Answering my critics, Part 1

I resolved to do as much damage to Islam as I possibly can, before a Muslim’s knife reaches my neck. This is much, much bigger than whatever personal experiences my critics imagine I must have had in Islam. They simply have no idea.

Answering my critics, Part 1
The Debate of Socrates and Aspasia by Nicolas-André Monsiau, 1801.

Part 2

It would seem, from a number of second-hand accounts, that I am suspected of having had a terrible personal experience under Islam and that this experience gives rise to my no-nonsense and no-compromise critique of Islam. I am also suspected, I understand, of somehow working for Israel. It is time to a set the record straight.

The shoulders on which I stand

The three quotations that follow are not offered here as an appeal to authority, something I never do and have no respect for. I offer them as an easy way for readers to locate where I stand, and what makes me the kind of thinker I am.

I want them to be extirpated. It’s a purely primate response with me: recognising the need to destroy an enemy in order to assure my own survival. I’ve no interest at all in what they think. I’m only interested in refining methods of destroying them, a task in which, by the way, one gets very little secular support. Most atheists don’t want this fight. The most important one is the one they want to shirk. They’d far rather go and dump on Billy Graham, because on that they know that they can’t fail. There’s no danger there. (Christopher Hitchens,

I offer these words of the late Christopher Hitchens, a British-American journalist and social critic who towered over his peers. I share his censure of secularists and atheists in that “Most [secularists and] atheists don’t want this fight [against Islam], the most important one.” None of his peers understood this point, or what is at stake. Or perhaps I should put that differently: they were unable to comprehend what is at stake, as they could only conceptualise people in their own mould, products of the Enlightenment. It is a problem that constrains almost all of my critics, too.

This UN, which in total contempt for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that Muslim countries have never accepted to sign up [to], in 1977 accepted to recognise the Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, meaning a declaration which states, “All the following rights are subject to Islamic Law, to the Shari’a.” In Islamic countries, the Shari’a is the only source of reference with regard to human rights. (Oriana Fallaci, The Force of Reason, Rizzoli International, 2006, p29).

I offer also this observation from the late Oriana Fallaci, an Italian journalist and social critic who, similar to Hitchens, towered over her peers. Fallaci was fearless, deferred to no one, did not pussyfoot around and pulled no punches, most famously demonstrated during her interview with Ayatollah Khomeini, during which she managed to intimidate the old Mediaeval freak. Apparently, she did not “believe that diplomacy was the best way.” Fallaci gets right to the heart of the matter by the shortest possible route, and the Muslims seizing control of the United Nations and harnessing it as an instrument of Shari’a is the heart of the matter. No doubt, plenty of Muslims are good people “who would never hurt a fly,” but either they fulfil their appointed role of providing intelligence and logistic support to the “handful of extremists” who do the killing, or they are irrelevant.

The Jews have come from the tragedy (of the Holocaust), and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror, with their work, not their crying and yelling. Humanity owes most of the discoveries and science of the 19th and 20th centuries to Jewish scientists. 15 million people, scattered throughout the world, united and won their rights through work and knowledge. We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people. The Muslims have turned three Buddha statues into rubble. We have not seen a single Buddhist burn down a mosque, kill a Muslim, or burn down an embassy. Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people, and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them. (Wafa Sultan, interviewed on Al-Jazeera, 21 February 2006, reported on MEMRI)

Wafa Sultan, now an American, was previously a psychiatrist in Syria. I draw strength from Sultan, because for her, criticising Muslims is not taboo, and Muslims need to be criticised with utter ferocity and ruthlessness, for they are the only people who rob, lie, blackmail, beat, mutilate, rape and murder as acts of worship and expect respect for it. There is no more depraved a people on earth. I am fully at one with Wafa Sultan in dealing with Muslims as they deserve to be dealt with, and the Muslim who does not want to rob, lie, blackmail, beat, mutilate, rape and murder, yet says “I am a Muslim” does not deserve kindness, friendship and support any more than would a mafioso who says “those who claim to be mafiosi, but rob, lie, blackmail, beat, mutilate, rape and murder are not true mafiosi.” I have no time for the sensibilities of people who wish to solve their moral dilemmas at my expense.

Christopher Hitchens, Oriana Fallaci and Wafa Sultan are the giants on whose shoulders I hope I deserve to stand. My critics need to understand this first, before I will deign to take them seriously. In the meantime, there is a war to be fought and it is a war not of my choosing. It is jihad, a war made obligatory upon Muslims by the very Shari’a that the United Nations endorses through its adoption of the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, effectively abolishing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

My beating heart

Now, one can of course pretend that there is no jihad, or that that terrible practice is engaged in only by a “handful of extremists,” or that it is actually not war, but dropping your kids off at school, and that it is more positive to pay attention to good people, than to focus on the ones who are out to kill you. Why do I not acknowledge that there are good people, too? They are not all bad. To those who maintain such a stance I say, good luck. I say this as an expression of polite resignation, because they know as well as I do that their timid actions and weasel-worded utterances have no bearing whatsoever on the “bad Muslims,” but they can do naught except act as if those bad people do not exist, and get upset with me for not going along with it. Except that the “handful of extremists” have the inconsiderate habit of killing people left, right and centre, day after day. We know it is them because they always shout the same thing when they kill, “Allahu-akbar!”

My critics have to relegate such people to somewhere outside Islam, to a special island called “Islamism,” so Islam may be kept cuddly and reserved as the pristine habitat of cute Muslims, the Muslims we can do business with. The rest, out there, beyond the pale, are “Islamists”. What a neat solution, except that the same Allahu-akbar that the “Islamists” shout when they kill, is loudly declared from minarets across the world about forty times a day, every day, and spoken with every movement that every Muslim makes during every prayer. Oh yes, the “Islamists” perform the same prayers, and say the same Allahu-akbars, too. They learn from the same Qur’an and the same hadith and take their battle orders from the same Shari’a.

The “Islamists” do not interpret Shari’a in a different way to the (nice) “Muslims” – Shari’a assigns warfare to those disposed towards fighting, and propaganda, intelligence and logistics to those not disposed towards fighting. Whether they admit it or not (or you realise it or not), your nice Muslims being nice makes it easier for your “extremist Muslims” to be “extreme”. I hope I have made clear why I cannot acquiesce in my detractors’ expectation that I be nice to nice Muslims. I know them too well.

It is a curious logic that asserts that I have had a bad personal experience with Islam and for that reason am so fiercely critical of Islam. At the same time, they reject what I have to say about Islam, because my bad experience with Islam, experience that they assert, is not, by their own implication, a valid reason for criticising Islam. Yet, they will not ask me about the bad experience they assume I must have had. Because my critics assert that I had a bad personal experience with Islam, yet reject that Islam could be bad, they are making a contradictory accusation: 1. I have had a bad experience with Islam, and 2. I could not have had a bad experience with Islam. Such is the muddled world of the coward playing mind games as the easy way out of dealing with the problem of Muslims.

So, I’m supposed to have had bad personal experiences with Islam, which is why I can find nothing nice to say about it. These apologists for Islam—for that is effectively what they are—are actually saying that seeing horrible things done to others in Islam could not possibly be a reason for wanting to take down Islam; it has to happen to you personally before it becomes a possible reason (even though it turns out that a bad personal experience with Islam only leads to a warped, and so invalid, view of Islam, anyway). Even if I did have a bad personal experience with Islam, I could not possibly know what I’m talking about, as opposed to them, who most definitely do.

For the record, I was never beaten or otherwise physically abused, either by my parents (I even sat them down one day, talked to them, and they had no problem with my leaving Islam) or in madrassa, although having to read in a language I did not understand was a daily torture for me. So distressing did I find the ridiculousness of it all that I broke down in tears by the time I got halfway through the first sentence. Everyone, including our sheikh, felt sorry for me for being unable to do something that everyone else managed with such ease and so beautifully. I did, however, witness a boy in our class subjected to falaka, right there in front of everyone. That boy’s screams haunted me for a very long time. I have seen Muslims around me batter their children and boast about it, to their friends’ hearty approval.

In another madrassa, years later, our teacher beat his daughter so badly that the plank he used lay in splinters all over the floor. What did this girl do to warrant such brutality? She was seen holding hands with a boy. This, the cruelty of Muslims, drove me out of Islam. I could take the ignorance, the superstition, the hair-trigger yelling, the extremely frail egos and the—let’s not beat around the bush—legendary stupidity of my fellow Muslim. But the cruelty? No. That was too much. By the way, as the United Nations has adopted the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, it will sooner or later, no longer be a crime in the West for Muslims to beat their own children to death.[1]

Initially, I just went quietly into the night. To get me from leaving Islam to active critic of Islam, Muslims had, following the Iranian revolution, to turn into complete nutters all around me. Iran had to send a generation of children rushing into minefields to set them off for the grown men to safely get through. Saddam Hussein had to gas the Kurds. Muslims had to go on a world-wide killing spree. It took decades of this to turn me into a critic of Islam. But it was only when I started studying Islam that all the terrible things I had witnessed as a Muslim began to tie up with the horrific things I saw on television and read about in the newspapers. Later, I also came to understand totalitarianism and the parallels with Islam were everywhere.

Leaving Islam was unheard of where I grew up. For a time, “If someone leaves his religion, kill him,” was one of those weird things Muslims in the Middle East got up to, but after the clamour to kill Salman Rushdie, the matter was no longer academic. I had left Islam, and that is the be all and end all of the matter. It became clear that if my leaving Islam is all the reason a Muslims needs to kill me, then anything else I say or do, or don’t say or don’t do, becomes irrelevant. It has no bearing whatsoever on whether a Muslim, any Muslim, was or was not going to kill me. Since there was also no question of my ever returning to my former religion, I resolved to do as much damage to Islam as I possibly can, before a Muslim’s knife reaches my neck. This is much, much bigger than whatever personal experiences my critics imagine I must have had in Islam. They simply have no idea.

One critic insisted that there are also good things in Islam. Why did I not mention those? I did have fond memories of Islam, of Ramadan especially: fritters of all varieties, potato, pineapple, banana, coconut, all sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, a feast for all the senses; the invigorating freshness of the air filled with the first birdsong on the walk home from fajr; during the last ten days of Ramadan, I sometimes stayed in the mosque from Asr through to Taraweeh, where, in between tending to the business of being pious, I entertained myself with the amazing ugliness of old people’s feet. Those memories remain, but they are no longer fond. How could they be, given what I know now?

To expect of me to say nice things about Islam is to ask me to indulge in a mind game. I consider such mind games dangerous, because I would place human wellbeing beneath the wellbeing of Islam, the UDHR beneath the CDHRI. I will have made myself an instrument of Shari’a, my ethics then a switch that can be flicked on and off at Muslim will. I am exaggerating? Remember Aung San Suu Kyi, the gentle, petite Burmese woman with the flower in her hair who stood up to the brutal military junta oppressing her country? She was everyone’s darling for her bravery, until she stood up to the Rohingya jihad terrorists and expelled their “nice Muslim” support base from the country. Overnight she became the ultimate evil, evocative of a scene in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four, when mid-rally, the crowd turned from praising ally A and hating enemy B to hating enemy A and praising ally B, as if a switch had been flicked. An entire generation of freeborn Western zombies can, at the flick of a switch, be set upon any course of destruction, such as Black Lives Matter, or Just Stop Oil, or Free Palestine.

Part 2/...


  1. “ARTICLE 7: (c) Both parents are entitled to certain rights from their children, and relatives are entitled to rights from their kin, in accordance with the tenets of the shari’ah.” Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam.

    This is a disguise of the Shari’a stipulation that permits infanticide:

    “The following are not subject to retaliation: a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring's offspring.” Reliance of the Traveller, Book O1.2.4.

