Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mohammed: an Example

When the prophet of Islam started preaching his new religion in Mecca, he was conciliatory to Christians and Jews. He told them: "We believe in what has been sent down to us and sent down to you, our God is the same as your God" Surah 29:45. This attitude changed completely after he gained strength. Allah then tells him to "Fight People of the Book (Christians and Jews), who do not accept the religion of the truth (Islam), until they pay tribute (penalty tax) by hand, being inferior. " Surah 9:29

Regarding Christians and Jews, it seems that Mohammed hated the Jews more. During his life time, Mohammed devoted much of his efforts to get rid of the Jews: "You (Jews) should know that the earth belongs to Allah and his apostle, and I want to expel you from this land (the Arabian Peninsula), so, if anyone owns property, he is permitted to sell it" Mohammed was quoted.

At that time there were in Medina three Jewish tribes. Two of them, the Qaynqa and the Bani-al-Nudair tribes, were besieged by Mohammed's men, blocking their access to food supplies, until they surrendered on Mohammed's terms, which were that their lives would be spared, that they must emigrate from Medina, and that they must deposit all their belongings at a certain place for distribution among Muslims.

The third tribe, Bani Qurayza, was not as lucky. After the War of the Trench , in which Mohammed was besieged by the Qurayshites led, by Abu Sofyan, it was alleged that Bani Qurayza agreed to provide help from within to Abu Sofyan's forces. Although the alleged help did not materialize and the siege eventually ended, nevertheless, Mohammed never forgave them for their willingness to help his enemies.

Muslims turned against Bani Qurayza and blocked their streets for twenty five days. The Jewish tribe expressed readiness to accept the surrender terms which had been conceded to the other two Jewish tribes, namely cession of their belongings and departure with safe conduct.

Mohammed, however, would not consent to this, and instead appointed as an arbiter Saad iben Moaz, a man who was known to be on bad terms with Bani Qurayza. Saad ruled that all Bani Qurayza's men should be beheaded, that the women and children should be sold as slaves, and that all their property should be divided among the Muslims. Trenches were dug in the bazaar of Medina for disposal of the nine hundred Jewish bodies whom Mohammed had spent the night slaughtering. (See Ibn Hisham: The Prophet's biography ; vol. 2 pages 40 & 41)

Dear friends

These are historical facts that happened 14 centuries ago, they represent a dangerous tendency for violence in the Muslim fundamentalist mentality. More serious is that Muslim fundamentalists are trying to repeat these acts of violence in this 21st century.

Guard our freedom and democracy. Let Jesus' message of tolerance and non-violence rules our land "Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword". Matthew 26:52 "