Why I am Not a “Muslim”

A rant against the strange attitudes towards secularism, difference of opinion, Jews, human rights, etc.

Be forewarned that this is a rant.

I have been frustrated with a few Muslims who have the strangest of ideas and behaviors. They deplore the insult in the Muhammad cartoons but then rampage through their own cities destroying property. Cartoons enrage them enough to liken it to Yazid’s killing of Imam Hussain but don’t have anything to say about the suicide bombing on Ashura in Pakistan.

Then there are Muslims who see the hand of Jews and Israel behind everything. They deny the Holocaust or at least minimize it (a la David Irving). They think the US is controlled by Jews or Zionists. And they love the forgery Protocols of the Elders of Zion. They don’t see the stupidity of Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s statements denying the Holocaust. And what’s more they even see the hand of Israel behind the cartoon controversy, even though Israel has a blasphemy law. These Muslims think it is all well and good for an Iranian newspaper to print Holocaust cartoons in response to the Muhammad cartoons in Denmark. These guys say something about international affairs and all I hear is “Jew … Israel … Jews … Zionist …”.

Some of these guys (and in fact most that I have had an interaction with) are well-educated. Some even pride themselves on their knowledge of science and how they can rationally convince anyone of the truth of the Quran. However, their “rational truth” consists of cribbings from The Bible, The Qur’an and Science by Maurice Bucaille, a book that I read two decades ago (it impressed my teenage mind but it is not convincing to me now.) When they talk of Islam being self-evidently right, they use the worst arguments of the Islamic apologists and do not even consider any skeptical ideas. And then when you dare bring one up, they declare you beyond all help and a kafir. The funny thing about them is their cartoonish black-and-white world where everything about their religion (and beliefs) is self-evidently true while the other side has no valid rational arguments. I have heard many a Muslim create strawman positions of others (Christians or secular folk usually) out of thin air and then demolish them.

Another pet peeve of mine is that a number of people consider the bipolar world of the United States and Soviet Union to be a much better place than the present despite all the atrocities of the communists in the Soviet Union and elsewhere in their sphere of influence. Some of the Muslims used to be very anti-communist in those days but remember the Soviet Union now like a lost love. A similar situation is true especially for Pakistanis where they think China is the greatest nation or something. They want China to be a world power, not realizing how bad of a human rights record the Chinese communists have got.

Then there are the conspiracy theorists. Anything and everything bad among Muslims is either punishment for their not being Muslim enough or the fault of some hidden hand (like the Israeli Mossad, or the Indian RAW or the American CIA, and so on). These guys have some tall tales to tell you which I must admit do sound amusing at first.

And finally sectarianism. Some people just can’t tolerate others with different beliefs. They have to denigrate the beliefs of others and even call them kafirs. It can be as simple as harassing an Ashura procession. And as deadly as killing Shia doctors in Karachi. It can be your school MSA which does not welcome all Muslim sects.

UPDATE: These crazies just never stop.

UPDATE II: The madness continues. And to prove my point, someone in an online forum blamed it on Jews; others blamed the coalition forces.

Author: Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer

37 thoughts on “Why I am Not a “Muslim””

  1. For those of you who have trouble with reading comprehension:

    1. Note the quotes around “Muslim” in the title.
    2. Notice the use of “some” all through the article. So I am not generalizing.
  2. You are absolutely right. Sometimes their arguments become so passionate that I really feel like I am an outsider. I feel like may be they are right my belief is not strong and may be I am not Muslim enough. What do you think how we should deal with these people? I mean atleast I can not ignore them but then we can not convince them either and it gives them a chance to strengthen their hatred and even spread it.

  3. okay, i had to laugh at your comment in here because i did catch the quotes and i got what you were saying by putting those quotes and all i can say is i’m glad you are not one of “them”.

    Everything you said is so right on and unfortunately true. It’s the state of Muslims these days. Education and a dose of humble pie is required…humble pie for all those Muslims that are so sure they are the “right” ones and doing the “right” things. It’s like the story of the camel and the father and son. You know, how the father is letting the son ride on the camel through the hot dessert and then when people pass they look at the son and think bad things of him making his older father walk so then the dad gets on the camel and the son walks but people still look badly at them because the dad is making the son walk. So then they both walk beside the camel and people look at them like they are crazy so then they decide to just carry the camel on their backs… i probably got it all wrong but that is how it is these days, no matter what any Muslim is doing, another one has to shoot it down. It’s depressing that the ummah is not really an ummah.

    It’s very sad that cartoons can get people so riled up but the rest doesn’t…

    Glad you wrote this…so very sadly true.

