This is the time of the year that the air is filled with everything Christmas. There is something for everyone: gifts for family and friends, prayers at churches, and Christmas music everywhere. It puts me in a contemplative mood, particularly when I hear the delightful Christian refrain, peace on earth, goodwill to men. This is the gift I want. This is my Christmas. When there is peace on earth and all people dispense and receive good will.
Yet, I am saddened to see the world as it is, particularly with what Islam is doing to it, which is the exact opposite of working for peace and extending goodwill to all people.
My contemplation takes me to the genesis of Islam. Something I have come to view as a scourge of humanity, and here are a few of my random thoughts about the founder of Islam: the person who launched a religion that has denied peace to mankind right from the start, the person who advanced a religion that began with war, continues with war, and aims to carry on with bloodletting to the end of time. All this makes me think and shake my head in bewilderment.
Starting with the premise that an all-knowing powerful God is the creator of this awe-inspiring universe where we humans are an infinitesimally insignificant part of his creation humbles me. Muslims call this creator Allah—a recast of one of 360 idols in the pre-Islamic Idolatry of Mecca—and attribute numerous superhuman qualities to him. It is awe-inspiring to realize that a being of that description may indeed exist.
That leads me to some questions: Why would such an indescribably exalted creator, with his ascribed boundless wisdom and resources, pick an illiterate Bedouin to become his prophet for then and forever? The man himself, Muhammad, admitted in the Quran to his own illiteracy. Yet, Allah persisted in choosing this man? Was Allah bored with the rest of his universe and playing a joke on us helpless mortals? Or was it a case of Allah not being able to get any reasonably literate man to take the job?
I don’t have an answer to this or a bevy of other questions, and the answers I have seen so far from Muslims are far from satisfactory. I am forced to mark this as one of the enigmas of life and move on to further look into Muhammad, his claims, his life and the way all might come together with Allah’s choreography of our life of drama.
Muslims claim that Muhammad was the most perfect man, the kind of saintly man that each and every one of us should adulate and aspire to follow. On the top of their list is the desire to lead their lives in such a way that would please Allah, if they can.
Muhammad has done that, Muslims claim. And apparently Allah, in his infinite kindness, does not require the rest of us mortals to do things that we are incapable of doing. And Muhammad has brought us the perfect life manual, the Quran, to help us in our quest, we are told.
Besides, a great inducement for me to check Islam out is the promise of eternal life in an indescribably lush sensual paradise of Allah if I make the grade. If I fail, I am told, my forever destination is the dreadful inferno of hell.
I have also checked out those schools of thought that say life starts here and ends here. End of discussion. Well, buying into the idea that I am going to end up as fertilizer in some desolate cemetery is not something I would like to contemplate. So, I kept looking into this Islam thing since I was born and raised in it. After all 1.5 billion people have bought into it. They can’t all be misguided, can they?
This quest led me to examine the teachings and life of Muhammad closely. And here are a few of my findings that have thrown me for a loop. Hence, I am sharing my findings with the readers in the hope that someone would supply me with explanations that would relieve me of my perplexities.
I have, in my quest, read, re-read, and read again the Quran—purportedly the literal word-for-word of Allah transmitted to Muhammad by the Archangel Gabriel over the course of some 20 years.
Right away I am troubled. Is Allah the same creator who has created the entire universe by a single word of his mouth—kon va yakoon—be and became, as Islam claims? Then why did it take this magnificent all-knowing lightning-fast-Allah 20 years to get across a dime-novel-size hodgepodge of contradictory and nonsensical verse called the Quran, to us poor creatures?
Was it because Muhammad was illiterate and he couldn’t write them down? But that can’t be. He didn’t write down anything himself. He dictated to anyone who could write and was around at the time to do it. Therefore, in the course of some 20 years what is claimed to be the word-for-word dictates of Allah went through a number of intermediaries and materialized in several versions.
First the Archangel Gabriel whispered it to Muhammad, then Muhammad found some Arab who could write—not an easy find among the masses of the most backward illiterates of Arabia—and who happened to have a pen of some sort and a parchment to jot down what Muhammad still managed to recall.
Perhaps this does explain the several versions of the Quran that popped up after Muhammad’s death and the Caliph Othman’s choice of one as the genuine and burning of the others. The practice of burning books Muslims don’t like to talk about, goes all the way back to their venerated second Caliph, Othman.
Now, how could a fallible politician like Othman be the judge of Allah’s genuine utterances? Was there another Archangel that helped him out, or he just simply liked that particular version best? One thing you can say about Othman. He was an astute enough politician to realize that you can’t have one Islam with several versions of the word-for-word revelation of Allah.
Here is another problem. Even the chosen version of the Quran, if you can make any sense of it at all, reads like two different books. The early part is known as the Mecca Quran. This part is much about meekness, tolerance, kindness and so forth. This was the time that Muhammad’s wife Khadija—a monotheist Hanif, in contrast to polytheist idolater Muhammad—introduced her young troubled husband to her Christian uncle and exposed him to the teachings of Christianity that influenced his “revelation.”
During this early phase of his ministry, Muhammad spoke respectfully about the “people of the book,”—Christians and Jews, the people from whose book he liberally plagiarized to launch his monotheistic faith with the invaluable encouragements of his wife Khadija.
It was Khadija who convinced the young man that he was indeed chosen by Allah to be his spokesperson; that the jinn and angels communicated with him were parts of Allah’s plan for him.
Muhammad, during his Mecca years, was ridiculed for his confused sayings by his own tribe of Quraish. He was called shaeron majnoon—crazed poet. At this early stage he went by his birth name of Abulqasem. It was later that he took on the new name of Muhammad—Praiseworthy-One—to go better with his ministry.
Muhammad, having been judged as a hallucinating insane poet, was tormented by the Meccans in many ways. It got so bad, that after his wife’s death he left for Medina where a significant Jewish community provided a safer place for him to gather followers, build a powerbase, reveal his Medina Quran of intolerance and vilification, and launch his religion in full force and by brute force.
Once in Medina, Muhammad hit on a most powerful formula for success. He justified everything, on the spot, by saying that Allah wants it this way. And Allah was nothing to trifle with. He held the key to the most magnificent paradise as well as to the dreadful hell. The duty of a good Muslim became unquestioning obedience to everything that Muhammad said and wished. Muhammad became Allah’s gatekeeper to paradise and hell.
Muhammad’s formula worked magic with the Bedouins of Arabia who thrived on robberies and killings. His religion spread like a pandemic disease in no time at all. And here we are in the 21st century, at Christmas time, praying for peace and goodwill to men, while Muhammad’s men are working overtime to make sure that men see neither peace nor goodwill.
I would like to join the chorus of peace on earth and goodwill to men. Yet, deep in my soul, I find it my solemn duty to keep on sounding the alarm about the fire of Islam even at this poignant moment of Christmas.
Peace on earth and goodwill to men is a perennial prayer. It can be only when enough men and women of goodwill, with iron resolve arise and disempower the Islamist people of war and ill-will. Contributing Editor Amil Imani is an Iranian-born American citizen and a pro-democracy activist residing in the United States of America. Imani is a columnist, literary translator, novelist and essayist who has been writing and speaking out for the struggling people of his native land, Iran.
He maintains a website at 
Amil Imani is the author of the smashing book Obama Meets Ahmadinejad.
2009-12-19 19:43:55
Comments List
I am compelled to conclude that:
1. Allah is not the almighty creator. At best, Allah is an impotent idol; at worst, the crator's adversary, Satan.

