Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

A Rebuttal to Syed Tirmizi: Is Christianity Rational?


Dallas M. Roark, Ph.D.

There is a reply by Syed Tirmizi to an article of mine located on Answering Islam under the title ‘Is Islam Rational?’  Syed's article can be found here.  In the following I examine and answer to Syed's reply. (I will use DMR1 to mark the original statement I made and DMR2 for my response to Syed's reply.)

DMR2:  First, I have to make the observation that your response proves the truth of my article.  You are living in the Muslim bubble that is unrelated to reality. You have not examined the Muslim propaganda machine. The Muslim idea is that if something is repeated often enough people will believe it. It seems you have been brainwashed in many of the statements you have made. Your first comment relates to science and the claims that Muslims have made such advances. This is propaganda.  History disproves your claim. 

Syed wrote 

Watch Roark's distortions, ignorance and delusional statements be debunked in this article and see the proof of both western and Christian immorality and irrationality. Truly Islam is a rational religion. 

DMR1  wrote

There is a chasm that is difficult to bridge between Islamic ideology and the West. Very basic to understanding this divide is what happened in history. The West has been influenced by two great inspirations: Greek thought and the Christian faith. 

The influence of the Greeks came to the west initially by way of Plato's Timaeus. Plato asked the question about what it is to be as a human being. Primarily man was a rational creature.  Although man had appetites and emotions, they were to be ruled by reason.  When the appetites ruled in man's life disorder and chaos followed.   When the emotions ruled the same could be said. Reason was primary and only when reason ruled was there justice in operation. 

When one knows what is good then the rational response is to pursue it.  Man was to examine issues in life and make decisions based on reason.  The universe is rational and can be studied and the rise of modern science in the West is the result of this sense of rationality. 

Syed starts his response with: 

Does Christianity inspire a lot of American girls to have sex before marriage? What about the countless abortions that take place in the west? What about hundreds of teenagers that have sex before marriage? Is Christianity the reason why 25% of Christian girls have STDs (see here)? 

DMR2:  Your response is a diversionary attempt.  You have not dealt with Plato or Christian faith. You assume everyone in the West is a dedicated Christian.  Unfortunately it is not.

There is nothing in Christianity that inspires pre-marital sex.  Freedom has certain risks. Coercion does not equate morality as in Islamic culture.  Moreover, there is nothing in Christianity that inspires abortion.   If you cared to look at the history of Christianity it was the Christians who took in abandoned babies in the Roman culture to keep them from dying in exposure. It has been Christians in the modern era who have opposed abortion.

What is there about Muslim culture that inspires honor killings of daughters and wives?  No culture equals Islam's number of honor killings? What is there about Muslim culture that accepts female mutilation and men do nothing about it?   

There is a Muslim response to the problem of dress.  

A SENIOR Iranian cleric has claimed that dolled-up women incite extramarital sex, causing more earthquakes in Iran, a country that straddles several fault lines, newspapers reported today. 

"Many women who dress inappropriately ... cause youths to go astray, taint their chastity and incite extramarital sex in society, which increases earthquakes," Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi told worshippers at overnight prayers in Tehran.  (Jihad Watch, April 18; source

This would make great science?  What causes earthquakes?  Answer: women dressed in skimpy clothing and extramarital sex. 

Syed continues: 

It's very nice to hear you praising the Ancient Greeks. You fail to mention that the medieval barbarian Christians of Europe destroyed all the 'rational' culture employed by the Greeks and that while the Christians were sunk in the Dark Ages in Europe, burning witches and killing 'rational' thinkers, such as Galileo, the Muslims prospered in anatomy, mathematics, chemistry, philosophy, physics, medicine, architecture and countless other areas where 'rational thinking' applied (see here). 

The real result of 'rationality' are the several open and rational teachings of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW), namely, 'Pursue knowledge even as far as China', 'The ink of a scholar is holier than the blood of a martyr' and 'For every disease Allah made a cure'. 

It was these very words that led the once most barbaric people on the Earth, i.e. the Arabs, to become the most 'rational' and 'scientific' people on the Earth and to think openly in addition to searching all over the world for many cures to diseases, which paid out an contributed heavily to our contemporary medical advancement. Much of western science owes its thanks to the works of Muslims. The words Algebra, Chemistry, Alkali, Earth in addition to numerous others mathematical and scientific terms originate from the Arabic terms such as Al-Jabr, Keme, Al-Qali and Ard. 

None can deny the massive contributions made by Muslims to our modern day society. 

DMR2: You claim that none can deny the massive contributions made by Muslims.  Well, you cannot confirm them. You have quoted nothing in confirmation of your claims.  On the other hand, the facts are different than you describe.  You are wrong about Galileo. He died a natural death living on a pension from the church. 

One interesting contrast involves the Nobel prizes in various disciplines such as Physics, Medicine, Economics, Chemistry, literature and world peace. There were 182 awards to Jewish scientists and only 9 of them were awarded to Muslims. Why the big difference?  (Source)

The answer is in education and the kind of education that exists in the Muslim world and the different educational outlook in the non-Muslim world. 

The type of educational system has to be traced from the beginning of Islam as well as the rise of science in Europe. Islam inherited a great cultural achievement and had advantages over the West until the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. It made  some  scientific progress in astronomy, medicine, and mathematics. 

What makes science possible? Robert Merton has suggested some norms for science to develop. First, universalism. This involves the idea that knowledge should be judged without regard to the person advocating it. It is knowledge that stands on its on. It also involves the fact that everyone should be admitted to the world of science. Second, communalism means that knowledge is to be shared with the community at large. It is not to be kept secret by the discoverer. Third, disinterestedness, the quality of seeking knowledge for knowledge sake, not personal profit or gain. Fourth, organized skepticism. All claims are to be open to criticism and evaluation. A problem arises immediately in considering the fact that Muslims will not allow the views of Mohammed to be questioned. I have been told that if I were a Muslim I would not ask doubting questions about Mohammed, the Qur'an, and Islamic practices. To obey is better than to question. This is also one of the problems why early Chinese science did not develop further than it did because one should not question one's father who is always right. 

While there have been conflicts between science and religion in the West it is precisely the philosophical and theological ideas of Christianity that have made science possible. 

The idea that the world is rational and orderly, the world is like a machine, the world was created by a divine being - all were themes of Christian clerics, philosophers, and theologians. Furthermore, the idea that man had a sense of conscience was related to man's sense of rationality    Moreover, the dissemination of knowledge made possible by the printing press did not happen in the Muslim world. The printing press was banned in the Muslim world until the 19th century. 

To repeat, Arabic science was the most advanced in the world from the 8th to the 14th centuries. The Arabs had access to the Greek scientific heritage which was lost to the West after the fall of the Roman empire. The great works of Greece and other cultures were translated into Arabic. Along with this the Arabs borrowed the Hindu numeral system.  (It should be noted that most of the Greek works were translated by Jewish and Christian people.) 

What happened to Muslim science? 

A division was made between Islamic sciences and "foreign" science. Islamic sciences related to the Quran, the traditions of the Prophets (hadith), legal knowledge (fiqh), theology (kalam), poetry, and the Arabic language. Arithmetic was useful for dividing inheritances, astronomy was useful for prayer time computations, and there was a purpose for medicine. But beyond these areas Arabic science did not break through to the modern era of science. 

Toby Huff declared, 

"This means that the modern scientific world view rests on certain assumptions about the regularity and lawfulness of the natural world and the presumption that man is capable of grasping this underlying structure. In addition to subscribing to the notion of laws of nature, modern science is a metaphysical system which asserts that man, unaided by spiritual agencies or divine guidance, is single-handedly capable of understanding and grasping the laws that govern man and the universe." (Toby Huff, The Rise of Early Modern Science, Cambridge U. Press, 1993, p. 65)

In the Arabic-Islamic world in the late 800's and early 900's there were a number of philosophers who were very liberal in their thinking, so much so that they can be described as "free-thinkers" suggesting that philosophical knowledge was the most noble and some suggested that religion was "little more than superstition." (Ibid., p. 67)  By the 12th and 13th centuries a change had taken place and thinkers were criticized for religious arguments that might lead ordinary believers astray.

Ibn Qadama wrote "no one is ever seen who has studied speculative theology, but there is a corrupt quality of his mind." (Ibid., p. 68)

He had some severe words of punishment to be meted out to those who took up speculative theology. Departing from the Qur'an, the Sunna, and the Islamic sources was regarded as a tainting enterprise. Consequently, philosophy and natural science went underground. One would not like to acquire the reputation of being an impious person which could threaten your life.   In the midst of these ideological developments came the educational system of the Islamic world. The madrasas began to have influence in the 11th century and dominated intellectual life. A major feature of the madrasas was its curriculum. Instruction was centered around the religious sciences exclusively, while philosophy and the natural sciences were ignored. Some teachers did consider the natural sciences and gave private instruction in their own homes.

DMR1 wrote originally,

The second great influence in the West is the Christian faith.  There are two emphases that we can describe here.  First, there is an emphasis on conscience. 

“For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.  They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.” (Rom 2:14-16)

The human conscience can evaluate an issue and make a moral decision concerning what is right or wrong. Plato talked about the “eye of the soul” in which a person weighs a moral dilemma and comes to a rational decision. In contrast,

“the Greek and Christian idea of conscience (synderesis) was unknown to the orthodox Islamic legists as well as to philosophers.” (Huff, The Rise of Early Modern Science, p. 111) 

Syed’s Response

Is it really the Christian faith that influenced progress or is it the Islamic resurrection of the 'rational' Greek ideologies and their progression from the Greek works? If anything Christianity kept the Western world more backwards than ever. It is due to Christianity that the Greek legacy of 'rationality' almost died and probably would have died out, had it not been for Islam. 

Conscience was a major reason that Muslims prospered in all fields of knowledge. It is conscience that allows a man to think beyond any boundaries and it was the Islamic teaching of mandatory pursuit of knowledge that allowed this conscience to rise up in man. 

DMR2: Check the preceding paragraphs for the historical facts on this.  There is no need of repeating the above.   However, you need to remember that Muslims who think beyond the boundaries of Islam frequently meet their deaths very quickly at the hands of those  who don’t think beyond the boundaries.  

DMR1  wrote: 

The second emphasis in the West can be seen in the words of Jesus. In the Sermon on the Mount he declared: “Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the Law and the Prophets are all about.” (Matt.7:12) All kinds of problems in the world could be solved with the practice of this rule. 

Syed’s  Response: 

Really? So if I want to be treated nicely and a psychotic killer comes to my house, I would treat him nicely by this logic. I would be kind and nice to him and offer him all kinds of lovely expressions while he carves up my family. 

DMR2:   I didn't know that the problem was so bad in Islam.  Are there a lot of psychotic killers running around?   You are imposing your irrationality on the rationality of the words of Jesus.  You have abandoned rationality in your absurd comment. 

DMR1 wrote:

Would a lawless world where we treat others as we wish to be treated at all times solve our problems?    

Syed wrote:

Jesus quote there also seems to conflict John's teaching: 

If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed (2 John 1:10)

Hence, Christians are not to receive non-Christians into their houses if they come, since they do not have the Evangelistic Doctrine.

Would Christian missionaries find it okay for all non-Christians to reject them for having the doctrine? If so, then there is no contradiction between John and Jesus, but I know that almost all missionaries are bent on spreading Christianity and wouldn't be happy for someone to slam the door on their arrival. 

As Jesus says 'Treat others as you would like to be treated', Christians must 'like' to be rejected when arriving at a non-Christians house, since they are commanded to treat them the same way (2 John 1:10). 

DMR2:  What kind of thinker are you?   Treating people as you want to be treated implies some sense of kindness, and civility.  John's comments are not contradictory to Jesus.  One is not required to open your house to any stranger that comes along.  You are NOT obligated to be bilked by every charlatan who knocks on your door. One can kindly say to anyone who comes to your door, “I am not interested....” 

Moreover, you have misunderstood the issue in the letter.  There were apostates seeking to corrupt the Gospel message about Jesus, and they were not to be welcomed. What do Muslims do with apostates?   Beheading?  Bombing?   If I were an apostate I would rather have the door closed in my face than the Muslim treatment.  Why do Sunnis kill Shia?  And the other way around? Each regards the other as apostate.  Moreover, they do not give warnings. They bomb the innocent without warning. 

DMR1 wrote: 

The Muslim world is ruled by the influence of Mohammed as expressed in the Qur'an, the hadiths, and Sharia law. Where does reason fit into the system? Can one question the preaching of Mohammed? Can one say that an accepted practice in Islam is wrong? 

The fact that reform in Islam has not come about for 14 centuries is evident in the modern era. Reformers are most likely to be killed as committing blasphemy against Mohammed. 

Obey Mohammed, do not question him. Rationality is not as important as obedience. Reasons against Islamic practices are not allowed. 

The Muslim world has the sharia, a comprehensive law bound to the 7th century and it is unchangeable. There are no challenges to it. There are no rational issues concerning it. What is required is obedience, not questioning. There is no question concerning whether it is moral or immoral. There is no appealing to a higher standard.  Obedience is without question. 

Syed’s response: 

Where does reason fit? Perhaps you should educate yourself on Islamic teachings, which demand pursuit of knowledge (i.e. rationality and reason). One can question the Islamic Doctrinal system all he wishes as long as his criticism is constructive. 

