On 19 Dec, 2002 PBS aired a two hour film on the life of Muhammad. There was noteworthy Islamic funding for this show. The film told the story of Muhammad’s life and included most of the important events that affected his life and the lives of his followers. Throughout the film various Muslims or sympathetic academics commented on these events. Muslims from various walks of life spoke highly of Muhammad and presented him in a lustrous light.
However, significant details were omitted or glossed over. This includes many of Muhammad’s violent acts. Additionally, many of the comments were inaccurate according to the Islamic source materials. When the film is put to the test, against the real Islamic source materials, it is obvious that this film was nothing more than Islamic evangelism of an ignorant and naïve American public.
Daniel Pipes noted in his article found at http://www.danielpipes.org/article/982 :
“All this smacks of a film shown by missionaries.”
One friend called the show: “New Age Islam”, because it did not portray the historical Muhammad accurately. PBS has done a disservice to the American people by presenting a sanitized Muhammad and Islam.
On the other hand, PBS should be commended because some time ago they presented a film called “Jihad in America”, by Steve Emerson. In it Emerson documents malicious activities of various Muslim groups operating in America: the preaching of and the recruiting for terrorist activities in mosques and during Muslim conferences and the existence of training camps for this purpose even on American soil. [“Jihad in America” is available for purchase, for details see: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=25136]
Following Emerson’s efforts Muslims began to send him, and other related media, death threats. Emerson exposed the very real intentions of several Islamic organizations in America and the Muslims retaliated. He is not the first to experience such a reaction. Death threats are commonly made against those that criticize Islam. From the days of Muhammad, until now, murdering those that criticize Muhammad or Islam has been a standard Islamic practice. Tragically, despite Emerson’s efforts to warn our nation, our country did not take it seriously enough and the radical Muslims succeeded murdering thousands via the attacks on the Pentagon and WTC. Our nation was warned of the sinister agenda of various clandestine Islamic groups within America, but we paid little heed. You can read about Muslim persecution of Emerson and others at the following link: http://www.danielpipes.org/article/321.
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is a government funded television network. Because it is primarily funded by the American government it is not to engage in religious favoritism or the furthering of any religion’s goals. PBS certainly is obligated to present details of various religions, but it is not to function as a publicity or public relations avenue for those religions.
Why did PBS do such a shoddy job and allow inaccurate religious propaganda to be presented? I don’t know. Perhaps various Muslim groups promised them money, perhaps they were intimidated by other Muslim groups, perhaps they thought they were doing the right thing by allowing Muslims to tell their white-washed story.
Remember! Followers of Islam destroyed the NY towers and Pentagon, causing some 3000 deaths, thousands of injuries, and ruined thousands of American lives. Followers of Islam murder Americans around the world today. Would it have asked too much to for PBS to do a more professional and objective job in presenting Islam? After all, if Muslims are preparing to murder more Americans here on our soil, isn’t it incumbent upon PBS to present a complete picture of the terrorists’ faith?
Consider this: Islamic terrorism is a worldwide phenomena. It is not just a few “wackos” who are committing the terrorist crimes. Violent Islamic fundamentalism is a significant movement supported by millions if not billions of dollars and certainly millions of Muslims. Shouldn’t we be informed about the motives of our enemies?
In one sense, PBS has let down the American people and mocked the deaths of our citizens in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
I do not object to showing positive things about Muhammad and Islam if they are balanced. Muhammad was not the incarnation of evil – he had both good and bad qualities. However, he did do many evil things, and “engaged in an appalling amount of violence,” as Alex Kronemer, (one of the show’s Muslim producers) put it. Muhammad’s violent acts and teachings should have been presented. Instead all we got were favorable comments from Muslims, and sympathetic scholars either praising Muhammad or justifying his deeds.
Would it have been too difficult for PBS to have aired something balanced?
ERRORS AND OMISSIONS
As I watched the film I noted its errors and omissions. Later I reviewed the film’s script (made available by PBS) and compiled a list of what I consider to be significant problems. Below I present the errors and follow them up with material from Islamic sources that tell the whole story. The list could be larger; I only examined points that I felt were most critical. I also pose questions for some of the people featured in the film that they need to think about and answer. I hope to get feedback from them.
The format of my critique is I quote from the film’s manuscript in blue text, present my comments in black, and Islamic source material in green.
INDEX OF ERRORS AND OMISSIONS IN THE PBS FILM ON MUHAMMAD
- Omission concerning Muhammad’s first revelation.
- Error of exaggeration regarding the Arabs in the Saudi Peninsula.
- Error regarding the improvement of life for females under Islam.
- Error regarding Muhammad’s “Night Journey”.
- Error and omission regarding the Battle of Badr.
- Error regarding Islam forbidding the killing of women.
- Error concerning the “political alliances” reason for Muhammad’s marriages.
- Omission – Aisha’s age not provided.
- Error and omission regarding the massacre of the Banu Quraiza Jews.
- Error regarding Islam’s position towards the Jews and Christians.
- Error regarding the meaning of Jihad.
- Error regarding Muhammad bringing peace in the Saudi Peninsula.
- Error regarding Islam’s peaceful approaches to non-Muslims.
- Errors regarding the conquest of Mecca and amnesty for the Meccans.
