I should have included Reza Aslan in the picture as well…..
THE FANTASY ISLAM OF REZA ASLAN
Welcome to the game of hiding what’s in the Koran.
Fantasy Islam: A game in which an audience of non-Muslims wish with all their hearts that Islam was a “Religion of Peace,” and a Muslim strives to fulfill that wish by presenting a personal version of Islam that has little foundation in Islamic Doctrine.
As I have mentioned before, “Fantasy Islam” is a popular game among many non-Muslims and so-called “moderate” or “reformist” Muslims. Reza Aslan appears to be such a Muslim.
Reza Aslan was born in Iran. In 1979, at the age of seven, he and his family fled the Iranian Revolution and came to the United States. At the age of 15 he converted to evangelical Christianity, but later returned to Islam. His website states that he is “an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions.” He is currently a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside.
In 2005 Aslan wrote a book titled No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam. The updated edition came out in 2011. This article addresses that updated edition.
It should be noted that in his book Aslan listed The Life of Muhammad and the multi-volume work The History of al-Tabari, as among the books he “consulted.” These are classical works by Muslim scholars and major sources for information about Muhammad and Islam. Aslan even specifically mentions them as among those that have “catalogued” the story of Islam (p. xxiv). Unfortunately, although Aslan claims that he “consulted” them, we will see that he apparently overlooked conflicting information in these works in favor of playing Fantasy Islam.