Friday, February 03, 2006

Cartoon Wars--Origins, Beliefs, and Escalation

[All emphases by Always On Watch]

From a February 1, 2006 article in the Washington Post:
"The controversy began when the newspaper asked 12 artists to draw caricatures of Muhammad in response to an author who complained that he could not find an artist willing, under his own name, to illustrate a book about the prophet."
That reticence to reveal one's own name comes as no surprise. Remember Theo van Gogh? He lost his life in his exercise of free expression. His murderer is on trial now in the Netherlands.

The offending cartoons were originally printed in September 2005, then republished three weeks ago in an evangelical Christian newspaper. Do Muslims read evangelical Christian newspapers? And don't religious newspapers in Western countries have a protected right to publish material which the secular population largely disregards? This week, of course, in a show of defiant support for freedom of the press, the cartoons were again published in many of the larger European newspapers, so the cartoons have now received much wider distribution. I haven't seen the cartoons in any American newspapers or on my television screen, however.

According to the above-cited article,
"Islam considers any artistic renditions of Muhammad blasphemous. In many Muslim nations, English-language newspapers are so reverential that any mention of his name is followed by the letters PBUH, for 'peace be upon him.'

"French theologian Sohaib Bencheikh...admonished: 'One must find the borders between freedom of expression and freedom to protect the sacred.' He added, 'Unfortunately, the West has lost its sense of the sacred.'"
Let's look at how Islam views these depictions:
"The spreading Muslim protests against newspapers that reprinted cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad stem from the deepest religious roots.

"Islam forbids visual depictions of the prophet, and regards violations by Muslims as highly sinful and by non-Muslims as the ultimate sort of insult.

"The prohibition is in part an application of the Quran's strict opposition to idolatry, the worship of a physical object as a god, including any hint of such devotion toward the faith's revered human prophet

"In the Quran, shirk (Arabic for 'partnering' or 'associating' anything with God) is the one unforgivable sin: 'God does not forgive the joining of partners with him: anything less than that he forgives to whoever he will, but anyone who joins partners with God is lying and committing a tremendous sin' (4:48).

"The Quran does not specifically address artwork of Muhammad, and through history a few Muslims have painted him. But the ban has been virtually universal in all branches of the faith from its earliest days.

"The rule extends to artwork showing others regarded as prophets by Islam, including Jesus, even though Christians have often visualized their divine savior in paintings, statutes and films.

"Muslims disagree among themselves on whether it's proper to portray the prophet's early followers, known as the Companions. Unlike Sunnis, Shia Muslims allow images of their greatest saint, Ali, Muhammad's son-in-law.

"Some Muslims oppose any art that depicts humans, and Muslims have tended to specialize in nature paintings, decorative arts and calligraphy. Some were wary of photography, too. But Zahik Bukhari, director of Georgetown University's American Muslim Studies Program, says those attitudes are fading.

"A second aspect of the depiction ban is noted by John Esposito, editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. Besides shunning any hint of idolatry, he says, the practice also expresses 'the deep reverence and respect Muslims have for Muhammad' as 'the ideal Muslim.' He notes that when the prophet is named, believers always add 'peace and blessings be upon him' and that he is sometimes called 'the living Quran.'

"Bukhari says the cartoons, first published in Denmark, constitute a triple offense for Muslims: first by depicting Muhammad at all; second by treating him disrespectfully; and third because 'in the present circumstance it is a symbol of the clash of civilizations that they want to insult the prophet and the whole of Islam.'...

"Sayyid M. Syeed, secretary general of the Islamic Society of North America, said it's important that non-Muslims distinguish between freedom of opinion on religious matters and needless offense.

"'Muslims respect free speech rights, Syeed said. But 'in a democratic environment, living in a pluralistic society, people should know they have to respect the sensitivity of Muslims on this issue. It does not muzzle their freedom of speech in rejecting Muhammad as the prophet.'
I see a little problem here. Those who are not Muslims don't view Islam's founder as sacred and don't abide by Islamic restrictions. My interpretation of the above words from Syeed is that freedom of speech applies only if that freedom doesn't offend Muslims. Isn't that "muzzling"? Furthermore, because of the Islamic definition of what is acceptable art, much of what is on display in Western art galleries is patently offensive to some Muslims--not as offensive as caricatures of Muhammad the Prophet, but certainly not in line with strict Islamic guidelines.

Until today, the story of the cartoon wars in the Washington Post was limited to small news items or to somewhat longer pieces buried in the back pages. But on February 3, 2006, the story made the Washington Post's front page, above the fold:

"Protests against European newspapers' publication of cartoons lampooning the prophet Muhammad gained momentum across the Islamic world Thursday as Pakistani schoolchildren burned French and Danish flags and Muslim presidents denounced the drawings. At the same time, more European news organizations printed or broadcast the caricatures, citing a need to defend freedom of expression.

