The Mecca Mystery: Probing the Black Hole at the Heart of Muslim History by Peter Townsend

Laura

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I've already posted about a book I just finished reading today here: Darwin's Black Box - Michael J. Behe and Intelligent Design Curiously, "Black" is part of that title as it is the one I am posting about here, a book I finished a few days ago before I started on Behe's book.

Here's the amazon.com link to Townsend's book: https://www.amazon.com/Mecca-Mystery-Probing-Muslim-History-ebook/dp/B07DJ69R6F/ref=sr_1_1

I picked this one up because I kept noticing the author posting about it on twitter and eventually, my curiosity got the better of me and I took the bait, so to say; I'm glad I did. It's an EXCELLENT book! It is well written for a non-technical audience, has plenty of endnotes and a very good bibliography for further research.

One of the best things about this book is that the author sets a good example how research into any such topic should be done and the results are rather stunning. For example, systematic examination of ancient historical documents pretty much prove that Mecca never existed as Muslims claim, nor did Mohammed, for that matter.

I'll be bringing this topic to the Cs in an upcoming session!!!
 

Oxajil

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Thank you for the recommendations, Laura! I'm going to start reading Townsend's book today.
 

mkrnhr

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The book is excellent, well written, and doesn't disappoint as much as many other books on this subject (especially the over complicated and poorly convincing "The Hidden Origins of Islam" by Ohlig and Puin (although the Inscriptional and Numismatic data, without the author's interpretation is fascinating)).
Also, Peter Townsed (a pseudonyme?) doesn't shy from making his statements clear, without using hyperboles and writing between the lines as do other authors.

I'm still not fully convinced that there were nobody called Muhammed upon whom the later islamic mythology was built (this is basically the thesis of the German school). There is that part of the "Doctrina Jacobi" that talks about a "Prophet of the Saracens" that heralds the coming of the Messiah, and the deeply apocalyptic nature of some of the Quranic text in contrast to the official/Imperial Islam. But it could be either way.
 

Laura

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The book is excellent, well written, and doesn't disappoint as much as many other books on this subject (especially the over complicated and poorly convincing "The Hidden Origins of Islam" by Ohlig and Puin (although the Inscriptional and Numismatic data, without the author's interpretation is fascinating)).
Also, Peter Townsed (a pseudonyme?) doesn't shy from making his statements clear, without using hyperboles and writing between the lines as do other authors.

I'm still not fully convinced that there were nobody called Muhammed upon whom the later islamic mythology was built (this is basically the thesis of the German school). There is that part of the "Doctrina Jacobi" that talks about a "Prophet of the Saracens" that heralds the coming of the Messiah, and the deeply apocalyptic nature of some of the Quranic text in contrast to the official/Imperial Islam. But it could be either way.
The bolded part caught my eye also and I recall a few things from other historians of the time that related Muhammed to falls of stones from the sky and a period of great famine and sickness. I'll have to remember which historian that came from. I may have written about it in the forum so it should be retrievable.

There have also been some comments made by Dead Sea Scrolls researchers that some of the Dead Sea Sectarians fled into the deserts of Arabia and more or less spawned in the dark age that followed the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome and the later Bar Kochba war.

Something was definitely going on, and what Townsend makes pretty clear is that the final "creation" of Islam was a politically motivated move. But it certainly didn't happen in a vacuum and the "prophet of the Saracens" really intrigues me.
 

mkrnhr

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There have also been some comments made by Dead Sea Scrolls researchers that some of the Dead Sea Sectarians fled into the deserts of Arabia and more or less spawned in the dark age that followed the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome and the later Bar Kochba war.
There is a debate over the "Nazareans" in the Quran (Nasara in modern Arabic). It could be related. The main criticism to this possible connection is the long period between the 1st and 6th/7th century (the plague of Justinian and related phenomena must be still going on) so that the Quran redactors shouldn't know about these "un-orthodoxe Christian". If on the other hand one consider like Heinsohn that the Roman 1st century history belongs to much later...

Edit: Attached is a paper I found about the Nazorean term in the Quran
 

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Ant22

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After years of focusing mostly on psychology books as well as the recently recommended ones, such as Developmental Trauma or Strange Order of Things and others, I've been feeling an urge to broaden the context past keeping an eye on the current world affairs. So this recommendation comes very timely! I still need to finish The Grand Deception but I'll order The Mecca Mystery so it's waiting for me when I come back from my current holiday.

Since Jesus was fictional, although based on a real person, I'm really curious to learn what the deal with Mohammed really was!
 

genero81

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There's a free excerpt on Kindle that I started reading a couple of days ago. Very interesting. I think I will go ahead and order the book. Another fraud. Is there no end to the deception?
 
