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

Laura

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Long familiarity with the similar processes that created Judaism and Christianity makes it not at all surprising to me that Islam is similarly constrained. There are a few dozen books on those topics that really help to understand how religions develop/get created, based on various characters who are co-opted to play certain roles. And it can sure happen in a hurry if things are in turmoil at the time!

In other words, what Townsend is saying about Islam is not at all unusual or surprising; it's typical and par for the course.
 

nature

Jedi Council Member
Hi bozadi, it seems you're on a good path of curiosity, discovering, searching for truth, questionning.
I haven't read the Koran, neither these recommended books but I follow this thread and I'm interested by all types of subjects.

Just some thoughts: if you never had the idea to question the existence of Muhammad, maybe it's because for Alevis the prophet is not Muhammad but his son-in-law Ali who allegedly had another ideology, less islamist? Divisions is islam are so accentuate, that it seems a mess, an absence of unity, a chaos in this religion. For example, shiites and alevis both worship Ali, nethertheless they remain very different from each over.

And if I don't mistake: Alevis are more close to Mevlana (a suffi master) than to islam per se? And this point facilates the fact that an Alevi has the potential to question Ali's existence? Some (from my memories when i was a kid, from what I heard here and there) say that Alevis were not muslims, that they were Christians and had to convert themselves to islam (particularly alevism beetween islamic branches, because it is more moderate and tolerant) in order to prevent their genocid by Sunnites. Still today, in Turkey, there is a fault line beetwen alevi minority and Sunnites; these later don't consider the previous as Muslims. As you said, lots of alevi intellectuals have been murdered because of their more opened religion.
All my apologizes if I mistake, as I haven't studied all this stuff myself, but just what I heard from turkish and armenian acquaintances when I was younger.

I'll be glad to hear about a Sunnite so as to these recommended books, to the fact that they have been completely manipulated by their Book. Because questionning this is a very courageous act. Same thing for questionning Ataturk: any turkish man/woman will be killed if he/she dares questionning him, his agenda, the armenian genocide.
Just the fact of getting threats when questionning a subject is a sign that there is something very ugly behind it.
 

bozadi

Jedi
Hi bozadi, it seems you're on a good path of curiosity, discovering, searching for truth, questionning.
I haven't read the Koran, neither these recommended books but I follow this thread and I'm interested by all types of subjects.
Hi, nature :-)
 

bozadi

Jedi
Just some thoughts: if you never had the idea to question the existence of Muhammad, maybe it's because for Alevis the prophet is not Muhammad but his son-in-law Ali who allegedly had another ideology, less islamist? Divisions is islam are so accentuate, that it seems a mess, an absence of unity, a chaos in this religion. For example, shiites and alevis both worship Ali, nethertheless they remain very different from each over.
This is an interesting subject. I mean, the relative position of Muhammad and Ali for Alevis. There are many different ideas on this but as far as I’m aware, a great majority of Alevis in Turkey will, at least nominally, accept Muhammad as the actual prophet of Islam and Ali his best friend and partner. But compared to Muhammad, interestingly, Ali takes much more place in religious, historical and moral understanding of Alevis. But Anatolian Alevism and Syrian Alawism (Nusayrism), which can also be found in some Turkish cities bordering Syria, are somewhat different despite a great common ground. If I’m not mistaken, Nusayris tend to deify Ali more readily. Jafaris (standard Shia, who are also present in Turkey) are another matter. They tend to criticize both Alevis for loose identification with Islam and Nusayris for deification of Ali, although Shia/Jafaris also put Ali to a very special place. Many 'over-devout' Sunnis are at a loss about which of the three they must hate or criticize more!

And if I don't mistake: Alevis are more close to Mevlana (a suffi master) than to islam per se? And this point facilates the fact that an Alevi has the potential to question Ali's existence? Some (from my memories when i was a kid, from what I heard here and there) say that Alevis were not muslims, that they were Christians and had to convert themselves to islam (particularly alevism beetween islamic branches, because it is more moderate and tolerant) in order to prevent their genocid by Sunnites. Still today, in Turkey, there is a fault line beetwen alevi minority and Sunnites; these later don't consider the previous as Muslims. As you said, lots of alevi intellectuals have been murdered because of their more opened religion.
All my apologizes if I mistake, as I haven't studied all this stuff myself, but just what I heard from turkish and armenian acquaintances when I was younger.
Yes, Mevlana is a favorite character for Alevis but they don’t have a special connection to his person, it is just that Mevlana apparently emphasized that ‘love/morality/conscience’ must be at the center of religious life, rather than formalities. This appeals to Alevism. It may be right that for many Alevis, “Muslimhood” is just a social mask for protection and an opportunity of relating to Muslims. There are many Alevis (but they are not the majority) who consider themselves non-Muslim. This is especially widespread among those Alevis who now live in Europe, especially Germany. They are freer after all.

