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From the Archive
CONSTITUTION OF QURANISTS
No River Runs Backwards
The New best ways to overcome Terrorism
On Prayers Performed by Muslims inside Churches
A glance at Michael Sells’ “Approaching the Quran"
Spying and Islamic Society
Important announcement
"...We Do Not Desire the Ignorants." (Holy Quran 28:55)
My Testimony to the U.S. Senate Judiciary
Taksim is not (yet) Tahrir
The myth that MUST be exposed
Wasting the fast of Ramadan
Muslim response to Dutch Legislator's lies about Qur'aan
The Quranists as persecuted Muslim scholars
We Have Lived Feeling Our Egyptian Nationality as a Disgrace:
THE QURAN AND THE SECTS
Muslims and Children of Israel
They have arrested Abdellatef because of this article
Enjoin Good.....Forbid Evil
Swiss violation of the international law by imprion Col.Elghanam
Birth of the Quranist trend and Ahmed Subhy Mansour

Real Islam was misused by Quraysh - the mighty tribe of the Prophet Mohamed in the Arabian Peninsula.  Quraysh used the name of Islam in establishing its mighty empire, violating the peaceful nature of the religion of Islam. Under different royal dynasties, Quraysh has established its human made religion, Sunna that reflects the middle ages culture of dictatorship, religious persecution and religious war. Other peoples inside the Qureshi Empire have revived their old human made religions under titles of Shiites and Sufism.  So, Muslims have three main human made religions: Sunna, Shiites and Sufism. Every one of them has many sects and cults. For example, The Sunni has four schools of thought (Mazhab), the most fanatic Mazhab among them is Hanbali, which is revived in our time under the name of Wahhabism by the Saudi regime. Although Wahhabis are a small minority within Muslims, they have become the representatives of Islam and are called (Islamists) because the geopolitical and international influence Saudi Arabic has, the Saudi oil production and finally because of administering the holey Kaa’aba in Makkah.

The first Saudi State was established in 1745, according to a pact between the Prince Mohamed Ibn Saud and the Sheikh Mohamed Ibn Abdel Wahhab, the founder of Al Wahhabism. This Saudi State was destroyed by the Egyptian ruler (Mohamed Ali Pasha) in 1818.  The Saudi family reestablished the second Saudi State but it was destroyed again in 1891, by indirect Egyptian help. - The current Saudi State (the third one) was established during (1901: 1932) by Abdel Aziz, the father of the current Saudi kings. Abdel Aziz has established his state by his tough Wahhabi fanatic soldiers named (Ikhwan) which means (Brothers). Abdel Aziz was in need to create regional buffer for the third Saudi state. Considering that Egypt was the country that destroyed the first Saudi state, Abdelaziz decided to create the Egyptian version of Ikhwan to have the appropriate regional support to insure the survival of the Saudi state. 

In that time Egypt was inspired by the western secular culture, and had its new school of religious reform led by Sheikh Mohamed Abdu (1849 : 1905) who struggled to reform Al Azhar and was against Sufism and Wahhabism, proving the moderate nature of Islam. His successor (The Syrian Sheikh Rashid Reda) was bribed by the Abdel Aziz to orchestrate the creation of many Wahhabi organizations. Al Ikhwan Al Muslemeen or Muslim Brothers was one of them.

For many reasons The Egyptian Muslim Brothers succeeded in infiltrating the Egyptian society and others in the Arab World. Their biggest success was in infiltrating the Egyptian army and its “Free officers” who took over Egypt in 1952 by the leadership of Nasser. Muslim Brothers joined the alliance of Nasser, but their relationship worsened with time. They tried to assassinate Nasser in 1954, but he got rid of imprisoned and tortured many of them, while some escaped to the Saudi Kingdom and were welcomed there. 

 Nasser made the first step in reforming Al Azhar and had his own political ideology (Arab Nationalism) to face Wahhabism. Nasser was defeated and his successor Sadat allied Egypt to the Saudi Kingdom and made the Egyptian education, media and mosques in the hands of Wahhabis. As a result, the Saudi state invested in all religious aspects of live in Egypt in order to convert Egyptians’ Islam into Wahabism.

The Egyptian military regime needs Muslim Brother as an excuse to stay in power and needs the Saudi money for to finance a corrupt economy. Wahhabism become the practical religion in Egypt since the time of Mubarak. Since 1980s, Egyptians were taught to believe in Wahhabism as the real Islam. In this climate, I established the Quranic trend to face Wahhabism from within Islam and reviving the abandoned Islamic values of freedom of religion, freedom of speech and thought, justice, tolerance, human brotherhood and dignity and human rights and democracy. 

Establishing the Quranic intellectual trend is a story of agony and severe peaceful struggle against Al Azhar University[1], the dictators of Egypt and the Saudi regime. My struggle and persecution began inside Al Azhar. Al-Azhar University for Muslims is like the Vatican for the Catholics: it is the leading seminary for more than one billion Muslims. It was built in the same year that Cairo itself was built (AD 972). The Egyptian military regime benefits from the name of Al Azhar and its influence inside and outside of Egypt. In spite of its respectable famous name, Al Azhar is a stagnant bog of ignorance and traditional ideas that belong to the dark ages but still live inside its curriculum until now.

I joined Al Azhar primary school in 1960. In 1964, I received the second highest score in Egypt in primary diploma tests. In 1969, I graduated from Al-Azhar Secondary School, ranked fourth in country on national university entrance examination. In 1973, I got my Bachelor from Al-Azhar University in Muslim History, with highest honors and was appointed lecturer in department of Muslim history, College of Arabic Language, Al-Azhar University. In 1975, I got my Masters in Muslim History with honors and became an Assistant Teacher and Lecturer of Muslim History, College of Arabic Language, Al-Azhar University.

I started my dissertation for PhD titled “The effect of the Sufism in Egypt during the Mamelukes era” (AD 1250: 1517). It discussed the side effects of the very famous sacred Sufi saints in Egypt in that time and the contradiction between the religion of Islam and the Sufi human made religion. In that time, Al Azhar was under the Sufi control, and its grand Imam was Dr. Abdel Halim Mahmoud, the most famous sheikh in the late four decades. He was a fanatic Sufi Scholar who believed in Sufism as the real version of Islam. So, my dissertation was refused and I was asked to change my writing to praise Sufism instead of criticizing it. I refused their request and argued that my references are the original Sufi texts that are well known inside Al Azhar and are being taught to students. All I do is to analyze and compare the Sufi teachings to the teachings of Quran.

This is my first stage of persecution which lasted three years (1977: 1980). Eventually, the university and I had a compromise to delete and omit two thirds of my dissertation, and in October 1980, instead of changing my words. I got my Ph.D. Degree from Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt in “Muslim History” with highest honors and became assistant Professor of Muslim History, College of Arabic Language, Al-Azhar University in 1981. The omitted parts of my dissertation are published now in Arabic language in our Ahl Al Quran site , with an introduction gives some details of my persecution in that first stage:

http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/show_article.php?main_id=12613

During this first stage of persecution(1977: 1980)I was a moderate Sunni scholar, while the fanatic Sunni Wahabists were struggling against the Sufi influence inside Al Azhar. So, I was their promising leaderand we worked together in1984-85, indestroying the Sufi influence in al Azhar. We worked together inside Al Azhar and outside it to expose the Sufi traditions and its Myths.  

 In 1982 : 1985, I was the managing Editor of the Wahabi magazine “Al-Huda Al-Nabawy” (The Guidance of the Prophet) and the Principal Spokesman and Lecturer, and the vice president  of the Wahabi famous organization “Da’wit Al-Hak” (Call for the Truth), and its main  preacher of the Friday prayer. I had thousands of partisans among the moderate Sunni scholars in that time. Many of they become Quranists with me after I had to leave this organization in 1986.

