Talk:Ibn Warraq

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Warning[edit]

I have seen material on the internet that purports to identify Ibn Warraq by name. In my opinion it would be very wrong to put his name into the Wikipedia (even if this particular attempt to identify him is fallacious). DKleinecke 21:40, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Quote[edit]

The quote needs to cite its source. -- Reuben 16:46, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Can the source be his book (Why I am not a Muslim?)? Anyon that owns it (unfortunately I don`t) could verify if it is. PMLF 01:32, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

The quote is from a radio show called The Religion Report, which I added to the external links. It still needs cleaned up though, the quote leaves a bit in the middle out with notice. JayMehaffey 22:20, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Does anyone else think there are too many quotes? There are more quotes than actual information about the author. Also, the quotes (if they are to be left on the page) need to be cited inline or at the very least more context needs to be provided. Thanks. DevanJedi 13:29, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Literal translation of name[edit]

I've heard that Ibn Warraq means "son of the scribe"? Is this true? If so, it might be worth mentioning in the article. Andjam 04:01, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

My dictionary defines it as meaning mainly "paper manufacturer, papermaker"; it can also mean a copyist of manuscripts. AnonMoos 17:19, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Now separate article Warraq... AnonMoos (talk) 14:55, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Zora[edit]

Zora, why are you removing reference to a exsting article?

Further, Ibn Warraq is a "self proclaimed" ex-Muslim, since his identity is secret. There is no evidence of him ever being a Muslim. You know that some people love to call themself that, sometimes witout even knowing basic Islamic prinicples. --Striver 10:07, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Who has falsely claimed to be an ex-Muslim? Arrow740 10:20, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
Because those articles are not necessary and should not exist, that's why. I wish you would stop making them. You seem to get some satisfaction out of creating a new article which I just do not understand. As for Ibn Warraq's Muslim background -- having read a number of his books, I am absolutely sure that he was raised in a devout Pakistani family. That could not be faked. He's too bitter about the rote religious instruction he received as a child! Adding the "self-proclaimed" is raising a doubt about his background -- and I don't believe that anyone other than yourself has ever doubted it. Zora 10:18, 22 November 2005 (UTC)


The term "self-proclaimed" could be used in reference to any descriptor any person uses in reference to him or herself. If I say I am an American, it is to be taken, quite simply, as fact, unless some person has some glaring evidence to the contrary. If a third party were to describe me as a "self-proclaimed" American, the third party on some level expresses their doubt as to the veracity of my claim of nationality. It would therefore be incumbent upon that party to demonstrate enough evidence to, in the eyes of a reasonable person, ascribe doubt to my claim of American nationality. If that cannot be accomplished, then the term "self-proclaimed" is not apposite. 208.97.242.130 14:06, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Of course it could get faked, why couldnt it be? And yes, i dont belive he is a Muslim, i belive he is just another muslim hater that gets a kick out of promoting apostacy, and makes a buck on bigots bying his book. Therefore its "self proclaimed", since we have nothing exepct his word for it. Actualy, we dont even know if it is one person or a group of persons writng it, just to make a point.
NO one but you has EVER raised this doubt. It is not notable. He has published many books, he has a website, he gives interviews -- this is one person. Nor is he doing this to make money, I should say, since most of his books are dry-as-dust collections of academic articles that wouldn't be big-sellers. You clearly haven't read any of his books. He is just NOT one of the flamboyant Muslim-haters like Robert Spencer. His sour experience with Islam as a child has turned him against ALL religion, not just Islam. He criticizes Islam, but it's informed criticism, not mud-slinging. I'm removing the phrase, dang it. Zora 08:41, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Maybe i dont know as much as i should about this character. I like your new edit, its ok. --Striver 13:35, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Regarding books:You dont own wikipedia. Dont like the book article? Dont look at them. You do remeber that nobody agreed with your "Striver is making book articles!!!" [1] and that i got encourged to keep doing just that [2]? --Striver 14:11, 22 November 2005 (UTC)


How do we know that the Pope is Catholic? Should we call him a self-proclaimed Catholic? Andjam 10:31, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
Because we know how his parents are, what school he went to, etc. --Striver 14:11, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
Could you provide some examples of noteable people claiming to call themselves Muslim but aren't? Andjam 10:33, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
Notable people usualy make sure to keep a secret identity if they want to fake being muslis, otherwise they wouldnt become notable as their hoax would imediatly be discovered. Here is a example of a hoax that did not become notable: User:Saduj al-Dahij.--Striver 14:11, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
"Usually"? Pray, who else do you suspect is a "self-proclaimed" Muslim? Andjam 09:06, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

People may wish to peruse Wikipedia:No original research Andjam 09:06, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

It's inaccurate to refer to Ibn Warraq as a scholar[edit]