"In another day of confrontation between the largely secular nations of Europe and Muslim countries where religion remains a strong force in daily life, Islamic activists threatened more widespread protests and boycotts of European businesses. While some European officials sought to defuse the crisis, many journalists insisted that despite Islamic outrage, religious sensibilities should not result in censorship.

"Mahmoud A. Hashem, a businessman in Saudi Arabia reflecting broad sentiment in Muslim societies, called the cartoons just another example of a 'sport to insult Islam and Muslims' after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"Under Islamic teachings, any depiction of Muhammad, the faith's founder and messenger of God, is blasphemy, including depictions that are not negative....

"In the West Bank city of Nablus, Palestinian gunmen kidnapped a German citizen from a hotel restaurant and threatened to seize more foreigners. The German was later released, Palestinian security officials said.

"Many Europeans left the Gaza Strip as a precaution Thursday. The E.U. shuttered its office there after warnings that staff members would be kidnapped. About a dozen gunmen briefly surrounded the empty building, firing their weapons. Some European countries warned citizens against travel in the Middle East.

"In the city of Multan in central Pakistan, several hundred students from Islamic schools burned French and Danish flags in protest. Boycotts of Danish grocery products expanded across the Middle East.

"Presidents Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Ahmadinejad of Iran issued statements of condemnation, as did King Abdullah of Jordan. In a speech in Washington, the monarch said that while 'we respect and revere freedom of speech, we condemn needless desecration and injury of Islamic sensibilities, such as the recent cartoons misrepresenting and vilifying my ancestor, the prophet.'

"Newspapers throughout the Muslim world condemned their European counterparts. Bahrain's Gulf Daily News ran a one-word headline on its front page that summarized sentiment in the region: 'Apologize!'

"The Egyptian publisher of France Soir, which printed the controversial caricatures Wednesday, fired the paper's managing editor, Jacques LeFranc, late Wednesday night, saying, 'We present our regrets to the Muslim community and to all people who have been shocked or made indignant by this publication.'

"But the dismissed editor's boss, Faubert, wrote an unrepentant editorial in Thursday's editions: 'We had no desire to add oil to the fire as some may think. A fundamental principle of democracy and secularism is being threatened.'...

"International journalist organizations have condemned the threats of violence against the European journalists who published the cartoons.

"'We defend unpopular speech around the world all the time,' said Joel Simon, deputy director of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. 'We don't make judgments whether we agree or disagree' with the message. 'Sometimes we sort of have to hold our nose, but they've got the right to say that, and we defend their right.'...

"Tensions continue in the Netherlands, where in 2004 Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, whose work carried strong anti-Islamic messages, was assassinated by Mohammed Bouyeri, a Muslim extremist. In a court appearance Thursday in that city, Bouyeri said that 'the fact that you see me as the black standard-bearer of Islam in Europe fills me with honor, pride and joy.'"
"Assassination" is a sanitized word. The murder of Theo van Gogh was brutal and a clear statement that any denigration of Islam would not be tolerated. Bouyeri does not hesitate to emphasize that he felt his murderous act was one of honor. I'm guessing that he feels such an act guarantees him a special place in Paradise.

Returning now to the article, to some statements from "average Muslims,"

"'I think that all Muslims should unite and do something about this [the offending cartoons],' said Hashem, reached on his cell phone as he was leaving prayers at a Jiddah mosque Thursday afternoon. 'Anybody who wants to get some press uses Muslims as a punching bag.'

"At Sawari Superstores, one of the largest supermarket chains in Jiddah, signs were posted in the dairy section saying, 'We do not sell any Danish products.'

"'I am not willing to buy any product from a country that has insulted my prophet, my religion and my dignity as a Muslim,' said Leila Faleh, 42, a hospital administrator shopping at the store. "'I would rather go back to drinking milk from a cow and eating dates.'"
Boycotting products to make a statement about one's politics or personal beliefs is one thing. In fact, CAIR made use of a similar tactic when the organization and its followers and members contacted the various sponsors of WMAL Radio and engineered the firing of Michael Graham. And very recently, several Christian groups protested the television show The Book of Daniel; after only a few episodes, the show was canceled.

But calls for and acts of violence are something else altogether. Serious though threats and actions from offended Muslims may be, the threats of schoolyard bullies comes to my mind: let them intimidate others, and the bullies are emboldened. Appeasement is not the way to go when a bully of any sort comes along.

Today's front-page Washington Post article also includes the following statement from "the man on the street":
"'It is nothing new,' lamented Mohammed Hussein Mudhaffer, a 33-year-old mechanical engineer in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf. 'The publishing of such cartoons showing the prophet Muhammad is part of the savage campaign waged by the West against Islam and Muslims.'"
Cartoons are a "savage campaign"? Since when? But the Muslim reaction to the cartoons may be turning into a savage campaign.

