Monday, August 8, 2011

Haman and The Man in the Red Underpants (TMITRU)

Yesterday we learned that the Islamic Education and Research Association (iERA) have published a new booklet in their latest dawah (missionary preaching of Islam to encourage people to convert and thus grow the strength of the ummah [Islamic population])
We saw that, in characteristic fashion, iERA were less than honest in the way they chose to illustrate the miracle of embryology in the Qur'an by choosing to quote a professor who was hoodwinked into making various statements by an Islamist terrorist and anti-semite.
Today we shall examine a claim for miraculous historical knowledge in the Qur'an in the same booklet: the story of Haman
Here's what iERA's booklet says: 
Pharaoh said: “O Haman! Build me a lofty palace, that I may at­tain the ways and means- The ways and means of (reaching) the heavens, and that I may mount up to the god of Moses: But as far as I am concerned, I think (Moses) is a liar!” [The Quran; Chapter 40 - The Forgiver, verses 36 and 37]

Much has been made of the mention of this Haman, claiming that Mohammed copied stories from the Bible and got it all mixed up.
[...]
We do however, contrary to the mocking claims of many Christian polemicists, have a Haman, located in Ancient Egypt that seems to fit the bill perfectly.
I am intrigued that A. R. Green, the author of TMITRU, should have decided that the story of Haman would help to convince people of the miraculous nature of the Revelation since, as he says, many people have suggested that Mohammad misunderstood his sources and created a story that makes no historical or logical sense ....

Pharaoh and Haman were two of the most dangerous figures in the history of the Jews. Both of these men attempted genocide against the Israelites. Pharaoh gave the command to kill all male newborn babies (Exodus 1) and Haman plotted to have all Jews killed who were living in exile in Persia (Esther 3). However, these two events were separated in two ways: (a) the geographical distance of several thousand kilometers between Egypt and Persia, and (b) about a thousand years distance on the historical timeline.
So how does A.R. Green get around this problem?

i. by claiming that the Haman in the Qur'an was simply master builder of some sort by carefully redacting other references* to Haman in the Qur'an which make it clear Mohammad thought he was a top government official, if not second in command to the Pharaoh

*Lo! Pharaoh exalted himself in the earth and made its people castes. A tribe among them he oppressed, killing their sons and sparing their women. Lo! he was of those who work corruption. And We desired to show favour unto those who were oppressed in the earth, and to make them examples and to make them the inheritors, And to establish them in the earth, and to show Pharaoh and Haman and their hosts that which they feared from them. And We inspired the mother of Moses, saying: Suckle him and, when thou fearest for him, then cast him into the river and fear not nor grieve. Lo! We shall bring him back unto thee and shall make him (one) of Our messengers. And the family of Pharaoh took him up, that he might become for them an enemy and a sorrow, Lo! Pharaoh and Haman and their hosts were ever sinning. S. 28:4-8 Pickthall
ii by referring to the discredited "research" of Maurice Bucaille which claims that evidence of a "Haman" in Pharaoh's Egypt has been found by "expert Egyptologists" and that this Haman was, wonder of wonders, a master builder.
Dr. Maurice Bucaille was one of the first people to study the name Haman from an Egyptological view point. (What does this mean?) He surmised that since ‘Haman’ was mentioned in the Qur’an during the time of Moses in Egypt, the best course of action was to ask an expert in the old Egyptian language, i.e., hieroglyphs, regarding the name. Bucaille narrates an interesting discussion he had with a prominent French Egyptologist:
“In the book Reflections on the Qur’an (Reflexions sur le Goran), I have related the result of such a consultation that dates back to a dozen years ago and led me to question a specialist who, in ad­dition, knew the classical Arabic language well. One of the most prominent French Egyptologists (Bucaille never mentions who this "expert" is), fulfilling these conditions, was kind enough to answer the question.
I showed him the word ‘Haman’ that I had copied exactly like it is written in the Qur’an, and told him that it had been extracted from a sentence of a document dating back to the 7th century AD, the sentence being related to somebody connected with Egyptian history.
He said to me that, in such a case, he would see in this word the transliteration of a hieroglyphic name (but, for him, undoubtedly it could not be possible that a written document of the 7th century had contained a hieroglyphic name – unknown until that time – since, in that time, the hieroglyphs had been totally forgotten.(This is gibberish since the name Haman existed, as we know, in the Bible. And in any case the Arabic Haman and the Egyptian hieroglyph differ markedly as "there are actually only two consonants in which this particular Egyptian name and the Haman in the Qur’an agree: M and N. Can non-Muslims be faulted for getting the impression that Bucaille is manipulating the evidence and is deliberately trying to fool an ignorant audience? 40% of the Egyptian name correlates with 40% of the Arabic name (i.e. both names contain an M and an N), and that is supposed to be an “exact transliteration” and a miracle of the Qur’an that should convince us that this book is of divine origin?" Katz.)
In order to confirm his deduction about the name, he advised me to consult the Dictionary of Personal Names of the New Kingdom by Ranke, (incorrect title - it is not "...of the New Kingdom" and therefore the book is a list of names not from a period of 500 years but 3,000 years!) where I might find the name written in hieroglyphs, as he had written before me, and the transliteration in German.(there is no such thing as "transliteration in German"...or in any particular language for that matter - it's universal.)
I discovered all that had been presumed by the expert, and, moreover, I was stupefied to read the profession of Haman: ‘The Chief of the workers in the stone-quarries,’ (Incorrect - the name has no such description after it. A blatant fabrication. The description actually comes in Wreszinski's book) exactly what could be deduced from the Qur’an, though the words of the Pharaoh sug­gest a master of construction.
When I came again to the expert with a photocopy of the page of the Dictionary concerning ‘Haman’ and showed him one of the pages of the Qur’an where he could read the name, he was speech­less…
Moreover, Ranke had noted, as a reference, a book published in 1906 by the Egyptologist Walter Wreszinski: the latter had men­tioned that the name of ‘Haman’ had been engraved on a stela kept at the Hof-Museum of Vienna (Austria) (wrong - it's actually the Kunsthistorisches Museum as Bucaille would know if he really went there. The name changed many years before. And "Haman" appears not on a stella but on a door post). Several years later, when I was able to read the profession written in hieroglyphs on the stela, I observed that the determinative joined to the name had emphasised the importance of the intimate of Pharaoh.” (Again this is incorrect. In addition the Islamic site that has been pushing these lies, islamicawareness.org, has had to change its story many times in in the face of irrefutable evidence of Bucaille's intellectual dishonesty. AR Green fails to mention that it now admits: "It is curently not possible to determine with any degree of certainty whether this hieroglyph refers to the Qur'anic Haman"
Now that’s what I call an ‘amazing level of information!’
No - that's what I call sloppy copying of extremely dubious research with the express intention of persuading vulnerable people to adopt your faith.

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