I used my scholarship in reforming the Sunni religion in the light of the Quran, as I did in Sufism. Inside Al Azhar, I wrote many following books:   

Al Sayed Al Badway: Fact versus Superstition. Cairo, 1982

This book exposes the true history of the most famous Sufi saint in Egypt- Al Sayed Al Badawy, who died seven centuries ago. This book proves that Al Sayed Al Badawy was not a saint, or Sufi, although most Muslim Egyptians still idolize him. Rather he was a terrorist disguised as a saint to plot against the Egyptian regime. Al Sayed Al Badawy used religion to deceive the people and take over Egypt. When he failed he continued under that cover to protect his life. After his death his followers took their revenge by destroying all the Egyptian Coptic churches at once. Egyptian Muslims thought God was punishing the Christians. The book investigates the burning of Coptic churches and proves that the followers of Al Badawy were criminals. Fearful that teenagers were being taught terrorist ideology and that bloodshed would ensue, I concluded with a call for a review and revision of Muslim traditions. No one listened and I was ostracized. Bloodshed between the Regime and the religious extremists began in 1992. This book is now published in our site:

http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/book_main.php?main_id=24

Using Religious Texts to Inform Muslim History. Cairo, 1984

It has been unusual for scholars to discuss the actual religious life of Muslims, in the present or in their history. Objective historical or sociological research is dangerous, because it elucidates the gap between Islam as it is mentioned in the Quran and religious practices of Muslims. This book was the first step in establishing rules of research to encourage scholars to tackle Muslim history objectively. The Personality of Egypt after the Muslim Invasion (3) was an example of this methodology.

The Personality of Egypt after the Muslim Invasion. Cairo, 1984

This book proves that Egypt has “egyptianized” Islam. Egyptians recast their old religious traditions in Arabic under the title of Islam, but these traditions had nothing to do with the Islam of the Prophet Mohammed. This book also proves that all Egyptians (Muslims and Christians) share the same rituals with different names, and all of these religious observances grew out of ancient Egyptian civilization. This book is now published in our site:

http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/book_main.php?main_id=19

The History of the Historic Sources of Arabic and Muslim Fields. Cairo, 1984

This book discusses the methods the famous historians of the Middle Ages used to create their different historical narratives and analyzes their false stories.

The Fundamental Rules of Historical Research. Cairo, 1984

This book teaches scholars of Muslim history how to discover the lacunae in Muslim history, and how to analyze these facts objectively.

11- In 1985, I wrote these five books:

The Invasions of the Moguls and the Crusaders in Muslim History. Cairo, 1985

This book discusses frankly the weaknesses of the Muslim states in the middle Ages: dictatorships, corruption, and wars between Muslim states. The writer shows how those factors encouraged the Crusaders and Moguls to invade and occupy Muslim states. This book was banned because it gives some comparisons between the Arab/Muslim state of our time and the Muslim states of the Middle Ages.

Separatist Movements in the History of Muslims: The Secret History of Shiites and Sunni Movements during the Abbasy Era. Cairo, 1985

This book analyzes the struggle between the Abbasy Sunni Empire and the secret Shiites organizations. This book was banned because it makes some comparisons between that old religious political struggle and the recent clash between the Arab states and their religious oppositions.

A History of the Cultural Development of Muslims. Cairo, 1985

This book analyzes Muslim civilization in the Middle Ages, proving its Greek roots and the gap between it and Islamic culture as put forth in the Quran. It was banned.

The Muslim World between the Early Stage and the Abbasy Caliphate. Cairo, 1985

Muslim oral traditions were written down and codified during the Abbasy Empire (750 to 1258). Most of these traditions and some of the Abbasy rulers subsequently became sacred, in spite of the contradiction between them and the religion of Islam. This book was banned because it shows that contradiction and calls for reform in Muslim states to get rid of the Abbasy tradition, which has nothing to do with Islam as put forth in the Quran.

The Prophets in the Holy Quran. Cairo, 1985

This book, which was banned, was the writer’s most dangerous book in that time. It proves the human nature of the prophet Mohammed, and the contradiction between his presentation in the Quran and the images of him fabricated by Muslim fanatics. Using the Quranic verses, it demonstrates that the prophet Mohammed was not infallible, he is not the master of the prophets, and he will not intercede on behalf of Muslims on the Day of Judgment, as Muslims believe according to the human made Muslim religions.  

Because of these five books, in 5/5 / 1985, I was suspended from work in Al Azhar University, bypassed for promotions to become a Professor,  prevented from travelling out of Egypt,  my salary was confiscated and was accused of being an enemy of Islam. I was tried in Al Azhar canonical court and expelled March 17, 1987. Seven months later, the Egyptian government imprisoned me for two months. In 1986, I was expelled also from the Wahhabi organization along with tens of my partisans.