And just who is showing these enraged Muslims these cartoons? Here's a clue:
"Thousands of Iraqis protested after Friday prayers against caricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad reprinted in European papers and the country's top Shiite cleric denounced the drawings....'We strongly denounce and condemn this horrific action,' Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, said of the caricatures in a statement posted on his Web site and dated Jan. 31."
Maybe messages condemning the cartoons are coming to a mosque near you.


At 2/03/2006 12:11 PM, Blogger City Troll said...

What I found very telling about this whole cartoon issue is that the european papers have grown a spine over this issue. They couldn't seem to muster outrage over mass graves or daily calls to kill jews, but threaten the free speech of a cartoonist and they get outraged. I think thats the real story.

At 2/03/2006 1:04 PM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

good grief wev'e been hearing more bout this ahem..cartoon than we did bout the destruction of the World Trade Center!..womethings wrong with this picture eh?

At 2/03/2006 2:06 PM, Blogger Iran Watch said...

"'Muslims respect free speech rights, Syeed said. But 'in a democratic environment, living in a pluralistic society, people should know they have to respect the sensitivity of Muslims on this issue."

But in an Islamic society there is no need to respect Christian or Jewish values...this is the type of double standard that needs to stop. In both Islamic and Democratic societies it's only the Muslim sensitivities that seem to count.

At 2/03/2006 2:53 PM, Blogger John Sobieski said...

Amen, Iran Watch. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Anyone can go to and see how the infidels are berated and condemned to hell. The hypocrisy of Muslims is staggering.

All this over some cartoons. Muslims really are primitive.

At 2/03/2006 3:39 PM, Blogger LASunsett said...

I wouldn't be a bit surprised, if somewhere in a Muslim country, a European embassy comes under attack.

At 2/03/2006 4:40 PM, Blogger Mussolini said...

Islam cannot abide with any kind of free speech.

Islam demands submission to an unknowable Allah who cannot be fathomed or sought after. Allah's will is revealed through his prophet Muhammed (piss be upon him) and therefore all individual thought is not only discouraged but forbidden.

This is why Islam has not produced any inventions since the Abassid Caliphate when they absorbed disaffected Chinese and European thinkers.

Islam and democracy cannot co-exist.

At 2/03/2006 4:44 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

What is more offensive to Muslims, a cartoon of Mohammad or Britney Spears' ass crack on a billboard?

At 2/03/2006 6:15 PM, Blogger G_in_AL said...

Nice to see you AOW, nice article, but not surprising... It's become standard, either rever him, or be punished... bla bla bla.

At 2/03/2006 8:19 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Hey! Long time!

It does all come down to my-way-or-the-highway, doesn't it?

At 2/03/2006 8:23 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Or a cartoon of Mohammad trapped in Britney Spears' ass crack on a billboard?

At 2/03/2006 8:48 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

LOL. I can see that billboard now.

At 2/03/2006 8:53 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Yes, the sudden spine is amazing. I fully expected some backpedaling on the part of the newspaper, not the show of support.

Of course, it's not over yet. We may still see dhimmitude manifest its cowardice. I haven't seen American media take on this matter. Today, I heard a very brief mention on FNC, but without any details. We saw a similar lack of coverage of the Paris riots.

The Muslim reaction must be really extreme if the story went from a brief item to a front-page story in the WaPo. Of course, the WaPo didn't publish any of the offensive images of MTP.

At 2/03/2006 8:56 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Woman Honor Thyself,
I'm waiting to hear Muslims accuse the Jews of conspiring to commit this cartoon atrocity. Some Muslim sites are still saying that 9/11 was an attack perpetrated by the Jews in order to make Islam look bad.

At 2/03/2006 8:57 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Islam cannot abide with any kind of free speech.

Talk about arrogance! If Muslims don't say it, it shouldn't be allowed. Much of shari'a law can be so described.

At 2/03/2006 9:00 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

The idea that we can prevent attacks by denying our values system is a fallacy.

Attack an embassy? I wouldn't be surprised. And over a bunch of cartoons? If the situation were not so awful, it would be humorous that anyone in the 21st Century would react in such a way.

At 2/03/2006 9:01 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Iran Watch,
I'm getting worn out with "Muslim sensitivities." Such sensitivities have absolutely no regard for anyone else. No surprise--Islam does not embody the Golden Rule, or so says Ali Sina, apostate.

At 2/03/2006 9:05 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

John Sobieski,
I've seen some of the material at MEMRI, including some of the videos. I'm sure that you have seen some of the material there, and some of it is very graphic, well beyond any offensiveness which the MTP cartoons might give.

Muslims really are primitive. Their reaction to the cartoons illustrates that. Instead of a reasoned protest, they start moving to do violence--over a bunch of cartoons. And, IMO, the reaction is cultism.

At 2/04/2006 3:03 PM, Blogger Iran Watch said...

I could think of worse places to be stuck Mr.Beam.

At 2/04/2006 3:44 PM, Blogger Mark said...


The embassies are already burning! The Norwegian and Danish Embassies in Syria!

