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The difference is between actual historical witness and scripture

Reader comment on item: Islamism in Disarray
in response to reader comment: Questioning Dave's thesis

Submitted by Dave (United States), Jan 25, 2022 at 21:25

Prashant's criticism is accurate if one's view of Islam is based on the Koran and other sacred scriptures. Instead, I have based my view on historical documents from the seventh century and leading-edge research on the origins of Islam. I refer to two sources: "A Prophet Has Appeared, The Rise of Islam Through Christian and Jewish Eyes" by Stephen Shoemaker, as well as Robert Spencer's "Did Muhammad Exist?", which is a compilation of experts' views casting doubt on the accuracy of Islamic scriptural sources. I think that you can then understand why I have taken this revisionist view.

Muhammad, if he did exist, was not a Muslim and his intention was not to found a new religion; Islam had not arisen yet. He probably was from near Petra, in Jordan, not Mecca, lived well beyond 632, and his organization, the "Believers," was religiously diverse. Islam the religion was a later creation of the Abbasid caliphate and bears little resemblance to the real Muhammad and the actual location and events of the sixth century. It is a political theology meant to serve imperial interests. Religious intolerance arose when the definition of a believer was narrowed down to be just a Muslim by the authors of the new religion and all others were redlined. That's not to say that Muhammad's troops were boy scouts, but there was no evidence of jihad at that time.

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