Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Only Good Jew is a...Muslim

By Barry Rubin

Muqtedar Khan is a professor at the University of Delaware who should be notorious for his refusal to sit on an academic panel with a researcher solely because the latter had served in the Israel Defense Forces.

And guess what happened? The University of Delaware didn't discipline Khan or invite someone else to participate insted of him, they uninvited the researcher and went ahead with the program. What more do you need to know about the state of American academia today? And there was no media shouts of outrage. What more do you need to know about the state of the American media today?

Khan has now written an item on an Internet site that is being sent around by people as an example of Muslim toleration and fairness toward Jews. The title is, "He was the Best of Jews said Muhammad." It is about the little-known story of a Jew named Mukhayriq who, according to some Islamic sources, actually fought for the Muslim side in Muhammad's battles.

So, contrary to the massacre of the Jews at Khaybar, is there a counter-case of a Muslim alliance with Jews, forged by that religion's creator and prophet no less? Well, not exactly.

Khan doesn't mention it but the Islamic sources that he read contained an important fact: Mukhayriq was a convert to Islam. "The best of Jews," indeed.

So Khan won't sit with someone who has fought to defend Jews, he prefers Jews who are no longer Jews at all. Perhaps this is his peace plan for Israel?

I will leave you to draw your own conclusions.

The main source for this story is Ibn Hisham's edition (ninth century) of Ibn Ishaq's biography (eighth-century) of Islam's founder. It was translated by Alfred Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad: a Translation of Ishaq's "Sirat Rasul Allah" (Oxford, 1955). Norman Stillman's book, The Jews of Arab Lands (Jewish Publication Society, 1979), mentions him.

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