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Frontpage Interview's guest today is Dr. Syed Kamran Mirza, the author of Roots of Islamic Terrorism and co-author of Beyond Jihad and Leaving Islam Apostates Speak Out
FP: Dr. Mirza, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Mirza: Many thanks for having me at Frontpage Magazine.
FP: Let's begin this discussion with your background and journey. You were born in a Muslim family in Bangladesh and taught there as teacher in university for many years. Tell us about your upbringing in Islam and how and why you ended up leaving your faith, the consequences etc.
Mirza: I was born in a traditional Muslim family of Bangladesh. My parents were devout Muslims and their mother tongue was Bengali. In my early childhood days, I was attending religious education every morning (6-8 am) in the Maktab (religious school in the Mosque) before I went to primary school of general education at 10 AM. There in the Maktab I learned all those Suras/rules/methods required to observe five time prayers, and also learned reading the Qur'an in Arabic. However, I never understood the meaning of any word of the Qur'an or Suras, which used to bother me very much.
I was proud and happy to be a born Muslim since I learned from Mullahs/seniors that Islam is the ultimate truth and the best religion in the whole world. The Qur'an is the infallible word of Allah, who loves only the religion Islam, and all other religions are simply false and bad; they all are "Kafirs" and destined to go to hell.
Among the peoples of the entire world, Muslims are impeccable human beings, and Allah only loves Muslims. Only Muslims are supposed to go to heaven and nobody else can enter the gate of heaven. Also, I learned from the Maulanas and Mullahs that someday the entire world will be converted to Islam, by the master plan of Allah. Although, Mullahs told me that Allah loves Muslims or religious persons I could never see the proper reflection of that in real life. If Allah really loves Muslims, then how could he not see distress/sufferings of the poor Muslims? One thing that was very strange to me was the fact that religion and poverty go hand in hand. I mean, poor peoples are always very deeply religious, and the rich and affluent are mostly liberal or non-religious.
During the Bangalis freedom struggle in 1971, I was shocked to discover that almost 95% of Islamists (Islamic clerics mullahs, maulanas, Qari, Hafez, Madrassah students) were generally supporting the Pakistani Military Junta in their cruel suppression of the Bengalese freedom movement. They were killing Bangalee men, women, and children (mostly Hindus minorities) by the thousands daily throughout the country, burned thousands of homes, raped thousands of Bangalee women and looted their properties in the name of saving Islam. "Save Pakistan to save Islam" was their slogan. These fanatic Mullahs used to capture young Bangali girls (Mainly Hindus and also Muslims) and supply them to those Pakistani soldiers as Islamic booty (sex slaves) for their service to protecting Islam.
The Islamists and Mullahs told me: "it is the sacred duty for the Muslims to kill kafirs. Hindus are kafirs therefore it is our duty to kill them." I asked him if it is written in the Qur'an or hadiths to kill Hindus. The Mullah replied: yes. At that time, it was not possible to verify the Mullah's assertion since I did not understand a word of Arabic and there was no translated Qur'an available to me.
These Mullahs were supporting the Pakistani oppressive force with their mind and body and killing their own Bangali brothers to save Pakistan. I could not understand what Islam had to do with our freedom struggle of the Bengali nation. This betrayal of Mullahs was the turning point in my faith system of religion. I could not understand how those persons after reading Qur'an and hadiths (the so-called Allah's books) turned into so devilish human beings. Therefore, I immediately decided to investigate what was actually in the Qur'an and hadiths.
FP: So you started studying Islamic theology, and what did you find?
Mirza: Well, I started to read the Qur'an bit by bit. The more I read the holy book, the more I became dismayed. My intention was to search for divinity, philosophy, science, ethics, morality, social and political issues in the Qur'an. But alas, the Qur'an was a book that I found with no chronology, no philosophy, no science at all (but it had plenty of erroneous sciences), plenty of problems in ethics and morality, ample redundancies, unfit social and political teachings by today's standards; and above all it had ample superstitious scriptures. I also found out that Qur'an is a book full of hatred, cruelties, unethical matters and most of all it has no divinity at all. I could not find anything that was impossible for mankind to think or say in the 7th century period. The Qur'an is replete with hateful, coercive and killing verses (examples: 5:51, 9:5, 3:85, 8:39, 9:29, 47:4, 2:191).
My childhood religious teacher was Huzur Shaheb, a mullah who always used to tell me that Islam is Allah's only chosen religion and the most peaceful religion on earth. Now it became beyond my comprehension how any deity or religious scriptures could dictate to kill other human beings. My conclusion was that this book, the Qur'an, was manmade as other holy books that predate Islam were; and I came to the realization that the Prophet Muhammad himself primarily created it for his self-serving adventurous ambitions.
