Booklice of Islam

When I first arrived from the States, my daughter saddened me with the news that booklice (bookworms) invaded my old fiction collections. The covers of the books looked nice and healthy, but the pages were half consumed.
It’s not as if I wanted to read those books one day. In fact, some of my old collections even surprised me. But, like any collectables, each brings with it a certain period of one’s life, as if a chronology of knowledge evolution, spanned on a time frame and organized to define one’s own perception of life. An epoch (a bit exaggeration!) spent in best sellers and fiction, an epoch in health; body exercise, massage, yoga, nutrition, metaphysics, self-hypnosis, NLP, fit for life as well as herbal and domestic medicine and Healing Through Quran. The macrobiotic diet, history, religion, philosophy, artisans and needle-works, cooking and kitchen etiquette, astrology, astronomy, and most of the sacred books, side by side with an epoch of love stories where the ends were always happy and poetic. Another epoch with Arsène Lupin!*… I’m not kidding.
When I think of how I got into the reading habit I usually think of my father (a bookworm). Yet seeing those half eaten books brought my mother’s figure before my eyes.
My mother never had a proper education; I hardly saw her reading anything but Quran and some prayer’s books (ad3iya). Yet, she never ceased to encourage my thirst for knowledge. She found joy in taking me to bookshops or book exhibitions. She followed me around protectively and stood by me proudly while I chose my books. She never knew “What!” I was reading, nor cared how much the growing piles of books at the counter would cost her.
I remember in the beginning of my adolescent years she introducing me to an Arabic magazine titled Tabeebak which means “Your Doctor” (don’t know if it still exists). She had subscribed to that magazine through a friend and as a result I got it periodically. Now this is what I call the “Tabeebac” epoch since reading that magazine became an addiction to me. In addition to health related articles, that magazine used to have a complete section at the back for health related problems, where readers sought specialist’s advice. It was divided by subjects, and sex was the subject that interested me the most, although such a big dose of sex was a tad extra for my years.
Nevertheless, it improved my Arabic, my sex education, and it protected me against awkward times. My mother probably wanted to create a physician out of me, but unknowingly, she well educated me in things that most probably she didn’t know.
And I guess I was wrong, I owe what I am today to both of my parents, learned or illiterate. It takes two to tango.
Our collection of books (readings) can tell a lot about us, to us, and losing any part is painful. Those seemingly healthy bright colored covers are deceiving; they’re camouflaging a disaster. How that resembled Islam and Muslims today!
Muslims today are so diverse in their definition of “True Islam”. Each individual formed his own perception of Islam and contented himself with his “True Islam”. And today, the diversity of “True Islam(s)” ranges between the perception of a by-product Muslim; most know nothing about their faiths (of which some are mistakenly called moderates), and a perception of the extreme radicalism calling for Jihad. This group(s) have a duty to raise Islam as the greatest nation on earth and apply the laws of God (which one, and according to whom!), they have a duty to save humanity before the inevitable doomsday. Each individual or a group of individuals have become the worms, eating Islam from their favorite angle until it became a mere healthy looking cover. and lost forever it’s “True face”
Today, hardly anything bind Muslims except their religious prejudice. Muslims have become their own worst enemies. Fighting each other to annihilation. Diversity cannot always be tolerated, especially when faith is its main building structure.

Our real enemy is faith(s).

* I hope I spelled that right.

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53 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Muhajer
    Jan 07, 2008 @ 08:26:10

    Ayya,

    Influencing kids to develop a love of reading is one of the greatest gifts you can offer them. I was fortunate that my grandfather was an avid reader and had one of the largest private libraries. Although he was a man of faith, he stocked his library with a wide variety of books on almost any topic you can think of. He had a great influence on all of his grandchildren and is one of the primary reasons most of us have advanced degrees.

    Although, he passed away over 10 years ago, we still maintain his library in the family home and fortunately his collection did not meet the same fate as your books.

    Reply

  2. XTC
    Jan 07, 2008 @ 11:50:07

    Hi there …

    I am not here this time to enter into a philosophical discussion about Islam and why is it this way …cause I have my own version of events which could easily turn me to a “zindeeq” in a blink of an eye …and I don’t want that …at least not right now ..and not right here ..

    I am here just to say even though you idea was to show how the west ridicule Islam (let me say due to the action of its own followers which could or could not be true representatives of Islam depending on who you ask) the clip you post here is actually very funny!!! I really laughed why?? Because on most instances he is right!!!

    Reply

  3. Ri
    Jan 07, 2008 @ 16:22:52

    Your ma and pa gave you the best things in life. Books and encouragement. I’m proud of the both of them. Look how well you turned out 😀 I’m sure your babies are beautiful too.

    And it’s the same with any religion. We’re right, everyone else is wrong.
    Grr. I want to shake everyone till their teeth rattle :/

    Reply

  4. شرقاوي
    Jan 07, 2008 @ 17:42:31

    Happy New Year.

    p.s. The name of the gentleman thief is Arsène Lupin

    Reply

  5. AyyA
    Jan 07, 2008 @ 21:29:57

    Muhajer
    Many have advanced degrees, but unfortunately very few have advanced knowledge. I don’t know about your siblings, but what I know so far about you makes you a person who combined the two. To me the degree gives you a passport to a decent life. But knowledge makes you who you are. in fact, we are what we read.