Ibn Warraq is merely a pseudonym; because we don't know who he is, we don't know what his credentials are. Therefore, we can't simply state that he is a scholar. The fact that he has written a number of books doesn't make him a scholar. Abu Hanifa was an Islamic scholar, and John Esposito is a non-Muslim scholar on Islam. Ibn Warraq is just an author. BalancingAct 15:53, 28 January 2005
If he writes scholarly books, he's a scholar. Andjam 03:59, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
There are plenty of scholars who would vehemently disagree that Warraq's books have any scholarly value whatsoever. The very title of his most well-known work, "Why I am not a Muslim", indicates a strong non-scholarly bias. Given that we have no information about his credentials, it's best to just call him an author and leave it at that. BalancingAct 01:55, 29 January 2005
Just because some (unnamed) people supposedly say that his works are no good doesn't mean he is not a scholar. Andjam 07:07, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Is Bertrand Russell not a scholar because he wrote a book called Why I Am Not A Christian? Brentt 20:29, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
His books contain glaring factual inaccuracies and parts of them are incredibly poorly written. Most academic scholars on Islam don't even take him seriously. It's true that the controversial nature of his work alone doesn't disqualify him as a scholar, but his anonymity coupled with shockingly unprofessional tendencies in his books (like his failure to document or provide citations for entire chapters) is enough to refrain from objectively labeling him a scholar. BalancingAct 02:25, 29 January 2005
If notable people criticise his work, then by all means mention what those notable people say in the body of the article, but your personal opinion would count as No original research Andjam 09:15, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
For starters, try this: http://speed.city-net.com/~alimhaq/text/warraq.htm BalancingAct 16:06, 29 January 2005

I'd say that Ibn Warrag qualifies as a "popular" scholar, like Karen Armstrong. He has had university training (he studied under Watt) but he is not an academic. He collects and comments on academic papers for a non-academic audience. Does an OK job of it, too. I've got a shelf of scholarly books on Islam and I have a number of his books too. This is scholarly work. Academics don't cite him, but I've never read any criticism either. I don't regard anonymity as a minus; he has good reason to be afraid. He still has family in Pakistan, and they'd be at risk if it were known that a relative was an apostate. Not a comment on Islam in general, just on Pakistan. I'm starting to have a feeling that YOU don't like him, BalancingAct, and that you're looking for reasons to criticize him. Zora 11:25, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

First of all, removing the reference to him as a scholar is not criticism. I haven't added "Warraq claims to be a scholar on Islam, though his work has been dismissed by others in the field." I've simply noted that he is an author and left it at that. Putting aside my biases, I would say that ibn Warraq's work is sorely lacking in scholarly value. His book, "Why I am not a Muslim" is very poorly written. He makes claims about Islam and Islamic history that are patently incorrect. He provides ample citations for the orientalist sources he consults, but virtually none for the Muslim sources. He has an entire chapter on Muhammad (Chapter 4, "Muhammad and His Message") that he claims is based entirely on Muslim sources, but is completely devoid of any footnotes or references to said Muslim sources (not surprisingly, the chapter is replete with blatant inaccuracies). I'm not opposed to the fact that he criticizes Islam; Bernard Lewis is a respectable scholar who has written thought-provoking works critical of Islam. I may vehemently disagree with him, but I won't deny that he's a scholar. Warraq, however, is completely unprofessional in his approach, to an extent that is unworthy of objectively calling him a scholar. And I don't buy his argument for why he has chosen to remain anonymous; Tariq Ali is a former Muslim who also has family in Pakistan. BalancingAct 16:06, 29 January 2005
This section is completely inappropriate. Chapter 4 of Why I am not a Muslim does have footnotes. The style of Warraq's work and his reasons for being anonymous are irrelevent. Epa101 (talk) 21:10, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Why I am not a Muslim is a polemic work. If that were all he had published, I wouldn't call him a scholar. However, I have found his collections of scholarly articles, The Origins of the Koran, What the Koran Really Says, and The Quest for the Historical Muhammad, to be useful points of entry into the academic discourse. If you haven't read those books, then your critique is based on a misapprehension. Zora 23:32, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

The fact that Why I am not a Muslim is a polemic work doesn't excuse it from minimum standards of scholarly professionalism, nor should it have no effect on its author's standing and reputation. BalancingAct 21:21, 29 January 2005

Now it's very clear that you don't like that book. It is not an academic work and not to be judged by those standards.
I don't agree with Ibn Warraq's attack on religion in general. I'm a Buddhist; he would regard ME as a superstitious fool too. But I find it easy to separate out that aspect of his thought from his other work re Islam -- which consists mainly of presenting scholarly work to the non-academic reader. Don't let your feelings re one book overshadow the rest of what he has done. Zora 03:57, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Look, we're not talking about how Why I am not a Muslim affects the merit of Warraq's other works; we're talking about how Why I am not a Muslim affects Warraq's standing as a scholar. And I don't think that's a unreasonable analysis. Just because it's not an academic work doesn't mean that it shouldn't be held to basic, remedial, minimum standards of scholarly professionalism. BalancingAct 00:41, 30 January 2005
The one cite you've managed to find accusing Ibn Warraq of unprofessionalism is an essay by a Muslim on an Islamic website. I've been collecting various academic bibliographies (to guide my own reading). None of them mention Ibn Warraq. None of them mention Karen Armstrong either. Those are popularizing works. I've read them both. They gloss over difficulties. OK. But I don't recall being "offended" by either one, the same way I'm offended by something like Steven Shwartz's work on Wahhabism. I didn't finish my PhD, but after 3 years in graduate school at the University of Chicago, I think I could be regarded as a scholar.
If you can find a review by a serious academic scholar in a peer-reviewed secular periodical, we can cite that as an indication that his status is debatable. Zora 06:00, 30 January 2006 (UTC)


