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What is the Connection Between Muhammad and the Beheading of Hostages by Islamic Terrorists

Randall Terry presents Part Two in a 7-Part Series that address the following question: How do the words and deeds of Islamic terrorists, or Muslims who call for acts of terror and violence, emulate the words and deeds of Muhammad? 

Today's episode -- Beheadings.

Mr. Terry is two-thirds of the way through a Master's Program in Diplomacy and International Terrorism.

Contact: Kathy Veritas, 904-687-9804

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 /Christian Newswire/ -- From Monday Aug 30 through September 7, 2010, Randall Terry is presenting a special series on the Words and Deeds of Muhammad.  Episode Two, showing on August 31, 2010, covers governments based on the Sunnah and ritual beheadings.

The material for this 7-Part Series is from research Mr. Terry did for a recent paper in his program. 

What follows is a portion of Mr. Terry's 30-page paper which deals with beheadings:

Dr. Timothy Furnish, who specializes in Islamic/Middle Eastern History, noted in The Middle East Quarterly: "Unlike hijackings and car bombs, ritual beheading has a long precedent in Islamic theology and history" (Furnish).

This "ritual" has been carried out with a choreographed consistency, designed to "strike terror" in the hearts of the enemies of Islamic militants. But why use beheadings?

Seconds before Abu Mus'ad Al Zarqawi cut off the head of the young American, Nicholas Berg, he said these words in Arabic: 

The Prophet, the master of the merciful has ordered to cut off the heads of some of the prisoners of Badr in patience. He is our example and a good role model. (Zarqawi, University of Georgia)

As Al Zarqawi alluded to, the "Islamic precedent" of beheading prisoners (including non-combatants) goes back to the founder of Islam: Muhammad.

At the battle of Uhud, Muhammad killed two men; Abu Azza, and Ubayy: "Abu Azza whom the apostle killed when a prisoner; and Ubayy whom the apostle killed with his own hand" (Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, p403). Another historian brings the clarity that Abu Azza was beheaded at Muhammad's order (Kathir, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, p64). The second man -- Ubayy -- was killed by Muhammad's spear: After killing him, Muhammad stated:  "Great is God's wrath against someone killed by the hand of the messenger of God in God's cause" (Kathir, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, p45)...

... One of the most well known accounts of Muhammad beheading prisoners was the Jews of Banu Qurayza... Islamic historian and apologist S.F. Mahmud in A Short History of Islam states:

After the Meccans, the first people to give trouble were the Jews in Medina and its neighborhood.  Not only did they openly scoff at the Prophet's teachings, but they conspired against the Muslims.  They were a united people and rich.  The Prophet had to organize a number of ghazwahs (holy wars) against them before they were subdued...the Prophet turned on the Jews and taught them a severe lesson" (Mahmud, A Short History of Islam, p17).

What was the "severe lesson"?  The "lesson" was the enslavement of all women and children, the dividing as spoils of all property, and the beheading of all males who had reached puberty. 

The following narrative gives a concise account of the bloodshed:

Then the apostle went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it.  Then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought up to him in batches.  Among them was the enemy of Allah Huyayy son of Akhtab and Ka'b son of Asad their chief.  There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900.  As they were being taken out in batches to the apostle they asked Ka'b [ed. their ruler] what he thought would be done with them.  He replied, 'Will you never understand?  Don't you see that the summoner never stops and those who are taken away do not return?  By Allah it is death!' This went on until the apostle made an end of them (Ibn Ishaq, 464).

We do not know how many men Muhammad personally beheaded, but we know beyond doubt that they were all beheaded at his order.

Who: Randall Terry

What: Part Two in a 7-Part TV Series on the Words and Deeds of Muhammad

Where: On the seven affiliates who carry Mr. Terry's show -- St. Augustine, FL; Branson, MO; Clarksville, TN; Beaumont, TX; Albuquerque, NM; Dallas, TX; and Atlanta, GA -- and on www.TerryCast.com

When: August 31, 2010 at 4:30 and 6:00 PM