Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon, as I wrote on Monday, has key lessons for our time. In the Sermon the Prophet of Islam provides an anti-racist stance that echoes Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech. Muhammad, like King, left humanity with a message of peace and goodwill.
While history bears witness that Islamic rule included both periods of co-existence and of intolerance, “the fact remains that the extremist treatment of minorities is not consistent with Islamic teachings.” This quote comes from Faisal Kutty, who recently published an important op-ed in The Star.
Using the Covenants as a base for analysis, Kutty claims that extremists have deviated from the egalitarian vision of Prophet Muhammad. I reached a similar conclusion in a paper titled “Religious Pluralism and Civic Rights in a ‘Muslim Nation’: An Analysis of Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants with Christians.” In this piece I show that ISIS’s persecution of Christians is not justified by Muhammad’s teachings. Indeed, I indicate that Christians living within the ummah (Arabic for community) were protected and defended.
Kutty’s article in The Star is imperative in light of the serious fear that Christianity may be wiped out in parts of the Middle East. He notes: “As of 2015, about a third of the 2.1 million Christians in Syria and Iraq have had to flee. Overall, the proportion of Christians has dropped from 14 per cent in 1910 to 4 per cent today.”
Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants could be used “as a kind of medicine to cure the diseases of Islamic extremism and Islamophobia,” as I had been quoted in the Daily Mail.