Few in the West know the meaning of the “Khaybar, Khaybar” chant. That this imam chanted it at a “Return March” rally demonstrates that the Gaza protests are anything but peaceful.
As I explain in my forthcoming book The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS, which you can preorder here, 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.’”
When they entered Khaybar, 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 Safiyya bint Huyayy 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 Muslims 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.
“In Friday Sermon at Gaza ‘Return March’ Camp, Imam Chants Antisemitic Slogans, Adds: We Have Come Here to Execute the Decision of Allah and the Resolution of the U.N.,” MEMRI, March 30, 2018:
In a Friday sermon held east of Khan Yunis, at one of the “Return March” camps, Imam Muhammad Salah, “Abu Raab,” led the congregation in chanting “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of Muhammad is here.” Imam Salah declared that “the herds of plundering Jews will leave Palestine,” and told the worshippers that their goal was “to execute the decision of Allah,” as manifest in the Quran, “as well as UNGA Resolution 194.” He later attributed the quote “the old will die and the young will forget” to former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, to whom he referred as an “old bag,” and said that “the young swept Sharon and the Zionists out of Gaza and today, they are doing it again.” Imam Salah later stressed that the Palestinians have the right to bear arms “to protect the honor of our women and our land.” The sermon was delivered on March 30 and was posted on YouTube a few days later.
Imam Muhammad Salah: “This is Palestine. This is Palestine and, by Allah, the herds of plundering Jews will leave Palestine.
“We say to the Zionists: Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of Muhammad is here!
“We have come here, first and foremost, to execute the decision of Allah. There is a decision by Allah, brothers: ‘Expel them from wherever they have expelled you.’ This is Allah’s decision. We have come here to reiterate it, to implement it, and no one in the world, no matter who, can prevent us from doing so….
“Oh people of Palestine, oh nation of Islam, oh nation of one million [sic], come to see how terrified the Zionists are. They are shaking.”