The main argument about the criticisms of Early Islamic history has been put forward in recent times by Tom Holland, the fiction writer and historian (Islam – The Untold Story). His argument can be summarised as:
- The religion was invented – about a century after the Arab Conquest – to justify Muslim rule; and
- Prophet Muhammad did not exist at all (in the way history, so far, has told us).
Putting aside the absolute hilarity of his claims, his points have, nonetheless, been critiqued – as weak – in many places, the most succinct of which (on the net) includes:
Theo Hobson identifies that though there is a stronger secular liberalism, which he acknowledges as more aggressive, he does spell out the existence of a softer, more inclusive one too. He asks the Muslim panel if they recognise and acknowledge the latter, softer type. I sense it is this question that is perceived as being (apparently) ‘skirted’: an accusation from the non Muslim party. The way the Muslim panel respond is as though this softer type of secular liberalism either doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter even if it existed. Presumably, this is because of soft liberalism’s perceived irrelevance given the current context of tighter measures around freedom and self autonomy ostensibly against terrorists but actually against mainstream practicing British Muslims. I sense the non Muslim cannot fathom the motivation for the Muslim panel’s defensiveness. They are accused of ‘playing the victim’. They respond: they’re merely representing reality.
A brilliant debate. A must watch video.
Public Debate: Is Humanity Better Off Without Religion? Dr Robert Stovold vs Abdullah al Andalusi – http://wp.me/p3k8xr-3dq
Checking out a dictionary for the word ‘Authentic’ and you will probably find an answer like this:
- Of undisputed origin; genuine.
- Made or done in the traditional or original way. Continue reading
When watching this again recently, I felt it responded (loosely) one or two questions posited by the Viking Girl (Anne-Merete) in this post.
This is an interview with Hamza Yusuf (a while ago) entitled: “Why I Came to Islam” and is the 2nd part.
I deliberately inserted part 2 of this video-link for the reasons above. (You are free to watch part 1 the precedes this one and part 3 that follows it.)
*NOTE* the original video was deleted, so I’ve uploaded a more recent (and full-length) one, here. The MIddle section is the ‘important bit’ that I commented on, below:
- For REVERTS: Do you have moments of doubt after coming into Islam? (Watch HY’s response).
- On modern communitarianism – who are trying to re-establish communities [now that communities have diminished in the modern world].
- Provincialism is a problem – so dealing with difference is dealing with different people in a way that is not alienating.
- Later: Why have Muslims not been effective in communicating their worldview in recent times?
- Modern reformers and deformers…
- Pride and arrogance is a problem: the solution is in humility. That is: submit until lesson is learnt.
- “La ilaha ilallah.” Does this statement guarantee your redemption? No. Probably not. Words and actions.
- Problem with Christian-bashing…
- The healers…
- Victimisation is a dead-end road
- Colonial systems: governments created by colonists have ‘shot down’ traditional enlightened systems
- Medinan template
- Disease is ‘ignorance’.
- Weltanschauung: the vision (the understanding and morality)
- Separation of ‘deen’ (personal piety, or transaction with God) and ‘millah’ (which is how to function as a collective body) is a problem.
- Consumption – the idol of the age.
Dialogue Poem Set 3.4: On Love
Ashen Cloak replied:
No. You misunderstand. You have it wrong.
Cathartic-exorcisms of soul’s aches
Is like cleansing demons,
Using the pathos of poetry’s
Immersion in the sentiment of love is all I spoke.
(Blue Hemp Tunic observed, touched on last point
In support of Ashen Cloak:)
You intelli-literalists are always unfathomed
By us spiri-metaphoricists. Our
Meanings are lost on you – out at sea – Continue reading