Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mohammad's pedophilia

Updated:
This ended up taking a number of posts. Also, I've forgotten a Quran passage, which I have added below. This is from Sura 65 on rules for divorce. Notice below that you can divorce a woman who hasn't menstruated yet ("not had their courses"). Well, how can you divorce a prepubescent woman if you didn't marry a prepubescent woman in the first place? I think the reader can fill in the blanks.

65:4 And (as for) those of your women who have despaired of menstruation, if you have a doubt, their prescribed time shall be three months, and of those too who have not had their courses; and (as for) the pregnant women, their prescribed time is that they lay down their burden; and whoever is careful of (his duty to) Allah He will make easy for him his affair.

When you read about Mohammad's own pedophilia below, you'll understand why he made sure to have the above verse "revealed" to him.

Aisha

Let's continue with Aisha. The key Hadith sections about Aisha because they are pretty clear (remember when you are reading that Mohammad was 51 when Aisha was 6):


Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3310:
'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64
Narrated 'Aisha:
that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 65
Narrated 'Aisha:
that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old. Hisham said: I have been informed that 'Aisha remained with the Prophet for nine years (i.e. till his death)." what you know of the Quran (by heart)'

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88
Narrated 'Ursa:
The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).

Pretty straightforward, right? From Aisha's own words, she was 6 when they married and 9 when they consummated the marriage. Child brides are one thing, but consummation at 9 years old is another.

Let's continue:

Sahih Bukhari 5.236.
Narrated Hisham's father:
Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married 'Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old.

Sahih Bukhari 5.234
Narrated Aisha:
The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became Allright, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, "Best wishes and Allah's Blessing and a good luck." Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah's Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age
.

And in another Hadith we read.

Sunan Abu-Dawud Book 41, Number 4915, also Number 4916 and Number 4917
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) married me when I was seven or six. When we came to Medina, some women came. according to Bishr's version: Umm Ruman came to me when I was swinging. They took me, made me prepared and decorated me. I was then brought to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him), and he took up cohabitation with me when I was nine. She halted me at the door, and I burst into laughter.

In the above hadith we read that Ayesha was swinging, something children do. Any other children's activities? Pay attention to what the interpreter wrote in the parenthesis. (She was a little girl, not yet at the age of puberty)

Sahih Bukhari Volume 8, Book 73, Number 151
Narrated 'Aisha:
I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah's Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me. (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for 'Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.) (Fateh-al-Bari page 143, Vol.13)


Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3311
'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old.

So, at the age of nine when the marriage was consummated, she was still playing with dolls and not yet at puberty.

In the next post I will discuss common responses from Muslims over the issue of Aisha and why they are false

Where to start

Culture of ignorance

Where to start in your discussion is important. Muslims do not see any flaws in their faith, so you have to understand where they could be most receptive and/or most impressed. The first filter, receptivity, is important because Muslims run from challenging discussion faster than any other group I've seen. Most Muslims would rather live with a lie than confront any illogic in their faith. The culture is very different than other faiths and the root is in the Quran:

004.140
YUSUFALI: Already has He sent you Word in the Book, that when ye hear the signs of Allah held in defiance and ridicule, ye are not to sit with them unless they turn to a different theme: if ye did, ye would be like them. For Allah will collect the hypocrites and those who defy faith - all in Hell:-
PICKTHAL: He hath already revealed unto you in the Scripture that, when ye hear the revelations of Allah rejected and derided, (ye) sit not with them (who disbelieve and mock) until they engage in some other conversation. Lo! in that case (if ye stayed) ye would be like unto them. Lo! Allah will gather hypocrites and disbelievers, all together, into hell;
SHAKIR: And indeed He has revealed to you in the Book that when you hear Allah's communications disbelieved in and mocked at do not sit with them until they enter into some other discourse; surely then you would be like them; surely Allah will gather together the hypocrites and the unbelievers all in hell.


Above you can read three translations of 4:140 - they all say the same thing. Don't talk to those who reject or deride the Quran. It is in the culture to run from conversations that challenge the Islam. Why? Well, the Quran answers that too with circular reasoning:

004.082
YUSUFALI: Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care)? Had it been from other Than Allah, they would surely have found therein Much discrepancy.
PICKTHAL: Will they not then ponder on the Qur'an? If it had been from other than Allah they would have found therein much incongruity.
SHAKIR: Do they not then meditate on the Quran? And if it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy.