Although this discussion is more than two years old, I thought that I should add that Ibn Warraq said in Why I am Not a Muslim in the first sentence of the acknowledgements, "I am not a scholar or a specialist." That should end the discussion. The link above from the Muslim site is extremely biased and hypocritical. To say that Warraq does not cite sources is absolute slander. His references run to fifteen pages in Why I am not a Muslim. Epa101 (talk) 21:09, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

About the "ISIS" web site[edit]

An interesting point: "Ibn Warraq", whoever he/she is, is often being quoted when referring to the "Institute for the Secularisation of the Islamic Society" (ISIS), a web site that purportedly advocates for the "freedom of conscience and religion", whatever is meant by that. The site is mentionned in the link section of this wikipedia article on "Ibn Warraq". That "ISIS" site has been recently overhauled to wipe out its most insulting parts, but the point is that I clearly remember having visited it in its very first beginning: at that time it promoted, in its "links" section, heinous, racist and nowadays illegal nazi-like web sites that have been banned since. Today these links no longer appear on the new ISIS site, but I clearly remember them. Given the admiration hailed by neocons at "Ibn Warraq", it would be interesting to discover the very political "lower parts" of all this "Ibn Warraq" affair. TwoHorned

Citations, please? Google gives one hit for "institute for secular islam" neo-nazi. Andjam 00:09, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Sure. Here you go: go to the internet archive [3], and look for secularislam.org, with the following date: June 18, 2003. There is a link, at the bottom of the page called "the complete list of sites offering an alternative view on Islam". This link maps to [4], and have a look of their "masada 2000" link. That is (or was) the site of the Kach Party. Please note that I said "nazi-like", and not "neo-nazi". Moving up in the "Masada 2000" site by visiting their homepage, you will notice the description they give to the palestinian people as a whole: "The cancer within". Nice people, eh, "ibn Warraq" friends ? The Kach party has been banned in Israel since. The funniest part of this is the "review" given by the ISIS web-site on the masada 2000 link: "Good design, good material on the truth". It is rather laughing to unmask "Ibn Warraq" ! TwoHorned
Thanks. I'm glad that Kach's view on Islam is regarded as alternative, rather than mainstream. Don't forget that unmasking is original research. There's nothing wrong with original research, just so long as it isn't done in wikipedia. Andjam 10:33, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, "alternative", at the very least, should we say. I didn't tell who is under the mask, however. So I'm not making original research here. After all, "Ibn Warraq" is a pseudonym, so asserting that the name is a mask is not quite a discovery. TwoHorned
I looked at the links you provided but I don't see and any nazi like web site links. On the old version of the ISIS web page there are many links one is to a rather harsh page as you have pointed out. It might be offensive but it doesn't seem racist. What ethnic group are they attacking? Rascism is not the correct term for deriding a religion. 2ct7 17:22, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
When they say that a whole population is a "cancer within" (see above) they are targetting a human group. By the way, they also focus on a religion. TwoHorned
A "human group" is not a race. Targeting a a religion is not racism. 2ct7
Here is an excerpt of their "cancer within" web page link: Israel's growing cancer: we are talking about the Arab citizen of Israel (see [5]). So, not racist do you think ? Even to your standards ? TwoHorned 21:49, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
So what you're saying is that some years ago, secularislam.org linked to another website which compiled a list of other websites which provide "alternative" perspectives on Islam, including some sites of unpleasant provenance. Well, yeah, it did. These were not ISIS links at all. ISIS was linking to another website, which actually provided a useful resource. And if they provided rather little real annotation on the sites (certainly the Kach-related site could have been more usefully denoted than with "Israeli-nationalist", true though that undoubtedly is), perhaps that explains why ISIS eventually dropped them. None of this has much to do with ISIS per se. --Dannyno 08:22, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Most of those websites bragged by ISIS featured quite a similar pattern in their content, which was much informative about the signifiance Ibn Warraq' friends at ISIS intented to mean by "alternative" per se. And, almost none of those sites has anything to do with atheistic viewpoints on Islam, as opposed to what the "ISIS motto" would presumably let believe. BTW, what do you find "useful" in the Kach link ?TwoHorned 18:12, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I looked at this above. I think that his attempt to call Ibn Warraq a neo-Nazi is fairly ridiculous. The links in question were not on his site but on another site that he linked to [so it was a link to a link to a site]. Secondly, this site that he did link to had a very broad range of sites that criticised Islam, including Black groups, Hindu groups and sites that were against all religion. Calling him a neo-Nazi because of this makes about as much sense as calling him Black or calling him a Hindu. Epa101 21:21, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

No one calls him a neo-nazi. The term "nazi-like" was used in ref. to a particular web site linked to by ISIS, not about Warraq himself. Ibn Warraq is just another emanation sprouting off the neo-con swamps. TwoHorned 12:24, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Rubbish! Ibn Warraq is realpolitik. He's never said a neo-con statement in his life. Epa101 (talk) 19:21, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
This was his comment shortly after 11th September 2001:

One hopes that the U.S. government will not now act in such a way that more innocent lives are lost, albeit on the other side of the globe. One hopes that even now there is a legal way out in international courts of law. The situation is far more delicate and complex than a simple battle between good and evil, the solution is not to beat hell out of all Arabs and Muslims but neither is it to pretend that Islam had nothing to do with it, for that would be to bury one’s head in the Sands of Araby. If any American presidential candidate had said this, they would have already been kicked out of the race. Epa101 (talk) 15:33, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

