Tuesday, March 29, 2005

WSJ and Islamic "Moderates"

The Wall Street Journal's Global View (sorry, subscription only link) column by George Melloan is normally good. Unfortunately, it seems ol' George got snookered today by phony "Islamic moderates" in the form of MPAC, the Muslim Public Affairs Council. This passage in Melloan's article was a tipoff that he has been taken in:
Muhammad was a different kind of prophet also in the sense that he was temporal ruler as well, building his political base in Medina and then conquering the Arab city that had once rejected him, Mecca. After his death, in June 632 by traditional account, Arabs rapidly built an empire stretching from the gates of the Mediterranean to the far side of India, spreading Islam as they went. On the whole, they were tolerant of Christians and Jews in the lands they conquered, acknowledging that all three religions claimed the same origins.
It is beyond dispute that Mohammed was indeed "a different kind of prophet" in the sense that he led his gang in battle, personally killed and ordered killings, divided up the victims's wealth with his followers, and made slaves of the wives and children of the victims.

Morever, the Christians and Jews (actually any non-Muslims) in the conquered territories were not treated with "tolerance" as Westerners of today understand it. They were offered three choices: 1) convert to Islam; 2) submit to rule by Muslims and live as "dhimmis;" or 3) be killed. Dhimmis were (are) allowed to live as second class citizens. They had (have) to pay a special tax. They were fully subject to Sharia law, but did not have the same legal rights as Muslims. They could not hold any government positions. They had to be appropriately submissive and deferential to Muslims to show that they knew "their place."

Robert Spencer of DhimmiWatch has a complete rundown on MPAC and a thorough critique of Melloan's article in his post, Dhimmitude at the Wall Street Journal: the Journal touts MPAC.

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