Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

If I were a Muslim ...

By Dallas M. Roark, Ph.D.


If I were a Muslim, I would wonder about the statement in the Qur’an,

5:51 "O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as awliya’ (friends, protectors, helpers, etc.), they are but awliya’ to one another ..."

There are examples to prove this to be false. A non-Muslim country sought to bring freedom from tyranny in Afghanistan, freedom from tyranny in Iraq, the Kurdish Muslims are overjoyed at the prospect of freedom. In the end of the last century a non-Muslim country fought another non-Muslim country to liberate Muslims. During that time Jewish doctors treated Kosovar Muslims contrary to the sura above.

If I were a Muslim I would think twice about the imam’s preaching to hate the Jews and Christians when many imams and Muslims have never met or seen Jews or Christians.

This is the most profound prejudice one can describe. Many Muslims who come to the west are surprised at the friendly reception they receive. Why should you make Mohammed’s enemies your enemies? Interestingly enough, many Muslims have found Hindus very warm and friendly to them. They are surprised at the love and kindness of Hindus. If I were a Muslim I would wonder about this.

If I were a Muslim I would want to read the Qur’an to see what it says. Many Muslims memorize it in Arabic but do not understand the language. What use is the Arabic if one does not understand it? Many Muslims do not know what the Qur’an says, and are shocked to learn that it says lots of things they question. If I were a Muslim I would want to know these things.

Why does one have to pray in Arabic? If God is all knowing, doesn’t He know other languages than Arabic?

("One thing I have to make clear that when I started writing abusing retorts to these Islam-bashers in FFI, I never had read the Koran, or the Hadiths. My knowledge of Islam was from hearsay." (Source))

If I were a Muslim I would want to investigate why the rest of the world thinks that Mohammed was a pedophile.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64 — "Narrated 'Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death)."

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why Mohammad could have as many wives as he wanted and I would be limited to only four.

The first sura relates to Mohammed, the second one relates to ordinary Muslims.

33:50 Pickthall, "O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war, and the daughters of thine uncle on the father's side and the daughters of thine aunts on the father's side, and the daughters of thine uncle on the mother's side and the daughters of thine aunts on the mother's side who emigrated with thee, and a believing woman if she give herself unto the Prophet and the Prophet desire to ask her in marriage — a privilege for thee only, not for the (rest of) believers"

4:3 Pickthall, "And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hands possess."

If I were a Muslim I would wonder if the Qur’an was the exact words of God, why would it contain fictional stories that never happened, such as the children in the cave who slept for generations and other stories that are regarded as fictions by the rest of the world.

18:10 "When the youths took refuge in the Cave saying, 'Our lord, give us mercy from Thee, and furnish us with rectitude in our affair.'"

18:25 "And they tarried in the Cave three hundred years, and to that they added nine more." (Arberry)

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why Mohammed was not forgiving to those who criticized him, who opposed him, and who wrote satirical poetry about him. If I were a Muslim I would wonder if they really deserved the death penalty. Did satire deserve death?

Mohammed cursed his uncle, Abu Lahab, for rejecting his message. The curse is preserved in the Qur’an, (111:1-5) " Perish the hands of Abu Lahab, and perish he! His wealth avails him not, neither what he has earned; he shall roast at a flaming fire, and his wife, the carrier of the firewood, upon her neck a rope of palm-fibre." (Arberry)

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why Muslims put so many people to death simply because they did not want to believe in Mohammed as a prophet.

2:191 "And slay them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution is more grievous than slaying. But fight them not by the Holy Mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, slay them — such is the recompense of unbelievers" (Arberry)

If I were a Muslim I would wonder if coercing people to believe in Allah is really true belief. If I were a Muslim I would think that people ought to be free to believe in Allah or not. I would think that Allah would be insulted when people are forced to worship him. Does he not care? Or know? Forced worship is not worship at all. If I were a Muslim I would wonder about that.

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why Jesus as a prophet is so much more appealing in character, in ethics, in his teaching than Mohammed.

3:45 "When the angels said, 'Mary, God gives thee good tidings of a Word from Him whose name is Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary; high honoured shall he be in this world and the next, near stationed to God." (Arberry)

Compare the words of Jesus and Mohammed: Jesus said, "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44)

Mohammed said, "Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to terrify thereby the enemy of God and your enemy, and others besides them that you know not; God knows them. And whatsoever you expend in the way of God shall be repaid you in full; you will not be wronged." (Sura 8:60, Arberry)

The Qur’an indicates that Jesus was taken into heaven directly. Mohammed died and was buried. "And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger — they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain. But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise." (4:157-158, Pickthall)

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why Mohammed was accepted uncritically by the Arabs in Arabia when he sponsored banditry, the killing of innocent people, claimed that Allah changed his mind about some revelations.

