Muslims Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Muslims. Here they are! All 189 of them:

Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
Muhammad has always been standing higher than the Christianity. He does not consider god as a human being and never makes himself equal to God. Muslims worship nothing except God and Muhammad is his Messenger. There is no any mystery and secret in it.
Leo Tolstoy
Yes I am, I am also a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist, and a Jew.
Mahatma Gandhi
A child is not a Christian child, not a Muslim child, but a child of Christian parents or a child of Muslim parents. This latter nomenclature, by the way, would be an excellent piece of consciousness-raising for the children themselves. A child who is told she is a 'child of Muslim parents' will immediately realize that religion is something for her to choose -or reject- when she becomes old enough to do so.
Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
The Christians gave Him Sunday, the Jews gave Him Saturday, and the Muslims gave Him Friday. God has a three-day weekend.
George Carlin
She said, "It's not life or death, the labyrinth." "Um, okay. So what is it?" "Suffering," she said. "Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolivar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?... Nothing's wrong. But there's always suffering, Pudge. Homework or malaria or having a boyfriend who lives far away when there's a good-looking boy lying next to you. Suffering is universal. It's the one thing Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims are all worried about.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
I am a Muslim, because it's a religion that teaches you an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. It teaches you to respect everybody, and treat everybody right. But it also teaches you if someone steps on your toe, chop off their foot. And I carry my religious axe with me all the time.
Malcolm X
The great majority of us are Muslims. We follow the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed (may peace be upon him). We are members of the brotherhood of Islam in which all are equal in rights, dignity and self-respect. Consequently, we have a special and a very deep sense of unity. But make no mistake: Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
The real dawah to Islam is the character of a Muslim.
Nouman Ali Khan
I am frequently asked if I have visited Israel, whereas yet, it is simply assumed that I have. Well, I don’t travel. I really don’t, and if I did, I probably wouldn’t visit Israel. I remember how it was in 1948 when Israel was being established and all my Jewish friends were ecstatic, I was not. I said: what are we doing? We are establishing ourselves in a ghetto, in a small corner of a vast Muslim sea. The Muslims will never forget nor forgive, and Israel, as long as it exists, will be embattled. I was laughed at, but I was right. I can’t help but feel that the Jews didn’t really have the right to appropriate a territory only because 2000 years ago, people they consider their ancestors, were living there. History moves on and you can’t really turn it back. (#92 ff.)
Isaac Asimov (Asimov Laughs Again: More Than 700 Jokes, Limericks and Anecdotes)
How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.
Winston S. Churchill (The River War)
America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even eaten with people who in America would have been considered white, but the white attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all together, irrespective of their color.
Malcolm X
Radical Muslims fly planes into buildings. Radical Christians kill abortion doctors. Radical Atheists write books.
Hemant Mehta
Recently , crowds of thousands gathered throughout the Muslim world - burning European embassies, issuing threats, taking hostages, even killing people - in protest over twelve cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad that were first published in a Danish newspaper. When was the last atheist riot?
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
Just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim Algebra, we will see tht there is no such thing as Christian or Muslim morality.
Sam Harris (The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values)
Many well-meaning Dutch people have told me in all earnestness that nothing in Islamic culture incites abuse of women, that this is just a terrible misunderstanding. Men all over the world beat their women, I am constantly informed. In reality, these Westerners are the ones who misunderstand Islam. The Quaran mandates these punishments. It gives a legitimate basis for abuse, so that the perpetrators feel no shame and are not hounded by their conscience of their community. I wanted my art exhibit to make it difficult for people to look away from this problem. I wanted secular, non-Muslim people to stop kidding themselves that "Islam is peace and tolerance.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Infidel)
No one today is purely one thing. Labels like Indian, or woman, or Muslim, or American are not more than starting-points, which if followed into actual experience for only a moment are quickly left behind. Imperialism consolidated the mixture of cultures and identities on a global scale. But its worst and most paradoxical gift was to allow people to believe that they were only, mainly, exclusively, white, or Black, or Western, or Oriental. Yet just as human beings make their own history, they also make their cultures and ethnic identities. No one can deny the persisting continuities of long traditions, sustained habitations, national languages, and cultural geographies, but there seems no reason except fear and prejudice to keep insisting on their separation and distinctiveness, as if that was all human life was about. Survival in fact is about the connections between things; in Eliot’s phrase, reality cannot be deprived of the “other echoes [that] inhabit the garden.” It is more rewarding - and more difficult - to think concretely and sympathetically, contrapuntally, about others than only about “us.” But this also means not trying to rule others, not trying to classify them or put them in hierarchies, above all, not constantly reiterating how “our” culture or country is number one (or not number one, for that matter).
Edward W. Said (Culture and Imperialism)
The italian nanny was attempting to answer the teachers latest question when the moroccan student interupted, shouting "Excuse me, What is an easter?" it would seem that depsite having grown up in a muslim country, she would have heard it mentioned once or twice, but no. "I mean it," She said. " I have no idea what you people are talking about." The teacher called upon the rest of us to explain. The poles led the charge to the best of their ability. It is," said one, "a party for the little boy of god who call his self jesus and... oh shit." She faltered and her fellow country man came to her aid. He call his self Jesus and then he die one day on two... morsels of... lumber." The rest of the class jumped in, offering bits of information that would have given the pope an aneurysm. he die one day and then he go above of my head to live with your father." he weared of himself the long hair and after he die. the first day he come back here for to say hello to the peoples." he Nice the jesus." he make the good things, and on the easter we be sad because somebody makes him dead today.
David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day)
We (Muslims) have no right, in our present misery, to boast of past glories. But we must realise that it was the negligence of the Muslims - and not any deficiency in the teachings of Islam - that caused our present decay.
Muhammad Asad
Suppose we concede that if I had been born of Muslim parents in Morocco rather than Christian parents in Michigan, my beliefs would be quite different. [But] the same goes for the pluralist...If the pluralist had been born in [Morocco] he probably wouldn't be a pluralist. Does it follow that...his pluralist beliefs are produced in him by an unreliable belief-producing process?
Alvin Plantinga
The critics…have it backward: The Qur’an is not the source of the Muslim world’s problems, but its untapped solution.
Mohamad Jebara (The Life of the Qur'an: From Eternal Roots to Enduring Legacy)
The problem with Christians is they aren't as good as Jesus. But thank God most Muslims are better than Muhammad.
Wafa Sultan
In newsreels or news-photos, the Arab is always shown in large numbers. No individuality, no personal characteristics or experiences. Most of the pictures represent mass rage and misery, or irrational (hence hopelessly eccentric) gestures. Lurking behind all of these images is the menace of jihad. Consequence: a fear that the Muslims (or Arabs) will take over the world.
Edward W. Said (Orientalism)
Brilliant Muslim scholars applied Qur’anic insights to spark the medieval Islamic Golden Age filled with a mind-boggling outpouring of creativity in science, math, medicine, fashion, philosophy, economics, mental health therapy, architecture, art, and beyond.
Mohamad Jebara (The Life of the Qur'an: From Eternal Roots to Enduring Legacy)
Israelites, Christians and Muslims profess immortality, but the veneration they render this world proves they believe only in it, since they destine all other worlds, in infinite number, to be its reward or punishment.
Jorge Luis Borges
I stare at him for a few more minutes, my heart expanding with love for him. We'll be OK,' I whisper, letting the night capture my wish. We're owed that at least. A life of not scanning rooftops, of not being relieved the ceiling didn't cave in on us during the night. He and I are owed a love story that doesn't end in tragedy.
Zoulfa Katouh (As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow)
When the sun shall be folded up; and when the stars shall fall; and when the mountains shall be made to pass away; and when the camels ten months gone with young shall be neglected; and when the seas shall boil; and when the souls shall be joined again to their bodies; and when the girl who hath been buried alive shall be asked for what crime she was put to death; and when the books shall be laid open; and when the heavens shall be removed; and when hell shall burn fiercely; and when paradise shall be brought near: every soul shall know what it hath wrought.
Anonymous (القرآن الكريم)
As a woman in this world, it is important to take up space and make yourself heard even if it intimidates and offends powerful men.
Samra Habib (We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir)
I think I have a very good idea why it is that anti-Semitism is so tenacious and so protean and so enduring. Christianity and Islam, theistic though they may claim to be, are both based on the fetishizing of human primates: Jesus in one case and Mohammed in the other. Neither of these figures can be called exactly historical but both have one thing in common even in their quasi-mythical dimension. Both of them were first encountered by the Jews. And the Jews, ravenous as they were for any sign of the long-sought Messiah, were not taken in by either of these two pretenders, or not in large numbers or not for long. If you meet a devout Christian or a believing Muslim, you are meeting someone who would give everything he owned for a personal, face-to-face meeting with the blessed founder or prophet. But in the visage of the Jew, such ardent believers encounter the very figure who did have such a precious moment, and who spurned the opportunity and turned shrugging aside. Do you imagine for a microsecond that such a vile, churlish transgression will ever be forgiven? I myself certainly hope that it will not. The Jews have seen through Jesus and Mohammed. In retrospect, many of them have also seen through the mythical, primitive, and cruel figures of Abraham and Moses. Nearer to our own time, in the bitter combats over the work of Marx and Freud and Einstein, Jewish participants and protagonists have not been the least noticeable. May this always be the case, whenever any human primate sets up, or is set up by others, as a Messiah.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Jahiliyyah is not an epoch but a mindset—and willful stagnation can occur among any people. After stagnating in the Dark Ages for cen- turies, Europeans finally realized that the Muslims—long dismissed as heathens—had actually preserved classical European wisdom. Once the Europeans opened their minds to reclaim that heritage, they embarked on the Renaissance. Muslims can benefit from a similar perspective. Western knowledge is not heretical but rather has preserved and built upon Muhammad’s core values.
Mohamad Jebara (Muhammad, the World-Changer: An Intimate Portrait)
Incompatible religious doctrines have balkanized our world into separate moral communities, and these divisions have become a continuous source of bloodshed. Indeed, religion is as much a living spring of violence today as it has been at any time in the past. The recent conflicts in Palestine (Jews vs. Muslims), the Balkans (Orthodox Serbians vs. Catholic Croatians; Orthodox Serbians vs. Bosnian and Albanian Muslims), Northern Ireland (Protestants vs. Catholics), Kashmir (Muslims vs. Hindus), Sudan (Muslims vs. Christians and animists), Nigeria (Muslims vs. Christians), Ethiopia and Eritrea (Muslims vs. Christians), Sri Lanka (Sinhalese Buddhists vs. Tamil Hindus), Indonesia (Muslims vs. Timorese Christians), Iran and Iraq (Shiite vs. Sunni Muslims), and the Caucasus (Orthodox Russians vs. Chechen Muslims; Muslim Azerbaijanis vs. Catholic and Orthodox Armenians) are merely a few cases in point. These are places where religion has been the explicit cause of literally millions of deaths in recent decades. Why is religion such a potent source of violence? There is no other sphere of discourse in which human beings so fully articulate their differences from one another, or cast these differences in terms of everlasting rewards and punishments. Religion is the one endeavor in which us–them thinking achieves a transcendent significance. If you really believe that calling God by the right name can spell the difference between eternal happiness and eternal suffering, then it becomes quite reasonable to treat heretics and unbelievers rather badly. The stakes of our religious differences are immeasurably higher than those born of mere tribalism, racism, or politics.
