July 15th, 2010

9/11 hijackers in heaven being rewarded by God?

And here's another idea I've come up with. If it's flawed, please help me to fix it, and if it's good, please share it with as many others as you can, please use it any public forum involving leaders from "the religion of peace".

I’m working on a new approach to turning public opinion against Islam. This one deals with whether Islamic terrorists in general-and the 9/11 terrorists in particular-are currently in heaven being rewarded by God. I believe that if one of the Muslim clerics who are purveying this “religion of peace and tolerance” nonsense will admit to something like this, average, everyday people will start to take notice.

However, at this point, my knowledge of the Quran and Islamic theology is somewhat lacking, so if anyone could help refine this idea, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Here’s how I could see it going:

EW=Average non-Muslim guy
MC=Friendly, genuine, sincere “Man of God”

EW: Thank you for calling this conference to explain the Islamic faith in greater detail. Your reassurance that Islam is in the fact the religion of peace have allayed all fear and skepticism I have of the Islamic faith.

But I do still have a couple issues I hope you can clear up for me. The first relates to the last days of the prophet Mohammed’s life. According to Islamic theology, while Mohammed was on his deathbed, he commanded the Arabian Peninsula to forever remain free from foreign armies. Is that correct?

MC=Yes, that was what our beloved Prophet told us.

EW=And as we all know, the words of a dying man carry much weight, so this certainly must have been an important issue for him, yes?

MC=Yes, this was something he felt very strongly about.

EW=So according to your belief system, any foreign invader occupying the Arabian peninsula is a great crime, is that right?

MC=Well yes, but we (I expect some irrelevant, tangential ramblings to take place at about this point)

EW=Please answer the question MC. Is it or is not a great crime against your religion for a foreign invader to occupy the Arabian Peninsula?

MC=(Hopefully at about this point he’ll reluctantly give an answer, which would have to be yes)

EW=Thank you for establishing that it is in fact a great crime for non-Muslims to occupy the Arabian Peninsula. Now that we’ve established this point, we can correctly say that America has committed a great sin against the Islamic faith by occupying the Arabian peninsula, is that correct?

MC=(More off-topic rambling) It’s going to be essential the audience not let him off the hook here. Demand he answer the question.

EW=So America has in fact committed a great sin against the Islamic faith, and according to the Islamic faith, it should be considered an enemy of Islam, is that right?

MC=(I know it’s not going to this simple, but let’s pretend he’ll just say yes)

EW=Okay, in that case, you have now confirmed that America is an enemy of Islam. And here’s quote from the Quran that I’d like you to confirm

Qur'an (2:191-193) - "And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]...and fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.

Is this an acceptable translation? Yes or no?

MC=(Again, let’s imagine he just says yes)

EW=Alright, so if that’s the case, America has not only persecuted Muslims-a crime which is worse than killing a non-Muslim-, it has killed Muslims, and it has occupied the Arabian peninsula. Are these or are these not serious offenses against Islam?

MC=Well, perhaps but…(more ramblings-again, the audience has got to make the cleric give a straight answer)

EW=Alright, so there can be no doubt that America has committed a great offense against Islam.

Now I’d like to take a look at a well-known terrorist Mohammed Atta (I’m using him solely as an example-I don’t know his full story, so if someone has a better example, feel free to make the change-I think it’s important we use a 9/11 hijacker, however)

Are you familiar with Mohammed Atta’s life, MC?

MC=Yes, I’ve heard of him

EW=Alright, and for those who don’t know, Mr. Atta was one of the 9/11 terrorists, and some say he was the “mastermind”, but that’s irrelevant for our discussion. Just understand that he was one of the 9/11 terrorists.

Now, I’d like to ask you some questions about what constitutes a “good” Muslim.

Now feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but how do Muslims enter heaven? Is it correct that according to Islamic theology, one can enter heaven if he accepts that Islam is the true religion and believes that Allah is the only true God?

MC=Yes, that’s the basic message, though there’s more to it than just that.

EW=Okay, and Muslims also believe that it’s essential for every able-bodied person to make the hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, is that correct?

MC=Yes, that is true.

EW=Okay. And Muslims also believe that it’s necessary to pray five times a day, is that right or wrong?

MC=That’s right.

EW=Alright. Now I’d like to ask you to verify another Quranic verse:

Qur'an (61:4) - "Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way". Is this the correct translation?

MC=Well yes, but fight is mistranslated, in this case it refers to a spiritual struggle, etc.

EW=Alright, and could you also confirm the accuracy of this quote from the Quran:

Quran: 9:111, Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth.

Is this accurate?

If yes, it seems to confirm that fighting in Allah’s cause, and killing and dying for Islam are a guarantee to passage to Heaven, is that accurate?

