Compare and contrast: Christianities Ten Commandments, Islam’s five pillars , and the seven tenets of the Satanic Temple

Today my sunshines, we are going to compare the core tenets of Christianity, Islam and Satanism (specifically, the Satanic Temple). So, let’s dive right in.

Of the first two, I’m most familiar with Christianity, so we will start with that *plus it’s first alphabetically, so it doesn’t feel as weird*

The 10 commandments of Christianity:

I would like to make a note first that this drives me nuts, seeing as there are over 600 commandments in the Old Testament alone, but we’ll leave that be for now.

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

So, we have the first four commandments surrounding God and his need to be consistently praised in just the right way. I fail to see how this helps one understand and lead a moral life with other people, animals, and the planet in general.
Number 5 is cool enough, but should that seriously be a required tenet? What if your parents are abusive? Is there wiggle room there?
Number 6 is a pretty good thing to follow, but then, how do you reconcile that with the amount of times God told his people to murder the shit out of other people, up to and including total and complete genocide? Plus, seeing as another’s death through self defense is still murder, even if we find it justified, how does that work? Are you screwed if you defend yourself in such a way that you end up murdering someone? If you fight a holy war and murder the hell out of people’s faces, is that acceptable? If so, why aren’t there any specified caveats to this? It seems pretty straight forward to me.
Number 7 is generally a good rule of thumb when it comes to monogamy, but uh… what about the copious amounts of polyamorous sex in the Bible? How about the extensive amount of rape? Are those free passes? Would a harem technically count since one partner (always the female, surprise!) has no say, and it doesn’t matter if they like it? I mean, isn’t adultery the act of fucking someone else without the consent and/or knowledge of one’s partner?
Number 8, does this need to be singled out as a tenet in and of itself? Couldn’t it be part of a larger tenet of respect?
Number 9, it’s a pretty good idea in general, but, same as number 8, couldn’t it have been a part of a larger tenet of respect?
Number 10… *sigh* How can thought crimes be punished like this.

Now my overall questions for this are: why is there nothing about not owning other people? What about rape? Why is there a complete lacking of respect for others as a whole? These really don’t seem like a comprehensive course to live a wholesome and morally based life…

Islam:

There are what is known as the 5 Pillars of Islam. Seeing as this is the religion of peace, I’m certain that they must be pretty comprehensive and very morally grounded. So, let’s check out how to lead a moral life:

  1. Declarations of faith
  2. Obligatory prayer
  3. Compulsory giving
  4. Fasting in the month of Ramadan
  5. Pilgrimage to Mecca

Uh… What the hell?
Number 1, why is compulsory declaration of faith even on here? What does that have to do with treating anyone morally?

Number 2, obligatory prayer? Once again, what does this have to do with treating others well and living an outwardly moral life? Allah is starting to sound as self righteous as God.
Number 3, Okay, giving is good, I can get behind this one.
Number 4… Starve yourself to live morally for others? Wouldn’t that make it more difficult. I mean, sooner or later hungry goes to hangry, and it’s hard to be moral, helpful and nice to others when your running on empty.
Finally, number 5. The Pilgrimage. Once again, what the hell does this have to do with treating others, or yourself for that matter, well? What does this have to do with living morally in your every day life?

Being the religion of peace, I expected much more out of the central tenets, but the majority of it comes down to, once again, a self absorbed god figure. *sigh*

Satanism:

Last but not least, we have Satanism. These are the 7 central tenets of The Satanic Temple that they abide by (There are various other forms of Satanism, just like any other religion/philosophy, each with their own beliefs, but there’s aren’t terribly far off from the others). Seeing as Satanism is a horrid, vile and evil religion and philosophy, we’ll expect that the tenets should also be disgusting right? Well, let’s see just what these terrible people abide by:

  1. One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
  2. The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
  3. One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
  4. The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo your own.
  5. Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
  6. People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and resolve any harm that may have been caused.
  7. Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word

Wait… What the fuck? Is it just me or do these tenets blow those of Christianity and Islam out of the water?

Perhaps we should learn more before we demonize something, or before we glorify something. It disturbs me that Christianity, with it’s “all loving God” and Islam the “religion of peace” have central tenets that are mostly worthless to leading a moral life.

What are your thoughts on this sunshines? Sound off below and have a beautiful day.

P.S. – Thank you Midori Skies. Your post gave me this idea.

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51 thoughts on “Compare and contrast: Christianities Ten Commandments, Islam’s five pillars , and the seven tenets of the Satanic Temple

  1. I think that with religious freedom already established in the Western Democracies one should actually focus on who still needs a religion.

    Further I could argue that a Christ, Jew, Buddhist or Muslim, just like anybody else, could agree to the tenets, and membership in, the Satanic Temple, UNTIL it is a competing-struggle among established religions. (Which is it not, or not yet).

    Then there is the simple fact that not all like the cliche costumes of satanic extroverts, and that, no disrespect meant, the Satanic Temple is not even fully-available on a global scale. So for those who share your ambition, it is NOT time to preach, it is time to work until the goal is established within the nations of the world.

    One of my older Satanic critics would note that having more trust in your fellow Satanists knowing what the strive for, and against, could be a decently diplomatic and prudent way to ease it.

    While I am not stirred by your article it was still an appreciated reading, and your arguments are valid. Thanks for bringing it to public attention. Bye.

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  2. Ooh. Love the topic. However. I’d quibble a little here.

    As a non-fundamentalist Christian, I’m pretty sure most people (and even people at my church) would say that the 10 commandments are the fundamental tenets of Judaism. Not *Christianity.* Yes, lots of American Christians have bemoaned the removal of the 10 commandments from government buildings, but I think they’re misguided.

    Jesus is clear that the first and greatest commandments are 1) Love God 2) Love your neighbor as yourself, for that is the way to fulfill the law and the prophets. So no, Jesus doesn’t exactly *confront* the old testament horrors, which, as you pointed out, often violate the 10 commandments. But he seems to be like “guys, you missed the point.”

    This, I believe, is the center of Christianity, but many fringe movements get distracted on other parts of the Bible that (I think) should be more historical context than moral tenets to live by.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’d love to chime in on Islam as a resident Muslim lady if that’s chill?
    First and foremost let me say, despite being very proud of my religion and heritage, I definitely recognize that there are problems with the way that Islam is practiced by many today.

    But one common mistake people seem to make is that the five pillars are our moral guidelines. The five pillars are more spiritual requirements. Like when a religion tells you that you need to go to church, or not chew gum in church, or not spit at churchy people haha. While very important, they don’t inform us on how to lead our lives.

    Our actual moral guidelines as prescribed by Muhammad (Peace be upon him) are:
    Actions are judged by the intention behind them.
    Do not judge that which doesn’t involve you
    You cannot be a believer unless you love others as you love yourself
    One should not harm themselves or others.
    Don’t let your focus in this life be to amass worldly gain and God will love you.
    Lying to your fellow man is a sin
    Forced conversion is against the teachings of God
    etc…

    The problem is that Muhammad was an illiterate poet. Everything was recorded by others and recited in such a way to make it more eloquent and beautiful. It makes for a lovely read, but makes it difficult to ascertain anything in an organized manner when the original books isn’t even organized chronologically. So we don’t really have a specific list of moral duties. Just a bunch of various teachings and anecdotes.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much for your input sunshine! That’s awesome ^.^ I’m always up for learning, you definitely don’t need to ask to put your input in, my blog is absolutely for conversation! I would be intrigued what the passage(s) are. (I really need to get a Quran (sp?)) -.-‘ I’ve read the Bible, part of the book of Mormon, but I’ve never read the Torah or the Quran. *sigh*

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You got the spelling right 🙂

        You should if you like religious texts. There are so many interesting little bits in Islam. The concept of Ijtihad, that Muhammad’s (Peace be upon him) first wife was definitely his senior, and that he himself had great respect for women, allowing them divorces, property rights, legal rights, and other such things in a time where that was not the norm.
        Tragically it was later reversed by future Islamic leaders, leading to the modern treatment of women by some ultra-conservative Islamic countries. What can I say, people of all religions such.

