The ongoing violence in Lebanon and northern Israel, engendered by Hezbollah’s toxic amalgam of jihad and Jew hatred, reached Seattle, Washington this past Friday July, 28, 2006, just after 4 PM, local time. Naveed Afzal Haq, a Pakistani Muslim, hiding in the foyer of the entrance to the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, seized a 13-year old girl hostage. With a gun pointed to the young girl’s head, Haq forced his way through the buildings security door, and then opened fire with two semi-automatic pistols, killing a 58 year old woman, and wounding five other women, three of whom were wounded seriously. Haq reportedly exclaimed: “I am a Muslim American, angry at Israel” ...These are Jews and I'm tired of getting pushed around and our people getting pushed around by the situation in the Middle East.”
Earlier the same day, a triumphal pronouncement from Hezbollah accompanied the launching of so-called “Khaybar-1” rockets, five of which reached Afula, south of Haifa, and 30 miles from the Israeli-Lebanese border. A Hezbollah statement proclaimed, “With this, the Islamic Resistance begins a new stage of fighting, challenge and confrontation with a strong determination and full belief in God's victory”. Throughout the preceding week, Al-Manar television and Al-Nur radio—Hezbollah-controlled media outlets which disseminate its propaganda—blared out in sonorous tones, “Nastarjiu Khaybar”—“We will return to Khaybar”.
These disparate events, occurring thousands of miles apart—the attack upon Jews in Seattle, and the firing of “Khaybar-1” rockets at Afula—reflect and celebrate the predatory relationship—Muslims preying upon Jews—established by Islam’s prophet Muhammad, and his earliest Muslim followers.
The late Muslim scholar Ali Dashti (d. 1984) wrote a biography of Muhammad entitled Twenty-three Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad. Dashti chronicles Muhammad’s “changed course” at Medina, where the Muslim prophet begins to “issue orders for war” in multiple and repeated Koranic revelations (sura [chapter] 9 being composed almost entirely of such war proclamations, for example). Prior to enumerating the multiple assassinations Muhammad ordered, Ali Dashti observes:
Thus Islam was gradually transformed from a purely spiritual mission into a militant and punitive organization whose progress depended on booty from raids and [tax] revenue….The Prophet’s steps in the decade after the hejra [emigration from Mecca to Medina] were directed to the end of establishing and consolidating a religion-based state. Some of the deeds done on his command [were] killings of prisoners and political assassinations…
Muhammad’s failures or incomplete successes were consistently recompensed by murderous attacks on the Jews. Thus Muhammad developed a penchant for assassinating individual Jews, and destroying Jewish communities—by expropriation and expulsion (Banu Quaynuqa and Nadir), or massacring their men, and enslaving their women and children (Banu Qurayza). Subsequently, in the case of the Khaybar Jews, Muhammad had the male leadership killed, and plundered their riches. The terrorized Khaybar survivors—industrious Jewish farmers—became prototype subjugated dhimmis whose productivity was extracted by the Muslims as a form of permanent booty. And according to the Muslim sources, even this tenuous vassalage was arbitrarily terminated within a decade of Muhammad’s death when Caliph Umar expelled the Jews of Khaybar (after whom the Khaybar-1 rockets were of course named).
Muhammad’s brutal conquest and subjugation of the Khaybar Jews, and their subsequent expulsion by one of his companions, the (second) “Rightly Guided” Caliph Umar, epitomize permanent, archetypal behavior patterns Islamic Law deemed appropriate to Muslim interactions with Jews. As the scholar George Vajda has observed, the theological-juridical, and historical consequences of these archetypes, resulted, at best, in the Jews being dhimmis “subject to Muslim domination”, and treated “with contempt”, under “humiliating arrangements”. When the Jews were perceived as having exceeded the rightful bounds of this subjected relationship, as in mythically “tolerant” Muslim Spain, the results were predictably tragic. The Granadan Jewish viziers Samuel Ibn Naghrela, and his son Joseph, who protected the Jewish community, were both assassinated between 1056 to 1066, and in the aftermath, the Jewish population was annihilated by the local Muslims. It is estimated that up to five thousand Jews perished in the pogrom by Muslims that accompanied the 1066 assassination. This figure equals or exceeds the number of Jews reportedly killed by the Crusaders during their pillage of the Rhineland, some thirty years later, at the outset of the First Crusade. The inciting “rationale” for this Granadan pogrom is made clear in the bitter anti-Jewish ode of Abu Ishaq, a well-known Muslim jurist and poet of the times, who wrote:
Bring them down to their place and return them to the most abject station. They used to roam around us in tatters covered with contempt, humiliation, and scorn. They used to rummage amongst the dung heaps for a bit of a filthy rag to serve as a shroud for a man to be buried in...Do not consider that killing them is treachery. Nay, it would be treachery to leave them scoffing.[The translator then summarizes, appropriately: “The Jews have broken their covenant (i.e., overstepped their station, with reference to the Covenant of Umar) and compunction would be out of place.”]
