As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been reading The Last Patriot by Brad Thor over the weekend and finished it today. I enjoyed it. Kind of like reading about Jack Bauer. Plus I learned some interesting things.
Part of the plot hinged on Thomas Jefferson and the Barbary Wars against muslim pirates in the early 1800’s and Jefferson’s search for Mohammed’s supposed last word/revelation from God which, according to the principle of abrogation would supersede all preceding text.
This was the first I’d heard of abrogation (at least under that term and that I can recall!) which is a concept in Islamic scholarship dictating that since the Koran was written by one man over the period of his own lifetime, documenting a series of visitations and revelations from the angel Gabriel, when any contradictory verses come up, the later verses abrogate the earlier. Thus a last word urging muslims to abandon violence and embrace peace, would nullify all those verses about violent jihad in Sura 9 and supposedly do away from Islamic fundamentalism as we know it today.
As far as I know there was no last word — the author admitted devising that part as a plot device — and really, I would expect there not to be. In fact, I had a bit of trouble suspending my disbelief on that one count, though it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the story. Rather it provided food for thought, and I always especially enjoy books that do that.
Abrogation seems like a weird idea to be applied to something that is supposedly the pure word of Allah, and a “perfect” book. Allah must not be eternal, immutable and omniscient like Jehovah if he kept changing his mind, or didn’t know how his commands were going to turn out and needed to refine them. This quibble is especially true in the context of The Last Patriot, where we were supposed to believe that once it came out that Mohammed’s last words were about living in peace, everyone would just throw out the stuff in Sura 9 and the jihadists would be without a route to martyrdom. But … what kind of god is that? Either the infidel is evil and must be killed or he is not. How can Allah not know?
Well, that part was made up by the author, so I can’t fault Islam. But my opinion is that Mohammed was not met by Gabriel but more likely Beelzebub or someone of his ilk, and that Islam, like all religions (true Christianity is a relationship, not a religion), is yet another device of Satan to deceive and to counterfeit what God has done.
In doing some reading on Roman religion recently, I was struck with the fact that prior to the coming of Christ the dominant religions all involved idol worship. The Sumerians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Assyrians, Greeks and Romans all worshipped many gods. Only the Jews were monotheistic (which quite ticked off the Romans since they thought everyone should be nice to everyone else’s god… sound familiar?) Then came Christianity, also monotheistic and eventually coming to power and superseding the old idol worship of the Romans. Some six hundred plus years after the birth of Christianity, Mohammed had his visitation and Islam was born. And to me the whole thing looks like a rip off and distortion of Christianity and Judaism combined into a new religion to distract people from the others.
I find it interesting that at first Mohammed approached both Jews and Christians in friendship, wanting to join together with them, wanting them to help confirm his claims of being visited by God. When they rejected him, I don’t suppose it’s surprising he’d eventually receive word that they were now the enemy and worthy of destruction. Which so echoes Satan’s view on the matter, it’s clear to me Mohammed was only a pawn. (If Satan can destroy the Jews, then God will not be able to fulfill His promises to them, and will be made a liar, impotent and not-God. Which gives Satan a chance; and of course he just hates Christians outright since each of them is a member of Christ. He likes nothing better than to trip them up, make them look like fools, make them “curse God and die”, and get them sidetracked from the true plan of God for their lives. But if he could, I have no doubt he’d just wipe us all out…
Anyway, that wasn’t much about The Last Patriot I guess, but it was an example of one of the thought trips its premise took me on. It was a fun and engaging read and, as you can perhaps tell from my trip, very informative and relevant to today. In fact, having first learned of ‘abrogation’ only last week, today I received an email on the three important things about Islam that most people don’t know. The first was abrogation! (the second was sharia law and the fact that while the word “islam” does mean “peace,” it also means submission and thus is the perfect word for the religion — because when all others have been forced by its devotees to submit to it, by conversion or death, and it is finally is the only religion in the world, there will be peace. But no freedom.
And the third important thing about Islam most people don’t know? That for muslims, deception is okay. In other words, taqiyya.
(I felt rather well-informed today!)