Sheila Musaji and Fear of Freedom
This article is in response to Sheila Musaji’s answer to my email to her. You can read our previous interaction here.
Dear Ms. Musaji,
You start your response by addressing me, “Dear Ali Sina (whoever that might be).” What do you mean by whoever that might be? I am me. Who else do you think I am?
You wondered why my book is selling on Amazon at such exorbitant prices.
I have stopped selling my book because I am going to launch the sixth edition of it. Many vendors sell stuff on Amazon. Some of them take advantage of the scarcity of an item to sell it at exaggerated prices. But why would anyone buy my book at such price when I’ve offered to send the fourth edition in PDF for free to anyone who asks for it? The sixth edition is not yet printed so no one can buy it at any price. When it becomes available, it will have the retail price of $18.95 and probably it will sell for less.
“I would not provide you with my mailing address, any more than you would provide me with yours. Why would any sane person provide their mailing address to a total stranger who hides behind a pseudonymn? [sic] (Since you were so kind correcting my typos, I thought I should return the favor.)
Now come on! How many Muslims have been assassinated by apostates since the start of Islam? Can you name one? Apostates don’t kill Muslims. On the other hand millions of apostates were killed by Muslims since the time of Muhammad.
After Muhammad died, many left Islam. Abu Bakr waged a savage war against the apostates (War of Apostasy) and killed hundreds of thousands of them. Tabari says, he “burned them, stoned them to death, threw them into well or cast them off from cliffs, until he brought them back into submission.” He wrote a Muslim named Ilyas left Islam and fought against Muslims (for his freedom). When he was captured Abu Bakr ordered to ignite a fire in the middle of the mosque in Medina and threw the wretched man in the fire alive. (Tabari, v. 4, p. 1390 Persian ed.)
Also Bukhari reports a sahih hadith that says, “Some Zanadiqa were brought to `Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn `Abbas who said, “If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Apostle forbade it, saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.‘” [Bukhari 9: 84: 57]
I am not afraid of you. I think you are a harmless misguided soul. I am afraid of your Muslim brethren. Anyway, this is just an excuse. I also offered to send my book to you in PDF.
You say “Ali Sina is a pseudonymn” [sic]. Ali Sina is part of my name. I don’t use my full name. But why should this matter? Many people adopt a nom de plume for their literary or artistic work. Marilyn Monroe’s real name was Norma Jeane Mortenson. Larry King’s real name is Lawrence Harvey Zeiger. Does it matter? These are excuses. In logic they are called red herring.
I read a few of your articles. You write exclusively about people in the anti-jihad movement. You don’t refute them. You vilify them. You engage in ad hominem. All your articles are personal attacks. I haven’t seen once you refute what we say. You are a Muslim and this is how the brain of a Muslim works. Muslims ignore the criticism made against Islam. Instead they focus on the person criticizing Islam and try to discredit them. This is a pattern. Even if a Muslim tries to refute your argument, he or she cannot resist making an ad hominem remark about you. This is a logical fallacy, but to Muslims it all comes naturally. I bet you are not even aware of it. This is how you think. In your Islamic way of understanding, you think all you have to do to refute someone is to discredit him. You don’t realize this is a fallacy. To you and to your fellow Muslims it is normal. Your prophet reasoned in the same way. Istead of providing logical arguments he called his detractors deaf, dumb, blind, and with no understanding. He thought that will do. Muslims repead these stupid verses and think they are words of God.
You don’t have to fear me or any anti Islam activist dear Ms. Musaji. I am not known for eating Muslims. Anyone can see the claim that you are afraid of me is disingenuous.
You quoted me extensively, but you did not refute what I said nor did you say why you think those quotes are bad. Those are my views. I’d gladly debate with you or anyone to prove everything I said.
“I strongly uphold freedom of faith, and am a signatory to a statement initiated by Muslims declaring our commitment to that freedom.”
