Islam: Blood on the Apologists’ Dance Floor II
By: Deji Yesufu
In the Muslim vs. Christian apologists’ world, there are common arguments that the two sides present to each other. One of such arguments is the fact of the veracity of the revelations given to Christians and Muslims in the Qur’an and the Bible. After the coming of higher biblical criticisms of the 18/19th centuries, Christians have come to understand that our Bible suffers from the thorny matter of variants in its reading. The truth of the matter is that every document of antiquity suffers from this matter of variants. The original texts of the Bible were written on Papyri. These were materials made from plants that people used as writing material in the first century. The truth is that with time, these materials grow old and are destroyed. Thus, Christians of old preserved their scriptures by copying from the originals. In the process of copying, mistakes will be introduced into the text. Sometimes copiers added their own thoughts to the text. So that through a period of 2,000 years the original words of the apostles could have been distorted. Higher Criticism proved this fact and it led to millions renouncing Christianity in Europe in the 18th/19th centuries. However, theologians have discovered that even though we do not have the original writing of the apostles today, we have thousands of copied manuscripts from the second, third and fourth centuries. All of these manuscripts can be compared with each other and the most likely original statements of the apostles can be constructed out of them. Besides this, the church fathers of the 1st and 2nd centuries wrote copious amount of treatises and quoted the New Testament so often; such that we can reconstruct the whole New Testament from the writings of the fathers. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has also helped to prove the veracity of the Old Testament scriptures. Christians came into the 20th century with greater confidence in the veracity of their scriptures and thus we have people affirming the inerrancy of scriptures today.
Islam, on the hand, had maintained a theory that the Qur’an, although a document of antiquity, and even younger than the New Testament by 700 years, has been miraculously preserved by God. They say that there is not one Arabic Qur’an in the world that is different from the other. They say there is no variant in the Qur’anic manuscripts. While scholars, who have investigated this claims in the ivory towers, have found this to be untrue; the narrative of the Quran’s perfect preservation has continued to be told to Muslims all through the centuries. Something however happened two months ago, that changed this whole saga. A Muslim scholar by the name Imam Yasir Qadhi came on the YouTube channel of Mohammed Hijab. Qadhi studied at Cambridge and is quite versed in the Qur’an. Hijab pressed Qadhi to answer the question on the matter of the Qur’an’s perfect preservation. At first, Qadhi said that this matter was not to be discussed in public. Eventually he admitted that “there were holes in the narrative” that says that the Quran has been perfectly preserved through the centuries. He admitted that the Qur’an had variants; just like any document of the antiquity (Watch a “holes in the narrative freestyle” here).
This statement threw the apologists’ world into frenzy. Muslims were calling in and saying that they were losing faith in their religion. Hijab pulled down that video from his site but it had already been recorded by Christian apologists. Qadhi will eventually pull down his own video too. This past week, Imam Qadhi announced that he was leaving social media to face his ministry squarely. Admitting that the Qur’an had not been perfectly preserved brought a lot of embarrassment to Muslims around the world. Mohammed Hijab was particularly targeted by many of his colleagues; he even lost his job as an apologist with the organization he was working for. He would eventually begin to let out his frustrations on Christians and former Muslims who are now atheists. One former Muslim, now an atheist, called Apostate Prophet, who is a friend to David Wood, would come under Hijab’s attack. Hijab took the Apostate Prophet’s wife pictures off social media and began to make derogatory remarks on her – using sexual suggestive words, he urged his followers to find the lady and rape her. David Wood, the maniac that he was, took it personal and warned Hijab to take down the tweets. Hijab did not. In one of the videos Wood made a month ago, he took a page of the Qur’an and ate it up. He has since begun to take pages of the Qur’an to make into figurines of pigs and other symbols abominable to Muslims. Hijab has stopped attacking Apostate Prophet and others but Wood has carried on with his ventures. Recently, the matter of doxing came into the apologetics world. Some Muslims would trace the physical home address of Christian apologists and broadcast them to their fellow Muslims on social media, with the hope that these people might be attacked in their home and maybe killed. This is why I fear the coming of blood on the apologists’ dance floor in the world of Christian/Muslims apologetics.
On a personal note, when I began to criticize some practices in Christianity, I got a number of Muslims who hailed what I was doing. I was never comfortable with this but I felt that Christians needed to hear me out. Largely, I am done criticizing Christians. I am spending my time now to teach Christians who care to hear the things that are right. On the other hand, I have been making veiled criticism of Islam in the past few months and the reaction has not been very good. My Christian friends used to tell me that Christians could handle criticism better than Muslim; I am just finding that out now. It appears that the way Muslims deal with their critics is not by engaging the arguments but by killing off their opponents or shutting them up. All the Christian apologists that engage Muslims on YouTube continually report messages sent to them by Muslim threatening their lives. My own life has not been threatened and I do not know how long it will take for the first death threat to come.
Concluded in the third part.