Islam and Sandy Hook: The Muslims

(Mehdi Hasan believes Muhammad flew to heaven on a winged horse and split the moon)

The last sentence of my previous post read:

The beliefs of Sandy Hook “Truthers” are as nonsensical as, well, as the beliefs of Muslims.

Do you think this is a stretch? Do you find it hard to credit the proposition that the beliefs of a major world religion are truly as crazy as those of Sandy Hook Truthers, that both belief systems are bullshit?

Here is a core Muslim belief. A messenger from the creator of the universe, an angel called Gibril, transmitted the koran word for word, syllable for syllable, phoneme for phoneme to somebody called Muhammad over a twenty year period early in the seventh century.

Note “phoneme for phoneme”. It is a core tenet of Islam that if the koran is recited correctly what you hear is the message the creator of the universe caused to be transmitted to Muhammad. It’s as if a recording had been made.

I’m not making this up. I went onto the popular qtafsir website and chatted with the person on duty. Here is a screenshot of an excerpt from that chat.

Screenshot of chat on Muslim website
Screenshot of chat on Muslim website

That doesn’t leave much wiggle room. The koran must be the literal word of the creator. So, according to Muslim belief, the creator of the universe said things such as:

The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement,…

(Sura 5, Aya 33)

Really? The Creator of the Universe took time out to tell Muhammad to crucify or otherwise chastise people who “strive to make mischief in the land”?

Or this:

And We have made great mountains in the earth lest it might be convulsed with them, and We have made in it wide ways that they may follow a right direction.

(21:31)

This is a creator of the universe who would flunk Geology 101. Mountains do not stablise the Earth. If they did Pakistan, right next to the Himalayas, the biggest mountain range on Earth, would not also be one of the world’s most earthquake prone countries.

Like Sandy Hook Truthers many Muslims are not above faking a bit of evidence. Here is a quote from the Science Islam website:

Professor Alfred Kroner is one of the world’s well-known geologists. He is a Professor of the Department of Geosciences, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany. He said, “Thinking where Muhammad came from .. I think it is almost impossible that he could have known about things like the common origin of the universe, because scientists have only found out within the last few years with very complicated and advance technological methods that this is the case.” (From ‘This is the Truth’ ). Also he said, “Somebody who did not know something about nuclear physics fourteen hundred years ago could not, I think, be in a position to find out from his own mind, for instance, that the earth and the heavens had the same origin.”

So did a professor at Johannes Guttenberg University in Mainz, Germany really endorse the view of a scientific miracle in the koran. Here is Professor Kröner in his own words:

This practice is known as “quote mining”. A statement made in one context is used out of context. It is a technique frequently used by climate change deniers, evolution  deniers and anti-vaccination campaigners.

Elsewhere we see that this creator would have flunked Biology 101. He seems to have no understanding of mammalian reproduction. Maybe by the time this creator got round to transmitting the koran to Muhammad he was already going senile.

Now in case you think finding scientific miracles in the koran is a fringe activity here is what prominent Muslim author Ziauddin Sardar has to say writing in the New Statesman:

It requires considerable mental gymnastics and distortions to find scientific facts or theories in these [koranic] verses . Yet, this height of folly is a global craze in Muslim societies, as is a popular literature known as ijaz, or “scientific miracles of the Quran”. Islamic bookshops are littered with this literature, television preachers talk endlessly about how many different scientific theories can be found in the Quran, and numerous websites are devoted to explaining the phenomenon. It can seem as if ijaz literature has taken total control of the Muslim imagination.

(Weird Science, New Statesman, 21 August 2008)

Sardur is the sort of Muslim the British left loves to love. He is the sane face of a crazy belief system.  The New Statesman is a mainstream left wing publication.

In addition to the koran Muslims are guided by the ahadith. From Encyclopaedia Britannica:

Hadith, Arabic Ḥadīth (“News” or “Story”), also spelled Hadīt , record of the traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, revered and received as a major source of religious law and moral guidance, second only to the authority of the Qurʾān, the holy book of Islam. It might be defined as the biography of Muhammad perpetuated by the long memory of his community for their exemplification and obedience. The development of Hadith is a vital element during the first three centuries of Islamic history, and its study provides a broad index to the mind and ethos of Islam.

Here is more Islamic claptrap from the ahadith:

….Al- Buraq, a white animal, smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to me and I set out with Gabriel….

(Sahih Bukhari Vol 4, Book 54. Beginning Of Creation. Hadith 429.)

The hadith purports to tell the story of Muhammad ascending to heaven on a winged animal, Al-Buraq.

And then there’s this:

This hadith has been transmitted on the authority of Abdullah b. Mas’ud (who said): We were along with God’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) at Mina, that moon was split up into two. One of its parts was behind the mountain and the other one was on this side of the mountain. God’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said to us: Bear witness to this

(Muslim, Book 39, Number 6725)

This is one of several ahadith that purport to tell the story of how Muhammad split the moon in two.

So do contemporary Muslims take this sort of drive seriously?

One Muslim who does is Mehdi Hassan. Here he is telling Richard Dawkins he Muhammad ascended to heaven on a winged horse and split the moon.

(Watch to the end to see a bit more Islamic baloney)

Mehdi Hasan is no marginal character At the time of writing he is political editor of UK edition of The Huffington Post and presenter of a number of shows on Al Jazeera TV. In many ways he is an admirable character. He has, for example, spoken out against anti-Semitism in the British Muslim community.

But his beliefs are, let’s face it, batshit crazy.

For Muslims, Muhammad is supposedly the “perfect human”. Here are his views on geckos:

‘Amir b. Sa’d reported on the authority of his father that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) commanded the killing of geckos, and he called them little noxious creatures.

(Muslim, Book 026, Number 5562)

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: He who killed a gecko with the first stroke for him is such and such a reward, and he who killed it with a second stroke for him is such and such reward less than the first one, and he who killed it with the third stroke for him is such and such a reward less than the second on

(Muslim Book 026, Number 5564)

Now you may think this is a piece of seventh century twaddle, that no Muslim pays any attention to it in the twenty-first century. You would be wrong. This from the popular Islam Q & A website:

Is it correct to kill geckos by hand? Is it proven that there is reward for killing them?

Praise be to Allaah.

Killing geckos is prescribed because there is a great deal of evidence to that effect. It should be done with a tool or implement, etc. There is nothing in the reports to specify that they should be killed by hand or to encourage killing them by hand. I do not think that this is correct and there is no report to this effect. That is alien to Islamic teaching and good characteristics.

In al-Saheehayn and elsewhere it is narrated via Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib that Um Shareek told him that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told her to kill geckos. According to the report narrated by al-Bukhaari, he said: “It (the geckos) used to blow on Ibraaheem, peace be upon him.”

So I stand by what I said. The beliefs of Sandy Hook Truthers and Muslims are equally preposterous. It is reasonable to describe both Sandy Hook Truthers and believing Muslims as deluded. Both sets of beliefs are legitimate targets for ridicule and scorn. The notion of Islamophobia is as unreasonable as  Sandy Hook Truther-o-phobia. The fact that one of these beliefs is a religion should not accord it any special privileges or immunities in a secular democracy. Rubbish is rubbish is rubbish whether it’s religious rubbish or secular rubbish.

There are only two reasons we take Muslim bullshit more seriously than the rubbish espoused by the Sandy Hook Truthers. The first is because the Sandy Hook Truthers number at most a few hundred thousand while Muslims number over a billion. In fact roughly one in five people on Earth self-identify as Muslims.

The second is that many adherents of Islam have a distressing habit of killing people who “insult” their particular brand of rubbish. In many countries “insulting Islam” or “insulting the prophet” (so-called) can land you in prison or worse.

 

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