Atheists guide to Islam
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16-12-2011, 01:53 PM
Atheists guide to Islam
As I was writing this post I went on for a bit longer than I expected, as I don’t expect much of you to have the time to read all of this I decided to index my post, so you can pick and choose the parts that are most interesting for you and maybe come back to the other ones later. I hope you will forgive me if I repeat anything from my previous posts, but I will do my best not to unless It is absolutely crucial.

1. Introduction.
1.5. A dedication.
2. Islam in the Egyptian constitution and Education.
3. The five pillars of Islam. (our version of the Ten Commandments.)
4. Unreasonable sins and punishments in Islam.
5. A brief on women’s rights in Islam.
6. A conversation with a Muslim.

_________________________________________________________

1. Introduction

Being a new and so far closeted atheist, I find it very hard for me to communicate with other atheists. So far I know only 2 atheists one is a really good friend of mine who is currently away and the other is a pompous asshole douche-bag whom I hate and didn’t even tell that I’m an atheist. i have a friend that is very religious so I can’t talk much to him and often (even before my atheism) can’t stand having conversations with him as he is anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-gay, pro-holocaust, pro-9/11 attacks and the list goes on and on and on. Deep in my heart I would like to believe that he only speaks this because he’s been taught to say it, much like I was, that we were both parrots repeating what our elders and imams and sheikhs told us but so far my hopes aren’t quite up. So I feel this is not only an entertaining but crucial way for me to express myself without repercussions and to truly speak my mind and discuss with like minded people my former belief systems and my new atheistic philosophies.

1.5. I dedicate this post to all the great people on TTA who’ve made me feel welcome and gave me a place where I can speak my mind, to Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Stephen Fry, George Carlin, TTA, my anonymous Egyptian friend, and the many others that have taught me to ask questions and led me to breaking off my chains.
I dedicate this post to Knowledge and those who seek it.
And I also offer an apology for being so dramatic, it’s just who I am. Tongue

__________________________________________________________

2. Islam in the Egyptian constitution and Education

"Islam is the religion of the state, and the Arabic language is its official language. The principles of Islamic law are the chief source of legislation." -Article 2, The Egyptian Constitution.

http://www.egypt.gov.eg/english/laws/con...fault.aspx

I can't enough express my outrage, at my self and my country, for such an ignorant, backwards and stupid article in what's supposed to be the founding document of an entire country and my staunch belief in it prior to my freedom from religion.

At least in a country like the United States, the first amendment clearly states:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." meaning that religion cannot be taught in schools as fact and if it is, it doesn’t take an entire constitutional amendment (or in our case an entire new constitution to be drafted) to rectify the situation. (Not just creationism)

Looking back on my education, I find myself picking up on what i thought back then was perfectly reasonable; Ever since first grade, history classes were full of anti-Semitic subtext, generalisation and historical inaccuracies, we received mandatory religion classes that were given at the same hours per week as maths, science, geography or any other subject, In which we were made to memorize scripture and stories from the life of Mohammed and his followers and actually take exams on them (questions like, write verses 25->40 of this chapter and then answering questions about their meanings and made to agree with them). At least that was restricted to only the Muslim students.
What wasn't restricted to only the Muslim students was Arabic language class, where instead of studying the Qur’an (an excellently well written piece of Arabic literature) secularly, Muslims and orthodox Christians (majority Christian denomination in Egypt) alike would study them religiously (pun intended Dodgy ).
Same as in religion class we were given verses from the Qur’an (and never the bible) in Arabic class and were made to memorize verses and answer questions about that, although they did their best to leave out the bits that said all people from other faiths will burn in hell for eternity, they still taught all its content as facts and morally sound philosophy and historically accurate instead of just being appreciated as a linguistically amazing book (which the Arabic language is based upon).
They didn't leave out the part however, that stated that anybody who doesn't believe in god is an immoral, devil spawn and that a person keeping at least any of the Abrihamic faiths was better than an Atheist, a Buddhist, pagan, etc.
We'd also be made to answer questions similar to:
What is the importance of religion?
They taught us that the correct answer was it was the source for morality in humans and without it, the world would be run over with looters, rapists, mass murderers and criminals.
An answer which we had to write down in almost every test from 1st grade to 9th, an answer that was complete and utter bullshit.

__________________________________________________________

3. The five pillars of Islam (our version of the Ten Commandments.)

Something that we are also taught from a very young age is the 5 pillars of Islam, similar to the 10 commandments of the old and New Testament although a tad more brutal.

1- The Shahada (testimony):
It is the first and considered most important of the 5 pillars and it is the first one done by new converts. It is the declaration/admittance of a person that there is no god except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
It is used as a way to get instant god points, by merely uttering it over and over all day long, u get more favour with god.
It can also be heard five times a day all over Cairo in the announcement of each of the five prayers, from every mosque on every street in every fucking where and personally it used to make me feel guilty whenever i heard it while watching porn and jacking the rabbit, so to speak, but it never really stopped me Tongue.
It is especially headache inducing when u hear the Azzan (call to prayer) from 5 different mosques in the same neighbourhood, all voiced by different people saying it in different keys and tempos and of course not in sync with each other. FIVE FUCKING TIMES A DAY, the first one being normally between 4:00 and 5:00 am depending on the sunrise.

erm.. i seem to have gotten a bit off track, anyway back to the good stuff Tongue

2- Salah (prayer)
Five times a day, every day, we must do this.
Incredibly tedious, recitation from the Qur’an, and various sorts of kneeling and praising. Each prayer comes with a different number of Raka'aat "kneels".

Fajr "dawn”: 2 kneels
Zohr "noon”: 4 kneels
Aasr “afternoon”: 4 kneels and personally my least favourite as it is supposed to be done around 4:00 pm, right when you get back from school/college/work exhausted.
Maghreb "sunset”: 3 kneels
Ishaa "night”: 4 kneels

Let’s just leave it at these obligatory prayers, for the more faithful there is a list of non obligatory Sunna prayers that will earn you more favour with god. (Sunna: Not mandatory, but encouraged Islamic acts. for lack of a better definition)

Mohammed had this to say about teaching kids prayer:

Hadith Abi Dau'd-, Narrated As-Saburah


The Prophet said: Order your children to pray at the age of seven. And beat them [lightly] if they do not do so by the age of ten. And separate them in their bedding.

[Also recorded by Ahmad and al-Hakim. Al-Syuti has give in a notation signifying that it is authentic. Al-Albani has graded it hasan. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 2, p. 1021.]

3- Ramadan Fasting:
The holy month Ramadan is celebrated as the month in which the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel.
The month Ramadan is the 9th of the Hijri lunar calendar a calendar based on the pilgrimage of Muslims from Mecca to Al-medina, it is an inaccurate calendar and Wikipedia phrases it better than I:

Being a purely lunar calendar, it is not synchronized with the seasons. With an annual drift of 11 or 12 days, the seasonal relation repeats about every 33 Islamic years.

Which basically means Ramadan comes 10 days early every day.
Regardless, in this month it is mandatory for all Muslims to fast from food, water, medicine, foul language, physical violence, smoking and sex from sunrise to sunset (as if a surveillance camera that is only active one month a year turns on). This is done in solidarity with the unfortunate who have nothing to eat/drink/fuck and to be close to god and as similar as one can be to an angel. (That doesn’t eat, drink, fuck, etc.)
People with medical problems such as diabetes, etc… are excused from fasting with no repercussions. Also women on their period are forbidden from fasting and praying. (Not just in Ramadan)

What is it with religions and menstruation?

4- Zakat el Mal (donation of money)
This particular pillar is a mandatory annual payment that every Muslim with an income must make, during the old days of the Caliphate made to the beet el maal (house of funds, aka treasurey. Nowadays scholars say that it can be paid to any charity of choice.). It is set at 2.5% of the accumulated wealth of a Muslim and it is done to help society and purify the money a Muslim has of doubts (unintentional or unknown indiscretions). I’m haven’t dealt much with this because I don’t have an income yet so I don’t really have much to say about it except that back in the day it was one of the main sources of income of the Caliphate (a tax) but since now we already pay our taxes to the Egyptian government Muslim scholars still insist that Zakat should be paid in full, that sounds like a forced redistribution of wealth, people should be allowed to give money on their own terms according to their own lifestyle, needs, etc.

The rules of Zakat are: (from Wikipedia)
1. The giver must declare to God his intention to give the Zakat.
2. The Zakat must be paid on the day that it is due.
3. After the Offering, the payer must not exaggerate on spending his money more than usual means.
4. Payment must be in kind. This means if one is wealthy then he or she needs to pay 2.5% of their income. If a person does not have much money, then they should compensate for it in different ways, such as good deeds and good behavior toward others.
5. The Zakat must be distributed in the community from which it was taken.

The penalty of not paying Zakat is the same old torture tales in hell although I am not aware of any physical penalties in Shariaa such as stoning or death.

5- Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca)

Hajj is a mandatory pilgrimage to Mecca to all those who are physically and monetarily able. It involves dressing in a garment with no stitching what so ever, walking around the Kaaba with millions of other people (an excellent way to spread diseases I might add and some crowd control issues have been known to arise) again I will quote Wikipedia on the rules:

The main rituals of the Hajj include walking seven times around the Kaaba, touching the Black Stone, travelling seven times between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah, and symbolically stoning the Devil in Mina.

