Muhammed Syed: Clear-headed, calm talk on Islam


Muhammed Syed of ex-Muslims of North America. A great interview with Seth Andrews on “The Thinking Atheist”

Why is the power vacuum that is left when one of the competing sects of Islam loses the upper hand all too often filled with another version of a murderous and genocidal regime like Hussein, Assad, the ayatollahs of the Iranian revolution, the Taliban or now as in the manner of ISIS which as Syed notes:
“that’s exactly the way early Islam governments were formed and did operate…it is following Islamic scripture”?
Because of Islam.

Why isn’t the power vacuum ever filled by a progressive, democratic, science and human rights oriented movement from within Islam?
Because it appears to me from what Syed and so many other ex-Muslims explain and Islamic history tells us there is no room for such a movement until a drastic reformation of Islam occurs. The shape of what fills the power vacuums, however they were created, whoever may have been to blame, is determined by the driving politico-religious force in Islamic culture: the Islamic religion and its scripture.

Why is this revivalist movement so strong in Islam to return to the violent time that is reflected in both the OT of the Hebrews and Islamic scripture, yet no such all-encompassing revivalist movement exists in the other two Abrahamic religions?
Because whatever Mohammed did was perfect, and cannot be wrong to emulate and ISIS is following a tradition to emulate the prophet that goes back to the caliphate, the Wahhabis, the Muslim Brotherhood and the ayatollahs all because of what is written in Islam.

Syed:
“Islam does not mean peace”, but “submission to god’s will…”peace wasn’t being sought in the beginning nor at any other point” “Most Muslims may not even know Muhammed was a warlord”
AND
“One of the silver bullets we have today is the internet…” “usually when you start honestly exploring things you come to the same conclusions that these are mythological figures…mythology from the 7th century” “you can’t block the internet entirely”

“This is a long term ideological war…I do think it is inevitable”.
“Actually I am very hopeful”

He has seen Muslims change.

For myself, after reading innumerable articles, and about a dozen books or so on the Islamic religion, culture, and history, including but not limited to:
Nonie Darwish “Infidel”
Qanta Ahmed “In the Land of the Invisible Women”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali “Infidel,”Nomad” and “Heretic”
V.S. Naipaul “Among the Believers” and “Beyond Belief”
Lawrence Wright “The Looming Tower”
A.J. Silverstein “Islamic History”
Lesley Hazelton “After the Prophet”
Irshad Manji “The Trouble with Islam Today”
Christopher Hitchens “god is not great”
and a few more history of science books that covered the Golden Age of Islam,

And Pervez Hoodbhoy’s excellent article: The Battle for Science and Secularism in the Islamic World.

And watching dozens of YT videos, or reading countless blogs regularly over the years by: Muhammed Syed, Maryam Namzie, Heina Dadabhoy, Irshad Manji, the ex-Hijabi photo journal, Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz, Bill Maher, Taslima Nasrin, Faisal al Mutar, Neil de Grasse Tyson, Lesley Hazelton, Musatafa Akyol, Shereen el Feki, Fareed Zakaria, Sarah Haider, Malala Yousafzai, etc., or hearing them speak in person, or seeing their Ted videos on Islam,

And in researching the varied content for over 30 posts on Islam in the past 2 years that I published on this website…

I have come to the conclusion that the ex-Muslims like Syed listed above and the 4 hacked to death Bangladeshi bloggers and the lashed-and-languishing-his-young-life-away-in-a-Saudi-prison Raif Badawi and too many nameless others like him and the many anonymous bloggers bravely speaking out from within Islam are right….
Islam is the worst of the lot and desperately needs reform and engenders world-wide terrorism like no other religion.
It’s the religion. Period.

I do not agree at all with the apologists like Reza Aslam, Karen Armstrong, Glen Greenwald, Chris
Hedges, Lesley Hazelton and others who cry Islamophobia or lay the blame for Islamist terrorism on past colonialism, the evil West, or Bush’s horrible and misguided nation-building incursions into Iraq and Afghanistan. Whatever the claim for culpability internal or external, the response to political upheaval is unique to Islam.

It is the prescriptions for misogyny, homophobia, sharia, the caliphate and jihad for all time built into the religion itself and the sectarian hatreds which go back centuries that determine the structure of Islamic regimes, which have nothing to do with the occupations or invasions of the past or those of recent history, as examples of similar and repeated imperialism have occurred in the history of nearly every country on earth. Islam’s characteristic reaction is of their own doing.

Hitch was right:

Hitch:
“All religions are wrong in the same way, in that they privilege faith over reason”
AND
“…the most toxic form that religion takes is the Islamic form, the horrible idea of wanting to end up with sharia, a religion governed state, a state of religious law and the best means of getting there is jihad, holy war, and that Muslims have a special right to feel aggrieved enough to demand this is obscene wickedness and I think the religion is nonsense…in its entirety “

end religion now
All of them
In the meantime, reform this one as soon as is possible, millions of lives depend on it.

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  1. Pingback: Information Kills Religion, episode #339. A student questioning their religion. | Dispatches from the New Enlightenment

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