Dr. Jonathan Brown on stereotypes about Muhammad through the ages

This is a fascinating talk on the striking continuity to be found in Western stereotypes concerning the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) over the last 14 centuries.

It provides examples of why those who slander the Prophet with charges of "pedophilia" (God forbid) are, at best, historical ignoramuses. It really is as simple as that.

Jonathan Brown – Abiding Stereotypes About the Prophet Muhammad in the Medieval and Modern West from Ali Vural Ak Center for Global I on Vimeo.

The speaker is a friend of mine, I'm proud to say.

Update: One particularly thought-provoking fact that Brown highlights is how despite the age-old tradition of throwing everything including the kitchen sink (i.e., being in league with the Devil; the old standbys of lust for power and/or money;  sexual perversion; being a cardinal founded a heresy after getting passed over for the Papacy; ad infinitum), it never occurred to Western polemecists to criticize the Prophet's marriage to Aisha (ra) before the 20th century.

The fact that this the disgusting pedophilia smear is unique to our era should be eye-opening, because it's very significant. It shows that across the spectrum people until very recently didn't even find this aspect of the Prophet's life noteworthy, much less scandalous enough to use against him in sectarian polemics. That all these pseudo-scholars and pundits can now browbeat society into imposing a standard that never occurred to even the most hostile and endlessly inventive* of non-Muslim polemicists in the Middle Ages or later during the actively sectarian polemics that accompanied the colonial project–is really incredibly damning vis-a-vis the competence and integrity of these gutterminded bigots who pollute our political and cultural life today with such moronic slanders.

* To wit, Brown recounts how one motif of attacks on the Prophet was the idea that he conned people into believing he was receiving revelation through the use of a bird. The story goes that he put food in his ear and then placed a bird on his shoulder. The food would that cause the bird to appear to be talking into his ear.

  • AA

    Speaking of Western polemecists criticizing the Prophet’s marriage to Aisha (ra) before the 20th century …
    One of the comment I discovered while casually browsing this topic, is this:
    http://thegoodgarment.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/aisha%E2%80%99s-marriage-a-hyper-salafi-perspective/#comment-408

  • http://www.cartoonmuhammad.com Cartoon M

    That war really intersting. JazakAllah Khair for posting it. And like brother Jonathan said, the accussations against the prophet haven’t changed much for hundreds of years. I guess people who try to use false information for personal gain aren’t very creative.

  • http://neocolonialthoughts.wordpress.com Sara

    Wow, please tell your friend that this lecture is amazing!
    Thank you so much for posting!


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