And this is what Bush calls the religion of peace, understanding, and tolerance!

Why doesn't he give us all a break?

At 2/04/2006 5:21 PM, Blogger Elmer's Brother said...

city troll made a good point.

"'It is nothing new,' lamented Mohammed Hussein Mudhaffer, a 33-year-old mechanical engineer in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf. 'The publishing of such cartoons showing the prophet Muhammad is part of the savage campaign waged by the West against Islam and Muslims.'"

Neither is their reaction.

At 2/04/2006 6:47 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Posting new articles in Blogger is giving me some problems, so I'm posting my latest here...

From "Irate Muslims Stage New Protests" :

In London,...after Friday prayers..., some chanted, 'Jihad! Jihad!' and held up placards that read, 'Learn the lesson from 9/11'....

At 2/04/2006 8:25 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...


The Battle of Badr was Muhammad's first direct military confrontation with the people of Mecca. It also initiated a new perspective on both sides which resulted in each treating the other no longer as a troublesome adversary but as a sworn enemy. It was not long before Muhammad himself had to deal with this situation as some of his opponents within Medina, whom he had hitherto treated as irritating antagonists, became serious foes whose influence had to be checked.

The first of these was one Ka`b ibn Ashraf, a Jew who was resident in Medina and who had long been a nuisance to the Prophet in composing satirical verses against him. After the Battle of Badr he became a real threat as he visited Mecca and stirred up the Quraysh to mount a reprisal raid against the Muslims in the hope of neutralising their gains and nullifying the increased prestige Muhammad had obtained in his new city. He composed poems lamenting the leaders of the Quraysh who had been slain at Badr and, when Muhammad learnt of his plans, he made it clear to his followers that he wanted him out of the way. What followed is narrated in many of the early traditions.

Narrated Jabir: The Prophet said, "Who is ready to kill Ka'b ibn Ashraf?". Muhammad bin Maslama replied, "Do you like me to kill him?" The Prophet replied in the affirmative. Muhammad bin Maslama said, "Then allow me to say what I like". The Prophet replied, "I do". (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol.4, p. 168).
It is clear from this narrative that Muhammad not only sanctioned the murder of his opponent but also permitted his followers to use whatever deception they considered necessary to achieve their purpose. In another tradition Muhammad ibn Maslama's statement "allow me to say what I like" is interpreted to mean that he should be allowed to say a "false" thing to deceive Ka'b (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol.5, p.248). This was the first occasion that Muhammad, now in a state of actual warfare with those who withstood him, had to prescribe a policy in dealing with them and his licence to his companions to not only assassinate but also to deceive them became a precedent in his future attitudes towards his foes. An early biographer is quite emphatic in his record of this commission:

The apostle said, "All that is incumbent upon you is that you should try". He answered, "O apostle of God, we shall have to tell lies". He answered "Say what you like, for you are free in the matter". (Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasulullah, p.367).
It cannot be denied that this was a direct order to one of his followers to murder one of his opponents and to use any manner of lies to achieve his purpose. It is hardly surprising to find that bis companion of the same name duly took advantage of his commission to despatch the offending Jew and kill him under the cover of darkness:

Muhammad b. Maslama came to Ka`b and talked to him, referred to the old friendship between them and said: This man (i.e. the Holy Prophet) has made up his mind to collect charity (from us) and this has put us to a great hardship. When he heard this, Ka`b said, By God, you will be put to more trouble by him. Muhammad b. Maslama said: No doubt, now we have become his followers and we do not like to forsake him until we see what turn his affairs will take. (Sahih Muslim, Vol.3, p.991).
Muhammad's companion had only persuaded Ka`b to leave the security of his home by deceiving him into thinking that his group was disillusioned by Muhammad's intention to financially burden the Muslims. As Ibn Maslama was of the Aus tribe who were resident in Medina, he succeeded in convincing him that he meant him no harm. His own foster brother Abu Na`ilah who was also one of the group was even more persuasive in using dishonest tactics to lure him unsuspectingly into the darkness:

He said: I am Abu Na`ilah, and I have come to inform you that the advent of this man (the Prophet) is a calamity for us. The Arabs are fighting with us and they are shooting with one bow (i.e. they are united against us). We want to keep away from him (the Prophet). (Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Vol.2, p.36).
The same biographer records that these men had claimed that they had come to visit him purely to purchase dates and food. When Ka`b was lured into talking freely with them and was "pleased with them and became intimate with them" (op.cit., p.37), they came closer to him on the pretext that they wished to smell his perfume. Drawing near to him, they suddenly drew their swords and thrust him through and, having killed him, they immediately returned to Muhammad uttering the takbir ("Allahu Akbar" - Allah is Most Great). Muhammad's reception of them is recorded in this narrative:

When they reached the Apostle of Allah, Allah bless him; he said (Your) faces be lucky. They said: Yours too, O Apostle of Allah! They cast his head before him. He (the Prophet) praised Allah on his being slain. When it was morning, he said: Kill every Jew whom you come across. The Jews were frightened, so none of them came out, nor did they speak. They were afraid that they would be suddenly attacked as Ibn Ashraf was attacked in the night. (Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Vol.2, p.37).
This whole affair has an atmosphere of conspiracy and intrigue, of deception and treachery, of murder and assassination. Muslim writers, in trying to clear Muhammad of blame in the whole sordid affair, have used a number of arguments in his defence. At times Muhammad's own part in it has been totally ignored and it has been suggested that it was solely the reaction of some of his companions to Ka`b's false accusations against the Muslim women of Medina that led to the offence while others have argued that Ka`b was legally "executed" by the Prophet for treason against him. Legal terminology has been used to justify his action by saying that a just sentence had been performed upon a traitor who, of necessity, was summarily despatched in a swift and secret execution. The clandestine murder of the poet under cover of darkness is rationalised as an attempt to execute him silently and without any fuss rather than in a public execution which might attract unwanted attention. It has also been argued that Muhammad had already decreed that deception was an art in warfare and, as Ka`b had declared war on the Muslims by stirring up opposition to them, the lies of his murderers were vindicated as a legitimate strategy in disposing of him.

It is hard to view the incident as anything other than a coldblooded murder to further the aims of a man who, at this stage, was anything but the undisputed ruler of Medina. The lies which accompanied it, sanctioned as they were by the Prophet, merely aggravate his culpability and the defences raised by Muslim writers seem to be nothing more than expedient attempts to acquit him from what otherwise appear to be severe blemishes on his character. The band of assassins creeping through the darkness to unleash their swords against an unsuspecting foe hardly fit the role of executioners legally commissioned to despatch a criminal properly condemned after a proper trial in the spirit of true justice.

Yet another defence of Muhammad's action has been raised, namely that a traitor is no more than an outlaw who can be killed by anyone without any special authority. When one considers that Ka`b never swore allegiance to Muhammad's cause at any time it is hard to see how he could be accused of being a traitor. Nonetheless the licence to all and sundry to lynch anyone suspected of being a renegade does tend to give a more realistic picture of what really happened that night than the legal euphemisms of others who would acquit the Prophet of Islam of being an accomplice in murder and falsehood.


The story of Ka`b ibn Ashraf does not stand alone. Numerous other Arabs who ventured to withstand Muhammad were cunningly murdered once he had an opportunity to despatch them. Another Jew named Abu Rafi, who was one of the chiefs of a Jewish tribe, the Banu Nadhir, was also killed in much the same way. After being exiled from Medina he moved to Khaibar north of the city and what happened to him is once again set out in bland language in the early records of Islam. This account is one of many in the Hadith literature outlining the event:

Narrated Al-Bara: Allah's Apostle sent Abdullah bin Atik and Abdullah bin Utba with a group of men to Abu Rafi (to kill him) ... (Abdullah said) "I called, 'O Abu Rafi!' He replied 'Who is it?' I proceeded towards the voice and hit him. He cried loudly but my blow was futile. Then I came to him, pretending to help him, saying with a different tone of voice, 'What is wrong with you, O Abu Rafi?' He said 'Are you not surprised? Woe on your mother! A man has come to me and hit me with a sword!' So again I aimed at him and hit him, but the blow proved futile again, and on that Abu Rafi cried loudly and his wife got up. I came again and changed my voice as if I was a helper, and found Abu Rafi lying straight on his back, so I drove the sword into his belly and bent on it till I heard the sound of a bone break." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol.5, pp. 253,254).
The story has much the same character as the assassination of Ka`b ibn Ashraf. Once again the coldblooded murder of Muhammad's enemy was accomplished with pretence and deceit. Another record of the incident adds that, when Abu Rafi's wife enquired who they were, they replied that they were simply a group of "Arabs in search of supplies" (Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasulullah, p.483).

It is significant to find that most of the individuals despatched at Muhammad's instance were those who had composed satirical legends against him or had invented poetic passages to rival the text of the Qur'an. It seems that the Prophet of Islam could not tolerate a challenge to his claim to be a divinely inspired messenger. Mention has already been made of An-Nadr ibn al-Harith who was put to death after the Battle of Badr for having formerly ridiculed the Qur'an and reciting Persian legends in their stead which he claimed were more beautiful that Muhammad's oracles. Although the Qur'an boldly invites anyone who challenges its authenticity to produce similar passages to rival it (Surah 11.13), Muhammad appears to have been severely troubled when some of his opponents set out to do just that.

Al-Harith ibn Suwayd ibn Samit was another opponent murdered at Muhammad's instigation. This set off something of a chain reaction. One Abu Afak, annoyed at the incident, composed a satire defending the ancestors of those who were disaffected at the Prophet which prompted him to respond "Who will deal with this rascal for me?" at which another of his companions, Salim ibn `Umayr, went forth and slaughtered him. (Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasulullah, p.675). In reply to this `Asma bint Marwan, another resident of Medina disenchanted with Islam, composed a satire charging her fellow townsmen of the Aus and Khazraj "You obey a stranger who is none of yours ... Is there no man of pride who would attack him by surprise and cut off the hopes of those who expect aught from him?" When Muhammad heard this he said "Who will rid me of Marwan's daughter?" at which `Umayr ibn `Adiy al-Khatmi immediately crept into her house and murdered her. On his return he confirmed that he had killed her at which Muhammad was greatly pleased and said to him "You have greatly helped God and his Apostle, O `Umayr!" (op. cit., p.676).

After the conquest of Khaibar a local traitor cowardly told Muhammad that he knew where his master Kinana had a large sum of money concealed. The search yielded only a little at which the Prophet weakly allowed az-Zubayr to torture him to disclose the place where the rest was hidden. Two pieces of very hot wood were applied to Kinana's chest so forcefully that he fainted from the ordeal. The pressure did not result in the disclosure of the rest of the money, however, and when the Prophet saw that nothing was being gained he had him decapitated.


Little argument is needed to persuade an objective reader that the Prophet of Islam thought little of murdering his opponents in clandestine circumstances and using deceitful means to achieve his aims. Muslims have done all they can to vindicate him but, from a Christian perspective, he cannot escape the most severe censure. During his own lifetime Jesus addressed this sort of behaviour quite unambiguously when, considering the devil, he said:

"He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies". John 8.44
The records of most of these incidents state that the murders of such opponents of the Prophet usually took place at night. On each occasion the assassins did everything they could to keep their identity hidden and their actions concealed. The Christian Bible states its own impressions as to why such deeds are performed under cover of darkness:

Men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. John 3.19-20
It is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret. Ephesians 5.12

Muslim writers often argue that such actions were typical of those practiced by most military leaders in wartime as understood by the nations of the world. This leads, however, to a key question. Is the Prophet of Islam to be judged (and acquitted) purely by the standards of his own time or, having boldly claimed to be the greatest of all divinely commissioned men throughout all human history, is he to be assessed by the absolute standards set forth by the human figure of Jesus Christ who preceded him? It does appear that Muhammad's designs on his enemies can only be justified by relative standards and that he cannot escape the censure of Christian morality.

When Muhammad discovered that neither the Jews nor the Christians were going to respond to his claims he became very angry with them and the Qur'an declares Qaatalahumullaah meaning "Allah curse them!" (Surah 9.30). Jesus was also confronted often with people who would not receive him yet, when his disciples wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume a group of Samaritans who had refused to receive him, he replied:

"You do not know what manner of spirit you are of, for the Son of man came not to destroy men's lives but to save them". Luke 9.55
Jesus taught that love for one's fellow-man was to be so impartial that it was to extend even to one's foes: "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you" (Luke 6.27-28). Indeed when Jesus chose to show just what true love is in a parable just after this, he chose a Samaritan as the hero of the story (Luke 10.33). Most importantly Jesus himself put his own teaching into practice and, when he was finally unjustly crucified by his staunchest foes, instead of seeking to condemn them, he prayed "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23.34).

For all his greatness Muhammad's character is very seriously compromised by the stories in the earliest works of Islamic tradition which disclose, in simple narrative form, how he deviously sanctioned the slaughter of his enemies, especially those who did him no other harm than to irk him with their poetic satires. Many of the prophets of Old Testament times can be shown to have acted just as callously at times but this does not exonerate Muhammad. Between those prophets and his era stands a new dawn in human history when the man Jesus Christ projected a perfect human character and fulfilled God's revealed purposes for mankind once and for all. Muhammad shows himself to be as much in need of the redeeming work of God's Saviour as any other person in history - he cannot really be compared with him as God's final representative on earth.


At 2/05/2006 8:05 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

In the months after 9/11, two books opened my eyes: Anis Shorrosh's Islam Revealed and Serge Trifkovic's The Sword of the Prophet. Now available is Mark Alexander's A New Dark Age is Dawning: Essays on Islam. Both Mr. Alexander's book and web site are a good place to start for those who are just getting started on their own research--or to help reinforce what is becoming more and more apparent. Jason's site also has important articles and essays; "Is Islam Evil?" was one of his first articles I read on the web. It's an important piece.

I've learned my lesson from 9/11, all right. And I won't keep quiet about it. The way for us to combat the enemy is to educate others. If we don't, the msm will see to it that Islamification gains more and more ground. The Truth Project is an information site, and Infidel Bloggers Alliance has current information from bloggers from all over the world. And Pedestrian Infidel has information from an apostate who recently started blogging. There are numerous other sites as well.

At 2/05/2006 5:23 PM, Anonymous gravelrash said...

