PDA

View Full Version : "Hatred of the Angels".



Pynthanomai
07-05-2007, 06:35 AM
Hello all,

Firstly, let me apologise if I have posted this in the incorrect thread/topic or if it's already been answered elsewhere. There are so many postings to read through, and I don't really have much free time to contribute! I hope you'll all bear with me.

I am a Christian, and I have had several discussions over a period of several months with a Muslim colleague of mine about Islam. Initially, I had many prejudices about and biases against Islam and what it taught, but many of these have been overturned as a result of what my colleague has taught me, as well as from my reading of the information he's given me about Islam. Our discussions have covered a range of topics, from things such as the "basics" of Islam to aspects of Christianity such as the divinity of Jesus, and even political issues that relate to Islam. Of course we haven't agreed upon everything, but my respect for Islam has grown. My colleague can certainly take much of the credit for that, since his lifestyle very clearly reflects his beliefs.

However, I would like to be bold and offer a matter for inquiry that concerns Muslims, inasmuch as they are the “targets” of another type of discourse: that of works or publications that denigrate, insult or otherwise verbally attack Muslims and Islam. A particular case was brought to my attention in the following e-book that was recently published: http://www.lulu.com/content/962904 (the link goes to an online bookseller’s site). The book is called “Hatred of the Angels” and is a fictional story about a dystopic future Europe where Islam and Muslims hold some sort of socio-political dominance. The blurb that comes with it clearly shows that it’s defamatory.

My colleague and I were discussing the best way to address this sort of thing. He believed that there was little value to be gained by attempting to have dialogue or discussion with people who have ingrained prejudices, in that such people are very unlikely to attempt to listen to another person’s point of view. This book, he felt, was a case in point. For myself, I tend to think that engaging in some sort of response or rebuttal to these sorts of publications can be very useful, since correcting misinformation about one’s religion can influence others’ perceptions of it for the better. In this case, I believe the author has probably extrapolated upon several commonly-held prejudices against Islam that are prevalent today to produce his story. Wouldn’t a strong, positive reply to such a work – which, perhaps, might attain some sort of readership or popularity (you can never tell sometimes) – be a valuable aid to both Muslims and non-Muslims?

I’m really interested to hear what other Muslims think about this topic (my colleague suggested that I post a message to this forum for this very reason).

Finally, thanks for your time! :) (And I also apologise if I’m slow in replying.)
Reply

Login/Register to hide ads. Scroll down for more posts
جوري
07-05-2007, 04:19 PM
Great post. I am afraid a rebuttal would be out of the question, I think a few months ago someone here had listed how many anti-Islamic books were in circulation and the numbers were phenomenal. I think the best reply back to erring books and stereotypes is be a good representative of your religion where ever you go! Hoping other parties would pick up on that, and if they don't, then I don't think a rebuttal would be in vain as well! It is the psychology of some folks and it is en vogue... It is a good way to make money and feed into people's fears... The net unfortunately harnesses and makes anonymous some of the most disgusting and dark sides of human hatred and fears.
thanks for your post though, I appreciated it
peace!
Reply

Muezzin
07-05-2007, 06:45 PM
Literarily speaking (but going solely on the blurb, which I know is unfair) it sounds like a gaudy propaganda piece. Like it's trying to be 'Brave New World', but only reaching 'Mein Kampf' levels of alarmist nonsense.

The best bet would be just not to buy it. The lady is obviously doing it to get a reaction, but she's doing it through the self-publishing site of Lulu, and so circulation of the link actually increases the chances of the book being sold. I'm not telling you off, I'm just saying.
Reply

snakelegs
07-05-2007, 09:41 PM
this is an interesting subject. my position is that when you oppose something - you feed it.
Reply

Welcome, Guest!
Hey there! Looks like you're enjoying the discussion, but you're not signed up for an account.

When you create an account, you can participate in the discussions and share your thoughts. You also get notifications, here and via email, whenever new posts are made. And you can like posts and make new friends.
Sign Up
Pynthanomai
07-05-2007, 10:54 PM
Originally Posted by PurestAmbrosia
Great post. I am afraid a rebuttal would be out of the question, I think a few months ago someone here had listed how many anti-Islamic books were in circulation and the numbers were phenomenal. I think the best reply back to erring books and stereotypes is be a good representative of your religion where ever you go! Hoping other parties would pick up on that, and if they don't, then I don't think a rebuttal would be in vain as well! It is the psychology of some folks and it is en vogue... It is a good way to make money and feed into people's fears... The net unfortunately harnesses and makes anonymous some of the most disgusting and dark sides of human hatred and fears.
thanks for your post though, I appreciated it
peace!

Hi PurestAmbrosia,

Thank you for replying to my posting. I appreciate your comments about the value of replying to books like this. I guess my own experience has been one where providing a rebuttal has proved fruitful. To explain: My Muslim colleague, as well as being kind enough to take me to his local Islamic Centre when there was an "open day" a few months ago, provided me with several booklets about various aspects of Islam. One of these was called "The Truth about Jesus", which discussed Jesus' place in Islam and a comparison of Muslims' beliefs about him with those held by Christians. To thank my colleague for taking the trouble to give me this information, as well as to allow him to see what my own perspective and opinions were, I typed up a response to the booklet, which went into some detail about the several points that were made in it.

The important point I want to make is just this: that in the process of reading the material about Islam that he gave to me I was inspired to do research of my own to learn even more. The net result is that today I have a much better understanding of some of the "basics" of Islam than I had before I'd started discussions with him. It would, of course, be incorrect to say that on certain salient points of theology we agree - indeed, I'm eagerly awaiting his reply to the material I gave him - but it would be unfair to say that I have not had my appreciation and awareness of Muslims' beliefs enhanced. He even gave me an English translation of the Qur'an, which I read - something I would certainly not have done before!

With regard to people's fears, I agree that this sort of literature (the book I cited in my previous posting, I mean) can be seen as some sort of manifestation of others' prejudices. I guess my only question in that regard would be: Where do the prejudices come from? Because by determining the source, surely we are then in a much better (i.e. more informed) position to address them?
Reply

Pynthanomai
07-05-2007, 10:57 PM
Originally Posted by Muezzin
Literarily speaking (but going solely on the blurb, which I know is unfair) it sounds like a gaudy propaganda piece. Like it's trying to be 'Brave New World', but only reaching 'Mein Kampf' levels of alarmist nonsense.

The best bet would be just not to buy it. The lady is obviously doing it to get a reaction, but she's doing it through the self-publishing site of Lulu, and so circulation of the link actually increases the chances of the book being sold. I'm not telling you off, I'm just saying.

Hi Muezzin,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I agree: I'm certainly not going to waste my money on something like that! And I also agree that there's a definite agenda with the book, whether to get people talking about it, or upset about it, or something like that. I'm sorry that I didn't think about the effect of including the link.
Reply

Pynthanomai
07-05-2007, 11:04 PM
Originally Posted by snakelegs
this is an interesting subject. my position is that when you oppose something - you feed it.

Hi snakelegs,

I guess we hold different points of view (as I do with others here as well, I see!) about the value of replying or responding to these sorts of things. I suggest that although it's very true that you can "feed" something unintentionally or indirectly by opposing it - negative publicity is still publicity, some say - it's also true that allowing incorrect claims and outright propaganda (as this book seems to be) to be circulated freely will also cause damage. Specifically, the potential reader of the book may not be aware of any underlying misconceptions or falsehoods about Islam which the book is most likely based on; and so he or she may conclude, having read it, that its conclusion has some degree of validity or likelihood. So I guess it's a case of whether we feel that potential readers are going to be intelligent enough to understand the polemical and defamatory nature of the work, or whether they're going to fail to understand that nature, and take it too seriously.
Reply

snakelegs
07-05-2007, 11:14 PM
there are good arguments to me made on both sides of the issue in general.
but personally, i think it is much better to ignore stuff like this book, rather than stirring up a fuss and increasing its sales and readers.
Reply

Pynthanomai
07-05-2007, 11:32 PM
Originally Posted by snakelegs
there are good arguments to me made on both sides of the issue in general.
but personally, i think it is much better to ignore stuff like this book, rather than stirring up a fuss and increasing its sales and readers.

Yes, I agree - we've got an example of a good argument on each side with the case in point. It makes me wonder - is there a way to "stir up a fuss" without increasing the sales or readership of a book like this?
Reply

جوري
07-05-2007, 11:41 PM
Originally Posted by Pynthanomai
Hi PurestAmbrosia,

Thank you for replying to my posting. I appreciate your comments about the value of replying to books like this. I guess my own experience has been one where providing a rebuttal has proved fruitful. To explain: My Muslim colleague, as well as being kind enough to take me to his local Islamic Centre when there was an "open day" a few months ago, provided me with several booklets about various aspects of Islam. One of these was called "The Truth about Jesus", which discussed Jesus' place in Islam and a comparison of Muslims' beliefs about him with those held by Christians. To thank my colleague for taking the trouble to give me this information, as well as to allow him to see what my own perspective and opinions were, I typed up a response to the booklet, which went into some detail about the several points that were made in it.

The important point I want to make is just this: that in the process of reading the material about Islam that he gave to me I was inspired to do research of my own to learn even more. The net result is that today I have a much better understanding of some of the "basics" of Islam than I had before I'd started discussions with him. It would, of course, be incorrect to say that on certain salient points of theology we agree - indeed, I'm eagerly awaiting his reply to the material I gave him - but it would be unfair to say that I have not had my appreciation and awareness of Muslims' beliefs enhanced. He even gave me an English translation of the Qur'an, which I read - something I would certainly not have done before!

With regard to people's fears, I agree that this sort of literature (the book I cited in my previous posting, I mean) can be seen as some sort of manifestation of others' prejudices. I guess my only question in that regard would be: Where do the prejudices come from? Because by determining the source, surely we are then in a much better (i.e. more informed) position to address them?
I sincerely enjoyed your post... I think there is a handful of members here that have your respectful style of writing and are sincerely here to learn... To answer your question as to why there misinformation or I'd rather say "rivalry".. I don't know? I guess in child like terms, I'd say everyone wants dibs on God? here you have in general three Abrahamaic religion, each contending the rights to the one God.. from a Muslim point of view I can honestly tell you, we are almost always on the defense it is most disheartening... we consider the previous too peoples of the book, not heretics, and I challenge you to find a Muslim site that will curse Jesus or Moses or any messengers the way the vicious and fictitiously vile books in circulation about prophet Mohammed PBUH and Muslims in general... anyhow, I think you might really enjoy this book, it is a short read and I knew lots of my Christian friends were pleased with it and learned a thing or two about Jesus that wasn't in the bible.. can be found at amazon.com
peace to you


Reply

Pynthanomai
07-06-2007, 12:19 AM
Originally Posted by PurestAmbrosia
I sincerely enjoyed your post... I think there is a handful of members here that have your respectful style of writing and are sincerely here to learn... To answer your question as to why there misinformation or I'd rather say "rivalry".. I don't know? I guess in child like terms, I'd say everyone wants dibs on God? here you have in general three Abrahamaic religion, each contending the rights to the one God.. from a Muslim point of view I can honestly tell you, we are almost always on the defense it is most disheartening... we consider the previous too peoples of the book, not heretics, and I challenge you to find a Muslim site that will curse Jesus or Moses or any messengers the way the vicious and fictitiously vile books in circulation about prophet Mohammed PBUH and Muslims in general... anyhow, I think you might really enjoy this book, it is a short read and I knew lots of my Christian friends were pleased with it and learned a thing or two about Jesus that wasn't in the bible.. can be found at amazon.com
peace to you


Hello again,

(I hope I managed to quote your post without duplicating the picture.) Thanks again for your reply. I appreciate your comments and hope that I do indeed learn more about Islam in this forum. I wish I had the time (and money!) to read as much as I'd like too, but both of those qualities are in limited supply in my life at the moment! :) But I'll keep the details you gave me about the book so I can see if my library has a copy.

That's an interesting perspective you have on a potential source of rivalry, as you say, between people of different faiths. I agree that it must be very tiring to be continually defending your faith against others' attacks. I haven't experienced much of it myself - most of my work colleagues, for example, appear to be either agnostics or atheists, so religion per se isn't generally discussed. But I know that it can be hard work answering objections to one's faith. I suppose the hardest part of all isn't actually explaining one's beliefs themselves, but rather demonstrating the invalidity of the prejudice that people seem inevitably to have against a particular religion, or religion in general.

This was something I'd discussed with my Muslim colleague as well. What I suggested to him was the difficulty that arises in distinguishing between those who are genuine believers or followers of a particular religion, and those who merely claim to be. The actions of the latter group are invariably and inevitably subsumed into an outsider's perspective of the religion as a whole; so that should an act of atrocity (for example) of some sort be committed by a member of this latter group, it seems that the religion in question, and its true members (i.e. as constitued in the former group), are immediately and almost ineluctably held culpable, and obligated to exonerate themselves from the charge that they support, sanction or otherwise condone that selfsame act of atrocity. I've always found this a difficult position to start from, because you're essentially placed in the "guilty until proven innocent" category!

I'd be interested to hear your and others' perspectives on this point.
Reply

Yanal
07-06-2007, 12:31 AM
Asalam alakum yes nice post and nice link but i can't buy that book btu i wish i could and i hope you have a benificial stay on the forum :)
Reply

Pynthanomai
07-06-2007, 02:29 AM
Originally Posted by Yanal
Asalam alakum yes nice post and nice link but i can't buy that book btu i wish i could and i hope you have a benificial stay on the forum :)

Hi Yanal,

Thanks for your posting. Although I was curious about what the book might actually say, I certainly wasn't going to pay any of my (mostly) hard-earned cash for it! Then I had a brainwave (not a very frequent occurrence for me), and did a Google.com search for the title of the book, and found a site that seemed to have the text of the book available for reading. However, when I went to the site it turned out to be a dedicated anti-Islamic site, so I gave up. I won't bother posting the link, as I don't imagine any of you would care to visit the site either. As for what I saw of the story, well, it seemed to be pretty bleak and dismal, although I did notice that it seemed to have a few quotes from the Qur'an (I think?). One wonders what the author thought she was trying to achieve.
Reply

Muezzin
07-07-2007, 06:43 PM
Originally Posted by Pynthanomai
Hi Muezzin,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I agree: I'm certainly not going to waste my money on something like that! And I also agree that there's a definite agenda with the book, whether to get people talking about it, or upset about it, or something like that. I'm sorry that I didn't think about the effect of including the link.
That's okay. Besides, it cuts both ways - now people with sufficient knowledge who do wish to refute it have something to go on rather than an abstract description of the book's contents; that said, personally, I'm still not going to waste time and money on that book. :p :)
Reply

Pynthanomai
07-15-2007, 01:07 AM
Hello all,


With regard to this particular thread, the topic of which (since I was the originator) was to seek the opinions of Muslims about what sort of response (if any) was appropriate for the book entitled "Hatred of the Angels", I note that several posts have been deleted by a moderator. The difficulty this action has presented is that while I completely understand the need to keep conversations and discussions "on topic", so far as I can tell the posts that were deleted were about the topic of the thread, and so were very far from being "off topic". Specifically (since I can't see all the details now, the posts having been deleted), I responded to Caliph'sArmy's post, which resulted in further posts from that user, and also comments from others, all of which centred on what sort of response should be given to the book, and what part (if any), a physical or violent response should play in that response.

I have been enjoying this forum greatly in my short time here, but arbitrary decisions of this nature - based, as I have explained above, on some inexplicable definition of "off topic" - make it difficult to make progress in my attempt to become more knowledgeable about Islam. The thread may just as well have been closed, because I see that any attempt to discuss the very things that I raised in my initial post are very likely, based upon the evidence to date, to be deleted as "off topic"! I will therefore leave Caliph'sArmy's post, though directed to me, as unaddressed. Sic transit gloria mundi.
Reply

.:Umniyah:.
07-15-2007, 01:14 AM
The posts were off topic because it went from Caliph stating his view, to everyone jumping on him about it, and how 'violent' it was, and how Islam didnt teach that yada yada yada.

This discussion wasnt to discuss HIS view, rather to hear the view of everyone on this book.

And in the future InshaaAllah, when you dont understand something a moderator does, its better you PM them about it, rather than posting on the forum.
Reply

Pynthanomai
07-15-2007, 02:46 AM
Originally Posted by .:Umniyah:.
The posts were off topic because it went from Caliph stating his view, to everyone jumping on him about it, and how 'violent' it was, and how Islam didnt teach that yada yada yada.

This discussion wasnt to discuss HIS view, rather to hear the view of everyone on this book.

And in the future InshaaAllah, when you dont understand something a moderator does, its better you PM them about it, rather than posting on the forum.

Well, firstly let me apologise for any offence I've caused by posting my remarks in a public sphere, for to some extent you are correct - they should only be sent via PM, since they pertain to actions specific to one particular moderator (in this case, your good self); but I don't believe that they are entirely private matters, because the thread as a whole has been affected, in my humble opinion, not just the existence of a few posts.

In the politest and most respectful manner possible, being mindful that I am only an inexperienced poster, and that you are a trustworthy and intelligent moderator, I must nevertheless humbly disagree with your viewpoint on the validity and relevance of the posts that were deleted. The perspective presented by Caliph'sArmy may not have been pleasant for me, but his opinions were certainly relevant - he stated that a violent response to the book was appropriate, and I queried that, and sought the basis for him claiming that to be the case. This is 100% relevant, being exactly the thing I wanted to clarify.

But if discussion of this matter is considered taboo, what will I be able to do except make the following conclusion? Namely, Caliph'sArmy claims to be a Muslim (and I have no reason to doubt his or any other person's profession of religion), and he advocates a violent response to a non-violent action (inasmuch as the publication of a book can hardly be considered a violent action, as another Muslim, sweet_sour, duly noted) - therefore, at least one Muslim (even if he's the only one in the entire world), supports violence as a result of his religion, Islam. Surely you would prefer the matter to be discussed, so that this conclusion (which I can only hope is incorrect) can be shown to be inappropriate or invalid?

And so, please allow to conclude by apologising once again for the trouble I appear to be causing, but also by reiterating my desire for these matters not be swept under the carpet: for such a response may be the very thing that Islam suffers for the most, if I may make a bold generalisation, because people are left to make their own conclusions (as I am here), which may be incorrect, or even prejudiced or biased.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. I really do appreciate your input. :)
Reply

.:Umniyah:.
07-15-2007, 10:57 AM
In short, in accordance to forum rules:

Questioning/protesting rules, or moderator's action, in public 20% warning
Oppose rule or show disrespect to an LI official 20% warning
No praise of, condoning of, or calls for violence or other unislamic behaviour will be tolerated whatsoever on the forum. This includes inciting and glorifying combat under the pretense of Jihad. The scholars are to be relied upon in such issues. 10% warning

It is fine for him to state his view, its not fine when its not correct and everyone starts on him and these keyboard wars start as to why its not. As a moderator i am to try my best to avoid anything that could later be a fruitless debate, a ruthless argument, or just down right rubbish....His posts were not only wrong Islamicly but it was causing not needed word wars with him and others. Something that we have enough of on this board, any chance to catch and stop one of these wars before they get too out of hand , is a blessing.
Reply

Pynthanomai
07-15-2007, 11:24 AM
Originally Posted by .:Umniyah:.
[...]
It is fine for him to state his view, its not fine when its not correct and everyone starts on him and these keyboard wars start as to why its not. As a moderator i am to try my best to avoid anything that could later be a fruitless debate, a ruthless argument, or just down right rubbish....His posts were not only wrong Islamicly but it was causing not needed word wars with him and others. Something that we have enough of on this board, any chance to catch and stop one of these wars before they get too out of hand , is a blessing.

I accept your reasoning and will try my hardest with future posts to stick as closely as possible to the original theme of the thread. I apologise once more for the hassles I've caused, and thank you for being so patient and understanding. It's nice to know this forum is well monitored, and that you and the other moderators put in the effort to keep it a friendly environment. I appreciate it! :)
Reply

Hey there! Looks like you're enjoying the discussion, but you're not signed up for an account.

When you create an account, you can participate in the discussions and share your thoughts. You also get notifications, here and via email, whenever new posts are made. And you can like posts and make new friends.
Sign Up

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 12-18-2017, 06:26 AM
  2. Replies: 11
    Last Post: 06-09-2011, 09:16 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-25-2011, 08:53 PM
  4. Replies: 101
    Last Post: 10-03-2009, 05:03 AM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-22-2006, 01:30 AM

IslamicBoard

Experience a richer experience on our mobile app!