Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Islamapologists: be they Knaves, or be they Fools?

It really gives me the pip when I see some article arguing for the peaceful nature of Islam, and quoting the Koran, or Hadith, or simply making statements, that are clearly false.
Do these folk do this deliberately (Knaves), or do they do it out of ignorance (Fools)?
Here is one recent case, in "The price I pay for respecting Islam".
Just two examples from the first few paragraphs, as I can't bear to go through it all:
Considine quotes a Hadith:
“The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.”
But Islamic scholars have deemed this Hadith to be "weak and flimsy, or fabricated...".  (The numerous Hadiths -- the sayings and doings of Muhammad -- are traditionally divided into strong [eg, Bukhari, Islam], not strong, and weak.
Considine quotes the Koran
“Taking the life of an innocent person is like killing all of mankind.”
Problem is, he quotes this incorrectly -- as do all Islamopologists, including Obama, who once quoted  this same verse, in the same incorrect way. [His Cairo speech, 4 June 2009, para 23).
The mangled quote comes from the Koran 5.32.
Here is what it actually says, and the context:

Qur'an 5:32

What is actually presented by apologists is a distorted, out-of-context and misleading paraphrasing of the following verse:

On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone slew a person - unless it be in retaliation for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew all mankind: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all humanity.

Its Context

This verse is written in past tense (Ordained, not Ordain) and clearly does not apply to Muslims but to "the Children of Israel" i.e. the Jews who, according to Islam, received an earlier set of scriptures. In fact, it is mistakingly referencing a rabbinical commentary found in the Talmud as if it were the words of Allah.

Also when the clause which allows killing is reinserted and the passage is read in context with the following two verses directed at Muslims (notice the reference to Allah's messenger and the switch to present tense), what first appeared on the surface to be a peaceful message, is in actual fact a warning to non-believers:
The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter; Except for those who repent before they fall into your power: in that case, know that Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
This is par for the course, for these Islamopologists.  The criticise we critics of Islam as being cherry pickers and quoting out of context.  But the cherry picking[*] that has to be done is for those peaceable verses, for they are few indeed, whereas the violent verses are the core of the Koran. And as for "out of context", you cannot get a better example than the Islamapologist one above.

I recently read another Islamopologist (no link for now) claiming that Muhammad was not a warmonger.  But that's also plainly false, as Islam itself documents, especially in the Sirah, the official biography of Muhammad.  He took part in at least 27 battles, many of which -- especially after he moved his followers to Medina -- were offensive in nature.

Perhaps the answer to whether the Islamapologists are Knaves or Fools, is in the quote at the top of this post: they are Knaves, and the Fools are those that believe them.

[*]See "Cherry Picking (fallacy)", here.  One does not need to cherry pick the Koran for violent verses, for that's the bulk of the book -- the whole tree, one might say.