"I have read and reread with great interest your Impossible Task thread," wrote a reader recently (that post and the following dozen or so gave reasons I do not think Muhammad was a Prophet from God). It would seem to me plenty of scholars might come up with a similar list about any of the prophets you speak of, including Jesus, that's all."
Actually you don't need to be a scholar to come up with a similar list about Jesus; I could do so in a heartbeat. Here is a baker's dozen, just off the top of my head.
1. Jesus was a narcissist who thought he was God - John 10:30
2. Jesus was suicidal, mesmerized with thoughts of his own death - Matthew 16:21
3. Jesus had dreams of invincibility, convinced he would not remain dead - Mark 8:31
4. Jesus was hallucinatory, imagining armies of angels coming to rescue him - Matthew 26:53
5. Jesus advocated violence, telling his followers to purchase weapons - Luke 22:36
6. Jesus practiced violence, damaging public property - Matthew 21:12
7. Jesus was racist, calling a Canaanite woman a dog - Matthew 15:22
8. Jesus was misogynistic, calling a Canaanite woman a dog - Matthew 15:26
9. Jesus was gay, with John as his lover - John 21:20
10. Jesus was homophobic, advocating human castration - Matthew 19:12
11. Jesus was sadistic, encouraging his followers to mutilate their own bodies - Matthew 18:8
12. Jesus was sarcastic, describing rabbis of his own faith as vipers - Matthew 12:34
13. Jesus was disrespectful of even his own mother - John 2:4
You can make Jesus into anyone you want him to be, and you can do the same with Muhammad. The question is, where is the truth?
The same reader asked, "Something has been troubling me about your post What I Believe. You wrote that God used Noah in spite of his drunkenness and Lot in spite of his incest. How do you reconcile the fact that God may in fact use people like those, but not Muhammad?"
Another good question that requires a thoughtful response. There are two ways to look at the life of any individual, including Muhammad. One is to choose anecdotes, incidents, quotes, and stories from that individual's life and use them as representative of their entire life. Muslims love to do this with their Prophet. Ask a Muslim about Islam's relationship with the Jews and she will quote a Hadith about Muhammad being nice to a Jewish neighbor who threw trash in his yard. Inquire about Islam and education and listen to a Hadith about seeking knowledge even if you have to go to China. Ask about Islam's relationship to non-Muslims, and hear the Quranic verse "there is no compulsion in religion".
The second and much more important way is to look at the trajectory of the individual's entire life, from birth to death. I believe that Muhammad learned the stories of the Biblical Prophets from his uncle Waraqah bin Naufal, who wanted Muhammad to succeed him as leader of the Ebionite Christian community in Mecca. Muhammad's 25-year marriage to Khadija, a monogamous relationship as far as we know, was performed by Waraqah and was essentially a Christian marriage. Muhammad's call for 13 years in Mecca was not to a new religion, but a return to the monotheistic faith of Abraham, Moses, and David.
Muhammad was ambitious, however, with dreams far greater than leading a flock of poor followers and slaves in Mecca. He began to promise them that if they followed him they would hold the treasures of Caesar and Khosrau, leaders of the Byzantine and Sassanid Empires. He understood that the Biblical heroes he longed to emulate were not only religious leaders, but held political and military power as well. After Khadijah and Waraqa died close to the same time, Muhammad migrated to Medina where he had persuaded members of the Khazraj tribe to accept him as leader. Medina was a Jewish majority city, and Muhammad had the naive idea that its Jewish rabbis would accept him as the Prophet he wanted to be. It was only when they rejected him that he changed the direction of prayer from Jerusalem to Mecca and the day of prayer from Saturday to Friday, laying the basis for a new religion.
The rest of Muhammad's life was an unceasing campaign of battles to extend his new empire. He expelled the Jews from Medina, apart from the 900 men and boys he beheaded and whose heads were thrown in trenches. His final act of conquest was to rape the daughter of one of his Jewish opponents in Khaybar the same day he tortured and beheaded her husband Kinana for refusing reveal the location of the family treasures. At the time Sofiya was 17 and Muhammad was 62.
It is possible, of course, that Muhammad was indeed being used mightily by his God. It's just that that isn't a deity I want anything to do with.