Fox to Reza Aslan: Why would a Muslim write a book about Jesus?

Academic publishes scholarly study of the historical Jesus. Fox Cable News wants only to talk about his own religious background as a Muslim. Apparently they don’t know over there that Muslims believe in Jesus (as a prophet, which is what the New Testament calls him– remember his comment about a prophet not being without honor?). But in any case Aslan is not writing as a believer but as an academic scholar– academic writing attempts to use citation (footnotes to primary sources), context, analysis and peer review to avoid undue personal bias. But then avoiding undue personal bias is not something you could expect Fox Cable News to understand.

Aslan’s book is available at Powell’s

26 Responses

  1. There are actually more suras (verses) devoted to Isa (Jesus) in the Koran, that there are to Mohammed.

    How can such a massive demographic of people rely on Fox for reliable information when they are so demonstrably woefully, peasant-level, ignorant?

    And no, I’m not deriding peasants.
    I believe they would be considerably more genuine in their dealings than Fox.

    • Fox doesn’t have a massive demographic. Its ratings have plummeted. Almost no one under 60 watches it, and its viewership is almost entirely made up of people who think of themselves as “white” (not a term I think will likely survive the 21st century in that sense).

      • In Colorado Springs,
        FOX News is the defaullt channel in waiting rooms, bars (if a TV isn’t showing sports,) and lobbies.
        When I occasionally visit one of the many military or air force installations in the area, FOX News is on in the MP Guard Shack and offices across the base.
        Whether by choice or not, most folks I see watching that station appear to be young (I’m 60.)

        • I’ll second that observation about the ubiquity of FOXcrap, at places like Bay Pines VA Hospital waiting areas (there are many and I’ve been in most of them), and at the VA “Community Based Outpatient Clinic” in St. Pete, FL. FOX ON, and many of the nursing staff, the white folks at least, listen to Limbaugh and Hannity on the radios in their offices, without benefit of earphones…

          Lots of old veterans, of course, but thanks to multiple ongoing “wars of choice,” lots of young damaged people too…

    • Who are you to determine ‘serf’ from ‘vassal’ and ‘vassal’ from ‘liege?’ Do you comprehend that any reference or advocation promoting corrupt, reprobate, and inequal institutions, being those of slavery in any form including ‘peasantry,’ discredits the validity of one’s argument? I don’t know if you were trying to be funny but your message smacks of pseudo-intellectualism and hierchical self aggrandizement.

  2. Zealot reflects my own views about Christianity (I’m only half way thru it) which is that Jesus was all about upsetting the evil order of his day… slavery, torture,taxation, mass slaughter,indifference by the corrupt elites. That’s why I have never understood how most all Christian churches have always endorsed our wars, torture, imperialism
    pedophilia etc. The history is essential to understanding Jesus and those who wrote about him.

    • It is true that my Church, based in Vatican City, has perpetrated great evil and crimes against humanity.
      No excuses.
      But Pope JP II told GW Bush publicly that his planned invasion of Iraq was not just.
      My local Bishop was reluctant to support the values of Christ, but Rome wasn’t, in that case.

  3. They should have asked their second largest share holder Prince Alwaleed bin Talal first before going to broadcast.

    It never surprises me how the crowned prince of one of the most conservative and harshest Islamic regimes can invest in such an anti Islamic news channel. Maybe it’s that behind the hard line gloss of Republican media is a shared foreign policy.

    • Maybe, it is that fundamentalists are pretty much cut from the same cloth no matter what their religious designation says. There is far more similarity than difference in the social doctrines and attitudes of fundamentalists.

  4. One of the most ignorant and pernicious ideas that has been flogged in the land over the past 30 or so years is that historical, cultural, and religious commentary and writing only has validity if it is produced by someone of the ethnic, racial, or religious background of the subject under discussion. The idea that a Muslim is incapable of writing about Jesus and Christianity, that a non-Muslim is incapable of writing about Islam, that only Blacks have the authority to write about Black history, and so on regarding Latinos, Asians, Europeans, etc., is simply ludicrous. It completely ignores the fact that a sound historiographical approach and good scholarship transcends racial, ethnic, and religious categories.

      • “Gee, I thought the comment was about
        Fox Cable News and a Muslim.”

        The very first question she asked Rezla Azlan in the interview is, “You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?” She obviously ignored his background as a scholar. What made her think a Muslim could not write about the founder of Christianity? This is just a display of journalistic ignorance.

        Sadly, it is a reflection of the phenomenon to which I referred in my initial comment about the pernicious idea that only Muslims are authorized to comment on Islam, Christians on Christianity, Blacks on Black history, Latinos and Asian on their history, etc. It is pigeonholing of the worst sort: Racial, ethnic, and religious stereotyping masquerading as scholarly authority.

  5. Aslan’s thesis contradicts Islam’s narrative of Jesus so how can he have an Islamic agenda when his thesis argues against what the Quran says about Jesus?

  6. Could have been an interesting interview if there was a shred of intellectual curiosity about the subject matter, instead of a superficial, but expected, Fox attack on the authors standing to write the book in the first place.

    Given the author’s premise that Jesus was, in the main, a champion of the poor and unprivileged, the book should enhance image of Jesus in the eyes of liberal non-believers.

  7. Oh, my goodness! Compare to Aslan’s appearance on The Daily Show and interview with John Oliver. There he actually got to talk about his book and and his views. Here it was like he was trying to explain to a kindergartener what a scholar is. I’m over 60 and the only Fox News I watch is clips like these.

  8. NPR did an interview with Reza Aslan on July 15, on Terry Gross’s Fresh Air. Now there’s a real professional! Here’s the link, for those who are interested: page.

  9. Every new generation gets a picture of Jesus as a violent zealot or Zealot. In the 1960s it was S.G.F. Brandon. I was a huge fan of Brandon at that time and I devoured his books. Now we have Reza Aslan, one of whose major sources is … S.G.F. Brandon. If Jesus really was an advocate of ‘direct action’ then there would be very good reason to ignore Jesus and Christianity completely but he wasn’t. What Aslan has given us is a Jesus for #Occupy.

    He’ll be very popular.

  10. …this simply shows what a disservice the U.S.’s media has actually become, this is supposed to be our 4th branch…sad!

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