DMR2: This is a ruse.  There are no questions that anyone can ask that are constructive in Islam. Do you really think that you can ask a constructive question that allegedly will improve Islam.  That is basically what a constructive question is. More likely, a question that anyone asks will be a critical one questioning some aspect of Islam. Why don't you ask questions like, “is Jihad really commanded by Allah or Mohammed?  Is it rational to kill innocent people?  Why are women supposed to stay in the house all the time and be covered up when they are outside?  Does this not harm them in the loss of Vitamin D from the sun?  Would it not be healthier for them to be exposed to the sun?”   Why do Muslims allow female mutilation? 

Syed continues:

If I'm confused about a certain situation I always ask the Sheikh (Islamic Minister) about it. One can believe that an Islamic practice is long and can express his view to the Sheikh, so he can clear the situation, however he cannot ignorantly preach hate against Islam. If he himself doesn't feel satisfied with the response, then he can express his view to others but not go on a hate-rampage against Islam. 

DMR2: Your response involves an innocent “practice is long” and is obscure, (or did you mean “wrong?”)  Can you question whether the Qur'an is correct? If the Qur'an says the sun sets in a puddle of mud can you question that?  Does questioning equal “ignorantly preaching hate against Islam?”   I think you are really saying that questioning of anything is equal to preaching hate against Islam.  This was Mohammed's attitude.  If you reject the invitation to Islam we will fight you, kill you or subject you to dhimmitude.

Syed wrote:

Where is your proof? Rationality is the very essence of Islam. Obedience to God and the Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) is mandatory, which is why reasoning is also something central to a Muslim's deeds, since the Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) made pursuit of knowledge a compulsory act, i.e. being open and rational. 

DMR2: I don't think you really understand “rationality.”  In the same paragraph you have rationality and obedience to God and Mohammed.  Is it rational to obey Mohammed in all things that are wrong, immoral, and sinful?  If you accept a priori that everything that Mohammed did is correct and the will of Allah, then it is hard to think of questioning anything.  That seems to be your conclusion.   But rationality raises the question about jihad.  Why is it right to kill innocent non-Muslims who don't want to be Muslims?  It is not.  The same could be said for other practices existing in the Muslim world in which no questioning is made.  The concept of rationality is to pursue the truth wherever it leads regardless of tradition and long held views. 

Syed wrote:

In Islam, the search for answers and truth is itself an act demanded and blessed by God. If one has reasons against Islamic Practices he can be open after clearing the matter with Islamic Scholars. 

DMR2: Have you ever objected to jihad against non-Muslims?  Have you dared argue with your imam or whoever, that this is wrong even though the Qur'an commands it?   Let me know the result. 

Syed wrote:

Doesn't Christianity demand you to follow Jesus? You are bound as a Christian to be masochistic, by enjoying people slamming the door on you every time you come to their house. You are bound to love and show kindness to a man who comes to your house and starts caving up your family. Your restrictions and limitations put you in no position to condemn the openness and 'rationality' of Islam. 

DMR2:   Following Jesus does not lead to the conclusions you are mocking.   If you would read the Bible there are lots of references to helping the needy, protecting the innocent, and discerning the spirits of those who are evil.   Your comments are absurd.  Your understanding of what being a Christian is all about is reduced to slamming the door in people's face???? 

Syed wrote:  

Truly there is no standard above Shari'a, however if our own delusions fail to see it this way, we can always have inquiry with the Islamic Scholars. Shari'a is a system that gives the solutions to all the worlds problems. Adultery, alcohol, rape, stealing, usury, murder and other indecent and abominable deeds would all deplete with the installment of Shari'a Law. 

DMR2: It is interesting that you claim “there is no standard above Sharia.”  Did you ever reason that Sharia is not revelation?  Only the Qur'an is claimed to be revelation.  So how can something be above it?  If it is not revelation it can be questioned.  If it is not revelation how can it be authoritative?   You have such an idealistic view of sharia.   You have no idea of what goes on under sharia that is not discovered.   There is still murder in sharia countries, either by people or by the ruling party over those who are conquered.  I don't know what kind of Muslim you are, whether Sunni or Shia, but many of these things are done under “proper” rules like temporary marriage which is just a cover for prostitution and adultery.   It is interesting that temporary marriage is acceptable by some Muslims but  an adulterous person must be stoned.  

Syed wrote:

Yes, there are harsh punishments in Islam, but not for the sake of barbarism of blood-thirst, rather to quell crime and make criminals think twice before performing any act that will harm another person in any way. However, openness and constructive criticism is, as I said, the very essence of Islam. 

DMR2: I suppose the recent event in Iran where an 8 year old boy had his arm run over by a car in punishment for stealing bread is a wonderful application of Sharia (source). I am sure he will remember that the rest of his life.  He will think that Islam is wonderful, so fair, so just.

Somehow, the openness and constructive criticism approach did not make much head way in his sentence. So who would do the sentencing?   The father?  Or the Imams? 

Syed wrote:

The laws do change Mr. Roark. Do you see all Muslims applying camel laws today (such as Muslims being prohibited to overload camels)? Not likely because the majority of us we drive in cars, hence this law doesn't apply. 

DMR2:  But there are people out there still using camels.  Are there inspectors to see that all camels are not abused?  What about the camel races in Muslim countries?  Are there people who are concerned that the races do not harm the camels?   What a travesty you are using. Are there changes in the laws about stoning suspected adulterers?  Are there changes in the laws about beating wives?  Somehow the changing laws about camels just does not impress me. 

DMR1 wrote:

(Editor: There is a paragraph that precedes this sentence it was not quoted by Syed. Here it is inserted back, in curly brackets.)

{The Muslim world has the sharia, a comprehensive law bound to the 7th century and it is unchangeable. There are no challenges to it. There are no rational issues concerning it. What is required is obedience, not questioning. There is no question concerning whether it is moral or immoral. There is no appealing to a higher standard.  Obedience is without question.}

One cannot say that sharia offends my conscience.  

Consider the following from a Muslim writer,

“The status of woman in Islam constitutes no problem. The attitude of the Qur'an and the early Muslims bear witness to the fact that woman is, at least, as vital to life as man himself, and that she is not inferior to him nor is she one of the lower species. Had it not been for the impact of foreign cultures and alien influences, this question would have never arisen among the Muslims. The status of woman was taken for granted to be equal to that of man. It was a matter of course, a matter of fact, and no one, then, considered it as a problem at all.

