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       Monday, September 18, 2006

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The cult of Mohammed

And the myth of Allah...

I've seen it written more than once that we in the West should really take the time to better understand and learn more about Islam, so I did, and it's very interesting stuff.

Let's set religion aside for a moment if you will, and delve into some historical fact. Mohammed did exist, there's not doubt about that, he was a real live human being, and there in lies the rub. It seems Mohammed was human to a fault.

He was born in the year 570 AD, when Judaism and Christianity were well established. Most of the Arab world at that time was comprised of nomadic tribes, and this was where Mohammed found his niche.

Religious beliefs among early Arabs were scattered all over the landscape. The total number of gods worshipped by all the tribes together was somewhere in the neighborhood of 300. Being an ambitious sort [and he really had to be], Mohammed sought to bring all the tribes together, but being poverty stricken himself, his words didn't carry much weight, and he needed to find a way around that.

At age 25 he married an older, wealthy widow, still a time honored tradition to this day for gaining influence and power. Once people began to listen, he moved on to the task of combining all those splintered tribal beliefs into one. Out of their pagan rituals [300 gods does define pagan], one seemed to be the most firmly entrenched. It took place in the Kaaba at Mecca, and involved circling a black rock that had been delivered to the believers from heaven. Allah, at the time, was just one of the 300 gods, the moon god to be exact. The black rock from heaven was actually a meteorite, since determined by scientists to be tektite, but these were primative times, let's not forget.

To his credit, Mohammed managed to convince his followers that there weren't 300 gods after all, they were instead various attributes of the one true god. That one true god was the moon god. That one true god was Allah. It was a pretty good sell, made easier of course by his selecting the god of the moon. The moon could be seen, it was up in the sky, how much closer could one get to heaven?

Mohammed's first conquest was the city of Medina, and could be classified as a covert operation. He infiltrated the Christian and Jewish communities there by including in his teachings that all people, of all faiths, could attain eternal peace through their own beliefs. Based on this, the Christians and the Jews accepted him. It was only when he began to claim himself as a true prophet that both Christians and Jews refuted his authenticity. Those that spoke out the loudest, were killed in the night, and thus the pattern began.

Once Medina was fully under Muslim control, Mohammed set his sights on Mecca. His tactic was to lay seige to the city, the forerunner of blockades and economic sanctions. True believers were ordered to raid caravans during the Holy Months, when it would be least expected. The bounty gathered during these attacks increased his power and stature, and raised the standard of living for his followers. With its trade routes cut off, and daily supplies dwindling, Mecca was soon full of converts.

At age 40, Mohammed began to claim to have had 'revelations'. The first of these was a visit from the Archangel Gabriel. During this visit, Gabriel gifted Mohammed with a Buraq, which took him to heaven and back. The picture at the top of this article is the most common Muslim depiction of Mohammed. In it he is sitting on the Buraq, which is a mule with a woman's face. Women still hold that place in modern Islam today, little more than a beast of burden.

The 'revelations' continued for the rest of Mohammed's life. The retelling of them is the basis for the Koran. Holy War became a right, and lifted his followers toward a better life, if not in heaven, at least in the bounty they claimed. This was more than good enough for people whose only earthly possesions consisted of what they could carry on their back. Muslims today still bow in prayer toward the birthplace of Mohammed. Or do they? Long before Mohammed was born, Muslims bowed toward Mecca, because that's where the black rock was found.

Religion [all religion] is based on superstition. I know that sounds like heresey, but you have to consider the mindset of human beings a few thousand years ago. There was no science to explain things they didn't understand, but humans need explanations, be they Muslim, Christian, Bhuddist, or Jew, and religion filled that role nicely. Most religions have moved on, and revere the spiritual symbolism. Islam is stuck in a rut.

To read more, in depth, visit The Religion of Peace, for some eye opening statistics.

Reprinted from Exit 4

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posted by John Pangia at 12:38 AM  


Whymrhymer said...

Excellent article John! That must have taken a lot of reading and understanding.

1:58 AM  

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