Just this goy...

Friday, March 02, 2007

I was checking for the date celebrated as Muhammad's birthday, and was struck by dramatic difference between the treatment the article receives compared with the article on Jesus:

Muhammad (Arabic: محمد‎ muḥammad; also Mohammed, Mohamet, and other variants[1][2]) (570-632 AD)[3][4] was an Arab religious, political and military leader who founded Islam and the Muslim community (Arabic: أمة Ummah). He united the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula into a federation of allied tribes with its capital at Medina.

According to Islamic traditions, Muhammad began receiving revelations from God (Arabic: ألله Allah) from the age of 40, delivered through the angel Gabriel over the last 23 years of his life. The content of these revelations, known as the Qur'an,[5] was memorized and recorded by his followers and compiled into a single book shortly after his death. The Qur'an, along with the details of Muhammad’s life as recounted by his biographers and his contemporaries, forms the basis of Islamic theology. Within Islam, he is considered the last and most important prophet of God.[6] Muslims do not regard him as the founder of a new religion but as the restorer of the original monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham and other prophets, [7][8][9][10][11] whose messages, according to some, had become misinterpreted or corrupted over time. [12]

Jesus (8–2 BC/BCE to 29–36 AD/CE),[1] also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity. He is commonly referred to as Jesus Christ, where "Christ" is a title derived from the Greek christós, meaning the "Anointed One", which corresponds to the Hebrew-derived "Messiah". The name "Jesus" is an Anglicization of the Greek Iesous, itself believed to be a transliteration of the Hebrew Yehoshua or Aramaic Yeshua, meaning "YHWH is salvation".

The main widely-accepted sources of information regarding Jesus' life and teachings are the four canonical Gospels of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Most scholars in the fields of history and biblical studies agree that Jesus was a Jewish teacher from Galilee, who was regarded as a healer, was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified in Jerusalem on orders of the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate under the accusation of sedition against the Roman Empire.[2][3] A small number of scholars and authors question the historical existence of Jesus, with some arguing for a completely mythological Jesus.[4]

The comparison is startling, imo. Read the words carefully, and examine them for emotional focus as opposed to academic focus. Note the complete lack of references/citations for the names of Jesus section of the opening paragraph of that article.

And note the differences in original sources: for Muhammed we know precisely who wrote the book, and we have contemporary commentators. For Jesus the references are the "canonical" gospels; in short the religious books prove the religion.

Very sad.

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