Abdullah Smith and his war against the Crucifixion

One Muslim's intellectual suicide mission

Jochen Katz

Some days ago, I challenged Abdullah Smith to substantiate one of his most favorite claims and quotes, displayed not only at the top of his rebuttal section (for a long time already, and at least until 11 September 2006, the date of publication of this article):

Regarding the trial of Jesus, Lloyd Graham states:

"In the nineteenth century an eminent scholar, Rabbi Wise, searched the records of Pilate’s court, still extant, for evidence of this trial. He found nothing."
(Deceptions and Myths of the Bible, p. 343)

but also repeated over and over again in several of his articles (1, 2, 3, 4).

However, there is more to be said about his entire approach to the issue of the crucifixion. Smith cites, for example, the following statements (here, his emphasis):

Did the trial of Jesus take place?

... there exists, outside of the New Testament, no evidence whatever, in book, inscription, or monument, that Jesus of Nazareth was either scourged or crucified under Pontius Pilate. Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny, Philo, nor any of their contemporaries, ever refer to the fact of this crucifixion, or express any belief thereon. (T.W. Doane, Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions, p. 516)

In the nineteenth century an eminent scholar, Rabbi Wise, searched the records of Pilate s court, still extant, for evidence of this trial. He found nothing. (Lloyd Graham, Deceptions and Myths of the Bible, p. 343)

There is no verification of a significant crucifixion in the writings of historians such as Philo, Tacitus, Pliny, Suetonius, Epictectus, Cluvius Rufus, Quintus, Curtis Rufus, Josephus, nor the Roman Consul, Publius Petronius. The crucifixion also was unknown to early Christians until as late as the Second Century. http://www.thegrimoire.com/real_history.htm

And he formulates it also in his own words in the introduction to this article:

... the Roman records of Pilate DO NOT mention Jesus. Thousands of criminals were crucified by the Romans, but no record exists of Jesus, simply because the Pilate did not crucify him. (underline emphasis mine)

The argument has the great appeal that it is very simple. If certain historians did not report the trial and/or crucifixion of Jesus, then it did not take place. Case closed.

It is, however, not so easy and straight forward. One basic problem is that Smith prefers to consult popular anti-Christian writers that are not scholars in any field, and certainly not scholars of history.

To mention just one example, contrary to the above claims, Tacitus mentions the death of Christ under Pontius Pilate in Annals 15.44:

... But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. ... (Source, underline emphasis mine)

Although Tacitus does not mention expressly the word ‘crucifixion’ (‘crucifixio’, in Latin), but uses the Latin word ‘supplicium’ meaning literally ‘torment’, ‘punishment’, ‘penalty’, it is clear that Jesus was crucified since in the Roman Empire the crucifixion was the capital punishment generally inflicted on all those who were not Roman citizens, like Jesus for example, while Roman citizens were condemned to be beheaded (St. Paul for example). (Source) See Tacitus and Jesus for further discussion, as well as these articles (1, 2, 3) for more such people who allegedly do not mention Jesus and/or his crucifixion. The historical evidence for the crucifixion and resurrection is discussed in countless books and webpages. Whoever wants to carefully study the issue, will find plenty of splendid expositions on this topic. There is no need to repeat the arguments here.

However, there is another major problem in Abdullah Smith's arguments. (Actually, those are not even his arguments, but only his unreflected and brainless collection of polemical rants by atheists who hate Christians.) This present article will explain why the use of these atheist arguments is intellectual suicide for a Muslim.

Apparently, Abdullah Smith read in the Qur'an or heard it from other Muslim polemicists that Jesus was not crucified. He then goes and collects quotations from atheists that claim that there is no evidence that Jesus was ever crucified, since those clearly are proof that the Bible is wrong and the Qur'an is right.

First major problem: These ranting atheists are wrong, as just shown in this one example of Tacitus.

Second major problem: Smith has done way too much mindless copying without thinking about the implications of what he does.

What does the Qur'an say about the crucifixion of Jesus?

And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger - they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain. S. 4:157 Pickthall

That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Apostle of God"; - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:- S. 4:157 Yusuf Ali

And because of their saying (in boast), "We killed Messiah 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah," - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of 'Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)]: S. 4:157 Al-Hilali & Khan

The more perceptive among the readers will already realize the enormous blunder Abdullah Smith has committed. However, so that the following argument does not rest on my interpretation alone, I will quote a commentary and explanation by one of the most respected classical commentators of the Qur'an, Imam Ibn Kathir:

These Verses tell us that Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was lifted up to the heaven after his opponents from Jews complained and misled the king of that time, as they wanted to slay him and crucify him.

Ibn Abu Hatim has narrated from Ibn Abbas saying: "'When Allah wanted to lift him up to heaven, Jesus came to his companions in the house. There were twelve people, with some from among his disciples. He had just a bath, and his head was still dribbling with water. He said to them: 'There are those among you who will disbelieve in me twelve times after he had believed in me! Then he said: 'Who will from among you take my likeness and be killed in my place, so will become in my rank?' A young youth came forwards. But Jesus said to him: 'Sit down! Then he repeated the same question, and the same youth stood up and came forwards, and said:  I.' Jesus said: 'You are the one,' and then the likeness of Jesus was put on him, and Jesus was lifted up to the heaven from the window of his house. Jews came looking for him. They took the youth and killed him and then crucified him. ...

Hasan Basri and Ibn Ishaq said: The king who ordered the killing of Jesus, was David bin Naura. He commanded Jesus to be killed and hanged. They surrounded Jesus who was in a house inside Bait-ul-Maqdis. It was a Saturday night. When they were about to enter the house, his likeness was put on one of those who were present there with him. And Jesus was lifted up from the window of that house to the heaven. When the police entered the house they found the youth on whom the likeness of Jesus was put, so they took him and crucified him. Even they put a crown of thorns on his head to mock him. Those Christians who were not present there at that time, believed what Jews claimed, that they killed Jesus. ...

Ibn Jarir has narrated from Wahb bin Munabbih, saying: Jesus came along with seventeen of his disciples to a house. Then police came and surrounded the house. However, when they entered the house, Allah put the likeness of Jesus on all of those who were there. They were confused, and said: "You have bewitched us. Either Jesus come to us, or we will kill of you." Jesus said to his companions: "Who can buy today a place in Jannah (Paradise)?" A man said: "I"' and went out, claiming: "I am Jesus." They took him and crucified him, and so they were deluded in their belief that they have killed Jesus, and so are the Christians. But Jesus was lifted up to Allah on that day. (Source, underline emphasis mine)

Basically, the argument from the Qur'an and Muslim commentators is that everything happened pretty much as the Jews and Christians believe it, with the major twist or difference being that the person who was crucified was supposedly not Jesus. The people who arrested him and put him on trial and crucified him only THOUGHT he was Jesus because Allah had made somebody else look like him.

Though there are many problems with the Islamic version (which are discussed in these articles: *, *, *, *), for the sake of argument, let's assume the Islamic version is true. What does that have to do with Abdullah Smith's arguments?

Again, according to the Qur'an, Jesus was not crucified, but the claim is that it looked to everyone like the crucifixion of Jesus had indeed taken place. In other words, in regard to those historians there is absolutely no difference whether everyone thought Jesus was crucified by Pilate, because he was indeed Jesus (the Biblical version), or whether everyone thought Jesus was crucified by Pilate, because Allah made somebody else look like him who was then arrested, tried and executed in his place (the Quranic version).

If the arguments of these atheistic polemicists are valid, i.e. that the crucifixion of Jesus did not take place because it is not recorded by all these many historians of that time, then with exactly the same argument, the appearance of the crucifixion of Jesus did not take place either.

If these arguments prove that the Biblical account is wrong, then the very same arguments also prove that the Quranic version is wrong.

Congratulations, Mr. Smith, for this master piece of Islamic apologetics!

If Abdullah Smith rejected Christianity because of arguments like these, he now has to reject Islam for the same arguments if he has any intellectual integrity.

More silliness

Even though the argument is basically over at this point, since we have already started, let us examine those statements in more detail, beginning with Smith's own formulation of the claim:

... the Roman records of Pilate DO NOT mention Jesus. Thousands of criminals were crucified by the Romans, but no record exists of Jesus, simply because the Pilate did not crucify him. (underline emphasis mine)

Which "Roman records of Pilate"? Where are they? Has Smith seen and examined them? These questions are related to my above mentioned challenge to Abdullah Smith. As it stands, this is merely a wild claim without any evidence. I agree with Smith that most probably "thousands of criminals were crucified by the Romans", and probably hundreds of crucifixions were performed under Pontius Pilate. For the sake of illustration, let's assume 5,000 crucifixions were performed by the Romans, and that may be a rather conservative figure. For how many of those do we have individual records that name the people who were executed? Ten? Twenty? Maybe even fifty? Since we have no explicit records stating the names of the crucified for 4,950 of the 5,000, Smith has contradicted himself within one sentence. His argument self-destructs. How does he come to the (correct) conclusion that thousands were crucified, despite the fact that we do not have individual records of those crucifixions, but Jesus was not crucified by Pilate because we do not have a record of him either?

Actually, that is not true, we do have several records of it, both inside and outside of the Bible. Smith simply does not want to accept those records because he does not like them.

Let's continue with the next one of these ludicrous statements:

There is no verification of a significant crucifixion in the writings of historians such as Philo, Tacitus, Pliny, Suetonius, Epictectus, Cluvius Rufus, Quintus, Curtis Rufus, Josephus, nor the Roman Consul, Publius Petronius. The crucifixion also was unknown to early Christians until as late as the Second Century.

As already pointed out, Tacitus and Josephus and some others speak about it. The first sentence is simply wrong. But the second sentence is hilarious. Even the vast majority of liberal and unbelieving New Testament scholars date the gospels into the first century. And the gospels did not invent the crucifixion either, but they were written to give a reliable and enduring record of what had been preached by the apostles from the beginning (cf. Luke 1:1-4). Moreover, Paul's first letter to the Corinthians is dated at about AD 55, and the first chapter of it speaks about the crucifixion as being the central message of the gospel. Smith's website even makes a big deal about one statement in 1 Corinthians 1, the chapter about the crucifixion. But he has no problem with mindlessly posting a statement that claims that early Christians were completely unaware of a crucifixion alongside other articles that mock the formulation of one sentence in Paul's discussion of the crucifixion. That is why nobody with half a brain can take these rantings seriously.

In the nineteenth century an eminent scholar, Rabbi Wise, searched the records of Pilate s court, still extant, for evidence of this trial. He found nothing. (Lloyd Graham, Deceptions and Myths of the Bible, p. 343)

In my opinion, Lloyd Graham simply lied. I have not seen any evidence whatsoever that Rabbi Wise or another scholar of the 19th century ever examined those records. One cannot examine records that don't exist. That is why I put out that challenge to Abdullah Smith. Still, Smith believes Graham and spreads his claims for the one and only reason that he WANTS to believe what he writes. Smith is living in phantasy land.

... there exists, outside of the New Testament, no evidence whatever, in book, inscription, or monument, that Jesus of Nazareth was either scourged or crucified under Pontius Pilate. Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny, Philo, nor any of their contemporaries, ever refer to the fact of this crucifixion, or express any belief thereon. (T.W. Doane, Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions, p. 516)

Simply more of the same false claims. It was shown above that some of these actually mention the crucifixion and other details of the life of Jesus. At least Doane does not make claims about an alleged examination of non-existing records. Nevertheless, the book by Doane is completely out of date (first published in 1882!), and his theories are no longer taken seriously by modern scholars. It is so old and outdated, hardly anyone bothers to even do a review of it! (Here are some comments on Doane's book.) However, what should Smith do if he wants to propagate these theories and simply can't find modern scholars who endorse them? He has no option but to dig up claims that were made more than a century ago and pretend that in this area of research nothing of relevance has been published since.

One really has to wonder whether Smith and the whole team at answering-christianity.com are too stupid to see how they are hurting their own credibility by publishing such nonsense [interruption, Mr. Speaker, one first needs to have credibility before one can start worring about losing it!], material that is not only objectively wrong according to any standard of scholarship, but which even destroys Islam by proving the Qur'an to be wrong if these claims were true.

Or does Smith, in particular, have the mindset of these Muslim suicide bombers who don't mind to blow up themselves as long as they can hope to kill many others around them as well? Does he simply not care whether he is blowing his own head off as long as he can hurt some of these Christian infidels? And Osama Abdallah, the editor-in-chief does not care either whether he goes down together with Smith, if only he gets more articles that potentially annoy, belittle and insult Christians?

What is the motivation behind the publications of these ridiculous arguments?

And Abdullah Smith repeats the same inconsistent and contradictory claims over and over again. For example, in the first paragraph of his article, The Crucifixion of Judas, he states:

It was Judas who took Jesus place on the cross while Jesus escaped for three days and three nights. Judas was transformed to look exactly like Jesus, and the Romans crucified him instead.

Yet, in the very same article, scrolling down about two-thirds of the text, we find that he also uses Graham's quote about Rabbi Wise and makes this claim:

A Christian may argue  what about Jesus trial with Pilate? the answer is very simple. The trial of Jesus is historically false, and it never occurred. The 19th century scholar Rabbi Wise examined the records of Pilate and concluded:

"In the nineteenth century an eminent scholar, Rabbi Wise, searched the records of Pilate s court, still extant, for evidence of this trial. He found nothing."[1]

The book  The Martyrdom of Jesus of Nazareth (1874) is out of print. The scholar Lloyd Graham records the discovery of Rabbi Wise in his book Deceptions and Myths of the Bible, both can be purchased online.

Apart from Smith's incoherent way of constructing the introduction to this quotation,[1] attributing Lloyd Graham's statement to Rabbi Wise, i.e. Rabbi Wise now speaks about Rabbi Wise as an eminent scholar of the 19th century, we have the very same problem that was already discussed above. Smith claims that the Romans crucified Judas believing that they crucified Jesus because Allah made Judas look like Jesus but only a few pages down in the same article he also claims that the trial of (the real or fake) Jesus never occured.

It is quite obvious that Smith is uncritically believing most every nonsense (as long as it is an attack on Christianity), and he is using all this nonsense happily and brainlessly even if it destroys Islam.

That is what I call a fool. I simply do not know a more appropriate word for it.

A potential motivation

Smith is not an ordinary Muslim, but a convert from Christianity to Islam. That may be a reason why he is so particularly vitriolic. Though it is not its original intention, one phrase of Sura 4:157 may actually give a clue to what is going on when stating in regard to the crucifixion of Jesus:

... and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. ... S. 4:157 Al-Hilali & Khan

Isn't that the perfect description of Abdullah Smith and his quotations regarding the crucifixion?

The fact that Smith is differing on the issue of the crucifixion with the overwhelming majority of all scholars of history, may indicate that he is full of doubts. Maybe he is clinging to the likes of T.W. Doane, Lloyd Graham etc., because he needs them to prop up his severely lacking confidence and to shout down his nagging doubts and fearful feelings that he possibly made an enormous mistake in committing himself to a faith that cannot be supported with any solid evidence. Admittedly, this is mere speculation, but it would make some sense of the utter irrationality in which Smith is operating. And there may be other bad experiences and personal hurts in his biography that instilled such a hatred against Christians in him. We don't know, and it doesn't really matter for the public discussion of the truth in regard to Christianity and Islam, but we all see that what this poor man produces is totally irrational.

After having published dozens of articles in support of Islam and attacking Christianity, understanding himself to be an/the "islam_defender@hotmail.com", and perhaps even having gone through an official, i.e. legal, name change to become "Abdullah Kareem" (if that is the meaning of the remarks found in the entries of August 4 and August 20, 2006), it would take a considerable amount of courage on the part of Abdullah Smith/Kareem to admit that his conversion to Islam was a huge mistake. Nevertheless, he would not be the first one, even among the authors of Osama Abdallah's website.

May Mr. Smith rethink what he is doing, search for truth with all his heart, mind and soul, and let himself not be driven by the fear of losing face. It is not yet too late, and eternity is at stake.

Beating a dead horse ... until it becomes alive

Some may view my further elaborations as "beating a dead horse", but who knows, perhaps the brain of Abdullah Smith will eventually rise from the dead if only it is confronted with sufficient examples of its own foolishness?

Let's examine the climax of one of his most recent articles:

The Resurrection Hoax:


The Greek and Roman historians

Very few Christians know that Gentile historians NEVER mentioned the resurrection of Jesus. The Jewish philosopher Philo (50 CE) absolutely makes no reference to Jesus crucifixion. The Christians are embarrassed that Philo lived during Jesus lifetime and never mentioned his resurrection.

After the departure of Jesus, his teachings spread to North Africa and Egypt, but he was not popular or widely known.

The following writers do not mention Jesus resurrection:

Theon of Smyrna
Aulus Gellius
Silius Italicus

We challenge Christians to prove his resurrection.  None of these writers mentioned Jesus resurrection. (Source)

In his unsatiable desire to attack the Bible, Smith overlooked yet again that this argument also destroys the Qur'an. How? Jesus is connected not only with his own resurrection but also with several people whom he resurrected from the dead back into this earthly life. For example, Jesus raised at least three people: the 12-year-old daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:21-43, Luke 8:40-56), a young man in Nain, who was the only son of a widow (Luke 7:11-17), Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha (John 11).

Although the Qur'an does not give any details about those resurrections, it claims that Jesus did indeed raise people from the dead:

And will make him ['Iesa (Jesus)] a Messenger to the Children of Israel (saying): "I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah's Leave; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I bring the dead to life by Allah's Leave. And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely, therein is a sign for you, if you believe. S. 3:49 Al-Hilali & Khan

(Remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection). "O 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Remember My Favour to you and to your mother when I supported you with RuhulQudus [Jibrael (Gabriel)] so that you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and when I taught you writing, Al-Hikmah (the power of understanding), the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel); and when you made out of the clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My Permission, and you breathed into it, and it became a bird by My Permission, and you healed those born blind, and the lepers by My Permission, and when you brought forth the dead by My Permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from you (when they resolved to kill you) since you came unto them with clear proofs, and the disbelievers among them said: 'This is nothing but evident magic.' " S. 5:110 Al-Hilali & Khan

Question to Abdullah Smith: Do the historians in this above quoted list — presented by you — report about any resurrections of dead people by a prophet named Jesus?

If their lack of reports about the resurrection of Jesus is proof that there was none (and thus the Bible is false), then surely their lack of reports about the resurrections performed by Jesus is proof that there were none (and thus the Qur'an is false as well). Would you not agree that by your own criteria, Islam is proven wrong and the Qur'an must be rejected?

Obviously, we can play the same game in regard to the claims of the Qur'an that Jesus healed lepers and people that had been born blind. Do these historians report that? Is the Qur'an therefore false? What about the miracle of Jesus breathing life into clay birds and speaking in the cradle? Nothing? How embarrassing!

Well, the embarrassment is not over yet for Mr. Smith. I had some fun reading up on these people whom he put into his list. Just as Smith turns everyone into a scholar who happens to make statements that he likes and likes to quote (see footnote 1. at the bottom of this article), so here he turns everyone into a historian so that they may more impressively serve his purpose.

Who are these people?

Ptolemy was a geographer, astronomer, and astrologer, not a historian. Silius Italicus was was a Latin epic poet. Epictetus was a stoic philosopher. Apollonius -- which one? Plutarch is indeed one of the rare genuine historians in the list, but his main focus were biographies of famous Greeks and Romans, and none of his works were focused on Israel. Seneca was a Roman philosopher, statesman, dramatist / playwright, but not a historian. Aulus Gellius was a grammarian but wrote on many things. Yet, a history of Israel is not among them. Lucanus was a celebrated Roman poet, but not a historian. Theon of Smyrna was a philosopher and mathematician who wrote about number theory, music, and astronomy. How did he make it into Smith's list? Appian, was a historian but none of his surviving works deals with Israel/Palestine, so why would Smith expect him to mention Jesus in any of these books? Although Arrian was a historian, his works dealt mainly with military tactics and the life of Alexander the Great. These are hardly natural contexts to write about Jesus. Martial was a satirical poet, not a historian of any kind. Philo was a philosopher. Looking over the Works of Philo, I wonder in which of these he really should have mentioned Jesus, according to the learned opinion of Mr. Smith.

I have no clue how Smith drew up this list, but it should be obvious that this is hardly the list of most relevant names for writing the history of Israel in the first century. It looks more like a lottery drawing of famous but ultimately arbitrary names from that time period. Smith's whole impressive list of names crumbles into basically nothing when looking up the identity and works of these people.

[ Note: After this article was completed, a friend pointed out that Smith most likely did not draw up that list himself, but it is merely an excerpt from the Remsburg list, Remsburg being yet another 19th century non-authority like most of the other people that Smith is quoting. The full Remsburg list is reviewed and discussed in considerable detail in this article. ]

And we are still not done. There is more incoherence and inconsistency in Abdullah Smith's reasoning.

Fair and equal standards?

Basically, Smith's argument comes down to this: Certain people did not mention something specific about Jesus, therefore this specific event never happened. Or even more radically, certain people did not mention Jesus, therefore he never existed. That is nothing more than an argument from silence, which is by its very nature a weak argument.

Will Abdullah Smith at least apply his criteria consistently? Would he, for example, also conclude that Nero and/or Julius Caesar did not exist, if he can't find a number of non-Roman writers who reports about them? Or would he consider that a stupid argument in their case?

And for Muslims, the story gets a lot worse. Is Smith willing to subject his own religion to the same standards of evaluation? Will he go by the same rules? In other words, is Abdullah Smith willing to prove even the mere existence of Muhammad based on non-Islamic sources from the first century, let alone specific events in his life and the content of his message? In fact, there are people who ask for that and are not getting an answer. Maybe Mr. Smith can give an intelligent and convincing answer to the question, Is there any proof MUHAMMAD EVER EXISTED?

Would he really recommend others to draw up a list of 13 philosophers, geographers, astronomers, mathematicians, poets, playwrights, and mixing in a couple of historians, all living in the first century after the Hijrah and look whether any of them mention Muhammad by name? And if we don't find any such statements in their writings, shall we then conclude that Muhammad never existed?

I am not going to present my own arbitrary list of people, as Smith has done in his article, but herewith issue the challenge to Abdullah Smith to name for us even three non-Muslim historians living in the first century AH who wrote about Muhammad, and quote these sources with full bibliographical references. Note that the challenge it not to find a record of Arab armies who invaded other countries, but to find historians writing about the person of Muhammad and certain events in his life. Just as Abdullah Smith would not allow reports about the mere existence of Christians to be evidence that their beliefs about Jesus are valid, so we cannot deduce from the existence of an invading army that their beliefs about Muhammad are trustworthy.

Is Smith willing to evaluate and judge both religions by the same criteria? If he cannot bring the proof for Islam according to the standards that he demands from Christians, would this not establish his hypocrisy and intellectual bankruptcy?

Smith prefers to read and use what atheists write who are hypercritical of Christianity. He should at least do himself the favor of reading what atheists with a smilar mindset write about Islam. An Atheist's Guide to Mohammedanism is one such article that discusses the question whether the story of Muhammad's life as currently believed by most Muslims may, for the most part, actually be a necessary myth without any basis in history.


1. After we had exposed many of his misquotations in the article, The Amazing Scholarly Level of Islamic Apologists (published on 3 September 2006), Smith started scrambling around and tried to back up some of his statements, in particular his top quote by Lloyd Graham about Rabbi Wise. Since Graham's book provides no reference for his claim, Smith probably searched the web and found that Rabbi Isaac M. Wise wrote a book titled The Martyrdom of Jesus which is mentioned a number of times on various webpages (1, 2). That was his best guess of a source where Rabbi Wise could have made such a statement, if he ever did. So, Smith added the title of this book and re-arranged his way of quoting Graham, but in his haste messed it up while making the changes. On 6 September, his update of this article was announced here. Without doubt, at least the way the quote is currently introduced will be changed soon after Abdullah Smith reads this article, but it is as quoted at the time this article is published.

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