Thursday, September 15, 2005

Some Of My Best Friends Are Jewish

From Front Page Magazine:

The annual United Nations General Assembly serves as an opportunity for world leaders and diverse groups to meet. One such meeting this year includes Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, reaching out to American Jewish groups.

On September 19, 2001, Mr. Musharraf made a televised message to the Pakistani people to explain how his nation would respond to September 11. Referring to “the first six years of the history of Islam,” Mr. Musharraf said:

Mohammed himself went from Mecca to Medina to save Islam...when the prophet reached Medina, then he entered a friendship treaty with his enemies, the Jews...because of the peace treaty with Jews, he was able to fight the infidels of Mecca. After six years, the Jews noticed that Islam was becoming stronger. They got very irritated.

Mr. Musharraf then explained why Mohammed was willing to sign a peace agreement with the infidels even if it temporarily made Muslims look weak.

There was a battle between Muslims and Jews, and of course by the grace of God, Muslims won the battle...Mecca was conquered. What lesson do we derive with this incident?...On this occasion, a strategic decision is to be taken...if you are facing two problems and you have to choose one, then it is better to take the lesser evil....

The temporary good relations between Mohammed and the Jewish tribes of Arabia (Qurayza, Khaybar, Khaynuqa, and Nadhir), who were wiped out by Muslims, is well-known in the contemporary Muslim world, as it is often mentioned in textbooks, sermons, and TV shows. Yasser Arafat frequently referred to the concept of a temporary truce (Hudna) in justifying the Oslo Accords with Israel. Other Arab and Muslim leaders also frequently refer to this.

For example, following threats to bomb Los Angeles, Egyptian labor party head Magdi Ahmad Hussein appeared on Al-Jazeera on October 17, 2004, explaining:

600 to 700 prisoners were killed in the raid on the Qurayza tribe. Why do they conceal this? Why do they hide the fact that the Prophet gave the order to assassinate some poets – to assassinate! Not in military operations, but rather by individual assassination. Why did he order the assassination of K'ab Ibn Ashraf, the Jew, leader of Khaybar...As a result, the Jews became fearful and terrified.

Syrian legislator Mohammed Habash appeared on Syrian TV on July 29, 2005, discussing the characteristics of the Jewish tribes of Arabia. He explained that the Jews smelled so bad it “made people sick,” and that “when the Prophet's companions reached Al-Madina, they all contracted fever because of the filthy environment.”

“Stories From Before the Verses Came Down” was a Jordanian-produced series that ran on Saudi Iqra TV in February 2005, which was based on the Jews of the time of Mohammed. The series portrayed the Jews as despicable “pigs” scheming against Mohammed. Part of the plot included Jews altering the Torah to hide the fact that Mohammed was a true prophet; how early Jews planned “a very long war” against the decedents of Muslims and Jews depicted as having “joined forces with Satan.” One episode showed Jews engaged in voodoo, creating a doll of Mohammed and sticking it with needles in his head, liver, and eyes.

Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi, one of Sunni Islam's most prominent scholars, explained on his Al-Jazeera show on January 19 this year: “One of the first things the Prophet Mohammed did when he went to Al-Madina was to make a pact with the Jews...The problem started because of the Jews. They were the ones who were treacherous and violated the pact.” Mr. Al-Qaradhawi added, “The problem with the Jews is not one of faith or religious laws. The problem is the covetous aspirations that have characterized their attitude since the days of the Prophet Mohammed, that brought this position toward them since the days of Mohammed, and later on in our times.”

By reaching his hands out in friendship to the Jews, President Musharraf has a unique opportunity to distinguish himself from other Arab and Muslim leaders who have given messages of peace in English and hate in Arabic.

Let's hope Musharraf means it. As a wise man once said, "Trust, but verify."