Muhammad and the Jews
by Samuel Fistel
Freeman Center Broadcast


   When did the last free Jews live? A common answer is during the three years Bar Kochba took back control of Israel from the Romans (132-135 CE). And when the Romans won, then no free Jews existed again until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
    But there was one remaining group of free Jews who lasted for 500 years more after Bar Kochba and who made a crucial contribution to world history. They were the Jews of Arabia, who taught Judaism to Muhammad so that he could use their teachings to invent Islam. In gratitude, as soon as he became strong enough, he killed all the men and made the women and children his sex slaves. Muslims today continue to study this story intently as part of the biography of Muhammad. They do not consider it as "something in the past". Rather, they consider it to be living history. (In Muslim thought, Muhammad was the most perfect human being who ever lived or ever will live. He was sinless, and every one of his actions was in perfect tune with Allah's will, so that his actions serve as a model for all time for how Muslims should behave.) It is taught in every mosque and every school in the Muslim world (and a! lso in Israel, Europe, and America). So when a Muslim today says that the Jews now are the same as they were in Muhammad's day, and it is our Islamic duty to do to them just as Muhammad did, then to them this is not "incitement". Rather, it is a simple straightforward _expression of Muslim belief.
    It is as irrational to try to negotiate with a Muslim as it was to try to negotiate with a Nazi, and for the same reason. 
    Back to the story: When the Romans defeated Bar Kochba, they decided to put an end to Israel and Jerusalem. They renamed Israel Palestine and Jerusalem Aeolia Capitolina, and built a pagan shrine with an idol on the site of our Holy Temple (may we rebuild it soon).
There was only one direction open for Jews who wanted to remain as free Jews, and that was southwest into the deserts of Arabia. Accordingly, all the towns in the northwest corner of Arabia south of Jordan became and remained Jewish centers for several hundred years before Muhammad.
    When Muhammad fled north to Medina from Mecca, Medina was a large prosperous city on the southern edge of the Jewish area, and was shared by Arabs and Jews in an uneasy peace, since neither group was strong enough to conquer the other.
    Muhammad first made an alliance with the Jews, and prayed in the direction of Jerusalem and fasted on Yom Kippur (Ashurah, the "tenth").
But even as he was gaining Arab converts, he realized that the Jews would never accept him as their new prophet. He then made his decisive break with Judaism, and invented Islam as a primitive, savage, Arabized version of Judaism.
    With each stage, as Muhammad gained more Arab converts and became stronger and stronger, he took ever more drastic measures against the Arabian Jews.
    His first act was a "targeted assassination". There was Jewish poet who had offended him by making fun of him with his poetry. Muhammad had his men trick him into going with them, and they then hacked him to death. Thus, Muslims believe it is Allah's will to trick your enemy by any means and slaughter him. Likewise, targeted assassination is perfectly fine, as long as it is a Muslim killing a Jew, and not the other way around.
    When Muhammad's first battle against his tribesmen in Mecca was fought to a draw, he returned to Medina to recover his strength. He realized the Jews living with him inside Medina were a potential fifth column. At that time, he couldn't kill them outright, so he ethnically cleansed then from the city. He robbed them and took their weapons away, but at least at that time he allowed them to live. Accordingly, Muslims believe it is Allah's will to ethnically cleanse non-Muslims if they give you any trouble. Making Medina Jew-free was the start of making all of Arabia Jew free.
    His next battle against the Meccans went very badly. So Muhammad turned on the remaining Jews of Medina, who  were date farmers living in a village outside the city. To show then he meant business, he uprooted their date trees so they had no means of making a living (the Torah forbids this, so Muhammad had to receive a special dispensation from Allah). He then ethnically cleansed them, robbed them, and took all their land for himself and his followers.
    The last remaining Jewish tribe in the vicinity of Medina was the strongest of all (Banu Qurayzah), and lived in a fortress town. As a last act of desperation, they made an alliance with the Meccans hoping to be able to destroy Muhammad once and for all. When the Meccans lost and retreated from Medina, Muhammad proceeded to besiege the Jewish fortress. When the Jews finally surrendered, Muhammad cut off the heads of the 800 men (except for 4 who converted to Islam to save their own lives), and made the women and children the sex slaves of the Muslims. He took a particularly pretty Jewess for himself. He offered to marry her if she converted. When she refused, he just kept her as a sex slave (Remember, Muslims consider Muhammad the most perfect human who ever lived, and every single one of his actions was in complete accord with the will of Allah. The Muslims say Muhammad treated the Jews the same way the Tor! ah instructed the Jews in Israel 2,000 years previously to treat pagan idolaters. Needless to say, Muhammad never massacred fellow Arabs like this.)
    The Meccans (to the south of Medina) now made a treaty with Muhammad to buy themselves some time. Muhammad used the time to consolidate and expand his power. He turned on the last free Jews, the ones living north of him between Medina and Israel. He besieged their fortresses one by one, and conquered them all. He confiscated all their wealth for himself as his personal property, but let them remain on the land as his plantation slaves. A pretty 17 year old Jewess was the daughter of one of the Jewish chieftains whom he had killed along with her husband. She then converted to Islam and became his next wife (he had somewhere between 9 and 24 wives).
    With his new power, Muhammad then broke his treaty with the Meccans and took over Mecca and all of Arabia. (Muhammad broke almost every treaty he ever made with non-Muslims.) A few years later, on his deathbed, he ordered his successor to expel the Jews and all non-Muslims form Arabia forever. (Upon his death, Muhammad's favorite daughter claimed that she should get to inherit the Jewish lands, but Muhammad's successor took them for himself. This became the first Shiite-Sunni feud)
    At that time, Arabia was the only existing Arab country. Now, as most of the Middle East claims to be Arabs, many Arabs feel that Muhammad's ban on non-Muslims living in Arabia should be extended to all Arab countries.
    And in fact, they have already achieved that with respect to the Jews. Since the time when Israel was founded, the Arabs systematically ethnically cleansed the one million Jews who had been living in Muslim lands for two thousand years, stole their possessions, and destroyed any trace of their existence.
    And now they pray to Allah to do the same to Israel.
    Will Jews ever learn how to say that enough is enough?

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