This is your friendly neighborhood ex-Muslim. In the following video, I will be talking about a dangerous trend. Facebook is relying on Islamic scholars like Yasir Qadhi to fact check claims about Islam. When I first found out about this from watching David Wood’s video I couldn’t believe my eyes. David wood made a video about how Joe Biden has accidentally called on Jihad against America and when people tried to share his video on Facebook, it got banned for spreading false information! And guess who decided it was fake news? Yasir Qadhi.
This creates a dangerous precedent. A precedent that if anyone says anything negative about Islam, even if it’s true, it will be “fact-checked” and blocked by proponents of that religion. This is very very bad.
Here is an excerpt transcript of David’s video:
A few months ago, I posted a video titled “Joe Biden accidentally calls for Jihad against America”. It has over half a million views. The video is yet another example of an American politician quoting Muhammad in order to win some votes from Muslims. Biden said, “Hadith from the prophet Muhammad instructs whomever among you sees wrong but didn’t change it with his hand if he is not able and with his tongue, if he is not able and with his heart..”
So according to David Wood, ‘changing it with your hands’ refers to establishing Islamic law through Jihad as one means. This is his opinion but apparently, he’s not allowed to say this now because a Muslim scholar determined it was wrong. David made it very clear in the video that this was definitely not intentionally done by Joe Biden but rather it was probably just a “nice-sounding” quote they put in the speech. To David, quoting Islamic scripture without context is dangerous, and he has the right to say this.
Now you might be wondering. How on earth did this happen? Why would Facebook ban people from posting a video that is an opinion piece on their own page? And what does Yasir Qadhi have to do with any of this? It’s just Facebook being Facebook. But later on in his video, David explains how he received a comment informing him that his video had been flagged as partly false based on Yasir Qadhi’s analysis. At first, he thought it was a joke but when he later went to view PolitiFact’s analysis here is what they said:
“Yasir Qadhi a prominent cleric and dean of the Islamic Seminary of America said the hadith encourages Muslims to act if they see something that goes against their moral values. If they can’t they should say something about it or at the very least disagree with it in their hearts” Qadhi said. “Even the radical jihadists don’t use this particular hadith to justify their misinterpretations”, Qadhi wrote. “Jihad in Arabic literally means struggle.”
So Facebook is relying on Yasir Qadhi to police what others say about Islam. Indirectly through the Politifact website, Yasir Qadhi now has the power to shut down posts on this topic. Yasir Qadhi has been promoted to the gatekeeper of Islamic fact-checking on Facebook. He is now the Mufti al-Facebook. This is a really worrying direction for a social media platform to go in.
There’s another problem too – The Political Fact Check is actually criticizing a totally different article. An article posted by a group called “Voice of America” claims that Joe Biden is calling for a Muslim Jihad. This page is obviously over the top, and it’s claims are ridiculous. Somehow, they flagged David Wood’s video even though it is not the article that the fact-check is connected to. Unlike this site, which has zero nuance, and really does seem to be tinfoil hat style propaganda, David Wood made it clear that this may have been an innocent mistake on Biden’s part.
“Joe Biden’s speechwriter might be a total moron who did a google search for great quotes from prophet Muhammad and put this quote into the speech without realizing what the quote is actually about.”
There’s an actual argument being made here. And it’s not a tinfoil hat one either. It’s an argument for being more careful about the Islamic sources you quote.
The campaign didn’t respond to these claims. What did Facebook do? Turned to the great Yasir Qadhi who determined this is fake news. To be clear, even if Yasir Qadhi is right that that page was misrepresenting the hadith, there is a big problem here. Who will fact-check the fact-checkers? This is why we NEED free speech. If someone gets to decide who speaks and who doesn’t (other than the few exceptional legitimate reasons to limit it) then our society will go astray.
The Actual Hadith
On the authority of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (ra) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say,
“Whoso- ever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith. ” [Muslim]
Now to actually focus on what Joe Biden has said. Is the hadith really that controversial? Does it really call for intolerance, hate, and violence? On the surface, the hadith may just seem like a good hadith. After all, what is so bad about telling people that if they see something that is wrong, they should make an effort to stop it? But the issue is, Islam defines what is wrong.
According to Islam, Homosexuality is wrong, women not covering themselves is wrong, fornication, blasphemy, apostasy, music and so many other things that we consider okay are wrong in Islam. So yes, if you take the hadith in context, people do have the right to be angry at what Joe Biden said. It’s a cheap tactic.
Not only is he ACCIDENTALLY calling Muslims to take action against secular and liberal values that the democratic party stands for, but he is also encouraging Muslims to continue holding bigoted religious views by citing a hadith like this. “But Joe Biden said I should listen to Prophet Muhammad” a Muslim will say.
The hadith doesn’t say that if you see someone bullying an LGBT or beating their wives you should take action against it. The hadith just says if you see someone doing what is WRONG. And who defines what is wrong in Islam? The Quran and Sunnah.
“But obviously that is not what Joe Biden meant!”
I agree, that is definitely not what he meant. He made a mistake. But do you not think that someone like Joe Biden should be more careful about what he cites? Do you not see why his statement might be worrying to some people? Of course, there are liberal Muslims who take that hadith to only mean something along the lines of what Joe Biden believes this hadith means, but there are also Muslims who read this hadith and say “Yes, we can not accept western or secular values, we must always consider them wrong! And yes if someone commits blasphemy, apostasy, homosexuality, fornication or anything that’s wrong in Islam, we should try to take action against that!” even if this action isn’t physical, just refusing to turn away from opening their minds to new ideas is wrong and also dangerous. Not something a presidential candidate of a democratic party should be quoting out of context to gain more Muslim votes. This cheap tactic from politicians must end!
As I will remind everyone, as David Wood said, “This is not an issue of republican vs democrat. Of left vs right. This is an issue of politicians needing to stop saying stupid things.”
Yasir Qadhi, like the Islamic governments that exist all over the world, wants to ban criticism of Islam because he can’t handle Islam being questioned or criticized, and since Facebook is biased to allow Muslim content and censor content critical to Islam, it seems like they saw no issue with complying to his request. Even though the fact check was for a completely different article, they blindly applied it to David Wood’s video which is a totally different opinion piece on the Biden Video. Joe Biden’s campaign refused to comment or to provide clarification on this issue and Facebook has decided to allow Islamic scholars to decide who’s right here.
How far is this going to go? Is Facebook going to start having Muslim fact checker fact checks any post that criticizes Islam? Is YouTube going to do the same? Based on the way things are going I wouldn’t be surprised.
Let’s hope that doesn’t happen. For now, keep supporting Ex-Muslim pages and channels however you can. This is your friendly neighborhood ex-Muslim Abdullah Sameer signing out.
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