Barry Webb, retired NSA Arabist, author and senior fellow at AIR. Origins of Islam part 1

For the entire transcript of this interview, please continue reading

0:00:00.060,0:00:08.099
very web Arabist translated from arabic

0:00:03.470,0:00:14.280
former NSA analyst on matters

0:00:08.099,0:00:15.750
middle-eastern you have some angles if

0:00:14.280,0:00:18.210
you if you liked or some to some new

0:00:15.750,0:00:21.300
perspectives on the origins of islam

0:00:18.210,0:00:23.010
that i guess from what i saw are not

0:00:21.300,0:00:24.810
things people normally think of since

0:00:23.010,0:00:27.660
you know there’s this sort of standard

0:00:24.810,0:00:31.250
legend about this guy who had a vision

0:00:27.660,0:00:34.079
and spoke to angels what can you tell us

0:00:31.250,0:00:35.280
well the reason i do this series well i

0:00:34.079,0:00:42.780
think we can call it something like

0:00:35.280,0:00:44.640
origins and oddities of islam is you

0:00:42.780,0:00:47.760
know they they one thing they tell you

0:00:44.640,0:00:49.980
when you study quranic arabic from an

0:00:47.760,0:00:53.699
arabic-speaking muslims they tell you

0:00:49.980,0:00:56.309
that the quran is nothing but the pure

0:00:53.699,0:00:58.469
arabic okay which is a flat-out lie

0:00:56.309,0:01:04.500
because a lot of long words you know

0:00:58.469,0:01:06.890
from other cultures was maybe yeah parts

0:01:04.500,0:01:08.939
of it were yeah because didn’t exist

0:01:06.890,0:01:11.070
well yeah i mean there’s always been

0:01:08.939,0:01:13.170
arabic i mean yeah arabic is probably

0:01:11.070,0:01:15.210
closer to the original Oporto semitic

0:01:13.170,0:01:19.200
language than any other so many points

0:01:15.210,0:01:20.970
are just okay still have the on itself

0:01:19.200,0:01:23.460
has a lot of you know these lone words

0:01:20.970,0:01:26.070
so that’s one big lie they tell you the

0:01:23.460,0:01:29.909
other big lie they tell you is that the

0:01:26.070,0:01:33.329
quran in its entirety was always

0:01:29.909,0:01:37.290
pre-existing in heaven as coexistent

0:01:33.329,0:01:38.520
with allah himself okay so what we’re

0:01:37.290,0:01:41.070
going to do in this area says

0:01:38.520,0:01:44.970
demonstrate a home illustrate a whole

0:01:41.070,0:01:49.200
bunch of different aspects of islam that

0:01:44.970,0:01:50.850
were brought into islam from other

0:01:49.200,0:01:52.799
surrounding cultures use most of the

0:01:50.850,0:01:54.840
older cultures but that evolved

0:01:52.799,0:01:58.020
naturally here on earth and we’re not

0:01:54.840,0:02:00.719
coexistent with with all up in heaven so

0:01:58.020,0:02:04.320
today i want to start with the very word

0:02:00.719,0:02:06.329
of allah itself because it appears

0:02:04.320,0:02:11.730
hundreds of times in the quran and it’s

0:02:06.329,0:02:14.140
at the most basic entity of all in in

0:02:11.730,0:02:17.000
all of islam

0:02:14.140,0:02:19.070
so to give it the audience a little bit

0:02:17.000,0:02:21.170
of background when I first started

0:02:19.070,0:02:24.170
studying Arabic I also was studying

0:02:21.170,0:02:27.110
Biblical Hebrew for a few years and I

0:02:24.170,0:02:30.650
had a couple years of katie.in.kenya

0:02:27.110,0:02:32.750
form which is a kind of the when shake

0:02:30.650,0:02:36.590
young system of writing using ancient

0:02:32.750,0:02:38.360
Mesopotamia indicating was a related

0:02:36.590,0:02:40.910
language you know it’s a somatic is

0:02:38.360,0:02:43.250
related to Hebrew and Arabic and when

0:02:40.910,0:02:45.590
you study Akkadian you also learned a

0:02:43.250,0:02:48.620
little Sumerian because they adopted a

0:02:45.590,0:02:51.350
lot of the Sumerian words and and

0:02:48.620,0:02:54.350
deities whatnot and one of the deities

0:02:51.350,0:02:58.250
they adopted was the god Enlil so here’s

0:02:54.350,0:03:02.000
where we want to start because because

0:02:58.250,0:03:05.060
the word and means heaven in Sumerian it

0:03:02.000,0:03:09.880
also means star and they use kind of a

0:03:05.060,0:03:12.920
star-shaped symbol to represent it and

0:03:09.880,0:03:13.430
it means also our deity our God in

0:03:12.920,0:03:16.850
heaven

0:03:13.430,0:03:20.450
and I’m saying in and star so in

0:03:16.850,0:03:24.730
Sumerian mythology Emmylou was the under

0:03:20.450,0:03:29.690
the offspring of a primal God called an

0:03:24.730,0:03:32.360
okay but over time he evolved into

0:03:29.690,0:03:34.760
becoming kind of a Supreme God even

0:03:32.360,0:03:36.650
Sumerians believed that he was even the

0:03:34.760,0:03:38.989
God of foreign lands he was on his way

0:03:36.650,0:03:42.709
to being almost at Universal God

0:03:38.989,0:03:44.840
although the Sumerians always had dozens

0:03:42.709,0:03:47.900
and dozens of other deities you know

0:03:44.840,0:03:52.730
gods this is not over the place but n

0:03:47.900,0:03:56.180
Leia was a big one now as someone that

0:03:52.730,0:04:00.320
was studying Arabic and Akkadian at the

0:03:56.180,0:04:02.360
same time I could not help but be struck

0:04:00.320,0:04:04.160
by the similarities linguistic

0:04:02.360,0:04:10.610
similarities between the Sumerian god

0:04:04.160,0:04:18.470
Enlil and the Arabic Allah and here’s

0:04:10.610,0:04:20.930
the way that this happened the when the

0:04:18.470,0:04:24.590
Acadie the Americas speaking Acadians

0:04:20.930,0:04:26.960
moved into Mesopotamia 2300 BC like I

0:04:24.590,0:04:27.780
said before they adopted the Sumerian

0:04:26.960,0:04:29.160
right

0:04:27.780,0:04:32.009
because they didn’t have a writing

0:04:29.160,0:04:34.550
system of their own and they adopt a lot

0:04:32.009,0:04:38.280
of the deities and a lot of the words

0:04:34.550,0:04:41.130
but in all of the Semitic languages

0:04:38.280,0:04:44.250
including Akkadian they believe that

0:04:41.130,0:04:49.800
there are certain consonants that are

0:04:44.250,0:04:56.190
weak the N is a weak consonant and so

0:04:49.800,0:04:59.539
we’ll say L now whenever you have a weak

0:04:56.190,0:05:01.199
consonant followed by a strong consonant

0:04:59.539,0:05:02.669
immediately followed by a strong

0:05:01.199,0:05:04.680
consulate that weak consonant will

0:05:02.669,0:05:08.250
alight into the strong consonant and

0:05:04.680,0:05:13.349
they double the the strong consonant in

0:05:08.250,0:05:15.630
pronunciation head in writing but now

0:05:13.349,0:05:17.520
here the word ended only have two weak

0:05:15.630,0:05:20.069
letters at the end and the L are both

0:05:17.520,0:05:24.000
weak well again according to the rules

0:05:20.069,0:05:25.949
of semitic grammar when you have two

0:05:24.000,0:05:29.009
weak vowels that are side by side

0:05:25.949,0:05:30.569
the first one will alight into the

0:05:29.009,0:05:33.270
second one so the second one then

0:05:30.569,0:05:38.490
actually becomes a stronger consonant

0:05:33.270,0:05:42.539
and then no not a diphthong you just

0:05:38.490,0:05:46.979
double the consonant and so Enlil then

0:05:42.539,0:05:51.210
becomes an Akkadian a little if you have

0:05:46.979,0:05:55.020
that sign that other pic I showed you of

0:05:51.210,0:05:56.789
how how Enlil became a little there

0:05:55.020,0:06:00.659
would be helpful for the for the

0:05:56.789,0:06:04.349
audience so there’s something somatic

0:06:00.659,0:06:08.130
speaking Acadians pronounced it a lil or

0:06:04.349,0:06:11.219
all because again in these ancient

0:06:08.130,0:06:13.080
languages they didn’t distinguish the

0:06:11.219,0:06:14.940
vowels so that were almost

0:06:13.080,0:06:18.330
interchangeable it could be either Enlil

0:06:14.940,0:06:25.020
or are an allele and in Akkadian either

0:06:18.330,0:06:27.270
a little or a little now some of the

0:06:25.020,0:06:32.370
command McKenna night was Semitic

0:06:27.270,0:06:37.469
dialects like Hebrew Phoenician etc this

0:06:32.370,0:06:39.089
L bill or a lil became ill and those who

0:06:37.469,0:06:40.560
have studied Biblical Hebrew who are

0:06:39.089,0:06:44.930
familiar with the

0:06:40.560,0:06:48.810
Donelle the pearl to that in Hebrew is

0:06:44.930,0:06:51.210
Elohim with an H and you also see the

0:06:48.810,0:06:52.889
singular in several places in the Old

0:06:51.210,0:06:54.860
Testament in there in the Hebrew form

0:06:52.889,0:06:59.130
you see Allah

0:06:54.860,0:07:04.530
hello like Allah you too shall I am the

0:06:59.130,0:07:08.220
God of Jerusalem now this word did not

0:07:04.530,0:07:11.730
exist in Arabic until they learned it

0:07:08.220,0:07:13.200
from either the Jews or other Semitic

0:07:11.730,0:07:16.710
speakers that had learned it from the

0:07:13.200,0:07:18.990
Akkadians because in I’ve looked at a

0:07:16.710,0:07:22.860
lot of the inscriptions of in

0:07:18.990,0:07:30.180
pre-islamic Arabia and the deities they

0:07:22.860,0:07:33.240
have our coghill and Musa and things

0:07:30.180,0:07:37.620
like that but you never see Allah not

0:07:33.240,0:07:39.840
until the Jews came in in their suits me

0:07:37.620,0:07:43.440
Aramaic speaking Jews who used the term

0:07:39.840,0:07:46.260
adore eloheem and Allah came in in this

0:07:43.440,0:07:51.270
accessory BC when the king of Babylon

0:07:46.260,0:07:52.620
made Tama his capital so the word under

0:07:51.270,0:07:56.669
what I’m trying to say here is that the

0:07:52.620,0:07:58.650
word Allah that you know the Arabs think

0:07:56.669,0:08:00.900
is the the title for their God and they

0:07:58.650,0:08:02.640
think was always pre-existing in heaven

0:08:00.900,0:08:05.340
you know before the universe is created

0:08:02.640,0:08:08.910
is so term that they actually learned

0:08:05.340,0:08:10.380
from Jews my gosh the Jews who in turn

0:08:08.910,0:08:12.500
had learned it you know from older

0:08:10.380,0:08:17.070
cultures like the Acadians and

0:08:12.500,0:08:21.419
ultimately from the Sumerians so again

0:08:17.070,0:08:23.460
that shows you what you know that that

0:08:21.419,0:08:26.789
kills two of the lives that Islam must

0:08:23.460,0:08:29.090
tell all the time and well you know

0:08:26.789,0:08:31.020
there’s a commonly held belief now

0:08:29.090,0:08:35.719
that’s going to point forward through

0:08:31.020,0:08:40.709
this story that when Muhammad attacked

0:08:35.719,0:08:43.740
Mecca Mecca had the Kaaba which had I

0:08:40.709,0:08:46.230
don’t know 300 and change deities

0:08:43.740,0:08:48.660
statues of deities and he smashed them

0:08:46.230,0:08:50.980
all but one of the significant ones was

0:08:48.660,0:08:53.829
a lot which was the moon god

0:08:50.980,0:08:56.920
which is why the Muslims use depressive

0:08:53.829,0:09:00.399
moon as its symbol and that they were it

0:08:56.920,0:09:03.250
was a distortion of the God a lot sir is

0:09:00.399,0:09:05.139
there any connection there oh yeah there

0:09:03.250,0:09:09.790
might be I mean the our lab is obviously

0:09:05.139,0:09:12.399
a feminine of about law and of L and so

0:09:09.790,0:09:16.449
the banana or myself is probably

0:09:12.399,0:09:19.649
borrowed from the other Semitic speakers

0:09:16.449,0:09:26.980
you know North the Jews the Aramaic sand

0:09:19.649,0:09:28.149
phoenicians Acadians etc okay so that

0:09:26.980,0:09:30.790
makes a great deal of sense so it does

0:09:28.149,0:09:32.079
tie together yeah so it was like

0:09:30.790,0:09:35.250
everything else in Islam just

0:09:32.079,0:09:39.820
plagiarized and distorted to sue

0:09:35.250,0:09:42.370
Mohammad own personal game yes yeah

0:09:39.820,0:09:43.690
right yeah thanks very much I think we

0:09:42.370,0:09:46.540
should explore that more next time

0:09:43.690,0:09:49.329
because it looks to me like just about

0:09:46.540,0:09:53.399
everything in the Quran is trying to

0:09:49.329,0:09:57.519
convince adolescent boys to fight for

0:09:53.399,0:10:01.569
Mohammad to get more money more power

0:09:57.519,0:10:04.180
and more opportunity yes as a matter of

0:10:01.569,0:10:06.899
fact next week and the second edition of

0:10:04.180,0:10:11.529
this series the origins and oddities of

0:10:06.899,0:10:14.620
Islam I want to do the 72 virgins yes

0:10:11.529,0:10:17.260
because yes because it must be great to

0:10:14.620,0:10:19.060
promise things to people to fight for

0:10:17.260,0:10:21.160
you that they get after they get killed

0:10:19.060,0:10:24.060
let’s talk about that next week thank

0:10:21.160,0:10:24.060
you very much very well

0:10:52.410,0:10:55.549
[Music]

Please follow and like us:
error

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.