        If you ever want any specific info I’d be happy to help ❤

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I definitely enjoy reading about all sorts of mythologies, regardless of my disdain for religion. I need to get my butt out there and buy the ones I haven’t read for sure. I’m excited to see what other input you may have when I put up other blog posts about religion ^.^

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Well, cool ^.^ Yeay. Yeah, I don’t like that people stay away from talking about religion, it’s frustrating. Whether one likes it or not, why not have conversations, right?
              I must say, I haven’t heard very many religious people of any kind tell me that they like that I have quite the disdain for religion.
              You’re damn spiffy sunshine, and I love that you’re so open to conversation about, well, it seems just about everything!

              Liked by 1 person

          1. You might consider reading The Satanic Bible. I read it recently and it was quite interesting. Certainly not what one would expect from the eeeeevil *waggles fingers* Bible. There were parts I liked (the chapter on sex was excellent), and parts I could do without (like the social Darwinist “might is right” attitude), but it is overall a very interesting book. It’s a product of its time (late 60’s), and it shows, but at least it isn’t meant to be taken literally and unquestioningly like certain other religious texts.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. I’ve read about half of the Satanic Bible, but, seeing as I don’t own one, I haven’t finished reading it, but yes, that’s another one I want to read!
              Thank you for your input sunshine ^.^

              Liked by 1 person

    2. Your contribution to the post was extremely interesting, Mara. And writing about how your moral guidelines are proscribed by Mohammad I’ve found very helpful and informative. However, I’m also curious, perhaps you can explain further when you wrote: “Our actual moral guidelines as prescribed by Muhammad (Peace be upon him) are:” Because the section which follows appears a little vague, not even having relevant references from the Quran added to it. I’d be very excited to read more. You continued afterwards, writing. . .”One should not harm themselves or others.” However, when I’ve read about Mohammad, even material written by early Muslims about their prophet, they didn’t write the things you’re writing, instead they wrote:

      [1] Muhammad allowed his followers to hire prostitutes (Reference Sahih Muslim 3248).

      [2] Muhammad had sex with a prepubescent nine-year-old girl named Aisha (Reference Muslim 8:3309).

      [3] They explained in detail how the Qur’an allows Muslim men to beat their wives into submission (Reference Quran 4:34).

      [4] They explained in detail how Islam allows Muslim men to rape their female captives and slave-girls (Reference Quran 4:24).

      [5] They explained in detail how Muhammad’s wife Sauda became fat and unattractive, Muhammad intended to divorce her. Sauda had to relinquish some of her marital rights to avoid being abandoned (Reference Surah 4, verse 128).

      [6] Muhammad claimed that women are less intelligent and less moral than men (Reference Sahih al-Bukhari 2658).

      [7] Muhammad ordered his followers to torture a man named Kinana to find out where some money was hidden. Muhammad then had Kinana killed, and took his wife for himself (Reference Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah, p. 515).

      [8] Muhammad ordered his followers to kill apostates, even if they had good reasons for leaving Islam (Reference Sahih al-Bukhari 69:22).

      The historic background behind point number 4 is especially interesting, as explained in the sunan of Abu Dawud. Abu Said al-Khudri said: “The apostle of Allah sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the apostle of Allah were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Quranic verse, “And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess”.

      So, and of course it’s not my intention to offend you, rather simply to ask for your input, when Mohammad’s fighters had captured these women, and they were tied up or down or however early Muslim men restrained women to stop them from escaping, it was the Muslims, they and not Mohammad, who were saying “Maybe we shouldn’t be raping these women in front of their husbands. . .” Their husbands were alive and right there after all! It says how the Muslim men were reluctant to rape these women “in the presence” of their husbands, so, to settle what they should do they asked Mohammad. They must have been saying things like “Isn’t this adultery?!” To which Mohammad says no, rape them as much as you please, women your right hand possesses are lawful to you. I’m curious, where’s the great respect for women which you wrote of in your posts, and about these moral guidelines you have outlined, did Mohammad teach them and simply fail to live up to his own standards, or were they not a part of Mohammad’s character or teachings at all?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sure, I’d be happy to respond.
        And don’t worry about offending me, I’m a trans Muslim chick, we have to have thick skin if anything haha.

        I never said the Quran was free of of negative parts, just that the five pillars weren’t moral guidelines.
        There are plenty of instances of the Quran promoting peace, love, equality, etc.
        While at the same time, there are many things, just like in any other religious doctrine, that are deplorable or misinterpreted by modern standards.

        I think one thing to remember is that Mohammed (pbuh) was illiterate, the book wasn’t written by him directly. There are plenty of things that could’ve been changed or altered to better suit those in power.
        Along those lines is also the fact that, prophets did also have to be political beings, to an extent and make some decisions and ruling based on commanding a following.

        The main thing I’d like to direct you to is the concept of ijtihad, the process of reinterpreting the Quran to meet modern standards and ideas.

        So while yes, the Quran is a beautiful book with some significant problems, it is a book that is encouraging you to best interpret it to be a better person now, by today’s standards.

        If you’d like specific examples and reading materials on the matter, I’d be more than happy to send you in the direction of some very awesome impartial historical takes on the Quran.

        I am just a 19 year old after all. I can elaborate on some aspects of the Quran and common misconceptions, but just because I’m a Muslim doesn’t mean I know everything about it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I imagine you would have to be very thick skinned, for sure! You’re also extremely open and thoughtful to consider your views and share them so openly with other writers online, which I appreciate.

          So, about when you wrote, “There are plenty of instances of the Quran promoting peace, love, equality, etc.”, the first verse that comes to mind would be something popular like: “There’s no compulsion in religion”, which is very much for peace and equality. Yet, if that can inform a person to do good, then surely “Fight those who believe not in Allah and the last days.” (Quran Chapter 9) can also cause people to do terrible harm to women and children. Similarly if the religious writing of Islam has many contradictory portions, for example:

          {Those who believe [in the Quran], and those who follow the Jewish [scriptures], and the Christians and the Sabians,—any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.} (Al-Baqarah 2:62)

          Which directly contradicts:

          ‘And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.’ (Qur’an 3:85).

          Then isn’t one view as “right” or as accurate as the other, in your opinion? One portion commands Muslims to do cruel things, and another portion warns Muslims to abstain from the cruel thing the first command explicitly told every believer in Mohammad to do. As you wrote, there’s no chronology, also there’s no context, so the context was painted in by later generations, but about those later generations, you’re explaining how they were corrupt or edited the material in whatever way they wanted. Couldn’t they have rewritten the entire thing, why trust one part and not others when neither the good parts nor the bad have any reliable order or context?

          Later you wrote: ”What can I say, people of all religions such.” I’m thinking you meant “suck” here, 🙂 but isn’t that statement a bit blanketed and prejudicial?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. For such contradictory phrases and statements, one would have to remember two things.
            1. The exact meaning would rely on the historical context surrounding the quote in question.
            2. Like I said before, Mohammed was a poet. There is going to be dramatization and use of more passionate phrases as it reflects who he was as a person.

