* Shem’s cartoons…
Wanna make your blood boil? Here’s a real winner for ya:
“American Muslims Are Americans. Let’s Act Like It”. (No, you’re not. And you never will be… )
SVEN MUHAMMAD KALISH
* Muslim-German professor who doubts the existence of Muhammad was sacked because Muhammedans insist on indoctrination, not free inqiry:
ByÂ ANDREW HIGGINS
Unfortunately the writer of this article somehow misses the point… WoJ featured Kalisch before, here:
Saturday, September 20th, 2008
Thursday, September 18th, 2008
* Something to make your skin crawl:
Hassan Diab was leadingÂ the quiet life of a Canadian sociology professor. Now he has been arrested in Quebec at the request of France, which accuses him ofÂ being behind a bomb attack that killed four people at a Paris synagogue in 1980. Three French citizens and one Israeli woman were killed outside a synagogue in a posh area of Paris when a bomb went off minutes before a crowd of people were due to emerge from the synagogue. Twenty others were hurt.
The attack took place on a Friday evening, at the start of the Jewish Sabbath.
Link:Â The terror professor
* Too much ‘honor’ in Pakistan:
“Religious freedom is for Ummah to decide â€“ Saud al Feisal
“The Kingdom is the cradle of Islam and a country where millions of Muslims come every year to perform the Haj and the King is the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Thus the Kingdom is responsible for (reflecting) the desire and will of the Ummah worldwide,” Prince Saud said at a press conference here Thursday night with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The foreign minister was replying to a question on whether, by initiating the world interfaith conference which concluded Thursday at the United Nations General Assembly meant that Saudi Arabia would tolerate the practicing of other religions within its borders.
When he was asked how the Kingdom could make a call at the UN for religious tolerance when it does not practice it at home, Prince Saudi said: “Discussing religions runs counter to the spirit of both the Madrid and New York conferences. We have agreed on not touching on beliefs and instead focusing on the common values so that people can be brought together with open minds and hearts to achieve more progress.”
“But from the outset, we should stress the importance of changing the self so that you become different from what you are now. Otherwise nothing would be achieved,” he added.
Prince Saud said the unprecedented support garnered at the UN reflects the importance of respecting and glorifying common principles and values shared by countries, “which in essence should make us support the culture of peace and rely on dialogue so as to reject the so-called clash of civilizations and all efforts to divide.”
“All religions call for enhancing peace amongst peoples of the world, for reinforcing common values and for refraining from rekindling conflict and pushing the world toward conflict and confrontation.
Quoting from the King’s speech at the Madrid Conference that had brought together representatives of different religions and faiths from around the world last July, Prince Saud said: “We meet here today to reiterate that all Divine religions are for the good of man. Hence they should be used as means and principle to achieve man’s happiness. To the world I say that differences should not lead to conflict and confrontation and I make it clear here that mankind’s disasters were not from religion but from the extremism of some followers of some religions.”
Prince Saud said it is important to focus on points of common understanding and to avoid controversies so as to understand others’ views of others.
About how to explain Israel’s stand toward the Arab
peace initiative, following the statements made by Israeli President Shimon Peres in his speech at the interfaith conference, Prince Saud said he was disappointed that Peres only talked positively about parts of the Arab peace plan and didn’t mention others.
“It is not a peace proposal that you can divide into what is acceptable and what is not acceptable,” Prince Saud said. “It’s a package deal and it was presented as a package deal.
“And so I think we still have a long way to go to be able to say that Israelis and Arabs see eye to eye on how they look at the peace proposal that the King has made.”
The Arab peace plan initiated by Saudi Arabia calls for Arab recognition of the Jewish state in exchange for a full Israeli withdrawal from all lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war. But Israel objects to relinquishing all territory and the right of all Palestinians to return, and it wants to keep a unified Jerusalem as its capital.
Ban Ki-moon read the declaration issued by the UN interfaith conference, which concluded on Thursday with participants from 80 nations rejecting the use of religion to justify acts of terrorism, the killing of innocent civilians, violence and coercion.
The declaration expressed concern at “serious instances of intolerance, discrimination, expressions of hatred and harassment of minority religious communities of all faiths.” The participants “underlined the importance of promoting dialogue, understanding and tolerance among human beings, as well as respect for all their diverse religions, cultures and beliefs.”
Ban Ki-moon read the declaration near the end of the two-day meeting which was initiated by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and brought 14 world leaders to New York including the US, Pakistani, Afghan and Israeli presidents. â€“ Okaz/
Its all about Da’awa:
Did Muhammad exist? Muslim prof isn’t so sure, outrage brewing
The picture of the life of Muhammad that one gets from Islamic sources is based on some very, very weak reeds from a historical standpoint. (I hope to be writing about this problem and its implications in much greater detail in the future.) But the historical criticism of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures that academics have engaged in for centuries has never been undertaken in an Islamic context, for reasons that should be obvious. The Qur’an is a book never to be doubted, never to be questioned: when one Islamic scholar, Suliman Bashear, taught his students at An-Najah National University in Nablus that the Qur’an and Islam were the products of historical development rather than being delivered in perfect form to Muhammad,Â his students threw him out of the window of his classroom. Christoph Luxenberg, who has done groundbreaking work in this area, publishes under a pseudonym.
Of course, in this the stakes are very high for Muslims. There is no Liberal Islam or Reform Islam that distills moral precepts out of material that is not considered to be historically true and thus has no literal application. Maybe it could be created, at least by a faction, if it became widely known and accepted that the authoritative story of Muhammad and the Qur’an rests on such weak historical foundations, but we are very, very far from that today.
And that is what makes Muhammad Sven Kalisch all the more remarkable. Saying this could get him fired. It could get him killed. It could, and probably already has, interfered with his personal outlook on life. But this is the result of his researches, and he is sticking to it. Whether he is right or wrong, and there is a great deal to support his view, he is at very least uncompromisingly honest.
How refreshing it is to see an honest man, and that even rarer bird, an honest academic, and that rarity of rarities, an honest professor of Islamic studies.
“Professor Hired for Outreach to Muslims Delivers a Jolt,” by Andrew Higgins for theÂ Wall Street Journal, November 15 (thanks to all who sent this in):
MÃœNSTER, Germany — Muhammad Sven Kalisch, a Muslim convert and Germany’s first professor of Islamic theology, fasts during the Muslim holy month, doesn’t like to shake hands with Muslim women and has spent years studying Islamic scripture. Islam, he says, guides his life.So it came as something of a surprise when Prof. Kalisch announced the fruit of his theological research. His conclusion: The Prophet Muhammad probably never existed.
Muslims, not surprisingly, are outraged. Even Danish cartoonists who triggered global protests a couple of years ago didn’t portray the Prophet as fictional. German police, worried about a violent backlash, told the professor to move his religious-studies center to more-secure premises.
“We had no idea he would have ideas like this,” says Thomas Bauer, a fellow academic at MÃ¼nster University who sat on a committee that appointed Prof. Kalisch. “I’m a more orthodox Muslim than he is, and I’m not a Muslim.”
That’s nothing, Professor Bauer. There are so many non-Muslim professors like you, they can’t even be counted.
When Prof. Kalisch took up his theology chair four years ago, he was seen as proof that modern Western scholarship and Islamic ways can mingle — and counter the influence of radical preachers in Germany. He was put in charge of a new program at MÃ¼nster, one of Germany’s oldest and most respected universities, to train teachers in state schools to teach Muslim pupils about their faith.Muslim leaders cheered and joined an advisory board at his Center for Religious Studies. Politicians hailed the appointment as a sign of Germany’s readiness to absorb some three million Muslims into mainstream society. But, says Andreas Pinkwart, a minister responsible for higher education in this north German region, “the results are disappointing.”
No, they’re not. Honesty is not and cannot rightly be disappointing. The truth may be disappointing. The facts may be disappointing. But that is something that everyone will have to deal with in his own way.
Prof. Kalisch, who insists he’s still a Muslim, says he knew he would get in trouble but wanted to subject Islam to the same scrutiny as Christianity and Judaism. German scholars of the 19th century, he notes, were among the first to raise questions about the historical accuracy of the Bible.Many scholars of Islam question the accuracy of ancient sources on Muhammad’s life. The earliest biography, of which no copies survive, dated from roughly a century after the generally accepted year of his death, 632, and is known only by references to it in much later texts. But only a few scholars have doubted Muhammad’s existence. Most say his life is better documented than that of Jesus.
That is a widespread view, but it is simply not true. The Gospels date from the first Christian century; there are hardly any scholars remaining who date them later than that. But the first biography of Muhammad, that of Ibn Ishaq, dates from 150 years after Muhammad’s death, and even that book is lost and survives only in large fragments reproduced in even later writings.
“Of course Muhammad existed,” says Tilman Nagel, a scholar in GÃ¶ttingen and author of a new book, “Muhammad: Life and Legend.” The Prophet differed from the flawless figure of Islamic tradition, Prof. Nagel says, but “it is quite astonishing to say that thousands and thousands of pages about him were all forged” and there was no such person.All the same, Prof. Nagel has signed a petition in support of Prof. Kalisch, who has faced blistering criticism from Muslim groups and some secular German academics. “We are in Europe,” Prof. Nagel says. “Education is about thinking, not just learning by heart.”…