Robert Spencer: Answering an Islamic apologist (Part III), a post from by Robert Spencer, with comments

Continuing my responses to the disingenuous Islamic apologetics of Ahmadiyya leader Rizwan Khan in reply to Hugh Fitzgerald.

11. Why is Muhammad called the Perfect Man (“al-insan al-kamil”), and the Model of Conduct (“uswa hasana”)?
Because his conduct was in perfect conformity with the Quran.
In Islam, the Quran is perfect: “This is a perfect Book; there is no doubt in it;” (2:3)
Sahih Muslim narrates: “’Aishah said: The conduct of the Prophet (ﷺ) was entirely according to the Qur’an.” (
The character of Prophet Muhammad (sa), found in those narrations that do not contradict the Quran, is a Model of Conduct.

Indeed. And that is problematic given that Muhammad exhorted his followers to murder those who criticized him, consummated his marriage with a nine-year-old girl, told his followers to make war against and subjugate unbelievers, etc.

12. Exactly how many prisoners of the Banu Qurayza tribe were killed while Muhammad watched?
Exactly as many as the Bible commanded. The Jews of Medina insisted that they be judged according to the Bible, which was ratified in the charter of Medina. The Bible commands: “When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby. However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy[a] them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 20:10-18)
Sahih Bukhari narrates that “The people of Quraiza agreed to accept the verdict of Sa`d bin Mu`adh.” ( Sa’d bin Mu’adh decided according to the commandments of the Bible.

This is disingenuous in the extreme, as the Islamic accounts of the Banu Qurayzah massacre do not mention Deuteronomy. Khan is insinuating that Muhammad’s massacre of the Banu Qurayzah was within moral bounds, and invoking a passage of Deuteronomy that neither Jews nor Christians have ever considered to be orders on how to behave for all time in order to do so. If Khan could point to a single massacre carried out by Jews or Christians who justified their actions by pointing to this passage of Deuteronomy, he might have a point. But he can’t, and he doesn’t.

13. How many military expeditions did Muhammad take part in?
As many as self defense required. The Quran commands: “And fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress. Surely, Allah loves not the transgressors.” (2:191)

In reality, Muhammad himself makes it clear that fighting was not only for self-defense: “I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah, and he who professed it was guaranteed the protection of his property and life on my behalf except for the right affairs rest with Allah.” (Muslim 30)

And: “Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war…When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them…. If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them. (Muslim 4294)

14. When, according to the Qur’an, is killing Infidels prohibited?
Fighting is only allowed as long as an aggressor persists in hostilities, otherwise the Quran commands desisting from war: “And if they incline towards peace, incline thou also towards it, and put thy trust in Allah.” (8:62)
Anytime the aggressors ask for peace, the Quran commands that their request be granted: “And if anyone of the idolaters ask protection of thee, grant him protection so that he may hear the word of Allah; then convey him to his place of security.” (9:6)

Khan doesn’t mention a few other salient passages:

“And kill them wherever you find them and drive them out from where they drove you out, and fitnah is worse than killing.” (Qur’an 2:191)

“They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah. But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper.” (Qur’an 4:89)

“And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Qur’an 9:5)

“So when you meet those who disbelieve, strike necks…” (Qur’an 47:4)

15. How did Muhammad react when he heard that Asma bint Marwan had been killed?
Where is the name Asma bint Marwan mentioned anywhere in the six authentic books of Hadith?
As for blasphemy, the Quran rejects any worldly punishment against those who mock the signs of Allah, their account will be in the hereafter: [4:141] “And He has already revealed to you in the Book that, when you hear the Signs of Allah being denied and mocked at, sit not with them until they engage in a talk other than that; for in that case you would be like them. Surely, Allah will assemble the hypocrites and the disbelievers in Hell, all together;”(4:141), “And bear patiently all that they say; and part with them in a decent manner.” (73:11)
As opposed to this, the Bible teaches: “Anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death.” (Leviticus 24:16)

Khan here dodges the question entirely and plays more tu-quoque games with Bible passages that neither Jews nor Christians take as applicable for all time. He asks where Asma bint Marwan appears in the six authentic books of Hadith, giving the reader the impression that these are the only authoritative Islamic sources besides the Qur’an. They are not. Her story is in the Sirat Rasul Allah, the 8th century biography of Muhammad by Ibn Ishaq. Muhammad asks that one of her followers murder her because she insulted him. One of them does, and then wonders if he will get punished for doing so. Muhammad reassures him: “Two goats will not butt heads over her.”

This is the monstrous inhumanity that Rizwan Khan is busy whitewashing.

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  1. Cretius says

    February 13, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Remember first in any Mohammedan defense of Islam that lies and deceit are encouraged to protect and to achieve the goals of Islam. Perhaps then ‘collective responsibility’ is the proper response to Islamists. If lies and deceit are used then all are held accountable.

  2. mortimer says

    February 13, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Ahmadiyya Muslims like Rizwan Khan must begin every address to kafirs with deception. They must imply or suggest in some way, that Ahmadiyya Muslims SPEAK FOR ALL MUSLIMS and are the MAINSTREAM of Islam…when they are not such thing.

    Ahmadiyya Muslims number only 4 million out of 1.5 Muslims. That’s only 0.2% or so of the total.

    Ahmadis don’t even represent 1% of all Muslims, so they are forced to conceal if not lie about their relative unimportance every time they speak.

    • simpleton1 says

      February 13, 2017 at 3:36 pm

      ……the community gives a figure of “tens of millions”;] however, most independent sources variously estimate the population to be at least 10 to 20 million worldwide, thereby representing around 1% of the world’s Muslim population……..

      ………The population is almost entirely contained in the single, organized and united movement, commonly referred to as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC), headed by the Khalifa. The other is the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, which represents less than 0.2% of the total Ahmadiyya population.,,,,,,

      They ahmadiyyas unfortunately really muddy the waters, using the Meccan (peace) verses as they claim to represent all muslims.
      Yet their long term aim is to make all people to become believers.

  3. Brenda Romano says

    February 13, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Well, they have no defense. All they have are lies. It has been said, “that the best defense is a good offense.” Whitewashing is a good offense and criticizing others is an attempt to draw attention away from themselves . They don’t have anything else.

  4. David Scoltock says

    February 13, 2017 at 11:35 am

    ok, I have actualy enjoyed this series. Spencer is a good scholar of islam, however he’s a poor historian.

    I take issue with question 12 as an example how uniquely nasty muhammed and muslims behaved.

    Killing survivors after a siege was common practice in ALL cultures in the Middle East and Europe. Sieges where nasty business and when the enemy forced you to continue the siege and take losses attacking fortifications, the practice was to make the buggers pay for it.

    This is why you’d offer the other guy the chance to surrender and if they refused, it was open season. You need to be careful judging historic events by current morality.

    • Angemon says

      February 13, 2017 at 11:49 am

      You need to be careful judging historic events by current morality.

      The issue here is that muhammad’s actions and deeds are the model of conduct for muslims nowadays. And that muslim apologists try to pass muhammad as being a peaceful man who dindu nuffin and wouldn’t harm a fly.

      • David Scoltock says

        February 13, 2017 at 11:57 am

        Oh, I understand that point and Khan is a bit of a muppet for trying to justify the massacre using the bible.

        Muhammed used the standard playbook for his time, harsh, cruel and brutal. Every culture at the time used the same playbook and it was used right up to the 20th century.

        WW2 made the west change how we see war and morality, problem is we fight enemies who don’t see things the same way.

        It’s like WW2, the British tried to be honourable and play by the rules till the Germans broke them and bombed London, so we flattened German cities with no mercy or sense of guilt.

        I tend to think that the west should only apply our own rules to enemies who abide by them. It’s the only way to get our enemies to play by our rules if we show them the consequences of not doing so.

        • Angemon says

          February 13, 2017 at 1:04 pm

          Muhammed used the standard playbook for his time, harsh, cruel and brutal. Every culture at the time used the same playbook and it was used right up to the 20th century.

          Which is not something you’d learn from islamic apologists, who keep insisting that islam is peace and muhammad wouldn’t hurt a fly.

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