Now, however, two scholars have separately ended this secrecy: Tom Holland with In the Shadow of the Sword, and Robert Spencer with Did Muhammad Exist? As their titles suggest, Spencer is the bolder author, and so is my focus here.
In a well-written, sober, and clear account, he begins by demonstrating the inconsistencies and mysteries in the conventional account concerning Mohammed’s life, the Koran, and early Islam. For example, whereas the Koran insists that Mohammed did not perform miracles, the hadith ascribes him thaumaturgic powers — multiplying food, healing the injured, drawing water from the ground and sky, and even sending lightning from his pickax. Which is it? Hadith claim Mecca was a great trading city but, strangely, the historical record reveals it as no such thing.
The Christian quality of early Islam is no less strange, specifically “traces of a Christian text underlying the [Koran].” Properly understood, these traces elucidate otherwise incomprehensible passages. Conventionally read, verse 19:24 has Mary nonsensically hearing, as she gives birth to Jesus, “Do not be sad, your Lord has placed a rivulet beneath you.” Revisionists transform this into the sensible (and piously Christian) “Do not be sad, your Lord has made your delivery legitimate.” Puzzling verses about the “Night of Power” commemorating Mohammed’s first revelation make sense when understood as describing Christmas. Chapter 96 of the Koran, astonishingly, invites readers to a Eucharist.
You can almost hear the imams screaming, "How dare these infidels question the teachings of Islam???" as the death fatwas are rolled out.... Don't expect reasoned debate from that quarter--or any soul searching insight.
It's about time the utter insanity passing itself off as a religion of peace begins to be researched and a few of its tenets questioned.