I’d agree that the critics we see are typically more qualified to talk about Christianity, both from personal experience, and because they live in countries where there is more public awareness of the details of Christianity. If you criticise a specific aspect of Islam, e.g. treatment of women or non-Muslims, you are liable to get a Qur’an quote in response.
The Qur’an is perfect and beyond criticism, and can be quoted from to back almost any position you can think of. So, we have the Hadiths, written by the rulers to suit their own agendas, and that is the core of what Islam became: as it developed, it enshrined the kind of bigotry discussed by others here, and (at the same time) became utterly intolerant to criticism of its basic tenets.
This is not some atheist propaganda: it falls under Apostasy in the Hadiths, and is punishable under Shariah law. Even where Shariah law is not in effect – e.g, the UK – those who speak out against Islam are in genuine danger: example . The paucity of published criticism of Islam says nothing about how many doubting Muslims there are, too afraid to speak out, never mind leave Islam. Someone who speaks out from the “inside”, such as Hashem Aghajari, is doubly deserving of an audience and respect for his courage.
Personally: I have criticized Islam quite a lot (in my writing), but in one sense it’s harder to write about creatively, because it’s so obviously and grossly nuts. By analogy: if Christianity can be compared to “a person with mental issues”, describing Islam’s flaws is like calling someone “mad”. It’s so far “out there”, anything you say immediately sounds unsubtle, disrespectful and biased, even if you try hard to be fair. I might be prepared to “intellectually respect” Islam in my criticism, but they haven’t given me much to work with. 8-/
Posted: August 17th 2007
See all questions answered by brian thomson