Anyone who is active on social media has received vulgar comments. Some receive threats, and I've received my fair share. In light of Donald Trump's heightened anti-Muslim rhetoric, I've received an increased number of vulgarity and threats.
A few days ago I thought I'd try something different when I received the latest threatening email from a Nazi on Facebook. Not surprisingly, he was a staunch Donald Trump supporter. Let's call him Nate. Rather than block him, I thought I would try to reason with him. I had no idea where the conversation would go, but I was ready to find out.
His initial email to me was totally unsolicited. Here's what happened:
(Slightly edited for readability)
Nate: All muslims will be removed from America and Europe. And you will all ultimately burn in hell for worshipping a demon god. i bet you are a pedophile.
Qasim: Come on Nate do you know any Muslims personally?
Nate: Unfortunately yes. you muslims are sick f***ing freaks.
Qasim: Where have you met Muslims? What books on Islam have you read? Can we dialogue without vulgar language and name-calling? Regardless I am sorry that you had a poor experience with the Muslim that you met. It sounds like he severely mistreated you. I am sorry you had to experience that.
Nate: Okay. How can you consider Mohammad to be the holiest prophet of god? he killed lots of people and started wars, he was a polygamist and he married children.
Qasim: There's unfortunately a great deal of misinformation about Prophet Muhammad(sa) on the Internet. The reality and truth is he never killed anyone, only fought in self defense to protect the rights of all people to worship however they wanted, and certainly never married a child. You should know I agree with you that terrorist groups like Daesh and the Taliban are barbaric monsters. I won't even call them human. My brother is a US Marine veteran and served American honorably against these terrorists. Prophet Muhammad(sa) required Muslims to protect all people from attack and forbade all forms of terrorism. Please don't judge Islam by terrorists and bigots.
Nate: Yes he did marry kids. Look at this Wikipedia article about Aisha.
Qasim: It's Wikipedia. It's wrong. She was between 15-19. Do you know what the legal age of marriage is in many states? It's 13. Do you know how old Mary Mother of Jesus was when she was married to Joseph? Mary was 12-13 and Joseph was 91.
Nate: No the gospel does not specify an age for either of them. it says he is old but thats it. 15-19 is still pretty bad, and this other one was only 18. Look at this Wikipedia article about Safiyya. I don't like that he has more than one wife.
Qasim: The Catholic encyclopedia explains that she was 12-13 and Joseph was 90.
Nate: Well she was also a virgin.
Qasim: Yes indeed. Christ was born of the Virgin Mary.
Nate: which is somewhat better than Muhammad and Aisha. I am a pagan by the way.
Qasim: Why is it a competition of "better"? Pagan? Thanks for clarifying.
Nate: Christianity is middle eastern, so I blame that influence for anything perverted in the bible. Not the european people, who had christianity forced upon them 1000 years ago. Around the same time mohammad was forcing his religion onto people.
Qasim: Sorry Nate, Prophet Muhammad(sa) did no such thing. In fact the Qur'an commands Muslims to protect all houses of worship and celebrates universal freedom of conscience.
Nate: What about this hadith that says to expel Jews and Christians?
1) You realize these were written down 300 years after the fact right? They're not totally accurate.
2) The Charter of Medina is a written constitution Prophet Muhammad(sa) made with the Jews in which it says "no Jew will be wronged for being a Jew" and "Muslims and Jews are equal citizens of this state." Prophet Muhammad(sa) also wrote a letter to Christians promising them in writing that no Muslim has the right to ever harm them or expel them.
Nate: You don't believe the Quran?
Qasim: These are written documents from the time of Prophet Muhammad(sa) that have his literal stamp of approval. Of course I believe in 100% of the Qur'an. It guarantees universal freedom of conscience and only permits fighting in self defense when attacked. It forbids offensive attack. Instead of googling online, I encourage you to read a biography of Prophet Muhammad(sa). I can send you some great reads if you want. Learn the history from scholars who have studied it.
Nate: Would you invite millions of poor white christians to come live in your richest muslim countries?
Qasim: Absolutely. And that's exactly what Prophet Muhammad(sa) did. When Christians came to Mecca he invited them to worship as they wished in his own mosque. He didn't restrict them at all but encouraged them to worship freely. As I said, he wrote a letter to the St. Catherine's Monastery as a covenant with all Christians. Below is the text:
"This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.
Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.
No compulsion is to be on them.
Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries.
No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses.
Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.
No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight.
The Muslims are to fight for them.
If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray.
Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.
No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world)."
Nate: Okay but why do so many now want to kill christians?
Qasim: It's not "so many." But I don't say that to pretend terrorism is not an issue in some Muslim mjaority countries. It most certainly and it has to stop. The problem is corrupt Muslim leadership combined with really terrible US foreign policy. But in my view the bigger issue is corrupt Muslim leadership. I assure you that Muslims, the vast vast majority, are beautiful and compassionate people. The terrorists just get the loudest platforms. We needn't sit idle. We are working hard to stop the corruption with education and dialogue. We are countering terrorists online with things like the True Islam campaign (www.trueislam.com). We have a lot of work to do but i'm confident if we work together we can use education to counter and stop terrorism wherever it exists.
Nate: Okay I guess theres good and bad people in any demographic. But i still think white people should have their own homogenous living space to preserve their culture and genes. That cant happen with millions of Muslims moving to Europe.
Qasim: You're correct that there are good and bad in every community. Regarding white people, well for starters there are millions of white Muslims. I know many personally. Also, all humanity is equal. Skin color doesn't make any person superior or inferior to the other. I'm brown and Muslim. You're white and pagan. But I see you as an equal human being. If someone oppressed you for your beliefs or spat on you for your skin color, know that I would stand up to defend you. This human equality is what Islam teaches. This is how we can move past our differences while still respecting our differences, and find a pathway to peace. Isolating ourselves from each other solves nothing. It only creates fear and hate. We are Better than that. Let's work together Nate.
[You are no longer permitted to send messages to this user]
Rats, he blocked me.
You can leave your comments below, or post them directly on my Facebook page where I've also posted the above conversation.