Ibrahim Lone (former Muslim)
Letter to Ali Sina
Dear Dr. Sina,
First and foremost I wish to congratulate you for the brilliant website that you have made available for people like me to express their feelings to to share their experiences. I got introduced to your website a year back by one of my Hindu friends who has been a regular FFI visitor. I spent a considerable amount of time reading the debates various articles on your website before I finally decided to write to you.
Ali one thing that I am most grateful to you for, is that you made me realise through your debates that there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. Earlier, I was under the misconception that I am a moderate Muslim, until I realised that I perhaps never was a Muslim. I was earlier of the opinion that Muslims are violent owing to the fact that Islam is a young religion when compared with other world religions. I felt that just like the Jews and Christians, Muslims too would humble down with the passage of time. This was till I realised that in Islam there is no space for moderation or change. Everything is an absolute, its either Haram or it is Halal. No matter how many centuries pass by these dogmas will not change, simply because this would mean the genesis of something that is not Islam but something else, something new.
Unfortunately not many people take the time to sit back and ponder on why Muslims get angry at the slightest hint of reformation of Islam or any sort of insult, perceived or real, directed towards Mohammed. People will blame everything but Islam itself for the reactions and behaviour of Muslims. The so called liberals and left wingers take the cake, perhaps they are more Islamic than the Muslims themselves. They will go to any extent in order to justify the crimes and brutalities perpetrated by Muslims. I feel that we are living in a crazy world where people have a misplaced sense of Justice and thought.
Now then, I have been following FFI for the past year and sometimes I do feel angry at some comments made by the Non-Muslim members which are directed specifically at Muslims. For a non-Muslim to even understand what it means to be brought up as Muslim is something very difficult. Rather than trying to understand Muslims, most people try to look down upon them and curse them. Sadly, this is one thing that could drive many Muslims away from truth. Not every Muslim is an intellectual as is the case in other religions. After reading the posts of a few members I feel as though they would rather have the Muslims apostatize from Islam overnight without even trying to understand what it means to be a Muslim living in an Islamic society. Frankly I find this extremely hypocritical. Just today I read the post of a Christian claiming that Hajj and Tawaf are stupid practices. I agree with him or her. However, this very Christian does not realise that Baptism is as stupid a ritual as Tawaf. It might not be harmful to others, yet it’s meaningless all the same.
There are times when I feel that your vision that Islam will cease to exist will be a reality, but at other times when I look at people adopting this deadly ideology I also get scared and really begin to wonder as to what the future has in store for us.
Response by Ali Sina
Patience is a quality that one can acquire through experience, or maybe by aging. Sometimes I read my early debates and realize how much I have changed. I used to get angry at the ignorance, but no longer. Looks like, I am aging and hopefully becoming more patient. Many of those who at first attacked me and insulted me now have resurfaced under a pseudonym and are working alongside me as my allies and companions of the trench. So I no longer get angry. I see those who attack me today as my potential friends of tomorrow.
I understand the frustration of the non-Muslims because the absurdities in Islam are many. And also you are right about the fact that people generally are better in evaluating the beliefs of others than their own. It’s that we humans are selectively rational. People cannot see the absurdity of their own beliefs. Therefore, their criticism of other faiths may sound ironic to you, but to them it is not.
I can tell you one thing. I received many emails from people of all faiths you told me after reading FFI they came to see the same or similar absurdities in their own beliefs.
Also the argument that Muslims are violent because Islam is young and with time they will mellow is false. The Bahai Faith which is also a religion from the Middle East is just 150 years old and its followers are among the most peaceful people in the world. They are the same people. The difference is in the teachings of these two religions.