Islam Undressed: The Infidel POW

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Islam Undressed
By: Vernon Richards
Introduction: The View from Outside
The Issues at Hand
‘Real Islam’ from the Religious Texts
Islam and Jihad
Muhammad’s Actions, Speaking Louder than Words
The Battle of Badr
Actions of the four "Rightly Guided" Caliphs
Early Islam and the Crusades
Islam, Non-Muslims and Apostates
Islamic Honesty and Honor
The American Muslim
Worldwide Islam Today, by Country
Today’s News from Peaceful Islam
Real Islam; a Case Study
Islamic Psychology 101
Islamic Politics 101
The Infidel POW
Beslan, Russia and Islam
Persia-Egypt and Islam
Islamic Aid (Jizyah)
Spin …The Art of Ignoring the Obvious
The Gathering Storm
Seeds of Armageddon
Roots of Today’s Campaign
Liberty Threatened
Hard Options in Israel
Islamic Contradictions and Hypocrisies
Never-Ending Islamic Conspiracies
The Final Analysis on Real Islam
The Path Ahead
Epilogue: Dark Premonitions
References
About the Author
An increasingly popular trend among Islamic terrorists worldwide is to post videos of Muslims beheading infidels. Non-Muslims have been beheaded in the Philippines, Chechnya, Kashmir, Iraq, Pakistan, and elsewhere has been cited as the theological basis for such acts:
"When you meet in battle those who have disbelieved, smite their necks; and after the slaughter fasten tight the bonds, until the war lays aside its burdens. Then either release them as a favor, or in return for ransom." Sura 8: The Spoils of War, section 12 also states that Allah will throw fear into the hearts of the disbelievers, and directs faithful Muslims to ‘smite their necks and fingers’, with section 67 informing that "A prophet may not take captives until he has made a slaughter in the land".
The Qur’an’s Sura 47:4

The beheading of Daniel Pearl in 2002, followed by the killings of Nicholas Berg, Paul Johnson Jr., Kim Sun-Il, and Eugene Armstrong, as well as the killing of other nationals and threats to behead a growing list of captives, have garnered major media attention for the terrorists as Arab satellite channels rush to air the pictures and videos to customers eager to see them. Yet Saudis Arabia's Prince Sattam issued a statement to Westerners that Johnson’s beheading was a malicious crime rejected by Islam, declaring, "This has happened for the first time in the Kingdom". But according to a Jun 25 2004 CBS News report, the Saudi government ordered and carried out 52 beheadings in 2003, for crimes including robbery, drug smuggling, and homosexuality. In the kingdoms largest cities such beheadings (with other gruesome punishments) are regularly performed in the courtyards of mosques following Friday prayers.

The terrorists are not primarily using the various beheadings as a technique to make us cower and drive us out. The beheading films are first and foremost a recruitment tool, and have been around for a long time. The first generation of vile home-movies depicting the gruesome slaughter of infidels were circulated in North Africa decades ago. The purpose, now and then, is to demonstrate to orthodox Muslims their bona fide status as true emissaries of Muhammad, and to excite homicidal fanatics and lure them into the local Islamist gang. These recruiting films are aimed at subhuman homicidal maniacs who revel in bloody brutality, an emotion that passes for spirituality to them. Thanks to the Internet and comrades at Arab satellite stations, Muslim Jihad marketing and distribution methods have now improved dramatically.

Today’s Jihad movement, like so many before, continues to draw its foot soldiers from people who dream of beheading infidels, a fantasy that flows naturally after receiving a proper education consisting of memorizing the Qur’an and studying the life, words, and example of their ‘prophet’. It is quite clear that they see us all as animals deserving slaughter. These vile sub-human acts discredit any notion that our enemies are normal human beings driven to desperation by injustice, misery, and oppressive US hegemony. It is pure folly to think terrorists and their masters are people trying to avenge some injustice or remedy old grievances, yet some people still fall for this sort of complete rubbish. The only way sensible people could possibly begin to believe such garbage, is to first carefully censor all evidence showing the true nature and source of terrorist acts. Islamic propagandists (including our own left leaning liberal media elitists) accomplish this by taking the scenes of 9/11 and the beheading videos off the air, and journalistically by filtering the utter barbarity of these people through the use of ‘sensitive’ words designed to have no emotional impact. This censor effort has become an imperative of Islamists and their apologists because they know the beheadings truly define and bring into clear focus not only the hearts and minds of terrorists, but also the core values of the parents and communities who raised them, not to mention the ‘religion’ that inspires them.

The scenes we saw Sept 11 were every bit as horrible as the beheadings, which briefly unified us in the realization that we were facing an enemy that would have to be fought to the finish. Videos of the people who jumped to their death from the Twin Towers, or those burned or crushed in New York and Washington provide clear documentation of what awaits us all if we fail to win. Now the beheading videos both confirm and deepen that evidence. We cannot wage an effective war unless we understand the true nature and objectives of our enemy. We jeopardize prolonging the agony if we do not grasp that terrorists' ranks are full of people who are there primarily because they are thrilled by the prospect of beheading us, and who believe such acts are pious and will win them a ticket into Muslim heaven where scores of virgins await, anxious to provide them an orgasmic eternity. Survival dictates we not be over-sensitive to the point we avoid viewing the actual history being played out before our very eyes. To ‘Know Thine Enemy’, we need to see, feel, and understand these creatures, to solidify national support and bring our full military might to bear to end this thing as quickly as possible.

