Muslim Persecution of Peoples

Disagreements between followers of Islam and people of other beliefs, or between different Muslim groups, have on occasions resulted in the persecution of Muslims in non-Islamic countries, and conversely the persecution of non-Muslims or other Muslims in Islamic countries. Persecution in this sense refers to any arrest, imprisonment, beating, rape, torture, execution or ethnic cleansing based on belief in a contrary religious practice. This persecution can extend to confiscation and/or destruction of property, or incitement to hate.

Historically there has been ongoing conflict and persecution between various groups of Muslims, e.g. the Sunni, Shiite, Mu'tazilite and Kharijite sects of Muslims and the Druze and Ahmadiyya groups which are considered non-Muslim by mainstream Sunni and Shi'a clergy, as well as conflict between Muslims and non-Muslim minority groups such as Hindus,Jews, Christians, Sikhs or Yezidi

The Qur'an and hadith serve as Sunnah, the model for conduct, for Sunni and Shi'a Muslims in all matters of life, and thus Muslims are compelled to consider the way these texts describe the historic treatment of non-Muslims, as their guidelines. This makes the authorised version of Muhammad's life, known as the sirah, and the collection of his sayings - the hadith - of paramount importance, except for the minority of Muslims who reject Sunnah, and accept the Qur'an alone

A number of verses in the Qu'ran are viewed by some Muslims as calls to suppress things outside of Islam, in particular portraying certain groups as being disliked by God. Most Muslims see these verses as simply describing Allah's feelings toward non-believers, although a small minority view these as being a call to an anti-non-Muslim jihad. The Qu'ran explicitly prohibits persecution, but a very few claim that the later appearance of the more antagonistic verses is an abrogation of the former, implying God changed his mind.

Several sura present a less than positive picture of Judeo-Christian religions - At-Tawba:30 states that their understandings of certain historical genealogies are inaccurate and deluded. Sura 3:118 continues the theme claiming that such persons desire to harm you severely and hatred has already appeared from their mouths.

Some go further, reflecting Islamic views on the subject of religious idols - Sura 9:5 explicitly states slay the idolaters wherever ye find them. However, it goes on to say if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free.Sahih Bukhari:5.59.522 however condones marriage between Muslim men and non-Muslim women, describing the marriage between Mohammed and Safiya bint Huyai bin Akhtaq, whose husband had been killed in a preceding battle.

Missionary activity was historically a large issue, and several sura address the issue, in particular, An-Nahl:125 - Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition, and argue with them in the kindest way - and Al Imran:20 - If [non-Muslims] turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message - advocate gentle and non-violent discourse rather than forcing conversion. Indeed Yunas:99 actively condemns forced conversion - If it had been your Lord's will, all of the people on Earth would have believed. Would you then compel the people so to have them believe?

With regards to converts from Islam, conservative interpretations read Al Imran:85 - Of such the reward is that on [apostates falls] the curse of Allah, of His angels, and of all mankind, and its more extensive counterpart in the Sunnah - Sahih Bukhari:9.83.17 - The blood of a Muslim ... cannot be shed except ... for ... one who reverts from Islam ... as supporting the death penalty, known as murtadd. However, unlike the holy books of many religions, the Qur'an contains an explicit instruction that people should not be forced to obey religious rule - one of the most celebrated passages amongst moderates and liberals is al-Baqarah:256 - Let there be no compulsion in religion.

Persecution of pagan Arabs
Meccan period
Early in the history of Islam, Muhammad and his followers lived in the central-Western Arabian city of Mecca, when they suffered from discrimination and harassment by the local population, and were persecuted for their beliefs. Eventually, this led to them fleeing to Medina, an act known as the hijra, a time during which Islamic tradition holds that most of the Qur'anic verses which describe tolerance were revealed. Extremely conservative interpretations hold that later contradictory verses, and hadith, abrogate such tolerance, though standard interpretations hold that the later verses simply reflect the persecution Muhammad was under at the time of their revelation.

Hijra to Medina
The tribes at Medina were more welcoming, many even converting to Islam. After a military episode, the Battle of Badr, Muhammed and his followers consolidated their power as the ruling party, although much of the population that had remained Jewish was left unaffected. Three of the Jewish tribes - the Banu Qurayza, Banu Qaynuqa, and Banu Nadir - signed a non-aggression pact and military alliance with Mohammed, the Constitution of Medina.

Jews and other non-Muslim people living under the protection of the Muslim authorities were considered dhimmi - in exchange for paying a tax, jizya, Muslims would provide military protection. Such dhimmi had similar rights, and could continue their culture and worship, even being exempted from military action when a military jihad was called by the Muslim group. Female dhimmi were also allowed to marry Muslim males, although the converse was not true without male dhimmi converting to Islam. Nevertheless, one of the four modern Sunni interpretations of Shari'ah - the Hanbali school (dominant in Saudi Arabia) - considers such tolerance abrogated, and bans non-Muslim religious practice.

Bany Qaynuqa, Banu Quraiza and Banu Nadir
After a while, a member of the Banu Qaynuqa was alleged to have murdered a Muslim woman, and was killed in retaliation by a Muslim, leading to a chain of revenge killings. Arbitration failed, and full scale war broke out, until Abdullah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul, an old ally of Qaynuqa, interceded on their behalf and persuaded Mohammed to send the entire Banu Qaynuqa into exile, consequently confiscating their land and property. The intersession of ibn Salul saved the Jewish tribe but gained him the enmity of Muhammad.[1] The conflict led to a ruling that such future action by any of the other parties to the Constitution of Medina would constitute a voiding of their benefits under the system, and subsequent punishment. The punishment was legally left up to the amir - the leader of the Islamic army - as to whether it should be execution, slavery, exile, or simply merciful forgiveness.

Muhammad later stated that he had received a premonition of his own assassination by the Banu Nadir, leading to a tense situation, which was ultimately settled by negotiation. The Banu Nadir were sent into exile, but allowed to leave with their possessions.

The remaining third Jewish party to the constitution - the Banu Qurayza - took part in the Battle of the Trench, but according to the Bukhari hadith, on the opposing side to the Muslims, thus breaking the constitution. According to one well-regarded hadith collection, the Sahih Bukhari, this was the second time Bani Qurayza had broken the peace treaty and allied with Banu Al-Nadir against the Muslims; the first time, Banu Qurayza suffered no loss and were allowed to stay in Medina. It was said by one early historian, Ibn Ishaq, that their decision to betray Medina was a reluctant one, only deciding to support Mecca after persuasion by the Banu Al-Nadir.

When the Muslims laid siege to their fortifications, they surrendered, and, according to the Bukhari hadith, their males were subsequently executed for treason, and the females and children put into slavery. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] Some Orthodox Muslim scholars have claimed this event is a precedent justifying killing prisoners of war [8] [9], although it should also be noted that such execution was common practice at the time, e.g the execution of 2700 prisoners of war by Richard I of England during the siege of Acre in this manner, on a single occasion and that several maddhab of islam favour release or enslavement of prisoners above killing.

War with Mecca
The neutrality of this section is disputed.
Please see discussion on the talk page.
By 628, the Muslim position in Medina had become strong enough for Muhammad to return as a pilgrim to Mecca, without fear of persecution. In March 628, he set out for Mecca followed by 1,600 men, and after some negotiations, the Treaty of Hudaybiyah was signed at the border town of al-Hudaybiyah. The treaty postponed Muhammad's pilgrimage, but also guaranteed a cease-fire, allowing him to return safely the following year. Mecca, however, attacked a group of Bedouins en-route to Medina, and so the agreement was seen as voided, causing war to resume. Such voiding has served on occasion as the example situation in Islam of when truces should be ended (hudna).

In 630, Muhammad marched on Mecca with an army of about 10,000 men, a threat of such size that Mecca surrendered immediately. Muhammad in turn promised a general amnesty, though excluding certain specific individuals, and most people in Mecca converted to Islam, leading Muhammad to destroy idols in the ancient Kaaba. The importance of Mecca to Mohammed, and the treatment it had meted out to Islam before his return, led to him exiling non-Muslims, a situation that has remained to this day in Mecca and Medina. Conservative schools of Shari'ah would like to extend this ban to all Muslim territory, although allowing guests to be present on a temporary basis.

