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Posts Tagged ‘coercion’

Muhammad Raided Meccan Caravans, Islam Spread Through Violence

Posted by Tony Listi on May 3, 2009

In my class on the history of the modern Middle East, we started the semester with a discussion about Islam and Muhammad. Our professor told us that Muhammad and the city of Medina acted in self-defense against the city of Mecca (623-630 AD).

Yet in the very textbook she assigned to us, it says the exact opposite:

Even as he was consolidating his position in Medina, Muhammad made plans to disrupt the caravan trade on which Mecca’s prosperity depended. Within a year of his arrival in Medina, he ordered the first of what would become an ongoing series of raids on Meccan caravans. The initial raid occurred during one of the sacred pilgrimage months, when, according to established custom, hostilities were to be suspended. This was disturbing to many of the Muslims of Medina who continued to respect existing traditions. However, a divine revelation sanctified warfare against unbelievers and designated all Muslims who engaged in spreading Islam through force of arms as deserving of special merit. [How convenient!]

In retaliation for Muhammad’s attacks on their caravans, the Meccans launched several campaigns against the Muslims in Medina, but each time, the outnumbered Muslim forces managed to hold their own and even to gain limited victories. Muhammad emerged during these encounters as an innovative military tactician, and his success in thwarting the Meccans enhanced his prestige among the neighboring tribes. Many swore their allegiance to him not because they fully understood or accepted the religious message of Islam but because association with Muhammad’s endeavor appeared to guarantee victory, and with victory came the spoils of war…. In 630, Muhammad led a force of 10,000 men to the outskirts of Mecca….

Thus, from the beginning, Muhammad advocated and practiced the spread of Islam by force and violence (623-630 AD). And let’s remember that he is the supreme example in Islam of how Muslims should behave and live their lives.

For further reading see Bukhari Vol. 4, Book 56, No. 3012; Ibn Ishaq, 287-288.

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Posted in Government and Politics, Islam, Politics and Religion, The War on Terror, Written by Me | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Leadership and the Federal Government

Posted by Tony Listi on May 16, 2008

What does leadership mean to you? What kind of leadership do you want to see in our politicians?

Here are my thoughts on leadership and its tension with centralized government:

Leadership inspires and thus motivates. Government coerces and thus causes bitterness.

Leadership is a bottom-up process. Government has become a top-down process, from Washington, D.C. down to the local city and citizen.

Leadership is personal, developmental, and relational. Government at the national level is inherently impersonal, obstructive, and distant.

Leadership teaches and mentors. Government pontificates and condemns.

Leadership is empowering others by giving them freedom to make their own successes and mistakes. Government has become a command and control system that takes freedom away from people in order to punish the successful and reward the inept.

Leadership seeks the empowerment of all. Government is cannibalistic; it “empowers” people by disempowering others.

So the next time you hear a liberal Democrat claim they can bring “change” and “leadership” to Washington, D.C., take a moment to reflect on what real leadership is and what the federal government actually does.

Posted in Government and Politics, Political Philosophy, Written by Me | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »