Remembering Uzza

2.5 Rape Without Compassion & Overkill Become the Norm

(2.5 draft)

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 woman 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: He probably spared them to avoid spooking the remaining Jewish tribes of Medina into joining the forces gathering outside the city to avenge the defeat at Badr.

Archie: The Meccans are back. Great!

Uzza: The Meccans were not about to let their defeat at Badr go unavenged. A large detachment of troops accompanied by the men's wives, which was not unusual, marched on Medina. At a place called Uhud they waited for the believers to come out and fight them, which they did.

Gerry: Did the women accompany their man because a victory was assured.

Uzza: Not necessarily. They were there to urge their men on, many tearing their clothing exposing their breasts in defiance and letting their men know what awaited them if they were victorious.

Archie: Or what the other guy would get his hands on if they weren’t.

Uzza: Perhaps.

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

Uzza: Arab women, before Islam, were not the dominated prudes you see today. Before Islam, Arab 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.

Uzza: It was these bold women who would be difference in the only battle the Meccans would win, but not because of what they did before the battle but during; they ran away thinking the battle was lost, which it was, until the women took flight.

Archie: And holy warriors rushed after them to be the first to get themselves one of those brash Meccan girls allowing the Meccans to get back in there.

Uzza: How did you know?

Archie: After everything you said about the motivation of those who fight in Allah’s Cause, it was a no-brainer.

Uzza: Another Muslim victory was at hand until Muhammad's archers, thinking the battle already won and seeing some women flee, shouted "The booty, the booty" and started running after them. The Meccan cavalry seized the opportunity and counterattacked turning a near victory for the believers into a rout.

Archie: Allah must have been pissed!

Uzza: Like Muhammad, Allah was no fool and kept His cool and counselled his spokesperson to do the same.

 Archie: Sure, let’s keep pretending they are not one and the same.

Bob: You mean He didn’t send armed angels like He did at Badr to help out?

Archie: Bob, let me tell you something about gods. When their side wins it is because of them. When their side loses it’s not their fault or they caused their side to lose, but not too much, to it teach it a lesson.

Bob: Uzza, is Allah like that?

Uzza: Well, He did not send angels to help out at Uhud like he did at Badr where He took credit for the victory. At the beginning of the Koran’s account of the defeat at Uhud, Allah does admit that the sight of the booty was a test to see who desired Paradise more than what this world has to offer; but He forgave those who failed the test.

Bob: Why would He do that, forgive them I mean?

Archie: Because, Bob, these gods need real people to do the killing, because they’re not real.

Uzza: Real or not, the believers were needed to fight another day, that’s for sure. And when that day came, which was soon, He did not want them to be distracted by the booty when they should be killing people, so He simply warned them not to do it again and forgave them.

Bob: But when do you know that you have killed enough people that it is safe to go scavenging for booty.

Uzza: You don’t, which is why Allah chose to err on the side of caution and advised overkilling them, killing more than might be necessary to achieve victory. The lesson has not been lost on holy warriors to this day.

Archie: Godlike in both its simplicity and immorality.

Bob: What about the people who ran for their lives when the Meccans counterattacked, surely they were not to blame.

Uzza: Nonetheless, Allah forgave them, blaming the devil for their flight to safety; an illusionary safety He will later explain.

Archie: What did I tell you.

Bob: An illusionary safety, what is that?

Uzza: It was not enough to get the believers to overkill, He also had to get them to get over their fear of death, to get them to look forward to it if they were going to triumph over the death-wary unbelievers.

Gerry: Are you saying that transforming Islam into what some people call a death cult began in earnest after the defeat at Uhud?

Uzza: After the defeat at Uhud you get the pep talk you hear in one form or another throughout the Koran, where Allah reminds the believers that He decides when and where someone dies; that no one can play it safe, and if He causes any of them to die in His Cause, all their sins are forgiven and they get to meet with Him before everyone else.

Archie: And get a first crack at the blushing maidens and the houris before the Judgment Day stampede to get at them. Bring on the grim reaper.

Gerry: How many believers got to meet Allah that day?

Uzza: After killing as many believers as there were Meccans killed at Badr, the Meccans withdrew considering the dead of Badr avenged. Had they pursued the fleeing believers they would have 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 the bloodthirsty type. The Meccans returned home because under Talion Law the dead had been avenged and no one else needed to die.

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

Uzza: 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, as Archie surmised, for the promise of what was getting away.

Gerry: 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, 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 but a synthesis of pagan practices and Jewish traditions and beliefs and called it Islam.

Gerry: What does this have to do with the "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. Muhammad's admonition against coitus interruptus and by extension contraception is another reason why family planning in Muslim-majority countries is non-existent or ineffective.

Bob: What about condoms?

Uzza: Most schools of Islamic Law allow condoms within a marriage as a temporary measure only; the same for the birth control pill for a woman if she has her husband’s consent. All are against men having a vasectomy or women a tubal ligation for this would be interfering with Allah's right to schedule a pregnancy at some point in the future.

Archie: Like I said before, this 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: The rape of prisoners, that was the Prophet, a man of his time who assumed much when it came to the Will of His Benefactor. Rapping a wife is one thing, and if pregnancy results so be it, but surely Allah did not sanction the rape of the unmarried woman or another man’s wife, let alone rape without compassion?

Uzza: I don’t know about rape without compassion, which may be, as you said, Muhammad assuming too much, but Allah not only approved of, but encouraged the rape of married women in front of their captive husband, if he too survived his encounter with the believers, something even the early converts to His Cause had been reluctant to do.

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

Archie: Or that other guy's will.

Uzza: I believe people are born good. All the death and destruction that seems to follow Islam everywhere is not normal. 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? Doing what they think God expects of them when it’s not God at all.

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

Uzza: Violence, including rape is what happens in war. The pre-Islamic Arabs tried to avoid war at all cost because of the violence and the resulting deaths. Then Islam came along and elevated violence into a virtue and death into something you yearn for. Could Islam be right and wrong reversed?

Archie: You got that right!

Uzza: 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. 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, they will be coming for your wives and daughters because you are evil and wrong for not believing in Him and the one he allegedly chose to speak on his behalf, and it will be the right thing to do.

Gerry: Don't say that.

Uzza: What else would you like me to say?

Bob: [trying to change the subject] Was it after the battle of Uhud that Allah said that women cover up just to be sure holy warriors did not get distracted when they were busy killing spree?

Uzza: No. Many of Allah's revelation pertaining to how women and girls must dress and behave were received after Muhammad had accumulated perhaps a dozen wives and began experiencing wife management difficulties, especially with his teenaged acquisitions, for example Aisha.

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 severely 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.

The revelation to which I think you're referring about staying home, concealing bosoms and private parts and not stamping your feet is part of this package of revealed truths which were really meant to help Muhammad with his wife management difficulties.

Gerry: Then, 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: Some of them for sure, but, 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 another way for men to control them, they are correct. It has nothing to do with piety.

Uzza: I would not go that far. Allah's solution to Muhammad's wife managment 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 and who see rape as the only way they will ever experience what it is like to be inside a woman.

Archie: Or girl.

Bob: After the defeat at Uhud, and a lesson learned, what did the Prophet do?

Uzza:  He went looking for a scapegoat. 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 Muslims at Uhud. They would not come out to meet him in battle, so he did what before would have been unthinkable. 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 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 believers 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.