Bill Maher, the Mother Lode of Lies

Bill Maher is once again on his tirade against Muslims. For a standup comedian who’s made a living out of mocking all things sacred, it’s hard to understand why anyone would believe the misinformation he spreads. His vitriol against Muslims and Islam are well-known; he has declared quite openly that he’s alarmed with a growing Muslim population in the West and fears a ‘take over by Islam’.

Maher pretends that he’s labeled as a racist for being a simple critic of Islam. Any honest observer, however, would recognize that he has a clear track record of launching baseless attacks on Muslims. He does this repeatedly by misconstruing facts, making unsubstantiated claims and cherry picking radical interpretations that support his pre-conceived notions of the faith.  Couple this with his condescending attitude and vile speech and you’ve got yourself a text book case of bigotry.

Take for example, his recent claim that ‘vast numbers of Muslims around the world believe that humans deserve to die for merely holding a different idea, or drawing a cartoon, or writing a book, or eloping with the wrong person’. Maher makes these profoundly inaccurate and unsupported statements and passes them as facts on national television with no consequences.  This isn’t mere criticism – it is a clear attempt to incite xenophobic sentiment with the intended goal of demonizing Muslims.

Maher often states there are ‘polls’ and ‘research’ to support his view that large swaths of Muslims are a violent and intolerant people – it’s not just a few bad apples he argues. Actual research, however, has repeatedly shown that Muslims overwhelmingly reject violence; in fact they are more likely to oppose violence than other religious groups. As for religious freedom, Muslims yet again show near perfect support for it.

Another example of Maher’s flagrant misconstruction of facts was on the recent flare up with Ben Affleck on his show. He again tries to give us the impression that Muslims are largely an uncivilized people by quoting a Pew poll which supposedly states that 90% of Egyptians support the death penalty for leaving Islam. The Pew poll he’s referring to is most likely the 2013 edition- and he forgot to mention one important piece of information: the poll offers no direct statistics on Muslims who support capital punishment for apostasy.

Instead, the poll offers statistics on people who support such apostasy laws as a percentage of those who support the adoption of Shariah as the official law of their country. It excludes Muslims who prefer to restrict the Shariah to the private sphere, who are opposed to the idea of a theocratic state or those that don’t have strong views on the subject. As a result, the numbers are misleading since the sample population for the survey doesn’t represent the total population. When this is taken to account through extrapolation, the poll actually indicates that as a whole, most Muslims oppose penal codes for apostasy – something Ben Affleck deduced from common sense.

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Bill Maher quotes the disproportionally high numbers for Egypt that stand out from the survey – as if the country represents the entire Muslims world. In fact, the numbers he mentions are completely wrong since the poll never offers figures for the country’s complete population. Even if they were to be extrapolated (which introduces an error), the support would be at 64% – not the 90% he so forcefully claimed.

Maher also fails to mention the significant disparity Egypt has with other Muslim majority countries on this issue: Indonesia (13%), Lebanon (13%), Tunisia (16%) and Turkey (2%). Why single out Egypt and not mention the world’s largest Muslims country, Indonesia? Clearly, Bill has an agenda to make overarching simplifications about Muslims that are rooted in nothing but misinformation.

As an aside, an important question to consider is that why it’s only Muslims who seemed to be polled on such controversial questions? What would the stats be if similar question were posed to Israeli Jews, Christian Arabs, Indian Hindus, Catholic Filipinos and American evangelicals? If you ask questions outlandish enough to any population, there’s bound to be support for it from a particular segment. More importantly, to what extent can we use polls to understand a population on such matters? These are important questions to consider.

Despite the contextualization I’ve offered to Bill Maher’s lunacy, one would argue that sizable Muslim minorities still support apostasy laws and this doesn’t explain the main grievance. I think that’s a fair point and agree that the contentious issue of these penal codes still needs addressing by Muslim scholarship. How is traditional Muslim governance to adapt to the modern nation-state? What is the relevance of exacting classical penal codes when they are unable to uphold justice and their implementation leads to more harm than good?

Muslims are working through these issues and these need to be addressed from within; Tariq Ramadan’s moratorium call is an example of this. There’s no denying that the Muslims world is facing a multitude of problems, but mocking these from a Hollywood studio is not going to get us anywhere, unfortunately.

Bill Maher has no interest in actually understanding problems or offering solutions – he’s an entertainer, and bashing Islam makes for very good entertainment. His formula is to take problems from one part of the Islamic world (or concoct them), exaggerate them greatly and then use it to dehumanize the global Muslim population. He caricatures an entire people with brush strokes of prejudice, using the ink of intolerance and his canvass of hypocrisy.

And his solution to problems of the Muslim world: abandon your faith, adopt sexual promiscuity and you’ll be liberated. Clearly, Maher is a professional jester – it’s a good trade for him, and he should stick with it.

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43 responses to “Bill Maher, the Mother Lode of Lies”

  1. […] It WrongHuffington PostBen Affleck: Portrait of Islam's Clueless ApologeticsMiddle East ForumMuslimMatters -E! Online -WXYZall 176 news […]

  2. Shadab Tahir says:

    Btw, what do you mean to imply by “Modernism”? Modernism’s take on morality is very distorted & rooted pretty much in secularism. We cannot introduce “new” rules in religion to please others.

    • Hyde says:

      Excellent and thank-you. There is no Islam 2.0 to please non-muslims.

      • Mirko Higgs says:

        I’d say Islam is in dire need of V2.0,2.1,2.2, 2.3 ……. Islam 1.0 is pretty confused as it is with contradiction after contradiction. Its a work of fiction as are all religions and the sooner the world realises the better. The muslim world is totally confused living in the past in psychological cages imprisoned by their religious upbringing. Harking back to the glorious past of conquests even if it has no relevance to their country. As if by being muslims they take on the achievements of the Arabs. Boasting to their friends we used to rule most of the known world once upon a time even though they may well have been yet to be forcibly converted Hindus at the time. Logic and common sense tell you there is no such god as that in scripture. Islam was created to unify the disparate arab groups of the region nothing more. The fact that its followers expanded it around the globe is nothing to do with divine power or guidance but just a quest for power. Religions are to enslave not to emancipate the human. All societies based on Islam have failed to adapt to the modern world. The intertwining of faith and politics has stifled progress in these countries where political islam is misused as a means to control and achieve more power.

  3. Amatullah says:

    Fir’aun was also given a chance to become a Believer. May this guy get his chance too, and may he accept it.

  4. GC66 says:

    If a prominent Muslim were to speak out against the Jews or Christians(in western society) then we would never hear the end of it ad they would use this for years against Islam.

    Just recently, here where I live locally, a Jewish Rabbi spoke to his congregation about “EXTERMINATING” all Muslims. He also stated that we have nothing in common and there is no difference between Muslims and he made it clear in his message.

    Where………………. is the media when a Jewish Rabbi(in a major metropolitan suburb) is calling for extermination against the Muslims???

    As with Bill Maher, he gets the message across because the channels to do so are controlled.

    Muslims can not be heard and are villianized by media outlets almost entirely controlled by the Jews.

    Give us the outlet to hear our voice properly and the game field will change dramatically and the people in control of this probationary world are well aware of this threat if we gain access to having the “TRUTH” be known about Islam.

  5. Sana says:

    Assalaamu Alaykum was Rahmatullahi was Barakatuh. This article speaks of death penalty for apostasy as a negative thing. I thought that is what is prescribed in Shariah. Am I mistaken? I’m all for religious freedom, as long as they don’t become a Muslim and then go back to being a Kafir.

    • Sana says:

      Assalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh*

    • GC66 says:

      Salam

      There is no death sentence for apostasy in Islam.

      This is widely misunderstood as is the same for adultery.

      The Quran only prescribes death for two laws being broken:

      1) Intentional murder( and the family has the right to forgive the person in lew of death and demand payment)

      2) Anarchy against the state(only in which there is a Muslim majority).

      There is much cultural attachment to Islam and these two are the only two found within the Quran.

      Wassalam

    • Shadab Tahir says:

      Assalam-u-Alaikum, That is exactly what I had in mind. Why is that today we fear being ostracized more than telling the truth??? If I’m not mistaken then it is also a type of jihad to tell the truth no matter if it means that you will be alone to guard it.

      • GC66 says:

        Standing alone and telling the truth in Islam is a form of jihad even if you are the minority representing the truth.

        There is way too much mis interpretation of scholars today that like to use hadith as the source for their decisions and this is very dangerous.

        Much of the hadith is unsound in narration.

        If the hadith does not flow with the general message within the Quran, then it is probably fabricated.

        Stand alone for what you know is the truth, even if everyone opposes your view.

        Allow your heart to control your mind because the heart is where Allah does His work with His servants.

      • M. Mahmud says:

        “Allow your heart to control your mind because the heart is where Allah does His work with His servants.”

        Yes, indeed Allah turns the hearts-misleading many and guiding many. No amount of dawah will help one who Allah intends to lead astray.

    • M. Mahmud says:

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      The overwhelming number of past scholars agreed with the apostasy law, barring an extreme few with minority opinions. Minority opinions are not of great significance to the Ummah. An-Nabi sallahu alayhiwasalam explained to us that this Ummah does not gather upon error therefore the apostasy law is part of our deen. Ibn Masud RA is reported to have no recognized the last two surahs as part of the Quran. But anyone holding that opinion today is certainly a disbeliever. Ibn Abbas RA held the opinion that Mutah marriage is halal. Yet we have a consensus among the people of knowledge(not Shias, they be default cannot have scholars of the Sunnah) that Mutah is haram.

