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Saturday, August 24, 2013

'Yesterday's people' and the treaty of Hudaybiyya

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.

In a couple of weeks, we will reach the 20th anniversary of the Oslo Accords (on the secular calendar, they were signed on September 13, 1993 and on the Jewish calendar, it was the Monday before Rosh HaShanna, the 27th of Elul, 5753). Yitzchak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and the other fools who brought us the Oslo Accords, used to refer to those who opposed them as 'yesterday's people.' Yasser Arafat, on the other hand, referred to the Oslo Accords as his Treaty of Hudaybiyya.
[O]n Aug. 6, 1995, Yasser Arafat gave a speech at Al-Azhar University in Cairo explaining why he had signed the Oslo Accords despite his "thousand objections" to it. Among other things, he said:
"My brothers, I would like to remind you: when the Prophet signed the Treaty of Hudaybiyya, he wished to preface it with the phrase: 'In the name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate.' But the men of the Quraysh tribe stopped him, saying that they did not agree. He also wished to sign his name as 'Muhammad, the messenger of Allah.' But the men of the Quraysh tribe stopped him, saying, 'Who said we recognized you as the messenger of God?' Then the Prophet instructed Ali: 'Cross it out and write 'Muhammad son of Abdullah' instead. Omar ibn al-Khattab ran up and said, 'How can that be, O Prophet of Allah?' The Prophet said, 'Be silent.' … He asked them where it was written -- you know that the Prophet could not read or write -- and they told him: 'It is written here.' He crossed it out himself and they wrote: 'Muhammad son of Abdullah.'
"In addition, my brothers, the Prophet agreed that whoever came from the Quraysh to convert to Islam would be rejected, and they would not stand in the way of anyone who reneged on his conversion to Islam. I merely remind you.
"Omar ibn al-Khattab called the treaty a 'sulha dania' ['despicable truce'] and asked, 'How can we accept such a humiliation of our religion?' But, my brothers, all this applies to the Palestinian people also ... I say this because we are now in the midst of negotiations. In any case, if the Israelis think we have no alternative to negotiations, by Allah I swear they are wrong."
What was the Treaty of Hudaybiyya? Perhaps 'tomorrow's people,' as they liked to call themselves, should have checked before they signed away Israel's existence.

Then Muhammad signed a non-aggression pact with the Quraysh, his own tribe. In the sixth year after the Hejira, he turned his army toward Mecca. He did not enter the sacred site but instead camped to the west of it, in Hudaybiyya, where he held negotiations with the Quraysh tribe. As Arafat recounted, Muhammad agreed to strike clearly Islamic phrases from the treaty and agreed to a series of fairly far-reaching concessions.

In exchange, he received what seemed to be little but was actually a great deal: a non-belligerence pact that gave him time to gather strength. Now free to complete the work of expelling the Jews, Muhammad turned his attention toward Khaybar, the largest Jewish community in the Arabian peninsula. Muhammad's treaty with the Quraysh canceled out the protection agreement they had with the Khaybar. The rear of Muhammad's army was secure. His soldiers attacked the Jewish farmers as they went out in the morning to work in their fields. The Jews had hoes and baskets. The Muslims had swords. Muhammad burned the date-palm orchards, which were main source of the Khaybar tribe's livelihood, and put the tribe under siege. Within a month, the seven communities of Khaybar surrendered. According to the conditions of the surrender, some of the Jews were allowed to stay and cultivate what remained of their fields, but in exchange they had to give half the crop -- and ownership of the land -- to the Muslims.
The conditions imposed on the Jews of Khaybar became a precedent in Islamic law. That was how the status of the dhimma -- the specially protected non-Muslim but monotheistic subject in a Muslim state -- was created. The historian Martin Gilbert writes that for non-Muslims, Khaybar symbolizes the beginning of organized discrimination that lasted for centuries. Apartheid, if you will. The Egyptian caliph Al-Amir, who reigned during the 12th century, described the poll tax, or jizya, to be imposed upon dhimmi (the plural of dhimma) not only as a source of revenue, but also as a tool of discrimination and humiliation. He refused to exempt any dhimmi, even the most respected, from paying the tax himself. "It must be collected directly," he said, "to shame and humiliate him, so that Islam and the people of Islam will be exalted and the race of infidels will be brought low."
It is long, long past time for Israel to renounce Oslo. Read the whole thing

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