The Qur’an: Science vs Ancient Myths

shooting_star

This blog was created in large part to share my love of books and my wish to learn more about humanity, the universe around us and our place in it.

Over the years I have built up a nice little collection of ten separate English translations of the Qur’an including my most recent purchase which was The Study Qur’an – a collective translation and commentary effort undertaken by a small committee of academics under the leadership of the renowned Iranian Islamic scholar, Seyyed Hossein Nasr.

I have derived a huge amount of enjoyment and comfort over the years from reciting and reflecting on verses from the Qur’an and continue to do so. This post is part of a life long desire to learn and try and improve my understanding by asking questions and subjecting ideas to criticism.

This process has over the years seen me depart from some widely-held Muslim opinions on a number of issues including the Satanic Verses affair, free speech and the right to cause offence, the theory of evolution by natural selection, gay rights, the undesirability of living in a religious state etc.

History is littered with ideas and viewpoints/interpretations that were once passionately held only to be overturned by later discoveries, scientific findings or more convincing arguments. Recall the Catholic Church’s opposition to the ideas of Copernicus who held that it was the earth that revolved around the sun. The Catholic Church insisted that Biblical doctrine taught that it was the sun that revolved around the earth and it persecuted those who dared to believe otherwise. Even the celebrated scientist Galileo was brought in front of the Inquisition and forced to recant his adherence to Copernican views: an adherence that was based on his own astronomical observations with the telescope he had himself designed and built.

Does the Qur’an contain passages which – in their traditional interpretation(s) – do not stand up to modern scrutiny? And if that is the case, what consequences should that have as to how the Qur’an is viewed and interpreted today as a religious scripture?

In four separate passages in the Qur’an (15:16-18; 37:6-10; 67:5 and 72:8-9) reference is made which – according to the majority of Qur’anic interpretations I have seen – concerns the phenomenon of shooting stars. Let’s take a closer look at each of those passages:

And We have placed within the heaven great stars and have beautified it for the observers.
And We have protected it from every devil expelled [from the mercy of Allah]
Except one who steals a hearing and is pursued by a clear burning flame.
(Qur’an 15:16-18)

Indeed, We have adorned the nearest heaven with an adornment of stars
And as protection against every rebellious devil
[So] they may not listen to the exalted assembly [of angels] and are pelted from every side,
Repelled; and for them is a constant punishment,
Except one who snatches [some words] by theft, but they are pursued by a burning flame, piercing [in brightness].
(Quran 37:6-10)

And We have certainly beautified the nearest heaven with stars and have made [from] them what is thrown at the devils and have prepared for them the punishment of the Blaze.
(Qur’an 67:5)

And we have sought [to reach] the heaven but found it filled with powerful guards and burning flames.
And we used to sit therein in positions for hearing, but whoever listens now will find a burning flame lying in wait for him.
(Qur’an 72:8-9)

According to traditional Muslim commentators these above passages refer to jinns (a kind of ethereal being) who try to listen in to discussions between angels in the heavens and who are then pelted with bright flames which are associated with shooting stars. The Study Qur’an that I mentioned near the beginning of this post says the following in connection with the passage at 37:6-10:

“It is believed that after the Prophet Muhammad began receiving revelations, God cut off all such access to angelic discussions for the jinn, establishing angels as sentries and repelling the jinn with meteors.” The Study Qur’an, Note 10, p1086

Is the proposition that meteors are a punishment aimed at mischievous jinns trying to eavesdrop really a credible explanation? While it may perhaps have seemed a plausible explanation in past times, it is surely plausible no longer.

The NASA website has a far more convincing explanation for the phenomenon of shooting stars: they are dust particles in space that burn up on entry into the earth’s atmosphere. Indeed, when the earth passes through a trail of debris left by a comet then we see meteor showers whose dates astronomers are able to accurately predict each year based on the earth’s revolution around the sun.

So, it is disconcerting and very regrettable to see the Study Qur’an published in 2015 still repeating the discredited older explanation without any criticism or updating whatsoever given the additional knowledge we have gained in the intervening fourteen centuries since the Qur’an was first preached by the Prophet Muhammad.

The esteemed team behind the Study Qur’an are by no means alone though. On the Ask Imam website, when a correspondent asked about the Qur’an’s apparent references to shooting stars he was given an answer that to me seems long-winded, highly evasive and thoroughly unconvincing. You can read the Ask Imam response here and decide for yourself whether it was a convincing explanation.

Is it impious or sinful to raise questions regarding interpretations of the Qur’an which do not appear to make sense? Surely, it should not be. Progress depends on all ideas being allowed to be criticised. If the ideas are good ones then they will be able to withstand the criticism and its proponents will be able to convince others of their merits. If not, then bad ideas should be replaced by better and more convincing ideas.

Update (14th Aug 2016): The above blog attracted some of the nonsensical views below I had expected including someone who claimed that the fact that we have meteor showers at certain times of the year merely serves to show that God knows exactly when Jinn tend to be at their most mischievous because he is all-knowing. Still, for those who prefer objective knowledge to stupidity, here is a fine extract from The Fabric of Reality by David Deutsch in which shows how science helps us choose between rival explanations of the same phenomenon:

…the ‘angel’ theory of planetary motion is untestable because no matter how planets moved, that motion could be attributed to angels; therefore the angel theory cannot explain the particular motions that we see, unless it is supplemented by an independent theory of how angels move. That is why there is a methodological rule in science which says that once an experimentally testable theory has passed the appropriate tests, any less testable rival theories about the same phenomena are summarily rejected, for their explanations are bound to be inferior.

(The Fabric of Reality, David Deutsch, p66)

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59 Responses to The Qur’an: Science vs Ancient Myths

  1. Ash says:

    Is it impious or sinful to raise questions regarding interpretations of the Qur’an which do not appear to make sense? No
    What is the Adab, in raising these questions? Traditionally was not Adab taught before knowledge?
    What are the religious sciences required for an individual to be considered qualified as a Mufassir?
    Is the Quran a book of Science,or a book of Signs?

    What is the Adab in relation to the Quran?

    Your whole article is disingenous.

    • Is that it? Do you have an actual argument to offer? Are the shooting stars really missiles aimed at mischievous jinn?

      • Ash says:

        “Is that it?” No I was about to go freestyle but I restrained myself.
        “Do You have an actual argument?” I always have an argument but then you will complain about the length of my post.
        “Are shooting stars really missiles aimed at mischievous jinn?” Yes Absolutely!
        Now do you have an answer to the questions I raised?

        • Your questions are non-questions. They are the usual “only qualified Qur’anic scholars can comment on these matters” type of remark that are designed to close down debate and prevent people thinking for themselves. Very similar to the tactics used by the Catholic Church when it tried to silence Galileo. They claimed that he had no authority to question matters of Biblical doctrine such as whether the Sun revolved around the earth.

          Fortunately, the Internet makes it much more difficult for these matters to be suppressed in the modern age. And the fact that you say you really believe that meteors are missiles aimed at naughty jinn – as evidently do so many people regarded as Islamic scholars also believe – goes some way towards explaining why the Muslim world is so incredibly backward in the sciences.

          The more these matters are openly discussed though, the more people will speak out against nonsensical interpretations and viewpoints.

          • What is exactly scientifically backward about this belief? Seems to me that your criteria is rejecting anything that “sounds ridiculous” rather than what actually has any evidence against it. I’m not quite clear how affirming this belief is “unscientific”. Remind me of an apostate I met from Algeria who left Islam because it “sounded ridiculous” that a camel came from a rock. He had no idea about the philosophy of miracles and the concept of God but was just going on a “feeling” of it sounding silly. This isn’t anything related to science at all, which has no such methodology

            • If you see nothing scientifically backward in the idea that meteors are caused by angels lobbing missiles at jinn and prefer that to the explanation provided by NASA, then that is your prerogative. I would just sincerely hope that you are not a science teacher with responsibility for helping educate the next generation of kids.

              • Well that’s just an ad hominem and a fallacy by assertion. I’m not an educator, I work in research and development. I’m actually helping produce The technology you claim Muslims are not involved in producing. I work for a major British automotive company and we have an Islamic Society, plus a number of mosques on site. It numbers into the hundreds of attendees in jumuah. It’s simply not the case that Muslims aren’t working in progressing technology. In my previous role at Rolls Royce working at jet enginE control systems (FADEC) a senior manager used to lead us in jumuah and was a major leader of tableghi jamat. I’ve also worked on high speed sintering 3D printers and condition monitoring technology at the advanced manufacturing research center and worked alongside a number of Muslims. These are Muslims who believe in the night ascension, the miracles of Musa and all the other “unscientific nonsense” that atheists ridicule. And it doesn’t impact their work one iota

  2. Ash says:

    No! Scholars have written that is against Adab as well, a student who does not ask questions out of shyness, or lack of confidence etc, will not increase in knowledge, on the opposite is the one full of Takabbur he will not progress either… Taqwa and Tawwadhu, are amongst the important qualities for the seekers of sacred knowledge, many books have been written on the Adaab for the student.