For sure. Then for what damn reason do the neocons brag IW ? Go back to the early ISIS site, had you any doubts about the similarities between IW's "ISIS" and other web sites a la Horowitz. That would be quite like saying that Irsi Ali was not aknowledged by neocons. You bet ! They offered her a position! TwoHorned (talk) 14:34, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

The use of him by neocons is not particularly extensive. No more than his use by in Britain [where I live] by people such as Johann Hari (who is very left-wing) or Richard Dawkins (who, when he does talk about politics, is generally left-of-centre). I do not see the similarities with Horrowitz. Ibn Warraq does not go around accusing university professors of being a liberal conspiracy or calling the Democrats the party of racial tension. He has not supported war. He might consider democracy to be superior to Islamic theocracy, but you might be surprised to know that almost everyone in Europe believes that. Yes, there are many more cultural relativists in America than there are in Scandinavia. It is just that Europeans are not as keen on having actual wars for democracy. Epa101 (talk) 13:46, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

A least, many neocons often quote IW as a source of their dislike of traditional Islamic society. And IW has emerged in the public domain, and has been relayed, approximately the same time neocons went under sunlight. And the ISIS website, in its beginning, was quoting other websites that are more or less related to the emergence of the neocon propaganda, in its hardest and blatantly pro-istraeli form. IW is often related to other people that are markedly linked to neocon think tanks, like Spencer or others. I don't care if IW is a neocon or not, he's just conveying a similar ideology, which is not specially far-right, as many neocons themselves don't care about the left or the right. IW opposes to war, OK, but the similarities are on other grounds: Pipes or Perle, for instance, take the same stance as IW about the purportedly necessity of an Islam purged ot its Shari'a (which is impossible as Shari'a is a central part of Islam, just as jewish law is a central part of jusdaism: remove it and there is no judaism left). In France, a bunch of stupid leftist bozos, who were deeply engaged in May 68, like Bruckner or Goupil for instance, totally agreed with the neocon agenda and approved war in Irak. Ibn Warraq or Bat Yeor are often cited in the printed productions of these milieux. All of that is probably more than coincidence. You are also free to believe that war in Irak was for democracy. I strongly doubt it, and it is more likely an application of the "constructive chaos" concept, which was put forward by neocons just to ease the situation of Israel in the ME. TwoHorned (talk) 16:05, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Maybe it is just because I am in Britain but I do not recognise this. I have heard of joint works with Robert Spencer but no further. Perhaps, you could show us other places where Ibn Warraq has been cited by neocons? I have not seen it. Being anti-Islam does not make you a neocon. Look at Serbia at the moment! They are anti-America and anti-Islam. Greece are just the same. In India, both Hindu extremists and Sikh extremists are strongly anti-Islam, but no-one would call them neocons. The Tamil Tigers have ethnically clensed Muslims in Sri Lanka; are they neocons? Then, there are people who oppose Islam just because they do not believe in it - a category that includes me - and also people such as Richard Dawkins, Victor Stenger, etc. There is no need to link Ibn Warraq with neocons. The old I.S.I.S. website only had links to links to extremist sites; that is too remote. Also, it is clear that whoever compiled that long list of websites could not believe in everything that was on each of them, seeing as you cannot simultaneously be a Zoroastrian, a Hindu fundamentalist, a Zionist and a Black separatist all at once. Look at the site and you would see links to all those groups on there. This link between Ibn Warraq and the neocons is too remote and insignificant to make it relevant to any article on him. Epa101 (talk) 10:12, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Just have a look of the results given by a simple search of Ibn Warraq quotations in Horowitz's Frontpage magazine, to get acquainted with, say, a common way on contemplating certain subjects. It is also likely, however, that Ibn Warraq, if not a neocon, popped out just like many others at the right place and right moment to receive the fruitful benefits from the "war on terrorism". As someone said, divine malediction can be sometimes an editorial benediction. TwoHorned (talk) 11:46, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Interesting. I did not realise that FrontPage magazine quoted him so frequently. I would have thought that he was insufficiently pro-war for them. In the first link, he is asked at one point whether he considers himself to be a conservative. He does not really answer with a yes/no but talks a bit about how he has changed. I can see what you mean more now though. Epa101 (talk) 23:21, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks to you. Interestingly enough is the second link, where Ibn Warraq graciously quotes Michael Leeden, a peaceful hardworker in the innocent cause of "war on terror", and who is very likely particularily well documented on that subject. Wikipedia has quite interesting articles on these matters. TwoHorned (talk) 12:11, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Humanist[edit]

I've added Ibn Warraq to the category of Humanists, since he appears on the secular humanism article.

