Archive for Mohammad

Mohammad’s By-The-Book Instructions

Posted in Atheist, belief, culture, faith, history, random, religion with tags , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2014 by chouck017894

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Making Violence “Holy”

Nowhere in the Quran is there any mention that humanity exists as a broadly diverse but interrelated whole, or that humanity is, in turn, interrelated with all else in Creation. (To be fair, neither Judaic nor Christian systems are particularly instructive in this truth of Creation either.) What Mohammad chose to stress from having lived in and conditioned by the harsh desert environment was the arid belief that all factions of life are in competition for any and all necessities of continued existence. Once he took up the role as prophet, and had his visions written down in book form (as were Judaic and Christian beliefs which he had encountered in his caravan travels), his hardened tribal approach to “faith” was to stress the idea that any natural diversities and varieties of life were to be confronted aggressively. Mohammad’s preaching and teachings thus assumed the flavor of a tribal chieftain’s directives in which belief was judged by whether or not one chose to believe in Mohammad as the prophet of Allah. Anyone who did not accept his prophet status were/are rejected as kafir (disbeliever), which has become the most shameful word in Muslim devotional rhetoric.

The continuous tribal warfare conditions which prevailed through Mohammad’s youth heavily colored his instructed contempt for the kafir, and this actively encourages arrogant belief, for throughout the entire Quran there is a vigorous undercurrent of hostility and hatred. Although Allah is declared “Lord of the worlds” (as in 6:45), the obvious Allah-approved diversity and variety of those worlds and the interrelatedness of all things in Creation are nowhere acknowledged. Instead, any differences are shamelessly presented as reason enough to practice violent acts in the name of narrow belief. The Quran, credited to Mohammad, is the by-the-book reference of Islam, a faith system which ironically assesses itself as the Religion of Peace. Oddly, justification for indulging in violence is asserted repeatedly throughout its pages. Indeed, no matter how you read the Quran the path to Islamic Paradise is a bloody one. For example, there are at minimum some 109 verses which make a direct call for Muslims to war with any and all people who do not subscribe to Mohammad’s interpretation of what constitutes holy conduct. This is an ideology that completely ignores the variety and diversity of spirit which is openly proclaimed throughout Creation. And this hostility to Creation’s variety and diversity is drummed into each child’s head with repeated recitations of hostile-flavored Quran verses, such as:

* 2:216 Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not. (This devotion to violence is a constant repetition akin to the old tribal-style self-hypnotizing practice indulged in prior to going into battle; and that mesmerizing practice of cultivated hatred continues throughout the Quran.)
* 3:151 Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers (kafirs), for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority. (The “joined companions with Allah” can be twisted to include the Trinity in Christian theology, for example.)
* 4:74 Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward. (This call is for battle, and the undisguised summons to destroy and inflict death is allegedly for Allah.)
* 4:91 If they do not keep away from you or offer you peace or withdraw their hostilities, then seize them and kill them wherever they are. We give you complete authority over them. (It is always the divine “We”, inferring Allah and his self-proclaimed messenger.)
* 5:33 The only reward for those who war against Allah and his messengers and strive to commit mischief in the land is that they should be slain or crucified, have their alternate hands and feet cut off, or be banished from the land. This will be their disgrace in this world, and a great torment shall be theirs in the next except those who repent before you overpower them. Know that Allah is forgiving and merciful. (How’s that again??)
* 8:12 Then the Lord spoke to His angels and said, I will be with you. Give strength to the believers. I will send terror into the kafirs’ hearts, cut off their heads and even the tips of their fingers.
* 8:65 O Prophet, exhort the believers to fight… (Remember, this is a religion of peace.)
* 9:28 Oh, believers, only the kafirs are unclean.
* 9:29 Make war on those who have received the Scriptures (Jews and/or Christians) but do not believe in Allah or the Last Day. They do not forbid what Allah and his messenger (Mohammad) have forbidden… (Jews and Christians, in some versions of the Quran are referred to as “People of the Book”, an ironic snub to the religions which served as his models for the faith system which is also guided by-the-book.)
* 23:97 And say: Oh my Lord. I seek refuge with You from the suggestions of the evil ones (the kafirs). And I seek refuge with you, my Lord, from their presence.
* 25:52 Therefore listen not to the unbelievers (kafirs), but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness… (In other words, indulge in Jihad. Not considered in Muslim’s evaluation of this verse is that it was penned in reference to the taking of Mecca, and not a recommendation for a life style.)
* 25:77 Say to the kafirs (disbelievers): My Lord does not care for you or your prayers. You have rejected the truth, so sooner or later, a punishment will come.
* 33:60 They (the kafirs) will be cursed, and wherever they are found, they will be seized and murdered. It was Allah’s same practiece with those who came before them, and you will find no change in Allah’s ways. (Apparently Allah hated most everything he had created, but was unable to clean it up himself.)
* 40:35 They (the kafirs) who dispute the signs of Allah without authority having reached them are greatly hated by Allah and the believers. So Allah seals up every arrogant, disdainful heart and (is) despised by Allah.
* 47:4 When you encounter the kafirs on the battlefield, cut off their heads until you have throughly defeated them and then take the prisoners and tie them up firmly.
* 86:15 They (the kafirs) plot and scheme against you, and I (Allah) plot and scheme against them. Therefore deal calmly with the kafirs and leave them alone for awhile. (It is not explained what circumstances signal the renewed attacks on the kafirs.)

Just as the numerous differing versions of the Old and New Testaments, there are also differing versions and translations of the Quran. The verses cited here are just a few examples. The purpose is simply to show that there is a great deal of hatred repeatedly expressed in the texts of all three of the western worlds’ faith systems, but as shown here, the Quran expresses total hatred repeatedly and most adamantly. No one is supposed to escape from Muslim’s contempt; not Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists–or whoever is different. The implied primary directive in Islam seems to be, hate everyone who reveres the Life Principle in a different manner; a kind of kill first and ask questions later. The inherited tribal mentality and conduct in which Mohammad was raised was thus continued, and this was/is shown in regard toward women who were/are taken captive by Mohammad’s followers. The captive women could be used freely for any of the men’s sexual pleasure; the only forbidden contact was with “unclean” women as defined in Muslim law concerning menstruation. The only other technicality about using captive women as the men pleased concerned pregnant women; they were forbidden for sexual use until after she had given birth. Such freedom of sexual availability for the men was regarded as a kind of preview of the limitless pleasures that supposedly awaits in Paradise for Mohammad’s followers.

Compassion for the interrelated aspects of all life is not a concept to which the author of the Quran could relate, primarily because it was not seen as being demonstrated anywhere in the harsh desert environment in which he dwelt. Interestingly, Islam still is concentrated and flourishes primarily in the more harsh regions of Earth; and in those regions where the faith system is dominant any religious minorities which endure there suffer considerable religious intolerance. This is indisputable evidence that Islam is hardly a religion of peace and tolerance as claimed.

Further evidence of sanctioned fanatical intolerance is found in the conventional Dictionary of Islam in which the word jihad is defined as: “A religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission of Mohammad. It is an incumbent religious duty, established in the Quran and in the Traditions as a divine institution, and enjoined specially for the purpose of advancing Islam and for repelling evil from Muslims…”

Such is the “divine” assignment of Islam, a faith system which teaches that peace is to be violently pursued.

Desert Reality and Divine Delusions

Posted in Atheist, belief, faith, random, religion with tags , , , , , , on August 23, 2014 by chouck017894

The prophet Mohammad was probably born c 560 CE; this is the most likely date out of eight dates that have been given in various accounts of his life. In the days of his boyhood there was no central authority to weld nomadic tribes with any social consciousness. Rather, each tribe existed as a single and separate entity that was in constant competition with other tribes for the essentials of life. Under such conditions personal retaliation was the only “law” that they understood when loss was experienced due to another tribe or person. “Justice” was therefore understood as imposing an extortion of payment; in other words, indulgence in vendetta. That is a feature which still erupts from the background of Islam, for that tribal retaliation mindset remains the heart and soul of Muslim conduct with all whom they choose to judge to be “infidels.” The natural outcome of the vendetta mindset was a state of perpetual warlike conditions among the tribes, for each retaliation necessitated in turn the opponents’ retaliation. Such ongoing irrational indignities were brought to a standstill among the tribes only during the mutually agreed upon times of religious observances at Mecca. Mohammad, however, grandiosely claimed to be counseled by Allah and thus chose not to respect such rationality. (The recognition of Allah was derived from an earlier tribal designation al-Lah, meaning High God in a pantheon of earlier Arab gods.)