    Keep in mind that polygamy, wife-beating and paedophilia are already no longer crimes in the West, at least not for Muslims, for now. So the Universal Declaration of Human Rights only applies where it does not clash with Shari’a, i.e., where it “does not forbid what Allah has forbidden” and does not make unlawful what Allah has made lawful, such as the murder of your own children.

Picture credits:

Nicolas-André Monsiau -, Public Domain,

GianAngelo Pistoia - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

BDEngler - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

ensceptico - IMGP3956 / Image:Christopher Hitchens.jpg (cropped), CC BY 2.0,


On 26 May 2024 at 4:26, Jalal Tagreeb wrote:

Dear Anjuli,

It is nice to read your viewpoints, yesterday I watched a movie about Muhammad Ali and I was fascinated by his journey to Islam. It was a choice of courage and conviction.

Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., is celebrated not only for his unparalleled achievements in the boxing ring but also for his bold decision to convert to Islam, a choice that showcased his deep personal convictions and unwavering courage.

Ali’s introduction to the Nation of Islam (NOI) in the early 1960s marked the beginning of a profound transformation. The NOI, under the leadership of Elijah Muhammad, advocated for black empowerment, self-sufficiency, and pride—messages that resonated powerfully with Ali. At a time when racial discrimination was rampant in the United States, the teachings of the NOI provided Ali with a framework that directly challenged the status quo and offered a path toward dignity and respect.

The decision to change his name from Cassius Clay, which he viewed as his "slave name," to Muhammad Ali was a bold assertion of his new identity. He was fighting alone in this ring as he used to do in the boxing ring -- in my humble opinion. This act was not merely symbolic but a profound rejection of an oppressive history and a step towards embracing a faith and community that valued him for who he was. It was a declaration of self-respect and a reclamation of his heritage.

Ali's conversion was also deeply rooted in his spiritual and moral convictions. Islam offered him a sense of fulfillment and a set of ethical guidelines that he adhered to throughout his life. His dedication to his faith was evident in his actions and words, making him a role model for millions around the world.

Moreover, Ali’s embrace of Islam was a powerful political statement. Amid the Civil Rights Movement, his conversion was an act of defiance against systemic racism. His refusal to be drafted into the Vietnam War, citing his religious beliefs, further cemented his position as a courageous advocate for peace and justice. This act of principle, risking his career and freedom, exemplified his commitment to his beliefs.

Muhammad Ali’s choice to convert to Islam was a testament to his strength of character and his willingness to stand up for what he believed in, despite the potential consequences. His journey was one of self-discovery, empowerment, and unwavering faith, earning him admiration and respect far beyond the boxing world.

Ali’s legacy as a champion is not only marked by his physical prowess but also by his moral and spiritual courage. His life story serves as an inspiration, reminding us of the power of conviction and the importance of staying true to one's beliefs, no matter the odds. Perhaps you are on the opposite side with different opinion.

Kind regards,


On 26 May 2024 at 17:04, Anjuli Pandavar wrote:

Dear Jalal,

Thank you for your meaty comment and snapshot biography of Muhammad Ali, whose sporting accomplishments are beyond question. The Nation of Islam, however, is a racist cult, that, despite its founding in 1930, twenty-four years before the Civil Rights Movement (1954-1968), pales against the latter in challenging the status quo. The NOI "challenged the status quo" only in so far as it sought to substitute black racism for white racism. The Civil Rights Movement, on the other hand, achieved an impressive list of changes to the status quo:

"Separate but equal" doctrine overturned by Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

Bus segregation ruled unconstitutional by Browder v. Gayle (1956)

Civil Rights Act of 1957

US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (1957)

US Commission on Civil Rights (1957)

Civil Rights Act of 1960

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Anti-miscegenation laws ruled unconstitutional by McLaughlin v. Florida (1964)

Ratification of the 24th Amendment to the US Constitution (1964)

Voting Rights Act of 1965

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (1965)

Interracial marriages legalised by Loving v. Virginia (1967)

Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act)

Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (1968)

I would suggest that a young black boxer in 1960s America might have found himself more drawn to a macho, attitude-driven, racist gang in suits, than to a preacher-led, non-racial movement of pacifists.

