Islamic scholars Reza Aslan (a professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside) and Mia Bloom (a professor of security studies at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell) are rudely contemptuous of anyone who would dare question their knowledge of Islam, but both have just made the same spectacular error — the kind of error that only someone with no actual knowledge of the relevant material would ever have made.
As you can see, both just tweeted out the same thing: a quote from the first caliph, Abu Bakr, that they think establishes that the Islamic State is violating Islamic law. The only problem is that the document cited as the source for this statement actually endorses the killing of non-Muslims who refuse to convert to Islam, as well as of apostates from Islam, and the taking captive of their women and children.
David Wood has the story at Answering Muslims:
Here are some portions of a lengthy letter Abu Bakr sent (along with an army) to the apostates and rebels. Unlike Aslan, I’ll actually document the source so that people can take a closer look if they like.
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. From Abu Bakr, caliph of the Apostle of God, to whomever this letter of mine may reach among the commoners and notables who has stood fast in his Islam or who has turned back from it: Peace upon those who follow the [true] guidance and who have not turned back to error and blindness after [having received] the [true] guidance. Verily I praise to you God, other than Whom there is no god. I bear witness that there is no god but God alone, Who has no associate, and that Muhammad is His Servant and His Apostle; we affirm that which he brought, and that which he denied we declare to be unbelief and strive against it. Now then: Verily God, may He be exalted, sent Muhammad with His truth to His creation as a bearer of good tidings and as a warner and as one calling [others] to God, with His permission, and as a light-bringing lamp, so that he might warn [all] who live, and so that the saying against the unbelievers might be fulfilled. So God guided with the truth whoever responded to Him, and the Apostle of God, with His permission, struck whoever turned his back to Him until he came to Islam, willingly or grudgingly. Then God took His Apostle to Him, he having carried out God’s command . . .
I have learned that some of you have turned back from your religion after you had acknowledged Islam and labored in it, out of negligence of God and ignorance of His command, and in compliance with the devil. . . . I have sent to you someone at the head of an army of the Muhajirun and the Ansar and those who follow [them] in good works. I ordered him not to fight anyone or to kill anyone until he has called him to the cause of God; so that those who respond to him and acknowledge [Him] and renounce [unbelief] and do good works, [my envoy] shall accept him and help him to [do right], but I have ordered him to fight those who deny [Him] for that reason. So he will not spare any one of them he can gain mastery over, [but may] burn them with fire, slaughter them by any means, and take women and children captive; nor shall he accept from anyone anything except Islam. So whoever follows him, it is better for him; but whoever leaves him, will not weaken God. . . . (The History of al-Tabari, Volume X, State University of New York Press, 1993, pp. 55-57)
Here are five takeaways from the underlined portions:
(1) According to Abu Bakr, Muhammad “struck whoever turned his back to” Allah “until he came to Islam, willingly or grudgingly.” Does Aslan agree with Abu Bakr that Muhammad compelled people to convert to Islam, whether they wanted to become Muslims or not?
(2) Abu Bakr sends the letter with an army, and the army is instructed “not to fight anyone or to kill anyone until he has called him to the cause of God.” Those who returned to Islam were to be left alone, while those who refused to return to Islam were to be fought.
(3) Khalid bin al-Walid (the commander of the army) was ordered not to “spare any one of them he can gain mastery over.”
(4) The penalties for refusing to submit to Islam included “burning them with fire” and “slaughtering them by any means.”
(5) Women and children were to be taken captive.
As you can see, the Islamic State is following Abu Bakr’s guidelines to the letter. Yet Reza Aslan invites Islamic State jihadists to follow Abu Bakr’s guidelines. By telling jihadists to obey Abu Bakr, Aslan is telling them to (1) invite people to Islam, (2) slaughter those who refuse to submit, and (3) take women and children captive.
Thus by calling on the Islamic State to follow Abu Bakr’s rules of war, Aslan and Bloom are unwittingly recommending the killing of apostates, jihad murder of non-Muslims, and the taking captive of women and children.
These “scholars” need not worry, however. Academia and the mainstream media are both one-party states. They can be secure in the knowledge that they will never be challenged on their egregious ignorance of a field in which they have claimed expertise. They have the requisite politically acceptable opinions, and that is all that matters.