A friend asked me “Have you discovered any really useful topics or methods to shake Muslims away from this belief?”
The answer? Different things appeal to different people.
Sometimes its Muhammad’s morally questionable actions. Killing of Banu Qurayza including all boys who reached puberty. Involvement in slavery and his marriage to a child Aisha, marrying his adopted son’s ex-wife Zainab, etc.
Many Muslims are troubled by the question of hell, especially an eternal hell. How can this be fair? Especially for Muslims who live in non-Muslim countries and have seen that non-Muslims are good people, you wonder how can these people deserve to roast in a fire?
Women’s rights is a huge one. Including allowing slavery and sex with vulnerable slaves who can’t really refuse or consent properly due to imbalance of power. Inheritance laws being unfair to women, divorce laws being unfair.
The stories in the Quran deserve a whole category of problematic statements to themselves. The mythical stories that just cannot be true like Dhul Qarnayn going from east to west finding the setting and rising of the sun.
Also problematic: The stories in the Quran all seem to take from apocryphal texts such as the Syriac Infancy Gospel. The Syriac Alexander Romance.. We find the Quranic stories to have mixed up details like Jesus having his own gospel vs the four Greek gospels written about him.
Then there’s philosophy. The problem of evil for example.
Philosophy and atheism provide a much better solution to the suffering in our world. There is no god out there watching over us. Try to make sense of it under theology. It either means god is weak or uncaring or evil.
How about the barbarism in Islamic law? Killing apostates, stoning adulterers? That’s also really problematic and causes many people to doubt Islam. There really is no good reason for Islamic law to be set in stone (pun intended).
Academic criticisms of Islam are another emerging problem. Challenges to the claim that the Quran is preserved and not corrupted are eroding it’s legitimacy. More scholarly work is being done on the compilation of the Quran and this is going to continue to cause issues.
Another issue for Muslims is the hadith. Not knowing for sure what Muhammad really said and did is really problematic. How do you really know that you are following the religion properly?
The myriad of contradictory sects, beliefs, schools of thought also causes problems for Muslims. Many Muslims just want to throw their hands up and say “forget all of this! I’m just Muslim”. It causes doubt that a true religion can have so many discrepancies and contradictions
For me it was the contradictions between our understanding of the universe and the statements in the Quran. Science. How every single “miracle” claim I believed in fell apart as I started to dig deeper.
In particular I’ve come to believe Darwinian evolution is a smoking gun against Islam as it completely destroys the Adam and Eve myth. If Adam and Eve is not literally true, then what is?
I’ve written about all of these various issues with Islam on my blog. Check it out