The Arabs up to the general timeframe of Mohammad’s youth had long observed a custom of addressing the planet Venus as al-Uzza, meaning “The Mighty One,” and it was by that name that Mohammad had worshipped it as a youth. The Sabeans (Sabaeans), the ancient inhabitants of the kingdom of Saba (Sheba), regarded the Moon as the visible symbol of their principal deity. The birth festival associated with this deity occurred in the tenth month by Arab reckoning (which equals the 24th of December in western cultures), with the birth of the “Lord Moon” being celebrated on that night. This provides the reason for the emblem of Islam being the crescent new Moon and a single star. The true relationship of Earth circling the sun occurring at that time of year was not recognized as important for they regarded the sun as feminine.

During his merchant travels Mohammad had plenty of opportunity to listen to Jewish and Christian merchants speak of their faiths. Gradually Mohammad apparently grew to understand that his youthful adoration of al-Uzza (Venus), as one of three bannat al-Lab, or “Daughters of God,” had been focused upon the symbol of past celestial turmoil. The other two “Daughters of God” were known as al-Lat, “the goddess,” and Manat, “the Fateful One.” These three deities were of especial importance to the Arabs of the Hejaz in the time of Mohammad’s youth. (Within Hejaz in NW Arabia are Mecca and Medina, the holy places of Islam.) Influenced by Jewish and Christian tales Mohammad apparently concluded that those revered stones could not rightfully represent the Sustainer out of which the legendary events had occurred.

The implied kinship, “Daughters of God,” and also the reference to the three “sisters” as bannat al-dabr, meaning “daughters of fate,” seemed to hint of past tribulations and woe for Earth.* Further indication that these “daughters” were linked to past Venus-Earth turmoil is the fact that the three deities had been represented with large standing stones, not as comprehensible feminine forms. Thus in the Quran (53:19-26) the question is raised in regard to having formerly worshipped al Uzza, al-Lat, and Manat, calling them “…nothing but empty names which you have invented–you and your forefathers–for which God has bestowed no warrant from on high.” Nonetheless, a meteorite stone, which probably hurtled to Earth during one of the encounters with the planet-sized comet which had disturbed the orbits of both Earth and Mars became the cornerstone of the Muslim shrine Kaaba.

The association of al Uzza, al-Lat and Manat in Arabic culture is thus far older than Mohammad. The legends and folklore among the Arab tribes concerning past celestial terrors associated with Venus would naturally color Mohammad’s interpretation of a divine being. This background of star-associated legends gives added dimension to the romanticized picturing of Mohammad meditating under the crescent moon — and perhaps concentrating on the planet Venus.

It is said that Mohammad, during his youth, had traveled widely with his tradesman uncle, and he continued to travel widely after he had become a prosperous merchant himself. This traveling merchant connection has led some scholars to speculate that his wide-ranging journeys provided abundant opportunity to hear the religious claims of both the Jews and Christians. The theory is that the stories that he heard from members of each faith as they read from their holy books inspired him, and this, they say, is evident in the use of biblical characters in his later dictations. The muddle of these recited tales must have seemed bewildering to the prophet. Somewhere amid all this, possibly as he meditated upon the planet Venus under a crescent new moon while on Mount Hira, Mohammad is claimed to have had a “vision.”

Islam’s origins, even though well within the framework of verifiable history, is strangely imprecise. Islam’s traditions of a desert prophet passing along angelic revelations to a ragtag band of followers, although colorful and inspiring, is rejected by main scholars. The underlying reason is the historically verifiable rapid politcal success of the movement, which indicates that something much more secular was at work than patient heaven customarily sponsors. An omniscient Creator would find it creatively impractical to promote the self-contradictory term “holy war” as a devotional duty: worldly conquest can hardly be an obsession for an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent Creator.

Mohammad died unexpectedly in 632. Strangely, the prophet had provided no instruction as to who was to carry on his holy work, for he left no male heir to continue the prophetic lineage. This lack of foresight regarding future leadership naturally resulted in confusion and uncertainty concerning Allah’s desires on how the Arab people were to conduct themselves. That question of entitlement over who was intended to represent Mohammad’s spiritual vision is still violently contested between the Sunni and Shia to this day in continuous tribal-style conflicts.