Sam Harris
Repentance and yearning, and yearning and repentance: this is the total harvest of life.
Khurram Murad (Dying and Living for Allah)
My face is my identity. No one will cover it. I’m proud of my face. If my face bothers you, don’t look. Turn your own face away, take your eyes off me. If you are seduced by merely looking at my face, that is your problem. Do not tell me to cover it. You cannot punish me simply because you cannot control yourself.
Manal Al-Sharif (Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening)
It helps to find solace in the larger universe, especially when your internal world isn't hospitable.
Samra Habib (We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir)
The great liberal betrayal of this generation is that in the name of liberalism, communal rights have been prioritized over individual autonomy within minority groups. And minorities within minorities really do suffer because of this betrayal. The people I really worry about when we have this conversation are feminist Muslims, gay Muslims, ex-Muslims—all the vulnerable and bullied individuals who are not just stigmatized but in many cases violently assaulted or killed merely for being against the norm.
Maajid Nawaz (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
Do you see the colours, Salama?' Kenan whispers. The sunset is gorgeous, but it pales in comparison to him. He's drenched in the dying day's glow, a kaleidoscope of shades dancing on his face. Pink, orange, yellow, purple, red. Finally settling into an azure blue. It reminds me of Layla's painting. A colour so stark it would stain my fingers were I to touch it. As the sun sinks, in those few precious moments when the world is caught between day and night, something shifts between Kenan and me. 'Yes,' I breathe. 'Yes.
Zoulfa Katouh (As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow)
For the salvation of his soul the Muslim digs a well. It would be a fine thing if each of us were to leave behind a school, or a well, or something of the sort, so that life would not pass by and retreat into eternity without a trace.
Anton Chekhov
Finally, I would like to assure my many Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim friends that I am sincerely happy that the religion which Chance has given you has contributed to your peace of mind (and often, as Western medical science now reluctantly admits, to your physical well-being). Perhaps it is better to be un-sane and happy, than sane and un-happy. But it is the best of all to be sane and happy. Whether our descendants can achieve that goal will be the greatest challenge of the future. Indeed, it may well decide whether we have any future.
Arthur C. Clarke (3001: The Final Odyssey)
Maybe at the very bottom of it... I really don't like God. You know, it's silly to say I don't like God because I don't believe in God, but in the same sense that I don't like Iago, or the Reverend Slope or any of the other villains of literature, the god of traditional Judaism and Christianity and Islam seems to me a terrible character. He's a god who will... who obsessed the degree to which people worship him and anxious to punish with the most awful torments those who don't worship him in the right way. Now I realise that many people don't believe in that any more who call themselves Muslims or Jews or Christians, but that is the traditional God and he's a terrible character. I don't like him.
Steven Weinberg
We do not worship God because God needs it, we worship God because we need it. Prayer is not you reaching out for God, it is you responding to God, who first reached out to you.
A. Helwa (Secrets of Divine Love: A Spiritual Journey into the Heart of Islam)
القلب يكسر مرة واحدة فقط و كل ما يصاب به بعدها مجرد كدمات
Osamah M. Al Muslim - أسامة المسلم (العرجاء - بساتين عربستان 4)
Nothing that a Christian and a Muslim can say to each other will render their beliefs mutually vulnerable to discourse, because the very tenets of their faith have immunized them against the power of conversation. Believing strongly, without evidence, they have kicked themselves loose of the world. It is therefore in the very nature of faith to serve as an impediment to further inquiry.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Why does a young Muslim, in the prime of life, with a full life ahead, go and blow himself up in a bus full of innocent passengers? In our countries, religion is the sole source of education, and this is the only spring from which that terrorist drank until his thirst was quenched. He was not born a terrorist, and did not become a terrorist overnight. Islamic teachings played a role in weaving his ideological fabric, thread by thread, and did not allow other sources—I am referring to scientific sources—to play a role. It was these teachings that distorted this terrorist, and killed his humanity; it was not [the terrorist] who distorted the religious teachings, and misunderstood them, as some ignorant people claim. When you recite to a child still in his early years the verse 'They will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternative sides cut off,' regardless of this verse's interpretation, and regardless of the reasons it was conveyed, or its time, you have made the first step towards creating a great terrorist.
Wafa Sultan
The Muslim is inclined to believe that man has something more important to do than engage in a wrestling match with temptation, which he sees as a distraction from his principle business, the constant awareness of God.
Charles Le Gai Eaton (Islam and the Destiny of Man)
This is what happens when the state intervenes in a person’s private life; it creates two separate personas. It compels you either to lead two separate lives, or to violate what’s imposed on you when the state isn’t looking.
Manal Al-Sharif (Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening)
Your blessings, your trials and triumphs, your journey of falling and rising, your gifts and talents—they are all connected. Your true calling is held in the arms of your deepest wounds. God only breaks you to remake you, because breakdowns come before breakthroughs. Everything that God has written into your path was meant to prepare you for this exact moment. God wants you to come as you are, not as you think you should be.
A. Helwa (Secrets of Divine Love: A Spiritual Journey into the Heart of Islam)
What do you see when you think of me, A figure cloaked in mystery With eyes downcast and hair covered, An oppressed woman yet to be discovered? Do you see backward nations and swirling sand, Humpbacked camels and the domineering man? Whirling veils and terrorists Or maybe fanatic fundamentalists? Do you see scorn and hatred locked Within my eyes and soul, Or perhaps a profound ignorance of all the world as a whole? Yet . . . You fail to see The dignified persona Of a woman wrapped in maturity. The scarf on my head Does not cover my brain. I think, I speak, but still you refrain From accepting my ideals, my type of dress, You refuse to believe That I am not oppressed. So the question remains: What do I see when I think of you? I see another human being Who doesn’t have a clue.
Uzma Jalaluddin (Ayesha at Last)
Mystics throughout time have said that they believe in God like they believe in light, not because they can see light, but because through it they see everything else.
A. Helwa (Secrets of Divine Love: A Spiritual Journey into the Heart of Islam)
It is simplistic and naive to explain jihadism merely as an inevitable growth from Islam’s ‘violent’ scripture, or as no more than a miscarried interpretation triggered solely by some tragic misreading. It cannot be separated from economic discontent, the enveloping context of US global power, America’s influence and military actions in the Muslim world and, most of all, the gaping sore of the Israel–Palestine conflict.
Jonathan A.C. Brown (Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's Legacy)
Norway, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the United Kingdom are among the least religious societies on [E]arth. According to the United Nations' Human Development Report (2005) they are also the healthiest, as indicated by life expectancy, adult literacy, per capita income, educational attainment, gender equality, homicide rate, and infant mortality. Insofar as there is a crime problem in Western Europe, it is largely the product of immigration. Seventy percent of the inmates of France's jails, for instance, are Muslim. The Muslims of Western Europe are generally not atheists. Conversely, the fifty nations now ranked lowest in terms of the United Nations' [H]uman [D]evelopment [I]ndex are unwaveringly religious. Other analyses paint the same picture: the United States is unique among wealthy democracies in its level of religious adherence; it is also uniquely beleaguered by high rates of homicide, abortion, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, and infant mortality. The same comparison holds true within the United States itself: Southern and Midwestern states, characterized by the highest levels of religious literalism, are especially plagued by the above indicators of societal dysfunction, while the comparatively secular states of the Northeast conform to European norms.
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
Critiquing Islam, critiquing any idea, is not bigotry. “Islamophobia” is a troubled and inherently unhelpful term. Yes, hatred of Muslims by neo-Nazi-style groups does exist, and it is a form of cultural intolerance, but that must never be conflated with the free-speech right to critique Islam. Islam is, after all, an idea; we cannot expect its merits or demerits to be accepted if we cannot openly debate it.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
God’s mercy is greater than your sins or circumstances. His compassionate love embraces the cactus parts of you that you swear no one could hug. His grace celebrates the parts of you that nobody claps for. God loved you before you were even created, before you even knew of Him. As the Qur’an says, “It is He who sent down tranquility into the hearts of the believers, that they may add faith to their faith for to Allah belong the forces of the heavens and the Earth and Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom” (48:4).
A. Helwa (Secrets of Divine Love: A Spiritual Journey into the Heart of Islam)
The joy of discovery is one of the biggest pleasures you'll ever know.
Samra Habib (We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir)
I am tired of existing. I want to live
Laila Sabreen (You Truly Assumed)
In Abraham’s formula, the Hanif interrogates reality not as a cynic but as a healer, diagnosing injuries in order to repair them. Indeed, Muslim derived from the ancient Semitic root S-L-M, literally “to repair cracks in city walls.” As the integrity of monotheism erodes over time, repairers need to assess the damage and then get to work restoring the fractures
Mohamad Jebara (The Life of the Qur'an: From Eternal Roots to Enduring Legacy)
There are secularised cultures, but at the core of all of them, the spirit of Tradition remains, religious or otherwise. By defending the multiplicity, plurality and polycentrism of cultures, we are making an appeal to the principles of their essences, which we can only find in the spiritual traditions. But we try to link this attitude to the necessity for social justice and the freedom of differing societies in the hope for better political regimes. The idea is to join the spirit of Tradition with the desire for social justice. And we don’t want to oppose them, because that is the main strategy of hegemonic power: to divide Left and Right, to divide cultures, to divide ethnic groups, East and West, Muslims and Christians. We invite Right and Left to unite, and not to oppose traditionalism and spirituality, social justice and social dynamism. So we are not on the Right or on the Left. We are against liberal postmodernity. Our idea is to join all the fronts and not let them divide us. When we stay divided, they can rule us safely. If we are united, their rule will immediately end. That is our global strategy. And when we try to join the spiritual tradition with social justice, there is an immediate panic among liberals. They fear this very much.
Alexander Dugin
Clearly, it is time we learned to meet our emotional needs without embracing the preposterous. We must find ways to invoke the power of ritual and to mark those transitions in every human life that demand profundity— birth, marriage, death—without lying to ourselves about the nature of reality. Only then will the practice of raising our children to believe that they are Christian, Muslim, or Jewish be widely recognized as the ludicrous obscenity that it is. And only then will we stand a chance of healing the deepest and most dangerous fractures in our world.
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
Indeed, religion is as much a living spring of violence today as it was at any time in the past. The recent conflicts in Palestine (Jews v Muslims), the Balkans (Orthodox Serbians v Catholic Croatians; Orthodox Serbians v Bosnian and Albanian Muslims), Northern Ireland (Protestants v Catholics), Kashmir (Muslims v Hindus), Sudan (Muslims v Christians and animists), Nigeria (Muslims v Christians) and Iran and Iraq (Shia v Sunni) are merely a few cases in point. These are places where religion has been the explicit cause of millions of deaths in the past decade.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
As we have seen, there is something that most Americans share with Osama bin Laden, the nineteen hijackers, and much of the Muslim world. We, too, cherish the idea that certain fantastic propositions can be believed without evidence. Such heroic acts of credulity are thought not only acceptable but redeeming ― even necessary.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
I’m not a better Muslim woman because of my hijab and I’m no worse of a Muslim woman without it. I’ll continue to wear my hijab with red lipstick. I’m finally free.
