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Response To Hyde Park Christian Fellowship



January saw the first demolition of a challenge mounted by a Christian "orientalist" to denounce the Qur'an as faulty and tempered with. Islamic Party leader David Pidcock reflects on the debate held at the University of Teesside Christian Union. A full rebuttal of the arguments against the Qur'an is given in the paper False Accusations by The Hyde Park Christian Fellowship's 99 Truth Papers.

"Is The Qur'an The Word Of God?"

"The debate that began at Cambridge and is now on the INTERNET comes to the University of Teesside. Joseph Smith and David Musa Pidcock debate the issue."

Thus read the poster for a debate scheduled for the 18th of January 1996, in the main lecture theatre of the Constantine Building in Middlesbrough, England between myself and Joseph H. Smith. The original debate was between Smith and Dr. Jamal Badawi in August 1995, and in spite of the fact that Dr. Badawi says that he has dealt with most of the issues raised in his video lectures J(a) and J(b) on the Qur'an, and available in this country from the Islamic Propagation Centre , in Birmingham, Joseph Smith still contends that he has failed to meet the challenge. When I telephoned Dr. Badawi on January the 25th in Canada, he was completely unaware of the debate on the INTERNET, or the ongoing arguments, on this side of the Atlantic. He also drew my attention to, and faxed me, the first page of, a written commentary on the "99 Truth Papers" dated August 9th 1995, by Yusef? Smith of the Hyde Park Christian Fellowship, entitled "Commentary On A Challenge To The Authenticity Of The Quran", prepared by Abdul Rahim Lomax and dated December 19th, 1995. This, whilst in the main polemical, does however make a valuable contribution to the question of the prayer direction of early mosques, when quoting King's reprint of "Astronomical alignments in Medieval Islamic Religious Architecture": 

"The earliest qibla determinations were, in fact, associated with the risings and the settings of the sun and fixed stars, and mosque orientations in the seventh and eighth centuries, and even thereafter, were made by astronomical alignments."

As mentioned above, the main thrust of Smith's argument is based on the fact of his not having received specific answers in writing from Dr. Badawi to the issues raised during their Cambridge debate, and as such, that this, in some way, constitutes an admission that what he and his Orientalist cohorts in Cambridge, The London School of Oriental & African Studies (S.O.A.S.) and certain American Universities assert, are irrefutable, verifiable facts.

Smith, we are told, was brought up in India, and moved to the United States at the age of 17, where, we understand, he obtained a Masters in Divinity at Pennsylvania University and a Masters in Islamic Studies in California, following which he spent three and a half years studying the Sources of Islam at the School of Oriental & African Studies in London. His style, to use the Supreme Court's terminology, is that of "a vexatious litigant wishing to become a cause celebre."

Whilst we were warned to expect "explosive and damning revelations" - and Smith's approach to the subject is indeed fervent - it is, to say the least, more febrile than fissile, bordering on the disingenuous, as are also his claims that the source material which he uses is the result of erudite scholarship, painstaking observation, and impeccable archaeological field work

Smith's questions, as will be seen, are not honestly designed to address this all-important subject, but a damage limitation exercise. What he, and his backers are attempting to do, is to spread alarm and despondency amongst believers and deter those who might be considering an Islamic alternative from delving further. His "Orientalist" inspired (some say driven) questions, have been specifically structured to generate heat without light. But as the American proverb states: "Don't get angry, get even."

Smith and his coadjutors try to establish that the conditions prevailing at the time the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, received his: "comprehensive sophisticated, book of revelations", should have needed to be more salubrious than those prevailing at the time when Moses received his Books of Law and sophisticated Statutes, which also took a relatively short period of time, but in his case his was spent wandering in the desert of Arabia.

