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Meet Ibn Warraq

February 23, 2011

Why I am Not a Muslim

One of many writings by Ibn Warraq, this work details why the author is no longer a believer in Islam.

Smart, educated, articulate, a voice for oppressed Muslim people and a man contending for the truth, Ibn Warraq’s criticism of Islam is important to hear and heed.

One of the most caring, most interesting of authors I have ever read is Ibn Warraq. I so enjoyed his book, Why I am Not a Muslim. In it, Ibn Warraq writes,

“It is rare in one’s life that one has an opportunity to show on what side of an important life and death issue one stands—the Rushdie affair and the rise of Islam are two such issues and this book is my stand.

“There is a war taking place in Algeria, the Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, a war whose principal victims are Muslims, Muslim women, Muslim intellectuals, writers, ordinary, decent people. This book is my war effort. Each time I have doubted the wisdom of writing such a book, new murders in the name of God and Islam committed in Algeria or Iran or Turkey or the Sudan have urged me on to complete it. “

Written in 1995, Why I Am Not a Muslim could have been titled, “Why I Now Live in England” on account of the author’s frank criticism of the religion that he has decided to leave (Ibn Warraq is co-founder of Former Muslims United; visit their website, Ibn Warraq is from Pakistan, but emigrated to England as a teenager. He studied Arabic and Islam in Scotland with the noted scholar, W. Montgomery Watt. In future blogs I plan to relate more of what Ibn Warraq has to written on subjects such as, Is Islam Compatible with Democracy and Human Rights? and The Arab Conquests and the Position of Non-Muslim Subjects. In addition, I am just now reading his 2002 book, What the Koran Really Says. I am learning a lot and I hope to share with you what I learn.

Do you recall the Salman Rushdie affair? The death sentence fatwa issued by Iran’s religious leaders is still in effect against the author or The Satanic Verses. Warraq comments:

“The most infuriating and nauseating aspect of the Rushdie affair was the spate of articles and books written by Western apologists for Islam—journalists, scholars, fellow travelers, converts—who claimed to be speaking for Muslims. This is surely condescension of the worst kind. Many courageous individuals from the Muslim world supported and continue to support Rushdie.”

So, it is important to let Muslims, and in this case a former Muslim, speak for himself.

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