Given the discussion of the last section, and the unfortunate link found on an old version of "Ibn Warraq"'s favorite web site (I graciously repost it here: [6]), it seems that quite a disappointing 'humanist" is added to the list ! TwoHorned 20:02, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Adding web sites. Suggestion that we discuss in talk first before adding to article.[edit]

As fallout from other related articles such as Ali Sina and Faith Freedom International we're seeing edits like this, [7] which add large numbers of links to Islamic sites without explaining the relevance. For consensus can we please add each web site as a new subject in the talk and allow us to verify it's notability in turn ? Ttiotsw 05:38, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I've added an external link tag since their are no critical links and the section is an inconsistent pileup.--Kitrus (talk) 08:09, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
External linking policy does not require critical links, especially on BLPs. If you feel there is an issue with inconsistent organisation, why not put forward a proposal or even be WP:BOLD not WP:DRIVEBY'in? John Nevard (talk) 15:31, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Critics[edit]

"Herbert Berg has labelled him as polemic and inconsistent in his writing.[1]"

Good referred and sourced point. I think it's worth putting it in the article. TwoHorned 20:12, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't have access to the article. Is there anything worth quoting or expanding on. A quote would be nice. --Otheus 10:48, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Penname[edit]

From the source for the information about reasons for the penname: "The author of Why I Am Not a Muslim uses it due to concerns for his personal safety." Some other aspects of it are not stated as unambiguously as this is. So caveating this in the wikitext is puzzling. --Otheus 12:16, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes, may be. But I don't know Ibn Warraq saying that by himself. The reference in question is extremely in favour of Ibn Warraq, and, nobody knows a single thing about him/her. He/Her choosed to wear a mask. Let him/her assume all the consequences, among them is the fact that everything about Warraq is unclear. TwoHorned 21:18, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't matter if he was called "Mr Smith", the whole point is that we have reliable sources that on balance we can say that there is a person called "Mr Smith". That the person has been published leads us to presume there is a person. In the long history of religious and political (actually is there any difference ?) protest the use of pseudonyms has been a very necessary precaution to protect people from harm. Live with it. Even if we knew the persons real name; what changes about what the person writes ? - nothing. Ttiotsw 00:42, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

It's clear that this is a penname of someone who does not want such details to be clear. So, we have no other source but this article for information. It would violate WP:NOR for you to further diminish the certainty of the article. However, if you find another source, and it appears reliable, then we can modify the article accordingly. --Otheus 23:31, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the quotes. In quotes implies Ibn Warraq said this whereas the reference just says "The author of Why I Am Not a Muslim uses it due to concerns for his personal safety." and thus isn't actually quoting him. Ttiotsw 00:42, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

A fair point. Perhaps it would be better to put the quotes in and lead with "According to ...".--Otheus 00:57, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree with that latter point. There are many likely explanations for using a penname. May be he did that for his safety, but this is just the ref's opinion. TwoHorned 08:54, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

The fact that "Ibn Warraq" is a pen name should be mentioned in the very first line of this article. -71.162.87.72 (talk) 18:08, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Done. -72.70.31.11 (talk) 22:19, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Known[edit]

How does that blog's report on his supposed personal facts comprise information "known" about this anonymous writer? I couldn't figure out their sources and fact-checking but it could just as easily be made up as his name. It may be best to adjust the wording to retain uncertainty. The Behnam 12:26, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

He is not an anonymous writer , he uses a pen name thats all. He is a well known scholar and makes regular public appearances and speeches .--CltFn 17:04, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
The Behnam is right, because a blog is not a WP:RS. I didn't notice it in the first place, hence that reference must be suppressed in the article. TwoHorned 21:02, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Blogs are self-published internet-based material. The Blanket is an on-line journal that started as a print journal regarding voices for the "Irish Republic" (IRA). It has (or had) editors and a publication board which can be seen here. Therefore, it is not a blog. --Otheus 10:47, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
I think I put this issue to rest by including a reference from an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Company's "Radio National". Please see the reference if you have questions. --Otheus 11:00, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, the problem is that, in your reference, it's not Warraq who says that, but the "summary". In the interview, ibn Warraq does not says he used the penname for his safety.TwoHorned 18:41, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
There is no problem. If it was in quotes then Warraq said it ad verbatim. It is not in quotes thus it is what the presenter (in this case) has said (it is not just in the summary but also what Lyn Gallacher says as the introduction). It is not in the interview per se. Is this a WP:RS ?. Yes is probably the answer. Ttiotsw 19:41, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
TwoHorned, a journalistic interview has a responsibility to provide an accurate summary on the interviewee. It is highly probably that the interview received this summary from Warraq himself, then did some level of fact-checking to ascertain the validity of that source. With the older reference, you definitely had a point here. But I think now you owe it to the reader to show why this source is not reliable. Just to be certain, however, I made it clear in the reference that the facts were cited from the introduction to the interview. --Otheus 21:40, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
If you say so. Anyway, the problem with Ibn Warraq is that we'll always find journalistic sources, not academic. The whole problem with Ibn Warraq just gets down to that. TwoHorned 21:25, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
For better or worse, that's probably 80% of Wikipedia. --Otheus 23:56, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Is this picture 100% sure?[edit]

I am fairly sure that Ibn Warraq does not reveal his face except in meeting with selective audiences. The secularislam.org website still has a blank face next to his profile. Are we sure that this picture is alright? There is quite a large risk if this is wrong, you know! Epa101 21:24, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes that is him. And he does show his face publicly. I wonder where you came up with that idea.--CltFn 01:49, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Could I have a full citation please? As to where I got the idea from, he has his face blacked out on the secularislam.org website, and I have never seen his face before despite being quite into his work for around a year now. Epa101 20:29, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

I found this http://www.americanfreedomalliance.org/microsite/collapseofeurope/bios.htm , which has a similar picture further down. This supports the photo's claim. Was the picture on the page taken at this conference? If you go on Google Images and type in "Ibn Warraq", the American Freedom Alliance one is the only one that comes up. I may ask secularislam.org about it just to make sure. Epa101 20:38, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

