Thursday, August 24, 2006

A "Muslim Response" to the Jill Carroll Story

I've been following the Jill Carroll story on for some time now, waiting till all the parts have been published to give my response.

Why am I so interested in this story? There are several reasons and the purpose of responding is to really give an interesting perspective on the issue and in a sense, re-invite Jill Carroll to the Truth. She or you might say "whatever, give me a break, you know what she went through, why on earth would she even want to be Muslim?"

Don't ask me, but ask Yvonne Ridley who was kidnapped by the Taliban and to many people's shock and surprise ended up converting to Islam. Yvonne Ridley and her story made me even more interested in Jill Carroll's story. Both were white Western women kidnapped by Muslims. One embraced Islam after promising her captors to study it and the other didn't.

What works for "you" is not what pleases your desires. What works for you is what the Creator ordered you and the rest of humankind to follow and embrace: a system of life from God that agrees with human nature and what guides people if truly understood and practiced properly.

Converts to Islam don't go from not fornicating to fornicating. To not drinking to drinking. To thinking when it comes to religion and reality to not thinking. To using no profanity to using it all the time. The fact that both Islam and Christianity forbid things like profanity, fornication, etc., but for some reason when one converts to Islam from Christianity he or she usually drops the things that her previous religion forbid should tell you something if you are a thinker. A religion can tell you what's right or wrong, but only God can guide you and it is done through truth and not just any "religion" that makes you feel good or more "spiritual".

Back to her story. She was kidnapped and her friend murdered. She was held captive for almost three months and made to endure a lot of things. But that part to me is not the most interesting part. The one that interests me the most is the part where she as a person had to deal with Muslims and Islam. To me, her interest in Islam is not an issue of truth or falsehood or what God wants His creation to follow but rather something that will help in her reporting. If I am correct, I would like to ask her why not deal with the question of Islam not on a level of a subject to be studied for the purpose of work but rather is Islam is the truth and so on. If she delved into the subject of Islam's truth and still not embraced it, I would then try to do da`wah in a way she might not of have received due to the fact she didn't encounter converts to Islam while in the Middle East (that I know of).

Trust me, I am well aware of the phenomenom of non Muslims studying Islam and Muslims, even risking their lives and for what? To never embrace it. I always have been intrigued by this, and have studied the Orientalists for years. They treat us Muslims like subjects, it's now time we treat them the same way but we do it for the purpose to help, not exploit or spread lies.

I lived in America all my life and met many, many converts. Their stories are very interesting but the one thing that gets me the most is how they changed: from impiety to piety to not thinking to thinking, a Muslim submits not to the will of his or her desires but rather to the will of God. Some of them even hated Muslims and Islam with a passion, but now they're Muslims. You ask yourself how and they will tell you but the point is this: anyone who is sincere will embrace "the" Truth. If they are not and would rather follow their desires and live in a delusion will not.

Furthermore, I am not at all naive when I am trying to re-invite her to Islam. I heard practically all the arguments for and against converting to Islam from people who lived amongst Muslims or at least observed them and/or studied Islam. From what I read, Jill Carroll is a Catholic or just a nominal Christian. But does she really believe in it and if she does, why? She has observed how Islam plays a major role in Muslims' lives, where most Muslims do not openly live in the sin of let's say fornication or adultery while most Christians have had sex outside of marriage. Are Christians to her guided by God? The reformation of Christianity and the Church in the past few centuries was greatly influenced by secularists; how can disbelievers in God or your religion reform it? Does that prove something wrong to you? One of the most segegrated hours is when church services are held? Does this prove that Christianity cannot unite people of different races?

She might ask similiar questions about Islam, but all such questions can receive a good response from me.

While I wait for all the parts of her story to be published, I ask myself, will this response do anything? Only Allah knows, and whom Allah leaves astray, none can guide, and whom Allah guides, none can lead astray.

Just don't get the impression that I never propagated Islam to a non-Muslim before, even one who lived amongst the Muslims and studied Islam. It's all about inviting them not to a "religion" but the irrefutable truth via the process of making them to think...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Proof of God (Part Four - Save the Best for Last)

Because we cannot see God physically does not mean that it is impossible to prove His existence.
Just like when a person said they had a dream and described the dream as such and such, it is impossible for anyone else other than the person who had the dream (or claimed that they had the dream) to physically prove it. In this case, they have to have trust in the person that what they claim they have dreamt did really occur in their dream.

