diaspora

On academics and their open letters : neo-imperialism from afar

Posted on April 22, 2014. Filed under: Bangladesh, China, Christians, Communist, diaspora, economics, economy, Egypt, financial crisis, Gaza, Hindu, Historians with political agenda, History, India, Indian National Congress, Islam, Islamic propaganda, Israel, Jew, Jihad, Kashmiri Pundit, Left, Maoism, Marxism, Muslims, neoimperialism, Pakistan, Palestine, Politics, rape, religion, Salafi, Saudi, Shia, slavery, Sunni, Syria, Taleban, terrorism, Turkey, UK, USA, Wahabi |

 

A group of sixty odd academics in various UK institutions have decided to join the Indian electoral fray by posting an open letter to the “left” leaning Independent under the headline:

Letters: The idea of Modi in power fills us with dread

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/letters-the-idea-of-modi-in-power-fills-us-with-dread-9273298.html

“As the people of India vote to elect their next government, we are deeply concerned at the implications of a Narendra Modi-led BJP government for democracy, pluralism and human rights in India.”

Concern is always nice. Concern about democracy, pluralism, and human rights are particularly nice to hear about. But when these concerns are raised by voice which are only selectively concerned, that troubles us. These academics are not concerned about continued Saudi rule and its impact on the middle East’s prospects for democracy, pluralism and human rights. They are completely silent about Palestinian ruling junta (that is what it is – because each one of them come solidly from military outfits, and once-dubbed-terrorist groups), or for China, or for Pakistan, or Afghanistan. But more of this at the end.

“Narendra Modi is embedded in the Hindu Nationalist movement, namely the RSS and other Sangh Parivar groups, with their history of inciting violence against minorities. Some of these groups stand accused in recent terrorist attacks against civilians.”

The slyness of academic evasiveness starts to reveal itself now. It is the same method by which so-called professional historians create new impressions of truth by weaving propositions into a narrative and creating a new narrative where propositions become blended into certainties. Note the smooth blending of “some” “stand accused”. At one smooth stroke, these academics of high integrity have made an “accusation” appear as “convicted”, and “some” is used to taint the “whole”.

By their logic, the Congress parivar (family) is embedded in a politics which has had very dubious roles, and sometimes outright bias in defacto protecting Muslim violence from Nehru’s time at power during the Partition, with selective targeting of alleged Hindu violence. Usually the Congress hides behind the legalistic excuse – again first used by Nehru to allow the Islamic violence in Noakhali, Bengal to continue while he personally and immediately intervened in Bihar where Muslims were at the receiving end – that when the Congress sees the victims as non-Muslim, non-Christians, it mumbles about law and order being a state prerogative. Whereas, when Muslims appear to be the target, Congress sees it as a union/federal/central issue. This was the cover under which Congress did not intervene in the genocide of Hindus of Jammu and Kashmir in the late 80’s because in this case it was the Muslims who were the perpetrators. The helplessness of the Hindu surviving refugees, was perhaps the root cause of the revival of the Hindutva” movement these academics so lambast – because many Hindus in the wider arena of India began to realize the selective bias of the Indian state under the Nehrus and the Congress in favour of whitewashing and allowing Islamist violence to thrive, especially if such violence was directed against Hindus.

The Congress is therefore imbedded in a movement, that has always protected Islamism and Islamist pretensions, and have at various times carried elements in its governments who are connected to or stand accused of rioting and communal hatred which amount to acts of terrorism.

“We recall the extreme violence by the Hindu Right in Gujarat in 2002 which resulted in the deaths of at least 1,000 people, mostly Muslims. This violence occurred under Modi’s rule, and senior government and police officials have provided testimony of his alleged role in encouraging or permitting it to occur.”

Recalling is a good thing, but if what happened before under a regime historically is proof of repeating the same then the Congress should be even more in the dock – for the Partition riots happened under the government of Jawaharlal Nehru, and ant-Sikh pogroms happened under Rajiv-Gandhi/Congress, and all the riots that happened before the BJP came first to power, with such spectacular ones as in Bhagalpur, were also under various Congress governments.

The academics think that by adding the word “extreme” to “violence” they can make a special case against Modi -as they perhaps feel, and rightly so, that “violence” has been the norm for anti-Hindu attacks by Islamists or Christianists too. Maybe for them those “other” violence are genuine expressions of grievances,

“Some of his close aides have been convicted for their involvement, and legal proceedings are ongoing in the Gujarat High Court which may result in Modi being indicted for his role. He has never apologised for hate speech or contemptuous comments about various groups – including Muslims, Christians, women and Dalits. His closest aide has been censured recently by India’s Election Commission for hate speech used in this election campaign.

“There is widespread agreement about the authoritarian nature of Modi’s rule in Gujarat, further evidenced by the recent sidelining of other senior figures within the BJP. This style of governance can only weaken Indian democracy. “

Different groups of people agree among themselves about different things. Concepts like “authoritarian” are so abstract, and inconcretizable, that tons of academic papers have tried to make academic careers out of hair-splitting over the very definition of “authoritarian”. Many communists are still dewy eyed over Stalin or Mao, and have “widespread agreement” among themselves over their most fortunate appearance on earth. Same goes for Hitler. Jews have “widespread agreement” in spite of a portion of Jewish origin academics hosted by various UK universities to the contrary – that existence of Israel is perfectly justified even at the cost of Palestinians. There is widespread agreement among large swathes of Muslims about the necessity and justifiability of historical violent genocidic jihad, and significant groups have “widespread agreement” among themselves about the benevolence of sex-slavery of the non-Muslim as part of jihad.

Typically when groups do not want to spell out the membership of the group, or are unsure about their numerical strength in proportion to the wider population – they turn to vagueness, or unpinnable conjectures -so that they can never be called out for lying or pretending, and claiming “widespread agreement” is one way of doing that.

The “widespread agreement” is among this tiny coterie of Indian origin academics – probably groomed and selected in the early days of their studenthood and careers by previous generations and peer groups of British interest serving academics, like the Marxist academics who desperately denied any role of triangular Atlantic slave trade in the kickstart of the British industrial revolution.

The curious bit is about somehow Modi being guilty of sidelining “senior” party members as proof of exceptional authoritarianism. All the Nehru-family members have sidelined senior party members to come to power. Does it not make them even more authoritarian already?

“Additionally, the Modi-BJP model of economic growth involves close linking of government with big business, generous transfer of public resources to the wealthy and powerful, and measures harmful to the poor.”

This is actually hilarious. For this is what actually has been happening since Margaret Thatcher in Britain, happened too even under Tony Blair, and has accelerated under Cameron. Do they want to say that all that has led UK down the drain? Or do they have not the courage to spell out those pearls of wisdom to the masters of their souls? It happens at even grander scale in China, where party-apparatchiks and their minions or progeny ruling over millions in their regional satrapys hog investments from a financial sector which is still centrally and nationally owned as well as managed. No, these academic’s can only open their mouth against the “Hindu” India, and the BJP and Narendra Modi. They have not open lettered even on the very entertaining case of Ukraine, where “right wing nationalists” have been on the rampage with alleged support of big biz and oligarchs who grew into tycoons with diversion of state investments. Naturally – since doing so is not in the current interests of the British ruling interests.

“A Modi victory would likely mean greater moral policing, especially of women, increased censorship and vigilantism, and more tensions with India’s neighbours.”

These academics never protested Muslim censorship, moral policing of women, vigilanteism in Indian Kerala, or Uttar Pradesh, or Bihar, or West Bengal, or Assam, or Christians doing exactly the same in Nagaland and Mizoram, and attempting to do the same in Manipur. They cannot mention anything about those other communities or religions or states, because they cannot afford to show these other ones in the same or worse light than the “Hindus” – then they lose the affection of the system.

Overall, then what does it show about such concerted concerns from such groups?

Let us go back to the very beginning again of their open letter. They are claiming that democracy, pluralism, human rights in a one specific distant nation, is going to be trumped if one man and his party or political alliance gets elected in a plural democracy which as yet respects human rights. One can see why they have been allowed to succeed as academics, because they can pretend an intellect which can be used to legitimize the complete lack of any logical capacity on issues that are of interest to a post-imperialist neo-imperialist state.

The west-European political dogma of the political class has now run into a fatal dilemma. They either have to accept that democracy and pluralism can be used, to subvert, overturn, or cover anti-democracy and non-pluralism – which makes themselves open to analysis as tow whether they had been doing and continue to do so themselves.

Or they have to find escape clauses that can be used selectively to target nations and regimes that they see as obstacles in the way of their agenda of global domination, within their dogma that still allows some mantle of legitimacy for their own systems.

The method being tried out in general for a couple of decades, is trying to enforce a so-called consensus or “widespread agreement”, on very vague and often duplicitous or contradictory criteria to judge if the “consensus” value system is being subverted or not. The west-European dogma thinks it has found an escape clause that can cover their selective neo-imperialist agenda – claim that a certain vague outline of democracy, pluralism and human rights exists – whose identification and verification lies solely in their own hands, which then justifies imperialist intervention in other nations, to overturn regimes, assassinate significant individuals, or economically and militarily destroy the fundamentals of that nation.

In order to find out in whose interests any self-proclaimed group of experts, academics, humanitarians, activists actually are acting for – we just need to check out what they remain silent on in contrast to what they choose to pick on. These open-letter academics do not criticize Hamas or Palestinian authority parts for their Jew-cleansing hate campaigns, torture, rape, murder, or that by the so-called freedom-fighters in Syria, or those in Kosovo and Croatia against Serbs in the 90’s, or the Bahraini state, or the Saudis, or Pakistan, or China, or western Ukraine, or Turkey, or Egypt, or even in their own backyard where the state ruthlessly cracks down with full state violence on peaceful protesters against economic destruction of the commoner.

Just compare their stances on these “other” stuff – and you can identify whom they work for, in whose interests.

 

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Studying Priyamvada Gopal : how to promote imperialism under an anti-fascist mask.

Posted on April 21, 2014. Filed under: Antisemitism, Arab, Buddhists, Christians, Communist, diaspora, Gaza, Hindu, Historians with political agenda, History, India, Indian National Congress, Islam, Islamic propaganda, Israel, Jew, Jihad, Kashmir, Kashmiri Pundit, Left, Macaulay, Marxism, Muslims, neoimperialism, Pakistan, Palestine, Politics, rape, religion, Salafi, Saudi, slavery, Sunni, Syria, Taleban, terrorism, UK, Uncategorized, USA, Wahabi |

 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/14/narendra-modi-extremism-india

Priymavada Gopal’s opening piece in Guardian runs as follows:

Imagine this. A pogrom takes place in a foreign country targeting a minority group, say Christians, with hundreds brutally killed by rampaging mobs, many mutilated and raped, and foetuses removed from pregnant women. Thousands flee destroyed homes. The provincial leader on whose watch these events take place is a politician with open links to extremist Islamist organisations. Three holidaying British citizens are among the massacred. Allegations emerge that this politician’s language helped foment the massacres. With one of his cabinet jailed for her role in the pogroms he becomes the frontrunner to lead this increasingly powerful country. Would you worry?

Yes, is the likely answer, and so you should. In reality, the country is India, the extremists are Hindus, the 2002 Gujarat pogroms targeted Muslims, and the leader in question is Narendra Modi.

It is highly revealing to see how Gopal’s use of English carefully transforms, transmutes and transfers guilt and horror from a widely obvious violent religious movement to another with which she would otherwise have failed to establish any comparative basis. The violent scenario becomes her equation between two religious communities by which she can serve her dual purpose of reducing Jihadi guilt and responsibility on one hand, and raise the other community to the same violent status. “Removing foetuses” is an allegation that is typically dismissed by Indian “Thaparite” historians when they appear historically, as being carried out by Islamist mobs – as in the Moplah rebellion of the 1920’s or thr Partition riots.

In her hypothetical Islamic scenario, she does not equate “muslim” with “extremist”. In her follow on comment she makes that jump, subtly, and glibly – casually bracketing “Hindu” with “extremist”. But the most insidious and devious part of her argument lies in noting that she paints the “victim” in her scenario – as “Christian minority”. She did not say just any minority – for example Buddhist minorities, Sikh minorities and Hindu minorities are – and continue to be targets of Islamist attacks. But Gopal must only mention “Christian minorities”. She knows she is actually appealing to the Christian majoritarian audience of UK, trying to tickle their own underlying religiosity and religious anger and transfer it against the “Hindu”.

“As the candidate of the far-right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in current elections he does not dispute his or its links to the extremist Hindu network known as the Sangh Parivar.”

It is interesting to note the casual application of adjectives, which do not need to be, and are never qualified. Gopal thinks that extremist is such a well-defined term, that mere slapping it on anyone from such a high and undisputed authority as herself – is enough. Extremist in one school, one religion, one nation – become moderates, average, centrist in another school, religion, nation. Again Gopal is very careful in disjuncting “Muslim” from “extremist” – she reserves such joining to Muslim only by adding an “ist”, creating the linguistic illusion of the two being separate. No such kindnesses for the “Hindu” though. In the eyes of enemies of the Hindu, any assertiveness or protest or attempt at defining itself independently of self-appointed experts form outside – who however carry their own hidden religious agenda by criticizing religions/cultures selectively – is a criminal offense.

“Modi was a leading activist for its secretive and militaristic arm, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – whose founder expressed admiration for Hitler, ideologies of racial purity and the virtues of fascism. It is an organisation that, on a good day, looks like the British National party but can operate more like Nazi militias. Known for an authoritarian leadership style, Modi’s only expression of regret for the pogroms compared them to a car running over a puppy, while he labelled Muslim relief camps “baby-making factories”.”

Interestingly, the roots of the current Palestinian movement against Israel, and Jews – has its roots in a certain Grand Mufti of Palestine, who became a close associate, admirer of Hitler, and collaborator of the Nazis. This Grand Mufti had however been helped to get selected to his post by the dubious role of the then British administrator of Palestine. Does this make the British, Christians, current Palestinian movements, any better than the RSS? The Palestinian groups still express admiration for Hitler, for example  http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=655

“Hitler awaited me. I said, ‘You’re the one who killed the Jews?’
He [Hitler] said: ‘Yes. I killed them so you would all know that they are a nation which spreads destruction all over the world. And what I ask of you is to be resilient and patient, concerning the suffering that Palestine is experiencing at their hands.’
I said [to Hitler]: ‘Thanks for the advice.’ “ http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=655&doc_id=6029

“Had Hitler won, Nazism would be an honor that people would be competing to belong to, and not a disgrace punishable by law. Churchill and Roosevelt were alcoholics, and in their youth were questioned more than once about brawls they started in bars, while Hitler hated alcohol and was not addicted to it. He used to go to sleep early and wake up early, and was very organized. These facts have been turned upside down as well, and Satan has been dressed with angels’ wings…”

“Palestinians whose first name is “Hitler”: Hitler Salah [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 28, 2005], Hitler Abu-Alrab [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 27, 2005], Hitler Mahmud Abu-Libda [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec.18, 2000.] Articles reflecting admiration for Hitler have appeared in both Fatah and Hamas newspapers.”

Millions go as aid and funds diverted for Palestinian movements from UK. Does Gopal lambast them similarly? no. Why not? Because doing so would not be in the interests of the core of the British establishment thinking– which still has its pro-Sunni, Wahabi, anti-Semitic bent of the early 20th century.

“Hindu extremism is rooted in a macho 20th-century response to British colonialism which mocked Hindu “effeminacy”. It is rarely scrutinised in the west, partly because Hinduism is stereotyped as gentle and non-violent in the image of Gandhi – who, ironically, was assassinated by an RSS activist – and benefits from the disproportionate attention given to Islamist violence, which enables other pernicious extremisms to slip under the radar.”

Gopal obviosuly covers up her glee at supposed “hindu effiminacy” just as newly enslaved woman in Islamic hands were often reported to be over-zealous to show her devotion to new masters by sharing in the mocking or humiliation of her own kin. Actually, Gopal’s shoddy scholarship and very poor or rather dishonest understanding of colonial history shows in her lack of reference to studies of militancy within the Hindu long before the British arrived, as in Warrior Ascetics and Indian Empires By William R. Pinch published from within the very Cambridge that Gopal struts about.

“For all its anti-British rhetoric, Hindu nationalism played no significant role in either the freedom struggle or in creating the secular constitution of independent India. But over recent decades, the notion of Hindutva (Hindu-ness) has grown in force along with the unfettered capitalism it espouses: it is responsible for vicious attacks on Christians, murdering missionaries and calling for Muslims to choose between Pakistan and the graveyard. And any victory for a proponent of a nuclearised Hindu India where homosexuality remains criminalised will have consequences that will be felt well beyond the subcontinent, not least in multicultural Britain.”

As for pontificating on who played no significant role in freedom struggle : Gopal follows the cue of Congress favoured so-called professional historians who see political agenda in everyone else other than themselves. The latter served the dual purpose of reassuring the British that the threat of militancy or militancy itself among the Hindu having any role in the removal of the Brits – because the Brits have always been mortally scared of appearing to have been militarily or violently thrashed. It fed into their ancient paranoia of appearing weak before continental brothers. The other purpose was legitimizing the dynastic continuity of British Raj through the Nehruvian one, by projecting Nehru and Gandhi as the sole harbingers of Indian freedom – erasing and denigrating all other threads of Indian freedom struggle and its success. Such an agitprop and construction of the colonial-anti-colonial story served the purposes of all three players in that game – British imperialism, the north-Indian mullah-Hindu-elite collaborator class developing within the Sultanate-Mughal spectrum represented by Motilal and Jawaharlal, and the mercantile fledgling capitalists of India. Making Gandhi the sole victor, then was strategy of redefining the Hindu as passively accepting of all that is thrown against, tolerant of everything and everyone so that the extreme exclusivism, culture erasure memes of Christianity and Islam could continue unhindered even after their British patrons were gone from direct power. Gopal simply parrots the line.

Interestingly, and expectedly, Gopal shows her lack of integrity by not mentioning that the anti-homosexual laws were actually British laws imposed on Hindus – in deference to Islamic and Christian demands when the laws were being formalized for the Raj, and that the current strongest opposition against decriminalizing homosexuality comes from Muslim leadership in India. It is Hindus who have some traditional space for the third “gender”, not Muslims – some of whose voice have already promised alternatives under Islamic law for India. Gopal slyly makes an Islamic and Christian problem into a Hindu one, and then pitched it on her chosen target. When mentioning “vicious attacks” on Christian missionaries, she quietly avoids the role and effect of such missionaries on simple believing communities, the fraud and financial promises used to manipulate and win converts, and the attacks on and exclusion of Hindus by missionaries. When Hindu “missionaries” go for similar work – they are murdered too, and their activity is touted by the likes of Gopal as disruptive and therefore their murder somehow legitimate. Gopal has absorbed British ruling classes’ traditional duplicity rather well.

“The Gujarat pogroms took place after an unexplained fire on a train, which killed Hindu activists and was swiftly attributed by Modi to Islamic forces and Pakistan. Allegations remain that he deliberately prevented authorities from intervening. Contrary to claims, India’s supreme court has not issued him a “clean chit” but criticised him as a “modern-day Nero”.”

For Gopal – the “fire” is “unexplained”, not even unfortunate – or no commiseration expressed for those burned. Notwithstanding that the commission reports did not declare the fire “unexplained”, but rather suspicious. However, the suspicious reports were generated to make it appear that the burned passengers set fire to themselves – so that arson was so strongly suspected and secretly acknowledged by the anti-Hindu forces in the country and abroad – that they swung into action to pitch the blame on the “hindu” themselves. Gopal mentions allegations in a neat weave to create the impression that they were somehow not mere allegations but truths.

“Modi’s moral culpability was recognised by both Britain and the US in denying him a travel visa for several years. Britain has also been attempting, without success, to get justice for the three Britons – Saeed and Sakil Dawood, and Mohammed Aswat – who were chased, cornered and brutally killed, their bodies burned beyond recognition. Now, disgracefully, trumped by British corporate interests in India, many owned by British Indians, governmental links with Modi have been re-established. This rehabilitation is the result of hard lobbying by some Hindutva-friendly politicians and the many front organisations that operate in Britain. We are urged to focus on corporate-friendly Modi, the pogroms being a little mishap to be shrugged off.”

Gopal is at her ridiculous shamelessness best : the US/UK’s rejection of Modi somehow reinforces the guilt of Modi. Is she prepared to do the same for US/UK’s virtual rejection of Palestinian demands and accept that it proves Palestinian guilt? Or UK’s virtual clean chit to allow South American genocide criminals to move freely in UK shows their lack of guilt? Gopal claims to have been at the forefront of fighting fascism – but fails to recognize the reach, spread and power of fascism in the form of Islamism. She want to equate Islamism with Hindu reassertion – and this is where she reveals her secret agenda.

“We should note with concern that some charitable funds raised in Britain, including for the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, went to charities run by Hindu extremists who systematically foment hate. So too must we care about the “saffron pound” sent by long-distance Hindu “patriots” to fund extremism. But investigating Britain’s Hindu zealots doesn’t have the same political currency as pronouncements about getting “tough” on Islamic extremism.

A Modi victory will strengthen the arm of chauvinist forces in Britain, which have already had successes such as shutting down exhibitions, quashing caste discrimination laws, and withdrawing Royal Mail stamps. Under Modi there will be no progress on Kashmir, which will also have far-reaching violent consequences. In the face of a global resurgence of the right we must be alert to all its extremist forms. Britons committed to anti-fascism must not allow their country to abdicate morality.”

The weakest part of Gopals’ argument is however her failure to establish any strong connection between a Modi victory and negative consequences for UK home territories. Shutting down of exhibitions and withdrawal of stamps is far behind the political exigencies by which the London series bombings are related to the global fascist Islamist agenda. Hindu India has little to gain out of blackmailing a puny world player like the UK whose only influence can be exercised through its big-brother the USA. Islamists on the other hand have a lot depending on the UK and vice versa. Her most concrete argument is that of Modi will stall progress on “Kashmir”. Interestingly again, Gopal shows her real affiliations and commitments by dropping the word Jammu – and making one cause with the Islamist agenda of erasing the reality of Hindu and Buddhist Jammu and Ladakh. Since she thinks “Hindu” is against “Kashmir” she is already subscribed to the idea of an Islamist Kashmir – the dream of islamists, many of whom find a niche in her very UK – and against whom she has nothing to say. Not to speak of no Guardian article from her pen about the fascism unleashed by the valley Muslims on Hindu “Kashmiris”.

Gopals’ anti-fascism is very very selective – it only finds it in Hindu reassertion, not in Islamics, or christians, or in the actions of states in the west and its Islamist allies like the Saudis, around the globe and sometimes on their own home territories – which have amounted to and continue to be so – as fascist. So at the end of the day, her shrill cry of sky-is-falling and frantic appeal to the UK to intervene in Indian politics reveals her real motivations – serve the cause of imperialism under cover of anti-fascism – the same face used in Europe and the world since the end of WWII.

 

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Islamo-Judaic Relations : politically correct mythology – 5: late-Medieval to the modern.

Posted on April 7, 2012. Filed under: Arab, Christians, diaspora, Egypt, exile, Gaza, Historians with political agenda, History, Islam, Islamic propaganda, Israel, Jew, Jihad, Muslims, Ottoman, Palestine, religion, Syria, terrorism, Turkey, UK |

Maimonides (1135-1204), was a famous Jewish philosopher and author who fled Spain from a murderous Muslim persecution and took up the job of a physician to Saladin. However over time his experiences come out in his “Letter to Yemen” [1]

“[as punishment] God has hurled us into the midst of this people, the Arabs, who have persecuted us severely, and passed baneful and discriminatory legislation against us… Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they.”

Maimonides had correspondence with Jews over a large area (yes, including India), and was therefore in a position to compare.

The 9th century Muslim writer al-Jahiz (an Arab settled in Baghdad) wrote: “…the hearts of the Muslims are hardened toward the Jews but inclined toward the Christians.”[2] He pointed out that “in his time the Christians were both socially and economically better off than the Jews.”[3] He explained this by the political resistance of the Jews of Medina to Muhammad.