Everybody who completes the Hajj ritual becomes known as a Hajj (m)/Hajja (f).
(I’d just like to point out that these two terms are different linguistically in Arabic)
My mother, father, uncles and grandparents have all performed Hajj and it is considered a bragging point.

___________________________________________________________

4. Unreasonable sins and punishments in Islam

Apart from the usual no killing, stealing and lying, Islam has a lot of very unreasonable sins and brutal punishments that don’t fit the crime (in a rational sense).
I will write down a list of said sins and their punishments as I have been taught them.

1- The worst sin of all is Apostasy or polytheism after being a Muslim, The penalty of which is death by beheading. (Even if the accused is a morally good person without religion, has a clean record and frequently performs selfless charities)

2- Lying/Bearing false witness – 80 Lashes.

3- Drinking alcohol or using any drug for recreational purposes – 80 Lashes.

4- a) Adultery for married people – Stoning to death.

b) Adultery for unmarried people – 80 Lashes (not so sure about this one, but this is what my sheikh once told me.

5- Homosexuality – Stoning to death.

6- Stealing – Cutting off the hand (I’ve heard accounts of the cutting of the non dominant hand, e.x. the left hand for right handed people etc. but that might have been a rule added later on for “mercy’s” sake or it might have been there from the start.)
This practice is also fading out, most notably being practiced in Saudi Arabia but not in Egypt, I do not know how many other countries this is practiced in.

7- Rape – Death, there is no blame attached to the victim

Now I will keep my list to these instances which are the ones that I have found the most unreasonable, unjust and brutal. For more information on Shariia I advise the Wikipedia page on Shariaa Law, as I feel that I do not have more information to expand on this particular subject.

___________________________________________________________

5. Women’s rights in Islam has been a very controversial issue of late and I would love to address it however limited my knowledge about it is.

It is my opinion that Islam had given women more rights than other cultures at the time, However for a book that's supposed to be good for all eternity it just doesn't cut it in the 21st century, we must recognise that women and men are equal and having a penis doesn't automatically make you superior.

Ill divides this section into two mini sections:

A) The treating of women as property.
B) A woman’s right to inheritance and voting.

A) Basically women in Islam are considered as property (although no one will admit it openly), whose property you might ask, well depends…
Before a woman is married she is the property of her father obligated to obey orders to the letter and to agree on his choice of a husband for her (arranged marriages, an issue for another time Tongue)
After a woman is married she is the property of her husband, to once again obey orders to the letter (this includes anything from what to wear to what to eat and whether or not she can leave the house today or have a career). Marital rape is no biggie in Islam and wife beating is okay as long as you leave no marks and don’t go near the face.
It is important to note however that a woman is the financial responsibility of her current guardian.
When/if a woman is widowed, she becomes the charge of her male next of kin (brothers, sons, uncles, etc.) to whom she should display the same kind of obedience as to her father.
It is important to note however that the sole responsibility of financing the household falls solely on the Husband and any money a woman has is considered her own with no obligation the spend it. A woman may even demand payment for certain things, which has been defined to me as a “salary for running the household” which includes spending money living expenses and personal money for the wife.
A man is allowed to keep 4 wives simultaneously but is obligated to treat them equally both emotionally and financially.

B) In Islam a woman’s inheritance is as follows.
¼ (or in some cases half the portion of the son) of the inheritance from the father.
1/8 of the total inheritance from her husband.

As opposed to males
½ of the inheritance from the father.

So let’s say a brother and a sister are splitting their father’s inheritance of 1500$
it would be spilt up so
Son Daughter Total
2 1 3
1000$ 500$ 1500$

If the wife is in the picture then she would take 187.5$ first and the rest is split up by any siblings, 437.5$ for the daughter and 875$ for the son.

As for voting, in the days of the Muhammad and the Caliphate where the number of Muslims was fairly low and so a Shoura was performed which can be defined as a sort of tribunal or moot in which any *free* man of the nation has the right to speak in. After the 5th Caliphate the system changed into that of monarchy when Moaweya Ibn Aby Sufian died and his son Yaziid Ibn Moaweya ruled as the Calipha.

Now due to the previous Turkish, French and English occupations of Egypt and its independence in 1953, a new constitution was drafted and put into effect, I do not know whether women were allowed to vote right away or if it was added in later on.


