Myth of Islam

The Story of Islam's Origins

12. Myth, Magic and the Bizarre —

The Koran contains stories, claims and statements which seem strange, mythological, plainly contrary to the laws of physics or simply incredible. Within Islam. Many are seen as miracles, but the absence of blind faith enables the cold light of reason see them for what they are! Some of these have already been encountered (eg heaven and earth talking to God). Many More can be easily found throughout the Koran by simply reading the text with an open Mind.

Some commentators have described a certain poetic quality in the Koran and this could be an explanation for what otherwise can only be interpreted as mythological notions. What follows is one description of the Koran, among many:

The Holy Qur’an has its own style, which is different from that of both poetry and prose. It is not poetry because it is neither rhymed, nor has it a metrical rhythm. Moreover, poetry entails a sort of imagery called poetic fancy. It is interwoven with exaggeration which amounts to telling a lie. The Holy Qur’an has no poetic imagery nor fanciful similes and Metaphors. At the same time it is no ordinary prose, for it is characterized by a kind of harmonious flow and cadence not found in any other prose work. The Muslims have always recited the Holy Qur’an with a particular harmonic tune.[1]

The recitation of the Koran which is considered beautiful does not of course make up for what the text actually says if this contains mythological or magical ideas. Here is a selection of fantastic ideas. Some we have already encountered in other chapters. In each case I have given the comment of Maulana Wahiduddin Khan:

(1)             According to 19.23-25 when Mary is giving birth to Jesus under a palm tree, she complains to a palm tree about the pains of childbirth. A voice (perhaps the tree?) responds by talking, telling her to shake its trunk and ripe dates will fall.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan comments that this was an angel who spoke to her –

(2)             In 19.30ff Jesus as a baby in the cradle starts talking and professes he is the slave of God and a prophet. Further in 19.33 he refers to the fact that he will be raised from the dead (although the fact of crucifixion is denied in 4.157).

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan mentions the miraculous nature of the event but does not comment on the inconsistency with Islamic doctrine that Christ was not actually crucified with the baby Jesus’ prediction that he will be raised from the dead. He does however focus on 19.35: ‘..it does not befit the majesty of God that he should beget a son’, to emphasise the Islamic doctrine that begetting a son conflicts with the unity of God principle.

(3)             In 2.31 Allah taught Adam all the names (it appears) of the plants and animals, which Must have taken a while since there are an estimated 1.7 million species that are known today, with probably another 10 million or so that are yet to be discovered. And this does not include species that have gone extinct since the (Mythological) time of Adam.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan makes no relevant comment

(4)             According to 2.65-6 Allah turned Jews who break the Sabbath into apes to be despised and hated. According to this should we have to accept that all modern non-practising Jews are descendants of apes or that some modern apes are descendants of Sabbath-breaking Jews?

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan naturally does not criticise of this piece of anti-semitisim, but comments that the audacity of the Jews in violating the Sabbath incurred God’s displeasure, and that ‘whenever one turns against the law of God one puts oneself on a par with animals’.

(5)             This theme is pursued in 5.60: Allah has turned some Christians and Jews into apes and swine.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan expresses no surprise but simply supports the polemical nature of the verse

(6)             In 2.67-9 Allah tells the Jews to sacrifice a bright yellow cow.[2]

The whole passage shows the Israelites wrangling with Moses rather than simply obeying him. Maulana Wahiduddin Khan criticises them for this. No comment is made about the colour of the cow.

(7)             In 2.74 it states there are rocks that fall down for fear of Allah.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s comment suggests landslides are meant

(8)             In 2.243 Allah is said to have told thousands of soldiers to die. Then after they died, Allah brought them back to life.

M in a long comment finally sums up: ‘Abandoning the path of trust in God leads to the Moral death of nations and communities, while opting for the path of trust in God leads to their regeneration.’

(9)             In 2.259 Allah Makes a man “die” for 100 years, and then brings him back to life.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan makes no comment

(10)                                In 2.260, to show how he gives life to the dead, Allah tells Abraham to cut up the bodies of four birds, scatter their remains on four hills, and then call to them. Allah says that the dead birds will come quickly to Abraham.

I note Maulana Wahiduddin Khan translates this verse differently so as not to suggest the birds are cut up

(11)                    In 5.111, the disciples of Jesus are said to have described themselves as Muslims! (A term not known for at least 6 decades after 632)

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan avoids this difficulty as he translates the word ‘Muslims’ (as appears in Pickthall) with the phrase: ‘We have submitted’

(12)                    Belief in demons, angels or Jinns[3] : 6.100; Allah created the jinn but he is not in partnership with them. 15.27: Allah created the jinn from fire. 6.112: He appointed jinns to be the adversaries of prophets. 6.128: Jinns have led many humans astray and 6.130: The jinn were disbelievers. . See also 55.33, 67.6 and surah 72 (naMed ‘The Jinn’)

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan interestingly comments on 6.100 that ‘Since ancient times it has been a weakness on the part of man to find some distinction or mysticism in a thing and then to consider that thing to be a partner of God and start worshipping it..’

(13)                       When Allah revealed himself to Moses, the Mountain came crashing down. (7.143)

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan translates this passage differently to show that God split the mountain in two. He Makes no comment about this Miracle

(14)                    In 7.148 the Golden Calf made by the tribes of Israel while Moses was on Mount Sinai gave a lowing sound!

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan makes no comment about the lowing sound emanating from a statue.

(15)                     9.40: Allah is said to have supported Muhammad with armies that no one else could see.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan makes no comment on this miracle

(16)                    27.18-19 Solomon and the ants talk to each other.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan cmments that Solomon’s army included birds and ants

(17)                    27.20-21: Solomon is concerned that the hoopee is not among the birds in his army, and says he will kill the hoopee unless he has a good excuse for his absence.

As above. Maulana Wahiduddin Khan sees no incongruity

(18)                    65.12 shows Allah has created seven Heavens

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan translation continues .. ‘and the same number of earths’. Maulana Wahiduddin Khan candidly comments that astronomy has not been able to discover the other 6 earths, so that only God knows the meaning of this verse. Maybe now that planets in other solar systems are being found Muslims will claim this passage predicted them.

Those who are Muslims and who have been taught not just to read or memorise the Koran but also to understand the Arabic, say they do not notice the magical and mythological elements in their reading because they experience the Koranic language as poetic and beautiful.

It takes therefore a translation to reveal just how incredible and legendary some of the Koran appears to a sceptical reader. It is readily understandable that some poetic metaphors to explain a religious point is useful, but what is the significance of ants talking, statues lowing or hoopees being part of Solomon’s army?

What is the explanation for the presence of this material? We have to make allowances for the culture and mindset of the people in whose time the Koran was created; they were a people who found belief in jinns normal. They had a culture centring around stories and memories. Legends and poetry were their culture and the stuff of entertainment. This of course again places the Koran firmly in a historical context, and makes its human origin more likely. If God were issuing revelations why would he have resorted to such material, which he would have known was not true? A devout Muslim will respond that the Koran is the word of God and therefore whatever it says is true.

Having considered a sampling of incredible, mythological and magical material in the Koran, the reader will judge how far how the Traditional claim for the Koran stands up and whether the idea that it is a perfect book and that God authored it is believable.

Summary

This section explores the mythical and bizarre material found in the Koran which places it firmly in its historical period and suggest human rather than divine authorship.

 

 



[1] http://www.najaf.org/english/book/19/19.htM

[2] Pickthall translation

[3] Supernatural beings that could be good or evil, believed in by Middle East folklore


11.2 Mistakes and Misunderstandings in the Koran —

There are passages in the Koran which contain clear mistakes, or contradictions with facts contained in other traditions, established mythologies, anachronisms or apparent examples of ignorance (short of scientific errors). While Tradition claims that the Koran is the correct version, such passages reinforce the impression of the Koran’s human rather than divine authorship.

Examples of contradictions, inconsistencies, anachronisms and other difficulties are:

 

(a)  In 3.31-36 and 19.28:  Miriam, the sister of Aaron (brother of Moses) is confused with the Virgin Mary (who lived about 1000 years later).

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan seeks to explain this by saying that the verses actually mean that Mary is descended from the House of Aaron.

 

(b) A theme of the Koran is that Muhammad received his book of revelations from God – the Koran – in a similar way in which previous prophets received their book: Jesus (called Isa in the Koran) is said to have received the gospels (called the ‘Injil’ in the Koran)(5.46 and 19.30), Moses is said to have received the Torah (6.91) and David was said to have been given the Psalms (4.163). All these books are held to have actually revealed Islam (3.19).

But there is no evidence in the Bible that Jesus received a book, a revelation or a text from God. The Gospels are biographies of Jesus’ life written decades after his death. No reference to any book they have been given is made by Jesus, Moses or David in any accounts (except perhaps for the 10 Commandments on tablets of stone).  No attempts were recorded to write an account of Christ’s life in the early years after the crucifixion because at that time Christians thought the world would end imminently with a Second Coming.

The Tora and story of Moses were written centuries after the events described, although these did contain the 10 commandments and the Jewish laws.

As far as concerns the Psalms of David, The Psalms are not a book revealing Islam, as the Koran claims, but a collection of songs of worship, only some of which are David’s. There is no evidence in the Bible’s account of David that he received a book of laws or revelation for the Israelites. They already had the Tora to follow. So David was not a prophet in the Koran’s sense of this word.

The Arabs who came into contact with the Christians and Jews in the Middle East called them the People of the Book, because they did have written scriptures which the Arabs at that time did not have. The earliest records we have of these Arabs (set out in Chapters 3-5 above) show the Ishmaelities or Hagarians etc had no sacred book. The subsequent creation of Islam could be described as a ‘catch-up exercise’, developing their own ‘book’, with their own theology and expressing it in Arabic.

(c)  According to Sura 28:35-42 and 40:36-37, Haman was a minister or official of the Pharaoh (the ruler of Egypt) who lived in the same time as Moses. However according to the already existing Jewish history (Book of Esther 3.1-2) Haman served as the minister of Ahasuerus (ie Xerxes 1), king of Persia. These appear to be both errors in the place, but also in chronology in placing Pharaoh (Moses) and Haman in the same story although they lived 1,000 years apart.

 

(d) Again in the Koran Haman is ordered by the Pharaoh to build a lofty building or tower reaching into heaven. This appears to be a mixing in of material from “the Tower of Babel” a well known story of an event that took place in Babylon, long before Abraham, who lived at least 400 years before Moses. (Genesis 11:1-9, especially the verses 3-4, Let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly. … and build a … tower that reaches to the heavens.)

 

(e)  In 7.124 the Koran is talking about threats made by the Pharoah: “Surely I shall have your hands and feet cut off on alternate sides. Then I shall crucify you, every one.” However crucifixion was a Roman punishment, for which there is no evidence that it was used by the ancient Egyptians. (Maulana Wahiduddin Khan makes no comment).

 

(f)   In 28.9 the Pharaoh’s wife is shown as adopting Moses, where as in Exodus 2.10 the story shows it was the Pharaoh’s daughter who adopted him.

 

(g)  What happened to the Pharaoh who pursued the Israelites through the Red Sea? 10.92 says he survived but 28.40, 17.103 and 43.55 all say he drowned.

 

(h) How many angels attended Mary? It is one in 19.17-21 but several in 3.42-45

 

 

(i)    9.30 claims that Jews say that Ezra is the son of God. Jewish sources deny that Jews have ever believed that Ezra was the son of God.[1] The only evidence for there being Jews who held the belief comes from within Islam. Maulana Wahiduddin Khan in his commentary quotes Qastalani who states there was a party of Jews who held this belief in his Kitab al-Nikah. He also refers to religious controversies at the time, thereby supporting the alternative view that this verse probably emerged out of that controversy, and that the Koran may have been created as a polemic against the other sects who opposed it.

 

(j)    Was Noah and all his family saved? Surah 21.76 says they were but 11.42-3 shows a son was drowned.

 

(k)  9.36 “The number of months with Allah is twelve by Allah’s ordinance on the day He created the heavens and the earth.” The calendar of 12 months is understood to have been invented by the Babylonians (not God) well before the traditional dates for Muhammad’s life. It is thought the pre-Islamic calendar used by the Arabs had been taken from the Jews (who probably derived it from the Babylonians). It had 12 months and included an extra month every 3 years to ensure the calendar approximated to the solar year). In this verse Muhammad declares that there are just 12 months and in the following verse 9.36 he effectively outlaws the intercalation of the additional month. This intercalation was already a feature of the pre-Islamic calendar, but Muhammad regarded it as interfering with the routine of sacred and ordinary months. As a result the Islamic year is not a solar year.

 

In this way the Koran takes Islam backwards to a more primitive and erroneous calendar that is less consonant with the seasons: the Islamic calendar is some 10-11 days out every year. These verses are understood to have been handed down in 627, five years before the date given for Muhammad’s death. The later legendary development of the Islamic myth is revealed because (scholars have noted) nothing is ever reported in Muhammad’s life before 627, to have taken place in a leap month, the existence of which was forgotten by the time the later stories about his life were composed.

 

Devout Muslims insist that their scripture is correct and other scriptures false, corrupted and changed. But these examples of evidence for mistakes, inconsistencies, incoherence, contradictions and anachronisms better support human origins for the Koran, rather than what would be expected if the Koran were the word of an all-knowing God. It would be extraordinary if an all wise and all knowing God was so inconsistent or committed anachronisms and apparent errors.

Better explanations lie in such factors as the gnostic sources used for the creation of the Koran, in the religious context in which the Koran was created, and in the need for Arabs to have a book of their own so as to catch up with, and compete with, other sects. Readers will judge for themselves these arguments in the light of the evidence presented in this and other chapters.

 

Summary

This section has pursued the theme of finding material in the Koran inconsistent with the Traditional claims the Koran is clear and free of errors.

 

 

 



[1] See http://www.answering-islam.org/Responses/Saifullah/ezra.htm


11.1 Revealing Contradictions and Incoherence in the Koran —

 

For a scripture that claims to be perfect, the Koran presents as remarkably full of both errors and contradictions. In the last section on Abrogation the most famous contradiction has been discussed, namely that between tolerance and Jihad. Scientific errors are considered in a chapter specific to that subject. This chapter considers a range of examples of the appearance of other contradictions, errors and of incoherence. Perhaps the word appearance is key because often these difficulties can be better understood as pointing to interesting information about the origins and development of the Koran.

(a)  Alcohol

The prohibition against drinking wine is contained in 2.219, but 16.67 refers to wine as some of the blessings of Allah. Different translators have translated this as wine (Rodwell), inebriating liquor (Sale), intoxicants (Dawood), strong drink (Pickthall), while Yusuf Ali claims the word means wholesome drink, and in a footnote concedes that if fermented liquor is meant then the later verse is a Meccan Sura which is abrogated by 2.219, a Medinan Sura.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explains the inconsistent statements about alcohol in various passages in the Koran, as a gradual process designed to prepare the minds of the people for the eventual prohibition of alcohol. He refers to 4.43 (which prohibits prayer when intoxicated) and 5.90 (which urges his followers to shun intoxicants and games of chance) as part of this process.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s explanation reflects the Koran as a kind of work in progress in which, he implies, God felt he had to bring a reluctant people forward step by step. Could this not equally or better reveal a human ruler’s approach to trying to solve a social problem of drunkenness? Indeed would not one expect a divine revelation to reveal the truth in one clear revelation?

The inconsistencies on this point may actually be related to the genesis of the Koran from earlier material created before the injunction against alcohol was finally introduced. There are indications that the Encratites (regarded as heretics by Basil the Great who died in 379) were opposed to wine (and other things).[2] The problem of drunkenness was therefore not just a social problem, but it had also had a place within religious controversy, and we know that religious controversy between different sects was strong in the birth area of Islam. These Koranic verses could reflect the way this controversy was handled within early Islam.

 

(b) Free Will and Predestination

There are contradictory statements on free will and predestination. In 87.2-3  it is written: “The lord has created and balanced all things and has fixed their destinies and guided them”. See also 2.142: Allah guides whoever He will he wants on a straight path. Other examples of predestination are found in 54.49, 3.145, 8.17, 9.51, 13.31, 14.4, 18.101, 22.13, 45.26 and 57.22.

However there are passages that suggest that humans have free will. 76.29 states “Surely this is a reminder: so whoever will, let him take a way to the Lord”. Other examples are found in 74.54-5, 76.3, 12.17 and 18.29.

These different verses are reflected in debates in modern Islam about predestination and free will. Those who know Muslims will note how frequently they say ‘Insh’Allah’ which means ‘If God Wills’, impliedly suggesting that whatever happens will only happen because of God’s will. In the light of what we have seen about the probable development and creation of the Koran, the range of its apparently contradictory verses on this topic look like a reflection of religious controversies raging at the time. If God had revealed the Koran however, we might have expected a more authoritative and clear statement concerning the matter.

(c)  Merciful or Severe?

Throughout the Koran, Allah is described as merciful, for example in the second verse of the first Surah, and at the end of 2.173 and of 2.182 “Allah is forgiving, merciful.”[3] However there are plenty of verses where Allah shows himself unforgiving. An example is 4.168-9: “Those who disbelieve and deal wrong, Allah will never forgive them, neither will He guide them unto a road, except the road of hell, wherein they will abide for ever. And that is ever easy for Allah.” Other examples can be found in 2.7, 2.17, 4.56, 5.33.

Sura 5.98 shows this contradiction within the same sentence:

Know that Allah is severe in punishment and that Allah is oft-forgiving, most merciful.

 

Mercy is normally understood as giving punishment less than deserved while severe in punishment means at least not giving punishment less that deserved, and may mean giving greater punishment than is deserved.  The claim ‘he is oft-forgiving and severe in punishment’ tries to have it both ways and is both unclear and incoherent.

 

Politicians often try to present their policies with different elements combined and presented in such a way as to appear both balanced and to appeal to different constituencies. But on a close analysis there are contradictions – something more human than divine.

 

(d) What can Allah do or not do?

The Koran is inconsistent about whether Allah can do anything he wishes or not. For example: Can Allah have a child? Compare 35.1 “Praise be to Allah, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, Who appointeth the angels messengers having wings two, three and four. He multiplieth in creation what He will. Lo! Allah is able to do all things”  with 6.100-101 “Yet they … impute falsely, without knowledge, sons and daughters unto Him. … The Originator of the heavens and the earth! How can He have a child?”

