FP: So tell us what inspired you to write The Truth About Muhammad. In your book, you discuss why you didn’t want to write it at first. How come?
Spencer: I was inspired to write this book by a phenomenon I have observed many times over the years: moderate Muslims would invoke Muhammad's example in arguing that Muslims should become more peaceful, and jihadists would invoke his example also, but to justify their acts of violence. I give some examples of this in the book's first chapter.
This is a very important question, for since Muslims traditionally have looked to Muhammad as the supreme example for human behavior (cf. Qur'an 33:21), what he was really like according to the sources Muslims themselves consider reliable will reveal a great deal about what non-Muslims can realistically expect in the long term from the Islamic world and the American Muslim community.
Meanwhile, the prevailing assumption among policymakers and the mainstream media is that Islam is fundamentally peaceful. Since a range of American policies are based on this assumption, I thought it useful to examine the origins of Islam and the character of its founder -- again, strictly according to the texts Muslims consider most reliable -- in order to determine how Muslims themselves who take such texts seriously regard their obligations as believers. This will illuminate a great deal about the readiness of Islamic nations and groups to make common cause and form lasting alliances with America and the West.
The interview continues to enlighten us into the behavior and thinking of the 'prophet'...
Spencer: Jamie, you're articulating one of the fundamental differences between the Christian and Islamic traditions. In Christianity, vengeance belongs to God only: "Vengeance is mine, says the Lord; I will repay" (Romans 12:19). But in Islam, the faithful are commanded to take revenge, for Allah will repay the offenders by means of the Muslim warriors: "Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? Fight them, and Allah will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame" (Qur'an 9:13-14). So in the first place, it is much more acceptable within an Islamic context than within a Christian one to avenge a wrong, and in Islam blaspheming or insulting the Prophet is a very serious wrongdoing.
Muhammad himself also sets an example for Muslims in this. He ordered the assassinations of several people who had dared to mock him and his prophetic pretensions - notably, two poets, Abu 'Afak and 'Asma bint Marwan. Abu 'Afak was reputed to be over one hundred years old, and had dared to criticize in verse Muhammad's killing of another of his opponents. Muhammad asked his men, "Who will deal with this rascal for me?" He found a ready volunteer in a young Muslim named Salim bin 'Umayr, who dispatched the old poet as he lay sleeping. 'Asma bint Marwan, a poetess, was incensed when she heard of the murder of Abu 'Afak. She wrote verses denigrating the men of Medina for obeying "a stranger who is none of yours," and asked, "Is there no man of pride who would attack him by surprise and cut off the hopes of those who expect aught from him?"
When Muhammad heard of this, he looked to strike first, asking for a volunteer to kill her: "Who will rid me of Marwan's daughter?" A Muslim named 'Umayr bin 'Adiy al-Khatmi took the job, and killed her along with her unborn child that very night. But after he had done the deed, 'Umayr began to worry that perhaps he had committed a grave sin. Muhammad reassured him: "You have helped God and His apostle, O 'Umayr!" But would he incur punishment?
"Two goats," replied the Prophet of Islam, "won't butt their heads about her.".
Read the entire interview here.Even if you've never read any of his books, it's very enlightening. I also suggest you visit his website. Frequently. Daily.
I first became aware of Mr. Spencer after reading his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). If you think Islam is a religion of peace, think again.
I urge you to read the book, and pass it along to your muslim friends. Most 'moderate' muslims are in denial about the prophet and the religion -- mostly, I'm guessing, because the Qu'ran is written in arabic, and most islamics around the world are NOT arabic and don't read that language.
I'll have a review of the book here as soon as I receive it and read it.
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