Answer­ing Islam : Preach­ing What They Do Not Practise ?

In one of their pages, Answer­ing Islam had made the fol­low­ing claim with the clear inten­tion of poi­son­ing the well” where Mus­lim sites are concerned :

On Answer­ing Islam” we will pur­pose­ly not use athe­ist arti­cles against Islam, since we know our­selves more con­nect­ed with Mus­lims on the basis of our com­mon belief in one God, than with athe­ists who are mock­ing both of our faiths. Our goal is not the attack and destruc­tion of faith in God, but that our Mus­lim co-believ­ers in the Cre­ator God will come to rec­og­nize the full truth of what God has revealed about him­self and His will for our life. 

(empha­sis are our own)

The rest of the page goes on to either debase or dis­cred­it Mus­lim web­sites for their depen­den­cy on athe­ist” mate­r­i­al and preach­ing about the lack of con­science” on the part of Mus­lims to aban­don athe­ist mate­r­i­al (notwith­stand­ing the fact that most of the links on their page are either bro­ken or no longer exist).

Con­tra­dic­tion in Practice

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, Answer­ing Islam does not seem to prac­tise what it preach­es. Of late they have been rely­ing on athe­ist mate­r­i­al from hos­tile anti-Islam­ic web­sites in order to fur­ther their goal of the pre­sen­ta­tion of the truth and gen­uine Chris­t­ian schol­ar­ship”. Is it con­sid­ered the pre­sen­ta­tion of the truth” to rely on mate­r­i­al from which they them­selves denounce its source — known athe­ist web­sites open­ly hos­tile to Islam such as Freethought Mec­ca, Muk­to-Mona and Faith­free­dom Inter­na­tion­al — to the extent that they are being used freely and wide­ly through­out their articles ?

One of their team mem­bers — despite the so-called offi­cial pol­i­cy” of Answer­ing Islam to nev­er resort to athe­ist mate­r­i­al — even had the audac­i­ty to state in an e‑mail dat­ed Jan­u­ary 21st 2004, as follows :

From : sam shamoun [sam_​shmn@​hotmail.​com]
Sent : Wednes­day, Jan­u­ary 21, 2004 3:00 AM

To : nadirahmedassalafi@*****; sbwus@*****; silas333@​hotmail.​com
Cc : jokatz@​gmx.​de ; menj@******; usman11@*******; islm4evr1@*******; cyberapostle99@*******; noorullah48@*******

Sub­ject : RE : PROOF : Silas & his gang are *Heretics*…Read : REFUTATION : MUHAMMAD’S SUICIDE ATTEMPTS

Ah huh, sure you will. You meant to say that you will begin your Spring Com­e­dy Tour soon. See how Answer­ing Islam, FreeThought Mec­ca and FFI expose this fraud

So much for their tout­ed reliance” upon gen­uine Chris­t­ian schol­ar­ship. The e‑mails we have bold­ed above belong to three promi­nent team mem­bers of Answer­ing Islam : Sam Shamoun, Silas” and Jochen Katz, respectively.

Ques­tion­ing the Dou­ble Stan­dard of Answer­ing Islam

It is also clear that despite the (worth­less) pledge” of Answer­ing Islam, they have used athe­ist lit­er­a­ture for many years against Islam. For exam­ple, a promi­nent athe­ist author they are fond of quot­ing is the Marx­ist-influ­enced Iran­ian, Ali Dashti. Here is what Jochen Katz said five years ago when defend­ing his use of Dashti in a news­group post­ing dat­ed 02/​07/​1999 :

Obvi­ous­ly, his exper­tise on the Old Tes­ta­ment is some­what lack­ing. :-) That does­n’t mean his knowl­edge of the Qur’an and Islam­ic his­to­ry is sim­i­lar­ly shal­low. I nev­er rec­om­mend­ed his book for learn­ing about the Bible. 

Hence, this begs the fol­low­ing ques­tion : If we Mus­lims are not sup­posed to use athe­ist mate­r­i­al because they reject the con­cept of God, then why does it make sense for the Chris­t­ian mis­sion­ar­ies to make use of mate­r­i­al from groups who open­ly reject their reli­gious belief sys­tem, i.e. the Jews, in their attacks against Islam ? The Jews, though they do believe in God, open­ly reject the Prophet­hood of Jesus(P) in toto and their lit­er­a­ture are rid­dled with the most abu­sive and insul­tive words against him and Mary(P). Yet, the Answer­ing Islam team have an uploaded ver­sion of Geiger’s book on their web­site many years ago !

We at bis​mikaal​lahu​ma​.org are firm in our stand that valid schol­ar­ship — regard­less of whether its source is Mus­lim, Chris­t­ian or oth­er­wise — will be used to defend Islam from the mis­sion­ary onslaught. As much as we dis­agree with the fun­da­men­tal beliefs of Athe­ism, Judaism, etc., we shall not hes­i­tate to quote from them if their argu­ment is proven valid with the prop­er schol­ar­ship back­ing up a par­tic­u­lar argu­ment. If Answer­ing (Attack­ing-) Islam” wish­es to use mate­r­i­al from the hea­then who are even against their faith, that is total­ly up to them. But why accuse and lam­bast Mus­lims for some­thing which they them­selves adopt and use freely ? Is this the case of a pot call­ing the ket­tle black ?

In con­clu­sion, it is clear that the issue here is not whether Mus­lims are sourc­ing mate­r­i­al from the hea­then” or oth­er­wise, but that when their argu­ments get sharp­er from rely­ing on gen­uine schol­ar­ship (no mat­ter the source), the mis­sion­ar­ies have no answer to them and there­fore resort to poi­son­ing the well. Even if Mus­lims do use athe­ist mate­r­i­al, it sim­ply means that they are sim­ply adopt­ing Answer­ing (Attack­ing-) Islam’s” method­ol­o­gy, and that those behind Answer­ing Islam are proven to be hyp­ocrites when they demand that we do not use their method­ol­o­gy. Fur­ther­more, their decep­tion are also exposed when they lie about not using athe­ist sources because it con­tra­dicts” their belief sys­tem, and yet they still use works the likes of Dashti and even anti-Chris­t­ian sources to attack Islam. So why is it okay for them to use such sources and not okay for Mus­lims in gen­er­al to fol­low their methodology ?

Athe­ist Sources in Debate Revisited

Answer­ing Islam’s jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for using athe­ist sources, while claim­ing not to adopt their pre­sup­po­si­tions, appears con­tra­dic­to­ry. This selec­tive engage­ment with athe­ist mate­r­i­al, despite an ear­li­er com­mit­ment to avoid such sources, under­mines the cred­i­bil­i­ty of their pol­i­cy. Their argu­ment about main­tain­ing intel­lec­tu­al integri­ty by avoid­ing athe­ist pre­sup­po­si­tions is, in prac­tice, a nuanced form of cher­ry-pick­ing infor­ma­tion that suits their nar­ra­tive. This approach not only reflects a lack of con­sis­ten­cy in their method­ol­o­gy but also rais­es ques­tions about the intel­lec­tu­al hon­esty of their discourse.

More­over, the argu­ment that engag­ing with athe­ist sources inher­ent­ly risks accept­ing their anti-super­nat­u­ral­ist views over­sim­pli­fies the com­plex nature of inter­faith dia­logues. It fails to acknowl­edge that crit­i­cal exam­i­na­tion and use of diverse sources, includ­ing athe­ist per­spec­tives, can enrich reli­gious debates with­out neces­si­tat­ing the accep­tance of their foun­da­tion­al philoso­phies. Answer­ing Islam’s stance, there­fore, seems to be more about con­ve­nience than about adher­ing to a coher­ent set of prin­ci­ples. The ratio­nale pro­vid­ed by Answer­ing Islam for their use of athe­ist mate­ri­als in debates exhibits a selec­tive and incon­sis­tent appli­ca­tion of their own stat­ed poli­cies. This approach not only con­tra­dicts their ear­li­er com­mit­ments but also casts doubt on the integri­ty of their par­tic­i­pa­tion in inter­faith dialogues.Endmark

The author is the co-founder and exec­u­tive edi­tor of Bis­mi­ka Allahu­ma. His per­son­al web­site may be accessed here.
Cite this arti­cle as : Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi, Answer­ing Islam : Preach­ing What They Do Not Prac­tise ?,” in Bis­mi­ka Allahu­ma, Decem­ber 16, 2005, last accessed April 17, 2024, https://​bis​mikaal​lahu​ma​.org/​p​o​l​e​m​i​c​a​l​-​r​e​b​u​t​t​a​l​s​/​a​n​s​w​e​r​i​n​g​-​i​s​l​am/

Comments

One response to “Answer­ing Islam : Preach­ing What They Do Not Practise ?”

  1. shadowofears Avatar
    shadowofears

    Mus­lims should not go to such anti-islam­ic sites inst­ed they should com­plete­ly ignore them not even write to them.Answering islam is preach­ing exact­ing oppo­site things about islam which mus­lim dont paractice.

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