Saturday, March 06, 2010
Mohammed's Hockey Stick
It is fascinating to apply simple statistics to Islam's doctrine found in Koran, Sira and Hadith. For instance, what was the growth of Islam under Mohammed? The Sira is a storehouse of information and tells us that when Mohammed left Mecca (at the insistence of the Meccans) that preaching the religion of Islam for 13 years persuaded only 150 Arabs to convert to Islam. Mohammed then changed his methods of persuasion and added lethal force, jihad, to his strategy. He died 10 years after moving to Medina. How many Muslims were there in Arabia at his death? Those figures are not given, but we can make a good estimate. Four years after Mohammed's death, Islam fought a large battle at Yarmuk. We are told that there were 24,000 jihadists at Yarmuk. In a nation fully at war, about 10% of the population is involved with the military. If 10% were 24,000 then the total population of Muslims would be 240,000. This is only an estimate, but it is enough to make the following graph:
The shape of the curve resembles the infamous Global Warming hockey stick graph. Now you can see that even though the figure of 240,000 is an estimate, the graph tells a story. Islam, the religion, grew at a rate of about 11 people per year in Mecca. Islam as a political system at war with the kafirs, grew at a rate of about 24,000 converts per year. This is a process yield improvement of about 2000 (24,000 / 11 = 2180). Jihad and politics is a thousand times more efficient in persuasion than preaching and religion.
The improved conversion efficiency is reflected in the text of the Sira. It is instructive to see the amount of the Sira text devoted to these stages of development.
Years Phase Total Words Words/year
13 Teaching/Mecca 32,000 2,400
10 Jihad/Medina 220,000 22,000
Amount of Text in the Sira Devoted to Topic
Notice the amount of text given to jihad in Medina is over 9 times (22,000 / 2,400 = 9.2) that given to teaching in Mecca. Why does the Sira give so much more detail about politics and jihad? Jihad and politics work. Contrast this with Buddhism (the other peaceful religion). Buddhists have thousands of pages of teachings from the Buddha and none about war. It is possible to be a religious leader and not kill people as a recruiting method.
The Sira gives far more detail to politics and jihad because jihad greatly improves the Islamification process. This makes the Sira a strategic manual of jihad.
There is another simple statistic that gives us insight. The Koran commands Muslims to obey and follow the example of the perfect Muslim-Mohammed. It devotes 91 verses to this command. This is one of the most important parts of the Koran because it establishes the Sunna, the perfect example of Mohammed. It is interesting that of the 91 commands to follow the example of Mohammed, 86 of them occur in Medina. Why Medina? In Mecca Mohammed was a teacher; in Medina he was a general and commander. Commanders must be obeyed and he was the leader.
Another correlation between the Koran and the Sira is the subject of Hell. There are some 217 verses concerning Hell and 68% of them are in the Koran of Mecca. Why is there less Hell in Medinan Koran? Simple. The punishment of the kafirs comes in this life with jihad. If you have a sword at hand, you don't need Hell after death to persuade.
The Sunna (the Sira and the Hadith) are seamlessly integrated into the Koran. Indeed, the Koran cannot be understood without the Sunna. The Koran is only 16% of the total textual doctrine. One of the proofs of ignorance is when someone only talks about the Koran and Islam. Since the Koran is 16% of the doctrine, that means that Islam is 16% Allah and 84% Mohammed. The Koran perfectly tracks Mohammed's career.
This type of analysis is macro-analysis. It looks at the total picture, not a verse. Therefore, you cannot play "verse gotcha". Someone tells something bad about Islam and then someone else throws out a tolerant verse from the Koran and argues that Islam is good because of that one sentence. One verse, more or less, has no effect on statistical arguments. This is about the forest, not a tree.
Statistical analysis is pure context. It is holistic thinking. Ever heard someone say that: "You have taken that out of context"? When we say that there are 91 verses that say to imitate Mohammed, it is referenced to the entire Koran. Saying that jihad and politics is a thousand times more effective at growing Islam than preaching is a statement taken over the entire career of Mohammed. It is referenced to the totality of Islam. As a result it cannot be proven false by a quote about peace.
What does this say about: Islam is the religion of peace? The religion of peace was a failure in Mohammed's day. Without jihad, there would be no Islam. Islam owes its growth and power to its politics. Whether it is the religion is of peace or not is of no consequence. Islam is the politics of oppression and lethal force. Just look at Mohammed's hockey stick.
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