Spencer’s Friend Joel Richardson on Glenn Beck Pushing Myths about Islam

Glenn Beck is promoting the idea that Muslims are trying to hasten the End Times. On his show he had Joel Richardson whose book, “Anti-Christ: Islam’s Awaited Messiah,” he enthusiastically endorsed saying,

“A fascinating and provocative work. Joel has definitely expanded the frontiers in the ongoing exploration of the relationship between Islam and the rest of the world. A must read for priests and pastors, students and lay readers everywhere. Bravo!”

In Spencer’s debate with his mentor Peter Kreeft he directly mentioned his belief that Islam encourages the murder of Jews as a laudable action that will hasten the End Times:

There is a hadith, it isn’t in the Qur’an that says the Muslim must kill the Jews, and the Jews hide behind trees and the trees cry out and say, O’ Muslim there is a Jew behind me come and kill him, that is an authenticated hadith, and so it is considered to be a laudable practice for a Muslim to kill a Jew because it is something that hastens the coming of the end times in which all things will be consummated, but its not specifically in the Quran like that.

In this post at Loonwatch we counter these absurdities that Spencer and his colleagues propagate:

Glenn Beck recently has been harping on and on about the impending doom of Armageddon, and he has figured out who the Anti-Christ is, an “Islamic figure” known as the “12th Imam” or “Mahdi.” To help promote his pseudo-religio-apocalyptic propaganda he had Joel Richardson(fundamentalist Christian) and Zuhdi Jasser, token Muslim beloved by Neo-Cons and wacko Islamophobes.

Beck claims he has been studying this “issue” for nearly five or six years, which is hard to believe when he can’t distinguish between Shi’as and Sunnis:

This hysteria is quite revealing. The Christian right-wing has always scapegoated or somehow cast America’s perceived “enemies” at one time or another as the Anti-Christ. During the Cold War the Soviet Union and its Premieres were the Anti-Christ, during the Gulf War it was Saddam Hussein, at various points throughout history it has been the Pope, and Jerry Falwell thought it obvious that the Anti-Christ was a “male Jew.”

It would almost be an exercise in futility (since they are so obvious) to rebut the horrendous, blatant factual inaccuracies regarding Islamic Eschatology here, but a brief response is necessary.

In the first instance it must be noted that Islamic Eschatology is a debated topic with various theological opinions amongst scholars, and both Sunni Islam and Shia’ Islam have different views of the events and also place different levels of importance on these End Times characters/scenarios. For Shia’ Twelver Islam the Mahdi is a central figure of their Faith whereas amongst Sunnis he is not central to the Faith.

Before we approach this subject it must be made abundantly clear that Muslims believe that no one, not the Prophets, Saints nor the Angels know when the Last Day/End Times will begin. This knowledge belongs only to God because he is the one who has decided it:

“They ask you about the Hour (Day of Resurrection): ‘When will be its appointed time?’ Say: ‘The knowledge thereof is with my Lord (Alone). None can reveal its time but He. Heavy is its burden through the heavens and the earth. It shall not come upon you except all of a sudden.’ They ask you as if you have a good knowledge of it. Say: ‘The knowledge thereof is with God (Alone), but most of mankind know not.’”

[al-‘Araf 7:187]

2 – God says:

“People ask you concerning the Hour, say: ‘The knowledge of it is with God only. What do you know? It may be that the Hour is near!’”

[al-Ahzaab 33:63]

Ibn Katheer (3/527) said:

God tells His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that he has no knowledge of the Hour and that when the people ask him about that, he should refer the matter to God.

Al-Shanqeeti said (6/604):

It is known that the word innama (translated here as “only”) has the effect of limiting or restricting the meaning, so what the verse means is: No one knows when the Hour will come except God alone.

3 – God says:

“They ask you (O Muhammad) about the Hour — when will be its appointed time?

You have no knowledge to say anything about it.

To your Lord belongs (the knowledge of) the term thereof

You (O Muhammad) are only a warner for those who fear it”

[al-Naaz’iaat 79:42-45]

al-Sa’di said:

Because knowing the time of the Hour serves no spiritual or worldly purpose for people, rather their interests lie in it being concealed from them, the knowledge of that has been kept from all of creation and God has kept it to Himself. “To your Lord belongs (the knowledge of) the term thereof.” (via. IslamQA)

It also must be made abundantly clear that according to Islamic doctrine no one, I repeat no one has the ability to hasten the Last Day/End Times. The logic goes: How can one hasten something God has already decided? Nothing any Muslim or non-Muslim does or doesn’t do has one iota of an effect on hastening or bringing closer the End Times. This is completely and utterly in the power of God. To believe otherwise is considered disbelief and counter to Orthodox Islamic teaching amongst all Sunni groups and schools of thought, and I would venture to say most Shia’ groups and schools of thought as well (Shia’ readers feel free to add comments).

Furthermore, Islamic ‘Aqeeda, belief that Allah knows everything and all things happen through His power and Will is so profound and deeply ingrained that the idea of hastening the Last Days never occurred as a theological possibility, it was unimaginable! There is not much said about it over 1400 years of Islamic history precisely because it was inconceivable and absurd from an Islamic viewpoint.

In fact, throughout history individuals who have claimed to have been mahdis or messiahs have generally not had a very happy end: they have either been persuaded to repent, forced to repent, jailed, killed or castigated as false pretenders. (hat tip: Ahmed)

The cult of Juhayman al-Otaibi is a case in point. He is the famous mastermind behind the siege of the Grand Mosque of Mecca in 1979. He was forwarding the concept that his brother-in-law was the awaited Mahdi. To do so — amongst other things — he attempted to fulfill some of the “signs of the Last Hour” mentioned in Hadith. Juhayman and 67 of his followers were (after being captured) summarily executed.

What we are really seeing from Glenn Beck and the Christian Right crowd that he is pandering to with these insane antics is a classic case of PROJECTION. It is in fact many in the Christian Right who believe that the End Times, the Last Days can be hastened. They actually believe they have a role in bringing Jesus Christ back to Earth!

One of the violent consequences of this disastrous theology is that they believe the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque must be destroyed and the Third Jewish Temple be built for Jesus to return to earth. Imagine the repercussions if they are successful in this mad dash to instigate cataclysm?

The one piece of evidence that Islamophobes, Beck and his ilk use to try to instill fear in the populace is their de-contextualized recital of a hadith (saying of the Prophet Muhammad) and its variations that says, ‘the Last Day will not arrive until the Jews fight the Muslims and the Muslims defeat them.’

Beck and company want to pass off and interpret these ahadith as somehow calling for a hastening of the End Times. Not only is this interpretation antithetical to Islamic creed, not only is it an interpretation NEVER forwarded in the 1400 years of Islamic history by any of the hadith commentators (I have Fath al-Bari by Imam Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Sharh Sahih Muslimby Imam Nawawi, and other commentaries open in front of me right now), but it exposes a profound and disgustingly immense historical amnesia.

Why wouldn’t Muslims over the course of 1400 years, at a time when Christian Europe was murdering and enslaving Jews under the doctrine of Perpetual Servitude have exterminated Jews if Beck and his cohorts are right? Why were Jews thriving in the Muslim world? Why were they being appointed as Viziers, Advisors, Diplomats, Physicians to the Caliphs, Sultans and Amirs? Why was the Golden Age of Jewish thought and culture, the revivification of Hebrew (a previously near dead language) in lands ruled by Muslims? (I am currently writing a book review for LW on The Oranament of the World by Maria Rosa Menocal).

No doubt these ahadith have been used in a bellicose and bigoted manner over the past 80 or so odd years due to the political situation in the Middle East, i.e. the conflict between the creation of Israel and occupation and repression of Palestinians. But can the anti-Muslims who forward the claim that Muslims are using these ahadith to hasten the End Times bring one shred of evidence in which these ahadith have been used to instigate or incite pogroms or to usher in the Last Days over the last 1400 years? Maybe Bernard Lewis can help in this regard?

What Beck and co. are saying would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that it was so dangerous. Some nut or group of nuts is going to see his show and start arming himself against the evil Mooslims and think to himself that he has to get the Mooslims before they get him.

28 thoughts on “Spencer’s Friend Joel Richardson on Glenn Beck Pushing Myths about Islam

    • Indeed, Spencer’s lies have now entered the Fox propaganda machine and from there they will enter the hearts and minds of millions of Americans.

      Fox is so gullible it only took Spencer a few hours to sell them his ideas. Like Roland Shirk said, “For one brief episode, it was as if Jihadwatch had its own show on Fox.”

  1. Sensible, critical-minded people who know and interact with Muslims regularly, are always going to ask them questions directly about these things. When they eventually ask a Muslim who is knowledgeable about the subject, they’ll find out the truth that neither Beck, Richardson nor Spencer is willing to give them.

    That is why the propaganda hatched by these con-men at Fox and JW, will only ever work on the lowest common denominator.

    • Just want to verify… I have been told and seen passage in the Islamic book that state these things.. and when confronting people of this belief there is no denying the facts that Beck states… Are you implying that there is in fact no mention of killing non-belivers ( Christians & Jews). If that is the case….. then you are either incorrect, deceptive, or a liar…because it clearing states in their religions teachings that once a land falls under Islamic control, they are to do any thing and all things to keep it islamic, and no limits to what is required to revert it back to Islam. Which includes killing and torture… my friend… the only difference between that and Christianity ( not the people, but the teachings ) is that Christianity converts people based on love and not force… Please read more about these two religions ( their Origins, motivation, mechanisms to convert, main tenants and you will understand why the concern. Ignorance is not a virtue, nor an excuse !

        • Just a coincidence that the children were all from the same ethnic group and were forced to the supposedly Australian way of life. It’s also just a coincidence that the “grateful” children responded with hefty lawsuits.

          And I suppose your PM “accidentally” apologised for a crime that according to you was justified.

          Just admit it was wrong, or at least horrendously inappropriate, for them to do so just like I have condemned similar actions by Muslims. Or are you too busy thinking the Western world is perfect.

      • And about your silly comment:
        Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 841:

        “841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”

        I don’t know if you’re a Catholic, but I know that you are a loyal Spencerite (since you are on spencerwatch defending him, something Spencer is unable to do himself) and Spencer is Catholic. You say Allah is Satan. And Catholics worship Allah, whom numerous Popes and the Catechism have confirmed as being the same as the God of Abraham. Hence, you must also believe that Spencer is a Satan worshipper. Case closed.

    • First they come here pretending to be objective and claiming they want to discuss and learn. Then after a few irrational arguments their hateful intentions start to become evident. After being humiliated over and over again, they are simply reduced to one-liners.

  2. Then after a few irrational arguments their hateful intentions start to become evident. After being humiliated over and over again, they are simply reduced to one-liners.

    Since when is it irrational to call Allah or any other God Satan?It is purely a belief and like all religions, not based on fact.

    • It’s irrational because it implies that you believe Satan to be based on fact. And besides, how does that equation have anything to do with your explanation? If anything, it’s non sequitur.

    • Marty, calling another person’s God “Satan” makes you sound like a caricature of some right-wing nutter. It used to be funny but now it just sounds retarded.

      BTW, Christians in parts of the Muslim world call God “Allah.” Do you think they’re worshipping Satan?

    • Actually, what is fact is that in the Quran, Satan and evil is explicitly condemned repeatedly. This is fact written in scripture and this is what Muslims believe. Whether one believes God exists or not is irrelevant. So your little equation is irrational.

      Now, the 2nd part of your post you are implying that you are some sort of athiest. But for your equation to have validity, you must believe in the existence of God and Satan. So it’s quite a dilemma involving blatant contradictions for you here. I’ve never heard any real atheists believe in Satan, nevermind equating God with Satan.

      So you are a liar and a hypocrite just like all the islamohphobes who’ve slithered their way through this website. You have been reduced to one-liners because your only purpose here is to incite hatred and to ridicule.

      Good luck.

  3. Im shocked that such a pure news network like fox would have someone say these kind of things (sarcasem). Anywho This isnt news glen beck has always been afraid of muslims. Call me a conspiracy therist but i wonder if the guys at fox get paid for lying about islam. I suppose thats ridiculus seeing as a have no fact to back it up. But when i get right down to it i dont care what people say about the quran as long that i know the truth.

  4. Do you agree that there should be a critical analysis of Islam (the same as has been done with Christianity)?
    Is it not true that more than one version of Quran has been discovered? What about the inscription from the Quran that appears on the Al-Aqsa mosque that is NOT in the current edition of the Quran?

    • Most academic studies – apart from those far out there ones discussing the “Syriac origins of the Qur’an” etc. (Like Luxembourg, for example) which have been routinely dismissed in academia as eccentric and far-fetched nonsense – have pointed to only minor orthographic differences, with little variance. These variances have also been recorded since antiquity within the Muslim tradition itself. There are a few interesting academic articles that discuss this and the wider process of writing and visually representing the oral Qur’anic text, the ‘Uthmanic recension, and other non-canonical works.

      Before Puin decided to go the “Hagarism” route in his most recent book (resurrecting the long-dead ideas of Wansborough, Crone and Cook – which even the latter two authors have distanced themselves from in recent years as youthful speculation), Puin himself noted that the major differences were orthographical and to do with how certain letters or words were represented in the earliest texts.

      Out of the articles uploaded in the following list, I would especially recommend that the following be looked at on this topic. They are heavy-going, but very interesting and worthwhile, in my opinion for anyone interested in serious research in this area.

      The list is here.

      Other sites such as islamic-awareness.org/Quran/ also deal with many of these issues, but do not include the most recent research below. Obviously Islamic Awareness is from a Muslim perspective, but they have archived many useful resources and also have amazing images of the early manuscripts.

      And here are the ones from my linked list that I would suggest tackling first, in alphabetical order by citation:

      Rabb, Intisar A. “Non-Canonical Readings ofthe Qur’an: Recognition and Authenticity (The Himsi Reading)”, Journal of Qur’anic Studies 8, no. 2 (2006): 84-127

      Sadeghi, Behnam and Uwe Bergmann. “The Codex of a Companion of the Prophet and the Qur’an of the Prophet”. Arabica 57 (2010): 343-436

      Saleh, Walid. “In Search of a Comprehensible Qur’an: A Survey of Some Recent Scholarly Works”. Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies 5, no. 2 (2003): 143-162

      Saleh, Walid. “The Etymological Fallacy and Qur’anic Studies: Muhammad, Paradise, and Late Antiquity”, which is actually now a book chapter found in The Qur’an in Context: Historical and Literary Investigations into the Qur’anic Milieu, edited by Angelika Neuwirth, Nicolai Sinai, and Michael Marx. (Saleh’s article is pp. 649-698)

      Of relevance too is Gregor Schoeler’s chapter in the same book above, “The Codification of the Qur’an: A Comment on the Hypotheses of Burton and Wansborough” (pp. 779-794)

      I would suggest reading Walid Saleh’s first article, then Sadeghi if you really want to get into the orthographic differences etc. and then also Rabb’s which deals with a preserved non-canonical reading of the Qur’an based on manuscripts found in both the British Museum, Vatican Archives and early Muslim texts discussing and preserving the canonical readings.

      Anyway, for anyone who looks at them and manages to wade through – enjoy! 🙂

    • Is it not true that more than one version of Quran has been discovered?

      No, it is not. What was discovered in the Sanaa mosque in Yemen, was not a different version of Qur’an, but a copy of the Qur’an, differing only (at most) in the spelling of certain words (which is not uncommon) and the order of the chapters (which is permissible with a partial codex of the Qur’an).

      What about the inscription from the Quran that appears on the Al-Aqsa mosque that is NOT in the current edition of the Quran?

      Those inscriptions were never from the Qur’an to begin with, so it has nothing to do with the Qur’an’s textual integrity.

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