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Reply to Raqib's reply to Lactantius: Re Holy wars, Jewish tribes, massacre of Muslims

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran
in response to reader comment: To Lactantius

Submitted by Plato (United Arab Emirates), Dec 19, 2006 at 09:38

Brother Raqib that is your statement in italics

Where did you get your history from Mr. Raqib. Read your sira. Except perhaps for the Battle of the Ditch which other battles were defensive? How many can you name where the Muslims were attacked. Who started raiding the Meccan caravans. Who fired the first arrow, killed and took booty and who accepted that booty after an ayah allowing fighting during the sacred months and accepting booty was 'revealed'? Al Baqara 214. Please read the context to this ayah.

Can you quote any Muslim historian of the period mentioning Christian tribes in Syria planning an offensive against the prophet in alliance with the Jews? What we know is of Muslim historians telling us about the unprovoked surprise attack on the Banu Nadir and confiscation of their land and property. We hear of the siege and banishment of the Jewish tribe of Banu Qaynuka for the an incident where a Muslim woman was supposedly dishonoured. You lay siege, attack and usurp the property of every Jew of that tribe for a silly incident by a lone individual like that? We also know from Muslim historians of the Prophet raising a huge army to attack the Byzantine kingdom without any provocation. Read the very first biography of the Prophet by Ibn Ishaaq to find out who were the aggressors and who the defenders. All these incidents and more are trumpeted with some glee in the earliest known biography of the Prophet by Ibn Ishaaq, Sirat Rasulullah.

The standard defence for all the unprovoked attacks on Meccan caravans is that it was a sort of tit for tat for having driven the Muslims out of Mecca. The Prophet preached for more than ten years, gained just over a hundred followers and, more importantly, was treated with hostility only when the Prophet started openly reviling their sacred symbols and idols. And it was pretty mild compared to what happens now (consider the cartoons incident). And interestingly after resisting peaceful preaching for more than ten years the Meccans almost overnight become 'believers' after they were conquered. No need for me to comment on the possible reason.

Brother Raqib I seriously doubt you have read your Holy Book when you say that the people of the book are not denounced. Among the many denounciations I found were these ayahs:


9:29 Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. (No holds barred command to fight even people of the book, until they submit willingly and pay the poll tax)

9:30 The Jews call 'Uzair a son of God, and the Christians call Christ the son of God. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. God's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! (God cursing/denouncing jews and christians for their beliefs)

And Mr. Raqib you say that Muhammad did not denounce the people of the Book. Technically of course you can say that it was not Muhammad but God Himself who does the denouncing!

You say the Muslims were told by the Prophet:

"They must not molest priests, monks and nuns nor the weak and helpless people who were unable to fight. There must be no massacre of civilians nor should they cut down a single tree nor pull down building."

Let me now mention what happened to the Banu Quraiza. This Jewish tribe meekly surrendered after a long siege (All Ibn Ishaaq can come up with is some weak evidence for treachery. Also remember that this history is being written by the victorious side). Six hundred to eight hundred men were beheaded. (You have the excuse that they asked for it because they selected the judge, the man whose death caused God's throne to shake.) Wouldn't there have been old and helpless men among them. The women and children were sold into slavery. Let us be generous and say that all the men were dangerous soldiers and had to be killed. But why send the women and children into slavery? The women and children could not have been a threat. After all the Prophet himself took one of them, Rayhana I believe, as a concubine.

Also you talk of trees to be spared, then read this: Whether you chop a tree or leave it standing on its trunk is in accordance with GOD's will. He will surely humiliate the wicked. Whatever palm tree you cut down, or left standing on their roots, it was by ALLAH's leave that HE might humiliate the transgressors.


I think this had to do with the Banu Nadir incident. Allah himself giving persmission to destroy agricultural wealth. Now what does your statement I have quoted look like? Where did you get this information from Mr. Raqib. That is the Koran I am quoting, not a hadith.

Here is another of your statements Brother Raqib

History witnessed the slaughter of 40,000 muslims and numerous Jews behind the walls of Jerusalem. History was witness when Queen Isabella locked 0.2 million muslims and burnt them alive to death

Surely you have heard of Khalid Bin Walid, the Sword of Islam. I suggest you do a little research on his activities. After one incident even the Prophet had to raise his arms to God and say he had nothing to do with the massacres of Khalid Bin Walid. Also read about his vow to make a river in Iraq (?) run red with just the blood of his victims and what he did to make his vow come true. History was a witness to this. You have also come up with what you probably consider are some horrendous numbers of Muslims slaughtered. I do not know which part of the world you are from. But those two numbers you have given pale into nothingness when one looks at the figures of Buddhists and Hindus slaughtered starting from Mohammed Bin Qasim to Taimur to Tughlak and so many other Muslim rulers. The witnesses to this history were not some Christian missionaries, who you can dismiss as biased, but the invaders themselves and Muslim historians of the time. Give me some time and I will quote for you the figures given by Muslim witnesses of the time.

Mr. Raqib, I am sorry to say this, but Muslims who have read their own history, and their Holy Scriptures are very very small in number. Their knowledge of their own heritage is lacking in depth. Most Muslims I have talked to can only regurgitate history and scriptures that have been laundered and perfumed by the clerics in their madrassas and mosques.

Let me remind you of what Prophet (or Son of God to others) Jesus said: Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.

With warm regards


.You have brought up something interesting. Karen Armstrong talking about Muhammad having to fight the Jewish tribes in the area. Karen Armstrong bends over backwards in trying to paint the Prophet in glowing colours. But even she has something interesting to say about what the Prophet, together with one of his favourite companions, Sa'ad Muad upon whose death Allah's throne itself shook, did to the Jewish tribe of Banu Quraiza. I think it was in her biography of the Prophet Muhammad. Since you have access to her books you must check it out. You really must. I would like to hear what you have to say about it.

"British historian Karen Armstrong, a former nun and an expert on Middle East history. In her book "Holy War" she wrote. "Muhammad had to fight not only the Meccans but also the Jewish tribes in the area and Christians tribes in Syria who planned on offensive against him in alliance with the Jews. Yet this did not make Muhammad denounce the People of the Book. His muslims were forced to defend themselves but they were not fighting a 'holy war' against the religion of their enemies"


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