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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Does Qur'aan incite Violence - II

Response to Mr. MA Khan’s article:
Does the Qur’aan Incite Violence? A Debate with Mike Ghouse, Part 2
Mike Ghouse
The question is not whose side you’re on, and there is no need to take any side. The question is rather, what you present as the verse from Qur’aan is verifiable or not? So far it has not been.
The verses presented so far have been misquotes from Qur'aan, they are not there as presented. The problem is not the words in the holy books, the problem is mangling it and presenting it as a quote from the book. I have dealt with such challenges in Part 1, link to which is listed at the bottom of this essay.

Mr. Khan mis-interprets me, “Thereafter, Muslim rulers (as pious as the Saudis, who are main sponsors of translations of the Quran) also embarked on the same mission to mistranslate the Quran, obviously to harm Islam and Muslims, as Ghouse would have it. "The Kings on the Arabian lands had to fool their people too to get their support", as he puts it.

I have decided to stick to the subject, “Does Qur’aan incite violence? Mr. Khan’s stand is it does, and I do not see that way – Religion, yes, and every religion allays fears of the unknown, mitigates the apprehensions, gives hopes and brings a balance to an individual and what surrounds him; people and the environment.

It is my choice not to respond to the first eight paragraphs as they are about me, rather than the subject matter.

Here we go again, with a few more verses that are mis-quoted: I have quoted the entire paragraphs from Mr. Khan’s articles and they are sandwiched between the dotted lines.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I must point out another great argument of this sagacious Islamic scholar, Mike Ghouse. The University of Southern California says:

There were about 360 idols around the Ka`abah. He pulled them down with his sword while reciting: "And say: 'Truth has arrived and falsehood has perished for falsehood is by its nature bound to perish.'" (Al-Qur'an, 17:81) Also "Say: 'Truth has arrived and falsehood neither creates anything new nor restores anything.'" (Al-Qur'an, 34: 49) The idols tumbled on their faces.

On the basis of such info, Wikipedia notes that:

In 630, Muhammad and his followers returned to Mecca as conqueror, and he destroyed the 360 idols in and around the Kaaba.<28]<29] href="http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/WorldMuslimCongress/Articles/Kaaba-and-the-wikipedia-blunder.asp">http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/WorldMuslimCongress/Articles/Kaaba-and-the-wikipedia-blunder.asp

It is time for the Neocons to stop chasing their own tails aka going on a circular logic. Please push the refresh button; this is the game they are playing since 10th century, with intent of maligning another people or faith. Of course, there is money in it for authors such as the one on Front page magazine and others. I wish Mr. Khan spends his energy in trying to go to original source; the Qur’aan, rather than quote the recycled quotes from over ten centuries.

Mr. Khan writes "Therefore, the claim of the original author that "In the eye of Allah, these kafirs [Hindus] are no better than animals" is roughly right, although he would been accurate had he said "kafirs [Hindus] are worse than animals (cattle)". That's what Asad affirms and Ghouse agrees."

The above statement is intended to frighten the Hindus, and normally it is an item to gain support from the extreme element and cash in on selling hate – the word “Hindu” is inserted in the quote above with mal-intent, it is neither in the Qur’aan nor in the translation by Asad, nor have I affirmed it. It is wrong to misquote me right here in these discussions.

I see the viciousness intensified in this statement of Mr. Khan, “This horrible cycle of punishment—that a Hindu, Christian or Jew deserves—would continue for eternity; so vile a people are they. No doubt, Allah’s psychopathic punishment would surpass the barbarity of Hitler by infinite folds.”

The following sentence lacks knowledge of any understanding of Qur’aan “We (Allah, there are few Allahs it seems) shall, in time, cause to endure fire:”. Mr. Khan knows that the word “we” is “I” used when the sentence is framed as God speaking.

I am debating at this point, should I continue this debate or not? I don’t run from things; let me face a few more paragraphs.

