Dashti's "highly recommended" Book

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Saqib Virk

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Jun 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/30/99
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In article <7kr4if$7ik$1...@waltz.rahul.net>,
jk...@math.gatech.edu (Jochen Katz) wrote:

> Ali Dashti's book is highly recommended.

SV
By whom? Crazed anti-Islamists? The book is written by
someone with knowledge but little grasp of Islam or common
sense. Parts of the book a semi-intelligent Muslim child would
be able to see through. Since it is anti-Islam and anti-
Muhammad in flavor the book has found some favor in the West
and in particular among Internet Crusaders.

I might also ask, what happened to your ideal of not referring
to people whose arguments would apply to your faith as well?
Do you think that Ali Dashti's line of thinking does not apply
to your faith as well as it does to Islam? Do you think he
would not and did not have similarly negative remarks to make
about your faith? Of course you know, but since he makes more
anti-Islamic claims you are more than pleased to recommend him.
Talk about the height of hypocricy. A trait so common in your
posts that I honestly wonder if you have two compartments in
your brain; one for discussing Islam and a completely seperate
place where you keep your faith in Christianity. Let me quote
>from Jochen's web page where he discusses Muslim use of some
atheist material:

"Does the end justify the means, and as long as atheists mocks
Christianity more than Islam, it is useful and therefore
right?"

Apparently you think it is right in the case of people who mock
Islam more than they do Christianity.

Some quotes from Ali Dashti's book which Jochen sees fit to
recommend, "highly recommend":

"The Old Testament is a precious legacy of records from the
history of human thought. It illustrates the naivety of
primitive people's ideas about creation and the creator."
[pg. 161]

"About the lives of Jesus and Moses, let alone Abraham and
Noah, whatever information we possess is clouded by dusts
of popular mythology and religous and racial prejudice."
[pg. 120]

"Throughout the Old Testament, the God who is presented to us
is an imperious being, quick to anger, unwilling to relent,
and avid for praise and worship...Throughout the Old
Testament, God is similarly portrayed as a capricious,
exacting and relentless tyrant."
[pg. 141,142]

Besides these specific quotes, Ali Dashti, points to what he
considers basic fallicies in Islam and other religions and his
line of thinking is as, if not more, problematic to
Christianity than to Islam. What Jochen calls "anti-
supernatural presuppositions" are part of Dashti's thinking
and near the end of his book he states the following about
the life of Muhammad(pbuh):

"The events of the time prove that Mohammad was human like
the rest of mankind and did not receive help from any
superhuman or supernatural power."

Do you think he would not have used the same sort of reasoning
he used throughout his book to make similar claims about any
other religion, in particular Jochen's own? It there not a
great deal of hypocricy in his recommendation of Ali Dashti's
book while at the exact same time he was delivering sermons to
Muslims telling them not to refer to atheists since their
reasoning might be used against Islam as well as Christianity?

How often must I point out these sort of glaring examples of
your two-mindedness before you begin to examine yourself, eh,
Jochen? It happens all too often but you never seem to learn.
Should I give up? That is the advice I have been getting from
some Muslims, so for now maybe I will lay off and just watch.
Lucky you. :)

For those interested, the name of the book is, "Twenty Three
Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad", by Ali
Dashti. It can be found at Amazon.com at the following
web address:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1568590296/

There are no customer reviews of the book but maybe Jochen
can visit the site and declare that he "highly recommends"
it. :)

--
Wasalaam,
Saqib Virk

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.

Jeremiah McAuliffe

unread,
Jul 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/2/99
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On 30 Jun 1999 22:36:21 -0700, Saqib Virk <sv...@hotmail.com> wrote:


>For those interested, the name of the book is, "Twenty Three
>Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad", by Ali
>Dashti.

Oh! I read this!

Lousy.

This, I think, was part of the Marxist trend to reduce everything to
the social aspect of our experience of reality-- leading, of course,
to various types of extremism and reductionism. There is a blip on the
map of socialist interpretations of Muhammad, Allah's peace and
blessings be on him alway, this is part of that blip.

His knowledge of Islamic thought is much less than mine-- which means
it is very, very poor. His understanding of religious language and
behavior is non-existent. He has absolutely no awareness of the human
experience of transcendence.

Grade: F.

Jeremiah McAuliffe ali...@city-net.com
Visit Dr. Jihad! Page O' Heavy Issues Y2K
http://speed.city-net.com/~alimhaq/miaha.html

Jochen Katz

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Jul 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/2/99
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In article <7leuol$len$1...@waltz.rahul.net>,
Saqib Virk <sv...@hotmail.com> writes:

> > Ali Dashti's book is highly recommended.
>
> SV
> By whom? Crazed anti-Islamists?

No, several people. I heard it first recommended by Ravi
Zacharias. And I recommend it too. It is a very good book
on many counts. That doesn't imply everything in it is
good. No uninspired human writing is perfect.

> The book is written by
> someone with knowledge but little grasp of Islam or common
> sense.

Says who? Crazed Islamists?

> Parts of the book a semi-intelligent Muslim child would
> be able to see through.

This is probably correct, just because you say so. However, you
might take into account, that he was not a nobody. I currently
can't find his book in my many boxes, but if I remember right he
was even a university prof for some time. Maybe not. In any case,
he was highly educated. I don't think you have reached his level
of scholarship yet. Ali Dashti was for many years one of the
most respected newspaper editors in Iran and for some time even
a minister in the government, if I remember correctly, somewhere
in the area of culture and education.

Surely, ever semi-intelligent child would see through
arguments of such a light-weight...

> I might also ask, what happened to your ideal of not referring
> to people whose arguments would apply to your faith as well?

Where did I say so?

The book has lots of valuable source material quoted and
referenced. Nowhere ever did I say that when I refer to a
book that I agree with every line it it.

Earlier I spoke about USING conclusions built upon presuppositions
that are contradictory to your own convictions. I never said that
we can't refer to books as valuable resources for source material
just because they also state some things that are not in agreement
with what I believe.

> "Throughout the Old Testament, the God who is presented to us
> is an imperious being, quick to anger, unwilling to relent,
> and avid for praise and worship...Throughout the Old
> Testament, God is similarly portrayed as a capricious,
> exacting and relentless tyrant."
> [pg. 141,142]

Obviously, his expertise on the Old Testament is somewhat
lacking. :-) That doesn't mean his knowledge of the Qur'an
and Islamic history is similarly shallow. I never recommended
his book for learning about the Bible.

> "The events of the time prove that Mohammad was human like
> the rest of mankind and did not receive help from any
> superhuman or supernatural power."

I think Dashti is probably wrong on that, because Satan is
superhuman and supernatural. There is little conclusive
evidence for supernatural help of Muhammad. Most everything
I find very naturally explainable, but I do believe there
was demonic influence on Muhammad nevertheless. [Even Muhammad
was worried about that at some time.] But I would not expect
Dashti to recognize this.

However, given that you yourself are one of those Muslims
who try to interpret away the supernatural, I thought you
should be right at home with Dashti? Dashti does not say
he is a non-Muslim. He would probably have called himself
an "enlightenment Muslim", the equivalent of the "christian
liberal scholars" which many Muslims (including the Ahmadiyya)
love to parade as the highest authorities on the Bible. What
is your problem when I point to somewhat liberal Muslims and
their research?

Note: I have not built any argument on their conclusions
which are based on presuppositions that contradict my
faith. THAT would be inconsistent. But nowhere have I
done so. There is a difference between a bookrecommendation
and basing my arguments on his conclusions. What then is your
complaint here:

> Do you think he would not have used the same sort of reasoning
> he used throughout his book to make similar claims about any
> other religion, in particular Jochen's own? It there not a
> great deal of hypocricy in his recommendation of Ali Dashti's
> book while at the exact same time he was delivering sermons to
> Muslims telling them not to refer to atheists since their
> reasoning might be used against Islam as well as Christianity?

It is hypocrisy and slanderous on your part. I never said Muslims
can't refer to atheists (and Dashti is not an atheist). I have
explained that a dozen times before, and in response to you,
but you repeat it anyway. I also explained it in discussions
with Saifullah. Just go and look on dejanews.

Jochen Katz


Stephen Trevathan

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Jul 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/3/99
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Jochen Katz wrote: This is probably correct, just because you say so.

However, you
might take into account, that he was not a nobody. I currently
can't find his book in my many boxes, but if I remember right he
was even a university prof for some time. Maybe not. In any case,
he was highly educated.

I wrote: So is Dr B. Thiering, but that didn't seem to impress you. What
criteria do you use to establish someone's credentials? Whether or not they
fit into your view or not?

Abdullah


Pen1418hj

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Jul 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/3/99
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Speaking of Ali Dashti, Jochen wrote:

>In any case,

>he was highly educated. I don't think you have reached his level
>of scholarship yet. Ali Dashti was for many years one of the
>most respected newspaper editors in Iran and for some time even
>a minister in the government, if I remember correctly, somewhere
>in the area of culture and education.

So he was:

1) "Highly educated." {In what field(s) and to what degree we have no idea,
being that this phrase is as ambiguous as they come.}

2) "One whose level of scholarship Saqib hasn't reached yet."

Oh, that's rich. And how, dear Jochen, would you know this?

3) "A respected newspaper editor."

And what has this to do with acquiring proficiency in understanding the
intricacies of Seerah Literature?

4) "A government minister {in a capacity Jochen isn't even aware of}."

A Phd in political science is quite different from one in Seerah Literature.
Serving in the government is also not evidence of one's ability to understand
Seerah Literature.

Conclusion: None of these criteria serve to substantiate the claim that Ali
Dashti is a reliable scholar of Seerah Literature.

>Surely, ever semi-intelligent child would see through
>arguments of such a light-weight...

With respect to Seerah Literature, that is exactly what Ali Dashti is: a
light-weight. I couldn't have said it better myself.

>Obviously, his expertise on the Old Testament is somewhat
>lacking. :-)

ahahahahahahahahahahaha. I:-I

>That doesn't mean his knowledge of the Qur'an
>and Islamic history is similarly shallow. I never recommended
>his book for learning about the Bible.

Logical fallacy.

You presume, based upon the flimsiest set of criteria, that Dashti is qualified
to present an accurate exposition of Seerah Literature while refusing to admit
that these same criteria could just as easily be used to put forward the
assertion that he possesses enough knowledge to present an accurate exposition
of the Bible.

Concerning the following passage:

>> "The events of the time prove that Mohammad was human like
>> the rest of mankind and did not receive help from any
>> superhuman or supernatural power."

Jochen writes:

>I think Dashti is probably wrong on that, because Satan is
>superhuman and supernatural.

"Probably" wrong because it doesn't fit what Jochen has already presupposed to
be true.

Conclusion: Like everyone else, Jochen has a set of preconditioned beliefs
upon which he either accepts or rejects statements. He is no extraordinary
individual, nor does his intelligence appear to avail him of anything save an
apparently articulate means of claiming that Islam is false sans conclusive
evidence.


pen1418hj

Jochen Katz

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Jul 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/4/99
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In article <7lmmub$jc0$1...@waltz.rahul.net>,
pen1...@aol.com (Pen1418hj) writes:

> Conclusion: Like everyone else, Jochen has a set of preconditioned beliefs
> upon which he either accepts or rejects statements.

Wow. I am finally recognized as an ordinary human being. :-)

Not superhuman, not out of this world. Just like everybody else.
But hopefully, like everybody else, occasionally with good and
true ideas and insights. :-)

Jochen Katz
http://answering-islam.org/


Saqib Virk

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Jul 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/9/99
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In article <7lk5la$4fr$1...@waltz.rahul.net>,
jk...@math.gatech.edu (Jochen Katz) wrote:

SV


>> Parts of the book a semi-intelligent Muslim child would
>> be able to see through.

> This is probably correct, just because you say so. However,


> you might take into account, that he was not a nobody.

SV
There are many people who are not nobodies but, if for
example, Bill Clinton were to write a book about Christianity
how much credit would you give it? I believe Ali Dashti was
known for his work translating or perhaps writing Persian
poetry.

> Ali Dashti was for many years one of the most respected
> newspaper editors in Iran and for some time even a minister
> in the government, if I remember correctly, somewhere
> in the area of culture and education.
>

> Surely, ever semi-intelligent child would see through
> arguments of such a light-weight...

SV
When it comes to Islam, Dashti was a light-weight, just as
Bill Clinton would be a light-weight in matters of Christian
scholarship. Right?

> The book has lots of valuable source material quoted and
> referenced. Nowhere ever did I say that when I refer to a
> book that I agree with every line it it.

> Earlier I spoke about USING conclusions built upon
> presuppositions that are contradictory to your own
> convictions. I never said that we can't refer to books as
> valuable resources for source material just because they
> also state some things that are not in agreement with what
> I believe.

SV
So you highly recommend the book even though you would not
use the conclusions of the book or the arguments that led
to those conclusions. Who do you think is buying this? You
accept his arguments and conclusions or else it would make
no sense to highly recommend his book. Let me quote exactly
what you wrote to someone who posted links to some Muslim
sites:

"Sometimes the recommendation says more about the one who
recommends than about the one recommended." -- Jochen

In this case it is certainly true.

>> "Throughout the Old Testament, the God who is presented to us
>> is an imperious being, quick to anger, unwilling to relent,
>> and avid for praise and worship...Throughout the Old
>> Testament, God is similarly portrayed as a capricious,
>> exacting and relentless tyrant."
>> [pg. 141,142]

> Obviously, his expertise on the Old Testament is somewhat
> lacking. :-) That doesn't mean his knowledge of the Qur'an


> and Islamic history is similarly shallow. I never recommended
> his book for learning about the Bible.

SV
This really takes the cake. Do you think he is much better
equipped to to deal with Islam just because he has a Muslim
sounding name and lived in an Arab country?

> Dashti does not say he is a non-Muslim.

SV
As I understand it, he did not consider himself a Muslim. One
bio I read stated that he considered himself as having left
Islam. I doubt anyone who claims the Quran is "miracle
mongering" and that Muhammad(pbuh) was not helped by God (or
supernatural forces as I believe he states it) in any way
would still consider themselves a Muslim. How do you know
Dashti was not an atheist? He seems to go out of his way to
avoid mentioning his own faith. Personally, I think that he
must have been an atheist.

> He would probably have called himself an "enlightenment
> Muslim",

SV
I doubt that.

> the equivalent of the "christian liberal scholars"
> which many Muslims (including the Ahmadiyya) love to parade
> as the highest authorities on the Bible.

SV
Oh yes, that is what we all do. Just check the posts to SRI
day in and day out. All we see are Muslims pulling out "liberal
scholars" by the truck load to "parade" in front of any
Christian who happens to be around. I suggest that almost any
Christian scholar you disagree with becomes a "liberal scholar".
If you had more sense you would realise that Muslims do not, in
general, quote liberal Christian scholars. How many churches in
the U.S. allow homosexual weddings and priests? There are large
numbers of Christian leaders and so-called scholars that would
rightly be called "liberal" in the most negative sense of the
word. I suggest that such Christian leaders are rarely if ever
quoted by Muslims.

Muslims don't normally even quote less liberal Christian
leaders/scholars of the Pat Robertson/Benny Hinn /Jerry Falwell
or even, dare I say, Jack van Impe, sort unless they
specifically make an anti-Islamic remark. Just think of the
fun we could have with those sorts of people and their
conception of Christianity?

I will mention that of all the tele-evangilists in North
America I do enjoy occaisonally listening to one Pastor John
Hagee. Sometimes I wonder how such an intelligent man could be
a Christian. :)

Jochen Katz

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Jul 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/11/99
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In article <7m5lkf$23v$1...@bolero.rahul.net>,
Saqib Virk <sv...@hotmail.com> writes:

> When it comes to Islam, Dashti was a light-weight, just as
> Bill Clinton would be a light-weight in matters of Christian
> scholarship. Right?

I would agree on Bill Clinton, and if his church had had
more backbone, they would have excommunicated him, but
well. I never said anything else than that the church in
America is largely in a very sad state.

But the fact that you put those two on the same level doesn't
mean they are. Dashti probably knows more about Christian
faith than Clinton does. And he certainly knew a LOT more
about Islam than Clinton ever will.

> This really takes the cake. Do you think he is much better
> equipped to to deal with Islam just because he has a Muslim
> sounding name and lived in an Arab country?

Oh boy, you just spoke one of the worst insults.

Have you ever been around Iranians? Iranians (in general)
hate Arabs for having raped their culture in the wars
of Arabic Imperialist expansion (called liberating the
Persians). To call Iran an Arab country is not a nice
thing to say.

Jochen Katz

P.S. The moderator seemed to be somewhat out of touch with
Islamic history when he rejected the above paragraph as not
relevant to Islam. I am talking about the expeditions ordered
by the Khalifa, by the Islamic expansion of their empire.
Islam is less about God than about extending the power of
its political ideology though that is done with "religious
justification." The Islamic wars are an essential feature
and how can those wars not be relevant? The fact that they
say it is "in the cause of Allah" doesn't make them any
less imperialistic.

Pen1418hj

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Jul 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/11/99
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> The Islamic wars are an essential feature
>and how can those wars not be relevant?

Ah, sorry Katz. By "Islamic wars," you mean physical jihad waged centuries ago
and there is no means by which you can prove such an implication to be true.

The evidence against it is far too great.

Too bad that you have to resort to ad hominems once more.


pen1418hj


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