Posted by: nimbu | March 14, 2007

Deprogramming a Friend (part 2)

Both agreeing to the sadness of losing our friend, we sit sipping beer, looking at the ground. “How could anybody be convinced by these backward mullas?” We traded theories back and forth. Here was one of my theories:

It’s like a 12 step program. First step, acknowledge that I (the brainwasher), know more than you about Islam. Next step, convince you of good things that Islam brings to your life. “Don’t you love the brotherhood at Friday prayer?” “Islam gave women the right to initiate divorce.”

Once you cave into the first few appetizers, it’s easy to fall for the rest.

My friend (sipping beer) disagreed. He figured that he was impervious to this type of trick. He figured that as soon as they started spouting hatred, he’d be onto them. Well, perhaps. However, if it’s a gradual process and you’re outnumbered, you may cave in. Also, if you’re my friend from the US in Pakistan, you may be willing to try anything to “fit in” and be accepted. Maybe he figured that he’ll just pretend to believe all that nonsense, just to fit in. But then slowly, he began to believe that stuff.

The evening, however, took a strange turn. I said this: It’s because of these fanatics, that I stopped going to the mosque altogether. He looked at me strangely and then confessed that he too had left a mosque because of these guys – only to land at another mosque where the imam was more progressive. “More progressive?” Yeah. That’s right. This imam teaches you good things.

“What good things?” I asked.

“This Friday, the imam taught about the virtues of forgiveness.”

“You needed an imam to teach you that? How come you didn’t know that before?”

“Well I guess I knew it, he just drove it home.”

“What? That’s insane. You always knew that you should forgive people. You never needed an imam to teach you that.”

“Whatever. It made me feel good.”

I said “That’s how they string you along. First they teach you good stuff you already knew and then slowly they start injecting the rest of their crap”

“No way dude, I would see right through it. Plus, he’s like a coach. You can’t have a football team without a coach. He just makes us better humans”

“Bullshit! Life isn’t a game. And life isn’t a test! You don’t need somebody to tell you the obvious. Plus, what makes him better than you regarding your life.”

“He’s studied the Quran and plus, this is his life.”

“Bullshit! Has he told you all the crazy stuff in the Quran? No. I bet he told you all the fluffy good stuff. They hide the crazy stuff.”

“No…there’s nothing bad in the Quran. People twist the passages around.”

Ok. I felt myself being dragged in. I couldn’t help it. I enjoyed it. Is that bad?

“Did you know that Muslim women only get a fraction of the inheritance that a man gets?”

“No…that’s not in the Quran; it’s in the Hadith.” he said shaking his head left and right.

“It’s in there. Look it up. Did you know that you’re supposed to kill nonbelievers?”

“Come on. That’s not in there either. The mullas make that shit up.” Still in disbelief.

“Did you know that it’s OK to hit your wife, if you fear she’s disobedient?”

“Bullshit!”

“It’s in there. Oh, more modern translations are more diplomatic. But a lot of translations explicitly say ‘hit’.”

“Well, hitting your wife is only the last resort. Right before divorce.”

I couldn’t fucking believe it!

“Are you fucking insane?” I said, leaning forward.

“Well I don’t mean that you should really hit her…hard.” He leaned back a bit. Probably not expecting my response.

“Well, what do you mean? How hard should you hit her?” I said, with a smile.

“Like this…” He showed me how softly he would hit his wife. Wife, by the way, was sitting in the other room with my wife. Too far to hear this back and forth.

“Dude, how can any wife take you seriously if you simply tap her on the shoulder? This is your last resort? You’re going to tap her on the shoulder? I think if you’re at your wit’s end, you should hit her hard enough to straighten her up.” I had a huge smile.

“Come on dude. Now you’re just being silly.”

References:

Hitting your wife: Sura 4:34 (http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/004.qmt.html#004.034)

Inheritance: Sura 4:176 (http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/004.qmt.html#004.176)

Killing nonbelievers: 2:191 (http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/002.qmt.html#002.191)

Yup. It’s in there.

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Responses

  1. only if it was that easy to interpret Quran and Hadith especially not taking them in the right context, we would not need any scholars.
    This is the barbaric approach to learning anything, any science of this world. I wish you had gone to a person of knowledge before becoming a self taught professor. Self taught professor? what is that? no one would believe a self taught professor? well, that is you. Yes, you do need to learn from the learned in religion. Its unfortunate how majority muslims dont learn it, and deviate or remain in oblivion.

  2. So by your logic, I shouldn’t read the Quran? I should only go to those that have studied it? That’s insane.

    I’m tired of people telling me that an Imam knows more than me about Islam. Then when I find something objectionable about “MY” religion, I’m not supposed to “TEACH” myself; but rather, I need to go to a “SCHOLAR”.

    After all, I thought Islam was a religion for humanity. No? If I’m not allowed to read MY Quran and try to understand it, then what good is it? Where only scholars can read and understand it. No wonder the Islamic world lags behind the rest of the world.

  3. On another note: I hate it when people start blaming people for misinterpreting the holy books. People are often the target, instead of the religion itself.

    It’s always the misguided pseudo-religious individual who didn’t follow the rules of the “books”. It’s never the religion’s fault. It’s never God’s fault (if you believe in God, which I don’t!).

    Ask yourself this question:

    Why IS God so vague? Clearly people 1500 years ago were not as educated as people of the world today. Why be so vague and general in your message to a population that is heavily undereducated!

    I’ve heard all the bullshit answers: It’s God’s plan. Muhammad was his last messenger. Muhammad came to correct the misguided followers of Moses and Jesus.

    None of these is an answer. These are excuses. If people where misguided after Jesus’ death and after Moses’ death, why not send another messenger now. Clearly there are millions of Muslims that are misguided now. Right?

    The reason God doesn’t send any more messengers is because he doesn’t exist. Never did. Keep believing that God only spoke to people thousands of years ago. What, has God lost his tongue? Why silent for over 1500 years?

  4. OMG, thats funny, I like it better if someone can have the Koran in one hand and then ask the guy those questions, if he doesn’t believe it, then point it out to him in the Koran, and make sure you give him a dictionary too, in case he doesn’t know how to read it.

    Another copy of Koran would also help make this clear that Koran your getting the passage from are genuine.


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