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Sitting at Noble Coffee in Ashland, Oregon, reflecting on the day I had coffee here with David Hayden, author of Muhammad and the Birth of Islamic Supremacism: The War With The Jews 622-628 A.D. As I read that book, I was awed by the tenacity and integrity with which the author had researched for a decade before beginning to write, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to talk with him about various elements of his studies.
I shared with Hayden a poignant scene that had struck me in the book, when Muhammad had exiled the Jewish Banu Nadir tribe from Medina, and "They departed to the accompaniment of drums and the music of strings. Their wives were decked in festive costumes, and they dazzled the warriors of the Prophet by their beauty and elegance. A people that could not be crushed" (Tor 152). Hayden goes on to quote an article ("The Expulsion of Banu Nadir") from the All About Muhammad website: "while Muhammad could seize their property, he obviously could not get their souls. An amazing display in the face of a complete defeat" (p. 123) When I read that amazing account of the power of the human spirit, I immediately saw it flash in my mind as a colorful movie scene, and I realized that this very well-written book would be more accessible as a movie, because more people could understand the complex research in a visual way... But when I suggested this idea to the author, he reminded me that no one is allowed to put any images of Muhammad anywhere. In fact, if someone does post an image of Muhammad, they can be killed for it. Killed for it. Those words certainly stopped my creative imaginings in their tracks! Obviously, if you can be killed for creating an image of Muhammad, then you cannot make a movie about him!Read more ›
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This book is meticulously researched and incredibly enlightening considering the current world conflict with militant Islam. It is not a quick read, but in understanding Islam it cannot be.
The author, David Hayden, is obviously well-read and presents the life of Muhammad and the early Islamic movement in context. Hayden objectively presents the story of Muhammad and the beginnings of Islam from all accounts.
Clearly the endorsement of Robert Spencer and Bruce S. Thornton reveals that this is a book worth reading.
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Well researched treatise on the historical foundations that have driven the modern Jihadism movement. This is a contentious document that should be read by the media, politicians and religious leaders to gain a better understanding of the roots of the organizations and individuals who have embarked on a Holy War to eradicate the Western world. My only criticism is that Mr. Hayden has not taken into account the current political, social, cultural and economic factors that are also driving those people to support and become part of the extremist Muslim factions. I do not believe that the rise of the Muslim Supremacy movement cannot be blamed solely on faith and the interpretation of the Qur'an. Although I found that some portions were somewhat tedious, with potentially questionable reference sources such as internet blogs, it definitely was a worthwhile read.