    Reply

  6. AyyA
    Jan 07, 2008 @ 21:54:46

    XTC
    “I am here just to say even though you idea was to show how the west ridicule Islam (let me say due to the action of its own followers which could or could not be true representatives of Islam depending on who you ask)”

    That wasn’t exactly my point; don’t let the video mislead you. The point from my perspective as an observer. Interacting with different mentalities of Islam is by itself a chaos of diversity. Most condemn terrorist’s acts by the name of Jihad (radicals included), yet they are not doing anything to stop it! This procrastination to deal with “the minorities” who call for the legitimacy of jihad, and their own agreement not to agree is the reason why Islam lost it “true” identity. “which true identity?”
    Sorry, I know you said you don’t like to go into philosophy, but your comment provoked me. And I’m glad you liked the video 🙂

    Reply

  7. AyyA
    Jan 07, 2008 @ 22:32:57

    Ri
    Sweetheart, my babies are now taller than me, and they’re wonderful. I don’t call them babies anymore, first because they’d get mad at me, and second because that’s what I call the dogs and the cats in my household (2 of each) and a hamster.
    Habeebti walla, no, I was kidding, I still call them my babies no matter how old they get, or how annoyed they may be. I’m their mother, and they’re my babies. And that’s that.
    :*

    Reply

  8. AyyA
    Jan 07, 2008 @ 22:38:43

    Sharqawi
    May your years be as wise as you always have been, and may it carry within its folds lots of joys for years to come.
    Thanks dear for the correction, I already changed it.

    Reply

  9. AyyA
    Jan 07, 2008 @ 23:12:08

    7abeebti Silhouette
    Your comment appeared on my Akismet Span and I deleted it by mistake. I’m sorry I did not get to read it, and hope that you see this and rewrite it again. Thanks dearest.

    Reply

  10. Muhajer
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 00:47:40

    Thanks Ayya,

    I agree one can not rely on education alone. I think there are 3 levels of awareness, which do not necessarily have strict dependency. Those are education, knowledge and wisdom. The last 2 can be life long pursuits. However, all of them require hard work which should have foundations like diversified reading, development of logical analysis, and mentoring.

    In my opinion all 3 have been neglected in the Arabic world. For a group of people that has reasonable education levels, Arabs are some of the least read people. Our school systems are highly dependent of memorization, rather than teaching analysis techniques. Mentoring is rarely found outside the immediate family and is primarily focused on religion and social behavior.

    Reply

  11. blahblah
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 01:49:05

    From what I am reading here I think your mother is a cheap whore that raised a cheaper whore.

    Reply

  12. silhouette
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 02:06:23

    الغالية ايا

    انا استغربت لمن تعليقي مابين وقلت يمكن المشكلة بالنت

    عموما انا مثلك ورثت حبي لللقراءة من والدي اللي كان يقول لي لاتترددين في شراء اي كتاب ولاتستخسرين شراء الكتب لان بعض الكتب تسوى اكثر من وزنها ذهب
    انا الحين اقرا كل شي يطيح تحت ايدي

    تحية حب

    Reply

  13. saifali
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 09:19:57

    “Today, hardly anything bind Muslims except their religious prejudice. Muslims have become their own worst enemies. Fighting each other to annihilation. Diversity cannot always be tolerated, especially when faith is its main building structure.”

    I’m gonna stick my neck out and say that that was perhaps the most defeatist take on the current state of Islam I’ve ever heard … and I’ve heard some rough ones. It is well-taken that things have gone awry with us and we might even say we have a crisis on our hands but to say something like “…hardly anything bind Muslims except their religious prejudice.” … is a huge overstatement and perhaps should be discounted as a statement of personal angst than of rationally considered opinion.

    Reply

  14. saifali
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 09:26:42

    “Today, hardly anything bind Muslims except their religious prejudice. Muslims have become their own worst enemies. Fighting each other to annihilation. Diversity cannot always be tolerated, especially when faith is its main building structure.”

    I’m gonna stick my neck out and say that that was perhaps the most defeatist take on the current state of Islam I’ve ever heard … and I’ve heard some rough ones. It is well-taken that things have gone awry with us and we might even say we have a crisis on our hands but to say something like “…hardly anything bind Muslims except their religious prejudice.” … is a huge overstatement and perhaps should be discounted as a statement of personal angst than of rationally considered opinion.

    (this comment may appear twice, that is not some weird form of emphasis 🙂 … i just messed up while submitting it the first time)

    Reply

  15. randalljones
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 10:08:14

    Ayya,

    Yes, having an advanced degree does not mean a person is ethical, knowledgeable, or a critical thinkers. Sam Harris, Wafa Sultan, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali are examples of this. These people give misinformation and unintelligent “solutions’ to the “clash of civilizations.” They have nothing to say about the long history of countries like the United States and Britain funding and collaborating with Muslim extremists as rivals to nationalists and secularists in the developing world. They have nothing to say about how while Western countries preach human rights and democracy, they go around engaging in regime change and support brutal dictators and kings who do their bidding, not only in the Middle East, but also in Africa, Asia, and South America.

    Reply

  16. AyyA
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 13:57:22

    Muhajer
    I totally agree, actually, I was preparing to touch the subject of education in my next post, thanks for the input dear. You are indispensable.

    Reply

  17. AyyA
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 13:58:06

    Blahblah
    I don’t blame you for spitting out such a comment, I blame the environment in which you were brought up. Thanks for exposing yourself.

    Reply

  18. AyyA
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 14:00:24

    Silhouette
    Thanks dearest for resubmitting your comment. No need to say that your love for reading shows in your intellectual comments. Keep up the good work. kisses

    Reply

  19. AyyA
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 14:07:13

    Saifali
    A huge overstatement? May be. Only time would prove me wrong if I am. But personal only in my perception of the current situation of Muslims around the world.

    Reply

  20. mochmoch
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 14:09:55

    i totally agree with yo Ayya that yeah Muslims have become their worst enemies!