    Every field of learning has its own prerequisites, after all an individual no matter how intelligent cannot be considered a Doctor, no matter how many books he has read. Rumi has written a parable of a group of blind sages, who decided to find out what an Elephant was like, after their visit they returned and were asked by the people what an Elephant was like, the one who touched the Trunk was convinced that the Elephant was like a Pipe, the one who touched the Ears described it flat like a fan the one who touched the trunk described it like pillars that support a building etc. Although Each individual was partially correct they were still wrong.

    So for an individual to think he is more qualified than the the experts in the field of Tafseer,because he has read works of various pseudo-intellectual atheists is the height of arrogance…A blind man, on the wrong path, trying to misguide others in the process.

    As for your concluding remarks …. “The more these matters are openly discussed though, the more people will speak out against nonsensical interpretations and viewpoints” … The more these matters are discussed,and opinions sought from the experts who have spend their lives dedicated to the Quranic field of exegesis the better … But completely arrogant and nonsensical for an individual, not even qualified in the Arabic language let alone anything else, to think he is more qualified…and wholly Nonsensical for an individual instead of approaching those qualified in Quranic knowledge for answers concerning his confusion,to be putting his query on a blog whose main readership seems to be Islamaphobes,…..I mean seriously.!

    . .

  3. Brendan says:

    the problem with the Rumi quote is the role of the all knowing narrator !

  4. LibertyPhile says:

    I wonder if this might be a candidate for your Quranic collection.

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jul/04/rewriting-the-quran-kader-abdolah-and-his-controversial-interpretation-of-islams-holy-book

    [QUOTE FROM GUARDIAN]
    Iranian émigré Kader Abdolah read the Qur’an for the first time after 9/11 and was moved to write his own version – which involved reordering, cutting and even adding a chapter. So what is lost and what is gained?

    …. As time passes, Muhammad the prophet becomes a politician, a warlord, a conqueror. Abdolah does not deny Muhammad’s violence, instead arguing that such violence is inherent to political leadership. “[Muhammad] has done the same thing many leaders do. The same as Bush, […] Obama, […] Churchill,” he told the Guardian. “Even if they are good people, they have [started] big, big wars and they have used violence.”

    The controversies of Abdolah’s project cannot be denied and have not been: in many countries, publishers have published The Messenger but rejected Abdolah’s Qur’an, for fear of a backlash. But considering the increase of Islamophobia in the West, there has arguably never been a more important time for moderate, analytical Islamic voices to be heard. Abdolah says he is “not afraid” of reprisals by extremists: “If those crazy people want to kill me, let them kill me. It is an honour to be killed for literature.”

    Abdolah believes that the Qur’an, like other holy books, is not inherently violent or dangerous. “It is a dangerous book if you use it as [a set of] rules,” Abdolah says, but as literature, it is “beautiful.”
    [UNQUOTE]

    • Ash says:

      The above Guardian article is really funny! Were did the establishment find this joker from? As a compliment to the book posted by My Dear Old Chum, readers will also be well served in reading The Books ‘Orientalism’ and. ‘Covering Islam’ on how western media ,writers and historians and their lackeys cover Islam with extreme prejudice, bigotry, and lies,… Written By the Arab Christian Scholar Professor Edward Said. And ‘The Islamaphobia Industry’ by Nathan Leaf.

  5. I know you work in network engineering or something so technically a STEM subject but I think you’re pushing it to compare yourself with Galileo.

    I work in research and development in electronics and I’m a revert to Islam, so comparable credentials.

    I have had extensive interaction with the atheist movement, attending many atheist Society events and read many of their books such as the God delusion. The one thing that strikes me about them is that they believe they are “too intelligent to believe in fairy tales”. I think there is an element of arrogance in thinking we are somehow from an enlightened elite.

    In reality, there is nothing “irrational” about believing shooting stars stop jinn. You quoted the NASA site which talks about the physical composition. Not the purpose which God created them for. There is no contradiction there at all. If we’re honest with ourselves, you are not rejecting these ayaat based on any evidence at all, but rather a “feeling” that it doesn’t “sound” very scientific. In reality, the only science in this verse is the claim that shooting stars are burning balls of flames which is of course accurate and pretty remarkable given the time the Quran was written.

    You are not questioning an interpretation here, you’re questioning The very Quran itself. The Quran is stating in no unclear terms that the shooting stars are attacking jinn. If you doubt this, you are doubting The Quran itself and if there is even one error in the Quran then it invalidates Islam and the Qur’an. So my question is, why are you a Muslim? Do you believe the Quran is fallable?

    As for the “need” for us to express doubt in our faith in blogs in order to “progress” our faith, I would say you’re doing the job of the atheists for them here. You’re helping further atheism, not Islam. I doubt you’ll carry much traction with your Muslim readership but you’re certainly not advancing the faith. You would have been better blogging about network engineering stuff to help the Muslims advance in that field. Doubting our faith is hardly a productive activity. It just splits up and weakens our community when we have some ultra liberal atheist lite sect that resembles British Muslims for Secular Democracy, quilliam foundation etc. You’re not advancing our religion in any way shape or form. So depends what your intention is. To advance our faith or destroy it?

    As for whether you should be able to question the faith, I don’t agree with Muslims getting angry and calling people kafir and making threats etc. You should be free to say whatever you like, just as conservative Muslims should. But it doesn’t mean your words will benefit. ThE only benefit is you serve as the pantomime villain that provokes the rest of the Muslims to knee jerk react to your dangerous ideas by reaffirming their own views, becoming more entrenched in them and seeing dangers in some of you’re pursuits of Western enlightenment. You’re not new phenomena, plenty of colonised Muslim lands have seen Western thought as making them part of the intellectual elite and the bastions of progress. But it’s very much a discredited movement, that being clean shaven wearing a suit drinking wine and playing the piano makes you somehow “enlightened”

    • If we remove all the ad hominems and insults, there is very little left in your remarks other than you don’t like what I have written because it may cause some Muslims to doubt the traditional interpretation of those verses.

      Well – what is wrong with that? It is surely good to question matters until you are convinced of their truth rather than blindly believe. If your interpretation that meteors are really guided missiles from angels aimed at mischievous jinn is a more convincing argument than the explanation provided by NASA then you have nothing to worry about.

      Let Muslims decide for themselves.

      • Umm. That’s not all that’s left in my post at all. In fact I’ve directly asked you in what way it’s unscientific and you’ve ignored the point which makes me think you don’t have anything besides a “feeling” that it “sounds” unscientific

        • Ash says:

          Mufti Muhammad Shafi has perfectly addressed the Issue of Shooting stars in his Tafseer Maariful Quran in the light of science and scripture..!

          • I just downloaded his commentary on the Qur’an from the Google Play Store. His commentary on the first of those passages I listed in my blog post, 15:16-18, is the same as the other commentaries I mentioned. Ie the shooting stars are aimed at jinn who are eavesdropping. Utterly unconvincing explanation … At least to me.

  6. LibertyPhile says:

    @Abu Fatimah al Britaani

    “There are many little chunks of rock present in space. Their sizes range typically from the size of a grain of dust to the size of a golf ball As the Earth moves around the Sun, it will run into some of these small rocks that collide with the atmosphere at great velocities. Going through the atmosphere they begin to heat up, start to glow, and then burn down. This is what we see when we look at a shooting star …. There are millions of such particles colliding with the atmosphere every day. …. But since you can only see them at night, and you can only look at a small part of the sky at once, when stargazing you can expect to see a shooting star every 10 to 15 minutes.”

    I assume you agree with the above. You are fully entitled to believe something else is going on at the same time that isn’t amenable to scientific investigation.

    However, you are not the only one. Why is your “something else” any better that what Australian Aborigines believe?

    “When Yolngu people die, they are taken by a mystical canoe, Larrpan, to the spirit-land (Baralku) in the sky, where you can see their camp-fires burning along the edge of the great river of the Milky Way. The canoe is sent back to earth as a shooting star, letting their family on Earth know that they have arrived safely in the spirit-land.”

    Some Hindus believe shooting stars are gods peeping at people on the surface of the Earth.

    I’m sure there are equally worthy explanations found amongst Eskimos, American Indians, the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, etc.

    ==

    The explanation of the above verses from the Quran depends on human interpretation. The Quran itself doesn’t directly refer to “shooting stars” or “jinn”.

    There is something wrong with a religion that depends so much on self appointed self judging elites (priests, imams, scholars, etc.) to explain to the common man what it means. I believe this dependence on “authority” (in the case of Islam modelled on life in late antiquity Arabia) has a lot to do with the Islamic world’s feeble contribution to human progress over the last 1000 years or so.

    ==

    “…. plenty of colonised Muslim lands have seen Western thought as making them part of the intellectual elite and the bastions of progress”.

    Here we go again, it’s all the fault of the colonial powers! France and Britain “ruled” in the Middle East for three decades, the Muslim Ottoman Turks for 500 years.

    You should say “Modern” thought. It is not just the West but 2 billion Chinese, Hindu Indians, South Koreans, and Japanese are making great strides economically, scientifically, and in the quality of life. Compare that with the self-inflicted backwardness and strife of today’s Muslim world.

    • your argument is incredibly poor. “if you don’t see how x is unscientific then let’s hope you’re not a teacher”. That’s not even an argument. It’s pretty laughable for someone comparing themselves to Galileo. You see. To think that something “sounding” unscientific is evidence. You haven’t proven at all how it’s unscientific. We accept the science behind what physical mechanisms are taking place. Islam is just explaining the “why”. What’s the purpose that Allah created these particles in space just to burn up in the atmosphere? There is no contradiction between this and NASAs blow by blow account of what is physically happening. If anything, the Quran is accurate by stating they are balls of fire. Considering other cultures thought they were souls and God’s then the Quran was remarkably accurate

      • Astronomers inform us that the next couple of weeks will see the peak of the annual Perseids meteor shower:

        http://www.space.com/32868-perseid-meteor-shower-guide.html

        These scientists predict accurately when these showers will take place based on the earth’s revolution around the Sun.

        Are you saying that the jinn are particularly mischievous during these times each year?

        Or could it perhaps be that the whole idea that jinns are being pelted by sentry angels is a bad explanation?

        • Do you doubt that Allah SWT knew when th. Jinn would eavesdrop before he even set the cosmos in motion? Not even a leaf blows across a street except that Allah planned it to be there before the creation of existence itself. You’re just regurgitating pseudo intellectual atheist arguments

    • LibertyPhile. In short, the reason we believe our explanation is correct and other religions are wrong on shooting stars is because we believe the Qur’an is demonstrably revelation from God and the other religions you mentioned are false religions. As to WHY we believe that, inayat will need to open a new post as it’s going beyond the scope of this discussion. Perhaps inayat himself can make a post on why he believes Islam is the true religion, that is, if he has not already apostated. I’ll leave him to answer that. But he sounds more like an atheist than a Muslim.

      The Quran specifically mentions shooting stars and jinn. In fact he cited a whole chapter called suratul jinn lol.

      As for “modern civilisation”, Indians are mainly religious so pseudo cynicism masquerading as skepticism is very much a Western phenomena. China has a lot of atheists mainly due to communism but religion is growing a lot and you won’t find many Dawkins style atheists who ridicule and lay into religion. Many still attend temples etc and you have many Buddhists and people who believe in reincarnation like the Dalai lama aswell as Muslims such as in xinjiang.

      the West has controlled the Muslim world for a lot longer than three decades btw and certainly Muslims have contributed much in the last millennium. Certainly the Muslim world would have been a better place to live under ottoman rule than under western hegemony, which has undoubtedly cause serious destruction and suffering, the ramifications of which will continue to be felt for a long time. Not just in Muslim countries but most of Africa, the black communities in the west etc. The Muslim countries in Africa are actually the most advanced in Africa technologically and economically

      • Brendan says:

        Why does the text about meteors and Jinns have to be taken so literally ? Could it not be a metaphor? I am a Christian who more or less accepts the scientiifc theory of evolution which makes the creation narratives of Genesis all the more incredible given the slow, tiny changes over so long that have brought us to this point and given human beings the miracle of consciousness. Much more amazing than a 6 day light show !

  7. LibertyPhile says:

    @Abu Fatimah al Britaani

    “Qur’an is demonstrably revelation from God”.

    That is nonsense. The Quran is just another set of beliefs that are not amenable to scientific investigation.

    “The Quran specifically mentions shooting stars and jinn”.

    The passages quoted above mention “burning flames” and “devils”. And, there is no suggestion that these “burning flames” are composed of burning particles (that is wishful thinking!)

    “As for “modern civilisation”, Indians are mainly religious so pseudo cynicism masquerading as skepticism is very much a Western phenomena. China has a lot of atheists …. but religion is growing a lot … “

    In referring to 2 billion Chinese, Hindu Indians, South Koreans, and Japanese, many of whom I know are religious, I am making the point that whatever their religious beliefs, those beliefs, have not hindered their modern economic and scientific development and the quality of life they enjoy, as Islamic beliefs would have.

    “… the West has controlled the Muslim world for a lot longer than three decades …. which has undoubtedly cause serious destruction and suffering, the ramifications of which will continue to be felt for a long time.”

    It is now more than sixty years (six decades, two generations) since the Middle East has been independent and self-governing. Look at the mess it has produced with very little help from outside, from Nasser to Assad.

    The big mistake the West made was to treat the Middle East as normal states not riddled with religiously inspired tribalism, sectarianism, and authoritarianism.

    In this context, I will mention Saudi Arabia which created itself and has not been controlled by any external power. The American oil money that poured in could have been spent to create a modern state. It is a stark example of the kind of country produced by complete reliance on Islamic beliefs.

    The British controlled Pakistan and Bangladesh for more than decades, but whatever one thinks of the religious nonsense (religiously inspired assassinations, machete attacks, etc.) that emanates from those two countries they are more or less functioning modern states.

    “Certainly the Muslim world would have been a better place to live under ottoman rule than under western hegemony,”

    I think your chances of finding a job as an Electronics Engineer in the Ottoman Empire would not have been very good, given the backwardness of that Empire.

    Many famous scientists and engineers have been deeply religious. Charles Darwin who propounded the Theory of Evolution (that contradicts the Quran, though no doubt wishful thinking can show that it’s all there between the lines) was religious, but I don’t think he would have gone along with shooting stars and jinn.

    • Ash says:

      My Dear Old Chum is at it again…!

      My Dear Old Chum states ” That is nonsense. The Quran is just another set of beliefs that are not amenable to scientific investigation.”
      Dr Maurice Bucaille in his book ‘The Quran Bible and Science, states otherwise.

      My dear Old Chum claims Saudi Arabia created itself… in fact The House of Saud was helped to power by the British, and the Saud family have been loyal puppets since.

      Then he claims that Pakistan and Bangladesh are fully functioning modern states..!
      Actually those two states are a great example, of western pseudo imperialism.

      Then he offers the following Gem…!

      “In referring to 2 billion Chinese, Hindu Indians, South Koreans, and Japanese, many of whom I know are religious, I am making the point that whatever their religious beliefs, those beliefs, have not hindered their modern economic and scientific development and the quality of life they enjoy, as Islamic beliefs would have.”

      Islamic Beliefs produced one of the greatest Scientific Civilizations in History…When the European were living in the Dark Ages and running around Forests with Robin Hood and his Merrymen, the Centres of Learning in the Islamic World were producing Scientist and thinkers, From Ibn Sina to Al Farabi to Ibn Rushd.

      Then he States: “I think your chances of finding a job as an Electronics Engineer in the Ottoman Empire would not have been very good, given the backwardness of that Empire.”. All that Private Education my Dear Old Chap given the Backwardness of your knowledge on Both Religion and History I think you need to get a refund.

      “Many famous scientists and engineers have been deeply religious. Charles Darwin who propounded the Theory of Evolution (that contradicts the Quran, though no doubt wishful thinking can show that it’s all there between the lines) was religious, but I don’t think he would have gone along with shooting stars and jinn….
      Only wishful thinking is from Government funded agencies like Qullliam Foundation and Dr Usamah Hassan ant the like in trying to promote such nonsense.

  8. LibertyPhile says:

    For those who might be interested:

    Don’t pretend that science and faith are compatible
    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/lets-not-pretend-that-science-and-faith-are-compatible-npddwfh9g

    …. No one disputes that it’s possible for scientists to hold religious beliefs. Nor do sophisticated clerics doubt that the Earth is billions of years old or that species evolve by natural selection. But religion, even at its most tolerant, is dogmatic. It holds that truth is revealed. Science is experimental. The coexistence of science and faith doesn’t mean compatibility.

    …. Science and religion are competing claims to knowledge about reality, with totally different methods for arriving at it. I’ll defend religious liberty to my last breath — but don’t ask me to respect the content of the monotheistic faiths or the struggles of their devotees. Oliver Kamm, June 6 2016, The Times

    This attracted 210 comments. Here are extracts from the most recommended comments.

    [25 recommends] Having studied General Relativity for years and some aspects of the quantum world I do know that the origins of the universe are hard to explain in terms of the precision of its constants and other details that, had they been even slightly different, would mean life could never have started. So science has by no means dismissed God as the creator.

    [18 recommends] “He who thinks half-heartedly will not believe in God; but he who really thinks has to believe in God.”

    So said Isaac Newton. He saw no contradiction and suffered no limiting of experimentation. In fact it was the opposite.

    [15 recommends] …. “Not only was Einstein not an atheist, but his writings have turned many away from atheism, although he did not set out to convert anyone”. Einstein was very religious; he wrote, “Thus I came – despite the fact that I was the son of entirely irreligious (Jewish) parents – to a deep religiosity.”

    [14 recommends] When my young daughter, years ago, asked me “Do trees come from other trees”, I answered, yes. “But then, “she asked, “how could there be a first tree? Did God make it?” Some people believe so, I replied. I guessed what was coming. “But who made God?”

    I did my best. I said that if you believe God made the trees and the world we live in, you don’t ask who made God. The existence of God answers all such questions.
    I suppose that was a horribly inadequate answer but I have no religious belief; although as a child, I was exhorted to ‘love God and Jesus’, I found the words meaningless, however hard I tried to give them substance. I never found the courage to say so.
    Faith, of course, isn’t arrived at by following a series of logical steps. I see no bridge between faith and no-faith. You either have it or you don’t and I am one of those who don’t. I cannot see how positing the existence of God explains anything but others clearly can.

    [12 recommends] You should not confuse the refusal of a scientific mind to rule out explanations of origin, with a belief in a Christian god, Muslim god, Hindu gods etc.

    In fact, this is the very difference between science and religion.
    I’m an atheist, but I think there very well might be something larger out there – equally they may not. The fact that the main religious books have been so debunked by science over the years (and history), prove pretty conclusively that they are not the explanation.

  9. Gashlycrumb says:

    “In reality, there is nothing “irrational” about believing shooting stars stop jinn.”
    – Abu Fatimah al Britaani

    How and why is it rational to believe such a thing?

    Regards – Gashlycrumb

    • Ash says:

      Thats funny!

      • Gashlycrumb says:

        Ash

        I don’t think Abu Fatima was being funny, it’s clearly something he believes. Why did it amuse you so?

        Regards – Gashlycrumb

        • Ash says:

          No I did not find Abu Fatima’s comment amusing not at all… It was yours.
          Maybe you should have payed closer to the joke your little by told you.

          “Here’s a joke my little boy told me;

          Why was the broom late for school?
          Because it overswept.

          Now to explain why that is amusing would suck all the funniness out of it”…. So to answer your question,”Why did it amuse you so?”, I would say don’t worry about it old girl.

  10. LibertyPhile says:

    @Ash
    I think you have misunderstood the phrase “…. not amenable to scientific investigation”
    I am saying science cannot be used to prove what the Quran says is or is not the word of God.
    There are eccentrics who claim the Quran miraculously describes natural phenomena in a way that anticipates scientific developments. This invariably requires a highly imaginative and contorted reading of the text.
    As I understand it Bucaille claims that there is nothing in the Quran that contradicts modern science whereas there is in the Bible. He was also the family doctor of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. And, he is not what I would call a world renowned scientific expert.
    “My dear Old Chum claims Saudi Arabia created itself… in fact The House of Saud was helped to power by the British, and the Saud family have been loyal puppets since.”
    The British were doing their best to support the Hashemites! I think they were rather disappointed when Saud invaded the Hijaz spreading the virulent form of Islam that kept him in power.
    “Then he claims that Pakistan and Bangladesh are fully functioning modern states..!
    Actually those two states are a great example, of western pseudo imperialism.”
    So the Pakistan and Bangladesh governments do Great Britain’s bidding. You are a comedian!
    “Islamic Beliefs produced one of the greatest Scientific Civilizations in History…When the European were living in the Dark Ages and running around Forests with Robin Hood and his Merrymen, the Centres of Learning in the Islamic World were producing Scientist and thinkers, From Ibn Sina to Al Farabi to Ibn Rushd.”
    Islamic beliefs had nothing at all to do with the contribution made by the handful of famous scientists and thinkers who lived in the so-called Islamic Golden age (and drew on Greek and Indian philosophy and science). E.g.
    Ibn-e-Rushd or Averroes …. expounded the Quran in Aristotelian terms. He was found guilty of heresy, his books burnt, he was interrogated and banished.
    Ancient Greece a thousand years before produced just as many if not more original thinkers
    “Then he States: “I think your chances of finding a job as an Electronics Engineer in the Ottoman Empire would not have been very good, given the backwardness of that Empire.”
    The OIC countries, home to 25pc of the world’s population, produce less than 2pc of the world’s patents, make up only 2.4pc of the world’s research expenditure, and originate only one per cent of all scientific papers.

  11. Ash says:

    Thats not all Dr Maurice Baucaille stated.

    So according to my Dear Old Chum, Dr Maurice Baucaille, is not a world renowned expert.. Strange how all the ignorant fraudsters, and Charlatan Islamaphobes from the fake Historian Tom Holland to the Fox News Analyst whom even David Cameron was forced to call an Idiot..are Categorised by him as world renowned expert on Islam and Muslims.

    As mentioned in History books the British Supported both the Hashemites and the House of Saud..In a bid to undermine the Ottamans … Both the Saudis despite the Hashemites of Jordans despite their Personal differences have been loyal lapdogs of the British, the Saudis even pay a regular protection tax to the empire, only its called Arms Contracts, with these never ending arms contracts they buy jets and tanks once one contract is completed they renew it always ordering more jets, Tanks, They have more Jets and Tanks then people who know how to operate them, thousands of these unused and rotting away in Warehouses. … The historic links between the House of Saud and Britian are common knowledge that even the Israeli news paper Haaretz has an article on their website.

    Pakistan and Bangladesh, are two of the most corrupt countries in the world, with the political elite in those countries owned and educated in the west and payrolls of various agencies… The Pakistan Ambassador to America Hussain Haqqani was exposed as directly working for the CIA.
    What we have is Hijacking of Democracy to ensure the puppet is always in power, the Political parties are run like Mafia organisations with their armed wings involved in everything from drugs to human trafficking If the Zardaris get elected America wins, and if Sharifs, Sheikh Haseenas or Khalida Zia get elected America and its allies always win no matter who gets elected, , just like one of them Casinos…. Sponsoring of corrupt and Tyrannical dictators is so yesterday, now its the era of sponsoring creating corrupt democracies with Political Parties run by the Criminal underworld . As for me being a comedian no mate I am British, I resent your Zionist stereo type of the British being comedians..!

    800 years of Islamic History and science and Universities of Learning it seems the Europeans so Traumatised by their Crusader complex that they have extinguished almost a Millenium of history…. The Islamic influenced Rennaisance, is labelled the Italian renaissance, even the names of great academics and scientists were translated into Latin so as try and remove their Islamic identity so we had Al Ghazali to Ghazal Ibn Rushd to Averroes Al Razi to Razes, Ibne Sina was translated Avicenna…Centuries and centuries of Islamic research is called Greek research… Ibn Rushd although an expert on Greek Philosophy was not product of a Greek university no evidence that he ever visited Greek he learned his knowledge in Islamic instititutions of learning, and from Islamic teachers… Only recently there has been a campaign against the “white Washing” and the removal of the Islamic identity Of Jalaluddin Rumi an Islamic Scholar and spiritual master in a tentatively scheduled Hollywood Block Buster on his life.

    The OIC countries compromise 99% of western owned corrupt puppet regimes, no surprise they produce very little scientific papers their job is to steal money and funnel it into Swiss Bank Accounts and buy retirement homes in America, rather like the Mafia… Most of their Scientists and up in the west in Particular Canada and the United States… In every institute of Scientific research in both Canada and US a high number of Muslims scientists are involved in research.

  12. LibertyPhile says:

    If what you claim is even vaguely true, do you ever ask yourself why the world is like that?

    Why is the “West” so completely in control. What has given it the ability to overtake and enforce its will on the Muslim world and to keep whole nations under its thumb.

    Is there nothing wrong with the Muslim world itself? What has made it vulnerable and such a pushover for the West? Why aren’t its beliefs and values protection against the “West”.

    • This dates back to the ottoman empire who made some serious errors in their latter days no doubt. Some erroneous foreign policy, poor and lethargic management, and non pragmatic approach to industrialisation were some of their main errors. These errors were not made by their predecessors and that’s why we fell specifically at that time and not sooner. The same reason The Muslims were able to defeat the Romans and Persians. Empires have rises and falls, and when a nation neglects hard work and progress in favor of enjoying the luxurious life then they will fall. The same thing is happening between the west and China now. During Roman Times they had bowls in their houses to vomit meals into so they could make space for more eating.

      Our fall led to the same darkness that befell the West for a few centuries or more.

      Our fall was made particularity nasty by the ever progressing advance of military technology reaching exponential tipping point and most super powers clubbing together to rip us apart and keep us there after our fall. The reason for this is because if the Muslim world United and progressed it would be the mother of all super powers and some people want to prevent this.

      It’s certainly not because we took Islam more literally in the 19th century and so suddenly declined. It has nothing to do with religious belief, as evidenced by India’s rise.

      The rise of an empire comes down to grit and hard work And commitment. Hence why China became super power. Islam will have its day again and certainly many things are changing for the positive in the Muslim world in terms of economic development, pragmatic foreign policy etc

    • Ash says:

      My Dear Old Chum asks ” Why is the “West” so completely in control. What has given it the ability to overtake and enforce its will on the Muslim world and to keep whole nations under its thumb.”

      The house slaves might be under the thumb, but unfortunately for the Empire the field slaves remain defiant they are not going to remain under any bodys thumb…A 40 nation alliance and all the weapons of mass destruction they could not even put them Afghan goat herders under their thumb. Afghanistan was a disaster, Iraq was a disaster, their attempted coup in Turkey in recent weeks to help get their House Slaves in power ended in Disaster. The American empire is going to end up as one of the most short lived Empires in History.

      My Dear Old Chum further asks…”Is there nothing wrong with the Muslim world itself? What has made it vulnerable and such a pushover for the West? Why aren’t its beliefs and values protection against the “West”.

      (1) Is their something wrong with the post Colonial Muslim? Absolutely, neo-Colonialism.
      (2) “What has made it vulnerable and such a Pushover?” The fact the west has more Trillions in recent years demonising Islam and the Muslims an entire Industry built around it, infact they are spending more then they did against the Super Power of the Soviet Union.
      (3) “Why are’nt its beliefs and values protection against the west..”? They are Protection against the west, they west would not be spending billions if they were’nt.. for over a millenium they have waged crusades, colonised installed puppets and tried everything in their power to destroy Islam and keep failing. Maybe you should wonder why despite all this you keep failing, afterall 30 years ago an entire generation of Muslim youths had no inclination towards Islam Mosques were empty with only Old Age Pensioners offering regular prayers…Once the Zionists in the media and Political Lobbies declared..
      “The Red Menace of Communism is Dead, its for us to return to our historic enemy and launch an asssault on the Green menace of Islam”…This ended up having the opposite effect…30 years later the youth out number the elderly in congregations.

      Yes I wonder what would have happened to me if the Zionists had not launched their frenzied and relentless propaganda,…It was this very propoganda that forced me along with an entire generation of young Muslims to rediscover Islam … I can state categorically that because of you and your fellow Zionists I am Muslim today… I did also wonder what would happen to the next generation, but your fellow Zionist Michael Gove has taken care of that, through his fake Trojan Horse letter commisioned via the Qulliam foundation,.. With Muslim Toddlers in Schools being targetted for drawing pictures of Cucumbers that are mistaken for Cooker Bombs, and spelling Terrarest instead of Terraced I think thanks Gove the Muslim community will remain strong for generations to come…Long after the American Empire declines into oblivion.

  13. Ash says:

    Just to clarify and correct the above post, what I meant to state is the following.

    (2) “What has made it vulnerable and such a Pushover?” The fact the west has spent Trillions upon Trillions in recent years demonising Islam and the Muslims, proves that the Muslim World is no pushover, after all you dont spend that kind of money against pushovers, The Wests most recent Crusade is failing like all the previous ones, an entire Industry has been built around the Propaganda called the “Islamaphobia Industry” that helps indviduals like yourself earn a living, infact they have spent Billions more then they did against the Super Power of the Soviet Union…. Despite all this they Keep Failing whats more according to the same Zionist media Islam is the fastest growing religion in the west.

  14. LibertyPhile says:

    “…. Iraq was a disaster… “. Iraq is a disaster because the Americans and the British failed to recognise or ignored the deep seated tribalism and sectarianism that runs through the Muslim world. Shias won’t be ruled by Sunnis and Sunnis won’t be ruled by Shia. Given half a chance they are at each others throats to monopolise power and control whatever scarce wealth exists.

    “The fact the west has spent Trillions upon Trillions in recent years demonising Islam and the Muslims, proves that the Muslim World is no pushover, after all you dont spend that kind of money against pushovers,”

    This is nonsense. Why would what the western media says about Muslims have any effect on Muslims in Muslim countries? They all speak English, they all read the Daily Mail?

    “….Islam is the fastest growing religion in the west.”

    Islam is the fastest growing religion for one simple reason. Muslim women have more children than the women of other major religions. Each Muslim woman has an average of 3.1 children, significantly above the next-highest group (Christians at 2.7) and the average of all non-Muslims (2.3). Just what the overcrowded, resource stretched, world needs, a lot more people.

    “Once the Zionists in the media and Political Lobbies declared.. “The Red Menace of Communism is Dead, its for us to return to our historic enemy and launch an asssault on the Green menace of Islam” “…. if the Zionists had not launched their frenzied and relentless propaganda,… “

    As you haven’t mentioned any events, people, or evidence, I take this to be an outlandish way of you expressing your dislike of the justified reporting and criticism of what so many Muslims get up to that we in the modern world find strange or objectionable.

    Next, you will be telling me those shooting stars are aimed at Zionist jinns!

  15. Ash says:

    My Dear Old Censhorshiphile is like the gift that keeps giving. So lets examine his latest offerings.

    He states…”Iraq is a disaster because the Americans and the British failed to recognise or ignored the deep seated tribalism and sectarianism that runs through the Muslim world. Shias won’t be ruled by Sunnis and Sunnis won’t be ruled by Shia. Given half a chance they are at each others throats to monopolise power and control whatever scarce wealth exists.”

    “Fact the Sectarian conflict was fuelled by the America and its allies as a war strategy … As a policy of divide and conquer.

    He Further States…”This is nonsense. Why would what the western media says about Muslims have any effect on Muslims in Muslim countries? They all speak English, they all read the Daily Mail?”
    His denials are nonsense….Trillions are being spent to villify Islam that is an incontrovertible fact, from Print Media, electronic media, digital media, social media from think tanks to clueless individuals calling themselves Libertyphile….And their propaganda keeps failing and having the opposite effect.
    His following comment is quite quaint and amusing… “Islam is the fastest growing religion for one simple reason. Muslim women have more children than the women of other major religions. Each Muslim woman has an average of 3.1 children, significantly above the next-highest group (Christians at 2.7) and the average of all non-Muslims (2.3). Just what the overcrowded, resource stretched, world needs, a lot more people.”

    Only problem for him is his fellow Zionists in the Media when they state fastest growing religion clearly mention the rate of converts in their articles …!

    Then he offers the following argument “…As you haven’t mentioned any events, people, or evidence, I take this to be an outlandish way of you expressing your dislike of the justified reporting and criticism of what so many Muslims get up to that we in the modern world find strange or objectionable.Next, you will be telling me those shooting stars are aimed at Zionist jinns!…”

    So Now our Dear Old Colonel decides to return to the Colonial Six Point hoping no one will notice https://inayatscorner.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/the-quran-strikes-back/#comment-6145 …So according to him the villificiation, demonistation and dehumanisation of muslims on a daily is “justified reporting”, first he displayed the temerity of calling himself Libertyphile, whilst appealing for censhorship cus he could not take the heat on this very blog.. He then has the nerve to label himself reasonable whilst supporting the vile and disgusting behaviour of the Media. So let me ask you where is all this headed? Whats your end game? back in the late 1990’s David Copeland a right wing extremist carried out various terrorist attacks against minorities…When questioned after his arrest he claimed he wanted to incite a Race War… The Guys who murdered Lee Rigby also wanted to create a Race War,…We have vile disgusting Monsters in the Media who are working day and night to create the exact same scenario…! So you basically want to create a race war across Europe. Thats your goal and that of your fellow neocon extremists in the Media.,,The End game here is to march the Muslims of Europe into gas chambers like you did to the Jews a hundred years ago after a similar campaign of villification…Well we aint Marching.

  16. LibertyPhile says:

    (1) “Fact the Sectarian conflict was fuelled by the America and its allies as a war strategy … As a policy of divide and conquer.”

    Rubbish. The Shia/Sunni sectarian conflict throughout the Middle East was and is being fuelled by Shia Iran. Iran supplies and supports Shia militias in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Houthi rebels in Yemen, and the Assad regime in Syria.

    The prominent Sunni Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has said Shia Muslims are “invading” Sunni societies and has described Shia as “heretics”. Assad’s Shia sect, is “more infidel than Christians and Jews.”

    And, this: Human Rights Watch report, “Killings of Shia in Pakistan,” – “Since 2008, Pakistan’s Shia Muslim community has been the target of an unprecedented escalation in sectarian violence as Sunni militants have killed thousands of Shia across the country.”

    (2) “Only problem for him is his fellow Zionists in the Media when they state fastest growing religion clearly mention the rate of converts in their articles …!”

    This is odd. So you do believe what you read in the Zionist media. I sometimes give it a miss. The data I gave regarding the Muslim birth-rate comes from the Pew Research Center, a reputable survey research organisation, well known and respected in the Muslim world. They also say:

    “Statistical data on conversion to and from Islam are scarce. What little information is available suggests that there is no substantial net gain or loss in the number of Muslims through conversion globally; the number of people who become Muslims through conversion seems to be roughly equal to the number of Muslims who leave the faith.”

    Islam is also the only religion I know that has a Council of Ex-Members. Muslim attitudes towards apostasy also probably pay a big part in concealing the numbers that have given up Islam. Most would rather not go public or tell their family or friends.

    (3) “The Guys who murdered Lee Rigby also wanted to create a Race War, …We have vile disgusting Monsters in the Media who are working day and night to create the exact same scenario…! So you basically want to create a race war across Europe.” “The End game here is to march the Muslims of Europe into gas chambers like you did to the Jews a hundred years ago after a similar campaign of villification…Well we aint Marching.”

    This reference to race and the holocaust is an attempt (often made by Muslims like you) to stop discussion of the issues. It no longer works.

    It has nothing whatsoever to do with race. You are the one who seems to have a problem with race bringing it up all the time.

    It is to do with a system of beliefs many of which are a great hindrance to living in modern times, getting along with people of other beliefs or no beliefs, and a barrier to contributing to scientific knowledge and human progress.

    The evidence is all around, in the economic and political backwardness of Muslim countries, the grip of authoritarianism, the minimal publication of scientific papers, and in some of the comments here on this website about shooting stars.

