Modern-day blood libel

The propaganda website WorldNetDaily has published a shocking story about “al-Qa’ida” in Iraq supposedly baking young boys and serving them to their families:

“Speaking through an American interpreter, Lt. David Wallach, who is a native Arabic speaker, the Iraqi official related how al-Qaida united these gangs who then became absorbed into ‘al-Qaida.’ They recruited boys born during the years 1991, 92 and 93 who were each given weapons, including pistols, a bicycle and a phone (with phone cards paid) and a salary of $100 per month, all courtesy of al-Qaida. These boys were used for kidnapping, torturing and murdering people,” said Yon’s dispatch, “Bless the Beasts and Children.” “At first, he said, they would only target Shia, but over time the new al-Qaida directed attacks against Sunni, and then anyone who thought differently. The official reported that on a couple of occasions in Baqubah, al-Qaida invited to lunch families they wanted to convert to their way of thinking. In each instance, the family had a boy, he said, who was about 11 years old,” Yon continued. “As Lt. David Wallach interpreted the man’s words, I saw Wallach go blank and silent. He stopped interpreting for a moment. I asked Wallach, ‘What did he say?’ Wallach said that at these luncheons, the families were sat down to eat. And then their boy was brought in with his mouth stuffed. The boy had been baked. Al-Qaida served the boy to his family.”

You can believe this story, or not. But these goons also allege that such behaviour has a historical precedent in Islam:

And a researcher for the Barnabas Fund cites what he says is the foundation for such barbarism. The researcher said the story is common to history books that include the story of Mohammed ibn Abu Bekre, a contemporary of Muhammad. The connections are these: Mohammad ibn Abu Bekre was the son of Abu Bekre, the first adult male to believe in Muhammad. Mohammad ibn Abu Bekre also is the brother of Aisha, Muhammad’s 9-year-old wife. The history stories recount, according to the Barnabas Fund researcher: “When Abu Bekre divorced the mother of his son Mohammed, Ali (the fourth Caliph) took her as a wife. Later Ali as Caliph appointed his stepson and the son of Abu Bekre, the brother of Aisha, the beloved wife of the prophet, as the governor of Egypt.” However, after five months, a rival Caliph army invaded Egypt to take it back from Ali, and they killed Mohammed ibn Abu Bekre, the history books say. “Then they put his body (corpse) in a dead donkey, then they roasted the donkey and sent it as a gift to Aisha,” the history books say. “From that day on Aisha never ate roasted food.”

The Barnabas Fund is run by Patrick Sookhdeo, the favoured columnist for editors who want an alarmist and slanderous article about Islam. The report makes it clear that such behaviour is not part of Islamic tradition - the bit about the body of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr (radhi Allahu ‘anhu) being cooked and sent to Sayyidatina A’isha (radhi Allahu ‘anha) is disputed anyway. I’m not an expert and finding information on the subject online is problematic because of the profusion of propaganda from Shi’ites, to whom the supposed incident matters more than it matters to us Sunnis.

However, the treatment of Muhammad bin Abi Bakr (radhi Allahu ‘anhu) is not a precedent for the Baquba murders, because these involve children, not an adult who was a political enemy. Even so, the reported reaction of Sayyidatina A’isha, radhi Allahu ‘anha, to the gift would typify that of any Muslim, even if they did not cease eating cooked meat. The histories of Islam, particularly the early histories, are not filled with such stories of Muslims doing this sort of thing to each other, nor even to non-Muslims. Islam simply does not allow the killing of children, nor the consumption of human flesh, and whatever might have gone on during the fitna following the murder of the Caliph Uthman (radhi Allahu ‘anhu) does not serve as an example for us. Even the extremists do not model their behaviour, at least consciously, on these actions.

And does anybody spot the inconsistencies in the story: for example, they invite a family to lunch intending to convert them to their way of thinking - and then butcher their son and serve him to them on a plate with rice? And also, how can a man called David Wallach be a “native Arabic speaker”?

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