Our local newspaper has, in times past, published letters noting the peaceful nature of the Qur’an, the Prophet and his traditions. Even though such items can be truthfully cited, there seem to be other, supposedly authentic, records that reveal conflicting views. I cannot speak, read or write the Arabic language. Therefore, I am respectfully and seriously in need of validation of the sources upon which to base my understanding. If my views of a contradictory nature are the result of invalid sources, those opinions should be open to correction.
First of all, violent aggression practiced by Muslims of the post Mohammed era is historically documented. Upon the death of the Prophet, violence erupted over leadership of the movement. This conflict continues today (Sunnis/Shiites). The practice of military conquest also brought about the submission of all of North Africa and achieved success in the invasion of Spain and part of France. Those conquerors claimed to be acting in the name of Allah and under the auspices of the Prophet of Islam. All of that was accomplished some three hundred years before the first Christian Crusade was initiated.
As for the true expression of the teachings and traditions of the Prophet, again, my sources that appear to be in conflict with the peaceful nature of the Prophet may be invalid. Those reports are supposedly based on the recordings of Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Sa’d, selections from the Qur’an and collections of traditions found in the Bukhari.
Brevity will allow only a couple of examples of violence committed during the time of Muhammad.
- The Prophet directed a siege of revenge against the Banu Qurayzah, a Jewish tribe. Following their surrender, he allowed and participated in the slaughter of all males above the age of puberty.
- Demeaning poems were published, and the Prophet called for the assassination of the poets. The requests were honored.
If these records of the actions of the Prophet and the historical records of post Muhammad Islamic invasions are valid… how can we believe that Islamic immigration is no cause for concern?
I must deflect one retort which has already been presented to me.
To wit: “Look at the atrocious violence committed by Christians, look at the Inquisitions.”
To which I responded: “You have a point that men have done such things in the past, but I declare that such men do not portray the founder of their faith. Jesus would not allow his disciples to commit violence to protect him from certain death. The only records I can find indicate that Muhammad called for the death of people who hurt his feelings.”
If there is someone who will publicly and accurately convince me that my previously noted records of Islam are false, my opinions are subject to change.