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Student shouting “slaughter the Jews” at Israeli official’s speech claims he was misunderstood

Posted By Robert Spencer On February 12, 2010 @ 10:50 am In NewsReal Blog | No Comments

Cross-posted at JihadWatch

This again: yet another sleazy Islamic supremacist claims he was “misunderstood.” You would think that after awhile they’d be too embarrassed to bring out this tired, lame excuse yet again, but they seem to be immune from embarrassment.

And compounding the problem here is that his explanation hardly makes matters better. He is counting on his audience not knowing anything about Khaybar. Among jihadis the slogan is familiar: “Khaybar, Khaybar, ya Yahoud, jaish Muhammad sa yaoud” — that is, “Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, the army of Muhammad will return.”

Khaybar. 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, as this hate mailer did indirectly by echoing the familiar chant about Muhammad’s Army, they are doing much more than just recalling the glory days of Islam and its prophet. 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.

That’s what Noor Rashid is now claiming that he did say. This is supposed to reassure us.

An update on this story. “Student says ’slaughter the Jews’ remark was misunderstood,” by Donald Macintyre in The Independent, February 12:

A student who spoke out in Arabic during protests against a speech by an Israeli minister at the Oxford Union has denied he called out the words: “Slaughter the Jews”.A statement issued by the office of Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, on Wednesday said that a student protester had uttered the words in question as Mr Ayalon faced protests over his appearance at the Union on Monday night.

But the Oxford Student newspaper yesterday quoted second year St Edmund Hall student Noor Rashid as saying he was in fact using the words of a classical Arabic chant commemorating a seventh-century battle between Arabs and Jews at Khayber, in the Arabian Peninsula.

The statement from Mr Ayalon’s office maintained that a student had called out “Itbah Al Yahud” which translates as a call to slaughter Jews.

But Mr Rashid said that he had in fact said: “Khaybar ya Yahod.” A Jewish Chronicle report yesterday said this referred to a seventh century attack by the Prophet Mohammed on the Jewish community in Khaybar in which the Jews were defeated and made to pay half their income to the Muslim victors.

Mr Rashid told Oxford Student: “My version went: ‘Khaybar, O Jews, we will win’. This is in classical, Qur’anic Arabic and I doubt that apart from picking up on the word ‘Jew’, that even the Arabic speakers in the room would have understood the phrase.

“As you can see, I made no reference to killing Jews.” he said, adding that ‘Jew’ and ‘Israel’ were interchangeable terms. Mr Rashid said the remark carried “absolutely no derogatory or secondary meanings.”

Mr Rashid told the paper he may have been misunderstood: “There was a great deal of confusion and several people were shouting at the same time so I do acknowledge that people may have misheard me and assume that I uttered something else – namely to ’slaughter the Jews’ which is something that I do not believe.

“I express the deepest regret if my remarks were misunderstood or misheard to mean anything that even comes close to encouraging the slaughter of innocents. I will be writing letters to all my Jewish friends to express my sincere apologies, and also to clarify my remarks.”…


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