The fact that Jihad means obligatory war for devout Muslims has been previously discussed in earlier chapters, proved using authentic Islamic sources. Muslims who commit acts of violence and terror against infidels can find ample justification for their actions, based on the teachings of the Qur’an and, more importantly, the example of their prophet. The prophet himself left a trail of assassinations and other bloody acts behind him until his own death, all of which are recorded by Muslim historians, which become a tradition among Muslims in the early centuries of its development. The growing body of Islamic internet site proud postings of violent videos/pictures makes it disgustingly clear the practice is continuing through today. We now attempt to further clarify the mind and rational of Islamic militants carrying out so many terrible instances of beheadings. Unfortunately these cruel rituals are neither new, nor isolated incidents or aberrations.

It is a perilous fact that the practitioners of the Muslim religion are taught a philosophy that encourages terrorism against civilians, and does not differentiate between innocent civilians and soldiers. The Geneva Conventions and conventional rules of war have no validity and are simply rejected by Jihad warriors, who believe they are immune because they operate under a higher law. Accordingly, all infidels without a treaty of protection (i.e. not already subdued and paying the Jizya tax) can be dealt with at the pleasure and discretion of the fighter. Options at his disposal include kidnapping and ransom, slavery (including sex slavery), or to simply torture and kill the poor soul.

This review highlights some additional Islamic direction on the subject. The citations herein are but a small portion of the enormous amount of evidence indicating that killing noncombatants or captives appears supported by both Islamic principles and history. What is outlined herein should give Westerner civilians caught up in Jihad a clear idea of what he/she can expect from Islamic warriors, as well as what prisoners of war can expect from their Muslim captors.

Many of the remaining citations were taken from an article by Andrew G. Bostom, Jihad Killings of POWs and Non-Combatants, first published September 9, 2004 at frontpagemagazine.com.

W.H.T. Gairdner, the renowned early 20th century scholar of Islam, wrote the following discussion of Muhammad’s treatment of POWs, based exclusively on Muslim sources: "After Badr, especially, the greatest vindictiveness and bloodthirstiness were manifested. Many prisoners were slaughtered in cold blood, at least two of them at the personal insistence of Muhammad who had a special grudge against them. The most famous Companions (except Abu Bakr) were then the most truculent. One of them was for burning the prisoners en masse! [Gairdner’s emphasis] The Prophet checked these excesses. But the very words in which he did so, the very limits set up, show clearly that defenseless prisoners might always be slaughtered in cold blood if they could not get anyone to redeem them. The Sura produced after the event (Q.8:67-68) explicitly commands the slaughter of prisoners on occasions when it is advisable to make an impression by ‘frightfulness’: on such occasions the sin would be to grow rich by accepting ransoms! And there is a whole series of traditions which make out that the ‘leniency’ shown at Badr was a sin, that Mohammed had been against that sin, humane Abu Bakr was the chief offender, and that had that sin been punished, only the whole-hoggers who had urged the slaughter of all the prisoners (‘Umar and Sa’d) would have escaped…the Koran itself recommended the ransoming of war-captives as a form of charity suitable for rich Muslims. But the Badr alternative is always there in the background, and on suitable occasions may always be brought into the foreground. The prisoner of war is mubah damuhu: his life’s essentially forfeit." [1]

A review of Egyptian high school textbooks in 2002 reveals the classical exegesis on these Qur’anic verses which is still being taught to students in non-Azharite (i.e. non-religious) as well as Azharite schools.

"Studies in Theology: Tradition and Morals, Grade 11, (2001) pp. 291-92 ...This noble Surah [Surat Muhammad]... deals with questions of which the most important are as follows: 'Encouraging the faithful to perform jihad in God's cause, to behead the infidels, take them prisoner, break their power, and make their souls humble - all that in a style which contains the highest examples of urging to fight. You see that in His words: "When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly. Then grant them their freedom or take a ransom from them, until war shall lay down its burdens.'"
[Qur'anic]
"Commentary on the Surahs of Muhammad, , Grade 11, (2002) p. 9 …When you meet them in order to fight [them], do not be seized by compassion [towards them] but strike the[ir] necks powerfully.... Striking the neck means fighting, because killing a person is often done by striking off his head. Thus, it has become an expression for killing even if the fighter strikes him elsewhere. This expression contains a harshness and emphasis that are not found in the word "kill", because it describes killing in the ugliest manner, i.e., cutting the neck and making the organ - the head of the body - fly off [the body].' "
Al-Fath, Al-Hujurat and Qaf

Although chilling to our modern sensibilities, particularly when being taught to children, these are merely normative interpretations of the rules for jihad war, based on over a millennium of Muslim theology and jurisprudence. And the context of these teachings is unambiguous, as the translator makes clear that:

