The Predictable Nature of Muslim Apologetics

I have two articles on the issue of the textual preservation of the Quran. These articles can be found here:

  1. The Myth of Perfect Preservation: Examining a Variant
  2. Variant Readings of the Quran – Are They All the Same?

In these articles I raised the issue of variant readings of the Quran that result from different vowelisations as well as examining a textual variant as a result of contradictory manuscript readings.  In one of these articles I made a very important note as to how Muslims would respond. It said,

When the Muslim cannot respond to such a claim they tend to employ the Red Herring Fallacy.

A red herring is an argument, given in reply, that does not address the original issue. Critically, a red herring is a deliberate attempt to change the subject or divert the argument. [1]

Indeed, I did receive a response to my articles which, as pre-empted, was nothing but a red herring.

Ibn Anwar of the polemic Unveiling Christianity composed an article titled, Is the Qur’an truly preserved as the Muslims claim? Anwar states that, “A good brother by the name Army of Jesus is Islam directed me to the article and requested that I produce refutations.”

So, he is setting himself up to refute my articles. However, is this achieved?

Not once does Ibn Anwar interact with my numerous examples of clear and verifiable textual variants. Instead, he began with an ad hominem, moved to attacking a strawman and left my arguments untouched.

Evidently, the issue of textual variants in the Qur’an remains an issue that Muslim apologists cannot touch.

UAC Interview With Geert Wilders

Jesse Petrilla and Tom Trento interview Dutch Member of Parliament Geert Wilders about the Islamization of Europe and its implications on America and the entire Western world

Variant Readings of the Quran – Are They All the Same?

I have found in my dialogue with Muslims is that they absolutely detest the idea of textual variants in Quranic manuscript. I am yet to find a Muslim who is actually prepared for this kind of discussion and I believe this is due to the openness of Muslim apologists and faux academics making the claim that all Quranic manuscripts are exactly the same. (I have previously challenged this claim in examining textual variants in the oldest Quran manuscripts compared to today’s version )

When the Muslim cannot respond to such a claim they tend to employ the Red Herring Fallacy.

A red herring is an argument, given in reply, that does not address the original issue. Critically, a red herring is a deliberate attempt to change the subject or divert the argument. [1]

NB: Some Muslims have recently responded to this and as was predicted-  the response was a red herring. They did not engage with the issue, my arguments or the examples. Meaningful variants among Quranic manuscripts  and versions is a fact of life apologists of the Islamic faith cannot deal with as they are in denial.

Their usual Red Herring is in regard to the variant readings of the Quran. These variants occur with the addition of vowelisations etc for professionalised recitations to the original Uthmanic text. Now, these variant readings do not usually change the meaning of the Quran and the Muslim will give you the blanket statement that there are no differences in the Quran as a result of these variants. But is this statement true?

In regard to the variant recitations, Professor James A. Bellamy states:

These variants, however – I have counted more than two-hundred that make a difference in the meaning – are important in that they tell us there was no solid oral tradition stemming directly from the prophet to prove which variant was correct. [2]

So, we can see that there are many variants among the readings and Bellamy has recorded over 200 which render a different meaning within the text.

Professor Bellamy then goes on to provide an example:

in Surah 6:63, of the seven readers, the two from Kufah recite ‘njyn‘ (anjana) “he saves us.” and the other five ‘njytn’ (anjay- tana) “you (sg.) save us.” These two words sound so dif- ferent that no one, unless he were deaf, could mistake one for the other, and the words on both sides of the word in question are unambiguous. One cannot argue that the prophet used one variant one day and the other the next. Nor can one maintain that there is a firm oral tradition that guarantees the reading of the unambiguous words but breaks down when more than one reading is possible. [3]

In short – beware of taking Muslim claims in regard to the integrity of the Quran at face value. As has been demonstrated above, there are a number of changes in meaning that result from the variant readings of the Quran.

References:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_herring_(logical_fallacy)#Red_herring
2. Bellamy, p. 1
3. Bellamy, p.2

Bibliography:

James A. Bellamy (2001), ‘Textual Criticism of the Koran’. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 121 No. 1 (Jan-Mar. 2001), pp. 1-6.

See also: