Never Underestimate Barbarians

Massacre of the Prisoners of the Jewish Tribe of Beni Qurayzah, illustration of a 19th-century text by Muhammad Rafi Bazil.

Howard Bloom, a brilliant author whose ideas about geopolitics should be absorbed by those who cherish Western Civilization, authored the 1997 book, The Lucifer Principle, where he introduced a new concept in geopolitical science: “the pecking order of nations.”

The following is an excerpt from the second part of an interview with Bloom, published here last November by the invaluable Gatestone Institute.

In 629 AD, Mohammed and his warriors attacked and defeated the Jews of three tribes: the Banu Qaynuqa, the Banu Nadir and the Banu Quraiza. Then Mohammed inflicted war crimes on these three Jewish tribes. For two tribes, he commanded ethnic expulsion. In addition, he stole these tribes’ wealth and property. In the case of the Banu Quraiza, he committed genocide. He had every male of the tribe old enough to have pubic hair beheaded in front of him in the market place of his headquarters in Medina. Then he distributed the women of the Banu Quraiza as sex slaves, being careful to take the most beautiful and highest ranking as a bride for himself.

Thanks to their lucrative victories over these Jews, the Muslims were wealthy enough to grow ambitious and to make their superorganism and the memes that drove it voracious. As one of Mohammed’s Islamic biographers puts it, after the “destruction of the [Jewish] Banu Qurayzah… All Arab tribes admired Muslim power, dominion, and the new prestige of Muhammad as sovereign of Madinah.” Haykal explains that after the beheading of the men of the Banu Quraiza, Mohammed was at a turning point. Islam’s next challenge was to fight its way up the pecking order of nations. “The Islamic message,” Haykal says, “was not meant for Madinah alone, but for the whole of mankind. The Prophet and his companions still faced the task of preparing for the greater task ahead, namely bringing the word of God to the wide world….”

Thanks to his easy wins over the Jews, Mohammed had more than treasures and sex slaves; he also had the confidence to make his first move toward establishing a continent-swallowing mega-empire. Mohammed sent letters to half a dozen of the major world leaders of his day. The list of these you-have-won-the-lottery recipients included six superpower sovereigns — the Persian Emperor Chosroes II, the Eastern Roman emperor Hercules (Heracles), the Negus of Abyssinia, the governor of Egypt, the governor of Syria and the ruler of Bahrain. By sending his letter to a head of state like the Byzantine Emperor Hercules, Mohammed demonstrated an audacity that Haykal calls “amazing.” When Hercules was puzzled and asked where Mohammed’s letter had come from, he was told that it was from a people too backward for Hercules to bother his head about: “from the Arabs, people of sheep and camels.” It had come from insignificant barbarians. But never underrate barbarians.

Full interview here.

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