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Islam has used the sword

Reader comment on item: Will Europe Resist Islamization?
in response to reader comment: Good point...let's clear it positively!!

Submitted by John G. Spethman MD (United States), Apr 11, 2008 at 21:47

Dear Mansoor,

In your reply to Ms. Solis, you stated that Islam has never "put a gun to someone's head" to convert. I would say that history points out that it may not have been a gun but a sword. Mohammed himself held his sword to the throat of Abu Sufyan and gave him the option of converting to Islam or die. As the muslim armies swept out of Arabia, they would issue the Da'wah to the countries they encountered inviting them to embrace Islam, pay the jizya if a Ahl al-Kitab, or die.

An example is Khalid ibn al-Welid when he said "Accept the Faith and thou art safe; else pay tribute, thou and thy people; which if thou refusest, thou shalt have thyself to blame. A people is already on thee, loving death even as thou lovest life." The Persians refused and we know what occurred after that. Khalid's statement echoes to today because it is the line that Bin Laden and other Islamic terrorists have used when threatening the West.

I would also argue that a very strong motivating factor to spread Islam militarily was the "war booty and slaves" that muslims received from the lands they conquered. While Mohammed was alive, muslims remained faithful to him not necessarily because of what he was saying but because of the success they had with their raiding parties and the material wealth they gained from spreading the faith.


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