reports that a woman was buried up to her chest and stoned to death:

And when he had given command over her and she was put in a hole up to her breast, he ordered the people to stone her. Khalid b. al-Walid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and when the blood spurted on his face he cursed her . . . (Muslim no. 4206)

The prophet prayed over her dead body and then buried her. Truthfully, though, how effective was the prayer when Muhammad and his community murdered her in cold blood? The rest of the hadith says that Muhammad told Khalid not to be too harsh, but the prophet’s words drip with irony. Perhaps Muhammad meant that Khalid should not have cursed her. However, if they really did not want to be harsh, they should have forgiven her and let her go to raise her child.

Later Islamic legal rulings follow the Quran and the hadith closely, so we do not need to analyze them here.

My Response:

If her co- defendant is unmarried then he should be lashed and not hanged. If he is married then him and the woman should both have the same punishment. Apparently Islamic Law is not appropriately being implemented. I have my doubts that they even got 4 trustworthy witnesses against her.

As for the hadith, if you read all of it, you notice that the woman voluntarily came to the Prophet to be stoned. She knew what was awaiting her. No one forced her. She came on her own.

How can Muhammad forgive her? It is not Muhammad’s laws; it is God’s law.

James said:

Here is the back-up article that supports this fourth reason.

My Response:

The article could be found here http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Arlandson/flogging.htm.

I would respond to what I feel needs to be responded to.

James said:

For the New Testament section, we ask and answer the simple question: What would Jesus do? The short answer: forgive, heal and restore the sinner—not flog or stone him to death.

 

My Response:

 

Are you kidding me? Where is the justice?!! Forgive?!!

 

This is an honest question to all the readers out there. I want you to close your eyes and imagine that you go back home and catch some idiot having sex with your daughter, sister or wife?!! You are going to just forgive him? That guy knew what he was doing and he should just be forgiven? Are you kidding me?

 

How many cases are there when brothers or fathers murder their OWN daughters or sisters or the person she slept with due to their frustrations of catching them in sexual intercourse? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3097728.stm

They murder them because they feel like there needs to be a punishment. But if it was in an Islamic state, they would not resort to murder because they know that the lashing is punishment enough.

 

What do you mean ‘heal and restore’? Sex can be an addiction, it is more addictive than drugs. Laws must be enforced in order to stop this filth to be spreading through out our community. 

 

Christians erroneously assume that everyone can change spiritually. Not everyone can change spiritually; those who can change spiritually shouldn’t even worry about the law in the first place. But what about those who don’t and are not willing to change spiritually? The Law must be implemented on them. Christians don’t follow their bible and don’t have any laws or solutions regarding fornication. That is why it is so common amongst their societies.

 

Taken from http://www.daghewardmills.org/books_pdf/Fornication.pdf

 

But unfortunately, even in Charismatic circles, fornication is commonly found amongst born again Christians. This ‘cancer’ of fornication is rapidly affecting the Body of Christ, because many Christians who get involved in fornication do not know it’s spiritual and physical implications.

They do not know its complications.

 

Taken from http://www.basedintheword.org/sermons/coveteousness.asp

 

To lust after the things of this world, is to worship them. Covetousness, even though it’s unfortunately common amongst Christians, is classified as a sin that should never, ever been seen among them!

 

James said:

 

This is one of the paradoxes of Islam. A Muslim judge feels as all reasonable persons do when they hear of such harsh punishments sent down from Allah. But Allah supposedly feels more compassion than the human judge, while the deity sends the compassionate human to hell—for compassionately commuting Allah’s uncompassionate punishment. This is indeed difficult to understand.

 

My Response:

 

Well we are human; of course our emotions can take over us. I mean Christians can feel the same way.

 

A lot of Christians cannot understand how God can send people to hell for eternity for not believing in Jesus as lord and savior. A lot of them find that too harsh. But that does not mean that they disbelieve in it.

God is just; he sets his laws according to his divine wisdom. That is why God is called the All Just. He does not let his emotions overtake His decision to establish justice.

 

Plus if we don’t have laws implemented, people might start taking the law into their own hands http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/08/06/1028157922214.html?oneclick=true

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/stdn/std/Front_Page/GF08Aa01.html

http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_1641176,00.html

http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_1641176,00.html

 

 

James said:

First, the apologists claim that these punishments serve as a deterrent. This is implied in Sura 24:2 when the flogging (and stoning) should be carried out in public: ... "[A]nd ensure that a group of believers witness the punishment" (Haleem). This public humiliation is designed to scare other people into obeying the laws of Allah (Maududi 3:319-20, note 4).

In reply, however, this kind of a priori reasoning is shaky at best. We should not let a revelation determine facts. More hard evidence needs to be provided that flogging and stoning deter would-be sinners from committing their crimes. As we shall see in the next section, the punishments may drive the sinners to conceal their acts more carefully than before. The punishments will not stop crimes, since the crimes are rooted in human nature itself.