MC=More wavering, rambling (Let’s pretend he eventually says yes)

EW=So you confirm that this translation is accurate.

Alright, then let’s go back to Mohammed Atta. Here’s what we know about his life:

He was a Muslim. He accepted that Allah is the one true God, and that nothing happens except for what Allah wills. We also know that Mohammed Atta made the pilgrimage to Mecca, and that he prayed five times a day.

We’ve also already established that America is an enemy of Islam for occupying the Arabian Peninsula. So when Mohammed Atta attacked America on 9/11, he was attacking an enemy of Islam. And Mohammed Atta killed others and died during this attack.

You also have confirmed that Heaven is guaranteed to those who fight and die for Allah. As we’ve established, America is an enemy of Islam, so we must conclude that Mohammed Atta died for Allah’s cause.

Therefore, according your logic and your holy books, we must accept that Mohammed Atta is currently in Heaven, being rewarded by his God.

Do you confirm or deny this claim? Do you personally believe that Mohammed Atta is in heaven right now, being rewarded by his God?

MC=(I’m sure there’ll be no shortage of misdirection, deflection, off-topic ramblings, but once again, it’s up to the audience to force him to respond)

I’m not entirely sure what happens at this point, but be certain to press him. According to Islamic theology, his actions were justified and there can be no question that Atta is in Heaven as we speak. If a “peaceful” Muslim cleric will admit that one of the 9/11 hijackers is being rewarded for his behavior, it could be a great loss for Islam.

God-sanctioned wife-beating

Another approach:

It's absolutely essential to establish the fact that Mohammed's example is to guide man for ALL TIMES and that the Quran is the most important book in Islam followed by the hadith collections by Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari.

In order to accomplish this, I'd suggest following a similar set of questions as used in the first example.

Once it's been established that Mohammed is to be the absolute moral guide, you can proceed in this manner:

EW: I'd now like take a look at a verse from the Quran and a hadith by Sahih Muslim:

Qur'an (4:34) - "Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great."

So from this verse, we can see that the Quran tells its followers they may beat women.

Dr. Naik: But wait that was mistranslated, etc.

EW: Please let me finish Dr. Naik. And here we have a hadith from Sahih Muslim:

His wife Aisha is narrating:

He came (to the house) and I also came (to the house). I, however, preceded him and I entered (the house), and as I lay down in the bed, he (the Holy Prophet) entered the (house), and said: Why is it, O 'A'isha, that you are out of breath? I said: There is nothing. He said: Tell me or the Subtle and the Aware would inform me. I said: Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be ransom for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?

This hadith clearly tells us that Aisha disobeyed Mohammed. In response, Mohammed "struck her hard enough" to cause her pain.

So the Quran says it's okay to beat women, and Mohammed beat his own wife.

Therefore Dr. Naik, you must believe that in the year 2010 it's morally acceptable to beat women, is that correct?

Dr. Naik: A lot of deflections, nonsense. (It's up to the audience on this one. If he admits that it can sometimes be morally acceptable to beat women, public opinion will turn, mosque will likely be denied).

The testimony of a woman is half as valuable as that of a man

Now that we're on the topic of women's rights, this line of questioning could be pursued.

Again, establish the moral absoluteness of Mohammed's example and the Quran.


EW: I'd like to take a look at a verse from the Quran:

(This is a long verse, but it might be worth reading in its entirety in order to limit his escape options)

YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! When ye deal with each other, in transactions involving future obligations in a fixed period of time, reduce them to writing Let a scribe write down faithfully as between the parties: let not the scribe refuse to write: as Allah Has taught him, so let him write. Let him who incurs the liability dictate, but let him fear His Lord Allah, and not diminish aught of what he owes. If they party liable is mentally deficient, or weak, or unable Himself to dictate, Let his guardian dictate faithfully, and get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her. The witnesses should not refuse when they are called on (For evidence). Disdain not to reduce to writing (your contract) for a future period, whether it be small or big: it is juster in the sight of Allah, More suitable as evidence, and more convenient to prevent doubts among yourselves but if it be a transaction which ye carry out on the spot among yourselves, there is no blame on you if ye reduce it not to writing. But take witness whenever ye make a commercial contract; and let neither scribe nor witness suffer harm. If ye do (such harm), it would be wickedness in you. So fear Allah; For it is Good that teaches you. And Allah is well acquainted with all things. If ye are on a journey, and cannot find a scribe, a pledge with possession (may serve the purpose). And if one of you deposits a thing on trust with another, let the trustee (faithfully) discharge his trust, and let him Fear his Lord conceal not evidence; for whoever conceals it, - his heart is tainted with sin. And Allah knoweth all that ye do.

