Criticism of Islam

historical and current criticism of the Islamic religion, its teachings, actions, omissions, structure, nature or founders

Criticism of Islam is broadly defined as criticism of the Islamic religion in its beliefs, principles, and/or any other ideas attributed to Islam.


  • It is a misfortune to human nature, when religion is given by a conqueror. The Mahometan religion, which speaks only by the sword, acts still upon men with that destructive spirit with which it was founded.
    • Charles-Louis Montesquieu Charles-Louis de Secondat, "Spirit of the Laws", Book XXIV, Chapter IV (1748)
  • The sword of Mahomet, and the Coran, are the most fatal enemies of Civilization, Liberty, and Truth, which the world has yet known.
    • William Muir, The Life of Mahomet, vol. 4, 1861, p. 322
  • The exaltation of violence; a merciless war chief, plunderer, slaughterer of Jews and a polygamist, such is the man revealed through the quran... Turning to Mahomet, by contradiction, reinforces hate and violence. Jesus is a master of love, Mahomet is a master of hatred... The stoning of Satan, each year at Mecca, is not just a superstitious phenomenon. It not only sets the scene for a rabble flirting with barbarity. Its scope is anthropological. Here in effect is a rite, which each Muslim is invited to submit himself to, emphasizing violence as a sacred duty in the heart of the believer. This stoning, annually accompanied with deaths by trampling of the faithful, sometimes in several hundreds, is a ritual which nurtures archaic violence. Instead of getting rid of this archaic violence... Islam builds a nest for this violence, where it can grow in the warmth... Islam is a religion which, even in its sacred text, as well as in its banal rites, exalts violence and hate... Hate and violence inhabit the book with which each Muslim is educated, the Koran.
    • Robert Redeker, "Face aux intimidations islamistes, que doit faire le monde libre?", Le Figaro, september 2006
  • [Islam] from its very birth has used the edge of the sword as a means to convert or conquer those with different religious convictions.
    • Carey Cash: Tim Reid - ‘Islam is violent’ says President Obama’s new pastor Carey Cash - The Times, October 15, 2009
  • It is an old dictators' trick to associate criticism with crime and disorder, and too often we have seen secularists reduced to this sleight-of-hand of identifying rational criticism of Christianity and Islam with communal riots.
    • K. Elst, Ayodhya: The Case Against the Temple (2002)
  • Indians may recall that such death sentences against people who have insulted the Prophet, have been carried out earlier this century: against Arya Samaj propagandists Swami Shraddhananda and Pandit Lekh Ram, and against Rajpal, the writer of the Rangila Rasool (more or less Playboy Mohammed). This was a book on the sex life of the Prophet and his wives, certainly insulting, and as a criticism of Islam rather beside the point, but understandable as a reaction against a similar vilifying Muslim pamphlet about Sita. These murders had the desired effect, for the Arya Samaj became less straightforward in its criticism of the Prophet.
    • Elst K. Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society (1991)
  • Islam in its origins is just as shady and approximate as those from which it took its borrowings. It makes immense claims for itself, invokes prostrate submission or "surrender" as a maxim to its adherents, and demands deference and respect from nonbelievers into the bargain. There is nothing—absolutely nothing—in its teachings that can even begin to justify such arrogance and presumption.
  • On the other hand, those who founded sects committed to erroneous doctrines proceeded in a way that is opposite to this, The point is clear in the case of Muhammad. He seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh goads us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected, he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity. He did not bring forth any signs produced in a supernatural way, which alone fittingly gives witness to divine inspiration; for a visible action that can be only divine reveals an invisibly inspired teacher of truth. On the contrary, Muhammad said that he was sent in the power of his arms—which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants. What is more, no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning, Those who believed in him were brutal men and desert wanderers, utterly ignorant of all divine teaching, through whose numbers Muhammad forced others to become his followers by the violence of his arms. Nor do divine pronouncements on the part of preceding prophets offer him any witness. On the contrary, he perverts almost all the testimonies of the Old and New Testaments by making them into fabrications of his own, as can be. seen by anyone who examines his law. It was, therefore, a shrewd decision on his part to forbid his followers to read the Old and New Testaments, lest these books convict him of falsity. It is thus clear that those who place any faith in his words believe foolishly.
  • So many people can't live their childhood properly because of him [Muhammad]. So many people are sufferers of his disasters. So many people know what's right as wrong and what's wrong as right because they think the darkness that he chose exists. Human emotions and human creations haven't progressed in many ways, because of him.... if there is a God, he's not Mohammed's.
    • "Turan Dursun" Perinçek, Ş., "Turan Dursun Hayatını Anlatıyor", Kaynak Yayınları
  • May any Muslims who happen to read these lines forgive my plain speaking. For them the Koran is the book of Allah and I respect their faith. But I do not share it and I do not wish to fall back, as many orientalists have done, on equivocal phrases to disguise my real meaning. This may perhaps be of assistance in remaining on good terms with individuals and governments professing Islam; but I have no wish to deceive anyone. Muslims have every right not to read the book or to acquaint themselves with the ideas of a non-Muslim, but if they do so, they must expect to find things put forward there which are blasphemous to them. It is evident that I do not believe that the Koran is the book of Allah.
    • Maxime Rodinson quoted in Why I Am Not a Muslim (1995), Ibn Warraq
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