You see there are no discrepancies because the Quran says so. So not only must you not speak with those that challenge the Quran, but you shouldn't even ask the questions yourselves:

005.101
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble. But if ye ask about things when the Qur'an is being revealed, they will be made plain to you, Allah will forgive those: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing.
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Ask not of things which, if they were made unto you, would trouble you; but if ye ask of them when the Qur'an is being revealed, they will be made known unto you. Allah pardoneth this, for Allah is Forgiving, Clement.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! do not put questions about things which if declared to you may trouble you, and if you question about them when the Quran is being revealed, they shall be declared to you; Allah pardons this, and Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing.

005.102
YUSUFALI: Some people before you did ask such questions, and on that account lost their faith.
PICKTHAL: A folk before you asked (for such disclosures) and then disbelieved therein.
SHAKIR: A people before you indeed asked such questions, and then became disbelievers on account of them.

Emphasis above is mine again. There are more passages like those above, but I believe that the message is already clear - remain in ignorance or risk losing your faith.

Quran barely read and Arabic myopia


Now, most Muslims have not read much of the Quran in their native language even if they speak Arabic so they won't run from conversation because of the above quotes. They will run because the culture has already been created by those quotes. Funny, in fact, that if you don't want them to run - be as direct in your rejection as possible.

Many of those that have read the Quran, are non-native speakers following this doctrine from Mohammad:

"Verily the one who recites the Qur'an beautifully, smoothly, and precisely, he will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. And as for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses (because he doesn't know how to read it but is trying to), then he will have TWICE that reward."


However, even if they memorize the Quran, they usually do it in Arabic. On a side note, it is important to remember why - that the Quran places Arabic above all languages:

016.103
YUSUFALI: We know indeed that they say, "It is a man that teaches him." The tongue of him they wickedly point to is notably foreign, while this is Arabic, pure and clear.
PICKTHAL: And We know well that they say: Only a man teacheth him. The speech of him at whom they falsely hint is outlandish, and this is clear Arabic speech.
SHAKIR: And certainly We know that they say: Only a mortal teaches him. The tongue of him whom they reproach is barbarous, and this is clear Arabic tongue.


The Quran goes on further with a little racism:

026.198
YUSUFALI: Had We revealed it to any of the non-Arabs,
PICKTHAL: And if We had revealed it unto one of any other nation than the Arabs,
SHAKIR: And if we had revealed it to any of the foreigners

026.199
YUSUFALI: And had he recited it to them, they would not have believed in it.
PICKTHAL: And he had read it unto them, they would not have believed in it.
SHAKIR: So that he should have recited it to them, they would not have believed


So...back to the point...where to start


When a Muslim starts telling me about the "scientific miracles" in the Quran, I challenge them to send me a single one. Simultaneously, I ask them to explain a few of the top mathematical, historical and scientific errors.

With female Muslims, especially those with kids, I usually ask them if they're ok with the sometimes violent sexism or with Mohammad's pedophilia. This tactic sometimes works with men, but you'll be surprised at how many men are ok with these issues. More on that later.

There are many other passages of the Quran or Hadith that would have most of us either laughing or in horror, but I promise you that many of them will have little effect on the average Muslim. These include passages of torture, murder, unscientific nonsense, racism, Antisemitism, etc.

In the next post, I'll start with key quotes from the Hadith on Mohammad's pedophilia. Although this is not in the Quran (except for some strange verses about young boys and wide-eyed girls in heaven), it helps to go here quickly because it often comes up right away. Again, though, I don't recommend this issue as a starting point for all discussions.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Read the Koran

Why read the Koran

One of the benefits of an Islamic debate is that the goal is so easy. The claim of perfection for Islam means that we only need to find one mistake to bring the whole thing down. However,it helps to read the Koran first in order to debate.

While cutting and pasting from one of the websites that point out Koran errors is good enough, it helps to know what you are talking about. Don't make the mistake that Muslims make. They will send you a link or just cut and paste without even reading the words. I've embarrassed quite a few Muslims by pointing out that their link left the key problem unsolved although their triumphant Muslim author claimed to have solved it all. On a side note...I am not surprised by the false claims because, as you'll see in my last post on Dishonesty, Muslims have no problems with lying.

So...the best source I've found online for Koran translations is the USC site. Scroll down to the chapters. They also have an index and a search. You can ignore the logically flawed Dawaa (Muslim evangelism) about science and the Koran from a single point of view - guess the point of view? Overall, however, it's a great resource for discussing the Koran because it has three translations: Yusuf Ali, Pickthal, and Shakir.

You don't have to know Arabic

Access to multiple translations is key. It is very important because, as I discussed in my Fallacies post, one of the first things you'll hear from cornered Muslims is that only native Arabic speakers can discuss the Koran. As I've said before, this is an appeal to authority and nothing more. There are good translations available. If worse comes to worse, you can use some of the translator sites such as Google's: http://translate.google.com/translate_t. Unfortunately, translation sites do not take into account some of the changes in word use from 1400 years ago until today.

Oh, and while we're talking about translations - Islam means submission (not peace). This attempt to change meanings is one of the great cons by modern Muslims over the Western world.

Again, read the Koran...as much as you can stomach, then read some more. Don't worry, you won't convert :) because the the Koran itself will make that impossible with violent, misogynistic, scientifically and historically inaccurate stories.

The Hadith

"The general practices of Islam, or the Sunnah, come primarily from the hadiths ("reports") about Muhammad's life, which were passed down orally until codified in the eighth century AD, some hundred years after Muhammad's death. The hadiths comprise the most important body of Islamic texts after the Quran; they are basically a collection of anecdotes about Muhammad's life believed to have originated with those who knew him personally. There are thousands upon thousands of hadiths, some running to multiple pages, some barely a few lines in length."
Above paraphrased from Jihadwatch.org.

It's not necessary to read the Hadith because there is so much nonsense and too much to read. Simultaneously, don't be afraid of discussing the Hadith because of your lack of knowledge. The Hadith can be even more embarrassing for the Muslim than the Koran, and can help prove some of the errors in the Koran. Most of the key passages are detailed in sites that expose Islam's flaws. Here are some of those sites (remember this list because you may return to these sites again and again):

FaithFreedom.org - my favorite as this one was started by an ex-Muslim, Ali Sina

SkepticsAnnotatedBible.com/quran/ -line by line review of the Koran, showing contradictions, scientific problems, cruelty,...

JihadWatch.org/islam101/ - a nice intro to Islam

Answering-islam.org , InvestigateIslam.com
Christian sites with a huge amount of analysis. Great reference for detailed analysis.

History

The Koran has an interesting history. When talking to Muslims, you will hear that Mohamed was illiterate, and simply repeated his revelations to others who wrote them down. In fact, Qu'ran means "recitation." What really happened?

Well, one thing we know. The "one and only" Koran was actually many documents until years after Mohamed's death in 632. It wasn't until the reign of Uthman from 644 to 656 that the Koran was unified and completed in one text. In fact, Uthman's work to unify the documents was considered controversial with some thinking that he tampered with the narrative. Obvious question - how can there be many versions of a document form a god? Similar question - how can today's Koran be "the one and only" if it that is historically false?

Abrogation

More from JihadWatch.org:

"Those Westerners who manage to pick up a translation of the Quran are often left bewildered as to its meaning thanks to ignorance of a critically important principle of Quranic interpretation known as "abrogation." The principle of abrogation -- al-naskh wa al-mansukh (the abrogating and the abrogated) -- directs that verses revealed later in Muhammad's career "abrogate" -- i.e., cancel and replace -- earlier ones whose instructions they may contradict. Thus, passages revealed later in Muhammad's career, in Medina, overrule passages revealed earlier, in Mecca. The Quran itself lays out the principle of abrogation:

2:106. Whatever a Verse (revelation) do We {Allah} abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?
It seems that 2:106 was revealed in response to skepticism directed at Muhammad that Allah's revelations were not entirely consistent over time. Muhammad's rebuttal was that "Allah is able to do all things" -- even change his mind. To confuse matters further, though the Quran was revealed to Muhammad sequentially over some twenty years' time, it was not compiled in chronological order. When the Quran was finally collated into book form under Caliph Uthman, the suras were ordered from longest to shortest with no connection whatever to the order in which they were revealed or to their thematic content. In order to find out what the Quran says on a given topic, it is necessary to examine the other Islamic sources that give clues as to when in Muhammad's lifetime the revelations occurred. Upon such examination, one discovers that the Meccan suras, revealed at a time when the Muslims were vulnerable, are generally benign; the later Medinan suras, revealed after Muhammad had made himself the head of an army, are bellicose."

Now, in my discussions with Muslims, abrogation has never come up. I believe this is because it would be a great way to demonstrate the lack of divine within the Koran. It could also be that most Muslims just believe without thinking. Don't underestimate the power of brainwashing.

Summary

Read as much of the Koran as you can to be prepare for your discussions. The Koran was not made unique until it was collated years after Mohamed's death. Also, many devout believers at the time accused Uthman of tampering with the sacred book. How can a divine book have controversy about its authenticity? Because...it's just a book.

Next post...let's get started errors and contradictions

Friday, October 5, 2007

Dishonesty

Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 269:
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:

The Prophet said, "War is deceit."


For some reason, Muslims have less of a problem with dishonesty than others I've debated. Sometimes, they outright lie. When called on it, they don't even react offended and just try again!

A common lie is just to ignore what you said in the previous message, or, better yet, what they may have said themselves. It's as if they don't think you'll save every message through your inbox. I've spent a lot of time cutting and pasting old messages just to remind Muslims of things I said or they've said. So - remember - save every message!

Always call Muslims out on the lying or use of fallacies as a defense. Never let them get away with it. Remind them that the worst form of lying is lying to oneself. This gets to the heart of the matter. If Muslims have to resort to lying to make their point - what does that say about Islam? If Islam is the "one, true religion," shouldn't defending it be easy?

It's hard to show you examples of lying from my messages with Muslims because you would have to see long message histories. However, there are some great examples from the public:

1. Denmark's most famous Imam, Ahmed Abdel Rahman Abu Laban, forged cartoons to push a political agenda. Sadly, this disclosure had no affect on the rampaging Muslim world as we all know. This was a religious leader lying. Read here, here, and here. One more.

2. Watch a short documentary here about Pallywood - just scroll to the bottom for the link. Pallywood is a phrase used to refer to stage news events by Palestinian and other cameramen to portray Israel in an unfavorable light.

3. An long list of Fauxtography links. Fauxtography is a key Muslim method of news reporting where real photos are purposefully mislabeled and/or photoshop is applied to falsely create intended drama around a fabricated story. One of my favorites is the one where an old, unused ambulance is falsely portrayed as the victim of an Israeli attack.

Why?

Why Muslims lie is an interesting question. I admit to knowing enough on the subject to explain the causes, but not enough to have a complete understanding. I may update this page as I learn more.

Let's start with lies that are sanctified in the Hadith:
Humaid b. 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Auf reported that his mother Umm Kulthum daughter of 'Uqba b. Abu Mu'ait, and she was one amongst the first emigrants who pledged allegiance to Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him), as saying that she heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: A liar is not one who tries to bring reconciliation amongst people and speaks good (in order to avert dispute), or he conveys good. Ibn Shihab said he did not hear that exemption was granted in anything what the people speak as lie but in three cases: in battle, for bringing reconciliation amongst persons and the narration of the words of the husband to his wife, and the narration of the words of a wife to her husband (in a twisted form in order to bring reconciliation between them). (Sahih Muslim, Hadith number 6303-05; see also Sahih al-Bukhari 3.857)

So this Hadith is saying that you can lie to
1. achieve success in war
2. to bring about peace
3. to help a husband and wife reconcile.
You can also 4. lie to save one's life:
"The idolators seized Ammar, and they let him not go until he had abused Mahomet and spoken well of their gods. He then repaired to the Prophet, who asked of him what had happened." - "Evil, oh Prophet of the Lord! I was not let go until I had abused thee, and spoken well of their gods." - "But how," replied Mahomet, "dost thou find thine own heart?" - "Secure and steadfast in the faith." - "Then," said Mahomet, "if they repeat the same, do thou too repeat the same." Ibid. Mahomet also said that Ammar's lie was better than Abu Jahl's truth.

What else?

Taqqiyah is one reason (or the key reason) lying goes further. Dr. Walid writes, " Al-Taqiyah. Al-Taqiyah, from the verb Ittaqu, means linguistically dodge the threat. Politically it means simulate whatever status you need in order to win the war against the enemy ..." This is from a Muslim site:

"Concealing or disguising one's beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings,
opinions, and/or strategies at a time of eminent danger, whether now or
later in time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury."

One more definition:

"A one-word translation would be”Dissimulation.” In Arabic the translation would be “hypocrisy in the pursuit of a greater purpose. And ……… "

I think you get the picture.

The definition of Taqqiyah gives liars enough leeway to take it as far as they want (how do you define fear of mental injury or pursuit of a greater purpose?). Moreover, it leads to a cultural mindset about lying and dishonesty.

There is a particularly Shia doctrine of Kithman, which is related to Taqqiya...here is a cut and paste:

Kithman is a command to deliberately conceal one’s beliefs. It is a particular form of lying primarily practiced by the minority Shia’ Muslims. This doctrine is articulated by Imam Jafar Sadiq, the sixth Imam of Shia’ Islam:

One, who exposes something from our religion is like one who intentionally kills us.

You belong to a religion that whosoever conceals it, Allah will honor him and whosoever reveals it, Allah will disgrace him.


Mohamed (Mohammad) helped the dishonesty culture by setting an example. I gave an example above where he approved of lying about faith. Here's another from the Hadith:

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:

Allah's Apostle said, "Who is willing to kill Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?" Thereupon Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, "O Allah's Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?" The Prophet said, "Yes," Muhammad bin Maslama said, "Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab). "The Prophet said, "You may say it." ... (Sahih al-Bukhari 5.369, cf. the article on Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf for further details)

Here's another story that shows lying for financial benefit:

After the conquest of the city of Khaybar by the Muslims, the Prophet was approached by Hajaj Ibn `Aalat and told: "O Prophet of Allah: I have in Mecca some excess wealth and some relatives, and I would like to have them back; am I excused if I bad-mouth you to escape persecution?" The Prophet excused him and said: "Say whatever you have to say."

This comment by Al-Ghazali is a great summary:
Imam Abu Hammid Ghazali says: "Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible." (Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, The Reliance of the Traveller, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, amana publications, 1997, section r8.2, page 745)

Note that Al-Ghazali is one of the most famous and respected Muslim theologians of all time.

Now my 4 word summary: means to an end.

The culture of dishonesty and lying is so ingrained that Muslims lie to themselves without even thinking twice. The obvious question for a believer would be "if I'm lying in order to defend Islam logically, does that mean that Islam is illogical on its own?"

Here are some great sources that go through this issue in better detail (although there is the unfortunate Christian counterpoint as well).

http://www.answering-islam.org/Index/L/lying.html

http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/JR/Future/ch16_understanding_dishonesty.htm
http://www.investigateislam.com/lying_in_islam.htm

Next...read the Koran

UPDATE

Here's a nice quote from Muhammad:

If you ever take an oath to do something and later on you find that something else is better, then you should expiate your oath and do what is better."
Sahih Bukhari 9:89:26

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Fallacies

Muslims, when faced with errors in the Koran or problems with the Hadith, will often resort to logical fallacies or outright lying when debating. Don't be afraid to call them on that. There is no need for "playing nice" - just consistently be honest and direct.