Here's the most important point: Let him who incurs the liability dictate, but let him fear His Lord Allah, and not diminish aught of what he owes. If they party liable is mentally deficient, or weak, or unable Himself to dictate, Let his guardian dictate faithfully, and get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her

We see here that the verse is discussing witnesses. And it tells us that you should have two witnesses, and they are to be male. If two males can not be found, then a man and two women should be used. We are told that there must be two women so that they can keep check on each other. The implication is that women are so prone to errors in judgment the witness of just one woman is insufficient.

So Dr. Naik, the Quran clearly tells us that the testimony of one woman is not equal to the testimony of one man.

Since you earlier established that the Quran is to guide man for all time, you surely believe that in the year 2010 a man's testimony is more valuable than woman's, is that correct?

Dr. Naik: A lot of ramblings, asides about how well women are treated in Islam, etc.

EW: Dr. Naik, please stay on topic. You must either accept that the testimony of women is half as valuable as the testimony of women or you must deny that the Quran is an absolute guide to morality.

So let's take this possible scenario:

The police have been called to the scene of an alleged domestic dispute.

We have a man and a woman. The woman has a black eye. The woman claims the man hit her. The man claims she fell down the stairs. There's no physical evidence, so we must rely on the testimony of the parties involved.

So according to your theology, we must accept that man's word, correct? Since a woman's word is only half as valuable as a man's, there's no way around it. We must simply accept the man's version of events and move on, is that correct?

Dr. Naik: (I don't know how he'll respond, but for an audience of non-Muslims, it's reasonable to assume they'll be unsatisfied with his response)

A special tax for those who reject Islam

I don't know much about the jizya, so I'm sure this will need cleaned up, but here's how I'd go about it:

(Again, establish the absoluteness of Mohammed's example and the holy books)

EW: I'd like us to now take a look at a verse from the Quran.

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

So we can see that Muslims are commanded to fight non-Muslims. But as we're all aware, Islam is the religion of peace, so fight surely refers to a spiritual struggle.

But it says that Muslims are not to stop fighting non-Muslims until they pay the jizya willingly and feel themselves subdued.

Here's Yusuf Ali's explanation of the jizya: "The derived meaning, which became the technical meaning, was a poll-tax levied from those who did not accept Islam, but were willing to live under the protection of Islam, and were thus tacitly willing to submit to the laws enforced by the Muslim State."[13]

So we see that the jizya is a tax specifically for non-Muslims.

So your Quran tells its followers that Muslims are to force non-Muslims to pay an extra tax for "protection" and non-Muslims are to feel themselves subdued, or to accept that they are second class citizens.

Let's look at a theoretical example: In the year 2100, America is a predominantly Muslim nation. So you accept Dr. Naik, that the non-Muslims in America should be forced to pay a tax that Muslims do not have to pay? And you believe it's reasonable for non-Muslims to accept that they are in fact second class citizens?

Dr. Naik: No idea how he'll respond, so it's again up to the audience to force him to directly answer the question.

Dealing with those who "make mischief"

(Again, same approach to establishing moral absoluteness as before)

EW: Alright, I’d like us to now take a look at man we’ll call Mr. Spence. Mr. Spence hates Islam. He believes Islam is terrible because it condones pedophilia, abuse of women and intolerance of other religions. Mr. Spence has written several books on how terrible Islam is, he attempts to convince every person he meets that Islam is an evil cult, he tries to prevent mosques from being built, and he tries to convert people from their Islamic faith to his own polytheistic faith. However, Mr. Spence has never engaged in any physical violence, and he abhors the very thought of it. Dr. Naik, would you agree that this man has waged war against Islam and its prophet?

(I think this could be worded more effectively, but I’m not quite sure how)

Dr. Naik: Well, when this verse was written, diversions, etc. (I have no idea how he’ll respond, but the audience should make him commit to an answer. If he admits that Mr. Spence is waging war against Allah and his messenger, we’re set)

EW: Alright, now that we have that established, let’s take a look at this verse from the Quran:

Qur'an (5:33) - "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides..."

As you’ve previously established, the Quran is to provide moral guidance for all time, so you must believe that Mr. Spence deserves to murdered or crucified or his hands and feet should be cut off on opposite sides. You do believe this to be true, is that right?

Dr. Naik: (No idea how he’ll respond. Clearly, the most important issue is getting him to admit that Mr. Spence has waged war against Islam. Once that’s established, he’s trapped).

The stoning and "turning out" of homosexuals

Another approach:

This approach could be particularly effective, especially in our PC world.

(Establish moral absoluteness of Mohammed’s example, Quran, hadith collections)

EW: Dr. Naik, may I ask you about Islam’s beliefs about homosexuality? Islam believes it’s a sin, is that correct?

Dr. Naik: A lot of politically correct generalities (Force him to admit that it is a sin in Islam)

EW: Now that we’ve established homosexuality is a sin in Islam, could you please provide the Quranic verses that support your religion’s beliefs?

Dr. Naik: Hopefully he’ll point to Qur'an (7:80-84).

EW: Okay, let us take a look at this verse in full:

We also (sent) Lut: He said to his people: "Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? "For ye practise your lusts on men in preference to women : ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds." And his people gave no answer but this: they said, "Drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!" But we saved him and his family, except his wife: she was of those who lagged behind. And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): Then see what was the end of those who indulged in sin and crime!

And here’s a hadith from Bukhari:

Volume 7, Book 72, Number 774:

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:

The Prophet cursed effeminate men (those men who are in the similitude (assume the manners of women) and those women who assume the manners of men, and he said, "Turn them out of your houses ." The Prophet turned out such-and-such man, and 'Umar turned out such-and-such woman.

(This is vague, so it’s entirely possible he could wiggle out of it somehow. If someone with greater knowledge than I could tighten this up, I’d appreciate it).

So as you mentioned earlier, this verse condemns homosexuality. And it’s been well-documented that in some Islamic societies, men have been stoned and hanged for committing homosexual acts, and they justify it by pointing to that verse.

So we see that God destroyed men for committing homosexual acts. As you’ve already mentioned, the Quran is to guide man for all time. So you must believe that in the year 2010, it’s morally acceptable for homosexuals to be killed for their acts, is that correct?
Dr. Naik: Of course not, that was simply God recounting the way he once dealt with homosexuality, but it isn’t a mandate, etc.

EW: Fair enough, but let’s take a look at the hadith from Bukhari again:

The Prophet cursed effeminate men (those men who are in the similitude (assume the manners of women) and those women who assume the manners of men, and he said, "Turn them out of your houses ." The Prophet turned out such-and-such man, and 'Umar turned out such-and-such woman.

So you must believe that homosexuals are an accursed people, and that they are to be driven from your society, is that correct?

Dr. Naik: A whole lot of generalities, hating the sin, love the sinner, etc.

(The issue could easily be pressed, and again, with the PC sensitivities of the West, this has the potential to be very damaging for Islam. I know the argument presented is far from air-tight, but it could be improved upon

the god of the quran's ignorance of christianity

1. Present verses 5:73 and 5:116

"Unbelievers are those who say: 'God is one of three.' There is but one God. If they do not desist from so saying, those of them that disbelieve shall be sternly punished." (Surah 5:73)

"The God will say: 'Jesus, son of Mary, did you ever say to mankind 'Worship me and my mother as gods besides God?' 'Glory to You, 'he will answer, 'how could I ever say that to which I have no right?" (Surah 5:116)

Ask them why their all-knowing God would say, "Unbelievers are those who say 'God is one of three'.

Acknowledge that the Trinity is an admittedly confusing concept, but that at its core, it's pretty simple: God is one, but God sometimes takes different forms. So press them on why their God showed a fundamental lack of understanding of basic Christian theology.

And then move to 5:116. Ask them why God would ask Jesus such a question. Ask them if they have in fact read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. If they say they have, ask them where in the Gospels Jesus told his followers to make an idol of his mother.

Of course, they will have no response, so press them on it: "Obviously, the Bible makes no mention of holding the mother of Jesus up as an idol, so on the last day, why will God ask him if he did? The question is totally irrelevant. God might as well ask Jesus if he told his followers to devote at least ten hours a week to the art of breakdancing.

Slaves of less value than free men

YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! the law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the woman for the woman. But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand, and compensate him with handsome gratitude, this is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord. After this whoever exceeds the limits shall be in grave penalty.

Perhaps a line of questioning could go like this:

PG: "So, we see that according to your God, the life of a free man is not equal to the life of a slave. If your God believed the life of a free man was equal to the life of the enslaved man, your God would have simply said, "the law of equality is prescribed to you in the cases of murder: one man for one man".  But your God made a distinction between the value of the free man and the value of the enslaved man.  Why do you personally believe your God values the life of a slave less than the life of a free man? Is not a slave still a man? Even though he may have been enslaved, he's still a man, and in my eyes, he's every bit as valuable and important as a free man. Yet your God makes a clear distinction. Why do you think your God places differing value on men according to their free/enslaved status?

IF: (No real idea how he'll respond to this, but if he tries something like, "Well, since there's no longer slavery in our world, it's no longer relevant", then it would be fairly easy to follow up)

PG: Yes, slavery has finally been abolished through much of the world, but let's look at a theoretical example: in the Sudan, a formerly free man named Manute was recently captured by the enemy and enslaved. So according to your God, the life of Manute is no longer as valuable as the life of a free man, is that correct?

IF: (Again, don't really know how he'll respond. I think this could be particularly effective, especially given how strongly Americans believe in "equality of all men", and how strongly most Americans hate the idea of slavery.