Two-Year-Old Anti-Islam Book Infuriates Moslems
Al-Arabiya reports - 16 months late - that a U.S. weekly will distribute free copies of a book associating Islam with terrorism. Hamas is up in arms.
The Al-Arabiya.net site reports that a right-wing U.S. newspaper, Human Events, plans to distribute free copies of a book by Robert Spencer, entitled The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion. The Arab site's report, replete with innuendoes implying that the book is anti-Muslim, quotes British writer Karen Armstrong as stating that the book is "written in hatred," contains "basic and bad mistakes of fact," and that the author "deliberately manipulates the evidence."
The Hamas website responded with fury to the news of the book's dissemination, strongly attacking what it calls the "campaign by Western extremists against the religion of Islam and values that are sacred to Moslems." The Hamas site states that the dissemination of Spencer's work is "another in a series of actions designed to distort the image of Islam in the public eye. This follows the re-publication of the Muhammad caricatures in Denmark and the intention of a Dutch Parliament Member to air a movie against Islam."
Spencer himself responded to the latest report with cynicism, writing, "Al-Arabiya discovers a sixteen-month-old promotion for my book The Truth About Muhammad, and the spittle starts flying. As for the [sub-]headline of their piece , I challenge anyone at Al-Arabiya, or anyone anywhere, to substantiate a single lie or hateful statement within the book."
Spencer writes that the report is old news, and that "this promotion has gone out many times over the last year and a half." More to the point, Spencer responds to Karen Armstrong's points directly, beginning with, "Actually, it was Karen Armstrong... who committed 'basic and bad mistakes of fact' and perhaps 'deliberately manipulate[d] the evidence' in her truth-free review of my book..."
The Al-Arabiya report notes, "[Spencer's] book claims that Muhammad said terrorism made him victorious and that he used to tempt people with paradise so they would crush his enemies" - to which Spencer retorted, "Yeah, I made all that up, and cast it into the canonical hadith [collection of traditions] by means of my Zionist black arts."
Spencer then cites chapter and verse to back up his claim: "'I have been made victorious with terror' -- so says Muhammad not according to me, but according to Bukhari (Vol. 4, Book 52, Number 220). Sahih Bukhari is the hadith collection, that is, the collection of traditions of Muhammad, that Muslims consider most reliable."
Spencer quotes another hadith to back up his claim about Muhammad tempting would-be martyrs with paradise: "On the day of the battle of Uhud, a man came to the Prophet and said, 'Can you tell me where I will be if I should get martyred?' The Prophet replied, 'In Paradise.' The man threw away some dates he was carrying in his hand, and fought till he was martyred" (Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Number 377).
Muhammad: Kill Any Jew
Spencer also documents in detail how Muhammad breached the Treaty of Hudaybiya with the Meccan tribe of Quraish. Regarding the Moslem leader's order to kill Jews, Spencer writes, "both of the earliest biographers of Muhammad, Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Sa'd, both zealous Muslims, record his telling his followers at a certain point: 'Kill any Jew that falls into your power.'"
After backing up other claims in his book, Spencer concludes, "The troubling aspect of all this for the folks at Al-Arabiya, as I show by the citations above, is that everything I say in the book is true, and it is they who are either lying or ignorant about what the earliest Islamic texts say about Muhammad."
The book by Spencer aroused strong negative reactions in the Moslem world when it was published in 2006, and has been banned in Pakistan.