Thursday, April 09, 2009

Pirates and Muhammad

This morning, I was watching a report on the ship with Americans aboard which was hijacked by Muslim pirates off the coast of Somalia. This is just the latest of a many ships that have been hijacked by these pirates.

It occurred to me that what these pirates are doing is really no different than what Muhammad once did. After Muhammad moved to Medina, he greatly increased his wealth by hijacking and raiding merchant caravans going back and forth from Mecca.


Robert said...

Aside from the religion and the piracy, are you trying to make a link there?

Dennis said...

I'm just making the observation that the pirates are just faithfully following their prophet's example. He robbed merchant's also.

St.Lee said...

Looks like a logical link to me. Let's see, isn't there some sort of resolution proposed in the United Nations that would make it a crime to do anything that would cast aspersion on Islam? At that point any intervention in an act of piracy by a follower of Islam would be a religious hate crime.

Coriolanus89 said...

Dear Robert,

I would like to point out that what you have written is unfortunately, untrue. The system of "brotherhood" instituted by Muhammad between Medinite and Meccan muslims meant that Meccan muslims had no need to raid caravans, because the Medinite Muslim shared his produce with his allocated Meccan "brother". Many of the Meccan Mulims also learned the art of agriculture from their Medinite brothers.

There were in point of fact no raids made by the Muslims for the purpose of looting and pillaging. Muhammad's teaching is that:

"...if they (non-Muslims) keep aloof from you and fight you not, and make you an offer of peace, then remember that Allah has allowed you no way of aggression against them." (4:91)

It is therefore impossible for Muhammad to have committed raids against innocent caravans who had done him no harm.

The facts are these: having made a diplomatic (not military) "ghazu" or "expedition" to a tribe named "Banu Darma", the Muslims had extended their political power in Arabia. The Meccans became worried about the increasing sphere of Muslim influence and sent out an expedition of 300 soldiers to Medina, led by Ikirima along the Syrian trade route towards Medina. The fact that Ikrima was eager for conflict and had no experience of trading whatsoever shows that the purpose of the expedition was military and that there was no trade caravan involved. It was a raid by the Meccans in response to Muhammad's increasing political power, not a raid by Muhammad on the Meccans. Muhammad, having learnt of this, sent his own soldiers to intercept them. No bounty was ever brought back to Medina-showing that if there were caravans involved, they were certainly not looted. Muhammad himself strongly condemned the internecine violence of the Arabs and the practise of looting other people's caravans. His teaching clearly states:

"And create not disorder in the earth after it has been set in order, and call upon Him in fear and hope. Surely, the mercy of Allah is nigh unto those who do good." (7:57)

Having been persecuted for thirteen years in his home-town, having had both his long-standing wife of twenty five years and uncle who brought him up as a child, die in the same year due to a boycott imposed upon them by the Meccans leading to near starvation, having then to migrate to a city one hundred miles away to avoid fighting and having had war officially declared by Mecca upon Medina on account of his residence there, it is then the height of injustice to say that any incidents of conflict between Meccans and Medinite Muslims was due to Muhammad's desire for bounty and the property of others. Any conflict that arose was on account of the previous thirteen years of persecution and the subsequent war that had been declared upon the Muhammad and his followers. "Bounty" in the Qur'an was only allowed at the end of a battle between two warring parties. It does not refer to making raids on innocent tradesman.

I hope you will agree with me that to slander Muhammad as a pirate is the height of injustice.

Yours sincerely,

Tahir Nasser.