            Again, it comes down to personal interpretation, and what one takes as the most important lessons behind the religion.
            Could it lead to vastly different ideology based on the same religion? Absolutely. Such is true of many things where people are involved, as we are all different.

            As for your last point, I said that people of all religions suck, in the context that there are good and bad people in all religions.

            I don’t mean to offend when I say this, but I’m a comedy writer. I write jokingly and casually on occasion, if you are just here to nitpick minor things that I said to illicit a reaction or attempt to paint me in a certain light, then I’ll happily be done with this conversation with you.

            I have shown nothing but respect, and humbly request the same.

            And again, I’m a 19 year old comedy writer. I’m not a scholar on Islam, and I’d happily direct you to those who are.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. That’s something I’m wondering about your posts though, because I’m just asking for your input being the resident Muslim, as you wrote. You’re saying the context behind parts of the Quran would help the reader to understand what’s the meaning behind the verse, but you’re also saying the people who wrote in the later context to the Quran weren’t Mohammad, because Mohammad was illiterate, rather they were untrustworthy people who supported beating up women.

              To use the context behind the Quran about keeping sex-slaves who your right hand has captured, that would mean Mohammad really did allow women to be raped in front of their husbands?

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I do want to jump in real quick to point out that I don’t think anyone is trying to pigeon hole anyone into anything, or trying to get a rise out of anyone. I think that everything has been genuine on each side, so please, I hope this doesn’t escalate. That is all lovelies, I’m grateful for both of your guys’ input in this!

                Liked by 1 person

              2. What are you wondering about my posts?
                And yes, I did, a* resident Muslim, as I’m a Muslim follower of Ivy. Again, I write casually. I’ve brought up on numerous occasions that I am no expert.

                Exactly, one would have to examine the historical context surrounding those who actually wrote the verses. Also, I never ruled out that it simply couldn’t be Mohammad, just that there were other factors to be considered when it would come down to coming up with an accurate meaning. Could it be Mohammad? For sure, while a prophet, he was a human like anyone else. Could it be someone else? Yup.

                You’ve asked for my input and opinion on matters of contradiction in Islam, and I’ve offered it on numerous occasions. Yes, the Quran is a very contradictory book, it wasn’t written by Mohammad, it was designed to be a beautiful read, there is all sorts of context we may never know, etc. I’m not trying to defend that, and I apologize if it came off that way. My point was that it is indeed a contradictory book, and what one chooses to follow and believe comes down to their own personal interpretation. Islam has the possibility for great peace and beauty, as well as hatred and destruction all based on personal opinion.

                My original post was just to mention that the five pillars weren’t moral guidelines. I used examples of moral guidelines that I personally follow based on Quranic teachings.

                And to answer your last question, yes, it could be Mohammad. It could be a contradiction to what he previously taught. It could also not be.

                On another note, I don’t defend nor justify those actions in any way. I know the pain of being beaten, raped, and sold to someone else. While I do have thick skin, this isn’t the easiest of topics for me to write on.

                I hoped this was a useful summary of one opinion of a 19 year old comedy writer that happens to be a Muslim 😉

                If you’d like any other resources I’d be happy to link you to some awesome historical reads by actual degree holding people.
                I however had a PTSD attack while with my boyfriend last night, revolving around some of the aforementioned things, and I don’t think I can continue this conversation with such a heavy emphasis on rape.

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. I’d recommend starting with some of the works of Reza Aslan. You seem to have an awesome love for in depth analysis of specific quotes and context, and that is a large part of what his work looks at (with everything cited of course).
                    I hope I helped shed light on my opinions in some way, if not, sorry if I wasted your time.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. You definitely didn’t waste your time love. Expressing one’s personal opinion is not a waste, even if it is not taken to heart, or does not change one’s beliefs. *hugs*

                      Liked by 1 person

                1. That’s alright, in fact, the first message me and Ivy shared was about an event that went on at the Stonewall inn, about which we both agreed it’s terrible when people abuse others sexually and take away their dignity for selfish reasons. You certainly deserved better than that.

                  That’s partly why your comment about Mohammad being something of a woman’s rights advocate, even a feminist, appeared so peculiar when reading material which early Muslims wrote about his battles and spoils of war. These were women, innocent married women, but they’re called spoils of war as if they’re a prize for Mohammad and other Muslims to rape and sell as sex slaves. It’s very sad to know how badly you’ve been treated in the past, and hopefully from today onward you can find people, or already have people, who love and respect you. Although about our conversation, if you’d like to stop because it’s upsetting, please do, I’d hate to upset you further. Though if you’re happy to read further, or perhaps later, I’ve got a few other points, points which due to me being a non-Muslim I’d value your perspective on. 🙂 Muslim writers, and as you’ve explained the context should show us what the Quran is saying, wrote the following about Mohammad:

                  1. A’isha reported that Allah’s Apostle 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 (Mohammad) died she was eighteen years old. (Reference Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3311)

                  So, Mohammad, and again you’re free to wait for awhile before replying, Mohammad while in his fifties really married a 9 year old child and raped her? She couldn’t consent of course, she was 9, and in other books Aisha explained she didn’t know what was happening to her. I’m also not an Islamic scholar, Mara, but this seems very wrong to me. This is child abuse, not women’s rights.

                  Muslims also wrote: 2. Mohammad said, “Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?” The women said, “Yes.” He said, “This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.” (References Bukhari 48:826).

                  So, Mohammad called woman stupid, mentally lesser than men are. How do you feel about this?

                  And even the Quran has similar writings, they seem pretty self-explanatory too: 3. Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great. (Reference Quran 4:34).

                  Lastly Muslim men are allowed to banish women they’ve married into other beds, and even use physical violence if they fear disobedience. They’re allowed to beat women according to Islam. Do these words still lead to women being hurt today?

                  I’ve enjoyed speaking with you thus far though, I’ve also learnt a lot, hopefully you’re not too upset by the topic, it’s something I think women everywhere would want to read about and know the truth. It’s important.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Thank you for your input as well ^.^ I think, probably, we should discontinue this particular thread. I would be happy to continue further conversation, but as a survivor as well, I feel like it’s started being pounded on to hard. No offense to you or Mara. I’m glad for open conversation, and it’s gone well thus far, but it’s starting to spiral into a repetitive mess that I’m afraid will start getting out of hand *hugs to all*
                    *though, it does look like it’s coming to a close, so this comment may be entirely redundant, in which case, sorry you two o.o

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. No need to write sorry! You’ve been an awesome moderator. I’m sure both myself and Mara will do lots of reading on the subject in the future. 🙂 Maybe when they’re feeling up to it they’ll want to continue sharing on the topic. Until then it’s fine to let everything think about what’s already been shared.

                      Liked by 1 person

                  2. Thank you so very much for the consideration, I greatly appreciate it.
                    I apologize if I’ve seemed standoffish up to this point. The political climate where I live creates a great distrust towards Muslim individuals. I’ve had more than my fair share of insults hurled at me, and almost never is someone interested in general discussion like this.

                    Outside of the parts I’m having difficulty with, I’m genuinely enjoying this conversation.

                    I never once mentioned that Mohammad was a women’s rights activist, nor a feminist like your post implies. I never mentioned that, as I don’t believe it. I did mention that he had a great respect for women, which he did, in historical context. He allowed divorces, property rights, worked to stop female infanticide, allowed woman to testify, etc…These are things that are very significant given the time period.
                    Woman were still treated disgustingly (even by Mohammad), a point I won’t argue, but it was a very huge step in the right direction, when compared to the idea of many of those around him.

                    Oh, it most certainly is child abuse. While a prophet, he was human. From what I remember, his marriage to her was for more political reasons, but it doesn’t make her treatment any less deplorable.

                    Islam certainly has many passages of a very passionate and biased nature towards women. But I would assume Christianity and Judaism would fall along the same paths in their treatment towards women. It was a terrible cultural belief and practice relevant to that time period. When taken literally and without any sense for the climate during which it was written, I have no doubt that it has caused harm, as I assume most religious doctrine have.

                    Therein lies the slight distaste in my mouth for organized religion, Islam included. I think they’r taken for too literally, without concepts like Ijtihad being applied.

                    I’d be curious though, to know what religions haven’t ever preached or practiced a form of discrimination towards someone. Not trying to justify it, just curious.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. It is. There are a multitude of reasons I have disdain for religion in general. Even Buddhism sees women as lesser. If you fuck up your life as a man, you reincarnate as a woman, because they are lesser. On the flip side, if you live your life well as a woman, you upgrade in the next life to a man…

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                    2. That’s perfectly fine, and it looks like Ivy and myself book-ended the conversation far too early. 😛 I’d imagine the kind of frosty reception you’re getting comes a lot from people thinking everybody is alike, meaning no matter how loving, goodhearted and respectful you are, people are going to see you as whatever they’d like to. It’s rarely ever about you though, so don’t let it knock your spirit.

                      Insofar as I’m reading, Mohammad simply married and consummated with Aisha because he’d said he had seen her in a dream. That’s the plain reason, not reading anything about politics from the original material. Aren’t lots of these things unworthy of today though, you’re writing how you think Mohammad wasn’t all bad compared to the people around him, but by today’s standard’s they’d be put in prison for kidnapping women and charged with pedophilia, just from the standpoint of our diverse and respectful society. Nobody can write these things about the Buddha or Jesus, they’d never take away a person’s human rights or abuse a child of 9.

                      You finish your message by asking: ‘I’d be curious though, to know what religions haven’t ever preached or practiced a form of discrimination towards someone.’ The answer: Jediism. 😉 But seriously, isn’t every religion as different as the person, people or God behind them? For which some will be totally harmless, whereas others wouldn’t.

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                    3. I think you might have missed my point ever so slightly.

                      I’m not saying that what he did was right or correct. I’m saying that by the standards of the culture he lived in, he made positive steps forward.

                      Again, I think it all comes down to interpretation. Look at the KKK, they’re a terror based ‘christian’ organization.
                      There have been Buddhist terrorists…

                      I will agree that Islam does have a propensity to have quite a few more deeply unsavory elements, but I think that brings us back to two things.
                      1. The writing was dramatized for flavor.
                      2. The style in which Islam was written is slightly different from others. For example, we have such a brutal narrative as these events were recorded as they transpired, and to this day, only one version of the events exist.

                      Take Christianity for example, it was written a lifetime later, and has been edited, revised, re translated, re-thought, selectively chosen, etc countless times. Who knows what such an editing process has changed.

                      The recording process is a significant piece of modern knowledge, and a reason why Islam is so brutal. It’s a very gritty look at life in that time.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. Good morning, Mara! About your reply last night, which read: ‘Again, I think it all comes down to interpretation. Look at the KKK, they’re a terror based ‘christian’ organization. There have been Buddhist terrorists…’ Rather than my message saying certain people who claim to be acting as Muslims, Jews, Mormons or Christians have behaved in particularly horrid ways, because they have, my message is actually meaning Jesus and Buddha themselves wouldn’t have denied people their human rights, or abused children or acted as guards at auschwitz. So, when the people behind the KKK and others do the things they do, they’re actually shaming themselves and behaving unlike the founder of their faith, whereas when Boko Haram, for example, kidnap hundreds of Christian schoolgirls, rape them, force them to convert to Islam, and sell others as sex slaves, they’re doing exactly what Mohammad did before them. When you’re writing Mohammad wasn’t bad for his time period, although the writings appear very bad, you’re explaining they weren’t the worst for the 600’s, as if to say Mohammad’s example brought people into the 700’s or 800’s, yet, insofar as modern times go, isn’t his example a great leap backwards? You’ve been a better moral example, yet you aren’t the messenger. . .are you? 😛 Ivy writes how Buddha said women could be reincarnated as men, which we’d all dislike hearing around the dinner table, but nobody would be worried about the Buddha robbing from them, or kidnapping them, we’d be happy to have breakfast with Buddha, but tea with Mohammad, with all respect to you, sounds like you’d be fighting for your dignity/life. An example, again by Muslim writers, says Mohammad beheaded between 600 and 900 boys and men in a trench, isn’t there some limit to how badly a person can behave?

                      About the portion you’ve written later: ‘Take Christianity for example, it was written a lifetime later, and has been edited, revised, re translated, re-thought, selectively chosen, etc countless times. Who knows what such an editing process has changed.’ Yet, ‘within a lifetime later’ isn’t right, Mara, in fact, the German sceptic (and atheist) Gerd Ludemann notes: “the elements in the tradition (Corinthians 15) are to be dated to the first two years after the crucifixion of Jesus…not later than three years…the formation of the appearance traditions mentioned in 1 Cor. 15:3-8 falls into the time between 30 and 33 C.E.” So, rather than the New Testament material being written a lifetime later, the material within the New Testament has been written no further than 3 years after Jesus’ crucifixion, and the tradition upon which the material is based goes back to 30AD, so on the crucifixion year itself. We couldn’t get any closer to the event. The Gospels themselves can be shown to have been written before 70AD too, so, that’s also within the lifetime of the eyewitnesses.

                      Speaking about the extra claims made, is the accusation that because ancient writings were first written on perishable parchment, and needed then to be copied and recopied for extended periods of time, that that which we call The Bible today wasn’t what the original authors actually authored, rather what’s taken place was Chinese whispers (or the telephone game) on an awesome scale, one which has spanned centuries before being finalized? Because that’s how every book, the Quran included, has came down to readers, meaning there’s not much to complain about, right? Actually, whether or not scholars can retrieve the original manuscript is dependent upon how many copies of copies there are in our hands today, and how near they are to the date of the original Scriptures composition.
                      The fewer copies people have, and the fewer variant traditions, means we’re got less to compare and contrast with, meaning somebody could easily destroy one set of manuscripts and preserve the other, thus making it impossible to find the most accurate copy. Having one copy of Romeo and Juliet means anybody could write anything on its pages! But if there are thousands across the globe, each copied by different people, then there’s no way to hide what the original said. The New Testament, surprisingly, is the best attested book in history, having over 25,000 manuscripts for the scholars to compare through! What comes in second place to that? Homer’s Iliad, which has only 600 manuscripts. That’s a gap between the New Testament and every other book of around 24,000 manuscripts. In addition, we could reconstruct the entire New Testament even without these manuscripts, how? Through letters written by Christians in which they quote the books of the Bible, due to which research professor of Philosophy John Warwick Montgomery wrote the following: ‘To be sceptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament.’ So, to question the New Testament means rejecting every other book.

                      Likewise Torah material like Isaiah, our earliest copy of the book used to date from 980 AD, due to which many people would write how it’s been edited or revised or changed by people over the ages. Though discovering the Dead sea scrolls meant we’d found a copy from around 157 BC, so there’s over 1000 years between the two manuscripts. Did the two have massive changes? No, in fact, they were word-for-word identical! Textual critics assumed that centuries of copying and recopying this book must have introduced scribal errors into the document that obscured the original message of the author, though that simply never occurred, they’d remained faithful to the original prophet’s true message.

                      That’s the point I’m wondering about in the above though, breakfast with the Buddha, and if Mohammad is a bad example for people to follow today, wouldn’t it be better not to?

                      Liked by 2 people

                    5. I can agree and disagree.

                      First and foremost, that is not the case with the Quran, thus my questioning with the bible. The Quran had many copies made at the time of its creation, some of which exist to this very day, and there is zero variation.
                      My example with the bible was more along the lines of the sheer amount of different versions of the bible that there are, that they all include different parts, ideas, are selectively created and chosen, etc.
                      There seems to be a lot more customization involved.

                      The closest generally agreed upon time frame I could find in my research was 54 ad for Corinthians. Even that is approx. 20 some years apart. I can’t imagine writing an accurate story on the conversation we’re having now, 20 years from now without there being some error on my part.

                      And I don’t believe it’s as dramatic as rejecting other old literature, just recognizing that with this massive game of telephone, that there is the great possibility for change.
                      We might have to agree to disagree on this one, but I think there is a difference between an account written at the time it occurred, with other witnesses and sources, than a story written years later with resulting stories being based upon one another. I think the latter is far more likely to create an idealized creation than the former.

                      Well, with your first example, I think you’re being a bit dramatic, and forgetting what I mentioned earlier.
                      Mohammad was a leader, and at times, a political one at that. He made some terrible and disgusting choices to maintain a following, and it’s when people today use the literal example of an early warlord to dictate their actions now without thinking about the time those atrocious things were actually done that there’s a problem. While we’re far above actions like that now, it wasn’t a discommon practice then. I have said over and over that people can’t take the book literally, and need to interpret it to modern standards, as even the Quran itself tells you to do.

                      It would be like the KKK using the fact that Jesus accepted slavery to maintain slavery into modern days.

                      While a less dramatic and direct example, it still shows that times were different, and not everything can be taken literally and maintained the way it was.

                      Again, I have never once defended Mohammad as a perfect person. I’ve fully agreed that there was good with the bad. He definitely made strides forward in comparison with those around him, but just like most others in his time he wasn’t without unsavory elements.
                      Some Muslims believe that as our prophet he must be the perfect moral example, and there I disagree.
                      I believe Mohammad was the perfect Human example, and in that way, a good moral tale.
                      He had his good elements, he had his bad elements. He even had ugly elements. But in that way, he was very human.
                      Thus, I see the Quran and his story as a much more relate able and human story. It shows error, failures of the human character, mistakes, etc. It allows one to learn from the example of Mohammad. To emulate his good, and to learn from his bad. That’s why I personally believe he is a good example to follow to this day.

                      Would I have breakfast with Mohammad? No. If I insulted him, he’d have me killed.
                      But at the same time, Buddha would slight me for being female, and Jesus would accept if someone kept me in chains at the foot of the table.
                      Are those things better? Slightly. But are they all people with backwards ideas based on the time? Yup.

                      So do I think we should stop following Mohammad? No. I like following a prophet that is obviously human. I like learning from him.
                      Do I think the idealized and perfect image of him is something to follow? No.

                      Does that answer your question?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. When you wrote “The Quran had many copies made at the time of its creation, some of which exist to this very day, and there is zero variation.” that’s not true according to Muslim writers, in fact, they explained how there were so many variants of the Quran that they were gathered together and burnt! Burnt because Muslims feared the differences in the text would cause disagreements.

                      Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman came to Uthman at the time when the people (Muslims) of Syria and the people of Iraq were waging war to conquer Armenia and Azarbaijan. Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Syria and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur’an, so he said to ‘Uthman, “O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Quran) as Jews and the Christians did before.” So ‘Uthman sent a message to Hafsa saying, “Send us the manuscripts of the Qur’an so that we may compile the Qur’anic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to you.” Hafsa sent it to ‘Uthman. ‘Uthman then ordered Zaid bin Thabit, ‘Abdullah bin Az-Zubair, Said bin Al-As and ‘AbdurRahman bin Harith bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts in perfect copies. ‘Uthman said to the three Quraishi men, “In case you disagree with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Qur’an, then write it in the dialect of Quraish, the Qur’an was revealed in their tongue.” They did so, and when they had written many copies, ‘Uthman returned the original manuscripts to Hafsa. ‘Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur’anic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt. … (Sahih al-Bukhari: vol. 6, bk. 61, no. 510)

                      “Save this nation before they differ” The above Muslims were saying, not understanding that it’s only by having these traditions that we’d actually get closer to the original. Uthman’s copy of the Quran is what people are reading today, not Mohammad’s, luckily, insofar as I have read, other religions didn’t have an Uthman to destroy their treasured traditions.

                      This is so shocking because other versions of the Quran, versions which were supposedly different and written by the companions of Mohammad himself were then destroyed, so to say there’s zero variation just doesn’t make sense, have you ever tried copying from a textbook or even a post online, Mara? Please try, within a short time you’ll begin to feel tired, maybe hungry, and before you know it you’ll have miscopied something, not necessarily on purpose, simply by mistake, to write how there were no variants concerning the Quran seems unrealistic. Also, could you name some of these manuscripts which exist to this very day, by name would be great.

                      When you write Mohammad made some “disgusting” choices, you do realize that Mohammad said these were the words of Allah, right, they’re in the Quran as revelations from Allah, Allah (according to Mohammad) said it’s okay to rape women in front of their husbands. Mohammad said Allah wants men to beat their wives in submission, Mohammad said Allah has made women mentally deficient and that Mohammad is allowed to, although in his fifties, rape a child of nine years of age.

                      You then wrote: ‘Jesus accepted slavery to maintain slavery into modern days.’ That’s an untruth, Mara, simply reading Galatians 3:28 could explain the Christian perspective: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” It’s only by ignoring the teaching that people could continue to keep their slaves, unlike in the case of many other unordered books, the New Testament has chronology and reliable context on it’s side. In fact, Thomas Sowell, an African American historian, explains very well how it was only under the guard of the Christian world that slavery, which existed in many formed up until how it’s most famous, could be abolished. “Look at what the apostle Paul says in his letter to Philemon concerning a runaway slave named Onesimus.” they begin by writing: “Paul doesn’t say to overthrow slavery, because all that would do would be to get him executed. Instead he tells Philemon he’d better treat Onesimus as a brother in Christ, just as he would treat Paul himself. And then, to make matters perfectly clear, Paul emphasizes, ‘Remember, you owe your whole life to me because of the gospel.’ The above means that only within the confines of a culture defined and guarded by Christianity could people like William Wilberforce, the Quakers and others overturn a practice which pre-dated Christianity’s parable of the good Samaritan, which again was an example of Jesus’ teachings which told humanity to erase the racial hatred it’s long harbored. Actually, only after converting did William Wilberforce wage what seemed a one man campaign against his peers to have slavery overturned and outlawed in the UK! So, how do you come away with the impression that Jesus supports slavery?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    7. Scholars have come away with the conclusion that while there were variations, that this compilation of sorts created no major changes. So while there were slightly varying accounts, the final products remained very much the same [1].

                      He supported it by not calling into question previous parts of the bible that not only allow slavery, but set guidelines for how one may own and beat their slaves, the fact that Deuteronomy discusses and encourages one to not only enslave neighboring cities that don’t bow to god’s will, but to force marriage on any appealing women and take children for plunder as well.

                      I’m not looking to slander a religious figure, just bring up the fact that there are unsavory practices of the time that go unquestioned.
                      Does Jesus say, “We were wrong.”and that the bible and commands of god were incorrect or does he allow it?

                      [1]Introduction to the Qur’an, Richard Bell, W. Montgomery Watt, Edinburgh University Press, 1995, ISBN 978-0748605972, p. 51.

