Both Hugh Fitzgerald and I have written about Islamic apologist and media darling Reza Aslan, noting some of his innumerable distortions — for one, he calls Muhammad’s community in Medina “a communal, egalitarian society dedicated to pluralism and tolerance.” Sure it was — with the women veiled and the three Jewish tribes ultimately exiled or massacred by the prophet of Islam. Other than that, it was very pluralistic and egalitarian.
But Aslan gets away with this sort of thing because few people are aware of the facts of Muhammad’s life as they are recounted in Islamic tradition, and so they have no knowledge of anything they can use to challenge him. And of course he is by no means the only Islamic apologist to capitalize upon this ignorance. All of this underscores the need today for people to be informed about Islam and Muhammad not from material intended for non-Muslims, but from material written by Muslims and intended for other Muslims (which is what I used to write my biography of Muhammad). Only then can non-Muslims get a clear picture of how Muslims really regard the elements of Islam and Muhammad’s words and example that jihadists use to justify their actions and make recruits among peaceful Muslims, and thereby get a clear picture of the magnitude of the problem we face today.
Without such a clear picture, public policy will go wrong, remedies will be applied to the problem that are not remedies, and the jihad will continue to advance. Make no mistake: false, whitewashed history is a weapon of the jihad. Don’t let yourself become a victim.
Here is another example: in “˜Reza Aslan’s Pogrom Amnesia,” the ever-insightful Ilana Mercer has posted a link to a post by Myles Kantor about a debate between atheist crusader Sam Harris and Aslan. In that debate, Aslan again uses whitewashed history as a debating tool:
About Reza Aslan, the darling of the media on all things Muslim, Myles Kantor observes the following:
“Last night I watched Sam Harris and Reza Aslan“s January 25 debate on religion at the Los Angeles Public Library. Toward the end, Harris noted the anti-Semitic character of the Middle East before the establishment of Israel in 1948.
Aslan responded in reference to pre-state Israel, “˜Before 1948, of course, there were tens of thousands of Jews living alongside their Arab neighbors without any problem at all.”
Without any problem at all? How about the Jerusalem pogrom in 1920 and the Jaffa pogrom in 1921? Or Arab massacres of Jews in Hebron and Safad in 1929? Or the Tiberias pogrom in 1938? (There was a reason the Sephardic Jewish sage Maimonides wrote in 1172 regarding Arabs, “˜Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they.”)
If Aslan is ignorant of this recurrent savagery, then the Harvard graduate’s study of pre-state Israel has been amazingly selective. If not, his misrepresentation of Arab-Jewish life before 1948 is revisionism in the same gutter as Holocaust denial.”
Or down at curb level with the New Historians” output.
Aslan’s howler here is on par with similar claims that Muslim Spain was a proto-multiculturalist paradise. And innumerable others.
Inform yourselves. Don’t let the whitewashers of jihad get away with any falsehoods.