An interesting piece in Asharq Alawsat today, doubtlessly written to address the matter of Hamza Kashghari.

The writer, identified as a writer and expert on Islamic affairs, starts out with a call to moderate opinion. He states, correctly, that what goes on in the heart of man is unknowable to other men; only God knows what truly is to be found there. He wastes little time, however, in jumping to the fact that once a person – atheist, apostate, doubter – opens his mouth or acts upon his inner belief, he becomes responsible for people’s reaction to his words or deeds and accountable for them. This, too, is mostly true. If words offend, then words can certainly be used to defend or push back or even severely criticize. Words are not so special that they are immune to other, critical words.

The writer is coming from an intellectual plane where the truth of Islam is obvious, that any questions about it must be for reasons of some sort of enmity. He doesn’t entertain the idea that questions about religion have existed as long as religions have existed. But even here, as long as one keeps one’s mouth shut and fingers off the keyboard, that’s sort of okay; it’s between you and God.

But what, beyond criticism, social opprobrium, and shunning is the ‘correct’ response from society? Here, he doesn’t really venture. Are calls for Kashghari’s death appropriate? If Kashghari repents, and he says that he did err in posting what he did, who is to gainsay him? Wouldn’t it require ‘looking into his heart’ to determine whether his contrition was real? Or here, for this particular sin, does that not matter? Having sinned, he must pay the consequences, never mind what Islam says about forgiveness?

Dr. Al Rekabi errs himself, however, in the conclusion to his piece. He asserts that over the centuries, ‘Islam has only grown stronger.’ Is that actually the case? It’s clear that the number of Muslims has grown around the world, but is that the right measure to use when assessing the ‘strength’ of a religion? I could argue that respect might be a better measure. The actions and deeds of extremists, acting in the name of Islam, whether terrorists or narrow-minded judges have actually damaged Islam, have weakened the respect it has had over the centuries. Showing harsh reaction to things most – or at least much – of the world considers minor, even inconsequential, does not demonstrate the ‘strength’ of Islam. It only shows that it can be used to intimidate and create fear. The ability to create fear is considered strength only in the hands of people like Syria’s Al Assad or the Soviet Union’s Stalin. Maybe they were/are strong? But that kind of strength is not and should not be a goal for people who seek peace in this world or the next.

Atheists must assume their intellectual and social responsibility
Dr. Zein Al Abdeen Al Rekabi

Why do we see the obstinate persistence in reviving the tendency towards atheism? Why is there a drive to resurrect this trend from its grave, after it had been killed and buried by scientific fact, particularly the science of physics?

Before answering this question, I call upon the readers to reflect deeply and intelligently on the following facts:

Firstly, a person’s mind – according to Islam – is safeguarded from inspection and incrimination, for what is in one’s mind always remains “concealed”.


February:14:2012 - 08:05 | Comments & Trackbacks (14) | Permalink
14 Responses to “Speech and Accountability”
  1. 1
    Sparky Said:
    February:14:2012 - 08:52 

    “Secondly, we must remember that the foundation and purpose of Islam is to introduce people to the religion of God, not cause them to abandon it.”

    It is NOT people like Kashgari’s reflections that will cause people to abandon their faith rather IT is ISLAM’s followers reactions and people abandoning due to the SHAME associated with SAVAGE BEASTS.

    “However these facts bring a highly significant question to mind: what if someone chooses atheism, disbelief or apostasy, and avows this in an open and explicit manner, for example by blaspheming against God Almighty, or ridiculing the Prophet (pbuh)?”

    Dr. Zein what IF I say I believe in God and his Prophet but in a totally different way or manner than you do? I don’t pray to Mohammad. Do you? If a person states they “hate” him perhaps it is because THEY are NOT a prophet and WILL NEVER be like him no matter how hard they try. In fact, I think if he were alive today and someone threw trash on his door step and spat at him he would visit them if they became ill. Does that story sound familiar to you? I know there are a lot of Muslims who have different views and manners of expressing them. Is it a sin to use Mohammad and hate in the same sentence?

    “This is the duty of religious scholars and intellectuals; isn’t it their duty to enlighten people against deception and superstition, as well as the corrupt interpretation of religion?”

    I think “what the …?” Judge Jinned up confession posted earlier takes the cake for “superstitious” or mocking at God’s Law/ Shariah. Furthermore, personally I have had my taste of enlightenment under Saudi Wahhabi Islam and shall I say “I’m really full…no thank you. I only have one stomach.”

    I don’t know what is sweeter being BULLIED in the name of Islam or Self Delusion.

    Allah gave me a voice and a tongue and lemme tell you something my BROTHER… I WILL USE IT!!!

    Yes, yes I know there are people out there like those pious princesses who have publicaly declared they wanted to cut out the tongues of people who have said they disagree with “MY guardian knows what is best for me.” And I have said, “What if…my guardian thinks I should throw myself off the third story of a building?”

    Re branding of Saudi Wahahbi is called for…I personally (I think it is o.k. to speak for myself or maybe not) don’t need your stinking brainwash anymore.

    The enemies of Islam are feasting on such black days as these! Great Job!

  2. 2
    Sparky Said:
    February:14:2012 - 08:57 

    I want to change the “THEY are a prophet” to “THEY are NOT a prophet”

    don’t take me to chop chop square for a typo ommission!

  3. 3
    Sparky Said:
    February:14:2012 - 09:11 

    Happy Valentines Day…I’ve been struck by cupid :-)

    “You are so beautiful so let your spirit flow!”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps0wjK-hyA4

  4. 4
    dan Said:
    February:14:2012 - 10:13 

    Broadly speaking, any theologian starting off with the assertion that atheism has been killed and buried by scientific fact, particularly physics, is setting himself up for the observation that he fails to understand the following words: atheist, killed, scientific, fact and physics.

    Really, this is just another “opinion” piece that’s telling people to keep their mouths shut; and it has much more to do with the politics of Saudi than it has to do with the religion of islam.

  5. 5
    Jay kactuz Said:
    February:14:2012 - 14:15 

    Quote: once a person opens his mouth or acts upon his inner belief, he becomes responsible for people’s reaction to his words or deeds and accountable for them.

    This is beyond silly. It is stupid. So according to this fdp, A can kill B because A offended B and it is A’s fault.

    This is exactly what is wrong with Islam and Muslims. It is the “never question, never think” mentality that makes islam the evil influence that it has become.

    Nowhere on Islamic / Muslim sites or new articles is there an analysis of what Kashghari actually said or what he was referring to when condemning ‘certain things’ that Mohammed had done. Oh yes, lets not talk about those things.

  6. 6
    Jay kactuz Said:
    February:14:2012 - 14:18 

    Make that A can kill B because B offended A and it is B’s fault.

    If I can screw up two letters of the alphabet, imagine the havoc using all 26!

  7. 7
    Solomon2 Said:
    February:14:2012 - 14:30 

    “Showing harsh reaction to things most – or at least much – of the world considers minor, even inconsequential, does not demonstrate the ‘strength’ of Islam. It only shows that it can be used to intimidate and create fear…But that kind of strength is not and should not be a goal for people who seek peace in this world or the next.”

    Don’t Muslims pray for success first and pray for peace only for Muslims and righteous servants of Allah? For the literal-minded that leaves very big openings for intolerance, persecution, and terrorism.

  8. 8
    Jerry M Said:
    February:14:2012 - 20:37 

    This is a strange article. He confuses atheism with apostasy and disbelief. Assuming he is commenting on the Kashghari tweets, he is viewing those comments far more negatively than any non-Muslim reader would. One could easily imagine on Christmas an article in which the author would have a fictional discussion with Jesus. I doubt anyone in the West, even believers would be automatically offended.

    Do people have responsibility for what they say? Yes, but they cannot be held responsible for any possible kind of negative reaction.

  9. 9
    bigstick1 Said:
    February:14:2012 - 20:55 

    You know if I apply his logic to my belief in no religion. So it is then decided that all who believe in fantasy, sky fairies, etc. should be imprisoned, tortured,or killed due to delusional tendencies and mental instability. I think he would have a change in his current position.

  10. 10
    Coolred38 Said:
    February:14:2012 - 23:20 

    That article was a confusing hot mess. The guy is basically saying…even if you don’t believe in religion, Islam specifically..you have no right to say so and definitely no right to expect a peaceful resolution after you have spit those words out….and why is that? Because god and the prophet need muslims to be ever vigilante and protect them from the haters and atheists of the world…because, despite creating the world and everything in it..and despite being a prophet that was most favored by god etc etc…neither one of them can stave off the effects of the spoken word. Nope.

    Islam is only as strong as the next set of words spoken against it…and then death to the speaker is the form of protection that is required.

  11. 11
    Niels Christensen Said:
    February:15:2012 - 04:13 

    “In truth, atheism is not a “mentality”; it is a psychological disease that is dependent upon illusions that are excessive in their premises, analogies and conclusions”
    Oh, my God, what have I done to deserve this !

  12. 12
    Sparky Said:
    February:15:2012 - 04:22 

    In other words, according to the writer, people with mental diseases should be put to death. Looks like all lot of mental health facilities will be going out of business soon.

  13. 13
    bigstick1 Said:
    February:15:2012 - 09:22 

    Sparky:

    That is an analogy based upon the persons statement towards Islam. In other words, if an atheist was to place their belief at the same level that as this person then this is what it would entail. It is an illogical stance and it is not workable. It is to show the absurdity of his statement based upon using another extreme. :)

    Actually, the belief in no religion is logical as religion contains no factual basis that supports a God figure based upon the rule laden manmade doctrines as it only supports an arachiac and often times barbaric tactics. Religion is meant to be a division, hate fill, clickess (us against them) doctrine that has both allowed and supported slavery, murder and rape. If God does exist religoin would no doubt be an affront and insult to the being.

  14. 14
    Sparky Said:
    February:15:2012 - 10:02 

    Hi bigstick1 I understand absurdity…Paradoxically this Muslim writer, Dr. Zein too must assume intellectual and social responsibility.

    Lil off topic or maybe not check this out: Aliens and Deadly Cults…Unholy rituals…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gH9EMxzu6o&feature=related

    I found this episode of ancient aliens enlightening. There were references to some Christian groups as well as others. It is essential IMO about mind control under whatever guise.

    It asks, “Is a blood sacrifice really required for a blood thirsty God?”

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