New Spencer Book Denies Existence of Muhammad
I don’t expect Spencer to ever change his song of hate, it’s how he makes his living.
Robert Spencer, professional Islamophobe, has a new book coming out in which he attempts to show the historical problems with the historical record of Muhammad and Muslims. Unfortunately, the Islamophobia industry will likely get the book wide exposure.
A press release about the book, lays out several “questions” about Muhammad and the origins of Islam. I show below why the book is really a “so what” rather than a “oh wow.”
How the earliest biographical material about Muhammad dates from at least 125 years after his reported death.
Yep. Any decent historian or scholar of religion will tell you this. It’s like asking why earliest biographical material* about Jesus dates from at least two generation after his life. Welcome to the wonderful world of pre-modern history. Literacy is not such a big deal. A good resource for learning about this is Monty Python’s “Holy Grail.” It’s probably a more accurate portrayal of Medieval English history than anything Spencer concocts.
How six decades passed before the Arabian conquerors—or the people they conquered—even mentioned Muhammad, the Qur’an, or Islam.
Seems like an odd claim, since there’s a whole academic sub-speciality that deals with non-Muslim accounts of the early Muslim period. Perhaps one of the most important of these works is written by St. John of Damascus, who writes about how his family served the Muslim empire from within 20 years of Muhammad’s death. He uses the term “Ishmaelites” as opposed to “Muslim,” so perhaps that is Spencer’s technically correct claim, but St. John is clearly writing about Muslims.
The startling evidence that the Qur’an was constructed from existing materials—including pre-Islamic Christian texts.
Yup. The Qur’an says it is talking about and with earlier revelation, which it considers itself part of. In fact, the Qur’an even footnotes the Talmud (5:35). Amazingly, for scholars of other Abrahamic scriptures, they point to these scriptures borrowing from earlier sources, whether Gilgamesh or Mithra.