by Robert Spencer
As the world continues to be roiled by riots blamed on alleged insults to Muhammad, the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is attempting to shore up its “moderate” bona fides by claiming that Muhammad didn’t react to insults the way the rioters have. CAIR-St. Louis Executive Director Faizan Syed claimed Friday: “The violent reaction to the anti-Islam film that has spread across the world is not what the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, taught or would have wanted. He was insulted in his life much worse than in this film and he reacted by forgiving others.” CAIR-St. Louis is distributing free copies of a whitewashed PBS documentary, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet. Syed explained: “Through this campaign we hope to show the true legacy of this great man and to clear up myths and misconceptions that many people unfortunately hold today.”
I’m all for clearing up misconceptions, as well as for examining what Islamic tradition says about how Muhammad behaved when insulted. In reality, contrary to Syed’s claims, Islam mandates death for non-Muslim subjects of the Islamic state who mention "something impermissible about Allah, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), or Islam" ('Umdat al-Salik, o11.10), and such laws go back to passages in the Hadith and Sira in which Muhammad orders the murders of people who have insulted him, including Abu ‘Afak, who was over one hundred years old, and the poetess ‘Asma bint Marwan. Abu ‘Afak was killed in his sleep, in response to Muhammad's question, “Who will avenge me on this scoundrel?” Similarly, Muhammad on another occasion cried out, “Will no one rid me of this daughter of Marwan?” One of his followers, ‘Umayr ibn ‘Adi, went to her house that night, where he found her sleeping next to her children. The youngest, a nursing babe, was in her arms. But that didn’t stop ‘Umayr from murdering her and the baby as well. Muhammad commended him: “You have done a great service to Allah and His Messenger, ‘Umayr!” (Ibn Ishaq, 674-676)
Then there was Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf. Muhammad asked: "Who is willing to kill Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?" One of the Muslims, Muhammad bin Maslama answered, "O Allah's Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?" When Muhammad said that he would, Muhammad bin Maslama said, "Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab)." Muhammad responded: "You may say it." Muhammad bin Maslama duly lied to Ka'b, luring him into his trap, and murdered him. (Sahih Bukhari, volume 5, book 59, number 369)
Likewise Islam QA calls for death for blasphemers, using both Qur'an and Hadith to make its argument. “The scholars are unanimously agreed,” the site explains, “that a Muslim who insults the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) becomes a kaafir [unbeliever] and an apostate who is to be executed. This consensus was narrated by more than one of the scholars, such as Imaam Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh, Ibn al-Mundhir, al-Qaadi 'Iyaad, al-Khattaabi and others.”
Is Hamas-linked CAIR really unaware of these traditions, and of these unanimous rulings of Islamic law, and consensus among Islamic scholars?
“With regard to the Sunnah,” the site continues, “Abu Dawood (4362) narrated from 'Ali that a Jewish woman used to insult the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and say bad things about him, so a man strangled her until she died, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ruled that no blood money was due in this case….This hadeeth clearly indicates that it was permissible to kill that woman because she used to insult the Prophet.”
And again: “Abu Dawood (4361) narrated from Ibn 'Abbaas that a blind man had a freed concubine (umm walad) who used to insult the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and say bad things about him. He told her not to do that but she did not stop, and he rebuked her but she did not heed him. One night, when she started to say bad things about the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and insult him, he took a short sword or dagger, put it on her belly and pressed it and killed her. The following morning that was mentioned to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). He called the people together and said, ‘I adjure by Allah the man who has done this action and I adjure him by my right over him that he should stand up.’ The blind man stood up and said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, I am the one who did it; she used to insult you and say bad things about you. I forbade her, but she did not stop, and I rebuked her, but she did not give up her habit. I have two sons like pearls from her, and she was kind to me. Last night she began to insult you and say bad things about you. So I took a dagger, put it on her belly and pressed it till I killed her.’ Thereupon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Bear witness, there is no blood money due for her.’”
The conclusion? “It may be noted from this that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had the right to kill whoever insulted him and spoke harshly to him, and that included both Muslims and kaafirs.”
Is Hamas-linked CAIR unaware of all this? Or do they reject the authenticity of these traditions, and the authority of these legal rulings? They have never given any indication of rejecting the received teachings of mainstream Islam. It is much more likely that their goal is more complacency than enlightenment – a game that will fool most Americans until the day that riots and violence over perceived insults to Muhammad come to our own shores. And that day is coming.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Did Muhammad Exist?.