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Thread: Channel 4 documentary - Islam the untold story [Cancelled]

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  1. #1
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    Channel 4 documentary - Islam the untold story [Cancelled]

    On shortly at 9pm bst. From what i read it will be quite controversial questioning the origins of islam


    If pakistan cricket is to move forward they need to stop going back

  2. #2
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    Rehashed old orientalist allegations trying to undermine the credibility of Islamic sources.

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    I had a feeling before I looked up the details of this documentary that it was going to be based on Tom Holland's recent book, 'In the Shadow of the Sword'.

    Rather surprisingly, I found out about the book from a Robert Fisk article. A few weeks later, I happened to get a chance to read the book, well at least some of it (due to time constraints I skipped some of the earlier, boring stuff !).

    I'm not sure how related this documentary is to his book, but I'll share my thoughts on the latter...

    Firstly, a big portion of the book deals with the Persian and Byzantium empires, it is only in perhaps the last third of the book, that the topic moves onto the birth of Islam, so to speak.

    I remember reading these later chapters with great interest. More than anything though, I found some of Holland's conclusions to be rather bizarre that told QUITE a different story. For example, Holland suggests that the Prophet (PBUH), his companions, tribes and people were most likely situated geographically speaking, just outside Jerusalem. This is inferred from the fact that members of the Quaraysh had properties in Palistine (if I remember correctly).

    Overall, I felt the picture painted was a bit perplexing, more than malicious. I was really keen on watching the documentary, but could not because I'm not currently in the UK. Anyone who does catch it though, could you let us know what you thought of it?

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    Hes asserting that because theres no evidence or mention of the prophet or islam until a couple of hundredyears later, as a result the religion was probably founded at a later point

    Also hes saying theres no mention of mecca in the quran - going off the descriptions in the quran of olives and cattle its not possible that mecca was the place Hes says its somewhere around jordan/ lebanon


    If pakistan cricket is to move forward they need to stop going back

  5. #5
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    Hes saying that the first coin that mentions the prophet was made 60 years after the prophets death around 680 ad No mention of him before that

    Hes asserting that the arab conquerors of jeruslalem and the mideast fashioned the religion that is islam around 680/700ad and that mecca was then chosen as the islamic city afterwards to create a separate identity of the new religion away from judaism and christianity
    Last edited by Zaz; 28th August 2012 at 21:24.


    If pakistan cricket is to move forward they need to stop going back

  6. #6
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    Interesting, everything is posible unless you are believer. Some even believe Jesus never existed.

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    Well as I mentioned in my earlier post, I find some of his conclusions to be based on inferences which are a bit of a stretch.

    I mean even if olives and cattle were not naturally grown/ present in Mecca, things like trade and or travel would have made it feasible to be aware of such things.

    Furthermore, what evidence does he provide that the religion was formed at a later date, except things like the first mention of the Prophet being at a later date? Surely more compelling evidence would have survived if this was the case.

  8. #8
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    the programme was a lot of hot air. Plenty of wild theories and assumptions based on very little tbh


    If pakistan cricket is to move forward they need to stop going back

  9. #9
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    It's silly season in UK , most people on holiday etc probably a good time to bury a show which will go towards meeting Channel 4 regulatory obligations as a public service broadcaster.

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    still cant answer the age old question..how an illiterate man produced a work of art like the QUraan..

    also there ae enough historical sources including greek and byzantine that mention the Prophet of the arabs after the conquest of Mekkah..the reason they didnt mint any coins was because they simply used byzantine and persian ones and didnt have the means to create any until much later...

    they also ignore the facts about Khalid and the other adventurers etc..

  11. #11
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    From iERA, regarding the documentary.

    We at iERA Research have just completed a response to Channel 4's "Islam: The Untold Story" which was presented by Tom Holland. It should be sent out in the morning. The response exposes Holland's inaccuracies and baseless assumptions, it includes:

    1. There is no historical evidence in the seventh century on the origins of Islam
    2. Unjustified Rejection of the Islamic Narrative
    3. Rejecting the Oral Islamic tradition
    4. The Philosophical Absurdity of Rejecting the Oral Traditions
    5. The textual Islamic tradition
    6. Holland's Baseless Assumptions
    7. Did the Arab Empire Create Islam?
    8. What if the Qur'an is God's word?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by the Great Khan View Post
    still cant answer the age old question..how an illiterate man produced a work of art like the QUraan..
    Dude there are enough answers out there. What is needed is a willing mind.

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    Was it any good? Might watch it on 4OD tonight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cric_craze View Post
    From iERA, regarding the documentary.

    We at iERA Research have just completed a response to Channel 4's "Islam: The Untold Story" which was presented by Tom Holland. It should be sent out in the morning. The response exposes Holland's inaccuracies and baseless assumptions, it includes:

    1. There is no historical evidence in the seventh century on the origins of Islam
    2. Unjustified Rejection of the Islamic Narrative
    3. Rejecting the Oral Islamic tradition
    4. The Philosophical Absurdity of Rejecting the Oral Traditions
    5. The textual Islamic tradition
    6. Holland's Baseless Assumptions
    7. Did the Arab Empire Create Islam?
    8. What if the Qur'an is God's word?
    To be honest that is a rhetoric more than a "response". I would like to see the documentary though. Origin of all religions has always intrigued me.

  15. #15
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    Response from Abdullah Al Andalusi regarding the documentary if anyone is interested in reading.

    I just saw the Channel 4 program 'Islam: the untold story' by author Tom Holland. I found it very amusing, he tried to come up with a alternative explanation for Islam (presumably the 'untold story') and admitted failure (along with arch orientalist, Patricia Crone).

    To boil it down, the programs logic went like this:
    1.Tom doesn't want to believe Islam came from super-natural causes, because history 'must have materialistic explanations'.

    2. Tom proposes that the 8th Century 'Arab empire' invented the background story of the Quran and Muhammed (saw) in order to justify the divine right of the Arab leader to be obeyed (which is funny, considering how Islam goes into more detail regarding morals, manners, rituals and dua - a little long winded for an Arab emperor who justs wants people to obey him!)

    3. Islamic sources say that the Quran first was revealed in Mecca

    4. Tom notices the Author of the Quran seems to talk about a great deal about different geographical places, times and histories - therefore Tom feels it 'could' have actually originated from different geographic locations and different communities (like syria?!), and allegedly, Muhammed (saw) was invented to play the role of the revealer of it, much later on.

    5. Tom admits that the theory does not fit well, because it does not explain how the Quran was produced and compiled from all these different sources, into one book, and how this book was then disseminated to the masses of 'Arabs' of whom were meant to have already been fighting for it, and memorised it. The Quran seems to point to one origin, and Muhammed (saw) and the Quran seemed to originate together, from the same time and location (an isolated place in a desolate location i.e. Mecca). Tom admits he is confused (well Tom, I'm glad I didn't have to say it first...)

    6. Tom then suggests that it is because Mecca is so isolated, it could have been why it was deliberately chosen by the 'Arab empire' in the first place as the perfect alibi for its cover story - because Mecca is isolated from the world!

    In essence, Tom says its hard to know anything about Islam for sure, because it came from an Isolated place (i.e mecca). Of course, he then suggests, that this was EXACTLY why that Mecca was chosen to be the claimed origin of Islam in the first place! This is called circular reasoning, and is a poor argument. Its like me saying that the Queen of England is a shape-shifting Alien Lizard . If you tell me "but she looks human", I will say, EXACTLY, it is BECAUSE she looks human, that she must actually be a shape shifting alien lizard - as surely an alien would want to look human to blend into human society unnoticed!

    They should have renamed the program: Tom's flight of Fantasy: The untold story"

    What next from Tom Holland? Was Jesus an invention of the Roman Empire, to justify why Roman emperors should be obeyed by the people too?!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasim-fan View Post
    To be honest that is a rhetoric more than a "response". I would like to see the documentary though. Origin of all religions has always intrigued me.
    Thats not the response, theyre going to respond to it in the coming days.

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    Its amazing how Holland did not have any Islamic Scholor on the program rather he interviewed Christian and Jew historians telling us about Islamic history, The program was such a weak attempt to prove his claims or so called findings.

    Wasted my time wacthing it.


    "If you want to make your dreams come true,
    the first thing you have to do is wake up"

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    Studying religious history and questioning historical narratives could be useful, but looks like this guy failed to put together a convincing argument. Not sure if I'll watch it.

    There was a good and much less controversial effort on Islamic origins and history by BBC a year ago, 'The Life of Muhammad', does anyone have a link for the three episodes, wouldn't mind seeing that again, I recommend it to others as well.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Studying religious history and questioning historical narratives could be useful, but looks like this guy failed to put together a convincing argument. Not sure if I'll watch it.

    There was a good and much less controversial effort on Islamic origins and history by BBC a year ago, 'The Life of Muhammad', does anyone have a link for the three episodes, wouldn't mind seeing that again, I recommend it to others as well.
    Wasn't this presented by Rageh Omar?

  20. #20
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    Yeah I don't mind Rageh, pretty fair and also gutsy journalist, he's done a few of the warzones I think.

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    Holland claims that the Prophet was from Syria and yet the Quraish (to whom the Prophet belonged to) have held the keys to Hijaz for centuries.

    And no mention at all about Imam Bukhari who spent his whole life authenticating the Hadith and travelling hundreds of miles to find said Hadith's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot View Post
    Holland claims that the Prophet was from Syria and yet the Quraish (to whom the Prophet belonged to) have held the keys to Hijaz for centuries.

    And no mention at all about Imam Bukhari who spent his whole life authenticating the Hadith and travelling hundreds of miles to find said Hadith's.
    Islamic sources?? who needs those when you can ask an orientalist what the deal is!!

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    iERA has exellently rebutted all the false claims. Complete rubbish research by Tom.

    This paper is a response to the Channel 4 Programme "Islam: The Untold Story" which was shown on Tuesday 28th August 2012 and presented by Tom Holland. The paper will address each of the main claims made by Holland.

    1. The claim that there is no historical evidence in seventh century on the origins of Islam

    Tom Holland's assertion that there is no historical evidence for the seventh century origins of Islam is untrue. This notion cannot be sustained in light of contemporary non-Islamic evidence. For instance, early Christian chronicles in the seventh century elaborate on the origins of Islam, the prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) and some of the laws which the Muslims practised. Below are some examples of these chronicles:
    Doctrina Jacobi written in 635 CE

    A document called Doctrina Jacobi written only two years after the death of the prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) clearly mentions that a prophet had appeared amongst the Arabs:
    "I, having arrived at Sykamina, stopped by a certain old man well-versed in *scriptures, and I said to him: "What can you tell me about the prophet who has appeared with the Saracens?" [i]
    A record of the Arab conquest of Syria written in 637 CE

    A record of the Arab conquest of Syria written in 637 CE, just 5 years after the death of the prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace), clearly mentions him by name. Interestingly, the date of the agrees with the best Arab date for the battle of Yarmuk:
    "...and in January, they took the word for their lives did the sons of Emesa, and many villages were ruined with killing by the Arabs of Mụhammad and a great number of people were killed and captives were taken from Galilee as *far as Bēth." [ii]
    Sebeos, Bishop of the Bagratunis (Writing c.660 CE)

    An early seventh century account of Islam comes from Sebeos who was a bishop of the House of Bagratunis. From this chronicle, there are indications that he lived through many of the events he relates. As for Muhammad (upon whom be peace), he had the following to say:
    "At that time a certain man from along those same sons of Ismael, whose name was Mahmet [i.e., Mụhammad], a merchant, as if by God's command *appeared to them as a preacher [and] the path of truth. He taught them to recognize the God of Abraham, especially because he was learned and informed in the history of Moses. Now because the command was from on high, at a single order they all came together in unity of religion. Abandoning *their vain cults, they turned to the living God who had appeared to their father * Abraham. So, Mahmet legislated for them: not to eat carrion, not to drink wine, not to speak falsely, and not to engage in fornication. He said: with an oath God promised this land to Abraham and his seed after him forever. And he brought about as he promised during that time while he loved Ismael. But now you are the sons of Abraham and God is accomplishing his promise to Abraham and his seed for you. Love sincerely only the God of Abraham, and go and seize the land which God gave to your father Abraham. No one will be *able to resist you in battle, because God is with you." [iii]
    This narrative by Sebeos clearly undermines Holland's assertion that there are no historical records elaborating on the life, teachings and mission of the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace).

    2. Unjustified rejection of the Islamic narrative


    Tom Holland has presented a clear bias in the programme as he did not use non-Muslim scholars that are supportive of the Islamic narrative. For example, Michael Cook, a historian specialising in early Islamic history explains the implications of early non-Muslim accounts of the origins of Islam:
    "What does this material tell us? We may begin with the major points on which it agrees with the Islamic tradition. It precludes any doubts as to whether Muhammad was a real person: he is named in a Syriac source that is likely to date from the time of the conquests, and there is an account of him in a Greek source of the same period. From the 640s we have confirmation that the term muhajir was a central one in the new religion, since its followers are known as *'Magaritai' or 'Mahgraye' in Greek and Syriac respectively. At the same time, a *papyrus of 643 is dated 'year twenty two', creating a strong presumption that something did happen in AD 622. The Armenian chronicler of the 660s attests that Muhammad was a merchant, and confirms the centrality of Abraham in *his preaching. The Abrahamic sanctuary appears in an early source dated (insecurely) to the 670s." [iv]
    Holland's rejection of the Islamic narrative lacks academic rigour. Commenting on Holland's approach Peter Webb, who teaches Classical Arabic literature at the University of London, SOAS, explains the "resilient" and "robust" nature of the Islamic tradition:
    "Over the past century, the Muslim tradition has been challenged by many academics and it has proven remarkably resilient in its own defence...but the Muslim account of history, the textual integrity of the Koran and the mnemonic capacity of oral traditions are more robust than Holland gives them credit...few scholars today would claim it was entirely fabricated. Holland would have done better to adopt a cautious and sensitive approach to the Arabic sources, rather than abandoning them in favour of a sensational rewriting of history." [v]
    Professor Robert Hoyland from the University of Oxford highlights how conclusions similar to Holland's, including the view that Mecca was in a different place, is a result of not studying the Islamic material and developing scenarios not based on evidence:
    "..the historical memory of the Muslim community is more robust than some *have claimed. For example, many of the deities, kings and tribes of the pre-Islamic Arabs that are depicted by ninth-century Muslim historians also feature in the epigraphic record, as do many of the rulers and governors of the early Islamic state. This makes it difficult to see how historical scenarios that require for their acceptance a total discontinuity in the historical memory of the Muslim community - such as that Muhammad did not exist, the Quran was not written in Arabic, Mecca was originally in a different place etc. - can really be *justified. Many of these scenarios rely on absence of evidence, but it seems a shame to make such a recourse when there are so many very vocal forms of material evidence still waiting to be studied." [vi]

    3. Rejecting Islamic oral tradition

    As discussed above, Holland's approach is inherently biased as he unjustifiably rejects the entire corpus of the Islamic tradition, including the oral Prophetic traditions. During the programme a historian of early Islam, Patricia Crone, mentioned that with oral traditions "you remember what you want to remember". With this assertion Holland attempts to undermine the entire science of hadith (Prophetic traditions). The science of the Prophetic traditions is based upon a scrutinising the isnad (chain of narration) and the matn (the text).
    Nabia Abbot, a prominent academic who has conducted extensive study on the Prophetic traditions, explains how the growth of these traditions were as a result of parallel and multiple chains of transmission which highlight that these traditions are trustworthy and a valid source of historical information. She writes:
    "...the traditions of Muhammad as transmitted by his Companions and their Successors were, as a rule, scrupulously scrutinised at each step of the transmission, and that the so called phenomenal growth of Tradition in the second and third centuries of Islam was not primarily growth of content, so far as the hadith of Muhammad and the hadith of the Companions are concerned, but represents largely the progressive increase in parallel and multiple chains of transmission." [vii]
    The academic Harald Motzki has similar sentiments. In an essay that appeared in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies he concludes that the Prophetic traditions are an important and useful type of source concerning the study of early Islam:
    "While studying the Musannaf of `Abd al-Razzaq, I came to the conclusion that the theory championed by Goldziher, Schacht and in their footsteps many others - myself included - which in general, reject hadith literature as a historically reliable sources for the first century AH, deprives the historical study of early Islam of an important and a useful type of source." [viii]

    4. The absurdity of rejecting oral tradition

    Even if we follow Holland's line of enquiry it will lead us to absurdities. The philosophical implications of rejecting the Prophetic traditions are quite damning. In epistemology - which is narrowly defined as the study of knowledge and belief - testimony is considered as one of the sources of knowledge, and when applied properly it can form justified beliefs. Testimony is a valid source of knowledge only when it comes from a reliable source especially if there are multiple sources in agreement. Obviously there are conditions to how we can use testimony, but in the majority of the cases we consider testimony as a valid source of knowledge. For instance, take our certainty on the fact that China exists. Many people have never been to China, eaten Chinese food in China or spoken to someone in China. All they have as evidence is a map of the world and people telling them they have travelled to China and others claiming to be from China but is this sufficient? However, if we examine why we have such a high level of certainty that China exists, regardless of the above questions, we will conclude that it is due to recurrent testimony. Recurrent testimony is when such a large number of people have reported a claim to knowledge (such as the existence of China) that it is impossible for them to agree upon a lie or to simultaneously lie. This is accentuated by the fact that most of these people never met and lived in different places and different times. Therefore to claim they have lied is tantamount is to propose an impossible conspiracy took place.
    Linking this to the Prophetic traditions, not only do we have mass testimony of events and statements of the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace), we have a detailed science dedicated to authenticate these traditions. Prophetic traditions have an isnad (chain of narration) and a matn (a text), each of these have detailed criteria that scrutinise the chain and the text to a degree that leaves very little room for doubt. To reject these traditions is tantamount to rejecting facts such as the existence of China or the entirety of history, as these events have been verified via testimony also. Moreover, each prophetic tradition has been scrutinised more rigorously than any historical fact we have with us today.
    The criteria used to verify prophetic traditions are summarised below:
    Some criteria for the evaluation of Isnad

    The unblemished and undisputed character of the narrator was the most important consideration for the acceptance of a prophetic tradition. A branch of the science of hadith ('ilm al-hadith) known as asma' ar-rijal (the biographies of the people) was developed to evaluate the credibility of narrators. The following are a few of the criteria utilized for this purpose:

    The name, nickname, title, parentage and occupation of the narrator should be known.
    The original narrator should have stated that he heard the hadith directly from the Prophet.
    If a narrator referred his hadith to another narrator, the two should have lived in the same period and have had the possibility of meeting each other.
    At the time of hearing and transmitting the hadith, the narrator should have been physically and mentally capable of understanding and remembering it.
    The narrator should have been known as a pious and virtuous person.
    6. The narrator should not have been accused of having lied, given false evidence or committed a crime.
    The narrator should not have spoken against other reliable people.
    The narrator's religious beliefs and practices should have been known to be correct.
    The narrator should not have carried out and practiced peculiar religious beliefs of his own.
    Some criteria for the evaluation of Matn

    The text should have been stated in plain and simple language as this was the undisputed manner of speech of the prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace).
    A text in non-Arabic or containing indecent language was rejected (for the same reason as above).
    A text prescribing heavy punishment for minor sins or exceptionally large reward for small virtues was rejected.
    A text which referred to actions that should have been commonly known and practiced by others but were not known and practiced was rejected.
    A text contrary to the basic teachings of the Qur'an was rejected.
    A text contrary to another established prophetic tradition was rejected.
    A text inconsistent with historical facts was rejected.
    Extreme care was taken to ensure the text was the original narration of the Prophet and not the sense of what the narrator heard. The meaning of the Prophet tradition was accepted only when the narrator was well known for his piety and integrity of character.
    A text by an obscure narrator which was not known during the age of the Prophet's companions or of the subsequent generation was rejected.
    It is clear from the above that the criteria for verifying the Prophetic traditions are comprehensive and robust. Even in the philosophy of history we do not find such comprehensive criteria.

    5. The textual Islamic tradition

    Holland continues to espouse his uninformed perspective by claiming that there is an absence of textual evidence from the Islamic narrative. In response to this there are a myriad of written works in the early period of Islam. Below is a list of some of the early works:
    Saheefah Saadiqah: Compiled by Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr ibn al-Aas during the life of the prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace). His treatise is composed of about 1000 prophetic traditions and it remained secure and preserved.
    Saheefah Saheehah: Compiled by Humaam Ibn Munabbih. He was from the famous students of Abu Hurairah (the eminent companion of the Prophet). He wrote all the prophetic traditions from his teacher. Copies of this manuscript are available from libraries in Berlin and Damascus.
    Saheefah Basheer Ibn Naheek: Ibn Naheek was also a student of Abu Hurairah. He gathered and wrote a treatise of Prophetic traditions which he read to Abu Hurairah, before they departed and the former verified it. [ix]
    In light of the above the claim that there were no treatises or historical documents in the early seventh century is a false one, and clearly undermines the integrity of the programme.

    6. Further baseless assumptions

    Holland's unjustified rejection of the oral and textual Islamic tradition forces him to form a coherent alternative. Admitting that he cannot do this, many times describing his source of information as a "black hole", he uses certain Quranic verses in an attempt to justify his revisionist approach to the Islamic narrative. Holland uses the story of the prophet Lot and the so-called non-mention of the city of Mecca as means to justify his alternative theory.

    The Story of Lot

    Holland argues that the Qur'an eludes to places, landscapes and geography that are not descriptive of Mecca and the immediate surrounding areas. He claims that this implies that the Qur'an originates from a location other than Mecca or southern Arabia. He mentions the following verse of the Qur'an:
    "And indeed, Lot was among the messengers. [So mention] when We saved *him and his family, all, except his wife among those who remained [with the evildoers]. Then We destroyed the others. And indeed, you pass by them in *the morning. And at night.*Then will you not use reason?" [x]
    Holland claims that the words "you pass by them in the morning and at night" indicate a place outside of Mecca because the ruins are nowhere to be found in Mecca. With this conclusion Holland makes some bold assumptions. He assumes that Meccans did not travel. This is a blunder as the historian Ira M. Lapidus in his book, "A History of Islamic Societies", clearly states that the Arabs in Mecca were established traders travelling far and wide:
    "By the mid-sixth century, as heir to Petra and Palmyra, Mecca became one of the important caravan cities of the middle east. The Meccans carried spices, leather, drugs, cloth and slaves which had come from African or the far East to Syria, and returned money, weapons, cereals, and wine to **Arabia." [xi]
    If Holland had carefully read the Qur'an, he would have understood that the contexts of these verses was explained elsewhere in the Qur'an as the Qur'an rhetorically asks the Meccans if they had travelled through the land to see the ends of other civilisations and cities:
    "Have they not travelled through the land and observed how was the end of those before them? They were more numerous than themselves and greater in strength and in impression on the land, but they were not availed by what they used to earn." [xii]
    The non-mention of Mecca

    Holland claims that the city of Mecca is not mentioned in the Qur'an and therefore justifies his revisionist perspective. This is a complete fabrication. The Quran in the forty-eighth chapter clearly mentions the city of Mecca.
    "And it is He who withheld their hands from you and your hands from them within [the area of] Makkah after He caused you to overcome them. And ever is Allah of what you do, Seeing." [xiii]

    7. Did the Arab Empire Create Islam?

    Although this contention of Holland's does not provide a strong argument against Islam, it is worthwhile pointing out that his view that Islam emerged as a result of the Arab empire does not make sense when the historical events are viewed in a holistic way. The late professor of Islamic studies William Montgomery Watt asserts:
    "Islamic ideology alone gave the Arabs that outward – looking attitude which *enabled them to become sufficiently united to defeat the Byzantine and Persian empires. Many of them may have been concerned chiefly with booty for themselves. But men who were merely raiders out for booty could not have held together as the Arabs did. The ideology was no mere epiphenomenon but an essential factor in the historical process." [xiv]
    In a similar vein the author Dr. Lex Hixon writes:
    "Neither as Christians or Jews, nor simply as intellectually responsible individuals, have members of Western Civilisation been sensitively educated or even accurately informed about Islam…even some persons of goodwill who have gained acquaintance with Islam continue to interpret the reverence for the prophet Muhammad and the global acceptance of his message as an inexplicable survival of the zeal of an ancient desert tribe. This view ignores fourteen centuries of Islamic civilisation, burgeoning with artists, scholars, ***statesmen, philanthropists, scientists, chivalrous warriors, philosophers…as well as countless men and women of devotion and wisdom from almost every nation of the planet. The coherent world civilisation called Islam, founded in *the vision of the Qur'an, cannot be regarded as the product of individual and national ambition, supported by historical accident." [xv]

    8. What if the Qur'an is God's word?

    One of the key reasons of why the Muslim narrative has remained resilient against baseless and uninformed polemics is based on the fact that the Qur'an is from God. The argument is simple yet profound. If it can be shown that the Qur'an is from God, an inflaiible and omnipotent being, then it follows that whatever is in the Qur’an is true. This will include the fact that Islam is a religion sent by God and not the development of an Arab empire, as claimed by Holland.
    How can we ascertain that the Qur'an is from the Divine?