So the lack of actually seeing the tangible representation of something does not mean it is impossible to improve. Surely, the person who had the dream knows without a doubt that their dreamt of what they dreamt, even if OTHER people cannot see it. Just like we cannot see God does not mean that it is impossible to prove His existence via just physically seeing Him.

That is why we need to focus on arguments that deal with creation or existence of things to prove or “refute” the existence of God.

The Proof of God (Part Three)

The materialists’ argument that energy is not finite is completely inaccurate. For one, it has a beginning and it has attributes. The power of the energy is released via force for example shows that it can be measured. So if something can be measured, then it is finite. Materialists believe that there is no beginning and that material itself is infinite, but they have nothing but assertions.
Regarding the materialists’ theory of energy can’t be created or destroyed and that it is constantly transforming, etc. What they don’t mention that energy CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT A SOURCE that is causing it to be. So in other words, without the source, there is no energy there energy is not infinite!

For one, the fact that anything with attributes is finite by default. It is defined by preset characteristics that makes it distinguishable from other things. Two, as I said before, anything that can be measured is finite.

God is the exception for one, He is not finite so the argument of finiteness does not apply to Him.

The Proof of God (Part Two)

God was never designed, created, or had a beginning. He is eternal, no beginning, no end.

If God were created, than who created God and who created the creator of God and who created the creator of the creator of God and so on. It will become an endless cycle.

But if God is eternal which He is, then He had no beginning therefore He was not created or “designed”.

Everything else other than God is finite with attributes. These attributes are not haphazard but are clearly there with a purpose to define that object. Without a creator, there will be no limitations.

Why have limits when there is nothing to put the limit or attribute on the object? Without organization, there is no need for limits. It’s like chaos. But since God is the Creator, there are limits imposed on the creation. That’s why everything have attributes.

The Proof of God (Part One)

Need some good arguments when debating people who want proof of God's existence? Now here you go guys and girls:
The process one goes through in trying to prove something must be based on evidence in order to establish a fact. One cannot use any faulty reasoning such as circular reasoning to trying to prove something. Now concerning complaints about the validity of these and similar arguments, let’s examine some of the issues that were raised.

As for the material objects in the Universe, it can be established that each one has defined and limited attributes. These attributes make the object in question unique and distinguishable from other objects. Now this pattern of unique, distinct attributes in every object indicates that each object has certain limitations that makes it what it is. It is not an assertion to say that these objects with all of its defined attributes were assigned by something that gave it its attributes because of what can be observed from the object in question.

When one places a barrier on something, then whatever was meant to be blocked or hinder in growth, strength, etc., was given this barrier by someone so that the distinctive qualities in the object can be manifested and given a purpose. So if I am 6 feet tall and look a certain way, the reason why I don’t continue to growing till eternity is because of a barrier that someone place that cause my body to grow a certain length. This is the nature of finite objects, that all of creation in the Universe has a beginning and an end, even if something expanding it still had a beginning, negating the possibility that it was always eternal and existing.

In pondering and discussing the issue of whether or not there is a Creator or were we and the Universe created, the issues of the finite nature of all of creation must be taken into consideration. To imply or say that saying that the body parts of a human being is proof of Creator is “assertive” is to dismiss without right and dismiss with cynicism. What the issue here is what I am talking about finite creation is really finite creation, and does this creation has a purpose in its creation. To give the simple analogy of a car, we can observe how it works and why it works. You can say that the wheels, doors, steering wheel, etc., all have a predefined purpose and each of these objects is serving its purpose according to how it was created. To say this is not being assertive or using circular reasoning. To look at creation and see the finite quality of it and see the objects with its definedattributes, you can conclude through examining it that it was designed with a purpose because it has a role to play it whatever thing it is involved in.

And when an object needs another object to accomplish something, then this in itself establishes a purpose in the relationship of these objects. When hydrogen and oxygen are added, the purpose of this union is to create water. To say this is an assertion is to deny reality. We can see the purpose of the relationship between these entities, and we can conclude through examining creation that all of Creation works in a similar way, i.e., that one object needs another and this in itself of course show the purpose in the relationship of these things. So to question ones use of this argument as faulty or assertive is to say without knowledge nor without a justifiable reason.
On the other end there are those who want to believe that chance has a “chance” of creating what some may “perceive” as according to them as a planned creation, with the need of a creator or plan. Now they want to present an argument of not dismissing the possibility of chance, so to create a tit-for-tat, vain argument that it intended to lead one side to the point of frustration. The atheists for example want to inject in an argument that there can be a realistic chance that chance could of cause all of this, and the “theists’ assertion” of the need for a Creator with a plan is just an assertion.

When one is confronted with this type of argument, one always must refer to method of deducing evidence to establish a fact. When Muslims are asked why do we believe in God, the correct answer is that our Imaan (faith) is based on proof not on desires or wishful thinking. To believe in something that cannot be proven is to have blind faith not Imaan. To try to first prove that we and the rest of creation are indeed finite with define attributes, we must then try to prove that was it an eternal entity that assigned these attributes and created all of Creation. Looking at how things develop and work in the world, one can observe any normal occurrence in the Universe and see what it takes for whatever to happen and develop. To conclude that there is a chance that “chance” can be involved is being assertive because there is no proof that chance exists, because what one sees as chance the others sees as creation. Now as for the belief that seeing it as creation is an assertion, one must prove that chance can create something from nothing or that something itself can create something from nothing, and we know that this is impossible. It is Allah alone that is able to create something from nothing, and it is Allah alone who is eternal. So to include an impossibility into an equation and give a possibility the label of an assertion is not being fair. The flaw in the argument of those who suggest that chance exists is very clear to see, because we know for a fact that something cannot created something from nothing, and we know that there is no evidence of chance.

To reiterate, the purpose of having this discussion is not to indulge in some vain, philosophical debate. The reason why Muslims in the past, present, and Insha’ Allah future raised issues such as the existence of Allah was because to establish a basis for belief through believing in proof. Proof can be proven and proof is what Imaan is built upon, not blind faith. To prove the source of Islam to be from Allah is to leave the Kuffar or anybody else no excuse to disbelieve in Allah and Muhammad (saaw). We cannot say Islam is the truth without being able to prove that Islam is from Allah. Allah challenged the Kuffar to an intellectual challenge in the Quran, to give the Kuffar a chance to intellectually validate their kufr if what they believe we true. As we know, the Kuffar’s beliefs are proven falsehood while Islam is proven truth.

Coming Soon: How to Prove God!

I often get the "how do you prove the existence of God" requests and challenges once in a while.

As some of you may already know, I have a knack for debating atheists and agnostics putting in check so to speak. I basically heard all of their arguments but they haven't heard all of mine.

People need to know that faith in God does not have to be based on wishful thinking or desires; it can be based on real evidence. Although we can't see God, it doesn't mean He doesn't exist just like when you have a dream and you tell me that this and that happened in your dream, although no one else but you could of have seen the dream, it doesn't mean because others can't see it that the dream didn't exist.

So aside from this teaser post, be ready to view some of the arguments I used in regarding to prove that God really does exist.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Islamophobe Watch: All Shapes and Sizes, Literally

Since 9/11, self-styled "experts" on Islam and Muslims have been popping out all over the place. From Daniel Pipes to Robert Spencer to now Laura Mansfield, the public has a demand and these Islamophobes have the supply. Sometimes, the public does not have the demand, but the paranoia and McCarthyism created by these hate-mongers creates a demand. If you scare them enough, they will call on the cavalry...

One interesting Islamophobe is Laura Mansfield. Her story reads like one of those "stupid, fat ugly American woman who can't get a decent looking American man finds love with a man from overseas who will look beyond the physical appearance..."; yeah, that type of story.

As the story goes, she married a Muslim man from the Middle East, the relationship went downhill, he hurt her feelings, now she has decided with vent her hatred of Muslims and Islam into a money making business, even appearing on CNN as an "expert" on of course "Islamic terrorism". The bitter fat woman's crusade has lead her to even go to mosques as an "undercover agent" to try to to spread the McCarthyistic love of "you can't trust these people, they are really after to destroy you and your values..."

Don't get it twisted folks, these people are not here just to expose "Islamic terrorism". On their websites, they highlight stories of ex-Muslims who bash Islam, link to websites that try to "refute" Islam, and of course, they refuse to translate "Allah" as "God" (like I mentioned in my previous post on this issue). They hate Islam and Muslims, and ANYTHING that can use to attempt to discredit Islam will be used to "expose Islamic terrorism".

SO it is clear to all those that think. If their focus was truly on just the extremists in Islam, why then focus on the very essence of Islamic belief? UNLESS, they want people to think that a "true Muslim" is a terrorist because Islam to them promotes terrorism. In other words, they want to outlaw Islam or at least alter Islam to a religion that is compatible with secularism.

