Tag Archives: Islam

More fake Viking news

Not Kufic

It’s getting so there’s a new bogus, agenda-driven story about the Vikings every week or so. Not long ago it was the story about the “female Viking warrior,” which seems to have been far less than advertised. This week it was the name “Allah” “discovered” in a piece of Viking embroidery. From the English paper, the Independent:

The silk patterns were originally thought to be ordinary Viking Age decoration but a re-examination by archaeologist Annika Larsson of Uppsala University revealed they were a geometric Kufic script.
They were found on woven bands as well as items of clothing, in two separate grave sites, suggesting that Viking funeral customs had been influenced by Islam.

I was skeptical about this story from the git-go. In the first place, the pattern looked like a fairly standard geometrical pattern, very much like the kinds you get from tablet weaving, common in the Viking Age. Secondly, even if the pattern was derived from Muslim script, that does not imply belief. The Vikings had strong trade contacts with Baghdad, to whose representatives they sold thousands of slaves every year. Arabic silver coins (dirhems) are one of the most common objects found in Viking hoards, especially in Sweden. Arabic coins have no pictures, in keeping with Islamic law. Just the flowing, graceful Arabic script. It would be no surprise if the shapes of the letters might have inspired a Viking embroiderer. No religious motive should be assumed.

Now, as expected, there’s been a rebuttal, even more categorical than I expected.

…now a leading expert in mediaeval Islamic art and archaeology has disputed the claim and said the inscription contains “no Arabic at all.”

Stephennie Mulder, a professor from the University of Texas in Austin, said the error stems from a “serious problem of dating”.

She claims Kufic script did not occur until 500 years after the Viking age.

“It’s a style called square Kufic, and it’s common in Iran, C. Asia on architecture after 15th century,” she wrote on Twitter.

Listen archaeologists – I know you want to see your names in the papers. And I know it’s good for your careers to make the most exaggerated claims you can, in the service of multiculturalism. But stop trying to promote your causes by exploiting history.

That’s the job of historical novelists. Like me.

Tip: Dave Lull.

‘Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus,’ by Nabeel Qureshi

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

Islam is not just a set of religious beliefs. It is an all-encompassing identity. It is inconceivable to change that identity, even for those who barely practice their Islamic faith. To do so is like suicide. It kills the identity of the convert and leaves the rest of the family in a state of shameful mourning.

Nabeel Qureshi has given us, I think, not only an outstanding memoir of conversion to Christianity from the Islamic faith, but a formidable work of apologetics, in his book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. It makes an excellent companion work to Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ (indeed, Strobel provides the introduction to this expanded edition).

If you’re expecting a story of a man who longed for freedom from Islamic bondage and found it at last, you will be disappointed here. Nabeel Qureshi is more like C.S. Lewis, “dragged kicking and screaming” into Christianity, a “most reluctant convert.”

Nabeel was raised in a loving, even somewhat indulgent home of Muslims of the Ahmadi sect. He adored his parents, loved his mosque, and was proud of his Islamic community. His family was Muslim-American, his father a Navy officer. Nabeel spent much of his childhood in Scotland, where his father served at a naval base, before relocating to the US. Like most Muslims, he believed Muhammad self-evidently superior to the Prophet Issa (Jesus, whom he nevertheless revered), and the Quran (preserved without error) much nobler than the corrupted Christian Bible. Islamic culture, of course, was obviously the most perfect in the world. Continue reading ‘Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus,’ by Nabeel Qureshi

Denying Christ, with a smile

A while back I wrote a post in which I predicted, somewhat audaciously, that the mainline Protestant churches will eventually convert en masse to Islam, since social pressure will be great, and their current beliefs about Jesus aren’t really that different from those of Muslims.

An intelligent commenter who called him/herself “MainlineProtestantWhoLovesJesus” objected that I was caricaturing the mainline churches, and oversimplifying.

In rebuttal, I offer the video at this link (I can’t find a way to embed it).

If you don’t care to click the link, let me summarize. This is a video produced officially by the very liberal United Church of Christ. In it, three smiling clergypeople — a UCC minister, a rabbi, and an imam — switch their vestments. Then they preach in the others’ houses of worship. Their sermons are exactly the same. All the listeners are pleased.

The video ends with the message, “The things that unite us are greater than the things that divide us.”

They do not note (or do not care) that the major thing that divides us from Muslims and Jews is Jesus Christ, risen Savior and Lord.

The inescapable message is that to them, Jesus Christ is a secondary “thing.”

That is plain apostasy.

Now explain to me how a church that believes this way will never convert to Islam.

Not neutral

Over the weekend, one person I don’t approve of killed a lot of other people I don’t approve of.

That doesn’t make me happy.

The reasons for my disapproval of the groups are beside the point at a time like this. People are grieving. Real human beings have lost their lives, or been crippled or maimed for life. To talk doctrine just now would be un-Christlike.

But I’m angry nonetheless. I’m angry because further lives have been lost to the worthless, statist institution of the Gun Free Zone.

Orlando isn’t a case of equal and opposite evils. The moment any person takes it upon himself to murder defenseless people, he automatically becomes the Greater Evil. Decent people will all side against him. I hope.

Some of my Facebook friends have been posting graphics supporting a group called “Pink Pistols.” Its purpose, I gather, is to encourage members of the homosexual community to take responsibility for their own safety through arming themselves.

That’s one “gay” initiative I can support wholeheartedly.

I take it as a given that one of the threats this group was originally organized to counter was the threat of people like me. Conservative Christians. Well, you know what? If some conservative “Christian” actually decides he’s got special license from God to murder people because he disapproves of their sins, he deserves the pink bullet he’ll get for it. Let him explain to Jesus how he justifies flouting the greatest commandment for the sake of a lesser commandment.

Meanwhile, may God have mercy.

Blasphemy, Prayer, and Vikings

  1. Why you never question Allah: Islam’s trouble with blasphemy. This points out the shallowness of Islamic teaching. Their god supposedly knows everything, but if you don’t keep your nice face on, he’ll hammer you. Of course, it appears he will hammer you for just about anything, which is a theological perspective not unique to Islam.
  2. In the United Kingdom, an video intended to play among the trailers in front of the new Star Wars movie encourages viewers to seek the Lord in prayer using The Lord’s Prayer specifically. It has been pulled from the schedule because it could offend someone, which Andrew Wilson says is precisely what it should be doing. There is, after all, only one true God.
  3. St Helen’s Church in Eston, Middlesbrough, has suffered vandalism for years. It’s now being rebuilt, brick by brick, forty miles north in County Durham.
  4. Twenty-five things we’ve forgotten about vikings.
    (Last two links via Medieval News)

For ISIS, Past Is Present

Robert R. Reilly explains the irrationality of ISIS. He says there were two schools of thought at one time, and the irrational one won out.

Islamists do not live in what we might call historical time. Recall that for them the Qur’an is an ahistorical document. It exists in eternity. Also keep in mind that Ash’arite metaphysics guts historical time of its narrative meaning: time is a succession of unrelated events. ISIS adherents live in sacred time, which is static. In sacred time, everything is present all at once. This is why Islamists refer to Westerners in their literature as “Romans,” which is what seventh-century Muslim warriors called their Byzantine opponents. They are not being quaint. The past is present to them; that is why they must smash it if it does not conform to their beliefs.Ahistory fights history. This is why the Coptic Christians were faced north across the Mediterranean toward Rome when their throats were cut, as a warning that ISIS would next conquer Rome as Muslims once took Constantinople.

Undercurrents of Conflict in Nigeria

A hundred years ago, it seemed obvious that the whole region was naturally destined to be Muslim, and little attention needed to be paid to the uncivilized and illiterate animists of the south and east. History was clearly moving in an Islamic direction. By the end of the 20th century, though, growth, progress, and wealth were badges of the emerging Christian Nigeria, and aggressive evangelism even threatened to make inroads into the Islamic heartland. Muslims still dominated the government and especially the armed forces—another legacy of the British colonial preference for that faith. But how long could that political dominance continue?

Philip Jenkins reviews the book Boko Haram: Nigeria’s Islamist Insurgency by Virginia Comolli.

“In her introduction,” he writes, “Comolli makes the telling point that the social contract on which government is based is thoroughly broken in Nigeria. People give up certain rights to governments in exchange for protection and security, gifts that have been so obviously lacking for decades.”

While there are religious undercurrents throughout the country, Boko Haram is gaining both religious and civil ground in some ways, losing it in others. Nigeria hasn’t yet seen a civil war grounded in religious conflict, but much of the conflict it has seen has been helped along by spiritual hopes and fears.

On the Road to Abuja