Sunday, July 22, 2007

Response to a Muslim: Will we be branded on the nose?

I get many emails suggesting I need faith, but people cannot seem to agree on which faith would be best for me. Here is another email from a Muslim, suggesting that what I really need is Islam. IJ writes:

ASalam u alaikum, may peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon u

Brother Merle,

Hope ur in good health. after a long long time im writing 2 u. Where have u reached in ur search 4 the truth? U might have denounced one faith, but what are u going 2 replace that space with? atheism? agnostism? hinduism? budhism? what....? WHY NOT ISLAM?

Yes i know u'll be thinking im nuts, but how much do u know abt Islam? U might have proved that the bible is not the word of God and that Christianity is a hoax, but can u dissprove Islam? WELL, NOBODY CAN! COZ ITS THE TRUTH, ITS FRM GOD!

Surely u could try out wether im just fooling around or wether its a big joke. All i want 2 say is that dont involve any one else in this and lets have a fair debate.

Herez what u do:

write to me in pts all that u dislike abt Islam , all that u find really stupid, any "mistake" in the quran what ever you can find to deny the fact that islam is the truth.


I'll try my best 2 give u the best answers ( if Allah wills), if u get all the answers , the choice is up 2 u and if i cant give u the answers, then ive failed.

Just remember one thing, it was just by accident i discovered ur site, and I dont know what motivated me to interact with u and to be really sincere im trying ro convince u abt Islam only beacuse i really feel concerned 4 every person who hasent got 2 know a great deal abt Islam, coz when u know abt it, YOU'LL BEGIN 2 LUV ISLAM!

Who knows maybe Allah wants 2 guide u , for its only He who can guide. As He says in the Quran:

"The one whom Allah guides, no one can misguide

and the one whomw He misguides no one can guide!"

My favourite verse frm the Quran is:

"When truth is heard out falsehood, falsehood perishes, for falsehood by its nature is bound 2 perish!"


Its available at

May Allah Guide us all close u the truth and spread the peace of Islam.

I respond below:



I can see that you find much comfort in the culture of Islam. Many others find comfort in other cultures. If you were simply saying that you find good in your culture, but that, like all cultures, Islam has a mixture of evil and non-truth mixed with the good, I would have no objection. But your claim goes much deeper. You imply that there is no mistake in Islam. In that I think you are mistaken. There are mistakes in Islam and in the Quran, as there are mistakes throughout all of human enterprise. How can one possibly deny that?

You ask what I find wrong with Islam. Well, for one thing, I find a disturbing amount of intolerance in the Quran. Perhaps you can explain to me why a book from God would appear to be so intolerant. Here are a few example verses:

4:56 Lo! Those who disbelieve Our revelations, We shall expose them to the Fire. As often as their skins are consumed We shall exchange them for fresh skins that they may taste the torment. Lo! Allah is ever Mighty,

Okay, so if I don't believe what you have to say, I will be exposed to the fire? And as often as my skin is consumed it will be replaced with fresh skin, so I can suffer more? And what is the crime for which this punishment is meted out? Do you recommend all of this torture of those who examine your religion, and come to a different conclusion from you?

IJ, people look at religion and come to different conclusions. Some believe the Bible but not the Quran. Some believe neither book. And do you think that they should have their skins burned off of them forever, continuously having fresh skin restored so it too can be burnt, further torturing those who came to a different conclusion from you?

Why not simply approach religion from a rational point of view? Perhaps others have come to a different conclusion from you for reasons that to them seem rational. If a person disbelieves the Quran for rational reasons, does that person deserve eternal torment?

4:74 Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.

And so do you encourage people to fight in the way of Allah, even if they have to fight to the death?

When I find people who differ with me, I prefer to use the pen--or the keyboard--rather than the sword. Do you approve of the sword for solving such disputes?

4:150 Lo! those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers, and seek to make distinction between Allah and His messengers, and say: We believe in some and disbelieve in others, and seek to choose a way in between; 4:151 Such are disbelievers in truth; and for disbelievers We prepare a shameful doom.