- Omissions about Muhammad’s death: being poisoned by a Jewish woman, forcing medicine on others, and cursing the Christians and Jews.
1. Omission concerning Muhammad’s first revelation.
Muhammad was so shaken by this experience, he feared he might be possessed. He ran home directly to Khadija.
What is omitted here is that not only was Muhammad scared out of his wits, he became suicidal. He believed that he had either become a soothsayer or had become demon possessed. As a result of this experience Muhammad attempted suicide. Just prior to jumping off a cliff, this spirit that visited him in the cave stopped him. For the next couple of years Muhammad suffered bouts of depression and attempted suicide several more times. The documentation is found at http://answering-islam.org/Silas/suicide.htm.
Bukhari, volume 9, #111:
But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while and the Prophet became so sad as we have heard that he intended several times to throw himself from the tops of high mountains.
Other sources say that Muhammad was severely depressed and suicidal for several years. This is a sign of mental illness, not a divine calling. The point is that no prophets of God ever attempted suicide as a result of their first hand experience with God. Whatever met with Muhammad in the cave, it was not Gabriel, or an emissary from God.
2. Error of exaggeration regarding the Arabs in the Saudi Peninsula.
The Arabs did not believe in after life. They really thought that life ended with death and there was no resurrection, there was no coming back, there was no reincarnation.
Hamza Yusuf erred when he said, “Arabs did not believe in an after life.” This is an overstatement. There were Jewish Arabs who believed in the after life living in Yathrib. There were Christian Arabs living throughout the Saudi Arabian peninsula who also believed in an after life. Yusuf’s error causes the uninformed to believe that only paganism existed in Arabia. Instead there was a significant number of Jewish and Christian Arabs in the peninsula.
The book, “Christianity Among the Arabs in Pre-Islamic Times”, by J. S. Trimingham, (Longman Group Limited, London, 1979), details the extent of Christianity throughout the Saudi Peninsula prior to Muhammad’s rise. Basically, the entire Saudi peninsula was ringed with Jewish or Christian tribes.
Muhammad did not enter a spiritual vacuum in Arabia. Knowledge of Christianity and Judaism was well established even in Mecca. Belief in the after life existed throughout the Saudi peninsula during Muhammad’s time.
3. Error regarding the improvement of life for females under Islam.
There’s been this idea that women prior to Islam were chattel, that they had no rights. And I think that for many many levels of the women, that is true, but for a certain level of woman, which Khadija would have been amongst, that is not true.
Several of the commentators mentioned that Muhammad improved the life for Arab women. I contest this. I believe, along with Fatima Mernissi, that life actually became worse for women under Islam.
For example, even Muhammad’s wife Aisha stated that the pagan women were treated better than the Muslim women, (words in brackets are mine):
Bukhari, vol. 7, # 715:
“Narrated Ikrima: ‘Rifaa divorced his wife whereupon Abdur-Rahman married her. Aisha said that the lady came wearing a green veil and complained to her (Aisha) and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating. It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah’s messenger came, Aisha said, “I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes! [Her skin was green because she had been beaten by her husband].
Muhammad instructed men to beat their wives if they persisted in disobedience to the husband.
See http://answering-islam.org/Silas/wife-beating.htm for a detailed discussion.
Additionally, Muhammad allowed female slaves to be raped: http://answering-islam.org/Silas/femalecaptives.htm
Fatima Mernissi comments that women were better off before Islam. She writes in “Beyond the Veil”,
pages 66, 67:
Exactly what was it that Islam forbade? According to my reading of the historical evidence, Islam banished all practices in which the sexual self-determination of women was asserted.
Muslim marriage gave absolute male authority a stamp of holy approval.
Amina [Muhammad’s great granddaughter] recognized that women were much happier before the Prophet’s time.
After the death of the Prophet in June 632, a broad movement of apostasy swept the Arabian peninsula, and the tribes refused to pay taxes to the Prophet’s successor, the first caliph, Abu Bakr. The movement was severely repressed and ended one year later, after fierce battles between Islam and its opponents. One of the movements of apostasy was led by a group of women who celebrated the death of the Prophet in a joyful atmosphere. The event is recorded in Ibn Habib al-Baghdadi’s “Kitab al-Muhabbar”:
There were in Hadramaut six women, of Kinda and Hadramaut, who desired the death of the Prophet of God; they therefore [on hearing the news] dyed their hands with henna and played on the tambourine. To them came out the harlots of Hadramaut and did likewise so that some twenty-odd women joined the six.
Mernissi comments that the women were probably not harlots because they were prominent women of the tribe. She believes this was an invective by the Muslim historian.
Muhammad did not make things better for women, he made them worse.
4. Error regarding Muhammad’s “Night Journey”.
One of the historic and scientific errors in Islam concerns Muhammad’s “night journey”. Muhammad claimed to have mounted a winged horse-like creature and flew to Jerusalem, and thereafter to the seven heavens. While in Jerusalem he claimed to have seen the Jewish Temple. However, this presents a significant historical problem. The dilemma is summed up nicely in these articles:
The predicament is that:
The Second Jewish Temple built by king Herod was destroyed in A.D. 70, i.e. 550 years before the alleged time of the Miraj in 622 AD, the twelfth year of Muhammad’s mission. A Temple that didn’t exist anymore does not provide any better solution to this problem than a Mosque which wasn’t built yet.