The killing of Ka'b ibn Ashraf
According to the hadith collection of Bukhari, the Jewish poet Ka'b ibn Ashraf wrote satirical verses about Muhammad, resulting in Mohammed requesting his assassination. The collection indicates that after asking for volunteer assassins, an offer to perform it was made by Muhammad bin Aslama, who achieved the task by feigning a request to borrow something from Ka'b. The collection claims that Muhammad praised his action.[10] [11] [12] [13] This prompted leading conservative Muslim scholars, in particular those advocating Shari'ah law, to conclude that it is appropriate to execute those who offend either Allah, Muhammad, or Islam, for the crime of blasphemy [14][15] (e.g. issuing an execution fatwa against Salman Rushdie). As a consequence, the penal codes of e.g. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan [16] consider blasphemy still as a capital offence. The crime of blasphemy was also punishable by execution in several Christian nations during Christianity's first 1500 years, most notably during the time of the Inquisition, although modern mainstream Christianity considers this a violation of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Qur'an only Muslims dispute both this interpretation and the accuracy of the hadith on which this narration is based, because it violates Qur'anic teachings and cannot be reconciled with the level of ethical behaviour, they believe, would be required from Muhammad in order to be a genuine messenger from Allah.

Persecution in the early Caliphate
During the reign of the four "Righteous Caliphs" the islamic empire went into a phase of rapid conquests which as a result led to the subjugation of large non-Muslim populations. As a result, the dhimmitude system was developed. This system offered a limited protection towards dhimmi non-Muslims, but contained a number of discriminatory injunctions against non-Muslims.

Persecution of Hindus in the Moghul Empire
The initial invasion of South Asia by Muslim armies led to widespread carnage as Muslims regarded the Hindus as infidels. The Moghul Empire was marked by periods of tolerance of non-Muslims, such as Hindus and Sikhs, as well as violent oppression and persecution of those people. The Moghul emperor Shah Jahan was famous for his religious tolerance and conflicts with the islamic clergy. His pious son Aurangzeb is alleged to have initiated bloody persecutions of Hindus and ransacked many temples, though there is no documented evidence to support this view.

Persecution of Christians in the Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman Empire was marked by periods of limited tolerance and periods of often bloody repression of non-Muslims. Many Jews fled from Spain to more tolerant states, such as the Netherlands and the Ottoman Empire to escape persecution. The Janissary army corps consisted of children from Christian parents which were taken as a levy (the devshirme system). At the end of the Ottoman Empire, about 1.5 million Armenians and Greeks perished as a result of direct killing and starvation, see Armenian genocide. In the nineteenth century, there were several campaigns of ethnic cleansing against non-Muslims, such as the Assyrian Christians and Yezidi in contemporary Iraq.

Persecution of liberal and secular Muslims in South Asia
Many secular and liberal Kashmiris have been harassed and killed by Kashmiri islamist militants, which consider them traitors. Several incidents are reported in which Kashmiri girls which did not wear a hijab were attacked with sulphuric acid. Indian Muslim women face discrimination in everyday life because the Indian penal code for Muslims favors Muslim man above Muslim women. The list of South-Asian former Muslims against whom fatwas with a death sentence have been issued includes Taslima Nasreen and Salman Rushdie. Ahmadiyyas are persecuted by several Islamist groups, especially in Bangladesh [17] [18] [19] and Pakistan [20] [21]. Persecution includes personal harassment, looting and burning of mosques and murder.[22]

Persecution of secularized Muslims in the West by Islamists
Secular and liberal Muslims living in Western countries report an increased repression by Islamist elements, at times even culminating in death threats. On rare occasions, women refusing to wear traditional Islamic clothes like the hijab or burqa suffer from intimidation and abuse. Disturbed by the position of immigrant women in French society, a group of Maghreb feminists began the campaign "ni putes, ni soumises", although they would be more than reluctant to speak of a so-called "historical persecution by Muslims" in France.

Persecution of those converting away from Islam
Muslims who convert to other religions face persecution in Muslim majority countires. An example of this is in Afghanistan where Abdul Rahman could face the death penalty for apostasy after he converted to Christianity.
Not as bad as Christians but pretty bad in its own right.

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