Very good coverage AOW. Amongst many good points, one strikes me as telling, (paraphrased)
"in the west there are many who do not view the Koran as sacred."
And the tantrums of it's adherents, along with the culpability of several suspect Danish Imams and their SMS activities, is hardly likely to change our opinion!
Sacred? My arse!
Polemic, yes, but sacred? Pardon my scepticism, Abdul.
Nothing of a meaningful nature, nothing of beauty,nothing of value, nothing of humanity is sacred inside Islamic countries, but this rabid
diatribe gains their devotion. Speaks volumes about them.
Britney Spears crack would irritate me more! LOL

At 2/05/2006 7:31 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

"I'm waiting to hear Muslims accuse the Jews of conspiring to commit this cartoon atrocity. "

It's already happened or at least the do have counter-cartoon.
Vistt Carity & Resolve and have a look:

At 2/05/2006 9:51 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I checked that link--the cartoon of Anne Frank in bed with Adolf Hitler.

At 2/06/2006 1:50 PM, Blogger American Crusader said...

Have you ever had the opportunity to look at some of the cartoons/caricatures portraying Jews by Muslims? Jews are seen as being monkeys, pigs and rats. But when cartoons showing Islam as being violent are printed, embassies are burned, flags burnt, an Italian Catholic priest is shot and killed..this list could go on forever. Bush needs to stop calling Islam a peaceful religion that's been hijacked, when ever he says that, he is lying and he knows it.

At 2/07/2006 7:22 PM, Blogger Mussolini said...

Yep, American Crusader. What was that dumb 70s song?

"Moneymoneymoney-mun-nay, MUN NAY!!

Would any of us be able to resist obscene amounts of cash and bribery?

Dumb question; I would. But then, I'm a fascist.

At 2/08/2006 5:33 PM, Anonymous Pakistani Muslim said...

So here we go again with another good insult to the Muslims and weird remarks
by the most savage peoples who calls their self civilized, well the word civilized
mean to use cloths but i always wonder about European as they have too much freedom
where a nude mother and nude family lives together by saying its natural, even they have
a very great nude communities, amazing, does this call civilized? Even beaches where cloths are not allowed seems its also allowed inside their religion.

West the most peaceful place where the most homosexual generation is growing because
They have freedom of doing what they want, maybe its allowed inside their religion
I guess anyway, amazing UK has announced now lesbian and gays can marry, what a civilized country, , so it seems Gay generation inside Europe are more then the real genuine males and females.

But if you read your own holly books maybe you will remember the old nation of LOT, go open your holly bible and see (Genesis 19) , (It do forbid) and also read chapter from Quran (From Islam point of view)
both religion forbid homosexuality so no lesbians and gays. But west never follows their root of religion, maybe this is also the key factor of a civilized world.

According to west, they are the most superior and well manner, respectful in entire world, where they created the concept of OLD houses, to throw their parents who raised them, maybe this is also inside their holly books, that taking care of your own parents is not your responsibility, if this is not mention in holly books then it must be another key point of a western civilization.

West, the place where you can buy wine and all kinds of alcoholics or drugs because they have freedom to drink what they want, while according to BBC and CNN the most crimes occurs because of non serious acts during the condition of alcoholic e.g. like Rape, accidents, adultery , murder etc.
Once an orthodox Christian lady told me that alcoholic wine are not allowed inside our
religion but we just do it because we enjoy it a lot in parties... amazing , is this is
what they call their FAITH, I wonder....even Jesus would feel sorry for them.

West, the place of illegal Childs, where mother and father lives their life like a boyfriend and girlfriend, raising children, to whom we call “Bastards” while in respectful word "Illegal child". Amazing how many of you western guys and girls are illegal, and how many children have more then one father. There is big ratio of cheating inside marriage life of westerns. Maybe this is also allowed in western religion, I don’t think so that any faith would appreciate this environment, then it means West still don’t follow their own religion roots seems like religion is a joke for west. (check American report as well)..

West the place where they respect women more then any place, and really they gave full freedom to women by making clubs for them so they can show nude dances and force them to act as porn movie stars, so she can show off her whole body and can show all kinds of porno acts to entertain the entire world...So civilized.(I wonder where her parents, son or brother?) maybe they all like to see her in this way ...(Does it written in any holly book?) hmm I guess this is also the part of civilization, where number of porn sites made by west are countless, this is what they call equal freedom values for women..

West the place where they gave freedom to every single religion, because they don’t have
any respect for any religion even their owns. As they made their Jesus inside funny joke
cartoon books, for example look at a sample site where they are using respectful
GOD who created them in term of joke and humor .
I think to become a civilized person we must have to make fun of our own religion like making funny cartoon as they made I think Christian community do enjoy these cartoons so much...

West the place where they respect every religion, we saw how much respect they have for Islam by insulting Muslims with drawings. Go through the history how much west made different kinds of propaganda against Muslims, at every place Muslims are terrorist, Muslims are bad , Muslim are un civilized, All Muslims want to start wars, Yeah right, see things in black and white then you will change your own remarks, but internally west never want to see and accept Islam as the best religion in the whole world.