Consequently, Muhammad lied about his night journey, or reports about his travels are false.
5. Error and omission regarding the Battle of Badr.
For 13 years, there’s been no sanction to fight. Then a revelation comes that says, those who have been removed unjustly from their homes, and have been fought because of their religious beliefs, are sanctioned to fight to defend themselves.
Killing is always abhorrent, the QURAN makes it very clear about that, and the QURAN says that it’s always wrong to start a war, to be an aggressor. But persecution is worse than killing. When people have been driven from their homes, or deprived of their basic human rights, when an evil ideology comes into the world, sometimes, regrettably, it may be necessary to fight and sometimes lives will be lost.
Yusuf says that Allah gave Muslims permission to take up arms in self defense. But this is not the whole story. Muslims were allowed to take up arms for aggressive actions as well. And indeed they did just that. He implies that the Battle of Badr was self defense. This is not true. The Muslims went out on yet another caravan raid. They had previously murdered people during other caravan raids. Consequently, the Meccans came to defend their property against the Muslim aggression. Below is the account from Tabari’s History, Volume 7, page 29:
Abu Sufyan came from Syria at the head of nearly seventy horsemen from all the clans of Quraysh. They had been trading in Syria and they all came together with their money and their merchandise. The Messenger of God and his companions were informed about them. This was after fighting had broken out between them and people had been killed, including Ibn al-Hadrami at Nakhlah, and some of Quraysh had been taken captive, including one of the sons of al-Mughirah and their mawla, Ibn Kaysan. Those responsible were Abd Allah b. Hajsh and Waqid, the confederate of the Banu Adi b. Ka’b, together with other companions of the Messenger of God who he had sent out with Abu Allah b. Jahsh. This incident had provoked (a state of) war between the Messenger of God and Quraysh and was the beginning of the fighting in which they inflicted casualties upon one another; it took place before Abu Sufyan and his companions had set our for Syria.
Subsequently Abu Sufyan and the horse men of Quraysh who were with him returned from Syria, following the coastal road. When the Messenger of God heard about them he called together his companions and told them of the wealth they had with them and the fewness of their numbers. The Muslims set out with no other object than Abu Sufyan and the horsemen with him. They did not think that these were anything but easy booty and did not suppose that there would be a great battle when they met them. It is concerning this that God revealed, “And ye longed that other than the armed one might be yours.”
When Abu Sufyan heard that the companions of the Messenger of God were on their way to intercept him, he sent to Quraysh saying, “Muhammad and his companions are going to intercept your caravan, so protect your merchandise…”
So, the truth is that the Muslims started the war. The war between the Meccans and Muslims started because Muhammad attacked the Meccan caravans and robbed them. Second, the reason the Meccans sent out their troops the first time was because they were defending their property.
QUESTIONS FOR HAMZA YUSUF:
Was the Battle of Badr started by the Muslim’s aggressive attacks upon the Meccan’s possessions? If so, didn’t the Meccans have the right to defend themselves and their possessions?
The Battle of Badr was started because of Muhammad’s aggression. It was not a battle of self-defense.
6. Error about Islam forbidding the killing of women.
M. CHERIF BASSIOUNI
He makes it very clear to his soldiers that if they have the right to use force against the Qurayshy, that does not mean that they will do the same thing that has been done in pre-Islamic wars. In which women and children could be killed, in which no prisoners could be taken, no quarter given. No, No. He said Islam is a religion of law.
Bassiouni states that Islam does not allow the killing of women. But that is wrong. Muhammad taught that Muslim soldiers should not target women and children, but it was acceptable if they happened to be killed in battle accidentally. Aside from that, Muhammad had several women murdered. Below are the URLs
The murder of a mother of five children – while she slept
The order to kill ten people after the conquest of Mecca – three of whom were slave girls
Muhammad also allowed the murder of a slave woman who mocked him
QUESTIONS FOR M. CHERIF BASSIOUNI:
Do you approve the murder of Asma bint Marwan and the slave girls because they spoke out against Muhammad or made fun of him? If so, how can your fellow fire-fighters be confident that you won’t harm them if they criticize Muhammad?
Muhammad allowed, indeed urged, the dominance, even killing, of anyone that opposed Islam.
7. Error concerning the “political alliances” reason for Muhammad’s many marriages.
The reason for his marriages were really political alliances. It was a tribal society, and for Muhammad to marry into another tribe and take a wife just meant that there was a bond being created with this tribe.
This is a popular fallacy used to justify Muhammad’s sexual desires. Muhammad married Sawda because he needed help to raise his four children. Later in life Muhammad intended to divorce her because she had grown old and fat. She talked him out of it by offering her night to sleep with him to Aisha – his favorite sexual partner, see http://answering-islam.org/Authors/Newton/sauda.html
Muhammad married Abu Bakr ‘s daughter Aisha because it was convenient. A friend of his suggested he marry her. There was no political reason behind it. He did not need to make any political alliances with his best and most devoted friend. Likewise for Umar’s daughter Hafsa. Concerning Aisha, see http://answering-islam.org/Silas/childbrides.htm.
Muhammad took Safiyah away from one of his soldiers (Muhammad had given her to him, but when he found out how beautiful she was, he took her away).