In order to understand what Islam has established for woman, there is no need to deplore her plight in the pre-Islamic era or in the modern world of today. Islam has given woman rights and privileges which she has never enjoyed under other religious or constitutional systems. This can be understood when the matter is studied as a whole in a comparative manner, rather than partially. The rights and responsibilities of a woman are equal to those of a man but they are not necessarily identical with them. Equality and sameness are two quite different things. This difference is understandable because man and woman are not identical but they are created equals. With this distinction in mind, there is no problem. It is almost impossible to find even two identical men or women.”   The Status of Woman in Islam from "Islam in focus" By Hammuda Abdul-Ati, PH.D. (Source)

The more I read of Muslim writers I conclude that they are deniers.  They deny the facts of Islamic suppression, slavery, women's low status.  The writer above admits that the issue of women's rights came about because of foreign cultures.  In other words, if the world would let us alone we can ignore the plight of women's rights and lack of privileges.  Women had greater freedom in pre-Muslim Arabia than later under Mohammed and the centuries following.  The claim that “the status of woman was taken for granted as equal to that of man” is a statement of denial. The imposition of Sharia in Muslim countries has been brutal for women. 

Syed responded:

Are they deniers or are you just delusional? There is no suppression in Islam against women. 

DMR2:  You are also a denier!!  Have you answered this on the basis of facts or just Islamic propaganda?  Perhaps the fact that women are not allowed out of the house without a male accompanying her “is not suppression.”   The fact that women must keep their faces covered in some Muslim cultures is suppression.  The fact that women cannot drive in SA is suppression.  One could go on. Are Muslim men so jealous of their wives that they don't trust them alone out of the house?  Are Muslim women so unfaithful that they cannot be trusted out of the house? 

Syed wrote:

To summarize the Islamic position of women is: 'Different but equal'. Both men and women have equal rights in Islam, however certain restrictions are placed on both to 'prevent ethical corruption'. For instance Hijab is demanded in Islam because a woman maintains her honour that way and does not openly reveal her sexuality, i.e. does not degrade and dishonour herself. 

DMR2:  Equal rights is interesting, isn't it?  A man has the right to go where he wants to and the woman has the right to not go where she wants to.  That equal!!  The power of the Hijab to curb  “Ethical corruption” is misplaced.  I don't think that seeing a woman's face is degrading and dishonoring.  Covering her face, arms, hands, eyes, area dishonoring to her.  There is a false sense of shame in Islam concerning the human body.  To shake hands between men and women is only sexy in the mind of Muslim men because they are prohibited in touching hands in greeting.

Syed wrote:

Would Roark be happy if any of his female family members began openly revealing their sexuality, by wearing mini-skirts and bikinis? Would he like it if men started lusting after her? I don't believe so. Openness to an extreme level leads to such dishonour and unethical acts; hence suppression to a certain extent is part of the Islamic doctrine. 

DMR2:   Have you thought about the extreme examples you use?  In your accusations you focus on extreme examples as though everyone in the West lived that way.  Your defense of Islam is always the modest woman or man who never has passionate thoughts.  A woman who is covered completely is not free of the imagination of a man.  The real problem is the man who has decided that he has a right to lust and sex and rape basically because women have no rights.   Muslim men in Sweden, Australia, and other western countries view non-Muslims as justifiable targets for their passions and lusts.  In their minds these women have no rights.  There are also Muslim women who have been raped in spite of the covering. 

Syed wrote:

Men also have certain restrictions. For instance in Islam men cannot wear gold or silk, possibly because it leads them to become more feminine-like. The Islamic teaching is that there must be a distinction between man and woman, in spite of overall equality. 

DMR2:  What terrible restrictions placed on men.  There is no inconvenience in not wearing gold or silk.  One of the ways Muslims know the difference between men and women is that the women are covered up.  This, of course, maintains a distinction of equality??? 

Syed wrote:

Slavery was not introduced, rather restricted and depleted by Islam. It was Islam, which demanded feeding slaves with what we eat, dressing them as we dress, not over burdening them, to free them during solar eclipses, to free them if we hit them and that emancipation of slaves is a charitable act (see Bukhari 1:2:29, Muslim 15:4094, 4095, 4096, Bukhari 2:18:163, Bukhari 7:65:286, Muslim 15:4079, 4082, 4088, 4108) 

Indeed Roark is in no moral position to judge Muslim on this. After all, the Bible condones slavery (Ephesians 6:5, Colossians 3:22, Matthew 10:24) and demands slaves to obey their masters and states that slaves aren't equal to their masters. 

Slavery is just a word and contemporarily the first picture that would come in a person's mind after hearing the word 'slavery' is one of barbarism and punishment. Roark makes good use of this and omits all the Islamic doctrines I mentioned above, which depict the truth behind slavery in Islam. 

DMR2:  Has Islam rejected slavery? Absolutely not! The things you describe about feeding them, etc. are demeaning when one raises the question of one human owning another human.

Slavery is still practiced in Islam.   You have not really studied slavery in the Bible.  There are two kinds of slavery, voluntary and involuntary.   Slavery in the Bible is voluntary like committing to a job to someone who will pay for it, while slavery in Islam regards the capturing and killing of people against their will. If you care to really learn the difference you can check out the article, What about Slavery in the Bible?

The castration of male slaves was common place.  "The Calipha in Baghdad at the beginning of the 10th Century had 7000 black eunuchs and 4000 white eunuchs in his palace." It was noted that there were widespread "homosexual relations" as well." (Source)

Syed wrote:

Does Roark think that Muslims speak for the governments that allegedly create gender inequalities? Any indecent acts committed by them, doesn't shift the blame on Muslims, but on the west because they're the ones that continue preserving their influence on power. America's most funded regime after Israel is the Egyptian Mubarak government. 

DMR2:  One of the problems with Islam is that of claiming victimhood.  This is a form of denial basically of the real problem or solution.   Egypt is 90 percent Muslim.  Muslims elected Mubarak and he has not really done much to “help” America.   Why should Egypt receive funds from the USA?   Where is the Muslim motive to work and be self-supporting?    You also exhibit one of the characteristics of Muslims in blaming someone for your own problems. 

Syed wrote:

Just look at the ignorance of Roark, He states that women had greater rights in pre-Islamic Arabia. Let's briefly analyse some facts and gender reforms by Muslims. The pre-Islamic pagan Arabs used to: 

- Bury their daughters alive.
- Force women to pay for their wedding gifts (also allowed in the west).
- Inherit women (the step son would inherit the step mother or the family maiden).
- Take back wedding gifts from divorced wives.
- Treat women harshly.
- Strip women off inheritance rights (also allowed in the west).
- Have unlimited polygamy. 
- Beat and raped their maidens.
- Have prostitution with women (also allowed in the west).
- Have women impress lustful men by stripping (also allowed in the west). 

As well as this, they also put women under life-imprisonment in their houses for committing adultery, yet never laid a finger to punish a man who committed adultery. Words can never describe the cruel and barbaric treatment of women by the Arabs prior Islam and the low-level of women in Arab society, though women from rich backgrounds were given decent rights (and they were a small minority).

