I have been quite outspoken in recent times about what I believe to be a necessary and inescapable connection between Islam, as properly understood (yes, that notion is wrought with issue) and violence (and intolerance). I have even debated this publicly and given a public talk on the topic (at the University of Exeter).
I am reposting this in response to the terror attacks in France last night, resulting in the deaths of over one hundred people. As ever, the internet is awash with right-wing shouts to “kill all Muslims” and refugees, to the left-wing shouts that it is the Imperial West to blame and not Islam or Muslims. Neither of these positions are correct. It is obviously thoroughly complex, indeed involving international politics. However, to deny the Qu’ran, Muhammad and the Hadith causal responsibility in these atrocities is to deny the self-determination of those very terrorists who claim that they are doing these actions in the name of Islam and their god.
Nabeel Qureshi is great; he is a great resource for critiquing Islam, Muhammad, the Qu’ran and the Hadith. He is an ex-Muslim who converted to Christianity and now runs and MA course at Biola and runs his own ministry. His knowledge of Islam is super and his videos have certainly helped me in my exegesis and talks on Islam.
I recently had a fascinating debate with David Warden of the Dorset Humanists concerning Islam, which I have written fairly extensively about. The debate was really well-mannered and a pleasure to be involved with. Thanks to the Dorset Humanists for hosing and inviting me. Here it is:
Imagine rifling through your old crud to find some old booky thing and thinking, “Hey, that looks old. I wonder how old”. And then getting it dated and finding out it’s the oldest, arguably mots important book in the world!
Over on a recent thread about the challenges I have met in my claims of Islam, a Catholic commentator asked this question:
I agree with you that Islam has problems. I have a quick question: do you read commentaries and theology books written by Muslims to offset your bias?
To which I said:
I have had many discussions concerning Islam and my views pertaining to it. I would like to flesh out here some of the criticisms I have had and answer them properly, also offering this as a post that I can point people to when this undoubtedly pops up again.
This is an excellent succinct synopsis of the issue of contradictions and abrogation in the Qu’ran. The Qu’ran can be broadly split into two based on when and where the revelations took place. This article is reblogged with kind permission from Beyond the Cusp – thanks! This is a quick synopsis for those of you who are unaware of things Qu’ranic:
The Quran as we know it today is in reality two quite different books. The older Quran was written in Mecca while the later Quran was written in Medina. This lead some scholars, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to refer to the Quran by its two parts, the Mecca Quran and the Medina Quran.
The Friendly Atheist has an excellent short piece which utterly destroys liberal and moderate Muslims in their case for Islam being a religion of peace. It is not that, as I have shown here, and due mainly to this. The problem stems from the core text, the Qu’ran. And you can’t really be a Muslim and drop the Qu’ran – they are inseparable.
I am engaged in many conversations and debates across multiple platforms on the internet. At the moment, and in general recently, I have been wrapped up in many debates with my fellow liberals. The subject has been Islam and as to whether it is in some culpable proportion responsible for the violent extremism which is taking place across the globe. From the Middle East and ISIS (incorporating a number of different countries) to France and the Charlie Hedbo events; from Nigeria and Boko Haram to Kenya and Somalia with al Shabaab, things are not looking good.