Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Does the Quran Incite Violence? A Debate with Mike Ghouse, Part 2

I am responding below to Mike Ghouse’s reply to Part 1 in this debate.

Let me start by addressing Ghouse’s favorite arguments regarding the Quran, which I encountered in his emails and postings in Websites quite a few times. He frequently says that, in the colonial era or before, the Westerners intentionally mistranslated the Quran to harm Islam. “The Quran was mistranslated three times (by Europeans)”, he asserts. Thereafter, Muslim rulers (as pious as the Saudis, who are main sponsors of translations of the Quran) also embarked on the same mission to mistranslate the Quran, obviously to harm Islam and Muslims, as Ghouse would have it. “The Kings on the Arabian lands had to fool their people too to get their support”, as he puts it.

To him, these translators distorted the Quran so badly that, by reading it, Muslims are becoming terrorists all over the world in the name of Islam—the religion of pristine peace and tranquility. Let me first ask Ghouse a few questions:

  1. First, what is his scholarship, expertise in Arabic, to judge translations of the Quran of most famous scholars like Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Dr. Muhshin Khan et al.? May I ask, if Ghouse, probably an India-born student of business/commercial studies, is fluent in Arabic or understand Arabic at all?

  2. Secondly, would Ghouse sit in Saudi Arabia and dare distorting the Quran intentionally. I can assure Ghouse that the kind of “gross distortion” he accuses other famous translators with, if he does the same level of distortion of whatever kind sitting in Saudi Arabia, he would not last a day. Well, Ghouse may even give a try of the same at Islamabad, Khartoum, Cairo or Kabul. His is unlikely to last much longer, if at all. Let me inform readers that Muhshin Khan and his co-translator, Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, taught at the Islamic University of Medina, the city of Muhammad, where Islam was born. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, another brilliant translator, was sponsored by the Saudis.

  3. Thirdly, Ghouse has found a good translator in Muhammad Asad (d. 1990), an Austro-Hungarian Jews, who converted to Islam and later ended up in India, where, in the company of fanatic Allama Iqbal, he became a scholar of Islam. “Go to Mohammad Asad’s translation of Quran, it is one of the most accepted translations”, he asserts. In fact, Asad’s translation is not correct enough for Ghouse, as he say: “If I live longer, Insha Allah, God willing, I will do the translation to reflect the intent of the Quran”.
    Although Asad’s credential in Arabic was undoubtedly good, he had no real training in Arabic at its crown centres of Baghdad, Cairo, Saudi Arabia, which scholars like Muhshin Khan and Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali had. Moreover, born in a Jewish Rabbi family and well-acquainted with developments of the 20th-century Europe, I leave it to readers to reflect on how his background could have influenced his English rendering of the Quran and on Ghouse’s wisdom of picking Asad as a more reliable translator.

  4. Fourthly, does Ghouse want to tell us that all the Imams, Muslim clerics—from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world—who keep spewing hatred on Quranic justification, read the Quran in English translations? Do Arabs like Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, late al-Zarqawi and all those Islamic terrorists read the Quran in Arabic? Ghouse would obviously have us believe so.

I must point out another great point of this sagacious Islamic scholar, Mike Ghouse. The University of Southern California [probably with association of CAIR, MSA (Muslim Students of America) etc.] hosts the Compendium of Islamic Text, which says:

There were about 360 idols around the Ka`abah. He pulled them down with his sword while reciting: “And say: ‘Truth has arrived and falsehood has perished for falsehood is by its nature bound to perish.’” (Al-Qur’an, 17:81) Also “Say: ‘Truth has arrived and falsehood neither creates anything new nor restores anything.’” (Al-Qur’an, 34: 49) The idols tumbled on their faces.

On the basis of such info, Wikipedia notes that:

In 630, Muhammad and his followers returned to Mecca as conqueror, and he destroyed the 360 idols in and around the Kaaba.[28][29] While destroying each idol, Muhammad recited [Qur'an 17:81] which says "Truth has arrived and falsehood has perished for falsehood is by its nature bound to perish."[28][29]

But to Ghouse, this information is all false. That means leading Islamic organizations in American, like CAIR and MSA, are out to harm Islam and Muslims, too. It is false even when most of the greatest classical scholars of Islam say so. Ibn Ishaq [Karachi, p. 552], Muhammad’s first pious biographer, says that after capturing Mecca, Muhammad ordered the destruction of all idols of the Ka’ba, shouting out: “Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish”.

But to Ghouse, those greatest were ignorant or were out to harm Islam and Muslims. So, where lies truth? Who knows the truth? It is Michel Wolfe, a non-Muslim filmmaker of our time and the producer of the film “The Message”. When Ghouse asked Wolfe, the latter replied, as Ghouse puts it: “From his (Wolfe’s) understanding the idols were ‘removed’”, not destroyed, the latter remark being “blatantly misleading”.

Allah or Muhammad probably paid a visit to Wolfe lately to furnish him with the correct information. He has no other way to discover this truth. I wonder how Ghouse’s wisdom failed to ask Wolfe as to how he discovered the truth.

Nonetheless, the moral of the story is: You can take over a temple and remove there idols therein, not destroy them. Idolaters of the world can this message of Ghouse home.

Now let me turn to the Quranic verses Ghouse has addressed. I will not respond to his comments on other religious scriptures, because my expertise doesn’t lie there. I have spent the last 5-6 years researching Islam extensively, on which I am confident of commenting. If other scriptures have violent content, they incite violence too.

In explanation of verse 7:179, despite whatever unnecessary things he has written, Asad’s translation still says that the Kafirs, such as Hindus, “are like cattle -nay, they are even less conscious of the right way”. That means a non-Muslim, heedless to Allah’s messages, is worse, more evil, than animals like cattle, which the original author put as: they are “like brute beast.” I need someone explain what’s the difference between the two. Therefore, the claim of the original author that “In the eye of Allah, these kafirs [Hindus] are no better than animals” is roughly right, although he would been accurate had he said “kafirs [Hindus] are worse than animals (cattle)”. That’s what Asad affirms and Ghouse agrees.

Why not Ghouse give a fitting treatment to his non-Muslim neighbor deserving of animals like cattle, nay, worse than cattle as Asad puts it. I grew up in the countryside, we raised cattle. Worse than cattle around us were foxes that grabbed our chickens or spoiled sugarcane plantations. We used to kill them at the first opportunity. Tigers, hyenas, wolves are worse than cattle, too. What treatment would Muslims render, if they happen to come across animals like these in their neighborhood? Heads of the kafirs should roll.

Concerning my quoted verse 4:56, Asad’s translation basically say the same thing: For those rejecting Islam, “We (Allah, there are few Allahs it seems) shall, in time, cause to endure fire: [and] every time their skins are burnt off, We shall replace them with new skins, so that they may taste suffering [in full]…”

This horrible cycle of punishment—that a Hindu, Christian or Jew deserves—would continue for eternity; so vile a people are they. No doubt, Allah’s psychopathic punishment would surpass the barbarity of Hitler by infinite folds. Again, the original author is accurate in emphasizing that Allah has intense hatred of non-Muslims.

I will now touch upon three verses that Ghouse did not address. First verse 3:56:

“…moreover, as for the non-believers, I will punish them with grievous punishments in this world, and in the world is to come.”

The question of how Allah will punish the kafirs in this world? Not by Himself but through the hands of his followers, aka Muslims. Muslims must engage the vile unbelievers in Jihadi wars and inflict grievous punishment on them; and those, who perish in the process, will receive Allah’s succor in paradise (loaded with eternal virgins of immaculate beauty) as says the Quran [Quran 47:4]:

“Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost.”

Next verse 8:13:

“Therefore cut off their heads, and strike off all the ends of the fingers. This shall they suffer because they have opposed Allah and His Prophet, and whosoever shall oppose Allah and His Prophet, verily Allah will be severe in punishing them”.

The message is crystal-clear here. This means, Muslims must endeavor to take hold of those vile unbelievers, who oppose Allah and Muhammad mission (i.e., reject Islam) and “cut off their heads, and strike off all the ends of the fingers.” Allah’s clear words are enough; nothing more is needed to be said on this.

Let me move on the last verse 9:111:

“Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme..”

This can be accurately dubbed as verse of 9/11 attacks. Life of Muslims has been purchased by Allah for fighting in Allah’s cause (i.e., Jihad), in which they must slay and be slain. That is, they must wage Jihad and try their best to slay the kafirs. Obviously some Jihadis would be killed in such holy wars. But this death in Jihad battles, called martyrdom, is no loss for Muslims; instead, it the greatest, the most desirable, thing ever can happen to a Muslim; because, this martyrdom gives him a ticket for straight landing in Allah’s paradise. Getting a ticket to paradise, believe Muslims, is the central aim of their every action in this world.

Some master deceivers of Islam would tell us that Jihad means struggling with the self, which will help them gain paradise. I hope, some of them will come forward and explain to us as to how struggling with the self would result in slaying the kafirs and getting killed in the process. Probably Ghouse can enlighten us on that.

Let me emphasize that Ghouse has done little research on the Quran. Moreover, he is either a good-hearted person with little knowledge of Islam or he is on a mission of deceiving the gullible kafirs. The fact that he said, “However, the verses that have been quoted "as from Quran" are actually manufactured a 1000 years ago and the neocons have been recycling it to malign a religion, that is their business and livelihood”, means that he is undoubtedly out to deceive his willing audience.

Has Ghouse torn away those pages of his Quran that contain these manufactured verses of brutality?

Let me emphasize to the reader that engaging with ignorants or deceivers like Ghouse takes us to no meaningful enlightenment on the subject. Therefore, I may wish to conclude this debate here, unless Ghouse comes forward with some solid, well-researched, arguments that deserve a response.

However, if readers are keen to get a full picture of the incitement of violence (i.e., Jihad) in Islam, I urge them to get a copy of my just-released book, Islam Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery and/or Dr Ali Sina’s Understanding Muhammad.

I believe these book will have strong humanizing impact on radical-minded Muslims, while help everyone understand clearly why the world today is mired in the horror of terrorism.

MA Khan is the editor of and the author of  Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery.

Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery -- by MA Khan

Purchase option: Paperback 17.96 | Kindle edition: $ 7.96 | E.Book: $ 6:00 |

Also available at your nearby bookstores, Barnes & Noble etc.

"I read your book and found it fascinating. It is one of those few books which everybody, Muslims and non-Muslims, must read."
--- Prof. Sami Alrabaa

I had the good fortune of reading this magnum opus... This is a "must read book" for all.  The author (M. A. Khan) and Dr. Ali Sina are like two barrel-guns against the threat of Jihad, the world faces." ---Nausheen Najib Rehman (translator, ongoing)

Learn more here.

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Comments Notes: Keep comments short. Our system cannot separate paragraphs. Comments must be relevant to the topic of the article. Irrelevant comments, materials, adds of other websites, pasting external articles etc. are not allowed. We may ban such nuisance posters.

Name: Ik
Date: Sunday February 22, 2009
Time: 06:10:07 -0500


Good decision in stopping the debate here brother M A Khan. It was evident in the first part of this debate that Mr. Ghouse does not know or understand the Qur'an very much. Thank you.

Name: Rationalist
Date: Sunday February 22, 2009
Time: 06:16:26 -0500


Mike Ghouse has lost the debate for sure... Islam is evil by all means.. Congrats MAK

Name: Philip Saenz
Date: Sunday February 22, 2009
Time: 06:47:25 -0500


A Muslim isn't a good Muslim unless he practices his religion. Yes, The Islamic War Manual, sometimes called the Qur'an, incites authentic Muslims to commit violence. Allahu Akbar. A Muslim is a bad Muslim if he doesn't practice the following taken from The Islamic War Manual: "Make war on the infidels around you,"(Sura 9 Verse 123 and Sura 66 Verse 9). "Be ruthless to the infidels,"(Sura 48 Verse 29). "Kill the disbelievers wherever you find them,"(Sura 2 Verse 191). The problem is that some Muslims desire to be good Muslims. So what do they do? The good Muslims faithfully follow their war manual. So does The Islamic War Manual incite the good Muslims to violence? Of course.

Name: amar khan
Date: Sunday February 22, 2009
Time: 07:27:30 -0500


for any "human" and a free thinking person, it is enough that mohammed married a 9 year-old girl to become an ex-muslim.

Name: Non-Delusionist
Date: Sunday February 22, 2009
Time: 07:50:25 -0500


Another Defender of Muhammad's Allah bites the dust. Can someone please explain what will happen to Jihadists (like the Bali Bombers) after they are executed by Government Muslim executioners. Will the Bali bombers get a ticket to go straight to Mohammad's Paradise and enjoy the 72 houris? Or will they be in a Limbo until the Judgment Day?

Name: Ibrahim to Amar Khan
Date: Sunday February 22, 2009
Time: 10:25:23 -0500


Amar I agree with you that any self respecting person wold leave Islam after knowing about Muhammad and ayesha. But the problem is that there are very few people like that in the world.

Name: focussed
Date: Sunday February 22, 2009
Time: 14:55:15 -0500


Mike Ghouse is an indian muslim as per his website. his actual name i think is Mohammad and is using "Mike" as al-taqiya.....

Name: Beowuld
Date: Sunday February 22, 2009
Time: 16:59:46 -0500


Mike Ghouse is out of his league with MA Khan!

Name: duh_swami
Date: Monday February 23, 2009
Time: 00:18:29 -0500


The sixty four dollar question...If Allah hates kufrs so much, why does he create so many of them?

Name: ibrahim
Date: Monday February 23, 2009
Time: 00:54:26 -0500


"Mike Muhammad" Ghouse does not even come in the league of MA Khan. I saw his wesbite and and I found out that this fellow has some Real Estate buisness. Going by his words I feel that he is nursing political ambitions. Beware America, you have another Obama at your door steps.

