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Of God and Prophets

Reader comment on item: Resisting Islamic Law
in response to reader comment: What is Liberty and Freedom of Speech

Submitted by Willing Foe (Canada), Mar 16, 2008 at 12:19

Mansoor, Spa, et al.

You have unwittingly highlighted a flaw with received wisdom. If we accept, for the sake of argument, that the teachings of the major prophets (and accept, again for the sake of argument, that Muhammed was one of them) were received from God then we are still left with the fact that they were received by men. This involves all the issues of weakness, pre-existing prejudices, and agenda of those prophets. The teachings were, by and large, verbal for a period before they were finally written down by other men with weaknesses, prejudices and agenda and then these texts were copied, editted, and dissemanated by other men with weaknesses, prejudices and agenda.

Thus we see King David succumb to lust and trechery and find that God conveniently forgives him and gives him leave to continue his marriage to Bathsheba, though after suffering the lost of their first child. You also see acceptance of polygamy, concubinage, and slavery in the Bible because they are acceptable elements of the societies in which the texts were written. You also see acceptance of the same abominations in Islam, in addition to this you see Muhammed, himself, indulging in:

  • the trading booty for widows of captives he had tortured to death (Safiyya),
  • consummating a marriage to a girl when she was nine years old (Aisha) after which she continued to play with her toys,
  • disregarding his own command to wait until the beginning of the next menstrual cycle before having intercourse with their captives (Safiyya again).

I don't know if Muhammed was the prophet that he and his followers have claimed he was. It is entirely possible that he was chosen to bring the word of God to the Arabs - it seems to have not gotten there through the Jews or Christians, or at least it didn't take. Whatever he was he was a talented arbiter and general. He was also a weak man, as shown above, who lived by his own rules and broke them as he wished, justifying them with the presumed authority of God.

After he died Muhammed's teachings were compiled and written down. The Arabic of the day was not the Arabic of today. Much of the text of the Qur'an includes language that came from Syriac, Greek, and Hebrew. Nothing new there - Languages evolve. Written in today's Arabic, the Qur'an was transcribed, editted and updated in terms of language. Each time this was done by men with weaknesses, prejudices and agenda.

So, what (arguably) started as the word of God is used to justify all sorts of abominations from the continued subjugation and murder of women, to the attempted subjugation of the free world to a bastardized verion of a bronz-age style tribal law code, to mass murder. This is nothing new. Other religions have been pretty harsh when afforded too much power. Western society, however, has evolved whereas the Islamic World seems to have regressed.

For anyone who feels that I am not free to criticize Islam and its prophet you can ...If you are right - which I doubt - I will see you there in the end. Just get over the mistaken presumption that, by criticizing Islam and its prophet, we criticize God. They are not the same. Islam and its prophet, whatever their inspiration, are the products of Man and, as such, are as flawed as Men are.


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