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The Notion of Religious Fanaticism and The Quranic Concept of No Compulsion in Religion

The Notion of Religious Fanaticism and The Quranic Concept of No Compulsion in Religion


Published in January 27, 2017

Translated by Ahmed Fathy




He said to us: How come that a Muslim engaged thinker like you to have friends among leaders of Jews, Coptic Christians, and atheists?!

We said to him: What is wrong in that?

He said: Because all of them are extremists and fanatics!

We said: How did you verified this? Many of them stood with us and helped us in Egypt and in the USA. We are indeed grateful to them and tale pride in their friendship. The Muhammadan clergy persecuted us in Egypt, you know. God says in the Quran: "Is the reward of goodness anything but goodness?" (55:60).

He said: But them of them are extremists and fanatics, especially leaders of Coptic communities in the West, and one of them is a close friend of yours, the Coptic fanatic that organized a sit-in before the White House, and you have delivered a speech there, uploaded on YouTube.

We said: We delivered that speech to defend Copts in Egypt, driven by our love to our religion: Islam. We belong to the weak, oppressed ones all over the globe, and especially in Egypt. Hence, we consider oppressed Copts in Egypt as our folks and family. In fact, we take pride in defending them since 1977, when we worked as an assistant professor at Al-Azhar University, till now. This Coptic friend of ours is not an extremist or a fanatic; he just loves his religion very much. 

He said: This too much love leads to fanaticism, right?!

We said:  We love our religion, Islam, very much too; are we a fanatic, too?

He said: I am not sure; I do not know.

We said: We said once to this Coptic friend of ours that we respect his too much love for his religious affiliation and dedicating his time to defend Copts in Egypt.   

He said: You do not see him as a fanatic, then. Pray tell me, what is your definition of fanaticism?

We said: Fanaticism is compulsion in religion, a major sin prohibited in the Quran, as you know. As long as the Coptic friend of ours does not coerce us to convert to his religion, or persecute us because of ours, he is not an extremist nor a fanatic person.  The same goes for our friends among atheists, Sunnites, Shiites, Jews, and Sufis. Besides, one cannot be blamed or be deemed a 'fanatic' when one loves one's religion very much.     

He said: You mean to tell me that one can love one's religion very much as much as one pleases, and one is thus never deemed a fanatic or an extremist as long as one does not commit the sin of compulsion in religion, persecute others, or coercing them to convert, right?

We said: Exactly.

He said: But you have to bear in mind that they hate Islam very much, especially Copts. However closer they are to you, those friends definitely hate Islam, your religion! 

We said: Egyptian Copts in particular know nothing about Islam; their only information about it is distorted and related in fact to the Sunnite religion, assumed wrongly to be Islam though it contradicts the Quran. We mean historical events of Arab conquest of Egypt, occupation, confiscation of lands, looting, massacres, enslavement, etc. since the Arab military leader Amr Ibn Al-As conquered Egypt. The Egyptian Copts never know that when Amr Ibn Al-As conquered Egypt, while rising the banner of Islam, was in fact an enemy of Islam, and so were the criminals and the unjust ones that ruled Egypt after him, who followed the footsteps of Amr Ibn Al-As in persecuting Egyptian Christian Copts for centuries and treating them harshly in the worst manner and imposing heavy taxes and tributes unjustly on them, while claiming that their crimes and persecution were art of 'Islam'. Hence, for the last 14 centuries, Egyptian Copts have never known Islam (the religion of peace, justice, mercy, and freedom) except as the distorted image and tyrannical ways applied by Arab and other non-Arab Muhammadan rulers of Egypt from the era of the four pre-Umayyad caliphs to the Ottoman era caliphs. Within the past 14 centuries until now, Egyptian Copts have never known anything real or true about Muhammad,  the seal of prophets sent by God as a mercy to the humankind, except the distorted image propagated by all caliphs. from the era of the four pre-Umayyad caliphs to the Ottoman era caliphs. They have never known anything real or true about Quranic sharia legislation of Islam, which are based on justice and charity and prohibit wrongdoing, evil deeds, injustices, and tyranny; see 16:90. The distorted image Copts have received is that it is the sharia of injustices, stealing, raiding, looting, massacring, and enslavement. One cannot blame them if they hated that 'Islam', thinking it as if it were the true one. In the 20th and 21st centuries, Wahabism has spread in Egypt and caused the persecution of Copts, with Wahabis killing some innocent peaceful Coptic citizens and many churches demolished and burned by Wahabi terrorists. Such criminals claim that they apply Islamic sharia, but it is indeed Sunnite sharia of Satan, and they demand that Egyptian government would apply their sharia! These Wahabi terrorists apply it with all violence they could muster whenever occasion arises. We cannot blame Copts for hating the very name of Islam, thinking it were the cause of such violence and injustices for the last 14 centuries, right?        

He said: Yes, I cannot blame them.

We said: In fact, Copts and others like them are victims of Sunnite Wahabism; and they are justified in hating this image presented by Wahabis about 'Islam' and Wahabi sharia posing as the 'Islamic' one. It is very wrong in daily news (worldwide, esp. in the West) to call such Wahabi criminals as 'Islamists', and referring to their groups or movements as 'Islamism' and 'Islamist' ones. Even ISIS terrorists and their leaders claim they raise banners of 'Islam', and nothing could be further from the truth. Whenever they commit their heinous crimes of decapitating heads, massacres, sabotage, explosions, suicide attacks, etc., the Wahabi ISIS terrorists shout Allahu Akbar! (God is the Greatest!) as if they were praying! The same goes for other Wahabi terrorists: Hamas, the MB group, Al-Qaeda, and the Wahabi KSA, which is the axis of evil and the source of funding for all Wahabi terrorism worldwide. All such criminals claim wrongly that they belong to Islam. The authority, power, and propaganda of the KSA, using oil revenues and influence, have deceived the whole world, as most people think that Wahabism is synonymous with Islam and that terrorists are representing application of it! we cannot blame victims of Wahabis terrorism (Copts, the USA, the EU, etc.) when they hate 'Islam' propagated by terrorist Wahabis who apply their bloody sharia with force, terror, and aggression. When we have stood against this Wahabi terror and proven how it contradicts real Islam (i.e., Quranism), those victims have become our dear friends.             

He said: Returning to our main topic here, you mean to tell me that Wahabis are the extremist and fanatic ones because they coerce and persecute others and practice compulsion in religion, right? 

We said: Exactly.

He said: What evidence do you have to support your view? 

We said: It is known to all that their Wahabi sharia legislations and laws include the penalty of putting to death those who reject Wahabism, imposing taxes/tributes over peaceful, oppressed victims of Wahabism and ascribing this sin/crime to Islamic sharia of the Quran, and dividing the globe into two camps: the camp of peace/Wahabism and the camp of war/non-Wahabi infidels. Do not you see how Wahabis mistreat non-Sunnites in Egypt, Iraq, and the KSA?    

He said: You are perfectly right; clearly, all Wahabis are the same everywhere.

We said: The same can be said about Shiites as well; let us not forget that Al-Khomeini issued a fatwa urging the murder of the British author Salman Rushdie because of his novel titled "Satanic Verses".  

He said: But Shiites do not commit the sin of religious persecution and compulsion in matters of religion as much as Wahabis do, right?

We said: This depends mainly on the political circumstances; when Shiites were mighty and powerful during the Fatimid Era, about 1000 years ago, they persecuted Sunnites. The powerful Shiites in Iran now persecute Arab Sunnites in Arabstan, south of Iran. In contrast, Sunnites in Iraq during Saddam Hussein era persecuted Iraqi Shiites, but Shiites rule Iraq now and they in their turn persecute Iraqi Sunnites to take revenge. Both Sunnites and Shiites share the element of extremisms an fanaticism but they apply it when they grow powerful and assume rule anywhere.   

He said: As for your non-Quranist friends, regardless of what you have got to say about them, some of them undermine and cast doubt on the Quran itself in public, and in your presence, though they know that you are a Quranist. How come that you do not consider them as extremist fanatics who are opposing Islam?   

We said: Within real Quranic sharia legislations, we find the emphasis on the principle of absolute religious freedom, and it includes absolute freedom to believe, to disbelieve, and to convert from any religion to another. This religious freedom mentioned in the Quran also includes the righto build houses of worship for all denominations and the freedom to practice any rituals of worship, whether this worship is dedicated to God alone or to mortals like Hussein, Muhammad, Jesus, Buddha, etc. or even Satanism or devil-worship. This type of freedom includes proselytization, preaching, and conversion, which includes declaring other religions, sects, creeds, denominations, etc. of others as false doctrines. Thus, all human beings have the right to preach and proselytize their religions while denying, belittling,  and undermining other religions. This is OK as long as the same freedom is equally provided to all people in a given society without discrimination and of course without coercion in religion. God will judge and settle differences and disputes concerning religion among all human beings on the Day of Resurrection.                 

He said: You mean to tell me that differences in religions and religious stances are OK as long as the freedom an right of preaching, worship, and proselytization is maintained on equal footing for all citizens and without any authority interfering on favor of any of the denominations. This freedom of preaching includes undermining others' religions as false, as long as there is no religious oppression and that religion should be an individual matter without any authority interfering in it to impose anything, right?     

We said: Exactly. In that case, one can love, proselytize, and preach one's religion as much as one likes, and all citizens are thus brethren in humanity and peaceful behavior. This reminds us that Islam in terms of demeanor is peaceful behavior and adherence to the stance of non-violence. Thus, peaceful behavior (or Islam in terms of demeanor) is directly linked to the Quranic principle of absolute religious freedom. Hence, our non-Quranist friends are ''Muslims'' in terms of peaceful behavior to which they adhere, however different their faiths: Sunnites, Sufis, Shiites, Christian Copts, Christians of any other denominations, Jews, atheists, agnostics, etc. of any nationalities.           

He said: What about the cases when they undermine, ridicule, or belittle Quranic verses? Some of your friends already do this?

We said: This sin has been largely committed by imams/clergy of the Muhammadans (Sufis, Shiites, and Sunnites), when they ascribe hadiths/narratives as well as interpretations to Islam and assuming that such narratives of falsehoods replace and supplant the Quranic verses and Quranic sharia laws. Please read our book about the so-called Naskh notion. This notion to the Muhammadans means to replace and supplant, whereas for Quranists, it means in the Quran to repeat, assert, and affirm. Hence, the Muhammadans' undermining and belittling the Quranic verses is more painful, deplorable, and heinous, and their falsehoods fill countless books of Middle-Ages imams/authors and today's theologians. Hence, this is worse than any non-believers in the Quran ridiculing its verses, as such imams are deified by the Muhammadans who are their audience: more than one billion people, whereas ridicule by atheists and non-believers reach and influence few people in the West and in the Middle East.      

He said: What should we do regarding those who ridicule the Quran, among the Muhammadans and non-believers in the Quran?

We said: We are to do nothing at all; the Quran tells us to avoid them when they ridicule or mock God or the Quran: "To God belong the Holy Epithets, so call Him by them, and disregard those who blaspheme His names. They will be repaid for what they used to do." (7:180). God will punish them, on the Last Day, if they do not repent. God warns them beforehand: "Those who despise Our revelations are not hidden from Us. Is he who is hurled into the Fire better? Or he who arrives safely on the Day of Resurrection? Do as you please; He is Seeing of everything you do." (41:40). This means that no one has the right to exact punishment on them during their lifetime on earth. 

He said: This Quranic warning must be heeded and made known to the whole world, so that people worldwide should know the contrast and contradiction between real Islam (only the Quran) and what is being done and propagated by the Muhammadans, especially the Wahabis.

We said: This is what Quranists do in their peaceful, intellectual jihad on their website to clear the name of the great Islam from the crimes/sins and claims of the extremists, fanatics, and terrorists. We hope that all peace-loving people worldwide, who support justice, equality, human rights, and religious freedom, would stand with us.   

He said: It is very sad that media shut all doors before you; very few people know about you and about Quranism, while fame is confiscated by and confined to all religious preachers of hatred, terror, extremism, fanaticism, and compulsion in religion. Until when would such ignoring you in media go on?!

We said: We hope that soon enough, the time will come when all people in authority in all countries will realize the vital, pivotal role of us in reforming 'Muslims' (or rather Muhammadans) using Islam from within its only source: the Quran. Quranism is the only tool to intellectually face, refute, and undermine Wahabi and other religious terrorists from within real Islam.     

He said: That is another story! 

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