In this contemporary chronicle from Baghdad by Obadyah the Proselyte, in 1100 C.E.: [7: …the Caliph of Baghdad, al—Muqtadi [1075—1094], had given power to his vizier, Abu Shuja… [who] imposed that each male Jew should wear a yellow badge on his headgear. This was one distinctive sign on the head and the other was on the neck— a piece of lead of the weight of a silver dinar hanging round the neck of every Jew and inscribed with the word dhimmi to signify that the Jew had to pay poll—tax. Jews also had to wear girdles round their wastes. Abu Shuja further imposed two signs on Jewish women. They had to wear a black and a red shoe, and each woman had to have a small brass bell on her neck or shoe, which would tinkle and thus announce the separation of Jewish from Gentile [Muslim] women. He assigned cruel Muslim men to spy upon Jewish women, in order to oppress them with all kinds of curses, humiliation, and spite. The Gentile population used to mock all the Jews, and the mob and their children used to beat up the Jews in all the streets of Baghdad…When a Jew died, who had not paid up the poll—tax [jizya] to the full and was in debt for a small or large amount, the Gentiles did not permit burial until the poll—tax was paid. If the deceased left nothing of value, the Gentiles demanded that other Jews should, with their own money, meet the debt owed by the deceased in poll—tax; otherwise they [threatened] they would burn the body.”

Bernard Lewis refers to attempts at reform in the 19th century Ottoman empire by quoting a Turk “… whereas in former times, in the Ottoman state, the communities were ranked, with the Muslims first, then the Greeks [Greek Orthodox], then the Armenians, then the Jews, now all of them were put on the same level. Some Greeks objected to this, saying: “The government has put us together with the Jews. We were content with the supremacy of Islam.”[4] Most likely this refers to the reform decrees that resulted out of the power struggle between Muhammad Ali of Egypt and the Ottomans.

The British envoy, Dr John Bowring was in Lebanon and Syria in the 1830s, and he writes:

The Mussulmans. . . deeply deplore the loss of that sort of superiority which they all & individually exercised over and against the other sects. . . a Mussulman. . . believes and maintains that a Christian — and still more a Jew — is an inferior being to himself.[5] […] The condition of the Jews forms, perhaps, an exception [to the general improvement of non-Muslims] and cannot be said to have improved comparatively with that of the other Sects[6]

Towards the end of Mameluk rule (from the Mongol withdrawal in 1260 to the Ottoman conquest in 1517), a Franciscan monk named Francesco Suriano lived in the monastery in Jerusalem for about a quarter of a century. He served as Custos Terrae Sanctae or Guardian of the Holy Land for his order for some time and therefore the highest ranking Catholic official there, charged by the pope with overseeing Roman Catholic interests in the Christian holy places and Church affairs in the country. He writes about the Jews in Jerusalem:

“I wish you to know how these dogs of Jews are trampled upon, beaten and ill-treated, as they deserve, by every infidel nation, and this is the just decree of God. They live in this country in such subjection that words cannot describe it. . . there in Jerusalem, where they committed the sin for which they are dispersed throughout the world [i.e., the Crucifixion], they are by God more punished and afflicted than in any other part of the world. And over a long time I have witnessed that . . . No infidel [= Muslim] would touch with his hand a Jew lest he be contaminated but when they wish to beat them, they take off their shoes with which they strike them on the mustaches; the greatest wrong and insult to a man is to call him a Jew. And it is a right notable thing that the Moslems do not accept a Jew into their creed unless he first become a Christian. . . And if they were not subsidized by the Jews of Christendom, the Jews who live in Judea would die like dogs of hunger.”[7]

The Ottoman Empire needed the Jewish expertise in various fields including finances so initially after conquest they brought in some of the more outstanding into service. This was vehemently opposed by the local muslims. Therefore, “The Jewish community… paid the jizya at rates somewhat higher than the [Greek] Orthodox.”[8] Now, even under and after such “great” patronage by the Ottomans, Chateaubriand, (a famous French author), visited Jerusalem in 1806, and later wrote:

Special target of all contempt [i.e., of both Muslims and Christians], they lower their heads without complaint; they suffer all insults without demanding justice; they let themselves be crushed by blows… Penetrate the dwellings of these people, you will find them in frightful poverty…

Nothing can prevent them from turning their gaze towards Zion. When one sees the Jews dispersed throughout the world,… one is probably surprised, but, to be struck by supernatural astonishment, it is necessary to find them in Jerusalem.. . to see these legitimate owners of Judea, slaves and strangers in their own land. One must see them under all oppressions, awaiting a king who is to redeem them.[9]

Neophytos was a Greek Orthodox monk belonging to the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher, which governed Orthodox church affairs in Jerusalem. Around 1834, Neophytos writes:

“As we are on the question of repairs, we must say something about the Jewish Synagogue. One year ago only, seeing the liberal dispositions of Mehemet Ali Pasha [Muhammad Ali] and Ibrahim Pasha [his son, general, and deputy], they dared to speak about their Synagogue. They asked that their House of Prayer, being in a ruinous condition and in danger of falling in, might be repaired. So, those who did not even dare to change a tile on the roof of the Synagogue at one time, now received a permit and a decree to build.”[10]

Felix Bovet, a Swiss Protestant minister who visited Jerusalem in 1858, writes “the Jews are still, to this day, the most miserable part of the population of the Holy City.”[11] Bovet quotes a French convert to Islam, who wrote: “the Jerusalem Jew only half lives, scarcely daring to breathe.”[12]

References
1. Maimonides, “Epistle to Yemen,” in David Hartman, ed., Crisis and Leadership: Epistles of Maimonides (tr. A Halkin; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society 1985), p 126.

2. Quoted in Bernard Lewis, The Jews of Islam (Princeton 1984), pp 59-60.

3. Words of Moshe Sharon, op. cit., p 94; also see Carlo Panella, Il ‘Complotto Ebraico’ — L’antisemitismo islamico da Maometto a Bin Laden (Torino: Lindau 2005), p 89

4. Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong? (London: Orion House 2002), p 104.

5. Quoted in William R Polk, The Opening of South Lebanon, 1788-1840 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 1963), p 138. Other 19th century Western observers noted the same Arab-Muslim Judeophobia, as quoted by Saul S Friedman, Land of Dust (Washington, DC: University Press of America 1982), p 136.

6. William R Polk, The Opening of South Lebanon, 1788-1840 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 1963), p 138.

7. Francesco Suriano, Treatise on the Holy Land (Jerusalem: Franciscan Press, 1949) [in original: Trattato di Terra Santa e dell’Oriente], pp 101-02. For a scholarly view of the Jews in Jerusalem in the late Mamluk period, when Suriano lived there, see Avraham David in “The Mamluk Period” in Israel: People, Land, State (Avigdor Shinan, ed.: Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben Zvi, 2005).

8. Amnon Cohen, “On the Realities of the Millet System: Jerusalem in the 16th century,” in B Braude and B Lewis, Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire (New York: Holmes & Meier 1982), p 14.

9. Chateaubriand, Itinéraire de Paris à Jérusalem (Paris: Juilliard 1964), pp 426-427.

10. Neophytos, Extracts from Annals of Palestine 1821-1841 (Jerusalem, Ariel Publishing House, 1979; compiled by Eli Schiller), p 78. Originally published in Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society, vol. XVIII (1938; tr S N Spyridon).

11. Felix Bovet, Egypt, Palestine, and Phoenicia (Eng. trans; London: 1872), p 180

12. Ibid., p 181.

Discussion

The more one studies the history of Islamic repression on the Jews, the more one comes up with the stark reality that in many many ways, the Islamic treatment simply picked up and intensified the iconoclastic violence and genocidic tendencies latent within the Churches of east. In many many ways, the appearance of the Islamics provided a tool and a hope in the eastern churches to actually achieve what they had so far failed to do – the complete elimination of the Jews as a physical reality.

From this started a whole lot of processes :

(1) realizing that the Jews will remain strongly resistant to conversion in spite of certain disgruntled Jews switching allegiance and acting against their own origin community (not surprising for Hindus of India!). As long as the Jews remained adamant to conversion, Jews are a problem to the two other claimants of the sole rights to the Abrahamic legacy (which in turn in its proselytizing/converting form is a most effective tool for imperialism).

(2) try and blame all atrocities , or even invent genocide/exile/enslavement on a grand scale and assign it to “Romans” (not the Church primarily)

(3) suppress all references to non-genocidic/encouraging behaviour from “Roman” authorities

(4) when instigating “Roman” authorities as much as possible to eliminate the Jews was not achieving this goal, the Islamists were a “Godsend”. This is shown in the active collaboration of the Eastern Churches leadership with the Islamists and Jihadists to eliminate and repress Jews to an extent they could only rant about but not actually implement under “Roman” rule. The combined effort achieves the target to a much greater degree than ever achieved before in the pre-Islamic period.

(5) jihadis use this eagerness in Church leadership to intensify their dhimma policy – which is not toleration as represented by Islamists and their non-Muslim apologists, neither is it a purely “social discrimination” non-physical-violence non-Jihad thing. It is a double edged sword, by first enforcing a one-sided set of extremely harsh and almost impossible to meet conditions on the Jews, and then systematically and regularly claim that the “covenants” of the dhimma had been broken so jihad was now applicable to the captive population of dhimmis.

(6) gradually Jihadis tighten the noose on Levantine non-Muslims, especially Christians who are increasingly subjected to forced conversions, genocide and enslavement once the Islamists gain a foothold with their leaders’ initial weaknesses, and this in turn makes the Christian leadership more and more eager to please the Islamists. They start suppressing evidence of Jihadi violence on Christians (unfortunately even the most enlightened so-called paragons of tolerance Ottoman behaviour in this regard is also historically documented) and increase their collaboration in persecution of Jews in the hope of achieving their aims of cleansing of the land of the Jews.

(7) this leads to the western churches being ideologically cornered since eastern churches have to justify their collaboration with the Islamics on the “original sin” or so called responsibility of “deicide”. This concept of collective responsibility was taken to its extreme both by the christians as well as the muslim leadership, but finds its perfection under Islamic leadership of christianity. So the major “expulsions” and “genocides” have to be put at the door of the Roman empire BEFORE the acceptance of Christianity as a Roman imperial religion.

“Sado-masochism” – the almost sexual enjoyment of giving and receiving intense pain (mental as well as physical)- is perhaps a key to understand this modern (and not so modern) Christian reaction against the Jews which intensified under Islamic leadership over the greater part of Christian leadership’s mindset. Its intensity and naked expression in Jihadi Islam is simply the next stage of development from Christian attitudes towards the origin – perhaps a generalization of father-son antagonistic dynamic so insightfully discovered by a man of Jewish origins, Sigmund Freud. The Judaic being the father, and Christianity the elder born, and Islam the younger, with the sons having a raging sibling rivalry, a shared hatred of the father who stands between them and the mother – the legacy of the Abrahamic.

Now why should it find expression in some Indians who were born as Hindus? Perhaps the same mindset that led to a few Jewish converts into Islam or Christianity – an unconscious attraction for the possibilities of gratifying their sado-masochastic tendencies!

Each of the points (1)-(7) can be supported with documented sources. I have already mentioned once on the modern thinking in a large part “professional historians” on the so-called “greater role” of Romans in the “diaspora”. Apparently many like the one I mentioned have argued for the whole thing being a “myth”(!!) and that there was really no traumatic dispersal at the scales of hundreds of thousands or millions under the Romans [ there are detailed arguments about the 1.1 million being absurd based on actual estimates of food production, archaeological reconstructions of living conditions and settlement estimates, etc.] – according to these “experts”.

Maybe the pro-Islamics of all colours should unite against these very Jewish profs and academics as being part of a Zionist conspiracy with overt pro-Palestinian sympathies but actually undermining the whole Islamist cause!! Denying the key-pivot of Roman role in Diaspora combined with source narrative claims from Islamists themselves about atrocities and genocide perpetrated by Muslims on the Jews is problematic for the Islamist-line of Palestinian “movement”.

Part 4

To be continued.

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Islamo-Judaic Relations : politically correct mythology – 4 : From departure of Muhammad to Islamist Conquest of Palestine and Syria

Posted on March 1, 2012. Filed under: Antisemitism, Arab, Christians, diaspora, Egypt, exile, Gaza, Historians with political agenda, History, Islam, Islamic propaganda, Israel, Jew, Jihad, Muslims, Palestine, religion, Roman, Syria, terrorism |

From the successful genocide at Khyber and land grab, in the late 620’s until his death, Muhammad tried to expand the reach of his army towards Syria and Palestine. His first attempt with an open declared campaign (for the first time in his life, because previously he had always relied on surprise and deception) against Heraclius was a disaster, and at this time we have reports of increasing dissent against his leadership. So Muhammad renewed his earlier strategy of covert and piecemeal targeting of isolated communities and tribes.

During this phase he was taken ill and passed away, according to the Hadiths, exactly at the time when a new and larger expedition was being planned against the then Byzantine held territories of Syria and Palestine. The expedition did take off, and similar expeditions were then subsequently organized until finally at the Battle of Yarmouk a large Byzantine army was defeated and Heraclius abandoned Syria and Palestine and went back to Constantinople. This is just within 10 years of Khyber. However many cities held out.

Some Bedouin nomadic tribes at this period did hover around in the frontierland between Byzantium and beyond (the southern desert of Palestine, west of the Euphrates (Hira) in the Syrian desert, Palmyra), where for a long time due to the competition with the persians, the Byzantines had come to an arrangement of benefits and payment to enlist the large nomadic Arab tribes as a bulwark against raids from beyond. The arable inner regions and the cities were populated by Aramaic speaking Jews and Christians. The contemporary writings of the Church Fathers and in Talmudic sources show that they had little or no identification/sympathy with the Bedouins (who spoke a different language) and actually were quite hostile because they faced constant raids. [1]

Moshe Gil, [1] quotes surviving sources from the defeated indigenous non-Muslim populations, to show that they

“reflect the attitude of the towns and villages in Palestine quite accurately; the attitude of a sedentary population, of farmers and craftsmen, toward nomads whose source of income is the camel and who frequently attack the towns, pillage and slaughter the inhabitants, and endanger the lives of the wayfarer. These sources completely contradict the argument to the effect that the villagers and townsmen in Palestine accepted the invasion of those tribes bearing the banner of Islam with open arms of their so-called racial affinity.” [This is a copyrighted book, so I cannot quote extensively. Those interested do look up]

The whole Gaza region up to Kaiseria [Caesarea] was sacked and devastated in the campaign of 634. Four thousand Jewish, Christian, and Samaritan peasants who defended their land were massacred. The villages of the Negev were looted. Cities such as Jerusalem, Gaza, Jaffa, Caesarea, Nablus, and Beth Shean were isolated and closed their gates. In his sermon on Christmas day 634 CE, the patriarch of Jerusalem, Sophronius, says “the Christians are being forcibly kept in Jerusalem…chained and nailed by fear of the Saracens, whose savage, barbarous and bloody sword kept them locked up in the town”. In 636, Sophronius, [Day of the Epiphany 636], writes of the destruction of the churches and monasteries, the sacked towns, the fields laid waste, the villages burned down by the “nomads” [generic name for Arabs including Islamics whom the Byzantine Christians were yet to recognize as any significant independent faith system] who were overrunning the country. In a letter the same year to Sergius, the patriarch of Constantinople, he mentions the ravages wrought by the Arabs. Thousands of people perished in 639, falling victim to the raids as well as the famine and plague that resulted from these destructions. [2] For Jerusalem, according to one version of the terms of the treaty with the Patriarch for surrender, “Jews” would not be allowed to remain within the city.

According to Baladhuri (d. 892 C.E. – his name also comes up in connection with records of campaigns in Sindh in India), 40,000 Jews [20,000 according to some translations] lived in Caesarea alone at the Arab conquest, after which all trace of them is lost. [3] Tabari further reports that 4000 survivors were taken prisoner and transported out of the region and given as slaves to Muslims in Al-Jurf. [4]

Gil further shows that the period of the conquest was also that of the destruction of the synagogues and churches of the Byzantine era, remnants of which have been turning up in archaeological discoveries. Towns in the western strip and the central strip (the region of the red sand hills and the swamps) in the Sharon, decreased from fifty-eight to seventeen. It is estimated that the erosion of the soil from the western slopes of the Judaean mountains reached as a result of the decultivation during the Muslim period to almost 2,000 to 4,000 cubic meters. The direct evidence of the destruction of agriculture and the desertion of the villages is shown by the fact that the papyri of Nessana are completely discontinued after the year 700. [1]

Similar conclusions have been reached in archaeological analysis with Negev being reduced to a wasteland. Gil has translated these observations by the 10th century Karaite [The rationalist movement within Judaism started by Maimonides] commentator Yefet b. Ali recording that there was great destruction in Palestine and that there were places which remained uninhabited, while there were other places to which people returned and settled:

“the places which were completely destroyed so that no memory of them remains, like Samaria…are the places which have been destroyed and ruined, but despite this there are guards and people living there, such as Hebron and others” [1]

There is no reason to expect, like some of us probably do – that just within 10 years the entire spirit of Badr, Khyber would be forgotten and abandoned by Islamism – all of a sudden when they overrun Palestine.

[1] Moshe Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099

[2] Bat Yeor, “Islam and the Dhimmis”, The Jerusalem Quarterly, 1987, Vol. 42,

[3] The origins of the Islamic state, being a translation from the Arabic, accompanied with annotations, geographic and historic notes of the Kitab futuh al-buldan of al-Imam abu-l Abbas Ahmad ibn-Jabir al-Baladhuri -p213 [4] Ibid p216-218

Part 3

Part 5

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Islamo-Judaic Relations : politically correct mythology – 3 : Foundation of Islam and the ethnic cleansing of Jews

Posted on February 18, 2012. Filed under: Antisemitism, Arab, diaspora, exile, Islam, Islamic propaganda, Israel, Jew, Jihad, Muslims, religion, terrorism |

3  Islam and the Jews – the historical testament :

I am starting with the record of “encouragement” by Muslims to the Jews living around the Levant and Near East. This may appear to be “too much history” – but pause to think what effect this can have on the collective social consciousness of the Jews towards the Muslims who continued in the longest most recent occupation of their homeland until 1948. Note that this is the early period – in the 600’s. I will post subsequently about the medieval period.

With Islam what seems to be most interesting is that the more organized communities that Muhammad appears to face up to, are the Jews. In fact it was a Jewish settlement, Yathrib, that afforded him asylum when he felt supposedly persecuted in his birth-place, Mecca. But significantly we hear that the Meccans had not carried out any violence on him for his activities and allowed him to “migrate” with 100 or 140 or 60 or 90 depending on sources] companions including females. Prior to this, Muhammad had preached “secretly” against the ruling clan, their beliefs, their idols and called for their overthrow. It appears that when one of his followers began mocking publicly and then got into a fight, he killed or fatally wonded a Meccan with a sharpened camel bone. That was how the sect was exposed and even then, Muhammad was offered medical help of the time [curing demonic possession which was the natural conclusion of Meccans because Muhammad claimed that he heard voices from angels, and God was speaking to him directly]. Yathrib has been renamed Medina now [another consistent Muslim practice of renaming a place to wipe out cultural linkages to the past].

After this, Muhammad seems to have taken to raiding vulnerable oasis settlements which appear to have been worked more by Jewish settlements. Whatever might have been his initial motivations, perhaps easy loot, providing females to his soldiers, the way the Quranic and Hadthic narratives have shaped it all up – makes it all a divine necessity.

This “God ordered” aspect and the peculiar notion of “Sunna” – emulating what Muhammad actually did, makes the erasure of Jews a persistent core religious theme within the Islamic. I acknowledge gratefully faithfreedom.org for most of the supporting material:

3.1 The Ethnic Cleansing of Banu Quaynuqa Jews from Medina by Muhammad-July, 624CE

After the decisive victory at Badr II and after assassinating intellectual critics at Medina, like a talented mother who lampooned his claims (Asma bnt Marwan) and a 120 year old Jewish critique, Muhammad moved against the Jews who were successful agriculturists, artisans, craftsmen, jewelers and merchants. The three important Jewish clans, the Banu Quaynuqa, Banu Nadir and Banu Qurayza made a covenant with Muhammad when he migrated to Medina “to live in tranquility and harmony and to aid him, should any attack fell on him.” So, Gabriel brought the decree (Quaran 8:58) from Allah that Muhammad was free to break the treaty with the Jews. Muhammad selected the B. Qaynuqa Jews as the target probably because they were the weakest of the three, and declared to the B. Qaynuqa Jews in their market:

“O Jews, beware lest God bring on you the like of the retribution which he brought on Quraysh. Accept Islam, for you know that I am a prophet sent by God. You will find this in your scriptures and in God’s covenant with you.”

The B. Qaynuqa Jews retaliated by ignoring his plea for Islam and challenged Muhammad to face them militarily, replying “Muhammad, do you think that we are like your people? Do not be deluded by the fact that you met a people with no knowledge of war and that you made good use of your opportunity. By God, if you fight us you will know that we are real men!” Then Muhammad demanded Jizya from the Jews but the Jews disparaged Muhammad by saying that His Allah was poor. An angry Allah, (Quaran 3:181), immediately promised His retribution to the Jews. Allah also revealed verse 3:12, 13, assuring Muhammad of his victory against the Jews. In addition, the Muslims also complained of sowing discord between the B. Aws and B. Khazraj by the Jews by narrating the battle of Buath, in which these two tribes had fought. It was during this time that Allah forbade, (Quran verse 5:57), to engage in friendship by the Muslims with the Jews and the Christians.

An Arab wife of a Muslim convert of Medina was waiting on a seat for some jewelry at a  Jewish goldsmith in the market of Qaynuqa. A flirtatious neighbor stepped on her skirt and on rising the inevitable happened. Her screamed drew a passing Muslim who immediately killed the offending Jew. The brother of the Jew then killed the Muslim. The family of the murdered Muslim then appealed to the converts of Medina to take revenge.

The conflict spread and contrary to the propaganda now made  that Muhammad avoided conflict and mitigated for peace, he made no such attempt or try to do  justice. He immediately gathered his followers under a white banner in the hand of Hamzah and marched forward to attack the Jews who took shelter in their fortified apartments. So, Muhammad laid a siege and a full blockade was imposed. The siege lasted for fifteen days. The Jews were expecting help from their Khazarj allies. But the help did not come. So, the desperate B. Qaynuqa Jews had no choice but to surrender to Muhammad. Their hands were tied behind their backs and preparations were made for their execution. At this time, Abd Allah ibn Ubayy, the Khazarite and a new convert to Islam (he was a highly effective exposer of Muhammad at Medina, indicated in Muhammad calling him a hypocrite) intervened.  He begged Muhammad for mercy, but Muhammad turned his face away. Abd Allah persisted. Finally, Muhammad yielded and let the prisoners escape execution. He then cursed the Jews and Abd Allah ibn Ubay with Allah’s punishment. Then Muhammad ordered the Jews of B. Qaynuqa to leave Medina within three days on condition  that the Jews surrendered their arms and jewel-making machinery.

Tabari writes: “Allah gave their property as booty to his Messenger and the Muslims. The Banu Qaynuqa did not have any land, as they were goldsmiths. The messenger of God took many weapons belonging to them and the tools of their trade

3.2 The Murder of Ibn Sunyanah at Medina by Muhayyish b. Masud -July, 624CE

Ibn Sunyanah was a Jewish merchant who was friendly and helpful to many Muslim converts. In the morning after the murder of Ka’b b. Ashraf, [a Medinite poet of Jewish descent who criticized Muhammad – and who was assassinated in a deceptive night meeting] Muhammad gave a general license to kill any Jew whom they might chance to meet.

Tabari:

The messenger of God said, “Whoever of the Jews falls into your hands, kill him.” So Muhayyish b. Masud fell upon Ibn Sunaynah, one of the Jewish merchants who was in close terms with them and used to trade with them, and killed him. Huwayyish b. Masud (his brother) at that time had not accepted Islam; he was older than Muhayysih, and when (the latter) killed (the Jew), he began beating him saying, “O enemy of God, have you killed him? By God you have made much fat in your belly from his wealth.” Muhayyish said, “I said to him, ‘By God, if he who commanded me to kill him had commanded me to kill you, I would have cut off your head.’” And, by God, that was the beginning of Huwayyish’s acceptance of Islam. He said, “If Muhammad had ordered you to kill me. You would have killed me?” and I replied, “Yes, by God, if he had ordered me to kill you I would have cut off your head.” “By God,” he said, “a faith which has brought you to this is indeed a marvel.” Then Huwayyisah accepted Islam.

From the Sahih Hadith of Sunaan Abu Dawud: (Book 19, Number 2996): Narrated Muhayyisah: The Apostle of Allah (PBUH) said: If you gain a victory over the men of Jews, kill them. So Muhayyisah jumped over Shubaybah, a man of the Jewish merchants. He had close relations with them. He then killed him. At that time Huwayyisah (brother of Muhayyisah) had not embraced Islam. He was older than Muhayyisah. When he killed him, Huwayyisah beat him and said: O enemy of Allah, I swear by Allah, you have a good deal of fat in your belly from his property.

3.3  The Ethnic Cleansing of B. Nadir Jews from Medina by Muhammad-July, 625CE

Bani Nadir Jews were the second of three tribes in the vicinity of Medina to be targeted. They were prosperous landowners with substantial orchards of date palms. Muhammad went to the Bani Nadir Jews to raise the blood money to be paid for the killing of two men of B. Amir, whom the assassin, Amr b. Umayya al-Damri, employed by Muhammad, had killed by mistake.

Muhammad, accompanied, Abu Bakr, Ali and Umar visited the village of B. Nadir, and requested the chief of B. Nadir to refund the blood money that he had already paid. The B. Nadir Jews received Muhammad courteously, asked him to sit down while they attentively listened to his demand and agreed to honor Muhammad’s request. After agreeing to Muhammad’s demand for blood money, the B. Nadir Jews went for a private discussion among themselves. Muhammad claimed that B. Nadir Jews wanted to kill him by dropping a stone from top of the house under whose shade he was waiting as informed by “Gabriel”. So, he suddenly stood up and left the place, as if to answer the call of nature asking others, including Abu Bakr, Umar and Ali not to leave the place until he returned. When his companions found that Muhammad’s return was very much delayed, they went out looking for him. On their way to Medina they met a man who told them he saw Muhammad was headed for Medina. When they met Muhammad at Medina, he told them of his perception of treachery by B. Nadir and asked the Muslims to prepare to fight the B. Nadir.

Muhammad asked another of his assassins, Muhammad ibn Maslamah (murderer of Ka’b b. Ashraf), to go to the Banu Nadir Jews to announce to them the ultimatum to leave Medina within ten days, and if after this deadline any Jew was seen in the area, he would be killed. Maslamah, on friendly terms with the Jews who expressed their dismay at the action of Muhammad, said, “ Hearts have changed, and Islam has wiped out the old covenants.”

When Abd Allah ibn Ubayy learned about the precarious situation of the B. Nadir Jews, he sent the message to them that he himself would be coming to their assistance with two thousand Jewish and Arab fighters. But the Banu Nadir Jews recalled that the same person promised to help the Banu Qaynuqa Jews, but in the end, betrayed. So, the Banu Nadir Jews, at first, decided towards removing themselves to Khaybar or nearby. They thought that they could still come to Yathrib (Medina) to harvest their crops and then return to their fortresses at Khaybar. Huyayy ibn Akhtab, their leader finally resolved against this view. He decided to send a message to Muhammad, declining his order of expulsion,. entered in their fortified fortresses, stocked them with enough supplies to last up to a year and got ready to defend themselves. So, no Jew left Medina after the expiry of the ten days ultimatum.

Accordingly, when Muhammad ibn Maslamah returned to Medina with the news Muhammad,  immediately gave order to his fighters in his mosque to arm themselves and march forward to lay a siege on the fortresses of B. Nadir. In the beginning, the Jews defended themselves well and the siege lasted for fifteen or twenty days. Muhammad, in contravention of the ancient Arab laws, cut down the surrounding date trees and burned them. When the Jews protested about the breaking of sacrosanct Arab laws on warfare, he demanded a special revelation from Allah (59:4) that was promptly sent down, sanctioning the destruction of enemy’s palm trees. In this verse Allah gave generous permission to the Muslims to cut down the palm trees: it was not a destruction but the vengeance from Allah, and to humble the evil doers that is to say, it is alright to cut down cultivated land and burn crops in a war. The Muslim poet Hassan b. Thabit enjoyed this destruction of the livelihood of the B. Nadir Jews and composed lyrics on this :

Sahih Bukhari :Volume 3, Book 39, Number 519:  Narrated ‘Abdullah:

The Prophet got the date palm trees of the tribe of Bani-An-Nadir burnt and the trees cut down at a place called Al-Buwaira . Hassan bin Thabit said in a poetic verse: “The chiefs of Bani Lu’ai found it easy to watch fire spreading at Al-Buwaira.”

We should note that the current propaganda by teleslamists tries to establish Muhammad’s kindness towards the trees/crops/orchards of enemies. [Most versions of sharia law texts sanction similar destruction of crops and trees of enemies – but this is carefully avoided in representations to western or non-Muslim audiences with an outright lie claiming exactly opposite stipulations].

B. Nadir surrendered after this and an agreement was reached by which Muhammad spared their lives, and required of the Jews to only take those of their property that they could carry on their camels, surrender all arms. Some of them, with their chiefs Huyey, Sallam and Kinana went to Khaybar.

An entire sura (Sura 59:al- Hashr) relates to the B. Nadir, where Allah says that the B. Nadir Jews were subdued by the striking of terror in their hearts.

Hussain Haykal comments:

After the expulsion of the B. Nadir Jews, Muhammad distributed their lands to the Mohajirs and with this, they were quite satisfied with their new lands. The Ansars were equally happy that they no longer had to support the Mohajirs. Muhammad claimed that B. Nadir property was a special gift from Allah to him. He sold B. Nadir booty to purchase arms, horses, provision for his wives and used the B. Nadir property to support his wives.

Sahih Bukahri: Volume 6, Book 60, Number 407:

Narrated Umar:

The properties of Bam An-Nadir were among the booty that Allah gave to His Apostle such Booty were not obtained by any expedition on the part of Muslims, neither with cavalry, nor with camelry. So those properties were for Allah’s Apostle only, and he used to provide thereof the yearly expenditure for his wives, and dedicate the rest of its revenues for purchasing arms and horses as war material to be used in Allah’s Cause.

Sunaan Abu Dawud : Book 19, Number 2961:

Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab:

Malik ibn Aws al-Hadthan said: One of the arguments put forward by Umar was that he said that the Apostle of Allah (pbuh) received three things exclusively to himself: Banu an-Nadir, Khaybar and Fadak. The Banu an-Nadir property was kept wholly for his emergent needs, Fadak for travellers, and Khaybar was divided by the Apostle of Allah (pbuh) into three sections: two for Muslims, and one as a contribution for his family. If anything remained after making the contribution of his family, he divided it among the poor Emigrants.

3.4 The Genocide of Bani Qurayzah Jews by Muhammad-February-March, 627

After Muhammad escaped from the Battle of the Trench to Medina, and while he was washing his head in the house of Umm Salamah, one of his wives, “Gabriel” visited him at noon and informed him that the battle was not over yet, and that Allah commanded him (Muhammad) to besiege the B. Qurayzah. After listening to the instruction of Gabriel, Muhammad abandoned the noon (Asr) prayer and ordered the Muslims to march against B. Qurayzah, Ali being sent ahead of the rest. Muhammad informed his followers that during war, prayer can be omitted, as fighting during this time was more incumbent than praying.  In the evening, the Muslims soldiers marched toward the fortress of Bani Qurayza that lay two or three miles to the south-east of Medina. Muhammad rode an ass, while an army of three thousand Muslims, with thirty-six horses followed him. A tent in the compound of the mosque in Medina was also pitched where Sa’d b. Muadh took shelter to recuperate from his wound.

Muhammad approached the fortress of the B. Qurayzah Jews, yelling, ‘you brothers of apes.’ This is alluded to in  Qur’an in verses 2:65, 5:60 and 7:166, where Allah says that He turned the Jews in to apes : i and Muhammad had confirmed this “O brothers of monkeys and pigs! Fear me, fear me.” and asked his poet friend Hassan b. Thabit to make verbal abuse of the Jews through poems.

Sahih Bukhari : Volume 5, Book 59, Number 449: Narrated Al-Bara: “The Prophet said to Hassan, “Abuse them (with your poems), and Gabriel is with you (i.e, supports you).” (Through another group of sub narrators) Al-Bara bin Azib said, “On the day of Quraiza’s (besiege), Allah’s Apostle said to Hassan bin Thabit, ‘Abuse them (with your poems), and Gabriel is with you (i.e. supports you).’ ”

B. Qurayzah Jews were patient and courteous with Muhammad, and addressed him as Abu al-Qasim (father of Qasim, Muhammad’s dead son). Tabari writes: ‘When the Messenger of God had approached their fortresses, he said: “You brothers of apes! Has God shamed you and sent down his retribution on you?” they said, “Abu al-Qasim, you have never been one to act impetuously.”’

The Muslim archers had no impact and  a Muslim approaching carelessly, was killed by a Jewess by casting down a millstone on him.  After twenty-five days of siege, the Jews were on the verge of starvation. Among the Jews was Huyayy b. Akhtab who, as a fulfillment of his pledge to be with B. Qurayzah through thick and thin, did not escape with the Quraysh and the Ghatafan, but stayed with the B. Qurayzah Jews. Unable to bear the desperate situation of the Jewish women and children, the B. Qurayzah leader, Ka’b b.Asad proposed that the Jews should accept Islam to save their lives but the Jews refused. Ka’b proposed that they should kill their women and children, then, all the men could go out and fight Muhammad without any impediment. But the Jews did not want to kill their loved ones. Ka’b then proposed an attack on Muhammad the next day which was a Jewish Sabbath day (ie Saturday). The Jews flatly declined to engage in any warfare during the Sabbath.

The Jews  sent a message to Muhammad, asking that Abu Lubabah b. Abd al-Mundhir, their confidante from B. Aws, be sent to them for a discussion and advice.

Tabari writes: “When they saw him (i.e Abu Lubabah), the men rose to meet him, and the women and children rushed to grab hold of him, weeping before him, so that he felt pity for them. They said to him, “Abu Lubabah, do you think that we should submit to Muhammad’s judgment”? “Yes”, he said, but he pointed with his hand to his throat, that it would be slaughter.”’

So, the Banu Qurayzah sent the proposal to evacuate their territory and to remove themselves to Adriat (in Syria). Muhammad rejected their proposal and insisted on their abiding by his judgment. Having indicated by sign language what Muhammad had in mind for the Jews, Abu Lubabah felt guilty that he had broken his promise of secrecy with Muhammad. To atone for his ‘misdeed’ he went straight to the mosque and bound himself with ropes to one of the pillars. This pillar is known as the ‘pillar of repentance’ or the ‘pillars of Abu Lubabah’. Allah expressed His displeasure with Abu Lubabah’s conduct through verse 8:27.

In the morning, the B. Qurayzah Jews surrendered to Muhammad for his judgment. The male Jews were chained and kept in the fortress till a decision was made about their fate. The B. Aws people were on good terms with the B. Qurayzah Jews. They pleaded with Muhammad for mercy and a fair judgment for their Jewish allies. On this, Muhammad proposed that the judgment be passed by Sa’d b Muadh who was the B. Aws leader, recuperating from his wound in a tent nearby Medina. B. Aws and the B. Qurayzah both agreed on this proposal of Muhammad, hoping to have some mercy from Sa’d b. Muadh. Muhammad dispatched some B. Aws men to bring Sa’d to deliver his judgment. Riding a donkey Sa’d arrived at the site where all the seven or eight hundred Jewish men and many B. Aws people were standing to listen to his judgment. Many B. Aws people requested Sa’d to deal with the Jews with leniency and mercy. Sa’d then asked his people if they would accept whatever judgment he pronounced. The crowd agreed.

Then Muhammad asked Sa’d b. Muadh to pass his judgment. Sa’d replied, “I pass judgment on them that the men shall be killed, the property divided, and the children and women made captives.” Muhammad praised Sa’d for proclaiming a solemn judgment of the Almighty. “You have passed judgment on them with the judgment of God and the judgment of His Messenger.” Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 148: Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: “Some people (i.e. the Jews of Bani bin Quraiza) agreed to accept the verdict of Sad bin Muadh so the Prophet sent for him (i.e. Sad bin Muadh). He came riding a donkey, and when he approached the Mosque, the Prophet said, “Get up for the best amongst you.” or said, “Get up for your chief.” Then the Prophet said, “O Sad! These people have agreed to accept your verdict.” Sad said, “I judge that their warriors should be killed and their children and women should be taken as captives.” The Prophet said, “You have given a judgment similar to Allah’s Judgment (or the King’s judgment).”

[this is usually omitted in the “public face” versions of Shahi Bukhari : the full text of Sahih Al-Bukhari contains it] “The women and children were then separated from their husbands and fathers, others were put under the care of Abdullah, a renegade Jew. All the goods and possessions of the B. Qurayzah Jews, their camels and flocks were all brought as spoils of war to be distributed amongst the Muslims.”

After Sa’d b. Muadh passed the judgment of slaughter, the B. Qurayzah Jews were brought down from their dwellings; the men were handcuffed behind their backs with their women and children having already been separated. They were placed under the charge of Mohammad ibn Maslama, the assassin of Ka’b ibn Ashraf, to be despatched to Medina to the compound of the daughter of another Muslim, al-Harith before their execution in batches. A long trench was dug in the marketplace of Medina. The prisoners were then taken there, made to kneel down and beheaded in groups of five or six. Muhammad was personally present to witness this slaughter. Ali and Zubayr cut off the heads of the Jews in front of Muhammad. Sourcing from Al-Waqidi, Tabari writes:“…the messenger of God commanded that furrows should be dug in the ground for the B. Qurayzah. Then he sat down, and Ali and al-Zubayr began cutting off their heads in his presence.” Ibn Ishaq writes that they were taken in groups to Muhammad for beheading in front of him.

Tabari further writes: “The messenger of God went out into the marketplace of Medina and had trenches dug in it; then he sent for them and had them beheaded in those trenches. They were brought out to him in groups. Among them were the enemy of God, Huyayy b. Akhtab, and Ka’b b. Asad, the head of the tribe. They numbered 600 or 700-the largest estimate says they were between 800 and 900. As they were being taken in groups to the Messenger of God, they said to Ka’b b. Asad, “Ka’b, what do you understand. Do you not see that the summoner does not discharge [anyone] and that those of you who are taken away do not come back? By God, it is death!” the affair continued until the Messenger of God had finished with them.’

Huyayy b. Akhtab, the banished B. Nadir Jewish leader was taken to the execution field. Tabari describes his execution this way: “Huyayy b. Akhtab, the enemy of God, was brought. He was wearing a rose-colored suit of clothes that had torn all over with fingertip-sized holes so that it would not be taken as booty from him, and his hands were bound to his neck with a rope. When he looked at the Messenger of God, he said, “By God, I do not blame myself for being hostile to you, but whomever God forsakes is forsaken.” Then he turned to the people and said: “People, there is no injury in God’s command. It is the book of God, His decree, and a battlefield of great slaughter ordained against the Children of Israel. Then he sat down and was beheaded.’

One woman of the B. Qurayzah was killed. She was the wife of Hasan al-Qurazi and was friendly with Aisha. Aisha narrated her story of beheading thus: ‘Only one of their women was killed. By God, she was by me, talking with me and laughing unrestraintedly while the Messenger of God was killing their men in the marketplace, when suddenly a mysterious voice called out her name, saying, “Where is so and so?” She said, “I shall be killed.” “Why?” I asked. She said, A misdeed that I committed.” She was taken away and beheaded. (Aisha used to say: I shall never forget my wonder at her cheerfulness and much laughter, even when she knew that she would be killed.).’

This incident is also recorded in a Sahi Hadith of Abu Dawud:

Book 14, Number 2665: Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin: “No woman of Banu Qurayzah was killed except one. She was with me, talking and laughing on her back and belly (extremely), while the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) was killing her people with the swords. Suddenly a man called her name: Where is so-and-so? She said: I I asked: What is the matter with you? She said: I did a new act. She said: The man took her and beheaded her. She said: I will not forget that she was laughing extremely although she knew that she would be killed.”

A very old Jewish man named Az-Zabir saved the life of a Muslim convert, Thabit b. Qays in the Bu’ath war. Now, when Az-Zabir was about to be beheaded Thabit requested Muhammad to save the life of this old man and his family as a return to his favor. Muhammad reluctantly agreed to spare this Jewish man and his family members. Az-Zabir then asked Thabit b. Qays about the fate of the Jewish leaders such as Ka’b b. Asad and Huayy b. Akhtab, and he preferred to die rather than to live without them. Az-Zabir said, “Then I ask you for the sake of the favor I once did for you to join me to my kinsmen, for by God there is no good in living after them. I will not wait patiently for God, not even [the time needed] to take the bucket of a watering trough, until I meet my dear ones.” So Thabit brought him forward, and he was beheaded. When Abu Bakr heard what that old man said just before his execution, he said, “He will meet them, by God, in the Gehenna, there to dwell forever and forever.”

Muhammad commanded that all those Jewish men with pubic hair were to be killed. One Jewish boy took refuge with a Muslim woman, Salma bt. Qays. She requested Muhammad that mercy be shown to this Jewish boy. It is said that Muhammad spared his life. Here is a Hadith from Sunaan Abu Dawud on this: Book 38, Number 4390: Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi: “I was among the captives of Banu Qurayzah. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair.”

Having beheaded all the adult males of the B. Qurayzah Jews, Muhammad now busied himself with the distribution of the Jewish booty. He divided the wealth, the wives and the children of the B. Qrayzah Jews among his followers. The booty rules were changed slightly. A horseman received three shares: two shares for the horse and one share for the rider. A foot Jihadist, who had no horse, received one share. It was the first booty in which shares were allotted and from which the Khums was deducted. This simplified rule on booty (fai) was followed in the later plunders.

 After executing all the adult male Jews, Muhammad sent Sa’d b. Zayd al-Ansari with some captives (women and children) from the B. Qurayzah to Najd to sell them in the slave market. Among the captive women, he found a pretty, young Jewess called Rayhanh bt. ‘Amr b. Khunafah and took her as his concubine. It is said that when Muhammad offered to make her his wife by embracing Islam, she declined. She preferred to remain a concubine slave to becoming a Muslim. “Messenger of God, rather leave me in your possession [as a concubine], for it is easier for me and for you.”

3.5 The Raid on Bani al-Mustaliq by Muhammad-December, 627CE

Two months after Muhammad returned from Dhu Qarad campaign, Allah suddenly revealed that B. al-Mustaliq, a Jewish tribe friendly to Muslims, under the leadership of Haritha b. Abi Dirar was mobilizing against him.  Muhammad, spread the rumour that B. al-Mustaliq were now joining with the Quraysh to launch an attack against the Muslims. The Muslims killed a man from B. al-Mustaliq accusing him of spying and Muhammad rallied all the fighting men around him to assail the B. al- Mustaliq. B. al-Mustaliq Jews took all precautionary measures to prevent such an invasion on them. Naturally, they sought help from other clans as well. Muhammad gave no opportunity to this clan to embrace Islam before facing genocide unlike previous occasions, when he had given a three days reprieve to decide whether to accept Islam or face liquidation.

Shahi Muslim Book 019, Number 4292: Ibn ‘Aun reported: I wrote to Nafi’ inquiring from him whether it was necessary to extend (to the disbelievers) an invitation to accept (Islam) before meeting them in fight. He wrote (in reply) to me that it was necessary in the early days of Islam. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) made a raid upon Banu Mustaliq while they were unaware and their cattle were having a drink at the water. He killed those who fought and imprisoned others. On that very day, he captured Juwairiya bint al-Harith. Nafi’ said that this tradition was related to him by Abdullah b. Umar who (himself) was among the raiding troops.

•Sahih Bukhari: Volume 3, Book 46, Number 717: Narrated Ibn Aun: “I wrote a letter to Nafi and Nafi wrote in reply to my letter that the Prophet had suddenly attacked Bani Mustaliq without warning while they were heedless and their cattle were being watered at the places of water. Their fighting men were killed and their women and children were taken as captives; the Prophet got Juwairiya on that day. Nafi said that Ibn ‘Umar had told him the above narration and that Ibn ‘Umar was in that army.

Muhammad gave Abu Bakr the flag for this attack. The Muslim forces then started marching with thirty horses. After eight days of marching they encamped at the wells of Muraysi near the seashore, close to Mecca. Muhammad pitched tents for himself, Aisha and Umm Salma, two of his wives who accompanied him. When the B. al-Mustaliq people heard the arrival of Muhammad’s soldiers, they were dismayed, but fought gallantly. After exchanging arrows for a brief period, the Muslim forces advanced and quickly surrounded the B. al-Mustaliq, and soon B. al-Mustaliq’s ranks fell in disarray and they were vanquished, having lost some of their men. Ali b. Talib killed a few wounded B. al-Mustaliq people; among them were Malik and his son. Muhammad seized their cattle herd, took many as captives and divided them among the Jihadists. Two hundred families were taken as captives, two thousand camels and five thousand sheep and goats, as well as a huge quantity of household goods were taken as booty. Juwayriah, the young, beautiful and vivacious daughter of B. al-Mutaliq chief was one of the captives. The household goods were sold in an auction to the highest bidders. During the battle a Muslim was mortally wounded by another Muslim by accident.

Here is the “encouragement” provided to the Jewish B. Mustaliq women captives.

Sahih Bukhari: Volume 5, Book 59, Number 459: Narrated Ibn Muhairiz: I entered the Mosque and saw Abu Said Al-Khudri and sat beside him and asked him about Al-Azl (i.e. coitus interruptus). Abu Said said, “We went out with Allah’s Apostle for the Ghazwa of Banu Al-Mustaliq and we received captives from among the captives and we desired women and celibacy became hard on us and we loved to do coitus interruptus. So when we intended to do coitus interrupt us, we said, ‘How can we do coitus interruptus before asking Allah’s Apostle who is present among us?” We asked (him) about it and he said, ‘It is better for you not to do so, for if any soul (till the Day of Resurrection) is predestined to exist, it will exist.” After having sex (rape) with his captive-girl, Said al-Khudri took this young girl to the nearest slave market for a quick sale. Here is the continuation of the above story, as told by al-Waqidi (vol.i, p.413) and excerpted by Rodinson: “A Jew said to me: ‘Abu Said, no doubt you want to sell her as she has in her belly a baby by you.’ I said: ‘No; I used the ‘azl.’ To which he replied [sarcastically]: ‘Then it was lesser child-murder!’ When I repeated this story to the Prophet he said: ‘The Jews lie. The Jews lie.’”

The captives of the B. al-Mustaliq were carried to Medina. Among the captives were two hundred women. Men from B. al-Mustaliq soon arrived to make terms for their release. At first, unknown to Muhammad, the pretty Juwayriah fell in the hands of Thabit b. Qays, an Ansar and one of his cousins. Juwayrah was a young woman, the daughter of B. al-Mustaliq chief and married to Musab b. Safwan. As soon as she became a captive, her marriage was immediately cancelled-as per Islamic rule and she was handed over to those two Jihadists [why two at the same time?] to do with her whatever they liked. Because of Juwayriah’s rank, her captor/s put a ransom of nine ounces of gold. She could not raise that large sum of gold. So, she approached Muhammad while he was resting in Aisha’s apartment and pleaded for some remission for the heavy price demanded for her release. As soon as Aisha saw Juwayriah she was filled with jealousy. Muhammad gently replied that he would pay her ransom and marry her. Juwayriah agreed on this suggestion. The ransom was paid and Muhammad immediately married her and built a seventh quarter to house her. She was only twenty and Muhammad fifty-eight when he married her. Aisha was thirteen at that time. [From Sunaan Abu Dawud, Book 29, Number 3920: (Narrated by Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin)]

This consistent enslavement, rape and concubinage of Jewish women should be noted. It is rarely matched in Christian “atrocities”. Moreover this entire description occurs in Islamic narratives – outlined with unabashed glee and pride.

3.6 Assassination of Al-Yusayr b. Rizam and a party of Khaybar Jews at al-Qarqara-February, 628CE

Even with the assassination of Abu Rafi (also known as Sallam ibn Abul-Huqayq), the chief of Khaybar Jews in December, 624 Muhammad did not feel safe from the Jews of Khaybar. The new chief of the Khaybar Jews was Al-Yusayr b. Rizam. He maintained the good relation with the B. Ghatafan, the tribe that Muhammad was scared of. Muhammad dispatched Abdallah ibn Rawaha, a leader of the B. Khazraj to Khaybar, to gather intelligence to eliminate Al-Yusayr clandestinely. But Abd Allah ibn Rawaha found the Jews to be very alert and returned to Medina. Muhammad sent him back with thirty men mounted on camels to persuade al-Yusayr b. Rizam to visit Medina. When the Muslims arrived at Khaybar the Jews treated them well. Abd Allah ibn Rawaha pretended to be friendly with the Jews and invited al-Yusayr b. Rizam to visit Medina with them. He assured al-Yusayr b. Rizam that Muhammad would make him the ruler of Khaybar, giving al-Yusayr b. Rizam a solemn guarantee of his safety. At first, al-Yusayr declined. But due to the persistence of the Muslim delegation he finally relented and went with them with a number of Jews. One of the Muslim delegates, Abd Allah b. Unays mounted al-Yusayr on his beast and rode behind him. When they arrived at al-Qarqarat, about six miles from Khaybar, al-Yusayr suspected the motive of the Muslims and changed his mind about going to meet Muhammad. He dismounted from the beast he was riding with Abd Allah Unays. Abd Allah b. Unays claimed that he perceived al-Yusayr was drawing his sword so he rushed at him and cut off his leg. Al-Yusayr hit Abd Allah b. Unays with a piece of wood and wounded his head. Ibn Ishak claims that later, God killed al-Yusayr. The Muslims killed all other Jews except one who escaped on his feet. When Abd Allah b. Unays came to Muhammad, Muhammad spat on his wound in his head and it healed immediately. Muhammad praised Allah when he heard the news of assassination of al-Yusayr b. Rizam and the killing of the Jews.

This is one in the long line pf precedence in Islamo-Jewish relationship about deceptive guarantees of safety/peace/non-aggression from the Muslim side towards the Jews – each of which was made when the Muslims side was not strong enough to kill off the Jews – but each of which was broken as soon as it was convenient to do so.

3.7 The Raid on Khaybar and Fadak by Muhammad-May, 628CE

After the famous Hudaibiya pact, with dissent mounting among his followers, in the backdrop of a severe drought at Medina, Muhammad decided to plunder and loot the remaining Jews at Khaybar. Haykal writes that the the Jews living at Khaybar were the strongest, the richest and the best equipped for war of all the peoples of Arabia (Hykal, Ch. Khaybar expedition).To assure and to please Muhammad in this plunder, Allah revealed Sura al-Fath (Victory, Sura 48) forgiving his past and future sins (48:2) and guaranteeing him triumph (48:21) through His (Allah’s) help. In verses 48:16, 20 Allah promised further booty for joining in Jihad; this was to improve the material life of the Jihadists. Mubarakpuri insists that this promise of booty meant the loot of Khaybar.

al-Tabari:

During the prevailing draught at Medina at that time, a group of B. Aslam who had embraced Islam came to Muhammad for assistance. But Muhammad had nothing to assist them. So he prayed to Allah so that they could plunder the richly laden fortresses of the Khyabar Jews including their luscious green agricultural lands. He said, “O God, Thou knowest their condition-that they have no strength and that I have nothing to give them. Open to them [for conquest] the greatest of the fortresses of Khaybar, the one most abounding in food and fat meat.”

The next morning, Muhammad plundered the fortress of al-Sa’b b. Muadh (a Jewish chief) that had the most abundance in food.

Sahih Bukhari : Volume 5, Book 59, Number 547: Narrated ‘Aisha: When Khaibar was conquered, we said, “Now we will eat our fill of dates!”

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 548: Narrated Ibn Umar: We did not eat our fill except after we had conquered Khaibar.

Muhammad’s army started marching against the Khaybar Jews with a force of around fourteen hundred with around 100-200 cavalry, covered the distance of about one hundred miles from Medina in about four or five days. Ibn Sa’d writes that it was a fasting month; some Muslims fasted, some did not. Before attacking the Khaybar Jews, Muhammad stopped at a valley named al-Rajii encamping between the people of Ghatafan and the people of Khaybar to prevent the people of Ghatafan to come to the aid of the Khaybar Jews when he attacked them.

When the Ghatafan heard of Muhammad’s advance they assembled their men and marched forward to help the Khaybar Jews. After marching for a day they heard from planted spies that Muhammad had attacked their families left behind. So they hastened back to protect their families. This opened the way to Khaybar and Muhammad made an early morning attack on Khaybar claiming that early morning times were miserable times for the infidels (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 4, book 52, number 195). The attack was so sudden that the farmers of Khaybar were completely taken by surprise when they were just preparing to go to their plantations.

Ibn Ishak writes that the war cry of the Muslims at Khaybar was, ‘O victorious one slay, slay!’ It is the Islamic custom to raid a place early in the morning invoking the name of Allah. Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 11, Number 584:

Narrated Humaid:

Anas bin Malik said, “Whenever the Prophet went out with us to fight (in Allah’s cause) against any nation, he never allowed us to attack till morning and he would wait and see: if he heard Adhan he would postpone the attack and if he did not hear Adhan he would attack them.” Anas added, “We reached Khaibar at night and in the morning when he did not hear the Adhan for the prayer, he (the Prophet ) rode and I rode behind Abi Talha and my foot was touching that of the Prophet.

The inhabitants of Khaibar came out with their baskets and spades and when they saw the Prophet they shouted ‘Muhammad! By Allah, Muhammad and his army.’ When Allah’s Apostle saw them, he said, “Allahu-Akbar! Allahu-Akbar! Khaibar is ruined. Whenever we approach a (hostile) nation (to fight), then evil will be the morning of those who have been warned.”

Initially shocked, the Khaybar Jews returned to rally around their new leader, Abul Huqayq and posted themselves in front of their citadel, Qamus. Previously, Muhammad had assassinated Sallam ibn Abul-Huqayq (Abu Rafi) and another Jewish leader, Al-Yusayr b. Rizam just a few months earlier. In the beginning, Muhammad made a few unsuccessful attempts to dislodge them from their formidable fortress.

Then one of the Jews, Marhab challenged the Muslims in a single combat. So, a Jihadist, Amir, confronted Marhab. Unfortunately, while attacking Marhab, Amir accidentally cut his vein by himself and died. Many Muslims thought that Amir had committed suicide and sought Muhammad’s clarification about those who commit suicide while fighting the infidels. Muhammad assured them that Amir will receive double reward for his (suicidal) action. Sourcing authentic chain of narrators, Ibn Sa’d writes: ‘ Salamah ibn Akwa said: “ I came across the Companions of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, who declared: All the good deeds of ‘Amir were lost, as he had committed suicide. Salamah said: Then I approached the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him weeping and asked : ‘Were the deeds of ‘Amir vain? He said: And who said this? I said some of your Companions (said this). The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him said: He who said this uttered a lie. His reward has been doubled.”’

Sahih Bukhari on “suicide attacks”: Volume 5, Book 59, Number 515: Narrated Abu Huraira:

We witnessed (the battle of) Khaibar. Allah’s Apostle said about one of those who were with him and who claimed to be a Muslim. “This (man) is from the dwellers of the Hell-Fire.” When the battle started, that fellow fought so violently and bravely that he received plenty of wounds. Some of the people were about to doubt (the Prophet’s statement), but the man, feeling the pain of his wounds, put his hand into his quiver and took out of it, some arrows with which he slaughtered himself (i.e. committed suicide). Then some men amongst the Muslims came hurriedly and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Allah has made your statement true so-and-so has committed suicide. “The Prophet said, “O so-and-so! Get up and make an announcement that none but a believer will enter Paradise and that Allah may support the religion with an unchaste (evil) wicked man.

After the death (suicide) of Amir, Muhammad b. Maslamah (the professional killer) went to fight with Marhab and in a grueling duel he killed Marhab. Then Marhab’s brother, Yasir rushed forward to avenge his brother’s death. Then al-Zubayr went forward to meet him in a single combat. After a short fighting, al-Zubayr killed Yasir.

A general battle now ensued and the Muslims were able to make a good advance. The situation of the Jews became desperate. Muhammad started appropriating Khaybar property piece by piece, fortress by fortress. He captured the first fortress that belonged to Na’im. Muhammad’s comrade Mahmud b Maslama (Muhammad b. Maslama’s brother) was killed here when a millstone was hurled at him. The next fortress to fall was Qamus, which belonged to Abul Huqayq. Then Muhammad besieged the last two of the fortresses, the fortress of al-Watih and al-Sulalim for thirteen and nineteen days respectively. The Jewish leader, Sallam ibn Mishkam was killed and al Harith ibn Abu Zaynab took over the leadership of the Jewish forces. Many Jews, after being defeated at other locations had taken sanctuary at these two fortresses that Muhammad found difficult to penetrate. So he, as per Islamic rule, cut off their water supply. The Jews then had no choice but to submit to the invading Muslim army. Muhammad continued with his plunder until he finished capturing all the property that he could lay his hands on. He agreed to spare the lives of the surrendered Jews by expelling them from their ancestral homes on condition that they must hand over all their yellow and white metals (i.e. gold and silver). The Jews were permitted to take with them all their belongings that they could load on their beasts (camels and donkeys) except for gold and silver. Failure to comply with this stipulation meant a certain death-Muhammad warned. There was a severe shortage of provision for the Muslim soldiers and many of them became very hungry. Unable to find provision easily, Muhammad asked them to eat horse meat but forbade them to eat donkey meat. Other prohibitions imposed were: the eating of garlic (raw) and the ‘muta’ (contract) marriage. However, the Shias claims that no such ban on ‘muta’ marriage was imposed. [This and the source of dynastic religious heritage are the primary examples of the grand differences between the Sunnis and the Shias that many non-Muslims refer to vaguely when they talk about the non-monolithic nature of Islam ]

The Jews lost ninety-three men while the loss on the Muslim side apparently only nineteen men. Muhammad took some Khaybar Jews as captives, including Safiyyah bt. Huyayy b. Akhtab, an exquisitely pretty young newly married bride of Kinanah b. al-Rabi b. al-Huqayq. She was the daughter of B. Nadir chief, Huayy b. Akhtab who was beheaded by Muhammad in the slaughtering of B. Qurayzah (Muhammad had already expelled B. Nadir Jews from Medina. Kinanah had recently married Safiyyah, and had received a good treasure trove as gift. Muhammad also took two daughters of Safiyaah’s paternal uncle. At first Dihyah al-Kalbi, a Muslim Jihadists asked for Safiyyah. But when Muhammad saw her, he chose her for himself and gave her two cousin sisters to Dihyah.

Tabari writes:

“After the Messenger of God conquered al-Qamus, the fortress of Ibn Abi al-Huqyaq, Safiyyah bt. Huyayy b. Akhtab was brought to him, and another woman with her. Bilal, who was the one who brought them, led them pat some of the slain Jews. When the woman who was with Safiyyah saw them, she cried out, struck her face, and poured dust on her head. When the Messenger of God saw her, he said, “Take this she-devil away from me!” she commanded that Safiyyah should be kept behind him and that the Messenger of God had chosen her for himself.”

Muhammad then accused Safiyyah’s husband, Kinanah and his cousin of hiding some of their properties in contravention of the terms of surrender. He was especially angered that Kinanah had hidden the wealth (worth about ten thousad Dinars) that he received from his marriage to Safiyyah. A renegade Jew divulged the secret of Kinanah’s hidden gold treasures. That Jew went and fetched the hidden treasures. Kinanah and his cousin were promptly arrested by the Muslims and brought to Muhammad. Muhammad charged him of hiding his wealth in some underground storage. When Kinanah denied this allegation, Muhammad ordered to inflict torture on him. He was tormented by branding his chest with a heated stake and then he was beheaded.

Quoting Ibn Ishak, Tabari writes:

‘Kinanah b. al-Rabi b. al-Huqyaq who had the treasure of B. Nadir was brought to the Messenger of God, who questioned him; but he denied knowing where it was. Then the messenger of God was brought a Jew who said to him, “I have seen Kinanah walk around this ruin every morning.” The Messenger of God said to Kinanah: “What do you say? If we find it in your possession, I will kill you.” “All right,” he answered. The Messenger of God commanded that the ruin should be dug up, and some of the treasure was extracted from it. Then he asked him for the rest of it. Kinanah refused to surrender it; so the Messenger of God gave orders concerning him to al-Zubayr b. al-‘Awwam, saying, “torture him until you root out what he has.” Al-Zubayr kept twirling his firestick in his breast until Kinanah almost expired; then the Messenger of God gave him to Muhammad b. Maslamah, who beheaded him to avenge his brother Mahmud b. Maslamah.”’

Muir writes that then the heads of the two chiefs (Kinana and his cousin) were cut off. Citing the so-called treachery by the Jews for allegedly hiding their treasures, Muhammad now ordered the Muslims to take possession of the women and children of the Jews of Khaybar. Muhammad sent Bilal to bring Safiyyah, Kinana’s wife (real name Zaynab and was allotted to Dhiya al-Kalbi. But Muhammad chose her as his Safi – special selection by Muhammad before the khums and distribution of booty to the Muslims). So when Zaynab became Muhammad’s Safi she became to be known as Safiyyah (Muhammad’s special selection).

Sunan Abu Dawud: Kitab al-Kharaj Book 19; number 2988

‘A’isha said: Safiyyah was called after the word safi (a special portion of the Prophet).

Sunan Abu Dawud: Kitab al-Kharaj : Book 19; number 2992

Anas said: Captives were gathered at Khaibar. Dihyah came and said: Apostle of Allah, give me a slave-girl from the captives. He said : Go and take a slave-girl. He took Safiyaah daughter of Huyayy. A man then came to the Prophet (may peace be upon him) and said: You gave Safiyaah daughter of Huyayy, chief lady of Quraizah and al-Nadir to Dihyah? This is according to the version of Ya’qub. Then the version goes: She is worthy of you. He said: Call him along with her. When the Prophet (may peace be upon him) looked at her, he said to him: Take another slave-girl from the captives. The Prophet (may peace be upon him) then set her free and married her.

Bilal brought Safiyyah and her cousin straight across the battlefield strewn with the dead and close by the corpses of Kinana and his cousin. The two cousin sisters of Safiyyah shrieked in terror when they witnessed the grotesque scene of the slain dead bodies of their dearest relatives that they had to cross over. They tremulously begged a stone-hearted Bilal for mercy but to no avail. When they were brought to Muhammad, he cursed the panic-stricken cousins as devilish and cast his mantle around Safiyyah indicating that she was to be his own. Muhammad consoled a frustrated Dhiya by giving him Safiyyah’s cousin sisters. Ibn Sa’d says that Muhammad purchased Safiyyah from Dhiyah for seven camels and consummated his possession the same night.

Ibn Sa’d writes:

: “….when it was night, he entered a tent and she entered with him. Abu Ayyub came there and passed the nigh by the tent by the tent with a sword keeping his head at the tent. When it was morning and the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, perceived (some body) moving, he asked: Who is there? He replied: I am Abu Ayub. He asked: Why are you here? He replied: O Apostle of Allah! There is a young lass newly wedded (to you) with whose late husband you have done what you have done. I was not sure of safety, so I wanted to be close to you. Thereupon the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, said twice: O Abu Ayyub! May Allah show you mercy.” Note that the 3 month Iddat period was not followed.

During the time of negotiation with the Khaybar Jews, Muhammad sent a message to the Jews of Fadak asking them to surrender their properties and wealth or be attacked. When the Fadak Jews heard of Khaybar they requested Muhammad to take over their property and banish them. Muhammad did exactly that. After the Khaybar Jews surrendered to Muhammad and having lost their only source of livelihood, they requested him to employ them back on their properties for half the share of the crop. Muhammad found it much more convenient to re-employ them, as the Jews were already very experienced with their land, whereas the Muslims had no experience with agriculture and cultivation. So Muhammad made some conciliation to the Khaybar Jews by re-engaging them in their lost land, but on condition that he reserved the right to banish them at anytime he wished. Same terms were applied to the Fadak Jews. Later, when Umar became the Caliph of Islam, he expelled all the Jews from Kahybar and Fadak.

Khaybar became the booty of the Muslims, but Fadak became Muhammad’s private property (a Fai), as there was no fighting involved in Fadak. This provision was sanctioned by Allah in verse 17:64, 59:6-7

A fifth of the booty was set apart for Muhammad. The remaining four-fifths were then divided into 1,800 shares. One share went for a foot soldier and three for a horseman. One half of Khaybar land was reserved for Muhammad and his family and the remaining land was divided using the same rule as for the personal booty.

Sahih Bukhari: Volume 3, Book 39, Number 531:

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:

Umar expelled the Jews and the Christians from Hijaz. When Allah’s Apostle had conquered Khaibar, he wanted to expel the Jews from it as its land became the property of Allah, His Apostle, and the Muslims. Allah’s Apostle intended to expel the Jews but they requested him to let them stay there on the condition that they would do the labor and get half of the fruits. Allah’s Apostle told them, “We will let you stay on thus condition, as long as we wish.” So, they kept on living there until ‘Umar forced them to go towards Taima’ and Ariha’.

Muhammad used the annexed land of the Jews of Khaybar to support his increasing Harem. Sahih Muslim, Book 010, Number 3759:

Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with them) reported: Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) handed over the land of Khaibar (on the condition) of the share of produce of fruits and harvest, and he also gave to his wives every year one hundred wasqs: eighty wasqs of dates and twenty wasqs of barley. When ‘Umar became the caliph he distributed the (lands and trees) of Khaibar, and gave option to the wives of Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) to earmark for themselves the land and water or stick to the wasqs (that they got) every year. They differed in this matter. Some of them opted for land and water, and some of them opted for wasqs every year. ‘A’isha and Hafsa were among those who opted for land and water.

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Islamo-Judaic Relations : politically correct mythology – 2 (the strange case of no-Roman-trauma)

Posted on February 4, 2012. Filed under: Antisemitism, Babylon, diaspora, exile, Israel, Palestine, religion, Roman |

Who repressed the Jews or expelled them “more” -Babylonians, Romans or Muslims? The case of Babylonian versus Roman debate.

(the “Roman violence on the Jews and the resultant Jewish Diaspora” : )

The Myth : “In A.D. 70, and again in 135, the Roman Empire brutally put down Jewish revolts in Judea, destroying Jerusalem, killing hundreds of thousands of Jews and sending hundreds of thousands more into slavery and exile.

Hebrew University professor, Yisrael Yuval, dubs the above a “myth” in “The Myth of the Jewish Exile from the Land of Israel: A Demonstration of Irenic Scholarship” Common Knowledge – Volume 12, Issue 1, Winter 2006, pp. 16-33

“The first point to make is that well before the revolt against Rome in 66-70 c.e., there were Jewish communities outside Palestine, most notably in Babylonia and in Egypt, but elsewhere as well. References to the dispersal of the Jewish people throughout the civilized world are found in the book of Esther, Josephus, and Philo. There is no indication that these communities were small, satellite communities. There is no contemporary 1st and 2nd centuries c.e evidence that anything like an exile took place. The Romans crushed two Jewish revolts in 66-70 c.e. and in 132-135 c.e. As per Josephus, the rebels were killed, and many of the Jews starved to death.”

Some POW’s were sent to Rome, and others were sold in Libya. But nowhere does Josephus speak of Jews being taken into exile. Yuval claims that there is much evidence to the contrary and apparently there was always Jewish emigration from the Land of Israel.

The first known reference to the exile of the Jews occurs in remarks attributed to the third century Palestinian rabbi, R. Yohanan found in the Babylonian Talmud, a work that received its final formulation several centuries later (c. 500 c.e.): “Our House has been destroyed, our Temple burnt, and we ourselves exiled from our land” (Gittin). The editor/s of the Talmud apparently referred this statement to the Roman exile. Similar statements can be found elsewhere in the Babylonian Talmud attributing to rabbis living in the Land of Israel the view that the Romans were responsible for the destruction of the House, the burning of the temple, and the exile from the land. Yuval however says that on examining other Babylonian sources, and most sources from Israel, the statements “most likely” refer to the First Temple, and the exile by the Babylonians.

 Yuval summarizes the sources as:
“In other words, it seems that the triple expression—destruction of the House, burning of the Temple, exile from the land—originally (in the sources from the Land of Israel) referred to the First Temple and were applied to the Second Temple only in Babylonia.10 In the Tannaitic and early Amoraic sources, Rome is accused only of destroying the Temple, not of exiling the people from their land.11 A broad historical and national outlook, one that viewed the “Exile of Edom” (Rome being identified with the biblical Edom) as a political result of forced expulsion, did not survive from this period. Nor would such a view have been appropriate to the political reality and the conditions of Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel, which were certainly very well known to the members of that generation.”

Note that Yuval is here being cautious as academics are trained to be – he carefully phrases his conclusion in the typical modern professional historian’s style of weaving new narratives within the old by posing speculating questions hinting at alternatives, but he does not commit entirely to this alternative because he might not have the incontrovertible proof and therefore his claim remains a hypothesis.
Chaim Milikowsky, professor and past chairman of the Talmud department at Bar Ilan university, has argued that in 2nd and 3rd century tannaitic sources, the Hebrew term rendered as “exile” has the meaning of political subjugation rather than physically being driven from the land (cited in Yuval, p. 19, n.1)  Commentators propose that “Zionists” supposedly were somewhat at a loss to explain how Jewish rabbis could create the Mishnah and subsequently the Talmud of the Land of Israel if there was a mass exile. Of course here the assumption is that “mass exiles” are exiles of whole nations or countries with nothing left behind.

An interesting historical paradox is of course overlooked here : what made the Babylonian “exile” so qualitatively different from the Roman “one”? The impression of a massive exile and trauma under Babylon is based on the same Jewish scholarly voices that are derided for fraudulently claiming similar trauma at the hands of the Roman. So if the Jews in the Roman period deliberately, or out of ignorance, drew upon and confused with the trauma of a period much earlier – what makes their representation of the Babylonian trauma so reliable and truthful? What if the Jews were also “emigrating” “all the time” even under the heyday of Babylonian rule? What if they were making up or confusing the Babylonian interlude with earlier reconstructions of trauma – say from the Egyptian “experience”? Modern archeologists and historians like Prof Zahi Hawas, seem to strongly support the theory [and conclusion] that Pharaonic society was not a “slave” society, and therefore the accusations of slavery within the Mosaic tradition is similarly suspect? 

By challenging and denying the reliability of one historical reconstruction of trauma by the use of another assumed historical trauma, even the earlier justifying one becomes unreliable and suspect – thereby making the whole exercise a futile speculation.

However, for the comparative trauma debate – modern scholarship appears to go for the version that Roman “atrocities” were a myth invented by “Zionists”. I would rather not go into the problematic aspects that this raises: was it the need to absolve an European “iconic heritage” (the Roman) from responsibilities of anti-Semitism? Was this need based on a panicked over-reaction to trying to absolve the role of the early Church in anti-Semitism and hence by association the modern Church? Was the urge to delegitimize the “Zionist” an overkill? These are issues to be debated or explored in how subconscious hidden political inclinations might still be colouring historiography – but for our purposes, it seems then that the Romans were not the chief culprits and they were perhaps not the cause of Jewish trauma as per modern so-called professional historians.

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