Last week, the National Post published several excerpts from Christopher Hitchens’ book, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. One of the excerpts was about Islam: What Did Muhammad Say? Who Knows?
Below is a copy of my comment on that excerpt, which I have also published in the open thread. (The copy below has been slightly edited to correct some structural errors.)
As a person who used to follow the Islamic faith most of my life, I must admit that Hitchens has done an excellent job in covering historical facts on it. However, I do not agree that the inaccuracies and falseness of a religion make it ‘poisonous’.
I am hoping that Hitchens’ book covers more about the dangers of following Islam under the assumption that its historical documents are credible. That way, we would be looking into the Muslim mindset and realizing how dangerous Islam is to humanity. The only way Islam can be ‘reformed’ is by cutting out huge chunks of the Quran and eliminating the example of Muhammad altogether (which is impossible, since Quran-ic verses like 33:21 dictate that Muslims must follow Muhammad’s example):
Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much.
For example, when Muhammad was 50, he ‘married’ his best friend’s 6-year-old daughter and raped her 3 years later (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Hadith 234). This is why the female legal age for ‘marriage’ in Iran is nine.
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Hadith 234:
The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years)… Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age.
When poets like Ka’ab bin Al-Ashraf, Abu Afak (a centenarian), and Asma’ bint Marwan (a mother) wrote poetry mocking and/or criticizing Muslims, Muhammad had them assassinated. Following his example today, we see that Muslims attempt to kill anyone who dares speak a word against their role model (or draw a cartoon, for that matter).
One of Muhammad’s most well-known examples of mass murder was the massacre of at least 600 Arab Jews from the tribe of Banu Qurayza. In fact, Muhammad proudly stated that before the end of life as we know it, Muslims will massacre all the Jews (e.g. Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Hadith 6985).
Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Hadith 6985:
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.
Jihad progressed in three stages in Islam. The final stage was a declaration of war against the entire world. According to Quran 9:29, non-Muslims are to be offered conversion to Islam, subjugation as humiliated second-class dhimmis (only applicable to Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians), or war. (See also my older post, Question on Dhimmitude.)
Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.
The Sunna (example of Muhammad in his biographies and Hadiths) is clear on how he treated the non-Muslims of Arabia. After breaking the Hudaybiya Treaty with the Meccans, conquering Mecca, and busting their idols (because Islam is a religion of tolerance), he gave the pagans four months to convert or face death (Quran 9:1-5). On his deathbed, he ordered his followers to “expel the pagans from the Arabian Peninsula” (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 288).
Religion is like a placebo. Those who believe in it can do a lot of good for themselves and mankind. Who are we to say that anything that’s false is bad for us? Is Santa Claus bad for our children?
The problem with Islam is not in its inaccuracies, but rather in its intolerance. Belief is a personal choice made by an individual. I have no problem with people believing in Jesus, Buddha, or Mother Goose for that matter. But when a ‘religion’ preaches hatred and intolerance for all those who differ from its adherents, then this ‘religion’ should be declared as a banned political ideology no different from Nazism.