My Response:

 

Like I previously said, there will always be people who commit sin. It is common sense that less people are going to commit fornication and adultery with these laws applied. I do not need to waste my time providing statistics. Everyone knows it does. Islam offers the person an alternative to have more than one wife if he wishes to sleep with another woman besides his wife. So why not take that alternative? Something that modern day Christianity does not offer even though the bible permits it http://www.answering-christianity.com/ntpoly.htm

 

James said:

 

As noted in the previous section and in the part that analyzes purging society of ruinous sins, Muslims assert that the punishment of stoning an adulterer preserves society and the family. In reply, however, it is difficult to imagine a punishment that does just the opposite. Depriving children of one of their parents by stoning him or her to death breaks down the family and can only cause irreparable damage to the children, once they learn why their father or mother will never return to them. Allah took him or her away, out of his divine "compassion." Also, this irreversible punishment forever shuts down any hope of reconciliation between the fractured married couple. It is true that the witnesses can stop the punishment under certain conditions by not initiating it (Muslim no. 4196, and the translator’s note 2161; and Maududi 3:308-09). But what if the rocks are thrown and the criminal is killed, but later on the offended party changes his or her mind? By then, it is too late.

 

My Response:

 

Again I can use the argument of a criminal going to jail and that disappoints the child or a convicted murderer being put on death row. James just fails to understand the harmful effects of adultery. He underestimates it and does not believe that a harsh punishment should be its consequence.

 

James said:

The second confusing policy in sharia is the concealment of one’s sexual crimes when the goal is to deter them and preserve society. Maududi cites three hadiths that show Muhammad telling the criminals that it had been better for them if they had concealed their crimes. First, this hadith reports that Muhammad says: "If any of you is guilty of any immorality, he should better remain hidden under the curtain of Allah, but if he discloses it to us, we shall certainly enforce the law of Allah on him" (Maududi 3:305). Second, the following one says that a man confessed his sin to the prophet, so he ordered the man to be stoned to death. But at the same time he said to the condemned man: "Would that you had kept the matter hidden: this would have been better for you" (3:305). Finally, Maududi cites this hadith that has Muhammad saying: "You should yourselves pardon the crimes which merit prescribed punishment because when a crime which calls for such a punishment comes to my notice, it will become obligatory on me to award the punishment" (3:305)

However, this concealment contradicts the ultimate purposes of punishing zina: to preserve the family and society and to deter future sexual criminals. These three hadiths say just the opposite. Instead, Islamic law only encourages criminals to go further underground, rather than confess their crimes openly in order to receive help and healing. Concealment serves only to make society collapse secretly—that is, if Muslim apologists are to be believed about the danger of sexual sins being the only factor in a large civilization’s downfall.

My Response:

 

Again I beg to differ. You cannot have the same amount of fornication and adultery going on if people are forced to do it in secrecy. It will be more difficult and so many would not take the risk. A second thing is that if it were not done in public, then it would not influence as many people to go ahead and do it.

 

James said:

 

On the other hand, let us say that the offended spouse drags the offender into court, but does not have four eyewitnesses. Then the criminal spouse will either have to lie in court and deny that he committed adultery, or he will have to be honest in court and confess his crime and potentially suffer the ultimate, irreversible penalty. If the adulterer lies in court, despite his honest and sincere confession to his spouse, then Islamic law forces him into being a liar, and how does this preserve the sanctity of marriage and therefore society?

 

My Response:

 

If there are no four witnesses then the spouse cannot drag the other into court.

 

Now back to the original article http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Arlandson/top_ten_sharia.htm

 

James said:

3. Islam orders death for Muslim and possible death for non-Muslim critics of Muhammad and the Quran and even sharia itself.

In 1989, Iran’s Supreme Leader issued a fatwa (legal decree) to assassinate Salman Rushdie, a novelist, who wrote Satanic Verses, which includes questions about the angel Gabriel’s role in inspiring the Quran. Now the extremists in the highest levels in Iran have recently renewed the fatwa.

In 2005, The Muslim Council of Victoria, Australia, brought a lawsuit against two pastors for holding a conference and posting articles critiquing Islam. Three Muslims attended the conference and felt offended. The two pastors have been convicted based on Australia’s vilification law. While on trial, one of them wanted to read from the Quran on domestic violence (see 9, above), but the lawyer representing the Council would not allow it. The pastors are appealing their conviction.

In 2005, British Muslims have been campaigning to pass a religious hate speech law in England’s parliament. They have succeeded. Their ability to propagandize has not been curtailed. Opponents of the law say that it stifles free speech that may criticize Muhammad, the Quran, and Islam.

Here are the classical legal rulings.

First, the Muslim deserves death for doing any of the following (Reliance of the Traveler pp. 597-98, o8.7):

(1) Reviling Allah or his Messenger; (2) being sarcastic about "Allah’s name, His command, His interdiction, His promise, or His threat"; (3) denying any verse of the Quran or "anything which by scholarly consensus belongs to it, or to add a verse that does not belong to it"; (4) holding that "any of Allah’s messengers or prophets are liars, or to deny their being sent"; (5) reviling the religion of Islam; (6) being sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law; (7) denying that Allah intended "the Prophet’s message . . . to be the religion followed by the entire world."

It is no wonder that critical investigation of the truth claims of Islam can never prevail in Islamic lands when the sword of Muhammad hangs over the scholars’ head.

The non-Muslims living under Islamic rule are not allowed to do the following (p. 609, o11.10(1)-(5)):

(1) Commit adultery with a Muslim woman or marry her; (2) conceal spies of hostile forces; (3) lead a Muslim away from Islam; (4) mention something impermissible about Allah, the Prophet . . . or Islam.

According to the discretion of the caliph or his representative, the punishments imposed on non-Muslims for violating these rules are as follows: (1) death, (2) enslavement, (3) release without paying anything, and (4) ransoming in exchange for money. These punishments also execute free speech—even repulsive speech—and freedom of religion or conscience.

Ultimately, censorship testifies to a lack of confidence in one’s position and message. If the message of Islam were truly superior, one could trust in the power of truth. As it stands, sharia with its prescribed punishments for questioning Muhammad, the Quran, and sharia itself testifies to their weakness since sharia threatens those who dare to differ.

How confident was Muhammad (and today’s Muslims) in his message that he had to rely on violence and force to protect his message, besides reason and persuasive argumentation?

For the supporting article that analyzes the Quran and the hadith, both of which orders death to critics, click here.

My Response:

Again James criticizes Islam for something that is found in his bible, but only for sake of argument let me agree with him and say that Jesus abolished the Old Testament laws. He is basically saying that there was a point in time where God laid out immoral laws.

Didn’t Jesus say in Matthew 5:18

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

Now what’s the point of having the Law survived and preserved if it is not to be followed?

Lets look at the verses from the bible…

Then the LORD said to Moses: "Take the blasphemer outside the camp . . . and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the Israelites: ‘If anyone curses God, he will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes, he must be put to death.’" (Leviticus 24:13-16)

Also read Exodus 22:28, Deuteronomy 7:10, Deuteronomy 19:18-21, Deuteronomy 28:15-64

Regarding freedom of expression in Islam, I am going to quote Dr Zakir Naik from the press debate “Is Religious Fundamentalism a Stumbling Block to Freedom of Expression”, it can be accessed here http://www.aswatalislam.net/DisplayFilesP.aspx?TitleID=50027&TitleName=Zakir_Naik

 

The first speaker said that fundamentalists do not allow an opportunity for a dialogue. I am going to object to this. The Quran allows for people to have a dialogue. It says in the Quran in Surah 3 verse 64

 

Say: "O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but God; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than God." If then they turn back, say ye: "Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to God's Will).

 

Is Religious Fundamentalism a Stumbling Block to Freedom of Expression? What do you mean by freedom of expression? If you mean that a person can speak without causing any harm to anyone or to the community, I believe that Islam is not a stumbling block to the freedom of expression.

 

But if you mean that a person without any hesitation can go and abuse anyone, he can criticize anyone, he can blame anyone, then I would say that Islam is a stumbling block and not a stumbling block to the freedom of expression. Let me clarify because there could be many situations.

 

If you say that a person blames anyone, criticizes anyone or speaks against someone without any proof and without any solid fact, then I would say that Islam is definitely a stumbling block to the freedom of expression. because the Quran clearly mentions in Surah 104 verse 1

 

Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and backbiter,

 

 

The Quran says in Surah 49 verses 11-12

 

O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter are better than the (former): Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong.

 

O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it...But fear God: For God is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.

 

What does the Quran mean when it says that when you backbite you have the dead meat of your brother? Because it is a double crime, speaking badly of anyone without any proof is in itself a sin and eating dead meat it self is a sin. The doctor can testify that if we eat dead meat we can have several diseases.

 

But speaking behind the back of someone is a double crime. It is as though you are eating the dead meat of your brother. The cannibals who eat dead meat and who also eat human beings, never touch their own brother. So if you backbite it is as though you are eating the dead meat of your brother.

 

Now some people may say that freedom of speech, whether you write or whether you speak does not harm people physically. I do agree with them but let me tell you that the mental torture at many times could me more harmful than physical torture. It is much more long lasting than physical torture.

 

I’d like to give an example; lets say a teacher picks up a certain student from the classroom and without any reason slaps that small child and that child is a good student and has done nothing wrong. The slap may hurt the child for a few seconds or minutes but the mental trauma that he has suffered by being humiliated in front of the entire class is more long lasting.

 

Lets look at another example; now if the teacher took the child to a private room with no one around and slapped him, the student would only feel pain for a few seconds or minutes. But if the teacher were to insult the child and humiliate him in front of the entire class, the mental torture (the fact that he has been humiliated in front of the class) is much more severe. Indeed any one of us would surely choose to take the slap instead.

 

So speech and writing could cause more harm but not always than physical torture.

 

Now where does the Quran talk about freedom of speech? The Quran is the only Holy Scripture that I know of which gives mankind a way on how to prove the Quran wrong.

One of the challenges that the Quran poses is from Surah 4 verse 82

Do they not consider the Quran (with care)? Had it been from other Than God, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy.

