Boreal

Remembering Uzza

If the story of Islam was told to me in a pub

(1st draft)

2.5 When Rape Without Compassion and Overkill Became the Norm

Uzza:  An irresistible opportunity for revenge on the Jews and for plunder presented itself with the retaliation killing of a Muslim by a Jew of the Banu Qaynuqa, the smallest of the three Jewish tribes of Medina.

A Muslim girl was sitting in a Jewish goldsmith shop while waiting for the shopkeeper to return with some ornament when, unbeknownst to her, a women pinned the hem of her skirt. When she got up everyone had a good laugh. The poor girl was mortified. A passing Muslim killed the Jew he thought responsible. The brother of the man killed than killed his brother's killer. There was a clamor for revenge on the tribe of Banu Qaynuqa.

Muhammad gathered his followers and took the Jews of the Banu Qaynuqa as prisoners. There was talk of execution until Muhammad decided to simply curse the Jews, confiscate their property and send them into exile.

Bob: How kind of him.

Uzza: Muhammad would not have spared the lives of the Qaynuqa unless there was some advantage to doing so. He probably spared them so as to avoid spooking the remaining Jewish tribes of Medina into joining the forces gathering outside the city to avenge the defeat at Badr.

Gerry: By the way, Uzza, Bob did not mean it when he said the Prophet was being kind.

Uzza: I knew that.

Archie: The Meccans are back. Great!

Uzza: The Meccans were not about to let their defeat at Badr go unanvenged  and a large detachment of troops accompanied by the men's wives — which was not unusual — not realizing that by doing so they were baiting a trap for the believers. Many of the women accompanying their fighting men, before the battle, tore their clothing and bared their breasts urging their men on.

Bob: WOW. Arab women showing their boobs in public.

Uzza: Arab women, before Islam, were not the dominated prudes you see today. Before Islam, women were very much spirited partners of the men they married.

Gerry: What a modern outlook.

Uzza: The Arab men and women of what Islam calls the Age of Ignorance, before Allah sent the Book to Muhammad, were modern before modern became a dirty word.

Archie: From women who bared their breasts in defiance, to women who won't bare their nose to sneeze.

Gerry: Are you saying the bare-breasted women distracted the beleivers and encouraged the pagans to fight harder.

Uzza: You could say that. The Meccans waited outside Medina at a place called Uhud for the believers to come out and fight them, which they did. Another Muslim victory was at hand until Muhammad's archers, thinking the battle already won and seeing some women flee, shouted "THE WOMEN, THE WOMEN" and started running after them. The Meccan cavalry seized the opportunity and counterattacked turning a near victory for the believers into a rout. After killing as many believers as there were Meccans killed at Badr, the Meccans withdrew considering the dead of Badr avenged as required by Talion law.

Had they pursued the fleeing believers they would have completely annihilated them once and for all.

Bob: Maybe they were in a hurry to enjoy the breasts of victory.

Uzza: The pre-Islamic Arabs were not that much into killing for religious reason, let alone overkilling, which the believers later adopted as a tactic on Allah's recommendation and never suffered another defeat under His spokesperson's cold-blooded leadership. The Meccans returned home because under their system of laws the dead had been avenged and no more needed to die.

Gerry: I can't believe men could be distracted by women to the point of risking losing a battle?

Uzza: You have to put yourself in those young men's shoes. What was fleeing was a chance at intimacy, something most of them would not experience unless they literally grabbed it; not unlike the young men who are responsible for the repeated rape epidemics in India. Most were not fighting for something we would consider honourable, they were fighting for the promise of what was getting away.

Gerry: I'm confused, what do rapes in India have to do with young men running after women fleeing a battlefield more than a thousand years ago?

Uzza: I do not want to condone the actions of rapists or those who seek intimacy through the capture of the object of their affection.

Archie: That is one way of putting it.

Uzza: It all has to do with the scarcity of females. In India, the scarcity is real and is the result of the deliberate killing of females in their millions when technology to detect the sex of a fetus became widespread. In the time of Muhammad scarcity was apparent, not real. It was caused by the hoarding of females by rich and powerful men, usually older men, and later religious leaders, thereby depriving a significant number of young men of female companionship. Muhammad took advantage of this imbalance by telling the so deprived that the females of the unbelievers they killed were theirs for the taking as a reward from God.

Bob: Did the believers rape their captives?

Uzza: Some married them, which you might consider rape if the vows were coerced. Virgins intended for sale were usually not violated for that reduced their market value. That left married women and widows for whom rapists, before Islam, showed some compassion.

Archie: And the Prophet was okay with this?

Uzza: Muhammad did not so much create a new religion as mash-up pagan practices and traditions, with which he was well acquainted, and Jewish beliefs and traditions with which he was also well-acquainted.

Bob: What was this "compassion" shown raped widows and wives?

Uzza: Pre-Islamic Arabs tried to avoid impregnating unmarried woman or another man's wife by practicing coitus-interruptus and not leaving a lasting impression which would make it difficult for the women, if and when they were released or sold, to get on with their lives. Muhammad put an end to that, saying it was a sin to withdraw before ejaculation because it deprived Allah of the opportunity to make a baby if He was so inclined.

Archie: Like I said before, that is nuts.

Uzza: How is it more stupid than the Catholic Church's stand against contraceptives when the human race is drowning in its own excrement.

Archie: Good point.

Gerry: But, that was the Prophet, a man of his time; surely Allah did not sanctioned the rape of anyone?

Uzza: Actually Allah went further. Perhaps for the emotional pain it would inflict on those who denied His mercy and compassion or that He even existed, He encouraged through revelation His holy warriors to rape the wives in front of their husband, if he too had been made captive and not killed, something even the early believers had been reluctant to do do.

Gerry: Unfortunately, religion too often brings out the worst in us because we think we are doing God's will.

Archie: In the case of Islam, it's that other guy's will.

Gerry: Archie would you lay off the anti-Islam crap a bit. Don't you see it's upsetting Uzza.

Uzza: He is not completely wrong. People are born good, all the death and destruction that seems to follow Islam everywhere is not natural. Could it be because Islam teaches a different definition of what is right and what is wrong that children grow to do such horrible things to others and themselves thinking it is the right thing to do, what God expects of them.

Gerry: Uzza, don't get sad on us.

Uzza: Violence, including rape was what happened in war and the pre-Islamic Arabs tried to avoid war at all cost because of the violence and the resulting deaths. Islam elevated violence into a virtue and death into something you yearn for.

Could Islam be right and wrong reversed? All you have to do is say the magic words: “I declare there is no god except God, and I declare that Muhammad is the Messenger of God” and what had been both illegal and immoral becomes, not only lawful, but the right thing to do if you did it to someone who did not share your beliefs or expresses doubts. With a few simple words, wrong becomes right! I never quite looked at it that way.

Gerry: Uzza, you're letting Archie get to you.

Uzza: And soon, right will be coming for your wives and daughters because you are wrong, you are evil for not believing in Him and Muhammad.

Gerry: Don't say that.

Uzza: What else would you like me to say?

Bob: [changing the subject slightly] Was it after this defeat that Allah demanded that all women cover up or stay home so that the believers remained focus on doing what He would do if He were here and that is kill unbelievers.

Uzza: No, but it might not have been a bad idea, considering. I think the revealed truth you are referring to is the one where Allah tells women to cover their bosom with their veil, stay home if possible and not to stamp their feet less their covered jiggly parts become evident.

Bob: Yes that one... I think.

Uzza: Many of Allah's revelation pertaining to how women and girls must behave and dress were received after Muhammad had accumulated at least a dozen wives, and began experiencing wife management difficulties, especially with his teenaged acquisitions who did not shy away from making fun of a husband who could have been their grandfather.

Many of the revealed truths telling females what is expected of them were received shortly after the apple of Muhammad's eye, the lovely Aisha, who joined her husband on the matrimonial mat when she was just eleven, wandered into the desert and got lost, only to be rescued by a young man who brought her back to Medina the next day.

Needless to say, this started people talking. Talk, if the revelations pertaining to this incident are to be believed, that really distressed Muhammad. So much so, that Allah intervened, not only to vouch for Aisha’s faithfulness, but also to make sure that none of Muhammad's wives would ever put His favourite spokesperson in an embarrassing situation again. In a position where Muhammad would be the object of gossip; “chatter” Allah calls it. Revelation 24:31 about concealing bosoms and private parts and not stamping your feet were part of this package of revealed truths which were really meant to help Muhammad with his wife management difficulties.

Gerry: So, what many Muslim women who don't abide by the Islamic dress code have said is true, it was meant for the Prophet's wives, not females in general.

Uzza: Remember, Muhammad was not the only one who enjoyed being surrounded by a bevy of wives, concubines and slave-girls. The solution to Muhammad's wife management problems, putting the fear of God into them, became a solution for every hoarder of females, and a cheap solution at that, getting the women to police themselves.

Gerry: When women say that the veil is a way for a man to control them it is correct and it has nothing to do with piety.

Uzza: I would not go that far. Allah's solution to Muhammad's wife problem did what the Indians have not managed to do, and that is to protect women from being gang-raped by young men whose lust they have aroused by the way they dress and who see rape as the only way they will ever experience what it is like to be inside.

What it did not saved them from is being raped by a husband who Allah authorized to have sex with any of his wives at his discretion and the wife dare not refuse. In fact, under Islamic law, she is required to sign a marriage contract in which she explicitly grants her husband unrestricted access to what Allah calls her "private parts".

Archie: Wish my wife had signed one of those.

Bob: What did Allah and the Prophet do to ensure their holy warriors were never again distracted by vision of bouncing breasts, or whatever?

Uzza: God revealed a simple solution while Muhammad went looking for a scapegoat.

Archie: And Allah's simple solution was... I can only guess it was a bloody one?

Uzza: You are correct. His solution has proven to be an effective one to this day. He told the believers not to stop killing until the unbelievers had been completely subdued, in essence to overkill them, and then, and only then, could they help themselves to their possessions.

Archie: Godlike in both its simplicity and immorality.

Uzza: The pagan Arabs' aversion to unmitigated violence and the limit they place on retaliation killing to that demanded by an unadulterated Talion law and Allah's opened-ended endorsement of killing in His Cause sealed the fate of the pagan Arabs.

Gerry: What about the Prophet?

Uzza: Muhammad, on returning to Medina with his troops, marched on the fortified neighborhood of the Banu Nadr, accusing them of being complicit in the defeat of the Muslim at Uhud. They would not come out to meet him in battle, so he did what before had been unthinkable so as to impress upon them that they had no future in Medina alive or dead. He destroyed much of Medina's date palms.

Bob: Why would the Banu Nadr have cared?

Uzza: It was their date palms. It was their livelihood, that Muhammad destroyed.

Archie: And Allah agreed with that.

Uzza: Yes, to destroy such a valuable crop on what was an oasis in the middle of a desert - Medina is still referred to as the oasis city - had some Arabs up in arms, prompting Allah to send a revelation saying that He had authorized the destruction of whatever trees Muhammad deemed necessary.

Gerry: Why attack the Banu Nadr and not the Banu Qurayzah since they had to represent an equal if not a an even greater threat, or why not attack both?

Uzza: Muhammad, to use a cliché, never bit off more than he could chew. If the Banu Nadr and Banu Qurayzah had acted in concert they could have resisted the beleives if not completely overwhelmed them, especially since not an insignificant portion of the Arab population of Medina would have joined them. But they could not agree among themselves, let alone agree to form an alliance to save their lives.

With their livelihood gone, the Banu Nadir agreed to go into exile. Muhammad allowed them to take with them whatever their camels could carry. That left only the Banu Qurayzah of the three Jewish tribes of Medina that had ensured the survival of Islam.