Really? You strongly uphold freedom of faith? So are you ready to denounce Abu Bakr and Omar and even Muhammad who killed the apostates? Are you saying the reason all those millions of apostates that were killed since the time of Muhammad and are being killed to this day is due to Muslims’ misunderstanding of Islam? May I ask who you are that we should take your interpretation as valid and not that of, say, the renowned Muslim scholar Abul Ala Mawdudi? Mawdudi was one of the foremost scholars of the last century. In his book The Punishment of the Apostate according to Islamic Law, he wrote,
“To everyone acquainted with Islamic law it is no secret that according to Islam the punishment for a Muslim who turns to kufr (infidelity, blasphemy) is execution. Doubt about this matter first arose among Muslims during the final portion of the nineteenth century as a result of speculation. Otherwise, for the full twelve centuries prior to that time the total Muslim community remained unanimous about it. The whole of our religious literature clearly testifies that ambiguity about the matter of the apostate’s execution never existed among Muslims. The expositions of the Prophet, the Rightly-Guided Caliphs (Khulafa’-i Rashidun), the great Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet, their Followers (Tabi’un), the leaders among the mujtahids and, following them, the doctors of the shari’ah of every century are available on record. All these collectively will assure you that from the time of the Prophet to the present day one injunction only has been continuously and uninterruptedly operative and that no room whatever remains to suggest that perhaps the punishment of the apostate is not execution.” (Mawdudi, 1 994 P. 10)
Mawdudi gives the proof from the Quran for the commandment to execute the apostate. He wrote:
“Here I wish briefly to offer proof that will quiet the doubt in the hearts of those who, for lack of sources of information, may think that perhaps the punishment of death did not exist in Islam but was added at a later time by the “mawlawis” (religious leaders) on their own.
God Most High declares in the Qur’an:
But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then are they your brethren in religion. We detail our revelations for a people who have knowledge. And if they break their pledges after their treaty (hath been made with you) and assail your religion, then fight the heads of disbelief — Lo! they have no binding oaths in order that they may desist. (9:11,12)
The following is the occasion for the revelation of this verse: During the pilgrimage (hajj) in A.H. 9 God Most High ordered a proclamation of an immunity. By virtue of this proclamation all those who, up to that time, were fighting against God and His Apostle and were attempting to obstruct the way of God’s religion through all kinds of excesses and false covenants, were granted from that time a maximum respite of four months. During this period they were to ponder their own situation. If they wanted to accept Islam, they could accept it and they would be forgiven. If they wanted to leave the country, they could leave. Within this fixed period nothing would hinder them from leaving. Thereafter those remaining, who would neither accept Islam nor leave the country, would be dealt with by the sword. In this connection it was said: “If they repent and uphold the practice of prayer and almsgiving, then they are your brothers in religion. If after this, however, they break their covenant, then war should be waged against the leaders of kufr (infidelity). Here “covenant breaking” in no way can be construed to mean “breaking of political covenants”. Rather, the context clearly determines its meaning to be “confessing Islam and then renouncing it”. Thereafter the meaning of “fight the heads of disbelief” (9:11,12) can only mean that war should be waged against the leaders instigating apostasy.”
Modern Muslims feel embarrassed about this barbaric law and deny that the punishment of apostasy in Islam is death. They say such law is not in the Quran. But it is in the hadith.
From Zayd ibn Aslam, Malik has reported that the Apostle of God declared: Whoever changes his religion should be executed. Malik said about this tradition: As far as we can understand this command of the prophet means that the person who leaves Islam to follow another way, but conceals his kufr and continues to manifest Islamic belief, as is the pattern of the Zindiqs and others like them, should be executed after his guilt has been established. He should not be asked to repent because the repentance of such persons cannot be trusted. But the person who has left Islam and publicly chooses to follow another way should be requested to repent. If he repents, good. Otherwise, he should be executed. [Tahawi, Kitab al-Siyar, Bahth Istitabat al-Murtadd; also Bayhaqi, Muwatta; al-Shafi’i, Kitab al-Umm.]
When we discuss about the subject of apostasy with Muslims they will always quote the verse 2:256: “There is no compulsion in religion.”
I’ll discuss what this verse means in a moment. But let us assume it gives people the freedom to believe or not to believe. Then how are you going to explain the following verses?
O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them…. (9:73)
O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you…. (9:123)
Say unto those of the wondering Arabs who were left behind: Ye will be called against a folk of mighty prowess to fight them until they surrender…. (48:16)
There seems to be a contradiction. In one place the Quran says there is no compulsion in religion and in many other places, the same book says fight those who don’t believe until they surrender.
Here is where the doctrine of abrogated and abrogator comes into play. The later verses abrogate the earlier ones. The Suras 8 and 9 are among the later suras. They abrogate any seemingly tolerant verse.