 

But the Quran says bring your proof in Surah 2 verse 111

 

Do you think all these people like Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nisreen are producing proof? They are not.

 

Islam allows freedom of expression as long as you bring your proof.

 

Now still there are varying situations.

 

Suppose a government official working the US government sells all the details of the American army to the enemy. He is speaking the truth and he does have evidence (blueprints of the army’s plans), do you think that the American government will give that person an award? Now there are certain types of proofs or information that are meant to be kept secret and not revealed. Islam does not permit for that information to be revealed by the person “freely expressing himself”.

 

But lets say for example that the government official speaks against the corruption of the government in America, Quran gives them full right. Islam encourages such truth to be told in public against falsehood (Surah 17 verse 81).

 

You can also read

 

http://www.islamicfinder.org/articles/article.php?id=237&lang=

http://www.crescentlife.com/spirituality/freedom_of_expression.htm

 

 

Not anyone is authorized to give fatwas (religious verdicts) http://islam.about.com/od/law/g/fatwa.htm

http://www.answering-christianity.com/islamic_verdicts.htm

 

Read these articles as well, they cover some of James arguments

 

http://www.answering-christianity.com/no_personal_revenge.htm

http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/Muhammad/kaab.htm

 

 

James said:

Islam orders apostates to be killed.

In Iran an academic was condemned to death for criticizing clerical rule in Iran. The rulers assert that he was insulting Muhammad and Shi’ite laws. He was charged with apostasy.

This analysis tracks the application of apostasy laws around the world, citing many examples.

Apostates are those who leave Islam, like Salman Rushdie (see the linked article in no. three, above), whether they become atheists or convert to another religion. They are supposed to be killed according to the Quran, the hadith, and later legal rulings.

This hadith, representing many others, says that some atheists were brought to Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law and cousin, and he burned them alive.

The news of this event reached Ibn Abbas [Muhammad’s cousin and highly reliable transmitter of traditions] who said, "If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Messenger forbad it, saying, ‘Do no punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah Messenger, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.’" (Bukhari, Apostates, no. 6922)

Evidently, these atheists were once Muslims, but they no longer followed Muhammad’s way. The Islam of Ali and Ibn Abbas, Muhammad’s family, would not tolerate freedom of religion, so Ali burned them alive (Ibn Abbas would have beheaded them).

See the previous reason no. three for acts that entail leaving Islam according to Islamic law.

Here are the articles that support reason no. two.

This is a short, but full article on apostasy, citing Quranic verses and hadith passages. This older but still accurate dictionary has a brief entry on apostasy. Scroll down to "Apostasy from Islam."

This mid-sized chapter on apostasy was written by an older generation Christian who knew Islam and Arabic thoroughly. It also analyzes some legal rulings in Islam on apostasy. This is a short section in an online book. It surveys the main ideas on apostasy. This short entry in the Index to Islam has a list of Quranic verses. This short article contrasts Islam's coercion of conscience with Christianity's freedom of conscience.

Finally, we let Muslims explain how apostates should be treated.

Maududi in this booklet argues that Sura 9:11-12 refers to apostates and that they should be put to death (scroll down to "The Proof in the Quran for the Commandment to Execute Apostates").

This website has an overview of Islam on apostates. Apostates should be given time to repent, but if they refuse, they must be killed. Women apostates may be killed according to some schools of law, or she may be imprisoned and whipped.

And the number one reason why sharia is bad for all societies . . .

 

My Response:

 

James forgets that the concept of killing apostates is originally found in his bible http://www.answering-christianity.com/death.htm

 

I recommend reading

 

http://muslim-canada.org/apostasy.htm

 

 

http://www.al-islam.org/short/apostacy.htm (this is from a shia perspective)

Here are some quotes of scholars regarding apostasy in Islam

 

Dr Y. Zaki (a leading British convert to Islam), emphasised this viewpoint in a discussion on BBC radio in 1991: "Islam is not just a religion, it's a state, and Islam does not distinguish between sacred and secular authority . . . apostasy and treason are one and the same thing." Since treason is punishable by death, he argued, so too is apostasy.  (Sunday Programme, BBC Radio 4, 12 May 1991)

 

 

Abul A‘la Mawdudi represents a similarly severe stand, arguing that Islam is not simply a religion like Christianity, but a complete order of life embracing all spheres and serving as the basis of society, state and civilisation. As such it is cannot allow itself to be made "the toy of individual free wills". Fundamental differences cannot be accepted in such a system (minor differences are), and an apostate who has demonstrated that he is not willing to assimilate into his society’s order must be cast out of it, for he has rejected its very foundation. Mawdudi states that it is preferable for an apostate to emigrate from a Muslim state, but if he stays he becomes a great danger to society, spreading a malignant plague among the population which must be eliminated by the death penalty.(Abul A’la  Mawdudi, The Punishment of the Apostate  According to Islamic Law, Lahore: Islamic Publications, 1963 English  translation by Syed Silas Hussain & Ernst Hahn, 1994. pp, 46-49)

 

Abdurahman Abdulkadir Kurdi, professor of Qur’an and Sunna at Umm al-Qura University, Mecca, Saudi Arabia, makes the same point, stating that:

"The law of apostasy is equal to the man-made law of treason, with one important distinction; it is not tantamount to denouncing or breaking with one's country.  Renouncing Islam is regarded as a betrayal of faith in God Himself and a denunciation of kinship. Capital punishment is the penalty in man-made law for treasonable action and has become recognized internationally as the norm or standard law for such a crime."

