UPDATE: A few people have asked me how I could write this book after writing The Truth About Muhammad. It’s simple: The Truth About Muhammad is a biography of Muhammad based on the earliest Muslim sources. That is important because whatever the historical value of that material, Muslims believe it and act upon it. Did Muhammad Exist? examines the historical value of that material — and finds it quite weak as actual history.
Wednesday night when I debated Anjem Chaudary and Abu Bara on democracy vs. theocracy, I discussed some of the topics that I examine at length in my forthcoming book, Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam’s Obscure Origins, which will be published next Spring by ISI (the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, not the Pakistani spy service).
I just received the cover image and thought I’d share it with you. It features a 16th-century Persian image of Muhammad with face veiled, since he cannot lawfully be depicted according to Islamic law. The veiling of his face is of course perfect for my book’s theme — the opening chapter of Did Muhammad Exist? is entitled “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” and details how for the first 60 years after the Arab conquests of the Middle East, Persia and North Africa began, neither the conquerors nor those whom they conquered made any mention of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, the Qur’an, or Islam.
That is extremely odd for a warrior army that was supposed to be energized and inspired by the words of the Qur’an and the example of Muhammad. To try to understand why this may have been, and how Islam actually originated, is the preoccupation of this book.
And if you missed Wednesday night’s debate, here is the video: