Why are Muslims running away?

Why do Muslims continue to not engage when offered the chance to defend their religion? Is it not time for the scholars and preachers of Islam to stand up and defend their religion?  Exmuslims are continuing to gain popularity and our arguments are being noticed.  I constantly get thank you notes from individuals appreciating my work and telling me I helped them leave Islam.  Yet nobody is really responding to my arguments or agreeing to discuss with me.  Look at the following and see if you notice any pattern.

EDIT: May 2022, I’m happy to say things have improved a lot.  There is a lot more engagement and debates between Muslims and ex-Muslims now.  This list will stay up for posterity

  1. My friend ReasonOnFaith was blocked by the prominent Ahmadiyya apologist Qasim Rashid simply for asking a question. See here for details (July 2016)
  2. Ali Dawah offered to debate me but ran away and even blocked me saying I was “seeking attention”. See here for details (April 2017)
  3. Mazin Abdul Adhim of Hizbut Tahrir, tolerated me commenting on his page for a short time, but eventually blocked me from his facebook page after I asked him why he lives in Canada if he’s preaching against the West? (March 2017)
  4. Musa Furber (traditional sheikh), blocked me after asking a logical question about crime and punishment. He went so far as to dishonestly delete my comments and make the post private.  Details here (April 2017)
  5. Emailed Imam Shabbir Ally requesting debate – no response.  Probably I’m not important enough to respond to. Someone suggested he mainly debates Christians. Here’s the video about it (June 2017)
  6. I had received an offer to debate from Sheikh Osta, who was arranging a venue in a Mosque in Toronto. Again, like so many others, he refused to debate Islam, wanted to debate God’s existence instead. So I agreed on the condition that the second debate would be on Islam. Then he put the condition that I would receive no rights to record or publish the debate. So I refused. No further effort was made from his end. He just silently dropped the topic after that. My guess is they were scared of losing the debate or looking bad. (July 2017)
  7. Faz Abdullah, an engineer by profession who has a personal interest in defending Islam online that I met on facebook, after his constant haranguing me for a debate, I finally agreed. But he also refused to debate the truth of Islam (is the Quran from God or was Muhammad the messenger of God) and wants to debate existence of God instead. He stated that if I don’t believe in God, there is no point discussing Islam. I declined, stating that my personal beliefs are irrelevant to the topic at hand and that the topic of God has already been discussed so many times. If he believes in Islam he should be willing to defend his faith not the general idea of God (July 2017)
  8. Nematullah Ejtemaiyee boasted in multiple videos he will debate me, and then eventually refuses to discuss with me saying “I want attention”, and then blocks me.  Details here (July 2017)
  9. Asadullah Ali of Yaqeen Institute, I had asked him for a debate, and he got very upset and blocked me announcing his reasons why on a facebook post. Details here (July 2017)
    Update: He has now decided to unblock me and has hinted that I will be mentioned in his next iJihad video (June 2018)
    Update: He has again blocked me (June 21 2018)
  10. Ehteshaam Gulam of Answering Muslims blog and Youtube Channel posted a video “Why Abdullah Sameer is not worth responding to” here stating that I plagiarized arguments and not worth responding to.  This is actually not true as I have written many original pieces such as Divorce in Islam.  Despite me not being worth responding to, he actually came and posted his video multiple times on my facebook page 🙄  (July 2017)
  11. Rahmatullah Nowruz, a Muslim YouTuber refused my offer saying he doesn’t debate exmuslims. Details here (August 2017)
  12. Abdullah Gondal and myself (and a bunch of others) were all kicked out and banned from the facebook group Speakers Corner Hyde Park  Yet again it seemed Muslims were scared of us. The group is called Speakers Corner, named after a park in London where speakers of various religions come to debate with one another. How ironic.  Details here (January 2018)
  13. Mustafa Muhammed Sahin of Muslim Apologetics Australia posted a response video to my first leaving islam video, but when I asked him to debate me on the points said he does not do live debates, would prefer rebuttal videos. (May 2018)
  14. Muslim Chat, the largest Muslim discord server, did not allow me to discuss on their forum and instead put in me in #containment-unit room because “there were young kids in the chat” and “previous exmuslims posted inappropriate images”. I assured them I had no intentions of being abusive or ill mannered but they did not want to allow me in their midst. This is fair enough, everyone has the right to decide who to allow to discuss. I have however been allowed on Asadullah’s discord server Durkastan and they have dialogued with me and not kicked me out. His server was since false flagged and shutdown, and I have been added to it again (June 2018)
  15. Rahmatullah Nowruz, the same individual who told me he doesn’t debate exmuslims in August 2017, offered to debate Harris Sultan, an exmuslim friend of mine. After the debate, he took down the video from his channel stating “it wouldn’t be good for his audience.” He did agree to allow Harris to publish it though. (June 2018)
  16. Shibli Zaman, an islamic blogger blocked me for “sharing his posts with snarky commentary” (ref: Twitter)
  17. Yasir Qadhi has blocked me on his facebook page after this incident (June 2018)
  18. Calling Christians deleted my response to their post here and banned me from their page.  I have spoken to Ijaz and he said he will ask to get me unbanned. (June 30, 2018) 
  19. Dr. Waleed Hakeem has blocked me from commenting on his page. This is strange because I had not tagged him or commented in any way but found myself blocked after releasing this video rebuttal. (May 23, 2019)
  20. Dr. Shadee Elmasry has blocked me on Twitter.  Date and reason unknown (July 9, 2019)
  21. I was blocked from SC Dawah’s channel even though they claimed they wanted to talk to atheists
  22. I was denied speaking on Hamza’s Den with 5 Muslims speakers/apologists. They even highlighted my comment on the screen for a second by mistake as shown below. This is clear evidence they knew I was there and didn’t want to talk to me.

And the good news:

  1. Nadir Ahmed – After requesting a reschedule once, the debate finally went through, the first real debate. I am thankful to Nadir for following through with his offer. Second debate on Embryology is pending confirmation from my end. (April 2018)
  2. “Aziz” agreed to discuss with us, without mentioning his real name.  Very thankful for this discussion. (November 2018)
  3. Omar Abdul-Fatah of Ask a Muslim Canada agreed to have a discussion with Abdullah Gondal on my channel.  The topic was: “Is Islam True?(July 2019)

In conclusion

In conclusion, there is a very clear pattern of Muslims running away and avoiding discussing with me. Some of them allow me for a period of time and then eventually block me. I have tried to maintain the upper moral ground and not be abusive. I avoid using offensive language like “Muhammad is a rapist or pedophile”. I have consistently spoken out against anti-Muslim bigotry. Yet the pattern is clear.

This is not to say that all Muslims are like this. There are prominent Muslim pages like Daniel Haqiqatjou who did not block me when I comment.  I hope that Muslims will reconsider and take this opportunity to speak with exmuslims, as we have much to say and we are not going away.

Requesting a debate

I do have a very busy work life schedule. Each debate takes a lot of effort from my part, but if you have an online platform (YouTube or blog) or a representative of the Muslim community (teacher or otherwise community activist) and are interested in a discussion or debate, please contact me at abdullahadam at gmail dot com and I will consider it.

“Never do I debate a man with a desire to hear him err in his speech, or to expose the flaws in his argument, and thus vanquish him. Whenever I face an opponent in debate I silently supplicate, ‘O Lord, help him so that truth may manifest itself in his heart and on his tongue. If it be that the truth is on my side, may he follow me; and if the truth be on his side, may I follow him.” (Attributed to Imam Shafi’i)

6 thoughts on “Why are Muslims running away?

  1. Ali Sina from Freedom Faith.Org is offering US $100000 to any scholars to debate him. There are few debates on web sites but none of them were able to claim the price.

