The Bible vs. The Quran

Much fuss has been made over the violent passages in the Bible, and the people who make these claims try to say that there is no difference – that the Quran is no more violent than the Bible, or conversely that the Bible is as violent as the Quran.  The following article should go a long way toward dispelling those claims.

Flying Hijacked Planes into Glass Houses

A response to the American Muslim article:
Throwing Stones at the Quran from a Glass House

In an article entitled, “Throwing Stones at the Quran from a Glass House”, The American Muslim claims that the verses of violence and war in the Bible can be misread in “exactly the same way as some verses in the Qur’an” (emphasis ours). In other words, the on-line magazine alleges that, like the Quran, there are Biblical verses with open-ended commands to violence that are not bound by historical context within the passage itself.

Our first clue that this probably isn’t true is the scarcity of Christian terrorist groups. Not too many people are losing their heads to fanatics screaming praises to Jesus (or Moses, Buddha or the many Hindu gods either) as they are to shouts of “Allah Akbar!” That there are so many Islamic terrorist groups composed of fundamentalists (or purists) of the Muslim faith is enough to impress any reasonable person that there is something far more dangerous about Islam.

Nevertheless, to support their claim, The American Muslim quotes sixteen of the worst passages that the Bible has to offer in the way of violence. Others are alluded to as well, but delving into these particular verses should be a large enough sample to expose whatever sophistry might be at play.

Their first try is a passage from Deuteronomy that might appear to command present-day believers to take a city by force and slaughter the inhabitants on order from God:

“When you approach a city to fight against it, you shall offer it terms of peace. If it agrees to make peace with you and opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall become your forced labor and shall serve you. However, if it does not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. When the LORD your God gives it into your hand, you shall strike all the men in it with the edge of the sword. Only the women and the children and the animals and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourself; and you shall use the spoil of your enemies which the LORD your God has given you. Only in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes” (Deuteronomy 20:10-17 – As quoted by The American Muslim

Except for the part about sparing women and children, this sounds similar to a verse from the Qur’an:

And when We would destroy a township We send commandment to its folk who live at ease, and afterward they commit abomination therein, and so the Word (of doom) hath effect for it, and we annihilate it with complete annihilation. (Quran 17:16)

But, in fact, the Biblical passage is not an open-ended command, but instead, a story of history bound within the text. Having trouble seeing this? That’s because the author of The American Muslim piece cleverly left out this part of the passage:

“Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the LORD your God has commanded you”

Yes, it turns out that this was a specific command, given at a specific time to the tribe of Israel concerning a discrete target. This is why Christians and Jews do not treat these verses as present-day imperatives.

Strategic omission is just one way that Muslim apologists manipulate Biblical passages. (In this case, The American Muslim editors did not even include an ellipsis in place of the omission, since it may have raised the suspicions of the reader).

The next passage that The American Muslim claims promotes violence is from the apostle Paul, who writes:

“Hymenaeus and Alexander I have delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1Timothy 1:20)

The violence in the passage is not exactly evident from this reading. In the context of the previous verse, these two men “suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith,” but there is nothing to indicate that they were physically harmed as a result. It was the practice of the early Church to excommunicate apostates, and there is every reason to believe that this was the “fate” of these two individuals. They were expelled from the Church by Paul. The Christian Church does not advocate killing apostates.

Contrast this with the words of Muhammad:

“Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'” (Bukhari 84:57)

Not much ambiguity there. Abu Bakr, the first caliph and several other Muslims testified that Muhammad had indeed put Muslim apostates to death. For this reason, the practice is coded in Islamic law.

The next passage that is supposed to inspire Christians to violence is the recounting of David’s victory against the Philistines:

“This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down, and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, Then David ran and stood over the Philistine, and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath, and killed him, and cut off his head with it…. And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armor in his tent. And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.” (1 Samuel 17:46 – As Quoted by The American Muslim)

This is actually parts of verse 46 through 54. We won’t waste much time here, because it is apparent that this is a recounting of an historical event. The omitted passages from within the text make it even more obvious.

Compare this to the word of Allah in the Quran:

“I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.” (Quran 8:12)

There is no historical context to mitigate this Qur’anic exhortation either in the verse or in those that surround it. (The American Muslim actually makes a monumental effort to bring historical context to the verse from sources external to the Qur’an in this article, which contains several inaccuracies regarding the timing of the “revelation” of the verse, the justification for attacking caravans, and the fate of hostages taken in battle, some of whom were actually put to death).

The next five passages quoted by The American Muslim, in trying to make the case that the Bible can be used to command violence, all suffer from the same problems as above:

“Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.”… And there is also with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse on the day when I went to Mahanaim; but when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put you to death with the sword.’ Now therefore hold him not guiltless, for you are a wise man; you will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall bring his gray head down with blood to Sheol.” (2 Samuel 16:9, 1 Kings 2:8)

” When they came into the house, as he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him. They took his head, and went by the way of the Arabah all night, and brought the head of Ishbosheth to David at Hebron. And they said to the king, “Here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life; the LORD has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring.” (2 Samuel 4:7)

“That is not true. But a man of the hill country of Ephraim, called Sheba the son of Bichri, has lifted up his hand against King David; give up him alone, and I will withdraw from the city.” And the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall.” Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab.” (2 Samuel 20:21)

“at Jezreel by this time tommorrow…And when the letter came to them, they took the king’s sons, and slew them, seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent them to him at Jezreel. When the messenger came and told him, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons,” he said, “Lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until the morning.”. (2 Kings Chapter 10 verse 6) “God has now fulfilled the prophecy of the prophet Elijah. So Jehu put to death all who were left of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, as well as all of his close friends and priests, until he had left not one single survivor.” (2 Kings Chapter 10 verse 10) “He put to death all of Ahab’s house, who were left there and so blotted it out, in fulfillment of the word which YAHWEH had spoken to Elijah.” (2 Kings Chapter 10 verse 7)

“When the LORD your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you. And when the LORD your God delivers them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them.” (Deuteronomy 7:1-2)

No doubt these were bad days to be particular individuals by the name of Shimei, Ishbosheth, Sheba or Ahab, but they obviously aren’t around anymore to complain. Same with the tribes mentioned in the passage from Deuteronomy. This is history, of course, not some open-ended instruction like:

“Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are ruthless to the Unbelievers, but merciful to each other.” (Quran 48:29)

At this point, The American Muslim pulls two verses out of the New Testament Gospels. The first is quoted as if they are the words of Jesus:

“I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”(Luke 19:26-27)

But, in fact, this is the tail end of a parable being told by Jesus. The words actually belong to one of the characters in his story.

Again, contrast this with the actual words of Muhammad:

[Allah’s Apostle said] “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.” (Bukhari 52:256)

We don’t have to play the same games here that The American Muslim does to try and convince Christians that they should kill based on the words of a parable. Not only are these Muhammad’s own words, but there are many Muslims at this very moment who are trying to kill Jews in Israel. Their religious leaders quote this passage to inspire them.

Moving along to the second New Testament verse that supposedly advocates violence:

“Do not think that I have come to send peace on earth. I did not come to send peace, but a sword. I am sent to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” (Matthew 10:34-35)

Though not quoted in the article, the passage actually goes on to say, “Your enemies will be the members of your own household. Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves a son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. ”

Obviously, Jesus is speaking of the coming hardships that will be suffered by Christians (ironically, the worst abusers eventually turned out to be Muslims). The “sword” is a metaphor for the persecution against believers, not an admonition for them to take up arms. In fact, elsewhere Jesus prevented one of his disciples from fighting on his behalf and rebuked him for doing so. In confirmation of this, none of his immediate followers formed an armed militia of any sort. There were no armies claiming to be “Christian” for many centuries.

By contrast, Muhammad was a military leader who killed people in battle, executed captives and enslaved women and children. When he said that “Jihad in the way of Allah elevates the position of a man in paradise” (Sahih Muslim 20:4645), his followers knew what he meant. They engaged in warfare following his death, which continues to this day.

The American Muslim then moves back to the Old Testament:

“I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.” (Exodus 23:27)

Is this an open-ended imperative for present-day Christians and Jews? Hardly. Here’s the next verse:

“I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way”

Again, not a good time to be a Hivate, Hittite, or a Canaanite… but who is these days?

By contrast, the Qur’an speaks ill of Christians, Jews, “unbelievers” and “pagans,” and commands its readers to “slay the infidel wherever ye find him.” The historical context of the verse is apparently not all that conspicuous, judging by the fact that so many Muslims are trying so hard to kill these people in the name of Allah.

The American Muslim tries again:

And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. At God’s instructions, the Israelites “utterly destroyed the men, women, and the little ones” leaving “none to remain.” And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain. (Deuteronomy 2:33-36)

At this point, you can probably guess that there is something being left out. If you look at the original passage, you’ll find that it refers to the Battle of Jahaz and even says “at that time” (emphasizing that this is history – not edict).

Next is this passage from Joshua:

Joshua said to the people of Israel, “The Lord has given you the city of the all silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the Lord: They shall come into the treasury of the Lord. The people utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword. (Joshua 6:21-23 as Quoted by the American Muslim)

The manipulation of the original passage is so extensive that the verse is barely recognizable. The author employs both omission and juxtaposition to try and emphasize that the city in question was destroyed. In fact, the original does say that not everyone within the city was killed. Even so, this is still a violent passage… but it is not open-ended instruction.

The city in question was Jericho, and the verses tell of the battle between the ancient Israelites and the inhabitants therein – and the subsequent massacre. It is obviously a historical passage, and it no more inspires violence than reading an account of the Japanese slaughter of the people of Nanjing in 1937.

The American Muslim then pulls a verse from the Old Testament that it says can be interpreted to mean that apostates should be stoned:

“And he should go and worship other gods and bow down to them or to the sun or the moon or all the army of the heavens, …and you must stone such one with stones and such one must die.” (Deuteronomy 17:3-5, as quoted by the American Muslim)

What does the ellipsis leave out, you may be wondering? Well, it turns out that this was yet another specific command handed down to a specific people at a specific time:

“If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the LORD gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God in violation of his covenant, and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars in the sky, and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death” (Actual text)

No Christian in their right mind would kill someone for worshipping a different god based on this passage. While it’s true that Christian apostates have been killed in sporadic and rare historical incidents, it was not the example of Jesus, nor is it a part of Christian teaching.

As we have already pointed out, however, Islam’s most reliable Hadith mandates the execution of apostates from Islam. It is firmly established in Islamic law, since it is the example set forth by Muhammad himself.

The American Muslim then submits a rare New Testament verse as proof that Christians can interpret the Bible as a command to murder in the way that Jihadis wage holy war:

“Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:20-32, as quoted by the American Muslim)

It is unclear why the author cites verses 20-32 but quotes only the last verse. The full text of the passage actually contains a rebuke against killing and it assigns judgment to God alone. The next verses in sequence confirm this:

“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?” (Romans 2:1)

God is the judge, and not man, according to the context of this passage. How anyone is supposed to interpret this to mean exactly the opposite – that they should kill another human being – is a leap of logic that escapes this writer (and generations of Christians as well, apparently).

Muhammad’s own words, however, contain no such cryptic message:

“Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.” (Quran 2:216)

Now, at last, The American Muslim pulls out the grand finale – the famous passage from Numbers that is quoted so enthusiastically by the detractors of Western religion:

“Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves.” (Numbers 31:17-18)

From the way this is quoted, it sounds as if God is telling today’s Bible-thumpers to kill every man within reach and enslave their women and children. What a horrible world this would be if Christians took this fragment literally and killed the nearest person.

So why aren’t the Jews and Christians of today doing this?

Well, it’s most likely because there aren’t any Midianites around, since that was the unfortunate tribe on which this vengeance is specifically commanded – as it is obvious from the surrounding verses. Again, this is a historical narration that clearly refers to an obscure tribe, unlike many of the open-ended passages of violence against unbelievers, “idolaters,” polytheists, Jews and Christians found in the Qur’an.

Contemporary Islamic apologists, such as the author of this American Muslim piece, apparently borrowed this research from secular critics of Christianity, who use passages such as these to make dark insinuations about the character of the god of the Bible and thus bolster their rejection of all religion.

This certainly makes for some strange bedfellows, given that most atheists would concur that the god of Muhammad is far more violent than the god of the New Testament. (Those who may not agree are free to travel to a Muslim country and see how publicly denying Allah there compares to Christian “intolerance” at home, but they may want to make out a will beforehand).

We’ll leave it to the theologians to respond, since the character of God and the nature of progressive revelation falls outside the scope of this discussion. Our only interest here is in the argument that Muslims are trying to make by citing such passages.

Since Muslims do not argue the point that Muhammad commanded the slaughter and enslavement of others at various times in his last ten years (a practice that his followers have faithfully applied to this very day), their logic here is quite tenuous. At best, these apologists appear to be trying to bring other religions down to the level of Islam, particularly Christianity.

What makes this noteworthy is that Christians and others do not act as if they need to bring Islam down to their religion of choice. The reason is that no other religion regularly kills members of every other faith explicitly in the name its god. And, on the rare occasions when this does happen, the response is anger and denouncement rather than the general indifference that Muslims have for Islamic terror (aside from the 15% or so who openly endorse it).

Islamic terrorists wage holy war on a daily basis because it is the literal command of the Qur’an. Western Muslim apologists (concerned solely with the image of Islam) window-dress these violent passages through a complex series of appeals to a patchwork of external Muslim sources. Then, after delicately arranging the products of this Herculean charade in such a way as to convince the rest of us that these Qur’anic verses of violence are not what they appear, the apologist steps back, wipes the sweat from his brow and says, “See how clear it is? No Muslim could possibly interpret this command to kill as a command to kill.”

Well, why are these verses in the Qur’an at all, then? If they are supposed to be history, then why do they appear as imperative? Why isn’t the context right there in the text as it is in the Old Testament?

After all, this is supposed to be Allah’s perfect book. How is it that it is so vulnerable to the worst sort of “misinterpretation”?

Lacking a decent answer to these questions, Muslims attack the Bible instead.

See also: Comparing Islam and Christianity, Muhammad and Jesus

Also: The Political Violence of the Bible and the Koran by Bill Warner in the American Thinker. This article points out that about 67% of the Quran is devoted to Jihad. The Islamic trilogy (the Quran, Hadith and Sira) contain 9.6 times as much violence as the Hebrew Bible (there New Testament has none).

The difference, as we point out in this article is not just quantitative, but one of quality as well. As Warner puts it: “The political violence of the Koran is eternal and universal. The political violence of the Bible was for that particular historical time and place. This is the vast difference between Islam and other ideologies. The violence remains a constant threat to all non-Islamic cultures, now and into the future.”


2 Responses to “The Bible vs. The Quran”

  1. Dr. Javed Akhtar Says:

    Presuming Bush and Blair to be Christian, what was the motive behind attacking Iraq and Afghanistan? Presuming Colin Powell to be Christian, what was the motive behind lying about presence of WMD in Iraq?
    “Farenheit 9/11” movie clearly shows the dealing between Bush junior and Taliban? Was the unprovoked attack on Afghanistan was reprisal of failed oil/gas exploration deal?
    The only time WMD was used: “Hiroshima and Nagasaki” in WWII
    Which country initiated these nuclear attack??????
    How many innocent people have been killed in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan (just to name a few countries) etc and who is responsible for these killings??

    • avanick Says:

      What was the motive? It should have been obvious. The mass murder of Kurdish tribesmen alone was sufficient for Iraq, and equally vicious acts were committed in Afghanistan. In spite of your denial about WMD’s, many tons of Uranium were taken from Iraq and shipped secretly to Canada about two years ago. What do you suppose Hussein was going to use that material for? Anyone who seriously considers “Fahrenheit 9/11” to be fact needs to be examined by a psychiatrist.

      Let’s get back to the real facts at hand:

      Islamic terrorists staged nearly ten thousand deadly attacks in just the six years following September 11th, 2001. If one goes back to 1971, when Muslim armies in Bangladesh began the mass slaughter of Hindus, through the years of Jihad in the Sudan, Kashmir and Algeria, and the present-day Sunni-Shia violence in Iraq, the number of innocents killed in the name of Islam probably exceeds five million over this same period. What are the justifications for all of those attacks? Why did all of those innocents deserve to be attacked? Because they were infidels according to some sick minded Islamic fanatics? What about the Armenians? Massacre of the Armenians continued in the early 20th century. In 1904 and in 1909 CE, about 30,000 Armenians were slaughtered in Adana. The most horrible mass murder of Armenians occurred in 1915, which can be rightly described as the first genocide of the 20th century. More than 1,000,000 (one million) Armenians were systematically massacred – thousands were shot to death, drowned (included Children), thrown over the cliffs and the survivors were deported or reduced to slavery – which served as the model for Hitler’s massacre of the Jews in the WW-II.
      There is clear evidence of slavery persisting in Saudi Arabia and the Yemen even in the 1950s. A report in a French Magazine in the 1990s gave an estimate of 45,000 Blacks are being kidnapped by the Muslims to be sold in slavery in the Gulf states and the middle east [L Vie, no.2562, Oct 6, 1994].
      Islam has had a legacy of incessant Jihad since it inception.

      Look at the following:

      Muhammad’s life is a testament of ceaseless raids and plundering expeditions of highway caravans and waging wars against the infidel (non-Muslims). He himself had orchestrated more than one hundred raids, plundering expeditions and wars. Even just before his death, he was in the planning of organizing an expedition, but he fell sick suddenly, from which he never recovered. By this time, he had already extirpated all the Jewish settlements around Medina by means of mass slaughter and enslavement (Banu Quraiza) and mass exile (Banu Nadir and Banu Qainuqa). He had also launched expeditions against the Jewish tribes in far-flung places, namely the prosperous Jewish settlement of Khaybar. In his death bed one of his last wishes was: “Let there be no other religion except Islam”. This wish was carried out to fruition by his immediate successors, notably Caliph Abu Bakar and Omar.
      The fact is: the kind of terror and violence perpetrated by Prophet Muhammad have little or no parallel amongst the terrorism and violence of today’s Islamic terrorists. The extermination of the Jews from Medina requires another mention here. Consider the case of Muhammad’s raiding the Jewish enclave of Banu Quraiza, because they did not join the Muslim army when the Meccans attacked the Muslims in the famous battle of the Trench, which, the Quraiza tribe was allegedly obligated to do because of a covenant of mutual protection signed years earlier. The first reason of unwillingness of the Quraiza people to join the battle that Muhammad started was that the Jewish people were sick and tired of such violent activities and blood-baths, raiding and plundering expeditions and fighting wars one after another, which became the prominent feature of the Medina citizens’ life once Muslims became powerful. Secondly, the Mecca army in this battle was too powerful to ensure a decisive victory, had it not been for the trenches Muhammad had dug – thanks to idea given to Muhammad by Salman the Persian from his Persian experience of war. After a 25-day seize of the Jewish enclave the Muslims, the Quraiza tribe surrendered unconditionally and pleaded with Muhammad to let them go into exile. Instead, Muhammad decided to slaughter all the males of weapon-bearing age, around 600 to 900 in numbers, captured their women and children as slaves and took possession of their homes, properties and farms as spoils of war and distributed them amongst the Muslims who had participated in this genocide. The world is yet to witness an example of similar barbaric atrocity perpetrated by today’s Islamic terrorists, though we can be absolutely certain that today’s Islamist jihadists ardently crave to match their Prophet’s examples.
      Another incidence which requires mentioning again here is Muhammad’s victorious entry into the city of Mecca, his paternal hometown. Upon his entry into the city, he destroyed all the temples and deities which his ancestors had worshipped for centuries. Soon after his invasion of Mecca, the Prophet sent his general Khalid bin Walid to destroy all the pagan temples of the neighboring tribes of Mecca. Khalid reached the Jazima tribe and asked them to say, “We are Muslims”. But they said, “We are Sabians” – whereupon Khalid slaughtered the whole tribe. The Jazima tribe people had never given any troubles to the Muslims. Is there a parallel of such utter barbarity amongst terror acts of today’s Muslim extremists? No, there isn’t. The truth is: by the end of his 22 years of religious campaign, Muhammad had depopulated the entire Southern Arabia of the infidel pagans, Jews, Christians and Sabians etc. through mass slaughter, enslavement and forced conversion and mass exile. These acts of violence, cruelty and barbarity of the Prophet have no parallel amongst violent acts of today’s Islamic terrorists. Of course, throughout the Islamic world, there are scattered incidences of violence and attacks on non-Muslims’ homes, churches and temples and incidences of raping the infidel women. But there is no incidence in which women of an entire community being captured as sex-slaves, all weapon-bearing males of a community put to summary execution or an entire village or community of the Kaffirs sent to exile.
      The acts of violence and terrorism did not just disappear with the death of the Prophet but was redoubled by his immediate successors; namely, Abu Bakr, Omar and Othman et al. who were Muhammad’s closest friends. By the time of third Caliph Othman’s rule, all remaining Jews and Christians of the entire Arabian Peninsula were forcibly converted, expelled or slain, which fulfilled Prophet’s death-bed wish that no second religion remain in the holy land of Arabia.
      Immediately after Muhammad’s death, many Muslims who were forced to accept Islam wanted to leave Islam. Prophet’s first biographer, ibn Ishak writes, “When the apostle was dead, most of the Muslims thought of withdrawing from Islam and had made up their mind to do”. Many tribes rose in rejection of Islam, turned to their tribal leaders and refused to pay taxes. The immediate task of the first Caliph, Abu Bakr, was to bring these fierce and intractable tribes into submission. Under the command of fierce Khalid ibn Walid, a bitter and sanguinary battle, termed the Wars of the Apostasy (Ridda) followed. The revolt was cruelly suppressed and the recalcitrant tribes were forced back to the fold of Islam.
      The fanaticism and barbarity associated with these conquering expeditions need a sampling here. The kind of fierce intolerance and fanaticism being inspired by Prophet Muhammad amongst his followers have no parallel in the annals of any other religion. Under his command, his followers were ready to kill even their own fathers and brothers, if given approval by the Prophet. Prophet’s biographer Hisahm al-Kalbi notes that the son of the great hypocrite Abduallah ibn Obayi had begged for prophet’s permission to kill his own father and bring the head to the prophet. But Abdullah was an influential man and the prophet didn’t dare. According to Ibn-Ishak, in July 624, being increasingly exasperated with the Jews, the prophet ordered: “Kill any Jew whoever falls into your power.” Thereupon a Muslim convert named Muhaysa fell upon a rich Jewish merchant who happened to be on the same way and killed him, despite the fact that he belonged to his own tribe. When his elder brother, still a Jew, scolded him for killing someone of his own tribe, Muhaysa replied, “By Allah, if Muhammad commanded me to kill you also, I would have cut off your head”. So impressed was the Jewish man by his brother’s conviction to Islam that he immediately converted to Islam. The prophet’s fanatic inspiration to intolerance and violence compelled Voltaire to comment: Such conducts cannot be defended by any person, ‘unless superstition has choked all the light of reason from him.’
      The violent fanaticism, inspired by the Prophet, was carried forward with ruthless zeal by his immediate followers. Khalid ibn Walid, who fought on the enemy side in the battle of Ohud but later embraced Islam, became one of the most blood-thirsty and brutal of conquerors, if judged even by the standard of his day. Yet his cruelty and rapacity were and still are greatly extolled by the Muslims, honoring him with the title of “the Sword of Allah” (Sayif Allah).
      The utter barbarity of Khalid was displayed in May, 633, when he defeated the Zoroastrian Persians at the Battle of Olayis in Southern Iraq (between Hira and Basra). For two days, his soldiers rounded up the great multitude of prisoners and fugitives, who were then herded on to a dry river bed and were butchered until it became a crimson stream. The place thereafter proudly bore the title of ‘the River of Blood’. Abu Bakr, the caliph was overjoyed when the news of victory and massacre reached him.
      On the barbarity of Khalid, Benjamin Walker writes:
      A wine-lover and lustful debaucher, Khalid took sickly sadistic delight in beheading a defeated chieftain on the battle-field, selecting his wife (if young) or daughter and celebrating his nuptials with her on the spot soaked with the blood of the victim (father/husband of the bride). [Walker, Foundations of Islam, p. 316]
      Before Muslims conquered Jerusalem, the scattered communities of Jews and pagans lived in relative peace along with Christians. When Caliph Omar conquered Jerusalem, much venerated in the Koran and a holy place in Islam, in 637—the Jewish temples and Christian churches were razed to the ground and widespread looting and pillaging was unleashed. The Patriarch Sophronius of Jerusalem (634-638), who witnessed spread of Islam in the Arabia and the fall of Jerusalem with his own eyes, described the Muslim invaders as “godless barbarians” who “burnt churches, destroyed monasteries, profaned the Crosses and blasphemed against Christ and the church.” The following year, thousands died of famine resulting from the destruction and pillage by the Muslim conquerors of Jerusalem. [Ibn Warraq, Why I am not a Muslim, p. 219]
      Caliph Omar, aided by a renegade Jew, identified the exact site of the destroyed Jewish temple, the Solomon Temple, and laid, in its place, the foundation of the prestigious al-Aqsa Mosque with his own hands. He declared a decree that Jews and Christians could practice religion only in the confines of their churches and homes. No new churches would be built, no conversion should be made, crosses should not be exhibited in their churches and no public display of their faith should be made. These rather benevolent treatments were accorded to the Jews and Christians under the privileged term of the dhimmis (zimmis) as accorded to the people of the Book in the Koran. Yet, repression and discrimination, attacks on pilgrims, raid and ransacking of the monasteries and the destruction of the places of worship of the non-Muslims continued.
      The barbaric tradition of atrocity set in motion by the Prophet in the form a command for incessant Jihad against the Kaffirs in the Koran, continued well into the late period of the Ottoman caliphate. Even the highly magnanimous caliphs, like Harun al-Rashid and his son al-Mamun were thoroughly brutal in dealing with the Jews, Christians and pagans. The great caliph al-Mamun of the golden age of Islam, who instituted the heretic rationalistic Mutazili doctrine and non-divine nature of the Koran as state policy, too, was extremely harsh when it comes to dealing with the non-Muslim subjects. Under his rule in the 9th century (813–833), the pagans of Harran had to choose between Islam and death. Such barbaric tools of forced conversion of the infidels continued well into the late Ottoman period. Tavernier, the 17th century French traveler, describes how in Anatolia “Everyday there are numerous Greeks forced to become Turks”.
      Certain Western authors and historians believe that after an early onslaught of Islamic conquests lasting until about the mid-eighth century, violence subsided and relative calm and peace prevailed throughout the Islamic world for the subsequent centuries [Saunders, J.J. A History of Medieval Islam. London: Routledge, 1965; p79]. In truth, such claims of existence of centuries of peace fly in the face of it. In reality, no period of the Islamic domination did ensure a peaceful life to non-Muslim subjects—thanks to Muslims’ Jihadi campaigns in various forms, either by the state or by the Muslim mobs. Yet, some desperate minority of Muslim rulers were tolerant towards non-Muslim subjects in defiance of the Islamic injunctions. Islamic terror, as was unleashed by the Prophet, comprised of unprovoked attack on the unwarned and unprepared infidel territories, exiling or killing the adult male prisoners, taking the females and children as captives (beautiful and young women were used in the harem as sex-slaves, children for raising as Muslims and older females for sale), looting and plundering the infidels of their valuable properties and assets, imposing Jiziyah and of course, destroying the infidels’ religious institutions. Ibn Warraq, in “Why I am not a Muslims” [p. 219–240] has listed the Islamic atrocities and violence against the infidels of various sorts which I will summarized here.
      7th Century
      After Prophet Muhammad’s emigration from Mecca to Medina in 622, the exiling and extermination of 3 major Jewish tribes of Medina by 628, has been described above. In 630, Muhammad marched into Mecca, mercilessly captured, destroyed the most sacred pagan temple of Ka’ba and established the Islamic rule there. The pagan inhabitants were given a choice between death and Islam. To save lives, the pagans had no choice but to accept Islam. On the same day, Khalid ibn Walid’s massacre of the entire Jezima tribe for not accepting Islam has already been discussed. Khalid ibn Walid, upon command of Caliph Abu Bakr, launched the blood-letting wars of the apostasy (Ridda) to submit those, who deserted Islam immediately after Muhammad’s death, back to the faith. The utter barbarity of Khalid Ibn Walid against the defeated the Zoroastrian Persians at the Battle of Olayis in Southern Iraq in May 633, whereby he created what is famously called the River of Death has been discussed before.
      After completing extermination/exiling the Jews of Medina in 628, Muhammad launched a campaign against the wealthy and prosperous Jewish community of Khaybar. He ordered his charges to destroy all the Jewish temples as they came across. Having defeated the community, he tortured the chief of tribe Kinana by setting fire on his chest to find out the whereabouts of his treasures. After extracting the location of the ensconced treasure, Kinana was beheaded, the treasures were looted, and Kinana’s wife Safiyah was rendered as his share of the booty. He married and took her to bed on the same night her husband’s dead body awaited burial on the next day. Incidentally, Safiyah’s father belonged to the Banu Quraiza tribe of Medina whom Muhammad had beheaded earlier.
      In the Muslim campaign of 634, the entire region between Gaza and Caesarea was devastated and four thousand peasants, comprising of Christians, Jews and Samaritans, who were simply defending their lands, were massacred. In 637, the Victorian Muslim army’s march into Jerusalem, with Caliph Omar at the lead, and the accompanying destruction of the synagogues and burning of the churches, desecration of the Crosses and setting in the Dhimmi laws of submission to the Jews and Christians of the Holy Land have already been mentioned. In the expeditions against Mesopotamia between 635 and 643, monasteries were sacked, the monks slaughtered and Monophysite Arabs executed or forced to convert. In Elam, all the people were put to the sword and at Susa all the dignitaries suffered the same fate.
      Details of conquest of Egypt starting with the capture of Alexandria by Amr Ibn Al-As in 641 comes from the “Chronicle of John” – the Bishop of Nikiu, written between 693 and 700 CE. As Amr advanced into Egypt, he captured the city of Behnesa near Fayum, and exterminated the inhabitants. Nobody was spared, irrespective of surrendered or captured, Old or Young or Women. Fayum and Aboit suffered the same fate. At Nikiu, the entire population was put to the sword. The Arabs took the inhabitants to captivity. In Armenia, the entire population of Euchaita was wiped out. Seventh century Armenian chronicles recount how the Arabs decimated the population of Assyria and forced a number of inhabitants to accept Islam and then wrought havoc in the districts of Daron, southwest of Lake Van. In 642, it was the turn of the town of Dvin to suffer. In 643, the Arabs came back with “extermination, ruin and slavery”.
      It was the same ghastly spectacle in North Africa, Tripoli was pillaged in 643; Carthrage was razed to the ground and most of its inhabitants were slaughtered. Michael the Syrian describes how the first Omayyad Caliph Muawiya, who took power in 661, sacked and pillaged Cyprus and then established his domination by a “great massacre”. In the capture of Istakhar (Persia), 40,000 Iranians were slaughtered. Indeed, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Iraq, Iran and wherever Muslims have marched, were presented with the same spectacle.
      8th Century
      In 712, Governor of Iraq, Hajjaj, ordered the conquest of Sind under the commandership of his nephew, Muhammad bin Kasim. He was instructed to “bring destruction on the unbelievers… [and] to invite and induce the infidels to accept the true creed, and belief in the unity of God… and whoever does not submit to Islam, treat him harshly, and cause injury to him till he submits.” According to Al-Biladuri, after the capturing the port of Debal, the Muslim army slaughtered the inhabitants over three days and the priests of the temples were massacred.
      After the initial surge of cruelty, Kasim became more tolerant and allowed the infidels to continue their profession and religious practice. Learning about this sympathetic treatment, a furious Hajjaj sent letter condemning Kasim’s method of pardoning the infidels. It read, “… The great god says in the Koran [47:7]: “O True believers, when you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads.” The above command of the Great God is a great command and must be respected…. Henceforth, grant pardon to no one of the enemy and spare none of them..” Kasim quickly obliged to the divinely ordained command and on his capture of Brahmanabad, he invited the infidel idol-worshipers to accept Islam. On latter’s refusal, he ordered all adult males be beheaded with swords and their women and the children were captured as slaves. Eight thousands, some say 26,000, men were put to the sword. One-fifth of the captured slaves (women and children), which amounted to 20,000, amongst whom, were the daughters of Sind Chiefs along with King Dahir’s severed head, were sent to Hajjaj as the share of the states and the remainder were distributed amongst the soldiers. [Chachanama, Muhammad al-Kufi, trs Kalichbeg, I, 155; Shashi R Sharma, Caliphs and Sultans, p. 95]. The stream of captured slaves continued to flow from India to Baghdad ever since Kassim captured Sind and Hajjaj alone is said to have forwarded 60,000 slaves from India (~1/5 of total) to the caliph Walid I (705-715 CE). [Chachnama, I, 154]
      In 704-705, Caliph Walid I gathered together the nobles of Armenia in the Church of St. Gregory and in the Church of Xram on the Araxis and burned them alive. The rest were crucified and their women and children were captured as slaves. The worse happened to the Armenians between 852 and 855. Over in Egypt, in 722, the surveyor Usama b. Zaid, attacked convents and churches but Caliph Hisham later asked him to leave the Christians alone. Caliph Marwan (ruled 744-750) looted and destroyed many monasteries in Egypt while fleeing the Abbasid army. In the sacking of Euphesus in 781, 7,000 Greeks were taken captives and were deported en masse.
      9th century
      In 853, Abbassid Caliph Mutawakil ordered all new churches to be destroyed. In 884, the convent of Kalilshu in Baghdad was destroyed. Caliph al-Mutasim, known as the Islamic hero, was a great wager of holy wars against the Christians and heretics. After the capture and pillage of Amorium in 838, there were so many captive slaves that Caliph al-Mutasim ordered them to be auctioned in batches of five and ten. During the rule of caliph al-Mamun – considered the most just Muslim ruler and harbinger of the so-called “golden age of Islam” – the pagans of Harran had to choose between Islam and death.
      Ruined by the burden of imposition of Jizyah tax, the Coptic Christians of Lower Egypt revolted in 832. This revolt was ruthlessly suppressed by the Muslim rulers in which Christian villages, vineyards, gardens and Churches were burned. There were mass slaughter and those spared were deported.
      10th century
      In 924, the Church and convent of Mary in Damascus was plundered and burned and other churches destroyed. Further destruction occurred in Ramleh, Ascalon, Tinnis, and Egypt during the invasion of Asad ud Din Shirkuh. In the capture and sacking of Thessalonica in 903 CE, 22,000 Christian captives were divided amongst the Arab chieftains or sold into slavery.
      There were massacres of the Spanish Christians in and around Seville. Al-Hakim biamr Illah gave orders that the Churches of his dominions should be destroyed. A Muslim historian records that over 30,000 churches built by the Greeks in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere were destroyed, their contents seized and sold in the markets and lands confiscated. [Tritton AS, The Caliphs and their non-Muslim Subjects. London, 1970, p. 54].
      In Iran, the Zoroastrians faced frequent forced conversion, pressure to do so and persecution which lead to riots in Shiraz in 979. To escape persecution, they immigrated to India and live there even today as a respected community.
      11th century
      Six thousand Jews were massacred in Fez of Morocco in 1033. Hundreds of Jews were killed between 1010 and 1013 near Cordoba and other parts of Muslim Spain and an entire Jewish community of 4000 in Grenada was annihilated in 1066. Fatimid caliph Hakim’s jealous persecution of non-Muslims and Church demolition resulted in the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in 1009. He also banned the pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Both events acted as the major causes that ignited the Crusades.
      In Kairoun (Tunisia), the Jews were persecuted and sent to exile in 1016, who later returned, only to be expelled again. In Tunis, they were forced to convert or leave. During subsequent decades, there were fierce anti-Jewish persecutions throughout Tunisia.
      In 1064, the Seljuk Sultan, Alp Arslan, devastated Georgia and Armenia. Those, whom he did not take captive, were executed. [Ibn Warraq, pp. 218-238]
      Eleventh century also saw the barbaric assault of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni on Hindustan starting in 1000 CE. He launched 17 plundering, looting and slave-taking expeditions to India. Abu Nasr Muhammad Utbi, Sultan Mahmud’s secretary, gloats in his official chronicle that after attacking Waihind in November 1001 CE, Mahmud’s army slaughtered 15,000 fighting men in “splendid action” before capturing 500,000 men and women as slaves. In Mahmud’s attack of Ninduna and Panjab in 1014, “slaves were so plentiful that they became very cheap and the men of respectability in their native land were degraded by becoming slaves of ordinary shop-keepers (in Ghazni)”. The extent of barbarity of Sultan Mahmud was vividly described by contemporary Muslim historians. In the attack on Thanesar, “the blood of the infidels flowed so copiously that the stream was discolored and the people were unable to drink it”. Similarly in the slaughter of Sirsawa near Saharanpur, “the Musalmans paid no regard to the booty till they had satiated themselves with the slaughter of infidels.” [Utbi, Tehrik-i-Yamini, ED, Vol II, pp 41-42, 49-50]. When Mahmud learned that the famous Hindu temple at Somnath housed a monolith brought from the temple of Ka’ba, which was destroyed by the Prophet of Islam in 630 CE, out of jealous piety, he rushed to destroy the Somnath temple. Hindus in great numbered assembled to protect their sacred temple and offered Mahmud great booty, which he ignored and according to Ibn Asir [Kamil-ut-Tawarikh], he massacred 50,000 Hindus guarding temple and destroyed it.
      12th Century
      In the 12th century, the Almohads of North Africa spread terror wherever they went. The Jews in Yemen were given choice of death or conversion to Islam in 1165. Similar choice was given to the Jews of Aden in 1198. According to Stillman [The Jews of Arab Lands], there were forced conversions of Jews under the Almohad caliphs, al-Mumin (d 1165), Abu Yakub (d 1184) and al-Mansur (d 1199). The Christians of Grenada were deported to Morocco by the Almoravids rulers in 1126.
      In the Indian front, after the scourge of Mahmud Ghazni, there was a relative calm until Turk Ghaurid Sultan Muhammad Ghauri started his attacks beginning in 1175. When he became successful in 1192 to defeat Prithviraj Chauhan, he launched a scourge of conquest of Sirsuti, Samana, Khuhram and Hansi with ruthless slaughter and a general destruction of temples and their replacement with mosques. Similar events followed in Ajmer and Delhi later on [KS Lal, Theory and Practice of Muslim State in India, p. 21].
      Muhammad Ghauri’s lieutenant Qutbuddin Aibak, succeeded him to become the first Muslim Sultan in India. He dispatched Ikhtiyaruddin Bakhtiyar Khalji to the East and himself concentrated in Hindustan proper. He captured Kol (modern Aligarh) in 1194. There “those of the garrison who were wise and cute were converted to Islam, but those who stood by their ancient faith were slain with the sword.” [Hasan Nizami, Taj-ul-Maasir, E.D., H, 222]
      In 1195 when Raja Bhim was attacked by Aibak, he captured 20,000 slaves.
      13th Century
      In Aibak’s attack of Kalinjar in 1202, 50,000 slaves were captured. “The temples were converted into mosques,” writes Hasan Nizami, “and the voices of the summoners to prayer ascended to the highest heavens, and the very name of idolatry was annihilated.” Muhammad Farishtah specifically mentions that during the capture of Kalinjar “fifty thousand kaniz va ghulam, having suffered slavery, were rewarded with the honor of Islam” – which meant that enslaved captives were forced into conversion to Islam and conversion accelerated the growth of Muslim population in India.
      During Aibak’s rule of 20 Lunar years, he captured Hansi, Meerut, Delhi, Ranthambhor and Kol, which accompanied similar massacres, destruction and slave-taking. When Sultan Muizzuddin personally mounted a campaign against Hindustan, Aibak proceeded as far as Peshawar to meet him, and the two together attacked the Khokhar (Hindu) stronghold in the Koh-i-Jud or the Salt Range. The Hindus (Khokhars) fled to the highest in the mountains. They were pursued. Those that escaped the sword fled to the dense depth of the jungle; others were massacred or taken captive. The result was a great plunder and many captives sold as slaves. According to Farishtah 300 to 400 hundred thousand Khokhars were converted to Islam by Muizzuddin.
      Under Aibak most of Hindustan from Delhi to Gujarat, Lakhnauti to Lahore and Bihar to Bengal were brought under the sway of the Turks. In every attack great many people were killed and large number of women and children were captured as slaves. In 1202 CE, Ikhtiyaruddin Bakhtiyar Khalji marched into Bihar and attacked the University centers at Nalanda, Vikramshila and Uddandpur. The Buddhist monks and Brahmans, identified by shaved head, taken as idolaters, were massacred and the common people were captured and enslaved. Ibn Asir says that Qutbuddin Aibak made ‘war against the provinces of Hind. He killed many, and returned with prisoners and booty.” In Banaras, according to the same author, “the slaughter of the Hindus was immense; none was spared except women and children”. Fakhr-i-Mudabbir informs us that as a result of the Turkish achievements under Muizzuddin and Aibak, even poor (Muslim) householder became owner of numerous slaves.”
      After Aibak, Sultan Iltutmish (rule 1210-1236) continued with his war against the infidels and revolting territories including Ranthambhor (1226), Mandor (near Jodhpur), Gwalior and Ujjan (1234-35). According to contemporary chroniclers Minhaj Shiraj and Muhammad Farishtah, every campaign lead to general massacres of those who resisted and the women and children were taken captives and assets of the infidels were looted.
      Minhaj Siraj writes that Ulugh Khan Balban’s “taking of captives and his capture of the dependents of the great Ranas cannot be recounted”. Talking of his war in Avadh against Trailokyavarman of the Chandela dynasty (Dalaki va Malaki of Minhaj), the chronicler says that “All the infidels’ wives, sons and dependents… and children… fell into the hands of the victors.” In 1253, in his campaign against Ranthambhor also, Balban enslaved many people. In 1259, in an attack on Haryana, many women and children were enslaved. Twice Balban led expeditions against Kampil, Patiali, and Bhojpur, and in the process enslaved a large number of women and children. In Katehar, he ordered a general massacre of the male population of over eight years of age and carried away women and children. In 1260 CE, Ulugh Khan Balban marched with a large force on a campaign in the region of Ranthambhor, Mewat and Siwalik. He made a proclamation that a soldier who brought a live captive would be rewarded with two silver tankahs and one who brought the head of a dead one would get one silver tankah. Soon 300-400 living and dead were brought to his presence everyday.
      Like Balban, other commanders of Iltutmish, or the “Shamsia Maliks of Hind” were marching up and down the Hindustan, raiding towns and villages and enslaving people. This was the situation prevailing from Lakhnauti to Lahore and from Ajmer to Ujjain. The Hindus used to reclaim their lands after the Muslim invaders had passed through them with fire and sword, and Turkish armies used to repeat their attacks to regain control of the cities so lost. But the captives once taken became slaves and then Musalmans for ever. The exact figures of such slaves have not been mentioned and therefore cannot be computed. All that is known is that they were captured in droves.
      After the Iltutmish Sultans, war against the Hindu infidels and slave-taking received further momentum under the Khaljis. Sultan Jalaluddin Khalji (1290-1296) launched ruthless attacks against Hindus in Katehar, Ranthambhor, Malwa, and Gwalior. According to Amir Khasrau [Miftah-ul-Fatuh], he sacked temples, took booty and captured slaves making a “Hell of Paradise”.
      Next Sultan Alauddin Khalji, a great war maker, sent a large army to Gujarat in 1299 in which all the major towns were sacked, temples destroyed, wealth looted and large number of slaves of both sexes captured [Khwaja AM Isami, Futu-us-Salatin, p. 243 ; Ziauddin Barani, Tarikh-i-Firoz Shahi, pp. 251-52].
      Away from the Indian front, the Christians of Damascus were killed or sold into slavery and their Churches were burned down. Sir Steven Runciman records that Sultan Baibars had promised the safety of the garrison of Safed if they surrendered to the Muslims. When they surrendered, the Muslims fell upon the population and massacred them. At the capture of Antioch by the Muslims, “Even the Muslim Chroniclers were shocked by the carnage that followed”, says Runciman. The Jews of Marrakesh were massacred in 1232. Following this, the Jews of Morocco were persecuted, forced to convert or leave. The Jews of Tabriz were obliged to convert in 1291 CE [Ibn Warraq; p. 227]
      14th Century
      The riots of 1321 in Cairo, in which several churches were destroyed, which in turn, set on destruction of churches throughout Egypt resulting in desecration of more than 50 churches. The Jews of Tabriz were again made to convert to Islam in 1318 CE and those of Baghdad in 1333 and 1344.
      Late 14th and the early 15th centuries witnessed the horrible barbarity of Amir Tamur (aka, Tamurlane). Information about Timur comes mainly from “Zafer Nama” written during early 15th century and his own diary, Mulfuzat-i-Timuri, which are full of Koranic references in justification of his invasions, wars and mass murders and destructions. He set out on his campaign in 1399 against India solely because the Muslim rulers were, to him, too lenient towards the idolater Hindu subjects. By the time, he reached Delhi; he had gathered around 100,000 pagan captives. A few thousands artisans and clever mechanics, including builders and stone masons, were taken back to Samarkhand while the rest were massacred in a single day [Mulfuzat-i-Timuri, trs ED, III, 447]. He built victory pillars with the severed heads of the infidels. On his way out of India, he pillaged Miraj, pulled down the monuments and flayed the Hindu inhabitants alive. [Why I am Not a Muslim, ibn Warraq, p. 234-235].
      In the Indian front, Sultan Allauddin Khaliji (1296-1316) continued his terrorizing massacre, slave-taking and looting mission in the early 14th century, which made him the greatest rulers of the so-called Sultanate period (c 1200-1500 CE). In the sack of reconstituted Somnath temple for a second time, Wassaf recounts that the Muslim army captured 20,000 women and children as salves. [Wassaf, Bk IV, p. 448]. In 1301 Ranthambhor was attacked and in 1303, Chittor. In the Chittor attack 30,000 people were massacred in cold blood [Khazain, Habib trs p 49], and women and children were taken captives. Similar things happened in the attack of Malwa, Sevana and Jalor (1305-1311). According to Shams Shiraj Afif in the days of the Khaljis, “the Turks, whenever they please, can seize, buy or sell any Hindu.” [Nuh Sephr, trs, in ED III, 561]. No wonder that 50,000 slave boys were engaged in his personal services and 70,000 slaves worked continuously in his buildings. Ziauddin Barani describes the continuous arrival of batches of slaves in the markets of Delhi and elsewhere.
      Following the Khaljis, the Tughlaqs ascended to the Sultanate and they outstripped the notorious Khaljis in making wars against the Hindus and enslaving them. Shihabuddin Ahmed Abbas writes of Muhammad Tughlaq, “The Sultan never ceases to show the greatest zeal in making war upon the infidels… Everyday, thousands of slaves are sold at a very slow price, so great is the number of prisoners”. [Masalik-ul-Absar, E.D. III, 580]. He subjugated as far as Dwarsamudra, Malabar, Kampil, Warangal, Lakhnauti, Satgaon, Sonargaon, Nagarkat and Sambhal amongst the prominent places. [Qaraunab Turks, 96, 126, 129-30, 173]. He also ruthlessly put down 16 major rebellions. In each campaign, after defeat and massacre of the opponent, slaves were captured with gusto. The famous Muslim traveler Ibn Battutah testifies that in the defeat of Halajun rebellion (of Lahore), the capture of the women of the rebels were sent to the far-off Gwalior fort whom Battutah had seen there. [Battutah, p. 123]. The Tughlaqs would capture the Hindu slaves round the years, convert them to Muslims and on the two Eid-days, he will marry them off according to the Islamic tradition. [Battutah, p. 63].
      Firoz Tughlaq, who ascended to the throne in 1351, outstripped his father and grandfather in slave-taking by all kind of methods and means, so much so that he acquired 180,000 of them. Contemporary Shams Shiraj Afif further testifies that during Firoz Tughlaq “Slaves became too numerous” and that the institution took root in every centre of the country. [Afif, pp. 267-273]. Firoz Tughloq was known to be relatively kind-hearted of the Sultans and yet according to Afif he killed 180,000 Bengalis in his expedition in Bengal and had erected a Tower of skulls [Lal, p. 73].
      15th Century
      Amir Timur’s barbarism continued in the 15th century. In 1400, Timur devastated the country in and around Tifflis. In 1403, he returned to Tifflis to devastate the country again and destroyed the 700 large villages and minor towns, massacred the inhabitant and razed the Churches to the ground. Amir Timur thoroughly and systematically destroyed the Christians and as a result, the Nestorians and Jacobites of Mesopotamia have never recovered. At Sivas, 4,000 Christians were buried alive; at Tus, there were 10,000 victims. Historians estimate the number of dead at Saray to be 100,000; at Baghdad 90,000 and at Isfahan 70,000 [Why I am Not a Muslim, Ibn Warraq, pp. 234-235].
      Over in Constantinople, Sultan Mehemet unleashed utter barbarism. When Constantinople fell to the Muslim army, the Sultan allowed his soldiers to massacre the population for three days. They poured into the city and slew every men, women and children they met in the streets [Ruchimen, The Fall of Constantinople, 1453, p. 145].
      16th Century
      The Muslim Sultanate of India became divided into a few largely independent territories under different Muslim rulers during much of the 15th century, although the condition of the Hindus never changed. War against the Hindu community continued along with capture of slaves for selling. Then came Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur, a descendent of the barbaric Amir Timur, who defeated the fanatic Sikandar Lodi in 1526 and instituted the Mogul rule (1525 – 1707) in India. Babur, an orthodox Muslim, continued the Jihadi wars against the Hindu dominated regions of India. He continued with the destruction of the Hindu temples, the prominent example is the much controversial Babri Mosque in Ayodhya. Babur’s determination to exterminate the vestiges of Hindu idolatry was explicitly narrated in his own diary before battle against Rana Sanga. Babur wrote in Jihadi zeal, “I made public the resolution to abstain from wine. My servants… dashed upon the earth, the flagons and the cups. They dashed them into pieces as God willing, soon will be dashed, the Gods of the idolaters” [Babur Nama, Vol II, p. 554-5]. Babur and his soldiers destroyed Hindu temples in many parts of the country. [Babur Nama, Vol II, p. 340]. After winning the War against Rana Sangha, Babur ordered the set-up of a Tower of slaughtered pagan heads as a trophy for the victory. Similar tower of dead pagan heads was created after the victory at Chanderi against Medini Rai [Baburnama, pp. 483-84, 596]
      However, the misery and persecution of Hindu and other non-Muslims eased up a little bit after emperor Akbar came to the throne in 1656, who abolished discrimination, including Jizya, against the Hindus despite severe displeasure and protests from the Ulema and Muslims in general. However, persecution against the Hindus continued in various forms, especially his extreme eagerness and success in capturing the lands under the non-Muslim control. In the attack of Rana Pratap Singh in Rajastan; when the news of defeat of the Rajputs reached the palace, a few hundred noble women set fire on themselves to commit Jauher, in order to avoid being captured at the hands of Akbar’s lustful soldiers. Akbar accumulated a mind-boggling 5,000 women in his harem through various means.
      17th Century
      The Jews of Yemen were forced to choose between death and conversion in 1678. In 1617 and 1622, the Jews of Persia were declared apostates and suffered a wave of forced conversion and persecution. During the reign of Shah Abbas II (1642-1666), all the Jews of Persia were forced to convert, between 1653 and 1666. Taverniar, the 17th century French traveler, records as to how in Anatolia, “Everyday there were numerous Greeks who are forced to become Turks”.
      Over in Persia, the persecution of the Zoroastrians got worse in the 17th century. Persecutions included levying extra hefty taxes, frequent looting of their homes and properties, forcing them to wear distinctive clothing, prohibiting building new houses or repairing old ones.
      In the Indian front, following Akbar’s death, the semblance of equality that was instituted, started a reversal by his own son Jahanghir, which further worsened under Shahjahan. Jahangir writes that 500-600 thousand people were killed during the rule of Akbar and Jahangir. However, it was all undone when Akbar’s great grandson Aurangzeb ascended throne in 1658. He instituted Islamic Sharia as the ruling principle, reintroduced Jizya and launched a Jihadi campaign of forced conversion of the non-Muslims and destruction of non-Muslim religious institutions. When the Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur Singh went to Aurangzeb’s palace to inquire about forced conversion of the Hindus of Kashmir, he was tortured and executed in 1675. Aurangzeb’s rule saw destruction of nearly 10,000 Hindu, Jain and Buddhist temples. In the campaign of 1679-1680, 123 temples were destroyed in Udaipur, 63 in Chittor, 66 in Jaipur [Ibn Warraq, p. 224]. After defeating and taking Maratha king Sambhuraj and his minister Kavikalash prisoner, their eyes were extracted, tongue were cut off and after a fortnight’s torture, their limbs were hacked one by one and thrown to the dogs (1689). [Lal, p. 75]
      18th Century
      Persecution of the Zoroastrians continued in the 18th century so much so that their numbers “declined disastrously due to combined effects of massacres, forced conversions, and emigration” [Encyclopedia of Islam, Ed II].
      The Jews of Jedda were expelled between 1770 and 1786, who flew to Yemen. In 1790, Jews were massacred in Tetuan (Morocco).
      Aurangzeb’s policy of persecution and destruction of temples continued in the early 18th century until he died in 1707.
      19th Century
      In Persia, there was forced conversion of Jews in 1839. According the Bernard Lewis, there was also forced conversion of Persian Jews in the 1840s.
      In 1828, Jews of Baghdad were massacred. In 1834, a cycle of violence and pillage began against the Jews and their properties in Safed. In 1839, massacre of Jews occurred in Meshed (Iran). The survivors had to suffer forced conversion. A massacre of the Jews took place in Barfurush in 1867. In 1840, the Jews of Damascus suffered first in a series of blood libels, which spread to many cities. Other outbreaks of violence, murder and pillage of the Jews and their properties occurred in Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and the Arab countries.
      Starting in the 7th century, the Armenian Christians suffered terribly through the 19th century. The Turks massacred about 250,000 Armenian Christians in 1894-1896 in a planned and methodical design. General pillage was unleashed. Villages were burned and hundreds of Churches were plundered.
      The Zoroastrians faced increased persecution too, such that they were living in complete insecurity and poverty in the 19th century.

      So there you have it – the history of Islam is written in the blood of innocent people and it continues to this day. With all due respect, Dr. Akhtar, your arguments do not hold water.

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