The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Warrior prophet

Danios at LoonWatch (Islamic stalkerblog) in 2011 wrote an interesting piece on Moses as warrior prophet.

Now, we all know why Danios wrote this. Robert Spencer beforehand had put out a book, The Truth about Muhammad, that pointed out that Muhammad's character in the `Abbasid-age sira was that of a warrior prophet. Danios knows that Spencer's audience is Christian and Jewish. Danios is going tu-quoque on that audience's Bible.

Danios's argument works only in the Abrahamic tradition. So that's not what interests me. In fact the whole of Danios's argument bores me. I am a secularist; I don't care if the Moses tradition gets critiqued.

What interests me is whether Danios really thinks ill of what Moses did. The Qur'an in Q. 7:129 approves of Moses "inheriting" the wealth of Egypt. Mainly Moses inherited Egypt's then-province, Canaan: Q. 5:22–26. The Qur'an lacks the details on how Moses's people accepted their Divine inheritance but, as we all know, Islam isn't just the Qur'an. There's also the hadiths about Prophethood. Even here, Islamic Prophetology isn't just about Muhammad. Ibn Ishaq, for one, the man who provided Spencer with most of his material, wrote Muhammad's Maba'ath only as the middle part of three.

The first book of Ibn Ishaq was the Mubtada. Gorden Newby in 1987 compiled Ibn Ishaq's earlier mubtada material on the first Prophets; the translation and edition of which is available as The Making of the Last Prophet. In Ibn Ishaq's traditions of Moses, I find much of the same battles as I found in the books of the Torah and Joshua. If Islamic doctrine accepts and approves of what Moses did in the Torah, then Islam is on the hook for Moses's atrocities as well.

So much for "accepts". Let's look at "approves". Muhammad didn't make his name on being the kinder, gentler Arab answer to Moses. Muhammad was simply - the Arab Moses, following the example (so Muhammad thought) that Moses had set. Accordingly I read nothing in the Hadith where Muhammad repudiated what Moses did. In fact I would go so far as to suggest that Muhammad read the exploits of Moses (and Joshua) from the Torah and took them as a pretext for anything he, or his followers, could do to the rest of us.

And that does not make Islam any cleaner. Islam still ends up "worse than Judaism" - and by that, I mean worse than the antiSemites' worst caricature of Judaism.


posted by Zimri on 23:22 | link | 0 comments

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