  2. While I think you’ve uncovered a general reluctance on the part of some Muslims to varying levels of engagement, I believe there are several things at play here, and it would not necessarily be fair to group them in together under the banner of ‘Muslims running away’.

    In Islamic organizations, like anywhere else, different people have different roles (and with it, a different focus). For example, while Ahmadi Muslim Qasim Rashid had blocked me on Twitter for commenting on his tweets, he side-steps head-on criticism of Islam generally, with most people. That’s not to say that he avoids the broad themes in such criticism. He writes books, articles, and does speaking engagements very much defending his version of Islam from the hot topics of the day. With his large platform, engaging with everyone who has a following that’s even 2% the size of his, would be taxing. If he feels there’s a greater ROI in promoting his narrative as a one-way broadcast, without getting into the weeds with critics, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he or his Community feel that their Islam doesn’t hold up.

    There are other colleagues of his in the same Ahmadiyya Muslim Community who are eager to have dialogues. For example, Kashif Chaudhry has had a friendly discussion with Armin Navabi on the Atheist Republic channel before, and I’m pretty sure he would accept most invitations from counter viewpoints who also have a sizable following (similar to your conditions here to ensure you’re not getting approached by every tom, dick, and harry).

    I’ve even seen Dr. Arif Ahmed (atheist philosophy professor at Cambridge) have a debate with a Sunni Muslim and a dialogue with an Ahmadi Muslim. So big names on both sides of the argument do engage.

    Perhaps the takeaway here is that more conversations between everyday Muslims and ex-Muslims that could be taking place, aren’t, and that there seem to be a handful of Muslims who are boldly beating their chests for a debate, but then when it comes time to do it, they back away. This more narrowly focused phenomenon, I am seeing (Ali Dawah being the poster boy for this).

    There are Muslims who want to have private conversations first, and that I do find that suspect, as I know you do, too. Logistics for a dialogue or even a debate can be had over a written medium. In fact, a friendly dialogue can be had in public talking through the nature of these logistics and framing, if it is that critical to one or both parties.

    Further, when these discussions are not mirrored on the Muslim speaker’s own channel, or they request it not be recorded, I agree with you, that this is very suspect and hints at some underlying concern that doesn’t make Islam’s proponents look very confident in their own message.

    1. The overarching trend is, however, that of reticence. It is good that Kashif Ch and Armin Navabi had a discussion, but we have to keep in mind that most Muslims do NOT consider Ahmedis to be a representative of Islamic theology. This distinction is crucial keeping in view Muslims’ perspective. Also, Kashif is more of an activist not necessarily an apologist for Ahmedi Islam, like Qasim Rashid. Arif Ahmed has probably debated with Tariq Ramadan, but I’m not sure if the topic was “Is Islam true?”. It might have been more on the philosophical end [not to say that “Is Islam true?” is not philosophical, but such debates tend to be focused on other issues such as Reformation]. I don’t see this as “narrow” [except when you consider that a significant fraction of Muslims is actually NOT involved in activism per se]. I have to disagree, overall.

  3. Yes
    Muslims live as a closed community
    Very reluctant to open up
    In my family( the extended family is very large) I cannot see anyone with whom I can discuss the doubts I ve in my mind. It’s a sin to speak anything against Qur’an or the prophet.

  4. Hi Sameer,

    I guess the issue is far more complicated.
    In my opinion lots of people are so deep into their religious life that doesn’t even come close to their minds to question something like that.
    As for the so called scholars they are so deep into their self indoctrination that they would not spend any time debating with you.
    Going down the path of questioning a religion it is a long process and not everyone is equipped for such thing.
    …and when it happens many people will run into a place of internal hurt… they will realize they do a good thing by de-programming themselves mentally but on the other hand unless they will turn Atheists it will harm them a lot internally.
    Why that? Because there is still a belief in GOD and they will feel that they belong nowhere…
    This entire situation it will alienate them even more to the point that they will return to the religion but practicing it as they see it fit according with their conscience.

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