Friday, October 20, 2017

Professor of Medieval Islamic art: “Viking ‘Allah’ textile actually doesn’t have Allah on it

About Robert Spencer

ROBERT SPENCER is the director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the author of seventeen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies). Coming in November 2017 is Confessions of an Islamophobe (Bombardier Books).
Spencer has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the FBI, the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group, the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), the Justice Department’s Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council and the U.S. intelligence community. He has discussed jihad, Islam, and terrorism at a workshop sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the German Foreign Ministry. He is a consultant with the Center for Security Policy.
Spencer is a weekly columnist for PJ Media and FrontPage Magazine, and has written many hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism. His articles on Islam and other topics have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Examiner, the New York Post, the Washington Times, the Dallas Morning NewsFox News OpinionNational ReviewThe Hill, the Detroit NewsTownHall.comReal Clear Religion, the Daily Caller, the New Criterion, the Journal of International Security Affairs, the UK’s Guardian, Canada’s National PostMiddle East QuarterlyWorldNet DailyFirst ThingsInsight in the NewsAleteia, and many other journals. For nearly ten years Spencer wrote the weekly Jihad Watch column at Human Events. He has also served as a contributing writer to the Investigative Project on Terrorism and as an Adjunct Fellow with the Free Congress Foundation.

Professor of Medieval Islamic art: “Viking ‘Allah’ textile actually doesn’t have Allah on it”

Stephennie Mulder is an associate professor of Medieval Islamic art and archaeology at the University of Texas at Austin. In a series of 60 tweets that you can read here, she explodes the claim, which has been breathlessly reported around the world, that a Viking burial cloth bears the word “Allah.” The establishment media loved the initial story, because it appeared to justify the Islamization of Sweden and substantiate other ridiculous claims that Muslims did everything before everyone else, and invented everything.
I myself wrote about how unlikely this claim was here.
“Viking textile did not feature word ‘Allah’, expert says,” by Lucy Pasha-Robinson, Independent, October 17, 2017:
An expert has disputed claims that Allah‘s name was embroidered into ancient Viking burial clothes – a discovery hailed as “staggering” when Swedish researchers announced their findings last week.
After reexamining the cloth, archaeologist Annika Larsson of Uppsala University claimed the silk patterns which were originally thought to be ordinary Viking Age decoration, showed a geometric Kufic script.
The patterns were found on woven bands as well as items of clothing in two separate grave sites, prompting the suggestion that Viking funeral customs had been influenced by Islam.
Media around the world including The Independent reported on the finding, but now a leading expert in mediaeval Islamic art and archaeology has disputed the claim and said the inscription contains “no Arabic at all.”
Stephennie Mulder, a professor from the University of Texas in Austin, said the error stems from a “serious problem of dating”.
She claims Kufic script did not occur until 500 years after the Viking age.
“It’s a style called square Kufic, and it’s common in Iran, C. Asia on architecture after 15th century,” she wrote on Twitter.
She said even if Kufic script did exist, the inscription embroidered into the textile still does not mean anything in Arabic.
“Let’s assume there are 10th century Central Asian textiles with square Kufic. Even so, it turns out Larsson’s drawing doesn’t say ‘Allah’,” she wrote.
“Instead the drawing says للله ‘lllah’, which basically makes no sense in Arabic.
“Arabic phrases like الحَمْد لله al-hamdulillah incorporate ‘l-lah’ but don’t stand alone, and it’s spelled لله with two uprights, not three.”
Finally, Prof Mulder claims the evidence of Islamic influence presented by Ms Larsson is based on “conjecture” and “supposition” rather than “proof”.
“The tablet-woven textile in the widely-dispersed press photograph shows only design of three uprights connected by a horizontal band,” she wrote.
“But reconstruction drawing by textile archaeologist Annika Larsson shows extensions on either side that include a ha.
“These extensions practically double width of band. Not mentioned in press accounts: Larsson’s extensions are entirely conjectural.”…