The AD HOMINEM
1. Ad Hominem: is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument.
Typically, this fallacy involves two steps.
- First, a direct attack against the character of a person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim).
- Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting).
M: Well, the Khilafah is not a late construct but something all Muslims have articulated since the beginning. It’s from the Qur’an and Hadith.
R: Well, you would say that! You’re an extremist ‘islamist!’
M: What has that got to do with my arguments I gave to support my position?
R: I don’t care! Like I said, you’re an Islamist so you would argue that the Khilafah is a classical notion because you’re an Islamist who weaves his interpretation in to scripture and you call for the death of millions of non-Muslims!
- What has being an Islamist got to do with the truth of the argument? Nothing whatsoever! Neither does being a salafi, Ikhwani, jihadi, modernist, secularist, and liberalist having any bearing.
- The opponent thinks that his attack or name calling is actually some kind of evidence that undermines the argument. This is false.
- The da`wa must be especially alert to this type of argument; it is a tactical manuvere used by opponents that aims to undermine the credibility of a person in the eyes of the audience rather than the evidence(s), ideas and arguments.