Ah, so do you agree with preparing a shameful doom for those who disbelieve? The hijackers on 9/11 prepared a shameful doom for many who did not believe. Do you think they did the right thing? Or do you think it is wrong to prepare a shameful doom for disbelievers in Islam?

7:179 We urged unto hell many of the jinn and humankind, having hearts wherewith they understand not, and having eyes wherewith they see not, and having ears wherewith they hear not. These are as the cattle - nay, but they are worse! These are the neglectful.

Ah, so I, and the many Christians, atheists, and others who disbelieve your book are cattle, and even worse then cattle? Why does your book resort to name-calling? And why does your book so viciously destroy the self-esteem of others?

9:5 Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

So do you think it is good to find those who worship a different God, and to besiege them and take them captive? Do you approve of slaying me or making me a slave or yours if I don't believe your book? Do you approve of wars of conquest in the name of Allah?

Or do you admit that this is one of the places where the Quran is mistaken?

9:73 O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey's end.

And you believe in being harsh with LorMar, noogatiger, Honey, and others who have posted here and don't believe your book?

Come on, why can't we all be friends?

9:123 O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him).

And do you follow this verse? Can we expect that you will fight against us if we don't believe your book? If so, should we be scared of you?

Or do you see that this verse is mistaken, and therefore do not do what it says?

18:29 Say: (It is) the truth from the Lord of you (all). Then whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve. Lo! We have prepared for disbelievers Fire. Its tent encloseth them. If they ask for showers, they will be showered with water like to molten lead which burneth the faces. Calamitous the drink and ill the resting-place!

Have you no pity on the suffering of others? If they are suffering in fire, and they beg for showers, why give them showers of molten lead?

22:19 These twain (the believers and the disbelievers) are two opponents who contend concerning their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads, 22:20 Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted; 22:21 And for them are hooked rods of iron. 22:22 Whenever, in their anguish, they would go forth from thence they are driven back therein and (it is said unto them): Taste the doom of burning.

Is that what you will say to me if I don't believe your book? Will you tell me to taste the doom of burning? Will you agree with those who pour boiling fluid on my head, and melt my skin?

Tell me please, do you think I would be a better person if I believed and followed your book, and did what such verses recommend?

25:36 Then We said: Go together unto the folk who have denied Our revelations. Then We destroyed them, a complete destruction.

So do you encourage those who destroy the disbelievers with a complete destruction?

Can you see how some might think such verses promote terrorism?

34:5 But those who strive against Our revelations, challenging (Us), theirs will be a painful doom of wrath.

But if nobody is ever able to challenge the revelations, how do you know the revelations are true?

I am skeptical of anybody who refuses to let their claim be challenged, and threatens wrath on those who wish to challenge the claims. I prefer free discussion.

If a witness refuses cross-examination on the witness stand, doesn't that cast doubt on his testimony? If your book refuses cross-examination, can you see how some of us see this as reason to be even more skeptical of its claims?

68:15 That, when Our revelations are recited to him, he saith: mere fables of the men of old. 68:16 We shall brand him on the nose.

And if the people who post here, such as Honey or Noogatiger, do not agree with your book, will you brand them on the nose? Should they be scared of you?

2:8 And of mankind are some who say: We believe in Allah and the Last Day, when they believe not. 2:9 They think to beguile Allah and those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves; but they perceive not.

Okay, so we cannot escape this fire and branding on our noses by simply claiming to believe? We must truly believe, or we will be branded on the nose?

I am sorry, but if the facts do not support an assertion, then I cannot believe it. I can pretend to believe it, but I cannot believe something when I think it is not true. If I cannot escape doom by pretending to believe, then your book offers no hope.

Okay, that is just the tip of the iceberg. I could cite many similar verses. Let's start with those. These verse seem wrong to me. If you do not think they are wrong, please explain.

I think you will agree with me that there are indeed some mistakes in the Quran.