      Now in this modern age you can find deviants and worse everywhere denying that there is an apostasy law. Their opinions hold no weight-what the earliest Muslims overwhelmingly believed is enough for us. The way the Sahaba RA understood and practiced the apostasy law is far superior that some modern day heretic. Ali RA killed apostates and cited the command of Rasulullah sallahualayhiwasalam, I suggest you look it up.

      *Comment Truncated due to excessive length. Please post a link to content or just post reference to the book*

      • JazakAllahu Khairin to all Commenters for their views on apostasy. It is indeed a subject that should be discussed on an appropriate forum. However, the discussion here is deflecting from the main content of the article and thus needs to be capped.

        Thus, it would be appreciated if there are no further comments on this thread.

        WasSalamuAlaikum
        Aly

        CommentsTeam Lead

      • ZAI says:

        Br. Aly,
        Just curious, how is the discussion on the apostasy laws distracting from the topic?
        It’s one of the things Maher mentioned as having significant support among Muslims
        and many of the comments seem to confirm that. Maher & co. would think we’re burying
        it for convenience….

  6. M. Mahmud says:

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    With all due respect to the author of this article, I must disagree vehemently. As I’ve written above(and also quoted a wonderful contributor to Muslim Matters, Imam Abdullah Hasan), the consensus of the scholars is that the apostate is killed. I don’t know how many more Ulema I can quote which say the same thing-the consensus of the scholars is that the apostate is killed.

    Surely there are modern day deviants/heretics here and there with this or that title but their views should be weighed against the consensus of the previous generations and the Salaf and the Sahaba RA and when that is done, their views hold no weight in the slightest.

    So it is indeed wonderful news that many Muslims correctly know that the apostate is to be executed. If Bill Maher disagrees with that, that’s not our problem any more than it’s our problem Christians disagree with our views on Trinity.

    “What is the relevance of exacting classical penal codes when they are unable to uphold justice and their implementation leads to more harm than good?”

    The apostasy law brings more good that it does bad, and “classical penal codes” are the penal codes of Allah the Living who does not die and are as relevant now as they were to the Sahaba RA because the commands of Allah and His Messenger do not expire. The apostasy law is itself enforcing justice and it’s implementation leads to more good than it does harm because it is a command of Allah and His Messenger.

    • GC66 says:

      The consensus of the scholars is in error.

      They have no right to rule over the Quran.

      If one leaves Islam and strays, perhaps it is the Will of Allah that that person did so?

      Maybe they will return to Islam…….maybe not

      That is for Allah to decide and no human has the right to take another life except as prescribed in the sharia of the Quran.

      If one life is taken unjustly,,,,,,it is the same as killing all of humanity.,

      Scholars, in themselves, are part of the problem today, in interpretation of that which is not clearly defined.

      • M. Mahmud says:

        The scholars didn’t rule over the Quran. Rather it is Quranists who rule over the Quran and as Sheikh Salih al Fawzan and I believe Sheikh Saleh from Hida tv said, they are disbelievers.

        The consensus of the scholars and the Sahaba RA cannot be wrong because our Messenger sallahualayhiwasalam informed us that the Ummah does not gather upon error. Therefore the deviants who turn away with their “intellectual” misinterpretations do not affect the ruling.

        “That is for Allah to decide and no human has the right to take another life except as prescribed in the sharia of the Quran.”

        Part of the “Sharia of the Quran” is obeying Allah’s Messenger. Your hearts whims are nothing compared to the Ijma of the scholars we were commanded to follow. Feelings are nothing in Sharia-commands are. One Sahabi RA tried to intercede for a thief. Where his hearts feelings of any benefit to him before Allah? SubhanAllah, if we were to subject the commands of Allah and His Messenger to our feelings what excuse would we have before Allah?

  7. […] 2: “Bill Maher, the Mother Lode of Lies” by Waleed Ahmed […]

    • M. Mahmud says:

      I’d like to comment on two points made by the author:

      1) “What is the relevance of exacting classical penal codes when they are unable to uphold justice and their implementation leads to more harm than good?”

      I’ve answered this but Imam Hasan’s explanation fleshes it out in better detail. To avoid taking space, http://justpaste.it/hj3t

      2) “Bill Maher has no interest in actually understanding problems or offering solutions – he’s an entertainer, and bashing Islam makes for very good entertainment. His formula is to take problems from one part of the Islamic world (or concoct them), exaggerate them greatly and then use it to dehumanize the global Muslim population. He caricatures an entire people with brush strokes of prejudice, using the ink of intolerance and his canvass of hypocrisy.

      And his solution to problems of the Muslim world: abandon your faith, adopt sexual promiscuity and you’ll be liberated. Clearly, Maher is a professional jester – it’s a good trade for him, and he should stick with it.”

      I couldn’t agree more. Let Maher be the mocker and let Muslims be Muslims. Why should a Muslim have to compromise on his deen to please Maher and other nonbelievers? If Muslims do not uphold their deen, it is not difficult for Allah to annihilate and replace them.

      Muslims should not fear the people Maher wants to hate us, Muslims should fear Allah alone.

      يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تُطِيعُوا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا يَرُدُّوكُمْ عَلَىٰ أَعْقَابِكُمْ فَتَنقَلِبُوا خَاسِرِينَ

      O you who have believed, if you obey those who disbelieve, they will turn you back on your heels, and you will [then] become losers.

  8. The apostasy laws are designed to force individuals who do not have real belief in a religion to put up sham pretence of belief. Because if they don’t put up this pretence, they will be killed.

    These laws also allow those who define a faith, the established, orthodox and organised religion, to ensure compliance to their own interpretations of that faith through fear and persecution instead of logic and conviction.
    Proponents of these laws forget the original meaning of da’wah is invitation. Such invitation is most effective when communicated through an attraction leading individuals to join the faith of their own volition. Not to artificially swell the numbers of ‘Muslims’ through the fear of death if they disagree with orthodox views. Imagine the ridiculous idea of ‘inviting’ someone to your house and holding a sword to threaten them with death if they attempt to leave.

    The Golden Ages of Islam were those where even basic tenets of the religion, such as discussions on the true nature of God, were openly and actively debated, and where the faithful were openly allowed to voice their questions, and not be silenced by fear of persecution and death.

    It is obvious even in the tale of Sayyidna Umar (raa), when he was Khalifa of the Faithful, and was about to deliver a Khutba at Juma prayer, Salman al-Farsi (raa) stood up and stated that the congregation would not listen and would not obey him, due to what turned out to be confusion on perceived unfairness of the distribution of wealth. The point is that members of the congregation were so empowered that they could actively interrupt and disagree with their Khalifa at the Friday prayer Khutba, on even minor matters. Could we do any such thing today?

    It is sad that Muslims today do not question what they’ve been told. If you do not know why you believe a certain thing, do you really believe it? Or are you just parroting what you’ve been told? Use the intelligence that Allah subhana wa taala gave you to question your beliefs and seek answers. Don’t insult yourselves by instead reciting names of other people as an excuse to not think for yourselves. Because on the day of Judgement, you will surely have to account for yourselves. And simply saying that you were acting like a mindless automaton because Sheikh so-and-so or Mullah such-and-such said so, will not be enough.

    • M. Mahmud says:

      Strange indeed this comment was allowed and yet the moderator said not to continue this discussion….

      Would it be the same if a pro(and rightfully so) apostasy commenter posted? I don’t know. I didn’t intend to add to it but since you are allowed to comment, hopefully I am allowed to reply to your ideas.

      “Proponents of these laws”

      Do you mean the Sahaba RA? Because Umar RA enacted it on a nonviolent apostate and so did Ali RA as they followed the command of Rasulullah sallahualayhiwasalam.

      “The Golden Ages of Islam were those where even basic tenets of the religion, such as discussions on the true nature of God, were openly and actively debated, and where the faithful were openly allowed to voice their questions, and not be silenced by fear of persecution and death.”

      Golden ages is an arbitrary term. Someone could say the last days are golden ages-wine and zina being done everywhere.

      I think the Golden Ages, if you can call any that, are those of the Sahaba RA and the next two generations, as they are the best of generations as our Messenger sallahualayhiwasalam informed us and they agreed and enacted the apostasy law. It isn’t a matter of “thinking for oneself”. If one uses his intellect he will understand that the ijma of the Sahaba RA is binding and that the apostasy law is right and just. He has no excuse to disobey Allah and His Messenger in this matter.

      “The point is that members of the congregation were so empowered that they could actively interrupt and disagree with their Khalifa at the Friday prayer Khutba, on even minor matters. Could we do any such thing today?”

      That’s an extremely irrelevant example. It has to do with Jummah etiquette, not apostasy and Islam. And if you’re so worried about deviants not being able to do their “reasoning and preaching”, don’t worry, they did for hundreds of years in this Ummah. Mutazilah, jahmiyah so on and so forth. They were not killed as apostates. This deen doesn’t call for the killing of every deviant here so your point here

      “These laws also allow those who define a faith, the established, orthodox and organised religion, to ensure compliance to their own interpretations of that faith through fear and persecution instead of logic and conviction.”

      is null.

      In any case, I would watch what I say about the apostasy law. It’s a law of Allah and His Messenger and enacted by the Sahaba RA so one should treat it with respect, not as if it is some brainless law enacted by ignorant molvis. It is not no matter how much one’s “intellect” disagrees with it. It is from Allah himself.

      “It is sad that Muslims today do not question what they’ve been told. If you do not know why you believe a certain thing, do you really believe it? Or are you just parroting what you’ve been told? Use the intelligence that Allah subhana wa taala gave you to question your beliefs and seek answers. Don’t insult yourselves by instead reciting names of other people as an excuse to not think for yourselves. Because on the day of Judgement, you will surely have to account for yourselves. And simply saying that you were acting like a mindless automaton because Sheikh so-and-so or Mullah such-and-such said so, will not be enough.”

      It’s sad today some think they can question the Messenger sallahualayhiwasalam and the Sahaba RA and disguise it under the nice banners of “intellect” and “freethinking”. Many disbeliever philosophers went this route and it didn’t help them. If ones intellect does not bring him to Allah and His Messenger, it is not intellect at all. Muslims, don’t destroy yourselves by disagreeing with the Messenger of Allah sallahualayhiwasalam who was in charge of bringing you this deen. Don’t destroy yourself by listening to the astray , following them and claiming your intellect led you to such. It is not an excuse on yawm al Qiyamah before Allah that your intellect guided you to disbelief.

      Certainly it’s the first generations that have more right to be followed than the latter. The Messenger of Allah sallahualayhiwasalam informed us that this Ummah will decline, that the last will curse the first. Will you not take heed?

      Certainty in the deen is a beautiful thing. Questioning the clear command of Allah and His Messenger, is not.

      أَفَحُكْمَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ يَبْغُونَ ۚ وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حُكْمًا لِّقَوْمٍ يُوقِنُونَ
      Then is it the judgement of [the time of] ignorance they desire? But who is better than Allah in judgement for a people who are certain [in faith].

      أَمْ تُرِيدُونَ أَن تَسْأَلُوا رَسُولَكُمْ كَمَا سُئِلَ مُوسَىٰ مِن قَبْلُ ۗ وَمَن يَتَبَدَّلِ الْكُفْرَ بِالْإِيمَانِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَاءَ السَّبِيلِ

      Or do you intend to ask your Messenger as Moses was asked before? And whoever exchanges faith for disbelief has certainly strayed from the soundness of the way.

      Muslims-follow your whims or follow Rasulullah sallahualayhiwasalam. Whichever path you take, you will stand before Allah, each of you alone and be held in account. And on that day, there is no turning back.

      • Mahmud

        See Zai’s comment to mine and my subsequent acceptance of the same.

        Please keep your comments short as possible and civil as possible.

        JazakAllahu Khairin
        Aly

      • “It’s sad today some think they can question the Messenger sallahualayhiwasalam and the Sahaba RA and disguise it under the nice banners of “intellect” and “freethinking”. Many disbeliever philosophers went this route and it didn’t help them. If ones intellect does not bring him to Allah and His Messenger, it is not intellect at all. Muslims, don’t destroy yourselves by disagreeing with the Messenger of Allah sallahualayhiwasalam who was in charge of bringing you this deen. Don’t destroy yourself by listening to the astray , following them and claiming your intellect led you to such. It is not an excuse on yawm al Qiyamah before Allah that your intellect guided you to disbelief.”

        On the day, I will answer for my beliefs. I do not believe you speak for the Messenger for Allah or know his thoughts any more than I do. It comes down to a basic point: Does your deen encourage you to kill those who do not agree with your interpretation of Islam?

        “Certainty in the deen is a beautiful thing. Questioning the clear command of Allah and His Messenger, is not.”

        And stating that you, with absolute certainty, know the nature and dictates of Allah, so much so that anyone who questions your interpretation is questioning Allah, is, sadly, a megalomania to which I hope I never subscribe. I am a man, and hence I could be wrong. You seem to be of the opinion that you know the mind of Allah. What evidence do you have of this?

        Who decides who is the deviant? Is it the Shia? The Sunni? The Ahmadiyya? Or just anyone who doesn’t worship or has the same interpretation of the deen that you have?

        In fact, what made you choose Islam as your faith? How many other religions did you empirically analyze before you arrived at the unequivocal Truth you saw in Islam? Brother, you need to admit that you can be as wrong as the rest of us. There have always been disagreements in this and every other faith. However, when you seek to justify the slaughter of those who do not agree with you, you are heading back to Jahiliyya. Wallah Alam.

      • ST says:

        Would it be the same if a pro(and rightfully so) apostasy commenter posted? I don’t know. I didn’t intend to add to it but since you are allowed to comment, hopefully I am allowed to reply to your ideas.

