TEL AVIV — Moroccan intellectual, human rights activist and secularist Ahmed Assid has met with a storm of anger on social media after claiming that there is no proof of the miracles described in the Quran and criticizing the larger Muslim world for its lack of progress in science or technology.
The assertion that the miracles described in the Quran actually happened “is fabricated nonsense created by man and there is no proof in the text itself,” Assid told Sky News in Arabic.
“The religious text cannot be treated as a scientific text,” Assid said on the program Conversation of the Arabs. “Most of the Muslim tradition is no longer relevant or appropriate; we should pass it to the files of history and shake our heads free of it so we can go back and think anew.”
Assid, who also serves as chairman of the Amazigh Observatory of Rights and Freedoms, said that the claims of miracles in the Quran “are a reflection of the deterioration and crisis choking the Muslim experience today. The Quran is a religious book that is attributed with more than it should be and that indicates our cultural poverty and cultural prison we aren’t managing to get out of.”
The Moroccan intellectual and philosopher said of the larger Muslim world, “Every time they encounter an obstacle, instead of challenging themselves and turning to the future, they close themselves in and turn to the past to search for religious texts for arguments that parallel the scientific theories revealed by Westerners.”
“Every time Westerners adopt something new, the Muslims say these theories exist with them and illogically attribute them to religious texts and that makes it impossible for there to be a scientific renaissance in the Muslim countries,” added Assid.
According to Assid, members of major Islamic religious streams “are trying to ride the train of religious propaganda by attributing a scientific character to religious texts, among other things. This is religious propaganda and not a scientific act.”
Assid concluded that there won’t be any scientific progress in the Muslim world because it hasn’t imported knowledge from the West.
Assid’s comments were met with anger among the public on social media, with Saudi cleric Ali Omar al-Jafri quoting a passage from the Quran saying not to doubt the proof of the miracles of Allah.
“May Allah blacken your face,” wrote al-Jafri. “You have no reason to apologize after making the comments of an infidel.”
“This philosopher references scientific texts (in the Quran) that their authors don’t reference,” wrote political analyst Naje Ameran. “Our primitiveness has many reasons but no connection to the scientific texts.”
هذا الرجل الفيلسوف يحمل الإعجاز العلمي ما لم يقل أصحابه به ، تخلفنا ليس له علاقة بالإعجاز العلمي واسبابه كثيرة .
— Naje A Poltical Anys (@NajeAmeran) October 7, 2017
Other social media users continued to criticize Assid and cited what they purported were examples of miracles in the Quran. One asked about the origins of humanity and wondered how the oceans were made.
ماذا عن الإعجاز في وصف خلق الاجنه؟ اما ماذا عن وصف البحار؟ وماذا وماذا…. طبعا لن تجيب انت وامثالك لأنكم الجهل يمشي على رجلين تبا لك
— محمد العمري (@alomery9) October 6, 2017