Islam, Jack Chick and the Battle for Souls – Response to the Chick Tract “The Prophet”, Part III
“To such as Allah rejects from His guidance, there can be no guide: He will leave them in their trespasses, wandering in distraction.”
– The Holy Quran, Surah Al-A’raf, 7:186
This article is a continuation of the response to the Chick tract “The Prophet”. In Part II, we analyzed Alberto Rivera’s criminal past and the many historical errors he made in his conspiracy theory. Part III will be a continuation of the analysis and will look at other errors in the tract.
Logical Errors –
- The Vatican-Islam conspiracy –
Of course, the most obvious error in “The Prophet” tract is the conspiracy theory involving the Vatican and Islam. In addition to the numerous historical errors that Rivera made in order to fit the pieces of his bizarre theory, it was also logically absurd for him to say that the Vatican would put all its fortunes in a far-fetched scheme using Arabs and centuries of plotting all in an effort to simply conquer Jerusalem. What would it gain by controlling Jerusalem and expending so much effort for it? It would have been far better off using its resources to gain converts and increasing its power that way. To argue that the Vatican was only obsessed with capturing Jerusalem seems rather silly. In fact, given that it did succeed in capturing Jerusalem twice during the Crusades and did not benefit from it in any major way, one would think that the Vatican would have realized the folly of spending so much effort and time in controlling the holy city. Having control of the city provides no major advantages.
Even if controlling Jerusalem was the end-goal, surely the Vatican could have come up with a more realistic plan. Instead of pinning its hopes on a particular ethnic group which had no political or military power, it would have made more sense to come up with some other plan. Using the Arabs would have been a long shot.
Furthermore, if the Vatican had created a new religion using its agents, then why would those agents have been willing to undergo severe hardships for following what they knew to be a false religion? Why would Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her), if she had been a Catholic (of course, she wasn’t), have been willing to support her husband and endure the stifling economic boycott of the pagans against the Muslims? Why would Muhammad (peace be upon him) have been willing to suffer tremendous pain and trials? And if he had the support of “Catholics” like the Negus of Abyssinia, then why didn’t these powerful “Catholic” supporters provide the economic and military help that the Muslims desperately needed (instead of simply taking in some refugees)? Where was the military aid from “Catholic” kings when the Muslims fought the pagans at Badr and Uhud? Clearly, if the Vatican had created Islam, for the purpose of capturing Jerusalem for the pope, then Catholic interventions in the conflict between Islam and Arab paganism would have been more conspicuous.
- “Heartbreaking reports” from missionaries on their failure to convert Muslims –
Rivera admitted that Christian missionaries have historically had a very difficult time trying to convert Muslims. But the blame is placed on the Vatican for blocking the efforts of these missionaries. However, realistically, perhaps it is because of the poor arguments and faulty logic of the missionaries that they have failed to lure Muslims away from their true faith. Perhaps the missionaries should use better arguments than claiming that Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) was a “moon god” or that the Vatican created Islam (and then make dozens of historical errors to prove it)! Of course, such a line of reasoning would not be unexpected from the likes of Rivera and Chick! So when a missionary like the one depicted in the tract credulously asks: “I don’t know why we can’t reach them”, he can be told that it is not because of some far-fetched conspiracy involving the Vatican, but rather because of the weaknesses in the missionary’s own religion.
Theological Errors –
- The Catholic Church is the “mother of harlots”:
Rivera claimed that Jesus referred to Roman Catholicism as:
“Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of harlots and abominations of the Earth.”
This description is found in Revelation 17:5, a cryptic book of “prophecy” and a favorite of fundamentalist Christians to twist to their personal interpretations. While Roman Catholicism is certainly a false religion from an Islamic point of view, this is a matter of faith only. There is no evidence from the Book of Revelation that the author’s “visions” were of the Catholic Church and its “abominations” (of course, the Church was responsible for many crimes and abominations throughout its history). As was shown in the article “The Book of Revelation: A Critical Examination”, the “visions” mentioned in the book referred to the historical context that the author lived in. Thus, when we analyze the “prophecies” in Revelation, we find indisputable evidence that they were referring to the pagan Roman Empire at the time, not to the future Catholic Church, which as we already saw, was still in its infancy even in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.
- Satan touches every son of Adam, except Mary and Jesus (peace be upon them):
One of the more bizarre errors made in the tract involves the following hadith of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):
“Abu Huraira said, “The Prophet (ﷺ) said, ‘No child is born but that, Satan touches it when it is born whereupon it starts crying loudly because of being touched by Satan, except Mary and her son.””
In an astounding theological leap, Rivera credulously asked why Muhammad (peace be was upon him) was “pushing Roman Catholic teaching?” But since when does the Roman Catholic Church teach the same thing? Rivera may have been referring to the concept of the “Immaculate Conception”, which posits that Mary was free of the stain of original sin, and thus “sinless”, like her son. The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” states regarding Mary:
“…the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.”
However, in no way is this teaching of the Church similar to the hadith above. First of all, there is no concept of “original sin” in Islam. All people are born free of sin, so in that regard, all of the children of Adam are the same, including Jesus (peace be upon him) and his blessed mother. However, Islam does teach that all prophets were sinless throughout their lives, and that includes Jesus (peace be upon him).
As far as the meaning of the hadith, it is referring to the prayer of Mary’s mother that her daughter and her offspring be protected from Satan:
“When she was delivered, she said: “O my Lord! Behold! I am delivered of a female child!”- and Allah knew best what she brought forth- “And no wise is the male like the female. I have named her Mary, and I commend her and her offspring to Thy protection from the Evil One, the Rejected.””
Ibn Kathir stated in his commentary on this verse that:
“…she sought refuge with Allah from the evil of Shaytan, for her and her offspring, i.e., `Isa, peace be upon him. Allah accepted her supplication…”
The very fact that Mary and Jesus (peace be upon them) were protected only by Allah’s will shows that the hadith is not “pushing Roman Catholic teaching”. In fact, another version of the hadith states that Satan did indeed try to touch Jesus (peace be upon him) after his birth, but only touched the placenta instead:
“Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “When any human being is born. Satan touches him at both sides of the body with his two fingers, except Jesus, the son of Mary, whom Satan tried to touch but failed, for he touched the placenta-cover instead.””
Finally, just because Satan touches a baby does not mean he somehow transfers “sin” to that baby. Therefore, the fact that Mary and Jesus were not touched does not mean they were free of sin by that fact alone, nor does it make them superior to the other prophets, including Muhammad (peace be upon him). In fact, Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself stated that he was most “akin” to Jesus (peace be upon him) and that all prophets were brothers:
“Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: I am most akin to Jesus Christ among the whole of mankind, and all the Prophets are of different mothers but belong to one religion and no Prophet was raised between me and Jesus.”
Also, which Catholic teaching is “pushed” in the following hadith about the Day of Judgement, where it says that even Jesus (peace be upon him) will decline to intercede for people and will instead urge them to seek Muhammad’s intercession? The hadith states:
“…Jesus will say, ‘My Lord has today become angry as He has never become before nor will ever become thereafter. Jesus will not mention any sin, but will say, ‘Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Muhammad.’”
Clearly, Rivera was relying on quite a logical stretch, which is what conspiracy theorists usually do. They take liberties with logic and facts and try to twist them to suit their agendas.
- The pope was regarded as a “prophet of God” by Muslims –
Among the more laughable and absurd claims made by Rivera is that the pope was regarded as a “prophet of God” by the early Muslims. This is based on yet another leap of logic. In Rivera’s words:
“[i]f the pope was [Jesus’] representative on earth, then he also must be a prophet of God…”
But since when does Islam teach that the pope is Jesus’ representative on Earth? First of all, the Quran is very clear that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the last prophet and that no other prophets would come after him:
“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things.”
So Rivera’s claim is very easily refuted. But there is more proof from other sources. Without providing any proof himself, Rivera claimed that the pope was regarded as a “holy” man by the early Muslims, but there are no sources outside of the Quran or Ahadith (conveniently, other than the alleged “unpublished” works of Muhammad) which indicate this, not even Christian sources. If Muslims believed that the pope was a “prophet of God” or a “holy” man, should we not expect at least some sort of confirmation from early sources, especially sources which were hostile to the Catholic Church? Yet as we saw earlier in Part II, when Pope Martin I was accused of collaborating with the Muslims, he was never described as a “prophet” or a “holy” man of the Muslims. Other Christian sources, like John of Nikiu and Isho’yahb, the Coptic and Nestorian leaders mentioned in Part II, respectively, also fail to provide any confirmation that the pope was regarded as a “prophet” by Muslims. It is important to note that both the Coptic Church and the Nestorian Church were regarded as “heretical” by the Catholic Church. Thus, the fact that a Coptic source like John of Nikiu or a Nestorian source like Isho’yahb would be silent on any Muslim veneration of the pope shows that there was no such veneration. Rivera’s failed to prove this ridiculous claim.