Yunus Emre is another, maybe even more, favorite Sufi character to Alevis. He lived in Anatolia. This is from one of his poems:

“What they call heaven
Is a few houses and houris
Give them to those who want them
I need You, only You”

Some, but not all, Sunni circles, especially those with salafi/wahhabi tendencies, hate him along with many other Sufis because, as can be seen from the quatrain, some of Sufi views clash with mainstream Islamic doctrines. Apparently, some of these Sufi guys, like Yunus Emre, tried to transform Muslim communities into something more positive. Those who accuse certain Sufi characters to be non- or anti-Islamic are somewhat right about this. But despite this, many Sunni people can’t help but are drawn to them, or, at least, can’t accuse them to be non-Islamic. This reminds me the C’s statement to the effect “You can’t survive if you obey the rules.” (I don’t remember the exact statement).

I'll be glad to hear about a Sunnite so as to these recommended books, to the fact that they have been completely manipulated by their Book. Because questionning this is a very courageous act.
Although a great majority of Turkey’s population is Sunni Muslims, I don’t think that more or less “devout” ones are the majority. And the amount of actually “bigot/zealot” ones is much less of course but there have always been a secret Saudi-origined Wahhabi influence/pressure on Turkey’s religious communities, and probably on almost all other Muslim countries. This was even so in Ottoman times. And as you probably know, there are claims that founders of Wahhabism are of Jewish origin. This reminds me the ‘Jewish Zealots’ issue and what the C’s said about Islam in the last session.

One of the interesting things about the Persia/Iran region is that it may be Sufism’s place of origin. Another interesting thing is that, as I encountered this idea accidentally in an article, Mongol invasions were somewhat influential on the strengthening of some Sufi circles in Persia and, gradually, Iran’s conversion from Sunni to Shia Islam. I might be generalizing this idea erroneously though. Today’s Iranian understanding of Islam or Shia might not be so compatible with Sufism, but this might be a necessity for Iran’s ability to appeal to the great (Sunni) majority of the rest of Muslim world. Although many Sunni Muslim governments appear to hate or oppose Iran, a significant part of their public might have a hidden admiration of Iran, just a guess. It is Israel and Wahhabi Saudi dynasty that force Muslim states to oppose Iran.

Same thing for questionning Ataturk: any turkish man/woman will be killed if he/she dares questionning him, his agenda, the armenian genocide.
Just the fact of getting threats when questionning a subject is a sign that there is something very ugly behind it.
No, I don’t think that any Turkish citizen would be killed if he/she questions Ataturk. In fact, hatred towards Ataturk is not so rare in Turkey. And those who hate him have been even more comfortable to express their views since the AKP became the political power. Yes, there is a state/law pressure against insulting Ataturk but it isn’t and can’t be applied in all situations, rather symbolically. What is more interesting is that, Erdogan has faced the fact that Ataturk was not just a detestable dictator but an anti-imperialistic hero from another perspective. He almost envies him now. Previously, he was accusing Ataturk most severely (a drunk fascist!) But over time, he saw that a significant part of the nation’s admiration of Ataturk was not a lie or lip service, it is actual and fair! He now more accuses some certain extremist Kemalist circles of exploting the ‘good Ataturk’ for their nefarious purposes!

I think that in Turkey, the hatred towards recognition of the Armenian genocide is somehat more widespread or stronger than the hatred towards Ataturk, for instance.
 

nature

Jedi Council Member
Thank you Bozadi for these explanations! It's more complex than what I believed. Dividing people, spreading ideologies here and there, in all domains , is humanity's cancer, all over the centuries and all over the places on Earth.

Overcoming a cancer is possible by strenghtening our immunity
Overcoming ideologies is possible by strenghtening our conciouness. This forum is wonderful!
 

Gaby

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I just finished Townsend's "The Mecca Mystery", a book that I thought would be not worth reading but found to be a page turner instead. Even though it is disheartening to see how Muslims suffered and continue suffering via the War on Terrorism, it is also evident that Islam sits on shaky grounds since its inception and adopting that ideology has had terrible results for people and their environment. It was interesting to realize how pre-Muhammad Arabs enjoyed a tolerance that is no longer promulgated.

I liked how the book promoted critical thinking and also the historical tour of Late Antiquity. Knowing the background of cometary impact (plus subsequent chaos) and the discussion in this thread added a better perspective. Thanks for the discussion!
 

Anthony

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I just finished Townsend's "The Mecca Mystery", a book that I thought would be not worth reading but found to be a page turner instead. Even though it is disheartening to see how Muslims suffered and continue suffering via the War on Terrorism, it is also evident that Islam sits on shaky grounds since its inception and adopting that ideology has had terrible results for people and their environment. It was interesting to realize how pre-Muhammad Arabs enjoyed a tolerance that is no longer promulgated.

I liked how the book promoted critical thinking and also the historical tour of Late Antiquity. Knowing the background of cometary impact (plus subsequent chaos) and the discussion in this thread added a better perspective. Thanks for the discussion!
I started reading it a few days ago, it really is a page turner and written so that a layman can keep up with the discussion. So far I get the impression that some that write authoritatively about Islam (especially authors that deal wih anti-imperialism, US wars in the Muslim nations), have an overly rosy picture of the religion.
 

Anthony

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Having finished reading Townsend's book, I've picked up Maher Shiraz's book on Salafi-Jihadism, which was mentioned on SOTT's Truth Perspective. Apparently, the idea driving the movement is:

Salafi thinkers and theologians believe that the Islamic civilization will be cured of all ills, and thrive and flourish again once Muslims adopt and apply the Islamic codes, law, norms and values to their everyday lives as they were in the 7th century during the time of the Prophet Muhammad and his first four successors, known as Al-Khulafa-ur-Rashidun, The Rightly-Guided Caliphs.
But as Townsend has shown, none of this has any validity historically; there was no Islam as we now think about in the 7th century, no Muhammad, and certanly no Rightly-Guided Caliphs.

Furthermore, there is insistance on Shari’ah and opposition to Jews:

They believe that the Shari’ah, the moral and religious law, is the Master Plan given by Allah (literally translated “the God”) to mankind. As such, it is the manifestation of Allah’s ultimate will, and therefore people should live their life only according to the Shari’ah.
Townsends also showed that without the influence of Judaism and Zoroastrianism, there probably wouldn't even be a Shari’ah to begin with.

What a mess!
 

Laura

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I just rec a notification from the author:

Where have you been? Fair question. Part of the answer is that I have been working on finishing my latest book.

I’ve also been caught up in the ‘Great Social Media Purge of May 2019’. On a single day both Facebook and Twitter deleted my accounts with no warning and no right of appeal. In the process I lost more than 100,000 Twitter followers and both my personal and ‘Questioning Islam’ Facebook pages.

I have never even had a temporary ban on either network.I have not once called for violence against anyone and have never targeted any individual with ‘hatred’, invective or whatever else I’ve been accused of. Whatever that may be? Both platforms declined to give specific reasons. They are able to act as judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one it seems.

I suspect, although I obviously can’t prove it of course, that the ‘Purge’ was in preparation of the ‘Social Media Summit’ to battle online extremism (chaired by Jacinta Adern and Emmanuel Macron in Paris this week). This way the ‘giants’ could show that they are doing something. Even if that ‘something’ amounts to banning content that did not even come remotely close to advocating violence and was actually aimed at combatting extremism (of the kind they prefer to ignore).

I’ve thought long and hard about how to respond to this. One response would, of course, be to leave these platforms altogether. Which I guess is what they want. The creation of ‘Safe Spaces’ into which no politically incorrect idea is ever allowed to intrude. I realise that there are alternative networks (and will pitch my tent there as well) but the sad and brutal reality is that the ‘masses’ that we need to reach are on Facebook and Twitter. So I’ve taken the hard decision to start the long slog of rebuilding my presence. I’ve also opened a MeWe (a free-speech friendly social media network) account and will start to regularly post there.

Can I please ask you to help me recover my voice? Here’s how you can help:
1) Twitter – My new profile can be found here. Please follow me there and share my posts when they come up.
2) Facebook – My new Facebook profile can be found here. Please send me a friend request and share my posts whenever you can.
3) MeWe – My brand new MeWe account is here. Please send me a friend request over there as well if you are a member.
4) Email – Please stay on this list and forward my emails (especially this one!) to some of your contacts who may benefit from my work.

Thanks so much for reading and for giving a friend a hand!

Kind regards,

Peter
 

luc

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I just rec a notification from the author:
Is there an article about this somewhere? If there isn't, I think he should write a little about it and send info about this to the various alternative/conservative media and pundits out there. Post-millenial, Daily Wire, Jordan Peterson, Tim Pool and the like.
 

Altair

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Is there an article about this somewhere? If there isn't, I think he should write a little about it and send info about this to the various alternative/conservative media and pundits out there. Post-millenial, Daily Wire, Jordan Peterson, Tim Pool and the like.
It's on his FB page:

In case you’re wondering why you received a friend request from me. I have been part of the ‘Great May 2019 Purge’. So what I’ve built-up over several years just vanished without a trace due to the unquestionable decree of whoever determined that I’m guilty of ‘thought crime’. So this is just me attempting to re-establish myself here for one last time before perhaps riding off into the FB sunset. Not sure how long I will last. If you would like to stay in touch please sign up for my email updates at www.petertownsend.info (and get a free ebook to boot!) 😀 Regards, Peter
 

thorbiorn

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I just rec a notification from the author:

Where have you been? Fair question. Part of the answer is that I have been working on finishing my latest book.

I’ve also been caught up in the ‘Great Social Media Purge of May 2019’. On a single day both Facebook and Twitter deleted my accounts with no warning and no right of appeal. In the process I lost more than 100,000 Twitter followers and both my personal and ‘Questioning Islam’ Facebook pages.

I have never even had a temporary ban on either network.I have not once called for violence against anyone and have never targeted any individual with ‘hatred’, invective or whatever else I’ve been accused of. Whatever that may be? Both platforms declined to give specific reasons. They are able to act as judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one it seems.

I suspect, although I obviously can’t prove it of course, that the ‘Purge’ was in preparation of the ‘Social Media Summit’ to battle online extremism (chaired by Jacinta Adern and Emmanuel Macron in Paris this week). This way the ‘giants’ could show that they are doing something. Even if that ‘something’ amounts to banning content that did not even come remotely close to advocating violence and was actually aimed at combatting extremism (of the kind they prefer to ignore).

I’ve thought long and hard about how to respond to this. One response would, of course, be to leave these platforms altogether. Which I guess is what they want. The creation of ‘Safe Spaces’ into which no politically incorrect idea is ever allowed to intrude. I realise that there are alternative networks (and will pitch my tent there as well) but the sad and brutal reality is that the ‘masses’ that we need to reach are on Facebook and Twitter. So I’ve taken the hard decision to start the long slog of rebuilding my presence. I’ve also opened a MeWe (a free-speech friendly social media network) account and will start to regularly post there.

Can I please ask you to help me recover my voice? Here’s how you can help:
1) Twitter – My new profile can be found here. Please follow me there and share my posts when they come up.
2) Facebook – My new Facebook profile can be found here. Please send me a friend request and share my posts whenever you can.
3) MeWe – My brand new MeWe account is here. Please send me a friend request over there as well if you are a member.
4) Email – Please stay on this list and forward my emails (especially this one!) to some of your contacts who may benefit from my work.

Thanks so much for reading and for giving a friend a hand!

Kind regards,

Peter
My browser behaved strangely when I pressed the "here" links, and I don't know why. What happened was that the Twitter and Facebook closed when I tried to view the content. While it is true that my pc updated yesterday, I am just wondering why the browser behaved that way.
The links under "here" were:
Code:
Twitter: https://petertownsend.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=697c42ff929dcc2165615be51&id=ef8159540c&e=0a597fdaa2
Facebook: https://petertownsend.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=697c42ff929dcc2165615be51&id=ef8159540c&e=0a597fdaa2 and
MeWe: https://petertownsend.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=697c42ff929dcc2165615be51&id=35d7954d78&e=0a597fdaa2
 

goyacobol

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
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