"[the] concept of jihad is interpreted in the Egyptian school curriculum almost exclusively as a military endeavor… it is war against God's enemies, i.e., the infidels… it is war against the homeland's enemies and a means to strengthening the Muslim states in the world. In both cases, jihad is encouraged, and those who refrain from participating in it are denounced."
the translator

Ibn Hudayl, a 14th century expert and author of an important treatise on jihad, explained forthrightly, sanctioned procedures and methods which contradict Islamic apologists erroneous assertions that certain war crimes, including razing beheading, are not sanctioned by Islam:

"It is permissible to set fire to the lands of the enemy, his stores of grain, his beasts of burden – if it is not possible for the Muslims to take possession of them – as well as to cut down his trees, to raze his cities, in a word, to do everything that might ruin and discourage him, provided that the imam (i.e. the religious "guide" of the community of believers) deems these measures appropriate, suited to hastening the Islamization of that enemy or to weakening him. Indeed, all this contributes to a military triumph over him or to forcing him to capitulate. [2]

The late, seminal 20th century scholar of Muslim Spain and North Africa, Charles Emmanuel Dufourcq, characterized the impact of these repeated attacks, indistinguishable in motivation from modern acts of jihad terrorism (like 9/11/01 and, perhaps even more geographically relevant, 3/11/04):

"It is not difficult to understand that such expeditions sowed terror. The historian al-Maqqari, who wrote in seventeenth-century Tlemcen in Algeria, explains that the panic created by the Arab horsemen and sailors, at the time of the Muslim expansion in the zones that saw those raids and landings, facilitated the later conquest, if that was decided on: ‘Allah,’ he says, ‘thus instilled such fear among the infidels that they did not dare to go and fight the conquerors; they only approached them as suppliants, to beg for peace.’ " [3]

Al-Mawardi, a significant 11th century (Shafi’ite) jurist from Baghdad, wrote regarding the treatment of jihad POWs. The real issues at hand: what does Muslim Law actually instructs regarding jihad POWs in various campaigns conducted throughout Muslim history, and how does the spate of contemporary beheadings of prisoners of jihad terrorism comport with these rulings. Al-Mawardi’s writing makes clear that killing of jihad POWs is a primary (i.e., "first") option based solely upon what is most expedient for the Muslims:

"As for the captives, the amir [ruler] has the choice of taking the most beneficial action of four possibilities: the first to put them to death by cutting their necks; the second, to enslave them and apply the laws of slavery regarding their sale and manumission; the third, to ransom them in exchange for goods or prisoners; and fourth, to show favor to them and pardon them. Allah, may he be exalted, says, 'When you encounter those [infidels] who deny [the Truth=Islam] then strike [their] necks' (Qur'an sura 47, verse 4)"....Abu’l-Hasan al-Mawardi, al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah." [4]

Al-Mawardi was hardly unique, the views of this Shafi’ite jurist being nearly identical to those of key jurists representing the three other main Sunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence, including the Hanafites, who prevailed in Ottoman Turkey:

(from the Hanafi school of jurisprudence, d. 798):

"...that one can even ...finish off the wounded, or kill prisoners who might prove dangerous to the Muslims.. As for the prisoners who are lead before the imam, the latter has the choice, as he pleases, of executing them, or making them pay a ransom, for the most advantageous choice for the Muslims, and the wisest for Islam. The ransom imposed upon them is not to consist either of gold, silver, or wares, but is only in exchange for Muslim captives…" [5]
Abu Yusuf

(d. 996), head of the North African Maliki school at Qairuan:

"There is no inconvenience to kill white non-Arabs who have been taken prisoner". [6]
Ibn Abi Zayd Al_Qayrawani

The famous Syrian jurist (d. 1328) of the Hanbali school under the Mamluks:

"…If a male unbeliever is taken captive during warfare or otherwise, eg., as a result of a shipwreck, or because he has lost his way, or as a result of a ruse, then the imam may do whatever he deems appropriate: killing him, enslaving him, releasing him or setting him free for a ransom consisting in either property or people. This is the view of most jurists and it is supported by the Koran and the Sunna…" [7]
Ibn Taymiyya

These rulings had tangible consequences. For centuries, from the Iberian Peninsula to the Indian subcontinent, jihad campaigns waged by Muslim armies against infidel Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Buddhists and Hindus, were punctuated by massacres, including mass throat slittings and beheadings of captives. Here are but a few examples. Non-Muslim (i.e., Christian) prisoners were beheaded, summarily, during a jihad campaign against Tripoli in the mid-7th century, as chronicled by Ibn Khaldun in his, History of the Berbers and the Moslem Dynasties of Northern Africa:

"Abd-Allah set siege to the city [Tripoli]; but later, unwilling to let himself be diverted from the goal that he had in mind, he gave the order to break camp. While we were making our preparations, we spied some vessels that had just landed on the shore; immediately we attacked them and threw into the water anyone who was aboard. They put up some resistance, but then surrendered, and we tied their hands behind their backs. They were four hundred in number. Abd-Allah then joined us, and he had their heads cut off." [8]

During the period of "enlightened" Muslim rule, the Christians of Iberian Toledo, who had first submitted to their Arab Muslim invaders in 711 or 712, revolted in 713. In the harsh Muslim reprisal that ensued, Toledo was pillaged, and all the Christian notables had their throats cut. On the Indian subcontinent, Hindu combatants captured during jihad campaigns were killed in orgies of brutal violence, on a simply staggering scale, as documented by Muslim chroniclers. After Muhammad bin Qasim took the fort of Brahmanabad in Sindh following a 6-month siege, around 711-712 C.E.

"…When the plunder and the prisoners of war were brought before Qasim, and enquiries were made about every captive, it was found that Ladi, the wife of Dahir, was in the fort with two daughters of his by his other wives. Veils were put on their faces, and they were delivered to a servant to keep them apart. One-fifth of all the prisoners were chosen and set aside; they were counted as amounting to twenty thousand in number, and the rest were given to the soldiers…(Qasim) sat on the seat of cruelty, and put all those who had fought to the sword. It is said that about six thousand fighting men were slain, but according to some, sixteen thousand were killed…" [9]

And Amir Timur, during his jihad campaigns through Northern India (1397-99 C.E.) conducted what may have been the greatest mass slaughter of prisoners ever chronicled:

"Next day, Friday the 3rd of the month. I left the fort of Loni and marched to a position opposite to Jahan-numa where I encamped… I now held a Court… At this Court Amir Jahan Shah and Amir Sulaiman Shah and other amirs of experience, brought to my notice that, from the time of entering Hindustan up to the present time, we had taken more than 100,000 infidels and Hindus prisoners, and that they were all in my camp…I asked their advice about the prisoners, and they said that on the great day of battle these 100,000 prisoners could not be left with the baggage, and that it would be entirely opposed to the [Islamic] rules of war to set these idolaters and foes of Islam at liberty. In fact, no other course remained but that of making them all food for the sword. When I heard these words I found them in accordance with the rules of war, and I directly gave my command for the tawachis [drumbeaters] to proclaim throughout the camp that every man who had infidel prisoners was to put them to death…When this order became known to the ghazis of Islam, they drew their swords and put their prisoners to death. 100,000 infidels, impious idolaters, were on that day slain. Maulana Nasiru-d-din ‘Umar, a counselor and man of learning, who, in all his life, had never killed a sparrow, now, in execution of my order, slew with his sword fifteen idolatrous Hindus, who were his captives…" [10]

Lastly, , the founder of the Mughal Empire, who is revered as a paragon of Muslim tolerance by modern revisionist historians, recorded the following in his autobiographical "Baburnama", about infidel prisoners of a jihad campaign:

"Those who were brought in alive [having surrendered] were ordered beheaded, after which a tower of skulls was erected in the camp." [11]
Babur (1483-1530)

Other historical examples from jihad campaigns abound demonstrating a philosophy and conduct violating basic standards of Human rights. Recent jihad-inspired decapitations of infidels by Muslims have occurred across the globe- Christians in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Nigeria; Hindu priests and "unveiled" Hindu women in Kashmir.

Any contention that Islam does not sanction the killing of non-combatants is highly questionable, as any claim is clearly contradicted by the repeated actions of Muslims during jihad campaigns yesterday and today. Both Muslim and non-Muslim sources document countless episodes of the pillage and massacre of non-combatants during jihad conquests and raids. And there is ample juridical justification for such acts. For example, the great Maliki jurist and philosopher Averroes (d. 1198) asserted,

"Most scholars agree that fortresses may be assailed with mangonels, no matter whether there are women and children within them or not. This is based on the fact that the Prophet used mangonels against the population of al-Ta’if." [12]
Maliki jurist and philosopher Averroes (d. 1198)

The much lionized Sufi theologian Al-Ghazali (d. 1101) made a similar pronouncement. The lauded Al-Ghazali's wrote plainly on acceptable behavior during jihad war, and the treatment of the vanquished non-Muslim [dhimmi] peoples:

"…one must go on jihad (i.e., warlike razzias or raids) at least once a year...one may use a catapult against them [non-Muslims] when they are in a fortress, even if among them are women and children. One may set fire to them and/or drown them... " [13]
Al-Ghazali (d. 1101)

The Hanbali jurist Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328) provided this caveat, which allowed for killing those who would otherwise be classified as non-combatants, if they merely engaged in verbal or written propaganda:

"As for those who cannot offer resistance or cannot fight, such as women, children, monks, old people, the blind, handicapped and their likes, they shall not be killed unless they actually fight with words [eg. by propaganda] and acts [by spying or otherwise assisting in the warfare]. Some jurists are of the opinion that all of them may be killed, on the mere ground that they are unbelievers, but they make an exception for women and children since they constitute property for Muslims" [14]
Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328)

Contemporary Muslim theologians like Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, hailed as a moderate voice in Britain, sanction homicide bombings against all Israeli citizens using jihad criteria consistent with those iterated by these classical jurists.

Unfortunately, historical examples of the killing of non-combatants during jihad campaigns abound, beginning with the very earliest Muslim conquests. The 7th century Chronicler John of Nikiou describes the jihad conquest of Fayyum and Nikiou, including the massacre of non-combatant women and children:

"[In Fayyum] The Ishmaelites attacked, killed the commandant, massacred all his troops and immediately seized the town…Whoever approached them was massacred; they spared neither old men, nor women, nor children…Then the Muslims arrived in Nikiou. There was not one single soldier to resist them. They seized the town and slaughtered everyone they met in the street and in the churches – men, women and children, sparing nobody. Then they went to other places, pillaged and killed all the inhabitants they found… But let us now say no more, for it is impossible to describe the horrors the Muslims committed when they occupied the island of Nikiou, on Sunday, the eighteenth day of the month of Guenbot, in the fifteenth year of the lunar cycle, as well as the terrible scenes which took place in Cesarea in Palestine." [15]

John Cameniates provided an eyewitness account of the jihad capture and pillage of Thessaloniki in 904 C.E. Cameniates, his elderly father, and his brother, taken prisoner while they tried to escape by the ramparts, were spared their lives because they promised their captors a large amount of money. They were marched as prisoners through the city, and thus witnessed the terrible carnage of their fellow townspeople who had sough refuge in the church of Saint George. A summary, and excerpts from Cameniates narrative reveals that:

"The Thessalonians tried to escape through the streets, pursued by the Saracens, who were unleashed like wild beasts. In their panic, men. women, the elderly, and children, ‘fell into each other’s arms to give each other one last kiss.’ The enemy hit with no mercy. Parents were killed while trying to defend their children. No one was spared: women, children, the elderly, all were immediately pierced by the sword. The poor wretches ran through the town, or tried to hide inside the caves; some of them, believing they could find refuge inside a church, would seek shelter inside, while others tried to scale the walls of the ramparts, from where they jumped into the void and crashed to the ground. Nuns, petrified with fear, with their hair disheveled, tried to escape, and ended up by the thousands in the hands of the barbarians, who killed the older ones, and sent the younger and more attractive ones into captivity and dishonor… The Saracens also massacred the unfortunate people who had sought refuge inside churches."

"The church [of Saint George] was full of wretches who had sought safety within it. There were about three hundred of them, as we learned later. A great number of murderous enemies came in. Immediately their leader bounced onto the holy altar, where the divine offices are held by the priests: there, crouching down with his legs crossed, in the manner of the barbarians, he sat, full of rage and arrogance, looking at the crowd of those people, full of the evil spirit of what he intended to commit. After grabbing my father and my brother with his hands, and after ordering that we be guarded in an area near the entrance by some of his men whom he had chosen, he gave a sign to his men to do away with the crowd. Like wild wolves when they meet their prey, they began to massacre the poor creatures quickly and mercilessly, and, overflowing with rage, they inquired with their eyes as to what the terrible judge wished to do with us: but he stopped them from doing anything against us, for the moment… After the end of the massacre of those poor people, the entire floor was covered with bodies, with a lake of blood in the middle. Then, as the murderer could not get out, he ordered that they pile up the bodies one on top of the other, on the two sides of the church; then he quickly jumped down from the altar, came up to us, and grabbed my father and my brother with his hands." [16]

Professor J.B. Segal reviewed the jihad destruction of the Christian enclave of Edessa in 1144-1146 C.E., during the Crusades, using primary source documentation, including a contemporary account by Michael the Syrian.

"Thirty thousand souls were killed. Women, youths, and children to the number of sixteen thousand were carried into slavery, stripped of their cloths, barefoot, their hands bound, forced to run beside their captors on horses. Those who could not endure were pierced by lances or arrows, or abandoned to wild animals and birds of prey. Priests were killed out of hand or captured; few escaped. The Archbishop of the Armenians was sold at Aleppo…The whole city was given over to looting, ‘..for a whole year..’, resulting in ‘…complete ruin..’. From this disaster the Christian community of Edessa never recovered." [17]
Professor J.B. Segal

Michael the Syrian (Patriarch of Antioch from 1166-1199) chronicled the two devastating jihad attacks (1144 and 1146 C.E.) by the Seljuk Turks, which included the mass murder of non-combatants, as follows:

"The Turks entered with their swords and blades drawn, drinking the blood of the old and the young, the men and the women, the priests and the deacons, the hermits and the monks, the nuns, the virgins, the infants at the breast, the betrothed men and the women to whom they were betrothed! …Ah! what a bitter tale! The city of Abgar, the friend of Christ, was trampled underfoot because of our iniquity: the priests were massacred, the deacons immolated, the subdeacons crushed, the temples pillaged, the altars overturned! Alas! what a calamity! Fathers denied their children; the mother forgot her affection for her little ones! While the sword was devouring and everyone was fleeing to the mountaintop, some gathered their children, like a hen her chicks, and waited to die together by the sword or else to be led off together into captivity! Some aged priests, who were carrying the relics of the martyrs, seeing this raging destruction, recited the words of the prophet: "I will endure the Lord’s wrath, because I have sinned against Him and angered Him."8 And they did not take flight, nor did they cease praying until the sword rendered them mute. Then they were found at the same spot, their blood spilled all around them…."