Looking forward to reading these two books. I have enjoyed reading all Laura's books and most of the recommended ones as well. I have found, however, certain books that just won't sink in and their value to me as opposed to the effort put in to be minimal. I realise, of course, that the fault is mine. For example, the two books of R.G.Collingwood- IDEA OF HISTORY and SPECULUM MENTIS-. I struggled with them both and really did not feel any the wiser at the end. Should I stick with what I really enjoy i.e.books of historical content like those mentioned by Laura and all the rest on the reading list.

I really hope I not creating noise here, but just wondered if anyone else has had this problem and if they managed to overcome it. Struggling with these books makes me feel I'm falling farther and farther behind.
 

Ant22

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Looking forward to reading these two books. I have enjoyed reading all Laura's books and most of the recommended ones as well. I have found, however, certain books that just won't sink in and their value to me as opposed to the effort put in to be minimal. I realise, of course, that the fault is mine. For example, the two books of R.G.Collingwood- IDEA OF HISTORY and SPECULUM MENTIS-. I struggled with them both and really did not feel any the wiser at the end. Should I stick with what I really enjoy i.e.books of historical content like those mentioned by Laura and all the rest on the reading list.

I really hope I not creating noise here, but just wondered if anyone else has had this problem and if they managed to overcome it. Struggling with these books makes me feel I'm falling farther and farther behind.

Hey Tuatha de Danaan, thanks for sharing your concerns :flowers: Did you read through the entire thread about the books you struggled with? It's this one. Many other members reported similar difficulties with those specific titles (myself included) so you're not alone in this :-)

I mostly understood what the author meant but the content didn't automatically link to other units of information in my head, at least not as effectively as it happened with other books. I've found all other reading recommendations to be interesting, I've even been looking forward to my journey to work and back home to read them. Collingwood felt like a chore, or school homework.

Maybe some of us still need to build a strong enough knowledge base for in order Collingwood to become easier to absorb? I read approximately half of The Idea of History. I haven't given up on it but I have put it on hold for now. I guess we may not be quite ready for it at the stage we are at, and I think that's OK :-)
 

Laura

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There is a debate over the "Nazareans" in the Quran (Nasara in modern Arabic). It could be related. The main criticism to this possible connection is the long period between the 1st and 6th/7th century (the plague of Justinian and related phenomena must be still going on) so that the Quran redactors shouldn't know about these "un-orthodoxe Christian". If on the other hand one consider like Heinsohn that the Roman 1st century history belongs to much later...

Edit: Attached is a paper I found about the Nazorean term in the Quran
Yes, I have Heinsohn's ideas in the back of my head all the time. All of these things may be much closer to each other in time than we suppose.
 

Eboard10

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Another book that touches on the origins of Islam is Emmet Scott's "A Guide to the Phantom Dark Age", where he describes the history of the Middle East at the time and postulates that Islam is an offshoot of the Ebionite and Nazarite Christian sects which spread through the Sassanid Empire and was then adopted by the Persian Emperor Chosroes II who later also married Shirin, a Syrian Christian.

He also supports Robert Spencer's thesis that the Qur'an was originally a liturgical book with selected texts of the Scriptures originally written in Syriac, making the figure of Muhammad a derivation of Jesus, and that the myth of the Prophet was invented by Arab propagandists a few decades later to justify the Arab empire that existed at the time, which was really the Sassanid Empire which had converted to Islam.
 
Hey Tuatha de Danaan, thanks for sharing your concerns :flowers: Did you read through the entire thread about the books you struggled with? It's this one. Many other members reported similar difficulties with those specific titles (myself included) so you're not alone in this :-)

I mostly understood what the author meant but the content didn't automatically link to other units of information in my head, at least not as effectively as it happened with other books. I've found all other reading recommendations to be interesting, I've even been looking forward to my journey to work and back home to read them. Collingwood felt like a chore, or school homework.

Maybe some of us still need to build a strong enough knowledge base for in order Collingwood to become easier to absorb? I read approximately half of The Idea of History. I haven't given up on it but I have put it on hold for now. I guess we may not be quite ready for it at the stage we are at, and I think that's OK :-)
Hello Ant22.
Cheered me up no end, thanks for that. You lifted me up from hopeless to hopeful . Before I went to the relevant forum pages on the afore mentioned books I got the idea of being in a lecture hall and" Listening" to the information.
I'm now 12 pages in and I feel its working. I can "listen" to what's being said and can go away and think about it. Very wordy books and my thinking hammer gets left on the front page.
 

seek10

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I got the book and will be reading it. Once we thought, Gods are made up and it looks even the messengers are also made up. It makes sense when we consider any thing that controls the human resource gets politicized( whether kings or Democracy elected world) and morphs into what the rulers wants - myth.
 
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