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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Part 2: U Of Michigan Prof Juan Cole Plays "Fantasy Islam" Promotes Muhammad As "Prophet Of Peace"

Part 2: U Of Michigan Prof Juan Cole Plays "Fantasy Islam" Promotes Muhammad As "Prophet Of Peace"

Cole's Historical Revisionism Whitewashes Islam's Trajectory Of Death And Destruction
December 19, 2018

The Fantasy Islam of the University of Michigan's Juan Cole (Part 2)


In Part 1 we saw how Cole had taken a selective approach to Islamic Doctrine and 7th Century Muslim history, had believed that there was human involvement in the writing of the Koran, had a certain amount of disconnect between what he wrote and sources he claimed showed support for that writing, and had exercised great freedom in determining the meaning of Koran verses because he was not concerned about what Muslims believed about their holy scripture.

There is much more to Cole's Fantasy Islam, so let's delve into it.

New time periods for Koran chapters

Cole determined his own personal chronology for the revelation of some Koran chapters:

Chapter 9

On pp. 176-180 Cole wrote that Chapter 9 had been revealed during and shortly after the Muslim conquest of Mecca in January 630. However, in Endnote 3, p. 227, Cole had written that in determining when Koran verses were "revealed," Theodor Noldeke's The History of the Quran had "set the chronological approach used in this book." It is interesting to note that Noldeke dated the bulk of Chapter 9 from late 630 into early 631 and as having nothing to do with the Muslim conquest of Mecca (Noldeke, pp. 179-183). Noldeke's time frame was also reported by Pickthall.[1]

Let's look at some parts of Chapter 9. In October 630 the Battle of Tabuk took place (although there was no actual fighting between the Muslims and the Byzantines). Cole stated that since the Battle of Tabuk had not been mentioned in the Koran, it was "likely a later fiction." However, numerous authoritative Muslim scholars have written that the following Koran verses in Chapter 9 were revealed in regards to the Battle of Tabuk: 38, 40, 63, 65, 71, 73, 81, 94-96, 102, 106-107, 117-118, 120, and 122-123.[2]

Now let's look at the first part of Chapter 9. These are among the verses that Cole claims were revealed about the conquest of Mecca in January 630. The reality is otherwise.

Abu Bakr, Muhammad's father-in-law and close friend, led the pilgrimage to Mecca in March 631. At this time 30-40 verses of Chapter 9 of the Koran were revealed and subsequently read to the non-Muslims in Mecca.[3] There is a difference of opinion about exactly which verses were "revealed," but one report stated that they consisted of the first 40 verses in Chapter 9.