There is no copyright information. From WP:CENSOR which has been bandied about: "that is judged to violate Wikipedia's biographies of living persons policy can be removed." From WP:BLP: An important rule of thumb when writing biographical material about living persons is "do no harm." So, please do no harm by making his image public. This would enable people who have threatened his life to target him more easily. Thanks. Arrow740 03:31, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

There appears to be some information here. If you think the info is a bit scant, I would take it up with the uploader and ask them to address your concerns. As for the WP:BLP policy, the line about "do no harm" is referring to the fact that this site isn't a tabloid. The Wikipedia:Avoiding harm essay itself explains the contestable nature of the issue; it isn't clear cut, black and white. There isn't express justification i've found in either the policy of the essay addressing subject safety. MezzoMezzo 10:00, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

What about "do no harm" don't you understand? Arrow740 04:34, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
"Do no harm" is something we should certainly consider here. It's important to note that we're bringing further attention to the personal appearance of an individual who uses a pseudonym for his own personal safety. With that in mind, we should also consider that his picture is listed on the "Collapse of Europe" site posted above- whether this means that he is fine with his picture being posted, or is simply unaware (which seems unlikely), is really anyone's guess.--C.Logan 08:57, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
i think the prime concern here should be with regard to the sourcing for the image, which IMO is currently insufficient. if his image has been properly published (such as the image provided by Epa) then it may be used. concern about his safety isn't much of an issue here, it's not like he's been photographed in his own privacy by paparazzi. if he comes out into the public eye to speak at conferences, he obviously isn't as worried about people seeing his face as Arrow740 is. if he decides to start using his real name one day, that too is information not to be withheld. not so sure why Arrow isn't as stringently invoking WP:NOT#CENSORED as he has done previously. ITAQALLAH 11:22, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I think that it probably is alright after all. I think that this policy of his to now speak in open and be seen is a new one, so we were right to be cautious. Thanks to all who responded to my query. 86.137.180.151 20:56, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Imo, the picture of Ibn Warraq should be removed. It does not serve any significant purpose, and one should consider therefore his safety. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Morias Enkomion (talkcontribs) 22:06, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

He clarified the matter in this interview. He has only recently started to show his face, but it is a deliberate policy to spread his ideas more widely. Therefore, the use of his photo is justified. Epa101 (talk) 13:43, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Project atheism[edit]

Ibn Warraq is not an atheist. He is an agnostic according to http://www.apostatesofislam.com/apostates.htm This seems to be in line with what he writes. I have never seen him declare himself to be an atheist; he does argue against God, but this is always the Abrahamic sort of God. How do we get him out of Project Atheism? Epa101 19:14, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Criticism[edit]

It seems that a user is trying to cut the criticism section that has been here and edited by numerous users is sourced and a counterweight to the otherwise positive spin on Ibn Warraq. The sourced criticism clearly applies to his writing, which is not terribly academic. Ibn Warraq is not a scholar, just a writer that has a bias for works of outright orientalism and contoversial scholarship. Having wikipedia say that scholars take that view of his writings is not poisoning the well. Also, the fact that it might have been edited by a banned user does not mean it must be cut. Jayran 15:54, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

The negative criticism in that section appear to have been cherry-picked, and was added by a sock puppet of a banned user. That is unacceptable, and especially in an article regarding a living person. I have removed the disputed content per WP:BLP. -- Karl Meier 08:11, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm reverting it back in because WP:BLP makes no suggestion that a good edit by a banned user must be removed. Also, only the reference to Berg was by a banned user it appears. It is hardly cherry-picked - real scholars in this field do accuse Ibn Warraq of being a polemicist and not a real scholar. People like Spencer, who have never gone through a single academic channel praise him, while actual scholars that go through peer-review often criticise him. Ibn Warraq receives little attention from academia but it is important to note that they almost invariably mention him being a polemicist. Jayran 17:20, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
removing the section under the pretext that it was added by a banned user (for which no evidence has yet been given) is really quite dubious, considering that it was i who wrote most of it, barring the comment from Berg, which i have personally verified. Karl Meier contests that the views presented have been cherry picked; if there is anything they - or any other respected academic scholar - have written which present alternative views, then please be my guest and insert them. unfortunately, partisan writers aren't likely to get much positive feedback from their work except by partisans. ITAQALLAH 13:05, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Jayran, Itaqallah: Okay then, there is no need to spend time arguing over whether or not a banned user should be reverted. My latest revert was because the material in that section was one sided critical, and therefore against WP:BLP. Itaqallah might believe that the vast majority of RS have been critical towards the articles subject, but as the ArbCom has already mentioned, even if 90 percent of the sources has been critical about the person, then we are still not allowed to turn the article into a one-sided attack page against a living person. Another issue is, please keep in mind that WP:BLP also apply to discussion page. -- Karl Meier 07:57, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
three sentences in an appropriate section discussing reliably sourced criticism cannot realistically be perceived as "turn[ing] the article into a one-sided attack page against a living person," especially when nowehere else in the article is criticism discussed. WP:BLP does not forbid mention of criticism in BLP articles, nor does it specify that it must be balanced with positive views if none such exist amongst reliable sources. WP:BLP states that any criticism to be mentioned must be sourced to highly reliable sources, which the passages in question are (if you don't agree as to their reliability, we can discuss this further). ITAQALLAH 11:01, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
The man posits himself as a scholar in this field but if the only reviews of his work by actual scholars in the field is scathing, this should be included. Citing banned users and wp:BLP doesn't change the fact that he isn't well-received by actual academics or scholars. It is hardly an attack on him as it is only threee lines. If the majority of the article was criticism, then yes, that would be an attack. Major scholars in the field, publishing under the academic journals pertaining to the subject are reliable sources no matter how you try to spin it. Jayran 14:34, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
The man does not posit himself as a scholar in this field. He says that very clearly in the prefaces to his book. The only people who posit him as a scholar are radical Muslims and their apologists, who are usually too stupid to know what a scholar reads like. Epa101 (talk) 15:03, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

The criticism at this time is heavily biased against Ibn Warraq. The quote from Varisco in particular doesn't tell us anything substantive, which is of course ironic. In praise of "Defending the West" I would mention reviews by Caschetta, Barnidge, and Berkowitz. A more balanced review (where would that fit in?) comes from Robert Irwin.Mr. Sextus (talk) 13:27, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

peacock terms[edit]

Arrow740, if you are having trouble deciphering WP:PEACOCK, please do specify where you are experiencing difficulty. ITAQALLAH 16:22, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

POV edits[edit]

CltFn, a lot of your edits have shown contempt for neutrality and sourcing policies. here's a few examples of the unencyclopedic (and largely uncited) material inserted:

  • undue praise of his works as "scholarly" ("Ibn Warraq continued his writing with several scholarly works...", "Soon Warraq had earned a world wide reputation as an iconoclastic scholar of Islam.")
  • flattering and laudatory language ("... well known...", "Warraq greatly taken by these events...", "He is also an outspoken human rights activist and has written extensively in support of the Human rights of oppressed minorities throughout the Muslim world", "There Warraq developed a keen interest in reading and study." etc.) see WP:NPOV and WP:PEACOCK.
  • many of the sources you have provided are below par, either in depth of detail provided by yourself, or in reliability and verifiability (a number doubtful assertions are sourced to a worldmag.com which appears to be a staunchly Christian oriented website[8] and is thus highly unlikely to be a reliable source. it also requires subscription to see the passages in question).

as such, i have tagged the section accordingly. please work on rectifying these errors and on removing poorly sourced (or unsourced) material as well as the swathes of tendendentious language that has been inserted. ITAQALLAH 16:53, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

ITAQALLAH -First of all you are advised to refrain from personal attacks against other wikipedia editors as demonstrated by the first line of your comment above.You may refer to WIkipedia: No personal Attacks for further guidance on this. Secondly you have already excised the material you mention as "unsourced". As far as the text that is sourced to World Mag it is biographical and from a reliable source: By 19 he had emigrated to Scotland to pursue his education at Edinburgh University where he studied philosophy and Arabic literature under the tutelage of scholar and historian of Islam W. Montgomery Watt though later Warraq came to disagree with some of his approaches to Islamic historiography. Subsequently after completing his studies Warraq taught primary school for five years in London, and moved to France in 1982, until the Rushdie affair took place. Warraq greatly taken by these events, began to write for the American secular humanist Free Thought Magazine on topics along the lines of to "why I am not Muslim." - I have also added working links to the article that anyone can access.--CltFn 18:43, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
making comments about your edits has nothing to do with WP:NPA, so that red herring can be left aside. firstly, can you provide the exact passages from the worldmag article (as it is subject to viewing restrictions) which verify these sentences; and secondly, can you please explain what makes a partisan and assumedly non-mainstream magazine reliable? ITAQALLAH 20:43, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
First of all clearly you have violated The Wikipedia no personal attack rule, brushing it off does not erase the record .
Secondly World Magazine IS a mainstream magazine , it is the fourth largest weekly news magazine in the US. It is also frequently used as a source throughout Wikipedia . --CltFn 15:21, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
No it isn't a mainstream source. The link provided requires registration and comes from themselves. Other sources do not even list it in the top 100 magazines of the US - [9] Jayran 16:46, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
Look at the wikipedia entry for World Magazine and if you live in the US you could also go look in any news magazine outlet shelf where you will find its copies--CltFn 17:13, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
The wikipedia article provides a link to their site that requires registration to view it. The source I provided above lists the top 100 magazines by circulation in the United States and there is no mention of this magazine and there are numreous news related magazines on that list. Maybe, the magazine claims it is the fourth largest circulation for a weekly Christian news magazine, which is something completely differnt. Jayran 17:46, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

United Nations[edit]

just to clarify, it doesn't appear that the victims of jihad conference was a UN backed conference, the page says: "In the context of the 61st session of the UN Commission on Human Rights. We cordially invite Representatives of Members and Observers States of the UN Commission on Human Rights, UN bodies, Specialized Agencies, Intergovernmental Organizations and NGOs" - thus the conference was organised by the IHEU "in the context of the 61st session of the UN Commission on Human Rights" - and hence the invitation extended to UN bodies/agencies. is there any evidence suggesting otherwise? ITAQALLAH 14:22, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

To access the United Nations documentation go here [10] or if you cannot access that page directly go to [11] and click on the link associated with SUBCOM 57th 08/07/2005 E/CN.4/Sub.2/2005/NGO/6 ( fourth from the bottom).--CltFn 14:50, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Links tag[edit]