    Reply

  21. AyyA
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 14:44:46

    Randalljones
    “Sam Harris, Wafa Sultan, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali are examples of this. These people give misinformation and unintelligent “solutions’ to the “clash of civilizations.””
    Now this to me is a reductionist’s statement. When you say “They have nothing to say about the long history of countries like the United States and Britain funding and collaborating with Muslim extremists as rivals to nationalists and secularists in the developing world.” you are talking about foreign policies. While Wafa Sultan and Ayaan are touching internal affairs through their own experiences and analytically criticizing Islam. It takes courage and guts to point religious (tribal!) related problems. Muslims have to build their house on solid grounds before dealing with foreign forces. A strong structured house should withstand an external wind. We can’t blame all our misfortune on others while we are blindfolded to our internal problems. I do not dismiss the effect of years of war and poverty on Muslim mentality, but I do not give that as an only excuse for being weak. If you care to know the difference compare the internal affairs of those countries to Muslim countries, especially when it comes to human personal rights. As for Sam Harris, he is against religion in general, which he considers evil. In one of his statements he said that people of diverse religions shake hands and say we are tolerant. But at the same time they’re thinking, “I know you are going to burn in hell, for my way is the right way.” and I totally agree with him.

    Reply

  22. AyyA
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 14:48:22

    mochmoch
    That’s good to know. At least I know that I’m not the only one.

    Reply

  23. randalljones
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 20:23:09

    AyyA,

    You keep on talking about Muslims as one monolithic group of people. There are many Muslims who are addressing the problems that exists in their community (and they are putting their lives in dangers by doing this) but they do not get the same attention that Sultan and Ali get because they do not make blanket statements demonizing Muslims; they criticize the fundamentalists, but they also criticize Western policies that have contributed to the rise of Islamic extremists.

    Since Ali and Sultan are no longer Muslims, but are Western secularists they should be criticizing the criminal and destructive actions their governments are doing. Sultan had claimed that she had witnessed the assassination of her professor when she was living in Syria (although there are people who are saying this never happened). Regardless, she wants to write a book about the violence in Islam. But since she is living in the United State, why doesn’t she write a book addressing the school massacres by young boys and men that have occurred in the U.S.? Why doesn’t Ali put her money where her mouth is by demanding that the United States stop accepting trillions of dollars of investment money from the Saudis? Why doesn’t she demand that the U.S. stop making millions of dollars selling weapons to the Gulf States?

    Regarding, Sam Harris statement about religious people, that’s no different from Western secularists, who preach democracy, human rights, fair wages and working conditions yet this is only for people who live in the West, not for those in the in the developing world. Harris never talks about U.S. imperialism and does not talk about how if the U.S. and other Western nations did not use their military might to accumulate massive amounts of wealth, we would not have all the freedoms and opportunities that we have in the West.

    By the way, the person responsible for the greatest number of deaths, in the shortest span of time, is Joseph Stalin, an atheist.

    Reply

  24. Dotsson
    Jan 11, 2008 @ 03:10:40

    Nice site. I’ve been reading your thought-provoking blogs for quite some time.

    The human is a very funny creature. I think in general we are our own worst enemies. There was a time when I was completely against religion; “destroy it all” was the view I held. But I have come to the realization that we need religion as it does an excellent job of policing the masses. Fear is sadly the only language many people want to understand.

    The religious folk are a funny bunch. Most Muslims right now want to be ruled by the Qur’an. (try finding a Muslim who won’t get offended when you say “fuck Shariah”). Eventually we will have our version of the French Revolution where there will be a massive revolt against leaders (say bye-bye to the Al-Sauds and Al-Sabahs of the world) and the religious groups. A second testament of the Qur’an will follow and eventually religion and state will be seperated. And then maybe the youth of the Middle East can boast of academic achievements and not how well they have memorized the Qur’an.

    But our generation will be long gone before this happens. Because right now, the masses want shariah, they want to be screwed over by their leaders, they want to be told who – Shiite or Sunni – is going to heaven and getting their 40 virgins.

    When will the credits begin and put an end to this fiasco?

    Reply

  25. randalljones
    Jan 11, 2008 @ 03:25:48

    Dotsson,

    You can offend anybody by saying “Fuck _____,”
    fill the blank with whatever is important to that person, including the word “you.”

    You say one day there will be a revolution against the Saudi royal family. This won’t happen as long as the United States is around.

    Reply

  26. XTC
    Jan 11, 2008 @ 10:30:10

    Ayya,

    Hi again …
    As you said what “true identity of Islam”!! what true identity? Did Muslims agree on anything since the prophet (PBUH) passed away! They did not even agree on who will succeed him ! (does al-Saqifa rings any bells) and of the four Caliphs following the prophet ..three of them were murdered and mind you not my infidels or someone from the outside but rather my Muslims!
    Is that the golden era of islam they want us to return to?? Sorry ..but I think I will pass!!
    If you study how Muslims behave without looking at the Quran you will never find the link!!! Ohhh ok …a muslim can marry four wives!!! You can find this link! But what else ..!
    i have always questioned what are “muslims” following …case very obviously they are nto following the Quran ..so its must be something else …and come to think of it ..if they opted to ditch the Quran for it ..then it must be more important!! Sa7? It only makes sense ..you ditch the Quran if you have something more important! What is it??
    Answer is simple ..IGNORANCE!!
    And yes I do agree with your comment that
    “Today, hardly anything bind Muslims except their religious prejudice.”
    But you can add ignorance to that!!! ;p
    I don’t want to turn this post to a muslim-bashing contest …but if Muslims cant agree on which day to fast and which day to perform hajj …how can you expect them to truly come into an agreement on anything else!!! Except ignorance ofcorse!
    You want muslims to come to an agreement on what is jihad ..ohhh please be real!
    Enough is enough …I told you I don’t want to get started …so I should just tame my self stop right here!!!
    Take care now

    Reply

  27. Dotsson
    Jan 11, 2008 @ 12:20:04

    Randalljones: True. But I was referring to Shariah law and how most Muslims think it is the best way to live.
    Try going up to an American and saying “we should abolish democracy and run the state in accordance with the bible”, with the exception of a few bible thumping conservatives, most would disagree.
    In the Muslim world, it is not like that. Democracy is an evil Western ideology and the true way to live ones’ life is in accordance with Shariah law.