  4. So, was there a specific trigger for your rant, or has it been simmering for some time?

    Your experience with “them” reminds me of an individual I met some time ago. This person had a religious experience that resulted in the taking of a rather extreme religious position, but over the last few years, I have noticed a movement toward a more moderate viewpoint. I believe this movement has a great deal to do with the purpose of religion for this person. I think this person truly wants to know God and achieve greater understanding of himself and others through God.

    Some who express strong religious convictions share this purpose, but others, both knowingly and unwittingly, express religious convictions for more base reasons. Some cloak their desires, political platforms, hatreds and other agendas in the robes of an imam, priest, rabbi, etc. They use God as a front, or they accept the use of God as a front because it is convenient. Unfortunately, the actions of both groups sometimes appear similar. Both may take extreme religious positions; both may condemn those that do not share their views. And, both, in extreme situations, may choose to die for their convictions, though one dies for faith while the other dies as a servant of a terrestrial agenda.

    However, the purpose driving the conviction, in my opinion, ultimately leads to two different ends. Those seeking God and truth will grow averse to violence, slow to anger and reserved in judgment. They will seek to live lives of integrity. Those using the idea of God for their own purposes will use Him or ignore Him as the situation requires. They will live duplicitous lives, extolling religious virtues in public while succumbing to vice in private.

    At best, moderates can limit the capacity of both groups to do harm. The former would likely regret their actions later, and the later will always be dangerous. In seeking to limit harm, it is important to give both groups the time and freedom to reveal / discover their true colors. A second valuable course of action involves engaging members of both groups in discussion, repeatedly. By forcing them to explain and defend their positions, a discussion gives believers the opportunity to explore their relationship with God, and users run the risk of exposing to the world, if not themselves, the inconsistencies inherent in their positions. I personally think the world holds more moderates and believers than users, and I also think that many believers march with or under the banner of users. If these believers could be pushed to develop their relationship with God further, I suspect they would no longer march with and for the users.

  5. While I was reading the post, some ideas / facts were circling in my mind but after reading well-worded and comprehensive comment by Captain Arrrgh, I think nothing is left for me to say except that this is happening all over the globe due to misdirected education.

  6. I have just recalled that, while presenting a paper on “Development of Science and Humanity”, one of the speakers said, “People are becoming highly literate in literature, arts and science but do not pay attention to educate themselves regarding humanity”.

  7. Noumaan:

    What do you think how we should deal with these people?

    I am not sure anything can be done. I do try to challenge them regularly mostly for others’ sake who might be swayed by them. But otherwise it seems useless to me.

    Renee: I remember that tale as one of Aesop’s with a donkey rather than a camel. But that was a long long time ago so I might be mistaken.

    Captain Arrrgh:

    So, was there a specific trigger for your rant, or has it been simmering for some time?

    Both. There was a specific trigger in that during a discussion of the Muhammad cartoons and other matters, some people said stuff which resulted in this post. However, a lot of the stuff I said in my rant has been simmering for a long while.

    Your observations are generally correct and I agree but a lot of times I have found believers and moderates to be completely baffled by unbelievers (or different believers) and take the side of the users. It does get frustrating for someone like me. I would point you to some specific stuff online but most of it is in Urdu.

    Leila: Thanks.

    Nabeel: Thanks for letting me know about your post.

    Dad: Captain Arrrgh is good, isn’t he?

    I am not sure I agree with you about the reason being misdirected education, but I am beyond looking for reasons.

  8. I agree with your point of view. I think the biggest trouble we have, that “these guys” are successful in giving the impression that they are leading the whole Muslim Community. “They” should get some strong resistance from rest of the Muslim Community as well. In my opinion, we should Condemn “them” strongly on various plateforms without this fear that they will call you “Kafir”.

  9. Hi, was just reading your blog titled ‘why i am not a muslim’. Well, I totally and completely agree with you about how frustrating it is to get double standards from muslims that are pretentious about being holy, but then go right up against our Prophets (PBUH) in their actions and words.

    But dont hate Islam for it. Islam is a religion of peace. N the way that YOU have indentified how these ppl are going wrong in wat they say and wat they do- it is consisten with wat Islam teaches us. These ignorant ppl give a bad name to Islam, and i feel that you are confused one very important thing. Islam as a religion is great, the way that our Pakistani muslims are carrying it out- is a mix of their thickheaded warlike thinking- they just need an excuse to take the name of Islam and exert their brutelike stupidity out at large.

    PPl like you are the ones that are on the right track about how we sud have reacted to these cartoons. So dont bail out on ‘us muslims’ that actually dont support this violent and stupid behaviour. I am equally angry about these ppls hypocritical attitudes… laykin yaar… i dont hate Islam for it, and I love being a muslim. Islam teaches us not to beahve this way. Those ppl got it wrong. You know it.

