A Newsweek commentary said the tragedy “shows how easily saintliness and faith can turn into insanity and mass hysteria”. The Christian sect, Jehovah’s Witness whose members are forbidden to run for public office or to vote, and whose members who question the leader can be put to trail and punished, are known to be increasingly dying one at a time from the refusal of vaccinations for themselves and their children between 1931 and 1952, refusing organ transplants between 1967 and 1980, and refusing blood transfusion and certain blood fractions such as plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, whole blood from another person, whole blood from the patient himself, if removed from circulation, even briefly, since the mid-1940s, all in obedience to new interpretations of the Old Testament dietary laws.
Statistics may not be kept on the number of Jehovah’s Witness deaths, but a steady accumulation of a man, a child, a woman, and infant dying here, there, another place and somewhere else for roughly fifty years, the death toll is doubtlessly substantial.
Perhaps, the largest single published report is found in one of the sect’s own recent publications of photos of beautiful girls and handsome smiling boys of the title; “Youths Who Put God First” brightened the cover of the May 22, 1994, Awake Magazine. The appealing photos were of kids who died in obedience to the Watch Tower Society’s ban on blood transfusions.
Fifteen year old Adrian Yeats of Newfoundland – Canada, died September 13, 1993, twelve–year old Lenac Martinez of California, died September 22, 1993, and twelve year old Lisa Kosack also having died by the same period, were all posed together in a group portrait in the Magazine cover foreground having all died in refusal of blood transfusions. A court, a child welfare department, and a children’s hospital ethics committee in Canada and California – USA were forced to declare the three children “matured minors” capable of determining their fates”. Lisa Kosack, who died after holding off transfusion therapy by threatening that she “would fight and kick the IV pole down and rip out the IV no matter how much it would hurt and poke holes in the blood”.
Photos of twenty–three other attractive youths filled the background of the Awake Magazine cover who also died of refusing blood transfusions. The Awake Magazine inside pages further stated that “thousands of youths died of putting God first, in former times, and are still doing it”.
Most hospitals in Europe and America are nowadays said to grant adult Jehovah’s Witness members freedom to refuse blood transfusion even if it means certain deaths for them. When the patients are babies or young children, physicians are said to be of the practice of securing court orders almost automatically, their motivation being twofold: a desire to save the child’s life, and concern over liability should death or permanent disability result from lack of blood.
Many could be dismayed, why many Jehovah’s Witness parents are willing to sacrifice beloved children on the altar of organisational doctrine. Little is believed to meet the eye when outsiders puzzle over the unnatural action of Jehovah’s Witnesses in hospital or the courtroom. Doctors and judges are also believed largely unaware of the intense indoctrination Jehovah’s Witnesses undergo on a daily basis, and the punishment they face if not obedient to their leaders.
According to former Jehovah’s Witness sect leader, a prominent and widely recognised authority of the sect, David A Reed in his book – Blood On The Altar, recounting his thirteen years as a Witness and drawing on his own experience recounted instructions for Witness hospital employees turning over information from confidential patient records to the Church. And further described how the Watch Tower, the Church’s hierarchy conducts bedside trails of members who accept forbidden medical treatment, a system that is said to extend to instructing parents to kidnap their children from hospital beds, and the children themselves to resist doctors violently and give false testimony in court.
Isn’t it so much surprising, how a major religion with headquarters in New York City and ‘thirteen million’ attending its services worldwide quietly lead victims to early and needless deaths without a public outcry.
Islamic Jihads – Waging bloody warfare as a means to spread a religion espousing compassion may seem contradictory, yet that’s how the world’s second largest faith grew. And, after it grew, it split into hostile segments waging ‘holy wars’ against each other.
Combat was part of Islam from the beginning. Muhammad conquered Mecca by force by force. He fought in nine battles and ordered others. He dictated the Qur’an, which sanctions armed jihads as a tool of evangelism, at the same time authorised non-violent jihads by heart, tongue, and hand.