However, Mawdudi clarifies the verse 2:256 and explains why it does not contradict the other verses that say kill those who leave Islam. He writes, “Then there is the criticism of contradiction, which for the most part will disappear automatically by carefully reading the above discussion. “There is no compulsion in religion” (la ikraha fi’d din: Qur’an 2:256) means that we do not compel anyone to come into our religion. And this is truly our practice. But we initially warn whoever would come and go back that this door is not open to come and go. Therefore anyone who comes should decide before coming that there is no going back. Otherwise he should kindly not come. Let someone explain what contradiction is finally to be found here. Without doubt, we deplore hypocrisy and want to see everyone in our community as a true believer. But if hypocrisy overtakes anyone who steps away from his community through the door he knows is no exit, the fault lies with himself. To extricate him from this condition, we cannot expose our order to anarchy. If he has such concern for righteousness that he does not want to remain a hypocrite but wants to be true to the object of his present belief, then why would he himself not come forward to receive the punishment of execution?”
Mawdudi’s explanation solves the problem of contradiction and it also makes it clear that Muslims can’t leave Islam. Islam is a one way road. No U turn is allowed.
It is true that there is no compulsion in accepting Islam. Non-believers have also the options to pay jizya or face death. With so many options, how can we talk about compulsion?
This is the truth about “no compulsion in religion.” You converted 40 years ago when you were young and inexperienced. We all did stupid things when we were young. Most of us gained wisdom as we aged. But once one converts to Islam the brain becomes numbed. Although others recover from their youthful follies a Muslim is trapped. But there is no reason to despair. My book can help. Whether you are old or young, when you learn the truth, you can no longer cling to lies.
I know the exact things that chain Muslims to Islam and I have broken those chains. I have removed the mist in the air. After reading my book you can see the truth about Muhammad. Suddenly everything will start making sense to you and for the first time you will say aha! Now I understand. When you read my book you don’t just learn more about Islam, you become an expert and can answer any question about it.
“I feel no need to defend that choice by in any way disparaging my former faith. In fact, to behave in such a manner would cheapen my choice.”
I don’t think you get it dear Ms. Musaji. We don’t disparage Islam to defend our choices. We attack Islam because it is evil, because it has kept our people in slavery, because it is bringing death and misery to millions. What part of this you don’t understand? Islam has reduced half of the people (women), into lower class beings; it violates the human rights of the minorities; it has kept a billion people in ignorance; it divides mankind and foments hate, war and destruction. What part of this you don’t understand? We don’t fight Islam because it is our ex religion. We fight it because we understand how evil it is. We know that if it is not stopped mankind will be destroyed. I don’t believe in any religion, but I would never say this about any religion. Only Islam is this diabolic. Instead of writing about freedom fighters and vilifying us, listen to us and hear what we say for Pete’s sake.
Your site is nothing but a museum of logical fallacies. You have written numerous articles maligning people in the anti-Jihad movement, which you accuse of “Islamophobia,” in an attempt to stifle genuine criticism of Islam. Islamophobia makes as much sense as Christianophobia, Hinduphobia, or even communist phobia. You can’t be phobic of an ideology. It is a lie like homophobia. It is another example of Islamic bullying to silence criticism of Islam. Islamophobia is a logical fallacy.
In fact your entire site is based on logical fallacies. Instead of refuting any of our arguments you attack our persons and try to portray Muslims as victims. Muslims are not victims. They are victimizers, not just where they are the majority, but also where they are the minority. Who is committing terrorism against non-Muslim in India, in Bali, in Philippines, in Nigeria, in Somali (before the secession) in Russia, in Europe and in America?
Your arguments are all ad hominem, appeal to pity, appeal to emotion, appeal to spite, and false dilemma such as when you equate Islam to a race and accuse the critics of Islam of being racist and anti-Muslim. You compare Muslims to blacks and Jews. That is a deception. Being anti-black or anti Semite is racism. But being anti-Islam, anti-Christianity or anti Judaism is not racism.
You can’t silence us with these fallacies. If you want us to stop, engage with us in a debate and prove us wrong. Can you do that? Of course you can’t. Reason has never been Islam’s forte. Muslims are good at logical fallacies, at violence, at hooliganism, at demonstrations, at car burning, at train and bus bombing, at building demolition and at other ingenious ways to kill humans. But they are not good at reasoning. You bring all the silly excuses to run away and not to engage in a debate. I offered you to read my book. You ignored my offer to send it to you in PDF and claimed you fear me. How ridiculous can you get and who do you think you can fool?