Name: vbv
Date: Monday February 23, 2009
Time: 05:31:58 -0500


MAK you have won the debate hands down against this goose or is it Ghouse? M Goose has a mental block that he refuses to see the writing on the wall - no use wasting time on him!

Name: Amused by non muslims and muslims alike
Date: Monday February 23, 2009
Time: 21:39:14 -0500


Mr Khan, You did good When You decided to reject Islam and are Now Spreading the Truth.But How can you retain a Muslim Name which is from the quranic texts. The proof and burden and the shame of your conversion be it thru Force or thru Imperealism/slavery remains as your Stigma. Choose a Nick Like for example "Malcolm-X" kind of a way.Though Malcolm-X probably never read the Islamist Text Book Koran anyway.But He was rejecting The Religion and the names of His Masters. And You should consider that too. Lets Say Mike-Al Cain instead of Muhamand Ali Khan(MA Khan)

Name: MA Khan ---- >> Muslim name issue..
Date: Monday February 23, 2009
Time: 22:08:40 -0500


It has been clarified time and again that no religion has ever created a language; they are just usurper of pre-existing language to advance their agenda. Arabic was not created by Allah or Muhammad. Surrender it to Islamic claim is ridiculous; it is likely surrendering to Islam. We have to discredit Islam, not a noble secular language (of course, misused) that has served humanity greatly.

Name: Nike Ghoose is...
Date: Tuesday February 24, 2009
Time: 02:59:13 -0500


none other than Joker Nike's stooge or joker naik himself !!

Name: Kinana
Date: Tuesday February 24, 2009
Time: 08:48:40 -0500


The purpose of 'debate' by people like Ghouse is simply to waste your time and decieve the ignorant and those who do not have access to the internet and cannot do their own research. Ghouse must have his own following who hang on his every word. And that is enough for him and his followers. But if Islam is in anyway an objectively revealed set of beliefs then those texts which convey Islam must be open to scrutiny by real scholars. Thank you Mr Khan

Name: Kinana
Date: Tuesday February 24, 2009
Time: 08:57:27 -0500


to Philip Saenz i agree with your post completely. but from my experience, many Muslims simply read things differently. they themselves define what the violent verses mean, or they simply disregard many of the hadith which show Mo in a bad light. and yet they insist on callling themselves Muslim. So is there an objective criteria which defines what a 'good Muslim' believes and does AND is accepted by all Muslims?

Name: MA Khan ---- >> Muslim name issue..
Date: Tuesday February 24, 2009
Time: 16:00:31 -0500


Sure But Then why did Your Ancestors change thier Hindu Names to Muslim Names- Arabic names.could they not have remained Muslims with Hindu names- definately Not.They Had to have been Sunnaticized and cleaned. That argument of yours does not hold water. islam thru Arabism is a Imperialistic tool.If you choose to free yourself you cannot remain wedded to Arabic. Like I said you do not have take a hindu name take a chinese one a japanese name.Mike Al Cain should be able to erase that. You cannot call yourself Mohamad Ali Khan and say I reject Muhamdanism.It is not possible.

Name: MA Khan ---- >> Muslim name issue again...
Date: Tuesday February 24, 2009
Time: 20:32:01 -0500


Please guy, don't waste our space here over this issue. Arab invaders did impose Islam, including name with the intruments of violence. We have no interest to be like them. Islam is Muhammadism, not Arabism. Arabia was a very tolerant society at the time Muhammad was born. We are mature enough to know what name to keep and what not.

Name: lw1
Date: Wednesday February 25, 2009
Time: 11:27:05 -0500


It is a good idea if ex-muslims keep their Muslim names.It serves as a good example,showing that it is ok to leave Islam for those who are wavering.

Name: Zeeshan Khan
Date: Saturday February 28, 2009
Time: 03:58:18 -0500


Mr MA Khan, I am not scholar, however I did read your wrong interpretation of the Quran and its verses, furthermore as is evident from the comments, it is other people who harbor a similar hate for Islam. If you do allow this comment to be posted, which I doubt since your objective for writing this analysis is clear, the readers can refer to any authentic translation of the Quran (not written my MA Khan and his associates of course) and go to the translation of Chapter 8, verses 11-14. There you will realize the whole context of these words and their meaning. I am sure that if one key part of your analysis is wrong and based on lies, the rest will have zero authenticity as well. By the Grace of Allah, it is when I look on people like you and read what you write, my own belief in the religion remains unwavered, in fact it grows stronger. To be honest with you, I doubt whether you were ever a Muslim, dont know how you define that anyways. If you were you would understand what Islam stands for, it is well and truly a religion of peace. Wa salam alaikum wa Rahmat-ullah, Peace on you and Allah's Mercy.

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