Interesting enough, they are the biggest enemies of so-called "free speech". Any display of anti-Zionism is translated into "Islamic extremism". Any display of disdain of American foreign policy is an example of the Muslims' "Islamic extremism". They hate the fact that people have these views and are allowed to express them; even Laura wants to have Myspace accounts banned as a result of her disdain of "unAmerican" sentiments!

And does she say anything when people display hatred of Islam and Muslims? Of course not, even if they call for the blood of Muslims, the desecration of their books and holy places, she is as silent as she can be. Why speak out against Islamophobia when you are one yourself? Islamophobes are never one for justice and fairness for all!

Okay to bash Islam, wrong and evil to bash anything else like Christianity.

Their hatred did not come from a vacuum. Nine out of 10 of them are white, and most of them are Christian fundamentalists and we know the history of some whites and Christian fundamentalists' long standing hatred of Islam and Muslim. Even before 9/11, they hated Islam and Muslims, and when 9/11 happened, they felt it was their calling to lauch their crusade and get money while doing it.

I mean, why doesn't the American public get it? Because they lack real knowledge of Islam and this is post 9/11 America, ignorance and even hatred of Islam and Muslims runs high nowadays. Ignorant and fanatical Muslims feed this stereotype and all the Islamophobes will say is that "We told you so..."

Laura Mansfield is touted as a fluent Arabic speaker who ironically never appeared on any Arabic-language show speaking Arabic (so how do we know she is fluent in Arabic). She has not formally studied Islam, and yet she is somehow an "expert". So her credentials are a bit shady but let's say she does speak Arabic fluently (we already know that she is not an expert of Islam, so I won't even put up that as a hypothetical), it just shows how much she hates Muslims and Islam.

One of the hardest languages to learn, learning Arabic requires dedication and passion. People learn Arabic for one of the following reasons: to learn Islam (to propagate it); to bash Islam; to learn more about Arab culture and finally to become an Orientalist (aka bashing Islam). People don't learn Arabic fluently just because they wanted to understand an Arab soap opera and be able to smoke hooka in Cairo. So Laura Mansfield, for the sake of this example does speak Arabic fluently, we know she learned it not because she wants to understand Islam. We know that it is not for the purpose of loving the Arab culture. Her dedication to learn such a hard language stems from her Islamophobia disguised as "being an expert on 'Islamic terrorism'".

Today, even fat, ugly women are on the band wagon of Islamophobia and they are not here to expose just "Islamic terrorism". Their hypocrisy, hatred for free speech, their use of antiIslamic websites that try to discredit the very doctrine of Islam (not just "extremist Islamism"), etc., are clear indicators that they are not here to protect America from "Islamofacism" but instead, it is a crusade they hope will make them victorious over Islam and Muslims.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

TRUE Unity Between Different Groups

Unity often makes thing better, wouldn't you agree?

How do we achieve unity in a time where intolerance is at a all-time level?

Well, when we say unity, what do we mean? Do we mean being nice to each other or does it mean being nice to each other, unifying under the same cause or do we mean being friends with each other unifying under the same cause in a system that is conducive to unity?

I prefer the latter.

Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, pagans, atheists, etc., all can be united without having to convert to another belief. They can unite under the same cause without having to convert to another belief.

So a system that create this harmony must be conducive to unity. It must be a just system, a system that can only come from the Creator who is the Most Just. A system that gives people their rights regardless of their religious affliations.

That system is Islam, but the way Muslims practice it and misunderstand it, we would have no clue.

Take for example the protection tax (jizya) for non-Muslims. It is imposed on those who can afford it (males with the cash flow) and not on the poor, the elderly, women, etc. But it is imposed in a time where the Muslims can protect the non-Muslim population; if the state is too weak, then the jizya is not imposed. There has been many incident (including a famous one during the time of Khalid bin Waleed, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad) where the jizya was returned to the non-Muslims.

Non-Muslims practiced their faith. Their churches and temples were protected not destroyed, true unity became a reality. Muslim Spain, the time during the Ottoman Caliphate (when Islam was correctly understood and implemented) are examples of this.

But true unity cannot exist in a system that tolerates intolerance. Many people can unite, but the society is not truly united. We allow racists to hate and bigots to incite hatred, and because of this, society will never be truly united. Why complain about racism when you believe in a system that allows it?

Is tolerating intolerance worth the price of allow hatred and bigotry? You be the judge....