The period of forty years wandering in the wilderness and those spent in the regions surrounding Mount Sinai, Horeb and Rephadim, were (and still are)  a lot less civilised than the environs of Mecca and Medina some 2000 years later when the Qur'an was sent down to "The Messenger of the Covenant." Working on the time-table of events in the Old Testament, Moses began receiving revelation in the year 1491 B.C. and this continued, we are informed, until the year 1451 B.C. What is not, however recognised, is the fact that the Torah, like the Qur'an was first revealed in Arabia to the Semitic "brethren" of Moses. For, contrary to popular belief, Mount Sinai is not situated on the Sinai peninsula i.e. between the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba, but in northern Arabia, formerly known as Midian, the land of Moses father-in-law - Je'ther or Je'thro, (meaning pre-eminent or pre-eminence). Who is also referred to as Re-u'-El (i.e. God is Friend) and Ra-gu'-El (i.e. Jah-is-Friend).

As an inhabitant of the Arabian Peninsula, Jethro (or Shu'aib) as he is named in the Qur'an) was, after all, a non-Israelite Arab, a descendant of Abraham's 3rd wife Ketura.  Moses wife, Zipporah, and the mother of his first born - Gershom and Eliezer - was, therefore, not of the line of Sarah, and yet her sons are classed as full blooded Levites in I. Chronicles 23:14-15:

"Now concerning Moses the man of God, his sons were named of the tribe of Levi. The sons of Moses were Gershom and Eliezer."

Which demolishes the Machiavellian fabrication that the line of inheritance - prophetic or otherwise - could only come through the female line of Sarah. A lie further demolished by Deuteronomy 21:15-16-17. Which clearly states:

"If a man have two wives, one beloved, and one hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the first-born son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved first born before the son of the hated, which is indeed the first-born:  But he shall acknowledge the son of the first-born, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the first-born is his."

Furthermore, if Genesis was one of the five books revealed to Moses, and they have all reached us intact, without alteration, then it would appear that God's commandments and judgement are, to say the least, contradictory and confusing. We know, however, that He is not the author of confusion so it must be, that someone, at some time, tampered with the text. For on the one hand we are told in Deuteronomy 28:22:

"Cursed be he that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother. And all the people say amen."

Yet, on the other hand, it tells us that Abraham, was guilty of this very same cursed practice. If, therefore, such be the case, then under those rules, all Sarah's off-spring are both cursed and illegitimate. For in chapter 20 of Genesis (the first book of Moses), we read the following accounts in verses 2  through 13:

" ...And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech  king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife. But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother... Then Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing? And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake. And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my  father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife..."

In addition to this, in the preceding chapter, 19, we find Lot being saved from destruction in Sodom and Gomorra only to be seduced in a cave during his escape from the holocaust, by two of his daughters. It seems, therefore, rather inconsistent of God on the one hand to allow Lot to escape the justifiable punishment for incest whilst on the other, allowing others (including his wife) to be destroyed for sympathising with those who commit sodomy, and furthermore, to leave a record of this unpunished act to confound later generations. Here as elsewhere, the Qur'an re-sets the original high moral standard of the Biblical records.

We do not know if it was at the instigation of Emperor Constantine (Constantcrime) that Helena lied about finding the burning bush on Jebel Musa at the southern tip of the "Wilderness of the Red Sea" (currently, and wrongly, referred to as the Sinai Peninsula) or that the lady Etheria decided the issue on her own account. However, who ever made the decision, made it in the clear knowledge that it was untrue. Modern Archaeology coupled with an informed approach to both Christian and Jewish scriptures, has uncovered the deception. Whether it was the heresiarch Constantine who generically engineered Mount Sinai out of Arabia into the Sinai Peninsular,  it is a point that even Paul, (that earlier, dissembling, wolf in sheep's clothing), was compelled to concede in (Gal.4:24-25). 

"...for these are the two covenants; the one from mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia..."  

We will deal with the significance of this elsewhere, bearing in mind, at every stage of our investigation, that the compilers and translators of the Bible (both of the Old and New Testaments) like their latter-day secular, academic counterparts, have been consistently praetorian i.e., "flexible" in drawing their conclusions, proving that the author of the Qur'an was fully aware of those `economies of truth' when He instructed His Messenger to proclaim:

"Ye People of the Book why do you clothe truth with falsehood and conceal the truth, even though you have the knowledge?" (Surah 3, Al-Imran, ayah 71).

This is clear from the major contradictions which appear in the text of the Bible which can only have occurred due to a dissembling hand.

According to one of Smith's other papers, there is some confusion over whether Haman (in the Biblical story of Esther) was an Amalekite or a Macedonian. The name means Celebrated. It is, perhaps, like Pharaoh more of a title than a proper name. Haman in the Quranic account relates to the Chief Minister during the Egyptian captivity of Bani Israel some 1000 years earlier.  Furthermore, it may also be a name synonymous with the job of construction he undertook. Somewhat like the Babylonian title of "Sovereign Pontiff" continues to be used today by the Popes of Rome. Albert Pike, the erstwhile head of Universal Freemasonry and Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite Freemasonry also used the title "Sovereign Pontiff" to describe himself. And today, those suffering from this same "edifice complex" will stop at nothing in their quest to scrape, scour and penetrate the skies searching for ways to look God in the eye and face him down.  Surah 28, verse 38:

"Pharaoh said: 'O Chiefs! No god do I know for you but myself: therefore, O Haman! light me a kiln to (bake bricks) - out of clay, and build me a lofty palace, that I may mount up to the god of Moses: But as far as I am concerned, I think Moses is a liar!' "

Contrast this with a more recent variation on the same theme:

"As to paradise in heaven, we heard it from the priests. But we wanted to see for ourselves what it is like, so we sent our scout there Yuri Gagarin. He circled the globe and found nothing in outer space - just complete darkness, he said, and no garden at all, nothing that looked like paradise. We thought the matter over and decided to send up another scout. We sent Herman Titov and told him to fly around a bit longer this time and take a good look - Gagarin was only up there for an hour and a half, and he might have missed it. He took off, came back and confirmed Gagarin's conclusion. There is nothing up there he reported." Nikita Khrushchev, 1961 (p.ix. Death Ecstasy, and Other Worldly Journeys. J.J.Collins & Michael Fishbane).

"...Titov, the Russian cosmonaut, is reported to have proposed that some sort of anti-religious experiment should be carried out in space by Russian Spacemen. He is reported to have made the proposal in a speech to a conference on atheism held by the Communist party several weeks ago. `Studying the cosmos and penetrating further and further into the depths of the universe leaves no place (left) for God on earth or in heaven... Titov said the cosmonauts had decided to direct their activities more against religion. He did not elaborate on his reference to a possible `anti-religious experiment in the cosmos.'" (Western Mail, Cardiff, Feb. 1st 1964).

Yet, there is man's built-in Faculty of Discernment: Al-Furqan. Socrates said: 

"Unless one knows the truth about something before hand you would have no way of recognising it when you found it". 

And Plato said:

"The soul knows the truth in an existence before the birth of the body, so that all learning in this life is in reality only remembering". 

The inane notion reiterated ad nauseam by Joseph Smith that the Qur'an was the product of apocryphal Jewish sources in all probability arose from Microsoft Word's UK/English Thesaurus, which, when confronted with the word QURAN equates it with "Rabbi" synonymous with "Jewish Clergy."  Whilst the Arabic/U.S.English Thesaurus describes the "Koran" as "Kosher".

Mr Smith should realise that, as the Qur'an was memorised it did not need to be written down to survive intact. Accounts could, did and continue to survive until today by word of mouth, and there are literally millions of people from every ethnic group who have committed the entire Arabic text of the Qur'an to memory. Mr Smith and his cohorts seem to have forgotten the legendary advice of M.G.M.'s Sam Goldwyn who quickly pointed out that: - "An oral contract isn't worth the paper it's written on". 

Author: David Pidcock

Date Published: Winter 1995

Further Links  

False Accusations by The Hyde Park Christian Fellowship's 99 Truth Papers By Muhammad Rafiq

Islamic Awareness : This site deals with the Christian missionary propaganda, lies and distortion about the Qur'ân. It aims to provide conclusive evidence that the Qur'ân is the same as recited by the Prophet Muhammad(P) and that there are no additional materials added to it nor subtracted after the death of the Prophet(P).

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