When we want to confront our present, we often forget about using our history as a guideline. Islam understands that most of humanity is detached from its past. As much as we pride ourselves as knowledgeable, we have a hard time shaking preconceived notions of who is or who isn’t indigenous to a particular place. Muslim Arabs will have the accidental observer believing that the whole of the Middle East has been their home for thousands of years. Of course, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. This is why Islam has the practice of transferring the narratives and locations of cultures it conquers into its own narrative.
It is not an accident that after the Muhammad’s victory at Badr he moved to expel the Jewish tribes in control of Yathrib. These tribes along with the Ansar gave Muhammad and his followers protection. In typical Muhammed fashion and what would set the stage for future Islamic warfare, they waited until the right time to rally people to their side against the Jews, causing the Jewish tribes to push Muhammad out of their city. However, the Jewish tribes and their allies lost in the Battle of the Trench. The main Jewish tribe, the Banu Qurayza of Yathrib were expelled with the men executed. Muhammed changed the name of the city to Medina as it is now known. Jews were banned from there and Medina in the eyes of the World has and will always be a Muslim Holy city. Of course Yathrib was only the beginning.
Khaybar, another Jewish controlled city and perhaps the strongest one became the site of Muhammad’s famous victory over the Jews of the Arabian peninsula.
From North Africa to Istanbul to the Arabian Peninsula, Islam has appropriated and erased history. We are seeing the Islamic State continue this tradition, and ultimately the Palestinian National Movement does this throughout Israel as well.
One has to wonder why Jihadist Islam does this. My assumption is the fact that Islam owes its success to turning the tables on the people of the Book, serves as a sort of pandora’s box for the veracity that Islam, or should I say fundamentalist Islam, is nothing more than Mein Kampf with religious overtones.
It should not go unmentioned that Muhammad himself was sure that the Jews would follow him. The Koran at one point directs Muslims to pray towards Jerusalem and only after the Jews rejected him as their Messiah did Muhammad change directions to Mecca.
Truth is hard to swallow to those who have staked their causes on falsehood. Yathrib and Jewish Arabia is a fact. The reality that Islam’s second holiest city became so by uprooting the people of the Book from it and by doing so uprooting the Islamic claim to being connected to them has created an inner conflict that expresses itself in the guise of hatred towards Israel. For the Jihadist and fundamentalist Muslim all areas of Jewish existence and especially sovereignty are Yathrib, waiting to be turned into Medina.
The problem for Radical Islam and its millions of adherents, is that the rise of Israel reverses the conquering of Yathrib. This they know deep inside means that their own success is also being reversed. For peace to reign Islam needs to acknowledge the injustice of their cause. The quickest way to right historic wrongs is for the Muslim world to come to grips with the fact that they have built their belief set on the ashes and rubble of Yathrib. Perhaps changing its modern name back to its original would go a long way to explaining to the throngs of believers that the game is up. For some reason I don’t believe that will happen.