"Repentance is required before executing the penalty. Sentence must be delayed for at least three days if there is hope of repentance, even though the penitent is not sincere. Will any sort of man-made law accept such repentance in a case of treason? No such understanding of human weakness has been exhibited among the community of nations yet."((Abdulrahman Abdulkadir Kurdi, The Islamic State: A Study Based on the Islamic Holy Constitution, (London: Mansell Publishing Limited, 1984) p.52-53))

Muhammad Iqbal Siddiqi, seeking to counter the argument that the Islamic punishment for apostasy is too severe, writes: 

"If Islam were a mere religion in the sense in which this term is commonly used, a hotchpotch of dogmas and rituals, having no direct relation with the economic, political and social structure of society, then such severe punishment for apostasy would have certainly been the height of high-handedness because the change of religion would not have, in the least, disturbed the social order. But the problem is that in Islam the Kingdom of Heaven whose foundations are firstly laid in the heart of man is to be essentially externalised in every phase of social set up i.e. in politics, in economics, in law, in manners and in international relations. In such circumstances it is quite obvious that when a person rebels against the Kingdom of Heaven within his heart, he commits high treason against the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, the visible and concrete expression of the Kingdom of Heaven within the heart. The persons who commit treason are always dealt with severely in every political order. A stern attitude is always adopted by all sane governments against rebels and disruptionists, and so is the case with Islam. There is nothing unusual in what Islam has done. In Islam religion is not a matter of private relationship between man and Allah, but is intertwined with society. So when he abandons Islam he in fact revolts against the authority of the Islamic State and society."(Muhamamd Iqbal Siddiqi, The Penal Law of Islam, (Lahore: Kazi Publications, 1979) p. 108-109

 

Now I have to admit, this is not a simple thing to understand. Most Muslims might not fully comprehend it. I doubt that most non-Muslims could understand it either, but that does not prove anything. The reason why the non-Muslim cannot understand the law of apostasy in Islam is because they do not believe Islam to be the true religion. Us Muslims know it. We do not merely believe it. We know it. These are God’s laws that we are talking about here, this is not a joke. This is treason against God. People cannot understand that. But again, that is a logical fallacy. The idea of rejecting something just because you do not like it or agree with it means nothing. It proves nothing.

 

You do not have to be a ‘brainwashed’ Muslim to understand it either. Millions and millions of people have converted to Islam voluntarily (http://www.drzakirnaik.com/pages/qanda/4.php) knowing about this apostasy law. But this did not stop them from examining Islam objectively and not subjectively.

 

James said:

1. Islam commands offensive and aggressive and unjust jihad.

Muhammad is foundational to Islam, and he set the genetic code for Islam, waging war. In the ten years that he lived in Medina from his Hijrah (Emigration) from Mecca in AD 622 to his death of a fever in AD 632, he either sent out or went out on seventy-four raids, expeditions, or full-scale wars. They range from small assassination hit squads to kill anyone who insulted him, to the Tabuk Crusades in late AD 630 against the Byzantine Christians. He had heard a rumor that an army was mobilizing to invade Arabia, but the rumor was false, so his 30,000 jihadists returned home, but not before imposing a jizya tax on northern Christians and Jews.

Money flowed into the Islamic treasury. So why would Muhammad get a revelation to dry up this money flow?

What are some of the legalized rules of jihad found in the Quran, hadith, and classical legal opinions?

My Response:

Anti Islamics show one verse where it says, “kill the disbelievers wherever you see them”  (9:5) and everyone believes that is what Islam teaches. They don’t even bother reading the verse before or after it or knowing the context of when it was sent down.

 

Most of Islamic critic’s arguments are showing Quranic verses and Hadeeth that call for Jihad and fighting for the name of Allah. But they never show you the context of the verses. THESE VERSES ONLY APPLY DURING TIME OF WAR. I REPEAT, JIHAD VERSES ONLY APPLY DURING TIME OF WAR (read http://www.answering-christianity.com/islam_and_terrorism.htm, however for a more detailed and better understanding then you definitely have to read Harun Yahya’s book “Islam Condemns Terrorism” at http://www.harunyahya.com/terrorism1.php)

 

I also recommend reading http://www.preparingforpeace.org/sajid_islam_and_ethics_of_war_and_peace.htm

 

James said:

(1) Women and children are enslaved. They can either be sold, or the Muslims may "marry" the women, since their marriages are automatically annulled upon their capture.

My Response:

http://saif_w.tripod.com/questions/slavery.htm

http://www.submission.org/islam/slavery.html

http://www.submission.org/christians/slavery.html

http://www.renaissance.com.pk/mared95.html

http://www.answering-christianity.com/why_slavery.htm

http://www.answering-christianity.com/equality.htm

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503547546

It is also recommended to listen to the 2 part audio “Emancipation of Slaves” by Jamal Badawi, which can be found here http://www.aswatalislam.net/DisplayFilesP.aspx?TitleID=2029&TitleName=Jamal_Badawi

 

James said:

(2) Jihadists may rape these captured female prisoners of war. Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, did this, even though he was married to Fatima, Muhammad’s daughter. In the hadith, the prophet defended his son-in-law.

My Response:

http://www.answering-christianity.com/right_hand_possession.htm

James said:

(3) Women and children must not be killed during war, unless this happens to polytheists in a nighttime raid when visibility was low. Whether polytheists or monotheists or fill-in-the-blank, this law is unjust.

My Response:

6: Bukhari: V4B52N256 “The Prophet passed by and was asked whether it was permissible to attack infidels at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, ‘Their women and children are from them.’”

 

There are many possible meanings for this Hadith. I was kind of surprised when I read it at first. But we don’t know the EXACT situation or what the Prophet truly meant. Maybe, maybe THOSE particular women and children were planning to fight against the Muslims with the enemy.

 

Maybe the Muslim army just could not have blown this chance to attack the enemy that they still had to attack them no matter at what cost in order to stop the risk of more blood shed (do a little bad for the greater good). I SERIOUSLY DOUBT THIS IS CORRECT but I am just guessing.

 

Or the hadith is false. Because this is only ONE hadith and we have so many other authentic hadith where the Prophet clearly prohibited the killing of innocent women and children during time of war.

 

Saheeh Bukhari

 

Volume 004, Book 052, Hadith Number 257.

-----------------------------------------

Narrated By 'Abdullah : During some of the Ghazawat of the Prophet a woman was found killed. Allah's Apostle disapproved the killing of women and children.

 

Volume 004, Book 052, Hadith Number 258.

-----------------------------------------

Narrated By Ibn 'Umar : During some of the Ghazawat of Allah's Apostle a woman was found killed, so Allah's Apostle forbade the killing of women and children.

 

Saheeh Muslim

 

Book 019, Hadith Number 4319.

------------------------------

Chapter : Prohibition of killing women and children in war.

 

It is narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah that a woman was found killed in one of the battles fought by the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). He disapproved of the killing of women and children.

 

 

Book 019, Hadith Number 4320.

------------------------------

Chapter : Prohibition of killing women and children in war.

 

It is narrated by Ibn 'Umar that a woman was found killed in one of these battles; so the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) forbade the killing of women and children.

 

Maliks Muwatta

 

Book 021, Hadith Number 008.

-----------------------------

Section : Prohibition against Killing Women and Children in Military Expeditions.

 

Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab that a son of Kab ibn Malik (Malik believed that ibn Shihab said it was Abd ar-Rahman ibn Kab) said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade those who fought ibn Abi Huqayq (a treacherous jew from Madina) to kill women and children. He said that one of the men fighting had said, 'The wife of ibn Abi Huqayq began screaming and I repeatedly raised my sword against her. Then I would remember the prohibition of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, so I would stop. Had it not been for that, we would have been rid of her.'"

 

 

Book 021, Hadith Number 009.

-----------------------------

Section : Prohibition against Killing Women and Children in Military Expeditions.

 

Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi from Ibn Umar that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saw the corpse of a woman who had been slain in one of the raids, and he disapproved of it and forbade the killing of women and children.

 

 

Book 021, Hadith Number 010.

-----------------------------

Section : Prohibition against Killing Women and Children in Military Expeditions.

 

Yahya related to me from Malik from Yahya ibn Said that Abu Bakr as-Siddiq was sending armies to ash-Sham. He went for a walk with Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan who was the commander of one of the battalions. It is claimed that Yazid said to Abu Bakr, "Will you ride or shall I get down?" Abu Bakrsaid, "I will not ride and you will not get down. I intend these steps of mine to be in the way of Allah."

 

Then Abu Bakr advised Yazid, "You will find a people who claim to have totally given themselves to Allah. Leave them to what they claim to have given themselves. You will find a people who have shaved the middle of their heads, strike what they have shaved with the sword.

 

"I advise you ten things| Do not kill women or children or an aged, infirm person. Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy an inhabited place. Do not slaughter sheep or camels except for food. Do not burn bees and do not scatter them. Do not steal from the booty, and do not be cowardly."

 

 

THE PROPHET DIDN’T SAY that only MUSLIM WOMEN AND CHILDREN couldn’t be killed during time of war (WOULDN’T MAKE SENSE, WHY WOULD THEY FIGHT THEIR OWN WOMEN AND CHILDREN).

 

IT IS OBVIOUSLY TALKING ABOUT WOMEN AND CHILDREN OF THE DISBELIEVERS.

 

It is only permissible when it is so dark enough that it is not possible to distinguish between man and woman (http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Display.asp?Doc=1&Rec=4215). Obviously this was a strategy by the polytheists and they believed that the Muslims wont attack them with their women and children being with them. They tried to use it as a strategy, but failed.

James said:

(4) Old men and monks could be killed.

My Response:

James is referring to Surah 9:29. But he forgets that everyone must be fought if they do not pay taxes. Even the Muslims themselves!

1: Muslim: C9B1N29 “Command For Fighting Against People So Long As They Do Not Profess That There Is No Ilah (God) But Allah And Muhammad Is His Messenger: When the Messenger breathed his last and Bakr was appointed Caliph, many Arabs chose to become apostates [rejected Islam]. Abu Bakr said: ‘I will definitely fight against anyone who stops paying the Zakat tax, for it is an obligation. I will fight against them even to secure the cord used for hobbling the feet of a camel which they used to pay if they withhold it now.’ Allah had justified fighting against those who refused to pay Zakat.”  

This is completely justified. If they go against the Islamic rule and government they deserve to be punished. What else was Abu Bakr supposed to do? In America if someone does not pay their taxes they can go to jail. Does that make America unjust? In China they kill tax evaders (A New York Times article describes the context and details of one businessman who was executed in China for tax evasion (11 Mar. 2001). at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/research/ndp/ref/?action=view&doc=chn41156e). You have to understand that these are God's laws. It is probably difficult for a non-Muslim to understand this but from the Muslim perspective it is completely justifiable. For God sake people get executed or punished for crimes against man made laws, what do you expect to happen to people that break God's laws?!!!!!!!

Zakah is one of the 5 pillars of Islam and it is compulsory on everyone. It is compulsory even on the non-Muslim, this is called Jizyah. Jizyah does not degrade the non-Muslim people, it actually brings equality. Since the Muslims are obliged to pay Zakah, then why cant non-Muslims pay Jizyah? That brings equality between the two.

The Jizyah is a tax levied on non-Muslims in lieu of military service which is compulsory for Muslims but not for non-Muslims. The amount of Jizyah is much less than the Zakat, which is levied on Muslims only. The non-muslims paying Jizyah were exempt from compulsory military service in a Muslim State but were entitled to full protection. (http://www.netmuslims.com/info/economic.html)

 Read more about Jizyah in Islam (http://www.answering-christianity.com/jizyah.htm)

Anyways back to the point, Abu Bakr declaring war on those people is completely justifiable. It is too bad if you can’t understand it. See the benefits of paying Zakah http://www.contactpakistan.com/news/news188.htm

You can also read:

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?cid=1123996015374&pagename=IslamOnline-English-AAbout_Islam/AskAboutIslamE/AskAboutIslamE

http://www.submission.org/christians/warchristin.html

http://www.pakistantimes.net/2004/07/11/oped2.htm

James said:

(5) A captured enemy of war could be killed, enslaved, ransomed for money or an exchange, freely released, or beaten. One time Muhammad even tortured a citizen of the city of Khaybar in order to extract information about where the wealth of the city was hidden.

My Response:

http://www.islamonline.net/english/introducingislam/politics/System/article05.shtml

http://muslim-canada.org/pow.html

http://www.answering-christianity.com/prisoners_of_war.htm

James said:

(6) Enemy men who converted could keep their property and small children. This law is so excessive that it amounts to forced conversion. Only the strongest of the strong could resist this coercion and remain a non-Muslim.

My Response:

This is a very silly argument. He tries to show surah 8:70 in order to justify this. The verse says nothing about such a thing. The verse simply states that God is telling Muhammad to offer Islam to them and that Islam is better than all the materialistic desires of this world. That is it. They did not force them. The Meccans could have simply lied, taken their property back and then ran away if they didn’t want to convert in their hearts.

James said:

(7) Civilian property may be confiscated.

My Response:

James is referring to Muhammad’s raid on the caravan before Battle of Badr. I gave a brief reply to this in my article exposing Craig Winn found here http://www.answering-christianity.com/deception_of_craig_winn_revealed.htm

7: Bukhari: V5B59N702 “Allah did not admonish anyone who had not participated in the Ghazwa [raid] of Badr, for in fact, Allah’s Apostle had only gone out in search of the Quraysh caravan so that he could rob it. But Allah arranged for the Muslims and their enemy to meet by surprise. I was at the Aqaba pledge with Allah’s Apostle when we gave our lives in submission, but the Badr battle is more popular amongst the people. I was never stronger or wealthier than I was when I followed the Prophet on a Ghazwa.’”

Ghazwa means battle and not raid. STOP GIVING PEOPLE MISCONCEPTIONS CRAIG! Yes the Prophet originally did want to have the caravan raided. READ HISTORY and understand why the Prophet wanted to. The Prophet and his companions were driven out of Mecca! They lost all their possessions and those pagan Meccans took it. They Muslims needed to gain back what they lost! That caravan was carrying resources to Mecca that the Mecca pagans would have most likely used against the Muslims. So these are two reasons why the Prophet wanted the caravan raided if not more.

 

Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophet_Muhammad

 

War

Relations between Mecca and Medina rapidly worsened (see surat al-Baqara.) Meccans confiscated all the property that the Muslims had left in Mecca. In Medina, Muhammad signed treaties of alliance and mutual help with neighboring tribes.