2:217 "They will question thee concerning the holy month, and fighting in it. Say: 'Fighting in it is a heinous thing, but to bar from God's way, and disbelief in Him, and the Holy Mosque, and to expel its people from it — that is more heinous in God's sight; and persecution is more heinous than slaying.'" (Arberry)

Mohammed did not fight in the holy month at first and would not take booty from a group who did. Later, he changed his mind and justified it in the Sura above.

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why women have to be covered up. Women have passions as well as men, and should not men have to cover all their bodies as well. If I were a Muslim I would think it evil to have a women carry around a portable "prison" in hot weather just because Muslim men cannot control their passions. If I were a Muslim I would think it rational that women be considered worthy of honor in comfortable dress in hot weather.

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why women cannot have equal rights to men.

Half a billion women are deprived of full human rights because Mohammed claimed that women were not intelligent. If I were a Muslim I would be seriously bothered by this inequity. Lots of wonderful things have been discovered, invented, and inspired by women in the West. I would wonder about all the loss to the Islamic world because women are regarded as unintelligent.

4:34, "Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women)" (Pickthall)

One may contrast this with the Christian view that "Faith in Christ Jesus is what makes each of you equal with each other, whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a man or a woman." Galatians 3:28.

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why Muslim men feel justified in raping Swedish women when Swedish men don’t justify raping a woman on a religious basic. No Jewish or Christian scripture gives justification for raping women. If I were a Muslim this would go against a rational ethical standard.

"According to a new study from the Crime Prevention Council, Brå, it is four times more likely that a known rapist is born abroad, compared to persons born in Sweden. Resident aliens from Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia dominate the group of rape suspects. According to these statistics, almost half of all perpetrators are immigrants." (Source)

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why there have to be honor killings of daughters who fall in love with non-Muslims, or who are suspected of having a relationship with a non-Muslim. I would wonder if Muslim girls don’t have the right to chose their own relationships.

March 15, 2005 — "Police in Berlin arrested three Muslim brothers in what appears to be the latest in a series of so-called "honor killings." The slaying of a 23-year-old Turkish woman, Hatun Surucu, who died of multiple bullet wounds to the head and chest, bears all the marks of an honor killing, a police psychologist said, according to BBC News....It would be the sixth honor killing in as many months among Berlin's 200,000-member Turkish community and the 45th in the past eight years. Surucu had taken her 5-year-old son and run away from her husband of eight years, a cousin with whom she was united in an arranged marriage."

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why the police don’t investigate honor killings in Muslim countries. If I were a Muslim I would wonder why fathers have complete control over their daughters to the point of killing them for marrying someone who is not Muslim.

"The execution of the Saudi Arabian princess Misha'al is an example of an honor killing in which the execution did not follow any Islamic religious court proceeding but was ordered directly by her grandfather." (Source)

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why I have to pray 5 times a day just because Mohammed said I should.

11:114 "Establish worship at the two ends of the day and in some watches of the night." (Pickthall)

Compare the words of Jesus, Matthew 6:5-7, "When you pray, don't be like those show-offs who love to stand up and pray in the meeting places and on the street corners. They do this just to look good. I can assure you that they already have their reward. When you pray, go into a room alone and close the door. Pray to your Father in private. He knows what is done in private, and he will reward you. When you pray, don't talk on and on as people do who don't know God. They think God likes to hear long prayers."

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why I have to face Mecca when praying rather than Jerusalem as Mohammed did in the beginning. Isn’t God everywhere?

2:144 "We have seen the turning of thy face to heaven (for guidance, O Muhammad). And now verily We shall make thee turn (in prayer) toward a qiblah which is dear to thee. So turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship, and ye (O Muslims), wheresoever ye may be, turn your faces (when ye pray) toward it. Lo! Those who have received the Scripture know that (this revelation) is the Truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do." (Pickthall)

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why Islam is regarded as a peaceful religion when there is so much violence advocated in the Qur’an. Just a few examples:

4:89 "They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them," (Pickthall)

8:39 "And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. But if they cease, then lo! Allah is Seer of what they do." (Pickthall)

9:5 "Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." (Pickthall)

9:123 "O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him)." (Pickthall)

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why women in Saudi Arabia cannot have their pictures in their identity cards rather than their father’s picture, or brother or guardian. I would wonder if Muslim women were not accepted as true human beings in their own right.

RIYADH, 13 March 2005 — "Saudi women will no longer be faceless identities. As of mid-2006, it will be compulsory for every Saudi woman to have her own ID card with her face on it, terminating the age of women depending on the current family card that only carries their names....... "A Saudi woman’s passport without the approval of a male guardian would only suffice in the case when she doesn’t have any male guardian," said Turki Mohammad Al-Malafekh, the director general of Jeddah Civil Status Department." (Source)

"Previously, Saudi women were only named, but not depicted, as dependants on their father or husband's identity card." "Women of all nationalities are still forbidden to drive in Saudi Arabia — the only country in the world with such a rule." (Source)

"Women in Saudi Arabia who walk unaccompanied, or are in the company of a man who is neither their husband nor a close relative, are at risk of arrest on suspicion of prostitution or other "moral"offences." (Source)

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why people should be beheaded when they leave Islam for a different religion.

March 30, 2006 — "A Christian family advocacy group is calling on President Bush to grant asylum to Abdul Rahman, the 41-year-old Afghan who faced the death penalty under Shariah law for converting from Islam to Christianity. " (A search of the web for Muslim converts to Christianity will turn up many examples.)

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why the Islamic world blames the Jews for all the evils of the world. I would wonder why Muslims won’t acknowledge that the 9/11 terrorists were Muslims and most of them from Saudi Arabia.

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why is it that whenever there is a conflict between a Muslim and a non-Muslim, other Muslims take the side of the Muslim regardless of the facts? I would doubt that justice could ever prevail in the Muslim culture with this attitude.

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why Allah made a mistake in speaking of Mary as the sister of Aaron, the brother of Moses who lived centuries earlier. I would wonder if the Qur’an is a perfect book, written by Allah, why Allah did not know the difference.

19:27-30 "Then she brought the child to her folk carrying him; and they said, 'Mary, thou hast surely committed a monstrous thing! Sister of Aaron, thy father was not a wicked man, nor was thy mother a woman unchaste.' Mary pointed to the child then; but they said, 'How shall we speak to one who is still in the cradle, a little child?' He said, 'Lo, I am God's servant; God has given me the Book, and made me a Prophet."

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified when the rest of the world believes that he was crucified.

4:157 "and for their saying, 'We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God' — yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them. Those who are at variance concerning him surely are in doubt regarding him; they have no knowledge of him, except the following of surmise; and they slew him not of a certainty — no indeed;" (Arberry)

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why Muslims quote the Bible to prove a point they want to make but regard the Bible as corrupted when it disproves their point.

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why non-Muslim religions are not permitted in Muslim countries but democratic countries allow great diversity of religion. If I were a Muslim I would wonder whether Islam can compete in the marketplace of ideas.

With the conquest of Christian regions the Christian community faced persecution, dhimmitude and death. "Brutal subordination and violence became the rules of the day for Christians in the Holy Land. In 772, the caliph Al-Mansur ordered the hands of Christians and Jews .to be stamped with a distinctive symbol. Conversions to Christianity were dealt with particularly harshly. In 789, Muslims beheaded a monk who had converted from Islam and plundered the Bethlehem monastery of St. Theodosius, killing many more monks." Robert Spencer, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades. (Washington: Regnery Publishing Co, 2005, pp.122-123.) Many more stories of persecution can be reported.

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why Muslims use the Gospel of Barnabas trying to prove Jesus to be a Muslim when the book is a known fraud written in the 15th century. I would wonder about the honesty of imams who use fraud to convince people that Islam is true.

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why Muslims remember the crusades as being cruel but forget the terrible invasions that were made on the Christian world in the 7th century. I would also wonder about the terrible carnage Muslim invaders made in India at one point slaughtering 300,000 people in a few days.

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why the Qur’an says that the Torah and the Injil were to be read, but later Muslims declared these books corrupted.

5:46 "And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus son of Mary, confirming the Torah before him and We gave to him the Gospel, wherein is guidance and light, and confirming the Torah before it, as a guidance and an admonition unto the godfearing."

If I were a Muslim I would wonder how Islam came to be proclaimed a religion of peace when the Qur’an is filled with killing, fighting, flogging, stoning, and hating? How can I say Islam is a religion of peace when it kills its critics and apostates?

7:157 "those who follow the Messenger, 'the Prophet of the common folk, whom they find written down with them in the Torah and the Gospel, bidding them to honour, and forbidding them dishonour, making lawful for them the good things and making unlawful for them the corrupt things, and relieving them of their loads, and the fetters that were upon them. Those who believe in him and succour him and help him, and follow the light that has been sent down with him — they are the prosperers.'"

If I were a Muslim I would wonder why Mohammed is respected over Jesus since Mohammed did no miracles, Jesus did many, and Jesus taught people to forgive other people who offended them.

13:7 "The unbelievers say, 'Why has a sign not been sent down upon him from his Lord?' Thou art only a warner," (Arberry)

If I were a Muslim I would wonder whether Jesus really was the Son of God since he did so many miracles, raising the dead, healing the blind, healing the cripple, the leper. Mohammed did none of these things. If I were a Muslim I would really wonder........

2:87 We gave Jesus son of Mary the clear signs, and confirmed him with the Holy Spirit; (Arberry)

5:110 "When God said, 'Jesus Son of Mary, remember My blessing upon thee and upon thy mother, when I confirmed thee with the Holy Spirit, to speak to men in the cradle, and of age; and when I taught thee the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel; and when thou createst out of clay, by My leave, as the likeness of a bird, and thou breathest into it, and it is a bird, by My leave; and thou healest the blind and the leper by My leave, and thou bringest the dead forth by My leave;" (Arberry)