Robert Spencer interviews Ibn Warraq on Islam’s obscure origins

On my ABN show last night I interviewed the world’s premier scholar of early Islamic history, Ibn Warraq.

FacebookTwitterLinkedInDiggBlogger PostDeliciousEmailPinterestRedditStumbleUponPrint


  1. says

    We should *expect* Islam’s origins to be obscure and we should also take it for granted that every Muslim narrative we possess is probably unreliable, in any instance where there is no clear corroboration or confirmation of it to be had from independent archeological or *non-dhimmi* non-Muslim testimony.

    This is, after all, the Religion of the Lie, par excellence, as well as the Religion of Murder, of Blood and War. Muslims boast, threaten, exaggerate, and lie, lie, lie. We should expect their texts to do the same.

    What do we know about Muslims, in general, in the present day, that is directly relevant to this matter?

    First, that they lie and spit BS *all the time*. Martha Gellhorn, in her article ‘The Arabs of Palestine’, coined the term ‘madhattery’ to describe the bizarre products of malevolent imagination, self-pity and narcissism that she encountered repeatedly amongst the Arab Muslims – and amongst Arabised dhimmi Christians – in and around Israel.

    We know about Pallywood and the massive rewrite of history that has gone on, oil-funded, for 50+ years.

    Second: we see today what Muslims do to any history, to historical records both written and unwritten; to the historical and physical record of *non-Muslims* (e.g. on the Temple Mount) and not only that, *to their own records, such as they are*.

    I would hazard the guess that the Ummah, or Mohammedan Mob, has been busy erasing its own tracks behind itself, rewriting and/ or destroying even its *own* history – as well as anything else that conflicts with its preferred and promulgated Big Lies – for the entirety of the time that it has been in existence.

    As I read the summaries and discussions – in Mr Spencer’s ‘The Truth About Muhammad’, and in Mark Durie’s books also – of the established *Muslim* narrative of Mohammed’s supposed early life and career (experiences of rejection and suffering, the ‘persecution’ of the first Muslims in Mecca, etc), it has occurred to me to wonder: what if all that too, or most of it, is merely one more instance – the archetypal instance, the template – of the tedious ‘narrative of victimhood’ that Muslims – such as the ‘Palestinian’ Arab Muslims – are using today? Supposing that, if there were a real Muhammad, he didn’t actually suffer anything much, or at all; but merely *claimed* – falsely – to have suffered? We don’t have the other side of the story; if we did, I suspect it would look very different.

  2. says

    I’ve read only one of Ibn Warraq’s books, but after hearing this I will definitely put “Why the West is Best” on my “to read” list. He comes across as a formidable scholar who calls ’em as he sees ’em, but has no particular axe to grind.

    I highly recommend this interview for someone who may want to gain a sense of who Ibn Warraq is.

  3. says

    I didn’t get to hear it all, what I did hear was worth listening to the rest…As far as I am concerned, the only thing that makes Islam real, is Mahoundians believe it, and are willing to act on it…When and where it actually came from is a semi mystery…It would be a complete mystery if not for people like Warraq, and Spencer…

    What is the name of the entry music, and artist(s)? That same tune has been playing in my head for years, and I have no idea what it is called…

  4. says

    I would hazard the guess that the Ummah, or Mohammedan Mob, has been busy erasing its own tracks behind itself, rewriting and/ or destroying even its *own* history – as well as anything else that conflicts with its preferred and promulgated Big Lies – for the entirety of the time that it has been in existence.

    They sound a lot like Marxists and post-modernists. Never trust a religion founded after A.D. 31.

  5. says

    I love this ABN show, and I think this was the best one yet. Warraq’s point about the footnotes describing “Bakkah’ as another word for “Mecca’ was particularly helpful. I’d always wondered about that. It didn’t seem to make any sense to me.

    Robert, think we might see Bat Ye’or as a guest sometime? Christoph Luxemberg would be a great guest also. (Even though you might have to work out one of those silhouette and voice-disguise arrangements.)

  6. says

    Fascinating stuff. I have several of Warraq’s books and have heard him in a number of other venues as well. He always offers some gems to further unravel the murky origins of Islam. I’m currently awaiting the release of his next volume, “Koranic Allusions: The Biblical, Qumranian and Pre-Islamic Background to the Koran.”

  7. says

    Fascinating. Excellent conversation with Ibn Warraq.

    I believe that, even more important than any specific conclusions reached, is just that Islam be subjected to the same sort of historical scholarship as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and any other major faith.

    One of the most troubling aspects of Islam is that it cannot be discussed objectively”that pious Muslims threaten anyone who questions any aspect of Islam.

    Changing that”dragging the discussion into the light”is one of the most important things we can do.

  8. says

    The question that has always presented itself to my mind is that regardless whether one assumes that muhammed existed or not, the persons who compiled and depicted his deeds and described his conduct and character made not the least effort to present him as anything lesser than a most reprehensible monster.

    I should think that contributors to the Hadiths would want to present Muhammad – the messenger and prophet of the almighty Allah – in the best possible light to make him the object of admiration and worth following.
    I assume they would paint a picture of a noble, righteous, generous, magnanimous, merciful, modest, gentle, compassionate and truthful man. That would be a simple and reasonable thing to do – especially if you invent a person and are free to tell most wonderful things about him.

    So why did they do just the opposite and drew a picture of a loathsome, grotesquely perverted, murderous pig? How could they possibly know that this horrid image will not make the Arabs recoil with horror but actually make him so attractive in their eyes they would believe he was the most perfect man that ever lived?

    Well, at the risk of being called a racist I confess I think there is something very strange about Arabs.

  9. says

    We’ve already passed the Feast of Fools, and Twelfth Night, festivals on which costumes and masquerade balls were traditional; and Hallowe’en is a long, long way away.

    However, two festivals involving masks and masquerade approach rapidly: one Christian (Mardi Gras) and one Jewish (Purim).

    Perhaps the folks at ABN and *also* the folks at Sun TV could organise something along the lines you suggest.

    And do first a Mardi Gras broadcast with Christoph Luxenberg and everybody else in elaborate and colourful Mardi Gras costumes, with masks and disguised voices; and then, not much later, just before Easter, a Purim broadcast, ditto.

    Could be fun, and educational at the same time, especially if the costumes were drawn from the appropriate historical periods.

    Christoph Luxenberg could dress up as a medieval knight, with visor up; or as a Benedictine monk or Franciscan friar, with hood drawn well down over his face to hide it, and a huuuuge false beard.