Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Disillusioned by Islam

The Story of M A GabrielThe former professor of Islamic history at Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
From Arab Bible:
Fifteen years ago I was the imam of a mosque in the city of Giza, Egypt, which is where the famous Egyptian pyramids are located. (Imam of a mosque is a position similar to pastor of a Christian church.) I preached the message of the week on Fridays from 12 to 1 in the afternoon, as well as performed other duties....
...However, I knew that what I was teaching at the mosque and at Al-Azhar was not what I’d seen in the Quran, which I had memorized in its entirety by the age of twelve. What confused me the most was that I was told to preach about an Islam of love, kindness and forgiveness. At the same time, Muslim fundamentalists—the ones who were supposed to be practicing true Islam—were bombing churches and killing Christians....
...I had been raised in a family that was well established in Islam, and I had studied Islamic history. I was not involved in any radical groups. But one of my Muslim friends was a member of an Islamic group that was actively slaughtering Christians. Ironically, he was a chemistry student and had only recently become serious about his faith. Nevertheless, he was active in jihad. One day I asked him, “Why are you killing our neighbors and countrymen whom we grew up with?”He was angry and astonished at my challenge. “Out of all Muslims you should know. The Christians did not accept the call of Islam, and they are not willing to pay us the jizyah (tax) to have the right to practice their beliefs. Therefore, the only option they have is the sword of Islamic law.”...(read his entire amazing testimony here)

Good companion articles can be found at Culture Watch:
Jesus, Muhammad and Violence
...Here I want to look more closely at the two founders of these religions: Jesus and Muhammad. It goes without saying that they are both central figures in their respective religions, and the life, teaching and example of each become crucial for their followers.
Jesus of course never killed anyone, never ordered the killing of anyone, and never shed anyone’s blood. Neither did any of his New Testament disciples. One will look in vain throughout all 27 books of the NT to find even a hint of killing, bloodshed or religiously-motivated violence conducted by Jesus and his followers.
The story about Muhammad of course is quite different. However, before I proceed any further, let me mention a few words about Muhammad’s place in Islam. Jesus is regarded by Christians as God, as divine, and as the object of their worship. Muhammad does not occupy such a place in Islam.
Muhammad is not considered to be God or the son of God. He is not declared to be sinless, nor is he to be worshipped. He is simply the final and fullest revelation and prophet of Allah. But he is nonetheless held up as “the ideal man”, and as the example and role model for every Muslim to follow

and the honest answer over at Islam Q&A as to the punishment of the one who leaves Islaam:
The punishment for apostasy (riddah) is well-known in Islaamic Sharee’ah. The one who leaves Islaam will be asked to repent by the Sharee’ah judge in an Islaamic country; if he does not repent and come back to the true religion, he will be killed as a kaafir and apostate, because of the command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): "Whoever changes his religion, kill him."

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