Reading Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, one cannot help but marvel at the thoroughness of Sherlock Holmes”s use of reason to piece together disparate clues and evidence and conclude that the least plausible explanation was the most obvious, true one. The legendary, spectral hound that haunted the Dartmoor bogs for two centuries was a piece of unsubstantiated folklore exploited by a devious criminal whose only purpose was to seize wealth that wasn’t his. He bought a hound, coated it in phosphorous, and launched his nefarious designs.
If his plans worked out, everyone would believe that the heir to the Baskerville estate was really killed by an elusive, evanescent hound, just as the heir’s uncle apparently was. No one would investigate further. After all, the locals might be offended.
Holmes shoots it as it attacks another Baskerville heir. The Hound from Hell was an invention, based on an apocryphal curse. The Hound was a fraud. A hoax. As insubstantial as marsh gas.
Islam, however, is the very real Hound from Hell now roaming the earth, causing unimaginable suffering and death in nations where Islam rules, invading Western countries
with hordes of assimilation-hostile faithful imbued with an implacable enmity for Western values and culture, waging constant violent and stealth jihad in countries its advocates mean to conquer and bring under Islamic and Sharia rule.
The aspect that makes it frightening is the phosphorous of moral certainty that it is invincible and ineluctable. But the bogeyman is a phony. A contrivance. A will-o’-the-wisp designed to frighten men into submission or silence. Ignis fatuus. Mere methane.
Robert Spencer calls its bluff.
Spencer performs a super detective service for the West in Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry into Islam’s Obscure Origins, but to a degree and extent that would make Holmes green with envy. He examines virtually every aspect of the composition and history of Islam and its purported founder, Mohammad.
Let us begin with one of his summations:
A careful investigation makes at least one thing clear: The details of Muhammad’s life that have been handed down as canonical — that he unified Arabs by the force of arms, concluded alliances, married wives, legislated for his community, and did so much else — are a creation of political ferments dating from long after the time he is supposed to have lived. Similarly, the records strongly indicate that the Qur’an did not exist until long after it was supposed to have been delivered to the prophet of Islam. [pp. 214-215]
The Qur’an, the Islamic canon alleges, was the eternal “perfect book,” coexisting with Allah, who sent it to earth via the Angel Gabriel to whisper into Mohammad’s ear on Mount Hira, and which he, an illiterate, was able to communicate to the world in its entirety, unalterable, unchanged, and untouchable.
Well, because he couldn’t write, he had secretaries to whom he dictated the Qur’an. No, wait.
Those secretaries began recording the good book after he had died. No, wait”¦
As Spencer demonstrates, it did not come into existence until long after Mohammad’s death (presuming he even existed) in 632. (Gabriel was the “Prophet Whisperer.”) The Hadith, the companion to the Qur’an purportedly a collection of Mohammad’s sayings and doings, did not begin to accumulate until a century after his death. As Spencer shows, the Hadith became a kind of cottage industry for caliphs, Islamic clerics, scholars and anonymous scribes to invent its contents over the centuries for reasons that can partly be explained, and that partly remain conjectural.
Islam, Mohammad, and even Muslims did not begin to enter anyone’s consciousness until early in the 8th century following Arab conquests of the Mideast and North Africa. Spencer emphasizes, and demonstrates, that it was Arabs, and not necessarily Muslims, or Moslems, or Mohammadans who waged jihad on that part of the Dark Age world. And those Arabs, while they were monotheists, were not necessarily Muslims. Spencer demonstrates that possibly it was the biblical and Judaic Abraham who was the “prophet,” not the person Mohammad. Surviving commentaries by chroniclers were ambiguous on the point. Moreover, that monotheist creed regarded Christians and Jews in a far more tolerant light of fellowship than would the Islam that finally emerged centuries later. It would explain many of the contradictory verses in the Qur’an, especially the earlier, abrogated ones.
Up until the time the Qur’an was being diligently assembled by a succession of clerics,
politicians, and charlatans, no mention is made in the earliest documents that can be linked to Islam of the Qur’an or to Mohammad. What chroniclers referred to when writing about those events and those Arabs — which include fictive battles that Mohammad fought — were Hagarians, Saracens, or Taiyaye.
The invaders referred to themselves as Muhajirun, “emigrants” — a term that would eventually take on a particular significance within Islam but that at this time preceded any clear mention of Islam as such. Greek-speaking writers would sometimes term the invaders “Magaritai,” which appears to be derived from Muhajirun. But conspicuously absent from the stock of terms that invaded and conquered people used to name the conquering Arabians was “Muslims.” [p. 33]
There is much more. Read it all.