Narrated ‘Abdul ‘Aziz:
Anas said, ‘When Allah’s Apostle invaded Khaibar, we offered the Fajr prayer there early in the morning) when it was still dark. The Prophet rode and Abu Talha rode too and I was riding behind Abu Talha. The Prophet passed through the lane of Khaibar quickly and my knee was touching the thigh of the Prophet . He uncovered his thigh and I saw the whiteness of the thigh of the Prophet. When he entered the town, he said, ‘Allahu Akbar! Khaibar is ruined. Whenever we approach near a (hostile) nation (to fight) then evil will be the morning of those who have been warned.’ He repeated this thrice. The people came out for their jobs and some of them said, ‘Muhammad (has come).’ (Some of our companions added, “With his army.”) We conquered Khaibar, took the captives, and the booty was collected. Dihya came and said, ‘O Allah’s Prophet! Give me a slave girl from the captives.’ The Prophet said, ‘Go and take any slave girl.’ He took Safiya bint Huyai. A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Allah’s Apostles! You gave Safiya bint Huyai to Dihya and she is the chief mistress of the tribes of Quraiza and An-Nadir and she befits none but you.’ So the Prophet said, ‘Bring him along with her.’ So Dihya came with her and when the Prophet saw her, he said to Dihya, ‘Take any slave girl other than her from the captives.’ Anas added: The Prophet then manumitted her and married her.”
Aisha said in the “Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir”, that “Muhammad obtained 2 out of the 3 of his hearts desires: women, perfume, and fancy food. He did not obtain fancy food.” (my paraphrase)
Several of Muhammad’s marriages were made because he desired the women sexually. I’ll note that Muhammad also had sex with a slave woman (Mariyah the Copt) because she was his property and it was his right to have her sexually.
8. Omission – Aisha’s age not provided.
Among Muhammad’s wives were the daughters of his two closest allies, Abu Bakr and Umar. Abu Bakr’s daughter, Aisha, would become one of the most influential women in his life.
One of the most embarrassing things for Muslims about Muhammad was that he married and had sex with a 9 year old girl. Below is the URL that proves from Islamic sources that she was 9. It is medically harmful for children to engage in sexual activity. It harms them physically, emotionally, and mentality.
Bukhari vol. 7, #65:
That the prophet wrote the marriage contract with her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old. Hisham said: “I have been informed that Aisha remained with the prophet for nine years (i.e. till his death).”
Here is the URL: http://answering-islam.org/Silas/childbrides.htm
QUESTION FOR NAJAH BAZZY:
Do you approve of 53 year old men having sex with 9 year old girls? Would you have allowed your daughter, (while she was 9), to marry a 53 year old man?
It was both morally and medically wrong for Muhammad to have engaged in sexual activity with the 9 year old girl Aisha.
9. Error and omission regarding the massacre of the Banu Quraiza Jews
Islamic sources believe that the Jews did indeed aid the enemy in trying to defeat Muhammad. This was absolutely against the terms of the Medina agreement. The Jews and the Muslims decided that they would choose an arbitrator to determine what would be the future of the Jews. The person who was chosen was a man who was mortally wounded in the Battle of the Trench. And so he determined that the women and children of the Bani Qurayzah would be taken as slaves to the Muslims, and the men would be killed.
The error is that Mr. Firestone states that “The Jews and the Muslims decided that they would choose an arbitrator to determine what would be the future of the Jews.” That was not the case. What actually happened was that Muhammad asked the Jews if they would allow him to choose the judge. They had no options, and they knew Muhammad wanted to kill them, so they hoped for the best and agreed. Muhammad chose a man (named Sa’d) who had publicly said he wanted the Jews to be killed. He pronounced his judgment of death to the males and enslavement of the women and children, in accordance with what Muhammad already wanted. There was no surprise. It was a treacherous set-up by Muhammad to brutally murder and enslave these people. Later, Muhammad sold some of the slaves to buy weapons.
See the article at http://answering-islam.org/Muhammad/Jews/BQurayza/index.html for the details:
Additionally, Muhammad had almost massacred another tribe of Jews – the Bani Qaynuqa, a few years before. But, the intercession of a pagan prevented him from carrying out another crime: http://answering-islam.org/Silas/jihad.htm
Muhammad deceitfully set-up the Jews to be massacred and enslaved.
10. Error about Islam’s position towards the Jews and Christians
All that can be said is that, this cannot be seen as anti-Semitism, per se. MUHAMMAD had nothing against the Jewish people per se, or the Jewish religion. The QURAN continues to tell Muslims to honor the People of the Book. And to honor their religion as authentic. And the Jewish tribes who had not rebelled, who had not given help to the MECCANS continued to live in MEDINA, completely unmolested. MUHAMMAD was not trying to exterminate Jews. He was trying to get rid of very dangerous internal enemies.
The Quran denigrates Jews and Christians. Muhammad’s last teachings on relations with the so-called, “People of the Book” was that they were to be conquered and subjected in full humility. Ref. the Quran 9:28-30.
Below is the final example of how Muhammad treated Christians. This event occurred not long before his death. The account records that Muhammad heard the Romans were going to attack him. He marshaled 30,000 of his troops and they went north to the town of Tabuk to do battle with the Romans. However, upon arriving, they found that there was no one there and no threat existed. So, Muhammad took advantage of his opportunity to exploit others and sent a detachment to Ayla. They gave them the options of convert to Islam, pay the extortion tax – “jizya”, or die. The Christian leader decided to pay tribute.