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                    8. You believe Jesus supports slavery because of “not calling into question previous parts of the bible that not only allow slavery,” that’s known as an argument from silence, Mara, it’s terribly fallacious. Not saying something doesn’t mean you’re for that thing, for example, you’ve yet to trash FGM, nevertheless, nobody should then assume you’re in favor of the practice.

                      I’m also surprised by you having written: “Would I have breakfast with Mohammad? No. If I insulted him, he’d have me killed.
                      But at the same time, Buddha would slight me for being female, and Jesus would accept if someone kept me in chains at the foot of the table.” You understand that it’s Mohammad who both slights you for being female and would enslave you at Jesus’ feet, right?! 🙂 You’re a very intelligent person, Mara, so it’s shocking you’re missing out on these obvious things.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    9. Please do not put words in my mouth.
                      I understand that he would enslave me and belittle me, also that he would kill me. I made that obvious with my comment that I wouldn’t have breakfast with him. Don’t assume I missed out on that when I called it out. I’ve mentioned numerous times Mohammad’s problems, have I not? I have even claimed that he was just as human as anyone, but it’s still assumed that I must hold him on some pedestal.

                      I also understand that it’s terribly fallacious. But doesn’t Jesus support the previous teachings of God? Does Jesus not claim to further a legacy of slavery and rape?
                      I’m genuinely curious

                      Liked by 2 people

                    10. Hey again, Mara, as you’ve asked, I’d be happy to explain why an honest reading of the Bible would show very clearly that there’s no support for slavery or rape to be found. Not to mention the fact that I’m happy to play defence, considering questions you’ve been so kind as to answer. 🙂 By one of your last messages you asked: “doesn’t Jesus support the previous teachings of God? Does Jesus not claim to further a legacy of slavery and rape? I’m genuinely curious.” The answer is that Jesus does not claim to further a legacy of slavery and rape, Jesus made claims, none of those were they however. I’m going to give you five reasons for believing the same. Thomas Sowell, in their Race and Culture book, explains how what people commonly interpreted as “slavery”, was better understand as becoming a menial labourer, like becoming a butler, featuring no African hating element or sub-class, rather offering one’s services as a “slave” was purely economic:

                      “While it could be be tied to military conquest, usually slavery served an economic function. They didn’t have bankruptcy laws, so if you got yourself into terrible hock, you sold yourself and/or your family into slavery. As it was discharging a debt, slavery was also providing work. It wasn’t necessarily all bad; at least it was an option for survival.

                      Please understand me: I’m not trying to romanticize slavery in any way. However, in Roman times there were menial labourers who were slaves, and there were also others who were the equivalent of distinguished Ph.D.’s who were teaching families. And there was no association of a particular race with slavery. In American slavery, though, all blacks and only blacks were slaves.

                      That was one of the peculiar horrors of it, and it generated an unfair sense of black inferiority that many of us continue to fight to this day. Now let’s look at the Bible. In Jewish society, under the Law everyone was to be freed every Jubilee. In other words, there was a slavery ban every seventh year. Whether or not things actually worked out that way, this was nevertheless what God said, and this was the framework in which Jesus was brought up.”

                      Both the Jubilee and having a proper understanding of ancient “slavery” goes to show there’s no legacy of enslaving as people understand slaving today, butlering done so by people at the PhD level isn’t so shocking as the modern slave trade. Sowell concludes:

                      “But you have to keep your eye on Jesus’ mission. Essentially, he did not come to overturn the Roman economic system, which included slavery. He came to free men and women from their sins. And here’s my point: What his message does is transform people so they begin to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love their neighbour as themselves. Naturally, that has an impact on the idea of slavery.”

                      The parable of the good Samaritan is an example of the above, and here’s why: The hatred between Jew and Samaritan wasn’t simply as religious hatred, rather the Samaritans were related to Jews who had intermingled with the neighbouring nations, taking on their practices and even intermarrying, so the feud was racial and continued in intensity due to a strong racist element. Jesus’ responded to the above by 2 points, firstly, by commanding Jews to “love their neighbour as themselves”, and secondly, by explicitly defining the Samaritan as “the neighbour”! There can’t be any confusion here.

                      Finally, and probably most obvious, would be the powerful anti-slavery narrative of Exodus! Which was thoroughly race related. Dr Martin Luther King in their “I’ve been to the mountaintop” speech parallels Moses bringing the Jews out of Egypt to such a degree that for modern people to ignore it is just extraordinary. “Let my people go” is the desire, and “my people”, even my neighbour, is everybody, does that means there’s no distinction between people? No. There are nevertheless unbelievers and believers, Samaritans and Jews, sinners and saints, yet their human value is affirmed and freedom demanded by the Christian tradition.

                      About your earlier points however, because I’ve been thinking on several of your points. As I’ve explained in another message, your character (insofar as I’ve read) isn’t abnormal, neither is your mind deficient, in addition, women are intelligent and deserving of respect, meaning Mohammad’s teachings, teachings which he claimed were from God, couldn’t have been spoken by God, because they teach women are stupid, stupid mentally and deficient spiritually. You’re explaining, explaining very eloquently, how Mohammad was “just as human” as anybody else, by which I take it to mean just as flawed, “to err is human” etc, however, I’ve never raped anybody, you’ve never beheaded anyone (let alone up to 900 children and men), and it’s my assumption that we’ve yet to become child abusers. Likewise neither Jesus nor the Buddha stole, murdered or destroyed. Nobody questions whether or not Mohammad was human, rather whether or not he was humane people have rightly asked, and the answer is seemingly they weren’t humane in the least, they were less humane than both of us, yet, shouldn’t prophets be held to a higher standard than we two, not a lower one? All of these murders, these sex assaults, having traditions in which his followers seemingly, without rebuke, ask to use what can only be described as “The pull out technique” to avoiding getting their sex slaves who they were raping pregnant (mainly done because they’d be harder to sell in the market after getting pregnant), isn’t there a point where people say what everybody is thinking, prophets don’t rape children, prophets don’t murder apostates, and they don’t claim God is telling them to do it, they don’t do every Mohammad did.

                      Another interesting point you made, and I’m sure you’ll agree right away. You cited a book, supposedly to contradict Uthman burning manuscripts he found dangerous: “Scholars have come away with the conclusion that while there were variations, that this compilation of sorts created no major changes. So while there were slightly varying accounts, the final products remained very much the same.”
                      Now, I’m sitting on the underground train yesterday, thinking to myself: How would anybody writing today know if the variations in the competing Quran manuscripts were meaningful, they’ve been destroyed! It’s like a murderer destroying the gun he used to kill his ex wife, then saying “None of the missing evidence has any bearing on this court case.” You can see how untrue that would be. What we do know is people at the time thought these things were dangerous enough to cause major disagreement. Sadly, by destroying all the evidence, nobody can find the most authentic and faithful manuscript tradition. Let’s not forget this isn’t material from an anti-Muslim militant Hindu website, it’s from an Islamic tradition. Today Christian communities have their supposed “gospel” of Judas, the apocalypse of Peter, gospel of Mary etc, and it’s because we have them that we can use dating techniques to show how they’re clearly fiction, written hundreds of years after the events they claim to record, meaning they couldn’t have been written by Peter, Judas, Thomas etc, they weren’t around any more to write them. Though in Islam, Muslims had that chance taken away from them, and all so they can boast that there’s no deviation from the faith and that they have Uthman’s Quran. Yet there’s loads of deviation in Islam! So the boast amounts to nothing.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    11. I like your response and appreciate your answers to my questions.

