To counter Islam’s critics, imam says Muslims need to relearn faith

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Fadil Solimon conducts a workshop with students in Istanbul. Photo courtesy of Center for Cross-Cultural Communication

Fadil Solimon conducts a workshop with students in Istanbul. Photo courtesy of Center for Cross-Cultural Communication

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ISTANBUL (RNS) Imam Fadel Soliman teaches Muslims to deal with critics, but his "hidden goal" is to challenge his listeners' own understanding of the precepts of Islam.

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  • Önder Üçüncü

    Nice article with several feedbacks from different organizations. Mr Soliman is a successful trainer in his field. However, I did not quite get the following sentence: “It is a narrative that makes it difficult for Muslims to argue against movements such as the Islamic State, which aims to pick up where the Ottoman Empire left off a century ago.”

    What does the writer mean with the abovementioned part?

  • a guest

    What I understood was; according to Mr. Solimon, expanding the borders of Islam and making everyone convert was rightfully done via conquests and this was the Prophet’s and his companions’ teaching, and, this is written in many textbooks in Muslim-majority countries. By ‘this narrative’, he means the traditional understanding of spreading Islam by means of conquests and converting everyone, which is what the Islamic State is claiming to do. It is therefore difficult for Muslims to argue against Islamic State from this particular aspect, since they claim to actually follow the way of the Prophet. However, I do think that Mr. Solimon implicitly remarks that this understanding of the ‘narrative’ is a false interpretation of the Sunnah.

  • “But the verses are there,” continued the woman. “They are in the Quran. Didn’t empires like the Ottoman Empire spread like that?”

    THANK YOU, DEAR WOMAN!
    Yes – this is exactly the conversation within Islam which must happen. Challenge your religion in the same way we in the west are challenging Christianity. We will find out the truth. None of these religions are true and humanity can finally begin to advance without them.

    “Defending Islam is not defending Islamic history,” Solimon replied. “The Ottomans were not angels.”

    I can hear a priest saying the same thing about the Crusades. ‘Don’t blame the humans for doing Christianity wrong!’
    Yet this is nonsense.
    “Execute them” – JESUS (Luke 19:27) is doing Christianity exactly as written in the same way “Slay Them” (Surah 9:5) is doing Islam as written.

    Religions are man made dogmas. failure is inevitable. Deeply flawed philosophies!

    YES, THANK YOU DEAR WOMAN!

  • Bob

    Great post, Max. I’d push the Like button on it if there was one, and I share the hope that broad movement toward searching for truth and for real answers will eventually destroy religion and other superstitions.

  • Doc Anthony

    Don’t forget to look in Stalin’s mirror, atheists. See how many tens of millions of people failed to survive your belief system.

    And take a peek at the officially atheist government of China while you’re at it. The Chinese Christians and Tibetan Buddhists — the ones who aren’t dead or disappeared or imprisoned, anyway — have some information they’d like you to know about.

  • @Doc,

    “Stalin’s mirror…”

    Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao were not examples of Agnostic Atheism. They were Messianic Cults with enforced dogma. America does not need that.

    The USA is the only Agnostic Atheist country in the world:
    “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion, nor prohibit the free exercise thereof.”

    That is Agnostic Atheism. May the whole world one day see the wisdom in it.

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  • Bryan Winters

    Ah Max, you make me laugh. You write about how Christians and Muslims make excuses for past (and present) events, but when faced with the Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot atrocities, you conveniently separate your, undoubtedly purer atheism, from theirs.
    Made my day.

  • westcj

    I find Atheist Max comments refreshing. I have got nothing against religion but someone needs to question some of the ridiculous statements that come out of religious leader’s mouths. Case in point here is Fadel Solimon and his defence of Islam

  • Bob

    Bryan, your laughter is the laughter of a fool. Max as usual is being factual, and furthermore, atheism is not a belief system. It does not prescribe killing or other atrocities the way your foul bible, that horrid book, so frequently does. Atheism is simply a lack of belief in a deity -a lack of belief, for example, in foolish and plainly false fictions such as the Christian ones. Stop trying to paint atheism as what it clearly is not.

  • Bob

    What westcj said. Exactly. Atheist Max rocks.

  • Ralph Simon

    sabeltod2,..I really like Atheist Max. I’m fed up with belief being the default position. I mean who can believe some of this religious stuff? when some Christisns object to his comments they swing hard. But Max has really good arguments. Jesus has nothing on max.

  • @Bryan,

    “but when faced with the Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot atrocities, you conveniently separate…”

    No. I never denied they were Atheists. Stalin was a Seminarian and Pol Pot was a Theraveda Buddhist – But what do I know?

    I vehemently deny their fascist policies were were Atheist. They commanded universal adherence to their dogmatic religious cults, Agrarian/Proletariat MESSIANIC fascism.

    That is NOT Atheism.

    Donald Trump is similar. He is not religious (he might even be Atheist) but a large percent of the Republicans are accepting him as MESSIANIC – a religious approbation which Trump encourages:

    “You are America’s savior”
    – Trump supporter in Worcester, MA, November 2015
    “God hears you”
    – Donald Trump

    Religion is first the insistence a Savior exists.
    And second, the injunction you are obligated to ‘seek and find’ him!

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  • West, Bob and Ralph,

    You rock. Happy New Year! much love,
    <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3<3 <3<3 <3
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

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