I came across this book, The Unfinished Battle: Islam And The Jews, by Mark A. Gabriel. He has a phD and the former professor of Islamic history at Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt. He was born into a Muslim family and memorised the holy Qur’aan by the age of 12.
I’m going to sidetrack a little bit now. How they memorise the entire Qur’aan is as such: This is done throughout elementary school, similar to our primary school. Each day, they have to recite to their teachers whatever they have memorised, which is 2 pages EVERYDAY. If they fail to do so, the teacher would sit the student down, use a belt and tie it around the student’s ankles, raise the feet to the knees’ height, perpendicular to the body and beat them.
Back to the story, Mark A. Bagriel memorised to avoid the “torture”. At the end of the month, he would then recap, to make sure what he has memorised stays there. Mentioned in the book, daily, a Sheikh (a religious man) came to their house everyday to tell stories from the Qur’aan.
There was one time when the Sheikh mentioned Allah s.w.t. turned Jews into monkeys and pigs. That of course, is a burnin question inside of him. Yadaa yadaa yadda.
This Mark guy, left Islam for Christianity. he mentioned something like, “I am not telling you to hate Muslims, they’re our friends, neighbours and families. What I’m telling you readers is to hate the teachings of islam.” He also mentioned the verses he quoted are from Qur’aan, that he has a phD yadaa yadaa yadaa. Something like they are reliable.
Then he criticized Islam, how it is a religion which teaches its people not to kill, but kill Jews. He did quote the Surah (verse). He did give an example of a story from the Qur’aan, a Jew, a Muslim, an argument and a murder.
What happened was, this Muslim and Jew got into an argument. The Jew decided to seek Rasullullah’s help. The Muslim on the other hand, refused and wanted to approach Sayyidina Umar instead, who’s a vicious (even the Syaitaan fear him) military leader and hate Jews. The Jew agreed.
When the Muslim asked Sayyidina Umar what they should do, he said go to Muhammad s.a.w. The Muslim refused. Sayyidina Umar took his sword out and slashed the Muslim’s head. Everyone was shocked and the situation was chaotic. Muhammad s.a.w. then received a revelation from Allah s.w.t. It said that whoever go against Muhammad s.a.w. deserved to be punished. When the people got to know, they danced and celebrated. Yes, the words used in the book are danced and celebrated.
The author then questioned our religion. Why is it that Sayyidina Umar can just slash. Then he mentioned terrorism, etc. His fiery sentences makes me wanna kill him. It’s just rude. Just because you left the religion, doesn’t mean you can do this. But then again, he saves his ass by telling readers not to hate Muslims, but hate the teachings of Islam.
Then there was another book by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, My Year Inside Radical Islam. This book was sort of the opposite of the one mentioned above. He converted to Islam. He felt empty and in search of a religion to “complete” him. In university, he met a Muslim friend, and at 23, he converted. He has since become a devout Muslim.
I didn’t really read this book as much as the previous book, but what I can remember is that he worked or volunteered himself to the European Muslim Association or something. Then it was accused of funding the Al-Qaeda, then he was questioned by the Al-Qaeda, yadaa yadaa yadaa.
Then I came across books by Tariq Ramadan. “Tariq Ramdan is a Muslim Martin Luther” – Washington Post. I think I want to browse through his books.