- The book of Ezekiel and the prophecy of “Gog and Magog” –
Rivera claimed that the prophecy of “Gog and Magog” mentioned in the book of Ezekiel refers to an alliance between the Vatican, the Communists and the Muslim nations. Rivera insisted that the pope still wants Jerusalem and that the “Muslim nations will assist him”. We have already seen why this is a ridiculous claim to make. There is no reason why Muslims would assist the pope in conquering Jerusalem. Why would they want the Catholic Church to control Jerusalem, when both have claimed it for themselves for centuries? The Crusades were fought for this reason (although that was not the main reason for the First Crusade).
But even if there was some alliance between the Vatican and the Muslim world to conquer Jerusalem, is it prophesied in the Book of Ezekiel? The answer, of course, is no. Simply put, the prophecy in Ezekiel cannot apply to modern times. As discussed in the response to the tract “Camel’s in the Tent”, the individual nations mentioned in the prophecy comprise only a small part of the modern Muslim world. Indeed, the only two nations mentioned in the prophecy that correspond to modern Muslim countries are Persia (modern-day Iran) and Libya.
Ethiopia is also included in the alliance, but as we have already seen, the majority of Ethiopians belong to the Orthodox Church, which is not the same as the Catholic Church. In fact, Catholics comprise less than 1% of the modern Ethiopian population.
Finally, the other nations in the alliance are Gomer and Beth Togarmah, both of which were regions in modern-day Turkey. Thus, if the prophecy was supposed to apply to modern times, it becomes redundant. The reality is that these nations existed in Asia Minor in antiquity, but not any longer. For these reasons, the prophecy of “Gog and Magog” in the book of Ezekiel cannot be applied to modern times.
Plot Holes and Other Errors –
No analysis of a Chick tract would be complete without exposing the plot holes and the generally terrible story-telling abilities of Jack Chick, so let us end our exhaustive exposé on a comedic note.
- The elderly missionary walking in the streets of Beirut –
In the beginning of the tract, Rosco the reporter was harangued by an irate Lebanese soldier who accused the “neutral” reporter of collaborating with the Christian Phalanges and Israel. After scaring Rosco half to death, the soldier ultimately let him go with a warning to leave Lebanon.
Out of the blue, we are introduced to an elderly missionary who tries to point out that the Phalanges are not really Christians. Where did he come from? While harassing Rosco, the Lebanese soldiers didn’t seem too concerned with the missionary walking the streets of Beirut trying to convert Muslims to Christianity! Those soldiers should have been court-martialed for doing such poor patrolling!
- Rosco willingly sits through Rivera’s story despite having just arrived from Lebanon –
One would expect that the exhausted and shaken Rosco would have wanted to get home as soon as possible. Instead, Rosco willingly sat through Rivera’s lengthy diatribe and claims of a centuries-old conspiracy involving the Vatican! Why would someone in Rosco’s shoes be so willing to listen to a total stranger talk about a conspiracy, especially a reporter? Wouldn’t it be more likely that he would simply dismiss Rivera as just “another fruitcake”?
- Rosco’s wardrobe change –
During Rivera’s lengthy diatribe, it appears that Rosco may have had to change his suit. Whenever he appears in the tract at the airport cafeteria, he is usually seen wearing a green suit. But in one scene, he is clearly wearing a blue suit. Perhaps Jack Chick got bored and started losing his concentration while illustrating “Dr.” Rivera’s conspiracy theory!
In this lengthy article, we have analyzed the conspiracy theory posited by the career criminal and fraudulent academic “Dr.” Alberto Rivera. We have seen numerous examples of the historical ineptitude of the former Catholic priest, as well as logical and theological incompetence. The fact that Christian missionaries have sunk so low in their desperate attempts to convert Muslims is certainly a good sign. After nearly 1500 years of failing to overcome the unconquerable religion of Islam, they are running out of ideas and have been forced to use conspiracy theories to confront the fastest growing religion in the world.
And Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) knows best!
 Consider that since 1967, Jerusalem has been controlled by Israel, but the loss of Jerusalem from the Muslim world has not had any effect on the growth of Islam, alhamdulillah. According to the Pew Research Center, if current trends continue, by 2050, Islam and Christianity will have roughly equal number of followers (http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/). As a result, by the end of the 21st century, Islam will overtake Christianity as the largest religion in the world. Clearly, the loss of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War in 1967 has not stopped the growth of Islam. So why would the Vatican waste so much effort in controlling Jerusalem? At the present time, one would expect that the Vatican would be more concerned with combatting the growing secularization of traditionally Catholic countries, and the alarming drop in the number of followers. For example, in 1910, Catholics comprised 90% of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2010, that numbers dropped to 72%. In Europe, the number dropped from 44% in 1910 to 35% in 2010. The only places where Catholicism has grown are North America (16% to 26%), sub-Saharan Africa (1% to 21%) and the Asia-Pacific region (1% to 3%). In the Middle East, it has seen a modest drop (3% to 2%). See the Pew Research Center’s report for more: http://www.pewforum.org/2013/02/13/the-global-catholic-population/
 Abyssinia had used its superior military power in Arabia before. In the year of the Prophet Muhammad’s birth (570 CE), the Abyssinians attacked Mecca itself but were forced to withdraw when the army was overwhelmed by thousands of birds. This miracle is mentioned in Surah Al-Fil, 105:1-5.
Before that, the Abyssinians had also invaded southern Arabia, in response to the persecution of Christians by the Jewish ruler Dhu Nuwas. According to the website Islamic-Awareness:
“The best known event from the last period of South Arabian history is undoubtedly the persecution of Christians during the reign of the Jewish ruler Dhu Nuwas (c. 523 CE). Dhu Nuwas burned down Christian churches in Zafār and Hadramaut and then attacked Najran. The Christian population of Najran with their leader Harith were massacred. This led to a reaction from the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia, whose army led by Abraha, invaded southern Arabia, killed Dhu Nuwas and established Ethiopian rule over the south-western part of Yemen” (https://www.islamic-awareness.org/quran/sources/allah/rhmnn)
Indeed, it is a certainty that the “Antichrist” of Revelation was clearly meant to be the emperor Nero. The evidence lines up perfectly with historical facts about Nero, his death and the beliefs among Romans of his eventual return to the throne. In fact, the number “666” was clearly a code for “Nerōn Kaisar” in Hebrew.
 Sahih Bukhari, 6:60:71.
 See our article on original sin for more: https://quranandbibleblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/born-a-sinner-a-critical-investigation-of-the-origin-of-original-sin/
 A hadith in Sahih Bukhari states:
“Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever performs Hajj to this Ka`ba and does not approach his wife for sexual relations nor commit sins (while performing Hajj), he will come out as sinless as a newborn child, (just delivered by his mother)” (3:28:46).
So every newborn child is born sinless. This is in stark contrast to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
 What this means is that the prophets could not commit any type of sin, but that they could “commit insignificant lapses and inaccuracies”. In addition, they could also “show oversight or forgetfulness” in “personal matters” but never in matters concerning the prophetic office (https://www.muftisays.com/qa/question/2531/are-all-prophets-sinless-.html).
 Surah Al-Imran, 3:36.
 Sahih Bukhari, 4:54:506.
 Sahih Muslim, 30:5835.
 Sahih Bukhari, 6:60:236.
This is not to say that Jesus (peace be upon him) is not as respected by Muslims. As the Quran says, Muslims must not prefer one prophet over another:
“Say ye: “We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah (in Islam)” (Surah Al-Baqara, 2:136).
However, the Quran also says that Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) did grant different “gifts” to some prophets, and not to others. For example, Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) spoke directly to Moses (peace be upon him), whereas Jesus (peace be upon him) was “strengthened with the holy spirit (Gabriel)”:
“Those messengers We endowed with gifts, some above others: To one of them Allah spoke; others He raised to degrees (of honour); to Jesus the son of Mary We gave clear (Signs), and strengthened him with the holy spirit” (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:253).
 Sural Al-Ahzab, 33:40.