Criticizing Islam and Citing Mohammad: a comment

JT Eberhard has written an entry titled Defending Horrors to Build Bridges, in which he criticizes Chris Stedman’s criticism of a Facebook post written by Dave Silverman.[1]  I’m finding this whole back-and-forth discussion about people’s Facebook posts kind of odd and amusing at the same time, in that it sometimes causes us to draw a conclusion about a very short statement in which the person didn’t really elaborate very much on their views, so it can be interesting to see the different conclusions we come to.  Personally, I like it when people take the time to elaborate at least a little on their views to make themselves clear, rather than writing a sentence or two, though Facebook is (understandably) not the best medium in which to do so.  The following is a comment I wrote in response to JT’s post.  (It is somewhat related to yesterday’s second entry[2] and to Everybody Draw Mohammad Day.[3])

Comment #10 (14 December 2011 at 6:43 pm)

I’m rather confused about whether this is a separate thing or a continuation of the mini-controversy/discussion/confusion over the Facebook post by Ernest Perce V, the PA state director of American Atheists. I agree with Dave Silverman’s statement, though I thought EPV was walking the line between criticizing an ideology and making accusations against an entire group of people, due to the way he wrote his statement.

On the issue itself, I tend to agree, of course, with being critical of Islam, especially considering the great amount of harm it does due to the teachings that are described in the Qur’an. Even though many Muslims conveniently ignore some or many of the teachings, that doesn’t stop them from being there, and it doesn’t stop other Muslims from actually taking the Qur’an at its word when it says that it’s from God.

On the topic of “worshiping Mohammad”: Muslims aren’t supposed to worship Mohammad. In fact, it’s considered wrong to elevate anyone to the status of God. (This is part of the reason for why people were upset about the Mohammad cartoons — not that I think they were right to be upset. The people who were upset were wrong.) However, there’s a certain irony here. By being so adamant about enforcing the rule about not drawing Mohammad, certain Muslim groups act as though they have elevated Mohammad to a higher status than others, since they don’t get upset about drawings of Adam, Moses, Jesus, etc. (even though these figures are also Prophets who should not be drawn, either, according to some Muslims). There are people who cite Mohammad’s actions as a reason why they should do something (or should be allowed to do something) — everything from the horrendous (like marrying little girls) to the just odd (random stuff like when to cut your nails).

I’m not joking about that last one. A very religious uncle of mine once came up to a couple of my cousins and myself when we were talking at a family party and started telling us about this.[4]


[1] Eberhard, JT.  Defending Horrors to Build Bridges.  Posted on 14 December 2011 at What Would JT Do? (WWJTD).  Retrieved on 14 December 2011 from

[2] Sharmin, Ani.  He brings the misunderstanding on himself:  a comment.  Posted on 13 December 2011 at The Eternal Bookshelf.  Retrieved on 14 December 2011 from

[3] To read my entries about Everybody Draw Mohammad Day, go to

[4] Sharmin, Ani.  Comment #10.  Posted at 6:43 pm on 14 December 2011.   Retrieved on 14 December 2011 from

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rj3865
    Dec 17, 2011 @ 01:02:36

    Quran was made up by the insane,barbaric prophet Muhammad. He attributed it to the demonic god Allah…

    My claims are very well backed up with proofs from authentic Islamic scriptures .

    leave Islam and help word to be peaceful and polite..

  2. Winterwind
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 19:05:30

    That nail-cutting thing is interesting. I know the hadith contain all kinds of prescriptions down to the minutest details of personal grooming.

    As you know, my family is Hindu, but we have nail-cutting superstitions as well. My mum used to tell me off for cutting my nails after sunset. Also, I’m not supposed to get a haircut on Saturdays or Thursdays (the day I was born).

    Weird, isn’t it? I wonder how all these traditions were started.

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