Yousra Imran (Hijab and Red Lipstick)
But we’re also taught that you’re not a martyr if you blow yourself up in a marketplace, because you’re killing civilians and other Muslims.
Maajid Nawaz (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
A key problem for Islam today can be summarized in three simplifying sentences: Christians worship a man made divine. Jews worship a book. And Muslims worship both.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now)
The philosophical assumptions, underlying values, social relations, customs, and overall outlooks on life differ significantly among civilizations. The revitalization of religion throughout much of the world is reinforcing these cultural differences. Cultures can change, and the nature of their impact on politics and economics can vary from one period to another. Yet the major differences in political and economic development among civilizations are clearly rooted in their different cultures. East Asian economic success has its source in East Asian culture, as do the difficulties East Asian societies have had in achieving stable democratic political systems. Islamic culture explains in large part the failure of democracy to emerge in much of the Muslim world.
Samuel P. Huntington (The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order)
even if Noam Chomsky were right about everything, the Islamic doctrines related to martyrdom, jihad, blasphemy, apostasy, the rights of women and homosexuals, etc. would still present huge problems for the emergence of a global civil society (and these are problems quite unlike those presented by similar tenets in other faiths, for reasons that I have explained at length elsewhere and touch on only briefly here). And any way in which I might be biased or blinded by “the religion of the state,” or any other form of cultural indoctrination, has absolutely no relevance to the plight of Shiites who have their mosques, weddings, and funerals bombed by Sunni extremists, or to victims of rape who are beaten, imprisoned, or even killed as “adulteresses” throughout the Muslim world. I hope it goes without saying that the Afghan girls who even now are risking their lives by merely learning to read would not be best compensated for their struggles by being handed copies of Chomsky’s books enumerating the sins of the West
Sam Harris
History proves beyond any possibility of doubt that no religion has ever given a stimulus to scientific progress comparable to that of Islam. The encouragement which learning and scientific research received from Islamic theology resulted in the splendid cultural achievements in the days of the Umayyads and Abbasids and the Arab rule in Sicily and Spain. I do not mention this in order that we might boast of those glorious memories at a time when the Islamic world has forsaken its own traditions and reverted to spiritual blindness and intellectual poverty. We have no right, in our present misery, to boast of past glories. But we must realize that it was the negligence of the Muslims and not any deficiency in the teachings of Islam that caused our present decay. Islam has never been a barrier to progress and science. It appreciates the intellectual activities of man to such a degree as to place him above the angels. No other religion ever went so far in asserting the dominance of reason and, consequently, of learning, above all other manifestations of human life.
Muhammad Asad (Islam at the Crossroads)
[...] atheists are the most reviled minority in the United States. Polls indicate that being an atheist is a perfect impediment to running for high office in our country (while being black, Muslim, or homosexual is not).
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
The rationalism of Plato and Aristotle is also important because Jews, Christians and Muslims all drew upon their ideas and tried to adapt them to their own religious experience, even though the Greek God was very different from their own.
Karen Armstrong (A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam)
Female genital mutilation predates Islam. Not all Muslims do this, and a few of the peoples who do are not Islamic. But in Somalia, where virtually every girl is excised, the practice is always justified in the name of Islam. Uncircumcised girls will be possessed by devils, fall into vice and perdition, and become whores. Imams never discourage the practice: it keeps girls pure.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Infidel)
We are being offered a psychopathic and psychotic moral attitude… it is psychopathic because this is a total detachment from the, from the well-being of human beings. It, this so easily rationalizes the slaughter of children. Ok, just think about the Muslims at this moment who are blowing themselves up, convinced that they are agents of God’s will. There is absolutely nothing that Dr. Craig can s—can say against their behavior, in moral terms, apart from his own faith-based claim that they’re praying to the wrong God. If they had the right God, what they were doing would be good, on Divine Command theory. Now, I’m obviously not saying that all that Dr. Craig, or all religious people, are psychopaths and psychotics, but this to me is the true horror of religion. It allows perfectly decent and sane people to believe by the billions, what only lunatics could believe on their own.
Sam Harris
Moses’ epic achievement is establishing a divinely inspired system for provoking both Abrahamic critical thinking (Hanif ) and channeling it toward restorative growth (Muslim). This system, embodied in a scripture called the Torah (“instruction” or “guidance”), had to be accessible and practical for ordinary people, with structures designed to assist free-thinkers to unleash their individual potential. Not surprisingly, Moses finds the generation of emancipated slaves quite set in their ways despite the dramatic exodus from Egypt. He ultimately concentrates his energies on training a new generation of disciples—“Only the youth among Moses’ people were open to his mes- sage” (10:83).
Mohamad Jebara (The Life of the Qur'an: From Eternal Roots to Enduring Legacy)
Nothing that a Christian, a Muslim, and a Hindu can experience—self-transcending love, ecstasy, bliss, inner light—constitutes evidence in support of their traditional beliefs, because their beliefs are logically incompatible with one another. A deeper principle must be at work.
Sam Harris (Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion)
Had Jews merely wanted to live in Palestine, this would not have been a problem. In fact, Jews, Muslims and Christians had coexisted for centuries throughout the Middle East. But Zionists sought sovereignty over a land where other people lived. Their ambitions required not only the dispossession and removal of Palestinians in 1948 but also their forced exile, juridical erasure and denial that they ever existed. So, during Israel’s establishment, some 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes to make way for a Jewish majority state…. This is why Palestinians have been resisting for more than seven decades: They are fighting to remain on their lands with dignity. They have valiantly resisted their colonial erasure…. This resistance is not about returning to the 1947 borders or some notion of the past, but about laying claim to a better future in which Palestinians and their children can live in freedom and equality, rather than being subjugated as second-class citizens or worse.5
Marc Lamont Hill (Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics)
Like any human idea, the notion of God can be exploited and abused. The myth of a Chosen People and a divine election has often inspired a narrow, tribal theology from the time of the Deuteronomist right up to the Jewish, Christian and Muslim fundamentalism that is unhappily rife in our own day.
Karen Armstrong (A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam)
The great liberal betrayal of this generation is that in the name of liberalism, communal rights have been prioritized over individual autonomy within minority groups. And minorities within minorities really do suffer because of this betrayal. The people I really worry about when we have this conversation are feminist Muslims, gay Muslims, ex-Muslims—all the vulnerable and bullied individuals who are not just stigmatized but in many cases violently assaulted or killed merely for being against the norm.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
Religion, is a mistake of geography. If you where born in America you are Christan, if you where born in the middle east you are Muslim, China Buddha, and before that Zeus, Thor, and people believed that the earth was flat and the sun went around the earth, though they where wrong & not only that but all of these things have no evidence.
Richard Dawkins
his sisters never experience the doubts he was feeling, that they never shake in their certainty of being Muslim, never think that maybe there was no hell and no heaven and therefore no point. Never wonder if everyone had gotten it wrong or maybe they had all gotten it right in their own way, which meant that no way was superior to any other.
Fatima Farheen Mirza (A Place for Us)
Years later, Taylor was inspecting the jails of the kingdom; and in the one at Nittur the ceiling had been covered, in barbaric colours, which time was subtilizing before erasing them, by a Muslim fakir's elaboration of a kind of infinite Tiger. This Tiger was composed of many tigers in the most vertiginous fashion : it was traversed by tigers, scored by tigers and it contained seas and Himalayas and armies which seemed to reveal still other tigers. The painter had died many years ago in this very cell; he had come from Sind, or maybe Guzerat, and his original purpose had been to design a map of the world. Indeed, some traces of this were yet to be discerned in the monstrous image....
Jorge Luis Borges (Labyrinths: Selected Stories & Other Writings)
If our polls are to be trusted, nearly 230 million Americans believe that a book showing neither unity of style nor internal consistency was authored by an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent deity. A survey of Hindus, Muslims, and Jews around the world would surely yield similar results, revealing that we, as a species, have grown almost perfectly intoxicated by our myths. How is it that, in this one area of our lives, we have convinced ourselves that our beliefs about the world can float entirely free of reason and evidence?
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Should Muslims really be free to believe that the Creator of the universe is concerned about hemlines?
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Lewis observes that “for Muslims, no piece of land once added to the realm of Islam can ever be finally renounced.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
On almost every page, the Koran instructs observant Muslims to despise nonbelievers.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Because they assume that people everywhere are animated by the same desires and fears, many Western liberals now blame their own governments for the excesses of Muslim terrorists.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
For devout Muslims, religious identity seems to trump all others.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Astonishingly, ideas as spurious as the blood libel are still very much with us, having found a large cult of believers in the Muslim world.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Most Muslims who commit atrocities are explicit about their desire to get to paradise.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
a significant percentage of the world’s Muslims believe that the men who brought down the World Trade Center are now seated at the right hand of God,
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Even People of the Book must keep to themselves and “humbly” tithe (pay the jizya) to their Muslim rulers.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
At this point in their history, give most Muslims the freedom to vote, and they will freely vote to tear out their political freedoms by the root.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
If a Muslim renounces Islam, even if a new convert reverts to his previous faith, the penalty is death.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Muslim holy land
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
it is actually a powerful distillation of the Muslim worldview.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Many wars had to do with religion, and because many slaves were prisoners of war, slaves and their owners tended to be people of different faiths: Christians enslaved Jews; Muslims enslaved
Jill Lepore (These Truths: A History of the United States)
In fact, the term “holy war” originates not with Islam but with the Christian Crusaders who first used it to give theological legitimacy to what was in reality a battle for land and trade routes. “Holy war” was not a term used by Muslim conquerors, and it is in no way a proper definition of the word jihad. There are a host of words in Arabic that can be definitively translated as “war”; jihad is not one of them. The word jihad literally means “a struggle,” “a striving,” or “a great effort.” In its primary religious connotation (sometimes referred to as “the greater jihad”), it means the struggle of the soul to overcome the sinful obstacles that keep a person from God. This is why the word jihad is nearly always followed in the Quran by the phrase “in the way of God.
Reza Aslan (No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam)
It is rational, even, for Muslim women to encourage the suicides of their children, as long as they are fighting for the cause of God. Devout Muslims simply know that they are going to a better place.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
I want to confront these issues head-on. I wish other Muslims would confront them as well, and have conversations with the likes of you and Ayaan, because that’s what’s needed. It’s how we will resolve all this.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
Nothing that a Christian and a Muslim can say to each other will render their beliefs mutually vulnerable to discourse, because the very tenets of their faith have immunized them against the power of conversation.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
As you know, the public conversation about the connection between Islamic ideology and Muslim intolerance and violence has been stifled by political correctness. In the West, there is now a large industry of apology and obfuscation designed, it would seem, to protect Muslims from having to grapple with the kinds of facts we’ve been talking about. The humanities and social science departments of every university are filled with scholars and pseudo-scholars—deemed to be experts in terrorism, religion, Islamic jurisprudence, anthropology, political science, and other fields—who claim that Muslim extremism is never what it seems. These experts insist that we can never take Islamists and jihadists at their word and that none of their declarations about God, paradise, martyrdom, and the evils of apostasy have anything to do with their real motivations.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
In American and European politics, “them” is often an immigrant hoping to come inside—the Mexican or Central American migrant hoping to enter the United States or the Middle Eastern/North African Muslim refugee hoping to live in Germany, France, Britain, or Sweden. In poorer countries, especially those with borders drawn by colonizers, “them” is often the ethnic, religious, or sectarian minorities with roots that are older than the borders themselves. Think of Muslims in India, in western China, or in the Caucasus region of Russia. Sunni Muslims in Iraq or Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia. Think of Christians in Egypt or Kurds in Turkey. Think of Chinese and other ethnic minorities in Indonesia and Malaysia. There are many more examples. These groups become easy targets when times are hard and a politician looks to make a name for himself at their expense.
Ian Bremmer (Us vs. Them: The Failure of Globalism)
One need only read the Koran to know, with something approaching mathematical certainty, that all truly devout Muslims will be “convinced of the superiority of their culture, and obsessed with the inferiority of their power,
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Most Muslims, if not all of them, will condemn me to death when they read this book. They may not even read it. The title alone may push them to condemn me. That’s how things are with them. They don’t read, or, if they do, they don’t take in what they read. They are much more interested in disagreement than in rapprochement and they are—first and foremost—supremely interested in inducing fear in others with whom they disagree. They may even threaten to condemn you just for reading this book because, in their cruelty, they have learned something about how to control others: Nothing tortures the human spirit more effectively than making someone a prisoner of her own fears.
Wafa Sultan (A God Who Hates: The Courageous Woman Who Inflamed the Muslim World Speaks Out Against the Evils of Islam)
Incompatible religious doctrines have Balkanised our world and these divisions have become a continuous source of bloodshed. Indeed, religion is as much a living spring of violence today as it was at any time in the past. The recent conflicts in Palestine (Jews v Muslims), the Balkans (Orthodox Serbians v Catholic Croatians; Orthodox Serbians v Bosnian and Albanian Muslims), Northern Ireland (Protestants v Catholics), Kashmir (Muslims v Hindus), Sudan (Muslims v Christians and animists), Nigeria (Muslims v Christians) and Iran and Iraq (Shia v Sunni) are merely a few cases in point. These are places where religion has been the explicit cause of millions of deaths in the past decade.
Sam Harris
as the religious conflicts that animated the seventeenth century began to recede—Christian vs. Muslim; Catholic vs. Protestant—as the filthy wealth generated by slavery and dispossession accelerated, capitalism and profit became the new god, with its curia in the basilicas of Wall Street. This new religion had its own doctrine and theologies, with the logic of the market and its “efficient market theory” supplanting papal infallibility as the new North Star.
Gerald Horne (The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, and Capitalism in 17th Century North America and the Caribbean)
In the Qur’an’s telling, Abraham after much reflection declares himself a Hanifam-Muslima (3:67). Typically translated as “a pure Muslim,” both words were archaic Arabic terms at the time of the Qur’an’s revelation and together constituted a dynamic new identity for young Abraham. The root Hanif (cited twelve times in the Qur’an) originally described a tree precariously balanced atop eroding soil in a volatile climate, forced to constantly adjust its roots and branches—and was also used to describe traversing a perilous lava formation. The term connoted the need to constantly rebalance in order to stay safe in unstable situations: remaining true to core roots while having the courage to confront reality. In essence, a Hanif is a healthy skeptic who honestly evaluates inherited traditions. In Abraham’s formula, the Hanif interrogates reality not as a cynic but as a healer, diagnosing injuries in order to repair them. Indeed, Muslim derived from the ancient Semitic root S-L-M, literally “to repair cracks in city walls.” As the integrity of monotheism erodes over time, repairers need to assess the damage and then get to work restoring the fractures.
Mohamad Jebara (The Life of the Qur'an: From Eternal Roots to Enduring Legacy)
Lastly, to the memory of my beloved niece Mayyada, who cut her life short by committing suicide to escape the hellish marriage imposed upon her under Islamic Sharia Law: May her tragic account be an eternal inspiration to all who are privileged to live in free societies. May her story encourage all those who have been subjugated to tyranny—especially women—to become well informed and to persevere beyond fear and intimidation. And a challenge: To those whose spirits uphold the principles of justice and freedom of speech—May Mayyada’s story, and that of many more whose stories have never been told, embolden you to speak up against the unjust and immoral treatment of women in the Muslim world.
Wafa Sultan (A God Who Hates: The Courageous Woman Who Inflamed the Muslim World Speaks Out Against the Evils of Islam)
According to a recent poll, 36 percent of British Muslims (ages sixteen to twenty-four) think apostates should be put to death for their unbelief.60 Are these people “morally motivated,” in Haidt’s sense, or just morally confused? And
Sam Harris (The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values)
Though the role of theistic morality in the problems besetting the Islamic world is inescapable, many Western intellectuals—who would be appalled if the repression, misogyny, homophobia, and political violence that are common in the Islamic world were found in their own societies even diluted a hundredfold—have become strange apologists when these practices are carried out in the name of Islam.101 Some of the apologetics, to be sure, come from an admirable desire to prevent prejudice against Muslims. Some are intended to discredit a destructive (and possibly self-fulfilling) narrative that the world is embroiled in a clash of civilizations. Some fit into a long history of Western intellectuals execrating their own society and romanticizing its enemies (a syndrome we’ll return to shortly). But many of the apologetics come from a soft spot for religion among theists, faitheists, and Second Culture intellectuals, and a reluctance to go all in for Enlightenment humanism.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
Most people in positions of leadership in our country will say that there is no direct link between the Muslim faith and “terrorism.” It is clear, however, that Muslims hate the West in the very terms of their faith and that the Koran mandates such hatred.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
The reality that the West currently enjoys far more wealth and temporal power than any nation under Islam is viewed by devout Muslims as a diabolical perversity, and this situation will always stand as an open invitation for jihad. Insofar as a person is Muslim—that is, insofar as he believes that Islam constitutes the only viable path to God and that the Koran enunciates it perfectly—he will feel contempt for any man or woman who doubts the truth of his beliefs. What is more, he will feel that the eternal happiness of his children is put in peril by the mere presence of such unbelievers in the world. If such people happen to be making the policies under which he and his children must live, the potential for violence imposed by his beliefs seems unlikely to dissipate.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
The bottom line is that devout Muslims can have no doubt about the reality of paradise or about the efficacy of martyrdom as a means of getting there. Nor can they question the wisdom and reasonableness of killing people for what amount to theological grievances.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Grievances are not in themselves sufficient to radicalize somebody. They are half the truth. My meaning is best summarized this way: when we in the West failed to intervene in the Bosnian genocide, some Muslims became radicalized; when we did intervene in Afghanistan and Iraq, more Muslims became radicalized; when we failed to intervene in Syria, many more Muslims became radicalized. The grievance narrative that pins the blame on foreign policy is only half the story. It is insufficient as an explanation for radicalization.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
While they rightly question every aspect of their “own” Western culture in the name of progress, they censure liberal Muslims who attempt to do so within Islam, and they choose to side instead with every regressive reactionary in the name of “cultural authenticity” and anticolonialism.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
I want to be clear that when I used terms such as “pretense” and “intellectual dishonesty” when we first met, I wasn’t casting judgment on you personally. Simply living with the moderate’s dilemma may be the only way forward, because the alternative would be to radically edit these books. I’m not such an idealist as to imagine that will happen. We can’t say, “Listen, you barbarians: These holy books of yours are filled with murderous nonsense. In the interests of getting you to behave like civilized human beings, we’re going to redact them and give you back something that reads like Kahlil Gibran. There you go … Don’t you feel better now that you no longer hate homosexuals?” However, that’s really what one should be able to do in any intellectual tradition in the twenty-first century. Again, this problem confronts religious moderates everywhere, but it’s an excruciating problem for Muslims.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
Rida was one of the first Muslims to advocate the establishment of a fully modernized but fully Islamic state, based on the reformed Shariah. He wanted to establish a college where students could be introduced to the study of international law, sociology, world history, the scientific study of religion, and modern science, at the same time as they studied fiqh. This would ensure that Islamic jurisprudence would develop in a truly modern context that would wed the traditions of East and West, and make the Shariah, an agrarian law code, compatible with the new type of society that the West had evolved.
Karen Armstrong (Islam: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles))
Western women may well be recognized as equals of men, but in many parts of the world, brave suffragettes, counterparts to Susan B. Anthony, are still fiercely fighting for their equality. A deep disconnect exists between the feminists in the Western countries and the feminists in the Muslim-majority countries. ... I don't have to refer to a history book to find women who are risking their lives to fight societies that view women as second-class citizens. I interact with them everyday. Yet, tragically, most prominent Western feminists are not standing alongside me and these brave freedom-fighting women.
Yasmine Mohammed (Unveiled: How Western Liberals Empower Radical Islam)
I’m well aware that millions of nominally Muslim freethinkers are in hiding out of necessity. This is one of the things I find so insufferable about the liberal backlash against critics of Islam—especially the pernicious meme “Islamophobia,” by which anyone who thinks Islam merits special concern at this moment in history is branded a bigot. What worries me is that so many moderate Muslims believe that “Islamophobia” is a bigger problem than literalist Islam is. They seem more outraged that someone like me would equate jihad with holy war than that millions of their co-religionists do this and commit atrocities as a result.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
This world is simply ablaze with bad ideas. There are still places where people are put to death for imaginary crimes - like blasphemy - and where the totality of a child's education consists of his learning to recite from an ancient book of religious fiction. There are countries where women are denied almost every human liberty, except the liberty to breed. And yet, these same societies are quickly acquiring terrifying arsenals of advanced weaponry. If we cannot inspire the developing world, and the Muslim world in particular, to pursue ends that are compatible with a global civilization, then a dark future awaits all of us.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Needless to say, there are people who hate Arabs, Somalis, and other immigrants from predominantly Muslim societies for racist reasons. But if you can’t distinguish that sort of blind bigotry from a hatred and concern for dangerous, divisive, and irrational ideas—like a belief in martyrdom, or a notion of male “honor” that entails the virtual enslavement of women and girls—you are doing real harm to our public conversation. Everything I have ever said about Islam refers to the content and consequences of its doctrine. And, again, I have always emphasized that its primary victims are innocent Muslims—especially women and girls.
Sam Harris
It is not merely that we are at war with an otherwise peaceful religion that has been “hijacked” by extremists. We are at war with precisely the vision of life that is prescribed to all Muslims in the Koran, and further elaborated in the literature of the hadith, which recounts the sayings and actions of the Prophet.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Some may view my focus on sexual matters as playing into the Western obsession with Muslim sexuality at the expense of other, more vital, areas of concern. Poverty, political repression, war, and global power dynamics are, indeed, crucial to Muslim women’s lives. However, even these issues cannot be entirely divorced from sex and sexuality: poverty matters differently for women, when it constrains women’s inability to negotiate marriage terms or leave abusive spouses; repressive regimes may attempt to demonstrate their “Islamic” credentials by capitulating to demands for “Shari‘a” in family matters or imposing putatively Islamic laws that punish women disproportionately for sexual transgressions.
Kecia Ali (Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence)
Life under the Taliban is, to a first approximation, what millions of Muslims around the world want to impose on the rest of us. They long to establish a society in which—when times are good—women will remain vanquished and invisible, and anyone given to spiritual, intellectual, or sexual freedom will be slaughtered before crowds of sullen, uneducated men.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
If I’m going to end up in hell then I’m going to end up in hell, but God is the judge and not human beings.
Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle (Living Out Islam: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims)
the bigots, whether they are of the Islamist variety or the anti-Muslim variety, essentially agree on a few matters. One is their belief that Islam itself—not Islamism—is a supremacist ideology that is here to take over the world; another is that, therefore, Muslims and non-Muslims can never live equally and peacefully together, but must separate into religiously defined entities.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
Any critique of Islam is denounced as an expression of Western Islamophobia, Salman Rushdie is denounced for unnecessarily provoking Muslims and being (partially, at least) responsible for the fatwa condemning him to death, and so on. The result of such stances is what one should expect in such cases: the more the Western liberal Leftists probe into their guilt, the more they are accused by Muslim fundamentalists of being hypocrites who try to conceal their hatred of Islam. [T]his constellation perfectly reproduces the paradox of the superego: the more you obey what the Other demands of you, the guiltier you are. It is as if the more you tolerate Islam, the stronger its pressure on you will be. What this implies is that terrorist fundamentalists, be they Christian or Muslim, are not really fundamentalists in the authentic sense of the term--what they lack is a feature that is easy to discern in all authentic fundamentalists, from Tibetan Buddhists to the Amish in the US: the absence of resentment and envy, the deep indifference towards the non-believers' way of life. If today's so-called fundamentalists really believe they have found their way to Truth, why should they feel threatened by non-believers, why should they envy them? When a Buddhist encounters a Western hedonist, he hardly condemns. He just benevolently notes that the hedonist's search for happiness is self-defeating. In contrast to true fundamentalists, the terrorist pseudo-fundamentalists are deeply bothered, intrigued and fascinated by the sinful life of the non-believers. One can feel that, in fighting the sinful other, they are fighting their own temptation. The passionate intensity of a fundamentalist mob bears witness to the lack of true conviction; deep in themselves, terrorist fundamentalists also lack true conviction--their violent outbursts are proof of it. How fragile the belief of a Muslim would be if he felt threatened by, say, a stupid caricature in a low-circulation Danish newspaper? Fundamentalist Islamic terror is not grounded in the terrorists' conviction of their superiority and in their desire to safeguard their cultural-religious identify from the onslaught of global consumerist civilization. The problem with fundamentalists is not that we consider them inferior to us, but, rather, that they themselves secretly consider themselves inferior. This is why our condescending politically correct assurances that we feel no superiority towards them only makes them more furious and feed their resentment. The problem is not cultural difference (their effort to preserve their identity), but the opposite: the fact that the fundamentalists are already like us, that, secretly, they have already internalized our standards and measure themselves by them.
Slavoj Žižek
One of the enduring pathologies of human culture is the tendency to raise children to fear and demonize other human beings on the basis of religious faith. Consequently, faith inspires violence in at least two ways. First, people often kill other human beings because they believe that the creator of the universe wants them to do it. Islamist terrorism is a recent example of this sort of behavior. Second, far greater numbers of people fall into conflict with one another because they define their moral community on the basis of the religious affiliation: Muslims side with other Muslims, Protestants with Protestants, Catholics with Catholics. These conflicts are not always explicitly religious. But the bigotry and hatred that divide one community from another are often the products of their religious identities.
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
No doubt, most Muslims are horrified by this, but the truth is that in the very week that the Islamic State was taking its barbarism to new heights, we saw a much larger outcry in the Muslim world over the killing of three college students in North Carolina, amid circumstances that made it very likely to have been an ordinary triple murder (as opposed to a hate crime indicating some wave of anti-Muslim bigotry in the US). This
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
Similar stories are told about the other great goddesses—Inana, Ishtar and Isis—who search for the dead god and bring new life to the soil. The victory of Anat, however, must be perpetuated year after year in ritual celebration. Later—we are not sure how, since our sources are incomplete—Baal is brought back to life and restored to Anat. This apotheosis of wholeness and harmony, symbolized by the union of the sexes, was celebrated by means of ritual sex in ancient Canaan. By imitating the gods in this way, men and women would share their struggle against sterility and ensure the creativity and fertility of the world. The death of a god, the quest of the goddess and the triumphant return to the divine sphere were constant religious themes in many cultures and would recur in the very different religion of the One God worshipped by Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Karen Armstrong (A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam)
Yes, and the irony is that these liberals don’t see that they’ve abandoned women, gays, freethinkers, public intellectuals, and other powerless people in the Muslim world to a cauldron of violence and intolerance. Rather than support the rights of women and girls to not live as slaves, for instance, Western liberals support the right of theocrats to treat their wives and daughters however they want—and to be spared offensive cartoons in the meantime.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
We Muslims must get used to the fact that people will criticize our religion, just as we criticize everyone else’s religion for not being “true.” Some people will choose to leave the faith, and we Muslims will need to come to terms with this, and to understand how to treat ex-Muslims not just with civility but with the utmost respect. Critiquing Islam, critiquing any idea, is not bigotry. “Islamophobia” is a troubled and inherently unhelpful term. Yes,
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
So when you say that no religion is intrinsically peaceful or warlike, and that every scripture must be interpreted, I think you run into problems, because many of these texts aren’t all that elastic. They aren’t susceptible to just any interpretation, and they commit their adherents to specific beliefs and practices. You can’t say, for instance, that Islam recommends eating bacon and drinking alcohol. And even if you could find some way of reading the Qur’an that would permit those things, you can’t say that its central message is that a devout Muslim should consume as much bacon and alcohol as humanly possible. Nor can one say that the central message of Islam is pacifism. (However, one can say that about Jainism. All religions are not the same.) One simply cannot say that the central message of the Qur’an is respect for women as the moral and political equals of men. To the contrary, one can say that under Islam, the central message is that women are second-class citizens and the property of the men in their lives. I want to be clear that when I used terms such as “pretense” and “intellectual dishonesty” when we first met, I wasn’t casting judgment on you personally. Simply living with the moderate’s dilemma may be the only way forward, because the alternative would be to radically edit these books. I’m not such an idealist as to imagine that will happen.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
Such an approach inevitably ends up empowering fundamentalists as the most authentic, because of course the one who wins the game of “Who’s a purer Muslim?” and outdoes others in a piety contest is the stubborn, dogmatic fundamentalist. This is how “fellow-travelers” disempower liberals and reformers. Without realizing it, they also adopt the role of thought police by asserting that liberalism isn’t authentic to Muslims. Again, this is reverse bigotry kicking in.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
The Israelis have shown a degree of restraint in their use of violence that the Nazis never contemplated and that, more to the point, no Muslim society would contemplate today. Ask yourself, what are the chances that the Palestinians would show the same restraint in killing Jews if the Jews were a powerless minority living under their occupation and disposed to acts of suicidal terrorism? It would be no more likely than Muhammad’s flying to heaven on a winged horse.35
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Worrying about inciting racial hatred in cartoons is legitimate, so that no group is racially targeted. It is why we don’t like anti-Semitic cartoons. This is entirely distinct from a “blasphemy” motivation for censorship, which aims to silence scrutiny of a powerful idea and its founder, inspiring to billions. We must not confuse these two different concerns. This is the core of what most of us, especially Muslims, must reflect on in the wake of the tragedy in France.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
We would also like to point out that “Monkey Man” was the westernised version of the name, a clever, polite, convenient media translation of the kind applied once to the words of a famous Indian leader when he described Muslims as “kutte ke bachche” and found it rendered as the Hallmark-sanitised “puppies”. If one were to reverse the translation, and go from English to Hindi, New Delhi Monkey Man would, in the exquisitely racist, casteist and classist way of Indians, become Black Monkey or Kala Bandar.
Siddhartha Deb (The Light at the End of the World)
Harris   Very interesting. So when we talk about a phenomenon like honor killing, we’re not just worried about Islamists; we’re worried about how the average conservative Muslim man will treat his wife or daughter in light of his religious beliefs and cultural values. And yet many of these conservatives may be opponents of Islamism. Nawaz   Yes. Conservative Muslims can be very useful as allies against Islamism and jihadism, but they may oppose you on gender rights and equality and, in some cases, honor killings.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
To the Nightingale On what secret night in England Or by the incalculable constant Rhine, Lost among all the nights of my nights, Carried to my unknowing ear Your voice, burdened with mythology, Nightingale of Virgil, of the Persians? Perhaps I never heard you, yet my life I bound to your life, inseparably. A wandering spirit is your symbol In a book of enigmas. El Marino Named you the siren of the woods And you sing through Juliet’s night And in the intricate Latin pages And from the pine-trees of that other, Nightingale of Germany and Judea, Heine, mocking, burning, mourning. Keats heard you for all, everywhere. There’s not one of the bright names The people of the earth have given you That does not yearn to match your music, Nightingale of shadows. The Muslim Dreamed you drunk with ecstasy His breast trans-pierced by the thorn Of the sung rose that you redden With your last blood. Assiduously I plot these lines in twilight emptiness, Nightingale of the shores and seas, Who in exaltation, memory and fable Burn with love and die melodiously.
