Comments on "Inspired by Muhammad"

Link to Inspired by Muhammad campaign

Inspired By Muhammad is an awareness campaign, launched on 7 June 2010 in London, UK, to improve public understanding of Islam and Muslims.

"The Inspired by Muhammad campaign is designed to improve the public understanding of Islam and Muslims. It showcases Britons demonstrating how Muhammad inspires them to contribute to society, with a focus on women’s rights, social justice and the environment".

Muhammad was an unenlightened delusional warmonger with a medieval attitude towards women. Islam treats him as an exemplar to be emulated, based on the Koran (or Qur'an), his (supposed) "recital", and the Hadith, his (supposed) sayings and behaviour.

Whatever he inspires, it is unlikely to include women's rights or social justice!


The Campaign

This appears to be another attempt at refuting criticism of Islam by a combination of denial and spin.

(The "Islam-is-Peace" campaign was another. There are a whole set of "Refutations" of this general type identified at WikiIslam).

The general approach is:

  • Act as though it isn't Islam that is wrong; but instead ...
  • Claim it is the non-Muslims' perception of Islam that is wrong.
  • Use selective quotes and anecdotes, and sometimes simply untruthful generalisations, to create a favourable impression of Islam in the view of a person who doesn't know the details of Islam.

References

Rather than publishing yet another commentary on this campaign, I'll refer to work already done.

Websites for the campaign

Abrogation

Abrogation results in chronologically-later parts of the Koran superseding chronologically-earler parts. The early parts tend to be more benign, because they arose when Muhammed had few supporters and less military power. They are therefore convenient for "cherry picking", because they show a side of Islam which is more acceptable to enlightened people. But according to abrogation, which is accepted by typical Islamic scholars, those benign early parts do not apply!

This is the website of the organisation responsible for the campaign:
Exploring Islam Foundation (EIF)

"Recent global events have intensified the appetite for information, analysis and insight into the faith of Islam and the mindset of Muslims. But sadly an information void exists that only those least qualified have the persistence to fill; with misunderstood, misleading and misconstrued “intelligence” about our faith, our way of life, our intentions."

"At EIF we appreciate that the relationship between Islam and various aspects of modern life are continually under intense scrutiny. We want to play an active part in that debate and discuss the place of Islam in 21st century Britain."

This is the "Inspired by Muhammad" campaign website:
Inspired by Muhammad campaign

It makes the following untruthful generalisations (see later "Comments"):

"I believe in social justice. So did Muhammad".

"I believe in women's rights. So did Muhammad".

"I believe in protecting the environment. So did Muhammad".

(It can validly be claimed that Muhammad had some policies that were an improvement on the pre-existing policies at the time. But that was over 13 centuries ago! Islam in its natural state, identified by the Koran and Hadith, is incompatible with Universal Human Rights and incompatible with the 21st Century).

Comments on the campaign

WikiIslam: Inspired by Muhammad

This systematically refutes, with references to the Koran and the Hadith, the above three "I believe in XXX. So did Muhammad" statements from the "Inspired by Muhammad" website.

Women's Rights: Inspired by Muhammad?

This is by Edmund Standing, but is published on Ophelia Benson's Butterflies & Wheels website.

Sultana 'Inspired by Muhammad' Tafadar and the IHRC

This is also by Edmund Standing. It provides more details of the woman displayed and discussed prominently on the "Inspired by Muhammad" website.