From (Jeremiah McAuliffe)
Newsgroups: soc.religion.islam,alt.religion.islam
Subject: Geisler-Saleeb Anti-Muslim Book Part 2 (2/2)
Date: Mon Sep 09 23:40:55 EDT 1996
Message-Id: <512o07$>

He continues on, blithely ignoring the complexities of
free-will/determinism in light of God's omniscience and omnipotence
(a complexity even in Christian thought).

Here is one gem on p 142: He actually quotes Qur'an (32:13) "If We
had so willed, We could certainly have brought Every soul to its true
guidance...." He argues that this means that it is a denial of human
responsibility. Um, it is *precisely* because of human freedom that
God is saying this-- that though He could *make* people believe, He
does not, and because He will not force us to believe Hell will be
filled "with men and jinn", as most people will not honor the
agreement they made with God.

I mean, how twisted can one get? On 143 he again at least admits that
he is dealing only with medieval thought: "This kind of determinism
is at the heart of much medieval thought...." (I'd love to see
Geisler mention our view of prehistory and the idea of "fitrah"--
that inborn sense within us-- our "memory" of the agreement we all
made with God before being born in this life to be tested.)

Surely, by God's grace, I have displayed the glaring problems with
this section. We are now at p. 146 and Chapter 8 "An Evaluation of

Believe it or not, there are going to be sections here where I will
not even argue with Geisler! Why? For the same reason I did not
accept his arguments against our rejection of trinitarian monotheism,
as written in Part 1.

Beginning on 147 is a section "Evaluation of Muslim Claim for
Biblical Support"
I'm not going to argue against this because I firmly believe that
Muslim attempts to find "predictions" of Muhammad in the Bible are
misplaced and forced. So does Geisler. However, I feel the same way
about Christian attempts to find "predictions" of Jesus in the Old
Testament! It is so funny that Geisler doesn't click in that
Christians do the same thing he here condemns in Muslims. He has no
intellectual consistency. Especially since later, when propounding
Christianity, he refers to these "predictions". Too bad we didn't
have a Jew here to present their opinion of Christians finding
"predictions" of Jesus in the OT. (Like the revelations from God are
the equivalent of the Psychic Friends Network, or something. I really
find such efforts to be very cheap.)

Here, though, are a couple of particularly striking gems:

I especially like how he says on 149 that Islam "has been a constant
enemy of Israel" when referring to OT passages. Does he have a
problem grasping the idea of time itself? Is he confusing OT passages
with events of the last 50 years? It would seem so.

Check this one: "Psalm 45:3-5. Since this verse speaks of one coming
with the 'sword' to subdue his enemies, Muslims sometimes cite it as
a prediction of their prophet Muhammad, who was known as 'the prophet
of the sword'. They insist it could not refer to Jesus, since he
never came with a sword, as he himself admitted (Matt. 26:52)" [This
is where, upon his arrest, Jesus says "those who live by the sword
shall die by the sword.]

I would like to know which Muslims refer to Muhammad as "the prophet
of the sword". And I would like to know what Muslim, looking for
predictions in the Bible, cites this Psalm as predicting Muhammad
because Muhammad is "the prophet of the sword". I would also like to
know how Geisler explains Jesus' saying "think not I have come to
bring peace.... but a sword...." While it seems Geisler did not
actually read the Qur'an, couldn't we have expected him, as a dean of
a seminary, to at least know the Gospels?  (Oh, ok, to be
fair, the word "sword" has been *upgraded* in more recent
translations to "division". I'm not going to get into the problems
with his understanding of the Gospels and NT.)

I love how he says on 151 that these Muslim efforts are misguided--
"unfounded speculation with no basis in the text or its context." (He
repeats this on other pages.) I am so curious as to how Geisler
responds to Jews who say the exact same thing about Christian efforts
with regard to Jesus!

Check this on 153: "So it is clear without question that Jesus, not
Muhammad, is the Messiah predicted by both the Old Testament and John
the Baptist." Um, er, ah, I'm speechless. Please, Mr. Geisler, cite
one Muslim who claims that Muhammad was Messiah. Indeed, try to get
around the Qur'anic verses that call Jesus Messiah. I mean, a quick
glance at the Qur'an's index.......

Ok, one last thing for now. On p. 154 he begins a new subsection of
this chapter "Evaluation of Muslim Claim for Muhammad's Divine Call".

Here is how he presents the onset of the Qur'anic revelation, quoting
the story from someone named "Andrae". Geisler does not have the
citation in this chapter, as he should have done. Anyway, the author
is Tor Andrae-- it seems he wrote a biography of Muhammad which was
revised in 1955. Wait! Let me guess! An Orientalist, perchance? So,
check this: "They [Muslims] point out that during his [Muhammad's]
call he was choked by the angel. Muhammad himself said of the angel,
'He choked me...'"

Has anyone EVER seen the word "choke"? No? Neither have I. Frankly,
using this mistranslation is just sick.

Since Geisler has problems with the fact that Muhammad's first
encounter with Gabriel was rough, I'll end with what another
non-Muslim wrote about it. From Karen Armstrong's "Muhammad: A
Biography of the Prophet". (BTW, Armstrong, just as a scholar, runs
circles around Geisler.... they aren't even in the same league.)

Here is how she, a non-Muslim, sees what Andrae and Geisler describe
as being "choked":

"Muhammad had had that overpowering apprehension of numinous reality
which has devastated prophets and seers in most traditions. In
Christianity it has been described as the *mysterium terrible et
fascinans* and in Judaism it has been call *kaddosh*, "holiness", the
terrifying otherness of God. ...The Hebrew prophets had also cried
out against the vision of holiness, fearing that they were close to
death: "What a wretched state I am in!" Isaiah had cried when he saw
his vision of God in the Temple, "I am lost!" Even the angels
shielded themselves with their wings from the divine presence but he
had looked on the Lord of Hosts with his own impure eyes. Jeremiah
had experienced God as an agonizing pain that filled his every limb;
like Muhammad in the embrace of the Angel, he experienced revelation
as a sort of divine rape. It invaded his being with a fearful force,
doing violence to his natural self... What all these prophets had
experienced was transcendence, a reality that lay beyond concepts and
which the monotheistic faiths call "God".

And so, that is it for now. It is also all I'll do on this till
"Saleeb" responds to the first two parts I have already written, or
has the decency to acknowledge that his book is deeply flawed. I
guess Jochen is simply unable to respond and defend this book he
thinks is so great, and these authors for whom he seems to have such
respect..... so, Jochen, still think the book is so terrific? The
fact is, you either never read it critically, or simply didn't have
the necessary tools to form a judgement on it.

But then, you guys are *dogmatists*, aren't you?

Allahu Akbar!
Allahu Akbar!
Allahu Akbar!

Jeremiah McAuliffe/
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