    You don’t have to read the “Zionist” media to see it.

  17. Ash says:

    More ridiculous assertions and denials of the obvious, from our Dear Old Colonel.
    (1) “Rubbish. The Shia/Sunni sectarian conflict throughout the Middle East was and is being fuelled by Shia Iran. Iran supplies and supports Shia militias in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Houthi rebels in Yemen, and the Assad regime in Syria.”

    Fact American Empire and its Baron Frankensteins pre-planned the sectarian conflict, in Iraq after their invasion and it has engulfed the entire region Richard Perle in a Document called “Clean Break” published in 1996 outlined this strategy for both Iraq and Syria.
    .https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiDlOK5zafOAhWJCMAKHUbSBLMQFgg1MAM&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.globalresearch.ca%2Fthe-chaos-in-iraq-is-by-design-the-goal-is-the-break-up-the-country%2F5388651%3Fprint%3D1&usg=AFQjCNEFf51w88oKHdiasKq6Yk1btVWLnA

    (2) Then our Colonel…Mentions Some right wing think tank based in Washington who state,
    ““Statistical data on conversion to and from Islam are scarce. ” So he is basing his comments on this Pew institute Research centre who by their own admission have no research.

    The source the Media used in their articles was research carried out by by Kevin Brice
    of Swansea University on converts to Islam which in 2011 put the rate of converts at a 100,000
    here https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiU7qbZzKfOAhUFKsAKHQbsCw4QFggcMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Ffaith-matters.org%2Fimages%2Fstories%2Ffm-reports%2Fa-minority-within-a-minority-a-report-on-converts-to-islam-in-the-uk.pdf&usg=AFQjCNGryfEShZ2HnKW81yWcA3nL7aQsIQ&bvm=bv.128617741,d.d24

    That is backed by census studies across Europe. So we can wash your denials down the drain.

    (3) He then states … “It has nothing whatsoever to do with race. You are the one who seems to have a problem with race bringing it up all the time.”

    It has everything to do with race we see that clearly in the, villification and propaganda carried out by the Zionist controlled Media on a Daily basis these articles programmes and documentaries are not ‘Discussions on issues’ as he claims the rabid tone and tenure and dehumanisation are a call to incite a conflict across Europe …These Sub-human animals in the Media want to lay the grounds for a genocide a genocide,…Every single one of their strategies ends in failure so will this one. Stop Lying its all About race old chap and ofcourse Zionist world Supremacy… Yeah the rabid Zionist media projecting that somehow Muslims in Britain came as invaders..Fact majority of Muslims came after the second World War and were invited to come because Britain had a shortage of a Workforce for the booming Manufacturing industry. Vast Majority who came here were people and decendants of people who fought for Britain in the Second World war…Yeah my Dear Old Colonel speaking of myself my Blood my Kith and Kin fought in 2 world Wars for Britian. One of the most senior religious leaders of the Muslim Community in Britain Sufi Abdullah Naqshbandi who passed away last year in Birmingham who fought for the British India army, and was a P.O.W. in France. Despite thousands attending his funeral one of the largest funerals in Britain in over a decade Zero coverage by the Zionists in the national media cus that does not fill the narrative does it Old Chap.?

  18. LibertyPhile says:

    (1) Richard Pearle and those other neocons who think it a good idea to break up Iraq did not create the animosity that exists between Sunni and Shia and other sects!

    The map on that link of how the neo-con Americans would like to see the Middle East broken into smaller countries bears an uncanny resemblance to the way the Ottoman Caliphate divided and ruled the territory. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Basra_Vilayet,_Ottoman_Empire_(1900)_v2.png

    It makes a lot of sense. The mistake that Britain, France, and now the US under both Bush and Obama made, was to think democracy would work and that people could be unified (which had economic advantages for them). They don’t want to be unified owing to centuries old sectarianism now led by Shia Iran and that is what is fuelling the fighting going on today.

    That a more fragmented Middle East might increase the influence of Israel or weaken the threat against it, is ironic.

    (2) I think you misread the report you link to. You say “…. [the report] in 2011 put the rate of converts at a 100,000”

    100,000 is the number of converts at a point in time, not the “rate”, i.e., number per year. The report actually says:

    “The total number of converts in the United Kingdom may have risen to as high as
    100,000 in 2010;” and

    “It is estimated that in 2010 approximately 5,200 people converted to Islam in the UK;”

    Frankly, 5200 is a trivial figure, and it may even be an overestimate. The Methodology section says that in part the input is from a survey of London mosques asked “How many people have converted to Islam in the mosque in the last twelve months?”. I wonder how biased that was.

    Then, of course, a high proportion of converts soon relapse. The iERA, a Muslim propaganda organisation, admitted that 70% of American converts and 30-40% of UK converts leave the faith.

    The miniscule net convert figure is more than swamped by born Muslims who simply leave the faith. Plenty of qualitative evidence exists and is building up. See:

    https://www.theguardian.com/global/2015/may/17/losing-their-religion-british-ex-muslims-non-believers-hidden-crisis-faith

    The Pew Research Center is not a “think tank”. It caries out surveys in Muslim countries and it has plenty of data and experience to support its opinions.

    (3) “It has everything to do with race we see that clearly in the, villification and propaganda carried out by the Zionist controlled Media on a Daily basis these articles programmes and documentaries are not ‘Discussions on issues’ as he claims the rabid tone and tenure and dehumanisation are a call to incite a conflict across Europe …These Sub-human animals in the Media want to lay the grounds for a genocide a genocide,…”

    Utter rubbish. Throughout Europe Muslims occupy senior political positions even at cabinet level, we have a Muslim mayor of London, and Amsterdam. There are Muslims in senior judiciary roles. Thousands of successful Muslim businesses. Muslims have organisations everywhere representing their interests and speaking up for them. Some sections of the media go to enormous lengths to give Muslims the opportunity to express their views.

    And, you think there is a conspiracy! It certainly isn’t working. It is a figment of your imagination.

    (4) By going on about race and bringing in unrelated subjects (how the UK obtained its initial Muslim population) you are not hiding the fact you have not addressed my assertions regarding Islam:

    “Islam is a system of beliefs many of which are a great hindrance to living in modern times, getting along with people of other beliefs or no beliefs, and a barrier to contributing to scientific knowledge and human progress.”

    “The evidence is all around, in the economic and political backwardness of Muslim countries, the grip of authoritarianism, the minimal publication of scientific papers, and in some of the comments here on this website about shooting stars.”

    • Libertphile. According to pews statistical analysis, Islam is the second fastest growing religion from conversion after no religion. More people come into Islam than leave. It’s termed “religious switching” in their report. The biggesT net loser is Christianity.

      So there is no crisis in Islam. Our ingoings are higher than our outgoings, plus we have the highest birth rates, and high immigration rates. Islam went from 1.5 million to 3 million in just ten years. And the vast majority of our converts tend to be late teens early twenties so that’s child bearing age. Converts certainly aren’t a negligible demographic force. A large number of apostates are Shia aswell from Iran. so it’s only really harming a statistical minority, and even most of those are just seeking visas And think apostasy will help With asylum.

      The mosques The 5000 figure was extrapolated from keep records of conversion. Like regent park mosque that has one conversion a week.

      Iera in contrast cite no evidence for their 40% figure and have a big bias towards overstating the problem since they want Muslims to fund their retreats and other programs geared towards keeping new converts firm in Islam.

      look at any credible source on future predictions for Muslim population figures and you’ll see the future looks bright for Muslims on Europe and globally.

      As for the fact that Islam keeps us back, that’s simply inaccurate. You yourself mentioned how we’re mayors of powerful capital cities etc. Muslims are held back by post colonial secular dictators that we’re currently in the process of removing.

      I’d support the partition of Iraq btw rather than use fake European drawn borders that do us a complete disservice

  19. Ash says:

    My Dear Old Chap in his newest offering states……” Richard Pearle and those other neocons who think it a good idea to break up Iraq did not create the animosity that exists between Sunni and Shia and other sects!”

    That is a load of balder dash this is what American analyst Stephen Zunes states in an article on “US roles in Iraqs Sectarian Conflict.” https://www.google.com/url?q=http://fpif.org/the_us_role_in_iraqs_sectarian_violence/&sa=U&ved=0ahUKEwjmxebjg7DOAhVF1xoKHYliDb4QFggFMAA&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNEgSoSztpdbcQsCrN5S-JWvxyZeWw

    There is another article on the same website titled.. “Iraq’s Sectarian Bloodshed Made in the USA”.

    (2) More nonsense I am from the Muslim community I dont need no Neo-Con centre based in Washington to tell me whats happening in my community. my memory stretches back to the 1970’s, let me tell you from the mid 1970’s all the way to 1990 I came across one convert..Yes one…Once the Rabid Zionists in the Media went on the rampage of Demonisation and nazi like witchhunt of Muslims we have thousands of converts you can go to Mosques in some places in UK and USA were vast majority of congregation is converts. Your propaganda has been counter productive you and your Zinoist paymasters and handlers at the Home Office have failed in their villification and Insha’Allah you will continue to fail,

    (3) Buffoonery at its finest, talk about trying to deny the obvious akin to a man sitting in a rainstorm then denying its raining…Our Dear Old Colonel got as they say in Detroit completely ‘pawned’ on this previously a year ago….
    Here in the following thread….https://inayatscorner.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/british-muslims-and-the-is-blame-game/

    (4) You seem to have a short memory, Your assertions regarding Islam were thoroughly addressed My Dear Colonel that left you traumatised to such an extent, that you started appealing to Inayat Bunglawala to Censor me. You were exposed as a complete ignoramous who had no knowledge on Islam….. For those who have not read it makes riveting reading.
    https://inayatscorner.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/the-quran-strikes-back/

    Now I am still waiting your response in the comments section of the previous article concerning the complicity of British and American intelligence agencies in acts of Terrorism… Whats the matter old chap Cat your tongue.

  20. LibertyPhile says:

    Concerning the references to other threads:

    (1) It doesn’t surprise me the FBI plants agents in the Muslim community. Planting agents has been done here in the UK as well. It was revealed in the press a few years ago when a number of agents became amorously involved with girls they were supposed to be spying on. The girls weren’t best pleased when they discovered the truth.

    Given the number of terrorist outrages in Europe, and the large number of plots the police and security services have foiled, I’m rather glad agents are planted in the Muslim community.

    If you believe Al Baghdadi is such an agent then you probably also believe in fairies (and I don’t mean jinn!). Whatever he might be it is a dire measure of the backwardness of Muslims and their beliefs that so many follow him (unless the 100,000s who follow him and millions who sympathise are all FBI agents!!).

    (2) Where 10 words would do you write 100, and its mostly abuse, boasts, pointless bluster, and irrelevant. I asked (jokingly) if there was some app that could cut down the words and leave just whatever it was that you really had to say. Sadly there isn’t!

    In any case, I wouldn’t want to censor you, you are such a good example of the many things that are wrong with Islam today.

    (3) In the /2015/06/21/ thread you went on at (great) length about your grand Zionist conspiracy theory, that since the end of the Cold War the media, controlled completely by Zionists, had conspired to demonise Muslims.

    There is no evidence for this whatsoever, and reports into the subject have shown the media is largely fair. I suggested you should analyse a representative sample of press reports to determine their truth. E.g., did British imams allow child marriage. You declined to do so. There are imams who do, in fact, support and perform child marriage, and if that demonises Muslims it is Muslims who are demonising themselves.

    For every dodgy Sun story I can show you 10, even 100, reliable and accurate media reports about Islam and Muslims, some even in Muslim media, about things Muslims do, say and believe that non-Muslims for good reason find objectionable.

    (4) The /2015/07/25/ thread covered the question according to Islam could non-believers go to paradise? The answer is no. Islamic teaching is clear – and despite your waffle and misleading links you were not able to show otherwise – those who don’t believe, however good they might be in life as human beings, will burn in hellfire for ever.

    It does not address the questions I have posed on this thread. i.e., “Islam is a system of beliefs many of which are a great hindrance to living in modern times, getting along with people of other beliefs or no beliefs, and a barrier to contributing to scientific knowledge and human progress.”

  21. LibertyPhile says:

    Concerning what was brought up in this thread:

    (5) You are so consumed by your conspiracy theories and prejudices that you do not properly read the material you link to.

    Nearly all of that link supports the view that the Americans in trying to do what they thought was right unintentionally allowed sectarianism to flourish. Sectarianism had been there all along and ruined the Americans reasonable ideas for bringing peace to the region.

    “Having been dominated by Sunnis under the Baathists, the Hashemites, and the Ottomans, the Shiite majority was eager to rule. Not surprisingly, elections have brought Shiite religious parties to power which have since marginalized other groups and imposed their repressive and misogynist version of Islamic law in parts of Iraq where they dominate, particularly in the south of the country.”

    It’s true that Sunni and Shia and other sects have amicably existed alongside one another in the past, but that has invariably been when there is a powerful over arching dictatorial authority.

    Regarding the notion that in Iraq “It would have been better to divide power along the spectrum of political beliefs” we all know where that leads; Dictators like Saddam Hussein, the Iran-Iraq war, the invasion of Kuwait, and the attempted extermination of Kurdish and Shia populations.

    I’m not going to mention the American non-involvement in Syria.

    (6) Regarding converts to Islam you now contradict the figure you yourself put forward.

    Brilliant!

  22. Ash says:

    Whats the matter My Dear Old Chap you seem rather flustered? Breathe deeply and relax no need to feel anxious we still Love You Old Chap…..! So let go of the bitterness you are liable to give yourself Ulcers, Diabetes, Hypertension, Arthritis and a myriad of other tension related illnesses. In the words of Mullah Rumi …”LOVE is Your steady guide on this road full of hardships.” As for your points 1 to 6 I will Insha’Allah do a full forensic dissection (in accordance with the Analytical rules of Detroit Freestyle Academics), over the weekend I am rather busy at the moment,

  23. LibertyPhile says:

    You really are a comedian!!

    • Ash says:

      My Dear Old Chum! no comedy was intended I was perfectly serious…To much tension is bad for your health old Chap. Trying listening to the gentle sounds of a stream here

  24. LibertyPhile says:

    @Abu Fatimah al Britaani

    I believe the Pew report you refer to covers only the US. You might like to examine this claim.

    “According to research carried out by the respected Pakistani-born American Muslim Dr. Ilyas Ba-Yunus (1932 – 2007), 75% of New Muslim Converts in the US leave Islam within a few years”.

    Regarding Europe I think the figure of 5000 converts to Islam for the UK is a “reasonable” estimate, if probably on the high side as I suggest.

    I think it more likely the iERA would boast about high numbers of converts to Islam to show the success and importance of the iERA!

    Given the 5000 estimate and some degree of relapse I’m sure in Europe the number of Muslims giving up Islam vastly outstrips the converts to Islam. Many do, of course, retain a kind of Muslim identity.

    And here is an interesting figure:
    Al-Jazeerah: 6 Million Muslims convert to Christianity in Africa alone each year

    Regarding Iraq you should have a word with Ash. He seems to believe if it wasn’t for the Americans it would become a shining example of Islamic rule.

    Not all those Sykes-Picot lines were bad. The main one between the French and the British was mostly across empty desert, and the inland provinces (potential small countries) needed access to the sea so being one large country had an advantage.

    Access to the sea was important to Emir Faisal, when he was offered inland Syria. Another important factor for uniting the provinces was that they all lacked local government infrastructure and personnel of any kind. What provincial government there had been had been provided by the Turks. So the British decided to do the best they could with one “national” government.

  25. Ash says:

    Okay Dear Old Chap! Here Goes.
    (1) Our Dear Old Chap trying to play Dodge Ball, I posted incontrovertible evidence of Western intelligence agencies proactivley involved in creating terrorist plots, and terrorists via agent provacateurs instead he goes of on an rant avoids answering the questions I raised in my posts here …. https://inayatscorner.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/orlando-massacre-the-need-to-challenge-homophobia/#comment-6981

    (2) Bit of Historic revisionism must have picked it up from your hero Tom Holland the fake historian here is what our dear old chap actually wrote …. https://inayatscorner.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/the-shameful-smearing-of-sadiq-khan-mp/#comment-6445

    (3) More Nonsensical denials from our Dear Old Chap… His denials are akin to someone denying that grass is green ” No my Dear Old fellow the coulour of grass is pink.” I think our Dear Old Colonel must be colour blind. In any case I provided a link to a report done by British Journalists Peter Oborne and James Jones “Called Muslims Under Siege” Showing the clear bigotted agenda of the Media here …. https://inayatscorner.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/british-muslims-and-the-is-blame-game/#comment-5837

    (4) Our Dear Old Colonel keeps running back to the Colonial six point… The Colonel despite his protestations was clearly and categorically exposed, here https://inayatscorner.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/the-quran-strikes-back/

  26. Ash says:

    (5) So now our Dear Old Chap is trying to argue that Americas colonial tyrrany and Anti-Semitism against the Arabs peoples of the Middle east, is some how an act of benevolence.. Kind of Eurpoean colonialists whose policies of extermination and genocide of peoples from the Native Indian to the aborigine were excused as ” we are civilising the savages” https://inayatscorner.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/british-muslims-and-the-is-blame-game/#comment-5829

    Indeed people can read the links I provided and decide for themselves as to how barbarians like Richard Perle planned Iraqs Sectarian conflict…All the roads lead back to Rome and its empire.

    He is even arguing the Zionist enterprise of Sykes Picot was an act of benevolence in any case this was previously addressed in the post here, ashttps://inayatscorner.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/british-muslims-and-the-is-blame-game/#comment-5829

    (6) I have not got a clue as to what you are talking about … there is no contradiction as to what I stated, concerning the number of converts to Islam.

  27. LibertyPhile says:

    (A) We seem to be making some progress, even if it is not very much. You no longer talk about a Zionist media conspiracy! The eight year old Channel 4 Dispatches report you link to doesn’t suggest one.

    The report is correct, of course, there is a lot of negative coverage of Islam and Muslims. However, for every biased, or deliberately sensational media report there are at least 10 that are balanced and accurate, from reputable media, covering things Muslims do, say, or believe, that the rest of the world finds objectionable.