This is on the face of it a straight contradiction. Muslims commentators confirm[4] that Allah can do anything and point out that he is not subject to the physical laws of his creation. But the more likely explanation for this discrepancy lies in the religious controversies between the different Christian sects present in Islam’s ‘birth room’. Byzantine Christians believed in the Trinity and that Christ was the son of God while other sects denied this and saw Christ as just a prophet, who had been born of Mary but whose father was not God. Hence the polemic: How can he have a Child? The obvious contradiction is not noticed (by God?) in the heat of the polemic.

 

(e)  How Long did it Take Allah to Create the Universe?

In 32.4 it is six days, but in 41.9-12 the total is eight days.

32.4 reads:

Allah it is who created the heavens and the earth and that which is between them, in six days…

41.9-12 however reads:

9. Say (O Muhammad to the idolaters): Do you disbelieve in Him who created the earth in two days, and you ascribe rivals to Him? He (and none else) is the Lord of the Worlds.

10. He placed it in firm hills rising above it, and blessed it and measured in it its sustenance in four days, alike for all who ask.  

11.Then he turned to the heavens when it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth: Come both of you willingly or reluctantly. They said: We come , obedient.

12. The he ordained them seven heavens in two days and inspired in each heaven its mandate; and we adorned the nearer heaven with lamps and rendered it inviolable. That is the measuring of the Mighty, the Knower.

This is a total of eight days. Readers will note references to the earth and heaven also talking and to the stars being lamps.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explains that days mean stages, which is the standard Muslim way of trying to explain these inconsistencies, and some modern Muslims think that stages might not be inconsistent with the history of the cosmos and evolution.

A simpler explanation might be that the Koran was gathered together from different scriptures or legends, which were not harmonious, and not harmonised – there has not been the editing necessary.

 

(f)   Was Earth or Heaven Created First?

The Koran contains inconsistent statements about this.  79.27-30 states the earth came after the heavens

“Are ye the harder to create, or is the heaven that He built? He raised the height thereof and ordered it; And He made dark the night thereof, and He brought forth the morn thereof. And after that He spread the earth…. 

But in 2.29 the Koran states the earth came first

“He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens.”

And similarly 41.9-12 the Koran states

“Say (O Muhammad, unto the idolaters): Disbelieve ye verily in Him Who created the earth in two Days … Then turned He to the heaven … Then He ordained them seven heavens in two Days ….”

 

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan in his commentary on 79.27-30 confirms that the Koran is clear that Allah made the heavens first, but fails to deal with the discrepancy in his commentaries on 2.29 or on 41.9-12.

Again another explanation might be that we are encountering disparate traditions being welded together during the creation of the Koran by humans, in a way similar to the impression that there are two accounts of the Creation at the beginning of the book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible.

 



[1] One of the sources for this chapter is Ibn Warraq’s Introduction to ‘What the Koran really says’

[2] The State of the New Testament Canon in the second Century: Putting Tatian’s Diatessaron in Perspective in the Bulletin for Biblical Research (9) p5

[3] Pickthall

[4] Eg at http://www.islamtomorrow.com/allah.asp#3


10.3 Mistakes or Misunderstandings in the Koran —

There are passages in the Koran which contain clear mistakes, or contradictions with facts contained in other traditions, established mythologies, anachronisms or apparent examples of ignorance (short of scientific errors). These reinforce the impression of the Koran’s human rather than divine authorship.

Examples of contradictions, inconsistencies, anachronisms and other difficulties are:

 

(a)  In 3.31-36 and 19.28:  Miriam, the sister of Aaron (brother of Moses) is confused with the Virgin Mary (who lived about 1000 years later).

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan seeks to explain this by saying that the verses actually mean that Mary is descended from the House of Aaron.

 

(b) A theme of the Koran is that Muhammad received his book of revelations from God – the Koran – in a similar way in which previous prophets received their book: Jesus (called Isa in the Koran) is said to have received the gospels (called the ‘Injil’ in the Koran)(5.46 and 19.30), Moses is said to have received the Torah (6.91) and David was said to have been given the Psalms (4.163). All these books are held to have actually revealed Islam (3.19).

But there is no evidence in the Bible that Jesus received a book, text from God. The Gospels are biographies of Jesus’ life written decades after his death. No reference to any book they have been given is made by Jesus, Moses or David in any accounts (except perhaps for the 10 Commandments on tablets of stone).  No attempts were recorded to write an account of Christ’s life in the early years after the crucifixion because at that time Christians thought the world would end imminently with a Second Coming.

The Tora and story of Moses was written many years after the events described, although these did contain the 10 commandments and the Jewish laws.

As far as concerns the Psalms of David, The Psalms are not a book revealing Islam, as the Koran claims, but a collection of songs of worship, only some of which are David’s. There is no evidence in the Bible’s account of David that he received a book of laws for the Israelites. They already had the Tora to follow. So David was not a prophet in the Koran’s sense of this word.

The Arabs who came into contact with the Christians and Jews in the Middle East called them the People of the Book, because they did have written scriptures which the Arabs at that time did not have. The earliest records we have of these Arabs (set out in Chapters 3-5 above) show the Ishmaelities or Hagarians etc had no sacred book. The subsequent creation of Islam could be described as a ‘catch-up exercise’, developing their own ‘book’, with their own theology and expressing it in Arabic.

(c)  According to Sura 28:35-42 and 40:36-37, Haman was a minister or official of the Pharaoh (the ruler of Egypt) who lived in the same time as Moses. However according to the already existing Jewish history (Book of Esther 3.1-2) Haman served as the minister of Ahasuerus (ie Xerxes 1), king of Persia. The Quranic reference therefore is inconsistent and appears to be erroneous both in place, but also in chronology in placing Pharaoh (Moses) and Haman in the same story although they lived 1,000 years apart.

 

(d) Again in the Koran Haman is ordered by the Pharaoh to build a lofty building or tower reaching into heaven. This appears to be a mixing in of material from “the Tower of Babel” a well known story of an event that took place in Babylon, long before Abraham, who lived at least 400 years before Moses. (Genesis 11:1-9, especially the verses 3-4, Let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly. … and build a … tower that reaches to the heavens.)

 

(e)  In 7.124 the Koran is talking about threats made by the Pharoah: “Surely I shall have your hands and feet cut off on alternate sides. Then I shall crucify you, every one.” However crucifixion was a Roman punishment, for which there is no evidence that it was used by the ancient Egyptians. (Maulana Wahiduddin Khan makes no comment).

 

(f)   In 28.9 the Pharaoh’s wife is shown as adopting Moses, whereas in Exodus 2.10 the story gives the Pharaoh’s daughter as the person who adopted him.

 

(g)  What happened to the Pharaoh who pursued the Israelites through the red sea? 10.92 says he survived but 28.40, 17.103 and 43.55 all say he drowned

 

(h) How many angels attended Mary? It is one in 19.17-21 but several in 3.42-45

 

(i)    9.30 claims that Jews say that Ezra is the son of God. Jewish sources deny that Jews have ever believed that Ezra was the son of God.[1] The only evidence for there being Jews who held the belief comes from within Islam. Maulana Wahiduddin Khan in his commentary quotes Qastalani who states there was a party of Jews who held this belief in his Kitab al-Nikah. He also refers to religious controversies at the time, thereby supporting the alternative view that this verse probably emerged out of that controversy because the Koran was created as a polemic against the other sects who opposed it.

 

(j)    Was Noah and all his family saved? Surah 21.76 says they were but 11.42-3 shows a son was drowned.

 

(k)  9.36 “The number of months with Allah is twelve by Allah’s ordinance on the day He created the heavens and the earth.” The calendar of 12 months is understood to have been invented by the Babylonians (not God) well before the traditional dates for Muhammad’s life. It is thought the pre-Islamic calendar used by the Arabs had been taken from the Jews (who probably derived it from the Babylonians). It had 12 months and included an extra month every 3 years to ensure the calendar approximated to the solar year). In this verse Muhammad declares that there are just 12 months and in the following verse 9.36 he effectively outlaws the intercalation of the additional month thereby preventing the approximate solar accuracy of the calendar. This intercalation was already a feature of the pre-Islamic calendar, but Muhammad regarded it as interfering with the routine of sacred and ordinary months.

 

In this way the Koran takes Islam backwards to a more primitive and erroneous calendar that is less consonant with the seasons: the Islamic calendar is some 10-11 days out every year. These verses are understood to have been handed down in 627, five years before the date given for Muhammad’s death. The later legendary development of the Islamic myth is revealed because (scholars have noted) nothing is ever reported in Muhammad’s life, to have taken place in an intercalated month, the existence of which was by then forgotten.

 

Devout Muslims insist that their scripture is correct and other scriptures false, corrupted and changed. But these examples of evidence for mistakes, inconsistencies, incoherence, contradictions and anachronisms better support human origins for the Koran, rather than what would be expected if the Koran were the word of an all-knowing God. It would be extraordinary if an all wise and all knowing God was so inconsistent or committed anachronisms or apparent errors.

Better explanations lie in such factors as the gnostic sources used for the creation of the Koran, in the religious context in which the Koran was created, and in the need for Arabs to have a book of their own so as to catch up with, and compete with, other sects. Readers will judge for themselves these arguments in the light of the evidence presented in this and other chapters.

 

Summary

This chapter has pursued the theme of finding material in the Koran inconsistent with the Traditional claims the Koran is clear and free of errors.

 

 

 



[1] See http://www.answering-islam.org/Responses/Saifullah/ezra.htm


10.2 Contradictions etc contd —

(a) How Long did it Take Allah to Create the Universe?

In 32.4 it is six days, but in 41.9-12 the total is eight days.

32.4 reads:

Allah it is who created the heavens and the earth and that which is between them, in six days…

41.9-12 however reads:

9. Say (O Muhammad to the idolaters): Do you disbelieve in Him who created the earth in two days, and you ascribe rivals to Him? He (and none else) is the Lord of the Worlds.

10. He placed it in firm hills rising above it, and blessed it and measured in it its sustenance in four days, alike for all who ask.  

11.Then he turned to the heavens when it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth: Come both of you willingly or reluctantly. They said: We come, obedient.

12. The he ordained them seven heavens in two days and inspired in each heaven its mandate; and we adorned the nearer heaven with lamps and rendered it inviolable. That is the measuring of the Mighty, the Knower.

This is a total of eight days. Readers will note references to the earth and heaven also talking and to the stars being lamps.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explains that days mean stages, which is the standard Muslim way of trying to explain what otherwise would be contradictions, and some modern Muslims think that stages might not be inconsistent with the history of the cosmos and evolution.

A simpler explanation might be that the Koran was gathered together from different scriptures or legends, which were not harmonious, and not harmonised – there has not been the editing necessary.

 

(b) Was Earth or Heaven Created First?

The Koran contains inconsistent statements about this.  79.27-30 states the earth came after the heavens

“Are ye the harder to create, or is the heaven that He built? He raised the height thereof and ordered it; And He made dark the night thereof, and He brought forth the morn thereof. And after that He spread the earth…. 

But in 2.29 the Koran states the earth came first

“He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens.”

And similarly 41.9-12 the Koran states

“Say (O Muhammad, unto the idolaters): Disbelieve ye verily in Him Who created the earth in two Days … Then turned He to the heaven … Then He ordained them seven heavens in two Days ….”

 

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan in his commentary on 79.27-30 confirms that the Koran is clear that Allah made the heavens first, but fails to deal with the discrepancy in his commentaries on 2.29 or on 41.9-12 .

Again a better explanation might be that we are encountering disparate traditions being welded together during the creation of the Koran by humans, in a way similar to the impression that there are two accounts of the Creation at the beginning of the book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible.


10.1 Revealing Contradictions and Incoherence in the Koran [1] —

For a scripture that claims to be perfect, the Koran presents as remarkably full of both errors and contradictions. In the section on Abrogation the most famous contradiction has been discussed, namely that between tolerance and Jihad. Scientific errors are considered in a section specific to that subject. This section considers a range of examples of the appearance of other contradictions, errors and of incoherence. Perhaps the word appearance is key because often these difficulties can be better understood as pointing to interesting information about the origins and development of the Koran.

(a)  Alcohol

The prohibition against drinking wine is contained in 2.219, but 16.67 refers to wine as some of the blessings of Allah. Different translators have translated this as wine (Rodwell), inebriating liquor (Sale), intoxicants (Dawood), strong drink (Pickthall), while Yusuf Ali claims the word means wholesome drink, and in a footnote concedes that if fermented liquor is meant then the later verse is a Meccan Sura which is abrogated by 2.219, a Medinan Sura.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explains the inconsistent statements about alcohol in various passages in the Koran, as a gradual process designed to prepare the minds of the people for the eventual prohibition of alcohol. He refers to 4.43 (which prohibits prayer when intoxicated) and 5.90 (which urges his followers to shun intoxicants and games of chance) as part of this process.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s explanation reflects the Koran as a kind of work in progress in which, he implies, God felt he had to bring a reluctant people forward step by step. Could this not equally or better reveal a human ruler’s approach to trying to solve a social problem of drunkenness? Indeed would not one expect a divine revelation to reveal the truth in one clear revelation?

The inconsistencies on this point may actually be related to the genesis of the Koran from earlier material created before the injunction against alcohol was finally introduced. There are indications that Encratites (regarded as heretics by Basil the Great who died in 379) were opposed to wine (and other things).[2] The problem of drunkenness was therefore not just a social problem, but it had also had a place within religious controversy, and we know that religious controversy between different sects was strong in the birth area of Islam. These Koranic verses could reflect the way this controversy was handled within early Islam.

 

(b) Free Will and Predestination

There are contradictory statements on free will and predestination. In 87.2-3  it is written: “The lord has created and balanced all things and has fixed their destinies and guided them”. See also 2.142: Allah guides whoever He will he wants on a straight path. Other examples of predestination are found in 54.49, 3.145, 8.17, 9.51, 13.31, 14.4, 18.10122.13, 45.26 and 57.22.

However there are passages that suggest that humans have free will. 76.29 states “Surely this is a reminder: so whoever will, let him take a way to the Lord” Other examples are found in 74.54-5, 76.3, 12.17 and 18.29.

These different verses are reflected in debates in modern Islam about predestination and free will. Those who know Muslims will note how frequently they say ‘Insh’Allah’ which means ‘If God Wills’, impliedly suggesting that whatever happens will only happen because of God’s will. In the light of what we have seen about the probable development and creation of the Koran, the range of its apparently contradictory verses on this topic look like a reflection of religious controversies raging at the time. If God had revealed the Koran however, we might have expected a more authoritative and clear statement concerning the matter.

(c)  Merciful or Severe?

Throughout the Koran, Allah is described as merciful, for example at the end of 2,173 and of 2.182 “Allah is forgiving, merciful.”[3] However there are plenty of verses where Allah shows himself unforgiving. An example is 4.168-9: “Those who disbelieve and deal wrong, Allah will never forgive them, neither will He guide them unto a road, except the road of hell, wherein they will abide for ever. And that is ever easy for Allah.” Other examples can be found in 2.7, 2.17, 4.56, 5.33.

Sura 5.98 shows this contradiction within the same sentence:

Know that Allah is severe in punishment and that Allah is oft-forgiving, most merciful.

 

Mercy is normally understood as giving punishment less than deserved while severe in punishment means at least not giving punishment less that deserved, and may mean giving greater punishment than is deserved.  The claim ‘he is oft-forgiving and severe in punishment’ tries to have it both ways and is both unclear and incoherent.

 

Politicians often try to present their policies with different elements combined and presented in such a way as to appear both balanced and to appeal to different constituencies. But on a close analysis there are contradictions – something more human than divine.

 

(d) What can Allah do or not do?

The Koran is inconsistent about whether Allah can do anything he wishes or not. For example: Can Allah have a child? Compare 35.1 “Praise be to Allah, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, Who appointeth the angels messengers having wings two, three and four. He multiplieth in creation what He will. Lo! Allah is able to do all things”  with 6.100-101 “Yet they … impute falsely, without knowledge, sons and daughters unto Him. … The Originator of the heavens and the earth! How can He have a child?”

This is on the face of it a straight contradiction. Muslims commentators confirm[4] that Allah can do anything and point out that he is not subject to the physical laws of his creation. But the more likely explanation for this discrepancy lies in the religious controversies between the different Christian sects present in Islam’s ‘birth room’. Byzantine Christians believed in the Trinity and that Christ was the son of God while other sects denied this and saw Christ as just a prophet, who had been born of Mary but whose father was not God. Hence the polemic: How can he have a Child? The obvious contradiction is not noticed (by God?) in the heat of the polemic.

 



[1] One of the sources for this chapter is Ibn Warraq’s Introduction to ‘What the Koran really says’

[2] The State of the New Testament Canon in the second Century: Putting Tatian’s Diatessaron in Perspective in the Bulletin for Biblical Research (9) p5

[3] Pickthall

[4] Eg at http://www.islamtomorrow.com/allah.asp#3


9.3 Human Origin? —

The claim that the Koran is the perfect unchanging word of God begins to look uncertain, even on its own Tradition, when considering abrogation and the apparent readiness of God to adjust his ethical commands to the situation. Muslims may argue that this is all within the power of God; the reader is asked to consider whether this evidence points rather to a more human origin of the Koran.

Summary

This section has looked at the doctrine of abrogation and the most famous of the inconsistencies in the Koran, namely that between the command to jihad and the advice of tolerance


9.2 Tolerance or Jihad —

Probably the most famous and significant contradictions are those that prescribe toleration to non-Muslims against those that mandate the slaying and subjection of unbelievers.

There is the well known early verse preaching tolerance 2.256 (‘There is no compulsion in religion’). Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s commentary does not mention the abrogation of 2.256. This verse however is understood by Tradition to have been delivered when Muhammad was still in Mecca, before his escape to Medina in 622.

Although Traditional scholars have considered 2.256 abrogated by the more violent verses 9.5 and 9.29, some have recently argued that it remains a valid verse. This potentially welcome development however reveals lack of agreement within Islam. There are risks are always present for Muslims when disagreement can be viewed as evidence for apostasy, and the punishment for apostasy is death. In most Muslims countries the propagation of non Muslim faiths is prohibited.

Other scholars say it depends on the context: in a war situation 9.5 applies but in a non-war context 2.256 applies. This smacks of expediency rather than principle. Observers note that where Muslims become powerful in a country they think of compulsion and they start forcing Islam through threat of sword, but where they were powerless they talked of peace and non-compulsion. The victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has been accompanied by calls for greater Islamicisation with consequential discrimination against minorities such as Coptic Christians.

In Mecca Muhammad was very much a minority figure, under pressure and without power. He was subject to persecution from the polytheistic religious authorities of Mecca. It was clearly in his interests at that time to try to emphasise toleration and peaceful co-existence. Nowadays too Muslims living in non Muslim dominated societies quote these verses when talking to non- Muslims to try to show how peaceful and tolerant they are.[1]

By contrast when (according to Tradition) the Muslims moved to Medina, Tradition admits that they became a powerful body that gradually fought their way to dominance there and in the rest of Arabia.

It is thought that in phase with the more warlike activities of the Medinan period, the peaceful Meccan period verses were replaced with more warlike revelations which are in conflict with the Meccan verses. But as they postdate the Meccan verses, they are taken to have abrogated the more peaceful and tolerant guidance given in Mecca. The Koran is not set out in chronological order, so in order to determine which are the later verses which have abrogated earlier ones, we turn to the Tradition in the form of a Hadith. According to Bukhari (number 4364):[2]

Al-Bara..narrated: The last Sura which was revealed in full was Bar’a (ie Sura-at-Tauba and the last Sura (ie part of a Sura) which was revealed was the last verses of Sura-an-Nisi.

Sura-at-Tauba is Sura 9 which contains the clearest expression of the Koranic command to Muslims to fight and kill unbelievers. These commands therefore abrogate and replace any previous verses counselling peaceful co-existence with, and tolerance of, other religions.

9.5 is the famous verse which orders Muslims to ‘Slay the idolaters wherever you find them’. In addition 9.29 reads:

Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the last day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and his Messenger, and those who acknowledge not the religion of Truth among the people of the scripture, until they pay the jizya[3] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.[4]

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan defends the peaceful nature of Islam in his commentary on 9.29. He emphasises the tolerance implied in subjugation the people of the book (ie Jews and Christians) by imposing the jizya tax on them instead of killing them. He sees no incongruity in this Islamic supremacist attitude towards the people of other faiths.

9.29 and 9.5 are not isolated examples of the same murderous and oppressive message: There are further examples of verses enjoining Muslims to fight and kill non-believers: 2.191, 47.4, 4.76, 8.12, 8.38-39. The context around these ???verses makes very clear that these are not metaphorical commands but real and practical orders. Indeed it is a grave sin for a Muslim to avoid battle: 9.39 “If you do not fight, He will punish you severely, and put others in your place”.

Further many[5] other verses make clear that the Koran is meant to be followed by Muslims and further claim that the Koran is perfectly understandable. Consider for instance the second part of 16.89[6]:

And we reveal the scripture to you as an exposition of all things, and as a guidance and mercy and good tidings for those who have surrendered to Allah.

It is reasonable to query therefore why Muslims quote ‘There is no tolerance in religion’ when that verse and others like it have been abrogated by the clear order to ‘slay the unbelievers wherever you find them’ (9.5). The term the Koran uses to describe those who should be slain is al-mushrikun which is explained in the King Fahd translation[7] as including  idolaters, polytheists, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, pagans etc.

Some Muslims argue that many of these warlike Suras were delivered to the beleaguered band of Muhammad’s followers at a crucial time when they needed to fight to survive. The verses are therefore to be understood as restricted in their application to the time they were revealed and do not apply today. Unfortunately this enlightened view is far from universal. And even if it is accepted it depends on interpretation as to when Muslims need to fight to survive. Osama bin Laden took this view merely because of the presence of Western troops in Saudi Arabia, which hardly threatened his or anyone else’s survival except Saddam Hussain who had invaded a Muslim country.

The doctrine of abrogation – taking it on the Tradition – not only shows a God who changes his mind, but those changes that are made also open questions about what, if any, is the underlying moral principle behind these inconsistent Koranic commands? In so far as the historical context appears to have determined the revelation, one is led to query whether there is anything beyond expediency motivating Koranic guidance: the expediency of a group fighting to advance its interests by any means available to it at the time. This impression is only enhanced by verses such as 3.54: Allah is the best of schemers.

Indeed expediency is easily suspected when reading the Koran or the Life of Muhammad. It is remarkable how many revelations appear to have been received by Muhammad just when he needed them to address some specific problem he was facing. His favourite wife Aysha is reported to have remarked about the timely convenience revelations received by Muhammad: ‘Even thy Lord makes haste to do thy bidding.’[8]

Indeed this message of amoral convenience has been picked up in Islam and there is even a term to describe it: Taqiyya.

Taqiyya originally referred to the practice of Shi’a Muslims pretending not to be Shi’a in order to avoid being persecuted by Sunnis. It was understood as a legal and religious dispensation whereby an individual can deny his faith or commit otherwise illegal or blasphemous acts while exposed to risk[9].

Nowadays taqiyya is used by some Western Muslims to pretend that Islam is a peaceful religion when at the same time they know perfectly well that violent Jihad is mandated of them and privately they support terrorism. For more on this readers are referred to Caroline Fourest’s insightful book Brother Tariq – The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan[10] exposing taqiyya on the part of Tariq Ramadan, an Islamic leader and Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University .

Examples of taqiyya are not hard for a close observer to spot. One example of taqiyya by the Muslim Brotherhood[11] was shown in on 11/09/2012  (significantly on the anniversary of ‘9/11’)when the US Embassy in Cairo was under attack by an Islamist mob protesting at a badly made and obscure American film which was said to defame the Prophet. The group’s Arabic newsfeed praised the protests saying’ Egyptians rise to defend the prophet’ while their English language feed simultaneously said ‘We’re relieved none of the US Embassy Cairo staff were harmed and hope that US Egyptian relations will sustain (despite the) turbulence of Tuesday’s events.’

Although shortcomings in Islamic ethics may be relevant in motivating Muslims to review their faith, discussion of this topic is not within the main scope of this work. It would be a worthy topic for a work on its own.  (I have included an appendix on the subject). It is however noteworthy that there is in Islam a marked absence of the sort of ethic of loving one’s enemies found in other religions. Rather the Koran mandates that its enemies are to be fought and killed.

 



[1] An example was on 1st April 2012 on the Big Questions on BBC1 by Muhammad Ansar when he said ‘There is no compulsion in religion.’

 

[2] Volume 5 p533 of first edition printed by Islamic Book Service 1995

[3] Jizya is a tax payable by non-Muslims under Muslim rule

[4] King Fahd translation

[5] For example 11.1, 12,1, 27.1, 41.3 and 57.9

[6] Pickthall

[7] See the explanation in verse 2.105 of that translation

[8] See The Truth about Muhammad by Robert Spencer p70

[9] Wikipedia

[10] Published by the Social Affairs Unit 2008


9.1 Abrogation, Tolerance and Johad —

Ibn Warraq a noted writer on the Koran and publisher of scientific research on it writes in his book ‘What the Koran Really says’:

“Contradictions do abound in the Koran, and the early Muslims were well aware of them; indeed they devised the science of abrogation to deal with them”.[1]

“According to this doctrine, certain passages are abrogated by verses revealed afterwards, with a different or contrary meaning”[2]

Muslims claim that the Koran is the actual word of God, and that it was transmitted to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel in dreams or visions. From this Muslims believe that the Koran is perfect as a scripture, not only as far as its literary quality is concerned but also as far as the correctness of its statements go.

The Koran itself claims that it is free of inconsistency. See Koran 4.82:

..If it had been from other than Allah they would have found in it much inconsistency.

Maulana’s comment on 4.82 reinforces the claimed absence of discrepancy in the Koran. He says:

“A clear proof of the Quran being the Divine Book is that none of its statements contradict any established truth. It does not contain anything which is against human nature. It does not conflict with any facts known throughout the earlier divine books. There is no sign of any part of its content contradicting any fact verified by the body of knowledge established by observation and experimentation. The Quran’s total conformity with factual realities is the definite proof that it uis the message revealed by God. The Quran being free from contradictions will appear as such to one who ponders over the matter. For truth to appear as truth depends on the sincerity with which one tries to understand it, but one who does not ponder over it will ceaselessly raise baseless objections against this Book..”

Maulana speaks as one who is committed to seeing nothing imperfect in the Koran. It is important for Muslims that the Koran is perfect as how otherwise would a text which was obviously not perfect command belief in it as the word of God.

Some statements which are obvious mistakes in the light of scientific knowledge also stand out but these are considered in a later chapter. Others are simply bizarre or mythological. These also will be considered later.

Other imperfections – such as contradictions – stand out so clearly that Muhammad himself had to contend with them. The doctrine of abrogation was devised specifically for this purpose and itself depends on authority of the Koran. This chapter focuses on how Islam deals with the contradictions which occur frequently in the Koran and raises the question whether contradictions are compatible with the claimed divine authorship of the Koran.

The Koran itself addresses the problem when it asserts that it was well within the power of God, to replace one verse with another. Sura 2.106 makes this clear:

“Nothing of Our revelation (even a single verse) do we abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We bring (in place) one better or the like of it. Do you not know that Allah is able to do all things?”[3]

Maulana understands this verse in his commentary as referring to the Koran changing earlier scriptures for the better, but others use 2.106 to justify abrogations of earlier Koranic verses by later ones.[4]

Under this doctrine of abrogation verses delivered later in Muhammad’s ministry are to be preferred to those delivered earlier, as Allah has later replaced earlier ones with better ones. However the task of identifying abrogating verses is none too easy and traditional scholars themselves disagree how many verses have been abrogated[5]. The Wikislam website[6] offers a list of abrogated verses. The verse of the sword 9.5 (…Slay the idolaters wherever you find them.. [7]) is said to have abrogated about 113 other more peaceful verses alone. The task is not made any easier by the fact that the Koran is not set out chronologically, but generally with the longer Suras placed first and the shorter ones at the end.

The Traditional Islamic viewpoint is that the Koran is perfect. This is a central belief upon which Muslim acceptance of the authority of the Koran is based. Muslims therefore tend to deny, explain away or close their eyes to the Koran’s defects, whether clear contradictions, scientific errors, incredible and mythological stories or other inconsistencies. Indeed as we see in a later chapter Islamic Tradition claims the Koran is an unequalled masterpiece.

From a common sense viewpoint it will be queried why the all-knowing God has the need to change his mind at all, when delivering revelation to humankind. Surely an all-knowing and wise God would deliver one set of perfect revelations which would anticipate all eventualities. By handing down first one revelation but then changing it on second thoughts (either in the same scripture or in successive ones), is not God demonstrating a rather human failing, not to be expected of his divine nature? To assert that it is within the power of God to change his mind does not really deal with the challenge that an all seeing and knowing God would not need to change his mind. Changing one’s mind is a feature of the human mind.

An analysis of every contradiction in the Koran would be the subject of a book in its own right. In the next three sections further examples are given.

 

Comments to guido@mythofislam.info


[1] What the Koran really says” ed Ibn Warraq p67

[2] Ibid p68

[3] Pickthall translation

[4] See Farooq Ibrahim’s discussion of this on http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Farooq_Ibrahim/abrogation.htm

[5] See the discussion in http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/abrogatedverses.html

[6] http://wikiislam.net/wiki/List_of_Abrogations_in_the_Qur%27an

[7] Pickthall


8.4 Unchanged? —

 

The belief that the Koran has remained unchanged is an important component of the Muslim faith in the authority of the Koran. If it has in anyway changed since it was first handed down, then the words of God have been changed: they have been diluted or falsified. The evidence summarised in this chapter does not support the Muslim belief on this vital point. The evidence points rather to humans having changed the Koran, which in turn undermines the claim of preservation and divine authorship.

The conclusions arising out of this section have to be read cumulatively with the evidence in other chapters, when finally considering the reliability of the Traditional claims about Islam and the Koran.

 

Comments to guido@mythofislam.info