The Al-Arabiya news channel last week discovered a sixteen-month-old promotion for my book The Truth About Muhammad, and worked itself into a fine lather of indignation – and the jihad terror group Hamas soon got into the act as well.
The Hamas website thundered that the book was part of a “campaign by Western extremists against the religion of Islam and values that are sacred to Moslems,” and was “another in a series of actions designed to distort the image of Islam in the public eye. This follows the re-publication of the Muhammad caricatures in Denmark and the intention of a Dutch Parliament Member to air a movie against Islam.”
The Al-Arabiya headline was “US magazine distributes free anti-Prophet book: Book is said to contain lies and hate.” The article seemed to be playing to Leftists as well as jihadists: it was loaded with Leftist scare words, referring to Human Events as “right-wing,” “neo-conservative,” and “Republican-oriented,” and to Regnery Publishing as a publisher of “controversial neo-con books.” It quotes the non-Muslim Islamic apologist Karen Armstrong as saying that the book was “written in hatred” and contains “basic and bad mistakes of fact.”
The only problem was that neither Al-Arabiya nor Hamas could demonstrate that anything in the book was actually false.
Al-Arabiya tried valiantly, however, asserting: “The book claims that Muhammad said terrorism made him victorious and that he used to tempt people with paradise so they would crush his enemies.”
While they present this as if it were a false claim, unfortunately for them it isn’t – unless with my Zionist black arts I have the power to cast material into the Qur’an and other canonical Islamic texts. “I have been made victorious with terror” — so says Muhammad not according to me, but according to Bukhari. Sahih Bukhari is the hadith collection, that is, the collection of traditions of Muhammad, that Muslims consider most reliable.
And what about that bit about Paradise? Here’s another Islamic tradition from Bukhari: “On the day of the battle of Uhud, a man came to the Prophet and said, ‘Can you tell me where I will be if I should get martyred?’ The Prophet replied, ‘In Paradise.’ The man threw away some dates he was carrying in his hand, and fought till he was martyred.”
Yes, more of Spencer’s lies!
Al-Arabiya tries again with this: “The author also accuses Muhammad of treason, breaching the Treaty of Hudaybiya with the Meccan tribe of Quraish, and instigating Muslims to kill Jews.”
According to Muhammad’s earliest biographer, Ibn Ishaq, the Treaty of Hudaybiya contained this provision: “If anyone comes to Muhammad without the permission of his guardian he will return him to them; and if anyone of those with Muhammad comes to Quraysh they will not return him to him.”
That is, those fleeing the Quraysh and seeking refuge with the Muslims would be returned to the Quraysh, while those fleeing the Muslims and seeking refuge with the Quraysh would not be returned to the Muslims.
But soon thereafter a woman of the Quraysh, Umm Kulthum, joined the Muslims in Medina; her two brothers came to Muhammad, asking that they be returned “in accordance with the agreement between him and the Quraysh at Hudaybiya.” But Muhammad refused: Allah forbade it. He gave Muhammad a new revelation: “O ye who believe! When there come to you believing women refugees, examine and test them. Allah knows best as to their faith: if ye ascertain that they are believers, then send them not back to the unbelievers” (Qur’an 60:10).
In refusing to send Umm Kulthum back to the Quraysh, Muhammad broke the treaty. Although Muslims have claimed throughout history that the Quraysh broke it first, this incident came before all those by the Quraysh that Muslims point to as treaty violations – as even Islamic apologist Yahiya Emerick acknowledges in his own CAIR-endorsed biography of Muhammad. So I suppose Emerick’s book also contains “lies” and “hate”?
And as for the bit about killing Jews, both of the earliest biographers of Muhammad, Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Sa‘d, both zealous Muslims, record his telling his followers at a certain point: “Kill any Jew that falls into your power.”
And finally, Al-Arabiya makes one last attempt: “Spencer, the director of the Jihad Watch and Dhimmi Watch websites, also claims that the prophet encouraged Muslim men to take women captive to control them.”
Yes, it is I who wrote into the Qur’an the permission for Muslim men to have sexual relations with women “whom your right hands possess” (4:24).
So it is Al-Arabiya that is either lying or ignorant about what the earliest Islamic texts say about Muhammad.
I challenge anyone at Al-Arabiya, or Hamas, anyone anywhere, to substantiate a single lie or hateful statement within the book. They haven’t yet.
The implications of this are larger than just my book. With Al-Arabiya and Hamas denouncing an accurate portrayal of Muhammad as he is depicted in Islamic texts, it appears that in their view non-Muslims are not to be permitted to examine those texts and investigate how jihadists use them to justify jihad violence and Islamic supremacism. In other words, non-Muslims are not to be allowed to investigate the motives and goals of those who would destroy them.
In the context of today’s global jihad, that puts us all at risk.