Gods of War

Richard Batholomew reads World Net Daily, so you don’t have to. This time he’s found a piece about Theodore Shoebat, son of Walid Shoebat. Walid is another of those “ex-muslims” who do the evangelical circuit telling everyone how horrible Islam is. They’re about as credible as the ex-witches and the ex-atheists.

Theodore has discovered that the ancient Mesopotamian Epic of Atrahasis mentions a God whose name can be rendered “Alla.” Shoebat jumps to the conclusion that this is actually “Allah,” and thus this is the deity that Muhammad spoke about. Worse, this God was a God of “violence and revolution,” putting lie to any claims of Islam being a peaceful religion.

Batholomew does the actual work of checking what little there is in the way of facts behind this claim, and decides that there’s just nothing there:

The whole thing is a mess; Shoebat fails to make any link between the character and story of “Alla” in the Atrahasis with the concept of Allah in Arabia. And his association of “Alla” with “violence” in the Atrahasis appears to be based on his personal (and very odd) subjective view of the story. The whole argument amounts to no more than the banal observation that “Alla” sounds like “Allah”.

What’s interesting to me is that actual credible scholars have suggested that Yahweh began his career as a God of war and storms. One of the many names of God in the sacred writings is Yahweh Sabaoth or “He Who Raises Armies.” We see bits of the Bible like Exodus 15:3, “The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name,” or Isaiah 42:13, “The LORD goes forth like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his fury; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes.”

So ironically, the God of the Muslims is a violent God, since they believe they share a God with the Christians and Jews. But whatever Shoebat thinks he’s gained from his argument, he’s now left with another argument, since he’ll have to explain why everything he says about Islam doesn’t apply to Christianity.

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