                      This is the last time I’m going to say it, as I’ve spent most of the conversation saying it over and over again. Mohammad did quite a few bad things. Mohammad lived in a time where such bad things were common. That makes it no less terrible, and makes me no happier with his actions.
                      Like I’ve said before, I’m not here to slight any other prophet, just to mention that none are perfect.

                      I just found it so deeply ironic that you asked me how I could follow a book like the Quran for all of its beauty being equally matched by terribly acts, when the bible itself has condoned genocide, rape, infanticide, murder, the execution of a mixed race couple, forced menial labor (I won’t find this any less disgusting), and so on. Yet, it is also a beautiful book that has inspired many to do many incredible things.

                      Thus the case with the Quran. It has itself many terrible examples and cases of horror, but also incredible beauty and wonderful ideas.

                      On the dark side we have the KKK and Islamic terrorism.
                      On the bright side we have Nobel prize winners and activists.
                      Can we agree on that?

                      And on the case of the Quran, there is variation. Studies have just shown that there is no significant variation. Many copies were destroyed, but not every single copy. Tests and testaments have been verified by studies, like the one I linked, that to our current scientific knowledge, there has been no variation based on the comparison of surviving texts and the consolidated “one Quran”. Could these studies be wrong? Totally, but for the time being, they’re what we have to go on.

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                    12. Oh, and in case I haven’t said it yet, this is really fun for me. It’s definitely caused me to look into what I believe, how I believe it, and what that translates into, for how I live my daily life. I honestly never thought I’d go that far considering that I’m a very casual follower of Islam.

                      Thank you for that ❤

                      Liked by 2 people

                    13. Good morning, Mara. I’m also enjoying the conversation, and for the length we’re coming to a far better understanding of how the other person approaches the subject, including whether or not their various objections are truly worth insisting upon. Supposed slavery in the Bible for example, which clearly isn’t promoted, couldn’t be complained about, whereas sex slavery, as found in the Quran and Islam traditions, ought to be highlighted, meaning one objection was shown to be false and misguided, while the other valid and an accurate description of events.

                      So, when you, even after mistakenly highlighting slavery, again write about the Bible condoning rape, murder and the execution of a mixed race couple (the strangest accusation) etcetera, aren’t you just slightly hesitant, especially considering you’ve misjudged the Bible before. I’m tempted to simply write Chapter and verse please, although before anything of that sort, I’d have to quote you again.

                      You explained: “On the dark side we have the KKK and Islamic terrorism. On the bright side we have Nobel prize winners and activists. Can we agree on that?”

                      Replying straight I’m not totally sure we can agree, and that’s not just me being contrary, 😛 not only is comparing the KKK (a tiny group which hasn’t been relevant in donkey’s years) to Islamic terrorism, which hold to views supported by the majority of Muslims, inaccurate, it’s also ignoring the point that Quran commands like “Fight those who believe not in Allah” gives Islamic terrorists justification from Allah for their cruel and perverted behaviours, whereas KKK behaviour, as show by the Jubilee, parable of the good Samaritan etc are explicitly forbidden. Terrorists have Allah’s seal of approval, racists don’t have Jesus’. There’s simply no comparison.

                      For example, KKK members (likewise Muslim terrorists) are extremely anti-Jewish, of course that’s absurd after having considered how Jesus Himself is Jewish, they’re simply misguided when they act in racist ways and try attributing their behaviour to anything other than their own prejudices. Sadly for KKK members the Bible isn’t their alibi, whereas in the case of Muslim terrorists, Mohammad’s life and Quran teachings are very much backing up their bombings, beheading and rapes. That’s partly why I’m surprised, you’re very nonchalant about the entire thing in the case of Islam, at least in print. Obviously in person these things would be very upsetting for both you and me, however by writing you’ll simply explain “Yes, Mohammad was a bad man.” then kinda move on, as if to admit they were horrid is good enough for you. Surely that’s not good enough for you, right?

                      Take Quran chapter 9 verse 29 for an example of the sort of thing I’m surprised people can just brush away: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

                      The chapter itself, which was the last of the entire book to be spoken/written, casually omits the customary “In the name of Allah, the merciful, the compassionate.” which proceeds every other chapter of the Qur’an, which clearly goes to show the command to no longer be merciful or compassionate as Muslim believers, at least merciless insofar as how to behave towards unbelievers. In addition, Muslims in the above are being told to fight not because they’re being attacked, that’s commonly a misconception, rather they’re being told to go on the offensive and attack other people for having different beliefs and practices from Muslims. This form of fighting is not spiritual, it’s physical violence, as the chapter shows (9:111). Many Muslims appeared shocked by the Charlie Hebdo murders, yet why, they’d drawn pictures and weren’t holding forbidden what “Allah” holds forbidden.

                      In closing Muslims are commanded to do battle with unbelievers until they pay protection money, after which they’re told to stay their assault. So, unlike the KKK, who are failing to misuse the Bible, terrorists are actually doing as their book says when they tax people who aren’t or are Muslim. What’s even sadder is how in Islamic theology not believing in Allah is supposedly an unforgivable sin, yet rather than correct people so to remove this most heinous of sins from their lives, Allah’s fighters are ordered to tax unbelievers and take of their income. An all good God doesn’t mind sin apparently, not whilst people are paying the Islamic state protection money from out of their wages.

                      To decide whether or not the above is really commanding such horrible things means reading into the immediate context, which says: “O ye who believe! (Muslims) The idolaters only are unclean. So let them not come near the Inviolable Place of Worship after this their year. If ye fear poverty (from the loss of their merchandise) Allah shall preserve you of His bounty if He will. Lo! Allah is Knower, Wise.”

                      I’m sorry to have to stress this so thoroughly, but in the case of the KKK, reading the Bible only shows they’re wrong, while reading the Quran only shows IS they’re right. Later Muslim commentators give the historic context to Quran chapter nine too: Ibn Kathir, The Battles of the Prophet, pp. 183-4—Allah, Most High, ordered the believers to prohibit the disbelievers from entering or coming near the sacred Mosque. On that, Quraish thought that this would reduce their profits from trade. Therefore, Allah, Most High, compensated them and ordered them to fight the people of the Book until they embrace Islam or pay the Jizyah. Allah says, “O ye who believe! Truly the pagans are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the sacred Mosque. And if ye fear poverty, soon will Allah enrich you, if He wills, out of His bounty, for Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” Therefore, the Messenger of Allah decided to fight the Romans in order to call them to Islam.’

                      Now, context wise, Mohammad’s army had already destroyed 360 idols in Mecca, by which they’d stopped thousands of people from practising their own religion (Islamic state do likewise to Buddha statues), though to add further insult to injury, after banning these people from their own homes, Mohammad then decides to chase these people he’d already expelled to take their money in taxes. So, Muslim fighters destroyed their religion, evicted them and stole their property, and rather than let them be afterwards, they chase them outside of the city for further pay days, I mean, is there yet another reason why this is acceptable, surely not. The big problem is there’s no waving these things away as an act of Mohammad and him alone, because they’d often involve “Allah” in their comments, Allah “enriches” Muslims from his bounty, hence they’re allowed to rob people, “Allah” says Muslims can rape married women, “Allah” supports Mohammad being a paedophile for no obvious reason. Trashing Buddha or Jesus or Moses really doesn’t make the above go away, it’s only good for making communities get their backs up against the wall.

                      Again, Allah being Mohammad’s defence for various dodgy behaviours happens to be in the Quran too, as found in chapter thirty-three: “When thou saidst to him whom God had blessed and thou hadst favoured, ‘Keep thy wife to thyself, and fear God,’ and thou wast concealing within thyself what God should reveal, fearing other men; and God has better right for thee to fear Him. So when Zaid had accomplished what he would of her, then we gave her in marriage to thee,”

                      The above in full in supposedly justification for Mohammad taking the wife of his own adopted son in marriage, which despite as you’re written, was bad even for the age, as the surrounding people knew, though, isn’t a pattern forming here, Mohammad is in some social situation, with which they claim Allah has given the revelation which permits whatever revolting behaviour he or his believers want to indulge in. “concealing within thyself” Means Mohammad had secret sexual desires for the wife of his own adopted son, while they were married no less, which surely led into their divorce, after which Mohammad took her for himself. The above verse ends with reasons for yet another seemingly selfish, unprophetlike behaviour: “so that there should not be any fault in the believers, touching the wives of their adopted sons, when they have accomplished what they would of them; and God’s commandment must be performed.” Ruining a marriage was really the best way to teach people about adoption, not simply a beautiful poem? Only divorce and Mohammad having sex with someone else’s wife could solve the issue, are you convinced?

                      About the rest of your reply, because you’ve written: “And on the case of the Quran, there is variation. Studies have just shown that there is no significant variation. Many copies were destroyed, but not every single copy. Tests and testaments have been verified by studies,” However, you can’t test what isn’t there, that’s how forensic science works. Your argument is an argument from authority, but not substance. Rather you’re saying these men have the substance, and we ought to believe them because they’re a doctor or something along those lines. The evidence is gone, that’s really the bookend, as Muslims intended, they wanted to destroy damaging material and did exactly that, as for Muslims today, people who didn’t destroy the manuscripts, they can only be annoyed with the last generations for possibly hiding the words of Mohammad forever.

                      Insofar as I’ve read your replies, Mara, I’m sympathetic and understand how you’re as unhappy with Mohammad’s behaviour as anybody else, especially so when you write: “Mohammad did quite a few bad things. Mohammad lived in a time where such bad things were common. That makes it no less terrible, and makes me no happier with his actions.” Yet, after explaining that it’s like you’ve already made your peace with it, you’re then likely to sling mud at the nearest holy man you can find. You’ll follow up by writing: “Like I’ve said before, I’m not here to slight any other prophet, just to mention that none are perfect.” You may then write something disparaging about Buddha, or even accuse Jesus of supporting things they clearly don’t support like slavery, even then however, throwing mud, even mud that just won’t stick, wouldn’t make Mohammad any less reprehensible. The main question wouldn’t be can people find some sort of twisted reasoning to rescue an otherwise monstrous historic figure, there’s in fact nothing more impressive than listening to a Mormon talk themselves (and sometimes others) in circles to make something read in a way it was never meant to read, rather the question is whether or not you’re personally convinced by the kinds of answer you’ve had to read in order to defend both Mohammad and Islam. Are these good defenses, even claims like “studies have shown” when there can be no forensic study of the destroyed evidence etc ect. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, for example, had many wives, had a secret revelation given to him by an angel, said they needed to return the pure religion because the others had been corrupted, likewise they boasted in being an unlearned person, and just like Mohammad they had a sordid sex life and were involved in violent movements, yet, there’s always “a reason”, always some bizarre “isn’t it possible?” excuse which can rescue Smith if the Mormon really really wants to believe, isn’t the same true of Islam?

                      “I’m an illiterate.”

                      “I’m just as human as anybody else.”

                      “I had to rape that child. . . for political reasons.”

                      “It may not have been me who allowed their followers to rape their married captives.”

                      “Those destroyed manuscripts which people say were causing division weren’t really causing division. . .they were destroyed for other reasons.”

                      “I took my son’s wife to teach everybody a valuable lesson about adoption.”

                      “I ended adoption because these kids aren’t really your kids (making the first lesson totally void).”

                      “Allah has enriched me from his bounty, that’s why I’m robbing you.”

                      “Allah says you’re unclean, that’s why I’m destroying your religion.”

                      Now, is giving the proverbial middle finger to the Buddha over supposed sexism really an appropriate/adult answer to the above? Also, because I’m asking you the above questions sincerely, are you personally impressed by the above list of excuses, or do they seem as weak to you as they do to me? Wow the morning has ran away with itself! 🙂 Luckily I have a long commute today, if you fancy replying.

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                    14. I mentioned that I wasn’t trying to bring other prophets down, just mention the human nature involved. I don’t study or debate religions. Yet you accuse me of slinging mud, giving Buddha the middle finger, and tell me I’m being less than adult. Yet, why not use the adult response of educating me to my error and explaining a better path of reason than degrading me?
                      I ask genuine questions about the bible, and am trying to have a conversation about it, despite having never studied it or Christianity and instead of highlighting how I’m wrong in some of the cases and educating me, you tell me I’ve simply misjudged the bible again.
                      You say that most Muslims are in favor of the ideas behind terrorism despite the fact that we make up a huge population, many of us living lives in support of compassion and possessing very different interpretations, in comparison to a very small group of terrorists. Yet we’re somehow all on the same boat as terrorists
                      You’ve also accused me of prejudice for saying that there are members of every religion that aren’t good people.
                      You’ve continuously brought up rape after I respectfully asked if we steer away from the subject as to not bring on another PTSD episode.

                      I made it very clear in the beginning that I don’t study religions, and am very casually religious.
                      I came to this conversation with genuine questions, and a willingness to learn, so long as I was treated with respect.
                      You’ve stopped treating me with respect.

                      So, I’m afraid I’m done with this conversation. I have a life, finals, a job, I don’t need to continue a conversation where I’m being degraded on a personal level.

                      Feel free to respond back and degrade me more, tell me how I’m wrong, or insult me yet again.
                      I just won’t be here for it.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    15. Islam degrades you, Mara, not me. How you interpret the faith wouldn’t really matter if you’re not being faithful to how Mohammad practiced Islam. Good luck with your finals and the like.

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                    16. Then again, I’m not a scholar, I don’t study religion, and I don’t know the proper practices used for such discussions.
                      Like I said, I’m a casual, liberal, 19 year old comedy writer that happens to be Muslim.

                      I just don’t appreciate having things said for me, and people assuming that I can’t see the obvious.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    17. At this point, I think I need to step back, again on the knowledge that I’m no expert on religion. Just one Muslim.
                      I believe I’ve answered your questions on what I believe personally in relation to Islam, so if it’s alright, I think I’ll leave it here.
                      I have to get ready for finals anyway.

                      Thank you so very much for the awesome conversation.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    18. I think an interesting read for both of you would be to check out http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/
                      It will definitely answer some of the questions that were brought up here, and it will be a learning adventure for both of you. This is a project that has been going on since well before the internet, and was given the perfect platform with the rise of the internet. it’s got the Book of Mormon, the Bible and the Quran.

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                    19. Briefly, for Ivy, you’ve written: “Christianity and Judaism absolutely have the same issues with their stances toward the treatment of women.” Quickly, because I’ll be catching my forty winks soon, I’d really like to read where you see the same kind of issues in the Christian religious writings as in the Islamic ones. Sex slaves, child abuse and the like don’t seem really prevalent insofar as I’ve read.

                      For example, in the case of Christianity, women were the chief discoverers of the empty tomb, which given the context was very taboo, as they were thought of in Jewish culture in the same way Mohammad considered women, meaning their testimony was worth half that of a man’s. To write how women discovered the empty tomb not only hurt the Resurrection event, because people didn’t believe women and their testimony, but it also, in time, elevated the status of women everywhere.

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