The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rebuttals to Ohlig

According to Külz, Angelika Neuwirth is "angered": Triumphalism is not constructive, she says with a view to Ohlig's work. Bothering her is not the alleged truth, but the tone. "On the merits, there are enough counter-arguments." So much for Külz. Really, so much for Neuwirth as well. Where are those counter-arguments?

Then, there's Nicolai Sinai:

He agrees that Islam developed late. But that does not justify Ohlig's Reformation pathos. To Ohlig's theses there are enough counter-arguments: the fact that in the early days no one mentioned Islam as the religion of the amirs, is no evidence that the [amirs] were not followers of Islam. On the contrary: It is, assuming Ohlig's thesis, amazing that none of the many early writers accuse the Arabs of falsification of history, in the sense that they had cobbled together a retrospective history of their religion. Such an argument the Christian or Jewish polemicists, because it would have been obvious, would certainly not have left unused".

If I may interject: The Jews barely wrote anything in the first centuries of Islam, at least anything that survives and (important!) mentions specific events going on outside da ghetto. And the Christians, for their part, did bellow that the Muslims had falsified their history. al-Kindi, Abraham of Tiberias, even the Emperor Leo (to Umar) all denied that Muhammad had written the entire book; and the Greeks for their part generally assumed that Islam was a Christian heresy at its outset. (I knew al-Kindi in the late 1990s, from reading an Ibn Warraq re-print of Mingana. In the event Nicolai Sinai hasn't read Mingana yet - I'll help him out. Won't even have to translate the Tabarani. As for Leo... I gotta do all the work for him?)

Maybe Neuwirth and Sinai had offered better arguments, that Külz has failed to pass along. Otherwise, so far, it looks like Ohlig has the better hand - even with his Reformation pathos.

posted by Zimri on 17:46 | link | 0 comments

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