There have been ceaseless calls for jihad against the Jews in Palestine during modern times, since shortly after the Balfour Declaration in 1918, intensifying following Israel’s creation in 1948, through the present era. Jihad has remained the primary cause of the conflict between the global Islamic umma—Arab and larger non-Arab Muslim communities alike—and the Jewish state of Israel. Israeli Jews are regarded as merely a religious community, whose rightful place is under Islamic suzerainty as dhimmis. Thus as historian Bat Ye’or has explained, Israel’s national patrimony,
a geographical territory related to a past history, a system of legislation, a specific language and culture—[is]consequently denied. The “Arab” character of the Palestinian territory is inherent in the logic of jihad. Having become fay territory by conquest (i.e. “taken from an infidel people” by jihad), it must remain within the dar al-Islam. The State of Israel, established on this fay territory, is consequently illegal.
Accordingly, the source of the endless annihilationist animus against Israel—an unabashed Jewish state among the otherwise monolithically Islamic nations of the Middle East—becomes clear. Bat Ye’or elucidates:
Israel represents the successful national liberation of a dhimmi civilization. On a territory formerly Arabized by the jihad and the dhimma, a pre-Islamic language, culture, topographical geography, and national institutions have been restored to life. This reversed the process of centuries in which the cultural, social and political structures of the indigenous population of Palestine were destroyed.
To this day, the overwhelming majority of the global Muslim community, most notably Arab Muslims, refuses, as Bruce Thornton described so aptly,
…to recognize a legitimate state created by the same historical process that created their own nations, and their continuing failure to recognize Israel in deeds rather than in words, [is] the root cause of the ongoing crisis
These sentiments were confirmed at the 2003 Putrajaya Islamic Summit, when former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Muhammad refused to acknowledge Israel’s legitimacy, but did discuss “Jews”. Mahathir’s bellicose statement, below, was met by thunderous applause from all the Muslim leaders present, including our man in (then just liberated) Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai:
To begin with, the governments of all the Muslim countries can close ranks and have a common stand if not on all issues, at least on some major ones, such as on Palestine... We need guns and rockets, bombs and warplanes, tanks and warships...We may want to recreate the first century of the Hijrah, the way of life in those times, in order to practice what we think to be the true Islamic way of life l.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews. There must be a way. And we can only find a way if we stop to think, to assess our weaknesses and our strength, to plan, to strategize and then to counter-attack. As Muslims, we must seek guidance from the Al-Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet. Surely the 23 years struggle of the Prophet can provide us with some guidance as to what we can and should do...
Assiduous documentation by Daniel Pipes (here, and here) underscores how Israel’s stubborn resistance to its annihilation appears to have fomented multiple acts of Muslim violence against the non-Israeli Jewish diaspora population during the past 15 years. The murderous attack on the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle by Naveed Afzal Haq merely continues this alarming trend
Notwithstanding that he may never have encountered an actual Jew, the 17th century Indian Sufi jurist Sirhindi (d. 1621) expressed an (archetypal) sentiment, whose ultimate origins can be traced to the sacralized behaviors of the Muslim prophet Muhammad himself. Sirhindi wrote:
Whenever a Jew is killed, it is for the benefit of Islam.
Sadly, this ugly belief retains widespread legitimacy amongst contemporary Muslims.
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