UPDATE: Uncle Eric MacDonald has a longer take on these videos—and on Islam—in his new post, “Islam is not a respectable religion and it does not deserve our respect.” A snippet:
This is a religion that deserves to be criticised and condemned for its manifold offences against humanity. Its record of defending and upholding human rights is troublingly poor, and, if we take the so-called academics in the collection of video clips from which I took the clip above [JAC: same as the collection below] as any indication of the mind if Islam, then this is not something that is likely to end soon. Notice, for example, how many people in the audience clapped when the Muslim scholar highlighted above made his stupid remark that he would want to be stoned if he sinned. It simply took my breath away. That in itself was so chillingly disturbing that it demands enquiry. We have to remember that these are people who have come to live amongst us in the West, and that they are making claims for a kind of recognition and freedom from criticism which would imprison all of us.
Here’s another enlightening video created and posted by neurosurgeon Jonathan Pararajasingham. (I’ve previously posted videos by Pararajasingham on 30 famous writers speaking about God, 20 academics and theologians speaking about their belief in God, and 100 academics explaining their atheism.) This one speaks for itself, and frankly scares the hell out of me.
Here are the speakers, in order, taken from the YouTube description. The description of what the speaker says, in italics, is mine.
1. Yasir Qadhi is an American Muslim writer and Islamic instructor for the AlMaghrib Institute. He has written a number of books and spoken in lectures about Islam and contemporary issues on Muslims. Qadhi shows why the love of music and Islam are completely incompatible. A true lover of the Qur’an, he says, finds music repugnant, and a true lover of music could never love the Qur’an. I’ll take music any day.
2. Hamza Yusuf Hanson is one of the most influential Islamic scholars in the West. He is co-founder of Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California, United States. Hanson says that Islam deplores not only homosexuality, but anal intercourse between males and females.
3. Dr Zakir Naik is an Islamic public speaker and writer on the subject of Islam and comparative religion. He is the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). Before becoming a public speaker, he trained as a medical doctor. I listened hard, but I really can’t make out what Naik is saying.
4. Yusuf al-Qaradawi is an Egyptian Islamic theologian. He is best known for his programme, ash-Shariah wal-Hayat broadcast on Al Jazeera, which has an estimated audience of 40 million worldwide. He has published more than 80 books, has received eight international prizes for his contributions to Islamic scholarship, and is considered one of the most influential scholars living today. al-Qaradawi’s message to women is “Don’t masturbate: it’s “risky” because you may break your hymen and expose yourself to ‘accusations’!” This guy won international prizes and is influential???
5. Dr Bilal Philips is a contemporary Islamic scholar, teacher, speaker, and author, resident in Qatar. He appears on Peace TV, a 24-hour Islamic channel broadcasting to many countries around the world. Dr. Philips reiterates the Islamic dictate that the depiction and worship of images of religious figures is “idolatry,” creating an impression that there is something greater than Allah himself.
6. Dr Zahid Ahmad Khan is an Islamic Public Speaker and president of the Kaza board of the Global satellite television network Muslim Television Ahmadiyya. Dr. Khan explains why pigs are worse than any other animal, so their consumption is forbidden by Islamic custom. For one thing, some pigs are gay! And you become what you eat! This one is really funny.
7. Imam Karim Abuzaid is the imam of Colorado Muslim Society (CMS). He is a PhD candidate in Islamic Studies with the American Open University of Alexandria, VA. Abuzaid explains why it’s highly recommended under Qur’anic dictates for men to urinate sitting down, although under certain circumstances standing is permissible.
8. Dr Sumaya Alyusuf is director and headteacher of the King Fahad Academy in London. Dr. Alyusuf explains how the denigrations of Jews in the Qur’an are only metaphorical, and taken out of context.
9. Sheikh Assim Al-Hakeem is one of the prominent propagators of Islam in English in Saudi Arabia. He is active in delivering Islamic programs for the Media in both Arabic & English. Al-Hakeem tells us that a woman who rejects the sexual blandishments of her husband is sinful and cursed by the angels, for there is no legitimate reason for such rejection. The husband needs his “discharge” because he’s been tempted by other women all day, and any rejection of that “discharge” is unjustified. This is a pretty graphic portrayal of women in Islam as mere vessels for their husbands’ needs.
