Fallacies (المغالطات)

Fallacy 4: Ad Hominem

FALLACY:

The AD HOMINEM

 

~EXAMPLE~

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.

  1. 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).
  2. Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting).

Argument

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!

 Points

  • 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.

 

s.z.c.

London 2003

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