Jorge Luis Borges
A great liberal betrayal is afoot. Unfortunately, many “fellow-travelers” of Islamism are on the liberal side of this debate. I call them “regressive leftists”; they are in fact reverse racists. They have a poverty of expectation for minority groups, believing them to be homogenous and inherently opposed to human rights values. They are culturally reductive in how they see “Eastern”—and in my case, Islamic—culture, and they are culturally deterministic in attempting to freeze their ideal of it in order to satisfy their orientalist fetish. While they rightly question every aspect of their “own” Western culture in the name of progress, they censure liberal Muslims who attempt to do so within Islam, and they choose to side instead with every regressive reactionary in the name of “cultural authenticity” and anticolonialism. They claim that their reason for refusing to criticize any policy, foreign or domestic—other than those of what they consider “their own” government—is that they are not responsible for other governments’ actions. However, they leap whenever any (not merely their own) liberal democratic government commits a policy error, while generally ignoring almost every fascist, theocratic, or Muslim-led dictatorial regime and group in the world. It is as if their brains cannot hold two thoughts at the same time. Besides, since when has such isolationism been a trait of liberal internationalists? It is a right-wing trait. They hold what they think of as “native” communities—and I use that word deliberately—to lesser standards than the ones they claim apply to all “their” people, who happen to be mainly white, and that’s why I call it reverse racism. In holding “native” communities to lesser—or more culturally “authentic”—standards, they automatically disempower those communities. They stifle their ambitions. They cut them out of the system entirely, because there’s no aspiration left. These communities end up in self-segregated “Muslim areas” where the only thing their members aspire to is being tin-pot community leaders, like ghetto chieftains. The “fellow-travelers” fetishize these “Muslim” ghettos in the name of “cultural authenticity” and identity politics, and the ghetto chieftains are often the leading errand boys for them. Identity politics and the pseudo-liberal search for cultural authenticity result in nothing but a downward spiral of competing medieval religious or cultural assertions, fights over who are the “real” Muslims, ever increasing misogyny, homophobia, sectarianism, and extremism. This is not liberal. Among the left, this is a remnant of the socialist approach that prioritizes group identity over individual autonomy. Among the right, it is ironically a throwback from the British colonial “divide and rule” approach. Classical liberalism focuses on individual autonomy. I refer here to liberalism as it is understood in the philosophical sense, not as it’s understood in the United States to refer to the Democratic Party—that’s a party-political usage. The great liberal betrayal of this generation is that in the name of liberalism, communal rights have been prioritized over individual autonomy within minority groups. And minorities within minorities really do suffer because of this betrayal. The people I really worry about when we have this conversation are feminist Muslims, gay Muslims, ex-Muslims—all the vulnerable and bullied individuals who are not just stigmatized but in many cases violently assaulted or killed merely for being against the norm.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
As long as it is acceptable for a person to believe that he knows how God wants everyone on earth to live, we will continue to murder one another on account of our myths. In our dealings with the Muslim world, we must acknowledge that Muslims have not found anything of substance to say against the actions of the September 11 hijackers, apart from the ubiquitous canard that they were really Jews.30 Muslim discourse is currently a tissue of myths, conspiracy theories,31 and exhortations to recapture the glories of the seventh century. There is no reason to believe that economic and political improvements in the Muslim world, in and of themselves, would
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Many had been raped and most of these rape victims had fallen prey to male members of their own family, usually their own fathers. Unmarried women who became pregnant as a result of these rapes were murdered as soon as their condition was discovered to wash away the disgrace and keep the scandal hidden. In some cases the murderer was the rapist himself. Some victims were deliberately poisoned with the pesticides that were used to spray the apple trees in that region famous for its apple production. The death certificate would read: “Death from natural causes.” No doctor was required to obtain a death certificate for these women. Witnesses were sufficient.
Wafa Sultan (A God Who Hates: The Courageous Woman Who Inflamed the Muslim World Speaks Out Against the Evils of Islam)
The truth, however, is that most Muslims appear to be "fundamental- ist" in the Western sense of the word—in that even "moderate" approaches to Islam generally consider the Koran to be the literal and inerrant word of the one true God. The difference between funda- mentalists and moderates—and certainly the difference between all "extremists" and moderates—is the degree to which they see political and military action to be intrinsic to the practice of their faith. In any case, people who believe that Islam must inform every dimension of human existence, including politics and law, are now generally called not "fundamentalists" or "extremists" but, rather, "Islamists.
Sam Harris
historical role in advancing and preserving human knowledge. In the year 2002 the GDP in all Arab countries combined did not equal that of Spain. Even more troubling, Spain translates as many books into Spanish each year as the entire Arab world has translated into Arabic since the ninth century.25 This degree of insularity and backwardness is shocking, but it should not lead us to believe that poverty and lack of education are the roots of the problem. That a generation of poor and illiterate children are being fed into the fundamentalist machinery of the madrassas (Saudi-financed religious schools) should surely terrify us.26 But Muslim terrorists have not tended to
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
When you open it up like that, you’re effectively saying there is no right answer. And in the absence of a right answer, pluralism is the only option. And pluralism will lead to secularism, and to democracy, and to human rights. We must all focus on those values without worrying about whether atheism is the most intellectually pure approach. I genuinely believe that if we focus on the pluralistic nature of interpretation and on democracy, human rights, and secularism—on these values—we’ll get to a time of peace and stability in Muslim-majority countries that then allows for conversations like this. Questioning whether God really exists would become a choice, open to all.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
I believe that it is impossible to understand the current situation in the Middle East if one thinks that there is a territorial Arab-Israeli conflict at hand, when in fact, it is clearly a war of religions that unfortunately has no end in sight. To think that this conflict is about land, occupation, racism, apartheid or any other nonsensical media-based and politically created jargon is to play into the hands of those who for so long have taken advantage of the prevalent ignorance of the majority of the world’s public. Make no mistake, this conflict is a religious one, and although Israel is a secular state, it is its ‘Jewish character’ that has the Muslim world up in arms.
Ze'Ev Shemer (Israel and the Palestinian Nightmare)
We Muslims must get used to the fact that people will criticize our religion, just as we criticize everyone else’s religion for not being “true.” Some people will choose to leave the faith, and we Muslims will need to come to terms with this, and to understand how to treat ex-Muslims not just with civility but with the utmost respect. Critiquing Islam, critiquing any idea, is not bigotry. “Islamophobia” is a troubled and inherently unhelpful term. Yes, hatred of Muslims by neo-Nazi-style groups does exist, and it is a form of cultural intolerance, but that must never be conflated with the free-speech right to critique Islam. Islam is, after all, an idea; we cannot expect its merits or demerits to be accepted if we cannot openly debate it. So I’m not one to try to avoid these issues. We have to address them head-on.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
The link between belief and behavior raises the stakes considerably. Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them. This may seem an extraordinary claim, but it merely enunciates an ordinary fact about the world in which we live. Certain beliefs place their adherents beyond the reach of every peaceful means of persuasion, while inspiring them to commit acts of extraordinary violence against others. There is, in fact, no talking to some people. If they cannot be captured, and they often cannot, otherwise tolerant people may be justified in killing them in self-defense. This is what the United States attempted in Afghanistan, and it is what we and other Western powers are bound to attempt, at an even greater cost to ourselves and to innocents abroad, elsewhere in the Muslim world. We will continue to spill blood in what is, at bottom, a war of ideas.
Sam Harris
While most of us go through life feeling that we are the thinker of our thoughts and the experiencer of our experience, from the perspective of science we know that this is a distorted view. There is no discrete self or ego lurking like a minotaur in the labyrinth of the brain. There is no region of cortex or pathway of neural processing that occupies a privileged position with respect to our personhood. There is no unchanging “center of narrative gravity” (to use Daniel Dennett’s phrase). In subjective terms, however, there seems to be one — to most of us, most of the time. Our contemplative traditions (Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc.) also suggest, to varying degrees and with greater or lesser precision, that we live in the grip of a cognitive illusion. But the alternative to our captivity is almost always viewed through the lens of religious dogma. A Christian will recite the Lord’s Prayer continuously over a weekend, experience a profound sense of clarity and peace, and judge this mental state to be fully corroborative of the doctrine of Christianity; A Hindu will spend an evening singing devotional songs to Krishna, feel suddenly free of his conventional sense of self, and conclude that his chosen deity has showered him with grace; a Sufi will spend hours whirling in circles, pierce the veil of thought for a time, and believe that he has established a direct connection to Allah. The universality of these phenomena refutes the sectarian claims of any one religion. And, given that contemplatives generally present their experiences of self-transcendence as inseparable from their associated theology, mythology, and metaphysics, it is no surprise that scientists and nonbelievers tend to view their reports as the product of disordered minds, or as exaggerated accounts of far more common mental states — like scientific awe, aesthetic enjoyment, artistic inspiration, etc. Our religions are clearly false, even if certain classically religious experiences are worth having. If we want to actually understand the mind, and overcome some of the most dangerous and enduring sources of conflict in our world, we must begin thinking about the full spectrum of human experience in the context of science. But we must first realize that we are lost in thought.
Sam Harris
Today there is a war within Islam—a war between those who wish to reform (the Modifying Muslims or the dissidents) and those who wish to turn back to the time of the Prophet (the Medina Muslims). The prize over which they fight is the hearts and minds of the largely passive Mecca Muslims. For the moment, measured by four yardsticks, the Medina side seems to be winning. One is the scale of individuals leaving the Mecca side and joining the Medina side (what in the West we call “radicalization”). The second metric is attention: the Medina Muslims attract media attention through statements and acts of violence that shock the world. The third metric is resources: through zakat (charity), crime, the violent seizing of territory and property, support from rogue states, and petrodollars, Medina Muslims have vast resources. The Modifying Muslims have virtually none. Pushed to make a choice between earning a living and campaigning for religious reform, most Modifiers soon opt for the former. The fourth metric is one of coherence. In many ways this is the most important advantage the Medina Muslims have over the Modifier Muslims. The latter are faced with the daunting—and dangerous—task of questioning the fundamentals of their faith. All the Medina Muslims have to do is pose as its defenders.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now)
As you know, the public conversation about the connection between Islamic ideology and Muslim intolerance and violence has been stifled by political correctness. In the West, there is now a large industry of apology and obfuscation designed, it would seem, to protect Muslims from having to grapple with the kinds of facts we’ve been talking about. The humanities and social science departments of every university are filled with scholars and pseudo-scholars—deemed to be experts in terrorism, religion, Islamic jurisprudence, anthropology, political science, and other fields—who claim that Muslim extremism is never what it seems. These experts insist that we can never take Islamists and jihadists at their word and that none of their declarations about God, paradise, martyrdom, and the evils of apostasy have anything to do with their real motivations. When one asks what the motivations of Islamists and jihadists actually are, one encounters a tsunami of liberal delusion. Needless to say, the West is to blame for all the mayhem we see in Muslim societies. After all, how would we feel if outside powers and their mapmakers had divided our lands and stolen our oil? These beleaguered people just want what everyone else wants out of life. They want economic and political security. They want good schools for their kids. They want to be free to flourish in ways that would be fully compatible with a global civil society. Liberals imagine that jihadists and Islamists are acting as anyone else would given a similar history of unhappy encounters with the West. And they totally discount the role that religious beliefs play in inspiring a group like the Islamic State—to the point where it would be impossible for a jihadist to prove that he was doing anything for religious reasons. Apparently, it’s not enough for an educated person with economic opportunities to devote himself to the most extreme and austere version of Islam, to articulate his religious reasons for doing so ad nauseam, and even to go so far as to confess his certainty about martyrdom on video before blowing himself up in a crowd. Such demonstrations of religious fanaticism are somehow considered rhetorically insufficient to prove that he really believed what he said he believed. Of course, if he said he did these things because he was filled with despair and felt nothing but revulsion for humanity, or because he was determined to sacrifice himself to rid his nation of tyranny, such a psychological or political motive would be accepted at face value. This double standard is guaranteed to exonerate religion every time. The game is rigged.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
In this first decade of the twentieth century, a large proportion of the Jews living in Palestine were still culturally quite similar to and lived reasonably comfortably alongside city-dwelling Muslims and Christians. They were mostly ultra-Orthodox and non-Zionist, mizrahi (eastern) or Sephardic (descendants of Jews expelled from Spain), urbanites of Middle Eastern or Mediterranean origin who often spoke Arabic or Turkish, even if only as a second or third language. In spite of marked religious distinctions between them and their neighbors, they were not foreigners, nor were they Europeans or settlers: they were, saw themselves, and were seen as Jews who were part of the indigenous Muslim-majority society.6 Moreover, some young European Ashkenazi Jews who settled in Palestine at this time, including such ardent Zionists as David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Ben-Zvi (one became prime minister and the other the president of Israel), initially sought a measure of integration into the local society. Ben-Gurion and Ben-Zvi even took Ottoman nationality, studied in Istanbul, and learned Arabic and Turkish.
Rashid Khalidi (The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017)
Political Islam has served as a vehicle for resistance as well as collaboration in different eras of Palestinian history, notably in the form of the grassroots combination of Islamic revival and nationalism espoused by the charismatic Shaykh ‘Iz al-Din al-Qassam, whose “martyrdom” in 1935 can be said to have inspired the revolt of 1936–39. The same can be said of the more recent Islamic Jihad movement, an offshoot of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Its founders were disgusted with the Brotherhood’s quietism and passivity toward—and, some even alleged, collaboration with—the Israeli occupation. Their attacks on Israeli military personnel in 1986 and 1987 helped spark the first Palestinian popular uprising, or intifada, which broke out in December 1987 and helped provoke the transformation of the major part of the Muslim Brotherhood organization into Hamas. Hamas itself has played a major part in the resistance to Israel, although some of the tactics that both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have pioneered in the Palestinian arena, particularly suicide attacks on civilians inside Israel, have been both morally indefensible and disastrously counterproductive strategically.
Rashid Khalidi (The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood)
If there is ill will toward the United States in many Middle Eastern countries, it is a mistake to try to explain it by reference to Islamic doctrine, to the alleged propensity of Muslims for violence, or to the supposed centrality of the concept of jihad to Islam. One need look no further than the corrupt and autocratic regimes propped up by the United States all over the Middle East, and at American policies regarding Palestine, Iraq, and other issues that are highly unpopular in the region.
Rashid Khalidi (The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood)
The argument between Christian and Muslim "fundamentalists" comes down to: Is there only one God or is Jesus Christ our saviour? Again, that's not a point-counterpoint; that's two people talking to themselves in separate rooms.
Tamim Ansary (Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes)
Does Alex Fierro bother you?' I asked. 'I mean... her being transgender? Like, with you being religious and all?' Sam arched an eyebrow. 'Being 'religious and all,' a lot of things bother me about this place.' She gestured around us. 'I had to do some soul-searching when I first realized my dad was... you know, Loki. I still don't accept the idea that the Norse gods are gods. They're just powerful beings. Some of them are my annoying relatives. But they are no more than creations of Allah, the only god, just like you and I are.' 'You remember I'm atheist, right?' She snorted. 'Sounds like the beginning of a joke, doesn't it? An atheist and a Muslim walk into a pagan afterlife...
Rick Riordan (The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #2))
There is almost no difference between the establishment of Israel and Pakistan. They were both created as a safe haven for persecuted groups: Jews and Muslims. They are both engaged in land disputes. They both control religious sites of other religions. And they were even established only a few months apart.
Noa Tishby (Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth)
Once the Mediterranean had been a western lake joining the deserts of Egypt with the cities of Italy and North Africa, but with the coming of Islam it became an immense moat dividing the Muslim East from the Christian West.
Robert L. Wilken (The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity)
The United Nations has often defined culture as being created, contested, and recreated within the social praxis of diverse groups in economic, social, and political arenas. There is no point to segregation — to further an invisible line dividing Christians and Muslims. Just as men need to stand up for women in gender rights, Catholics must stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters for sustainable peace. We must be the first to oppose whenever Muslims are branded and discriminated against. As the old Chinese proverb say — Just as a fence has to be built with pegs, an able person needs the help of three others.” - Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo , Night Owl: A Nationbuilder’s Manual 2nd Edition (p. 232, Surpassing the invisible line)
Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo
Today’s elites usually justify superiority in terms of historical differences between cultures rather than biological differences between races. We no longer say, ‘It’s in their blood.’ We say, ‘It’s in their culture.’ Thus European right-wing parties which oppose Muslim immigration usually take care to avoid racial terminology. Marine le Pen’s speechwriters would have been shown the door on the spot had they suggested that the leader of France’s Front National party go on television to declare that, ‘We don’t want those inferior Semites to dilute our Aryan blood and spoil our Aryan civilisation.’ Instead, the French Front National, the Dutch Party for Freedom, the Alliance for the Future of Austria and their like tend to argue that Western culture, as it has evolved in Europe, is characterised by democratic values
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Walang punto ang paghihiwalay o palawakin ang tila linyang naghahati sa mga Kristiyano at Muslim. Kung paanong ang mga lalaki ay kailangang manindigan para sa pantay na karapatan ng kababaihan, ang mga Katoliko ay dapat ding manindigan kasama ng ating mga kapatid na Muslim para sa tunay at napapanatiling kapayapaan. Dapat tayo ang unang sumalungat sa tuwing may diskriminasyon laban sa mga Muslim. Sabi nga ng matandang kasabihan ng Intsik — “Just as a fence has to be built with pegs, an able person needs the help of three others.” - Night Owl: Edisyong Filipino (p. 232, Ang Pagdaig sa Nagdudulot ng Pagkakahati)
Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo
It is well known that the term ‘Pakistan’, an acronym, was originally thought up in England by a group of Muslim intellectuals. P for the Punjabis, A for the Afghans, K for the Kashmiris, S for Sind and the ‘tan’, they say, for Baluchistan. (No mention of the East Wing, you notice; Bangladesh never got its name in the tide, and so, eventually, it took the hint and seceded from the secessionists. Imagine what such a double secession does to people!) – So it was a word born in exile which then went East, was borne-across or translated, and imposed itself on history; a returning migrant, settling down on partitioned land, forming a palimpsest on the past. A palimpsest obscures what lies beneath. To build Pakistan it was necessary to cover up Indian history, to deny that Indian centuries lay just beneath the surface of Pakistani Standard Time. The past was rewritten; there was nothing else to be done. Who commandeered the job of rewriting history? – The immigrants, the mohajirs. In what languages? – Urdu and English, both imported tongues, although one travelled less distance than the other. It is possible to see the subsequent history of Pakistan as a duel between two layers of time, the obscured world forcing its way back through what-had-been-imposed. It is the true desire of every artist to impose his or her vision on the world; and Pakistan, the peeling, fragmenting palimpsest, increasingly at war with itself, may be described as a failure of the dreaming mind. Perhaps the pigments used were the wrong ones, impermanent, like Leonardo’s; or perhaps the place was just insufficiently imagined, a picture full of irreconcilable elements, midriffbaring immigrant saris versus demure, indigenous Sindhi shalwar-kurtas, Urdu versus Punjabi, now versus then: a miracle that went wrong.
Salman Rushdie (Shame)
In his report to the Auswärtiges Amt (Foreign Ministry), Wolff wrote that Husseini said, “Muslims inside and outside Palestine welcome the new regime in Germany and hope for the spread of fascist, antidemocratic state leadership to other countries.” In his view,” current Jewish influence on economy and politics” was “damaging everywhere and needed to be fought.” In the hope of doing economic damage to the Jews, Husseini opined that “Muslims hope for a boycott of the Jews in Germany because it would then be adopted with enthusiasm in the whole of the Muslim world.” Further, he was willing to spread the boycott message among Muslims traveling through Palestine and to “all Muslims.” He also looked forward to trade with “non-Jewish merchants” dealing in German products.3 Husseini’s remarks on March 1933 demonstrated his early enthusiasm for the Nazi regime based on his ideological support for its antidemocratic and anti-Jewish policies.
Jeffrey Herf (Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World)
The material in this work demonstrates that the Nazi leadership viewed radical anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism as indispensable points of entry into Arab and Muslim hearts and minds.29 Throughout the war, Nazi Arabic radio repeated the charge that World War II was a Jewish war whose purpose in the region was to establish a Jewish state in Palestine that would expand into and dominate the entire Arab and Muslim world. Moreover, the broadcasts asserted that the Jews in the mid-twentieth century were attempting to destroy Islam just as their ancestors had been attempting to do for thirteen centuries. They claimed that an Allied victory would be a victory for the Jews, whereas an Axis victory would bring liberation from first British and then American and also “Jewish” imperialism
Jeffrey Herf (Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World)
Important factors included growing Muslim hostility toward Jews as a result of nationalist mobilization, the creation of Israel, rampant poverty, and the ongoing refusal of citizenship by the French as well as negative experiences with the anti-Semitic Vichy regime during the war.100 Tension with the Muslim majority population started to grow in Morocco in 1947 against the backdrop of the war in Palestine. Following
Jannis Panagiotidis (The Unchosen Ones: Diaspora, Nation, and Migration in Israel and Germany)
Important factors included growing Muslim hostility toward Jews as a result of nationalist mobilization, the creation of Israel, rampant poverty, and the ongoing refusal of citizenship by the French as well as negative experiences with the anti-Semitic Vichy regime during the war.100 Tension with the Muslim majority population started to grow in Morocco in 1947 against the backdrop of the war in Palestine. Following the June 1948 pogroms in Oudjda and Djérada in eastern Morocco on the border with Algeria, emigration of Jews from Morocco to Israel became a more widespread phenomenon.101 When the French colonial rulers realized that the constant illegal flow of migrants could not be stopped, they allowed for the organized emigration of Jews, giving the Jewish Agency free rein in processing and selecting the migrants. For this purpose, the Jewish Agency–operated Kadima (forward) office was created in April of that year.102 A similar office had operated in Tunis since the second half of 1948, when the French authorities had started tolerating, if initially not fully legalizing, Aliyah.103
Jannis Panagiotidis (The Unchosen Ones: Diaspora, Nation, and Migration in Israel and Germany)
for two thousand years after his death Aristotle would set the way in which Christians and Muslims alike shaped their thoughts about the best way to organize and think about the physical world, about the arts and the pursuit of virtue. The Christian Church began by being suspicious about Aristotle, preferring the otherworldliness of Plato’s thought, but there was no other scheme for understanding the organization of the world as remotely comprehensive as his. When Christians were faced with making theological comments on natural subjects like biology or the animal kingdom, they turned to Aristotle, just as Christian theologians today may turn to modern science to inform themselves about matters in which they are not technically expert. The result was, for instance, that two millennia after the death of this non-Christian philosopher two monks in a monastery somewhere in northern Europe might consider an argument settled if one of them could assert, ‘Well, Aristotle says …’ Right down to the seventeenth century, Christian debate about faith and the world involved a debate between two Greek ghosts, Plato and Aristotle, who had never heard the name of Jesus Christ. Aristotle fuelled the great renewal of Christian scholarship in the Western Church in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries (see pp. 398–9), and even in the last twenty years the leaders of the Catholic Church in Rome have reaffirmed the synthesis of Christianity and Aristotelian thought which Thomas Aquinas devised at that time.