Muhammad Ali did not think his ditching of his "slave name" through very well. Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. was born to Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr., who in turn, was named after the great abolitionist, Cassius Marcellus Clay (1810-1903). In 1855, Clay donated the land on which the non-racial Berea College was built, six years before the outbreak of the US Civil War. Slavery still existed in the United States at that time. Muhammad Ali's grandparents might well have had grandparents who owed their freedom to people like Cassius Marcellus Clay.

In a blackwashing evocative of the Muslim elite obsession with descent from their prophet, the Washington Post ran an article in 2018 tying Muhammad Ali directly back to Archer Alexander, "a slave who heroically fought both for his own freedom and against slavery". Perhaps. While the article does mention Cassius Clay Sr., its author made sure not to mention how he came by that name, for the original Cassius Marcellus Clay was white and an abolitionist, rather than a slaveowner. Like his father before him, Muhammad Ali was freely named Cassius Marcellus Clay in honour of that white abolitionist. There is no way that he had a "slave name".

Another thing that Muhammad Ali is unlikely to have known is that the original Muhammad Ali (1769-1849), the Ottoman ruler of Egypt, Sudan, the Levant, Crete, and what was to become Saudi Arabia, was a contemporary of the original Cassius Marcellus Clay, and on slavery, the two men were at exactly opposite poles. Muhammad Ali conquered Sudan after he launched a successful military invasion and subjugation of that territory, taking land, gold and slaves as booty. Out of the black slaves Muhammad Ali captured in Sudan, he formed a jihad army. By the way, you can still buy slaves in Sudan, today.

Just because you're a victim, does not mean you're right. Just because you're angry, does not mean you're right. Still, that Muhammad Ali was the greatest cannot be taken away from him.

Best regards,

On 26 May 2024 at 19:51, Ben Dor A. wrote:

Dear Anjuli Pandavar

Thank you for sharing your personal experience dealing with Islam.

That's a very brave psychological effort from yourself.

You also mentioned: "Christopher Hitchens, Oriana Fallaci and Wafa Sultan are the giants on whose shoulders I hope I deserve to stand."

You certainly do. Another brave woman that warned against the rise of Islam in Europe is Bat Yeor with her famous book: Eurabia.

If anyone is going to succeed in bringing some common sense to our upside-down world, it will be women.

Kudos to your work.

God Bless you 🙏

Best Regards
Ben Dor A

On 28 May 2024 at 10:05, Anjuli Pandavar wrote:

Dear Ben Dor A,

Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it.

Bat Ye'or certainly is a very strong woman and I have read some of her books. They should be prescribed reading in Israel, but of course, they're not. I read in the Foreword to one of her books what kind of reception her work has had from Jews. It makes for disturbing reading. In that respect she is a female Jabotinsky. But apart from her, I admire every woman who serves in the IDF. I admire every woman who carries a gun and knows how to use it. Trust me, a rapist always has his weapon on his person.

If Muslim women want real role models, they have them right there in the IDF, in their midst. They, of course, also have the women of Iran, women who have had no military training. When women in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, China, Japan, the whole of Eastern Europe, Turkey, Russia, Central Asia, the Muslim world and Central America start taking inspiration from IDF women, I think we will have turned a corner. It stands as a sorry indicator of the broken condition of women under Shari'a that they do not.

It is an even greater tragedy that Muslim women born into freedom in the West, niqabbed up to the eyeballs, run YouTube channels advising "sisters" on how to cope with discovering their husbands have other wives elsewhere. "I want for my sisters what I want for myself," declared one particularly dumb sister recently. What utter bullshit! It reminds me of those Muslim women in France, who, when asked about the men-only cafés in Muslim neighbourhoods, responded, "We don't want to go to cafés." If there can be Taslima Nasreens in this world, why do we have to suffer embarrassments like Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Linda Sarsour?

There are really positive signs across the Muslim world, especially in the Maghreb, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh.