What CNN ends up doing in their rush to defend Islam, however, amounts to proselytizing for Islam. Some of the articles sound as if they're actually trying to convert people. Moreover, since CNN obviously doesn't bother to check the facts in the articles they post (doing so might be thought "racist" or "Islamophobic"), the network is being used to spread outright deception.
Let's look at an example. CNN's latest attempt to convince us that Islam is the ideal choice for Western readers is Theresa Corbin's "I'm a Feminist, and I Converted to Islam."
Maybe we should go through some of the article.
(CNN)—I am a Muslim, but I wasn't always. I converted to Islam in November 2001, two months after 9/11.So Corbin was part of the surge in Muslim converts following the 9-11 terrorist attacks. These conversions were the result of three primary factors: (1) politicians and the media bombarding us with pro-Islamic misinformation, (2) a silly tendency among many Westerners to try to be "different" by adopting a controversial position, and (3) a misguided notion that converting to Islam is somehow helping to rescue a peaceful religion from its hijackers.
I was 21 and living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It was a bad time to be a Muslim. But after four years of studying, poking and prodding at world religions and their adherents, I decided to take the plunge.Given her defense of Islam, I have serious doubts that any of this "four years of studying" amounted to anything remotely resembling a careful examination of Islam. More on this below.
I am the product of a Creole Catholic and an Irish atheist. I grew up Catholic, then was agnostic, now I'm Muslim.If she couldn't find a single Christian apologist or a book on Christian apologetics, how hard could she have been looking?
My journey to Islam began when I was about 15 years old in Mass and had questions about my faith. The answers from teachers and clergymen—don't worry your pretty little head about it—didn't satisfy me.
So I did what any red-blooded American would do: the opposite. I worried about it. For many years. I questioned the nature of religion, man and the universe.Going against the grain! What a rebel!
After questioning everything I was taught to be true and digging through rhetoric, history and dogma, I found out about this strange thing called Islam. I learned that Islam is neither a culture nor a cult, nor could it be represented by one part of the world. I came to realize Islam is a world religion that teaches tolerance, justice and honor and promotes patience, modesty and balance.A religion that teaches tolerance? I guess her Qur'an doesn't command:
And I'm sure her prophet never said the things recorded in these ahadith:
Qur'an 9:29—Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
Qur'an 9:73—O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.
Qur'an 9:111—Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain.
Qur'an 9:123—O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).
Qur'an 48:29—Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves.
Qur'an 98:6—Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Qur'an and Prophet Muhammad) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikun will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures.
Sahih Muslim 33—It has been narrated on the authority of Abdullah b. Umar that the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and they establish prayer, and pay Zakat and if they do it, their blood and property are guaranteed protection on my behalf except when justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah.Yep, sounds like tolerance. Corbin continues:
Sahih Muslim 4366—It has been narrated by Umar b. al-Khattab that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim.
Al-Bukhari, Al-Adab al-Mufrad 1103—Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Do not give the People of the Book the greeting first. Force them to the narrowest part of the road."
Sahih al-Bukhari 6922—Allah's Messenger said, "If anyone changed his Islamic religion, kill him."
As I studied the faith, I was surprised many of the tenants [sic] resonated with me. I was pleased to find that Islam teaches its adherents to honor all prophets, from Moses to Jesus to Mohammed, all of whom taught mankind to worship one God and to conduct ourselves with higher purpose.Jesus said that we have to honor the Son just as we honor the Father, and that if we don't, we're not honoring the Father:
John 5:22-23—Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.Hence, by attempting to "honor" Jesus as a mere prophet, Muslims are honoring neither the Son nor the Father. But Corbin goes further:
I was drawn to Islam's appeal to intellect and heartened by the prophet Mohammed's quote, "The acquisition of knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim, whether male or female."Oh my goodness! Here's where we can see that Corbin's "studying" amounted to no more than perusing a few websites. If she had bothered to actually read the Hadith, she would know that this quotation isn't an "appeal to intellect" in the sense she imagines. The quotation comes from Sunan Ibn Majah:
Sunan Ibn Majah 224—It was narrated that Anas bin Malik said: "Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim, and he who imparts knowledge to those who do not deserve it, is like one who puts a necklace of jewels, pearls and gold around the neck of swines."According to Muhammad, however, the only beneficial knowledge is religious knowledge. All other knowledge is superfluous:
Sunan Ibn Majah 54—It was narrated that Abdullah bin Amr said: "The Messenger of Allah said: 'Knowledge is based on three things, and anything beyond that is superfluous: a clear Verse, an established Sunnah, or the rulings by which the inheritance is divided fairly.'"Notice that all three categories of beneficial knowledge are included in Sharia as part of submission to Allah. Muhammad declared that seeking knowledge for non-religious purposes is enough to earn you a spot in hell:
Sunan Ibn Majah 258—It was narrated from Ibn Umar that the Prophet said: "Whoever seeks knowledge for a reason other than for the sake of Allah, or intends it for a purpose other than for the sake of Allah, let him take his place in Hell."Hence, Muhammad begged Allah to guard him from secular knowledge:
Sunan Ibn Majah 3837—Abu Hurairah told that the Messenger of Allah said: "Oh Allah, I seek refuge with You from four things: From knowledge that is of no benefit, from a heart that does not fear (You), from a soul that is never satisfied, and from a supplication that is not heard."And Muhammad ordered his followers to do the same:
Sunan Ibn Majah 3843—It was narrated from Jabir that the Messenger of Allah said: "Ask Allah for beneficial knowledge and seek refuge with Allah from knowledge that is of no benefit."Why is this important? Because Corbin (who, again, clearly never bothered to read the quotation) interprets Muhammad's command to "acquire knowledge" as a command to seek scientific and mathematical knowledge:
I was astounded that science and rationality were embraced by Muslim thinkers such as Al-Khawarizmi, who invented algebra; Ibn Firnas, who developed the mechanics of flight before Leonardo DaVinci; and Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi, who is the father of modern surgery.This claim certainly isn't based on any studying whatsoever. Instead, it seems that Corbin simply went to the "1001 Inventions" exhibit at the National Geographic Museum. There's no way she would assert that Al-Khwarizmi "invented algebra" or that Ibn Firnas "developed the mechanics of flight" if she had actually read a book on algebra or flight. The only extant source for the claim that Ibn Firnas flew is from seven centuries after his death, and it merely claims that he covered himself in feathers, attached two wings to himself, flung himself into the air, and injured himself when he landed. Is this what qualifies as proof that he "developed the mechanics of flight"? Even if we grant that the story about Ibn Firnas is true, why not give the award for flight mechanics to the Chinese, who invented the kite more than a thousand years before Ibn Firnas and who even developed kites that could lift human beings into the air?
While Corbin correctly notes that Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi has been called "the father of modern surgery," she fails to mention that the same title has been given to the Indian surgeon Sushruta (6th century BC), French surgeons Guy de Chauliac (AD 1300-1368) and Ambroise Paré (1517–1590), Italian surgeon Hieronymus Fabricius (1537–1619), Scottish surgeon John Hunter (1728–1793), American surgeons Philip Syng Physick (1768–1837) and William Stewart Halsted (1852–1922), English surgeon Joseph Lister (1827–1912), and German surgeon Theodor Billroth (1829–1894). Why focus on one of the many surgeons who contributed to their field and declare that this has something to do with Islam? Why not convert to Hinduism because Sushruta was a Hindu or to Catholicism because Guy de Chauliac was a Catholic? The answer, of course, is that followers of other religions generally don't make the silly sort of argument that somehow convinced Corbin that Islam is true. Hindus, for instance, don't run around trumpeting that Sushruta was "the father of modern surgery" as if this has anything to do with the truth of Hinduism. Muslim apologists, however, will use just about anything to defend Islam. So when they tell a gullible, uninformed Western "feminist" that Islam must be the truth because a medieval Muslim was a great surgeon, they get the result they're looking for. Moving on:
Here was a religion telling me to seek out answers and use my intellect to question the world around me.Where did Islam tell Corbin to use her intellect to question the world around her? When Muhammad ordered his followers to ask Allah to protect them from non-religious knowledge? On the contrary, the Qur'an warns Muslims not to ask too many questions. Allah will reveal what they need to know in the Qur'an:
Beyond this, Muhammad declared that women are intellectually deficient.
Sahih al-Bukhari 2658—The Prophet said: "Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said: "Yes." He said: "This is because of the deficiency of her mind."How is Corbin going to question the world around her when her prophet says that she simply isn't smart enough?
Now for the conversion:
It was 2001, and I had been putting off converting for a while. I feared what people would think but was utterly miserable. When 9/11 happened, the actions of the hijackers horrified me. But in its aftermath, I spent most of my time defending Muslims and their religion to people who were all too eager to paint a group of 1.6 billion people with one brush because of the actions of a few.Let's recap.
I was done being held hostage by the opinions of others. In defending Islam, I got over my fear and decided to join my brothers and sisters in the faith I believed in.
(1) Theresa Corbin is a "feminist."
(2) She studied Islam for four years before converting, but never managed to actually read any authentic Islamic sources.
(3) Instead, she believed everything she was told by Muslim apologists, and it never occurred to her to look things up.
(4) Because she still hasn't bothered to study the Islamic sources, she makes claims about Islam that totally contradict what Islam actually teaches.
(5) CNN posts her story on its front page, without correcting any of her false claims.
(6) Her story is now used to recruit more gullible women to a religion that considers them intellectually deficient.
Welcome to the new face of American feminism! Islam is the most violently misogynistic religion in the world. Globally, eleven of the twelve countries most oppressive towards women are Muslim-majority countries. Women are being raped by jihadists as we speak (and the Qur'an allows it). And instead of confronting Islam, American feminists are defending it. But don't ask them to "worry their pretty little heads."
For a brief introduction to women in Islam, watch this: