Tuesday, November 01, 2011

How Arabia Came to be Home to Jews Hated by Muhammad


Nadene Goldfoot
1,000 years before Mohammed the Prophet was born, Jews were already experiencing an exile from their homeland, Judea and were sitting by the waters of Babylon saying "If I forget thee O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning.  A Reverend Parks commented that "the religion which was developing into a universalistic ethical monotheism never lost its root in The Land.  The land of Israel is intertwined far more intimately into the religious and historic memories of the people; for their connection with the country has been of much longer duration---in fact it has been continuous from the 2nd millennium BCE to to modern times.  It is the emotional centre which has endured through the whole of their period of "exile" and has led to constant returns or attempted returns, culminating in our own day in the Zionist Movement."

Israel was a nation in about 1220 BCE, almost 2,000 years before the first Arab invasion began.  Arabist scholar Alfred Guillaume reports that Jews probably first settled in Arabia when Samaria fell in 721 BCE. All they had to do was travel south and follow the Red Sea and they were there.  It was not that far. 

 A self-contained Jewish military colony in Aswan and upper Egypt, found just a few years ago, was founded after Samaria fell.  The Jewish settlements in Arabia were from the fugitives escaping from the old northern capital of the Hebrews.  In the 1st and 2nd centuries CE...Arabia offered a near asylum to the Jews who had been the victims of the ruthless Romans. 

Jewish and Christian settlements were established in places in Arabia, spreading Aramaic and Hellenistic culture.  Jews and Judaised Arabs were everywhere in Najran, a southern Arabian Christian center.  Jews were also in Yathrib, later renamed Medina as agriculturists and artisans.  Medina is abut 280 miles north of Mecca.  The Jewish tribes that settled there were the Banu Nadir and Banu Quraiza.  Pagan Arabs then arrived attracted by the richness of the town.  They became clients of the Jews, then later dominated them.  At the time there was no stable government.  It was torn apart by the feuds of the rival Arab tribes of Aus and Khazraj while the Jew tried to maintain a balance of power.  The Jews were disliked as they were wealthier.  With the presence of Muhammad, the Arabs attacked and eliminated the Jews. 

In the last half of the 5th century, Persian Jews escaped persecution and fled to Arabia.  By the 6th century, Christian writers wrote about the Jewish community that remained in the Holy Land.  Tiberius in Judea was most important.  In Arabia in the kingdom of Himyar on the Red Sea's east coast, it was popular to convert to Judaism for important people.  The rule of this kingdom stretched over South Arabia.  Then commoners and the royal family adopted Judaism with the Rabbis from Tiberius begin part of the King Du Noas's entourage and serving as his envoys in negotiations with Christian cities. 

When Islam was becoming popular, Jews were dominating the economic life of Arabia holding lots of the best land and made up at least half of the population of Medina.  A Jewish settlement also was to the north of the Gulf of Aqaba.  Jews of the Hijaz made many converts among the Arab tribesmen.  These Judean refugees, Jews, had resettled to become prosperous, influential Arabian settlers.  They prospered because they had superior knowledge of agriculture and irrigation, were industrious and had the energy.  Jewish prosperity was a challenge to the Arabs, especially the Quraysh in Mecca and tribes in Medina.  Muhammad was a member of the Quraysh tribe, and they coveted all that the Jews were accomplishing but didn't have any of the necessary skills. 

There we have the background of how Muhammed became so bitter as to write in his Koran such things as kill a Jew if you see him behind a rock.   He himself even had one or two Jews...murdered and no blood money was paid to their next of kin.  He was coming into his power and couldn't abide pockets of disaffected Jews around his base so they had to be eliminated.  The Jews would not convert to Islam. 

A tribe of Jews were suspected of treachery and were forced to put down their arms and leave their homes so that the land and goods could be taken by the Muslims.  Other tribes were afraid to come to their aid, such as the Qurayza and the Aus.  Muhammad said, "Two religions may not dwell together on the Arabian Peninsula."  His successors, Abu Bakr and Omar I,  carried out the edict.  Jews were slaughtered and exterminated.  The Jewish dhimmi thus evolved; the robbery of freedom and political independence and taking of property of Jews in Arab lands until 1948. 

Well, Israel is not sitting on the Arabian peninsula.  Israel as a country is a Jewish state with over 1 million Muslims living there along with Christians and possibly other religious groups as well.  It was a haven for Asian boat people.   There are no Jews allowed to live in Saudi Arabia ever since Muhammad made his decree.  It is 100% Sunni Muslims with an absolute monarchy with about 27,601,038 population.  It's time for the Muslims to realize that Israel is not on the Arabian Peninsula and that was what was covered by their leader, not the land Israel is on.  Israelis have gone back home to Israel. 

Resource: From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters pps 140-145
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