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Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

Kafir Girl is the blog and nom de plume of a very funny writer who offers a detailed and devastating critique of the Quran highlighting its absurdities and unpleasantness. Kafir Girl stopped writing in 2009 and there is no trace of her on the web but the blog remains and is a very useful resource.

I remembered KG’s blog when I saw this video of Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a Hamas leader:

Mosab condemns Islam as a religion/philosophy but does not condemn Muslims who he rightly says are on the whole good people. This is an important distinction. Most Muslims seem oblivious to the pernicious nature of the Quran. All religious scriptures have deeply offensive bits but they also have elevated and elevating passages. I have yet to find anything elevating in the Quran though I was impressed by the ‘anti-racist’ statement in Mohammed’s last sermon:

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.

I think that this does not appear explicitly in the Quran but is a hadith. Nevertheless credit where it’s due.

Mosab’s passionate honesty about his former faith reminds me of Gilad Atzmon an Israeli Jew who talks about ‘Jewish indoctrination’ much as Mosab talks about Islamic indoctrination.

Mosab’s views reminded me to online conversations I’ve had with young people on the NYPO Forum and also of a debate at the Oxford Union which asked whether Islam is a religion of peace. Here are two videos of speakers from opposing sides of the motion:

First Anne-Marie Walters:

and then the reply from Medhi Hassan:

Medhi’s defense is stellar and on the surface persuasive but it is persuasive about the wrong question. Medhi misses the point or evades it. He is defending Muslims rather than Islam and it is not Muslims who are the issue. Neither Mosab nor Anne-Marie is saying that Muslims are bad or worse than any other group; they are saying that the majority are decent people not because of Islam but despite it.

There is a need for adherents of every religion or other ideological system to be critical of their own religion or ideology.

2007-10-05

I deeply respect people like Mosab and Atzmon who are prepared to challenge the orthodoxies that they are born into.

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