Below are some of the fallacies (this is an incomplete list). A complete list of fallacies can be found here, here and here. The first one is a nice summary, with the others offering more detail. Here is a basic list (I have bolded the most common fallacies in my Muslim discussions):

Hasty generalization
Missing the point
Post hoc (also called false cause)
Slippery slope
Weak analogy
Appeal to authority
Ad populum
Ad hominem and tu quoque
Appeal to pity
Appeal to ignorance
Straw man
Red herring
False dichotomy
Begging the question
Circular reasoning
Equivocation
Non sequitir

Ad hominem and tu quoque
This is the most common fallacy used by Muslims . It
is basically throwing away someone's argument because of some issue with the person or person's group. Usually, they switch the attack to Christianity or Judaism, comparing the Bible to the Koran, because they think I'm Christian or Jewish. Since I am an atheist, it doesn't work. Here are some direct quotes:

"Look in you own Bible before you criticize the Quran"

"the Koran was sent down as the last and only non-man-edited/twisted Holy Book that is still in its original language without any different versions today; that is why there are so many different contradictory versions of the Bible"

"You tell me about the holes in my book first of find them, secondly tell me am I to leave a book I find solid to believe in a book where the teachers of the faith commited adultry, incest and god even had them kill down to the animals? Tell me what did the animals do to god?"

"The Bible has more atrocities than Holy Quran! Look at YOURSELF!!"

"
Do not be part of the sheep that interprets this as..."

Circular reasoning
This has got to be the second most common fallacy used with Muslims. Here is a great example:

"
This does NOT mean that anyone is judged unfairly- for justice is one of the main pillars in Islam."

Appeal to authority
This is probably the third most common fallacy. Here's an example:

"
these questions which you asked are basically what the orientalists and jews and christians have used for centuries and they have been dealt with by the scholars of islam in the past."

A related defense mechanism by Muslims is the "you have to know Arabic" to debate the Koran. This is an attempt at "Appeal to authority" because, after all, who knows Arabic well enough to discuss Islam but the Islamic scholars themselves! This defense, of course, fails because there are many good translations out there. A USC website has the three leading translations all in one place, line by line. When all three say the same thing - well then... Also, there are ex-Muslim websites out there, FaithFreedom.Org being a key one. In these websites, you will find details from one who can read and understand Arabic. It's also interesting that Muslims are expected to learn and memorize the Koran cover to cover, even if they don't speak Arabic. Hmmm, what does that say?


Begging the question

This is similar to circular reasoning, and used quite often. Basically, it is asserting the conclusion, hence "begging the question" of "where's the proof?" When discussing Mohamed's pedophilia, you will often hear things like

"
The Qur'an is flawless. It is the literal word of Allah and therefore can contain no mistakes."

" What I mean when I say that is that things did not form without a PURPOSE. Humans are too precious & brilliant to turn into dust after death. "

"this pedophelia [Mohamed having sex with a 9 year old] you are talking about is something that only by today's standard is wrong, in the time of the prophet it was common practice. "

Begging the question is often used in a very particular way when all has failed for the Muslim. An argument you will often hear is something similar to "any inability to answer your arguments about Islam are not the faults of Islam but mine as an imperfect being. Islam is perfect." Here's a direct quote:

"...expect me to know everything like a perfect academic scholar of Islam. I'm not. They don't exist. Only the Prophet (pbuh) was ever the perfect muslim. "

You see, we get a similar defense to the language defense. It is an attempt to avoid all criticism because nobody could defend Islam perfectly except Mohamed, and, well, he's dead.

Next post...Dishonesty

Basic rules of discussing Islam with a Muslim

Discussing Islam with a Muslim is like going through the Five Stages of Grief over and over:

Five Stages Of Grief.
1. Denial and Isolation.
2. Anger.
3. Bargaining.
4. Depression.
5. Acceptance

The one caveat is you rarely get past 3. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad. No matter how many Islamic errors and contradictions you show a Muslim, they will either deny the facts, get angry at you for pointing them out or start lying and bargaining their way through it in hopes that everything will go away. They lying can go on a long time, and I've found a common theme of dishonesty when arguing religion with a Muslim.

With about 75% of them, I've found that they run away when faced with the facts. The pattern is repeatable. They will initially argue back using many logical fallacies. Once you point out the issues clearly a second time or third time, they will start name calling and halt discussion simultaneously.

I've had one Muslim come to terms with the facts and admit that there's an issue. However, in the next message, his family forced him to cut off all contact with the stranger that proves Allah wrong.

Next post...the fallacies.