“To John ibn Rabah and the Chiefs of Aylah. Peace be on you! I praise God for you, beside whom there is no Lord. I will not fight against you until I have written thus unto you. Believe, or else pay tribute. And be obedient unto the Lord and his Prophet, and the messengers of his Prophet. Honor them and clothe them with excellent vestments, not with inferior raiment. Specially clothe Zeid with excellent garments. As long as my messengers are pleased, so likewise am I. Ye know the tribute. If ye desire to have security by sea and by land, obey the Lord and his Apostle, and he will defend you from every claim, whether by Arab or foreigner, saving the claim of the Lord and his Apostle. But if ye oppose and displease them, I will not accept from you a single thing, until I have fought against you and taken captive your little ones and slain the elder.
Don’t Muhammad’s orders to John sound exactly like a Crime boss’s orders to a businessman who was just subjected? “Do what me and my men tell you”, “Give us your finest merchandise”, “Give my son the best you got”, “If my men are happy, I’m happy, so watch your step”, “Pay me the money and you’ll be safe”. Frankly, Muhammad’s words to John read like a script from “The Godfather” or the “Sopranos”.
Muhammad intended to subject all people, including Christians and Jews to Islam’s rule. He did not regard Christianity and Judaism as equal to, or mutual to, Islam.
11. Error about the meaning of Jihad
Jihad does not mean holy war, primarily. The word means effort, striving. And it’s always a hard struggle to put the word of God into practice. When the Quran talks about struggling or, they’re not talking always about fighting a holy war, they’re talking about this immense struggle to implement a divine imperative in the flawed and tragic conditions of daily life. Fighting might sometimes have to be done as part of the Jihad, but it is by no means the major imperative.
The Prophet put that emphasis on inner development. Jihad, the constant struggle with yourself, to improve yourself and perfect your intent. That you do things only for the sake of God. The most excellent Jihad, Holy struggle, is the struggle to control your ego, the self.
With respect to jihad, Muhammad did not put the emphasis on inner development. That is false. Muhammad emphasized war against non-Muslims. Jihad literally means “striving”, but, in context it almost always means “war” in Islam. The film’s Muslims are either ignorant of the historical definition of the word, or they are deliberately deceiving ignorant Westerners. I suspect James is ignorant. Below are various quotes, including one from an Islamic Book of Law, “The Reliance of the Traveler”.
SHORTER ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF ISLAM, PAGE 89:
DJIHAD, holy war. The spread of Islam by arms is a religious duty upon Muslims in general. It narrowly escaped being a sixth “rukn”, or fundamental duty, and is indeed still so regarded by the descendants of the Kharidjis. The position was reached gradually but quickly. In the Meccan Suras of the Kur’an patience under attack is taught; no other attitude was possible. But at Madina the right to repel attack appears, and gradually it became a prescribed duty to fight against and subdue the hostile Meccans. Whether Muhammad himself recognized that his position implied steady and unprovoked war against the unbelieving world until it was subdued to Islam may be in doubt. Traditions are explicit on the point; but the Kuranic passages speak always of the unbelievers who are to be subdued as dangerous or faithless. Still, the story of his writing to the powers around him shows that such a universal position was implicit in his mind, and it certainly developed immediately after his death, when the Muslim armies advanced out of Arabia. It is now a “fard ‘ala ‘l-kifaya, a duty in general on all male, free, adult Muslims, sane in mind and body and having means enough to reach the Muslim army, yet not a duty necessarily incumbent on every individual but sufficiently performed when done by a certain number. So it must continue to be done until the whole world is under the rule of Islam.”
RELIANCE OF THE TRAVELER, PAGE 599:
“Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word “mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion. And it is the lesser jihad. As for the great jihad, it is spiritual warfare against the lower self, (nafs), which is why the Prophet said as he was returning from jihad.
The scriptural basis for jihad, prior to scholarly consensus is such Koranic verses as:
1) Fighting is prescribed for you (2:216)
2) Slay them wherever you find them (4:89)
3) Fight the idolaters utterly (9:36)
and such Hadiths as the one related by Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet said:
“I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for the rights of Islam over them. And their final reckoning is with Allah.”
See this article for more details regarding Jihad and Terrorism with respect to America: http://answering-islam.org/Silas/jihad.htm
Jihad is violent warfare to establish Islam’s dominance over a people.
12. Error about Muhammad bringing peace in the Saudi Peninsula
Muhammad was a man who faced an absolutely hopeless situation. There was a whole continent virtually of people killing one another in an endless hopeless vendetta, going down a chute of violence and warfare. Feeling that society was coming to an end and had no hope. He gave them hope single-handedly. In a space of 23 years he brought peace and new hope to Arabia and a new beacon for the world.
Muhammad did not bring peace to the Saudi Peninsula. Muhammad said,
Muhammad said, “I have been ordered to fight against people until they say that “there is no god but Allah”, that “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”, they pray, and pay religious taxes. If they do that, their lives and property are safe.” Sahih Muslim, #0033, and Sahih Bukhari, volume 1, #387.
As already noted above, Muhammad was leading his armies against Christian villages before he died. Also note, some time after he conquered Mecca, Muhammad claimed to have received a “revelation” in the form of Sura 9:1-5, that allowed him to break all treaties at one time or another.
Following Muhammad’s death, each new Muslim leader made war upon others. Abu Bakr fought several battles before he died, Umar’s troops conquered new lands for Islam. Uthman’s troops conquered more land. But, it was during Uthman’s time that the Muslims began to kill each other as well: Uthman was murdered by fellow Muslims. Ali fought two civil wars with other Muslims — including against Muhammad’s favorite wife Aisha.
It is interesting to note that more civilized people began to realize how evil Islam was and so they left it. Below is a quote from Tabari’s History, Volume 17, pages 187, 188:
Among them were many Christians who had accepted Islam, but when dissension had developed in Islam had said, “By God, our religion from which we have departed is better and more correct than that which these people follow. Their religion does not stop them from shedding blood, terrifying the roads, and seizing properties.” And they returned to their former religion. See the article answering-islam.org/Silas/rf5_ali_muawiya.htm for more details.
Do you see the real “peace” Islam brought? The Muslims shed blood, terrified the roads, and stole lands. The biggest lie told in this PBS special is that Muhammad brought peace to the land. He brought brutal violence, not peace.
Question for Yusuf, Wolfe, and Kronemer: In light of the evidence, isn’t it a lie to say that Muhammad brought peace to the land?
According to the Islamic sources there is only one conclusion: Muhammad and his immediate followers intended to conquer the world for his Islam.
13. Error about Islam’s peaceful, non-violent approaches to non-Muslims.
M. CHERIF BASSIOUNI
Jihad is misused. There is absolutely nothing in Islam that justifies, uh, the claim of, Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda or other similar groups to kill innocent civilians. That is unequivocally a crime under Islamic law. Acts of terror violence that have occurred in the name of Islam are not only wrong, they are contrary to Islam.
This is just, I mean, it was just out and out madness what they did. The Prophet himself in the course of the circumstances engaged in battle, in warfare, but he had a certain code of conduct that he followed.
What hurt me probably most of all, out of the World Trade Center attack, was that here is a religion that I entered because of the universality. And the tolerance that is throughout the book and throughout the sayings of Prophet Muhammad. Yet, these people who did that and were behind it and planned it, were just so intolerant and so disregarding of their own tenets, that they could do something so horrific and kill people in such a horrible manner.
Catastrophes have brought us here, but not all is lost. Uh, through our art, we pick up all these broken pieces and try to put them back together again and make something that’s gonna work. Revenge, suicide bombing, things of that kind they have no place in Islam. They must never have a place in Islam, never. Never. Islam is really a soft thing, it’s not a hard thing And so we have to approach it with softness, and be soft to each other. (Arabic) the Prophet said. Make it easy and not difficult. So we should put away all those angry words, the harsh, the strident rhetoric that, that we have been dealing with for all these years that we’ve suffered through this sweet religion with this beastly stuff.
This piece is the golden rule of Islam. It is the basis of the relations between people. It means that there is no harming of other people in Islam, and no returning or retaliating harm for harm. And so that’s why I did it. To respond through the sayings of Muhammad the man.
Islam has no “golden rule”. Islam has a confession of faith, and it’s “five pillars”, but it has no golden rule. Mohamed Zakariya, certainly a gentle man, has not learned about the real Muhammad. Read about Muhammad’s actions below and decide if he was as harmless and forgiving as Mohamed Zakariya portrays him.”
From Guillaume’s ” The Life of Muhammad “, page 369:
“The apostle said, “Kill any Jew that falls into your power.” Thereupon Muhayyisa b. Masud leapt upon Ibn Sunayna, a Jewish merchant with whom they had social and business relations, and killed him. Huwayyisa was not a Muslim at the time though he was the elder brother. When Muhayyisa killed him Huwayyisa began to beat him, saying, ‘You enemy of God, did you kill him when much of the fat on your belly comes from his wealth?’ Muhayyisa answered, ‘Had the one who ordered me to kill him ordered me to kill you I would have cut your head off.'”
From Guillaume, page 673 an incident is detailed as occurring in 4 A.H. It involves another Muslim man named Amr Umayya, who was sent out by Muhammad to murder Muhammad’s enemy Abu Sufyan. However, their assassination attempt failed. As he returned home, he met a one-eyed shepherd. The shepherd and the Muslim man both identified themselves as members of the same Arab clan. Prior to falling asleep, the shepherd said that he would never become a Muslim. Umayya waited for the shepherd to fall asleep, and thereafter:
“as soon as the badu was asleep and snoring I got up and killed him in a more horrible way than any man has been killed. I put the end of my bow in his sound eye, then I bore down on it until I forced it out at the back of his neck.”Umayya returned and spoke with Muhammad. He relates:
… “He [Muhammad] asked my news and when I told him what had happened he blessed me”.
Muhammad blessed this man who murdered a one-eyed shepherd while he slept.
Additionally, Muhammad had a Jewish leader tortured and then killed because he would not tell Muhammad the location of some supposedly buried treasure. Here is the link: http://answering-islam.org/Silas/kinana.htm
Also, there is the story of Muhammad ordering slave girls to be murdered:
From Guillaume, page 550.
“Another [to be killed] was Abdullah Khatal of B. Taym b. Ghalib. He had become a Muslim and the apostle sent him to collect the poor tax in company with one of the Ansar. He had with him a freed slave who served him. (He was Muslim). When they halted he ordered the latter to kill a goat for him and prepare some food, and went to sleep. When he woke up the man had done nothing, so he attacked and killed him and apostatized. He had two singing-girls Fartana and her friend who used to sing satirical songs about the apostle, so he ordered that they should be killed with him.”
The URL for a discussion of this incident above is http://answering-islam.org/Silas/meccan10.htm
QUESTIONS FOR MOHAMED ZAKARIYA
Do Muhammad’s actions of telling his followers, “Kill any Jew you are able to”, blessing the murder of a shepherd who helped a Muslim traveler, and the torture and murder of a man just to get money, and the vengeful order to kill some female slaves, strike you as being “soft”? Are these actions kind? Would you want to emulate them and kill people who criticize Muhammad?
QUESTIONS FOR KEVIN JAMES
Do Muhammad’s actions strike you as being tolerant? Don’t the deeds of the 9/11 Muslim murderers have more in common with Muhammad’s actions and teachings than the “tolerant” Muhammad you try to project?
QUESTIONS FOR M. CHERIF BASSIOUNI
Do you think that Muhammad was justified in ordering the killing of these people? The blind shepherd was murdered only because he said he would not become a Muslim. He did not even criticize Muhammad, yet he was brutally murdered while he slept – do you think this shepherd was guilty of a crime that warranted death? Would you imitate this Muslim?
QUESTIONS FOR THE READER
If Muhammad could have innocent people murdered, if Muhammad could have people tortured, if Muhammad could take life whenever it suited him, then don’t the 9/11 Muslim murderers depict the real Muhammad more closely than the polite rhetoric given by the Muslims in the PBS film? Why didn’t PBS bother to examine Muhammad’s life a little more closely?
Islam teaches that Muslims are to invite others to accept Islam, but, if they reject it, then the Muslims are to forcefully (via Jihad) subject them to Islam’s rule.
14. Errors about the conquest of Mecca and amnesty for the Meccans.
But the peace between the Muslims and the people of Mecca would not last. By the end of the year, the Meccans had broken the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, by attacking a clan allied with Muhammad. In response, 10 days into the holy month of Ramadan, Muhammad and a Muslim army of 10,000 men set out to take Mecca by force.
When he came into Mecca he came in with his head bowed down. He did not come in as, as, as an arrogant conquering warrior. He comes in humbled by a victory that he sees is from God.
He says, if you were in my position right now, what do you think you would do and the Meccans are afraid they’re about to die. And then he says, you are all pardoned. He grants them all amnesty. And this was unheard of in this culture, unheard of in this society. And very unexpected among the Meccans.
The Muslims are not telling you the truth about what occurred during Muhammad’s conquest of Mecca. Again, they are giving you a white-washed version. Let’s review the historical Islamic writings on the event and see if what they portray agrees with what the Muslim commentators in the film stated.
The leader of the Meccans was forced to convert to Islam with a sword pointed at his neck. From “The Life of Muhammad”, page 547, we read Muhammad’s arch enemy, Abu Sufyan was given safe passage by Ibn Abbas to meet with Muhammad. During the meeting, the following conversation occurs: (words in [ ] brackets are mine).
“Woe to you, Abu Sufyan, isn’t it time that you recognize that I [Muhammad] am God’s apostle?” He answered, “As to that I still have some doubt.”
I [Ibn Abbas] said to him, “Submit and testify that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the apostle of God before you lose your head,” so he did so.
Sufyan did not intend to recognize Muhammad until he was threatened with his life. This is a clear case of compulsion of accepting Islam: convert or die.
Secondly, Muhammad ordered the fighting against the Meccans who resisted the surrender.
Third, Muhammad ordered the personal assassination of 10 people. As mentioned above these included three slave girls who had previously made fun of him and hurt his feelings. Another man to be assassinated was Ibn Abi Sarh. Sarh used to be one of Muhammad’s scribes, but later apostatized from Islam because Muhammad allowed him to inject some words in the Quran. From “The Life of Muhammad”, page 550, [words in brackets […] are mine]
The apostle had instructed his commanders when they entered Mecca only to fight those who resisted them except a small number who were to be killed even if they were found beneath the curtains of the Ka’ba. Among them was `Abdullah b. Sa’d, brother of the B. `Amir b. Lu’ayy. The reason he ordered him to be killed was that he had been a Muslim and used to write down revelation; then he apostatized and returned to Quraysh [Mecca] and fled to `Uthman b. `Affan whose foster brother he was. [Uthman was one of Muhammad’s closest friends, and later became the Caliph of Islam]. The latter hid him until he brought him to the apostle after the situation in Mecca was tranquil, and asked that he might be granted immunity. They allege that the apostle remained silent for a long time till finally he said yes, [granting `Abdullah immunity from the execution order]. When `Uthman had left he [Muhammad] said to his companions who were sitting around him, “I kept silent so that one of you might get up and strike off his head!” One of the Ansar [Muhammad’s helpers from Medina] said, then why didn’t you give me a sign, O apostle of God?” He [Muhammad] answered that a prophet does not kill by pointing.
