In a new review of Robert Spencer’s new book, Daniel Pipes tells us that the revisionist history which posited a relatively late date for the composition of the Quran and which casts doubt on the existence of the Prophet Muhammad was a “secret” whose existence Spencer (and author Tom Holland, reviewed here) has “ended”.
Two points: First, the idea that Cook and Crone (or any other scholar) meant for their work to be somehow hidden from general scrutiny is so fantastical I hardly know how to even address it. Second, Cook himself has moved on from that book, which was from earlier in his career. He is a major historian of the Islamic intellectual tradition, so perhaps Pipes should drop him an email and ask him if Muhammad existed. He won’t like the answer.
Robert Spencer writes an extended book report on the work of Wansbrough, Cook, Crone, and others, and Pipes sells it as a brave unveiling of some shrouded history which previous scholars were too timid to proclaim openly. This is what passes muster at a flagship conservative publication?
And just to add a dose of creepiness Pipes ends his review with:
May the revolution begin.