Muhammad’s failures or incomplete successes were consistently recompensed by murderous attacks on the Jews. The Muslim prophet-warrior developed apenchant for assassinating individual Jews, and destroying Jewish communities — by expropriation and expulsion (Banu Quaynuqa and B. Nadir), or massacring their men and enslaving their women and children (Banu Qurayza). Subsequently, in the case of the Khaybar Jews, Muhammad had the male leadership killed and plundered their riches. The terrorized Khaybar survivors — industrious Jewish farmers — became prototype subjugated dhimmis whose productivity was extracted by the Muslims as a form of permanent booty. (And according to the Muslim sources, even this tenuous vassalage was arbitrarily terminated within a decade of Muhammad’s death when Caliph Umar expelled the Jews of Khaybar.) Accordingly, Maimonides (d. 1203), the renowned Talmudist, philosopher, astronomer, and physician, as noted by historian Salo Baron, emphasizes the bellicose “madness” of Muhammad and his quest for political control. Muhammad’s mindset and the actions it engendered, had immediate and long-term tragic consequences for Jews — from his massacring up to 24,000 Jews to their chronic oppression — as described in the Islamic sources, by Muslims themselves.
Muhammad’s brutal conquest and subjugation of the Medinan and Khaybar Jews and their subsequent expulsion by one of his companions, the (second) “Rightly Guided” Caliph Umar, epitomize permanent, archetypal behavior patterns Islamic Law deemed appropriate to Muslim interactions with Jews. George Vajda’s seminal analysis of the anti-Jewish motifs in the hadith remains the definitive work on this subject. Vajda concluded that according to the hadith stubborn malevolence is the Jews defining worldly characteristic: rejecting Muhammad and refusing to convert to Islam out of jealousy, envy, and even selfish personal interest led them to acts of treachery, in keeping with their inveterate nature: “… sorcery, poisoning, assassination held no scruples for them.” These archetypes sanction Muslim hatred towards the Jews, and the admonition to at best, “subject [the Jews] to Muslim domination,” as dhimmis, treated “with contempt” under certain “humiliating arrangements.”
A century later, notwithstanding Mr. Obama’s hagiographic sentiments, the persistent consequences of Muhammad’s status as “a good [even ‘beautiful’] example of conduct” (Koran 33:21), across a continuum of nearly 14 centuries, remain glaringly evident. Invoked by contemporary Muslim clerics, governments, journalists and jihadists alike, Muhammad’s sacralized behaviors continue to result in: exploited child brides and general misogyny, sanctioned by law; Draconian, mutilating punishments such as stoning for adultery and amputation for theft; jihad violence against non-Muslims and Sharia (Islamic Law)-sanctioned oppression of non-Muslims under Muslim rule.
The great Orientalist David S. Margoliouth’s 1905 biography of Islam’s prophet recognized Muhammad as “ . . . a great man, who solved a political problem of appalling difficulty—the construction of a state and empire out of the Arab tribes.” Margoliouth recounted this accomplishment without “apology” or “indictment,” summarizing faithfully the images of Muhammad that emerge in the earliest and most authoritative pious Muslim biography of the Muslim prophet by Ibn Ishaq (d. 761/767)
In order to gain his ends he recoils from no expedient, and he approves of similar unscrupulousness on the part of his adherents, when exercised in his interest. He profits to the utmost from the chivalry of the Meccans, but rarely requites it with the like. He organizes assassinations and wholesale massacres.
His career as tyrant of Medina is that of a robber chief, whose political economy consists in securing and dividing plunder . . . He is himself an unbridled libertine and encourages the same passion in his followers. For whatever he does he is prepared to plead the express authorization of the deity. It is, however, impossible to find any doctrine which he is not prepared to abandon in order to secure a political end…This is a disagreeable picture for the founder of a religion, and it cannot be pleaded that it is a picture drawn by an enemy…
Would Mr. Obama choose to ignore all the evidence of Muhammad’s “beautiful example of conduct” adduced herein, and condemn Professor Margoliouth, posthumously, for slandering “the prophet of Islam?”
Writing as president of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a think tank created by the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1980s, Taha Jabir Alwani opined, regarding a (then) new English translation of the classic Shafiite manual of Islamic jurisprudence Reliance of the Traveller, “from a purely academic point of view, this translation is superior to anything produced by orientalists in the way of translations of major Islamic works.” The Reliance of the Traveller (or ‘Umdat al-Salik’) maintains that slander (ghiba) includes the mention of anything concerning a person [i.e., a Muslim] “that he would dislike.” This discussion also cites a canonical hadith which contains the following account:
“Do you know what slander is?” They answered, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “It is to mention of your brother that which he would dislike.” Someone asked, “What if he is as I say?” And he replied, “If he is as you say, you have slandered him, and if not, you have calumniated him.”
Is this the absurdly elastic—and anti-intellectual, anti-Western—“standard” Mr. Obama has in mind? If so, Mr. Obama has declared himself a willing accomplice to the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s relentless campaign to impose universal Sharia-compliant blasphemy law, and the destruction of America’s bedrock freedom, freedom of speech.
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