On March 15, 2013, 10:42
Recently in Arkhangelsk, the orthodox sect expert Alexander Leonidovich Dvorkin gave students an open lecture on the origins of Islam. Video of that lecture was published on the website of the local diocese.
That lecture deserves special attention for several reasons. First, the lecturer has no special education on the declared subject. Dvorkin was never engaged in a serious study of Islam and has no scientific works on this subject. He is often mentioned as a large expert in the field of sects study, and the bulk of his speeches is devoted either to the very sects or some topics of the history of the Orthodox church, on which he really has some education. Therefore his interest in the history of Islam looks more than strange.
The second important point is Dvorkin’s post. Dvorkin is the chairman of the Advisory council on religion examination at the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation. I.e. he is almost the first person whose opinion determines legal status of one or another religion in our country. So this first public lecture of the sect expert Dvorkin about Islam can serve as “sign” for all Muslim community.
The main idea of that lecture consisted in – according to the lecturer – considerable perversions of real events in the official history of Islam, brought in the Writing knowingly. Dvorkin provides certain proofs, in particular, such statements that prophet Mohammed wasn’t illiterate as it is usually believed, that Mecca – the sacred city of Muslims – doesn’t correspond to the real geographical position described in the Koran (43:40) that many Muslim customs are actually customs of other religions and borrowed for specific goals (1:04:00). Concerning presence of Muslims in Jerusalem, Dvorkin quotes, allegedly, the western bishop Arculf that “they put some shed on the Temple mountain, which they name the prayer house and whose appearance is ridiculous because it is half… just about to collapse, awfully ugly” (57:30), etc. As a whole the lecture is given by Dvorkin in the spirit of epic exposure.
The way of speech chosen by the lecturer is the quite frivolous. During lecture, Dvorkin jokes, names the prophet Mohammed “a cute clerk” (31:30), ironically quotes Mohammed who addressed to his wife Aisha, having noted: “the person was able to do compliments, I must admit” (35:06), specifies that Mohammed’s sermon started being a success only after “it started preaching that it is possible to plunder caravans, violently to turn people into new belief and all this there will be a deserved production” (34:09), describes as “an interesting story” the history of the most beloved wife of Mohammed, surely providing as true the very disputable theses about her age: “she was 7 years old when he went to bed with her, she was 9 years old” (34:40).
Concerning revelations of the Muslim prophet, Dvorkin gives three possible options of their origins from certain “Byzantine fathers”:
– either Mohammed had any illness, and these were painful visions;
– either it was devilish obsession;
– either he was some kind of story-teller who thought it up;
Further he adds already, probably, from himself that “combinations of all three options are possible, other combinations are possible” (52:10).
Finally Dvorkin brings listeners to the conclusion that Islam was an artificial religion which was created simply for joining the territories conquered by Arabs and is a mix of provisions of Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrism. Dvorkin triumphally declares this conclusion closer to the end of his narration.
In completion of the lecture of A.L.Dvorkin points also to the source of his “discoveries” – the British writer of the horrors genre Tom Holland, the author of the scandalous movie “Islam: unrelated history” received a huge number of negative responses in the Islamic world and undergone to sharp criticism from Islam experts for unauthenticity of the statement. In reply to release of this movie, the Islamic educational and research academy (iERA) even issued a special press-release where historical inaccuracies of Holland’s work are stated in nine detailed points.
It is unlikely that Dvorkin didn’t know of such “success” of the popular scientific works of Holland. Nevertheless the sect expert gives his disputable interpretation of Islam, moreover with own venomous comments, opposing it to the Christianity whose sacred book – the Bible – was, according to him, contrary to the Koran, verified, and whose historical reliability is undoubtful (1:06:30).
To remember the recent uncompromising rebuke Dvorkin made to the orthodox missionary Stenyaev when he tried to make something similar to dialogue with Muslims, and also considering that Dvorkin is the vanguard figure of the Russian Orthodox Church in fight against other religious organizations, this first public Dvorkin’s lecture about Islam hardly can be casual and, most likely, doesn’t promise anything good to Muslims of our country.