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bill's girl's ad hominem & insulting argument

Reader comment on item: Mahram Despotism vs. Saudi Women
in response to reader comment: dhimmi... you have no clue as to who I am or whence I come!

Submitted by byzantinist (United States), Nov 19, 2010 at 02:15

"As for the book Hagarism, I agree with reviews that this is a racist book, as she offers to give a new name to Islam (Hagarism) and Muslims (Hagarenes)! And, both of these books that you choose to continuously refer to are based on nothing. They were written by non-Muslims, and completely disregard any Islamic sources."

Obviously "Bill's girl" has indeed NOT read Crone and Cook's "Hagarism" for she is completely wrong that they "completely disregard any Islamic sources." C & C disregard the "Islamic literary traditions" because they were written down very late in Abbasid times, and so may have been changed in various ways to reflect the Islam of Abbasid times rather than the Islam of pre-Abbasid times. "Hagarism", and other SCHOLARLY treatments of early Islam DO in fact look at EARLY Islamic sources, which are archeological i.e. epigraphic and papyrological: inscriptions and official documents written by early Muslim rulers. They also look at some early non-Muslim literary sources not because C &C are "racist" (Bill's girl is quite happy to insult others when it suits her purpose, but gets furious at "dhimmi no more's" supposed insults) but because those non-Muslim literary sources (such as Sebeos' history written c. 661, John of Nikiu's chronicle written c. 645, Doctrina Jacobi written c. 640. etc) are very, very early: MUCH earlier than any Islamic literary history of the conquests, none of which was written down before c. 800 AD. And no, using Christian sources written down in the seventh century, along with seventh century Islamic archeological sources is certainly NOT racist. It is in fact the only PROPER historical method to use to understand the seventh century Muslim conquests: i.e. to use seventh century sources by those who experienced the early Muslim conquests, like John of Nikiu, Sebeos, etc.: .

A critical historian does NOT use ninth century sources like al-Baladhuri or tenth century sources like al-Tabari to illuminate the 7th century, EXCEPT insofar as they agree with the seventh century literary and archeological sources (both Muslim and non-Muslim). This proper historical method has been followed with regard to early Christianity for a long time: you don't use Saint Augustine or late antique patristic writers to understand the New Testament or early Christianity: you use first and early second century sources, both Christian AND non-Christian. Saint Augustine can only tell you what late fourth and early fifth century Latin Christians thought the New Testament meant, not necessarily what it originally meant, or what primitive Christianity was like. And no, it isn't "racist" to use Josephus and Pliny the Younger or Tacitus to help illuminate what first century Palestine or early Christianity were like simply because those writers weren't Christians. Muslims like "Bill's girl" have a LOT to learn about historical method, as it has NOT been followed by Muslims at all to illuminate early Islamic history.

C &C did not use the word "Hagarene" because they were racist, but because they wanted to use a word for "early Muslims" in the period before the word Islam or Muslim were used, or used to mean what they mean today. This is no more "racist" than scholars of early Christianity using words like the "Jesus movement" or "Jesus followers" --which is common--instead of "early Christianity" or "Chistians" for the primitive church and its members.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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