Muslim “Scholar” Reza Aslan Writes About Bible Without Having Read It

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


It's okay. He's "internationally acclaimed."

It’s okay. He’s “internationally acclaimed.”

Media outlets were enthused about the novelty of a Muslim playing “religious scholar” and embraced Reza Aslan. Unfortunately for them, Aslan hadn’t actually read the Christian and Jewish religious texts that he was writing about.

That led to CNN’s Carol Costello embarrassing herself by quoting Reza Aslan’s ridiculously ignorant musings about Noah. She would have gotten a better quote by asking any random person on the subway.

Aslan is eager to see “Noah,” and, no, it doesn’t bother him in the least if Aronofsky takes liberties with his portrayal of Noah.

He says the story of Noah in the Bible is barely four verses long. “If you wanted to make a biblically based Noah story it would be 10 minutes long. …if you’re going to approach this topic, you have no choice but to expand on it, to make things up, to create a narrative out of it.”

The most interesting aspects of the Noah story, he says, come after the floodwaters recede. “Noah gets drunk and lies naked in front of his son. Go and check it out. Open Genesis.”

If only Reza Aslan had taken his own advice. The story of the flood occupies 4 chapters. Chapters, not verses.

Those four chapters cover centuries in which a society collapses into moral decay, a flood overruns the earth, time spent in the ark during the flood and while waiting for the waters to recede and restarting society afterward.

It’s a significant difference making it clear that Reza Aslan has never actually opened Genesis beyond reading a summary of it somewhere. Either that or he doesn’t know the difference between a chapter and a verse.

Also Noah doesn’t lie in front of his son. His son enters while he is lying drunk.

Still it’s nice to see that Reza Aslan is supportive of artists taking liberties with scripture.

When it comes to his own prophet though, Aslan wrote of the Mohammed cartoon controversy, “As international human rights law recognizes, in any democratic society freedom of the press must be properly balanced with civic responsibility.”

“In the minds of many Muslims in Europe, the cartoons were intentionally inflammatory, published to further humiliate an ethnic and religious minority that has been socially and economically repressed for decades.”

But it’s okay to mock non-Muslim scripture. As usual Muslims have a double standard. One for their own religion and another for everyone else’s religions.

  • trickyblain

    Actually the author of the CNN op piece uses the word “verses,” not Aslan. And he’s right, it takes about five minutes to read the whole story. And yes, Noah does laie naked, drunk, in front of his son. How is this “mocking” a story in which Noah is a prophet in Islam as well?

    • Minicapt

      Gen 9″21 “… he lay uncovered in his tent.”
      Gen 9:22 “And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, …”
      You’re wrong, but for someone who willingly espouses the fantasies of Mohammedism, it is QED.
      By the way, pretty much the entire constellation of ‘prophets’ claimed by the followers of Mohammed are lifted from Jewish scriptures and folklore, and then mangled by the Mohammedan ‘theologian’ class. They do set a fine example for the Obama White House.

      Cheers

      • trickyblain

        I don’t espouse the fallacies of any of man’s manufactured religions, Minicapt. Islam is no exception.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      The author is quoting Aslan. CNN isn’t all that great, but I assume she can manage to write down verses.

      Nor does it take 10 minutes to film. And yes Aslan’s approach is mocking.

      The Koran borrowed the story, but Aslan clearly feels a properly Islamic contempt for the Bible.

      • robert4

        Sorry Daniel, the author is PARAPHRASING Aslan. (Incorrectly, it appears: https://twitter.com/rezaaslan/statuses/446758901216579585) It’s basic journalism, you shill, that quotes go between quotation marks.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          Aslan’s claim doesn’t make much sense since CNN also quotes him as saying that it would take 10 minutes to film.

          Given a choice between believing Aslan, a liar, and CNN, a news network known to stretch the truth, but still capable of writing down a basic quote, I’ll go with CNN on this one.

          • trickyblain

            Except it wasn’t a “quote.”

        • De Doc

          Aslan is not by any stretch of the imagination a scholar of ancient Hebrew or Semitic religions or an expert on Old Testament studies (no more than I am). The Noah account in its entirety spans 80+ verses, so Aslan is off by more than a bit. Why CNN couldn’t consult any of hundreds of university based experts on OT/Hebrew/Religion for a more educated opinion is beyond me, but that just shows how their reporters suck at getting decent consults for their stories. Heck they could have called a rabbi for a better comment than the hack Aslan! It’s no wonder CNN is a joke in the arena of cable news now.

        • HenDanK

          The flood story is told in Genesis Chapters 6,7,8, and 9. In total, there are 96 verses: 22, 24, 22, and 28 respectively. So he’s wrong either way. But the main point remains that it’s okay in his mind to distort biblical accounts but woe to him that mess with his religious text.

      • trickyblain

        I know that FPM “Shillman Fellows” (whatever that is) slither pretty low in the grass, but this is priceless. You’re trying to build your case on this editorial error to undermine Aslan? Hacky, to be very kind.

        And, of course, he never said it would take 10 minutes to “film” the story of Noah. He said it would take 10 minutes to tell the story. Considering it takes less than five minutes to read the Biblical version of this chapter in a 600 year old man’s adventures, makes sense.

        The story of Noah deserves scrutiny, at best. Scientifically and logically, it deserves mocking.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          “If you wanted to make a biblically based Noah story it would be 10 minutes long”

          He’s referring to filming it.

        • De Doc

          That CNN opinion post missed lots of chances to add scrutiny to the Biblical narrative on Noah. Nowhere is there a mention of any of the myths that preceded and inspired the story or of the fact that the biblical account has two versions of the story embedded within it. Asking Aslan to opine on Noah was silly, since he is not a Biblical scholar. But, true to form, Reza couldn’t miss an opportunity with his dismissive and bludgeoning treatment of this still very popular tale from Genesis.

    • KyraNelson

      Just curious- what does it mean to be “a prophet in Islam? The religion of depravity claims all the important players in the bible, but other than the “claim” itself, they don’t have any actual use for them. They certainly don’t emulate their righteous behavior. The only so called “prophet” they give any real credence to is mohammed & we know all about him.

      • Daniel Greenfield

        A prophet in Islam is any Jewish or Christian figure slotted in ahead of Mo.

        • KyraNelson

          Thanks, but it was kind of a rhetorical question. A “prophet” in Islam is a co-opted leader of someone else’s religion. They make up their own back story, and a whole new “narrative” for their acquired “prophet”.

          The only claim Islam has to being an “Abrahamic” religion is that Ishmael was the bastard son of Abraham, turned out from the family for his evil, immoral ways. His sword against everyone….plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

    • Bacchus

      only a musim is allowed (must) to believe the lies of the koran. Surah 3:54 says that allah is a deceiver TWICE

    • Elliott

      How can “Noah be a prophet in Islam”?
      Noah was NOT a prophet. He was the tenth generation after Adam.
      The details of the Flood – and its aftermath – as detailed in Genesis, are accurate, but as in ALL aspects of the Torah (the “Old Testament”) the function of the text is to TEACH (Torah = teaching). We learn that totally rejecting the word of God has its consequences. These are not (I stress NOT) the Pres. Obama ‘consequences’ vis-a-vis Pres. Putin.

      NONE of the people appearing in the Torah are Muslim “prophets”.
      Either Islam has its own “Prophet” (the One-and-Only – p#ss be upon him) or it has to steal from other religions. Now there’s a novel idea for a “religion”. Shabbat Shalom

    • Elliott

      Sorry: should have started:
      ‘How is it that “Noah is a prophet in Islam”.’, for an accurate quote of “trickyblain”

  • spideyismydaddy

    The author of this piece has not looked up Reza Aslan.

  • herb benty

    “Reza Aslan”…what a piece of work. Handsome( chosen for that), Reza( Westerners will dig that), Aslan( C.S. Lewis’s Lion). R A is a construct doing the dirty work he was intended to do. Wake up America!

  • robert4

    Odd, shill “journalist fellow” Greenfield takes Aslan to task for booze/Noah/Ham timeline but apparently Danny boy needs to work on his verbs: http://web.ku.edu/~edit/lie.html

  • DogmaelJones1

    Is this the same idiot who’s tweeted bare-chested selfies of himself wearing lipstick and sunglasses?

    • Goeffrey

      No, I believe that ‘s Sir Ahmed the Brave who runs away from debating Robert Spencer.

    • http://pislamonauseacentral.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain
      • Elliott

        The “ediot” is know as Ahmed Rehab – which begs the following thoughts –
        If Reza Aslan had:
        a drugs problem;
        tried to overcome his drugs problem – but was drawn toward the practice of homosexuality;

        Would he be in Rehab?????

        • http://pislamonauseacentral.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

          From the looks of him, he’s wouldn’t be the only one in Rehab.

  • liz

    What really annoys me is the whine about being “socially and economically repressed for decades”. Wonder who’s fault that might be?

    Being a barbaric, sociopathic murdering nutcase doesn’t usually win one a lot of friends. And that’s what Islam has been to the world, for a lot longer than decades.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      “Wonder who’s fault that might be?”

      The people who didn’t allow themselves to be enslaved.

      • liz

        Yes, it is perpetually the rest of the world’s fault.
        I doubt if there’s even a phrase in Arabic for “taking responsibility for ones own problems”.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          Taking responsibility means finding someone to blame and getting their Jihad on.

  • wally

    Americans, you have allowed the nigger-migger-shmigger to rule over you now for six years – without lifting a little finger to stop him – you deserve your burqa-covered future.

  • http://www.ducksoupe.com DuckSoupe

    The bible is an amazing book to read. Aslan should give the writings respect of reading it before commenting on it. He doesn’t have to believe in it ; but as being a journalist he broke journalist rule #1 “Read before you speak!”

    • Larry Larkin

      He’s not a journalist, he’s a taqqiya practicing propagandist.
      As such he uses the Goebbels technique of the Big Lie. Tell it often enough and loud enough and eventually people believe it.

  • PAthena

    There are other ancient accounts of a flood, e.g., Greek. Archaeologists have been investigating whether there was an ancient flood around the Black Sea, if my memory serves me correctly.

  • DogmaelJones1

    No, I wasn’t thinking of Greenfield. I was thinking of the photo of Aslan. Are you a troll, trying to be snarky?

  • liz

    Doing your little shill for the cause of jihad, eh? How touching.

  • Daniel Greenfield

    Yes, don’t blame him if he’s not very good at it.

    Loonwatch doesn’t have very high standards.

  • DogmaelJones1

    I must find a way to curb my temper with these trolls. Well, maybe not. So, he’s from Loonwatch? That figures.

  • http://pislamonauseacentral.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

    Best thing is to down vote and flag his comments. With a bit of luck, the mods here might block the troll.

  • DogmaelJones1

    Ah, the strategies one must adopt to foil the best efforts of trolls from the Hall of the Mountain King!

  • http://pislamonauseacentral.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

    Yep.