Are you upset at the renewed religious violence perpetuated by Muslims, caused by what you may think a fairly trivial and actually silly matter?
Well, over at The Huffington Post, Kamran Pasha defends Islam and "the mercy of Muhammed" and it is quite instructive. For example, on a theme close to home, a problem in this portrayal is what Muhammed had done to the Jews.
Osama Bin-Ladan understood it this way:
...the messenger of Allah (Allah''s Blessings and Salutations may be on him) [said], while he was at the bed of his death: (Expel the polytheists out of the Arab Peninsula); (narrated by Al-Bukhari) and: (If I survive, Allah willing, I''ll expel the Jews and the Christians out of the Arab Peninsula);...The prophet (Allah''s Blessings and Salutations may be on him) fought Quraysh and concurred Makka. He (Allah''s Blessings and Salutations may be on him) considered the treaty with Bani Qainuqa'' void because one of their Jews publicly hurt one Muslim woman, one single woman, at the market...
Pasha also refers to this tale but has a another interpretation, one that the HuffPost probably found more amenable:
A second story takes place around the same time period, after the Prophet''s victorious unification of Arabia…The Jewish chieftain of Khaybar invited the Prophet to a feast to cement better ties moving forward. But not everyone was happy with hosting a banquet in the victorious Prophet''s honor, and one woman of Khaybar poisoned the meal. Several of the Prophet''s companions died, but the Prophet spit out the poisoned food before it could take effect. The assassin was captured and the Prophet asked the woman why she had done this deadly act. She shrugged and responded that Muhammad had defeated her tribe and she was simply avenging them. The Prophet forgave her and let her go.
Pasha knows that isn’t the sole difficulty but seeks consolation in the…Bible:
...In one incident, used by bigots to prove the Prophet''s supposed barbarity, the Muslims defeated the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza, which had broken its alliance and offered support to their Meccan enemies during a deadly siege that threatened to destroy the entire Islamic community. When the Meccans were finally defeated, the Qurayza were punished for treason according to their own understanding of the Torah. Based on Deuteronomy 20:10-14, the warriors of the tribe were executed, but the women and children spared. While this punishment may seem harsh for some people today, by the moral standards not only of desert Arabia but also of the Bible, such actions were normal in the bitter struggle for survival in a hostile wilderness. Indeed, as Christian scholar Philip Jenkins has written in "Laying Down the Sword," Prophet Muhammad''s military activities were remarkably restrained compared to the genocidal bloodbaths gleefully endorsed in the Bible, where God''s holy warriors did not spare even women, children or infants...
Even if we grant Pasha the luxury of comparing the Biblical era to the 7th century, a not too unreasonable matter, can we continue to do so in the 21st century? Is Pasha implying we Jews, who are being attacked by Muslims, have murdered men, women and children as was done in the Biblical period? Is he somehow condoning Bin-Laden’s exhortation that -
the Zionist Jews fiddling as they wish with the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the route of the ascendance of the messenger of Allah. Our Lord, shatter their gathering, divide them among themselves, shaken the earth under their feet and give us control over them; Our Lord, we take refuge in you from their deeds and take you as a shield between us and them. Our Lord, show us a black day in them!
One commentator sets out the conflict in the framework of what Muhammed did in response to the theological challenges he faced in confronting Judaism:
...Muhammad had to fight back theologically, striking out on a new path and reinterpreting matters in the new light of Abraham’s religion...First, he claimed, for instance, that Abraham was not a Jew (nor a Christian) (Sura 3:67), so original monotheism is open to another descendant of Abraham: Muhammad himself...Second, the Hebrew Bible (and the New Testament) was perniciously misinterpreted and misapplied (Suras 2:75, 79; 3:77-78; 4:44-49). The Quran, on the other hand, came directly from Allah through Gabriel...Third, from Muhammad’s point of view, both Judaism and Christianity made exclusive claims of being the right way (Sura 2:111-113), yet both came from the same children of Israel; thus, both religions in Muhammad’s time went astray from their origins...Fourth, as noted, the Torah itself says that the children of Israel disobeyed Moses in denying God’s signs and in worshipping the golden calf. If the Jews of Moses’ time were disobedient, then according to Muhammad’s reasoning the Jews as a whole in his own time cannot be purer (Sura 7:145-156)...thus Muhammad’s religion is the better and purer representation of Abraham and fulfills and completes Judaism.
And that "supposed barbarity"? That "treason" of the Banu Qurayza?Well, it comes out a bit differently:-
In March 627, after the Battle of the Trench, Muhammad imposed the ultimate penalty on the men in the Jewish clan of Qurayza, his third and final major Jewish rivals in Medina. Reliable traditions say that Gabriel himself came down to Muhammad and asked why he took off his uniform and was taking a bath. There was one more battle to embark on: against the Jews. This clan was supposed to remain neutral in the Battle, but they seem to have intrigued with the Meccans and to have been on the verge of attacking Muhammad from the rear—though they did not. Nevertheless, according to Muhammad’s interpretation of the facts, they must be put on trial. The sentence: Death by decapitation for around 600 men (one source says as high as 900, Ibn Ishaq, p. 464), and enslavement for the women and children. Muhammad was wise enough to have six clans execute two Jews each in order to stop any blood-feuds. The rest of the executions were probably carried out by Muhammad’s fellow Emigrants from Mecca, and lasted throughout the night, as the heads and bodies were dragged into trenches. One Muslim defense of this atrocity says that the Jews agreed to a verdict rendered by a Muslim ally, Sad bin Muadh, but he voted against the Jews. So it was not Muhammad’s fault. However, this defense, besides being a tacit admission that this penalty was excessive, is misguided because Muhammad could have called off the trial, expelled them from Medina (as indeed they requested), or shown them mercy, possibly taking a percentage of their goods and produce as collateral......worse, the prophet seems to celebrate this atrocity in Sura 33:25-27, a revelation from Allah concerning the Battle of the Trench and his treatment of Qurayza:25 Allah turned back the unbelievers [Meccans and their allies] in a state of rage, having not won any good, and Allah spared the believers battle [q-t-l]. Allah is, indeed, Strong and Mighty. 26 And He brought those of the People of the Book [Qurayza] who supported them from their fortresses and cast terror into their hearts, some of them you slew [q-t-l] and some you took captive. 27 And he bequeathed to you their lands, their homes and their possessions, together with land you have never trodden. Allah has power over everything. (Fakhry)
And what Pasha misses for us is this:
While Muslim apologists grapple with the challenges posed by this episode, the fate of the Qurayza is only the first of many such massacres that the Religion of Peace has provided the world. Whether it be the 4,000 Jews at Granada in 1066, the 100,000 Hindus on a single day in 1399, or the million or so Christian Armenians in the early 1900''s, untold tens of millions of innocents have perished in mass executions at the hands of Islam''s dedicated disciples...
If you read the HuffPost, you are perusing a tract of extreme lib/prog ideology and you will know, in the end, not only very little but also it will be biased and twisted.
But, on the backdrop of too much of the mainstream media as well as the blogosphere and cyberpress outlets, who cannot cognize properly the threat that Islamism poses, HuffPost seems to be right in stride.