    I know it won’t carry any weight with you but I will mention it. Lord Leveson said in his report following his extensive year-long inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press “…. it is important that stories …. are accurate, and not calculated to exacerbate community divisions or increase resentment. ….. the majority of the Press appear to discharge this responsibility with care ….”

    You also seem to have given up your crazy idea that the Islamic State is led by a planted American agent.

    (B) You are not very good at figures. There are not 100,000 UK converts to Islam in the sense you meant it. You said “…. [the report] in 2011 put the rate of converts at a 100,000”

    100,000 is the number of converts at a point in time, not the “rate”, i.e., number per year. The report actually says: “It is estimated that in 2010 approximately 5,200 people converted to Islam in the UK.”

    I think 5,200 is a very small figure. Many are probably due to marriage rather than religious conviction, and I’m sure the figure is swamped by those born Muslim giving up Islam.

    And, as I indicated huge proportions of recent converts soon give up Islam.

    (C) Regarding the Middle East I recommend “What the British Did – Two Centuries in the Middle East” by Peter Mangold, published this year. Mangold makes this observation about the consequences of French and British policy in the 1920s.

    “The real difficulty lay in the fact that the Middle East was too much of an ethnic, religious, tribal mosaic to be divided according to the prevailing model of European nation states. To reproduce the security for minorities provided by the Turkish Millet system the new states had to be sufficiently strong and confident to be tolerant. But, precisely because they were often heavily divided they proved unstable, insecure and intolerant. Three of the five – Lebanon, Syria and Iraq – would suffer civil wars in the next century. This more than the exact placement of the lines on the Sykes-Picot map constitute the fundamental weakness of the settlement.”

    From your point of view, I know it would be nice if you could blame the present blood-letting entirely on the Americans, especially if behind it all there was a neo-con conspiracy, but you are out of touch with reality and history. So are the authors of that 10 year old article you link to on AlterNet (though it suggests incompetence rather than conspiracy as America’s crime).

  28. Ash says:

    (A) Change of tact from my Dear Old Colonel… Now I found his following comment quite amusing My Dear Old Chap states: ” We seem to be making some progress, even if it is not very much. You no longer talk about a Zionist media conspiracy!” Except I have been talking about it through out this thread. No doubt the aforementioned remark of My Dear Old chum, was to disguise his following comment. “The report is correct, of course, there is a lot of negative coverage of Islam and Muslims…” So finally after a year he begrudgingly acknowledges that indeed their is media bias against Islam and Muslims. Regular readers will note that for over a year he categorically and foolishy denied that there was bias …! Looks like his Zionists paymasters have told him how foolish and idiotic his denials were so a new tactic from my Dear Old chap.

    As for Levenson and his crooked and corrupt enquiry no one with common sense gives him nor his enquiry any credence. He has as much credibilty as the Press Complaints Commision.

    (B) Now he claims that whilst their are 100,000 converts at a certain point in time which in the above case would be 2011, but the rate of convert of 5200 is not significant. So what that means since 1991 when around about the time the Zionists in the Media Declared War against Muslims, 5200 a year have been converting and by 2011 the figure reached was a 100,000. So what was the rate of converts per year from 1971 to 1991? how many people were converting in the 1980,s I would be surprised if it was more then 50 a year, so about 50 a year were converting before the Zionists in the Media began their campaign of hatred a bigotry and once they began their campaign 5200 started converting, that is a huge and very significant statistical jump proving that the Zionists despite spending trillions in their villification have failed and their campaign has had the opposite effect. Whatsmore the congregations in mosques was back in the day, mostly elderly people and youth had no interest in religion, fast forward a few decades the Zionists have managed to pack out the Mosques the youth out number the Elderly. So these Zionists have failed and will continue to fail Insha’Allah.

    (c) Rather my Dear Old Chap looks like you are quite out of touch with colonial history. I dont need Peter Mangled and his historic revisionism to tell me my history I know what was done and barbarity of the colonialists against my people.

    Your preposterous denials are out of touch with reality and History,…. I agree America is not entirley to Blame Americas allies the likes of Tony “Mad dog” Blair have a firm hand in it. So how about you stop playing Dodgeball and be a man and publicly condemn British /American intelligence agencies for being invloved in plots of terrorism as I pointed out in the previous most significantly via use of agent provacateurs,…Finally we get this Anjem Choudhry convicted, in a secret trial held several months ago…(the reason the trial was secret is quite obvious) So the dark skinned Puppet gets convicted whilst his punk ass Terrorist puppeteers at MI5 get away scot free..!

  29. abdullah says:

    Salam Inayat

    I’ve read your article and the first half of the comments and wish to contribute my two pennies’ worth that draws from your both your article and subsequent discussion.

    I agree that these ‘seek knowledge first’ and ‘have adaab for the ulemaa’ pieties are the bane of our Ummah and are, in no small part, a root cause for our intellectual stagnation. I would only qualify this by saying, as with any topic, a sine qua non for passing a considered opinion, regardless of the field, is sufficient background knowledge to avoid the matter descending to a pub-level persiflage.

    Meteors, Jinn and shooting stars. I would agree that the traditional classical ulemaa’s (may Allah have mercy on them) understanding of what in modern parlance is referred to as ‘scientific matters’ was limited, if not wrong on occasions. I remember struggling not to crack into a broad smile while reading a chapter on the age of the world in Tabari’s history.

    In 3:7 Allah bisects the verses of the Quran into Muhkamaat (clear) and Mutashaabihaat (ambiguous). The ‘meteor’ verses you referred to are clearly of the latter category. While the meaning of shooting stars and meteorites is an acceptable *interpretation* of the meaning of the words, it is not the only acceptable meaning. Why? Because the meaning of the words and sentences (in the Arabic language) in those ayaat is not clear. They can legitimately support a multitude of understandings. In light of modern science, the meteor interpretation, I would agree, becomes unlikely.

    Similar issues of heliocentricity and old interpretations of ambiguous (mutashaabiha) verses should indeed be updated. My personal opinion is that exegetists should desist from opining hard opinions on subjective matters which have no bearing on how human beings should conduct their lives (the Quran is not a science manual).

    Where we part company is your subjecting *un*ambiguous verses to fallacious interpretations that are incongruent with the meaning of the words. Examples are your dismissing explicit injunctions worded in unambitious forms that condemn homosexuality and call for its sanctioning. It is impossible to remain sincere to the text of the Quran (and sunnah) and hold a divergent opinion (just as it is impossible to hold a divergent opinion than that in Islamic texts Maghrib Fard salah comprises 3 rakaat, without abandoning the text.
    I would hope these hermeneutic principles are familiar, representing universal common sense. Our own English courts operate according to them when interpreting texts:
    “If the words are clear and unambiguous, then there is no need to look outside them. However, if the natural and ordinary meaning of the words is unclear or ambiguous, then the court will consider the relevant context, being concerned to identify the intention of the parties by reference to “what a reasonable person having all background knowledge which would have been available to the parties would have understood them to be using the language in the contract to mean”” [2016] EWHC 2058 (QB)]

    Sticking with gay rights, your argument seems to be the Islamic injunctions on sexuality contradict modern notions of Human Rights and England’s Equality Act which, by the way, also secure Muslim rights, so, away with the old Islamic injunctions and in with the modern precepts.
    I reiterate, where the wording of the text is unambiguous, there is no question of delving into ‘context’ or ‘intention’ (to quote the English courts).
    Finally, evolution. My (subjective) impression is that your iman has been rocked by what you consider to be the fact of evolution by Darwinian natural selection. Muslim Ulema are adamant that Islamic Creationism and evolution are mutually exclusive, incompatible. If this premise is accepted then, logically, if one believes in evolution, then one cannot believe in the literal truth of the Quran. I suspect this logical predicate strikes at the heart of your crisis of faith.
    My view is that I have insufficient knowledge in both the Islamic texts pertaining to creation and in the theory of evolution, especially the modern evidences related to micro evolution. I anticipate it would take me six months’ of reading.

    I just ask you dispassionately consider my unelaborated points, in the spirit of intellectual enquiry that you rightly espouse.

    Wasalam
    Abdullah

  30. Adnan Hamza says:

    The only reason Inayat is so hung up on ‘gau rights and ‘homophobia’ is because he himself considers himself a filthy faggot.

    Look at his effeminate face, expression, mannerisms and speech – this filthy pseudo-Muslim is a numpty arrogant Uncle Tom who has clowned himself into believing he is a faggot.

    Ignoring all any any Muslim victims of anti-Muslim crime in the UK – whih are far more numerous than gays being attacked and so on – he only has (lustful) eyes for his fellow faggots and their anti-Muslim hatred and eternal victimhood.

    Bunglawala is homosexual filth and has nothing but hatred for Muslims and Islam.

    May Allah guide you or ruin you if you have lost guidance forever. When the Messenger (sawa) explicitly condemned homosexuality and foretold and condemned homosexuals ‘marrying’, just who are you, Bunglawala-the-Pseudo-Muslim-and-Crypto-Faggot?

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