    Reply

  28. Muhajer
    Jan 11, 2008 @ 21:09:45

    Dear Ayya,

    Thanks for your kind words. I enjoy your blog and the discussions here.

    I saw a recent article in the Economist that I thought is interesting and states some of the issues of education in a broader prospective. See the link below.

    http://www.economist.com/world/africa/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10499063

    I am looking forward to your post on the topic. I have included my email in the header blog if you like to collaborate on the post.

    Best Regards

    Reply

  29. randalljones
    Jan 11, 2008 @ 21:27:42

    Dotsson,

    When colonialism ended, there were many secular nationalistic movements in the Muslim world and many admired the West,. This changed when Muslims saw that Western countries, while preaching human rights and democracy, where interfering politically and militarily for their own interests, but to the detriment of the native peoples.

    Here is an interesting article that discusses this http://www.antiwar.com/orig/oneill.php?articleid=9615

    I’ll quote part of it:

    …there is a deep and bitter irony in the West’s current claims to be standing up to evil religious sects in the name of universal values. It was precisely the West’s earlier disregard for secularism and democracy in the Middle East, its elevation of its own powerful interests over the needs and desires of local populations, which helped to give rise to a layer of apparently “evil” radical Islamism. What we have today is not a World War between a principled West and psychotic groups from “over there,” but rather the messy residue of decades of Western meddling in the Middle East.

    Reply

  30. AyyA
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 02:03:48

    Rand
    “You keep on talking about Muslims as one monolithic group of people.”

    That’s not true. I’m talking about one concept that has many faces. I’m talking about Islam as an identity.

    “There are many Muslims who are addressing the problems that exists in their community (and they are putting their lives in dangers by doing this) but they do not get the same attention that Sultan and Ali get because they do not make blanket statements demonizing Muslims; they criticize the fundamentalists, but they also criticize Western policies that have contributed to the rise of Islamic extremists.”

    These people remind me of Don Quijote de la Mancha; the madman who fought windmills. Muslims today face many accumulated problems. They face many challenges of the century. Actually Muhajer provided a valuable link, through which I reached this link:
    http://www.economist.com/world/africa/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10499167
    This link touches our general problems today as “Muslims”. Yet the article does not provide a solution, because it’s not pinpointing “The Problem”. And that problem is internal.
    I would not blame you when you can’t see it. You live in the secular West, with the advocates of Human rights mentality on one hand, and the cliché of the Western Devil on which to throw our dirty laundry، on the other، without reaching out to find the real problem. And that’s because you do not live “the problem” on a daily bases. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Darfur, Palestine, Iran, Lebanon, the three divided Iraqs and other atrocities in the world are all but the devious, cunning work of the devil; America (old conspiracy theory ring a bill?). As if neither Muslim kings, or sheikhs or Imams or Islamic organizations, or even individuals collaborated with the devil. That’s what I meant by your reductionism’s viewpoint. It’s all politics. Even religion is politics.
    If you want to find a solution for a problem, you have to identify the problem first, use an X-ray, if you may, to expose it. Most of our problems in the East are gone unnoticed, because we are a species that can only strive in secrecy and statistics frighten us. And that’s what Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Wafa Sultan did, they reached the forbidden zone. And that’s why their books are so popular. And another reason why so much rumors around them spread. Both writers live fearful lives because of the death threats they constantly receive. The two writers have a noble cause that you Westerners can’t see. They care for their fellow Muslims in the East in particular, and humanity in general more than you could ever imagine.
    And btw, at the end of the article this quote grabbed my attention:
    “There are, in short, many interesting things to say about Islam and democracy. The pity is that they are mostly being said in the West, not in Islam’s heartland.” Which is in context with my comment above.

    As for Fundamentalism;
    From Answer.com; “Fundamentalism is an organized, militant Evangelical movement originating in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century in opposition to Protestant Liberalism and secularism, insisting on the inerrancy of Scripture.”
    It’s not exactly a right terminology that can be fitted with Islam. Islam does not have fundamentalism; Islam is fundamental in its very own nature. You either abide to the rules of the infallible Quran, and the Sunna of the prophet or you don’t, now which rules you pick and how do you compromise scriptural dogmas when they contradict, calls for ideological diversity and eventually to faiths that some find worthy to fight for.

    “Regardless, she wants (Wafa) to write a book about the violence in Islam.”
    Wafa is writing her own personal story, her change in beliefs and the reason behind them. She’s writing about her perception as a Muslim who lived most of her life in a country that applied the laws of Shareea on her as a woman. And another part under a secular law. She’s analyzing her personal experiences scientifically and stating an opinion. And don’t forget that she lives in a secular society that gives her the right of an opinion. I would get her book and read it if I were you. I’m sure it will open a lot of channels in your Western perception, at least in regards to “What the scriptures really say”, especially to the none Arabic speaking audience.

    “By the way, the person responsible for the greatest number of deaths, in the shortest span of time, is Joseph Stalin, an atheist.”

    It does not surprise me when some dish out a communist name whenever the subject of atheism is raised. There is a huge misconception in the minds of men with faith (any faith) in definitions. Would it be logical if I tell you that Sadam was brutal because he was a Muslim?
    Atheism is a thought; a chaotic personal thought if you may, it is not bound to any political movement, and it has no country, nor adheres to religion. You can look up the definitions online to see the difference between the two. And it’s true, all communists were atheists, yet there were far more atheists, in all human history even before the emergence of any communist party. The world’s greatest scientists, who contributed in all fields of modern science and humanities, as well as its technology makers, were also atheists. But I won’t go more into this now, because it’s not relevant to the subject.

    Reply

  31. AyyA
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 02:50:37

    Dotsson

    First, welcome aboard, glad to have you here

    Now
    “The human is a very funny creature. I think in general we are our own worst enemies. There was a time when I was completely against religion; “destroy it all” was the view I held. But I have come to the realization that we need religion as it does an excellent job of policing the masses. Fear is sadly the only language many people want to understand.”

    Religion has been too long with us humans to be destroyed. Abdulnaser of Egypt tried to destroy radicalism when he fought Muslim Brethren who called for the Islamic State. Only to find it multiplying tenfold if not more. Ayman Althawahiri, second commander in Alqaeda is one of the residues of this destruction.
    No, we have to accept religion as a part of our social, psychological, even personal evolution. It taught us a lot “good as well as bad”. It made us who we are today. Yet, we shouldn’t give it the right to control us. We are more developed today than the man of the 1500 years ago, who was, in turn, more developed than the man of more than two millenniums. This is the law of nature. But we can only be free of its control (mentally) when we expose it’s “real face; a folklore”.
    Proper education is bound to take care of its gradual deterioration as a “faith” in the hearts of men. It will also open other horizons. And as you said, this takes time and may lead to our version of the French Revolution

    Reply

  32. AyyA
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 03:00:24

    XTC)
    I couldn’t have agreed with you more.

    Muhajer
    Thanks sweetie for the link, it was really helpful, check my comment on Rand.

    Reply

  33. randalljones
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 04:55:43

    AyyA wrote, “The two writers [Sultan and Ali] have a noble cause that you Westerners can’t see. They care for their fellow Muslims in the East in particular, and humanity in general more than you could ever imagine.”

    What are you talking about? Many Westerners claim Ali and Sultan have noble cause. They and other former Muslims are on the payroll of right wing organizations to make speeches and write articles and books that bash Muslims. Even people on the political left praise them. They receive awards and I believe one or both (Sultan and Ali) were named the 100 influential persons of the year in TIME magazine.

    Like I wrote previously, there were women groups in the Netherlands that wanted to meet with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but she refused to meet with them.

    There are many people with many causes that get death threats, but don’t get the media attention that Ali and Sultan get.

    Reply

  34. AyyA
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 05:08:00

    Rand
    I know Wafa Sultan personally. And I heard that rumor before as I heard many others. Trust me.

    Reply

  35. randalljones
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 07:20:55

    Here is one of the articles about Wafa Sultan’s claim,
    From http://www.infocusnews.net/content/view/4009/135/

    As to the claim that her professor (thought to be Yusef Al-Yusef) was gunned down before her eyes in a faculty classroom at the University of Aleppo, Halabi said the incident never took place. “There was a professor who was killed around 1979, that is true, but it was off-campus and Sultan was not even around when it happened,” he added.

    InFocus contacted the University of Aleppo and spoke to Dr. Riyad Asfari, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, who confirmed Halabi’s account. “Yes, the assassination took place off-campus,” he said. Dr. Asfari was keen to add that no one had ever been killed in a classroom anytime or anywhere at the university.

    Syrian expatriate Ghada Moezzin, who attended the University of Aleppo in 1979 as a sophomore, told InFocus that she never heard of the assassination. “We would’ve known about the killing if it had happened,” she said. “It would have been big news on campus and I do not recall ever hearing about it.” Moezzin, who lives in Glendora, Calif., added that government security was always present around the university given the political climate in Syria at the time.

    Why doesn’t Sultan give support to human rights activists in Syria by mentioning them in her interviews and speeches? Some have been “disappeared” or put in prison. Don’t they deserve as much recognition as she gets? It’s because she is all about promoting herself. She and much of the mainstream media paint the Muslim world as one monolithic group that needs to be preached to by Westerners.
    Since Sultan is living in the Untied States, let her write about the school massacres that have occurred in the U.S.

    Reply

  36. Muhajer
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 09:21:53

    Rand,

    You said:

    “Since Sultan is living in the Untied States, let her write about the school massacres that have occurred in the U.S.”

    With all due respect, who are you to tell her what to write about. Only she can choose what issues or challenges to pursue. Also, recognize the hypocrisy in that comment, since you write about many topics on your blog that are from multiple countries.

    Another thing to consider is that you can not rely on the testimony of anyone that works at an institution in Syria. Any person that wants to preserve his job and in some cases his life or freedom, will not say anything that may go against the government position. The funny thing about living in a police state is people know instinctively what is the right thing to say. The bigger the job, the more advanced this survival instinct becomes. The other person they quoted was not even involved. I do not know if Sultan was telling the truth or not, but I would not take Dr. Riyad Asfari statement as evidence for your case.

    I also, reviewed some of the articles on your site and have a question. Have you ever seen conspiracy or a controversy that you did not like? And isn’t this just another controversy that you just could not help, but fall in love with?

    Reply

  37. randalljones
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 11:25:12

    Muhajer,

    With all due respect, who is Sultan to demonize, insult, and misinform about a whole group of people and tell them what to do? When will she acknowledge the victims of the United States bombing campaigns? When will she say anything about how the United States is the number weapons seller; they sell weapons even to unstable regions. She has nothing to say about the Muslims women and children in Bangladesh and Indonesia who work for slave wages to manufactures goods sold in Western countries.

    Regarding Wafa Sultan witnessing the killing of the Professor, you can do a Google search for the March 11, 2006 New York Times article “For Muslim Who Says Violence Destroys Islam, Violent Threats” by John Broder. It says

    But, she said, her life changed in 1979 when she was a medical student at the University of Aleppo, in northern Syria. At that time, the radical Muslim Brotherhood was using terrorism to try to undermine the government of President Hafez al-Assad. Gunmen of the Muslim Brotherhood burst into a classroom at the university and killed her professor as she watched, she said.

    In this article by Sultan, translated by MEMRI , she writes
    http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=subjects&Area=reform&ID=SP94905

    Was Dr. Yusef Al-Yusef, whose body they riddled with bullet in front of the medical school at the University of Aleppo while shouting ‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar’ – was he one of the pillars of the regime, or an ophthalmologist who didn’t have anything whatsoever to do with the regime?

    Regarding my blog, what conspiracy theories are you talking about? You need to specifically address what is it you don’t believe and give a reason. Can you explain why the FBI’s webpage on USAma Ben Laden does not mention 9/11, an attack that killed 3,000 people?

    Reply

  38. Dotsson
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 12:08:15

    Evolution is always for the better. I just wish it would work faster, especially in the East 😉

    Reply

  39. Muhajer
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 13:29:56

    Rand,

    I am going to answer your a few of your questions. You got way too many for me to answer them all.

    “who is Sultan to demonize, insult, and misinform about a whole group of people and tell them what to do?”
    She has an opinion, different than yours perhaps, but she has a right to say it. I saw many of her interviews and I do not think she demonizes people, she demonizes the control of Islamists have over those people. She is entitled to that opinion, just like you are entitled to yours. What I disagree with you on is you prefer that she goes silent.

    “When will she acknowledge the victims of the United States bombing campaigns?”
    Everyone chooses his/her causes. You certainly picked many. The fact that someone does not openly support all your causes does not discredit him/her neither does it imply the person took a position for or against. She simply to picked a different topic to work on. You have 2 issues here 1) you want her to agree with you, and you do not stop there, 2) you want her to be a soldier for the causes you select. Don’t you think that is a strange position to take?

    “Can you explain why the FBI’s webpage on USAma Ben Laden does not mention 9/11, an attack that killed 3,000 people?”
    It seems the reporter contacted the FBI and they gave him an answer. That is better than asking me, don’t you think? However, your site promotes, whether intentional or not, many of the conspiracy theories about 911 with a number of videos that have shaky evidence like the FBI poster or the mayor of San Fransisco being told not to fly to New York. No where in that video do they mention any evidence that such communication occurred and by whom. If there was a conspiracy in 911, it will be the biggest case in US history and you are not going to prove that with such shaky evidence. It is the equivalent of building a skyscraper on a foundation of toothpicks.

    By the way you have a right to promote any conspiracies you like. However, that does not lend much credibility to your analysis, when you jump to wild conclusions without proper evidence.

    Reply

  40. randalljones
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 07:45:57

    Muhajer,

    I do not prefer to silence Sultan; I am criticizing her and I am questioning her intentions. She has her right to her opinions as I have mine. But I think I am making a good case because as I have mentioned before she does not acknowledge the many Muslims (or atheists) activists that are still living in Muslim countries that are in much more danger than her. Also, she criticizes Islamists but has nothing to say about how the United States and Britain fund and collaborate with Islamists. It’s like someone preaching to others to stop using illegal drugs, but at the same saying nothing about her associates selling illegal drugs. That’s why she doesn’t have that much credibility. The fact that she contradicts herself about witnessing the killing of a professor doesn’t help her much either. Much of what Sultan has to say can be found in the mainstream media, she isn’t saying anything new. She is promoted by the media, because they wanted to put an Arab/Muslim face to what they are already saying.

    Regarding the “Michael Moore is a Fraud” video on my blog, it shows an article about the mayor being forewarned not to fly on 9/11; so a Google search for the article from the San Francisco Chronicle, “Willie Brown got low-key early warning about air travel” by Matier and Ross.

    You keep on talking about conspiracy theories, but what I bring up is evidence and questions that the mainstream media needs to discuss. 9/11 has been used to invade two countries and weapons are sold to undemocratic countries that brutalize and terrorize their people and neighboring countries. What the 9/11 Commission Report has claimed happened on 9/11 is based on shaky evidence. There are many people questioning the official 9/11 investigation, including these seven CIA veterans. See http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_alan_mil_070922_seven_cia_veterans_c.htm

    Reply

  41. AyyA
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 10:55:08

    Rand
    Wafa Sultan’s book is not out yet, or at least not to my knowledge, and there are so many rumors about it and about her intentions! That does not surprise me at all. She refuted verbally, and harshly what she dubbed “the clash of civilizations” with an Egyptian theologian of Alazhar in an interview broadcast on al-Jazeera last year. She argued that the problem with the West is a “clash of civilizations”, and that subjugating “infidels” and forcing the whole world to embrace Islam comes right from Muslim’s prophet. She also wrote many articles exposing those preaching in the Quran and Sunna that backed her argument. She is a voice that Muslim theologians want to silence.
    It is amazing to me though, how you question Wafa’s credibility, or pass such a casual judgment when you have not read her book yet, and you claim that you do not prefer to silence her!
    What do you call this then?
    And about the link you provided, this whole argument is based on a book that was written by theologian (not even a scientist); David Ray Griffin titled “The New Pearl Harbor (2003)”, but the author merely raised the probability of US government involvement in 9/11, without giving hard evidence for his claim. And without evidence you do not have a case, and his case remains to be a mere speculation.
    If you care to know about 9/11, I recommend the Pulitzer Prize winner (as well as many other rewards) “The Looming tower, Al-Qaeda and the road to 9/11” written by Lawrence Wright. This book clearly shows how the preaching of Alafaqani and Sayed Kutob loomed to 9/11.

    Reply

  42. AyyA
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 11:25:47

    And one more thing Rand
    You are also forgetting that Ben Laden himself claimed the responsibility of the attack on videotape broadcasted by Aljazeera right after the incident. Unless you want to convince us that Ben Laden is a collaborator with the US government? Which I think is going too far with this conspiracy theory.

    Reply

  43. Muhajer
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 21:57:03

    Randall,

    I am sorry to tell you, but you gave me more toothpicks there. CIA agents that were already retired at the time of 911 and are writing books to earn money from the situation is not even close to pass any rationalization filter. That makes them theorists by definition, since they have no direct knowledge. Put that word with the type of case they are writing about and you get “Conspiracy Theory”.
    Willie Brown getting what looks like a standard message or at best vague message is not evidence I would get excited about. That is assuming he is telling the truth and not just wanting to grab a headline. You also forgot that Mr. Brown is a liberal that the conspirators will not be interested in the least to protect.

    Anyway we are digressing from the topic which is your claim that Saltan lied and you still have not provided more than that one shaky statement from Dr. Riyad Asfari. By the way, in your last post you are still using the fact that she does not take additional causes as the main reason why she should be discredited.

    It is this reliance on little evidence and building big assumptions on them that makes conspiracy theorists. You fall into that conspiracy theory trap in a lot of your arguments.

    Reply

  44. randalljones
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 23:15:45

    Muhajer,

    What are you talking about? I gave you two sources where she contradicts herself ( see my second to last comment, before this one) In the March 11, 2006 New York Times article she says that the Muslim Brotherhood had burst into her classroom and shot her professor in front of her. But in June 25, 2005 an article (translated by MEMRI) she wrote in the annaged website that the Professor had been shot in front of the Medical school.

    AyyA,

    My opinion of Wafa Sultan is based on the many articles and interviews that she has given around the world. She was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine. For what reason? I don’t know.

    You keep on saying I am trying to tell Wafa Sultan what to say or what causes to take up. I am not trying to do this. I am simply pointing out if she is interested in human rights in the Muslim world she should say something about Western countries that prop up brutal kings and dictators for their economic interests. She should also acknowledge the human rights activists that are living in Muslim countries. These things go hand in hand. The information she provides is no different than the mainstream media, So many times in the mainstream media it is asked where are the moderate Muslims, but at the same time they refuse to interview moderate Muslims who condemn the human rights violations of their co-religionists.

    Reply

  45. navcity
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 03:19:58

    Ayya

    I’m stil waiting for you to reply to my comments re: the kuwaiti royal family. Reply by email if you must but I’d really appreciate an answer. I’m intrigued about whether you’d apply a different rule to Kuwait as to the rest of the Muslim world, and also how you feel about Iraq under Saddam having been the only (majority muslim) secular state in the Middle East. By any logical deduction you should have preferred the invasion of secular Saddam in Kuwait over the Kuwaiti government as it stands (based on sharia).

    In addition, I very much doubt that you would prefer a secular state in which you do not receive the government subsidies for everything from education to housing that you receive under the current way your laws work.

    I am not arguing for a state of sharia. I am merely suggesting that your arguments are inherently flawed.

    In return I offer you a pearl from our age old family saint Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gillani of Baghdad:

    Allahummasali’ala sayidina wa mawlana Muhammedin ma’adniljoodi wal karami wa’alihi wa sahbihi wa barik wa salim 🙂

    Peace

    Reply

  46. AyyA
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 16:43:15

    Rand
    “My opinion of Wafa Sultan is based on the many articles and interviews that she has given around the world. She was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine. For what reason? I don’t know.”

    I know why. First; Wafa talks in behalf of millions of Gagged women in the Muslim world, and she has many followers who believe in her. And second, she’s a hell of a writer, if you could read Arabic; you’d know what I mean. That’s beside other things I mentioned before.

    “You keep on saying I am trying to tell Wafa Sultan what to say or what causes to take up. I am not trying to do this. I am simply pointing out if she is interested in human rights in the Muslim world she should say something about Western countries that prop up brutal kings and dictators for their economic interests. She should also acknowledge the human rights activists that are living in Muslim countries. These things go hand in hand. The information she provides is no different than the mainstream media, So many times in the mainstream media it is asked where are the moderate Muslims, but at the same time they refuse to interview moderate Muslims who condemn the human rights violations of their co-religionists.”

    As Muhajer said, again you are contradicting yourself. Read your own comment to see what I mean.

    Nav
    “I’m still waiting for you to reply to my comments re: the kuwaiti royal family. Reply by email if you must but I’d really appreciate an answer.”

    The royal family is like any other Kuwaiti family; it has good members, as well as corrupted ones. And when you talk about Kuwaiti people and their relationship to their rulers you have to understand a special relationship between them, akin to the exchanged pledge in the constitution between citizens and their ruler. And as a citizen I respect the constitution, as I respect the Amir. As for other members of the royal family, as I said before, it depends on whom you are talking about and what is his public conduct.

    “I’m intrigued about whether you’d apply a different rule to Kuwait as to the rest of the Muslim world,“

    Actually, it’s through my own experiences that I’m reaching out to Western Muslims specifically, and all Muslims generally. Kuwait was far more secular before the eighties than it is today. I do not wish Muslims in the West to be deceived, like we were, by religious clerics with political agendas. Believe me I still don’t understand how the wave of conservatives hijacked the country; before we knew it, they spread like cancer. And it was our ignorance and silence that gave them power. may be this is a warning to you guys. Those people have many cunning ways and can never be trusted.

    “and also how you feel about Iraq under Saddam having been the only (majority muslim) secular state in the Middle East. By any logical deduction you should have preferred the invasion of secular Saddam in Kuwait over the Kuwaiti government as it stands (based on sharia).””

    Now that I did not expect from you. How could you call Sadam’s regime to be secular when he appointed himself as the prophet’s descendant and wrote “Allah Akbar” on the Iraqi flag? And did you forget him promising Muslims who cheered him from all over the world that the road to Jerusalem began by invading Kuwait? If anything, Sadam failed geography, but what is surprising though is that those mass demonstrations in the Muslim world that supported him did not realize that the road to Jerusalem points upward and not down.
    For your information, none of the Islamic countries apply the rules of Shareea 100%. But they all apply it on civil cases concerning marriage and all that concerns women. Even the mechanism on which this is applied differs between Shiite and Sunni courts, Sadam’s Iraq included. So you can’t call Sadam’s Iraq secular, nor can say that Kuwait applies Shareea laws. Besides; Sadam was a tyrant, dictator and a Baathist. He reigned by toppling and killing his opponents. How could you compare that filth to a man whom the Kuwaiti people chose as their ruler?
    Now that does not mean that I agree with the conduct of our government. Yet, our parliament is even more corrupt than the government. Why?
    Because of the collaboration of the successive governments with the hardliners, whose number one priority is to change the constitution gradually and make it 100% compatible with Shareea, by hook or crock.

