Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Articles, Comments

B. Pirouz

Dear Ali,

I read through most of your entire site, as well as some of the letters, and so decided to write a letter myself. I will keep this short and sweet, as the words I am about to say no doubt have already been said more eloquently.

When I was younger, I was extremely superstitious. I thought that by uttering a few magic words, such as "La Ilaha Ilah Allah" or "Allahu Akbar" I could make everything turn in my favour. However, I also read the Qur'an - and was ready to question it. When I was younger, some things I read in the Qur'an simply sounded absurd to me, and I would wonder if the Qur'an actually came from Allah or Shaytaan.

Then, like most people in this situation, I chose to block the bad stuff out of my mind. I explained it as something "inexplainable". I was told that it had a spiritual meaning aswell as a literal, and the bad verses, I chose to take as a spiritual meaning.

For example, the terrible and torturous things that were to happen to Abu Lahab from the hands of Allah, and his wife also! I thought to myself, this cannot be serious - so I naturally applied another meaning to it.

But then I began to study Islamic history, and all these pieces were put together. Rather than being compassionate, and merciful, this is what I found…

Muhammad at first taught peace and patience with the unbelievers. Then, when he acquired an army and enough support, he flipped the card upside down. Suddenly he had the "divine right" to slaughter thousands of innocent people, take Mecca by conquest, and preach hate and division amongst the people.

Abu Bakr could give his 7 year old daughter in marriage to the "prophet". This ruined her life, and for what? So that Abu Bakr could have power? Abu Bakr, who was supposed to be granted a spot in paradise… Abu Bakr, who invaded Egypt and looted so much riches that he didn't know what to do with it all.

And in Islamic History, who else was granted a place in paradise? Omar Al-Khattab. He invaded our beloved Persia, destroying, looting and raping. Like the Taleban and the Pakistanis in their invasion of Bangladesh, Omar forced non-Muslims to identify themselves with humiliating badges, and he forced the "people of the book" to pay their taxes in a most disgusting fashion. He destroyed our libraries and burned the books, labelling them "kufer" (i.e. something that he has no understanding of).

So why is it that in Iran and Afghanistan, we now worship these people? As a Persian poet said:

Be shakast Omar pusht-e-hazhbaraan ajam raa
Bar baad-e-fanaa daad rak o risha-e-jam raa
In arbada bar ghaseb-e-khelaafat za Ali nist
Baa aal-e-Omar kina qadeem ast ajam raa

I believe that in the past, our people who were closer to the invasion could see what was happening. Even a few hundred years after, people knew clearly what was going on. The situation is ideally symbolised in Ferdowsi's "Shah Nama", where the tyrant Zahhak from Arabia takes the throne, and a thousand years of horror and decay in the empire follow.

I believe however, that as time has gone by, people have not been able to differentiate between Persia and Islam. Even though Pirouz who stabbed Omar was able to see the trouble that Islam had brought to the land, his descendents will have always thought that Islam was a part of the land. It wasn't. There was just no alternative to accepting this religion… it is said that the Persians were given 3 options by a messenger of the invading Arabs: Either accept Islam, accept taxes, or accept the sword.

Now to you, does this sound like the work of God?

Take care,
B. Pirouz

Used with permission from Faith Freedom