By visiting false and poisons sites like and anyone can extract lies easily which are developed to put poison inside the world against Muslims.
If any one wants to see what is truth then he must read the proper translation of QURAN, because thousands of things you peoples don’t understand, don’t you think only inside the whole world MUSLIMS are the one who never compromises their religion and never append or add new things to religion, as how Jews and Christians did in past.
For Muslims, one small joke on religion is a big insult, for Muslims, praising the God at every moment of life is an important part, for Muslims practicing their religion is more important than any work.

Ask your self why Muslims are like this, just because Muslims have a biggest true FAITH in their heart , while on other hand west don’t have pure faith for their own religion, all faiths from West so much weak and impure because the changes they made from centuries to centuries. This is the reason that Islam don’t accept cartoons and jokes on Islamic values because we have pure respect and faith in our religion. Being civilized and treating other religion in this way makes west more famous, might be a key factor for best civilization.

Now lets talk about Western policies, well they are wealthy off course they are
they have really good men power, yes they have but, wonder how they get all these things on a first place?
Answer is they don’t need to do anything accept just kick out other cultures and capture other people’s places in the name of fight against terror, fight against devil or fight against Satan, now days Muslims are terrorist who used to be freedom fighter for west when they were fighting to Russia and now extremist. ,

After they politically destroyed Russia, they raised the issue on Islam and started calling terrorist country to the most poor tiny country Afghanistan where they hadn’t got a single jet to fly.
American soldiers with bravely threw bombs on Afghan’s old weak houses which were build from sands. And in name of terror they killed many innocent lives of Afghani peoples including children, women and civilians, ,
Amazing brave soldiers they have, killing peoples from the sky makes them more famous and brave, if we look back to the cellar of Iraq where UK and USA soldiers made a great history by raping women and insulting Muslims from every point, this would be also the part of civilized world of west. ,

After USA had capture the Saddam Hussein, they didn’t leave the country because of OIL they want, and to make their population at every country where they will feel voice against them.
History is a witness that Australia, America, Canada, south areas of Africa , they were never a part of the western society but how they capture it and threw their peoples and made them to call that land their own country. About real native peoples, they live among non native rules.

Al Qaeda and other groups are the reason of injustice from Western society, where they one by one insulting Islamic values, and now calling every Muslim as a terrorist, so Westerns are actually fighting against terror and killing innocent women and children in the name of freedom from terror and dictation.
If this fight is against terror then why they don’t bomb the Korea , which has power and gave many dangerous threats to West, maybe inside civilization its is obsolete that don’t fight to an equal powerful country otherwise they will kill you, but fight and capture poor 3rd world countries because they cant do resistance, funny isn’t it.

For West, they will do as much insult as they can to a Muslims, by making false Quran, by making false story about our prophet (PBUH) and Islam, by making
jokes on Islam and by killing our generations, but they never understand one thing that the blood of Muslims never give up and this is what whole history tells about Muslims, that they used to be fighters they are fighters and they will fight until west don’t stop making war against Islam and stop making back support to Israel .

About Christianity
Why a God needs to sacrifice himself for his own creatures, Don’t they think this concept doesn’t suits on the word of "GOD". How come a God died inside his own created world, and why would a God need to be born from a human creature while human can never be at the level of GOD. Why needs a son , does it mean God can produce his children, these concepts never suits on a word GOD.

About Hindus:
Why they worship to the animals, can animals be their forefather to create human?
Why monkeys, rats, elephants, bats, snakes need to be worship by human, why thousands of Gods and GODDESS exist?

About Jews:
Why they never accepted Jesus, and why they killed him? Why Jews male can marry to his sister's daughter (A very strange relation)? Why they don’t have their last real holy book and why they have many writers who have describe everything in different words while they cant never tell why they will have a king with one eye.

Why these all religions have many God and his children, while the creator of all of you is only one to whom Jews called Yahweh, to whom Hindu call Eshwer (The higher God in their hierarchies), to whom Christian call Father of Jesus. to whom we call One and only One GOD, and in Arabic word of "GOD" we call "ALLAH".

If Islam is so much bad religion and has so many strange and unjustified things then why
CNN report this that Islam is the most fastest growing religion in the west.

If above mentioned things are the key factors to become a civilized person then I think all should be shameful to be like disgusting West, being un civilized creature is more better then civilized like west, at least this way will not make any ones head down by eyes in shameful reaction.
West the beautiful place with central of a devil eye,

I am proud to be a Muslim and this is a one big slap to the west.
West should read below links maybe better for their future.

At 2/09/2006 12:19 AM, Blogger Mussolini said...

Isn't it funny that muslims constantly harp on us about reading the Quran when they've never read it themselves?

Hey, muslim, recognize this?

"Cast the bondwoman out!"

Now go seethe.


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