        Salam,

        I couldn’t agree with you more. Unfortunately I’ve the same disagreement with the Muslims Matters site authorities. I’ve been following this site for quite some time & with all due respect, most of the blogs/articles on this site seems contradictory with the teachings of Islam. That is that the articles seems to share secular views than Islamic views. Most of the writers of the blogs would state their personal opinions & not-so-much what we have been taught & learned(I believe we all have been taught & learned some Islam. I don’t believe that we ought to be namely a “scholar” in order to learn & follow Islam.) This is why Allah(S.W.T) has also encouraged us to use our minds & search for the answers ourselves & not to just rely on Ulemas & scholars. There are clear cut answers in both Quran & Hadiths & yet we disagree on matters like like Apostasy, Homosexuality, etc… Today, I’ve seen many Muslims lending support to the gay marriage(A matter on which there is no disambiguity). People who don’t believe in Hadiths/Sunnah & don’t deem them to be reliable although they are the most reliable references after Quran. I’m just wondering what’s happening to us today. I don’t think this topic should be discussed & what we ought to be discussing is our own religious matters & should be in agreement. Many of the Muslims don’t even follow the basic tenets of Islam. I believe the Muslims are more at fault today. Its not our job to satisfy non-Muslims.

      • M. Mahmud says:

        When you seek to reject the consensus of the earliest generations, their is nothing but ignorance. They fought disbelievers, they fought apostates and they did so by Allah’s light and guidance.

        This deen does not encourage skeptics like you. When Allah and His Messenger have made a matter clear there’s no room for disagreement even if your limited intellect cannot comprehend it. The answer of the believers is only “we hear and obey”

      • M. Mahmud says:

        ST-I agree with a lot of what you say. I’m willing to cut MM and their moderators some slack in that it’s obviously not easy for them to discuss certain issues.

        However I think they can learn a thing or two from some men who have stood firm on issues that are clear(even though some zanadiqa say “we must all be skeptical and we must all be willing to admit we are wrong!!!!). Doubt is not from Islam, it is from zanadiqa and we must dread such a state. Allah made truth clear from error and if someone wishes to call me a maniac, men before me were also called insane-Messengers (AS) whom Allah sent to towns and they were the best of creation. Allah gave them enough proofs and he gave the Sahaba RA after the final Messenger RA enough proofs to make clear to mankind how Allah will judge them.

        Rather, the first generations had certainty in Allah’s ayat and anyone who wishes to enter Paradise should also have certainty. They had enough certainty to wage war against the renegades from Allah’s religion on the earth and they had enough certainty in Allah’s revelation to label them not only apostates but as denizens of the fire. They certainly were not heading to ignorance!

        One example is Imam Abdullah Hasan(one of this MM’s contributors). I don’t agree with everything he does but by Allah’s grace he defended the apostasy law in a stunning manner. And that too, he isn’t a nutjob or some rabble rouser. He is an Imam among Muslims and the kind of a man Allah blessed with sense who blocks evil to Muslims and is a door to good. He’s done some work on helping women in severe tests and it’s his way we ought to look at when dealing with these severe matters of legal punishments. All I can say is, may Allah keep him firm, may Allah keep him firm. The worst can rise and the best can fall.

        As for scholars, ST I think you’ll find that many of those who are very popular today,and roaming around the lands giving speeches are looked on as authentic yet strangely seem to hold opinions CONTRADICTING the CONSENSUS of the first generations.

        However if you look at what the earlier generations said, before we had the men and women of our era who sell Allah’s ayat for a small price, you will find their explanations in accordance with Quran and Sunnah. It is necessary we all agree upon what they agreed upon.

        Thank you for your comment. I sometimes feel so lonely here(smile). May Allah bless you in this life and the next.

      • danko mirvic says:

        If Allah is perfect and all knowing how on earth did his message to us silly humans get distorted two times in the form of Judaism and Christianity? before finally getting it right with Islam. Forget the scripture think logically it doesn’t make sense at all. One day I hope we grow out of these silly fairy tales because they are incredibly dangerous. All this talk of scholars is silly they are just other humans prone to embellishing and fabricating just like the rest of us.

