Corrections to Earlier Editions.

Dear Reader,
This book was written to convey information about the life of Mohammed. I especially wanted to explain how this affects the beliefs and practices of Muslims, from the time of Mohammed to the present day. This book will hopefully give the reader a better understanding of the Islamic faith. I have made every effort to determine the accuracy of this information. My intention is not to promote a particular viewpoint, but to determine the truth. In five instances, since first publishing, I have found information in the text to be incorrect. In these cases I have changed the book to fit the truth rather than trying to manipulate the truth to fit my narrative. I cannot of course recall all earlier versions of my book and change them. I will however put these changes up here on my website in the hope that people will find them. For the most part I consider these mistakes to be incidental in nature and I do not believe that they affect the main points of the book in any substantial manner. Since they are detailed here however, the reader will be able to make up their own minds about that claim:

Firstly, in some very early versions, before it was officially published in chapter 6 I wrote that many religious leaders throughout history had used their position to procure sex with underage girls. I cited David Koresh of the Branch Davidian sect as a recent example.
 It was pointed out to me however, that in the State of Texas where he lived, it is legal to have sex with a fourteen year old if parental permission is given. David Koresh had this permission so the 14 year old girls he slept with were not “underage.” This point had little to do with the main thesis of the book and I therefore removed it.

In Chapter 19 I originally wrote that the Red Cross was a Christian organisation. This is incorrect and I therefore changed the sentence to explain that the Red Cross was founded by a devout Christian (who was also the founder of the YMCA or Young Mens Christian Association). Once again, this change made no significant difference to the core message of the book.

In Chapter 20 I wrote that the Arabic word “Mamluk” meant “White Slave.” I later received the following clarification:

Mamluk means possessed/owned (by a king or sultan etc). Mamluk came from various ethnicities, but mainly from Turkic and Caucasian areas initially during the Abbassid dynasty. Mamluk were bought as teens and very young men for the purpose of being trained as soldiers to serve their master. They were not slaves but "mercenaries". (Slaves, on the other hand, were never allowed to carry weapons or train militarily). Mamluk is NOT synonymous with slave.
The training was rigourous and lengthy; but once their training ended the Mamluk were freed but continued to serve their master. They were given privileges and social/political status. Many rose to become viziers and even sultans.
The Ayyuby dynasty of the Fatimids in Egypt made great use of their Mamluks as a force during the Crusades.
The Mamluks became so influential that, after Salahudin's death, they eventually became the rulers of Egypt.
The Ottomans continued the practice by capturing and training young men as Janissairies until the 19th century.
I have removed this sentence from the online version and will remove from other versions as soon as is practically possible. It makes little difference to the book but I apologise once again for the mistake.

At the end of Chapter 6 I made the statement that in 1948 there were no such people as Palestinians. In this context, the word “People” is intended to mean “a distinct racial group or nation.” On reflection, I realise this may be misleading. There were “people” who were referred to as “Palestinian” These were people living within the confines of the British Mandate of Palestine. Some of these people were referred to as Palestinian Arabs, some were referred to as Palestinian Jews and some were referred to as Palestinian Christians. When the UN split this area into two states in 1948 the Palestinian Jews became Israeli Jews. The Palestinian Arabs became either Jordanian Arabs or Israeli Arabs depending on which part of “Palestine” they were now living in. Some Arabs left what had now become Israel shortly before the five Arab armies attacked or during the war itself. These people were originally referred to simply as “Arab refugees.” Only much later did they insist on being referred to as “Palestinians.” This description would seem to imply that they were a separate race or nationality to other surrounding Arab peoples. I have found no evidence that this is the case. Their most famous leader, Yasser Arafat for instance, was in fact born in Egypt. I have however changed the wording of the online version in an attempt to more accurately reflect this situation and will change the other versions when I have the chance. If anyone feels they have been misled by my description I apologise unreservedly.

I also pointed out that the number of people calling themselves Palestinians had gone from 170,000 in 1948 to 5 million in 2008. Whilst the Palestinians have one of the highest levels of fertility in the world, the population gained a major boost in 1967 after the 6 Day War when Israel wound up with control of the West Bank which had a large population of Muslims.

The most significant correction comes right at the end of the book. In Chapter 32 I spoke of areas in France which the French Government refers to as “ZUS’s.” The information for this paragraph came from an article by Daniel Pipes who is a respected commentator on Middle Eastern and Islamic issues.  In this case, he described these areas as being completely off limits to non-Muslims, including even the police and military.
It has since been shown that this assessment was overly pessimistic. These areas are apparently not generally off limits to non-Muslims. They do however appear to have elevated crime rates and are prone to erupt into violence without much notice. The police are also capable of entering these areas although it appears that they do so reluctantly and only in force. Mr Pipes has since updated his article giving what I can only assume is a more realistic assessment of the situation of these areas which remains far from ideal. As always, I encourage people to do their own research into these issues.
I will have to rewrite this section carefully to reflect this improved understanding. This may take some time. In the meantime, I will put a link to this correction. I apologise once again for any misunderstanding this mistake may have caused.

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