As I explain in my book The Truth About Muhammad, Muhammad led a Muslim force against the Khaybar oasis, which was inhabited by Jews -- many of whom he had previously exiled from Medina. When he did so, he was not responding to any provocation. One of the Muslims later remembered: "When the apostle raided a people he waited until the morning. If he heard a call to prayer he held back; if he did not hear it he attacked. We came to Khaybar by night, and the apostle passed the night there; and when morning came he did not hear the call to prayer, so he rode and we rode with him....We met the workers of Khaybar coming out in the morning with their spades and baskets. When they saw the apostle and the army they cried, 'Muhammad with his force,' and turned tail and fled. The apostle said, 'Allah Akbar! Khaybar is destroyed. When we arrive in a people's square it is a bad morning for those who have been warned.'"
The Muslim advance was inexorable. "The apostle," according to Muhammad's earliest biographer, Ibn Ishaq, "seized the property piece by piece and conquered the forts one by one as he came to them." Another biographer of Muhammad, Ibn Sa'd, reports that the battle was fierce: the "polytheists...killed a large number of [Muhammad's] Companions and he also put to death a very large number of them....He killed ninety-three men of the Jews..." Muhammad and his men offered the fajr prayer, the Islamic dawn prayer, before it was light, and then entered Khaybar itself. The Muslims immediately set out to locate the inhabitants' wealth. A Jewish leader of Khaybar, Kinana bin al-Rabi, was brought before Muhammad; Kinana was supposed to have been entrusted with the treasure of on of the Jewish tribes of Arabia, the Banu Nadir. Kinana denied knowing where this treasure was, but Muhammad pressed him: "Do you know that if we find you have it I shall kill you?" Kinana said yes, that he did know that.
Some of the treasure was found. To find the rest, Muhammad gave orders concerning Kinana: "Torture him until you extract what he has." One of the Muslims built a fire on Kinana's chest, but Kinana would not give up his secret. When he was at the point of death, one of the Muslims beheaded him. Kinana's wife was taken as a war prize; Muhammad claimed her for himself and hastily arranged a wedding ceremony that night. He halted the Muslims' caravan out of Khaybar later that night in order to consummate the marriage.
Muhammad agreed to let the people of Khaybar to go into exile, allowing them to keep as much of their property as they could carry. The Prophet of Islam, however, commanded them to leave behind all their gold and silver. He had intended to expel all of them, but some, who were farmers, begged him to allow them to let them stay if they gave him half their yield annually. Muhammad agreed: "I will allow you to continue here, so long as we would desire." He warned them: "If we wish to expel you we will expel you." They no longer had any rights that did not depend upon the good will and sufferance of Muhammad and the Muslims. And indeed, when the Muslims discovered some treasure that some of the Khaybar Jews had hidden, he ordered the women of the tribe enslaved and seized the perpetrators' land. A hadith notes that "the Prophet had their warriors killed, their offspring and woman taken as captives."
Thus when modern-day jihadists invoke Khaybar, they are recalling an aggressive, surprise raid by Muhammad which resulted in the final eradication of the once considerable Jewish presence in Arabia. To the jihadists, Khaybar means the destruction of the Jews and the seizure of their property by the Muslims.
“The revolution was made so that sharia could be applied”." I tried to tell you.
KAIROUAN (AFP/EJP)---Thousands of Salafist Muslims marched on Kairouan in Central Tunisia, as part of the extremist Islamic movement’s annual assembly. The exclusively male attendees, many of whom were dressed in Afghan military uniform or waving Salafist black flags, marched through the city and raised a banner over the minaret of its mosque, the oldest in Africa.
The demonstration comes in the wake of the rejuvenated Jewish annual pilgrimage to the Tunisian island of Djerba, the continuation of which was in doubt after Israel’s National Security Council expressed fears the country’s activists were planning attacks on Israeli or Jewish targets.
Chief organiser of the pilgrimage, Rene Trabelski, refuted such security fears and claimed a successful 2012 pilgrimage would “show the world that Tunisians accept difference and that the new Tunisia is not as Islamist and radical as some think”.
“It’s a country that respects religious minorities as always”, he added.
The event went ahead with some 1,500 Jews from across, France, Tunisia and Italy.
Organisers of the Salafist assembly had instructed marchers to remain “calm” and not to talk to reporters. Many participants however defied their request not to chant slogans, reciting “We are all the children of Osama (bin Laden) and “Jews, Jews, the army of Mohammed is back”.
The Salafist movement has risen to prominence since its launch in April 2011, following the popular protests that forced former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to flee Tunisia after 23 years in power, and which constituted the start of the Arab Spring across the Muslim world.
The revolution brought moderate Islamists to power to replace the former secular administration, but also led to the rise of extremist groups advocating the adoption of fundamentalist shariah law.
The leader of the outlawed Hizb Ettahrir party, Ridha Bel Haj told the crowd he was hopeful because of the number of participants in the country’s second annual assembly:
“The revolution was made so that sharia could be applied”, he said.
According to “The Promise” magazine distributed at the rally:
“The second congress...reunites all brothers whose objective it is to apply sharia and God’s law in our country”....