The teachings of Islam and the abrogations and restrictions Islam had brought to these sick, practices had astounded the pagans:  

- Stop the burial of new-born girls (Surah an-Nahl 16:59-60, Surah at-Takwir 81:8-9, 14, Surah Bani Israel 17:31)
- Give women their wedding gifts for free (Surah an-Nisa 4:4)
- Do not inherit women against their will (Surah an-Nisa 4:19)
- Do not take back wedding gifts from women (Surah an-Nisa 4:19)
- Treat women kindly (Surah an-Nisa 4:19, 36)
- Give women a fixed right to inheritance (Surah an-Nisa 4:7)
- Only marry 1 women, unless you can treat more than 1 with justice, in which case you can marry up to 4 (Surah an-Nisa 4:3)
- Punish both the man and the woman equally for adultery (not just the woman) (Surah an-Nur 24:2)
- Treat your wives and your maidens with kindness (certainly meaning you cannot beat or rape them) (Surah an-Nisa 4:36)
- Women, dress modestly so you are not troubled (meaning they cannot strip or wear little clothing) (Surah al-Ahzab 33:59)
- Execute those who do not desist from harassing women (Surah al-Ahzab 33:60-61)
- Free your slave-girl if you hit her (Muslim 15:4079, 4082, 4088, 4108)
- Give half-punishment for adultery to maidens (Surah an-Nisa 4:25)

Which treatment is better? I do not even need to say anything, just read the above reforms and make your own decision. The Muslims massively reformed the position of women and destroyed numerous barbaric pagan traditions. It is Islam that made the woman a woman and not an object of man. Yet Roark is ignorant enough to state blatant lies about pre-Islamic Arab women having more freedom than Muslims women, based on no proof and no evidence.

DMR2: The only real step Mohammed made was to prohibit burying the daughters alive.

Muslims still treat women harshly, remember you can beat your wives. Slave women can be used as sex objects. Mohammed basically practiced unlimited polygamy although he claimed that Allah allowed other men only 4 wives, and their slave women, whom their right hands owned.  Prostitution is not allowed technically, but with temporary marriage it is the same. It would probably make a Muslim man feel good that it has not committed adultery with a temporary wife, but next morning he is gone, and the marriage is over.  Great Progress!! 

It is ironic that Khadijah was wealthy before she married Mohammed. She was an entrepreneur and hired Mohammed to work for her.  Do you think things have not changed for the worse after Mohammed came to power?   After her money was gone he turned to banditry to survive in Medina.   Of course, if you think of Mohammed as the 'teflon prophet', nothing wrong sticks to him, then of course you will view his banditry as spoils of war, revenge for his being rejected in Mecca, etc.  An objective rational view is that he was involved in banditry. 

Syed wrote:

It is not Shari'a that mistreats women in Muslim countries, rather governments like the Mubarak, who are funded by the west. 

DMR2: Muslims seem to blame anything but Islam for the sad state of anything.  If you care to check out  you can frequently read about women in Muslim countries who are denied justice when raped,  killed in honor killings,  stoned for adultery.  Interesting that one does not read much about the men who are involved in adultery being stoned to death. 

Syed wrote:

What about the West? You in the west benefit from child-labour and suppression in third world countries like Thailand and India (not to mention China). The clothes you wear are made from innocent animals being confined to cages before being brutally murdered and skinned. The shoes and various other items you possess originate from child-labour (which to me is no different than slave-labour). Innocent children and families break their backs everyday to get food and water that is just enough to survive and very little shelter and the west benefits from all of this. If a revolution occurs in such a country, the west attempts to re-impose their puppet government so they can continue to benefit from them. 

During the Bay of Pigs Invasion, America wanted to topple Fidel Castro, who, in spite of being a dictator, introduced astounding reforms and nationalistic ideals to Cuba. After this they would re-impose the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship, a western puppet government, which deprived the Cuban people of almost all their civil rights. That's what they did in Iran back in 1953. They toppled the democratic leader Mohammad Mosaddeq to re-impose the monarchy, since they wanted to benefit from Iranian oil and the suffering of peasants of lower classes in Iran. 

Hence, Roark and the West are in no moral position to judge us. They benefit from slavery, suppression, subjugation and suffering all around the planet and have the nerve to speak of freedom and democracy. There's no freedom and democracy. It's lies and hypocrisy. 

DMR2: I wonder if you have visited the Cuban paradise? Of course, the Khomeni revolution has brought a paradise to Iran. Have you been there? Perhaps you have seen stoning of women in the public arena.   Maybe you think that the dissatisfaction with the current regime is caused by the Israelis or the US.   There is no freedom and democracy in either one of these countries, but you probably have a different definition of freedom and democracy.   The ironic thing about so many people in these countries is that they want to come to the US.   A suicide bomber in Afghanistan failed in his mission, but declared he really wanted to come to the US.  Isn't that interesting? 

DMR1 wrote: 

The headlines of the past week or so give a number of examples in which Islamic custom, or sharia law came into play and the results were devastating to the lives of the people involved. 

Consider the following story in the news in recent days. 

“A 13-year-old girl who said she had been raped was stoned to death in Somalia after being accused of adultery by Islamic militants, a human rights group said. Dozens of men stoned Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow to death Oct. 27, 2008 in a stadium packed with 1,000 spectators in the southern port city of Kismayo, Amnesty International and Somali media reported, citing witnesses. The Islamic militia in charge of Kismayo had accused her of adultery after she reported that three men had raped her, the rights group said.” 

The young girl went to the police wanting justice. The police arrested her and she was charged with adultery. (Source

What kind of mind set is a work here?  A thirteen year old girl is charged with adultery because she was raped.  There are similar stories in Pakistan in which women were raped and then charged with adultery. These stories are incomprehensible to the rational mind. Why would a young girl wanting justice be dismissed and then put to death for the evils that men did to her? Why was there not a serious investigation for her?   What about the girl’s rights?  She has none. 

Syed wrote: 

So the acts of some barbaric 'Muslims' give Roark the position to condemn Islam, based on nothing?

What's the reality? The reality is that if a man does not desist from harassing a woman, he gets brutally murdered or exiled from the land (Surah al-Ahzab 33:59-61). 

DMR2:  It is not just a simple barbaric Muslim act that is involved here.  It is a law that is exploited by Muslim men against women.  The young girl in Somalia did not have the required 4 witnesses to vindicate her.  She is condemned if she does not have four witnesses and if she is found pregnant by the rape she is accused of adultery or fornication and is condemned for that.

Without 4 witnesses she has no hope.  Since the requirement is in the Qur'an (24:4), no change can be made and injustices are continuing and Muslims are murdering innocent people because of this law. 

Your comment about a man harassing a women is irrelevant for many women who have been raped in the Muslim world.  

Syed wrote:

What does Islam really teach? The Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) stoned a man to death after he confessed to raping a girl, who accused him (Abu Dawud 38:4366). 

That's the reality. If the rapist denies of course, the problem goes deeper and in modern-day times technology allows us to distinguish between people who lie and tell the truth, though certain factors, such as eye movement and blood pressure. Back in those days, they may have had other ways to do such a thing, but of course thanks to Islamic doctrine of having to pursue knowledge, the west has gotten to the stage of progressing so rapidly in science and discovering such a method. 

Investigation in Islam is something mandatory. One cannot just assume such-and-such with no evidence and the modern-day science that gives us a more refined method of judging right from wrong, makes investigation even more mandatory. 

DMR2: The problem is different than what you are claiming.  You have overlooked the requirement of 4 witnesses.  If there is no witness the victim of rape becomes the victim of injustice.  There is no investigation in so many cases.  The mandate you are talking about, where is it required?  You give no verification.  You are talking in generalities, no facts.    Moreover, have you evidence of men today confessing that they raped a woman?

Have you any evidence of rapists being given a lie-detector test?  Why would a 13 year old girl dare to complain to the police if she was not raped?   Are you aware  that the modern lie detector was invented by Western, not Islamic science?  (  

DMR1 wrote:

Mohammed taught that women have half the intelligence of men, so why was this not considered for a thirteen year old girl who was helpless and immature? No doubt the justice system is weighted toward the men who are responsible not only for the rape but the killing of this innocent person. 

Jesus encountered a woman caught in adultery. What kind of snooping had to go on to catch a woman and a man in adultery? The accusers wanted to stone her. The reply of Jesus was, “let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”  One by one they departed.  They had a conscience and their sense of guilt would not keep them there. 

Did these people who stoned this innocent girl have a conscience?  Does obedience to a barbaric law absolve one of guilt? 

Syed wrote: 

Did the Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) really teach this or is Roark delusional? 

Let's examine: 

Many people misinterpret Surah al-Baqara 2:282 and believe that it makes a woman's testimony worth half that of a man. This is a blatant misrepresentation of the Holy text. In Islam, the woman's testimony has equal value to that of a man. The verse states that 2 women are required because if one of them errs, the other one can correct her. The other woman is not there to testify at all, but to correct the first one just in case. In the end, only 1 woman testifies and only 1 man testifies, making the value of their testimonies equal. 

In the Hadith I mentioned earlier (Abu Dawud 38:4366) the woman was the only witness to the rape and she was the victim. Yet the rapist ended up being stoned to death. No doubt the justice system would be weighted towards the innocent woman who is raped, because this was the Holy Prophet Mohammad's (SAWW) example and he the one whom the Muslims are compelled to follow. 

If the woman is lying we can tell, through scientific technology today, thus we have no problem. Not at all does Islam condone the barbarism committed by such people. 

DMR2:   There is no way you can escape the implication of women being the lesser.  Why not two men also?  Are men inclined to remember everything and a woman may not?  This still involves the demeaning of women, because she is required because the first one may forget.

A man alone may be inclined to assert his influence over the women when there is no other man to correct him.

What does the hadith prove?   The rapist confessed without witnesses.  Is this what you expect when a woman is raped?  This is a useless illustration.

Moreover, the Qur'an declares that a man can accuse his wife by swearing 4 to 5 times that what he says is true. A person who lies once will not have a problem telling four or five lies.  This is useless.  Without four witnesses this is reduced to one witness and is quite easily abused. 

As for those who accuse their wives but have no witnesses except themselves; let the testimony of one of them be four testimonies, (swearing) by Allah that he is of those who speak the truth; And yet a fifth, invoking the curse of Allah on him if he is of those who lie.  (24:6-7)  

Syed wrote:

Follow Jesus's doctrine then Roark. What about if one of your female relatives commits adultery with a man, due to the fact that no punishment awaits her? Is that okay with you? The Islamic punishment isn't barbaric. You people see Islam as a medieval thing. It isn't. 

DMR2:   Are Muslims the judge, jury, and executioner?    Don't you leave anything to God?

I am not the judge, jury, and executioner for anyone, and neither are you Muslims.   Yes, the Islamic punishment is barbaric.

Syed wrote:

It's a system for today, yesterday and the future. Its punishments are from God, hence we obey and these punishments are effective in instilling fear into a would-be criminals mind, thus depleting crime massively. 

DMR2:   The system is still in the 7th century.  You have a real problem talking about God and his punishments. You must deal with the character of Yahweh and the character of Allah.

There is a basic contradiction between Yahweh and Allah.   Jihad cannot be found in the Bible. Jihad against non-Muslims is solely an Islamic doctrine.    

Syed wrote:

America is suffering the world with medieval punishments, such as child-labour, suppression and puppet governments. They are a corrupt regime murdering innocent civilians in Afghanistan and are responsible for some of the most indecent acts in history. 

What about the Sabra and Shatila massacres committed by Christians in Lebanon in 1982 (who were acting on Israel's behalf), when 3500 innocent Muslim men, women and children were murdered with knives and guns and the women raped before being carved up? Were the Biblical genocides and rapes an inspiration to these Christian barbarians (1 Samuel 15:3, Numbers 31:17-18 and numerous others)? No punishment was given to these criminals. Christian barbarism throughout history is unimaginable compared to those committed by Muslims. 

What about the Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam when 100s of innocent Vietnamese men, women and children were rounded up and mass-murdered? Like I said, neither Roark nor America have any moral position to judge Muslims. 

DMR2:   You have too many generalities here.  Let me address a couple of them.  First, the basis of many of these conflicts began when the Muslims started invading and conquering countries outside of Arabia.  The invasions were horrendous in killing, raping, enslaving what they did not kill, and reducing the population to dhimmitude.  You need to read about the spread of Islam.

If you want numbers, the Muslim expansion through the centuries involved the killing of 270,000,000 (270 million) people in the time since Mohammed.   The Turkish Muslims alone killed over a million Armenians in the last century.  They are denying it because they want into the European Union.   Check here.

Second, war is hell regardless if you are trying to do good. Communism was defeated only because the West did something about it. What did the Muslims do to battle communism?

What did Muslims do in World War II? The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, was in Germany trying to help Hitler wipe out the Jews.

Third, concerning the Old Testament, check here.

Fourth, you have mentioned several times the wars that the West have been fighting. Have you any idea of the wars that Islam has been fighting?   I mentioned the start of Islam invading other countries, but what about the wars between the Sunnis and the Shias?  Muslims killing Muslims. Of course, there was the war of Iran and Iraq before the US invaded Iraq.   Iran used boys chained together to clear mine fields so that the soldiers would not die.  Little kids are expendable, right? 

DMR1 wrote: 

“Amina Said, 18, and her sister Sarah, 17, smile happily in one widely circulating photo, and Amina is wearing what looks like a sweatshirt bearing the name “AMERICAN.” But their fate may have been the herald of a new, disquieting feature of the American landscape: honor killing. Amina and Sarah were shot dead in Irving, Texas, on New Year's Day. Police are searching for their father, Yaser Abdel Said, on a warrant for capital murder.” (1-08-2008) 

The sin of the girls? Adopting American culture. Does this sin merit honor killing? 

Honor killing involve a false sense of shame.  This sense of shame has lead to terrible atrocities done to men and women who disappoint the father mostly who claims the right to defend and cleanse his honor.   The evil act may be carried out by brothers, uncles, and friends and it is done in the name of restoring honor.  Many honor killings are based on suspicion and the charges used to kill them are ultimately proven false.  This is particularly true in charges of adultery and medical test indicate that no sexual acts were involved.  Is there no shame in killing a daughter who was truly innocent? 

Is this a rational response? Not really. A rational response would be: “I don't approve of my daughters adopting American culture. However, they are of age and it is their lives, not mine, that they are leading.  I am not responsible for what they do. They should have the freedom to live their own lives, for better or worse.    

Syed wrote:

Are any of these acts permitted by Islam? Certainly not. When did Islam every say to kill someone for having 'American' on their shirt. Is there a narration of Muslims killing other Muslims who had 'Quraysh' written on their shirt? That is an equivalent circumstance and there is no such evidence. Roark is basing his arguments on indecent acts committed by Muslims that clearly have nothing to do with Islam. 

I can mention numerous barbarism committed by Christians, 100 times worse than those committed by Muslims and I had mentioned several already, namely the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the toppling of Mohammad Mosaddeq, the Sabra and Shatila massacre and the Mai Lai massacre. 

DMR2:   Your comments are designed to mislead others. The real issue is that the girls were rejecting Islam and adopting a life-style different than Islamic.  That was the threat to the father and he took actions based on the Islamic law concerning anyone leaving Islam--kill them.  There would be no other reason than that for honor killings. 

Narrated 'Abdullah:
Allah's Apostle said, "The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims."  (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 83, Number 17)

DMR1  wrote: 

“KABUL, Afghanistan - Suspected Taliban militants killed a religious leader in western Afghanistan after he criticized the use of suicide attacks as a weapon of war in the country, an Afghan official said Friday.  Militants kidnapped Shamsudin Agha in Farah province's Anar Dara district on Tuesday, days after he led prayers condemning the practice of using suicide attacks, said provincial police Chief Abdul Ghafar Watandar.” 

This is simply one example of the inability of Muslims to take criticism. Muslims delight in criticizing Jews and Christians. One can see this in the Islamic countries seeking to have the UN denounce criticism of Islam.  The Saudi government prohibiting non-Muslims to worship according to their own culture is another example.   Many Muslim countries prohibit Bibles and freedom to share one's faith with Muslims. The Taliban cannot stand to think reasonably about the issues of war. They have destroyed schools for girls because they cannot allow an educated woman.  Recent attacks on school girls whereby acid was thrown in the girl's faces is another example of irrationality. 

Syed wrote:

What does Islam say about suicide? 

It says that anyone who commits suicide will be punished by the very tool he used to commit suicide (such as a knife, sword or gun) (Sahih al-Bukhari 8:73:73). 

So if this man was criticising suicide bombing, then he had a legitimate Islamic stance to do so, so killing him was a blatant sin and is fully condemned in Islam.  

Islam can and does accept constructive criticism, as long as it has the intention of knowledge and not derogatory insults. I do criticise Jews and Christians who commit immoral and barbaric acts against innocent Muslims, but not innocent Jews free of such guilt. What about the numerous debates between Muslims and Christians where criticism has been constantly exchanged? Has any Muslim lashed out at his opponent for criticism? I don't know, but I've never seen such a thing happen and I've seen several debates.  

Roark is again criticising the Saudi government for its persecution of Christians. Well, they don't speak for us.

Where is destruction of schools and throwing acid at a girl's face allowed in Islam? Give me the proof of Islam condoning such an act.  

DMR2:  The issue is not how they were killed, but the reason they were killed.

Do you ever ask yourself concerning the hadiths?  They are not revelation, many of them span centuries after Mohammed, many were manufactured, and the collections do not agree on what is genuine.    

You raise the issue of constructive criticism again. I was told by one of your compatriots that if I were a Muslim I could not doubt, but only obey. What is constructive criticism?  Remember that Mohammed sent messengers to people inviting them to Islam.  They rejected his message.

He did not leave them alone, he declared war against them. You remember, invite them to Islam, and if they agree, ok, but if not, it is death or dhimmitude.  The smallest amount of disagreement becomes a basis for jihad.

Saudi Arabia is the fountain of Islam.  How can you separate yourself from them? 

You have a real problem in talking about the destruction of schools, and punishing girls by throwing acid in their face. There is a pattern of attacks in Muslim countries.  You claim they are not in the Qur'an, well and good. Why is it that women are attacked for wanting an education?   Just this week a woman was shot in Afganistan for working, trying to make a living, and schools for girls are destroyed by the Taliban.  Are the Taliban Muslims?   The Muslim culture takes on an oppression attitude toward education, women working, etc.   If these things are not inspired by the Qur'an why do not Muslims rise up and condemn these practices. If the Taliban are not true Muslims why are they not rejected by the majority of the Muslims.  They are not.

Why don't you write articles on the internet calling Muslims to change? 

DMR1  wrote: 

4) Female circumcision:  “She was three years old when her family left impoverished, war-ravaged Somalia and settled in the East End of London, where her early childhood life seemed immeasurably better. Everything changed for Lali when she was 11 years old. One morning, her mother told her, quite casually, that they were to visit another Somali girl, whom she liked. "I thought I was just going to play with my friend, so I was happy," Lali says quietly, avoiding eye contact. Soon after she arrived at the friend's anonymous council house, however, cold reality dawned. In fact, Lali's mother had secretly joined together with several other women to pay for a "cutter" to travel to London from Mogadishu to circumcise their daughters. "They believed it had to be done, otherwise we would never get a husband," Lali shrugs. What happened next was like a scene from medieval times. Her mother, other female relatives and family friends suddenly grabbed Lali and grappled her to the floor. Then, on cue, the strange woman came in, like a torturer with her bag of implements. "They held me down, and when the woman began cutting I screamed, so my friend's sister put her hand tightly over my mouth," she says. "I had known her and these other women all my life, and now they were doing ... this. The cutting often results in life-threatening complications such as septicaemia, hemorrhaging or cysts.” (Source)

Female “cutting” is a barbaric, irrational practice based on custom and the Qur’an’s view about the status of women.  Did God make a woman that was imperfect and had to be cut to improve her condition? Did God make a mistake by giving a woman the possibility of pleasure in marriage?  A woman who is cut is doomed to a sexual life with her husband devoid of any pleasure.

This is another evil act perpetuated in the name of tradition.  Muslims who write that it increases the pleasure for a woman and man have not been listening to women who have experienced the terrible cutting.

Cutting out a part of the woman’s sexual organ is irrational.  How would a man like to have about 2 inches of his penis cut off?   That sounds barbaric!!  That same holds for women!!

Syed wrote::  

Islam does not condone this act. Roark, ignorant and delusional as he is, believes that the Holy Qur'an is responsible for this, because of the 'low' status of women. He fails to mention anything about female circumcision because there is absolutely no proof of this. 

The true Islamic view of women is that they are equal, although different and it is the same with man (see here). 

As Roark rights:(sic)  'This is another evil act perpetuated in the name of tradition'. Thank you very much Roark. I couldn't agree more. It is in the name of tradition not Islam. Islam destroyed all barbaric tradition and indecent barbarism committed by the Arabs prior.  

What about the Christian massacres? Are they rational? Are the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings rational (killing almost 200 000 people in 3 days)? What about the children in the Iraqi city of Faluja, who suffer chemical diseases and have been mutilated by George Bush's 'crusade' on Iraq (just see the horrible and heart-striking images here).

You have absolutely no moral position to judge us, for what you're the west and Christianity have done to the world. 

DMR2:  Your answer is that Islam does not condone this act, is wrong.  How many imams have you read or heard who condemn it?  Female mutilation is practiced mostly in Muslims cultures.

You claim Islam destroyed all barbaric traditions committed by early Arabs. It is still going on. 

Let's talk about massacres.   First, bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were acts of war. This ended the war. Maybe you don't know that without the two bombs the war would have dragged on and more people than this would have been killed on both sides.  You should investigate this war situation.  Are you sure that the children of Faluja were suffering from chemical disease causes by Bush? 

Since we are on massacres, are you aware that the Muslim invasion of India involving the killing of 300,000 people in one day because the Muslims did not know what to do with the captives? They had no prison, and wanted to move on in the invasion and slaughtered 300,000 people in one day. That is not the total, they killed many more in different waves of invasion.  I mentioned before that the Turks slaughtered one million Armenians in the early part of the last century.    Muslim massacres have been terrible.  Would you like to know more?

DMR1 wrote:

5)  Slavery    

Posted: November 10, 2003 5:00 pm Eastern © 2008

“A leading Saudi government cleric and author of the country's religious curriculum believes Islam advocates slavery.  "Slavery is a part of Islam," says Sheik Saleh Al-Fawzan, according to the independent Saudi Information Agency, or SIA.   In a lecture recorded on tape by SIA, the sheik said, "Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long there is Islam."

His religious books are used to teach 5 million Saudi students, both within the country and abroad, including the United States. Al Fawzan – a member of the Senior Council of Clerics, Saudi Arabia's highest religious body – says Muslims who contend Islam is against slavery "are ignorant, not scholars."  "They are merely writers," he said, according to SIA. "Whoever says such things is an infidel."

Consider the words of Jesus, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”  Would you like to be captured and sold into slavery? Would you like for your kids to be captured and sold into slavery in some strange country? Would you like for your wife to be captured, sold into slavery,   raped and coerced into sex?  Of course not, you say. Rational Muslims should object to these practices.       

The irony of all this is that Muslims have rioted over the Danish cartoons and demanded the death of the artists, but Muslims do not riot over the mis-treatment of women.  Muslims men should be marching in the streets against the practice of female circumcision. Muslims should be incensed at the practice of slavery in Islam. Muslim should be marching in the streets against the shame of honor killings. Muslims should be guided by the great words of Jesus, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Such a practice would revolutionize Islam away from an inhumane archaic code.

Syed wrote: 

As I said before: 

“Slavery was not introduced, rather restricted and depleted by Islam. It was Islam, which demanded feeding slaves with what we eat, dressing them as we dress, not over burdening them, to free them during solar eclipses, to free them if we hit them and that emancipation of slaves is a charitable act (see Bukhari 1:2:29, Muslim 15:4094, 4095, 4096, Bukhari 2:18:163, Bukhari 7:65:286, Muslim 15:4079, 4082, 4088, 4108)”  

Islam doesn't allow capturing or deportation to another country, nor kids being sold into slavery and not wives being raped? Everything David has mentioned is fully prohibited in Islam. 

Muslims do not protest over the barbarism committed by their leaders? Where's the proof? Most Muslims condemn and openly speak out against these barbaric acts. In the Islamic Center near my community over 1000 people gather and at times we speak out against the unjust deeds of some of the governments in Muslim countries. Just because your biased and slanted western media does not portray it, doesn't mean it never happened.  

We don't need to convert to Christianity, reject all non-Christians who come to our houses (as demanded in 2 John 1:10) and at the same time treat others as we like to be treated, i.e. slam the door on others and enjoy the door being slammed on you.  

Shame on you Mr. Roark. You have depicted such a grave level of ignorance and delusion in this article. I pray that Allah (SWT) guides you and all Christians to the right path of Islam and to stop following a self-contradictory, irrational religion.  

And verily, Allah (SWT) knows best that Islam is the most rational religion. 

DMR2:  What a hollow justification you present, feed slaves, don't work them too hard, dress them, etc. You don't really understand the terrible issue in slavery-one person owning others against their will.    

As for the second point, who do you think captured and sold all those slaves to America?  It was Muslims.  Slavery is still practiced, non-Muslims are captured, ripped from families, and even ransomed for making profit.  Islam confirms slavery now!

Is your Islamic center in the west or a Muslim country?   Are your comments against other Muslim countries rather than the country you are living in?    

As for 2 John 1:10 you have mis-used it.  The people to be rejected in hospitality were those who were preaching that Jesus Christ was not real, they were Gnostics who did not believe he was real, only an illusion.  They were apostates, heretics, false teachers.  This verse has nothing to do with incivility and unkindness.  Moreover you mock the words of Jesus and push them to absurdity.   Shame on you!  You are calling this a terrible thing, closing the door in the face of an apostate.

What do Muslims do with apostates?   Why are Sunnis killing Shia and Shia killing Sunnis?

Each regards the other as apostates.   I think closing the door in the face of an apostate is to be preferred to the Muslim practice.   Who do you think is killing Christians in Iraq, Iran, Egypt, and other Muslim countries?   Who do you think is bent on killing the Jews in Israel?  There is only one answer, but you may not know it or you may be in denial.  The answer is - Muslims. 

In conclusion I would observe that irrationality in your sense means anything said that raises questions about the truth of Islam and Mohammed. Rationality refers to anything good said about Islam and Mohammed.   I have observed that you really are a denier. While you are young I hope you can escape the Muslim bubble in which Muslims deny history, contradict their own book of Qur'an, elevate Sharia above the Qur'an as you have done, and give credence to the hadiths which have been made up.  If you remain  a Muslim I hope you will oppose many things in Islam that have given it a bad name, female genital mutilation, honor killings, and jihad.

However, if you do, your life may be in danger, and you may find that you are fighting a losing battle.