During my trial inside Al Azhar (1985 : 1987) I was very active in mosques in Cairo and other towns and villages criticizing the sacred untouchable Sunni text scriptures and their authors who are idolized by Wahhabis and millions of Sunni people.  I also published my book: “The Sinner Muslim: Common Mythology Regarding the Sinner Muslim” Cairo, 1987. This book, which was banned, uses the Quran to prove that the sinner Muslim will not enter paradise, and no one will intercede to save him/her from Hell. It is now published in our site:

http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/book_main.php?main_id=8

While working in reforming the Sunni human made religion (1982:1985), the Saudi agents in Egypt tried hard to bribe me to stop analyzing their Sunni sacred tradition. Refusing their demands, the Saudis used their influence to pressure Mubarak to punish me, so I was tried inside al Azhar. They appointed the fanatic Wahhabi Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawi to be the head of my trial. In March 1987, I was fired from Al Azhar, and later on, Sheikh Tantawi was promoted to be the grand Mofty of Egypt in October 28, 1986. Sheikh Tantawi continued his mission in persecuting the Quranists, and he was rewarded to be the Grand Sheik of Al Azhar in March 10, 27, 1996. He died in Saudi State in March 10, 2010 after a shameful career of 25 years of persecuting the Quranists (1985: 2010). During his career, the Quranists suffered four waves of arrest.

 In November 1987, I was put in prison with 62 of my colleagues. In this first wave of arrest we were called (the Quranists) officially in the Egyptian court and in the Egyptian media as well. We still have this title until now.

Between 1989 and 2001, I was famous activist and scholar in the same time:

I wrote approximately 500 articles in Arabic. Topics included the history of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia, a critique of the concepts of Jihad, bigotry and dictatorship in Muslim thought, women’s rights in the Muslim world, reforming the Egyptian education. My articles were published in newspapers, magazines and periodicals in Egypt and abroad. Some of them were translated into English. These newspapers, magazines and periodicals include: Egyptian Newspapers: Al Ahrar [Liberals], Al Aalam Alyoum [World Today], Al Midan [The Square], Al Ahaly [The National], Al Dostour [The Constitution], Al Akhbar [The News], Al Kaherah [Cairo], Misr Al Fataah [Egypt; The Youth], Al Gomhoriah [The Republic], Al Ahram [The Pyramids]. Magazines: Sutour [Lines], Hawwaa [Eve], Al Mojtamaa Almadany [Civil Society], Al Tanweer [The Enlightenment], Adab Wa Nakd [Literature and Criticism], Al Helal [The Crescent], Sawaseyah [Equality], Hokouk Al Nass [The Rights of the People], Al Mosawwer [The Illustrated]. Other Arabic Newspapers: Al Khaleej [The Gulf], The Arab Emirates; Al Watan [The Home], Kuwait.

As an activist:

In 1991-92, I collaborated with the Egyptian secular leader Farag Foda to establish a new political party in Egypt, Al Mostakbal (The Future). It envisioned a secular democratic state which provides basic freedoms of speech and religion. Dr, Foda was assassinated in June 1992, according to Wahhabi Azharian fatwa. 

In 1993, I was the present (Founding) Member of the Egyptian Society for Enlightenment and its secretary General (Executive Officer) from 1993 to 1998. In 1993-2000 , I was Visiting Lecturer and Consultant on religious and cultural affairs for a number of secular, democratic organizations based in Egypt including The International Ibn Khaldoun Society, The Egyptian Society for Enlightenment, The International Religious Brotherhood, The Group for Democracy, The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights. In 1994-96, I was elected Member of the Board of Trustees of Egyptian Organization for Human Rights. This organization worked to protect Egyptians from human rights abuses of the Mubarak regime and from those of terrorists within the country and abroad. Between 1994-1996 , I was the           Founding Member of and Religion Consultant to the Popular Movement for Confronting Terrorism, Cairo, Egypt. In 1996-2000 , I was the     Moderator of the weekly Fourm of Ibn Khaldoun Center, Cairo, Egypt. In 1998: 2000, I was also the mastermind of two projects of Ibn Khaldoun Center: (Reform the Egyptian education) and I was the public speaker of the project (Educate Egyptians about their political rights). Those two projects were so successful that in June 2000: The Egyptian government shut down Ibn Khaldoun Center, arrested its owner, Dr. Saad El Deen Ebrahim and also arrested members of my family and some of the Quranists. I escaped to the U.S in October 15, 2001.

