14 of 333 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Did Muhammad Exist?: An Inquiry into Islam's Obscure Origins (Hardcover)
The book is not even worth reading because the title itself proclaims the author's ignorance.
What is your next book? How about: "Is the earth flat?"
Or, "Did Christ exist?"
Or, "Did Moses exist?"
And, no, I am not a Muslim.
And, no, I did not read the book. The title is enough.
And, yes, I support the author's right to freedom of expression, even if it is based upon ignorance.
And, yes, I am very familiar with the author and his views and his Web site.
And, yes, I have heard the author summarize his book on the radio.
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Showing 1-10 of 21 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 25, 2012 5:51:51 AM PDT
Hussein Hajji Wario says:
You claim, "And, no, I am not a Muslim." Really? You believe in Muhammad as a Prophet of Allah. You are Baha'i. There you go. You are part Muslim.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 7:05:27 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 25, 2012 7:05:52 AM PDT
Glenn Simmons says:
Posted on Apr 25, 2012 11:00:31 AM PDT
Caliph al Ma'mun says:
This is a place to review the book , not to express your feelings about the author !
Posted on Apr 25, 2012 1:24:58 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 25, 2012 1:43:20 PM PDT]
Posted on Apr 25, 2012 8:23:27 PM PDT
Erik C Wilson says:
Actually one could make a solid argument that neither Jesus nor Moses existed. Could you detail why he is ignorant, or would you like to post more useless comments.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 8:26:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 12, 2012 7:52:04 PM PDT
Mr Simmons is a perfect example of what a lack of education does to a person's ability to argue from facts and not simply from emotion. Science has advanced precisely because it has questioned what seemed to be rock-solid realities. Apparently Mr Simmons is afraid of open inquiry in which one reaches a conclusion based only, so far as this is possible, on evidence. Such were the people who questioned Galileo, too (among other things, they let their philosophical or religious views interfere with their ability to seek the Truth). The West has advanced far beyond the Musim East precisely because we ask "Why?" and put as few restrictions on inquiry as possible. It is notable that nowhere in the Muslim world is there a true democracy (let alone respect for and tolerance of other religions)--nor can there be. Muslims grow up in a culture that refuses to question basic realities. The Koran is The Truth, and to question this is to go to hell. They are told to memorize the Koran rather than to understand it. This type of indoctrination ruins the mind, which was given to us by God precisely for an open-ended search for Truth. The recent political upheavals in many Muslim countries will in all likelihood amount to nothing but the replacement of one dictator with another (exactly what happened in Iran), since there is no tradition of open inquiry in which ideals like Truth, Goodness, love of one's enemy, the freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly, inter alia, have ever been sanctioned, let alone taught "religiously" in school and college as fundamental to human existence. The search for Truth--about Mohammed or Christ or Socrates, or whether quantum physics is the last word or not, it doesn't matter--must be open-ended and the result thus not given in advance. God has given us this unique and wonderful attribute so we don't fall under the sway of mad or murderous or incompetent people but can instead, through reason and ideals like Goodness, reach beyond ourselves, and thus establish a government and society in which respect for others is paramount, so that those who think differently (as long as there is no violence etc) are free to live as they want. The rights and privileges which Muslims possess in the West--and value--are nowhere offerd to non-Muslims in their own Muslim society. How hypocritical is that? No, when you give up Reason, you adopt tyranny, sooner or later. You can't rule out inquiry in any part of life without at the same time denigrating, and thereby destroying, inquiry, which eventually leads to repression and evil. With no traditions of respect for Truth or of tolerance for people who think or believe differently, what will Muslims replace their dictatorial leaders with? Just look at the mess in Egypt now. When you give up the open search for truth, you simply open the door for another dictator (secular or religious) to enter. Disallowing free inquiry, Mr Simmons, has implications far beyond whether or not Mohammed existed. Be thankful you live in the West. In Muslim countries there is no love lost for the Baha'i, just as Sunnnis have no love lost for Shiites (and vice versa), and no one loves Kurds. This intra-Muslim hatred and violence and intolerance is directly traceable to a hatred and fear of inquiry. And, be it noted, in all Muslim lands only hatred, intolerance, prejudice, and persecution exist for non-Muslims, for Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and Christians. Close the road to the open-ended search for Truth, Mr. Simmons, and inevitably you open up the road to Hell.
Posted on Apr 26, 2012 4:14:57 AM PDT
Ard Fhaidh says:
And I support your right to freedom of expression Mr.Simmons, even though it is based upon ignorance. This is a place for a B-O-O-K - R-E-V-I-E-W however.
Questions about whether Jesus existed have been aggressively asked and argued for centuries. The overwhelming consensus among scholars in the post Dead Sea Scroll era is yes. However ancient evidence for the historicity of Jesus is challenged in secular Western societies as a matter of course it seems. For instance the Roman Emperor Claudius in 49 AD expelled all Jews from Rome because Rome's Jews had been rioting in the city over a Jewish personage identified in the edict as "Chrestos". The link between Jesus and Chrestos has been challenged. The authenticity of the recently found ostuary of James the brother/kinsman of Jesus was not just challenged the owner of that relic was charged with criminal fraud by an Israeli prosecutor (he was found innocent in Israeli court some months ago when the evidence for authenticity overwhelmed the prosecution).
The historical existence of Israeli Kings David and Saul was aggressive questioned by the Biblical Minimalists until just a few years ago when the archaeological evidence for their existence became overwhelming.
Tell us Mr. Simmons in your view why should Islam alone be exempted from critical inquiry into it origins?
Posted on Apr 26, 2012 5:31:40 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 5:34:54 AM PDT
I also think the thesis that Mohammed did not exist is, to say the least, dubious.
I also am not inclined to purchase the book for the same reason I am not inclined to purchase books on why we have been visited by ancient aliens who decided to come many light years to build things out or rocks (e.g., Stonehenge, Great Pyramid, etc.).
If this were a discussion forum on the topic of Mohammed, I would be in your corner. However, this is a book review and you have not read the book. Therefore you should not be reviewing it. Unless you can detail some of the author's arguments and why they fail, you have no basis for saying anything helpful.
In the future, you should restrict your reviews, even in cases when the topic of the book seems quite outrageous, to those you have read and can critique. The idea is to be of use to other shoppers and not to provide you a platform to rant. Amazon has other forums for doing that elsewhere.
Posted on Apr 26, 2012 7:52:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 7:59:24 AM PDT
S. U. Larsen says:
You write "Did Christ exist?"
Well, the central and most important and most convincing parts of the New Test - let's say what formed Christianity in its attempts to understand itself - were written mere decades after the death of Christ. I think it would have been a hard one to swallow if it had been made-up tales in the face of the many people from the area still alive and able to deny what they had seen and experienced ....and the first Christians WERE Jews.
Whereas the mention of Muhammad in the Quran is limited to 3 or 4 cases - that could have been inserted later, for that matter - and witnesses to his name and deeds are otherwise rather late - several generations - compared to Christ in Christianity. The entirety of Early Islam is mainly/only preserved through dubious Muslim sources, with not a hint of many important details to be found elsewhere. I believe I have seen mentioned that the "four rightly guided caliphs", the immediate successors of Muhammad, seem to be mere non-persons if we go by strict historical scientific methods.
Living in Europe I am looking forward to receiving Mr Spencer's book, also to see what he has to say concerning the Sana'a palimpsest.
Posted on Apr 26, 2012 8:00:15 AM PDT
Gary Day says:
Ignorance is not reading the book but making a comment on it...