The faith unified the fierce Bedouin tribes of the Arabian Peninsula, who had spent centuries in cruel tribal warfare and became the shock troops of war for Islam. After Muhammad’s death in 632, successor caliphs launched a series of ‘holy wars’ first against apostate tribes who seceded when the prophet died, then against neighboring nations.
The jihadist tribes of Banu ‘ I – Nadir, the Banu Qurayza, and the Banu Qaynuqa, among others as well as the pagan Arab inhabitants who were divided into two clans, the Aws and the Khazraj of Mecca and Medina are said to have suffered horribly in the hands of Muhammad and his followers with a series of assassinations .
Following his settlement in Medina the Jews were said have divided in their loyalties with the Nadir and Qaynuqa with the Khazraj who years of bitter and bloody rivalry had left concerned and exhausted. Muhammad was said to be credited with the establishment of a kind of a federation between these groups in Medina and the new arrivals from Mecca in a resulting document known as the ‘constitution of Medina’.
But the settlement of old scores and the ruthless establishment of power first resulted to the execution of al – Nader, who is said to have scoffed at Muhammad during his days at Mecca and was said to have told ‘better stories than the prophet himself’. Ocba also a victim of the rivalry was also executed and here is how Muir describes the murder the murder: “Two days afterwards, Ocba was ordered for execution. He ventured to expostulate, and demand why he should be treated more rigorously than other captives (the executed were captives from a battle between Moslems and Jews including Arab pagans) “Because of thine enmity to God and his prophet”, replied Muhammad, “And my little girl” cried Ocba, in the bitterness of his soul, “who will take care of her?” “Hell – fire” exclaimed the Prophet, and on the instant the victim was hewn to the ground. “Wretch that thou wast!”, he continued, “and persecutor!, unbeliever in God, in his Prophet, and in his Book! I give thanks into the Lord that hath slain thee, and comforted mine eyes thereby”. The assassinations as such others are sanctioned by a revelation in sura 8.68: “It has not been for any prophet to take captives until he has slaughtered in the land”.
From now on Muhammad is said to have proceeded to rid himself of opposition dangerous to him. “Even secret conversations were reported to the Prophet, and on such information he countenanced proceedings that were sometimes were both cruel and unscrupulous”.
The next person that Muhammad moved against was the poetress Asma bint Marwan, who belonged to the Aws tribe. She is believed to have never concealed her dislike of Islam, and had composed couplets on the folly of trusting ‘a stranger who fight his own people:
F…ed men of Malick and Nabit
And of Aws, f…ed men of Khazraj
You obey a stranger who does not belong among you
Who is not of Murad, nor of Madhhij
Do you, when your own chiefs have been murdered, put your hope in him
Like men greedy for meal soup when it is cooking?
Is there no man of honor who will take advantage of an unguarded moment
And cut off the gull’s hope?
On hearing these lines Muhammad is said to have said, “Will no one rid me of this daughter of Marwan?” and one zealous Muslim, Umayr ibn Adi, is said to have decided to executed the Prophet’s wishes, and in the same night crept into the writer’s home while she lay sleeping surrounded by her young children. It is said that, there was even one at her breast. Umayr is said to have removed the suckling baby and then plunged his sword into the poetess. The next morning, in the mosque at prayer, Muhammad, who was aware of the bloody design, said to Umayr: “Hast thou slain the daughter of Marwan?” “Yes” he answered, “but tell me now, is there cause for apprehension?’. “None” said Muhammad, “a couple of goats will hardly knock their heads together for it”. Muhammad is said to have praised Umayr in front of the Muslims gathered in the mosque ‘for his service to God and his prophet’. The rest of the poetess’s family is said to have been forced to accept Islam.
Soon after, Muhammad is said to have decided to rid himself of another whose verses had dared to criticise him. Abu Afak, then said to be more than a hundred years old, belonged to the Khazrajite clan. He was murdered while he slept.
In 627 the Meccans and their allies are said to have begun their attack on Medina in a siege that lasted for two weeks, latter known as the Battle of the Trenches. The Banu Qurayza, believed to be the last Jewish tribe in Medina, are said to have contributed to the city’s defense, but on the whole remained neutral. Their loyalty is said to have been questioned, and eventually after the siege, Muhammad is said to have moved against them. And that realising that they had no chance of surviving they agreed to surrender on condition that they quit Medina empty – handed. Muhammad is said to have refused wanting nothing less than unconditional surrender. The Jews then appealed to their ancient friendship with the Banu Aws and asked that Abu Lubaba, an ally of Islam belonging to the tribe be allowed to visit them. He was asked what Muhammad’s intentions were, and by way of reply, Abu Lubaba is said to have drew his hand across his throat, indicating that they must fight to the end, as death was all they could hope for. After several weeks, the Jews surrendered on condition that their fate should be decided byn their allies, the Banu Aws. The latter are said to have shown mercy, but Muhammad is said to have decided that the fate of Jews was to be decided by one of the Banu Aws, and nominated Sa’d ibn Maudh to be the judge. Sa’d is said to have been still suffering from a wound sustained at the Trench. And is said to have pronounced, “My judgment is that the men shall be put to death, the women and children sold into slavery, and the spoil divided among the army”, and Muhammad is said to have adopted the verdict as his own: “Truly the judgment of Sa’d is the judgment of God pronounced on high from beyond the seventh heaven”.
It is further said that, during the night trenches sufficient to contain the death bodies of men were dug across the market place of the city. And that in the morning, Muhammad himself a spectator of the tragedy, commanded the male captives to be brought forth in companies of five or six at a time. That each company (group) as it came up was made to sit down in a row on the brink of the trench destined for its grave, there beheaded, and the bodies cast therein. The butchery is said have begun in the morning, and lasted all day, and continued till the evening. That having thus drenched the market place with blood of seven to eight hundred victims, and having given command for the earth to be smothered over their remains, Muhammad is said to have returned home with much joy.
The booty was divided, salve girls given as presents, women sold, and property auctioned. And a revelation again came down from heaven justifying the stern punishment meted out on the Jewish victims: sura 33.25 “And He has caused to descend from their strongholds the Jews that assisted them. And he struck terror into their hearts. Some you slaughtered and some you took prisoner.”
After the death of the Prophet, the Caliph, Abu Bakr organised the invasion of Syria. During the campaign of 634, the entire region between Gaza and Caesarea was devastated; four thousand peasants, Christians, Jews and Samaritans who were simply defending their land were massacred. During the campaigns in Mesopotamia between 635 and 642, monasteries were sacked, the monks killed, and Monophysite Arabs executed or forced to convert. In Elam the population was put to the sword, at Susa all the dignitaries suffered the same fate.
An oriental scholar expressed the conquest of Egypt by Amr b. al – As written between 693 and 700: “The Muslim yoke was heavier than the yoke which had been laid on Israel by Pharaoh”. Amr is said to have advanced into Egypt, captured the town of ‘Behnesa near Fayum and exterminated the inhabitants: “whoever gave himself up to the Muslims was massacred, they spared neither the old nor the women and children. Fayum and Aboit suffered the same fate. At Nikiu, the entire population was put to the sword. The Arabs took the inhabitants of Cilicia into captivity”.
In Armenia, the entire population of ‘Euchaita’ was wiped out. Seventh century Armenian chronicles recount how Arabs decimated the populations of Assyria and forced a number of inhabitants to accept Islam, and then wrought havoc in the district of ‘Daronsoutheast Lake Van’. In 642, it was the town of Divin’s turn to suffer. In 643, the Arabs came back, bringing “extermination, ruin and slavery”. Michael the Syrian tells us how Mu’awiya sacked and pillaged Cyprus and then established his domination by a “great massacre”.
It is believed to have been the same ghastly spectacle in North Africa. Tripoli is said to have been pillaged and razed to the ground, most of its inhabitants killed. Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Iraq, and Iran presented a similar spectacle.
By Ebou Sohna]]>