    “n addition, I very much doubt that you would prefer a secular state in which you do not receive the government subsidies for everything from education to housing that you receive under the current way your laws work.”

    I’d rather pay taxes and get good services. This way I can question the government for their ill performance. But instead, what I am getting is ill services, in a supposedly rich country, and lots of beggars. As well as charity through stolen money that belongs to me as a citizenin, in the first place, , and to the country’s future generations.

    “I am not arguing for a state of sharia.”

    I know you’re not, but eventually that’s what you heading at if you support the Islamic organizations in your country. And believe me they have the outside power to support them, and before you realize it, you are in deep $#!^. And this is called ignorance. I was there before, so I know.

    Finally thanks for the offer, but no thanks. 😉

    Reply

  47. randalljones
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 17:18:12

    AyyA, Wafa talks in behalf of millions of Gagged women in the Muslim world, and she has many followers who believe in her.

    When was the election that voted Sultan to this position? Someone that deserves the world’s respect but does not get the same media attention is Malalai Joya
    http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/04/12/468/
    What you have said is reflective of the Western mainstream media. There are many Muslim women living in Muslim countries who are fighting for their rights, but the mainstream media chooses to ignore them.

    AyyA, you wrote As Muhajer said, again you are contradicting yourself. Read your own comment to see what I mean.

    No, I haven’t contradicted myself. If a person wants to stamp out Muslim extremism, condemnati0n of Western countries who fund and collaborate with Muslim extremists, must be included.

    Reply

  48. navcity
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 17:29:33

    Thank you. I appreciate your reply although we both know that the Kuwaiti Ameer wasnt chosen by the Kuwaiti people but by the royal family council (males). If the Amir is so sure of being chosen by the people why not be voted in democratically?

    As for Saddam putting “Allah Akbar” on the flag, we have St George’s Cross for our English flag which is associated with the Crusades. It doesnt mean anything and definately doesnt mean England is not secular…maybe he was a descendent of the prophet and was pointing out a fact so what? The fact remains that Iraq was not based on sharia and was a secular state.

    I’m not supporting any ‘Islamic organisations’ in my country. As I’ve said before, Islam is not a monolithic structure in England.

    Ayya, your issue is against Islam in general and not against any particular faction. If you opened you’re eyes for a sec you’d see reality and not some lunatic viewpoint that doesnt exist.
    These are the profiles of some of the leading thinkers/muslim scholars in the West who have a huge following. They DO NOT call for an Islamisation of the West. They DO NOT call for sharia law here. They most certainly DO NOT call for vile propped up regimes such as the Kuwaiti regime either where secret police abound and even supposed secularist atheists like yourself do not have the freedom to speak your mind in public against the state because we all know what would happen to you:

    http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/nuh/default.htm

    http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/ahm/default.htm

    http://www.zaytuna.org/articles.asp

    Reply

  49. Muhajer
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 20:49:10

    Randall,

    I have come to the end of the amount of time, I would like to allocate to this topic. I can not change your mind neither can you change mine. We both stated our cases and I do not spend one more minute on this.

    Best Regards.

    Reply

  50. AyyA
    Jan 15, 2008 @ 14:48:10

    Rand
    You are not making any sense by comparing oranges to apples. I respect Malalai Joya as a politician who is putting her own life at stake for her people, as do many decent people, I presume. And do back her one hundred percent on her noble cause. But here you have a special case of a country that has gone through more than 40 years of war and ignorance, of which Islam or it’s implementers (no difference) had done a great damage to legalize atrocities in this infected state. And you are talking about foreign policies of the US, which I do not support, at least not to the extent of middling in Afghanistan as well as Iraq. Joya is asking for more US intervention because this is the solution in her perception, she still failed to specify the root of the problem when injustices become legal. And mind you, she is criticizing US intervention in the first place, the same intervention that brought her to parliament, and yet, she is asking for more intervention as a solution!
    In any case, with this you are directing the conversation here from one subject to another without concentration. There are so many more factors involved here which I do not like to go through since it’s irrelevant to my post.

    Nav
    It appears to me that you know nothing of both Kuwait and Iraq histories to dish out such claims like “Kuwait did not choose the Sabah family as rulers” and “Iraq was a secular country during Sadam Hussain regime.” And I will not go further in this and provide a lecture in history, since that’s a different subject all together. But I will advice you to look up your facts clearly before going into debate with anyone. Thanks

    Reply

  51. randalljones
    Jan 16, 2008 @ 00:18:02

    AyyA,

    Malalai Joya knows she can not get rid of the United States any time soon, so she is suggesting an alternative type of intervention from the United States.

    Since most Americans don’t know anything about what their government has done and is doing in Afghanistan, we can not expect them to do anything to improve the situation

    You write, “Today, hardly anything bind Muslims except their religious prejudice. Muslims have become their own worst enemies. Fighting each other to annihilation.”

    Most Muslims do not spend most of their time talking about religion; their main concern is looking for employment so they can feed and educate their children.

    There is a group of people who waste most of their time fighting about religion, ex-Muslims are part of this group.

    Reply

  52. Alia
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 10:00:57

    hey you ;*

    Back in the days … my favorite school trip was the one to the annual book affair, which i fortunatelly got to visit twice … one with school (as i was bint el ablah) & the other with the family .. & i can proudly say now that if it wasn’t for my mother i would never be a book lover (I don’t like worms) 🙂

    One more thing: I made a decision that starting from NOV 2007 I will read a book a month (with the kids I usually don’t have time for that) ,, now i raised that to 2 books a month … It’s going well Ila alaan … but we’ll see

    Reply

  53. AyyA
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 03:08:39

    7abeebti Alooya
    A special kiss to you and your mom, from London 😉

    Reply

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