Musulmaniacs experience major head implosions.
Even in the rarefied world of academic scholarship, this fear of offense has protected Islam from the sort of critical scrutiny every other world religion has undergone for centuries. Some modern scholars who do exercise their intellectual freedom and investigate these issues, like Christoph Luxenberg or Ibn Warraq, must work incognito to avoid the wrath of the adherents of the “Religion of Peace.” Now Robert Spencer, the fearless director of Jihad Watch and author of several books telling the truths about Islam obscured by a frightened academy and media, in his new book Did Muhammad Exist? challenges this conspiracy of fear and silence by surveying the scholarship and historical evidence for the life and deeds of Islam’s founder.
As Spencer traces the story of Mohammed through ancient sources and archaeology, the evidence for the Prophet’s life becomes more and more evanescent. The name Muhammad, for example, appears only 4 times in the Qur’an, as compared to the 136 mentions of Moses in the Old Testament. And those references to Muhammad say nothing specific about his life. The first biography of Muhammad, written by Ibn Ishaq 125 years after the Prophet’s death, is the primary source of biographical detail, yet it “comes down to us only in the quite lengthy fragments reproduced by an even later chronicler, Ibn Hisham, who wrote in the first quarter of the ninth century, and by other historians who reproduced and thereby preserved additional sections.”