Fjordman has reviewed Robert Spencer’s new book for FrontPage Mag. Some excerpts are below:
Author Robert Spencer, founder of the major website Jihad Watch, recently published a book with the provocative title Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry into Islam’s Obscure Origins.
Islamic apologists love to talk about the supposedly tolerant nature of these conquests. Yet as historian Emm et Scott has demonstrated in his well-researched book Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited, the archaeological evidence clearly indicates that the Arab conquests caused great devastation to the conquered regions. Furthermore, we must consider the possibility that Islam as we know it simply did not exist at the time of the initial conquests.
It’s open to serious debate whether Muhammad ever existed, but I lean towards concluding that he did, at least in the vague sense of a militant Arab leader who helped unify different tribes and redirect their tribal energy outwards towards the goal of external conquest. This would not be substantially different from the way Genghis Khan managed to unify squabbling Mongolian tribes into a viable Mongol nation capable of conquering a vast empire.
The major difference is, of course, that a new religion was not built around the personality of Genghis Khan. Perhaps we should be grateful for that. Otherwise, the largest voting block at the United Nations might now have been the Organisation of Mongolian Cooperation, and the BBC and the New York Times would warn us against the dangers of Genghisophobia.
Read the rest at FrontPage Mag.
I look forward to reading Spencer’s new book, which will give me a different outlook on Islam. I plan to read it after I read Michael Savage’s new book “Trickle Down Tyranny” I have it on order now via Amazon but with the Baron’s blessing I will do a book review about it.
I also urge you to read Emmet Scott’s book. Now I understand experientially the phrase “blew my mind”. At the very least, Mr. Scott’s book re-arranged my mental furniture.
I have read many books on Islam but Scott’s is in some category of its own. I would love to see some foundation do a colloqium of some sort on the information he provides…as one small example of Islam’s hatred of history, Scott looks at its long tenure in Spain and comes up with…nothing. Nada. No archeological evidence exists for the claims made about the Golden Age of Andalusia.
I read that book for the first time when it first came out & asked the publisher about it. She called it “the most important book we’ve ever done”. I concur.
The keepers of the portals will bury that book, the same way it did the original Belgian historian’s theses on which he draws.
That is our shame and our tragedy…they in turn contribute to a dark ignorance I’d only glimpsed before.
I too have bought and read Emmet Scott’s book. I agree about “mind blowing”. Thoroughly fascinating, and highly readable.
I liked his discussion of Bryan Ward-Perkins’ works (which I have also read, and found a bit unconvincing).
My one criticism is that he gives too much credence to the “lost centuries” hypothesis. It is a fringe theory, at best. All he needed to say was that Islamic historians either exagerated or just “made up” the so-called golden age in Andalusia (and elsewhere in the Islamic world) to get the message across.
I fear “reputable” scholars (in scare quotes) will use this as a stick with which to beat him.