6. A conversation with a Muslim.

When having a conversation with a muslim friend of mine, I approached him with the guise of being a secular Muslim when we were talking about the current state of the revolution in Egypt and the possibility of the Islamists obtaining power (which they seem to be doing).
I further explained my fake views as a secular Muslim that I think the government should be secular and human rights should be observed and that Shariaa law shouldn’t be applied to people who don’t believe in it such as Egyptian Christians or atheists. I did this to see if he was just repeating what he was taught say like a parrot as I have or if he genuinely believed that Islamist rule is the answer, gays should be stoned to death, thieves should have their hands cut off and apostates should be beheaded, even if they committed no crime except renouncing Allah.
I was surprised by his answers and disappointed too that what arguments he made at me were vile, backwards, irrational, hateful and brutal. He said that gays should be stoned because what they have is like a disease that could spread to society and the same argument with apostates who should be killed because they will spread their heresy, his best friend other than me is an out of the closet Atheist, an apostate and when I asked him if he thought he should die for committing no other crime than refusing Islam, he looked me in dead in the face and said “yes, of course he should die”.
I’ve known this person all my life but I was surprised about the evil that I found while digging and searching for his humanity an evil that was instilled in him from when he was a child, I tried to raise the point that no human should be killed for whatever the crime; I’m saddened to say that he didn’t agree with me, truly the Islam is not the religion of peace.
It saddens me to say that the middle east is full of people like this, people who believe in the Qur’an as the literal word of god, people who believe in it’s brutal and unjust ways, people that are not likely to change their mind soon, putting the hope for a secular middle east and world a very distant dream, perhaps one that won’t be achieved in my lifetime.

"Yeah, good idea. Make them buy your invisible apple. Insist that they do. Market it properly and don't stop until they pay for it." -Malleus
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16-12-2011, 02:02 PM
RE: Atheists guide to Islam
Awesomeness. Thanks!

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16-12-2011, 03:17 PM
RE: Atheists guide to Islam
Oh, man, I did read it all and I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to educate us. I am truly happy that you chose to share your de-conversion time with us. Many of us had this - a time right after leaving religion when we were unusually prolific in thoughts, speech and writing on the topic of our former religion. By all means, don't hold anything back.

Cheers!

Oh, no Hallucinations 4:11 says the 'gilded sheep should be stewed in rat blood' but Morons 5:16 contradicts it. (Chas)

I would never shake a baby unless the recipe requires it.
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16-12-2011, 03:57 PM
RE: Atheists guide to Islam
Thanks so much for sharing this. Very interesting.

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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16-12-2011, 04:04 PM
RE: Atheists guide to Islam
Maybe it's just me, but I noticed something and i want to point it out.
You said that you have one friend that's a total dick, and another one who supports murder and jenocide.
I have to wonder, how much of a dick must that first friend be so that the asshole supporting murder will be better?

Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to
believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?
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16-12-2011, 04:05 PM
RE: Atheists guide to Islam
(16-12-2011 04:04 PM)avrahams1 Wrote:  Maybe it's just me, but I noticed something and i want to point it out.
You said that you have one friend that's a total dick, and another one who supports murder and jenocide.
I have to wonder, how much of a dick must that first friend be so that the asshole supporting murder will be better?

im related to the asshole -.-

"Yeah, good idea. Make them buy your invisible apple. Insist that they do. Market it properly and don't stop until they pay for it." -Malleus
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16-05-2013, 05:11 AM
RE: Atheists guide to Islam
Islamic tradition attributes the beginning of Mecca to Ishmael's descendants. In the 7th century, the Islamic prophet Muhammad proclaimed Islam in the city, by then an important trading center, and the city played an important role in the early history of Islam. After 966, Mecca was led by local sharifs, until 1924, when it came under the rule of the Saudis. In its modern period, Mecca has seen a great expansion in size and infrastructure.

Learn Quran with Tajweed
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16-05-2013, 02:10 PM (This post was last modified: 16-05-2013 02:38 PM by Blasphemous Ben.)
RE: Atheists guide to Islam
Thank you! very interesting.... The main issuse I think that we as society should have with religion is the indoctrination process. Preaching beliefs as fact is truly disgusting, especially when it infringes on the freedom of others.
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16-05-2013, 02:26 PM
RE: Atheists guide to Islam
Jackrabbit,
I applaud your courage and bravery for walking away from Islam, knowing the consequences you face for apostasy. You are my brother in spirit. If you could, would you consider annotating your notes with references from the Koran or the Hadith, you know, chapter and verse? That would make it a truly indispensable tool for the rest of us.
Doc
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16-05-2013, 05:16 PM
RE: Atheists guide to Islam
Wow, Jackrabbit, you are strong and brave.

Godless in the Magnolia State
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