    The Qur’an, the book of the Muslims, is no ordinary book. It has been described by many who engage with the book as an imposing text, but the way it imposes itself on the reader is not negative, rather it is positive. This is because it seeks to positively engage with your mind and your emotions, and it achieves this by asking profound questions, such as:
    “So where are you people going? This is a message for all people; for those who wish to take the straight path.” [xvi]
    “Are the disbelievers not aware that the heavens and the earth used to be *joined together and that We ripped them apart, that We made every living thing from water? Will they not believe?” [xvii]
    “Have they not thought about their own selves?" [xviii]
    However the Qur’an doesn’t stop there, it actually challenges the whole of mankind with regards to its authorship, it boldly states:

    “If you have doubts about the revelation we have sent down to Our servant, *then produce a single chapter like it – enlist whatever supporters you have other than God – if you truly think you can. If you cannot do this – and you never will – then beware of the Fire prepared for the disbelievers, whose *fuel is men and stones.” [xix]
    This challenge refers to the various wonders in the Qur’an, even within its smallest chapter, that give us good reasons to believe it is from God. Some of these reasons include linguistic and historical.
    Linguistic

    The Qur’an’s use of the Arabic language has never been achieved before by anyone who has mastered the language past or present. As Forster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot, a notable British Orientalist and translator, states:
    “…and that though several attempts have been made to produce a work equal to it as far as elegant writing is concerned, none has as yet succeeded.” [xx]
    The Qur’an is the most eloquent of all speeches that achieves the peak of excellence, it renders peoples attempts to match its miraculous style as null and void. It is no wonder Professor Bruce Lawrence writes:
    “As tangible signs Qur’anic verses are expressive of inexhaustible truth, the signify meaning layered within meaning, light upon light, miracle after miracle.” [xxi]
    For more information please read the essays "The Qur'an's Challenge: A Literary and Linguistic Miracle" and "The Philosophical Implications on the Uniqueness of the Qur'an".

    Historical

    There are many historical proofs in the Qur’an that show us it is from God. One on them include that the Qur’an is the only religious text to use different words for the ruler of the Egypt at different times. For instance while addressing the Egyptian ruler at the time of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph), the word "Al-Malik" in Arabic is used which refers to a ruler, king or sultan.
    “The King said, 'Bring him to me straight away!'…”[xxii]
    In contrast, the ruler of Egypt at the time of the Prophet Musa (Moses) is referred to as "Pharaoh", in Arabic “Firaown”. This particular title began to be employed in the 14th century B.C., during the reign of Amenhotep IV. This is confirmed by the Encyclopaedia Britannica which says that the word "Pharaoh" was a title of respect used from the New Kingdom (beginning with the 18th dynasty; B.C. 1539-1292) until the 22nd dynasty (B.C. 945-730), after which this term of address became the title of the king. So the Qur’an is historically accurate as the Prophet Yusuf lived at least 200 years before that time, and the word “al-Malik” or “King” was used and not the word “Pharaoh”.
    In light of this, how could have the prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) known such a minute historical detail? Especially when all the other religious texts, such as the Bible, did not mention this? Also, since people at the time of revelation did not know this information (due to the Hieroglyphs being a dead language at the time), what does this say about the authorship of the Qur’an?
    There are many more reason why Muslims can justify their belief in the Qur'an. We hope this provides the window of opportunity for the reader to study further and engage with a text that not only changed the Arabia, but the entire world.
    "Seldom, if ever, has a set of ideas had so great an effect on human societies *as Islam has done, above all in the first half of the seventh century. In little more than twenty years, the religious and political configuration of Arabia was changed out of all recognition. Within another twenty all of the rich, highly developed, militarily powerful world enveloping Arabia was conquered, save for Asia Minor and north Africa." [xxiii]

    9. Selective Scholarship

    Holland's choice of scholarship was very selective and was carefully planned to substantiate his argument. He appeared to have ignored a bulk, in fact the majority, of scholarship to make his point stand out. He relied heavily upon the opinions of Patricia Crone (featured in the documentary), whose theories on the early Islamic history are discarded by most historians today. She has expressed her erroneous views on Islamic sources in a number of works. She went as far as to assert that some of the Islamic sources are ‘"debris of obliterated past"; and some of the early works, including Ibn Ishaq’s Sira (biography of the Prophet), are "mere piles of desperate traditions". [xxiv]
    Crone have been heavily criticised by fellow historians for her radical views. Even Fred M. Donner, another historian featured in the documentary, rejected Crone's approach. Referring to people like Crone, Cook and Wansbrough, Donner asserts that:
    "...the sceptics have encountered some scepticism about their own approach, because some of their claims seem overstated – or even unfounded. Moreover, their work has to date been almost entirely negative – that is, while they have tried to cast doubt on the received version of ‘what happened’ in early Islamic history by impugning the sources, they have not yet offered a convincing alternative reconstruction of what might have happened." [xxv]
    Angelika Neuwirth, a German scholar on the Quran, has expressed similar sentiments on Patricia Crone and her likes. She states:
    "As a whole, however, the theories of the so called sceptic or revisionist scholars who, arguing historically, make a radical break with the transmitted picture of Islamic origins, shifting them in both time and place from the seventh to the eighth or ninth century and from the Arabian Peninsula to the Fertile Crescent, have by now been discarded...New findings of Quranic text fragments, moreover, can be adduced to affirm rather than call into question the traditional picture of the Quran as an early fixed text composed of the suras we have...The alternative visions about the genesis of the Quran presented by Wansbrough, Crone and Cook, Luling and Luxenberg *are not only mutually exclusive, but rely on textual observations that are too selective to be compatible with the comprehensive quranic textual evidence that can be drawn only from a systematically microstructural reading." [xxvi]
    Carole Hillenbrand has also rejected the extremely negative and selective approach of Patricia Crone and her school. [xxvii]
    It is clear from above, mainstream scholarly opinion is that the Islamic historical narrative is far richer and more trustworthy than most historical traditions. Most historians, who have no underlying political or religious agendas, accept the historical validity of Islamic sources.
    In summary, Tom Holland has selectively chosen to take a non-substantiated and marginalised view on the origins of Islam. His exclusion of established academic positions and material facts points to the only conclusion of justifying his own prejudices and ignorance of Islam.
    [i] Doctrina Jacobi *V.16, 209. p. 57
    [ii] A. Palmer (with contributions from S. P. Brock and R. G. Hoyland), The Seventh Century In The West-Syrian Chronicles Including Two Seventh-Century Syriac Apocalyptic Texts, 1993, Liverpool University Press: Liverpool (UK), pp. 2-3; Also see R. G. Hoyland, Seeing Islam As Others Saw It: A Survey And Evaluation Of Christian, Jewish And Zoroastrian Writings On Early Islam, 1997, op. cit., pp. 116-117.
    [iii] R. W. Thomson (with contributions from J. Howard-Johnson & T. Greenwood), The Armenian History Attributed To Sebeos Part - I: Translation and Notes, 1999, Translated Texts For Historians - Volume 31, Liverpool University Press, pp. 95-96. Other translations can also be seen in P. Crone & M. Cook, Hagarism: The Making Of The Islamic World, 1977, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, pp. 6-7; R. G. Hoyland, Seeing Islam As Others Saw It: A Survey And Evaluation Of Christian, Jewish And Zoroastrian Writings On Early Islam, 1997, op. cit., p. 129; idem., "Sebeos, The Jews And The Rise Of Islam" in R. L. Nettler (Ed.), Medieval And Modern Perspectives On Muslim-Jewish Relations, 1995, Harwood Academic Publishers GmbH in cooperation with the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies, p. 89.
    [iv] Michael Cook. Muhammad, Past Masters Oxford University Press, Page 74. First published 1983 as an Oxford University Press paperback. Reissued 1996
    [v] http://www.standard.co.uk/arts/book/...s-7640194.html
    [vi] Robert Hoyland, New Documentary Texts and the Early Islamic State, 2006
    [vii] N. Abbott, Studies In Arabic Literary Papyri, Volume II (Qur'anic Commentary & Tradition), 1967, The University Of Chicago Press, p. 2.
    [viii] H. Motzki, "The Musannaf Of `Abd al-Razzaq Al-San`ani As A Source of Authentic Ahadith of The First Century A.H.", Journal Of Near Eastern Studies, 1991, Volume 50, p. 21.
    [ix] M. M. Azami. Studies in Early Hadith Literature. 2001. American Trust Publications.
    [x] Qur'an 47: 133 - 138
    [xi] Page 14.
    [xii] Qur'an 40: 82
    [xiii] Qur'an 48: 24
    [xiv] William Montgomery Watt, ‘Economic and Social Aspects of the Origin of Islam’ in Islamic Quarterly 1 (1954), p. 102-3.
    [xv] Lex Hixon. The Heart of the Qur'an: An Introduction to Islamic Spirituality. Quest Books. 2003, page 3.
    [xvi] Qur'an 81: 26 – 28
    [xvii] Qur'an 21: 30
    [xviii] Qur'an 30: 8
    [xix] Qur'an 2: 23
    [xx] F. F. Arbuthnot. 1885. The Construction of the Bible and the Koran. London, p 5.
    [xxi] Bruce Lawrence. The Qur’an: A Biography. Atlantic Books, p 8.
    [xxii] Qur'an 12: 50
    [xxiii] Johnston, Witnesses to a World Crises (Oxford, 2010), p. 357-8.
    [xxiv] Patricia Crone, Slaves on Horses (Cambridge, 2003), p. 10.
    [xxv] Fred M. Donner, Modern Approaches to Early Islamic History, New Cambridge History of Islam v. 1, 2010, p. 633.
    [xxvi] Angelika Neuwirth, Structural, Linguistic and Literary Features, the Cambridge Companion to the Quran, 2006, p. 100-1.
    [xxvii] See Carole Hillenbrand. Muhammad and the Rise of Islam. New Cambridge Medieval History.
    Last edited by Watsupdoc; 11th September 2012 at 21:49.

  24. #24
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    wonderful rebuttal

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    Excellent Stuff.

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    Been enjoying a bit of this so far tonight (aforementioned docu) -



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    Quote Originally Posted by s28 View Post
    wonderful rebuttal
    I believe the correct word is pwned!!

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    This bit is interesting........

    A document called Doctrina Jacobi written only two years after the death of the prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) clearly mentions that a prophet had appeared amongst the Arabs:
    "I, having arrived at Sykamina, stopped by a certain old man well-versed in *scriptures, and I said to him: "What can you tell me about the prophet who has appeared with the Saracens?"


    ....because it goes on as follows:

    He replied, groaning deeply: "He is false, for the prophets do not come armed with a sword. Truly they are works of anarchy being committed today and I fear that the first Christ to come, whom the Christians worship, was the one sent by God and we instead are preparing to receive the Antichrist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    This bit is interesting........

    A document called Doctrina Jacobi written only two years after the death of the prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) clearly mentions that a prophet had appeared amongst the Arabs:
    "I, having arrived at Sykamina, stopped by a certain old man well-versed in *scriptures, and I said to him: "What can you tell me about the prophet who has appeared with the Saracens?"


    ....because it goes on as follows:

    He replied, groaning deeply: "He is false, for the prophets do not come armed with a sword. Truly they are works of anarchy being committed today and I fear that the first Christ to come, whom the Christians worship, was the one sent by God and we instead are preparing to receive the Antichrist.
    the reference to thequotation isnt about the prophets legitimacy but merely his existence! amongst the arabs!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    This bit is interesting........

    A document called Doctrina Jacobi written only two years after the death of the prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) clearly mentions that a prophet had appeared amongst the Arabs:
    "I, having arrived at Sykamina, stopped by a certain old man well-versed in *scriptures, and I said to him: "What can you tell me about the prophet who has appeared with the Saracens?"


    ....because it goes on as follows:

    He replied, groaning deeply: "He is false, for the prophets do not come armed with a sword. Truly they are works of anarchy being committed today and I fear that the first Christ to come, whom the Christians worship, was the one sent by God and we instead are preparing to receive the Antichrist.

    This source if reliable proves that there was a prophet amongst the Arabs, Muhammad.

    Okay so some random old codger who has read the Bible had a theory about the Antichrist, but that is just akin to a member of the Westboro Baptist Church (because they've read the Bible) thinking Barack Obama is the Antichrist. They're both surely wrong.

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    Obviously you will got people who did not believe in the Prophet like the old man. His own relatives called him a magician and refused to accept him prophet hood. As James and Khan have said, all it proves is his existence. Regarding the sword comment, the Arabs never left Arabia during the Prophets lifetime, the expansion only started afterwards, and that was due to the two superpowers breathing down their necks.

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    iMujahid, thank you for posting that excellent rebuttal. It wonderfully countered a lot of the speculative and some clearly unsubstantiated theories Holland put forward in his work (I mean Makkah not being mentioned in the Quran- come on!)
    Last edited by Watsupdoc; 11th September 2012 at 21:50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    This source if reliable proves that there was a prophet amongst the Arabs, Muhammad.
    No, it is evidence that the old man saw an un-named Arab Prophet, who spread his message with violence.

    I thought we were told that Islam was not spread by the sword?

    Be wary of allowing the mind to draw between the dots to form the shape it wants to see, rather than what is really there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    No, it is evidence that the old man saw an un-named Arab Prophet, who spread his message with violence.

    I thought we were told that Islam was not spread by the sword?

    Be wary of allowing the mind to draw between the dots to form the shape it wants to see, rather than what is really there.
    The Prophet(pbuh) did have a sword, he was a warrior, statesman and a politician amongst other things. Even in the passage you quoted there is no mention of the sword being used to spread Islam or force people into conversion. This is very poor from you Robert. If you believe Islam was spread by the sword, go ahead make your case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    What, all of us?

    I put it to you that you have just generalised the views of one person into those of 5 billion people.
    Common misconception a non-muslim is not a Kaffir as Kaffir means disbeliever therefore one must have a basic understanding of the principles of Islam and its history and based upon that knowledge should that individual reject Islam he becomes a kaffir therefore a average joe so to speak is a non-muslim or muslim if he understands the teaching of islam and implements them he is a believer if he understands and rejects them he is a Kaffir and the final level and highest levels are for a muslim to be amongst the patient ones ( these are people who thank God in all aspects for better or worse in their lives) or those who are Zalim ( tyrants) these are people who maliciously malign and slander Islam and its founding members the Prophet and His S.A.W's blessed companions and hinder from the path of god these can include the clergy of a rival religion, atheists, orientalists, western powers as well as people who may have had a genuine bad experience with muslims but have failed to differentiate between Islam and its teachings and the shortcomings of the individual

    However the worst of all individuals are by far the Hypocrites as GOD Almighty values bravery and conviction He detests any and all forms of hypocrisy with Muslim Christian and Jewish Hypocrites being particularly hated as they all had access to the teachings of the prophets and have distorted them to hoodwink the people ( this means people such as the evangelists who get caught seeing prostitutes, the mullahs that advocate sectarian strife, leaders and upright members of the community who engage in evil behavior affairs pedophilia usury etc)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    This bit is interesting........

    A document called Doctrina Jacobi written only two years after the death of the prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) clearly mentions that a prophet had appeared amongst the Arabs:
    "I, having arrived at Sykamina, stopped by a certain old man well-versed in *scriptures, and I said to him: "What can you tell me about the prophet who has appeared with the Saracens?"


