The Myth of Early Islam
by Lewis Loflin
Historian Tom Holland is a Cambridge historian and political leftist. He points out in his banned British documentary and his book Shadow of the Sword that our basic understanding of Islam is a myth. There were never any desert warriors that poured out of Arabia with Koran in one hand and sword in another. The Koran came much later, perhaps as much as 200 years in its final form. Islam developed over time and was concocted to unify the vast Arab Empire.
There is nothing new at all in Islam clearly being borrowed from the Christian New Testament, the Talmud, and various pagan ideas. Jews and Christians lived in Arabia were later exterminated, and were the likely sources of many of these stories. (Medina at the time was over half Jewish where Mohammed figure lived for eight years.)
In fact "Mohammed" may not have been even a name, but a title meaning "the chosen/praised one." That could apply to a non-divine Jesus and not some caravan bandit as understood today.
Whoever the man named Mohammed (570-632 A. D.) who was alleged to be an illiterate merchant, but more likely a caravan bandit, never wrote the Koran. It was written down decades after his death at a time when his followers were already killing each other for control and the faith. At this time what later became Islam split into its two major sects, Sunni and Shi'a. The Koran has differing and conflicting translations due to these struggles when it was assembled perhaps a century or more later.
Even more of a concern are the Hadiths, a collection of fables on the alleged deeds and life of this Mohammed figure written down one-two centuries later. The Hadiths depict Mohammed as a thief, bandit, murderer, pedophile, and rapist. (To Muslims none of this is a crime, in fact this Mohammed figure was to be imitated as the 'perfect man'.) The Hadiths are often used as an excuse for Muslim persecution and domination of non-Muslims. Shi'ism and Sunnism, have differing Hadith collections to suit they political agendas.
The Koran was likely codified in its final form along with the Hadiths about 200 years after Mohammed's supposed death. This was done under the Abbasid Dynasty (750-1258) to unify its vast Arab Empire. There's no evidence in his lifetime he even existed, the first mention of Mohammed in Arabic was material dated 60 years later. No writers even during the first decades of the Arab conquests mentioned any Mohammed or any Koran. Mecca was mentioned only once in the Koran, Jerusalem not at all.
Through the invention of the Hadiths and a newly codified Koran written between 700-800 A.D., this allowed the Arabs to create a religious context to unify their Empire. This was similar to earlier Christianity under Constantine when his version of Christianity was created to unify the Roman Empire.
Islam went far beyond Christianity in its total systematic ethnic and cultural genocide of its captive peoples through its religiously codified system of rape, polygamy, slavery, and monetary extortion known as the Jizyah or poll tax:
"Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book (i.e., Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Koran, 9:28-29)"
Thus captive non-Muslims live under what is called dhimmitude. This process of religious/cultural genocide continues today in countries such as Egypt and Lebanon with the only large number of surviving Christians left in the Arab world. Their one million Jews were driven out after 1948 and they and their children make up the majority of the Jews in Israel.
If there ever was a reason to demand and maintain separation of religion and state, there's no better example than Islam.
Channel 4 cancels Islam documentary screening after presenter threatened
By Telegraph reporters 11 Sep 2012
A screening of a controversial documentary on the history of Islam has been canceled on security advice after its presenter was threatened.
Historian Tom Holland's Channel 4 film Islam: The Untold Story sparked more than 1,000 complaints when it was broadcast. Holland was threatened online with a torrent of abusive messages on Twitter.
A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: "Having taken security advice, we have reluctantly canceled a planned screening of the program Islam: The Untold Story. We remain extremely proud of the film which is still available to view on 4oD."
The private screening was due to take place at the broadcaster's London headquarters on Thursday before an audience of historians and "opinion formers".
The documentary is due to be repeated late on Thursday night and can be viewed online.
The investigation into the origins of the religion claimed that there is little written contemporary evidence about the prophet Mohammed. It examined claims that rather than Islam's doctrine emerging fully-formed in a single text, the religion instead developed gradually over many years with the expansion of Arabic empires.
Holland, the writer of best-sellers Rubicon and Persian Fire, said that Islam is "a legitimate subject of historical inquiry". The Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA) accused him of making "baseless assumptions" and engaging in "selective scholarship". Iranian state media suggested the broadcast was an "insult" to Islam.
One message sent to Holland read: "You might be a target in the streets. You may recruit some bodyguards, for your own safety."
Writing on the Channel 4 website after (550) complaints to both the channel and watchdog Ofcom (Office of Communications sometimes acting as political correctness police), Holland said: "We were of course aware when making the program that we were touching deeply held sensitivities and went to every effort to ensure that the moral and civilizational power of Islam was acknowledged in our film (pandering to defuse the violent mobs), and the perspective of Muslim faith represented, both in the persons of ordinary Bedouin in the desert, and one of the greatest modern scholars of Islam, Seyyed Hossein Nasr."
Holland was defended by Dr Jenny Taylor who runs the charity Lapido Media which encourages better understanding and reporting of religion in the media.
"He's shown all of us that Islam is interesting enough to be taken seriously. He's refused to stick his head in the sand and play blind about the problems or internal tensions that all thinking Muslims know are there," she said.
"He's not trammelled the sacred heart of an ancient mystery but found hints of an even greater and more awesome reality that is tantalisingly beyond our grasp at the moment, but could just be the key to a shared past and shared future."
Original URL: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
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