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Reason Votes “No!”

March 21, 2011

Ali Dashti, the Iranian intellectual and, until the 1979 revolution an elected senator in his country, stated his opinions about Mohammad in a book titled Twenty-Three Years. (That is the number of years that Mohammad had a public career). The book was an underground sensation when it was published in 1974. Dashti took as a starting place the primary value of reason, and said that beliefs had to be submitted to reason and common sense. From this starting place he criticized the idea that the Koran was the word of God. “The Koran contains sentences which are incomplete and not fully intelligible without commentaries,” he wrote.[1] Moreover:

The Koran contains nothing new in the sense of ideas not already expressed by others. The stories in it are taken in identical or slightly modified forms from the lore of the Jews and Christians, whose rabbis and monks Muhammad had met and consulted on his journeys in Syria. In the field of moral teachings, the Koran cannot be considered miraculous. For Muhammad reiterated principles which mankind had already conceived in earlier centuries and many places. Confucius, Buddha, Zoroaster, Socrates, Moses and Jesus had said similar things.[2]

There is more. Senator Dashti examined the character of Allah, concluding that the Muslim deity is cruel, angry and proud, qualities not to be admired. The character of Muhammad is seen as “a shifty character who stoops to political assassinations, murder, and the elimination of all opponents.”[3] For writing his opinions, Dashti went to jail when Khomeini came to power in 1979. After spending three years in prison, where he was tortured despite his advanced age, Dashti died at the age of 83. Dashti told a friend before his death, “Had the Shah allowed books like this to be published and read by the people, we would never have had an Islamic revolution.”[4]

 

Reason Votes "No!"

When viewing the tenets of Islam through the lens of reason, many ex-Muslims reject the teachings.

Is Islam a revealed religion? Senator Dashti voted “No.” Who is a true friend of Muslims? He who sets them free. He is no friend of Muslims who casually accepts the doctrines of Islam as compatible with liberty, equality, reason, or Christianity. The true friend will fight with love and respect for every Muslim for the veil to be taken away, and “only in Christ Jesus is the veil taken away” (2 Corinthians 3:14).

 

I think of Muslims who have come into the kingdom of Christ. I think of Diler, who was my student, an Iraqi who daily came to hear the good news, until one evening Diler wept and asked us to pray for him that he be delivered from the power of the devil. We did pray, and Diler believed, and came into the kingdom, and was baptized that same night. A dozen other students were baptized in that class, but Diler was the first. Look for Christ’s kingdom to come; look, because Muslim men and women are being set free.

 


[1] Ibn Warraq, Why I Am Not a Muslim (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1995).

[2] Ibid. 5

[3] Ibid. 5

[4] Ibid. 5

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 21, 2011 10:14 pm

    Dear All,

    There are websites out there where one can download the entire PDF of Dashti’s book, for those who may be interested.

    Interesting post, but have you read Dashti’s book itself, or just Ibn Warraq’s book? Either way, thanks for posting this.

    Duane Miller
    University of Texas at San Antonio

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