This is a condensed exchange I had with a Muslim lady on Facebook. I must commend Miriam’s politeness all through the dialogue (believe me, politeness is a rare trait in Islam).
Miriam: Please try to learn more about Islam and you’ll see life from another point of view and you will never regret it. I will like to discuss this issue with you.
Victor: I have studied about Islam from the Quran, hadiths and sira. Here is an example of my findings.
Miriam: [She sent two videos, one was a poetry exalting Muhammad and the other was an Islamic lecture trying to tailor Muhammad with Jesus Christ]. If you have anything else that makes islam illogical for you please tell me and I’ll try and help you understand.
Victor: There is nothing in these videos that refute the charges laid forth – from the hadiths – against Muhammad. It’s interesting how you guys throw your hadiths under the bus whenever it presents Muhammad in a bad light. These apologists (and Muslims in general) launched out with a blind assumption that Muhammad is a prophet of God, but that argument won’t fly.
Miriam: Muhammad is a prophet and he is even mentioned in the Bible. [She sent another link in which the writer attempts to “find” Muhammad in the Bible].
Victor: There are 6 differences between Muhammad and Old Testament (OT) prophets
1. In the OT, the prophets always called the Israelites back to the Law and the covenant which God had revealed at that period of God’s dealings with mankind. On the other hand, Muhammad didn’t call people to either the Old or New Testaments, but rather tried to replace them with his own false revelations. He only appealed to the older revelations whenever he wanted to legitimise his own.
2. The OT prophets didn’t take vengeance on people. Read about prophets Amos, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Zechariah or Jonah etc, and you would see that they gave prophetic utterances of what Yahweh would do to bring destruction on the wicked. They
did not for once take up a sword to impose their beliefs on unbelievers like Muhammad did. Prophet Jeremiah didn’t launch any jihad against the Babylonians or Egyptians. Prophet Ezekiel didn’t launch a jihad against Tyre or its evil king, neither did Jonah wage war against the Ninevites.
3. Many of these OT prophets were hated, slandered and even killed for declaring the words of God, yet they didn’t attempt to defend themselves. This is unlike Muhammad who first began insulting the Meccans and when they reacted, he lied that they were planning to kill him. Yet this same Muhammad didn’t tolerate any criticism against his person later. His murders were all directed against his critics or non-Muslims.
4. The OT prophets had signs and supernatural feats as confirmation. Muhammad had none. All the so-called “miracles” manufactured for him in the hadiths are spurious, because he admitted he had no miracle except his recitations. Even when one takes his recitations (Quran) and weighs them against history, science, logic and the Bible, they are found to be terribly wanting. His “miracles” were as bogus as his prophethood.
5. While the prophets in the Bible preached historically accurate facts and gave valid prophecies, Muhammad’s recitations are full of myths, folklore and unhistorical claims e.g Jesus spoke in a cradle, youths slept in a cave for 309 years, Jesus’ escape of the cross, talking ants, Allah’s she-camel, the myths of Dhul Qarnain and the gates of Magog. Most of these myths were borrowed from the Talmud, apocrypha legends, Zoroastrian beliefs and pagan myths. These are not credible by any means. God does not inspire lies and fictions.
6. The Biblical prophets all taught the same message about the Fatherhood of God, atonement for sin, mankind being made in God’s likeness (e.g Gen 1:26), and other key doctrines. Their messages run with consistency that even the Tree of Life lost in Genesis is restored in Revelation. On the other hand, Muhammad’s messages (in the Quran) not only contradicted theirs but also itself and suffers from such a huge amount of abrogation to the extent that Islam without the hadiths and sira is incoherent.
Miriam: About hijab, have you forgotten that Mary (Jesus’ mother) also wore a hijab?
Victor: Unless you lived in first century Israel and had access to Mary’s wardrobe, you can’t appeal to her mode of dressing. And unless you want to prove to me that those thousands of paintings made by artists’ impressions of what Mary should look like are really those of Mary. The fact is, there NO pictures of Mary. Even if we go by 1st century dressing (based on archaeology), your appeal is weak and falsely equivocal, because Christians are not under any obligation to dress like 1st century Jews as Muslims are obligated to follow 7th century Arabian customs as divine.
Miriam: Please open your mind and think logically. The hijab is a “protection.” [She sent a picture of a wrapped and unwrapped lollipop side by side representing hijab and no hijab].
Victor: Protection from what? From men’s looks? Zakir Naik said Muslim women are safer as wrapped candies unlike the “infidel” ladies who are like unwrapped candies. Even as a young man, I find this analogy so dumb and offensive. Why would any mature and responsible man liken women to lollipop? And you promote this nonsense that insults your gender?
An unshrouded woman is not naked. Muslim ladies have been so programmed to see themselves as walking-talking genitals rather than humans; they feel every man who sees them without a veil wants to have sex with them. Only a sick man wants to “gobble up” every unshrouded lady. There are some uncivilized communities today where people go about almost naked, yet they don’t have as many cases of sexual assaults as cultures dressed up like astronauts. Muhammad used the hijab to keep his beautiful wives and sex slaves from being taken by his younger Muslim disciples. Any jealous, insecure old man dating a young beautiful woman would do the same.