    • Salam ST,

      I must say that I have not been following this site for a long period of time, so cannot comment on its behalf. However, you raise some interesting questions. One particular issue is whether a particular version or interpretation of Islam needs to be enforced by a state (does a country need to follow one particular interpretation and disregard others)?
      There was a time (in very recent history) that a particular, newly oil-rich Arabian nation was struggling with the increased interaction with foreign ideas brought about by rapid increases in wealth. This led to a pro and reactionary views on a multitude of ideas. One predominant opinion here was that the teaching of foreign languages was forbidden. Another was on the censored teaching of geography, which cited verses 15:19, 20:53 and others to ‘prove’ that the Earth was flat and the teaching of contradictory theories was anti-Islamic. Another was against the application of life-extending medical treatments including blood transfusion and organ transplants. Another was against the use of loud-speakers for the Adhan. Yet another against the use of optical aids in locating the moon for calendar calculations. Another yet on forbidding the teaching of the theory of evolution as it ran contrary to certain interpretations of our faith.
      These views were touted and accepted by the majority of Muslims as being orthodox. Any proposed changes to these were denounced as not following the teachings of the Prophet and the Word of Allah. This seemed to be accepted thinking, even in our recent history in spite of the works of Muḥammad ibn Jabir, ibn Rushd, al-Jahiz, ibn al-Shatir, al-Tusi, al-Urdi, al-Zahrawi, ibn Khaldun, ibn Hayyan, ibn al-Haytham, al-Farabi, al-Biruni, ibn Sina…..
      I often hear discussions even today on what is purported to be the Orthodox Islamic view, according to the Quran and Sunna, on numerous ideas and concepts. And there is disagreement on this, as there was on numerous issues in our history. The theory of evolution, for example, was actively advocated in ibn Khaldun’s Muqadimmah, in al-Jahiz’s Kitab al-Hayawan, and yet some now think these views as antithetical to Islamic thought.
      I’m not advocating one specific view or another. I’m simply stating that the views on these subjects and issues, throughout our history, have been debated back and forth, with different times seeing different viewpoints becoming popular, accepted and orthodox. Each view had its own supporters, armed with corroborating verses of the Quran and supportive hadiths, while they also had their detractors, also armed with countering hadiths and Quranic verses. So I, like many Muslims before me, subscribe to some of these views and not others. I accept that, as a bottom line, I need to use my ken and intellect to come to my decisions. But, above all, I accept with humility that I am human, with a finite intellect, and that I may be wrong in my decisions and also in my interpretations of the Quran, sunna, and commentaries of alims and others. Naturally, as a Muslim, I am deeply suspicious of anyone who claims to have the arrogance to purport a supernatural understanding of the ultimate mind of Allah and silences opposing viewpoints with slaughter and violence. Because that was the way that the jahils of Quraish dealt with the Muslims. Wallah Alam.

      • Tolerance says:

        Ahl Al Hunafa, You are using your brain to decipher the issues. As logical as you are, I really wonder how in the world you believe in these fairy tales (Religions). There are 7% of scientists that still are religious, so I am not blaming you.

  9. […] 2: “Bill Maher, the Mother Lode of Lies” by Waleed Ahmed on […]

  10. Brother says:

    Salaam, With all the comments on apostasy and Islam, maybe Muslimmatters should have an article dedicated to that topic alone.

    That said, why is that people like Bill Maher keep saying no one is allowed to criticize Islam and then they actually do it themselves and then whine about it some more. Obviously, there is no shortage of criticism of Islam in the news especially outlets like FOX. Just the controversy sorrounding the “Ground Zero Mosque” had enough criticism to invalidate Maher’s point on that. I don’t think Ben Affleck has more than average knowlege on Islam (which probably is not much) so he relied on common sense which is a very good thing.

    Other than that, the whole topic was discussed by people ignorant of Islamic teaching and history and its great to have people’s opinion heard on the matter but fact of the matter is their opinions are as worthy as anyone elses unless they had qualifications in Islam.

  11. […] submit Bill Maher, the Mother Lode of Lies appeared first on […]

  12. H says:

    I think what is brilliant about Affleck’s argument is that it isn’t based in deep research or even knowledge about Islam. It’s simply from his own compassion, and the fact that he sticks up for what is just despite the impact it could have on his career is a touching move.

    I sincerely pray the may Allah give him and Bill guidance.

  13. Edward Kefas says:

    This deserves an article under Interfaith dialogue:

    Why right-wing Christians are actively promoting genocide
    A leading Evangelical magazine is calling for the destruction of Islam. It’s not the outlier we might like to think http://www.salon.com/2014/10/07/why_right_wing_christians_are_actively_promoting_genocide_partner/

  14. M. Mahmud says:

    It’s a poor tactic to conflate two issues.

    Executing apostates and censuring deviants are different matters. The former are executed according to the ijma of scholars, in accordance with the practice of the Sahaba RA and the command of Rasulullah sallahualayhiwasalam who commanded us to do it and left the matter as clear as night is from day.

    The latter have a colorful history, popping up in this Ummah in various forms and censured(and rightfully so) by the rightly guided who passed this deen on to the following generations.

    It is not the Sahaba RA who were Jahil. They declared the apostates as apostates and rightfully so, they waged war and killed them and rightfully so and they gave them the option of converting back or getting killed and rightfully so and then declared the dead among the apostates as denizens of the fire and rightfully so. Umar RA and Ali RA killed nonviolent apostates. They not only knew them apostates, they killed them on account of their apostasy.

    The core of this deen is not such that anyone has any right to disagree. Rather, it is binding on every Muslim as we were commanded by Rasulullah sallahualayhiwasalam. Ones whims do not affect it. The Sahaba RA and generations after them agreed that differing on core issues is not acceptable.

