David Thompson
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February 23, 2007

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Francis Sedgemore

There's a short response to this piece here:

http://www.skysong.eu/2007/02/propagated-by-the-sword/

Leatherneck

Ms. Armstrong should marry an Arab man, then fly to Saudi. I bet after she was made to put that burka on, or get a good beating, she would change her tune on the religion of peace PDQ.

yardbird

David,

Although I agree wholeheartedly with your views, I have to point out a problem with this:
"Does she not know of the massacre of the Banu Qurayza and the opportunist raids against the Bani Quainuqa, Bani Nadir, Bani Isra’il and other Jewish tribes? "

It seems you've not read "Islam: a Short History," in which Armstrong does deal with the massacre of the Banu Qurayza- and it's even worse than you might think. I don't have the book with me, so can't quote it directly- but her words are something to the effect of: 'yes it was a bad incident, but it was typical of behavior of that era, and the religion couldn't be expected to put up with a direct threat to its existence.'

I would prescribe this book to anyone interested in how the "intelligentsia" comes to an "understanding" of Islam. This is one of the most widely-read books on the subject of Islamic history, and is rife with what one might charitably term "errors."

Cheers,
Y.

DP111

Y posted: 'yes it was a bad incident, but it was typical of behavior of that era, and the religion couldn't be expected to put up with a direct threat to its existence.'

I can think of no religion in the accepted sense of the word, except Islam, that would to put to the sword those who disagreed with it. With Islam that is the normal MO.

Look around the world anywhere where Muslims are in a majority. Non-Muslims have to take care not to advertise that fact, and to conduct their lives in a manner that does not in anyway challenge the dominance of Islam. Despite that undertaking, non-Muslims find themselves persecuted by officialdom and by Jihad by mob violence, just to remind the Infidels of their lowly status in society.

I do not blame Muslims for doing what they sincerely believe in. It is not their fault that they have to abide by the Koran, for they themselves will fall prey to the jaws of Islam if they stray.

henree

very good expose' - need more like 'em cuz lot of skillful liars out there!

DP111

Bill Warner, writes

Look at the question: what is the real jihad, the jihad of inner, spiritual struggle or the jihad of war? Let’s turn to Bukhari (the Hadith) for the answer, as he repeatedly speaks of jihad. In Bukhari 97% of the jihad references are about war and 3% are about the inner struggle. So the statistical answer is that jihad is 97% war and 3% inner struggle. Is jihad war? Yes—97%. Is jihad inner struggle? Yes—3%

http://www.cspipublishing.com/

What Muslims do very conveniently, is to use Jihad 97% of the time, and when criticised that Islam is a violent religion, come back with the 3% that is not violent, and expect the world to swallow it.


Pavlov's dog

David and Y.,

Here is my review of Karen Armstrong's "Muhammad"(1992) for the Amazon website. From this review you can see that she was not only well aware of the Qurayzah massacre, she pretty much thinks they had it comming. Behold:


Goebbels Couldn't Have Said It Better, July 9, 2005

Reviewer:
Nelson Mondragon - See all my reviews


When Muhammad and his followers first moved to Medina in 622 (an event that is referred to as the "Hijra"), this city was also inhabited by three large tribes of Jews; the Nadir, the Qaynuqah, and the Qurayzah. By the time Muhammad consolidated his power over Medina in 627, both the Nadir and the Qaynuqa had been expelled to Khaybar with little more than their lives. The Qurayzah were even less fortunate; Following Muhammad's victory over the Meccans during the Battle of the Trench, all the men were beheaded and all the women and children were sold into slavery. Karen Armstrong's unsympathetic portrayal of the Qurayzah merits special attention; "In the early seventh century, an Arab chief would not be expected to show any mercy to traitors like the Qurayzah" (p 208).

The Qurayzah are charged with "treason" due to their negotiations with the Meccans during the Battle of the Trench. Armstrong does not take into account the dubious circumstances under which the other Jewish tribes had been expelled. She also makes no mention about the assassination of two Arab poets who had merely ridiculed Muhammad's divine mandate (an old man and a young mother of five). In effect, non-Muslims had become de facto second-class citizens in their own land, even though Muhammad's so-called "Constitution of Medina" is said to have guaranteed equal rights to all.

It could be argued from a practical standpoint that Muhammad's total annihilation of the Qurayzah was a matter of self-preservation: Had they been merely expelled, they could have later re-grouped with the Qaynuqah and Nadir (who were to clash with the Muslims the next year in Khaybar). Hence, like cowboys and Indians, the co-existence of Jews and Muslims on the Arab Peninsula had become a zero-sum game. Yet nobody in their right mind refers to the Native Americans who resisted the conquest of their territories as "traitors." Anyone familiar with Karen Armstrong's other books will recognize this vilification of the Qurayzah as part of her trademark double standard against Christians and Jews.

People looking for an effortless crash course in Islamic history will be strongly attracted to Karen Armstrong's "Muhammad" (Maxime Rodinson's "Mohammed" provides a much more objective and meticulously researched biography). Unfortunately, that is precisely what makes this book so dangerous. Nonetheless, even if you know absolutely nothing about Islamic history you have to be extremely jaded not to notice that something is amiss. Take for example this passage describing the events following Muhammad's final victory over Mecca: "Muhammad had no wish to eliminate the Quraysh ...he would treat the prisoners fairly. Immediately after the attack he had two of the prisoners killed because they had mounted a formidable intellectual attack on him before the hijra: we have seen that Muhammad found this kind of critical challenge deeply threatening" (p 179). In other words, if you win a war it's fair game to kill people who once hurt your feelings. Goebbels couldn't have said it better.

guestest

Francis Sedgemore wrote:
>Ms. Armstrong should marry an Arab man, then fly to Saudi. I bet after she was made to put that burka on, or get a good beating, she would change her tune on the religion of peace PDQ.>

That's nothing, I mean the easy part. She might get killed by a Muslim fanatic man for taking part in the public life (such as politics), as she is violating the rules established in the Koran regarding women's role.

Francis Sedgemore

"Francis Sedgemore wrote:
Ms. Armstrong should marry an Arab man, then fly to Saudi. I bet after she was made to put that burka on, or get a good beating, she would change her tune on the religion of peace PDQ."

No I didn't.

Leatherneck

"No I didn't", then talking to a man with that tone will get you 12 lashes in the public square. Are you eye balling me?

ROPMA

Jewel

I would be prepared to read anything written by Karen Armstrong when she writes a book with this title: "Why I am Not a Muslim" by Karen Armstrong. That's all. sweet and simple. Just write that book, Karen, and I'll read it. Ibn Warraq wouldn't mind you borrowing the title from his book, I'm sure.

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