The following statement has no relevance for me “But this death in Jihad battles, called martyrdom, is no loss for Muslims; instead, it the greatest, the most desirable, thing ever can happen to a Muslim; because, this martyrdom gives him a ticket for straight landing in Allah’s paradise. Getting a ticket to paradise, believe Muslims, is the central aim of their every action in this world.”

What you fight for and die for may make sense or may not. Dying for the country, dying defending our democracy, dying to safeguard our freedom, dying for motherland… and dying for justice… are all glorified in India as well as America or any country.

Dying in Vietnam and dying in WWII or dying in Iraq… and Muslims dying to defend their freedom, fighting against oppression are all glorified. However, Islam does not allow any Muslim to kill others; you can fight only against a war on you. Many a presidents in behalf of their nation (without authorization of the people) have butchered other people and destroyed other nations. Many a Muslim Kings have done the same. In neither case it is the religion, it is the greed of the people in play. If they follow their religion and their scriptures, they won’t kill any one.

The language in the above quote (two paragraphs above) is geared to pitch the world against Muslims, and when you do that, you are guaranteed to have the Neocons (extremists in every faith) touting it and funding it. I believe, the moderate majority, the bulk of the population does not buy it.

I am surprised the editor of Desi Critic over looked this statement of Mr. Khan, “Let me emphasize to the reader that engaging with ignorant or deceivers like Ghouse takes us to no meaningful enlightenment on the subject. Therefore, I may wish to conclude this debate here, unless Ghouse comes forward with some solid, well-researched, arguments that deserve a response.”

Mr. Khan, no more rhetoric, or re-cycled quotes, please give me the originals from Qur’aan that is verifiable from the Qur’aan and debate with me without the first eight paragraphs. And please don’t run. I am here to defend the goodness of religion, every religion from the Neocon attacks. Every religion is beautiful, and it is our understanding that is short fused not God’s word.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, interfaith, Islam, India, Multiculturism, Terrorism, Peace, Politics and Civic issues. He co-chairs the center for interfaith inquiry of the Memnosyne Foundation, and presides the Foundation for Pluralism a He is the president of World Muslim Congress a think tank with a simple theme: Good for Muslims and good for the world and vice-Versa. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website http://www.mikeghouse.net/ Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. Mike's Profile, he is a Neighborhood Commissioner at the City of Carrollton, and a Board Member of Dallas Peace Center and has initiated the annual events like Thanksgiving, Unity Day USA, Holocaust and other events. He was Past President of Indian Creek HOA and North Texas Cricket Association and has been a member of several Boards.

# # #

Quran Incite Violence? A Debate with Mike Ghouse, Part 2
February 18, 2009
MA KHAN

I am responding below to Mike Ghouse’s reply to Part1 in this debate. I regret that I wasn’t able to respond with immediacy.

Let me start by addressing Ghouse’s favorite argument regarding the Quran, which I encountered in his emails and postings in Websites quite a few times. He frequently says that, in the colonial era or before, the Westerners intentionally mistranslated the Quran to harm Islam. “The Quran was mistranslated three times (by Europeans)”, he asserts. Thereafter, Muslim rulers (as pious as the Saudis, who are main sponsors of translations of the Quran) also embarked on the same mission to mistranslate the Quran, obviously to harm Islam and Muslims, as Ghouse would have it. “The Kings on the Arabian lands had to fool their people too to get their support”, as he puts it.

To him, these translators distorted the Quran so badly that, by reading it, Muslims are becoming terrorists all over the world in the name of Islam—the religion of pristine peace and tranquility. Let me first ask Ghouse a few questions:

1. First, what is his scholarship, expertise in Arabic, to judge translations of the Quran of most famous scholars like Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Dr. Muhshin Khan et al.? May I ask, if Ghouse, probably an India-born student of business/commercial studies, is fluent in Arabic or understand Arabic at all?