Muhammad turned to raiding caravans bound for Mecca. Caravan raiding was an old Arabian tradition; later Muslim apologists justified the raids by the state of war deemed to exist between the Meccans and the Muslims. Secular scholars will add that this was a matter of survival for the Muslims as well. They owned no land in Medina and if they did not raid, they would have to live on charity and whatever wage labor they could find.

Taken from http://www.islamonline.net/surah/english/viewSurah.asp?hSurahID=18

Topics and their Interconnection
This portion deals with the problems of the "Spoils of War". The Quran says that these are not the spoils of war but the "Bounties of Allah" and proves this by showing that the victory at Badr (and in all other battles, too,) was won by His succour and not by the efforts of the Muslims. It also declares (in v. 40) that the war aim of the Muslims should be to eliminate all unfavourable conditions for the establishment of Islam and not to gain spoils. Moreover, the spoils, being the bounties of God, belong to Allah and His Messenger and they alone are entitled to allocate them. Then after conditioning the Muslims to accept these things, the different shares have been allocated in v. 41. 1 - 41

James said:

(8) Civilian homes may be destroyed.

(9) Civilian fruit trees may be destroyed.

My Response:

James is using Surah 59:5 to justify this. Allah gives the reason why he ordered the Prophet to have those fruit trees to be cut down and that was in order for no fighting to occur. It was a brilliant military strategy that left no casualties. It would have either been the fruit trees or human beings killed (from fighting in a war). Read more about it from the Quranic tafseer

http://quran.al-islam.com/Tafseer/DispTafsser.asp?nType=1&bm=&nSeg=0&l=arb&nSora=59&nAya=6&taf=KATHEER&tashkeel=0

Read also http://islamonline.net/english/science/2004/04/article05.shtml

As for the civilian homes being destroyed, it was the Jews that destroyed them

Taken from http://www.ispi-usa.org/muhammad/muhammad11.html

The Banu Nadir was permitted to take as many of their belongings as they could on their beasts of burden. Some of them ripped out the doors and windows of their homes and loaded them onto their camels. Many of them destroyed what was left of their homes so that it might not be usable to the Muslims. The Qur'an draws attention to this irony:
"And caused such upheaval in their hearts that they let their houses be demolished by their own hands." (Qur'an 59: 2)

 

The Muslims simply destroyed the remaining houses left. They were not going to be used. The Banu Nadir tribe was exiled and they took with them all the possessions they were able to take. Its not like they were left with nothing with all their valuables destroyed along with their houses.

 

The Prophet prohibited destroying houses and trees but Banu Nadir was a specific case.

 

 

Maliks Muwatta

 

Book 021, Hadith Number 010.

-----------------------------

Section : Prohibition against Killing Women and Children in Military Expeditions.

 

Yahya related to me from Malik from Yahya ibn Said that Abu Bakr as-Siddiq was sending armies to ash-Sham. He went for a walk with Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan who was the commander of one of the battalions. It is claimed that Yazid said to Abu Bakr, "Will you ride or shall I get down?" Abu Bakrsaid, "I will not ride and you will not get down. I intend these steps of mine to be in the way of Allah."

 

Then Abu Bakr advised Yazid, "You will find a people who claim to have totally given themselves to Allah. Leave them to what they claim to have given themselves. You will find a people who have shaved the middle of their heads, strike what they have shaved with the sword.

 

"I advise you ten things| Do not kill women or children or an aged, infirm person. Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy an inhabited place. Do not slaughter sheep or camels except for food. Do not burn bees and do not scatter them. Do not steal from the booty, and do not be cowardly."

 

Read more about the campaign of Banu Nadir at

 

http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/History/Jews/nadir.htm

 

James said:

(10) Pagan Arabs had to convert or die. This does not allow for the freedom of religion or conscience.

My Response:

This issue has already been raised and addressed.

James said:

(11) People of the Book (Jews and Christians) had three options (Sura 9:29): fight and die; convert and pay a forced "charity" or zakat tax; or keep their Biblical faith and pay a jizya or poll tax.

My Response:

This issue has already been addressed in point number 4.

Conclusion

The arguments provided by James are mostly ad hominem arguments (http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html)

We must not let our subjective opinions establish the criteria as to what is right and wrong. We must be objective. If we examine the Sharia Law objectively, we can only but conclude that it is the most effective.

James presented other arguments, however they needed to be examined more critically and taken into context so I do not blame him for his sincerity (if he is sincere) in searching for the truth.

For any comments please contact me at

B_Zawadi@hotmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to My Rebuttals, and exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team section.

Rebuttals to James Arlandson's articles.

Rebuttals by Bassam Zawadi.

The Dumpster section.

Refutation to the preposterous LIES of Jochen Katz about his Bible not containing inhumane murders from its Prophets!

X-Rated Pornography in the Bible.

Aisha was 9 when she married our Prophet, and PROOFS that 9-year old girls were married to men who were their fathers' age also in the BIBLE, AND EVEN UNTIL TODAY IN OUR CULTURES.

Pedophilia against 3-year old slave girls in the Bible.


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