Diarmaid MacCulloch (A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years)
Sephardim are historically distinguished by several features: a) their desire for and attainment of secular political positions; b) their ability to appreciate and harmonize religion and secular aspects of culture; c) their skill at mastering both religious works (like the study of the Bible and Talmud) and more secular subjects (such as poetry and philosophy); and d) their multicultural proficiency, which enabled them to converse and publish in both Hebrew and Arabic. Because of their acceptance into Muslim society and culture, Sephardim were more open to external influences and more tolerant of differences.
Zion Zohar (Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewry: From the Golden Age of Spain to Modern Times)
Free will from the perspective of Islam is not an absolute open concept without boundaries. A Muslim has to abide to the shari'ah, and hence has to be conscious of both his/her individual and collective responsibilities.
Noraini M. Noor (Psychology from an Islamic Perspective: A Guide to Teaching and Learning)
Napoleon respected Islam, regarding the Koran as ‘not just religious; it is civil and political. The Bible only preaches morals.’52 He was also impressed by the way that the Muslims ‘tore more souls away from false gods, toppled more idols, pulled down more pagan temples in fifteen years than the followers of Moses and Christ had in fifteen centuries’.53* He had no objection to polygamy, saying that Egyptian men were gourmands en amour, and, when permitted, ‘will prefer having wives of various colours’.54† His flattery of the ulama (clergy), his discussions of the Koran, and his holding out the possibility of his conversion to Islam – as well as his attempts to impress the sheikhs with French science – were all intended to establish a collaborationist body of Egyptians, with mixed results. As it turned out, no amount of complying with Islamic ceremonies, salutations and usages prevented Selim III from declaring jihad against the French in Egypt, meaning that any attacks upon them were thenceforth blessed.
Andrew Roberts (Napoleon: A Life)
The three most important Arab witnesses of the French occupation were the historians Abd al-Rahman al-Jabartī, Hasan al-Attar and Niqula Turk. Al-Jabartī felt that the invasion was God’s punishment on Egypt for ignoring Islamic principles. He saw the French as the new Crusaders, but made no secret of his admiration for French weaponry, military tactics, medical advances, scientific achievements and interest in Egyptian history, geography and culture. He enjoyed his interaction with the savants and was impressed by Napoleon’s lack of ostentation and the way that on his journey to Suez he took engineers and Muslim merchants with him instead of cooks and a harem. Yet still he saw him as a rapacious, untrustworthy, atheistic beast, and was delighted when jihad was declared against the infidels.62
Andrew Roberts (Napoleon: A Life)
I’m a firm believer that the international community must boycott Israel and pursue it for war crimes in the international courts. I also believe that the only possible and acceptable resolution at this point is a one-state solution. My vision is for us to live in a single democratic state where everyone is equal, Muslim, Christian, and Jew. Judaism is a religion, just like Islam. It is a different way of worshipping the same God we call Allah, and we respect that. But Zionism is a political ideology that says Judaism is not only a religion, but primarily a nationality—and that it needs a country. Not just any country, but our country, and that it needs this country to be for Jews alone. Zionism has taken our country, where Jews, Christians, and Muslims have lived for centuries, and made it a country that is ruled by and for Jews alone.
Ahed Tamimi (They Called Me a Lioness: A Palestinian Girl's Fight for Freedom)
Zionists’ ideology claims that they have the right to take other people’s land, to push them out. And I can’t accept this. No Palestinian can accept this. No human should accept this. It’s not racist to say this—it’s the opposite. We need a country where Jews and Christians and Muslims can live together as equals, with the same human rights and democracy. Zionism rejects this vision, demanding that all of Palestine be a “Jewish” state. And some Western countries sympathize with this because of the Holocaust.
Ahed Tamimi (They Called Me a Lioness: A Palestinian Girl's Fight for Freedom)
Being surrounded by people who fuel you is intentional.
Samra Habib (We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir)
Islam may soon become the majority religion in countries whose churches have been turned more and more into tourist sites, apartment houses, theaters, and places of entertainment. The French scholar Olivier Roy is right: Islam is now a European religion. How Europeans, Muslims as well as non-Muslims, cope with this is the question that will decide our future. And what better place to watch the drama unfold than the Netherlands, where freedom came from a revolt against Catholic Spain, where ideals of tolerance and diversity became a badge of national honor, and where political Islam struck its first blow against a man whose deepest conviction was that freedom of speech included the freedom to insult.
Ian Buruma (Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance)
The Palestinian national movement started life with a vision and goal of a Palestinian Muslim Arab-majority state in all of Palestine—a one-state “solution”—and continues to espouse and aim to establish such a state down to the present day.
Benny Morris (One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict)
Though Hamas’s operations over the years have focused on Israel and the occupied territories, the movement’s ideology has potential universal reach or, as the covenant puts it, “its extent in place is anywhere that there are Muslims who embrace Islam as their way of life everywhere in the globe. This being so, it extends to the depth of the earth and reaches out to the heaven . . . the movement is a universal one”—so Americans and Europeans should not be overly surprised if, at some point, Hamas suicide bombers arrive on their doorstep.
Benny Morris (One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict)
From the eighth or ninth centuries, Muslim Arabs have been politically dominant in the Islamic world and have grown accustomed to that position; the notion of sharing power or being a minority in a non-Muslim Arab polity is alien to the Muslim Arab mentality.
Benny Morris (One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict)
The idea of sharing Palestine (as indeed, the sharing of any Muslim Arab land with non-Muslims and non-Arabs)—either through a division of the country into two states, one Jewish, the other Arab, or through a unitary binational entity, based on political parity between the two communities—is alien to the Muslim Arab mindset.
Benny Morris (One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict)
The mindset and basic values of Israeli Jewish society and Palestinian Muslim society are so different and mutually exclusive as to render a vision of binational statehood tenable only in the most disconnected and unrealistic of minds.
Benny Morris (One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict)
The idea of a “secular democratic Palestine” is as much a nonstarter today as it was three decades ago. It is a nonstarter primarily because the Palestinian Arabs, like the world’s other Muslim Arab communities, are deeply religious and have no respect for democratic values and no tradition of democratic governance.
Benny Morris (One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict)
For God there is no Hindu and no Muslim; all of us are His children, equal human beings.
Hazur Maharaj Sawan Singh (From Guru Nanak to Guru Granth Sahib: Life Stories and Teachings of the ten Masters (Sikh Gurus) and the Sri Guru Granth Sahib)
Book 2, Number 9: Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr: The Prophet said, "A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hands. And a Muhajir (emigrant) is the one who gives up (abandons) all what Allah has forbidden.
Muhammad Bukhari (Sahih Al Bukhari Hadith Volume 1 of 9 In English Only Translation Book 1 to 12: Kindle)
Book 2, Number 18: Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: Allah's Messenger said, "A time will come that the best property of a Muslim will be sheep which he will take on the top of mountains and the places of rainfall (valleys) so as to flee with his religion from afflictions.
Muhammad Bukhari (Sahih Al Bukhari Hadith Volume 1 of 9 In English Only Translation Book 1 to 12: Kindle)
Perhaps we should reverse the demand. I think it is entirely appropriate for people in the Arab world to demand that those of us in the West prevent our governments from bolstering repressive regimes—and especially Israel. The so-called war on terror has done inestimable damage to the world, including the intensification of anti-Muslim racism in the United States, Europe, and Australia. As progressives in the Global North, we certainly have not acknowledged our major responsibilities in the continuation of military and ideological attacks on people in the Arab world.
Angela Y. Davis (Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement)
To deny the witness of the incarnation and the resurrection is to deny the entirety of the Christian faith. For this reason we maintain, together with the thoughtful Muslim, that if worship is an act of truth, then Muslims and Christians are not worshiping the same object. We do not worship the same God.
James R. White (What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Qur'an)
I can't stop staring. How can everyone not see the harm we all experience in this? Making one group a caricature leads to violence that extends to the rest of us. Just look at the rise of hate crimes against Asian, Jewish, and Muslim people, continued violence against Black and Indigenous people, and no care whatsoever for those seeking asylum at the US border.
Charles Waters (Mascot)
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal said, a muslim interacts with the Qur'an in 5 ways and these are; i) memorizing it by heart, ii) reciting it on the tongue, iii) viewing it with the eye, iv) listening to it with the ear and v) writing it by hand.
Samir Nuhu (Useful guide on memorizing the Quran: Tahfeezul Quran)
What Enver and Pan-Islamists failed to realize was that Muslim solidarity was effective when it complemented self-interest and the instinct of self-defence. In Cyrenaica, the CUP aim of preserving the integrity of the Ottoman state coincided with the desire of the Arab tribes to remain in control of their lives. Not only Enver but many Western strategists drew from the Libyan war the conclusion that Muslim solidarity was a powerful force everywhere, at least potentially. Events in the course of the First World War were to prove them wrong.
Andrew Mango (Atatürk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey)
Though demonized by his Jewish and British enemies, Hajj Amin al-Husayni in fact cooperated well enough with the mandate administration. Only gradually did he use his religious authority to achieve a position of significant political influence contrary to British interests. It was a potent mix. The key event in this transformation was the so-called ‘Western Wall riots’ in 1929. The Western Wall was the only revealed section of what remained from the massive retaining wall built by Herod. This wall allowed Herod to enlarge the platform on which the Second Temple stood before being destroyed in 70 CE. Given this association, the wall became Judaism’s most important place of pilgrimage and prayer. The wall also was part of a Muslim religious trust (waqf): Muslim attachment to the wall and to the al-Haram al-Sharif (or ‘Noble Sanctuary’, as the Temple Mount is known in Arabic) is due to their association with the story of Muhammad’s night journey to heaven. The wall is known to Muslims as al-Buraq, because Muhammad tethered his horse there, and the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque, built in the 7th century, are two of Islam’s most revered buildings.
Martin Bunton (The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Very Short Introduction)
Hamas was an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization founded in Egypt in 1928 with reformist aims, but which turned to violence in the 1940s and 1950s, only to reconcile with the Egyptian regime under Sadat in the 1970s. Hamas was begun in Gaza by militants who felt that the Brotherhood had been too accommodating toward the Israeli occupier in return for lenient treatment. Indeed, in the first two decades of the occupation, when the military authorities severely repressed all other Palestinian political, social, cultural, professional, and academic groups, they had allowed the Brotherhood to operate freely. Because of its utility to the occupation in splitting the Palestinian national movement, Israeli indulgence of the Brotherhood was extended to Hamas, notwithstanding its uncompromising and anti-Semitic program and commitment to violence.8
Rashid Khalidi (The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017)
Honored spiritual traditions recognize this fact. The English walked to Canterbury. The Muslims trek to Mecca. Native Americans pursue vision quests by walking out into the wilderness. Druids and Wiccans walk ley lines in pursuit of spiritual knowledge. In Tibet, the very word for “human” translates as “a goer” or “one who goes on migrations.” We can take a cue from these ancient traditions. A habit of walking yields spiritual and creative breakthroughs.
Julia Cameron (The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size)
One man asked Mohammed (s), "How can I please my parents after their death?" Mohammed (s) replied, 'Please your parents' friend and do good deeds.' (Al-Muslim)
Javed Khan (Parenting in Islam: A book on child psychology from Islmaic Point of View)