    The consensus of the scholars is that whoever does not uphold that salah is obligatory is a kaffir or that wine and zina are haram and so on and so forth. They did not doubt their religion and hold on to the possibility that they might be wrong. That is the way of hypocrites.

    Nor did they assume that they had a right to follow their own opinion when the Ummah had agreed on a certain matter. Rather, they knew following what the earliest agreed upon was itself a command of the Messenger sallahualayhiwasalam.

    وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَىٰ وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّىٰ وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا
    And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers – We will give him what he has taken and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.

    Nor did they deviate like many who remained within the fold of Islam. Rather they believed their Messenger sallahualayhiwasalam who informed them that there would only be one rightly guided group in the Ummah-that which he and his companions were upon.

    And even they differed among themselves on lesser matters, sometimes gently and sometimes harshly. But they did not sway to disbelief nor to deviance. They were a people of certainty, not of self doubt.

    أَفَحُكْمَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ يَبْغُونَ ۚ وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حُكْمًا لِّقَوْمٍ يُوقِنُونَ

    Then is it the judgement of [the time of] ignorance they desire? But who is better than Allah in judgement for a people who are certain [in faith].

  15. Hiba says:

    Lol. A zion Jew in disguise as an understanding atheist body trying to criticise the values of islam when he hasn’t even mastered the simple value of respect. Pft. I wouldn’t give this man the time of day.

  16. sajib says:

    Other offences like treason, drug trafficking, murder, pedophilia, etc. are awarded death sentences under some legal systems and societies, and if those crimes deserve death sentence, then who is to judge that apostasy should not be included among them? In fact, this stems from a narrow, layman definition of apostasy as a simple act of person leaving his religion or beliefs and embracing another. It goes beyond religious freedom, This subject must be discussed in the same context as treason

  17. A good article in general, and a good reply to Bill Maher.

    But on a more important note, perhaps the author and most of people who commented on this thread haven’t heard of the following hadeeths of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him):

    1. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible to shed the blood of a person who bears witness that there is no god except Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah, except in three cases: a life for a life, a previously-married person who commits adultery, and one who leaves Islam and forsakes the jamaa’ah.” [al-Bukhari and Muslim]
    2. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever changes his religion, execute him.” [al-Bukhaari]

    • You said: {What evidence (if any) do you have that the prophet [peace be upon him] indeed said many of the sayings that hadith attributes to him(including killing apostate)?}
      I say: Do you know know anything about the science of hadeeth?!

      You said: {Furthermore, I hold to the believe that the prophet would never had ordered a thing which Allah himself never ordered,}
      I say: You are wrong in your belief, because the ahaadeeth (plural of hadeeth) of the Prophet [peace be upon him] and the Qur’aan go together. For example, Allah never ordered you to raise from prostration and to sit between the two sujoods, the Prophet [peace be upon him] did. But you do that ALL the time. Another example, Allah didn’t ask you to shave your head after performing Umrah, the Prophet [peace be upon him] did.

      You said: {nor would he say a thing which contradicts the command of Allah.}
      I say: I agree with your wholeheartedly on this point. Points of agreement, clap clap.

      You said: {Allah has clearly stated in the quran that there shall be no compulsion in religion,}
      I say: the verse that speaks of that is talking about ENTERING Islam, for no one can be forced to enter Islam.

      You said: {and no-one (not even the prophet) can abrogate that command of Allah.}
      I say: Provide proof for that, if you are truthful.

      You said: {The prophets sole duty was to convey the message of Allah. He had no authority to command (neither forbid nor permit) anything except what Allah himself commanded.}
      I say: Allah’s message is not only part of revelation. The Sunnah – which is the words, deeds and approval that are attributed to the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] – is one of the two parts of divine Revelation that were revealed to the Messenger of Allah [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him]. The other part of the Revelation (Wahy) is the Holy Qur’aan.

      Allah says: “And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) the Dhikr [reminder and the advice (i.e. the Qur’aan)], that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought” [al-Nahl 16:44].

      He also says: Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed [53:3-4]

      You said [that Allah said]: {“[It is] a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.And if (Muhammad) had made up about Us some [false] sayings, We would have seized him by the right hand; Then We would have cut from him the aorta. And there is no one of you who could prevent [Us] from him.” Quran 69:43-46}
      I say: The Prophet [peace be upon him] did not make up anything about Allah, rather what he said was what Allah revealed to his Prophet, as in the verse “Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed” [53:3-4]

      May Allah guide me and you. Peace out.

  18. Ton Cek says:

    How can anyone be lying when Islam’s violent history that resulted in 270 million dead victims of the evil Islamic empire is enough evidence to mistrust this death cult.

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