See Wikipedia:External_links#Avoid_undue_weight_on_particular_points_of_view--Kitrus (talk) 05:13, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Ibn Warraq has not maintained the research requiremnts inevitable for a nuteral scholar. he presents one sided arguments but not the otherside of reality. as he has collected or compiled the essays of anti islamic thought through wichic prejudice can easily be seen.so he is an admirer of the West and Westren culture for the sake of his own agenda like many other materialistic former muslims rather than a scholar. he himself admits that his first book was so anti islamic that it was bycotted in France before 9/11. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 119.154.31.163 (talk) 12:27, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

I don't believe a biographic article on an author and scholar who has clearly made his subject focus Qur'anic criticism can really be deemed prejudiced. It seems your own comments are rather prejudiced and have little bearing on this article's content. Islamrevealed (talk) 20:49, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Articles from the New English Review[edit]

  • For future reference (or to potentially utilize somewhere in the article) here is a list of articles he has published in the New English Review: [12]. Cheers!Calaka (talk) 14:56, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Libertarian?[edit]

Could someone please confirm that he is a libertarian? Otherwise he shouldn't be in that category. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 130.243.188.189 (talk) 17:42, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Unreliable source[edit]

This doesn't seem to be a very reliable source, esp. in the biography of a person whose alive. It has a particular bias against Islam. Is there a reason why its considered reliable?

Can we get another source for info we're getting Ibn Warraq's life?Bless sins (talk) 20:16, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Anti-Islam Polemecist[edit]

There are many problems with the characterization "anti-Islam polemicist." If we are to believe that "polemicist" is neutral, then what are we to make of the criticism that Ibn Warraq's writing is "too polemical"?

Also, the entry does not refer to him as a scholar. Other sources do. Confusingly, the section of criticism is called "peer criticism," although in that section Ibn Warraq is charged with engaging in polemic rather than scholarship. Are those critics Ibn Warraq's peers? They seem to want to exclude him from their group, which is, implicit in their criticism, the group of scholars. Should Wikipedia oblige his harshest critics? Then the section shouldn't be called "peer criticism."

I suspect one could acknowledge that Ibn Warraq writes polemics against Islam without taking a stand on the quality of his scholarship.

Finally, the phrase "anti-Islam," though it appears to be justifiable with regard to several of Ibn Warraq's polemics, creates confusion when applied to the man, the "polemicist." Later in the article it is noted that he regards Sufism favorably. That is not consistent with being anti-Islam. It would need to be explained. Also, it is said that there is a tradition "throughout the history of Islam" of using "Ibn Warraq" as a pen name. That rather implies that Ibn Warraq is writing within Islam, even if he's writing in a tradition of apostasy. That's not something I can answer or even address, except to say that there seems to be some question as to just how far outside Islam he stands in order to criticize it.

It seems to me that Christianity and Christiandom have historically been the target of numerous polemics, some of them quite famous, yet the term "anti-Christian polemicist" is not used in this encyclopedia as of this moment. I suggest that's because "anti-Christian polemicist" is a prejudicial term, and I suspect "anti-Islam polemicist" is no less prejudicial.

Mr. Sextus (talk) 12:47, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

I think this is a special case of the bias of the article as a whole. Going by the articles on Warraq's individual books you'd think they all met with unqualified scorn, the same for Luxenberg's work. The word 'revisionist' comes up a lot; well, the main point of his work is that the traditional Islamic histories are hagiographic and mistaken - was Galileo a "revisionist" with respect to Catholicism? In fact, I think the spectacular bias of Islam-related articles on here rather proves his point. Logos384 (talk) 21:42, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Newspeak strikes again[edit]

'part of a series on Islamophobia'? What? Are you guys serious? Maybe he's scared of heights or something, but I don't think his books and articles can really be compared to that. Richard Dawkins' works on religion certainly have less scholarly credibility than Warraq's; put Dawkins' page in a 'series on religiophobia' or get rid of this nonsense now.

Neutrality[edit]

The article is trying too hard to prove Ibn Warrar a polemic and a revisionist. For that, certain sources are quoted selectively. But that's not Wikipedia is about. The article should be fully neutral: first of all, the intro should be free of any judgement. Secondly, there are enough credible sources that praise Ibn Warraq's work which are - without any doubt - based on excellent scholarly sources. The article needs to be "wikified" and rewritten in a more neutral way, neither praising him nor condemning him. --Lysozym (talk) 18:37, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

I am sorry, but this might seem biased. No scholar has praised Ibn Warraq. Ibn Warraq works are based on 19th century points of view which are rejected now due to lack of evidence.--BelalSaid (talk) 18:30, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

"THe Campus enquirer"[edit]

What is the "THe Campus enquirer"? Are there any online links to it?Bless sins (talk) 23:35, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

I have corrected Ibn Warrach's place of birth from Pakistan to India which is in line with his stated biography that he read out in a video on youtube entitled 'Why I am not a Muslim'. He fdurther says that although his family moved to Karachi, Pakistan, he still refers to himself as Indian as he was born there. Moarrikh (talk) 23:35, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ Berg, Herbert (1999). "Ibn Warraq (ed): The Origins of the Koran: Classic Essays on Islam's Holy Book". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 62 (3): 558. Retrieved 2006-07-20.