    Sorry for all the blah. Just thought I cud change ur mind somehow.

  10. Hi all,
    This is my first post so xcuse the mistakes, if any 🙂
    Follow on to UPDATE II…
    The vertigo continues… check link, This time “they” have attacked the shrine of Salman al-Farisi…an extremley close companion of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him and the ahlul bait) so I guess the hitlist contains “non-shia” shrines too! …u know the funny thing is Tony Blair condemded the attack on the holy shrine in Samrra…check link & the rest of the “cartoon frenzied” muslim ummah has kindda fallen off the face of the map! not a word or hiccup for tht matter!!!

  11. I read your article and some of the comments. What shocked me is that you make all these observations about Islam by looking at the people but never reading The Koran or The Hadith. That would be like trying to figure out how well MicroSoft’s business plan is by never using Windows but looking at how the employees behave. The Koran has been a bestseller since the beginning of time, so much so that the older, now obsolete, versions like the Bible are still selling like hot cakes. Maybe you should give it a read before you entitle yourself to commenting on it’s followers; The Holy Koran.

  12. Sonny: All analogies are imperfect but a better one than yours would be comparing the behavior of Muslims to how Windows behaves and Quran and/or Hadith as user guides.

    Also, my post didn’t say anything about Islam, not about some Muslims.

  13. I have read your blog and believe that these so called people you are commenting about may be the wrong misrepresentation of Islam and the teachings of the Quran. But again, who are we to judge in comparison to Allah (SWT)? In addition, as we claim to be an educated people, as well humanitarians, I don’t believe we should make judgements or comments about the handful of people you are talking about. As of today, there are approximately 1596 milllion Muslims across the world. And so I wish to ask, what percentage of this total number is acting in the manner you are describing? I know you say you are not generalizing about Muslims but by annoting your blog the way you have, it only appears that you are. People are people, no matter what country they hail from or what the color of their skin is or the religion they follow. There are many wrongful “people” in the world and so they should be described as just that.


  14. They think the US is controlled by Jews or Zionists

    why do you want to deny when Sharoon himself made public statement about it.I agree most of things yu mentioned here and i also agrre tht muslims go stupid attimes but regarding US is not controlled by Jews/zions,its pretty lame and awkward assumption.

  15. Adnan: I don’t know which statement of Sharon you are distorting.

    And I am glad as well that I am not like you. 🙂

  16. you can’t be like me,one can’t be like other regardless of faith and culture.Read again i said i am glad that you are not among us,a big difference if you can understand smirk

    sharoon statment:it was not hard to google about it just 1 second :>

    http://www.rense.com/general45/sharonsinfamouscomment.htm
    or if you want more write the following in google text box

    Sharon We Control America IAP news

    you will find lots of links about it:>,hope you would learn something new today:>

    u can search more and more about it.I would like to read some post by you in which you discuss how America is not controlled by Jews or i say zions/freemasons.

    By the way,do you know difference between jews and zions?:)

  17. Adnan:

    you can’t be like me, one can’t be like other regardless of faith and culture.Read again i said i am glad that you are not among us

    I am glad too.

    sharoon statment:it was not hard to google about it just 1 second :>

    And of course everything on the internet must be true. You gave me a link to some random web page. There are lots of such pages. No one directly refers to IAP news article, whoever they are. And even then who is IAP and what is their credibility? Why should we believe them when they relate a private conversation of the Israeli cabinet?

    I would like to read some post by you in which you discuss how America is not controlled by Jews or i say zions/freemasons.

    I don’t like to waste my time. People like you are going to weave conspiracy theories and anti-semitic propaganda regardless of my posts. Suffice it to say that I live in the US and observe politics and international affairs closely and do not think that Jews or Israel or Zionists (I guess that’s what you meant by zions) control the US.

    And speaking of conspiracy theories, there you go again mentioning freemasons as well. You do your credibility no good by this.

    Haroon: I am not sure what you mean by asking if the info at that link is true.

  18. Zack,its not wastage of time its just people like you can;t backup their own statments.Use some brain please,i didnt say you believe in that particular WEBSITE anyway,THE REFERENCE is given below the statment and its just not one instance of that particular statment,you would find several instance of same statment on different website.

    I agree with you,its wastage of time to get engaged with brainwashed kids like you who are ignorant as well.Living in US doesnt mean you are AWARE of everything,its pretty bullshit.Its not my fault that you have no knowledge that who controls US.Pick any big company,most of institutes.orgs are lead by Jews and their associates.You dont wanna believe it,i dont care,it doesn’t change the facts.

    You keep preaching your religion of ignorance,may this lead to something good.

  19. Adnan: I think any effort I can put in trying to convince you would be a waste. And I am a busy man, not interested in useless discussions.

