Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Forced Conversions
On A
Geo-Political Scale


From Robert Spencer:


Muhammad reinforced these instructions on many occasions during his prophetic career. Late in his career, he wrote to Heraclius, the Eastern Roman Emperor in Constantinople:
Now then, I invite you to Islam (i.e., surrender to Allah), embrace Islam and you will be safe; embrace Islam and Allah will bestow on you a double reward. But if you reject this invitation of Islam, you shall be responsible for misguiding the peasants (i.e., your nation). (Bukhari, 4.52.191).

Heraclius did not accept Islam, and soon the Byzantines would know well that the warriors of jihad indeed granted no safety to those who rejected their “invitation.”

Muhammad did not get a satisfactory answer either from Chosroes, ruler of the Persians. After reading the letter of the Prophet of Islam, Chosroes contemptuously tore it to pieces. When news of this reached Muhammad, he called upon Allah to tear the Persian emperor and his followers to pieces (Bukhari, 5.59.708). He told the Muslims that they would conquer both empires: “When Khosrau [Chosroes] perishes, there will be no (more) Khosrau after him, and when Caesar perishes, there will be no more Caesar after him. By Him in Whose hands Muhammad’s life is, you will spend the treasures of both of them in Allah’s Cause” (Bukhari 4.53.349).

Muhammad did not limit his veiled threat only to rulers. Another hadith records that on one occasion he emerged from a mosque and told his men, “Let us go to the Jews.” Upon arriving at a nearby Arabian Jewish community, Muhammad told them: “If you embrace Islam, you will be safe. You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I want to expel you from this land. So, if anyone amongst you owns some property, he is permitted to sell it, otherwise you should know that the Earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle” (Bukhari, 4.53.392). In other words, if you accept Islam, you may keep your land and property, but if not, Muhammad and the Muslims would confiscate it.

Indeed, few in the West know what’s going on regarding the example of Muhammad and the stance of traditional Islam on conversion. The human rights organizations should have the courage to recognize and denounce this conversion-or-else directive, and to recognize the plight of those who even today suffer from its scourge.

Moreover, with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad operating according to Muhammad’s instructions, this now has geopolitical implications. In his letter to President Bush, Ahmadinejad invited him to accept Islam, and then echoed the Prophet of Islam in delivering a threat to Bush through Mike Wallace: “We are all free to choose. But please give him this message, sir: Those who refuse to accept an invitation will not have a good ending or fate.”

Ahmadinejad’s threat, as well as the ordeal of Centanni and Wiig, epitomizes the threat that the global jihad represents to the freedom of conscience.