2. Secondly, would Ghouse sit in Saudi Arabia and dare distorting the Quran intentionally. I can assure Ghouse that the kind of “gross distortion” he accuses other famous translators with, if he does the same level of distortion of whatever kind sitting in Saudi Arabia, he would not last a day. Well, Ghouse may even give a try of the same at Islamabad, Khartoum, Cairo or Kabul. His is unlikely to last much longer, if at all. Let me inform readers that Muhshin Khan and his co-translator, Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, taught at the Islamic University of Medina, the city of Muhammad, where Islam was born. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, another brilliant translator, was sponsored by the Saudis.

3. Thirdly, Ghouse has found a good translator in Muhammad Asad (d. 1990), an Austro-Hungarian Jew, who converted to Islam and later ended up in India, where, in the company of fanatic Allama Iqbal, became a scholar of Islam. “Go to Mohammad Asad’s translation of Quran, it is one of the most accepted translations”, he asserts. In fact, Asad’s translation is not correct enough for Ghouse, as he says: “If I live longer, Insha Allah, God willing, I will do the translation to reflect the intent of the Quran”.

Although Asad’s credentials in Arabic were undoubtedly good, he had no real training in Arabic at its crown centres of Baghdad, Cairo, Saudi Arabia, which scholars like Muhshin Khan and Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali had. Moreover, born in a Jewish Rabbi family and well-acquainted with developments of the 20th-century Europe, I leave it to readers to reflect on how his background could have influenced his English rendering of the Quran and on Ghouse’s wisdom of picking Asad as a more reliable translator.

4. Fourthly, does Ghouse want to tell us that all the Imams, Muslim clerics—from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world—who keep spewing hatred on Quranic justification, read the Quran in English translations? Do Arabs like Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, late al-Zarqawi and all those Islamic terrorists read the Quran in Arabic? Ghouse would obviously have us believe so.

I must point out another great argument of this sagacious Islamic scholar, Mike Ghouse. The University of Southern California says:

There were about 360 idols around the Ka`abah. He pulled them down with his sword while reciting: “And say: ‘Truth has arrived and falsehood has perished for falsehood is by its nature bound to perish.’” (Al-Qur’an, 17:81) Also “Say: ‘Truth has arrived and falsehood neither creates anything new nor restores anything.’” (Al-Qur’an, 34: 49) The idols tumbled on their faces.
On the basis of such info, Wikipedia notes that:

In 630, Muhammad and his followers returned to Mecca as conqueror, and he destroyed the 360 idols in and around the Kaaba.<28]<29]>

But to Ghouse, this information is all false. That means leading Islamic organizations in American, like CAIR and MSA, are out to harm Islam and Muslims, too. It is false even when most of the greatest classical scholars of Islam say so. Ibn Ishaq

But to Ghouse, those greatest scholars were ignorant or were out to harm Islam and Muslims. So, where lies truth? Who knows the truth? It is Michel Wolfe, a non-Muslim filmmaker of our time and the producer of the film “The Message”. When Ghouse asked Wolfe, the latter replied, as Ghouse puts it: “From his (Wolfe’s) understanding the idols were ‘removed’”, not destroyed, the latter remark being “blatantly misleading”.

Allah or Muhammad probably paid a visit to Wolfe lately to furnish him with the correct information. He has no other way to discover this truth. I wonder how Ghouse’s wisdom failed to ask Wolfe as to how he discovered the truth.

Nonetheless, the moral of the story is: You can take over a temple and remove there idols therein, not destroy them. Idolaters of the world can this message of Ghouse home.

Now let me turn to the Quranic verses Ghouse has addressed. I will not respond to his comments on other religious scriptures, because my expertise doesn’t lie there. I have spent the last 5-6 years researching Islam extensively, on which I am confident of commenting. If other scriptures have violent content, they incite violence too.

In explanation of verse 7:179, despite whatever unnecessary things he has written, Asad’s translation still says that the Kafirs, such as Hindus, “are like cattle -nay, they are even less conscious of the right way”. That means a non-Muslim, heedless to Allah’s messages, is worse, more evil, than animals like cattle, which the original author put as: they are “like brute beast.” I need someone explain what’s the difference between the two. "Therefore, the claim of the original author that "In the eye of Allah, these kafirs [Hindus] are no better than animals" is roughly right, although he would been accurate had he said "kafirs [Hindus] are worse than animals (cattle)". That's what Asad affirms and Ghouse agrees."

