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The great Koran con trick
New Statesman (U.K.) ^ | 12/10/2001 | Martin Bright

Posted on 12/10/2001 6:58:49 AM PST by Pokey78

Scholars claim that Islam's holy book is not quite what it seems.

The news that a recent scientific paper on the common genetic roots of Jews and Palestinians had been suppressed by learned journals, because of the political sensitivity of its conclusions, made for depressing reading. Findings that might have provided reason for hope, or even for solidarity between the Arab and Israeli peoples, were instead considered too hot to handle.

The furore over the geneticists' discoveries will have come as no surprise to other academics in the Middle East and the Muslim world, where even the most apparently dispassionate research can be swept up in the blinding ideological sandstorms that choke reasoned dialogue. Such is the intensity of feeling that many who work in highly charged areas of scholar- ship - history and archaeology, for example - choose to keep a low profile, circulating their work only in trusted academic circles. Thus the censorship that plagues the Middle East seeps into every corner of intellectual life.

Nowhere is this more true than in the study of the origins of Islam, where some of the conclusions being drawn are potentially even more explosive than the argument that Israelis and Palestinians have common ancestors. Tucked away in the journals and occasional papers of the world of Islamic studies is work by a group of academics who have spent the past three decades plotting a quiet revolution in the study of the origins of the religion, the Koran and the life of the Prophet Mohammad. The conclusions of the so-called "new historians" of Islam are devastating: that we know almost nothing about the life of the Muslim prophet Mohammad; that the rapid rise of the religion can be attributed, at least in part, to the attraction of Islam's message of conquest and jihad for the tribes of the Arabian peninsula; that the Koran as we know it today was compiled, or perhaps even written, long after Mohammad's supposed death in 632AD. Most controversially of all, the researchers say that there existed an anti-Christian alliance between Arabs and Jews in the earliest days of Islam, and that the religion may be best understood as a heretical branch of rabbinical Judaism.

The work of John Wansbrough, Michael Cook, Patricia Crone, Andrew Rippin and Gerald Hawting, which emerged initially from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies in the 1970s, questions not only Islam's own version of its origins; this "new history" of Islam takes as its starting point a problem that has long troubled scholars - the almost total lack of contemporary Islamic sources.

According to the Muslim tradition, Islam emerged from Arabia in around 611AD, when the Prophet Mohammad received a revelation from the Angel Gabriel that he was the last prophet. He began preaching a monotheistic creed to the people of Mecca and, when he made no headway, moved with a small group of followers to Yathrib (modern Medina), a mixed Jewish and Arab community 200 miles to north. This emigration (Hijra) in 622AD marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. Mohammad later returned to conquer his home city, and by the time of his death he had established an Islamic empire in Arabia. Within 100 years of the first revelations to Mohammad, the Arab conquests had swept aside the ancient empires of Byzantium and Persia and created an Islamic empire stretching from Spain to India.

The traditional version of events has remained remarkably robust, even among modernist thinkers in the Muslim world. In Introducing Islam, a beginner's guide to the faith (which was revised this year in the light of the 11 September attacks on America), the British Muslim writer (and frequent NS contributor) Ziauddin Sardar repeats this view of the religion's history: "The Life of Mohammad is known as the Sira and was lived in the full light of history. Everything he said or did was recorded." What Sardar fails to explain is how, if that is the case, nothing has survived. He says the Prophet himself was illiterate, but was surrounded at all times by 45 scribes who wrote down everything he did and said. These scribes also noted Mohammad's utterances on correct Islamic behaviour (the Hadith), which they wrote on bones, pieces of rock, parchment and papyrus. These, too, were later collected and used to complement Koranic authority. According to Sardar, we therefore know what the Prophet ate, how he treated women, children and animals, and his behaviour in battle. In reality, we know nothing of the sort - everything Sardar claims as historical truth is based on hearsay, on the words passed down by Mohammad's followers. The explanation of the new historians is that later generations created a coherent scriptural basis for Islam to suit the needs of a sophisticated empire.

The first biography (Sira) of the Prophet comes from the end of the eighth century, at least 150 years after the supposed founding of the religion, when the Islamic empire had spread west into Spain and east into India. For historians working within the Enlightenment tradition, this hiatus provides a serious barrier to providing an authoritative picture of Islam's beginnings.

Writing in the Cambridge Illustrated History of the Islamic World, Patricia Crone, the most forthright and accessible of the new historians, expresses the general puzzlement of her colleagues: "What sense can we make of all this? Mohammad is clearly an individual who changed the course of history, but how was it possible for him to do so? Unfortunately, we do not know how much of the Islamic tradition about him is true." The only source before 800AD is the Koran, she says, and that tells us more about the Old Testament prophets Abraham and Moses than it does about Mohammad.



With no contemporary Muslim sources to refer to, a group of young historians working under the brilliant linguist Professor John Wansbrough at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in the Seventies developed new scholarly techniques, drawing heavily on earlier biblical scholarship. Following Wansbrough's lead, they decided to look at the Koran as a literary text, to compare it to other devotional writings of the period and to look at internal clues to its origin. They found that it owed much to Judaism, especially the Talmud, a collection of commentaries and interpretations of the Hebrew Bible. They concluded, tentatively, that in the form that survives, the Koran was compiled, if not written, decades after the time of Mohammad, probably by converts to Islam in the Middle East, who introduced elements from the religions previously dominant in the region. Patricia Crone and Michael Cook, also working at SOAS at the time, provided an even more devastating analysis by looking at the only surviving contemporary accounts of the Islamic invasion, written in Armenian, Greek, Aramaic and Syriac by Middle Eastern witnesses to the rise of Islam. They found that Islam, as represented by admittedly biased sources, was in essence a tribal conspiracy against the Byzantine and Persian empires with deep roots in Judaism, and that Arabs and Jews were allies in these conquering communities.

Apparent support for their conclusions came from finds made during the restoration of the Great Mosque of Sana'a in Yemen, where labourers working in the roof discovered fragments of Korans that are among the oldest in existence. German scholars who studied the manuscripts discovered that some of the Koranic writing diverges from the authorised version, which by tradition is considered the pure, unadulterated word of God. What's more, some of the writing appears to have been inscribed over earlier, "rubbed-out" versions of the text. This editing supports the belief of Wansbrough and his pupils that the Koran as we know it does not date from the time of Mohammad. Andrew Rippin, professor of Islamic history at the University of Victoria in Canada, and the author of a revisionist history of Islam published by Routledge, said: "The Sana'a manuscripts [are] part of the process of filling in the holes in our knowledge of what might have happened."



It is easy to see why the work of the "new historians" causes such offence in some Muslim circles, and there is no doubt that much of what they say is deeply provocative. In 1987, two years before Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa condemning Salman Rushdie to death for blasphemy, Patricia Crone, then based at Oxford, wrote the following words about Allah and Mohammad, His earthly messenger: "Mohammad's God endorsed a policy of conquest, instructing his believers to fight against unbelievers wherever they might be found. In short, Mohammad had to conquer, his followers liked to conquer, and his deity told him to conquer."

In Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam, Crone argued that the early Muslim converts turned to Islam because it promised an Arab state based on conquest, rape and pillage. "God could scarcely have been more explicit. He told the Arabs that they had a right to despoil others of their women, children and land, or indeed that they had a duty to do so: holy war consisted in obeying."

Ziauddin Sardar is one of the few Muslim intellectuals genuinely to have engaged with the new historians. He has called their work "Eurocentrism of the most extreme, purblind kind, which assumes that not a single word written by Muslims can be accepted as evidence". Writing in the aftermath of the Rushdie affair, Sardar placed the western revisionists firmly in the post-colonial orientalist camp, from where colonial "experts" have consistently told Muslims that they know best about the origins of their primitive, barbarian religion. "The triumphant conclusion of Crone and Cook," he says, "was that Islam is an amalgam of Jewish texts, theology and ritual tradition."

Sardar points out that all of the academics responsible for the new Islamic history emerged from the School of Oriental and African Studies, a colonial institution that is noted for training generations of Foreign Office officials and spies. In an interview with the American magazine Atlantic Monthly, Crone expressed her irritation at such attacks on her work: "The Koran is a scripture with a history like any other - except that we don't know this history and tend to provoke howls of protest when we study it. Nobody would mind the howls if they came from westerners, but westerners feel more deferential when the howls come from other people: who are you to tamper with their legacy. We Islamicists are not trying to destroy anyone's faith."

Christians are used to reading multiple narratives of the life of Christ, with the Scriptures themselves providing four versions in the form of the Gospels. But more significantly, in the Christian faith, Jesus himself represents the word of God, a function provided in Islam by the Koran. Suggesting that the Koran is fallible is therefore rather like questioning the divinity of Jesus. One of the attractions of Islam is that the Prophet was mortal: his life is intended as a model for the rest of humanity precisely because he was a human being, like the rest of us, who none the less managed to lead an exemplary life.

It is the picture of Islam as a heretical offshoot of Judaism that has caused most offence to Muslims, especially where it concerns the holy cities of Mecca and Jerusalem. According to Muslim tradition, Mohammad changed the direction of Muslim prayer from Jerusalem to Mecca in the earliest years of Islam, after he fell out with the Jews when he was building his community of the faithful in Arabia. But the new historians refuse to accept this account. Using archaeological evidence from mosques built in the eighth century (that is, after the death of Mohammad), they have shown that many of the Muslim prayer niches point to the north, and not towards Mecca.

Why has the work of these academics received so little attention? In part, this must be due to the attitude of liberal intellectuals in the west and their counterparts in the Muslim world, who have failed to engage with their work, or tiptoed around it for fear of offending Muslim sensibilities. In so doing, they have left the field open to the radical right in the United States, where it has been used to justify a crusading, Christian fundamentalist approach to Islam. Daniel Pipes, a writer and former adviser to the State Department, has used the new history to justify the "clash of civilisations" theory, according to which the west is doomed for ever to come into conflict with the barbarian Muslim world, and the Arabs are doomed to destruction.

Politicalusa.com, one of a number of websites committed, since 11 September, to rooting out the liberal "traitors" who have dared speak out against US government policy, includes a series of pseudo-scholarly attacks on Islam. In one article entitled "The myth of Mecca", Jack Wheeler (an adviser to the Afghan mujahedin in the Reagan era) manipulates the new history to argue that Muslims must be forced to accept that their religion is based on a series of made-up ideas. "All the Bin Ladens of the Muslim terrorism network should know that the world is soon to learn about the Myth of Mecca . . . Much more is required of the adherents of Islam: the reinvention of their religion. No longer can the words of the Koran be considered inerrant, infallible and those of Allah himself."



The new historians themselves must take some responsibility for failing to bring their arguments into the mainstream. When I telephoned one of the main protagonists in the debate, a London University academic, to ask him about the way the work of the new historians had been hijacked by the radical right and Christian fundamentalists, he warned me against publication. Nor did he wish to be identified: "I would have thought the best thing was to allow this to remain in its decent obscurity," he wrote in an e-mail.

This fear of misrepresentation (or worse) is understandable. Salman Rushdie was condemned to death for "insulting" the Prophet by depicting him as just a little too fallible and human in The Satanic Verses - and that was fiction, not historical research. Penguin, the original publisher of the Satanic Verses, has postponed the publication of a controversial new history of Islam by Professor Gerald Hawting. And the founder of the SOAS revisionist school of thought found himself the target of Islamist demonstrations at the University of London when his views first received publicity in the Muslim world; he has chosen to live in obscurity in France since he retired from the university in 1992.

For devout Muslims, the tradition as passed down from the original companions of Mohammad and reinforced by nearly 1,400 years of Islamic scholarship is unlikely to be shaken by a small group of infidel academics based at British and American universities. So why is it that, in the acres of newsprint and during the hours of television time spent discussing Muslim issues since 11 September, there has been no debate on the Koran and the origins of Islam? According to Francis Robinson, who edited the Cambridge Illustrated History of the Islamic World, it is important "not to let sensitivities for Muslim feelings override all other considerations". He also suggests that the new history remains in relative obscurity because "these historians have yet to find a single figure who can bring all these revolutionary ideas together in an accessible way. But believe me, that will happen. And it will be interesting to watch the reaction."

Martin Bright is home affairs editor of the Observer


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: clashofcivilizatio
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1 posted on 12/10/2001 6:58:49 AM PST by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78
Bump: the scam is up..koran a farce
2 posted on 12/10/2001 7:11:49 AM PST by Rain-maker
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To: Pokey78
A FORMER MUSLIM PROFESSOR ON WHY HE LEFT ISLAM (click on picture)


The Hardcover edition.


3 posted on 12/10/2001 7:14:02 AM PST by Cacique
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To: Pokey78

CULTISTS CORRECTION FLUID.

4 posted on 12/10/2001 7:17:55 AM PST by isthisnickcool
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To: Pokey78
This is not new. Islamic scholars have known for years that some of the original Koran, which was in the possession of a wealthy family in Pakistan and stolen some years ago by one of the military regimes, was different (but not substantially) from the Koran read today. This makes total sense due to inconsistencies in the modern text.
5 posted on 12/10/2001 7:18:10 AM PST by japaneseghost
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To: Pokey78
Believe me, if the Muslims can stomach their own version of the Koran and Hadith, and still follow Mohammed, this "revelation" won't phase them in the slightest. Anyone who believes that rape and murder is okay, as long as you do it for God, might just as well live in Jonestown as Mecca.
6 posted on 12/10/2001 7:18:32 AM PST by Excuse_Me
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To: Pokey78
They found that Islam, as represented by admittedly biased sources, was in essence a tribal conspiracy against the Byzantine and Persian empires with deep roots in Judaism

No wonder they are still killing the Orthodox whenever possible.

7 posted on 12/10/2001 7:20:26 AM PST by MarMema
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To: Excuse_Me
Maybe we'll get lucky they'll drink poison brew en masse.
8 posted on 12/10/2001 7:22:24 AM PST by Rain-maker
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To: Excuse_Me
might just as well live in Jonestown as Mecca.

LOL, just yesterday I was telling my older children about Jonestown as part of explaining OBL and the Taleban to them.

9 posted on 12/10/2001 7:24:07 AM PST by MarMema
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To: Pokey78
Islam, The only Internationally recognized CULT of DEATH
10 posted on 12/10/2001 7:31:27 AM PST by marty60
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To: Pokey78
they have left the field open to the radical right in the United States, where it has been used to justify a crusading, Christian fundamentalist approach to Islam.

... or perhaps a more accurate examination?

11 posted on 12/10/2001 7:39:10 AM PST by Gritty
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To: Pokey78
The work of John Wansbrough, Michael Cook, Patricia Crone, Andrew Rippin and Gerald Hawting, which emerged initially from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies in the 1970s, questions not only Islam's own version of its origins; this "new history" of Islam takes as its starting point a problem that has long troubled scholars - the almost total lack of contemporary Islamic sources.

To name just a few 'dead people walking'.

12 posted on 12/10/2001 7:44:32 AM PST by an amused spectator
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To: an amused spectator; d4now; veronica; dennisw; Lent; onyx
Patricia Crone

When I read that at first I thought it was Free Republic's own "Patria One".

13 posted on 12/10/2001 7:52:20 AM PST by monkeyshine
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To: Cacique
Bump
14 posted on 12/10/2001 7:52:32 AM PST by A. Pole
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To: ipaq2000; Lent; veronica; Sabramerican; beowolf; Nachum; BenF; monkeyshine; angelo...
Another Muslim con game. How come I'm not so surprised?
15 posted on 12/10/2001 7:58:10 AM PST by dennisw
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To: Pokey78
John Wansbrough, Michael Cook, Patricia Crone, Andrew Rippin and Gerald Hawting

These sound like Christian names. So will a special FATWA be made against them personally (like the one for Salman Rushdie) or do they just fall under the generic FATWA for "all infidels"?

16 posted on 12/10/2001 8:01:45 AM PST by Alouette
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To: monkeyshine
When I read that at first I thought it was Free Republic's own "Patria One".

Eeeek. The same thing happened to me. :-/

17 posted on 12/10/2001 8:10:36 AM PST by Thinkin' Gal
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To: Pokey78; RnMomof7
The news that a recent scientific paper on the common genetic roots of Jews and Palestinians had been suppressed by learned journals, because of the political sensitivity of its conclusions, made for depressing reading.

I thought it was well-known that Jews and Arabs are branches of a common tree. Certainly the Old Testament indicates it clearly as does, in my understanding, the Koran. Even within the secular field, there is a reason why we refer to Semitic peoples which includes Jews and Palestinians as well as other Arab peoples.

Politicalusa.com, one of a number of websites committed, since 11 September, to rooting out the liberal "traitors" who have dared speak out against US government policy, includes a series of pseudo-scholarly attacks on Islam. In one article entitled "The myth of Mecca", Jack Wheeler (an adviser to the Afghan mujahedin in the Reagan era) manipulates the new history to argue that Muslims must be forced to accept that their religion is based on a series of made-up ideas.

Well, it took a while but we finally get to the truly bad news. Christians who are "right-wing" (some even worked for that sadist Reagan) actually have opinions on this subject.

I watched the liberal-slanted Islam: Empire of Faith on PBS last night (just a self-abuse thing, I guess) and noted how Christians were denigrated at every opportunity and Islam was glorified at every opportunity. PBS is planning to celebrate the penetration of Islam in America with some crappy program about Islam In Appalachia which will supposedly show how Islam is rising in America even within the Bible Belt. Ugh. Funded by some Methodist committee if I understood the credits correctly. What a surprise for me to learn that modern Methodists would rather propagandize for Islam instead of funding missionaries to oppose the false god Allah.
18 posted on 12/10/2001 8:10:41 AM PST by George W. Bush
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To: Pokey78; *Clash of Civilizatio
Ziauddin Sardar is one of the few Muslim intellectuals genuinely to have engaged with the new historians. He has called their work "Eurocentrism of the most extreme, purblind kind, which assumes that not a single word written by Muslims can be accepted as evidence". Writing in the aftermath of the Rushdie affair, Sardar placed the western revisionists firmly in the post-colonial orientalist camp, from where colonial "experts" have consistently told Muslims that they know best about the origins of their primitive, barbarian religion....Sardar points out that all of the academics responsible for the new Islamic history emerged from the School of Oriental and African Studies, a colonial institution that is noted for training generations of Foreign Office officials and spies.

Buzzword follows buzzword. Note that the viewpoint of Crone, et. al, is countered only by ad hominem attacks rather than factual refutations.

The popularity of Edward Said's beliefs among Islamists and leftists alike stems from their utility as a club with which to beat heretics and infidels.

19 posted on 12/10/2001 8:13:14 AM PST by denydenydeny
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To: monkeyshine
I haven't seen her since President Bush froze the assets of the Holy Land Foundation. Think there could be a connection?
20 posted on 12/10/2001 8:13:41 AM PST by BenF
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To: dennisw
Interesting...thanks for the ping.
21 posted on 12/10/2001 8:15:32 AM PST by vrwc54
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To: vrwc54
BUMP
22 posted on 12/10/2001 8:16:20 AM PST by Publius6961
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To: Pokey78
Why has the work of these academics received so little attention? In part, this must be due to the attitude of liberal intellectuals in the west and their counterparts in the Muslim world, who have failed to engage with their work, or tiptoed around it for fear of offending Muslim sensibilities

They have no problem offending Christians, but no one wants to upset any of the other faiths like Muslims, wicca, buddhism, etc.
23 posted on 12/10/2001 8:36:32 AM PST by chance33_98
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To: dennisw
You're halfway there. Jews and Arabs are genetically indistinguishable.

The news that a recent scientific paper on the common genetic roots of Jews and Palestinians had been suppressed by learned journals, because of the political sensitivity of its conclusions, made for depressing reading. Findings that might have provided reason for hope, or even for solidarity between the Arab and Israeli peoples, were instead considered too hot to handle

You still need to work on this one, though

the attraction of Islam's message of conquest and jihad for the tribes of the Arabian peninsula

To find out who introduced the "message of conquest" to the region, look no farther than your own scriptures.

24 posted on 12/10/2001 8:36:38 AM PST by AGAviator
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To: AGAviator
The news that a recent scientific paper on the common genetic roots of Jews and Palestinians had been suppressed by learned journals, because of the political sensitivity of its conclusions, made for depressing reading. Findings that might have provided reason for hope, or even for solidarity between the Arab and Israeli peoples, were instead considered too hot to handle

 

I've been trying to tell you fools for months that 43% of Israelis are Jews who were booted from the Arab Muslim nations. Yet you Islam first types persist in trying to make Israel seem purely a European project.

So Jews booted from Arab nations have some similar blood to Arabs. Is this really a surprise?
That paper you refer to used politicalized pro-Islamic language and that's why it was pulled.

25 posted on 12/10/2001 8:52:08 AM PST by dennisw
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To: AGAviator
Hey AGAviator! Islam's got you conned. That's fer sure.
26 posted on 12/10/2001 8:52:54 AM PST by dennisw
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To: Pokey78
Good post! Thanks!
27 posted on 12/10/2001 9:00:12 AM PST by neutrino
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To: japaneseghost
My knowledge of the Koran is superficial but I had read, from a reliable account, that the quotations from the Koran that appear in gold on the inside of the ceiling of the Dome of the Rock, in Jerusalem, and supposedly first written there around the 7th or 8th century and thereafter occasionally regilded without change, are different from the corresponding passages in the "textus receptus" of the Koran text. Apparently it was decided, under one of the Caliphs, to impose one standard Arabic text as the universal text, and destroy any variant manuscripts. Occasionally someone finds a scrap of one of those other versions.
28 posted on 12/10/2001 9:08:39 AM PST by DonQ
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To: Gritty; dennisw
they have left the field open to the radical right in the United States, where it has been used to justify a crusading, Christian fundamentalist approach to Islam

hmmm.... what the hell is this oxymoron all about? Christians fundamentalists are not about crusades, they are about believing the Bible without imposing it on others. I know calling oneself Jesus Son of G_d maybe fundamentalist eccentricity for myself, a Jewish G_d believer, but it does not hurt nor is a plan to force on any body this claim.

This text also start in a Nazi eugenic unity between Jews and Palies that is a fundamental lie. Palies are Philistines.

While the muslim con game is obvious, this article goes to great length to appologize to muslims by saying christians are wrong and Jews are wrong too. In fact this paper is about leftist fundamentalism. What awful and sad PC inclusive contortion leftists go through when they approach the truth. Amazing.

29 posted on 12/10/2001 9:11:45 AM PST by lavaroise
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To: Rain-maker
http://realislam.org/
30 posted on 12/10/2001 9:13:23 AM PST by y2k_citizen
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To: an amused spectator
Islam is, to put it delicately, inhospitable to non-Moslems who attempt to analyze the Koran ... especially if they reach conclusions incompatible with Moslem doctrine. I'll have to admit that Islam isn't the only religion that gets cranky when nonbelievers come up with unsympathetic conclusions about their holy writ, but Islam may be the only one that makes a point of trying to kill those nonbelievers.

It has long been known that Mohammed was much influenced by the folklore of his environment. He certainly knew something of the Jewish and Christian scriptures, and of their non-scriptural folklore (e.g., interpretations and stories in Talmudic literature), but he sometimes either got it seriously wrong (e.g., he puts Haman, the villain from the Scroll of Esther, among the courtiers of the Pharoah in the story of Exodus, an error of about 5 centuries and 5000 miles) or he put a new spin on it (e.g., Ishmael, not Isaac, is the beloved son that Abraham was tested with, and it is Ishmael, not Isaac, who carries Abraham's legacy). Of course, if you say this sort of thing out loud in a Moslem country, things can get really ugly. Heck, things can get ugly if you say these things on most American college campuses.

31 posted on 12/10/2001 9:18:36 AM PST by DonQ
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To: dennisw
Another Muslim con game. How come I'm not so surprised?

Hehehe, that makes two of us.

32 posted on 12/10/2001 9:20:24 AM PST by Victoria Delsoul
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To: dennisw
Islam's got you conned. That's fer sure

So who's your excuse?

King Herod?

33 posted on 12/10/2001 9:30:12 AM PST by AGAviator
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To: George W. Bush
Dr. Jack Wheeler
34 posted on 12/10/2001 9:32:31 AM PST by StriperSniper
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To: dennisw
Looks like most of Islam, its history, treatment of the people it conquered, etc. is a whole lot of fraud. These scholars have a duty to bring this stuff to the fore to deal with all the lies about Islam as the historical "religion of peace", etc. Must be fatwa scared.
35 posted on 12/10/2001 9:45:57 AM PST by Lent
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To: Lent
If you want start with fraud, start with the fairy tale that the Creator is only concerned with a small minority of the world's population and has deeded them a piece of land in perpetuity.
36 posted on 12/10/2001 9:57:44 AM PST by AGAviator
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To: lavaroise
Have to disagree on a not-so-small point. The Philistines, as described in the Old Testament, have been identified through modern archaeology in the region as most likely of Greek origin. They were "settlers" who had landed in and occupied the coastal plain of what is now Israel and Lebanon. They are probably related to the "Sea Peoples" who conquered the Nile River delta at around the same time and are mentioned in Egyptian texts. For comparison, picture the Viking conquests of the coasts of Britain, Ireland, and Normandy in France

The Palestinians (or "Falasteeni" in Arabic) derive that name from where they live, not because they bear any relationship to a race of people who disappeared from the scene more than 2,000 years ago. The Palestinians are as much Arab (and therefore directly related to the Jews) as the Lebanese and the Syrians.

37 posted on 12/10/2001 10:02:36 AM PST by katana
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To: Pokey78
that the Koran as we know it today was compiled, or perhaps even written, long after Mohammad's supposed death in 632AD

I am currently reading the Qur'an for the first time. It isn't gripping me, but I did notice that the second Surah seems to have many references to the people who have rejected Islam. Since the Surahs were supposed to have been given to Mohammed in successive years, the second would have been given long before the religion of Islam existed. Yet it contains a lot of language regarding those who have rejected Allah and the message in the Qur'an.

If this statement is true, it would explain my quandry.

Just my $.02.

Shalom.

38 posted on 12/10/2001 10:08:11 AM PST by ArGee
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To: DonQ
Heck, things can get ugly if you say these things on most American college campuses.

It is to laugh. :-)

The great Horowitz would have smiled at your turn of phrase.

39 posted on 12/10/2001 10:23:30 AM PST by an amused spectator
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To: Pokey78
OH MY GOSH !!
40 posted on 12/10/2001 10:25:19 AM PST by timestax
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Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: DonQ
interesting
42 posted on 12/10/2001 10:58:50 AM PST by japaneseghost
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To: hogwaller
To your three suppositions I'd add a fourth:

(4) Our weapons are better

43 posted on 12/10/2001 11:02:10 AM PST by AGAviator
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Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

To: DonQ
Apparently it was decided, under one of the Caliphs, to impose one standard Arabic text as the universal text, and destroy any variant manuscripts. Occasionally someone finds a scrap of one of those other versions.

Expanding on the original post from the Atlantic Monthly

45 posted on 12/10/2001 11:35:11 AM PST by dread78645
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To: Pokey78
BUMP
46 posted on 12/10/2001 11:39:47 AM PST by Aurelius
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To: AGAviator
If you want start with fraud, start with the fairy tale that the Creator is only concerned with a small minority of the world's population and has deeded them a piece of land in perpetuity.

Since a large group of zionists were secular your assertion has little relevance to them. And since you're a Muslim shill I have little concern about your Islamic attack on Judeo-Christian concepts. Why are you posting anyway? You hate Free Republic as you stated to this Musli site:

How about staying off of Free Republic. They really, truly are shit. Why not find a site that truly is dedicated to truth and logic in the Middle East. Even on its best day, Free Republic is a place of vile and inane mud-slinging.

To: republic@muslimamerica.net

From: AGAviator@@@.@@@

Date: 10-15-01>/i>

47 posted on 12/10/2001 12:08:12 PM PST by Lent
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To: Lent
Please tell me how you found AGAviator's post on the other chatroom. Got an url? thanks
48 posted on 12/10/2001 12:14:27 PM PST by japaneseghost
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To: japaneseghost
No idea. Someone gave it to me by freepmail.
49 posted on 12/10/2001 12:22:21 PM PST by Lent
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To: dennisw
  The news that a recent scientific paper on the common genetic roots of Jews and Palestinians had been suppressed by learned journals, because of the political sensitivity of its conclusions, made for depressing reading.

I had read about this recent fuss, and the reasons for pulling the article have been distorted in several reports, including one by the magazine's editor. There were objections because this article, despite its scientific topic, included highly charged political comments such as referring to Israelis presence as "occupation". But the genetic bond between Jews and Arabs is neither a surprise nor offensive to Jews; it confirms what the Bible says about the descent of both Isaac and Ishmael from Abraham.

Someone else posted this:
  If you want start with fraud, start with the fairy tale that the Creator is only concerned with a small minority of the world's population and has deeded them a piece of land in perpetuity.

Yes, if you're talking about Jews, you're talking about a piece of real estate about the size of New Jersey. But it's all the Jews wanted. On the other hand, Moslems not only made it clear that they felt it was their destiny to conquer the earth, but they keep track of every patch of ground they ever took by force, which includes chunks of Spain and Austria, ... and they've made it clear that they want every inch of that land back in their clutches again.

50 posted on 12/10/2001 12:33:44 PM PST by DonQ
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