Miriam: Men, whether they confess it or not, are slaves of lust and desire. Hijab protects women from such men; it symbolizes that she has been sanctified to one man only and is off-limit to all others. 1. Hijab contributes to the stability and preservation of marriage and family by eliminating the chances of extramarital affairs. 2. It compels men to focus on the real personality of the woman and de -emphasizes her physical beauty. It puts the woman in control of strangers’ reaction to her.
Victor– “Men… are slaves of lust and desire.”
This description specifically refers to Muslim men. And we see a typical example of this in Muhammad. He lusted after Zainab; snatched her from her husband. He lusted after Juwayriya; bought her from the slave market. Lusted after Safiya and took her from Dhiya like a piece of cake. Lusted after little Aisha, took away her toys and gave her another kind of “toy” to play with. Most of his verses pander to his baser lust (and those of his followers); even his laws have the underlying idea of women as objects of lust who should be tucked away from men. Almost every law of islam was made up to favour men above women – from inheritance to marriage to spirituality to heavenly pleasures (but never mind, all Muslim men are slaves of lust and thanks to islam for empowering lustful men).
“Hijab protects women from such men”
If it didn’t prevent Muhammad from raping Mariyah who was veiled, then it’s useless to hold that view. It even falls short of reality. A survey by the Egyptian centre for women’s rights has shown that 83% of 2,000 Egyptian women have been victims of sexual harassment and 70% of these women were wearing a headscarf. The same study shows that two- thirds of the Egyptian men surveyed admit to abusing a woman at one time or the other. So Muhammad’s stereotype of Muslim men as raging sex-starved bulls holds true after all.
“she is sanctified to one man only and is off-limit to all others.”
Says who? Why can’t a Muslim man also be sanctified to one woman too since women also seduce, entice and even lust after men? Some bunch of black robes do not change the human heart. The Bible says lusts come from the heart and that is where a real change should start from (Mk. 7:23). Unfortunately, Islam is not about changing people’s hearts, it’s about modifying the outward look while the inward festers.
“it compels men to focus on the real personality of the woman and de-emphasizes her physical beauty”
Did it compel Muhammad to focus on women’s inner personalities? Did it de-emphasize his lust after beautiful women? Your arguments make your prophet come out more randy. It was Umar ibn Khattab who saw Muhammad’s wife (Sawda) relieving herself in public and then suggested the idea of veils to Muhammad [Bukhari 1:41:148]. Umar was the one feasting his eyes on a married woman’s behind because he had lust in his heart. Why should women be caged in black blankets because of that? If the hijab is not rooted in gender discrimination, why can’t handsome, muscular Muslim men also cover up in veils, after all women lust after them?
“It puts the woman in control of strangers’ reaction to her”
Really? So how are Muslimas in control of strangers when Islam mandates them to stay at home or retreat to the backyard when a male visitor is in? Or how do Muslim women who are forbidden to look men in the eyes, sit with men and wrapped up in a burqa control strangers who can’t even identify them? Please cut the joke.
Miriam: Even if the prophet’s marriage with women was motivated by pleasure, his motive was not motivated by pleasure because his wives were either divorced, widowed or had husbands before him.
Victor: What could have motivated a man in his 50s to marry a girl at the age of 6 – a girl not capable of consenting to a mutual act of love – if not sick pleasure? All his marriages were based on lust. In fact, with the exception of Sawda and Hafsa, the women he married were beautiful. It was for their beauty and political connections (so-called). Read this piece. Muhammad himself said “I like not from worldly life but perfumes and women” (Kitab al-Tabaqat 1:469). He wasn’t just a philanderer, he was also sex pervert. His “heavenly playboy mansion” paradise is a proof of that.
Miriam: If he loved really sex as you said, during his 25 years in Makkah, he was married to Khadija who was older than him. Why didn’t he marry anyone else since polygamy was so familiar at that time? Why did he also refuse the Quraish’s offer to marry their women? If I was a playboy, I would want to have sex with all the girls offered to me.
Victor : Those lightweight defenses have been addressed in the previous link, read it up. It was during his early mission that the Quraish proposed some offers to him:
“…if you want sovereignty, we will make you king, and if this ghost which comes to you which you see, is such that you cannot get rid of him, we will find a physician for you and exhaust our means in getting you cured for often a familiar spirit gets possession of a man until he can be cured of it.” (Alfred Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, p 132)
It’s doubtful the Quraish offered their daughters to a man they were convinced was demon possessed (or insane). Even Muhammad wouldn’t have accepted such an offer since he still had his “sugar momma” for sex and cash at that time. But the moment Khadija died, he could no longer zip it up. His real nature then manifested. Your attempts to sanitize Muhammad is a travesty of truth.