Along with his own self-serving scriptures, Muhammad also plagiarized various verses from various books such as the Bible, the Book of Zoroastrian, other older religions, and local folklores. The Qur'an is full of folklores and mythological stories of ancient Arabia. This was the time when I lost my faith in Islam completely. I became a secular humanist. To me, all people are the same. I do not make any distinction between any religions. Finally, I came to terms with the notion that religious identity is not at all important to any human being. I agree with this famous quote:
"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." By Nobel Laureate physicist Steven Weinberger.
FP: Well, we're on the same page in terms of the problem with Islam, but we would disagree with your notion that religion is an insult to human dignity. I think that Rabbi David J. Wolpe makes a very powerful case for faith. But we're not here to debate that today. So let's leave it for another time and place.
Your thoughts on the recent Mumbai horror?
Mirza: The attacks on Mumbai are part of the global jihadi program by the Islamists. Mumbai horrors of terror, as well as many other Islamic terrorisms happening sporadically all over the world, are only part of the jihadis' larger mission worldwide mission declared by Osama-bin-Laden (OBL) in 1998. And these terrorists are doing it in disguise of various Islamic names, as part of their Islamic deceptive techniques, which westerners utterly fail to understand.
Quite often, western Governments and western Medias struggle to understand the puzzles of various names and connection issues and that is a futile and unnecessary attempt by them. No matter what name or names these mindless Islamic terrorists do use, their ultimate connection is of course their giant umbrella organization of modern day Islamic Jihad called: Al-Qaeda which is well connected to Islam and Qur'anic teachings.
Consider this analogy: Islamic jihad (terrorism) is a big poisonous tree. Al-Qaeda is the main stem of this tree rooted in the fertile soil (Islam and Koran) and all other hundreds of terrorists in various names are just some branches and sub-branches of the same tree.
Taking new names and constantly changing names is the Islamic deceptive technique (just the way disease causing organisms mutate) only to keep non-Muslim westerns gullible in their dark confusions. They all are inter-connected to the main stem (al-Qaeda) of this poisonous tree and their objective and goal is exactly the same: to undo western democracies, to destroy western civilization and life style which they dream to replace by their Islamic culture and sharia similar to Talbani Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, which had been approved by Allah during the 7th century period.
FP: Can you talk a bit about the deception that jihadis practice?
Mirza: It is very important to understand that Muslims in general will mostly deny that any Muslims are ever involved in Islamic terrorism around the world. Muslims in general and pure Muslims in particular will spread some awkward conspiracy theories blaming America, Israel and India about Mumbai incident.
Still today, a large portion of Muslims believe that 9/11 was an American-Jewish conspiracy only to harm peaceful Islam. Many of them may condemn terrorism, but they do not condemn any Islamic terrorists' gang by name and identity and they will always smell some conspiracy theory and will outright disbelieve western media.
Most importantly, a large portion of Muslims will never condemn any Islamic terrorism whole heartedly, period. Islamic terrorists are continuously getting a silent "nod of consent" from millions of gullible Muslims and hypocritical Islamists. Devout Muslims, (especially in Arab nations, Pakistan and elsewhere) have two-faces: to the western media, they profess to oppose terrorism, while in private, they espouse Islamic jihad, which is Islamic terrorism. Keep in mind that Muslims are allowed by Allah to lie for the sake of Islamic success. This is what we call Islamic deception to fool the western people. I hate to say it, but Islamists are getting great successes in this practice of fooling westerners.
If we go back to the early history of Islamic propagation in Arabia, Persia, and northern African nations, we can very comfortably conclude that this kind of terrorism did happen obviously in the case of Islam, which got the ancient name: Islamic Ghuzawahs (surprising attacks to enemy) the mirror image of today's terrorism. The Prophet of Islam fought at least 90 plus Ghuzawahs during the 7th century period in order to establish his religion of Islam, by killing, torturing and maiming tens of thousands of innocent Arab Pagans.
FP: How can the West combat Islamic terrorism successfully?
Mirza: Islamic terrorism can be stopped if the entire West unites and take the right measures. The West must not weigh Islamic terrorism so lightly. This is a more dangerous and deadlier phenomenon than communism. It took fifty years to defeat communism. But it may take only twenty years to subdue this Islamic terrorism, if the West takes the right course. But the menace may continue to grow if the West follows the fruitless policy of appeasing the Muslims, disseminating patronizing statements like: "Terrorists are not real Muslims, Islam is a religion of peace, Terrorists are a radicalized or perverted interpretation of peaceful Islam etc." Western appeasement will be dangerous and this foolish technique of appeasing Islamists will only embolden the fanatic zeal of Islamists. Please remember, Muslims do believe strongly that Allah is working behind their ulterior plan of converting the entire earth under the fold of Islam; they call it peace or surrender.
FP: Dr. Mirza, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.
Mirza: Thank you.
This interview appeared January 02, 2009 in Front Page Magazine and is archived at
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