How Islam Conquered 2/3s of the Christian World by Raymond Ibrahim
Saturday, September 11, 2021
Hat tip Religion of Peace : Recently in history, on August 20, 636, the single most
consequential battle between Islam and the West took place—that of
Occurring just four years after Muslim prophet Muhammad had
died, not only did the military engagement decide whether the Arabian
creed thrives or dies; it became a chief source of inspiration and
instruction for jihadis throughout the centuries, right down to the
Islamic State. And yet, very few in the West are even aware of the Battle of Yarmuk’s existence—much less how it motivates contemporary Islamic terrorists.
The contestants were the Eastern Roman Empire, under Emperor
Heraclius, and the newly born Arabian caliphate, under the second
caliph, Omar. After a couple of years of Muslim depredations in then
Christian/Roman Syria, the two forces met along the Yarmuk River. The
pre-battle exchange between the two generals, the Roman-Armenian Vahan
and Khalid bin al-Walid—Islam’s much revered (and near cannibalistic) “Sword of Allah”—is instructive:
The Christian commander began by diplomatically blaming Arabia’s
harsh conditions and impoverished economy for giving the Arabs no choice
but to raid Roman lands. Accordingly, the empire was pleased to provide
them with food and coin on the condition that they return home. “It was
not hunger that brought us here,” Khalid responded coolly, “but we
Arabs are in the habit of drinking blood, and we are told the blood of
the Romans is the sweetest of its kind, so we came to shed your blood
and drink it.
Vahan’s diplomatic mask instantly dropped and he launched into a
tirade against the insolent Arab: “So, we thought you came seeking what
your brethren always sought” — plunder, extortion, or mercenary work.
“But, alas, we were wrong. You came killing men, enslaving women,
plundering wealth, destroying buildings, and seeking to drive us from
our own lands.” Better people had tried to do the same but always ended
up defeated, added Vahan in reference to the recent Persian Wars, before
As for you, there is no lower and more despicable people — wretched,
impoverished Bedouins. . . . You commit injustices in your own nation
and now ours. . . . What havoc you have created! You ride horses not
your own and wear clothes not your own. You pleasure yourselves with the
young white girls of Rome and enslave them. You eat food not your own,
and fill your hands with gold, silver, and valuable goods [not your
own]. Now we find you with all our possessions and the plunder you took
from our coreligionists — and we leave it all to you, neither asking for
its return nor rebuking you. All we ask is that you leave our lands.
But if you refuse, we will annihilate you!
The Sword of Allah was not impressed. He began reciting the Koran
and talking about one Muhammad. Vahan listened in quiet exasperation.
Khalid proceeded to call on the Christian general to proclaim the shahada—that
“there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger”—and thereby
embrace Islam, in exchange for peace, adding, “You must also pray, pay zakat, perform hajj
the sacred house [in Mecca], wage jihad against those who refuse Allah,
… and befriend those who befriend Allah and oppose those who oppose
Allah,” a reference to the divisive doctrine of al-wala’ wa al-bara’. “If you refuse, there can only be war between us. And you will face men who love death as you love life.”
“Do what you like,” responded Vahan. “We will never forsake our religion or pay you jizya.” Negotiations were over.