"The Turks descended from the citadel upon those who had remained in the churches or in other places, whether because of old age, or as a result of some other infirmity, and they tortured them, showing no pity. Those who had escaped from being suffocated or trampled [in the crush] and had left the city with the Franks were surrounded by the Turks, who rained down upon them a hail of arrows which cruelly pierced them through.

O cloud of wrath and day without mercy! In which the scourge of violent wrath once again struck the unfortunate Edessenians. O night of death, morning of hell, day of perdition! which arose against the citizens of that excellent city. Alas, my brethren! Who could recount or hear without tears how the mother and the infant that she carried in her arms were pierced through by the same arrow, without anyone to lift them up or to remove the arrow! And soon, [as they lay] in that state, the hooves of the horses of those who were pursuing them pounded them furiously! That whole night they had been pierced by arrows, and at daybreak, which was for them even darker, they were struck by the swords and the lances!... And then the earth shivered with horror at the massacre that took place: like the sickle on the stalks of grain, or like fire among wood chips, the sword carried off the Christians. The corpses of priests, deacons, monks, noblemen and the poor were abandoned pell-mell. Yet, although their death was cruel, they nevertheless did not have as much to suffer as those who remained alive; for when the latter fell in the midst of the fire and the wrath of the Turks, [those barbarians] stripped them of their clothing and of their footwear. Striking them with rods, they forced them – men and women, naked and with their hands tied behind their backs – to run with the horses; those perverts pierced the belly of anyone who grew faint and fell to the ground, and left him to die along the road. And so they became the prey of wild beasts, and then they expired, or else the food of birds of prey, in which case they were tortured. The air was poisoned with the stench of the corpses; Assyria was filled with captives." [18]

Professor H.Z. Hirschberg includes this summary of a contemporary Judeo-Arabic account by Solomon Cohen (which comports with Arab historian Ibn Baydhaq’s sequence of events), from January 1148 C.E, describing the Muslim Almohad conquests in North Africa, and Spain:

"Abd al-Mumin…the leader of the Almohads after the death of Muhammad Ibn Tumart the Mahdi [note: Ibn Tumart was a cleric whose writings bear a striking resemblance to Khomeini’s rhetoric eight centuries later] …captured Tlemcen [in the Maghreb] and killed all those who were in it, including the Jews, except those who embraced Islam…[In Sijilmasa] One hundred and fifty persons were killed for clinging to their [Jewish] faith…All the cities in the Almoravid [dynastic rulers of North Africa and Spain prior to the Almohads] state were conquered by the Almohads. One hundred thousand persons were killed in Fez on that occasion, and 120,000 in Marrakesh. The Jews in all [Maghreb] localities [conquered]…groaned under the heavy yoke of the Almohads; many had been killed, many others converted; none were able to appear in public as Jews [emphasis added]…Large areas between Seville and Tortosa [in Spain] had likewise [emphasis added] fallen into Almohad hands." [19]
Professor H.Z. Hirschberg

The mid-15th century Hindu chronicle Kanhadade Prabandha included descriptions of a wave of jihad attacks at the end of the 13th century, and first three decades of the 14th century. These campaigns vanquished extensive regions [Malwa, Gujarat, Ranthambhor, Siwana, Jalor, Devagiri, Warangal, Ma’bar, and Ramesvaram], and resulted in the death or enslavement of perhaps millions of Hindus. [20] The devastating nature of such attacks, which included deliberate targeting of non-combatants, is captured in this account:

"A farman (firman) was now given to Gori Malik (to sack Bhinmal)…The Turkish [Muslim] invaders entered the town making dreadful din and clamor. Orders were issued clear and terrible: ‘The soldiers shall march into the town spreading terror everywhere! Cut down the Brahmanas [Brahman priests], wherever they may be- performing homa or milking cows! Kill the cows- even those which are pregnant or with newly born calves!’ The Turks ransacked Bhinmal and captured everybody in the sleepy town. Thereafter, Gori Malik gleefully set fire to the town in a wanton display of force and meanness." [21]

Ibn Battuta (1304- 1368/ ? 1377), one of the world’s most famous travelogue writers, witnessed this display of murderous brutality towards Hindu prisoners, and their non-combatant wives and children, during a jihad campaign in southern India in the mid 14th century conducted by the Sultan Ghayasuddin:

"All the infidels found in the jungle were taken prisoners; they had stakes sharpened at both ends and made the prisoners carry them on their shoulders. Each was accompanied by his wife and children, and they were thus led to the camp… In the morning, the Hindus who had been made prisoners the day before, were divided into four groups, and each of these was led to one of the four gates of the main enclosure. There they were impaled on the posts they had themselves carried. Afterwards their wives were butchered and tied to the stakes by their hair. The children were massacred on the bosoms of their mothers, and their corpses left there. Then they struck camp and started cutting down trees in another forest, and all the Hindus who were made captive were treated in the same manner." [22]

Both Turkish and Christian chroniclers provide graphic evidence of the wanton pillage and slaughter of non-combatants following the Ottoman jihad conquest of Constantinople in 1453. First from the Turkish sources:

"Sultan Mehmed (in order to) arouse greater zeal for the way of God issued an order (that the city was to be) plundered. And from all directions they (gazis) came forcefully and violently (to join) the army. They entered the city, they passed the infidels over the sword (i.e. slew them) and…they pillage and looted, they took captive the youths and maidens, and they took their goods and valuables whatever there was of them…"
[Urudj][23]
"The gazis entered the city, cut off the head of the emperor, captured Kyr Loukas and his family…and they slew the miserable common people…They placed people and families in chains and placed metal rings on their necks. "
[Neshri] [24]

And Vryonis summarizes the key contents of letters sent by Sultan Mehmed himself to various Muslim potentates of the Near East:

"In his letter to the sultan of Egypt, Mehmed writes that his army killed many of the inhabitants, enslaved many others (those that remained), plundered the treasures of the city, ‘cleaned out’ the priests and took over the churches…To the Sherif of Mecca he writes that they killed the ruler of Constantinople, they killed the ‘pagan’ inhabitants and destroyed their houses. The soldiers smashed the crosses, looted the wealth and properties and enslaved their children and youths. ‘They cleared these places of their monkish filth and Christian impurity’…In yet another letter he informs Cihan Shah Mirza of Iran that the inhabitants of the city have become food for the swords and arrows of the gazis; that they plundered their children, possessions and houses; that those men and women who survived the massacre were thrown into chains." [25]

The Christian sources, include this narrative by Ducas who gathered eyewitness accounts, and visited Constantinople shortly after its conquest:

"(Then) the Turks arrived at the church [the great church of St. Sophia], pillaging, slaughtering, and enslaving. They enslaved all those that survived. They smashed the icons in the church, took their adornments as well as all that was moveable in the church…Those of (the Greeks) who went off to their houses were captured before arriving there. Others upon reaching their houses found them empty of children, wives, and possessions and before (they began) wailing and weeping were themselves bound with their hands behind them. Others coming to their houses and having found their wife and children being led off, were tied and bound with their most beloved…They (the Turks) slew mercilessly all the elderly, both men and women, in (their) homes, who were not able to leave their homes because of illness or old age. The newborn infants were thrown into the streets…And as many of the (Greek) aristocrats and nobles of the officials of the palace that he (Mehmed) ransomed, sending them all to the ‘speculatora’ he executed them. He selected their wives and children, the beautiful daughters and shapely youths and turned them over to the head eunuch to guard them, and the remaining captives he turned over to others to guard over them…And the entire city was to be seen in the tents of the army, and the city lay deserted, naked, mute, having neither form nor beauty." [26] And finally from the contemporary 15th century historian Critobulus of Imbros: "Then a great slaughter occurred of those who happened to be there: some of them were on the streets, for they had already left the houses and were running toward the tumult when they fell unexpectedly on the swords of the soldiers; others were in their own homes and fell victims to the violence of the Janissaries and other soldiers, without any rhyme or reason; others were resisting relying on their own courage; still others were fleeing to the churches and making supplication- men, women, and children, everyone, for there was no quarter given…The soldiers fell on them with anger and great wrath…Now in general they killed so as to frighten all the City, and terrorize and enslave all by the slaughter." [27]

Remarkably similar descriptions of jihad massacres of non-combatants in both the pre-modern and modern eras have been recorded from Greece and the Balkans, Asia Minor, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and the Far East (Malaysia and Indonesia). Indeed the 20th century opened and closed with frank jihad genocides- the Armenian genocide committed by the Ottoman Turks during the initial two decades, and the genocide of southern Sudanese Christians and Animists committed by the Arab Muslim Khartoum government during the final two decades.

Muslim conquerors, spurred on in their missionary zeal by the doctrine of jihad, sought to impose Islamic rule globally, either by conversion of infidels under threat of war, or at minimum; submission to Sharia, with acceptance by the vanquished non-Muslim populations of unequal and servile status. This classical conception of indefinitely warring blocs of humanity has been taught continuously, through the present, at the leading centers of Islamic learning for both Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims. Yusuf al-Qaradawi even used such unfettered Medieval terminology (i.e., Dar ul-Harb and Dar ul-Islam) during a 1998 interview about the meeting between the Chief Rabbi of Israel and the Rector of Al Azhar University. Perhaps even more disturbing, "secular" Turkey itself is a signatory to the 1990 Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, a document that incorporates jihad war ideology in its triumphal proclamation that Sharia has primacy over the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the specific statement that God has made the umma (Islamic community) the best nation, whose role is to "guide" humanity. ("The Islamic Shari'ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration"). One must question whether well-intentioned platitudes that ignore or obfuscate Muslim theological-juridical institutions, and the violent history of Islamic jihad, can really offer a pathway to meaningful reform.