In the US:

Between October and December 2002, I was Regan-Fascell Fellow, the National Endowment for Democracy, Washington, DC. I wrote a book titled “The Roots of Democracy in Islam.” Between June 2003 and May 31 2004, I was One year visiting fellow at Harvard Law School, and prepared a research on how to “reform the Islamic schools in the U.S to confirm and to conform to the American values and the Human Rights culture.” Between March 2004 and May 2004, I was an Expert witness in Islam and Muslim fanatic culture for the U.S Department of Justice, U.S Attorney District of Idaho. Since 2004, I was Advisory board Member of Free Muslim Coalition against terrorism. In September 2004, I Co-founded was appointed the Interim President of Center for Islamic Pluralism [CIP]. In October 2004, I cofounded and became a board member of “Citizens for Peace and Tolerance,”  an organization that Promotes Hate-Free America in order to face the fanatic mosque in Boston (ISB).

In October 2006, Founder and the president of:   (The International Quranic Center) in Springfield Virginia. In September 28, 2009 to September 27, 2010: Fellow at : The US Commission on International Religious Freedom:

http://www.uscirf.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3532:2009-2010-crapa-fellows-dr-ahmed-subhy-mansour&catid=33

In September 7, 2010 to  May ,2011, I was fellow at The Woodrow Wilson Center : http://www.wilsoncenter.org/staff/ahmed-mansour.

In April 13, 2011, I served as a witness at the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Subcommittee on Terrorism, HUMINT, Analysis, and Counterintelligence,where he presented his expert opinion on the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi groups in Egypt and the Muslim World. http://intelligence.house.gov/sites/intelligence.house.gov/files/documents/SFR20110413Mansour

Because of this hard struggle and painful persecution, we have become controversial issue in Muslim World. Reading our writings makes thousands of Egyptians converted to the Quranic trend. Working in America, enjoying freedom of speech (God Bless America) and having our Ahl Al Quran site since 2006, makes the Quranists number increasing rapidly.

Our family in Egypt suffered two more waves of arrest in 2007 and in 2009. 

  Our writings in exposing the sacred secret side of Sunni Wahhabi tradition encourage other scholars to abandon Sunna, partly or totally. So, the Quranic trend has different levels: We deny all the sayings ( Hadeeth ) attributed to the Prophet Mohamed two centuries and more after his death. Some accept any ( Hadeeth ) that confirms the Quran. Some deny the five Salat daily prayers, make it two only or three. Some deny all the Islamic rituals like salat prayers, fasting, giving charities and pilgrimage, claiming that reciting Quran is enough for them.

We ( Ahl Al Qoran : People of the Quran ) respect the freedom of religion for every human being. Our religious belief is announced in Arabic and in English in our site:

http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=11634

http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/show_article.php?main_id=11598

  Diversity within Quranists

Quaranists represent an ideological trend; they are not a party or are a sect. Such trend encompasses many different levels and stages that I went through too as a researcher who is looking for guidance in the holy Quran. I studied at Al Azhrar since I was eleven years old and grew up learning radical teachings that contradict the Quran. The more I read and the older I became, the more I saw the contradiction between AL Azhar Curriculum and the Quran. I always think about one of Dr. Mohamed Abdo ( Another reformative Shiekh who struggled with Al Azhar’s radicalism in 19th century) quotes at the end of his day. He said “I have been cleaning my mind from Al Azhar’s garbage all my life, and will continue for some time.” This is exactly how I feel, and I am still cleaning my faith from Muslims’s heritage, which Al Azhar considers the true Islam and defends with all means. Also just like me, Al Azhar sheikhs considered Mohamed Abdo an Infidel, and attacked his family publicly until he died in 1905. Ironically, back then Egypt was much more liberal, especially before the establishment of the Third Saudi state and before spreading Wahabism in the Arab World and Egypt.

