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Common Logical Fallacies Made By Muslims

by Robert A. Morey
1996 Research and Education Foundation

Christians must be prepared to answer the typical objections made against the Gospel. Most of the objections are based on simple logical fallacies. The following is a list of some of the most common fallacies used by Muslims.

Note: The average Muslim does not know that his arguments are logically erroneous. He is sincere in his beliefs. Thus you must be patient and kind in sharing with him why his arguments are invalid.

1. The Fallacy of False Assumptions: In logic as well as in law, "historical precedent" means that the burden of proof rests on those who set forth new theories and not on those whose ideas have already been verified. The old tests the new. The already established authority judges any new claims to authority.

Since Islam came along many centuries after Christianity, Islam has the burden of proof and not Christianity. The Bible tests and judges the Qur'an. When the Bible and The Qur'an contradict each other, the Bible must logically be given first place as the older authority. The Qur'an is in error until it proves itself.

Some Muslims violate the principle of historical precedent by asserting that Islam does not have the burden of proof and that the Qur'an judges the Bible.

2. Arguing in a circle: If you have already assumed in your premise what you are going to state in your conclusion, then you have ended where you began and proven nothing. If you end where you began, you got nowhere.

3. False Analogy: Comparing two things as if they are parallel when they are not really the same at all.

What he is really saying is, "If you reject my prophet, then you must reject your prophets as well. If Muhammad was a false prophet, then your prophets are false as well."

The root problem is that the Muslim concept of prophethood is not the same as the Christian concept of prophethood. We teach that prophets sin like anyone else. Thus while Islam is refuted by the sins of Muhammad, Christianity is not jeopardized at all. The Muslim is guilty of setting up a "false analogy."

Whenever a Muslim responds to a Christian attack on the Qur'an, Muhammad, or Allah by flipping the argument around and applying it to the Bible, Jesus or the Trinity as if Islam and Christianity either stand or fall together, he is guilty of the fallacy of false analogy. Islam can be false and Christianity be true at the same time.

4. The Fallacy of Irrelevance: When you introduce issues which have no logical bearing on the subject under discussion, you are using irrelevant arguments.

5. The Fallacy of Equivocation: If we assume that everyone has the same definition of such words as God, Jesus, revelation, inspiration, prophet, miracle, etc., we are committing a very simple logical fallacy.

6. The Fallacy of Force: The Qur'an commands Muslims to wage war against non-Muslims and apostates (Surah 5:33; 9:5, 29).

Some Muslims use a false analogy to answer this argument. They respond by saying, "Well, what about the Crusades? You Christians use violence just like Muslims."

It is logically erroneous to set up a parallel between Muslims killing people in obedience to the Qur'an and Christians killing people in disobedience to the Bible. While the Qur'an commands Jihad, the New Testament forbids it.

7. The Fallacy Of Confusing Questions of Fact with Questions of Relevance: Whether something is factually true is totally different from the issue of whether you feel it is relevant. The two issues must be kept separate.

8. Phonic Fallacies: The phonetic sound of a word should not be used to twist its meaning.

9. "Red Herring" Arguments: When a Muslim is asked to defend the Qur'an, if he turns around and attacks the reliability of the Bible, the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the Crusades, etc., he is introducing irrelevant issues that have no logical bearing on the truthfulness of Islam. He is trying to divert attention from Islam to other issues.

Furthermore, he is assuming that if he can refute the Bible, then the Qur'an wins by default. If he can refute the Trinity, then Allah wins by default. But this is logically erroneous. You cannot prove your position by refuting someone else's position. The Bible and the Qur'an could both be wrong. Muslims must prove their own book.

10. Straw Man Arguments: When you put a false argument into the mouth of your opponent and then proceed to knock it down, you have only created a "straw man" argument, Muslims sometimes either misunderstand or deliberately misquote the arguments Christians give them.

Conclusion

The average Muslim has been deceived by Muslim apologists who use such logical fallacies without regard to reason, fact or honesty. But there are many Muslims who want to be rational in their religion and thus have an open mind to rational discourse. Once they see that their arguments are based on logical fallacies, they will be open to the wonderful news that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for our sins on the cross.