Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

How Morey Quotes Professor Goon

Let us now discuss these deceptive methods in some detail. I quote below from Morey's book to see how he argues that Allah was the Moon-god. After we read this I will point out with the help of Allah several of Morey's deceptive methods working together:

According to numerous inscriptions, while the name of the Moon-god was Sin, his
title was al-ilah, i.e. "the deity," meaning that he was the chief or high god among
the gods. As Goon pointed out, "The god Il or Ilah was originally a phase of
the Moon God." The Moon-god was called al-ilah, i.e. the god, which was shortened to Allah in pre-Islamic times. The pagan Arabs even used Allah in the names they gave
to their children. For example, both Muhammad's father and uncle had Allah as part of their names. The fact that they were given such names by their pagan parents proves that Allah was the title for the Moon-god even in Muhammad's day. Professor Goon goes on to say, "Similarly, under Mohammed's tutelage, the relatively anonymous Ilah, became Al-Ilah, The God, or Allah, the Supreme Being" (Morey, pp. 10-11).

There are several problems in this short passage from Morey's book.

The first problem is that Morey has so misquoted Professor Goon that he makes the quotations say the opposite of what Goon actually said. Notice that he quoted Goon twice. According to Morey's footnote, both quotes come from Carleton S. Goon, Southern Arabia, (Washington, D.C. Smithsonian, 1944) p. 399. Very impressive! But I was able to locate these quotes in Professor Goon's book and I found that Morey clipped them out of a larger paragraph. He deceptively left out a crucial part, and separated the other two parts as though they were two unrelated quotes. Here is what Goon actually said:

The god Il or Ilah was originally a phase of the Moon God, but early in Arabian history the name became a general term for god, and it was this name that the Hebrews used prominently in their personal names, such as Emanu-el, Isra- el, etc., rather than the Ba'al of the northern semites proper, which was the sun. Similarly, under Mohammed's tutelage, the relatively anonymous Ilah became Al-Ilah, The God, or Allah, the Supreme Being (Carleton S. Goon, Southern Arabia, (Washington, D.G. Smithsonian, 1944) p. 399).

This quote from Professor Goon does not say what Dr. Morey wants to use it for, so he applied the following methods to bend it out of shape: a) He quoted the first sentence to show that the name Il or Ilah was the Moon-god of Arabia up to the time of Islam's revelation. Read Goon's statement:

The god Il or Ilah was originally a phase of the Moon God, but early in Arabian
history the name became a general term for god ....

The god Il or Ilah was originally a phase of the Moon god.Morey uses this quote to support his case that up to the time of Muhammad @buh) the name Allah was the title for the Moon-god. To accomplish his sin, Morey chopped the sentence in half to exclude the word "but" and everything that follows that conjunction. He did not even bother to place three dots to indicate that he has left out some words.

A second problem with Dr. Morey's approach here is that he left out of ProfessorGoon's statement what would disprove Morey's most important argument against the God of Islam. Morey is proud of repeating that Allah is not the God of the Bible but the Moon-god of pre-Islamic Arabia. It would have been inconvenient for him to repeat what Goon had said as follows: ... and it was this name that the Hebrews used prominently in their personal names, such as Emanu-el, Isra-el, etc..." Morey would not let his readers understand that according to Professor Goon the same name which in South Arabia was used for the Moon-god was also used in Hebrew names like Emanu-el which Morey considers a name for Jesus.

A third problem is that Morey so separated two clipped pieces from Goon's writing and so interwove them with his own words that Professor Goon's meaning is lost and Morey's own meaning dominates the text. This way it appears that Goon is supporting Morey whereas he is not. Whereas, for example, Professor Goon's last statement is supportive of the fact that Allah is not a Moon-god but rather "the Supreme Being,"

Morey's placement of it within his own text will convince a less than careful reader that Goon agrees
with Morey's Moon-god-in-Islam theory.

A fourth problem is that Morey does not expect his readers to spot logical fallacies in his writings. When he claimed that the title of the Moon-god was "al-ilah" he quoted Goon in his support as saying that "Ii or Ilah" was originally a phase of the Moon God. Morey did not expect his readers to notice that "al-ilah" is not the same as "Ii or Ilah." But even readers who are unfamiliar with the Arabic language can notice two things:


a) the words are spelt very differently, and
b) Morey's second quote from Goon exposes the error. There, Goon says that "Ilah became Al-Ilah" in Muhammad's teachings. Obviously, then, al-ilah was not the Moon-god according to Goon but only according to Morey. Goon would be shocked to see his writing misquoted in Morey's fashion.

A fifth problem is that Dr. Morey must have sent manuscript hurriedly off to press and did not have time to notice that he contradicted himself in the above  passage.

After pointing out that the prophet's father and uncle both had names which included the name Allah,
he quoted with approval Professor Goon as saying that "Ilah became ... Allah" under Muhammad's tutelage. Morey did not notice that in order for his readers to accept everything he said in that paragraph, they must conclude that Muhammad was present when his father was born so he could instruct his grandfather what name to give to Muhammad's new-born father!

My point here is not whether Goon was right or not, or whether he was ever an authority on Islam. My point is that Morey quoted him as an authority and did not  notice the resulting contradiction in his own writing.

A sixth problem is that Morey draws conclusions which do not follow from his evidence thus committing the logical fallacy known as non sequitur. We notice the fallacy in the following passage:

For example, both Muhammad's father and uncle had Allah as part of their names. The fact that they were given such names by their pagan parents proves that Allah was the title for the Moon-god even in Muhammad's day.

In the above passage Morey gives an evidence and draws a conclusion. Let us identify the evidence and the conclusion to help us spot the fallacy. Evidence: Muhammad's father and uncle were given names by their pagan parents and those  names included the name Allah [as in abd-Allah meaning
Servant of Allah].

Conclusion: This proves that Allah was the name of the Moon-god at the time. The conclusion simply does not follow from the evidence. The most one can conclude from the stated evidence is that pagans were prepared to name their children servants of Allah. The evidence does not show whether Allah was the Moon-god or the God of Abraham. Who he was has to be established from other evidence which Morey has done his best to conceal. Morey's concealed evidence reveals again and again that the Arabs at the time of Muhammad worshipped many idols but they also believed in Allah the high God whom they would call upon for help. This Supreme God for them was never the moon. A seventh problem with this passage from Morey is that his whole discussion is irrelevant to the question. To establish that Allah was believed to be this or that before Islam proves nothing for our present discussion. Morey needs to show that in the Qur'an Allah is represented as the Moon-god. But this is what is rather impossible for Morey. The Qur'an again and again speaks of the moon as a creature of Allah. And Allah in the Qur'an tells his creatures that they should not bow down to the sun or the moon but that they should bow down to Allah who created them (Qur'an 41:37).

Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page