    Haroon: Thanks for the link. I’ll take a look at what these guys are about.

  20. Yes its useless since you can’t backup your statment.You didnt put any effort at all.You are a liar too.I would like to be refuted,can you?

  21. Well. You are apparently right to some extent. Of course, this is not your problem. You have interests at stake by living in the US for quite some years and want to preserve these. I know how hard it becomes while living in West and the US to not explain things which are spoon fed by others.

    Why the Muslims rampaged their own cities over cartoons controversy is due to the fact that most of the time these were the political governments in Muslim countries who let this happen, just for political gains. They had no other option but to show that how hard it is to rule over the anarchic people.

    Are you absolutely sure that five million jews were killed in the so-called holocaust? Many people in the West still don’t believe it but are afraid to voice out expressions against it. The recent case of punishment to the British historian by Austrian court is an evident case in which his only fault was that he cast doubt on the number of killings in holocaust. Yes, for practical matters I admit one has to admit holocaust if he wants to live as an enlightened and multi-cultural person in the US atleast. What difference does it make if Israel has a phony law on blasphemy? Still they are controlling all the major media and other business outlets in West.

    Ahmedinejad is “foolish” because the Arab tyrants and dictators are not rallying behind him like the Western countries do for each other. The Arab despots just want to save their rule by closing their eyes. Well, for Iranian paper’s publishing of cartoons, it will also be a freedom of speech test, as was claimed by Jylland Posten in Denmark. (BTW, I lived in Aarhus, Denmark in September 2005 from where the Jyllands Posten is published and we were invited as a group to visit this newspaper office. I didn’t.).

    Regarding the bipolar world and hatred of Muslims was created delibertely by Western powers into the Muslim world through their paid scholars, rulers and other raised persons. Not any person with a sober mind believed it even at that time but it is a routine to curb independent voices in the name of nationalism and labeling them as traitors.

    China’s poor human rights record is echoed all the time by the Western media. Is this record better in the US where 1 out of every 136 persons of the total population is behind bars. Just talk in some rational way and then wait for the FBI to knock at your door late at night.

    And finally the sectarianism. Majority of these incidents are planned by intelligence agencies that have created a state within a state. If you don’t believe it, just try to explore it in a professional way.

  22. Zack,

    I came across your blog today, and it is refreshing to see a fellow from Pakistan writing some original perspectives.

    My reply here will be a bit dated as I see the last reply was made in May 2006, almost nine months before I am writing this. However I would like to echo your comments here on the frustration felt by me over the high handed and uneven response to the last year Cartoon controversy. Now that it died with equal quickness as it rose, I will question what wisdom was there behind innocent lives being lost in the protests in Pakistan and Indonesia. I was also intrigued by protesters holding placards denouncing free speech and the society that allows it to redicule a prophet. I am pretty sure all of those denouncing this society are still living happily here, enjoying all the freedom and pleasures that come with the living in west.

    I have some reservations about a person calling Islam a religion of peace. While Islam may literally mean peace, the history of Islam is anything but. We can start with the early conflicts between the prophet and Quresh and jews, following up with military conflicts in Persia, Syria, spreading all the way to Spain. In India, the invasion lasted several centuries and the Muslim conquerers were not very nice to the Hindu population that had the misfortune of being Idol worshipper on top of being a defeated populace.

    I like your blogs, and will look forward to adding this page to my favourites. I read that you studied at UET, Lahore and graduated in 1993. I think that would make you three years senior to me there.

    All the best

    Adnann

  23. I was intrigued by the statement of Sharon saying that “We control America”. If it were true, it was significantly stupid on Sharon’s part to be thoughtlessly boastful and antagonize his principal benefactors; there were rumors of this quote, however nothing was ever reported in reputable media sources. Turned out that a pro-Hamas group broadcasted this quote on Oct 13, 2001 and attributed it to an Israeli Radio Kol Yisrael. The Radio Station flatly denied that it never made that broadcast, and this quote eventually found its resting place in conspiracy websites and far left (as well as far right supremacist groups).

    Which brings me to the question of how to answer conspiracists and ever-repressed Muslims like Adnan Siddique who see conspiracy behind every thing that happens to the Muslims. How do you answer someone who is willing to wage his money on a 1% probability event, when the majority of evidence points against it? In my view, do not answer them; they have to show first that they have the maturity and understanding that is not blindly biased with point of view, that they are willing to accept the evidence if it refutes their cherished ideals. They may live the rest of their lives thinking that Jews will control US, that Jews planned 9/11, or that West is inherently anti-Muslim; and that would be a shame to see lives lived with a reasoning that defies evidence. But so be it.

    Regards,

    Adnann

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