Just the other night on Staten Island, a Muslim American Society spokesman insisted that the Qur’an’s martial verses applied only to a long-vanished time and place, not to today. These Egyptian Muslim clerics, however, and many others don’t seem to have gotten the memo. “Egyptian Clerics Reminisce about the Victories of Early Islam and Lament the Loss of Andalusia,” from MEMRI, June 11:
The following excerpts are from an interview with Egyptian cleric Hamdan Badr of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, which aired on Al-Shabab TV on December 8, 2009.
To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/2472.htm.
Hamdan Badr: “Khaled [Ibn Al-Walid] went to the Byzantine army commander, who looked at him and said: ‘Khaled, I have heard that what made you leave your homes was hunger and thirst. Go back with the rest of the Muslims.’ You and the viewers had better pay close attention – ‘Go back with the rest of the Muslims, and each of you will get food, drink, and clothing, you will get this every year.’ Because he was the commander, they wanted to give him a little… ”
Interviewer: “He could have finished the job and gottent back… No problem.”
Hamdan Badr: “Right?”
Interviewer: “Yes, no problem.”
Hamdan Badr: “Am I making myself clear?”
Interviewer: “Yes, our viewers get this.”
Hamdan Badr: “What did Khaled say to him? He said: ‘You are right, commander!'”
Interviewer: “What honesty.”
Hamdan Badr: “Right. ‘It was thirst that made us leave our homes. We have heard that Byzantine blood is the tastiest, and we have come to drink it.’ Don’t take this the wrong way. It doesn’t mean that we should… No. We suggested that they convert to Islam and be saved, or pay the jizya poll tax, or else, we would wage war against them. This does not constitute aggression, because we are defending the borders of the Islamic state. We are commanded to enjoin people to worship Allah. We are commanded to enjoin the creatures to worship their Creator, to save whoever wants to be saved from worshipping slaves so that they will worship the Master of Slaves, and bring them from the injustice of the other religions to the justice of Islam, from the narrow straits of this world to the spaciousness of the world to come. That is the mission of every Muslim in this life.
“Khaled said these things, and the man was filled with wrath. Khaled clutched his horse’s reins, and rode toward the army of the Muslims, calling out to them at the top of his voice: ‘Blow, oh wing of Paradise!'”
Interviewer: “How beautiful.”
Hamdan Badr: “What leaders…”
Interviewer: “What a beautiful expression.”
Hamdan Badr: “Where are those leaders? I would like… We would like leaders like that, but…”
Interviewer: “They could take a lesson from Khaled…” […]