You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. (Exodus 20:5, NIV)
This is the scripture that Muslims use to justify their fatwas against people who make an image of Muhammad*. It would seem, from the effort I had to put into finding this, that even the average Muslim is not aware that there is even a scripture reference for their anger towards this “sin”. You may notice that this is not from the Qur’an, but rather from the Old Testament of the Bible, which is actually a part of the Muslim scripture (kinda… we’ll get to that in a moment).
The creators of South Park, Matt Parker and Trey Stone, made 2 attempts to exercise free speech in the face of this terrorism. Their first attempt was censored by Comedy Central, and their second attempt was even more so. In this second attempt, though, they made an excellent point – South Park depicted Muhammad in a Season 2 episode entitled “Super Best Friends”, but this was before 9/11/01, and therefore didn’t even spark the slightest bit of controversy at the time. And suddenly the Islamic holy scriptures were against such an act, even though they hadn’t changed one bit? Isn’t this rather silly, using scripture to justify what religious zealots suddenly want, regardless of what their religion actually believes?
As far as Islam goes, this cherry-picking of scripture is par for the course. As I mentioned, the Muslims “kinda” follow the Old Testament… they follow the first 5 books of the Old Testament, and if any part of it conflicts with the Qur’an, it is ignored and the Qur’an is followed. Muhammad himself was also well-known for adding to the scripture when it suited his earthly desires, such as his marriage to several women. Christians, too, ignore the Old Testament when it conflicts with the New, but this is denial rather than stated dogma – your average Muslim is well aware that his scriptures contradict each other, and believes that this hierarchy of scripture actually makes the contradictions disappear.
From an objective standpoint, it seems incredible that the Muslims would hold a book such as the Qur’an in such high regard, as it is taken to be from Muhammad… but it isn’t literally. Muslims are well-aware that Muhammad was illiterate, so a man named Abu Bakr actually sifted through the thousands of texts supposedly written by his followers to gather what is now known as the Qur’an. This is very similar to the story of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormons… one cannot help but see this as a rather shady beginning.
Today, the overseas Muslims are viewed as terrorists by those of us in the states, but what they did to us isn’t nearly as bad as what they’ve done to themselves for centuries. Women in Muslim countries are still less than human. A woman who is raped may be stoned to death as an adulteress. Your average woman is not even allowed the basic freedom to go for a walk, as they can in our free land. And women didn’t even gain the right to vote in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia until 2005.
This blog is generally not aimed at tearing down Islam, although it’s rather easy… I’ve listed several good reasons to pick a fight with this religion. But the main problem with Islam is the same as Christianity – they haven’t proven their religion in any way that could be considered scientific or rational. It’s easy to see how Muslims are deluding themselves with untrue scripture, believing in a fake god, and fighting logic with dogma. Your view on Islam is the same as mine, an atheistic stance that pities the poor fools for laboring under a false belief. But I see your religion in the same light, for the same reasons. If you’ve ever wondered how somebody can actually be an atheist, just consider what you feel when you think of Muslims.
*Also, they base this belief on Hadith. This would entail an entire blog of explanation, and I’d rather you read about it here if interested.