10. Professor Sherman A. Jackson is Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Visiting Professor of Law and Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Michigan. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and has authored several books. Jackson asserts that homosexuality is forbidden by the Qur’an.
11. Abdul Ghani Jahangeer is an Islamic scholar and head of the French desk of the Global satellite television network Muslim Television Ahmadiyya. Jahangeer explains one unappreciated advantage of Islam: Muslims use one hand for eating and doing “clean” jobs, the other (the left, I believe), for cleaning one’s butt after defecating. Thus, when a Muslim extends you his hand, you know it’s a clean one, but “the hand of a non-Muslim could have been anywhere.”
12. Dr Muhammad Wahdan is a lecturer on Islamic religious law at Al Azhar university in Egypt. Here he defends female circumcision. You must listen to this one!
13. Uthman Badar is the Australian spokesman for the international Islamist group Hizb Ut- Tahrir, an international Sunni pan-Islamic political organisation. They are commonly associated with the goal of all Muslim countries unifying as an Islamic state. Here he engages in an one-on-one with Lawrence Krauss about religious law, and Krauss pwns him.
14. Haras Rafiq is co-founder and Executive Director of the Sufi Muslim Council in Britain. He is also a director of CENTRI, an organization focused on countering extremism at the operational level. Here Rafiq defends the practice of stoning women for adultery—but only if they ask to be stoned. Then it becomes okay.
15. Hussain Yee is a Malaysian national of Chinese descent, a scholar of Islam and former Buddhist who lectures regularly in the Asia-Pacific region. His lectures on Islam are frequently aired on Peace TV. Yee decries women who dress like men and men who dress like women (e.g., wearing an earring).
16. Imam Shabir Ally is the president of the Islamic Information & Dawah Centre International in Toronto, Canada. He is a Muslim activist, preacher and speaker on Islam and Muslims. He is also a debater engaging in regular debates in different parts of the world. Taking up evolution, Ally maintains that the theory of evolution does not say that humans descended from apes, while admitting that humans and modern apes had a common ancestor.
17. Dr Abdul Majid Ali is a minister of religion in the UK and a religious teacher who initially gained prominence within the Middle East. He studied under the guidance of Sh. Bilal Philips, one of the most respected scholars in the world. Dr. Ali maintains that men can be allowed to marry at age 12, and even a girl of 9 can be a wife if she is “physically ready to handle that relationship.”
18. Dr Israr Ahmed was a Pakistani Islamic theologian followed particularly in South Asia and also among the South Asian diaspora in the Middle East, Western Europe, and North America. He is the founder of the Tanzeem-e-islami, an off-shoot of the Jamaat-e-Islami. He spent more than 50 years teaching Quraan and preaching Islam. Dr. Ahmed explains why drawings of humans and animals are forbidden by Islam, and photography only under special circumstances that furthers the needs of the government or the faith.
19. Kamal El Mekki is a well-known Islamic speaker and lecturer in the United states. He has studied with numerous scholars from around the world and served as the Imam of George Mason University and has also served as a radio talk show host for a large Islamic radio station in America. El Meeki explains why music is pernicious to Muslims, and that rather than use it to calm down or soothe their nerves they should instead run and supplicate themselves to Allah.
20. Shaykh Haitham al-Haddad is a London-based Islamic scholar. He sits on the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations in the United Kingdom, including the Islamic Sharia Council, and is the chair and operations advisor for the Muslim Research and Development Foundation. He is also a trustee for the Muslim Research and Development Foundation in the United Kingdom. al-Haddad explains why stoning is an appropriate punishment for certain crimes, including adultery. He maintains that those people who get stoned actually want to be stoned! He says he receives many requests from Western women who have committed adultery, asking how they can find their way to a Muslim country so that they may be stoned to death. Yeah, right!
What is most frightening—and enlightening—about this, is that it shows how sincerely these people—eloquent and educated people—actually believe in the ludicrous dictates of Islam. That’s often forgotten by those who excuse terrorists by claiming that the terrorists’ motivations are not religious but political. See what these people really believe! (Sam Harris is always asking us to pay attention to this.)
It is hard to believe that educated people can believe in the claptrap uttered by these 19 men and one woman, but it’s palpably obvious that they do. It would be hard to find, say, 20 academic Christians or Jews who would defend stoning or female genital mutilation.