I started my ideological reformative struggle when Al Azhar was run by Sufi sheikhs. After publishing my PHD that emphasized the contradictions between Sufism and the Quran, I started looking at the Sunni man-made religion. This is how my fight against Wahabism started; a fight that is still ongoing.

During my confrontation with Sufis, I was a moderate Sunni who believed in the Quran, but also believed in the existence of genuine Hadiths (Sayings attributed to the Prophet more than two hundred years after his death). I also used to consider the invasions waged by early Khaliphs to be Islamic holy wars. My writings were tried to reform Sufis and Sunnis through the Quran and the Hadith.

I still criticized the most sacred book by Sunnis, Hadith Albukhari and discussed how many Hadiths were forged during the Mamlok Era in Egypt (1250-1517), 700-1000 years after the death of the Prophet. My methodology was compare the Sudi tradition with the Quran and what I used to think to be true Hadiths. I changed such methodology, however; when I published my PHD later on www.ahl-alquran.comto use the Quran only.

I started to only believe in the Quran in 1990, and published a book titled “Only the Quran.” The book caused a huge controversy, especially when I discussed the invasions committed in the name of Islam by the early Caliphs, and how it contradicts Islam. I also started believing that the true Shahada in Islam is only “I testify that there is no God but Allah” instead of “I testify that there is no God but Allah and that Mohamed is his prophet.”

In summary, I started as a researcher in Sufism, and I discovered how it contradicts Islam. I then moved to research the Sunni tradition, and also discovered how it contradicts Islam. The same goes for Shias. I realized then that Quran is the only source of authority in Islam, and established an objective methodology in understanding and contemplating the Quranic verses. The methodology mainly depends on understanding the Quranic vocabulary through the Quran itself by collecting all verses that discuss a certain issue, and then analyzing the different verses discussing such topic to reach the overall Quranic position on the issue.

During my journey of understanding Islam, many colleges accompanied me and many left me. With every evolvement I go through, whether it is from a Sufi to Sunni, or Sunni to Quranist, some friends leave me, and more join. Working for Ibn Khaldoun Center for Developmental Studies and moderating the center’s weekly forum also helped increase the number of Quranists. The continuous attacks in the media by Salafi and Muslim Brothers’ Sheikh, however, were the biggest factor in spreading the Quranist view, and more and more Muslims in Egypt and the Arab World started learning about the new trend of Quranists. We did not choose the name “Quranists,” we rather dubbed that by the state security and their media outlets. We do not mind the name, although I would prefer to be called the people of Quran, which is the meaning of our website: www.Ahl-Alquran.com. This stage ended with my asylum into the US after the government of Mubarak shut Ibn Khaldoun Center.- After settling in the US, I started writing in famous Arabic websites like www.arabtimes.com, Civil Dialogue http://www.ahewar.org/debat/nr.asp, and http://www.metransparent.com. In 2006, I published our website www.ahl-alquran.comand continued publishing also in Civil Dialogue.

-Using the internet to spread our understanding of Islam, Quranists became a global school of thought with Muslim followers from all continents.  We also encouraged many moderate Muslims to rethink the tradition of Muslims that contradicts the peaceful teachings of the Quran. Back in the 1990s, such tradition was so sacred, that most Muslims refrained questioning it out of fear of radicals’ fatwas and media influence. Currently, the Quarnists’ arguments and opinions are used Muslims and non-Muslims to question the authority of Salafis and other radicals. Our website grew in hits, and many new writers joined from all over the world.

Not all the Quranists are the same. We have different opinions sometimes, but we agree that the Quran is the only source of authority in Islam. The website attracted many Muslims to contemplate the Quran, and currently is an outstanding framework for scholars to exchange ideas and interpretation and discuss them with fellow Quranists. Moreover, many of our members also established new websites that represent the same school of thought and are also growing.

Every day, we are reaching new Muslims and they find in our views a version of Islam that is moderate and do not contradict the universal truths of human rights, peace and tolerance, while in the same time this version is true to Quran and the real Sunnah of the Prophet.

 

 



[1]
Al Azhar University provided a parallel religious education to Muslims from Egypt and around the world. In addition to the public schools curriculum, Students are also taught religious classes in Hadith, Shariaa, and more.


The views and opinions of authors whose articles and comments are posted on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of IQC.