Isis‘ persecution of Christians is not justified by Prophet Muhammed’s teachings, according to a new study of his previously untranslated writings.
Dr Craig Considine, a Professor at Rice University and the study author, says they indicate that Christians living within the ‘ummah’ – Arabic for community – were protected and defended. He said they could be viewed ‘as a kind of medicine to cure the diseases of Islamic extremism and Islamophobia’.
Dr Considine, a lecturer in Rice’s Department of Sociology in Texas, looked at texts written by the Muslim prophet written between 622 and 632 AD. ‘These covenants were designed to protect and even defend peaceful Christian communities, not attack them,’ Considine said.
‘The research clearly shows that contemporary Islamic states that mistreat and discriminate against Christians cannot be justified in light of Prophet Muhammad’s covenants.’ Considine said it is assumed they were written because of Prophet Muhammad’s desire to build alliances to bolster his new community and because of his positive interactions with members of the Christian faith.
The paper explores the prophet’s covenants with the monks of Mount Sinai, the Christians of Najran, the Christians of Persia and the Christians of the World.
In ‘The Covenant of the Prophet with the Christians of Persia,’ the prophet was emphatic on the issue of complete religious freedom. He wrote: ‘Even as they honor and respect me, so shall Muslims care for that people as being under our protection and whensoever any distress or discomfort shall overtake (Christians), Muslims shall hold themselves in duty bound to aid and care for them, for they are a people subject to my Nation, obedient to their word, whose helpers also they are,’ the prophet wrote.