You say you are not afraid of the truth? Then read my book and prove me wrong. You are not afraid of debate? Continue this debate and keep publishing my response in your site.
“I do respond, and respond strongly to those individuals who malign the faith of others.”
Really? Good! What is your response to Muhammad who maligned the faith of the Jews and Christians and said, “And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away?” (Quran 9:30)
What is your response to him for maligning the religion of the pagans?
Ibn Ishaq says, “When the apostle openly displayed Islam as God ordered him, his people did not withdraw or turn against him, so far as I have heard, until he spoke disparagingly of their gods. When he did that they took great offence and revolted unanimously to treat him as an enemy.”[Sirat Rasoul Allâh p. 118]
Muslims continued the tradition of their prophet. Wherever they went they destroyed the temples of the vanquished and disparaged their faith. The disrespect of the faith of others and violation of their freedom of conscience continues to this day in all Muslim countries.
You have written many articles maligning the critics of Islam. Show us one where you have condemned your own brethren for disparaging other faiths. Show us where you have stood for the rights of the victims of Islam. Did you write any article sending it to an Egyptian media denouncing the Muslims for killing the Coptic Christians? Did you write anything for Pakistanis denouncing them for their blasphemy law? Of course not! Your goal is not to stop the barbarity of Islam. Your goal is to bambuzzle your own poeple so they lower their guards and not see Islam as a threat. There have been many fools and traitors like you in history. We Persians had Salman, may he rot in hell.
Yes you have written articles claiming Islam allows freedom of religion. Those articles are for the consumption of non-Muslims and to deceive them. You never call upon Muslims to be tolerant. You know that they will laugh at you if you do. First of all you are a convert and secondly you are a woman. Will Muslims listen to you and ignore their own scholars, and ignore the Quran and the hadith? They tolerate you for now. You serve their purpose. To borrow a term from Lenin, you are a useful idiot for them. They let you say what you want and pull the wool over the eyes of their targeted victims. You are a deceived woman and the best person to deceive the westerners.
I sent you an email and said if you ignore it I will publish it. You call that “a veil threat.” Why would you see publishing an email as a threat? You like to portray yourself as a victim don’t you? If you have truth on your side, you will never be afraid of a pen and will never think of it as a threat. You will see it as a threat only when you know it can destroy your house of cards.
You objected when I said please read my book and consult with your Muslim husband or an imam. You say I am patronizing and this shows my contempt for women and their ability to make their choices.
Well, not entirely true. I never said women are “deficient in intelligent”, or they have “faulty memory and comprehension.” In fact I don’t believe in that balderdash at all. Those are the words of Muhammad. But aren’t you a Muslims? Don’t you believe in Muhammad? Here is what he said about women.
“I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Sahih Bukhari 1:6:301
Now ponder on the reasoning of that brute. Who established that the evidence of two women is equal to witness of one man? Wasn’t Muhammad who said it? Here he deceives the benighted women listening to his charade with a circular reasoning.
In another place he said, “Woman is like a rib. When you attempt to straighten it, you would break it. And if you leave her alone crookedness will remain in her. [Sahih Muslim 8: 3466]
Elsewhere he said, “After me I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women.” [ Bukhari 7: 62: 33]
In another place he said, “Many amongst men reached (the level of) perfection but none amongst the women reached this level except Asia, Pharaoh’s wife, and Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran.” [Bukhari 4: 55: 623]
In the above hadith he confused Mary the mother of Jesus with Miriam doubter of Imran (Miriam was the sister of Moses and Aaron).
There are plenty of other hadiths and verses from the Quran that are proof positive Muhammad was a misogynist who thought women are crooked, and not as smart as men.
I don’t believe in Muhammad, but you do. So why are you offended when I echo what your prophet said? Do you disagree with him? You either agree or you don’t. If you do, don’t complain when I address you the way your prophet did and if you don’t, why do you follow that man?
“Your assumption that I might be motivated either by some need to gain notoriety by engaging in a polemical debate with a person who has attained “some notoriety” or by greed in considering the possibility of financial gain as an incentive is offensive.”
No, no! You misunderstood me. I did not imply either of these things. I know you are just as “notorious” as me and perhaps even more. That is not what I said. I said don’t ignore me as most Muslims do saying I am nobody. I am nobody in real life, but in the anti-Islam movement I have a name. I did not say you’ll become famous by debating with me. Fortunately I am not a narcissist (at least I try not to be).
Also the financial reward is my outstanding offer to any person who can prove me wrong. I guess I would owe that much to the person who would save my soul and lead me to the right path. In your case I said I will give the money to you so you can donate it to the charity of your choice. I think I was very careful in my words so not to offend. You can even instruct me to pay the money to the charity of your choice and I publish the receipt.
I didn’t insult you and yet you get offended. Muhammad insulted you, but you don’t get offended. Something is wrong with this picture and I know what it is. It is your faith in Muhammad and your hatred of me that has blinded you. As the result you can’t distinguish right from wrong. You can’t recognize that I am a friend wanting to save you from this pit of darkness and the cesspool of ignorance that Muhammad has kept you in. I am your friend, not that psychopath.
I decline your offer. I have no time or interest in writing a rebuttal of your book.
Of course you decline. You fear the truth. You fear that my book may demolish your cocoon of lies and leave you unprotected and unprepared. You have spent 40 years in this dungeon of deception and coming out of it will be painful. The movie Shawshak Redemption portrays an old prisoner named Brooks Hatlen who after spending most of his life in prison, where he had gained some respect and importance as the Shawshank’s Librarian, gets paroled and is set free. Brooks can’t handle his freedom and shorthy after his release he hangs himself. The old Brooks represents the typical Muslim. Muslims are used to the prison of Islam. They may even have gained some standing and respect among fellow believers. They have nothing outside Islam and can’t imagine a life without it. That is your dilemma dear Ms. Musaji.
I don’t expect heroism from you. My mother once said, whatever you say about God sounds logical, but I can’t live without Him. I told her continue believing. I don’t want to shatter her world and I don’t want to shatter yours either. All I want is to show to the world that you are just a lost soul, surely deserving of our compassion, but not a beacon of light. Your articles are nothing but compilations of logical fallacies. They make you feel good, thinking you are contributing something to mankind, when in reality you walk in darkness. You can’t distinguish right from wrong and are fearful of trying to experience a reality that may shatter your weltanschauung. To write all that trash against us you must have browsed countless pages, but alas you did not pay attention to anything. All you cared was to copy passages that in your opinion prove we are bad. But they don’t. You simply did not understand them.
“I don’t believe that declining your “challenge” proves my insincerity,”
Sincerity is overrated. The road to hell is paved with sincerity. You are sincere alright! But so are those who strap bombs to themselves and blow up a bunch of innocent people. The followers of Jim Jones who drank his tainted Cool Aid and administered it to their children were also sincere. People of all faiths are sincere. But sincerity without understanding is a sure path to hell. You are sincere, but you lack understanding. Truth sparks when opposing ideas collide and you are afraid of that collision. You fear it may crush your ideas. You seek safety in your cocoon. You are sincere in your belief, but not to truth. One who cares about truth will not shy away from challenges to his or her ideas.
“the challenge itself provides even more evidence of your own insecurity.
You are wrong. The one who hides is insecure. I don’t show my face, because I am afraid of losing my life. I am not sure whether I will be able to live long if I go out. I am insecure in regards to my safety. If I had nothing to fear, why would I hide? But I am willing to debate with anyone. That is because I am not afraid losing my beliefs. If I am wrong I would love to be corrected. Do you see the difference?
You are afraid of losing your belief. Forty years is a lifetime. Your circle of friends, your social standing, your family and your entire life will be at stake. Finding the truth at this stage in your life will destroy you. So you are afraid to challenge your beliefs. That is fine with me. I want to help generation of the future. But it was necessary to poke into your bubble of self-righteousness and blast it so when people read your articles they can have a better understanding of who you are and where you come from.
There is something wrong with a worldview that promotes the idea that demonizing others somehow increases your own stature.
I could not agree more, but look who is talking? Isn’t this exactly what you do? You have a long list of people that you demonize but never respond to their arguments.
I am not demonizing Islam. Islam hardly needs demonization. I am exposing the truth. I dig the truth from the Sira, the hadith and the Quran and reaveal it to the world . I also invite anyone to show where I go wrong. This is the test of my sincerity. You failed that test. I am not afraid for my views to be challenged. You are.
I am ignoring your and publishing your email myself. Others can judge for themselves the meaning of your offer and of my rejection of that offer.
Will you also publish this response? Or if not, will you provide a link to this page in your site? That would prove your sincerity, but I am not holding my breath.
This debate continues here