Is there a hope to "Reform" Islam
Is there a hope to "Reform" Islam
An analysis of the real roots of Islamic terrorism and possible solutions

By T. Hamid
(I recommend that you visit this site: the graphic on that page did not reprint here. Beside that there is much more on the site and I suggest that you all read as much of it as you care to. This is a voice that should be heard.)

It is evident that Islam has been linked to violence for almost all of its history. Sadly, this is to a great extent true. From the beginning of the invasion of most of Europe, North Africa and some parts of the East by early Muslims in order to convert them to Islam. Continuously until the modern crisis of "Islamic Terrorism" that shocked the world on Sep 11th, that ended the lives of many innocent Jews in Israel, that ended the lives of many innocent Australians in Bali attack, that caused the catastrophe of bombing the train in Spain, and which has tortured to death many innocent Westerners who live in the Islamic world.

Many people in the West tried to correlate the recent violence observed in the Islamic world to lack of education, poverty, and a feeling of oppression blamed on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Unfortunately, the simple facts showed us clearly, and beyond doubt, that these excuses are not the true causes of "Islamic terrorism". Most of the leaders of terrorism are highly educated people who range from Doctors, e.g. Alzawaheri the second man and the real brain of Alqaida, lawyers, e.g. the first female Palestinian terrorist, and University students, e.g. Mohammed Atta who was one of the top organisers of Sep the 11th.

In addition, most of the hijackers on Sep 11th were from Saudi Arabia, the richest Islamic country. If the theory of poverty is correct, why then are the poor people who live in Brazilia are not the ones who lead international terrorism?

Furthermore, Islamic Terrorism was minimal between the declaration of the state of Israel in 1948, until the early 1970's, when the Arabs were in a real war with Israel.

If the Israeli/Palestinian conflict was the cause of terrorism, we would have found terrorism booming between 1948 until the early 1970's. On the contrary, it dramatically increased in the late 1980s and until now when some Arabs states have signed peace agreements with Israel.

This increase in terrorism directly correlates with the rise of Islamism in the late 1980s until now.

I have a Muslim/Arabic background, and I know how Muslims (including myself at an early stage of my life) think, I clearly state that Muslims are using the excuse of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict just to make the world hate Israel. It has nothing to do with the current phenomenon of terrorism. Which was going to happen any way, as a secondary phenomenon to expanding a violent version of Islam in later years?

It is also difficult for any normal mind to comprehend that throwing concentrated sulphuric acid on the face of young girls who do not wear the Islamic veil/scarf, by the hands of the Islamic groups in Algeria, is related to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

As one who was a member of one of the most fanatical groups in Islam, GI in Egypt, and as a person who has resisted Islamic fundamentalism when I realized its threat some 20 years ago, I feel that it is my obligation toward mankind to declare that the origin of Islamic Terrorism is deeply rooted in the way Muslims understand their religion. In other words, in Islamic teaching itself.

When you read the Quran, you will find many great verses that promote peace and tolerance. But you will also find verses that can make you very violent and intolerant toward Non Muslims.

Sadly, most Islamic scholars throughout the history of Islam, present it in a way that promotes a very violent and intolerant attitude. And more sadly, the oppressive religious system suppresses many attempts to understand Islam in the light of the peaceful verses.

Not only that, but the majority of Muslims especially those in the Arab world, are brought up in a manner that considers a peaceful understanding of the religion as a sign of weakness rather than a sign of strength.

A violent understanding of Islam is based on the following fundamental beliefs that are fixed in the mind of many, if not most, knowledgeable Muslims.

These are:

1- The concept of "Allnasech and Almansuch" .
2- The ignorance of the value of the word "the" .
3- Practicing Hadith of "Al-Bukhary" and other books while ignoring unambiguous peaceful verses of the Quran.
4- Historical understanding of the verses rather than language-based understanding.
5- Presenting only a special part of the verse to promote specific meaning and ignoring the rest of the verse.

Let us now address the previous points separately and see if this violent way of thinking could change.

1- The concept of "Allnasech and Almansuch".

According to this concept and based on traditional Islamic teaching, certain verses especially the later ones cancel the meaning of other earlier verses on a similar subject.

Let us have a look at these two parts of the Quran to understand the above concept.

Verse 1
"60:8 God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing very kindly and justly with them: for God loves those who are just. 60:9 God only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drives you out of your homes, and supports (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong."

Verse 2

{9: 29} Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (Mohammed), nor acknowledge the religion of Truth (Islam), (even if they are) of the People of the Book (Christians and Jews), until they pay the Jizia (Humiliation Tax according to traditional Islamic teaching and practice in history) with submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Revelation Number 113).

Sadly, according to the concept of "Allnasech and Almansuch" traditional Islamic teaching teaches that the "later" verse negated the "former" which obviously will result in extremely violent understanding and practice.
This way of thinking (to cancel the meaning of the peaceful verses) is based on the following verse in the Quran:

There are two ways to understand the above Arabic word as the origin of the word "Nansakho", is the verb "Yansakho" or its more powerful version "Yastansikho".

The first way of understanding the word 'Nansakho" in the above verse, is to abrogate (cancel the meaning) as in the following verse:

"22:52 Never did We send an apostle or a prophet before thee, but, when he framed a desire, Satan threw some (vanity) into his desire: but Allah will cancel (Yansach) anything (vain) that Satan throws in, and Allah will confirm (and establish) His Signs: for Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom
The other way of understanding, the word "Nansakho" means (to write and document something) as in the following verse:
"45:29 "This Our Record speaks about you with truth: For We were wont to put on Record and write down (Nastansikho) all that ye did."

The difference here is huge, as according to traditional teaching, the first verse is canceled out. Thus ending in the violent verses canceling the meaning of the peaceful ones, as those violent verses were proclaimed by the prophet Mohammed at a later time.

On the other hand, if the word "Nansakho" is understood as 'to write down and document' the meaning of the verse could be that: If God has written of his miracles or signs (Aia) in the books or did not write it down and consequently people forget it, he usually comes with a better one.

As you can see, the interpretation which is based on pure Arabic language, shows the real power of God in bringing new and better miracles and signs every time which is compatible with the word 'able to do anything" at the end of the verse.

While understanding it as 'cancellation' of a meaning, it is not compatible at all with the ability of God, as any one can cancel what he or she said.

In other words the concept of cancellation of the meaning is not compatible at all with the end of the verse (see the black box above).

Imagine that, according to the concept of cancellation of the verses, most of the peaceful verses in the Quran were considered "Mansuch' or cancelled by the violent ones and consequently it is not surprising to find the outcome of Islam is almost always violent!!

2-The ignorance of the value of the word "the"

Many readers may wonder how these three letters can make such a fundamental difference in the understanding of the Islamic religion.

It is as if some one told you give me a book, and then you can generalize the meaning and apply it to any book. Whilst if he or she said to you "give me the book' then the whole meaning changes to a specific book that both you and the speaker know.

To explain this point in the understanding of the Quran, please have a look on the following verse:

"9:73 O Prophet! strive hard against the (Infidels) unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be very harsh against them.
Typical Islamic teaching generalizes the above verse to all Infidels. This obviously will succeed into changing many followers of Islam into beasts.

The word "the" specifies the meaning to ONLY a certain item or group. Such groups are defined by the following verse that specifies with whom the rough treatment, violence, or fighting should be:

"2:190 Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not start attacking others.

If the word "the" is considered in the process of understanding the Quran, many the verses that promote violence against Non-believers (Infidels) will be specific to ONLY those who start war on Muslims and can not be applied to any "Infidel".

Can you see now how the word 'the" can make such a difference!

3-Practicing the Hadith of Bukhary, and other books, whilst ignoring the "unambiguous" verses of the Quran.

Hadith is considered by most Muslims as the "oral traditions" of Mohammed. No one is considered to be a Muslim without following them, according to traditional Islamic teaching. These started to be collected some 200 years after the death of the prophet Mohammed by a man called Al-Bukhary, who was followed by many others who also collected (as they claim) the oral traditions of Mohammed.

The best example to illustrate how following Al-Bukhary resulted in a catastrophe in Islam. It is the hadith that justifies killing any one who converts from Islam to another religion.

The Hadith is in a book called Sahih Albuchary and is considered by Al-Bukhary as a correct Hadith or " Hadith Sahaih".

Let us have a look now at that Hadith, and compare it to what the Quran has stated:

Hadith: " It is not allowed for any Muslim to kill another Muslim except in the following circumstances: if he committed murder, if he committed adultery, and if he converted from the Islamic religion to another religion"

Look now at what the Quran states, to understand the difference:
18:29 Say, "The truth is from your Lord": it is up to anybody to believe it or not to believe it (convert or become Infidel)"

I think the difference is clear between the two approaches.

As the reader can see, applying that which is written in Al-Boukhary resulted in justifying the threat of killing many innocent people such as Salman Rushdie (the author of the book, Satanic Verses), and many innocent people who want to have a different form of belief.

Whilst, to the contrary, the Quran gave full freedom for any person to believe in what he or she wants.

The application of the Hadith mentioned above (called Hadith Almurtad or the converter) has resulted in largely the domination of the violent version of Islam as the Hadith, which was used to kill virtually any one who dares to understand Islam in a peaceful manner.

4-Historical understanding of the verses rather than language- based one (Jihad)

The exact meaning of the word "Jihad" is 'to resist'. This could be to resist an enemy who attacks you, or resist your desire to do evil.

Sadly, the word has been used throughout the history of Islam to attack those of different religions.

The Arab invasion of Europe and many other parts of the world such as Palestine, and North Africa are evidence of this. Since then, the word has become linked to an attacking attitude, rather than its real meaning, which is 'to resist'.

It is like the word 'gay" which typically means "happy". Since its repeated use describing homosexuals, it has come to refer to homosexuals rather than its former meaning. The same has happened with the word 'Jihad' which is linked to the violent attitude of most of current Islamic teaching. Whilst the original language-based meaning (to resist), was forgotten by most Muslims, and is virtually non-existent nowadays.

Muslims now have one of two choices. These are to understand the word in its historical context which means that they are declaring war against Non-Muslims all over the world, or to revert to the pure Arabic language-based understanding of the words encouraging peace.

5-Presenting only a special part of the verse to promote specific meaning and ignoring the rest of the verse

This point can be exemplified by the following verse that is used by many Islamic organisations to recruit young people.
"9:36 and fight the Infidels all together".

When Muslims read this verse, many of them especially the young ones, get very motivated to practice the will of 'Allah" and start thinking of attacking Non-Muslims to satisfy the Creator and inherit the paradise.

What these fundamental Islamic groups are not showing to these young Muslims is the rest of the verse, which is, "as they fight you all together."

The whole verse is "and fight the Infidels all together as they fight you all together" but the Islamic groups presents the first part only to support their violent views. They hide the rest of the verse, as it will specify the fighting to ONLY those who start war on Muslims.

As can be seen, the traditional way of understanding Islam has contributed to the violence that has been committed by Muslims around the world.

It is so sad to see that so many people following such teachings, as those who attempted reformation or tried to promote a peaceful way of understanding Islam were prosecuted or killed.

I tried to teach a peaceful understanding of the Islamic religion for more than 20 years. I have warned many people of the catastrophic consequences that will happen from the expansion of such violent understandings.

Sadly the attempt was on a very small scale, and I failed because I was fighting virtually by myself against the violent version of Islam that is supported by the money of Saudi Arabia.

It is now the responsibility of Muslims to either accept the traditional teachings which will encourage them declare war on all Non- Muslims, or to accept the peaceful way of understanding their religion which can make them good human beings.

I sincerely hope that they choose the second option!

Finally, I want also to say to all Muslims:

Do not resist the light …….. Do not love the darkness ………… Hate the violent way of thinking, as it makes you appear as beasts ….. Your violent way of thinking has resulted in the killing of many innocent people in the West ……. and has resulted in killing many innocent children in Israel.

I wish to see you one day demonstrating in your millions and saying to those barbarous Islamic fanatics like Bin Laden, "Bin Laden …… you are the enemy of humanity".

Your "deafening silence" just shows that you support terrorism in your hearts, and that you need to change.

I have been into Churches and Synagogues where they were praying for you and for peace - and at the same time - your Muslim preachers in the Mosques are saying loudly, "Oh Allah make their children Orphans, .. Oh Allah make their wives widows, and even (most recently), Oh Allah make the uterus of the Infidels' wives fibrotic"…………… If this is what you want your religion to be … do not blame those who will say "shame on Allah, and shame on your religion"

If you mean God by the word "Allah", then I assure you that the true God will curse you forever for defaming his name.


Reprinted by permission of the author from