Why not Ghouse give a fitting treatment to his non-Muslim neighbor deserving of animals like cattle, nay, worse than cattle as Asad puts it. I grew up in the countryside, we raised cattle. Worse than cattle around us were foxes that grabbed our chickens or spoiled sugarcane plantations. We used to kill them at the first opportunity. Tigers, hyenas, wolves are worse than cattle, too. What treatment would Muslims render, if they happen to come across animals like these in their neighborhood? Heads of the kafirs should roll.

Concerning my quoted verse 4:56, Asad’s translation basically say the same thing: For those rejecting Islam, “We (Allah, there are few Allahs it seems) shall, in time, cause to endure fire:

This horrible cycle of punishment—that a Hindu, Christian or Jew deserves—would continue for eternity; so vile a people are they. No doubt, Allah’s psychopathic punishment would surpass the barbarity of Hitler by infinite folds. Again, the original author is accurate in emphasizing that Allah has intense hatred of non-Muslims.

I will now touch upon three verses that Ghouse did not address. First verse 3:56:
The question of how Allah will punish the kafirs in this world? Not by Himself but through the hands of his followers, aka Muslims. Muslims must engage the vile unbelievers in Jihadi wars and inflict grievous punishment on them; and those, who perish in the process, will receive Allah’s succor in paradise (loaded with eternal virgins of immaculate beauty) as says the Quran
Next verse 8:13:

The message is crystal-clear here. This means, Muslims must endeavor to take hold of those vile unbelievers, who oppose Allah and Muhammad mission (i.e., reject Islam) and “cut off their heads, and strike off all the ends of the fingers.” Allah’s clear words are enough; nothing more is needed to be said on this.

Let me move on the last verse 9:111:
This can be accurately dubbed as the verse of 9/11 attacks. Life of Muslims has been purchased by Allah for fighting in Allah’s cause (i.e., Jihad), in which they must slay and be slain. That is, they must wage Jihad and try their best to slay the kafirs. Obviously some Jihadis would be killed in such holy wars. But this death in Jihad battles, called martyrdom, is no loss for Muslims; instead, it the greatest, the most desirable, thing ever can happen to a Muslim; because, this martyrdom gives him a ticket for straight landing in Allah’s paradise. Getting a ticket to paradise, believe Muslims, is the central aim of their every action in this world.

Some master deceivers of Islam would tell us that Jihad means struggling with the self, which will help them gain paradise. I hope, some of them will come forward and explain to us as to how struggling with the self would result in slaying the kafirs and getting killed in the process. Probably Ghouse can enlighten us on that.

Let me emphasize that Ghouse has done little research on the Quran. Moreover, he is either a good-hearted person with little knowledge of Islam or he is on a mission of deceiving the gullible kafirs. The fact that he said,

Has Ghouse torn away those pages of his Quran that contain these manufactured verses of brutality?

Let me emphasize to the reader that engaging with ignorants or deceivers like Ghouse takes us to no meaningful enlightenment on the subject. Therefore, I may wish to conclude this debate here, unless Ghouse comes forward with some solid, well-researched, arguments that deserve a response.

However, if readers are keen to get a full picture of the incitement of violence (i.e., Jihad) in Islam, I urge them to get a copy of my just-released book, “Islam Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery.”
I am getting some very encouraging assessments on the book from experts, including from top professors (see in the link). I believe this book will have a strong humanizing impact on Muslims (the radical ones), while help everyone understand why the world today is mired in the horror of terrorism.

MA Khan is a liberal humanist and the author of Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism, and Slavery. He also edits the Islam-watch.org website. Email this • Digg This! • Submit to Reddit • Save to del.icio.us • Submit to Propeller • Stumble It!

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