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Warlord Muhammad

Reader comment on item: Mocking Muhammad Is Not Hate Speech
in response to reader comment: And speaking of warlords and caravan raiders!

Submitted by Nalliah Thayabharan (Canada), Oct 19, 2012 at 23:22

Warlord Muḥammad ibn 'Abd Allāh created Islam to grab power from the other religions in the Middle East at the time. Before turned to be a prophet for fun and profit, Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh – the merchant traveled quite widely and met Jews, Christians and Greeks, whose ideas emerged later in the inspiration he claimed to receive from Allah. Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh was charismatic and intelligent. Idiots don't build empires, but they sometimes run empires, like Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus and George W Bush, but they never build empires. Founding an empire requires talent, intelligence, application, often charisma and ruthlessness. No halfwit or ignoramus has ever founded a civilization or started an empire.

It is not possible for a religion to arise which does evil and nothing more. Nobody would join it or bring their children up in it. Islam offered some improvements over the previous situation in pagan Arabia. The status of women improved, or so Muslims have claimed, they were no longer treated like field slaves to be whipped mercilessly, they rose in status to that of house slaves, to be patronized and whipped mercifully.

Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh also swept away much of the old order's rigid structures of class, he had some tendencies which you could almost describe as egalitarian. Not democratic socialist of course, let's not get carried away, but he did institute a taxation system which worked to alleviate absolute poverty. So, when you compare Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh to tyrants he stands alongside those tyrants who while conquering a lot of people, slaughtering his enemies, selling their children and raping their women did manage to do a few things to add to the positive side of the ledger. Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh was a warlord, pure and simple. Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh roused a disorganized group of nomadic tribes into a ruthless, fearless army. During his lifetime, Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh conquered the Arabia and his followers eventually extended those conquests from Spain to India. By all rights, Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh should take his place in history among of Alexander the Great, Genghis Kahn, and Tamerlane the Great as early history's great military leaders. But when you compare him to great spiritual leaders like Confucius, Laozi or Gautama Buddha, well, Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh looks like a ruthless tyrant.

The claim that the status of women improved under Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh is disputed by many who say that the status of women went down under Islam. Women lost the right to own and control property. Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh's first wife, Khadijah, who was a wealthy widow and trader in her own right employed Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh before marrying him. Perhaps 25 years of being the husband of one older wife who was wealthy and powerful in her own right contributed to Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh's rather extreme treatment of women.

Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh was a camel-mounted pirate, a warlord, a slave trader and the murderer of defenseless prisoners. During his ten years in Medina, Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh personally led 27 military attacks. Prior to his death, Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh conquered most of the Arabian peninsula. According to the Quranic verses written in Medina verses, Allah accepts converts who do not believe in him inwardly, but will kneel to him outwardly under threat of death. Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh did not have this view of Allah until he became a warlord and used force to compel people to accept his rule. In Mecca, Muhammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh had one wife. During his last 10 years of his life at Medina, Muhammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh married 12 more women. A warlord does not tolerate those who question his decrees. Similarly, Muslims are warned by their teachers that asking too many questions about why Allah commands something is a sign of impiety. The corruption of Muslim officialdom in many countiries seems to follow the pattern set by Mohammed ibn ʿAbd Allāh when he was a corrupt warlord.

Muḥammad ibn 'Abd Allāh did not invent monotheism. The Pharaoh Akhenaten in Egypt's 18th dynasty had put a single sun deity at the centre of worship 2,000 years before Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh. Monotheism makes totalitarianism and intolerance much easier. Monotheism is responsible for more human suffering than any idea ever thought up by humans, with the possible exception of the idea that faith is a virtue, but we can't blame Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh. Whatever his myriad faults are originality of thought is not one of them.

Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh did not initiate slavery. Slavery had been universal across Africa, Asia and Europe for several thousands of years. Slavery was considered to be totally normal. We can't blame Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh for inventing slavery. But Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh thoroughly endorsed slavery and engaged in the trading, keeping and taking of slaves himself. Nobody wants to be enslaved and making, keeping and trading of slaves is totally abhorrent under any circumstances. Slavery is wrong period.

Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh did not invent the barbaric and primitive practice of marrying very young girls. Joseph was a 90 years old man at the time of marriage with the Mary – Mother of Jesus od Nazreth. Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh married Aisha at the age of 6, he watched over her until the age of 9 when he took her into his household as his wife, with all that this normally entails. Aisha was accused of being unfaithful to Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh. Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh declared that Aisha was innocent after a convenient divine revelation and decreed that from then on all accusations of adultery which includes rape require 4 reliable men as witnesses. Even today Muslim women are being thrown into prison or even stoned to death in places where sharia law is applied for the sin of being raped without enough 4 reliable men as witnesses.

The common claim that Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh was a pedophile is unfair. If this had been the case Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh could have had a lot more children in his tent. Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh's first marriage was to an older widow Khadijah, which lasted 25 years during which time he had no other wife. Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh had something in the order of 16 wives and most of these were widows and older women. The statistics on the safety of childbirth among the under 14 give strong support to the idea that marriage at the first hint of puberty is an extremely bad example for any potential role-model to set. This bad example is blighting the lives of millions of girls and is directly responsible for many cases of miscarriage and horrific damage to young girls. Many women have a lifetime of incontinence and infertility because they followed the example of Islam's "perfect man" Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh.

Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh did not invent the ritual sacrifice of animals. The Jews had done it for thousands of years. Animal sacrifice was also done by many other civilizations including the Greeks.
Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh did not introduce animal sacrifice to Arabia as his tribe and many others had been sacrificing to their Pagan gods for centuries and the younger Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh himself had both sacrificed to pagan gods and eaten the meat of that sacrifice.

Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh took for granted that his followers would be having sex with the wives of the pagan warriors that they captured in the battles and the wives of the Jewish tribes that they had killed. Qur'an says that a Muslim may marry up to 4 wives and have sex with the captives that his right hand possesses, which refers to slave women captured in battle.

Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh did not invent the strange barbarous practice of circumcision. Jews copied male circumcision from the Egyptians. Circumcision was carried out across large parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Even today the butchery of the genitals of young girls is widespread across Africa, practiced by Muslims, practitioners of African traditional religions and Christians. Female Genital Mutilation is very common in Egypt and Ethiopia among Christians, and it is not right to blame this on Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh.

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