A prominent Islamic Cleric then based in the UK gave an interview to The Sunday Telegraph on 05/08/2004, 5 days after the Beslan Russia massacre of women and children, while promoting a "celebratory" conference in London the following Saturday (9/11) to commemorate the third anniversary of the September 11 attacks. In the interview he indicated he would support hostage-taking at British schools if carried out by terrorists with a just cause. Omar Bakri Mohammed, the spiritual leader of the extremist sect al-Muhajiroun, said that holding women and children hostage would be a reasonable course of action for a Muslim who has suffered under British rule. In the interview, Mr Mohammed said: "If an Iraqi Muslim carried out an attack like that in Britain, it would be justified because Britain has carried out acts of terrorism in Iraq". This learned cleric, I suspect, is fully aware of the jurisprudence cited here and fully aware of the example of Muhammad, and he aspires to follow in his footsteps. The terrorists who massacred the Russian children those first three days of September felt no empathy in their pitiless acts, thinking only of how proud their God and his prophet will be of their sanctified pious acts of murder and mayhem. They fully believe, as do all devoted and learned, that their brutal acts are an offering acceptable to their God that will earn them a place in heaven with the great ones, with their virility increased a hundred fold so they can exercise eternal lust chasing around scores of virgins and boys. The fact that they will be dead, and have no penis with which to copulate, and no sperm to ejaculate, is lost on them. As terrorists die and enter next state of existence, I imagine they go fairly quickly from a state of rapture and delusion, to a state of confusion and frustration, if not severe anguish.

References[edit]

  1. Gairdner, W.H.T. "Mohammed Without Camouflage", Moslem World, 1919, Vol. 9, pp. 51-52.
  2. Ibn Hudayl (French translation by Louis Mercier), L’ornement des âmes, Paris, 1939, p. 195.
  3. Dufourcq, A.D. La Vie Quotidienne dans l’Europe Medievale sous Domination Arabe, Paris, 1978, p. 20.
  4. Al-Mawardi, The Laws of Islamic Governance, trans. by Dr. Asadullah Yate, London, 1996, p. 192.
  5. Abu Yusuf Ya’qub Le Livre de l’impot foncier, Translated from Arabic and annotated by Edmond Fagnan, Paris, Paul Geuthner, 1921, pp. 301-302.
  6. Ibn Abi Zayd Al_Qayrawani, La Risala ou Epitre sur les elements du dogme et de la loi de l’Islam selon le rite malikite, Translated from Arabic by Leon Bercher. Algiers, 1980, p. 163.
  7. Ibn Taymiyya, in Rudolph Peters, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam, Princeton, NJ, 1996, p. 50.
  8. Ibn Khaldun, History of the Berbers and the Moslem Dynasties of Northern Africa, translated from Arabic [into French] by Baron De Slane, Paris, 1925, p. 316.
  9. Al Kufi, from The Chachnama, in Elliott and Dowson, A History of India As Told by Its Own Historians, Vol. 1, 1867-1877, (reissued 2001) p. 181.
  10. from, the translation of Malfuzat-i-Timuri of Timur, A History of India As Told by Its Own Historians, Vol. 3, pp. 435-436.
  11. from, The Baburnama -Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor, translated and edited by Wheeler M. Thacktson, Oxford University Press,1996, p. 188.
  12. Averroes, in Rudolph Peters, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam, Princeton, NJ, 1996, p. 36.
  13. Al-Ghazali (d. 1111). Kitab al-Wagiz fi fiqh madhab al-imam al-Safi’i, Beirut, 1979, pp. 186, 190-91, [English translation by Dr. Michael Schub.]
  14. Ibn Taymiyya, in Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam, 1996, p.49.
  15. Chronique de Jean, Eveque de Nikiou, translated from the Ethiopian with notes by Hermann Zotenberg, Paris, 1879, pp. 228-229; 243-244.
  16. From O. Tafrali, O. Thessalonique – Des Origines au XVI Siecle, Chapter VI "The Capture and Pillage of Thessalonika by the Saracens (in the year 904)", pp. 151-154.
  17. Segal, J.B. "Edessa- The Blessed City", Oxford University Press, 1970, pp. 252-254
  18. Chronique de Michel Le Syrien, Edited and translated from the Syriac by Jean-Baptiste Chabot, Paris, 1899-1905, Vol. 3, pp. 261-262; 270-271.
  19. Hirschberg, H.Z., The Jews of North Africa, Leiden, Vol. 1, 1974, pp. 127-128.
  20. Kanhadade Prabandha, translated, introduced and annotated by V.S. Bhatnagar, New Delhi, 1991, xii.
  21. Kanhadade Prabandha, p. 49.
  22. Ibn Battuta, in Foreign Notices of South India, Collected and Edited by K.A. Nilakanta Sastri (2001, University of Madras), pp. 278-279
  23. Vryonis, S. Jr., A Critical Analysis of Stanford J. Shaw’s, "History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. Volume 1. Empire of the Gazis: The Rise and Decline of the Ottoman Empire, 1280-1808", off print from Balkan Studies, Vol. 24, 1983, pp. 57-60,62,68.
  24. Vryonis, S. Jr., A Critical Analysis, pp. 58-59.
  25. Vryonis, S. Jr., A Critical Analysis, p. 59.
  26. Vryonis, S. Jr., A Critical Analysis, pp. 60, 62.
  27. Vryonis, S. Jr., A Critical Analysis, p.68.


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