    ....because it goes on as follows:

    He replied, groaning deeply: "He is false, for the prophets do not come armed with a sword. Truly they are works of anarchy being committed today and I fear that the first Christ to come, whom the Christians worship, was the one sent by God and we instead are preparing to receive the Antichrist.
    So what about King David the forefather of Jesus as is the messiah not the heir of David come to restore the Kingdom of David- how did he aqcuire his kingdom?
    What about the battle of Armageddon will the HOST of Heaven descending singing hippie songs such as KUMBAYAH MY LORD (sorry don't not the spelling of kumbayah?)

    Every religion in the world has the concept of Righteous violence and war those who deny it are either fools or liars even the secular powers wage war in defense of humanity ( you really are nuts if you believe the W.O.T is justified

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    out of interest, and to save me looking, is mecca mentioned in the quraan ??



    کجھ شہر دے لوک وی ظالم سن
    کجھ مینوں مرن دا شوق وی سی

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    Review by The Guardian's Tom Crace -


    "Can a non-Muslim hope to understand the origins of the Muslim world?" asked historian Tom Holland. "No," was the emphatic one-word response of Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr, professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University. Even though the question came right at the beginning of Islam: The Untold Story (Channel 4), it was still far too late, as Holland had already published the – generally – well-received In the Shadow of the Sword earlier this year, in which he attempted to do just that. And this programme was basically more of the same.

    The starting point was that there are a number of serious discrepancies between the Qur'an and the surviving documentary evidence for the birth of Islam – most fundamentally that the first Arab conquerors didn't appear to identify themselves as Muslims and there is no mention of Mecca in any dateable text (apart from one ambiguous reference in the Qur'an) until 100 years after the Prophet Muhammad's death.

    Holland is no attention-seeking, neo-Conservative, Niall Ferguson lookalike. Indeed, I'd guess his heart bleeds liberalism and, to my western sceptic eyes, his contention that the Arab empire gave birth to Islam, rather than the traditionally held belief that it was the other way round, seemed well-argued, fascinating – I learned a lot of history I didn't know in a short space of time – and uncontentious. I would find it a great deal more surprising if a religious text written 1,400 years ago turned out to be wholly accurate. But for those who believe the Qur'an is the word of God passed directly to man and that inconvenient lacunae of knowledge are merely events that have yet to be properly explained, then Holland's view is almost certainly blasphemous.

    Herein lay another parallel story that was seldom far from the surface but which remained steadfastly untold. For decades – centuries even – scholars have felt free to contest the accuracy of other religious texts. Not least the Bible; what's true, what's parable and what's just wishful thinking has all been up for grabs without any serious damage being done to Christian beliefs. Not so with Islam, around which non-Islamic scholars tread with extreme caution. I'm all for cultural and religious sensitivity, but the degree to which Holland tiptoed around the subject and apologised for his findings went way beyond what was required. Or would have been on offer for any other religion. It was almost as if he was looking over his shoulder, half expecting a fatwa at any minute.

    None should be forthcoming, as towards the end of the programme Holland returned to Dr Nasr for reassurance that he hadn't caused any lasting offence. Which he more or less got, as Nasr told him that what he had discovered was "quite interesting, so long as you don't try to impose your view on the Muslim world", as that would be tantamount to "western imperialism". Holland crept out of Nasr's office more or less insisting that the last thing he wanted was for any Muslim to take him seriously, so no harm was done. The gap between western liberalism and Islamic liberalism suddenly looked frighteningly large.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-rad...rt-of-comments


    Obviously due to the diverse responses and my own lack of an opinion, the next port of call is to just watch the bloody documentary, but looks on the surface like Crace is not the biggest fan of Islam. Comments section underneath the article is actually a lot more interesting, and is negative about the documentary rather than religious sensitivities. 'AvvoresRed' knows his stuff.
    Last edited by James; 30th August 2012 at 16:26.

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    Yeah, I checked that out a couple of days ago James, and was quite impressed with AvvoresRed's comments. Seems like Holland has just been copying stuff from one or two earlier Historians, whose works are unreliable according to most Historians.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TAK View Post
    out of interest, and to save me looking, is mecca mentioned in the quraan ??
    It is referred to as "Bakkah" (in Surah Aal Imran) IIRC

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingkash786 View Post
    Every religion in the world has the concept of Righteous violence and war those who deny it are either fools or liars even the secular powers wage war in defense of humanity ( you really are nuts if you believe the W.O.T is justified
    Regarding David, you confuse the issue between the Old Testament and the New Covenant.Jesus and Mohammed were as different as chalk and cheese.One waged military campaigns , the other simply preached.So if you are referring to the main figures of their religion , technically yes Islam was spread by the sword.

    A quick look at the first 300 years of the spread of Christianity and Islam will show you stark differences.All the 12 disciples were martyred during what is called the 'Great commission' while conquests out of Arabia started soon after the prophet died (excl. the campaigns he himself was involved in).I say 300 because that is when Christianity became the official religion of Roman empire and ceased persecution.Later on in the middle ages the church wielded political influence and became corrupt but that's another story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    The Prophet(pbuh) did have a sword, he was a warrior, statesman and a politician amongst other things. Even in the passage you quoted there is no mention of the sword being used to spread Islam or force people into conversion. This is very poor from you Robert. If you believe Islam was spread by the sword, go ahead make your case.
    What would be very poor on my part is if I fell for your strawman tactic. I have not stated that Islam was spread by the sword, as you well know. I have stated that we are led to believe that it was not.

    I am analysing whther this so called "Christian chronicle" corroborated knowledge of the existence of Islam. The old man refers to an Arab Prophet who he thinks brings anarchy and may even be the Antichrist.

    Whom do you think the old man is referring to, since he does not name the Arab Prophet or even his religion?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    What would be very poor on my part is if I fell for your strawman tactic. I have not stated that Islam was spread by the sword, as you well know. I have stated that we are led to believe that it was not.

    I am analysing whther this so called "Christian chronicle" corroborated knowledge of the existence of Islam. The old man refers to an Arab Prophet who he thinks brings anarchy and may even be the Antichrist.

    Whom do you think the old man is referring to, since he does not name the Arab Prophet or even his religion?
    The old man's quotes are ambiguous. I don't see any point in wasting time speculating what the old man felt. I would rather discuss your views.

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    Just watched it. To be honest it was overlong more than anything. The first ten minutes on Constantinople were pretty interesting, but when Tom actually started to search for that new narrative of Islam the programme got pretty dull, repetitive and unconvincing. Much preferred Rageh Omaar's work on the subject, which seemed less ambitious but was a more solid, watchable and heartening project for that. Rageh historicised Muhammad well, whilst also suggesting that converting to Islam would be a good idea for me.

    I disagree with the denouncing of Tom as a crackpot Orientalist though. He appreciated the culture and the architecture, he shared a prayer to Allah with a group of Arabs. He was polite and respectful. He really did want to unearth fresh history here, which is his job I suppose. But the end product just wasn't that great.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by RexRex View Post
    Regarding David, you confuse the issue between the Old Testament and the New Covenant.Jesus and Mohammed were as different as chalk and cheese.One waged military campaigns , the other simply preached.So if you are referring to the main figures of their religion , technically yes Islam was spread by the sword.

    A quick look at the first 300 years of the spread of Christianity and Islam will show you stark differences.All the 12 disciples were martyred during what is called the 'Great commission' while conquests out of Arabia started soon after the prophet died (excl. the campaigns he himself was involved in).I say 300 because that is when Christianity became the official religion of Roman empire and ceased persecution.Later on in the middle ages the church wielded political influence and became corrupt but that's another story.
    Judging from your Avatar I am guessing your a Hindu so you may be unaware of the finer details of the gospels otherwise you would be aware that from Moses to John the baptist that vast majority of prophets were warriors and generals King David, Solomon, Prophet Gideon and Moses right down to the fact that the old testament has Moses saying in regards to the enemy of the Israelite that kill everyone and everything a side from the virgin girl ( its quite a famous quote so you could easily Google it) this is relevant because Jesus in the bible the new testament says I have not come to change even a jot of the law Paul was the one who stated that the law is nailed to the cross therefore Jesus followed the same war ethic the only reason he is marketed in the current error as a Pacifists is due to clever PR. Otherwise the christian fanatics are waiting for Jesus to return as his return will herald a war that will make WW1 AND WW2 look like childs play these are their own words here not mine.

    As for the time period that you raised that is actually the most valid point in this whole thread Our Prophet taught us to defend our Faith regardless of the sacrifices needed to be made because it doesn't matter who you are no one can deny that the Military advantage did not lie with Muslims it lay with the Byzantines and Persia empires so strong to opposes them was seen as suicide the same as it is today where to oppose America and NATO is reckoned to be suicide yet the Muslims were able to subdue both empires so that they could never rise again which is nothing short of a miracle. Whilst in the first 300 years christian completely lost itself in the west and has never since been practiced as according to the teaching of Jesus hence the radical difference between Eastern and Western Christianity.

    Islam spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East so fast not because of the Sword but because these regions were dominated by Eastern Orthodox Christianity with movements such as Donastism search Aries and Donastas and Church of Carthage who recognised that Islam and Christianity as taught y Jesus not Paul were essentially the same with Islam just being the more complete form.

    And for my final point of rebuttal look at Hinduism it main scriptures are pretty much a list of endless wars such as Mahabarat and Rams conquest of Ravann's Lanka is that not war or do you Hindus see that as something else?

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingkash786 View Post
    Judging from your Avatar I am guessing your a Hindu so you may be unaware of the finer details of the gospels otherwise you would be aware that from Moses to John the baptist that vast majority of prophets were warriors and generals King David, Solomon, Prophet Gideon and Moses right down to the fact that the old testament has Moses saying in regards to the enemy of the Israelite that kill everyone and everything a side from the virgin girl ( its quite a famous quote so you could easily Google it) this is relevant because Jesus in the bible the new testament says I have not come to change even a jot of the law Paul was the one who stated that the law is nailed to the cross therefore Jesus followed the same war ethic the only reason he is marketed in the current error as a Pacifists is due to clever PR. Otherwise the christian fanatics are waiting for Jesus to return as his return will herald a war that will make WW1 AND WW2 look like childs play these are their own words here not mine.

    As for the time period that you raised that is actually the most valid point in this whole thread Our Prophet taught us to defend our Faith regardless of the sacrifices needed to be made because it doesn't matter who you are no one can deny that the Military advantage did not lie with Muslims it lay with the Byzantines and Persia empires so strong to opposes them was seen as suicide the same as it is today where to oppose America and NATO is reckoned to be suicide yet the Muslims were able to subdue both empires so that they could never rise again which is nothing short of a miracle. Whilst in the first 300 years christian completely lost itself in the west and has never since been practiced as according to the teaching of Jesus hence the radical difference between Eastern and Western Christianity.

    Islam spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East so fast not because of the Sword but because these regions were dominated by Eastern Orthodox Christianity with movements such as Donastism search Aries and Donastas and Church of Carthage who recognised that Islam and Christianity as taught y Jesus not Paul were essentially the same with Islam just being the more complete form.

    And for my final point of rebuttal look at Hinduism it main scriptures are pretty much a list of endless wars such as Mahabarat and Rams conquest of Ravann's Lanka is that not war or do you Hindus see that as something else?
    you post some excellent stuff, should post more.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    The old man's quotes are ambiguous. I don't see any point in wasting time speculating what the old man felt. I would rather discuss your views.
    I'm sure you would, but I won't on this occasion. Let's hold a proper debate on history instead of the usual East-vs-Zionist shouting match.

    If the old man's quotes are ambiguous, how can this be held up by iERA as historical evidence of Islam appearing in Arab society? It cannot, I suggest.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by shan View Post
    Interesting, everything is posible unless you are believer. Some even believe Jesus never existed.
    Nobody doubts his existence. There is proof that a man by the name of Jesus did exist, what they are doubting is whether he really was what Christianity claims he was.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyB View Post
    Nobody doubts his existence. There is proof that a man by the name of Jesus did exist, what they are doubting is whether he really was what Christianity claims he was.
    Can you provide me with any?

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    What would be very poor on my part is if I fell for your strawman tactic. I have not stated that Islam was spread by the sword, as you well know. I have stated that we are led to believe that it was not.

    I am analysing whther this so called "Christian chronicle" corroborated knowledge of the existence of Islam. The old man refers to an Arab Prophet who he thinks brings anarchy and may even be the Antichrist.

    Whom do you think the old man is referring to, since he does not name the Arab Prophet or even his religion?
    What the old man says is important because it proves that people in the area knew of there being a Prophet among the Arabs in recent times. I do not believe there are any other major Prophethood claims in the region at the time, so I do not think it is a stretch to assume this refers to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). This goes directly against what the documentary claims i.e. Islam was invented by the Arabs at a much, much later date.

    As far as the accusation of violence goes, the Arabs were waging war against the Byzantines at the time, trying to establish a foothold in the region. That accusation, as you would well know, has been made by many polemicists throughout History. This old man is just another man to have made it. I don't think the second part is nearly as important as the first in the context of the documentary that is being discussed.


    I hope that after I die, people will say of me: "That guy sure owed me a lot of money."

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    The Christian Byzantine empire at the time of the old man's quote was collapsing, from within as much as from outside forces.

    However, unlike before, this time they were engaged in battle with the Arabs and not the Persians. If we are to believe the traditional accounts in which the Arab tribes united under the banner of Islam, then the Byzantines would have been fighting a rival Abrahamic faith, which claimed to be a continuation of what came before. From their theological perspective, these Arabs would have been heretics of the highest order.

    The success of the Arabs and the collapse of a once great Christian empire contributed to a very turbulent time. Consequently, the view that the end of times had come, was actually propagated and believed. A sermon was actually delivered, Pseudo-Ephraem, around this time frame in which the Arabs played the central and evil role of bringing about the apocalypse!

    In an atmosphere like this, it is unsurprising that a citizen of the empire like the old man in question, would have held the views that he did!

    Of course, the Arabs did not lay waste to everything in their path, and let the Christians continue to practice their faith. Non-muslim sources dated several decades later are testament to this (the Patriach Ishoyahb III):

    " As for the Arabs, to whom God has at this time given rule (shultana) over the world, you know well how they act towards us. Not only do they not oppose Christianity, but they praise our faith, honour the priests and saints of our Lord, and give aid to the churches and monasteries. Why then do your Mazonaye [Omanis] reject their faith on a pretext of theirs? And this when the Mazonaye themselves admit that the Arabs have not compelled them to abandon their faith, but only asked them to give up half of their possessions in order to keep their faith. Yet they forsook their faith, which is forever, and retained the half of their wealth, which is for a short time"
    Last edited by Solid Snake; 31st August 2012 at 16:16.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Can you provide me with any?
    Denial of the existence of Jesus is only maintained by an extreme minority of historians now, likewise Muhammad. No doubt they were both men, who lived. The debate now would be over their Prophethood.

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    Was a really poor documentary to be honest. His theories were outright bizarre at times, complete disregard to the empirical method.

    Inayat Bunglawala has also blogged about this Channel 4 shambles (including his Twitter exchange with Tom Holland):

    http://inayatscorner.wordpress.com/2...ms-birthplace/

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Denial of the existence of Jesus is only maintained by an extreme minority of historians now, likewise Muhammad. No doubt they were both men, who lived.
    I ask again: where is the historical evidence of Jesus?

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    I ask again: where is the historical evidence of Jesus?
    If there isn't any beyond what already passes for it, are you going to deny he existed? Just trying to work out where you are going with this.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    I ask again: where is the historical evidence of Jesus?
    Mate it is almost universally agreed upon by historians and other academics that Jesus existed, and as you know these sorts of people operate on evidence. So actually I don't see why we should spend our time posting pictures and links. Rather I would say the onus is on you to disprove his existence, in this case.

  57. #57
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    Took me 3 days to watch it but I thought it was good. Are there anymore docs such as this one?

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    Islam: The untold story

    Here is a link to the videos for anyone that missed it on tv.

    Raises a lot of questions on the lack or even emptiness of historical evidence.


    Part 1: http://rutube.ru/embed/5841352

    Part 2: http://rutube.ru/embed/5841504

  59. #59
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    Thanks for the link, enjoying so far.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Mate it is almost universally agreed upon by historians and other academics that Jesus existed, and as you know these sorts of people operate on evidence. So actually I don't see why we should spend our time posting pictures and links. Rather I would say the onus is on you to disprove his existence, in this case.
    Oh no, James.

    The historicity of 'Jesus' is very much in doubt, let alone the divinity of such a figure.

  61. #61
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    Like I said, most historians agree that Jesus at least existed. If you have better research which suggests that he did not, you are free to present it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyB View Post
    Nobody doubts his existence. There is proof that a man by the name of Jesus did exist, what they are doubting is whether he really was what Christianity claims he was.
    Indeed, there is some evidence to suggest that the original followers of Jesus known as the Ebunites were wiped out and then the council of Nicea burnt the rest of the counter knowledge..constantine and Paul are probably the real fathers of todays christianity!!

  63. #63
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    Channel 4 cancels screening of film questioning Islam's origins

    Broadcaster calls off event at its HQ citing security fears after documentary Islam: The Untold Story drew 1,000 complaints




    Channel 4 has cited concerns over security as the reason for cancelling a planned screening at its headquarters this week of a documentary film questioning the origins of Islam.

    Islam: The Untold Story, which claimed there was little written contemporary evidence about the origin of the religion, sparked more than 1,000 complaints to Channel 4 and the media regulator after it was broadcast two weeks ago.

    Its presenter, the historian Tom Holland, was also the focus of substantial criticism, as well as abuse, on Twitter.

    The channel said in a statement on Tuesday: "Having taken security advice we have reluctantly cancelled a planned screening of the programme, Islam: The Untold Story. We remain extremely proud of the film, which is still available to view on 4oD."

    A Metropolitan police spokesperson said the force had no knowledge of the event or the decision to cancel it.

    However, sources close to the channel said the screening had been cancelled after advice was taken from "relevant security authorities".

    Dr Jenny Taylor, a writer and academic who had been invited to attend the screening, said it was "appalling" the event was being cancelled.

    "This party was cancelled for security reasons, so this means that presumably people's lives are at risk," said Taylor, who runs the charity Lapido Media, which seeks to foster better understanding and reporting of religion in the media. Holland is one of the trustees of Lapido, which is publishing a series of books on religious affairs, the first of which is about the controversial Islamic group Tablighi Jamaat.

    Taylor said media coverage was a factor in whipping up "a false storm of protest" over the programme, which she described as "a good bit of history by one of the most eminent historians in the country".

    "We have got to be able to discuss history. That is the western way. That is what we do here. Every other civilisation that Tim has written about has come in for the same treatment. Why should Islam be left out?"

    Among those who criticised the programme was Inayat Bunglawala, who debated with Holland on Twitter. Bunglawala also blogged about the programme, accusing Holland of "bizarre conjecture About Islam's birthplace".

    Holland and Channel 4 also posted an online response to the critics.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012...?newsfeed=true

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabbar Singh View Post

    Channel 4 cancels screening of film questioning Islam's origins

    Broadcaster calls off event at its HQ citing security fears after documentary Islam: The Untold Story drew 1,000 complaints
    Channel 4 is behaving like an Islamophobe. Why would they think a few complaints would follow up with some violence, clearly they are misunderstanding jihad as being violent.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by golimar View Post
    Channel 4 is behaving like an Islamophobe. Why would they think a few complaints would follow up with some violence, clearly they are misunderstanding jihad as being violent.
    Birdbrain, the police have not advised them. Channel 4 should disclose the nature of the threats and who advised them. Channel 4 must of realised it's a crap documentary but are just trying to save some face.

    Btw You spend more time talking about Islam than the Grand Mufti of of Saudi Arabia.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    Birdbrain, the police have not advised them. Channel 4 should disclose the nature of the threats and who advised them. Channel 4 must of realised it's a crap documentary but are just trying to save some face.
    crap documentary producers never get fire bombed, just get poor ratings.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Like I said, most historians agree that Jesus at least existed. If you have better research which suggests that he did not, you are free to present it.
    Did Jesus existed:

    Historians would probably say Yes ((New testament) Bibles are more like historical accounts of the life of Jesus)

    Archaeologists would most likely say No.

    I would say I don't know
    Last edited by shakil; 11th September 2012 at 20:40.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabbar Singh View Post
    Channel 4 cancels screening of film questioning Islam's origins

    Broadcaster calls off event at its HQ citing security fears after documentary Islam: The Untold Story drew 1,000 complaints
    A similar incident for an anticipated movie

    Egypt protesters breach US embassy over 'insulting' film

    Protesters have breached the wall of the American embassy in Cairo and torn down a flag over a US-made film which they say is insulting to the Prophet Muhammad.

    The American flag, which was flying at half mast to mark the 9/11 attacks, was replaced by an Islamist banner.

    Thousands of protesters had gathered outside the embassy.

    Among the film's producers is said to be a pastor who burnt copies of the Koran earlier this year.

    Among the protesters outside the embassy were hardline Islamists known as Salafists and also members of a football supporters' club known as Ultras.

    They say the film is about to be shown in the US.

    On Tuesday night, a handful of protesters continued to sit on the wall of the embassy but the compound was surrounded by Egyptian riot police and there was no sign of any confrontation, says the BBC's Jon Leyne at the scene in Cairo.

    A spokesman for the US embassy in Cairo has categorically denied that any shots have been fired at any time during the protest.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19562688

  69. #69
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    Channel 4 Cancel Islam: The Untold Story

    After fears over secuirity the series has been cancelled.The programme was poorly researched and a load of rubbish but its unbelievable that some muslims feel so insecure about Islam that they have to threaten people. This guy had every right to make the programme and we had every right to criticise but there should have been no threats.

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    Will no doubt give them excuse to portray Muslims as angry violent extremists and further publicise it when it was crap/inaccurate and is still going to be available on 4OD anyway.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by kabir000 View Post
    After fears over secuirity the series has been cancelled.The programme was poorly researched and a load of rubbish but its unbelievable that some muslims feel so insecure about Islam that they have to threaten people. This guy had every right to make the programme and we had every right to criticise but there should have been no threats.
    A repeat screening was cancelled also “You might be a target in the streets. You may recruit some bodyguards, for your own safety.”
    is not really a threat
    This is what the Police said about it
    "The force had no knowledge of the event or the decision to cancel it".

    Why don't they get the Police involved if threats were made.

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    So why do we give them the ammunition to portray us as blood thirsty nutters? Had we just been calm in our reaction this programme would have died a death quicker than Zimbabwe`s chances in the 20/20 WC.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by golimar View Post
    Here is a link to the videos for anyone that missed it on tv.

    Raises a lot of questions on the lack or even emptiness of historical evidence.


    Part 1: http://rutube.ru/embed/5841352

    Part 2: http://rutube.ru/embed/5841504
    Thanks for the links. Watched it now. Nothing new for me and some important topics not touched upon

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by kabir000 View Post
    After fears over secuirity the series has been cancelled.The programme was poorly researched and a load of rubbish but its unbelievable that some muslims feel so insecure about Islam that they have to threaten people. This guy had every right to make the programme and we had every right to criticise but there should have been no threats.
    Why cancel a programme over a few obscure threats? Surely if these threats have been made it would be easy to trace them back to the source in this day and age?

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    I agree but why do some muslims feel so insecure about Islam that anybody should be threatened.

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    Well of course it got cancelled. Some otherwise interesting and strong ideologies have such insecure followers that no questioning or even observation is permitted.

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    No need to focus just on Islam .. all religions have the same beginning.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by mani1 View Post
    Why don't they get the Police involved if threats were made.
    A pretty galling and laughable apology to say the least.

    Why don't you deal with the genuine issue i.e. why have threats even been made in the first place; why would a human being do such a thing? Or do you support these people?

  79. #79
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    Kids getting ****** at knowing Santa Claus doesn't exist? Oh wait! sorry, this is the different one.


    3WCs, #1 ODI team, IPL, Fab 9: Sachin, Dravid, Saurav, Kumble, VVS, Viru, Zak, MSD, Yuvi

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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    A pretty galling and laughable apology to say the least.

    Why don't you deal with the genuine issue i.e. why have threats even been made in the first place; why would a human being do such a thing? Or do you support these people?
    Why would I apologise for something I did not do?
    Threats should not have been made. They should be reported to the police so who ever made threats get what they deserve.
    judging by what was quoted if that was all that was said would you constitute that as a threat or as advice.

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