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PARIS (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Catholic sociologist is whitewashing Muhammad's violent response to people who mocked him as thousands rallied across France Sunday to honor a schoolteacher who was beheaded for showing cartoons of Muhammad to his students.
"By remaining calm, ignoring the insults and focusing on his mission. Responding with violence was never an option," Considine replies.
"The Paris beheading is an affront to his teachings," declared the Catholic scholar, who has become a well-known apologist for Islam.
France is in a state of shock after 18-year-old Muslim refugee Aboulakh Anzorov, beheaded French schoolteacher Samuel Paty in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine near Paris, for showing cartoons of Muhammad to pupils during a class on free speech.
Chechen-born Anzorov was heard shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is the Greatest) before police shot him dead about 600 yards from the murder scene.
"What Considine says is flatly false," distinguished Islamic scholar Robert Spencer told Church Militant.
Islam mandates death for non-Muslim subjects of the Islamic state who mention "something impermissible about Allah, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), or Islam" ('Umdat al-Salik, o11.10), and such laws are based upon passages in the Hadith and Sira in which Muhammad orders the murders of people who have insulted him.
Spencer told Church Militant he could cite numerous instances of such executions ordered by Muhammad in sacred texts revered by Muslims.
"These include Abu 'Afak, who was over 100 years old, and the poetess Asma bint Marwan," noted Spencer, author of 21 books on Islam.
Spencer quoted Ibn Ishaq, 674-676:
Abu 'Afak was killed in his sleep, in response to Muhammad's question, "Who will avenge me on this scoundrel?" Similarly, Muhammad on another occasion cried out, "Will no one rid me of this daughter of Marwan?" One of his followers, Umayr ibn Adi, went to her house that night, where he found her sleeping next to her children. The youngest, a nursing babe, was in her arms. But that didn't stop Umayr from murdering her and the baby as well. Muhammad commended him: "You have done a great service to Allah and His Messenger, Umayr!"
Spencer also cited the example of Ka'b bin al-Ashraf from Sahih al-Bukhari, volume 5, book 59, number 369.
Muhammad asked: "Who is willing to kill Ka'b bin al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?" One of the Muslims, Muhammad bin Maslama, answered, "O Allah's Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?" When Muhammad said that he would, Muhammad ibn Maslama said, "Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Ka'b)." Muhammad responded: "You may say it." Muhammad bin Maslama duly lied to Ka'b, luring him into his trap, and murdered him.
Church Militant contacted Considine, asking if he was willing to go on record to "confirm there are absolutely no instances in the Qur'an, Hadith or Sunnah where Muhammad reacts with violence to people who mock him for various reasons."
We asked Considine to explain how a prominent leader like the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini could issue a fatwa (ruling) against novelist Salman Rushdie, calling for him to be assassinated for mocking Muhammad, and no leading Shia or Sunni leader opposed Khomeini's fatwa saying it was not Islamic and contrary to the life of Muhammad.
Considine did not respond to our requests for comment.
Khomeini's fatwa against Rushdie announces: "I am informing all brave Muslims of the world that the author of The Satanic Verses — a text written, edited and published against Islam, the Prophet of Islam and the Qur'an, along with all the editors and publishers aware of its contents — are condemned to death."
"I call on all valiant Muslims wherever they may be in the world to kill them without delay, so that no one will dare insult the sacred beliefs of Muslims henceforth. Whoever is killed in this cause will be a martyr, God willing," Khomeini ruled in 1989. The fatwa has never been repealed.
On the contrary, at its March 1989 meeting in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which has 46 Muslim member states, declared Rushdie an 'apostate' and The Satanic Verses blasphemous against Islam. All four schools of Islamic jurisprudence stipulate the death penalty for apostasy.
Commentators posit that the numerous killings, attempted killings and bombings resulting from the fatwa and the West's acquiescence set the precedent for the violence that followed the Jyllands-Posten publication of the Danish cartoons in 2005 and the killings that followed the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Muhammad in 2015.
A Sharia scholar who is facing a death sentence for converting to Christianity told Church Militant there were a couple of instances when Muhammad is said to have forgiven a poet and a singing girl after conquering Mecca. Both were disputed stories.
"Islamic apologists often cite the story of a Jewish woman who used to throw garbage on Muhammad. They say he visited her when she fell ill. But no one can cite the reference to this story from the Hadith or Sunnah," the scholar told Church Militant.
"According to revered Islamic texts, Muhammad retaliates with the most brutal violence against at least nine women and men who mock or insult him," the scholar said. "Those who were not killed repented and submitted to Islam making Muhammad's forgiveness highly conditional."
"Blasphemy in Islam is cursing Muhammad, not [necessarily] cursing Allah," the scholar remarked, quoting Ibn Taymiyya's landmark legal treatise Kitāb al-ṣārim al-maslūl ʿalā shātim al-Rasūl, stipulating that anyone "who curses (sabba) the Prophet Muhammad must be killed without further recourse."
"The sanctity of Allah is the same as that of Muhammad. Whoever vexes the messenger vexes Allah," writes Taymiyyah. "No distinction is allowed to be made between Allah and his messenger in any of these matters."
Samuel Paty was the target of a fatwa ordering his execution, French Minister of the Interior Gérald Moussa Darmanin said.
Speaking to Church Militant from northern France, Fr. Athanasius Saint Michael slammed "Considine's attempt to foster a disconnection between Mohammad, Islam and violence in the public space" as "deeply disingenuous, profoundly disrespectful and astoundingly hurtful" to the people of France.
"It suggests that Paty's assassination at the hands of a militant Muslim was accidental. But from our experience with Muslims here, we know the violence against those mocking Muhammad stems from precedents in his own life," the theologian remarked. "Considine is not doing us any favors by promoting fictitious scholarship."
In July, Church Militant reported on Dr. Considine's extolling of Muhammad as the first anti-racist in history.
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter upheaval, Considine claimed that Muhammad was the "first person in human history to declare, in no uncertain terms, that no person is above another by virtue of race or ethnicity."
Church Militant debunked Considine's pro-Islamic propaganda demonstrating to the contrary Islam's deep-rooted racism and sexism.
Church Militant asked Spencer how Considine could lie so blatantly in public and think he could get away with it — assuming his readers were "all fools."
"He is relying on the ignorance of Americans about Islam. Yes, he does think we are all fools," Spencer responded.