Fourth, the Meccans were obligated to become Muslims. Ibn Sa’d, in the “Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir”, records on page 168:
The Apostle of Allah forced his entry into Makkah. Then the people embraced Islam willingly or unwillingly.
The Meccans had to become Muslims and submit to Muhammad’s rule. This certainly is not what the Muslim commentators told their audience.
Another important point needs to be made about Muhammad’s conquest. It was self-serving on Muhammad’s behalf to not destroy the Meccan people. Having forced their submission, he now had for himself more resources at his disposal. These resources fueled his later attempts at attacking and conquering other Arab tribes.
QUESTIONS FOR HAMZA YUSUF
Is this what you call a “humble” man? Forcing Abu Sufyan to become a Muslim with a sword pointed at him? Is it humble to order the murder of slave girls? Is it humble, or is it vain and arrogant, to remain silent expecting your followers to read your mind and murder a man. Isn’t it hypocritical to fake “forgiveness” for a man, all-the-while expecting one of your men to murder him, and when they are unable to read your mind, to rage against them for not murdering him? Is that what “Islamic Forgiveness” is all about? Isn’t that pure hypocrisy? And, isn’t it pure compulsion to force Islam down people’s throats?
By the way, Muslims misrepresent the Quranic verse “there is no compulsion in religion”, as meaning they are not allowed to force people into Islam. Here are the historical references for that verse:
From The Sunan of Abu Dawud, op cit, Book 14, Number 2676:
Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: When the children of a woman (in pre-Islamic days) did not survive, she took a vow on herself that if her child survives, she would convert it a Jew. When Banu an-Nadir were expelled (from Arabia), there were some children of the Ansar (Helpers) among them. They said: We shall not leave our children. So Allah the Exalted revealed; “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error.”
In “The Quran and Its Interpreters”, , volume 1, pages 252- 256, by Muhammad Ayoub, there are several differing Tafsir presented on this verse. Ayoub presents Wahidi’s tafsir:
Wahidi relates on the authority of Sa’id ibn Jubayr, who related it on the authority of Ibn Abbas, “When the children of a woman of the Ansar all died in infancy, she vowed that if a child were to live, she would bring it up as a Jew. Thus when the Jewish tribe of al-Nadir was evicted from Medina [4/625], there were among them sons of the Ansar. The Ansar said, “O Apostle of God, what will become of our children!” Thus God sent down this verse.” Sa’id ibn Jubayr said, “Therefore whoever wished to join them did so, and whoever wished to enter Islam did so likewise.”
Additionally, on pages 668 and 669 of “The Life of Muhammad,” Abu Bakr instructs a fellow Muslim in Islam. He states: “You asked me for the best advice that I could give you, and I will tell you. God sent Muhammad with this religion and he strove for it until men accepted it voluntary or by force.”
QUESTION FOR MICHAEL WOLFE
Is this what you call amnesty? Forcing people, upon death, to become Muslims?
Muhammad’s “forgiveness” was conditional: accept Islam, pay the extortion tax, or die.
15. Omission about being poisoned by a Jewish woman – and forcing medicine on others.
MUHAMMAD had been feeling ill. He’d had some fever. It was clear that he was in real difficulty in terms of his health. And the household seemed to be convinced that MUHAMMAD was dying.
And while he was on his deathbed, and there were many who surrounded him, especially his close companions and his family, he called for silence around him. And he wanted it to be a time of quiet and of peace and of calm.
What the Muslims are ashamed to tell you is that Muhammad died as a result of being poisoned by a Jewish woman. Below is the URL. The woman put Muhammad to the test of being a real prophet. She knew a real prophet would not consume the poison. Muhammad ingested the poison as well as at least one of his followers named Bishr. This is the URL: http://answering-islam.org/Silas/mo-death.htm
Also, the Muslim propagandists are trying to make Muhammad’s death bed a serene and peaceful affair. The opposite is true. For example, as he was suffering the effects of the poison, some of his followers made him drink medicine. As he regained some clarity, he was angered about being forced to drink medicine. He forced everyone in the room to drink the same medicine, including a pregnant woman who had no part in this. She was guilty because she happened to be in the room at that time.
What the Muslims are not telling you is that up to his death, Muhammad was a petty and hateful man. Compare Jesus and Muhammad. As Jesus died, He asked God to forgive His enemies, but, this is what Muhammad said about non-Muslims:
Bukhari, Vol. 1, #427
“May Allah curse the Christians and the Jews …”
See this URL for a comparison of Jesus and Muhammad: http://answering-islam.org/Silas/founders.htm
QUESTIONS FOR NAJAH BAZZY
Is this the example of a man to emulate? When the Muslims you are nursing die, do they also utter curses upon Christians and Jews?
Muhammad did not die “peacefully”, instead he died with bitter curses upon his lips.
Most of the Muslims who starred in the PBS film are probably very decent people. But either they don’t know about Islam’s dark side, or, they don’t want you to know about it. The very fact that this show was a white-washed account of Muhammad’s life proves that they have something to hide. It proves that Muslims like Hamza Yusuf, Michael Wolfe, and Alex Kronemer, men who would know a bit more about the real Muhammad, hid the truth from a naïve and unsuspecting American audience.
Muhammad is Islam. When you read about the Muslim terrorists in the world today, know then that they are acting as Muhammad did. They are the real Muslims.