2. Moe was a murdering, pedophile & pirate, not a saint. It is impossible that a decent deity would select that mope as a prophet!

3. It is obvious that Moe cleverly contrived his definition of Allah for the purpose of motivating men to murder for his enrichment. Giving his war machine a religious component served three purposes: social control , troop motivator and camouflage.
This is a powerful contrast between the tenets of Islam and Christianity, the best that I have seen, in layman's terms. I found it ironic that it is the Jewish community that nurtured the young prophet, when his own people mocked and scorned him. Now his adherents want to return the favor - by wiping Jews off the face of the earth...quite a unique means of repayment.
Hear me you infidels, especially during your Christmas festival. Yes sir, Islam means SUBMISSION to Islam, or you'll pay with your life. The only way out is that you infidels SUBMIT and pay the Jizya Tax. If you reject Islam and become an apostate, you must SUBMIT to have your head chopped off, or SUBMIT and be stoned to death. No exceptions. Women of Islam must SUBMIT and accept second class status, or worse. When a macho Muslim male says three times to one of his wives, 'I divorce you,' ex-wife must SUBMIT and accept it, and then slink away in humiliation.

Women must SUBMIT and cover their whole bodies with ugly Muslim rags. That will help depraved Muslim male sex perverts from being tempted with carnal desires. So Muslim women must SUBMIT and cover their whole bodies from head to toe. It's the Muslim women's fault if she exposes a forearm or an ankle to Muslim perverts and gets raped as a result.

Muslim women of Islam must SUBMIT and admit that Muslim males are superior in intelligence. No exceptions since the Muslim paedophile Muhammad revealed it. Muhammad said it, so that's the end of the argument. Little girls as young as seven years old must SUBMIT to old depraved Muslim male perverts and 'marry' the Muslim perverts. And then the female child must SUBMIT to their depraved Muslim husband and consummate the 'marriage vow' on the day of 'matrimony' even if the child protests and cries. Macho Muslim male sex perverts are not affected by the little girls' tears and screams. To fulfill the Islamic ritual, the little girls must SUBMIT and spread their little legs to 'please Allah,' the Merciful, the Compassionate. Besides, Muslim male perverts must immulate Muhammad. Can you infidels now see what makes the religion of peace so beautiful? It is this SUBMISSION to Islam.

Muslim wives must also SUBMIT to the whims of their husbands. If wives don't SUBMIT, they must then SUBMIT and receive a good drubbing until they straighten out. Whores must also SUBMIT to married males of Islam. It's the law of Islam.

Little Muslim girls must also SUBMIT to have their genitals mutilated to 'keep them pure.' This especially pleases Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Infidels should learn the beauty of Islam. You infidels must also SUBMIT and accept that Allah is superior to the Christian and Jewish God.

Muslim wives must SUBMIT and be stoned to death if caught cheating, or if they are raped by a band of Muslim perverts. If a Muslim is caught stealing a loaf of bread, he must SUBMIT to have his hands or feet chopped off. If the Muslim continues stealing, he must SUBMIT and have his eyes gouged out. Allah, the Merciful, the Compassion, who sees all, demands these punishments.

If a Muslim girl is raped by a bunch of Muslim savages, she must SUBMIT to at least 200 lashes. Gays must SUBMIT and be hanged by the neck until dead. Allah demands this punishment to retain the purity of the peaceful Islamic religion.

If Muslim daughters are caught talking to infidels, they must SUBMIT and be murdered by their dads, maybe uncles or brothers. This is called honor killing by members of the religion of peace. Honor comes first to Muslim families to protect their good name and the beauty of Islam. Yes, Islam, the religion of peace, means SUBMISSION.
Amil: Thank you for your beautiful and hopeful comments. Your courage and love for people of all nations helps to fill the vacuum that comes with hate and religios corruption.

It is one thing to be a Christian or a Muslim and quite another for both to behave like one when called by God to act. Your courage outshines all of the hatred generated by your detractors.

May God bless you for your courage and love. I've cross-posted your link at my blogs...
Modern research into the origins of Islam reveal that the holy books were written after the Arab conquests in order to justify and regulate them. Obviously, since the world has changed so much since those swashbuckling days, one has to wonder what the modern appeal of such a patently opportunistic creed can be.

I think it lies in the message of self-justification and aggrandizement that Islam offers. Islam says that belief alone confers moral superiority, that not only is a believer better, but is also justified in doing anything to his or her advantage against an unbeliever.

Imagine the implications.

Do you want to rape that pretty girl? Do you want to lie when it's convenient? Do you want to steal from someone? Do you want to kill someone you detest? That's all fine as long as your victim is an unbeliever. How wonderfullly convenient! Even another Muslim can be taken advantage of or murdered if he or she is deemed a heretic.

Islam is nothing but a recipe for coercion or chaos because its so-called morality is but a cover for one's basest desires.

Ultimately, however, it is doomed because its harmful moral structure is so unworkable that people will reject it as going against their self-interest.

Think of it this way: All the other great religions teach values consistent with universal brotherhood because hard experience over eons of time has taught that those values lead to cooperation and a better life for people. Islam arose from a relatively primitive environment and is thus farther back on the time line of moral development. Perhaps modern communications will hasten its demise
God is Love. Allah is not.
Very thoughtful as usual. I'm sure you know Robert Spencer. Have you ever read William Federer's book, What Every American Needs to Know about the Qur'an? He has done interesting research on the assimilation of a lot of Quar'anic terms and also 3 part to Mohammad's life: religious/political/militant.

Therein lies the rub for the devout in other religions. A shame he took such a beating as a 'crazy poet'. But then, it goes with the territory.
While this is a good summary of the fundamental problems of Islam, a lot of your commentary would apply to Christianity as well. Why would God choose to become an illiterate Jew hanging around with other illiterate Jews? Why wouldn't God pick the educated? I would surmise that education increases the self esteem enough we don't even listen to God.
It was the night before Christmas and Muhammad was confused.

Should Muslims have fun holidays like the Christians and Jews?

8 days of Hanukkah or a fat Jinn in a red suit,

Who used reindeers not camels to carry his loot?

And what kind of presents would Muhammad think best?

Barbies in burkas and suicide vests?

It had to be something the kafurs would envy

Teddy bears named Muhammad or something trendy.

But that’s too much work for a man who had fits

With angels who’d scare him out of his wits.

It would have to be simple and easy to do

And try not to get sick with that kafur swine flu

So he laid on his bed, the left side of course,

Couldn’t lay on his back considering the source

Of Sharia and Hadith and all those rules

Can’t have kafurs thinking we’re fools.

As he laid on his left side, trying hard not to sleep,

When in crept a dog without making a peep.

He said to Muhammad, such an idea I have

I’d tell you now, but we’re forbidden to laugh

Muhammad was startled by the sight of the dog

They’re considered impure if you read all the blogs

But with the crescent moon setting he had to decide

Listen to the dog or forget the yuletide.

So the dog said to Muhammad this has to be done right

Or the Sunni and Shia will start a big fight

And that damned winged horse that flew to the sky

That screwed up the prayers, is it 3 or is it 5?

But Muhammad disagreed; the dog be can’t be right

I’ve given them holidays for at least a few nights

Like Ramadan to starve them from sun up to sun down

A billion hungry Muslims all running around

A month of No sex, food, or water, from dawn until dusk

And then the celebration of Eid, where they can pig out and lust

They can eat lots of dates and wear all their best clothes

And visit a gravesite … before they’re blown up by their foes.

The can ask forgiveness and even pray for more wives

It’s all about sex, haven’t I given them good lives?

Plus, the angel Gabe descends with white clothes

For Muhammad’s grandsons, all dead, but who knows

We eat lots of food on all 3 days

And pay zakat to the poor but not if they’re gay

I have already given them this holiday you see,

But only when the moon is sighted by three

And it’s never the same time, so they have to remember

Like this year it fell on the 21 of September

And the dog said to Muhammad, 30 days of fasting, 3 days to over eat

If that’s the best you can do, they’ve got you beat.

The kafurs give presents, charity and good cheer

And it’s always the same month year after year

Besides, said Muhammad, for 1400 years it’s been a tradition

To make fun of the holidays of the Jews and the Christian.

We can’t change it now, it’s gone on far too long

Plus Sharia forbids us from singing a song

But what of the treaty of Hudaibiyya, argued the dog with skill

Where you denied you were a prophet so you wouldn’t be killed

If you could fake it then you could fake it now

Say Happy Holidays to the kafurs and don’t have a cow

Tell Muslims to be tolerant or go back where they’re from

Or they’ll be eating the fruit of the Az Zaqqum

To celebrate life’s mysteries should be each human’s right

It shouldn’t be a reason for Muslims to hate or to fight.

Forget it said Muhammad, as they’ve ignored much that I’ve said

They follow their scholars and the Hadith they’ve read.

And they made up the Quran long after I was dead.

Good luck to you all, I’m going back to bed.

And that’s your Muslim winter holiday. And to all a good night

And of course we all know the dog was right.
Yes God came, not as an illiterate, but in the most humble conditions. And the angels announced his birth not to the rich and powerful but to the shepherds who lived a lifestyle isolated from rest of society except during the feasts of the Lord. God knows that those, humble in spirit, are the most eager ones awaiting him while the more educated have it all figured out. The Phariseas thought of them as the creme of the crop while the blind beggar so Jesus's divinity and the religious leaders' hipocrazy.

Jesus also came as one of his own. He came as a Jew to the Jews, therefore reinstating his chosen people. This is evident in the Canaanite woman's case to who he said that He came for the Jews first. But when she answered that even a dog waits for the crumbs to fall of his master's table, she showed that anything, even the crumbs of Jesus's blessings were far better than what the world can offer.